So there’s this stuffed donkey in a room that I entered. It was funny because that wasn’t something I was expecting, but then again it was to me a reminder about how we should be with people who are less fortunate in ways that we are fortunate with.

Yes, I know, I have this tendency of seeing things beyond what they actually mean, I don’t know if it’s weird or anything but to me I see it as a beautiful blessing. Alhamdulillah. 

So what was the reminder? It was the story of ‘Umar Radiyallahu Anhu and this little boy who had a donkey in place near Madinah.

It was narrated by Al Hassan Al Basri Rahimahullah that one day, on a hot and scorching day, 'Umar went out with his robe palced over his head, then he passed by a young boy who was riding a donkey, and said to the boy, “O young boy, carry me with you.”

The boy jumped off the donkey and said, “Ride, O Leader of the Believers.”

The boy said this, insisting that 'Umar ride in front on the saddle, and that he ride behind him.

However, 'Umar rejected the boy’s offer, saying, “No! Instead you ride, and I will sit behind you. You want me to sit on a smooth surface (on the saddle), while you sit on a rough surface.”

'Umar climbed the donkey and sat behind the boy, and when they entered Madinah, the people stared at them, amazed that their leader was commuting in such an uncomfortable manner while an ordinary boy was seated comfortably on a saddle.“

Allahu'akbar, look at the humility of 'Umar and his sense of equality and kindness. Indeed, sometimes, that’s one of the best things we could give to other people who work so hard to earn a halal living, to serve them or make them taste the service they give to us.

The smile, joy and happiness that we give to these people cannot be matched by what we could give them by paying for their services, this is a blissful joy that people actually care about them, that their services are actually seen and appreciated. 

Wallah, if we all were like of 'Umar, without carrying our own chairs, we would be more sensitive with our actions and the way we deal with other people who serve us with the best they could. 

And we pray that this short story reminded you of something we could work on ourselves in the future. Amin.


Story was taken from

• Ashaab Ar Rasul, Mahmood Al Misri 1/157

"Stand with me a while so that we may Renew Our Imaan"

Abu Darda (radiAllaahu anhu) reported that Umar ibn Al Khattab (radiAllaahu anhu) would grab hold of the hands of one or two Sahabah and say, “stand a while with me so that we may renew our Imaan.” They would then talk about Allaah (Azza Wa Jal).

[Abu Nu'aym In his Hilyatu Al Awliyah, Volume 1 pg. 235].

Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiAllaahu anhu) was once asked a question, he replied by saying, “I have no knowledge on the subject.” He then said, “what a great source of comfort! I was questioned about something I did not know and I acknowledged that I did not know.”
—  [kanzul ummaal (vol.5 pg241)]

When Palestine was conquered, a priest said to Umar, “you are the leader of the Muslims, it is not befitting that you ride a camel in here. If you ride a Turkish horse and wear some other clothing, it would command more respect in the eyes of the Romans.

Umar said, “we are people who have been given respect because of Islaam and therefore do not wish any substitute.”

[Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah]

Will you ever leave the door or even the gate at your house open?

Not in a million years, right?

Reasons for family safety and because there had been so many crime cases within the neighbourhood, and that is totally fine, we do understand such situations like that.

That is why this story I am sharing is quite amazing to the fact that there was no harm that came in his house even though it was left open for years.

His name may not sound familiar as other prominent sahabah, but his character will stand out just like how the other prominent sahabah.

Actually, this man, Al Waleed Ibn ‘Uqbah is the half brother of 'Uthman Ibn Affan Radiyallahu Anhu through his mother.

If you know 'Amr Ibn Al'As Radiyallahu Anhu then you wouldn’t miss out about Al Waleed for the trustworthiness that Abu Bakr Radiyallahu Anhu gave to them were on equal stature. 

Ibn 'Uqbah was both employed by the Caliphate of both Abu Bakr and 'Umar who always chose and thoroughly studied the qualifications of their governors. 

Indeed, with the keen study and choices that both the caliphs did pave way to the rapid and large scale spread of Islam.

Some of his tasks included:

• He was entrusted with secrets in exchange of correspondence between the caliph [Abu Bakr] and his commander Khalid Ibn Al Waleed during the battle of Al Madhar against the Persians in 12 AH.

• He was sent with reinforcements with to his commander 'Iyad Ibn Ghanam Al Fihri.

• He was sent to the tribe of Qada'ah to collect Zakat in 13 AH.

• He became the governor of the tribe of Taghlib and the Arabs of Al Jazeerah in 15 AH during the reign of 'Umar.

• He became the governor of Kufah during the reign of 'Uthman.

