Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz: Life & Lessons

Ismail Kamdar

Channel: Ismail Kamdar

Episode Notes

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Jumah Khutbah delivered at Ridge Road Musalla, Musgrave in Durban, South Africa on 17 August 2018. In this discussion, Shaykh Ismail discusses the life and legacy of Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz (RA).

Episode Transcript

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Salam Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

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hamdulillahi Rabbil alameen wa Salatu was Salam O Allah Nabila, Karim Allah Allah He was heavy Ahjumma in. We begin by praising Allah subhanho wa Taala, asking Allah to send his peace and blessings upon his final messenger, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and all those who followed his way with righteousness, all those who will follow his way with righteousness until the end of time.

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For amongst the most important things for any human being to study are the biographies of successful people.

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And for a Muslim, this means studying the biographies of the pious predecessors,

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those who came and went, and they went and left this world in a state that we hope Allah is pleased with him.

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The more biographies you study, the more of the qualities of those people you will have in your life.

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And so as a Muslim, we need to scroll through our history. And look at the biographies of those people who stood out. We need to study the biographies. We need to understand it, we need to reflect on it, and then we need to emulate it.

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And today, inshallah, we'll begin a new series of discussions on the biographies of people throughout our history, who I look up to. And I want to begin with my personal favorite hero in Islamic history, someone who, who really stands out to me as a role model of Islam from the later generations. Someone who I have spent hours upon hours researching and reading about his life because he is truly an amazing individual. And this individual was the great king, the great halifa, who some people refer to as the first of the Colaba Rashi in the ninth of the Omega dynasty. Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz Rahim Allah, also known as Omar the second.

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So I want to divide today's presentation into three parts. The first is a background, a little bit of background about the time in which Mr. rahima hula became the king and a background of his family. So we have some idea of what is his biography so important? there for about 10 to 15 minutes we will discuss a brief history of his life and his philosophy and his accomplishments. And then finally, in the final 10 to 15 minutes of this presentation, we will look at the accomplishments of Abdul Aziz and the lessons we can extract from them. So very briefly, the first part

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who was Omar, Abdul Aziz, and in what time did he love, Omar? Even Abdul Aziz was from the Tabby in the da de means he was a second generation Muslim. He had met some of the Sahaba particularly his grand uncle, his mother's uncle, Abdullah, even Omar rajala Kumar, who he studied under and who he lived with, so he lived with and studied with the Sahaba. He was a second generation Muslim, right? He lived during the immediate era, the Romanians with the first dynasty from all of the Muslim kings, right? The most famous were the Romanians, the Abbas's, and the Ottomans. The Armenians were the first they started with Mao era and who then he sang yazeed then his and then he passed along to

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his cousin Marwan even haccombe. Then his son, Abdul Malik, Eben Marwan, and then it went to Abdul Malik sons, right. She was during this era that Omar was born. Now he has over his his genealogy is important from both his mother's and his father's side. Who was he on his father's side? He was Omer even Abdul Aziz even Marwan even haka.

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He was the grandson of the king.

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Right, we said the King was Marwan even haka. Marwan had two sons, Abdul Malik and Abdul Aziz Abdul Malik became the king. Abdul Aziz is the father of Oman, and you will need to relate to become one of the kings. Right so he is from the royal family of that time. He is a grandson of the king. He is the nephew of a king. He is the brother in law for kings and he becomes the king himself. He's from royal blood.

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On his mother's side. He is the great grandson of Omar Ibn Al Fatah de la Lu, the second half of Islam. So on his father's side, he is royalty. He is the descendant of the king. On his mother's side. He has a very blessed genealogy. His great grandfather was Omar rajala. override language is a very famous story. I can't go into it because it will really be our entire goodbye. But it's a very beautiful and famous story where one day he was walking and he heard a young lady

