By Dr. Yasien Mohamed
25 pages Paperback A5 ISBN 1897940 14 9
Published By Ta Ha Publishers, London UK
A brief description of the life and actions of this noble descendant of the third Khalif of Islam. Of all the Umayyad rulers, the example set by Umar ibn 'Abd'al-'Aziz was by far the closest to that of the first four rightly-guided Khalifs, may Allah be pleased with all of them.
‘Umar bin ‘Abd-al ‘Aziz, al Khalifat as-Salih
(the piousCaliph), was the eighth of the Umayyad Caliphs. The
establishment of the Umayyad Caliphate in Damascusbrought an end to the
Khalifat-ur-Rashidin (the Caliphateof the Rightly-Guided). The Caliphs who ruled
from Madinah followed the example of the Prophet (SAW),seeking no worldly
advantage or personal gain. Their sole aim was to implement the law (hukm) of
God, as embodied in the Shari’ah.
The word Caliph means 'vicegerent' and as the
title suggests, the Caliph is not a sovereign ruler having supreme power but is
a representative of God, who alone~
is sovereign. The Rashidin Caliphs attempted to rule with uprightness, justice
and compassion. Their personal life-style was abstention (zuhd) and contentment
(shukr) with the basic necessities of life.
By contrast, the rule of the Umayyads was
characterisedby worldliness. For the most part, these Caliphs were motivated by
the quest for wealth and power, leading lives of extravagance, and selfish
indulgence amidst much pomp and ceremony. ‘Umar bin ‘Abd-al Aziz was the shining
exception. He stood out like a beacon amongst all the Umayyads, worthy of being
compared to the Rashidin Caliphs in character and in authority. Thus, he was
considered the fifth of the Rashidin Caliphs, despite being the eighth in
line of the Umayyad dynasty.
Like the Rashidin Caliphs, he
saw his rule as a divine Service
In an age when great leaders are rare, this short biography reminds us that just rulers do from time to time openly appear.