Download PDF: [S] The Table of Mamun Rashid
It is said that among the amazing things in that period was the manner in which the table of Mamun Rashid was laid out for his guests. The famous scholar, Mohammed bin Hafz Anmaati narrates:
During the Eid, we used to be invited for lunch and on this table, there were nearly three hundred different types of foods. As these different foods were placed on the eating cloth, Mamun Rashid used to advice people, “This item is very beneficial against a certain sickness. This item is also dangerous for those who have certain ailments. Those who have phlegm problems should not eat this, etc. etc. Those who are suffering from yellow jaundice should eat this.”
In this manner, he advised people around him. He used to describe the benefit and the harm of each food item been placed on the table.
One day, another famous scholar mentioned to him, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! When you speak on medicine, it is like Aristotle is speaking. When you speak about astronomy, it is like Harmus is speaking. When we heard words of truth, it is like Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Zarr – may Allah be pleased with him – is speaking. When you speak on Islamic Jurisprudence, it is like Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – speaking. Your hospitality is like that of Hatim Tai and your promises are like that of Samo’eel bin Aad.”
When he heard these words, Mamun Rashid replied, “O respected Qadi! There reason that man is considered as the best of creation is because of his intellect otherwise what would be difference between man and animal when both of them also have flesh and blood?” (Taarike Al Khulafah, 219)
When we look at the kindness of Mamun Rashid, we also see the immense types of food that was invented in that period – the era of Banu Abbas. Another important lesson we learn from this incident is the amount of respect that used to be displayed for the ‘Ulama. They used to consider it a great honour to invite the ‘Ulama of that era to their homes especially on happy occasions such as Eid. They used to also consider inviting the ‘Ulama as a great source of respect and honour which they were gathering for the Hereafter. At the same time, they considered honouring the ‘Ulama as mark of respect for Allah Almighty and His beloved Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.
But, today, sadly this is no longer to be seen. This is the reason that Muslims no longer enjoy the respect and esteem which they once used to possess. The rich and famous never consider inviting the ‘Ulama for any happy occasion but make sure that they invite the ‘Ulama when it comes to occasions such as three days, ten days, forty days, etc. When the ‘Ulama refuse to eat in this functions, these same enemies of the brain consider it as a personal insult. When the ‘Ulama do not attend these functions, they feel that the ‘Ulama have insulted them. Yet, these same rich and famous, during happy occasions would consider the ‘Ulama as the last people to invite. They would make sure that the first people to be invited are the politicians, the actors and other such creatures of the lowly kind. It is not surprising though, after all, a person would certainly keep company with those who will eventually be his friends on the Day of Judgement.
It is certainly very tragic what we see today. There is no doubt that in no era of Islam was music or dancing ever allowed and in no era were these people who committed such acts ever looked upon as respectable people. Yet, in the present time, the first people to be invited by these rich and famous would be dancers and film actors. They also make sure that these lowly creatures sit at the head of the table so that everyone would be able to take pictures of them sitting with these lowly creatures. (Ruhaani Hikaayat)