Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sa'eed ibn Amir (r.a)

SA'EED IBN AMIR (r.a) - Companion of the Prophet (pbuh)
He left Makkah for Madinah to join the faith and to be one of its sincere and staunch followers. He was a staunch supporter of the 2 successors, Abu Bakr (r.a) and Umar (r.a) after the death of the Prophet (pbuh) and would provide counsel and moral support to them. Umar (r.a) appointed him as governor of Homs in Syria. In the beginning Saeed (r.a) tried to decline the governorship but he had to accept when the Caliph reminded him that as a responsible citizen he had to share the burden placed upon the shoulders of the Caliph.

When some trustworthy people came from Homs in Syria sometime later, Umar (r.a) asked them to list the name of the poor in Homs. Amongst the first listed was the name of Saeed (r.a). When Umar (r.a) asked the people of this they said, 'By Allah! Days pass without fire being lit in his house (out of poverty).' Umar (r.a) wept out of pity for Saeed (r.a) and sent him 1000 dinars. Both Saeed (r.a) and his wife put the money in small pouches and distributed it to the poor, instead of keeping it for themselves.

On one of the inspection tours of the State, Umar (r.a) visited Homs in Syria and inquired about the governor Sa'eed ibn Amir (r.a). They complained of 4 bad things about him:

  1. he does not appear until late morning
  2. he does not answer us during the night
  3. once in a month he would stay at home a full day
  4. he sometimes faints

Umar (r.a) was shocked to hear this, but felt there must be some misunderstanding of the matter as he knew Sa'eed (r.a) too well to doubt his conduct. The next day Umar (r.a) brought Sa'eed (r.a) and the citizens together and publicly asked about these complaints.

Sa'eed (r.a) said with regards to the first complaint, 'I hate to mention this, but I have no servant. So I get up in the morning, prepare the dough for my family, wait until it is ready and then bake the bread for them. Only then do I perform Wudu and go out to meet the public.'

Concerning the second complaint he said, 'I hate to publicise this, but I have allocated the day time for people and the night time for worship of Allah.'

In response to the third complaint agaist him, 'I have no servant, and no clothing except the one I am wearing. Therefore, when I wash it I have to stay at home until it dries, then I wear it and get out to meet the people.'

Answering to the fourth complaint, 'Before my conversion to Islam, I witnessed the murder of Khubaib (r.a) and witnessed and heard his response. Now when I recall the incident, how it happened and that I did not offer a helping hand, I fear that Allah may punish me and so I faint.'

At this Umar (r.a) sighed, saying, 'Thanks be to Allah who had guided me to choose the right governor.' Sa'eed was a model of a true and responsible governor to whom leadership was a responsibility rather than an honour.


Subhanallah, so many lessons to be learnt from this God fearing companion. We should compare how we hoard wealth, continously expand our wardrobes to keep with fashions, become engaged with responsibilty and forget Allah and dont reflect on our past actions let alone seek forgiveness for them.

May Allah give me and you the ability to act on the above. Ameen. Please take a look at Breathe Islam blog and inform others also, Jazakallah.

in need of your duas
Wasalam