|‘Umar bin Khattab R|
‘Umar bin Khattab R became the second Khalifah (Caliph) of Islam after Abu Bakr R. He belonged to Banu (Family of) ‘Adi of the Quraysh tribe. He accepted Islam in the year 7BH (Before Hijrah) when he was about twenty-six years of age. His Kunniyah (Agnomen) was Abu Hafs. He died on 1st of Muharram in 24H (Hijrah).
He was a tall, handsome and a fair-complexioned man. He had the ability to work with both, right as well as left hand with ease. He was an expert in horse-riding. According to Ibn Sa’d, he was a good wrestler, and often participated in the game of wrestling at the festival of ‘Ukaz, before Islam.
He was known for his negotiating skills and for this reason he became a distinguished emissary of Quraysh. Whenever, Quraysh felt the need of sending a delegation somewhere, ‘Umar bin Khattab R was given the ambassadorial assignment of negotiation and diplomacy. He traveled to Sham (Iraq and Syria) quite often before Islam, and met their rulers.
He had six wives and three bond-maids, who bore nine sons and four daughters with him. Among his sons, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar R was the most pious and a prominent scholar of Islam.
‘Umar bin Khattab R was a strong opponent of Islam, before he converted to Islam. The Quraysh leadership was angry with the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S and his preaching of Islam. Islamic monotheism also threatened their spiritual leadership as the custodians of the Ka’bah, which housed 360 idols of gods of various Arab tribes, and had become the central place of worship in the entire Arab lands. Besides the spiritual leadership, custodianship of the Ka’bah also reaped financial rewards from the pilgrims that flocked to Makkah for pilgrimage to the Ka’bah.
‘Umar bin Khattab R was greatly disturbed and distressed at the situation created by the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S by which members of their own Quraysh tribe were accepting the new faith Islam. The Quraysh ridiculed the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S in the beginning; but when his Message began taking roots, they abused him, threatened him and even assaulted him physically. But the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S continues on his Mission.
‘Umar bin Khattab was wanted to kill ridiculed the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S to finish the threat from Islam, once for all.
He took out his sword and rushed towards Dar Arqam (House of Arqam R) where the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S and his Sahabah (Companions) used to meet in the early days of Islam.
On the way to Dar Arqam (House of Arqam R), ‘Umar bin Khattab R met Nu’aym bin ‘Abdullah R.
Nu’aym bin ‘Abdullah R had never seen him in such an anger. ‘Umar bin Khattab told him that he is going to kill the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S.
Nu’aym bin ‘Abdullah R told ‘Umar bin Khattab that before he does any thing to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S he should put his own house in order. Nu’aym bin ‘Abdullah R told ‘Umar bin Khattab that his own sister Fatimah bint Khattab R and her husband Sa’id bin Zayd R had also accepted Islam.
‘Umar bin Khattab was outraged at this news. In a fit of anger, he rushed to the house of Sa’id bin Zayd R, to take care of his sister and brother in-law first.
When ‘Umar bin Khattab R reached there, both Sa’id bin Zayd R and his wife Fatimah bint Khattab R were listening to the recitation of Qur-an by Khabbab bin Arrat R, who was reciting parts of Surah (Chapter) Hadid (Iron) The Qur-an 57.
‘Umar bin Khattab entered their house and beat up Sa’id bin Zayd R badly.
‘Umar bin Khattab also hit his sister Fatimah bint Khattab R, when she tried to save her husband.
‘Umar bin Khattab tried to force Sa’id bin Zayd R and Fatimah bint Khattab R to quit their new religion Islam, and return to the age-old religion of their ancestors. His merciless beatings did not yield any results, both of them refused. When ‘Umar bin Khattab got tired of beating them, better sense prevailed upon him when he saw his sister and brother-in-law bleeding. His curiosity also took over. He asked them to recite those strange verses back to him, which he had heard while entering their house.
Sa’id bin Zayd R and Fatimah bint Khattab R recited those beautiful verses from the Holy Qur-an again. It resulted in a total change of heart of ‘Umar bin Khattab. He was awed by the truth in the words of Allah (God).
‘Umar bin Khattab went straight to Dar Arqam (House of Arqam R) with his unsheathed sword and converted to Islam immediately, in front of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S and his Sahabah (Companions), who had doubts upon his intentions when he arrived their with an unsheathed sword in his hands. Sa’id bin Zayd R and his wife Fatimah R were instrumental in the conversion of ‘Umar bin Khattab R who became one of the great followers of Islam.
