THE STORY OF JABIR ATHARAATIL KIRAAM | Al- Arabiya Bayna Yadayk | العربية بين يديك
Abul Qaasim At-Tanookhi narrated:
There was a man called Khuzaimah ibnu Bishr in the era of the Ummayad Caliph Sulaiman Ibnu Abdul Malik who exhibited noble character, manners, and compassion towards his brothers in faith. He continued to be on this until he desperately needed help from his brothers who used to get a lot of favours from him but they just consoled him sometimes and later they were annoyed. When Khuzaimah began to notice this change in them he came to his wife (paternal uncle’s daughter) and grieved to her saying: ”Oh my uncle’s daughter, for I have seen a change in my brothers’ attitude; I have determined to confine myself to the house till I die. Then he shut his door, stayed having food until all was consumed. He remained in the state of helplessness.
‘Ikrimah Al-Fayyad Ar-Rabee’ was a governor of Al-Jazeera and while he was in his council, there came a sudden mention about Khuzaimah Ibnu Bishr.
‘Ikrimah: What is his circumstance now?
The council: It turned from bad to an unspeakable situation; he confined himself to his house”.
Ikrimah: Didn’t he find any comforter or a benefactor?
The council: “No”.
Then Ikrimah didn’t utter anything. When it was night, his riding animal was saddled; he disguised himself and rode towards the house of Khuzaimah secretly along with his servant who carried four thousand dinar sealed in a single bag. He reached the house of Khuzaimah, took the money bag from his servant asking him to stay away. Khuzaimah came out to him and Ikrimah gave the bag to him
Ikrimah: “set right your situation with this”.
Khuzaimah took it from him and found it heavy so dropped it down. Then Ikrimah got hold of the animal’s bridle.
Khuzaimah: Looking at him “May I be your ransom! Who are you?
Ikrimah: “Oh you, I didn’t come to you at this hour lest you should know me
Khuzaimah: I will not accept the bag until you tell me who you are.
Ikrimah: I am Jabir Atharaatil Kiraam.
Ikrimah: No more!
(Then Ikrimah left the place.)
Khuzaimah: bringing the bag to his wife, Rejoice! For Allah has brought the relief and blessing, if this bag has money then it must be a lot! Get up and lighten the house.
Khuzaimah’s wife: we don’t have means to light the house.
He stayed touching the dinars throughout the night and found them very rough but he is not sure about them being dinars.
Ikrimah’s wife, who enquired about his absence, learnt that he departed the house all alone which made her suspicious, arousing her emotions leading to tear her attire’s pocket and slapping herself the cheek. When Ikrimah returned, found his wife in such a state and asked her “what’s wrong with you?”
Wife: Oh my cousin, aren’t you an infidel?
Ikrimah: what are you saying?
Wife: The chief of Al-Jazeerah secretly leaving the mansion late night, alone without his aids, can’t be for anything except to visit an unknown spouse or a paramour.
Ikrimah: Allah knows best that I didn’t visit either of them.
Wife: Then inform me why did you leave?
Ikrimah: Oh you, I want to go at this time lest no one be aware of this.
Wife: You should say to me.
Ikrimah: Then you should not disclose it.
Wife: I do not.
Then he narrated exactly what happened.
Ikrimah: Do you still want me to swear for you?
Wife: not needed, I am peaceful now after your narration.
When Khuzaimah repaid his debts and set right his situation, he got ready to travel to Palestine to meet Sulaiman Sulaiman ibn Abdul Malik. When he reached the place, the door-keeper came out then Khuzaimah informed him that he is well-known for his generosity and has come to meet Sulaiman. Sulaiman was already aware of his nobility so he was granted permission to come inside and when he entered he said salaam and dignified Sulaiman as a caliph.
Sulaiman: Oh Khuzaimah what slowed you to come here (why are you not visiting us)?
Khuzaimah: My circumstance.
Sulaiman: why didn’t you come to us for help then?
Khuzaimah: My weakness, oh leader of the believers!
Sulaiman: Now, how did you manage to reach here?
Khuzaimah: I don’t know, one late night a man knocked my door…. (then he narrated the whole story).
Sulaiman: Do you know him?
Khuzaimah: No, he was in disguise, oh leader of the believers! I didn’t hear anything from him except he said “Jabir Atharaatil Kiraam”.
Sulaiman then became curious to know about him.
Sulaiman: Had we known him we would have aided him in his charity. Then he asked for the paper and he wrote that Khuzaimah is appointed as the governor of Al-jazeerah where Ikrimah is still a ruler. (I think he is removed and Khuzaimah is appointed as a new governor).
