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Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab Chronology

Umar led a very eventful life. We narrate hereunder in chronological order the main events in the life of Umar.

Umar was born in Mecca around 580 A.D. He started independent business around 600 A.D. He married in the first decade of the seventh century.

He was converted to Islam in 616 A.D. at the age of 26. He migrated to Madina in 622 A.D.

He participated in the battle of Badr in 623 A.D.

He participated in the battle of Uhud in 625 A.D. A few months after the battle of Uhud, Hasah the daughter of Umar was married to the Holy Prophet of Islam.

In 627 Umar participated in the battle of the Ditch and the campaign against Banu Mustaliq.

In 628 Umar was present on the occasion of the Hudaybiah pact. Thereafter he participated in the Khyber campaign. He divorced his wives Qariba and Malaika who did not accept Islam. He married Sabiha and Jamila.

In 630 Umar participated in the conquest of Mecca and in the campaigns of Hunain and Ta’if.

In 632 he participted in the farewell pilgrimage. This year the Holy Prophet died. Umar played an important role in getting Abu Bakr elected as the Caliph.

Abu Bakr died in 634, and Umar became the Caliph. During this year the Muslims captured Damascus on the Syrian front. On the Iraq front there was the battle of Namaraq in September; the battle of Kaskar in October and the battle of the Bridge in November 634 A D.

In 635 Umar married Atika. During the Ramadan Umar organised Tarawih on congregation basis. On the Syrian front the battle of Fahl was fought in January. Beisan and Tabariyya were captured in March. The battle of Marj Rum was fought in March whereby Damascus was reoccupied. In April the Muslim forces reached Emessa and a truce was arrived at. In the Southern Iraq sector Ubala was captured in April. The region of Aburqubaz and Meisan was occupied in November.

In 636 Umar introduced the Hijri calendar. In Central Syria the city of Emessa was captured in March. In Southern Syria the Muslims won the battle of Yermuk in August. the battle of Ajnadin was fought in December. On the Iraq front the battle of Qadisiyya was won by the Muslims in November. Thereafter began the march to Al-Mada’in. The battles of Burs, Babylon and Sura on the way to Mada’in were fought in December.

In 637 Umar married Umm Hakim. This year stipends and allowances were sanctioned for the Muslims. On the Syrian front Qinissrin, Aleppo, and Antioch were captured. The whole of North Syria was cleared of the Byzantines. On the Iraq front Mada’in was captured in April. Takeet and Mosul were occupied in May. The battle of Jalaula was won in November. Khanqueen and Qirqassia were occupied in December.

In 638 Umar adopted the title of ‘Amir-ul-Mumnin.’ The Jews and Christians were expelled from Arabia proper and settled in Iraq and Syria. On the Syfian front Jerusalem and Caesaria were captured. On the Iraq front Hulwan, Masabzan, Heet and Ahwaz were captured. During the year the city of Kufa was established in Central Iraq, and the city of Basra in Southern Iraq.

In 639 Arabia was afflicted by a severe famine. Umar organised relief measures on a large scale. Plague broke out in Syria and Iraq and caused considerable havoc. Amr bin Al-Aas marched to Egypt. On the Iraq front Ahwaz, Dauraq and Ram Hormuz were occupied by the Muslims.

In 640 there were battles of Farma, Bilbeis and Babylon in Egypt which were won by the Muslims. On the Iraq front there was the battle of Tustar which was won by the Muslims, In 641 the Muslims captured Alexandria on the Egyptian front Sus was occupied on the Iraq front in January. On this front Jande Sabur was occupied in March. The historic battle of Nihawand was won by the Muslims in December.

In 641 an expedition was undertaken to Nubia. The Muslims advanced to Burqa and Fezzan in North Africa. During this year the city of Fustat was founded as the capital of Egypt. On the Persian front war was carried and the Muslims occupied Hamadan, Isfahan, Rayy, Tabaristan, Fars and Sistan.

In 643 the Muslims occupied Sabrata and Tripoli but these advance posts were subsequently abandoned and the Muslims withdrew to Egypt. On the Persian front Khurasan and Azerbaijan were occupied by the Muslims during the year.

During 644 Makran and Armenia were occupied. During this year Umar was assassinated and that was the end of a glorious and eventful career.

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set
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Umar In History

During the ten years of his rule from 634 to 644 A.D., Umar changed the course of history. Emerging from the deserts of Arabia, the Arabs fortified with the faith of Islam overpowered the Byzantine power in the west and the mighty Persian empire in the east. During the short space of ten years the Muslims conquered countries comprising an area of 2,251,030 square miles. Under Umar the lslamic dominions assumed the dimensions of a continent. These extended from Mecca 1,036 miles to the north, 1.087 miles to the east, and 483 miles to the south. These countries included Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Khuzistan, Fars, Isfahan, Azarbeijan; Armenia, Makran and Khurasan. The dominions extended from the Oxus to the Nile.

There have been many conquerors in the course of history and the record of the conquests of Umar compares very favourably with the record of other conquerors. In one point the conquests of Umar surpass the conquests of all other conquerors. Whereas the conquests of other conquerors did not endure for long, the conquests of Umar in the name of Islam have endured for the last 1,400 years.