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Expressing real deep taqwa. Right? And he found out who this lady was. And he got this lady married to his youngest son. And he told his son marry this woman because I hope from your progeny, they will arise a righteous leader. Because he knew if you marry a righteous woman to a righteous man, only righteousness can be one of them. And so, this woman got married to the son of Omar Abdullah who they had a daughter, she married the son of the king, Chimera, Abdul Aziz even Marwan and they had a son who they named Omar, right after his great grandfather. So this is Omar Abdulaziz. This is his genealogy, very important to know, royalty on one hand, the descendant of Omar even hottub. On

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the other hand, two very interesting backgrounds. Now the times that he lived in, he lived in the time which is called the Golden Age of Islam, and, and it was the early part, the foundations of the Golden Age of Islam, where Islam had just become a just enter this golden era. His uncle, Abdul Malik, Eben Marwan was the founder of of what we would call the Islamic empire as an actual state. He established Islam as the ruling religion of multiple countries. He established Arabic as the language the official language of all the countries ruled by Islam. He has he invented the first Islamic currency. before their time at the time of the machine and he and the early rulers, the

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Muslims would use Roman calgon currency. Abdul Malik even Marwan invented Muslim currency, gold coins with La ilaha illAllah on it, but he was the inventor of this. So he actually established an empire, he invented a flag for the Empire, a currency for the Empire, and official language for the Empire. He established what we call the Muslim Empire, and this is when the golden age of Islam came into being. When Malik passed away, his son Walid came into power. And while he was responsible for the most expansions in the history of Islam, during the time of Walid the Muslims conquered India, during the time of Walid the Muslims conquered Spain, during the times of war need the conquered

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most of North Africa. So the Muslim Empire has grown huge at this time, it was now a dominant superpower in the Muslim world.

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And so this is a very interesting time because on one hand, the Muslim have now become a superpower. Right? Even growing in the time of Rasulullah, sallAllahu wasallam. In the Sahaba, it became stagnant a bit with the civil wars, the civil wars ended, and now it enters a golden age of growth. But on the other hand, would grow with money would power comes temptations comes test comes to be culties of different types, and show the family of the Romanians, they had some bad habits. May Allah forgive them. They became very materialistic. They became very caught up in the dunya, he began to the very extravagant lifestyles, right? And he was during this time when when the rulers

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were like this. So it was simultaneously the best of times and a difficult time for the oma. It was during this time that Omar comes into power.

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So this is the context, right? He's the he's the grandson of the king. He's the grandson of Omar Abdullah, who is living in a time which is the golden era of Islam, where he is born into immense wealth, the amount of wealth he was born into, we can't even imagine.

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And now he comes into power and what happens before we explain what happens when he comes into power. Just give you a bit of an idea of how he was raised. help you understand why he was so different from his cousins. Omar was raised in Medina. At that point in time his parents were living in Medina and his uncle had become the king and his uncle, Abdul Malik had appointed omens father Abdul Aziz to be the governor of Egypt. So now Abdul Aziz had to move with his family to Egypt. At this point in time, his mother made a very crucial decision regarding her son. She said it we are moving to Egypt. We are leaving Omar behind in Medina to live with my uncle Abdullah,

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who is Abdullah Ivanova. He is the son of Omar Abdullah photogra. He's one of the greatest scholars in the history of Islam. He was one of the Sahaba he was in wujiang. He was a hadith scholar. He was a Tafseer scholar. He was a fixed scholar. He is now in his 80s or 90s living in Medina and his niece who is Omarosa mother said I'm leaving my son with him. Why?

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for three reasons. Number one, Medina was a better environment for a child to grow up in than Egypt.

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Even today, Medina is a better environment to grow up your child to almost any other country, right. Number two,

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Abdullah even Omar would give him a quality of education he was not going to find it Egypt imagined being the personal string of a Sahaba right, number three. in Medina, they still lived many grades

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scholars from amongst the Sahaba and go amongst the web.

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So she made a huge sacrifice her favorite child, we can assume she left behind in Medina and she moved to Egypt and she and her husband lived in Egypt and he passed away in Egypt. And there isn't any records of whether he met him again after that or not. But he grew up in Medina, with his grand uncle, surrounded by by the Sahaba and have been learning the religion, learning Islam. So while his cousins are growing up in the palaces of Damascus, they are growing up in this quiet environment. He is growing up in the righteous environment of Medina being raised by the Sahaba and Allah.

