The little boy came running to his mother crying with a request.
“Jarir and Mughiz have
both got new clothes for Eid. Can I have some new clothes as well?”
The mother picked him up and wiped his tears.
Their mother, Fatima bint Abdul Malik(RA), was no ordinary woman. Her father, grandfather and each of her four brothers
were at one time or another Caliph and leader of the Muslim Ummah. In fact, her own husband was the present Caliph, Umar
ibn Abdul Aziz(RA) – who ruled the world’s largest empire that stretched from the Atlantic to the Indian oceans. She promised
him that she would check with his father to see if he could have new clothes for Eid.
When Umar ibn Abdul Aziz returned home, his wife related her sons request to him. The
Caliph had a pained look in his eyes.
“Fatima, you know how much I value my children, but
all the money I have is in front of you”, he said motioning towards the sparsely furnished hut.
Though a Caliph, Umar took care to live honestly and did much to ensure justice.
Fatima agreed with her husband, but she said that maybe it would be possible to buy very
cheap clothes for him and he would just be happy with something new to wear. The
tears have left satins on his cheeks.
Finally, the Caliph, saddened by the plight, agreed and wrote a letter to his treasurer requesting
that his pay be advanced a month early so that he could buy his child something to wear on Eid.
But the honest and pious Caliph had an equally honest treasurer who wrote a letter in reply to the Caliph. The Caliph read the letter
with tears flowing from his eyes:
“Amir Ul-Mumineen, I have great respect for you and I trust and obey you completely. However, if
you could guarantee to me that you will live through the next month and do your service
to the people (which will entitle you to your pay) then the money can be advanced to you.
If you cannot give the assurance of your life, then how can the treasury pay you and why
are you taking the rights of the poor,orphans and widows onto your shoulders?”
Caliph Umar ibn Abdul Aziz realised his mistake. Fatima bint Abdul Malik, washed the
old clothes. The day of Eid arrived and the whole area of Damascus was buzzing with joy and celebration with people clad in their new attires. Caliph Umar ibn Abdul Aziz also set out for the Eid Prayer holding the hand of his
son, both father and son wearing their clean old clothing. The young boy’s face shone
brightly, as he walked alongside his father, convinced that the eternal pleasure and comforts of Jannah(Paradise) are by far superior to the comforts of this temporary world.
One has to wonder if they were made from the same dust as us. Once we (Muslims) were
kings on this Earth, but it wasn’t because we were large in number that we were respected.
It wasn’t because we were powerful that we were victorious. It wasn’t because we were
successful that we were admired. It wasn’t because our women were beautiful that they
were treated with honour and dignity. It wasn’t because we were intelligent that our example was emulated. It was all due to the
faith of Islam. Sometimes, it’s worthwhile reflecting on how far we’ve fallen so we know
how high we need to climb.