Omar ibn Al-Khattab
Abû Hafs ʿUmar Ben Al-Khattab Ben Nufayl Al-Qurachî Al-ʿAdawî , ʿUmar Ben Al-Khattāb , Omar or ʿUmar Ier called Al-Fârûq was a companion of the prophet Mahomet. He became the second Caliph of the Islam by succeeding Abû Bakr in 634. He belonged to the clan Banu `AD of the tribe Quraych. He died assassinated the November 4th 644, `Uthman succeeded to him.
History`Umar was born with Mecque after 581.
He was initially opposed to the first Moslems. Known for its instruction, it was also robust and wine drinker.
At the beginning of the Islam, it defended the traditional religion of the Quraychites regarded by the Moslems as idolatry. It took part in persecutions of the Moslems.
Conversion with IslamIbn Ishaq in its collection Sirat Year-Nabi ( life of the prophet ) reports that `Umar had decided to kill the prophet by learning conversion from his/her sister and her husband to Islam. Whereas it was going to kill the prophet, a Moslem says to him to initially put order in his own house. He made half-turn to turn over at his place, he found his sister there reciting the Coran that made it furious and struck it until she bleeds. He excused this fault near his sister and asked him to read the Sourate which she was reciting (Sourate XX, Your ha). It if was impressed with the reading of this sourate which it went to the prophet to convert with Islam (five years before the hégire in 617). Since this day it defended Islam and became one of the companions of the prophet. Its Al-Fârûq nickname comes to him from its loads of arbitration, mediation and embassy during the preislamic period. This nickname which means that which makes the distinction between the good and the evil, justice and the injustice was given to him by the Mahomet prophet.
Departure with Médine`Umar takes part at the beginning of Mahomet with Médine (622). It is present at the time of the battles carried out for this period. In 625, Hafsa, his/her daughter, married Mahomet. The relations between the husbands would not have been very good. `Umar would have said to him: Hafsa, I intended to say that you cause some problems with the messenger of God. You must know that he does not like you and that if I had not been your father he would have repudiated you. ” By hearing that she cried bitterly.
The death of MahometWith died of Mahomet, Omar refused to accept this death. It is Abû Bakr which says to him: “Does not speak thus, Omar, because God said to the prophet “You will die and, they also, they will die””. Abû Bakr added: “That those which adored Mahomet know that it left this world. That those which adored God know that God is alive and never dies”; The body of the prophet was not washed yet that already the dissension rose in Médine. Some notable refused to make allegiance with Abû Bakr after it was selected as caliph, Omar had a duty to threaten them and to force them to lend oath.
Nomination as caliphWhen Abû Bakr is falls ill, he was concerned with his succession and suggested the name of `Umar. Notable Médinois were of agreement on this choice. Abû Bakr convened `Uthman Ben Affan to write a will going in this direction. The following day Abû Bakr died.
Catch of DamasAs of its taking of it changed chief of the armies, without clear reason, replacing the winner of the battle of the Yarmouk, Khâlid ibn Al-Walîd by Abû `Ubayda Ben Al-Jarrah. Abû `Ubayda preserved Khâlid at its side.
The Byzantine armies were in Damas and Émèse (Homs) where the emperor Héraclius was held in withdrawal. The seat of Damas lasted several months (two or six according to the versions). It was used there machines of war to send projectiles on the opposing army. Damas ends up going while delivering half of its richnesses to the Moslem troops (January 635 or September 635). The Byzantine emperor folded up himself with Antioche (Antakya). In 637 Abû `Ubayda takes Baysan, Tibériade and Fahil. The south of the Syria is thus completely under the control of the Moslems.
Conquest of Iraq and Persia`Umar wanted to then benefit from the relative weakness of Persia to attack it. There was hardly of volunteer for this mission and only Abû “Ubayd Ben Mas `ud went voluntary. It was named with the head of the army of Iraq. It moves towards Al-Hîra with the army of Médine thus joining the army of Iraq which awaited it. A combat take place with Namarîq. In this battle immense spoils and a great number of prisoners had fallen between the hands from the Moslems. It crosses the Euphrate and moves towards the fortress of Kaskar. It is a new victory which gives to Arabic the control of Mésopotamie.
Yazdgard III, new Persian sovereign of the dynasty of the Sassanides, lance an attack in Al-Hîra direction with an army led by its Bahman general: 30 000 men and thirty elephants. Both army face of Euphrate on both sides. A bridge was built so that Arabic can pass on other bank of the river from where the name of “battle of the bridge” given to this confrontation (October 634). The elephants threw into a panic the horses of Arabic, those set out again with the combat with foot and this time they neglected the elephants and inserted the Persian army. However in the combat an elephant reversed Abû `Ubayd Ben Mas `ud and crushed it. The Arab armies folded up and have refranchi the bridge.
Two battles still made a few thousands of dead in Bowayb and Baghdâd. The final battle took place with Al-Qâdisiyya (towards). It lasted four days by opposing Rostam Farrokhzād ordering the Persian army with its elephants and 120 000 men and His `AD Ben Abî Waqqâs (rear RTL سعدبنابيوقاص) which could not take part him even in the battle, because of a temporary paralysis which had touched its right leg. There was at least 30 000 died on the side of Persians and Rostam was killed. This victory of the Moslems made enter definitively the area, renamed Iraq Al-Arabî, in the world arabo-Moslem.
See also: Battle of Al-Qadisiyya, Battle of Al-Qâdisiyya
To prevent that a help with the Persian armies does not arrive by the sea, `Umar founded the town of Bassora to the mouth of Euphrate and installed the Arab garrison there.
Conquest of the towns of Syria“Umar left at rest its army of Iraq and gave that of Syria to shift. Abû “Ubayda accepted the order to seize Émèse (Homs). The Byzantines reinforced the fortifications and an army carried out by Héraclius moved Antioche (Antakya in Turkey) with Édesse (Urfa in Turkey) to come to assistance of Émèse so necessary. The head office of Émèse started in winter. It is an earthquake which came to assistance of the Moslems by collapsing part of the fortifications.
The text of the Pact of Omar such as it appears in Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya:
" When the Moslems occupied Large Syria, Omar ibn Al-Khattab fixed the following conditions for submission to the Christians:
They should not build new monasteries, churches or cells of monks in their cities and their neighborhoods; They should not rebuild those which were destroyed; They should not push back any Moslem who wishes to spend three days in a church, and have the obligation to nourish it; They should not lodge spies; They should not be secretly unfair towards the Moslems; They should not teach Coran with their children; They should not show polytheism as a public; They should not prevent the members of their families to convert with Islam if they wish it; They must show respect vis-a-vis the Moslems; They must yield their seats to the Moslems who wish to sit down; They must be different from the Moslems by their appropriate dresses; They should not bear Moslem names; They should not lead on a saddle; They should not carry swords; They should not sell wine; They should not cut the fringe short; They must be arrayed with their dress where which they are; They must gird the size of a scarf; They should not carry crucifix or one their holy books on the way of the Moslems; They should not bury their deaths near the Moslems; They can make sound their bells only gently; They should not read aloud in their churches in the presence of Moslems; They should not carry branches Palm Sunday; They should not raise the voice during mourning; They should not carry candles during their funeral; They cannot buy slaves captured by the Moslems in time of war;
If they enfreignent the least of these interdicts, they will not be protected any more, and the Moslems will be able to have them as they have those which them résistent."
`Umar named then Mu `âwiya ibn Abî Sufyân with the head of the army charged to attack Césarée. The Byzantines were put in escape and 80 000 of them were killed (636).
Catch of Jerusalem“Umar then sent Mu `âwiya accompanied by `Amrû Ben Al `Âs to the conquest of Jerusalem. On the basis of Damas, the armies Arab traversed the road of the pilgrims To his approach the Byzantine general charged to defend Jerusalem, named Artabun, flees towards Egypt (January 637).
