Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) discusses the manifestations of the Prophet’s generosity, commenting on the hadith of Ibn Abbas. Extracts from Rawhah lessons in Ramadan 1437 / June 2016.
Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was the most generous of people and he was at his most generous in Ramadan when he would meet Jibril and he would review the Qur’an with him. Truly the Messenger of Allah when Jibril would meet him was more generous than a continuously blowing wind.”
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is the closest of people to Allah, the Most Generous and is thus the most generous of Allah’s creation. In fact a manifestation of his generosity is that he is the cause of everything coming into existence.
In his lifetime he was the most generous of people. He never said no to anyone that asked him for anything. He once gave a man a valley full of sheep. The man returned to his people saying: “Accept Islam, for Muhammad gives like someone who does not fear poverty!” He fulfilled people’s needs whether they were material or spiritual. He fed the hungry, taught the ignorant and guided those who were astray.
His generosity is continuous after he left this life. He told us that our actions are displayed to him. If he finds something good, he praises Allah, and no-one is able to praise Allah in the same way as him. If he finds something bad, he seeks forgiveness for us and we are all in need of his seeking forgiveness for us.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “The miserly person is the one who does not bestow prayers upon me when I am mentioned in his presence.” Such a person is miserly because he has failed to recognise the Prophet’s immense generosity.
His generosity will be manifested in the most complete way on the Day of Judgement when even the Prophets will be silent. Only he will intercede on behalf of the whole of creation. If this was the only manifestation of his generosity it would be sufficient for no one else has a portion of it.
If someone strives to be generous they will be connected to the most generous of people ﷺ . Such a person shows generosity to himself first by removing blameworthy traits and attaining praiseworthy traits. He then shows generosity to those closest to him by fulfilling their needs and guiding them. He does what he can to assist those in need and prays for them in abundance. But in doing so he does not believe himself to be showing generosity independently of Allah. Rather he sees himself as being in absolute need of Allah. This is why the Prophet ﷺ said: “I am merely someone who distributes and Allah is the One Who Gives.”
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Shall I not inform you of the most generous of the generous? Allah is the Most Generous of the generous, I am the most generous of the children of Adam, and the most generous of people after me is a man who taught people and spread his knowledge – he will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement as a nation (Ummah) on his own – as well as a man who generously gave his life for the sake of Allah.” [At this point Habib Umar mentioned his father, Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz, who not only spent his life teaching people but then generously gave his life for the sake of Allah. When he was told that his life was in danger, he said that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had gone out seeking martyrdom and he could not turn it down if it came to his front door].
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