al-Sawād al-A’dham: Unnamed Male

Unnamed Male

Once [the Umayyad Khalīfah] Sulaimān ibn cAbd al-Malik was riding in his procession when a black man with two cloaks on, one covering his upper body and one his lower, got in the way and took hold of the reigns of Sulaimān’s animal.

“O Leader of the Faithful, fear Allāh, Exalted and Glorified is He,” the man said, “and remember the announcement.”

Sulaimān enquired, “What announcement?”

The man replied, “Allāh, Exalted is He, said: Then an announcer will announce amongst them that the curse of Allāh is upon the oppressors.” [May Allāh save us from oppressing others and being oppressed. Āmīn.]

At this, Sulaimān began to cry profusely. After some time, he raised his head and said, “Woe to you! What oppression have I done to you?”

The man responded, “O Leader of the Faithful, your agent in Yemen has oppressed me: he usurped my possessions, and added it to yours.”

Without moving from that spot, Sulaimān called for an ink pot and paper, and wrote to his agent to return the man’s property along with the like of it and not to oppress anyone.