Hazarat Umar Farooque Raziallah Anho

Life Before Islam

Umars acceptance of Islam

Umar (Raziallah Anho) gets the title of Al-Faruq

Migration to Medina

Umars services to Islam before his Khilafat (Caliphate)

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) as the Second Caliph of Islam

Fall of Persian Empire

The Battle of Namariq

The Battle of the Bridge

The Battle of Buwaib

Change of Persian Ruler

Islamic Emissaries

The Battle of Qadisiya

Fall of Madain (Ctesiphon), the Capital of Persian Empire

The Battle of Jalula

Muslim Rule over the Persian Empire

The cities of Basra and Kufa

Conquest of Syria

The Battle of Yarmuk: (Rajab 15 A.H./636 A.C.)

Removal of Hadrat Khalid (Raziallah Anho) from the command

Fall of Jerusalem

Hadrat Umar at Jerusalem

Umars Masjid at Jerusalem

Conquest of Jazirah Mesopotamia

The Severe Famine & Plague

The Conquest of Egypt

Martyrdom of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho)

Review of Hadrat Umars service to Islam

Character

Piety

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) as a great scholar

Preaching of Islam

Wives and Children

Umar the pioneer of the Islamic democracy

Islamic Republic based upon Shura

The way to call the General Shura

Freedom of Opinion

Provincial Administration

The Khalifah was the religious head of the State

Judiciary

Department of Education

Police Department & institution of prisons

The Bait-ul Maal (Public Treasury) and Revenue Administration

Survey of Lands in Iraq

Jizya (Indemnity or Defence Tax)

Personal care of the Public and stipends to disabled persons and the poor

Construction of Masjids and establishment of Schools

Construction of office buildings and erection of new cities

Special care of Agriculture

Introduction of Islamic Calendar

Regular Army

Preservation of Islamic Practice and Culture by establishing Muslim Quarters

Umars (Raziallah Anho) Period was the GOLDEN AGE of ISLAMIC History

 

Hazarat Umar Farooque Raziallah Anho

Life Before Islam

Umar (Raziallah Anho) belonged to "'Adi" family of Quraish tribe. In the 8th generation, his lineage joins with the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). Abu Hafs was his patronymic name and "al-Faruq" his title given by the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). He was born in 583 A.C., about forty years before the great Hijrah. The early life of Hadrat Umar is not known in detail. In his youth he was a famous wrestler and orator, and a spirited person. He was one among the few people in Makkah who knew reading and writing before Islam. His main occupation was business.

When the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) got revelation and invited people to Islam, Umar became the sworn enemy of Islam and the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) and did not hesitate to harm the Muslims and Islam at every opportunity.

Umar's acceptance of Islam

It was the sixth year of Holy Prophet's mission when Quraish leaders called a meeting and asked a volunteer for the assassination of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) Umar offered himself for this job 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. Umar told him that he was going to murder the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). 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 Umar changed his direction and went straight to his sister's house. When Hadrat Umar knocked at the door, they were studying the Holy Qur'an from Hadrat Khabbab (Raziallah Anho). His sister Fatimah was frightened on hearing Umar’s voice and tried to hide the portion of the Holy Qur'an she was reciting. When 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 Umar saw his sister bleeding, he cooled down and felt ashamed. He loved Fatimah very much but could not tolerate her conversion to Islam. However, deeply moved, Umar asked her to show the pages on which the Holy Qur'an was written. But she was, after all, Umar’s sister and told him straight, "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 Holy Qur'an). When he came to the verse:

"Lo! I even I, am Allah, there is no god save Me. So serve Me and establish Salat for My remembrance". (20:14)

Umar exclaimed, "Surely this is the Word of Allah. Take me to Muhammad (Sallallahu ’alaihi wa Sallam)".

On hearing this Hadrat Khabbab (Raziallah Anho), who had hidden himself in the house, came out from inside and said, "0 "Umar! Glad tidings for you. It seems that the prayer of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) which he said last night has been answered in your favour. He had prayer to Allah: "O Allah, strengthen Islam with either Umar b. Khattab or Umar b. Hisham whomsoever Thou pleaseth".

Umar then went to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ’alaihi wa Sallam). On seeing him, the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) asked him, "Umar! what brings you here”? He said, "I am here to accept Islam". Hearing this the Muslims shouted with joy, "Allahu Akbar"(Allah is the Greatest) and the sound rent the air of Makkah. As a matter of fact, Umar’s conversion to Islam was a terrible blow to the morale of the disbelieves. 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud, a great Companion, says, "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". In some history books there are more details in this connection. I have followed the version of Shaikh Muhammad Zakariya (Damat Barakatuhu) given in his book " Hikayat-i-Sahabah".

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Umar (Raziallah Anho) gets the title of "Al-Faruq"

Conversion of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) 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 publicly. When Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) became a Muslim he declared his faith openly before the Quraish Chiefs. Though they stared at him but could not do any harm to him. Then he requested the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) to offer Salat in the Ka'bah. On getting the consent of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam), Hadrat Umar led a party of the Muslims to that place. Hadrat Hamzah, who had accepted Islam a few days before Umar (Raziallah Anho) carried another party of the Muslims to Ka'bah. When all the Muslims gathered in the Ka'bah they offered their Salat in congregation. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) led this first public Salat in the history of Islam. For this courageous and bold action of Hadrat Umar (R.A) the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) gave him the title of "al-Faruq" i.e., the one who makes a distinction between the "Right" (Haqq) and the "Wrong" (Batil).

Migration to Medina

When the Muslims were ordered to migrate to Medina, most of them left Makkah quietly and secretly, but Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) 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 Makkah to accept the challenge of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho). Then he migrated to Medina boldly.

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Umar's services to Islam before his Khilafat (Caliphate)

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) had great love for Allah and the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). He participated in almost all the big battles: Badr, Uhad, Ahzab, Khaibar, Hunain etc. In the expedition to "Tabuk" he gave half of his wealth in the path of Allah. He was next to Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) to sacrifice his belongings for the cause of Allah.

The Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) also had a deep love for him. Once he remarked, "were a prophet to come after me, he would have been Umar". In another Hadith mentioned in Bukhari, Hadrat Abu Hurairah (Raziallah Anho) narrated that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'alaihi wa Sallam) said, "In Bani Isra'il (Israelites) there were people who were not prophets but talked to Allah. Were anyone in my Ummah (people) like those persons, he would be Umar".

The death of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) was a great shock to him, and he could not believe it until Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) reminded him of a clear verse of the Holy Qur'an on the subject. He then went to the Council Hall along with Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) where the people of Medina had assembled to select the First Caliph. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was the first person to pledge loyalty(Bai'at) at the hand of Hadrat Abu Bakr(Raziallah Anho), and then helped him throughout the duration of his rule.

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) as the Second Caliph of Islam

As described in connection with the life of Hadrat Abu-Bakr, during his illness he consulted the "Shura" about the next "Khalifah" and then gave his decision in favour of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) who took the charge of Caliphate after the death of Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) on 22nd of Jamadi-uth-Thani 13 A.H. (23rd Aug. 634 A.C.).Umar (Raziallah Anho) followed fully the ways of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) and the policy of his predecessor with his characteristic zeal and vigour. It was his strict adherence to the "Sunnah" of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) which helped him to subdue the mighty empires of Persia and Byzantine. His caliphate marked the "Golden Age" of Islam. I would like to discuss only main events which took place during the Caliphate of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) in brief.

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Fall of Persian Empire

During the time of Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho), Hadrat Khalid bin Walid conquered part of Persian Empire, known as the Kingdom of Hira. Then he was ordered by Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) to join the expedition to Syria.

At the time of his departure, he appointed Muthanna bin Harith as the commander of the Islamic army. The Persians became furious at the loss of the kingdom of Hira and the Emperor sent a large army under the command of a very famous General, Rustam the Commander-in-Chief of Persian armies. In view of the growing pressure of Persians, Muthanna requested Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) for reinforcement. At that time there was a large gathering of Muslims in Medina to take pledge of loyalty (Bai'at) at the hand of the new Caliph (Hadrat Umar). He put the matter before the Muslims but did not get any response in the beginning. Then Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) in his sermons stressed the importance of Jihad and a large number of Muslims volunteered to help Muthanna against the Persians. Abu‘Ubaid ath-Thaqafi was appointed as the commander of the Islamic army comprising five thousand men. In the meantime Persians attacked the places conquered by Muslims and they lost some of them. In the early stage of the battles Rustam sent his subordinates to face Muslims.

The Battle of Namariq

When Abu‘Ubaid had reached there a battle took place at "Namariq" and the Muslims won it. A number of famous generals of Persians army including Jaban, right hand of Rustam, were killed in the battle. Then some small battles also took place at Kaskar etc.

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The Battle of the Bridge

The defeat of Persians startled Rustam and he gathered a huge army to face the Muslims. The army met the Muslims on the other bank of the Euphrates under the command of Bahman, a famous Persian warrior. Bahman asked Hadrat Abu Ubaid whether Persians should cross the river or the Muslims. Hadrat Abu‘Ubaid was over-confident and chose to cross the river, although some of the Muslim generals like Muthanna did not like to cross the river, and preferred to let the Persians come. The Islamic army crossed the river but lost the battle. Hadrat Abu 'Ubaid was also martyred and Muslims fell one after the other. Muthanna took over the command and ordered rebuilding of the bridge which had been destroyed. The elephants of the Persian army caused considerable damage to the Muslim army. However Muthanna could save only 3000 men out of an army of 9000.

The Battle of Buwaib

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was shocked at the defeat of the Muslim army. He sent special messengers to various tribes and exhorted the Muslims to prepare for the Holy War against Persians. A new reinforcement was sent to Muthanna's army. In this army a number of Christian Arabs were also included.

