Not the best words in their best order in any language can adequately depict the way God's Messenger looked at dirham and dinar, wealth and property and the world and all that it stands for. Indeed, even the disciples who had served their time at the feet of the Apostle's companions or the disciples of such disciples never regarded fortunes and treasures fit enough for the dusthole. Their pure and pious lives, their indifference to wealth and worldly possessions, the way they showered bounty on one and all and preferred others over their own selves, their contentedness with the barest minimum and their heroic selflessness and self-denial take one's breath away. One can only picture to oneself the nobleness of heart and openhanded generosity as well as self-abnegation and unearthly disposition of the great teacher who had enlarged the minds of all the later godly souls.
We shall, therefore, cite here only a few of those authentic reports which have been handed down by the most trust-worthy narrators since the Prophet's own words and actions can best illustrate his outlook and sentiments in this regard. Two of the well known sayings of the Apostle of God which sum up his attitude towards worldly life are: "O God, life is truly the life of the hereafter", and "What have I to do with the world ! My only business with it is like that of a rider who, shades himself under a tree, then goes off and leaves it."
'Umar once saw the Apostle lying on a reed mat which had left its marks on his body. 'Umar gave way to tears at the frugal living and privation of his mentor. The Prophet asked, "What's the matter, 'Umar? " He replied, "O Messenger of God, of all the creatures of God, you are the most venerated, but it is the Caesar and the Chosroes who are rolling in the lap of luxury." 'Umar's reply made the Apostle's blood boil in anger and his face became red. He said, " 'Umar, have you any doubt about it?" Then he added, "These are the men who have been given all the pleasures of life in advance here in this world."
The life of ease was rejected by God's Messenger not only for his own self but also for his dependents as well. He was heard praying, "O God, make the provision of Muhammad's family sufficient only to sustain life." Abu Huraira says, "By Him in whose hands is Abu Huraira's life, the Apostle of God and his family never had the wheat bread continuously for three days until he departed from this world.'' 'Aisha relates, "We, the members of the Prophet's household caught sight of one moon and then the next, but no fire was lighted in our hearth. We had to live only on dates and water. ,, The Prophet's coat of mail had been pawned with a Jew but he had not enough money to get it back from him. The Messenger of God departed from the world when the coat of mail was still with the Jew.
The Prophet proceeded to perform the Farewell Pilgrimage followed by a huge crowd which obscured the horizon-at a time when the entire Arabian Peninsula had acknowledged his spiritual and temporal supremacy. Yet, the saddle of his dromedary was outworn covered l', a sheet which was worth not more than four dirhams. Thc prayer he then sent up to God was, "O Allah, make it a haj devoid of all pretensions and show." Abu Dharr reports the Apostle telling him on an occasion, "I would hate to possess as much gold as Mount Uhad and then to allow three days to pass with a single dinar remaining with me except that which I may hold back for the cause of religion; rather, I would give it away to God's servants this way and that, on my right and left and in the hack."
Jabir b. 'Abdullah says that it never happened that the God's Messenger was requested to give anything and he said 'No' in reply. Ibn 'Abbas testifies that in generosity and bountifulness the Apostle of God was swifter than the wings of the wind. '' Anas says that once when a man asked the Apostle to give him something he gave him a flock of sheep enough to fill the space between two hillocks. The man returned to his people and said to them, "O ye people, embrace Islam. Muhammad peace be upon him gives so open-handedly as if he fears not poverty. " Another time, ninety thousand dirhams were presented to the Prophet. He asked to heap them up on a mat and then started giving it away. Nobody who asked for it was denied until the entire heap of money disappeared.