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Omar (r) Administration A.S. Hashim, MD From wikipedia.com
Sources of Reference Al Farooq, Omar, Muhammad Husayn Haykal al-Tabari, History of the Prophets and Kings Tabqat ibn Sa'ad. al-Suyuti, The History of Khalifahs Madelung, Wilferd. The Succession to Muhammad. K. Y. Blankinship, The History of al-Tabari Early Khilaafah, Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Ya’qub Khan Modern Islamic political thought, Hahmid Enayat, Encyclopedia Britannica al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah by ibn Kathir Armstrong,
In this Slide Show Inaugural address Omar and Majlis al-Shura Omar and Fadak The Government of Omar Department for Investigation Omar as a Pioneer Reforms Other Administrative Decisions As a Leader
Inaugural address In August 634 Khalifa Abu Bakr died. The same day Omar assumed the office of Khilaafah. After the assumption of office as the Khalifa, Omar addressed the Muslims in his Inaugural Address as follows: "O ye faithful! Abu Bakr is no more amongst us. He has the satisfaction that he has successfully piloted the vessel of the Muslim state to safety, after negotiating the stormy sea. He successfully waged the apostasy wars, and thanks to him, Islam is now supreme in Arabia.
Inaugural address, Continued After Abu Bakr, the mantle of Khilaafah has fallen on my shoulders. I swear it before God that I never coveted this office. I wished that it would have devolved on some other person more worthy than me. But now that in national interest, the responsibility for leading the Muslims has come to vest in me, I assure you that I will not run away from my post, and will make an earnest effort to discharge the onerous duties of the office to the best of my capacity in accordance with the injunctions of Islam.
Inaugural address, Continued Allah has examined me from you and you from me, In the performance of my duties, I will seek guidance from the Holy Book, and will follow the examples set by the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr. In this task I seek your assistance. If I follow the right path, follow me. If I deviate from the right path, correct me so that we are not led astray. People listened, now that he is the new Khalifa, the one about whom they had apprehension. But will the apprehension be justified? Or, will a new dawn in the page of Islam show up!
Omar and Majlis al-Shura Omar was already not an endearing figure in Medina. Although almost all of the Muslims had given pledge of loyalty to him, Nevertheless he was rather more feared than loved. The first challenge for Omar was to win out his subjects and members of Majlis al-Shura. Majlis al-Shura was a consultative body by men of prominence Ali was the highest figure among them. Omar was a gifted orator, and he would use his ability to get a soft corner in the hearts of people.
On Friday Prayer On Friday prayer Omar addressed the people as follows: Brethren, it has come to my notice that the people are afraid of me... they say that Omar has become the Khalifa now, God knows how hard he will be. Whoever has said this is not wrong in his assessment... know ye brethren that you will feel a change in me. For those who practice tyranny and deprive others of their rights, I will be harsh and stern, but for those who follow the law, I will be most soft and tender.
Next Address Omar's addresses moved the people greatly. Next time he addressed the people as follows: I will be harsh and stern against the aggressor, but I will be a pillar of strength for the weak. I will not calm down until I will put one cheek of a tyrant on the ground and the other under my feet, and as for the poor and weak, I will put my cheek on the ground for them. Omar laid his foundation on his rule about which he was consistent: By God, he that is weakest among you shall be in my eye the strongest, until I have vindicated for him his rights; he that is strongest I will treat as the weakest, until he complies with the law.
Omar and Fadak Omar's stress was on the well being of underprivileged people, as this class made the bulk of any community, The people were soundly moved by Omar's speeches and his popularity grew rapidly and continuously over the period of his reign. In addition, Omar delivered Fadak back to Ali, Along with the disputed estates in Khaybar. Though Fatima had already died by then, nevertheless Fadak was returned to its legitimate owner. Though Omar followed Abu Bakr's decision over the dispute of Fadak, he continued its status as a state property.
Strategic Decisions As a result of Ridda wars, thousands of prisoners from rebel and apostate tribes were taken away as slaves during the expeditions. Omar ordered: General amnesty for the prisoners, and he ordered their immediate emancipation. This made Omar popular among the bedouin tribes. With necessary public support with him, Omar took a bold decision of removing Khalid ibn Walid from supreme command on the Byzantine front.
13 Omar’s Khilaafah Omar and Majlis al-Shura 1. Omar and Majlis al-Shura 2. Omar and Fadak 3. The Government of Omar 4. Omar as a Pioneer 5. Omar and Reforms 6. Administrative Decisions
How to Administer! Since the empire under Omar’s rule had grown enormously in all directions, Omar had to establish an administrative system. But the Arabs did not have any experience in administration. Omar, therefore, left the Persian and the Roman framework of administration in the conquered provinces undisturbed. The Persian and the Roman staff carried on the day-to-day work as before.
The Government of Omar The government of Omar was more or less a unitary government, Where the sovereign political authority was the Khalifa. The empire of Omar was divided into Provinces and some autonomous territories like in some regions as Azerbaijan and Armenia, that had accepted the suzerainty of the Khilaafah. The provinces were administered by the provincial governors or Wali وآلي. The selection of which was made personally by Omar, who was very fastidious in it.
The Government of Omar, Continued The Provinces were further divided into districts, there were about 100 districts in the empire. Each district or main city was: under the charge of a junior governor or Wali, The Wali was usually appointed by Omar himself, but occasionally they were also appointed by the provincial governor
The Government of Omar, Continued Other officers at the provincial level were: 1. Katib: the Chief Secretary. 2. Katib al-Diwan, the Military Secretary. 3. Sahib al-Kharaj, the Revenue Collector. 4. Sahib al-Ah’dath, the Police chief. 5. Sahib Bayt al-Mal, the Treasury Officer. Qadhi, the Chief Judge. In some districts there were separate military officers, though the Governor (Wali) was in most cases the Commander-in-chief of the army As such quartered in that province.
