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Umar ibn Abdul Aziz
"...When the Khalifah died the Roman emperor is reported to have said: |
“I should not be the least surprised if a monk renounces the world and busies himself in worship behind closed doors, but I am simply amazed at this man who has a vast empire at his feet but he rejected it and lived the life of a monk....”
Umar ibn Abdul Aziz is a person who is just well known by a few Muslims (those who are interested in the history of Islam). After the death of Prophet Mohammed, for some years, is when he was born.
All Muslims nominated the leaders in Islam, who succeeded each other after Prophet’s death, unanimously, but before Omar was born, everything had changed due to worldly pleasures. That is the word DYNASTY was introduced, instead. And since Omar belonged to the reigning family, when his time for leadership came, he was given the opportunity.
Actually, the above is just a short summary of his introduction, but what impressed me hence calling him my hero, are the following reasons that were portrayed throughout his life span.
First, comparing his life before and after his leadership is that, he led a luxurious and royal life before, but he underwent a complete metamorphosis after his declaration. For example: -
Immediately when he became a leader, he dismissed all the governors who were known to be cruel and unjust to the servants. Therefore, the people were happier than ever.
Secondly, all the jewelry and valuable presents brought before him were deposited to the state treasury in a number of occasions, instead of taking it for personal treasury.
Also he gave out all his wealth for the betterment of the society until he was remained with only one shirt. His people realized this when he was always late for Friday prayers as a result of waiting for his only one shirt to dry after washing it. Furthermore, at times there was no food in his house, hence, one day he saw his children hiding their mouth not to be open to their father, and when he enquired, he discovered that his children had taken onions as food and were hiding the smell from reaching him. He felt pity on them and made sure that they had enough food. This shows that, even the kids have taken after their father’s heroic nature of understanding the situation. Moreover he did not have enough money to go for pilgrimage despite the fact that, he was the leader of the mightiest empire in that time.
In his office he had two candles, if he wanted to write the state affairs, he would use the candle that belonged to the state and if he wanted to write his own personal letters, he would use the candle, which he bought from his own money.
Omar ensured that, his governors follow the same path. For example one of the governors brought a letter requesting for more candle sticks but Omar replied, “I remember we used to walk in the dark night without candle sticks and we survived, do you want to tell me that now you are in a worse condition?” This shows that he was against extravagance.