Our Prophet: The most sublime, the most great
The Esteemed Prophet
Maulana Abul Hasan Attari Madani
4. Not hoarding goods
One great aspect of the Prophet’s صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمgenerosity was him being free of want. He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would not store wealth, which is the reason why Zakat was never Fard upon him. His devoted servant Sayyiduna Anas Bin Malik رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ said: ‘کَانَ النَّبیُّ صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّملَایَدَّخِرُشَیئًا لِغَدٍ’, meaning, ‘The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمwould never keep anything for the next day.’
If people receive a small amount of wealth from somewhere, they generally tend to show uprightness. However, some people go astray if they receive a large amount of wealth without any struggle. Not only this, but some people who amass a large amount of wealth through hard work upon which Zakat must be given in a large sum do not pay it thinking that their wealth will decrease. However, what can be said of the generosity of Sayyiduna Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم who owned the treasures of the universe but never amassed anything. Once, he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمlooked towards Mount Uhud and said that he would dislike it if the mountain became gold for him and he kept even one Dinar from it for more than one or three nights, unless it was kept for repaying a debt.
On one occasion, the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمled ‘Asr Salah, and as soon as he performed salaam, he entered his home and then returned quickly. The companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُwere surprised at this, and so the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمsaid: ‘During the prayer, I remembered some gold for charity lying in my home, and I dislike for night to come whilst it remains in the home. Therefore, I have ordered for it to be distributed.’
Sayyiduna Bilal al-Habashi رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُhad the honour of managing the Prophet’s صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمfinancial affairs. He states: ‘I had the responsibility of managing the financial affairs of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمsince the announcement of Prophethood until his passing. Whenever a Muslim came to him without clothing, he would give me the order, and I would take a loan from someone, buy a shawl and cover him with it and also feed him.
One day, a polytheist came to me and said: “O Bilal! Do not take a loan from anybody besides me; I have a lot of wealth.” So, I proceeded to only take loans from him. One day, I made Wudu and stood to give Azan when I saw the polytheist coming towards me in the company of several other merchants. He said harsh things to me and stated: “Do you know how many days are left for you to fulfil your promise?” I replied, “The time is near.” The polytheist replied: “You have four days left. If you do not pay back your loan in this time, I will make you a slave and have you herding goats, just as you would do before.”
As a result, I became concerned. I prayed Isha Salah and the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمreturned to his family. I sought permission from him, and he gave it. I said: “O Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! May my parents be sacrificed for you! The polytheist whom I take loans from has said such-and-such to me. You do not have anything to repay his loan, and nor do I. He will dishonour me. I seek your permission to go to the Muslims who have recently accepted Islam until Allah Almighty bestows His Messenger صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمwith an amount of wealth that I can repay my loan with.”’ After saying this, he left.
He continued: ‘In the morning, as I went outside whilst intending to leave, a person came running towards me, exclaiming: “O Bilal! The Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمis calling you.” I went immediately. There, I saw four camels loaded with goods. I sought permission to enter, and the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: “Be glad! Allah Almighty has made arrangements for you to repay your loan.” He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم then asked, “Did you see the four camels?” I replied in the affirmative. He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمthen said: “They were sent by the governor of Fadak. Keep the grains and clothes loaded on them and repay your debt with them.”
I did so. Then, I entered the masjid and presented my salaam to the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. He asked me: “What benefit did you receive from the money?” I replied: “Allah Almighty paid the debt that was due upon the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.” The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم asked: “Is there anything left from that money?” I replied in the affirmative. Upon this, the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمstated: “Separate that from me too. I shall not return home until it has found a place.”’
On one occasion, some wealth from Bahrain was presented to the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. He said, ‘Put it in the Masjid.’ Then, he went to pray Salah and did not pay any attention to the wealth. After Salah, he returned and sat by that wealth. His Uncle Sayyiduna Abbas رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُcame to him and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Give me something from this wealth, for on the Day of Badr, I paid a ransom for myself and Aqeel Bin Abi Taalib.’ The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمsaid, ‘Take it.’ Sayyiduna Abbas رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُtook a large amount of the wealth with both of his hands and placed it in his cloth. The narrator of the Hadith Sayyiduna Anas رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, states that the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمremained seated there until not even one Dirham remained.’
 Shumaail Muhammadiyyah, p. 200, Hadith 337
 Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 4, p. 179, Hadith 6268
 Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 296, 411, 482, Hadith 851, 1221, 1430
 Abu Dawood, vol. 3, pp. 230-232, Hadith 3055
 Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 162, Hadith 421, vol. 2, p. 365, Hadith 3165; Umda al-Qaari, vol. 3, p. 410, Under the Hadith 421