The fourth caliph, Sayyiduna Maula ‘Ali Mushkil-Kusha, Shayr-e-Khuda کَرَّمَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی وَجْھَـهُ الْکَرِیْم used to work on wages in order to earn his livelihood. (Hadeeqah Nadiyyah, vol. 1, pp. 222)
Blisters on the hands
Sayyiduna Mujahid رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه states that one day, Sayyiduna ‘Ali-ul-Murtada کَرَّمَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی وَجْھَـهُ الْکَرِیْم came to us wearing ‘Imamah [blessed turban]. He رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ said to us: Once in Madinah Munawwarah, I felt extremely hungry. Hence, I went to the surroundings of Madinah in search of work. Over there, I saw a woman who had gathered a pile of soil which she wanted to soak with water. One date in return for every bucket of water was set as my wage and I drew sixteen buckets of water from a well. As a result, I had blisters on my hands. I washed my hands and came to the woman and said, ‘This is sufficient for me.’ Upon this, the woman counted sixteen dates and gave them to me. Taking them, I came to the blessed court of the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and mentioned what had happened. Then we ate those dates together. He صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم spoke well of me and supplicated. (Hilya-tul-Awliya, vol. 1, pp. 112)
Irrigation of the garden in exchange for dates
Sayyiduna ‘Ali-ul-Murtada کَرَّمَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی وَجْھَـهُ الْکَرِیْم states: Once, I went to a garden. The owner of the garden said, ‘Irrigate my garden and I will give you one date in return for each bucket of water.’ I drew a few buckets of water from a well and I received some dates. My palm was filled with dates. Then, I drank some water and came to the blessed court of the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم along with those dates. We together ate them. (Al-Zuhd lil Imam Ahmad, pp. 157, Raqm 701)
Dear Islamic brothers! These events contain a lesson for those who, despite being fit and healthy, do not do any work. Let alone labour [physical work], they even consider doing small business to be a means of shame and disgrace. Whereas, in order to earn Halal sustenance, our righteous predecessors would not consider even smallest jobs to be bad.
These people should follow our pious predecessors. If they make some effort, they can earn and provide for themselves as well as for their households, but they seem to have developed the mindset that they cannot do any job or small business. Despite being capable of earning a living to fulfil their needs, they are habitual of eating for free and begging. Remember! Begging as a source of earning a living is Haraam and an action that leads towards the Hell. The one who begs without a Shar’i permission seeks the fire of Hell for himself. The more he accumulates wealth in this manner, the more he will become deserving of the fire of Hell.
May Allah Almighty protect us from begging others and enable us to strive for Halal sustenance!
اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم