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Charity: The upper hand is better than the lower hand

by | Aug 20, 2013

Once a father was having a walk with his son. Father was a wise man,and was very much concerned with the moral education of his son. Both of them headed towards their fields near by while walking.

As they went along, they saw a pair of old shoes lying in path. Which they supposed to belong to a poor man who was employed in a field close by,and who had nearly finished his day’s work.

The son turned to the father, saying: “Dad ! how about if we play the man a trick. We will hide his shoes, and conceal ourselves behind those bushes. and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them.”

“My Dear Son,” answered the father, “we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a coin in each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him.”

The son did so by placing coins in both shoes and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes.

While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes. But feeling something hard, he bent down to check what it was irritating in his shoes , and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance. He gazed upon the coin, turned it around, and looked at it again and again.

He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe. but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin.

His feelings overcame him.He fell upon his knees, looked up to the sky and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving to ALLAH. In which he spoke of his wife who was sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown hand by grace of ALLAH ,would save from perishing.

The boy (son) stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. “Now,” said the father, “Are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?”

The boy replied, “Dad! You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I experienced now the truth of these words of Prophet Mohammad(SAW) which I never understood before:

“The upper hand is better than lower hand”

Narrated Hakim bin Hizam The Prophet said,

The upper hand is better than lower hand. (i.e. he who gives in charity is better than him who takes it).

One should start giving first to his dependents. And the best object of charity is that which is given by a wealthy person (from the money which is left after his expenses). And whoever abstains from asking others for some financial help, .Allah will give him and save him from asking others, Allah will make him self-sufficient.”
Abdullah bin Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallAllahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that encouraging good, prohibiting evil, lifting the burden of the weak person and removing an offensive thing from a path are all acceptable prayers to Allah.
[ibn Majah]

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