Sa’id Ibn Amr Al Jumahi RA – The Poor Governor
Every one claims to have some love
For the Prophet of mercy Al Mustafa
But tested with Dunya and its gold’s
Pretenders and lovers become distinct
May our Allah Karim be pleased with Sa’id
The heir to the throne of ‘poverty is my pride’
The great sage and one of the most sincere heir to Allah’s Rasul – Muhammad Mustafa, Sa’id al-Jumahi RA was one of the vibrant and energetic youths of Makkah thrown into a confusion as to what choice to make between the state of kufr and Jahiliyyah they were born to know and live with, and the emerging strange but enlightening religion of Islam. Islam was appealing and its teachings humane yet breaking away from an established tradition is everything but easy, especially when such venture would provoke the wrath of the most powerful and most influential men around and might lead to a total break away from the closest relatives, even fathers and mothers.
The attraction of Islam and the purity of its teachings appeared irresistible. Its call to Allah SWT the Creator, who is the Absolute Owner of everything and the condemnation of the propitiation of idols; its bold attempt to rescue women and young girls from slavery and death, the simplicity of its worship and its deep sense of brotherhood of humanity are certainly more than enough proofs of its Divine origin. Yet many had to linger for long before taking the final leap out of kufr despite the terrible consequences. To many men of conviction a push may not be enough to abandon kufr, there is the need for such a pull that makes a further delay impossible.
For Sa’id al-Jumah RA it the final pull into the reality of Islam came unexpected. An earlier entrant to Islam, the great Sahabi, and Khubaib ibn Adiy RA was captured by the Quraish. The leaders of Quraish decided to take the life of this noble personality in the presence of all the Makkan as a way of showing their total hatred for Islam and the Muslims and as a warning to the convinced minds among the Makkan. They were called to witness the type of torture and painful death that would be their lots if they abandon the religion of their ancestors.
Sa’id al-Jumah RA it left his home in the region of Tarim on the outskirts of Makkah along with hundreds of others to witness the end of the noble Khubaib ibn Adiy. With time men from other regions came together forming a huge crowd all walking behind Quraish leaders Abu Sufyan and Safwan ibn Umayyah to the execution spot. The expectation was high and the lust for blood known with the Quraish mushrikun was fully reactivated. Sa’id al-Jumahi RA who had pushed into the crowd with a youthful vigor found a vantage position in a place directly facing Khubaib RA who was already at the execution point.
Khubaib bin Adiy RA stood like a rock, calm, collected and without the least sign of fear and anxieties as women raised their curses and children their insults. As the clamor subsided the firm but quiet voice of ibn Khubaib RA broke the silence. He was making a final request to the Quraish leaders.
‘If you would permit me, I will love to have a two Rakaats Salat before my death.’
The Quraish leaders took this to be a nice interlude to their blissful ecstatic moments so they allowed him his request. The whole atmosphere went solemn and spiritual as Khubaib RA calmly turned towards the direction of Kaabah Sharif, and how lovely, how composed and how perfectly measured are those invaluable two Rakaats of ibn Khubaib RA in the midst of thousands of Kuffar, Subhanallah!!
How beautiful indeed are these roses
Who raised their flowers in the midst of thorns?
When Khubaib RA completed his two Rakaats he turned to face the Quraish leaders saying:
By Allah, if you people think that my asking for the opportunity of two Rakaats is out of fear of death then I would think that such prayer is a worthless effort. (Rather my Salat is to send one last thing ahead to my Owner and Creator, to seek His forgiveness and His pleasure and to leave this world in the state of absolute servitude to Him).
O my Darling accept with all pleasure
These two roses picked for your sake
At this moment people descended on Khubaib RA cutting him to pieces alive amidst taunting, joking and laughter. This is a moment of great grief to Sa’id al-Jumahi RA. It is an unbelievable spectacle that men can be so heartless to descend on another man, every one trying to outdo the other with the least sense of human feeling.
Then, there was a moment ‘cease-fire’, Khubaib RA was wounded all over, blood was flowing, his life was ebbing away with every drop of blood. Then a Quraish leader threw a question to their bloodied victim:
‘Will you like your leader Muhammad to be in your place while you are left free?
