The Martyrdom of Hadhrat Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu)

By Shaykh Zahir Mahmood (hafidhahullah)

It was well known about ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu), before he embraced Islam, that there was more likelihood for a others to embrace Islam than him. 

The famous Tabi’i, Sa’id ibn al Musayyab (rahimahullah) mentions, “Upon occasion we were returning from Mina to Makkah when we reached the outskirts of Makkah, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) wanted to rest. He took some sand and made a pillow out of it. Before he lay down, he made a du’a,

‘Allahumma Inni As’aluka Shahadatun Fee Sabilika Wa Mawtun Fee Baladi Rasulik.’”

The incident leading to the Martyrdom of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) was that, there was Zoroastrian slave of the famous Sahabi Hadhrat Mughira ibn Shu’bah (radhiyallahu anhu), Abu Lu’lu’ Firuz Nahavandi  was a very skilled carpenter; he would work and give a portion of his wealth to his master. A Persian named Harumzan heired him to assassinate Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). (note: the Persian plot to kill Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) & other leaders will be discussed in detail in an article regarding Karbala which will be shared a during Yaum al Ashura, Insha Allah)

Upon one occasion he came to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) and complained that the amount he had to give to his master was excessive. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “I will speak to Mughira and I will get back to you.” And ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) spoke to Mughira (radhiyallahu anhu) and came to the conclusion that the amount he (Abu Lu’lu’) had to give to his master wasn’t excessive.

When Abu Lu’lu came back, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) informed of his decision, Abu Lu’lu’ became enraged and he said, “O’ ‘Umar! Is your justice for everyone in this Dunya besides me?” And then he would go around Madinah and say, “’Umar has eaten my liver!”

Once ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was walking by and he saw Abu Lu’lu’ and he (‘Umar {radhiyallahu anhu}) said, “I’ve heard you make great windmills, make me a windmill!” He said, sarcastically, “I will make you a windmill that the Dunya will speak about!” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) turned back and said to his companions, “Do you know what he is eluding to? He is eluding to the fact that he will try to kill me.” The companions said, “O Ameer ul-Mu’minin! If that’s the case, then let’s deal with him now!” He said, “Pre-emptive action can not be taken on the basis of suspicion.” 

The day ‘Umar ibn al Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) passed away, ‘Amr bin Maimoon (rahimahullah) mentioned that, “Between me and ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab was only one person. In front of me was ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas and then was ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab.” He mentioned that ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) came and strained the Sufoof and he said Allahu Akbar and began the Salah.

Abu Lu’lu’ was hiding in the Mihrab and he had bought a two-edged knife which was dipped in poison. When ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) began the recitation, Abu Lu’lu jumped out and stabbed him Ameer-ul-Mu’minin a number of times. When ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was falling down, he managed to hold the hand of ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf (radhiyallahu anhu) and he dragged him upon the Musallah.

Then Abu Lu’lu ran out and he was stabbing the Sahabah. He stabbed 13 Sahabah out of which 7 passed away until finally he was overpowered and they threw a cloak over him when he knew game over, he slit his own throat.

And ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf (radhiyallahu anhu) recited two very short Surahs and then turned to Ameer-ul-Mu’minin and the first thing ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) said was to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) to find out who stabbed him. And ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) came back and informed Ameer-ul-Mu’minin that it was Abu Lu’lu’ the Zoroastrian slave. And even in this state, Ameer-ul-Mu’minin became elated, became happy and said,

“AlhamduLilahi Ladhi Lam Yaj’al Mitati ‘Ala Yadi Rajulin Yasjudu LiLlahi Sajdatun” “AlhamduLilahi Ladhi Lam Yaj’al Mitati ‘Ala Yadi Rajulin Yashhadu La Ilah IllaLah” AlhamduLilahi Ladhi Lam Yaj’al Mitati ‘Ala Yadi Rajulin Yuhajuni Bi La Ilah IllaLah Yawm al-Qiyamah” 

“O Praise be to Allah! That He did not make death fall upon the hands of a person who did even did one Sajdah in his life for the sake of Allah”

