'Abdullah Ibn 'Umar

Abdullah ibn Umar
عبد الله بن عمر.png
Bornc.610 CE
Died693 (aged 82–83)
ParentsUmar ibn Al-Khattab
Zaynab bint Madhun
EraEarly Islamic Period
RegionIslam scholar
Main interest(s)Hadith and Fiqh

Abdullah ibn Umar ibn al-Khattab (Arabic: عبدالله بن عمر بن الخطاب) (c.610–693 CE) was companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and son of the second Caliph Umar. He was a prominent authority in hadith and law. He didn't give allegiance to Ali and remained neutral in the first Islamic Civil war (656–661).[1]

Muhammad's era — 610 to 632[]

Abdullah ibn Umar, kunya Abd al-Rahman, [2] : 156  was born 610 in Mecca,[3]: 207  three years after the beginning of Muhammad's message.[2]: 156  He was the son of Umar ibn al-Khattab and Zaynab bint Madhun.[3]: 203–204  His full siblings were Hafsa and Abdurrahman. His paternal brothers, born to his stepmother Umm Kulthum bint Jarwal, were Zayd and Ubaydullah. He had another stepmother, Qurayba bint Abi Umayya, but she had no children of her own.[3]: 204 

The young Abdullah had vivid memories of his father's conversion to Islam. It is believed he accepted Islam together with his father, although some sources disagree about the year of his acceptance.[4]: 950  He remembered following his father around the town as Umar declared his conversion to the neighbours and on the steps of the Kaaba. Ibn Umar asserted, "Although I was very young at the time, I understood everything I saw."[5]: 138  His mother Zaynab also became a Muslim, but his two stepmothers did not.[5]: 510 [6]

The family emigrated to Medina in 622.[5]: 218  Although he may have emigrated to Medina before his father.[4]: 950  A few months later, just before the Battle of Uhud in March 625, Muhammad called Ibn Umar, who was then fourteen years old, to present himself. But when Ibn Umar appeared, Muhammad would not allow him to fight in the battle. Two years later, as the Battle of the Trench approached, Muhammad again called Ibn Umar, and this time he decreed that the youth was old enough because he was mature and reached puberty. He was also present at the Battle of Al-Muraysi in 628.[7]

In the Battle of Muta, Ibn Umar along with others, escaped the battlefield and returned to Medina, fearing they would be overcome. Ibn Umar and his companions later apologized to Muhammad for fleeing and were forgiven.[8]: vol. 4 p. 248 

He was enlisted in the last army prepared by Muhammad during the expion of Usama bin Zayd.[9]: 229 


After his father became Caliph in 634, Ibn Umar married Safiya bint Abu Ubayd, and they had six children: Abu Bakr, Abu Ubayda, Waqid, Umar, Hafsa and Sawda.[10]: 305 

Ibn Umar's sister Hafsa married Muhammad in 625.[10]: 152  Muhammad once told her: "Abdullah is a good man. I wish he prayed the night prayers." After that, every night Abdullah would pray much and sleep but a little.[11]

Political interests[]

During his caliphate, Umar created a council and took his son Abd Allah as his advisor, but did not permit him to introduce himself as a caliphate candidate after his father.[9]: 229 

He was reportedly present at the guardians of the house of Caliph Uthman (r. 644–656) along with Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali.[12]

At the Arbitration of Siffin, Abu Musa al-Ash'ari nominated Ibn Umar for the caliphate, but Amr ibn al-As objected claiming he was not fit to rule. [13]: 452 

Ibn Umar participated in battles in Iraq, Persia and Egypt, but he remained neutral throughout the first civil war.[14]: 30  In 656, he prevented his sister Hafsa from following Aisha to the Battle of the Camel.[15]

While in Medina during the Second Fitna of the 680s, Ibn Umar, together with Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr and Ibn Abbas, advised Husayn ibn Ali to make Mecca his base and fight against Yazid I from Mecca. Husayn did not take this advice but chose Kufa.[16]


