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Shifting the Goal Post


(Faatimah bintu ‘Abdil Malik [rahimahallah] – Part Two)

On the momentous occasion when ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) was appointed as the khaleefah of the Muslims and all the people pledged allegiance at his hands, he delivered the following sermon:

O people! My nafs (carnal self) is such that it is very ambitious. Instead of being satisfied and content when it receives something, it aspires to achieve and acquire that which is even better. Now that my nafs has been given the khilaafat, it wants something better and the only thing that is better is Jannah.  Therefore, assist me in securing my Jannah.

In just a single day, his entire focus had shifted from perfecting his dunya to perfecting his Jannah. He therefore returned to his home and proceeded to sell all his slaves, clothing, perfume and other inessential items. The items he sold were of such value, that they fetched a combined price of 23 000 gold coins! ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) took the entire amount and spent it in the path of Allah Ta‘ala.

‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) also went to his wife, Faatimah (rahimahallah). Her late father, ‘Abdul Malik bin Marwaan, had given her much jewellery and wealth, some of which was so valuable and beautiful that jewellery of its kind had never been seen before! ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) asked her, “Where did you get this from?” She replied, “Ameerul Mu’mineen (my father) gave it to me.” ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) then explained to her that it was impermissible for her to keep the jewellery, as her father had paid for it from the public treasury. He thereafter said, “Either return it to the public treasury or allow me to separate from you, for I cannot tolerate being in this home while this jewellery is also here.” In the face of this ultimatum, the true colors of Faatimah (rahimahallah) shone to the fore as she spontaneously answered, “Definitely! I choose to remain with you and would have unhesitatingly done so even if I had more jewellery and wealth than this!” She then proceeded to have all her wealth and jewellery deposited into the public treasury.  

After her husband ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) passed away, her brother Yazeeb bin ‘Abdil Malik said to her, “I know that ‘Umar oppressed you (by asking you to deposit your wealth and jewellery into the public treasury). If you wish, I will return the items to you or if you prefer, I will give you wealth equivalent to their value.” Faatimah (rahimahallah) replied, “I do not want it. It is not befitting that I obey my husband in his lifetime, only to go against his wishes after his demise.” 

(Reference: Ibnu Sa’d vol. 5 pg. 266 and 307, Al-Kaamil vol. 3 pg. 255 and Taareekhul Khulafaa pg. 236)  


1. ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah), after enjoying the best of things that the world could offer, realized that only Jannah could truly satisfy him. How fortunate is the person who realizes this from the very beginning and uses his wealth and other assets to prepare his eternal abode in Jannah!

2. Faatimah (rahimahallah) had such an exemplary level of submission and obedience to her husband that she continued to comply with his wishes even after his demise.

3. The person who truly fears Allah Ta‘ala will not have anything to do with haraam or doubtful wealth.

4. The greater the responsibility with which one is entrusted, the greater the level of accountability.

 (to be continued insha-Allah)