After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Umar (ra).
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Umar (ra) also initiated the system of Qadha (arbitration). Judiciaries were established in every region, where Qadhis (judges) would be appointed. Hazrat Umar (ra) advised that justice should always be given precedence. Once, there was a dispute between Hazrat Umar (ra) and Ubayy bin Ka’b (ra). The matter went before a judge. When Hazrat Umar (ra) entered, the judge gave up his seat for him. Hazrat Umar (ra) told him that this was unjust, and sat beside Ubayy bin Ka’b to show that they should be treated equally.
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Umar (ra) also initiated the system of Ifta’ (edicts). People with knowledge of the Shari’ah (Islamic law) would be appointed to make decisions and issue edicts. Hazrat Umar (ra) ensured that only those appointed should give edicts, so as to avoid any confusion and false information.
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Umar (ra) also initiated a system of policing. This was to ensure the safety of all citizens, and to ensure that the laws and rules were being followed. Hazrat Umar (ra) also established jails, which had not been in place before.
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Umar (ra) also initiated a treasury. Prior to the era of Hazrat Umar (ra), any wealth that was received would be distributed right away. During the era of Hazrat Umar (ra), a large amount was received from Bahrain, and upon consultation, it was decided that a treasury be established in order to safely keep such large amounts of wealth. Subsequently, this system of having a treasury was also established in all other provinces as well. Hazrat Umar (ra) would have grand buildings built for the treasury and there would be guards outside of it.
His Holiness (aba) said that once, Hazrat Uthman (ra) saw a man walking outside in extreme heat. When the man drew closer, he realised that it was the Leader of the Believers Hazrat Umar (ra). Hazrat Uthman (ra) asked him why he was outside in such heat? Hazrat Umar (ra) replied that a camel from the treasury had gotten away, and so he was out searching for it.
His Holiness (aba) said that there were various initiatives undertaken by Hazrat Umar (ra) for the benefit of all people. For example, he established various rivers and streams in order to provide water for all people.
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Umar (ra) also established various buildings, such as mosques, judiciaries, barracks, various offices, guest houses, hotels etc. He also established security posts around Madinah in order to ensure safety.
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Umar (ra) formally established and organised the army. He split the army into two parts; those who would go to war and those who were volunteers. Hazrat Umar (ra) would ensure that the moral training of soldiers was tended to. Hazrat Umar (ra) instructed that no soldier would go to a conquered area to conduct business as this would decrease their skills as soldiers. His Holiness (aba) said that today, we see that people in the army are always looking to conduct business in areas where they have defense colonies.
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Umar (ra) ensured that each soldier was skilled in swimming, archery, and that they could run barefoot. He instructed that soldiers should not ride horses with their feet in the stirrups of the saddle, so that they could easily jump off into battle. Soldiers would be granted leave every four months in order to visit their families.
His Holiness (aba) said that during the era of Hazrat Umar (ra), even those who were not Muslim or who were not Arab would be commissioned at high posts. There are accounts that there were people of different backgrounds appointed to high ranks in the army. His Holiness (aba) said that these days, the Pakistani government does not allow Ahmadis to be part of the army, whereas if we look at history, Ahmadi officers have presented the greatest sacrifices for the sake of Pakistan.
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Umar (ra) would ensure market price control and would see to it that the price of goods would not become too low, as that could undercut other vendors. Once, Hazrat Umar (ra) was walking through the market when he saw someone selling dried grapes at a very low price, which other vendors could not afford to do. Hazrat Umar (ra) instructed that he should either take his goods away from the market, or sell them at a similar price as other vendors of Madinah, which was a suitable and reasonable price.
His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Umar (ra) paid great attention to education, Schools were established in all provinces, where educated people were appointed as teachers, and a salary was also appointed for these teachers.
His Holiness (aba) said that the formal Hijri calendar was established during the era of Hazrat Umar (ra). The companions began recording dates from the time of the migration of the Holy Prophet (sa). Later, Hazrat Umar (ra) felt the need for dates to be recorded. Someone advised Hazrat Umar (ra) that he saw people in Yemen recording the date according to year and month. Hazrat Umar (ra) said that this style should be adopted. There are various narrations which show that the Holy Prophet (sa) recorded dates on certain occasions. However, it was during the era of Hazrat Umar (ra) that a formal Hijri calendar was established. It was decided to start the calendar from the time of migration, as other dates such as the birth of the Holy Prophet (sa) or the date of being commissioned as a prophet were not entirely clear.
His Holiness (aba) said that Islamic coins were also established during the era of Hazrat Umar (ra). These would have things such as Alhamdulillah (all praise belongs to Allah) and Muhammad Rasoolullah (Muhammad (sa) the Messenger of Allah) engraved on them.
His Holiness (aba) said that he would continue highlighting the life of Hazrat Umar (ra) in future sermons.
His Holiness (aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers (in absentia) of the following deceased members:
Sarpito Hadi Sahib from Indonesia who passed away last month. He accepted Ahmadiyyat when he was 21 years old. He is survived by his wife and eight children, one of whom is serving as a missionary, He served the Community in various capacities. He was passionate about propagating the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat. He treated everyone with great respect. It was his desire to continue propagating until his last days. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with forgiveness and bestow His mercy and elevate his station in Paradise.
Chauhdary Bashir Ahmad Bhatti Sahib who passed away last month. His son is serving as a Missionary in Tanzania. He was a virtuous person, and was regular in prayers and fasting. He attended the Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) in Qadian from an early age. He was a fearless Ahmadi and would face opposition with great bravery. He is survived by two daughters and five sons. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah elevate his station in Paradise and enable his children to carry on his virtuous qualities. His Holiness (aba) also prayed that may Allah grant his son patience, as he was not able to participate in the funeral due to being in the field of duty.
Hameedullah Khadim Malhi Sahib from Rabwah. He was the grandson of a Companion of the Promised Messiah (as). He was a virtuous person who was regular in prayers and fasting. He was a very brave Ahmadi. One of his sons is serving as a life-devotee. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with forgiveness and bestow His mercy.
Muhammad Ali Khan Sahib of Peshawar who passed away at the age of 89. He had devoted ⅛ of his wealth for the Community. He is survived by three daughters and seven sons. He accepted Ahamadiyyat at the hand of the Second Caliph (ra) and remained a devoted Ahmadi ever since. He served the Community in various capacities. He loved the Holy Qur’an and would study the books of the Promised Messiah (as). He was a very virtuous person, and would also financially support those in need. His relatives tried convincing him to leave Ahmadiyyat but to no avail. Eventually his relatives left him, but he remained steadfast upon Ahmadiyyat. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with forgiveness and bestow His mercy and elevate his station in Paradise.
Sahibzada Mahdi Latif Sahib of USA. He was the grandson of Sahibzada Abdul Latif Shaheed. He had studied the books of the Promised Messiah (as) in great depth. He was regular in offering prayers as well as voluntary prayers. He loved Khilafat a great deal. He was humble, and had a great passion for propagating the faith. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with forgiveness and bestow His mercy and elevate his station in Paradise.
Faizan Ahmad Samir Sahib from Rabwah who passed away at the age of 16 due to complications from Covid-19. He was a kind and gentle child. He was serious about his studies and avoided wasting his time. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah grant patience to his parents and family, and may Allah treat him with forgiveness, bestow His mercy and elevate his station in Paradise.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Faithah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aa) stated:
Accounts from the life of Hazrat Umar(ra) were being narrated.
With regard to the establishment of the department for qaza [arbitration], it is mentioned in a narration that Hazrat Umar(ra) formally established a department for qaza. Courts were established in all the provinces and the qazis [judges] were also appointed. Furthermore, Hazrat Umar(ra)legislated various injunctions related to the system of qaza. (Al-Faruq, Shibli Naumani, pp. 195 to 198, Idaara Islamiyyat, Karachi, 2004)
Qazis were appointed from amongst those who held expertise in the field of fiqh [jurisprudence]. However, Hazrat Umar(ra) would not consider this to be enough; in fact, he would also assess their knowledge and would set a substantial amount for their salaries, lest they issued a wrong decision. Hazrat Umar(ra) would appoint the qazis from among the affluent and honourable people so that they would not become overawed by anyone when issuing their verdicts. Hazrat Umar(ra) would always instruct to uphold equality and justice in the courts. On one occasion, Hazrat Umar(ra)had a disagreement with Hazrat Ubay(ra) bin Kaab over something. Subsequently, Hazrat Ubay(ra) took his case to the court of Hazrat Zaid(ra)bin Thabit. Zaid(ra) invited Hazrat Umar(ra) and Ubay(ra) and showed great respect to Hazrat Umar(ra), but upon this, Hazrat Umar(ra) stated, “This is the first injustice you have committed.” And after saying this, he went and sat next to Ubay(ra). (Al-Farooq, Shibli Naumani, pp. 199 to 200, Idaara Islamiyyat, Karachi, 2004)
In other words, he stated that that they were both present in the capacity of two equal parties in a case and therefore should be considered as such and be given a seat next to each other and it should not be the case that he be shown respect [in a preferential manner].
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) has related this incident and states:
“Once, the Second Khalifa(ra) had a disagreement with Ubay(ra) bin Kaab over something. The matter was presented before a judge and he called Hazrat Umar(ra). Since he was the Khalifa of the time, he gave his seat as a mark of respect. Hazrat Umar(ra), however, went and sat next to the opposing party in the case and said to the judge, ‘This is the first injustice you have committed because at this moment in time, there should be no distinction drawn between me and the other party.’” (Ahmadiyyat Yani Haqiqi Islam, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 8, p. 300)
Hazrat Umar(ra) also established the department of ifta [issuing edicts]. In order to make people aware of the laws of the Shariah, he established the department of ifta. Hazrat Umar(ra) appointed a few companions for this and stated that no one should seek a fatwa [edict] from anyone other than them. Among those who were permitted to give the fatwa were Hazrat Ali(ra), Hazrat Uthman(ra), Hazrat Muaz(ra) bin Jabal, Hazrat Abdur Rahman(ra) bin Auf, Hazrat Ubay(ra) bin Kaab, Hazrat Zaid(ra) bin Thabit, Hazrat Abu Hurrairah(ra) and Hazrat Abu Darda(ra). Apart from them, if anyone else issued a fatwa, they would be prohibited by Hazrat Umar(ra). Every so often, Hazrat Umar(ra) would also assess the knowledge of these various muftis. (Al-Farooq, Shibli Naumani, p. 202, Idaara Islamiyyat, Karachi, 2004)
In relation to this, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:
“One of the departments was in relation to issuing religious edicts. After the Holy Prophet(sa), during the era of the Khulafa, there was a rule that not everyone was authorised to issue religious edicts. Hazrat Umar(ra)took great caution in this regard, so much so that a companion, who was perhaps Abdullah(ra) bin Mas‘ud, who was a religious scholar and an esteemed individual, once informed the people of a matter and this was also brought to the attention of Hazrat Umar(ra). When Hazrat Umar(ra)came to know of this, he immediately questioned him that, “Are you the amir [leader], or has the amir appointed you to issue an edict as you please. The fact of the matter is that if everyone is authorised to issue edicts, it can cause many problems and it can become a source of great trial for the public. The reason for this is that at times, there are two different edicts regarding the same matter and both are correct.” In other words, the edicts are given according to the circumstances and if one delves into the details of the matter, then there is some flexibility and thereby depending on the situation, there will be a different edict given. “However, this becomes difficult to understand for the general public as to how both edicts can be deemed correct and as such, they fall into trial.’”(Khitab Jalsa Salana 17 March 1919, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, p. 404)
Similarly, Hazrat Umar(ra) also established a police department. In order to uphold the peace in the land, a police department was established by Hazrat Umar(ra). This department was given authority over accountability, maintaining peace and security and overseeing matters related to the marketplace etc. That is, to oversee whether or not people were correctly adhering to the guidelines and also to help people receive their due rights if they were being usurped and to oversee other official matters until they reached the judge. The department was given authority to oversee matters related to the safety and peace [of society] and matters related to the marketplace etc.
Hazrat Umar(ra) also established formal prisons. Prior to this, there was no concept of prisons as such. Criminals would also receive severe punishments. Hazrat Umar(ra) also established the treasury. Prior to the era of Hazrat Umar(ra), whatever wealth was received would be immediately distributed. During the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), a house was purchased and dedicated for the treasury. However, this remained closed as whatever wealth was received would immediately be distributed. In the 15th year after Hijra, an amount of 500,000 was received from Bahrain and upon this, Hazrat Umar(ra) consulted the companions as to what should be done with it. One suggestion was that in the royal courts in Syria, they had a treasury. Hazrat Umar(ra) liked this suggestion and laid the foundation for a treasury in Medina. Hazrat Abdullah(ra) bin Arqam was appointed as the supervisor of the treasury. Later on, treasuries were established outside of Medina as well as in the headquarters of all the other provinces. Hazrat Umar(ra) would construct buildings within a limited budget; however, he would build extremely strong and magnificent buildings for the treasuries. Later on, Hazrat Umar(ra) also appointed security guards for the treasuries. (Al-Farooq, Shibli Naumani, pp. 203- 205, Idaara Islamiyyat, Karachi, 2004)
In other words, a formal system of security was established for this. Hazrat Umar(ra) would personally safeguard the money of the treasury. An incident is recorded in history that a freed slave of Hazrat Uthman(ra) bin Affan relates that it was extremely hot one day and he was accompanying Hazrat Uthman(ra) and they were with his cattle at a place called Aliyah. Aliyah is a valley at a distance of four to eight miles from Medina and in the direction of Najd. Hazrat Uthman(ra) saw a man walking and was taking two young camels along with him.
Upon seeing this, Hazrat Uthman(ra) asked, “What is the matter with that person? If he stayed in Medina and departed after the weather had cooled, it would have been better for him.” When that man approached near, the assistant of Hazrat Uthman(ra) relates:
“Hazrat Uthman(ra) said to me, ‘Find out as to who this is!’ I replied by saying, ‘It is a man draped in a cloak who is pulling two young camels.’ When the man drew nearer, Hazrat Uthman(ra) again asked, ‘Who is this person?’ I saw and realised that it is was Hazrat Umar(ra) bin Al-Khattab. I submitted, ‘It is Amirul Momineen [the Leader of the Faithful].’ Hazrat Uthman(ra) stood up and peered out from the door when a searing gust of hot air caused him to withdraw his head, but he quickly turned in the direction of Hazrat Umar(ra) and submitted, ‘What has compelled you to leave your home at this hour?’ Hazrat Umar(ra) explained, ‘These two camels were left behind from among the camels for sadaqah [alms], and all other camels had been shepherded away. I wanted to take them to the pastures for fear that they may get lost and thus Allah would hold me accountable for them.’ Hazrat Uthman(ra) stated, ‘O Amirul Momineen, please come under the shade and have a drink of water, we are present here to serve you.” In other words, they would arrange for them to be sent. “Hazrat Umar(ra) replied, ‘Return and rest and be seated in your shade.’”
The freed slave of Hazrat Uthman(ra) continues to narrate, “I submitted, ‘We have that which is adequate for you also.’ Hazrat Umar(ra) replied to this and said, ‘Return to your shade.’ Following this, he departed. Hazrat Uthman(ra) then stated: ‘Whosoever desires to observe Al-Qawiyy and Al-Ameen’”, that is, the strong and trustworthy, “‘then he should look to this man.’”
In another narration, it is recorded that Umar bin Nafi narrates from Abu Bakr Isa, “I accompanied Hazrat Umar(ra) bin Al-Khattab, Hazrat Uthman(ra)bin Affan and Hazrat Ali(ra) bin Abi Talib when charity was being collected. Hazrat Uthman(ra) was sat under a shade while Hazrat Ali(ra) stood near him and repeated all the things Hazrat Umar(ra) was stating. Hazrat Umar(ra), undeterred by the severe heat of day, stood in the sun with two black cloaks, one used as a lower garment and the other as a head covering, while inspecting and noting down the age and colour of the camels that had been donated for charity. Hazrat Ali(ra) then said to Hazrat Uthman(ra), ‘Have you heard of this saying of the daughter of Shu‘aib in Allah’s book:
اِنَّ خَیْرَ مَنِ اسْتَاْجَرْتَ الْقَوِیُّ الْاَمِیْنُ
“That is, ‘The best man you can hire is the one who is strong and trustworthy’? Then, Hazrat Ali(ra) indicated toward Hazrat Umar(ra) and said, ‘He is very strong and a trustworthy man.’” (Usdul Ghaba Fi Marifat Al-Sahaba, Vol. 3, p. 667, Dar-ul-Fikr Beirut Lebanon, 2003) (Umdahtul Qari Sharah Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 16, p. 279, Dar-e-Ihya Al-Turath Alarabi, Beirut)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) narrates an incident related to this regarding Hazrat Umar(ra):
“Hazrat Uthman(ra) recounts, ‘I was once seated in my quarters and the heat was so severe that it was difficult to even muster the strength to open the door. In the meantime, one of my assistants told me that there was a man walking outside in the scorching heat. I moved the curtains to find a man whose face was burnt by the intense heat. I replied saying that he must be a traveller, but just a few moments later, that man arrived closer to my quarters and I realised that it was Hazrat Umar(ra). Upon seeing him, I became concerned and went outside and asked, ‘Where are you going at this time in this intense heat?’ Hazrat Umar(ra) said, “A camel from the treasury has been lost and I am out searching for it.”’” (Tafsir-e-Kabir Vol. 8, pp. 314-315)
This is the incident of a camel that was lost, and it was mentioned once before as well.
