His charity was of various kinds. Sometimes he gave a gift; sometimes he borrowed something and repaid it generously; sometimes he bought a thing and paid more than the price to the seller; and sometimes he gave charity. He accepted gifts from other people but always gave more gifts in return for them.
Muhammad never said no to any request from anyone in his life. He used to say that he was only a distributor and a treasurer and that Allah was the Bestower of everything. Once a man came to him and saw his herd of goats stretching over a vast area. He requested help and Muhammad gave him the whole herd of goats. He went back to his people and told them to accept Islam, for Muhammad was so generous that there was no fear of poverty. Another man asked him for help when he had nothing to give, so he told the man to borrow on his behalf and he would repay the loan. `Umar, who was present, asked Muhammad whether Allah had not burdened him more than he could bear. The Prophet kept quiet. However, a man was present there who offered to help. Muhammad smiled with great joy at his offer.
Muhammad was so generous that he always gave something to anyone who asked him for help, but if he had nothing, he promised help later on. Sometimes it so happened that Muhammad purchased an article for himself, then gave it as a gift to the seller. Once he bought a camel from `Umar and straightaway gave it as a gift to `Umar’s son `Abdullah. Once he bought something from Jabir and gave it back to him as a gift.
Sometimes Allah blessed the food that the Prophet shared so that it multiplied to feed many. During one battle, there were 130 Companions with the Prophet. He bought one goat, slaughtered it and ordered its liver to be roasted. When it was ready, he distributed it among all the Companions and kept a share for those who were not present.
Whenever he received anything, he did not sit in peace until it was finished. Umm Salmah, the Prophet's wife, reported that one day Allah's Messenger came home looking disturbed. She asked him what the matter was. He replied that the seven dinars he had received the day before had remained on the bed until evening and had not been distributed. He did not rest until they were given away.
Abu Dharr reported that one evening he was walking with Allah's Messenger when he said, "Abu Dharr, if the mountain of Uhud were turned into gold for me, I would not like three nights to pass and one dinar still be left with me, excepting what I would leave for paying my debts." He would never rest until all the cash in the house was completely finished. Once the Prophet went home in a hurry after the prayer and then immediately came out again. The people were surprised, but he told them that he had remembered during the prayer that there was some gold in his house. He thought that he might forget and the gold might remain there all night. He went back home to ask that it might immediately be given in charity.
He always paid the debts of the dead and issued instructions to the effect that if anyone died leaving any debt, he should be informed of it so that he could pay it off.
Whenever Muhammad met any miserly person, he advised him to be more generous and charitable. Ibn `Abbas said that he heard Allah's Messenger say, "The believer is not the one who eats when his neighbor beside him is hungry," Abu Hurayrah reported Allah's Messenger as saying, "The believer is simple and generous, but the wicked person is deceitful and ignoble." In short, Muhammad was so generous and charitable that he never kept anything surplus for himself but gave all to those who came to him for help.
Allah Subhanoho wa-T'ala Says to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) in The Holy Quran:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِين
"And We have not sent you except as a mercy to mankind." (The Prophets 21:107)Read more...
You may be an atheist or an agnostic or you may belong to any of the religious denominations that exist in the world today. You may have been a Communist or a believer in democracy and freedom. No matter what you are, and no matter what your religious and political beliefs, personal and social habits happen to be— YOU STILL MUST KNOW THIS MAN!
He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numberless social and political reforms, established a dynamic and powerful society to practice and represent his teachings, and he revolutionized the worlds of human thought and human action for all time. His name was Muhammad (peace and blessings of Almighty Creator be upon him)—and he accomplished all these wonders in the unbelievably short span of twenty-three years.
Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) asked people to shun notions of racial, family or any other form of superiority based on mundane things and said that righteousness alone was the criterion of one's superiority over another. It has already been shown how he mixed with everyone on equal terms, how he ate with slaves, servants and the poorest on the same sheet (a practice that is still followed in Arabia), how he refused all privileges and worked like any ordinary labourer. Two instances may, however, be quoted here:
Once the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) visited Saad Bin Abadah. While returning Saad sent his son Quais with him. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) asked Quais to mount his camel with him. Quais hesitated out of respect but the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) insisted: "Either mount the camel or go back." Quais decided to go back. [Abu Dawood]
On another occasion he was travelling on his camel over hilly terrain with a disciple, Uqba Bin Aamir. After going some distance, he asked Uqba to ride the camel, but Uqba thought this would be showing disrespect to the Prophet (s.a.a.w.). But the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) insisted and he had to comply. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) himself walked on foot as he did not want to put too much load on the animal. [Nasai]
The prisoners of war of Badr included Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.). Some people were prepared to forgo their shares and remit the Prophet's (s.a.a.w.) ransom but he declined saying that he could make no distinctions. [Sahih Bukhari]
During a halt on a journey, the companions apportioned work among themselves for preparing food. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) took upon himself the task of collecting firewood. His companions pleaded that they would do it and that he need not take the trouble, but he replied,
"It is true, but I do not like to attribute any distinction to myself. Allah does not like the man who considers himself superior to his companions." [Zarqani, Vol. 4 pg. 306)]
by Athar Husain
An excerpt from the book entitled "The Message of Mohammad," by Athar Husain.
The prohibition of interest is a basic principle of Islamic civilization. It guarantees and safeguards the happiness of mankind. In its least offensive sense, interest is a system which enables the unproductive man to share in the fruits of someone else's labor for no reason but that he lent him money. The argument advanced in its favor is that the money lent enabled the producer to produce his fruits and that without it, it would not have been possible for the producer to earn what he did. Even if this advantage were the only consequence of interest, it would not be justified. For, were the money lender capable of usufructing his money for himself, he would not have lent it to someone else. And were that money to remain in its coffer, it would not produce any fruits at all. Rather, it would probably be gradually consumed by its owner. If, therefore, the capitalist allows another man to usufruct his money, hoping thereby to win a share in its fruits, he should certainly be entitled to a share of the fruits should there be such rather than imposing a definite interest charge for his money. If the operation proves successful and economically profitable, the owner of the capital should receive the share agreed upon. If it should turn out to be a failure and a loss, however, then he, too, should share a proportionate part of the burden. On the other hand, to impose a definite interest charge for the use of capital regardless of whether or not the use of such capital has been productive is illegitimate exploitation.
It is futile to object here that capital is entitled to its rent because it is used like any other commodity, be it a piece of land or a mule, and that interest is really the equivalent of rent. The renting of movable and immovable property is vastly different from renting money; the latter may bring about mutual benefit and usufruct as well as pure exploitation and crime. Man does not rent a piece of land, a house, a beast of burden, or any immovable property except in order to use it to his advantage. Otherwise, he is insane, and his commitments are not responsible. It is otherwise with money. Money is for the most part lent for purposes of trade. But trade is always exposed to profit and loss. The renting of immovable or movable property is hardly ever exposed to loss except in rare, indeed exceptional, cases falling outside the realm of normal legislation. Where it does happen that the rent of movable or immovable property exposes the user to loss, the legislator usually intervenes between the landowner and the lessees in order to relieve such injustice and prevent exploitation by the landowner. Such has been the repeated practice of the world everywhere. On the other hand, the impose of a definite interest rate of seven or nine percent, more or less, is not affected by whether the usufruct of the money in question has realized a profit or a loss. Where 'the result of the usufruct is a loss, to demand the interest is surely to commit a crime. It is on this account that hatred and immoral competition arise between men in place of fraternity and love. This source of misery is the primary cause of the repeated crises which the world community has been witnessing in recent times.
The foregoing is perhaps the least offensive description of interest. In other pictures the money lender is better compared to a wild beast rather than to anything human. Consider the case of the man who needs money for a purpose other than production. It is possible that a man may fall in need and seek financial assistance to feed himself and his family for an interval, pending his finding a job or his engaging in some productive activity. To come to the assistance of such a man is one of the first duties of humanity. This is precisely what the holy Qur'an demands. Is not the charging of interest in such cases a heinous crime, an offense deserving the same punishment as murder? And is it not a crime still more sinister to tempt those who are not shrewd in the management of their own affairs in order to get them to borrow money on interest and thereby rob them of the little wealth they possess? To tempt and to trap a man with interest is no less a crime than the lowliest theft. Surely it deserves the same if not greater punishment.