|Predecessor||Suleiman ibn Abd al-Malik|
|Successor||Yazid bin Abd al-Malik|
|Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz|
|Father||Abd al-Aziz ibn Marwan|
|Mother||Umm Asim Layla bint Asim|
|Born||2 November 682(26th Safar, 63 Hijri)
Medina, modern day Saudi Arabia
|Died||February 720(16th Rajab, 101 Hijri)
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz (2 November 682 (26th Safar, 63 Hijri) – 31 January 720 (16th Rajab, 101 Hijri)  (Arabic: عمر بن عبد العزيز) was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 717 to 720. He was also a cousin of the former caliph, being the son of Abd al-Malik's younger brother, Abd al-Aziz. He was also a great-grandson of the Great Caliph and companion of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, Umar ibn Al-Khattab.
- 1 Lineage
- 2 Biography
- 3 Caliphate and his own era
- 4 Reforming the Umayyad rule from the inside
- 5 Quotes
- 6 Legacy
- 7 Views
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
Umar was born around 2 November 682. He was born in Medina.
According to a Sunni Muslim tradition, Umar's lineage to Umar ibn al-Khattab stems from a famous event during the second Caliph's rule. During one of his frequent disguised journeys to survey the condition of his people, Umar overheard a milkmaid refusing to obey her mother's orders to sell adulterated milk. The mother reportedly told her daughter to add water to the milk as Caliph Umar is not there looking at them. The girl shot back that though Caliph Umar is not looking at them, Allah is always watching over everyone. He sent an officer to purchase milk from the girl the next day and learned that she had kept her resolve; the milk was unadulterated. Umar summoned the girl and her mother to his court and told them what he had heard. He offered to marry the girl to his son Asim. She accepted, and from this union was born a girl named Layla that would in due course become the mother of Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz.
Umar would grow up in Medina and live there until the death of his father, after which he was summoned to Damascus by Abd al-Malik and married to his daughter Fatima. His father-in-law would die soon after, and he would serve as governor of Medina under his cousin Al-Walid I.
Al-Walid I's era
Unlike most rulers of that era, Umar formed a council with which he administered the province. His time in Medina was so notable that official grievances sent to Damascus all but ceased. In addition, many people emigrated to Medina from Iraq seeking refuge from their harsh governor, Al-Hajjaj bin Yousef. This angered Al-Hajjaj, and he pressed al-Walid to remove Umar. Much to the dismay of the people of Medina, al-Walid bowed to Hajjaj's pressure and dismissed Umar from his post. By this time, Umar had developed an impeccable reputation across the Islamic empire.
Umar continued to live in Medina through the remainder of al-Walid's reign and that of Walid's brother Suleiman. As Suleiman fell seriously ill and was unlikely to recover, he was anxious to leave the throne to one of his sons who were still minors, but was unable to do so because of their youth. Reja ibn Haiwah then promptly proposed Umar as the successor to the throne. Suleiman accepted this suggestion and Umar reluctantly accepted the position after trying unsuccessfully to dissuade Suleiman.
Caliphate and his own era
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz was a scholar himself and surrounded himself with great scholars like Muhammed bin Kaab and Maimun bin Mehran. He offered stipends to teachers and encouraged education. Through his personal example, he inculcated piety, steadfastness, business ethics and moral rectitude in the general population. His reforms included strict abolition of drinking, forbidding public nudity, elimination of mixed bathrooms for men and women and fair dispensation of Zakat. He undertook extensive public works in Persia, Khorasan and North Africa, including the construction of canals, roads, rest houses for travelers and medical dispensaries.
He continued the welfare programs of the last few Umayyad caliphs, expanding them and including special programs for orphans and the destitute. He would also abolish the Jizya tax for converts to Islam, who were former dhimmis, who used to be taxed even after they had converted under other Umayyad rulers.
Generally, Umar II is credited with having ordered the first collection of hadith, or sayings & actions of Muhammad material in an official manner, fearing that some of it might be lost. Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Hazm and Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, are among those who compiled hadiths at `Umar II’s behest.
His other reforms include,
- State officials were excluded from entering into any business.
- Unpaid labor was made illegal.
- Pasture lands and game reserves, which were reserved for the family of the dignitaries, were evenly distributed among the poor for the purpose of cultivation.
- He urged to all of the officials to listen the complaints of the people and during any occasion, he used to announce that, if any subject had seen any officer mistreating others should report him to the leader and he will be given a reward ranging from 100 - 300 dirhams.
Under previous Umayyad rulers, Arab Muslims had certain financial privileges over non-Arab Muslims. Non-Arab converts to Islam were still expected the pay the jizya poll tax that they paid before becoming Muslims. Umar put into practice a new system that exempted all Muslims, regardless of their heritage, from the jizya tax. He also added some safeguards to the system to make sure that mass conversion to Islam does not bring collapse to the finances of the Umayyad government, although sources do not indicate what those safeguards were and how exactly the taxation system was set up.
Discrimination of Non-Muslims
Umar was the first Muslim ruler to set up fixed rules for the discrimination of non Muslim subjects. He issued rules about ghiyar or "distinguishing signs" to be observed by the dhimmis under Islamic rule. His edict prohibited non-Muslims from using saddles and wanted them to cut their hair in a special way. They were not allowed to wear shoes with straps, a luxurious robe or a turban. He also issued orders regarding the exhibition of crosses in public, the destruction of churches in certain cities and dismissal of Christians from high government positions.
Though Umar did not place as much an emphasis on expanding the Empire's borders as his predecessors had, he was not passive. Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari states that he sent Ibn Hatim ibn al-Nu'man to repel Turks invading Azerbaijan. He faced Kharijite uprising and preferred negotiations to armed conflict, personally holding talks with two Kharijite envoys shortly before his death. He recalled the troops besieging Constantinople. These were led by his cousin Maslama. This Second Arab siege of Constantinople had failed to take the city and was sustaining heavy losses at the hands of allied Byzantine and Bulgarian forces. Its defeat was a serious blow to Umayyad prestige.
Disdainful of luxuries
Umar approached the Caliphate unlike any other Umayyad Caliph has done before him. He was extremely pious and disdainful of worldly luxuries. He preferred simplicity to the extravagance that had become a hallmark of the Umayyad lifestyle, depositing all assets and finery meant for the caliph into the public treasury. He abandoned the caliphate palace to the family of Suleiman and instead preferred to live in modest dwellings. He wore rough linens instead of royal robes, and often went unrecognized.
A female visitor once came to Umar's house seeking charity and saw a raggedly-dressed man patching holes in the building's walls. Assuming that the man was a servant of the caliph, she asked Umar's wife, "Don't you fear God? Why don't you veil in the presence of this man?" The woman was shocked to learn that the "servant" was in fact the caliph himself.
Though he had the people's overwhelming support, he publicly encouraged them to elect someone else if they were not satisfied with him (an offer no one ever took him up on). Umar confiscated the estates seized by Umayyad officials and relatives of previous Umayyad caliphs, and redistributed them to the people. It was also reported that he once declined the request of money and favours by one of his aunts, who had already been favoured by his predecessors. He made it a personal goal to attend to the needs of every person in his empire. Fearful of being tempted into bribery, he rarely accepted gifts, and when he did; he promptly deposited them in the public treasury. He even encouraged his own wife—who had been daughter and sister to three caliphs in their turn—to donate her jewelry to the public treasury. He is widely known for reinforcing the Zakat and at the end of his rule, there were scarcely any poor people to give the charity money to.
At one point he almost ordered the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus to be stripped of its precious stones and expensive fixtures in favor of the treasury, but he desisted on learning that the Mosque was a source of envy to his Byzantine rivals in Constantinople. These moves made him unpopular with the Umayyad court, but endeared him to the masses, so much so that the court could not move against him in the open.
Fatimah, the wife of Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz said: I never saw anyone that would pray and fast as much as him. Nor did I see anyone that had as much fear of God as him. After Isha' he would just sit and cry until sleep would overcome him. And in the middle of the night he would wake up and start crying again until sleep would overcome him. Sometimes he would be in bed and think about a matter to do with the akhirah (hereafter) and start shaking like a bird that shakes off water.
It is also narrated that he was once walking in the mosque(masjid) while it was dark, his leg hit a man resting on the ground by accident. The man said:"Are you a donkey?", Umar replied:"No, I am Umar". A companion of Umar's said:"O Commander of the Faithful, he called you a donkey!", Umar replied:"No, he just asked a question and I answered".
Reforming the Umayyad rule from the inside
One of Muawiyah's most controversial and enduring legacies was his decision to designate his son Yazid as his successor. Yazid was experienced militarily, after taking part in various expeditions and the siege of Constantinople but politically inexperienced. Marwan also wanted Yazid to be the Caliph so that he could run things behind the scenes, as he would become the senior member of the Umayyad clan after Muawiyah's death. Mohammad, Abu Bakr and Umar also mistrusted Marwan and he had lived in Taif during their rule, where he became friends with Hajjaj.
Tom Holland writes "Tempers in Medina were not helped by the fact that the governor in the oasis was none other than the fabulously venal and slippery Marwan. Rumours abounded that it was he, back in the last calamitous days of Uthman's rule who had double crossed the war band that had come to Uthman. The locals mistrust of their governor ran particularly deep. Nothing he had done had helped to improve his reputation for double dealing.
The appointment of Yazid was unpopular in Madina. Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 352, Narrated by Yusuf bin Mahak:
Marwan had been appointed as the governor of Hijaz by Muawiya. He delivered a sermon and mentioned Yazid bin Muawiya so that the people might take the oath of allegiance to him as the successor of his father (Muawiya). Then 'Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr told him something whereupon marwan ordered that he be arrested. But 'Abdur-Rahman entered 'Aisha's house and they could not arrest him. marwan said, "It is he ('AbdurRahman) about whom Allah revealed this Verse: 'And the one who says to his parents: 'Fie on you! Do you hold out the promise to me..?'" On that, 'Aisha said from behind a screen, "Allah did not reveal anything from the Qur'an about us except what was connected with the declaration of my innocence (of the slander)."[non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]
Ibn Katheer wrote in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah  that "in the year 56 AH Muawiyah called on the people including those within the outlying territories to pledge allegiance to his son, Yazeed, to be his heir to the Caliphate after him. Almost all the subjects offered their allegiance, with the exception of Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr (the son of Abu Bakr), Abdullah ibn Umar (the son of Umar), al-Husain bin Ali (the son of Ali), Abdullah bin Az-Zubair (The grandson of Abu Bakr) and Abdullah ibn Abbas (Ali's cousin). Because of this Muawiyah passed through al-Madinah on his way back from Makkah upon completion of his Umrah Pilgrimage where he summoned each one of the five aforementioned individuals and threatened them. The speaker who addressed Muawiyah sharply with the greatest firmness amongst them was Abdurrahman bin Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, while Abdullah bin Umar bin al-Khattab was the most soft spoken amongst them.
Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr and Abdullah ibn Umar were mid level Muslim commanders at the Battle of Yarmouk that took Syria. Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr sister Asmā' bint Abu Bakr also fought in the Battle of Yarmouk and was opposed to Yazid. Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr had been one of the first to dual in that battle, after taking a sword to hand over to a Qays bin Hubayrah who had lost his sword, while in a dual with the Roman Army's best horseman. Two more Roman horsemen then came forward saying "We see no justice when two of you come against one of us." Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr replied "I only came to give my companion a sword and then return. Were 100 of you to come out against one of us we would not be worried. You are now three men. I am enough to take on all three of you". After which he took down the Roman horsemen on his own. After seeing this, Bannes the Roman general said "Caesar really knew these people best. I now know that a difficult situation is to come on you. If you do not attack them with great numbers, you will have no chance". Abdullah ibn Umar had also been a mid level commander in the Battle of Yarmouk. Some Roman soldiers went to the house of Abu al-Jaid a local Christian in az-Zura ah and after eating all the food, raped his wife and killed his son. His wife complained to the roman general and he ignored her. Abu al-Jaid then went to the Muslims and told them that he knows the local area and if the Muslims exempt him and his descendents from taxes for ever he will help them defeat the Roman army. He then took horse men led by Abdullah ibn Umar to the Roman camp at night and attacked them and then ran away. The Romans chased them and in the dark tens of thousands of them fell down a cliff at the an-Naqusah Creek into a river. Abdullah bin Az-Zubair had also been a commander in various battles including in North Africa and was also involved in the siege of Constantinople.
Muawiyah then delivered a sermon, having stood these five men below the pulpit in full view of the people after which the people pledged allegiance to Yazeed as they stood in silence without displaying their disagreement or opposition for fear of being humiliated. Saeed bin Uthman bin Affan, the son of Uthman also criticized Muawiyah for putting forward Yazeed.". They tolerated Muawiyah but did not like Yazeed.
The following year Muawiyah removed Marwan bin al Hakam from the position of Governor in Madina and appointed al-Waleed bin Utbah bin Abi Sufyan.
According to some sources Muawiyah warned his son Yazid against mistreating Hussein. His final warning to Yazid was: "As for Husayn what can I tell you concerning him? Be careful not to confront him except in a good way. Extend to him a free hand (literally, a long rope) and let him roam the earth as he pleases. Do not harm him, can show verbal anger but never confront him with the weapons of war but rather bestow on him generous gifts. Give him a place of honor near you and treat him with due reverence. Be careful O my son, that you do not meet God with his blood, lest you be amongst those that will perish"
Yazeed and Hussein knew each other well and had both been involved in the Siege of Constantinople. Many years later, after the events in Karbala when the governor of Kufa, Ibn Ziyad sent the head of Hussein to Yazeed. The Servant of Muawiya bin Abu Sufyan is reported to have said: "When Yazeed came with al-Husain's head and placed it in his hands, I saw Yazeed crying and he said: 'If there had been any relationship between Ibn Ziyad and al-Husain then he would not have done this (referring to Ibn Ziyad).'"
After Hussein was killed Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair expelled Yazids forces from Hijaz and the Kharijites got stronger in Iraq. Yazid died a few months later in young age and his son did not want to take part in a civil war against Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair and abdicated and later died.
After years of planning and scheming and making every one else fight, Marwan came to power in Syria and the Qurra (the Kharijites) established a state in Southern Iraq. The very thing Hassan signed a treaty with Muawiyah to avoid.
Now there were three camps, the Scholars in Madina, the Kharijites in Iraq and Umayyads in Syria.
In Sahih Al Bukhari the people still referred to the Kharijites by their old name Qurra and most Muslims resented these civil wars and felt that the Arabs had left the teachings of Muhammad and gone back to their old ways of fighting over wealth.
Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 228: Narrated by Abu Al-Minhal
When Ibn Ziyad and Marwan were in Sham and Ibn Az-zubair took over the authority in Mecca and Qurra' (the Kharijites) revolted in Basra, I went out with my father to Abu Barza Al-Aslami till we entered upon him in his house while he was sitting in the shade of a room built of cane. So we sat with him and my father started talking to him saying, "O Abu Barza! Don't you see in what dilemma the people has fallen?" The first thing heard him saying "I seek reward from Allah for myself because of being angry and scornful at the Quraish tribe. O you Arabs! You know very well that you were in misery and were few in number and misguided, and that Allah has brought you out of all that with Islam and with Muhammad till He brought you to this state (of prosperity and happiness) which you see now; and it is this worldly wealth and pleasures which has caused mischief to appear among you. The one who is in Sham (i.e., Marwan), by Allah, is not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain: and those who are among you, by Allah, are not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain; and that one who is in Mecca (i.e., Ibn Az-zubair) by Allah, is not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain."
Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair then sent his brother to Iraq to take on the Kharijites who were by then getting stronger. This depleted Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair forces and he was later defeated by the Syrians.
On his last hour he asked his mother Asmā' bint Abu Bakr what he should do. Asmā' bint Abu Bakr replied to her son, she said: "You know better in your own self that if you are upon the truth and you are calling towards the truth go forth for people more honourable than you were killed and have been killed and if you are not upon the truth, then what an evil son you are, you have destroyed yourself and those who are with you. If you say what you say, that if you are upon the truth and you will be killed at the hands of others then you will not truly be free, for this is not the statement of someone who is free".
Then Asmā' bint Abu Bakr said to her son, this is the statement of the mother to her son, "how long will you live in this world, death is more beloved to me than this state you are on/ this state of weakness".
Then this conversation between Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr and his mother continued.
Then Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr said to his mother after she had told him to go forth and fight.
He said, "I am afraid I will be mutilated by the people of Sham, I am afraid that they will cut up my body after they have killed me".
So she said to her son, "after someone has died it won't make any difference what they do to you if you have been killed". Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr then said to his mother, "I did not come to you except to increase myself in knowledge".
He said to her, "I did not come to you except to increase me in knowledge, look and pay attention to this day for verily I am a dead man, your son never drank wine, nor was he fornicator, nor did he wrong any Muslim or Non Muslim, nor was he unjust, I am not saying this to you to show off or show how pure I am but rather as an honour to you".
So then Abdullah Ibn Zubair left by himself on his horse and he was killed by the Army of Hajjaj and when he was killed by the Army of Hajjaj all the Army said “Allah hu Akhbar” and Abdullah Ibn Omer heard this and he said,” how strange is it that this man when he was born all of the Muslims said “Allah hu Akhbar” and now that he is killed everyone is also saying “Allah hu Akhbar”.
Asma refused to go and ask permission to put down her sons body and it was said to her, "if you don't go his body will remain like that. So she said let it be then".
Until eventually, Hajjaj came to her and said, "what do you say about this matter" and Asma was in her old age and blind by then. Asma said, "Verily you have destroyed him you have ruined his life and with that you have ruined your hereafter". Asma died a few days later.
Ibn Katheer says that Abdullah Ibn Umar resented Hajjaj. Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time, said in his book the first biography on Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz that Abdullah Ibn Omar's niece was married to one of Marwans son called Abdul Aziz who lived in Madina. Abdul Aziz lived in Madina and had not become an Umayyad ruler, but he had a young son called Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. Abdullah ibn Umar kept Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz with him for his education when Abdul Aziz and his wife moved to Egypt. Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was educated in Madina. The scholars in Madina including Abdullah Ibn Umar and Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr who was jafar Sadiqs grandfather and Abu Bakr's grandson felt that they could use Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz to peacefully reform the Umayyad rule.
Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 214 AH) wrote that many years earlier:"During the time of Umar Ibn al Khattab the (second Caliph) he prohibit the sale of milk mixed with water. One night, he came out for some need at the outskirts of Madinah. Suddenly, he heard the voice of a woman. She was telling her daughter, "Daughter, you have not yet mixed water in the milk. It is nearly dawn. "The daughter said, "How can I mix water in the milk? Amir ul Muminin has prohibited it". The mother said, "Other people also mix it. You also mix it. How does Amir ul Muminin know?" The daughter replied. "If Umar does not know, then the creator of Umar knows. Once he has prohibited it, then I cannot do it."
Umar was greatly pleased with this conversation. When morning came, he called his son Asim and narrated the incident that took place at night. He then said, "Go and find out who that girl is". Asim went. He made enquiries and found out that the girl was from the tribe of Banu Hilal. He returned and informed Umar. He said to Asim "Son, go and get married to her. Definitely, she is worthy of bearing a horseman who will lead the entire Arabia."
Consequently Asim married her and a daughter Umm e Asim bint Asim Ibn Umar Ibn al Khattab was born from her. Umm e Asim got married to Adbul Aziz bint Marwan bin al Hakam. Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was born from her.
After his education, Raja bin Haiwah who was also a scholar and an advisor to some of the Umayyad rulers took Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz to Syria. Raja bin Haiwah also worked closely with the scholars in Madina. Ibn Katheer wrote in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah that during the time of Abdul Malik, Raja bin Haiwah also managed the finances for the construction of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, that stands to this day. Later the future Umayyad ruler Sulaiman would also consult Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. Hajjaj opposed Sulaiman from becoming Caliph, even through his father had wrote in his will that after his brother, Sulaiman would be Caliph. So Sulaiman became even closer to Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz who also opposed Hajjaj.
When Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was made the governor of Madina, he asked the Khalifah that he wished to be excused from Hajjaj coming to Madinah. After which, Hajjaj was prevented from going to Madina.
According to Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam from Madina (died 214 AH 829 C.E) Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz then said to the ruler Walid Ibn Abdul Malik "After ascribing partners to Allah, there is no greater sin than spilling blood. Your governors are unjustifiably killing people and they only write the crime of the killed person (murder) to inform you. You will be answerable for this and you will be held accountable (by God). Therefore, write to your governors telling them that no one should be punished by death, but they should write of the crime to you. There should be witnesses to it, then you should decide on that punishment to be meted out after great thought and deliberation" Walid said "O Abu Hafs (He called Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, Abu Hafs), May Allah grant you blessings in your life and delay your demise. Bring the pen and paper." Walid then wrote this command to all the governors. Besides Hajjaj, no one found it difficult. It weighed heavily on him and he became very agitated. He thought that no one else besides him got this command. He investigated and found that he was wrong. He said "Where did this calamity come from? Who told this to Walid?" he was told that 'Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was responsible for this. When he heard this he said, "Oh, if the one who gave this consultation is Umar, then it is not permissible to reject it". Hajjaj then devised a plan and sent an extreme Khariji from Iraq to Walid when Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was present. The Khariji swore at Walid and his father. So Ibn Rayyan, Walid's guard executed him. Walid then called Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz and asked "Abu Hafs, what do you think? Did I do the right thing or was I wrong?" Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz said "You did not do the right thing in killing him. The better step to take would have been to send him to jail. Then, he could have repented before Allah or death would have come to him." Walid said "He swore at me and Adbul Malik (my father) and he was a Khariki, but still according to you, I was not correct in killing him." Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz replied. "No, by Allah, I do not think it was permissible. You could have jailed him and if you foregave him, then what to say?"
Walid became livid and went away. Ibn Rayyan said to Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz "Abu Hafs, May Allah have mercy on you. You answered Walid with such a reply that I feared that he would have ordered me to chop your head" Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz asked "If he ordered you, would you have carried it out?" He said, "Definitely". Later when Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz became Caliph, Ibn Rayyan was the first one to be sacked.
Sulayman Ibn Abdul Malik said to Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz "Look how many people gather during the Hajj season." He replied "Amir ul Mu minin, all of them are your plaintiffs" (They will complain about you in the court of Allah on the Day of judgment)
According to Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time and later Ibn Katheer said that Ibn Jareer said that, Raja bin Haiwah (who was also a scholar) the minister of marriage, for the Umayyad ruler Sulaiman said that when Sulaiman was on his death bed, I told him "Indeed amongst the things that preserves the caliph in his grave is his appointment of a righteous man over the muslims." So he wrote a letter appointing the scholar from Madina, Umar bin Abdul Azeez. To allow the Umayyads to accept this, Raja then advised him to make his brother Yazeed bin Adbul Malik the successor after Umar bin Abdul Azeez. Umar bin Abdul Azeez was a grand son of Omar, the second Caliph from his mothers side. After his appointment he set up a committee of the jurist in Madina headed by Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr and it included Urwah ibn Zubayr, Ubaidullah bin Abdullah bin Utbah, Abu Bakr bin Abdur-Rahman bin al-Harith bin Hisham, Abu Bakr bin Sulaiman bin Abu Hathmah, Sulaiman bin Yasar, Salim bin Abdullah, Abdullah bin Amir bin Rabee'ah and Kharijah bin Zaid bin Thabit, in Madina to advise on legal matters. The work of Malik ibn Anas and successive jurists is also based on the work of this early committee in Madina. Malik ibn Anas also refers to these Fuqaha' of Madina. Madina at the time had the largest number of Muhammad's companions therefore no one could lie about what Muhammad had said, while in Madina during that period. After becoming the Khalif, Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz worked very closely with the scholars in Madina to make the laws in line with the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad's. He also reduced the allowances of the Umayyad family members. Which they deeply resented.
When Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz reduced the allowances of the Umayyad family members. They sent some one to him to ask for more. When Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz refused, the man said to them "O Banu Umayyah, you should rebuke yourself. You got up and married a person of your family to the grand daughter of Umar. He wrapped Umar in a cloth and presented him to you. You should therefore rebuke yourself".
Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz also started peace talks with the Kharijites. He then reduced the taxes for the Muslims. He sacked oppressive governors and replaced them. His policies made him very popular with the population but not so popular with the Umayyads. The reduction in the taxes also reduced further expeditions and the expansion of the state. But lower taxes and better justice allowed the economy to expand. The tax collector Yahya Ibn Sa'id complained that after collecting the taxes, he could not find people willing to take the charity from the welfare state
Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 214 AH) writes that Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz then stopped the allowance of the Banu Umayyah, stopped giving them land and made them the same as every one else. And they complained bitterly. So Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz said to them "By Allah, I want that no impermissible decision should remain on the earth that I will not finish off." 
Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz soon died, but when the future rulers tried to reverse his policies, the population started to rebel.
