Appraisal – For Khalid (ra) by Umar (ra)
The seventy long years hasn’t stolen much of the memories from his life, reclining on an easy chair sipping a warm tea, watching the greenery around, breathing the fresh air and occasionally the steam from the tea cup, the aroma of freshness, the calm surroundings only interrupted by flutter of birds wings when they land on the courtyard. He had seen ups and downs, turbulences, turmoil’s, turn of fortunes, victories and victors, failures and losers, achievements and mishaps, some one who has seen and been through it all.
He goes back in time to days as a professional, the days he was promoted and the reminders of the excitement brings to his lips a silent voluntarily smile, he recollects the day when some one else was promoted whom he considered as worthless, instead of a resentment what appears in his face is an expression of gratitude. Fueled by an event which happened later on where this promoted colleague helped him in difficult circumstances, although not all of such experiences were what one would term as pleasant. He realized that throughout life there was no single person who was always a victor and likewise no single person was always a loser. He sighed in relief, life has not done him injustice but it had given him a fair share from its bag of mixed experiences like every one else.
Faith had been a constant companion, which kept him in close ties with his lord he never let a happy occasion pass being unthankful, neither did he ask ‘why me?’ in difficult situations he kept asking ‘guide me to what would please you’. The Hadith which said “Mend your relationship with the creator, and creator would mend your relationship with the creations” was a guiding light throughout his life. He remembered the life of the pious ones before, which provided him with practical insights, one incident he would never forget throughout his professional life was the incident of Khalid Ibn Waleed and Umar (may Allah be pleased with them [ra])
Khalid (may allah be pleased with him) was an ace war veteran, an accepted leader and commander in chief of the army of Umar (may allah be pleased with him), the army was at war, some one brought to notice an event which happened at the warfront. Khalid (may allah be pleased with him) showered gifts to a person who had praised him. This did not go well with the principles Hazrath Umar wanted to instill within the army, he instantly sent a messenger on his behalf with the following orders “Replace Khalid with Abu Ubaidah Ibn Jarrah as commander in chief with immediate effect. The two questions shall be asked to Khalid 1- If Khalid has spend the money from bait-ul maal (govt fund/peoples fund) then he has done a crime and would be sent back home from the army as punishment, 2- If Khalid has spend the from his own pocket then it is a punishable squandering of money and he would be sent back home from the army”.
The messenger approached Abu Ubaidah and conveyed the order, soon after the Fajar Prayer(early morning prayer) the first part of the order was read out, Khalid RA heard the order; he came forward and obediently removed his commander in chief turban and gave it to Hazrath Abu Ubaida. Then Hazrath Khalid was asked, “The gift you had given to so and so was it from baitul-maal?”, for which Khalid replied “That money was not from baitul-maal and it was from my own pocket”. Hazrath Abu Ubaida read out the order that this is a punishable squandering of money for which you would be removed from the army and sent back home. Hazrath Khalid did not complain, he did not object as he knew that obeying the person who is in charge is like obeying the prophet and obeying the prophet is like obeying Allah. The old mans life was a testimony that when some one obeys the likings of his lord, it is obvious that the lord would reciprocate in better ways. He thought “The companions where fortunate to have faith and belief strongly embedded in their hearts, Moses (peace be on him) was told by his lord to strike the river with stick, and his lord showed him the way out of peril, the same held true for me” he sighed thankfully.
Appraisals happens every day, the old man thought, when the needy looks at you with craving eyes but refrain from asking you because you would turn them down, then you realize the need of the person and provide him with what he wants. Then their hearts turn to the lord with gratitude, and beg for you and pray for you that the lord helps you in return. During each prayer, when you recognize that this is my personal appointment with my lord and give its due importance, even the normal bosses of the world dislike to send back their visitors empty handed, would the lord of the world ever leave you empty handed after appointment with him? When you raise your arms towards your lord and ask him ‘help me for I am lost, help me for I am in need’ even the rich people of this world would not deny a request, is it not a sin to think the most benevolent would deny your request.
He remembered the scene when Hazrath Umar went to visit the house of Khalid when he died, the house hold was crying aloud beside Khalids body. Umar did not like women to cry aloud and mourn in this fashion, on seeing him all of them stopped crying. Hazrath Umar then said “If there is a person worthy on whom you should mourn and cry aloud for his passing away then it is Khalid, For after Khalid’s Islam he never had any longing and greed for the adornments of this world and its glitters”. Khalid in cold heart gave up his position, but today Khalid has a lofty position in the hearts of billions and even for the one who commanded him to step down.
The old man caressed his white beard then with the glow contentment which is characteristic of his handsome face rose up thinking “Today if any professional was treated similar to Khalid what would they have done …” he turned his face away from the courtyard and walked past the door. The chair was now vacant, a silent breeze swept past the courtyard from where the birds had already flown away.
The old man left us with this simple question, what would we have done?