Ansari Family - A Selfless Meal
Muslim Knights - Volume 1

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Kaan Ya Makaan, Fee Qadeem Al-Zamaan…
There was a Place, in Times of Old…

Called Al-Madinah where a stranger sought out the Prophet Muhammad PBUH to learn what he could of the religion called Islam. Always generous and caring, Muhammad PBUH set out to help the stranger find a place to stay for the night. He started by sending word to the members of his own humble household about this unexpected guest, but word was sent back that there was nothing in the house except water to offer the guest for dinner.

Not wishing for the man to go hungry like he would that night, Muhammad PBUH turned to his Sahaba and said, "Who is willing to host this man?"

"I am!" A man from Al-Madinah’s Ansari tribes said as he stood up.

With a warm and welcoming smile, the Ansari man then escorted the stranger home with him. When they arrived, the Ansari man proudly told his wife, "Care for the Prophet's PBUH guest."

Embarrassed, his wife leaned in and replied in a quiet voice, "We only have enough to feed our children."

After a brief moment of thought, during which a mighty internal struggle was fought and won, the Ansari man turned to his wife and spoke in an equally quiet voice, "Make the food, turn down the lamp and put the children to bed when they ask for dinner."

The Ansari woman fought and won the same internal battle as her husband. She too was unwilling to let this hapless stranger go hungry while they had food in the house. Her mind made up, the Ansari woman did as her husband had asked. She prepared the food, turned down the lamp and tenderly put her hungry children to bed.

As soon as the food was ready, the Ansari woman turned to the lamp again and, under the pretense of fixing it, she extinguished it. Apologizing profusely for the lack of lighting, the woman and her husband sat down with their guest to eat their dinner in the dark. During that meal, the guest hungrily ate his fill while both husband and wife sat side by side and only pretended to eat, never once allowing a single morsel of food to cross their lips.

That night, the entire Ansari family went to bed hungry. In contrast, their guest went to sleep with a full stomach, blissfully unaware of the quiet sacrifice his hosts had made for him.

The next day, the Ansari man went to see Muhammad PBUH. Upon his arrival, Muhammad PBUH greeted him cheerfully and told him, "Last night, God laughed (or marveled) at your actions!"

After these events, a new verse of the Quran was revealed to Muhammd PBUH. It said: "And they place others before themselves, even when they are in need, and whosoever is spared the greed in his soul, then they are indeed the winners" [Surat: Al-Hashr (الحشر), Ayah: 9].

"وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ ۚ وَمَنْ يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ"

*Written by © 2011. Care to read or leave Comments?

Notes:
  1. Names, Translations and Aliases:
    • Muhammad : خاتم الأنبياء الرسول محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم
  2. Companions (in Arabic Saha'ba): those who accompanied the Prophet Muhammad PBUH to aid him and learn from him then pass on their knowledge i.e. apostles and disciples.
  3. Ansar: literally Those Who Champion or Aid. It is what the two tribes of Medina (Aws and Khuzruj) were called when they took in the Muslim refugees from Mecca.

Sources:
  1. Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project. "The Noble Quran". quran.al-islam.org. Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project. Sura: Al-Hashr (59). Aya: 9. Accessed June 30, 2011.
  2. Ibn Katheer Al-Dimishqui, Emad Al-Deen (1399 H). مختصر تفسير ابن كثير [Summarized Tafseer Ibn Katheer]. Beirut: Dar Al-Quran Al-Kareem. Volume III. Page 473-474.
  3. Az-Zubaidi, Zain-ud-Din (1994 AD). مختصر صحيح البخاري [Summarized Sahih Al-Bukhari (M. Khan, Trans.)]. Riyadh: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam. Page 727-728.

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