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02-12-2010, 06:48 AM

In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate

Hazrat Umar Farooq (Radi Allah Unho)
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For other uses, see Umar (disambiguation).
Amir al-Mu'minin
(Commander of the Faithful)
Caliph Umar's empire at its peak, 644.
Reign23 August 634–7 November 644
Bornc. 586-590
BirthplaceMecca, Arabia.
(currently, Saudi Arabia)
Died7 November 644
Place of deathMedina, Arabia.
(currently, Saudi Arabia)
PredecessorAbu Bakr
Other titlesAl-Farooq

v • d • e
Campaigns of Umar

Badr – Banu Qaynuqa – Uhud – Banu Nadir – Trench – Banu Qurayza – Hudaybiyyah – Khaybar – Mecca – Hunayn – Autas – Ta'if – Tabouk – Jerusalem 637 –

v • d • e
Wars of
Caliph Umar

Conquest of Eastern Roman Empire
Conquest of Syria (634-637)
Conquest of Palestine (635-636)
Campaigns in Eastern Anatolia (638)
Conquest of Armenia (638 & 644)
conquest of Upper Egypt (640-641)
conquest of Lower Egypt (641-642)
Conquest of North Africa (643)
Conquest of Sassanid Persian Empire
Conquest of Iraq (636-637)
Conquest of Isfahan & Tabaristan (642-643)
Conquest of Fars (642)
Conquest of Kerman & Makran (643-644)
Conquest of Sistan (643-644)
Conquest of Azerbaijan (643)
Conquest of Khurasan (643-644)

Umar (Arabic: عمر بن الخطاب; Transliteration: `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, c. 586-590 CE – 7 November 644), also known as Umar the Great or Farooq the Great was the most powerful of the four Rashidun Caliphs and one of the most powerful and influential Muslim rulers.[1] He was a sahabi (companion) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He succeeded Caliph Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second Caliph of Rashidun Caliphate on 23 August 634. He was an expert jurist and is best known for his justice with Muslims and non-Muslim subjects alike, that earned him the title Al-Farooq (The one who distinguishes between good and bad) and his house as Darul Adal (house of justice). Also, Umar was the first Caliph to be called Amir al-Mu'minin(Commander of the Faithful).
Under Umar the Islamic empire expanded at an unprecedented rate ruling the whole Sassanid Persian Empire and more than two thirds of the Eastern Roman Empire.[2] His legislative abilities, his firm political and administrative control over a rapidly expanding empire and his brilliantly coordinated multi-prong attacks against Sassanid Persian Empire that resulted in conquest of Persian empire in less than two years, marked his reputation as a great political and military leader.[3] It was Umar who for the first time in 500 years since expulsion of Jews from the Holy Land, allowed them to practice their religion freely and live in Jerusalem.
Religiously a controversial figure in the Muslim world, Umar is regarded by Sunni Muslims as one of four Rashidun or rightly guided caliphs who were true successors of Muhammad; in stark contrast, regarded by Shi'a Muslims as unjust in his usurpation of Ali's right to the caliphate, indeed as the principal political architect of opposition to Ali.
1 Early life
2 During Muhammad's era
2.1 Umar's hostility to Islam
2.2 Converting to Islam
2.3 Migration to Medina
2.4 Life in Medina
2.5 Death of Muhammad
3 Foundation of the Caliphate
4 Caliph Abu Bakr's era
4.1 Appointment as a Caliph
5 Reign as Caliph
5.1 Initial challenges
6 Dismissal of Khalid from command
7 Political and civil administration
8 Reforms
9 Military expansion
10 The great famine
11 The great plague
12 Assassination
12.1 Aftermaths
13 Legacy
13.1 Humility
13.2 Political legacy
13.2.1 Social justice and accountability
13.3 Military legacy
13.4 Religious legacy
13.4.1 Sunni views
13.4.2 Shia views
14 Western views
15 Family
16 See also
17 Notes
18 References
19 External links

