Home > Muslim world and Rulers., Rightly Guided Khalifahs and Companions, Umar bin al-Khattab > Abu Sufyan on money and “a black stallion”: The Justice of Umar bin al-Khattab (radiAllahu anhu)

Abu Sufyan on money and “a black stallion”: The Justice of Umar bin al-Khattab (radiAllahu anhu)


From a narrative by Zayd ibn Aslam on the authority of his father. He said,

“When Mu’awiya was ruling Syria, he sent Umar ibn al-Khattab some money and “a black stallion”. He wrote to his father Abu Sufyan asking him to give them to Umar – by “black stallion” he meant a chain – and he wrote to Umar,

“In the fortresses of the Byzantines, I found a group of Muslim captives fettered in iron chains, so I am sending him this one so that the Commander of the Faithful may see it.”


The Arabs before that used to fetter in chains. Jarir said:
… or to control black stallions.


The messenger left. When he came to Abu Sufyan, he gave him the money and “the black stallion”. Abu Sufyan took “the black stallion” and the letter to Umar but retained the money for himself.


When Umar read the letter, he said, .

“So where is the money, O Abu Sufyan?”

He answered, “We had a debt to pay and some help to give; and we have some money due to us from the treasury. So if you will give us some of it, you will settle the accounts with us.”


Umar said, “Put him in ‘the black stallion’ until he brings the money.”


So Abu Sufyan sent someone who brought him the money, and Umar released him from “the black stallion”.



When the messenger came back to Mu’awiya, the latter asked him,

“Do you think the Commander of the Faithful liked ‘the black stallion’?”

He said, “Yes, and he put your father in it.”

He asked, “Why?”

He said, “He had given him ‘the black stallion’ and retained the money.”


He said, “Yes, by God. Even if it had been al-Khattab, he would have put him in it!”


[Al-Iqd al-Farıd, volume I, page 61]


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