Monday

`Umar ibn al-Khattab - 2

Umar ibn al -khatab took on the khilafah through the covenant of Abu Bakr in Jumada al-Akhirah in the year 13 A.H. Az-Zuhri said, '`Umar was appointed khalifah on the day that Abu Bakr died which was Tuesday eight days before the end of Jumada al-Akhirah.' He undertook the command most fully, and there were very many conquests in his days.

In the year 14 A.H., Damascus was conquered partly both by treaty and force, and Homs (ancient Emessa) and Baalbek by treaty, and Basrah and Ubullah by force. In that year `Umar united people in one jama'ah in salat at-tarawih (the optional prayers said at night in Ramadan),' said al-`Askari in Al-Awa'il (Firsts). In the year 15 A.H., all of Jordan was conquered by force except for Tiberias which was by treaty. In this year were the battles of Yarmuk and Qadisiyyah. Ibn Jarir said: In it Sa`d founded Kufa, and `Umar instituted regular wages (for the fighting men), registers, and gave allowances according to priority.

In the year 16 A.H., Ahwaz and Mada'in were conquered, and in the latter Sa`d established the jumu'ah in the great hall of Khosrau, and this was the first jumu'ah to be held in Iraq. That was in the month of Safar. In it, was the battle of Jalula in which Yezdajird the son of Khosrau was defeated and he retreated back to Rai. In it, Takrit was taken, `Umar travelled and took Al-Bait al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) and gave his famous khutbah in al-Jabiyyah. Kinnasrin, Aleppo, and Antioch were taken by force, Manbij by treaty, and Saruj by force. In that year, Qirqisiya' was taken by treaty. In Rabi' al-Awwal, dating was begun from the Hijrah on the advice of `Ali.

In the year 17 A.H., `Umar increased the size of the Prophet's Mosque. In it there was drought and famine in the Hijaz and it was called the Year of Destruction, and `Umar prayed for rain for people by means of al-`Abbas. Niyar al-Aslami narrated that `Umar, when he came out to pray for rain, came out with the cloak of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, upon him. Ibn 'Aun said: `Umar took hold of the hand of al-`Abbas and raised it up, saying, 'O Allah, we approach You by means of the uncle of Your Prophet (asking) that You drive away from us the drought, and that You give us to drink from the rain,' and they didn't leave before they were given to drink. The sky poured down upon them for days. In that year Ahwaz was taken by treaty.

In the year 18 A.H., Jundaysabur was taken by treaty, and Hulwan by force. In it, was the plague of Emaus; Urfa (Edessa) and Sumaysat were taken by force; Harran, Nasibin and a part of Mesopotamia by force, and it has been said, by treaty; and Mosul and its environs by force. In the year 19 A.H., Cæsarea was taken by force. In the year 20 A.H., Egypt was conquered by force. It is also said that all of Egypt was taken by treaty except for Alexandria which was taken by force. `Ali ibn Rabah said, 'The whole of the Maghrib (north-western Africa) was taken by force.' In that year Tustar was taken, Caesar (Heraclius), the great man of the Byzantines, died. In it also, `Umar expelled the tribes from Khaybar and Najran, and he apportioned Khaybar and Wadi'l-Qurra' (between those who had been present there at the original battles of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace).

In the year 21 A.H., Alexandria was taken by force, and Nahawand, after which the Persians could not muster an army, and Barqah and other places. In the year 22 A.H., Azerbaijan was taken by force, and it has been said, by treaty, and Dinaur by force, Masabdhan and Hamadan by force, and Tripoli of North Africa, Rai, 'Askar and Qumas. In the year 23 A.H., there were the conquests of Kirman, Sijistan, Makran in the mountainous lands, and also Isfahan and its environs.

In the end of this year there was the death of Sayyiduna `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, after his return from the Hajj; he was killed as a martyr. Sa`id ibn al-Musayyab said: When `Umar returned from Mina (to Makkah), he made his camel kneel down in the watercourse, then he threw himself down, raised his hands to the sky and said, 'O Allah! I am advanced in years, my strength has weakened, and my subjects have increased, so take me to You without (my) being wasteful or falling short.' Dhu'l-Hijjah had not gone before he was killed.

Abu Salih as-Saman said: Ka`b al-Ahbar said to `Umar, 'I find you in the Tawrah killed as a martyr.' He said, 'How can I be a martyr when I am in the peninsula of the Arabs?' Aslam said: `Umar said, 'O Allah provide me with martyrdom in Your way, and make my death to be in the city of Your Messenger.'

Ma'dan ibn Abi Talhah: `Umar gave a khutbah and said, 'I saw (in a dream) as if a cock pecked at me once or twice, and I can only believe that it means that my term has come. There are people who tell me to appoint a successor, and Allah will not cause His deen to go to waste nor His khilafah. If the matter is hastened for me, then the khilafah is a matter of consultation between these six whom the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was pleased with when he died.' Az-Zuhri said: `Umar would not permit a captive who had reached the age of puberty to enter Madinah until al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah wrote to him and he was the governor of Al-Kufah mentioning to him a slave who had a number of crafts and asking permission that he enter Madinah, saying, 'He has many trades which are useful to people. He is a blacksmith, engraver and carpenter.' He gave permission to him to send him to Madinah.

