Monday, 20 September 2010

Physical Description of 'Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.) was born eleven years after the Year of the Elephant and accepted Islam when he was 27 years old.  He was described as a towering figure.  Whenever he was with any group, he would be the tallest amongst them.  It was said that if one saw him from a distance in a group, it would seem as if he was riding his mount whilst everybody around him was standing.  He was very well built.  He was not overweight but he was muscular.  He was a wrestler in Jahiliyyah.  His limbs were large.  He was bald and fair-skinned and there was some redness in his colour.  He used henna in his hair.  The tips of his moustache were long and he used to twist them in his fingers whenever he was upset.

It was said he walked very fast.  When he spoke, it was loud and clear.  When he struck anyone, it was with all his strength.  His presence intimidated his enemy and it would strike fear even in his friends.  Once, ‘Umar (r.a.) was walking in Madina when he turned around and saw a pregnant lady.  When she saw him he looked so fierce that she had a miscarriage.  The swahabah then debated if ‘Umar (r.a.) should pay blood money for that.  ‘Ali (r.a.) then said that blood money was required to be paid but from Bayt al-Mal.  When the enemies of Allah (s.w.t.) heard the name of ‘Umar (r.a.), their knees shook and their hearts trembled.


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