The Leper, the Bald and the Blind
Hadrat Abu Huraira (R.A.) relates that he heard the holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) say, Allah tested three persons from amongst Bani Israel, a leper, a bald headed man and a blind person. An angel was sent down to them in the form of a human being. He came to the leper and asked, "what is the thing you like the best?", "a fine colour, neat skin and cure from this disease for which people hate me." came the reply. The angel ran his hand over his body, his disease vanished and his body got a fine colour. Then the angel asked him what property he would like the best ? The man said, "camels or cows." (the writer is doubtful). The man was given a she camel ten months pregnant and the angel said, "may Allah bless it for thee."
Then the angel went to the bald headed man and asked the same. The man replied, "beautiful hair and cure of the ailment, for which people hate me." The angel ran his hand over his head and his disease was cured leaving him with beautiful hair. Then the angel asked him what property he would like the best ? The man replied, "a cow." Thus he was given a cow carrying a calf and the angel said, "may Allah bless it for thee."
Then the angel came to the man who was blind and asked the same. He asked that Allah restore his sight so that he may see the people around him. The angel ran his hands over his eyes and his sight was restored. Then the angel asked him what property he would like the best ? The man replied, "a goat." Thus he was given a she goat carrying a kid.
These animals in due course gave birth to their kids multiplying very soon so that one had a valley full of cows, bulls and a third of the valley full of goats. After some time the angel visited the leper in his original form and said to him, "I am a poor and needy person, having spent all my means of sustenance in the course of my journey, I beg you, in the name of Allah, who has given you a decent colour and a neat skin and much wealth, to furnish me with a camel to enable me complete my journey." The man expressed his inability to oblige the angel and said, "I have many obligations to fulfill." The angel said, "It appears as if I have seen you before. Are you not a leper, who shunned people and was poor, whom Allah enriched?" The man said, "I have inherited this property from my ancestors." The angel said, "If you are speaking a lie, may Allah return you to the condition in which you were."
Then he came to the bald headed person in the original form and repeated his request to him, and got a similar reply to the one he had received from the leper. The angel said, "If you are speaking a lie, may Allah return you to the condition in which you were."
Then the angel visited the blind man repeating his request once more. The man said, "indeed I was blind and Allah restored my eye sight. You may take what you will and leave what you like. By Allah I will not refuse you anything you may wish to take in the name of Allah, the Lord of honour and glory.
The angel said, "keep all you have. All three of you were being tried. Allah is indeed pleased with you and is angry with your companions." (Sahih Bukhari:Volume 4, Book 56, Number 670)
It is to be kept in mind that sometime Allah tests his slaves by giving wealth and property in order to see whether one considers it as a trust of Allah or one's own treasure. It is, however, an obvious fact that wealth often makes people proud and negligent. Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an; “And know ye that your possessions and your progeny are but a trial.” (Qur’an: 8/27)
Now -a-days, the craze for earning more and more wealth, has caused a widespread immodesty, repulsion from religion, lack of faith and betrayal of conscience. Simultaneously, the evil is rampant in every place. Moreover, there is a hadith which affirms this fact that wealth is a source of trial for human beings. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) says; “Verily for every people there is a trial and the trial of my ummah is wealth.” (Tirmizi: 2/59)
On an occasion, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) warned his companions saying: "By Allah! I do not fear your poverty, but I fear the worldly materials will be extended to you, they were to the people before you. And you also would compete for the luxuries of life as they did. And consequently you too would perish as they did.” (Muslim; 2/407)
Furthermore, let us be generous and open handed with the poor and the deprived for the sake of Allah. Such deeds will serve us a source of well being.
The above Hadith tells about the consequences of two misers (i.e. the leper and the bald-headed man). Therefore, keeping in mind their fate, we ought to avoid being stingy. A Hadith clearly points out that miserliness is a bad thing. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said; "Verily you should avoid miserliness as it had destroyed the earlier people and moreover, it instigated them to bloodshed. It sometimes tempted people to make lawful the unlawful." (Muslim : 2/320)
The Glorious Qur’an also throws light upon this subject; “And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls, they are the ones that achieve prosperity.” (Qur’an: 64/16)
Allah has many favors upon us, and these we should be thankful by:
1- Recognizing, and affirming Allah's favor upon us.
2- Confirming that his bounties upon us are from Him.
3- Spending of His bounties given to us for His Pleasure and sake (such as giving out Zakat and charity etc.).
Allah the Almighty said: "When harm touches man, he calls to Us (for help); then when We have rescued him from that harm) and changed it into a favour from Us, he says: "Only because of knowledge (that I possess) I obtained it." Nay, it is only a trial, but most of them know not!" (Qur'an 39:49)
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