He remembered his difficult past; he recalled the bitter and hard days he had gone through, when he even was not able to provide his wife and children with food. He considered how a short sentence – only one sentence – had caressed his ears three times, strengthened his soul, changed the path of his life, and rescued him and his family from the poverty and adversity they were suffering.
He was one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), whose life was dominated by poverty and misery. One day, as he was on his beams-ends, after consultation with his wife, he decided to describe his situation to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and ask him for financial aid.
Having this intention, he went to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), but before saying anything, he heard the following statement from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), “Whoever asks us for help, we will help him/her; however, whoever refrains from asking people for help, Allah (SWT) will free him/her from needs”. That day, he returned home without saying anything. But he found the monster of poverty casting shadow over his house. Therefore once again, he was forced to approach Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) with the same intention, but he heard the same statement from him, “Whoever asks us for help, we will help him/her; however, whoever refrains from asking people for help, Allah (SWT) will free him/her from needs”. So again, he retuned home without saying a single word. As he found himself challenging with poverty, he decided to go to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) for the third time. But once again, he heard the same statement – which was heart-warming and touching – from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP).
This time, when he heard this statement, he felt more certainty in his heart. In fact, he felt that he had found the solution to his problem in this statement. As he left, he started walking with more confidence. He thought with himself, ”I will never ask people for help. I will rely on Allah (SWT), and use the power and talents He has deposited in me. I will ask Him to succeed me in the work I will do, and make me needless”. He asked himself about what he could do, and realized that he could collect firewood from the desert and sell them. Therefore, he borrowed an axe, went to the desert, collected some firewood, and sold them. Getting the product of his own labour was very exciting; so continued this until he was able to buy an axe, mount, and other tools from his own money. This continued to the point that he gathered a capital and hired some workers. One day Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) met him and said to him with a smile, ”Did I not tell you that Whoever asks us for help, we will help him/her; however, whoever refrains from asking people for help, Allah (SWT) will free him/her from needs?”
Allah (SWT) has not let His creatures alone, and has provided each of them with sustenance. One’s sustenance in this world is not only his/her share from food and cloth, but also all the physical and mental capabilities, intelligence and talent, parents, wealth and property, beauty and healthiness… he/she has been provided with. Therefore, whoever uses the blessings Allah (SWT) has bestowed him/her in its right way and shows gratitude and appreciation to Him, moves towards salvation. Imam Sadiq (PBUH) has said, ”Whoever is pleased with Allah’s (SWT) modest sustenance, Allah (SWT) will be pleased with his/her modest deeds (1)”. Is there a salvation greater than Allah (SWT) being pleased with someone?
(The above is a selection of “Anecdotes of the Pious”, by Scholar Murtada Mutahhari (with some changes))
The Roshd website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 17th of Rabee al-Awal, the birthday anniversary of the Messenger of mercy and glory, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), and his respected grandson, Imam Sadiq (PBUH).
1. Usul al-Kafi, by Shaykh al-Kulayni, vol. 3, Book of faith and disbelief, Section of contentment