The Life of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA)

“Whoever wants to follow a path, let him follow the path of those who have died because the living ones could fail in their trials. Those are the companions of Muhammad (SAWS)” ~ ‘AbduLlah ibn Mas’ud (RA) addressing the Tabi’in

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “There were people who were Muhadathoon in the nations before me and if there is going to be a Muhadath in my Ummah, it would be ‘Umar.”

Muhadath as said by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (RAH) means:
1) Man who is inspired by Allah (SWT).
2) The man whose intuition is right because of something that is put in his heart
3) The one who speaks the truth, in other words the truth flows naturally from his mouth without even intending.
4) He’s a man whom Angels speak to without him being a Prophet.


The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Allah (SWT) shows the truth on the tongue of ‘Umar and his heart.”

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “If there is going to be a Prophet after me, it would be ‘Umar.”

The Prophet (SAWS) once said to ‘Umar (RA), “You are similar to the Prophets Nuh and Musa.” (Because of their strength)

‘Umar (RA) once said, “I am not a deceiver nor I will allow someone to deceive me!”

His Physical Description:

‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA) was born 11 years after the year of the Elephant and accepted Islam when he was 27 years old. He saw described as to be a towering figure. Whenever he would be with any group, he would be the tallest amongst them. It was said that if one would see him from a distance in a group, it would seem that he was riding his mount whilst everybody around him was standing. He was very well built. He wasn’t over-weight but he had a lot of flesh on his bones but it was muscle. He was a wrestler in Jahiliyyah. His limbs were large. He was bald-headed. He was fair-skinned and there was some redness in his colour. He used henna in his hair. The tips of his moustache were long and he used to twist them in his fingers whenever he became upset. He was described as when he would walk he would walk fast, when he would speak you could definitely hear him and when he struck he would strike with strength. His presence was intimidating to his enemy and it would strike fear even in his friends. Once ‘Umar (RA) was walking and he turned around and saw a pregnant lady, and she then had a miscarriage. The Sahabah (RA) were then debating that if ‘Umar (RA) would have to pay blood money on that or not but ‘Ali (RA) then said that blood money was required to be paid but from Bayt al-Maal. When the enemies of Allah (SWT) would hear the name of ‘Umar (RA), their knees would shake and their hearts would tremble.

His Parents:

His father was al-Khattab bin Nufail. ‘Umar (RA)’s father was a very tough man and had a very tough upbringing. When he (RA) became a caliph, he came to the place where he used to be a shepherd and said, “La Ilaha IllaLah The Most High and The Greatest who gives whatever He wants whatever He wants to whomever He wants. I used to be the shepherd for my father in this place and I would wear some harsh wool clothes. And my father was harsh and he would make me exhausted when I would work and he would beat me up if I don’t work and today there is no one between me and Allah.” Once ‘Umar called people to the Masjid and when they all assembled, ‘Umar stood on the pulpit and said, “I had some aunts and I would take their goats or sheep to this valley and I would come back at the end of the day and they would give me a handful of dates or raisins and I would have a miserable day.” Then he came down from the pulpit. Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf (RA) said, “You haven’t done more than belittle yourself.” ‘Umar (RA) replied, “Woe to you son of ‘Awf! My nafs was telling me that you are Ameer-ul-Mu’minin so you who is better than you? So I wanted to teach myself a lesson and let it know who it is.” His mother was the cousin of Abu Jahl and her name was Himtimah bint Hisham.

His Marriage:

He married 7 or 8 in total:

1) Zaynab bint Madh’un during Jahiliyyah and she was the mother of ‘AbduLlah, ‘Abdul Rahman (the eldest) and Hafsah (RA)
2) Maleeka bint Jarwal and she was the mother of ‘UbaydiLlah (RA) and he divorced her.
3) Quraybah bint Abi Makhzoom and he later on divorced who then married ‘Abdul Rahman ibn Abi Bakr (RA).
4) Umm Hakim bin al-Harith (the wife of ‘Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl {RA}) and ‘Umar (RA) married her when ‘Ikrimah (RA) died in battle of Yarmuk. She was the mother of Fatimah (RA)
5) Jamilah bint ‘Asim bin Thaabit.
6) ‘Aatiqah bint Zayd bin ‘Amr bin Nufail who his relative and was married before to ‘AbduLlah ibn Abi Bakr. When ‘Umar (RA) died, she married az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam.
7) ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA) wanted to marry the youngest daughter of Abu Bakr (RA), Umm Kulthum who was born after the death of Abu Bakr (RA) but she refused. ‘Aishah (RA) told her, “You don’t want to marry Ameer ul-Mu’minin?” She said, “His lifestyle is harsh.” So ‘Aishah (RA) told ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas (RA) about her and he went to ‘Umar (RA) and said, “I have a suggestion for you. Why don’t you marry the Umm Kulthum, the daughter of ‘Ali? Because by marrying her, you’ll have a relationship into the family of RasuluLlah.” So ‘Umar (RA) asked her hand in marriage and she agreed and he married her.
8) Luhayyayah was either slave-girl or his wife, there’s a difference of opinion on this. She bore him Abdul Rahman the youngest.
9) Fuqayhah was a slave-girl and she was the mother of Zaynab.