Abdullah ibn Umar died in Mecca in 693 (74 AH).[14]: 30 


Abdullah ibn Umar was the second most prolific narrator of ahadith, with a total of 2,630 narrations.[14]: 27  It was said that he was extremely careful about what he narrated and that he narrated with his eyes full of tears.[14]: 30–31  He was very cautious in life and thus was cautious in judgment too.[4] : 951 

Sunni historians such as ibn Qutaybah, ibn Al-Athir, and ibn Sa'd were critical of Ibn Umar's political stance, regarding him as having a weak[1]: 73  and simple minded personality [17] : vol.4 p.6  who avoided the arguments of people with the government and did not consider objecting against a corrupt ruler permissible. [18]: 164 He is reported to have said, "I do not fight in time of trouble and follow anyone who wins in congregational prayer." [18]: 133 

However, he has a positive reputation among some contemporary Sunni scholars, like M.Z. Siddiqi, who cites "In spite of the great esteem and honour in which he was held by all the Muslims and notwithstanding the suggestion repeatedly made to him to stand up for the caliphate (which he obstinately refused), he kept himself entirely aloof from party strife, and throughout these years led an unselfish, pious life. He is known for his neutrality."[14]: 30 

See also[]


  1. ^ a b Ibn Qutayba al-Dīnawarī, al-Imāma wa al-Sīyāsa, vol. 1, p. 73.
  2. ^ a b Ahmad b. Ali ibn Hajar. Al Isaba fi tamyiz al sahaba vol. 4. Edited by Adil Ahmad ʿAbd al-Mawjud & Ali Muhammad Muʿawwad. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya.1415 AH
  3. ^ a b c Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 3. Translated by Bewley, A. (2013). The Companions of Badr. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  4. ^ a b c Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, Yusuf b. Abd Allah.Al-Istiab fi ma'rifat al-ashab vol. 3. Edited by Ali Muhammad al-Bajawi. Beirut: Dar al-Adwa, 1411 AH
  5. ^ a b c Muhammad ibn Ishaq. Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  6. ^ Bukhari 3:50:891.
  7. ^ Muslim 19:4292.
  8. ^ Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1407 AH.
  9. ^ a b Tabari, Muhammad b. Jarir. Tarikh al-umam wa l-muluk. Edited by Muhammad Abu l-Fadl Ibrahim. vol. 4. Second ion. Beirut: Dar al-Turath, 1387 AH. Cite error: The named reference "Tarikh" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  10. ^ a b Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 8. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  11. ^ Bukhari 2:21:222.
  12. ^ Madelung 2003.
  13. ^ Muzahim, Nasr. Waq'at Siffin. Qom: Ayatollah Mar'ashi Najafi Library, 1982.
  14. ^ a b c d e Siddiqi, M. Z. (1961, 2006). Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development, Special Features and Criticism. Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust.
  15. ^ Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari. Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk. Translated by Brockett, A. (1997). Volume 16: The Community Divided, pp. 41-42. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  16. ^ Balyuzi, H. M. (1976). Muhammad and the course of Islam, p. 193. Oxford: George Ronald.
  17. ^ Ibn Athīr, ʿAlī b. Muḥammad. Al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh. Beirut: Dār al-Ṣādir-Dār Beirut, 1385 AH.
  18. ^ a b Ibn Saʿd, Muḥammad b. Manīʿ al-Baṣrī. Al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā. vol. 4. Edited by Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Qādir ʿAṭāʾ. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1410 AH.


