Umar's Experiences in Dajnan

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Dajnan is a mountain approximately 25 kilometres north of Makkah in which tribes of the peninsula would visit to graze and tend their flocks.[1]

Umar Recollects

Umar ibn Al-Khattab was forced to spend much of his youth in the shadow of Dajnan by his father Al-Khattab tending his camels. A hardship that stayed with Umar his entire life that he often remembered.

'Abdur-Rahman ibn Hatib had said, "I was with 'Umar ibn al-Khattab in Dajnan" and he said, "I used to tend for al-Khattab in this place, and he was very harsh. Sometimes I would tend and sometimes I would gather firewood."[2]

Sa'd ibn al-Musayyab narrated, " 'Umar went for Hajj, and when he was in Dajnan he said, 'There is no god but Allah, the Most High, the Most Great, the One Who gives whatever He wills to whomever He wills. I used to tend the camels of Al-Khattab in this valley, wearing a woollen garment. He was harsh; he would exhaust me when I worked and beat me if I fell short. And now here I am, with no one between me and Allah.'"[3]

Umar's hardship was further increased tending livestock for his maternal aunts of Banu Makhzoom. Muhammad ibn 'Umar al- Makhzoomi narrated that his father said, " 'Umar ibn al-Khattab called out that prayer was about to begin, and when the people had gathered and said takbeer, he ascended the minbar and praised and glorified Allah as He deserves, and sent blessings and peace upon His Prophet, then he said: "O'people, I remember when I used to tend the flocks of my maternal aunts of Banu Makhzoom, and they would give me a handful of dates or raisins, which would be sufficient for the day, and what a day that was!"

Then he came down, and 'Abdur-Rahman ibn 'Awf said to him: "O' Ameer al-Mu'mineen, all you did was to denigrate yourself."

He said, "Woe to you, O' son of 'Awf I was alone and I started to think. I said to myself, 'You are the caliph, who is better than you?' So I wanted to remind myself of what I am."

According to another report, "I noticed something in myself, and I wanted to bring myself down a rung or two"[4]

Notes

  1. Umar ibn Al-khattab, His Life and times by Dr. 'Ali Muhammad as-Sallābi, Volume 1, p. 45.
  2. Narrated by Ibn 'Asair in his Tareekh, Chapter 52, p. 268; Halaqat ibn Sa 'd, Chapter 3, p. 266. Dr. 'Atif Lamadah said: its isnad is saheeh.
  3. Umar ibn Al-khattab, His Life and times by Dr. 'Ali Muhammad as-Sallābi, Volume 1, p. 45.
  4. At-Tabaqat al-Kubra by Ibn Sa'd, Chapter 3, p. 293; there are corroborating reports which strengthen it.