With Jerusalem, the patriarch Sophronius wanted to treat directly with `Umar and that this one comes in person in the holy city. `Umar granted its protection to the inhabitants of the city at the end of a letter given to this patriarch. He guarantees the safeguard of the Christian sites and gave order to his men not to destroy them and not to use them like dwellings. The account of Eutychius tells that “Umar ibn Al-Khattab visited the church Resurrection and stopped to sit down under its porch; but, at the time of the prayer, it moved away from the church and made its Prière outwards. It feared that the future generations do not take the pretext of a prayer of him inside the church to transform it into Mosquée. Eutychius adds that `Umar Ben Al-Khattab had written a decree prohibiting to the Moslems to meet in this place to request there. `Umar also went on the esplanade of the temple to the place where Mahomet was taken along to the paradise the night. Having inspected these places it made its prayers there or is located now the Mosquée Al-Aqsa.
`Umar entrusted Palestine, Jerusalem and the Mediterranean coast with Yazîd Ben Abî Sufyân. Abû `Ubayda was nevertheless the general governor of all these areas.
Catch of CtésiphonThe army of Iraq being rested, it can set out again with the combat under the orders of Its `AD Ben Abî Waqqâs. Yazdgard III, gives up its capital Ctésiphon and all its richnesses without fighting. Arabic settles in the palate, discovering amazing treasures for them there (637).
The escape of Yazdgard III continues towards Ray (in Iran). `Umar decides not to continue it: “ Arabic had done enough conquests for this year and the safety of the Moslems is preferable with many spoils ”.
The conquest of the north of Iraq continues nevertheless with the catch of Tikrīt then that of Mosul (638).
Foundation of Koufa`Umar was put in the search of a site where to build a new capital. The site of Koufa close to Al-Hîra seemed to them to have all the advantages. Its `AD Ben Abî Waqqâs was made there build a palate and made transport the door of the palate of Ctésiphon to make of it the door of its own palate. Part of the inhabitants of Ctésiphon imitated it while settling in Koufa. `Umar was very dissatisfied with this attitude, it sent a messenger to charge burning the palate thus built and with recalling Its `AD Ben Abî Waqqâs to more modesty in its way of life. This palate was restored only under the reign of Mu `âwiya ibn Abî Sufyân which became the royal residence then.
Second battle of ÉmèseDuring all the 17me year of the hégire (638), it did not have there a conquest campaign because Arabic was occupied with the construction of Koufa. Part of the Christians inhabitants of Iraq had moved towards Émèse to join the Byzantines there. There was an army of more than one hundred thousand men under the walls of Émèse. At once Abû `Ubayda called reinforcements. Yazîd Ben Abî Sufyân came from Damas Mu `âwîya Ben Abî Sufyân came from Césarée and Khâlid Ben Walîd remained in Chalcis to join together an army while waiting for the reinforcements coming from Iraq. Khâlid Ben Walîd arrived finally and he advised in Abû `Ubayda to try an exit. A four days battle began. Three thousand Byzantines were made prisoners. Three days after this battle the Army of Iraq arrived finally.
An epidemic of plague devastated Syria and in particular the borough of Emmaüs it made two notable victims: Abû `Ubayda and Yazîd Ben Abî Sufyân (639).
Conquest of L `Egypt`Amrû Ben Al `As moved towards Egypt while crossing Palestine, it accepted reinforcements from Iraq.
It preserves at these territories their former administration, and does not seek to convert of force its new Christian subjects or Jews because, the Koranic law allots a statute to them of “protected” (Dhimmi), at the price of a specific tax. The Arab troops are maintained in a certain insulation in lately built strengthened cities and are paid with the spoils of the conquests.
It orders the construction of the mosque Qubbat Al-Sakhra on the current place of the Dome of the Rock, on the esplanade of the Temple with Jerusalem, at the place which the prophet Mahomet visited the night (Isra to travel the night ) and from where with the sky overlapping the winged horse Bouraq flew away.
One owes him also the institution of the era of the Hégire, new Moslem calendar, of which it fixes the date at the July 16th 622. He is the first caliph with being called Amir Al-mûminîn (“Commander of the believers”).
Two famous quotations are allotted to him until our days:
- the most unhappy of the governors is that which makes the misfortune of its managed.
- Makes fear with the lion before it is made fear.
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