No. 8: According to the report of Anas bin Malik1, the Holy Prophet (S) awarded 40 whips to the drunkard and the same punishment was given by Abu Bakr, but Umar whipped a drunkard 80 times on the advice of Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf. Such a good advisor, that he doubled the penalty for imbibing wine! It was only Abdur Rahman Auf who could have done this! And Umar was his special partner. The Prophet had truly said: “I don’t know what innovations you will invent after my death?” This increase in punishment of alcoholism is one more example of innovations after the Prophet.
No. 9: Nine innovations of Umar are mentioned in the first volume of Hayatul Haiwan2, but in the view of this writer, all were not bad, like making rounds of the town, as it was very beneficial for maintaining law and order in the city, but most of them are not without objection. The writer states his personal opinion in three of such innovations:
First: Prohibition of Mutah marriage. This order is against the statement of Quran and traditions and is not worth to be obeyed. Since the writer has discussed this topic in detail, there is no need to repeat it here again.
Second: Tarawih Prayers during the month of Ramadhan, as prescribed by Umar. The writer does not know what was the custom of Tarawih Prayers during the time of Umar, but it was very much disliked at that time. The usual manner of Tarawih Prayers is that people gather in the mosque and the leader starts the prayer. His recitation is like the speed of a motor car, railway, steamer, bicycle, or aeroplane etc. No one can understand whether he is reciting the Holy Quran or Sanskrit texts.
Only the words of Ya’lamoon and Ta’lamoon are audible. During this Ramadhan, the writer went to a mosque to listen to the Holy Quran. Even though the writer is more or less conversant with Quran, he could not understand, in the beginning, which part of the Holy Book the Imam was reciting and only recognized it much later. What type of a worship act is it, is beyond the comprehension of the writer, but all Tarawih reciters recite it as a habit and consider it to be a worship act.
The fact is that Umar has designed this prayer to look like a joke.
Three: He killed a young innocent child mercilessly. This shows his bad temperament and cruelty. The fact is that thinking of his viciousness hurts ones feelings.
No. 10: On the day of the treaty of Hudaibiya, Umar expressed his doubt about the prophethood of Prophet very strongly and said, “Today, so much doubt was created in my heart as had never been created before about the prophethood of the Prophet.” This shows that he used to harbor doubts about the Holy Prophet’s prophethood but on that day, it was maximum.3
No. 11: Umar gave such a hit at Fatima’s belly that she had miscarriage and the male child expired in the womb. It seems that due to this shock, she became ill and died within six months.4 The Arabic text about this incident is as follows: “Indeed, Umar thrashed the belly of Fatima on the Day of Allegiance causing the miscarriage of Mohsin.” This incident is also mentioned in Ibn Abdullah’s book, Al-Iqd and Mizanul Etedal of Zahabi, where the text is almost the same. Besides, the same event is mentioned as the cause of Fatima’s death in Maarijul Nubuwwah.
No doubt, many women die due to miscarriage. Some die immediately and some after a few days. Lady Fatima had miscarriage because of severe blow and her health deteriorated and after a few months, she passed away. When the writer thinks about Umar’s deed, he cannot understand what kind of an elder Umar was? Firstly, to beat a lady does not befit any respectable man. Secondly, to hit upon her belly. Thirdly, to hit on the stomach of a pregnant woman. Fourthly, to hit so hard that she has a miscarriage. Indeed, a gentleman can never commit such a shameful deed. This kind of deed is not permitted by any caste or religion.
Even among uneducated, ignorant and uncultured people, only such a man can commit this who is the most degraded of them. That is class difference is found among the uncivilized tribes also. Hence, one who commits such a deed will the worst of them. Fifthly, to beat a chaste woman. Sixthly, to beat a respectable woman of Bani Hashim tribe. Seventhly, to beat the daughter of the Holy Prophet (S) and that also his most beloved daughter.
Eighthly, to beat the wife of His Eminence, Ali (a.s.), who is the brother of the Messenger of Allah (S), the son-in-law of the Prophet, the body of the Holy Prophet (S), the blood of the Messenger of Allah (S), the flesh of the Holy Prophet (S) and the soul of the Holy Prophet (S). Ninthly, to beat the respected mother of Hasan and Husayn (a.s.). Tenthly, to beat the grandmother of the nine Imams. Eleventh, to beat Lady Sayyida (a.s.) and that Sayyida who got the title of Sayyida (a.s.) from Allah due to her inclusion in the Verse of Purification and the Verse of Malediction, who was the descendant of the Holy Prophet (S) and the wife of a Sayyid, and the mother of two Sayyids and the grandmother of nine Imams.
O Sayyid Sunni brothers! Don’t you have some communal shame remaining? Allah forbid, I cannot say anything else here. We should know that this solitary deed of Umar was such that our hair stand on ends. Obviously, how can I, the writer have any association with such a Caliph? After all Lady Sayyida (a.s.) was the mother and ancestor of a sinful person like me and who can tolerate a person hurting his ancestor?
