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Story 53: The Garment Of The Caliph

Once Umar ibn Abdul Aziz was on the pulpit (minbar) delivering a speech during his era of the Caliphate. While he was delivering the speech, the people sitting at the foot of the pulpit observed him, from time to time, clutching his garment and shaking it. These movements of his hand surprised his audience. They wondered why the Caliph was doing this during his speech.

The assembly came to an end, and after enquiring into the details, it turned out that the Caliph owned only one garment, in order to save the money of the Muslim public treasury and compensate for the excesses of his predecessors who had squandered the public treasury. Since he had just washed the garment and did not have another, he was obliged to wear it, and he shook it in order for it to dry more quickly.1

  • 1. Preface of the translated text of the book “Niya’ish” by Alexis Carrell.