The Twenty First Narration

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The Twenty First Narration

Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

 

كان أبو طلحة أكثر الأنصار بالمدينة مالا من نخل وكان أحب أمواله إليه بيرحاء وكانت مستقبلة المسجد وكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يدخلها ويشرب من ماء فيها طيب قال أنس فلما أنزلت هذه الآية لن تنالوا البر حتى تنفقوا مما تحبون قام أبو طلحة إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا رسول الله إن الله تبارك وتعالى يقول لن تنالوا البر حتى تنفقوا مما تحبون وإن أحب أموالي إلي بيرحاء وإنها صدقة لله أرجو برها وذخرها عند الله فضعها يا رسول الله حيث أراك الله قال فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بخ ذلك مال رابح ذلك مال رابح وقد سمعت ما قلت وإني أرى أن تجعلها في الأقربين فقال أبو طلحة أفعل يا رسول الله فقسمها أبو طلحة في أقاربه وبني عمه

Abu Talhah had more date-palm tree gardens than any other amongst the Ansar in Madinah and the most beloved of them to him was Bayruha’. It was in front of the Masjid of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to go there and used to drink its fresh water. Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu says, When the following verses were revealed:

لَنْ تَنَالُوْا الْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنْفِقُوْا مِمَّا تُحِبُّوْنَ

Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love.

Abu Talhah said to Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “O Messenger of Allah! Allah, the Blessed, the Superior says: By no means shall you attain righteousness, unless you spend (in charity) of that which you love. And no doubt, the Bayruha’ garden is the most beloved of all my property to me. So I want to give it in charity in Allah’s Cause. I expect its reward from Allah. O Allah’s Messenger! Spend it where Allah shows you to.”

On that Allah’s Apostle salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Bravo! It is a profitable bargain. I have heard what you have said (O Abu Talhah), and I think it would be proper if you gave it to your kith and kin.”

Abu Talhah said, “I will do so, O Messenger of Allah.”

Then Abu Talhah distributed that garden amongst his relatives and his cousins.[1]

 

Imam al Bukhari has recorded this narration and another with the following wording:

 

قبلناه منك و رددناه عليك فاجعله في الأقربين

We have accepted it from you and returned it back to you so you can give it to your relatives.

 

Imam Muslim has recorded it as well.

 

Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:

1. There is great virtue and honour in favour of Abu Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this narration. Hereunder are some reasons:

 

a. He was the first to practice upon the verse:

لَنْ تَنَالُوْا الْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنْفِقُوْا مِمَّا تُحِبُّوْنَ

Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love.

When the verse was revealed he stood immediately to fulfil the subject matter, thereby reaching the high stations of the pious.

b. His charity was accepted by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

c. Praise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at his presenting the charity by saying, “Bravo! It is a profitable bargain.”

d. His immense love for Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala which can be ascertained from his haste to fulfil the command. Similarly, his love for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam can be understood as his garden frequented by the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He would seek shade therein and drink from its water.

e. His sincere submission to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He gave Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the option to give it to whomsoever Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala

 

2. Question: What is the reason behind Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam repeating the statement:

 

ذلك مال رابح ذلك مال رابح

It is a profitable bargain! It is a profitable bargain!

Answer: For a long time, I pondered over this question. Sure it was an amazing display of generosity, faith, and love. However, many other Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum had given more often and in bigger amounts. After some time, a thought came to me – and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best – that this charity of his was to be of significant value. The garden which Abu Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had given was included in the boundaries of Masjid al Nabawi during the reign of King ‘Abdul ‘Aziz in the year 1373 A.H. Thereafter in the year 1405 A.H. in the biggest expansion to date it found its place at the Majidi Door. Those that stand in prayer at this site – which is multiplied by a thousand- and sit remembering Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala are, perhaps unbeknownst to them, sending tremendous amounts of rewards to this Abu Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu! He receives an equal reward to them.

Sure, this land might have been bought and sold over time however, the initial charity was afforded by Abu Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The acceptance of it is clear from the narration, “We have accepted it from you and returned it back to you.”

A charity that gained a much, much greater reward that could ever have been perceived; an honour Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala had set for the Companions of His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala be pleased with them all.

 

3. This narration is a clear example of the sincerity held by the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Their actions were done solely for the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, all acts and intents were free from ulterior motives. Abu Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu says, “I hope for its reward and recompense from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.” Allah and His Messenger attested to the truth of his statement with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam further congratulating him repeatedly; emphasising the greatness of his act.

 

4. When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him, “It is a profitable bargain”, he was alluding to the great profits that will be reaped by Abu Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

5. This narration depicts the haste of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in complying with the orders of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. No group had displayed submission of this level before them nor would any group match them after.

 

6. Spending in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala when the ummah is in a crisis is perhaps an unmatched act of generosity which results in unimaginable rewards.

 

7. The desirability of attaining wealth, even for the pious. This is opposed to the ideology of total lack of wealth and reliance on people championed by some so called ‘ascetics’.

 

8. Giving land as an endowment is amongst the best endowment one can give.

 

9. The permissibility of drinking from the water of one’s friend, though it be without his permission.

 

10. Ibn ‘Abdul Barr writes in al Tamhid:

 

وفيه أن الصدقة على الأقارب من أفضل أعمال البر لأن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لم يشر بذلك على أبي طلحة إلا وهو قد اختار ذلك له ، ولا يختار له إلا الأفضل

This narration proves that spending on one’s family is of the most virtuous of acts as Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam counselled Abu Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to spend it upon his family. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would only indicate to that which is the most virtuous.

 

11. Ibn ‘Uthaymin says:

 

أن إعطاء ذوي القربى أولى من إعطاء اليتامى، والمساكين؛ لأن الله بدأ بهم، فقال تعالى: { وآتى المال على حبه ذوي القربى }؛ فلو سأل سائل: هل الأفضل أن أعطي القرابة، أو اليتامى؟ لقلنا: أعطِ القرابة؛ اللهم إلا إن يكون هناك ضرورة في اليتامى ترجح إعطاءهم

Spending on one’s family holds more virtue than spending on the orphans and needy as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala begins with them in the verse:

وَآتَىْ الْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِيْ الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِيْنَ

And gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy.[2]

However, if there is desperate need for other than family, the rule would change.

This view is further strengthened by the statement of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “I think it would be proper if you gave it to your kith and kin.”

 

12. The permissibility of taking on the responsibility to distribute one’s own charity.

 

13. The permissibility of authorizing another to dispense one’s charity. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam accepted the charity of Abu Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu thereby becoming an agent to dispense of it.

 

14. The permissibility of making known one’s charity and acts of virtue if done for a good reason without the fear of ostentation.

 

15. Whoever hopes for the love of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will attain it.

 

 NEXT⇒ The Twenty Second Narration


[1] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 1392.

[2] Surah al Baqarah: 177.