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Hazrat Umer ,A Revolutionary Statesman

His leadership strategies can uphold the current socio economic system.


OP-ED Columnist

Umer ibn_Alkhattab was one of the most powerful and influential muslim caliph ,He was born in 583 Hijri in Banu adi a tribe of quraish ,son of Alkhattab ibn nufyail and Hantama binti Hashim .

He was the second caliph after Abu Bakr (R.A) . Hazrate Umer (R. A) was one of the knowledgeable and literate person in his family in that period of time only a few people could read and write .

After Hazrate Abu Bakr (R.A) Umer ibn-Al-khttab was chosen as second caliph of Islam . During his governance he was much worried about the well being of the mankind . Through humanity and loving service he unlocked the doors of hatred hearts who later embraced Islam . Umer (R .A) ruled with sympathetic considerations , justice and kindness and made a history in the era and proved to be a dynamic Ruler and distinguished personality .

Soon After he was chosen for task to take muslims to the heights , he immediately took off a vacuum system of governance with more sophisticated and well structured . Here you must note , I am not being critical about last period of governance before Hazrat umer , the time and circumstances were different . The state was in chaos after few tribes rebelled against Islamic state . There was no time to establish systematic goverment . Hazrat Umer , introduced world , particularly Islamic followers with new administrative reforms and closely oversaw public policy, establishing an advanced administration for newly conquered lands, including several new ministries and bureaucracies, as well as ordering a census of all the Muslim territories.

During his reign, to make economical activites well centered , two cities were expanded , Basrah and Al Kufah .

Taking revolutionary steps to form a system based on understanding and cooperation he codified the islamic laws .

His unprecedented rate of expanding Islamic Statev was possible due to his skills of war and tactics as warrior .He was objective in appointing provincial Governors called wali or amir . Whenever any new posting or transfer was ordered , a man was sent with him them, who would read publicly his powers and jurisdictions. Beacause of increase in revenue and other source of income through extraction of the wealth from neighbouring conquered lands, the state of Medina was on its way to economic prosperity . To curb any possible greed taking place between ruling class and power competition , Hazrat Omer started treating officers strictly . His move prevented economic scandals and power tussles between officers . He introduced the first officers oath procedure , which would validate his current situation and his income statics

Before any appointment ,every officer was required to make the oath:

  • That he would not ride a Turkic horse.
  • That he would not wear fine clothes.
  • That he would not eat sifted flour.
  • That he would not keep a porter at his door.
  • That he would always keep his door open to the public.

To make a department specially designated for anti corruption , Hazrat Omer was first ruler in the  world to establish  department for  investigation of complaints against  officers of  State. This department acted as Administrative Court  where the legal proceedings were personally led by Umar.The fear of accountability in officers kept them honest and dedicated towards rule of law .An investigation  by  Special department of accountability which was headed by Muhammad Ibni  Maslamah  , Hazrat Omers most trusted associate , would be carried out and if the official would prove guilty he was immediately deposed from his office and his punishment was vary from publicly humiliating punishments to flogging. 

Before any appointment ,the Revenue departement which was also upgraded with systematic reforms used to keep records of all financial assets and details of the political officer used to be recorded and were checked each year.If any rise in wealth of officer was found by revenue department , the officer was called on to appear before accountability department for asset investigation . Many officers were disposed  by Hazrat Omer after taking suggestions from same departement .
The law was same for all , no one was elite , if anyone was found guilty he was charged with islamic laws immediately after authentic investigation .

Same laws which has been inspired from  Hazrat Umer , are functioning in every country but the lack of will to make it powerful and independent wrecks the system . Hazrat Umer believed  rule of law and accountability to be core values of good governance .The concepts of welfare  and pension  were introduced in early islamic  as forms of zakat (charity tax). The taxes  collected in the treasury were used to provide economical assistance  to poor , elderly , orphans , widows , and disabled . According to the Islamic philosopher and historian  Al-Ghazali  (Algazel, 1058–1111), the government was also expected to stockpile food supplies in every region in case a disaster  or famine occurred. The Caliphate  can thus be considered the world’s first major welfare state .No one was exempt from the law, not even the Caliph himself and during his rule the judges used fullfill the
his criteria for this office, some of which are as follow:

  • Must be well reputed for his morals, modesty, and interpersonal relations.
  • Must be intelligent, and astute in judicial decisions and enjoy his own personal view regarding all social issues that could enable them in the formulation of precedent  or case law .
  • He must be highly qualified in Fiqah
  • Must be socially a powerful and influential personality so that he might not come under pressure of any powerful perpetrator.

He is the first ruler in humankind to establish policing system and provided direct salaries to his army to keep them dependent on state . Such move developed the sense of Descipline and affiliation with state among ranks of army .

What Non muslims said About Hazrat Umer as ruler ?

Mahatama Ghandhi was so impressed after reading about the governance of Abu Bakr and Umer ibn _Alkhattab  that in a public gathering after the Independence he said “I cannot present before you the examples of Sri Ram Chandr and Sri Krishn as they are not personalities recognized by history. I cannot help but present to you names of Abu Bakar (ra) and Umar (ra). They were leaders of a vast empire, yet they lived a life of austerity”.

Yet another example of non muslim praising Hazrat Umer , Delhi C.M said while addressing a workshop at India Islamic International Centre,  “I am extremely impressed by the governance of Caliph Omar and will try to follow his model of governance for the betterment of people”

All leaders and politicians need to follow footsteps of Umer ibn -Al -khattab ,so that none would suffer from hunger , bad governance and other necessities of day to day life .
Where there is rule of law there is always happiness and prosperity.

Iqra Nabi is working with Inside Kashmir as Special Correspondent and a member of its OP-ED team,She is Student of Journalism.

Note : The Op-Ed pages feature opinion pieces written by outside contributors and IK’s own team of columnists and Editorial board members .