Hazrat Umar(ra) was once distributing wealth from the treasury when his daughter came and took a dirham. Hazrat Umar(ra) stood to retrieve it from her which caused his cloak to dangle from one shoulder. Upon seeing this, the girl raced home crying and put the dirham in her mouth. Hazrat Umar(ra) used his finger to remove the dirham from her mouth and returned it to the treasury and said, “O people, Umar and his family, whether closely related or distantly, have the same rights as any Muslim does and nothing more.”
There is also another narration; Hazrat Abu Musa(ra) once donated a broom to the treasury and received a dirham. A young child of Hazrat Umar(ra) passed by and Abu Musa(ra) gave that dirham to the child. Hazrat Umar(ra) saw the dirham in the child’s hand and asked about it, and the child informed him that he received it from Abu Musa(ra) . After learning that the dirham had come from the treasury, Hazrat Umar(ra) said, “O Abu Musa(ra), did you not find anyone amongst the dwellers of Medina more in need than the household of Umar? Did you desire that none should be left out from the ummah of Muhammad(sa) but that they should seek recompense from us for this wrong?” He then returned the dirham to the treasury. (Izaalatul-Khulafa An Khilafat Al-Khualafa, translated by Istiaq Ahmad Sahib, Vol. 3, p. 286, Qadeemi Kutub Khana Araam Baagh Karachi)
In terms of general advancements, it is recorded that Hazrat Umar(ra) did many things for the betterment and progression of the general public. For improvements in agriculture and sourcing water, he arranged for canals to be dug, of which some instances are as follows.
Abu Musa Canal was a nine-mile-long canal which brought water from the Tigris River to Basra; Ma‘qal canal was also dug from the Tigris; Amirul Momineen canal was dug under the orders of Hazrat Umar(ra) to join the Nile to the Red Sea. During the famine in 18 AH, Hazrat Umar(ra)wrote to Hazrat Amr(ra) bin Al-Aas to send aid. There was a delay in the aid reaching [Medina] due to the great distance [from Egypt]. Hazrat Umar(ra) sent for Amr(ra) and said to him that if the Nile was dug up to the sea, Arabia would never suffer from a famine again. When Amr(ra)returned – as he was the governor – he dug a canal from Fustat up to the Red Sea, through which ships could reach the port of Jeddah close to Medina. This canal was 29 miles long and was prepared within six months. Hazrat Amr(ra) bin al-Aas intended to connect the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea. He intended to dig a canal from Farma, where the distance between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea was only 70 miles and connect the two rivers. Farma was a coastal city of Egypt. However, Hazrat Umar(ra) was worried that the pilgrims would be looted by the Greeks and did not approve of it. If Amr(ra) bin al-Aas was granted permission, the Suez Canal, which was built later, would have been created by the Arabs.
Various buildings [were built]. Hazrat Umar(ra) built various buildings for the ease of the people; these included mosques, courts, military cantonments, barracks, offices for infrastructure of the country, roads, bridges, guest houses, watch posts, inns etc. Hazrat Umar(ra) constructed springs and inns at every manzil [distance of one day’s journey] between Mecca and Medina; he created watch posts as well. (Al-Farooq, Shibli Naumani, pp. 206- 211, Idaara Islamiyyat, Karachi, 2004)
That is, he ensured for security arrangements and also places of rest such as hotels and inns etc. Regarding the development of cities, it is stated that during the Khilafat of Hazart Umar(ra), many new cities were inhabited. Whilst populating these cities, Hazrat Umar(ra) kept the security and economic advantages in mind. The locations of these cities demonstrated Hazrat Umar(ra) command and meticulous planning in the art of war, principles of politics and development. These cities were beneficial in both times of war and peacetimes. Hazrat Umar(ra) would ensure that cities were constructed in those Arab lands, which bordered non-Arab lands in order to prevent a sudden attack. The location of these cities was such that was suited to the Arabs. One side of these cities would be from among the Arab lands and served as pasture grounds and other side would be next to such non-Arab lands that consisted of lush green vegetation, where fruits, grain and other things were grown, i.e. lands that were used for agriculture. When constructing cities, Hazrat Umar(ra) would ensure that a river or sea did not flow in the middle of it.
Hazrat Umar(ra) founded the cities of Basra, Kufa and Fustat. Hazrat Umar(ra) established these cities on strong and correct foundations. He ensured the roads and pathways were spacious and wide and were exceptionally organised. This outlook demonstrated that Hazrat Umar(ra)was an expert in this field and innovative in this regard. (Sirat Amir-ul-Momineen, Salabi, pp. 214-217, 221, Dar-ul-Marifah, Beirut, 2007)
Similarly, Hazrat Umar(ra) established a system for the army. Hazrat Umar(ra) organised the structure for the military. He ensured for registries to be made according to their ranks and also fixed their salaries. Hazrat Umar(ra) divided the army into two parts: one part that would regularly partake in battle and the second part consisted of volunteers who would be called upon in time of need. Hazrat Umar(ra) was mindful of the training of the army and issued strict orders that in occupied territories, army personnel would not be involved in trade or agriculture. The army serving in the occupied territories were not to involve themselves in any trade or agriculture business, because if they did there was a danger that they would lose their military prowess.
These days, we see that in Muslim countries as well, army personnel are involved in trade and businesses. In fact, regarding one country, it is said that previously, when obtaining commission, officers would focus their attention to their relevant field of expertise, but now as soon as an officer receives their commission, they check where a new development or a defence colony is being made where they can secure an allotment for themselves. And for this reason, their military prowess is diminishing.
Furthermore, it is mentioned that when launching a campaign against those countries which had hotter and colder weathers, the climate would be taken into account, so that the army remained healthy and active and their health was not adversely affected. Hazrat Umar(ra) issued strict orders for every person in the army to know swimming, horse-riding, how to use a bow and arrow and to be able to walk barefoot. After every four months, the soldiers were permitted to return home to their families and were given leave.
In order to make them strong and tough, he ordered that the army personnel not use stirrups when mounting their horse; instead, they had to jump on to the horse. They were ordered to abstain from wearing soft clothes, avoid the sun and not to shower in hammams, as this would incline them towards ease and comforts.
In springtime, Hazrat Umar(ra) would order the army to be sent to lush green areas. The atmosphere and climate would be taken into account when building the army barracks as this was important that the army be sent to lush green areas so that they would remain in good health owing to the clean climate. Hazrat Umar(ra) would be mindful of the environment and climate around them. He constructed military cantonments in every province. A military base was established in all the main areas such as Medina, Kufa, Basra, Mosul, Fustat, Damascus, Homs, Jordan and Palestine and there would always be an army on duty there. Every four months, the soldiers would be granted leave. At all times, these military bases contained 4,000 horses which were looked after. The legs of the horses were branded with the words:
جَیْشٌ فِیْ سَبِیْلِ اللّٰہ
“Army in the way of Allah.”
During the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar(ra), the Islamic army developed new implements of war in order to aid their progress. These included implements to break down fortresses such as catapults and dabbabah. Dabbabah was a weapon used to break down and destroy forts. People would be seated inside it and it would be used to make holes in the walls of the fort in order to make them collapse. (Al-Farooq, Shibli Naumani, pp. 216- 218, Idaara Islamiyyat, Karachi, 2004) (Sirat Al-Sahaba, Vol. 1, pp. 126-127, Muin-ul-Din Nadvi, Dar-ul-Isha‘at Karachi, Pakistan, 2004) (Lisan-ul-Arab, under “D-b-b”)
Under the Islamic government, non-Muslims were granted senior positions. It was not the case that only Muslims were given key posts; in fact, non-Muslims and non-Arabs also held key positions. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:
“During the time of the caliphs of the Holy Prophet(sa), despite the fact that various nations [under Islamic rule] were not all living peacefully, they were still granted their rights.
“Allamah Shibli, states, ‘Hazrat Umar(ra) expanded the structure of the military in a way that there was no distinction between any nationality nor was there religious bias. The part of the army which consisted of volunteers had thousands of majusis’”,i.e. those who did not worship God, but instead worshiped the fire or the sun, “‘and were given the same salaries as the Muslims.’ There were majusis in the administration of the army as well. Similarly, he writes, ‘Greek and Romans were part of the army and 500 were present at the time of the conquest of Egypt.’”
Today, in Pakistan, they say that Ahmadis should be removed from the army as it is a sensitive position, whereas if one studies history, Ahmadi army officers have offered the most sacrifices for Pakistan. Nonetheless, these are their own schemes.
“With regard to Hazrat Umar(ra), it is stated that when Amr(ra) bin al-Aas developed the city of Fustat, he divided it up in quarters. This [fair] treatment was also extended to the Jews and during the conquest of Egypt, 1,000 Jews were present in the Islamic army. Similarly, it is proven from history that people belonging to other nations were appointed as officers in the army. People belonging to other nations were even appointed as officers in times of war. In the time of Hazrat Umar(ra), the Iranians were appointed as officers in the army and their names are mentioned in history.
Allamah Shibli has mentioned the names of six officers: Siyah, Khusraw, Shehryar, Sheerviyah, Shahrviyah and Afrodeen. These officers would be paid from the official treasury and their names were on the payroll. After the four Khulafa [Rashideen], it is mentioned in history that in the time of Hazrat Mu‘awiyah(ra), a Christian by the name of Ibn Asaal was the finance minister.”
The reference which I have just read about “Afrodeen” was stated by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) in Tafsir-e-Kabir, wherein he cited a reference of Allama Shibli’s book, Al-Farooq and the same name is written in that as well. However, in Arabic books, the name is written as “Afrodheen”, with [the letter] “Dhal” as opposed to [the letter] “Dal”. (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, p. 534) (Tarikh Al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 504, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah Beirut, 1987)
Nonetheless, there is a minor difference of “Dhal” and “Dal”, but as people begin disputes over such matters, for this reason, I have given this explanation.
Similarly, market control and price control was implemented; Islam prohibited dropping prices through unlawful means and this was enforced by Hazrat Umar(ra).
With regard to the prohibition of dropping the prices, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:
“Islam does not permit that prices be forced down by unlawful means. Forcing down prices is also an unlawful way of earning money because owing to this, powerful traders would force the smaller traders to sell their commodities at a lower price and would succeed in making them bankrupt.
“In the time of Hazrat Umar(ra), while inspecting the market, he came across a trader from outside of Medina who was selling dried grapes at such low prices that local producers and traders could not compete with. Hazrat Umar(ra) ordered the man to remove his produce from the market or to sell it at the price other traders were selling in Medina.” The traders of Medina were not asking for an excessive price; it was a reasonable price in line with their expenditure.
“Hazrat Umar(ra) ordered for him to sell it for the same price. When asked for the reasons of this order, Hazrat Umar(ra) replied that without such an order the local merchants would have suffered a loss even though they were not charging an undue price.
“It is true that some companions questioned the validity of this order in view of the saying of the Holy Prophet(sa) that market prices should not be interfered with. However, their objection was not correct, since the prohibition against state intervention in market prices issued by the Holy Prophet(sa) pertained to interference in the principles of supply and demand. The government should avoid undue interference, as it is harmful.” The market supply and demand adjusts itself. “It would provide no benefit to consumers while inflicting serious losses upon traders”, if this was not permitted, “but assigning prices is permitted.” (Islam Ka Iqtasadi Nizam, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 18, p. 53)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) has explained this in detail in another place as follows:
“Among the rights of the citizens is that the trade and dealings should not be adversely impacted. We find that Islam has not overlooked this right and therefore has prohibited one from increasing the market price and selling at a higher price. Similarly, it is has also prohibited one from significantly reducing the prices in order to cause loss to others and making their businesses fail. It is wrong to bring the prices down in order to see off competition.
