Download PDF: [S] The Advice of Hadrat ‘Umar
The name of Sa’ad bin Malik or Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas – may Allah be pleased with him – was an eminent companion and accepted Islam at the age of seventeen. He also admits that he accepted Islam even before Salaah could become Fard. Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Waqqas – may Allah be pleased with him – was the first person who spilt the blood of another for the sake of Islam and the first person to release an arrow in defence of Islam. He took part on all the battles such as Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, etc. and displayed amazing bravery in all of these battles.
When the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – used to look at him, he used to declare, “This is my maternal uncle. Can anyone show me an uncle like this.”
Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Waqqas’s – may Allah be pleased with him – Du’as were immediately accepted in the Divine Court of Allah Almighty. He was also a master marksman and never missed a target with his bow and arrow. During the Battle of Uhud, he released so many arrows at the enemy that it was difficult to count the actual numbers. At the same time, on these occasions, the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – kept on telling him, “O Sa’ad continue to release your arrows, may my parents be sacrificed for you”.
When he became the supreme commander of the army in Iraq, at that time he was only forty years old. Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Waqqas – may Allah be pleased with him – passed away in a place called “Aqeeq”. Among the Muhaajir Ashaab, he was the last one to pass away.
Before this, Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – was deliberating on who should be the commander of this important Muslim force. He also conferred with the other companions as well. At that time, Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Waqqas – may Allah be pleased with him – was in charge of collecting the Sadqah from the area of Hawaazin.
Prior to this, Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – had also written to him to draw up a list of people whom he considered as extremely brave, great thinkers and strategists. In other words, people who were commander material. In fact, the reply of Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad – may Allah be pleased with him – arrived at that time when this topic was been discussed in Madina Shareef.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad – may Allah be pleased with him – had written in the letter, “I have nominated a thousand men. Each one of them is a great thinker, intelligent and understands the importance of safeguarding the dignity of his nation. These are those people who are the true Ameen or guardians of these qualities.”
When the people heard this letter being read, they mentioned, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! It seems like you have found the person you were searching for.”
When Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – asked who it was, they mentioned of the name of Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad – may Allah be pleased with him. The eminent Muslim leader was very happy when he heard this. He was obviously aware of the amazing bravery and courage of this respected companion. He was fully satisfied with the nomination.
He was then called to Madina Shareef and nominated as the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Muslim army in Iraq. The great Muslim leader also gave him advice prior to his departure which also becomes a source of guidance for Muslims who continue to be in the seat of power. Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – advised, “O Sa’ad! The Sa’ad of the Bani Waheeb. Do not become boastful of the fact that it was said about you, that you are the maternal uncle of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – or that you are a respected companion of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. Allah Almighty does no nullify evil with evil but He does nullify evil with goodness. If there is a connection with Allah Almighty, then this is based upon how obedient the person is to the Allah Almighty. In the Divine Court of Allah Almighty, everyone is equal. Allah Almighty is the Lord and everyone is His servant and slave. The most supreme is that person who has been blessed with surety and safety. A person achieves reward and good through obedience. Adopt the example of what you saw in the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. Hold fast to it, this is the proper path. This is my advice you. If you turn away from it, then certainly your good deeds would be destroyed and you will certainly be among the losers.”
Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – then gave him further advice on being firm and steadfast and ordered him to gather a force of four thousand men. This army was made up of the some of the most eminent and brave Muslims of their era. In fact, one could say that these were some of the most battle hardened soldiers of the day. They were great thinkers and planners who knew the art of war.
Bidding farewell to Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad – may Allah be pleased with him, Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – also gave him advice, “I have nominated you as the Supreme Commander -n Chief of the army to Iraq. Please remember by advice. There will be very difficult and testing moments which will befall you in your journey. Only the noble will pass through these moments. Therefore, encourage yourself and those with you to be noble. Through the Barakah of this, you will achieve success. Bear in mind that every habit has an essence and essence of goodness is Sabr. Therefore, whatever you face, practise Sabr. Sabr also enables you to obey the Divine Commands of Allah Almighty. Bear in mind that fear of Allah Almighty is encompassed in two things. The first is to adopt obedience for the Divine Commands of Allah Almighty and the second is protect oneself from disobeying Him. Obedience to Allah Almighty means dislike for the world and love for the Hereafter. And disobedience means to love the world and dislike the hereafter.
“There are a few realities of the heart which is created by the Allah Almighty and some of them are apparent and some hidden. Apparent is when praise and insult to a person who follows the right path is equal. The hidden trait is recognized in a way in which the person walks and when words of wisdom and intelligence appears from his tongue. The people also display love for these words and actions. Therefore, the act of loving others should never be ignored because the Prophets also preached love. When the Allah Almighty loves a certain of His, He also makes that person a beloved of the people as well. When He has enmity for a certain person, then this person also becomes an enemy to others in their eyes. If you wish to know about your status with Allah Almighty, then look at your status with those people who walk with you in the path of religion.”
This is the synopsis of advice what the eminent leaders of Islam used to give to their commanders or those who they gave special positions to. When they heard this type of advice, their souls used to reach the heavens and they spent their every breath sincerely serving the Allah Almighty. This is the reason that wherever they went, whichever country they entered, the citizens of that country could only bow and accept. This is unlike the modern day rulers and so-called commanders of Muslim armies. Most of them do not even have beards, how therefore are they following the example of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him? And that is merely one of the reasons that there is no success which appears to the Muslims in the present age. They may have large armies but numbers mean nothing. The blessed Ashaab never had superior strength in numbers when going into battle, but look at the result of their achievements. (Al Khulud)