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Umar
Umar
ibn Al-Khaṭṭāb Arabic: عمر بن الخطاب‎

Tribe Quraysh
Quraysh
(Banu Adi)

Father Khattab ibn Nufayl

Mother Hantamah binti Hisham

Umar

Venerated in All of Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
(Salafi Sunnis honor rather than venerate him).

Umar
Umar
(/ˈuːmɑːr/), also spelled Omar (/ˈoʊmɑːr/; Arabic: عمر بن الخطاب‎ ʻ Umar
Umar
ibn al-Khaṭṭāb [ˈʕomɑr-, ˈʕʊmɑr ɪbn alxɑtˤˈtˤɑːb], "Umar, Son of Al-Khattab"; c. 584 CE – 3 November 644 CE), was one of the most powerful and influential Muslim caliphs in history.[6] He was a senior companion of the Prophet Muhammad. He succeeded Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
(632–634) as the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Caliphate
on 23 August 634. He was an expert Muslim jurist known for his pious and just nature, which earned him the epithet Al-Farooq ("the one who distinguishes (between right and wrong)"). He is sometimes referred to as Umar
Umar
I by historians of Islam, since a later Umayyad caliph, Umar
Umar
II, also bore that name. Under Umar, the caliphate expanded at an unprecedented rate, ruling the Sasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
and more than two-thirds of the Byzantine Empire.[7] His attacks against the Sasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
resulted in the conquest of Persia in less than two years (642–644).[8] According to Jewish tradition, Umar
Umar
set aside the Christian ban on Jews
Jews
and allowed them into Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and to worship.[9] Umar
Umar
was eventually killed by the Persian Piruz Nahavandi
Piruz Nahavandi
(known as ‘Abū-Lū‘lū‘ah in Arabic) in 644 CE. Umar
Umar
is revered in the Sunni
Sunni
tradition as a great ruler and paragon of Islamic virtues,[10] and some hadiths identify him as the second greatest of the Sahaba
Sahaba
after Abu Bakr.[11][12] He is viewed negatively in the Shia
Shia
tradition.[13]

Contents

1 Early life 2 During Muhammad's era

2.1 Initial hostility to Islam 2.2 Conversion to Islam 2.3 Migration to Medina 2.4 Life in Medina 2.5 Death of Muhammad

3 Foundation of the caliphate 4 Abu Bakr's era

4.1 Attack on Fatimah's house 4.2 Ridda Wars 4.3 Appointment as a caliph

5 Reign as caliph

5.1 Initial challenges 5.2 Political and civil administration 5.3 Canals 5.4 Reforms 5.5 Visit to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in 637 CE 5.6 Military expansion 5.7 The great famine 5.8 The great plague 5.9 Welfare state 5.10 Free trade

6 Assassination

6.1 Aftermath

7 Physical appearance 8 Assessments

8.1 Political legacy 8.2 Military legacy 8.3 Religious legacy

8.3.1 Sunni
Sunni
views 8.3.2 Shia
Shia
views

9 Family 10 See also 11 References 12 Bibliography 13 External links

Early life Umar
Umar
was born in Mecca
Mecca
to the Banu Adi
Banu Adi
clan, which was responsible for arbitration among the tribes.[14] His father was Khattab ibn Nufayl and his mother was Hantama bint Hisham, from the tribe of Banu Makhzum. In his youth he used to tend to his father's camels in the plains near Mecca. His merchant father was famed for his intelligence among his tribe.[15] Umar
Umar
himself said: "My father, Al-Khattab was a ruthless man. He used to make me work hard; if I didn't work he used to beat me and he used to work me to exhaustion."[16] Despite literacy being uncommon in pre-Islamic Arabia, Umar
Umar
learned to read and write in his youth. Though not a poet himself, he developed a love for poetry and literature.[17] According to the tradition of Quraish, while still in his teenage years, Umar
Umar
learned martial arts, horse riding and wrestling. He was tall, physically powerful and a renowned wrestler.[17][18] He was also a gifted orator who succeeded his father as an arbitrator among the tribes.[19] Umar
Umar
became a merchant and made several journeys to Rome and Persia, where he is said to have met various scholars and analyzed Roman and Persian societies. As a merchant he was unsuccessful.[17][20] Like others around him, Umar
Umar
was fond of drinking in his pre-Islamic days.[21] During Muhammad's era Initial hostility to Islam In 610 Muhammad
Muhammad
started preaching the message of Islam. Like many others in Mecca, Umar
Umar
opposed Islam
Islam
and he even threatened to kill Muhammad. He resolved to defend the traditional polytheistic religion of Arabia. He was adamant and cruel in opposing Muhammad
Muhammad
and very prominent in persecuting Muslims.[22] He recommended Muhammad's death.[23] He firmly believed in the unity of the Quraish and saw the new faith of Islam
Islam
as a cause of division and discord.[22] Due to persecution, Muhammad
Muhammad
ordered some of his followers to migrate to Abyssinia. When a small group of Muslims migrated Umar
Umar
became worried about the future unity of the Quraish and decided to have Muhammad
Muhammad
assassinated.[24] Conversion to Islam Umar
Umar
converted to Islam
Islam
in 616, one year after the Migration to Abyssinia. The story was recounted in Ibn Ishaq's Sīrah. On his way to murder Muhammad, Umar
Umar
met his best friend Nua'im bin Abdullah who had secretly converted to Islam
Islam
but had not told Umar. When Umar informed him that he had set out to kill Muhammad, Nua'im said, “By God, you have deceived yourself, O Umar! Do you think that Banu Abd Manaf would let you run around alive once you had killed their son Muhammad? Why don't you return to your own house and at least set it straight?"[25] Nuaimal Hakim told him to inquire about his own house where his sister and her husband had converted to Islam. Upon arriving at her house, Umar
Umar
found his sister and brother-in-law Saeed bin Zaid (Umar's cousin) reciting the verses of the Quran
Quran
from sura Ta-Ha.[26] He started quarreling with his brother-in-law. When his sister came to rescue her husband, he also started quarreling with her. Yet still they kept on saying "you may kill us but we will not give up Islam". Upon hearing these words, Umar
Umar
slapped his sister so hard that she fell to the ground bleeding from her mouth. When he saw what he did to his sister, he calmed down out of guilt and asked his sister to give him what she was reciting. His sister replied in the negative and said "You are unclean, and no unclean person can touch the Scripture." He insisted, but his sister was not prepared to allow him to touch the pages unless he washed his body. Umar
Umar
at last gave in. He washed his body and then began to read the verses that were: Verily, I am Allah: there is no God but Me; so serve Me (only), and establish regular prayer for My remembrance ( Quran
Quran
20:14). He wept and declared, "Surely this is the word of Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad
Muhammad
is the Messenger of Allah." On hearing this, Hadhrat Khabbab came out from inside and said: "O, Umar! Glad tidings for you. Yesterday Muhammad prayed to Allah, 'O, Allah! Strengthen Islam
Islam
with either Umar
Umar
or Abu Jahl, whomsoever Thou likest.' It seems that his prayer has been answered in your favour."[27] Umar
Umar
then went to Muhammad
Muhammad
with the same sword he intended to kill him with and accepted Islam
Islam
in front of him and his companions. Umar
Umar
was 39 years old when he accepted Islam.[28] Following his conversion, Umar
Umar
went to inform the chief of Quraish, Amr ibn Hishām, about his acceptance of Islam.[citation needed] According to one account, Umar
Umar
thereafter openly prayed at the Kaaba as the Quraish chiefs, Amr ibn Hishām
Amr ibn Hishām
and Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, reportedly watched in anger.[29] This further helped the Muslims to gain confidence in practicing Islam
Islam
openly. At this stage Umar
Umar
even challenged anyone who dared to stop the Muslims from praying, although no one dared to interfere with Umar
Umar
when he was openly praying. Umar's conversion to Islam
Islam
granted power to the Muslims and to the Islamic faith in Mecca. It was after this event that Muslims offered prayers openly in Masjid al-Haram
Masjid al-Haram
for the first time. Abdullah bin Masoud said,

