Umar ibn Al-Khattab

the name 'umar' written in arabic calligraphy

The Distinguisher

Umar Ibn Khattab ( May Allah be pleased with him ) was a warrior for the Quraish and was one of their best strongest men in the region and ambassador for the Quraish. He accepted Islam in the sixth year of prophet hood and was one of the early converts. The public had such fear and respect for Umar that when he embraced Islam the Muslims felt safe enough to practice their religion openly. he was given the name ‘Al-Faruq’ which means the distinguisher as in the one who distinguishes right from wrong.

His description

Ibn Asakir narrated that Abu Raja’ al-Utaridi said: “Umar was a tall
stout man, extremely bald, fair but extremely ruddy, in the two sides
of his beard a lightness, his moustache was large and at its extremities
there was a redness at the roots of which there was black.”1

Al-Faruq succeeds As-Siddiq

During Abu Bakr’s illness, he called a meeting with the companions to decide his successor, none of them could decide so they placed the decision back into Abu Bakr’s hands. He started to consult senior companions and they all unanimously spoke about Umar’s virtue.

Alas, Abu Bakr announced that Umar would succeed him in the following letter: “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace* This is the testament set forth by Abu Bakr, Caliph of the Messenger of God during his final days on earth and in anticipation of his entry into the hereafter — as he endures that condition in which even the denier of the truth believes, and which causes even the disobedient to be certain of the truth: I hereby commission as your leader *Umar Ibn al-Khattab, If he exercises forbearance and justice, this is what I would expect of him based on my knowledge of his character. If, on the other hand, he follows a path of injustice and caprice, then I have no claim to knowledge of that which has yet to be revealed. Whichever transpires, every one of us will be rewarded according to what he has done, “and those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned!” (Qur’an 26:227)”. After hearing this they all pledged allegiance to Umar.2

Umar’s Reign

Umar’s time as a caliph saw a rapid and successful expansion of Islam. He took charge of Damascus, Jordan, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Morocco and other cities. His most important achievement was the liberation of Jerusalem where a treaty was made with the Byzantines.He also conquered its surrounding cities like Caeserea This is when he made his famous speech in a place called Al-jabiyyah.3 Umar (May Allah be pleased with him ) was also the first to pray the taraweeh prayer in congregation during Ramadan. Umar’s military success can largely be attributed to Khalid Ibn Walid ( May Allah be pleased with him ), a fearsome commander who had never lost a battle and is seen as one of the greatest military strategists ever.

Umar is Martyred

Umar was killed in the moth of Dhul-hijjah in the year 23AH. He was assassinated by a man called Abu Lu’lu’lah, the reason behind this was because Umar imposed a high land tax on him which Abu Lu’lu’lah was angry about. Umar was in the mosque waiting for prayer when Abu Lu’lu’lah came from behind and stabbed him. Immediately, others gathered to reprimand Abu Lu’lu’lah where he killed 6 others with his knife. Abu Lu’lu’lah saw no escape from this situation and killed himself. 4

Umar said to Abdullah, “Go to ‘A’ishah, mother of the faithful, and say to her: ‘Umar requests your permission to be buried together with his two companions [the Prophet (May peace be upon him ) and Abu Bakr].”Umar appointed a six man coumcil on his deathbed who would decide the next caliph. They were: ‘Uthman lbn ‘Affan, ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Talhah Ibn ‘Ubaydullah, al-Zubayr lbn al-‘Awwam, Sa‘d Ibn Abi aqqas,5 His reign lasted approximately 10 years and was buried next to the Prophet and Abu Bakr in Aisha’s Quarters ( May Allah be pleased with them.)

“If there were to be a Prophet after me, it would be Umar ibn al-Khattab

Prophet Muhammad

Jami’at Tirmidhi Vol 6 Book 46 Hadith no 36866

References

  1. Suyūṭī (1995) The history of the Khalifahs who took the right way : being a translation of the chapters on al-Khulafaʼ ar-Rashidun from Tarikh al-Khulafaʼ. Translated by A. Clarke. London: Ta-Ha Publishers, p 134. Available at: https://www.muslim-library.com/dl/books/English_The_History_of_the_Khalifahs.pdf (Accessed: 8 February 2024) ↩︎
  2. Al Bouti, R. (2006) The jurisprudence of the prophetic biography : & A brief history of the Orthodox caliphate. Translated by N. Roberts. Damascus,Syria: Dar Al-Fikr, pp. 611–613. Availableat:https://archive.org/details/fiqhussunnahbyshaykhramadanalbuti_202003/page/n565/mode/2up?view=theater (Accessed: 11 February 2024). ↩︎
  3. Suyūṭī (1995) The history of the Khalifahs who took the right way : being a translation of the chapters on al-Khulafaʼ ar-Rashidun from Tarikh al-Khulafaʼ. Translated by A. Clarke. London: Ta-Ha Publishers, pp.134-137. Available at: https://www.muslim-library.com/dl/books/English_The_History_of_the_Khalifahs.pdf (Accessed: 8 February 2024) ↩︎
  4. Al Bouti, R. (2006) The jurisprudence of the prophetic biography : & A brief history of the Orthodox caliphate. Translated by N. Roberts. Damascus,Syria: Dar Al-Fikr, pp. 619–620. Availableat:https://archive.org/details/fiqhussunnahbyshaykhramadanalbuti_202003/page/n565/mode/2up?view=theater (Accessed: 11 February 2024) ↩︎
  5. Al Bouti, R. (2006) The jurisprudence of the prophetic biography : & A brief history of the Orthodox caliphate. Translated by N. Roberts. Damascus,Syria: Dar Al-Fikr, pp. 619–620. Availableat:https://archive.org/details/fiqhussunnahbyshaykhramadanalbuti_202003/page/n565/mode/2up?view=theater (Accessed: 11 February 2024) ↩︎
  6. Tirmidhī, M.I. ʻīsá (2007) English translation of Jāmiʻ at-Tirmidhī = Jāmiʻ al-Tirmidhī Vol 6. Riyadh: Darussalam, p. 364. Available at:
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1OiIHK83zhVUsB2JYAAV0J2jfX_Z1qX4H. ↩︎