Prophet’s Love for the Poor!
The Prophet (pbuh) enjoined upon Muslims to treat the poor kindly and to help them with alms, zakat, and in other ways. He said:
“He is not a perfect muslim who eats his fill and lets his neighbor go hungry.”
“Do you love your Creator? Then love your fellow beings first.”
Monopoly is unlawful in Islam and he preached that
“It is diffucult for a man laden with riches to climb the steep path that leads to bliss.”
He did not prohibit or discourage the aquisition of wealth but insisted that it be lawfully aquired by honest means and that a portion of it would go to the poor. He advised his followers
“To give the laborer his wages before his perspiration dried up.”
He did not encourage beggary either and stated that
“Allah is gracious to him who earns his living by his own labor, and that if a man begs to increase his property, Allah will diminish it and whoever has food for the day, it is prohibited for him to beg.”
To his wife he said,
“O Aysha, love the poor and let them come to you and Allah will draw you near to Himself.” (Bukhari, Sahih Bukhari)
One or two instances of the Prophet’s (pbuh) concern for the poor may be given here. A Madinan, Ibad Bin Sharjil, was oÂnce starving. He entered an orchard and picked some fruit. The owner of the orchard gave him a sound beating and stripped off his clothes. The poor man appealed to the Prophet (pbuh) who remonstrated the owner thus:
“This man was ignorant, you should have dispelled his ignorance; he was hungry, you should have fed him.”
His clothes were restored to the Madinan and, in addition, some grain was given to him (Abu Dawud, Kitabul Jihad).
A debtor, Jabir Bin Abdullah, was being harassed by his creditor as he could not clear his debt owing to the failure of his date crop. The Prophet (pbuh) went with Jabir to the house of the creditor and pleaded with him to give Jabir some more time but the creditor was not prepared to oblige. The Prophet (pbuh) then went to the oasis and having seen for himself that the crop was really poor, he again approached the creditor with no better result. He then rested for some time and approached the creditor for a third time but the latter was adamant. The Prophet (pbuh) went again to the orchard and asked Jabir to pluck the dates. As Allah would have it, the collection not oÂnly sufficed to clear the dues but left something to spare (Bukhari, Sahih Bukhari).
His love for the poor was so deep that he used to pray:
“O Allah, keep me poor in my life and at my death and raise me at resurrection among those who are poor.” (Nasai, Chapter: Pardon)