Al-Mughirah put a demand for revenue on him (the slave) of one hundred dirhams per month, so the slave came to `Umar to complain of the severity of that imposition. He said, 'Your demand for revenue is not that much,' and he turned away in anger and threateningly. `Umar waited some days and then he called him and said, 'Have I not been informed that you say, "If I wished, I could make a mill which will grind by means of the wind."' Then he turned his face to `Umar with a frown and said, 'I will make for you a mill which people will talk about.' When he turned away, `Umar said to his companions, 'The slave threatened me just now.' After a while Abu Lu'lu'ah wrapped his garments around a dagger with two heads (to the blade) whose handle was in the middle of it, hid in one of the corners of the mosque in the darkness of the last part of the night, and there he waited until `Umar came out waking people up for the prayer. When he drew near to him, he stabbed him three times.

'Amr ibn Maymun al-Ansari said: Abu Lu'lu'ah, the slave of al-Mughirah, stabbed `Umar with a dagger which had two heads, and he stabbed, along with him, twelve other men of whom six died, then a man from Iraq threw over him a robe. When he became tangled up in it, he killed himself.

Abu Rafi` said: Abu Lu'lu'ah, the slave of al-Mughirah, used to make mills. Al-Mughirah used to demand as revenue from him four dirhams a day. He met `Umar and said, 'Amir al-Muminin, al-Mughirah is being very heavy on me, so speak to him.' He said, 'Behave well towards your master,' and `Umar's intention was to speak to al-Mughirah about it so he (the slave) became angry and said, 'His justice encompasses all of the people except for me,' and he secretly decided to kill him. He took a dagger, sharpened it and poisoned it. `Umar used to say, 'Straighten your ranks,' before he pronounced the takbir. He came and stood opposite him in the rank, stabbed him in his shoulder and side, and `Umar fell. Then he stabbed thirteen other men with him, of whom six died. `Umar was carried to his family. The sun was about to rise so `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Auf led the people in prayer with the two shortest surahs. `Umar was brought some nabidh (a drink made from dates left to soak in water) and he drank it and it came out of his wound, but it wasn't yet distinct (from the blood). So they gave him some milk to drink, and it came out of his wound and they said, 'There's no great harm with you.' He said, 'If there is any harm in killing, then I have been killed.' People began to praise him, saying, 'You were such and such and you were such and such.' He said, 'By Allah, I wish that I had gone out of it, independent of others, with nothing against me and nothing for me, and that the companionship of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family and grant them peace, was secure for me.' Ibn `Abbas praised him, so he said, 'Even if I had that gold which would fill the earth, I would ransom myself by it from the terror of the Rising. I have made it (the khilafah) a matter of consultation between `Uthman, `Ali, Talhah, az-Zubayr, `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Auf and Sa`d.' He ordered Suhayb to lead people in prayer, and gave the six a period of three (days in which to decide). Ibn `Abbas said: Abu Lu'lu'ah was a Magian.

'Amr ibn Maimun said: `Umar said, 'Praise be to Allah Who did not make my decree of death to be at the hands of a man who claimed Islam.' Then he said to his son, '`Abdullah, look and see what debts I have.' They calculated it and found it to be eighty-six thousand or thereabouts. He said, 'If the wealth of the family of `Umar is enough, then pay it. If it is not, then ask among Bani `Adi, and if their wealth is not enough, then ask among Quraysh. Go to the Mother of the Believers, `A'ishah, and say, "`Umar asks permission to be buried with his two companions."' He went to her and she said, 'I wanted it (meaning the burial plot) for myself, but I will definitely prefer him over myself, today.' `Abdullah came and said, 'She has given permission,' so he praised Allah. Someone said to him, 'Make bequest, Amir al-Muminin, and appoint a successor.' He said, 'I see no-one with more right to this command than these six with whom the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was pleased when he died,' and he named the six, and said, '`Abdullah ibn `Umar will be present with them but he has no part in the command. If the office should fall to Sa`d, then he it is, and if not, then let whoever of you is appointed seek help from him, for I did not remove him (from his office) because of any incapacity or treachery.' Then he said, 'I counsel the khalifah after me to have fearful obedience of Allah; I counsel him to pay particular care to the Muhajirun and the Ansar, and I counsel him to treat the people of the provinces well,' and other similar counsels. When he died, we went walking with him, `Abdullah ibn `Umar called out the greeting and said, '`Umar seeks permission to enter.' `A'ishah said, 'Bring him in.' He was brought in and placed there with his two companions.

When they finished burying him and had returned, that group gathered and `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Auf said, 'Delegate your authority to three among you.' Az-Zubayr said, 'I delegate my authority to `Ali.' Sa`d said, 'I delegate my authority to `Abd ar-Rahman.' Talhah said, 'I delegate my authority to `Uthman.' He continued: so there remained these three. `Abd ar-Rahman said, 'I don't want it. Which of you two will be quit of this matter and we will entrust it to him (the remaining one)? And Allah is his witness and Islam, let him consider in himself who is the best of them and let him be eager for the benefit of the ummah.' The two Shaykhs, `Ali and `Uthman were silent. `Abd ar-Rahman said, 'Delegate me and, Allah is my witness, I will not fail you in choosing the best of you.' They said, 'Yes.' Then he went apart with `Ali and said, 'You have that precedence in Islam and kinship with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, which you know. Allah is your witness; if I give you authority, will you be just, and if I give authority (to `Uthman) over you, will you hear and obey?' He said, 'Yes.' Then he went apart with the other and said to him the same thing. When he had their agreement, he pledged allegiance to `Uthman and `Ali pledged allegiance to him.
`Umar said: If my term overtakes me, and Abu 'Ubaydah al-Jarrah is still alive, then I would appoint him as khalifah. If my Lord asked me, I would say, 'I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying, "Every Prophet has a trustworthy (companion), and my trustworthy (companion) is Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah."' If my term overtakes me, and Abu 'Ubaydah al-Jarrah has died, I would appoint Mu'adh ibn Jabal as khalifah. If my Lord asked me, 'Why did you appoint him as khalifah?' I would say, 'I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying, "He will be raised up on the Day of Resurrection a distance in front of the men of knowledge."' They had both died during his khilafah.

Abu Rafi` narrated that someone spoke to `Umar at his death about the appointment of a khalifah, so he said, 'I have seen among my companions an unfortunate eagerness. If one of two men had reached me, and then I had entrusted this command to him, I would have been sure of him: Salim the freed slave of Abu Hudhayfah and Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah.' `Umar was struck on the Wednesday, four days before the end of Dhu'l-Hijjah, and he was buried on Sunday, the day of the new moon of al-Muharram, the Sacred (month). He was sixty-three years old. It has also been said that he was sixty-six, sixty-one, sixty (which al-Waqidi preferred). It has been said that he was fifty-nine, fifty-five and fifty-four. Suhayb performed the (funeral) prayer over him in the mosque.

In the Tahdhib of al-Mazini, there is that the engraving on the seal-ring of `Umar was, 'Death is enough of an admonisher, `Umar.' Tariq ibn Shihab said: Umm Ayman said, on the day `Umar was killed, 'Today Islam has been rent.' `Abd ar-Rahman ibn Yasar said, 'I witnessed the death of `Umar ibn al-Khattab and the sun was eclipsed on that day.' The men who transmitted (this hadith) were trustworthy.

 

Some particulars of his biography

Al-Ahnaf ibn Qais said: We were sitting at `Umar's door and a slave girl passed by, and they said, 'The concubine of the Amir al-Muminin.' He said, 'She is not the concubine of the Amir al-Muminin, and she is not permitted to him. She is of the property of Allah.' So we said, 'Then what is permitted to him of the property of Allah, exalted is He?' He said, 'There is only permitted to `Umar of the property of Allah two garments, a garment for the winter and a garment for the summer, what I can perform the Hajj and the 'Umrah with (i.e. an ihram), my sustenance and the sustenance of my family, as a man of Quraysh who is not the wealthiest of them nor the poorest, then I am, after that, a man among the Muslims.'

Khuzaymah ibn Thabit said, 'Whenever `Umar appointed a governor, he wrote to him and made a condition on him that he should not ride a birdhaun (a large heavy non-Arabian horse from Asia Minor or Greece), nor eat delicacies, nor dress in finery, nor lock his door against the needy. Then if he did that it would be permitted to punish him.'

'Ikrimah ibn Khalid and others said: Hafsah, `Abdullah and others spoke to `Umar and said, 'If only you were to eat wholesome food it would strengthen you upon the truth.' He asked, 'Are you all of this view?' They said, 'Yes.' He said, 'I have learnt what your sincere advice is. However, I have left my two companions on a highway, and if I abandon their highway I will not reach them in the house.' He ('Ikrimah) said: An affliction befell the people one year, and that year he did not eat clarified butter nor fat.

Ibn Mulaykah said: 'Utbah ibn Farqad spoke to `Umar about his food and he said, 'Mercy on you! Should I eat up my wholesome sweet things in my worldly life and seek to enjoy myself with them?'

Al-Hasan said: `Umar entered in upon his son 'Asim when he was eating meat and he said, 'What is this?' He said, 'We had a craving for it. He said, 'Every time you crave something, do you eat it? It is sufficient wasteful extravagance for a man that he eats everything he has an appetite for.'

