ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb

Where did we get our Glory?

Ibn Shihāb reports:

ʿUmar went out to Shām (Greater Syria) and Abū ‘Ubaydah b. Al-Jarrāḥ was with us. They came to a ford while ʿUmar was on his camel. He dismounted his camel, took off his leather socks, placed them on his shoulder and took the reins of his camel and began to go down the ford. Abū ‘Ubaydah said, “O Leader of the Believers! You are doing this?! You take off your leather socks, put them on your shoulder, take your camel’s reins and go down the ford?! I wouldn’t want the people of this land to see you in such a state!” ʿUmar said, “If only someone else had said this o Abū ‘Ubaydah. You have made a lesson for the Ummah of Muḥammad – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him! We were the lowliest of people but Allah gave us might and glory through Islam. If we seek glory through other than what Allah gave us glory through, He will abase us (again).”

In another version Abū ‘Ubaydah said:

O Leader of the Believers, should the armed forces and elite of Shām meet you in this condition? ʿUmar replied, “We are a people whom Allah gave might and glory to through Islam, so we will never seek glory through anything else.”

Reported by Al-Ḥākim, Al-Mustadrak Vol.1 pp61, 62. He declared it to be ṣaḥīḥ according to the criteria of Al-Bukhaārī and Muslim. Al-Dhahabī and Al-Albānī concur. See Al-Albānī, Al-Ṣaḥīḥah Vol.1 p50.

How ʿUmar received the treasure of Persia

Ibrāhīm b. ʿAbd Al-Raḥmān b. ‘Auf reports:

ʿUmar b. Al-Khattāb – Allah be pleased with him – was given the treasures of the Persian Emperor (after his conquest), ʿAbdullah b. Arqam asked, “Are you going to put this into the public treasury (bayt al-māl) until you can distribute it?” ʿUmar replied, “No by Allah, I will not take this under a roof before I have passed it on.” So they put it in the middle of the mosque and spent the night guarding it. In the morning, ʿUmar uncovered the treasure and saw such an amount of gold and silver that it almost shone; so he began to cry. ʿAbd Al-Raḥmān b. ‘Auf – Allah be pleased with him – said, “Why do you cry o Amīr of the Believers? This is a day of thanks and a day of happiness for sure.” ʿUmar replied, “Woe to you, this has never been given to a people except that it has cast enmity and hatred amongst them.”

Ibn Al-Mubārak in Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqā`iq Vol. 2 p595, 596.