// A glimpse at the life of ˜Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab
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الَسَـــــــلاَمُ عَلَيــْــكُم وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكـَـاتُه
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« on: Jan 26, 2009 02:58 PM »

Rahmanir Raheem
A glimpse at the life of ˜Umar Ibn
Al-Khattaab (1/3)

When this religion was revealed
and the Prophet taught it and raised people according to its
instructions, it delivered brilliant men and women who illuminated history and
were esteemed by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

This religion produced such
people who upheld its exalted standards and applied its edicts all over the
world. As such, they came to be beacons of guidance for everyone who followed
their example.

Why do we read about the lives
of the Companions and the Predecessors?

We owe it to these great
individuals to acquaint ourselves with their biographies and relate their
incidents for the following purposes:

First: To learn how magnificent
this religion is, that it produced such individuals.
Second: To take our
predecessors and leaders as role models, for they are beacons that guide us
through the utter darkness. We need also to learn that such examples are
reproducible, although to a lesser extent, should there exist the proper
Islamic environment and upbringing that refine the characters of people,
entrenches the correct belief and creed in them, and instills the ethics of the
Prophet into their characters.

`Umar as a character:

`Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab was
undoubtedly one of the outstandingly ideal characters that have been witnessed
by Islamic history, which many people are negligent of.
Recalling the life of such
characters reminds all those oblivious people who are infatuated by the stories
of famous characters from the east and west, although a closer analysis of many
of these characters reveals the opportunism, vice, consumption of intoxicants,
adultery and fornication, profound injustice and tyranny that defines their
lives. Conversely, the personalities and characters of the prominent pioneers
of Islamic history are literally unmatched.

Before becoming a Muslim, `Umar would
worship idols, bury his baby daughters alive, treat people unjustly, and commit
other foul acts, particularly if it was against Muslims. Sa'eed Ibn Zayd said:
"I swear by Allaah that I went through times when 'Umar would shackle both
myself and his own sister (who was Sa'eedâs wife) to force us out of Islam, but
then he himself became a Muslim."

By the will of Allaah, `Umar transformed
from being a disbeliever living a life of pre-Islamic ignorance, into a guided
Muslim, and thus his character soared towards excellence. Some of the sayings
of the Prophet referring to the life of this man will be
mentioned later, which will highlight a number of magnificent aspects of his

The story of how he embraced

The Muslims did not
believe that `Umar could
ever become a Muslim. Umm ˜Abdullaah bint Abu Huthmah said:
“While we were preparing to emigrate to Habashsah (i.e. Ethiopia), `Umar came, and he would inflict
great harm upon us Muslims. When he saw us preparing to leave, he came and said
to me: 'O Umm ˜Abdullaah! Are you preparing to set off?' I replied: `Yes! I
swear by Allaah! We leave and travel in the land of Allaah, as you have
afflicted much torture upon us.` He said: `May Allaah be with you in company.`
I noticed that his position had softened in this conversation, and perceived that
he was saddened by what we were having to endure. I said to my husband, `You
should have seen `Umar - how sad he looked and how soft he was in his tone.' My
husband replied: `Are you hoping he becomes a Muslim?` I said: `Yes.` He said:
`If this man’s donkey were to become a Muslim, perhaps then he would embrace
Islam.` He said this because he had given up all hope of `Umar becoming
Muslim due to his harsh and aggressive stance against the Muslims.
However, when Allaah wills
guidance for someone, He facilitates the means for his guidance, even if such a
person has the hardest heart on earth and is the furthest from Allaah. This is
a lesson for all those who call others to Islam to never despair or give up on
people, regardless of how harsh they may be. When Allaah wills goodness for
someone, He will facilitate for him the means of guidance.

The fact that `Umar embraced
Islam represented a great victory for the Muslims.

His embracing of Islam was no secret:

˜Abdullaah Ibn Umar and his
father, narrated the story of his father's Islam saying: When he embraced
Islam, he enquired: `Which person amongst the tribe of Quraysh conveys news the
fastest and spreads rumours the most?` He was informed that it was a man named
Jameel Ibn Maâ mar Al-Jumahi. He went looking for him, and I followed my father.
When he saw him, he asked him: `O Jameel! Do you not know that I have embraced
Islam and joined the religion of Muhammad?` Jameel did not even bother asking
him to repeat or to confirm what he had just said, but rather, he immediately
got up and set off; my father followed him with me behind him. As soon as
Jameel reached the area of the Haram (i.e. the Kaâbah) he shouted at the top of
his voice: `O Quraysh! Know that `Umar has become a Saabi (a derogatory term
used by Quraysh to describe one who had become a Muslim).' ˜Umar shouted from
behind: `You lied! I have become a Muslim and testified that none has the right
to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger

He proclaimed it openly due to
the might that he had in his heart. This defines his courageous personality.

Returning to the story: ¦The
Quraysh approached my father, wishing to warn him, so he began fighting them,
all, until noon.
At that time he was exhausted, so he sat down and said to them: `Do whatever
you wish. ` They continued to beat him until an old man from their tribe named
˜Aas Ibn Waail came and stopped them.

was only after `Umar became Muslim that the Muslims could openly circumambulate
the Kaâbah. Indeed Allaah granted the Muslims might through his coming to Islam.

to be cont...

Narrated AbuHurayrah:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) used to say: "O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from four things: Knowledge which does not profit, a heart which is not submissive, a soul which has an insatiable appetite, and a supplication which is not heard."
الَسَـــــــلاَمُ عَلَيــْــكُم وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكـَـاتُه
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 29, 2009 10:13 AM »

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
A glimpse at the life of ˜Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab (2/3)

His religious knowledge and the
Prophet's praise of him:
Allaah, the Magnificent and
Glorified, had willed goodness for `Umar and
thus rendered him well versed in the religion and enriched him with knowledge.
Many scholars have compiled numerous narrations of the Prophet (salla Allahu
alihi wa sallam) regarding Umar's knowledge and other virtues. Among these narrations,
four were reported by Imaam Az-Zuhri:The first was where the Prophet
(salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) said: While I was sleeping, I saw in a dream that a cup full of milk
was brought to me, and I drank (from it) until I saw the milk coming out of my
nails. Then I gave the remaining milk to `Umar.The Companions (radi Allahu anhum) asked: ˜What did you
interpret it (i.e., this dream) to mean? He replied: (Religious) knowledge.[Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

The second was where the
Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) said: While I was sleeping, I saw (in a dream) people wearing shirts;
some (had shirts) reaching down to their chests, others reaching down to their
knees, and others still down to their ankles, each according to the strength of
his faith and his knowledge. `Umar was wearing a shirt that was so long that it
was dragging (i.e. on the ground).The people asked: How did you interpret this? The Prophet (salla
Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied: His commitment to the religion.[Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

The third was where the Prophet
(salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) said: I saw (in a dream) that I had entered Paradise, and there was (in it) a palace or a
house. I asked: 'For whom is this?' They (the angels) replied: 'For a man from
the Quraysh.' I was hoping that I was this man, but then it was said to me:
'This is for `Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab'

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi
wa sallam) added: I wanted
to enter (this palace) but I remembered your jealousy, O Abu Hafs!`Umar cried upon hearing this and
exclaimed: How could I be jealous of you, O Allaah's Prophet?[Al-Bukhaari
& Muslim]

The fourth was where the
Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) said: In a dream, I saw myself drawing water from a well with a
bucket. Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) came and drew a bucket or two in a weak
manner, and Allaah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) will excuse his weakness. Then `Umar
Ibn Al-Khattaab (radi Allahu anhu) came and the bucket turned into a very large
one in his hands. I have never seen such might in a person in doing such
strenuous work. He drank until he quenched his thirst and then gave (water) to
all the people, who drank to their satisfaction; then, he watered all their
camels that had knelt down in that place.[Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

The scholars interpreted this
dream as follows: This dream was regarding the durations for which the
caliphates of his two companions would last. The era of Abu Bakr was a very
short one, as it only lasted for two years, during which he was preoccupied
with fighting the tribes that had apostatised, as well as other major battles.

The era of `Umar was a longer
one, and Allaah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) blessed the Muslims with many victories
during it, and a vast number of people accepted Islam in that time. He spread
justice in the lands he conquered, although the foundation for this was laid by
Abu Bakr who had paved the way for `Umar, may Allaah be pleased him.