In the history of the world, Umar accordingly occupies a prominent position. He is one of the greatest men of all times. The passage of time has in no way dimmed the glory of his greatness. The life-story of Umar which we have tried to narrate in these pages projects in unmistakable terms all the qualities that male greatness. Umar lives in history as a great conqueror, a great ruler and the founder of the Muslim state. Umar lives in legend as an embodiment of all that a great ruler or a great man should be.

The qualities and characteristics of the personality of Umar include: towering personality; robust constitution; great power of mind; inflexible integrity; strong sense of justice; simplicity of habits; contempt of pomp and luxury; strong faith in his mission; strong conviction fos the truth; highly developed sense of duty; absolute impartiality; devotion to Islam; extreme sense of dedication; very strong sense of justice; sympathy for the aggrieved; courage against the oppressor; energy; piety; humility; discipline; frugality; morality; political insight; accessibility; vigilance; patience; perseverance; accountability before law; equality for all; and indeed all the virtues that a ruler or a leader of men should possess.

Umar was a man of great knowledge and learning. He was a good orator. Every Friday he would address the faithful in the Prophet’s mosque at Madina. Some of the addresses that he delivered on such occasions have come down to us and are masterpieces of religious teaching. While sending his forces on various expeditions he addressed them in very inspiring terms. He was a good writer and some of his letters which have come down to us show the skill of his penmanship. The instructions that he issued to his officers to regulate statebusiness are very much modern in content. Many anecdotes about him have come down to us, and these project his greatness, wisdom, and foresightedness. He was a good judge of poetry. He could freely quote appropriate verses to suit the occasion. He was a good judge of men. He could discern the truth from falsehood. He always called a spade a spade, and would never mince matters. Whatever he regarded as the truth he spoke it even though it might appear to be bitter. He enjoyed the reputation of being hard and harsh, but that was primarily because he always valued the truth, and had no hesitation in expressing it even though it might be displeasing. Howsoever stern or angry he might be, if the verses of the Holy Qur’an were read before him he would at once soften, and even burst into sobs.

Physically as well as intellectually he was a man of towering personality. But he never tried to give the impression that he was in any way superior to the people around him. He was a good critic, but his criticism was not meant for others; alone it was meant for himself as well He listened to his critics with great respect and if such criticism was infounded he tried to explain things to them. He subjected himself to rigorous self-criticism. Whenever there was any lapse on his part, he would shut himself in a room of his house and then loudly reprimand himself. If he beat any body with his whip inadvertently and such punishment was found to be unjustified he would ask the person concerned to beat him with the whip in the same way as he had beaten him. During the famine he refused to take ghee or meat simply because the people of average means could not afford such food. He was the ruler of vast dominions but he denied himself all privileges of rulership. The allowance that he drew was just enough for a person of average means. When the people around him insisted that his allowance should be raised, he refused to accept any increase. And when he died he willed that after the sale of his property the entire amount of the allowance that he had drawn should be refunded to the treasury.

He set very high standards of integrity, and was the first to practise what he preached. His son ‘Abdullah was a very talented man but he refused to give him any office. One of his sons Abu Shama was found guilty of drinking and Umar had him flogged to death. Once a Governor gave some gift to one of his wives. Umar returned the gift and rebuked the Governor. Once a wife of Umar sent some perfume as a gift to the wife of the emperor of Byzantine. The wife of the emperor of Byzantine sent some gift in return. Umar sold the gift and credited the proceeds to the state treasury.

He ate the coarsest of food, and wore clothes of the coarsest of cloth. Once he was late for the Friday prayer and the explanation that he offered was that he had his clothes washed, and they took some time to dry which delayed his departure for the mosque Umar the ruler of the largest empire of the time had only one shirt in his wardrobe and that too was patched. When the envoy of the Byzantine emperor came to Madina, he expected that the Caliph would be living in a heavily guarded palace. The envoy found no palace and no guard. He found the Caliph sitting in the mosque in the company of ordinary people. Umar was the living embodiment of the doctrine of equality before law. Once he appeared in a suit in a law court and when the Judge wanted to show him some respect for the office he held, he desired that no preference should be shown to him in any way and that the law must have its course. When a messenger riding a dromedary came from Iraq carrying the news of the victory of the Muslims at the battle of Qadisiyya, Umar met the messenger a few miles outside Madina and ran all the way by the side of the dromedary of the messenger hearing the news and without disclosing his identity to the man who had brought the news. When Umar went to Palestine to receive the surrender of the city of Jerusalem the world witnessed the strange spectacle of Umar’s slave riding the camel, and Umar the mighty Caliph, walking on foot holding the reins of the camel.

Umar would perambulate the streets of Madina at night carrying his whip in his hand. The whip would freely descend on any one found guilty of any lapse or excess regardless of his status. Once a chief was found passing through the streets of Madina at the head of a procession of his followers. Umar whipped him for this display of arrogance. A prince of Syria who had accepted Islam and was staying at Madina and Mecca as a state guest slapped a man who accidentally trod on his feet in the course of the Hajj. Umar laid down that the man who had been slapped could in turn slap the prince.

