Before he passed away, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) consulted the senior Sahaba and elected Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) as the second Caliph of the Muslims.
He was the son of Khattab and is famous in Islamic history as “Al Farooq” or “One who Distinguishes between Right and Wrong.” His acceptance of Islam is also very famous.
Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) was a very brave and straight-forward person. He was tough and uncompromising in Islamic principles. He was a great and talented ruler. During his Khilaafat, vast areas of the Roman and Persian empires and the whole of Egypt were brought under Islamic rule. He was also a gifted orator. He was very concerned for the welfare of the Muslims. He left a honourable legacy for Muslims after him. The Holy Quran was given to him by Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) for safe-keeping.
Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anu) was a strong disciplinarian. He noticed the tremendous popularity of Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu). He felt that people will lose trust in Almighty Allah and put all their trust in Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu). He feared that the people may think too highly of him, thereby possibly increasing the self-esteem of Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) which would also breed arrogance, so he removed Sayyiduna Khalid (radi Allahu anhu) and appointed Sayyiduna Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (radi Allahu anhu) as the Commander in Chief of the Muslim army.
Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) happily accepted the orders of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) and then served as an ordinary soldier. This is an example of the Islamic teachings of obedience to leadership!
A Persian non-Muslim, named Firoz and nicknamed “Abu Lulu,” complained to Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) about his master, Sayyiduna Mughirah bin Shuba (radi Allahu anhu), who imposed tax on him. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) told Firoz that the tax was reasonable. This made Firoz angry.
The next day, during the Fajr Salaah, he stabbed Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) 6 times in the back, severely wounding the Caliph. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) passed away 3 days later in 23 A.H. He was 63 years old. He ruled the Islamic State for 10 years, 6 months and 4 days.
Simplicity and devotion were the main characters of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu). He used to wear clothes that had many patches and yet received Governors, convoys and diplomats. He took just enough allowance from the State to have a simple meal and wear simple clothes. At times he was very poor. He used to visit the old people and sick and even do their house work. He used to visit the houses of the soldiers and inquire about their families. He stayed awake at night in Salaah and often kept Fast. He always supported and upheld the cause of Islam, with his wisdom, energy, dynamism, bravery and little wealth.
Sayings of Umar (Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu)
Do not be mislead by a persons reputation
Do not estimate a person by his performance of outward actions but look at his truthfulness and wisdom
Do not leave your work for tomorrow
He who does not recognise evil can easily fall into its trap
Judge a persons intelligence by the question he asks
It is easier not to commit sins rather being sorry for them afterwards
Be grateful to the one who points out your defects