Imaam Waaqidi (rahimahullah) is a renowned imaam in the field of Islamic history. He narrates the following incident which is his personal experience. He says:
I was once overcome by poverty during the period when I was with (the governor) Yahya bin Khaalid Barmaki. As the day of ‘Eid drew near, my slave girl came to me and said, “The day of ‘Eid has arrived and we do not possess anything (i.e. any money to purchase delicacies, etc.)!”
I thus went to a certain friend of mine, who was a businessman, and requested him for a loan. He (agreed to assist me, and) handed me a sealed bag which contained 1200 dirhams (silver coins). Taking the bag, I returned home.
Not long thereafter, one of my friends, who was a Haashimi (from the Banu Haashim clan – the family of Rasulullah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam]), came to me, (seeking assistance). He explained that there was a delay in his income arriving, and hence he required a loan.
(Hearing his request,) I went to my wife and mentioned what had transpired. She asked, “What have you decided to do?” I replied, “I have decided to share the money with him (by giving him half).” My wife responded, “There is nothing great in doing that. When you went to a normal businessman, and requested him for assistance, then he gave you 1200 dirhams. Now, when a man from the blessed family of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has come to you, seeking assistance, you wish to merely give him half of what the businessman gave you?! Give him the whole bag.”
I (accepted the advice of my wife and thus) gave the entire bag to my Haashimi friend, (who took it and departed).
Thereafter, my businessman friend, who was also acquainted with the Haashimi, came to the Haashimi and asked him for a loan. The Haashimi (immediately) took out the bag of coins, and handed it to him. (On receiving the bag,) the businessman recognized it, and thus came to me to inform me of what had transpired with the bag.
Thereafter, Yahya bin Khaalid summoned me. I responded, and on coming before him, I informed him of the unique incident that had transpired with the bag of coins. On hearing the incident, he instructed his slave to bring him some dinaars (gold coins).
Yahya bin Khaalid then gave me 2000 dinaars for myself, 2000 dinaars each for the businessman and the Haashimi and 4000 dinaars for my wife, saying, “She was the most generous from all of you.”
(Taareekhu Baghdaad, vol. 4, pg. 30)
1. In the world today, people are taught that it is ‘every man for himself’. However, Islam teaches us that we should try to be there for every person, to assist, bring comfort and alleviate difficulty. Hence, we find countless incidents of the Sahaabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) and our pious predecessors giving preference to others, by sacrificing their own comfort for the sake of others.
2. Allah Ta‘ala alone is the Provider. In this incident, when each person tried to please Allah Ta‘ala by giving preference to the next person, then Allah Ta‘ala rewarded them in the Hereafter and also provided for them in this world.
3. If a person has love for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), then he must also love the blessed family of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Hence, the wife of Imaam Waaqidi (rahimahullah) advised him to give the Haashimi the entire bag, in order to honour his status and relationship with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
4. Marriage is a Deeni ‘partnership’, where each spouse encourages the other towards righteousness and assists him/her to abstain from sin. Hence, it was the wife of Imaam Waaqidi (rahimahullah) who urged him to give preference to the Haashimi over himself by giving him all the money.