Excellence of the Fuqarah(Needy or Poor People)

  • يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَاء إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ  (O men, you are the ones who need Allah, and Allah is Free-of-All-Needs, the Ever-Praised  Surah 35, Verse 15) 
    • We are all dependent on Allah
  • Fuqarah (needy) refers to someone who is poor and also refers to a state of the heart, when a person thinks they are nothing
    • Dua:  اَللّٰهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِيْ شَكُوْرًا، وَّ اجْعَلْنِيْ صَبُوْرًا، وَّاجْعَلْنِيْ فِيْ عَيْنِيْ صَغِيْرًا وَّفِيْ أَعْيُنِ النَّاسِ كَبِيْرًا  (O Allah, make me grateful. Make me patient and make me small in my own eyes and big in the eyes of others)
  • The Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) said:  The best of this nation are the fuqarah.  The fastest of those to enter Paradise will be the fuqarah
    • Shaykh Ashraf Thanvi (RAH) was asked how he views himself.  He said every believer is better than him and every disbeliever has the potential to be better than him
  • The Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) said:  I have two words. Whoever loves them, will surely love me.  Whoever detests them, will surely detest me.  They are poverty and jihad.  
    • Poverty in this context also refers to someone who thinks themselves to be in need of Allah and jihad refers to someone who continuously strives in the path of Allah
  • Jibrail (AHS) came to the Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) and said:  O Messenger of Allah, Allah SWT conveys peace upon you and says, “Do you wish that I make this mountain into gold and have it go wherever you go?”  The Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) lowered his head for a moment and then said, “O Jibrail, this world is a home for one who has no home (in the Hereafter) and wealth for the one who has no wealth (in the Hereafter).  A person who has no intellect will hoard in this world.”  Jibrail (AHS) then said to Him (ﷺ), “Allah SWT has kept you firm with a firm statement”
    • We are trustees, not owners, of what we have been given, e.g. our bodies, wealth, etc.
    • The firm statement is “La ilaha illallah” (There is no deity besides Allah)
  • Isa (AHS) was travelling and passed by a man who was sleeping, wrapped in a cloth.  Isa (AHS) woke him up and said, “Stand up and remember Allah.”  The man replied, ‘What do you want from me?  I have left the world for those who want to acquire it.”  Isa (AHS) said, ‘In that case, you may return back to sleep.”
  • Musa (AHS) passed by a man sleeping on the ground.  There was a brick beneath his head, part of his face and beard were in the sand, and he had wrapped himself with a cloth.  Musa (AHS) said, “O Allah, this man is wasting his life.”  Allah SWT said, “O Musa, don’t you know that if I ever look at a person completely, the whole world becomes worthless before his eyes. “
    • When Allah SWT looks towards a person with love, the world becomes worthless in their eyes
    • The heart of a prophet is full of noor (light).  Musa (AHS) fainted when Allah revealed Himself to the mountain.  The commentators write if Musa (AHS) was not a prophet, he would have died from the strength of the noor
    • The companions narrate that when the Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) would receive revelation, they would hear a buzzing sound.  One of the companions said one day his thigh was beneath the thigh of the Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) when He (ﷺ) received revelation.  The companion said the weight of the revelation was so much that he thought his bone was going to get crushed
  • Yahya ibn Mu’add (RAH) said:  Your love for those who are needy is from the traits of the Messengers, your giving preference to sitting in their company is from the signs of the pious, and your disliking their companionship is from the signs of the hypocrites
    • We cannot look down on a needy person because the distribution of wealth is set by Allah
    • We should feel gratitude in our hearts when seeing someone who has less than us
  • During the time of Mu’awiyah (RA), Aisha (RA) would sometimes receive and distribute 100,000 dirhams in a single day.  She would distribute all that money, despite having patches on her own clothing.  One day her slave woman said to her at the end of the day, ‘Had you kept one dirham I would have been able to buy some meat so you could break your fast.’  Aisha (RA) said, ‘If you had reminded me, I would have done it.’  The Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) had advised her, if you want to join me in the Hereafter, keep your life simple and do not discard your upper garment until you have patched it
  • A person came to Ibrahim ibn Adham (RAH) with 10,000 dirhams and Ibrahim ibn Adham (RAH) refused to accept it.  The person insisted he take it.  Ibrahim ibn Adham(RAH) said to him, “Should I remove my name from the register of the poor for 10,000 dirham?  I will never do that.”
