Love for the poor
The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) enjoined upon
Muslims to treat the poor kindly and to help them with alms, Zakat, and
in other ways. He said: "He is not a perfect
Muslim who eats his fill and lets his neighbor go hungry."
He asked, "Do
you love your Creator? Then love your fellow beings first."
Monopoly is unlawful in Islam and he
preached that "It is difficult for a man laden with
riches to climb the steep path that leads to bliss."
He did not prohibit or discourage the
acquisition of wealth but insisted that it be lawfully acquired by honest means
and that a portion of it would go to the poor. He advised his followers
give the laborer his wages before his perspiration dried up."
He did not encourage beggary either
and stated that
is gracious to him who earns his living by his own labour, and that if a man
begs to increase his property, Allah will diminish it and whoever has food for
the day, it is prohibited for him to beg."
To his wife he said, "O
A'isha, love the poor and let them come to you and Allah will draw you near to
Himself." [Sahih Bukhari]
One or two instances of the Prophet's
(s.a.a.w.) concern for the poor may be given here. A Madinan, Ibad Bin Sharjil, was
once starving. He entered an orchard and picked some fruit. The owner of the
orchard gave him a sound beating and stripped off his clothes. The poor man
appealed to the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) who remonstrated the owner thus:
man was ignorant, you should have dispelled his ignorance; he was hungry, you
should have fed him."
His clothes were restored to the
Madinan and, in addition, some grain was given to him [Abu Dawood]
A debtor, Jabir Bin Abdullah, was
being harassed by his creditor as he could not clear his debt owing to the
failure of his date crop. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) went with Jabir to the house of the
creditor and pleaded with him to give Jabir some more time but the creditor was
not prepared to oblige. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) then went to the oasis and having
seen for himself that the crop was really poor, he again approached the creditor
with no better result. He then rested for some time and approached the creditor
for a third time but the latter was adamant. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) went again to
the orchard and asked Jabir to pluck the dates. As Allah would have it, the
collection not only sufficed to clear the dues but left something to spare. [Sahih
His love for the poor was so deep that
he used to pray: "O Allah, keep me poor in my life and
at my death and raise me at resurrection among those who are poor." [Nasai]