Abu Aqil Ansari (رضي الله عنه – may Allah be pleased with him) was one of those companions of the Prophet ﷺ who had the smallest of pockets but the biggest of hearts.
The previous name of Abu Aqil was “Abduluzza”, which meant the slave of the famous idol called “Uzza”. The Prophet (pbuh) changed it to “Abdurrahman” and gave him the nickname “Aduwwul-Awthan”, which meant “the enemy of the idols”.
When Muhammad ﷺ asked the Muslims to bring forth their sadaqah (charity) for the expedition of Tabuk, he had nothing to give. So, he went looking for work and found a job with a Jew who needed some water hauling. Abu Aqil was hence among the last to come forth with charity – a Sa` of dates (few dates).
He said: `O Allah’s Messenger! This is a Sa` of dates. I spent the night bringing water and earned two Sa` of dates for my work. I kept one Sa` (for my family) and brought you the other Sa`.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ ordered him to spread it over all the charity (that others brought). His sadaqah was little but carried the weight of Uhud mountain.
Some men mocked Abu Aqil, saying, `Allah and His messenger are not in need of this charity. What benefit would this Sa` of yours bring’. They laughed at him, saying,`Allah does not need the Sa` of Abu `Aqil.” – Upon which Allah revealed the verses of the Quran [9:79]
Surah At-Taubah, Verse 79:
الَّذِينَ يَلْمِزُونَ الْمُطَّوِّعِينَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي الصَّدَقَاتِ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ إِلَّا جُهْدَهُمْ فَيَسْخَرُونَ مِنْهُمْ سَخِرَ اللَّهُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
They who taunt those of the faithful who give their alms freely, and those who give to the extent of their earnings and scoff at them; Allah will pay them back their scoffing, and they shall have a painful chastisement.
Sometimes, we get carried away with a good we have done, a feat we have achieved, a da’wah work we have done and think of others’ contribution as being meaningless. Unfortunately, Allah might consider their actions as the reason for our success, unity and strength while we are unaware.
What lessons have you learnt?
– Samina (ayeina)
– Men around the messenger
– Ibn Khathir.
– Sahih Muslim 31/ 6045
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