Umar was known for his great knowledge and wisdom. He often expressed his thoughts in words conspicuous for their wisdom. A number of his sayings have come down to us, and these show the depths and dimensions of his thoughts and expressions. We give hereunder the various sayings attributed to Umar, which we have been able to gather from various sources:
"He who keeps his own counsel keeps his affairs in his own hands."
"Fear him, whom you hate."
"The wisest man is he who can account for his actions."
"Do not put off today's work for tomorrow."
"Money cannot help lifting its head."
"What regresses. never progresses."
"He who does not know evil will fall into it."
"When a man puts me a question, I judge of his intelligence."
"Don't forget your own self while preaching to others."
"The less of the world, the freer you live."
"Avoidance of sin is lighter than the pain of remorse."
"On every dishonest man, there are two watchmen, his possessions, and his way of living."
"If patience and gratitude had been two she camels, it would have mattered little on which I rode."
"May God have mercy on him who sends me my faults as a present."
"Preserve the sayings of those people who are indifferent to the world. They say only that what God wishes them to say."
"Fear God, for He alone lives; all other things are liable to perish."
"The wisest among you is he whose sustenance is the fear of God."
"Praise God, for by praise His blessings multiply."
"Fear God, for that is fortune; indifference to God is misfortune."
"Be patient; patience is a pillar of faith."
"Acquire knowledge and teach it to the people"
"Be dignified, honest, and truthful"
"Do not be an arrogant scholar, for scholarship cannot subsist with arrogance".
"When you see that any scholar loves the world, then his scholarship is in doubt".
"God forbid, men should be jealous of knowledge as they are jealous of women."
"May God bless the man who says less and does more."
"The criterion of action is that today's work should not be deferred till the following day."
"Trust is that there should be no difference between what you do and say and what you think."
"Learn the Arabic language; it will sharpen your wisdom." "Luxury is an obstacle, and so is the fatness of the body."
"A man may be as straight as an arrow, but even then he will have some critics."
"O Allah do not give me in excess lest I may be disobedient to You. And do not give me less, lest I may forget You."
"Allah loves moderation and hates extravagance and excess."
"He who went to the kings to seek favours went away from God."
"Sit with those who love God, for that enlightens the mind."
"Before Allah that is the best dinner which people eat together."
"As long as you are pure of heart, you speak the truth."
"The pilgrims are the delegations of God."
"If your ruler is just, praise God; if he is unjust, pray to God to rid you of him."
"Allah is happy with such rulers whose slaves are under their control."
"Forgive the people so that God may forgive you."
"For the people prefer that which you prefer for yourself.
Which you do not wish for yourself, do not impose on others."
"In the eyes of God he is the best ruler who has secured prosperity and comfort for the people."
"That ruler is most accursed whose misconduct leads to the distress of the people."
"Every ruler should keep his door open to the people."
"Understand the teachings of the Holy Quran for that is the source of knowledge."
"Relate as few traditions as possible, lest by being involved in traditions the people overlook the Quran."
"All the injunctions of Islam are based on reason."
"The way to express gratitude to God is to give Zakat out of the property that He has bestowed on you."
"In my view your greatest obligation is to offer prayers.
He who fulfils this obligation with great regularity will be secure in his religion."
"He who sleeps without offering the night prayer, may he never enjoy a sound sleep."
"Women should offer Zakat on their ornaments."
"Blessed are those who are martyred in the way of Allah."
"In the preparation of Islam, commit no excess."
"Without consultation, the caliphate is unlawful."
"The ruler whose intention is good will have the help of God in the administration of his affairs; he whose intention is bad will come to disgrace."
"Do not accept gifts; that is bribery."
"The Judge should always uphold the principle of equality before law."
"May God curse the people who hesitate to dine with the slaves."
"Do not be misled by a person's prayers and fasting; look to his sincerity and wisdom."
"Do not be misled by hearing of any one's reputation."
"He trusts in God who sows seed in the ground then depends on God."
"Earning of livelihood by following some profession is better than living on charity."
"He who has any public responsibility should perform his duties without caring for criticism."
"He is to be preferred who has the urge to sin, but does not sin."
"Do not depend upon the morality of a person until you have seen him behave while in anger."
"I am surprised at three things. Man runs from death while death is inevitable. One sees minor faults of others, but overlooks his own major faults. When there is any defect to one's cattle he tries to cure it, but does not cure his own defects."
"To flatter is to slaughter."
"He, who pretends to be what he is not, is a hypocrite."
"If a person has ten habits out of which nine are good and one bad, that bad one will destroy the good ones."
"Do not overeat; that invites disease."
"He who wins through fraud is no winner."
"He who wants paradise should hold fast to the community. "
"The efficacy of a prayer depends not on the words but on the sincerity of intention."
"In the narration of facts refrain from poetising."
"When you do not know of a thing say so plainly."
"O I am not worried about the poverty of the Muslims. I am afraid lest by getting rich they might become proud and thereby invite destruction. "
"In the performance of your duties neither be over zealous, nor indifferent."