A lesson from the life of Umar (ra)
By: Al Haadi
Source: Al Haadi
‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) would make the following du‘a, “O Allah! bless me with martyrdom in Your path, and make my demise be in the city of Your Rasul (ﷺ).” (Saheeh Bukhari #1890)
Allah Most High accepted this du‘a of ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه). Hence, one morning, while leading the congregation in the Fajr Salah, he was attacked and fatally stabbed. Despite the wounds being fatal, ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) did not pass away immediately, but rather lived for a few more days after which he departed from this world.
During this period, a youngster visited ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) and said, “O Ameerul Mumineen! Rejoice over glad tidings from Allah! You are the Sahabi of Rasulullah (ﷺ), you accepted Islam in the very early stages, you were thereafter appointed as the khaleefah (caliph) and exercised justice, and you will shortly pass away a martyr!”
When he heard this, ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) remarked, “I wish that all these aspects (that you have mentioned, and all my good deeds) assist me to just break even (i.e. I would be happy if all my good deeds are merely sufficient to counter-balance my evil sins), so that there is nothing against me, (even if there are) and no deeds in my favour.”
When this youngster turned to leave, ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) noticed his lower garment (below his ankles) touching the ground. ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) immediately ordered for him to be brought back, after which he told him, “O nephew! Raise your lower garment, for it is cleaner for your clothing and a means of adopting fear of Allah Most High.” (Saheeh Bukhari #3700)
1. We should turn to Allah Most High in du‘a for all our needs and wishes, and should persist in our du‘a, without losing hope. ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) made du‘a for martyrdom in the blessed city of Madeenah Munawwarah – something that did not seem possible, as martyrdom was normally received on the battlefields which were far from Madeenah Munawwarah. However, Allah Most High, who is All-Powerful, answered his du‘a and blessed him with martyrdom and the honour of being buried in Madeenah Munawwarah, alongside Rasulullah (ﷺ).
2. ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه), despite his position as the second greatest man after all the Ambiya (peace be upon them), remained fearful of Allah Most High even in his final moments. Yet many of us behave as if we are already on board a one-way trip to Jannah! The sins that we commit on a daily basis – many of them major sins, the qadha salah, fasts and zakah that we need to fulfill as well as the outstanding rights that we owe to people do not cause us any concern or deprive us of any sleep.
3. Keeping the pants/lower garment above the ankles is so important in Deen that even when ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) was in his final moments, he ensured that he corrected the youngster whose lower garment was below his ankles.