“Once, a trader was selling grapes in Medina at such a price which other traders could not afford to sell at. Hazrat Umar(ra) was walking by at the time and admonished the trader because owing to this act of his the other traders were suffering loss. Thus, Islam has prohibited one from selling products at an extremely high price and also from significantly reducing the prices, so that neither the traders are faced with loss and nor the members of the public.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 10, p. 307)
In relation to organising the education system, it is mentioned that Hazrat Umar(ra) greatly improved the education system. He established schools in all the countries [under Muslim rule] wherein the Holy Quran, hadith and fiqh were taught. The companions, who were great scholars were appointed as teachers and overseeing the moral training and a salary was also fixed for those who were appointed as teachers. (Al-Farooq, Shibli Naumani, p. 233, Idaara Islamiyyat, Karachi, 2004)
With regard to how the Hijri calendar was established, there is a narration of Sahih Bukhari, which states that Hazrat Sahl(ra) bin Saad reported that the companions did not start the calendar from the time of the advent of the Holy Prophet(sa) and nor from his demise, in fact, they started it from when the Holy Prophet(sa) arrived in Medina, i.e. after his migration. (Al-Farooq, Shibli Naumani, p. 233, Idaara Islamiyyat, Karachi, 2004)
A commentator of Bukhari, Allama Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani states that according to Imam Suhaili, “The companions decided to start the calendar from the migration [of the Holy Prophet(sa)] based on the following words of Allah the Almighty:
لَمَسْجِدٌ اُسِّسَ عَلَی التَّقْوٰی مِنْ اَوَّلِ یَوْمٍ
“‘A mosque which was founded upon piety from the very first day […]’. (Ch.9: V.108)
“Thus, the meaning of ‘from the very first day’ would be the day the Holy Prophet(sa) and his companions arrived in Medina; however, Allah has the best of knowledge.”
There are various narrations with regard to why there was a need to start the Hijri calendar. Hazrat Abu Musa(ra) wrote to Hazrat Umar(ra) and stated that they would receive letters from him, but it did not have any date on them. Upon this, Hazrat Umar(ra) gathered the people to seek consultation on this. Allama Ibn Hajar states that in Bukhari, under the Book of Etiquettes, Hakim has related from Maimoon bin Mehran that once, a cheque was presented to Hazrat Umar(ra) which was only valid until Sha‘ban. Upon this, Hazrat Umar(ra) stated, “Which Sha‘ban does this refer to? The one that has passed, or the one that we are currently passing through, or the one to come?” Following this, Hazrat Umar(ra) stated that they should form a calendar which everyone could remember.
Ibn Sirin relates that once, a person came from Yemen and mentioned that he had observed that in Yemen, they had something which they referred to as a calendar and they wrote down the particular year and the month. Upon this, Hazrat Umar(ra) stated that this was an excellent method and they should write it down like that as well.
There are various narrations in regard to who started the Hijri calendar. According to one of the narrations, it was the Holy Prophet(sa) who instructed to note down the dates and this began from the month of Rabi‘ al-Awal. Hakim has written in his book, Al-Aqlil that it has been narrated by Ibn Shihab Zuhri:
اَنَّ النَّبِیَّ لَمَّا قَدِمَ الْمَدِیْنَۃَ اَمَرَ بِالتَّارِیْخِ فَکُتِبَ فِی رَبِیْعِ الْاَوَّلِ
That is, “When the Holy Prophet(sa) arrived in Medina, he instructed for the dates to be written down and this began from the month of Rabi‘ al-Awal.” Allama Ibn Hajar states that this narration is “mu‘dal”, which means that it has two or more narrators missing one after the other in its chain of narrators.
According to another narration, a calendar began to be formally written down after the Holy Prophet(sa) migrated to Medina. However, the more commonly known narration is contrary to these aforementioned narrations and states that the Hijri calendar started from the time of Hazrat Umar(ra).
The author of Subul Al-Huda Wa Al-Rishad Fi Sirat Khair Al-Abad, Muhammad bin Yusuf Salehi states that Ibn Salaa states that he read in the book, Al-Shuroot by Abu Tahir Ma‘mish that the Holy Prophet(sa)instructed for the dates to be written down because when the Holy Prophet(sa) intended to send letters to the Christians in Najran, he instructed Hazrat Ali(ra) to write:
لِخَمْسٍ مِّنَ الْھِجْرَۃِ
That is, “Five years after the Hijrah.” Thus, in light of this, it was the Holy Prophet(sa), who was the first to write down the dates and Hazrat Umar(ra)followed this practise of the Holy Prophet(sa).
According to another narration, it was Hazrat Ya‘la bin Umaiyyah, who was from Yemen, who started the practice of writing down the dates. Imam Ahmad has narrated this but the chain of narrators is broken between Amr and Ya‘la.
According to the third narration, which is more commonly known, the Hijri calendar began in the era of Hazrat Umar’s(ra) Khilafat.
There are further details mentioned in relation to why the Hijri calendar began from the year of migration.
When Hazrat Umar(ra) sought consultation with regard to forming a yearly calendar, one of the suggestions was that it should start from the year of the Holy Prophet’s(sa) birth. Another suggestion was that it should start from the year he was commissioned as a prophet. And the third suggestion was that it should start from the year in which the Holy Prophet(sa) passed away. The fourth suggestion was that it should start from the year in which the Holy Prophet(sa) migrated [to Medina]. It was ultimately decided to start from the year of migration because there was a difference of opinion in regard to the exact year in which the Holy Prophet(sa) was born and the year he was commissioned as a prophet. The reason why they did not start it from the year in which the Holy Prophet(sa) passed away because this had an element of grief and sorrow for the Muslims due to the Holy Prophet’s(sa) demise. Hence, the companions all agreed to start from the year of migration. The companions started the year from the month of Muharram instead of Rabi‘ al-Awal because the Holy Prophet(sa) had decided to migrate in the month of Muharram. The Second Bai‘at at Aqabah had taken place in the month of Dhul-Hijjah and this was what eventually led to the migration. Thus, the first lunar month which appeared after the Second Bai‘at at Aqabah and the Holy Prophet(sa) having decided to migrate was Muharram and therefore, it was deemed appropriate to begin the year with Muharram.
