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Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - Life After the Conquest of Mecca

The Funeral Of Abdullah Bin Ubayy

Abdullah bin Ubayy was an Ansar chief of Madina. Abdullah bin Ubayy had the ambition to wear the crown of Madina. When the people of Madina invited the Holy Prophet and the Muslims to migrate to Madina and accepted the Holy Prophet as their ruler the designs of Abdullah bin Ubayy were frustrated. As all the Arabs of Madina accepted Islam, Abdullah also became a Muslim as a measure of expediency. Islam, however, sat lightly on him, and he often indulged in activities hostile to Islam.

In the battle of Uhud, he betrayed the Muslim trust and withdrew his contingent at the last moment. On the occasion of the raid of Al-Mustaliq he said unbecoming things against the Muhajreen including the Holy Prophet. In the sad episode of False Allegation he was responsible for calumny against Ayesha. Umar sought the permission of the Holy Prophet to kill Abdullah bin Ubayy, but the Holy Prophet, kind-hearted as he was, did not give the permission.

Even Allah had taken notice of the hypocrisy of Abdullah bin Ubayy, and in a revelation to the Holy Prophet it was said that even if he prayed for the hypocrites seventy times his prayer would not be accepted.

When Abdullah bin Ubayy died, the Holy Prophet attended his funeral and decided to lead the funeral prayer. At this stage Umar waited on the Holy Prophet, and tried to dissuade him from leading the funeral prayer of Abdullah bin Ubayy. Umar recounted the various hypocricies of Abdullah, and also referred to the revelation whereunder God had said that the hypocrites would not be forgiven even if seventy prayers were offered.

The Holy Prophet said:

"Umar, get behind me and let us offer the prayer. In this matter God has given me the choice, and I have decided to adopt a magnanimous attitude."

Thereupon Umar joined the ranks and the funeral prayers were offered under the leadership of the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet remained in the graveyard till Abdullah was buried. Then the Holy Prophet prayed over the grave of Abdullah before returning home.

A few days later, the following verses were revealed to the Holy Prophet:

"And never pray for any of them at his funeral, And do not stand by his grave, For they disbelieved in God and His Apostlc." 9:84

When the Holy Prophet informed Umar of these verses, Umar felt happy that Almighty Allah had confirmed his point of view.

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  Sameer Haji Kalaniya    
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