Umar's embracing Islam
Islam
was our victory, his migration to Medina
Medina
was our success, and his reign a blessing from Allah. We didn't offer prayers in Al-Haram Mosque
Mosque
until Umar
Umar
had accepted Islam. When he accepted Islam, the Quraysh
Quraysh
were compelled to let us pray in the Mosque.[30]

Migration to Medina In 622 CE, due to the safety offered by Yathrib (later renamed Medīnat an-Nabī, or simply Medina), Muhammad
Muhammad
ordered his followers to migrate to Medina. Most Muslims migrated at night fearing resistance from Quraish at their migration, but Umar
Umar
is reported to have left openly during the day saying: "Any one who wants to make his wife a widow and his children orphans should come and meet me there behind that cliff."[31][32] Umar
Umar
migrated to Medina
Medina
accompanied by his cousin and brother-in-law Saeed ibn Zaid.[28] Life in Medina

v t e

Campaigns of Umar

Campaigns Umar
Umar
took part in during time of Muhammad

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

Campaigns Umar
Umar
led during time of Muhammad Expedition of Umar
Umar
ibn al-Khatab Campaigns Umar
Umar
ordered

Military conquests of Umar's era

Sword of Umar

When Muhammad
Muhammad
arrived in Medina, he paired each immigrant (Muhajir) with one of the residents of the city (Ansari), joining Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Maslamah with Umar, making them brothers in faith. Later in Umar's reign as caliph, Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Muslamah would be assigned the office of Chief Inspector of Accountability. Muslims remained in peace in Medina for approximately a year before the Quraish raised an army to attack them. In 624 Umar
Umar
participated in the first battle between Muslims and Quraish of Mecca
Mecca
i.e., the Battle of Badr. In 625 he took part in the Battle of Uhud. In the second phase of the battle, when Khalid ibn Walid's cavalry attacked Muslims at the rear changing the victory of Muslims to defeat, rumours of Muhammad's death were spread and many Muslim warriors were routed from the battlefield, Umar
Umar
too was initially routed but hearing that Muhammad
Muhammad
was still alive he went to Muhammad
Muhammad
at the mountain of Uhud and prepared for the defences of the hill to keep the army of Quraish from approaching the hilltop.[33] Later in the year Umar
Umar
was a part of a campaign against the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir. In 625 Umar's daughter Hafsah was married to Muhammad.[34] Later in 627 he participated in the Battle of the Trench and also in the Battle of Banu Qurayza.[35] In 628 Umar
Umar
participated in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
and was made one of the witnesses over the pact.[35] In 628 he was a part of Muslims' campaign to Khaybar. In 629 Muhammad
Muhammad
sent Amr ibn al-A’as to Zaat-ul-Sallasal from where he called for reinforcement and Muhammad
Muhammad
sent Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah with reinforcement, serving under him were Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
and Umar, they attacked and defeated the enemy.[36] In 630, when Muslim armies rushed for the conquest of Mecca, he was part of that army. Later in 630, he was part of the Battle of Hunayn
Battle of Hunayn
and Siege of Ta'if. He was part of the Muslim army that went for the campaign of Tabuk under Muhammad's command and he was reported to have given half of his wealth for the preparation of this expedition. He also participated in the farewell Hajj
Hajj
of Muhammad
Muhammad
in 632.[37] Death of Muhammad Umar
Umar
attended the event of Ghadir Khumm, which took place a few months before Muhammad
Muhammad
passed away. According to both Shia
Shia
and Sunni
Sunni
sources, he was among the many who pledged allegiance to Ali
Ali
at the event.[38][39][40][41][42] In Medina, after the Farewell Pilgrimage
Farewell Pilgrimage
and the event of Ghadir Khumm, Muhammad
Muhammad
ordered an army under the command of Usama bin Zayd. He commanded all the companions, except for his family, to go with Usama to Syria
Syria
to avenge the Muslims’ defeat at the Battle of Mu'tah.[43] Muhammad
Muhammad
gave Usama the banner of Islam
Islam
on the 18th day of the Islamic month of Safar in the year 11 A.H. Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
and Umar
Umar
were among those that Muhammad
Muhammad
commanded to join Usama’s army.[44][45] However, Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
and Umar
Umar
resisted going under the command of Usama because they thought that he, who was 18 or 20 at the time, was too young to lead an army,[46] despite Muhammad’s teachings that age and standing in society did not necessarily correspond to being a good general.[47][48] In response to these worries, the Prophet said: "O Arabs! You are miserable because I have appointed Usama as your general, and you are raising questions if he is qualified to lead you in war. I know you are the same people who had raised the same question about his father. By God, Usama is qualified to be your general just as his father was qualified to be a general. Now obey his orders and go."[49] Whenever Muhammad
Muhammad
felt any relief from his fatal sickness, he would inquire as to whether Usama’s army had left for Syria
Syria
yet, and would continue urging his companions to leave for Syria.[49] Muhammad
Muhammad
even said, "Usama's army must leave at once. May Allah curse those men who do not go with him."[50][51][52] However, while a few companions were ready to join Usama’s army, many other companions, including Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
and Umar, disobeyed Muhammad’s orders. It is also noted that this was the only battle expedition where Muhammad
Muhammad
urged his companions to go the battle no matter what; for other battles, if someone was unable to go to the fight, Muhammad
Muhammad
would let them stay at home. Foundation of the caliphate

Caliphate خِلافة

Main caliphates

Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphate Umayyad Caliphate Abbasid Caliphate Ottoman Caliphate

Parallel caliphates

Fatimid Caliphate Caliphate
Caliphate
of Córdoba Almohad Caliphate Sokoto Caliphate

Islam
Islam
portal

v t e

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Letter to Usama bin Zaid

Umar's political capacity first manifested as the architect of the caliphate after Muhammad
Muhammad
died on 8 June 632.[53] While the funeral of Muhammad
Muhammad
was being arranged a group of Muhammad's followers who were natives of Medina, the Ansar (helpers), organised a meeting on the outskirts of the city, effectively locking out those companions known as Muhajirs (The Emigrants) including Umar.[53] Umar
Umar
found out about this meeting at Saqifah
Saqifah
Bani Saadah, and taking with him two other Muhajirs, Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
and Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, proceeded to the meeting, presumably to head off the Ansar's plans for political separatism. Arriving at the meeting Umar
Umar
was faced with a unified community of tribes from the Ansar who refused to accept the leadership of the Muhajirs.[53] However, Umar
Umar
was undeterred in his belief the caliphate should be under the control of the Muhajirs.[54] Though the Khazraj
Khazraj
were in disagreement, Umar
Umar
after strained negotiations lasting up to one or two days, brilliantly divided the Ansar into their old warring factions of Aws and Khazraj
Khazraj
tribes. Umar resolved the divisions by placing his hand on that of Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
as a unity candidate for those gathered in the Saqifah. Others gathered at the Saqifah
Saqifah
meeting followed suit with the exception of the Khazraj tribe and their leader, Sa'd ibn 'Ubada, whose tribe was ostracized. The Khazraj
Khazraj
tribe is said to have posed no significant threat as there were sufficient men of war from the Medinan tribes such as the Banu Aws to immediately organize them into a military bodyguard for Abu Bakr.[53] Wilferd Madelung
Wilferd Madelung
summarises Umar's contribution: [55]