“O Praise be to Allah! That He did not make death fall upon the hands of a person who recited the Kalimah La Ilaha Illallah

“O Praise be to Allah! That He did not make death fall upon the hands of a person who will come on the Day of Qiyamah and will argue with me with the Kalimah La Ilaha Illallah” 

‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) would become conscious then unconscious and upon an  occasion he became unconscious for a very long period, the Sahabah became very concerned. One person said, “Inform Ameer-ul-Mu’minin it is time for Salah for I swear by Allah if he has ounce of life left in his soul, he will respond.” They said, “As Salah Ya Ameer-ul-Mu’minin! As Salah Ya Ameer-ul-Mu’minin!

As soon as they said this, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) got alarmed, he regained consciousness. The first thing he asked was, “Have the people prayed?” And they informed him, “Yes O’ Ameer-ul-Mu’minin!” He said, “La Islama Liman Tarqas Salah” “There is no Islam for the person who disregards prayer.” Then they bought some water for Ameer-ul-Mu’minin (radhiyallahu anhu) and he had to drink the water which began to come out of his wounds. Then they brought some milk and he began to drink the milk which also started to come out of his wounds. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was, at that time, lying in the lap of his son: ‘Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu). And he told him, “O’ Abdullah! Place my face on the floor.” And ‘Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu) kissing the forehead of his father and his tears flowing said, “Why my father?” He (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “Because if ‘Umar is destined for Jannah then know the pillars of Jannah are softer than your thighs and if ‘Umar is destined for Jahannam then know you don’t want a Jahannami in your thighs!”
Then ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhoyallahu anhu), “O’ ‘Abdullah! Go into Madinah and ask the people of Madinah that of there is any person ‘Umar has oppressed today? For let him take their revenge today!” Then ‘AbduLlah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) returned and said, “Ameer-ul-Mu’minin! I have been to all the people of Madinah and I asked them, ‘Is there any person that ‘Umar has oppressed, let him take revenge today,’ I swear by Allah, I have not passed by one group but they were crying as if they lost their child.”

And throughout this ‘Umar (RA) was saying, “If I leave knowing that there is no sin against me I will be happy.”

‘AbduLlah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “O Ameer-ul-Mu’minin! Do not be concerned for I swear by Allah you accompany the Prophet and he left this Dunya and he was happy with you! Then you accompanied Abu Bakr and he left this Dunya and he was happy. And you are now leaving the believers and they are happy with you!”

And then ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “O’ Abdullah! Will you bear testimony to this on the Day of Judgement?” And ‘Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “I will!”

Then ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) calmed down and organised the Shura, six people from whom one will be the Khalifah out of them, then he sent his son ‘AbduLlah (radhiyallahu anhu) to ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu anha), “Give my salam but don’t say Ameer-ul-Mu’minin because today the believers do not have any Ameer! And ask her, ‘Can ‘Umar be buried next Prophet and Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu)?’”

‘Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu) knocked on the door and went inside and found ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu anha) crying.

And said to her, “’Umar ibn al-Khattab gives you salam and his request is could he be buried next to the Prophet and Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhi)?” She (radhiyallahu anha) said, “I reserved that place for myself but today I give it to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu).”

When ‘Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu) was coming back, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) told the Sahabah to make him sit up straight. ‘Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu) came and said, “O’ Ameer-ul-Mu’minin! Your wish has been granted!” He became happy.

Then he (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “When you go to bury me and go past her house, ask her again. Maybe she was compelled to agree but if she allows then bury me next to Prophet otherwise bury me in the graveyard of the believers ”

Then he (radhiyallahu anhu) said to the companions, “When I die, be moderate in my kaffan because if Allah has good for me, the He will give better than shrouds then these and if Allah has bad for me, then He will even strip me from these shrouds. Be moderate in my grave, because if Allah has good for me, He will expand it and if Allah has bad for me, He will this even tighter.”

