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The Khulafaa of Islam had great honour and respect for the Ulama-e-Kiraam. They accepted their suggestions in most of their affairs and used to hold consultations with them. The Ulama also had the apparent reason for this honour and respect for the Ulama was that the Khulafaa themselves had profound Islamic knowledge. No Khalifah was ignorant. Every Khalifah had knowledge of the Shariat.

Khalifah Haroon Ar-Rasheed excelled over others in showing respect and honour to the Ulama. His palace was frequented by Ulama whom he valued and had high regard for. He once invited Allama Abu Muáwiyah who was blind. The Khalifah himself undertook the task of washing his hands. During his reign lived two renowned AAalims, Imaam Kasaai, who was an expert in Qiraat (Recitation of the Holy Quran), Grammar and Arabic, and Imaam Muhammad bin Hasan, who was very well versed in Fiqh (Islamic Law), Hadees and Arabic. The Khalifah used to seat these two Aalims on chairs decorated with gold and had ordered that they should not stand up when he stands (to honour him). He used to listen to the speeches of the Ulama. Lectures and speeches should affect him greatly. Sometimes, during the lecture, he should be affected so much, that tears should come out of his eyes (that he used to cry).

Khalifah Haroon Ar-Rasheed and Hadhrat Sufyaan At-Thawri (RA) were childhood friends. When Haroon Ar-Rasheed was appointed Khalifah, he wished that Hadhrat Sufyaan At-Thawri (RA) will congratulate him like how other people had congratulated him. But Hadhrat Sufyaan At-Thawri (RA) did not come. After waiting for a while, the Khalifah wrote to him saying that all my friends have come, but it is against the grandeur of Khalifate. I have given all those friends who congratulated me expensive gifts.

Hadhrat Sufyaan (RA) replied: "You are spending the treasure of the Baitul Maal on unnecessary waste. Haroon! tomorrow you will have to go to the presence of Allah. You should remain prepared to answer in His presence."

The Khalifah Haroon Ar-Rasheed screamed after reading the reply of Hadhrat Sufyaan (RA) and remained weeping for a long time.

Once the Khalifah Haroon Ar-Rasheed went to meet Imaam Abu Hanifa (RA). All the people present stood up as a mark of respect for the Khalifah. Imaam Muhammad remained seated. When the Khalifah asked him the reason for remaining seated, he replied, "Such an illustrious king like yourself has come to visit Muhammad, solely because you regard me from among the learned people. Belonging to the group of learned people has made me deserving of such honour and dignity, therefore I did not think it appropriate to leave this group and enter into the group of servants". He said further, "Amirul Mumineen, listen, The Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) says, whosoever wishes that people should stand up to honour him should seek his place in Jahannam." After hearing this Hadith, the Khalifah began to cry and he asked Imaam Muhammad to make Duá for him. Imaam Muhammad made Duá for him. When departing, the Khalifah presented Imaam Muhammad with a large sum of money which Imaam Muhammad accepted and immediately distributed to the poor.

Once the Khalifah Haroon Ar-Rasheed went to visit Madinah-Munawwara, accompanied by his two sons Ameen and Ma'moon. A very prominent Faqeeh (Jurist) and Muhaddith (commentator of Hadith) of the time, Imaam Maalik bin Anas used to impart knowledge in the Musjid-e-Nabawiy. Students from all parts of the world should come to quench their thirst through his ocean of knowledge. The Khalifah also thought that his sons should not be deprived of this eternal wealth. He sent a message to Imaam Maalik (RA) informing him that he would like his sons to benefit from his knowledge, but it is not appropriate to send them to a class, therefore I would like you to come and teach them for a little while.

Imaam Maalik replied, "O Amirul Mumineen, this knowledge has come out of your own home. If you want it to be disgraced, then it's left to you people to go to knowledge, knowledge does not go to people". Upon hearing this the Khalifah sent a message that since "you are unable to come, I will send my sons to you, please try and teach them alone, not in the presence of other students". Imaam Maalik replied, "unfortunately, I am unable to carry out this request. You are fully aware of the fact that Islam teaches equality. How can I, sitting in Musjid-e-Nabawiy go against the teaching and how can I adopt this separation."

