Umar Bin Al-Khattab’s Leadership, A Lesson To The Today’s Leaders By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation, may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.

Dear brothers and sisters! Umar Bin Al-Khattab, the second Khalifah of Muslims following the death of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), is highly revered among Muslims not only for being a piousness and just nature, but also for being a brilliant leader and statesman.

A pioneering figure in the Islamic world, Umar was and will always be remembered, for his great contributions to the religion of Islam. Descriptions of his appearance suggest that he was a strong, fit, tall man, and the front part of his head was bald.

Before accepting Islam, he was one of the most rabid enemies of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Umar acknowledged Prophet Muhammad as the Messenger of Allah after six years of his Prophecy, to become the 40th man to join the religion of Islam and became a senior companion of the Prophet.

When the name of Umar is mentioned, he is always described as Al-Faruk, or the distinguisher between right and wrong.

As a leader, Umar was known to be humble, aware of the significance and seriousness of his responsibility. At night, he was known for going around to inspect the conditions of people. Those night tours weren’t common before his reign, and weren’t done at the same pace even after his death.

His sense of responsibility and kindness also extended to animals, whom he valued because they are Allah’s creations. Umar is often quoted declaring that:

“If a mule stumbled in Iraq, he was responsible for not having the road paved.”

Dawud Ibn Ali quotes Umar as once saying:

“If a lost sheep under my care were to die on the banks of the Euphrates, I would expect Allah the Exalted to question me about it on the Day of Resurrection.”

And because under his leadership the Muslim world expanded to reach Persia, Syria and Egypt, Umar is seen as the architect of the Islamic Empire. As a statesman, he established a political structure to hold the vast Islamic state together.

He divided the state into provinces and appointed governors, whom he did not allow to exceed two years in power, out of fear it would influence their roles.

Among his numerous achievements as a leader, Umar decreed the Hijrah or Islamic calendar, which counts starting from the year Prophet Muhammad left Makkah to Madinah.

In 641, he established Baitul-mal, or the “House of Wealth”, the first financial institution in the Islamic state to overlook taxes and administrate the distributions of Zakah revenues for the public. He also provided stipends for poor Jews and Christians.

Umar valued individual freedoms and applied the principle of equality among Muslims and non-Muslims within the borders of the Islamic state.

It was narrated that Umar once heard that the son of Amr Bin As, a companion of the Prophet and the leader Umar appointed for Egypt, has abused and beat up a Coptic Christian.

Umar ordered the son of Amr be punished in public on the hands of the victim. He then was quoted telling both, the father and son:

“Since when have you turned people into slaves, whereas they are born free of their mothers?”

Umar was assassinated at the hands of a Persian slave, Piruz Nahavandi (also known as Abu Lu’ulu’u al-Majusi). It is said that Piruz attacked Umar while he was leading the morning prayers, fatally stabbing him in the belly and on the navel.

Umar succumbed to his wounds three days later.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

This piece was sent to you by Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of: Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah Mosque; and Late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene Mosque, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: [email protected]; or +2348038289761.

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