Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran: ‘And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty’. (TMQ: 17:29)
In the previous verse Allah (swt) has enlightened us about how to deal with the situation in which a needy person asks us for help at a time when we are facing a financial crisis and are waiting for help from Allah (swt). In this verse, i.e. 17:29 Allah (swt) has guided us about the right way of spending money. This verse means that a man should not be either stingy or spendthrift when it comes to expenditure i.e. a man should spend in a balanced way. If a man is well-off but miserly when it comes to charity, then he will have to face a lot of flak in the society. On the other hand, if a wealthy man spends too much in charity then he may be left high and dry. So it may not be suitable for a wealthy person to either spend so much in charity that he is left penniless or without resources to fulfill his family’s own needs. Neither does it seem to be appropriate if a well-off person behaves in such a stingy way that people start accusing him of being miserly and apathetic towards the poor and the needy.
Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran: And let not those amongst you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear (not to give) any sort of help to their kinsmen, the needy and those ho left their home for Allah’s cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving and most Merciful’. (TMQ-24:22)
There is a particular incident (that took place after the invasion of Bani-ul- Mustaliq) which serves as the background of the Quranic verse, 24:22. This incident occurred after the Holy Quran had laid down the injunction of veil for women. On their return journey, Prophet Mohammad (saw) and his Companions (ra) halted to take rest (at a place near Madinah) at night. In the morning when they started the journey back home, Hazrat Ayesha (ra) was left behind as she was busy searching for her lost necklace. When she returned to her tent she saw that the caravan had already left that place. She waited there in the hope that when the caravan will realize that they have left her behind they will come back looking for her. After some time Hazrat Safwaan ibn al- Moattail ai- Salmi (ra) came to her rescue as he was in-charge of looking out for those things which used to be left behind the caravan mistakenly. He had seen Hazrat Ayesha (ra) before the Command of veil for women has been given by the Quran. So he recognized her and took her back to Madinah. He offered her his own camel whereas he walked side-by side holding the camel’s rope. After some time both of them caught up with the caravan.
In the meantime, the hypocrite Muslims of that era had seen Hazrat Ayesha (ra) coming back with Safwaan ibn al- Moattail ai- Salmi (ra). They seized this opportunity to defame her. At this critical juncture, the cousin of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra), Hazrat Masta also joined the hypocrite Muslims who were accusing Hazrat Ayesha (ra) and Safwaan ibn al- Moattail ai- Salmi (ra). Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) was the benefactor of his cousin, Hazrat Masta. Therefore, Hazrat Masta’s accusation came as a rude shock to Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra). In verse 24:11 Allah (swt) proved Hazrat Ayesha (ra)’s innocence and announced severe punishment for those who had slandered her and Hazrat Safwaan ibn al- Moattail ai- Salmi (ra).
After the verse 24:11 was revealed Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) swore to himself that he will no longer support his cousin Hazrat Masta. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique’s reaction to the defamation of his daughter Hazrat Ayesha (ra) by Hazrat Masta was quite natural but it did not suit his noble and pious character. So Allah (swt) disliked his vengeance and revealed this verse, i.e. 24:22. Through this verse Allah (swt) has reminded the believers that anybody amongst them can make a mistake too. So when the believers wish to be forgiven by Allah (swt) for their misdemeanors then why should they not forgive those who have wronged themus?
This verse had such a great impact on Hazrat Abu Siddique (ra) that he promptly replied, ‘Why not our Lord? We wish to be forgiven by You’. Following this he offered penalty for breaking his oath and he continued the guardianship of his cousin, Hazrat Masta’s.
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