The envoy of the Roman Emperor set out for Medina attended by a large retinue (attendees) andequipped with all the pomp (display) and pageantry (show) which the Roman Empire could boast(show off) of. On arrival in the metropolis of Islam, he enquired of a passer-by; “Tell me please,where is the palace of the Caliph.”? The Arab looked around. He was surprised by this strangequestion, “What do you mean by a palace”? retorted the Arab. I mean the palace of Umar, the Caliphof Islam,” added the envoy (representative). “Oh! You want to see Umar. Come on, I will take youin his presence,” replied the Arab. The envoy was escorted to the Masjid of the Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him), and to his utter astonishment,a person who was lying on the bare floor of theMasjid was introduced to him as Caliph Umar Farooq, the greatest ruler of his time, whose armiesheld sway (influence) over the three known continents of the world.
The envoy was taken aback atsuch a strange sight and the report of what he observed in Medina was enough to terrorize theRoman Emperor and impress him with the invincible (unshakeable) might of Islam.Hazrat Umar bin Khattab was born in Makah in 40 A.H. His lineage joins that of the Prophet of Islam in the eighth generation. His forefathers had held ambassadorial posts; commerce was hisancestral occupation. He was one of the seventeen literate persons of Makah, when Prophet Hoodwas conferred (presented) on the Holy prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He entered the pale(light) of Islam at the age of 27. An interesting anecdote is told about his reversion (getting back toearlier state) to Islam.He was one of the most powerful enemies of the new faith.One day he set outwith the intension of killing the Prophet of Islam. On the way he came across one Naeem binAbdullah, who asked him where he was bound for. Umar told him that he had resolved to do awaywith Muhammad (peace be upon him). Naeem tauntingly (mockingly) asked him to reform his ownhouse first....
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