Ibnul Furaat was a minister in the fourth century of Islam during the reign of the ‘Abbaasi ruler, Al-Muqtadir billah. (Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 14, pg. 474)
On one occasion, Ibnul Furaat summoned a certain scribe and said the following to him:
Woe to you! I had sinister intentions in your regard and always wanted to arrest you and confiscate your wealth. However, for a few nights, I have been seeing a strange dream. In this dream, I myself issued the order for your arrest. However, you were somehow resisting arrest. So I next ordered my soldiers to attack you, but whenever they fired an arrow at you or attempted to strike you with a weapon, you successfully defended yourself with a loaf of bread that you held in your hand. On account of this bread, none of our attacks could reach you. Tell me, what is the secret behind this bread?
The scribe replied, “O minister! Since I was a small child, my mother would place a loaf of bread beside my pillow when I went to sleep at night. The following morning, she would give it in sadaqah (charity) on my behalf. My mother continued to do this until she passed away. After her demise, I continued with this practice, and I thus place a loaf of bread beside my pillow every night, giving it in charity in the morning.”
When the minister, Ibnul Furaat heard this, he was astonished and said, “By Allah! I will never be able to harm you! In fact, (having learnt of your excellent practice,) I now wish well for you and my heart has been filled with love for you.” (Al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah vol. 11, pg. 224)
1. The profound power of sadaqah should never be underestimated. Sadaqah draws the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala and often protects us from calamities and difficulties. Hence, every person should make it a habit to give some sadaqah on a daily basis, even if it is just a few rands, a few biscuits, a fruit, etc. We should never think that it is ‘too small’ to give, as something is better than nothing. At the same time, when sadaqah is given for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, then we should not wait for things to become rotten, spoilt and unusable before we give them in sadaqah.
2. The habit of giving sadaqah on a daily basis was instilled in the scribe from a tender age by his mother, and thus remained with him for his entire life. As parents, we have to take out the time and make a concerted effort to instill these qualities and practices into the lives of our children.
3. The hearts of all people are in the complete control of Allah Ta‘ala. In the blink of an eye, Allah Ta‘ala can transform the enmity in a person’s heart to love and affection. Hence, if our hearts are always turned towards Allah Ta‘ala, He will safeguard us from that which is in people’s hearts.
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