Umar ibn al- Khattab

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  1. amir_al_shahid
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    ..."God has placed truth upon Umar's tongue and heart"... (Abu Dawud, book 19, 2955)"

    Umar's Life

    During his last illness Abu Bakr had conferred with his people, particularly the more eminent among them. After this meeting they chose Umar as his successor. Umar was born into a respected Quraish family thirteen years after the birth of Muhammad (peace be on him). Umar's family was known for its extensive knowledge of genealogy. When he grew up, Umar was proficient in this branch of knowledge as well as in swordsmanship, wrestling and the art of speaking. He also learned to read and write while still a child, a very rare thing in Mecca at that time. Umar earned his living as a merchant. His trade took him to many foreign lands and he met all kinds of people. This experience gave him an insight into the affairs and problems of men. Umar's personality was dynamic, self-assertive, frank and straight forward. He always spoke whatever was in his mind even if it displeased others.

    Umar was twenty-seven when the Prophet (peace be on him) proclaimed his mission. The ideas Muhammad was preaching enraged him as much as they did the other notables of Mecca. He was just as bitter against anyone accepting Islam as others among the Quraish. When his slave-girl accepted Islam he beat her until he himself was exhausted and told her, "I have stopped because I am tired, not out of pity for you." The story of his embracing Islam is an interesting one. One day, full of anger against the Prophet, he drew his sword and set out to kill him. A friend met him on the way. When Umar told him what he planned to do, his friend informed him that Umar's own sister, Fatima, and her husband had also accepted Islam. Umar went straight to his sister's house where he found her reading from pages of the Qur'an. He fell upon her and beat her mercilessly. Bruised and bleeding, she told her brother, "Umar, you can do what you like, but you cannot turn our hearts away from Islam." These words produced a strange effect upon Umar. What was this faith that made even weak women so strong of heart? He asked his sister to show him what she had been reading; he was at once moved to the core by the words of the Qur'an and immediately grasped their truth. He went straight to the house where the Prophet was staying and vowed allegiance to him.

    Umar made no secret of his acceptance of Islam. He gathered the Muslims and offered prayers at the Ka'aba. This boldness and devotion of an influential citizen of Mecca raised the morale of the small community of Muslims. Nonetheless Umar was also subjected to privations, and when permission for emigration to Medina came, he also left Mecca. The soundness of Umar's judgment, his devotion to the Prophet (peace be on him), his outspokenness and uprightness won for him a trust and confidence from the Prophet which was second only to that given to Abu Bakr. The Prophet gave him the title 'Farooq' which means the 'Separator of Truth from False hood.' During the Caliphate of Abu Bakr, Umar was his closest assistant and adviser. When Abu Bakr died, all the people of Medina swore allegiance to Umar, and on 23 Jamadi-al-Akhir, 13 A.H., he was proclaimed Caliph.

    Umar's Caliphate

    After taking charge of his office, Umar spoke to the Muslims of Medina:

    "...O people, you have some rights on me which you can always claim. One of your rights is that if anyone of you comes to me with a claim, he should leave satisfied. Another of your rights is that you can demand that I take nothing unjustly from the revenues of the State. You can also demand that... I fortify your frontiers and do not put you into danger. It is also your right that if you go to battle I should look after your families as a father would while you are away. "O people, remain conscious of God, forgive me my faults and help me in my task. Assist me in enforcing what is good and forbidding what is evil. Advise me regarding the obligations that have been imposed upon me by God..."

    The most notable feature of Umar's caliphate was the vast expansion of Islam. Apart from Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine and Iran also came under the protection of the Islamic government. But the greatness of Umar himself lies in the quality of his rule. He gave a practical meaning to the Qur'anic injunction:

    "O you who believe, stand out firmly for justice as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it concerns rich or poor, for God can best protect both." [4:135]

    Once a woman brought a claim against the Caliph Umar. When Umar appeared on trial before the judge, the judge stood up as a sign of respect toward him. Umar reprimanded him, saying, "This is the first act of injustice you did to this woman!"

