Part 10 – Series on the Shamaa’il (the noble character and sublime conduct) of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)

More Generous than the Winds of Mercy

عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس بالخير وكان أجود ما يكون في شهر رمضان حتى ينسلخ فيأتيه جبريل فيعرض عليه القرآن فإذا لقيه جبريل كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة (الشمائل المحمدية للترمذي رقم: 336)

Translation:

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) reports, “Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all people in (all works of) goodness, and more so in the month of Ramadhaan, he (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would display greater generosity until the month ended (i.e. his generosity in this month exceeded his generosity at all other times). When Hazrat Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) would come to him and revise the Qur’aan Majeed with him (in the month of Ramadhaan), his generosity exceeded the winds of mercy (that bring forth beneficial rain).”

Commentary:

In these few words, Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) has encapsulated the unique manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) showed kindness to the creation, the sublime generosity that he possessed, and the high degree of compassion which he displayed in the month of Ramadhaan.

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) described Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) as being the most generous of people in all works of goodness. Hazrat Mulla Ali Qaari (rahimahullah) mentioned that the generosity of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) included spending wealth upon people, teaching them deen, showing good character when dealing with them and affording them honour and respect.

Though Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) led a life of austerity and exercised abstinence from worldly comforts and pleasures, yet he always spent on others. The great generosity which he displayed through bestowing valuable gifts and abundant wealth upon the servants of Allah Ta‘ala was such that the kings of the world could not equal him.

There are countless incidents recorded regarding the mubaarak generosity of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). One such incident is reported in Al-Mawaahib Al-Ladunniyah that on one occasion, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) received 90 000 dirhams as a gift. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had the amount spread out on a sack cloth and immediately began distributing it to the poor and needy. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) continued to distribute the wealth until nothing was left and he did not keep anything for himself.

Another incident is reported by Imaam Tirmizi (rahimahullah) that on one occasion, a person came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) with a need. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to him, “At present, I do not have anything to give you. However, you may go and purchase something on my name and I will pay for it when I have the wealth.”

These two incidents reveal the selflessness of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and his unparalleled generosity in fulfilling the needs of the ummah.

Particularly in the month of Ramadhaan, the beautiful generosity of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) knew no bounds and limits. His generosity in this mubaarak month exceeded his generosity at all other times, and this higher degree of generosity would continue until the end of Ramadhaan.

Hazrat Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) would come to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) every year in the month of Ramadhaan to revise the Qur’aan Majeed with him. Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) explains that during this time, the generosity of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would exceed the winds of mercy that bring forth beneficial rain.

The Muhadditheen explain, that in this Hadith, the generosity of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is compared to the wind of mercy in either one of two attributes – either the attribute of speed or the attribute of being far-reaching and widespread in benefit.

If the comparison is with the speed of the wind, then the meaning of the Hadith is that the generosity of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) exceeded the wind in its speed, as the wind is unable to blow as fast as the generosity of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

If the comparison is with the wind being far-reaching and widespread in benefit, then the meaning of the Hadith is that the generosity of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in benefit was even more far-reaching and widespread than the wind, as the benefits of rain brought through the wind could not reach as far as his generosity, love and compassion reached. His unprecedented generosity, unparalleled love and extreme compassion extended to the entire humanity across the world.

Hazrat Sheikh Moulana Muhammed Zakariyya (rahimahullah) mentioned that the comparison with rain is merely for the purpose of illustration. Otherwise, what link and connection is there between the great generosity of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the rain? The rain only benefits in the growing of material things, whereas the shower of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) extraordinary generosity benefits spiritually, materially, worldly and religiously. Rain gives life to the earth, while Rasulullah’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) generosity of love gave life to the hearts.

What can one ask regarding the generosity of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in the mubaarak month of Ramadhaan? It was a time when the best words (the Quraan Majeed) were revealed, at the best time, to the best of the creation, by the best angel, Hazrat Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam), from the Lord of the universe. It was at this time that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was blessed by Allah Ta‘ala with the highest relationship and position with Allah Ta‘ala. The highest relationship and position with Allah Ta‘ala is to resemble the qualities of Allah Ta‘ala, the Almighty, in showing kindness and compassion to the creation. Just as the fasting person resembles Allah Ta‘ala by not eating and drinking in the month of Ramadhaan, he should resemble Allah Ta‘ala in His divine quality of generosity and kindness to the creation.

Hence, the mubaarak disposition of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in the month of Ramadhaan, in showing kindness, resembled the kindness of Allah Ta‘ala towards His creation in this month of Ramadhaan. In the Mubaarak month of Ramadhaan, the floodgates of Allah Ta‘ala’s mercy are opened, Jahannum is closed, Jannah is decorated, the rebellious shayaateen are chained, and the rewards of good deeds are multiplied. Hence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also expressed his generosity and acts of kindness to the ummah in the manner his Lord showers His special favours upon His creation in this blessed month.

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