The Assassination of ʿUmar – Part 2

Part one can be viewed here.

As soon as he said Takbīr, I heard him say, “The dog has killed or eaten me,” when the murderer stabbed him. A non-Arab infidel came carrying a double-edged knife and stabbed everyone he passed by on the right and left, stabbing thirteen people out of whom seven died. When one of the Muslims saw that, he threw a cloak on him. Realizing that he had been captured, the non-Arab infidel killed himself. ‘Umar took the hand of ‘Abdur-Raḥmān b. ‘Auf and let him lead the prayer.

Those who were standing by the side of ‘Umar saw what I saw, but the people who were in the other parts of the Mosque did not see anything, but they lost the voice of ‘Umar and they were saying, “Subḥān Allāh! Subḥān Allāh!” ‘Abdur-Raḥmān b. ‘Auf led the people a short prayer. When they finished the prayer, ‘Umar said, “O Ibn ‘Abbās! Find out who attacked me.” Ibn ‘Abbās kept on looking here and there for a short time and then came back and said, “The slave of Al-Mughīrah.” At that, ‘Umar said, “The craftsman?” Ibn ‘Abbās replied, “Yes.” ‘Umar said, “May Allah destroy him. I only treated him well. All praises are for Allāh who has not caused me to die at the hand of a man who claims to be a Muslim. No doubt, you and your father (Al-Abbās) used to love to have more non-Arab infidels in Al-Madīnah.” Al-Abbas had the greatest number of slaves. Ibn ‘Abbās said to ‘Umar. “If you wish, we will do it.” He meant, “If you wish we will kill them.” ‘Umar said, “You are mistaken (for you cannot kill them) after they have spoken your language, prayed towards your Qiblah, and performed Hajj like yours.”

Points to note

  • Some narrations mention that the one who threw the cloak over the assassin was a person named Hattān Al-Tamīmī Al-Yarbū’ī from the Muhājirūn.
  • A narration from Ibn Shihāb describes how ʿUmar bled heavily and fainted. He was carried to his house, where he remained unconscious for a while. When he awoke and saw the people around him, the first thing he said was, “Have the people prayed?” When he was told that they had, he said, “There is no place in Islām for those who leave the prayer.” He then performed ablution and prayed, with his wound bleeding heavily. This, coupled with the fact the first thing ʿUmar did was appoint an imām in his place, all goes to show the importance and status of the ṣalāh, as well as the nobleness of ʿUmar.
  • This narration also mentions that ʿUmar feared he had done some wrong to someone in the community, but when Ibn ‘Abbās informed him it was the unbeliever who had stabbed him, and when Ibn ‘Abbās saw everyone crying as if they had lost their own children, ʿUmar became relieved that this situation was not because of any injustice on his part. This shows the piety and taqwā of ʿUmar.

Continued inshā Allāh.

Abū Hurayrah on Taqwā

A man once asked Abū Hurayrah – Allāh be pleased with him, ‘What is al-taqwā?” He replied, “Have you ever taken a path filled with thorns?” The man replied, “I have.” Abū Hurayrah asked him, “What did you do?” He replied, “When I saw a thorn I would dodge it or pass over it or behind it.” Abū Hurayrah said, “That is al-taqwā.”

Al-Baihaqī, Al-Zuhd Al-Kabīr p351.

Save yourselves and your families

Some narrations reported from the Salaf in explanation of what it means to protect oneself and one’s family as mentioned in Al-Tahrīm verse 6:

O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels, stern and severe, and who disobey not the commands they receive from Allāh, but do that which they are commanded. [66:6]

· ‘Alī b. Abī Ṭālib – Allah be pleased with him:

Discipline them, teach them.

· Ibn ‘Abbās – Allah be pleased with them:

Stay obedient to Allāh, stay away from disobeying Allāh and command your families to remember Allāh, and He will save you from the Fire.

· Mujāhid – Allāh have mercy on him:

Fear Allāh and obey him (practice taqwā) and tell your families to practice taqwā.

· Qatādah – Allāh have mercy on him:

A person protects his family by telling them to obey Allāh and forbidding them from disobeying Him. He upholds Allāh’s commandments and helps his family to uphold them. So if you see some disobedience of Allāh you stop them from doing it, and you reprimand them.

Al-Ṭabarī, Al-Tafsīr, Sūrah Al-Taḥrīm.

Only then are you Pious

It is reported from Maymūn b. Mahrān – Allah be please with him – that he said:

A person cannot be a taqīy (pious man of taqwā) until he takes account of himself like he would with his business partner; and until he knows where he gets his clothing and food and drink.

Wakī’ b. Al-Jarrāh, Al-Zuhd Vol.1 p270.

Maymūn b. Mahrān was a great scholar amongst the Successors. He narrated hadīth from Abū Hurayrah, ‘Ā`ishah and Ibn ʿUmar – amongst others. He died in 116 or 117H, Allah have mercy on him.