Umar ibn al Khattab among the most influential people in history : part 2
By: Mohammad Yacoob IslamiCity
Sayings of Umar ibn Al-Khattab:
Umar ibn Al-Khattab always had a sound opinion, which made him a very powerful leader who expected higher degree of integrity from the people working with him during his Khilafate. Some of his wise sayings are quoted here:
- One who keeps his own counsel keeps his affairs in his own hand.
- Fear him whom you hate.
- The wisest man is he who can account for his actions.
- Do not put off today’s work till tomorrow.
- What regresses never progresses?
- He who does not know evil will fall into it.
- When a man asks me a question, I know his intelligence.
- Don’t forget your own self while preaching to others.
- The less of the world, the freer you live.
- Avoidance of sin is lighter than the pain of remorse.
- If patience and gratitude had been two she camels, it would have mattered little on which I rode. May God have mercy on him who sends me my faults for a present!
- During his Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah, Umar ibn Al-Khattab heard one of the camel drivers singing. People asked Umar ibn Al-Khattab as to why he did not stop the camel driver from singing. Umar ibn Al-Khattab replied, “Music was the camel driver’s provision for a journey.”
Some of the Achievements of Umar ibn Al-Khattab:
Umar ibn Al-Khattab established many institutions in the Islamic state’s administration. Historians have called his reforms as innovations. The achievements of Umar ibn Al-Khattab are numerous. The most important achievements are listed below:
- Umar ibn Al-Khattab established the public treasury: Bait-ul-Mal
- Established courts of justice and appointed judges.
- Proposed and enforced use of the era of Hijra.
- Assumed the title of Amir-ul-Mu’minin.
- To engage the anti-Islamic forces he organized and established the War Department.
- Placed army reserves on the pay-roll. In addition to this, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab improved the army administration by providing every army corps with an officer of the treasury, an accountant, and number of interpreters, physicians and surgeons. He instructed the army commanders to submit accounts of war expenditures and list of the spoils of war. Historical records show that in 16 Hijri Ziyad bin Abi Sufyan came from city of Jalula Ð after its conquest – and brought with him the records of the accounts to Madinah and submitted them for Umar ibn Al-Khattab’s perusal and review.
- Established Land Revenue Department, ordered survey and assessment of lands and also ordered conducting census. This required maintenance of the land revenue records in Persian, Syriac and Coptic languages. The accounts were kept on long rolled-up sheets.
- Founded cities: Kufah, Basrah, Jazirah, Fustat and Musal and undertook construction and building of canals.
- Divided conquered countries into provinces.
- Ordered collecting customs duties.
- Appointed officials for the collection of tax on the produce of sea.
- Gave permission to traders from foreign countries to conduct business in the Islamic territory.
- Organized jails and enforced use of the whip.
- Made rounds at night to gauge and evaluate the condition of the people. For relaxations he enjoyed lighter pursuits including poetry. Once he asked Abdullah bin Abbas to recite him poetry the whole night. At the time when dawn was breaking, he said, “Now recite the Holy Qur’an.” During one of his night rounds around the city he heard the sound of music. He stopped and listened to the music and then moved on.
- Established military cantonments and had them located at strategic points.
- Organized Police Department.
- Set up a system to classify pedigree and non-pedigree horses.
- Built houses on the road from Makkah to Madinah for the comfort of the travelers and also established guest-houses in different cities. At that time a system was established for the clearance of land, construction of roads, building of bridges and other operations which are carried out by sappers and miner in present day armies. The local people of the lands were recruited to perform these duties.
- Provided stipends for the poor Jewish and Christian people.
- Established schools and provided salaries for school teachers and public lecturers.
- Proposed the principle of Qiyas and its formulation.
- Proposed exact division of inheritance.
- Proposed and inserted additional statement “Prayer is better than sleep” in the call for Fajr prayers.
- Ordained performing taraweeh prayers in congregation.
- Established law for the punishment of alcohol drinkers with eighty lashes.
- Proposed a method for preparing trusts.
- Obtained consensus of opinion for saying four takbirs in funeral prayer.
- Made arrangements for providing lights in mosques at night. It is stated that until the Khilafate of Umar ibn Al-Khattab there were no arrangements for lights in the mosques. A person by name Tamim Dari made the arrangements and supplied lamps for the mosques with Umar ibn Al-Khattab’s permission.
Established a procedure to giving salaries from the public treasury to Imams and Muazzins.