Aslam said: `Umar said, 'There occurred to my heart a desire for fresh fish.' He (Aslam) said: Yarfa' mounted his camel and rode four miles there, four miles back, buying a basketful and bringing it back. Then he went to his camel, washed it, and went to `Umar. He said, 'Let us go and I will look at the camel.' He said, 'Did you forget to wash this sweat beneath its ears? Have you tormented an animal for the appetite of `Umar? No! by Allah! `Umar will not taste of your basket.'

Qatadah said: `Umar used to dress, while he was khalifah, with a garment of wool patched in parts with leather, and he would go around in the markets with a whip over his shoulder with which he would correct people. He would pass bits of rags and pieces of date-stones, which he would stumble on unexpectedly, and he would throw them into people's houses for them to make use of.

Anas said: I saw between `Umar's shoulder-blades, four patches in his shirt.
Abu `Uthman an-Nahdi said: I saw `Umar wearing a waist-wrapper patched with leather.
`Abdullah ibn 'Amir ibn Rabi'ah said: I performed the Hajj with `Umar and he did not pitch a tent of goat's hair nor of wool. He used to throw the upper part of his ihram and his leather mat over a bush and seek shelter underneath it. `Abdullah ibn `Isa said: There were two dark furrows in `Umar's face from his weeping.

Al-Hasan said: `Umar used to pass by an ayah in his wird (daily portion set aside to recite) and he would fall down (in a faint) until he revived after some days.

Anas said: I entered a walled garden and heard `Umar saying, while there was a wall between us, '`Umar ibn al-Khattab, Amir al-Muminin. Well done! Well done! By Allah, you will fear Allah, Ibn al-Khattab or Allah will punish you.'

`Abdullah ibn 'Amir ibn Rabi'ah said: I saw `Umar take up a straw from the ground and say, 'I wish I was this straw. I wish I was nothing. I wish that my mother had not given birth to me.'

`Abdullah ibn `Umar ibn Hafs said: `Umar carried a skin full of water upon his neck. Someone spoke to him about that and he said, 'My self was filling me with conceit and I wished to humble it.'

Muhammad ibn Sirin said: An in-law of `Umar's came to see him and asked him to give him something from the bait al-mal and `Umar refused him and said, 'Do you want me to meet Allah as a treacherous King?' Then he gave him from his own property ten thousand dirhams. An-Nakha'i said: `Umar used to trade while he was khalifah.

Anas said: `Umar's stomach rumbled from eating olive oil the year of the drought. He had forbidden himself clarified butter and he tapped on his stomach with his finger and said, 'There is nothing else for us, until the people have the means of living.'

Sufyan ibn 'Uyaynah said: `Umar ibn al-Khattab said, 'The person I like most is the one who points out to me my defects.'

Aslam said: I saw `Umar ibn al-Khattab taking hold of the ear of the horse, taking hold, with the other hand, of his own ear and leaping up on the back of the horse.

Ibn `Umar said: I never saw `Umar become angry, and then Allah was mentioned in his presence or he was made to fear, or a person would recite an ayah from the Qur'an in his presence, but that he stopped short of what he meant to do.

Bilal said to Aslam, 'How do you find `Umar?' He said, 'The best of people, except that when he becomes angry it is a mighty matter.' Bilal said, 'If I was with him when he became angry, I would recite Qur'an to him until his anger went.'

Al-Ahwas ibn Hakim said, narrating from his father: `Umar was brought meat dressed with clarified butter and he refused to eat the two of them. He said, 'Both of them are seasonings.' All of the aforegoing are from Ibn Sa`d.

Al-Hasan said: `Umar said, 'It is an easy thing by which I put right a people, that I exchange them an amir in place of an amir." His description Zirr said: I went out with the people of Madinah on the day of 'Eid and I saw `Umar walking barefoot, an old man, balding, of a tawny colour, left-handed, tall, towering over people as if he were on a riding beast. Al-Waqidi said: It is not known among us that `Umar was tawny, unless he saw him in the year of the drought, because his colour changed when he ate olive oil.

Ibn `Umar described `Umar and said: A man of fair complexion, with a ruddy tint prevailing, tall, balding and grey-haired.

'Ubaydah ibn 'Umayr said: `Umar used to overtop the people in height.

Salimah ibn al-Akwa' said: `Umar was left and right-handed, meaning that he used both hands together.
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.

From various sources it is known that the mother of `Umar ibn al-Khattab was Hantamah the daughter of Hisham ibn al-Mughirah and she was the sister of Abu Jahl ibn Hisham, so that Abu Jahl was his maternal uncle. 
 

