Umar Ibn al-Khattab: “This Verse is Referring to Me”
It was narrated that Abu Salamah said: I came to Umar when he was hitting men and women in the Haram at a sink where they were doing wudoo, in order to separate them.
Then he said, “O so and so!” I said, “Here I am”.
He said, “I am displeased with you. Did I not tell you to designate one sink for men and another for women?”
Then he went away and was met by Ali RA and he said to him, “I fear that I may be doomed.”
He asked, “Why would you be doomed?”
He said, “I hit men and women in the Haram of Allah.”
Ali said, “O Ameer al-Mumineen, you are a shepherd (in charge of the people); if you did that out of sincerity and in order to set things right, Allah will never punish you, but if you hit them for no reason then you are the wrongdoer.”
[Musannaf Abdur-Razzaq, 1/75, 76, its isnad is hasan; Mahd as-Sawab, 2/623]
It was narrated that al-Hasan al-Basri said: “Whilst Umar RA was going around in the lanes of Madeenah, he thought of this verse:
“And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly… “[Quran 33:58]
He went to Ubayy ibn Ka’b and entered his house when he was sitting on cushion. He took it beneath him and said, “Take it O Ameer al-Mumineen.” He kicked it away with his foot and sat down, and recited the verse to him, and said, “I am afraid that I am the one referred to in this verse, and that I have annoyed the believers.”
He said, “You cannot but keep an eye on your people, and issue commands and prohibitions.”
Umar said, “I see what you mean, but Allah knows the best.”
[Manaqib Umar, p.162; Mahb as-Sawab, 2/623]
From – Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi. p. 233