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Servants of the Prophet

November 24, 2008

kr’s note: By request, the following is a story and its lessons that I had narrated at the recent Sacred Time Project conference.

It is mentioned in our traditions that the son of `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) and the sons of `Alī (may Allah be pleased with him) were friends ever since childhood. It so happened one day that `Abdullāh b. `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) got into an argument with Ḥasan and Ḥusayn (may Allah be pleased with them both) over some trivial matter, as young boys are wont to do. History does not record the exact reason or the cause for the argument, but only that Ḥasan and Ḥusayn, in a moment of childhood anger, said to `Abdullāh b. `Umar: “Your father is nothing more than a servant of our grandfather.”

Ibn `Umar came home crying and told his father what happened. Upon hearing this, `Umar immediately got up, took hold of his son, and set off with all haste towards the house of `Alī.

He knocked on the door, and when `Alī opened it, `Umar strode in after greeting him with discernible purpose. `Alī began to worry, for this was the same man that the Prophet (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam) had said that even Shayṭān feared him so much that he would take another path if `Umar took one path.

`Umar said to `Alī: “Bring your two sons here.”

`Alī called for his sons, and they entered trembling noticeably, fearful of what reprise might await them for insulting Ibn `Umar in such a manner.

`Umar asked the two young boys: “What did you say to my son?”

They told him what they had said earlier, and began to apologize for their comment said out of haste and anger.

`Umar did not hear them, and instead he asked that paper and pen be brought before the immediately. When it was brought, he instructed them to write what they had just said.

Still trembling, the two cubs of the Lion of God wrote: “Your father is nothing more than a servant of our grandfather.” Even the Lion himself was fearful of what would happen next.

When they had finished, `Umar took the paper, read it and clutched it to his breast. He handed it to `Alī and said to him:

When I die, please have this paper buried with me so that it may bear witness that I was a servant of their grandfather.”

The greatest possible title that any human being can achieve is to be a Slave of Allah. Perhaps just as fitting, or perhaps as a component of that Slavehood, is the necessity for us to understand, embrace, and actualize servanthood of the Prophet (salallhu `alayhi wa sallam). His Companions (may Allah be pleased with all of them) understood the power and the dignity of such a title, and strove to achieve in every aspect of their lives. While we were not blessed with physical companionship of the Prophet (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam), the opportunity to be servants of his legacy still exists. The role of the servant is to know what the master likes and dislikes, what pleases and displeases the master, and to work to ensure the master is pleased with the servant. The servant must first learn these specific wishes of the master and then must accordingly act upon that knowledge. The Companions understood this, and recognized their glory lay in being such a servant.

Alas, if only we could be true servants of their grandfather…


From → Islam

  1. sayeed shariff permalink

    where’d you find this da-eef story?!?!?!?!

    jk, good stuff

  2. kr156 permalink

    mawlana aziz =)

  3. why can’t i access the movie tasfir blog?

  4. asad123 permalink

    Talk about turning a negative into a positive.

  5. Sadiq permalink

    jazaks for sharing bruzza…that was beautiful subhanAllah!

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