Sayidinah Umar, His Merits, Miracles and Judgments

The Hadith on his Merit’s

Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘While I was asleep I saw myself in the Garden, and there was a woman performing wudu’ beside a palace. I said, “Whose is this palace?” They said, “It belongs to `Umar.” Then I remembered your jealousy and turned away.’ `Umar wept and said, ‘Could I be jealous of you, Messenger of Allah?’ Ibn `Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘While I was asleep I drank meaning milk until I saw satiation flowing in my nails, and then I passed it to `Umar.’ They said, ‘How did you interpret it, Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘Knowledge.’ Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, said: I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying, ‘While I was sleeping I saw people being shown to me and they had shirts on. Some of them reached to the breast, and some of them reached lower than that. `Umar was shown to me and he had on a shirt which he was dragging along.’ They said, ‘How did you interpret it, Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘The deen.’ Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Ibn al-Khattab, by Him in Whose hand is my self, the shaytan never met you travelling on a road but that he would travel on a road other than your road.’ Abu Hurairah said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘There were in the nations before you people who were inspired, and if there is one in my ummah it is `Umar.’ Ibn `Umar related that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Allah has put the truth upon `Umar’s tongue and (in) his heart.’ Ibn `Umar said: No affair ever happened among people and they spoke about it and `Umar spoke about it but that the Qur’an was revealed confirming what `Umar said.

‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amir said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family and grant them peace, said, ‘If there were to be a prophet after me it would be `Umar ibn al-Khattab.’ This hadith has been narrated by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, ‘Ismah ibn Malik and Ibn `Umar.

`A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘I am looking at the shaytans of the Jinn and men who have fled from `Umar.’ Ubayy ibn Ka`b said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘The first one whom the Truth will shake hands with is `Umar, the first He will greet (with the greeting of peace), and the first He will take by the hand and enter into the Garden.’

Abu Dharr said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Truly Allah has placed the truth upon the tongue of `Umar, it speaks by him (or he speaks by it).’ Abu Hurairah said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Truly Allah has placed the truth on the tongue of `Umar and (in) his heart.’ This hadith has been narrated by `Umar ibn al-Khattab, Bilal, Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, `A’ishah, and Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with them.

`Ali,may Allah be pleased with him, said: We, the Companions of Muhammad, used not to doubt that the sakinah (tranquility or Divine presence) spoke by the tongue of `Umar.

Ibn `Umar said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘`Umar is the lamp of the people of the Garden.’ This hadith was narrated by Abu Hurairah and As-Sa’b ibn Juththamah.

`Uthman ibn Madh’un said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘This one is the lock upon the fitnah (sedition and trials),’ and he indicated `Umar with his hand. ‘There will remain a door strongly locked between you and the fitnah as long as this one lives among you.’ Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both him and his father, said: Jibril came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘Greet `Umar with the greeting of peace and inform him that his anger is might and his good pleasure is judgement.’ `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘The shaytan is afraid of `Umar.’ Buraydah said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘The shaytan is afraid of you, `Umar.’ Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them (i.e. Ibn `Abbas and his father `Abbas), said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘There is no angel in the heaven that does not respect `Umar, and no shaytan on the earth but that he is afraid of `Umar.’ Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Allah glories in the people of `Arafah generally and He glories in `Umar particularly.’ It has been narrated in a hadith of Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both.

Al-Fadl ibn `Abbas said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘The truth, after me, is with `Umar wherever he is.’ Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with both of them, said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘While I was asleep I saw myself at a well upon which was a bucket, so I drew from it as long as Allah willed. Then later Abu Bakr took it and drew a full bucket or two, and in his drawing there was some weakness, and Allah will forgive him. Then `Umar ibn al-Khattab came and drew water and it became transformed in his hand into a large bucket, and I have not seen a chief of the people do wonderful deeds such as he did, until the people had satisfied their thirst and settled down (there by the water).’ An-Nawawi said in his Tahdhib: The men of knowledge say, ‘This points to the khilafahs of Abu Bakr and `Umar, and to the great number of conquests and the victory of Islam in the time of `Umar.’ Sadisah said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘The shaytan has not met `Umar since he accepted Islam but that he fell upon his face.’ This hadith has been narrated also by Sadisah from Hafsah.

Ubayy ibn Ka`b said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Jibril said to me, “Let Islam weep over the death of `Umar.”‘ Abu Sa’id al-Khudri said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Whoever is angry with `Umar is angry with me. Whoever loves `Umar loves me. Allah glories in the people on the evening of `Arafah generally, and He glories in `Umar particularly. Allah has not sent a prophet except that he put among his ummah an inspired man and if there is one such in my ummah then it is `Umar.’ They said, ‘Prophet of Allah, how inspired?’ He said, ‘The angels speak by his tongue.’

Sayings of the Companions and first generations on him

Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, said: There is not on the face of the earth a man more beloved to me than `Umar.

Someone said to Abu Bakr during his (last) illness, ‘What will you say to your Lord, when you have appointed `Umar?’ He said, ‘I will say to Him, “I have appointed over them the best of them.”‘ `Ali,may Allah be pleased with him, said: When the right-acting ones are mentioned then begin with `Umar. We did not think it unlikely that as-Sakinah (the Divine Presence) spoke with the tongue of `Umar.

Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said: I have never seen anyone after the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, from the time he died, more perceptive and more liberally generous than `Umar.

Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said: Even if the knowledge of `Umar were to be put in one scale of a balance and the knowledge of every living being on the earth were put in the other scale, the knowledge of `Umar would outweigh their knowledge. They used to hold the view that he had gone (i.e. died) with nine-tenths of knowledge.

Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: It is as if the knowledge of mankind was concealed in the understanding of `Umar.

Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: By Allah, I do not know a man whom the blame of the one who blames, for the sake of Allah, does not overcome, except for `Umar.

`A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, saidand she mentioned `Umar’He was, by Allah, skilful in managing affairs, absolutely unique.’ Mu’awiyah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: As for Abu Bakr, he did not want the world and it did not want him. As for `Umar, the world wanted him but he did not want it. As for us, we have rolled over in it (like an animal in the dust).

Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, said: `Ali entered upon `Umarand he was shroudedand said, ‘The mercy of Allah upon you! There is no-one I would prefer to meet Allah with that which is in his page (the record of his actions), after the companionship of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, than this shrouded one.’ Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said: When the right-acting ones are remembered, then begin with `Umar. Truly `Umar was the most knowledgeable of us of the Book of Allah, and the most understanding (literally: having the most fiqh) of us of the deen of Allah, exalted is He.

Ibn `Abbas was asked about Abu Bakr and he said, ‘He was the good, all of it.’ He was asked about `Umar and said, ‘He was like the apprehensive bird which thinks that on every path there is a snare to catch it.’ He was asked about `Ali and he said, ‘He was full of resolve, sound judgement, knowledge and valour.’ ‘Umayr ibn Rabi’ah related that `Umar ibn al-Khattab said to Ka`b al-Ahbar, ‘How do you find my description?’ He said, ‘I find your description to be a horn of iron.’ He asked, ‘What is a horn of iron?’ He said, ‘A strong commander who, for the sake of Allah, the censure of the one who blames does not overcome.’ He said, ‘Then what?’ He said, ‘There will be after you a khalifah whom a wrong-doing group will kill.’ He said, ‘Then what?’ He said, ‘Then there will be the trial (affliction).’ Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said: `Umar ibn al-Khattab excelled people in four: the affair of the prisoners on the Day of Badr, he ordered that they should be killed and Allah revealed, ‘If it were not for a decree of Allah which had preceded …’ (Qur’an 8: 68) to the end of the ayah; and in the matter of the hijab, he ordered the women of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to veil themselves, so Zaynab said to him, ‘And really you are responsible over us Ibn al-Khattab, and the revelation descends upon us in our houses?’ So Allah revealed, ‘Then if you ask them for some item …’ (Qur’an 33: 53) to the end of the ayah; and by the supplication of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ‘O Allah, help Islam with `Umar’; and in his view of Abu Bakr, for he was the first one to pledge allegiance to him.

Mujahid said: We used to say that the shaytans were chained and shackled during the amirate of `Umar, then when he was struck they spread abroad.

Salim ibn `Abdullah said: News of `Umar was slow in reaching Abu Musa so he went to a woman who had a shaytan in her, and asked her about him. She said, ‘Wait until my shaytan comes to me.’ Then he came and she asked him about him. He said, ‘I left him dressed with a piece of cloth as a waist-wrapper, smearing the camels of the sadaqah (of the zakah) with tar (against the mange or scab). And that is a man whom a shaytan does not see but that he falls flat on his nostrils; the angel is between his two eyes and the Ruh al-Quds (Jibril) speaks with his tongue.’ Section Sufyan ath-Thawri said: Whoever claimed that `Ali had more right to authority than Abu Bakr and `Umar has made a mistake and has accused Abu Bakr, `Umar and all the Muhajirun and the Ansar of making a mistake.