The Persians also gathered a huge army. This time Rustam, the Commander-in-Chief of the Persian armies, appointed Mehran Hamdani as the Commander because he had travelled Arabia and knew the Arabian way of fighting. The Muslim army, under the command of Muthanna, met the Persians at a place called Buwaib (where "Kufa” is situated). The Muslims invited the Persians to cross the river and they accepted it. The number of Muslim army was a little more than 20,000 while the Persians (Iranians) several times larger in number, were estimated as two hundred thousands. A fierce battle took place. Muslims fought desperately and after a grim fight, the Persians were defeated. They could not find the way to cross the river Euphrates because the bridge built by them was destroyed by the Muslims. There was a total disorder in the Persian army. The commander of the army, Mehran was slain in this battle and not less than a hundred thousand men lost their lives in the field. As a result of this victory the whole of western part of Persians Empire (now Iraq) fell into Muslim hands.

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Change of Persian Ruler

The great defeat at Buwaib shocked the Persian Empire. It was not only a cause of great disturbance to the rulers but to the public as well. For the first time they realised the strength of Muslims. The news of loss of one hundred thousand Persians and only few hundred Muslims was received with great surprise. At that time a woman, Puran Dukht was the Empress. The Iranians (Persians) replaced the Empress by a young 21 year old Emperor, Yezdgird. The new Emperor reorganised the army and strengthened the frontier defences. There arose a number of rebellions in the places conquered by Muslims as a result of which Muslims again lost some of the parts which they had conquered.

When Hadrat Umar heard this news he asked Muthanna to call the border tribes and to return within safer borders till reinforcement reached him. He himself declared "Jihad" all over the land and sent emissaries to collect an army for the Holy War. An army of 20,000 Muslims was collected. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) himself wanted to lead the army this time but the "Shura" (Advisory Council) did not agree to it. The name of Hadrat Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas (Raziallah Anho), a great warrior and one of the uncles of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) was proposed to lead the army to which Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) agreed. The army was having 70 of those Companions who had participated in the first battle of Islam at Badr. When the army was leaving Medina, Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) gave instructions to Hadrat Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas (Raziallah Anho). Some of those are as under

"Allah does not repel evil with evil but he repels evil with good. All men high and low are equal before Him. One can win Allah's favour only through devotion to His service. Remember that the "Sunnah"(the Way) of the Holy Prophet is the only correct way of doing things. You are going on a heavy mission which you can discharge only by following the Truth. Inculcate good habits in yourselves and in your companions."

This advice clearly shows that the aim of Muslims was to proclaim Allah's message --- ISLAM, rather than to fight. The sword was used to clear the barriers in the way.

In the meantime Muthanna died and his brother Bashir joined Hadrat Sa'd (Raziallah Anho) with an army of eight thousand. Hadrat Sa'd was in direct contact with Hadrat Umar all the time who was constantly giving instructions about the movement of the army from place to place. Finally Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) sent instructions to it to encamp at Qadisiya and to send an envoy to the Persian Emperor, Yezdgird, with the Message of Islam and peace.

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Islamic Emissaries

Following the instructions of the Caliph, Hadrat Sa'd encamped at Qadisiya. The Muslims had to wait there for about two months for the Persian armies. In the meantime Hadrat Sa'd sent an envoy to the Emperor Yezdgird.

Yezdgird held his court to receive Muslim envoys. The court was a mirror of the worldly pomp and glory of the Persians. Hadrat Nu'man bin Maqram invited the Persians and the Emperor to Islam and told them about the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). He said: "0 Persians, we call you towards the path of peace, i.e. Islam. If you accept it, you are our brothers and we will leave Allah's Book. the Holy Qur'an, for your guidance to follow His, commandments. If you reject this sacred message, pay us the "Jizra"(Defence Tax). The third alternative is the sword in case you reject the first two offers, so that we may take our own course to spread this message."

Yezdgird who was very proud of his power and army, lost his temper on hearing this and insulted the envoys. He got a basket full of earth and put it on the head of the leader, Hadrat 'Asim (Raziallah Anho). When Hadrat 'Asim carried the earth to Hadrat Sa'd (Raziallah Anho), he took it as a sign for victory. The ill-treatment of the Persian Emperor hastened the war.

The Emperor sent an army of one hundred thousand men. This time Rustam, the Commander-in-Chief, was himself leading the Persian army. Other famous commanders of the army were Jalinus, Mahran bin Bahram Razi and Harmuzan. Rustam was afraid of Muslims and hesitated to face them. He took six months to reach Qadisiya from Mada'in, the capital. He wanted to negotiate with the Muslims in the first instance. Therefore he asked them to send a delegation. The Muslim delegation went to Rustam's camp at the head of Hadrat Rabi' bin 'Amir (Raziallah Anho) There took place much discussion but no decision was reached. Hadrat Rabi' (Raziallah Anho) gave the message of Islam boldly and put the same three conditions which were put before the Emperor by Hadrat Nu'man. On the second day Rustam again asked Hadrat Sa'd (Raziallah Anho) to send the delegation. This time he sent Hadrat Hudhaifah (Raziallah Anho) who also put the same three conditions and told him if he did not accept them within three days, the third alternative i.e., the use of sword would remain and would be acted upon. Third day Rustam again requested Muslims to send an emissary and this time Hadrat Mughirah bin Shu'bah (Raziallah Anho) went. Rustam tried to negotiate in terms of money by saying: "I think you are poor and hungry. We would give you so much of wealth that would be sufficient for the whole of your life." Hearing this Hadrat Mughirah (Raziallah Anho) angrily replied, "Of course we were hungry and poor but Allah sent His Messenger to us because of whom our fate changed and Allah nourished us. He asked us to obey only One God and to spread His message. If you follow His message (Islam) you are our brothers, we will never fight with you. If you don't, then let us spread His Kalimah and you pay to us "Jizya" (Defence Tax) otherwise the sword will give the final decision." Hearing this Rustam got furious and vowed to kill all the Muslims as soon as the sun rose the next day. Hadrat Mughirah (Raziallah Anho) returned to the Muslim camp saying: "La haula wala quw-wata illa billahil'Azim" (There is neither any power nor any might besides Allah, the High).

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The Battle of Qadisiya

As soon as Hadrat Mughirah left the Persian Camp, Rustam asked his army to prepare for the attack in the morning. There was a canal between the two armies. He ordered building of a bridge over it. Next day in the morning he crossed the canal to attack the Muslims. When both the armies were ready to fight, Hadrat Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas (Raziallah Anho) told Rustam through an epistle: "Rustam! There are people with me to whom death (in the Path of Allah) is more attractive than is wine to the people in your army."

At last the battle started at Qadisiya in the month of Muharram, 14 A.H. (June, 637). Hadrat Sa'd was sick and directed the operations from the sick bed. This battle was hotly contested and lasted for three days. Muslims were about 28,000 in number while the Persian army was estimated at 120,000 (four times bigger than Islamic army). Rustam displayed great skill in arraying his troops. On the first day the battle started amidst loud cries of "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest). Though the Muslims displayed great valour and skill but the Persian elephants played havoc with the Muslim cavalry. The Arab horses were not trained to fight in a battle having elephants. However Muslim archers and lancers rained arrows and spheres and knocked down many elephant riders. The battle ended without reaching a final decision on the first day. The following day the battle again ended without a victory for any of the two armies. On the third day Muslims wrapped pieces of cloth round the bodies of their camels to frighten the Persian elephants. The plan worked out successfully. Moreover a number of Muslim archers pierced the eyes of the elephants and cut their trunks. The blind elephants ran towards the Persian army and destroyed their ranks. The battle continued to the fourth day. Now the blind elephants played a havoc with the Persians themselves. Then some of the Muslim warriors from among the chief of the clans rushed towards Rustam and destroyed the special battalion around him. The canopy of Rustam was blown in the air and he himself tried to flee. He was detected by the Muslims and was slain. Seeing their slain Commander, the Persians started fleeing for their lives. Thousands of Persians were slain. There were about six thousand Muslim casualties while the number of the Persians killed was thirty thousand.

The battle of Qadisiya proved to be decisive in the history of Islam. It shattered the strength of the Persian Empire. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) received the news with great joy. The Muslims gained immense booty which was distributed among the troops according to the Islamic law and a fifth portion was despatched to the Baitul Mal.

Following the victory at Qadisiya, Muslims chased the Persians. They captured Babal and Kutha and then laid siege to Bahrah Sher, a very important and strong fort at the outskirts of the Persian capital, Mada'in (Ctesiphon). The siege went on for two months and ultimately Muslims captured the fort. The next step was to conquer Mada'in, the capital itself.

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Fall of Mada'in (Ctesiphon), the Capital of Persian Empire

The City of Mada'in was situated on the east bank of river Tigris and was almost surrounded by it. After a rest of few months, Hadrat Sa'd took permission from Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) to invade the Capital. When Hadrat Sa'd (Raziallah Anho) marched, the Persians destroyed the bridge on the river. The river was deep and turbulent but the determination of Muslims was not affected. They were having full faith in Allah, Almighty, the Creator of the Universe. It has been recorded in some books of history that on finding the destruction of the bridge by the Persians Hadrat Sa'd said: "Allah made a way in the Red Sea for Moses and his followers, He will surely help us who are following His Last Prophet, Hadrat Muhammad (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam)." He consulted the generals of his army and then ordered the Muslims to go across. First of all sixty horsemen plunged themselves in the river and crossed it. Then the whole army crossed the river as if it was walking on the ground. Seeing the Muslims crossing the river the Persian archers rained arrows on the Muslims. Hadrat Sa'd had already appointed six hundred archers on a nearby hill. They assaulted the Persians who ran away saying: "Dev amdand, Dev amdand"(i.e., "The giants have come! The giants have come!”). The Muslims crossed the Tigris without any severe loss. Yezdgird and his ministers had already fled and the capital was captured without any opposition. With this victory the whole of the territory between the Euphrates and the Tigris came under the possession of the Muslims. The prophecy of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) came true: "A group of Muslims will capture the White Palace of the Persian Emperor".

Both Hadrat Umar and Hadrat Sa'd (Radiallahu anhuma) thanked Allah for this great victory. When the rich booty from the White Palace of Yezdgird reached Medina, tears came out in the eyes of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) and he remarked, "I am weeping because riches are often the cause of enmity and mutual bitterness. Those people who have such evils, ultimately lose respect".

