📖Sahih Muslim 1042 a
Abu Huraira is reported to have heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: It is better for one among you to bring a load of firewood on his back and give charity out of it (and satisfy his own need) and be independent of people, than that he should beg from people, whether they give him anything or refuse him. Verily the upper hand is better than the lower hand, and begin (charity) with your dependents.
From this hadith, we can learn several lessons:
- Self-reliance and independence: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encourages believers to strive for self-sufficiency and independence rather than relying on others for their needs. He illustrates this by saying that it is better for a person to work hard, earn a livelihood (such as by carrying a load of firewood), and give charity from their own earnings rather than resorting to begging.
- The virtue of giving: The hadith emphasizes the importance of charity and giving to those in need. It encourages individuals to be generous and help others, even if they are personally in need themselves. It implies that giving charity is a means of purifying one’s wealth and attaining spiritual benefits.
- The superiority of the upper hand: The phrase “verily the upper hand is better than the lower hand” signifies the virtue of being a giver rather than a receiver. It implies that it is more honorable and virtuous to give charity than to be in a position of dependence or seeking assistance from others.
- Prioritizing family and dependents: The hadith advises believers to start their acts of charity and support with their own dependents, indicating the importance of taking care of one’s family members and providing for their needs before extending assistance to others.
Overall, this hadith encourages self-reliance, emphasizes the importance of charity, and highlights the superiority of being a giver rather than a receiver. It promotes a sense of personal responsibility and generosity within the community.