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The Twenty Second Narration


Zaid ibn Aslam reports from his father, who said:


خرجت مع عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه إلى السوق فلحقت عمر امرأة شابة فقالت يا أمير المؤمنين هلك زوجي وترك صبية صغارا والله ما ينضجون كراعا ولا لهم زرع ولا ضرع وخشيت أن تأكلهم الضبع وأنا بنت خفاف بن إيماء الغفاري وقد شهد أبي الحديبية مع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فوقف معها عمر ولم يمض ثم قال مرحبا بنسب قريب ثم انصرف إلى بعير ظهير كان مربوطا في الدار فحمل عليه غرارتين ملأهما طعاما وحمل بينهما نفقة وثيابا ثم ناولها بخطامه ثم قال اقتاديه فلن يفنى حتى يأتيكم الله بخير فقال رجل يا أمير المؤمنين أكثرت لها قال عمر ثكلتك أمك والله إني لأرى أبا هذه وأخاها قد حاصرا حصنا زمانا فافتتحاه ثم أصبحنا نستفيء سهمانهما فيه

Once I went with ‘Umar ibn al Khattab to the market. A young woman followed ‘Umar and said, “O leader of the believers! My husband has died, leaving little children. By Allah, they have not even a sheep’s trotter to cook; they have no farms or animals. I am afraid that they may die because of hunger, and I am the daughter of Khufaf ibn Ima’ al Ghifari, my father witnessed the Pledge of allegiance of al Hudaybiya with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

‘Umar stopped and said, “Welcome O near relative.”

Then he went towards a strong camel which was tied in the house, and carried onto it, two sacks he had loaded with food grains and put between them money and clothes and gave her its rope to hold and said, “Lead it, and this provision will not finish till Allah gives you a good supply.”

A man said, “O chief of the believers! You have given her too much.”

‘Umar said disapprovingly, “May your mother be bereaved of you! By Allah, I have seen her father and brother besieging a fort for a long time and conquering it, and then we were discussing their shares from the war booty.”[1]


Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:

1. There is great virtue and honour in favour of Khufaf ibn Ima’ al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this narration. Hereunder are some reasons why:


a. He is amongst the best that walked on this earth and has received glad tidings of paradise from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as will be seen from the Twenty Fifth Narration.

b. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu attesting to his virtue and defending his honour after his passing.

c. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala afforded protection to his family after his death.


2. The intense desire to fight in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala had permeated into the hearts of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Similarly, their patience and reliance on Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala was second to none. Khufaf ibn Ima’ al Ghifari radiya Llahu ‘anhu was relatively unknown amongst the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum and those after them, though he had participated in great expeditions. This was a testament to his sincerity. He did not, as one would do, publicise his virtue to all and sundry for fame or recognition.


3. The honour ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu displayed to the children of the Mujahidin who defended Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and stood firm for the faith. Many such incidents have been recorded of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Imams Ahmed and al Zanjani have recorded the following in Fada’il al Sahabah and al Amwal respectively, on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ubaid ibn ‘Umair:


كان بين يديه مال يقسمه، فرأى رجلاً في وجهه ضربة، فقال: ما هذه الضربة؟ قال: ضربتها في غزاة كذا وكذا، فقال عمر: عدوا له ألفاً، ثم حرك المال،ثم قال: عدوا له ألفاً، حتى عدوا أربعة آلاف، فاستحيا الرجل مما يعطيه، فذهب فحرك المال، فقال: أين الرجل؟ فقالوا: يا أمير المؤمنين، استحيى مما تعطيه، فذهب، فقال: لو مكث لأعطيته ما بقي بين يدي درهم، رجل ضرب في سبيل الله ضربة حفرت وجهه

On one occasion when ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was distributing some wealth, he saw a man with a scar running along his face. He asked him regarding it to which the man replied, “I was wounded in such and such battle.”

‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu ordered a thousand for him repeatedly till he had given him four thousand. The man felt shy and left.

‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked, “Where is the man?”

The people said, “O Amir al Mu’minin, he felt shy and left.”

‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu then commented, “If he had stayed I would have given him whatever remained. A man whose face was scarred and wounded in the path of Allah.”[2]


4. It is to the benefit of the Islamic State to see to the needs of the families of those that have been martyred defending the faith. The Imam, through this, creates an atmosphere of faithful co-dependence. The soldiers in the armies will be at ease with regards to their families if they happen to lose their lives.


5. The following statement of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu could either be literal or figurative, “Welcome O near relative.” The former due to the Ghifar and Quraysh having Kinanah as a common ancestor, or the latter as a tribute to a brother in arms.


6. “May your mother be bereaved of you!” is a way of showing disapproval amongst the Arabs. It is not meant as a supplication in the literal sense. This and other such idiosyncrasies are found to this day amongst them.


7. This narration is a reflection of the verse:


مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِيْنَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَىْ الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves[3]


8. We learn the importance of defending the honour of those that fight in, and call to, the cause of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.


9. A Muslim may ask the Imam his worldly needs. This won’t be considered as prohibited begging.


10. The desirability of expounding the virtues of those who accepted the call to Islam in its initial stages.


11. Amongst the duties of the Imam is seeing to the social and financial needs of his constituents.


12. Complaining to the Imam when in difficulty is permissible. This will not be fall under prohibited complaining and ingratitude.


NEXT⇒ The Twenty Third Narration

[1] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3928.

[2] Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 266; Al Amwal, pg. 54.

[3] Surah al Fath: 29.

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