Harassed by the torture of Quraysh, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S used to pray to Allah (God) for the conversion of one of the two staunch enemies of Islam, ‘Umar bin Khattab and Abu Jahl bin Hisham. Allah (God) granted his wish by this sudden and unexpected conversion of ‘Umar bin Khattab R. Abu Jahl bin Hisham was killed in the battle of Badr in the year 2H (Hijrah).
According to Ibn Sa’d, ‘Umar bin Khattab R accepted Islam after 45 men and 11 women had already come into the folds of Islam. In the beginning, other people used to hide their faith fearing persecution, but after ‘Umar bin Khattab R converted to Islam, he openly declared his faith and single-handedly faced opposition.
After accepting Islam, ‘Umar bin Khattab R whole-heartedly defended the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S and his mission. Because of his influence over his tribe, Banu (Family of) ‘Adi, did not oppose Islam. When the Quraysh of Makkah assembled in Dar Al- Nadwah to plot against the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, no one from the tribe of Banu (Family of) ‘Adi participated. Similarly, no one from his tribe participated in the battle of Badr.
‘Umar bin Khattab R divorced his wife when she refused to accept Islam.
‘Umar bin Khattab R was made brother to Abu Bakr R before Hijrah. Then after Hijrah, he was made brother to ‘Itban bin Malik Ansari R when the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, made a Muhajir (Migrant Muslim from Makkah), brother of an Ansar (Helper – Muslim from Madinah). ‘Umar bin Khattab R stayed with ‘Itban bin Malik Ansari R in Mudafat for a while. They used to visit Madinah on alternate days to meet the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. Soon, ‘Umar bin Khattab R constructed his house in Madinah, on a piece of land given to by the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S.
After Hijrah, when people in large number flooded to Madinah for allegiance, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, deputed ‘Umar bin Khattab R for obtaining allegiance from women.
‘Umar bin Khattab R participated in all the battles right from Badr to Tabuk with the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. In the year 7H (Hijrah) in the month of Sha’ban, he was deputed to Turbah as a commander to deal with some mischievous branches of Banu (Family of) Hawazin. They were gypsies who ran away. As a result, no confrontation took place.
‘Umar bin Khattab R was also interested in studies. Once he heard some interesting things from a Jew. He jotted them down and showed it to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, however, forbade him to take any note from the Jews. However, the reason behind this was not known. Because on other occasion, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, permitted ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin al ‘As R to study the Torah.
Once, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, assigned ‘Umar bin Khattab R with the task of collecting Zakah. When ‘Umar bin Khattab R approached the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S’s uncle, ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib R for Zakah, the Messenger S forbade him, as he had already paid it in advance.
Once the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, said : “I have two heavenly vicegerents and two earthly vicegerents : Jibril and Mika’il, and Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.”
Once the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, was in search of some good people for the propagation of Islam. Someone suggested the names of Abu Bakr R and ‘Umar bin Khattab R. The Messenger said, ” How can I forget them ? They are my ears and eyes in the matter of religion.”
At another place, the Messenger said, “If Abu Bakr R and ‘Umar bin Khattab R agreed on a point, I will not dispute over it.”
‘Umar bin Khattab R donated half of his property for the preparation of the battle of Tabuk. He had purchased a fertile land at Khayber, and as per the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S’s advice, endowed it.
‘Umar bin Khattab R took pride that three or four times, portions of the Qur-an was revealed as per his desirupon his various requests and queries to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. For example, regarding the veiling of women.
After the death of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, Abu Bakr R proposed names of ‘Umar bin Khattab R and Abu ‘Ubaydah bin Jarrah R for the Khilafah (Caliphate) but both refused.
‘Umar bin Khattab R advised Abu Bakr R to abstain from dealing with people who refused to pay Zakah, but Abu Bakr R preferred principle over wisdom, and fought with people who refused to pay the Zakah.
When a great number of Huffaz (Memorizers of the Qur-an) were martyred in battle with Musailimah Kadh–dhab (the liar), the false Messenger; ‘Umar bin Khattab R advised Abu Bakr R to compile the Holy Qur-an. At first, Abu Bakr R hesitated, since the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, but later he agreed after he saw the logic of ‘Umar bin Khattab R behind it.