According to the report of Abdullah Ibn Umar5, Umar said: “After I converted to Islam, I never urinated in the standing position.” The writer says that Umar used to urinate only in the standing position like many educated people of today, but he should not have tormented Fatima Zahra (a.s.) in the above fashion.
No. 12: According to the report of Jabir6, Umar came to the Messenger of Allah (S) with Taurat and said: “O Prophet, this is a copy of Taurat. The Holy Prophet (S) kept quiet, but Umar started reading it. The Messenger’s expression began to change and continued changing. Seeing this, Abu Bakr said to Umar: “I wish you were dead and that your mother should have wept for you.” Umar glanced at the Prophet’s face and said: “I seek protection from the anger of Allah and anger of His Messenger. I am pleased with Allah, with Islam, with the religion of Muhammad (S) and with prophethood of Muhammad (S).”
The Prophet said: “I swear, if Prophet Moosa (a.s.) had been present now, he would have obeyed me but you would have left me and adopted the wrong path. This report also shows that Muslims should not recite the Taurat and Injeel.
Obviously, one can’t enjoy the Quran completely without having the knowledge of Taurat and Injeel, but in this narration, Umar’s recitation of Taurat was only irrelevant talk.
Besides, the Holy Prophet (S) knew that Umar had natural inclination to the religion of Jews. That is why the Holy Prophet (S) became annoyed at Umar’s act and in annoyance said: “If Prophet Moosa (a.s.) had been present, he would have surely obeyed me but leaving me aside, you would go astray.”
No. 13: In Sahih Muslim, it is narrated by Abdullah bin Umar7 that when Abdullah Ibn Abi Salool died, his son Abdullah bin Abdullah bin Abi Salool came to the Holy Prophet (S) and asked to give him his holy shirt for his father’s shroud. The Prophet gave him his shirt. Then he requested the Holy Prophet (S) to recite the funeral prayer. The Holy Prophet (S) stood up, but Umar held the Prophet’s cloak and said: “Allah has prohibited you to pray for him.” The Prophet said: “Allah has given me authority and said that we should recite Astagfirullaah (I seek Allah’s forgiveness) 70 times.”
Umar said that the dead man was a hypocrite, but the Prophet performed his funeral prayer. Then Allah sent his revelation on this Prophet (S) that:
“(O Messenger!) And never offer prayer for any one of them (the hypocrites) who dies and do not stand by his grave…” 8
The fact is that the Messenger of Allah (S) was a mercy for all the worlds, why he should not have accepted the request to perform the prayer? The dead person was so fortunate that the Prophet invoked for him, so how can he remain a hypocrite? He was a beloved of Allah. Rather, it seems that the deceased was not a hypocrite at all, otherwise, he would not have had the fortune for such a funeral prayer. This report only shows the ‘mistake’ of the Holy Prophet (S) and Umar’s correctness. Tell us, O Sunni brothers! Isn’t it a wonderful thing for Umar! Such must be the tutor of the Prophet!
No. 14: It is narrated9 that the Prophet stated that the Black Stone of the Kaaba was sent from heaven to the earth and it will get two eyes on Judgment Day and will be witness of Muslims. But according to the tradition of Muwattah10, Hisham Ibn Urwah relates from his father that Umar said: “There is no benefit in kissing the Black Stone.”
Now the readers may decide, whose saying is preferable, the Prophet’s or Umar’s? Apparently, Umar’s statement contradicts the Prophet. Ahlul Sunnat will definitely accept Umar’s statement, because it is a saying of the tutor of the Prophet and it has the position of the final word.
No. 15: According to Muwattah11, Abu Bakr recited Surah Baqarah in the Morning Prayer and Umar was reciting Surah Yusuf and Surah Hajj in the Morning Prayers. Obviously, all these chapters are very lengthy and there is great likelihood that the sun would rise till they are concluded. Then what kind of prayer would it be? That is why, Islamic law prescribes short Surahs in obligatory Morning Prayer.
No. 16: From a report of Tarikh Abul Fida12, we come to know that at the time of the passing away of the Prophet, Umar was saying: “I would kill one who says that the Prophet is dead. The Holy Prophet (S) has been raised to the sky like Prophet Isa (a.s.).” Abu Bakr said: “Muslims should know that the Holy Prophet (S) has passed away, but Allah is alive.” This incident also shows Umar’s severe temperament and irrelevant nature; there is no need to say more on this.
