'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (May Allah be pleased with him) was born 13 years after the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him. He was from the nobles of the tribe of the Quraish and before the advent of Islam, he held the position of mediator for the tribe in the event of war.
HOW HE EMBRACED ISLAM
Sa'eed ibn Al-Musayyab said: "'Umar embraced Islam after only 40 men and 10 women (had entered the fold of Islam). And when he entered the ranks of the Muslims, the religion of Islam was strengthened in the city of Mecca.
Before 'Umar embraced Islam the Prophet peace be upon him supplicated Allah saying: "O Allah! Strengthen Islam with whomever is more beloved to you from these two men: 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab or 'Umar ibn Hisham (Abu Jehl)." And 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab embraced Islam in the year 6.H.
THE MIGRATION OF 'UMAR IBA AL-KHATTAAB (May Allah be pleased with him) FROM MECCA TO MEDINA
Abd-Allah ibn Abbas said that Alee ibn Abee Taalib said: "I don't know of anyone who didn't migrate secretly except 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab. When he was ready to migrate (from Mecca to Medina) he put on his sword, and he slung his bow over his shoulder keeping one of his arrows in his hand, and he put his staff in his waist belt. Then he made his way towards the Ka'bah while some of the Quraish were sitting nearby. Then 'Umar began bravely making tawaaf around the Ka'bah seven times. After finishing tawaaf, he courageously made prayer at the station of Ibraheem. Then he stood at their place of gathering and said: "Your faces have become ugly (to me) may Allah rub your noses in dirt. Whoever wants to cause grief for his mother and leave his children orphaned and leave his wife a widow then let him meet me (follow me) outside of this valley (the city of Mecca)." Alee ibn Abee Taalib then said: "No one followed him except a group of the very weak who he recognized as such so he continued on to his destination."
Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (May Allah be pleased with him) fought in the Battle of Badr as well as other battles
Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (May Allah be pleased with him) fought in the Battle of Badr with the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him as well as the Battle of Uhud, the Battle of The Ditch, the Battle of Khaibar, the Conquest of Mecca, the Battle of Hunain, as well as other battles and he was the most vehement of the people against disbelief. The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him wanted to send 'Umar to the people of Mecca on the Day of Hudaybiyyah but he said: "O Messenger of Allah! The Quraish know the extent of my enmity towards them so if they catch me they will surely kill me!" So he (the Messenger of Allah r) sent 'Uthmaan instead.
UMAR (May Allah be pleased with him) WAS VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE RELIGION OF ISLAAM
Ibn Mas'ood said: "If the knowledge of 'Umar was put on one side of a scale, and the knowledge of the people on the other side of the scale 'Umar's knowledge would weigh more. When I (ibn Mas'ood) mentioned this to Ibraheem he said: "By Allah it is true. And Abd-Allah made a statement even better than that, he said: 'When 'Umar died, nine tenths of knowledge went (with him).'"
In an hadith narrated upon the authority of ibn 'Umar who said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him saying:
'While I was sleeping I dreamt that I was given a cup of milk so I drank from it to my fill until I noticed its wetness coming out of my nails, and then I gave the rest of it to 'Umar.' They (the people) said: "O Messenger of Allah! What is the interpretation of the dream?" He peace be upon him replied: "(It is Religious) Knowledge."
In another hadith narrated upon the authority of Qabisah ibn Jaabir who said: "By Allah! I haven't seen anyone more kind to those under his care and authority than Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq. And I haven't seen anyone more knowledgeable about the book of Allah and His religion, nor anyone more upholding of the limits imposed by Allah, nor anyone more feared and respected in the breasts of men than 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab. And I haven't seen anyone more shy than 'Uthmaan ibn 'Affaan."
THE PIETY AND HUMILITY OF UMAR IBN AL-KHATTAAB (May Allah be pleased with him)
Talha ibn 'Ubaid-Allah said: "'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab was not the first of us to accept Islam nor was he the first of us to migrate (from Mecca to Medina) but he was the most pious of us and the one who desired the hereafter the most from amongst us."
THE VIRTURS OF UMAR IBN AL-KHATTAB(May Allah be pleased with him)
In a hadith narrated upon the authority of Ayyoob ibn Musa who said that the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said: "Verily Allah has put the truth upon the tongue of 'Umar and upon his heart, and he is Al-Faarooq (The One Who Distinguishes Truth From Falsehood): Allah separates the truth from falsehood with him."
And in another authentic hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) who said: "We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him when he said:
"While I was sleeping, I saw myself in paradise. Suddenly I saw a woman performing ablution beside a palace. I asked: 'For whom is this palace?' They (the angels) replied: 'It is for 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab.' Then I remembered 'Umar's ghira and went back hurriedly." On hearing that 'Umar started weeping and said: "Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you. O Messenger of Allah! How dare I think of my ghira being offended by you?"
And in another authentic hadith narrated upon the authority of Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudree (May Allah be pleased with him) who said that the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said:
"While I was sleeping, some people were displayed before me (in a dream). They were wearing shirts, some of which were merely covering their breasts, and some a bit longer. Then there passed before me 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab wearing a shirt that was dragging (on the ground behind him)." They (the people) asked: "O Messenger of Allah! What have you interpreted (about the dream)?" He peace be upon him replied: "The religion."
