بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
قال عمر بن الخطاب –رضي الله عنه– لجلسائه يومًا: تمنوا. فقال أحدهم: أتمنى أن يكون ملء هذا البيت دراهم، فأنفقها في سبيل الله. فقال: تمنوا. فقال آخر: أتمنى أن يكون ملء هذا البيت ذهبًا، فأنفقه في سبيل الله. فقال عمر: لكني أتمنى أن يكون ملء هذا البيت رجالاً من أمثال أبي عبيدة بن الجراح، ومعاذ بن جبل، وحذيفة بن اليمان، فأستعلمهم في طاعة الله. [البخاري].
Omar (ra) and some of the companions of the prophet were sitting in the mosque of the prophet in Madinah, when Omar asked them; “Make a wish”. One Companion replied saying “I wish this mosque was filled with gold so I can spend it for the sake of Allah”. Another replied “I wish this mosque was filled with horses so we can ride out for the sake of Allah.” Omar replied “I wish for neither money nor gold. But I wish for men like Abu Ubaydah ibn Aljarrah, Hudhayfa Ibn Alyamaan and Muadh ibn Jabal who we could rely on them and raise the world of Allah (swt) by resting on their shoulders” [Bukhari]
In life, it is very easy to lose sight of why we are doing things. Attending university easily slips into a means to getting a job. Getting fit a means for our personal health. Gaining knowledge a means to teach others what we have learnt. Each of these are noble intentions masha’Allah and Allah will reward you for what you have done. However, such intentions are not the ideal intentions we should aim for. They are simply means towards a greater ends.
It is very easy for us to become short sighted in what we do, chasing a means rather than the ends. In the passage above, Omar highlights to us the importance of men over the resources which they possess. Such men can succeed in whatever circumstances they face as their determination and good will drive them to achieve for the sake of Allah. Although the Companions suggestions of money and horses were noble, they would be empty wishes if the men did not exist to make use of the resources.
To contextualise things, we can use the example of the Islamic society. Ofcourse the books, money and resources are all valuable. But without the men and women to take things forward what good are they to the success of the Isoc? As muslims, we need to see what contribution we can give to help such causes and not simply rely on others to do so.
To finish with another story, Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed was on the battle field and in need for reinforcement. He sent a request to Abu Bakr who was the Khalifa at the time asking him to send more men in support. In response, Abu bakr sent along one man, Al-Qa’aa, to support the army, along with a message saying “this man is worth a 1000 men”. One man was enough to reinforce an entire army in the eyes of Abu Bakr.
‘Let us be men worth a 1000 men. And if we are unable to, let us at least be worth one man, and do not be half a man’