With the last strength in him Khubaib RA replied:
‘By Allah! I will not desire safety and security among my family with a single thorn hurting Muhammad – May I sacrifice everything to prevent even a thorn from hurting his noble foot, that is.
If i have a thousand life
It is little a gift for you
May I and my parents be sacrificed for you
The master of Prophet Mustapha
This bold reply from Khubaib RA enraged the Makkan crowd the more. People shouted in unison raising their fists in the air; kill him! Kill him! Swords descended from all direction cutting into the flesh of Khubaib RA. Sa’id al-Jumahi RA watched all these horrible happenings with grief. As Khubaib RA arrived the last moment he lifted his noble heads above the wooden cross saying:
Count them all, Ya ilahi! Destroy them and do not spare a single one of them.
The angry swords of the Makkan went more vicious until mincemeat was made of the blessed body of Khubaib RA.
It will bring ascent
Do not grieve that you have fallen
A building is not restored
Until it is first brought to a ruin
The merciless murder of Khubaib RA passed by among the Makkan like a no event. But it was in reality a pebble thrown into a pool of water. The thrower drops and forgets but the ripples kept expanding in acknowledgement of such a simple but very wonderful action.
May their tears be turned to pearls
And from each drop of blood a Paradise’ rose
May their legacy remain preserved
May they be brought closest to Rasulullah
Ya Karim reward as meet your greatness
Those who suffered that Islam may live.
The vibrant, youthful and intelligent Sa’id al-Jumahi t was caught in the ripples of that great event. In the killing of Khubaib RA and his heroic response in defense of the cause he believed Sa’id al-Jumahi RA discovered some salient points to reflect upon in a very deep way.
Sa’id al-Jumahi RA was soon to realize now that real life is faith and conviction and struggle in the path of Allah SWT, even until death; he now found out that faith which is deeply ingrained in a person works wonders and performs great miracles; and that a man loves so much by his companions that they are ready to sacrifice their life to protect his foot from a thorn prick must certainly be a Rasul of Allah. This is the final pull needed by Sa’id al-Jumahi RA. This is a pull too forceful to be resisted, a reality too glaring to be contested. Here is the truth before him in the purest and unadulterated form. Damning all consequences he denounces the idols and superstitious of the Quraish, declared his Iman in one and only Lord, eternal in the past without beginning and in the future without an end. The Absolute Lord beyond how, when and where. He then set out for Medina Munawwar.
The stories of lovers remain the same
The heart is restless until it meets the beloved.
The amazing episode of a faithful that exhibited the most extreme love for his master and Rasul in the midst of the worst torture and violence led Sa’id al-Jumahi RA to Islam. A Prophet shown so much love and loyalty can never be a liar. His mission must be truly divine and worthy embracing and dying for and his person is certainly worthy of emulation, a moment of service in the presence of such a sage is worth a life time.
Sa’id al-Jumahi RA arrived in Medina Munawwar determined to bring himself to a very strong attachment to the Rasul of Islam serving him and always at the ready to serve the religion he brought. History recorded him as a prominent figure in the battle of Khaibar and subsequent engagements. The passing away of the exalted Rasulullah SAW was not an event to dampen the zeal of this great hero of Islam. Indeed, he became more active in the service of the two earliest successors determining to meet his beloved master and Rasul in the state of extreme love and most sincere service to Islam.
The piety, honesty and dedication of Sa’id al-Jumahi RA earned him the love and respect of both Saidina Abu Bakr Siddiq RA and Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA. He became a sage known for sure to have purchased his akhirah by giving up the deceptive of the worldly life. Wisdom flow from his noble tongue like over pouring water. He won the respect of all and Saidina Abu Bakr RA and Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA would consult him and take to his advice and his guidance. One of the great events recorded for posterity was his discussion with Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA at the beginning of Saidina Umar’s the caliphate.
I advise you to fear Allah SWT in dealing with people and do not fear people in your relationship with Allah SWT. Let not your action deviate from your words for the best of speech is that which is confirmed by action. Give special consideration to those who have been appointed over the affairs of the Muslims, far and near. Like for them what you like for yourself and your family and detest for them whatever you detest for yourself and your family. Be steadfast against any obstacle on the path of Truth and do not fear the castigation and insults of your enemies in any matter ordained by Allah SWT.
