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Umar

Umar

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`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November (Dhu al-Hijjah
Dhu al-Hijjah
Dhu al-Ḥijjah is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar.This is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, marking the end of the year. It is in this month in which the Hajj takes place....

 26, 23 Hijri
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

), was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

 Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 who later became the second Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Caliph after Muhammad's death.

Converting to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 in the 6th year after Muhammad's first revelation
Muhammad's first revelation
Muhammad's first revelation is the event in which he is said to have been visited by the angel Gabriel who revealed to him a verse from the Qur'an. It was after this event that Muhammad proclaimed to be a prophet of God.-Background:...

, he spent 17 years as a companion of Muhammad. He succeeded Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

 on 23 August 634, and played a significant role in Islamic history. Under his rule the Islamic empire
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 expanded at an unprecedented rate, conquering the whole territory of the former Sassanid Empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

 and more than two thirds of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. His legislative abilities, his firm political and administrative control over a rapidly expanding empire and his brilliantly coordinated attacks against the Sassanid Persian Empire that resulted in the conquest of the Persian empire in less than two years, marked his reputation as a great political and military leader. He was assassinated by a Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 captive.

Sunni Muslims view him as the Second Rightly-Guided Caliph
Rashidun
The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first four Caliphs who established the Rashidun Caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Dynasty...

 and know him as al-Farooq
Al-Farooq
Al-Farooq is an Arabic given and family name derived from an honorific of Umar, an early Muslim leader, and by extension has become a common given or place name throughout the Muslim world.-Given name:...

 (he who knows truth from falsehood).

Early life


Umar was born in Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 to the Banu Adi
Banu Adi
Banu Adi is a clan of the Quraish tribe.Banu Adi were with the Meccans as part of the escort that preceded the Battle of Badr, they did not join Quraish further.-list:Among the clan members can be found:*Khattab ibn Nufayl. Father of Caliph Omar...

 clan, which was responsible for arbitrations among the tribes. His father was Khattab ibn Nufayl
Khattab ibn Nufayl
Khattab ibn Nufayl was an Arab from the tribe of Quraish. He lived during the 6th century and was a contemporary of Muhammad. He was also the father of Umar ibn al-Khattab, who would later become Muslim and is regarded by Sunni Muslims as the second "Rightly guided Caliph" , thus he was a Sahaba's...

 and his mother was Hantammah daughter of Khattab, from the tribe of Banu Makhzum
Banu Makhzum
Banū Makhzūm was one of the wealthy clans of Quraysh, the Arab tribe of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.Famous individuals of the Banū Makhzūm include*Amr ibn Hishām better known as Abu Al-Hakam or Abu Jahl*Walid ibn al-Mughira...

. He was the cousin of Khalid ibn al-Walid
Khalid ibn al-Walid
Khālid ibn al-Walīd also known as Sayf Allāh al-Maslūl , was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He is noted for his military tactics and prowess, commanding the forces of Medina and those of his immediate successors of the Rashidun Caliphate; Abu Bakr and Umar...

, a general who would play an important role later in his life, and during a wrestling match between the two, Umar had his leg broken. He is said to have belonged to a middle class family. In his youth he used to tend to his father’s camels in the plains near Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

. His father was famed for his intelligence among his tribe, and is believed to have been a ruthless man and emotional polytheist who often treated Umar badly. As obvious from Umar's own statement regarding his father during his later political rule, Umar said, "My father Al-Khittab 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."

Despite literacy being uncommon in pre-Islamic Arabia, Umar learned to read and write in his youth. Although not a poet himself, he developed a love for poetry and literature. According to the tradition of Quraish, while still in his teenage years, Umar learned martial arts
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

, horse riding and wrestling. He was tall and physically powerful and soon became a renowned wrestler. Umar was also a gifted orator, and due to his intelligence and overwhelming personality, he succeeded his father as an arbitrator of conflicts among the tribes.

In addition, Umar followed the traditional profession of Quraish. He became a merchant and had several journeys to Rome
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 and Persia
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

, where he is said to have met various scholars and analyzed the Roman and Persian societies closely. However, as a merchant he is believed to have never been successful.

Umar's hostility to Islam


In 610 Muhammed started delivering the message of Islam. Umar, alongside others in Makkah, opposed Islam and threatened to kill Muhammad. He resolved to defend the traditional, polytheistic religion of Arabia
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

. He was most adamant and cruel in opposing Muhammad and very prominent in persecuting the Muslims.
Umar was the first man who resolved that Muhammad had to be murdered in order to finish Islam.
Umar firmly believed in the unity of the Quraish and saw the new faith of Islam as a cause of division and discord among the Quraish.

Due to the persecution at the hands of the Quraish, Muhammad ordered his followers to migrate to Abyssinia.
Migration to Abyssinia
The migration known as the first Hijarat was made in two groups totalling more than a hundred persons. According to Islamic tradition, eleven male and five female Sahabah, the Muslims who originally converged in Mecca, sought refuge from Quraysh persecution in the Kingdom of Aksum in of in the...

 As a small group of Muslims migrated Umar felt worried about the future unity of the Quraish and decided to have Muhammad assassinated.

Conversion


Umar converted to Islam in 616, one year after the Migration to Abyssinia
Migration to Abyssinia
The migration known as the first Hijarat was made in two groups totalling more than a hundred persons. According to Islamic tradition, eleven male and five female Sahabah, the Muslims who originally converged in Mecca, sought refuge from Quraysh persecution in the Kingdom of Aksum in of in the...

.
The story was recounted in Ibn Ishaq
Ibn Ishaq
Muḥammad ibn Isḥaq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār was an Arab Muslim historian and hagiographer...

's Sīrah: On the way to murder Muhammad, Umar met his best friend Nu'aim ibn Abdi 'Allah who had secretly embraced Islam but he did not tell Umar anything about it. When Umar told him that he was going to kill Muhammad, he was afraid. He knew that Umar would attempt what he said. So just to divert his attention he told him to set his own house in order first, as his sister and her husband had converted to Islam. Umar was taken aback to learn this. Upon arriving at her house, Umar found his sister and brother-in-law Saeed bin Zaid (Umar's cousin), reciting the verses of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 (Surah Ta Ha). 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 slapped his sister so hard that she fell to the ground bleeding from her mouth. When he saw what he had done to his sister, out of guilt he calmed down and asked his sister to give him what she was reciting. She gave him the paper on which was written the verses of the chapter Ta-Ha. He was so struck by the beauty of the verses that he became a Muslim that day. He then went to Muhammad with the same sword he intended to kill him with and converted in front of him and his companions. Umar was 27 when he became Muslim. Following his conversion, Umar went to inform the chief of Quraish, Amr ibn Hishām
Amr ibn Hisham
‘Amr ibn Hishām , better known as Abu al-Hakam, was one of the Meccan pagan Quraysh leaders, known for his hostility against and persecution of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the early Muslims in Mecca....

, about his new faith. According to one account, Umar thereafter openly prayed at the Kaaba as the Quraish chiefs, Amr ibn Hishām and Abu Sufyan ibn Harb
Abu Sufyan ibn Harb
Sakhr ibn Harb , more commonly known as Abu Sufyan was a leading man of the Quraish of Mecca. He was a staunch opponent of the Islamic prophet Muhammad before accepting Islam later in his life.-Opposition to Islam:...

, reportedly watched in anger. This further helped the Muslims to gain confidence in practicing Islam openly. At this stage Umar even challenged anyone who dared to stop the Muslims from praying, although no one dared to interfere with Umar when he was openly praying.

Umar’s conversion to Islam gave power to the Muslims and the faith in Mecca. It was after this that Muslims offered prayers openly in Masjid al-Haram
Masjid al-Haram
Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām is the largest mosque in the world. Located in the city of Mecca, it surrounds the Kaaba, the place which Muslims worldwide turn towards while performing daily prayers and is Islam's holiest place...

for the first time. Abdullah bin Masoud said:
All these things earned Umar the title of Farooq, meaning he who knows/tells truth from falsehood.