    He insisted that his appointed governors live simple lives, keep no guard at their doors and be accessible to the people at all times, and he himself set the example for them. Many times foreign envoys and messengers sent to him by his generals found him resting under a palm tree or praying in the mosque among the people, and it was difficult for them to distinguish which man was the Caliph. He spent many a watchful night going about the streets of Medina to see whether anyone needed help or assistance. The general social and moral tone of the Muslim society at that time is well-illustrated by the words of an Egyptian who was sent to spy on the Muslims during their Egyptian campaign. He reported:

    "I have seen a people, every one of whom loves death more than he loves life. They cultivate humility rather than pride. None is given to material ambitions. Their mode of living is simple... Their commander is their equal. They make no distinction between superior and inferior, between master and slave. When the time of prayer approaches, none remains behind..."

    Umar gave his government an administrative structure. Departments of treasury, army and public revenues were established. Regular salaries were set up for soldiers. A popuation census was held. Elaborate land surveys were conducted to assess equitable taxes. New cities were founded. The areas which came under his rule were divided into provinces and governors were appointed. New roads were laid, canals were lug and wayside hotels were built. Provision was made for he support of the poor and the needy from public funds. He defined, by precept and by example, the rights and privileges of non-Muslims, an example of which is the following contract with the Christians of Jerusalem:

    "This is the protection which the servant of God, Umar, the Ruler of the Believers has granted to the people of Eiliya [Jerusalem]. The protection is for their lives and properties, their churches and crosses, their sick and healthy and for all their coreligionists. Their churches shall not be used for habitation, nor shall they be demolished, nor shall any injury be done to them or to their compounds, or to their crosses, nor shall their properties be injured in any way. There shall be no compulsion for these people in the matter of religion, nor shall any of them suffer any injury on account of religion... Whatever is written herein is under the covenant of God and the responsibility of His Messenger, of the Caliphs and of the believers, and shall hold good as long as they pay Jizya [the tax for their defense] imposed on them."

    Those non-Muslims who took part in defense together with the Muslims were exempted from paying Jizya, and when the Muslims had to retreat from a city whose non-Muslim citizens had paid this tax for their defense, the tax was returned to the non-Muslims. The old, the poor and the disabled of Muslims and non-Muslims alike were provided for from the public treasury and from the Zakat funds.

    Umar's Death

    In 23 A.H., when Umar returned to Medina 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 Umar went to the mosque to lead a prayer, a Magian named Abu Lulu Feroze, who had a grudge against Umar on a personal matter, attacked him with a dagger and stabbed him several times. 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."

    Umar died in the first week of Muharram, 24 A.H., and was buried by the side of the Holy Prophet (peace be on him).
  2. Proud2BeHumble
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    Proud2BeHumble Seek Truth, Be Happy

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    :salam2:

    Hadhrat 'Umar (RA), of whom all the Muslims are justly proud, and the disbelievers still dread, was most adamant in opposing the Prophet (PBUH) and very prominent in persecuting the Muslims before he embraced Islam. One day, the Qureysh in a meeting called for somebody to volunteer himself for the assassination of the Prophet (PBUH). 'Umar (RA) offered himself for this job, at which everybody exclaimed:

    "Surely, you can do it, 'Umar!"

    With sword hanging from his neck, he set out straight away on his sinister errand. On his way he met Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas of the Zuhrah clan. Sa'ad inquired:

    "Whither! 'Umar?" 'Umar: "I am after finishing Muhammad."

    Sa'ad: "But do not you see that BanuHashim,Banu Zuhrah and Banu AbdeMunaf are likely to kill you in retaliation?"

    'Umar (upset at the warning):
    "It seems that you also have renounced the religion of your forefathers. Let me settle with you first."

    So saying, Umar drew out his sword. Sa'ad announcing his Islam, also took out his sword. They were about to start a duel when Sa'ad said:

    "You had better first set your own house in order. Your sister and brother-in-law both have accepted Islam."

