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Another incident regarding the awe of ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) and his fear of Allah Ta’ala

Question

Please provide the reference for the following incident:

Certain Sahabah once got together. Among them were ‘Ali, ‘Uthman, Talhah, Zubayr, Sa’d and ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf (radiyallahu ‘anhum). ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf (radiyallahu ‘anhu) had the most courage to speak to Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu). They sent ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf (radiyallahu ‘anhu) to tell ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) that sometimes people come with to seek some assistance or to ask something from him but are unable to speak to him as they awestruck and become dumbfounded and are therefore unable to fulfil their need. He should therefore be more gentle and soft.

‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf (radiyallahu ‘anhu) approached Sayyiduna ‘Umar and conveyed the message and described how people are awestruck by him.

Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) responded, ‘I was extremely lenient with the masses so much so that I feared Allah Ta’ala [will take me to task] for being so lenient. Then I became strict and I now fear that Allah will question me for being so strict. Tell me, what is the solution?’

Hearing this, ‘Abdur Rahman (radiyallahu ‘anhu) started weeping and he left saying, ‘Woe to you [O Ummah of Muhammad], what will happen to you after ‘Umar [passes away]’

 

Answer

This incident has been recorded by Imam Ibn Sa’d and Hafiz Ibn ‘Asakir (rahimahumallah).

(Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, vol. 3 pg. 218 and Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 44 pg.269. Also see Hayatus Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 57)

 

The version which appears in Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d explains that when Sayyiduna ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf approached Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhuma), Sayyiduna ‘Umar asked, ‘Did ‘Ali, ‘Uthman, Talhah, Zubayr and Sa’d (radiyallahu ‘anhum) send you to speak to me?’

 

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has mentioned that Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) was divinely inspired in his decisions. This will include his stance regarding the narration in question.

 

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar