Compiled from Various Sources
The Caliph ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was a fine example of a just, believing caliph, a pious, pure, strong and honest mujahid, a strong fortress for the ummah and its ‘aqeedah. He spent his entire caliphate serving his religion and his ‘aqeedah and his ummah, which he had been appointed to lead. He was the supreme commander of the army, and the faqeeh and mujtahid to whom everyone referred. He was a just judge and a compassionate father who was merciful to his flock, young and old, weak and strong, poor and rich. He was a sincere believer in Allah and His Messenger, a brilliant politician and a wise and decisive administrator. Under his leadership the structure of the ummah was strengthened, and during his reign the pillars of the Islamic conquests were established and the greatest victories were achieved over the Persians at al-Qadisiyah, al-Mada’in, Jaloola’ and Nahawand. Syria and Egypt were conquered and freed from the domination of Byzantium. Islam entered most of the lands surrounding the Arabian Peninsula. His caliphate was a strong barrier against tribulation and civil war. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) himself was like a closed door, and those who sought to stir up tribulation could find no way to reach the Muslims during his lifetime. [Al-Khulafa’ ar-Rashideen by al-Khalidi, p.77]
Discussion between ‘Umar and Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhum) concerning Tribulations
Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “We were with Ibn al- Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) and he said, ‘Who among you remembers what the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said about fitnah (tribulation)? I said, ‘I remember it as he said it.’ He said, ‘Tell us, what a great man your father was!’ I said, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say, “The tribulation of a man is with regard to his family, his wealth, his own self, his son and his neighbour, and it may be expiated by means of fasting, praying and giving charity, and by enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.’), ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said, ‘That is not what I mean. What I mean is the tribulations which will come like the waves of the sea.’ I said, ‘What does that have to do with you, O Ameer al- Mu’mineen? Between you and them is a closed door.’ He (‘Umar) asked, ‘Will that door be broken or opened?’ I said, ‘It will be broken.’ He said, ‘Then it will never be closed until the Hour begins.'” Abu Wa’il, the one who narrated it from Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhu) , said: “Did ‘Umar know who was meant by the door?” Hudhayfah said, “Yes. He knew it for certain.” Then Abu Wa’il said, “Let us ask Hudhayfah who is meant by the door.” We said to Masrooq, “Go and ask Hudhayfah who is the door.” Masrooq asked Hudhayfah, “Who is the door?” Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “It is ‘Umar.”
Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhu) informed ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) that he was the strong door which was preventing tribulation or civil war from engulfing the Muslims, but this door would be broken, which meant that after that it would never be closed again until the Hour began. This is what ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) understood, namely that tribulations would continue to be widespread and common among the Muslims and they would never be able to eliminate them or put a stop to them. Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhu) was not stating that of his own accord or expecting it to happen, for he had no knowledge of the unseen, rather he heard it from the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and understood it and memorized it as he had heard it. Hence he commented on what he told ‘Umar by saying: “I have told you a hadith and I am not mistaken i.e., it is a saheeh and true hadith, not a mistake or a fabrication – because I heard it from the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).”
Moreover, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was aware of the facts that Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhi) told him, for he knew that his caliphate was a strong door that was preventing tribulation from engulfing the Muslims, and that tribulation would never overwhelm the Muslims during his caliphate and his lifetime.
‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) had learned from the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that he would be killed, and that he would meet Allah as a martyr. Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) climbed Mount Uhud, accompanied by Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman, and the mountain shook with them. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) – stuck it with his foot and said, ‘Stand firm, O Uhud, for there is no one on you but a Prophet, a Siddeeq and two martyrs.” [Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab an-Nabi, hadith no. 3675]
The Du’a of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) During his last Hajj, 23 A.H.
