Rightly Guided Caliphs
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Administration of Hazrat Umar (RA)
Hazrat Umar not only expanded the Islamic empire rapidly during his caliphate but also undertook many administrative measures to manage the affairs of the state in an effective manner. He took the following important measures for the welfare of his subjects and consolidation of huge Islamic empire.
Hazrat Umar framed the constitution of the State on the basis of Islamic democracy. He established a Majlis-e-Shoora consisting of prominent companions of the Holy Prophet from both Muhajirin and Ansaar.
The Muslim Empire had grown tremendously in size and therefore it was inevitable (unavoidable) to divide it further into a greater number of provinces. Each province was governed by a governor or Wali (governor) who held the executive authority.
The Wali was assisted by a number of officers e.g. the Treasury Officer, the Revenue Collector, the Vigilance Officer and the Judge (Qazi).
Each province was divided into districts which were administered by Amils. All appointments were made in consultation with the Majlis-e-Shoora. All the officers were summoned to Makkah on the occasion of Hajj to be answerable to the Caliph.
They were paid handsome salaries to make them incorruptible. The Caliph himself was the central authority with the headship of religious and non-religious departments but he would always consult the Shoora (council) in all important matters.
In order to uphold Islamic morals and maintain law and order, Hazrat Umar set up a department of police (shurta) and built Jails for controlling crimes.
Hazrat Umar became the first Muslim ruler to organize the army as a State Department. He fixed salaries for soldiers and built barracks for them.
Hazrat Umar reorganized the ‘bait-al-maal’ or public treasury, which was soon full to the brims with the funds from various sources. These sources were: Zakat, Jizya, Kharaj (land tax), Ushr (special land tax), the goods left out by the retreating armies of the enemy and a tax paid by non-Muslim traders. Special care was taken to distribute the funds among the poor and the disabled.
Hazrat Umar established a special department, the Diwan or the Register of Pensions. It was aimed at disbursement of the public funds among the Muslim tribes. It was based on certain principles, for example, the whole Ummah had a share in the public funds. Secondly, each Muslim had a share according to his/her relationship with the Prophet, priority in accepting Islam and services to Islam.
He made necessary arrangements for the development of agriculture in the conquered lands. He formulated a law that one who irrigates a barren land, the land would be his property. In this way many infertile lands were made productive. Canals were also dug for irrigating agricultural lands.
Arabs were not allowed to take agricultural lands from the natives in the conquered territories.
He made arrangements for the education of children and adults in Masjid. He was the first who fixed salaries for teachers and Imams.
Huge spending were made in the construction of mosques, schools, office buildings, rest houses and expansion of the Haram and the mosque of the Prophet .
Hazrat Umar founded some new cities like Basrah and Kufa in Iraq and Fustat and Jizah in Egypt.
Hazrat Umar appointed able and efficient governors in all the conquered territories under his wonderful administrative system and kept strict check and balance over them.
He took steps to prevent hoarding and profiteering and checked weights and measurements.
Hazrat Umar also introduced the Hijrah calendar. This makes a long list of the reforms and development projects introduced by Hazrat Umar.