The Quran teaches us to get rid of junk from around us, whether it’s in the garage or home, but more so from our hearts and mind, “The successful is the one who has purified himself” (Al-Ala: 14). That’s the one who rids their heart and mind of arrogance, anger, jealousy, greed and lust. Until we clear ourselves of these damaging traits, we cannot flourish nor enjoy the wonderful things Allah has given us. We would be like the beggar queen.
The Beggar Queen
There was once a woman who begged on the streets. She was dressed in tattered rags and had a forlorn expression on her face. She would often scold passersby who didn’t give her money. One day, I heard a rumour that this beggar woman actually lived in a nice house. I couldn’t believe it. I had seen her begging for money with my own eyes. How could she possibly afford a nice house?
I decided to follow her home one day. To my surprise, she did indeed live in a beautiful house. It was located in a wealthy neighbourhood. I later learned that the beggar woman had inherited the house from her father. She had been born into poverty, but her father had worked hard to provide for her. When he died, he left her the house as his sole inheritance.
However, the woman was unable to enjoy her inheritance. She had become accustomed to living in poverty, and she couldn’t bring herself to leave behind the rubbish in her life. She continued to beg on the streets, even though she didn’t need the money. The woman’s story is a reminder that wealth is not the same as happiness. True happiness comes from within. It is important to be content with what we have and to appreciate the good things in our lives.
The Generous Ruler
Rumi tells the story of a generous ruler whose kingdom was known for its prosperity and abundance. People from all over the land would come to seek his help and support, and he was always willing to oblige.
One day, a poor beggar arrived at the ruler’s palace with a jug of water as a gift. He thought that the ruler must need water just as much as anyone else, especially in the desert kingdom. The guards at the gate welcomed him and delivered the jug of water to the ruler.
The ruler was deeply touched by the beggar’s humility and generosity. He ordered his servants to give the beggar gifts and robes of honour. Then he said, “Hand him this jug that I filled with gold and then show him the river Tigris flowing behind the palace. He has come here through the desert, so let him now travel by boat on the Tigris. He will get home much quicker.”
The poor beggar was overwhelmed with gratitude. He bowed and blushed with shame and pride and prayed, “O Allah, that generous king was unbelievable! He has taken my humble gift, that’s incredible! How did that sea of generosity accept my worthless present so readily?”
The beggar’s story teaches us that even the smallest acts of kindness and generosity can be greatly appreciated. It also reminds us that true wealth comes from within and that those who are generous with their time, resources, and love are truly blessed.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was perhaps describing this when he said, “Two angels always sing with sweet sounds: Lord keep all the spenders satisfied, multiply their wealth, but the misers let their wealth perish, so they lose it all” (Bukhari).
Giving is a reward in itself
The Messenger (peace be upon him) found the greatest fulfilment in giving, not receiving, giving is its own reward. For him, being successful meant making others successful. For him, being joyful meant bringing joy to others. That’s because he didn’t look to people for his reward, but to Allah. He would say “I don’t seek any reward in return.”
Hasan al-Basri, a prominent jurist and scholar of the Tabi’een would ask himself two questions every day:
- In the morning: What good can I do today?
- At night: What good have I done today?
By answering these questions selflessly, al-Basri cultivated a deep sense of mindfulness. He was constantly aware of his actions and intentions, and he sought to make a positive impact on the world around him. Al-Basri’s two questions are a simple yet powerful practice for anyone who wants to cultivate mindfulness.
Respecting the Prophet’s inheritance
The Majestic Quran is an inspirational, aspirational, and livable guide to a purposeful and prosperous life. Its moral values and practical laws are timeless and universal. We Muslims are fortunate to have inherited this precious gift from our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). He said, “I leave behind two weighty and valuable things for you: the Quran and my family. Hold tightly to them and you will never go wrong” (Muslim).
Let us heed the Prophet’s guidance and hold tightly to the Quran and his family. May Allah guide us all to a life of righteousness and success.