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Kindness To The Hungry
Once, Madinah witnessed a severe drought. The crops were destroyed. There was a grave shortage of food and water.
Ibad ibn Sharjil, a poor companion of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), was very hungry. While passing by an orchard, he saw some ripe dates. Ibad could not suppress his hunger any more. He crept in, took a few bunches of dates off the trees, ate them and was about to carry away the rest when all of a sudden, the owner of the orchard appeared. He was angry to see Ibad eating his dates and taking them away. In a fit of anger, the owner started hitting Ibad. Then he forced him to take his shirt off, captured him, and took him to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
The orchard owner said: “This man is a thief. He entered my orchard. He ate my dates and stole them from my garden.”
The Holy Prophet (peace be up him) asked both of them to sit down and calm down. Then he turned to Ibad and said: “O Ibad, what happened to you? Why did you eat those dates?” Tears rolled down Ibad’s cheeks. “O Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) I was hungry for the last many days. I saw these dates in his orchard, and I could not restrain myself. I entered and plucked some dates, eating a few and taking some away for my family,” explained Ibad with his eyes wet.
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) turned to the owner of the orchard and said: “Allah has given you the orchard. Even in times of drought, you are affluent. This man is hungry. You should feed him. This man is ignorant. You should educate him.” Then he asked the orchard owner to return Ibad’s clothes to him.
He asked the treasurer of Madinah to give Ibad wheat for his family.
Allah is very forgiving and merciful. It should be the concern of every Muslim to show love and concern for the poor and needy, and share our blessings.