Heads of State with a Heart.......
Leaders of Yester-year to the Leaders of Today........A Lesson IN-'DEED'
Caliph Umar(Radhiyallaho anhu) was the second caliph after the demise of the Prophet(Peace be upon him). He ruled for approximately ten years, six months with such justice, equity, mercy and practicality which is un-parallelled in history. Using todays terminolgy, he was the Head of State at that time, the President of the Muslim Nation.
Once Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) was going on his usual round towards Harrah (a suburb of Madinah) with his slave Aslam, when he saw a distant fire in the desert. He said:
"There seems to be a camp. Perhaps, it is a caravan that could not enter the town due to night fall. Let's go and look after them and arrange for their protection during the night."
When he reached there, he found a woman and some children. The children were crying. The woman had a pan of water over the fire. Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) greeted her with salaam and, with her permission, went near her. He kept, on chiding himself thus for a very long time.
Umar: "Why are these children crying?"
The Woman: "Because they are hungry."
Umar: "What is in the pan?"
The Woman: "Only water to soothe the children, so that they may go to sleep in the belief that food is being prepared for them. Ah! Allah will judge between Umar (Radihiyallaho anho) and me, on the Day of judgement, for neglecting me in my distress. "
'Umar (now weeping): "May Allah have mercy on you! How can Umar know of your distress?"
The Woman: "When he is our Amir, he must keep himself informed about us."
Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) returned to the town and straightway went to Baitul-Mal(treasury) to fill a sack with flour, dates, fat and clothes, and also drew some money. When the sack was ready, he said to Aslam: "Now put this sack on my back, Aslam."
Aslam: "No please, Amir-ul-Mu'mineen! I shall carry this sack."
Umar refused to listen to Aslam, even on his persistent requests to allow him to carry the sack, and remarked: "What! Will you carry my load on the Day of judgement? I must carry this bag, for it is I who would be questioned (in the Hereafter) about this woman."
Aslam most reluctantly placed the bag on Umar (Radhiyallaho anho)'s back, who carried it with a swift pace right to the woman's tent. Aslam followed at his heels. He put a little flour and some dates and fat in the pan and began to stir. He blew (with his mouth) into the fire to kindle it. Aslam says: "I saw the smoke passing through his thick beard." After some time, the pottage was ready. He himself served it to the family. When they had eaten to their fill, he made over to them the little that was left for their next meal. The children were very happy after their meal and began to play about merrily. The woman felt very grateful and remarked:
"May Allah reward you for your kindness! In fact you deserve to take the place of Khalifah instead of 'Umar." (not knowing that she was conversing with Umar(radhiyallahu anhu) himself)
Umar consoled her and said: "When you come to see the Khalifah, you will find me there. "
He sat for a while at a place close by and kept on watching the children. He then returned to Madinah. On his way back, he said to Aslam:
"Do you know why I sat there, Aslam? I had seen them weeping in distress; I liked to see them laughing and happy for some time."
It is said that Hadhrat Urnar (Radhiyallaho anho) while leading Fajr Salaat used to recite 'Kahf', 'Taha' and other such Soorahs in his Salaat, and would weep so much that his crying could be heard way back to several rows. Once he was reciting Surah Yusuf in Fajr. When he came to the verse: "I only plead for my distress and anguish unto Allah" (XII: 86) he wept so much that he could not recite any further. In Tahajjud, he would sometimes fall to the ground and would get indisposed with excessive weeping.
Is there any person in power today who is prepared to show such kindness to the people in his charge ? O Presidents of Today, O Ministers! , O World Summit Leaders !, O Princes and Kings !, the Presidents of yester-year remind you ! Their Practical example is an illustration for you to follow ! Be led by their impeccable examples in action !
Islam orders the Ruler to base his rule on justice and consultation. Islam orders subjects to obey the ruler as long as he obeys Allah. Islam gives the ruler fair rights and fair duties and gives subjects fair rights and fair duties as well. It is the duty of the Ruler that he must secure the basic needs to everybody under his rule regardless of religion or race.
Allah, the Exalted, says: "Verily, Allah enjoins Al-`Adl (justice) and Al-Ihsan (performing duties in a perfect manner).'' (Qur'an 16:90)
"And be equitable. Verily! Allah loves those who are the equitable.'' (Qur'an 49:9)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Seven are (the persons) whom Allah will give protection with His Shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade (i.e. on the Day of Resurrection), and they are: A just ruler; a youth who grew up with the worship of Allah; a person whose heart is attached to the mosque;two persons who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of Allah; a man whom a beautiful and high ranking woman seduces (for illicit relation), but he (rejects this offer by saying): `I fear Allah'; a person who gives a charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the left hand might not know what the right has given; and a person who remembers Allah in solitude and his eyes well up.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
`Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "The just will be seated upon pulpits of light.'' Those who are fair with regards to their judgement and their family and those who are under them.'' [Muslim].
`Auf bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "The best of your rulers are those whom you love and who love you, and those who supplicate Allah in your favour and you supplicate Allah in their favour. The worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and who hate you; and whom you curse and who curse you.'' It was asked (by those who were present): "Should not we oppose them?'' He said, "No, as long as they establish Salat; as long as they establish Salat in your midst.'' [Muslim].
Commentary: The Hadith identifies two categories of rulers. First, those rulers who are well-wishers of people and provide them with justice. These are the best rulers for whom people also pray. Second, the worst rulers who are only concerned with their rule and interests and take no interest in providing justice to people and removing their difficulties. In fact, rulers are advised to adhere to justice, uprightness and equity as this can endear them to Allah as well as to people.
`Iyad bin Himar (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "The people of Jannah will be of three kinds: A just successful ruler, a man who shows mercy to his relatives, and a pious believer who has a large family and refrains from begging.'' [Muslim].
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