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Umar Ibn Al-Khattab was among the great scholars of the companions of the Prophet-peace be upon him-and one whose opinions enjoyed divine acceptance even during the life time of the Prophet of Allah may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. In many instances verses of the Qur’an were revealed to confirm the uprightness of his opinions and suggestions. Also there are many sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) confirming his scholarly and intellectual excellence, among such hadiths is the one narrated by Abdulla Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet Muhammad-peace be upon him said: "Indeed, Allah has placed truth upon Umar`s tongue and heart." [Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith 2682]
 Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him); who was one of the outstanding companions when it comes to knowledge and piety gave a testimony of Umar’s knowledge and said: “"If the knowledge of 'Umar was put on one side of a scale, and the knowledge of the people on the other side of the scale, 'Umar's knowledge would weigh more." [Al-Mustadrak 'ala al-Sahîhayn). Thus’ the Ameerul-Mu’mineen; Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah have mercy on him), the successor to the Prophet after Abu-Bakr Siddeeq(may Allah’s peace be upon His Prophet and may He be pleased with his two companions),reached a peak of knowledge which made it easy for him to build the Muslim world at his time on the foundations of justice, equality, knowledge, peace and administrational excellence in all spheres.

His efforts in Islamic politics:

The era of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) is among the most important eras that witnessed much development in  Islamic politics. It was in his Era that the systems and organization of the Islamic world took its advanced shape. We know that the Prophet died without clearly pointing who is his next successor, and we know that Abubakar siddeeq spent his short era of leadership fighting the apostates. When it was Umar’s tenure of office, there was peace in the Arabian Peninsula with the success of Abu-Bakr’s military efforts. Umar Ibn Al-Khattab started putting into place the foundations, systems and principles upon which he is going to rule the Muslim community with all been his scholarly deductions from the general teachings of the Glorious Qur’an and the Noble Sunnah, hence, in essence, they were all a representation of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and that act of making such deductions from these two sources of Islamic legislation is what qualified them to be described as : “ the scholarly efforts of Umar In Islamic politics”. Among these foundations are:

1-Shoora- a consultative council for discussing the well fare of the state, and issues of importance. This council consists of the great companions whom the Prophet died whilst being pleased with. Among them are: Uthman Ibn Affan, Ali Ibn Abi Taalib, Abdur-Rahman Ibn Awf, Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas, Abdulla Ibn Mas’ud, Bilal Ibn Rabah and many other outstanding companions (may Allah be pleased with all of them). He sometimes invites other companions who have technical expertise in an issue of his concern to attend such consultative periodic meetings.

He also created a six-member council during his last moment to select among them (the six) the next caliph within three days after his death. This six-member council finally settled their decision on Uthman Ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) as the third Caliph. This system became a strong Islamic political mechanism for selecting leaders of the Muslim nation after him and still in practice in even our modern era.

2-Periodic supervision of provinces of the state and daily patrol of the capital city of the Islamic state. Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) used to visit his governors in their various provinces to take stock of their affairs, account them and listen to the complaints of their subjects against them. also on daily basis, he used to patrol the city of Madina all by himself in the company of his servant; Aslam. He sometimes requests the company of some companions. During one of Umar(may Allah be pleased with him)'s regular night patrols as Caliph, he came across a lady who was stirring a pot full of stones in water while her children were crying. He approached her and asked why she was doing this, she replied that her children were starving and she had nothing to give them, so she was pretending that there was food being cooked by stirring stones in boiling water, hoping that the children would think that food is being prepared and eventually fall asleep. She then complained about the Caliph Umar(may Allah be pleased with him)... unaware she was actually speaking to him.

Upon seeing this his eyes filled with tears, Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) felt guilty that as a Caliph he was not aware of the plight of this woman, until the tears began to fall down his face. He immediately stood up and began to run to the public treasury with his Companion. He prepared a large bag of flour and butter, asking his Companion to load them onto his shoulders. His Companion pleaded, "Please, Amir Al-Mu'mineen, let me carry this for you." But Umar(may Allah be pleased with him) answered, "Woe to you, are you going to carry for me my sins on the Day of Judgement". Umar(may Allah be pleased with him) carried the food back and on arriving he began preparing the meal for them with his own hands, blowing at the fire from time to time to make it burn more brightly.

When the meal was ready, he sat with the children feeding them and playing with them until their cries turned into laughter. Umar(may Allah be pleased with him) and his Companion remained there until the children were fast asleep. Umar(ra) said "I did not want to leave until I made sure that they're all asleep... and happy." Before he left, the woman said to Umar(may Allah be pleased with him), still unaware of who she was speaking to, "You deserve to be Caliph more than Umar bin Al-Khattab!." As Umar(may Allah be pleased with him) left she continued to make du'a for him unaware she was actually praying for the Umar bin Al-Khattab(may Allah be pleased with him), the Calph of the Muslims.

 

Also in one of his night patrol, he saw a Bedouin sitting close to a tent with his wife in the tent groaning out of the pains of labor. After enquiries from the man about the cause of such groans, he went back home and took his wife out in that darkness of the night to help the woman deliver. The wife went in and after sometime came out and addressed the husband: “Oh leader of the believers, congratulations to you and your friend, he is blessed with a baby boy” it was there that the Bedouin realized that it was the caliph and his wife that were under his service. This wife of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab was his youngest wife; Ummu Al-Kulthum; the daughter of Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him and his daughter). There are many episodes of this nature about Umar Ibn Al-Khattab night’s patrols-may Allah be pleased with him and reward him abundantly for his services for Islam and Muslims.

Other scholarly efforts of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab in Islamic politics include the establishment of a state registry for keeping records of all events including names of people who received their appropriated shares of war booties and other allowance, which he used to share to the Muslim soldiers, their families the needy, the widowed and the orphans. He also established a post office system for fast exchange of letters and information between him and his governors.

He set the lunar calendar starting it from the time of the migration of the Prophet and his companions from the holy city Makka to Al-Madinatul-Munawwara due to the unique effect of the migration to the establishment of Islamic supremacy, hence, this calendar is called the Hijri calendar.

Many of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him)’s scholarly efforts in the political administration of the Islamic world are discussed by the fuqaha’ (the Jurists) in their books. One may refer to them for more information on the great political style of the second caliph of Islam, may Allah be pleased with him and all companions of our beloved Prophet and Messenger-peace be upon him-.

 

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