Download PDF: [S] The Orators spoke the Truth

It is reported that once Sultan Nasir had a special gathering in one of his palaces. When all the people had taken their seats, different delegations from different parts of the world suddenly entered the gathering. The Sultan also wanted that this meeting commence with a special address by orators and poets which could describe some of his amazing undertakings and projects which he had completed.


The first thing that the successor of the Sultan, namely Hakam, did was prepare a list of orators and the first name on the list was the guest of the Sultan, namely Abu Ali Qaali Al Baghdadi. Abu Ali stood up to deliver his speech but was so over awed by the dignitaries sitting in the palace, that he only recited the Hamd, Durood and Salaam and took his seat.


However, in this gathering there was also another dynamic orator present who was noted for his mastery over the Arabic language and his superb rhetoric’s. His name was Manzar bin Sa’eed. He stood up and delivered a speech continuing from where Abu Ali had finished. It was such a dynamic and vibrant and speech that the listeners were spell-bound. People were amazed at his grasp of the Arabic language and his amazing use of words and examples. In fact, Sultan Nasir himself was shocked and amazed. He asked his son who this person was and his son informed him that this was the famous orator whose name was Manzar bin Sa’eed. The Sultan remarked that this person sounded extremely sincere in his oration and because of this he was also included among the close circles of the King. Later on, he was nominated as the official Khateeb of the Jamia Masjid in Az Zahrah and later on, he was nominated as the Qadi of Qurtabah.


It is mentioned that Manzar bin Sa’eed was extremely strict when it came to fulfilling the laws and rules of Shari’ah. He was in the forefront of making sure that oppression and tyranny did not exist within his environment. At the same time, he was also a very brave scholar and did not think twice of scolding someone in public if he felt that the person had opposed the Shari’ah. He used to also give advice to Sultan Nasir without fear and never feared the consequences. One of this incidents are as follows.


There is no doubt that Sultan Nasir had an immense appetite for building magnificent structures and edifices. He was also of the opinion that he wanted to construct such a building which would become a lasting reminder of his rule. This is when he started the construction of the Az Zahra Palace. It was extremely magnificent when completed and its structure was very solid and strong. Such was the intensity of the work that for three Fridays, Jum’uah could not take place in the Jamia Masjid.


On the fourth Friday, when people arrived for Jum’uah, the Qadi had already decided to set the record straight with the Sultan. At the beginning of the Khutbah, he recited the verses 128 to 131 in Surah, “And prefer strong palaces, that perhaps you may live for ever?” “And when you apprehend someone, you seize him mercilessly?” “Therefore fear Allah Almighty, and obey me.”29] “And prefer strong palaces, that perhaps you may live for ever?” “And when you apprehend someone, you seize him mercilessly?” “Therefore fear Allah Almighty, and obey me.”


He then recited verse 33 in Surah Zukhruf which is:


“And were it not for that all people be on one religion, We would have made for the disbelievers of the Most Gracious, roofs and stairs of silver which they would climb.”


He then recited verse 77, in Surah Nisa which is:
“The usage of this world is meagre; and the Hereafter is better for the pious; and you will not be wronged even (the weight of) a single thread.”


Manzar bin Saeed then began to condemn the high rise buildings which people spent their entire lives building and the money they wasted on fancy decorations. He also mentioned to people about the reality of death and asked them to refrain from the pleasures of this world. In brief, Manzar bin Saeed continued to condemn those who ran after the world and spent their life in pomp and pleasure. Obviously, the person who really felt the effect of this was Sultan Nasir himself. In fact, some report that they actually saw him weeping while listening to this lecture. At the same time, he was also extremely angry.


In private, he mentioned to his son Hakam, “Manzar bin Saeed seemed to have targeted me personally in this Jum’uah Khutbah. And in front of everyone, he had personally insulted me.”


The Sultan then made it clear that he will never perform Jum’uah behind the eminent orator again. He then never went to the Jamia Masjid for Jum’uah again. He continued to perform Jum’uah in Cordova behind Ahmed bin Mutarraf.


One day, his son Hakam asked him, “If you do not like the Imam, then why do you not replace him with another Imam.”


The Sultan scolded him and declared, “Shall I remove him simply because he had spoken the truth and had advised people not to follow their carnal desires? How can I remove someone like this who is so pious and noble and I feel extremely embarrassed to do something like this? However, since I have taken an oath not to perform Salaah behind him, I will have to keep to the oath. As long as I live, he will continue to be the Khateeb of the Jamia Masjid and I do not believe that we can get a better lecturer.”


This was the behaviour of the Muslim rulers in the past. If they knew that they had made a mistake, they immediately accepted their mistake and did not remain adamant that they were correct. Whatever advice the ‘Ulama gave them, they accepted this without question.


It is mentioned that there were nearly twenty seven institutes which catered from the educational needs of students in Granada in the year 970 A.H. Education was also given free and boarding and lodging was also supplied free of charge. (Mu’jam Al Adibbah)