Hazrat Umar: His Life and Achievements
Hazarat Umar His Life and Achievement
Hazrat Umar: His Life and Achievements
Hazrat Umar: His Life
Hazrat Umar® was one of the best associates of the Prophet Muhammad (Sm), the Second Caliph of Islam, a great conqueror, a noble administrative reformer, a stern consolidator of Islam and the Islamic Empire and an ideal emblem of worth imitable personality in the history of Islam as well as in the history of mankind.
Birth and Parentage: Umar® was born in 583 A.D. in a distinguished Quraysh family of the Addiya clan. His call name was Hafs. The name of his father was Khattab and his mother’s name was Hantama.
His Physical Structure and Qualities: Physically he was tall, robust, and strong. The color of his skin was that of almond. In his boyhood, he earned fame as a learned poet, orator and wrestler. Trade was his occupation. For business purpose, he traveled Persia and Syria several times and earned practical experience for life.
His Conversion to Islam: He inherited Idolatry from his predecessors and was dead against the newly advent of Islam. One day, being instigated by Abu Sufyan, he was going to cut off the head of the Prophet Muhammad (Sm) with an open sword. But on the way, he heard that his sister and sister-in-law had converted to Islam. Being furious, he went first to their house in order to teach them a hard lesson. But going there, he happened to hear the reciting of the Holy Koran and was surprised by its melody and spiritual massage. Its melody and spiritual message softened his heart so much that a change came over him. He threw off the sword of his hand and ran to the Prophet. He prostrated down his feet and prayed to him to bless him with the message of Tawhid. Then the Prophet Muhammad gave him the lesson of Kalima and thus Umar converted to Islam. The conversion of Umar to Islam became a glorious turning point for Umar.
Umar’s Services to Islam before His Accession to the Throne of Khalifa: Umar’s conversion to Islam was of immense value to Muhammad (Sm.) and his mission. He himself took a vow to serve the prophet and his mission till the last day of his life and began to render his service which can be enumerated briefly as below:
Since his conversion, he became one of the best companions of the Prophet and helped him in every way which gave a new strength to the mission of Muhammad (Sm.).
After his conversion, the Muslims began to preach Islam openly and they began to offer prayer in the Kabba. In this case, Umar’s prowess, boldness and spiritfullness become instrumental.
When Muhammad (Sm.) was in a fatal situation for being vehemently opposed by the Quraysh, then Umar after the suggestion of the Prophet, migrated to Madinah ahead of Muhammad (Sm.) and helped the Prophet both in fortune and adversity.
It was Umar who introduced the custom of Azan (Prayer Call) in Madinah and later on this custom was granted by a divine message.
He took an active and bold part in many battles against the enemies of Islam as the battle of Badr, Uhud, Khandak, Hunain, Khaibar etc. He showed praiseworthy valor and unprecedented strategy in the battle of Khandak.
At the time of making the treaty of Hudaibiah, he protested against the unreasonable demand of the Quraysh and advocated in favor of the Muslims.
In the Makkah Expedition, he played a vigorous role and was able to catch Abu Sufyan, the fatal opponent of Islam.
In the Tabuk Expedition, Hazarat Umar placed half of his life-long savings in the war-fund.
After the demise of Muhammad (Sm), he took a decisive part in electing Abu Bakr as the first Khalifa of Islam and it was Hazarat Umar who first swears allegiance to Abu Bakr. He remained a constant associate of the Caliph in weal and woe till the demise of the Caliph.
These were the services rendered by Hazarat Umar® to Islam before his accession to Caliph hood (Post of Khalifa).
Umar’s Accession to Caliph-hood (Throne): In 634 A. D. the first Khalifa of Islam, Hazarat Abu Bakr, died and Hazarat Umar® was elected unanimously as the Second Khalifa of Islam. His reign was full of events. With his accession to the throne, he devoted himself to the act of consolidating Arab as a land under one Islamic banner. And consequently, he conquered the two rival empires viz. the Persian Empire and the Byzantine Empire. Besides this, his reign is replete with far-reaching reformations.
