Umar ibn al-Khattab was a man of emotion. His anger came quick but the reminder of Allah, or the example of the Messenger (peace be upon him) cooled Umar’s rage.
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas (raa): Uyaina bin Hisn bin Hudhaifa bin Badr came and stayed (at Medina) with his nephew Al-Hurr bin Qais bin Hisn (raa) who has one of those whom ‘Umar (raa) used to keep near him, as the Qurra’ (learned men knowing Quran by heart) were the people of Umar’s (raa) meetings and his advisors whether they were old or young.
‘Uyaina said to his nephew, “O my nephew! Have you an approach to this chief so as to get for me the permission to see him?”
His nephew said, “I will get the permission for you to see him.” (Ibn ‘Abbas (raa) added: ) So he took the permission for ‘Uyaina, and when the latter entered, he said, “O the son of Al-Khattab! By Allah, you neither give us sufficient provision nor judge among us with justice.”
On that ‘Umar (raa) became so furious that he intended to harm him.
Al-Hurr (raa), said, “O Chief of the Believers!” Allah said to His Apostle (saws)…
Al A’râf – Surah 7. The Heights
[7:199] “Hold to forgiveness, command what is good (right), and leave the foolish (i.e. do not punish them).”
“…and this person is among the foolish.”
By Allah, ‘Umar (raa) did not overlook that Verse when Al-Hurr (raa) recited it before him, and ‘Umar said to observe (the orders of) Allah’s Book strictly.” (See Hadith No. 166, Vol. 6)
Holding Fast to the Qur’an and Sunnah – Sahih Bukhari: Volume 9, Book 92, Number 389
Riyadh as-Saaliheen (The Gardens of the Righteous), by Imam an-Nawawi
- In this Hadith, the word ‘Qurra’ does not stand for the kind of the ‘Qurra’ (reciters) of the present age who are only professional in the art of reciting the Qur’an and have a melodious voice, but what it really meant was the class of scholars who were well-versed in its meanings and implications and who could thoroughly distinguish between the lawful and the unlawful, fair and foul. Such men used to be the companions of the early noble caliphs. It leads to the conclusion that rulers should choose their advisors from religious scholars and not from those who are given to the world and whose sole aim in life is to amass wealth rather than care about the welfare of the people and whose advice is based on selfish motives and vested interests.
- Since scholarship and piousness are the foremost qualifications for counsellors and advisors, there is no restriction of age for them.
- The ruler should always be very considerate and tolerant.
- The ruler should never hesitate from accepting truth and righteousness.