Written By M Rashid Tabassum
Hazrat Umar (R.A) was born in 583. His patronymic was Abu Hafs. His personality was well respected in the time of ignorance. He grazed camels in his youth and got command of the military profession. He also acquired rank in horse-riding and wrestling. He was one of the few educated persons in the entire Quresh tribe, who could both read and write. He was one of the most extreme enemies of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). He had held so much respect and fear in Quraish. So Holy Prophet (S.A.W) once made a Dua to Allah: “O Allah! Give Islam strength through one of the men you love more: Umar ibn al Khattab or Amr ibn al Hisham(Abu Jahl)”. Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) duo was accepted and Allah selected Umar ibn al Khattab (R.A) for the strength of Islam. In other words, he was a desire of Prophet (S.A.W). He accepted Islam after six years of apostleship of Muhammad (S.A.W). Holy Prophet (S.A.W) gave him the title of Al-Farooq which means: “the one who distinguishes between the right and the wrong”.
Hazrat Uqbah bin Amir (R.A) reported that Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W) said about the great rank of Umar (R.A) in Islam: “If there were to be a prophet after me, indeed he would be Umar, son of Khattab.” (Tirmizi). Muhammad (SAW) also said about Umar (R.A): “I see that devil either from humans or jinn, runs away from Umar.” (Tirimzi)
He stayed 6 years in Makkah after accepting Islam. He migrated from Makkah to Madina openly. Prophet (S.A.W) established brotherhood among Muslims in Madina and he (S.A.W) made him the brother of Utban bin Maalik (R.A). His daughter Hafsa was married to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) in 3 Hijri. He spent 18 years in the company of Prophet (S.A.W) and participated in all the ghazwaat (battles in which Prophet (S.A.W) himself took part). After the death of Prophet (S.A.W), he suggested making Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) the first Khalifah (Caliph). During Caliphate (Khilafat) of Abu Bakr, he was his principal advisor. When Abu Bakr (R.A) was close to death, he nominated him as second Caliph of Muslims. He said in his first address after selecting Caliph: “In the performance of my duties, I will seek guidance from the Holy Book, and will follow the examples set by the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr. In this task, I seek your assistance. If I follow the right path, follow me. If I deviate from the right path, correct me.” In this speech, he set the principal of his caliphate.
When he took charge of the caliphate, the Muslim armies were fighting in Iraq and Syria. During his caliphate age of 10 years, many countries became part of Muslims’ empire. His commanders conquered Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kirman, Seistan, Khurasan, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt. Muslims’ empire had expanded approximately 22, 00,000 square miles under the command of Umar e Farooq (R.A). He introduced many reforms in the governance during his caliphate period. He made the department of Bait-ul-Maal (State’s treasury for people). A complete judicial system was established during his reign. Army headquarters were established for the protection of the country. Canals and roads were constructed. He gave salaries to the Imams, Teachers, and Moazzins (the persons who say azan for prayers). Hijri system was started. He built Jails for criminals. Canal System was introduced for agriculture and irrigation system. He made the army headquarters at different places. He was the first ruler of the world which gave funds and appointed regular salaries for infants and widows. Post office system was introduced in the world. A population census was made.
In the year 23 Hijri/ 633, Hazrat Umar (R.A) was assassinated by Abu Lua’Lua the Magian (non-believer). He appointed a committee of six persons to choose caliph.
Concluding more, he was a true companion, counselor, scholar, ruler, a brave man, highly judicious and a great reformer in the Muslim history. His life is the role model for every Muslim. May Allah grant us Muslims with a just ruler like Hazrat Umar (R.A) again! Aameen!