Martyrdom of Hazrat Farooq-e-Azam (may Allah be pleased with him)
In 23 A.H., when Hazrat Umar returned to Madinah from Hajj, he raised his hands and prayed:
“O God! I am advanced in years, my bones are weary, my powers are declining, and the people for whom I am responsible have spread far and wide. Summon me back to Thyself, my lord!”
Some time later, when Hazrat Umar went to the mosque to lead a prayer, a Magian named Abu Lulu Feroze, who had a grudge against Hazrat Umar on a personal matter, attacked him with a dagger and stabbed him several times. Hazrat Umar reeled and fell to the ground.
When he learned that the assassin was a Magian, he said, “Thank God he is not a Muslim.”
The injuries were so serious that the great Khalifa died the next morning.
Before his death, the Muslims asked him about his successor and he appointed a panel of six persons; Hadrat Uthma Zubair, Talha, Sa’d bin Waqqas and Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf (, may Allah be pleased with him) to select a Khalifah from amongst them within three days after him.
He requested Hazrat Aisha (, may Allah be pleased with him) for permission for his burial beside Rasulallah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,, just as Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique expressed the same wish. Though she had reserved that place for herself, on Umar’s request she gave it to him and that is where he was buried.
Character and Piety
He was extremely pious and God-fearing. His success lay in two things: fear of Allah and his love for Rasulallah , peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
He never used even oil from the Baitul Mal (Public Treasury) to burn a lamp at night for his personal needs. Whenever he finished the official work he put off the lamp. He used to patrol in the city at night to find out the needs and requirements, and conditions of the people.
He did not hesitate to take his wife to work as a midwife for a poor woman. The salary he got from the Baitul Mal was so low that it was hardly enough for him and his family’s needs. When some of the eminent Muslims requested him to increase the amount he said, “Rasulallah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has left a standard by his personal example. I must follow him”.
Hadrat Umar was one of the most just rulers in Islamic History. All the citizens, including the Khalifa himself, were equal before law.
Once he appeared before a court in Madinah to clarify his position against a complaint. The Qadi (judge) wanted to stand in his honour, but he did not allow him to do so, so that there would be no distinction between him and an ordinary person before Law.
He was really the founder of the modern democratic system.
In short, he was a perfect example of an ideal character, and was the greatest Khalifah of Islam after Hazrat Abu Bakr (, may Allah be pleased with him).
He selflessly devoted his whole energy for the cause of Islam and the Muslim world will always be indebted to him for his great achievements.
Hazrat Umar as a Great Scholar
Before the advent of Islam there was no tradition in Arabia of reading or writing. There were only seventeen people amongst the Quraish who could read or write at the time when Rasulallah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, started to receive Divine revelations.
Hazrat Umar was one of those seventeen persons. His writing and lectures are still found in some old books.
The first address he gave as a Caliph was:
“O Allah, I am strict, make me soft. I am weak, give me power. The Arabs are like refractory camels, I will endeavour to bring them to the straight path.”
He was also interested in poetry and sometimes he composed verses. Hazrat Umar (, may Allah be pleased with him) was one of the most fluent of the Quraish in language.
Arabic-knowing persons can appreciate the fluency of his writings and addresses. Many of his sayings became aphorisms of literature.
He was a great Jurist and Theologian of Islam. Because of the fear of making any mistake, he did not quote many Ahadith even though he was fully conversant with them. He never allowed a person to quote any Hadith which was not well known without producing any attestator in support of it.
If somebody quoted a Hadith before him which he had never heard, he at once asked him to bring a witness; failing which he would be punished.
He was expert in deriving laws from the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith. A full volume could be complied out of the verdicts and judgements given by Hazrat Umar (, may Allah be pleased with him). As a matter of fact he opened a new door of Ijtihad (disciplined judgement of a jurist) in the history of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, and settled a number of disputable cases during his Khilafat.
Preaching of Islam
As the viceroy of Rasulallah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,, his foremost duty was to spread and preach Islam. As mentioned above, the aim of various battles and wars was to clear the way for the Muslims for preaching Islam.
Whenever any army had to attack a place, they had to call the inhabitants of the place to Islam. Hazrat Umar was very strict in this respect and he had given standing orders to the commanders not to start war unless they had first invited the people to Islam. If they accepted it, there was no question of war and if they did not, then the war was fought only with those who were not giving a free hand to Muslims to preach the Right Path.
No person was ever forced to forsake his own faith and accept Islam.
The method adopted to preach Islam was demonstration by actual practice. For this purpose he ordered Muslims to establish their own quarters and present the practical shape of Islam before the population. Seeing the truthful way, the inhabitants of the place were attracted towards Islam. No soldier was allowed to take any property or anything by force from the conquered people.
