(Ummul Baneen [rahimahallah] – Part Three)
On one occasion, Waleed bin ‘Abdil Malik went to perform hajj with his wife, Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah). The governor of Yemen, Muhammad bin Yusuf, who was a tyrant oppressor like his brother Hajjaaj bin Yusuf, also came to perform hajj that very year.
He brought with him abundant gifts from Yemen for Waleed bin ‘Abdil Malik. 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 (as he probably 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 them.” 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 Aswad and the Maqaam Ebrahim and take fifty oaths, in the name of Allah Ta‘ala, that he did not obtain any of the wealth by taking it from people unrightfully, nor did he oppress anyone, and that he had 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)
As long as Ummul Baneen (rahimahallah) had a doubt regarding whether the gifts were taken from people unjustly, she refrained from accepting them. She only took the gifts when this doubt was cleared through Muhammad bin Yusuf taking the oaths. From this, it is apparent that she had great concern for her wealth to be halaaland pure. We too should similarly have the perpetual concern for halaal, whether in food or wealth. If we have the slightest doubt regarding whether something is halaal, we should leave it out.