Abu Umamah (Allah be pleased with him) was a Sahabi who loved to give charity (sadaqah). Hence, he would even make a point of setting aside wealth to give in charity. His love for charity was such that he would never turn a beggar away empty handed, even if it meant giving the beggar an onion, date or something else that he could eat.
One day, a beggar came to Abu Umamah (Allah be pleased with him). However, at that time, Abu Umamah (Allah be pleased with him) had already given everything that he had set aside in charity, and all he possessed were three dinars (gold coins). Not wishing to turn the beggar away empty handed, he gave him one of the dinars. Not long thereafter, another beggar came, so he gave him a dinar as well. Finally, when a third beggar arrived, Abu Umamah (Allah be pleased with him) gave him the third dinar, thus spending all the wealth that he possessed.
When his slave girl, who was not a Muslim, saw that he had given all the wealth in charity, she became upset and exclaimed, “You did not leave anything for us!” However, Abu Umamah (Allah be pleased with him) was unaffected and calmly lay down to rest before the Zuhr Salah.
When the Zuhr azan was called out, the slave girl woke Abu Umamah (Allah be pleased with him) for the salah. On awaking, he performed wudhu and proceeded to the masjid for the Zuhr Salah. After he had departed, the slave girl lamented and felt pity for him as he was fasting. She thus took a loan and used the money to buy food for his supper and oil to light the lamp. Before his arrival, she went to prepare his bedding for the night. However, to her utter surprise, she found three hundred gold coins in the bedding! She thought to herself, “He only gave the three dinars in charity as he knew that he had left three hundred dinars in his bedding.”
Abu Umamah (Allah be pleased with him) eventually returned home after the ‘Esha Salah. On entering the home, he saw the food laid out for him and the lamp burning, and thus began to smile in happiness saying, “This is goodness which has come to us from the side of Allah Most High.” After he had eaten, the slave girl said to him, “May Allah Most High have mercy on you! You had kept some money in reserve for difficulties, yet you did not inform me of it so that I could use it?” Abu Umamah (Allah be pleased with him) was surprised and asked, “What money? I did not keep any money in reserve.”
The slave girls thus went to his bedding and opened it, showing him the dinars. When Abu Umamah (Allah be pleased with him) saw the dinars, he became happy, (as he realized that it had come from Allah Most High) and greatly amazed. On her part, the slave girl was so affected that she immediately accepted Islam.
(Hilyatul Awliya vol. 10, pg. 134)
- When a person gives charity with the sincere intention of pleasing Allah Most High, he will definitely be rewarded. Sometimes, he is even rewarded in this world as well as the next. Often, a person does not realize that many of the favours of Allah Most High that he is enjoying are a result of the charity that he is giving. Similarly, Allah Most High averts calamities from his servants when they give charity.
- The generosity of the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them) was such that they never turned a person away empty handed, even if it meant giving their own food or money away and going hungry.
- Just as we set money aside and save for holidays, upgrading the home or car, etc., we should set money aside for sadaqah, even if it be a small amount. This amount, in reality, is our investment for Jannah.