SYMPATHY AND SELF-SACRIFICE
The Sahabah, as a class, were an embodiment of righteousness. They
attained a standard that is rather difficult to emulate in a modern
society. We would be fortunate if we really attain even a partial
resemblance to their character. Some of their qualities are peculiarly
their own, and self-sacrifice is one of these. Allah has made a
mention of this in the Holy Qur'an in these words.
"They prefer others above themselves, even
though poverty become their lot. (LIX: 9)."
Feeding the guest in darkness
A Sahabi came to the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasal-lam) and
complained of hunger and distress. Just then, the Prophet (Sallallaho
alaihe wasallam) had nothing in hand, or in his home to feed him.
He asked the Sahabah:
"Would anybody entertain him as a guest tonight on my behalf?"
One of the Ansaar said: "0, Prophet of Allah, I
will do that."
The Ansari took the person to his house and instructed his wife:
"Look here, this man is a guest of the Prophet
(Sallallaho alaihe wasallam). We will entertain him as best as
we can, and won't spare anything in doing so."
The wife replied:
"By Allah! I have got no food in the house, except a very
little—something just enough for the children."
The Ansari said:
"You lull the^children to sleep without feeding
them, while I sit with the guest over the meager meal. When we
start eating, put out the lamp pretending to set it right, so
that the guest may not become aware of my not sharing the meal
The scheme worked out nicely, and the whole family, including the
children, stayed hungry to enable the guest to eat to his fill.
It was over this incident that Allah revealed the verse:
"They prefer others above themselves, even though poverty
become their lot (LIX: 9)."
There are quite a number of similar incidents about the Sahabah.
The following is one of these:
Feeding a fasting Sahabi
One of the Sahabah was keeping fast after fast, as he could not
get anything to eat. Hadhrat Thabit (Radhiyallaho anho) came to
know of this. He told his wife:
"I shall bring a guest tonight. When we sit at
the meal, put out the lamp, pretending to set it right, and you
are not to eat anything until the guest has taken his fill."
The scheme worked out as in the last story. The husband and wife
sat with the guest and the simple soul never suspected in the least
that neither of them had partaken at all of the food, though their
hands and jaws seemed to be moving all right. When Hadhrat Thabit
(Radhiyallaho anho) repaired to the Prophet's (Sallallaho alaihe
wasal-lam) presence next morning, he was greeted with the happy
"0, Thabit! Allah has very much appreciated your entertainment
of the guest last night."
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