Prophet Succession: Abu Bakr And Umar, Most Prominent Companions

Caliphate - the so-called era of the first Muslim leaders. Abu Bakr and Umar were the closest associates of the Prophet and therefore became the first caliphs after his death. About their foreign policy in the years of their rule - in this article.

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Caliphate – the so-called era of the first Muslim leaders. Abu Bakr and Umar were the closest associates of the Prophet and therefore became the first caliphs after his death. About their foreign policy in the years of their rule – will be discuss in this article.

With the death of Prophet Muhammad (saw), the Muslim community faced the problem of succession. Who will be their leader?

There were four Most Prominent Companions of Prophet Muhammad (saw) marked to take over the reins: Abu Bakr (ra), who not only accompanied Muhammad to Medina ten years ago, but also was appointed to the place of the Prophet when performing a collective prayer during Muhammad’s last illness; Umar Ibn al-Khattab, the active and reliable companion of the Prophet; Usman ibn Affan, one of the first and most respected people who converted to Islam; and Ali ibn Abu Talib, cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad. Their piety and ability to manage the affairs of Islamic peoples was not in doubt. At a meeting held in connection with the election of a new leadership, Umar took Abu Bakr’s hand, which was traditionally considered a sign of recognition of the new leader, and swore allegiance to him. Even before evening, everyone came to a common opinion, and Abu Bakr was recognized by the Muslims as Caliph of the Prphet Muhammad (saw). From a religious point of view, the word “caliph” means “successor”, but it is also assumed that he has a historical mission: to rule according to the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw).

Abu Bakr’s caliphate was very short, but it was of great importance. Abu Bakr was a model leader, he lived simply, diligently observed religious duties, was accessible to the people and sympathized with him. But he was firm when some tribes that only nominally accepted Islam refused him because of the death of the Prophet. Abu Bakr’s biggest achievement is that he was able to quickly establish order throughout the country. Later he rallied all the tribes living on the Arabian Peninsula, and directed all their power against the powerful empires of the East: the Sassanids in Persia and the Byzantines in Syria, Palestine and Egypt. In other words, he demonstrated to the world the viability of the Muslim state.

The second caliph, Umar, appointed by Abu Bakr, continued his previous tactics. Adopting the title of amirul mu’minin, which means “ruler of the faithful,” Umar spread Islam in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Persia, thus winning not only in military battles. Within four years after the death of the Prophet, the Muslim state expanded its power over the entire territory of historical Syria, and in the famous battle during the sandstorm near the river Yarmuk the power of the Byzantines was overthrown.

Even more surprising is that the Muslim state conquered the territories, offering the inhabitants of new countries to preserve their religion and guaranteeing them religious tolerance. In Damascus, for example, the Muslim leader Khalid ibn al-Walid signed a treaty that read as follows:

“This is what Khalid ibn al Walid will provide to the inhabitants of Damascus when he enters the city: he promises to protect your life, property and temples (churches). The city walls will not be demolished; None of the Muslims will be billeted in your homes. In addition, we conclude this treaty on the covenant of the Most High God and promise your protection by His Prophet, Caliphs and believers. Until you pay a per capita tax, nothing but good will come upon you. “

This tolerance was typical of Islam. A year after the battle near the Yarmuk River, Umar, being in the military camp of Al-Jabiya in the Golan Heights, received news that the Byzantines were ready to surrender Jerusalem. He went personally to accept their surrender. According to the testimony, he entered the city alone, while he was dressed in a simple cloak, which amazed the population, accustomed to the luxurious attire and ceremonies of the Byzantines and Persians. He struck them even more when, during the negotiations, he dispelled their fears by concluding a treaty that said: “In the name of God … Your churches will be completely safe, they will not be occupied by Muslims or destroyed.”

This policy has been successful everywhere. For example, in Syria, many Christians who were involved in tough theological disputes with representatives of Byzantine power – and persecuted for it – welcomed the coming of Islam as the end of tyranny. And in Egypt, which Amr ibn al-Aas freed from the Byzantines after a courageous march through the Sinai Peninsula, the Coptic Christians not only welcomed the Muslims, but also enthusiastically helped them.

A similar picture is repeated throughout the Byzantine Empire. The conflict with the Greek Orthodox, Syrian monophysites, Copts and Orthodox Nestorians led to the defeat of the Byzantines, who were perceived as invaders and did not give them any support, while the tolerance shown by Muslims against Christians and Jews eliminated the main reason for fighting them .

Umar adhered to a similar policy with respect to administrative issues. Although he appointed the rulers of the new provinces of the Muslims, but where possible, the administration of the Byzantines and Persians were preserved. For fifty years, Greek remained the language of recordkeeping in Syria, Egypt and Palestine, while Pahlavi, the official language of the Sassanids, continued to be used in Mesopotamia and Persia.

Prophet Succession: Abu Bakr And Umar, Most Prominent Companions
Prophet Succession: Abu Bakr And Umar, Most Prominent Companions

The ten-year rule of Umar ended with another victory, this time over the Persian Empire. The struggle against the Sassanid kingdom began in 636 in Al-Qadisiya, near Ctesiphon in Iraq, where the Muslim cavalry successfully coped with the elephants used by the Persians as a kind of primitive tanks. And, finally, in the battle of Nihavand, which was called the Battle of the Battles, Umar defined the fate of Persia; From now on it has become one of the most important provinces of the Muslim empire.

The era of Umar’s rule became the highest point in the early history of Islam. He was known for his justice, social ideals, administrative and state wisdom. His proposals for the construction of the country have left a bright imprint on the matter of social security, taxation, financial and administrative arrangements for a growing empire.


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