Friday, August 31, 2007

Captives of Badr

About the fate of the captives of Badr, Abu Bakr and Umar held contrary views. Abu Bakr took the lenient view, while Umar took the sterner view.

After taking into consideration both the views, the Holy Prophet said: "Almighty God softens the hearts of some people-softer than milk. And He hardens the hearts of some people-harder than stone."

Turning to Abu Bakr who had counselled a lenient view, the Holy Prophet said: "Abu Bakr you are like Abraham who said, 'He who follows me is one of us, and he who disobeys me, then O God, You are gracious enough to forgive'. And Abu Bakr you are also like Jesus who said, 'If you punish them they are Your servants, and if You forgive them, You are All Powerful, Mighty and Wise."

Turning to Umar, the Holy Prophet said: Umar, you are like Noah who said, 'O God, do not leave on the earth a single unbeliever.' And Umar you are also like Moses who said, 'O God destroy their properties and harden their hearts so that they are not converted till they have suffered punishment."

The Holy Prophet accepted the advice of Abu Bakr and acted accordingly.

The following day, Umar visited the Holy Prophet, and saw that both the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr were weeping.

Umar addressing the Holy Prophet said: "What is it that makes you weep. Tell me, so that if there is any matter to be grieved over, I may also weep with you."

The Holy Prophet said: "Umar, there is nothing for you to be grieved over. On the other hand you should rejoice that God has upheld the view that you had taken about the captives of Badr, and admonished those who had taken a contrary view."

Umar's curiosity was awakened and he wanted know what exactly was the revelation. The Holy Prophet recited the verses that had been revealed:

"It is not fitting for an Apostle
That he should have prisoners of war,
Until he has thoroughly subdued the land.
Ye look on the temporal goods of this world,
But God looks to the Hereafter,
And God is Exalted, Mighty, and Wise." (8:67)

Source: Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab

Monday, August 27, 2007


Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab:

People were (sometimes) judged by the revealing of a Divine Inspiration during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle but now there is no longer any more (new revelation). Now we judge you by the deeds you practice publicly, so we will trust and favor the one who does good deeds in front of us, and we will not call him to account about what he is really doing in secret, for Allah will judge him for that; but we will not trust or believe the one who presents to us with an evil deed even if he claims that his intentions were good.

Taken from: Witnesses
Source: Volume 3, Book 48, Number 809 : Sahih Bukhari

Sunday, August 19, 2007


According to Thabit ibn Hajjaj, Umar ibn Khattab once said, "Weigh your actions before they are weighed, and reckon with yourself before you are reckoned with, for today's reckoning will be easier than tomorrow's. And prepare yourself for the great appearance (of the Judgement Day)".

Source: Hilyat Al-Auliya, Pg 48, An Islamic treasury of virtues by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

'Umar b. al-Khattab’s Words on Salah

`Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) became unconscious after he was stabbed, and according to Al Miswar bin Makhramah, it was said: “Nothing would wake him up except the call to prayer, if he is still alive.”

They said to him, “The prayer has finished, O Chief of the Faithful!”

He woke up and said, “The prayer, by Allah! Verily, there is no share in Islam for whoever abandons the prayer.”
He performed the prayer while his wound was bleeding.

Source: Sifat as Safwah 2/131

Taken from: ‘Umar b. al-Khattab’s Words on Salah

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Being methodical

During the caliphate of Umar, Abu Hurayrah brought 800,000 dirhams from Abu Musa Ashari to Madinah. After the morning prayer, Umar informed the Muslims about this new intake of revenue. In all Islamic history, we have not, till now, received such a sum of money. In my opinion, it should be divided into equal portions and distributed among the people."

when he asked the gathering what they thought, Uthman offered his opinion. "In order to give to everyone, a considerable amount of money will be needed. If people are not counted, it will be impossible to tell who has received it, and who hasn't. This will result in confusion". Hearing this, Walid ibn Hisham said, "Commander of the Faithful, when I was in Syria, I saw that the rulers there had compiled registers for this purpose, and had appointed people to maintain them. You might like to do likewise."

Umar accepted this advice and delegated the task of compiling registers to Aqil ibn Abu Talib, Makhramah ibn Nawfal and Jubayr ibn Mutim.

Source: Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, Pg 218, An Islamic treasury of virtues by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Monday, August 06, 2007

Making the Qur'an ones greatest preoccupation

Whenever officials were to be despatched on missions, Umar would make them promise not to ride on Turkish horses, eat fine flour or wear silken clothes, and not to close their doors to the needy. He warned them that if they fell into any of these errors, they would be punished. Then, having extracted this promise from them, he would send them off. If Umar had to relieve some official of his duties, he would say to them:
"I did not appoint you to lord over the Muslims so that you could indulge in carnage and despoil them of their honour and their property. I appointed you to establish prayer, to distribute the spoils of war and to make just decisions concerning them"

[Al Bayhaqi, Al-Sunan Al Kubra]

Abu Hasin relates how Umar used to tell newly appointed officials to make the Qur'an their greates preoccupation and to place less emphasis on relating the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad: "And I am with you," he would add.
[Al Tabarani]

Source: Pg 254, An Islamic treasury of virtues by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan