RANDOM THOUGHTS : Sadqa and Good Governance - BY: Dr. A.Q. Khan

Sadqa and Good Governance
Dr. A.Q. Khan


Hajj and Eid-ul Azha were celebrated with great fervor and zeal. May Allah Almighty accept everyone’s prayers and sacrifices.

Sadqa has been described by the Almighty as a panacea for all ills. One episode related to its particular blessing is worth pondering on. There was once an Egyptian businessman who was about 50 years old when he developed a heart problem. He went to the best hospitals in Cairo but doctors informed him that they could not do much to help him and he had little time left. They advised him to go to London to have a by-pass operation. This he did, but even there he was told that it was just temporary relief. One day he went to buy some meat. There he saw an old lady collecting the small pieces of fat the butcher was throwing away. When asked, she told him she was a widow with no source of income but her children’s greatest desire was to eat some meat. These small pieces of fat usually also have very small pieces of meat on them, she said. I will cut the meat off and fry it in the fat. The businessman was shocked and sat down to ponder. Despite all his wealth, he was still dying! After some time he told the butcher to give the old lady some meat and to give her enough for her family every time she came, all of which he would pay for. He then went back to his usual work routine. After a few days he realized that he had had no heart problems like fatigue, shortness of breath, etc., so he went to the doctor for a check-up. There, to his great surprise, he was told that there was no longer any problem with his heart. He was again advised to go to England for a check-up. There too the doctors were surprised to find that his problems had resolved themselves. They asked what medicine he had been taking. He then remembered that his improvement had started from the day he had helped the old lady. He told the doctor that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had said that Sadqa (alms and charity) can protect from all evil.

With a new government just installed, one’s mind turns to good governance and the administration of Hazrat Umar (RA) (the second Caliph), immediately comes to mind. For more information on this great period in our history, read Umar Farooq by Shibli Naumani or Hazrat Umar Farooque Azam by Muhammad Hussain Haikal, a famous Egyptian intellectual. We follow Western historians in dubbing Alexander of Macedonia (Greece) as The Great. He became King at the age of 20, left Macedonia to conquer the whole of Greece at the age of 23, after which Turkey, Iran, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and India followed. He contracted typhoid on his way back from Makran and died in Bakht Naser at the age of 33. However, we should look back in our own history and we will find that the greatest ruler and administrator that the world produced was Hazrat Umar (RA). Alexander was the son of a king and enjoyed a good education, background and training, while Hazrat Umar (RA) was the son of an animal herder, as too were his ancestors. He had no royal background, education or training. While Alexander conquered 1,700,000 sq.miles of territory in 10 years, Hazrat Umar (RA) conquered 2,200,000 sq.miles of territory in 10 years. At that time, Muslims ruled from Armenia to Sindh, Central Asia, the whole of Arabia, India and Eastern China. Nobody could dare to disobey his orders. He was a strict disciplinarian and he sacked many influential and powerful personalites such as Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqas, Hazrat Khalid bin Wahid, Hazrat Umro bin Al-Aas, Hazrat Mugira bin Shaba, Hazrat Haris bin Kaab, Hazrat Ghanam, etc. Alexander did not leave any good governing systems in place whereas Hazrat Umar (RA) established one of the best governance systems in the world has ever seen. Some of his achievements were: the Hijra Year system, prisons, salaries for preachers, lights in mosques, the police, justice and agricultural systems, cantonments and regular armies, stipends for orphans and the handicapped, establishment of an accountability system for government servants, officers and governors, etc. and a system of judges to award punishment. He himself looked after the safety of caravans at night. He used to say that an honest, upright ruler can sleep soundly at night and that the ruler is a true servant of the public. The words: Umar, death is enough for your guidance were written on his table. He led a simple life – only one dish at meals, slept on a mat on the floor and slept under a tree or in a makeshift lean-to made of a piece of cloth while travelling. He had about 14 patches on his shirt, one of red leather and wore thick, rough clothing. Whenever he appointed someone to an important post, he would estimate that person’s personal possessions and would re-check them during and after service. He advised Governors not to use expensive, thoroughbred horses, not to use soft clothes, not to keep a guard at their residence and never to turn away any needy person empty handed. He used to say that not punishing a criminal was injustice to the poor. One of his much-loved proverbs was: Mothers give birth to children as free human beings, who gave you the right to make them slaves? He was the first Caliph to adopt the title of Ameer-ul-Momineen (Chief of Muslims). At the time he was martyred by Feroz while praying, he had paid off a debt by selling his simple house. About his administration, he would say: “If a dog dies of thirst or hunger on the bank of the river, Farat, Umar will be taken to task by the Almighty.” Western historians have written: “If there were one more Umar, the world would have only one religion – Islam.” The biggest tribute comes from our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who said: “If there were to be another prophet after me, it would have been Umar (RA).”

Posted on Aug 29, 18 | 11:23 am