Do we give Charity like Abu Bakr or even Umar?

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam), he would captivate people’s hearts merely by the charm of his manners and his ability to demonstrate his true love for them. Abu Bakr (radhi’Allahu anhu) and ‘Umar (radhi’Allahu anhu) were the best of the Companions. They would always compete with each other in good. Abu Bakr would mostly surpass ‘Umar. If ‘Umar were to be early for prayer, he would find that Abu Bakr had already preceded him. If he were to feed a poor person, he would find that Abu Bakr had already done the same before him. If he were to stay awake the night praying, he would find that Abu Bakr had surpassed him yet again.

Once, the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) ordered the people to give charity, in order to alleviate a hardship the Muslims were facing. It happened that at the time ‘Umar was very affluent, and so he decided, “Today, I will surpass Abu Bakr, if I am ever to surpass him at all.”

‘Umar then went and brought half of his wealth and gave it to the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. What was the first thing the Prophet (Sallallahu  alayhi wassallam) said to ‘Umar upon seeing this wealth? Did he ask him how much it was? Did he ask him about the type of gold and silver?

No. Rather, when he saw the amount of wealth, he said words from which ‘Umar gathered that he was beloved to the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. He said to ‘Umar, “What did you leave behind for your family, O ‘Umar?”

‘Umar said, “O Messenger of Allah, I have left behind its like for my family.”

‘Umar then sat next to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) enthusiastically waiting for Abu Bakr. Then came Abu Bakr with plenty of wealth, and gave it to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) whilst ‘Umar remained standing in his place, watching Abu Bakr and listening to the discussion that took place thereafter.

The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam), before looking at his wealth to see what he might have required, asked Abu Bakr: “O Abu Bakr, what did you leave behind for your family?”

Yes, he loved Abu Bakr (radhi’Allahu anhu) and loved his family, and therefore did not want him to suffer any hardship.

Abu Bakr said in response: “O Messenger of Allah, I left for them Allah and His Messenger.”

He came with all of his wealth. Not half, nor a quarter, but all! ‘Umar then had no choice but to say, “This is no shock. I will never be able to surpass Abu Bakr!”

 

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