It was narrated from Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib that when ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) departed from Mina, he stopped in al-Abtah, made a pile of sand, threw his cloak over it and lay down on it, then he raised his hands towards heaven and said: “O Allah, I have grown old and weak, and the people under my care have been scattered. Take me (in death) before I commit any act of neglect or heedlessness.” Then he went to Madinah. [Tareekh al-Madeenah, 3/872. Its isnad is Saheeh up to Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib]
‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) ‘s Prayer for Martyrdom
It was narrated from Zayd ibn Aslam that ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “O Allah, bless me with martyrdom for Your sake, and cause me to die in the land of Your Prophet.” According to another report: “O Allah, let me be killed for Your sake and die in the land of Your Prophet.” It was asked: “How could that happen?” He said, “Allah may cause it to happen.” [At-Tabaqat by Ibn Sa’d, 3/331; its isnad is Hasan].
Shaykh Yusuf ibn al-Hasan ibn ‘Abdul-Hadi (rahimahullah) commented on ‘Umar’s (radhiyallahu anhu) prayer for martyrdom by saying: “Wishing for martyrdom is mustahabb, and it is different from wishing for death. If it is asked, what is the difference between them? The answer is that wishing for death is seeking to hasten death before its time has come, but the longer a man lives the more good he does. Wishing for martyrdom is asking for death at its proper time, as a martyr; it is not asking for death to be brought forward from its appointed time, rather it is seeking a virtuous death.” [Mahd as-Sawab fee Fada’il Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, 3/791].
The Dream of ‘Awf ibn Malik al-Ashja’i
‘Awf ibn Malik al-Ashja’i said:
“During the caliphate of Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu), I saw a rope hanging down from heaven, and the people were stretching up to reach it. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was three cubits taller than the others, and I asked, ‘Why is that?’ He said, ‘Because he is one of the vicegerents of Allah on earth, and he does not fear the blame of any blamer, and he will be killed as a martyr.’ The next morning, I went to Abu Bakr and told him about that, and he said, ‘O slave, go to Abu Hafs and call him to me.’ When he came, he said, ‘O ‘Awf, tell him what you saw.’ When I told him that he was one of the vicegerents of Allah, ‘Umar said, ‘Does a sleeper see all of this?’ He said, ‘Tell him about it.’ When ‘Umar was appointed caliph, he came to al-Jibiyah and whilst he was delivering a speech, he called me and told me to sit down. When he had finished his speech, he said, ‘Tell me about your dream.’ I asked, ‘Didn’t you forbid me to speak of it?’ He said, ‘I didn’t mean it, O man.’ According to another report, he said, ‘Were you not telling lies?’ He said, ‘No, but I felt shy before Abu Bakr.
When I told him he said, ‘As for becoming caliph, that has happened, as you can see. With regard to not fearing the blame of any blamer, I do not fear anyone but Allah, and I hope that that is true. But as for being killed as a martyr, how can that happen when I am in the Arabian Peninsula?'” [Mahd as-Sawab, 3/869]
The dream of Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari concerning the death of ‘Umar
Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “I saw myself as if I had taken many horses, then they started to disappear, one after another, until only one was left. I took it and went to Jabal Zalaq, where I saw the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) with Abu Bakr beside him, and he was gesturing to ‘Umar to come.” I (the narrator) said, “Why don’t you write news of that to ‘Umar?” He said, “I do not want to tell him the news of his own death.” [At-Tabaqat by Ibn Sa’d, 3/332, its isnad is Saheeh]
The Last Jumu’ah Khutbah given by ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) in Madinah
‘Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Awf (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated some of what ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said in his khutbah on Friday 21 Dhu al-Hijjah 23 A.H., which was his last khutbah. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) himself told the Muslims of a dream that he had seen and interpreted it for them. He said in that last khutbah: “I have seen a dream, and I think it signals my death. I saw myself being pecked by a rooster twice, and the people were telling me to appoint a caliph after me. Allah will not cause His religion or His caliphate to be lost, nor that with which He sent His Prophet. If I die, then the caliphate is to be decided by a council of these six men with whom the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was pleased when he died.” [Al-Mawsooah al-Hadeethiyah Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, no. 89, its isnad is saheeh].
‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)’s meeting with Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhu) before he was stabbed
Four days before ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was martyred – i.e. on Sunday 23rd Dhu al-Hijjah – ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) met with the two Sahabis, Hudhayfah ibn al- Yaman and Sahl ibn Hunayf (May Allah be pleased with them both). He had appointed Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhu) to estimate the kharij on the land which was irrigated by the water of the Tigris, and he had appointed Sahl ibn Hunayf (radhiyallahu anhu) to estimate the kharij of the land which was irrigated by the water of the Euphrates. He said to them: “What did you do? I am afraid that you may have imposed more that the land can bear.” They said, “We imposed a reasonable amount.” ‘Umar said, “If Allah keeps me safe, I will leave the widows of the people of Iraq needing no man after me.” But he was stabbed four days after this discussion with these two Sahabis.’ [Bukhari, hadith no. 3700]
‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) preventing the prisoners from settling in Madinah
‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) did not give the prisoners from the conquered regions permission to enter Madinah, the capital of the caliphate. He forbade the Magians of Iraq and Persia, and the Christians of Syria and Egypt, to settle in Madinah, unless they became Muslim and entered the faith. This attitude is indicative of his wisdom and foresight, because these defeated people who hated Islam and had plenty of motives to conspire and plot against Islam and the Muslims. Hence he forbade them to settle in Madinah, so as to ward off evil from the Muslims. But some of the Sahabah (May Allah be pleased with them) had slaves from among these Christian and Magian prisoners, and some of them urged ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) to give permission to some of these slaves to settle in Madeenah, so that they could make use of them in their work. So ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) reluctantly gave permission to some of them to settle in Madinah, and what he expected and had warned against came to pass. [AI-Khulafa’ ar-Rashidoon by al-Khalidi, p. 83]
The Murder of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)
The murder of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)
‘Amr ibn Maymoon said: “I was standing with no one between me and him but ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) on the day when he was struck. When he passed between the rows, he would say, “Make (your rows) straight,” and when they were straight, he would go forward and say takbeer, and he would recite Surah Yusuf or an-Nahl, or a similar Sirah in the first rak’ah, until all the people had gathered. No sooner had he said the takbeer, but I heard him say, “The dog has killed – or devoured me!” when he was stabbed. The foreigner (non-Arab infidel) tried to flee, wielding a two-edged knife, and he did not pass by anyone, right or left, but he stabbed him. He stabbed thirteen people, of whom seven died. When one of the Muslim men saw that, he threw a cloak over him and when the foreigner realized that he had been caught, he killed himself. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) took the hand of ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Awf (radhiyallahu anhu) and made him go forward to lead the people in prayer. Those who were immediately behind ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) saw what had happened; those who were in other parts of the mosque did not realize, but they missed ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)’s voice, and they were saying, “Subhan-Allah.” ‘Abdur-Rahman (radhiyallahu anhu) led them in a brief prayer, and when they finished, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “O Ibn ‘Abbas, see who killed me.” He went around for a while, then he came and said, “It was the slave of al-Mugheerah.” He asked, “The craftsman (referring to Abu Lu’lu’ah Fayruz)?” He said, ‘Yes.” He said, “May Allah curse him, I told his master to treat him well. Praise be to Allah Who has not caused my death to be at the hands of a man who claimed to be a Muslim. You and your father – meaning al-‘Abbas and his son, ‘Abdullah wanted to bring more infidel foreigners to Madeenah!” Al-‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) was the one who had the most slaves, and ‘Abdullah said, “If you wish (we will kill them).” ‘Umar said, ‘No, that is wrong, after they have learned your language and started to pray facing your qiblah, and performed Hajj as you do.”
‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was carried to his house, and we set off with him, and it was as if no calamity had ever struck the people before. Some nabeedh was brought to him and he drank it, but it came out from his stomach. Then some milk was brought to him and he drank it, but it came out through his wound. They realized that he was dying, so we entered his house and the people came and started praising him. He said: “O ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, see what debts I owe.” They worked it out, and the total came to eighty-six thousand or thereabouts, He said, “If the family of ‘Umar can afford it, pay it off from what you collect from them. Otherwise ask Banu ‘Adiyy ibn Ka’b, and if their wealth is not enough then ask Quraysh, but do not go to anyone else after them. Pay off this money on my behalf. And go to ‘Aishah, the Mother of the Believers, and say, “‘Umar sends you greetings of peace. Do not say Ameer al-Mu ‘mineen, for today I am no longer the leader of the believers. Say, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab is asking for permission to stay with his two companions.” ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar said salaam and asked permission, then he went to her and found her sitting weeping. He said, “Umar ibn al-Khattab sends you salaams and is asking for permission to be buried with his two companions.” She said, “I had wanted it for myself, but today I will give it up for him.” When he came back, it was said, “Abdullah ibn ‘Umar has come.” ‘Umar said, “Lift me up.” So a man helped him to sit up and he asked, “What news do you have?” He said, “That which you want to hear, O Ameer al-Mu’mineen. She has given permission.” He said, “Praise be to Allah, nothing was worrying me more than that. When I pass away, carry me there and say: “‘Umar ibn al-Khattab is asking permission to enter. When permission is given to me, carry me in, but if she says no, then take me to the graveyard of the Muslims.” When he died, we took him out and set off walking. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar said salaam and said, “Umar ibn al-Khattab is seeking permission to enter.” ‘Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) said, “Bring him in.” So he was brought in and placed there with his two companions. [Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il as-Sahabah, hadith no. 3700]
There are other reports which describe in detail the events that are not mentioned in the report of ‘Amr ibn Maymoon. Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was stabbed before dawn, by Abu Lu’lu’ah, the slave of al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah (radhiyallahu anhu), who was a Magian.”‘ [Saheeh at-Tawtheeq fee Seerah wa Hayat al-Farooq, p. 369]
Abu Rafi’ (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “Abu Lu’lu’ah was a slave of al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah, and he used to make grindstones. Al-Mugheerah used to deduct four dirhams from him every day. Abu Lu’lu’ah met ‘Umar and said, ‘O Ameer al-Mu ‘mineen, al-Mugheerah is taking too much from me; ask him to reduce it.’ ‘Umar said, ‘Fear Allah and be good to your master.’ ‘Umar intended to speak to al-Mugheerah and ask him to reduce it, but the slave got angry and said, ‘His justice extends to all of them except me.’ So he planned to kill him. He made a two-headed dagger, sharpened it and put poison on it, then he showed it to al-Hormuzan, and asked, ‘What do you think of this?’ He said, ‘I do not think you will strike anyone with it but you will kill him.’ Then Abu Lu’lu’ah waited for an opportunity to strike ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). He came to him at the time of Fajr prayer and stood behind ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). As was his habit, when the iqamah for prayer was given ‘Umar spoke to the people and told them to straighten their rows, then when he said the takbeer, Abu Lu’lu’ah stabbed him in the shoulder and then in his side, and ‘Umar fell down.” ‘Amr ibn Maymoon (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “When he was stabbed, I heard him say,
And the Command of Allah is a decree determined. [Qur’an 33:38]
The Final Moments of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)
Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) described the final moments in the life of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) when he said: “I entered to see ‘Umar when he had been stabbed, and said, ‘Receive the glad tidings of Paradise, O Ameer al- Mu ‘mineen, for you became Muslim when the people disbelieved, and you strove in jihad with the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) when the people let him down. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) died when he was pleased with you, no one disputed your appointment as caliph, and you have been killed as a martyr.’ ‘Umar said, ‘Say it again.’ So I repeated it to him, and he said, ‘By Allah, besides Whom there is no other god, if I had all the gold and silver in the world, I would pay it to avoid the terror of what comes after death.'” [Saheeh at-Tawtheeq fee Seerah wa Hayat al-Farooq, p. 383]
According to a report narrated by Bukhari, “As for what you have said about having been a Companion of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his having been pleased with me, that is a blessing that Allah has bestowed upon me. As for what you see of my worry, that is because I am worried about you and your companions. By Allah, if I had an earthful of gold, I would use it to ransom myself from the punishment of Allah before I saw it”. [Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il as-Sahabah, hadith no. 3692]
‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was profoundly afraid of the punishment of Allah even though the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had testified that he was bound for Paradise; despite that be made great efforts to establish the rule of Allah and justice, was a great ascetic, engaged in jihad and did other righteous deeds. This offers an important lesson to the Muslims in general, that they should remember the stern punishment of Allah and the terrors of the Day of Judgement. [At-Tareekh al-Islami, 19/33]
‘Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) tells of the last moments in the life of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), as he says: “I was the last of you to see ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). I entered to see him and his head was resting in the lap of his son ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar. He said to him: “Lay my cheek upon the ground.” He said, “Is there any difference between my thigh and the ground?” He said, “Lay my cheek on the ground, may you be bereft of your mother,” the second or third time. Then he crossed his legs and I heard him say, “Woe to me and woe to my mother if Allah does not forgive me,” then his soul departed? [Saheeh at-Tawtheeq fee Seerah wa Hayat al-Farooq, p. 383]
This is an example of ‘Umar’s characteristic fear of Allah, for his last words were words of woe against himself if Allah did not forgive him, even though he was one of the ten who had been given the glad tidings of Paradise. But the one who knows more of Allah fears Allah more. His insistence that his son lay his cheek on the ground was a kind of humbling himself in order to glorify Allah, because that would be more likely to bring a response to his dua’. This shows us how much his heart was focused on Allah. [At-Tareekh al-Islami, 19/44, 45]
The Date of his death and his age at death
Adh-Dhahabi said: “He was martyred on a Wednesday, the twenty-sixth or twenty-seventh of Dhu al-Hijjah 23 A.H., and he was sixty-three years old according to the correct view.” [At-Tahdheeb, no. 177]
His caliphate lasted a little more than ten and a half years. [Siyar as-Salaf by Abu al-Qasim al-Isfahani, 1/160]
In Tarikh Abi Zar’ah it is narrated that Jareer al-Bajali said: “I was with Mu’awiyah and he said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) died when he was sixty-three years old, and Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) died when he was sixty-three years old, and ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was killed when he was sixty-three years old” [Muslim, Fada’il as-Sahabah, hadith no. 2352]
Ghusl, funeral prayer and burial
It was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) that ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was washed and shrouded and the funeral prayer was offered for him, although he was a martyr. [At-Tabaqat, 3/366, its isnad is saheeh]
The scholars differed concerning one who is killed unjustly – is he like a martyr so he should not be washed, or not? There are two views:
1. That he should be washed. This report is evidence for those who are of this opinion. [Al-Insaf by al-Mardawi, 2/503]
2. That he should not be washed and the funeral prayer should not be offered for him. Their answer concerning the story of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) is that ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) lived for a while longer after he was struck. If a martyr lives after he has been struck, even a martyr who is struck in battle, and eats or drinks or lives for a long time or some time afterwards, then he is to be washed and the funeral prayer offered for him. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) lived for a while afterwards, drinking water and whatever the doctor gave him. Hence he was washed and the funeral prayer was offered for him. [Mahd as-Sawab, 3/845]
Who offered the funeral prayer for him?
Adh-Dhahabi said that Suhayb ibn Sinan ar-Rumi (radhiyallahu anhu) offered the prayer for him. [Mahd as-Sawab, 3/845]
Ibn Sa’d said: “‘Ali ibn al-Husayn asked Sa’eed ibn al- Musayyib, ‘Who offered the funeral prayer for ‘Umar?’ He said, ‘Suhayb.’ He said ‘How many takbeers did he say?’ He said, ‘Four.’ He asked, ‘Where was the prayer offered?’ He said, ‘Between the grave and the minbar.”‘ [At-Tabaqat, 3/366, its isnad includes Khalid ibn Ilyas, who is matrook]
Ibn al-Musayyib said: “The Muslims looked and saw that Suhayb was leading them in the obligatory prayers, on the instruction of ‘Umar, so they made him lead the funeral prayer for ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) . [At-Tabaqat, 3/367]
‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) did not appoint any of the six candidates for the caliphate to lead the prayer, lest that be seen as an endorsement of that man by ‘Umar. Suhayb was also held in high esteem by ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and the Sahabah, and ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) had said concerning him: “What a good man Suhayb is; even if he did not fear Allah, he still would not disobey Him.” [AI-Fatawa, 15/140]
The burial of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)
Adh-Dhahabi said: “He was buried in the room where the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was buried.” [Mahd as Sawab, 3/846]
Ibn al-Jawzi narrated that Jabir said: “Sa’eed ibn Zayd, Suhayb and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhum) went down into the grave of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).
