Alexander lll of Macedonia known as Alexander the Great (21 July 356 BCE – 10 or 11 June 323 BCE), was the son of King Philip II of Macedonia. He became a king at the age of 20 upon his father’s death and ventured out of Macedon at 23. He first conquered the whole of Greece. Then he entered Turkey. After this he defeated Darius (Dara) of Persia, entered Syria, moved to Jerusalem and then Babylon and Egypt and India. In India he fought King Porus and founded the city of Phalia in memory of his favorite horse.
He started his return through Makran. Though his death is a mystery but commonly said that he contacted malaria or typhoid on his way back and died in the year 323 B.C. at the age of 33 in the palace of Bakht Nasr.
Alexander was the son of a king. he was taught to fight and ride by Leonidas of Epirus, a relative of his mother Olympias. Lysimachus of Acarnania taught him reading, writing, and to play the lyre. At the age of 14 Alexander was introduced to the Greek philosopher Aristotle who Philip hired as a private tutor.
On the other hand Hazrat Umar Farooq ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ did not have any royal ancestor in his 7 previous generations, grew up minding herds of goats and sheep and had not got trained in the art of war from anyone. Not just war but He didn’t learned horse riding or art of Archery and sword fighting from any teacher. But what goes in his way is that his only teacher was Last Prophet of Allah all mighty, Prophet Muhammad (ﺻﻠّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺁﻟﻪ ﻭﺳﻠّﻢ ).
In 15 years of conquest Alexander had conquered 1.7 million square miles of land with an army of more then 32,000-47,000 infantry and 5,100 cavalry.
Hazrat Umar Farooq ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ , in 10 years, conquered 2.2 million square miles of land including the super powers of that time, Rome and Persia with an un‐organized army. No ruler of ancient time had a domain as vast as that of Hazrat Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ which he had not only got conquered on mere horseback but had also managed and ruled it.
Alexander got many of his own generals killed during his conquests, many generals and soldiers deserted him, there were rebellions against him and his army even refused to proceed in India.
No companion of Hazrat Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ ever had the courage to disobey him. He was the commander who deposed the strongest general of Islam, Khalid bin Waleed ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ right in the battleground and demoted him to a simple soldier in the Muslim army and name Abu Ubaidah ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ as new commander in chief because Hazrat khalid bin Waleed ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ gave some one an expensive prize. So Hazrat Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ said “If Khalid gave this prize from his pocket then it was overspending and if it was from bait ul maal then it was an unjust thing to do.”
He removed Saad bin Abi Waqas ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ from the governorship of Kufa(1) and recalled the amir of Egypt Ghayas bin Ghanam, made him wear cloths made of rough hair and assigned him to grazing the sheep because he use to wear expensive cloths and had a guard at his door. No one dared to disobey.
Alexander conquered 1.7 million square miles of land but could not give any system to the world, whereas
Hazrat Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ gave such systems as are still prevalent the world over:
1 – Started Hijri calendar
2 – Introduced Jail System.
3 – Started the salaries for Muezzins (Who Say Azan for Prayers).
4 – He order to maintain light in all Mosques during night times.
5 – Introduced the Police system for the first time.
6 – Lay down the foundation of a complete court system where even he was answerable.
7 – Started a regular holidays system for soldiers so that they can give proper time to their family.
8 – He introduced the Canal System for agriculture and irrigation system.
9 – He first time made the Army FOB’s (Forward operating bases) and laid the foundation of a military departments and a complete organization system.
10 – He first time in the world ordered funds, benefits and appointed regular salaries for infants, handicapped, homeless, old, helpless and widows.
11 – Made rich, rulers and government officials to declare their assets.
12 – Started punishing unjust judges.
13 – First time in history started accountability of upper class.
12 – Started punishment for the consumption of alcohol.
13 – He first time ordered to wear uniforms for Police.
14 – During his tenure the Taraweeh Prayer was started regularly.
15 – Adopted the sentence ﺃﺻﻠﻮﺃﺓ ﺧﻴﺮ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﻨﻮﻡ (Prayer is Better than Sleep) in Fajar Prayer.
16 – Built resting places on many places on famous trading routes.
17 – He used to protect the trade caravans at night.
18 – He was the only ruler ever to admit that even if a dog died of hunger on the banks on river Tigris during his rule, he would have to bear the punishment for this.
19 – He was in debt when martyred and his loan was paid off by selling his only property according to his will.
20 – His sentence “Mothers give birth to free children, since when have you enslaved them” is still considered the charter of human rights.
21 – He used to say that pardoning a tyrant is injustice to the oppressed.
He ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ used to say that rulers who deliver justice, sleep fearlessly at night.
His saying is that “the leader of the nation is actually its servant.”
His stamp read “Umar! death is enough of an admonition”.
He ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ never had two dishes on his table.
He ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ used to go to sleep with a brick and even his own elbow as a pillow.
While traveling, he ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ would just stretch a sheet on a tree to make a shadow and go to sleep whenever sleepy.
He ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ used to sleep on bare ground at night. His shirt had 14 patches, among them one of red leather.
He ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ used to wear thick coarse cloth and hated soft fine one.
Whenever he ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ appointed someone on a government position, he would get an estimate of his wealth and keep it with himself.
If the wealth of that person increased during his tenure, he ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ would be held accountable.
Whenever he ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ appointed anyone as a governor, he would advise him to never to ride a Turkish horse, wear fine cloth, consume fine flour, have a gatekeeper or close his doors to the distressed.
He ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ was the first Caliph of Islam who was given the title “Ameer‐ul‐Momineen”.
Every religion of the world has a special characteristic, the special characteristic of Islam is justice, and Hazrat Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ is one who makes this true.
His justice gave rise to the term “Adl‐e‐Farooqui” (the justice of Farooq).
His justice was such that when he died, a herdsman came running in a far off land in
his domain shouting “O men, Hazrat Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ has passed away.”
People asked him in astonishment who, thousands of miles from Medina, informed him of this in a jungle.
The herdsman said “as long as Hazrat Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ was alive my sheep used to move around fearlessly in the jungle and no beast dared to even look at them. Today, for the
first time, a wolf has taken away my goat. The fearlessness of the wolf indicates to
me that Hazrat Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ is no more.”
The name of Alexander is now only in books whereas the systems devised by Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ are still prevalent in at least 245 countries of the world in some form. Even today, when a letter leaves a post office, when a policeman wears a uniform, when a soldier goes on a leave after six months of duty,when a government pays a stipend to a child, a destitute, a widow or a helpless person, the society automatically accepts Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ as “The Great” and acknowledged him to be the biggest “Sikandar” ever, except for those Muslims who, in their deep sense of inferiority, look around in fear even when reciting the words of faith.
The Muslims of Lahore had once dared the English that if they once decided to act, they will remind them of Changez Khan. Upon this Jawaharlal Nehru had smiled and said that “sadly these Muslims citing the example of Changez Khan had forgotten that there was an Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ also in their history.
A Famous historian once said “If Muslims had one more Umar Farooq ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ in them, Islam would have been the only religion of the world.”
We are also forgetting today that among us was one Umar Farooq ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ about whom the Prophet Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him had said that “If there could be a prophet after him, he would have been Umar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhu).
(1). Sa’ad was the one who built the city of Kufa in Iraq during the reign Umar ibn al-Khattab ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ He was appointed by Umar as its Amir. Later Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ removed him from that post but he was re-assigned during the caliphate of Uthman ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ. Muslim mentions that the people of Kufa filed a complaint against Sa’ad to the Caliph Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ . Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ was known to be meticulous in his rulings & verdicts. He sent a committee to Kufa to investigate the matter. They passed by all mosques of the city asking about Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ & got loads of praise on his behalf. In just one masjid, that of the clan of Bani Abd, one single man (Abu Sa’adah) criticized Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ saying: Sa’ad never leads his troops, never rules fairly, & never divides profits evenly. When this reached Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ, he said: As he accused me of three, likewise I’ll ask God for three to befall him if he lied: to extend his life, to deepen his poverty & to make fall for temptations. The narrators Abdul Malak ibn Umair after Jabir ibn Thamarah testify that they saw such a man who falsely charged Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ cursed by Sa’ad’s invocation: old, poor & chasing women in the streets! If the accusations were false & Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ acquitted, why then did Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ remove Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ from his post as Emir of Kufa?? This resolution from Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ was not for something wrong that Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ did. This is proved by the fact that Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ chose Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ as one of his possible successors. Moreover, Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ specified Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ in his will: “If Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ was chosen as my successor well & good, if not he should be consulted. I did not remove him for being defective or dishonest”.
Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ dismissed Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ as a part of his policy of legitimacy. He ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ would not leave someone in office who has been accused by people, even if the charges were proved to be false. He would not let doubts propagate in the hearts of lay people. When Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ was in his death-bed, he confirmed the honest status of Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ admitting that he did not dismiss him for any defects or dishonesty on his side. And he appointed Sa’ad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ as one of his possible successors.
Once It was reported to Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ that Saad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ had constructed a palace, and had provided a door which could be shut at his option. The orders of Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ were that where the Governors sat to meet the people or attend to their complaints there should be no door so that all people could have access to the Governor at all times.
Umar ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ deputed Muhammad bin Masalma to hold an inquiry on the spot and if he found that a door had in fact been constructed it should be burnt. Muhammad went to Kufa and found the door. Saad ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ argued that as a market adjoined his house the door was necessary to shut down the noise. This explanation was not accepted and Muhammad burnt the door.
This is how Hazrat Umar ‘s ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ legacy was! What a great man! Surely Islam needs such men at the moment!