Umar's (Title of Al Farooq)


Mujahid, on the authority of Ibn Abbas related that he had asked 'Umar bin Al-Khattab why he had been given the epithet of Al-Farooq, he replied: After I had embraced Islam, I asked Mohammad: 'Aren't we on the right path here and Hereafter?' He answered: 'Of course you are! I swear by Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

 in Whose Hand my soul is, that you are right in this world and in the hereafter.' I, therefore, asked Mohammad 'Why we then had to conduct clandestine activism. I swear by Allah Who has sent you with the Truth, that we will leave our concealment and proclaim our noble cause publicly.' We then went out in two groups, Hamzah leading one and I the other. We headed for the Masjid Al Haram in broad daylight. When the polytheists of Quraish saw us, their faces went pale and got incredibly depressed and resentful. On that very occasion, Mohammad attached to me the epithet of Al-Farooq.

Migration to Medina


In 622 due to the growing popularity of Islam in the city of Yathrib (later renamed Al-Madīnah Al-Munawwarah, the enlightened city, or simply Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

) Muhammad ordered his followers to migrate to Medina. Muslims usually migrated at night due to fear of Quraish's resistance to that migration, but Umar is reported to have migrated openly during the day time. Ibn Asakir narrated that Ali said: I don’t know of anyone who didn’t emigrate in secret except for Umar ibn al-Khattab; because when he wanted to emigrate he strapped on his sword, put his bow over his shoulder, carried his arrows in his hand, and came to the Ka‘bah where the nobles of Quraysh were in the courtyard. He performed seven circuits, and then prayed two raka‘at at the Station (of Ibrahim). Then he approached their circle one step at a time and said, "Whoever wishes to bereave his mother, orphan his children and widow his wife then let him meet me behind this valley." Not one of them followed him. Umar migrated to Medina accompanied by his cousin and brother-in-law Saeed ibn Zaid.

Life in Medina


Medina became the new center of Islam and the religion spread rapidly across Arabia.
When Muhammad arrived in Medina, he paired off each immigrant (Muhajir
Muhajirun
Muhajirun are the early, initial Muslims who followed Muhammad on his Hijra . The early Muslims from Medina are called the Ansar .-List:*Muhammad*Ali*Umar *Abu Bakr .*Salman the Persian*Bilal ibn Ribah...

)
with one of the residents of the city (Ansari), joining Muhammad ibn Maslamah
Muhammad ibn Maslamah
Muhammad ibn Maslamah, sometimes surnamed Ansari was a Companion of Muhammad.He was among the first in Yathrib to become a Muslim and was a halif or an ally of the Aws tribe in Medina indicating he was not an Arab...

 with Umar(R.A) making them brothers in faith. Later in Umar's reign as caliph 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 participated in the first Battle between Muslims and Quraish of Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 i.e. Battle of Badr
Battle of Badr
The Battle of Badr , fought Saturday, March 13, 624 AD in the Hejaz region of western Arabia , was a key battle in the early days of Islam and a turning point in Muhammad's struggle with his opponents among the Quraish in Mecca...

. In 625 he participated in the Battle of Uhud
Battle of Uhud
The Battle of Uhud was fought on March 19, 625 at the valley located in front of Mount Uhud, in what is now northwestern Arabia. It occurred between a force from the Muslim community of Medina led by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and a force led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb from Mecca, the town from...

. In the second phase of Battle when Khalid ibn Walid's cavalry attacked Muslims at the rear changing the victory of Muslims to defeat, rumors of Muhammad’s death were spread. Many Muslim warriors were routed from the battle field, Umar too was initially routed but hearing that Muhammad was still alive he went to Muhammad at the mountain of Uhud and prepared for the defence of the hill to keep the Quraishi army away.
Later in the year Umar was a part of campaign against the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir
Banu Nadir
The Banu Nadir were a Jewish tribe who lived in northern Arabia until the 7th century at the oasis of Yathrib . The tribe challenged Muhammad as the leader of Medina. and planned along with allied nomads to attack Muhammad and were expelled from Medina as a result. The Banu Nadir then planned the...

.
In 625 Umar’s(R.A) daughter Hafsah
Hafsa bint Umar
Ḥafsah bint ‘Umar and wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and therefore a Mother of the Believers.-Biography:She was married to Khunais ibn Hudhaifa, but became a widow when she was eighteen and according to Islamic tradition her father offered her to Abu Bakr and Uthman Ibn Affan...

 was married to Muhammad.
Later in 627 he participated in the Battle of the Trench
Battle of the Trench
The Battle of the Trench also known as Battle of Ahzab, Battle of the Confederates and Siege of Medina , was a fortnight-long siege of Yathrib by Arab and Jewish tribes. The strength of the confederate armies is estimated around 10,000 men with six hundred horses and some camels, while the...

 and also in the Battle of Banu Qurayza
Banu Qurayza
The Banu Qurayza were a Jewish tribe which lived in northern Arabia, at the oasis of Yathrib , until the 7th century, when their conflict with Muhammad led to their demise, after the Invasion of Banu Qurayza, took place in the Dhul Qa‘dah, 5 A.H i.e. in February/March, 627 AD...

 campaign. In 628 Umar participated in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah is the treaty that took place between the state of Medina and the Quraishi tribe of Mecca in March 628CE .-Background:...

 and was made one of the witness over the pact.
In 628 he was a part of Muslims' campaign to Khaybar
Battle of Khaybar
The Battle of Khaybar was fought in the year 629 between Muhammad and his followers against the Jews living in the oasis of Khaybar, located from Medina in the north-western part of the Arabian peninsula, in modern-day Saudi Arabia....

. In 629 Muhammad sent Amr ibn al-A’as to Zaat-ul-Sallasal from where he called for reinforcement and Muhammad sent Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Amir ibn `Abdullah ibn al-Jarrah , more commonly known as Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah, was one of the ten companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad who were promised Paradise as mentioned in early Islamic historical accounts and records...

 with reinforcement, serving under him were Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

 and Umar, they attacked and defeated the enemy.
In 630 when Muslim armies rushed for the Conquest of Mecca
Conquest of Mecca
Mecca was conquered by the Muslims in January 630 AD .-Background:In 628 the Meccan tribe of Quraysh and the Muslim community in Medina signed a 10 year truce called the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah....

 he was part of that army. Later in 630 he was part of Battle of Hunayn
Battle of Hunayn
The Battle of Hunain was fought between Muhammad and his followers against the Bedouin tribe of Hawazin and its subsection the Thaqif in 630 in a valley on one of the roads leading from Mecca to al-Ta'if. The battle ended in a decisive victory for the Muslims, who captured enormous spoils...

 and Siege of Ta'if
Siege of Ta'if
The Siege of Taif took place in 630 CE, as the Muslims besieged the city of Taif after their victory in the Battle of Hunayn and Autas. However, the city did not succumb to the siege. One of their chieftains, Urwah ibn Mas'ud, was absent in Yemen during that siege...

. He was part of Muslim's army that went for the campaign of Tabuk
Battle of Tabouk
The Battle of Tabouk was a military expedition, which, according to Muslim biographies, was initiated by the Prophet Muhammad in October, AD 630. Muhammad led a force of as many as 30,000 north to Tabouk in present-day northwestern Saudi Arabia, with the intention of engaging the Byzantine army...

 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
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 of Muhammad in 631.

Death of Muhammad


Muhammad died on 8 June 632. Umar was full of grief upon hearing the news of demise of Muhammad. Umar, the devoted disciple, could not accept the reality that the "Messenger of God" had died. It is said that Umar promised to strike the head of any man who would say that Muhammad died. At this point Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

 is reported to have come out to the Muslim community and gave his famous speech which included:
Abū Bakr then recited these verses from the Qur'an:
Hearing this from Abu Bakr, the most senior disciple of Muhammad, Umar then fell down on his knees in great sense of sorrow and acceptance of the reality. Sunni Muslims say that this denial of Muhammad's death was occasioned by his deep love for him.

Caliph Abu Bakr's era


During Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

's reign as caliph, during which he remained occupied with Ridda wars
Ridda wars
The Ridda wars , also known as the Wars of Apostasy, were a series of military campaigns against the rebellion of several Arabian tribes launched by the Caliph Abu Bakr during 632 and 633 AD, after prophet Muhammad died....

, Umar was one of his chief advisers and secretary. Umar along with Khalid ibn Walid, probably was the architect and main strategist behind the collapse of rebellion in Arabia.
Though at the beginning due to the apprehensive situation in Arabia Umar was opposing the military operations against the rebel tribes, possibly to enjoy their support in case of any possible foreign invasion by the Romans or the Persians, but later he seemed to agree with Abu Bakr's strategy to crush rebellion. Khalid ibn Walid by late 632 had successfully united Arabia after consecutive victories against rebels. Later during his own reign, Umar would mostly adopt the policy of avoiding wars and consolidating his power in the conquered land rather than expanding his empire through continuous warfare.
Prior to Battle of Yamamah, Umar pressured Abu Bakr to call back Khalid, who had killed Malik ibn Nuwayrah
Malik ibn Nuwayrah
Malik ibn Nuwaira , also spelled as Malik ibn Nuwera, was a chief of the Bani Yarbu', a large section of the powerful tribe of Bani Tamim which inhabited the north-eastern region of Arabia, above Bahrain. Being close to Persia, some elements of the Bani Tamim had embraced Zoroastrianism, but by and...

, a rebel chief who was a state criminal. Umar was reportedly misguided by Malik's brother that Malik was a Muslim and Khalid killed him because he wanted to marry his wife Layla bint al-Minhal
Layla bint al-Minhal
Layla bint al-Minhal was a sahaba of Muhammad and the wife of Malik ibn Nuwayra.Layla was the daughter of Al Minhal and was later also known as Umm Tamim. She was acclaimed as one of the most beautiful girls in Arabia, for her gorgeous eyes. When she came of age, she was pursued by many men, but...

, a renowned beauty in Arabia. While Abu Bakr refused to accept Umar's opinion and Umar continued insisting for Khalid's disposal even after Khalid's conquest of Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. It was Umar who advised Abu Bakr to compile Quran in the form of a book, after the death of 300 memorizers of Quran in Battle of Yamamah. Abu Bakr appointed Umar as his successor prior to his death in 634. He was confirmed in the office thereafter.

Appointment as a Caliph


Due to his strict and autocratic nature, Umar was not a very popular figure among the notables of Madinah and members of Majlis al Shura
Majlis al Shura
Majlis al Shura is a transliteration of the Arabicمجلس الشورىwhich means approximately "consultative council", although it has been co-opted as a term for Parliament or Advisory Council. Its pronunciation is approximately "majlis ash-shura"....

, accordingly succession of Umar was initially discouraged by high ranking companions of Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

. When Abu Bakr was close to death, he nominated Umar to succeed him as the next Caliph.

Umar was still well known for his extraordinary will power, intelligence, political astuteness, impartiality, justice and care for poor and underprivileged people.
Abu Bakr is reported to have said to the high-ranking advisers:
Abu Bakr was fully aware of Umar's power and ability to succeed him. Succession of Umar was thus not as troublesome as any of the others. His was perhaps one of the smoothest transitions to power from one authority to another in the Muslim lands.
Abu Bakr before his death called Uthman
Uthman
Uthman ibn Affan was one of the companions of Islamic prophet, Muhammad. He played a major role in early Islamic history as the third Sunni Rashidun or Rightly Guided Caliph....

 to write his will in which he declared Umar his successor. In his will he instructed Umar to continue the conquests on Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n fronts.
Abu Bakr's decision proved to be crucial in the strengthening of the nascent Islamic empire.

Reign as Caliph



On 22 August Caliph Abu Bakr died. The same day Umar assumed the office of Caliphate.
After the assumption of office as the Caliph, Umar addressed the Muslims in his Inaugural address as:

Initial challenges


Umar was already not an endearing figure in Medina. Although almost all of the Muslims had given pledge of loyalty to him, nevertheless he was rather more feared than loved. The first challenge for Umar was to win out his subjects and members of Majlis al Shura
Majlis al Shura
Majlis al Shura is a transliteration of the Arabicمجلس الشورىwhich means approximately "consultative council", although it has been co-opted as a term for Parliament or Advisory Council. Its pronunciation is approximately "majlis ash-shura"....

.
Umar was a gifted orator, and he would use his ability to get a soft corner in the hearts of people.
On Friday prayers Umar addressed the people as follows:
Umar's addresses greatly moved the people. Next time he addressed the people as:

The following are the historic words of Umar, over which he laid foundation of his rule:
Umar's stress was on the well being of poor and underprivileged people. As this class made a bulk of any community, the people were soundly moved by Umar's speeches and his popularity grew rapidly and continuously over the period of his reign.
In addition to this Umar, in order to improve his reputation and relation with Banu Hashim
Banu Hashim
Banū Hāshim was a clan in the Quraysh tribe. Muhammad, was a member of this clan; his great-grandfather was Hashim, for whom the clan is named. Members of this clan are referred to by the Anglicised version of their name as Hashemites, or Huseini or Hasani...

, the tribe of Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 and Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

, delivered to him his disputed estates in Khayber. Though he followed Abu Bakr's decision over the dispute of land of Fidak, continued its status as a state property.
In Ridda wars
Ridda wars
The Ridda wars , also known as the Wars of Apostasy, were a series of military campaigns against the rebellion of several Arabian tribes launched by the Caliph Abu Bakr during 632 and 633 AD, after prophet Muhammad died....

, thousands of prisoners from rebel and apostate tribes were taken away as slaves during the expeditions. Umar ordered the general amnesty for the prisoners, and their immediate emancipation. This made Umar quite a popular leader among the budoiene tribes.
With necessary public support with him, Umar took a bold decision of retrieving Khalid ibn Walid from supreme command on Roman
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 front.

Political and civil administration


The government of Umar was more or less a unitary government
Unitary state
A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate...

, where the sovereign political authority was the Caliph. The empire of Umar was divided into provinces and some autonomous territories like in some regions Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

 and Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, that had accepted the suzerainty of the Caliphate. The provinces were administered by the provincial governors or Wali
Wali
Walī , is an Arabic word meaning "custodian", "protector", "sponsor", or authority as denoted by its definition "crown". "Wali" is someone who has "Walayah" over somebody else. For example, in Fiqh the father is wali of his children. In Islam, the phrase ولي الله walīyu 'llāh...

. 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 Wali, usually appointed by Umar himself, but occasionally they were also appointed by the provincial governor. Other officers at the provincial level were:
  1. Katib, the Chief Secretary
    Chief Secretary
    The Chief Secretary is the title of a senior civil servant in members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and, historically, in the British Empire. Prior to the dissolution of the colonies, the Chief Secretary was the second most important official in a colony of the British Empire after the...

    .
  2. Katib-ud-Diwan, the Military Secretary.
  3. Sahib-ul-Kharaj, the Revenue Collector.
  4. Sahib-ul-Ahdath, the Police chief.
  5. Sahib-Bait-ul-Mal, the Treasury
    Treasury
    A treasury is either*A government department related to finance and taxation.*A place where currency or precious items is/are kept....

     Officer.
  6. Qadi, the Chief Judge
    Chief judge
    Chief Judge is a title that can refer to the highest-ranking judge of a court that has more than one judge. The meaning and usage of the term vary from one court system to another...

    .


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.
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
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

, and read the instrument of instructions before them.

Umar's general instructions to his officers were:
Various other strict code of conducts were to be obeyed by the governors and state officials. The principal officers were required to come to Mecca on the occasion of the Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

, during which people were free to present any complaint against them. In order to minimize the chances of corruption, Umar made it a point to pay high salaries to the staff. Provincial governor 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).
Under Umar the empire was divided into the following provinces.
  1. Arabia was divided into two provinces, Mecca and Medina;
  2. Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

     was divided into two provinces, Basra
    Basra
    Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

     and Kufa
    Kufa
    Kufa is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000....

