The Sahaba, as a class of people, attained such high qualities that today's weak society find it difficult to emulate them completely. We would be fortunate if we really attain even a partial resemblance to their character.
Some of the qualities are distinctly their mark. Sympathy and self sacrifice is one of them.
A Sahabi came to the Prophet and complained of hunger and distress. The Prophet didn't have any food. He then asked the sahabas that who will take this sahabi as their guest on behalf of me. One Ansar said, “I Will.” He took him home and told his wife that he is a guest of the Prophet ; we will entertain him as best as we can. The wife replied that we have enough food for the children. The Ansari said, “Put the children to sleep and when we start eating, turn the lamp off so the guest may not be aware of my not sharing with him.”
The scheme worked; the whole family remained hungry to enable the guest to eat to his fill, it was because of this incident that Allah Taa'la revealed the verse:
“They prefer others above themselves, even though poverty become their lot.”
Hadhrat Abu Jahm Bin Huzaifah narrates that in the battle of Yarmuk, I went out looking for my cousin, who was in the fight. I took with me, some water. I found him in the last throes of death. I approached him with the water I had. Beside him came a groan from a wounded soldier. My cousin looked at him and beckoned me to take the water to the soldier. The person turned out to be Hishaam bin Abil Aas . I had hardly reached him when another person groaned and Hishaam too motioned me in the other person's direction. Before I got to him he had passed away. Then I went back to Hishaam and he had also joined the other two.
One of the Sahaba received a goat's head as a present. He thought of a neighbour who had a larger family and was in great need of it than himself so he presented it to him. This brother, on receipt of the present, thought of a person whom he considered even more deservingly than himself, and sent the head to him. It is said that the head changed hands no less than seven times, and at last come back to the original person from whom the circulation had started.
We learn from the story how poor and needy the Sahabas were, yet they indeed preferred others above themselves.
Abu Talha owned the best gardens in Madinah Munawwarah. One of his gardens was known by the name of ‘Bir Ha' and this was his favourite resort. It was close to the Prophet 's Masjid and the water of the well was sweet and abundant. The Prophet often visited that garden and drank the water. Allah Taa'la revealed the verse:
“You will not attain piety until you spend of that which ye love.”
Abu Talha opened his heart to the Prophet and said:
“O Prophet of Allah, I love ‘bir ha' very much. As Allah Taa'la wants us to spend precisely that which we love, I make over that garden to be spent in the path of Allah as you please.”
The Prophet was very pleased and remarked:
“What a fine present (to Allah). I think it would be best utilised if you distribute it among your own heirs.”
Abu Talha acted upon what the Prophet said.
When we wish to make a charitable endowment, usually we do it only on our death beds or else when we are displeased with some relatives that we decide to dishonour them, but, when an occasion of public spending like marriage comes around, we are eager to win popularity even if we have to take a loan on interest.
It is a shame that we Muslims nowadays are not willing to help one another. We should ponder upon the stories that have been mentioned in this article and try to act upon the way that the Sahabas did.
The qualities of the Sahaba were part of their every day life; these things weren't considered to be anything unusual.
It is mentioned in a Hadith:
“The things you like for yourself, you should like for your brother.”
May Allah Taa'la give us the ability to act upon what has been written in this article. Ameen