One day Hazrath Omar Khathab (R) after the mid-day prayer was giving a sermon in the mosque, a Jewish Lady walks in with a baby in her arms. and she said:
“O Amirul Mu’mineen, Commander of the Faithful, I have come to you seeking Justice.
Hazrath Omar Khathab (R) replied: Dear lady, that is what we dispense here – please tell me what your problem is.”
She said: “Over a year ago – while walking along the road at night, I was accosted by a young man, who was in a state of drunkenness – I was helpless – he harmed and committed an offence on me to outrage my modesty – and today I am here with a baby in my arms. I had undergone untold sufferings during this past year – and at last managed to trace the offender – He was none other than your son “Abu Sahmah”.
Everybody was stunned – there was pin drop silence in the congregation. Then
Hazrath Omar Khathab (R) asked: “Are you certain that it was my son Abu Sahmah who was drunk and who committed the offence on you?”
The Jewish Lady said: “ I am very certain O Ameerul Mu’mineen- I had verified it, confirmed it and made quite certain before I came here to present my case.”
Hazrath Omar Khathab (R) tells the congregation “ None of you should leave this place, until I return.”
The congregation was dumbfounded. The Son of the mightiest Caliph of the Muslim empire is being accused of drunkenness and rape.
Hazrath Omar Khathab (R) goes home and finds his son having his meals – he says : “Son, this may be your last meal – quickly finish it and come with me to go to the mosque.”
Abu Sahmah was stunned – he could not eat and neither could he swallow what was in his mouth. The father then asks – “Abu Sahmah, about a year ago were you in a drunken state?” – No answer.
“Whilst in this state did you commit an offence on a Jewish lady to outrage her modesty?” – No Answer.
Hazrath Omar Khathab (R) New that his son was guilty of the offense. He grabs him by the hand and drags him to the mosque.
Hazrath Omar Khathab (R) now asks the Jewish Lady in the presence of the congregation: “Is this the Abu Sahmah you were referring to?”
The Jewish Lady said: “Yes, O Amirul Mu’mineen, this is the very sameAbu Sahma who commited the offense on me to outrage my modesty.”
Hazrath Omar Khathab (R) said without hesitation : Under Islamic Law, I declare that he be given 80 Lashes for drunkenness and 100 Lashes for harming a woman. And both punishments should be given now.”
Immediately the congregation protested. They said: “He is a young boy, He cannot bear both the punishments – Just break up the punishments – and give it to him in instalments.”
Hazrath Omar Khathab (R) : said: “No, Both the punishments will go together.
His son was taken to the courtyard – and his arms were raised and tied onto two poles. He gives the whip to the executioner and says – “I want you to give him the hardest whipping ever given to any human being – or else I will take the whip away from you.”
The whipping now began – one by one – the hardest whipping ever – The skin on the back split open – blood started spurting everywhere – whip after whip – peaces of flesh started flying everywhere.
On the 179th Lash The boy was about to collapse – Hazrath Omar Khathab (R) stayed the lashing – went upto his son and said:
“I do not think that you will survive this punishment – but when you pass away and when you meet my prophet (S) tell him that your father Omar had established the law of the Quran on earth. Tell him that he had established the Sunnah of the Prophet on Earth,”
As he said it, the boy collapsed and breathed his last.
The body of Abu Sahmah was taken, washed, shrouded and taken for burial.
After the burial – remember there was One Lash remaining – you do not lash a body after death – So Umar (R) ordered that the last lash be given on the grave.
This story is fabricated.
Ḥāfiẓ Jūrqānī (d. 543/1148) and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597/1201) have transmitted the various short and detailed versions of this story with their chains and concluded that the various versions of the story are all a fabrication forged by the story tellers. Ḥadīth experts who agree with this include: Ḥāfiẓ Suyūṭī (d. 911/1505), ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿIrāq (d. 963/1555-6), ʿAllāmah Ṭāhir Pattanī (d. 986/1578-9) and Mawlānā Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī (d. 1438/2017).
However, Imam ʿAbd al-Razzāq (d. 211/827) and Ḥāfiẓ Jūrqānī (d. 543/1148) transmit another story through their chains which are both ṣaḥīḥ (sound). The summary is that once the Abū Shaḥmah ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn ʿUmar (n.d.) (may Allah be pleased with them), who was most probably born a few years before the demise of the Prophet ﷺ, became intoxicated in Egypt and was punished in a house with lashes and his head shaved. Shaving the head was a prevalent practice at the time with punishments. Some other narrations suggest that when Sayyidunā ʿUmar (d. 23/644) (may Allah be pleased with him) found out he expressed his displeasure at ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ (d. 43/664) (may Allah be pleased with him) for not punishing him in public although private punishments are lawful. Either way, he instructed ʿAmr (may Allah be pleased with him) to return him to the blessed city of Madīnah, where ʿUmar (may Allah be pleased with him) punished him in his capacity as a father. He passed away a month later, but not as a result of his father’s punishment as some people started to believe.
There are two important points worth noting here. First, it appears that he did not intoxicate himself deliberately, as mentioned by Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597/1201). Rather, he drank the nabīdh (water soaked with dates or raisins) thinking that it is not intoxicating and therefore regarding it as lawful. Thus, he became intoxicated without intending to. The wording of the narration cited by Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Jawzī supports this assertion. Second, it is once he realised that he had become intoxicated, he presented himself voluntarily to ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ (may Allah be pleased with him) and asked to be punished and purified.
This demonstrates his piety and god consciousness. One must be extremely cautious when citing such stories of the companions or their children, may Allah be pleased with them, and remember that sometimes through Almighty Allah’s wisdom, a person errs and thereafter repents in such a way that his status is elevated very high. An example is found in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (1695) in relation to another companion who committed a sin in the Prophetic era and voluntarily requested to be punished and purified. The Prophet ﷺ said after the punishment had concluded, “He has made such repentance that if it were to be divided among a nation, it would have been enough for them.”
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