Islamic Reflection – The righteous man…
﴿إِنّا بَلَوناهُم كَما بَلَونا أَصحابَ الجَنَّةِ إِذ أَقسَموا لَيَصرِمُنَّها مُصبِحينَ﴾ [Al-Qalam: 17]
Indeed, we have tried them as We tried the companions of the garden, when they swore to cut its fruit in the [early] morning.
– Saheeh International
The great commentary Ibn Abbas said about these verses: There was a righteous man who lived in a village in Yemen. He had an orchard of grape trees. This man was very generous and would help the poor and needy. It was his habit that every year at the time of harvest he would announce that tomorrow is the day of harvest and everyone who is needy, or poor should come to the orchard and take his share. He divided the entire harvest into three portions: One third he would sell, one third he would give to the poor and one third he would keep for himself and his family. So every year the poor and needy would wait impatiently for the day of the harvest, knowing that they would have a share in this righteous man’s wealth. And because of his good deeds and giving in charity his garden was blessed and would increase in fruits every year. One year, with just a few days before the harvest season this pious man fell ill. His orchard was full of fruits and the poor and needy were waiting for the day of the harvest, but just before that day came the man passed away.
On the day before the harvest day the man’s children went out to the garden to inspect the fruits. They were pleased with how much there was, and then shaitaan(devil) whispered to them. They thought to themselves that this year we will not give a single fruit to the poor. By doing this we will increase our wealth and status. So, they planned to wake up early in the morning and to harvest the fruit before any of the poor had arrived. They all agreed to do this, except for one of them who said, ‘you think that this is a good idea, but in fact it is an evil idea.’ So, he told them to fear Allah and follow in the footsteps of their father, but they ignored his advice and did as they wanted. The woke up that morning to a garden that was ruined because of their greed and selfish of not taking care of their people.
In this story there are a number of lessons that we can learn: Firstly, the wealth that we have is Allah’s. If you spend from Allah’s wealth, then He will bless you and give you more of it. Secondly, giving in charity protects your wealth. Thirdly, giving in charity only increases your wealth and will result in you gaining the supplications of the angels. We pray to Allah that he makes us from those who benefit and learn from the stories of the Qur’an and to guide and bless us all. Ameen.