Umar bin Khattab was one of the most influential and influential Muslim caliphs (successors) in history. He was a senior companion of our beloved prophet MUHAMMAD S.A.W. The event of his reversion to Islam was one of the defining moments of pre-migration era in Makkah. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate (caliphate of four rightly guided caliphs) on 23 August 634 after the demise of Abu Bakar. Interestingly, Umer bin Khattab was nominated by Abu Bakar himself as his successor, and as an excellent Islamic practice, consent of senior companions of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) was also sought. He was an expert Islamic jurist known for his pious and just nature, which earned him the epithet Al-Farooq (“the one who distinguishes between right and wrong”). Governance of Umer Farooq is considered climax of Muslim management and rule in the world.
Military ventures under the governance of Umer Farooq:
Under the governance of Umer, the caliphate expanded at an unprecedented rate. The extent of expansion of Muslim rule easy to analyze from the fact that Umer Farooq governed the Sasanian Empire and more than two-thirds of the Byzantine Empire (current Iran and Iraq). His attacks against the Sasanian Empire resulted in the conquest of Persia in fewer than two years (642–644). It is pertinent to mention here that Sasanian Empire and Byzantine Empire were two global superpowers of that time. Both of the empires were much older and stronger than the nascent Muslim empire, with substantial military muscle.
However, Muslim armies under the leadership of great warriors like Khalid bin Waleed and Saad bin Abi Waqas conquered empires more enormous in size and age than Islamic empire. Following image exemplifies the difference in size. Some other military expeditions, along these two immense conquests, earned Umar bin Khattab a reputation of excellent political and military strategist. Jerusalem got under Muslim rule for the first time, after these conquests. However, According to Jewish tradition, Umar set aside the Christian ban on Jews and allowed them into Jerusalem and to worship. The story of Umer’s entry to Jerusalem as a conqueror is yet another example of humility and greatness of Caliph Umer.
The government of Umer Farooq:
The government of Umar was more or less a unitary government, where the sovereign political authority was the caliph. The for ease and efficiency of governance, governance model of Umer based on the division of administrative powers, and a clear hierarchy of administration followed. The Empire of Umar divided into provinces and some autonomous territories like in some regions Azerbaijan and Armenia, that had accepted the suzerainty of the caliphate. The provincial governors or Wali administered the areas, the selection of which was made personally by Umar, who was very fastidious in it. Provinces divided into districts. There were about 100 districts in the empire. Each community or central city was under the charge of a junior governor or Amil, usually appointed by Umar, but occasionally they were also appointed by the provincial governor. Other officers at the provincial level were:
1- The Chief Secretary called Katib.
2- The Military Secretary called Katib-and-Diwan.
3- The Revenue Collector named Sahib-ul-Kharaj.
4- The Police chief, Sahib-ul-Ahdath.
5- The Treasury Officer, Sahib-Bait-ul-Mal.
6- The Chief Judge, Qadi.
In some districts, there were separate military officers, though the Governor (Wali) was in most cases the Commander-in-chief of the army quartered in the province. Every appointment made in writing. At the time of the interview, an instrument of instructions issued to regulating the conduct of Governors. On assuming office, the Governor was required to assemble the people in the central mosque, and read the instrument of instructions before them. This tradition of reading out appointment letter publicly in its self-was a technique of good governance. Eisptles of Umer Farooq is still famous as a rich source of golden principles of proper management and public administration.
Some novel initiatives during the governance of Umer Farooq:
Governance of Umar was the first to introduce the public ministry system, where the records of officials and soldiers kept. He also held a record system that had the messages he sent to Governors and heads of states.
He pioneered the policing department. Apart from the dedicated military force, he was the first to appoint police forces to maintain civil order. He was the first to discipline the people when they became disordered. Umer Farooq also started different social security projects for the welfare of masses. For instance, he issued scholarships for elderly citizens and mothers who feed their babies. Scholarship for feeding mothers is practiced in European states too, and the law is called “Umer Law.” Moreover, to strengthen tourism, many public inns and rest areas were built on national highways. The tradition of marking distance on the path for ease of travelers in the calculation of their distance from their destiny was also initiative of the government of Umer Farooq.
In short, we can say that Umer Farooq was an innovator of bureaucracy and governance of Umer Farooq is an exemplary model of governance. Lets us tell the world about our great leaders by sharing this post on every platform. Let us own our heritage!