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That's why he ended up so different. No parents are sacrifices you need to make to raise righteous children.

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So Omar, he becomes the governor of Medina when his cousin comes into power. And I forgot to mention he married his cousin Fatima, bindi Abdul Malik, right? So Fatima, she is the the Queen's she's the Princess of the Empire. And she marries her cousin Omar. So now he's not just the cousin of the king. He's the brother in law of the king as well. So very important to notice. He's related the two ways to the king, he's the brother in law and the cousin of Ali. And so when he makes him, the governor of Medina, and under him, Medina begins to flourish. And Medina becomes so beautiful as a culture and a place to living becomes a culture of scholarship, that people start moving from other

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parts of the Muslim world to Medina, and the other governors begin to get jealous, especially a judge. Anyone who knows Islamic history knows what the title a judge was, was one of the worst individuals in our history. And so her judge begins to make noise. And he begins to take it up with Walid How can you let Omar be the governor he's not qualified. He's like this. He's like that he's not strong enough. Finally, well, each side of the arguments, he moved over from power. He moved over from power, tells him to leave Medina and come and live in Damascus with his cousins with his family.

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Omar leaves his position of governorship and with a heavy heart he moves from Medina to Damascus. It looks like a step down. He's been stripped of his title as governor, and he's leaving the city that he loves the city of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam but Allah had bigger plans for him. Allah had bigger plans for Omar Omar moves to Damascus in Serbia.

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And his cousin Waleed passes away. And while he his brother, Sulaiman, even Abdul Malik comes into power. Now, Australia man, he was very fond of Homer. Right, they were brothers, they were cousins. were close friends, they grew up together. And so he makes Omer even Abdulaziz one of his chief advisors. So now he goes from being the governor in Medina to being the chief adviser of the king in Damascus. But Suleiman does not last in power for very long. After three years, he passed away. And we can assume he passed away from health related issues because he lived a very materialistic lifestyle, he over ate a lot. He was overweight, according to some of the historians. He didn't live

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a healthy life. And she had a very young age after being king for three years, Solomon passes away. But before dying, on his deathbed, he needs to make a decision, who's going to succeed me. And so he looks around, he sees his brothers with brothers out spoiled. He's not too happy to leave them behind as an ex ruler. He looks at his children, his children are too young. They're like five, six years old, they can't be king. What does he do?

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At the same time, he's feeling guilty for all the dunya he engaged and he wants to leave this world doing something that will benefit the EU or something to make up for his sins. And so his advisers tell him what about your cousin, your brother in law, Homer? Why not appoint him as an ex King Solomon agreed as the Solomon before passing away, he made a royal decree that when he dies, his cousin, Omar, even Abdulaziz will be the next king. And so in the year 99, ah, 99 years after a pseudo last election, amazing Egypt in Medina 99 years after that Solomon passes away, and Omar is appointed as the halifa of the Muslim world, the new king, the ninth halifa of omega dynasty. He

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comes into power and he changes everything. He changes everything. He gets rid of the materialism, he gets rid of the fancy lifestyles of his family, he reduces taxes, he sends it he increases the the salaries of the AMA. He sends people out to do all kinds of Dawa and work. Hundreds of 1000s of people start converting to Islam.

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People start living a happier life. He establishes the rule of the establishes the law that Hadees needs to be written down. This is very interesting. It was almost even a hotdog who said that Quranic should be written down so it can be preserved. It is his great grandson Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz, who said Hadees needs to be written down so it can be preserved the legacy

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This family, we owe this family the Quran and the Hadees. Allah use this family for both. So Omar Abdulaziz comes into power and he starts changing and changing and changing. And he creates an empire of justice and knowledge and mercy, and Islamic the Islamic empire, which is really one of its most beautiful and significant phases. But it lasts for only two years.

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Every single thing that Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz accomplished took place in two years. So amazing. his biography in English is 600 pages, most of it explaining his accomplishment in those two years. What happened, jealousy. his cousins could not handle that he was now the king. his cousins could not handle that he's taking away the materialistic lifestyle, the extravagance taking away all these extra taxes from them. Eventually, someone slipped some poison into his food. And he dies at a very young age in his early 40s, or even Abdulaziz leaves this world. And the khilafah goes back to his cousins, he goes back to the way it was before. And just for two brief years, this oma experience

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something amazing. They felt like they were living under the Sahaba.

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Just for two years, and those two years were so amazing. That the right until today, people continue to talk about it, to write about it and read about it, to analyze it, to take lessons from it. Because it is two of the most important years in the history of Islam, the year 99 as the year 101 H.

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And now we come to the most important part of this discussion. What can we learn from the story? Because history is only important if you learn from it. If you just memorize people's names and their birth dates and things like that, that's not really important. What can you take from their life? What lessons can we take from them? The first lesson

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is seeing the prophecy of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam take place Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam stated in authentic Hadees that at the turn of the century, Allah will send revivals of this religion. One of these is a revival the other versus revivals, right? Exactly at the turn of the first century from 99 to 101, which Allah put Omar even Abdulaziz in charge of this Omar, and there is consensus amongst the Hadith scholars and historians that he was the first revival. He was the fulfillment of the prophecy in this hadith. Allah sent him to revive Islam, to remind the Muslims of Dawa, to remind them of justice to remind them to live a simple life to remind

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him to focus on Allah. He was at first revival. So we see the hedges of Rasulullah sallallahu Sallam coming through his prophecies coming through.

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Looking further at the life of Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz, to me, the most important lesson that we can take and apply because we are not rulers or kings. Right. So the leadership lessons most of us can't apply. But the single most important lesson that every one of us can apply to our lives is no this

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good parenting presents, it raises good children, right? good parenting leads to good children. extra ordinary parenting raises extra ordinary leaders. Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz was the result of three generations of righteous parenting.

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And you see this in the lives of many of the great people in Islamic history. Their parents were righteous, the grandparents were righteous, the great campaigns were righteous. And by the third or fourth generation, it just grows into something amazing.

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Right? It's not gonna happen overnight. If you are the first good Muslim in your family, your children will be good, and their children will be better and eventually your great grandchildren may be amazing. This is what happens. Yeah, Omar even ohata is the only one who could have been a better father.

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rajala No. Think about what amazing father he was think about how he chose his son's wife. He chose her based on her taqwa. And so his righteous son marries His righteous woman and they raised a righteous daughter in a righteous way in Medina, and she marries the king's brother, and they raise their son in a righteous way in Medina.

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So it's righteousness upon righteousness. What is the result? The result is only been Abdul Aziz. Right? His parents were righteous, his grandparents were righteous, his great grandparents were righteous. And what's even more amazing when you study his biography deeper. Many people don't know this. Omar, even Abdul Aziz had a son named Abdul Aziz even Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz and Abdul Aziz, the scholars of history say he was even more pious than his father.

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He was even more pious than his father. Sadly, in the year 100 years, while Omar was the halifa, his son had a harsh accident and he passed away at a very young age, and there was really devastating for his father. But think about this woman, even Abdul Aziz was

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The fourth generation of his family and he was so righteous, the fourth generation was even more righteous. Meaning this thing grows momentum, righteousness has momentum. If it's passed along from generation to generation, it gets stronger and better with each generation. And so don't underestimate the power of righteous parenting. Don't think it doesn't matter how I raise my children, I see this defeatist mentality amongst many Muslims today, you see that no matter what we do, our children still gonna go straight, our children still going to rebel, don't have that expectation of your children. If that's your expectation, that's what you're going to get. Rather

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you do your best and leave the rest to Allah. If you do your best, at least one of your children will grow up to be righteous, at least one, Allah was accepted to offer at least one of them, maybe all of them, Allah knows best. But you have to make the effort and you have to be optimistic. Omer, even Abdul Aziz, his parents didn't just raise him righteousness, they made sacrifices for you. Think about imagine leaving your child behind and moving to another country.

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They left him in Medina and moved to Egypt, because Medina was a better place for him to grow up in.

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How many of us are willing to make that sacrifice our child can be righteous?

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good parenting requires sacrifice, sacrifice of your money, sacrifice of your time, sacrifice of some of the nice things of this world that you want. You can't rewrite your children if you're not willing to invest something in it.

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So this is the most important lesson to me from the life of American abdulazeez his parents and the way they raised him.

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The second most important thing to me to take from his life is the importance of prioritizing what is important over what is not important. So the omegas before him, they only accept from them the good that he did, he established Islam, they built the Empire, he conquered many lands, spread justice to those lands, but he made mistakes as well. They did wrong things as well, for amongst the wrong things that they did. And May Allah forgive them was that when one of these images one of the non Muslims living in a Muslim land when they would convert to Islam, they would still continue to charge this person jizya by the jizya is the tax did not pay.

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But they will continue to charge this person jizya why extra money for the government extra taxes out of greed.

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Omar Abdulaziz his first decree upon becoming halifa was to do away with this tax.

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And a beautiful discussion between him and one of his ministers. The minister told him listen, if we do away with this revenue, our government's gonna suffer we're gonna lose a lot of money.

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And he told this governor, he told his minister something very important he told him, listen, Allah did not send us as tax collectors. He sent us a rough mattoni

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he sent us to be a mercy to this universe. And so he did away with that tax, meaning from now on if anyone converts to Islam, no much easier for them. The result of this declaration and this is just going back to the sooner the result of going back to the sooner on this, hundreds of 1000s of people converted to Islam in those two years, hundreds of 1000s. One decision, one decision led to hundreds of 1000s of people converting to Islam. He didn't stop there. You see his predecessors were focused on expansion, conquering land upon land upon land, but the women doing much for the people in those lands.

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So Omar Abdulaziz made a bit of a controversial decision. He stopped expansion during his two years. He stopped the expansion he didn't conquer any new land during those two years. Instead, he focused on the development of the people in those lands.

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These are some of the things he did over even Abdulaziz he increased the salaries of Alabama

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because in those days, the allameh were paid by the king. So during his reign, more people were encouraged to become Olimar because now they're earning a higher salary. Right all amounts will need to live the ultra nega salaries, Omar understood this, he increased the salary so Allah earned well during his lifetime, and our team as well. This rule remained of his time as well for hundreds of years to increase the salaries of Allah. He sent all Amar to the newly conquered distant lands, Spain, India, the eastern western parts of Africa, he sent Allah to all these lands to do Dawa and to teach the people. So Islam began to spread and flourish in his legs. And he wasn't just Islamic

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things he did to develop the Empire. Omar Abdullah is one of the most amazing accomplishments in terms of dunya in his reign, was that he sent geographers to Spain, because Western had just conquered Spain five years before this. He sent geographers to Spain, where they wrote a book in which they took a census of Spain, they wrote down everything about Spain is geography, the number of cities the number of people, the number of rivers, the number of Muslims, the number of Christians, the number of Jews, the different races, the different languages. Everything was documented in a two year period. Everything, didn't have computers, they didn't have satellites,

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didn't have airplanes. These are people walking

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Along with opinion people going around an entire country compiling this information about it. Why? Because he's felt it was important to know the people so we can help the people know the resources of the land. No the religions of the land, know the culture of the net, know what the people have and what they don't have so we can assist them and help them. Amazing. All of this was done in a period of two years. And so prioritizing Omer even Abdul Aziz understood his priorities as the ruler, that development of the nation is more important than expansion. During the Gower, and people converting to Islam is more important than conquering the lands.

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Knowing the lands and the problems and fixing it is more important than saying, we own this land. We own that land. We own this land we own that. Omar focused on development of the people spiritually and worldly wise, in terms of Deen and dunya help people develop their life.

