Hadith on Work: Prophet Helps Needy Man Become Self-Sufficient

📖Sunan Abi Dawud 1641
Narrated Anas ibn Malik: A man of the Ansar came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and begged from him. He (the Prophet) asked: Have you nothing in your house? He replied: Yes, a piece of cloth, a part of which we wear and a part of which we spread (on the ground), and a wooden bowl from which we drink water. He said: Bring them to me. He then brought these articles to him and he (the Prophet) took them in his hands and asked: Who will buy these? A man said: I shall buy them for one dirham. He said twice or thrice: Who will offer more than one dirham? A man said: I shall buy them for two dirhams. He gave these to him and took the two dirhams and, giving them to the Ansari, he said: Buy food with one of them and hand it to your family, and buy an axe and bring it to me. He then brought it to him. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) fixed a handle on it with his own hands and said: Go, gather firewood and sell it, and do not let me see you for a fortnight. The man went away and gathered firewood and sold it. When he had earned ten dirhams, he came to him and bought a garment with some of them and food with the others. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) then said: This is better for you than that begging should come as a spot on your face on the Day of Judgment. Begging is right only for three people: one who is in grinding poverty, one who is seriously in debt, or one who is responsible for compensation and finds it difficult to pay.

  • This Hadith you mentioned describes an incident in which a man from the Ansar came to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and begged for help. The Prophet asked him if he had anything in his possession, and the man replied that he had only a piece of cloth, a wooden bowl, and some water. The Prophet asked him to bring these items to him, and then he asked if anyone would like to buy them. A man offered to buy the items for one dirham, but the Prophet asked if anyone would offer more. Another man offered two dirhams, and the Prophet sold the items to him. He then gave the two dirhams to the Ansari and advised him to use one to buy food for his family and the other to buy an axe. The Prophet instructed him to use the axe to gather firewood and sell it, and not to return for a fortnight. The man followed the Prophet’s instructions, gathered firewood, sold it, and earned ten dirhams. He then returned to the Prophet and used some of the money to buy a garment and some to buy food. The Prophet then told him that it was better for him to work and earn a living than to beg, which would be a blemish on his face on the Day of Judgment.

This Hadith shows that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) helped the man in need by giving him a means to earn a living and supporting him in his efforts. The Prophet’s guidance and support helped the man become self-sufficient and prevented him from having to resort to begging for his sustenance.