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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - Umar's Address At Jabiah

After receiving the surrender of Jerusalem and completing the tour of Syria when Umar was returning to Madina he led the prayer at Jabiah. On this occasion he delivered an address which is preserved in history.

In the course of the address, Umar said:

"O ye people I counsel you to read the Quran. Try to understand it and ponder over it. Imbibe the teachings of the Quran. Then practise what the Quran teaches. The Quran is not theoretical; it is a practical code of life. The Quran does not bring you the message of the Hereafter only; it is primarily intended to guide you in this life. Would your life in accordance with the teachings of Islam for that is the way of your well being. By following any other way you will be inviting destruction.

Fear Allah, and whatever you want seek from Him. All men are equal. Do not flatter those in authority. Do not seek favours from others. By such acts you demean yourself. And remember that you will get only that is ordained for you, and no one can give you anything against the will of God. Then why seek things from others over which they have no control? Only supplicate God for He alone is the sovereign.

And speak the truth. Do not hesitate to say what you consider to be the truth. Say what you feel. Let your conscience be your guide. Let your intentions be good, for verily God is aware of your intentions. In your deeds your intentions count. Fear God, and fear no one else. Why fear others when you know that whatever sustenance is ordained for you by God you will get under all circumstances? And again why fear when you know that death is ordained by God alone and will come only when He wills?

Allah has for the time being made me your ruler. But I am one of you. No special privileges belong to me as a ruler. I have some responsibilities to discharge, and in this I seek your cooperation. Government is a sacred trust, and it is my endeavour not to betray the trust in any way. For the fulfilment of the trust I have to be a watchman. I have to be strict. I have to enforce discipline. I have to run the administration not on the basis of any personal idiosyncracies; I have to run it in public interest and for promoting the public good. For this we have the guidance in the Book of God. Whatever orders I issue in the course of day to day administration have to conform to the Quran. God has favoured us with Islam, He sent to us His Messenger. He has chosen us for a mission, Let us fulfil that mission. That mission is the promotion of Islam. In Islam lies our safety; if we err we are doomed."

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