Anas ibn Mālik rađiyallāhu ánhū narrates: We were with Úmar ibn al-Khaţţāb riđwānAllāhi álayh when an Egyptian came to him and said, ‘O Amīr al-Mu’minīn, I have come here to seek your protection..’

He asked: ‘What has befallen you?’

The Egyptian said: “I let my horse race with those of Ámr ibn al-Áāş;1 as my horse was winning, Muĥammad the son of Ámr ibn al-Áāş said: ‘That’s my horse, by the Lord of Kaábah!’. As it came nearer, I recognized that it was mine and I exclaimed: ‘That is my horse, by the Lord of Kaábah’. So he stood up and lashed me with his whip and said: ‘Take that; and I am the son of a nobleman’.”2

As soon as Úmar heard that, he asked the Egyptian to sit down and began writing to Ámr immediately: ‘As soon as you receive this letter of mine, come hither, along with your son, Muĥammad’.

When the letter reached Ámr, he called his son and asked: ‘Did you do anything? Did you commit any crime?’

The son replied, ‘No’.

[Ámr] said: ‘Then why does Úmar write about you?’ Thereafter Ámr came to Úmar along with his son.

Anas says:‘By Allāh, I was with Úmar when Ámr came to us. And Úmar was looking around, searching for the son who was following his father. Úmar said: ‘Where is the Egyptian?’

The man said: ‘Here I am’

Úmar gave him the whip and said: ‘Now lash this son of the nobleman; lash him, the son of a nobleman.’3

So the Egyptian whipped the son of Ámr ibn al-Áāş.

Úmar said: ‘Now crack one on the crown [of Ámr]; by Allāh he [the son] would not have whipped you, except for his father’s authority.’

The Egyptian said: ‘Amīr al-Mu’minīn, I have lashed the person who struck me’.4

[Úmar] said: ‘You could have lashed him [Ámr] and we wouldn’t have interfered ; anyway, you have yourself let him go.’

Turning to Ámr he said: “O Ámr, since when did you begin making slaves of people when their mothers gave birth to them as free men?”5

He then told the Egyptian: ‘Now go your way and write to me if anyone troubles you again.’

 

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Footnotes:

1. rađiyallāhu ánhū; may Allah ta'ala be well pleased with all the companions.

2. how dare you compete with me? and how dare your horse wins ahead of the horses of noblemen (and you are a commoner).

3. ibn al-akramīn

4. and I don’t want to hit anyone else

5. a yā ámr, matā istaábaddtumu’n nāsa wa qad waladat’hum ummuhum aĥrāra?

Ibn al-Jawzi, Chapter 38, p.98/99; Manāqib Úmar ibn al-Khaţţāb