The Prophet's Description of the States of
People in the World and Their Consequences in the
It is narrated from Abu Kabsha al-Anmari that he heard
the Prophet say: "I shall swear an oath to
three things. I shall tell you what these three things
are, so remember this well.
[1.] No property is ever diminished by the giving of
[2.] No servant [of Allah] is ever unjustly mistreated
and yet bears it patiently, except Allah shall
increase him in good reputation.
[3.] No servant [of Allah] begins to solicit charity
except Allah (swt) initiates poverty for him."
He also said: "I shall tell you something which you
must remember well. The world belongs to one of four
[1.] A servant [of Allah] upon whom Allah (swt)
bestowed property and knowledge, by means of which he
seeks to protect himself from His Lord's displeasure
and strengthen family ties, knowing that Allah
(swt) owns rights over that property and knowledge.
This is truly the best of stations.
[2.] A servant [of Allah] upon whom Allah (swt)
bestowed knowledge but not property, who is truthful
in his intention and says: `If I had property I would
do the deeds of So-and-so.' His status is according to
his intention, and the reward of each of the two is
exactly the same.
[3.] A servant [of Allah] upon whom Allah (swt)
bestowed property but not knowledge, who gropes
aimlessly with his property without knowledge, not
seeking to protect himself from His Lord's displeasure
with it, nor strengthening family ties with it, not
recognizing that Allah (swt) owns rights over that
property. This is truly the worst of stations.
[4.] A servant [of Allah] upon whom Allah (swt)
bestowed neither property nor knowledge, who says: `If
I had property, I would use it to do the [evil] deeds
of So-and-so.' His status is according to his
intention, and the burden of each of the two is
exactly the same."
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi who declared it hasan sahîh,
and Ibn Majah.
The meaning of "begins to solicit charity" is: begging
and asking for people's property when one is not
pushed by necessity. As for one pushed by necessity,
he is allowed to ask to whatever extent is necessary
if unable to meet his need through work and the like.
The meaning of "I would do the deeds of So-and-so" in
the first instance is: I would give in charity and
perform good deeds just as that wealthy, generous, and
Godwary person is doing. In the second instance it
means that he formed the intention, if he had
property, to grope aimlessly and commit transgressions
with it such as So-and-so does, squandering and
sinning with it. Through such an intention, the other
person's offense becomes his also.