Download PDF: [S] The Minister who was told to Fear Allah
Shaikh Abdul Hakeem Afghani was born in Qandahaar. He travelled to many countries seeking knowledge and studied Islamic Jurisprudence at the hands of many eminent ‘Ulama of that era. He then travelled to the Haramain and spent some time there. He also travelled to Baitul Muqaddas and spent some time there as well. Finally, Shaikh Abdul Hakeem Afghani travelled to Damascus and decided to settle there. He then established a Darul Hadith at this city and spent his entire life teachings students the science of hadith. He was born in 1251 A.H. and passed away in 1326 A.H.
Shaikh Abdul Hakeem Afghani was such a brave and outspoken Islamic scholar that when the fifth platoon under the command of Jawaad Pasha visited Damascus and visited him with the Khateeb Shaikh Abi Nasr, he sternly warned the commander, “Jawaad fear Allah Almighty. Jawaad, fear the Du’a of those who are oppressed.”
The background to this story is that when Jawaad Pasha visited Damascus from Turkey then a large delegation of ‘Ulama and other dignitaries came to meet him. At the same time, Jawaad Pasha showed respect for the ‘Ulama. Hence, this large delegation of ‘Ulama and dignitaries.
When he finished meeting everyone, Jawaad Pasha asked his close friend, the Khateeb, Abu Nasr, whether there were any other ‘Ulama whom he had not yet met. Abu Nasir replied that, “Yes, Shaikh Abdul Hakeem Afghani is such an Alim who did not present himself.”
Jawaad Pasha then asked why he had not come especially when so many ‘Ulama had presented themselves.
Shaikh Abu Nasr Khateeb (full name Mohammed bin Abdul Qadir Shafi – may Allah be pleased with him – was also an eminent Muhaddith and Qadi) replied that, “He has his own outlook and he does not visit the Sultans or other members of the government and at the same time, he does even attend any functions. He sits alone in his class and teaches his students. He also makes his students great Jurists and eminent leaders of Islam. He has a small room next to his Darul Hadith where he allows people to visit him.”
Jawaad Pasha had this wish to visit him and mentioned to Imam Abu Nasr that they should themselves go and visit this person who visits nobody.
They then entered this private room. They noticed that he was teaching his students and all the students were listening intently to their teacher. As a matter of fact, the great scholar did not even notice Imam Abu Nasr and Jawaad Pasha. Imam Abu Nasr could not find anything in the room on which Jawaad Pasha could sit on and he offered him a rug made from sheep skin to sit on. A few minutes later, all the students left after greeting their eminent teacher.
When the eminent scholar entered the room, he remarked, “O Abu Nasr! I am able to recognise who you are. Who is this other person with you?” In other words, he did not even notice the regal or royal outfit worn by Jawaad Pasha.
Jawaad Pasha then interrupted and said, “Moulana! I am an ordinary soldier in the army of the Ameerul Mo’mineen. May Allah Almighty keep him protected.”
Imam Abu Nasr also added, “Moulana, all of us are also soldiers of the Ameerul Mo’mineen. May Allah Almighty increase his great status. This person who is standing in front of you is actually his Chief Minister, Jawaad Pasha.”
Both of them were under the impression that when he hears this, his entire attitude would change and he would warmly welcome them. They also felt that since one of the highest officers in the Uthmaniyah Dynasty was standing in front of him, he would change and become more welcoming. However, they were extremely surprised when the opposite happened.
Suddenly, the great Shaikh looked at Jawaad Pasha and his face displayed extreme angry and he shouted, “O Jawaad, fear Allah Almighty. O Jawaad! I give you news of great punishment and fear the Du’a of the oppressed because there is no veil between their Du’a and Allah Almighty. O Jawaad, what answer will you give on that Day when Allah Almighty will ask you that He has given you His slaves as an Amaanah and what did you do with this Amaanah. You had these people killed and also destroyed their homes and cities. O Jawaad, fear Allah Almighty and remember that the Day of Judgement will be that Day in which the young will become old and where will you turn to?”
When the official of the Uthmaniyyah Dynasty heard these words, Jawaad Pasha felt that he needed a hole to bury himself in. Jawaad Pasha began to feel extremely little and insignificant. He also felt that he was standing in front of his spiritual master and was prepared to obey any command given to him. Jawaad Pasha also began to weep and he was thinking about the times in the past when he had committed oppression and atrocities against other nations. He wanted to grab the hand of this great Shaikh and kiss them and also seek pardon for his sins.
The great Shaikh then left both of them and walked away. Jawaad Pasha was speechless. He had no idea what to do. They continued to walk to their official residence all the time thinking of the words of the great Shaikh.
The next day, Jawaad Pasha informed all the members of the government to gather at the official meeting chambers after the Zohar Salaah. Most of them were also waiting to hear what the new orders were or what decision would be made. Most of them were also fearful at the same time.
However, Jawaad Pasha entered the chambers and he was looking extremely sad and disturbed. He also had a few of his friends with him and they were also looking very sad and tearful. Jawaad Pasha then apologised for all his past deeds and made everyone his witness to his sincere Taubah.
Later on, Jawaad Pasha asked Imam Abu Nasr to take some Liras to the great Shaikh as a token of appreciation, however, the great Shaikh refused to take this as a gift.
The story behind him not accepting these gifts.
Imam Abu Nasr then arrived at the court of the great court and continued to speak to him about ordinary issues without revealing his true intent. Finally, he mustered some strength and asked the great Shaikh a question in the form of a Fatwah.
He asked, “Moulana! What is the Islamic ruling on Hadyah or a gift? Did the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – accept gifts?”
The great Shaikh replied, “Yes, the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – did accept gifts and in place of this, he also gave other gifts. However, according to the laws of Shari’ah, to accept gifts has a few conditions. They are that the gift should not be a bribe. This should not be given as a Sadqah to someone who is not entitled for him”.
Imam Abu Nasr then took out the bag of coins and said to him, “Moulana, these coins have been given by your son, Jawaad, and he has also sworn on the Divine Name of the Allah Almighty that this is from his personal wealth and not from the wealth of the government.”
He also knew that the great Shaikh would never accept these coins. The great Shaikh looked angrily at Imam Abu Nasr and refused to accept these coins. He continued to force the great Shaikh to accept this gift but to no avail.
He also informed Imam Abu Nasr to inform Jawaad Pasha that this was like Sadqah from his side and that it was not permissible for him to accept Sadqah. If he wanted, he could give it to someone who was more in need. He also mentioned that he did not take money for teaching or for propagating religion.
“This incident has been presented with a few changes. This has been revealed to me by my son, Shaikh Mohammed Abdul Latif. He had heard this from Al Haaj Sadiq Istawani in his own house before he passed away. He was also a witness to the entire incident.”
This was the behaviour of the past eminent Islamic scholars and Islamic Jurists. At the same time, this was also the behaviour of the rulers of the past who sincerely accepted the advice of the ‘Ulama. When they realised that they had made mistakes, they sincerely sought pardon for their mistakes and also learnt from their mistakes. This is the reason that the Muslim Ummah used to achieve great benefit from both classes of people. These were also such great ‘Ulama that the rulers of the day looked like ordinary students in their company. They had no interest in the world and were not concerned about the glamour of the world. This is the reason that the rulers of the day used to go out of their way to serve these ‘Ulama and made sure that they looked after these eminent scholars.