Hadhrat *Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) and the Fear
Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) would often hold a straw in his hand and
"I wish I were a straw like this."
Sometimes he would say: "I wish my mother had not given
birth to me."
Once he was busy with some important work when a person came to
him and, complaining about some petty grievance, requested for its
redress. Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) laid a lash across his-shoulders,
"When I sit for that purpose, you do not come to me but
when I am engaged in other important work you come with your
grievances to interrupt me."
The person walked away. But Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyal-laho anho)
sent for him and, handing his whip over to him, said: "You now lash
me to even the matter." He said: "I forgive you for the sake of
Allah." Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) went home, prayed a Salaat
of two rakaats in repentance and upbraided himself saying:
"0, Umar! You were low but Allah elevated you.
You were wandering astray but Allah guided you. You were base
but Allah ennobled you and gave you sovereignty over His people.
Now one of them comes and asks you for redress of the wrong done
to him, and you beat him? What answer have you to give before
He kept on chiding himself thus for a very long time.
Once Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) was going on his usual round
towards Harrah (a suburb of Madinah) with his slave Aslam, when
he saw a distant fire in the desert. He said:
"There seems to be a camp. Perhaps, it is a caravan
that could not enter the town due to night fall. Let's go and
look after them and arrange for their protection during the night."
When he reached there, he found a woman and some children. The
children were crying. The woman had a pan of water over the fire.
Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) greeted her with salaam and, with
her permission, went near her.
Umar: "Why are these children crying?" The Woman: "Because
they are hungry." Umar: "What is in the pan?"
The Woman: "Only water to soothe the children,
so that they may go to sleep in the belief that food is'being
prepared for them. Ah! Allah will judge between Umar (Rad-hiyallaho
anho) and me, on the Day of Judgement, for neglecting me in my
'Umar (weeping): "May Allah have mercy on you! How
can Umar know of your distress?"
The Woman: "When he is our Amir, he must keep himself informed
Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) returned to the town and straightway
went to Baitul-Mal to fill a sack with flour, dates, fat and clothes,
and also drew some money. When the sack was ready, he said to Aslam:
"Now put this sack on my back, Aslam."
Aslam: "No please, Amir-ul-Mo'mineen! I shall carry this sack."
'Umar refused to listen to Aslam, even on his persistent requests
to allow him to carry the sack, and remarked:
"What! Will you carry my load on the Day of Judgement?
I must carry this bag, for it is I who would be questioned (in
the Hereafter) about this woman."
Aslam most reluctantly placed the bag on Umar's (Radhiyallaho anho)
back, who carried it with a swift pace right to the woman's tent.
Aslam followed at his heels. He put a little flour and some dates
and fat in the pan and began to stir. He blew (with his mouth) into
the fire to kindle it. Aslam says:
"I saw the smoke passing through his thick beard."
After some time, the pottage was ready. He himself served it to
the family. When they had eaten to their fill, he made over to them
the little that was left for their next meal. The children were
very happy after their meal and began to play about merrily. The
woman felt very grateful and remarked:
"May Allah reward you for your kindness ! In fact you deserve
to take the place of Khalifah instead of 'Umar."
'Umar consoled her and said: "When you come to see the Khalifah,
you will find me there."
He sat for a while at a place close by and kept on watching the
children. He then returned to Madinah. On his way back, he said
"Do you know why I sat there, Aslam? I had seen
them weeping in distress; I liked to see them laughing and happy
for some time."
It is said that Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) while leading
Fajr Salaat used to recite 'Kaht, *Taha' and other such Soorahs
in his Salaat, and would weep so much that his crying could be heard
way back to several rows. Once he was reciting Surah 'Yusuf in Fajr.
When he came to the verse:
"I only plead for my distress and anguish unto Allah,"
he wept so much that he could not recite any further. In Tahajjud,
he would sometimes fall to the ground and would get indisposed with
Such was the fear of Allah in Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho)
whose name struck terror in the hearts of the mightiest monarchs
of his time. Even today, the people are filled with awe when they
read about him. Is there any person in power today who is prepared
to show such kindness to the people in his charge?
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