The Prophet's Generosity
The Prophet used to say, "Allah taught me good manners and I taught Ali. My Lord ordered me to be generous and kind and forbade me from being miserly or mean. There is nothing Allah hates more than miserliness and bad manners which ruin one's good deeds just as vinegar ruins honey." He used to spend everything he had by way of charity till he and his family would be bitten by hunger.
Im"m Sadiq has narrated saying that the Messenger of Allah went to al-Ji!rana where he distributed the booty (of Honain) which was quite large. People kept asking him, and he kept giving them till they pressed him against a tree, stripping him out of his garment and causing the tree to severely scratch his back, till they removed him from there and still kept asking him. He said to them, "O people! Give me back my garment for by Allah, had I had any wealth, I would have distributed it among you, and you know full well that I am neither a coward nor a miser."
He said the following to [his uncle] Abb"s during the time when he was sick and shortly before his demise, "O uncle of the Messenger of Allah! Do you accept to carry out my will, make all preparations for my funeral and pay my debts on my behalf?" Abb"s said, "O Messenger of Allah! Your uncle is an old man who has many dependants to take care of and you compete with the wind in your swiftness of generosity and open-handedness and you have a debt which is beyond your uncle's means."
The Messenger of Allah, as historians have recorded, used to give whenever he was asked, and when he did not have anything to give, he would make a promise of payment. Since his uncle refused to accept to carry out his will, he asked Ali to do that instead, and Ali assented and carried out the will of the Prophet.
J"bir ibn Abdull"h al-Ans"ri has said, "The Messenger of Allah never said 'No' to anyone who made a request of him."
There have been quite a few incidents narrated when a man would approach him requesting something and he would say to him, "I do not have what you are asking me for, but if we get something, we shall give it to you."
A man once asked him for something, and he did not have anything to give him, and some of his companions were present. The latter said, "O Messenger of Allah! Allah never required you to do what you cannot." Another companion responded to this comment and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Spend of what there is with you and do not fear that the One Who has the Throne will ever disappoint you." The Prophet smiled and signs of pleasure were seen on his face.
It is related that Im"m Ja!far Sadiq said: 'Never was the Apostle of God asked by anyone for some worldly thing without him giving it. Once a woman sent him her son and said to him: 'Go to him and ask from him. If he says I have nothing then say to him: 'Give me your shirt.' The boy did what his mother had ordered him and the Apostle of God took his shirt and gave it to him.' 159
159. bihar al-anwar; vol. 16, chap. 9, p.271, 9ad:th 90.
Adopted from the book : "The Prophet Muhammad; a Mercy to the World" by : "Ayatullah Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"
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