I HAVE delved, for some time, into the history of the first four Caliphs in Islam – Abu Bakar As-Siddiq, Umar Al-Khattab, Uthman ibnu Affan and Ali ibnu Abu Talib.
Of all four, I am pulled towards the uniqueness of Umar Al-Khattab and his method of administration which is incomparable to any ruler of modern times.
Readers will note the valuable empathy that Umar Al-Khattab has over the welfare of his masses.
He disguised himself almost every night to wander past homes of the needy, trying to find out whether their needs were taken care of.
He felt pity for their grievances and utter disappointment for the lack of sympathy and action from some of his ministers.
He then urged them to buck up or be expelled from his Cabinet, much to the satisfaction and appreciation from his long-suffering citizens.
It would be heartening to see our ministers find time and effort to conduct similar unscheduled visits to survey the needs of the unfortunate and making sure that their needs are handled.
Reading on the story of two women arguing physically over the ownership of a toddler, never failed to make me shed my tears on how Umar Al-Khattab professed his logical and no-nonsense decision-making on the solution of the problem.
The Caliph asked the first woman to take the child home but the other cried profusely, stressing that the child was her flesh and blood.
The first woman offered the other to cut the child in half so that each of them has her own share of the child.
But the other woman declined, reluctantly allowing the child to be taken by the first woman alive and well.
Umar Al-Khattab knew at that instant who the real mother of the child was and gave a stern warning to the impostor.
The real mother thanked Umar Al-Khattab, profusely praising Allah the Almighty for his wise judgement.
I would like to see these moments of retrospection being dramatised on stage, television or the silver screen.
We should all learn about the history of Islam and its relevance to the lives and souls of our present and future generations.
– Ugan Brunei, BSB