Umar kept a watch over the people as a shepherd would keep a watch over his animals. A blind woman in Madina had no one to attend to her needs. Umar visited her frequently and attended to her needs. In a cottage a woman was found cooking stone in a kettle merely to give the children the impression that food was being cooked for them whereas there was nothing in the house to be cooked. Umar carried a bag of flour and other eatables on his own back and handed them over to the lady. A Bedouin and his wife came to Madina and were in a predicament as the lady suffered from the pains of childbirth. Umar’s wife acted as a midwife and Umar sat all the time outside the tent awaiting the birth of a child.

He took particular care to appoint men of approved integrity to high offices under the state. He watched over them like a hawk, and as soon as any lapse on their part came to the notice of Umar immediate action was taken. People were free to complain against their officers. Impartial enquiries were held and when any officer was found guilty he was removed and punished. All the Governors were required to assemble at Mecca on the occasion of the Hajj, and here any person could complain against any officer. Umar exhorted all concerned to realise that the officers were not meant to rule; they were there to serve the people, and build up a welfare state. Umar’s concept of administration was:

“By God he that is weakest among you shall be in my eyes the strongest until I have vindicated for him his right. He that is strongest I will treat as the weakest until he complies with law.”

No political thinker or ruler since Umar has been able to come forward with a better concept of the purpose of the state than the concept enunciated by Umar. About the ruler and the ruled relationship, Umar said:

“People generally hate their ruler and I seek protection of Allah lest my people should entertain similar feelings about me.”

Some of his standing instructions to his executive were: “Avoid vain suspicions; keep away from malice; do not encourage people to cherish vain hopes; be careful in respect of Allah’s property in your charge; be accessible to the people; guard yourself against evil men; seek the company of the righteous; attend to your job with due diligence; do not procrastinate in the despatch of state business; watch your subordinates; take immediate action against those who are corrupt or inefficient; and award merit.” All these instructions given 1,400 years ago would be as true today as these were then.

Umar stood for quick and impartial justice. Umar appointed capable and upright persons as Judges. He instructed his Judges in the following terms:

“Justice is an important obligation. Treat the people equally in your presence, in your company, and in your decisions, so that the weak despair not of justice and the high placed have no hope of your favour . When you are in doubt on a question and find nothing about it in the Quran or in the Sunna of the Prophet think over the question; ponder over the precedents and analogous cases and then decide by analogy.”

Umar took special pains to project Islam in the proper perspective as a living faith. There was a school of thought who held that religion was mystical and supra-rational and as such the injunctions of religion including Islam were not to be tested on the basis of intellect or reason. Umar founded what later came to be called Israr Ilmuddin. He held that Islam was a rational religion and all its injunctions and practices could be tested and justified on the basis of reason and intellect. He was the first Muslim to undertake Ijtihad, and lay down new laws in keeping with the spirit of Islam. In the Holy Quran no punishment was laid down for drinking. Umar laid down a penalty of 80 lashes in this behalf. The position about Mutah was not clear. ‘ Umar forbade Mutah. The position about three divorces was not clear. Umar held that even when three divorces were announced at one sitting the divorce was irrevocable. In the month of Ramadan Umar enjoined upon the Muslims to offer Tarawik in congregation.

Umar took pains to ensure that the faish of Islam should remain pure and should have no characteristic of idolatry about it. The tree under which the Holy Prophet took the oath of allegiance on the occasion of the Hudaybiah pact came to he regarded by the people as something sacred. Umar had the tree uprooted to avoid idolatrous veneration thereof. On the way from Madina to Mecca there was a mosque where the Holy Prophet had once said his prayers. It became the practice that the pilgrims offered extra prayers at the mosque. Umar forbade the practice. The Black Stone at the Kaaba came to be held as sacred. Umar held that it was just a stone. At one stage the Holy Prophet had ordered Rummal in Hajj, under which the first rounds in the case of the Kaaba were to be performed running. Umar was of the view that Rummal had been provided under circumstances which no longer existed. He did not abrogate the practice but nevertheless held that if some body could not run that did not matter.

Umar is known for his humanitarian reforms. He provided privileges for slaves. He emancipated girl slaves who bore their masters children. Full protection was afforded to the Dhimmis. In the matter of citizenship they were treated at par with other citizens.

In the social field Umar took particular steps to build a social order according to the teachings of Islam. Prohibition was enforced with great strictness. It was the practice with Arab poets to mention the names of their beloveds in their poetry. Umar prohibited the practice. The poets also indulged in satires and lampoons. Umar issued strict instructions that no poet should write satires and lampoons. Umar also ordered that in their verses the poets should not extol non-Islamic virtues. Umar laid down that no person, howsoever rich should build a double storeyed house, and no house should comprise more than three rooms.

The political and social order that Umar set up by applying the principles of Islam was more democratic than the democracies of today and more socialist than the socialist countries of today. That order has remained the ideal for all Muslim countries to revive.

Because of his achievements, Umar occupies an outstanding place in the history of the world. We do not come across any other ruler in world history who led so simple a life and yet inspired awe and terror among his people and his foes alike. The awe and fear that Umar commanded was because of his high moral character People feared him because he feared God. Umar was an embodiment of the virtues of Islam. About him the Holy Prophet said:

“If God had wished that there should have been another prophet after me, he would have been Umar.”

