Categories
Islam

Umar and the man who insulted him

A man by the name of Uyaynah came to Madinah during the caliphate of Umar. This man was the uncle of Hurr b Qais, a scholar of Qur’an and one of Umar’s advisers.

Seeing that his nephew was close to the caliph, Uyaynah requested that he introduce him to Umar and arrange a meeting for him.

When Uyaynah enters to meet the caliph Umar – the 2nd greatest companion of the Prophet, the man with an endless list of virtues – he says, “Hey son of Khattab! You don’t give us our right and don’t rule over us with justice!”

Umar got upset and was about to give it to him when Hurr said, “O leader of the believers, Allah told his Prophet (S) in the Qur’an to:

‘خذ العفو وأمر باعرف وأعرض عن الجاهلين – Be tolerant and command what is right: pay no attention to foolish people.’ (7:199)

This man is definitely foolish!”

Umar completely stopped in his tracks after hearing the reminder from the ayah as he always to take the Qur’an’s reminders extremely seriously.

This incident is narrated by Imam Bukhari.

Our connection to the Qur’an has to be a connection that changes our behaviour, even when we’re angry or gripped by emotions. That’s the way of Umar and the sahaba.

Categories
Islam Quran Tazkiyyah

Fitna – What Does it Mean?

The Arabic word for trial/test often used in the Qur’an is fitna. What does it mean?

Fitna means to burn something, e.g. in Surah 85:10, “Those who burned the believing men and believing women…”

Fitna also means to put precious metals into the fire to separate the bad from the good, according to the great linguist Raghib Al-Asfahani.

Allah describes the difficulties in life as a fitna because they burn away our sins, just like the fire burns objects. But more importantly, the tests of life are not a mere punishment – though for some it could feel that way.

We are like gold: precious and valuable. But impurities hold us back from our true potential. Tests are a way to bring out the best in us, just like the fire purifies gold.

When a test comes in life, that is an opportunity to return back to Allah. He’s not punishing, He’s treating you like gold.