    Hearing this, Umar flew into a towering rage and turned his steps towards his sister's house. The door of the house was bolted from inside and both husband and wife were receiving lessons in the Qur'an from HadhratKhabbab (RA). 'Umar knocked at the door and shouted for his sister to open it. Hadhrat Khabbab (RA) hearing the voice of 'Umar, hid himself in some inner room, forgetting to take the manuscript pages of the Holy Qur'an with him. When the sister opened the door, 'Umar hit her on the head, saying:

    "O, enemy of yourself. You too have renounced your religion." Her head began to bleed. He then went inside and inquired, "What were you doing? And who was the stranger I heard from outside?" His brother-in-law replied, "We were talking to each other." 'Umar said to him, "Have you also forsaken the creed of your forefathers and gone over to the new religion?" The brother-in-law replied, "But what if the new religion be the better and the true one?" 'Umar got beside himself with rage and fell on him, pulling his beard and beating him most savagely. When the sister intervened, he smote her so violently on her face that it bled most profusely. She was, after all, 'Umar's sister; she burst out:

    "'Umar! we are beaten only because we have become Muslims. Listen! we are determined to die as Muslims. You are free to do whatever you like.."

    When 'Umar had cooled down and felt a bit ashamed over his sister's bleeding, his eyes fell on the pages of the Qur'an left behind by Hadhrat Khabbab (RA). He said, "Alright show me, what are these?" "No," said the sister, "you are unclean and no unclean person can touch the Scripture." He insisted, but the sister was not prepared to allow him to touch the leaves unless he washed his body. 'Umar at last gave in. He washed his body and then began to read the leaves. It was Surah "Taha". He started from the beginning of the Surah, and he was a changed man altogether when he came to the verse:

    "Lo! I, indeed I am Allah. There is none worthy of worship save Me. So serve me and establish Salaat for My remembrance."

    He said: "Alright, take me to Muhammad (PBUH)."

    On hearing this, Hadhrat Khabbab (RA) came out from inside and said: "O, 'Umar! Glad tidings for you. Yesterday (on Thursday night) the Prophet (PBUH) prayed to Allah, "O, Allah strengthen Islam with either 'Umar or Abu Jahl, whomsoever Thou likest'. It seems that his prayer has been answered in your favour."

    Umar then went to the Prophet (PBUH) and embraced Islam on Friday morning. 'Umar's Islam was a terrible blow to the morale of the unbelievers, but still the Muslims were few in number and the whole country was against them. The disbelievers intensified their efforts for the complete annihilation of Muslims and the extinction of Islam. With Umar (RA) on their side, the Muslims now started saying their Salaat in the Haram. Abdullah bin Mas'ood (RA) says:

    "Umar's Islam was a big triumph, his emigration to Madinah a tremendous reinforcement, and his accession to the Caliphate a great blessing for the Muslims."

  3. Proud2BeHumble
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    Proud2BeHumble Seek Truth, Be Happy

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    HIS FEAR OF ALLAH

    Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) would often hold a straw in his hand and say:

    "I wish I were a straw like this."

    Sometimes he would say: "I wish my mother had not given birth to me."

    Once he was busy with some important work when a person came to him and, complaining about some petty grievance, requested for its redress. Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) laid a lash across his-shoulders, saying:

    "When I sit for that purpose, you do not come to me but when I am engaged in other important work you come with your grievances to interrupt me."

    The person walked away. But Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyal-laho anho) sent for him and, handing his whip over to him, said:

    "You now lash me to even the matter." He said: "I forgive you for the sake of Allah."

    Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) went home, prayed a Salaat of two rakaats in repentance and upbraided himself saying:

    "0, Umar! You were low but Allah elevated you. You were wandering astray but Allah guided you. You were base but Allah ennobled you and gave you sovereignty over His people. Now one of them comes and asks you for redress of the wrong done to him, and you beat him? What answer have you to give before Allah?"

    He kept on chiding himself thus for a very long time.

    Once Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) was going on his usual round towards Harrah (a suburb of Madinah) with his slave Aslam, when he saw a distant fire in the desert. He said:

    "There seems to be a camp. Perhaps, it is a caravan that could not enter the town due to night fall. Let's go and look after them and arrange for their protection during the night."

    When he reached there, he found a woman and some children. The children were crying. The woman had a pan of water over the fire. Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) greeted her with salaam and, with her permission, went near her.

    Umar: "Why are these children crying?" The Woman: "Because they are hungry." Umar: "What is in the pan?"

    The Woman: "Only water to soothe the children, so that they may go to sleep in the belief that food is'being prepared for them. Ah! Allah will judge between Umar (Rad-hiyallaho anho) and me, on the Day of Judgement, for neglecting me in my distress."

    'Umar (weeping): "May Allah have mercy on you! How

    can Umar know of your distress?"

    The Woman: "When he is our Amir, he must keep himself informed about us."

    Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) returned to the town and straightway went to Baitul-Mal to fill a sack with flour, dates, fat and clothes, and also drew some money. When the sack was ready, he said to Aslam:

    "Now put this sack on my back, Aslam."

    Aslam: "No please, Amir-ul-Mo'mineen! I shall carry this sack."

    'Umar refused to listen to Aslam, even on his persistent requests to allow him to carry the sack, and remarked:

    "What! Will you carry my load on the Day of Judgement? I must carry this bag, for it is I who would be questioned (in the Hereafter) about this woman."

    Aslam most reluctantly placed the bag on Umar's (Radhiyallaho anho) back, who carried it with a swift pace right to the woman's tent. Aslam followed at his heels. He put a little flour and some dates and fat in the pan and began to stir. He blew (with his mouth) into the fire to kindle it. Aslam says:

    "I saw the smoke passing through his thick beard."

    After some time, the pottage was ready. He himself served it to the family. When they had eaten to their fill, he made over to them the little that was left for their next meal. The children were very happy after their meal and began to play about merrily. The woman felt very grateful and remarked:

    "May Allah reward you for your kindness ! In fact you deserve to take the place of Khalifah instead of 'Umar."

    'Umar consoled her and said: "When you come to see the Khalifah, you will find me there."

    He sat for a while at a place close by and kept on watching the children. He then returned to Madinah. On his way back, he said to Aslam:

    "Do you know why I sat there, Aslam? I had seen them weeping in distress; I liked to see them laughing and happy for some time."

    It is said that Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) while leading Fajr Salaat used to recite 'Kaht, *Taha' and other such Soorahs in his Salaat, and would weep so much that his crying could be heard way back to several rows. Once he was reciting Surah 'Yusuf in Fajr. When he came to the verse:

    "I only plead for my distress and anguish unto Allah," (XII: 86)

    he wept so much that he could not recite any further. In Tahajjud, he would sometimes fall to the ground and would get indisposed with excessive weeping.

    Such was the fear of Allah in Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) whose name struck terror in the hearts of the mightiest monarchs of his time. Even today, the people are filled with awe when they read about him. Is there any person in power today who is prepared to show such kindness to the people in his charge?
  4. Proud2BeHumble
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    Proud2BeHumble Seek Truth, Be Happy

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    HIS DAILY ALLOWANCE

    Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) also lived by trade. When he was made Khalifah after Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho), he assembled the people and said to them:

    "I earned my living through trade. As you people have engaged me as Khalifah, I cannot attend to my business. Now. what about my living?"

    Different amounts of daily allowance from the Bait-ul-Mal were suggested by different people. Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallaho anho) did not speak. 'Umar inquired of him:

    "Oh Ali what is your suggestion?" He replied:

    I suggest that you should take such amount as may be on average be sufficient for your family."

    Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) accepted his suggestion and a moderate amount was fixed as his daily allowance.

    Later on, some people including Hadhrat Alt, Hadhrat Usman, Hadhrat Zubair and Hadhrat Talhah (Radhiyallaho anhum) once proposed that Hadhrat Umar's (Radhiyallaho anho) allowance might be increased, as it was hardly sufficient for him, but nobody dared to suggest that to Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho).

    People approached Ummul-momineen Hadhrat Hafsah (radhiyallaho anha), his daughter, and requested her to ascertain 'Umar's (Radhiyallaho anho) reaction to the suggestion without mentioning their names to him. When Hadhrat Hafsah (Radhiyallaho anha) talked about it to Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho), he became angry and said:

    "Who are the persons making this suggestion?" Hadhrat Hafsah (Radhiyallaho anha): "Let me first know your opinion."

    Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho):

    "If I knew them, I would smite them on their faces Hafsah! just tell me what was the Prophet's best dress in your house?"

    Hadhrat Hafsah (Radhiyallaho anha):

    "It was a pair of reddish brown clothes, which the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) wore on Friday or while receiving some envoy."

    Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho): "What was the best of food that the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) ever took at your house?"

    Hadhrat Hafsah (Radhiyallaho anha): "Simple barley bread was the only food we used to take. One day I anointed a piece of bread with the sediments from an empty butter tin, and he ate it with relish and offered it to others as well."

    Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho): What was the best bedding that the Prophet ever used in your house?"

    Hadhrat Hafsah (Radhiyallaho anha): "It was a piece of thick cloth. In the summer it was spread in four layers, and in the winter in two, half he spread underneath and with the other half he covered himself."

    Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho): "Hafsah! Go and tell these people that the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) has set a standard by his personal example. I must follow him. My example and that of my other two companions viz., the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) and Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) is like that of three men travelling on the same road.

    The first man started with a provision and reached the goal. The second followed the first and joined him. Now the third is on his way. If he follows their way, he will also join them, otherwise he can never reach them."

    Such is the life of the person who was a dread for the monarchs of the world. What a simple life he lived! Once he was reciting the Khutbah when it was noticed that his lower cloth had as many as twelve patches, including one of leather. Once he came late for his Jumu'ah prayer and told the congregation:

    "Excuse me, people! I got late because I was washing my clothes and had no other clothes to put on."

    Once he was having his meal when 'Utbah bin Abi Farqad (Radhiyallaho anho) asked permission to see him.

    He allowed him in and invited him to share the food with him. 'Utbah (Radhiyallaho anho) started eating, but the bread was so coarse that he could not swallow it. He said:

    "Why don't you use fine flour for your bread, 'Umar?"

    He said: "Can every Muslim afford fine flour for his bread ?"

    'Utbah replied, "No. Everybody cannot afford it."

    He remarked, "Alas! You wish to fulfill all my pleasures while I am in this world."

    There are thousands of such stories about the illustrious Sahabah. Everybody should not try to imitate them, for we lack the physical strength of those people; and that is why the Sufi Sheikhs of our time do not recommend such exercise, which tax the body too much, as the people are already low in physical strength.

    We should however keep the life of the Sahabah as an ideal before us, so that we may at least give up some of our luxuries and lead a simpler life (judged by modern standards). With the Saha-bah's lives as an ideal, we can at least feel ashamed when vying with one another in running after the luxuries of this world.
  5. Mairo
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    Mairo Maryama

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    Assalamu aliekum

    :bismillah:

    Umar was such an excellent example of a believer guided by Allah, not only by way of his upright and kind character, but perhaps most notably by his humility and recognition of and adherence to Quran and Sunnah above all. He was also so acutely aware of his great responsibilities as a leader for those under his charge. May we all learn from his example and may Allah grant him peace.


    Some other stories from his life to add:

    In 636 CE, at the battle of Yarmuk, the Byzantines were defeated by the Muslim Army. Christian Patriarch Sophoronius offered to surrender the city if Caliph Umar (RA) himself would come in person to ratify the terms of surrender. Umar (RA) agreed to the suggestion. The encounter between these two men was very dramatic.

    Umar (RA) took to the road immediately, accompanied by a guard, and leaving Ali ibn Talib (RA) as his deputy in Madinah. Traveling by camel is a slow process. Umar (RA) and his guard would alternate mounting on the camel. So, it took few weeks before Umar (RA) arrived in Jerusalem. The crowd had gathered, and the eyes were wide open with curiosity. The Patriarch had prepared himself to meet with the most powerful ruler of his time, Caliph Umar, who had just defeated the Byzantines. From where he was standing, he saw a tall man walking, dressed in ordinary clothes, while holding the rope of a camel, and surrounded by Muslim generals; another person was riding on the camel. For a moment, the high priest, used to the pompous way Heraclius had carried his affairs, was confused as to who the Caliph was. Was the Caliph the man riding on the camel or the one pulling the camel? Eventually, recognizing the Caliph, he surrendered the key of the city. In the words of a Christian historian, Anthony Nutting, “Umar taught the caparisoned throng of Christian commanders and bishops a lesson in humility by accepting their surrender in a patched and ragged robe and seated on a donkey.” [The Arabs, New American Library, N.Y. (1964)]


