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Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) Care for The Poor

“Abu-Dharr, when you prepare the broth, add water to it and invite your neighbor over.”

Source: Islamstory.com / 29 Jan 2013

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him,feared for his nation from surplus more than he feared from poverty:

“By Allah, it is not poverty about which I fear for you, but I fear in your case that (the worldly) riches may be given to you as were given to those who had gone before you, and that you begin to vie with one another for them as they vied for them, and that they may destroy you as they destroyed them.”(Al-Bukhari).

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)used to supplicate to Allah:

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from disbelief and poverty.”(Abu-Dawud)

“Steady us in our faith, and protect us from poverty.”(Muslim).

Because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) realized the severity of the crisis of poverty and its attenuating impact on people, he supported the poor and even lived amongst them.

He (peace and blessings be upon him) treated the poor with mercy and kindness, and he (peace and blessings be upon him) used to give them whatever he could, although he, himself, was poor. He (peace and blessings be upon him) also used to teach his companions to have mercy upon the poor as well. Consider his kind, sweet words:

“O son of Adam! It is better for you if you spend your surplus (wealth), but if you withhold it, it is evil for you. There is (however) no reproach for you (if you withhold the essentials) for a living. And begin (charity) with your dependants; and the upper hand is better than the lower hand.”(Muslim).

He (peace and blessings be upon him) also said:

“If anyone gives as sadaqa (charity) the equivalent of a date from that (earning) earned honestly, for Allah accepts that which is lawful, the Lord would accept it with His Right Hand, and even if it is a date, it would foster in the Hand of the lord, as one of you fosters his colt, till it becomes bigger than a mountain.”(Al-Bukhari).

“Nothing is more delighting to me than this that Uhud should be of gold for me, and no dinar is left with me out of it before three nights pass except a dinar which I would set aside for the repayment of debt upon me.”(Al-Bukhari).

The Prophet's Mercy

The Madinan society was generally poor, and therefore, to list all incidences and narrations that demonstrate the Prophet's mercy is impossible. Yet, we are trying to clarify the picture by giving examples, and those who seek more detail can refer to the Sunnah.

Consider what the Holy Prophet had taught Abu-Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, although Abu-Dharr was very poor:

“Abu-Dharr, when you prepare the broth, add water to it and invite your neighbor over.”(Muslim).  He also used to teach women to give their neighbors:

“O Muslim women, none of you should consider even a sheep's trotter too insignificant to give to her neighbor.”(Al-Bukhari).

He wanted every individual in the society to care for others and to help them as much as they could afford.

One day, Jabir ibn-Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, invited the Prophet to eat with him at his house. Although the Prophetwas starving, he did not want to go alone.  He took some of the Muhajirin (immigrants from Makkah) and the Ansar(residents of Madinah) along with him, and miraculously, the little amount of food available at Jabir's house became enough to satisfy all those who attended.  (Al-Bukhari).

Abu-Talha, may Allah be pleased with him, also invited the Prophet to eat and the Prophet did the same thing; he took along all the people present in the mosque at the time, and again, a miracle happened and everyone was satisfied.

Jareer ibn-Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him narrated:

“Some desert Arabs clad in wool clothes came to Allah's Messenger. He saw them in sad plight as they had been hard pressed by need. He (the Prophet) exhorted people to give charity, but they showed some reluctance until (signs) of anger were seen on his face. Then a person from the Ansar came with a purse containing silver. Then came another person and then other persons followed them in succession until signs of happiness were seen on his face. Thereupon Allah's Messenger said:

He who introduced some good practice in Islam which would be followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who introduced some evil practice in Islam which would be followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of the one who followed this (evil practice) without their being diminished in any respect.”(Muslim(.

The Prophet was always keen to help the poor by giving them what he had, and when he could not find anything, he would ask his companions to help, not to leave a poor man without help.

 

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