About Umar we can appropriately say what Girami said of Iqbal, namely:

“In the eyes of those who know the secret of things, He fulfilled a prophet’s role, but he cannot be called a prophet.”

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set
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Umar’s Standards Of Integrity For His Family Members

Umar set up very high standards of integrity for himself and his family members. He took particular care to see that such standards were followed strictly. Whenever Umar issued any instructions for the people to follow, he brought home to his family members that he expected them to conform to such instructions strictly.

He issued strict orders that no member of his family should accept any gift from any person. Hence Umar found a new carpet with his wife Atika. He wanted to know from where the carpet had come. She said that it had been presented by Abu Musa Ashari, the Governor of Basra. Umar had the carpet immediately returned to Abu Musa. Abu Musa was reprimanded in strong terms for sending a gift to the wife of the Caliph.

‘Abdullah the son of Umar purchased some camels. They were lean and were purchased cheaply. ‘Abdullah sent these camels to the state pasture where they fattened. These were then sold in the market and fetched a high price. When this was brought to the notice of Umar he ordered that as the camels had been fed at the state pasture whatever profit had accrued in the sale of the camels should be deposited in the state treasury.

Once Umar saw a small girl who was lean, thin, and emaciated. Umar enquired who the girl was. ‘Abdullah the son of Umar said that she was his daughter, and that she had lost weight because with the allowance that Umar allowed to his family nourishing food could not be provided. Umar said that he was giving them what he gave to other families and he could not give his family anything more than what he did to other familes.

Once ‘Abdullah and ‘Ubaidullah two sons of Umar went to Basra. There they obtained a loan from Abu Musa on the condition that the amount would be paid to the state treasury at Madina. With this amount they purchased some merchandise and sold it at Madina. They earned considerable profit which they kept for themselves and credited the principal amount in the state treasury. When Umar came to know of this transaction he wanted his sons to credit the entire profit to the state treasury as the money with which they had traded was state money. ‘Abdullah kept quiet but ‘Ubaidullah protested. He said that if there had been a loss the state would not have shared it. Umar stuck to his decision, but ‘Ubaidullah protested again. Some other companions intervened and it was decided that it should be treated as a case of partnership. Umar allowed his sons to retain one half of the profit and to deposit the other half in the state treasury.

Once Umar received a considerable quantity of musk. It had to be weighed and then distributed. Umar was in search of a person who could weigh musk with meticulous care. Atika the wife of Umar offered to do so as she was expert in the job. Umar did not accept the offer on the ground that when she weighed and distributed it some musk would be attached to her hands and clothes and that would be misappropriation in state property.

Once Umm Kulsum a wife of Umar purchased perfume for one dirham and sent it as a gift to the Byzantine empress. The Byzantine empress returned the empty phials of perfume filled with gems. When Umar came to know of this he sold the gems. Out of the sale proceeds he handed over one dirham to his wife and the rest was deposited in the state treasury.

Once some gifts were received in the Baitul Mal. Hafsa waited on Umar and wanted a share. Umar said:

“Dear, you have a share in my personal property, but I cannot give you a special share out of the property that belongs to the Muslims as a whole. You can get only what other Muslims get.”

His son-in-law once waited on him and wanted some assistance from the Baitul Mal. Umar paid him some money from his own pocket, and did not give him anything from the Baitul Mal.

Once after distribution a ladies scarf was found surplus. The custodian of the Baitul Mal suggested that this might be offered to Umm Kulsum the wife of Umar. Umar said:

“No. Present it to Umm Salit the lady who carried the water skin on her back on the day of the battle of Uhud to distribute water among the Muslim warriors.”

Once after accounting, one dirham was found surplus in the Baitul Mal. The treasurer gave the dirham to a small son of Umar. When Umar came to know of that he had the dirham returned immediately.

‘Abdullah a son of Umar fought in the battle of Jalaula. He got his share of the spoils and sold it on the spot. This fetched a high value. When Umar came to know of that he said that he was allowed the high price because people thought that he was the Caliph’s son. He ordered that the profit earned beyond the market value should be credited to the state treasury.

One of the sons of Umar drank wine inadvertently in Egypt. He submitted himself voluntarily to the punishment of 80 stripes at Egypt Umar was not satisfied. He called the boy to Madina and flogged him to death. When the boy was on death bed Umar said to him, “When you meet the Holy Prophet tell him tbat Umar is following hi’ injunctions strictly.”

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set
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The Coarse Food That Umar Ate

It is related that once ‘Utbah bin Abifarqad came to see Umar at his house. ‘Utbah was an eminent Companion. When he was announced Umar was taking his meals. ‘Utbah was asked to come in. Umar wanted ‘Utbah to share his food with him. ‘Utbah started eating, but the bread was so coarse that he could not swallow it.

Umar watched ‘Utbah and then said:

“‘Utbah, what is the matter?”

‘Utbah sighed and said:

“O Commander of the Faithful why are you imposing such austerities on your self? Why dont you use finer flour for your bread? You can certainly afford it.”

