Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Remarkable Conversation

The following post is taken from Hikayat e Sahaba, part of Fazail e Amal. This conversation is one of my favorite reads of all time. It shows the steadfastness of the righteous upon the path of Allah, even in the face of imminent death, and the truthfulness even in front of the sword of the executioner.
The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) has said: "To utter truth in the face of a tyrant is the best Jihad."
This is a story of Jihad of that type. At that time, Hajjaj bin Yusuf, the notorious blood-shedder was in power.
Hajjaj's harshness and tyranny are well known in human history. The rulers in those days, in spite of their
shortcomings, never lagged behind in propagating the faith, yet we treat them as the worst among rulers
because of the contrast with the just and God-fearing rulers. He was the viceroy of king Abdul Malik bin
Marwan for Hijaz and Iraq. The king lived in Damascus and Hajjaj had his headquarters at Koofah. Saeed
bin Jubair had fought against Hajjaj on the side of Ibnul Ash-ath. After the defeat, Saeed (Rahmatullah alaih)
ran away and took asylum in Mecca. The Government posted a very stern person as the Governor of Mecca,
with instructions to' arrest Saeed. The Governor assembled all the people of Mecca and read before them the
order of Abdul Malik, which said:
"Any person who gives shelter to Hadhrat Saeed [Rahmatullah alaih) shall meet the same fate as Hadhrat
Saeed (Rahmatullahi alaih) himself."
He then announced to the people:
"By Allah, I must kill the person who gives shelter to Hadhrat Saeed (Rahmatullah alaih). His and his
neighbours houses shall be razed to the ground."
Hadhrat Saeed (Rahmatullahi alaih) was arrested with great difficulty and sent to Koofah. When he was
brought before Hajjaj, the following conversation took place:

Hajjaj: "What is your name?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "My name is Saeed (lit. auspicious)."
Hajjaj: "What is your father's name?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "Jubair (lit. Trimmed)."
Hajjaj: "No, you are in fact Shaqi (lit. wretched) son of Kusair (lit. a broken thing)."
Hadhrat Saeed: "My mother knew my name better than you do."
Hajjaj: "You are wretched and your mother is also wretched. "
Hadhrat Saeed: "The Knower of the hidden things is someone else"
Hajjaj:"Look! I am putting you to sword."
Hadhrat Saeed: "Then my mother was right in giving me this name. "
Hajjaj: "I shall send you to Hell."
Hadhrat Saeed: "If I knew that you had that power. I would have taken you as my god. "
Hajjaj: "What is your belief about the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam)?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "He was an apostle of Mercy and a Prophet of Allah, sent with the best Guidance for the
whole creation."
Hajjaj: "What do you say about the Khalifas?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "I am not a' warder over them. Everybody is responsible for his own actions."
Hajjaj: "Who is the most exalted of the four Khalifahs?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "The one who had been able to please Allah more than the rest. "
Hajjaj: "Which of them had been able to please Allah more than the rest?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "This is known only to Him Who knows what is hidden in the bosoms and what the hearts
Hajjaj: "Is Ali in Paradise or in Hell?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "I can answer only after I visit the two places and meet their dwellers."
Hajjaj: "How shall I fare on the Day of Judgement?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "I am not fit to receive the knowledge of the unseen"
Hajjaj: "You do not intend to tell me the truth."
Hadhrat Saeed: "But I did not tell a lie either."
Hajjaj: "Why do you never laugh?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "I do not see anything to laugh at; and indeed why should one laugh, who is created from
dust, who has to appear on the Day of Judgement, and is always surrounded by tribulations.
Hajjaj: "But I do laugh."
Hadhrat Saeed: "Allah has created us with different temperaments. "
Hajjaj: "I am now going to kill you."
Hadhrat Saeed: "The time and mode of my death have already been decreed."
Hajjaj: "Allah has preferred me to you."
Hadhrat Saeed: "Nobody can be proud of his relation with Allah unless he knows his position; and Allah is
the only knower of the unseen."
Hajjaj: "Why should I not be proud of my relation with Allah. when I am with the Amir-ul Mominin and you
are with the rebels."
Hadhrat Saeed: "I am with the other Muslims. I myself shun mischief. but nobody can change the decree of
Hajjaj: "What do you say about what we collect for Amir-ul-Mominin?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "I do.not know what you collect for him."
Hajjaj sent for gold, silver and dresses from the treasury and showed these to Saeed.
Hadhrat Saeed: "These are useful, provided you are able- to obtain with them the things that may provide you
peace on the Day of Consternation (Day of Judgement), when every nursing mother will forget her
nursing, and every pregnant one will be delivered of her burden, and when nothing but good will be of any
Hajjaj: "Are our collections not good?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "You have collected them, and you are the best judge."
Hajjaj: "Do you like any of these things for yourself?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "I only like the things which Allah likes."
Hajjaj: "Woe to you!"
Hadhrat Saeed: "Woe is for the person who is deprived of Paradise and is made to enter Hell."
Hajjaj: (Annoyed): "Say how should I kill you?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "As you would like to be killed."
Hajjaj: "Should I forgive you?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "Allah's forgiveness is real. Your forgiveness is of no value."
Hajjaj: (To the executioner): "Kill this man."
Hadhrat: Saeed laughed while he was being taken for execution. Hajjaj was informed of this. He called him
"What made you laugh?"
Hadhrat Saeed: "Your boldness with Allah, and His clemency to you."
Hajjaj: "I am killing a person who has caused dissent among the Muslims. (To the executioner) Kill him in
front of me."
Hadhrat Saeed: "Let me say my Salaat of two rakaats."
After finishing Salaat, he faced Qiblah and recited:

"Verily, I have turned my face toward Him Who created the heavens and earth, as one by nature
upright, and I am not of the idolaters" (VI: 80).
Hajjaj: "Turn him from our Qiblah and let him face the Qiblah of the Christians, who also caused dissension
and dispute among their community."
His face was immediately turned to the other direction.
Hadhrat Saeed:

"And wither-so-ever you turn, there is Allah's countenance" (11: 115), Who is knower of the hidden
Hajjaj: "Make him lie on his face. We are only responsible for appearance."
Hadhrat Saeed (Rahmatullahi alaih) was made to lie on his face.

"Thereof We created you, and thereunto We return you, and thence We bring you forth a second
time." (XX: 55).
Hajjaj: "Kill him"
Hadhrat Saeed: I call you to witness what I recite:
"I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, who is all alone and Who has no partner and I bear witness that Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) is His slave and His Prophet."
He was then beheaded (lnna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaj-oon).
After the execution, too much blood came out from Hadhrat Saeed's (Rahmatullahi alaih) body. Hajjaj
himself marvelled greatly at it. He inquired the reason from his doctors, who said:-
"His tranquillity and composure at the time of death had kept his blood in its original form. Generally, people
to be executed are so much scared and afraid of death that their blood curdles and does not flow profusely."
There are many such incidents in the annals of the Taabi'een. Hadhrat Imam Abu Hanifa, Hadhrat Imam
Malik, Hadhrat Imam Ahmad bin Harnbal and other divines had to undergo trials and tribulations because of
their truthfulness; but they remained steadfast in the righteous path.