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

Saeed Bin Aamir

Umar appointed Saeed bin Aamir as the Governor of Emessa in Syria. Saeed was highly advanced in piety and led a very austere life. Umar had a very high opinion about his integrity.

When Umar went to Syria, he asked the people of Emessa whether they had any complaint against their Governor. The people said that they had four complaints against the Governor.

Umar summoned Saeed bin Aamir, and then in his presence asked the complainants to state their complaints.

The first complaint was that he came out of his house very late in the morning. Umar put Saeed to explanation and he said, "We have no servant. I and my wife are alone. On rising up in the morning we offer our prayers, then read the Quran. Thereafter my wife cooks the meals and I help her. That takes time."

The second complaint was that at night he did not attend to any body. When asked to explain, Saeed said, "I have reserved the day for the people, and the night for God. As I attend God during the night I cannot attend to any person when I am attending God."

The third complaint was that once a month, he came out of his house very late in the afternoon. Saeed said, "I have only one change of clothes with me. I wash them once a month myself. Washing and drying the clothes takes time, and that is why once a month I am held up in my house till the afternoon."

The fourth complaint was that sometimes he fell into fits of unconsciousness. Saeed said that in Mecca he had witnessed how Khabib a convert to Islam was tortured to death by the Quraish of Mecca. The Quraish offered him safety and wealth if he disowned the Holy Prophet. He spurned their offer. He was asked whether he would not like Muhammad (peace be on him) to be tortured in his place. Khabib replied that he could not suffer even a thorn pricking the Holy Prophet. Thereupon the Quraish hung him dead downward along a date tree and did him to death. Saeed added, "At that time I was an infidel and did not do anything to come to the relief of Khabib. I recall how Khabib died calling 'Muhammad'. Now whenever I recall that tragic event, I am overwhelmed with remorse, and I swoon."

Umar dismissed the complaints. He said:

"Thank God, my opinion about Saeed has been confirmed by this trial. Verily he is a great Muslim, and those who complain against him their ignorauce owe him an apology."

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