Friday, December 22, 2006

Justice to all, even enemies

"If someone disobeys God in matters that concern you, the best thing to do in return is to obey God in matters that concern him." So said Umar ibn Khattab

Source: Pg 104, An Islamic treasury of virtues by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Ibn Kathir Tafseer

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Giving up this world for the next

When it was time to give a meal to some visitors from Iraq, Umar, the second caliph brought them a bowl of food- some coarse bread and olive oil- and requested them to eat. Slowly, reluctantly- they complied. Seeing what tiny morsels the were taking, Umar said to them, "You know, if I wished, I could also prepare for myself fine, rich food of the kind to which you are accustomed. But it is our practice here to be sparing of things in this world so that we may receive them in the next. Have you not seen how Almighty God has chastised a people for having received good things in their worldly life?" By another account, Umar asked them what they wanted: "Things which are sweet and spicy, hot and cold? Whatever you eat will go to waste in your stomachs".
Source: Pg 118, An Islamic treasury of virtues by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Hilyat Al-Auliya by Abu Nu’aym

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Muslim must suppress his desires

Hasan ibn Ali recounts how, once, when Umar entered his son's house, he found some meat there and asked how it came to be there. His son, Abdullah said that he had felt an urge to eat some meat that day. "So, everything tht you have an urge for, you eat, do you?" asked Umar. then admonishing his son, he said, "A man has to do no more than partake of everything he desires to be counted among the extravagant."

Source: Kanz Al Ummal, Pg 246, An Islamic treasury of virtues by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Jabir ibn Abdullah had just bought one dirham's worth of meat and was taking it home, when he met Umar bin Khattab. The latter asked him what he was carrying and Jabir told him, "Something that my family want very badly; I have bought them a dirham's worth of meat". Umar went on repeating the words, "something that my family wanted very badly", so often that Jabir wished he had lost the dirham before buying the meat, or else that he had not met Umar. According to another tradition, Umar said: "What, whever they want something, do you buy it for them? Have you forgotten this worse: 'You squandered away your precious things in your earthly life and took your fill of pleasure.'" (46:20)

Source: Al Bayhaqi, Pg 246, An Islamic treasury of virtues by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Umar's gift to Zainab

Umar (ra) used to take special care of Ummahatul Mu'mineen. He used to love Hassan and Hussein, and Ali (ra). When he used to send money to the house of Rasoolullah (saw), he would send loads of it. And if there was any shortage, it would be in the share of his daugther Hafsa (ra). Once he gave Zainab bin Jahsh so much money, that when she saw that she said, 'May Allah forgive Amir Al Mu'mineen. There are other wives of the Prophet (pbuh) who would do a better job @ distributing the money'. She thought it was for distribution, but Umar (ra) said this is all for you. She was terrified, and told her servant to cover it. It was too much money for her. Then she told her to take some money from under the cloth, and give it out to orphans, needy etc. She saw the pile decrease, until her servant said: 'Why don't you leave some for us?' Zainab said, 'take what's left'. The servant raised the cover and there was more than 80 dirham left. Zainab raised her hands and said: 'O Allah, don't allow me to live until the next time Umar gives me a gift'. And soon after she died.

Source: Umar ibn AlKhattab His Life & Times, Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki