It was the habit of Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) to always invite someone over when partaking of meals. On one occasion he set out looking for someone to join him for meals. When he could not find anyone, he returned to his house. As he entered, he saw someone standing in his home. He exclaimed: “O servant of Allah, with whose permission have you entered my house?” The stranger replied: “The real owner of this house has granted me permission.” Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) then asked him: “Who are you?” He replied: “I am the angel of death. Allah Ta‘ala has sent me to give glad tidings to a special servant of His, who He has selected to be His Khaleel (close and bosom friend).” Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) said: “Please, do let me know who this saint is. I swear by Allah, no matter which ever part of the world he resides in, I would definitely go there and meet him. Then, I would spend my entire life at his feet (serving him).” The angel of death responded: “You are that fortunate person.” Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) asked: “Is it really me?” The angel of death replied in the affirmative. Thereafter Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) inquired from him the reason for Allah Ta‘ala selecting him as His Khaleel? The angel of death replied: “Because you always keep giving others, but never ask anything from anyone.” (Tafseer Ibni Katheer, vol. 1, pg. 560)

Lesson: When one gives for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, one always receives something in return – in this world and the Hereafter. In this world, besides blessings in ones sustenance, it brings great spiritual benefits which are beyond all the material benefits of this world.