It was narrated that Hisham ibn ‘Urwah said: ”When the graves of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhum) collapsed during the time of al-Waleed ibn ‘Abdul-Malik, they started to rebuild it, then a foot appeared and they got scared, thinking that it was the foot of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). They could not find anyone to confirm that, until ‘Urwah said to them, ‘No, by Allah, it is not the foot of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) rather it is the foot of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).’ [Bukhari, Kita’b al-I’tisam, hadith nos. 2671 and 6897]
We have mentioned above that ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) sent word to ‘Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) saying: “Give me permission to be buried with my two companions.” She said, “Yes by Allah.” Hisham ibn ‘Urwah ibn az-Zubayr said: “If any man from among the Sahabah sent word to her concerning that, she would say, “I will not give it up for anybody”. [Mahd as-Sawab, 3/848]
There is no dispute among the scholars; all are agreed that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhum) are buried in this place in the Prophet’s Mosque. [Ibid]
What ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said concerning ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them)
Ibn ‘Abbas said: “‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was placed on his bed and the people surrounded him, praying for him before he was lifted up, and I was among them. Suddenly I felt a man taking hold of my shoulder and it was ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. He prayed for mercy for ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), then he said, ‘There is no one that I would love to meet Allah with deeds like his more than you. By Allah, I always thought that you would join your two companions, for I remember that I often heard the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say, “Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and I went; Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and I entered; Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and I came out.'” [Bukhari, Kitab al-Manaqib, hadith no. 368]
The Effect of his Killing on the Muslims
This event had a great impact on the Muslims, for his death did not come after a lengthy illness. The impact was made greater by the fact that it happened in the mosque when ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was leading the people in Fajr prayer. If we understand the state that the Muslims were in after this happened, we will realize what an effect it had on them. ‘Amr ibn Maymoon said: “It was as if no calamity had ever befallen the people before that day. Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) went to find out what had happened after the killing of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) , and he did not pass by any group of people but they were weeping as if they had lost the dearest of their children.”
‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was a beacon of guidance, a criterion between truth and falsehood, so it was natural that the people should be affected by his loss. The people were clearly affected deeply. It was narrated that al-Ahnaf ibn Qays said: “When ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was stabbed, he ordered Suhayb to lead the people in prayer, and to feed them for three days until they agreed upon a man (to succeed him as caliph). When the food was served, the people refrained from eating. Al-‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) said, O people, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) died and we ate and drank after he was gone, and Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) died, and we ate. The people cannot do without eating and drinking.’ Then he stretched forth his hand (to take food) and the people ate.” [Mahd as-Sawab, 3/855]
When mention of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was made to ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with them both), he wept until the pebbles grew wet with his tears, then he said: “‘Umar was a fortress of Islam, the people would enter Islam and not leave. When he died, the fortress was breached, and now people are going out of Islam.” [At-Tabaqat al-Kubra, 3/284]
Before ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was killed, Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah (radhiyallahu anhu) used to say: “If ‘Umar dies, Islam will be weakened. I would not like to have all that the sun rises and sets over in return for surviving after ‘Umar is gone.” It was asked to him, “Why?” He said, “You will see what I am speaking about if you survive. If anyone comes after ‘Umar and tries to rule in the same style as ‘Umar, the people will not obey him or support him, and if he is weak, they will kill him.” [At-Tabaqat al-Kubra, 3/284]