‘Umar bin Khattab R, during his reign, made every effort to popularize the study of the Holy Qur-an among the believers and instituted scholarships for it. He wanted to distribute the authentic version of the Holy Qur-an in all provinces but he was martyred before he could have undertaken the task.
‘Umar bin Khattab R was made the Qadi (Judge) of Madinah in the time of Abu Bakr R. But the people of Madinah had such impeccable character that months used to pass and not a single dispute used to reach him for solution.
‘Umar bin Khattab R was a confident and special advisor to Abu Bakr R. If they disagreed with each other, they used to respect each other so very much that it could set an example for others. This is the reason why Abu Bakr R appointed ‘Umar bin Khattab R as his successor from his death-bed.
When Abu Bakr R was on his death-bed, he called ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan R, and dictated a will. He said, “When I die, my successor…”After saying this much he fell unconscious, ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan R, however, completed the sentence, “will be ‘Umar bin Khattab R.” When after sometime, Abu Bakr R regained consciousness, he enquired ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan R what he had written. ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan R read out the sentence. When he heard the sentence, Abu Bakr R praised ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan R.
After the will was completed, Abu Bakr R ordered that it should be publicly read out, and allegiance for ‘Umar bin Khattab R should be sought. Everybody happily paid allegiance to ‘Umar bin Khattab R.
After sometime ‘Ali bin Abu Talib R and some other Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S) returned from their journey learnt that ‘Umar bin Khattab R’s name had been proposed as the next Khalifah (Caliph), he expressed his reservations about and said, “He is a strict person. How would you face God after appointing him?”
Abu Bakr R excitingly got up and said, ” I will tell God that I have appointed the best man in His creation as my successor.”
After the death of Abu Bakr R, a fresh allegiance to him was obtained unanimously. The formula of the Bay’ah (Allegiance) was, “The allegiance is for God, and the obedience is for the truth.”
Testament of Abu Bakr R
“By the name of God, the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate.
This is the testament of Abu Bakr bin Quhafah, which he made at the time of his departure from this world, and at the time of stepping into the next world, at a time, when even an unbeliever begins to believe, and even a profligate begins to trust. I have appointed ‘Umar bin Khattab R as my successor upon you. Listen to him and obey him. In this, I have considered about God, His Messenger, His religion, myself and about your well being. If he does justice, it will be as per my knowledge and expectations from him. But if he changes himself, then everyone will have to bear the fruit of one’s action. Although I have desired goodness, but I do not know the future. Wrongdoers will soon learn where they have to return. Be peace upon you and God’s mercy.”
‘Umar bin Khattab R’s First Public Address after becoming Khalifah (Caliph)
” I am being put to trial through you and you are being put to trial through me. I have been made successor of my last two predecessors. Whatever thing will come before me, I will deal with it individually. And whatever things will occur at other places, I will appoint strong and trustworthy people to deal with them. Whoever does good, I will favor him, and whoever does any wrong, I will punish him. May God forgive me and you all.”
‘Umar bin Khattab R did not make any change in the basic structure of the government. However, as per exigencies of time, the process of completion continued on the basis of concensus.
When ‘Umar bin Khattab R became Khalifah (Caliph), internal revolt had almost subsided. However, Muslims were confronted with two great empires: Iran as well as Rome. ‘Umar bin Khattab R changed the commanders of both the fronts, but he had no other alternative except to continue the fight. Soon world saw that Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Western India (now Pakistan) on one side, and Syria, Anatolia, Armenia, Egypt, and Libya on the other side, were included into the Islamic world.
‘Umar bin Khattab R never allowed or encouraged racial and tribal discrimination in his time. His decisions were based on truth and justice. When he demoted Khalid bin Walid R and Muthanna Shaibani from the designations of commander to the ordinary soldiers, he said: “Only God grants victory, neither Khalid nor Muthna.”
‘Umar bin Khattab R held Khalid bin Walid R in high esteem. He too, respected and admired ‘Umar bin Khattab R. ‘Umar bin Khattab R wanted to re-appoint him as commander, before his death.
‘Umar bin Khattab R had certain reservations about Khalid bin Walid R. Despite the fact that, Khalid bin Walid R was a good commander, he was not a good Faqih (Jurist). ‘Umar bin Khattab R expected that a commander of the Muslim army should also have deep insight into religious affairs. Once Khalid bin Walid R came wearing silken shirt, ‘Umar bin Khattab R got angry with him, because the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, forbade men to wear silken garments.
