Laith bin Sa’d (rahimahullah) was an illustrious Imaam of his era. He was born in Egypt during the year 94 A.H. and passed away on a Friday in the month of Sha’baan during the year 175 A.H.
Imaam Laith (rahimahullah) was not only renowned for being an Imaam in the various fields of Islamic knowledge, but was also renowned for his piety, and particularly his generosity and big-heartedness. He had an annual income of approximately twenty thousand dinars (gold coins), yet his generosity was such that from the time he became baaligh, zakaat never once became obligatory on him (as he would spend all his wealth on people). He would give charity to approximately three hundred people daily!
Below are a few incidents that highlight his willingness to spend on others.
On one occasion, Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) wrote to him saying, “I will soon be sending my daughter off to her husband’s home. Please send some safflower to me (to dye some of her clothing).” In response, Imaam Laith (rahimahullah) sent him thirty loads of safflower! The safflower was so abundant that Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) sold a portion of it for five hundred dinars.
Similarly, a woman once came to Imaam Laith (rahimahullah) and addressed him saying, “O Abul Haarith! My son is ill and wishes to eat some honey!” (Although the woman was only requesting a small amount of honey for her son to eat,) Imaam Laith (rahimahullah) called out to his attendant and instructed him to give her the equivalent of almost 48kg of honey!
When Imaam Laith (rahimahullah) went to Madeenah Munawwarah, Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) sent a platter of fresh dates to him as a gift. When returning the platter, Imaam Laith (rahimahullah) first placed one thousand dinars on it and then sent it back to Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah).
On one occasion, the house of the hadeeth scholar, Ibnu Lahee‘ah (rahimahullah) caught alight and burnt down, causing all his books to be destroyed. The following day, Imaam Laith (rahimahullah) sent 1000 dinars to him.
(Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 8, pgs. 137-158)
Generosity and big-heartedness are the hallmark of the people of true imaan. Since they firmly believe that Allah Ta‘ala alone is the provider, and charity will bring barakah into their wealth – not decrease it, they readily spend on one and all. Imaam Laith (rahimahullah) had such a big heart that when people requested him for assistance, he would give them more than they asked for.
Furthermore, as in the case of Ibnu Lahee‘ah (rahimahullah), he did not wait for a person to ask him for assistance. Rather, wherever he saw an opportunity to assist, he seized it.
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