The Prophet did not like, even for a short time, to keep money or provisions in his house in excess of his needs. In the same way, he did not allow the goods of charity which were the property of common people to remain with him for a moment. He would have no peace of mind till they had been given away.
It is related by Ayesha that, "I had six or seven dinars during the last illness of Holy Prophet. The Prophet commanded me to distribute them but due to his illness I could not find the time for it. Later, he asked what I had done with the dinars and I told him that owing to pre-occupation with his illness I had forgotten about them. The Prophet, then, sent for the dinars and placing them on the palm of his hand remarked: “What would the assumption be of the Apostle of Allah if he joined Him in such a state that these were lying with him."”
It was the practice of the Prophet to distribute articles of charity as soon as they were received. Uqba bin-el-Harith relates that, "Once in Madina I offered the Asr Prayers behind the Prophet. The Prophet finished the Prayer-service and left abruptly for one of his wives apartments. The people could not understand it and they were worried. On returning, the Prophet felt that we were surprised at the manner of his departure. He, thereupon, explained that in the course of the service he had remembered that there was some gold in his house and he did not like that a night should pass with the metal still lying with him."
The Prophet guided his Companions and the entire Ummah along identical lines and infused into them the same values of generosity and self-denial. So forcefully and earnestly did he exhort the people to practise charity that as anyone reads the relevant traditions he begins to doubt if he really has a claim over anything that is in excess of his needs. When we look at ourselves and reflect on the things of comfort and luxury were freely make use of in everyday life we are caught in a curious predicament. Everything seems so unnecessary, redundant and superfluous. Costly dresses, sumptuous meals, luxurious carriages — all stand out as wrong and wasteful. What the Prophet said though appertained only to advice and extortion and there is no law against it. But, such was the way of the Prophet.
“Verily in the Messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh into Allah and the Last Day, and remembereth Allah much.” (Surah Al-Ahzab: 21)
The Prophet once said: "He who has a conveyance in excess should give it to him who is without a conveyance; he who has a meal in excess should give it to him who is without a meal.” He, also, said: "He who has a meal for two should share it with the third, and he who has a meal for three should share it with the fourth."
Another of his traditions reads: "He is not my follower who eats his fill and sleeps comfortably in the night while his neighbour, by his side, goes hungry, even though he may not be aware of it."
It is related that once a man came to the Prophet and said: "O Prophet of Allah! Provide me with clothes." "Is there no one among your neighbours," asked the Prophet, "who may have two pairs of clothes in excess of what he needs?" The man replied that more than one of his neighbours was in that happy position. The Prophet, thereupon, remarked, "May Allah not bring him and you together in Heaven."
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