‘Who can fulfill these conditions, Sa’id? Asked Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA.
‘A man like yourself from among those selected by Allah SWT over the affairs of the Ummah of Rasulullah SAW and who is convinced that obedience servitude and responsibility is to Allah SWT alone? Replied Sa’id RA.
Meaning again, Sa’id ibn Amr Al Jumahi RA was one of the outstanding Companions of Rasulullah SAW, notwithstanding the fact that his name was seldom, if ever, mentioned. Sa’id ibn Amr Al Jumahi RA was one of the most distinguished unknown pious Companions. It was natural that he, like all Muslims, would accompany Rasulullah SAW in all his expeditions and battles, for as a believer, he could not lag or turn his back on Allah’s Rasul in peace or war time. Shortly before the Conquest of Khaibar, Sa’id ibn Amr Al Jumahi RA submitted himself to Islam. Ever since he embraced Islam and gave his allegiance to Rasulullah SAW. Sa’id ibn Amr Al Jumahi RA consecrated his life, existence, and destiny to the service of Islam. All the great virtues of obedience, asceticism, dignity, humbleness, piety, and pride thrived harmoniously inside this pure and kind man.
In our attempt to unveil his greatness, we must bear in mind that, in most cases, appearance contrasts with reality. If we are to judge him by his outer looks, we will not do him justice, for he was definitely ill-favored as regards his appearance. He had dusty uncombed hair. Nothing in his looks or appearance distinguished him from poor Muslims. If we are to judge his reality by his appearance, we will see nothing impressive or breath-taking. But if we dive deep into his inner self beyond his outer appearance, we will see greatness in the full meaning of the word. His greatness stood aloof from the splendor and ornament of life. Yet, it lurked there beyond his modest appearance and worn-out garments. Have you ever seen a pearl hidden inside its shell? Well, he was much like this hidden pearl.
When the Commander of the Faithful Umar Al-Khattab dismissed Muawiyah from his position as governor of Homs in Syria, he exerted himself in searching for someone who was qualified to take over his position.
Undoubtedly, Umar’s standards of choice of governors and assistants were highly cautious, meticulous, and scrutinizing. He believed that if a governor committed a sin, error, or violation, two people would be asked to account for it before Allah: Umar and the governor, even if this governor were in the farthest corner of the earth. His standards of estimation and evaluation of governors were highly subtle, alert, and perceiving. Centuries before the advent of Islam, Homs was a big city that witnessed one after the other, the dawn and eclipse of many civilizations. Besides, it was a vital trade centre. The attractions of the vast city turned it into a place of seduction and temptation. In Umar’s opinion only an ascetic, devout, and repentant worshiper would be able to resist and renounce its attractions.
‘Sa’id’, Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA called, ‘I appoint you as the governor of Homs (in Syria).
‘Umar!’ Sa’id bin Amir Al Jumahi RA pleaded; ‘I beg you in the name of Allah SWT do not cause me to go astray by involving me in worldly affairs’.
Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA became somewhat angry saying: ‘You (people) placed the responsibility of caliphate on me and now you are leaving me alone in this great matter.’
‘By Allah! I will never forsake you’ Sa’id bin Amir Al Jumahi RA quickly responded.
Thus, Sa’id bin Amir Al Jumahi RA became the governor of Homs. As Sa’id bin Amir Al Jumahi RA set out for Homs Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA offered him money for his journey and his immediate needs. This, he turned down with the polite excuse that the money in the Baitul Mal (the public treasury) would be enough for his needs.
After a long time, a delegation visited Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA from Homs. These are people of integrity who had earned the confidence of the Amir of the Muslims. The Amir, Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA requested that they write out the names of the poor ones in their province so that some money and material could be sent for their relief. When the list was brought the name of the governor, Sa’id al-Jumahi RA surprisingly appeared.
‘Who is this Sa’id ibn Amir Al Jumahi RA? Asked Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA.
