The Generosity of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)


The critics of the blessed prophet Muhammad claim that he was a man who was after the riches, after the money, and that this was one of his main concerns. So let us quote an authentic hadith about the prophet Muhammad, read it with an open mind as well as with honesty, and after you have read it ask yourself the question, is this man really after money? Is this man really a greedy person after his own glory and riches? The authentic hadith is as follows:

Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 434:

Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah:

I went to the Prophet in the mosque, and he ordered me to pray two Rakat. He owed me some money and he repaid it to me and gave more than what was due to me.

So tell me, does this sound like a greedy man after glory and riches? According to this incident, the prophet Muhammad owed someone some money, the prophet paid the debt back, and not only did he pay the debt back, he gave more money than was due! For instance say you owe someone 20 dollars, and you pay the 20 dollars back, as well as giving an extra 20 dollars which you didn’t even have to!

This my friends is a characteristic of excellent generosity, this is not the characteristic of someone who is out for himself only, looking to make himself rich, rather this is somebody giving more than he has to simply because of his good generous character.

In fact in this same hadith collection we also find another interesting incident:

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 413:

Narrated Anas:

Some goods came to Allah’s Apostle from Bahrain. The Prophet ordered the people to spread them in the mosque –it was the biggest amount of goods Allah’s Apostle had ever received. He left for prayer and did not even look at it. After finishing the prayer, he sat by those goods and gave from those to everybody he saw. Al-’Abbas came to him and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! give me (something) too, because I gave ransom for myself and ‘Aqil” Allah’s Apostle told him to take. So he stuffed his garment with it and tried to carry it away but he failed to do so. He said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Order someone to help me in lifting it.” The Prophet refused. He then said to the Prophet: Will you please help me to lift it?” Allah’s Apostle refused. Then Al-’Abbas threw some of it and tried to lift it (but failed). He again said, “O Allah’s Apostle Order someone to help me to lift it.” He refused. Al-’Abbas then said to the Prophet: “Will you please help me to lift it?” He again refused. Then Al-’Abbas threw some of it, and lifted it on his shoulders and went away. Allah’s Apostle kept on watching him till he disappeared from his sight and was astonished at his greediness. Allah’s Apostle did not get up till the last coin was distributed.

So we see several things from this hadith, several important characteristics of the prophet Muhammad that allow us to know how he was, and what wonderful characteristics indeed!

According to the hadith the prophet Muhammad had received several goods from Bahrain, after receiving all the goods he ordered some of his companions to take the goods and start spreading them around the mosque for the distribution amongst the people, we find that the prophet did not leave till even one coin was not distributed for the people! On top of that the hadith does not state anything about the prophet taking any of these goods for himself, rather he was giving it all to the people! So this again indicates a man with an excellent attribute of generosity for his people, and a man who is not out for his own fortune and glory, had the prophet been a man who was simply looking for glory and riches, he would have simply taken all the goods for himself, or even better, he could have sold it all for more money! Yet he does no such thing, rather he freely distributes everything to the people at no cost!

Another interesting aspect to this hadith is the greedy man Al-Abbas, this man came and started taking so much goods that it became too heavy and too much for him to carry alone, so he started asking for help, but the prophet refused. However even with that, the man still did not stop, he continued to take and take, and the prophet simply watched in amazement and astonishment at the level of greediness in this man! So what does this tell us about the prophet? It tells us that he was a man who disliked greediness, put this on top of the fact that the prophet took none of these goods for himself, but distributed it for the people, and then you see the bigger picture and a very good portrait of the prophet’s characteristic.

What makes this even more interesting is that the prophet did not even stop the greedy man! The prophet Muhammad is so kind, gentle, and merciful that he even allowed this greedy man to indulge himself with his greed and take as much as he wanted to.

So in conclusion from these two hadiths alone we see how generous the prophet Muhammad was, and we also see from these two hadiths that it is simply nonsense to claim that this man who acted in such a way was after glory and fortune! My friends, these are TWO HADITHS only! There are literally hundreds of more hadiths that show the prophet’s generosity and charitable behavior, it would take a book to document it all.

And Allah Knows Best!

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