Sulaimaan bin Abdil Malik was one of the Umayyad rulers who ruled over the Muslims from the year 96 AH until his demise in 99 AH. During the period of his rule, he once set out for Makkah Mukarramah. En-route to Makkah Mukarramah, he stopped in Madinah Munawwarah and stayed there for a few days. While in the blessed city, he asked the people, “Is there any person present in Madinah Munawwarah today who had spent time in the company of a Sahaabi?”
On his enquiry, the people responded, “Yes, there is a person by the name of Abu Haazim who spent time in the company of a Sahaabi.” Sulaimaan then sent one of his attendants to summon Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah).
When Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah) arrived, Sulaimaan addressed him and asked, “O Abu Haazim! Why have you showed disregard towards me?” Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah) replied, “O Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen! What do you mean by saying that I have showed disregard towards you?” Sulaimaan replied, “When I arrived here, then the eminent people of Madinah came to meet me. However, you did not come. Thus, you have showed disregard towards me.”
Hearing this, Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah) said, “I ask Allah to protect you from saying that which is untrue. Prior to this day, we both had never met each other. (When we both had never met each other, then we do not have any relationship among ourselves due to which you can regard me to have shown disregard to you).”
When Sulaimaan heard this reply, he turned to Imaam Ibnu Shihaab Zuhri (rahimahullah) to see his response. Imaam Ibnu Shihaab Zuhri (rahimahullah) said to him, “What Abu Haazim has said is correct, and it is you who has erred.”
Sulaimaan thereafter turned to Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah) and asked him certain questions. Thus, the following dialogue ensued:
Sulaimaan: O Abu Haazim! Tell me, why is it that we fear and dislike death?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): The reason is that you have destroyed and ruined your Aakhirah while developing and preparing your dunya. Hence, you dislike and fear going from that which is developed and prepared to that which is destroyed and ruined.
Sulaimaan: You are correct, O Abu Haazim! Now tell me, how will we come before Allah Ta‘ala tomorrow, on the Day of Qiyaamah?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): The people who carried out righteous actions will come before Allah Ta‘ala in the manner that a traveller returns home to his family after a long journey while all are eagerly awaiting his arrival. As for the evil doers, then they will be brought before Allah Ta‘ala like a runaway slave who is apprehended and dragged before his master.
Hearing this, Sulaimaan began to weep and exclaimed, “If only we knew the manner in which Allah Ta‘ala will bring us before Him on that day!”
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): If you judge your actions by the Kitaab of Allah (the Qur’aan Majeed), then you will have your answer.
Sulaimaan: Which verse of the Qur’aan Majeed should I view to determine my end?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): You should view this verse: Indeed, the righteous will be in bliss (and comfort), and indeed, the evil-doers will be in Hell (in agony). (Surah Infitaar v. 13-14)
Sulaimaan: The mercy of Allah Ta‘ala is all-encompassing and just as it is for the pious, it also extends to the sinners as well.
Hearing this, Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah) replied by reciting the following verse of the Qur’aan Majeed:
Indeed, the mercy of Allah is (always) close to the righteous. (Surah A’raaf v. 56)
Sulaimaan: O Abu Haazim! Who is the most honoured from Allah’s servants?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): The people who possess integrity and intelligence.
Sulaimaan: O Abu Haazim, which actions are the best?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): To ensure that you fulfil the fardh and waajib obligations, together with refraining from everything that is impermissible.
Sulaimaan: Which dua is the most likely to gain acceptance?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): The dua of a person for the one who had done some favour to him.
Sulaimaan: Which charity is the best?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): The sadaqah given to a person in difficulty and the sadaqah given by a poor person despite him being poor.
Sulaimaan: Which speech is the best?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): The best speech are the words uttered when speaking the haq before one whom you fear, or before the one who you are dependent on his assistance.