The Government of Omar, Continued Every appointment was made in writing. At the time of appointment: an instrument of instructions was issued with a view to regulating the conduct of Governors. On assuming office: the Governor was required to assemble the people in the main mosque, and read the instrument of instructions before them.
19 The Government of Omar, Continued Omar's general instructions to his officers were: "Remember, I have not appointed you as tyrants over the people. I have sent you as leaders instead, so that the people may follow your example. Give the Muslims their rights and do not beat them lest they become abused. Do not praise them unduly, lest they fall into the error of conceit. Do not keep your doors shut in their faces, lest the more powerful of them eat up the weaker ones. And do not behave as if you were superior to them, for that is tyranny over them."
The Government of Omar, Continued Various other strict codes of conduct were to be obeyed by the governors and state officials. The principal officers were required to come to Mecca on the occasion of the Haj, during which people were free to present any complaints against them. In order to minimize the chances of corruption, Omar made it a point to pay high salaries to the staff. Provincial governor received as much as five to seven thousand dirhams annually besides their shares of the spoils of war (if they were also the commander-in-chief of the army of their sector).
The Government of Omar, Continued Under Omar the empire was divided into the following provinces. Arabia was divided into two provinces, Mecca and Medina; Iraq was divided into two provinces, Basra and Kufa; In the upper reaches of the Tigris and the Euphrates, Jazira was a province; Syria was a province; and Omar divided Palestine in two provinces Aylya and Ramlah; Egypt was divided into two provinces, Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt; Persia was divided into three provinces, Khorasan; Azarbaijan and Fars.
Land Revenue To assess land revenue, Omar again had to retain the Persian and the Roman systems. But in Iraq it was found necessary to survey the arable lands and to assess tax on them. Arabs knew hardly anything about assessing land revenue. There was, however, one exception in Uthman Ibn Hunaif of Medina: He had outstanding ability as a revenue expert. Though Omar's policy was to not appoint citizens of Medina (Ansaar) to any outside positions, In this case Omar had no choice. Uthman Ibn Hunaif was appointed, since he was an authority on taxation, assessment of land revenue, and land reclamation.
23 Department for Investigation Omar was first to establish a special department for the investigation of complaints against the officers of the State. This department acted as Administrative court, where the legal proceedings were personally led by Omar. The Department was under the charge of Muhammad ibn Maslamah, one of Omar's most trusted men. In important cases Muhammad ibn Maslamah was deputed by Omar to proceed to the spot, investigate the charge and take action. Sometimes an Inquiry Commission was assembled to investigate the charge. On occasions the officers against whom complaints were received were summoned to Medina, and charged in Omar's administrative court.
The Intelligence Department One of Omar's most powerful department was his intelligence department of secret services. Omar's iron fist rule on his empire, is often credited to this institution. His agents were everywhere, in the army, in the bureaucracy and in the enemy land. For the officials of Omar it was said to be the most fearsome department.
Omar as a Pioneer Omar was a pioneer in some affairs: Omar was the first to introduce the public ministry system, where the records of officials and soldiers were kept. He also kept a record system that had the messages he sent to Governors and heads of states. He was the first to appoint police forces to keep civil order. He was the first to discipline the people when they became disordered.
Reforms Omar is regarded as a political genius. Under his leadership the empire expanded at a quickening rate He built a political structure that held together this vast empire. He undertook administrative reforms and oversaw public policy. He established good administration for the newly conquered lands, including several new ministries and new bureaus (administrative agencies), and ordered a census of all the Muslim territories. During his rule, the garrison of Basra and Kufa were founded, then these two garrisons were expanded into towns.
28 Omar's Empire, 644 Omar's empire at its peak, 644.
Other Administrative Decisions In 638, Omar enlarged and renovated: 1. Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) in Mecca 2. and al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet) in Medina. Omar also ordered the expulsion of the Christian and Jewish communities of Najran and Khaybar, allowing them to reside in Syria or Iraq. He issued orders that these Christians and Jews should be treated well and allotted them the equivalent land in their new settlements. Omar also forbade non-Muslims to reside in the Hijaz for longer than three days. He was first to establish army as a state department.
Other Administrative Decisions Omar is regarded by Sunni Muslims to be one of the greatest Faqeehs. Omar as a jurist started the process of codifying Islamic Law. In 641, he established Bayt al-mal, a financial institution and started annual allowance for the Muslims. A year later he also started allowance for the poor, underprivileged and old non-Muslim citizens of the empire.
As a Leader As a leader, Omar was known for his simple, austere lifestyle. Rather than adopt the pomp and display affected by the rulers of the time, he continued to live much as he had when Muslims were poor and persecuted. In 639, his fourth year as Khalifa, and as suggested by Ali: he decreed that the Islamic calendar should be counted from the year of the Hijrah of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina.
In Conclusion Omar as the Khilaafah Inaugural address Omar and Majlis al-Shura Omar and Fadak The Government of Omar Department for Investigation Omar as a Pioneer Omar and Reforms Other Administrative Decisions As a Leader
Finally we quote the Quran: By the Token of Time Verily Man is in loss, Except those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to Truth and exhort one another to patience. بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ وَالْعَصْرِ إِنَّ اِلانسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ إِلا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