Meaning of 'UMAR I in English


born c. AD 586, , Mecca, Arabia [now in Saudi Arabia] died Nov. 3, 644, Medina, Arabia in full 'umar Ibn Al-khattab the second Muslim caliph (from 634), under whom Arab armies conquered Mesopotamia and Syria and began the conquest of Iran and Egypt. A member of the clan of 'Adi of the Meccan tribe of Quraysh (Koreish), 'Umar at first opposed Muhammad but, about 615, became a Muslim. By 622, when he went to Medina with Muhammad and the other Meccan Muslims, he had become one of Muhammad's chief advisers, closely associated with Abu Bakr. His position in the state was marked by Muhammad's marriage to his daughter Hafsa in 625. On Muhammad's death in 632 'Umar was largely responsible for reconciling the Medinan Muslims to the acceptance of a Meccan, Abu Bakr, as head of state (caliph). Abu Bakr (reigned 632634) relied greatly on 'Umar and nominated him to succeed him. As caliph, 'Umar was the first to call himself commander of the faithful (amir al-mu'minin). His reign saw the transformation of the Islamic state from an Arabian principality to a world power. Throughout this remarkable expansion 'Umar closely controlled general policy and laid down the principles for administering the conquered lands. The structure of the later Islamic empire, including legal practice, is largely due to him. Assassinated by a Persian slave for personal reasons, he died at Medina 10 years after coming to the throne. A strong ruler, stern toward offenders, and himself ascetic to the point of harshness, he was universally respected for his justice and authority.

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