When the territory of the Islamic government began to expand, and it was realized that the Muslim soldiers need not return to their homeland, a new problem arose with regard to Ghanimah (War Trophies). As per Qur-anic instruction, one-fifth part of the Ghanimah (War Trophies) was to be given to the Islamic government and the rest of it was to be distributed among the soldiers. ( 8:41)
As long as it concerned with material wealth, the distribution was not a problem. But when far-flung lands included in booty, it created a problem. If land were also distributed among the soldiers as per Qur-anic instruction, soldiers would become rich, and the wealth will be concentrated in the hands of a few people. This was against the very spirit of Islam. As a result, a long debate ensued. Some Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S) disagreed. However after a month’s deliberations, when ‘Umar bin Khattab R put forth some Qur-anic verses (59:7-10) in support of his argument, it was decided that the victorious territories be endowed for the coming generations.
Arabs were mostly poor people. So when Abu Hurayrah R, the governor of Bahrain, once, brought five hundred thousand Dirhams to Madinha, it surprised ‘Umar bin Khattab R. He decided that it should be distributed by weight instead of counting. But within two three years, annual income from Iraq swelled to 120 million Dirhams, and from Egypt, 50 million Dinars.
‘Umar bin Khattab R suggested that women should have the minimum dower. He used to keep a constant watch over his ‘Amils (Governors). He used to assess their full property at the time of their appointment. If he found any kind of discrepancy in their governance, he not only used to expel them but also confiscated half of their property. While appointing them, he used to have this clause in their job contract that they should not ride on a high-breed Turkish horse, should not eat bread made of fine flour, should not wear thin and fine clothes, should not close their doors and employ watchmen, but be always ready to meet anyone anytime.
When ‘Umar bin Khattab R learnt that Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas R had constructed a grand house and had made a special gate for entry, he did not say anything to him but sent someone from Madinah with an order to set the gate on fire.
When the victorious soldiers of Yarmuk entered Madinah wearing boastful dresses, ‘Umar bin Khattab R asked the people of Madinah to pelt stones on them, and when they came after changing their dresses, they were welcomed.
‘Umar bin Khattab R expelled Ayaz Ibn Ghanam from the governorship for wearing expensive dress. Similar kind of punishment was awarded to Nu’man Fadalah for reciting a poem eulogizing wine.
Ya’la bin Umayyah R, who accepted Islam after the conquest of Makkah, was made ‘Amil (Governor) of Yemen. But when he reserved a special meadow for his personal cattle, and forbade others people from grazing their cattle in it, ‘Umar bin Khattab R expelled him from the governorship on this discrimination and asked him to travel from Yemen to Madinah on foot. While he was on his way to Madinah on foot that he got the news of ‘Umar bin Khattab R’s death, then he completed the rest of the journey on a ride.
‘Umar bin Khattab R’s character was both rigid as well as flexible. When he visited Syria, and noticed the grandeur of Mu’awiyah bin Abu Sufyan R, he objected over it. But when Mu’awiyah bin Abu Sufyan R explained to him its necessity that it was to empress the Byzantine who considered them of lower status, ‘Umar bin Khattab R was convinced.
While appointing governors, he told the people to listen and obey them so long as they do justice.
‘Umar bin Khattab R’s Relations with non-Muslims
His relations with non-Muslims were based on justice and equity. It is evident from a letter written by a Christian to his friend. He writes: “These Arabs whom God has bestowed sovereignty these days are our Masters as well. But they do not wage war with Christianity. On the contrary, they defend our faith, they respect our priests and reverends and they make donations to our churches and monasteries.”
Once, ‘Umar bin Khattab R noticed a Jew begging in the streets of Madinha, he recited the verse: “Verily the charity is for beggars (Fuqara) and the poor (Masakin)…” (9:60)
In Syria, some people usurped a piece of land that belonged to a Jew, and constructed a mosque on it. When ‘Umar bin Khattab R learnt about it he ordered it to be razed and returned it to its owner. According to a report published in 1933 by a Lebanese Christian professor, Shukri Qardhahi, this Jewish House is still existent.
Once, while ‘Umar bin Khattab R was delivering Friday sermon at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (The Sacred Mosque), a Christian trader approached him, and complained about a tax collector. ‘Umar bin Khattab R suspended his sermon in the mid and listened to his complaint, and said, “This cannot happen,” and resumed the sermon. Being disappointed the trader returned to the border thinking that he would have to pay extra tax for his goods. But he was surprised to find that a written order had already reached to the tax collector before he returned there.
