Sitting in beautiful Istanbul, looking out at the historic Bosphorus the gateway to world commerce, by myself in curfew and yet I do not feel alone or isolated. I question myself as to why don’t I feel isolated as others have mentioned who sometimes appear to be scratching the windows to be let out of prison.
The reasons are many. The main reason is an advice that was given by the Shaikh a while ago: “Be in the company of the righteous” The obvious question came up what if there aren’t any righteous people around you? He said :
“ Keep the company of the sahabas via what has been described in their biographies authenticated by the Quran and Hadith”
At that time, I had let that slide and the extensive biographies of the four Khulafa stood untouched in my library.
From time to time a quote or two would surface as part of my study of tafseer or Seerah and the persona of the four Khulafa Rashideen began to emerge melding with the stories of my childhood from my mother or my Khalaji who was my surrogate grandmother as my actual maternal grandmother died early and even when alive lived 1000 miles away us.
It is only when I was confined to my apartment due to the preventive measures for the spread of Covid 19 infection that the company of the Sahaba and Sahabiat came alive in the stories which while sitting in my apartment in Istanbul flew me to exotic places, and introduced me to men and women of courage and integrity and wove the fabric of the society of my ancestors.
However, the best way to live in the company of the Sahaba and Sahabiat is to review the authentic texts of the hadiths and their descriptions of behavior therein. It is only then that their persona is fleshed out in a manner that no words of even a prolific writer could do justice.
Thus, in my Hadees class the Sahaba were described from the lips of our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW along with the circumstances, geography, scenario in graphic accurate details which have been authenticated in cast iron.
Each of the four Caliphs emerge as stars to follow, guides to take direction with, Honor and chivalry to long for in men, and etiquette and strength of character to emulate. Yet each Caliph was unique and beloved to Allah and His Rasool SAW.
UMAR IBN KHATTAB (RA)
The most notable feature of ‘Umar’s caliphate was the vast expansion of Islam. Apart from Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine and Iran also came under the protection of the Islamic government. But the greatness of ‘Umar himself lies in the quality of his rule.
His life and behavior changed 180 degrees on accepting Islam. His total and complete obedience to Allah and His Rasool and His courage in defending them and His Deen instilled fear in the hearts of the enemy.
His daring and his flashpoint of anger became well controlled within the discipline of Islamic etiquette and let through only if the Prophet SAW was in anyway attacked or the Deen of Islam was maligned.
It was in His reign that the third most significant mosque (Al Aqsa )described in the Quran was , restored from a garbage heap and a dome built over the rock from which RA SAW had ascended in Mairaaj and to this day it is called “The Dome of the Rock “
Here I am sharing a few selected authentic Hadiths from the many about Umar RA derived from my lesson: ( AlBurrhan.org hadees lesson by Mufti Kakakhail)
( Any mistakes are mine and may Allah forgive me).
UMAR ( RA’s) DEEN STRONGER AND LARGER THAN OTHERS
HADITH BUKHARI SHAREEF 3691
Chapter 63: The virtues and merits of the companions of the Prophet
RASULALLAH (SAW’s) DREAM ( Dreams of the Nabi are equivalent to Revelation)
Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, While I was sleeping, the people were presented to me (in a dream). They were wearing shirts, some of which were merely covering their (chests). and some were a bit longer. `Umar was presented before me and his shirt was so long that he was dragging it. They asked, How have you interpreted it, O Allah’s Apostle? He said, Religion.(Deen)
THE STRENGTH OF UMAR (RA) IN EMPOWERING THE MUSLIM UMMAH
HADITH BUKHARI SHAREEF 3682
RASULALLAH (SAW’s) DREAM ( Dreams of the Nabi are equivalent to Revelation)
Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar: The Prophet said, In a dream I saw myself drawing water from a well with a bucket. Abu Bakr came and drew a bucket or two weakly. May Allah forgive him. Then `Umar bin Al-Khattab came and the bucket turned into a very large one in his hands. I had never seen such a mighty person as he in doing such hard work till all the people drank to their satisfaction and watered their camels that knelt down there.
DISCUSSION In a dream ( Dreams of the Prophet are revelations) RA SAW saw that
- He RasullAllah ( SAW) was pulling water from a well with a bucket
- Abu Bakr came and he pulled but weakly ( His Khilafat was not for long) this was a prediction of a short time for him in ruling as a Khalifa
- Umar Ibn Khattab came and the bucket became very large .
- Rasulallah SAW said I have not seen such a strong and genius person that could work so hard such that all the people were watered as well as the animals to their complete satisfaction. This speaks of his long and just reign of 12 years as a Khalifa where the lands and their people were nourished in all respects.