And in another hadith narrated upon the authority of Abd-Allah ibn 'Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) who said:
"I heard the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him saying: "While I was sleeping, I was given a bowl full of milk (in a dream), and I drank of it to my fill until I noticed its wetness coming out of my nails, and then I gave the rest of it to 'Umar." They (the people) asked: "O Messenger of Allah! What have you interpreted (about the dream)?" He peace be upon him replied: "(It is religious) knowledge."
THE ASSASSINATION OF 'UMAR IBN AL-KHATTAAB
'Amr ibn Maymoon said: "I saw 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab in the city of Medina a few days before he was attacked." He (the narrator of the hadith) said: "I was standing next to 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab with only Abd-Allah ibn 'Abbas between us the morning of his assassination. (Before the prayer) he ('Umar ibn Al-Khattaab) walked between the prayer rows saying: 'Straighten the rows.' After the rows were straightened he then moved to the front (of the masjid and began the prayer by saying:) Allah-u-Akbar. In the first rak'ah of prayer he recited Sura Yusef or Sura An-Nahl or something similar (to those two Suras in length) so that the people may have time to join the prayer. When he was about to say Allah-u-Akbar (again, in order to move into the position of ruku'), I heard him saying: 'He has killed me!' or 'A dog has betrayed me!" The assassin then attempted to flee, stabbing everyone he passed by- on his right or his left- with a double bladed knife until he had stabbed 13 men, seven of whom died. One of the Musli men who witnessed (the attack) threw a hooded cloak over the assassin who then killed himself thinking that he had been captured. 'Umar took the hand of Abd-Ar-Rahmaan ibn 'Awf and moved him forward (in order that he might lead the remainder of the prayer). Whoever (had been praying in the front rows) behind 'Umar saw what I (the narrator of the hadith) saw, but those in the back of the masjid were unaware of what happened except that they did not hear 'Umar's voice and they (the people) were saying: 'Glory be to Allah, Glory be to Allah.' So (after that) Abd-Ar-Rahmaan led the people in a short prayer.
When the people departed he ('Umar ibn Al-Khattaab) said: "O Ibn 'Abbas! Find out who has attacked me." After an hour had passed he (Ibn 'Abbas) returned to the masjid and said: "It was the slave of Al-Mughira ibn Shu'bah (who attacked you)." He ("Umar ibn Al-Khattaab) inquired: "The craftsman?" He (Ibn 'Abbas) replied: "Yes." He ('Umar ibn Al-Khattaab) said: "May Allah curse him! I did not treat him unjustly. All praise is for Allah Who has not caused me to die at the hand of someone who claimed to be a Muslim. You and your father ('Abbas) love to have many (non-Muslim and non-Arab) slaves in the city of Medina and Al-'Abbas had the greatest number of slaves. Ibn 'Abbas said to 'Umar: "If you wish we will do (it)!" He meant: "If you wish we will kill them!" 'Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) replied: "You are mistaken (for you cannot kill them) after they have spoken your language, prayed towards your Qibla, and performed Hajj the way you (perform Hajj)."
Then 'Umar was carried to his house and we went along with him. The people were as if they had never suffered a calamity before. Some of them said: "Do not worry (he will be alright soon)." And some said: "We are afraid (that he will die)." Then a drink made from dates was brought to him and he drank it but it came out (of the wound in) his abdomen. Next, milk was brought to him and he drank it but it also came out (of the wound in) his abdomen so they (the people) knew that he would die.
We went to him, and the people came praising him. A young man came saying: "O chief of the believers! Receive the good tidings of Allah to you due to your companionship with the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him and your superiority in Islam which you know. Then you became the ruler (i.e. Caliph) and you ruled with justice and finally you have been martyred." 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (May Allah be pleased with him) replied: "I wish that all of these privileges will counterbalance (my shortcomings) so that I will neither lose nor gain anything."
When the young man turned back to leave, his clothes seemed to be touching the ground. 'Umar said: "Call the young man back to me." (When he came back) 'Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) sad: "O son of my brother! Lift (shorten) your clothes for this will keep your clothes clean and save you from the Punishment of your Lord." 'Umar further said: "O Abd-Allah ibn 'Umar! See how much I am in debt to others." When the debt was checked, it amounted to approximately eighty six thousand. 'Umar said: "If the property of 'Umar's family covers the debt then pay the debt thereof; otherwise request it from Banee 'Adee ibn Ka'b, and if that too is not sufficient then ask for it from the tribe of Quraish and do not ask for it from anyone else, and pay this debt on my behalf."
'Umar then said (to Abd-Allah): "Go to 'Aisha (the Mother of the Believers) and say: ' 'Umar sends his salutation to you. But do not say 'The Chief of the Believers' because today I am not the Chief of the Believers. And say: ' 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab asks the permission to be buried with his two companions (i.e. the Prophet r and Abu Bakr).'"
