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Knowing Allah
  
  

   

. muslim reported that ‘awf ibn maalik said:

“a man of humayr killed one of the enemy and wanted to take his possessions as booty, but khaalid ibn al-waleed, who was in charge of the campaign, prevented him from doing so. ‘awf ibn maalik came to the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) and told him about it. he asked khaalid, ‘what stopped you from giving him his booty?’ khaalid said, ‘i thought it was too much, o messenger of allaah.’ the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said, ‘give it to him.’ then khaalid passed by ‘awf, who pulled his cloak and said, ‘did i not do what i told you i would do with regard to the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him)?’ the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) heard him and got angry, and said, ‘do not give it to him, o khaalid! do not give it to him, o khaalid! why do you not leave my commanders alone? the likeness of you and them is that of a man who is asked to take care of camels or sheep, so he takes care of them, then when it is time for them to drink, he takes them to a trough and they start to drink, and they drink the clean water and leave the dregs behind. you take the clean water and leave the dregs for them [the commanders].’” (muslim bi sharh al-nawawi, 12/64)

imaam ahmad transmitted a more complete version of this report from ‘awf ibn maalik al-ashja’i, who said:

“we went out on a military campaign on the border of syria, and khaalid ibn al-waleed was appointed as our commander. a man belonging to humayr came and joined our band, and he had nothing but a sword, no other weapon. one of the muslims slaughtered a camel and that man kept trying to snatch something until he managed to grab a piece of skin the shape of a shield. he spread it on the ground and cured it until it was dry, then he made a handle for it, like a shield. we met with the enemy, who were a mixed group of romans and arabs from (the tribe of) qudaa’ah. they fought us fiercely. among them was a roman on a palomino horse with a golden-coloured saddle and a gold-plated belt, and a sword of similar material. he started attacking and challenging the people, and that madadi man kept dodging around the roman until he approached him from behind and struck the horse’s hamstring with his sword. the roman fell off, and the man followed that with a blow from his sword that killed him. when allaah granted them victory, the man came asking about the booty, and the people bore witness that he had killed [that roman], so khaalid gave him some of the booty and withheld the rest. when he came back to ‘awf’s band, he told him about it, and ‘awf said, ‘go back to him and let him give you the rest.’ so he went back, but [khaalid] refused to give it to him. ‘awf went to khaalid and said, ‘do you not know that the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) ruled that the booty should go to the one who kills?’ he said, ‘of course.’ he said, ‘so what is stopping you from giving him his booty?’ he said, ‘i thought it was too much to give to him.’ ‘awf said, ‘when i see the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) i am going to tell him about this.’ when he came to madeenah, ‘awf sent the man and he complained to the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him). the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) called khaalid, whilst ‘awf was sitting there, and said:

‘o khaalid, what stopped you from giving this man his spoils of war?’ he said, ‘i thought it was too much for him, o messenger of allaah.’ [the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him)] said, ‘give it to him.’ [khaalid] passed by ‘awf, and ‘awf pulled on his cloak and said, ‘wasn’t it enough for you what i told you about the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him)?’ the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) heard him and got angry, and said, ‘do not give it to him, o khaalid. why do you not leave my commanders alone? the likeness of you and them is that of a man who is asked to take care of camels or sheep, so he takes care of them, then when it is time for them to drink, he takes them to a trough and they start to drink, and they drink the clean water and leave the dregs behind. you take the clean water and leave the dregs for them [the commanders].’”

we may note here that when khaalid made a mistake in his decision (ijtihaad) to withhold the large amount of booty from the killer, the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) commanded that the matter should be put right by giving the booty to its rightful owner, but he (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) got angry when he heard ‘awf (may allaah be pleased with him) making insinuations about khaalid and poking fun at him by saying,

“did i not do what i told you i would do with regard to the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him)?” and pulling on khaalid’s cloak when he walked past him, so he (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said, “do not give it to him, o khaalid.”

this was for the purpose of reinstating and reinforcing the position of the commander and leader, because upholding the leader’s position in front of the people serves an obvious purpose.

but the following question may arise: if the killer had the right to the booty, how could he deny it to him? al-nawawi (may allaah have mercy on him) answered this query with two possible outcomes:

either he gave the booty to the man later on, and he delayed it as a punishment to him and to ‘awf for saying what they said to khaalid (may allaah be pleased with him) and showing disrespect to the commander and the one who had appointed him; or the one who had the right to take it gave it up willingly and donated it for the muslims, and the point of this was to make khaalid (may allaah be pleased with him) feel better for the purpose of upholding the position of leaders. (al-fath al-rabbaani, 14/8 4)

further evidence concerning restoration of the position of the person who has been wronged comes in the report narrated in the musnad of imaam ahmad from abu tufayl ‘aamir ibn waathilah, that a man passed by a group of people and greeted them with salaam, and they returned the greeting, but when he had gone, one of them said, “by allaah, i hate this man for the sake of allaah.” the others present said, “what a bad thing to say! by allaah, we are going to tell him. get up, o so-and-so – one of the people present – and tell him.” so their messenger caught up with him and told him what had been said. the man went to the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) and said, “o messenger of allaah, i passed by a group of muslims among whom was so-and-so. i greeted them with salaam and they returned the greeting, and when i had left, one of them caught up with me and told me that so-and-so had said, ‘by allaah, i hate this man for the sake of allaah.’ call him and ask him why he hates me.” so the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) called him and asked him about what the man had said. he admitted it and said, “i did say that, o messenger of allaah.” the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said,

“why do you hate him?” he said, “i am his neighbour and i know him very well. by allaah, i have never seen him pray any prayer except the prescribed prayer which everyone, good and bad alike, prays.” the man said, “ask him, o messenger of allaah, has he ever seen me delaying any prayer, or not doing wudoo’ properly, or not doing rukoo’ and sujood properly?” he said, “no,” then he said, “by allaah, i have never seen him fast at all except this month which everyone, good and bad alike, fasts.” he said, “o messenger of allaah, has he ever seen me breaking my fast during [that month], or doing anything to invalidate my fast?” the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) asked him, and he said, “no,” then he said, “by allaah, i have never seen him giving to any needy person or spending any of his wealth for the sake of allaah except for this charity [zakaah] which everyone, good and bad alike, gives.” he said, “ask him, o messenger of allaah, have i ever withheld any part of the zakaah or kept it back from the one who asked for it?” the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) asked him and he said, “no.” the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said, “i don’t know, maybe he is better than you.”

immediately following this report in al-musnad, it says the following: “ya’qoob told us, my father told us from ibn shihaab, that he was told that a man at the time of the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) passed by a group of people. he did not mention abu al-tufayl. abu ‘abd-allaah said: i heard that ibraaheem ibn sa’d reported this hadeeth from his memory and said concerning abu al-tufayl that his son ya’qoob narrated from his father, but he did not mention abu al-tufayl. i think he is mistaken, and the report of ya’qoob is saheeh, and allaah knows best.” (al-musnad, 5/455. al-haythami said: the men of ahmad are thiqaat. athbaat al-majma’, 1/291).

it is very important to maintain a person’s position after he has repented from his mistake and set matters straight, so that he will remain on the right path and live a normal life among people. it was reported in the story of the makhzoomi woman who had her hand cut off (for stealing), which was reported by ‘aa`ishah (may allaah be pleased with her), that “she repented properly later on, and she got married and used to come to me and i would tell the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon her) what she needed.” (saheeh muslim, no. 1688).

 




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