His Children:

He had 13 children in total: Zayd al-Akbar, Zayd al-Asghar (he named two of his sons Zayd because his elder brother was Zayd whom he used to love very much and who died as a shaheed), ‘Asim, ‘AbduLlah, ‘Abdul Rahman al-Akbar, ‘Abdul Rahman al-Awsat, ‘Abdul Rahman al-Asghar (he name three of his sons ‘Abdul Rahman because he used to love the name very much), ‘Ayaad and ‘UbaydiLlah. Hafsah, Ruqayyah, Zaynab and Fatimah (RA).

His Work:

His first work was as shepherd for his father and his aunts. He then started a business in which he was very successful. He would travel to Syria and Yemen and traded. He became one of the wealthiest men of Quraysh. He was also a wrestler and was unbeatable.

Conversion to Islam

Al-Faruq

From the house of his sister, Umar proceeded to the house of Arqam at the foot of the Safa hill, where the Holy Prophet was lodged.

Umar knocked at the door of the house of Arqam.

"Who comes", enquired the guard.

"Umar bin al-Khattab". said Umar.

As the guard peeped through the door he saw that Umar had buckled his sword. The guard therefore hesitated to open the door.

Hamza said to the guard, "Open the door; if he comes in peace he will be welcome. If he is bent on mischief, we are enough to overpower him".

Umar was admitted. Hamza caught him by the hem of his cloak and said, "Umar, what brings you here?" The Muslims with drawn swords surrounded Umar, so that he could be overpowered if he showed any signs of violence.

Hearing the noise, the Holy Prophet came out of his cell. Addressing Hamza the Holy Prophet said, "Leave him Let him come forward".

As Umar stepped forward the Holy Prophet said Umar, how long will you stray from the path of Islam. Has the time not come for you to see the truth?"

Umar said, "Verily the time has come for me to see the truth. I have come to profess my faith in Islam".

The Holy Prophet stretched his hand. Umar held the hand with reverence and said, "I declare that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God".

In joy the Muslims shouted "Allah-o-Akbar". The Holy Prophet embraced Umar. The other Muslims embraced Umar one by one. Umar was the fortieth person to become a Muslim.

That day even Gabriel congratulated the Holy Prophet on the conversion of Umar. Gabriel said: "O Prophet of God, the dwellers in Heaven rejoice at the conversion of Umar and offer you their congratulations". Intoxicated with the joy of having become a Muslim, Umar proceeded to various parts of Mecca to announce that he had become a Muslim. He first went to the house of his maternal uncle Abu Jahl. He knocked at the door of the house of Abu Jahl.

"Who comes", asked Abu Jahl.

"It's Umar", said Umar. Abu Jahl opened the door and said,

"Welcome nephew". Umar said,

"Uncle do you know, I have become a Muslim." Abu Jahl said,

"Do not talk like that. I know that a man of your views can never become a Muslim". Umar said,

"No, uncle it is a fact that I have become a Muslim." Abu Jahl thereupon said,

"If what you say is true then be damned". Saying this Abu Jahl shut the door in the face of Umar.

Thereafter Umar went to see some other Quraish chiefs. He told them of his conversion to Islam. Like Abu Jahl they damned him and shut the doors of their houses against him.

Then Umar proceeded to the Ka'bah. There he saw Jamil bin Ma'mar al-Jamahi who enjoyed reputation for spreading reports in Mecca. Umar told him that he had accepted Islam. Jamil rose from his feet, and cried at the top of his voice:

"O ye Quraish, know that Umar bin al Khattab has been converted to Islam, and apostatized from the faith of his forefathers. "

On hearing this some Quraish youth gathered at the Ka'bah. Umar said,

"What Jamil said is not correct. I have not apostatised: I have seen the truth and accepted Islam". Thereupon the Quraish youth rushed at Umar with a view to beating him. A Shaikh dressed in Yemeni robes Al-Aas bin Wail passed that way, and enquired what was the matter. The Quraish said that Umar had apostatised, and they wanted to punish him for straying from the faith of his forefathers. The Shaikh said,

"A man should be free to choose whatever religion he iikes. Why beat him for that?" Abu Jahl also happened to come that way. Seeing the Quraish, he said,

"I offer protection to my nephew". Umar said,

"Uncle, I do not need your protection. For me the protection of God and the Holy Prophet is enough".

Then Umar went to the Holy Prophet and told him that he had publicly announced his conversion. Heretofore those who were converted to Islam kept their conversion to Islam secret for fear of the oppression of the Quraish. They also prayed in secret. Umar submitted to the Holy Prophet:

"O Messenger of God are we not in the truth?". The Holy Prophet said,

"Why not, we are verily in the truth".

"Then why should we not pray in the public? Has not the time come for us to declare our faith publicly?" said Umar. Umar tried to prevail on the Holy Prophet that the truth of Islam should become manifest. The Holy Prophet agreed with Umar.

The following day all the Muslims emerged from the house of Arqam and proceeded to the Holy Ka'bah, in two lines, one led by Umar, and the other by Hamza. At the Ka'bah the Muslims prayed openly. The Quraish watched the Muslims pray and said, "Verily by the conversion of Umar to Islam, the Muslims have taken the revenge from the Quraish".

After the Muslims had prayed in the Ka'bah, the Holy Prophet conferred on Umar the title of "Al-Faruq," for on that day through the efforts of Umar, the truth of Islam had become manifest.  

Umar ibn al-Khattab, al-Farooq (in Arabic, عمر بن الخطاب) (c. 581 - November, 644), sometimes referred to as Umar Farooq or just as Omar or Umar, was the second caliph of Islam (634-644). He is regarded by Sunnis as one of the first four Khulfa-e-Rashidun (in Persian and Urdu, خلفأے راشدین) (or "Rightly Guided Caliphs").

Umar was born in Mecca around 581 to the Adi clan of the Quraish Tribe. He is said to have belonged to a middle class family. He was literate, which was uncommon in those times, and he was also well known for his physical strength, being a champion wrestler.

When Muhammad first declared his message of Islam, Umar resolved to defend the traditional religion of the Quraish (regarded by Muslims as idolatry). With his sword in his hand, he set out intending to kill Muhammad. While on his way he was told that his sister had became a Muslim. He went to her and found her reciting verses of the Qur'an. He became infuriated and gave her a slap which caused a bloody wound. His sister did not lose spirit and eventualy Umars heart softened and he converted to Islam in the same moment.

Umar was part of the first emigration (Hijra) to Yathrib (renamed Medinat al Nabi, or simply Medina shortly thereafter) in 622 C.E. (also known as year 1 A.H., Anno Hegirae, in the Islamic Calender, which was instituted by Umar in 638). He was one of the companions, or close associates of Muhammad.

Sunnis claim that The Prophet once said that "Satan amongst men amd Jinn flee from Umar". Once a hypocrite amongst the Muslims had a fight with a Jew. It is said that the Jew knew that he was right and that Muhammad would favour him. So he took the case to the prophet. As the Jew had thought, the prophet decided that the Jew was right. So the Jew was favored. The Muslim hypocrite did not like it. He took the case to Umar. When the jew narrated how the prophet had made the judgement, Umar was so enraged with the Muslim hypocrite he told him to wait and went inside and came back with his sword and chopped his head off saying if you did not accept Muhammad's (Peace Be Upon Him)decision then you are not a Muslim you are a hypocrite. From that day Umar Sunnis claim that Umar was given the title "Al Faruq". It means one who can distinguish between the good and bad.

When war broke out between Mecca and Medina; Umar accompanied in several of the battles.

Hazrat Umar Farooq (Radi Allah Unho)

ELECTION

Before he passed away, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) consulted the senior Sahaba and elected Sayyiduna

Umar (radi Allahu anhu) as the second Caliph of the Muslims.

EARLY LIFE

He was the son of Khattab and is famous in Islamic history as "Al Farooq" or "One who Distinguishes between

Right and Wrong." His acceptance of Islam is also very famous.

AS A CALIPH

Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) was a very brave and straight-forward person. He was tough and uncompromising

in Islamic principles. He was a great and talented ruler. During his Khilaafat, vast areas of the Roman and Persian

empires and the whole of Egypt were brought under Islamic rule. He was also a gifted orator. He was very concerned

for the welfare of the Muslims. He left a honourable legacy for Muslims after him. The Holy Quran was given to him

by Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) for safe-keeping.

