Umar bin Khattab was one of the closest companions of Prophet Muhammad SAW and the second caliph of Islam. He was known for his intelligence, bravery, and strict adherence to justice. His election as khalifah is considered to be one of the most significant events in Islamic history. But how did he become the khalifah? Let’s explore the process.
The Death of Abu Bakr
The first caliph of Islam, Abu Bakr, passed away in 634 CE after a short illness. His death left a void in the leadership of the Muslim community. The companions of the Prophet were faced with the task of selecting a new leader to guide and govern the affairs of the Muslim state.
The Consultation Process
The companions of the Prophet, known as the Sahaba, gathered in the Prophet’s mosque in Medina to discuss the issue of selecting a new khalifah. They were divided into two groups, one advocating for the appointment of Ali bin Abi Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, and the other group proposing the name of Umar bin Khattab.
Abu Bakr’s Advice
Before his death, Abu Bakr had given some advice to the Sahaba regarding the selection of his successor. He had advised them to elect someone who was honest, just, and firm in his decisions. He also suggested that the new khalifah should be chosen from the Quraysh tribe, the tribe of the Prophet. These instructions were taken into consideration during the consultation process.
The Selection of Umar bin Khattab
After much deliberation and consultation, the companions finally agreed to choose Umar bin Khattab as the new khalifah. They were impressed by his qualities of leadership, bravery, and strict adherence to justice.
The Oath of Allegiance
After Umar bin Khattab was selected as the khalifah, the Sahaba took an oath of allegiance to him. This was a symbolic gesture of their acceptance of his leadership and their commitment to follow him in all matters concerning the Muslim state.
The Challenges Faced by Umar
Umar bin Khattab faced many challenges during his tenure as khalifah. He had to deal with internal divisions within the Muslim community as well as external threats from neighboring empires. However, his leadership and wisdom helped him overcome these challenges and establish a strong and prosperous Islamic state.
The Legacy of Umar bin Khattab
Umar bin Khattab’s legacy is still felt today, more than 1400 years after his death. He is remembered as a just and wise ruler who established the foundations of the Islamic state. His contributions to Islamic jurisprudence, administration, and military strategy are still studied and admired by scholars around the world.
The Importance of Unity
The selection of Umar bin Khattab as khalifah highlights the importance of unity in the Muslim community. Despite their differences and disagreements, the companions of the Prophet were able to come together and select a leader who was best suited to guide and govern the Muslim state. This spirit of cooperation and collaboration is essential for the continued success and prosperity of the Muslim ummah.
The process of selecting Umar bin Khattab as khalifah was a testament to the wisdom and foresight of the companions of the Prophet. They were able to set aside their personal preferences and egos and choose a leader who was best suited to guide and govern the Muslim state. Umar bin Khattab’s legacy is a source of inspiration and guidance for Muslims around the world, reminding us of the importance of justice, wisdom, and unity.