[edit] Early life
Umar was born in Mecca to the Banu Adi clan, which was responsible for arbitrations among the tribes. His father was Khattab ibn Nufayl and his mother was Hatmah bint Hasham, from the tribe of Banu Makhzum. He is said to have belonged to a middle class family. In his youth he used to tend to his father’s camels in the plains near Mecca. His father was famed for his intelligence among his tribe. He was a middle class merchant and is believed to be a ruthless man and emotional polytheist who often treated Umar badly. As obvious from Umar's own statement regarding his father during his later political rule, Umar said, "My father Al-Khittab was a ruthless man. He used to make me work hard; if I didn't work he used to beat me and he used to work me to exhaustion."[4]
Despite literacy being uncommon in pre-Islamic Arabia, Umar learned to read and write in his youth. Though not a poet himself, he developed a love for poetry and literature.[5] According to the tradition of Quraish, while still in his teenage years, Umar learned martial arts, horse riding and wrestling. He was tall and physically powerful and was soon to became a renowned wrestler.[5][6] Umar was also a gifted orator, and due to his intelligence and overwhelming personality, he succeeded his father as an arbitrator of conflicts among the tribes.[7]
In addition, Umar followed the traditional profession of Quraish. He became a merchant and had several journeys to Rome and Persia, where he is said to have met the various scholars and analyzed the Roman and Persian societies closely. However, as a merchant he is believed to have never been successful.[8][9] Drinking alcohol was very common among the Quraish, and Umar was also fond of drinking in his pre-Islamic days.[10]
[edit] During Muhammad's era
[edit] Umar's hostility to Islam
In 610 Muhammad started delivering the message of Islam; as other people of Mecca, Umar too opposed Islam. He resolved to defend the traditional, polytheistic religion of Arabia. He was most adamant and cruel in opposing Muhammad and very prominent in persecuting the Muslims.[11] Umar was the first man who resolved that Muhammad had to be murdered to finish Islam.[12] Umar firmly believed in unity of Quraish and saw the new faith of Islam as a cause of division and discord among Quraish.[11]
Due to the persecution at the hands of Quraish, Muhammad ordered his followers to migrate to Abyssinia a small group of Muslims migrated, this migration made Umar feel worried about the unity and future of Quraish, he thus decided to assassinate Muhammad to get rid of the division that was created by Islam among the people of Mecca[13].
[edit] Converting to Islam
Umar converted to Islam in 616, one year after the Migration to Abyssinia. According to the most popular account of the story, recounted in Ibn Ishaq's Sīrah, on the way to murder Muhammad, Umar met a polytheist who told him to set his own house in order first, as his sister and her husband had converted to Islam. Upon arriving at her house, Umar found his sister and brother-in-law Saeed bin Zaid (Umar's cousin), reciting the verses of the Qur'an.[14] He started beating his brother-in-law savagely. When his sister came to rescue her husband, he also beat her until she started bleeding. Seeing his sister now, he calmed down and asked his sister to give him what she was reciting. She gave him the paper on which was written the verses of the chapter Ta-Ha. He was so struck by the beauty of the verses that he accepted Islam that day. He then went to Muhammad with the same sword he intended to kill him with and accepted Islam in front of him and his companions. Umar was 27 when he accepted Islam [15]. Following his conversion, Umar went to inform the chief of Quraish, Amr ibn Hishām, about his acceptance of Islam. According to one account, Umar thereafter openly prayed at the Kaaba as the Quraish chiefs, Amr ibn Hishām and Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, reportedly watched in anger.[16] According to the same account this further helped the Muslims to gain confidence in practicing Islam openly. At this stage Umar even challenged anyone who dared to stop the Muslims from praying, although no one dared to interfere with Umar when he was openly praying.
Umar’s conversion to Islam gave power to the Muslims and the faith in Mecca. It was after this that Muslims offered prayers openly in Masjid al-Haram for the first time. Abdullah bin Masoud said,
“Umar's embracing Islam was our victory, his migration to Medina was our success and his reign a blessing from Allah, we didn't offer prayers in Al-Haram Mosque until Umar accepted Islam, when he accepted Islam Quraish were compelled to let us pray in the Mosque.[17]”
All these things earned Umar the title of Farooq, meaning one who makes a difference.
[edit] Migration to Medina
In 622 due to the growing popularity of Islam in the city of Yathrib (later renamed Medīnat an-Nabī, or simply Medina) Muhammad ordered his followers to migrate to Medina. Muslims usually migrated at night due to fear of Quraish's resistance to that migration, but Umar is reported to have migrated openly during the day time saying; Any one who wants to make his wife a widow and his children orphan[18].[19] should come and meet me there behind that cliff." Umar migrated to Medina accompanied by his cousin and brother-in-law Saeed ibn Zaid.[15].
[edit] Life in Medina
Medina became the new center of Islam and the religion spread rapidly across Arabia. When Muhammad arrived in Medina, he paired off each immigrant (Muhajir) with one of the residents of the city (Ansari), joining Muhammad ibn Maslamah with Umar making them brothers in faith. Later in Umar's reign as caliph Muhammad ibn Muslamah would be assignd the office of chief inspector of Accountability. In Medina Umar, along with Abu Bakr, was one of the chief advisers to Muhammad. He remained with Muhammad on every event and the Prophet often took his advise on matters, utilizing his opinion if not always following his consultation. Muslims remained in peace in Medina for approximately a year before the Quraish raised an army to attack them. In 624 Umar participated in the first Battle between Muslims and Quraish of Mecca i.e Battle of Badr.In 625 he participated in the Battle of Uhud. In the second phase of Battle when Khalid ibn Walid's Cavalry attacked Muslims at the rear changing the victory of Muslims to defeat, rumors of Muhammad’s death were spread many Muslim were warriors routed from the battle field, Umar too was initially routed but hearing that Muhammad was still alive he went to Muhammad at the mountain of Uhud and prepared for the defenses of the hill to keep the Quraishi army down the hill.[20]. Later in the year Umar was a part of campaign against the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir. In 625 Umar’s daughter Hafsah was married to Muhammad [21]. Later in 627 he participated in the Battle of the Trench and also in the Battle of Banu Qurayza.[22] In 628 Umar participated in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah and was made one of the witness over the pact.[22]. In 628 he was a part of Muslims' campaign to Khaybar. In 629 Muhammad sent Amr ibn al-A’as to Zaat-ul-Sallasal from where he called for reinforcement and Muhammad sent Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah with reinforcement, serving under him were Abu Bakr and Umar, they attacked and defeated the enemy [23]. In 630 when Muslim armies rushed for the Conquest of Mecca he was part of that army. Later in 630 he was part of Battle of Hunayn and Siege of Ta'if. He was part of Muslim's army that went for the campaign of Tabuk under Muhammad's command and he was reported to have given half of his wealth for the preparation of this expedition. He also participated in a farewell Hajj of Muhammad in 631.[24].

02-12-2010, 01:51 PM