With the death of Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz the scholars in Madina got very upset. But in the short time Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was in power the changes he made, had a long lasting effect in the minds of the people. An associate of Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, Zayd ibn Ali the grandson of Husayns was also very upset. Zayd ibn Ali then started receiving letters from Kufa asking him to come to Kufa. In 740, Abu Hanifah supported his friend Zayd ibn Ali against an Umayyad ruler but asked his friend not to go to Kufa. Abu Hanifah, Malik ibn Anas and Zayd ibn Ali's family advised Zayd ibn Ali not to go to Kufa feared that Zayd ibn Ali would get betrayed in Kufa. But Zayd ibn Ali felt that he needed to oppose the Umayyads by force. Zaydis believe that on his arrival in Kufa, on the last hour of Zayd ibn Ali, the people in Kufa asked him: "May God have mercy on you! What do you have to say on the matter of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab?" Zayd ibn Ali said, "I have not heard anyone in my family renouncing them both nor saying anything but good about them...when they were entrusted with government they behaved justly with the people and acted according to the Qur'an and the Sunnah.". After which they withdrew their support and Zayd ibn Ali fought bravely against the Umayyad army but was killed. The Scholars kept up the pressure on the Umayyads and as the Umayyads tried to re-impose the taxes abolished by Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, the population also got more rebellious.
Later after the Abbasids came to power they tried to change the laws, in 767 Abu Hanifah died in prison when he refused to support the Abbasid ruler Al-Mansur and Malik ibn Anas was flogged. But then they backed off and allowed the laws of Madina to be implemented again and the book Muwatta Imam Malik of Malik ibn Anas based on the laws based on the Quran and the example of Muhammad and based on the work of the committee of the main jurist in Madina headed by Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, who was jafar Sadiq's grandfather and Abu Bakr's grandson were again implemented.
Later the Abbasids tried to impose the mutazilite philosophy so that they could change the laws. Imam Ahmed Hanbal confronted a ruler and was tortured and sent to an unlit Baghdad prison cell for nearly thirty months.
His reforms in favor of the people greatly angered the nobility of the Umayyads, and they would eventually bribe a servant into poisoning his food. Umar learned of this on his death bed and pardoned the culprit, collecting the punitive payments he was entitled to under Islamic law but depositing them in the public treasury. He died in February 720, probably the 10th and probably forty years old (v. 24, pp. 91–92) in Aleppo.
Fātimah the wife of ‘Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz said about his illness, “That night, his shivering became uncontrollable and he could not sleep, so we kept a vigil over him and didn’t sleep either. In the morning, I told a servant of his known as Marthad, “O Marthad, stay with the Amīr’l-Mu’minīn and if he has any single need then at least you are at hand.” We left and fell into a deep sleep due to the previous night spent awake.
It was well into the day once we awoke and we went to see (‘Umar) and found Marthad sleeping outside the house. I woke him up and said, “What are you doing outside Marthad?!” Marthad replied, “He told me to get out! He said to me, “Marthad, leave me! By Allāh, I see something which is neither human or jinn!”
When I came out, I heard him recite:
تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الْآَخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فَسَادًا وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
We grant the Home in the Hereafter to those who do not seek superiority on earth or spread corruption: the happy ending is awarded to those who are mindful of God. (al-Qasas, 83)
So I entered the room again and I saw his face turned and his eyes were closed. He had passed away.
He was succeeded by his cousin Yazid II.
Efforts in inviting people to Islam (Dawah)
Following the example of the Prophet, Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz sent out emissaries to China and Tibet, inviting their rulers to accept Islam. It was during the time of Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz that Islam took roots and was accepted by a large segment of the population of Persia and Egypt. When the officials complained that because of conversions, the jizya revenues of the state had experienced a steep decline, Umar wrote back saying that he had accepted the Caliphate to invite people to Islam and not to become a tax collector. The infusion of non-Arabs in large number into the fold of Islam shifted the center of gravity of the empire from Medina and Damascus to Persia and Egypt.
|“||A Ruler usually appoints people to watch over their subjects. I appoint you a watcher over me and my behaviour. If you find me at fault in word or action guide me and stop me from doing it.||”|
|“||There are five things which if a judge missed any of them, it will be a blemish on him: A judge should be discerning, deliberate, chaste, resolute, knowledgeable and inquisitive.||”|
|“||Al-Taqwa (piety) does not mean spending the night in prayers and observing fast in the day, but it does mean: to perform Divine obligations and to avoid prohibitions; and if one acts upon additional good deeds, this will be light upon light.||”|
Ibn ‘Asakir recorded that ‘Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz wrote to ‘Adiy ibnu ‘Adiy
|“||Belief includes obligations, doctrines, boundaries, and preferred ways. Whoever fulfills all of them has perfected his belief, and whoever does not fulfill them has not perfected his belief. If I live, I will make them clear to you so that you can act on them. If I die, however, I am not eager for your company.||”|
|“||Whoever of you does good action then let him praise Allah. Whoever does wrong action, let him seek Allah’s forgiveness and turn in tawbah, because for some people there is no avoiding doing actions which Allah appointed as their destinies and which He decreed for them.||”|
|“||None can reach the state of taqwa until he possesses neither actions nor words that can be exposed to his embarrassment, either in this World or the Hereafter.||”|
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz wrote to the Syrian army as follows
|“||As-salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaah. Now then, whoever contemplates death frequently speaks little, while he who knows that death is certain is satisfied with a little. Farewell.||”|
While Umar's reign was very short (three years), he is very highly regarded in Muslim memory.
When 'Umar ibn Abd al Aziz died, the people came to his wife to express sympathy and say how great a calamity had struck the people of Islam by his death. And they said to her, 'Tell us about him - for the one who knows best about a man is his wife'.
And she said: "Indeed he never used to pray or fast more than the rest of you, but I never saw a servant of God who feared Him more than 'Umar. He devoted his body and his soul to the people. All day he would sit tending to their affairs, and when night came he would sit up while business remained. One evening when he had finished everything, he called for his lamp - from which he used to buy the oil from his own money - and prayed two prostrations. Then he sat back on his folded legs, with his chin in his hands, and the tears ran down from his cheeks, and this didn't stop until dawn, when he rose for a day of fasting.
I said to him, 'Commander of the Believers, was there some matter that troubled you this night?' And he said, 'Yes, I saw how I was occupied while governing the affairs of the community, all its black sheep and its white sheep, and I remembered the stranger, beggared and straying, and the poor and the needy, and the prisoners in captivity, and all like them in the far places of the earth, and I realised that God Most High would ask me about all of them, and I (Umar) would testify about them, and I feared that I should find no excuse when I was with God, and no defence with me.'
And even when 'Umar was with me in bed, where a man usually find some pleasure with his wife, if he remembered some affair of God's (people), he would be upset as a bird that had fallen into the water. Then his weeping would rise until I would throw off the blankets in kindness to him. 'By God' he would say, 'How I wish that there was between me and this office the distance of the East from the West!' 
|“||A Mujadid appears at the end of every century: The Mujadid of the 1st century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah, Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz. The Mujadid of the 2nd century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah Muhammad Idrees Shaafi the Mujadid of the 3rd century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah Abu Hasan Ashari the Mujadid of the 4th century was Abu Abdullah Hakim Nishapuri.||”|
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- Islamic Conquest of Syria A translation of Fatuhusham by al-Imam al-Waqidi Translated by Mawlana Sulayman al-Kindi Page 358 
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- The Caliphate of Banu Umayyah the first Phase, Ibn Katheer, Taken from Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Katheer, Ismail Ibn Omar 775 HISBN 978-603-500-080-2 Translated by Yoosuf Al-Hajj Ahmad Page 265
- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 46
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- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 225
- The Caliphate of Banu Umayyah the first Phase, Ibn Katheer, Taken from Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Katheer, Ismail Ibn Omar 775 HISBN 978-603-500-080-2 Translated by Yoosuf Al-Hajj Ahmad Page 505
- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 54-59
- The Caliphate of Banu Umayyah the first Phase, Ibn Katheer, Taken from Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Katheer, Ismail Ibn Omar 775 HISBN 978-603-500-080-2 Translated by Yoosuf Al-Hajj Ahmad Page 522
- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 84-85
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- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 171
- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 221
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|Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate
Hishām ibn Ismā`īl al-Makhzūmī
|Governor of Madina
Khalid bin Abd Allah