Forbidding from Accompanying Sultans

Forbidding from Accompanying Sultans

If more a person’s status is elevated in this world, the more his status will diminish in the Hereafter.

Ibn ‘Umar (radiyAllahu ‘anhuma) said, ‘By Allah! Whenever one gains something in this life, then his status with Allah diminishes, even if he is honourable in Allah’s eyes.’

A fortunate person is he who is content with little gain, for time is more valuable than to be wasted in seeking the world – unless if the seeker fears Allah in his gain, refrains from greed and seeks to assist righteous people and give charity to the poor. For someone like this, it is better for him to seek gain than not to do so.

As for the elevated status that results from mixing with Sultans, it will certainly harm one’s religion, and if it does not, then it jeopardises his ending.

We have seen many scholars who had a bad ending because of their proximity and mixing with Sultans. They went after comfort but did not achieve it properly, because sadness of the heart never goes away with money or food.

No one is more honourable and has a better life than a person who spends his time in seclusion. He does not mix with the Sultan and does not care about how good his food is. It is usually a piece of bread and a cup of water. He is never told a word that harms him, and if he does have a need to visit the Sultan, neither religion nor people condemn him.

If we compare the difference between Imam Ahmad In Hanbal’s refraining from Sultans, and In Abi Du’ad and Yahya Ibn Aktham, then we will learn the difference between a good life in this world and safety in the Hereafter.

Ibn Adham said, ‘If kings and their sons knew the pleasure in which we are living [because of our religious contentment], they would have fought us over it.’

Ibn Adham spoke the truth. When a Sultan eats something he fears that someone might have poisoned it, and when he goes to sleep he fears that someone will assassinate him. He remains indoors fearing leaving his residence. If he does so he gets annoyed from the closest people to him.

If he likes a certain food he will eat too much from it and trouble his stomach; if he has too much sexual relations he becomes weak and feels little pleasure. He does not find the same joy that a poor person finds when eating after being hungry or a single man after finding a woman. A poor person might feel secure enough to sleep on the street, something that a prince would not be able to do. So their pleasure is always reduced, vet they will be held to account more.

By Allah! I do not know of any people who lived honourably while achieving pleasures more than sincere scholars such as Al-Hasan al-Basri, Sufyan al-Thawri and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, and true worshipers such as Ma’ruf.

The pleasure of knowledge exceeds all pleasures, and whenever seekers of knowledge feel hunger or harm, this only elevates their status. There is also a sweetness to seclusion and worship.

Ma’ruf for example, was alone with his Lord, living comfortably with Him and enjoying the sweetness of being with Him.

Although he died about four hundred years ago, he is still gifted (the reward) of reciting many chapters of the Qur’an! The least that is done for him is people stand at his grave, reciting:

“Say: ‘He is Allah, [the] one and only.” [Qur’an 112:11][1]

And gift him its reward. Even Sultans stand humble in front of his grave in the day of resurrection more honours will be distributed.

The same applies to graves of scholars. Those who have been inflected with visiting leaders, they confessed that they were harmed by doing so.

Sufyan Ibn ‘Uyaynah said, ‘Since I accepted the gift of such and such prince, I was stripped from the understanding of the Qur’an.’

And look at the grave of Abu Yusuf al-Qadi, it is hardly visited by even few people.

So refraining from mixing with leaders might cause hardship some-times, yet it will result in goodness in many other ways. It is best for someone to be firm upon this issue.

Abu’l-Hasan Al-Qazwini used to leave his house only for prayers at the masjid. The Sultan used to sit waiting for him to greet him.

Dwelling too much on this subject might cause the listener (reader) to become bored. He who tastes what I am talking about would better understand.

[Captured Thoughts by Ibn Al-Jawzi, p. 630-633]


[1] May Allah have mercy on Ibn Jawzi, it is not from the sunnah to recite the Qur’an at the grayevard. However there are many other beneficial things that can be done to benefit the dead.

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