In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Haaroon Ar-Rasheed Ibn Mahdee Muhammad Ibn Mansoor (Abu Jafar) Abdullah Ibn Mohammad Ibn Ali Ibn Abdullah Ibn Abbaas Ibn Abdil Muttalib Al-Qurashee Al-Haashimee. He went to several military expeditions during his father’s era and declared a truce between the Muslims and the Romans. He was given the oath of allegiance as the Khaleefah after the death of his brother Moosaa Haadee. He was of white complexion, tall, handsome and with a bulky physique.
He used to give a 1000 Dirhams in charity every day. He used take a hundred scholars and their children whenever he went for Hajj, And if he was not performing Hajj, he paid for three hundred people to go. He used to pray a hundred Rak’aat of optional prayer everyday unless something stopped him from doing so.
A Heart Attentive to Admonition:
One day Ibn Sammaak [rahimahullaah] came when Haaroon [rahimahullaah] asked for water. After a cup of cold water was brought, he said to Ibn Sammaak, “Admonish me”. So Ibn Sammaak said to him, “O leader of the believers! How much would you pay for this drink if you were deprived of it?” He replied, “Half of my reign”. Ibn Sammaak said to him, “Drink, may it be blessed”. After he drank, Ibn Sammaak said to him “If this water was prevented from exiting your body, then much would you pay for it (to be removed), he said, “The other half of my reign”. Ibn Sammaak said to him, “Indeed, half of the reign is the value of little drink of water and the value of the other half is that of urine. It is befitting that you do not strive and compete against others regarding it”. Haaroon wept.
Also Ibn Sammaak once said to him, “Indeed, you will die one day, enter the grave on your own and will be resurrected (on the day of judgement), so beware of your standing in the presence of Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] and in the presence of paradise and hellfire when one will be restricted and the feet will not move. There will be regret, but no repentance will be accepted – neither will a statement be uttered with ambiguity nor will wealth be accepted as ransom”. Haaroon began to weep until his voice could be heard; then Yahyah Bin Khaalid said, “O Ibn As-Sammaak! Indeed, tonight you have brought difficulty on the leader of the believers”. Haaroon got up and left whilst weeping.
Shu’aib Bin Harb said: I saw Haaroon Ar-Rasheed on a road in Makkah, so I said to myself that indeed it has become obligated on me to enjoin good and forbid evil. The thought scared me and I said that it is inevitable that now he will strike my neck, so I called out him and said, “O Haaroon! You have exhausted the Ummah and the animals”. He said, “Grab him”. So, I was taken to him and he was moving some metal pebbles within his hand whilst sitting on a chair. He said to me, “Who are you?” I said, “I am a man amongst the Muslims”. He said, “May your mother be bereaved of you! Who are you?” I said, “From Al-Anbaar [i.e. a medieval town in central Iraq]”. He said, “What made you call me by my name?” I thought about something which never came to my mind before, then I said to him, “I call Allaah by His Name Allaah, so should I not call you by your name? Allaah called the most beloved people to Him by their names, such as “O Aadam”, “O Nooh”, “O Hud”, “O Saaleh”, “O Ibraaheem”, “O Moosaa” and “O Eesaa”. And the most hated person to Him, He stated: [تَبَّتۡ يَدَآ أَبِى لَهَبٍ۬ – Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab]. Haaroon said, “Release him. Release him”.
Advise to a man who wanted to speak to him harshly:
Once Haaroon was performing Tawaaf around the kabah, so a man approached him and said, “O leader of the believers! I want to speak to you harshly”. Haaroon replied, “No, indeed Allaah sent one who was better than you [i.e. Prophet Moosaa] to one who was more evil than me [i.e. Firawn], but Allaah commanded him [Moosaa] to speak to him [Fir’awn] gently”.
A Robust Deterrent Against Ahlul Bidah
Imaam Fudayl Ibn Iyaad [rahimahullaah], “The death of none [i.e. in their era] will not be more difficult on us than the death of Haaroon Ar-Rasheed [rahimahullaah] due to what we fear regarding the events after him. Indeed, I invoke Allaah to increase his lifespan more than mine”. They [i.e. Ahlus Sunnah] said, “When Haaroon Ar-Rasheed died, those trials, events and differing occurred, and the innovated statement that the Qur’aan is created appeared. So we saw what Fudayl feared”.
An Excerpt from Al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah. Pages Vol 10. Pages 213-217