Nasr bin Al-Hajjaj’s story during Umar’s Khilafah
Abdullah bin Burayd said: “One night while Umar was patrolling the city of Madinah, he arrived at a house, inside which there was a woman singing verses of poetry:
“Is there a way to get some wine to drink, or to be with Nasr bin Hajjaj?
Another girl friend sitting by her enquired who was Nasr. The girl said, “Nasr is the most beautiful young man in Madina. I long that he should spend a night with me, when he and I should be alone.”
Umar (radiallaahu ‘anhi) said: “As long as she lives, she will not get that!” In the morning he sent for Nasr bin Hajjaj. Umar looked at him and found him very handsome. Undoubtedly he was the most beautiful young man in Madina with very beautiful curly hair. He ordered him to collect his hair. He did and when his forehead appeared he became more handsome! Umar asked him to put on a turban. He put on a turban and then his plentiful hair appeared from under the turban and he seemed more handsome. Umar asked him to cut his hair. He cut his hair and he seemed too handsome.
Thereupon Nasr composed the following verses:
“Umar could not see my curls,
My hair which when combed waved like a chain;
He made that head bald where once there were profuse hair;
He who was bald headed felt jealous of him who had hair,
As he could not be proud of his hair, he deprived me of his hair.”
And the girl replied in response to the companions’ loss of hair, saying:
“They shaved his head so that he may become ugly, jealousy from them of him and a stinginess,
The morning on him was like a dark night, then they erased his night and left him as morning/day”
Then Ameer-ul-mu’mineen Umar (radiallaahu ‘anhu) said to him:
O bin Hajjaj, you have charmed the women of Medina. O’ by the one who holds my soul in His hands, Do not neighbor me in a town I live in!
Then Umar exiled him to Basra. After spending some days in Basra, Nasr sent a letter to Umar having some verses of poetry, in which he had showed his innocence and asked Umar to let him go Umar said:
Certainly not, as long as I am the ruler!
When Nasr went away to Basra the girl Zulfa who had sung about him felt worried about her fate. She wrote verses to the effect that she had sung of wine and Nasr only in an imaginary mood; otherwise she was a girl of excellent character, and did not actually crave for wine or Nasr. Umar made enquiry about the girl, and it transpired that she commanded good character. Umar assured her that he proposed no action against her, but warned her that as a good girl she should not think of things forbidden by law.
At Basra, Nasr became the guest of Mujasha bin Masud. When Mujasha’s wife Shameela saw Nasr she felt attracted. Nasr reciprocated her love. When Mujasha came to know of this clandestine love affair he turned out Nasr from his house and divorced his wife.
From Basra, Nasr wrote a letter to Umar supplicating that the orders of his exile should be rescinded, and he should be allowed to come to Madina. Nasr’s mother waited on Umar and said,
“Your sons are with you, but you have exiled my son. That is not fair.”
Umar (radiallaahu ‘anhu) said,
Your son is a source of danger to the morals of the maidens of Madina. As long as I live, I would not allow him to come, and tempt innocent maidens with his looks.
When Umar died, Nasr returned to Madina.
(Also, shortly after Nasr was exiled, another incident recurred this time with another handsome lad, who *surprise, surprise* was his cousin by the name of Abu Thy’eb. He was exiled to the same place)
From this story one can note the extra caution Umar (raw) took and his wisdom behind his actions & rulings. If he were to have had pity overule his rationale, fitnah could’ve overtaken the capital of the muslim Ummah at the time, Madinah and that would’ve obviously brought devastating consequences.