Someone inquired of Bilal (Radhiyallaho anho) how the Prophet (Sallallaho
alaihe wasallam) met his expenses. He replied:
"He never kept back anything for future use. I arranged
money for him. Whenever a needy person, whether hungry or naked,
came to him, he would make him over to me and I would then arrange
for his needs by borrowing money from somebody.
This is what usually happened. Once a Mushrik came to me and
said: 'Look here! I have a lot of money to spare. Don't borrow
money from anybody else. Whenever you need it, come straight to
me.' I exclaimed: 'This is indeed fine.' I began to borrow money
from him to meet the needs of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam).
One day, after I had taken my Wudhu and was about to call Azaan,
the same Mushrik accompanied by some people came and shouted,
'0, Negro!' When I attended to him, he began to abuse me, using
filthy language and said: 'How many days are left of this month?
'I said: 'It is about to finish. 'He said most insolently: 'Look
here! there are only four days left of this month. If you fail
to clear up your debts by the end of the month, I shall take you
as my slave for my money and then you will be grazing sheep as
you have been doing before.
After saying this he went away. I remained melancholy and full
of grief throughout the day. After Isha when the Prophet (Sallallaho
alaihe wasallam) was alone, I went and narrated the story to him,
saying: '0, Prophet of Allah! you have nothing with you, nor can
I arrange any money from somewhere so quickly.
I am afraid the Mushrik will disgrace me. I therefore intend
to keep away for such time as you get sufficient money to clear
I went home, took my sword, shield, and shoes, and waited for
the morning to make for some other place. Just before dawn, somebody
came to me and said. 'Hurry up. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe
wasallam) wants you.' I hurried to the musjid and found four loaded
camels sitting near the Prophet. He said: 'Good news, Bilal. Allah
has made arrangements for clearing your debts. Take these camels
with their load. The Chief of Fidak has sent them as a gift to
I thanked Allah and took the camels and cleared up all the debts.
In the meantime, the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) kept
sitting in the musjid.
When I returned, 1 said: 'Alhamdulillah.' All the debts are now
clear, 0, Prophet of Allah' He inquired: 'Is there anything left
from the gift?" I said, "Yes, something is still left."
He said, "Go and spend that as well. I shall not go home
until the whole lot is spent.' The Prophet kept sitting in the
musjid all day long.
After Isha he inquired again if everything had been spent. 1
said: 'Something is still left unspent. A few of the poor have
not turned up so far.' He slept in the musjid that night. Next
day after Isha'a he again called me to him and said: 'Bilal! Is
everything finished now?" I said: 'Yes, Allah has blessed
you with peace. Everything is now spent and gone.
The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) began to hymn the Glory
of Allah over this news, for he did not like death to overtake
him while any of the riches were in his possession. He then went
home and met his family."
It is common with pious people that they do not like to keep any
wealth with them. How could the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam),
being the fountain-head of all piety, like to keep anything in his
possession? It is said of Mau-lana Abdur Rahim (May Allah have mercy
on him), a Saint of our time, that all that he received as gifts
from the people was immediately spent by him and he did not keep
anything for himself.
A few days before his death, he gave over all his clothes to one
of his attendants and said:
"If I need to wear any clothes in my life, I shall borrow
them from you."
And I also know about my late father, who whenever had any money
left after Maghrib, would give it to someone of his creditors (he
was several thousand rupees in debt) and would say 'I would not
like to keep this source of trouble with me for the night.