Download PDF: [S] The Advice of the Wali to the Sultan
This story is narrated by Fadl bin Rabee. He narrates:
When Sultan Harun Rashid came to perform the Hajj, at that time, I was at home. Suddenly, I heard news that Harun Rashid was coming to visit me. When he came I asked him why he had inconvenienced himself and if he had informed me I would have visited him myself.
He said to me, “O Rabee! There is something which is troubling me. Please take me to a pious person so that this problem which I have in my heart can be removed. Is there anyone you have in mind?”
I replied that indeed we could visit Imam Sufyan bin Ayniyah – may Allah be pleased with him – who was in Mecca Shareef at this moment. The Khalifah then ordered me to take him to the house of this great Saint.
When we went Imam Sufyan bin Ayniyah’s – may Allah be pleased with him – house he came to the front door and said to us, “Why did you inconvenience yourself in this manner. If you had called, I would have come to the court of the Khalifah myself.”
The Khalifah replied, “May Allah have Mercy on you! I have come to discuss a certain issue with you.”
The Khalifah then presented his issue and a long discussion then ensued between both of them.
The Sultan then asked him whether he had any debts which were still outstanding and he replied that he did have a few debts. The Sultan then turned to his servant, Abbas, and asked him to repay the debts of this Saint.
Sultan Harun Rashid Sultan Harun Rashid then took my hand and we continued further. He then said to me, “I am still not satisfied. Come we go to another Saint.”
I mentioned to him that Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdur Razzah ibn Hummaam – may Allah be pleased with him – was present in Mecca Shareef and that we could go and visit him. When we went to his home and knocked on his door and he came to know who was at his front door, he exclaimed to the Khalifah, “Why did you inconvenience yourself. If you had called, I would have come myself to your court.”
The Khalifah mentioned to him, “May Allah have Mercy on you, I have an urgent matter to discuss with you, hence I have come to you.”
The Khalifah then presented his issue and a long discussion ensued thereafter between both of them. After the conversation, the Khalifah asked him whether he had any outstanding debts and he replied that indeed he had a few debts. The Khalifah then turned to his servant, Abbas, and asked him to repay the debt of this Saint.
After we came out of the house, the Khalifah turned to me and said, “O Rabee! Until now, my problem has not been solved. Take me to the court of another Saint.”
I then mentioned to the Khalifah that we could visit another famous Saint, namely Hadrat Sayyiduna Fudail bin Ayyaz – may Allah be pleased with him, who was also present in Mecca Shareef at that time.
When we reached his door, we heard that he was repeating a certain Qur’anic verse all the time in his Salaah. I then knocked at his front door and he asked who was there. I replied that it was the Khalifah who had come to visit him and that he should open the front door. When he heard my request, replied, “What work do I have with the Khalifah? He also has no work with me.”
I then said to him, “Have you not heard that it is Waajib to obey the command of a Muslim leader. Have you not heard the Hadith Shareef of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – in which he has explained that, ‘It is not permissible for a Muslim to place himself in disgrace (or ignominy).’” (Jamia Tirmidhi)
The moment he heard the statement of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him –he came downstairs and also made sure that all the lamps in the house were off and there was total darkness. The door was opened and the great Saint hid on one side of the room. When we entered the room, we started to look for him and during this time, the hand of Harun Rashid happen to touch the hand of the great Saint. He said, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! Your hands are so soft and delicate. If only if could protect you against the Fire of hell.”
I then realised that the great Saint is certainly going to give us sufficient advice and warning. Sultan Harun Rashid then asked him, “Hadrat! We have come in your blessed court to inquire about a certain issue. I implore you to please answer our question and set our hearts at ease.”
The great Saint then declared, “When Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him – became the Khalifah, he called Hadrat Sayyiduna Saalim bin Abdullah, Hadrat Sayyiduna Muhammad bin Ka’ab Qarzi, and Hadrat Sayyiduna Rajaa bin Hayyah – may Allah be pleased with them – to his court and said to them, ‘I have been placed in immense problem by been handed the mantle of Khilafat. I urge you to please give me some advise in this regard.’ Look at this person who considers this position a source of problem while you consider this a source of grace.
As he listened to this advice, Hadrat Sayyiduna Saalim bin Abdullah – may Allah be pleased with him – said to him, ‘O Ameerul Mo’mineen! If you wish to protect yourself from Divine Punishment, then the people who are older than you in your kingdom, you should respect them as you respect your father. Those who are lessor in age than this, you should treat them as your brothers. Those who are young, you should treat as your children.’
Hadrat Sayyiduna Rajaa bin Hayyah – may Allah be pleased with him – advised, ‘O ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz! If you wish to protect yourself from Divine Punishment, then display love for the Muslims. Choose the same thing for them which you choose for yourself. In this manner, you will be protected in this world and the next.’
After this, Hadrat Sayyiduna Fudail bin Ayyaz – may Allah be pleased with him – continued, ‘O Khalifah! I am warning about that day which is such a difficult day where the feet of many people will slip. Think a while, will there be any of your advisers and ministers present who will be able to give you advice?’
When the Khalifah heard these words, he began to weep uncontrollably and I advised Hadrat Sayyiduna Fudail bin Ayyaz – may Allah be pleased with him – to be cautious in his advise. He mentioned to me, “O Rabee! I am being cautious which is why I am giving him this advice. There is no doubt that you and your like have spoilt the Khalifah.”
When the Khalifah had gained a little control, he again asked the great Saint to give him further advice. Hadrat Sayyiduna Fudail bin Ayyaz – may Allah be pleased with him – continued, “News has reached me that once, a certain Governor of Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him – sent him a complaint. In reply, the respected Khalifah informed him, “I am making you fearful of the state of those people in the Fire of Hell and who will be in this state forever. Beware, stay away and refrain from bad actions and those actions which make you forget Allah Almighty. Also remember that in the final moments, hope also disappears.”
When this Governor received this letter, he immediately entered the court of Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him – and said to him, ‘Hadrat! Your words have certainly affected my heart. From this moment onwards, I will never ever accept the position of Governor until the time I die.’ When Harun Rashid head these words, he wept even more. He then asked the great Saint to give him more advise.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Fudail bin Ayyaz – may Allah be pleased with him – continued, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! When the blessed uncle of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, namely, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abbas – may Allah be pleased with him, asked him to make him a leader of a certain city, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – replied, ‘There is no doubt that government is a cause of regret and sadness. If it is possible, never become the leader of anyone.’” (Sunan Nisaa’I, Hulyatul Awliyah, etc)
Again the Khalifah asked the great Saint to continue. The great Saint replied, ‘Your face is very handsome and your skin is soft. Remember that tomorrow, you will be questioned about your subjects. If you wish to protect your good features on the Day of Judgement, then never experience an evening where in your heart there is enmity and dislike for any Muslim. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “He who spends his morning in such a state (where he has enmity for a Muslim), he will never smell Jannah.” (Hulyatul Awliyah)
After he stopped weeping, Harun Rashid asked the great Saint, “Hadrat, do you have any debt which I can settle?”
The great Saint replied, “Yes, I have a great debt which I owe to Allah Almighty. However, until now, He has not asked me for anything. If He questions me and asks me to account for my deeds, certainly I will be in great embarrassment.”
The Sultan then asked him whether he had any wordily debt and he replied that he had none.