Umar (RA)rebuked him, “I have never seen anything worse than this!” Hebeing such an old person, on the verge of death and yet he is consuming liquor? What was the reaction of this elderly man? Hesaid, “O Umar! I have committed one wrong while you have committed three errors:
1) You have entered the house of a believer without permission.
2) You have climbed over my wall.
) You have looked for the fault of a Muslim.
Allah Ta’ala has prohibited all three acts in the Quran. When Umar(RA)heard this rebuke, he began wailing and crying,overwhelmed by the fear of Allah Ta’ala. At the same time,Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Masud (RA)was outside. In order not toexpose this incident to Abdullah Ibn Masud (RA), Umar(RA)took outhis shawl and in an attempt to muffle the sound of the sobbingand weeping, put his hand into his mouth.
Umar (RA)’s crying at this juncture was not due to the fault of that person. In fact, it was because of his own mistake which herealized when rebuked by the elderly man.
Another point to note here also is that, Abdullah Ibn Masud (RA)was one of the special advisors of Umar (RA). He used toaccompany him everywhere and hence was with him all the time.Yet, when Umar (RA)came out of the house, even he did not cometo know what Umar (RA)had seen!
May Allah Ta’ala forgive us! Our condition is such that, we see one violation of a principle (bê usooli) and now it becomes our‘job’ to tell everyone about it. When we will reveal the shortcomings and mistakes of the workers, we will reduce their status and destroy the trust which others have in them.
Umar (RA)called him closer and placed his mouth at the earlobe of this elderly man. Umar (RA)whispered to him, “I take an oath in Allah’s name that, I have not told a single person what I had seen that night!” In turn, this person whispered in the ears of Umar (RA),“I take an oath in Allah’s name that I had repented (made tawbah) and since that night I have not touched a drop of liquor!”
My respected friends, this is the mode and manner in whichreformation will come into the Ummat, and this is what isrequired of us. We have to conceal the faults of others andexpound on their good qualities. This was an inherent part of the character and disposition (mizaaj) of the Sahabah (RA)and the Khulafaa Rashideen.