Umar
Umar
judged the outcome of the Saqifa assembly to be a falta [translated by Madelung as 'a precipitate and ill-considered deal'[56]] because of the absence of most of the prominent Muhajirun, including the Prophet's own family and clan, whose participation he considered vital for any legitimate consultation (shura, mashwara). It was, he warned the community, to be no precedent for the future. Yet he also defended the outcome, claiming that the Muslims were longing for Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
as for no one else. He apologized, moreover, that the Muhajirun present were forced to press for an immediate oath of allegiance since the Ansar could not have been trusted to wait for a legitimate consultation and might have proceeded to elect one of their own after the departure of the Mekkans. Another reason for Umar
Umar
to censure the Saqifa meeting as a falta was no doubt its turbulent and undignified end, as he and his followers jumped upon the sick Khazraji leader Sa'd bin Ubada in order to teach him a lesson, if not to kill him, for daring to challenge the sole right of Quraysh
Quraysh
to rule. This violent break-up of the meeting indicates, moreover, that the Ansar cannot all have been swayed by the wisdom and eloquence of Abu Bakr's speech and have accepted him as the best choice for the succession, as suggested by Caetani. There would have been no sense in beating up the Khazraji chief if everybody had come around to swearing allegiance to Umar's candidate. A substantial number of the Ansar, presumably of Khazraj
Khazraj
in particular, must have refused to follow the lead of the Muhajirun.[55]

According to various Twelver
Twelver
Shia
Shia
sources and Madelung,[57][58] Umar and Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
had in effect mounted a political coup against Ali
Ali
at the Saqifah[53] According to one version of narrations in primary sources, Umar
Umar
and Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
are also said to have used force to try to secure the allegiance from Ali
Ali
and his party. It has been reported in mainly Persian historical sources written 300 years later, such as in the History of al-Tabari, that after Ali's refusal to pay homage, Abu Bakr sent Umar
Umar
with an armed contingent to Fatimah's house where Ali
Ali
and his supporters are said to have gathered. Umar
Umar
is reported to have warned those in the House that unless Ali
Ali
succumbed to Abu Bakr, he would set the House on fire[54] and under these circumstances Ali
Ali
was forced to capitulate. This version of events, fully accepted by Shia scholars, is generally rejected by Sunni
Sunni
scholars who, in view of other reports in their literature, believe that Ali
Ali
gave an oath of alliance to Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
without any grievance. But then other Sunni
Sunni
and Shia
Shia
sources say that Ali
Ali
did not swear allegiance to Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
after his election but six months later after the death of his wife Fatimah putting into question al-Tabari's account. Either way the Sunni
Sunni
and the Shia
Shia
accounts both accept that Ali
Ali
felt that Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
should have informed him before going into the meeting with the Ansar and that Ali did swear allegiance to Abu Bakr. Western scholars tend to agree that Ali
Ali
believed he had a clear mandate to succeed Muhammad,[citation needed] but offer differing views as to the extent of use of force by Umar
Umar
in an attempt to intimidate Ali
Ali
and his supporters. For instance, Madelung discounts the possibility of the use of force and argues that:

Isolated reports of use of force against Ali
Ali
and Banu Hashim
Banu Hashim
who unanimously refused to swear allegiance for six months are probably to be discounted. Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
no doubt was wise enough to restrain Umar
Umar
from any violence against them, well realizing that this would inevitably provoke the sense of solidarity of the majority of Abdul Mannaf whose acquiescence he needed.[59] His policy was rather not isolating Banu Hashim as far as possible.

According to Tom Holland, Umar's historicity is beyond dispute.[60] An Armenian bishop writing a decade or so after Qadisiyya describes Umar as a "mighty potentate coordinating the advance of the sons of Ismael from the depths of the desert".[60][61] Tom Holland writes "What added incomparably to his prestige, was that his earth-shaking qualities as a generalissimo were combined with the most distinctive cast of virtues. Rather than ape the manner of a Caesar, as the Ghassanid kings had done, he drew on the example of a quite different kind of Christian. Umar's threadbare robes, his diet of bread, salt and water, and his rejection of worldly riches would have reminded anyone from the desert reaches beyond Palestine of a very particular kind of person. Monks out in the Judaean desert had long been casting themselves as warriors of God. The achievement of Umar
Umar
was to take such language to a literal and previously unimaginable extreme."[60] Abu Bakr's era Attack on Fatimah's house Main article: Umar
Umar
at Fatimah's house After the gathering at Saqifa, Umar
Umar
and his supporters went to the house of Fatimah
Fatimah
(the daughter of Muhammad); Ali, his family (including Fatimah), and some of his supporters were in the house. Umar
Umar
went to the door of Fatimah's house and said, "By Allah, I shall burn down (the house) over you unless you come out and give the oath of allegiance (to Abu Bakr)."[62][63][64][65][66] Zubayr ibn al-Awam, who had been in Ali's house, came out of the house with his sword drawn but reportedly tripped on something, after which Umar's supporters attacked him.[67][68] Umar, who was then in front of the door to Fatimah's house, said to Fatimah, "I know that the Prophet of God did not love any one more than you, but this will not stop me to carry out my decision. If these people stay in your house, I will burn the door in front of you."[69] According to another narration, Umar
Umar
asked for wood, and then told those inside the house, "I swear by Allah who has my soul in his hand, that if you do not come out, I will burn the house." Umar
Umar
was then informed that Fatimah
Fatimah
was inside the house, to which he responded, "So what! It doesn’t matter to me who is in the house."[70][71] It is reported that when Fatimah
Fatimah
heard the voices of Umar
Umar
and his supporters threatening to attack the house, she cried out, "O father, O Messenger of Allah, how are Umar
Umar
Ibn al-Khattab and Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Ibn Abi Quhafah treating us after you and how do they meet us."[38] Umar
Umar
and his supporters then attacked the house. They burned the door of the house; they crushed Fatimah
Fatimah
between the door and the wall of the house, they killed Moshin, the baby in her stomach, and they forced Ali
Ali
out of the house against his will.[72][73][74] According to some narrations, a rope was tied around Ali's neck.[75][76][77][78][79][80] A Sunni
Sunni
historian, Abul Hasan Ali
Ali
Ibn al-Husayn al-Mas’udi, wrote the following in his book Isbaat al-Wasiyyah:

They surrounded ‘ Ali
Ali
(as) and burned the door of his house and pulled him out against his will and pressed the leader of all women (Hadhrat Fatimah
Fatimah
(sa)) between the door and the wall killing Mohsin (the male-child she was carrying in her womb for six months).

Another Sunni
Sunni
historian, Salahuddin Khalil al-Safadi, wrote in his book Waafi al- Wafiyyaat that " Umar
Umar
hit Fatimah
Fatimah
(sa) on the stomach such that child in her womb died."[81] Umar
Umar
and his companions dragged Ali
Ali
away. Fatimah
Fatimah
urged them to stop, saying, "I will not permit Ali
Ali
(a.s.) to be dragged with such cruelty and injustice. Woe be upon you, O people! How soon did you usurp our rights in relation to Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.)." Umar
Umar
then ordered Qunfuz to whip Fatimah. According to some narrations, Qunfuz whipped her back and her arms;[82] according to another, he struck her face;[83] according to another, he pushed her so hard that he smashed her ribs.[75] According to another report, Khalid bin Walid struck Fatimah
Fatimah
with his sword; another report states that Moghayrah Ibne’ Sho’bah struck her with his sword.[75] Ridda Wars Due to the delicate political situation in Arabia[vague], Umar initially opposed military operations against the rebel tribes in Arabia,[citation needed] hoping to gain their support in the event of an invasion by the Romans or the Persians. Later, however, he came to agree with Abu Bakr's strategy to crush the rebellion by force. By late 632 CE, Khalid ibn Walid
Khalid ibn Walid
had successfully united Arabia after consecutive victories against the rebels. During his own reign, Umar
Umar
would mostly adopt the policy of avoiding wars and consolidating his power in the incorporated lands rather than expanding his empire through continuous warfare.[84] Appointment as a caliph Due to his strict and autocratic nature, Umar
Umar
was not a very popular figure among the notables of Medina
Medina
and members of Majlis al Shura, accordingly succession of Umar
Umar
was initially discouraged by high-ranking companions of Abu Bakr.[85][86] Nevertheless, Abu Bakr decided to make Umar
Umar
his successor. Umar, still was well known for his extraordinary will power, intelligence, political astuteness, impartiality, justice and care for poor and underprivileged people.[87] Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
is reported to have said to the high-ranking advisers:

His (Umar's) strictness was there because of my softness when the weight of Caliphate
Caliphate
will be over his shoulders he will remain no longer strict. If I will be asked by God to whom I have appointed my successor, I will tell him that I have appointed the best man among your men.[88]

Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
was aware of Umar's power and ability to succeed him. Succession of Umar
Umar
was thus not as troublesome as any of the others. His was perhaps one of the smoothest transitions of power from one authority to another in the Muslim lands.[89] Before his death, Abu Bakr called Uthman
Uthman
to write his will in which he declared Umar
Umar
his successor. In his will he instructed Umar
Umar
to continue the conquests on Iraqi and Syrian fronts.[citation needed] Reign as caliph

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Initial challenges Even though almost all of the Muslims had given their pledge of loyalty to Umar, he was feared more than loved. According to Muhammad Husayn Haykal, the first challenge for Umar
Umar
was to win over his subjects and members of Majlis al Shura.[90] Umar
Umar
was a gifted orator, and he would use his ability to get a soft corner in the hearts of people.[91] Muhammad
Muhammad
Husayn Haykal wrote that Umar's stress was on the well-being of poor and underprivileged people.[92] In addition to this Umar, in order to improve his reputation and relation with Banu Hashim, the tribe of Ali, delivered to him his disputed estates in Khayber. He followed Abu Bakr's decision over the disputed land of Fidak, and continued its status as a state property. In the Ridda wars, thousands of prisoners from rebel and apostate tribes were taken away as slaves during the expeditions. Umar
Umar
ordered the general amnesty for the prisoners, and their immediate emancipation.[93] This made Umar
Umar
quite popular among the Bedouin tribes. With necessary public support with him, Umar
Umar
took a bold decision of retrieving Khalid ibn Walid
Khalid ibn Walid
from supreme command on the Roman front.[94] Political and civil administration The government of Umar
Umar
was a unitary government, where the sovereign political authority was the caliph.[citation needed] The empire of Umar
Umar
was divided into provinces and some autonomous territories like in some regions Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
and Armenia, that had accepted the suzerainty of the caliphate.[citation needed] The provinces were administered by the provincial governors or Wali, the selection of which was made personally by Umar, who was very fastidious in it. Provinces were further divided into districts, there were about 100 districts in the empire. Each district or main city was under the charge of a junior governor or Amir, usually appointed by Umar himself, but occasionally they were also appointed by the provincial governor. Other officers at the provincial level were:

Katib, the Chief Secretary. Katib-ud-Diwan, the Military Secretary. Sahib-ul-Kharaj, the Revenue Collector. Sahib-ul-Ahdath, the Police chief. Sahib-Bait-ul-Mal, the Treasury
Treasury
Officer. Qadi, the Chief Judge.

In some districts there were separate military officers, though the Governor (Wali) was in most cases the Commander-in-chief of the army quartered in the province.[citation needed] Every appointment was made in writing. At the time of appointment an instrument of instructions was issued with a view to regulating the conduct of Governors. On assuming office, the Governor was required to assemble the people in the main mosque, and read the instrument of instructions before them.[95] Umar's general instructions to his officers were:

Remember, I have not appointed you as commanders and tyrants over the people. I have sent you as leaders instead, so that the people may follow your example. Give the Muslims their rights and do not beat them lest they become abused. Do not praise them unduly, lest they fall into the error of conceit. Do not keep your doors shut in their faces, lest the more powerful of them eat up the weaker ones. And do not behave as if you were superior to them, for that is tyranny over them.[citation needed]

Various other strict codes of conduct were to be obeyed by the governors and state officials. The principal officers were required to travel to Mecca
Mecca
on the occasion of the Hajj, during which people were free to present any complaint against them. In order to minimize the chances of corruption, Umar
Umar
made it a point to pay high salaries to the staff.[citation needed] Provincial governors received as much as five to seven thousand dirham annually besides their shares of the spoils of war (if they were also the commander in chief of the army of their sector).[citation needed] Under Umar
Umar
the empire was divided into the following provinces.

Arabia was divided into two provinces, Mecca
Mecca
and Medina; Iraq
Iraq
was divided into two provinces, Basra
Basra
and Kufa; In the upper reaches of the Tigris
Tigris
and the Euphrates, Jazira was a province; Syria
Syria
was a province; Umar
Umar
divided Palestine into two provinces Iliyā' (إلياء), and Ramlah; Egypt was divided into two provinces, Upper Egypt
Upper Egypt
and Lower Egypt; Persia was divided into three provinces, Khorasan; Azarbaijan and Fars.

