The Generation That Never Came Again
Two young adults enter in the company of the Caliph Umar (May Allah Be Pleased With Him), stand right in front of a man seated there, point at him and say "Ya Umar (رضي الله عنه)! This is the person!
'Umar (رضي الله عنه). asks him, "What has this man done?"
'Umar R.A. turns towards that man and asks him, "Have you killed their father?"
The man replied, "Yes Ameer ul Momineen, their father has died because of me"
'Umar R.A. inquires "How has he been killed?"
The man replies, "Ya 'Umar (رضي الله عنه), their father had entered my crops alongwith his camel. I tried to warn and stop him, he did not pay heed so I threw a stone at him which hit his head and he died on the spot"
'Umar (رضي الله عنه) replied, "Then you will have to give qisaas (compensation for blood), the punishment is death"
There was no need to write down the judgment. The decision was in accordance with Islamic laws and supreme. Furthermore, the man who killed their father was not asked as to which tribe/clan he belonged to or what his family background or status was. Justice reigned supreme. What has 'Umar (رضي الله عنه) to do with such useless questions!?
No one can influence 'Umar's decision and neither can someone stop 'Umar (رضي الله عنه) from propagating the Shariat of Allah. Even if it was 'umar's own son infront of him awaiting justice, 'Umar (رضي الله عنه) would have applied the same for him.
The man says, "Ya Ameer ul Momineen, in the Name of Him by whose power the Earth and Heavens are held together, please let me go back to my wife and children in the desert and inform them that I shall be killed. They have no one besides Allah and myself, I will return back soon"
'Umar R.A. says "Who will guarantee your return once you go the desert?"
And then, silence overtakes the gathering. There was no one there who even knew the name of this person who had confessed to his crime. The identity of his tribe/clan and whereabouts was also not known.
Who will be his guarantor? Is the issue about a loan of 10 dirhams, about a piece of land or exchange of camels? Here, the issue was of a different magnitude as it involved the killing of a person.
And then, there was no one could dare challenge 'Umar's (رضي الله عنه) verdict on Allah's Shariat. There is no one who will even dare act as a referral of mercy for the accused.
Silence has overtaken the Sahaba (Companions of the Prophet p.b.u.h.) who are seated in the gathering.
'Umar (رضي الله عنه) himself is affected by this situation. The man's condition and situation has surprised everyone. Should this person really be killed as compensation and his wife and children be left to rot and starve to death? Or should he be pardoned without remuneration? If he does not come back, there shall be grave injustice against the blood of the slain father of two youngsters!
'Umar R.A. himself is seated in anxiety with his head lowered. He raises his head and with eyes signifying humble request, he asks those two young men "Forgive this man"
"No Ameer ul Momineen, it cannot be possible that a person who kills our father gets away like this" The two young men announce their final decision without any hesitation.
'Umar R.A. once again looks among the gathering and asks in a loud voice "Oh people, is there any one amongst who willing to be the guarantor of this man?"
Abuzar Ghaffari R.A. stands up with his truthfulness and piety in his old age and says, "I guarantee this man"
'Umar R.A. tells Abuzar Ghaffari (رضي الله عنه), "Abuzar, he has killed"
"Even though he is a killer", replies Abuzar Ghaffari R.A., with full firmness in his decision.
'Umar R.A. asks, "Do you know this man?"
Abuzar replies, "No I don't"
'Umar R.A. asks again, "Then how are you guaranteeing him?"
Abuzar Ghaffari R.A. replies, "I have seen signs of virtue on his face, and I strongly feel he is not lying. He will return Insha-Allah"
'Umar R.A. says "Abuzar, make sure again. If this man does not return within 3 days, I shall have to bear the sadness of your separation" (that is, Abuzar will have to be killed because he is guaranteeing the killer)
Abuzar Ghaffari R.A. replies with confidence, "Ameer ul Momineen, then Allah Maalik"
The accused man gets 3 days time limit from 'Umar R.A. and sets off for the desert: for important preparations, to bid farewell to his family, to arrange means for them after his punishment.
3 days pass by. How can 'Umar (رضي الله عنه) forget how each and every moment during these days passed by for him? During 'Asr time after the congregational prayers are over, the two young men are waiting desperately to get compensation and justice for their father's killing. A crowd of people has gathered to watch Allah's Shariah make decisions for the case.
Abuzar Ghaffari R.A. arrives and sits in front of 'Umar (رضي الله عنه)
"Where is that man?" asks 'Umar (رضي الله عنه)
"I do not know, Ya Ameer ul Momineen", says Abuzar Ghaffari (رضي الله عنه) in his brief reply.
Abuzar Ghaffari R.A. looks towards the sky where the Sun is quickly trying to set itself in the West.
There is an eerie silence hovering over the gathering. No one besides Allah knows what will take place now.
It is true that Abuzar R.A. has a special place in 'Umar's heart. If Abuzar (رضي الله عنه) were to ask 'Umar (رضي الله عنه) to give him a piece of his body, the latter would not spare a minute and cut out his body for Abuzar. This was the love they had for each other.
However, the situation right is of a Shariah case, Allah's judicial Commands are involved and demand implementation. This is not a drama. If the killer does not return, then Abuzar's neck will have to be cut off as he is his guarantor.
A few minutes before Maghrib time, the killer returns. "Allahu Akbar!" says 'Umar (رضي الله عنه) suddenly. And soon, everyone in the gathering chants "Allahu Akbar!"
'Umar (رضي الله عنه) addresses the killer and says, "O person, even if you had not returned, what could we have done of you? Neither does anyone know about your house nor anyone knows your location!"
The man replies, "Ameer ul Momineen, by Allah, it is not about you. It is about that entity (Allah) who Has Knowledge of everything visible/hidden. Do see, that I have returned, leaving my children alone in the desert like the babies of a bird, where there is no shadow of a tree neither any sign of water. I present myself to be killed. I was only fearing that people will say that promises are not fulfilled anymore."
'Umar R.A. turned towards Abuzar Ghaffari (رضي الله عنه) and asked, "Abuzar, on what basis had you given your guarantee for this person?"
Abuzar (رضي الله عنه) replied, "Ya 'Umar, I feared that people might say Khair cannot be expected these days"
'Umar R.A. remained in silence for a while and then asked those two young men, "What do you say now?"
They erupted into tears and said, "Ya Ameer ul Momineen, we forgive this man for his truthfulness, we fear that people might say the spirit of forgiveness is no more among us"
'Umar (رضي الله عنه) started weeping "Allahu Akbar!", so much so that the tears had wet his beard and fallen down.
"Oh young men, May Allah reward you for your forgiveness!"
"Oh Abuzar! May Allah reward you for helping this man in the time of need!"
"And Oh person, May Allah reward you for fulfilling your vow!"
And then the man replied, "And Oh Ameer ul Momineen, May Allah reward you for your justice and mercy!"
One of the Islamic historians is reported to have said, I swear in the name of Him in whose hand is my life, the glories of Islam and belief buried themselves in the coffin alongwith 'Umar (رضي الله عنه) to his grave (that is, such instances cannot be found after 'Umar's (رضي الله عنه) age).
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