  • The Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) said:  “Good tidings to the one who has been guided towards Islam, and who has sufficient means for a living and is content with it.”
    • Being content means being satisfied with what Allah has given us and what we don’t have
    • Greed is the opposite of contentment
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) said: O group of fuqarah, give Allah SWT contentment from your heart and you will attain the reward for your poverty.  If you are not pleased with your poverty, you will not attain the reward for it
    • The person who is poor, but is not content and is overcome with greed, there is no reward for that person for their poverty
  • Omar ibn Khattab (RA) narrates the Prophet (ﷺ) said:  Everything has a key.  The key to paradise is the love of the poor and needy.  On the Day of Judgement they will be in the gathering of Allah SWT
  • Ali (RA) narrates the Prophet (ﷺ) said:  The most beloved in the sight of Allah is the one who has a simple life but he is content with what Allah SWT has given
    • Being content does not mean we cannot endeavor to attain more.  A person can make an effort to attain more, but they should still be content with what they have and only use permissible means to attain more
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) would make dua:  O Allah make the sustenance of the Prophet (ﷺ)’s family sufficient
    • What is sufficient for one person might not be sufficient for another.  Each person’s state is different
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) said:  On the Day of Judgement, every person, rich or poor, will wish they had only been given what was sufficient to live on
    • This dunya deceives us into thinking there is no life after this world.  We should understand there is another life after this world.  Allah will reward us for the good we have done, the evil that has been afflicted upon us, and for what we were deprived of
    • There is no problem with having wealth, as long as the person in their heart knows they are in need of Allah.  What destroys a person is when they start thinking they are independent, not in need
    • We should present our needs before Allah
  • Hasan (RA) said:  Allah removes a nation from His mercy to whom He has given and they do not confirm His existence.  Then he recited  وَفِي السَّمَاء رِزْقُكُمْ وَمَا تُوعَدُونَ  (And in the heavens, there is your sustenance and all that you have been promised Surah 51, Verse 22)
    • Imam Qurtubi in the tafseer of this verse said “heavens” means lowhill mahfoodh (the preserved tablet).  The sustenance of all the creation is written in lowhill mahfoodh and because lowhill mahfoodh is in the heavens, the sustenance is in the heavens
    • Another interpretation is a human’s sustenance is the rain that Allah sends down from the heavens that grows fruit on the Earth
    • Another interpretation is Allah SWT physically places the sustenance of the creation in the heavens and it comes down with the rain.  The only thing that stops a person’s sustenance from coming down from the heavens is a person’s sins
  • A man passed by Amir ibn Qays (RAH) while he was eating salt and herbs.  The man said to him, ‘Are you content with this little of the dunya?”  Amir ibn Qays (RAH) replied, ‘Shall I inform you of something worse than this?’  The person who is content with this world in place of the Hereafter.’
  • Muhammad ibn Wasi (RAH) would take dry bread, dip it in water, and eat it with salt.  He would say, ‘If a person is content with this much of the dunya, then he will not need anything else.’
  • Ibrahim ibn Adham (RAH) was a wealthy man.  One day from his palace his sight fell upon a man in the courtyard.  He saw the man eat some dry bread and then go to sleep.  Ibrahim (RAH) said to one of his servants, ‘When this man awakes, bring him to me.’  They brought him to Ibrahim (RAH) and he asked, ‘Did you eat the dry bread when you were hungry?’  The man replied, ‘Yes.’  Ibrahim (RAH) then asked, ‘Were you able to fill your belly with that?’  The man replied, ‘Yes.’  Ibrahim (RA) then asked, ‘Did you sleep well?’  The man replied, ‘Yes.’ Ibrahim (RAH) then thought to himself:  What shall I do with this entire dunya when a soul can be satisfied with so little?
  • A wise person was asked, “What is your wealth?”  He replied, “Beautifying ourselves externally, being balanced internally, and not desiring what others possess.”
    • We should look at the qualities Allah has instilled in us and we ourselves will have value.  We will not know our true value if we continue looking at what others have
    • Each one of us is precious and valuable
    • We will always want what others have if we don’t look at what we have