Lessons learned from the killing of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)
Highlighting the hatred that is hidden in the kafirs’ hearts against the believers
This is indicated by the fact that the Magian Abu Lu’lu’ah killed ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). That is the nature of the kuffar in all times and in all places. Their hearts bear nothing but hatred, envy and resentment towards the Muslims, and they wish nothing but evil and doom for the believers. They would like nothing more than for the Muslims to apostatize from their religion and disbelieve after having become Muslims. Anyone who looks closely at the story of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)’s slaying and what this hate-filled Magian Abu Lu’lu’ah did, will learn two important things from it which reveal the hatred that this kafir held in his heart towards ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and the Muslims. These are:
1. It is proven in at-Tabaqat al-Kubra by Ibn Sa’d, with a saheeh isnad going back to az-Zuhri, that ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said to the Magian one day, “Have I not been told that you said, ‘If I wanted to I could make a grindstone that is driven by the wind’?” The Magian turned to him frowning and said, “I shall make for you a grindstone that the people will talk about.” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) turned to those who were with him and said, “This slave is threatening me.” [At-Tabaqat, 3/345, its isnad is saheeh]
2. The second thing which points to the hatred that filled the heart of this Magian is that when he stabbed ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), he also stabbed thirteen Sahabah, seven of whom died as martyrs. According to the report of Imam al-Bukhari: “The infidel foreigner flew with a two-edged knife and he did not pass by anyone on his right or his left but he stabbed him, until he stabbed thirteen men, of whom seven died.” [Bukhari, Kitab al-Manaqib as-Sahabah, hadith no. 3700].
Even if ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) had wronged him what had the other Sahabah done who were attacked by him? Allah forbid that ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) should have wronged him. It is narrated in the report of Bukhari that when ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was stabbed, he said: “O Ibn ‘Abbas, see who has killed me.” He went to find out, then he came back and said. “(It was) the slave of al-Mugheerah.” He asked, “The craftsman?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “May Allah curse him; I told his master to treat him well. Praise be to Allah Who has not caused my death to be at the hands of a man who claims to be a Muslim.” [Bukhari, Kitab al-Manaqib as-Sahabah, hadith no. 3700]
Those enemies of Islam who love this Magian Abu Lu’lu’ah have built a memorial shrine to him in Iran which is similar to the idea of the “Unknown Soldier”. As-Sayyid Husayn al-Musawi, one of the scholars of an-Najaf, says: “In the Iranian city of Kashan, in an area called Baghi Feen, there is a shrine like that of the ‘Unknown Soldier’ in which there is a fabricated grave for Abu Lu’lu’ah Fayrooz al-Farisi al-Majoosi, the murderer of the second caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khaeb. They call it the ‘resting place of Baba Shuja’ ad-Deen’. Baba Shuja’ ad-Deen is the name that they bestowed upon Abu Lu’lu’ah for his having killed ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab. On the walls of this shrine it is written in Farsi, ‘Marg bar Abu Bakr, marg bar ‘Umar, marg bar ‘Uthman,’ which means ‘Death to Abu Bakr, death to ‘Umar, death to ‘Uthman’. The shrine is visited by the Iranian Shi’ah, and money and donations are given to it. I have seen this shrine myself. The Iranian Ministry of Guidance has started to expand and renovate it, and they have printed pictures of the shrine on cards to be used for sending greetings and messages.” [Lillahi thumma li’l-Tareekh, Kashf al-Asrar wa Tabri’at al-A’immah al- Athar, p. 94]
Was ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) assassinated merely for a verdict passed on Abu Lu’lu’s Complaint??
Hadhrat ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) himself, as well as a few of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) believed that the assassination of Hadhrat ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was not merely a result of a verdict that has been passed by Hadhrat ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) regarding the slave, Abu Lulu’ah Al-Majusi, but was rather the result of a well planned Persian plot to assassinate their most hated conqueror (i.e. Hadhrat Umar radhiyallahu anhu) with Harmuzan, a Persian leader, who had only “accepted” Islam after being caught, being at the center of the plot.
