DHU'L HAJJ - MUHARRAM 1424 H
Volume 17-02 No : 206
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Umair bin Saad chose a life of penury for himself even while being the Governor of Hams region.
Caliph Umar appointed Umair bin Saad as the Governor of Hams region in Syria. People of Hams were in the habit of complaining too much against the Governor and raising a front against him. They would thereafter write to Umar in Madinah to recall the Governor. Umar therefore thought Umair would be an ideal Governor who would rule with justice and piety. Umair was then leading Muslim armies through various regions. Caliph's order reached him in a battlefield and he arrived in Hams. He began his first day with a sermon in the mosque and told the residents that the forte of the ruler lay not in punishing the people, but in establishing justice and truth.
During the first year of his reign, he neither wrote a letter to Caliph at Madinah nor did he remit the portion of taxes due to the Islamic treasury there. Umar began to apprehend that Umair too has fallen victim to the trappings of his post of Governor and was too engrossed in luxuries attendant to such offices. He dispatched him a letter asking him to quit Hams and arrive at Madinah.
Umair bin Saad gathered his personal belonging which included a pot he used for eating, a second one for drinking and bathing and an axe from which he used to cut jungle wood and sell for his personal sustenance. By the time he arrived in Madinah, he had turned weak and dark due to continuous journey under a hot sun, his beard and hair had grown wild and he looked extremely weak.
Once before Caliph Umar, Umair placed his entire belonging and said that is what all he possessed. As for the tax remittances from Hams treasury, he said whatever was collected by way of zakath and taxes, was immediately disbursed in consultation with the official advisors. Nothing was left to remain with the treasury. When Umar queried him if he did not have an animal to ride across the long distance, Umair said, since the citizens of Hams did not offer him anything, he did not think it prudent to ask for the same.
The Caliph immediately asked his secretary to renew the tenure of Umair for Hams. But Umair flatly refused to accept the re-appointment letter and took up residence in a village in the outskirts of Madinah. Not long after Umair had set up his new house in the village that Umar advised his assistant Haris to visit Umair in his village and be his guest for three days. He also gave him a bag of Dinars. Umar told Haris to probe if Umair lived in the same penury as he did before or he had gathered some luxuries. If he appeared to be poor, the bag of Dinars should be given to him, he was told.
Haris went to Umair's house and became a guest with him. Umair asked him if Umar was ruling with justice and if he was imposing the Sharia laws. When Haris informed him that Umar was strict and punished his own son leading to his (son's) death, Umair raised his hands and prayed for the Caliph. All through the three days he dined with Umair, they had just one millet bread to share between them. Third day a local resident told him how hard it must be for Umair to host his stay as Umair and his wife lived off a single millet bread. The resident advised Haris to take leave of Umair and be his guest instead.
There was no more waiting for Haris. He presented the bag of Dinars to Umair on behalf of the Caliph. Umair wanted to return it, but his wife insisted on accepting the bag so that they could dispose off the amount in charity. The Dinars were distributed the same night among the poor and children of martyrs.
Haris reported back to the Caliph the penury stricken life of Umair in the village and said he delivered the bag of Dinars to the couple, though he was not sure they were distributed.
Umar soon thereafter wrote a letter to Umair asking him to visit him. When Umair arrived, he enquired if he used the Dinars. Umair took objection and said the Caliph should not have asked this question having once passed on the Dinars to him. But then Umair paused to add that he had deposited in the fund of Akhirah (the day of judgement) when nothing of the sort of one's own offspring and his own wealth would be of any use to him. Umar ordered the treasury staff to give some foodgrains and clothes for the Umair's family. Umair refused the foodgrains, but accepted the clothes for his wife, as the ones she was using, were too old to be worn any longer.
Umair went back to his village and passed away a little later. When Umar learnt about his death, he prayed for his forgiveness and said he would ever seek the company and assistance of people like Umair in order that the administration could be run on right lines.
(This is the concluding part of the biography of Umair bin Saad. The first part about earlier phase of his life appeared in January '04 issue of Islamic Voice.)
Translated and abridged by Maqbool Ahmed Siraj from Suwarum min Hayathus Sahaba by Egyptian author Dr. Abdur Rahman Rafat Pasha.
By F. Abdul Aziz
The hobby of stamp collecting teaches a collector discipline and order, which will be useful in everyday life. Learning about stamps and related matters is essential to be able to enjoy the hobby fully. Every year new stamps are being released. Nearly 2 lakh different stamps have been issued so far. Over 20 crore people around the world collect stamps. Jerald C. B.Jacob, secretary of the Kanyakumari District of the Philatelic Association has collected stamps under the subject of The Bible. Then we started the collection of stamps on the basis of The Quran. After going through the translation of the Quran, I collected stamps according to the verses in the Quran. The titles and sub-titles were chosen with the help of retired Prof N. Subramoniapillai. Here is the sample of the stamp collection based on verses of the Quran.
F. Abdul Aziz, 37,Malik Dhinar Nagar, Edalakudy P.O, Kanyakumari District. Tamil Nadu-629051. ph:94431-74037
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