During the time of his Khilaafat, Amir-ul-Mominin Syyedina ‘Umar R.A, used to himself patrol the streets and suburbs of Madinah during the night to keep watch.
During one of his night-patrols, he noticed a camel-hair tent pitched in an open space. He had never seen this particular tent before.
When he approached the tent, he found a person sitting outside and heard a sort of groan coming out of the tent. Syyedina ‘Umar R.A greeted the stranger with Assalaam-o-alaikum” and sat down beside him.
Syyedina ‘Umar R.A asked him: “From where are you brother?”
The person replied: “I am from the desert and a stranger to this place. I have come to request Amir-ul-Mo’minin for some help in my need.”
Syyedina ‘Umar R.A asked: “Who is groaning like this inside the tent?”
The person angrily replied: “Please mind your own business.”
Syyedina ‘Umar R.A pleaded: “Do tell me please. Maybe I can be of assistance you.”
The person replied: “If you must know, then inside there is my wife groaning with labour pains.”
Syyedina ‘Umar R.A asked: “Is there anybody else to attend her?”
“No one,” replied the person.
Thereupon, Syyedina ‘Umar R.A got up and hurried to his house. He brought up the subject with his wife Syyedah Umme-Kulsum R.A thus: “Allah has brought you an opportunity to receive great blessings.”
“What is it, O, Amir-ul-Mo’minin?” asked his wife.
Syyedinah ‘Umar R.A replied: “Out there, is a poor woman of the desert in child birth, with nobody to attend her.”
His wife offered herself saying: “I am ready to attend her, if it may please you so.”
Syyedah Umme-Kulsum R.A was, after all the daughter of Syyedah Fatimah R.A and the grand-daughter of Prophet P.B.U.H. How could she hesitate to be of service to a desperate sister at the time of need, such a service and a devotion which Allah loves best?
Syyedinah ‘Umar R.A requested her: “Then you should hurry up. Also take a pan, some butter, provisions and other things needed during the child birth.”
Syyedah Umme-Kulsum R.A did as she was requested and left for the place where the tent was pitched. Syyedinah ‘Umar R.A followed her closely. She entered the tent while Syyedinah ‘Umar R.A made a fire and occupied himself with cooking something which those people could eat. After some time, Syyedah Umme-Kulsum R.A called out from inside the tent,
“O, Amir-ul-Mominin, congratulate your friend on the birth of a son.”
The person was embarrassed when he heard the address of ‘Amir-ul-Mominin’ and realized the position of the person who had been serving him, but Syyedinah ‘Umar R.A put all his fears to rest, saying: “That is all right, there is nothing to worry about.”
He then placed the pan near the tent and asked his wife to take it and feed the woman. She fed her and returned the pan. Then Syyedinah ‘Umar R.A asked the Bedouin to partake of the food, as he had kept awake the whole night.
Having rendered this service, Syyedinah ‘Umar R.A returned home with his wife, telling the person, “Come to me tomorrow and I shall see what I can do for you.”
Is there any king, or even a petty chief, or even an ordinary middle class person of our time, who will take his wife out in the dead of night, out in the wilderness, to attend to a poor strange woman while he himself gladly engages in making a fire and cooking food? Leave the worldly rich class aside, how many of the religious people would do that? We should realize that unless we really follow in the footsteps of those Allah fearing people, whom we claim to look up to as our models, we cannot deserve and wish for the special blessings that Allah bestowed on them.
Taken from: “Abridged Hayatus Sahabah”
Translated by: “Shaykh Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias”