Hafsah was the daughter of Umar ibn al-Khattab and Zainab bint Madh'uwn. She was born "when Quraysh were building the House [ Ka'abah ], five years before the Prophet was sent," i. She was married to Khunais ibn Hudhaifah but became a widow in August As soon as Hafsah had completed her waiting period , her father Umar offered her hand to Uthman Ibn 'Affan , and thereafter to Abu Bakr ; but they both refused her. When Umar went to Muhammad to complain about this, Muhammad replied, "Allah will marry Uthman to better than your daughter and will marry your daughter to better than Uthman.
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He was an expert Muslim jurist known for his pious and just nature, which earned him the epithet Al-Farooq "the one who distinguishes between right and wrong ". Under Umar, the caliphate expanded at an unprecedented rate, ruling the Sasanian Empire and more than two-thirds of the Byzantine Empire. According to Jewish tradition, Umar set aside the Christian ban on Jews and allowed them into Jerusalem and to worship.
Umar is revered in the Sunni tradition as a great ruler and paragon of Islamic virtues,  and some hadiths identify him as the second greatest of the Sahaba after Abu Bakr.
Umar was born in Mecca to the Banu Adi clan, which was responsible for arbitration among the tribes. In his youth he used to tend to his father's camels in the plains near Mecca. His merchant father was famed for his intelligence among his tribe. He used to make me work hard; if I didn't work he used to beat me and he used to work me to exhaustion.
Despite literacy being uncommon in pre-Islamic Arabia , Umar learned to read and write in his youth. Though not a poet himself, he developed a love for poetry and literature. He was tall, physically powerful and a renowned wrestler. Umar became a merchant and made several journeys to Rome and Persia , where he is said to have met various scholars and analyzed Roman and Persian societies.
As a merchant he was unsuccessful. In Muhammad started preaching the message of Islam. However, like many others in Mecca, Umar opposed Islam and even threatened to kill Muhammad.
He resolved to defend the traditional polytheistic religion of Arabia. He was adamant and cruel in opposing Muhammad, and very prominent in persecuting Muslims. Due to persecution, Muhammad ordered some of his followers to migrate to Abyssinia. When a small group of Muslims migrated, Umar became worried about the future unity of the Quraish and decided to have Muhammad assassinated. Umar converted to Islam in , one year after the Migration to Abyssinia.
On his way to murder Muhammad, Umar met his best friend Nua'im bin Abdullah who had secretly converted to Islam but had not told Umar. Do you think that Banu Abd Manaf would let you run around alive once you had killed their son Muhammad? Why don't you return to your own house and at least set it straight? Nuaimal Hakim told him to inquire about his own house where his sister and her husband had converted to Islam.
Upon arriving at her house, Umar found his sister and brother-in-law Saeed bin Zaid Umar's cousin reciting the verses of the Quran from sura Ta-Ha. When his sister came to rescue her husband, he also started quarreling with her. Yet still they kept on saying "you may kill us but we will not give up Islam". Upon hearing these words, Umar slapped his sister so hard that she fell to the ground bleeding from her mouth.
When he saw what he did to his sister, he calmed down out of guilt and asked his sister to give him what she was reciting. His sister replied in the negative and said "You are unclean, and no unclean person can touch the Scripture.
Umar at last gave in. He washed his body and then began to read the verses that were: Verily, I am Allah: there is no God but Me; so serve Me only , and establish regular prayer for My remembrance Quran He wept and declared, "Surely this is the word of Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Glad tidings for you. Yesterday Muhammad prayed to Allah, 'O, Allah! Umar then went to Muhammad with the same sword he intended to kill him with and accepted Islam in front of him and his companions. Umar was 39 years old when he accepted Islam.
At this stage Umar even challenged anyone who dared to stop the Muslims from praying , although no one dared to interfere with Umar when he was openly praying. Umar's conversion to Islam granted power to the Muslims and to the Islamic faith in Mecca.
It was after this event that Muslims offered prayers openly in Masjid al-Haram for the first time. Abdullah bin Masoud said,. Umar's embracing Islam was our victory, his migration to Medina was our success, and his reign a blessing from Allah. When he accepted Islam, the Quraysh were compelled to let us pray in the Mosque.
Most Muslims migrated at night fearing Quraish resistance, but Umar is reported to have left openly during the day saying: "Any one who wants to make his wife a widow and his children orphans should come and meet me there behind that cliff. When Muhammad arrived in Medina, he paired each immigrant Muhajir with one of the residents of the city Ansari , joining Muhammad ibn Maslamah with Umar, making them brothers in faith.
Later in Umar's reign as caliph, Muhammad ibn Muslamah would be assigned the office of Chief Inspector of Accountability. Muslims remained in peace in Medina for approximately a year before the Quraish raised an army to attack them. In Umar participated in the first battle between Muslims and Quraish of Mecca i. In he took part in the Battle of Uhud. In the second phase of the battle, when Khalid ibn Walid 's cavalry attacked the Muslim rear, turning the tide of battle, rumours of Muhammad's death were spread and many Muslim warriors were routed from the battlefield, Umar among them.
However, hearing that Muhammad was still alive, he went to Muhammad at the mountain of Uhud and prepared for the defence of the hill. In Umar's daughter Hafsah was married to Muhammad. Later in , he fought in the Battle of Hunayn and the Siege of Ta'if. He was part of the Muslim army that contested the Battle of Tabouk under Muhammad's command and he was reported to have given half of his wealth for the preparation of this expedition.
He also participated in the farewell Hajj of Muhammad in When Muhammad died on 8 June Umar initially disbelieved that he was dead. Umar said: "He has not died but rather he has gone to his lord just as Moses went, remaining absent from his people for forty nights after which he has returned to them. By Allah, the messenger of Allah will indeed return just as Moses returned to his people and he will cut off the hands and legs of those men who claimed he has died.
If, then, he dies or is killed, will you turn back on your heel? Sunni Muslims say that this denial of Muhammad's death was occasioned by his deep love for him. Umar's political capacity first manifested as the architect of the caliphate after Muhammad died on 8 June Arriving at the meeting, Umar was faced with a unified community of tribes from the Ansar who refused to accept the leadership of the Muhajirs. Umar resolved the divisions by placing his hand on that of Abu Bakr as a unity candidate for those gathered in the Saqifah.
Others at the Saqifah followed suit, with the exception of the Khazraj tribe and their leader, Sa'd ibn 'Ubada , who were ostracized as a result. The Khazraj tribe is said to have posed no significant threat as there were sufficient men of war from the Medinan tribes such as the Banu Aws to immediately organize them into a military bodyguard for Abu Bakr.
Umar judged the outcome of the Saqifa assembly to be a falta [translated by Madelung as 'a precipitate and ill-considered deal'  ] because of the absence of most of the prominent Muhajirun, including the Prophet's own family and clan, whose participation he considered vital for any legitimate consultation shura, mashwara. It was, he warned the community, to be no precedent for the future.
Yet he also defended the outcome, claiming that the Muslims were longing for Abu Bakr as for no one else. He apologized, moreover, that the Muhajirun present were forced to press for an immediate oath of allegiance since the Ansar could not have been trusted to wait for a legitimate consultation and might have proceeded to elect one of their own after the departure of the Mekkans.
Another reason for Umar to censure the Saqifa meeting as a falta was no doubt its turbulent and undignified end, as he and his followers jumped upon the sick Khazraji leader Sa'd bin Ubada in order to teach him a lesson, if not to kill him, for daring to challenge the sole right of Quraysh to rule.
This violent break-up of the meeting indicates, moreover, that the Ansar cannot all have been swayed by the wisdom and eloquence of Abu Bakr's speech and have accepted him as the best choice for the succession, as suggested by Caetani. There would have been no sense in beating up the Khazraji chief if everybody had come around to swearing allegiance to Umar's candidate. A substantial number of the Ansar, presumably of Khazraj in particular, must have refused to follow the lead of the Muhajirun.
According to various Twelver Shia sources and Madelung,   Umar and Abu Bakr had in effect mounted a political coup against Ali at the Saqifah  According to one version of narrations in primary sources , Umar and Abu Bakr are also said to have used force to try to secure the allegiance from Ali and his party.
It has been reported in mainly Persian historical sources written years later, such as in the History of al-Tabari , that after Ali's refusal to pay homage, Abu Bakr sent Umar with an armed contingent to Fatimah 's house where Ali and his supporters are said to have gathered.
Umar is reported to have warned those in the House that unless Ali succumbed to Abu Bakr, he would set the House on fire  and under these circumstances Ali was forced to capitulate. This version of events, fully accepted by Shia scholars, is generally rejected by Sunni scholars who, in view of other reports in their literature, believe that Ali gave an oath of alliance to Abu Bakr without any grievance. But then other Sunni and Shia sources say that Ali did not swear allegiance to Abu Bakr after his election but six months later after the death of his wife Fatimah putting into question al-Tabari's account.
Either way the Sunni and the Shia accounts both accept that Ali felt that Abu Bakr should have informed him before going into the meeting with the Ansar and that Ali did swear allegiance to Abu Bakr. Western scholars tend to agree that Ali believed he had a clear mandate to succeed Muhammad, [ citation needed ] but offer differing views as to the extent of use of force by Umar in an attempt to intimidate Ali and his supporters.
For instance, Madelung discounts the possibility of the use of force and argues that:. Isolated reports of use of force against Ali and Banu Hashim who unanimously refused to swear allegiance for six months are probably to be discounted.
Abu Bakr no doubt was wise enough to restrain Umar from any violence against them, well realizing that this would inevitably provoke the sense of solidarity of the majority of Abdul Mannaf whose acquiescence he needed. According to Tom Holland, Umar's historicity is beyond dispute.
Rather than ape the manner of a Caesar, as the Ghassanid kings had done, he drew on the example of a quite different kind of Christian. Umar's threadbare robes, his diet of bread, salt and water, and his rejection of worldly riches would have reminded anyone from the desert reaches beyond Palestine of a very particular kind of person. Monks out in the Judaean desert had long been casting themselves as warriors of God.
The achievement of Umar was to take such language to a literal and previously unimaginable extreme. Due to the delicate political situation in Arabia [ vague ] , Umar initially opposed military operations against the rebel tribes there, [ citation needed ] hoping to gain their support in the event of an invasion by the Romans or the Persians.
Later, however, he came to agree with Abu Bakr's strategy to crush the rebellion by force. By late CE, Khalid ibn Walid had successfully united Arabia after consecutive victories against the rebels. During his own reign later, Umar would mostly adopt the policy of avoiding wars and consolidating his power in the incorporated lands rather than expanding his empire through continuous warfare.
Abu Bakr appointed Umar as his successor before dying in CE. Umar was well known for his extraordinary willpower, intelligence, political astuteness, impartiality, justice and care for the poor. His Umar's strictness was there because of my softness when the weight of Caliphate will be over his shoulders he will remain no longer strict.
If I will be asked by God to whom I have appointed my successor, I will tell him that I have appointed the best man among your men. Abu Bakr was aware of Umar's power and ability to succeed him. His was perhaps one of the smoothest transitions of power from one authority to another in the Muslim lands.
Hafsa bint Umar