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Chapter 15

 
When Abu Dharr was leaving, people accompanied him to bid farewell to him till they reached Dair Maran outside the city. There he offered his prayers in congregation. Then he delivered an address, whose translation is given here from Hayat ul-Qulub:
 
“O people! I bequest a thing which is useful to you”. After that he asked them to thank Allah. All said, "All praises are for Allah”. Then he bore testimony to the Oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of the Muhammad and all followed suit. Then he said, "I acknowledge the Resurrection on the Day of Judgment, and the existence of Heaven and Hell. I believe in what the Prophet brought from Allah and I call you as witness to this belief of mine". All said, "We are witness to what you have said", After that he said, "Whosoever of you will die with this belief will be given the glad tidings of Allah's mercy and generosity, provided that he is not the helper of the sinners, supporter of the actions of oppressors, and accomplice of the tyrants. O group of people! Fury and indignation should also be a part of your prayers and fastings, when you see that people on earth sin against Allah. Do not please your leaders with things which are the cause of Allah's wrath. If those people introduce such things in the Divine faith the reality of which you do not know, leave them and bring their guilts to limelight, even if they torture you and turn you out of their company, deprive you of their gifts, and banish you from the cities, so that Allah may be pleased with you. Certainly Allah is most Glorious and Elevated. It is not proper to enrage Him to please His creations. May Allah forgive you and me. I now leave you to Allah and wish that peace and mercy of Allah be upon you".
 
All said in reply, "O Abu Dharr! O companion of the Messenger of Allah! May Allah keep you safe and bestow His blessings upon you! Would you not like us take you again back to our city and support you in the face of enemies". Abu Dharr said, "May Allah send mercy on you! Now you may go back. Certainly I am more forbearing than you in calamities. Never be scattered and worried, and do not have differences among you".
 
Historians say that when Abu Dharr reached Medina, leaving his family behind in Syria, extremely tired and exhausted he was presented before the king of the time, Caliph Uthman. At that time there were many people present in the court. As soon as Caliph Uthman saw Abu Dharr, he started reviling him without having any regard for his honour in the eyes of the Holy Prophet. It appears from the statements of the historians that Uthman said whatever came to his mind in that state of fury and rage. He even said, "It is you who have committed improper acts". Abu Dharr said, "I did nothing except that I gave you an advice and you took it ill and sent me away from you. Then I advised Mu'awiyah. He also did not like it and turned me out". Uthman said, "You are a liar. You are nursing sedition in your mind. You want to provoke Syria against me". Abu Dharr said, "O Uthman! only follow Abu Bakr and Umar and nobody will say anything against you". Uthman said, "What does it matter if I follow them or not. May your mother die!" Abu Dharr said, "By Allah, you cannot accuse me of anything except that I direct people to do good and prevent them from doing unlawful acts". At this Uthman was filled with rage and said, "O courtiers! Advise me as to what I should do with this old liar. Should I punish him with flogging, send him to prison, get him killed, or exile him. He has created dissensions in the Muslim society. Having heard this Ali, who was present there, said, "O Uthman! I advise you like the believer of the nation of Firaun to leave him to himself. If he is a liar he will get the recompense for it, and if he is truthful you will certainly be a sufferer. Allah does not guide him who is extravagant and liar. At this there arose an altercation between Uthman and Ali which I do not want to narrate 1.
 
Muhammad bin Ali bin A'tham Kufi, writes in this connection:
Ali said to Caliph Uthman, "Do not give him (Abu Dharr) any trouble. If he is a liar he will suffer its consequences, and if he is truthful, that what he says will come to light". Uthman did not approve of this talk of Ali. Angrily he said to Ali, "Dust in your mouth!" Ali also repeated the same words. Then Ali said, "O Uthman! What is all this you are doing? What an injustice are you committing! It is not proper for you to utter such words about Abu Dharr who is the friend of the Prophet of Allah, on the basis of some unknown things which Mu'awiyah has said. Are you not aware of the opposition, oppression, sedition and corruption of Mu'awiyah? On hearing this Caliph Uthman kept quiet". (Tarikh A'tham Kufi and Majalisul Mu'minin)
 