And shortly after this, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu)  passed away and ‘Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) saw him in his dream and asked him, ‘Ameer-ul-Mu’minin! When the Angels came to you in your grave, what did they say to you?’ He (radhiyallahu anhu) said, ‘When the Angels came to me in my grave, I asked them, ‘Who’s your Lord?!’’ (Allahu Akbar!)

Examples of Justice of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu):

Amr ibn Maimoon (Rahimahullah) said, “Three days before the demise of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu), Hudhaifah (rashiyallahu anhu) came, who was a governor of some place. And ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was speaking to him about the land, ‘How is the land there?’ And he (Hudhaifah {RA}) told him (‘Amr ibn Maimoon {RahimahuLlah}), ‘’Umar (RA) said, ‘Beware that you do not overburden the land.’’

Upon occasion a dog drowned in a Muslim land, and ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) began to collect eminent Sahabah and began to weep, “What will ‘Umar do on the Day of Judgement when he will stand in front of Allah and He will say, ‘You were the Ameer-ul-Mu’minin, it was your responsibility to look after this dog.’”

On one occasion, he went to the outskirts of Madinah, he saw a lady surrounded by her children and they are crying out of hunger. The lady put a pot of water and was boiling it so the children would think that she is cooking food. The children fell asleep as a consequence and ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was watching this from distance and then approached this lady and gave her Salam and asked her is he could come closer. She allowed him. And he (radhiyallahu anhu) asked her, “So what do you say about ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab?” She said, “I complain to Allah about ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab!” He (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “Maybe he doesn’t know about you?” She said, “He’s our Ameer, and he doesn’t know about his subjects?” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) went back to Madinah and went to Bayt-ul-Maal and told the keeper to give him a sack of food. Then he told the keeper to place it on his back, the man said, “O’ Ameer-ul-Mu’minin! Please let me carry it!” He (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “Place it on my back. Will you also carry my sins on the Day of Judgement?” He (radhiyallahu anhu) then hurried back to this lady. He (radhiyallahu anhu) lit the fire himself, and it is narrated the smoke was coming out of his beard and then he cooked the food for them. Then when he cooked the food, he also fed the children with his own hands and the lady was watching all of this without knowing that this man is ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) She said to him (radhiyallahu anhu) , “I swear by Allah you are better than ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab!” And ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf (radhiyallahu anhu) was with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) that night and said to him, “O’ Ameer-ul-Mu’minin! Its cold and its dark let’s go back!” And ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)  said, “I swear by Allah I will not depart from this place until I see the children laughing as I saw them crying!” And then before he left, the lady said, “I will speak to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) about your state.” And ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “I swear by Allah, I can not express to you the way ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab cried in the Fajr Salah because he had seen the believers crying out of hunger.”

The next day, when ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was sitting at his desk, the same lady came in and she hear everyone say, “Ameer-ul-Mu’minin!” Then she understood that the man who came to her last night ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu). He welcomed her in and said, “O’ sister tell me of an oppression I have afflicted upon you!” She said, “Ameer-ul-Mu’minin what oppression? Did you not bring the food yourself? Did you not cook yourself? Did you not feed my children myself?” And Ameer-ul-Mu’minin ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu)  insisted, “Tell me of an oppression I have afflicted upon you!”

And they agreed on 600 Dirhams. Then he made a transaction, “I, Ameer-ul-Mu’minin buy from this lady the oppression of a child afflicted upon her for 600 dirhams and upon this transaction ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib and ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhuma) are witness.”

Then he turned to ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) and said, “O ‘Ali when I die, place this between my kaffan and my body for when I stand up in front of Allah and Allah says, ‘O ‘Umar you have oppressed this lady’ and I will say, ‘O Allah! We reached an agreement.’’

It was one of the Fatawa of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) that if he found out that anyone died in the Muslim area out of hunger, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)  would take Diya (blood money) out of everyone of the vicinity because it was their responsibility to look after that person. 

Related Articles: WHO IS THE GREATEST CONQUEROR IN HISTORY: Alexander the Great or Hazrat Umar Al Farooq ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨ?

Story of Hazrat Umar radhiyallahu anhu’s conversion to Islam

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