Umar said:

“Fie on you ‘Utbab, you are seducing me to the devil’s way.”

‘Utbah said:

“So many Muslims eat fine bread. Do you think they are the followers of the devil?”

Umar said:

“‘Utbah tell me, can every Muslim afford fine bread ?”

‘Utbah said:

“Of course every Muslim cannot afford such bread, but many can.”

Umar said:

“When I am the Commander of the Faithful and supposed to watch over the interests of all Muslims, how will I be true to my office when I eat fine bread, while most of the Muslims have to remain content with coarse bread? Verily, I will not eat bread of fine flour unless I am sure that all the Muslims are assured of such bread.”

To this ‘Utbah had no reply and Umar put him another question:

“Utbah are you aware of the food of the Holy Prophet?”

‘Utbah said that the Holy Prophet ate coarse bread.

Why was that asked Umar.

‘Utbah said that he might better answer the question himself.

Umar said:

“The Holy Prophet held the keys of the treasures of the world. He could have enjoyed untold wealth and availed of any pleasure but he purposely refrained to do so. He did not wish to exhaust all such pleasures in this world. He wanted them to be kept in reserve for the next world.”

Then Umar elaborated “Look ‘Utbah, we are the followers of the Holy Prophet. It is incumbent on us to follow in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet. As the Holy Prophet did not wish to exhaust all the pleasures in this world, so as his followers it should be our endeavour to live a life of austerity and cut down our pleasures in this world, so that we may be loaded with pleasant things in the world to come.”

Having spoken these words and shuddering as to what might happen to him on the Day of Judgment, Umar began to weep. That made ‘Utbah weep as well.

When ‘Utbah left, he was fully resolved that hence forward he would eat coarse food, and avoid luxurious living. And thanks to the example set by Umar, ‘Utbah kept his resolve.

It is related that one day Hafsa (the daughter of Umar) and ‘Abdullah his son expostulated with Umar, and tried to prevail upon him to eat good food. They argued that if he were to eat good food that would give him the strength to maintain the truth.

Umar said:

“I understand your counsel. My difficulty is that I have left my two companions, the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr upon a road, and if I depart from their road, I shall not find them at the journey’s end. Under the circumstances I am under an obligation not to eat richer or better food than what my two esteemed companions ate.”

It is related that once Umar felt the desire to eat fish. Fish was not available in Madina. Yarfa the slave of Umar went to the ponds outside Madina and there purchased some fish. The fish was cooked and presented to Umar at his meals. Turning to Yarfa, Umar said:

“Why this dish of fish?” Yarfa said that as he had expressed the wish to eat fish, he had procured it. Umar said, “Fie on you Yarfa. Do you think I should succumb to sensual desires? Take away this dish. By Allah I will not eat it.”

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set
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Wives And Children Of Umar

Before his conversion to Islam, Umar had three wives. These were:

(1) Zainab bint Mazaun Jamiah;

(2) Malaika bint Jarul Khuzai; and

(3) Qariba bint Umayya Makhzumi.

When Umar was converted to Islam, Zainab alone accepted Islam. After the Hudaybiah pact when God sent the words that Muslims should not marry idolatresses, Umar divorced Malaika and Qariba.

After the Hudaybiah-pact the first Muslim woman who fled from the Quraish and sought shelter with the Muslims was Sabiha bint Al-Haris. Her husband did not accept Islam. When the Quraish came to demand the restoration of Sabiha, the Holy Prophet refused to return her saying that the condition in the pact applied to men only and not to women. The Holy Prophet had Sabiha married to Umar.

In Madina, Umar married an Ansar lady Asiah bint Sabat Ansari. On marriage Umar changed her name to Jamila. Umar resided with her at Quba, and it is reported that there was great love between Umar and Jamila. A few years later Umar divorced her and shifted to Madina.

‘Atika bint Zaid was a cousin of Umar. She was married to ‘Abdullah a son of Abu Bakr. When her husband died, Atika felt very disconsolate. In sympathy, Umar married her in the first year of his caliphate.

Umm Hakim was the wife of ‘Ikramah the son of Abu Jakl. ‘Ikramah died fighting and thereafter Umm Hakim married Khalid bin Sa’id. Khalid bin Sa’id was also martyred on the Syrian front. Umm Hakim doubly bereaved was much grieved, and Umar consoled her by marrying her.

In 639 A.D., Umar married Umm Kulsum the daughter of ‘Ali and Fatima. Till his death in 644 A D., Umm Kulsum remained his favourite wife.

Besides these wives, Umar had two slave girls who bore him children. These were Fakiah and Layiah.

Umar’s sons included: ‘Abdullah; ‘Asim; Abu Shahma; Abdur Rahman; Zaid; ‘Iyad and Mujir. ‘Abdullah became a convert to Islam at an early age along with his father. He made a great name for himself as an expert in Figh and Hadis. ‘Ubaidullah was well known for his bravery and fighting qualities. In revenge for the assassination of Umar, ‘Ubaidullah killed Hormuzan and some other persons. ‘Asim was known for his poetry and piety. Umar bin ‘Abul ‘Aziz the puritan Uyymaid Caliph was his daughter’s son. Abu Shahma was flogged to death by Umar for the offence of drinking.