‘Our Amir!’ They replied.
‘Your Amir (governor) is poor? Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA asked with great surprise.
‘Yes,’ they affirmed ‘By Allah, several days passed without a fire being lit in his house’.
Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA was greatly moved. He wept. He then prepared a thousand dinars; put it in a purse saying:
‘Convey my Salam to Sa’id al-Jumahi RA and tell him that Amir of the Muslims sent him this money to relieve his needs’.
When the delegation presented the purse to Sa’id al-Jumahi RA only to discover that it was filled with money. He continuously pushed it away saying:
‘Innalillahi wa inna ilahi rajiun’ [We are from Allah and to Him are our return].
He said it with such fear and scream that those within ear-short would think that a misfortune has suddenly descended.
His wife ran in fear asking, ‘What is the matter has the Khalifah died?
‘Something more calamitous than that’, Sa’id bin Amir Al Jumahi RA replied.
‘Have the Muslims been overcome in a battle?’
‘Something more terrible than that’.
‘The material attraction of this world (Dunya) has come to corrupt my Akhirah (Hereafter) and cause disorder in my home’.
‘Then get rid of it’, said the wife not knowing that her husband was referring to some money just delivered.
‘Will you help in this?’ Sa’id bin Amir Al Jumahi RA asked. The blessed wife agreed and the money was distributed to many of the needy ones around.
Sometimes later, Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA visited Syria to see to the progress and safety of its people. When he arrived Homs he asked the people what their opinion of their Amir, Sa’id al-Jumahi was. They indicated their intention to mention four basic weaknesses of the Amir that would require urgent attention. Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA said: ‘I shall bring you and him together so that you can freely lay your allegations and he would be free to bring his defense – I used to have great confidence about him and I pray to SWT that my opinion of him will not be damaged and my confidence misplaced.’
A meeting was convened in the morning with Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA, the Amir-ul Muminin and Sa’id al-Jumahi RA in attendance. Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA called on the representatives of the people to bring forward their complaints one after the other while Sa’id al-Jumahi RA put up his defense.
The first complaint against the governor, Sa’id al-Jumahi RA are:
He only comes out to attend to people when the sun was already high.
‘What will you have to say to this?’ Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA said looking towards Sa’id al-Jumahi RA.
Sa’id al-Jumahi RA was silent for some moment and then responded:
‘By Allah! I am not inclining towards saying this but it seems it must be said. My family does not have a house help so I get up every morning to mix the flower for our breakfast. I wait a little until the flour rises and then bake bread for the family. It is only after this that I make wudu and then move out to attend to the people.
‘What is your second complaint?’ Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA asked.
‘He does not answer any night call. He leaves all affairs till next morning.’ They said.
To this allegation, Sa’id al-Jumahi RA reluctantly said:
‘By Allah I really would not like to disclose this. The truth is that I have left the day for them and the night for our Majestic and Sublime Lord and Creator, Allah SWT.
Then came the third ‘misdeed’ of the exalted Sa’id bin Amir Al Jumahi RA.
‘For one whole day every month he would not come out at all to meet the people.’ They said.
To this, the governor, Sa’id al-Jumahi RA responded saying:
‘I do not have a house-help (a servant) O Amir-ul Muminin nor do I have any other clothes except what I am putting on right now. This only clothe of mine I wash every month, staying for it to dry and then I go out at the later part of the day.
‘Any other complaint about him?’ Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA asked.
‘Yes, he faints and loses consciousness at the state meetings.’ They said.
In response Sa’id bin Amir Al Jumahi RA said:
‘I was a witness to the gruesome and extremely merciless killing of Khubaib bin Adiy RA before I embraced Islam. I saw the Quraish cutting him into pieces alive and asking him in the process; ‘Would you like Muhammad to be in your place?’ to which Khubaib RA replied, ‘I would not wish to be saved and secure among my family while a thorn hurts Muhammad SAW’. By Allah! Any time I remember that day and my failure to come to his rescue, I would be gripped with the fear of Allah’s punishment for this negligence of mine and then lose consciousness.’
