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Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - Inter-Personal Relations and Interactions

Harat Umar And Nasr B. Hajjaj Alsalmi

It is related that when one night, Umar was on his usual round in the streets of Madina, he heard a girl in a house singing:

"Can I get some wine to drink;

Can I ever find access to Nasr bin Hajjaj

A young man known for his beauty, youth and manners,

He who is of noble birth,

He whose company was a matter of joy".

Another girl friend sitting by her enquired who was Nasr

The girl said, "Nasr is the most beautiful young man in Madina. I long that he should spend a night with me, when he and I should be alone."

The following day, Umar summoned Nasr. When he saw him he wondered at his beauty. Undoubtedly he was the most beautiful young man in Madina. He had beautiful curly hair. Umar called a barber and had the hair of Nasr cut.

Thereupon Nasr composed the following verses:

"Umar could not see my curls,

My hair which when combed waved like a chain;

He made that head bald where once there were profuse hair;

He who was bald headed felt jealous of him who had hair,

As he could not be proud of his hair, he deprived me of his hair."

Umar called Nasr again. Even though deprived of his hair he looked still more attractive. Umar ordered that he should wear a turban.

Umar called him again, and with turban he looked more manly and attractive. Thereupon Umar said:

"You cannot live with me in this city where women long for you."

He ordered that Nasr should go to Basra.

When Nasr went away to Basra the girl Zulfa who had sung about him felt worried about her fate. She wrote verses to the effect that she had sung of wine and Nasr only in an imaginary mood; otherwise she was a girl of excellent character, and did not actually crave for wine or Nasr.

Umar made enquiry about the girl, and it transpired that she commanded good character. Umar assured her that he proposed no action against her, but warned her that as a good girl she should not think of things forbidden by law."

At Basra, Nasr became the guest of Mujasha bin Masud. When Mujasha's wife Shameela saw Nasr she felt attracted. Nasr reciprocated her love. When Mujasha came to know of this clandestine love affair he turned out Nasr from his house and divorced his wife.

From Basra, Nasr wrote a letter to Umar supplicating that the orders of his exile should be rescinded, and he should be allowed to come to Madina. Nasr's mother waited on Umar and said, "Your sons are with you, but you have exiled my son. That is not fair." Umar said, "Your son is a source of danger to the morals of the maidens of Madina. As long as I live, I would not allow him to come, and tempt innocent maidens with his looks."

When Umar died, Nasr returned to Madina.

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