The things in which he was first

Al-`Askari said: He was the first to be called 'Amir al-Muminin', the first to date events from the Hijrah, the first to take a bait al-mal (see the chapter on Abu Bakr), the first to establish as a sunnah the standing (for prayer) in the month of Ramadan, the first who patrolled at night, the first who punished satire, the first who punished wine-drinking with eighty (lashes), the first who declared al-mut`ah (temporary marriage) haram (rather the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade it on the Day of Khaybarsee the Muwatta' of Imam Malik), the first to forbid the sale of female slaves who had borne children to their masters, the first to assemble for prayers over the dead with four takbirs, the first to have a register, the first to make conquests, the first to survey the Sawad (the cultivated land of Iraq), the first to convey food from Egypt upon the Aylah Sea (Gulf of 'Aqabah) to Madinah, the first who dedicated sadaqah (purely for the sake of Allah) in Islam, and the first who adjusted the division of inheritances (in cases where the calculated portions add up to more than the total inheritance), the first to take the zakah of horses, the first to say, 'May Allah lengthen your life,' (he said it to `Ali) and the first to say, 'May Allah help you,' (he said it to `Ali). This is the end of what al-`Askari mentioned.

An-Nawawi said in his Tahdhib that he was the first to adopt the whip. Ibn Sa`d mentions it in the Tabaqat, and he said: It used to be said, after him, 'The whip of `Umar is more terrible than your sword.' He (an-Nawawi) continued: He was the first to appoint Qadis in the provinces, the first who established the provinces of (the cities of) Kufah, Basrah, and of Mesopotamia, Syria, Cairo (Egypt), and Mosul.
Isma'il ibn Ziyad said: `Ali ibn Abi Talib passed by the mosques in Ramadan and in them there were lamps, so he said, 'May Allah illuminate `Umar in his grave, as he has illuminated our mosques for us.'

Ibn Sa`d said: `Umar appointed a meal (flour) house and put flour in it, parched barley meal, dates, raisins and necessities, in order to help the traveller whose journey was interrupted (through need or other causes), and he established between Makkah and Madinah on the road that which would be useful to travellers whose journeys were interrupted. He demolished the Mosque of the Prophet, added to it, expanded it and floored it with pebbles. He was the one who moved the Jewish tribes from the Hijaz (and sent them) to Syria, and moved the people of Najran (and sent them) to Kufah. He was the one who moved the Station of Ibrahim back (from the Ka`bah) to where it is today, and it used to be adjoining the House.

 

Some accounts of him and of his judgements

`Umar ibn `Abd al-'Aziz asked Abu Bakr ibn Sulayman ibn Abi Hathamah what was the reason that it used to be written, 'From the Khalifah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,' in the time of Abu Bakr, then later `Umar used to write at first, 'From the Khalifah of Abu Bakr.'? Then who was the first to write, 'From the Amir al-Muminin (the Commander of the Believers)'? He said, 'Ash-Shifa, who was one of the women of the Muhajirun, told me that Abu Bakr used to write, "From the Khalifah of the Messenger of Allah," and `Umar used to write, "From the Khalifah of the Khalifah of the Messenger of Allah," until one day `Umar wrote to the governor of Iraq, to send him two strong men whom he could ask about Iraq and its inhabitants. He sent to him Labid ibn Rabi'ah and `Adi ibn Hatim, and they came to Madinah and entered the mosque where they found 'Amr ibn al-'As. They said, 'Get permission for us (to visit) the Amir al-Muminin.' 'Amr said, 'You two, by Allah, have hit upon his name!' Then 'Amr went in to him and said, 'Peace be upon you, Amir al-Muminin.' He said, 'What occurred to you about this name? You must explain what you have said.' He told him and said, 'You are the amir (commander) and we are the muminun (the believers).' Thus letters have continued to be written with that from that day.
An-Nawawi said in his Tahdhib: `Adi ibn Hatim and Labid ibn Rabi'ah named him thus when they came as a deputation from 'Iraq. It has been said that al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah named him with this name. It has also been said that `Umar said to people, 'You are the believers and I am your amir,' and so he was called Amir al-Muminin, and before that he was known as the Khalifah of the Khalifah of the Messenger of Allah, but they changed from that expression because of its length.

Mu'awiyyah ibn Qurrah said: It used to be written 'From Abu Bakr the Khalifah of the Messenger of Allah,' and then when it was `Umar ibn al-Khattab they wanted to say, 'The Khalifah of the Khalifah of the Messenger of Allah.' `Umar said, 'This is lengthy.' They said, 'No. But we have appointed you as amir over us, so you are our amir.' He said, 'Yes, and you are the believers, and I am your amir.' Then it became written Amir al-Muminin.

