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Caliph Umar Bin Abdul Aziz was a Great Muslim Ruler

Khalifa Umar Bin Abdul Aziz left an indelible mark in history.

Umar Bin Abdul Aziz is considered one of the best rulers in Muslim history, second only to the four rightly guided caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali. In fact, in some circles, he is fondly referred to as the fifth and last Caliph of Islam.

When the Roman Emperor heard the news of his death, he said, “A good man has passed away. I am not surprised to see an ascetic who renounced the world and devoted himself to the worship of Allah.” . A person who had all the pleasures of the world at his feet, yet he closed his eyes to them and lived a life of piety and renunciation.

Umar bin Abdulaziz ruled as Caliph for only 30 months but in that short period he changed the world. His reign was the brightest period in the 92-year history of the Umayyad Caliphate.

The family of Umar Bin Abdul Aziz

He was the son of Abdul Aziz bin Marwan, the governor of Egypt, while his mother, Umm Asim, was the granddaughter of Caliph Umar bin Al-Khattab.

Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz was born in Helwan, Egypt in 63 AH (682 CE), but studied in Medina under his maternal uncle, the famous scholar Abdullah ibn Umar. He remained in Medina until his father’s death in 704 CE, when he was summoned by his uncle, Caliph Abdul Malik, and married to his daughter Fatimah. He was appointed the governor of Madinah in 706 after Caliph Walid bin Abdul Malik.

The governorship of Umar Bin Abdul Aziz

Umar was the governor of Medina during the reign of Caliph Walid and Caliph Sulaiman. But when Solomon fell seriously ill, he wanted to appoint an heir because his sons were still minors. Raja ibn Hayyah, the advisor, suggested him to appoint his cousin Omar ibn Abdul Aziz as his successor. Sulaiman accepted the proposal.

Nomination of Caliphate

After being nominated as caliph, Umar addressed the people from the pulpit and said: “O people, I have been nominated as your caliph with your will and without your will. So here I am, I release you from your pledge of allegiance to me. Choose whoever you think fit as your caliph. The people shouted: “O Umar, we have full faith in you and we want you as our caliph.” Umar continued: “O people, obey me as long as I obey Allah. I disobey Allah, it is not your responsibility to obey me.”

Umar was extremely pious and averse to worldly comforts. Umar Bin Abdul Aziz preferred austerity over extravagance and deposited all assets and wealth in the treasury for the ruling caliph. He even left the royal palace and preferred to live in a modest house. He wore rough clothes rather than royal robes and was often not recognized in public like his maternal grandfather, the Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab.

The simplicity of Caliph Umar Bin Abdul Aziz

After his appointment, he renounced all the splendid attachments of royal servants, slaves, concubines, horses, palaces, golden clothes and property and returned it to Baitul-Mal. Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz also asked his wife Fatima to return the jewels given to her father, Caliph Abdul Malik. The faithful wife complied with their bidding and deposited all this in the Bait-ul-Mal. Later, they auctioned off their luxury items for 23,000 dinars and spent the money on charity.”

Allama Suyuti

Allama Suyuti has recorded in his historical work “Tarikh al-Khalifa” that Umar bin Abdulaziz used to spend only two dirhams a day when he was the caliph. They were paid less than their subordinates. Before his nomination, he had an annual income of 50,000 dinars from his private properties, but when he returned all his properties to the treasury, his private income was reduced to 200 dinars a year. This was his wealth as he ruled a vast caliphate from the borders of France in the west to the borders of China in the east.

Once his wife found him crying after prayer. Wife asked what happened? The Caliph replied, “I have been made ruler over the Muslims and I was thinking of the poor who are dying of hunger, and of the sick who are penniless, and of the naked people who are in want, and I was thinking about the oppressed who are poor, and those who have large families and small resources, and people like them in distant provinces, and I realized that my Lord will ask me for them on the Day of Resurrection. will ask about I was afraid that (at that time) no defense would work for me, and I wept.”

He cared a lot about his subjects.

Reforms and relaxation

His generous reforms and leniency forced the people to voluntarily collect taxes. Ibn Kathir writes that thanks to Umar’s reforms, the annual revenue of Persia alone increased from 28 million dirhams to 124 million dirhams.

He carried out extensive public works in Persia, Khorasan and North Africa, including canals, roads, rest houses for travelers and medical dispensaries.

The result was that during his short reign of two and a half years the people became so prosperous and contented that there was hardly anyone who would accept alms.

Roots of Islam

Caliph Umar is credited with officially organizing the first collection of hadith, fearing that some of it would be lost. Abu Bakr bin Muhammad bin Hazm and Ibn Shahab al-Zuhri were among those who compiled hadiths on the orders of Caliph Umar.

It was during the age of Umar that Islam took root and was accepted by a large part of the population of Persia and Egypt.

When officials complained that the state’s Jizya revenue had fallen drastically due to the change, Umar wrote back that “Prophet Muhammad was sent as a prophet (to invite people to Islam).” And not as a tax collector.

The Caliph also abolished the home tax, marriage tax, stamp tax and many other taxes. When several of his agents wrote that his financial reforms in favor of new converts would empty the treasury, he replied, “I would be glad, by God.” To see everyone convert to Islam so that you and I have to cut the soil with our hands to earn a living.

An example of justice

Once a Muslim killed a non-Muslim of Hira. When Caliph Umar was informed of this incident, he ordered the governor to do justice in this matter. The Muslim was handed over to the relatives of the victim who killed him.

Last deposit

The common royal class of that time could not digest these policies of justice, simplicity and equality. A slave of the Caliph was bribed to give him a fatal poison. Feeling the effect of the poison sent for the slave, the Caliph asked him why he was poisoned. Ghulam replied that I was given one thousand dinars for this work. The Caliph took the money from him and deposited it in Bait al-Mal. Freeing the slave, he told him to leave the place immediately, lest someone kill him. This was his last deposit in Baitul-Mal for the welfare of Muslims.

Death of Caliph Umar bin Abdulaziz

Umar bin Abdul Aziz died in Rajab 101 Hijri at the age of 38 in a rented house at a place called Deir Samaan near Homs. He was buried in Deir Sima’an on a piece of land he bought from a Christian. He reportedly bequeathed only 17 dinars to pay the rent of the house in which Umar bin Abdulaziz died and the land where he was buried. And thus the great soul departed from the world.

May Allah give peace to his soul and grant him the best place in Paradise. Ameen

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