- Umar RA in his 12 years of Khilafah did huge works and set new precedents that are still followed by the progressive nations to this day. These changed the map of the world ( Al Farooq by Shibli Nomani
- There were many firsts in the reign of Umar Ibn Khattab, here are some:
A. POLITICAL: Prevention of greed and Corruption
Umar RA felt it necessary that the officers be treated in strict way as to prevent the possible greed of money that may lead them to corruption. During his reign, at the time of appointment, every officer was required to make the oath:
- That he would not ride a Turkic horse.
- That he would not wear fine clothes.
- That he would not eat sifted flour.
- That he would not keep a porter at his door
- That he would always keep his door open to the public. B. B. B.POLITICAL: ACCOUNTABILITY: Umar was first to establish a special department for the investigation of complaints against the officers of the State.
- MILITARY: Umar was the first to start a register of all adults who could be called to war and a scale of salaries was fixed. All men registered were liable to military service. They were divided into two categories, namely:
- Those who formed the regular standing army; and
- Those that lived in their homes, but were liable to be called to the colors whenever needed.
- JUDICIAL: Umar RA appointed qazis(Islamic term for Chief Justice) To all the major provincial cities, Umar would personally appointed judges. Umar entrusted the office of justice only to those selected persons who could fulfill his criteria for this office, some of which are as follow:
- Must be well reputed for his morals, modesty, and interpersonal relations.
- Must be intelligent, and astute in judicial decisions and enjoy his own personal view regarding all social issues that could enable them in the formulation of precedentor case law.
- He must be highly qualified in fiqh
- Must be socially a powerful and influential personality so that he might not come under pressure of any powerful perpetrator.
- SOCIAL: Umar RA introduced : the world’s first major welfare state enlarging the Islamic Zakat (Bayt al Maal) to the concepts of welfare and pension : to provide income for the needy, including the poor, elderly, orphans, widows, and the disabled.
- RELIGIOUS: During his Caliphate Umar reinstated the practice of praying tarawihin congregation as there was no longer any fear of people taking it as something mandatory.(Sahih al Bukhari hadith 227)
UMAR (RA) WAS ONE OF THE MEN INSPIRED WITH GUIDANCE ( Men who were not Prophets)
HADITH BUKHARI SHAREEF 3689
( chapt 63 in the Book on the virtues and merits of the companions of the Prophet pbuh)
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, Among the nations before you there used to be people who were inspired (though they were not prophets). And if there is any of such a person’s amongst my followers, it is ‘Umar. Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, Among the nation of Bani Israel who lived before you, there were men who used to be inspired with guidance though they were not prophets, and if there is any of such persons amongst my followers, it is ‘Umar.
UMAR( RA): CHOSEN BY ALLAH SUBHANAWATAALA TO HONOR ISLAM
JAMI TIRMIDHI HADITH 3681
Chapter 50 : the chapter on Virtues
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: O Allah! Honor Islam through the most dear of these two men to you: Through Abu Jahl or through ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab. He said: And the most dear of them to Him was ‘Umar.
ALLAH MADE UMAR’S (RA) HEART AND TONGUE ON HAQ
Jami at Tirmidhi Hadith 3682
Chapter 50 on virtues
Narrated Nafi’: from Ibn ‘Umar, that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Indeed, Allah has put the truth upon the tongue and in the heard of ‘Umar. He said: And Ibn ‘Umar said: ‘No affair occurred among the people, except that they said something about it, and ‘Umar said something about it’ except that the Qur’an was revealed in line with what ‘Umar had said.
Ibn Al-Khattab –( Kharijah (one of the narrators) had a doubt about the use of Ibn Khattab vs Umar) ( such is the accuracy of reporting)
In another Hadith RasulAllah SAW said:
It has never happened that people gave an opinion and Umar also gave an opinion that when Gabriel came with the revelation it was always in sync with Umar’s opinion.
UMAR (RA) RECEIVES THE GLAD TIDINGS OF PARADISE
HADITH BUKHARI SHAREEF 3693
Narrated Abu Musa: While I was with the Prophet in one of the gardens of Medina, a man came and asked me to open the gate. The Prophet said to me, Open the gate for him and give him the glad tidings that he will enter Paradise. I opened (the gate) for him, and behold! It was Abu Bakr. I informed him of the glad tidings the Prophet had said, and he praised Allah. Then another man came and asked me to open the gate. The Prophet said to me Open (the gate) and give him the glad tidings of entering Paradise. I opened (the gate) for him, and behold! It was `Umar. I informed him of what the Prophet had said, and he praised Allah. Then another man came and asked me to open the gate. The Prophet said to me. Open (the gate) for him and inform him of the glad tidings, of entering Paradise with a calamity which will befall him. Behold ! It was `Uthman, I informed him of what Allah’s Apostle had said. He praised Allah and said, I seek Allah’s Aid.
GIFT FOR YOUR CHILDREN: Use these honorable names for your children so that your children are inspired by their names and their history and aspire to the role model and character of these noble sahaba.