October 30, 2020

The Openhandedness of Holy Prophet (SAW)

Dr. Bilal A. Bhat & Intizar Ahmad

Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), the last Messenger of Allah, is known to be born in 570 CE in Mecca. Prophet Muhammad’s father Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib died before his birth, and his mother, Aminah, is believed to have died when he was just 6 years old. His paternal uncle Abu Talib later took care of him. In the initial years of his life, Muhammad used to accompany his uncle on trading journeys to gain experience in commercial trade. Muhammad later became a merchant and was involved in trade between the Indian ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbdul-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim (c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE) at age 40, began to have revelations from Allah that became the basis for the Quran and the foundation of Islam. By 630 he had unified most of Arabia under a single religion. Muslims believe that the Quran, which is the central religious text of Islam, was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) by God, and that Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sent to restore Islam, which Muslims believe to be the unaltered original monotheistic faith of Adam, Ibrahim, Musa, ‘Isa, and other Prophets. The religious, social, and political tenets that Muhammad (pbuh) established with the Quran became the foundation of Islam and the Muslim world. Muslims often refer to Muhammad as Prophet Muhammad, or just. Doing good and having the right belief go hand in hand in Islam. In fact, doing good in practice is the proof of having the right belief in the heart. This is why the Holy Quran speaks of true Muslims very often as “those who believe and do good deeds”. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) taught love, kindness and compassion to his people, and was seen to be the most loving, kind, and compassionate of all of them. The Quran mentions his kind and gentle behavior in these words: “O Messenger of Allah! It is a great Mercy of God that you are gentle and kind towards them; for, had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they would all have broken away from you” (Quran 3:159). Both the Quran and the Holy Prophet have told peole that the best among them is that person who shows the best behaviour towards other people. Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and do not follow up their spending by stressing their benevolence and causing hurt, will find their reward secure with their Lord. They have no cause for fear and grief. It is important to note that to speak a kind word and to forgive people’s faults is better than charity followed by hurt. One of the most widespread and dangerous problems faced by humanity is that of poverty, hunger and starvation. There is nothing more horrifying than the realization that as we live our happy lives here, millions of our fellow human beings live in hunger and face starvation. The majority of the world population today lives in poverty. It is clear that the world system we have set up today is unjust and inhumane. One of the great reforms that the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) brought was the rights and treatment of the poor. Prior to the advent of Islam, the pagan Arabs used to disregard the poor, they would look down on them, and could care less about them; the poor people were basically an insignificant portion of society that did not matter. However so, with the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) that all changed, the Muslims were now obliged to look after the poor, and were required to spend of their wealth to help the poor out. For instance the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) taught the following: Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him):Allah’s Apostle (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Allah said, ‘O son of Adam! Spend, and I shall spend on you.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari] Volume 7, Book 64, Number 264.
In other pace, (O Prophet!) Tell those of My servants who believe that they should establish Prayer and spend out of what We have provided them with, both secretly and openly, before there arrives the Day when there will be no bargaining, nor any mutual befriending. (14:31) You shall not attain righteousness until you spend out of what you love (in the way of Allah). Allah knows whatever you spend. (3:92) The basic meaning of this hadith was that Muslims should spend from their wealth in giving charity to the poor. This teaching of the Prophet (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him), to spend and to give in charity, was a very common message that he would often give as we read in another hadith: Narrated Haritha bin Wahab (may Allah be pleased with him): I heard the Prophet (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) saying, “O people! Give in charity as a time will come upon you when a person will wander about with his object of charity and will not find anybody to accept it, and one (who will be requested to take it) will say, “If you had brought it yesterday, would have taken it, but to-day I am not in need of it.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari] Volume 2, Book 24, Number 492. The poor people of the time were completely disregarded, especially by the elite of society, those at the top of society, the very wealthy, did not care at all for the poor people, and they would look down on them. So what did the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) say in this regard? The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) specifically commanded the wealthy people to give in charity and gave a very dire warning to them if they didn’t do so: Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s Apostle (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure.’ ” [Sahih Al-Bukhari] Volume 2, Book 24, Number 486. It means the above hadith was a warning to the wealthy people of the consequences of not looking after the poor and giving in charity. The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) also taught the following about wealthy people giving in charity: Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) said,”The best charity is that which is practiced by a wealthy person. And start giving first to your dependents.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari] Volume 2, Book 24, Number 507. In a longer version of this hadith we read: Narrated Hakim bin Hizam (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “The upper hand is better than the lower hand (i.e. he who gives in charity is better than him who takes it). One should start giving first to his dependents. And the best object of charity is that which is given by a wealthy person (from the money which is left after his expenses). And whoever abstains from asking others for some financial help, Allah will give him and save him from asking others, Allah will make him self-sufficient.”[Sahih Al-Bukhari] Volume 2, Book 24, Number 508.
