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Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) trying to emulate Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu)

Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) narrates:

"Once the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) asked for contributions in the path of Allah. In those days, I was in possession of some wealth. I mused thus, 'Time and again Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) has surpassed me in spending for the sake of Allah.

I shall by the Grace of Allah surpass him this time, because I have just now some wealth with me to spend'. I went home buoyant with the idea. I divided my whole property into two exactly equal parts. One I left for my family, and with the other I rejoined the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), who accosted me thus:

The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam):

'Did you leave anything for your family, 'Umar?'

'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho):

'Yes, 0 Prophet of Allah.'

The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam):

'How much?'

'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho):

'Exactly one-half.'

By and by, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) came along with his load. It transpired that he had brought everything that he possessed.

This is what I heard:

The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam):

'What did you leave for your family, Abu Bakr?'

Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho):

'I have left Allah and his Prophet for them!'

Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) says that on that day he admitted to himself that he could never hope to surpass Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho).

Allah says in his Holy Book,

"Vie one with another in good works (V:48)."

Such healthy emulation in sacrifice is therefore quite desirable and welcome. This incident happened at the time of Tabuk, when the Sahabah in response to the Prophet's (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) appeal for help contributed beyond their means. This has already been mentioned in Chapter II. May Allah grant them best rewards on behalf of all the Muslims!


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