Hazarat Umar® was not an imperialist, but circumstances led him to turn his eyes to the rival Persian Empire to the north and to the Byzantine Empire to the North-West.
His first credit as an expansionist of Arab goes to the conquest of the Persian Empire. The causes of the conquest of Persia were as follows in brief:
The Persians looked at the Muslims with the eyes of dead foes and they were trying their best to pluck off Islam in the bud which was unbearable to the Muslims.
In the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, he sent an envoy to the court of Persia but the Persian King Khushraw insulted the envoy and thereby incurred the rage of the Mohammedans.
In addition to this, the enmity of the Persians was revealed in the rebellion of Bahrayn, during the reign of Abu Bakr, when they helped the enemy of the Muslims.
All these silent causes hatched the enmity between the Persians and the Muslims and consequently, the Khalifa Umar® was compelled to send a military expedition against the Persians.
He sent his two great Generals Muthanna and Abu Ubayda against the Persians and through a series of battles as- the battle Namarraq, battle of Jasr, battle of Buwaib, battle of Quadisiya, battle of Jalula etc. the Arabs conquered the whole of Persia (Iraq and Iran) and established Muslim rule.
On the other hand, the hostility between the Muslim and the Byzantine Empire (the Eastern Roman Empire consisting of Syria, Palestine and Egypt) was going on in such a situation that incurred the displeasure of the Arabs. During the life-time of the Prophet, the relationship between the two was liberal. But later on, the relation began to cool down. Once an envoy sent by the Prophet was murdered by a Christian Prince of Banu Gassan, Syria. Thus the hostility between the Muslims and the Byzantines began to increase and at last, the Khalifa Hazarat Umar® was compelled to stand against them.
For all these external causes the Khalifa set his greatest General Khalid bin Walid and through a series of battles, the provinces of Byzantine Empire as Syria, Palestine and Egypt came completely under the sway of the Arabs.
Thus Hazarat Umar® made an expansion of the Arab territory.
Along with his political career, he introduced some new administrative systems and reforms that became models of inspiration for rulers after him.
Death: One morning, while he was saying his prayer in the Masjid Nababi, he meet a death of martyrdom in 643 A.D. in the hands of a Persian slave named Abu Lulu leaving behind him an astonishingly glorious rule with exemplary reformative deeds of ten years and two months.
Hazrat Umar’s Achievements
Umar’s Achievements are immense and have occupied a vast and glorious chapter in the history of the World. His achievements may be enumerated as political achievements, administrative achievements, agricultural achievements, and achievements earned through public welfare measures. These have been brought into account in brief below:
Political Achievements: Before the accession of Hazarat Umar® to the throne of Khalifa Arab was only a geographical territory, but it was Umar who for the first time led Arab to the glory of a vast empire. He humiliated the age-long glory and pride of the vast Persian and Byzantine Empires and put the Arabs in a place of ever glory and reverence. This was the beginning and within just only a century many counties of the world came under the sway of the Muslims.
By conquering the said empires Hazarat Umar® led the Arabs to self-dependency both economically and commercially.
He strengthened Arab nationalism. When the Arabs extended their empire to the north and west occupying the two vast empires their pride and morale led them to feel superior to the rest and this added fuel to Arab nationalism.
Hazrat Umar did not conquer the land but also conquered the heart of the conquered people by giving them a better way of life.
With the conquest of the Persian and Byzantine Empires, the rich heritage and culture of the two inspired the Arabs and consequently, the Arabs began to go ahead both in cultural and intellectual branches of knowledge.
Administrative Achievements: His administrative achievements were unprecedently new for those days because he introduced many new measures in the administrative machinery as:
He framed the constitution of the state on the basis of democracy. The democratic creed begun by Abu Bakr bore fruit and reached its height during Umar’s reign. He had two consultative bodies as: Majlis-us-Khas and Majlis-us–Am. The bodies were called Majlis-us-Shura (Council of Advisors). In all important affairs, he took advice from the Shura.
With the extension of the empire, Hazrat Umar divided the country into fourteen provinces and each province was given under Wali (Governor). Again each province was divided into several districts and again the districts were divided into some sub-divisions. The district officers were called Amil.
Hazrat Umar introduced the Muslim era of Hijrah in his empire which is still in circulating in the Arabian countries.
He made a scrutinized reform in defense (force) departments and he classified it as-infantry, cavalry, archery, scout etc. He, for the first time, introduced salary system instead of jaigiri system to the soldiers. This system made the soldiers more dutiful and honest.
Umar established a department of finance under the name of Diwan which was in charge of the revenue administration of the center as well as the province. The Diwan was to regulate the disbursement of the revenue of the empire.
He first separated the Judiciary from the Executive and he employed a kaji to manage the judiciary.
He established jail in every administrative headquarter. He introduced banishment (exile) for the culprit.
He introduced census in Medina which was the beginning of counting the population of any country. Later on, his example was followed by the rest of the world.
He established a police department for the safety of the lives and property of his subjects.
He for the first time introduced Shariat Law in the judiciary and Kajis were to be scholars in the Koran and Hadith.
He prohibited the slave system; especially he stopped the selling of war prisoners as slaves.
Later on, his administrative reforms were taken as a model for many countries.
Agricultural Achievements: Hazarat Umar® took steps to develop the agriculture of the country and for this, he dug many canals. He dug the famous Amirul- Mumenin- Canal, Suez Canal for which agriculture, as well as trade with other states, became easier.
He introduced a system of founding a godown for Baitul Mal (State Treasury) with the surplus goods and money which he distributed among the needy.
For his liberal policy of agriculture, the production of the state increased and for that, the economy of the state began to rise up.
Achievements Earned Through Common Welfare Measures: For the dissipation of education, he established many madrassas. He, for the first time, employed the women in the service of the wounded soldiers. He gave equal rights to women with men for education.
He introduced a pension system for old people, widows, and martyrs’ families.
He introduced a census in Medina which was the beginning of counting the population in any country. Later on, his example was followed by the rest of the world.
All those reformative activities show that he was advanced for his age.
Achievements Earned Through His Personality: Hazarat Umar’s® achievements as a man as well as a leader rests on his character and personality also. All the best qualities that a man should have were combined in him. Impersonality, dutifulness, and simplicity were the chief features of his character.
Hazrat Umar, though was a ruler of a vast empire, lived like an ordinary man. He owned neither personal bodyguards nor grandeurs like that of other kings or rulers.
He did not have any splendid palace as his residence or any costly robes. He lived in a hut made of the leaves of date trees and he himself wore patched clothes.
He was the embodiment of strictness and softness. He was very strict with those who transgressed laws and was very kind and sympathetic to those who were poor and needy. During his reign, he used to walk along the street to observe the condition of his subjects. During the day of famine, he carried the sacks of food on his own head to distribute among the distressed people.
In the matter of justice, he was so strict that once he gave severe punishment to his own son for taking wine.
In his eyes high and law, rich and poor, kith and stranger were equal. Nepotism and partiality could not touch him.
Conclusion: The study of his life and works shows that he had almost all the qualities of those who have owned the reputation of turning the course of history. To conclude it would not be an exaggeration to say that in Hazarat Umar® there was a combination of the objectivity of Socrates, the wisdom of Solomon, the softness of Buddha, the heroism of Napoleon, the strategy of Alexander the great, the leading capacity of Moses, simplicity of Mahatma Gandhi and patience of Jakaria.
His place in the whole history of Islam is after none but after only the Prophet Muhammad(Sm). 0 0 0.
Hazrat Umar: His Life and Achievements
N. B. This article ‘Hazarat Umar: His Life and Achievements’ originally belongs to the book entitled ‘Gleaned Essays‘ by Menonimus.
Hazrat Umar: His Life and Achievements
Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:
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- Amplification Writing
- Note Making
- Paragraph Writing
- Notice Writing
- Passage Comprehension
- The Art of Poster Writing
- The Art of Letter Writing
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- School Essays Part-I
- School Essays Part-II
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Books of S. Story by M. Menonimus:
- Biography of Umar
- Hazarat Umar: His Life and Achievements