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Why and when was the second Caliph Umar (radiallahu anhu) blessed with the title "Al-Farooq". I have read different narrations in it, and would like to know some references.

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Salam. Basically I have heard of two narrations which show why was Umar blessed with the title. I am going to copy both below:

  • The first one:

This is a long story but I will give it short here. "Ibn Al-'Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) related that he had asked 'Umar bin Al-Khattab why he had been given the epithet of Al-Farouque (he who distinguishes truth from falsehood), he replied: After I had embraced Islam, I asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him): 'Aren't we on the right path here and Hereafter?' The Prophet (Peace be upon him) answered: 'Of course you are! I swear by Allâh in Whose Hand my soul is, that you are right in this world and in the hereafter.' I, therefore, asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him) 'Why we then had to conduct clandestine activism. I swear by Allâh Who has sent you with the Truth, that we will leave our concealment and proclaim our noble cause publicly.' We then went out in two groups, Hamzah leading one and I the other. We headed for the Mosque in broad daylight when the polytheists of Quraish saw us, their faces went pale and got incredibly depressed and resentful. On that very occasion, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) attached to me the epithet of Al-Farouque." (narrated in Rahiq al-makhtum and by Abu Naeem and Ibn Asaakir as well)

  • The Second one:

It is related from Ibn Abbaas (رضي الله عنهما) that a hypocrite had a dispute with a Jew. The Jew summoned him to the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم), and the hypocrite summoned him to Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf. They [finally] took the case to the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم), who passed a ruling in favour of the Jew. The hypocrite was not pleased and insisted that they go to Umar (رضي الله عنه) for a ruling. The Jew told Umar (رضي الله عنه) that the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) had already ruled in his favour and the hypocrite had not been pleased. He had insisted that they come to 'Umar (رضي الله عنه). 'Umar (رضي الله عنه) asked the hypocrite whether that was true, and he replied that it was. 'Umar (رضي الله عنه) instructed them to remain where they were until he returned. He went inside, picked up his sword, and came out and beheaded the hypocrite. He then said, 'This is my ruling for the person who is not satisfied with the ruling of Allaah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم).' Jibreel (عليه السلام) states, 'Umar (رضي الله عنه) differentiated between the truth and untruth, so he was named the Differentiator (al-Farooq).' [This is as stated in the Tafseer of Qadi Baydaawi (رحمه الله)]

I myself think that the first one maybe more accurate and Allah knows the best.

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The earliest reference I came across that attributes to the Prophet saying "Umar al-Faruq" was in al-Majmu al-Kabir at-Tabarani and it was used as a titleby someone else in Tarikh at-Tabari#1292 & 1295.

First, Tarikh at-Tabari

حَدَّثَنِي الْحَارِثُ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ سَعْدٍ، قَالَ: أَخْبَرَنا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عُمَرَ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو حَزْرَةَ يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ مُجَاهِدٍ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ أَبِي عَمْرٍو ذَكْوَانَ، قَالَ: قُلْتُ لِعَائِشَةَ: مَنْ سَمَّى عُمَرَ الْفَارُوقَ ؟، قَالَتِ: النَّبِيُّ K وَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ: أَوَّلُ مَنْ سَمَّاهُ بِهَذَا الاسْمِ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ

However, the story is not reliable since some of the narrators were not trustworthy, including al-Harith, the person whom at-Tabari took the story from. He was declared as an unknown narrator by Ibn Hazem, and Abul Fatih al-Azdi said he was weak.

Al-Harith took the story from ibn Saed, Yahya bin Maen said he was a liar.

Ibn Saed took it from Mohamed bin Umar. Al-Bukhari said he was "matruk al-hadith" i.e. his hadiths were abandoned and not taken.

Three major flaws to this story.

al-Majmuby at-Tabarani:

حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ رَبِّهِ الصَّفَّارُ الْبَغْدَادِيُّ، ثنا عَلِيُّ بْنُ جَمِيلٍ الرَّقِّيُّ، ثنا جَرِيرٌ، عَنْ لَيْثٍ، عَنْ مُجَاهِدٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ K: " فِي الْجَنَّةِ شَجَرَةٌ أَوْ مَا فِي الْجَنَّةِ شَجَرَةٌ شَكَّ عَلِيُّ بْنُ جَمِيلٍ مَا عَلَيْهَا وَرَقَةٌ إِلا مَكْتُوبٌ عَلَيْهَا لا إِلَهَ إِلا اللَّهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ أَبُو بَكْرِ الصِّدِّيقُ عُمَرُ الْفاروقُ عُثْمَانُ ذُو النُّورَيْنِ "

At-Tabarani took it from Saed l-Baghdadi, who was someone unknown and very little biography exists about him.

Saed al-Baghdadi reports from Ali bin Jamil, whow as declared as munkar [denounced] and abandoned. ad-Daraqutni said he was weak.

This one has two major flaws.

So, the title "Umar al-Faruq" could be just another sectarian spin by Sunnis, since there is nothing reliable to support it.

But this isn't a religious issue anyways, and has nothing to do with Islam.

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