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Saturday, August 06, 2005

THE VIRTUES OF UMAR IBN AL-KHATTAB (R.A.)

Awareness of the Companions of Umar's Position Among Them

It was generally known among the Companions that the first among them was Abu Bakr (radi-Allaahu 'anhu - may Allah be pleased with him) followed by Umar (radi- Allaahu 'anhu) followed by Uthmaan ibn Affaan (radi-Allaahu 'anhu).

Ibn Umar (radi-Allaahu 'anhumaa) reports in a Saheeh hadeeth: "During the time of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam - may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), we never equated anyone with Abu Bakr then Umar then Uthmaan. We left the remainder of the Companions of the Prophet (sal Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) and never made comparisons between them." [Abu Daawood - Saheeh]


Great Respect of the Prophet [sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam] for Umar

The Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said: "While I was sleeping I saw myself in paradise. Then there was a woman making wudhuu by the side of a palace. I said: 'Whose is this palace?'. They said: 'It is Umar's.' I remembered the jealousy of
Umar and I turned to leave. Then, Umar cried and said: 'Could I be jealous over you, O Messenger of Allaah?!'" [Saheeh Al Bukhaaree]

Umar's [radi-Allaahu 'anhu] Deen

The Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) bore witness to the superiority of Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radi-Allaahu 'anhu) in his deen,
saying:"While I was sleeping, I saw the people being presented to me. Each of them was wearing a shirt. Some reached to their breast and some reached farther than that. Then Umar was shown to me with his shirt reaching all the way to the ground." They asked: "How do you interpret it, Allaah's Messenger?" He said: "Ad-deen (religion)" [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree]


Umar's [radi-Allaahu 'anhu] Knowledge

Umar (radi-Allaahu 'anhu) was among the very few most knowledgeable of the Companions coming only after Abu Bakr (radi-Allaahu 'anhu). He took his knowledge straight from Allaah's Messenger (sal- Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam), who bore witness to Umar's (radi- Allaahu 'anhu) position and his knowledge. Those who accuse Umar (radi-Allaahu 'anhu) and others of betraying Islaam, "stealing" the Caliphate, etc. should fear Allaah in giving the lie to the clear testimony of Allaah's Messenger (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) himself.

The Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said: "While sleeping, I drank - meaning milk - until I saw springs coming from my fingernails. Then, I gave Umar some to drink." They said: "How do you interpret it, Allaah's Messenger?" He said: "Knowledge." [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree]


Umar's [radi-Allaahu 'anhu] Power and Personal Strength

Umar (radi-Allaahu 'anhu) was a person of great individual strength and fortitude. He was one of the two 'Umars' which the Prophet (sal- Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) asked Allaah to bless Islaam with before he had become Muslim.

The Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said: "While sleeping, I saw myself at a well on which there was a water bucket. I took from the well the amount which Allaah wished. Then, Abu Bakr took the bucket and took out a bucket or two and in his
drawing of water was weakness - and Allaah forgave him for his weakness. Then it (the bucket) was transformed into a huge barrel. Umar took this barrel and began drawing water. I never saw any leader among the people who could pull the water like Umar ibn Al-Khattab until the people sent their camels to their pens." [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree]

The meaning of "sent their camels to their pens" is that that the people got all the water they needed for themselves and for all of their animals until their camels were fully loaded with water.


Umar's [radi-Allaahu 'anhu] Inspirations

The Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said: "There were among those who came before you individuals who were inspired. If
anyone among my nation is one of these, it is surely Umar." [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree]

Those "inspire" means individuals who, while not prophets, receive inspirations which match or foretell the actual Communication from Allaah received by the prophet of their time. These people do not have the status of the prophets, and their ideas or inspirations are of no use or validity until confirmed by the actual Communication. In the absence of a prophet, this is one of the greatest gifts which an imaam or scholar of fiqh can possess. The texts and other scholars can define the perimeter within which the truth must lie, but a great individual such as Umar (radi-Allaahu 'anhu) has the added advantage of their gift of firaasah or inspiration which leads them in the right direction.

Any claim of inspiration, dreams, etc. which is at odds with the
evidence, whether during the time of a prophet or not, is falsehood
and is from Shaytaan regardless of the apparent knowledge, station or good works of the individual involved.

The Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said: "Allaah has placed the truth on the tongue of Umar and on his heart."
[Tirmidhee]

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