Umar ibn Al-Khattab Weeps


Umayyah Al-Kanani, a chief in his community, had a son named Kalab, who was very faithful and obedient to him. His son would always find time, day or night, to do whatever he wanted. Umayyah Al-Kanani was very happy and proud to have such a good child. He loved his son so much that he did not want to let him out of his sight. Many people knew about the love this father and son had for each other.

Kalab ibn Umayyah Al-Kanani migrated to Madinah during the caliphate of the leader of the faithful, Omar ibn Al-Khataab. Islam had become so popular that people were converting in droves in the capital of Islamic rule. Kalab adopted the lifestyle of the city’s inhabitants and spent a great deal of time learning about Islam.

He learned that the greatest act in Islam was Jihad in the way of Allah, so he went to Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh to enlist in the Muslim army. The caliph agreed and later included him in the Islamic army which was going to Iran.
When Kalab’s parents heard he had joined the Muslim army, they implored him not to go. They said they needed him to look after them because they were getting old. Kalab replied,

أترككما لما هو خير لي

“I’m leaving both of you to achieve a better objective.”

After persuading his parents and receiving their blessing, he left with the army to Iran.

After many weeks, his parents started to miss him terribly. Whenever they thought about him, they would burst into tears. One day they were relaxing and talking in the deep shade of Kalab’s orchard of fruit-laden date palm trees, with the birds singing in soft voices and darting from tree to tree, when his elderly father saw a pigeon flying playfully around its baby.

This reminded Umayyah Al-Kanani of his son. He sighed and tears started rolling down his cheeks. When Kalab’s mother saw her husband crying, she also started weeping. They sobbed their hearts out in that pleasant atmosphere that day. According to some historians, the old


When Umayyah Al-Kanani could not bear being separated from his son any longer, he approached Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh, who was sitting in Masjid an-Nabawwi, and said to him,
and feeble Umayyah Al-Kanani wept for such a long time that his wrinkles appeared to get deeper and his eyesight grew even weaker.

.و الله يا ابن الخطاب! لئن لم ترد علي ولدي لأدعون عليك في عرفات

“O son of Khattab! By God, if you don’t call back my son, I will pray against you on the Plain of ‘Arafah.”

Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh was a very wise and farsighted person who could instantly gauge the mood of his subjects. Having seen that the old father had reached the limits of his endurance, he sent a representative to the army for Kalab to be relieved of his duties and sent home immediately. After a few days Kalab presented himself to Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh who asked him,
“What’s the story of your kind treatment to your parents?”

Kalab replied,
“I always did everything for my father, before looking after my own needs. Whenever I milked a she-camel for him, I would choose one that had the most milk. I would first feed it, let it rest for a while, wash its udders so that it would cool down, and then milk it. I’d then give this milk to my father.”
Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh then sent for Kalab’s father. He had grown much older, his eyesight weaker, and his back was bent over because of old age.

Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh asked,
“Abu Kalab! How are you?”

Umayyah Al-Kanani replied,
“Ameer al-Mu’mineen! I am what you are looking at.”

Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh asked,
“What is the most beloved to you today?”

Umayyah Al-Kanani replied,

.ما أحب اليوم شيئا.  ما أفرح بخير و لا يسوءني شر

“I don’t like anything today. I will neither be pleased with some good nor aggrieved by any evil.”

Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh asked,
“Don’t you want anything other than your son in the world?”

Umayyah Al-Kanani said,
“My only wish is that the piece of my heart, my son Kalah, should come to me because I want to see him before I die. I want to kiss and embrace him.”
When Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh saw the profound love of the father for his son, his eyes filled with tears. “Don’t worry, if Allah wills, the desire of your heart will be fulfilled.”

Then Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh called Kalab and sent him to milk a she-camel as he had described earlier.
Kalab chose a she-camel and milked it. When he brought the milk to Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh, the latter presented it to Kalab’s father Umayyah Al-Kanani saying,
“Please drink the milk.”

Umayyah Al-Kanani took the milk bowl in his hand and brought it to his lips. The moment he smelt the milk, he said,

.و الله يا أمير المؤمنين! إني لأشم رائحة يدي كلاب

“By God, O Ameer al-Mu’mineen! I feel the scent of my son Kalab’s hands.”

The instant he heard this, Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh burst into tears and said,
“Here’s your son Kalab. I’ve called him back for you.”

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Umayyah Al-Kanani rushed to his son and embraced and kissed him. This scene moved everyone. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Then Omar radhiAllahu ‘anh said to Kalab,
“O son, go perform jihad by serving and living with your parents as long as they are alive. When they pass away, think of your future only then.”

Resources: 

1- Loving Our Parents, By Abdul Malik Mujaahid (Darus Salaam Publication)

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

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