Concern for the Comfort of the Elderly

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(Sayyidah Asmaa bintu Abi Bakr [radhiyallahu ‘anhuma] – Part Three)

At the time when Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) accepted Islam, he possessed forty thousand dirhams (silver coins). (Usdul Ghaabah vol. 3, pg. 33) However, by the time he performed hijrah with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), he only possessed five or six thousand dirhams, as he would spend his wealth in the path of Allah Ta‘ala (e.g. to purchase and free slaves who were being punished and tortured by their masters for accepting Islam).

When departing with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) took this entire amount of five or six thousand dirhams with him so that he could spend it in the path of Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, he left no money at home for his children. However, their imaan and level of reliance on Allah Ta‘ala was such that despite their father taking all the wealth, they were pleased and had full conviction that Allah Ta‘ala will take care of their needs.

Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha), the daughter of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), mentions:

After Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) departed, my grandfather, Abu Quhaafah (i.e. the father of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr [radhiyallahu ‘anhu], who was not yet a Muslim), came to our home to visit us. At that time, he had lost his sight and was blind. He said to us, “By Allah! I’m sure that he must have put you into difficulty by leaving you and by taking all the wealth with him!” Hearing this, I said, “Never, O my grandfather! He has left abundant wealth for us!”

I then took some stones, placed them in a niche within the home where my father would keep his wealth, and placed a cloth over the stones. Thereafter, I took his hand and said, “O my grandfather! Place your hand here and feel this wealth!” Hearing this, he placed his hand on the cloth. Thinking the stones to be coins, Abu Quhaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) said, “Very well! If he has left this for you then he has done well! This amount will suffice you (for quite some time).”

Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) thereafter mentioned, “By Allah! Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had not left any wealth for us. However, I did this in order to keep the heart and mind of the old man at ease.”

(Musnad Ahmad #26957)

Lessons:

1. When Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) departed, leaving his children in Makkah Mukarramah and taking all his wealth with him, then Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) adopted patience and did not complain. He had made an effort on his children’s imaan and instilled the values of Islam in them. Hence, Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) understood that her father was taking the wealth in order to spend it in the path of Allah Ta‘ala, and she was pleased with his decision. She knew that when he had taken the wealth for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, then Allah Ta‘ala would undoubtedly take care of them.

2. When her grandfather came to the home to investigate, Sayyidah Asmaa (radhiyallahu ‘anha) did not complain to him, but rather placed his comfort before her own, reassuring him that they had sufficient wealth to fulfil their needs. In the same way, we should be considerate to others – especially our parents, grandparents, the elderly, etc. – and ensure that we do not bring them any discomfort. At times, the discomfort may not be physical, but is mental, such as the anxiety and agitation that Sayyiduna Abu Quhaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) would have felt, had he known that his grandchildren had no money. Another example is if our parents, grandparents, etc. are waiting for us, and we are delayed, then we should immediately inform them so that they do not become anxious and begin to worry.