Taken from the “The Islamic Philosophy of Human Life”
By Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri The Qur’an and Ahadith in various places state that the Book and the Messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam are the best guides for humankind. As a Muslim one must seek the model of perfection. We find that this model of perfection is best illustrated through the personal and private life of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
Hadhrat Khadijah al-Kubrah radiyallahu anha was one of the most affluent women in the whole of the Arabian Peninsula. Her merchandise was even sold in the commercial centers of Syria. When she married the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, she placed all her possessions at his disposal and made up her mind to spend all her wealth on his mission. Therefore, this marriage, in addition to other rewards and benefits, introduced economic well-being into the life of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
The Quran states in respect to this: "Did He not find thee an orphan and give thee shelter (and care). And He found thee Wandering, and He gave Thee Guidance. And He found thee in need, and made thee independent. Therefore treat not the orphan with harshness, or repulse the petitioner (Unheard); but the Bounty of thy Lord- rehearse and proclaim."! al-Quran, ad-Duha, 93.8-11
The Quran itself has furnished the proof of his affluence. But at the same time he is advised to adopt a mode of conduct and behavior, which shall transform his private life into a universal model of perfection for the human race. The verse not only makes clear reference to his wealth, but also advises him to distribute the divine blessings among the needy and poor. A detailed study of his life reveals that he implemented this Quranic advice in every aspect of his private life and distributed his wealth among the victims of want and destitution. In his devotion to help the needy and the destitute, he turned his own life into a tale of constant suffering.
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam would starve himself to feed the starving, he would go with- out bread to feed those who had no bread. If he found anyone in need of even a morsel of food, he would pass a morsel to him and would live on the pleasure of his Lord. But his sacrifice was not forced and constrained. Rather it was voluntary -a natural call of his soul, a cry of his conscience because he was charged with the fire of human service. And the way he helped humanity has no parallel in the history of humankind.
Numan ibn Bashir radiyallahu anhu narrates:
"O people, is your food not enough for your needs? Surely, I have my- self observed your Prophet. He rarely even had a dry date with which he could fill his stomach.” Abu`Isa Muhammad ibn `Isa at-tirmidhi, Jami`, 2.60.
Hadhrat Aisba radiyallahu anha narrates:
"The Holy Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sol/am till his death never had his fill even of the barley loaf on two consecutive days.” Wali ad-Din Muhammad al-Kitab] at-Tabrizi, Mishkat, 446
One day Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah radiyallahu anhu met some people. They had cooked meat with them and invited him to share it. How- ever, he apologetically declined the invitation and said: "How can I eat this meat? The mode of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam before my eyes. He departed from this world in a state that he never even had his fill of bread made from barley.” [Muhammad ibn Isma’il al-Bukhari, Jami`, 2.518
Hadhrat Abu TaIha radiyal/ahu anhu narrates:
"We went to Allahs Messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and told him that we had gone without food for many days. Each one of us uncovered our bellies and showed him a stone tied to our stomachs. Upon seeing this, the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam lifted the piece of cloth from his stomach and we found that he had two stones tied to it (to lessen the effects of starvation).” at-Tirmidhi, Jami`, 2.60
The Holy Prophet never kept anything for later consumption
Hadhrat Anas radiyal/ahu anhu reports:
"The Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam never saved anything for the next day.” at-Tabrizi, Mishkat, 520: at-Tirmidhi, Jami`, 2.59
At this point one may wonder what had happened to the wealth and capital he earned through trade, through the services rendered to Khadijah al-Kubra radiyallahll anha and the spoils of war. The simple answer is that he spent all of his wealth on the economic restoration and rehabilitation of the poor and needy. This act of benevolence and charity was not an occasional occurrence but was a permanent feature of his life. It was so thoroughly and consistently established in his life that he himself starved in order to feed others. He would roam the narrow streets to settle others into pleasant places. He embraced poverty to rehabilitate the poverty stricken and impoverished people of the world. He went hungry to save those who were at the end of their resources. He kept a bare cupboard to set up the poor and destitute in well established settlements in fact he preferred to spend the last penny in his pocket and distribute the last crumb of food on his table on people who were in dire need of money and food. The motive behind this sacrifice was the sanctity of the individual. Man’s greatest treasure is his self respect. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam dedicated His entire life and wealth to the and economic recuperation of the poverty stricken, destitute and broken. What could be a greater and more glorious example of personal sacrifice than the one illustrated and sanctified by the mode of conduct of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam .himself . Critics of Islam who have scant knowledge of its propagator downgrade Islam They should study in depth and without prejudice the life of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and discover for themselves the radical justice of Islam and the inexhaustible spirit and stock of charity and sacrifice which marked his life.