    ;
  3. In the upper reaches of the Tigris
    Tigris
    The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

     and the Euphrates
    Euphrates
    The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

    , Jazira
    Jazira
    [Al] Jazira means [the] island or [the] peninsula in Arabic.Other possible transcriptions include Jazeera, Jazira, Jazeerah, Gezirah, Gazirah, Gazira, Gazeera, Gazeerah, Gezeerah...

     was a province;
  4. Syria
    Syria
    Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

     was a province;
  5. Umar divided Palestine
    Palestine
    Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

     in two provinces Elya (Jerusalem) and Ramla
    Ramla
    Ramla , is a city in central Israel. The city is predominantly Jewish with a significant Arab minority. Ramla was founded circa 705–715 AD by the Umayyad Caliph Suleiman ibn Abed al-Malik after the Arab conquest of the region...

    ;
  6. Egypt
    Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

     was divided into two provinces, Upper Egypt
    Upper Egypt
    Upper Egypt is the strip of land, on both sides of the Nile valley, that extends from the cataract boundaries of modern-day Aswan north to the area between El-Ayait and Zawyet Dahshur . The northern section of Upper Egypt, between El-Ayait and Sohag is sometimes known as Middle Egypt...

     and Lower Egypt
    Lower Egypt
    Lower Egypt is the northern-most section of Egypt. It refers to the fertile Nile Delta region, which stretches from the area between El-Aiyat and Zawyet Dahshur, south of modern-day Cairo, and the Mediterranean Sea....

    ;
  7. Persia was divided into three provinces, Khorasan
    Greater Khorasan
    Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

    ; Azarbaijan and Fars.


Umar was first to established a special department for the investigation of complaints against the officers of the State. This department acted as Administrative court
Administrative court
Greece, as a civil law country has administrative courts. The establishment of those courts can be found in article 94 of the Constitution of the Hellenic Republic 1975, as revised in 2001. The administrative courts are composed from districts Courts of First Instance, district Courts of Appeal and...

, where the legal proceedings were personally led by Umar.
The Department was under the charge of Muhammad ibn Maslamah
Muhammad ibn Maslamah
Muhammad ibn Maslamah, sometimes surnamed Ansari was a Companion of Muhammad.He was among the first in Yathrib to become a Muslim and was a halif or an ally of the Aws tribe in Medina indicating he was not an Arab...

, one of Umar's most trusted men. In important cases Muhammad ibn Maslamah was deputed by 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 was a pioneer in some affairs:
  1. 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.
  2. He was the first to appoint police forces to keep civil order.
  3. He was the first to discipline the people when they became disordered.

Reforms



Umar is regarded as one of the greatest political geniuses in history. While under his leadership, the empire was expanding at a unprecedented rate, he also began to build the political structure that would hold together the vast empire that was being built. 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
Amsar
Amsar is a village and municipality in the Quba Rayon of Azerbaijan. It has a population of 2,475....

) of Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

 and Kufa
Kufa
Kufa is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000....

 were founded or expanded. In 638, he extended and renovated the Masjid al-Haram
Masjid al-Haram
Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām is the largest mosque in the world. Located in the city of Mecca, it surrounds the Kaaba, the place which Muslims worldwide turn towards while performing daily prayers and is Islam's holiest place...

 (Grand Mosque) in Mecca and the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi , often called the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque situated in the city of Medina. As the final resting place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, it is considered the second holiest site in Islam by Muslims and is one of the largest mosques in the world...

 (Mosque of the Prophet) in Medina.
Umar also ordered the expulsion of the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 and Jewish communities of Najran
Najran
Najran , formerly known as Aba as Sa'ud, is a city in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen. It is the capital of Najran Province. Designated a New town, Najran is one of the fastest-growing cities in the kingdom; its population has risen from 47,500 in 1974 and 90,983 in 1992 to...

 and Khaybar
Khaybar
Khaybar is the name of an oasis some 153 km to the north of Medina , Saudi Arabia. It was inhabited by Jews before the rise of Islam, and was conquered by Muhammad in 629 AD.-Pre-Islamic Khaybar:...

 allowing them to reside in Syria or Iraq. He issued orders that these Christians and Jews should be treated well and allotted them the equivalent land in their new settlements. Umar also forbade non-Muslims to reside in the Hejaz
Hejaz
al-Hejaz, also Hijaz is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. Defined primarily by its western border on the Red Sea, it extends from Haql on the Gulf of Aqaba to Jizan. Its main city is Jeddah, but it is probably better known for the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina...

 for longer than three days.
He was first to establish army as a state department.
Umar was founder of Fiqh
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

, the Islamic jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

. He is regarded by Sunni Muslims to be one of the greatest Faqih
Faqih
A Faqīh is an expert in fiqh, or, Islamic jurisprudence.A faqih is an expert in Islamic Law, and, as such, the word Faqih can literally be generally translated as Jurist.- The definition of Fiqh and its relation to the Faqih:...

. Umar as a jurist
Jurist
A jurist or jurisconsult is a professional who studies, develops, applies, or otherwise deals with the law. The term is widely used in American English, but in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries it has only historical and specialist usage...

 started the process of codifying Islamic Law
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

.
In 641, he established Bayt al-mal
Bayt al-mal
Bayt al-mal is an Arabic term that is translated as "House of money" or "House of Wealth." Historically, it was a financial institution responsible for the administration of taxes in Islamic states, particularly in the early Islamic Caliphate. It served as a royal treasury for the caliphs and...

, a financial institution
Financial institution
In financial economics, a financial institution is an institution that provides financial services for its clients or members. Probably the most important financial service provided by financial institutions is acting as financial intermediaries...

 and started annual state sponsored allowance for the poor Muslims in Makkah and Al Madinah. A year later he also started allowance for the poor, underprivileged and old non-Muslim citizens of the empire.
As a leader, '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. In 639, his fourth year as caliph and the seventeenth year since the Hijra, he decreed that the Islamic calendar
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

 should be counted from the year of the Hijra of Muhammad from Mecca to Madinah.

Military expansion


It is widely believed that Umar stressed more on consolidating his power and political influence in the conquered land, rather than pursuing conquests. Nevertheless under Umar, The Islamic empire grew at an unprecedented rate. In 638, after the conquest of Syria
Muslim conquest of Syria
The Muslim conquest of Syria occurred in the first half of the 7th century, and refers to the region known as the Bilad al-Sham, the Levant, or Greater Syria...

, Umar dismissed Khalid, his most successful general due to his ever growing fame and influence. Later however Umar regretted this decision. The military conquest were partially terminated between 638–639 during the years of great famine and plague in Arabia and Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 respectively. During his reign the Levant, Egypt, Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica is the eastern coastal region of Libya.Also known as Pentapolis in antiquity, it was part of the Creta et Cyrenaica province during the Roman period, later divided in Libia Pentapolis and Libia Sicca...

, Tripolitania
Tripolitania
Tripolitania or Tripolitana is a historic region and former province of Libya.Tripolitania was a separate Italian colony from 1927 to 1934...

, Fezzan
Fezzan
Fezzan is a south western region of modern Libya. It is largely desert but broken by mountains, uplands, and dry river valleys in the north, where oases enable ancient towns and villages to survive deep in the otherwise inhospitable Sahara.-Name:...

, Eastern Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, almost the whole of the Sassanid Persian Empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

 including Bactria
Bactria
Bactria and also appears in the Zend Avesta as Bukhdi. It is the ancient name of a historical region located between south of the Amu Darya and west of the Indus River...