The daughters of Umar included: Hafsah Fatimah, Ruqiya and Zainab. Of these Hafsah was the most well-known as she was the wife of the Holy Prophet.

‘Abdullah, ‘Abdur Rahman Akbar, and Hafsah, were born to Zainab bint Mazaun.

‘Ubaidullah and Zaid Asghar were the sons of Umm Kulsum who was divorced after the Hudaybiah pact.

Umm Hakim was the mother of Fatimah.

‘Asim was the son of Jamila bint Sabat Ansari.

Umm Kulsum bint’Ali was the mother of Zaid and Ruqiya.

‘Iyad was the son of ‘Atika.

Layiah was the mother of ‘Abdur Rahman al-Wast.

Fatimah was the daughter of Umm Hakim.

Zainab was the daughter of Fakiah.

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set
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When Allah Corroborated Umar

Many instances are on record when Umar gave a particular opinion and that opinion was later on corroborated by Allah and conurmation thereof was communicated to the Holy Prophet through Gabriel. That is why the Holy Prophet repeatedly said:

“God speaks through the tongue of Umar.”

Umar suggested that the station of Abraham in Mecca should be used as a place of prayer. Later an injunction to this effect was revealed to the Holy Prophet.

Umar suggested that the wives of the Holy Prophet should be veiled. Later a verse was revealed enjoining the wives of the Holy Prophet to be veiled.

Umar suggested that the use of wine should be prohibited. Thereafter God enjoined the prohibition of wine.

‘Abdullah b. Ubbay though a Muslim was insincere in his professions and was the enemy of God and the Holy Prophet. When he died the Holy Prophet led his funeral prayer. Umar suggested that the Holy Prophet should not pray at the funeral of those who were the enemies of God and the Prophet. A verse was later revealed enjoining the Holy Prophet not to pray at the funeral of those who were the enemies of God and His Prophet.

When there was an imputation against the conduct of ‘Ayesha, Umar said that this was a grievous calumny. Later a verse was revealed declaring the episode as a calumny and establishing ‘Ayesha’s innocence.

After the battle of Badr, it was decided that the prisoners of the Quraish should be released on ransom. Umar said that the prisoners being the enemies of God should be killed. Later according to a revelation the Holy Prophet was enjoined that the enemies of God should be killed.

When the Azan was originally proposed the contents of the call were:

“I testify that there is no god but Allah-come ye to prayers.”

Umar suggested, “The words ‘I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God’ should be added”. A revelation corroborated this suggestion.

The practice was that people went to see the Holy Prophet unannounced. Umar suggested that all visitors should seek permission before being admitted to the presence of the Holy Prophet. A verse was later revealed enjoining the asking of permission before entering the presence of the Holy Prophet.

Once two persons to a dispute referred the case to the Holy Prophet and the Holy Prophet gave his verdict. One of them appealed against the decision of the Holy Prophet. Umar slew him with his sword. A verse was revealed absolving Umar from the death of the person who did not believe in the judgment of the Holy Prophet.

Once a Jew said to Umar, “Verily Gabriel who speaks to your Master is our enemy.” Umar retorted, “Whosoever is an enemy to God, or His angels, or His Apostles, or Gabriel, or Michael, verily God is an enemy to the unbelievers.” Later a verse was revealed declaring that God was the enemy of unbelievers.

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set
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Umar’s Gift Of Forecasting

Umar was blessed with the gift of forecasting events by playing upon the meaning of words.

When on the eve of the battle of Nihawand, the Governor of Kufa sent a messenger to Umar, he forecast the coming events by asking the messenger his name and the name of his father. When the messenger said that his name was ‘Qareeb’ meaning ‘near’, and his father’s name was ‘Zafar’ meaning ‘victory’, Umar forecast that for the Muslims victory was near.

It is recorded that once a man waited on Umar. He asked him what was his name. He said that his name was ‘Jamrah’, meaning a live coal.

Umar then asked him about his father’s name, and he said that his father’s name was ‘Shihab’ meaning ‘flame’.

Umar then enquired to which tribe he belonged. He said that he belonged to the tribe of ‘Al-Harrah’, meaning ‘heat’.

He was asked where did he live and he replied ‘Al-Harqah’ meaning ‘warmth’.

Umar asked him what was his clan and he said ‘sat Ladha’ meaning ‘blazing’.

Then Umar said:

“Go home, for all your people have been burnt.”

When the man went home, he found that his family had been burnt to death.

It was a custom with the Egyptians that a virgin was thrown in the river Nile to secure a rise in the surface of the water. When the Muslims conquered Egypt this inhuman practise was stopped. Instead of a virgin a card written by Umar was thrown in the river, and immediately the water rose in the river.

It is on record that when a contingent of the Muslim army under Sariyah fighting in Fars were exposed to danger, Umar while delivering Friday sermon in the Prophet’s mosque shouted ‘Sariyah to the hills’. The command was listened to by the Muslims in the battlefield thousand miles away and was complied with resulting in victory for the Muslims.

