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The generosity of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him


Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was generous and liberal with his greatest enemies

He was generous and liberal with even his greatest enemies, even with the people of Mecca, who were the ones who fought him for many years…

William Muir

Scottish orientalist

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) did not deny anything to anyone who asked him!!

An example of his great generosity is that Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) used to give much more at times when it is preferred to do many good deeds, like during the month of Ramadan. Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most generous of all the people, and he was as generous as he could be in Ramadan… the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (peace be upon him) was more generous than the fast wind related in Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

One day, a lady gave Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) a woven cloak. She said, “Oh Prophet (peace be upon him), this is for you to wear.” Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) took it, as he direly needed it, and put it on. One of his Companions saw it on the Prophet, so he said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, how nice that is! Give it to me.” The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) immediately fulfilled the man’s request and gave it to him, although he greatly needed it and the man knew this!!

When Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stood up to lead the Companions in prayer, they said [to the man],

’The man was wrong [concerning what he did]! The Prophet (peace be upon him) took it (the cloak) as he really needed it. Then the man asked for it, and he knew that the Prophet does not turn anyone away empty-handed.’” And this is what the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known for. Consequently, the man said, ‘“I hoped to receive blessings from it as the Prophet (peace be upon him) had worn it; and I hope I will be shrouded in it when I die! related by Al-Bukhari.

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) described the Prophet, saying, “His manners were those [mentioned] in the Quran.” And he was one of those who Allah described as:

And prefer them to themselves, even if they themselves are needy Surah Al-Hashr: 9.

There are many different ways one can be generous. Being generous with money is just one way. State other ways one can be generous?

Proofs of the Messenger of Allah’s generosity are more than one can count. Those near and far have born witness to this. The following is an example of what they have stated:

He gives like one who does not fear poverty

Truly, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) reached the highest and most honourable level from among those who are generous; he used to be very lavish when he gave. An Arab expressed this when he went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and saw a herd of sheep that filled a whole valley. Being avaricious of the Messenger of Allah’s generosity, he asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to give him all [the sheep] that were in the valley. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave them all to him. The man returned to his people with the good news, saying,

My people, enter Islam, as Muhammed gives like one who does not fear poverty. related by Muslim

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

A man may enter Islam only for worldly benefits, but after he had entered Islam it would become more beloved to him than the world and everything in it. related by Muslim.

Such incidents left a great impact on the Arabs who used to come to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) just to return with sheep or camels, and dinars or dirhams, and his (peace be upon him) response quickly made them willing to accept Islam and become steadfast in it. In such a way, the Messenger of Allah’s generosity was a reason for many people entering Islam, as he (peace be upon him) used to give like one who did not fear poverty…Truly, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) reached the most perfect level any human can reach with regards loving to be generous. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to give like one who did not think he might become poor or did not fear poverty as he (peace be upon him) was sure that Allah’s blessings on mankind are great, and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) truly believed that He (Glorified is He) is the One Who provides as He is the Lord of abounding grace.

Is it correct to use wealth and to be generous to encourage people to enter Islam? What is the wisdom in this?

The most generous person when giving to others

Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Alah have mercy on him) described the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying,

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was the most generous person when giving to others, the most honourable one to live with, and whoever mixed with him and so came to know him, loved him”

Jabir ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said about him,

related by At-Tirmidhi. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was not asked for anything at all and to which he replied by saying, ‘No’ related by At-Tirmidhi.

Money is distributed in the mosque!!

One of the incidents that indicate the generosity of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is related in the hadith narrated by Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) received money from Bahrain.” So he said, ‘“Spread it out in the mosque!’” It was the largest amount of money the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had ever received. The Messenger of Allah then left to pray and did not look at the money. When the prayer was finished, he went to sit next to the money. There was no one he saw but he gave him from the money. And tThe Messenger of Allah Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not stand up until there was no dirham left

(i.e., he had given all of it away, and not even one dirham was left for himself)

related by Al-Bukhari.

The poet was truthful when he said,

You see him jubilant when you go to meet him,

As though you will actually give him what you intend to ask from him!

What is the difference between the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and other leaders and kings with regards to dealing with the booty of war and distributing it among his people?

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) encouraged his Companions to be generous

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) always encouraged his Companions to spend and be generous. Concerning this, the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (peace be upon him) told his Companions and those after them from his nation, teaching them good manners:

There is no day that rises on a slave but there are two angels that come to him. One of them says, ‘Oh Allah, recompense those who spend [in Allah’s way]’ And the other one says, Oh Allah, ruin those who do not spend’ related by Al-Bukhari.

The Prophet’s noble manners

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

‘Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should be generous to his guests by giving them their reward.’ The Companions said, ‘And what is his reward, Oh Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘[To be entertained] a day and its night [with high quality food], and three days with ordinary food. If he stays longer, what he is provided is considered a charitable gift’ related by Muslim.

When does generosity become a type of waste, loss and extravagance?

The life of Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is like a mirror that reflects hospitality and generosity

The life of Muhammed is like a mirror in front of us that reflects towards us a wise mind, hospitality and generosity…and all other essential humane manners.

Lord Headley

British politician and author

Money is divided even if it equaled the amount of trees on the plain of Tihamah!!

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) often gave gifts to soften the hearts of the new Muslims. In the battle of Hunain, he (peace be upon him) gave Ayaneh ibn Haseen, Al Aqra ibn Habis, Abbas ibn Mirdas, Abu Sufyan ibn Harb and Safwan ibn Umayya (may Allah be pleased with them), each one of them, a large number of camels. When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) returned from this battle, some Arabs followed him to ask him [for some of the booty], so the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

Are you scared I will be miserly?! If there were spoils equal to the number of these trees,

I would have divided them among you, and you will not have found me to be miserly, cowardly or a liar

related by Ahmed.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not keep this wealth to himself, but he distributed it among his Companions. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) knew very well that wealth was only a means and not the main aim, so he used to use it to soften the hearts of the leaders of Mecca and the different Arab tribes. In such a way his generosity was one of the reasons Islam became strong in the people’s hearts. As a result of his great generosity and modesty, he never said, “No,” at all to anyone who asked; and no one who asked was ever disappointed.

Indeed, we are in need these days of this praiseworthy characteristic, generosity, in our dealings with others. By Allah, the poet was wise when he said,

If you are good to people, you can win their hearts

Good actions make the one who you treat well like your slave who does anything you want

State two incidents other than what has been mentioned that indicate the Messenger of Allah’s generosity

His generosity was not limited to wealth alone. In fact, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was generous with knowledge in how he taught the people, and with his influential position when interceding for others. He was also generous by using kind words and smiling at the people, and generous when dealing with them. And there were many other situations in which his generosity was clear.

How can we follow the Prophet’s example?

1. Know very well that wealth is a means and not an aim in itself. Therefore, keep this in mind when thinking of how to become close to Allah.

2. Follow the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and be hospitable and generous with the people. The first people you should be generous with are your close relatives.

3. Make use of times during which it is encouraged to do good deeds and acts of worship, and be as generous as a fast wind, giving much charity in order to become closer to Allah as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to do.

4. Be generous with money, helping people and with knowledge, and seek refuge from Allah from being miserly just as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to seek refuge from it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

Oh Allah, I seek refuge from you from being miserly [related by Al-Bukhari].

5. Remember that the stores of everything is with Allah, and He (Glorified is He) does not reduce any wealth through charity. He (Glorified is He) gives generously and honours the people according to how generous they themselves are.