The young man named Sa'eed Ibn 'Aamir Al-Jumahi رضي الله عنه was one of the throng of thousands who had gone to At-Tan'eem, on the outskirts of Makkah, in answer to the call of the chieftains of the tribe of Quraysh, to witness the death of Khubayb Ibn 'Adiyy رضي الله عنه one of the companions of Muhammad . They had just captured him by means of treachery.
The youthful energy and exuberant strength of Sa'eed had enabled him to elbow his way through the crowd. He stood side by side with chiefs of Quraysh as Abu Sufyaan Ibn Harb, Safwaan Ibn Umayyah, and others who led the procession.
Thus, he was able to see the captive taken by the Quraysh bound in fetters, pushed forward by the youths, women, and children to the place of death. They were to avenge themselves upon Muhammad through him, and by his death take revenge for those of them who had fallen at the battle of Badr.
When the swelling crowd arrived with its prisoner to the place prepared for his execution, the tall, youthful Sa'eed stood looking down at Khubayb as he was being set forward to be killed. Through the shouts of the women and children, he heard his calm, steady voice saying: "If you would allow me to make two Rak'ahs (units) of prayer before my death, then do so."
Sa'eed watched Khubayb رضي الله عنه as he took his stance in the direction of the Ka'bah, and as he prayed two beautiful, dignified Rak'ahs. Then Sa'eed saw him turn towards the leader of the people saying: "I swear by Allaah if you did not think I was taking too long for prayer out of fear of death I would pray much more." Then Sa'eed witnessed his own people as they mutilated Khubayb hacking him into pieces as they said: "Would you like Muhammad to be in your place, and for you to be safe in his place?" He heard his answer as the life bled out of him: "By Allaah I would not wish to be safe and secure with my wife and children, if Muhammad were to be pricked by a thorn because of it."
The shouts of the people became howls, their arms waving in frenzy as they shrieked: "Kill him! Kill him!"
Then he saw Khubayb رضي الله عنه raise his vision from where he was crucified, to the heavens and he heard him say: "Our God! Count their numbers and exterminate them. Leave not one of them," as he breathed his last, leaving his body riddled with countless gashes and stabs.
Then Quraysh returned to Makkah and, in the great rush of events, which followed, forgot about Khubayb and his death. However, Sa'eed who was rapidly maturing, was unable to forget Khubayb for a moment. When he slept, he would see him in his dreams and would envision how he had prayed with such tranquility right before the spot on which he was to be killed. His curse against Quraysh rang in his ears, and he feared at any moment to be struck down by lightning of a meteor.
Khubayb رضي الله عنه had made Sa'eed aware of something he had not known before. He had taught him that true life is one of belief and fighting until death for the sake of one's belief. He had also taught him that strong faith could do marvels and work miracles. Finally he had taught him that a man who could inspire in his followers the love that Muhammad had inspired, must be a prophet sent from heaven.
Thus Sa'eed's heart opened to Islam so that one day he stood up in a public gathering renouncing the tribe of Quraysh and their evil deeds, and renounced their idols and totems. Thus, he professed Islam.
After that Sa'eed migrated to Madeenah, where he became a constant companion of the Prophet and joined him in the battle of Khayber, and in subsequent military endeavors.
When the Prophet left this worldly life to be with his Lord, Sa'eed remained loyal to each of the blessed Prophet's successors, the Caliph Abu Bakr and the Caliph 'Umar . He was a living example of a believer who had bought the life of the hereafter by giving up this world. He preferred pleasing Allaah and wanted His reward more than any wish of the mind or the body.
The two successors of the Blessed Prophet were aware of Sa'eed Ibn 'Aamir's honesty and awareness of Allaah. They would listen to his advice and take heed of what he would say.
Sa'eed entered the assembly of 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab رضي الله عنه when he first became Caliph and said: "'Umar I enjoin you to fear Allaah in your dealings with people and not to fear the people in matters of religion. Let your action not contradict your speech for the best of speech is that which verified by action. 'Umar, you must constantly supervise those over whose affairs Allaah has given you authority: Muslims near and far. Love for them what you love for yourself and your family, and hate for them what you would hate for yourself and your family. Charge into a battle for the sake of right and fear the blame of none in a matter of religion.'
'Umar رضي الله عنه asked, "Who can do all of that Sa'eed?" He answered: "A man like you, whom Allaah has given authority over all the Ummah (nation) of Muhammad with none above you except Allaah."
At this point 'Umar asked Sa'eed for his support saying, "Sa'eed I have chosen you as the governor of Hims." He answered, "I beg you not to tempt me with worldly vanity," and 'Umar was angered. He said, "Woe to you. You have laid this burden upon me, and then all of you, turned away from me. I swear by Allaah I will not release you form the appointment. What should I assign for you as a salary?"
"What would I do with it, Commander of the Faithful? What would be given to me from the treasury would exceed my needs," he answered. So he went to Hims, and it was not long before travelers from Hims, people who were trustworthy came to see the Commander of the Faithful . He told them, "Write the names of the needy citizens so that we can give them assistance." They gave him a list, and on it was the name of Sa'eed Ibn 'Aamir . Surprised, he asked them which Sa'eed this was, and they said: "Our governor." "Is your governor poor?" 'Umar asked. "Yes indeed," they answered. "Many days go by between one time when he cooks in his home and the next."
Greatly moved, 'Umar wept until his tears were splashing down on his beard. Then he collected one thousand dinaars and put them in a bag and sent them to Sa'eed .
When the delegation brought the bag to Sa'eed he looked in it and when he found it to be money, he pushed it away saying: "Surely we belong to Allaah and to him shall we return," as if a misfortune or some terrible disaster had befallen him. His wife overhearing came running in alarm, saying: "What has happened, Sa'eed? Has the commander of the faithful died?" "Worse than that," he answered. "Have the Muslims been harmed in a battle?," she asked.
"Greater than that," he answered. "What could be greater?" she asked, "The vanity of this world has come to me," he said, "to ruin my chance of a share in the Hereafter, and temptation has entered my home."
"Rid yourself of it," she said, not understanding that he had received money, and so he asked, "And will you help me to do so?" "Of course," she answered.
Therefore, he took the money, divided it into many small bags, and distributed it among the needy Muslims.
Not long afterwards, 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab went to Syria to inspect for himself the living conditions of the people. He went to Hims, which was nicknamed "Little Kufah," because its inhabitants, like those of the original Kufah, were always complaining about their officials and their governors. When he arrived, the citizens came out to pay their respects to him, at which time he asked them whether they like their new governor.
They complained bitterly about a number of things that Sa'eed did, four things in particular. 'Uamar himself narrated: "So I had them confront him, and prayed to Allaah that I would not be disappointed in him, for I had great trust in him. I asked them, 'what complaint do you have about your governor?' they answered, 'He does not come and attend to our affairs until late in the morning.' "I asked: 'What have you to say about that, Sa'eed?' he was silent for a moment before answering: 'I never wanted to speak about this, but here it seems that I must. My wife does not have a servant to help her with the family, so I get up early every morning, knead the dough for them, wait a while for it to rise, and bake the bread for them. Then I make my ablutions and go out to the people.'
"So I asked them what other complaints they had about him, and they said he was never available to be seen at night. I said: 'What have you to say about that, Sa'eed?' he answered: 'I did not wish to make this public either, but I have made daytime for their affairs and the night to spend in worship of Allaah".
"I asked what other complaints they had, and they said: 'One day every month, he does not come out to us at all.' I asked Sa'eed the reason for this and he said: 'Commander of the Faithful, I have no servant, and no clothing save that which I am wearing. I wash it by hand once a month, and it takes it a whole day to dry so that I can put it on and go out again.' When I asked what else they complained of, they said that from time to time he appeared to faint and lose consciousness of his surroundings. When I asked Sa'eed the reason for this he said: 'I witnessed the execution of Khubayb Ibn 'Adiyy when I was still a pagan, and saw how the people of Quraysh cut him to pieces, asking if he wished that Muhammad was in his place. I heard him say he would never wish for himself to be safe and secure with his family, and Muhammad even be pricked by a thorn because of it. Every time I remember that day, and how I did not come forth to aid him, I fear that Allaah will never forgive me, and I do faint.'
At this point, Umar said: "Praise be to Allaah who has not disappointed me in you." Then he had one thousand dinaars sent to his home to take care of his needs. When Sa'eed's wife saw them, she said to him: "Praise be to Allaah who has made us no longer in need of your help at home. Buy us some provisions, and hire us a servant."
"Shall I get you something better than that?" he asked. "What could that be?" she asked.
He answered: "We will give it to the one who can return it for us, when we need it most."
Confused she said: "I still do not understand." He said, "We shall lend it, as a beautiful loan, to Allaah." She said, "Now I understand, and He shall repay it many times over."
On the spot, he divided the money into portions, and sent someone in his household to distribute it among widows, orphans, and the poor.
May Allaah be pleased with Sa'eed for he was generous to others even when he was in extreme need.