Umar had a highly developed sense of discriminating the truth from falsehood. Whenever a person spoke the truth, Umar would listen to him attentively, but whenever a person spoke anything false, Umar would promptly say “withhold that”.

It is related that the people of Kufa pelted their Governor with stones. When Umar heard of this he was much annoyed. He was distracted even in his prayer. When he came to the salutation he said:

“O God verily they have put confusion on me. O Allah you put confusion upon them, and place over them a youth of the Banu Thaqif who may rule over them after the manner of the rule of the time of Ignorance.”

This forecast came true when al Hajjaj came to rule over Iraq in the time of the Umayyads.

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set
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Umar And Sufism

In “Kashful Mahjub”, Ali Hajveri has assessed Hazrat Umar as a Sufi. The assessment of Ali Hajveri is in the following terms:

“He was specially distinguished by sagacity and resolution, and is the author of many fine sayings on Sufism.”

The Holy Prophet said:

“The Truth speaks by the tongue of Umar”, and again “There have been inspired Muhaddith in the peoples of antiquity, and if there be any such in my people it will be Umar.”

Umar said:

“Retirement is a means of relieving one’s self of bad company.” Retirement is of two sorts; firstly, turning one’s back on mankind, and secondly, entire severance from them. Turning one’s back on mankind implies choosing a solitary retreat, and renouncing the society of one’s fellow creatures. It also lies in seeking release for one’s self from intercourse with men, and in making all people secure from one’s evil actions. But severance from mankind is a spiritual state, which is not connected with anything external. When a person is severed from mankind in spirit, he knows nothing of created beings and no thought thereof can take possession of his mind. Such a person, although he is living among the people, is isolated from them, and his spirit dwells apart from them. This is a very exalted station, and Umar held that station.

Umar held this station for externally he lived among the people as their Commander and Caliph, but his spirit dwelt apart from them. His words show clearly that although spiritualists may outwardly mix with mankind, their hearts always cling to God and return to Him in all circumstances. They regard any intercourse they may have with men as an affliction sent by God; and that intercourse does not divert them from God, since the world never becomes pure in the eyes of those whom God loves.

Umar said:

“An abode which is founded upon affliction cannot possibly be without affliction ” The Sufis make Umar their model in wearing a patched frock and rigorously performing the duties of religion.”

We have it on the strength of Al-Baihaqi that in Sufist strain, Umar often said:

“Would that I were a ram, that my people might fatten me as it appeared good to them, so that when I became as fat as could be, those whom they loved might visit them, and they might kill me for them, and make part of me roast, and part of me dried flesh, and eat me, and that I were not a mortal man.”

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set
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Sayings Of Umar

Umar was known for his great knowledge and wisdom. He often expressed his thoughts in words conspicuous for their wisdom. A number of his sayings have come down to us, and these show the depths and dimensions of his thoughts and expressions. We give hereunder the various sayings attributed to Umar, which we have been able to gather from various sources:

“He who keeps his own counsel keeps his affairs in his own hands.”

“Fear him, whom you hate.”

“The wisest man is he who can account for his actions.”

“Do not put off today’s work for tomorrow.”

“Money cannot help lifting its head.”

“What regresses. never progresses.”

“He who does not know evil will fall into it.”

“When a man puts me a question, I judge of his intelligence.”

“Don’t forget your own self while preaching to others.”

“The less of the world, the freer you live.”

“Avoidance of sin is lighter than the pain of remorse.”

“On every dishonest man, there are two watchmen, his possessions, and his way of living.”

“If patience and gratitude had been two she camels, it would have mattered little on which I rode.”

“May God have mercy on him who sends me my faults as a present.”

“Preserve the sayings of those people who are indifferent to the world. They say only that what God wishes them to say.”

“Fear God, for He alone lives; all other things are liable to perish.”

“The wisest among you is he whose sustenance is the fear of God.”

“Praise God, for by praise His blessings multiply.”

“Fear God, for that is fortune; indifference to God is misfortune.”

“Be patient; patience is a pillar of faith.”

“Acquire knowledge and teach it to the people”

“Be dignified, honest, and truthful”

“Do not be an arrogant scholar, for scholarship cannot subsist with arrogance”.

“When you see that any scholar loves the world, then his scholarship is in doubt”.

“God forbid, men should be jealous of knowledge as they are jealous of women.”

“May God bless the man who says less and does more.”

“The criterion of action is that today’s work should not be deferred till the following day.”

“Trust is that there should be no difference between what you do and say and what you think.”

“Learn the Arabic language; it will sharpen your wisdom.” “Luxury is an obstacle, and so is the fatness of the body.”

“A man may be as straight as an arrow, but even then he will have some critics.”

“O Allah do not give me in excess lest I may be disobedient to You. And do not give me less, lest I may forget You.”

“Allah loves moderation and hates extravagance and excess.”

“He who went to the kings to seek favours went away from God.”

“Sit with those who love God, for that enlightens the mind.”

“Before Allah that is the best dinner which people eat together.”

“As long as you are pure of heart, you speak the truth.”

“The pilgrims are the delegations of God.”

“If your ruler is just, praise God; if he is unjust, pray to God to rid you of him.”

“Allah is happy with such rulers whose slaves are under their control.”