These are just brief samples of the tasks he was given, and I would like to highlight his governance during the time of 'Uthman Ibn Affan as the governor of Kufah.

It was said that for years there was no gate at his house, meaning people would come to see him and deliver their problems hoping solutions from him, this was how approachable Ibn Uqbah was to the people of Kufah.

During the period of his governorship in Kufah, his armies would march to eastern horizons, conquering the land, as was testified in his absence by one of the greatest of Muslim judges that history has ever known in terms of his knowledge, virtue and fairness, the great Tabi'i Imam Al-Sha'bi.

He also said: “If only you had seen Al Waleed and his campaigns and his governorship, for he would go out on campaign and reach such and such place, and he never fell short or was accused of falling short by anyone until he was dismissed from his post.”

Also 'Uthman said: “I did not appoint Al Waleed because he is my brother, rather I appointed him because he is the son of Umm Hakeem Al Bayda, the paternal aunt of the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam and the twin sister of his father.”

Verily, Al Waleed was such one of the most beloved of people to the people and one of the kindest of them. 

Ma sha Allah there is so much to learn from this man, even though he was given such great task he never hindered people from coming to him and asking him about their concerns and problems, as we see he had his house without a gate emphasizing that he can be approach at anytime.

Indeed, he was a governor of the people for the people 24/7. Ma sha Allah. This attribute of Ibn Uqbah should remind the leaders of Muslim countries about their true description of work, that the people are their main concern not themselves, that it is the people that they work for and not the people working for them.

Such are the likes of great men that even at the period where he reigned as governor of Kufah that danger was laid infront of him as there were people who tried to do wrong with him still it didn’t stop him from being very approachable to people.

It is just a reminder that when you have such position you should be more approachable, not that when you gained such political position then you enclose yourself with all the body guards and men of the city.

This is a man who walks freely because he has not wronged people, only those who know by themselves that they did wrong would guard themselves in fear that someone might attack them. 

May this story about Al Waleed Ibn 'Uqbah remind us all about humility and selfless service to our brothers and sisters in deen. Amin


Stories were taken from:

• Siyar A'lam an Nubala’,3/21
• Fasl Al Khitab fi Mawaqif Al Ashab, Al Gharsi, p. 78
• Tareekh At Tabari, 4/168
• Tareekh At Tabari, 5/28,29
• At Tamheed wa'l Bayan, p. 40
• Tareekh At Tabari, 5/251
• Fasl Al Khitab fi Mawafiq Al Ashab, p. 79


We hear much about them, right? We learn from it in world history, nationally history and history subjects like that.

But today, I will tell you about the conquerer and founder of a city that bore lineages and scholars of Islam at their bests, a city that bore the likes of Ahmad Ibn Habal and Al Hassan Al Basri, the city of Basra in Iraq.

Did you know that the founder, the one who built the city of Basra was actually a Sahabi, one of the best Muslim generals of Khair ul Qurun, ‘Utbah Ibn Ghazwan Radiyallahu Anhu.

During the Caliphate of 'Umar Ibn Al Khattab Radiyallahu Anhu, on the 14th Hijrah, in obedience to the command of the Amir-ul-Mumi'neen, he built a beautiful new city, Basra, on the banks of the river of Dajlah.

'Utbah Ibn Ghazwan Radiyallahu Anhu, a tall and well-built, with radiant face and attractive personality, polished with good manners, abstinence and such a pious man, was among the greatest Muajhideen that Islam ever had.

He played a very active role in all the battles that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam took part. He was the commander that 'Umar Ibn Al Khattab Radiyallahu Anhu chose when Iranian forces from the city of Ablah were troubling the Muslims.

He was the Mujahid that was chosen upon thorough study as 'Umar Ibn Al Khattab Radiyallahu said: “This is a Mujahid who has played a very prominent role in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khadaq and in many others. His arrows and sword have never missed their aim. And he has also had the honor of migrating twice - to Ethipia and to Al-Madinah. And he was among those first fortunate Muslims who accepted Islam.”

Eventually, after he was sent to Ablah together with 319 Mujahideen, they were given victory by Allah Azza Wa Jall. They conquered cities and towns in Ablah, but this thought had troubled 'Utbah as the overwhelming victory had deluded the Muslims of being lazy and they had begun to enjoy a soft life of idleness, ease and comfort. The culture, habits and customs of the conquered people had started to influence the Muslims.

At this, he wrote a letter to the Caliph, requesting his permission to found a new city; he also pinpointed the site he had selected. 'Umar Radiyallahu Anhu granted permission and the name proposed for the new city was Basra.

'Utbah Ibn Ghazwan Radiyallahu Anhu drew up the plan for the new city. First a huge masjid was constructed. It became the center for all the work being carried out for the emergence of islam as a great world power. Caravans used to be organized and sent from here for the purpose of Jihad. The Mujahideen built houses here for themselves, but their commander, Ibn Ghazwan, did not. After the construction of the city, Caliph 'Umar Radiyallahu Anhu appointed 'Utbah Ibn Ghazwan Radiyallahu Anhu governor of Basra.

Indeed he was not only a successful general but also a simple and humble man who was known as a reformer as well. He realized that the Muslims who had settled in Basra had begun to care too deeply for things of this world. When he realized that the spiritual values of Islam were being endangered by the life of this world he gathered the people in the masjid and addressed them:

“O People! The life of this world is going to end. You will be transferred from here to a house, which will be yours forever. You will take with you only your good deeds. People, I have had the distinction of being among the first to accept Islam. At that time we used to eat the leaves of trees to survive and sometimes our mouths used to be full of sores and wounds because of this. Our poverty was such that often we had difficulty finding clothes to cover our bodies. One day I found a sheet, which I cut up into two. One I used to cover myself and the other I have to Sa’d Ibn Abu Waqas to use as a loin cloth. Today all of us are governors of some province or the other. I ask for Allah protection from the condition where I may think myself to be very great now, but in the sight of Allah I shall be considered very low.”

Then he appointed one among those present as his deputy and saying goodbye to them and left for Al-Madinah. When he went to the presence of Caliph 'Umar Radiyallahu Anhu, he handed in his resignation, the Caliph refused and ordered him to return to Basra.

On his way back, he kept praying: “O Allah please don’t take me back! O Allah please don’t take me back!”

Allah Azza Wa Jall accepted his supplication and after a traveling a little distance from Al Madinah, his camel stumbled and 'Utbah Ibn Ghazwan fell and died instantly and went on to meet his Creator.

And so we are reminded of this ayah:

“Come back to your Lord-well-pleased (yourself) and wll pleasing (unto Him)!” Qur'an: 89:28

Also there is this amazing highlight on their way to Ablah that happened, their first ever encounter with rice, see detailed story here: Rice and the Muslim Army

Such a beautiful man was he, and we pray that we get inspired and motivated from his story and learn more about these great people of Islam.





Commanders of the Muslim Army, Ghandanfar, pp. 247-256

When Sayyiduna Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (Radi Allahu Anhu) was four years old, his father took him in front of an idol in the Ka'bah and said to him, “This is your mighty Lord, so make Sajdah to him.”

When he (Radi Allahu Anhu) heard this he said to the idol, “I am hungry, feed me. I am naked, cloth me. I will throw a stone at you, if you are the Lord then defend yourself.”

There was no response from the idol. So he took a stone and hit the idol. The Divinely blessed power and force of the stone dropped the idol. On seeing this, his father became furious and slapped him on the face. He then took him home and complained to the mother. She replied,

“Leave him alone because when he was born I heard someone from the Unseen saying to me, ‘O servant lady of Allah! Glad tiding to you on the birth of this free child whose name in the skies is Siddique (Truthful) and he will be the close companion of Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam)’. At that time I did not know who Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam) was and what all this meant”.

Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique (Radi Allahu Anhu) personally reported this incident to the Holy Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam). After he reported this, an Angel appeared and confirmed,

“Abu Bakr speaks the truth and he is Siddique (Truthful).”

This Hadith Sharif is recorded in “Awaliyul Farsh ila Ma'aaliyul Arsh” and quoted by Imam Ahmad Qastalaani (Alayhir Rahmah) in his commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari.
  • Malfoozat-e-AlaHazrat, Vol. 1, Page 160
  • Irshad al-Sari li Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, Page 370
  • Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih, Vol. 11, Page 178
No poverty after paradise and no riches after the fire...

It is re­ported that Jun­dub bin Abdullaah Al-Ba­jali – radhi Allaahu anhu – was once asked for ad­vice and in­struc­tion. He said:

“I ad­vise you to fear Allaah and obey Him (taqwâ) and I ad­vise you to adhere to the Quran, for it is a light in the dark night and a guid­ance dur­ing the day, so im­ple­ment it no mat­ter how much strug­gle and poverty you have to face. If a calamity be­falls you, put your wealth for­ward to pro­tect your re­li­gion, and if the calamity con­tin­ues, put forward your wealth and your life to save your re­li­gion [but never risk your re­li­gion], for the ru­ined is he whose re­li­gion is ru­ined, and the looted is he whose re­li­gion is taken. And know that there is no poverty after Par­adise, and no riches after the Fire.

Imaam Adh-Dhahabee, Siyaar A’laam Al-Nubal`aa 3:174.