Umar
Umar
was first to establish a special department for the investigation of complaints against the officers of the State. This department acted as the Administrative court, where the legal proceedings were personally led by Umar.[96] The Department was under the charge of Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Maslamah, one of Umar's most trusted men. In important cases Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Maslamah was deputed by Umar
Umar
to proceed to the spot, investigate the charge and take action. Sometimes an Inquiry Commission was constituted to investigate the charge. On occasions the officers against whom complaints were received were summoned to Medina, and charged in Umar's administrative court. Umar
Umar
was known for this intelligence service through which he made his officials accountable[97] This service was also said to have inspired fear in his subjects.[98] Umar
Umar
was a pioneer in some affairs:

Umar
Umar
was the first to introduce the public ministry system, where the records of officials and soldiers were kept. He also kept a record system that had the messages he sent to Governors and heads of states. He was the first to appoint police forces to keep civil order. He was the first to discipline the people when they became disordered.[99]

Another important aspect of Umar's rule was that he forbade any of his governors and agents from engaging in trade or any sort of business dealings whilst being in a position of power. An agent of Umar
Umar
by the name of Al Harith ibn K'ab ibn Wahb was once found to have extra money beyond his salary and Umar
Umar
enquired about his wealth. Al Harith replied that he had some money and he engaged in trade with it. Umar said: By Allah, we did not send you to engage in trade! and he took from him the profits he had made.[100] Canals Since Medina
Medina
was at risk of reoccurring famines when crops were lacking and its population was growing rapidly, Umar
Umar
sought to facilitate the import of grain. He order the building of a canal connecting the Nile to the Red Sea and an improvement of port infrastructure in the Arabian coast. When Basra
Basra
was established during Umar's rule, he started building a nine-mile canal from Tigris
Tigris
to the new city for conveying drinking water and for irrigation.[101] Al-Tabari
Al-Tabari
reports that 'Utba ibn Ghazwan built the first canal from the Tigris
Tigris
River to the site of Basra
Basra
when the city was in the planning stage[citation needed]. After the city was built, Umar appointed Abu Musa Ashaari as its first governor.[citation needed] Abu Musa Ashaari governed during the period 17-29/638 – 650. He began building two important canals linking Basra
Basra
with the Tigris
Tigris
River. These were al-Ubulla River and the Ma'qil River. The two canals were the basis for the agricultural development for the whole Basra
Basra
region and used for drinking water. Umar
Umar
also devised the policy of cultivating barren lands by assigning such lands to those who undertook to cultivate them. This policy continued during the Umayyad period and it resulted in the cultivation of large areas of barren lands through the construction of irrigation canals by the state and by individuals.[102] Reforms Main articles: Reforms of Umar's era and Covenant of Umar
Umar
I While under his leadership, the empire expanded and he also began to build a political structure that would hold together the vast empire.[citation needed] He undertook many administrative reforms and closely oversaw public policy. He established an advanced administration for the newly conquered lands, including several new ministries and bureaucracies, and ordered a census of all the Muslim territories. During his rule, the garrison cities (amsar) of Basra
Basra
and Kufa
Kufa
were founded or expanded. In 638, he extended and renovated the Masjid al-Haram
Masjid al-Haram
(Grand Mosque) in Mecca
Mecca
and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi ( Mosque
Mosque
of the Prophet) in Medina.[103] Umar
Umar
also ordered the expulsion to Syria
Syria
and Iraq
Iraq
of the Christian and Jewish communities of Najran
Najran
and Khaybar. He also permitted Jewish families to resettle in Jerusalem, which had previously been barred from all Jews.[104] He issued orders that these Christians and Jews should be treated well and allotted them the equivalent amount of land in their new settlements. Umar
Umar
also forbade non-Muslims to reside in the Hejaz
Hejaz
for longer than three days.[105] He was first to establish the army as a state department. Umar
Umar
was founder of Fiqh, Islamic jurisprudence.[106] He is regarded by Sunni
Sunni
Muslims to be one of the greatest Faqih. Umar
Umar
as a jurist started the process of codifying Islamic Law.[citation needed] In 641, he established Bayt al-mal, a financial institution and started annual allowance for the Muslims. As a leader, ' Umar
Umar
was known for his simple, austere lifestyle. Rather than adopt the pomp and display affected by the rulers of the time, he continued to live much as he had when Muslims were poor and persecuted.[citation needed] In 638, his fourth year as caliph and the seventeenth year 17 since the Hijra, he decreed that the Islamic calendar
Islamic calendar
should be counted from the year of the Hijra of Muhammad
Muhammad
from Mecca
Mecca
to Medina. Visit to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in 637 CE Umar's visit to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
is documented in several sources. A recently discovered Judeo-Arabic text has disclosed the following anecdote:[104] " Umar
Umar
ordered Gentiles and a group of Jews
Jews
to sweep the area of the Temple Mount. Umar
Umar
oversaw the work. The Jews
Jews
who had come sent letters to the rest of the Jews
Jews
in Palestine and informed them that Umar
Umar
had permitted resettlement of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
by Jews. Umar, after some consultation, permitted seventy Jewish households to return. They returned to live in the southern part of the city, i.e., the Market of the Jews. (Their aim was to be near the water of Silwan and the Temple Mount and its gates). Then the Commander Umar
Umar
granted them this request. The seventy families moved to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
from Tiberias and the area around it with their wives and children." It is also reported in the name of the Alexandrian Bishop Eutychius (932–940 CE) that the rock known as the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
had been a place of ruins as far back as the time of the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who built churches in Jerusalem. "The Byzantines," he said, "had deliberately left the ancient site of the Temple as it was, and had even thrown rubbish on it, so that a great heap of rubble formed." It was only when Umar
Umar
marched into Jerusalem with an army that he asked Kaab, who was Jewish before he converted to Islam, "Where do you advise me to build a place of worship?" Kaab indicated the Temple Rock, now a gigantic heap of ruins from the temple of Jupiter.[107] The Jews, Kaab explained, had briefly won back their old capital a quarter of a century before (when Persians overran Syria
Syria
and Palestine), but they had not had time to clear the site of the Temple, for the Rums (Byzantines) had recaptured the city. It was then that Umar
Umar
ordered the rubbish on the Ṣakhra (rock) to be removed by the Nabataeans, and after three showers of heavy rain had cleansed the Rock, he instituted prayers there. To this day, the place is known as ḳubbat es ṣakhra, the Dome of the Rock. Military expansion Main article: Military conquests of Umar's era

v t e

Wars of Caliph
Caliph
Umar

Conquest of Eastern Roman Empire

Conquest of Syria
Syria
(634–637) Conquest of Palestine (635–636) Campaigns in Eastern Anatolia
Anatolia
(638) Conquest of Armenia
Armenia
(638 & 644) Conquest of Upper Egypt
Upper Egypt
(640–641) Conquest of Lower Egypt
Lower Egypt
(641–642) Conquest of North Africa (643)

Conquest of Sassanid Persian Empire

Conquest of Iraq
Iraq
(636–637) Conquest of Isfahan & Tabaristan (642–643) Conquest of Fars (642) Conquest of Kerman & Makran
Makran
(643–644) Conquest of Sistan
Sistan
(643–644) Conquest of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
(643) Conquest of Khurasan (643–644)

The military conquests were partially terminated between 638 and 639 during the years of great famine in Arabia and plague in Levant. During his reign the Levant, Egypt, Cyrenaica, Tripolitania, Fezzan, Eastern Anatolia, almost the whole of the Sassanid Persian Empire including Bactria, Persia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Caucasus
Caucasus
and Makran were annexed to the Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphate. According to one estimate more than 4,050 cities were captured during these military conquests.[108] Prior to his death in 644, Umar
Umar
had ceased all military expeditions apparently to consolidate his rule in recently conquered Roman Egypt and the newly conquered Sassanid Empire
Sassanid Empire
(642–644). At his death in November 644, his rule extended from present day Libya
Libya
in the west to the Indus river
Indus river
in the east and the Oxus river
Oxus river
in the north. The great famine In 638 CE, Arabia fell into severe drought followed by a famine. Soon after, the reserves of food at Medina
Medina
began to run out. Umar
Umar
ordered caravans of supplies from Syria
Syria
and Iraq, and personally supervised their distribution. His actions saved countless lives throughout Arabia.[109] The first governor to respond was Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, the governor of Syria
Syria
and supreme commander of the Rashidun army.[citation needed] Later, Abu Ubaidah paid a personal visit to Medina
Medina
and acted as an officer of disaster management, which was headed personally by Umar. For internally displaced people, Umar
Umar
hosted a dinner every night at Medina, which according to one estimate, had attendance of more than a hundred thousand people.[110] The great plague While famine was ending in Arabia, many districts in Syria
Syria
and Palestine were devastated by plague. While Umar
Umar
was on his way to visit Syria, at Elat, he was received by Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, governor of Syria, who informed him about the plague and its intensity, and suggested that Umar
Umar
go back to Medina. Umar
Umar
tried to persuade Abu Ubaidah to come with him to Medina, but he declined to leave his troops in that critical situation. Abu Ubaidah died in 639 of the plague, which also cost the lives of 25,000 Muslims in Syria. After the plague had weakened, in late 639, Umar
Umar
visited Syria
Syria
for political and administrative re-organization, as most of the veteran commanders and governors had died of the plague.[111] Welfare state To be close to the poor, Umar
Umar
lived in a simple mud hut without doors and walked the streets every evening. After consulting with the poor, Umar
Umar
established the first welfare state, Bayt al-mal.[112][113][114] The Bayt al-mal
Bayt al-mal
aided the Muslim and non-Muslim poor, needy, elderly, orphans, widows, and the disabled. The Bayt al-mal
Bayt al-mal
ran for hundreds of years under the Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Caliphate
in the 7th century and continued through the Umayyad period (661–750) and well into the Abbasid era. Umar
Umar
also introduced a child benefit and pensions for the children and the elderly.[115][116][117][118] The expansion of the state was partially terminated between 638–639 during the years of great famine and plague in Arabia and in the Levant
Levant
respectively. Free trade Local populations of Jews
Jews
and indigenous Christians, persecuted as religious minorities and taxed heavily to finance the Byzantine–Sassanid Wars, often aided Muslims to take over their lands from the Byzantines and Persians, resulting in exceptionally speedy conquests.[119][120] As new areas joined the Islamic State, they also benefited from free trade, while trading with other areas in the Islamic State, so as to encourage commerce, in Islam
Islam
trade is not taxed, wealth is taxed.[121] The Muslims paid zakat on their wealth to the poor. Since the so-called Constitution of Medina, drafted by the Muhammad, the Jews
Jews
and the Christians continued to use their own laws in the Islamic State and had their own judges.[122][123][124] Assassination

Tombstone of caliph Umar, in Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, Medina. The first window from the right gives a view of Umar's grave.

In 644, Umar
Umar
was assassinated by a Persian slave named Abu Lulu by later accounts. His motivation for the assassination is not clear.[125] One possible explanation was that it was done in response to the Muslim conquest of Persia.[126] The assassination was planned several months earlier. In October 644, Umar
Umar
undertook a Hajj
Hajj
to Mecca, during which the assassins pronounced Umar's imminent death that year, and the massive crowd of the congregation was used by the conspirators as a veil to hide themselves.[citation needed] During one of rituals of Hajj, the Ramy al-Jamarat (stoning of the Devil), someone threw a stone at Umar
Umar
that wounded his head; a voice was heard that Umar
Umar
will not attend the Hajj
Hajj
ever again.[citation needed] The Persian slave Piruz Nahavandi
Piruz Nahavandi
(also known as Abu Lulu) brought a complaint to Umar
Umar
about the high tax charged by his master Mughirah. Umar
Umar
wrote to Mughirah and inquired about the tax; Mughirah's reply was satisfactory, but Umar
Umar
held that the tax charged to Abu Lulu was reasonable, owing to his daily income. Umar
Umar
then is reported to have asked Abu Lulu: "I heard that you make windmills; make one for me as well." In a sullen mood, Piruz said, "Verily I will make such a mill for you, that the whole world would remember it".[127] It was Piruz who was assigned the mission of assassinating Umar. According to the plan, before the Fajr
Fajr
prayers (the morning prayers before the dawn) Piruz would enter Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, the main mosque of Medina
Medina
where Umar
Umar
led the prayers and would attack Umar during the prayers, and then flee or mix with the congregation at the mosque. On 31 October 644, Piruz attacked Umar
Umar
while he was leading the morning prayers, stabbing him six times in the belly and finally in the navel, that proved fatal. Umar
Umar
was left profusely bleeding while Piruz tried to flee, but people from all sides rushed to capture him; in his efforts to escape he is reported to have wounded twelve other people, six or nine of whom later died, before slashing himself with his own blade to commit suicide. Umar
Umar
died of the wounds three days later on Wednesday 3 November 644 (26th Dhū al-Ḥijja 23).[128][129] As per Umar's will, he was buried next to Al-Masjid al-Nabawi alongside Muhammad
Muhammad
and caliph Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
by the permission of Aisha.[citation needed] Aftermath On his death bed Umar
Umar
vacillated to appoint his successor. However, it has been reported that he said that if Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, Khalid ibn Walid
Khalid ibn Walid
or Salim, the mawla and freed Persian slave, were alive he would have appointed one of them his successor.[citation needed] Umar
Umar