The love that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) gave to humanity and his kindness towards all the creations of Allah, make it obligatory upon all Muslims to feel gratitude and love for him. May Allah protect us all from the current deadly disease and guide us all towards true path. (Ameen!)
In another hadith, Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “A Muslim is a brother of (another) Muslim, he neither wrongs him nor does hand him over to one who does him wrong. If anyone fulfils his brother’s needs, Allah will fulfil his needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allah will relieve his troubles on the Day of Resurrection…” [Bukhari and Muslim]. Abu Qatadah related that the Prophet said: If anyone would like Allah to save him from the hardships of the Day of Resurrection, he should give more time to his debtor who is short of money, or remit his debt altogether. (Muslim) It means Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) taught the best of charity is the one given by those who are rich, the wealthy people. The reason for this was because the prophet wanted to give a very strong incentive for the rich to start giving in charity, something they didn’t really care about before. As well as this it was also to show the great reform of society, that now, the rich of society are giving for the poor, unlike before, when they could care less about the poor precisely because they were rich. We also read in another hadith, what the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) would do when he encountered poor people: Narrated Abu Burda bin Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him): That his father said, “Whenever a beggar came to Allah’s Apostle (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) or he was asked for something, he (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say (to his companions), “Help and recommend him and you will receive the reward for it; and Allah will bring about what He will through His Prophet’s tongue.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari] Volume 2, Book 24, Number 512. It means whenever the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) would encounter with a poor person, he would tell his companions to help and give for that person, and they would be rewarded for it. The prophet would not simply ignore them and let them be, as would have been the custom of the time, rather he gave advise and teaching to his companions to help these people. And in another hadith we also read the following; Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “The one who looks after a widow or a poor person is like a Mujahid (warrior) who fights for Allah’s Cause, or like him who performs prayers all the night and fasts all the day.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari] Volume 7, Book 64, Number 265. According to holy Quran, “Righteous is he who . . . gives away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask and to set slaves free.” (2:177) Further, Give to the near of kin his due, and also to the needy and the wayfarers. Do not squander your wealth wastefully; for those who squander wastefully are Satan’s brothers, and Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord. (Quran, 17:26 – 27) Abbas related that a man asked the Prophet, Tell me what should I do to be admitted to Paradise and he (the Prophet) answered: Worship Allah associating nothing with Him, observe Salat, pay Zakat and strengthen the ties of kinship. (Bukhari, Muslim) Abu Huraira related that the Prophet said: When someone is made rich but he does not pay Zakat for his wealth, then on the Day of Judgment his money will be turned into a poisonous snake with two black spots on its head. It will coil around his neck and bite his cheeks and say: ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure’. Then the Prophet recited verse 3:180 of the Quran. (Bukhari) It is clear that Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) compared the one who looks after a poor person, with the one who fights in the cause of Allah (SWT) As everyone knows, the one who fights in the cause of Allah has a very high place and status in Islam, it is one of the highest honors one can have, yet the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) explicitly states that a person who looks after a poor person is like the one who fights in the cause of Allah (SWT) Thus one can see the very high value and importance Islam attaches to helping and looking after the poor. This teaching is a major incentive and motivation for the people to take care, and to look after the poor. Indeed what a great reform the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) brought! Now if all of us around the world could follow these teachings in regards to the poor people, then this would be a much better place! The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) not only preached to the people to show kindness to each other but also to all living souls. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade the practice of cutting tails and manes of horses, of branding animals at any soft spot, and of keeping horses saddled unnecessarily. [Muslim] If he saw any animal over-loaded or ill-fed he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would pull up the owner and say: “Fear Allah in your treatment of animals.” [Abu Dawood] A companion came to him (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with the young ones of a bird in his sheet and said that the mother bird had hovered over them all along. He was directed by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to replace her offspring in the same bush. [Abu Dawood] During a journey, somebody picked up some birds eggs. The bird’s painful note and fluttering attracted the attention of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who asked the man to replace the eggs. [Al-Bukhari] As his army marched towards Makkah to conquer it, they passed a female dog with puppies. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) not only gave orders that they should not be disturbed, but posted a man to see that this was done. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated: “Verily, there is heavenly reward for every act of kindness done to a living animal.” The love that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) gave to humanity and his kindness towards all the creations of Allah, make it obligatory upon all Muslims to feel gratitude and love for him. May Allah protect us all from the current deadly disease and guide us all towards true path. (Ameen!)
( The authors writes regularly on Islamic topics for “Kashmir Horizon” exclusively . Views are their own) [email protected]

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

x

COVID-19

India
Confirmed: 9,392,919Deaths: 136,696