No. 17: It is mentioned in Muwattah13, that a Muezzin14 came to Umar and seeing him sound asleep said: “Chief of believers! As-Salaato Khairum minan Nawm (Prayer is better than sleep).” Therefore, Umar ordered him to include this sentence in the Morning Azaan. It is a strange interpretation of Islamic Law; that if the Muezzin had uttered another sentence, it would also be included in Azaan. How surprising that the Caliph excluded Hayya a’laa khairil a’mal (Rush to the best of deeds) from the Azaan and included As-Salaato Khairum minan Nawm (Prayer is better than sleep).
No. 18: It is seen from the report of Tirmidhi15 that Abu Bakr and Umar quarreled with each other on some matter in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (S) and they raised their voices. The Prophet was annoyed due to this and the following verse was revealed:
“O you who believe! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet, and do not speak loud to him as you speak loud to one another.”16
Obviously, such shouting in the presence of the Holy Prophet (S) was very much against etiquette. Good etiquette is a great thing. May Allah give us the good sense of manners and etiquette. Thus, the Lord of the Worlds revealed the above verse for the sake of the honor and respect of the Messenger of Allah (S).
No. 19: According to the report of Sharh Aqaid Nasafi17 Umar appointed six persons: Uthman, Ali (a.s.), Abdul Rahman bin Auf, Talha, Zubair and Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas to choose the Caliph after him, and specified that the choice of Abdul Rahman would be preferred. According to Sharh Fiqhe Akbar18, Abdul Rahman asked Ali (a.s.): “If you become the Caliph, would you act according to the Book of Allah, Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (S) and the practice of two Shaykhs?”19 His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) replied: “I would act according to Allah’s Book and Sunnah of the Messenger and after that I will act according to my own discretion and not according to the practice of the two Shaykhs.”
According to Tarikh Khamis20 when Abdul Rahman bin Auf asked Uthman: “If you become Caliph, would you act according to Allah’s Book, Sunnah of the Messenger and the practice of the two Shaykhs?” Uthman said: “Yes, I would do that.” Therefore, Abdul Rahman bin Auf appointed Uthman as Caliph.
We should know that outwardly Umar selected six persons for the matter of Caliphate but internally he made such arrangement that His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) could not become a Caliph at any cost. The political acumen of Umar was wonderful! He was worried that His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) should not become a Caliph after his death. It is not an ordinary thing to appoint some advisors for his successor in such bad and critical condition that His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) cannot get chance to succeed. It was also a great political plan of the second Caliph, that he included His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) in the consultative committee but disappointed him of success.
According to the reports of Mukhtasar Jame and Abu Fida, Abdul Rahman bin Auf was given more authority about Caliphate because he was the brother-in- law (sister’s husband) of Uthman and Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas was also appointed as an advisor because he was a cousin of Uthman. It was impossible that anybody could become a Caliph, except Uthman; and it happened so because of the plan of Abdul Rahman bin Auf. Instead of His Eminence, Ali (a.s.), Uthman became the Caliph.
Umar had given another direction to these people that if any member does not obey Abdul Rahman’s decision, he should be killed, since cruel acts of whipping and murder were in the very nature of Umar. But he put the condition of killing so that if His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) does not obey Abdul Rahman’s decision, he would be killed. Allah be praised! What a policy of Umar! And he used his policy till the last. It is worth considering that Umar was breathing his last but he was worried about his enemy! O people of justice, pay attention. There is no doubt that Umar achieved a great success in Uthman’s appointment.
But Umar has not done anything good for Muslims. The fact is that Uthman was incapable and it was proved during the twelve years of his Caliphate. If His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) or any other man who did not belong to Bani Umayyah had been there, Caliphate would have been established on him in a much better way than the Caliphate of Uthman.
But Alas, Umar’s ego and his lack of honesty and fidelity overcame him in such a way, that a really capable man could not become a Caliph or the ruler of Arabs after his death. The writer says: If Umar had true love for Islam or if he had been just and friendly to humanity, he would kept away the Caliphate from Uthman. Since the writer has mentioned all the evil affairs of Uthman previously, there is no need to repeat them here.
- 1. Sahih Muslim Vol. 2, Pg. 71.
- 2. Pg. 431
- 3. Ref. Al-Minal wan Nihal, Shahristani, Pg. 20.
- 4. Ref. Al-Minal wan Nihal, Shahristani, Pg. 20.
- 5. Sahih Tirmidhi, Vol. 1.
- 6. Kitabul Ilm, Pg. 24.
- 7. Vol. 1, Pg. 276.
- 8. Surah Taubah 9:84.
- 9. Mishkat, Kitab al-Manasik, Chapter of Tawaf.
- 10. Pg. 143, Chapter of Taqbeelur Rukn.
- 11. Pg. 22 and Pg. 28
- 12. Pg. 164
- 13. Pg. 24
- 14. One who recites Azaan, the call for Prayer
- 15. Vol. 2, Pg. 77
- 16. Surah Hujurat 49:2
- 17. Pg. 95
- 18. Pg. 80
- 19. Abu Bakr and Umar.
- 20. Vol. 2, Pg. 255