When ‘Umar bin Khattab R instituted a system for military pensions, he also included various Non-Muslim Iranians in it.
There are one or two instances that show that ‘Umar bin Khattab R did not deem it fit to reward new converts to Islam. For example, when a Roman accepted Islam, some people recommended rewarding him. But ‘Umar bin Khattab R said, “Islam should be accepted on the basis of truth.”
‘Umar bin Khattab R instituted military camps in places, which came under Islamic domination. He appointed governors, which used to be sent from Madinah. He had the powers to appoint officers on his own for various developmental activities. However, his rights were limited. There was no governmental educational institution. It was the individual duty of the learned people to educate people. However, government had made special arrangement for the study of the Qur-an.
‘Umar bin Khattab R instituted Hijrah calendar in the year 16H (Hijrah). Although Hijrah calendar was also prevalent during the time of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, but there was no consistency in it. Some people counted it from the first Muharram after Bay’t ‘Aqbah, some people counted it from the Muharram, after three months of which the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, migrated to Madinah, and some people counted it from the Muharram that came after the migration of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S.
Initially most people did not consider it necessary to write the year on the documents. And official documents used to be torn after completion of the work. But this was not a healthy practice. As a result, some people suggested using Roman calendar, while other suggested using Iranian calendar. But the majority wanted to have an Islamic calendar. Some people suggested beginning Islamic calendar with the birth of the Messenger, while other suggested Hijrah as the starting point, whereas some suggested the death of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, as the starting point of the Islamic calendar. However, Hijrah was unanimously accepted as the starting point of the Islamic calendar. And Muharram was regarded as the first month of the Islamic calendar.
Islamic Calendar was based on lunar cycle. It had some apparent financial benefits. As lunar cycle is shorter than the solar cycle, 33 years of solar calendar are equivalent to 34 years of lunar calendar. As a result, one year’s extra tax was collected. Moreover, there were different timings for the collection of agricultural tax. So the public treasury remained full throughout the year.
The Islamic government in the period of ‘Umar bin Khattab R took up minting of coins in its charge. But, even public was allowed to mint the coin. These coins used to be minted in Iran and Syria. The silver coins were called Dirham and coins made of gold were known as Dinar. The coins belonging to the period of ‘Umar bin Khattab R are preserved in various museums of the world. These coins were engraved with the words of Allah, Al Hamdu Lillah, Muhammadur Rasulullah, La Ilaha illallah and ‘Umar bin Khattab R. According to some reports, leather and paper coins were also started in the period of ‘Umar bin Khattab R, as silver and gold became scarce.
‘Umar bin Khattab R changed the ancient tyrannical system of tax after conquering Egypt. In ancient Egypt, agriculture was based on the flow of river Nile. There was a cruel tradition that a beautiful young girl used to be submerged alive to propitiate the river Nile. When ‘Umar bin Khattab R stopped this cruel practice, as soon as he learnt about it. Incidentally, there was little rain that year. The mischievous farmers made it an issue. When ‘Umar bin Khattab R found out about it, he drafted a letter addressing to the river Nile to the effect: “O River Nile, if you flow out of your own choice, then don’t flow. We do not need you. But if you flow by the grace of God, then I pray to God, may it fill you with water.”
‘Umar bin Khattab R commanded the governor to submerge this letter in the river Nile. From the following day the water level of river Nile began to increase.
Education was mostly based on Tafsir (Exegesis), Hadith, (Tradition), Fiqh (Jurisprudence) and Sirah (Biography of the Messenger). ‘Umar bin Khattab R instituted scholarship for the study of the Qur-an, though there were no separate schools education was imparted in Masajid (Mosques). When Kufah was inhabited, besides military camp, a Masjid (Mosque) was also constructed right in front of the ‘Amil (Governor)’s house. ‘Umar bin Khattab R deputed ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud R to impart the knowledge of the Qur-an in Kufah.
‘Umar bin Khattab R established cantonments in every town, and instituted regular emoluments for the soldiers. He allocated special pensions for the widows of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. He allocated excess amount for ‘A“ishah bint Abu Bakr R, the beloved wife of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. But she refused to take it. For, it discriminated other wives of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. When ‘Umar bin Khattab R made discrimination between Juwayriyah R and Safiyyah R and other wives of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, on the basis of their status as bondmaids, the other wives of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, objected, and said, “Messenger never discriminated among his wives.” Consequently, ‘Umar bin Khattab R gave equal share to each wife.
