Rahmatullah Khan Shakir (1901-2000), Former Assistant Editor and Manager of Al Fazl
The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had generated so much devotion for God in the hearts and minds of the Companionsra that it would never allow them to bow before humans in any circumstances, however straitened they might be. For this reason, they considered asking for something as very improper.
A few accounts in this regard are as follows.
Wealth after patience shown in the way of Allah
Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudrira was only 13 when his father, Hazrat Malikra, was martyred in the Battle of Uhud. The father had left no property for the family to live on. The family faced starvation after starvation, so much so that on many occasions, they had to endure the pangs of hunger by tying stones on their stomachs.
One day, his mother asked him to go to the Holy Prophetsa and ask of him as he had given another person something that day. In compliance with the mother’s instruction, he went to the Holy Prophetsa, who was addressing an audience at the time.
During the course of the talk, he said, “The Almighty Allah will enrich him who shows patience in adverse circumstances.”
Upon hearing this, Hazrat Abu Saeedra thought it best not to ask for anything as he possessed a camel. Thus he returned without asking for anything. Ultimately, Allah the Almighty fulfilled the statement of His Prophetsa in his favour and he was granted so much wealth and riches that he became the richest of all the Ansar. (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 3, p. 380, Hadith Abu Saeed al-Khudri, Hadith No. 10989)
The habit of doing your own work yourself
Hazrat Saubanra was a slave who was bought and emancipated by the Holy Prophetsa. The Prophetsa had advised him not to ask anybody for anything. He followed this advice meticulously, so much so that if he ever dropped his whip from the horse, he would not request anybody to help him with it; rather, he would dismount and collect it himself. (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 6, p. 373, Hadith Thauban, Hadith No. 22385)
Bai‘at condition: “Do not ask people for things”
Once, some Companionsra, in order to pledge their association through bai‘at, went to the Holy Prophetsa. One of the conditions, aside from other conditions of the pledge, was, “Do not ask people for things.” Very meticulously, the Companionsra complied with this command. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Zakat, Bab Isti‘faf anil Mas‘alati)
“The giving hand is better than the receiving one”
Once, Hazrat Hakimra bin Hizam asked the Holy Prophetsa for something, which was granted to him. After that, he asked for more, which again was granted, but aside from that, the Holy Prophetsa advised him, “The giving hand is better than the receiving one.”
After this advice, Hazrat Hakimra vowed never to ask anybody for anything. He followed this advice so meticulously that not only did he refrain from asking anybody for anything in future, he would reject anything presented to him, considering it below his dignity.
During the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, whenever he offered him some gift, Hazrat Hakimra would refuse to accept. Hazrat Umarra too desired to give him some gift, but he refused. At last, Hazrat Umarra had to say, “O Muslims! Bear witness that I give Hakim his right, but he himself refuses to take it.” (Usdul-Ghabah, Vol. 4, p. 251)
Utmost aversion to asking
Hazrat Sananra was so averse to asking that once, he starved for three long days but asked for nothing from anybody. (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, vol.6, p. 4, Musnad Abdullah bin ‘Umar, Hadith No. 4474)
“Start your charity from the one who you are guardians of”
Once, Abdul Aziz bin Marwan wrote to Hazrat Abdullahra bin Umar to present to him his needs so as to be satisfied. In reply, he wrote back that the Holy Prophetsa had said, “The giving hand is better than the receiving one. Start your charity from the one who you are guardians of.” Thus he said he did not ask of anything from him. (Al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 4, p. 1563)
Refusal of gifts
Once, Hazrat Wa‘ilra bin Hajar visited Hazrat Amir Mu‘awiyahra who desired to offer him something as a gift and wished him to accept a stipend, but he refused, saying that he needed it not and that it should be given to someone else who needed it more. (Al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 3, p. 866)
Once, Hazrat Uthmanra wished to gift 30 thousand dinars to Hazrat Abdullahra bin Arqam, but he refused saying he needed it not. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Khiraj, Bab fi Biyani Qasamul-Khums wa Sahama Dhil-Qurba)
Ahl-e-Bait reject portion of the khums
The Ahl-e-Bait [family of the Holy Prophetsa] regularly received a portion from the khums, which was arranged and distributed by Hazrat Alira.
During the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra, a large amount of wealth came and he desired to give Hazrat Alira the share of the Ahl-e-Bait. But Hazrat Alira replied, “We do not need it this year. Distribute it among the needy Muslims.” Hazrat Umarra thus deposited that share in the treasury. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Khiraj)
Despite the Holy Prophet’ssa clear commandments and the precepts of the noble Muslims, we observe that one of the largest, if not the largest, number of beggars in the world today are Muslims – followers of the Holy Prophetsa.
To see this situation, the head of every jealous Muslim who has a sense of honour, hangs low with shame.
(Translated by Shahid Mahmood Ahmad, Missionary in Ghana, from the original Urdu, Muslim Nau-jawanon kay Sunehri Karnamey)