[A couple of years ago (maybe longer?) some sisters asked me to come up with a Ramadan quiz for them to work on during Ramadan in the hope that it might encourage them to learn throughout the month. I’ve decided to post the answers to those questions as a series this month Inshallah.]

What does ‘Al-Farouq’ mean, and why was Omar Ibn Al-Khattab given this name?

Today’s post is going to be a short(er) one Inshallah. I’m having computer trouble (my laptop is dyyyiiinnng oh so slowly) and I honestly can’t be bothered with it’s sputtering attempts to respond.

Ok, on to the subject matter: Al-Farouq means ‘distinguisher between right and wrong’.  The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) gave Omar Ibn Al-Khattab this name, and better than telling the story myself, I’d rather let Omar do the talking:

Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, said: I asked ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, ‘For what reason were you called Al-Faruq?'(farooq) He said, ‘Hamzah accepted Islam three days before me. I went to the mosque, and Abu Jahl hurried up to abuse the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Hamzah was told about it. He took his bow and came to the mosque, up to the circle of Quraysh in which Abu Jahl was. He leant upon his bow facing Abu Jahl and looked at him, and Abu Jahl recognised the mischief in his face, and said, “What is wrong with you, Abu ‘Umarah?” He raised his bow and with it struck one of the veins in his neck, cutting it so that blood flowed. Quraysh rectified that (i.e. chickened out of getting revenge) from fear of mischief and trouble.’

He said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was concealed in the house of Al-Arqam al-Makhzumi so Hamzah went off and accepted Islam. I went out three days after him and there was so-and-so son of so-and-so al-Makhzumi, and I said to him, “Do you yearn to get out of the deen of your ancestors and follow the deen of Muhammad?” He said, “If I did, then one who has much greater right upon you has also done it.” I said, “Who is he?” He said, “Your sister and your brother in-law.”

I went off, found the door locked and heard the murmur of lowered voices. Then the door was opened for me. I entered and said, “What is this I hear with you?” They said, “You didn’t hear anything,” and the conversation continued between us until I took hold of my brother in-law’s head and hit him, making him bleed. My sister stood up to me and took hold of my head and said, “That has happened despite you.”

I was ashamed when I saw the blood, so I sat down and said, “Show me this writing.” My sister said, “No-one touches it except for the purified. If you are truthful then get up and bathe yourself.” I got up and bathed myself, then I returned and sat down. They brought me a page in which was, “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.” I said, “Wholesome and pure names!” “Taha. We have not revealed the Qur’an to you for you to grieve, …” up to His words, “… His are the most beautiful names.” (Qur’an 1-8). It became a great matter in my heart and I said, “From this Quraysh have fled!” I accepted Islam and said, “Where is the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace?” She said, “He is in the house of al-Arqam.”

I went to the house and knocked on the door. The people gathered and Hamzah said to them, “What is wrong with you.” They said, “‘Umar.” He said, “And if it is ‘Umar? Open the door for him. If he has accepted, then we will accept that from him, and if he turns his back, we will kill him.” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard that and came out. I pronounced the shahadah and the people of the house said, “Allahu Akbar!” in such a way that the people of Makkah heard it.

I said, “Messenger of Allah, are we not upon the truth?” He said, “Of course.” I said, “Why do we conceal it?” We went out in two ranks, in one of which I was and in the other Hamzah, until we entered the mosque, and Quraysh looked at me and at Hamzah. There came upon them gloom and depression the like of which had never before come upon them. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, named me on that day “al-Faruq” because Islam had been shown openly and a separation made between the truth and falsehood.’

Dhakwan said: I said to ‘A’ishah, ‘Who named ‘Umar “al-Faruq”?’ She said, ‘The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.’ Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, said: When ‘Umar accepted Islam, then Jibril descended and said, ‘Muhammad, the inhabitants of heaven rejoice in ‘Umar’s acceptance of Islam.” Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, said: When ‘Umar accepted Islam, the idolators said, ‘The people have been split in half from us today,’ and Allah revealed, ‘O Prophet, Allah is enough for you; and whoever follows you of the believers.’ (Qur’an 8: 64).

(taken from The History of the Khalifahs by Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti)

Ok, I totally copy-and-pasted that from here. 😀 It’s one of those days, people, one of those days.

The next question Inshallah is: What is the story behind verses 2-4 of Surah Ar-Rum (Rome – surah number 30)?