(Lessons from the Final Moments of ‘Umar [radhiyallahu ‘anhu] – Part One)
Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) would make the following du‘aa, “O Allah! bless me with martyrdom in Your path, and make my demise be in the city of Your Rasul (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).” (Saheeh Bukhaari #1890)
Allah Ta‘ala accepted this du‘aa of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) in a remarkable manner. One morning, while leading the congregation in the Fajr Salaah, he was attacked and fatally stabbed. Despite the wounds being fatal, Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) did not pass away immediately, but lived for a few more days after which he departed from this world.
During this period, a youngster visited Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and said, “O Ameerul Mu-mineen! Rejoice over glad tidings from Allah! You are the Sahaabi of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), you accepted Islam in the very early stages, you were thereafter appointed as the khaleefah and exercised justice, and you will shortly pass away a martyr!”
When he heard this, Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) remarked, “I wish that all these aspects (that you have mentioned, and all my good deeds) assist me to just break even (i.e. I would be happy if all my good deeds are merely sufficient to counter-balance my evil sins), so that there is neither anything against me, nor anything in my favour.”
When this youngster turned to leave, Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) noticed his lower garment (below his ankles) touching the ground. Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) immediately ordered for him to be brought back, after which he told him, “O nephew! Raise your lower garment, for it is cleaner for your clothing and a means of adopting fear of Allah Ta‘ala.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #3700)
1. We should turn to Allah Ta‘ala in du‘aa for all our needs and wishes, and should persist in our du‘aa, without losing hope. Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) made du‘aa for martyrdom in the blessed city of Madeenah Munawwarah – something that did not outwardly seem possible, as martyrdom was normally received on the battlefields which were far from Madeenah Munawwarah. However, Allah Ta‘ala, who is All-Powerful, answered his du‘aa and blessed him with martyrdom and the honour of being buried in Madeenah Munawwarah, alongside Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
2. Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), despite his position as the second greatest man after all the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam), remained fearful of Allah Ta‘ala even in his final moments. Yet many of us behave as if we are already on board a one-way trip to Jannah! The sins that we commit on a daily basis – many of them major sins, the qadhaa salaah, fasts and zakaah that we need to fulfil as well as the outstanding rights that we owe to people do not cause us any concern or deprive us of any sleep.
3. Keeping the pants above the ankles for men is so important in Deen that even when Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was in his final moments, he ensured that he corrected the youngster whose lower garment was below his ankles.