The Kind Caliph

Omar Ibn-ul-Khatab was one of the greatest early Caliph. He became caliph after the death of Abu Bakr. Arab rule spread to many countries outside Arabia under Omar.

When he became caliph, he took care that everyone had enough to eat and that no one disobeyed the rules of the religion. He often went out all night, dressed like an ordinary Bedouin, and walked along the houses of the town, and along its streets. He went among his people and heard what they said about him and about his rules.

One night, he passed by a house where he heard children crying. When he went in, he saw a few children sitting in the corner of the room. Their mother was standing in front of the pot on the fire. Steam was coming out of the pot and the mother was stirring the ‘food’. She asked her hungry children many times to wait until the food was ready. The man wondered what was wrong. He went up to the woman and said, “Assalamu’alaikum. Why are the children crying?”

The woman looked up with pain and anger in her eyes. She answered, “The caliph never thinks of his people, he thinks of himself. These poor children have no food and father.”

Then, she whispered in his ear, “Come and look at the pot.” He saw a few stones in the boiling water, there was no food at all in the pot. The woman had no food, but her children were very hungry. She wanted them to get tired so they would go to sleep.

The man said to the woman, “Please wait for me. I shall soon be back.”

He went away quickly. He fetched a large bag full of bread and other things from his home and carried it on his back to the poor woman and her children. He gave it quietly to the poor woman and said to her, “If you need food again you must go to the Caliph and ask him. It’s your right. He will always give you some. And remember, the Caliph isn’t a bad man, he loves all his people.”


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