Ibn al-Musayyab said: The first to write the date was `Umar ibn al-Khattab two and a half years into his khilafah, and it was written down as the sixteenth year of the Hijrah, through the advice of `Ali.
Ibn `Umar related from `Umar that he wished to record the sunan (customary practices of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and of his companions), so he sought Allah's choice in the matter (through the supplication known as the istikharah) for a month. Then he arose one morning with a clear resolve and said, 'I remembered a people who were before you who wrote a book, and then they turned to it and abandoned the Book of Allah.' Shaddad said: The first words that `Umar would say when he ascended the mimbar were, 'O Allah, I am severe, so make me gentle, I am weak, so strengthen me, and I am miserly, so make me generous." `Umar said, 'I have placed myself in respect to Allah's property in the same relation as the guardian of the orphan to his (the orphan's) wealth. If I am in good circumstances, I will refrain from it, and if I am in need I will eat of it in moderation, and if (again later) I am in good circumstances, I will repay." Ibn `Umar said that when `Umar ibn al-Khattab was in need, he used to go to the man in charge of the bait al-mal and seek a loan from him. Often he might be in difficulty and the man in charge of the public treasury would come to him, seek repayment of the debt and would oblige him to pay it, and `Umar would be evasive to him. Then often `Umar would receive his stipend and so pay his debt.
Al-Bara' ibn Ma'rur said that `Umar went out one day until he came to the mimbar and he had been suffering from a complaint. The good qualities of honey were mentioned to him, and there was a receptacle (made of kid-skin) of it in the Bait al-mal. He said, 'If you give me permission I will take it, but if not then it is haram for me.' They gave him permission.

Salim ibn `Abdullah said that `Umar used to insert his hand into the saddle sore of his camel and say, 'I fear that I will be asked about what is (wrong) with you.' Ibn `Umar said: When `Umar meant to forbid people from some wrong action, he would come to his family and say, 'If I come to know of anyone who becomes involved in something I have forbidden, I will double the punishment for him.' `Umar ibn al-Khattab went out one night to patrol Madinah and he used to do that a lot when he came upon one of the women of the Arabs whose door was bolted against her (locking her in) and she was saying:

'This night, whose stars creep slowly, is wearisome and makes me sleepless, because I have no bedfellow with whom to sport, For, by Allah, if it were not that Allah's punishments are feared, his rights would have been removed from this couch. However, I fear a Watchful One Who is in charge of our selves and Whose recorder is not negligent for an instant. Fear of my Lord and modesty prevent me, and I honour my husband (too much) that his noble station should be conferred (on another).' So he (`Umar) wrote to his governors about military expeditions that no-one should be absent for more than four months.

Salman said that `Umar said to him, 'Am I a king or a khalifah?' Salman said to him, 'If you collect a dirham from the land of the Muslims, or less or more, then you put it to an improper use, you are a king, not a khalifah.' `Umar took warning from it.

Sufyan ibn Abi'l-'Arja' said: `Umar ibn al-Khattab said, 'By Allah, I do not know whether I am a khalifah or a king, for if I am a king then this is a tremendous matter.' Someone said, 'Amir al-Muminin, there is a distinction between the two of them.' He said, 'What is it?' He said, 'A khalifah does not take except what is due and he does not use it except in the right way, and you, praise be to Allah, are like that. The king treats people unjustly, and takes from this one and gives to that one.' `Umar was silent.

Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said: `Umar mounted a horse and his robe disclosed his thigh. The people of Najran saw on his thigh a black mole and said, 'This is the one whom we find in our Book will exile us from our land.' Ka`b al-Ahbar said to `Umar, 'We find you in the Book of Allah at one of the gates of Jahannam preventing people from falling into it. When you die, they will carry on plunging into it until the Day of Resurrection.' Abu Mash`ar said: Our Shaykhs told us that `Umar said, 'This matter will not be correct but with the severity that has no haughtiness in it, and with the gentleness that has no weakness in it.'
Hakim ibn 'Umayr said: `Umar ibn al-Khattab said, 'Let not the amir of an army or a raiding party whip anyone for a hadd punishment until he arrives at Darb (Derbe near the Cilician Gates, a mountain pass through which the Muslims passed returning from raids into Byzantine territory) so that the rage of the shaytan does not carry him to the point that he joins with the kuffar.'

Ash-Sha'bi said: The Byzantine Emperor wrote to `Umar ibn al-Khattab, 'My messengers have come to me from you claiming that among you there is a tree which is not like anything else among trees: it produces something like the ears of the ass, it opens out (to reveal) something like a pearl, it becomes green so that it is like the green emerald, it reddens until it is like the red ruby, then later it ripens and matures so that it becomes like the sweetest honey-cake ever eaten, then later it dries until it becomes a defence (against want) for the house-dweller and a provision for the traveller. If my messengers have told me the truth, I can only imagine that this is one of the trees of the Garden.' `Umar wrote to him, 'From the slave of Allah, `Umar, the Amir al-Muminin, to Caesar, the king of the Byzantines. Truly your messengers have told you the truth. This tree, which is with us, is the tree which Allah made to grow over Maryam when she gave birth to `Isa her son. So fear Allah and do not take `Isa as a god apart from Allah, for truly, "The likeness of `Isa with Allah is as the likeness of Adam, He created him from dust, ..."' (Qur'an 3: 59) to the end of the ayah.
Ibn `Umar narrated that `Umar ordered his governors, so they recorded their properties, and among them was Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas. Then `Umar shared with them in their properties and took a half and gave them a half.

