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The Prophet of Islam and Lawfully Obtained Food

Consider the following tradition. A man came to the Prophet (Pbuh) with a bowl of milk and asked him to break his fast with the milk. The Prophet (Pbuh) asked him who had sent the milk. The man said it was a gift from a woman and the Prophet (Pbuh) told him to return with the milk and ask her where she had got it from. So the man went to the woman’s house to ask her. The woman said she had obtained it from her own sheep. The man returned to the Prophet (Pbuh ) to tell him. He was told to return and ask her where she had got the sheep from. He returned to ask her and she replied she had bought the sheep by working hard. The man returned to the Prophet (Pbuh ) and explained. Then the Prophet (Pbuh ) said he would break his fast with the milk. The following day the owner of the milk came to him and asked the reason for returning the milk several times. He said God the Almighty had ordered the Prophets to partake of only lawfully obtained food. This must be a lesson for all Muslim people to pay enough attention to the issue of what is lawful and unlawful, so that they do not pick up a burden which is either too difficult or impossible to bear. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Seeking the lawful is obligatory for each Muslim man and woman [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.719; Mizan-al-Hikmat, v.4, p.119]

Seeking the lawful is obligatory for each Muslim. [Ibid]

Seeking the lawful is a form of Jihad (Holy War). [Ibid]

The gates of Heaven are open to anyone who obtains lawful food through hard work, and he can enter Heaven from any gate he wishes.[Ibid]

There are ten parts to worship. One is seeking the lawful.[Ibid]

Imam Reza (Pbuh) said: The reward of one who seeks his daily bread from God's Grace to provide for his family's needs is greater than that of the one who fights in God's way. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.78, p.339]

Imam Baqir (Pbuh) said: Whoever seeks worldly goods to protect his family, and to be kind to his neighbors will meet God in Heaven with his face shining like a full moon. [Vasa'il al-Shiaa,v.12, p.11]
The sixth Imam (Pbuh) said: There is no good in one who is not interested in saving money to protect his honor and pay back his debts. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.7]

The Prophet (Pbuh ) said: The one who falls asleep at night being tired from hard work because of seeking the lawful, is forgiven his sins by God. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.2]

God likes to see His servant working hard to seek the lawful. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.4, p.119]

In the traditions it is stated the increase or decrease in one's daily bread is simply a test for God's servants to obtain a holy rank from God. The woman who is patient in the face of shortage of her daily bread, does not commit any sins to obtain more, and is grateful for the increase of her daily bread has successfully passed the test. [Nahj-ul-Balaghah, Sermon 91].

A believer does not become base in the face of shortage of his daily bread, and does not get drunk when his daily bread increases. He is content with the low amount of his daily bread; and when his daily bread increases, he eats, feeds others and rushes to pay the necessary dues.

Adopted from the book: "The Islamic Family Structure" by: "Husayn Ansarian"

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