Abdullah Bin Qart

Abdullah bin Qart was appointed by Umar as the Governor of Emessa. When Umar went on a tour of Syria, he enquired of the people of Emessa as to how was their Governor. The concensus of opinion was:

“He is a good man, but he has some pride and haughtiness about him, and he has constructed a double storeyed house for himself, while the houses of all other Muslims are single storeyed.”

Umar deputed an agent to verify whether Abdullah had in fact built a double storeyed house. The agent was further instructed that if the house was in fact double storeyed the door on the upperstorey should be burnt as indicative of the displeasure of the Caliph. The agent found that a double storeyed house had actually been constructed. He, therefore, in compliance with the order of Umar had the door burnt. Abdullah watched the burning of the door with a sense of hurt pride. This was reported to Umar.

When Umar returned to Madina, he summoned Abdullah bin Qart to Madina. Having arrived at Madina, Abdullah bin Qart waited on Umar. Umar did not see him for three days and kept him waiting.

When after three days, Abdullah was admitted to the presence of Umar, Umar asked him whether he had built the second storey with his own money, or with money produced through unlawful means. Abdullah produced accounts to show that the house had been constructed with his own money. Umar showed his satisfaction on that count. Thereupon Abdullah behaved haughtily and asked “When the house was constructed with my own money, where lay the offence.”

Umar cast a searching look at Abdullah and then said with some show of anger, “As a Governor of a Muslim state, you had to set a standard of equality among the Muslims. You have violated this principle by constructing a double storeyed house for yourself, thus placing yourself above the people.”

Umar ordered Abdullah to see him at Harrah the following day. Harrah was the state pasture a few miles from Madina. When Abdullah appeared at Harrah, Umar ordered him, “Take off your costly clothes, and don this dress of a shepherd. Till further orders you have to look after the camels in this pasture”. Abdullah reluctantly complied with the orders. Umar visited Harrah a fortnight later and asked Abdullah as to how he felt. Abdullah said, “I feel I repentant”. Thereupon Umar said, “A Muslim Governor cannot be haughty or proud. If you are repentant I send you back as Governor. I hope you have learnt the lesson that a Governor is not superior to the people; he is only one of them, with great responsibilities.”

Abdullah returned to Emessa a changed man.

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set

Mugheera Bin Shu’Ba

Mugheera bin Shu’ba belonged to the tribe of Thaqeef of Taif. He was converted to Islam in 528 A.D. He took part in the battle of Yamama. He was a brave fighter. In one of the battles he lost an eye.

When Utba b. Ghazwan was the Governor of Basra, Mugheera was his deputy. In 639 A.D., Utba left for Mecca and Madina for performing Hajj and left Mugheera as the acting Governor of Basra.

At Madina, Utba waited on Umar and wanted to be relieved of the office of the Governor. Umar did not agree and Utba was required to return to Basra in national interest. On the way to Basra Utba fell off his camel and died from the fall. On the death of Utba, Umar confirmed Mugheera in his appointment as the Governor of Basra.

Mugheera b. Shu’ba was known for his weakness for women. He would marry women and would divorce them after some time to make room for more beautiful faces. In this way, he married no less than 80 wives, taking steps to ensure that at a time his wives were not more than four, the limit prescribed by the Shariah.

In those days at Basra, there was a beautiful woman Umm Jamil. She belonged to the same tribe as that of Mugheera. Her husband had died and she became notorious for loose morals. Mugheera was attracted by her and she visited him often.

Some Muslims in Basra became critical of the conduct of Mugheera. Among them was Abu Bakra Thaqeefi whose house across the street faced the house of Mugheera. One day a strong wind blew and the windows of the houses of Abu Bakra and Mugheera got opened through the force of the wind.

Abu Bakra saw through his window that in this house Mugheera was locked up in an uncompromising state with a woman. He thought that the woman was Umm Jamil. He had some friends with him, and they also saw Mugheera involved with a woman.

Abu Bakra Saqeefi wrote to Umar accusing Mugheera of adultery. The report was endorsed by four witnesses who had seen Mugheera in an uncompromising state with a woman.

