Us and them

It is written:

“O you who have believed, indeed many of the rabbis and the monks devour the wealth of people unjustly and avert them from the way of Allah. And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah – give them tidings of a painful punishment.” Quran 9:34

Abu Dhar [died 32 Hijra, 362 CE], a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, used to read this to the people in Damascus in order to encourage them to share their wealth with the needy.

However, the local governor, Muawiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan [ born 15 before Hijra / 608 CE in and died 60 Hijra / 680 CE ] objected to this and later took action and Abut Dhar was moved to Arrabatha (الرَّبَذَة) where he lived for the rest of his life.
Arrabatha is about 175 km east of Medina.

Muawiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan said that that verse applies to the people of the book ( i.e. the Jews and the Christians) not to us (i.e. the Muslims).

To which Abu Dhar, replied: “It applies to us and to them.”

This was related by aTabari and others and there is no dispute about its authenticity.

There are many muawiyas and they are in many nations but to meet Abu Dhar you have to be really lucky and truly endowed with patience.

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