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A third lesson that we can take from the life of honorable Abdul Aziz is the importance of delegation, the importance of working with others, who are also righteous people who have the same goals as you, but they have different skills from you. So whatever Omar accomplished in his life, he did not do it alone. You can't. One man can't do all these things. So what did he do? Omar even Abdulaziz he put together an amazing team. he surrounded himself with a Shura committee of the most righteous scholars of his time. And he listened to the advice.

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Listen to the advice of the righteous scholars. If you want to be successful in life, make sure you surround yourself with righteous people and you listen to the advice.

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he surrounded himself with righteous college and you listen to the advice in all areas, he consulted him on all areas, he chose the right people for the right job. So he chose the best person possible to be the governor of Spain and Spain began to flourish. He chose the geographers to go into the senses of Spain. And so they did the best job possible to in terms of recording the geography of that land. He didn't say the island to record the geography because that's not his job. He sent a geographer to record it. What did he do? He sent them to the borders to the distance, let's do data, because that's their job. That's what they are good at. See how he chooses the right person for each

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job? He doesn't think I'm going to do it all on my own. He says no, we've got whatever time Allah has given us on earth, and he didn't know how shortest time on Earth was going to be only two more years. Whatever time Allah has given us on Earth, we've got this time this get the most done in the least time possible. And so he delegates and he delegates, any delegates, and every day 1000s of things are getting done, because he's choosing the right people for each job. And each of them are motivated to do that job. So in your businesses, in your organization's in your Masjid, choose the right people for each job, don't try to do everything alone, put together the best team possible and

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work together and you get much more done in much less time.

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And the final lesson I take from his life and this to me this one statement of his wife, it changed it really changed my life for learning the statement that his wife made. It changed my understanding of the word taqwa, Fatima, Abdul Malik, the wife of Omar even Abdulaziz. She made a very powerful statement after he passed away. She said, my husband never used to pray the 100 or fast extra out of Ramadan. But he had more taqwa in any person I've ever met in my life.

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The definition of taqwa some of us will limit the court to only certain things. Someone who pays 200 has taqwa. Yes they do. Someone who has to be second he has to say to the intentions are pure. But adjust to ruler also has taqwa.

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He honest businessman also has taqwa decoy is not one or two things taqwa is many different things. A person can show the decoy in different ways. A person can show the decoy and lower in the case. A person can show the taqwa in being just in the in the dealings with other people. A person can express their taqwa in making sure their earnings in the business.

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Don't limit adequate to just the rituals. There are many different forms of taqwa. And so don't think someone is not pious because they're not paying 200 they may be doing other goodies they may not have a high they may be Justin Moore, Justin we are they even more fair than we are? They may be more honest than we are. That is also part of And should we learn this from the life of American Abdulaziz? on the end with a beautiful story about his wife after he passed away? When he became halifa. He chose to live a very simple life for himself and his wife. And as he passed away, his wife's brother, yes, he came into power and yazeed not the other Yes, etc. Another Yes, he's also a

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bit of a shady character. But this year he tells his sister Fatima that listen, your husband's dead you can live like a princess again. Very blatantly your husband's dead you got to live like a poor person. Now you can look like a princess again. And she tells her brother, I didn't choose that life for him. I chose it for Allah. And for the rest of her life, even though her brothers and her nephews were the kings. She loved the simple life and focus

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Crystal worshiping Allah and that's why she's known in our history as, as the

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Malika Zaha the aesthetic Queen, the queen who had ruled for the rest of her life to live this life for the sake of Allah. This is the taqwa of the righteous rulers of the past May Allah gave us the ability to follow in the footsteps to learn lessons from the lives adopted to our lives. Now like sit from them the good deeds for the kings and the Muslims of the past will committed major errors May Allah forgive them and accept the good deeds as well. No one is perfect. And we ask Allah to help us to understand the benefits of the of the stories and to truly grasp the deeper lessons of the stories and apply them to our lives. And may Allah make us choose from those people who other

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people can look at and learn Islam and the photos that we took and get the reward that these people will get when we try to follow in the footsteps. Walk with a one on $100 mean, wa salam alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh