Prophet Muhammad’s life was not that different from the lives of the poor. Lady Aisha narrated:
“The family of Muhammad did not eat their fill for three successive days till he died.” (Al-Bukhari)
Prophet Muhammad treated the poor with mercy and kindness, and he used to give them whatever he could, although he, himself, was poor. He also used to teach his companions to have mercy upon the poor as well.
In this article, we compiled some of the hadiths that show the Prophet’s love and mercy upon the poor.
It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri said:
Love the poor, for I heard the Messenger of Allah say in his supplication:
‘O Allah, cause me to live poor and cause me to die poor, and gather me among the poor (on the Day of Resurrection). (Ibn Majah)
The Prophet always considered giving to be better than keeping, and consequently, he continuously gave. Among the best descriptions of his merciful attitude is what Lady Aisha narrated:
“We slaughtered a sheep and gave away most of it. I told the Prophet only a small piece was left. He then said in all his wisdom:
‘All of it is remaining (through charity) but that piece’” (At-Tirmidhi)
He also said:
The worst food is that of a wedding banquet to which only the rich are invited while the poor are not invited.
Helping and Teaching
Anas ibn-Malik narrated:
“A man from the Ansar came to ask the Prophet (peace be upon him) for charity. The Prophet asked about what he has at home, and the man said that he has some fabric which they use to wear sometimes and other times to sit on.
The Prophet instructed him to bring it over. Then he asked if any of his companions would like to purchase the fabric. A man offered to buy it for one Dirham. The Prophet asked for a higher price, until a man offered two Dirhams for it.
The Prophet took the money and gave it to the poor man. The Prophet told him to buy food for his family with one Dirham and to use the other to buy an axe-head and bring it back to him.
The Prophet then tied a hand to the axe-head and asked the man to use it in cutting wood, then selling it. And so the man went to cut wood and began to sell it. He collected ten Dirhams which he used for food and clothes.
The Prophet said to the man:
“This is better than asking for charity which you will be asked about on the Day of Judgment. Asking charity is permissible for only three cases; extreme poverty, paying off a large fine, or for paying blood-money in case of killing someone by mistake.” (Ibn Majah)