‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz 's Caliphate

Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him said: “‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz was the most glorious one of the Umayyad house. He was the master of their kings. He was the high-born one of the Umayyads.”94 He became caliph according to the pledge of allegiance of Sulayman b. ‘Abd al-Malik to him. That was one Friday, the tenth of the month of Safar, in the year 99 A. H.95 During his short caliphate, the people felt security and welfare. For he removed from them the oppression and tyranny of the Marwanis. He was skillful, for experiences educated him. He had balanced reason. He followed a wise policy with Muslims. The Muslims had never seen such a policy before. He did the Alwids many favors. People mention his favors throughout history. The following is some of his favors:

He prevented the People from Cursing Imam ‘Ali.

From its early days, the Umayyad government ordered the people to curse Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. The Umayyads thought that cursing Imam ‘Ali would help their government to continue. For the principles of Imam ‘Ali and his laudable deeds, such as political and social justice, would urge the people to mutiny against their oppressive tyrannical policy.
With his awareness and his genus thinking, ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz realized that the policy his fathers followed against Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him, was not wise. For such a policy caused the Umayyads many difficulties and through them into great evil. Thus, ‘Umar decided to remove this error. He ordered his governors all over the Islamic countries to prevent people from cursing Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. Then he ordered them to replace the cursing of the Imam with: “Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the relatives.”
‘Umar himself justified the reason for abandoning the practices of his fathers who defamed Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him. In this connection, he said: “When my father made a speech and defamed ‘Ali, he stammered. So, I said to him: Father, why do you stammer in your speech when you come to the name of ‘Ali? ‘Have you known that?’ he asked. ‘Yes,’ I replied. Thus, he explained: ‘My little son, if the people around us knew ‘Ali as we know him, they would scattered from us and followed his (‘Ali's) sons.’”96 Accordingly, ‘Umar abolished the cursing of Imam ‘Ali, peace be on him. All the people admired this laudable deed. They always praised him. They mentioned his unique bravery in opposing his predecessors. The great poet, Kuthayr ‘Azzah, came to him and recited the following lines of poetry:
You have become caliph, but you have not cursed ‘Ali.
You are not afraid of any creature.
You have not followed the words of a criminal.
You have spoken with the plain truth.
Rather, you have explained the verses of guidance with your speech.
You are truthful in doing your favors.
So, every Muslim is satisfied (with you).97
Kuthayr had not praised an Umayyad king with such a wonderful poem. For this poem raised ‘Umar to the level of the unique Immortal persons.
Kuthayr started his poem with the laudable deed of ‘Umar, who prevented the people from cursing Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him. Then, he mentioned his policy based on kindness to the subjects. Moreover, the Muslims loved the policy of ‘Umar. So, they were ready to sacrifice their souls for him to prolong his lifetime.
‘Umar commented these lines of poetry, saying: “Therefore, we have become successful.”98 He was successful, for he pleased his conscience. He did not betrayed the community through cursing the leader of its message and its matchless hero, Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him.
Al-Sharif al-Radi praised and lauded ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz:
O Son of ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, if the eye wept for an Umayyad young man, it would weep
for you.
However, I want to say: You are good
though your house was not good.
You have freed us from cursing.
So, if reward was possible, I would
reward you.99
In these lines of poetry, al-Sharif al-Radi thanked ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz for preventing the people from cursing Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be on him.

Imam al-Baqir predicted of ‘Umar's Caliphate.

Imam al-Baqir, peace be on him, foretold of the caliphate of ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. That was before ‘Umar became caliph. Abu Basir said: “I was with Imam Abu Ja‘far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, in the mosque. Then, ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz entered. Thus, the Imam said: ‘That young man will be a caliph He will show justice.’ However, the Imam slandered ‘Umar's caliphate, for there was a person more appropriate for the caliphate than ‘Umar.”103

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