The Story of Hazrat Umar (Radhiallahu Anho) and the Roman Envoy


Once an ambassador of the Emperor of Rome came to

Madina bearing many gifts. On arriving, he enquired

about the palace of the king of Madina. People answered,


“Our king has no palace. However, our leader, the leader of the

believers has a mansion – his respected self- which has a

special contact with Allah Ta’ala and which has become

enlightened through the splendor of His nearness. Thus, he has

become independent of the need for a royal palace. ”

They further informed him: “You will find the leader of the

believers, Hazrat Umar (Radhiallahu Anho) in the graveyard of Madina”.


The Roman Ambassador then went to the graveyard and there saw

Hazrat Umar (Radhiallahu Anho) lying down, having taken off his shirt with only a

sheet covering the lower part of his body. He was lying down

fast asleep on the ground with no throne or crown on his head,

neither any soldiers nor any bodyguards. But as the

ambassador looked at his face, he began shaking with fear.


Within himself, he said: “I have seen many great kings in my

life and have been the companion and confidant of many rulers.

Never, have I feared any king. But, the awe and fear I feel for

this one dressed in such tattered clothing is causing my senses

to fly. This person without any weapons and without any forces

sleeping here alone on the ground. What is it that causes my

whole body to shake and tremble in awe of him? Even if I had

seven bodies, they would not bear it and all would tremble. ”


Then the envoy said to himself: “This awe and fear that I feel is

not for this one who is dressed in tattered clothes. In fact, this is

fear of Allah Ta’ala for this tattered clothed one has a heart that

is blessed with Allah Ta’ala’s contact and nearness.” Thus this

envoy, through the blessings of Hazrat Umar’ s (Radhiallahu Anho) company and

grace converted to Islam.


Maulana Rumi (Rahmatullah Alaihi) says:

“He who fears Allah Ta’ala and adopts a life of righteousness,

the jinn and men fear him.

And whoever sees him is overpowered by fear and awe.”



This story teaches us that true honor is brought about by

true and deep contact with Allah Ta’ala and not by outward

beauty and adornment. But, the foolish while displeasing Allah

Ta’ala, and in spite of committing sins, endeavor to acquire

honor and respect by building beautiful mansions, dressing in

expensive clothes and putting their trust in their businesses.

But we see that honor is only temporary and skin-deep. The

very same people who honor them in their presence curse them

behind their back. Today, one may be the President of the

country, but the moment he vacates or is removed, his honor is

no more in the newspapers. Similar is the condition of the

kings. However, the friends of Allah Ta’ala, the Auliyaa Allah,

are true kings. Hence, they are called Shah. This is their true

position and description in this world and they continue to be

remembered and honored after their death.


Ma’aarif- e -Mathnawi