Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - Heirlooms Of Persia

Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - Heirlooms Of Persia

After the occupation of Ctesiphon, one-fith of the booty gathered from Al-Madain was sent to Umar at Madina. These included vast riches comprising rare and priceless heirlooms. These comprised besides cash, the gorgeous carpet; the gem studded crown and royal robes; bangles of the Persian kings, and other curios.

On receiving the news of thc subjugation of the capital of the Persian empire, Umar led a thanksgiving prayer. The Holy Prophet had prophesied that the Muslims would one day overpower the mighty empire of Persia and this prophecy had been fulfilled only within six years of the death of the Holy Prophet.

As Umar surveyed the vast riches that had been brought to Madina, he wept. These were tears partly indicative of his joy and partly of his fear lest such wealth might turn the head of the Muslims.

Umar sought the advice of the Companions as to what should be done with the carpet. The general view was that it might be retained by the Caliph. Umar asked for the opinion of Ali. Ali said, "What they say is right, but if you set this precedent to-day, tomorrow there will be those who will claim such trophies without deserving them." Umar said, 'Are you all right; verily, you have given sound advice " The carpet was cut into small pieces and distributed among the people. Ali got one average piece, and he was able to sell it for 20,000 dirhams.

In Madina there was a man Muhallam by name who was cast in royal mould, and was known for his dignity, grace, and symmetry of body. On seeing him the Holy Prophet had said that he would one day wear the robes of the kings of Persia. When in the spoils the robes of the Persian kings came to Madina, Umar called Muhallam and had him dressed in the robes of the kings of Persia. All the people of Madina came to see him thus dressed. In this way the prophecy of the Holy Prophet was fulfilled.

There was another man in Madina Saraqa hy mame about whom the Holy Prophet had said that one clay he would wear the bangles of Chosroes. There was an interesting background to the story of Saraqa. When the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr escaped from Mecca with a view to migrating to Madina, the hostile Quraish of Mecca announced a reward of one hundred camels to any one who captured the Holy Prophet. Saraqa bin Jusham was a Quraish some one reported to him that he had seen three persons travelling on the road to Madina Thinking that such persons were the Prophet and his party Saraqa decided to pursue them with a view to winning the reward of hundred camels. Saraqa rode on a swift horse and he ultimately came in sight of the Holy Prophet cnd Abu Bakr. As he drew near them his horse stumbled and he fell down. He drew arrows from his quiver to divine the course of action for him. The omens forbade the pursuit. In spite of that Saraqa rode again to pursue the fugitives. This time the horse stuck up in the loose sand and could not come out. Once again he cast the arrows in the process of divination, and once again he received a negative answer. He now felt convinced that some supernatural power protected the Prophet. He shouted to the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr to stop and listen to him. They stopped and as he came to them Saraqa said that he had come to pursue them but after what had happened to his horse he had changed his mind. He said, "You May go to Madina in peace. I will return to Mecca and I will see that you are not pursued, Give me in writing an assurance that when the time comes my services would be recognised." The Holy Prophet asked Abu Bakr to give a document to that effect to Saraqa.

When Mecca was conquered, Saraqa presented that document and was allowed amnesty. He was converted to Islam and came to Madina. In Madina the Holy Prophet had said, "Saraqa a time will come when you will wear the bangles of Chosroes." Umar called Saraqa and gave him the bangles of Chosroes as a reward for the services that he had rendered to the Holy Prophet. As Saraqa wore the bangles, Umar said, "Thank God, the prophecy of the Holy Prophet stands fulfilled."