Umar (RA) – the splendor of gleaming piety

Umar (RA)’s is a distinct personality in the history of Islam – a flame that never fades despite being talked about ever and again. It is a history that we wish to hear again and again. His is a splendid life that inspires us with deep piety and an exceptionally vibrant personality. The history of Umar Bin Al Khattab (Radhiyallahu Anhu – May Allah be pleased with him), whose sayings and musings emanated as the statutes, blazes splendor on countless generations.

It was the credence in Hereafter that vexed whilst enlivened Umar (RA)’s life.  With a cleansed in and out, he was always solicitous to embrace the Day of Resurrection. Hope and awe of Hereafter made those eyes wet quite often. Scorning the luxuries of this materialistic life, that noble life could wholeheartedly embrace premise of the Promised World. By belittling amusements of this world, that soul rejoiced in the hope of Hereafter.

Once Umar (RA) asked his friend Abu Moosal Ash’ari “Wouldn’t we be rewarded for our Islamic life along with Prophet (PBUH), Hijra, battles and good deeds, and wouldn’t we be saved from the Hellfire thence?”

He replied “O! Umer, we have battled, performed salah, observed fasting, and begotten numerous good deeds. Our efforts have persuaded many to embrace Islam. We hope to be rewarded for all these.” Umar (RA) burst in to tears. Whimpering like a child he said: “I swear by Him in whose hand is the soul of Umar, I hope to be rewarded by Allah for all those deeds and thus will be spared from the Hellfire without any gain or loss”.

When Hafs bin Abil A’s visited the house of Khalifa Umar, he hesitated to eat the rough bread served. Umar (RA)responded : “By Allah, had I not feared that Umar might fall short of good deeds, I would have lead a lavish life like yours. If I wish, I can live a more affluent life than yours. But I have set aside all those comforts for that dreadful day in which nursing mothers will be distracted from their nursling out of terror and pregnant women will abort their load out of intense fear. Indeed I keep aside best of my provisions for such a day. Don’t you know that Allah has said about a few:  ‘you have enjoyed all comforts in this world itself’ ?”

Have we created you without purpose?The Quranic Verse, “Did you think that We had created you without any purpose, and that you would not be brought back to Us?” (23:115) has always reverberated on Umar’s tongue. Slept very less; rested only when necessary and devoted first half of the night for welfare of his subjects and the other half for nightly prayers. He would invite the sweet reciter Abu Moosa Al Ash’ari and listen to his Quran recitation. Upon hearing the verses on hellfire and heaven, his eyes would swarm with tears. To every children met in the nook and corners of Madina, their Kalifa told “O sin free child, supplicate for this sinner”!

Umar(RA), who designated attendants to straighten the lines for Salah, heeded every advice of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) earnestly. He discouraged excessive laughing, citing that it would diminish piety and deprive seriousness. He advised: “Beware of obesity and distended belly because that will surely bring uneasiness to the body, difficulty in your worships and illness to the stomach. Improve your health – that is essential for a believer”. Umar(RA) relished the jokes shared by his friend Aslam.

Ali bin Abi T’alib (RA) said about Umar (RA): “No one on this earth is dearer to me than Umar (RA). I haven’t seen any one more brave than him. None is so knowledgeable as he is. If you want to think of good people, start from Umar (RA). He cannot befriend falsehood. Sun did not dawn upon a man better than Umar (RA). Truth flows out of Umar (RA)’s heart and tongue.” [Al- Sheikhan by Thaha Hussein]

Let’s conclude with a phrase from Anas bin Malik (RA): “Like how our pious predecessors taught Quran to their children, we used to teach our children to love Abubakr and Omar (May Allah be pleased by them).” [From Fajrul Islam by Ahmed Ameen]

English rendering of article written by Abdul Wadud

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2 comments

  • Lukman

    Amazing article!

    Umar RA, the Calipha- who got his son married to a milkmaid because the girl was honest and God fearing- is a rare exemplar for people of all times and ideology. Especially when we live in a world where money rules, the life of such a humble ruler carries a lot of lessons.

    Jazaka Allah!

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