Said bin Amir (r.a.)

The Companions who were educated by the sea of the prophethood of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) and who obtained lights of guidance from that unique person became guides for the humanity; they worked for the peace and ease of the humanity in the period they lived and in the places they went; they made great efforts to gain happiness in both worlds.

One of the perfect and model people educated by the Prophet was Hz. Said bin Amir. Said started to benefit from the sun of guidance before the Conquest of Khaybar; when he started to drink the elixir of life from the fountain of belief, he could not stay in Makkah any longer and migrated to Madinah. He devoted himself to Islam and attended the luminous lessons of the Prophet. He became a hero in expeditions and battlefields.

Hz. Said was a powerful commander. When Abu Ubayda bin Jarrah asked help from Hz. Umar in the Battle of Yarmuk, Hz. Umar sent him four Companions, each of whom was equal to one thousand people. One of them was Said bir Amir. Said fought heroically in the Battle of Yarmuk against the Byzantine.

Said was also a foresighted administrator, a prudent, talented and fair genius of politics and diplomat. For, these people, who received inspiration from the elixir of the Prophet attained high qualities in a short time. The Messenger of Allah brought up “the people well-known in the world as the Companions who were among a primitive people and in an unlettered environment, devoid of all social life and political thought, without any scripture and lost in the darkness of a period between prophets, and who in a very brief time came to be the masters, guides, and just rulers of the most civilized and politically and socially advanced peoples and states and to rule the world from east to west in universally approved fashion”. [1]

Hz. Umar appointed this blessed person, who was from Suffa School, as the governor of Homs. Said, who was respected and loved by the people in a very short time was a perfect administrator. He listened to the problems of the people and protected the helpless people. Even the non-Muslims were pleased with his administration. When Hz. Umar heard that the governor was loved by the people very much, he asked the people of Homs the reason for it. They said, “Our governor is a shoulder to cry on.”

When Hz. Umar went to Damascus, he stopped by in Homs, which was in the north of Damascus. He wanted to see his distinguished governor Said there. After talking to the governor, he wanted to talk to the people about his administration. The people who heard that the caliph had come to their city gathered. Hz. Umar asked the notables, “O people of Homs! How of you find your governor? Are you pleased with him? Do you have any complaints about him?”

The people generally said that they were pleased with their governor but they complained about some things that he did and they could not understand why he did so. Upon the insistence of Hz. Umar, they said, “He does not start his duty early in the morning but toward noon.”

Hz. Umar looked for a bigger mistake. He asked, “Does he have a bigger sin?”

They said, “He does not accept any of us at night.  Once a month, he stays at home and does not go out to meet people. He sometimes faints and risks death.”

After listening to the people of Homs, Hz. Umar summoned Said bin Amir, the governor. He wanted to ask him the reasons for the mistakes they accused him of. 

After a while, the governor arrived. Umar asked him about the complaints in the presence of the people one by one. Meanwhile, Umar prayed as follows: “O Allah! Do not make me disappointed about him related to my good thoughts about him!”

When the complaints were listed, Said was quite calm. After Hz. Umar’s talk ended, he explained the reasons for the issues about which there were complaints:

“O Umar! I do not want to explain them but I have to since there are complaints. The reason why I go to my office a bit late is that I have no servants at home. I do most of the housework myself. I knead my dough early in the morning, bake my bread, prepare breakfast for my children, make wudu and leave. (It is written in some resources that his wife was ill.

 I do not accept anyone at night because I devote the day to the affairs of the people and the night for God Almighty.

As for the reason why I do not go out one day every month I wash my garment myself since I do not have a servant. I do not have a spare garment. I wash it and wait for it to dry. I put it on when it dries and I go out of my house to meet them after that.

As for fainting on some days, when Qurayshis hanged Khubayb, I was there. The polytheists tied him to a tree and made him the following proposal:  “Do you want us to hang Muhammad instead of you?” Hubayb said, “By Allah, I would not accept to see a thorn prick the foot of the Muhammad while I sat with my family safe and sound.” Then, he shouted, “O Muhammad!” After that, they martyred him. When I remember this self-sacrifice of Khubayb, it comes to my mind that I could not help him. I could have prevented them from hanging him. Unfortunately, I was a polytheist then. I think Allah will never forgive me because of this sin. Then, I faint.”

Having listened to his governor, who was at the peak of asceticism and piety, Hz. Umar opened his hands and said, “O Allah! You preserved my pure opinion of him! Thank You very much!  [2] The people who were there including the caliph could not help shedding tears.

The distinguished Companions of the Prophet put up with financial difficulties during times of shortage and acted contentedly during times of abundance. 

One of the people who were not deceived by the wealth of the world was Said. When Said was the governor of Homs, Hz. Umar asked the people of Homs to determine the poor people in the city. The poor people were determined and a group of Homs people gave the list to Hz. Umar. When Hz. Umar saw the name “Said bin Amir” in the first place in the list, he was surprised. He asked, “Who is Said bin Amir?” They said, “O leader of the believers! He is our governor.” The astonishment of the caliph increased. He said, “Is your governor poor?” They said, “Yes.” He asked again, “How can your governor be poor? How does he earn his living?” They answered, “O Umar! He never keeps any money with him. He gives everything that he obtains to the poor.” Hz. Umar was shedding tears.

Hz. Umar prepared a thousand dinars in order to save his governor from this difficulty and sent it with an envoy. He said to the envoy, “Give him my regards and say, ‘The leader of the believers sent this money to spend for your needs.’”

The envoy arrived in Homs. He gave the purse to the governor. When Said saw that there was money in the purse, he said, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilahi rajiun (To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return)”. It looked as if something bad happened. The wife of the governor also heard it. After the envoy left, she asked, “What is the matter? Did the Caliph die?” He said, “Something worse. The world is coming to me. Mischief has come to me.” His wife told him to spend the money as he wished. Said put the money in a purse and left it in a corner of the house. Then, he mentioned Allah and worshipped until the morning. He gave away all the money to the Muslim soldiers in the morning.

When his wife saw that he gave away all of the money, she said, “I wish you had spared some for you so that we would spend it for our needs.” This lofty Companion, who did not want to eat the fruits of the hereafter in the world, said to his wife,

“I heard the Messenger of Allah say, ‘If one of the women of Paradise looked at the world, the whole world would smell musk.’ By Allah, I will not eat the eternal boons of Paradise in the world in an ephemeral way. Besides, the Messenger of Allah said that the poor muhajirs would enter Paradise 70 years earlier than the rich.”

Hz. Said bin Amir who died in 20 H at the age of 40 in Homs was buried there.  [3]

May Allah be pleased with him!

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[1]Maktubat, p. 202.
[2]Hilya, 1: 245-246.
[3]Usdul-Ghaba, 2: 311-312.

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