The Khalifah was very pleased with Imaam Maalik's truthfulness and sent his sons Ameen and Ma'moon to him. They used to sit with the other ordinary Muslims and acquire knowledge.

Haroon Ar-Rasheed went to the house of a great saint of his time, Hadhrat Fudhayl bin Ayaaz (RA). He was accompanied by his Minister Fazal Barmaki. They knocked on the door (tapped the door). "Who is there?" Asked Hadhrat Fudhayl. "It's the Amirul Mumineen", replied the Minister. "What work has the Amirul Mumineen got here, go back", replied Hadhrat Fudhayl (RA). The Khalifah entered the house and told him, give me some advice. Hadhrat Fudhayl (RA) said, "Fear Allah, and be prepared to be answerable in the presence of Allah. Even if one old lady remained hungry on any night, she will hold you (responsible) on the Day of Judgement. The Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said that most of the rulers will be in Jahannam". Upon this the Khalifah began to tremble and shake and tears began to flow from his eyes. Seeing this, his Minister told Hadhrat Fudhayl (RA), "You have destroyed the Amirul Mumineen". He replied, "I haven't, but you and other people like you have brought the Amirul Mumineen close to destruction". The Khalifah told Hadhrat Fudhayl (RA) if he had any debt he should disclose it, the Khalifah was prepared to settle it. Hadhrat Fudhayl (RA) replied, "I have no debt of the servants, but the debt of Allah is surely upon me. That is, I could not fulfil the rights of the worship of Allah. This debt is upon you as well, and you also could not carry it out." Haroon Ar-Rasheed was very much impressed and affected by this. He presented Hadhrat Fudhayl (RA) with a bag containing a thousand Ashrafis and said "This is from the inheritance of my mother and it is pure, please accept it". Hadhrat Fudhayl (RA) said, "Unfortunately, my advice has not benefited you. You ought to give this sum to a person who is in need for it". The Khalifah and his Minister got up and left silently. Hadhrat Fudhayl (RA) immediately closed the door.

Once Hadhrat Fudhayl (RA) told the Khalifah, "O you with a handsome face, you are responsible for this Ummat, you will be questioned about them" The Khalifah heard this and was greatly affected. He began weeping excessively.

Once Hadhrat Shaqeeq Balkhi went to meet Khalifah Haroon Ar-Rasheed. The Khalifah said, "Shaqeeq you are a hermit (devotee)." Hadhrat Shaqeeq replied, "I am Shaqeeq Balkhi, you are a hermit." The Khalifah enquired, "Now am I a hermit?" Hadhrat Shaqeeq said, "A hermit is one who is satisfied and patient over little. I have left this world (worldly things) and I can see the splendour of paradise flourishing, but still my tongue is engaged in saying "Is there more. How can I be a hermit. Surely you are a hermit because you are satisfied and patient with this lifeless and despicable world and you are not in need of the boundless paradises of the Hereafter". Haroon replied, "Give me some advice." Hadhrat Shaqeeq (RA) replied, "Allah Most High has placed you in the place of Siddeeq (Hadhrat Abu Bakar (Radhiallaahu Anhu). He wants truth from you. He has placed you in the place of Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu). He wants Strictness and Justice. He has placed you in the place of Hadhrat Uthman (Radhiallaahu Anhu). He wants modesty, toleration and generosity. He has placed you in the place of Murtadhaa (Hadhrat Ali (Radhiallaahu Anhu). He wants Justice and Knowledge in you.

The Khalifah Haroon said, "Say more." Hadhrat Shaqeeq (RA) replied, "Allah Most High has made a place which is known as Hell. He has made you a gate-keeper of this place and granted you three things. The Baytul Maal, the sword and the whip, and He has commanded you to stop the creation with the assistance of these three things from going to that place (Jahannam)."

