The Holy Prophet (SAW) confirms truthfulness of Hatib
Source: Al-Nass Wal-Ijtihad, Text and Interpretation
By: Allama Abdul Husayn Sharafuddin al-Musawi
Al-Bukhari mentioned in his Sahih a tradition narrated by Abu Owana that Husayn had said: “Once Abu Abdurrahman and Habban bin Atiyya disputed. Abu Abdurrahman said to Habban: “I knew what had encouraged your friend - he meant Ali - to shed the bloods.” Habban said: “Woe unto you! What was that?” Abu Abdurrahman said: “Something I have heard him saying it.” Habban said: “What is it?”
Abu Abdurrahman said: “Ali said: “One day the Prophet (S) sent for us; me, az-Zubayr and Abu Marthad, and all of us were knights, and he said to us: “You go to Rawdhat Haj. 167 There is a woman there having a letter from Hatib bin Abu Balta’a to the polytheists. Bring me the letter.” We set out on our horses until we found the woman where the Prophet (S) had said to us that she was on a camel. Hatib had written a letter to the people of Mecca informing them that the Prophet (S) would attack them.
We asked the woman: “Where is the book which you have?” She said: “I do not have any book.” We made her camel kneel down and we searched her baggage but we did not find any book. My two companions said: “We do not think that she has a book.” I (Ali) said: “We know well that the Prophet (S) has not told a lie.” Then I swore: “By Him, Who is sworn by, either you take out the book or I shall kill you.” 168 She took the letter out of her garment.” They brought the letter to the Prophet (S).
Umar said: “O Messenger of Allah, he (Hatib) has betrayed Allah, His Messenger and the believers. Let me behead him!” The Prophet (S) said to Hatib: “O Hatib, what made you do that?” Hatib said: “O Messenger of Allah, I still believe in Allah and His Messenger but I wanted to do the people (the polytheists) a favor so that they would not harm my family and properties. Every one of your companions there has someone of his tribe to defend his family and properties.” The Prophet (S) said to his companions: “He is right. Do not say to him save good.”
Umar said again: “O Messenger of Allah, he has betrayed Allah, His Messenger and the believers. Let me behead him!” 169 It was necessary for Umar not to say that after the Prophet (S) had told them that Hatib was right and after he had ordered them not to harm him.
The Prophet’s book to his emirs
Malik bin Anas and al-Bazzaz mentioned 170 that the Prophet (S) had sent books to his emirs asking them that when they wanted to send him their mails they should make their letters and books with fine titles and in fine forms. When Umar knew that, he got up saying: “I do not know! Shall I say or shall I keep silent?” The Prophet (S) said to him: “O Umar, say!” Umar said to the Prophet (S): “You have forbidden us from being pessimistic but how do you become pessimistic now?” The Prophet (S) said: “I am not pessimistic but I have chosen the best.”
Dividing the charities
Ahmad bin Hanbal mentioned in his Musnad 171 that Salman bin Rabee’a had heard Umar saying: “One day the Prophet (S) distributed charities among some people. I said to him: “O Messenger of Allah, there are other people who are more deserving than these people; they are the people of the Suffa.” 172 The Prophet (S) said: “You ask me greedily (and at the same time) you intend to make me miser while I am not.”
But the division had been done as Allah and His Messenger willed. Abu Musa said that Umar had asked the Prophet (S) about some things that the Prophet (S) disliked until he became angry. Umar saw the anger in the Prophet’s face. 173
The Prophet (S) orders Umar to hide his faith
Muhyiddeen ibn al-Arabi mentioned that the Prophet (S) had said to Umar bin al-Khattab, when he had become a Muslim: “Keep your faith secret.” But Umar refused to do that and he announced his being a Muslim openly. 174
Necessity then required the Muslims to conceal their faith because the mission would not succeed except with concealment but the (valor) of Umar led him to announce his being a Muslim even if he would contradict the order of the Prophet (S)!