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Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (R A)

Hazrat ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab RadhiAllaahu Anhu

 Hazrat ‘Umar ibn al- Khattab (R A) (583 - 643 CE), was the second of the Rightly Guided Khalifas in Islamic history. He was a Companion of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and was one of the ‘Ashratun-Mubashshirah, i.e. those ten Companions who had been given the glad tidings of belonging to Paradise.

 It is narrated from Hazrat Jabir that the Prophet (SAW) said:
“Allaah chose my Companions over everything else in existence except for the Prophets and the Messengers. He subhaanahu wa ta’ala chose four of them for me: Abu Bakr (R A) , ‘Umar (R A) , ‘Uthman(R A) , ‘Ali (R A). He made them my best Companions, and all of my Companions are good.”
[Al-Bazzar and Ad-Daylami]

 The Prophet (SAW) also said:
“Whoever loves ‘Umar has loved me. Whoever hates ‘Umar hates me.”

 Hazrat Ibn Abbas narrates that the Prophet (SAW) said:
“There is no angel in the heaven that does not respect ‘Umar and no shaytan on the earth but that he is afraid of ‘Umar .”

Hazrat Daata Ganj Baksh , an 11th century scholar and Sufi saint writes in his famous Kashful- Mahjoob that:
 Hazrat ‘Umar ibn al- Khattab (R A) was the Commander of the Faithful (Ahl-eimna), leader of those having the status of ihsan, the imam (leader) of those who have realized the Truth (Ahl-e-tahqiq) and the guide of lovers gone deep into the ocean of Divine love. He is famous for his karamat (spiritual eminence) and farasat (spiritual insight), and had a large number of mystical truths to his credit.

 The Prophet (SAW) said:
“Al Haqqu yantiqu ‘alaa lisaanil ‘Umar”
 “God speaks through the tongue of ‘Umar.”

Before the advent of Islam there was no tradition in Arabia of reading or writing. There were only seventeen people among the Quraish who could read or write at the time when the Prophet (SAW) started to receive Divine revelations. Hazrat ‘Umar was one of those seventeen people. However, he was an arch-enemy of the Prophet (SAW) Muhammad and Islam in its early days, until the Prophet (SAW) prayed:

 "O Allah, strengthen Islam with either ‘Umar ibn al- Khattab (R A) or ‘Amr ibn
 Hisham (Abu Jahal) whomsoever Thou pleaseth."

 The next day Hazrat ‘Umar was guided to accept Islam. It happened as follows: It was the sixth year of Prophet's mission when Quraish leaders called a meeting and asked a volunteer for the assassination of the Prophet (SAW) . Hazrat ‘Umar offered himself for this task and everybody in the meeting exclaimed that he was the right person for it. While he was on his way with a sword in his hand he met Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas who enquired of him about
 his destination. Hazrat ‘Umar told him that he was going to murder the Prophet (SAW) .

 After some discussion Sa'd said, “You had better take care of your own family first. Your sister and brother-in-law both have accepted Islam.” Hearing this Hazrat ‘Umar changed his direction and went straight to his sister's house. When Hazrat ‘Umar knocked at the door, they were studying the Qur'an from Hazrat Khabbab . His sister Fatimah was frightened on hearing Hazrat ‘Umar’s voice and tried to hide the portion of the Qur'an she was reciting. When Hazrat ‘Umar entered the house he enquired about their Islam and on finding that they had accepted Islam, he first fell upon his brother-in-law and beat him severely. When his sister intervened he smote her so violently on her face that it bled profusely.

 On this, his sister burst out: “Do whatever you like, we are determined to die as Muslims.” When Hazrat ‘Umar saw his sister bleeding, he calmed down and felt ashamed. He loved Fatimah very much but could not tolerate her conversion to Islam. However, deeply moved, Hazrat ‘Umar asked her to show the pages on which the Qur'an was written. But she was, after all, Hazrat ‘Umar’s sister and told him, “You can not touch it unless you take a
 bath and make yourself clean.” He washed his body and then read the leaves. That was the beginning of Surah Ta-Ha (Chapter 20 of the Qur'an). When he came to the verse:

 "Indeed it is Me, Allaah - there is no God except I - therefore worship Me and keep the prayer established for My remembrance."
 [Al Ta-Ha, 20:14]
 Hazrat ‘Umar exclaimed, “Surely this is the Word of Allah. Take me to Muhammad ”. This is why it is said that the rest of the Companions were mureed (one who seeks) of the Prophet , whereas Hazrat ‘Umar was His muraad (one who is sought). Hazrat ‘Umar’s conversion to Islam was a terrible blow to the morale of the disbelievers. Hazrat 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud(R A) , a great Companion, says, “Hazrat ‘Umar's conversion to Islam was a great
 triumph, his emigration to Medina a tremendous reinforcement and his accession to Caliphate a great blessing for the Muslims.” And Hazrat Daata Ganj Baksh said that Hazrat Umar is one of the select admitted to the Divine Presence, so much so that angel Jibril , came and said to the Prophet (SAW) , “O Muhammad , all the angels send you greetings on the conversion of ‘Umar to Islam.” [Kashf-ul-Mahjoob]

 Conversion of Hazrat ‘Umar strengthened Islam. Hitherto, Muslims had lived in constant fear of disbelievers, and most of them were concealing their faith. The Muslims were now able to offer their Salat (ritual prayers) publicly. When Hazrat ‘Umar became a Muslim he declared his faith openly before the Quraish chiefs. No one dared harm him. Then he requested the Prophet (SAW) to offer Salat in the Ka'bah. On getting the consent of the Prophet (SAW) , Hazrat ‘Umar led a party of the Muslims to it. Hazrat Hamzah , who had accepted Islam a few days before Hazrat ‘Umar carried another party of the Muslims to the Ka'bah. When all the Muslims gathered in the Ka'bah they offered their Salat in congregation. The Prophet (SAW) led this first public Salat in the history of Islam. For this courageous and bold action of Hazrat ‘Umar the Prophet (SAW) gave him the title of "al-Faruq" i.e., the one who makes a distinction between Haqq (Right) and Batil (Wrong).

 When the Muslims were ordered to migrate to Medina, most of them left Mecca quietly and secretly, but Hazrat ‘Umar declared it openly. He put on his arms and first went to the Ka'bah. After performing the Salat he announced loudly: “I am migrating to Medina. If anyone wants to check me, let him come out. I am sure that his mother would cry for his life.” There was no man in Mecca to accept the challenge of Hazrat ‘Umar . Then he migrated to Medina

 For the first time in the history of Islam, the Islamic calendar was introduced in the present form by Hazrat ‘Umar as advised by Hazrat Ali ((R A) ). The date of the start of this calendar was fixed as the date of the Hijrah (Migration) of the Prophet (SAW) .Thus the calendar is known as the Hijri Calendar.

 Hazrat ‘Umar had great love for Allaah and the Prophet (SAW) . The Prophet (SA) also had a deep love for him. Once He remarked:
 "Were a Prophet (SAW) to come after me, he would have been ‘Umar ".

 In another Hadith mentioned in Bukhari, Hazrat Abu Hurairah narrated that th

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