In this article, we briefly respond to common Shia allegations that surround the character of Umar, his bravery, and his actions during battle.
- Who did Umar kill in Battle?
- Umar leads a Battalion
- The Fear of Umar from Quraish when he converted to Islam
- Umar Runs Away from Battle at Uhud
- Umar Runs Away from Battle at Hunayn
Who did Umar kill in Battle?
In a previous article, we have discussed that it isn’t important to have a list of Umar’s victims in battle to establish bravery, for even the Prophet – peace be upon him – was only known to have killed one man.
However, since Shias insist, we have found after some brief research that Umar killed his uncle Al-Aas bin Hisham bin Al-Mugheera. See Seerat Ibn Hisham 1/625.
Umar leads a Battalion
Al-Zuhri (125 AH) states in the Maghazi of Musa bin Uqbah (p. 424) that Umar was sent to them.
Ibn Ishaaq (150 AH) confirms according to Ibn Hisham in his Seera 2/513, that Umar was sent on a conquest to Turba, the land of Bani Amer.
Ibn Sa’ad (220 AH) explains in his Tabaqat 2/111 that Umar was sent, while leading thirty men, to Al-‘Albaa’, which is four nights away from Makkah in the 7th year after the Hijra, but his enemies had fled before he could get to them.
If Umar is as incompetent as Shias make him, then why would the Prophet – peace be upon him – place him as a leader of a battalion?
The Fear of Umar from Quraish when he converted to Islam
Shia websites like the Umar-bin-khattab Blog and Slave of Ahlubait’s Blog provide a narration that states that Umar was at home, in a state of fear when he first became a Muslim. The narration states that “Umar was at home in a state of fear”. When asked about his state, he said that the tribe were going to kill him if he became a Muslim.
Ibn Umar in Saheeh Al-Bukhari #3576 states that he saw the people surround Umar’s house.
Shias ridicule Umar for feeling afraid when his action was the nature human reaction when one assumes an imminent death. It is natural for one to feel afraid before a fight with an experienced warrior, or when attacked by a wild animal, or in this case, when a mob wants to kill you. Of course, Shias would rather turn this natural reaction into a character flaw.
In response, we present them with Qur’anic evidence that suggests that this is human nature.
We find in Surat Al-Qasas 20-21 in the story of Musa – peace be upon him – :
And there came a man, running, from the furthest end of the City. He said: “O Moses! the Chiefs are taking counsel together about thee, to slay thee: so get thee away, for I do give thee sincere advice.” He therefore got away therefrom, looking about, in a state of fear. He prayed “O my Lord! save me from people given to wrong-doing.”
Will Shias finally admit that they are being unfair to Umar, or will they claim that Musa was a coward as well?
Umar Runs Away from Battle at Uhud
There is no reliable evidence that Umar ever fled from battle during Uhud.
Slave of Ahlubait’s Blog and the Umar-bin-Khattab Blog provide a narration that Umar ran away from Uhud like a mountain goat. However, this narration is weak, for both blogs were only able to provide one chain of narrators, which both include Abu Hisham Al-Rifa’ee. This narrator is weakened by Ibn Numair, Abu Hatim Al-Razi, and Al-Nasa’ee. Al-Bukhari says: There is a consensus that he is weak. Uthman bin Abi Shaybah adds that Abu Hisham used to steal the hadiths of others and narrate them as his own. Refer to his biography in Tahtheeb Al-Tahtheeb 3/735.
Another piece of evidence, from Saheeh Al-Bukhari #3422, is that one of the haters of Uthman approached Ibn Umar and condemned Uthman for fleeing during Uhud. Ibn Umar admitted this, but suggested that Uthman was forgiven by Allah (according to Surat Aal Imran 159). If Umar was known to have fled Uhud too, then why would’ve Uthman been singled out for this act in Uhud?
Umar Runs Away from Battle at Hunayn
This has been refuted previously in another article.