Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Speaking Tree Website | February 27, 2017
Present-day Afghanistan used to be called Sijistan. It had its capital at Kabul, and was ruled by a Turk Raja. He was Buddhist by faith and his family title was Rutbail. In the time of caliph Muawiya, the territory was assimilated into the Muslim empire. At first, Rutbail offered resistance, but eventually he agreed to pay an annual tax of 100,000 dirhams and was granted immunity. For a while he paid his tax regularly, then he stopped paying. Forces were repeatedly sent to his country, but he refused to capitulate.
During the reign of Yazid ibn Abdul Malik some representatives of the Caliph went to Rutbail to demand payment of the tax. Rutbail addressed them in the following manner:
“Where are the people who used to come here? They were thin, as if from hunger. They had black marks on their foreheads, and foot wears made of palm leaves on their feet”.
He then refused to pay up, and lived independent of the Islamic empire for a quarter of a century.
The simplicity of the Companions impressed Rutbail more than the grandeur of the Umayyads. The reason for this was that the secret of a person’s ‘strength is inward capability rather than outward appearance. Formerly, people had possessed much more of this inward capability, though they appeared ordinary on the outside.
Strong is the one who has few needs; whose desires are limited; who does not seek fame and luxury; who finds pleasure in being humble, rather than in pretending to be big. Such a person is free of mental complexes, so nothing prevents him from taking the right decision. He is never obstructed by
self-interest. He is ready to undergo any sacrifice in order to achieve his goal.
But those who are entrapped in artificial pleasures live bereft of true realization. The unnecessary encumbrances in which they have surrounded themselves prevent them from seeing anything as it is, or associating themselves with it as they should. They live for themselves and forget their goal in life.