Then, he headed towards Al-Jazeerah and when he reached the border of Al-Jazeerah, Ikrimah met and greeted him then they entered the state together. Khuzaimah stayed in the official house for the governor. The first thing after assuming office, he passed an order that Ikrimah should be called for settling the accounts. He found that there was much spending and shortage in the treasury. (Ikrimah gave much in charity including what he gave to Khuzaimah. What a nobility, character this Ikrimah displayed ?!!! Subhaanallah!)
Khuzaimah: Pay back, oh Ikrimah!
Ikrimah: There is no way for me to do that.
Khuzaimah: It is incumbent upon you.
Ikrimah: I don’t have anything. Do what you wanted as you are a ruler!
Khuzaimah ordered that Ikrimah should be detained. Later, he sent officials to the prison to get from him the whereabouts of the shortages. Ikrimah then sent them back saying “I am not from those who protect his wealth for achieving honour. Do as you wish.”
Khuzaimah ordered that he should be shackled; he oppressed him for a month and more which harmed and weakened him. On hearing this news Ikrimah’s wife became anxious and distressed. She then called her slave-girl who is intelligent and told her: “You go immediately to this governor Khuzaimah Ibnu Bishr and say to him in private: Is imprisoning, chaining and torturing is a reward for “Jabir Atharaatil Kiraam?”
Then she came to Khuzaimah and conveyed it. When Khuzaimah heard this from her, he said “Is he Jabir Atharaatil Kiraam? Ah! What a disgraceful act I have done!!!!”
She said “yes”, then he immediately got his riding animal saddled and left with others to the prison’s chamber where he met Ikrimah who has changed a lot due to inflictions. When Ikrimah looked at him and others, he was embarrassed; he hung his head down and said to Khuzaimah “what has caused you to change your opinion about me now? Khuzaimah replied “Your noble deed and my bad recompense for you”.
Ikrimah: May Allah forgive us.
Then, Khuzaimah ordered that his shackles to be removed and put on his own legs.
Ikrimah: what do you intend?
Khuzaimah: Let me get the same inflictions which you had.
Ikrimah: I swear on Allah that you should not do it.
Then they both left to the mansion of Khuzaimah and when he was about to leave from there,
Khuzaimah: Are you not going?
Ikrimah: what do you want?
Khuzaimah: I want to change your state which is shabby; I am more ashamed in front of your wife than to you for my act. Then he commanded his servant to get the bathroom ready and they both entered in to it and Khuzaimah himself started helping him to take bath (as he was weak I think). Then they both came out and Khuzaimah clothed him and groomed him and then he gave him a lot of money. Then he went along with Ikrimah to his house and sought an apology from Ikrimah’s wife and he felt ashamed of this.
Khuzaimah then asked Ikrimah to travel along with him to the Ameeril Mu’mineen (The Caliph) Sulaiman ibnu Abdil Malik who was then residing at Ramlah. The door-keeper entered and informed Sulaiman about Khuzaimah’s arrival. Sulaiman was excited and said, “Governor of Al-Jazeerah coming to meet us without any order, there should be some great news”. When Khuzaimah entered and before he began to greet him, Sulaiman asked him “who is behind you oh Khuzaimah”?
Khuzaimah: Goodness, Ameerul Mu’mineen!
Sulaiman: who did you bring now?
Khuzaimah: I got Jabir Atharaatil Kiraam. I love to delight you when I saw your eagerness and anticipation in seeing him.
Sulaiman: who is he actually?
Khuzaimah: Ikrimah Al-Fayyad.
Then Sulaiman allowed him to enter inside his chamber. He said salaam and dignified him as a Caliph and Sulaiman welcomed him and made him sit closer to him.
Sulaiman: oh Ikrimah! Whatever good you did to Khuzaimah resulted in nothing except it harmed you. Now write all your needs and whatever you want to choose it in a paper.
Ikrimah: Could you please excuse me from this?
Sulaiman: No, you should do it.
Then he ordered to bring an inkpot and a paper. He then said “Isolate you! Write everything and bring it. Then he ordered to fulfill them immediately. He commanded that he should be given 10,000 Dinar and two baskets of clothes ordered to bring a pen and appointed him as a governor for Al-Jazeerah, Armeniah and Azerbaijan. Then he told him “Khuzaimah’s matter is in your hand if you want you can keep him with you or remove him.
Ikrimah: Let him continue on his job.
Then they both left; they both continued working for Sulaiman throughout his caliphate.
-Translated from Arabic by Aboo Juwairiyah Muhammad Eliyas Al-Hindi