Hazrat Umar Farooq
Islamic history tells us about various influential personalities who were strong, brave, great leaders and had multiple other traits that made them significant.
Hazrat Umar Farooq is one of the strongest and remarkable leaders in history. His contributions to our religion are numerous and his ways of governance are still followed in the Islamic world. The Islamic rule expanded greatly under his power as it grew to conquer the Sasanian Empire (Persian Empire) and more than half of the Byzantine Empire (Roman Empire). The word of Islam spread widely due to Hazrat Umar and our religion was introduced in various other parts of the world. He was later assassinated by a Persian slave.
Life as a non-Muslim
Hazrat Umar was born in Makkah to Banu Adi clan. He was passionate about learning to read and write even when literacy was not common in the Arabs. Even as a young boy, Hazrat Umar has been said to have a deep interest in martial arts, wrestling and horse riding. He was tall and very powerful.
When the message of Islam spread, Hazrat Umar harboured a great hatred for both the religion and its followers. He believed that Islam would destroy the unity among the tribes in Makkah and he willingly took it upon himself to end the Prophet’s (PBUH) life.
Conversion to Islam
He was on his way to complete his mission of ending the Prophet’s (PBUH) life when he got to hear of his sister and her husband’s conversion to Islam. The news deeply angered him and he turned to pay his sister a visit. Hazrat Khubab was teaching the couple Quran when Hazrat Umar entered. He inquired about her about the news he had heard and when Fatima (his sister) refused to leave the religion, Hazrat Umar slapped her hard across the face. The hit was of such an extent that the woman started bleeding profusely. It was at that moment that Hazrat Umar realised what he had done and felt extreme guilt. He took a bath to cleanse himself and asked his sister for the scripture she was reading.
“Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.” Quran [20:14]
Hazrat Umar was greatly moved by the Holy verses and proclaimed that he believes in one Allah.
On hearing this Hazrat Khabbab said, “O Umar! Pleasing information for you. It seems that the prayer of the Muhammad (SAW) which he said last night has been answered in your favour. He prayed to Allah: “O Allah, strengthen Islam with either Umar b Khattab or Abu Jahl, whomsoever Thou pleased”.
Contribution to Islamic history
He was a fearless human being, powerful and strong. Hazrat Umar was one of the strongest people of Quraish which was why the Prophet (PBUH) prayer for his conversion to Islam. It was him who suggested that the Muslims offered prayers in the Ka’abah. The Prophet (PBUH) lead the first congregational salah in the Ka’abah on the fearless proposal of Hazrat Umar. This act earned him the title of Farooq (the one who distinguishes between the right and the wrong).
He was the one who laid the foundation for the political system of Islam. He imposed Divine Law as the code of a newly formed International Islamic State; he safeguarded the internal safety by introducing the police force: he gave stipends to the poor; he constructed headquarters and forts for the safety of Islamic armies; he founded new cities for the growth of Islamic culture and civilization; he improved agriculture and economics of the Islamic State; he founded the educational system in an Islamic State; in brief, he was the founder of a great Islamic State.
In his time, he faced famine and plague and the Islamic state came out stronger than ever out of it.
Hazrat Umar was assassinated on October 31st 644 AD (1st Muharram) by a Persian slave Piruz (Abu Lulu’ah). He was stabbed six times by his assassinator while he was leading the Fajar prayer.
Hazrat Umar has set numerous examples for Muslims to follow in all walk of life. He is a role model for the ruler of Islamic states. He was an epitome of justice, principles, piety, humility and character. He was known to perform all his duties with utmost devotion and intensity.