Umar took prompt action. Umar appointed Abu Musa as the Governor of Basra and removed Mugheera from the office. Mugheera was summoned to Madina to face the trial. Abu Bakra and the other witnesses who had made the complaint were also summoned to Madina.

At the trial, Mugheera pleaded not guilty. His defence was that the woman in question was his wife and not Umm Jamil. With great indignation he averred that Abu Bakra and the men with him had no right to interfere in his privacy.

Abu Bakra on the other hand maintained that the woman was Umm Jamil. Three other witnesses corroborated the statement of Abu Bakra. The fourth witness Ziyad stated that he had seen the event, but he had not seen the face of the woman and did not know who she was. The other witnesses were cross examined, and it was found that there were some weak points in their evidence. They were asked whether the woman had her back or her face toward them. They said that she had their back to them. They tried to make out that even from her back she could be identified as Umm Jamil. They argued that the scandal of Mugheera and Umm Jamil was very common in Basra, and that lady was none else but Umm Jamil.

Under the Quranic law in order to press the charge of adultery definite evidence of four witnesses was necessary. As in this case the fourth witness was not sure of the identification of the woman, Mugheera was given the benefit of doubt and acquitted. Abu Bakra and his companions who had levelled the charge were punished with lashes for making a charge which could not be established.

In spite of his acquittal, Mugheera was not restored to the office of the Governor, and was detained in Madina. Mugheera made some show of indignation at having been treated shabbily in a case which was false. Umar called him to his presence and issued the warning:

“O Mugheera offer thanks to God that full evidence was not forthcoming against you, and you have been saved from disgrace by a technical flaw. Grounds of suspicion against you were very much there, and I have given you the benefit of doubt. Remember that if the evidence was complete, you would have been stoned to death.”

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set

Umair Bin Saad

Umair bin Saad held the office of the Governor of Emessa for some time during the caliphate of Umar. Umair was more of a saint than a statesman. Instead of amassing wealth he distributed all that he had in the way of Allah.

For a year Umair remitted no revenue to Madina. Umar felt suspicious that Umair had misappropriated the revenues. He issued instructions calling upon Umair to come over to Madina.

As soon as the instructions of the Caliph were received Umair started for Madina. He took a tiffin carrier for carrying the meals, and a small waterskin for carrying water. He took a staff in his hand and started for Madina on foot. When he reached Madina he waited on Umar.

Umar enquired how did he do.

Umair said, “You can see for yourself.”

Looking at his strange appearance, Umar enquired whether he had come all the way from Emessa to Madina on foot.

Umair answered the question in the affirmative.

Umar then asked why did he not hire an animal for the purposes of the journey.

Umair said that he had no money to pay for the hire. Some persons offered him a free ride in consideration of the office held by him, and such offers were rejected by him.

Umar then enquired about the revenues. Umair said that all the revenues were spent for the use of the people.

Umar wanted him to go back to Emessa, and ensure that in future the State share of the revenues was sent to Madina.

Umair said that he was not fit to be a Governor and that some one else should be appointed in his place.

Umar prevailed upon him to take back his resignation but Umair said that his decision was irrevocable.

Umair took leave of the Caliph, and retired to his village which was a few miles from Madina.

Umar was surprised at the behaviour of Umair. He thought that Umair had affected such austerity to cover up the misappropriation of revenues. Umar deputed a man to go to the house of Umair and submit a report. Umar instructed, “Go to the house of Umair and there be his guest for three days. Watch him carefully. If you see any signs of opulence about him, furnish me a report. Take this bag of money. If you find that he is in straitened circumstances make him a gift of this money.”

The man deputed by Umar went to the house of Umair and there lodged with him as his guest. There he found that Umair subsisted on bare barley bread and there was no sign of opulence about him. When the agent of Umar was about to depart he presented him the bag, of money Umair refused to accept the money.

When the report was submitted to Umar, he said that Umair was a great man.

