The Priority of Purity​

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(Ummul Baneen [rahimahallah] – Part Three)

On one occasion, Waleed bin ‘Abdil Malik went to perform hajj with his wife, Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah). It so happened that his governor over Yemen, Muhammad bin Yusuf, who was a tyrant oppressor like his brother Hajjaaj bin Yusuf, also came to perform hajj that very year.

Muhammad bin Yusuf brought abundant gifts for him from Yemen. When Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) learnt of this, she approached her husband (before Muhammad bin Yusuf could even present the gifts) and requested, “O Ameerul Mu-mineen! Please give me the gifts that Muhammad bin Yusuf has brought!” Her husband happily obliged and instructed that the gifts be given to her.

Accordingly, Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) dispatched a few messengers to Muhammad bin Yusuf to inform him that the gifts should be sent to her instead of Waleed. Hearing this, Muhammad bin Yusuf was disappointed (probably as he wished to win favour with the ruler through his gifts) and refused saying, “Ameerul Mu-mineen must first see what I have brought. He may thereafter decide.”

Thereafter, Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) approached her husband and said, “O Ameerul Mu-mineen! Although you had given the instruction for the gifts of Muhammad bin Yusuf to be given to me, I do not want these gifts.” When Waleed asked her the reason, she explained, “I have heard that he acquired this wealth through usurping the belongings of people, putting them through difficulty and oppressing them.”

When Muhammad bin Yusuf later brought the gifts to Waleed, he addressed him saying, “It has reached me that you have acquired these gifts through usurping the wealth of people!” Muhammad bin Yusuf immediately began to protest his innocence saying, “Allah forbid (that this allegation be true)!” Unsatisfied, Waleed commanded him to stand between the Hajr-e-Aswad and the Maqaam-e-Ebrahim and take fifty oaths, in the name of Allah Ta‘ala, that he did not acquire any of the wealth through taking it from people unrightfully, nor did he oppress any person, and he only acquired the wealth through pure and halaal sources.

After Muhammad bin Yusuf took the fifty oaths, Waleed made the gifts over to Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) who then accepted them.

(Taareekh Tabari vol. 7, pg. 399)

Lesson:

So long as Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) had a doubt regarding whether the gifts were taken from people unjustly, she refrained from taking them. She only took the gifts when the doubt was cleared through Muhammad bin Yusuf taking the oaths. From this, it is apparent that she had a great concern for her wealth to be halaal and pure. We should similarly have the perpetual concern for halaal, whether in food or in wealth. If we have the slightest doubt regarding whether something is halaal, we should leave it out.