Nurullah Shustari writes that as soon as Abu Dharr saw Caliph Uthman before himself he used to recite the Qur'anic verse: "Fear the day when the Fire of Hell will blaze up and their foreheads will be branded”, by which he meant to say, “O Uthman! It is wrong that you do not give to the poor the riches you hoard, but give to your kinsmen if you ever give. The day is not far off when your flanks and foreheads will be branded in Hell", (Majalisul Mu'minin, p. 94)
 
According to Tabari once Ali addressed Uthman and said, "You have given up following your predecessors, and now you simply concentrate upon the Children of Umayyah and your own kinsfolk. You have completely ignored the poor. This is not right at all. From where have you got the right of unlawful distribution of the property of Muslims?" Uthman grew angry at this talk of Ali and retorted, "Those who went before us did wrong to their relatives. I don't want to do that. I am giving to my poor relatives whatever I can" Ali said, "Are they only rightful people whom you give thousand of dirhams from the Public Treasury of the Muslims? Is there no other poor man?" 2
 
Historians such as Abul Hasan Ali bin Husayn bin Ali al-Mas'udi (died 346 A.H.), Ahmad bin Abi Ya'qub and Ishaq bin Ja'far bin Wahhab bin Wazeh Ya'qubi (died 278 A.H.), and Muhammad bin Sa'd al-Zahri al-Basri, Katib al-Abbasi al-Waqidi (died 230 A.H.) narrates this incident thus:
 
“When Abu Dharr was presented in the court of Uthman he said to Abu Dharr, “I am informed that you have told the people the hadith of the Prophet that when the number of males of Bani Umayyah rises to full thirty, they will consider the cities of Allah as their booty and the slaves of Allah their own slaves and maids, and they will adopt the religion of Allah as a fraud". Abu Dharr said, "Yes, I have heard the Prophet say so". Uthman asked the audience of the court, "Have you heard the Prophet say so?" They said, "No". Then he called Ali and said, "O Abul Hasan! Do you certify this hadith?" Ali said, "Yes". Uthman said, "What is the proof of the authenticity of this hadith?" Ali replied, "The Holy Prophet's statement that there is no speaker, under the sky and upon the earth, who is more truthful than Abu Dharr".
 
Abu Dharr had stayed in Medina only for a few days after this incident when Uthman sent word to him, saying "By Allah, You will certainly be banished from Medina"3.
 
Allamah Majlisi writes that after his return from Syria Abu Dharr was taken ill. One day he entered the court with the support of his staff. He had just arrived there when the functionaries of the government appeared in the court with 100,000 dirhams, which they had realized from the different parts of the State. As soon as Abu Dharr saw it he said, "0 Uthman! Whose property is this? "He replied, "Of the Muslims". He asked, "How long will it remain stored and not reach the Muslims?" The Caliph said, "This money will lie with me till 100,000 dirhams more are received, because they have brought this wealth for me. Hence I am waiting for more, so that I may give it to anybody I like, and spend it where 1 deem proper". Abu Dharr said, "Which are more, four dinars or 100,000 dirhams?" Uthman said, "100,000 dirhams are more". Hearing this Abu Dharr said:
 
"O Uthman! Do you not remember that when you and I went to the Prophet late one night and seeing him sad asked him the reason for his sadness he did not even talk to us on account of the intensity of his grief. Then when we went to him next morning and seeing him happy and smiling asked him why he was so sad the last night and why he was happy that morning he said, "Last night after the distribution of the property of the Muslims only four dinars remained with me; so I was perturbed but I have now given them to the rightful person. Therefore, I am now happy".

  • 1. Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd al-Waqidi, died 230 A.H. vol. 4, p.168
  • 2. Tarikh Tabari, vol. 4, p. 534 and Iqdul Farid, vol. 2, p. 272
  • 3. Murujuz Zahab al-Mas'udi, vol. 1, p. 438 and Tarikh Ya'qubi, vol. 2, p. 148

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