    Umar (RA) was so concerned about safety and security of his subjects and their possessions that he used to say, “Should a lost goat die in the Shat al-‘Arab I tend to think that Allah, the Most Exalted, will question me about it on the Day of Judgment.” [Hilyat’ul Awliya wa Tabaqatul Asfiya: Abu Na’im al-Asfahani]



    http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muhammad_s_the_prophet_of_islam_part_6/
  6. Mairo
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    Mairo Maryama

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    :bismillah:

    When Umar R.A. entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city. Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves.

    When the Umar took Jerusalem from the Byzantine, he insisted on entering the city with only a small number of his companions. Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their lives and property were safe, and that their places of worship would never be taken from them, he asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all the holy places.

    The Patriarch invited him to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, but Umar preferred to pray outside its gates, saying that if he accepted, later generations of Muslims might use his action as an excuse to turn it into a mosque. There is now a mosque built on the spot where Umar did pray.




    Umar took pains to provide effective and speedy justice for the people. He set up an effective system of judicial administration under which justice was administered according to the principles of Islam. Qadis or judges were appointed at all administrative levels for the administration of justice and were chosen for their integrity and learning in Islamic law. High salaries were paid to them and they were appointed from the among the wealthy and those of high social standing so as not to be influenced by the social position of any litigants. The qadis were not allowed to engage in trade.

    From time to time, `Umar used to issue firmans or edicts laying down the principles for the administration of justice. One of his firmans read:

    Glory to Allah! Verily Justice is an important obligation to Allah and to man. You have been charged with this responsibility. Discharge this responsibility so that you may win the approbation of Allah and the good will of the people. Treat the people equally in your presence, and in your decisions, so that the weak despair not of justice, and the high-placed harbor no hope of favoritism. The onus of proof lies on the plaintiff, while the party who denies must do so on oath. Compromise is permissible, provided that it does not turn the unlawful into something lawful, and the lawful into something unlawful. Let nothing prevent you from changing your previous decision if after consideration you feel that the previous decision was incorrect. When you are in doubt about a question and find nothing concerning it in the Qur’an or the Sunna of the Prophet, ponder the question over and over again. Ponder over the precedents and analogous cases, and then decide by analogy. A term should be fixed for the person who wants to produce witnesses. If he proves his case, discharge for him his right. Otherwise the suit should be dismissed. All Muslims are trustworthy, except those who have been punished with flogging, those who have borne false witness, or those of doubtful integrity.

    Umar Ibn Al-Khattab Radia-allahu anhu - His Life and Times
  7. Mairo
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    Mairo Maryama

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    It was narrated that Aslam, the freed slave of 'Umar Radia-allahu anhu said: "Whilst I was with 'Umar ibn al-Khattab as he was patrolling" Madeenah, he got tired and leaned against a wall in the middle of night. He heard a woman saying to her daughter: "O' my daughter' get up and mix that milk with water."

    She said, "O' my mother, what about the decree of the Ameer al-Mu 'mineen? She said, "What was his decree?" She said, "He commanded his caller to cry out: Do not dilute milk with water." She said to her, "O' my daughter, get up dilute that milk with water, for you are in a place whether neither 'Umar nor his caller can see you." The girl said, "By Allah, I will not obey him in public and disobey him in private."

    'Umar heard all that, then he said, "0' Aslam, mark the door and remember where it is." Then he carried on with his patrol. The next day, he said,'' Aslam, go to that place and see who said that and who she said it to and whether they have a husband." He went to that place and found a single girl with no husband, and the other woman was her mother who had no man. He came to 'Umar and told him, and 'Umar called' his sons together and said, "Does any one of you need a woman to marry? If your father had any energy none of you would beat him to this girl."

    'Abdullah said, "I have a wife." 'Abdur-Rahman said,i have a wife." 'Asim said, "O' my father, I do not have a wife, so let me marry her." He sent for the girl and married her to 'Asim. She bore him a daughter, and that daughter bore a daughter, and that granddaughter bore 'Umar ibn al-'Azeez (may Allah have mercy on him) - (Mandqib Ameer al-Mu'mineen by Ibn al-Jawzi, Pp. 89, 90.)
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    Umar (Radia-allahu anhu) 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, praise Allah beside Whom there is no other god. In the Name Allah, the most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

    {Ha Meem. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'an, none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] The revelation of Book [this Qur'an] is from Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Know" The Forgiver of sin, the Acceptor of repentance, the Severe punishment, the Bestower [of favours]. La ilaha ilia Huwa [none the right to be worshipped but He], to Him is the final return.} (Qur'an 40: 1-3)}

    Then he sealed the letter and said to his messenger, "Do not give it him except when he is sober." Then he commanded those who we with him to pray for his repentance. When the letter reached the man he started 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 Shaytan against him (by insulting him, etc.)." - Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 15/256.
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    'Umar (Radia-allahu anhu) used to remember and acknowledge righteous deeds that the Muslims had done in the past. He was an excellent judge of character, and he said:

    "Do not be deceived by a man's eloquence' rather whoever fulfils trusts and refrains from impugning people' honour is a real man."

    And he used to say: "Do not look at a mans prayer or fasting; rather look at his reason and honesty."

    And he said "There are two (types of) men I do not fear for you: a believer who" faith is obvious and a kafir whose kufr is obvious. Rather I fear for you the hypocrite who hides behind a show of faith but strives some other purpose."

    ''Umar (Radia-allahu anhu) asked about a man who had given testimony, wanting to find out whether anyone could vouch for him. A man said to him: "I will vouch for him, O' Ameer al-Mu 'mineen, 'Umar asked, "Are you his neighbor?" He said, "No." He than" asked, "Did you mix with him for a day and come to know his character?" He said, "No." He asked next: "Did you travel with him For traveling and being away from home reveal a man's true essence?" He said, "No." 'Umar said, "Perhaps you saw him in the-mosque, standing, sitting and praying?" He said, "Yes." 'Umar said, Go away, for you do not know him."
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    One day the Mother of the Believers Hafsah (Radia-allahu anha) entered his place and saw that he was living a harsh and ascetic life. She said: "Allah has bestowed a lot of good things upon us, and has granted you ample provision. Why do you not eat food that is better than this, and wear finer clothes than this?"

    He said, "You tell me whether this is right or wrong." And he mentioned the Messenger of Allah and the hard life that he lived, and he kept reminding her of how the' Messenger of Allah had lived when she was with him, until he made her weep. Then he said, "I had two companions who followed a certain path, and if I follow a hard path, perhaps I will join them in their life of luxury (in Paradise)." - Az-Zuhd by Imam Ahmad, p. 125; at-Tabaqat, 3/277.

    Worldly comforts were readily available to 'Umar (Radia-allahu anhu), and many nations were conquered during his reign, but he never batted an eyelid and was not attracted to them at all. Rather all his happiness came from supporting the religion of Allah and striving to weaken the mushrikeen. Asceticism was a prominent feature of his character. - Al-Farooq Ameer al-Mu'mineen by Dr, Lamadah, p. 11.


    It was narrated that Abu al-Ashhab said:
    'Umar Radia-allahu anhu passed by a garbage dump and stopped there, and it was as if his companions were bothered by it (the smell). He said, 'This is this world of yours which you are so eager for and you weep over.''
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    It was the usual practice of Umar that he would patrol the streets and suburbs of Madina to watch the interests of the people, and attend to their needs.

    One day Umar noticed a tent pitched in an open space outside Madina. A person was sitting outside the tent, and some one inside the tent was groaning.
    Umar went to the man, greeted him, and wanted to know who he was.
    The man said that he was a man of the desert, and had come to Madina to wait on the Commander of the Faithful and seek his assistance.

    Umar next asked who was groaning inside the tent. The man said that inside the tent his wife was groaning with labor pains. He said that he was a stranger in Madina and did not know what to do. Umar enquired whether he had any woman to look after the confinement of his wife. He said that there was none.
    Umar said, "Do not worry. I will make the necessary arrangements."