Abd-Allah (went to) 'Aisha, greeted her, asked permission to enter, and then entered only to find her sitting and weeping. He said to her: "'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab sends his salutations to you and asks permission to be buried with his two companions." She said: "I had the idea of having this place for myself, but today I prefer 'Umar to myself."
When he returned, it was said (to 'Umar): "Abd-Allah ibn 'Umar has come." 'Umar said: "Make me sit up." Somebody supported him against his body and 'Umar asked (Abd-Allah): "What news do you have?" He said: "O Chief of the Believers! It is as you wish. She has given the permission." 'Umar said: "Praise be to Allah, there was nothing more important to me than this. So when I die, take me and greet 'Aisha and say: ' 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab asks the permission (to be buried with the Prophet r).' And if she gives the permission, bury me there, and if she refuses, then take me to the graveyard of the Muslims."
Then Hafsa (the Mother of the Believers) came with many other women walking with her. When we saw her, we went away. She went in (to 'Umar) and wept there for some time. When the men asked permission to enter, she went in to another place, and we heard her weeping inside. The people said (to 'Umar): "O Chief of the Believers! Appoint a successor." 'Umar said: "I do not find anyone more suitable for the job than the following persons of group whom the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him had been pleased with before he died." Then 'Umar mentioned 'Ali, 'Uthmaan, Az-Zubair, Talha, Sa'd and Abd-Ar-Rahmaan (ibn 'Awf) and then he said: "Abd-Allah ibn 'Umar will be witness to you, but he will have no share in the rule. His being a witness will compensate him for not sharing the right of ruling. If Sa'd becomes the ruler it will be alright: otherwise, whoever becomes the ruler should seek his help, as I have not dismissed him because of disability or dishonesty." 'Umar added: "I recommend that my successor takes care of the early emigrants; to know their rights and protect their honor and sacred things. I also recommend that he is kind to the Ansar who lived in Medina before the emigrants and Belief had entered their hearts before them. I recommend that the (ruler) should accept the good of the righteous among them and excuse their wrong doers, and I recommend that he should do good to all the people of the towns (Al-Ansar), as they are the protectors of Islam and the source of wealth and the source of annoyance to the enemy. I also recommend that nothing be taken from them except their surplus with their consent. I also recommend that he do good to the Arab bedouin, as they are the origin of the Arabs and the material of Islam. He should take from what is inferior amongst their properties and distribute that to the poor amongst them. I also recommend him concerning Allah's and the Messenger of Allah's protectees (i.e. Dhimmies) to fulfill their contracts and to fight for them and not to overburden them with what is beyond their ability."
So when 'Umar died, we carried him out and set out walking. Abd-Allah ibn 'Umar greeted ('Aisha) and said: "'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab asks for the permission." Aisha said: "Bring him in." He was brought in and buried beside his two companions.
When he was buried, the group (recommended by 'Umar) held a meeting. Then Abd-Ar-Rahmaan said: "Reduce the candidates for rulership to three of you." Az-Zubair said: "I give up my right to 'Ali." Talha said: "I give up my right to 'Uthmaan." Sa'd said: "I give up my right to Abd-Ar-Rahmaan ibn 'Awf." Abd-Ar-Rahmaan then said (to 'Uthmaan and 'Ali): "Now which one of you is willing to give up his right of candidacy so that he may choose the better of the (remaining) two, bearing in mind that Allah and Islam will be his witnesses." Both of the sheiks (i.e. Uthmaan and 'Ali) kept silent. Abd-Ar-Rahmaan said: "Will you both leave this matter to me, and I take Allah as my Witness that I will not choose but the better of you?" They said: "Yes."
So Abd-Ar-Rahmaan took the hand of one of them (i.e. 'Ali) and said: "You are related to the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him and one of the earliest Muslims as you know well. So I ask you by Allah to promise that if I select you as ruler you will do justice, and if I select 'Uthmaan as ruler, you will listen to him and obey him." Then he took the other (i.e. 'Uthmaan) aside and said the same to him. When Abd-Ar-Rahmaan secured (their agreement to) this covenant he said: "O 'Uthmaan! Raise your hand." And then he (Abd-Ar-Rahmaan) gave him ('Uthmaan) the solemn pledge, and then 'Ali gave him the pledge of allegiance and then all of the (Medina) people gave him the pledge of allegiance."
And upon the authority of Ibn Abee Maleekah who said that he heard Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) say: "When the dead body of 'Umar was put on his deathbed, the people gathered around him and invoked (Allah) and prayed for him before the body was taken away, and I was amongst them. Suddenly I felt somebody take hold of my shoulder and found out it was 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib. 'Ali invoked Allah's Mercy for 'Umar and said, 'O 'Umar! You have not left behind you a person whose deeds I like to imitate and meet Allah with more than I like your deeds. By Allah! I always thought that Allah would keep you with your two companions, for very often I used to I used to hear the Prophet peace be upon him saying: 'I, Abu Bakr and 'Umar went (somewhere); I. Abu Bakr and 'Umar entered (somewhere); and I, Abu Bakr and 'Umar went out.'"