The Battle of Jalula

The Persian Emperor took shelter in Hulwan and started preparation for a big assault on the Muslims. Now Kharzad, brother of Rustam was the Commander-in Chief. He gathered a huge army to avenge the past defeats. After consultations with Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) Hadrat Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas (Raziallah Anho) sent an army under the command of Hashim and Qa'qas to face the Persian army at Jalula. Again a fierce battle was fought and ultimately the Persians were defeated who fled further north.

The Muslims advanced ahead and captured Qaka and finally Hulwan where Yezdgird, the Emperor was staying. He fled to Khurasan and settled down in Mery. The last big battle was fought in the month of Muharram, 19 A.H. (642 A.C.) at Nihawand in which the Persians were completely defeated. Then a number of small battles took place and the Muslims conquered Hamdan, Azerbaijan and Armenia by the year 21 A.H.

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Muslim Rule over the Persian Empire

The Persian Emperor fled to Isphan, then to Kirman and from there to Balkh. The Muslims chased him everywhere. Ultimately the whole of Persia came under the sway of Islam, by the year 23 A.H. The Muslims marched as east as Sind (the Indian territory, now Pakistan). They captured Makran and Baluch. But Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) stopped them who were under the command of Hakam at that time. He did not want to extend his frontiers at the price of Muslim blood. Thus Makran was the last place in the east under the rule of Muslims during the caliphate of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho). After the capture of Persian Empire, Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) remarked: "Allah has destroyed the Persian Empire, now they cannot harm the Muslims. O Muslims, if you do not follow the Straight Path, Allah would take this power from you and hand it over to whom He likes".

It must be clarified here that at no place Muslims forced non-Muslims to accept Islam. Islam spread because of its teachings and because of the practical life of Muslims. Some western scholars have accepted this fact. Raziallah Anho Nicholson writes in A Literary History of the Arabs, "It must not be supposed that the followers of Zoroaster and Christ in these countries were forcibly converted to Islam. Thousands embraced it voluntarily."

The conquest of the Persian Empire provided the Muslims with unlimited resources. At the same time it also brought Muslims into touch with luxuries and as time passed they gave up their simple living and fell prey to some vices prevailing in those days Hadrat Umar had feared.

The cities of Basra and Kufa

Muslims established two military cantonments one at Basra and the other at Kufa in 638 A.C. Later on these cantonments became big cities. Basra was established at the Shatt-ul-Arab and was important because it guarded the passage from the Persian Gulf to Mesopotamia. Kufa was founded at the bank of the Euphrates. Afterwards these cities became important centres of Islamic culture and civilisation.

Conquest of Syria

The causes of the war between the Muslims and the Byzantines (commonly called as Romans) have already been discussed. During the time of Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) the Muslims had defeated Romans on the Syrian front and captured a number of cities like Busra and Ajnadain. They laid siege to Damascus when Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) passed away. After his death they captured Damascus, Hims and Qansrin. In all the three battles Hadrat Khalid bin Walid played an important role. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) recognised Khalid's merits and said, "May Allah bless the soul of Abu Bakr, he put Khalid in the right place".

The fall of these important cities made the Byzantine Emperor, Heraclius, furious and he sent a huge army to fight with the Muslims. In order to face this big army, Muslims left some of the places, occupied by them and returned to safer border. When the Islamic armies were leaving the conquered places they paid back the "Jizya" (the Defence Tax) received from the non-Muslim inhabitants of those places saying: "Since we cannot protect you, we are returning it." This was a unique example in history. The people of those places were greatly impressed by the Muslims' treatment. It is given in some books that the people of those places cried when Muslims left their places.

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The Battle of Yarmuk: (Rajab 15 A.H./636 A.C.)

After the fall of Damascus, Hims and other places, the Romans fled to Antioch where Heraclius was staying and was thinking of moving to Constantinople, his permanent capital. They appealed to Heraclius to help them against the Muslim armies. He held this court at Antioch and to beg an raising a huge army against the Muslims to wipe them out of Syria.

The Muslims had already gathered at Yarmuk to face the Roman Byzantine army. The Romans were several times larger in number than the Muslims. In the beginning the commond was in the hand of Hadrat Khalid bin Walid (Raziallah Anho) but during the battle he received the letter of Hadrat Umar deposing him from the post of Commander-in-Chief. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) appointed Abu 'Ubaidah bin Jarrah (Raziallah Anho) as the Commander-in-Chief. A fierce battle was fought on the 20th Aug., 636, and at the end the Romans lost the field. The cavalry fled and the infantry was put to sword. Theodorus, the Commander of Roman army himself fell and his entire army was turned into a fleeing, panic-stricken mob. According to Tabari, about one hundred thousand Romans were killed in this battle. Muslim causalities were three thousand.

The battle of Yarmuk was a turning point in the history of Byzantine Empire. The power of Byzantine was crushed in the battle. The fate of Syria was decided and it fell in the hands of Muslims for ever. Hearing the defeat at Yarmuk, Heraclius left Antioch and fled to Constantinople saying: Farewell, O Syria! and what an excellent country this is for the enemy"

(Note: According to some historians it was the 2nd battle of Ajnadan and not the battle of Yarmuk which took place in 15 A.H.).

Removal of Hadrat Khalid (Raziallah Anho) from the command

Hadrat Khalid bin Walid (Raziallah Anho) was a successful and powerful general of Islam. He occupied a unique position in the history of heroism, and devoted his whole life to the cause of Islam. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) always appreciated his services. But there were certain complaints against him, especially for being extravagant, when he awarded 10,000 dinars to a poet. Hadrat Khalid could not give satisfactory explanation to Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) hence he was removed from the command. But Hadrat Khalid proved to be a very true Muslim and fought like an ordinary soldier in the army. As narrated above, he was deposed when the battle of Yarmuk was going on. The Caliph’s order was delivered to Khalid but it had no effect on him. He went on fighting as fiercely as before. After the battle was over, his dismissal became known. When somebody asked him why the news did not damp his spirit at all, he said, "I was fighting for the cause of Allah."

According to those historians who hold the opinion that the Battle of Yarmuk took place before the fall of Damascus, Hadrat Khalid was deposed in the early part of Umar’s (Raziallah Anho) caliphate, while some think it took place around 17 A.H. because according to them the battle of Yarmuk took place after the fall of Damascus.

Regarding the removal of Hadrat Khalid some of the Muslim historians say: "He (Hadrat Umar) had deposed Khalid from the government, not because of tyranny or fraud, but because he deemed it essential to admonish the people, who were inclined to put their trust in an arm of flesh, instead of looking to the Giver of all victory"

Fall of Jerusalem

Hadrat Amr bin al-'As was in the beginning leading the army in front of Jerusalem. After the capture of Antioch and other key cities of Byzantium, Hadrat Abu'Ubaidah also joined him along with Hadrat Khalid bin Walid (Raziallah Anho) They laid siege to the great city of Jerusalem, surrounded by a huge wall. Since the people of Jerusalem had already seen the defeat of Byzantine forces they offered a peaceful truce provided the "Khalifah" came in person to sign the treaty in their presence. The proposal was passed over to Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) at Medina and after consultation with the "Shura" he accepted the offer.

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Hadrat Umar at Jerusalem

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) appointed Hadrat'Ali (Raziallah Anho) as his deputy and went to Jerusalem with his slave. They were having one camel on which each of them rode by turn. When Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was entering Jerusalem it happened to be the slave's turn to ride on the camel. Though the slave offered his turn to the "Khalifah" but Hadrat Umar refused and remarked: "The honour of Islam (i.e., being Muslim) is enough for all of us." He entered Jerusalem holding the rope of the camel on which was riding his slave. His clothes were dirty and there were several patches on them. Hadrat Abu 'Ubaidah, Khalid bin Walid and other commanders came some distance to receive him. They were wearing costly garments. This made Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) angry. He threw some pebbles at his generals (to show his anger) and said, "Have you changed so much in just two years? The only way for the success is the way of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam)."

Then Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) signed the treaty under which the inhabitants of Jerusalem were granted complete security of their life and property. Their places of worship were secured and remained intact. All the people were allowed to follow their religion freely.

The gates of the city were then opened and the Muslims entered the Jerusalem in the year 16 A.H. (i.e., 635 A.C.) According to some history books the date given on the treaty signed by Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) falls in the 17th year A. H. It is possible therefore that the Muslims conquered it early in 17th year A.H.

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) visited the city. The time of the "Salat" had reached. The Christians allowed the Muslims to perform Salat in the big Church but Hadrat Umar declined to do so that it might not be an excuse for the future generations to take over the Church from them. He offered the Salat with the Muslims on the steps of the Church. Even then he gave in writing to the Bishop that the steps would never be used for congregational prayers or for the Adhan in future.

Umar's Masjid at Jerusalem

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) laid the foundation of a Masjid at a place known as "Sakhra" proposed by the Bishop, where Allah sent revelation to Prophet Yaqub (Jacob or Israel, 'Alaihis-Salam) and where the great temple of Solomon was built. He himself worked like a labourer for building the Masjid. That Masjid is known as the "Umar's Masjid"

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Conquest of Jazirah Mesopotamia

After the conquest of Jerusalem the Romans (Byzantines) tried to regain Syria. The Muslims did not want territorial expansion, they were fighting either to protect the birth-place of Islam, Arabia or in self-defence. Their aim was only to proclaim Allah's message and to preach Islam freely. Whenever they were allowed a free passage to show the right path no fighting took place as it could be noticed in the case of Jerusalem. Never, in the history of Islam any nation was forced to forsake its religion and to accept Islam.

The people of Jazirah (now North western part of Iraq) plotted to oust the Muslims from Syria. Heraclius, the Emperor of Byzantine sent his army to help the people of "Jazirah". They invaded Hims, a fort which had been conquered by the Muslims under the command of Hadrat Abu 'Ubaidah (Raziallah Anho). The Muslims fell upon the enemies and beat them off. Under such conditions Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) ordered the Muslim forces to occupy Jazirah. After its conquest Jazirah (Mesopotamia) was put under the Governor of Homs (Home). Jazirah was conquered under the command of 'Ayad bin Ghanam (Raziallah Anho).

