Hazrat Omar (R) was the second Caliph of the Arab Republic. He ruled from 634. A. D. to 644 A. D. He was a good soldier and wise ruler. He defeated the Emperors of Persia and Rome and made his kingdom very large.
He lived a very simple life. Hazrat Omar (R) was a just, kind and pious ruler. To know the condition of the people he went out at night in disguise. Thus he could help them in distress.
One night the Caliph went out in disguise. He passed through the different parts of the town. Suddenly. a sound of crying reached his ears. He stopped and listened. The sound of crying was coming from a nearby hut. He quickly went to the hut and found several children were crying together. An old woman was boiling something over her oven. She was saying. “Don’t cry my children; it won’t take long to finish cooking.” The children stopped for a while; but soon they started crying again. This went on for some time. So the children cried all the more.
The Caliph stood outside, but no one saw him. At last he went to the door and said to the old woman, “Good woman, will your cooking never end? Can’t you see that the children are very hungry?”
The woman was greatly surprised to see an unknown man standing before her. With tears in her eyes she replied, “I know, my son, that the children are starving. But what can I do? There is nothing in the house to give to them. So I am boiling water and stones in the pot. But the children think that I am cooking food. Soon they will get tired and fall asleep.”
Hearing the words of the old woman Hazrat Omar (R) was very sorry, He quickly went back and returned with a bag full of food for them. The children were very glad to have a nice meal. They cried no more and went to bed quite happy.
The Caliph then asked the old woman, “Have you none else in the world. my daughter?” The old woman told the Caliph that her husband had died some months ago. He could leave them neither any money nor any property. So they were in great distress. They had to starve whenever she failed to get anything for them to eat.
Hazart Omar (R) was really very sorry to hear this sad tale. So in reply he said, “I shall speak to the Caliph about you. I am sure he will give you an allowance every month.” Saying this he left them. He did not tell them that he himself was the Caliph.