Download PDF: [S] The New Caliph
When Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him – was given the position of leadership, he was not an old person. He was a beloved son of the Bani Ummayyah and used to live a rich and pomp life.
It is said that in one day he used to wear three different types of clothing. Wherever he walked, people used to recognize him by the fragrance that was in the air. He used to live in a mansion in Madina Shareef. His father also had houses in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. However, when the destiny of Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him – changed, then he was blessed with the mantle of leadership which forever changed his life.
At the time, the leader was Sulayman bin Abdul Malik, who had become extremely ill. Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him – could see the manner in which some of these leaders died and suffered before they died.
There is no doubt that every soul will have to taste death. In Surah Ale Imran, verse 185, the Qur’an declares:
کُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَآئِقَۃُ الْمَوْتِ ؕ وَ اِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ اُجُوۡرَکُمْ یَوْمَ الْقِیٰمَۃِ ؕ فَمَنۡ زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَاُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّۃَ فَقَدْ فَازَ ؕ وَمَا الْحَیٰوۃُ الدُّنْیَاۤ اِلَّا مَتٰعُ الْغُرُوۡرِ ﴿۱۸۵﴾
“Every soul must taste death; and only on the Day of Resurrection will you be fully recompensed; so the one who is saved from the fire and is admitted into Paradise – he is undoubtedly successful; and the life of this world is just counterfeit wealth.”
When Sulayman bin Abdul Malik was about to die, he also began to utter words of regret. He made a statement that if his children do become big in age, then he would have been successful because someone who has taken over control from him.
However, when Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him – heard this statement, he recited the 14th and 15th verses of Surah Al ‘Ala which are:
“Indeed successful is the one who became pure. And who mentioned the name of his Lord, then offered prayer.”
When Sulayman died, he had a secret note given to his Wakeel in which was recorded the name of the person who would succeed him. When he died, this note was opened by an eminent scholar of his era, namely Rajaa bin Hayyah who stood on the Mimbar and mentioned that from this moment onwards, the leader of the Muslims would be Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him.
When Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him – heard these words, he was in the front row of the Masjid but began to tremble with fear. The ‘Ulama who were present, then made him sit on the Mimbar. Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him – wanted to speak but he was too emotional. He also asked the people to take away their allegiance from him, but they refused and said that they only accepted him as their leader.