Being Ready to Sacrifice One’s Own Interest for the Sake of Common Good and a Quest for Peace are the Best Qualities of a Muslim
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions throughout showed us the best examples of qualities that distinguish Muslims from other people and make them pleasing in the eyes of Allah. One of these qualities is the willingness to sacrifice one’s own interests for the sake of common good and the love of peace. We find an example of such a worthy behaviour in the life story of an associate of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Talhah ibn Ubaydullah.
Talhah ibn Ubaydullah was one of the most worthy and honoured companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), one of ten people to whom the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) promised that after their death they would be granted Paradise (the so-called “Asharah al-mubashira”). Talhah ibn Ubaidullah was one of the first eight people to convert to Islam. For the sake of Allah, he endured the condemnation and censure of his family and fellow tribesmen, punishment and persecution of idolaters (he and another companion, his relative Abu Bakr, the future First Righteous Caliph, who was 20 years his senior, were tied by the idolaters with one rope for torture, which is why they became close friends and were known in the ummah simply as “two comrades”).
Talhah with all his heart and without delay received the news of the One God. While in Basra, he heard that the Last Prophet had appeared in Mecca, and immediately hurried there. Abu Bakr introduced him to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Talhah immediately accepted Islam. The significance of Talhah in the Ummah and in the Caliphate was high. During the election of the successor to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Talhah decisively sided with Abu Bakr, fought against the apostates, under the Second Righteous Caliph Umar was named by him among six electors and at the same time candidates for the post of Caliph. And here we come close to one of the important events in the life of Talhah ibn Ubaydullah, the election of Caliph Uthman.
Kept Away from Elections
When the elections were held in Medina, Talhah was not in the city. When he returned, he learned that the new caliph Uthman had been elected without him. Talhah’s status was such that he could well demand new elections with his participation. Modern politicians, especially Western ones, do just that. Everywhere we see squabbles and disputes during the election of presidents, heads of companies, religious communities. These people think only of themselves. Power for myself. Me for power. Get it at any cost and figure out the rest later.
But a true Muslim will think primarily about the common good and the interests of the Ummah. Allah teaches him this, this example was set for him by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and this example was shown to him by the first Muslim rulers and outstanding people of Islam. And also a true Muslim will strive for peace, since only peace serves the true interests of society, and for the sake of this peace you can sacrifice your self and humble your nafs (ego).
Goal for Common Peace
Talhah came to Uthman and told him that he was not the kind of person who could be excluded from the elections. To this, Uthman replied that if Talhah did not agree with the choice, he was ready to immediately leave the throne and hold new elections. Talhah expressed humility and for the sake of the common peace told Uthman that he agreed with the election.
In conclusion, it can be noted that the desire for peace and harmony should not overshadow the truth if it is violated. That same peaceful and submissive Talhah became one of the harshest critics of Uthman, when Uthman began to allow inappropriate things in his rule, and even tried to remove him from power. But the same Talhah was not afraid of the wrath of the Caliph Ali when he personally punished the murderers of Uthman who transgressed the law.