Letter 67: To Qutham ibn al-`Abbas, his Governor of Mecca

There should be no intermediary between you and the people except your tongue, and no guard save your own face.

أَمَّا بَعْدُ،


فَأَقِمْ لِلنَّاسِ الْحَجَّ،

make arrangements for Hajj by the people,

وَذَكِّرْهُمْ بِأَيَّامِ اللهِ،

remind them of the days (to be devoted to) Allah.

وَاجْلِسْ لَهُمُ الْعَصْرَيْنِ،

Sit for giving them audience morning and evening.

فَأَفْتِ الْمُسْتَفْتِيَ،

Explain the law to the seeker,

وَعَلِّمِ الْجَاهِلَ،

teach the ignorant

وَذَاكِرِ الْعَالِمَ،

and discuss with the learned.

وَلاَ يَكُنْ لَكَ إِلَى النَّاسِ سَفِيرٌ إِلاَّ لِسَانُكَ،

There should be no intermediary between you and the people except your tongue,

وَلاَ حَاجِبٌ إِلاَّ وَجْهُكَ،

and no guard save your own face.

وَلاَ تَحْجُبَنَّ ذَا حَاجَة عَنْ لِقَائِكَ بِهَا،

Do not prevent any needy person from meeting you,

فَإِنَّهَا إِنْ ذِيدَتْ عَنْ أَبْوَابِكَ في أَوَّلِ وِرْدِهَا لَمْ تُحْمَدْ فيِما بَعْدُ عَلَى قَضَائِهَا.

because if the needy is returned unsatisfied from your door in the first instance then even doing it thereafter will not bring you praise.

وَانْظُرْ إِلَى مَا اجْتَمَعَ عِنْدَكَ مِنْ مَالِ اللهِ

See what has been collected with you of the funds of Allah (in the public treasury)

فَاصْرِفْهُ إِلَى مَنْ قِبَلَكَ مِنْ ذَوِي الْعِيَالِ وَالْـمَجَاعَةِ،

and spend it over the persons with families, the distressed, the starving

مُصِيباً بِهِ مَوَاضِعَ المَفَاقِرِ وَالْخَلاَّتِ،

and the naked, at your end.

وَمَا فَضَلَ عَنْ ذلِكَ فَاحْمِلْهُ إِلَيْنَا لِنَقْسِمَهُ فِيمَنْ قِبَلَنَا.

Then, send the remaining to us for distribution to those who are on this side.

وَمُرْ أَهْلَ مَكَّةَ أَلاَّ يَأْخُذُوا مِنْ سَاكِن أَجْراً،

Ask the people of Mecca not to charge rent from lodgers,

فَإِنَّ اللهَ سُبْحَانَهُ يَقُولُ:

because Allah, the Glorified, says that:

(سَوَاءً الْعَاكِفُ فِيهِ وَالْبَادِ)

"alike; for the dweller therein as well as the stranger" (Qur'an, 22:25).

فَالْعَاكِفُ: الْمُقيِمُ بِهِ،

"al-`akif" (the dweller) here means he who is living there

وَالْبَادِي: الَّذِي يَحُجُّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَهْلِهِ.

while "al-badi" (the stranger) means he who is not among the people of Mecca, comes for Hajj from outside.

وَفَّقَنَا اللهُ وَإِيَّاكُمْ لِمحَابِّهِ،

May Allah grant us and you promptitude for seeking His love (by doing good acts);


and that is an end to the matter.