, Persia, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 and Makran
Makran
The present day Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Sindh, Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan, along the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The present day Makran derived its name from Maka, a satrap of Achaemenid Empire....

 were annexed to Islamic Empire. According to one estimate more than 4050 cities were captured during these military conquest. Prior to his death in 644, Umar had ceased all military expeditions apparently to consolidate his rule in Egypt and the newly conquered Sassanid Empire (642–644). At his death in November 644, the domain of his rule extended from present day Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 in west to the Indus river
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

 in east and the Oxus river in north.

The great famine


In the year 638, Arabia fell into severe drought followed by a famine. Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

 people began to die because of hunger and epidemic disease. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over Arabia gathered at Madinah where food was rationed. Soon the reserves of food at Madinah began to decline, and Umar wrote to the provincial governors of Syria, Palestine and Iraq for aid. A state of emergency was declared in Madinah and Arabia. The timely aid of Umar's governors saved the lives of thousands of people throughout Arabia. The first governor to respond was Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Amir ibn `Abdullah ibn al-Jarrah , more commonly known as Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah, was one of the ten companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad who were promised Paradise as mentioned in early Islamic historical accounts and records...

, the governor of Syria and supreme commander of Rashidun army
Rashidun army
The Rashidun Caliphate Army or Rashidun army was the primary military body of the Rashidun Caliphate's armed forces during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century, serving alongside the Rashidun Navy...

. He sent a historic letter to Umar saying
Later, Abu Ubaidah paid a personal visit to Madinah and acted as an officer of Disaster management cell, which was headed personally by Umar. Once an adequate supply of rations reached Madinah, Umar dispatched his men to the routes of Iraq, Palestine and Syria to take the supply caravans to the desert settlements deeper into Arabia, which in turn saved millions from starvation. For internally displaced people, Umar hosted a dinner every night at Madinah, which according to one estimate had attendance of more than hundred thousand people. By early 639 conditions began to improve. Arabia received precipitation and as soon as the famine ended, Umar personally supervised the rehabilitation of the displaced people. They were given adequate amounts of rations and were exempted from payment of zakat
Zakat
Zakāt , one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy.-History:Zakat, a practice initiated by Muhammed himself, has played an important role throughout Islamic history...

 for that year and the next year.

The great plague


While famine was ending in Arabia, many districts in Syria and Palestine were devastated by plague. While Umar was on his way to visit Syria, at Elat, he was received by Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Amir ibn `Abdullah ibn al-Jarrah , more commonly known as Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah, was one of the ten companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad who were promised Paradise as mentioned in early Islamic historical accounts and records...

, governor of Syria, who informed him about plague and its intensity and he was suggested to go back to Madinah. Umar tried to persuade Abu Ubaidah to come with him to Madinah but he declined to leave his troops in that critical situation. Abu Ubaidah died in 639 due to plague, which also cost the life of 25,000 Muslims in Syria. After the plague had weakened in late 639 Umar visited Syria for political and administrative re-organization, as most of the veteran commanders and governors had died of plague.

Family



Umar married a total of nine women in his lifetime and had fourteen children, ten sons and four daughters.
The details are as follow:
Wife: Zaynab bint Mazh'un (at the time of Jahiliyyah
Jahiliyyah
Jahiliyyah is an Islamic concept of "ignorance of divine guidance" or "the state of ignorance of the guidance from God" or "Days of Ignorance" referring to the condition in which Arabs found themselves in pre-Islamic Arabia, i.e. prior to the revelation of the Qur'an to Muhammad...

[Days of Ignorance])
Son: Abdullah ibn Umar
Son: Abdulrahman ibn 'Umar (The Older)
Son: Abdulrahman ibn 'Umar
Daughter: Hafsa bint Umar
Hafsa bint Umar
Ḥafsah bint ‘Umar and wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and therefore a Mother of the Believers.-Biography:She was married to Khunais ibn Hudhaifa, but became a widow when she was eighteen and according to Islamic tradition her father offered her to Abu Bakr and Uthman Ibn Affan...

Son: Zayd ibn 'Umar
Wife: Quraybah bint Abi Umayyah al-Makhzumi (divorced, married by Abdulrehman ibn Abu Bakr)
Wife: Umm Hakim bint al-Harith ibn Hisham (after her husband, a former ally of 'Umar and a companion Ikrimah ibn Abi-Jahl
Ikrimah ibn Abi-Jahl
Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl was an important early Muslim leader and companion of Muhammad. As the son of Abu Jahl, Ikrimah was at first, one of the chief Mecca opponents to Muhammad....

 was killed in Battle of Yarmouk
Battle of Yarmouk
The Battle of Yarmouk was a major battle between the Muslim Arab forces of the Rashidun Caliphate and the armies of the East Roman-Byzantine Empire. The battle consisted of a series of engagements that lasted for six days in August 636, near the Yarmouk River, along what is today the border...

, later divorced but al-Madaini says he did not divorce her)
Daughter: Fatima bint 'Umar
Wife: Jamilah bint Ashim ibn Thabit ibn Abi al-Aqlah (from the tribe of Aws)
Son: Asim ibn Umar
Asim ibn Umar
Asim ibn Umar is the son of Umm Kulthum bint Asim and Umar, the second Sunni Caliph.This article is not about Asim ibn Umar ibn Qatada ibn al-Nu`man al-Ansari's Asim ibn Umar (Born 7 AH, Died 70 AH.) is the son of Umm Kulthum bint Asim and Umar, the second Sunni Caliph.This article is not about...

Wife: Atikah bint Zayd ibn Amr ibn Nifayl (cousin of Umar and former wife of Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr married 'Umar in the year twelve AH and after 'Umar was murdered, she married az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam
Zubair ibn al-Awam
Zubair ibn al-Awwam, was a companion of Muhammad, father to Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr and later one of the most successful commanders of the Rashidun army and served under the Rashidun caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar.Zubair, who was a cousin of the prophet Muhammad, was an early convert to Islam.He served...

)
Son: Iyaad ibn 'Umar
Wife: Luhyah (a woman from Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 (Yaman) who's marital status with 'Umar is disputed, al-Waqidi said that she was Umm Walad, meaning a slave woman)
Son: Abdulrahman ibn 'Umar (the youngest Abdulrehman while some say the middle Abdulrehman from Luhyah)
Wife: Fukayhah (as Umm Walad)
Daughter: Zaynab bint 'Umar (the smallest child of 'Umar from Fukayhah)
Wife: Umm Kulthum bint Ali
Son: Zayd ibn Umar
Zayd ibn Umar
Zayd ibn Umar son of the second Caliph of Islam.-Biography:His mother was Umm Kulthum bint Ali. He was killed when was trying to bring peace to his clan Banu `Adi, at the same time his mother Umm Kulthum died-References:...

Daughter: roqayya bint Umer

Another son is, az-Zubayr ibn Bakkar, called Abu Shahmah, though from which wife is unknown.

Marriage to Ali bin Abu Talib's daughter Umm Kulthum


It is accepted by Sunni sources that Umar bin Khattab married Ali bin Abu Talib's daughter Umm Kulthum. In Sunni sources it is mentioned that Umar asked for her hand because of a hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 he heard from Muhammad, "Every lineage and means will be severed on the Day of Judgment except my lineage and my means." Umar wanted to be closely related to Muhammad, therefore he requested for Ali's daughter, which Ali accepted. This entire claim is rejected by all Shia'a scholars.

Taraweeh


Taraweeh, the night prayers during Ramadan, were institutionalized during Umar's reign as Caliph. Once when visiting the mosque, he saw different groups of people performing prayers, and suggested to them to join together in performing the prayers. A majority of Sunni Muslims have followed the same practice since then. The Shia do not give credence to the institutionalization of this prayer during Umar's caliphate.

Assassination



In 644, at zenith of his power, Umar was assassinated. His assassination was carried out by a Persian, in response to the Muslim conquest of Persia. The assassination was planned several months earlier. In October 644 Umar went for Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 in Mecca, the assassins started the hoopla of Umar's possible death that year, and the massive crowd of the congregation was used by the conspirators as a veil to hide themselves. It is related that when Umar stood at Mount Arafat
Mount Arafat
Mount Arafat or Mount Arafah is a granite hill east of Mecca. It is also known as the Mount of Mercy . The hill is the place Muslims believe the Islamic prophet Muhammad stood and delivered the Farewell Sermon to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life...

 he heard a voice saying:
A companion of Umar, Jabir bin Mutaam is reported to have said:
During one of rituals of Hajj, the Ramy al-Jamarat
Stoning of the Devil
Stoning of the Devil or stoning of the jamarat is part of the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Muslim pilgrims fling pebbles at three walls called jamarat in the city of Mina just east of Mecca. It is one of a series of ritual acts that must be performed in...

 (stoning of the Devil), some one threw a stone on Umar that wounded his head, a voice was heard that Umar will not attend the Hajj ever again.
Amongst the conspirators was:
  1. Hormuzan
    Hormuzan
    Hormuzan was the satrap of Susiana, a noble and a Marzban as well as one of the spahbods at the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah. He was taken as prisoner by the Muslims.- Life :...

    , the alleged mastermind of the plot. He was Persian Commander in Chief and was captured and brought to Umar at Madinah where to save his life he apparently converted to Islam.
  2. One of Umar's advisors, Ka'ab al-Ahbar
    Ka'ab al-Ahbar
    Ka‘b al-Aḥbār was a prominent rabbi from Yemen of the clan of Dhu Ra'in or Dhu al-Kila. He is counted among the Tabi‘in and narrated many Isra'iliyat.-Umar's era:...

    , a former Jewish Rabbi
    Rabbi
    In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

    , who apparently had converted to Islam, but his conversion is generally doubted by the Shi'ite scholars.
  3. Jafinah, the Christian Arab from Iraq, who was also a foster brother of Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, former governors of Busra.
  4. Piruzan, popularly known as Abu Lulu, he was slave of Mughira ibn Shu'ba
    Mughira ibn Shu'ba
    al-Mughīrah ibn Shuʿbah ibn Abī ʿĀmir ibn Masʿūd ath-Thaqafī was one of the more prominent companions of Muhammad.-Muqawqis:Mughira had a dialogue with both Muqawqis, Vicegerent of Egypt and Caesar.Mughira was impressed by the dialogue with Muqawqis...

     the then governor of Busra.


It was Abu Lulu who was assigned the mission of assassinating Umar. According to the plan, before the Fajr
Fajr
The Fajr prayer is the first of the five daily prayers offered by practising Muslims. The five daily prayers collectively form one pillar of the Five Pillars of Islam, in Sunni Islam, and one of the ten Practices of the Religion according to Shia Islam.The Fajr prayer is mentioned by name in the...

prayers (the morning prayers before the dawn) Abu Lulu will enter Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi , often called the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque situated in the city of Medina. As the final resting place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, it is considered the second holiest site in Islam by Muslims and is one of the largest mosques in the world...

, the main mosque of Madinah where Umar led the prayers and will attack Umar during the prayers, and will flee or will mix with the congregation at mosque.

Abu Lulu brought a conjectural complaint to Umar about the high tax charged from him by his master Mughirah. Umar wrote to Mughirah and inquired about the tax. Mughirah's reply was satisfactory. Umar held that the tax charged from Abu Lulu was reasonable, owning to his daily income. Umar then is reported to have asked Abu Lulu:
On 3 November 644, Umar was attacked, while leading the morning prayers, Abu Lulu stabbed him six times in the back and last in the chest, that proved fatal. Umar was left profusely bleeding while Abu Lulu tried to flee but people from all sides rushed to capture him, he in his efforts to escape is reported to have wounded twelve other people, six or nine of them later died. At last he was captured but committed suicide from the same dagger.
Umar died of the wounds four days later on Sunday, 7 November 644.
Umar is reported to have left the following testament:
As per Umar's will, he was buried next to Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi , often called the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque situated in the city of Medina. As the final resting place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, it is considered the second holiest site in Islam by Muslims and is one of the largest mosques in the world...

 alongside Muhammad and Caliph Abu Bakr by the permission of Aisha.

Aftermaths


On his death bed Umar vacillated to appoint his successor, however it has been reported that he said that if Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Amir ibn `Abdullah ibn al-Jarrah , more commonly known as Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah, was one of the ten companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad who were promised Paradise as mentioned in early Islamic historical accounts and records...

, Khalid ibn Walid or Salim, the mawali
Mawali
Mawali or mawālá is a term in Classical Arabic used to address non-Arab Muslims.The term gained prominence in the centuries following the early Arab Muslim conquests in the 7th century, as many non-Arabs such as Persians, Egyptians, and Turks converted to Islam...

 and freed Persian slave, were alive he would have appointed one of them his successor. Umar finally appointed a committee of six persons comprising,
  1. Ali ibn Abi Taleb
  2. Saad ibn Abi Waqqas
  3. Talha ibn Ubaidullah
  4. Uthman ibn Affan
  5. Abd-al-Rahman ibn Awf
    Abd-al-Rahman ibn Awf
    Abdel Rahman bin Awf, was one of the Sahaba.-Name:His name has also by as Abdel Rahman Ibn Awf, Abdur-Rahman ibn 'Awf, Abdur-Rahman bin 'Auf and Abdel-Rahman ibn Awf....

  6. Zubayr ibn al-Awwam


Their task was to chose a caliph from amongst them
The election of Uthman
Uthman ibn Affan, the third caliph, was chosen by a council meeting in Medina, in northwestern Arabia, in .The second caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab, was stabbed by an angry Persian slave named Feroz...

. 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 appointed a notable Sahabi
Sahaba
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

, a mawali
Mawali
Mawali or mawālá is a term in Classical Arabic used to address non-Arab Muslims.The term gained prominence in the centuries following the early Arab Muslim conquests in the 7th century, as many non-Arabs such as Persians, Egyptians, and Turks converted to Islam...

, Suhayb ar-Rumi
Suhayb ar-Rumi
Suhayb ar-Rumi , also known as Suhayb ibn Sinan, was a former slave in the Byzantine Empire who went on to become an esteemed companion of Muhammad and revered member of the early Muslim community.-Early life:...

 (Suhayb the Roman) as a caretaker Caliph.
While the historic meeting for selection of caliph was preceding, Abdulrehman ibn Abu Bakr and Abdur Rahman bin Awf revealed that they saw the dagger used by Abu Lulu, 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 some thing, bewildered by his presence, the dagger fell, it was the same two sided dagger used in the assassination. Abudulrehman ibn Abu Bakr, son of late caliph Abu Bakr also confirmed that a few days before Umar's assassination, he once saw this dagger with Hurmazan. After the mystery of assassination got uncovered by the two of the most notable governmental figures, it seemed clear that the assassination was planned by the Persians residing in Medina. Infuriated by this Umar's younger son Ubaidullah ibn Umar sought to kill all the Persians in Madinah. He killed Hormuzan, Jafinah, and daughter of Umar's assassin Abu Lulu, who is believed to be a Muslim. Ubaidullah was intercepted by the people of Madinah and withholding him from the massacre. Amr ibn al-Aas is said to have intercepted him, 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 and again the companions intervened. It is also believed that Umar's daughter Hafsa bint Umar
Hafsa bint Umar
Ḥafsah bint ‘Umar and wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and therefore a Mother of the Believers.-Biography:She was married to Khunais ibn Hudhaifa, but became a widow when she was eighteen and according to Islamic tradition her father offered her to Abu Bakr and Uthman Ibn Affan...

 provoked Ubaidullah to take the punitive action. When Umar was informed about the incident, he ordered that Ubaidullah should be imprisoned and the next Caliph should decide his fate.
Umar died on 7 November 644; on 11 November Uthman succeeded him
The election of Uthman
Uthman ibn Affan, the third caliph, was chosen by a council meeting in Medina, in northwestern Arabia, in .The second caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab, was stabbed by an angry Persian slave named Feroz...

 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 will be further infuriated by execution of his son the very next day.