The method of doing so, is that whoever goes against the command of Allah, punish him with the whip, whoever kills anyone unjustly, kill him with the sword. And whoever becomes poor and needy grant him his share from the Baytul Maal. If you do not act upon this, you shall be the first person to enter that place and the rest of the people will follow you." Haroon replied, "Give me more advice." Hadhrat Shaqeeq (RA) said, "You are like a fountain, and all other public servants are like rivers, clean water that comes out of a fountain cannot be made muddy and dirty by the rivers." Haroon Ar-Rasheed wept excessively. He bade farewell to Hadhrat Shaqeeq with a lot of respect and honour.

Once Hadhrat ibn Semaak Waa'iz (RA) went to the Khalifah Haroon Ar-Rasheed. Haroon asked him for some advice. Ibn Semaak (RA) replied, "O Ameerul Mumineen, fear Allah, and remember that you have to appear before Him, and then there will be only two abodes for you, Jannat or Jahannam." The Khalifah was greatly moved by this advice and wept so excessively that his beard became wet. The Minister of the Khalifah, Fazal bin Rabee was also present. Seeing this state of the Khalifah, this Minister said to Hadhrat ibn Semaak (RA), "The Amirul Mumineen safeguards the rights of Allah fully and is very particular and is very particular about justice and equity, is there any doubt that he will not enter Jannat?" Hadhrat Ibn Semaak (RA) did not pay attention to what the Minister was saying and said to the Khalifah, "O Amirul Mumineen, by Allah, this person (Minister) will not be with you on that day, nor will he be able to assist you. Therefore keep fearing Allah and reform your nafs (inner self)." The Khalifah began weeping excessively. Fazal bin Rabee felt ashamed and kept quiet.

Once Hadhrat Ibn Semaak (RA) was in the presence of Khalifah Haroon Ar-Rasheed. During the course of the discussion, the Khalifah became thirsty. He asked for water. When water was brought and he was about to drink it, Hadhrat Ibn Semaak (RA) said, "Amirul Mumineen, wait first tell me if you are very thirsty and you are not given water, how much are you prepared to pay for a glass of water?" The Khalifah said, "In that state I will give half my kingdom for a glass of water." Hadhrat Ibn Semaak (RA) told him to drink the water. Thereafter he enquired, "If this water remains in your stomach and there is no way for it to come out, what will you pay for it to come out." He replied, "I will give the remainder of my kingdom." Hadhrat Ibn Semaak (RA) said, "Amirul Mumineen, understand, this gulp (draught) of water and a few drops of urine, therefore never be proud about it and as far as possible treat everybody equally."

It was summer, and Khalifah Haroon Ar-Rasheed was dressed up in very expensive clothes which were gold embroided. He seemed very upset due to the heat. Hadhrat Ibn Semaak (RA) was seated near him. Seeing the Khalifah upset he enquired, "Do these expensive clothes of yours also not save (protect) you from the severity of the heat?" The Khalifah replied, "These clothes are more troublesome (irritating) than ordinary clothes. Due to the gold embroidery, the severity of the heat seems to increase (be more)." Hadhrat Ibn Semaak (RA) replied, "When these expensive clothes cannot save you from the heat, instead they are more (troublesome) irritating, then bear in mind that the fire of Jahannam is much more severe. Iron will also melt with its heat. Will it not be appropriate that instead of engaging yourself in the royal elegance and decoration, you engage yourself in the worship of Allah, through whose grace and generosity the fire of Jahannam can save man."

After hearing this advice from Hadhrat Ibn Semaak (RA), Khalifah Haroon Ar-Rasheed wept bitterly for a long time.

Moulana Haroon Abbasommar
Ex-President: Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

Islamic Info - Miscellaneous


Source:  Jamiatul Ulama (Kwazulu-Natal)


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