Download PDF: [S] Harun rashid and Imam Malik
Harun bin Rashid bin Mehdi Mohammed Mansur Abu Jafer has family links with Hadrat Sayyiduna Abbas bin Abdul Mutallib – may Allah be pleased with him. He was born in the month of Shawwal in 148 A.H. He was married to his cousin Umme Jafer Zubaidah. From this marriage, a son, Ameen, was born.
Imam Malik bin Anas – may Allah be pleased with him – is among the four Imams of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah. He was born in Madina Shareef in the year 93 A.H. and he was fortunate enough to see some of the scared relics from the era of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and also met a number of eminent Taaba’een. He is considered as one of the greatest authorities on Ahadith.
His grandfather, Hadrat Sayyiduna Malik bin Abi Amir – may Allah be pleased with him – is also considered as among the leading religious authorities of his era. When the great Imam had completed his education, he decided to teach inside the Holy Masjid in Madina Shareef at the same spot where Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – used to also issue decrees and made religious verdicts.
Imam Malik bin Anas – may Allah be pleased with him – passed away in the 179 A.H. and was buried in Madina Shareef. He passed away at the age of ninety.
It is reported that when Harun Rashid entered Madina Shareef, he noticed Imam Malik bin Anas – may Allah be pleased with him – teaching in one corner of the Masjid and he was also surrounded by eminent scholars of his era who nevertheless were his students also. The Muslim leader than approached the great Imam and said, “O Imam Malik! I have the wish that I am also able to acquire knowledge from your eminent being. Is it possible that you can come to my residence and teach me?”
However, Imam Malik bin Anas – may Allah be pleased with him – replied, “O Harun, knowledge does not walk to anyone. As a matter of fact, a person who seeks knowledge is also someone who goes out himself and acquires this knowledge.”
Harun Rashid replied, “There is no doubt that you have spoken the truth. Very soon, I will also attend your classes within the blessed Masjid.”
Imam Malik bin Anas – may Allah be pleased with him – also warned him, “If you do come late, then you will not be permitted to jump over the other students who have come before you.”
The famous Muslim leader agreed to this condition.
The next day, after the Asr Salaah, when Imam Malik bin Anas – may Allah be pleased with him – was delivering his lessons, he noticed Harun Rashid who was sitting on a chair inside the blessed Masjid. When he saw this, his entire attitude changed and he boldly said, “The Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that whosoever displays humility in front of Almighty Allah, Almighty Allah will give him a great status and position. And he who displays pride, Almighty Allah will certainly destroy him.”
Harun Rashid immediately understood this message and ordered that the chair be taken away. He then sat with the other students like any ordinary student. After the lesson, he approached the great Imam and kissing his blessed forehead, he handed him four hundred Dinaars as a gift. However, the great Imam replied, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen, please accept my apology. I am not entitled for Sadqah and neither do I accept any gifts.”
Harun Rashid asked what harm would be caused if he accepted this gift when the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – himself used to accept gifts. The great Imam replied that this was the power of a Prophet and that he was no Prophet. He then handed this back to the Muslim leader with great respect.
(Bear in that within the laws of Shari’ah, it is permissible to accept a gift, however, the eminent people of knowledge have always refused to accept this from people of power because in most cases, this was wealth which had been attained oppressively. At the same time, accepting these types of gifts can also become an obstacle when presenting the truth.)
At the same time, Harun Rashid always continued to force Imam Malik bin Anas – may Allah be pleased with him – to visit Baghdad Shareef because this was the capital of the Muslim empire, however, the great Imam refused to accept this invitation saying that he was not prepared to leave Madina Shareef under any circumstances.
(Another interesting point to be borne in mind is that it is reported that the great Imam only went for Hajj when he was informed by the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – in a dream that he would certainly pass away in Madina Shareef. Only then did the great Imam actually leave Madina Shareef to perform the Hajj.).
This was also the case with Qutbe Madina, Hadrat Sheikh Zia’udeen Madani – may Allah be pleased with him – who only left Madina Shareef about three or four times in his entire life. Yes, he did perform Hajj every year, but this was only because he was assured in a dream that he would pass away in Madina Shareef. (Sunairi Awraaq)
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