Besides being the son of Umar and one of the major jurists among the Companions, Abdullah Bin Umar was a man that we would all love to be. His life and his adherence to the Sunnah is quite exceptional. The following narrations collected in Adh-Dhahabi’s Siyar A’lam An-Nubala (4/346-373) and Ibn al-Jawzi’s Sifat As-Safwah (1/214-222) give a glimpse of Ibn Umar’s character:

1 – Life as youth
Ibn Mas’ud said: “From the most disciplined youth of Quraish in the face of the dunya was Abdullah Bin Umar.”

Jabir Bin Abdullah said: “None of us experienced the dunya, but it affected him, except for Ibn Umar.”

Nafi’ said that Ibn Umar presented himself to fight in Uhud when he was 14 years old, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) refused to allow him. He then presented himself during the Battle of the Trench when he was 15, and he was allowed to fight.

2 – Disciplined adult
Ibn Shihab said that Ibn Umar was about to curse one of his servants, and said: “O Allah, cu-,” but he stopped without completing the word, and then said: “I don’t like to say this word.”

3 – Imitating the Prophet in everything
Zayd Bin Aslam said: “Ibn Umar would dye his beard with saffron until his clothes were colored with it. He was asked about this, and said: “I saw the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) dye his hair with it.””

Ayesha said: “I never saw anyone holding tighter to the original affair than Ibn Umar.”
Malik said that someone informed him: “Ibn Umar would imitate the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and follow his traces and lifestyle and be very keen in this, to the point that we feared for his sanity because of his keenness in this.”

Nafi’ said: “Ibn Umar used to follow the traces of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in every place he prayed. This was to the point that there was a tree that the Prophet would sit under, and Ibn Umar would frequent this tree and water its trunk so that it wouldn’t weaken.”

Nafi’ said that Ibn Umar told him that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) told him: “If only we could leave this door (of the mosque) for the women.” So, Ibn Umar never used that door until the day he died.

Muhammad Al-Umari said: “I never heard Ibn Umar mention the Prophet without weeping.”

Nafi’ said that Ibn Umar was once on his way to Makkah, and stopped the animal he was riding and said to it: “Maybe my footsteps will fall where his footsteps did,” meaning the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Tawus said: “I never saw anyone praying like Ibn Umar who was stricter than him in facing the Qiblah with his face, hands, and feet.”

4 – Friendliness with people
Ibn Umar said: “Sometimes, I go out for no reason or need except to greet people and have them greet me.”

Abu Amr An-Nadabi said: “I went out with Ibn Umar once, and he didn’t leave a single young or old person except that he greeted them.”

5 – His care to look and smell good
Abdullah Bin Waqid said: “I saw Ibn Umar praying. If you saw him, you’d see him shivering about, and I saw him putting some musk in cream and rubbing it on himself.”

6 – Humility
Nafi said: “Ibn Umar and Ibn Abbas would sit with the people when the pilgrims arrived, and I would sit with one of them one day, and the other the next. Ibn Abbas would answer every question he was asked, and Ibn Umar would refuse to answer most of the questions he was asked.”

7 – Eating less
Ibn Al-Jawzi said that he would sometimes go an entire month without even tasting meat.
When Abdullah Bin Adiyy (a servant of Ibn Umar) came from Iraq, he greeted him and said: “I brought you a gift.” Ibn Umar said: “What is it?” He replied: “Jawarish.” Ibn ‘Umar asked: “What is jawarish?” He replied: “It helps you digest your food.” So, Ibn Umar said to him: “I haven’t filled my stomach in 40 years. So, what will I use it for?”

8 – Generosity
Maymun Bin Mahran said: “Ibn Umar was given 22,000 dirhams in a gathering. He did not get up from that gathering until he had given it all away.”

Maymun Bin Mahran said that Ibn Umar’s wife would complain about him, saying: “What can I do? I never cook any food for him except that he would invite others to eat with him.
So, I sent some food to the group of poor people who would sit in the road on his way from the mosque and fed them with it,” and she had told them not to sit in this road that Ibn Umar took anymore and to not respond to his invitations.

When Ibn Umar finally got home, he said: “You don’t want me to eat supper tonight,” and he refused to eat that night.

Mujahid said: “I accompanied Ibn Umar, seeking to serve him. Instead, he would serve me even more.”

Nafi said: “Ibn ‘Umar did not die before freeing at least a 1000 slaves.”

Abu Bakr Bin Hafs said: “Ibn ‘Umar would never eat food except in the company of an orphan.”