Who is the umar ibn abdulaziz? Who was Abdulaziz in islamic history? What is the story of hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz? What was the achievement of Umar bin Abdul Aziz?
The view that Umar ibn Abdulaziz who is called as the fifth caliph in the Muslim World was a unique ruler and a successful leader of the Umayyad period is a fact shared by almost everybody. The achievements he realized during both his caliphate and his governorship ensured him to rightfully be written in the pages of history with such titles. He draws attention by his efforts for eliminating the divisions that emerged in the Muslim world during his short period of caliphate.
He did not think to choose the administrators, some of whom we have mentioned, specifically from the members of Umayyad family, and did not appoint the majority of the administrators from that family. Suyuti relates the following discussion, which took place between the notable members of the Umayyad family and Umar replied to their offer to “give us an office” saying: “If you want, I can appoint each one of you as a soldier.” The Umayyads: “Why do you make us an offer that we can’t accept?” Then Umar said: “Do you see this carpet? I know that this carpet, which you are soiling with your foot although I don’t want it, is getting older and disappearing. Then, how can I entrust my religion to you? How can I entrust the Muslims’ honor and rectitude to you?” They replied: “Aren’t we relatives? Don’t we have any rights?” Then, Umar expressed his clear determination by saying “for me, there is no difference between you and a distant Muslim in this respect.”
Another wrong practice of that period was that the Umayyad Caliphs took all the needs of both themselves and their families from the treasury. Umar ibn Abdulaziz changed this practice completely and established the rule that nobody could get anything from the treasury (Bayt al-mal) unless they had a right for it. He himself did not get anything from the treasury.
One day he asked from his slave and clerk Muzahim to buy a lectern for him. After a while, Muzahir turned with a reading desk that Umar liked. After Umar asked Muzahim where he bought it, he replied: “Oh the commander of the believers! I have found this piece wood in a storage of Bayt al-Mal and I have made this reading desk from it.
Thereon, Umar ordered him to go to the bazaar and learn its price. Muzahim went to the bazaar and learned that its price was a half dinar. When Umar asked: “If we leave one dinar to the Bayt al-mal, will we be free from the responsibility?” Muzahim repeated that its value was a half dinar. Upon this answer, Caliph Umar said: “Then go to the Bayt al-mal and leave two dinars there.”
Umar ibn Abdulaziz started a great cultural movement in Muslim community and achieved a great success in this respect. The compilation of the Prophet’s (pbuh) hadiths started in the Muslim World by his orders. He was the person who commanded his governors to gather the scattered hadiths. In this context, it would be correct to say that the history of hadith owes him the compilation of the hadith. He was so interested in the Prophet’s hadiths that he even appointed officials to teach the hadiths to the people who lived in the deserts. By this way, he ensured the spread and learning of the Prophet’s (pbuh) hadiths everywhere.
As in all aspects of life, Umar ibn Abdulaziz was just and compassionate in his treatments to his subordinates. So much so that, when he wanted to command something or issue an edict, he showed the easier and more practical ways to fulfill his command and thus helped the person whom he gave orders by showing him how his commands could be done.
On the other hand, he was very meticulous about education. He encouraged learning and knowledge and expressed that people can regulate the matters related to both this world and the hereafter by means of knowledge. During his governorship, he spent great effort on Islamic sciences, but after he ascended to the caliphate, he had to leave his studies into second plan. Nevertheless, many of his judgments were taken into consideration by the scholars who lived both during his period and in the following ages.
He had a deep sense of responsibility towards Allah in his actions with intimate piety. He always tried to do the right things for his faith and to fulfil his duties as a ruler with conscience. In his private life before becoming the caliph, he lived a more pious life than the other Umayyad caliphs lived and became famous by his self-denial.
Umar ibn Abdulaziz said in his first sermon after he praised Allah: “Oh people! Those who want to keep company with us should meet the following five conditions:
- To help those who cannot tell us their state and explain their problems.
- To support and help us in beneficial works.
- To guide and show the path to goodness.
- Not to talk behind others.
- To join us with the condition not to be busy with useless and redundant things, otherwise to stay away from us.”
The following saying of Umar ibn Abdulaziz describes him very well:
“The best of forgiveness is the one shown when the person has the strength to overpower his opponent.”