بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Last time we talked about the life of Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A.), The first Khalifah of Islam. Today we will talk about Hazrat Umar ibn Khattab (R.A.) the one who succeeded Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A.).
Hazrat Umar(R.A.), the son of Khattab was born in Makkah about 12-13 years after the birth of the Prophet(S.A.W.). His father who was an educated, respectable part of the society, taught his son how to read and write. After his acceptance of Islam, he received the title of Farooq, meaning one ‘who distinguishes between the right and the wrong.’
Umar Bin Khattab was a very influential man before and after he embraced Islam. At that time, the Prophet needed such strong and influential men to be on his side and help him spread the message of Allah so that more people would listen to him. He prayed that either ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab or Abu Jahl bin Hisham (Also a very powerful and influential person at the time) accept Islam.
Before embracing Islam, Hazrat Umar Farooq (R.A.) was a bitter enemy of our beloved Prophet (S.A.W.). One day, when he was on his way to kill the Prophet (S.A.W.), he was informed of the acceptance of Islam by his sister and brother-in-law. He became furious and wanted to punish them, but on hearing the noble words of the Holy Quran by his sister (Surah Taha to be specific) his heart softened .
The Prophet’s prayer was answered and Sayyidina ‘Umar Rady Allahu ‘Anhu accepted Islam. We learn of this in the following Hadith Shareef:
Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas Rady Allahu Anhu reported the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam as saying, “O Allah, strengthen Islam with Abu Jahl bin Hisham, or with Umar bin al-Khattab”. In the morning, Sayyidina ‘Umar Rady Allahu Anhu went to the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam and accepted Islam; then prayed openly in the mosque. (Ahmad and Tirmidhi)
This was in the 6th year of Prophet-hood. Later, Hazrat Umar’s ties with the Holy Prophet became even stronger after he married his daughter Hafsah, to the Holy Prophet.
Hazrat Umar took part in all the battles. In the Battle of Uhud, he was amongst those who defended the Holy Prophet whenever was the need.In the Battle of Trench (Battle of Khandaq) he contributed by digging the trench.
After the death of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) he was the first to swear faithfulness in Abu Bakr Siddiq being the the first Khalifah of the Islamic State. Throughout his Khalifat he was a very loyal friend of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.).
Hazrat Umar became the second Khalifah of Islam in 13 A.H. and his Khilafah lasted until 23 A.H. He was assasinated by a Persian slave and buried by the side of the Prophet (S.A.W.).
During his Khilafat, he contributed to the spread of Islam and the expansion of the Islamic State. The mighty empires of Rome and Persia were conquered during his time and the whole of Arabia and Egypt came under the influence of the Muslims.
Hazrat Umar (R.A.) was the best example of an ideal Muslim. Simplicity and impartiality were the main features of his character. Though he was the ruler of a enormous empire, he lived like an ordinary man. He was kind and sympathetic to the poor and would roam the streets at night to see the condition of his people. But as a law giver, he was very strict. Not even his own son was pardoned from the laws of justice.
He devoted his entire energy and time in the interest of Islam and the State. His Greatness lies in his justice as a ruler and his skills as a statesman and administrator.