Because of fair treatment by the Muslims, sometimes the whole army of the enemy accepted Islam.
After the battle of Qadisiya, a battalion of four thousand Persians accepted Islam. After the victory of Jalula, the chiefs of the place entered the folds of Islam along with the inhabitants. A commander of the army of Yadzgird, named Siyah accepted Islam with his battalion during a battle in Persia. All the inhabitants of the town of Bulhat in Egypt accepted Islam at one time without the use of any force only by seeing the piety of the Muslims. A rich merchant and the chief of a place in Egypt, named Shata, accepted Islam with all the inhabitants of the place only after hearing about the character and piety of Muslims at the time when Muslims had not even reached that place.
These are a few examples to show how Islam spread because of the character of Muslims at that time.
Hazrat Umar (, may Allah be pleased with him) was very strict in ensuring that no Muslims forced any non-Muslim to accept Islam. Through his advice, letters and addresses, he made it clear to all the Muslims that they had to adhere to the ways of Rasulallah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,, which was the only method to preach Islam.
Wives and children
1. Hazrat Zainab (, may Allah be pleased with him) accepted Islam but died in Makkah. She was sister of Uthman bin Maz’un. She gave birth to Hazrat Abdullah Abdur Rahman and Hazrat Hafsah (wife of Rasulallah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,) were the children she bore to Hazrat Umar.
2. Malkiah bint Jarwal, she did not accept Islam and was divorced in 6 A.H. according to Islamic law. She gave birth to Ubaidullah.
3. Quraibah bint Abi Ummiyah, she also did not accept Islam and was divorced in 6 A.H.
The above three marriages had taken place before Hazrat Umar (, may Allah be pleased with him.) accepted Islam. After accepting Islam he contracted marriages with the following:
4. Ummi Hakim bint-ul-Harith, she gave birth to a girl named Fatimah.
5. Jamilah bint Asim, she gave birth to a son who was named Asim. She was a Muslim but was divorced for some other reason.
6. Umm Kulthum bint Hazrat Ali (, may Allah be pleased with him). She was married in the year 17 A.H. She gave birth to Ruqayyah and Zaid.
7. Atikah (, may Allah be pleased with him)
1. Ummul Mumineen Hazrat Hafsah (, may Allah be pleased with him) – the chaste wife of Rasulallah , peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
2. Ruqayyah – the youngest daughter of Hazrat Umar.
6. Abu Shahmah
Hazrat Umar – the Pioneer of Islamic democracy
Hazrat Umar (, may Allah be pleased with him) was the pioneer of modern civilisation who formed a state based upon the Islamic democratic system, the system which was incorporated in the West as late as 19th and 20th centuries.
He was the greatest democratic administrator whose example is unparalleled not only in the history of Islam but also in the history of modern civilisation. A vast part of the Middle East, Persian Empire and Byzantium, was conquered during the ten years of his Khilafat which he consolidated into a state governed by Islam i.e. laws.
The constitution of Islamic Khilafat during the time of Hazrat Umar (, may Allah be pleased with him) was based entirely on the Islamic democratic system. All matters were decided after consultation with the Shura (the council of advisors).
He remarked, “It is essential for a Khalifah to consult his Shura.” Once he said, “I do not desire that you may follow anything that arises from my caprice”.
Hazrat Umar had clearly stated on various occasions that he should be obeyed as long as he was obeying Allah and Rasulallah , peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
Muslims and non-Muslims were treated alike. Although the Arab peninsula was declared to be purely an Islamic State, his attitude towards the non-Muslims was very tolerant. He allowed the Jews and the Christians, living in the Peninsula, to stay there if they so wished and nobody would interfere in their religious affairs. To those who desired to migrate he ensured a safe journey up to the borders. Hazrat Umar (, may Allah be pleased with him) also gave compensation for their properties and other facilities.
Introduction of the Islamic calendar
For the first time in the history of Islam, Islamic calendar was introduced in the present form by Hazrat Umar (, may Allah be pleased with him).
The date of start of this calendar was fixed as the date of the Hijrah (migration) of Rasulallah , peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Thus the calendar is also known as the Hijrah Calendar.
Rasulallah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,‘s praise about Hazrat Farooq-e-Azam
“If there were to be a Prophet after me, he would have been Umar.”- (Tirmidhi)
“Amongst the nations before your time, there have been inspired people (who were not Prophets), and if there is one amongst my Ummah, he is Umar”. – (Bukhari and Muslim)
By: Shaykh Zain ul Aqtab Siddiqi