It was narrated that Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib said: “One of the camels of the booty got injured, so Umar RA slaughtered it and sent some of the meat to the wives of the Prophet SAW, and cooked the rest. Then he called some of the Muslims to come and eat, among whom was al-Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib.
Al-Abbas said:“O Ameer al-Mumineen, why don’t you do this for us every day, so we can eat and chat with you?”
Umar said,“I will never do it again. My two companions have passed on and they did certain things and followed a certain path. If I do something other than what they did I will end up on a path other than theirs.”
[At-Tabaqat al-Kubra, 3/288; ash-Shaykhan min al-Baladhuri, p.222]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 284
It was narrated from Aslam, the freed slave of Umar RA that Umar appointed a freed slave of his in charge of the Hima, and said:”O Hunayy, do not do any harm to the Muslims and fear the prayer of the one who has wronged, for it is answered. Only let in those who have sheep that are few in number and weak, and keep out the sheep of Ibn Awf and the sheep of Ibn Affan, for if their sheep die, they still have farms and date palms, but if the sheep of one whose flocks are few in number and weak die, he will bring his children to me and will say, “O Ameer al-Mumineen", and do you think I am going to abandon them? Water and grass are easier for me than gold and silver. By Allah, it is their land; they fought for it during the Jahiliyah and now that they have become Muslim, it is still their land. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, were it not that I need the money to spend it for the Sake of Allah, I would not have made any hima in their land, not even a handspan."
Hima – Common land set aside for grazing.
[Tareekh adh-Dhahabi, Ahd al-Khulafa ar-Rashideen, p.272]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 284- 285
It was narrated from Moosa ibn Anas ibn Malik that Sireen – The father of Muhammad ibn Sireen – asked Anas for a contract on manumission, as he had a lot of wealth, but he refused. He went to Umar, who said: “Give him a contract of manumission,” but he refused. Umar hit him with his stick, whilst reciting the verse:
“And such of your slaves as seek a writing [of emancipation], give them such writing, if you find that there is good and honesty in them.” [Quran 24:33]
And then he gave him the contract of manumission.
[Mahd as-Sawab, 3/975]
In this story, we see a slave seeking his freedom, and a master who refuses to give it to him, and a ruler being fair by implementing the slave’s wishes and ignoring the opinion of the master. Where can we find the like of such an action anywhere else in history?
[Shaheed al-Mihrab, p.222]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 285
It was narrated fronm ash-Shifa bint Abdullah that she saw some people who walked slowly and spoke slowly. She said: “Who are these?” They said, “Ascetics.” She said, “By Allah, when Umar ibn al-Khattab spoke, he could be heard, when he walked he walked fast, and when he hit he cause pain, and by Allah, he was a true ascetic.”
[Ash-Shaykhan min Riwayat al0baladhuri, p.226]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 288
The Caliph Umar was concerned about the people’s health. He would warn them against the consequences and dangers of being fat, and would advise them to lose weight, because that would give them strength to strive and enable them to fulfill their duties.
He used to say:“U people, beware of eating too much, for it makes you lazy in prayer, is bad for your body and causes sickness. Allah hates the fat man. Rather you should be moderate in your eating, for that is closer to righteousness and farther removed from extravagance, and makes one stronger to worship Allah. No person will be doomed unless he gives precedence to his desires over his religious commitments."
[Al-Khaleefah al-Farooq by Dr. Abdur Rahman al-Ani, p.124]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 288-289
Umar asked about a man from Syria who was very strong (and whom he noticed was absent). It was said to him that he had persisted in drinking alcohol. He said to his scribe to write:“From Umar ibn al-Khattab to so and so. Peace be upon you. I praise Allah beside Whom there is no other god. In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful."
“Ha. Meem. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran, and none but Allah (alone) knows their meanings.] the revelation of this Book is from Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Knowner. The Forgiver of sin, the Acceptor of repentance, the Severe in punishment, the Bestower [of favours]. La ilaha illa Huwa [none has the right to be worshipped but He], to Him is the final return.”
Then he sealed the letter and said to the messenger,“Do not give it to him except when he is sober.”Then he commanded those who were with him to pray for his repentance. When the letter reached the man, he sarted to read it and said,“My Lord has promised to forgive me, and has warned me of HIS punishment,”and he kept repeating it until he wept. Then he gave up wine and kept away from it.
When Umar heard of that he said,“This is what you should do. If you see that one of you has slipped, correct him, pray for him and do not help the Shaytan against him (by insulting him. etc)
[Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 15/256]
From this attitude we can see the genius in Umar’s method of disciplining people and his knowledge of human nature and the ways of correcting people. What may benefit one person may harm another. This is an example of successful discipline and kind methods of correction. Despite all his huge responsibilities and preoccupations, the caliph noticed the absence of one who regularly attended his gathering, and he did not ignore the matter, rather he asked about him so that he could deal with any problem that might need dealing with. Today a man may be absent and no one notices his brother’s absence, let alone asking why he is absent and trying to help if necessary. This carelessness is one of the factors that has led to the collapse of Islamic Brotherhood. This is not the way of Muslims who know that they are brothers. Will anyone pay attention? We hope so.
[Shaheed al-Mihrab, p.208]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 289-291
Amr ibn al-As wrote to Umar telling him about an Egyptian custom whereby the people threw a young girl into the river every year. They said to him:”O Governor, this Nile of our will not flow otherwise.”He asked,“What do you mean?”They said,“When it is the twelfth of this month, we look for a virgin girl who is still with her parents, and we make a deal with her parents, then we dress her in the finest jewellery and clothes, and throw her into this Nile.”Amr said to them,“This cannot be allowed in Islam, for Islam erases what came before it.”For a while, the Nile did not flow at all, and the people thought of migrating. Then Amr wrote to Umar ibn al-Khattab and told him of that. He wrote back saying,“You have done the right thing. I have sent you a piece of paper in this letter; throw it into the Nile.”
When his letter came, Amr took out the piece of pare, on which was written:“From the slave of Allah and Ameer al-Mumineen to the Nile of the people of Egypt. If the decision of flowing is up to you, then do not flow, for we have no need of you. But if you flow by the command of Allah, the One, the Subduer, Who is the One Who makes you flow, then we ask Allah to make you flow.”
He threw the piece of paper into the Nile and when they woke up on Saturday, they found that allah had caused the Nile to flow to a depth of sixteen cubits in a single night. Thus Allah put an end to this evil custom of Egyptians.
[Al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah, 7/102-103. Ali at-Tantawi said: We have published it because it is so well known, not because it is saheeh]
Umar explained the meaning of tawheed in this piece of paper and stated that the Nile only flowed by the will and decree of Allah. He proved to the people the falseness of their belief, which was deeply rooted in their hearts. Through his wise actions he eradicated this belief from the hearts of the Egyptians.
[Fann al-Hukm, p.347]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 294-295
"You are just a stone; you do not cause harm or bring benefit":
It was narrated from Abis ibn Rabee’ah that Umar RA came to the Black Stone and kissed it, and then he said: “I know that you are just a stone; you do not cause harm or bring benefit. If I had not seen the Prophet kiss you, I would not have kissed you.”
[Bukhari, Hadith no.1597]
This is following (the Sunnah) in the best sense. Ibn Hajar said that at-Tabari said: “Umar RA only said that because the people had only recently given up idol worship, and he was afraid that the ignorant might think that acknowledging the stone was a kind of veneration of stones, which is what the Arabs used to do during Jahiliyyah. Umar wanted it to be known that acknowledging the stone was following the action of the Prophet SAW. Then Ibn Hajar said:“The words of Umar represent submission to the Lawgiver in matters of religion, and following (the Sunnah) in the proper manner where the reason is not explained, which is an important principle in following the Prophet SAW in matters where one does not know the wisdom behind it."
[Fath al-Bari, 3/590, 591]
This attitude – following the Sunnah and being eager to do so – is one of the factors in the success of the Sahabah. They knew that it was essential to follow the Sunnah so that Allah would grant them help and support.
[Min Akhlaq an-Nasr fee Jeel as-Sahabah, p.23]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 295-296
Ibn Sa’d narrated with a saheeh isnad from Nafi that Umar heard that some people were going to the tree of ar-Ridwan and praying there. He warned them, then he ordered that it be cut down, and it was cut down.
[At-Tareekh al-Islami, 19, 20/160; Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, 2/100]
This was Umar’s attitude in defending Tawheed and eradicating the causes of fitnah when those Tabi’een did something that the Sahabah had never done. This was an innovation which may have led to them worshipping that tree later on, so he ordered that it be cut down.