Sulaimaan: Who is the most intelligent Muslim?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): The one who remains obedient to Allah Ta‘ala and encourages others towards the obedience of Allah Ta‘ala.
Sulaimaan: Who is the most foolish Muslim?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): The one who assists his brother to oppress another person. In doing so, he has destroyed his deen in order to improve the next person’s dunya.
Sulaimaan: What you have said is correct. Now tell me, what is your opinion regarding us (my family who are the ruling class)?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): It would be better if you excused me from answering this question.
Sulaimaan: No, you are not excused, I desire that you should give me some words of advice and good counsel.
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): O Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen! Your forefathers (the rulers of the Banu Umayyah before you) used the might of the sword to gain control over the people, and enforced their rule over them against their will. In the process, they killed many people and usurped their wealth. After committing all these crimes and sins, they passed away and departed from this world. If only you knew what they are saying now, and what is being said to them (while they are being punished)!
When Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah) said this, then one of Sulaimaan’s guards, who was seated in the gathering, took exception to the criticism of Abu Haazim (rahimahullah) against the family of Sulaimaan and thus blurted out saying, “O Abu Haazim! What a bad statement you have uttered!”
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah) responded, “No! You have spoken a lie! I have not said anything wrong! I only said that which is my responsibility to say! Allah Ta‘ala has taken a pledge from the Ulama that they should clearly explain the truth to people, and they should not hide or conceal the truth.
Sulaimaan: Very well, in that case, how can we rectify ourselves?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): Give up your arrogance and pride, conduct yourself with integrity, and fulfil rights of people with justice.
Sulaimaan: O Abu Haazim! Can you stay with us so that you may benefit from us, and we may benefit from you?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): No, Allah forbid!
Sulaimaan: Why do you not wish to stay with us?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): The reason is that I fear that I will be influenced by you and will become inclined towards your wealth and riches, and pomp and glory. If this has to happen, then Allah Ta‘ala will give me a double punishment in this world, and a double punishment after I die!
Sulaimaan: If you have any needs, then present them to us so that we may fulfil them for you.
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): I have one need – that you should save me from Jahannum and gain me admittance into Jannah.
Sulaimaan: That is beyond my control or ability.
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): Apart from this need, there is no other need that I have.
Sulaimaan: Please make dua for me.
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): O Allah! If Sulaimaan is your friend, then You bestow him with the goodness of this world and the next, and if he is Your enemy, then you seize him by his forelock and pull him towards those actions that are beloved and pleasing to You!
Sulaimaan: You have said enough. Is there anything else that you wish to say?
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): My words were concise, but I said a lot of things. If you have the heart to accept my advice, then well and good. If not, then it will not benefit me to try and fire an arrow from a bow which does not have a string.
Sulaimaan: Give me some parting advice.
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah): I will give you some advice, and I will keep it brief. My advice is that you should show such importance to Your Rabb that He should not see you involved in that which He has prohibited you from, nor should He find you absent from that which He commanded you to come towards and fulfil.
Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah) then departed, after which Sulaimaan sent him one hundred dinars as a gift, with a letter stating, “Use this money to see to your needs, and I have more wealth with me that I wish to give to you.”
However, Hazrat Abu Haazim (rahimahullah) did not accept the wealth and returned it. When returning the wealth to Sulaimaan, he sent him a letter, and the concluding words of the letter were the following, “If this gift of one hundred dinars is in lieu of the words of advice that I had spoken to you, then it would be better for me to consume carrion, blood or pork, in order to save my life when I am starving to death, than for me to accept this wealth. If you have sent this wealth to me on the basis that it is from the Bayt-ul-Maal, and I also have a right in the Bayt-ul-Maal, then just as I have a right in the Bayt-ul-Maal, then there are thousands of other Ulama and people who are serving deen who also have a right in the Bayt-ul-Maal. If you have also sent this amount to all of them, then I may accept it. Otherwise, I have no need to take this wealth.”
(Sunan Daarmi #673)