Download PDF: [S] Reward for delivering the Truth
‘Uthman bin Ata Khurasani narrates:
Once my father and I went to meet Hishaam bin Abdul Malik who was the Ruler of the day. As we neared his court, we noticed a very simple person who was riding a black donkey. His kameez was very old. His jubbah was also in an extremely poor state. His old hat had actually become stuck to his head and his saddle was made from plain wood.
When I saw this person, I wanted to laugh and I asked my father who this villager was. However, my father looked at me and scolded me. He told me to keep quite. He also informed me that this was the king of the Jurists of the Hejaz and his name was Ata bin Abi Rabah.
I then remained silent. When Ata bin Abi Rabah came near us, my father jumped off his donkey and he did the same. They then warmly and respectfully embraced each other and greeted each other. They both then approached the court of Hishaam bin Abdul Malik. While we were sitting outside, both of them (my father and the eminent Imam) were immediately called inside by the court attendants.
After some time, my father appeared from inside the Royal Court. I then asked my father what had happened and he replied, “When Hishaam bin Abdul Malik was informed that Ata ibn Abi Rabah wanted to meet him, he immediately called him inside the court. By Allah! It was in fact through him also, that I was also able to meet the Ruler. When Hishaam saw him, he warmly welcomed him and continued to call him forward until he stood in front of the Ruler. Hishaam then pleaded to him to sit next to him. As a matter of fact, their knees were also touching each other. At that moment, eminent people were also trying to talk to Hishaam, however he ignored everyone and spoke to the eminent Shaikh.
He asked, “O Abu Mohammed! What purpose has brought you here today? If there is anything that I can do, I am willing to fulfil this command.”
The great shaikh replied, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! The people of the Haramain Shareefain are indeed the guests of Allah azza wajal and the neighbours of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam. Please make sure that they are financially supported and aided.”
Hishaam then ordered the Clerk of the Court to make sure that one years of financial aid be given to these people. Hishaam then asked, “O Abu Mohammed! Is there something else which I can do for you?”
The great Saint replied, “The people of the Hijaz are indeed very courageous. They are in fact the true Arabs and the leaders of the Muslims. Please return their Sadqah which they have given in excess.”
Hishaam then ordered the clerk to immediately put this into action. Hishaam then asked him whether he had another request, he replied, “The people on the border are people who are protecting this country. They are also defending this country against the enemies. Please send food and provision to them because if they are destroyed, no one will protect these borders.” Hishaam then ordered that grain and other provision be immediately be sent to them.
He asked nothing for himself!
Of course Hishaam was also fully aware of the poor and destitute state of the great Sheikh and was waiting for him to ask for something for himself and his family. However, his thoughts proved wrong. The great Sheikh did not come with any of his own personal requests, he only approached the Muslim leader with the idea of helping others. The Muslim leader then asked him whether he had any other advice and he replied, “Yes O Ameerul Mo’mineen. Do not place too much of work and stress upon the Dhimmis (those who are under Muslim protection in a Muslim country). Whatever they give you in taxes, these are also used to fight your enemy. Therefore, it would be very helpful for you if you were much kinder to them.”
The leader of the Muslim then instructed that the instruction of the great Sheikh be also adhered to.
The leader of the Muslims again turned to the great Sheikh and asked, “O Abu Mohammed! Is there something else you would like to say or ask for?”
The great Sheikh looked directly at Hishaam and declared something which was to be a lesson for all future leaders of Islam. He declared, “O Hishaam! Have fear for Allah azza wajal in your heart. Remember, you were born alone and you will be placed alone in the grave and when you give account for your actions in this world, you will also be alone and all these subjects whom you see around you, none of them will be present.”
Hishaam lowered his head and began to weep. His tyranny of the past came back to worry him. At that moment, the great Sheikh awoke and left the court.
As he neared the door of the court, a small pouch of money was handed to him. He then said to the person, “My son! I do not know how much of money is in this pouch.” However, the person replied that this was given to him as a gift by the Ameerul Mo’mineen. Everyone thought that he would be extremely happy and joyous at receiving this gift, however he smiled and said, “I do not accept any payment for delivering the word of truth. My reward is with Allah azza wajal.”
Everyone was a witness to the fact that the great Sheikh did not even drink a glass of water and did not even take a single thing from this court. As he came, that is how he departed. At the same time, he did not have any fear in delivering his message.
It must be borne in mind that Hadrat Shaikh Ata bin Abi Rabah bin Aslam bin Safwaan Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was considered as an eminent Taaba’een and a most notable Jurist. He was also an African and was once a slave. He was born in Yemen and lived in Mecca Shareef. He was also considered as an eminent Mufti and Muhaddith in Mecca Shareef. He passed away in Mecca Shareef in the year 114 A.H. (Al ‘Alam)
This was the quality of the great Mashaa’ikh of the past. Whenever they entered the court of any rich and powerful person, they only did so with the intention of giving advice and nothing else. They never spoke for their own good but only for the good of the Ummah. They also never accepted any gifts from the people in power. This is the reason that the ‘Ulama of the past were so highly respected among the rich and powerful unlike the present day.
In the Hadith Shareef, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has stated that, “Whatever secret a person keep, Allah azza wajal adorns him with the shawl of that secret. If the secret is noble, then the shawl is also noble and if the secret is evil, then the shawl is also evil”.
This Hadith Shareef has been recorded by Ibn Abid Dunya in the “Al Ikhlaas” from Hadrat Sayyiduna /Uthman Ghani Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. Imam Ahmed Radi Allahu ‘Anhu etc. have recorded this from Hadrat Sa’ad Radi Allahu ‘Anhu with a few different words. The Sanad of this Hadith Shareef is also considered as Hasan. (Refer to Khashful Khifaa, Hadith #2473)