Usually our good deeds, sacrifice and donations appear to be substantial to us. This mistaken impression deceives us and engages our mind. It fills us with contentment. A mere urn of water appears to be an ocean to us.
Our mundane desires never cease. We presume that what we own is our natural birthright. When we are asked to make a sacrifice our behavior changes as if we have been asked for something from our own personal possessions. Consequently, the bright, crystal clear and delicate mirror of trustworthiness and generosity becomes stained.
However, as Almighty Allah has revealed in the Qur’an: “As to the orphan do not oppress him. Nor refuse the one who asks for help” (Duha, 9-10).
Mawlana Rumi, quddisa sirruh, said:
Just as physically beautiful people search for bright and clear mirrors, for generosity to be seen poor and powerless people are required. As a beautiful person’s face may be reflected in a mirror, so too the beauty of those who help the needy through their generosity is reflected in the poor and the miserable.
Mawlana Rumi, quddisa sirruh, said: “Thus, the poor are the mirror of divine mercy and generosity. Those who are with Allah or lost in the existence of Allah are in a state of continuous generosity.”
Tafsir-i Hazin, a commentary on the Qur’an, reports the following from the great companion Jabir (RadiAllahu Anhu):
A small child came to the Prophet Muhammadﷺ . He told him that his mother had asked for a shirt. At that time the Prophet Muhammadﷺ owned only the shirt that he was wearing. He told the child to come back another time. The child returned to his home. But, soon he came back and told the Prophetﷺ that his mother wanted the shirt he was wearing. The Messenger of Allahﷺ went to his room, took off his shirt and gave it to the child.
At that moment, Bilal (RadiAllahu Anhu), the muadhdhin of the Prophetﷺ began reciting the Adhan, or the call to prayer. The Messenger of Allahﷺ could not come out of his room to lead the communal prayer because he did not have a shirt. Some of the companions came to his room since they were worried about him and they discovered that the Prophet no longer had a shirt to wear.
Wealth is a trust of Allah given to our care. The only way to enjoy it and feel happy about it is by sympathizing with the suffering of the needy by opening a window of mercy and compassion from our heart to them.
The great Rumi, quddisa sirruh, said:
Act like the sun in mercy and compassion!
Act like the night in covering the mistakes of others!
Act like a river in generosity and sacrifice!
Act like a dead one in anger and fury!
Act like the soil in humility and selflessness!
Act in accordance with the way you look!
Look in accordance with the way you act!
We should keep in mind that regardless how one presents oneself, what will come out of him is what he has in the urn of his heart. It is true that many urns that have claimed to be full of love have only produced eventually the water of indiscretion and heedlessness. Likewise, many people who have spoken about the elixir, or the water of life, could not drink a drop of it nor could they offer any to others. On the other hand, many people who hide themselves in humility and externally look like empty urns are special servants of Allah and carry endless oceans in their hearts. And they unhesitatingly offer water to burning lovers like the water of al-Kawthar, a river in Paradise.
May Allah raise all of us to be of His sincere and pure- hearted servants, so that we may too offer to all of humanity drops from the water of al-Kawthar and Tasnim(*) while still in this world.
(*) al-Kawthar (literally, ‘The Abundant’) is a river of Jannah and Tasnim (literally, ‘Nectar’) is a spring of Jannah.
-An excerpt from the book, “Tears of the Heart’