View Full Version : Simplicity is Served

02-28-2018, 07:53 PM
Maslamah bin ‘Abdil Malik was the brother-in-law of ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah). He was among the members of the Banu Umayyah family who enjoyed the most luxurious and comfortable lifestyle.

Once, ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) learned that Maslamah was spending one thousand dirhams (silver coins) daily on food alone! Concerned over this extravagance, he instructed Maslamah to come and see him early the next morning. He also instructed for a dish of simple lentils and a few different meat-dishes to be prepared.

The next morning, Maslamah arrived and remained with ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) until a significant portion of the morning had passed. At that point, feeling the pangs of hunger, Maslamah arose and attempted to leave. However, ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) did not allow him to leave and instructed him to sit. Unable to disobey ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah), Maslamah remained seated. When midday arrived, Maslamah again attempted to leave, but ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) again instructed him to sit and prevented him from leaving.

Eventually, when ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) perceived that Maslamah could no longer bear the pangs of hunger, he instructed for the food to be served. As previously arranged, the simple lentils were served first. Maslamah had not eaten the entire day, and he thus ‘attacked’ the food, eating like a man who was dying from hunger.

After he had eaten to his fill, ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) instructed for the dish of simple lentils to be taken away and for the next dish to be served. When the dishes of meat were now served, ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) turned to Maslamah and asked him to eat. However, Maslamah responded, “I have already eaten to my fill! I cannot eat any more!”
‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) then said to him, “When a dish that costs one third of a dirham can suffice you, then why do you spend a thousand dirhams on food every day? How can you be extravagant in your food?”

The unique manner in which ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) corrected Maslamah had a profound effect on him. Hence, he realized his mistake and thereafter desisted from extravagance.

(Seerat ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez libni ‘Abdil Hakam pg. 49 and Muhaadharatul Abraar vol. 2 pg. 406)

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