Umar’s Care For The Poor


Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab was the second caliph of Islam. He was such a responsible and caring ruler that every night he used to stroll on the streets to know the problems of his people. The following is an incredible example of his dutifulness as a caliph.Today, no poor can even dream that the ruler of the land will bring them their essential food supplies himself.

It was the year of the famine. Umar made efforts to ensure that adequate relief reached all people, and  that there were none in the city who went to sleep hungry.

One night as usual Umar went on his round. He was accompanied by his slave Aslam. As he strolled from  street to street all was quiet and the people seemed to be asleep. Umar thought to himself, “Thank God,  there is no one in this city whom the famine has afflicted.”

"Thank God, there is no one in this city whom the famine has afflicted", Umar said

Then as he turned a corner he saw a cottage where light was burning, and from where the sound of the  weeping of the children was heard. Umar went to the cottage. He saw that the lady of the house was  cooking something on the hearth, and the children were crying.

The sound of children weeping was coming out of a cottage

Umar knocked at the gate, and addressing the lady of the house Umar enquired why were the children  crying. She said that they were crying because they were hungry. “And what are you cooking”, asked  Umar. The lady said that in the kettle there was only water and stones. That was to while away the  children that food was being cooked for them. She hoped that exhausted the children would go to sleep.

The lady said that in the kettle there was only water and stones.

Hearing this tale of woe, Umar felt guilty. He had thought that because of the arrangements made by him,  no one was afflicted in the city and here was a family which was starving. Umar said to the lady that he  would arrange relief for her family immediately.

Umar said to the lady that he would arrange relief for her family immediately.

Umar went to the Baitul Mal. There he put the necessary provisions in a bag and carried the bag to the  cottage. His slave insisted that he would carry the bag, but Umar said that he would carry his burden  himself. Umar handed over the bag of provisions to the lady. Umar sat by the hearth and helped the lady  cook the meals.

Umar sat by the hearth and helped the lady cook the meals.

When the meals were ready the children were awakened and served with the delicious  meals. As the children ate to their fill and were satisfied they smiled the smile of happiness. Seeing the  destitute children smile Umar also felt happy.

Umar enquired of the lady whether there was none to support. She said that the father of the children  had died, and there was no body to support. Whatever little was in the house had been gradually used  up and they were starving since the last three days.

Umar asked the lady why she had not brought her distress to the notice of the Caliph. The lady said that  in spite of her poverty she had some sense of self-respect and she could not go and beg the Caliph for  any favor. She added that it was incumbent on the Caliph to ascertain that there was no one in his  charge who was starving.

Umar said, “You are right. Please excuse me for the remissness in the past. For the future it will be my  responsibility to see that your wants are satisfied.”

And when the lady realized that the man who had come to her relief was the Caliph himself, she felt  satisfied that the Caliph had discharged his onerous responsibilities creditably.

Caliph had discharged his onerous responsibilities creditably.

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5 thoughts on “Umar’s Care For The Poor

  1. SubhanAllah, Umar r.a is my favourite Caliph 🙂

    We need men in our Ummah as the like of Umar r.a and other Sahabas.
    JazakAllah Khayr for sharing it with us..:)

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