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The three caliphs who ruled after Abu Bakr--'Umar, 'Uthman and 'Ali, all four known collectively as al-Rashidun, the rightly guided--were assassinated. 'Umar's murder in Medina, after a ten-year caliphate (13-23/635-644), was the first of the three, and seems to have been the most traumatic. The assassination of any prominent leader causes distress and reverberates in the literary works of his people. This is certainly true in the case of 'Umar's assassination, as attested by the large number of traditions dealing with it. Following the theories of Goldziher, Schacht, and others on the hadith, these traditions are considered here as texts that do not reflect historical occurrences, but rather the ideas and beliefs of the scholars who produced and circulated them by the end of the first Hijra century and the beginning of the second. These texts were projected back to the first era of Islam by means of chains of transmitters, isnads, in order to bestow on them the authority of the founding fathers of the community, namely the Prophet Muhammad, his companions and their followers.