Ash-Sha'bi said that when `Umar used to appoint a governor he would record his property.
Abu Imamah ibn Sahl ibn Hunayf said: `Umar remained some time not eating anything at all from the property of the bait al-mal, until poverty and constriction came upon him in that. He sent for the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to seek their advice. He said, 'I have occupied myself with this command, so what is fitting for me from it?' `Ali said, 'The midday and evening meals.' `Umar took that.

Ibn `Umar narrated that `Umar performed the Hajj in the year twenty-three (A.H.) and spent sixteen dinars upon his Hajj. He said, '`Abdullah we have been extravagant with this property.' Qatadah and ash-Sha'bi said: A woman came to `Umar and said, 'My husband stands at night (in prayer) and fasts during the day.' `Umar said, 'You have praised your husband excellently well.' Ka`b ibn Sawwar said, 'She was complaining.' `Umar said, 'How?' He said, 'She claims that she has no share in her husband (in his time).' He said, 'If you understood that much, then you decide between them.' He said, 'Amir al-Muminin, Allah has permitted him four (wives). So she has one day of every four days, and one night of every four nights.' Ibn Jarir said: One I trust informed me that `Umar, while he was patrolling, heard a woman saying:
'This night stretches out and is grievous, and that I have no intimate to sport with has made me sleepless, For, if it were not for fear of Allah Whom nothing is like, his rights would have been removed from this couch.' `Umar said, 'What is wrong with you?' She said, 'You sent my husband on an expedition some months ago, and I long for him.' He said, 'Do you mean to do wrong?' She said, '(I seek) the refuge of Allah!' He said, 'So restrain yourself; it is only (a matter of) the post to him.' He sent a message to him. Then he went to Hafsah and said, 'I want to ask you about a matter which concerns me, so dispel it for me. How long does a woman long for her husband?' She lowered her head and was shy. He said, 'Truly Allah is not shy of the truth.' She gestured with her hand, indicating three months, and if that is not possible, then four months. `Umar wrote that armies must not be kept on service for more than four months.

Jabir ibn `Abdullah narrated that he came to `Umar to complain to him of the treatment he received from his women-folk. `Umar said to him, 'We also find that, so much so that when I intend (going out for) some necessity, she says to me, "You are only going to the girls of Bani so-and-so to look at them."'

`Abdullah ibn Mas`ud said to him, 'Has it not reached you that Ibrahim, peace be upon him, complained to Allah about Sarah's character and it was said to him, "She has been created from a rib so have the enjoyment of her company as long as you don't see in her any unsoundness in her deen."'

`Ikrimah ibn Khalid said: One of `Umar ibn al-Khattab's sons went in to see him. He had combed and oiled his hair and dressed up in the very best clothing. `Umar struck him with a whip until he made him weep. Hafsah asked him, 'Why did you strike him?' He said, 'I saw that his self had made him conceited, and I wanted to make it (his self) small for him.'

Layth ibn Abi Salim narrated that `Umar said, 'Do not name yourselves with the name al-Hakam (the ruler and judge) nor Abu'l-Hakam (possessor of judgement) for truly Allah, He is al-Hakam (the ruler) and don't call a road a sikkah.' (Sikkah is literally both a 'row' and a 'plough' and it is possible there is a reference to the tradition that 'The sikkah (plough) has not entered the abode of a people but that it humiliated them.')
Ad-Dahhak said: Abu Bakr said, 'By Allah, I wish that I were a tree by the side of the road which a camel passed by, and it took me into its mouth, chewed me, swallowed me, passed me out as dung, and that I were not a man.' `Umar said, 'Would that I were my family's ram, which they were fattening as much as seemed right to them, until when I became as fat as could be, some people whom they love visit them, and they sacrifice me for them, make some of me into roasted meat, some of me into sun-dried meat, then eat me, and that I were not a human being.'

Abu'l-Bakhtari said: `Umar ibn al-Khattab used to give the khutbah on the mimbar. Al-Hussein ibn `Ali,may Allah be pleased with him, stood up before him and said, 'Come down from my father's mimbar.' `Umar said, 'It is the mimbar of your father and not the mimbar of my father. Who told you to do this?' `Ali stood and said, 'By Allah, no-one told him to do this. I will certainly cause you (al-Hussein) some pain, traitor.' He (`Umar) said, 'Don't hurt the son of my brother, for he has told the truth, it is the mimbar of his father.'
Abu Salamah ibn `Abd ar-Rahman and Sa`id ibn al-Musayyab narrated that `Umar ibn al-Khattab and `Uthman ibn `Affan were arguing over a certain question until an onlooker said, 'They will never reach an agreement.' Yet they only separated on the best and most beautiful terms.
Al-Hasan said: The first khutbah which `Umar delivered, he praised Allah and then said, 'Right. I have been tested by you and you have been tested by me, and I have succeeded to the khilafah, amongst you, after my two companions. Whoever is here present, we will manage their affairs in person, and whoever is not here with us, we will appoint over him strong and trustworthy people. Whoever acts excellently well, we will increase him in excellent treatment, and whoever acts wrongly we will punish, and may Allah forgive us and you.'

Jubayr ibn al-Huwayrith narrated that `Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, sought the advice of the Muslims on the recording of a register. `Ali said to him, 'Divide up every year what is collected for you of property, and don't keep any of it.' `Uthman said, 'I see much wealth, which is sufficient for the people and if it is not counted so that whoever takes is distinguished from whoever does not take, I am afraid that the matter will become confused.' Al-Walid ibn Hisham ibn al-Mughirah said, 'Amir al-Muminin, I went to Syria and I saw that its kings had recorded registers and organised the troops, so record registers and organise the troops.' He took his advice, and he called 'Aqil ibn Abi Talib, Makhramah ibn Naufal and Jubayr ibn Mut'im, who were genealogists of Quraysh, and said, 'Record people according to their ranks.' They recorded them beginning with Banu Hashim, then they followed with Abu Bakr and his people, then `Umar and his people, according to the order of their khilafahs. When `Umar saw it, he said, 'Begin with the close relatives of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the closest, then the next closest until you place `Umar where Allah placed him.'

Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab said: `Umar recorded the register in al-Muharram of the year 20 A.H.
Al-Hasan said: `Umar wrote to Hudhayfah, 'Give the people their stipends and their provisions.' He wrote back to him, 'We have done that and a great deal remains.' `Umar wrote to him, 'It is their spoils which Allah has given them. It is not `Umar's nor `Umar's family's. Divide it up among them.' Jubayr ibn Mut'im said: While `Umar was standing on the mountain of `Arafah he heard a man calling out, saying, 'Khalifah of Allah!' Another man heard him, and they were taking provisions for the way, so he said, 'What is wrong with you, may Allah split your uvulas?' I went towards the man and shouted at him. Jubayr continued: Then the next morning, I was standing with `Umar at al-'Aqabah (the major pillar of stones in Mina) and he was stoning it, when there came a stray pebble and split (the skin on) `Umar's head. I turned that way and heard a man from the mountain saying, 'I make it known, by the Lord of the Ka`bah, that `Umar will not stand in this place after this year,' and it was the one who had called out among us the day before, and that disturbed me greatly.

`A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: At the time of the last Hajj which `Umar performed with the Mothers of the Believers (the wives of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace), when we returned from `Arafah, I passed by al-Muhassab and I heard a man upon his camel saying, 'Where was `Umar, the Amir al-Muminin?' I heard another man saying, 'Here was the Amir al-Muminin.' He made the camel kneel down upon its breast, then he raised his voice in a wail saying:
'Upon you peace from an imam and may the hand of Allah bless that much-rent skin, Whoever hurries on or mounts the two wings of the ostrich, in order to overtake what you sent ahead the day before, will be outstripped. You decided matters, then after them you left behind trials and misfortunes in their sleeves, not yet unloosed.' That rider did not move and it was not known who he was, and we used to say that he was one of the Jinn, for `Umar came back from that Hajj, was stabbed by the dagger and died.

`Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abza said that `Umar said, 'This authority is among the people of Badr as long as one of them remains, then it is among the people of Uhud as long as one of them remains, and among such and such, and such and such, and there is no part in it for a freed captive, nor the son of a freed captive, nor those who became Muslims at the Conquest (of Makkah).' An-Nakha'i narrated that a man said to `Umar, 'Will you not appoint `Abdullah ibn `Umar as khalifah?' He said, 'May Allah fight you! By Allah, I never wanted this of Allah. Shall I appoint as khalifah a man who did not know how to divorce his wife properly?' Ka`b said: There was among the Tribe of Isra'il a king whom, when we remember him we are reminded of `Umar, and when we remember `Umar we are reminded of him. He had by his side a prophet who received revelation. Allah revealed to the prophet, peace be upon him, to say to him, 'Make your covenant and write your testament to me, for you are dead after three days.' The prophet informed him of that. When it was the third day, he fell down (dead) between the wall and the couch. He came to his Lord and said, 'O Allah, if You knew that I was just in my rule; that when matters differed, I followed Your guidance; and I was such and such, and such and such, then increase my life-span until my infant son grows up and my nation increases.' Allah revealed to the prophet that, 'He has said such and such and it is true and I have added fifteen years to his life-span. That is enough for his infant son to grow up and his nation to increase.' When `Umar was stabbed, Ka`b said, 'If `Umar were to ask his Lord, Allah would definitely let him stay.' `Umar was told about that. He said, 'O Allah take me back to You without (my) being powerless and incapable or blameworthy.' Sulayman ibn Yasar related that the Jinn wailed in mourning for `Umar.

Malik ibn Dinar said: A voice was heard on the mountain of Tabalah when `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was killed: 'Let him weep for Islam, whoever would weep, for they are on the point of being thrown to the ground and (their) appointed time has not been exceeded, And the world has declined and the best of it has gone, turning its back, and whoever is sure of the promise has become weary of it.'

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