Featured, History

Umar ibn Al-Khattab reinforces the army of Egypt with four men

Amr ibn Al-Aas was the Amir of Jihad in Egypt during the Caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab. Umar wrote a letter to Amr:

“I am very surprised at how long it is taking to conquer Egypt, as you have been fighting for the last two years, unless it is because of some sins that you have committed, or you have started to love this world as your enemy does. Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, only grants victory to people who are sincere. I am sending to you four individuals, and I have told you that each one of them is equivalent to one thousand men as far as I know, unless something has changed them…”[1]

This incident can be misinterpreted to mean that these four were enough due to their high iman alone, and therefore to gain victory we must focus on perfecting ourselves.

Firstly, these four were not alone. They were army generals each sent at the head of 1000 men. So Umar reinforced Amr with 4000 men and 4 generals who were equivalent to 1000 men due to their closeness to Allah and their military experience.[2]

Secondly, who were these four generals?[3]

1- az-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwam

One of the 10 promised Jannah and a fearless soldier. He was a horseman and a bold warrior from childhood, to the extent that historians mention that the first sword lifted in Islam was Az-Zubair’s sword. Let us listen to one of his companions, who once saw and described these medals, which crowded each other over his body: While accompanying Az- Zubair in one of his journeys, I saw his body spotted with sword scars. His chest was like hollow eyes due to the variety of stabs and wounds. I said to him, “I’ve seen on your body what I’ve never seen before!” He replied, “By Allah, I haven’t received one of them except while I was with the Prophet and in the cause of Allah.”

2- al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad

One of the first 7 to accept Islam. His companions said about him, “The first cavalryman to strive in the way of Allah was Al-Miqdaad Ibn Al-Aswad, our hero.”  al-Miqdad famously said before the Battle of Badr, “O Prophet of Allah, go ahead with what Allah has inspired you to do. We will stand by you. By Allah, we will never say as the Children of Israel said, ‘So go you and your Lord and fight you two, we are sitting right here.’ Instead, we will say, ‘Go you and your Lord and we will fight with you.’ By Allah, Who has sent you with the truth, if you take us to the end of the world, we will tolerate all hardships until we reach it with you. We will fight on your left, your right, in front of you and behind you until Allah bestows victory on you.” (Men Around the Messenger)

3- ‘Ubadah ibn as-Samit

He was not only one of the Ansar, but one of those who gave the 1st pledge of al-Aqaba and one of the 12 Clan Leaders (Naqib) after the 2nd pledge.

Ubaadah never missed a battle or fell short of a sacrifice, as the arena at that time offered a kaleidoscope of self- sacrifice, valor, courage, and defiance. Since he chose Allah and His Prophet, he exerted himself to fulfill his obligations towards his religion. Therefore, his loyalty and obedience to Allah and his relationship with his relatives, allies, and enemies were all molded in a way so as to be compatible with the faith and conduct that a Muslim should have.

4- Maslamah ibn Mukhallad

One of the Ansar and a sahabi.


The Islamic State is therefore a state, run by human beings who within their sphere of control maximise their efforts to achieve the result, all the time making du’a to Allah and getting closer to Him through their good deeds. While no one can ever match the status of the companions, they are human beings who can be used as an example for a future Islamic State based on the model of prophethood. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

أَصْحَابِي كَالنُّجُومِ بِأَيِّهِمْ اقْتَدَيْتُمْ اهْتَدَيْتُمْ

“My companions are like stars, whichever of them you use as a guide, you will be rightly guided.”[4]



[1] Dr Ali Muhammad As-Sallabi, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, his life and times,’ International Islamic Publishing House, volume 2, p.321

[2] Ibid, p.316

[3] Khalid Muhammad Khalid, ‘Men Around the Messenger’

[4] Rizin, http://www.khilafah.com/qaa-the-authenticity-of-the-hadith-qmy-companions-are-like-starsq/