SHAHADAT HADHRAT UMAR (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
We did not go into details in this book about the history of Islam, or the tribulations that struck the Islamic nation during 632-80 as these can be read in many related Ahle Sunnah books. We have discussed briefly certain events of great significance during this period. Correct comprehension of these issues is very important because a slight misunderstanding will have profound affect on Sahih Iman. It is important that we safeguard our Iman from the extreme opinions of Shias, Salafis, Ikhwan, Deobandis and their like minded groups.We have refrained from expressing our personal opinions throughout this book. We have described facts as contained in authentic History books/Islamic literature. Ahadith, Quranic verses and scholars' opinions have been cited all through the book. Please note that this book is aimed at clearing the misunderstanding on historical issues. We hope our readers will benefit from this effort.
Hadhrat Umar's (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) caliphate lasted for 10 years during 634-44. Under him, the caliphate expanded at an unprecedented rate. The Sasanian (Persian) empire came under Muslim rule. In addition, more than two-thirds of the Byzantine Empire also came under Muslim rule. Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) carried out massive reforms in Islamic Caliphate.
Hadhrat Umar's (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) Caliphate is known for Justice and discipline in the nation. No one can be spared from justice and the voice of the poor was supreme. The rich, powerful and formidable were kept under watch so that justice and peace could prevail throughout the caliphate. Hadhrat Umar's (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) instructions to the Governors/Officials/Military generals were as follows.
"Remember, I have not appointed you as commanders and tyrants over the people. I have sent you as leaders instead, so that the people may follow your example. Give the Muslims their rights and do not beat them lest they become abused. Do not praise them unduly, lest they fall into the error of conceit. Do not keep your doors shut on their faces, lest the more powerful of them eat up the weaker ones. And do not behave as if you were superior to them, for that is tyranny over them."
Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was a staunch believer, and the rightly guided Caliph. In 638, after the conquest of Syria, he called Hadhrat Khaled bin Walid (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) to Madina. His intention behind this decision could have been to rest him for sometime and later use him in central administration. Also people had started admiring Hadhrat Khaled (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) for his successes at the battle field to an extent that it was becoming like a Hero worship. That was needed to be corrected. Whatever may be intention of Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه), it was a surprise decision for Khaled bin Walid (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). He was a born fighter and wanted to be martyred in the battle field serving Islam. But bravo Hadhrat Khaled (رضئ الله تعالى عنه); he did not raise an eyebrow on this decision and accepted it in all humility, because he knew that his intelligence, bravery and successes were a reward of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and Sadaqa of Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). People like Hadhrat Khaled (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) are the role models in Muslim Ummah. They had no personal desires. If Muawiya (رضئ الله تعالى عنه), Amr bin Al-Aas (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) and others had followed the example of Khaled bin Walid (رضئ الله تعالى عنه), the history of Islam would have been different altogether.
Shahadat of Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه)
As we have described above, Umar's (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) style of functioning was not liked by certain people in the Islamic Caliphate because they wanted to rule like Kings. They conspired to get rid of him in order to acquire the leadership of the nation.
There were secret plans and a unified action by the conspirators. In October 644, when Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) went for Hajj, the hired people of the conspirators were seen telling the people that this was the last Hajj of Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) as he will be assassinated soon. Jubair Ibn Mutim who was the companion of Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) during the Hajj, witnessed a man standing atop a hillock shouting "this is the last Hajj of Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) and he will never come here again". After shouting for a few minutes, he disappeared in the crowd. He could not be identified as everyone wore the same cloths during Hajj. During the 'Rami of Jamaraat' (the ritual of stoning of the devil) someone from the crowd threw a stone at Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) which struck his head and he was wounded. A voice was heard that Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) will not attend the Hajj ever again.
The above incidents show the widespread conspiracy against the Caliph. They wanted to create an atmosphere of fear in the administration.
Who were the conspirators and how did they carry out the assassination?
Some people site the following facts
There is a strong evidence that the ends of the net of the conspiracy were fastened far and wide in the Caliphate. All the players were very much active behind the curtain and a person named Piruz Nahavandi or Abu Lulu (أبو لؤلؤة) was used to carry out the assassination.
Piruz Nahavandi was the slave of Mughira Ibn Shubha (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) who was staying in Madina after he his removal as the Governor of Basra.
What was the reason for the removal of Mughira (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) from the Governorship?
Mughira Ibn Shubah (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) married over 80 women one after the other. In spite of so many women in his life, it is reported that he was caught by his neighbor, bare and in a compromising position, with an attractive widow named Umm Jamil. Everyone in Basra knew that Umm Jamil visited him often in the Governors house. The act was also witnessed by a few other people. The matter was brought to the notice of Caliph Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). Mughira (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was summoned to Madina for a fair trial. During the trial he pleaded not guilty. The trial court was surprised when one of the four eye witnesses who was part of the original complaint and had arrived from Basra to give witness, backed out. No one knew why did he back out. The remaining three were cross examined and the Judge acquitted Mughira (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) on account of insufficient testimony. After the trial, Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) did not reinstate Mughira (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) as the Governor was acquitted from the charges on technical grounds.
