Download PDF: [S] Who was the Most Generous
Haythim bin Adi narrates that there was once three people who were in the Haram Shareef and they were disputing who was the most generous among the three people they had mentioned.
The first mentioned that Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Jafer – may Allah be pleased with him –was the most generous. The second person mentioned that it had to be Qais bin Sa’ad bin Abaadah – may Allah be pleased with him – and the third mentioned that it had to be Araabah Ausi – may Allah be pleased with him.
When this conversation became extremely lengthy, their voices also became louder. Some other people also joined in this conversation to see what was happening. One of these people mentioned, “What is the purpose of arguing. The simple solution is that each one of you should approach the person he has mentioned and he should ask something from this person and finally everyone should gather here so that we could determine who is the most generous.”
The supporter of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Jafer – may Allah be pleased with him – then approached him and said to him, “O that person who is the nephew of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. I am a traveller and my provisions have become depleted. I am in need of help.”
At that moment, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Jafer – may Allah be pleased with him – was on his horse and was preparing to go somewhere. When he heard the words of this person, he said, “Come forward and place your feet on the stirrups of this horse. This horse now belongs to you. On this horse, there is also bag which contains some goods, this now also belongs to you. There is also a sword which is tied to this horse. Do not think lightly of this sword. This sword used to belong to Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him.”
When this person returned to his friends, besides now owning a most beautiful looking horse, inside the bag there were four thousand Dinaars and also expensive silk as well and the most valuable item of them all was the sword which belonged to Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him.
The person who supported Hadrat Sayyiduna Qais bin Sa’ad – may Allah be pleased with him –then approached him. At that moment, he was resting. The female servant of this person then asked him what he needed and he replied that he was a traveller and that his provisions had been depleted.
This female servant replied, “It is not possible that this eminent person be woken up for such a small reason. Please hold on to this bag. In it, there are seven hundred Dinaars and at this moment, this is the only thing which is found in the house of Qais bin Sa’ad – may Allah be pleased with him. One the side of the house, there is also a few camels. Whichever camel you choose, you may take that camel and you may also take one of the servants so that this person can assist you in your travel.”
A few minutes later, Hadrat Sayyiduna Qais – may Allah be pleased with him – awoke. The female servant then revealed what she had done. He was very pleased with her behaviour and also mentioned that if she had awakened him as well, he would have also helped this person as he did not know whether whatever she had given this person was sufficient for him or not. “However, whatever you have done, it has been a very noble action, therefore, I have now freed you.”
On the other side, the person who spoke highly of Araabah Ausi – may Allah be pleased with him – also arrived at his house. At that time, it was the time of Salaah. Araarbah Ausi – may Allah be pleased with him – who was very old and blind. He was walking towards the Masjid from his house. He also had his hands on the shoulders of his servants and was walking slowly. This person then said, “O Araabah! I wish to say something.”
Hadrat Araabah – may Allah be pleased with him – then asked him to say whatever he wished.
This person declared, “I am a traveller and my provisions have been depleted.”
When he heard this, Hadrat Araabah – may Allah be pleased with him –removed his hands from the shoulders of his servants and said, “Araabah has given all his wealth and property away and the only two things which I possess are these two servants. However, from this moment onwards, both of them belong to you.”
The person replied, “Hadrat, how is this possible? You yourself are in great need of them and therefore, I cannot take them.”
However, Hadrat Araabah – may Allah be pleased with him – insisted and said, “Listen, both of them now belong to you and if you do not take them, then I will now free them. If you wish, you may take them or you may reject them.”
He then walked a little forward and bumped the wall of the Masjid and after estimating where he was, he walked towards the Masjid.
This person then took both of these servants and returned to his friends.
When all of them had gathered and had discussed whatever had happened to them, they concluded that all of them were extremely generous and that all of them were worthy of praise. They were also people who did not hesitate to spend in the Path of the Allah Almighty.
As to the question of who was the most generous among them, they concluded that it had to be Hadrat Araabah Ausi – may Allah be pleased with him – because in spite of the fact that he himself was in need, yet, whatever he had, he had spent. (Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah; Taarikh-e-Dimishq ibn Asaakir)