Some Muslims fell captive in the hands of the Romans, and Abu Ja’far Al-Mansour (the Caliph) delayed ransoming them, so Imam Al-Awzaai wrote him a letter in this regards saying [1]:

After which,

Allah -the Exalted- has given you responsibility over the affairs of this Ummah, so that you may be for Justice an upholder, and for his Prophet (Blessings and peace upon him), in lowering the wing of humility [to the Believers] and showing Mercy to them, an imitator.

The journey of the Polytheist [i.e. Romans] through the Lands of Islam was in the first year. They trespassed [what is] sacred, and they took down [with them] the Muslim women, along with their children, from the strongholds and the forts. And they (i.e. the Muslim women and their children) did not find for them -from among the Muslims- a supporter, nor did they find for them any defenders.

And Indeed, that was from what the people’s hands brought forth, and verily what Allah forgives is more.

For they were as a result of their own sins taken captive, and it was from [the Muslims’] own faults that their young girls were taken away from their shelters, such that the Polytheists can uncover their Awrahs, their infants being under the hands of the Disbelievers, humiliating [the Muslim women and] revealing their feet and legs, turning their sons to the way of Disbelief after Belief, leaving them residing in a state of sadness and sorrow, and subjected them to the harm of [continuous] tears.

And verily, they are within the sight of Allah -the Exalted-, and within His hearing, and He is witnessing the turning back –of the people- from [supporting] them, and dismissing them in the hands of their enemies.

So let Amir Al-Moemineen seek Allah’s assistance, and let him demonstrate sympathy for the weak of his Ummah, and let him take for the sake of Allah a means for them, and let him free himself from Allah’s accountability regarding them by making his greatest concern and the most favoured of matters from the affairs of his Ummah is for him to ransom them.

Allah -the Exalted- has encouraged his Messenger (Blessings and peace upon him) and the Believers to save those who accepted Islam while in the Lands of Polytheism, and said:

وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَلْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَلْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ نَصِيرًا

{And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, "Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?"} [Al-Nisaa 4:75]

That, and their was no blame for the Muslims [at the time] for the situation the weak were in, so how then would the case be when [the Muslims] have relinquished the Believing Women [in the hands of the] Polytheists, so that they can see from them that which is forbidden upon us [to see] except through marriage!

Al-Zuhri narrated to me that written in the letter the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and Peace upon him) wrote between the Muhajreen and the Ansaar, is that they are not to leave a Mufrah (2) except that they are to assist him by ransom or wealth, and we do not know that they had at that time any spoils held as a Waqf or any people of Dhimmah [under them] who used to pay them any taxes, [and they did not have anything to give] except their own personal wealth.

And it was reported to me that the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and Peace upon him) said: “I stand up in Prayer, wishing to elongate it, then I hear the crying of a child, so I hasten in my prayers, hating to burden his mother [with his weeping]”. And truly her weeping over her child because of him being clothed with the garment of Kufr is greater than his crying for a few moments while she is standing in her prayers.

So let Amir Al-Moemineen know that he is accountable, and that Allah is going to hold him accountable for what he has of responsibilities, and give him what he has earned [of good], [on the Day] when he shall be made to stand upon the Scales of Justice.

I ask Allah to grant Amir Al-Moemineen his proofs and excuses, and make pleasant his caliphate over the Ummah, and to grant him from Him a great Reward, and peace be upon you.

After receiving this Letter, the Caliph ordered all the Muslim Captives to be Ransomed.


