7/5/11

Who was “Great”? Alexander of Macedonia or Hazrat Umar Farooq of Islam?

. 7/5/11

"The name of Alexander is now only in books whereas the systems devised by Umar (R.A) are still prevalent in at least 245 countries of the world in some form. Even today, when a letter leaves a post office, when a policeman wears a uniform, when a soldier goes on a leave after six months of duty, when a government pays a stipend to a child, a destitute, a widow or a helpless person, the society automatically accepts Umar (R.A) as “The Great” and acknowledged him to be the biggest “Sikandar” ever."

Who was “Great”? The Alexander of Macedonia or Hazrat Umar Farooq (Radhiallaho-Anhu-R.A.) of Islam? Historians of the world are duty‐bound to answer this question.

We had read as a child that the Alexander of Macedonia became a king at the age of twenty and ventured out of Macedonia at 23. He first conquered the whole of Greece. Then he entered Turkey. After this he defeated Darius of Persia, entered Syria, moved to Jerusalem and then Babylon and Egypt and India. In India he fought King Porus and founded the city of Phalia in memory of his favorite horse. He started his return through Makran. He contacted typhoid on his way back and died in the year 323 B.C. at the age of 33 in the palace of Bakht Nasr (Nebuchadnezzar) at Babylon.

We have been told that he was a great general, conqueror and king in human history and was given the title of “Alexander, the Great”. We made him “Sikander-E-Azam”, the king of kings. But, today, on the eleventh year of the twenty‐first century, I question all the historians of the world if Alexander deserves this title when we have Umar Farooq (R.A). I am inviting all the historians of the world to compare the conquests and the achievements of Alexander and Umar Farooq (R.A.).

Now compare. Alexander was the son of a king ‐‐ the best instructors taught him how to ride a horse, he had tutors like Aristotle and was offered the throne at the age of twenty. On the other hand, Umar Farooq (R.A.) did not have any royal ancestor even in his seven previous generations, grew up minding herds of goats and sheep and had not got trained in the art of war from anyone.

Alexander had conquered 1.7 million square miles of land in ten years with an organized army Umar Farooq (R.A.), in ten years, conquered 2.2 million square miles of land including the Roman and Persian super powers with an un‐organized army. Even in these days of satellites and missiles and submarines, no ruler has a domain as vast as that of Umar (R.A.) which he had not only got conquered on mere horseback but had also managed and ruled it.

Alexander got many of his own generals killed during his conquests, many generals and soldiers deserted him, there were rebellions against him and his army even refused to proceed in India, but no companion of Umar (R.A) ever had the courage to disobey him. He was the commander who deposed the strongest general of Islam, Khalid bin Waleed (R.A.) right in the battleground and no one dared to disobey. He removed Saa’d bin Abi Waqas (R.A.) from the governorship of Kufa, fired Harith bin Kaab (R.A) as a governor, confiscated the wealth of Amro bin al Aas (R.A) and recalled the governor of Hamas and assigned him to grazing the camels. No one dared to disobey.

Alexander conquered 1.7 million square miles of land but could not give any system to the world, whereas Umar (R.A) gave such systems as are still prevalent the world over. He added the phrase “prayer is better than sleep” to the Fajr azaan, the taravih prayers were formally initiated during his rule, he instituted punishment for the consumption of liquor, started the Hijra system of accounting for dates, gave the concept of the jail, fixed salaries for the muezzins, arranged for light in the masjids, formed the department of police, laid the foundations for a complete system for the delivery of justice, got the irrigation system implemented and established military cantonments and the formal army.

Umar (R.A), for the first time ever in the world, granted stipends for the infants, the handicapped, widows and the helpless. He was the first ever to give the concept of the declaration of assets by the rulers, the government officials and the rich.

He established the institution of punishing the judges who didn’t do justice. He, for the first time, made the rulers accountable. He used to protect the trade caravans at night. He used to say that rulers, who deliver justice, sleep fearlessly at night. His saying is that “the leader of the nation is actually its servant”. His stamp read “Umar, death is enough of an admonition”. He never had two dishes on his table. He used to go to sleep with a brick as a pillow. While travelling, he would just stretch a sheet on a tree to make a shadow and go to sleep whenever sleepy.

He used to sleep on bare ground at night. His shirt had 14 patches, among them one of red leather. He used to wear thick coarse cloth and hated soft fine one. Whenever he appointed someone on a government position, he would get an estimate of his wealth and keep it with himself. If the wealth of that person increased during his tenure, he would be held accountable. Whenever he appointed anyone as a governor, he would advise him to never to ride a Turkish horse, wear fine cloth, consume fine flour, have a gatekeeper or close his doors to the distressed. He used to say that “pardoning a tyrant is injustice to the oppressed”.

His sentence “mothers give birth to free children, since when have you enslaved them” is still considered the charter of human rights. He said that he often wondered “how did Umar (R.A.) change?” He was the first Caliph of Islam who was given the title of “Ameer‐ul‐Momineen”.

Every religion of the world has a special characteristic, the special characteristic of Islam is justice, and Umar (R.A) is one who makes this true. His justice gave rise to the term “Adl‐e‐Farooqui” (the justice of Farooq). He was in debt when martyred and his loan was paid off by selling his only property according to his will. He was the only ruler ever to admit that even if a dog died of hunger on the banks on river Tigris during his rule, he would have to bear the punishment for this.

His Justice was such that when he died, a herdsman came running in a far off land in his domain shouting “men, Umar has died”. People asked him in astonishment who, thousands of miles from Medina, informed him of this in a jungle. The herdsman said “as long as Umar (R.A) was alive my sheep used to move around fearlessly in the jungle and no beast dared to even look at them. Today, for the first time, a wolf has taken away my goat. The fearlessness of the wolf indicates to me that Umar is no more”.

I invite all the historians of the world to think again, who was great, Alexander or Umar (R.A). I am sure enough, you will find Alexander to be gravel in front of a mountain, because the empire founded by Alexander vanished just five years after his death whereas the areas where Umar (R.A) planted the flag of Islam still echo with the sound of “Allah is the Greatest” and people still bow before the Allah of Umar (R.A).

The name of Alexander is now only in books whereas the systems devised by Umar (R.A) are still prevalent in at least 245 countries of the world in some form. Even today, when a letter leaves a post office, when a policeman wears a uniform, when a soldier goes on a leave after six months of duty, when a government pays a stipend to a child, a destitute, a widow or a helpless person, the society automatically accepts Umar (R.A) as “The Great” and acknowledged him to be the biggest “Sikandar” ever, except for those Muslims who, in their deep sense of inferiority, look around in fear even when reciting the words of faith.

The Muslims of Lahore had once dared the English that if they once decided to act, they will remind them of Changez Khan. Upon this Jawaharlal Nehru had smiled and said that “sadly these Muslims citing the example of Changez Khan had forgotten that there was an Hazrat Umar (R.A.) also in their history”. We are also forgetting today that among us was one Umar Farooq (R.A.) about whom the Prophet Mohammd - Peace be Upon Him (PBUH) had said that “if there could be a prophet after him, he would have been Hazrat Umar (Radiallaho Anhu-R.A.)”.





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