Download PDF: [S] The Poor and Simple Governor

There is no doubt that the historians are unanimous in the fact that the period of Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – is certainly considered as one of the golden periods in Islam. There was a very good relationship between the government and the public. At the same time, not only was Islam expanding but immense riches were coming to the Muslim from all over.

 

One of objectives of the great Muslim leader was that whoever he nominated as the Governor he made sure that they had a genuine fear for Allah Almighty. Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – was also a very keen sensed person and studied people before nominating them for the position. When Syria was conquered, Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – sent Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – as the Governor of Hums. At that time also, the Baitul Maal was increasing in riches all the time. As this wealth increased the great Muslim began to look at the welfare of the Muslims.

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – asked different people in different regions to send him a list of people they felt were poorest and the most needy in their different localities. When he received this list, he began to send financial help to these people. He first studied the list and used to advice on each one of them.

 

One day, a delegation from Hums arrived in Madina Shareef and Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – mentioned to these people that they should prepare a list of poor and needy people in their region and hand it over to him. They then did so and he began to study the names on the list. Suddenly his eyes fell on the name of Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – which was also on this list. He then asked the delegation who this person was and they replied that he was their Governor.

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – then asked them with shock, “Is your governor also a poor and needy person?”

 

The replied, “Yes, we swear by Allah. Many days go by and no sign of fire is seen coming from his house”. (In other words, no food is been prepared in his kitchen).

 

When Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – heard this, he bgan to weep to such a degree that his blessed beard became soaked with tears. He then took one thousand Dinaars and handed this to the delegation and informed them that they should hand this over to the Governor and also convey his Salaam to the Governor. They were also to inform him that this money was given by the leader of the Muslims and that he was free to spend it in on his personal needs.

 

These people then arrived in Hums and gave Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – the money and also conveyed the message of the great Muslim. When Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – heard this, he loudly exclaimed, “Inna lil laahi”.

 

When his wife heard this, she asked what bad news had reached him and perhaps the Ameerul Mo’mineen had passed away. He replied that no, but something worse had happened. She then asked him whether the Muslims had been defeated in any battle and he replied that no but something worse had happened that this also. Finally, she asked him to reveal the bad news. Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – replied, “The goods which can damage my Hereafter has arrived in our house. Fitnah has arrived in our house.”

 

She then asked him how he would eliminate this danger because at that moment she did not realise that he was speaking about the money which had been sent to him. Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – then asked her, “Will you be prepared to help in this regard?” She replied that indeed she was prepared to help him in this regard and they both then distributed this money among all the other poor and needy in the area.

 

A few days after this incident, Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – himself came to Hums. As a matter of fact, at that time, this region was called “little Kufah” because the people always had the habit of speaking ill of those who were in charge of the government. The people of Kufah was also famous for this type of behaviour, hence the similarity with Kufah.

 

He then called a few people and questioned them about the Governor. They then presented four complaints against Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him. The first was that he only appeared in public when the sun had fully risen and not before.

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – then looked at the Governor and asked him the reason for this.

 

He replied, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen, it was never my intention to reveal this to anyone. However, I reveal the reason for this. Firstly, I have no servant or slave and my wife is also ill. I first prepare the dough for the bread and then make the bread for her before leaving the house. By that time, the time of Ishraq has appeared. I then perform the Ishraq Salaah and then leave home.”

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – then asked the people their second complaint. The complained that he never meets people at night. He then asked Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – the reason for this.

 

The great Muslim replied, “It is not my intention to reveal this but I will. During the entire day, I am busy serving the people and I have dedicated my time to this and I have dedicated the night to the Ibadah of Allah.”

 

They then complained, “There is one day in the month when he never leaves his home.”

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – then looked at him and asked him the reason for this strange behaviour.

 

He replied, “O Ameeerul Mo’mineen! As I have said, I have no servant or slave and I only have one set of clothing. Once a month, I wash this one set and then wait for it to dry. In this manner, sometimes the entire day goes by.”

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – then asked the people their fourth complaint and they replied, “There are times when he suddenly becomes unconscious.”

 

When Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – was asked the reason for this he replied, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! I was also among the disbelievers when they hung Hadrat Sayyiduna Khubaib bin Adi – may Allah be pleased with him – in Mecca Shareef. The Quraish used to also stab him with their spears and then ask him, ‘Do you not wish that in your place Muhammad was standing?’  However, he used to reply, ‘I swear by Allah that I will never be pleased even if a small thorn pierces his blessed feet while I am sitting comfortably with my family.’ At that time, I was also someone who was among the disbelievers. Whenever I remember this sight, then I become extremely ashamed and that is when I fall unconscious with the fear that maybe on the Day of Judgement, Allah Almighty might question me about this. If only I was a Muslim at that moment so that I could have helped Hadrat Sayyiduna Khubaib – may Allah be pleased with him – against the disbelievers or if only I could have been martyred while trying to help him.”

 

It is reported that when Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – heard these words, he could not stop weeping. He then said, “I make Shukr to Allah that my inner vision has not misled me.” In other words, that his inner feeling of making this great Muslim the Governor had proven correct since he was the best among the Muslims.

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – again handed him another one thousand Dinaars to spend on his family.

 

When Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’eed bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – met his wife, she remarked that at least now, he could make some arrangement for a servant and also a horse. However, he said to his wife, “Shall I not recommend something better than this?”

 

She asked him what was his suggestion and he replied, “Let us give this as a debt to Allah and collect its reward from Allah Almighty.”

 

His wife was also very well pleased to hear this and he then called a member of his family and said to him, “Take this money and give a certain orphan so much, a certain widow so much, etc.”

 

In this way, in one sitting, they gave everything away to the poor and needy. (Hulyatul Awliyah. Taarikh Dimishq Al Kabeer)

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