[Ibid, 19, 20/260]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 296
"Do you want to take the places where your Prophet went as places of worship?":
It is narrated with a saheeh isnad that Umar ibn al-Khattab RA was on a journey and he saw people frequenting a place and praying there.
He asked: “What is this?”
They said,“A place where the Messenger of Allah prayed.”
He said,“Those who came before you were destroyed because of this. They took the places where their Prophets went as places of worship. If a person is there when the time for prayer comes, let him pray, otherwise let him move on.”
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 296-297
The Prophet SAW used to enjoin the Muslims to pray and he emphatically denounced those who did not attend prayers in congregation. Abu Bakr followed his example, and when Umar became Caliph he paid attention to the matter of prayer and made them pray, and punished those who did not pray.
He wrote to his governors saying:“One of the most important issues in my view is the prayer. Whoever prays regularly and takes care of the matter and focuses in the prayer has protected his religious commitment and is doing well, but whoever neglects it is more likely to neglect other religious obligations too.”
It was narrated that Aslam, the freed slave of Umar ibn al-Khattab RA said: “Some merchants came to Madeenah and camped int the prayer-place.
Umar said to Abdur Rahman ibn Awf,“Shall we go and guard them tonight?” He said, ‘Yes’.
So they guarded them overnight. They prayed and Umar heard a child crying. He went towards him and said to his mother, “Fear Allah and look after your child.”
Then he went back to his place. At the end of the night, he heard the child crying again, so he went to his mother and said to her,“Woe to you, what a bad mother you are! Why has your child not stopped crying all night?”
She said,“O slave of Allah, I am distracting him from nursing but he refuses to accept that.” He said,‘Why?’ She said, ”Because, Umar does not give a stipend except to children who are weaned.”Umar had allocated a stipend to every child who was weaned. He said, ”How old is this son of yours?” She said,“So many months.” He said,“Woe to you, do not hasten to wean him.”
When he prayed Fajr, the people could not hear his recitation clearly because of his weeping. He said,”Woe to Umar, how many of the Muslims children has he killed?”
Then he ordered a caller to cry out:“Do not hasten to wean your children, for we will give a stipend to every children born in Islam,”and he wrote instructions to that effect to all the regions.
[Al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah, 7/140]
What a beautiful story this is, and how great was his justice. Thus every newborn was recorded in the state records and allocated a stipend from the bayt al-mal of the Muslims, because the bayt al-mal belongs to all Muslims, and the one who is in charge of it is a trustee and it is not permissible for him to dispose of any of it unlawfully or to withhold anything from one who is entitled to it.
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 317-318
"Will you carry my burden for me on the Day of Resurrection?"
It was narrated that Aslam the freed salve of Umar RA said: Umar went out to Harrat Waqim, and I went with him. When we were in Sarar, we saw a fire burning. He said,“O Aslam, I see here some travelers who are being held up by the night and the cold; let’s go.”So we went running and when we came near to them, we saw a woman with children. There was a pot set up over the fire, and her children were crying. Umar said, “Peace be upon you, O people of the light.” She said,“And upon you be peace.”
He said,“May I come closer?” She said,“Come if you can do some good, otherwise leave us alone.”
He came close and said,“What is the matter with you?” She said,“The night and the cold held us up.”
He said,“What is the matter with these children; why are they crying?” She said,“They are hungry.”
He said,“What is in the pot?” She said, “Water, to calm them down until they go to sleep, and Allah will judge between us and Umar."
He said, “May Allah have mercy on you, how could Umar know about you?” She said,“How come he is in charge of our affairs, but he is not aware of our situation?”
He turned to me and said,“Let’s go.”So we set off running until we came to the room where wheat was stored. He took out a sack of wheat and a little fat, and said, “Hoist it up onto me.” I said, “I will carry it for you.”
He said,“Will you carry my burden for me on the Day of Resurrection, May you bereft of your mother?”
So I hoisted it up onto him and he set out running and I ran with him. When he reached her, he put those things down. He took out some of the wheat and said to her,“Prepare it for me and I will cook it for you.”He started blowing beneath the pot and I saw the smoke coming out through his beard. He cooked it for her, and brought it to her, and said, “Bring me something.”So she brought him a vessel and he poured it into it, then said, “Feed them and I will spread it out (to cool) for them.”He stayed until they had eaten their fill, and he left the leftover food with her.
