The story of Umar (RA) and a Powerful lesson for us
During one of Umar(ra)’s night patrols as caliph, his servant Aslam narrates that they came across a woman in an open area outside Madina sitting with some children around her, a pot boiling on CAN fire, and the children crying. ‘Umar greeted her and asked the woman about her condition and also what was going on there. The woman told him that the darkness and cold had forced her to stay there for the night. ‘Umar asked her, “Why are these children crying?” And the woman said in reply, “They are hungry”. Then ‘Umar asked her, “What is there in that pot on fire?” The woman said, “Only water to console the children so that they may remain quiet and go to sleep. And God alone shall judge between us and ‘Umar.” ‘Umar said to her, “My good woman, what does ‘Umar know about your state of affairs?” To which she retaliated, “Why then should he hold the high office of the Caliph when he is unaware of our condition?”
Umar quickly left to go towards the Bait-al-mal where he took a bag of flour and container of fat and asked me to load the bag on his back. I offered my services but he angrily brushed aside my offer saying ‘Can you relieve me of my burden on the Day of reckoning also?
‘ So I loaded the bag on his back, and then we hastened towards our destination at a fast pace. As he arrived, he took out some flour from the bag, gave it to the woman and asked her to knead it while he himself offered to fan the fire to a flame. So he started blowing the fire below the pot. When she brought a platter, he poured out the contents of the pot into it and asked the woman to feed the children while he himself fanned to cool it. We sat there until all of them ate till they were full. What was left of the flour and fat was handed over to her and then ‘Umar got up and I followed suit.
The woman said, ‘God bless you. You are more deserving of that high office than the Amir of the believers.’ ‘Umar said to her, ‘Say only a good word. When you come to see Amir of the believers tomorrow, you will find me there, God-willing.
‘Umar thanked God and got up and turning to me said, ‘Aslam, hunger was growing at their stomachs and they were miserable and could not go to sleep. I would not have been at ease until I had seen them happy and comfortable. So I looked at them from my position of responsibility. You have also seen that they have gone to sleep perfectly at ease.”May Allah bless your wealth, families and health.”