On one occasion Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was proceeding in a certain direction when his blessed gaze fell on a building which was tall in height. Seeing the tall building, he asked the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), “What is this (building and who has built it)?” The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) replied, “This belongs to so-and-so from the Ansaar.” On hearing this, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) remained silent and did not say anything.

Thereafter, this Ansaari Sahaabi came to meet Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) while Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was seated among some of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). However, when he approached Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and greeted him, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) turned away from him. Hence, the Sahaabi approached Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) a few more times, yet Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) continued to turn away from him and ignore his greeting.

Finally, this Sahaabi realized that he was the cause of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) displeasure and turning away. He thus complained of this to some of his companions saying, “By Allah! I find Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to be treating me differently to before (i.e. he is not showing me the warmth and affection which I normally receive from him).” His companions then explained, “Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was proceeding in a certain direction when he saw your tall building (and it is your tall building which has caused his displeasure).” The instant this Sahaabi heard this, he returned to his building and razed it to the ground.

Some time later, when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was once again proceeding in the same direction, he noticed that the tall building was no longer there. Hence, he enquired from the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), “What happened to the tall building?” The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) replied, “The owner of the building complained to us that you were turning away from him. We thus informed him (of your displeasure over his tall building), due to which he demolished it.”

Hearing this Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned, “May Allah Ta‘ala have mercy on him.” He also remarked, “Indeed every structure will be a burden for its owner, except that which is necessary, except that which is necessary.”

(Sunan Abi Dawood #5237 and Shu‘abul Imaan # 10222)


1. On account of their love for Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the heart of every Sahaabi (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was filled with one primary concern – the concern of pleasing Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Hence, when this Sahaabi learnt that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was displeased with his tall building, he immediately demolished it, without a moment’s hesitation or reservation. Similarly, we need to identify all those factors in our lives which cause the displeasure of Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and eliminate them from our lives. These factors may include the smart phone, bad friends, movies, etc. Whatever they may be, we need to realise that there is no price too great to pay to secure the happiness of Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

2. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was displeased at the tall building of this Sahaabi as it stood out from the other buildings and the extra height was not required. Hence, the extra portion of the building was regarded as wastage of wealth. As Muslims, we should strive to avoid wastage, inculcate the sunnah of simplicity and avoid standing out from others and competing with them in worldly possessions.

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