Legacy


Umar is regarded as one of the most influential figures in Islamic history. He was in a true sense the architect of the Islamic Empire.
As a leader, '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.
'Umar was 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), both his eyes are black, with yellow skin, however, ibn Sa'ad in his book The Book of the Major Classes (Tabaqat al-Kubra) stated that he never knew that '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,
Others say he has reddish-white skin. 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.

Humility


In his book Encyclopaedia of Islam
Encyclopaedia of Islam
The Encyclopaedia of Islam is an encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies. It embraces articles on distinguished Muslims of every age and land, on tribes and dynasties, on the crafts and sciences, on political and religious institutions, on the geography, ethnography, flora and...

, Mufti Muhammad Mukarram Ahmed describes his journey to Jerusalem to take control of the city from the Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 Patriarch of Jerusalem Sophronius:
In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

 refers to Umar in the following terms:

Political legacy


Umar is considered as a political genius, as an architect of Islamic Empire he is regarded as 52nd most influential figure in history.
Umar remained politically stagnant during Mohammad's era, however after his death, it was Umar's political brilliance that Abu Bakr was elected Caliph, despite of massive initial confrontations at Saqifah, Umar successfully broke the alliance of the tribes of Madinah who claim Caliphate to be their right, paving the way for the succession of Abu Bakr. During Abu Bakr's era, he actively participated as his secretary and main adviser. After succeeding Abu Bakr as caliph, Umar won over the hearts of Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

 tribes by emancipating all their prisoners and slaves taken during Ridda wars
Ridda wars
The Ridda wars , also known as the Wars of Apostasy, were a series of military campaigns against the rebellion of several Arabian tribes launched by the Caliph Abu Bakr during 632 and 633 AD, after prophet Muhammad died....

, his excellent oratory skills helped him gain broader support among the poor and the underprivileged. He proved himself as a excellent manager during the year of the great Famine when his dynamic abilities saved millions from starvation. He is best known to build 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. His judicial reforms were fairly modern and advance in nature when compared to contemporary systems of his era. He opposed the construction of present day Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

, as it posed threat to the security of Madinah. Twelve hundred years later Great Britain opposed the construction of the canal for the same reason as it then posed threat to its colonies in Indian Subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

. One of the reason of the compactness of his political rule in the conquered lands is reputed to his policy of tolerance to their religious beliefs and imposition of far lower taxes on them as compared to the Sassanid Persian empire and the Byzantine empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. Their local administration was kept un-touched and several of the former Byzantine and Persian official were retained on their services under Umar's governors.
Umar was very painstaking in every matter. His meticulousness was evident from his appointment of governors and judges that never let him lose his grip on the government. He 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 he feared that the Muslims might think it was Khalid who gave them victory not God. Rather than tenacious conquest he stressed more on consolidating his rule in the conquered land, a fact that saved Byzantine empire from complete disappearance. Umar is reported to have wished an official tour across his domain to personally examine the condition of his subjects. In 641, before the conquest of the Persian empire, Umar is reported to have said:
At the time, Umar made this statement, Persia was not yet conquered (conquest of Persia begun in 642).
He would walk the streets of Medina with a whip in his hand, and it is said that Umar's whip was feared more than the sword of another man. He is famous for covert night tours of the city to know the secret life of his domain, a tradition that was later followed by some of the Abbasid Caliphs and even Mughul rulers of Indian Subcontinent.

Social justice and accountability


Saeed M Mohtsham cites from Caliph Umar's rule in his research paper Vision and Visionary Leadership – An Islamic Perspective:

Military legacy


It has been reported that Umar was a champion wrestler of his time, and though not distinguished as a swordsman, he would later attain prominence as a master strategist. Along with Khalid, he is said to be one of the key figures in the collapse of the Arabian rebellion
Ridda wars
The Ridda wars , also known as the Wars of Apostasy, were a series of military campaigns against the rebellion of several Arabian tribes launched by the Caliph Abu Bakr during 632 and 633 AD, after prophet Muhammad died....

, the greatest triumph of Abu Bakr.
One of his greatest strategic marvels was his brilliant fission of Persio-Roman alliance in 636, when Emperor Heraclius
Heraclius
Heraclius was Byzantine Emperor from 610 to 641.He was responsible for introducing Greek as the empire's official language. His rise to power began in 608, when he and his father, Heraclius the Elder, the exarch of Africa, successfully led a revolt against the unpopular usurper Phocas.Heraclius'...

 and Emperor Yazdegerd III allied against their common enemy Umar. He was lucky in that the Persian Emperor Yazdegerd III couldn't synchronize with Heraclius as planned. Umar fully availed the opportunity and successfully tackled the minefield by straining the Byzantines to jump in the battle. This was contrary to the orders of Empreror Heraclius, who presumably wanted a coordinated attack along with the Persians. Umar did this by sending reinforcements to the Roman front 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. On the other hand Yazdegerd III of Persia was engaged in negotiations that further gave Umar time to transfer his troops from Syria to Iraq. These troops proved decisive in the Battle of Qadisiyyah. Both the battles thus fought proved decisive and are noted as two of the most decisive battles in history.

His strategic dimensions were the prime reason of Muslim victory at 2nd Battle of Emesa in 638. Where the pro-Byzantine Christian Arabs of Jazira
Jazira
[Al] Jazira means [the] island or [the] peninsula in Arabic.Other possible transcriptions include Jazeera, Jazira, Jazeerah, Gezirah, Gazirah, Gazira, Gazeera, Gazeerah, Gezeerah...

, aided by Byzantine Emperor, making an unexpected flanking movement and laid siege to Emesa (Homs)
Homs
Homs , previously known as Emesa , is a city in western Syria and the capital of the Homs Governorate. It is above sea level and is located north of Damascus...

. Umar's brilliance was behind this Muslim victory and was achieved without firing a single shot.

Umar's orders to invade the very homeland of the Christian Arab forces besieging Emesa, the Jazirah. A three prong attack against Jazirah was launched from Iraq. To further pressurize the Christian Arab armies, Umar instructed Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, commander of Muslim forces in Iraq, to sent reinforcement to Emesa, Umar himself led a reinforcement from Madinah and marched towards Emesa. Under this unprecedented press-gang, Christian Arabs retreated from Emesa before Muslims reinforcement could reach their. This incursion from Byzantines however resulted in Muslim annex Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and parts of Byzantine Armenia
Byzantine Armenia
Byzantine Armenia is the name given to the Armenian part of the Byzantine Empire. The size of the territory varied over time, depending on the degree of control the Byzantines had over Armenia....

.

Nonetheless the greatest triumph of Umar remained Conquest of Persian empire. After years of non-offensive policy according to which Umar wished the Zagros Mountains
Zagros Mountains
The Zagros Mountains are the largest mountain range in Iran and Iraq. With a total length of 1,500 km , from northwestern Iran, and roughly correlating with Iran's western border, the Zagros range spans the whole length of the western and southwestern Iranian plateau and ends at the Strait of...

 to be the frontiers between Muslims and Persians, after Battle of Nahavand Umar launched a whole scale invasion of Sassanid Persian Empire. The invasion was a series of well coordinated multi-prong attacks that was based on the principle of isolating and then destroying the target. Umar launched the invasion by attacking the very heart of Persia aiming to isolate Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

 and eastern Persia. It was immediately followed by simultaneous attacks on Azerbaijan and Fars. In the final secession Sistan
Sistan
Sīstān is a border region in eastern Iran , southwestern Afghanistan and northern tip of Southwestern Pakistan .-Etymology:...

 and Kirman and captured thus isolating the stronghold of Persian, the Khurasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

. The final expedition was launched against Khurasan where after Battle of Oxus river
Battle of Oxus River
The Battle of Oxus River was a significant battle in the 7th century, fought between the armies of the Sassanid Empire and the Muslim Arab army that had overrun Persia. Following his defeat, the last Sassanid Emperor, Yazdegerd III, became a hunted fugitive who fled to Central Asia and then to...

 Persian empire ceased to exist, and emperor Yazdegerd III fled to Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

. He founded the city of Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, conquered 36,000 cities or castles, and built 1400 mosques.

Sunni views



Sunnis Muslims view him as the Second Rashidun
Rashidun
The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first four Caliphs who established the Rashidun Caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Dynasty...

 and know him as Farooq the great. Sunni remember Umar as a Strong Muslim of a sound and just disposition in matters of the religion of Allah, 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". He did not seek advancement for his own family, but rather sought to advance the interests of the Muslim community, the ummah
Ummah
Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

. The general Sunni sentiment for Umar is summarized by one of Muhammad's companions, Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud
Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud
Abdullah ibn Masud was one of the first converts to Islam after Muhammad started preaching in Mecca. He remained one of the closest companions of Muhammad during his lifetime....

:

Shia views



Umar is viewed very negatively in Shi'a literature. He is regarded as a traitor to Muhammad, and a usurper of Ali's rights of succession. According to Shi'a beliefs, his role during Muhammad's lifetime is questioned as he was not assigned to any civil or military authority. Some Shi'a writers have accused him of killing Muhammad's daughter Fatimah
Fatimah
Fatimah was a daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad from his first wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. She is regarded by Muslims as an exemplar for men and women. She remained at her father's side through the difficulties suffered by him at the hands of the Quraysh of Mecca...

 (see Fatimah's death). The Shi'a believe that Fatima, wife of Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

 and daughter of Muhammad, was physically abused by him. These sources report that the event caused her to miscarry her child and eventually led to her death soon after. (see Umar at Fatimah's house
Umar at Fatimah's house
Umar at Fatimah's house refers to the controversial event where Umar came to the house of Fatimah, the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, in order to get the allegiance of Ali and his followers or burn her house down...

).

Western views


In his book Mahomet and His Successors, Washington Irving
Washington Irving
Washington Irving was an American author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th century. He was best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle", both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works...

 estimates the achievements of Umar in the following terms:
In his book The Caliphate: Its Rise, Decline, and Fall Sir William Muir
William Muir
Sir William Muir, KCSI was a Scottish Orientalist and colonial administrator.-Life:He was born at Glasgow and educated at Kilmarnock Academy, at Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, and at Haileybury College. In 1837 he entered the Bengal Civil Service...

 says as follows about Umar:
In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

 refers to Umar in the following terms:
In his book History of the Arabs Professor Philip Khuri Hitti
Philip Khuri Hitti
Philip Khuri Hitti ,, born in Shimlan, Ottoman Syria, now modern day Lebanon), was a scholar of Islam and introduced the field of Arab culture studies to the United States. He was of Maronite Christian religion....

 has assessed the achievements of Umar in the following terms:
Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

remarks about Umar:
On the other hand, David Samuel Margoliouth
David Samuel Margoliouth
David Samuel Margoliouth was an orientalist. He was briefly active as a priest in the Church of England...

 offers this assessment of Umar:
However, in contrast to Margoliouth's assertion, Shahid Ashraf celebrates Umar as amongst the firmest companions who remained with Muhammad at his most critical juncture during the Battle of Hunayn
Battle of Hunayn
The Battle of Hunain was fought between Muhammad and his followers against the Bedouin tribe of Hawazin and its subsection the Thaqif in 630 in a valley on one of the roads leading from Mecca to al-Ta'if. The battle ended in a decisive victory for the Muslims, who captured enormous spoils...

 when others fled during ther disarray:
This view of Umar's courageous commitment at the Battle of Hunayn is also reported in Ibn Ishaq
Ibn Ishaq
Muḥammad ibn Isḥaq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār was an Arab Muslim historian and hagiographer...

's Sīrat rasūl Allāh and Ibn Sa'd's Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, in addition to modern Muslim writers. For instance, the renowned Ibn Sa'd reports in his Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir:

Family


Umar married a total of nine women in his lifetime and had fourteen children, ten sons and four daughters.

The details are as follow:
Wife: Zaynab bint Mazh'un (at the time of Jahiliyyah
Jahiliyyah
Jahiliyyah is an Islamic concept of "ignorance of divine guidance" or "the state of ignorance of the guidance from God" or "Days of Ignorance" referring to the condition in which Arabs found themselves in pre-Islamic Arabia, i.e. prior to the revelation of the Qur'an to Muhammad...

[Days of Ignorance])
Son: Abdullah ibn Umar
Son: Abdulrahman ibn 'Umar (The Older)
Son: Abdulrahman ibn 'Umar
Daughter: Hafsa bint Umar
Hafsa bint Umar
Ḥafsah bint ‘Umar and wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and therefore a Mother of the Believers.-Biography:She was married to Khunais ibn Hudhaifa, but became a widow when she was eighteen and according to Islamic tradition her father offered her to Abu Bakr and Uthman Ibn Affan...

Son: Zayd ibn 'Umar
Wife: Quraybah bint Abi Umayyah al-Makhzumi (divorced, married by Abdulrehman ibn Abu Bakr)
Wife: Umm Hakim bint al-Harith ibn Hisham (after her husband, a former ally of 'Umar and a companion Ikrimah ibn Abi-Jahl
Ikrimah ibn Abi-Jahl
Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl was an important early Muslim leader and companion of Muhammad. As the son of Abu Jahl, Ikrimah was at first, one of the chief Mecca opponents to Muhammad....

 was killed in Battle of Yarmouk
Battle of Yarmouk
The Battle of Yarmouk was a major battle between the Muslim Arab forces of the Rashidun Caliphate and the armies of the East Roman-Byzantine Empire. The battle consisted of a series of engagements that lasted for six days in August 636, near the Yarmouk River, along what is today the border...

, later divorced but al-Madaini says he did not divorce her)
Daughter: Fatima bint 'Umar
Wife: Jamilah bint Ashim ibn Thabit ibn Abi al-Aqlah (from the tribe of Aws)
Son: Asim ibn Umar
Asim ibn Umar
Asim ibn Umar is the son of Umm Kulthum bint Asim and Umar, the second Sunni Caliph.This article is not about Asim ibn Umar ibn Qatada ibn al-Nu`man al-Ansari's Asim ibn Umar (Born 7 AH, Died 70 AH.) is the son of Umm Kulthum bint Asim and Umar, the second Sunni Caliph.This article is not about...

Wife: Atikah bint Zayd ibn Amr ibn Nifayl (cousin of Umar and former wife of Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr married 'Umar in the year twelve AH and after 'Umar was murdered, she married az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam
Zubair ibn al-Awam
Zubair ibn al-Awwam, was a companion of Muhammad, father to Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr and later one of the most successful commanders of the Rashidun army and served under the Rashidun caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar.Zubair, who was a cousin of the prophet Muhammad, was an early convert to Islam.He served...

)
Son: Iyaad ibn 'Umar
Wife: Luhyah (a woman from Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 (Yaman) who's marital status with 'Umar is disputed, al-Waqidi said that she was Umm Walad, meaning a slave woman)
Son: Abdulrahman ibn 'Umar (the youngest Abdulrehman while some say the middle Abdulrehman from Luhyah)
Wife: Fukayhah (as Umm Walad)
Daughter: Zaynab bint 'Umar (the smallest child of 'Umar from Fukayhah)
Wife: Umm Kulthum bint Ali
Son: Zayd bin Umar

Another son is, az-Zubayr ibn Bakkar, called Abu Shahmah, though from which wife is unknown.

See also


  • Rashidun Caliphate
    Rashidun Caliphate
    The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

    • Abu Bakr
      Abu Bakr
      Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

    • Uthman
    • Ali
      Ali
      ' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

  • Ridda wars
    Ridda wars
    The Ridda wars , also known as the Wars of Apostasy, were a series of military campaigns against the rebellion of several Arabian tribes launched by the Caliph Abu Bakr during 632 and 633 AD, after prophet Muhammad died....

  • Sahaba
    Sahaba
    In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...


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