Thursday, November 23, 2006

Umar's address after Jerusalem

After receiving the surrender of Jerusalem and completing the tour of Syria when Caliph Umar was returning to Madina he led the prayer at Jabiah. On this occasion he delivered an address which is preserved in history. The major part of his address was:

"O ye people I counsel you to read the Qur’an. Try to understand it and ponder over it. Imbibe the teachings of the Qur’an. Then practise what the Quran teaches. The Qur’an is not theoretical; it is a practical code of life. The Qur’an does not bring you the message of the Hereafter only; it is primarily intended to guide you in this life. Mold your life in accordance with the teachings of Islam for that is the way of your well being. By following any other way you will be inviting destruction.
"Fear Allah (The One True God), and whatever you want seek from Him. All men are equal. Do not flatter those in authority. Do not seek favors from others. By such acts you demean yourself. And remember that you will get only that is ordained for you, and no one can give you anything against the will of God. Then why seek things from others over which they have no control? Only supplicate God for He alone is the sovereign.

"And speak the truth. Do not hesitate to say what you consider to be the truth. Say what you feel. Let your conscience be your guide. Let your intentions be good, for verily God is aware of your intentions. In your deeds your intentions count. Fear God, and fear no one else. Why fear others when you know that whatever sustenance ordained for you by God you will get under all circumstances? And again why fear when you know that death is ordained by God alone and will come only when He wills?

"Allah has for the time being made me your ruler. But I am one of you. No special privileges belong to ruler. I have some responsibilities to discharge, and in this I seek your cooperation. Government is a sacred trust, and it is my endeavor not to betray the trust in any way. For the fulfillment of the trust I have to be a watch-man. I have to be strict. I have to enforce discipline. I have to run the administration not on the basis of personal idiosyncracies; I have to run it in public interest and for promoting the public good. For this we have the guidance in the Book of God. Whatever orders I issue in the course of day to day administration have to conform to the Qur’an. God has favored us with Islam. He sent to us His Messenger (Muhammad, pbuh). He has chosen us for a mission. Let us fulfil that mission. That mission is the promotion of Islam. In Islam lies our safety; if we err we are doomed."

Source: E-book on Islamic Civilisation

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Umar's Inaugural Address

After the assumption of office as the Caliph, Umar addressed the Muslims who had assembled in the Prophet's mosque. In the course of the address, Umar said:

"O ye faithful! Abu Bakr is no more amongst us. After having led us for about two years, he has returned to His Maker. He has the satisfaction that he has successfully piloted the ship of the Muslim state to safety after negotiating the stormy sea. He successfully waged the apostasy wars, and thanks to him, Islam is now supreme in Arabia. Islam is now on the move and we are carrying Jihad in the name of Allah against the mighty empires of Byzantine and Persia.

After Abu Bakr, the mantle of Khilafat has fallen on my shoulders. I swear it before God that I never coveted this office. I wished that it would have devolved on some other person more worthy than me. But now that in national interest, the responsibility for leading the Muslims has come to vest in me, I assure you that I will not run away from my post, and will make an earnest effort to discharge the onerous duties of the office to the best of my capacity in accordance with the injunctions of Islam.

In the performance of my duties, I will seek guidance from the Holy Book, and will follow the examples set by the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr. In this task I seek your assistance. If I follow the right path, follow me. If I deviate from the right path, correct me so that we are not led astray.

Now brothers I offer a few prayers and you say Amen to them.

O Allah I am hard, make me soft to promote the Truth, to comply with your injunctions and to aspire to a better life in the world hereafter.

O Allah make me hard for the enemies of Islam and for those who create mischief so that their desigus against Allah come to naught.

O Allah I am miser; make me generous in the promotion of the good.

O Allah save me from hypocrisy. Strengthen my resolves so that whatever I do, I do for the sake of winning Your approbation.

O Allah soften my heart for the faithful so that I attend to their needs with a sense of dedication.

O Allah, I am careless, make me responsible enough so that I do not lose sight of You.

O Allah I am weak in offering my obedience to You; make me active and fortify my faith.

O Allah bestow on me faith, and the power to do good.

O Allah give me the power of self-criticism and self assessment.

O Allah bestow on me the insight into the meaning of the Quran and the strength to act in accordance with what the Quran says.

O Allah You are capable of doing anything: bless us with Your favor. Amen."

Source: Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab