A Yemen Times series on great Islamic figuresAl-Khattab, the 2nd Caliph [Archives:2003/690/Culture]

December 1 2003

By Sulaiman M.
For the Yemen Times

Bani Udai was a coterie where Omar Ibn al-Khattab belongs and he was also famous for doing justice and arbitration in Quraish, one of the strongest tribe in Mecca.
Doing justice and settling disputes among people at that time were one of the noble traits of Bani Udai.
Omar Ibn al-Khattab was nominated as the second caliph after Abu Bakr. He possessed bravery, power, and jealousy for his religion.
Before converting to Islam, he used to humiliate the weak people in his time, particularly those who converted to Islam.
During the emergence of Islam, Omar opposed the prophet and his followers and openly complained to the prophet about Omar’s bad intentions.
He narrated: “I was one of the most hostile people for the God’s messenger. I came to the prophet at sat in front of his hands and took my dress and said: Oh, Ibn al-Khattab! Embrace Islam! May God guide him!
“And I said: “I call upon as a witness that there is no god but God and that you are the only Messenger of God! As I utter these words, Muslims have glorified God where their voices were heard in the Mecca routs and I heard the prophet asking in supplication. “Oh, Lord, Make Islam glorified with Omar or with Abi Jahl Omar Bin Hisham.” ”
Omar openly embraced Islam, that Muslims were protected by his sword, and he also declared to Quraish his intention to immigrate.
He was a sagacious ruler in his time, sharp-witted and shrewd.
As one of the forerunners to embrace Islam, he was nominated as a consultant when Abu Bakr nominated as the first Muslims’ caliph at Bani Saeda.
When he was nominated as the second caliph after Abu Bakr, he was known for his asceticism.
He carried on his back flour and water to be distributed to the poor and the needy.
He used to patch his garments and above all his armies conquered one of the largest and strongest empires in the world.
The removal of one of his dearest relatives, Khaled Ibn al-Waleed from leading the Islamic armies in Yarmook was Omar’s own decision.
He ordered Abu Obaidah to lead Islamic armies instead of Khaled Ibn al-Waleed, the Islamic army commander who led a massive war against the apostates.
During his caliphate, Omar was one the first who employed non-Arabs.
During his time, coins were minted; management as well as judiciary system were reorganized and reached its pinnacle.
He founded the treasury, statistics and accounting.
During his reign, he could send armies to Islamic states and could also consolidate soldiers to guard border inlets.
He was described by the great scholar, Abdullah Ibn Abbas as one the sources of pride for Islam, a harbor to the orphans, supporter for the weak people and a reference for the knowledgeable.
He was for justice a fort for God’s right, a patient follower until God has made the religion rise.
He glorifies God in countries, plains, hills, suburbs, and spots. He is in weal and woe always thankful to His God.
He is a strict ruler and a judge for people during his reign.
He organized leaders’ removal and new strict instructions were adopted by him.
Orders were given by him to design cities such as, Basra and Kufa, improve navigation services in Hijaz and Egypt.
Sending Islamic armies and conquering countries is not a matter of a desire to occupy as some pretend. It was just for spreading Islam in those countries, liberating those countries from slavery of their kings and oppressors.
He first implanted and founded the religion before founding the Sultan as a foundation for the Islamic rule.
May God have mercy upon the just caliph, Omar Ibn al-Khattab. We are in need to his rule these days and to quench our thirst for his just rule.