Tuesday, 20 March 2012

River Nile and Sayyidina Umar ibn al-Khattab

The following is an amazing event which occurred during the life of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA), in which Allah (SWT) demonstrated a miracle and his immense mercy to the people of Egypt.
'Umar ibn al-Khattab (Radiyallhu 'Anhu), the second Khalifa, Amir Al Mu’meneen  assigned Amr bin al 'Aas (Radiyallhu 'Anhu) as the Governor in Egypt. One day some of the Egyptians came to 'Amr bin al 'Aas (Radiyallhu 'Anhu) and told him that every year they must sacrifice a beautiful young girl  (putting new nice clothes & jewelry) into the Nile River in order to make it flow. And if they don't sacrifice a girl, then the river will not flow and the nation will be deprived of water. Whereupon, 'Amr bin al 'Aas (Radiyallhu 'Anhu) said "This is a practice of Jahiliyya and you are not allowed to do this anymore”. Thus, in that particular year, the Egyptians did not sacrifice a young girl. Allah wished to test the people of Egypt by causing the Nile River to run short of water. The condition became so bad, that the people of Egypt threatened Amr bin al 'Aas that they would leave Egypt if he did not allow them to sacrifice a girl in order to flow the river.

After hearing this, 'Amir bin al 'Aas (Radiyallhu 'Anhu) wrote a letter addressed to 'Amir Al Mu'mineen, 'Umar bin al-Khattab (Radiyallhu 'Anhu) in which he wrote exactly what had happened and his response to the people of Egypt.  Umar (Radiyallhu 'Anhu) wrote two letters in response, one addressed to 'Amir bin al 'Aas (Radiyallhu 'Anhu) and the other one to the Nile River. In the first letter, he wrote that 'Amr bin al 'Aas had done the right thing and also instructed him to throw the second letter into the Nile River. The letter addressed to the Nile River read:

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

"From the servant of Allah and leader of the believers, Umar ibn al Khattab to the Nile River:
If you flow with your will because a girl is sacrificed to you, then know that we are not in need of you, but if you flow because it is Allah (SWT) who wills for you to flow, then flow."

It was reported that the next day, the Nile River was filled with 16 dirah (1 dirah is about 1 feet) and has never dried and will not dry until the day of Qiyamah!
Source: Al Bidaya wa an-Nihaya by Ibn Kathir.

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