Read The Story (Find Suitable Word Meanings in The Vocabulary List)

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Once a man from among the Muslims of Madinah came to the Holy Prophet [s] begging for his needs. He was a poor man after all who did not have enough for himself and his family. The Holy Prophet [s] was not one to refuse any request for help. At the same time he did not like to encourage begging. He therefore asked the man, “Don’t you have anything in your house?”

“Yes,” said the man. “A saddle blanket which we wear sometimes and which we spread on the floor sometimes. And Oh yes! A container from which we drink water.”

“Bring them to me!” said the Prophet [s] who then took the items and asked some of his companions who were present, “Who will buy these two articles?” “I will,” said one man, “…for one silver coin.” Another said, “I will take them for two silver coins.”

The Holy Prophet [s] sold the articles for the two silver coins which he handed over to the poor man and said, “With one silver coin, buy food for your family and with the other buy an axe and bring it to me.”

The man returned with the axe. The Prophet [s] split a log with it and then instructed the man, “Go and gather firewood and sell it. Continue doing this and I do not want to see you for fifteen days.”

The man eagerly set out to fulfill the Holy Prophet’s [s] instructions. After all, the Companions [r] loved their Prophet [s] dearly and obeyed his every command. Using his axe, the man gathered wood and sold it, and after two weeks he had earned himself ten silver coins.

With some of the money he bought food and with some he bought clothes. He hurried back to Holy Prophet [s] excitedly to show him what he had earned. The Prophet [s] smiled, and how beautiful the blessed Prophet’s [s] smile was. It seemed as if the heavens and the earth were lit up from east to west.

The Holy Prophet [s] was very pleased, he knew that this was more dignified and respectful than begging. Human beings are the most noble of all Allah’s creatures and the Prophet [s] hated to see any person humiliate himself. The Holy Prophet [s] said to the poor in a gentle voice, “This is better than being disgraced, especially on the Day of Judgement when the faces of those who begged, (showing no self respect), will be branded.”