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Omar Bin Al-Khattab In Jerusalem

The Caliph left Ali in Medina as his deputy and himself left for
Jerusalem. He had only one attendant with him and only one camel
to ride. Omar and the attendant rode the camel by turns. It
happened to be the servant's turn to ride on the day when they
were to reach Jerusalem. "Commander of the Faithful," said the
attendant, "I give up my turn. It will look awkward, in the eyes of
the people, if I ride and you lead the camel."
"Oh no," replied Omar, "I am not going to be unjust. The honor of
Islam is enough for us all."
Abu Obaid, Khalid, Yazid and other officers of the army went
some distance to receive the Caliph. All of them were wearing silk
cloaks. This made Omar angry. He took some pebbles and threw
them at his generals, saying, "Have you changed so much in just
two years? What dress is this? Even if you had done this two
hundred years from now, I would have dismissed you."
The officers replied, "Commander of the Faithful, we are in a land
where the quality of clothes worn tells the rank of a man. If we
wear ordinary clothes, we will command little respect among the
people. However, we are wearing our arms underneath the silken
robes."
This answer cooled down the anger of the Caliph.
Next the Caliph signed the treaty of peace. It ran as follows:
"From the servant of Allah and the Commander of the Faithful,
Omar: The inhabitants of Jerusalem are granted security of life
and property. Their churches and crosses shall be secure. This
treaty applies to all people of the city. Their places of worship shall
remain intact. These shall neither be taken over nor pulled down.
People shall be quite free to follow their religion. They shall not be
put to any trouble..."
The gates of the city were now opened. Omar went straight to Al-
Masjid-i-Aqsa. Here he said his prayer .
Next he visited the biggest Christian church of the city. He was in
the church when the time for the afternoon prayer came.
"You may say your prayers in the church," said the Bishop.
"No," replied Omar, "if I do so, the Muslims may one day make
this an excuse for taking over the church from you."
So he said his prayers on the steps of the church. Even then, he
gave the Bishop a writing. It said that the steps were never to be
used for congregational prayers nor was the Adhan [ call to
prayer ] to be said there.
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A man from the Copts(Copts are the Christians living in Egypt)
came to Omar ibn al-Khattab in Al-Madinah, and said, “O
Commander of the Faithful! I seek refuge in you from oppression.”
Omar replied, “You have sought refuge where it is to be sought.”
The Egyptian said, “I was racing the son of `Amr ibn al-`Aas, and
defeated him. Then he began to beat me with a whip saying: I am
the Son of Nobles!”

So Omar wrote to `Amr commanding him to appear before him


with his son. So they appeared before him. Omar inquired, “Where
is the Egyptian? He is to take the whip and beat him!” Then the
Egyptian began to beat the son of `Amr with the whip as `Umar
said to him, “Beat the Son of Nobles!”

Anas said, “So he beat him. I swear by Allah, as he was beating


him we pitied his wailing. He did not desist until we stopped him.”

Then Omar said to the Egyptian, “Now beat the whip upon `Amr’s
bald head!” He replied, “O Commander of the Faithful! For it was
his son who beat me, and I have evened the score with him.”

Upon this Omar said to `Amr, “Since when do you enslave the
people when their mothers bore them as free men?” He said, “O
Commander of the Faithful! I was unaware of this, and he did not
come to me (for justice).”
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Amr Ibn El Aas decided to increase the area of his mosque in
Egypt and there was a house owned by a Christian woman in the
area that he wanted to increase it in, so he offered her money to
leave her house but she refused, so he demolished the house and
increased the mosque area. The Christian woman sent a message to
Omar Ibn El Khattab telling him what happened. Omar Ibn El
Khattab asked Amr Ibn El Aas why he did this. Amr replied that
he wanted to increase the mosque area and he offered the woman
money and she refused. Omar Ibn El Khattab ordered Amr to
demolish the increased area of the mosque and to rebuild the house
for the Christian woman. Amr Ibn El Aas obeyed Omar and
personally supervised the rebuilding of the house.
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One day Omar Ibn El Khattab was walking and he saw an old
Jewish man begging. Omar asked him why he was begging. The
Jewish man told him that he is begging to pay Jeziah (a certain
amount of money paid by non-Muslims living in Muslims lands for
the purpose of protection since they will not join the Muslim Army
who will protect them against any harm). Omar told him, "We
have given you injustice," and swore to give him from the Muslims’
money and he did