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Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Men of Excellence : Hazrat Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb (ra)

After reciting TashahhudTa‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) had great regard for those who had knowledge of the Holy Qur’an, no matter if they were young or old.

His Holiness(aba) said that once, someone came to Hazrat Umar(ra) and complained that he did not give people enough wealth, nor did he decide justly in matters of wealth. This upset Hazrat Umar(ra). One of his advisors, Hurr bin Qais, said that the following was instructed to the Holy Prophet(sa) in the Holy Qur’an:

“Take to forgiveness, and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant.” (7:200)

Hurr bin Qais said that this person was surely ignorant. Upon being reminded of these verses, Hazrat Umar(ra) did not take any action against that person.

His Holiness(aba) said that once, a chief came to Hazrat Umar(ra), and disliked that fact that a ten-year-old child was also sitting in such esteemed company. It so happened that later, Hazrat Umar(ra) became displeased at something that this chief did. That same ten-year-old child read the following:

“and those who suppress anger” (3:135)

The child then also read:

“and turn away from the ignorant.” (7:200)

The child said that this person was surely ignorant. Upon hearing the words of the Holy Qur’an, Hazrat Umar(ra) remained silent. Then that chief was told that the same ten-year-old boy he was looking down upon was the one who saved him.

His Holiness(aba) said that when matters would be presented to Hazrat Umar(ra), he would also consult children, in order to sharpen their minds.

Diligence in Matters Pertaining to the Treasury

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) was extremely careful when it came to the wealth of the treasury. Once, Hazrat Umar(ra) was given some milk to drink which he very much liked. He asked where this milk had come from. The person told him that it had been given to him from the camels which had been given as Zakat. Upon hearing this, Hazrat Umar(ra) regurgitated the milk, saying he could not consume the wealth of Zakat.

His Holiness(aba) said that once, Hazrat Umar(ra) was ill and he was prescribed to use honey. There was some honey in the treasury. Hazrat Umar(ra) stood at the pulpit and said to the people that he would only use that honey if they allowed, which they did, and only then he used the honey from the treasury.

His Holiness(aba) said that once, it was extremely hot outside, so much so that it would be difficult to get up and even open the door. In this heat, Hazrat Uthman(ra) was informed that there was someone walking outside. When that person drew near, Hazrat Uthman(ra) saw that it was Hazrat Umar(ra). Upon inquiring what he was doing outside in such extreme heat, Hazrat Umar(ra) said that a camel from the treasury had gotten loose and he was searching for it.

Dealing with People Equitably

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) would always be equitable. Once, a Jewish person and a Muslim person who were quarelling came to Hazrat Umar(ra). Hazrat Umar(ra) heard their case and felt that the Jewish man was in the right, and so he decided in his favour. On another occasion, an Egyptian man went to Hazrat Umar(ra) and said that he had raced the son of Hazrat Amr bin ‘Aas(ra) and beaten him in the race. Upon this, he started beating him, saying that he was the son of an esteemed person. Upon hearing this, Hazrat Umar(ra) summoned Hazrat Amr bin ‘Aas and his son, and then Hazrat Umar(ra) told the Egyptian that now he could strike the son of Hazrat Amr bin ‘Aas in return.

High Level of Forbearance

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) was very forbearing. Once, he said in a sermon that if anyone saw any crookedness in him, then they should rectify it. A person stood up and said that if he found any crookedness in him, he would rectify it with his sword. Hazrat Umar(ra) thanked God that there was someone who would rectify him with his sword.

His Holiness(aba) said that once, a person went to Hazrat Umar(ra) and in front of a crowd, told Hazrat Umar(ra) to fear God. The people present wished to silence him, however Hazrat Umar(ra) said that if he wished to say something, then he should speak openly.

Upholding Religious Freedom

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) was very mindful of religious freedom. Once, an elderly Christian woman went to Hazrat Umar(ra) for some matter. Hazrat Umar(ra) incited her to accept Islam as she would be protected. She replied saying that she was elderly and nearing her demise. Thus, Hazrat Umar(ra) fulfilled her need, and later repented, fearing that she may have perceived him taking advantage of the need and compelling her to accept Islam. He prayed to God saying that he merely showed her the right path, but did not wish to force her. This was the degree to which he was mindful of religious freedom.

Care for Animals

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Umar(ra) was also caring towards animals. Once, Hazrat Umar(ra) inspected some camels who had been tied. He examined them, and he asked the owners if they really cared for their animals? If so, they should have let them loose so that they may graze freely.

A Day of Two Eids

His Holiness(aba) said that once, a Jewish man went to Hazrat Umar(ra) and said that there was a verse in the Qur’an which, if it had been revealed to the Jewish people, they would have rejoiced and commemorated it as a day of Eid. The verse was:

“This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as religion. But whoso is forced by hunger, without being willfully inclined to sin, then, surely Allah is Most Forgiving and Merciful.” (5:4)

Hazrat Umar(ra) replied to him by saying that this verse was revealed on a day of two Eids; Friday, and the day of Arafah.

His Holiness(aba) said that people would say that during the era of Hazrat Umar(ra), Satan had been shackled, and after Hazrat Umar’s(ra) martyrdom, Satan was let loose and rampant.

Love for Poetry

His Holiness(aba) said that it is recorded in history that Hazrat Umar(ra) had a special affinity for poetry. It is said that often, when matters were presented to Hazrat Umar(ra), while explaining, Hazrat Umar(ra) would quote relevant couplets of poetry. He would quote such poetry that was in line with Islamic teachings and the Islamic way of life. He would also encourage others to memorise poetic couplets as well. Hazrat Umar(ra) also refined Arabic poetry. For example, it was common to name women in poems and declare love for them. Hazrat Umar(ra) eradicated this practice, and determined a punishment for doing so.

His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who highlighted the esteemed rank of Hazrat Umar(ra) along with the other Rightly Guided Caliphs.

His Holiness(aba) said that now, the series of sermons on the life of Hazrat Umar(ra) was complete. His Holiness(aba) said that with God’s grace, he will begin the series of sermons on the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in the future.

This sermon is a summary extracted from:
NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon.

Friday Sermon delivered at Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad, Tilford, UK

Summary prepared by The Review of Religions