APPOINTS NEW COMMANDER

Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anu) was a strong disciplinarian. He noticed the tremendous popularity of Sayyiduna

Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu). He felt that people will lose trust in Almighty Allah and put all their trust in

Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu). He feared that the people may think too highly of him, thereby possibly

increasing the self-esteem of Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) which would also breed arrogance, so he

removed Sayyiduna Khalid (radi Allahu anhu) and appointed Sayyiduna Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (radi Allahu anhu) as

the Commander in Chief of the Muslim army.

Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) happily accepted the orders of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) and

then served as an ordinary soldier. This is an example of the Islamic teachings of obedience to leadership!

DEFEAT OF THE PERSIANS

Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) had left Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu) in command of the

Muslim forces on the Iraqi front when he rushed to Yarmuk. Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu) was finding it

difficult to counter the enemy and went personally to Madinatul Munawwarah to ask Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu

anhu) for re-inforcements. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) had by that time passed away.

Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu's) absence from the Iraqi front made things worse there. The Iranians

regrouped under the command of Rustam and recaptured the lands taken by the Muslims. Rustam sent 2 columns of

his army, one to Hirah and the other to Kaskar.

Islamic Article: Hazrat Umar Farooq (Radi Allah Unho)

NooreMadinah Network - http://www.NooreMadinah.net

Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) sent Sayyiduna Abu Ubaidah (radi Allahu anhu), as Commander, to deal with the

situation. Both the Persian columns were defeated. Rustam sent an even larger army and defeated the Muslims.

Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) raised another army and defeated the Persians. But the Persian court sent yet

another larger army, and forced Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu) to withdraw. The report of the new situation

was sent to Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) and reinforcements under the command of Sayyiduna Saad bin Abi

Waqqas (radi Allahu anhu) were sent.

The Persian and Muslim army met at Qadisiyah. After a long battle on several fronts, the outnumbered Muslim army

defeated the 120 000 Persian soldiers and recaptured Hirah and their areas in the year 14 A.H. (636 C.E).

DEFEAT OF THE ROMANS

Muslims laid siege to Damascus during Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu's) rule as Caliph. It continued, after he

passed away, and lasted 70 days during the rule of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu). After the long siege,

Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) took the Romans by surprise and entered the city. The Governor

surrendered and a peace treaty was signed.

CONQUEST OF JERUSALEM

Meanwhile, Sayyiduna Amr ibn As (radi Allahu anhu) was laying siege to Jerusalem. Sayyiduna Khalid, Sayyiduna Abu

Ubaidah and other Sahaba (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in) also joined him. The Christians had little hope and decided

to give in. They also suggested that the keys of Jerusalem be given to Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) himself

personally. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) went to Jerusalem. An agreement was signed that guaranteed the

safety of the city and the safety of the Christians.

ASSASSINATION

A Persian non-Muslim, named Firoz and nicknamed "Abu Lulu," complained to Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu)

about his master, Sayyiduna Mughirah bin Shuba (radi Allahu anhu), who imposed tax on him. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) told Firoz that the tax was reasonable. This made Firoz angry.

The next day, during the Fajr Salaah, he stabbed Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) 6 times in the back, severely

wounding the Caliph. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) passed away 3 days later in 23 A.H. He was 63 years old. He

ruled the Islamic State for 10 years, 6 months and 4 days.

REFORMS

In a short space of 10 years, Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) had been well-known for his outstanding

achievements and reforms in Islam. Some of these reforms were:-

1. He established the "Baitul Maal" (People's treasury for the state and public).

2. Judicial courts of Justice were set in the country. Judges and Magistrates handled all cases.

3. Establishment of an army headquarters for the defence of the country.

4. Construction of roads and canals.

5. Schools were established. Salaries for Imams, Mu'azzins and Ustaads were organized.

6. Masjids were improved and built in Makkatul Mukarramah and Madinatul Munawwarah. This included facilities

for the Haajis.

7. Police Stations and prisons were built.

8. Establishment of the first Islamic Lunar calendar beginning from the Hijrah.

9. Proper weights and measures introduced.

10. Population census established.

11. Built orphanages and welfare homes.

12. Established proper punishment system and banned slavery.

PERSONAL LIFE

Simplicity and devotion were the main characters of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu).

He used to wear clothes that had many patches and yet received Governors, convoys and diplomats.

He took just enough allowance from the State to have a simple meal and wear simple clothes. At times he was very poor.

He used to visit the old people and sick and even does their house work. He used to visit the houses of the soldiers and inquire about their families.

He stayed awake at night in Salaah and often kept Fast. He always supported and upheld the cause of Islam, with his wisdom, energy, dynamism and little wealth.

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