There is also the narration
where the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) said: “Allaah has placed the truth upon
`Umar's tongue and heart.[Ahmad] Allaah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) did this via the religious knowledge that
He (subhanahu wa ta'ala) taught him. It is through such knowledge that one
finds guidance to the truth. Thus, one must pay attention to seeking and
acquiring religious knowledge.

It is through the acquisition
of knowledge that one is guided as it leads to him shunning sinning, to
recognising the truth when he becomes confused, to being saved from prohibited
matters, and to being guarded against misconceptions and doubts.

His views coinciding with

Allaah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) caused
him to utter the truth and placed this truth in his heart. His views coincided
with that which was to be revealed from the Quran on more than one occasion.

˜Umar (radi Allahu anhu) said:
"I coincided with (the revelations from) Allaah on three matters. (The
first was when) I said: 'O Allaah's Apostle! Would that you take the station of
Ibraaheem as a place of prayer.' (The second was when) I also said: 'O Allaah's
Apostle! Good and bad people visit you; would that you order the Mothers of the
believers (i.e. his wives) to cover themselves with veils.' So the Divine
Verses of Al-Hijaab (i.e. veiling of the women) were revealed. (The third was
when) I came to know that the Prophet () had rebuked some of his wives, so I entered
into their presence and said: 'You should either stop (troubling the Prophet ) or else Allaah will give His Apostle better
wives than you.' Thereupon, Allaah revealed the verse (which means): "Perhaps his Lord, if he divorced
you [all], would substitute for him wives better than you submitting [to
Allaah]"[Quran 66:

His views also coincided with
the revelation of his Lord with regards to the issue of how to treat war
hostages. Indeed, on that occasion, Allaah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) inspired him
to say what he said, and thus the verses that were later revealed from Allaah (subhanahu
wa ta'ala) were exactly the same as the words of `Umar .

His dignified stature:

`Umar was
a very dignified man - a quality that many figures nowadays lack. This is a
quality that people who fear others more than Allaah are deprived of, but `Umar was
someone whom people would fear and respect greatly.

Once he took
permission to enter into the presence of the Prophet while there were some women there, asking
questions in loud voices. When these women heard that `Umar was
about to enter, they immediately lowered their voices and hid behind a veil,
which caused the Prophet to laugh

When `Umar entered
and saw the Prophet laughing, he said: May Allaah (subhanahu wa
ta'ala) cause you to laugh more and more, and may my father and mother be
sacrificed for you. O Prophet of Allaah! What makes you laugh?He answered: “I am amazed at the women who were just here, who heard
your voice and fled.

`Umar then
went over to them and addressed them from behind the veil, saying: O enemies
of yourselves! I swear by Allaah that the Prophet is worthier of being
respected and feared than I am. The Prophet said: o`Umar! Leave them. I swear by Allaah that if Satan sees you
passing through a valley, he will take another route.[Al-Bukhaari]

His mercy:

When `Umar assumed
the caliphate, the good traits that were hitherto hidden into his soul were
uncovered. Such traits included compassion, kindness, benevolence and mercy. He was
also compassionate at the time of the Prophet but his compassion became more apparent and
obvious after he became caliph

His character was a combination
of dignity, mercy, precision in executing Allaah's laws and soft-heartedness,
so much so that he would weep when reciting the Noble Quran and would even fall
sick due to his interaction with it.

Having a strong character and
being dignified in no way entails being arrogant or hard-hearted. Nor does it
mean being harsh or pompous. To have an awe-inspiring character is praiseworthy
only if the person can judge the correct time to be strict. History testifies
that `Umar was
a noble and merciful ruler of the Muslims.

The example of `Umar symbolises
the ideal leadership that the Prophet Muhammad bequeathed. It was a remarkable demonstration
of how leadership should be; an ideal one which Muslims are eagerly seeking to
repeat, especially when compared to their contemporary predicament.

Having known of such an
example, the Muslims are eager for a caliphate and leadership like that of
`Umar who
would set off in order to check on the lives of the ordinary Muslims.

Narrated AbuHurayrah:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) used to say: "O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from four things: Knowledge which does not profit, a heart which is not submissive, a soul which has an insatiable appetite, and a supplication which is not heard."
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