[1] Tahzeeb Hilyat Al-Awliyaa 2/284; Al-Jarh wa Al-Tadeel 1/195

[2] A Mufrah is he who is burdened by a debt or a fine, burdened by rights over him, depressed, and what might be intended here is the Captive.

  chains 2


وَقَعَ فِي يَدِ مَلِكِ الرُّومِ الْأُلُوفُ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ أَسْرَى – وَكَانَ مَلِكُ الرُّومِ يُحِبُّ أَنْ يُفَادِيَ بِهِمْ، وَيَأْبَى أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ – فَكَتَبَ الْأَوْزَاعِيُّ إِلَى أَبِي جَعْفَرٍ كِتَابًا:ـ

أَمَا بَعْدُ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى اسْتَرْعَاكَ أَمْرَ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ لِتَكُونَ فِيهَا بِالْقِسْطِ قَائِمًا وَبِنَبِيِّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي خَفْضِ الْجَنَاحِ وَالرَّأْفَةِ مُتَشَبِّهًا، وَأَسْأَلُ اللهَ تَعَالَى أَنْ يُسَكِّنَ عَلَى أَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ دَهْمَاءَ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ وَيَرْزُقَهُ رَحِمْتَهَا فَإِنَّ سَايِحَةَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ غَلَبَتْ عَامَ أَوَّلَ وَمَوْطِئَهُمْ حَرِيمَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَاسْتِنْزَالُهُمُ الْعَوَاتِقَ وَالذَّرَارِيَّ مِنَ الْمَعَاقِلِ وَالْحُصُونِ، وَكَانَ ذَلِكَ بِذُنُوبِ الْعِبَادِ، وَمَا عَفَا اللهُ عَنْهُ أَكْثَرُ، فَبِذُنُوبِ الْعِبَادِ اسْتُنْزِلَتِ الْعَوَاتِقُ وَالذَّرَارِيُّ مِنَ الْمَعَاقِلِ وَالْحُصُونِ لَا يَلْقَوْنَ لَهُمْ نَاصِرًا وَلَا عَنْهُمْ مُدَافِعًا، كَاشِفَاتٍ مِنْ رُءُوسِهِنَّ وَأَقْدَامِهِنَّ فَكَانَ ذَلِكَ بِمَرْأَى وَمَسْمَعٍ، وَحَيْثُ يَنْظُرُ اللهُ إِلَى خَلْقِهِ وَإِعْرَاضِهِمْ عَنْهُ فَلْيَتَّقِ اللهَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلْيَتَّبِعْ بِالْمُفَادَاتِ بِهِمْ مِنَ اللهِ سَبِيلًا وَلْيَخْرُجْ مِنْ مَحَجَّةِ اللهِ تَعَالَى فَإِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى قَالَ لِنَبِيِّهِ: {وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ حِيلَةً وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ سَبِيلًا} وَاللهِ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، مَا لَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ فَيْءٌ [ص:136] مَوْقُوفٌ، وَلَا ذِمَّةٌ تُؤَدِّي خَرَاجًا إِلَّا خَاصَّةَ أَمْوَالِهِمْ، وَقَدْ بَلَغَنِي عَنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: «إِنِّي لَأَسْمَعُ بُكَاءَ الصَّبِيِّ خَلْفِي فِي الصَّلَاةِ فَأَتَجَوَّزُ فِيهَا مَخَافَةَ أَنْ تُفْتَتَنَ أُمُّهُ» فَكَيْفَ بِتَخْلِيَتِهِمْ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي أَيْدِي عَدُوِّهِمْ يَمْتَهِنُونَهُمْ وَيَتَكَشَّفُونَ مِنْهُمْ مَا لَا نَسْتَحِلُّهُ نَحْنُ إِلَّا بِنِكَاحٍ، وَأَنْتَ رَاعِي اللهِ، وَاللهُ تَعَالَى فَوْقَكَ وَمُسْتَوْفٍ مِنْكَ يَوْمَ تُوضَعُ {الْمَوَازِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ فَلَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا وَإِنْ كَانَ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِنْ خَرْدَلٍ أَتَيْنَا بِهَا وَكَفَى بِنَا حَاسِبِينَ} [الأنبياء: 47] ـ

فَلَمَّا وَصَلَ إِلَيْهِ كِتَابُهُ أَمَرَ بِالْفِدَاءِ