Under the guidance of the Commander of the Faithful ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), the Muslim armies defeated Rome and blitzed across Persia, dealing both empires a crushing blow. The Persians, with their haughty attitude of superiority, were sourly humiliated. The Muslims took the Persians as POWs (Prisoners of War).
The defeated Persian governor and former military commander, Harmuzan, was brought before Caliph ‘Umar. Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said to the defeated Persian:
“Harmuzan, we Arabs are the desert-dwellers you considered too lowly for even fighting with. We used to get licked by small columns of your troops. Now you see your King’s throne and crown lying at our feet while he is running about places to save his life. How did that happen?”
“Sir, then it used to be a war between the Persians and the Arabs. Now you have your God with you.”
In another narration, Harmuzan declared that before it was merely the Arab forces against the Persian forces, and the Persian forces were stronger. But now, it was the Arab forces and Allah, and it was impossible to defeat both at the same time. It was thus that Harmuzan and his Persian confederates realized that the power of the Republic of Madeenah lay in its religious beliefs. To destroy the religious beliefs of the Muslims would be to destroy the Muslims.
Harmuzan was to be executed for war crimes by Caliph ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), but he saved his life through an ingenious trick. He asked for water to drink, and requested Caliph Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) for a reprieve for his life until he could finish his drink of water. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) granted him this request, and upon this, Harmuzan spilled the water on the ground. Because he was unable to drink the water, therefore technically his royal reprieve would never lapse. Caliph ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) upheld his word, and thereby pardoned Harmuzan.
Harmuzan “converted” to Islam and moved to Madinah, whereupon he planned the Persian revenge on the Arab Muslims. Harmuzan blamed the Commander of the Faithful ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) for the downfall of the Persian Empire, and it was thus that Harmuzan hatched the plan to assassinate the Caliph.
In Madinah, Harmuzan became close companions with a staunch Christian named Jafeena Al-Khalil. Jafeena was a political pawn of the Roman ruler and had served as an official in Damascus, Palestine and Heerah; the defeat of Rome by the Muslims left its mark on Jafeena who, like Harmuzan, swore revenge.
The third partner was a Jew by the name of Saba’ bin Shamoon (whose son would be Abdullah Ibn Saba, the notorious founder of the Shia movement). Saba despised the Muslims who had expelled the Jews on charges of conspiracy. All three of these individuals– Harmuzan (the Zoroastrian), Jafeena (the Christian), and Saba (the Jew) – belonged to peoples who had grievances against the rise of Muslim dominance.
They hired Fayruz Abu Lulu’ah, a Persian, who had recently been captured by the Muslims as a POW; he was a slave under Hadhrat Mugheera bin Shu’ba (radhiyallahu anhu). Abu Lulu’ah stabbed Caliph ‘Umar bin Khattab to death.
A day before ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) had been assassinated, Abdur Rahman-–Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu)’s son-–had seen Abu Lulu standing with Harmuzan and Jafeena. The three men were whispering to one another. As Abdur Rehman passed by, the three got startled and a double edged dagger fell to the ground. Abdur Rahman would later confirm that this was the same dagger that killed ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) . The murder of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was thus instigated by a coalition of a Roman Christian, a Jew, and a Persian Zoroastrian. It should be noted that the Prophet had prophesied that the Christians, Jews, and pagans would always be united against the Muslims.
Today, the modern day Shia venerate Abu Lulu’ah, and they call him “Baba Shuja-e-din” which can be translated as “Honored Defender of Religion.” These Shia have a shrine erected for this murderer, located in the Iranian city of Kashan called the Abu Lulu Mausoleum wherein he is buried. The Shia travel from far distances to pray inside this shrine, and many of the Shia fast on the day that Umar was killed, and even pass out sweets. Feroz Abu Lulu is one of the venerated founding figures of Shia ideology; the same people who conspired to kill ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) were the ones who planted the seeds of the Shia movement.