The conspirators of Hadhrat Umar's (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) assassination spread the story that Piruz Nahavandi had personal grudge against Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه).
Why, what was the reason for his grudge against Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه)?
The story spread was, Piruz complained to Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) saying Mughira (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was overburdening him by a heavy tax. Mughira (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was asked to provide details about his dealings with his slave. The complaint was disposed off in favor of Mughira (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) as it was found that Piruz complaint was not based on facts.
It is hard to believe that a slave of a Governor will dare to complain to the Caliph against his Master. Secondly, can this be a reason for the slave to go and kill the Caliph? No. If his voice was not heard in the province, and even in the central Government, then it is most likely and logical that he would go and kill his master rather than kill the Head of the State in Federal Capital.
Also for over an year, Caliph Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was continuously been threatened for his impending assassination at different places in the Caliphate. When so many people were talking about the assassination, then how can it be treated as the work of a single person who would kill the Caliph for the atrocities committed by his master?
The fact is that Piruz was the slave of Mughira (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) and slaves generally do not enjoy free will. They have to listen to the orders of their masters. In addition, they are kept under close watch by their masters. Piruz planned the assassination so meticulously in the company of so many people and his master, who happened to be a Governor of a province, was not aware of it; is indeed a strange phenomenon.
Also the fact that Mughira (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was reinstated as Governor during Muawiya's (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) rule; all these facts makes the issue of assassination of Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) very complicated.Piruz was to play the part of a suicide killer and he knew that he had to kill himself, rather than be caught alive. If he was caught alive, the entire conspiracy would have become public and the kingpins would have been exposed. Therefore, he acted as per the plan. After he fatally attacked Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) during the Fajr prayer, he tried to escape from Masjid-e-Nabawi in the cover of dawn. However, he was intercepted by the people praying behind Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) with their bare hands. In order to escape from the mosque, he stabbed and killed 9 more people and many others were wounded. Finally, when he was overpowered, he killed himself from the same dagger. Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) could not sustain fatal injuries and died three days later on October 31, 644. During these fateful days, he formed a Committee to choose the next Caliph.
While Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was still alive, Abdur Rahman Ibn Awf (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) and Abdur Rehman Ibn Abu Bakr (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) revealed that they had earlier seen the dagger used in the assassination.
Abdur Rahman bin Awf (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) reported that a night before the assassination, he saw Hormuzan, Jafina and Abu Lulu (Piruz), while they were suspiciously discussing something. On his arrival on the spot they tried to disperse in a hurry and in the process the dagger they were carrying fell on the ground. And it was the same double edged dagger that was used by Piruz.
Abudur Rehman ibn Abu Bakr (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) also confirmed that, a few days before the assassination, he saw the dagger with Hurmuzan.
The above eye witness accounts confirmed that there was not just one single assassin who acted on personal animosity. It was a well knitted conspiracy and many people were involved in it.
When eye witness accounts became public, Hadhrat Umar's (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) youngest son, Hadhrat Ubaidullah Ibn Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) got enraged. He went in search of the attackers and killed Hurmuzan, Jafina and the daughter of Piruz. All these murderers would have been put to death anyway by the State for their involvement in the Killing of the Caliph. And if they were caught alive, more people would have come under the net of law enforcement authorities and punished.
Another notable event took place at that time. Amr bin Al-Aas (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was the Governor of Egypt but he happened to be in Madina at that time. When the names of the assassins were disclosed and Hadhrat Ubaidullah Ibn Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) went to punish them for their crime, Amr Ibn Al-Aas (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) along with a few of his associates rushed towards him, intercepted him, captured him and brought him in front of the wounded Caliph who was on his death bed, charging Ubaidullah Ibn Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) as the killer of three innocent people. Ubaidullah Ibn Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was arrested and Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) advised, let the new Caliph take care of this case.
Amr bin Al-Aas (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was the Governor of Egypt, not responsible for the security issues in Madina. It is not known why he was in Madina at that time and what prompted him to take that swift action, level murder charges against Hadhrat Ubaidullah Ibn Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) even before the law enforcement authorities in Madina could act.
The presence of Amr Ibn Al-Aas (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) in Madina at that time; his attempt to stop Hadhrat Ubaidullah Ibn Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) and later becoming the right hand man of Muawiya (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) and Muawiya (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) reinstating him as the Governor of Egypt during his rule, all these facts make the issue of assassination of Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) intriguing.
It is in Hadith - Muawiya (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) declared in front of a huge crowd (openly) that he was more rightful to be the Caliph than Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالى عنه ). (Bukhari # 4108, Book 64, Chapter 29 - part of the Hadith )