A Morsel for a Morsel

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There was once a woman who had a son. One day, her son left home on a journey. After some time, she ceased to receive information regarding her son and it seemed that he had disappeared. With every day that passed, she grew anxious over her sons disappearance.

Sometime later, one day when this woman had picked up a morsel and was on the verge of putting it into her mouth, she heard a beggar at the door. Taking pity on the plight of the beggar, she gave him the entire loaf of bread from which she was eating, including the morsel that she had been on the verge of eating. Having given her food to the beggar, she had nothing to eat and remained hungry.

This woman was extremely anxious regarding the plight of her missing son and would thus exert herself in du‘aa, begging Allah Ta‘ala to return her son to her. Barely a few nights after she had given the bread to the beggar, her son returned home! On his return, he began to tell his mother of all the hardships and difficulties that he underwent while on his journey.

While recounting his experiences to his mother, he mentioned the following:

The strangest experience of all occurred as I was travelling through a certain jungle in such-and-such land. While I was riding my donkey, a lion attacked me. During the attack, my donkey fled and left me alone with the lion. The lion began attacking me with its claws, but its claws somehow became entangled in my clothing and thus failed to reach my body. The lion thus dragged me away, deeper into the jungle. Once we were further into the jungle, the lion set me down and turned towards me, ready to pounce and kill me. At that instant, a huge, strong man, fair in complexion and dressed in white clothing, appeared before us. He lifted the lion by gripping its nape with his bare hands and threw it to the ground saying, “Away, O dog! A morsel for a morsel!” The lion instantly turned on its heels and fled. As I regained my composure and calmed down, I turned to find the man who had saved me, but found that he had disappeared! I therefore remained sitting, in order to recover my wits and regain my strength. When I thereafter examined my body, I found that I was absolutely unharmed. I thus walked through the jungle until I found the caravan from which I had been separated. On seeing me safe and sound, they were utterly amazed as none had expected me to escape from the clutches of the lion. Nevertheless, after narrating my experience to them, I continued to ponder over the words uttered by the man, “a morsel for a morsel.” What could these words possibly mean?

As the youngster told his mother his amazing experience, she asked him of the time at which this had happened. When he calculated the time, she realized that it was at that exact moment that she had taken the morsel of food which was nearly in her mouth and given it to the beggar, together with the rest of her food. On account of her taking the morsel from her mouth and giving it to the beggar, Allah Ta‘ala took her son from the lion’s mouth and gave him back to her. (Akhbaarul Muzaakarah lit-Tannookhi vol. 2 pg. 42)

Lessons:

1. Sadaqah and charity are such great acts that their reward is multiplied seven hundred times. Over and above this tremendous reward, there are many other profound benefits and effects that a person will enjoy through giving sadaqah. Sadaqah is a means of drawing the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala and the du‘aa that is made after giving sadaqah thus has a greater chance of acceptance. Hence, in the above incident, it was just a few days after she gave her meal to the beggar that her son returned.

2. When giving sadaqah, it is not the amount or the value of the item that counts. Rather, what counts is the heart with which it was given. The woman in the above incident only gave the beggar a loaf of bread. However, she preferred his comfort to her own, choosing to remain hungry, and even gave him the morsel that was nearly in her mouth. It was thus the extent of her sincerity and sacrifice that gave value to her sadaqah and caused it to be accepted in the court of Allah Ta‘ala.

3. Giving sadaqah is a means of warding off calamities.

4. Allah Ta‘ala sometimes very clearly and openly shows a person the acceptance and reward of their good deeds in this very world.  

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