Muhammad (570–632 the Constitution of Medina, taught the Quran, and advised his companions
`Abd Allah bin Masud (died 650) taughtAli (607–661) fourth caliph taughtAisha, Muhammad's wife and Abu Bakr's daughter taughtAbd Allah ibn Abbas (618–687) taughtZayd ibn Thabit (610–660) taughtUmar (579–644) second caliph taughtAbu Hurairah (603–681) taught
Alqama ibn Qays (died 681) taughtHusayn ibn Ali (626–680) taughtQasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (657–725) taught and raised by AishaUrwah ibn Zubayr (died 713) taught by Aisha, he then taughtSaid ibn al-Musayyib (637–715) taughtAbdullah ibn Umar (614–693) taughtAbd Allah ibn al-Zubayr (624–692) taught by Aisha, he then taught
Ibrahim al-Nakha’i taughtAli ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin (659–712) taughtHisham ibn Urwah (667–772) taughtIbn Shihab al-Zuhri (died 741) taughtSalim ibn Abd-Allah ibn Umar taughtUmar ibn Abdul Aziz (682–720) raised and taught by Abdullah ibn Umar
Hammad bin ibi Sulman taughtMuhammad al-Baqir (676–733) taughtFarwah bint al-Qasim Jafar's mother
Abu Hanifa (699–767) wrote Al Fiqh Al Akbar and Kitab Al-Athar, jurisprudence followed by Sunni, Sunni Sufi, Barelvi, Deobandi, Zaidiyyah and originally by the Fatimid and taughtZayd ibn Ali (695–740)Ja'far bin Muhammad Al-Baqir (702–765) Muhammad and Ali's great great grand son, jurisprudence followed by Shia, he taughtMalik ibn Anas (711–795) wrote Muwatta, jurisprudence from early Medina period now mostly followed by Sunni in Africa and taughtAl-Waqidi (748–822) wrote history books like Kitab al-Tarikh wa al-Maghazi, student of Malik ibn AnasAbu Muhammad Abdullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 829) wrote biographies and history books, student of Malik ibn Anas
Abu Yusuf (729–798) wrote Usul al-fiqhMuhammad al-Shaybani (749–805)Al-Shafi‘i (767–820) wrote Al-Risala, jurisprudence followed by Sunni and taughtIsmail ibn IbrahimAli ibn al-Madini (778–849) wrote The Book of Knowledge of the CompanionsIbn Hisham (died 833) wrote early history and As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah, Muhammad's biography
Isma'il ibn Ja'far (719–775)Musa al-Kadhim (745–799)Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780–855) wrote Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal jurisprudence followed by Sunni and hadith booksMuhammad al-Bukhari (810–870) wrote Sahih al-Bukhari hadith booksMuslim ibn al-Hajjaj (815–875) wrote Sahih Muslim hadith booksDawud al-Zahiri (815–883/4) founded the Zahiri schoolMuhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi (824–892) wrote Jami` at-Tirmidhi hadith booksAl-Baladhuri (died 892) wrote early history Futuh al-Buldan, Genealogies of the Nobles
Ibn Majah (824–887) wrote Sunan ibn Majah hadith bookAbu Dawood (817–889) wrote Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith Book
Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni (864- 941) wrote Kitab al-Kafi hadith book followed by Twelver ShiaMuhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838–923) wrote History of the Prophets and Kings, Tafsir al-TabariAbu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari (874–936) wrote Maqālāt al-islāmīyīn, Kitāb al-luma, Kitāb al-ibāna 'an usūl al-diyāna
Ibn Babawayh (923–991) wrote Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih jurisprudence followed by Twelver ShiaSharif Razi (930–977) wrote Nahj al-Balagha followed by Twelver ShiaNasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201–1274) wrote jurisprudence books followed by Ismaili and Twelver ShiaAl-Ghazali (1058–1111) wrote The Niche for Lights, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, The Alchemy of Happiness on SufismRumi (1207–1273) wrote Masnavi, Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi on Sufism
Key: Some of Muhammad's CompanionsKey: Taught in MedinaKey: Taught in IraqKey: Worked in SyriaKey: Travelled extensively collecting the sayings of Muhammad and compiled books of hadithKey: Worked in Persia