Thursday, 5 July 2007


Out of the countless and innumerable good qualities and excellent characters the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW possessed, was his (SAW) high ranked generosity and natural kind-heartedness. The Prophet SAW's generosity knew no limits, and the ocean of his kindness knew no shore.

The Three Types of Generosity

Generosity and kindness covers such a vast field, and is such an ocean of a subject - that to cover all of its details is a monumental task. Generosity and kindness do not only mean that we give only when we gain, but it also means - to give when we ourselves hardly have anything or are in need of what we currently possess. Hence, according to these details, the quality of generosity may be divided into three groups:

1. To give while one has something in possession and the one to whom it is given also has something in possession.

2. To give while one has something in possession and the one to whom it is given is in need.

3. To give while one is in need but places his own needs aside and gives priority to others over himself.

The last group is the best and most desirable of all, and it is this third quality which is found in the life of the Prophet Muhammad SAW.

One story has been narrated, that in the time of the Prophet SAW, a woman made an intention of giving the Prophet SAW a present; but because she didn't have much wealth to buy him something expensive, she intended to weave and offer some cloth. The Prophet SAW accepted it, and wore it as an Izaar (a sheet of cloth worn to cover the lower part of the body). A Companion saw the Prophet Muhammad SAW with this Izaar and liked it, and so asked for it. In response, the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW without any hesitation changed into another garment, which was borrowed from somebody, and gave the cloth away. The Companions of the Prophet SAW who saw this felt guilty about the person asking, because they knew well that the Holy Prophet SAW would never refuse any request, as far as he (SAW) could fulfill it.

Another similar incident is narrated in which the superior level of generosity and kind-heartedness of the Prophet Muhammad SAW could be seen. In Mishkaat (an authentic book of Hadith) a story of the Prophet Muhammad SAW is narrated by Anas bin Malik RA, a very close Companion of the Prophet Muhammad SAW.

Anas bin Malik RA had served the Prophet Muhammad SAW for ten years, at home and while on journey. Anas RA narrates that once, as the Prophet Muhammad SAW was returning from one battle, and was still on his way to Madinah, some villagers surrounded him, closed up onto him and pulled harshly on the Prophet SAW's collar; so hard that it left marks on his (SAW) skin.

These villagers then said:

"O Prophet of Allah SAW, order for us some of the wealth which Allah has given you."

The Prophet Muhammad SAW did not become angry or serious, but instead smiled to them and calmly and callously, in a joking mood, told some of his Companions RA to give them some of the wealth which they asked for. Such was the personality of Rasulullah SAW.

Once, in another narration, the Muslims were returning from a battle. At noon everyone was ordered to take a rest, as was the custom of the Arabs. The Prophet Muhammad SAW selected for himself a place under a tree and went to sleep in the shade of it.

The Prophet SAW was woken up by a voice - loud and clear:

"O' Muhammad! Who is going to save you from me now?"

Again the Prophet SAW heard these words.

The Prophet Muhammad SAW opened his eyes to see a man, from the enemies holding a sword in his hand. The Prophet SAW then calmly, most peacefully and fully confident replied:


The Prophet Muhammad SAW said it with such trust and faith in Allah that the man began to tremble and shake. He trembled so much that the sword fell from his hand. In reaction, the Holy Prophet SAW stood up quickly and took the sword, and then said to the person the very same words as the person had said to him (SAW).

The perpetrator by now had realised that he had no way out. His life was in danger. He did not want to risk his life, nor did he want to accept Islam. He knew what he had done was wrong, and there was only one way out, and that was to plead in front of the Prophet Muhammad SAW.

The man said:

"Be the best of whom has the sword in his possession."

Meaning that the person with the sword in his hand has an option either to kill or forgive, and the better one being the forgiving one. The Prophet Muhammad SAW hence, with his kind and soft heart then forgave the person and spared his life.

The unveiling and unrolling of the conquering of Makkah, and the history of the victory over it will tell, and show similar incidents of soft-heartedness and kindness of the Prophet Muhammad SAW, the likes of which are incomparable and matchless.

When Makkah was conquered, the disbelievers were overthrown and the Prophet SAW arrived there with his order which was announced that all those who wronged him, offended him, put him to grief and to Islam, would be forgiven and forgotten if they took refuge in such and such a place.

There were such people as Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan who had actually chewed the heart of the beloved uncle of the Prophet SAW - Hamzah RA during the Battle of Uhud. There was also Wahshi, who was the one who killed Hamzah RA. The Prophet SAW loved his uncle very much. Hamzah RA himself had great affection for his nephew. They were greatly attached to each other, and this is exactly why, even after many years of his martyrdom, whenever Hamzah RA's name was mentioned, memories would come flooding back, and the Prophet SAW would become sad.

The Prophet Muhammad SAW forgave Wahshi. He (SAW) said to him:

"Do not to come in front of me; for when I see you, I remember my dear uncle, which upsets me greatly."

This is what kindness and being soft-hearted really means, and this is the way which every Muslim should aim to follow.

When the son of Abu Jahl - Ikramah came to know that Makkah had been conquered by the Muslims, he fled from there as fast as possible. He knew he would have no peace now, for he had troubled the Prophet SAW a great many times. Ikramah himself felt guilty, and he regretted what he had done and wanted to repent, but because of all the troubles he had given the Prophet Muhammad SAW, he was in doubt as to whether such a person of great vehement disobedience could be forgiven or not. Secondly, Ikramah was also ashamed to go anywhere near the Prophet SAW and was also scared of the results which may follow. Would his repentance be accepted? Or would his life be in danger?

When Ikramah fled, his wife chased after him and assured him that the Prophet SAW would surely forgive him and under no circumstances would he punish him, for the Prophet Muhammad SAW has the most soft and kind a heart a man has ever received, and never would he see ill-treatment on behalf of himself.

The Prophet SAW also came to know of this, and so he let it be known that anybody who came for pardon no matter who it was, would be forgiven. Ikramah was informed of this. As Ikramah entered the vicinity of the Muslim community, the people were told not to taunt nor tease Ikramah, as being the son of Abu Jahl La'natullah. Hence the Sahabah RA did this. Ikramah came, repented and accepted Islam.

Generosity literally means willingness and liberality in giving away ones own money, time, etc. It also means being free from pettiness in character or in mind, thus - not to be spoilt in character or being narrow minded and being with harsh temperament.

No comments: