Sahabah of the Month: ‘Umar al-Farooq

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‘Umar ibn al-Khattab was referred to by the Prophet (ﷺ) as “Al-Farooq” meaning ‘one who discriminates between right from wrong.’ He was referred to by Ali as “Shaykh al-Islam,” and he was the first to be called by the general masses with the title of “Ameer al-Mu’minin” (Commander of the Faithful).

`Umar had the special distinction of being a person whom the Prophet (ﷺ) prayed for that he become Muslim. Rasulullah (ﷺ) realized that `Umar was a very strong and brave man, necessary for the Islamic movement to thrive. It is narrated in Hadith that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “O Allah! Strengthen Islam with `Umar ibn al-Khattab.” Indeed, the Muslims were greatly strengthened by `Umar’s conversion to Islam. Before his conversion, they were hiding in worry, but with `Umar’s conversion, the Muslims were able to declare Islam openly. Where once the Muslims had been banned from the Ka’aba, now the Muslims prayed therein.

Abdullah ibn Masood said of `Umar’s conversion: “`Umar’s conversion to Islam was a conquest, His Migration was a victory, his period of rule was a blessing; I have seen when we were unable to pray at ‘the house’ (Kaba) until `Umar converted; when he converted to Islam he fought them [the antagonistic idolaters] until they left us alone and we prayed (inside the Ka’aba).”

The Rasulullah (ﷺ) said: “I have two ministers from the inhabitants of the heaven and two ministers from the inhabitants of the earth. The former are Jibril and Mika’il, and the latter are Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.”
HabibAllah (ﷺ) said of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar: “These two are [my] hearing and eyesight.”
The Prophet (ﷺ) instructed the Companions: “Follow those that come after me: Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.”
The Prophet (ﷺ) also said: “Allah has put the truth upon Umar’s tongue and in his heart.” and “If there were to be a prophet after me it would be ‘Umar ibn al-Khatab.”
Abu Bakr said of `Umar: “There is not on the face of the earth a man more beloved to me than `Umar.”
Bibi ‘Ayesha bint Abu Bakr said: “He was, by Allah, skillful in managing affairs, absolutely unique.”

‘Umar also had the unique distinction of having his views confirmed by the revelation in the Holy Quran. It is narrated that Umar used to approach Rasulullah (ﷺ) and give his opinion on matters, and then the Quranic ayat would descend upon the Prophet (ﷺ) confirming the opinion of ‘Umar. And in other instances, ‘Umar asked the Prophet (ﷺ) to ask Allah for Quranic verses on certain issues which Umar and the people wanted clarification on; it would not then be long before Allah revealed verses to the Prophet (ﷺ) clarifying the matter brought up by Umar.

Sayings of Ameer ‘Umar:
“The biggest gift after Iman (Faith) is your wife.”
“Why have you made slaves of those whose mothers had given birth to them free?”
“The strength in action is to never put of what you can do today, for tomorrow”