The Amir-ul Muminin t conclusively said: Praise be to Allah SWT my pure opinion of him remain preserved.’ He then offered Sa’id bin Amir Al Jumahi RA a thousand Dinars to relieve his acute poverty. When the money was received Said’s wife was very pleased. She immediately advised the husband saying: ‘Praise be to Allah SWT who has enriched us out of your service. Buy some provision for the home and also get us a home help.’ To this Sa’id bin Amir Al Jumahi RA replied: ‘Is there not a better way to spend this? Let us spend it on whoever comes to us in need and we will get something better for it by investing it this way.’
Said’s wife immediately gave her approval. The noble Sa’id al-Jumahi RA then shared out the money into small bags instructing his children and other members of the family to give them out to the widows, orphans and other needy ones until every dinar was invested towards the lasting and auspicious life in the Hereafter. Here is generosity in flesh and blood, here ends the great and exemplary biography of one of the rare gems who deny themselves in other to make others comfortable and happy even in the face of the worst affliction and the most severe poverty.
Those who suffered that others may live
Are the crowns of the Sunnah of Mustafa
They lowered their sprouts to fill others’ cups
Just like the noblest Habibullah
This humility will bring great ascent
To the highest regions of Jannatu Firdaus
May his soul remain perpetually in Nur
Sa’id al-Jumahi the heir of Rasul
Another version about Sa’id ibn Amir Al Jumahi RA
Said ibn Amir al-Jumahi (Arabic: سعيد بن عامر الجمحي) was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad SAW and Governor of Homs in Syria during the caliphate of Umar.
As a youth, he was among the thousands who left for Tanaim on the outskirts of Makkah at the invitation of the Quraish to witness the killing of Khubaib ibn Adiy RA, a companion of Rasulullah SAW whom they had captured and whose death was to be in revenge for Quraish losses in the battle of Badr. After accepting Islam shortly following Khubaib death Said ibn Amir Al Jumahi RA migrated to Madinah and attached himself to Rasulullah SAW, participating in the battle of Khaibar and other engagements thereafter. After the demised of Rasulullah SAW in 632 he continued active service under his two successors, Saidina Abu Bakr RA and Saidina Umar RA, who both knew Said for his honesty and piety and listened to his advice.
Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA appointed him as governor of Homs (Emessa) in Syria, which was then called little Kufah because, like Kufah, its inhabitants complained a lot about their leaders. During a visit to Syria, Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA asked the people of Homs if they had any complaints against their governor, to which they mentioned four. Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA summoned Said ibn Amir Al Jumahi RA, and in his presence asked the representatives of Homs to state their complaints.
The first complaint was that he left his home late every morning, to which Said bin Amir Al Jumahi RA replied that he had no servants, and that following prayers, read the Quran and assisted his wife in preparing meals, which took some time. The second complaint was that he did not attend to anyone at night, which he explained was due to his practice of reserving the night for prayer. The third complaint was that once a month he left his house late in the afternoon, which he explained was a result of washing and drying his one change of clothes. The fourth complaint was that he occasionally fell into fits of unconsciousness. Said said that in Makkah he had witnessed Khubaib ibn Adiy’s RA torture and death by the Quraish. The Quraish offered him safety and protection for his wealth if he disowned Muhammad SAW, but he spurned the offer. Said added, that being a polytheist at the time he did nothing to aid Khubaib bin Adiy RA and whenever he recalls the event he becomes overwhelmed with remorse and passes out. Saidina Umar Al Khattab RA dismissed the complaints and said:
“ Thank Allah, my opinion about Said has been confirmed by this trial. Verily he is a great Muslim and those who complain against him in their ignorance own him an apology. ”
It is said that during his tenure as governor of Homs he choose to live in poverty and humbleness despite his high rank.
HADITHS NARRATED BY SA’ID BIN AMIR AL JUMAHI RA
Hadis Qudsi: 1118
Said ibn Amr Al-Jumahi RA that he heard Rasulullah SAW said: “On the day of resurrection poor Muslim will come fluttering likes the doves. They are told by the angel: “Stand for Judgment” They Reply: “We have nothing and no wealth to be judge on”.
Allah SWT says to the Angels: “My servant s is telling the truth. Let them enter Paradise without judgment”