Ar-Rasheed, a first century ruler, once said to al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad, "Admonish me."
Al-Fudayl said, "O Leader of the Faithful! Indeed your grandfather, Al-‘Abbaas, the uncle of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), once went to the Prophet and said, 'O Messenger of Allah, appoint me to be a leader.' The Messenger of Allah said, 'My uncle, indeed, being a leader leads to sorrow, and regret on the Day of Resurrection. If you are able to go without ever being a leader, then do so!'"
Ar-Rasheed was moved to tears, he said, "Give me more."
Al-Fudayl looked at Ar-Rasheed and said, "O one who has a handsome face, if you are able to protect that face from the Hell-fire then do so. And beware of ever cheating or betraying your people."
Being much moved by Al-Fudayl's words, Ar-Rasheed wanted to reward him. Ar-Rasheed asked, "Do you have any debts?"
Al-Fudayl said, "To my Lord, yes, and He will hold me accountable for them."
Ar-Rasheed said, "I am of course referring to debts to other human beings."
After Al-Fudayl answered in the negative, Ar-Rasheed said to one of his assistants, "Give him 1000 dinars, which he can use to help his family."
Al-Fudayl was greatly offended by these words and said, "SubḥanAllah! (How perfect Allah is) I am guiding you to safety and you want to reward me with this paltry, worldly sum!"
He then left, having refused to take anything.