The Severe Famine & Plague

In the year 17-18 A.H., Hijaz (Northern Arabia) and Syria were faced by a severe famine and drought. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) took steps to get food supplies from Egypt, part of which had been conquered by Hadrat'Amr bin al-'As (Raziallah Anho). He sent three big ships of grains to Medina which were unloaded in the presence of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho). He himself distributed the grains among the needy. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) did not take any delicacy (butter etc.) during the famine period. When he was requested to take care of his health he said, "If I don't taste suffering, how can I know the sufferings of others?"

When the famine became intolerable he prayed to Allah in a big gathering of Muslims. It has been narrated that the prayers had not even finished when rains started to pour down.

About the same time plague spread in most parts of Iraq, Syria and Egypt and it caused great havoc not only to civilians but also to the Muslim armies. After the plague Hadrat Umar went to Syria to inspect the losses caused by the plague. Three important figures Abu 'Ubaidah, Mu'adh bin Jabal and Yazid bin Abu Sufyan (Raziallah Anho) had passed away. He appointed Mu'awiyah bin Abi Sufyan as the Governor of Damascus in place of his brother Yazid bin Abi Sufyan.

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The Conquest of Egypt

Being a powerful province of Byzantine Empire and having the strong base of Byzantine navy at Alexandria, Egypt was a great danger to the security of Hijaz (Northern Arabia). The Romans were busy in plotting against the Muslims to regain the territories conquered by the Muslims and to attack them through Egypt. Obviously it was necessary from the point of view of defence to drive back the Romans (Byzantines) from Egypt. Therefore, towards the close of 17 A.H. (638 A.C.) Hadrat 'Amr bin al-'As (Raziallah Anho) who had collaborated in the conquest of Palestine, repeatedly urged the Caliph to authorise him to lead a campaign against the valley of the Nile. He got the necessary permission from the Caliph and set out from Palestine for Egypt at the head of four thousand men. (Note: According to a number of historians it took place in the 18th year A.H. i.e., 639 A.D. All of them agree that a part of Egypt had been conquered before the great famine which happened in 17-18 A.H. If it is true, the date of invasion by ‘ Amr bin al-'As must be before 18 A.H.).

Hadrat 'Amr bin al-'As entered Egypt by the route of Wadi al-Arish and after attacking some small towns laid siege to one of the strongest forts of Romans in Egypt at Fustat (which later became Cairo). The fort was conquered after some time.

The fall of Fustat gave a severe blow to Roman might in Egypt. Constanstine II, the Byzantine Emperor, hearing the news of the fall of the fort near Fustat, got furious and sent a big army to Alexandria. Hadrat 'Amr bin al-'As therefore set out for Alexandria from Fustat. He got reinforcement from the Caliph. Alexandria was the strong hold of the Romans in Egypt. They could easily send reinforcement and supplies to Alexandria by sea. It was really a difficult task to conquer it. Hadrat 'Amr bin al-'As laid siege to the city but no result came out for six months. Seeing this condition Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) wrote to Hadrat'Amr bin al-'As (Raziallah Anho)

"I am afraid that the Muslims have not been acting fully upon the teachings of the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah (ways) of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). The only way to get victory is to follow strictly the ways of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). They should therefore be more and more strict on it..... Then try to give final blow to the enemy".

Hadrat 'Amr (Raziallah Anho) read the letter before the Muslims. Umar’s orders were at once carried out and at last Alexandria was conquered after a heavy engagement. According to some Western historians it was conquered in 642 A.D., while some of the Muslim historians say that Alexandria was conquered in 640 A.D. (20 A.H.). After the conquest of this great city, one time a glory for the' Romans, Hadrat 'Amr wrote to the Caliph, "I have captured a city from the description of which I shall refrain. Suffice it to say I have seized therein 4000 villas with 4000 baths, 40,000 poll-tax-paying Jews and 400 places of entertainment for royalty". Philip Hitti writes, "The Caliph entertained his general's messenger with bread and dates; they all joined in a thanksgiving service in the Prophet's Masjid".

Afterwards Hadrat 'Amr (Raziallah Anho) captured the remaining fortresses in Egypt and it came under the full sway of Islam. Local Christians and Jews were given freedom of religion; various taxes imposed by the Romans were abolished and the general condition of the country improved. The Egyptians had never enjoyed such a period of prosperity and peace before.

A very inhuman custom was prevailing in Egypt at that time. The Egyptians used to sacrifice a beautiful maiden every year to please the river Nile so that it may bring more water. After the victory the matter was reported to Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) who prohibited this. By chance the same year the Nile had very little water and a condition of drought seemed to prevail over there. Hadrat'Amr (Raziallah Anho) wrote to Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) to seek his advice. He wrote the following letter and asked Hadrat 'Amr to throw it in the Nile

"From Umar, the servant of Allah and "Amir"(Leader) of the Muslims to the River Nile of Egypt. O Nile! If you flow of your own desire, we do not need you. If you flow by the order of Allah, we pray to Him to keep you flowing".

The letter was thrown into the Nile and it over-flowed that year. In this way Egyptians were stopped from an un-Islamic practice. This had a very good effect. The Egyptians realised the spiritual power of Islam, and entered its folds.

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Martyrdom of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho)

The glorious rule of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) came to an end with his death on Wednesday the 27th of Dhil Hijjah, the year 23 A.H. (643 A.C.) when he was 61 years old. There was a Persian slave of Hadrat Mughirah bin Shu'bah, named Abu Lu' Lu' Firoze. One day he complained about the burden his master had imposed upon him. The complaint was not genuine, hence Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) ignored it. Next day, early in the morning when Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) went to Masjid to perform Fajr Salat, the slave who was hiding in a corner, attacked him with a dagger and stabbed him six times. People overpowered the assassin but he slew himself with the same dagger.

The injuries were so serious that the Caliph died the next morning.
Inna Lil Allahe Wainna elehe Rajeoon


Before his death the Muslims asked him about his successor, he appointed a panel of six persons, Hadrat 'Uthma Zubair, Talha, Sa'd bin Waqqas and 'Abdur Rahman bin 'Auf (Raziallah Anho) to select a "Khalifah" from amongst them within three days after him.

He requested Hadrat Aisha (Raziallah Anho) for permission for his burial by the side of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). Though she had reserved that place for herself but on Umar's request she gave it to him where he was buried.

Review of Hadrat Umar's service to Islam

The period of Hadrat Umar's caliphate undoubtedly is the "Golden Age" of Islam in every respect. He was a man of extraordinary genius who not only moulded the destiny of the nation but made history of his own. He followed the footsteps of the Holy Prophet (Sallllahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) to the fullest extent. It was Umar under whose rule Islam became a world power and the mighty empires of Persia and Byzantine (Eastern Roman) crumbled before the arm of Islam. Within ten years of his glorious rule, the whole of the Persian Empire, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and a part of Turkey came under the banner of Islam and the nations entered the fold of Islam. He was not only a conqueror but also an exemplary administrator who originated an efficient system of administration, and thus he was the real founder of political system of Islam (to be discussed in brief in the next chapter). He enforced Divine Law (Shari'ah) as the code of a newly formed International Islamic State; he safeguarded the internal safety by introducing the police force: he gave stipends to the poor; he constructed cantonments and forts for the safety of Islamic armies; he founded new cities for the growth of Islamic culture and civilisation; he improved agriculture and economics of the Islamic State; he founded the educational system in an Islamic State; in brief he was the founder of a great Islamic State. We would discuss his achievements more elaborately in the next section.

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Character

He was a very pious Muslim. His success lay in two things-fear of Allah and his love for the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). He never used even oil from the Bait-ul-Mal (Public Treasury) to burn a lamp at night for his personal needs. Whenever he finished the official work he put off the lamp. He used to patrol in the city at night to find out the needs and requirements, and conditions of the people. He did not hesitate to take his wife to work as a midwife for a poor woman. The salary he got from the Bait-ul-Mal was so low that it was hardly enough for him and his family's needs. When some of the eminent Muslims requested him to increase the amount he, said, "The Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) has left a standard by his personal example. I must follow him".

Hadrat Umar was the most just ruler in the Islamic History. All the citizens, including the Caliph himself, were equal before law. Once he appeared before a court at Medina to clarify his position against a complaint. The Qadi (Judge) wanted to stand in his honour, but he did not allow him to do so, so that there would be no distinction between him and an ordinary person before Law. He was really the founder of modern democratic system.

In short he was the best example of an ideal character, and was the greatest "Khalifah" of Islam after Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho). He selflessly devoted his whole energy for the cause of Islam. Muslims will always be indebted to him for his great achievements. As a matter of fact a separate book is required to describe his character and his services to Islam.

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Piety

His dress, meals and general behaviour were similar to those of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). There were usually a number of patches on his dress. He always took very ordinary meals. Once Yazid bin Abi Sufyan invited him to a feast and when special dishes were brought before him, he stopped eating and said, "I swear Allah, in Whose hand is the life of Umar, if you would not follow the ways of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam), Allah would cause you to be away from the "Siratul-Mustaqim"(the Straight Path)". He did not leave his characteristic simplicity even though he was ruling over a vast empire from Iran to Tripoli. He used to sit on a mat made of grass leaves.

Hadrat Umar feared Allah and was wholly devoted to Him. It was his usual practice to cry and weep during Salat. Sometimes he passed whole of the night performing Salat and crying before Allah; and because of tears his beard used to get wet. It was his usual practice to weep during the Fajr Salat. On hearing or reading the verses of the Holy Qur'an containing description of the Day of Judgement and the Hell he used to weep so much so that his whole beard would get wet. Once he was leading Fajr Salat when he recited a verse from Surah Yusuf: "I expose my distress and anguish only to Allah"(ll : 16), he started to weep and his voice was heard in the back row of the congregation. Because of excessive weeping due to fear of Allah, his eyes were swollen.

He was fearful of the account to be taken on the Day of Judgement. Once he took hold of a straw and said, "I wish I was a straw (to be saved from the account on the Day of Judgement)."

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) sacrificed almost all of his wealth for the sake of Allah and for His Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'alaihi wa Sallam). Once he said, "I love the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) more than anything besides my life". Hearing this the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) remarked, "Nobody is (a true) Muslim unless he loves me more than everything of the world including his own life". On this Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho)said, "Now I love you, 0 Prophet of Allah, more than my life."

His belief in the Unity of God was unshakable. Once he went to Hajj during his "Khilafat” and while kissing the Black Stone (an act included in the rites of Hajj) he remarked, "I know that you are a stone. Neither can you harm anybody nor can do good to anybody. If I had not seen the Prophet of Allah kiss you I would have never kissed ". He was a strict follower of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam).

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Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) as a great scholar

Before the advent of Islam there was no tradition in Arabia of reading or writing. There were only seventeen people among Quraish who could read or write at the time when the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) started to receive Divine revelations. Hadrat Umar was one of those seventeen persons. His writing and lectures are still found in some old books. The first address he gave as a Caliph is as under

"O Allah, I am strict, make me soft. I am weak give me power. The Arabs are like refractory camels, I will endeavour to bring them to the straight path"

He was also interested in poetry and sometimes he composed verses. Umar (Raziallah Anho) was one of the most fluent Quraish. Arabic knowing persons can appreciate the fluency of his writings and addresses. Many of his sayings became aphorisms of literature.

He was a great Jurist and Theologian of Islam. Because of the fear of making any mistake he did not quote many Ahadith (Sayings of the Holy Prophet) even though he was fully conversant with them. He never allowed a person (companion) to quote any Hadith which was not well known without producing any attestator in support of it. If somebody quoted a Hadith before him which he had never heard, he at once asked him to bring a witness failing which he would be punished. He was expert in deriving laws from the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith. A full volume could be complied out of the verdicts and judgements given by Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho). As a matter of fact he opened a new door of Ijtihad' "(Disciplined judgement of a Jurist) in the history of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, and settled a number of disputable cases during his caliphate.

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Preaching of Islam

As the viceroy of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) his foremost duty was to spread and preach Islam. As mentioned above, the aim of various battles and wars was to clear the way for the Muslims for preaching Islam. Whenever any army had to attack a place it had to call the inhabitants of the place to Islam. Hadrat Umar was very strict in this respect and he had given standing orders to the commanders not to start war unless they had first invited the people to Islam. If they accepted it, there was no question of war and if they did not, then the war was fought only with those who were not giving a free hand to Muslims to preach the Right Path. No Person was ever forced to forsake his own faith and accept Islam.

The method adopted to preach Islam was demonstration by actual practice. For this purpose he ordered Muslims to establish their own quarters and present the practical shape of Islam before the population. Seeing the truthful way, the inhabitants of the glace were attracted towards Islam. No soldier was allowed to take any property or anything by force from the conquered people.

Because of fair treatment by the Muslims sometimes the whole army of the enemy accepted Islam. After the battle of Qadisiya a battalion of four thousand Persians accepted it. After the victory of Jalula, the chiefs of the place entered the folds of Islam along with the inhabitants. A commander of the army of Yadzgird, named Siyah accepted Islam with his battalion during a battle in Persia. All the inhabitants of the town of Bulhat in Egypt accepted Islam at one time without the use of any force only by seeing the piety of Muslims. A rich merchant and the chief of a place in Egypt, named Shata, accepted Islam with all the inhabitants of the place only after hearing about the character and piety of Muslims at the time when Muslims had not even reached that place. These are orally a few examples to show that Islam spread because of the character of Muslims at that time.

Umar (Raziallah Anho) was very strict in ensuring that no Muslims forced any non-Muslim to accept Islam. Through his advice, letters and addresses he made it clear to all the Muslims that they had to adhere to the ways of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) which was the only method to preach Islam.

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Wives and Children

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho), married the following women during his lifetime

1. Zainab (Raziallah Anho), she accepted Islam but died in Makkah. She was sister of 'Uthman bin Maz'un. 'Abdullah Abdur Rahman (Ist) and lady Hafsah (wife of the Holy Prophet) were the children she bore to Hadrat Umar.

2. Malkiah bint Jarwal, she did not accept Islam and was divorced in 6 A.H. according to Islamic law. She gave birth to'Ubaidullah.

3. Quraibah bint Abi Ummiyah, she also did not accept Islam and was divorced in 6 A.H.

The above three marriages had taken place before Umar (Raziallah Anho) accepted Islam. After accepting Islam he contracted marriages with the following
4. Ummi Hakim bint-ul-Harith, she gave birth to a girl named Fatimah.
5. Jamilah bint Asim, she gave birth to a son who was named Asim. Though she was a Muslim she was di-vorced because of some other reason.
6. Umm Kulthum bint Hadrat'Ali (Raziallah Anho), she was married in the year 17 A.H. She gave birth to Ruqayyah and Zaid.
7. 'Atikah (Raziallah Anho)

Children

1. Umm-ul-Mu'minin Hadrat Hafsah (Raziallah Anho) the chaste wife of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) .
2. Ruqayyah, she was the youngest daughter of Hadrat Umar.
3. 'Abdullah........son
4. 'Ubaidullah...........son
5. 'Asim...........son
6. Abu Shahmah.......son
7. 'Abd-ur-Rahman.......son
8. Zaid........son

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Umar the pioneer of the Islamic democracy

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was the pioneer of modern civilisation to form a state based upon the Islamic democratic system, the system which was incorporated in the West as late as 19th and 20th centuries. He was the greatest democratic administrator whose example is unparalleled not only in the history of Islam but also in the history of modern civilisation. A vast part of the Middle East, Persian Empire and Byzantium, was conquered during the ten years of his "Khilafat" (Caliphate) which he consolidated into a state governed by Islam i.e. laws. "As an administrator", says Prof. K. Ali, a Muslim writer, "he remained a model for all great Muslim rulers during the whole Islamic history". Another famous historian, Amir Ali says, "During the thirty years that the Republic lasted, the policy derived its character chiefly from Umar both during his life-time and after his death."

The constitution of Islamic caliphate during the time of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was based entirely on the Islamic democratic system. All matters were decided after consultation with the "Shura"(The Council of Advisors) the details of which would be given in the following pages. He remarked, "It is essential for a "Khalifah" to consult his "Shura". Once he said, "I do not desire that you may follow anything that arises from my caprice". Hadrat Umar had clearly stated on various occasions that he should be obeyed as long as he was obeying Allah and the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam).

Muslims and non-Muslims were treated alike. Although the Arab peninsula was declared to be purely an Islamic State, his attitude towards the non-Muslims was very tolerant. He allowed the Jews and the Christians, living in the Peninsula, to stay there if they so wished and nobody would interfere in their religious affairs. To those who desired to migrate he ensured safe journey up to the borders. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) also gave compensation for their properties and other facilities.

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Islamic Republic based upon "Shura"

As stated before all matters were decided after consultations with the "Shura", the Advisory Council during his time. There were three main types of "Shura". The first "Shura" consisted of very prominent and popular Companions like: Hadrat Uthman, Ali, 'Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Mu'adh bin Jabal, Ubayy bin Ka'b, Zaid bin Thabit, Talha and Zubair (Raziallah Anho). They were permanent members of the "Shura". All the important matters were decided in consultation with these persons. This "Shura" could be named as the Higher Advisory Council.

The second "Shura" was the General Advisory Council which consisted of many companions from amongst the Ansar and Muhajirin (Raziallah Anho). The Companions who participated in the battle of Badr were given priority in this "Shura". All matters of general interest were discussed with this "Shura". In this "Shura" were also included the chiefs of various clans and tribes.

The third type of "Shura" ranked in between the Higher and the General Advisory Councils. It consisted of some selected Companions among the Muhajirin and Ansar. Matters of special interest were put before the "Shura"

Whenever a "Shura" was called everyone of its members was fully allowed to give his opinion without any fear or hesitation. On various occasions Hadrat Umar said, "I am but an ordinary person like you. I can only request you to co-operate in the work with which I have been entrusted by you".

The way to call the General "Shura"

Since the Special "Shura" comprised only few members there was no special way to call it. The way to call the General Council of Advisors was that a man used to call the following words loudly: "As-Salatu Jami'ah," in the Prophet's Masjid from at high place. Hearing this call the people would know that a meeting of the "Shura" has been called and assembled in the Masjid. Hadrat Umar first of all offered two raka'at Nafl (optional) Salat and then put the matter before the "Shura" Every person was allowed to give his opinion. Decisions were usually taken on the basis of unanimity or sometimes by majority. But the Khalifah was not bound to accept the decision of majority. In the interest of Islam and Muslims he could use power of veto if he considered it proper.

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Freedom of Opinion

Freedom of opinion was not only allowed at the time of meeting of the "Shura" but on all occasions. As a matter of fact Hadrat Umar’s period was an exemplary period as far as this principle of the democratic way of government is concerned. There is no other example in history when people gave their opinion so freely, and criticised the ruler (i.e., the Government) so openly.

The Caliph had himself introduced this principle, novel in those days, through his addresses. A part of one of his addresses is quoted as under

"0 people! I am but a trustee of your property and wealth, like a person who is trustee of the property and wealth of an orphan child. Had I been rich I would not have taken any allowance for my services. In case I needed I would have accepted only to the extent of the need. Friends! you have certain rights over me and you are fully allowed to claim your rights anytime. One of such rights is: Don't allow me to misappropriate the Indemnity Tax and the Booty. You have the right to check that the poor, the needy and disabled person amongst you should get allowances for their livelihood. You have the right to make sure that the borders of the State are safe and that you are not in danger."

The above address clearly shows his liberal principles and the basic foundation of his government. Once some cloth came to Medina as a part of booty. It was distributed among Muslims in accordance with the Islamic Law. The piece of cloth given to each of the Muslims was not enough to make a "Kurta"(i.e., Arabian Shirt). On the following Friday Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) came to deliver the Khutbah (Sermon) of the Salat wearing the "Kurta" of the same cloth. As soon as he stepped on the Mimber (pulpit) one man stood up and asked him to account for the "Kurta". Without being annoyed Hadrat Umar stepped down the Mimber and asked his son to give explanation on his behalf. His son told the congregation that he gave his share to his father and he was able to get his "Kurta" prepared out of that cloth. Hearing this the man was satisfied .

Once Hadrat Umar asked in a gathering to test them

"If I do not obey the "Shari'ah (Divine Law), what would you do?"

A Bedouin immediately stood up and replied in a harsh tone: "O Umar! we will straighten you (i.e., put you on the straight path) as we straighten our arrows to put in the bow". Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was very pleased to hear it.

Once a person in a public meeting stood up and said, "0 Umar, fear Allah." The audience tried to stop him but Hadrat Umar said, "Let him say, he is free to give his opinion. If people do not give their opinions they are useless and if we (the rulers) do not listen to them, we are useless".

Not only the men but women too enjoyed the freedom of opinion. Once Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was suggesting the quantity of dowry to be fixed at the time of Nikah (Marriage) which was not in accordance with Islamic principle. A veiled lady immediately stood up and said, "O Umar, fear Allah". Hearing this Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) realised his mistake and accepted her objection.

It was this freedom of thought and opinion which paved the way Hadrat Umar’s (Raziallah Anho) success. He was a stern ruler as far as for implementation of law was concerned but at the same time he was just, and democratic, a true follower of Islamic democracy in which every person has freedom of opinion within the limits of "Shari'ah" (Divine Law), i.e., under the Sovereignty of Allah and the authority of His Law. He acted upon the principle of equality and brotherhood of mankind on one side and justice and truthfulness on the other. Not only the Muslims but the non-Muslims were also free to express their opinion. He made no discrimination between Muslims and non-Muslims in matters of justice, human rights and fair play.

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Provincial Administration

Hadrat Umar was an outstanding model for the succeeding Muslim rulers in administration. "During the thirty years that the Republic lasted", says Amir Ali, "the policy derived its character chiefly from Umar both during his life-time and after his death".

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) divided the whole Islamic Khilafat (i.e. Islamic State into various provinces each with a capital. The following were, the provinces and their governors in 23 A.H., i.e. near the end of Hadrat Umar's Caliphate.

1. Hijaz with Makkah as its capital; Governor -- Nafi' bin Abu Harith.
2. Syria with Damascus as its capital; Governor-- Mu'awiyah bin Abu Sufyan.
3. Iran with Basrah as its capital; Governor -- Abu Musa al-Ash'ari.
4. Iraq with Kufa as its capital; Governor -- Mughirah bin Shu'bah.
5. Egypt with Fustat as its capital; Governor -'Amr bin al-'As.
6. Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital; Governor -- 'Alqamah bin Majaz.
7. Jazirah (i.e. Mesopotamia) with Hims (Hems) as its controlling capital; Governor -- 'Umair bin Sa'd.
8. The central province of Arabia with Medina as its capital.

The Capital of the State was also Medina. The title of a Provincial Governor was "Wali", who was the chief administrator and generally the supreme commander of the armed forces of that province. In each province there were usually following officers besides the Governor: The Treasury Officer (Sahib-i-Baitul-Mal; the Revenue Collector (Sahib-i-Kharaj); the Chief Police Officer (Sahib-i-Ahdath); the Judge (alQadi). In those provinces where the governor was not holding the office of the commander of armed forces, a separate commander was appointed. For example, in the beginning in Kufa Hadrat Amaribn Yasir (Raziallah Anho) was the "Wali" (the Governor),'Uthman ibn Hanif(Raziallah Anho) was the Revenue Collector, Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (Raziallah Anho) was the Treasury Officer, Hadrat Shuraih (Raziallah Anho) was the Judge and 'Abdullah ibn Khaza'i (Raziallah Anho) was the Secretary of Defence (i,e., Diwan). Usually the officers were appointed after consultation with the "Shura" (the Advisory Council).

The provinces were divided into districts. Each district was administered by an officer called 'Amil. All the governors and the high officers of the province were called to Makkah every year on the occasion of Hajj when Muslims from the entire area gathered there. Complaints against them were recorded by the Khalifah. Enquires were made and grievances were removed.

All the officers were paid high salaries so that they may not indulge in bribery and corruption.

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The Khalifah was the religious head of the State

Not only the Khalifah the Governors were also great scholars of Islam. They were all administrative officers, theologians, jurists and pious.

The Khalifah himself was the overall religious head of the State. He used to lead five times compulsory Salats and Jumu'a Salat in the Holy Prophet's Masjid at Medina, and also the ‘ld Salats at the "Musalla for ‘ld"('ldgah) in Medina. At the time of Hajj he was the leader of the Hajj and in his absence a person was appointed by him as his deputy. In religious matters he used to give his verdict based upon the "Shari'ah" (Divine Law). In case of a question of law he usually consulted a special committee for that purpose working under a department known as "Shu'ba-i-Ifta" (The department of Jurists) or sometimes he sent the matter directly to the committee. Hadrat 'Ali, 'Uthman, Mu'adh bin Jabal, Abdur Rahman bin 'Auf, Ubayy bin Ka'b, Zaid bin Thabit, Abu Hurairah and Abu Darda (Rid. A.) were the main "Muftis" (Jurists) at Medina. The Khalifah did not hesitate to enquire about a Hadith which he did not know. At the same time he did not allow others to narrate Ahadith (sayings of the Holy Prophet), not known to him without a witness.

Besides performing the duty of administration each governor was also the religious head of the province. He had to lead five Salats in the nearest Masjid, the Jumu'a Salat in the Masjid al-Jami': (the main Masjid of the Capital), and also the ‘ld Salats on "'Id Musallas".

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Judiciary

The judicial functions were entrusted to Qadis (Judges). A Qadi was completely free of the executive administration. On a number of occasions the Khalifah (Hadrat Umar) himself appeared before a Qadi to defend himself in some cases. The provincial Qadis were completely independent of the provincial governors. The Qadis were paid good salaries so that there might not be even a slightest chance of bribery. The monthly salary of Qadis like Hadrat Salman, Rabi'ah and Shuraih (Raziallah Anho) were 500 Dirhams. The monthly salary of Hadrat Amir Mu'awiyah (Raziallah Anho) was 1000 dirhams. "Umar was the first ruler in Islam", says Amir Ali, "to fix salaries for judges and to make their offices distinct from the executive officers."

In a number of books like "Tabaqatul Fuqaha", and "Mawardi" an ordinance sent by Umar (Raziallah Anho) to various Qadis is quoted

"It is essential for a "Qadi" to be just in his decisions and should not give any preference to the persons considered eminent in the society. The complainants should produce proof in support of their case while the defendants are allowed to take an oath (depending upon the nature of the case). Agreement between the two parties is permissible except when such agreement makes unlawful act lawful or a lawful act unlawful. If truth is known after a decision has been given, you are allowed to reconsider the case and change the decision. When you do not find guidance in the Holy Qur'an or in the Ahadith (i.e., practices and the sayings of the Holy Prophet) for decision of a case ponder over it (on the basis of the broader principles of Shari'ah i.e., Divine Law) and search for its solution in the light of past decisions given by the righteous predecessors. (In case you do not get the solution in past decisions), then apply your own mind (i.e., do Ijtihad or Qiyas based upon the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah (i.e., the practices of the Holy Prophet)".

In another ordinance, given in "Kanzul'Ummal" Hadrat Umar told the Qadis

"Decide cases according to the Holy Qur'an. If you do not find any solution in it base your decision upon the Sunnah. In case you do not find an appropriate Hadith, search in the unanimity of the righteous predecessors (i.e., Ijma'), in the absence of Ijma', give your own verdict based upon the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah (i.e., do Ijtihad or Qiyas).

The Qadis appointed by Hadrat Umar were among the most pious, truthful and trustworthy Muslims of his period. Besides being pious, they were also great Jurists and scholars. The Qadi of Medina was Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit (the Scribe of "Wahy" -- Revelation). There were two Qadis at Kufa, Hadrat'Abdullah bin Mas'ud and Hadrat Shuraih (Raziallah Anho) Other Qadis during the caliphate of Hadrat Umar were: Salman bin Rabi','Abdur Rahman bin Rabi','Imran bin Hasin, Abu Maryam, and Jamil bin al-Umar etc. (Raziallah Anho)

The Qadis were instructed to be impartial and totally free from the executive. In a dispute between Hadrat Umar (the Khalifah) and Hadrat Ubayy bin Ka'b, Hadrat Umar went to the court of Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit at Medina. Hadrat Zaid wanted to stand up to show respect to the Khalifah, on which Umar (Raziallah Anho) remarked: "This is your first unjust behaviour." Then Hadrat Umar sat with Hadrat Ubayy, the complainant like an ordinary person. In the same case Hadrat Ubayy wanted Hadrat Umar to take oath, but Zaid wanted to spare him because of the dignity of his office. Seeing this Umar (Raziallah Anho) admonished him, "You cannot be a just Qadi until a common man is equal to Umar before you." Since Hadrat Umar was also a jurist, he also held courts, and sometimes as the Court of Appeal in a position which could be described as the Chief Justice now-a-days. Once he inflicted the Sharia punishment of eighty lashes for drinking on his own son Abu Sahmah which resulted in his death on the spot. There are a number of other examples which show the Islamic Justice prevailing at the time. Muslims and non-Muslims both were equal before his justice. Once a Muslim killed a Christian, Hadrat Umar inflicted capital punishment upon him.

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Department of Education

Hadrat Umar took special interest in imparting Islamic knowledge to the Muslims. The Holy Qur'an was compiled in a Book form during the period of Hadrat Abu Bakr on Umar's (Raziallah Anho) insistence. He established schools for teaching the Holy Qur'an in all the conquered territories. Such schools were located in the Masjids. A number of writers like Ibn-i-Jauzi (see "Sirat Umar") have mentioned that the teachers of such schools received good salaries. Besides teaching the Holy Qur'an they also trained the people in reading and writing. The Huffaz (i.e. the Muslims who commit whole of the Holy Qur'an to their memory) were specially honoured.

In the provinces of Syria and Palestine following teachers were appointed: ‘Ubadah bin Samit, Mu'adh bin Jabal and Abu Darda (Rid. A.). They established schools in Hims, Palestine (Jerusalem) and Damascus.