Sharik said: No-one in whom there is any good advances `Ali before Abu Bakr and `Umar.

Abu Usamah said: Do you grasp who Abu Bakr and `Umar were? They were the father and mother of Islam.

Ja’far as-Sadiq said: I am quit of whoever mentions Abu Bakr and `Umar with anything but good.

The agreements of (the views of) `Umar (with subsequent confirmatory revelations of Qur’an)

Some of them make them amount to more than twenty.

Mujahid said: `Umar used to hold a view and Qur’an would be revealed with (confirmation of) it.

`Ali said: In the Qur’an there are some of the views of `Umar.

Ibn `Umar said: When people said one thing and `Umar said another, the Qur’an would be revealed with the like of what `Umar said.

`Umar said: I agreed with my Lord in three things; I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, if only we were to take the Station of Ibrahim as a place of prayer,’ and there was revealed, ‘… and take the Station of Ibrahim as a place of prayer.’ (Qur’an 2: 125). I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, both good and bad people come to visit your wives; if only you would order them to wear hijabs,’ and the ayah of the hijab was revealed. The wives of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, united in jealousy, and so I said, ‘Perhaps his Lord, if he divorces you, will give him in exchange wives better than you, …’ and it was revealed just like that (with exactly the same words, see Qur’an 66: 5).

In another hadith `Umar said, ‘I agreed with my Lord in three things: in the hijab, in the prisoners at Badr, and in the Station of Ibrahim.’ In this hadith is a fourth instance.

In at-Tahdhib of an-Nawawi, ‘The Qur’an was revealed in agreement with him on the prisoners at Badr, on the hijab, on the Station of Ibrahim and on the prohibition of wine.’ He added a fifth instance. Its hadith is that he said, ‘O Allah, make clear to us about wine with an explanation which relieves us from all doubt.’ Then Allah revealed its prohibition.

Anas said: `Umar said, ‘I was in agreement with my Lord in four things: this ayah was revealed, “And certainly We have created man from an extraction of clay,” (Qur’an 23: 12) and when it was revealed I said, “So blessed be Allah the best of creators,” and then it was revealed, “So blessed be Allah the best of creators.”‘ (Qur’an 95: 8). Here he mentioned a sixth instance. The hadith has another chain of transmission from Ibn `Abbas.

Then I saw in the book Fada’il al-Imamayn of Abu `Abdullah ash-Shaybani that he said, ‘`Umar agreed with his Lord in twenty-one situations,’ and he mentioned these six (aforementioned). He augmented as a seventh the story of `Abdullah ibn Ubayy. I say: Its hadith is in the sound traditions from him (`Umar). He said, ‘When `Abdullah ibn Ubayy died, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family and grant them peace, was invited to perform the funeral prayer over him so he stood up for that. I rose up until I stood up close to his chest and said, “Messenger of Allah, is it over the enemy of Allah, Ibn Ubayy, who said one day such-and-such?” Then, by Allah, it wasn’t very long until it was revealed, “And do not pray over one of them ever …” (Qur’an 9: 84) to the conclusion of the ayah.’ 8. ‘They ask you about wine …’ (Qur’an 2: 219) to the end of the ayah.

9. ‘O you who believe, do not approach the prayer …’ (Qur’an 4: 43) to the end of the ayah. I say that the two of them, along with the ayah from Al-Ma’idah, are one instance, and the three are in the preceding hadith. 10. When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, increased in seeking forgiveness for a people, `Umar said, ‘It is equal to them.’ Then Allah revealed, ‘It is equal to them whether you seek forgiveness for them . . .’ (Qur’an 63: 2) to the end of the ayah. This hadith has been narrated of Ibn `Abbas.

11. When he, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sought the advice of the Companions about the expedition to Badr, `Umar was in favour of the expedition and so it was revealed, ‘Just as your Lord brought you out of your house by the truth …’ (Qur’an 8: 5) to the end of the ayah.

12. When he, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sought the advice of the Companions with respect to the story of the slander (of `A’ishah) `Umar said, ‘Who married you to her, Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘Allah.’ He said, ‘Do you think that your Lord would conceal a defect of hers from you? Glory be to You, this is huge slander!’ (Qur’an 24: 16). Then the revelation came down just like that.

13. His story in the fast when he made love to his wife after waking from sleep (before the pre-dawn meal) and that was forbidden in the beginning of Islam and so it was revealed, ‘It is permitted to you on the night of the fast …’ (Qur’an 2: 187) to the end of the ayah.

14. His words, Exalted is He, ‘Whoever is an enemy to Jibril …’ (Qur’an 2: 97) to the end of the ayah. I say that it has been narrated from many different narrators the best of which is from `Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Layla that: An unbeliever met `Umar and said, ‘Jibril, whom your companion mentions, is an enemy to us.’ So `Umar said, ‘Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and His messengers and Jibril and Mika’il, then truly Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.’ So it was revealed on the tongue of `Umar.

15. His words, Exalted is He, ‘Then no! By your Lord, they do not believe …’ (Qur’an 4: 65) to the end of the ayah. I say that its story has been narrated from Abu’l-Aswad. He said: Two men brought a dispute to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family and grant them peace, and he gave judgement between them. The one who had judgement given against him said, ‘Let us go to `Umar ibn al-Khattab,’ and so the two of them went to him. The man said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave judgement in my favour against this man and he said, “Let us go to `Umar.”‘ `Umar said, ‘Is it like that?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ So `Umar said, ‘Stay where you are until I come out to you.’ Then he came out to them wrapping his sword in his garment and struck the one who had said, ‘Let us go to `Umar,’ and killed him. The other returned and said, ‘Messenger of Allah, `Umar killedby Allah!my companion.’ So he said, ‘I wouldn’t have thought that `Umar would have ventured to kill a believer.’ Then Allah revealed, ‘Then no! By your Lord they do not believe …’ to the end of the ayah. He declared, there was to be no retaliation or compensation for the blood of the man and declared `Umar free from any wrong in his killing. There is another text that supports this story which I have related in At-Tafsir al-Musnad.

16. Seeking permission to enter. That was because his servant entered his room when he was sleeping and he said, ‘O Allah, forbid entrance.’ Then the ayah of seeking permission to enter was revealed.

17. His saying about the Jews, ‘They are a confused people.’

18. His words, exalted is He, ‘Many of the first ones and many of the latter ones.’ (Qur’an 56: 39-40). I say that Jabir ibn `Abdullah narrated its story and that it is in the Asbab an-Nuzul.

19. The lifting (abrogation) of the recitation of, ‘The older man and the older woman when they commit adultery ….’ to the end of the ayah (an ayah whose judgement remains valid although it is not in the mushaf and is not recited).

20. His words on the Day of Uhud when Abu Sufyan said, ‘Is so-and-so among the people?” (`Umar said) “We will not answer him,’ and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, agreed with him.

Ash-Shaybani said: We join to this that Ka`b al-Ahbar said, ‘Woe to the king of the earth from the King of heaven.’ Then `Umar said, ‘Except for whoever takes himself to account.’ Ka`b said, ‘By the One in Whose hand is my soul it is in the Tawrah. You have carried it on (the words of the verse) consecutively.’ Then `Umar fell prostrate.

Then I have seen in Al-Kamil of Ibn `Adi from `Umar that Bilal used to say, when he called the adhan, ‘I witness that there is no god but Allah. Come to prayer.’ Then `Umar said to him, ‘Say after it, “I witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”‘ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Say as `Umar said.’

His miracles

Ibn `Umar said: `Umar sent an army and he put at the head of them a man called Sariyah. While `Umar was delivering the khutbah he began to cry out, ‘Sariyah, the mountain!’ three times. Then later the messenger of the army came and he asked `Umar, ‘Amir al-Muminin, we were being defeated and in that situation we heard a voice crying out, “Sariyah, the mountain!” three times. We put the mountain to our rear, and then Allah defeated them.’ Someone said to `Umar, ‘You cried out with those words.’ That mountain, where Sariyah was, is close to Nahawand in the land of the non-Arabs (Persian Iraq).

Ibn `Umar, in another version of the hadith, said: `Umar was delivering the khutbah on the day of Jumu’ah and then he turned aside during his khutbah and said, ‘Sariyah, the mountain! He who asks the wolf to be a shepherd will be wronged.’ People looked about, one to another. Then `Ali said to them, ‘Let him explain what he meant.’ When he had finished they asked him and he said, ‘It occurred to me in my mind that the idolators were defeating our brothers who were passing by a mountain, and that if they were to turn towards it, they would fight on one front only, but if they passed by it they would be destroyed. So there came out of me that which you claim you heard.’ He said: The messenger came a month later and mentioned that they had heard the voice of `Umar on that day, and he said, ‘We turned towards the mountain, and Allah gave us victory.’ ‘Amr ibn al-Harith said: While `Umar (ibn al-Khattab) was upon the mimbar delivering the khutbah on the day of jumu’ah suddenly he left off the khutbah and said, ‘Sariyah, the mountain!’ two or three times. Some of those present said, ‘He has gone mad, he is insane.’ `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Auf went in to see himand he had confidence in himand he said, ‘You give them room to talk against you. While you were giving the khutbah, suddenly you cried out, “Sariyah, the mountain!” What sort of thing is this?’ He said, ‘By Allah, I could not control it. I saw them fighting near a mountain and they were being attacked from in front of them and from behind them. I could not stop myself from saying, “Sariyah, the mountain!” so that they would reach the mountain.’ Then they waited some time until Sariyah’s messenger came with his letter, ‘The people met us (in battle) on the day of jumu’ah, and we fought them until, when it was time for jumu’ah, we heard someone cry out, “Sariyah, the mountain!” twice, so we reached the mountain. We continued victorious over our enemy until Allah defeated them and killed them.’ Then those people who had accused him said, ‘Leave this man alone, because he is in collusion with him.’

Ibn `Umar in another hadith said: `Umar ibn al-Khattab said to a man, ‘What is your name?’ He said, ‘Jamrah (a live coal).’ He asked, ‘Whose son?’ He said, ‘The son of Shihab (flame).’ He asked, ‘From what tribe?’ He said, ‘From al-Hurqah (a state of burning).’ He asked, ‘Where is your dwelling?’ He said, ‘At al-Harrah (the heat).’ He asked, ‘In which of them?’ He said, ‘Dhat Ladha (the blazing one).’ `Umar said, ‘Go to your family for they have been burnt.’ The man returned to his family and found that they had been burnt. This hadith is narrated of Yahya ibn Sa’id by Malik and by a number of other compilers of hadith.

Qais ibn al-Hajjaj, from someone he related from, said: When Egypt was conquered, its people came to ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, when the first day of one of their months arrived, and they said to him, ‘Amir, this Nile of ours has a year in which it does not flow without it.’ He asked, ‘And what is that?’ They said, ‘When eleven nights have elapsed of this month we seek a young virgin from her parents, we obtain the consent of the parents, then we dress her in the best possible clothing and ornaments, and then we throw her in this Nile.’ So ‘Amr said to them, ‘This will never be in Islam. Islam demolishes what precedes it.’ They left, and neither did the Nile flow a little nor a lot, until they intended to emigrate. When ‘Amr saw that, he wrote to `Umar ibn al-Khattab about it. He wrote back to him, ‘You were right in what you said. Truly, Islam demolishes what precedes it.’ He sent a slip of paper inside his letter and wrote to ‘Amr, ‘I have sent you a slip of paper inside my letter, so throw it in the Nile.’ When `Umar’s letter reached ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, he took the slip and opened it, and there in it was, ‘From the slave of Allah `Umar ibn al-Khattab Amir al-Muminin to the Nile of Egypt. Now, if you used to flow before, then don’t flow! If it was Allah who made you flow, then I ask the Overwhelming One to make you flow.’ He threw the slip into the Nile a day before (the Festival of) the Cross. They woke up in the morning, and Allah, Exalted is He, had made it flow (and it rose) sixteen cubits in one night. Allah cut off this sunnah (custom) of the people of Egypt right up to this day.

Tariq ibn Shihab said: A man was in conversation with `Umar ibn al-Khattab and told him a lie, and he would say, ‘Withhold this.’ Then later he told him something else and he said, ‘Withhold this.’ He said to him, ‘Everything I told you was true except for what you told me to withhold.’ Al-Hasan said: If there was anyone who recognised a lie when he was told it, then it was `Umar ibn al-Khattab.

Abu Hudbah al-Himsi said: `Umar was told that the people of Iraq had pelted their amir with pebbles and he went out angry. He performed the prayer but was forgetful in his prayer. When he had completed the prayer, he said, ‘O Allah, they have made me confused, so make them confused, and hasten with the youth of (the tribe of) Thaqif who will pass judgement among them with the judgement of Jahiliyyah, who will not accept from their good-doers and he will not pass over their wrong-doers with pardon.’ I say that this indicates al-Hajjaj. Ibn Lahi’ah said, ‘Al-Hajjaj was not yet born at that time.’

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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