Umar’s Care For The Poor


Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab was the second caliph of Islam. He was such a responsible and caring ruler that every night he used to stroll on the streets to know the problems of his people. The following is an incredible example of his dutifulness as a caliph.Today, no poor can even dream that the ruler of the land will bring them their essential food supplies himself.

It was the year of the famine. Umar made efforts to ensure that adequate relief reached all people, and  that there were none in the city who went to sleep hungry.

One night as usual Umar went on his round. He was accompanied by his slave Aslam. As he strolled from  street to street all was quiet and the people seemed to be asleep. Umar thought to himself, “Thank God,  there is no one in this city whom the famine has afflicted.”

"Thank God, there is no one in this city whom the famine has afflicted", Umar said

Then as he turned a corner he saw a cottage where light was burning, and from where the sound of the  weeping of the children was heard. Umar went to the cottage. He saw that the lady of the house was  cooking something on the hearth, and the children were crying.

The sound of children weeping was coming out of a cottage

Umar knocked at the gate, and addressing the lady of the house Umar enquired why were the children  crying. She said that they were crying because they were hungry. “And what are you cooking”, asked  Umar. The lady said that in the kettle there was only water and stones. That was to while away the  children that food was being cooked for them. She hoped that exhausted the children would go to sleep.

The lady said that in the kettle there was only water and stones.

Hearing this tale of woe, Umar felt guilty. He had thought that because of the arrangements made by him,  no one was afflicted in the city and here was a family which was starving. Umar said to the lady that he  would arrange relief for her family immediately.

Umar said to the lady that he would arrange relief for her family immediately.

Umar went to the Baitul Mal. There he put the necessary provisions in a bag and carried the bag to the  cottage. His slave insisted that he would carry the bag, but Umar said that he would carry his burden  himself. Umar handed over the bag of provisions to the lady. Umar sat by the hearth and helped the lady  cook the meals.

Umar sat by the hearth and helped the lady cook the meals.

When the meals were ready the children were awakened and served with the delicious  meals. As the children ate to their fill and were satisfied they smiled the smile of happiness. Seeing the  destitute children smile Umar also felt happy.

Umar enquired of the lady whether there was none to support. She said that the father of the children  had died, and there was no body to support. Whatever little was in the house had been gradually used  up and they were starving since the last three days.

Umar asked the lady why she had not brought her distress to the notice of the Caliph. The lady said that  in spite of her poverty she had some sense of self-respect and she could not go and beg the Caliph for  any favor. She added that it was incumbent on the Caliph to ascertain that there was no one in his  charge who was starving.

Umar said, “You are right. Please excuse me for the remissness in the past. For the future it will be my  responsibility to see that your wants are satisfied.”

And when the lady realized that the man who had come to her relief was the Caliph himself, she felt  satisfied that the Caliph had discharged his onerous responsibilities creditably.

Caliph had discharged his onerous responsibilities creditably.

Advertisements

People of Garden


In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

People of Garden

People of Garden

Allah the Almighty says:

﴿إِنَّا بَلَوْنَـهُمْ كَمَا بَلَوْنَآ أَصْحَـبَ الْجَنَّةِ إِذْ أَقْسَمُواْ لَيَصْرِمُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ – وَلاَ يَسْتَثْنُونَ – فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَآئِفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ – فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَالصَّرِيمِ – فَتَنَادَوْاْ مُصْبِحِينَ – أَنِ اغْدُواْ عَلَى حَرْثِكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـرِمِينَ – فَانطَلَقُواْ وَهُمْ يَتَخَـفَتُونَ – أَن لاَّ يَدْخُلَنَّهَا الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّسْكِينٌ – وَغَدَوْاْ عَلَى حَرْدٍ قَـدِرِينَ – فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهَا قَالُواْ إِنَّا لَضَآلُّونَ بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَّكُمْ لَوْلاَ تُسَبِّحُونَ ﴾

قَالُواْ سُبْحَـنَ رَبّنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَـلِمِينَ- فَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ يَتَلَـوَمُونَ- قَالُواْ يوَيْلَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا طَـغِينَ- عَسَى رَبُّنَآ أَن يُبْدِلَنَا خَيْراً مّنْهَآ إِنَّآ إِلَى رَبّنَا رغِبُونَ- كَذَلِكَ الْعَذَابُ وَلَعَذَابُ الاْخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ لَوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ-﴾

(Verily, We have tried them as We tried the people of the garden, when they swore to pluck the fruits of the (garden) in the morning. Without saying: Insha’Allah (If Allah wills). Then there passed by on the (garden) a visitation (fire) from your Lord at night and burnt it while they were asleep. So the (garden) became black by the morning, like a pitch dark night (in complete ruins). Then they called out one to another as soon as the morning broke. Saying: “Go to your tilth in the morning, if you would pluck the fruits.” So they departed, conversing in secret low tones (saying): No Miskin (poor man) shall enter upon you into it today. And they went in the morning with strong intention, thinking that they have power (to prevent the poor taking anything of the fruits therefrom). But when they saw the (garden), they said: “Verily, we have gone astray.” (Then they said): “Nay! Indeed we are deprived of (the fruits)!” The best among them said: “Did I not tell you: why say you not: Insha’ Allah (If Allah wills).” They said: “Glory to Our Lord! Verily, we have been Zalimun (wrong-doers).” Then they turned one against another, blaming. They said: “Woe to us! Verily, we were Taghun (transgressors and disobedient). We hope that our Lord will give us in exchange a better (garden) than this. Truly, we turn to our Lord (wishing for good that He may forgive our sins and reward us in the Hereafter). Such is the punishment (in this life), but truly the punishment of the Hereafter is greater if they but knew). (Al-Qur’an:68:17-33)

The People of Garden decided not to give charity from their produce

This is an example set by Allah the Almighty for the polytheists of Quraish as He favored them with sending the honorable and great Prophet, Muhammad (Peace be upon him), but they belied him and rejected what he had brought them. Almighty Allah, says:

(أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ بَدَّلُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ كُفْرًا وَأَحَلُّواْ قَوْمَهُمْ دَارَ الْبَوَارِ – جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَوْنَهَا وَبِئْسَ الْقَرَارُ)

(Have you not seen those who have changed the Blessings of Allah into disbelief (by denying Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his Message of Islam), and caused their people to dwell in the house of destruction? Hell, in which they will burn, -and what an evil place to settle in!). (Al-Qur’an-14:28,29)

Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: They are the polytheists of Quraish whom were likened to the people of the garden that contained various fruits and plants that were ripe and the time of their harvesting has come. Thus, He, Glory be His, says: {When they swore} secretly {to pluck the fruits of the (garden)} i.e. to harvest it; {in the morning} in order not to be seen by either a poor, or a needy and be forced to donate to or give them any of its fruits. So, they swore to this without saying “If Allah wills”. Consequently, Allah the Almighty disabled them and sent over their garden fire that burnt it and left nothing thereof. He, Glory be His, says: (Then, there passed by on the (garden) a visitation (fire) from your Lord at night and burnt it while they were asleep. So the (garden) became black by the morning, like a pitch dark night (in complete ruins)).

The garden burnt in the night

Allah the Almighty says: (Then they called out one to another as soon as the morning broke), i.e. they got up in the morning and they called out one to another saying: {Go to your tilth in the morning, if you would pluck the fruits}, i.e. go early to your garden and pluck the fruits before the poor and needy persons come to ask you for charity. The story goes: {So they departed, conversing in secret low tones}, i.e. talking one to another in low tones saying: {No Miskin (poor man) shall enter upon you into it today}, i.e. they agreed upon that and made mutual consultations thereto. The story goes on: {And they went in the morning with strong intention, thinking that they have power (to prevent the poor taking anything of the fruits there from)}, i.e. they went forth with seriousness, power and strong bad intention.

`Ikrimah and Ash-Shu`abi said: {And they went in the morning with strong intention}, i.e. rage and bad intention against the poor. {But when they saw the (garden)}, i.e. when they reached their garden and found what had happened to it, upon this {they said: Verily, we have gone astray}, i.e. we have lost our way to our own garden, then they said: {Nay! Indeed we are deprived of (the fruits)!}, i.e. we have been punished because of our bad intentions and were deprived of the blessing of our tilth.

And, {the best among them said} Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), Mujahid and others said: He was the best and the most moderate and just one among them all. {Did I not tell you: why say you not: Insha’Allah (If Allah wills)}, it was said: To say a good word instead of what you have intended. {They said: “Glory to Our Lord! Verily, we have been Zalimun (wrong-doers).” Then they turned one against another, blaming. They said: “Woe to us! Verily, we were Taghun (transgressors and disobedient)}, they regretted and showed sorrow when both could do them nothing, and they confessed their sinful deed after they had been punished and all that went in vain.

They had bad intentions - Not to give charity

It was said: That they were brothers and they inherited that garden from their late father who used to give much and much in charity. But, when they possessed the garden they denied the acting of their late father and intended to deprive the poor of its fruits. Thereupon, Allah the Almighty punished them and gave them the severest of penalties. For this, Allah the Almighty commanded that charity must be taken out of fruits and it is preferably to be paid on the day of harvesting. He says:

(كُلُواْ مِن ثَمَرِهِ إِذَآ أَثْمَرَ وَءَاتُواْ حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ وَلاَ تُسْرِفُواْ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ)

{Eat of their fruit when they ripen, but pay the due thereof (its Zakah, according to Allah’s Orders l/lOth or 1/20th) on the day of its harvest}. (Al Qur’an:6:141)

Pay the due thereof (its Zakah, according to Allah's Orders l/lOth or 1/20th) on the day of its harvest

It was said: They were from the Yemen, from a town called “Darwan”. It was also said: They were from Abyssinia. Allah knows best!

Allah the Almighty says: {Such is the punishment}, i.e. like this We punish those who disobey Our Command and does not show kindness to the needy from among Our creatures. {But truly the punishment of the Hereafter is greater} than that of the present life {if they but knew}.