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set

Saeed Bin Aamir

Umar appointed Saeed bin Aamir as the Governor of Emessa in Syria. Saeed was highly advanced in piety and led a very austere life. Umar had a very high opinion about his integrity.

When Umar went to Syria, he asked the people of Emessa whether they had any complaint against their Governor. The people said that they had four complaints against the Governor.

Umar summoned Saeed bin Aamir, and then in his presence asked the complainants to state their complaints.

The first complaint was that he came out of his house very late in the morning. Umar put Saeed to explanation and he said, “We have no servant. I and my wife are alone. On rising up in the morning we offer our prayers, then read the Quran. Thereafter my wife cooks the meals and I help her. That takes time.”

The second complaint was that at night he did not attend to any body. When asked to explain, Saeed said, “I have reserved the day for the people, and the night for God. As I attend God during the night I cannot attend to any person when I am attending God.”

The third complaint was that once a month, he came out of his house very late in the afternoon. Saeed said, “I have only one change of clothes with me. I wash them once a month myself. Washing and drying the clothes takes time, and that is why once a month I am held up in my house till the afternoon.”

The fourth complaint was that sometimes he fell into fits of unconsciousness. Saeed said that in Mecca he had witnessed how Khabib a convert to Islam was tortured to death by the Quraish of Mecca. The Quraish offered him safety and wealth if he disowned the Holy Prophet. He spurned their offer. He was asked whether he would not like Muhammad (peace be on him) to be tortured in his place. Khabib replied that he could not suffer even a thorn pricking the Holy Prophet. Thereupon the Quraish hung him dead downward along a date tree and did him to death. Saeed added, “At that time I was an infidel and did not do anything to come to the relief of Khabib. I recall how Khabib died calling ‘Muhammad’. Now whenever I recall that tragic event, I am overwhelmed with remorse, and I swoon.”

Umar dismissed the complaints. He said:

“Thank God, my opinion about Saeed has been confirmed by this trial. Verily he is a great Muslim, and those who complain against him their ignorauce owe him an apology.”

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set

Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab Dismissal Of A Governor For Writing Poetry

Al-Numan was the son of Adiy. Adiy was an early convert to Islam. He migrated to Abyssinia under the instructions of the Holy Prophet and died there. Al. Numan was born in Abyssinia. Later he returned to Madina. He was a good poet.

During the caliphate of Umar, he was appointed the Administrator of the district of Maisan in Iraq. He had a beautiful wife al-Hasna who stayed at Madina.

In a poetic vein, Al-Numan composed some verses and sent them to his wife at Madina.

The verses read:

“Hasn’t al-Hasna heard that her husband in Maisan

Is drinking from glasses and jars?

If I wished the chief men of the city would sing to me

And the dancing girls whirl in ecstasy.

If you are my friend, give me a drink in the largest cup,

Don’t give me the half-filled cup,

Perhaps the Commander of the Faithful will take it amiss

That I am indulging in the drinking of wine.”

Al-Hasna showed the letter of her husband to some of her girl friends. They appreciated the verses of al-Numan. The verses got popular and Umar also came to hear them. Hearing the verses, Umar said:

“He is right. By God I do take it amiss, and I will call him to account.”

Umar forthwith dismissed Al-Numan from his office.

Al-Numan came to Madina. He saw Umar and pleaded that he had never acted in the way that his verses implied. He urged that he was a poet who wrote in an exaggerated way.

Umar said, “The penalty for writing in an exaggerated way is dismissal; if you had acted in the way the verses implied I would have lashed you in the public. Know that I want the rulers to have a balanced view of things, and If they write in an exaggerated way, poetry or otherwise, they are not fit to hold administrative offices.”

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set

Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab Punishment For Illicit Love

Abul Siara was a native of Madina. He fell in love with a beautiful lady who was the wife of one Abi Jandab. Abul Siara saw the lady and pressed his suit vehemently. The lady warned him to desist from such a course. She told him that if her husband came to know of his approach he would murder him. In spite of the warning, Abul Siara continued his suit. The lady reported the matter to the younger brother of Abi Jandab. He warned Abul Siara in strong terms, but he took no need and persisted in his erroneous course.

Exasperated, the lady reported the matter to her husband Abi Jandab. Abi Jandab laid down a trap for catching Abul Siara. He gave out that he was going out for the grazing of his camels, and he would return after a few days. At night, thinking that Abi Jandab was not at home, Abul Siara knocked at the door of his beloved. The lady asked him to go away as she was married and could not reciprocate his love. He sighed and sobbed and made declarations of love in pathetic terms. He said that he was so much lost in her love that he would even welcome death. Apparently moved by the frenzied state of her lover, the lady admitted Abul Siara to her house. She advised him to hide himself in the room. In the meantime she would decorate herself and then come to him.

As soon as Abul Siara entered the room, Abi Jandab who was already there started beating Abul Siara with sticks and whips. Abul Siara cried and shrieked. The lady asked the younger brother of Abi Jandab to intervene lest the man might be killed. At his intervention, Abi Jandab withdrew his hand. Badly bruised with his bones broken, Abul Siara was carried out and thrown in the way of camels. When Abul Siara came to consciousness and the people asked as to what had happened he said that he had fallen from a camel and broken his bones.

The matter came to the notice of Umar. He sommoned the parties and recorded their statements. The lady stated how Abul Siara tried to seduce her and how she resisted his love. Abi Jandab stated how a trap had been laid to catch Abul Siara red handed. Abul Siara confessed his guilt. Umar highly praised the conduct and character of the lady. He absolved Abi Jandab of the charge of violence against Abul Siara. Abul Siara was pronounced guilty and awarded punishment.

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set

Umar And Nasr B. Hajjaj Alsalmi

It is related that when one night, Umar was on his usual round in the streets of Madina, he heard a girl in a house singing:

“Can I get some wine to drink;

Can I ever find access to Nasr bin Hajjaj

A young man known for his beauty, youth and manners,

He who is of noble birth,

He whose company was a matter of joy”.

Another girl friend sitting by her enquired who was Nasr

The girl said, “Nasr is the most beautiful young man in Madina. I long that he should spend a night with me, when he and I should be alone.”

The following day, Umar summoned Nasr. When he saw him he wondered at his beauty. Undoubtedly he was the most beautiful young man in Madina. He had beautiful curly hair. Umar called a barber and had the hair of Nasr cut.

Thereupon Nasr composed the following verses:

“Umar could not see my curls,

My hair which when combed waved like a chain;

He made that head bald where once there were profuse hair;

He who was bald headed felt jealous of him who had hair,

As he could not be proud of his hair, he deprived me of his hair.”

Umar called Nasr again. Even though deprived of his hair he looked still more attractive. Umar ordered that he should wear a turban.

Umar called him again, and with turban he looked more manly and attractive. Thereupon Umar said:

“You cannot live with me in this city where women long for you.”

He ordered that Nasr should go to Basra.

When Nasr went away to Basra the girl Zulfa who had sung about him felt worried about her fate. She wrote verses to the effect that she had sung of wine and Nasr only in an imaginary mood; otherwise she was a girl of excellent character, and did not actually crave for wine or Nasr.

Umar made enquiry about the girl, and it transpired that she commanded good character. Umar assured her that he proposed no action against her, but warned her that as a good girl she should not think of things forbidden by law.”

At Basra, Nasr became the guest of Mujasha bin Masud. When Mujasha’s wife Shameela saw Nasr she felt attracted. Nasr reciprocated her love. When Mujasha came to know of this clandestine love affair he turned out Nasr from his house and divorced his wife.

From Basra, Nasr wrote a letter to Umar supplicating that the orders of his exile should be rescinded, and he should be allowed to come to Madina. Nasr’s mother waited on Umar and said, “Your sons are with you, but you have exiled my son. That is not fair.” Umar said, “Your son is a source of danger to the morals of the maidens of Madina. As long as I live, I would not allow him to come, and tempt innocent maidens with his looks.”

When Umar died, Nasr returned to Madina.

Source:  Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali (ra) 4 Vol. Set