Bismillah. We are going to talk about ibn ‘Umar today, as he is the one who narrated the hadith of the five pillars of Islam that we have begun to discuss. Sources: I used Jamal az-Zarabozo’s book of course, and I used Men around the Messenger and some tidbits from various AlMaghrib classes I have taken 🙂
If you just look at his name, you’ll know he comes from a famous family – his father was one of the greatest companions of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the second khalifa of Islam, and one of the greatest leaders to ever walk the face of this earth – the one and only ‘Umar ibn al Khattaab. Awesomeness begets awesomeness 😀 You may also know of his sister, Umm al-Mu`mineen, Hafsa (may Allah be pleased with her).
‘Abdullah (or ibn ‘Umar as he is often referred to) was born 10 years before the Hijra and embraced Islam at a very young age, with his father. He is amongst the younger companions.
Piety and Standing for the Truth
He was extremely pious. He avoided political strife (as there was much during the time of ‘Uthmaan and following it). He never took positions of leadership. ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) wanted to appoint him as a judge, but he turned the position down. Some people wanted to give him bay’ah (or allegiance) after Mu’awiyah’s death (one of the caliphs of Islam), but he stayed away from that as well.
Although he stayed out of the political arena, ibn ‘Umar did not cut himself off from society. He commaned what was good and forbade what was evi. He did not isolate himself from the community; rather he spoke up for the truth. It was speaking against oppression, in fact, that got him killed.
Ishaaq bin Sa’eed ibn Amr Al-Amawi reported from his father who narrated that ibn ‘Umar stood up against al-Hajjaaj [a man known for the blood of many Muslims, amongst them Companions] while he was addressing the people. He said (to Hajjaaj): “O enemy of Allah, do you want to desecrate the Haram (sacred precinct) of Allah and destroy the House of Allah?” Al-Hajjaaj replied to him: “Old man, you have become senile.” When the people present had taken their leave, Al-Hajjaaj summoned one of his soldiers. He took a poisoned spear and pierced it into ibn ‘Umar’s leg. Consequently, he fell ill and died from it.
During his illness, Al-Hajjaaj went to visit him. He gave him salaam, but ibn ‘Umar did not respond. He spoke to him, but ibn ‘Umar did not answer him. Al-Hajjaaj had ordered the carrying of weapons in the Haram. Al-Bukhaari reported that al-Hajjaaj entered upon ibn ‘Umar and asked him, “How are you, O ibn ‘Umar?” Ibn ‘Umar replied, “I am all right.” Al-Hajjaaj asked, “Who wounded you?” Ibn ‘Umar replied, “The person who allowed arms to be carried on the day on which it was forbidden to carry them (he meant al-Hajjaaj). (Men around the Messenger, p. 343)
A Great Scholar
When I think of ibn ‘Umar, the picture of an old, wise scholar comes to mind 🙂 Ibn ‘Umar was one of the greatest scholars of Islam and he spread a lot of the knowledge in its early years. He was one of the “four Abdullahs”. (The other three being ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-Aas, ‘Abdullah ibn Abbaas and ‘Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr).
He was known for his strict adherence to the Sunnah. For example, Naafi` reported from ibn ‘Umar the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “I wish we could leave this door for the women.” Naafi` said: “Ibn ‘Umar never passed through that door again until he died.” (Men Around the Messenger, p. 337)
Ibn ‘Umar is also known for having tears in his eyes while narrating hadith. He was one of the most prolific narrators – second only to the famous Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with them both). He narrated some 2,360 hadith! subhaanAllah.
Amongst his students are Saeed ibn al-Musayyab, al-Hasan an-Basri, al-Zuhri, Muhammad ibn Sireen, Naafi and many others.
Give What You Love to Allah
Whenever ibn ‘Umar’s admiration of anything of his property became great, he would give it out as a means of getting close to Allah. Naafi` said: His slaves realized this, so one of them would wrap himself up and would adhered to the masjid. When ibn ‘Umar saw him in such a good state, he would free him. His companions said to him: “O Abu Abdur Rahmaan, they are deceiving you!” Ibn ‘Umar replied, “Whoever deceives us, (the sin of) deception is for him.” (Men around the Messenger, p. 341-2)
Near the end of his life, he lost his eyesight. He is considered to be the last of the companions to die in Makkah.
Sa’eed ibn Jubair said: When ibn ‘Umar approached his end, he said:
“I did not grieve over anything of this world except over three things: (inadequacy of my) thirst in the afternoon (i.e. fasting), and (my) standing through the night (Tahajjud) and that I did not fight against the oppressive group that afflicted us, i.e. al-Hajjaaj.” (Men around the Messenger, p.343)
May Allah be pleased with him.