Said Ibn Aamir Al-Jumahi

“Sa’id,” he said, “I appoint you to be governor of Homs (in Syria).”

“Umar,” pleaded Sa’id, “I entreat you by God, do not cause me to go astray by making me concerned with worldly affairs.”

Umar became angry and said, “You have placed the responsibility of the caliphate on me and now you forsake me.”

“By God, I shall not forsake you,” Sa’id quickly responded.

Umar appointed him as governor of Homs and offered him a gratuity.

“What shall I do with it, O Amir al-Mu’mineen?” asked Sa’id. “The stipend from the Bayt al-Mal will be more than enough for my needs.” With this, he proceeded to Homs.

Not long afterwards, a delegation from Homs made up of people in whom Umar had confidence came to visit him in Madinah. He requested them to write the names of the poor among them so he could relieve their needs. They prepared a list for him in which the name Sa’id ibn Aamir appeared.

“Who is this Sa’id ibn Aamir?” asked Umar.

“Our amir,” they replied.

“Your amir is poor?” said Umar, puzzled.

“Yes,” they affirmed, “By God, several days go by without a fire being lit in his house.”

Umar was greatly moved and wept. He got a thousand dinars, put it in a purse and said, “Convey my greetings to him and tell him that the Amir al-Mu’mineen has sent this money to help him look after his needs.”

The delegation came to Sa’id with the purse. When he found that it contained money, he began to push it away from him, saying, “From God we are and to Him we shall certainly return.”

He said it in such a way as if some misfortune had descended on him. His alarmed wife hurried to him and asked, “What’s the matter, Sa’id? Has the Khalifah died?”

“Something greater than that.”

“Have the Muslims been defeated in a battle?”

“Something greater than that. The world has come upon me to corrupt my hereafter and create disorder in my house.”

“Then get rid of it,” said she, not knowing anything about the dinars.

“Will you help me in this?” he asked.

She agreed. He took the dinars, put them in bags and distributed them to the Muslim poor.

Not long afterwards, Umar ibn al-Khattab went to Syria to examine conditions there. When he arrived at Homs which was called little Kufah because, like Kufah, its inhabitants complained a lot about their leaders, he asked what they thought of their flair. They complained about him mentioning four of his actions each one more serious than the other.

“I shall bring you and him together,” Umar promised. “And I pray to God that my opinion about him would not be damaged. I used to have great confidence in him.”

When the meeting was convened, Umar asked what complaints they had against him.

“He only comes out to us when the sun is already high,” they said.

“What do you have to say to that, Sa’id?” asked Umar.

Sa’id was silent for a moment, then said, “By God, I really didn’t want to say this but there seems to be no way out. My family does not have a home help so I get up every morning and prepare dough for bread. I wait a little until it rises and then bake for them. I then make wads and go out to the people.”

“What’s your other complaint?” asked Umar.

“He does not answer anyone at night,” they said.

To this Sa’id reluctantly said, “By God, I really wouldn’t have liked to disclose this also, but I have left the day for them and the night for God, Great and Sublime is He.”

“And what’s your other complaint about him?” asked Umar.

“He does not come out to us for one day in every month,” they said.

To this Sa’id replied, “I do not have a home help, O Amir al-Mu’mineen and I do not have any clothes except what’s on me. This I wash once a month and I wait for it to dry. Then I go out in the later part of the day.”

“Any other complaint about him?” asked Umar.

“From time to time, he blacks out in meetings,” they said.

To this Sa’id replied, “I witnessed the killing of Khubayb ibn Adiy when I was a mushrik. I saw the Quraysh cutting him and saying, “Would you like Muhammad to be in your place?” to which Khubayb replied, “I would not wish to be safe and secure among my family while a thorn hurts Muhammad.” By God, whenever I remember that day and how I failed to come to his aid, I only think that God would not forgive me and I black out.”

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