The Sign of Sincerity

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During the period in which he was the leader of the Muslim Ummah, Sayyiduna Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) once had a peace treaty with the Romans. When the peace treaty was close to expiring, he prepared the Muslim army and began proceeding to the border of the Muslim and Roman lands. His intention was to cross the border and attack the very instant the treaty terminated. The Romans were unaware of this and would have been taken by utter surprise.

While Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was proceeding, he suddenly saw a man on horseback shouting, “Allahu Akbar! Fulfill the pledge! Don’t deceive!” When they looked, they saw that it was the Sahaabi, ‘Amr bin ‘Abasah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) sent for him and when he arrived, he said to Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), “I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saying, ‘The one who has a treaty or pledge with a people should neither make any change to the pledge nor break it until it either terminates or he first informs them equally.”

On hearing the blessed hadeeth of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) immediately accepted correction and retreated with the entire army. (Sunan Abi Dawood #2759 & Sunan Tirmizi #1580)

Lessons:

1. Mu‘aawiyah’s (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) actions of mustering the army and marching to the border were for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala. When ‘Amr bin ‘Abasah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) corrected him, he understood that the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala lay in him ordering the army to retreat. Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thus showed us the hallmark of a true believer – he does not worry about his reputation and image but strives to always do what is most pleasing to Allah Ta‘ala.

2. When a person receives correction, he should not look at who is correcting him but should rather examine his weaknesses and determine whether or not this correction applies to him. If it does, he should realize that accepting correction is not below his dignity but will actually be a means of him gaining the nearness of Allah Ta‘ala.

3. Islam is a Deen of such justice that it even advocates dealing with the enemies of Islam justly and fairly. Although Mu‘aawiyah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) did not launch an attack during the period of the treaty, the actions of preparing an army and marching to the border were “actions of war” and thus contravened the peace treaty. When Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) treated the enemy fairly, is it conceivable that they would have ever treated their own family or even fellow Muslims in an oppressive, abusive manner?

4. When Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) would hear the hadeeth of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), they would immediately express submission and honour the blessed words of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) without raising any objections and applying their own reasoning. 

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