This story resembles Allah’s Saying:

﴿وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً قَرْيَةً كَانَتْ ءَامِنَةً مُّطْمَئِنَّةً يَأْتِيهَا رِزْقُهَا رَغَدًا مِّن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ فَكَفَرَتْ بِأَنْعُمِ اللَّهِ فَأَذَاقَهَا اللَّهُ لِبَاسَ الْجُوعِ وَالْخَوْفِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَصْنَعُونَ – وَلَقَدْ جَآءَهُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَخَذَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَهُمْ ظَـلِمُونَ ﴾

{And Allah puts forward the example of a township that dwelt secure and well-content: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it (its people) denied the Favors of Allah (with ungratefulness). So Allah made it taste extreme of hunger (famine) and fear, because of that (evil, i.e. denying Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) which they (its people) used to do. And verily, there had come unto them a Messenger (Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) from among themselves, but they denied him, so the torment overtook them while they were Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)}. (Al Qur’an:16:112,113)

It was said that this example was of the people of Mecca set for themselves and verily, there is no contradiction in this. Allah knows best!

Source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir

The Story of a Blind Man


The Story of a Blind Man

(Quran Surah Abasa 80:1-12)

Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum a blind man, was a companion of Prophet (pbuh). He was one of the early converts to Islam. He was also the cousin of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with her. His father was Qays ibn Said and his mother was Aatikah bint Abdullah. She was called Umm Maktum (Mother of the Concealed One) because she gave birth to a blind child.

Guidance for All

“One day the Messenger of Allah (saws) was addressing one of the great leaders of the Quraysh while hoping that he would accept Islam. While he was speaking in direct conversation with him, Ibn Umm Maktum came to him, and he was of those who had accepted Islam in its earliest days. He (Ibn Umm Maktum) then began asking the Messenger of Allah about something, urgently beseeching him. The Prophet (phub) hoped that the man would be guided, so he asked Ibn Umm Maktum to wait for a moment so he could complete his conversation. He frowned in the face of Ibn Umm Maktum and turned away from him in order to face the other man.” Thus, Allah revealed,

﴿عَبَسَ وَتَوَلَّى – أَن جَآءَهُ الاٌّعْمَى – وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّهُ يَزَّكَّى ﴾

(He frowned and turned away. Because there came to him the blind man. And how can you know that he might become pure) meaning, he may attain purification and cleanliness in his soul.

﴿أَوْ يَذَّكَّرُ فَتَنفَعَهُ الذِّكْرَى ﴾

(Or he might receive admonition, and the admonition might profit him) meaning, he may receive admonition and abstain from the forbidden.

﴿أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَى – فَأَنتَ لَهُ تَصَدَّى ﴾

(As for him who thinks himself self-sufficient. To him you attend;) meaning, `you face the rich person so that perhaps he may be guided.’

﴿وَمَا عَلَيْكَ أَلاَّ يَزَّكَّى ﴾

(What does it matter to you if he will not become pure) meaning, `you are not responsible for him if he does not attain purification.’

﴿وَأَمَّا مَن جَآءَكَ يَسْعَى – وَهُوَ يَخْشَى ﴾

(But as for him who came to you running. And is afraid.) meaning, `he is seeking you and he comes to you so that he may be guided by what you say to him.’

﴿فَأَنتَ عَنْهُ تَلَهَّى ﴾

(Of him you are neglectful and divert your attention to another.) meaning, `you are too busy.’ Here Allah commands His Messenger to not single anyone out with the warning. Rather, he should equal warn the noble and the weak, the poor and the rich, the master and the slave, the men and the women, the young and the old. Then Allah will guide whomever He chooses to a path that is straight. He has the profound wisdom and the decisive proof.

Allah says,

﴿كَلاَّ إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ ﴾

(Nay; indeed it is an admonition.) meaning, this Surah, or this advice in conveying knowledge equally among people, whether they are of noble or low class. Qatadah and As-Suddi both said,

﴿كَلاَّ إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ ﴾

(Nay; indeed it is an admonition.) “This means the Qur’an.”

﴿فَمَن شَآءَ ذَكَرَهُ ﴾

(So, whoever wills, let him pay attention to Him (it).) meaning, so whoever wills, he remembers Allah in all of his affairs. The pronoun could also be understood to be referring to the revelation since the conversation is alluding to it.

Source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir

The Prophet (pbuh) always used to guide people towards Islam. During this incident he (phuh) devoted his complete attention to the leaders of Quraysh with the hope of guiding them towards Islam and hence ignored the blind man. As a result of this Allah revealed the above verses.

After this incident, the Prophet (pbuh) always treated Ibn Umm Maktum with kindness and generosity. He (pbuh) often greeted Ibn Umm Maktum with these words of humility:

“Welcome unto him on whose account my Sustainer has rebuked me.”

Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum would also pronounce the iqamah for the Prayer. Bilal (ra) would call the adhan.

Narrated Salim bin Abdullah: My father said that Allah s Apostle said, “Bilal pronounces ‘Adhan at night, so keep on eating and drinking (Suhur) till Ibn Umm Maktum pronounces Adhan.” Salim added, “He was a blind man who would not pronounce the Adhan unless he was told that the day had dawned.”

Source:  Sahih Al-bukhari