Allama Ibn Hajar states that to start the Islamic calendar from the month of Muharram was the strongest argument in his view. (Fathul Bari, Ibn Hajar, pp. 314-315, Hadith 3934, Dar-ul-Riyan Al-Turath, Cairo, 1986) (Subul Al-Huda Wa Al-Rishad, Vol. 12, pp. 36-37, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah Beirut, 1993)
There are various opinions in relation to when the Holy Prophet(sa) arrived in Madinah. The Holy Prophet(sa) would stop at different locations on the way and arrived close to Medina in 12 Rabi‘ al-Awal in 14 Nabwi/20 September 622 CE. According to some historians, the Holy Prophet(sa)arrived in 8 Rabi‘ al-Awal and there are some who state that the Holy Prophet(sa) left in the month of Safar and arrived in Rabi‘ al-Awal. The Holy Prophet(sa) left Mecca on the first of Rabi‘ al-Awal and arrived in Medina on 12 Rabi‘ al-Awal. (Sirat Khatam Al-Nabiyeen, p. 23) (Sharah Al-Zarqani, Vol. 2, p. 102, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut 2012) (Al-Farooq, Shibli Naumani, p. 248, Idaara Islamiyyat, Karachi, 2004)
There are also various narrations in regard to when the Hijri calendar was established. According to some, it was in 16 AH, but we also find mention of 17 AH, 18 AH and 21 AH as well. (Fathul Bari, Ibn Hajar, Vol. 7, p. 315, Hadith 3934, Dar-ul-Riyan Al-Turath, Cairo, 1986) (Al-Kaafi Fi Al-Tarikh, Ibn Athir, Vol. 1, p. 13, Dar-ul-Kitab al-Arabi, Beirut, 2012) (Al-Farooq,Shibli Naumani, p. 248, Idaara Islamiyyat, Karachi, 2004)
In any case, most of the people agree that the calendar was established during the era of Hazrat Umarra.
According to most historians, Abdul Malik bin Marwan introduced the first Islamic coin. Some of the historians of Madinah have stated that the first Islamic coins were introduced in the era of Hazrat Umarra. They would have the words, “All praise belongs to Allah” inscribed on them and others had “Muhammad (sa) the Messenger of Allah” and “There is none worthy of worship except Allah, Who is One” inscribed on them, but they did not completely discard the coins used from the era of the Persian rulers.
According to a research, the first Islamic coins were introduced in 17 AH in Damascus during the era of Hazrat Umar(ra), but they would contain the image of the Byzantine kings and Latin inscription on them. According to another narration, it was in 28 AH during the era of Hazrat Uthman(ra) that a purely Islamic coin was used. Initially, in the Persian lands, their original coins were used and they would have the image of the Persian kings on them, but the words, “In the name of Allah”, would be inscribed on them in Kufic script. (Al-Farooq, Shibli Naumani, p. 250, Idaara Islamiyaat, Karachi, 2004) (Justujoo-e-Madinah, p. 310, Abdul Hamid Qadri, Oriental Publications Pakistan)
With regard to the projects started by Hazrat Umar(ra) which are known as “Awwaliyat-e-Farooqi”, Allamah Shibli Naumani writes in his book, Al-Farooq that all the various projects that were started for the first time by Hazrat Umar(ra) have been all been listed by the historians and are known as “Awwaliyat” i.e. they were initiated by Hazrat Umar(ra). They are as follows:
Allama Shibli writes that aside from these, there are many other things that were initiated by Hazrat Umar(ra), but he has not mentioned them as the list would become too long. (Al-Farooq, Shibli Naumani, pp. 401 - 403, 212, Idaara Islamiyyat, Karachi, 1991)
Accounts of Hazrat Umar(ra) will continue to be mentioned in the future sermons, insha-Allah.
At this time, I wish to mention some deceased members, and after the Friday prayer, I will also lead their funeral prayers.
The first mention is of respected Suripto Hadi Siswoyo Sahib of Indonesia who passed away last month at the age of 79.
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّا اِلَیْہِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
[Verily, to Allah we belong and to him shall we return.]
He performed bai‘at at the age of 21 and he remained extremely steadfast. He is survived by his wife and eight children. One of his sons is serving as a missionary. The deceased served as the president of the [local] jamaat on several occasions. He also served as a qazi [judge] in the dar-ul-qaza [board of arbitration] of Indonesia. He had a keen interest in tabligh; and would actively carry out tabligh. No matter the circumstances, his passion for tabligh never subsided.
His son, Arwan Habibulah, who is a missionary, says:
“On several occasions, it so happened that he would leave his motorcycle at someone’s home and would travel many kilometres by foot for the purpose of tabligh and he would have to cross rivers and rocks in order to reach other villages, thus making the journeys very difficult.
“My father was a hardworking man. When my father worked as a teacher, he requested the school’s principal to be allotted four days for teaching” – whatever classes there were for school should be completed in four days – “and that he be given leave on the rest of the days so that he could have more time for tabligh. Upon finishing from school on Thursday, he would go straight for tabligh and would return home on Sunday evening, or sometimes even on Monday morning.”
Basharat Ahmad Sahib, who is a missionary, writes:
“10 local jamaats of the Jamaat in the Wonosobo region of Central Java were established through him. No matter the circumstances, he made sure to offer Tahajud [pre-dawn voluntary prayer]. He met people of all backgrounds with great respect and kindness. Once, he said, ‘I wish to continue the work of tabligh until my final days. This is the key to my happiness and health.’”
Ahmad Hidayat Sahib, who is a missionary says:
“The deceased was a very courageous preacher. He never felt afraid when he received threats from opponents, and would firmly stand up to them.”
May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness, bestow His mercy upon him and elevate his station.
The next mention is of Chaudhary Bashir Ahmad Bhatti Sahib, son of Allah Dad Sahib Ghoro from the district of Nankana Sahib. He passed away last month at the age of 95.
