During the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar bin al-Khattabرضي الله عنه, Hazrat Sa’eed bin ‘Amirرضي الله عنه was the governor of Hims, a city in Shaam. When Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه visited Hims to see how things were going there, he was met by a large group of people who began to complain to him about Hazrat Sa’eed رضي الله عنه.
They found fault with him in four matters.
First, they said, he would not come out to them until mid-morning.
Second, he would refuse to answer any caller during the night.
Third, once a month, he would stay away from the people.
And fourth, once in a while, Sa’eed رضي الله عنه would faint and lose consciousness for no apparent reason.
Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه asked Hazrat Sa’eed رضي الله عنه to respond to their complaints.
In regard to the first complaint, Hazrat Sa’eed رضي الله عنه explained that he had no servant and that, every morning, he had to crush his own wheat in order to make bread. As soon as he would finish making his bread, he said, he would then go out to serve the people.
As for not answering any callers during the night, he said that he dedicated his days to serving the people and his nights to worshipping Allah.
As for not going out to the people once a month, he explained that he had only one garment and that he washed it once a month and had to then wait until it dried.
As for passing out every so often, he gave this explanation:
“When I was a mushrik, I witnessed the brutal execution of Hazrat Habib al-Ansaari رضي الله عنه in Makkah. I saw how Quraish cut up his flesh little by little. They said to Habib رضي الله عنه , ‘Do you now want Muhammad to take your place?’ He said, ‘By Allah, I would not want to be safe with myself, my family and my children if Muhammadﷺ were even to be pricked by a thorn.’ Every time I remember that day and how I refrained from helping Hazrat Habib رضي الله عنه, for I was a mushrik and did not believe in Allah, the All-Mighty- I begin to think that Allah Ta’ala, the Possessor of Might and Majesty, will never forgive me. It is then that I faint, O Leader of the Believers.”
Subhan Allah ! Such were the righteous.May Allah help us follow the footsteps of our righteous predecessor. May Allah guide us to Siratul Mustaq