Hadrat Abu Sufyan was appointed to teach Bedouins. He was asked to test the knowledge of the Muslims learning the Holy Qur'an. It was compulsory for every Muslim to memorise sufficient part of the Holy Qur'an especially Surahs al-Baqrah;an-Nisa,al-Ma’idah; an-Nisa, al-Ma'idah, al-Hajj and an-Nur (Chapters, 2, 4, 5, 22 and 24 of the Holy Qur'an). In these Surahs Islamic laws and principles are described elaborately. To know basic Islamic laws was compulsory. Thus the concept of compulsory education was introduced at a time when nobody knew about it. The students memorising whole of the Qur'an by heart were given scholarships and other facilities.

He also appointed teachers to teach Hadith and Islamic Law. Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud (Raziallah Anho) was sent to Kufa; hia'qal bin Yair (Raziallah Anho), and 'Imran bin Hasin (Raziallah Anho) to Basra, Hadrat Ubadah bin Samit used to teach Hadith and Islamic Law as well in Syria besides the Holy Qur'an.

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Police Department & institution of prisons

To keep order inside the State, a police force was necessary. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was the first Muslim Head of State who established the Police Department. The Police force at that time was known as "Ahdath" and the police officer as the "Sahibul Ahdath". Hadrat Abu Hurairah(Raziallah Anho) was appointed as the "Sahibul Ahdath" for Bahrain. When he was going to take charge of his duty, Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) gave him the following instructions

"Keep peace in the area. Let not the people contravene law. They should not measure or weigh incorrectly. Nobody should build any house on roads so as to hinder the passage. No one should overload an animal. Nobody is allowed to sell or buy liquor".

There was no jail in Arabia before Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho). He bought five houses in Makkah and used them as prisons. He also set up jails in some districts of various provinces. The punishment of exile was for the first time introduced by Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) He exiled Abu Mihjan Thaqafi to an island as punishment for drinking liquor.

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The Bait-ul Maal (Public Treasury) and Revenue Administration

A Public Treasury (Bait-ul-Maal) was for the first time established by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'alaihi wa Sallam) in the form of a common fund for the benefit of the general public. During the time of Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho), a house was purchased for the purpose but there were no savings beside one Dirham when he passed away. During the caliphate of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) the Bait-ul Mal was immensely enlarged.

He reorganised the entire system on a very sound and just basis. The officer in charge of the Public Treasury (Bait-ul Mal) was known as "Sahib-i-Bait-ul-Ma1". There were Treasury officers in each province. Guards were also appointed for the Bait-ul Mal. In Medina there was the central Treasury and regular accounts were kept.

Following were the main sources of revenue

(i) Jizya (Indemnity or Defence Tax);
(ii) Zakat(Poor Tax);
(iii) Khiraj(Land Tax);
(iv) 'Ushr (Special land Tax);
(v) Booty(Income from the conquered places)
(vi) Tax on non-Muslim merchants or traders (because they did pay Zakat).

The tax on non-Muslim traders was introduced by Hadrat’ Umar (Raziallah Anho) for the first time. The reason was obvious they did not pay Zakat while Muslim merchants had to pay Zakat. Ushr, the special land tax equal to one tenth of the produce was taken from large holdings.

The Zakat fund was kept in special account books and was spent in accordance with the Islamic laws as given in the Holy Qur'an. From the rest of the fund, expenditure on general administration and warfare was met. The surplus was distributed among Muslims which was determined by three main principles - the relationship and the closeness with the Holy Prophet; priority of conversion to Islam and sacrifices for its cause; and military service to Islam. For example, the "Badriyin" (the participants of Badr battle) received 5000 Dirhams each, those who participated in the battle of Uhud or participated in the "Treaty of Hudaibiya" received 4000 each. The Muslims who accepted Islam before the conquest of Makkah but after the "Treaty of Hudaibiya" received 3000 each. Those who fought in Syria or lraq received 2000 each and those who took part in the battles after this received 1000 each. An ordinary soldier who fought during the time of Hadrat 'U mar (Raziallah Anho) received 500 to 600 dirhams. The stipend was given to every Muslim whether male or female, young or old. Even new-born babies also received stipends. Sir William Muir in his book "Caliphate" comments on it

"A people dividing amongst them the whole revenues, spoil and conquests of the state, on the basis of an equal brotherhood is a spectacle probably without parallel in the world."

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was very cautious in spending the Public Fund. There are a number of instances which could be presented here

Once his daughter, Umm-ul Mu'minin Lady Hafsa (the chaste widow of the Holy Prophet Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) came to him and demanded some share in the booty, that came from a battlefield, saying: "Give me some because your relatives have certain rights over you". He replied, "Of course my relatives have certain rights in my personal property but not in the property of Muslims".

Once Hadrat Umar fell sick and ;the physician advised him to take honey. There was plenty of honey in the Bait-uI Mal. He went to the Prophet's Masjid and called general "Shura'. When people assembled he said, "I need some honey, I would be thankful if you allow me to take some honey from the Bait-ul-Mal."

Once he saw a fat camel being sold in the market. He enquired about it and found out that the camel belonged to a man who allowed it to graze in the public pasture. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) told the man, "You are entitled to get as much as the camel would have fetched before it grazed in the official pasture. The balance must go to the Bait-ul-Mal."

He took personal care of the Baitul-Mal properties. Once a camel belonging to the Bait ul-Mal ran away. He himself went in search of it. In the meantime a chief of a clan came to meet him. Hadrat Umar said to him, "Please help me in my work. I am searching a camel of the Bait-ul-Mal."

Such examples are unparalleled in the history of whole civilisation and they show extreme vigilance by Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) of Public Funds.
At this place I would like to mention two more things in connection with the Revenue Administration of Hadrat Umar: (a) Survey of lands in 'Iraq; (b) Indemnity Tax.

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Survey of Lands in Iraq

Before Islam there was no administration in Arabia. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) introduced a full administrative system based upon Islam. When Iraq was conquered he did not allow the conquered land to be distributed as estate among the warriors. He granted it to the people as State property. There were many objections raised by some of the Companions. After consultation with the "Shura", Hadrat Umar’s plan was formulated. Then he ordered survey of the conquered land in 'Iraq. Land tax has assessed according to the income of the farmers. No tax was levied on lands which were trusts for places of worship or which were owned by orphans. Forests were considered as State property. Big estates, owned individually by people were not taken away from them.

In other places like Syria and Egypt more or less the same system remained enforced as was before Islam as far as the ownership of estates was concerned. However he took those estates which were owned by Imperial Officers of Roman Empire and distributed them among the farmers. No Muslim was allowed to take over any piece of land. However purchase of lands was allowed.

He constructed a number of canals for irrigation purposes. In Egypt alone one hundred twenty thousand labourers worked to construct various canals from the river Nile. All these labourers were paid by the State.

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Jizya (Indemnity or Defence Tax)

Some western writers have objected to realisation of Indemnity Tax (Jizya) from the non-Muslims of the state. But this tax was taken for their safety against any invasion from outside. There are instances that when Muslims left a conquered place due to some reasons, they returned the Jizya taken from non-Muslims of that place. In many agreements signed by Muslims during the wars, it was clarified that Jizya would be paid to the State by the non-Muslims for their protection and in case the State (i.e., Muslim Govt.) took any help from them for their protection they would not have to pay the Jizya. Following agreement was signed with the inhabitants of Jarjan

"It is our responsibility to protect you and your property against any invasion and you would pay annual tax (Jizya) in lieu thereof. If we seek your help for protecting you, we would not charge any tax (Jizya)."

In the agreement signed at Adharbijan, the tax was as under
...... "Jizya would not be taken from those who serve in the army, for the year of services."

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) had issued orders to various commanders during the battles with Persians

"Do not charge any Jizya from those who have helped the Muslim cavalry (i.e., army)."

Hadrat Abu 'Ubaidah (Raziallah Anho), the commander at the Syrian front returned all the Indemnity tax, he had received, when he left the conquered places for the time being to return to safer borders in order to prepare against the Romans at Yarmuk.

Moreover utmost care was exercised in levying the Jizya. The poor and orphans were never charged. There was no Indemnity tax on old persons who could not work. In the agreement which was signed at Hirah this very well be seen.

"If any old man is unable to earn, or if a rich man becomes poor, or if a person meets an accident, then no Jizya would be charged from him. Muslims are responsible to take care of such persons and to pay them for their needs from the Bait-ul-Mal."

Once Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) saw an old non-Muslim begging. He asked him the reason for begging. The old man said that he had to pay Jizya (Indemnity). Hadrat Umar immediately brought him home and gave some money to him. Then he ordered the officers not to charge Jizya from such persons. He was so solicitous about non-Muslims that he left a will: Take care of the "Dhimmis" i.e., the non-Muslim. Do not break any agreement signed with them. Do not take that work from them which they can not do. Fight for their protection (if some body attacks them)."

This is an exemplary treatment, a nation could give to conquered people.

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Personal care of the Public and stipends to disabled persons and the poor

Hadrat Umar used to take personal care of the public. A number of instances could be cited in this connection. I would quote only a few

Once a caravan came to Medina and alighted outside the city. He himself guarded the caravan during the night and saw to their needs. He was going round one night when he saw a woman with some children just on the outskirts of the city. The children were crying due to hunger. He himself brought some flour and butter etc., from the Bait-ul-Mal and personally prepared meals for the children. His slave, Aslam offered his services but he said, "You can not help Umar on the Day of Judgement. He is himself responsible for it." Once he saw a bedouin staying outside the city and his wife was in the throes of child birth. He immediately called his wife who worked as a midwife.

Every day after the congregational Salats he used to sit in the Masjid in order to listen to the complaints of the people. Any person having any need reported to Umar (Raziallah Anho) and he helped him.

Besides the allowances described above he also gave stipends to the poor and disabled persons regardless of their faith and creed. To find out the needs of the people he used to go out during night time.

Construction of Masjids and establishment of Schools

He founded a number of schools. Masjids were used for giving religious instructions. A number of Masjids were built by Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho). He asked the governors of various provinces, specially of Syria to build at least one Masjid in each city or town. In Kufa a separate Masjid was built for every clan. According to some historians he built four thousand Masjids.

The Haram (Masjid-ul-Haram) in Makkah was too small for the increasing Muslim population. He extended it and built a wall around it in order to separate it from the township. He covered the Ka'bah with very costly Egyptian cloth instead of ordinary cloth.

The Masjid of the Holy Prophet was also extended. He bought all the houses and properties surrounding the Masjid besides the houses of the chaste widows of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'alaihi wa Sallam), and extended the Masjid. A big platform was constructed in the yard of the Masjid to impart Islamic knowledge.

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Construction of office buildings and erection of new cities

Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) built a number of offices for various needs. The construction of prison in Makkah and Baitul-Mal in Medina has been mentioned before. The Treasury houses were also built in various provinces. The construction of the building of Treasury House (Bait-ul-Mal) was supervised by a Persian engineer Rozbah who used the same type of cement in the building as was used in the palaces of the Persian Emperors.

A number of rest-houses for travellers were also built. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) also built many new roads and bridges. The road between Makkah and Medina was broadened and a number of rest-houses and police posts were built on this road.

As described above a number of canals were constructed for irrigation and for supply of fresh water. A nine mile long canal was constructed in Basrah which brought water from the river Tigris. Some governors also built canals. Hadrat Sa'd bin Waqqas built a canal in Kufa.

A number of new cities were founded. The aim of the construction of new cities would be discussed in the following pages. Here are given names of some of the important cities

BASRAH : It was. built in Iraq in 14 A.H., near the border of present day Iran. In the beginning the population of the city was 800 only but soon it increased to about 100,000. During the time of Ummayads it was a big city of 120,000 inhabitants.

KUFA: It was built in the central part of Iraq. In the beginning residences for 40,000 people were built there. Hadrat Umar took personal interest in its construction and sent the maps and a plan for the city which he had himself prepared. The streets of the city were 60 feet wide. Al-Masjidul-Jami' could accommodate 40,000 people i.e., the total population of the city. This city was often called by Hadrat Umar as Rasul-ul-lslam (the head of Islam). The famous "Imams" (Great Scholars) namely Nakh'i, Hammad, Abu Hanifah and Shubi lived in the same city. Thus it became the centre of Islamic knowledge and learning in later centuries, proving the prophecy of Hadrat Umar.

FUSTAT: It was built in Egypt by Hadrat'Amr bin al-'As on the orders of Umar (Raziallah Anho) and became a big city in the later period of Islamic history. In the 4th century A.H., it was the most beautiful city of Islamic state after Baghdad.

Mosul and Jizah were other cities built by Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho). Mosul was a small village but Hadrat Umar converted it into a city. This was in the centre of Eastern and Western part of Islamic state. Jizah was built after the victory of Alexandria in Egypt.

Special care of Agriculture

Agronomy was the main source of income during those days. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) took special care of the welfare of agriculture and the farmers. As stated before he dug a number of canals for irrigation. A number of gardens were planted on his order. He made a law under which no Muslim could acquire land from the natives of the soil in the conquered territories. However land could be purchased. He supported both Muslim and non-Muslim farmers.

Besides the construction of canals a number of barrages, and big pools were constructed for supply of water in various parts of the State. Hadrat Umar also issued an ordinance under which uncultivated lands could be acquired by the permission of the government. Such lands were treated as the estates of those persons who cultivated them within three years of acquiring them, otherwise land would vest in the government. Large areas of land were thus cultivated because of this ordinance.

Introduction of Islamic Calendar

For the first time in the history of Islam, Islamic calendar was introduced in the present form by Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho). The date of start of this calendar was fixed as the date of the "Hijrah" (Migration) of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). Thus the calendar is also known as the Hijrah Calendar.

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Regular Army

One of the biggest achievements of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was to keep regular armies of the State. He encouraged Muslims to join the regular forces whenever the need arose. For the first time in the history of Islam all irregular armies or mercenaries were divided into clear-cut classes of regular and irregular armies. The army personnel was well paid and their families also got allowances. Separate registers for regular and irregular armies were maintained.

In order to keep military tradition of the Muslims, Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) did not allow the army personnel to hold land in the conquered territories, which might have impaired military prowess of Muslim soldiers.

Cantonments were built for soldiers where they lived in accordance with Islamic practices. It would be discussed in the following pages how these cantonments turned into centres of Islamic culture and knowledge, thus became the Muslim quarters to preserve Islamic culture and practice. Central cantonments were built in the following places: Medina, Kufa, Basrah, Mosul, Fustat, Damascus, Hims (i.e. Hems), Jordan, Palestine (Jerusalem), and Ramla. Besides the Commanding officer, the army had Translators, Doctors, Surgeons and Detectives. Each Corps of soldiers was headed by an officer known as "'Arief' whose duty was to distribute the salary, dress and other necessities. The non-commissioned officer on every ten soldiers was known as "Amirul A'shar". Minimum salary of soldier was 200 to 300 Dirhams annually besides his personal necessities and allowances given to his family in his absence. Some officers got salaries ranging from 7,000 to 10,000 Dirhams annually. No regular military personnel was allowed to do business or agriculture. It was compulsory for every soldier to be trained in swimming, riding, and walking bare-footed besides other military training. The army was generally divided into cavalry and infantry.

Each central cantonment had at least four thousand horses for the cavalry. Stables were provided with big pastures. Special care was taken of the horses. There were big granaries in cantonments to supply food to the military personnel.

Special arrangements were made to protect the frontiers. Hadrat'Abdullah bin Qaish was the officer in charge of this branch. He built a number of fortresses in the frontier region.

Once the number of soldiers in all the Islamic armies was counted and it was found that about one million equipped soldiers were present in all the regular and irregular armies. This was done after the Muslims had conquered the Persian Empire and a major part of Byzantium, otherwise in the beginning the number was far less as mentioned in connection with the various battles that took place during the time of Hadrat Umar. As a matter of fact Umar made every Muslim a soldier and every one was anxious to fight in the path of Allah. Non-Muslims were also included in the army. It is wrong to say that only Arabs were in the army because among Muslims themselves there were a number of non-Arab races commonly known as "'Ajamis" who accepted Islam during the time of Hadrat Abu Bakr and Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) and took part in Jihad (Holy War).

Special care was taken for the health of army personnel: In 17 A.H., when Mada'in was conquered, the climate was not suitable for the soldiers. When Hadrat Umar heard about it he wrote to 'Utbah bin Ghazwan that soldiers should be permitted to go to suitable places during autumn. Cantonments were constructed at places suitable from the point of view of climate.

The Mail System was very efficient. Suitable persons were appointed to carry mail from the army to Medina and vice versa. The caliph(Hadrat Umar) used to direct the army from Medina.

The Khalifah, was the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He delegated his powers to a nominated commander-in-chief of each army or province. These commanders were always in touch with the Khalifah and took instructions from him.

The most important thing which could be noted during the time of Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was a regular military code. No soldier, whose family was not residing in the cantonment, was allowed to be away from his family for more than four months. After four months they could visit their homes on holidays. The same code was also applied to those civil servants whose families were away from them.

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Preservation of Islamic Practice and Culture by establishing Muslim Quarters

As stated above the Muslim army was required to live in the cantonments. Later these cantonments were annexed to the civil quarters which ultimately resulted in the establishment of new cities.

These Muslim quarters or small colonies were established in the conquered territories in the form of Model Islamic Towns in order to preserve Islamic practices and culture. The purpose of such quarters was to save Muslims from the effect of non-Islamic culture and to show local non-Muslims the practical shape of Islamic society. These Muslim quarters attracted the local public towards Islam. It was the charm of Islam which ultimately caused them to accept it and to change their non-Islamic beliefs, traditions, culture and in many instances the language as well. All this cannot be done by force. Hearts and languages cannot be changed at the point of sword. If Muslim quarters had not been set-up at that time it would have been difficult for Islamic ways to prevail in the countries which are now proud to call themselves as Muslim States. Seeing the practical lives of Muslims their sense of equality, and high morals, the local population was so attracted that they changed even their languages. Arabic was not the local languages of Syria, Egypt and Iraq when these places were conquered by Muslims. The love for Allah, His Holy Prophet, His Last Book (the Holy Qur’an) caused the inhabitants of these places, who accepted Islam, to change their languages and treat the beautiful Arabic, the heavenly language, as their own language rather their mother tongue. In this way Hadrat Umar’s (Raziallah Anho)act of setting up Muslim quarters, ultimately became the cause of the spread of Islam.

Separation of Muslim quarters is positive proof that Islam never spread at the point of sword. Another purpose of separate localities was that the Muslims might not interfere with the local population in observing their own religion and customs. Their churches and places of worship were safe. Their worshippers, religious leaders and saints were left undisturbed. There is not even a single example of any Muslim, civilian or military personnel, who ever forced a non-Muslim to leave his faith or to accept Islam.

The purpose of wars was to remove the barriers set up by these powers who did not allow Muslims to show the practical shape of Islamic society and to preach the TRUTH and the RIGHT WAY OF LIFE.....the ISLAM . When these powers did not allow the Muslims to do so their intransigence was met by sword. The way was cleared and the local populace saw the TRUTH and left the WRONG WAY. This is the proof that ISLAM is the most peaceful and the RIGHT way of life.

Umar's (Raziallah Anho) Period was the GOLDEN AGE of ISLAMIC History

Thus we see that Hadrat Umar’s period was the Golden Age of the Islamic history when Islam was practised in its true form. Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) Initiated 41 good practices during his period, which were based upon the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'alaihi wa Sallam). These are known as "Awliat-i-Umar (the Initiations Of Umar). The details can be seen in the books of Islamic History like Tabari, Ibn-i-Athir, and Tarikh-i-Khulafa etc. Most of these initiations have been mentioned in the preceding pages in brief. Actually Hadrat Umar (Raziallah Anho) was the founder of ISLAMIC DEMOCRACY based upon the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). The words of the Holy Prophet are very true

"IF THERE WERE TO BE A PROPHET AFTER ME HE WOULD HAVE BEEN UMAR IBN AL-KHATTAB." (Tirmidhi)

AND

"AMONG THE NATIONS BEFORE YOUR TIME THERE HAVE BEEN INSPIRED PEOPLE (WHO WERE NOT PROPHETS), AND IF THERE IS ONE AMONG MY PEOPLE HE IS UMAR". (Bukhari and Muslim)

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