    Umar came home, and asked his wife Umm Kulsum to accompany him on a mission of service. Umm Kulsum got ready and took with her such things as might be needed for the purposes of confinement. Umar took with him some provisions for the purposes of cooking a meal.
    Umar returned to the camp with his wife. Umm Kulsum went inside the tent to attend to the woman in pain, while Umar sat outside the tent with the Bedouin and began cooking some meals for him.

    After an hour or so when the meals had been cooked, Umm Kulsum from inside the tent addressed Umar: Amirul Mominin! Congratulate your guest on the birth of a son."

    Hearing this the Bedouin felt much embarrassed. Turning to Umar he said, "Amirul Mominin, why did you not reveal your identity? You have overwhelmed me with your benevolence."

    Umar put all his fears to rest saying: "That's all right. There is nothing to worry about. Thank God I have been of some service to you at the time of your need. You may come to me tomorrow and I will see what can be done further to help you".

    It was late at night when Umar and Umm Kulsum left. The Bedouin thanked God and said: "God be praised. I came to seek the Commander of the Faithful, and God sent the Commander of the Faithful to seek me."
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    It was the year of the famine. Umar took pains to ensure that adequate relief reached all people, and that there were no persons in the city who went to sleep hungry.

    One night as usual Umar went on his round. He was accompanied by his slave Aslam. As he strolled from street to street all was quiet and the people seemed to be asleep. Umar thought to himself, "Thank God, there is no one in this city whom the famine has afflicted."

    Then as he turned a corner he saw a cottage where light was burning, and from where the sound of the weeping of the children was heard. Umar went to the cottage. He saw that the lady of the house was cooking something on the hearth, and the children were crying.

    Umar knocked at the gate, and addressing the lady of the house Umar enquired why were the children crying. She said that they were crying because they were hungry. "And what are you cooking", asked Umar. The lady said that in the kettle there was only water and stones. That was to while away the children that food was being cooked for them. She hoped that exhausted the children would go to sleep.

    Hearing this tale of woe, Umar felt guilty. He had thought that because of the arrangements made by him, no one was afflicted in the city and here was a family which was starving. Umar said to the lady that he would arrange relief for her family immediately.

    Umar went to the Baitul Mal. There he put the necessary provisions in a bag and carried the bag to the cottage. His slave insisted that he would carry the bag, but Umar said that he would carry his burden himself. Umar handed over the bag of provisions to the lady. Umar sat by the hearth and helped the lady cook the meals. When the meals were ready the children were awakened and served with the delicious meals. As the children ate to their fill and were satisfied they smiled the smile of happiness. Seeing the destitute children smile Umar also felt happy.

    Umar enquired of the lady whether there was none to support. She said that the father of the children had died, and there was no body to support. Whatever little was in the house had been gradually used up and they were starving since the last three days.

    Umar asked the lady why she had not brought her distress to the notice of the Caliph. The lady said that in spite of her poverty she had some sense of self-respect and she could not go and beg the Caliph for any favor. She added that it was incumbent on the Caliph to ascertain that there was no one in his charge who was starving.

    Umar said, "You are right. Please excuse me for the remissness in the past. For the future it will be my responsibility to see that your wants are satisfied."

    And when the lady realized that the man who had come to her relief was the Caliph himself, she felt satisfied that the Caliph had discharged his onerous responsibilities creditably.
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    In the beginning there was considerable harshness in him. Precisely for this reason did people avoid coming out of their homes in the initial period of Hadhrat Umar’s khilaafat. Observing this, he delivered a lengthy khutbah in which he said:

    “People! I was hard until there were among you kind and beneficent men such as Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu). The combination of my hardness and their softness has brought about moderation. But, now I shall not be harsh on you. My hardness will be for only the oppressors. O People! If I oppose the Sunnat of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and the way of Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu), what will you do?”

    After he posed this question several times, a man stood up brandishing a sword and indicated with it that he would sever his (Umar’s) neck. This audacity did not anger him in the least. On the contrary, this answer pleased him.

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