As we know, Umar Al-Khattab is the second caliph after Abu Bakr and the second successor in spreading Islam to the whole world and is still part of the Islamic world today. Moreover, he was also our Prophet Muhammad’s (blessings and peace of Allah be with him) father-in-law.
Umar, a member of the Umayyah clan of the Meccan Quraish tribe. He was the one who offered himself to kill Muhammad S.A.W. But on his way with the intention to kill Muhammad S.A.W., he was suddenly met Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas and later on told him that his sister and her husband had converted into Islam. When he heard about this, he was very angry and went to admonish them. But, when he looked at the verse from the Quran and read them which are from surah Taha verse 14, his manner and conception changed suddenly.
إنني أنا الله لا إله إلا أنا فاعبدني وأقم الصلوة لذكري۱٤
“Lo! I, even I, am Allah. There is no God save Me. So serve me and establish worship for My remembrance.”
After that, he went to Muhammad and converted on the spot. Abdullah bin Mas’ud said: “When Umar was converted into Islam, it was a great successful for Muslims, make us stronger and appointing him as a second caliph is a blessing for us”
After the death of Muhammad, Umar made sure that the leadership of the community went to Abu Bakr, an effort which helped ensure that the group was not the split according to differing loyalties between those who were from Mecca and those from Medina. Abu Bakr then appointed Umar as his successor when he was on his deathbed. Umar was also the one who determined that the year of the Hijra would be the first year of a new Islamic calendar and he organized the expanding territories conquered by Muslim forces. Indeed, Umar is a brave man and under his leadership Islam expand largely and fastly.During his reign, Muslims forces conquered Syria, Jerusalem, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and the armies of Persia.
Umar Al-Khattab is one of the most powerful figures in the whole world and not only the Islamic world. He was a leader, a statesman, a pious and who showed respect for all individuals including non-Muslims and he ordered the Muslims to treat non-Muslims with respect. Under the leadership of Umar Al-Khattab Islam spread widely not by the sword but by virtue of its beauty, simplicity, transparency, openness and the guidance provided by him.
Umar Al-Khattab followed the principle of equality very strictly and would not tolerate any kind of distinction. Once, Umar had a difference opinion with Ubayy bin Ka’b. The matter was referred and brought at the court Qazi, Zaid bin Thabit. When Umar ibn Al-Khattab arrived at the court the Qazi, Zaid bin Thabit vacated his seat out of respect for the Khalifah.Umar ibn Al-Khattab, after observing the situation, said that this was the first injustice Zaid had done to the suit. Then he sat down next to Ubayy, his opponent.
Umar always favored individual freedom and self respect. He stated that every human being was born free and no one should have to abase himself in front of others. Once, the son of Amr bin As abused and beat up a Copt Christian; on hearing this Umar ibn Al-Khattab had the son of Amr punished publicly by the hand of the victim Copt Christian. Then Umar addressed both father and son and said, “Since when have you turned men into slaves, whereas they are born free of their mothers?”
Besides, Umar also encouraged and practiced discussions about complex questions regarding the Islamic way of life with the Companions of the Prophet. The famous Companions who referred the question to Umar Al-Khattab are Abdullah bin Mas’ud, Ammar bin Yasar, Abu Musa Ash’ari, Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah, Mughira bin Shu’bah and others. Umar Al-Khattab gave his judgement after discussing these questions in the assembly of the Companions. The discussions were conducted with the greatest freedom and acumen.
Shah Wali-Ullah writes in Hujjatullah al-Baligha, “It was Umar’s practice to consult the Companions and hold discussions with them, until the veils were lifted and conviction was attained. For this reason Umar’s dicta were accepted throughout the East and the West.”
Umar is also a caring and loving person. He made rounds at night to gauge and evaluate the condition of the people. His achievements are reflection of his life.
SAYINGS OF UMAR IBN AL-KHATTAB
Umar ibn Al-Khattab always had a sound opinion, which made him a very powerful leader who expected higher degree of integrity from the people working with him during his Caliphate. Some of his wise sayings are quoted here:
1) One who keeps his own counsel keeps his affairs in his own hand.
2) Fear him whom you hate
3) The wisest man is he who can account for his actions.
4) Do not put off today’s work till tomorrow.
5) The less of the world, the freer you live.
6) Avoidance of sin is lighter than the pain of remorse
SOME OF UMAR ACHIEVEMENTS
Umar ibn Al-Khattab established many institutions in the Islamic State’s administration. Historians have called his reforms innovations. The achievements of Umar ibn Al-Khattab are numerous. The most important of his some achievements are listed below:
1) Umar ibn Al-Khattab established public treasury: Baitul-Mal.
2) Established courts of justice and appointed judges.
3) Proposed and enforced use of the era of Hijra.
4) Assumed the title of Amirul Mu’mineen.
5) Established Land Revenue Department, ordered survey and assessment of lands and also ordered conducting census. This required maintenance of the land revenue records in Persian, Syriac and Coptic languages.
6) Established military cantonments and had them located at strategic points.
7) Organised Police Department.
In conclusion, Umar ibn Al-Khattab is the one of the leader that can be followed and become a role model for all of us in order to develop our leadership and management skills. In my point of view, the characteristics of Umar Al-Khattab should be apply and practice among us to lead the community in Islamic way of life. His characteristics and achievements approved that leadership is not just about to be a leader but knew how to lead himself and the others in order to gain successful in the world and hereafter. As mentioned in Surah al-Baqarah verse 30:-
وإذ قال ربك للملائكة إني جاعل في الأرض خليفة قالوا أتجعل فيها من يفسد فيها ويسفك الدماء ونحن نسبح بحمدك ونقدس لك قال إني أعلم ما لا تعلمون﴿٣٠
“And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: wilt Thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know which ye know not.