Once during his rule, Sayyiduna Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) ascended the mimbar (pulpit) on the occasion of Jumu‘ah and said, “O people! The money is our money and the spoils of war are our spoils of war (i.e. they belongs to us – the rulers)! We will give (them to) whom we wish and hold back from whom we wish!”

When he said this, the people remained silent and did not reply. On the following Jumu‘ah, he ascended the mimbar and said the same words without anyone responding to him. When he said it on the occasion of the third Jumu‘ah, a man stood up and said, “Never! The money is our money! The spoils of war are our spoils of war (i.e. they belongs to us – the public)! If anybody comes between us and it (i.e. the wealth), we will hand over his case to Allah Ta‘ala, by using our swords (to kill him and send him to Allah Ta‘ala for Him to decide regarding him)!”

When Sayyiduna Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) descended from the mimbar, he instructed that the man be brought to him. Seeing this, the people said, “He is destroyed!” (After some time) Sayyiduna Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) opened the doors allowing the people to enter. (To their surprise) they found the man sitting with Sayyiduna Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) on the bed.

Sayyiduna Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then said, “This man has saved me, may Allah Ta‘ala save him! I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) say, ‘There will be leaders after me who will speak (things which are incorrect), yet nobody will object to what they say. They will leap into Jahannam like the leaping of monkeys.’

When I (initially) spoke and nobody objected, I feared that I was one of them (i.e. the leaders destined for Jahannam). I then spoke for the second time without any objection and thus said to myself, ‘I am from those people.’ When I spoke for the third Jumu‘ah and this man stood up and objected, he saved me, may Allah Ta‘ala save him! I thus hope that Allah Ta‘ala will not include me among them.” Sayyiduna Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then showered this person with many gifts.

(Taareekhul Islam liz Zahabi – ‘Ahd Mu‘aawiyah [radhiyallahu ‘anhu] pg. 314)


1. An outstanding quality and characteristic of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) was that they would never feel complacent of themselves at any time, despite the great glad tidings awarded to them by the Quraan Majeed and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Rather, they would continuously keep themselves in check and suspect themselves to such an extent that they would even fear hypocrisy for themselves. Sayyiduna Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) deliberately mentioned that statement in order to see whether he was among those leaders who will be doomed to Jahannam.

2. Instead of consuming ourselves with suspecting others of being hypocrites and doomed for Jahannam, we need to focus more on ourselves and constantly doubt our own sincerity. We must treat others with respect and ourselves with suspect. After all, the questions that will be directed to us in the grave will be regarding our own imaan, not the imaan of others.

3. No matter how great or senior a person may become, he must always be prepared to accept correction from others, no matter how junior that person may be. This does not result in him losing his respect in any way, rather, it increases it. On the other hand, when one seizes to accept corrections, he commences his road towards decline and failure. In fact, not only should he accept the correction, he should actually appreciate it as well, as Sayyiduna Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had done.