When I was in the prayer room a sister came in looking not her usual cheery self. We got talking and she said: “What do you do if you’ve been advising someone for so long and trying to help them better themselves but they don’t seem to listen? You talk to them and know that they don’t care?” Do you give up? Do you cut your ties with them? My thoughts were: that is tough.
As Umm-Abdullah bint Hantamah was preparing to leave Makkah so she can worship Allah without prosecution from the tribe of Quraish, she stated: “Umar ibn Al-Khattab came to me and said “Leaving, O Umm-Abdillah?” I said “Yes, we have to because you people have tormented us and forced us to leave” He replied, “May Allah be with you” and I saw some softness in him.” Later on, Umm-Abdillah mentioned this incident to her husband Aamir ibn Rabee’ah and he said, “It is as if you have some hope he will accept Islam? Umar will never accept Islam until the donkey of Al-Khattab accepts Islam”
I would suspect that most of the Muslims and non-Muslims at that time would agree with Aamir. After all Umar was a stern enemy of Islam and a staunch defender of the pagan Arab traditions. Umar was on par with Abu-Jahl in disbelief and hostility to Islam. Interestingly enough the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) made a supplication: ‘O Allah, strengthen Islam with whoever is more beloved to You of these two Umars: Umar ibn Al-Khattab or Umar ibn Hisham (Abu-Jahl).’ narrated by At-Tirmidhi.
When the tribe of Quraish decided to kill the messenger Mohammed (pbuh), Umar volunteered for th e job. He left early on a very hot day with his sword unsheathed and went towards Dar Al-Arqaam. That day began with the resolve to kill the Messenger of Allah Mohammed (pbuh) and concluded with Umar accepting Islam in that same house he was heading to; Dar Al-Arqaam.
The conversion of Umar (may Allah be please be with him) to Islam, however unimaginable it may have been at one point, brought honour and strength to the Muslims. Abdullah ibn Abbas said to Umar at the end of his life “When you entered Islam, your doing so brought us dignity and Allah made famous Islam, the Messenger (pbuh) and companions through you.”
Going back to my dear sister in the prayer room; do you think she should give up? Have you noticed the Prophet’s supplication? That’s where we need to begin. Be consistent during the start, middle and end of the journey. Acknowledge that you cannot control anyone and keep your heart attached to Allah the All-Mighty. Alongside your sincere supplication customise your approach to the person. What would they respond best to? How about a gift of CD or book, setting an example, a complement, good company?
May Allah open our heart and those around us to the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah, He is the All-hearing, All-knowing and All-wise.
A bit more about Umar … (Audio)