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The leader of the opposition to corrupt worldly power wore his humble gown and hastened as fast as
lightning towards Syria. Ordinary people hardly heard about his arrival before they hurried to welcome
him with great enthusiasm and longing desire, surrounding him wherever he would go or stay. "O Abu
Dhar, please tell us... O, Companion of the Prophet (PBUH) please tell us..."
Sharp-eyed he would take a glance at the multitude around him, seeing the majority of them
suffering from poverty and need. He then directed his eyes to a place not too far away where he saw
many palaces and landed estates. Then he shouted to those around him, "I wonder why those who don't
find something to eat don't go out holding their swords ready to fight?"
Then he immediately remembered the Prophet's admonition to replace opposition and rebellion with
patience, and to replace the sword with brave and daring words, abandoning the language of war and
returning to logic, reason, and conviction; teaching people that they are all equal like the teeth of a comb;
that they are all partners as far as the means of living are concerned; that no one is superior to another
except in piety; and that their ruler should be the first to starve if the people suffer hunger and the last to
satisfy his appetite if they become sated.
He decided to create by means of his words and bravery a public opinion all over the Muslim
countries which would represent, through its intelligence, indomitability, and strength, a hindering force
to the deviations of the rulers and the rich and wealthy, in order to hinder the appearance and spread of a
power- and wealth- monopolizing class.
Within a few days, the whole of Syria turned into what resembled a bee-hive which had found its
queen. If Abu Dhar would have given the slightest passing gesture of revolt, the whole of Syria would
have been set on fire. But, as mentioned before, he focused his interest on creating a respectable public
opinion. His words turned into the subject of conversation everywhere, inside mosques, during meetings,
and even on roads. Danger increased and reached its peak for Abu Dhar, speaking about the newly
acquired privileges of the rich and powerful, on the day in which be argued with Mu'aawiyah in front of
the masses. Every witness of that debate told those who missed it, so that its news spread as fast as
Abu Dhar, who possessed the most truthful tongue on earth, as the Prophet (PBUH) described him,
stood up. He asked Mu'aawiyah about his wealth before and after being in power, about the house in
which he was living in Makkah, and the castles he owned in Syria. Then he raised the question to the
Companions who had accompanied Mu`aawiyah to Syria and were now owners of estates and castles.
After that he cried to them "is it you among whom the Prophet lived when the Qur'aan was being
revealed? Then he answered himself, "Yes, it is you! The Qur'aan was revealed among you. It is you who
experienced with the Prophet (PBUH) all the different scenes.
Then he asked them again, "Can't you find this verse in the Book of Allah? .... and those who hoard
up gold and silver, and do not expend it in the cause of GOD, announce to them a painful chastisment -
On the Day when it shall be heated in the Fire of Hell, and with it their foreheads, and their bodies, and
their backs shall be branded, "This is what you treasured for yourselves, so taste the evil of what you
were treasuring " (9: 34-35).
However, Mu'aawiyah wanted to end the whole dispute by arguing that this verse was mentioned
regarding the People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and Christians). Hereupon cried Abu Dhar, "No, it has
been revealed for us all."
Abu Dhar then continued his talk, advising Mu'aawiyah and his followers to give up their landed
estates, castles, money, and all their possessions, and to abstain from saving for themselves more than
their daily need.
Through the people's assemblies, congregations, and meetings, the news of the debate spread and
reached everyone's ears.