In many verses of the Qur’aan Majeed and in many Ahaadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), we are exhorted to adopt taqwa in our lives. Taqwa refers to the fear of Allah Ta‘ala. When one possesses the fear of Allah Ta‘ala, then this will motivate him to fulfil the rights he owes to Allah Ta‘ala and the rights he owes to the creation.
When a person possesses taqwa, he will be particular in regard to fulfilling his salaah, discharging his zakaat, and fulfilling his other deeni obligations. Similarly, he will be particular in regard to obeying his parents, showing kindness to his wife and family, and upholding the rights of every Muslim, whether when interacting with him or dealing with him in monetary affairs e.g. business dealings or matters relating to inheritance. In reality, taqwa is the core factor for a believer acquiring all goodness in his life.
There are many examples of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and our pious predecessors which demonstrate the high level of taqwa which they upheld in their lives. Below are two incidents which illustrate the high level of taqwa which they possessed:
Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) Abstaining from Borrowing Money from the Baytul Maal
After becoming the Khalifah, Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) would still occasionally engage in trade. On one occasion, Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was preparing a trade caravan to travel to Syria. However, since he required some wealth to finance the caravan, he sent a messenger to Hazrat Abdur Rahmaan bin Awf (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), requesting a loan of four thousand dirhams.
When the messenger placed the request before Hazrat Abdur Rahmaan bin Awf (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), he replied, “Tell Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) that he can take the money from the Baytul Maal (public treasury). Thereafter, when the trade caravan returns and the goods are sold, he can repay that amount to the Baytul Maal.”
The messenger returned to Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and conveyed the response of Hazrat Abdur Rahmaan bin Awf (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to him. On hearing his response, Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was displeased. Thereafter, when he met Hazrat Abdur Rahmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), he said to him, “Are you the one who said that I should take the money from the Baytul Maal? If I have to die before the caravan returns with the money, then you people will say, ‘Ameerul Mu’mineen took this amount from the Baytul Maal. Leave it for him (i.e. do not repay it from his estate). In that case, I will be made to account for it on the day of Qiyaamah! I am not prepared to do this! That is why I wished to borrow the money from a man (i.e. yourself) who is particular regarding his monetary affairs, so that in the case of my demise, he will claim the amount from my estate (and I will not be taken to task on the day of Qiyaamah).’”
Hazrat Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (rahimahullah) Returning the Money Donated for the Madrasah
Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahimahullah) mentioned that the lessons of Hadith that were conducted in Gangoh by Hazrat Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (rahimahullah) were done purely for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala.
Hazrat Moulana Gangohi (rahimahullah) ran the madrasah purely on tawakkul (i.e. he placed his reliance totally on Allah Ta‘ala and did not turn to the creation).
At the time when Hazrat Moulana Gangohi (rahimahullah) discontinued the lessons of Hadith and closed down the madrasah due to his eyesight deteriorating, people who were under the impression that the madrasah was still in operation donated large sums of money for the madrasah. Hazrat Moulana Gangohi (rahimahullah) immediately returned the money stating that the madrasah was no longer in operation.
Some people tried to explain to Hazrat Moulana Gangohi (rahimahullah) that the money should not be returned, rather the donor’s permission should be sought, and then the money could be spent in another deeni cause. Upon this, Hazrat Moulana Gangohi (rahimahullah) said, “Why should I go around asking people for permission (to spend their money in deeni causes)? If they wish, they may spend it in any deeni cause they desire.”
Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahimahullah) then explained that asking people permission to spend their money in this manner is a type of begging. However, the correct method is that when the money was not going to be used for the purpose it was donated for, it should immediately be returned. Upon receiving the money, if the donor himself wishes that the money should be used for another deeni cause, he should resend the money with a note stating that he wishes that the money be spent for another deeni cause. (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 10/277)