“If there were to be a Prophet after me,
he would have been Umar.”(Tirmidhi)
“Amongst the nations before your time, there have been inspired people (who were not Prophets), and if there is one amongst my Ummah, he is Umar”
– Rasulallah (SallallahoalaihiwasallaM)
Hazrat Umar (R.A) belonged to the Adi family of Quraish tribe. In the 8th generation, his lineage joins with Rasulallah (s.a.w).He was born in 583 A.C., about forty years before the great Hijrah. The early life of Hazrat Umar is not known in detail. In his youth he was a famous wrestler and orator, and a spirited person. He was one among the few people in Makkah who knew how to read and write. His main occupation was business.When the Rasulallah (s.a.w) recieved the revelation and invited people to Islam, Hazrat Umar initially became the sworn enemy of Islam and Rasulallah (s.a.w), and did not hesitate to harm the Muslims at every opportunity.
Hazrat Umar’s acceptance of Islam
It was the sixth year of Rasulallah (s.a.w)’s mission when the leaders of Quraish called a meeting and asked for volunteers for the assassination of Rasulallah (s.a.w). Hazrat Umar offered himself for this job and everybody in the meeting exclaimed that he was the right person for it. While he was on his way, with a sword in his hand, he met Hazrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas who enquired of him about where he was going. Hazrat Umar told him that he was going to murder Rasulallah (s.a.w). After some discussion Hazrat Sa’d said, “You had better take care of your own family first. Your sister and brother-in-law both have accepted Islam”.
Hearing this, Hazrat Umar changed his direction and went straight to his sister’s house. When Hazrat Umar knocked at the door, they were being taught the Holy Qur’anby Hazrat Khabbab (R.A). His sister Fatima was frightened on hearing Hazrat Umar’s voice and tried to hide the portion of the Holy Qur’an she was reciting. When Hazrat Umar entered the house he enquired about their Islam and on finding that they had accepted Islam, he first fell upon his brother-in-law and beat him severely. When his sister intervened he smote her so violently on her face that it bled profusely. On this his sister burst out: “Do whatever you like, we are determined to die as Muslims”.
When Hazrat Umar saw his sister bleeding, he cooled down and felt ashamed. He loved Fatima very much but could not tolerate her conversion to Islam. However, deeply moved, Hazrat Umar asked her to show the pages on which the Holy Qur’an was written. But she was, after all, Hazrat Umar’s sister and told him straight, “You can not touch it unless you take a bath and make yourself clean”.
He then took a bath and read the scripts. It was the beginning of Surah Ta Ha (Chapter 20 of the Holy Qur’an). Finally he came to the verse:
“Lo! I even I, am Allah, there is no god save Me. So serve Me and establish Salat for My remembrance.”(Holy Quran – 20:14)
At this, Hazrat Umar exclaimed, “Surely this is the Word of Allah. Take me to Muhammad (s.a.w)”.
On hearing this Hazrat Khabbab (R.A), who had hidden himself in the house, came out from inside and said, “O Umar! Glad tidings for you. It seems that the prayer of the Rasulallah (s.a.w) which he said last night has been answered in your favour. He prayed to Allah: “O Allah, strengthen Islam with either Umar b. Khattab or Umar b. Hisham, whomsoever Thou pleaseth”.
Hazrat Umar then went to Rasulallah (s.a.w). On seeing him, Rasulallah (s.a.w) asked him, “Umar! what brings you here”? He said, “I am here to accept Islam”.
Hearing this the Muslims shouted with joy, “Allahu Akbar! (Allah is the Greatest)” and the sound echoed though the air of Makkah.
As a matter of fact, Umar’s conversion to Islam was a terrible blow to the morale of the disbelieves. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ud, a great Companion, says, “Hazrat Umar’s conversion to Islam was a great triumph, his emigration to Madinah a tremendous reinforcement and his accession to Caliphate a great blessing for the Muslims”.
Hazrat Umar gets the title of Al-Farooq (RAu)
The conversion of Hazrat Umar (R.A) strengthened Islam.Before this, Muslims had lived in constant fear of the disbelievers, and most of them were concealing their faith. The Muslims were now able to offer their Salat publicly. When Hazrat Umar (R.A) became a Muslim, he declared his faith openly before the Quraish chiefs. Though they stared at him, they could not do any harm to him. Then once he had been granted permission from Rasulallah (s.a.w), he led a party of the Muslims to the Kabah to offer Salaat. Hazrat Hamza, who had accepted Islam a few days before Hazrat Umar (R.A), carried another party of the Muslims to Kabah.
When all the Muslims gathered in the Kabah, they offered their Salat in congregation. Rasulallah (s.a.w) led this, and it was the first public Salat in the history of Islam. For this courageous and bold action of Hazrat Umar (R.A), Rasulallah (s.a.w) gave him the title of al-Farooq i.e., the one who makes a distinction between the right (haqq) and the wrong (batil).
Migration to Madinah
When the Muslims were ordered to migrate to Madinah, most of them left Makkah quietly and in secret, but Hazrat Umar (R.A) declared it openly.He put on his armour and first went to the Kabah. After performing the Salat, he announced loudly: “I am migrating to Madinah. If anyone wants to check me, let him come out. I am sure that his mother would cry for his life”.There was no man in Makkah to accept the challenge of Hazrat Umar (R.A). Then he migrated to Madinah boldly.
Hazrat Umar’s services to Islam
Hazrat Umar (R.A) had great love for Allah and Rasulallah (s.a.w). He participated in almost all the big battles: Badr, Uhud, Ahzab, Khaibar, Hunain etc. In the expedition of Tabuk, he gave half of his wealth in the path of Allah.He was next to Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) in the sacrifice of his belongings for the cause of Allah.
Rasulallah (s.a.w) also had a deep love for him. Once he remarked, “Were a prophet to come after me, he would have been Umar”.
In another Hadith mentioned in Bukhari, Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R.A) narrated that Rasulallah (s.a.w) said, “In Bani Isra’il (Israelites), there were people who were not prophets but talked to Allah. Were anyone in my Ummah like those persons, he would be Umar”.
The death of Rasulallah (s.a.w) was a great shock to him, and he could not believe it until Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) reminded him of a clear verse of the Holy Qur’an on the subject. He then went to the Council Hall along with Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) where the people of Madinah had assembled to select the First Caliph. Hazrat Umar (R.A) was the first person to pledge loyalty (Bai’at) at the hand of Hazrat Abu Bakr(R.A), and then helped him throughout the duration of his rule.
Hazrat Umar Farooq – the second Khalifa of Islam
During Hazrat Abu Bakr’s illness he consulted the people about the next Khalifah, and then gave his decision in favour of Hazrat Umar (R.A) who took the charge of Khilafat after the death of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) on 22nd of Jamadius Thani 13 A.H. (23rd August 634 AC).
Umar (R.A.) followed fully the ways of Rasulallah (s.a.w) and the policy of his predecessor, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique, with his characteristic zeal and vigour. It was his strict adherence to the Sunnah of Rasulallah (s.a.w) which helped him to subdue the mighty empires of Persia and Byzantine.
The period of Hazrat Umar’s Khilafat undoubtedly is the Golden Age of Islam in every respect.
He was a man of extraordinary genius who not only moulded the destiny of the nation but made history of his own.
He followed the footsteps of Rasulallah (s.a.w) to the fullest extent. It was Hazrat Umar under whose rule Islam became an international power and the mighty empires of Persia and Byzantine crumbled before the army of Islam.Within ten years of his glorious rule, the whole of the Persian Empire, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and a part of Turkey came under the banner of Islam and the nations entered the fold of Islam.
Martyrdom of Hazrat Farooq-e-Azam (R.A)
In 23 A.H., when Hazrat Umar returned to Madinah from Hajj, he raised his hands and prayed:
“O God! I am advanced in years, my bones are weary, my powers are declining, and the people for whom I am responsible have spread far and wide. Summon me back to Thyself, my lord!”
Some time later, when Hazrat Umar went to the mosque to lead a prayer, a Magian named Abu Lulu Feroze, who had a grudge against Hazrat Umar on a personal matter, attacked him with a dagger and stabbed him several times. Hazrat Umar reeled and fell to the ground.
When he learned that the assassin was a Magian, he said, “Thank God he is not a Muslim.”
The injuries were so serious that the great Khalifa died the next morning.
Before his death, the Muslims asked him about his successor and he appointed a panel of six persons; Hadrat Uthma Zubair, Talha, Sa’d bin Waqqas and Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf (R.A) to select a Khalifah from amongst them within three days after him.
He requested Hazrat Aisha (R.A) for permission for his burial beside Rasulallah (s.a.w), just as Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique expressed the same wish. Though she had reserved that place for herself, on Umar’s request she gave it to him and that is where he was buried.
Wives and Children
1. Hazrat Zainab (R.A) accepted Islam but died in Makkah. She was sister of Uthman bin Maz’un. She gave birth to Hazrat Abdullah Abdur Rahman and Hazrat Hafsah (wife of Rasulallah (s.a.w)) were the children she bore to Hazrat Umar.
2. Malkiah bint Jarwal, she did not accept Islam and was divorced in 6 A.H. according to Islamic law. She gave birth to Ubaidullah.
3. Quraibah bint Abi Ummiyah, she also did not accept Islam and was divorced in 6 A.H.
The above three marriages had taken place before Hazrat Umar (R.A.) accepted Islam. After accepting Islam he contracted marriages with the following:
4. Ummi Hakim bint-ul-Harith, she gave birth to a girl named Fatimah.
5. Jamilah bint Asim, she gave birth to a son who was named Asim. She was a Muslim but was divorced for some other reason.
6. Umm Kulthum bint Hazrat Ali (R.A). She was married in the year 17 A.H. She gave birth to Ruqayyah and Zaid.
7. Atikah (R.A)
1. Ummul Mumineen Hazrat Hafsah (R.A) – the chaste wife of Rasulallah (s.a.w).
2. Ruqayyah – the youngest daughter of Hazrat Umar.
6. Abu Shahmah
He added the phrase â prayer is better than sleep to the Fajr azaan,
The taravih prayers were formally initiated during his rule,
He instituted punishment for the consumption of liquor,
Started the Hijri system of accounting for dates,
Gave the concept of the jail,
Fixed salaries for the muezzins, arranged for light in the masjids,
Formed the department of the police, laid the foundations for a complete system for the delivery of justice,
Got the irrigation system implemented and established military cantonments and the formal army.
Hazrat Umar (Radiallahu Taala Anhu), for the first time ever in the world, granted stipends for the infants, the
handicapped, widows and the helpless.
He was the first ever to give the concept of the declaration of assets by the rulers, the government officials and the rich.
He established the institution of punishing the judges who misdelivered justice.
He, for the first time, made the rulers accountable. He used to protect the trade caravans at night.
He used to say that rulers who deliver justice, sleep fearlessly at night.
His saying is that the leader of the nation is actually its servant.
His stamp read Hazrat Umar Radiallahu Taala Anhu, death is enough of an admonition.
He never had two dishes on his table.
He used to go to sleep with a brick as a pillow.
While traveling, he would just stretch a sheet on a tree to make a shadow and go to sleep whenever sleepy.
He used to sleep on bare ground at night. His shirt had 14 patches, among them one of red leather.
He used to wear thick coarse cloth and hated soft fine one.
Whenever he appointed someone on a government position, he would get an estimate of his wealth and keep it with himself. If the wealth of that person increased during his tenure, he would be held accountable. Whenever he appointed anyone as a governor, he would advise him to never to ride a Turkish horse, wear fine cloth, consume fine flour, have a gatekeeper or close his doors to
He used to say that pardoning a tyrant is injustice to the oppressed.
His sentence mothers give birth to free children, since when have you enslaved them
is still considered the charter of human rights.