During the battles against the Byzantines, Aboo ‘Ubaydah Ibn Al-Jarraah was in charge of the army unit. The Byzantines sent a man to him to negotiate with him, and when he came close to the muslims, he could not tell Aboo ‘Ubaydah apart from his companions. He did not know whether he was among them or not, and he did not feel that he was in the presence of a governor.
He asked them: “O Arabs, where is your leader?”
They said: “There he is.”
He looked and he saw Aboo ‘Ubaydah sitting on the ground, with a bow on his shoulder and examining an arrow that he held in his hand. The envoy asked him: “Are you the leader of these men?”
He said: “Yes.”
He then asked: “Then why are you sitting on the ground? Why don’t you sit on a cushion?”
Aboo ‘Ubaydah said: “Allaah is not shy to speak the truth, and I will tell you the truth about what you have said. I do not have any wealth. I own nothing but my horse, my weapon and my sword. Yesterday I needed some money and I had nothing, so I borrowed some money from this brother of mine who had some – meaning Mu’aadh. He lent it to me. If I also had a rug or a cushion, I would not sit on it and exclude my brothers and companions. I would let my brother sit on it, for he may be better than me before Allaah.
We are slaves of Allaah. We walk on the earth, we sit on the ground, we eat on the ground, we lie down on the ground, and that does not lower us in status before Allaah at all. Rather Allaah increases our reward thereby and raises us in status, and thus we show humility before our Lord.”
[Futooh Ash-Shaam, by Al-Azdi, Pp. 122-123]