On Generosity

Peace, one and all…

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Ibn al-Husayn al-Sulami, in his book on Sufi Chivalry (futuwwah), records the following anecdote of Ibn Abbas (the famous Companion of the Prophet, alayhi al-salatu wa al-salam), may God be pleased with him.  The story relates to a battle, in which the Muslim forces were heavily outnumbered:

‘The battle raged a whole day.  Both sides had casualties in proportion to their numbers.  When the fighting ceased near sunset, I took a waterskin and went to the battlefield, which was full of dead and wounded men.  I heard many among the Muslims groaning and asking for water.  I approached one dying soldier whose lips were parched.  As I was about to make him drink, we heard another close by begging for water.  The wounded hero asked me to give the water to the other soldier first.  When I went to the second man, we heard a nearby enemy soldier begging for water.  The Muslim asked me to give the water to him.  When I served water to the wounded enemy, I returned to the Muslim warrior, but he had already drunk the wine of martyrdom.  I went back to the first soldier, but he too had met his Lord’.

Ya Allah!  Even in the midst of battle and thirst and pain, these men were able to show generosity of spirit to their enemy.  May Allah help me to be like them and to tread the Path of Futuwwah too.  Amin. 

Ma’as salama,
Abdur Rahman

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