Abu ‘Abdullah Waaqidi says: Once, while I was suffering from some financial constraints, the occasion of ‘Eid arrived. My slave girl came to me and said: “Eid has arrived and we don’t have any money.” So I went up to a friend who was a businessman, explained to him my situation and requested a loan from him.

He took out a bag of 1200 silver coins and gave it to me. I had hardly reached home when a Hashimite friend came to me expressing his need for a loan due to a delay in his returns. I went to my wife and told her what has happened. She asked me: “What have you decided?” I replied: “I will share the bag of coins between the two of us.”

She said to me: “That is nothing great. An ordinary person gave you 1200 silver coins and now you want to give half of that to a man who is closely related to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Give him the whole bag.” So I gave the entire bag to him.

After a little while my businessman friend went to the Hashimite – who was his friend as well – asking him for a loan. The Hashimite brought out exactly the same bag. When the businessman saw it, he recognized it and came to relate the incident to me.

Thereafter, the governor Yahya bin Khaalid Al-Barmaki summoned me. When I met him and related this incident to him, he ordered his slave to bring 10 000 silver coins which he gave to me saying: “2000 is for you, 2000 for your friend, 2000 for the Hashimite and 4000 for your wife since she was the most generous from all of you.” (Taareekhu Baghdad, vol. 4, pg. 30)

Lesson: When one gives preference over oneself – especially when one is also experiencing some difficulty – it may seem that one is being deprived. In actual fact, Allah Ta‘ala blesses him with far greater returns, often in this world as well. Let us give preference to others in small issues and allow them to have “the bigger piece of the cake”, and see how Allah Ta ‘ala will grant us an entire “bakery” in return.