The History Of The Khalifahs Who Took The Right Way

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Jalalu’d-Din ‘Abd’ur-Rahman as -Suyuti
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Umar ibn al-Khattab

from The History of the Khalifahs by Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti

Umar ibn al-Khattab ibn Nufayl ibn ‘Abdu’l-‘Uzza ibn Riyah ibn Qart ibn Razah ibn ‘Adi ibn Ka‘b ibn Lu’ayy, Amir al-Mu’minin, Abu Hafs, al-Qurashi, al-‘Adawi, al-Faruq.

He accepted Islam in the sixth year of prophecy when he was twenty-seven years old, says adh-Dhahabi.

An-Nawawi says: ‘Umar was born thirteen years after the Elephant, he was one of the nobility of Quraysh, and he had the role of ambassador in the Jahiliyyah; Quraysh, whenever war broke out among them or between them and others, would send him as an ambassador, i.e. a messenger, and when someone called them to judgement – often over a matter of standing or lineage – then they sent him as a response to that.

He accepted Islam very early on, after forty other men and eleven women. Some say that it was after thirty-nine men and twenty-three women, and some say, after forty-five men and eleven women. But it was only after he accepted Islam that Islam was shown openly in Makkah and the Muslims rejoiced in him.

He said: He was one of the outstripping first ones, one of the ten for whom it was witnessed that they were for the Garden, one of the khulafa’ who took the right way, one of the in-laws of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, one of the great men of knowledge of the Companions and one of their abstinent people.

There are related from him five hundred and thirty-nine hadith from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan narrated from him, ‘Ali (ibn Abi Talib), Talhah (ibn ‘Ubaydullah), Sa‘d (ibn Abi Waqqas), ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Ibn Mas‘ud, Abu Dharr, ‘Amr ibn ‘Abasah and his son ‘Abdullah, Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn az-Zubayr, Anas, Abu Hurayrah, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari, al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib, Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri, and a great number of the Companions and others, may Allah be pleased with them.

I say: I attach here some sections in which there are some collections of interest connected to his biography.

The reports on his acceptance of Islam

At-Tirmidhi narrated that Ibn ‘Umar narrated that: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘O Allah, strengthen Islam with whoever is more beloved to You of these two men: ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab or Abu Jahl ibn Hisham.’ At-Tabarani narrated this from hadith of Ibn Mas‘ud and Anas, may Allah be pleased with them.

Al-Hakim narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas related that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘O Allah, strengthen Islam by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab especially.’ At-Tabarani narrated this in the Awsat from a hadith of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq and in the Kabir from hadith of Thawban.

Ahmad narrated that ‘Umar said: I went out to confront the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and found that he had preceded me to the mosque (of Makkah). I stood behind him and he began by reciting Suratu’l-Haqqah. I was astonished by the composition of the Qur’an, so I said, ‘By Allah, this is a poet as Quraysh say.’ Then he recited, ‘It is truly the saying of a noble messenger, and it is not the saying of a poet, how little you believe…’ (Qur’an 69: 40) to the end of the ayah, and Islam came about in my heart.

Ibn Abi Jabir narrated that Jabir said: The beginning of ‘Umar’s Islam was that ‘Umar said, ‘My sister’s time to give birth came to her at night so I went out of the house, and entered the precincts of the Ka‘bah. Then the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came and entered the Hijr (the low-walled, semi-circular area to one end of the Ka‘bah) and on him there were two rough cloths. He prayed to Allah as much as Allah willed, then he turned away and I heard something the like of which I had not heard. He went out and I followed him and he said, “Who is this?” I said, “‘Umar.” He said, “‘Umar, will you not leave me alone, either by night or by day?” I became afraid that he might supplicate against me, so I said, “I witness that there is no god but Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah.” He said, “‘Umar, keep it secret.” I said, “No, by the One Who sent you with the truth, I will openly declare it just as I openly declared idolatry.”’

Ibn Sa‘d, Abu Ya‘la, al-Hakim, and al-Bayhaqi in ad-Dala’il, narrated that Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: ‘Umar went out wearing his sword, and a man from Bani Zuhrah met him and said, ‘Where do you intend going, ‘Umar?’ He said, ‘I want to kill Muhammad.’ He said, ‘How will you be safe from Bani Hashim and Bani Zuhrah if you have killed Muhammad?’ He said, ‘I can only believe that you have converted.’ He said, ‘Shall I show you something astonishing; your brother-in-law and your sister have converted and abandoned your deen.’ ‘Umar walked on and came to the two of them while Khabbab was with them. When he heard the sound of ‘Umar he hid in the house, and then he (‘Umar) entered and said, ‘What is this murmur of lowered voices?’ They had been reciting Taha. They said, ‘Nothing but some conversation which we were holding.’ He said, ‘Perhaps you two have converted?’ His brother-in-law said to him, ‘‘Umar, what if the truth were outside of your deen?’ So ‘Umar leapt upon him and struck him severely. His sister came to push him away from her husband and he struck her a blow with his hand so that her face bled. Then she said, and she was angry, ‘And if the truth were outside of your deen? I witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger.’ ‘Umar said, ‘Give me the writing which you have and I will read it,’ – and ‘Umar used to read. His sister said to him, ‘You are dirty, and no-one reads it but the purified (so stand and bathe yourself or perform wudu’).’ He stood and performed wudu’, then he took the writing and read Taha until it came to, ‘Truly I, I am Allah there is no god except Me, so worship Me and establish the prayer for My remembrance.’ (Qur’an 20: 14). ‘Umar said, ‘Show me the way to Muhammad.’ When Khabbab heard the words of ‘Umar he came out and said, ‘Rejoice, ‘Umar! Because I hope that you are the (answer to the) supplication which the Messenger of Allah made for you on the night of Thursday, “O Allah, strengthen Islam with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab or with ‘Amr ibn Hisham.”’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was in the lower part of the house which was at the foot of Safa and ‘Umar went off until he came to the house, at the door of which were Hamzah, Talhah and others. Hamzah said, ‘This is ‘Umar; If Allah wants good for him he will become a Muslim; and if He wishes other than that, then killing him will be a little thing for us.’ He said: And the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was inside receiving revelation. He came out when ‘Umar arrived, took hold of the folds of his clothes and the straps of his sword, and said, ‘You won’t give up, ‘Umar, until Allah visits you with disgrace and punishment like he did al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah.’ ‘Umar said, ‘I witness that there is no god but Allah and that you are the slave of Allah and His Messenger.’ Continue reading