‘Umar bin Khattab R gave maximum stipend to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S’s uncle, ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib R, and to the participants of Badr. He allocated stipend even for young children, which continued to increase with the increase in their ages. ‘Umar bin Khattab R kept special consideration for the Messenger’s relation. Thus he gave Usamah bin Zayd R, a freed slave and adopted son of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S more than his own son, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar R.
‘Umar bin Khattab R reduced the salaries of the governors to a minimum level. He drastically cut down on his own expenses. While travelling to Syria, he took only one servant with him, and only one camel, on which both master as well as servant rode by rotation.
Once, Abu Musa Ash’ari R sent a carpet to ‘Umar bin Khattab R’s wife as a gift. When ‘Umar bin Khattab R summoned Abu Musa Ash’ari R and returned it to him. When ‘Umar bin Khattab R’s own wife, Umm Kulthum bint ‘Ali R received a precious necklace from the Queen of Hiraql, in return to her own gift, which she had sent through an official emissary; ‘Umar bin Khattab R placed it before the congregation in the mosque, and wanted to ascertain the opinion of the Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S). They unanimously advised ‘Umar bin Khattab R that there was no harm in accepting the gift. Still, ‘Umar bin Khattab R did not agree and he deposited the gift in the state treasury, and paid the value of his wife’s gift from the treasury.
‘Umar bin Khattab R often used to come out in the night for inspection, and fulfilled people’s necessities. Once upon a time, he noticed the precarious condition of a poor woman who was crying with labor pains. ‘Umar bin Khattab R rushed to help her and even took his wife for the assistance of the woman.
Once he noticed a wine-party in somebody’s house. He jotted down the address of the person and summoned him in the morning for explanation. When the owner of the house denied it, he said he had himself seen it the night before. The person reminded ‘Umar bin Khattab R of the Qur-anic instruction, which forbade people to keep surveillance upon others’ houses. Upon hearing this, ‘Umar bin Khattab R silenced and did not punish him.
Once, a woman was instructing her daughter to mix water in the milk. The daughter refused to mix water in the milk as she said that ‘Umar bin Khattab R had forbidden doing so. The mother said, ‘Umar bin Khattab R is not here to see. Nevertheless, daughter did not obey the mother. The next morning ‘Umar bin Khattab R called his sons and said that there is a pious girl. If I were not old, I would have married her. Is there anyone who could marry her? ‘Asim agreed to marry her. And with this marriage Umm ‘Asim, mother of the great Caliph, ‘Umar bin Abdul ‘Aziz was born.
‘Umar bin Khattab R led a very simple life. Once he slept under the shade of a tree. In the meantime, Roman envoy visited the capital. When he did not find the Khalifah (Caliph) at his residence, he came out in search of him. He was astonished to see him sleeping under a tree. He said, “My master is unjust. Therefore he does not go out anywhere without a guard. You are a just person. Therefore you can sleep so fearlessly.”
‘Umar bin Khattab R was the first person who introduced Ijma“ (Consensus) and Qiyas (Reason) in Shari’ah (Islamic Law) after the Qur-an and the Sunnah (Tradition of Muhammad S).
‘Umar bin Khattab R forbade people to indulge in gossiping while sitting in the Masjid Nabi (Messenger’s Mosque). Therefore he constructed a separate room beside the Masjid (Mosque)where people could sit and carry on their personal conversations.
A Persian slave, Abu Lu” Lu” martyred ‘Umar bin Khattab R, while he was leading morning prayers. According to the modern historians like Muhammad Hussain Haykal and ‘Abbas Mahmud Al-‘Aqqad, ‘Umar bin Khattab R’s martyrdom was the conspiracy of Iranian monarchy.
‘Umar bin Khattab R appointed a Shura (Consultative Committee) for the selection of his successor from his deathbed. It consisted of six persons, namely, ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan R, ‘Ali bin Abu Talib R, Talhah bin ‘Ubaydullah R, Zubayr bin Al Awwam R, Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas R and Abdur Rahman bin ‘Awf R.
His daughter Hafsah R was also married to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S after she was widowed.
‘Uthman bin ‘Affan R was unanimously selected the third Khalifah (Caliph) of Muslims.
‘Umar bin Khattab R was buried by the side of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S near his predecessor, Abu Bakr R.