Omar’s biography

Umar ibn al-Khattab (Mecca, Arabia , 577 A.D. – Medina, Arabia, 3 November 644 A.D.). Better known as Umar or Omar, he was a Muslim military, political and religious leader, recognized as the second Orthodox caliph of the Muslim religion, successor to Abu Bakr, who in turn succeeded Muhammad.

He is considered the creator of the Islamic caliphate, which brought great benefits to the strengthening and expansion of the Islamic religion throughout the Arab territory, where he ruled over the Sasalid Empire and almost the entireByzantine.

Likewise, the Jewish religion recognizes him as the representative who lifted the Christian prohibition that forbade Jews from exercising their faith, allowing them to enter Jerusalem. He was named by his people as Al-Farooq (the one who distinguishes between good and evil) because of his great equanimity as a jurist. While he was named “Commander of the Believers”, when he assumed the caliphate.

Early life

Omar was born in The city of Mecca, Arabia, in 577 A.D., into a family of the Banu Majzum tribe, one of three children of the marriage between Jattab ibn Affan and Hantamah binti Hisham.

His father was engaged in trade and intervened as a mediator in the conflicts between tribes. Omar learned to read and write at an early age, developing a great taste for Poetry. He also learned horseback riding, martial arts and wrestling.

He had a strong physical consistency and great speaking ability, succeeding his father as an arbiter between the different tribes. Over time, he also became a merchant.

Conversion to Islam

It is believed that its conversion occurred around 616 A.D. Like other inhabitants of Mecca, Omar rejected Islam and strongly opposed Muhammad, as he felt that the Muslim faith directly attacked the ancient Polytheist Arab religion and the unity of the Quraish.

Following the emigration to Abyssinia ordered by Muhammad, Omar decided to personally commission himself, and kill Muhammad.

However, along the way he discovered that his sister Fatimah bint al-Jattab and cousin Saeed bin Zaid had converted to this religion. After having a strong discussion with them, Omar decided to read the scriptures for himself.

According to Islamic tradition, in doing so he recognized in them the word of Allah, embracing the Muslim faith. After this, he appeared before Muhammad declaring his faith publicly in front of prophet and those present.

Omar then began to pray in public, without anyone daring to intervene during his prayer, thus becoming a key piece so that followers of Islam could profess their religion openly.

Similarly, in 622 AD, when Muhammad ordered the emigration of his followers to Medina, Omar departed in broad daylight, defying anyone who opposed the Prophet’s terms of office.

Military battles

Already in Medina, he actively participated in several battles. In 624 A.D., he fought in the battle of Badr, with the Muslims against the Quraish, from Mecca. A year later, in 625 A.D., he participated in the Battle of Uhud. That same year, his daughter Umar Hafsa bint joined muhammad, becoming one of his wives.

In 626 A.D. he was part of a campaign against the Jewish tribe Banu Nadir. The following year he was part of the battles of the Trench and Banu Qurayza. It was also part of the Treaty of Hadaybiyyah established in 628 AD, and that same year he participated in a campaign in Khaybar.

Two years later, in 630 A.D. he was also part of the troops that advanced against Mecca in pursuit of his conquest. A few months later he was part of the Tabuk campaign, for which he gave Muhammad half of his assets.

Creation of the Caliphate

After Muhammad died in 632 AD, a group of followers from Medina, known as the Ansar, decided to organize, leaving the migrant group out, a secret gathering, on the outskirts of the city, as the funerals of the Prophet.

Omar, who was part of the excluded group, decided to attend with two other migrants, Abu Bakr and Abu Abaidah ibn al-Jarrah, in order to curb the political division he presided over upon learning of the secret talk. After nearly two days of discussion, Omar succeeded in getting Abu Bakr accepted as a successor, thus creating the first caliphate.

Mandate and final years

During Abu Bakr’s short term, Omar assumed roles as an adviser and first secretary, as well as a military strategist, until the death of the first caliph, which occurred on 22 August 632 A.D., just a few months after his election. That same day, Omar assumed the position of Caliph. He distinguished himself by being a feared and respected leader.

During his tenure he divided the territory into provinces, in which he appointed governors. In turn, the provinces were divided into districts, also ruled by a governor.

He established a strict code of conduct on his soldiers and officials to respect the people. He also established an office to receive complaints against his officials. He was also the first to establish the Public Prosecutor’s Office, where the officials’ files were kept. He established the police as law enforcement.

However, perhaps one of its most important reforms was the construction of canals, which brought drinking water to sterile and irrigation areas, allowing the development of agriculture, in the Basra region, where it was previously impossible, bringing great development to region. Finally, on 3 November 644 A.D., he died, and was succeeded by Uthmaan Ibn Affan.

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Omar’s biography
Source: Education  
July 28, 2019

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