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16 June 2019 CE | 13 Shawwal 1440 AH
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Hadith Explanation

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Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhu) said: “While I was walking with the Prophet in the Harra of Madina, Uhud came in sight. The Prophet said, ‘O Abu Dharr!’ I said, ‘Labbaik, O Allah's Apostle!’ He said, ‘I would not like to have gold equal to this mountain of Uhud, unless nothing of it, not even a single Dinar of it remains with me for more than three days, except something which I would keep for repaying debts. I would have spent all of it (distributed it) amongst Allah's slaves like this, and like this, and like this.’ The Prophet pointed out with his hand towards his right, his left and his back (while illustrating it). He proceeded with his walk and said, ‘The rich are in fact the poor (little rewarded) on the Day of Resurrection except those who spend their wealth like this, and like this, and like this, to their right, left and back, but such people are few in number.’” [Sahih Bukhari]

This hadith tells us that wealth is only beneficial when it is spent in Allah’s Path to help Muslims and strengthen Islam for the sake of earning Allah’s Pleasure. What is spent on oneself is wasted and will only add to one’s accountability on the Day of Judgement. Wealth is like a knife. If it is used to cut fruits and vegetables it is useful. But if it is used to cut your own hand, it is harmful. Wealth can also be likened to a car. If it takes you to your destination it is good for you, but if it takes you off a cliff, it is bad for you.

Al-Ahnaf bin Qais (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that once while he was sitting with some people from Quraish, a man with very rough hair, clothes, and appearance came and stood in front of them, greeted them and said, “Inform those who hoard wealth, that a stone will be heated in Hell-fire and put on the nipples of their breasts, till it comes out from the bones of their shoulders and then put on the bones of their shoulders till it comes out through the nipples of their breasts, the stone will be moving and hitting.” After saying that, the person retreated and sat by the side of the pillar. [Sahih Bukhari]

Al-Ahnaf (radi Allahu anhu) followed him and sat beside him, as he did not know who the man was. So he said to him, “I think the people disliked what you said.” The man replied, “These people do not understand anything, although my friend told me so.” Al-Ahnaf bin Qais (radi Allahu anhu) asked, “Who is your friend?” The man replied, “The Prophet said (to me), ‘O Abu Dharr! Do you see the mountain of Uhud?’ And on that I (Abu Dharr) started looking towards the sun to judge how much remained of the day as I thought that Allah's Messenger wanted to send me to do something for him and I said, ‘Yes!’ He said, ‘I do not love to have gold equal to the mountain of Uhud unless I spend it all (in Allah's cause) except three Dinars.’ These people do not understand and collect worldly wealth. No, by Allah, neither do I ask them for worldly benefits nor am I in need of their religious advice till I meet Allah, the Honorable, the Majestic.’” [Sahih Bukhari]

Soon after Rasul Allah’s death many Muslims forgot the advice of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) in which he warned them against chasing and accumulating the things of this world. Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhu) would keep reminding people of this, because of which he became very unpopular.

During the Khilafah of Uthman, Abu Dharr was in Shaam for some time where Muawiya (radi Allahu anhum) was the governor. Abu Dharr’s preaching was not appreciated. In his own words: “I was in Sham and differed with Muawiya on the meaning of, ‘They who hoard up gold and silver and spend them not in the way of Allah.’ [Quran 9:34]. Muawiya said, ‘This verse is revealed regarding the people of the scriptures.’ I said, ‘It was revealed regarding us and also the people of the scriptures.’ So we had a quarrel and Muawiya sent a complaint against me to Uthman.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Uthman wrote to Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhuma) to come to Medina. So Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhu) went to Medina but many people would come to see him as though they had never seen him before. So Abu Dharr asked Uthman (radi Allahu anhuma) for permission to be allowed to leave Madina. He then settled alone in a place called Ar-Rabadha and died there. [Sahih Bukhari]

This is one of the ahadith of Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) that he narrated. Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhu) was convinced that his well-being and the well-being of all the Muslims lay in clinging to the advice of Allah’s Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam). So he guarded himself against accumulating wealth and insisted on others to do the same. One hadith was enough to change the course of his life.

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