He got up, and I got up with him, and she started to say, “May Allah reward you with good; you are more suited to be the Caliph than Ameer al-Mumineen.” He said,“Say something good, and if you go to the Ameer al-Mumineen, you will find me there insha Allah.”
Then he walked some distance away from her, then turned to face them again and waited a while. I said to him,“Is there anything else?”but he did not answer me, until I saw the boys wrestling then falling asleep, having calmed down. Then he stood up and said,“Praise be to Allah, The Exalted, The Almighty.”
Then he turned to me and said,“O Aslam, hunger kept them awake and made them cry; I did not want to leave until I saw what I saw.”
Harrah – It is an area with black volcanic rocks. Madeenah is situated between two harrahs. Sarar – A place located three miles from Madeenah.
Umar RA learned from Islam that in every living being there is reward, and that it is not permissible in Islam to abuse animals, to destroy them for no reason, to use them in ways for which they were not created or to force them to do more than they are able.
[Shaheed al-Mihrab, p.226]
“Will you burden your camel with more than it can bear?”
It was narrated that al-Musayyib ibn Darim said: I saw Umar ibn al-Khattab RA beating a camel driver and saying,“Will you burden your camel with more than it can bear?”
[Mahd as-Sawab, 2/469]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 325-326
Al-Ahnaf ibn Qays said: “We came to Umar with news of a great conquest, and he asked,“Where are you staying?”I said,“In such and such a place.”He came with me until we reached the place where the animals were resting, and he checked them over and asked,“Will you not fear Allah with regard to these mounts of yours? Do you not know that they have rights over you? Why did you not let them loose so that they could eat of the vegetation of the earth?”
[Nidham al-Hukm fee ash-Shareeah wa at-Tareekh, 2/605]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 325-326
"An animal has been made to suffer because of Umar's wishes:"
Umar wanted some fresh fish, so Yarfa – his freed slave – took a camel and travelled two days there and two days back to buy some fish and bring it to him. Yarfa went and washed the sweat from his mount. Umar looked at it and said,“An animal has been made to suffer because of Umar’s wishes. By Allah, Umar will never taste that (fish).”
[Ar-Riyad an-Nadrah, p.408]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 327
Umar opened his khutbah with words of great wisdom, in which he explained that true richness comes with contentment and that true poverty comes with greed. The basis of contentment is showing no interest in what other people have. Whoever shows no interest in what other people have will be content with what he has, and whoever is content with what he has is rich even if he is poor. Whoever is controlled by greed and looks at what others have will feel that he is poor even if he has a great deal of wealth, because his wealth is not making him feel independent. Richness is richness of the heart, and common sense dictates that a person should not acquire more than he needs of worldly wealth, and his worldly ambitions should not be attached to that which he does not possess; he should regard this world as something transient and not be deceived by its attractions and temptations.
[At-Tareekh al-Islami. 20/266]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 335-336
Umar RA said: “Whoever conceals his secrets will have the choice (of telling whomever he wants to tell), but whoever speaks or acts in a suspicious manner should not blame anyone who thinks badly of him. Do not think badly of a word spoken by your brother when you can still find good ways to interpret it. Think positively of your brother until you are certain that he is not like that. Do not swear a great deal lest Allah humiliate you. There is no better reward for one who disobeys Allah concerning you than you obeying Allah concerning him. You should seek sincere friends and maintain good relations with them, for they are a pleasure at times of ease and a support at times of calamity.”
Abu Ad-Darda said:“Seek knowledge; if you connot, then love its people; and if you do not love them, then do not hate them."
"Learn and teach, for the scholar and the learner are equal in reward. But you will never be a scholar until you are a learner and you will never be a learner until you act on what you know."
[Siyar A’lam an-Nubala, 2/347]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 363
Mu’adh ibn Jabal RA encouraged people to seek knowledge, and he said:“Seek knowledge, for learning for the sake of Allah is piety, seeking it is worship, discussing it is tasbeeh, pursuing it is jihad, and teaching it to one who does not know it is charity. Knowledge shows us what is halal and what is haram, and is the beacon of the people of paradise. It brings comfort when one is lonely and shows the correct way to behave at times of ease and times of hardship. It is a weapon against one’s enemies. Allah raises people (in status) because of it and makes them the elite, leaders whose examples is followed and whose opinion is adopted."
[Ibid, p.285; Hilyah al-Awliya, 1/239]
From - Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 366