His son is Muhammad Afzal Bhatti Sahib, who is a missionary in Tanzania. He says:
“He was a born Ahmadi. He was regular in prayers and fasting. He was equitable and honest. He had profound love for Ahmadiyyat and Khilafat. He began attending the Jalsa Salanas in Qadian from a young age. In his village, people greatly feared those who would be involved in the practise of charms and amulets [to ward off evil]” as this is quite common in our countries, “and so he would tell them, ‘There is no reason to fear such people. They cannot cause you any harm against the will of Allah the Almighty.’ However, the people from the village would respond to him saying, ‘You are an Ahmadi and you don’t believe in these things, which is why they cannot harm you, but we fear them.’
“In 1953, when disorders began, the opponents of Ahmadiyyat held riots in our area in which they planned to burn the homes of Ahmadis. Some people went to the neighbouring village where high ranking members of his family resided, who had great influence but were non-Ahmadis, and asked them to advise their relatives who lived in that village where Ahmadis resided to leave, as they intended to set fire there the next day. Alternatively, they should renounce Ahmadiyyat, otherwise the outcome would not be good for them. And so, his relatives tried to advise him, and said that he should temporarily renounce Ahmadiyyat and could re-enter his faith after the riot had left.
“Upon this he said, ‘Don’t worry. We have accepted Ahmadiyyat after great thought and consideration. We will not be harmed in any way. We can be sacrificed for the sake of Ahmadiyyat, but we cannot even think to step back from our faith even for a minute.’ Subsequently, he told them that if they were unable to do anything, then that was fine, for their trust was in Allah the Almighty. Allah the Almighty arranged for it to be such that the riot stopped some distance away and scattered as they did not have the courage to proceed to their village.”
He is survived by two daughters and five sons. One of his sons, Afzal Bhatti Sahib, is a missionary of the Jamaat serving in Tanzania. Due to being in the field of duty, he was unable to partake in the funeral and burial.
May Allah the Almighty elevate the station of the deceased and enable his progeny to carry on his virtuous qualities; may He grant patience and forbearance to the deceased’s son who could not be there.
The next mention is of Hameedullah Khadim Malhi Sahib, son of Chaudhary Allah Rakha Malhi Sahib, from Darul Nasr Gharbi, Rabwah. He passed away at the age of 82.
He was the grandson of Chaudhary Allah Bakhsh Bulhar Sahib(ra), a companion of the Promised Messiah(as), and was the father of Nasrullah Malhi Sahib Shaheed, a missionary of the Jamaat.
The deceased was regular in prayers and fasting, simple, honourable, caring for the poor and a sincere and loyal Ahmadi. During his employment, he stood firm in the face of opposition and countered it with great bravery. One of his sons is a life-devotee in Rabwah and works at the Tahir Heart Institute. May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and bestow His mercy.
The next mention is of Muhammad Ali Khan Sahib of Peshawar who was the son of Shareefullah Khan Sahib. He passed away according to the decree of Allah at the age of 89.
By the grace of Allah, he had devoted 1/8 of his wealth as a musi. He is survived by three daughters and seven sons. One of his daughters is Salima Sahiba, wife of Burhan Sahib who resides here in Islamabad. She writes that their family were initially non-Ahmadi. Then, in 1954, he [Muhammad Ali Khan Sahib] performed bai‘at at the hand of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) and remained attached to the Jamaat and to Khilafat throughout his life.
Her father displayed honour for his faith and a deep bond with the Jamaat. Her father performed bai‘at in 1954, prior to which he was a non-Ahmadi. Afterwards, he had the opportunity of serving the Jamaat. He was the district qaid for Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, as well as the secretary wasaya, secretary talim-ul-Quran and served in various other posts.
He intently studied the books of the Promised Messiah(as). He had profound love for the Holy Quran and she always saw him reciting the Holy Quran. He had also memorised a significant portion of the Holy Quran.
He was devoted to worship, virtuous, hospitable, an honest and straightforward man. He constantly recited durood sharif. He would also help others financially. One of his non-Ahmadi relatives said to him that if he left Ahmadiyyat, he would be ready to completely sacrifice himself for him. She says that her father responded to him by saying, “What need do I have for your sacrifice when I myself have already been sacrificed. Now listen to me; accept the Promised Messiah(as). He who was to come has arrived, so reform yourselves [by accepting him].”
In any case, that relative did not pay heed and eventually all of his relatives left him, yet day by day, the deceased continued to increase in his connection with the Jamaat.
May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness, bestow His mercy and elevate his station.
The next mention is of Sahibzada Mahdi Latif Sahib of Maryland, USA who passed away at the age of 87.
Sahibzada Mahdi Latif Sahib was the grandson of Hazrat Sahibzada Abdul Latif Shaheed Sahib(ra) and son of the late Sahibzada Muhammad Tayyab Latif Sahib.
By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the late Sahibzada Mahdi Latif Sahib was a musi. He had extensively studied the books of the Promised Messiah(as). He was regular in offering the five daily prayers as well as the Tahajjud prayers. He had great love for Khilafat; he was very humble and of simple nature. He had a passion for tabligh and would always advise others to preach as well.
The next mention is of Faizan Ahmad Sameer, son of Shahzad Akbar Sahib; Shahzad Akbar Sahib is a worker of the private secretariat in Rabwah. Faizan, who was his son, passed away due to Covid-19 at the age of 16.
He was a very intelligent, quiet, honourable child. He was part of the Waqf-e-Nau scheme. He focused on his studies and would not involve himself in unnecessary activities; in fact, he did not even participate that much in sports. He was extremely well-behaved. Aside from school, he would spend most of his time at home.
May Allah the Almighty grant patience to the parents of the deceased. His maternal grandfather, Khawaja Abdul Shakoor Sahib, has also served the Jamaat for a long time. May Allah grant the deceased His forgiveness and elevate his station.
Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 27 July to 12 August 2021 [Jalsa Salana Number] pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.