An Exemplary Incident

Tha'albah bin Hatib Ansari once requested the Holy Prophet peace and blessings be upon him to pray for wealth. The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said: "A little for which one can thank is better than that too much which is beyond one's capacity." But he again made the same request and his holiness again explained to him: "You don't like to keep your condition like that of Allah's Prophet peace and blessings be upon him. By Allah! Had I wished these mountains to turn into gold and silver, they would have walked with me."

Tha'albah said: "Sir! By Allah! My intention is this that if Allah makes me rich I may spend generously and discharge the rights of every one.

So the Holy Prophet peace and blessings be upon him invoked for prosperity in his goods. As such, his goats began to multiply like insects, so much so that Madina had no space to accommodate his increasing animals. So he went out to open ground. He used to say the Zuhr and Asr prayers with the congregation but not the other prayers. The animals multiplied still more and he had to go still farther. Now, except the Friday prayer, all other prayers were left. Goods continued to increase. At last he stopped coming for Friday prayer also. He used to ask from the caravans as to what had been discoursed in the Friday khutbah, until the order came for taking sadaqah (charity) from his goods and when the couriers went to realise the sadaqah from him, he began to say: "Well, well, this seems like jizyah; it is just like what is realised from the infidels as jizyah. Well, for the present, please go away and come later".

When they went again to realise it, he gave the same reply. So verses were revealed from Allah Most High. When he came to know of this, he came to the Holy Prophet peace and blessings be upon him and expressed the desire that his sadaqah should be accepted. But the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him told him that Allah Most High had forbidden to accept his sadaqah, and his holiness did not, till death, accept any thing from him.

Then he brought his goods during Hazrat Abu Bakr's regime but he too refused to accept them. Then he came during the Farouqi caliphate. Hazrat Umar Farouq told him: "When the Holy Prophet peace and blessings be upon him did not accept your goods, how can I accept them"? Then he offered his goods during Hazrat Usman's caliphate. Hairat Usman said: "When the Holy Prophet peace and blessings be upon him and the two caliphs did not accept your sadaqah, how can I accept it"?

So strictly did the revered Caliphs follow the Holy Apostle peace and blessings be upon him and conform to his sunnah that none of them accepted what the Holy Apostle peace and blessings be upon him had declined on the first day from him until he (Ibn Hatib) expired.

And what happened to Ibn Hatib? First he made promises to show generosity but instead of generosity he practised miserliness and instead of keeping his promise he committed breach of promise. For this breaking of promise and lying Allah Most High permeated his heart with hypocrisy: instead of becoming an obedient Companion of the Holy Prophet peace and blessings be upon him and achieving high ranks and grades, he, by opposing the Holy Prophet peace and blessings be upon him in a small matter, went on increasing in transgression until he joined the list of the hypocrites.

Similarly, making fun of and disdaining ordinary manners of the Shari'ah leads man to infidelity; rather, some sentences are such that if they are spoken regarding these manners or regarding the Sunnahs, even then a man goes out of the pale of faith. Hence one should guard one's tongue very carefully. In the following pages we will quote some fatwas of the religious elders and eminent muftis regarding scoffing at religion so that masses may be very careful in saving themselves from such ruinous acts. May Allah Most High bestow upon us grace and end our lives on faith! Amen!

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