Reforms under 2nd Caliph of Islam Hazrat Umar (RA)

Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA) was one of the most prominent Sahabi and power caliphs of Islam. He (RA) was a mighty figure before the advent of Islam in the Arab region. As a follower of the Holy Prophet (SAW), He (RA) played an influential role in the propagation of Islam. However, his services as 2nd caliph of Islam have been so influential that his reforms in the state matters are still guidance for current governments. Hazrat Umar (RA) not only expanded the territory of Islam, rather He (RA) introduced such reforms that are vital for state sovereignty.

1. Bait ul Maal

The territory of the Islamic state expanded in a tremendous manner under the 2nd caliph of Islam. Due to this, revenue and finances were generated in large numbers from such territories. For instance, Hazrat Abu Hurrah (RA) sent 500 Durham as revenue to Medina as the governor of Bahrain. Therefore, in order to decide where to spend this money, Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA) consulted with Islamic Shura. In the end, it was decided to establish a Central Treasury at Medina which is better known as Bait-ul Mall. Under this institution, government revenue was spent on future works, public welfare, and disaster/drought management.

2. Irrigation System

Arabs had been facing several droughts and water issues for a long time before the advent of Islam. It can be observed even in the time period of the Holy Prophet (SAW). As the Islamic state expanded, Hazrat Umar (RA) decided to dig various canals and established the department of irrigation. It was introduced for the first time in history for the purpose of water availability in agriculture and household purposes. The remarkable progress towards water management is quite significant in Islamic history.

3. Free trade

After the conquest of the Byzantine and Sassanid empire by Islam, Hazrat Umar (RA) ended the policy to impose a tax on religious minorities. In this way, Jews and Christians were allowed to perform business practices independently. They used the Constitution of Medina drafted by the Holy Prophet (SAW) for their legal purposes. In Islam, there is not a tax on trade rather Zakat is collected on the overall wealth of the person.

4. Independent Judiciary

Hazrat Umar (RA) set up an independent judiciary to provide immediate and fair justice to the common people. He (RA) guided his governors and judges the basic rules of the judiciary under the Islamic teachings. For this purpose, He (RA) wrote several letters which are a critical element in the history. The basic aim of the judiciary was to make decisions irrespective of the status of persons. Religious minorities were allowed to set their disputes according to their law.

5. Army Department

The army was recognized as a separate department under the reign of Hazrat Umar (RA). He (RA) fixed the salaries of the soldiers and provided them and special allowances. Similarly, new cantonments were also built and weapons were provided in large numbers. Army training was conducted at regular times to be ready for the war against infidels.

These were the most notable reforms under Hazrat Umar (RA). However, there were other significant systems introduced by Hazrat Umar 9RA) such as the postal system, land revenue, and public welfare. Overall, Hazrat Umar (RA) was a statesman who was a genius in four departments; Military, Administration, Judiciary, and Institutional building.

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