Download PDF: [S] The Justice of the Sultan

Allama ibn Katheer in the Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah writes:


One day, someone presented himself to Sultan Mahmud bin Sibiktagheen and mentioned that one of his nephews had forced himself on his wife and that he did not have the means to defend himself. He also mentioned that this nephew of the Sultan also came on a certain night to his house and he informed the other ministers and government people but no one was prepared to help him.


When the Sultan heard this, his face turned red with anger. He informed this person that when his nephew again came to his house at night, he must come and inform the Sultan no matter how late it was. The Sultan also informed his personal guards that when this person does appear in one of the nights, they were to bring him straight to the Sultan. Two nights passed and on the third night, very late at night, this person approached the Sultan and informed him that his nephew had entered his house.


The Sultan then told this man to accompany him. When they entered the house, the Sultan could see his nephew on the same bed as this person’s wife. He asked the person to put off the lights. When this poor person had put off the lights, the Sultan entered this bedroom and without saying anything, he came near him and with one blow of his sword, he beheaded his nephew. When he had killed his nephew, he asked this person for a glass of water. This person then brought a glass of water to the Sultan and the Sultan drank this water like he had not drunk water for many days.


After the Sultan had finished, he asked the Sultan, “You had asked me to put off the lights and after you killed your nephew, you had immediately asked for a glass of water, what was the reason for this?”


The Sultan replied, “The reason I had asked you to put off the lights is because this was no ordinary nephew. This was actually the son of my own blood brother and I did not want to feel sorry when I took off his head. That is why I asked you to put off the lights. The reason that I asked for a glass of water is because from the day you had told me about this incident, from that day until now, I have not eaten anything or drunk any water. This incident had so disturbed me that I made a promise I will only eat and drink when I had sorted out this great injustice.”


When the person heard the reply of the Sultan, he thanked him and also remarked that he was extremely surprised at the immense justice of the Sultan.


Such was the justice of the early Muslim rulers. Whether this person was his nephew or not, when it came to justice, the early Muslim rulers did not allow anything to come in their path.


At the same time, the result of this justice was also going to be displayed by the way the Sultan lived. Later on in life, this same just Sultan was to become the father of the one of the greatest Muslim rulers of Asia, namely Sultan Mahmud Ghaznawi. From this, we come to realise that the piety and justice of the parents certainly have a great impact on their children and also has a great impact the society as well. As long as Muslims are not prepared to stand up for justice, it is impossible for us to merely pray for justice and hope for justice.


Every Muslim should strive and make a great effort to become symbols of justice. After all, this was one of the greatest lessons given to mankind by the religion of Islam. Therefore, we should not expect that we will see this in any other nation. It is sad that in the present age, Muslims are looking for justice from other nations when the actual creators of justice on earth has always been the Muslims. The incident just mentioned has been displayed by many Muslim rulers in the past. We make Du’a that the Muslim looks within instead of looking at outsiders for his true role in this universe. In this way, every Muslim will become a walking symbol of justice.