The Caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Al-Khattab

The Caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Al-Khattab, two of the most famous of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, the spread of Islam and Muslim foreign policy in regards to the inhabitants of subjugated lands.

With the death of Muhammad, the Islamic community was faced with the drawback of succession.  Who would be its leader?  There were four persons clearly marked for leadership. Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq, who had not solely accompanied  Muhammad to Medina 10 years before, but had been appointed to take the place of the Prophet as leader of public prayer throughout Muhammad’s last illness. Umar ibn al-Khattab, a ready and trustworthy  Companion of the Prophet; Uthman ibn ‘Affan, a respected soon convert and Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad’s cousin, and son-in-law.  Their piousness and ability to control the affairs of the Muslim nation were uniformly barred excellence.  At a meeting held to determine the new leadership, Umar grasped Abu Bakr’s hand and gave his loyalty to him, the traditional sign of recognition of a replacement leader.  By dusk, everyone concurred, and Abu Bakr had been the recognized as the khalifah of Muhammad.  Khalifah - anglicized as caliph - is an acceptation “successor”, but additionally suggesting what his historical role would be: to govern in step with the Quran and also the follow of the Prophet.

Abu Bakr’s caliphate was short but necessary.  An exemplary leader, he lived quietly, assiduously fulfilled his spiritual obligations, and was accessible and sympathetic to his people.  But he additionally stood firm once some tribes, which had solely nominally accepted Islam, renounced it in the wake of the Prophet death.  In what was a significant accomplishment event, Abu Bakr swiftly disciplined them.  Later, he consolidated the support of the tribes within the Arabian solid ground and afterward funneled their energies against the mighty empires of the East: the Sassanians in Persia and also the Byzantines in Syrian Arab Republic, Palestine, and Egypt.  In short, he demonstrated the viability of the Islamic state.

Biography of Abu Bakr
Biography of Abu Bakr
The second caliph, Umar ibn Al-Khattab - appointed by Abu Bakr - continued to show that sustainability.  Adopting the title Ameer al-Mumineen, or Commander of the Believers, Umar extended Islam’s temporal rule over Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Persia in what, from a purely military viewpoint, were astonishing victories.  Within four years once the death of the Prophet, the Muslim state had extended its sway over all of the Syria. A famous battle fought throughout a windstorm close to the river Yarmuk, blunted the power of the Byzantines - whose ruler, Heraclius, had shortly before refused the call to accept Islam only.

Even more surprisingly, the Muslim state administered the conquered territories with a tolerance almost unhearable of in this age.  At Damascus, for example, the Muslim leader, Khalid ibn al-Walid, signed a treaty that read as follows:

Khalid ibn al-Walid would grant to the inhabitants of Damascus if he enters therein: he guarantees to convey them security for their lives, property, and churches.  Their city wall shall not be the demolished; neither shall any Muslim be quartered in their homes.  Thereunto we provide them the treaty of God and the protection of His Prophet, the caliphs, and the believers.  So much time as they pay the capitation, nothing but smart shall befall them.

This tolerance was typical of Islam.  A year after Yarmook, Umar, in the military camp of al-Jabiyah on the geographical region, received word that the Byzantines were ready to surrender Jerusalem.  Consequently,  he rode there to accept the resignation in the flesh.  According to one account, he entered the city alone and clad in a very loose cloak, astounding a populace accustomed to the splendid garb and court ceremonials of the Byzantines and Persians.  He astounded them still more once he set their fears at rest by negotiating a generous Enactment in that he told them In the name of God, you have complete security for your churches, which shall not be occupied by the Muslims.

Biography of Umar ibn Al-Khattāb
Biography of Umar ibn Al-Khattāb
This policy was to prove well-turned all over.  In Syria, for example, many Christians who had been concerned in the bitter system of rules disputes with Byzantine authorities - and persecuted for it - welcome the coming back of Islam as a finish to tyranny.  And in Egypt, which Amr ibn al-As took from the Byzantines once a daring march thereon Peninsula, Coptic Christians not only welcome the Arabs but sky-high aided them.

This pattern was the repeated throughout the Byzantine Empire.  Conflict among Greek Orthodox, Syrian Monophysites, Copts, and Nestorian Christians contributed to the abortiveness of the Byzantines - forever regarded as intruders - to develop standard support, while the tolerance that Muslims showed toward Christians and Jews removed the primary cause for opposing them.

Umar adopted this temper in administrative matters as well.  Although he assigned  Muslim governors to the new provinces, existing Byzantine and the Persian regime was the retained where doable.  For fifty years, in fact, Greek remained the chancery language of Egypt, Syria, and Palestine, while Pahlavi, the chancery language of the Sassanians, continued to be used in Persia and Mesopotamia.

Umar, who served as caliph for ten years, ended his rule with a great finish over the Persia.  The struggle with the Sassanid realm had opened in 636 at Al-Qadisiyah, near Ctesiphon in the Republic of Iraq, where Muslim cavalry had with success coped with elephants used by the Persians as a form of a first tank.  Now with the Battle of the Nihavand, called Conquest of Conquests, Umar sealed the fate of Persia; henceforth it was to be one in all the first necessary provinces within the Muslim Empire.

His caliphate was a high point in early Islamic memoir.  He was noted for his justice, social ideals, administration, and statesmanship.  His innovations left and all enduring imprint on social taxation, welfare, and the financial and body material of the growing empire.
The Caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Al-Khattab The Caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Al-Khattab Reviewed by Mohd Naeem on 7:05 pm Rating: 5
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