The Legacy of the Prophet
In a Hadeeth on the authority of ‘Amr ibn Al-Haarith, may Allah be pleased with him, he said, “When the Messenger of Allah died, he left neither a dinar nor a dirham, nor a male slave nor a female slave, nor anything else except his white mule, his weapon and a piece of land in Khaybar, which he had given in charity to wayfarers.” [Al-Bukhari]
In a Hadeeth on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, she said, “The Messenger of Allah did not leave [after his death] a dinar, a dirham, or a sheep or a camel, and he did not leave a will [that a third of his property or anything else should be given to someone specifically as he left no money at all].” [Muslim]
The Prophet, , said: “We [prophets] do not leave anything as inheritance. Whatever we leave is charity.” [Al-Bukhari] The Prophet, , was not sent as a hoarder of money; rather, he was sent as a guide, a giver of glad tidings, a warner, a caller to Allah The Almighty by His permission and as a lamp spreading light. This was the case with all the prophets and messengers, may Allah exalt their mention. Hence, the Prophet, , said: “Scholars are the heirs of the prophets and the prophets do not leave behind a dinar or a dirham but rather, only [leave behind] knowledge, and whoever acquires it, has, in fact, acquired an abundant portion.” [Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah, Al-Albaani - Saheeh]
The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, comprehended this fact completely. In a Hadeeth on the authority of Sulaymaan ibn Mihraan he said: “Whilst Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, was sitting with some of his companions, a Bedouin passed by them and asked, ‘For what do these people gather?’ Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, said, ‘They gather to distribute the legacy of Muhammad .’” [Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadi]
The legacy that the Prophet, , left is the Quran, the Sunnah, knowledge and guidance. Hence, he died and did not leave behind a dinar, a dirham, a male slave, a female slave, a camel, a sheep or anything except his mule and a piece of land, which he left as charity for wayfarers.
In a Hadeeth on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, she said, “The Prophet died while his armor was pawned with a Jew in return for thirty Saa‘ [cupped double handfuls of barley.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This clearly indicates that the Prophet, , would have only what sufficed him in the worldly life without asking people for anything. He did not ask money from his Companions or borrow from them because they might not have accepted that he pawn anything or to take money from him and would have given him everything free of charge. Hence, he dealt with a Jew in order to not make any one of his Companions fall into distress. He would feel hungry, and sometimes a month or even two would pass and no fire for cooking was kindled at the home of the Prophet, . ‘Urwah said to ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, “What was your means of sustenance?”She replied, “Dates and water…” [Al-Bukhari]
In spite of all this hardship, the Prophet, , would say: “What have I to do with the world? I am like a rider on a summer’s day who had sat under a tree for its shade for a while, then went away and left it.” [Ahmad, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah]
In conclusion, there are many lessons and benefits to be learned from this article, such as:
1- The prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, were not sent to hoard money; rather, they were sent to guide people and take them out from darkness to light. Hence, they did not leave a dinar or a dirham as inheritance; rather, they left knowledge and whoever takes it acquires an abundant portion.
2- The asceticism of the Prophet, , in the worldly life and its perishable gains. He was like a rider who sat under a tree for its shade and then he proceeded on his journey.
3- The Prophet’s, , refraining from asking people for help. He used to borrow and pawn in order not ask his Companions for help. Thus, he died while his armor was mortgaged with a Jewish man in return for thirty Saa‘ of barley.
4- The straitened circumstances of the Prophet, , to the extent that sometimes a month or two would pass while there was no fire kindled at his home. Their means of sustenance were dates and water.
May all blessings and peace be upon the Prophet, , as long as there is day and night. We supplicate to Allah The Almighty to make us among the true followers of the Prophet, , and to gather us in his company on the Day of Judgment.