Umar on Zuhd: Incredible asceticism of Syrian governor Abu ‘Ubaydah

Abdullah reported: Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, when he arrived in Syria, he said to Abu ‘Ubaydah, “Let us go to your house.” Abu ‘Ubaydah said, “You want nothing but to shed tears for me?” Umar entered his house and he saw nothing. Umar said, “Where are your provisions? I do not see anything but rags, a water-skin, and a dish. You are governor! Do you have food?” Abu ‘Ubaydah went to a bucket and took out some scraps, and Umar wept. Abu ‘Ubaydah said to him, “I told you that you would shed tears over me, O commander of the faithful. It is enough for you to have in the world what lets you reach the final place of rest.” Umar said, “The world has changed all of us except for you, O Abu ‘Ubaydah.”

Source: al-Zuhd li-Abī Dāwūd 115

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ: أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ رضي الله عنه حِينَ قَدِمَ الشَّامَ قَالَ لِأَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ اذْهَبْ بِنَا إِلَى مَنْزِلِكَ قَالَ مَا تُرِيدُ إِلَّا أَنْ تَعْصُرَ عَيْنَيْكَ عَلَيَّ فَدَخَلَ مَنْزِلَهُ فَلَمْ يَرَ شَيْئًا فَقَالَ عُمَرُ أَيْنَ مَتَاعُكَ فَإِنِّي لَا أَرَى إِلَّا لِبَدًا وَشَنًّا وَصَحْفَةً وَأَنْتَ أَمِيرٌ أَعِنْدَكَ طَعَامٌ فَقَامَ أَبُو عُبَيْدَةَ إِلَى جَوْنَةٍ فَأَخَذَ مِنْهَا كُسَيْرَاتٍ فَبَكَى عُمَرُ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَبُو عُبَيْدَةُ قَدْ قُلْتُ لَكَ إِنَّكَ سَتَعْصُرُ عَيْنَيْكَ عَلَيَّ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَكْفِيكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا مَا بَلَّغَكَ الْمَقِيلَ قَالَ عُمَرُ غَيَّرَتْنَا الدُّنْيَا كُلَّنَا غَيْرَكَ يَا أَبَا عُبَيْدَةَ

115 الزهد لأبي داود