RANDOM THOUGHTS - Golden Traditions - BY: Dr. A.Q. Khan

Golden Traditions
Dr. A.Q. Khan


Rather than dirty politics – foul language, accusations, the blame game, horse trading, etc. – here are some of the finer aspects of our religion and culture.

The story goes that once two young men entered the meeting place (majlis) of Hazrat Umar (RA), walked up to a man, pointed their fingers at him and said: “O amirul momineen, he is the man. He killed our father.” “What do you mean, he killed your father” asked Hazrat Umar (RA). He then asked the accused man if it was true that he had killed the young men’s father. “Yes, amirul momineen”, came the reply. “Their father was killed by me.” When asked what had happened, he answered: “O Umar (RA), their father rode into my field of crops on his camel. I asked him not to continue and to turn back, but he paid no attention to what I asked. I then threw a stone at him which, unfortunately, hit him on the head and he fell off his camel and died instantly.” Hazrat Umar (RA) said: “Then you will have to pay the penalty which is death – death for death.” The judgement was instant and clear; no need for further questioning or delay. (In Pakistan the rich and influential might easily get away by implicating someone innocent – no quick action like in the above case.) Hazrat Umar (RA) passed his judgement according to divine edicts. The judgement would have been the same had it been his own son. The accused then asked if he could go to the desert to inform his wife and children that he was to be executed for murder as there was nobody else to inform them or to look after them. “I will come back” he assured those present. Hazrat Umar (RA) then asked him if he could give a guarantor. There followed a dead silence as nobody knew the man or his family. There was nobody to intercede on his behalf. There was concern all round that the man would be executed and his family would starve to death. Hazrat Umar (RA) himself was sad and worried and requested the young men to pardon him, which they flatly refused to do. He then asked those present if there was anybody who could stand as guarantor for the accused. At this, Abu Zar Ghaffari (RA), a highly respected companion of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), rose and said that he would stand as guarantor. Hazrat Umar (RA) said: “Abu Zar (RA), he has killed a man. Do you know him?” “No, I don’t know him” came the reply. “Then how can you stand as guarantor”, he was asked. Abu Zar (RA) said: “I see him as a noble person, not a liar. I believe he will come back.” “You will be killed in his place if he does not return within 3 days” Hazrat Umar (RA) warned. “Allah is disposer of all” said Abu Zar (RA). With that the accused departed. Three days later there was a large gathering and Hazrat Umar (RA) was extremely worried. The two young men were still eager to get revenge for their father’s death. Just before maghrib prayers, the accused presented himself for the final act. Hazrat Umar (RA) loudly shouted “Allaho Akbar”, which is echoed by all present. He then told the accused that, had he not returned, there was nothing that could be done about it as nobody knew where to find him. The man said: “O amirul momineen, the matter was not between you and me, it was an undertaking with Allah as the witness, so here I am. I have left my family at the mercy of the Almighty. I could not break my pledge thus creating the impression that Muslims had lowered themselves to the point of breaking a pledge.” Hazrat Umar (RA) then turned to Hazrat Abu Zar (RA) and asked: “O Abu Zar (RA), what prompted you to stand as his guarantor?” He answered: “O Umar (RA), I was afraid that people would be inclined to believe that righteousness and nobility were no longer Muslim traits.” Hazrat Umar (RA) paused for a while and then asked the two young men what their final decision was. They started crying and said: “O amirul momineen! We pardon him because he was true and honest. We don’t want to give the impression that forgiveness is no longer a tradition in Islam.” Hazrat Umar (RA) started crying and said: “O young men! May the Almighty reward you for your noble deed. O Abu Zar (RA)! May the Almighty reward you too. O man! May the Almighty reward you for being honest and for keeping your promise.”

Some religious scholars have commented that all those virtues and values have, unfortunately, been buried with the death of Umar (RA).

May Allah Almighty reward the translator of this episode for passing it on to us – Ameen.

In connection with pledges made to Allah, in Vitr in Isha prayers we recite Surah-e-Qunut in the last rakat. From the translation below we can see that, by reciting this dua, we make a pledge with Allah every evening. Do we keep this pledge? Probably we will have forgotten it by morning! May Allah guide us to live our lives according to His Divine Edicts and Hadees-e-Nabi – Ameen.

“O Allah, we ask you for help and seek your forgiveness; we believe in you; we have trust in you; we praise you in the best way; we thank you and we are not ungrateful to you; we forsake and turn away from the one who disobeys you. O Allah, we worship only you; we pray to you; we prostrate ourselves before you; we run towards you and serve you; we hope to receive your mercy; we fear your punishment. Surely the disbelievers will receive your punishment.”

Of course this and other duas can be read at any other time too.

Posted on Mar 13, 18 | 9:28 am