finally appointed a committee of six persons comprising Abdur Rahman bin Awf, Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, Talha ibn Ubaidullah, Uthman
Uthman
ibn Affan, Ali
Ali
ibn Abi Talib and Zubayr ibn al-Awwam.[130] Their task was to choose a caliph from amongst them. All of the six are amongst the ten people promised paradise according to Sunnis.[131] The only one out of the 'famous ten' left out of the committee who was still alive at the time was Saeed ibn Zaid
Saeed ibn Zaid
the cousin and brother-in-law of Umar. He was excluded on the basis of having blood relations and being of the same tribe as of Umar. Umar
Umar
had a policy of not appointing anyone related to him to a position of authority even if they were qualified by his standards.[132] Umar
Umar
appointed a band of fifty armed soldiers to protect the house where the meeting was proceeding. Until the appointment of the next caliph, Umar
Umar
appointed a notable Sahabi and mawla, Suhayb ar-Rumi (Suhayb the Roman) as a caretaker caliph.[citation needed] While the meeting for selection of a caliph was proceeding, Abdulrehman ibn Abu Bakr and Abdur Rahman bin Awf
Abdur Rahman bin Awf
revealed that they saw the dagger used by Piruz, the assassin of Umar. A night before Umar's assassination, reported Abdur Rahman bin Awf, he saw Hormuzan, Jafina and Abu Lulu, while they were suspiciously discussing something.[citation needed] Surprised by his presence, the dagger fell; it was the same two-sided dagger used in the assassination. Abudulrehman ibn Abu Bakr, son of the late caliph Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
also confirmed that, a few days before Umar's assassination, he saw this dagger with Hurmuzan. After the mystery of the assassination was revealed by two of the most notable government figures, it seemed clear that it had been planned by the Persians residing in Medina. Infuriated by this, Umar's younger son Ubaidullah ibn Umar
Umar
sought to kill all the Persians in Medina.[citation needed] He killed Hurmuzan, Jafinah, and the daughter of Umar's assassin Abu Lulu, who is believed to have been a Muslim. Ubaidullah was intercepted by the people of Medina, who prevented him from continuing the massacre. Amr ibn al-Aas
Amr ibn al-Aas
is said to have intercepted him and convinced him to hand over his sword. The murder of Jafinah enraged Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, his foster brother, and he assaulted Ubaidullah ibn Umar; again the companions intervened. When Umar
Umar
was informed about the incident, he ordered that Ubaidullah should be imprisoned and the next caliph should decide his fate.[128] Umar
Umar
died on 3 November 644; on 7 November Uthman
Uthman
succeeded him as the caliph. After prolonged negotiations, the tribunal decided to give blood money to the victims, and released Umar's son Ubaidullah on the ground that after the tragic incident of Umar's assassination people would be further infuriated by the execution of his son the very next day. Physical appearance Umar
Umar
was strong, fit, athletic and good at wrestling. He is said to have participated in the wrestling matches on the occasion of the annual fair of Ukaz.[133] From first hand accounts of his physical appearance Umar
Umar
is said to be vigorous, robust and a very tall man, in markets he would tower above the people. The front part of his head was bald, always A'sara Yusran (working with two hands),[134] both his eyes were black, with yellow skin, however, ibn Sa'ad in his book stated that he never knew that ' Umar
Umar
had yellow skin, except if the people took into criterion a certain part of his life where his color changed because he always ate oil at that part of his life.[135] Others[who?] say he had reddish-white skin.[citation needed] His teeth were ashnabul asnan (very white shining). He would always color his beard and take care of his hair using a type of plant.[135][136] Early Muslim historians Ibn Saad and Al-Hakim mention that Abu Miriam Zir, a native of Kufa, described Umar
Umar
as being "advanced in years, bald, of a tawny colour – a left handed man, tall and towering above the people".[133] Umar's eldest son Abdullah described his father as "a man of fair complexion, a ruddy tint prevailing, tall, bald and grey".[citation needed] Historian Salima bin al-Akwa'a said that "Umar was ambidextrous, he could use both his hands equally well". On the authority of Abu Raja al-U'taridi, Ibn Asakir records that " Umar
Umar
was a man tall, stout, very bald, very ruddy with scanty hair on the cheeks, his moustaches large, and the ends thereof reddish".[133] Assessments Political legacy One writer states that Umar
Umar
is a political genius and, as an architect of the Islamic Empire, rates him as the 52nd most influential figure in history.[137] Umar
Umar
was one of Muhammad's chief advisers. After Muhammad's passing, it was Umar
Umar
who reconciled the Medinan Muslims to accept Abu Bakr, a Meccan, as the caliph.[138] During Abu Bakr's era, he actively participated as his secretary and main adviser.[139] After succeeding Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
as caliph, Umar
Umar
won over the hearts of Bedouin tribes by emancipating all their prisoners and slaves taken during the Ridda wars.[140] He is best known for building up an efficient administrative structure of the empire, that held together his vast realm. He organized an effective network of intelligence, partly a reason for his strong grip on his bureaucracy.[141] Umar
Umar
never appointed governors for more than two years, for they might get influence in their county. He dismissed his most successful general Khalid ibn Walid, due to his immense popularity and growing influence that he saw as a menace to his authority.[142] He would patrol the streets of Medina
Medina
with a whip in his hand, ready to punish any offenders he might come across. It is said that Umar's whip was feared more than the sword of another man. But with all of this, he was also known for being kind hearted, answering the needs of the fatherless and widows.[143] Umar's swift imparting of justice against his governors for any misdeeds they commit made even famous powerful governors such as Muawiyah scared of him. Ali
Ali
ibn Abu Talib during the later rule of Uthman ibn Affan
Uthman ibn Affan
wanted Uthman
Uthman
to be more strict with his governors saying, "I adjure you by God, do you know that Mu'awiyah was more afraid of Umar
Umar
than was Umar's own servant Yarfa?"[144] Under Umar's rule, in order to promote strict discipline, Arab soldiers were settled outside of cities, between the desert and cultivated lands in special garrison towns known as "amsar". Known examples of such settlements are Basra
Basra
and Kufa, in Iraq, and Fustat south of what would later become Cairo. His goal was to keep his troops separate form settled peoples. His soldiers were forbidden to own land outside of Arabia. There were restrictions on their right to seize buildings and other immovable things usually thought to be prizes of war. Movable spoils were shared to people back to the people of the umma, regardless of their social stratum.[145] A modern researcher writes about this:[146]