“Forgive the people so that God may forgive you.”

“For the people prefer that which you prefer for yourself.

Which you do not wish for yourself, do not impose on others.”

“In the eyes of God he is the best ruler who has secured prosperity and comfort for the people.”

“That ruler is most accursed whose misconduct leads to the distress of the people.”

“Every ruler should keep his door open to the people.”

“Understand the teachings of the Holy Quran for that is the source of knowledge.”

“Relate as few traditions as possible, lest by being involved in traditions the people overlook the Quran.”

“All the injunctions of Islam are based on reason.”

“The way to express gratitude to God is to give Zakat out of the property that He has bestowed on you.”

“In my view your greatest obligation is to offer prayers.

He who fulfils this obligation with great regularity will be secure in his religion.”

“He who sleeps without offering the night prayer, may he never enjoy a sound sleep.”

“Women should offer Zakat on their ornaments.”

“Blessed are those who are martyred in the way of Allah.”

“In the preparation of Islam, commit no excess.”

“Without consultation, the caliphate is unlawful.”

“The ruler whose intention is good will have the help of God in the administration of his affairs; he whose intention is bad will come to disgrace.”

“Do not accept gifts; that is bribery.”

“The Judge should always uphold the principle of equality before law.”

“May God curse the people who hesitate to dine with the slaves.”

“Do not be misled by a person’s prayers and fasting; look to his sincerity and wisdom.”

“Do not be misled by hearing of any one’s reputation.”

“He trusts in God who sows seed in the ground then depends on God.”

“Earning of livelihood by following some profession is better than living on charity.”

“He who has any public responsibility should perform his duties without caring for criticism.”

“He is to be preferred who has the urge to sin, but does not sin.”

“Do not depend upon the morality of a person until you have seen him behave while in anger.”

“I am surprised at three things. Man runs from death while death is inevitable. One sees minor faults of others, but overlooks his own major faults. When there is any defect to one’s cattle he tries to cure it, but does not cure his own defects.”

“To flatter is to slaughter.”

“He, who pretends to be what he is not, is a hypocrite.”

“If a person has ten habits out of which nine are good and one bad, that bad one will destroy the good ones.”

“Do not overeat; that invites disease.”

“He who wins through fraud is no winner.”

“He who wants paradise should hold fast to the community. “

“The efficacy of a prayer depends not on the words but on the sincerity of intention.”

“In the narration of facts refrain from poetising.”

“When you do not know of a thing say so plainly.”

“O I am not worried about the poverty of the Muslims. I am afraid lest by getting rich they might become proud and thereby invite destruction. “

“In the performance of your duties neither be over zealous, nor indifferent.”

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set
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Assessment Of Umar By Oriental Writers

In his book “History of Egypt”, Jurji Zaidan, a Christian historian has paid a tribute to Umar in the following words:

“In his time various countries were conquered, spoils were multiplied, the treasures of the Persian and Roman Emperors were poured in streams before his troops, nevertheless he himself manifested a degree of abstemiousness and moderation which was never surpassed. He addressed the people clad in a garment patched with leather. He was himself the first to practise what he preached. He kept a vigilant eye over the Governors and Generals and enquired strictly into their conduct. Even the great Khalid bin Walid was not spared. He was just to all mankind and was kindly even to non-Muslims. Iron discipline was maintained every where during his reign.”

In his well known book “History of the Saracens”, Justice Syed Amir Ali has rated Umar in the following terms:

“The death of Umar was a real calamity to Islam. Stern, but just, far-sighted, thoroughly versed in the character of his people, he was especially fitted for the leadership of the unruly Arabs. He had held the helm with a strong hand and severely repressed the natural tendency to demoralisation among nomadic tribes and semi-civilised people when coming in contact with the luxury and vices of cities. He had established the Diwan or the Department of Finance, to which was entrusted the administration of the revenues; and had introduced fixed rules for the government of the provinces. He was a man of towering height, strong build, and fair complexion. Of simple habits, austere and frugal, always accessible to the meanest of his subjects, wandering about at night to inquire into the condition of the people, without any guard of court, such was the greatest and the most powerful ruler of the time.”

Shah Wali Ullah has described the talents and achievements of Umar graphically in the following terms:

“Imagine the heart of Umar as a house with many gates. At each gate is seated a noble genius. At one gate stands Alexander the Great with all his genius for conquering countries, commanding armies and vanquishing foes. At another gates sits Anushirwan with all his genteleness, magnanimity, justice, and love of his subjects. And yet at another gate sits a spiritual leader like Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani or Khawaja Bahauddin. At another gate sits Hadith specialists like Abu Huraira and Ibn Umar, and yet at another gate sit thinkers of the calibre of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi and Sheikh Fariduddin Attar. And people are standing around this house and every needy one represents his need to the Imam of his branch of knowledge and goes away satisfied.”

Put in simpler words, this tribute means that:

(1) Umar was a great Conqueror, greater than Alexander;

(2) Umar excelled Anushirwan in justice;

(3) Umar was a great spiritual leader;

(4) Umar was a specialist in Hadith;

(5) Umar was a great thinker;

(6) Umar excelled in all branches of knowledge.

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set