Caliph Umar Abdul Aziz (682 – February, 720) is one of Islamic ruler biography that I love to read. I have a few book of his biography. I still not bored by reading his biography. His life make me want to be like him and his ruling has been follow by ruler after him. One of great Muslim’s ruler.
Shah Waliullah, a 18th century Sunni Islamic scholar stated :
A Mujadid appears at the end of every century: The Mujadid of the 1st century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah, Umar bin Abdul Aziz. The Mujadid of the 2nd century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah Muhammad Idrees Shaafi the Mujadid of the 3rd century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah Abu Hasan Ashari the Mujadid of the 4th century was Abu Abdullah Hakim Nishapuri.
Verily, the rulers (who came before me) sent out spies to watch over the common masses of citizens. But I will make you a spy over me: If you hear a word from me that arouses your doubt, or if you see me doing something that you do not like, then admonish me and point out my mistake to me. -Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz
Become a scholar if you are able. If you are not able, then be a student. If you can not, then show love for them. If you are unable to do that, then (at least) do not hate them. -Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz
Al-Taqwa does not mean spending the night in prayers and observing fast in the day, but it does mean: to perform Divine obligations and to avoid prohibitions; and if one acts upon additional good deeds, this will be light upon light. -Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz [Jame’al ‘uloom wal hikam]
There are five things which if a judge missed any of them, it will be a blemish on him: A judge should be discerning, deliberate, chaste, resolute, knowledgeable and inquisitive. -Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz
Some of story of his life:
Caliph Umar Bin Abdul Aziz, the celebrated Umayyad Caliph whose empire stretched from the shores of the Atlantic to the highlands of Pamir, was sitting in his private chamber examining a pile of State documents. The dim light of the room was adding to the serenity and somberness of the place and the Caliph could scarcely feel the arrival of his wife, Fatima, till she addressed him, “Sire! Will you spare a few moments for me? I want to discuss a private matter with you.” “Of course”, replied the pious Caliph, raising his head from the papers, “But, please put off this State lamp and light your own, as I do not want to burn the State oil for private talk.”
His last sermon,
The last sermon that ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz (rah) delivered was as follows:
He praised Allâh and said, “You were not created in vain, nor will you be left without purpose. Verily, you have an appointed time in which Allâh – the Most High – will come down to judge you. Wretched and ruined will he be who leaves the mercy of Allâh and is denied a Garden whose width is that of the heavens and Earth. Know you not that no one will be safe tomorrow save one who is wary of today and fears it; and sells the transitory for what will remain, and the little for the plenty, and fear in exchange for security [in the hereafter]? See you not that you are in the loins of the dead, to be taken by those who remain after you, until all matters return to the Best of Inheritors? Every day, [in the funerals] you accompany those returning to Allâh the Mighty and Sublime, having spent their time, until you hide them in a crevice in the ground, in the belly of a bare and unfurnished hole, having parted from their loved ones, stroking the dirt and facing their accounts. Now, they are dependent on their deeds, free of what they left behind, in need of [the deeds] they put before them. So fear Allâh before the time He appointed is up and death descends upon you. This is what I have to say.” He then lifted the edge of his garment over his face and wept profusely, and made everyone around him weep.
(Abû Bakr Al-Daynûrî, Al-Mujâlasah wa Jawâhir Al-‘Ilm Vol. 3 p343.)
Memoir after death:
When ‘Umar ibn Abd al Aziz died, the learned men came to his wife to express sympathy and say how great a calamity had struck the people of Islam by his death. And they said to her, ‘Tell us about him – for the one who knows best about a man is his wife’.
And she said: “Indeed he never used to pray or fast more than the rest of you, but I never saw a servant of God who feared Him more than ‘Umar. He devoted his body and his soul to the people. All day he would sit tending to their affairs, and when night came he would sit up while business remained. One evening when he had finished everything, he called for his lamp – from which he used to buy the oil from his own money – and prayed two prostrations. Then he sat back on his folded legs, with his chin in his hands, and the tears ran down from his cheeks, and this didn’t stop until dawn, when he rose for a day of fasting.
I said to him, ‘Commander of the Believers, was there some matter that troubled you this night?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I saw how I was occupied while governing the affairs of the community, all its black sheep and its white sheep, and I remembered the stranger, beggared and straying, and the poor and the needy, and the prisoners in captivity, and all like them in the far places of the earth, and I realised that God most high would ask me about all of them, and Muhammad would testify about them, and I feared that I should find no excuse when I was with God, and no defence with Muhammad.’
And even when ‘Umar was with me in bed, where a man usually find some pleasure with his wife, if he remembered some affair of God’s (people), he would be upset as a bird that had fallen into the water. Then his weeping would rise until I would throw off the blankets in kindness to him. ‘By God’ he would say, ‘How I wish that there was between me and this office the distance of the East from the West!’
“…When the calip died the Roman emperor is reported to have said:
“I should not be the least surprised if a monk renounces the world and busies himself in worship behind closed doors, but I am simply amazed at this man who has a vast empire at his feet but he rejected it and lived the life of a monk….”
It hard for me to find English version, but I finally found one book here: