A Narration from Umar

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There is something amazing about opening up a book of hadith and pouring through the words of the Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wasallam, and those of the Sahabah, radiya Allahu anhum. Little compares to the pure, raw gems of inspiration that come from hadith.

Here are a few interesting narrations from Sahih al-Bukhari regarding Umar radiya Allahu anhu and hijab:

Umar ibn al-Khattab radiya Allahu anhu said: My Lord agreed with me in three things:

I said, “O Allah’s Messenger, I wish we would take the station of Ibraheem as our praying place (for some of our prayers).” So the ayah came {And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer.} [2:125]

And the ayah of hijab; I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I wish you would order your wives to cover themselves from the men, because good and bad ones talk to them.’ So the ayah of hijab* was revealed.

And once, the wives of the Prophet made a united front in their jealousy for the Prophet, and I said to them, {It may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you.} So this verse (the same as I had said, [66:5]) was revealed.

[Sahih al-Bukhari]

* The hijab referred to in this hadith is not the regular hijab of the Muslim woman, but the curtain or barrier meant to separate the wives of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wasallam from any man who needed to speak to them. The hadith shows Umar’s sense of gheerah and protection, and the extent Islam went to protect the hearts and purity of these righteous men and women, radiya Allahu anhum.

And another narration:

Umar once asked permission to see Allah’s Messenger,  in whose company there were some Quraishi women* who were talking to him and asking for more financial support, raising their voices. When Umar asked permission to enter, the women got up, hurrying to screen themselves.

Allah’s Messenger let Umar in,  smiling. Umar asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! May Allah keep you happy always.” Allah’s Messenger said, “I am astonished at these women who were with me. As soon as they heard your voice, they hastened to screen themselves.”

Umar said, “O Allah’s Messenger! You have more right to be feared by them.” Then he addressed (those women) saying, “O enemies of your own souls! Do you fear me and not Allah’s Messenger ?” They replied. “Yes, for you are a fearful and fierce man compared with Allah’s Messenger.”

At that, Allah’s Messenger said (to Umar), “By Him in Whose Hands my life is, whenever Satan sees you taking a path, he follows a path other than yours.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari]

* It is mentioned in Fath al-Bari that these women were the wives of the Messenger salla Allahu alayhi wasallam.

And another narration regarding the virtues of  Umar radiya Allahu anhu himself:

Abu Hurayrah radiya Allahu anhu narrated that the Messenger salla Allahu alayhi wasallam said,

“Among the nation of Bani Israel who lived before you, there were men who used to be inspired with guidance though they were not prophets; and if there were any of such persons amongst my followers, it would be ‘Umar.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari]

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala place the love of Umar, the love of hayaa’, and the love of the Messenger salla Allahu alayhi wasallam and his wives in our hearts!

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