In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
20th Rabial-Awwal 1445 (6th October 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 152
Purification of the heart-Part 94
In continuation with my discussion on Sadaqah, today I will enlighten you on the generosity and compassion of Imam Hasan (a.s.).
The Imam excelled all others in worshipping Allah (s.w.t.), in knowledge and in spiritual perfection of his era. He was the master of greatness, the commander of the faithful and the most compassionate and forbearing human being. He had the worldly possessions at his disposal and could have enjoyed a luxurious life, but he utilized it in helping the underprivileged. He was so courteous and humble that he never hesitated to sit among beggars in lanes and on thoroughfares and discuss with them religious values and he never let them feel inferior to him. Suffice to say because of his generosity he earned the titles of Karim, Sakhi and Jawad (generous one). It has been reported that he donated all his properties and wealth twice and donated half of all he had three times to the poor and needy. The historian, Ibne Shahrashub, reported that during the Imam’s travel to Syria, Muawiya gifted him with a considerable amount of money. When the Imam was leaving, one of Muawiya’s servants brought him his shoes out of respect, so the Imam gave all that wealth to the servant. He was greatly attentive to people who needed his help, to such an extent that he would even leave his itikaf and tawaf to help those who asked him for help and he would refer to a hadith of the Holy Prophet (s.a.): “He who fulfils a need of a believer is like one who worships Allah for years.”
He believed that money was only a means to clothe the naked, help the destitute, pay the debts of the indebted or satisfy the hungry. One day an Arab came to the Imam and before he could ask him for help, he asked his treasurer to give him his entire savings. The Arab was surprised as he had not expressed his needs to the Imam. When asked, the Imam said: “The fear of disgracing one who has needs, urges us to give away before he expresses his needs.” According to the Imam, the first sign of a truly generous person is one who helps a person before anything is asked of him. When he sees the signs of need in someone, he does not allow things to reach a point when the poor man would need to beg for help. The second indicator of generosity is to strive to feed the poor and the needy in one’s home, which brings about blessings and it eradicates calamities and illnesses from the home of the host. Moreover, there are other signs of generosity as well.
The Imam treated his enemies and even animals with kindness. One day a follower of Muawiya came to Medina and when he saw the Imam he started hurling insults at him. His followers wanted to punish the man, but the Imam asked them to leave him alone and greeted the man cordially and said: “I see you are a stranger in this town. Should you need a ride, we will provide you with one. Should you have any needs, we will fulfil them for you. If you need any help, we will help you. “The man was ashamed of his obnoxious behavior and apologized profusely. To be continued
Birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) – Part: 2
Allah (s.w.t.) conferred great favors and blessings on man when he sent the Holy Prophet (s.a.) on earth with guidance and the religion of truth. He was the greatest Messenger of Allah and he was sincere in his love and compassion and like the sun he exuded warmth. His beneficence and grace were exceptional. He selflessly lived for others and generously helped the poor and needy. He was the light of Allah (s.w.t); like a lamp he illuminated the abyss of darkness and ignorance. From the confines of Arabia it was his light that reached the farthest of regions and released people from their burden. Although he was highly honorable in lineage, his conduct was extremely modest and he was most tolerant and forgiving despite having the power of retaliation. The adversities and sufferings that he endured illustrate his high tenacity, generous heartedness and commitment. He did not slacken for a moment in discharging his duties nor was he ever disheartened. I quote below relevant Ayahs from the Holy Quran:
“He it is Who has raised amongst the unlettered a messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His Signs, purifying them and teaching them the Book and the Wisdom, although they were before, in manifest straying.” (Ayah 2, Surah Al-Jummah)
“Indeed God conferred His favor upon the believers when He raised a Messenger (Muhammad) from among them to recite to them His Signs, and to purify them and to teach them the Book (Quran) and wisdom though before they were in manifest error.” (Ayah 164, Surah Ale-Imran)
“Lord! Raise up amongst them a messenger among themselves who shall recite to them Your revelations and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them for You; You alone are the Mighty, the Wise.” (Ayah 129 of Surah Al-Baqarah)
Thus, it can be noted from the above Ayahs that the Holy Prophet (s.a.) came during the era of darkness and ignorance, when people were sunk in iniquity, immorality and transgressions. He guided people to the right path and pursued Allah (s.w.t.)’s mission in the following manner:
- He recited the signs and revelations of Allah (s.w.t.) to the people.
- Thereafter he purified and sanctified them and raised their awareness from sensual to spiritual.
- After he paved the way, he taught them the Holy Quran which contains the truth and wisdom.
- Finally, he showed them how to apply the truth in a practical way.