Let us compare this story to the corrupt rulers that are littered around the world. Those leaders in the East and West who eat their fill, whilst the poor in their society struggle with dire poverty.

At-Tabari reported:

The people of Medina and surrounding areas were afflicted by a famine during the leadership of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (ra).

The wind blew dust as if it were ashes, so it was called the year of ashes. Umar vowed never to taste butter, milk, or meat until the people were to have them first. He continued in this until these became available to people and a servant of Umar bought butter and milk in the market for forty coins.

The servant came to Umar and he said, “O commander of the faithful, Allah has fulfilled your oath and magnified your reward. The market was offering milk and butter, so I bought them for forty coins.”

Umar said, “You have spent too much on them both, so give them in charity for I dislike to eat extravagantly. How can I be concerned with the matters of the citizens unless I suffer as they suffer?”

Tareekh At-Tabari 2/508

عن الطبري أصابت الناس في إمارة عمر رضي اللَّه عنه سنة بالمدينة وما حولها فكانت تسفى إذا ريحت ترابا كالرماد فسمي ذلك العام عام الرمادة فآلى عمر ألا يذوق سمنا ولا لبنا ولا لحما حتى يحيى الناس من أول الحيا فكان بذلك حتى أحيا الناس من أول الحيا فقدمت السوق عكة من سمن ووطب من لبن فاشتراهما غلام لعمر بأربعين ثم أتى عمر فقال يا أمير المؤمنين قد أبر اللَّه يمينك وعظم أجرك قدم السوق وطب من لبن وعكة من سمن فابتعتهما بأربعين فقال عمر أغليت بهما فتصدق بهما فإني أكره أن آكل إسرافا وقال عمر كيف يعنيني شأن الرعية إذا لم يمسسني ما مسهم

2/508 تاريخ الطبري ثم دخلت سنة ثماني عشرة

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