He used to monitor public policy very closely, and had kept the needs of the public central to his leadership approach. As second caliph of Islam, he refused to chop off the hands of thieves because he felt he had fallen short of his responsibility to provide meaningful employment to all his subjects. As a ruler of a vast kingdom, his vision was to ensure that every one in his kingdom should sleep on a full stomach.

If a dog dies hungry on the banks of the River Euphrates, Umar
Umar
will be responsible for dereliction of duty. — (Umar)

He also knew that just having a vision is not enough unless it is supported by effective strategies. He didn't only have a vision; he truly transformed his vision into actions. For example, to ensure that nobody sleeps hungry in his empire, he used to walk through the streets almost every night to see if there is any one needy or ill.

In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon refers to Umar
Umar
in the following terms:

"Yet the abstinence and humility of Umar
Umar
were not inferior to the virtues of Abu Bakr: his food consisted of barley bread or dates; his drink was water; he preached in a gown that was torn or tattered in twelve places; and a Persian satrap, who paid his homage as to the conqueror, found him asleep among the beggars on the steps of the mosque of Muslims."[citation needed]

His rule was one of the few moments in the history of Islam
Islam
where Muslims were united as a single community. Abdullah ibn Masʿud would often weep whenever the subject of Umar
Umar
was brought up. He said: "Umar was a fortress of Islam. People would enter Islam
Islam
and not leave. When he died, the fortress was breached and now people are going out of Islam".[147] Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
before Umar
Umar
died famously said: "If Umar
Umar
dies, Islam
Islam
would be weakened". People asked him why and his reply was "You will see what I am speaking about if you survive."[147] His greatest achievement from a religious perspective was the compilation of the Qur'an.[148] It was Umar
Umar
who convinced Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
to compile the Quran
Quran
into a single book.[149] This was something not done during the time of Muhammad. However, during the Battle of Yamama a great number of the memorizers of the Quran
Quran
perished in the battle. On the advice of Umar, Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
tasked Zayd ibn Thabit with the momentous task of compiling the Quran
Quran
into a single Book.[149] Military legacy Along with Khalid ibn Walid, Umar
Umar
was influential in the Ridda wars.[150] One strategic success was his fission of the Persio-Roman alliance in 636, when Emperor Heraclius
Heraclius
and Emperor Yazdegerd III
Yazdegerd III
allied against their common enemy Umar.[citation needed] He was lucky in that the Persian Emperor Yazdegerd III
Yazdegerd III
couldn't synchronize with Heraclius
Heraclius
as planned. Umar
Umar
fully availed himself of the opportunity and successfully tackled the situation by inducing the Byzantines to act prematurely.[citation needed] This was contrary to the orders of Emperor Heraclius, who presumably wanted a coordinated attack along with the Persians. Umar
Umar
did this by sending reinforcements to the Roman front in the Battle of Yarmouk, with instructions that they should appear in the form of small bands, one after the other, giving the impression of a continuous stream of reinforcements that finally lured the Byzantines to an untimely battle.[citation needed] On the other hand, Yazdegerd III
Yazdegerd III
of Persia was engaged in negotiations that further gave Umar
Umar
time to transfer his troops from Syria
Syria
to Iraq. These troops proved decisive in the Battle of Qadisiyyah.[citation needed] His strategy resulted in a Muslim victory at the Second Battle of Emesa in 638, where the pro- Byzantine
Byzantine
Christian Arabs of Jazira, aided by the Byzantine
Byzantine
Emperor, made an unexpected flanking movement and laid siege to Emesa (Homs).[citation needed] Umar
Umar
issued an order to invade the very homeland of the Christian Arab forces besieging Emesa, the Jazirah. A three-pronged attack against Jazirah was launched from Iraq. To further pressurize the Christian Arab armies, Umar
Umar
instructed Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, commander of Muslim forces in Iraq, to send reinforcements to Emesa. Umar
Umar
himself led a reinforcement from Medina
Medina
and marched towards Emesa. Under this unprecedented pressure, the Christian Arabs retreated from Emesa before Muslim reinforcements could arrive. The Muslims annexed Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and parts of Byzantine
Byzantine
Armenia.[citation needed] After the Battle of Nahavand, Umar
Umar
launched a full-scale invasion of the Sassanid Persian Empire. The invasion was a series of well-coordinated multi-prong attacks that were based on the principle of isolating and then destroying the target. Umar
Umar
launched the invasion by attacking the very heart of Persia, aiming to isolate Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
and eastern Persia.[citation needed] This was immediately followed by simultaneous attacks on Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
and Fars. Next, Sistan and Kirman
Kirman
were captured, thus isolating the stronghold of Persia, the Khurasan. The final expedition was launched against Khurasan, where after the Battle of Oxus River, the Persian empire ceased to exist, and emperor Yazdegerd III
Yazdegerd III
fled to Central Asia.[citation needed] Religious legacy Sunni
Sunni
views Main article: Sunni
Sunni
view of Umar Umar
Umar
is remembered by Sunnis as a rigid Muslim of a sound and just disposition in matters of religion; a man they title Farooq, meaning "leader, jurist and statesman", and the second of the rightly guided caliphs. He patched his clothes with skin, took buckets on his two shoulders, always riding his donkey without the saddle, rarely laughing and never joking with anyone. On his ring is written the words "Enough is Death as a reminder to you O' 'Umar".[151] He did not seek advancement for his own family, but rather sought to advance the interests of the Muslim community, the ummah. According to one of Muhammad's companions, Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud:

Umar's submission to Islam
Islam
was a conquest, his migration was a victory, his Imamate (period of rule) was a blessing, I have seen when we were unable to pray at the Kaabah until Umar
Umar
submitted, when he submitted to Islam, he fought them (the pagans) until they left us alone and we prayed. — Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud, [152]

Shia
Shia
views Main article: Shia
Shia
view of Umar Umar
Umar
is viewed very negatively in the literature of Twelver
Twelver
Shi'a
Shi'a
(as the main branch of Shia
Shia
Islam[153][154]) and is often regarded as a usurper of Ali's right to the Caliphate. After the Saqifah
Saqifah
assembly chose Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
as caliph, Umar
Umar
marched with armed men to Ali's house in order to get the allegiance of Ali
Ali
and his supporters. Sources indicate that a threat was made to burn Ali's house if he refused. But the event ended when Fatimah
Fatimah
intervened.[155] According to the majority of Twelver
Twelver
scholar writings, Fatimah, wife of Ali, was physically assaulted by Umar. These sources report that the event caused her to miscarry her child, Muhsin ibn Ali, and eventually led to her death soon after.[156] (see Umar
Umar
at Fatimah's house). However, some Twelver
Twelver
scholars, such as Fadhlalla, reject these accounts of physical abuse as a "myth",[157] although Fadlallah mentioned that his speech is a probability, not a certain reason to reject that event.[158][better source needed][159][better source needed] Another Shia
Shia
sect, the Zaidiyyah
Zaidiyyah
followers of Zaid ibn Ali, generally has 2 views about that. Some branches such as Jaroudiah
Jaroudiah
(Sarhubiyya) don’t accept Umar
Umar
and Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
as legitimate caliphs. For instance, Jarudiyya believes that Muhammad
Muhammad
appointed Ali
Ali
... and believes that the denial of the Imamate of Ali
Ali
after passing away of Muhammad
Muhammad
will be led to infidelity and also it would lead to deviation from the right path.[160] The other view accepts Umar
Umar
and Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
as legitimate caliphs, despite their beliefs that they are inferior to Ali.[161] According to al-Tabari (and Ibn A'tham),[162] when asked about Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
and Umar, Zayd ibn Ali
Ali
replied: "I have not heard anyone in my family renouncing them both nor saying anything but good about them...when they were entrusted with government they behaved justly with the people and acted according to the Qur'an and the Sunnah.".[163][164] Family Main article: Family tree of Umar Umar
Umar
married nine women in his lifetime and had fourteen children: ten sons and four daughters.[citation needed] See also

Book: Sahabah

Al-Farooq, modern biography about Umar Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque, mosque named for him in Dubai Sahaba Farooqi Umar
Umar
ibn Al-Khattāb, television series Pact of Umar

References

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Umar
bin al-Khattab al-Adiyy. ^ Majlisi, Muhammad
Muhammad
Baqir. Mir'at ul-Oqool. 21. p. 199.  ^ Al-Tusi, Nasir Al-Din. Al-Mabsoot. 4. p. 272.  ^ Imam, Nawami. Tahzib al Asma =Biography No. 797. [verification needed] ^ Ahmed, Nazeer, Islam
Islam
in Global History: From the Death of Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
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Ali
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Umar
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Bibliography

Donner, Fred, The Early Islamic Conquests, Princeton University Press, 1981. Guillaume, A., The Life of Muhammad, Oxford University Press, 1955. Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples, Faber and Faber, 1991. Madelung, Wilferd, The Succession to Muhammad, Cambridge University Press, 1997. G. Levi Della Vida and M. Bonner, "Umar" in Encyclopedia of Islam, CD-ROM Edition v. 1.0, Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands, 1999. Previte-Orton, C. W. (1971). The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. How Many Companions Do You Know?[permanent dead link] By Ali Al-Halawani. ibn Sa'ad. The Book
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of the Major Classes (Tabaqat al-Kubra).  Barnaby Rogerson (4 November 2010), The Heirs Of The Prophet Muhammad: And the Roots of the Sunni- Shia
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External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Umar.

Excerpt from The History of the Khalifahs by Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti Sirah of Amirul Muminin Umar
Umar
Bin Khattab by Shaykh Sayyed Muhammad
Muhammad
bin Yahya Al-Husayni Al-Ninowy.  "Omar". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911. 

Umar Banu Adi Cadet branch of the Quraysh Born: c.584 Died: 3 November 644

Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
titles

Preceded by Abū Bakr Caliph
Caliph
of Islam Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliph 23 August 634 – 3 November 644 Succeeded by Uthman
Uthman
ibn Affan

v t e

Rashidun
Rashidun
Caliphs

Abu Bakr Umar Uthman
Uthman
ibn Affan Ali

v t e

Ten companions of the Islamic prophet
Islamic prophet
Muhammad

Abu Bakr Umar Uthman Ali Talha ibn Ubayd-Allah Zubayr ibn al-Awam Abdur Rahman bin Awf Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah Saeed bin Zaid

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 27868234 LCCN: n81042737 ISNI: 0000 0001 2125 5289 GND: 118822810 SUDOC: 027332578 BNF: cb11939742h (data) MusicBrainz: 8a50547c-1783-4584

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