Sa’id ibn al ‘As
And the allegations against him
Sayyidina Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu is from the Banu Umayyah. He was instated as governor by Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu over Kufah after Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The critics raise the following objection against him:
فظهر منه ما أدى إلى أن أخرجه أهل الكوفة منها
Such offenses were committed by him which led the people of Kufah to dismiss him from there.
Let us present to the respected readers a brief biography of Sayyidina Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu in light of which his personality, conduct, behaviour, habits, and Islamic services may become manifest and may be weighed against the objections against him.
Name & Lineage and Being a Sahabi
The scholars have written that Sayyidina Sa’id ibn al ‘As ibn Umayyah al Qurashi al Umawi radiya Llahu ‘anhu had the great fortune of sitting in the blessed company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Some have stated that at the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sayyidina Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu was 9 years of age. (He is thus counted among the young Sahabah.)
قال ابن أبي حاتم عن أبيه له صحبة قلت كان لو يوم مات النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم تسع سنين
Ibn Abi Hatim reports from his father, “He has companionship.”
I say: He was nine years of age the day the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed on.
He was a very eloquent and articulate man of the Arabic language. His accent matched the accent of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
إن عربية القرآن أقيمت على لسان سعيد بن العاص لإنه كان أشبههم لهجة برسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم
The Arabic of the Qur’an flowed on the tongue of Sa’id ibn al ‘As since he was the closest of them in accent to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
The scholars record under the biography of Sayyidina Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
روي عن صالح بن كيسان قال كان سعيد بن العاص حليما وقورا
It is reported from Salih ibn Kaysan who says: Sa’id ibn al ‘As was a tolerant and dignified gentleman.
و كان من سادات المسلمين و الأجواد المشهورين و قد كان حسن السيرة جيد السريرة و كان كريما جوادا ممدوحا
He was from the elite Muslims and the famous magnanimous individuals. He had superb conduct and a magnificent heart. He was kind, generous, and praiseworthy.
Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:
و كان سعيد هذا من عمال عمر رضي الله عنه على السواد
This Sa’id was one of ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu governors over Iraq.
و ولى الكوفة و غنوا طبرستان و فتحها و غزا جرجان و كان في عسكره حذيفة و غيره من كبار الصحابة
He was appointed over Kufah (during the ‘Uthmani era). He obtained booty from and conquered Tabaristan and then Jurjan. In his army were Hudhayfah and other senior Sahabah.
و نقض العهد أهل آذربيجان فغزاهم ففتحها
The residents of Azerbaijan violated the covenant. So he fought them and conquered the city.
The Relationship between Sa’id and the Family of Abu Talib
It was mentioned previously that during the ‘Uthmani era, when Sayyidina Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu reached Madinah, he sent gifts and garments to the senior Muhajirin and Ansar. He also sent gifts to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu who accepted them.
و قدم سعيد بن العاص المدينة وافدا على عثمان فبعث إلى وجوه المهاجرين و الأنصار بصلات و كسى و بعث إلى علي ابن أبي طالب أيضا فقبل ما بعث إليه
Sa’id ibn al ‘As came to Madinah to meet ‘Uthman. He sent gifts and garments to the elite Muhajirin and Ansar. He also sent to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib who accepted the gifts sent to him.
Sayyidina Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu proposed for Umm Kulthum bint ‘Ali’s hand in marriage. The rest of the narration follows:
خطب سعيد بن العاص أم كلثوم بنت علي بعد عمر و بعث لها بمائة ألف فدخل عليها أخوها الحسين و قال لا تزوجيه فقال الحسن أنا أزوجه و اعتدوا لذلك فحضروا فقال سعيد و أين أبو عبد الله فقال الحسن سأكفيك قال فلعل أبا عبد الله كره هذا قال نعم قال لا أدخل في شيء يكرهه و رجع و لم يأخذ من المال شيئا
Sa’id ibn al ‘As proposed to Umm Kulthum bint ‘Ali after ‘Umar’s demise. He sent to her 100 000 dirhams. Her brother Hussain entered her presence and said, “Do not marry him.”
Hassan said, “I will marry her to him,” and they prepared for them. Both parties gathered. Sa’id asked in surprise, “Where is Abu ‘Abdullah (Hussain)?”
Hassan replied, “Do not worry, I will suffice for you.”
“It seems as if Abu ‘Abdullah dislikes this,” Sa’id suggested.
“Yes,” replied Hassan.
Upon this Sa’id said, “I will not enter into something he dislikes.” Consequently, he returned and did not take any of the wealth back.
أن سعيدا خطب أم كلثوم بنت علي من فاطمة التي كانت تحت عمر بن الخطاب فأجابت إلى ذلك إنما كره ذلك الحسين و أجاب الحسن
Sa’id proposed for Umm Kulthum bint ‘Ali, daughter of Fatimah, who was previously married to ‘Umar ibn al Khattab. She replied optimistically saying, “Only Hussain disapproves whereas Hassan approves.”
The following points are deduced from the above two texts:
- Although Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not approve of this marriage, Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidah Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were pleased with the proposal and prepared for marriage. However, the marriage could not be contracted due to the former’s disapproval.
- Sayyidina Sa’id ibn al ‘As’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu gift of 100 000 dirhams and not taking it back is a clear indication of his generosity and magnanimity.
- Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidah Umm Kulthum’s radiya Llahu ‘anhuma acceptance of Sayyidina Sa’id ibn al ‘As’s radiya Llahu ‘anhum 100 000 dirhams is a manifest evidence of their amiable relationship.
The above establishes that Sayyidina Sa’id ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu was very big-hearted, courageous, and a gentlemen with remarkable character. He has many achievements to his name in the field of Islamic conquests. Moreover, he had excellent relations with the Banu Hashim.
The accusations levelled by the opposition against a man with such outstanding qualities are totally baseless and useless. Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu dismissed him due to some temporary demands, the reasons behind this were something else. He only did this to terminate the propaganda of the evil Kufi conspirators.
 Minhaj al Karamah, pg. 66, ‘Uthmani criticisms, Lahore print, with Minhaj al Sunnah.
 Al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 45, biography of Sa’id ibn al ‘As; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 4 pg. 49, biography of Sa’id.
 Al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 45, biography of Sa’id ibn al ‘As; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 4 pg. 49, biography of Sa’id, al Isti’ab, vol. 2 pg. 9, biography of Sa’id ibn al ‘As.
 Al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 46, biography of Sa’id ibn al ‘As.
 Al Bidayah, vol. 8 pg. 87, biography of Sa’id; al Bidayah, vol. 8 pg. 84, the year 51 A.H., first edition.
 Al Bidayah, vol. 8 pg. 84, biography of Sa’id, year 58 A.H.
 Al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 45, biography of Sa’id.
 Al Bidayah, vol. 8 pg. 84, year 58 A.H.
 Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, vol. 5 pg. 21, biography of Sa’id ibn al ‘As, Leiden print.
 Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 3 pg. 295, biography of Sa’id.
 Al Bidayah, vol. 8 pg. 89, biography of Sa’id, the year 58 A.H.Back to top