An Early Scholar's Thoughts on Today's Political Climate
In his explanation of the Qur'an, Imam al-Qurtubī relates that Caliph Solimān bin 'Abd al-Mālik planned to stop by Medina on his way to Mecca. Once there, he asked,
"Is there anyone left in Medina who met the Companions of the Prophet (God's peace and blessings be upon him)?" He was told, "Abū Hāzim."
... During the course of a rather frank conversation, Solimān asked Abū Hāzim his thoughts about how his family had taken power. Abū Hāzim's response is one that could benefit us today:
" Leader of the Faithful! Your forefathers conquered people with the sword, taking power by force without consulting them or seeking their approval (pleasure), ultimately massacring them in droves."
One of Solimān's courters interrupted Abū Hāzim saying, "This is absolutely false, Abū Hāzim!"
Abū Hāzim responded, "You are lying. Allah took a covenant from the scholars that they must clarify the truth and not hide it from anyone."
Moved by his words, Solimān implored,
"How can we rectify this?"
Abū Hāzim said,
"Stop being arrogant, stick to the truth and be just to everyone."
Later on, Solimān sent him 100 dinār that Abū Hāzim quickly returned it saying,
"If I am not pleased that you have this money, how could I be pleased with it for myself?"