Abu Qilaba and the judgeship

Ayyub Al-Sakhtiyani said,

“Abu Qilaba was asked to become judge of AL-Basra, so he escaped to Syria and lived there for some time, then returned.

Ayyub said, “I said to him, ‘If you had assumed the judgeship and had been just, you would have received two rewards.’

He replied, ‘O Ayyub, if a swimmer falls into the sea, for how long might he possibly swim?’ ”

[Al-Iqd Al-Farid, vol. 1, page 39]


Story of sincerity: Books authored by Al-Maawardi


Al-Maawardi (rahimahullah) has a strange story regarding sincerity in authoring books. He authored books in the fields of Tafseer (Qur’aan exegesis), Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and other fields. However, not a single book was published during his lifetime. He authored these books and hid them in a place which no one knew about, and at the time of his death he said to a person he trusted:

“The books that are in such and such place were all authored by me, and the reason I did not make them public during my lifetime is because I was not able to make my intention sincere for the sake of Allah.


When you see that I am dying, put your hand in mine; if I squeeze your hand, then know that nothing was accepted from my deeds, so take these books and throw them into the River Tigris. However, if my hand relaxes, then know that I was accepted and got what I was hoping to get.”


That man said:

“When his death approached, I put my hand in his hand and his hand was relaxed and he did not squeeze my hand, so I knew that it was a sign of acceptance and I made his books known publicly.”

[Siyar A’laam An-Nubalaa’ (66/18) and Taareekh Al-Islaam (169/7)]


He (rahimahullah) did not do what many authors do nowadays, which is to go around seeking to get someone famous to introduce their books, say words of praise about them and are very keen on protecting copyrights. Contrary to this, Al-Maawardi (rahimahullah) was keen on monitoring his intention and did not publicize his books because he feared he did not have a sincere intention and thus he refrained from making them known.

[From the book: Sincerity by Sh. Salih al Munajjid, page 47-48]

The Bedouin and war booty

Shaddaad ibn Al-Haad (radiAllahu anhu) narrated:

“A Bedouin came to the Prophet (ﷺ) accepted, Islam and said: ‘I wish to migrate (to Madeenah)’. So the Prophet (ﷺ) asked some of his Companions to take care of him.


Then after a battle, the Muslims had gained some booty so the Prophet (ﷺ) divided it and gave the Bedouin’s share to some of his Companions to look after, as the Bedouin was still at the rearguard. When the Bedouin returned, they gave him his share, so he asked them: ‘What is this?’ They replied: ‘It is your share from the booty which the Prophet (ﷺ) gave us to hold on to for you.’


So the Bedouin took the booty and went to the Prophet (ﷺ), and asked: ‘What is this?’ The Prophet (ﷺ) replied: “Your share of the booty.” The Bedouin said: ‘This is not why I believe in you and follow you; rather, I follow you so that I can get shot by an arrow right here, (and then he pointed to his throat) then die and enter Paradise.’ The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “If you are sincere then Allah will grant you your wish.”


After a short while, fighting resumed and the Bedouin’s body was brought to the Prophet (ﷺ) with an arrow in his throat at exactly the spot where he had pointed to the Prophet (ﷺ) with an arrow in his throat at exactly the spot where he had pointed to the Prophet (ﷺ). Thereupon The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “He was sincere so Allah granted him his wish.”


Then using his own garment, the Prophet (ﷺ) washed the Bedouin, prayed the funeral prayer over him and was heard by his Companions to say during the prayer: “O Allah! This is Your slave who migrated for Your sake and was killed as a martyr – and I testify to this”.

[Reported by An-Nasaa’i (1953) and Al-Haakim ruled it as authentic, and Ath- Thahabi said that it is authentic according to the rules of Muslim.]


The masked man

Jihad is one of the fields during which showing off can take place, because not everyone who carries a weapon and fights with the Muslims is sincere. We have already mentioned the Prophetic narration of those who would be thrown in Hell first, and one of whom was a person who fought Jihad but was not sincere.

Our Salaf used to hide themselves in Jihad because they recognized the importance of sincerity in it; one of them would hide himself and no one would recognize him. The
following is one such story exemplifying this:

‘Abdah ibn Sulaymaan (rahimahullah) was with a brigade which included ‘Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak (rahimahullah) fighting against the Romans.

‘Abdah said:

When the battle started and the Muslims faced the enemy, a man came out of the rows of the Romans and challenged the Muslims to send someone out to fight him alone. A man from the Muslim brigade came out, chased him and killed him. Another Roman came out challenging this Muslim fighter, and this Muslim killed him as well, and then a third came out, and the Muslim chased him and killed him. People went to this brave Muslim fighter wanting to know who he was but found him masked.”

‘Abdah said:

“I was among those who went to know who he was, and so I took hold of the mask and pulled it off and uncovered his face, and discovered that it was ‘Abdullah ibn Al- Mubaarak.”


Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak (rahimahullah) said in a censuring tone:

“O Abu ‘Amr, even you take part in this and expose me!


[Ref: Taareekh Baghdaad (167/10)]