Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah (ra) relates that Prophet Muhammad (saw) once accepted a gift of honey and invited his companions to each eat a spoonful. After he had eaten his spoonful, Hazrat Jabir (ra) asked, “O Messenger of Allah, can I have another?” Prophet Muhammad (saw) lovingly replied, “Yes” (Ibn Majah). The story offers many lessons for us as Ahmadi Muslims.
First, it personifies Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) own instruction, “Give gifts and you will love one another” (Al Adab Al Mufrad). And we observe this throughout the life of Prophet Muhammad (saw). Hazrat Ayesha (ra) relates that it was Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) habit to accept gifts and give something in return (Bukhari). For example, Prophet Muhammad (saw) accepted a gift of a young female camel and gave six young female camels in return (Tirmidhi).
Second, it shows that we should happily accept a gift, no matter how insignificant it may appear. “Muslim women! Muslim women!,” Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “A woman should not disdain her female neighbour’s gift, even if it is only a sheep’s hoof” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad). And so, he accepted gifts which many would not cherish: a mule (Nisai), a pair of black socks (Shama’il Muhammadiyah), dried yogurt and butter (Bukhari), and hais (a sweet dish) (Muslim).
Third, by ensuring that each companion received at least one share of honey, Prophet Muhammad (saw) demonstrated that we should be equitable when giving gifts. In this regard, Hazrat Nu’man bin Bashir (ra) says that his father once gave him a gift and brought Hazrat Nu’man (ra) to Prophet Muhammad (saw) to be a witness to the gifting. When Prophet Muhammad (saw) learned that none of Hazrat Numan’s (ra) brothers had also received a gift, Prophet Muhammad (saw) asked, “Don’t you expect goodness from them as you expect from him?” and refused to bear witness; he further instructed, “Observe fairness amongst your children” (Muslim).
Fourth, Prophet Muhammad (saw) did not hurt Hazrat Jabir’s (ra) sentiments when he asked for a second spoonful. Accordingly, Hazrat Sa’b bin Jaththamah (ra) once gifted Prophet Muhammad (saw) a wild donkey, but Prophet Muhammad (saw) rejected it. Noticing sorrow on Hazrat Sa’b’s (ra) face, Prophet Muhammad explained, “We have not rejected your gift, but we are in the state of Ihram” (Bukhari, Riyadh us Saliheen). Prophet Muhammad (saw) even informed us about gifts we can give when we have no money. “There is no gift that a father gives his son more virtuous than good manners” (Tirmidhi); “Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity. Your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you” (Tirmidhi).
So, as a spiritually fit Muslim, go out today and do something nice for someone else. Then sit back and relish this opportunity Allah provided you.
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