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Moderation in Islam: Feed a hungry man before preaching

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commonsense

A beautiful story from the Buddhist scripture Dhammapada.

Feed a hungry man before preaching

“One day, the Buddha(a.s.) saw in his vision that a poor man would attain the first stage of Sainthood at the village of Alavi. So he went to the village. It so happened that on that very day the man had lost his ox. So, he went to look for his ox. Meanwhile, the people offered alms food to the Buddha(a.s.) and the bhikkhus. After the meal, people got ready to listen to the Buddha(a.s.)’s discourse, but he waited for the poor man. Finally having found his ox, the man came running to pay his respects to the Buddha(a.s.). Because he was tired and hungry, and having ascertained that there was still food left the Enlightened One directed the donors to offer him food first. Only when the man had eaten did the Buddha(a.s.) expound the Dhamma step by step leading to the Four Noble Truths. The poor man attained the first stage of Sainthood at the end of the discourse.

Afterwards, the Buddha(a.s.) and the bhikkhus returned to the Jetavana monastery. On the way, the bhikkhus remarked that it was so surprising that the Buddha(a.s.) should have directed those people to feed the poor man before he gave the discourse. On hearing their remarks, he said, ‘Bhikkhus! The sole reason of my coming to Alavi is to expound the Dhamma to the man because I knew he had the abilities to realise the Dhamma. If he was feeling very hungry, the pangs of hunger might have prevented him from comprehending the Dhamma fully. That man had been looking for his ox the whole morning, and was very tired and also very hungry. Bhikkhus! After all, there is no ailment which is so difficult to bear as hunger.’” (Fifth Part, Chapter 15, Dhammapada)

Importance of moderation

Mark of believers as per Quran
“And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly but moderate between the two;” (Chapter25: verse 68)

Reason why God created Muslims.
You are the best people raised for the good of mankind. (Chapter 3 : Verse 111)

Some lights from Hadis on moderation.

Ibn Mas’ud reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Those who make things hard for themselves will be destroyed.” He said it three times. [Muslin] ( Number 144, Chapter14, Riyad as-Salihin)

Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The deen is easy. Anyone who makes the deen too hard on himself will find it becomes too much for him. So aim for what is right, follow a middle path, accept the good news of the reward for right action, and seek help [to reach your goal by being constant in worshipping] in the morning, evening and some of the night.”[al-Bukhari] ( Number 145, Chapter14, Riyad as-Salihin)

Abu Rib’i Hanzala ibn ar-Rabi’ al-Usaydi the scribe, one of the scribes of the Messenger of Allah, said, “Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, met me and said, ‘How are you, Hanzala?’ I said, ‘Hanzala is a hypocrite!’ I said, Glory be to Allah! What are you saying!’ I said, ‘We were with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who reminded us of the Garden and the Fire and it was as if we could see them with our eyes. When we leave the presence of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, we attend to our wives, children and estates in a state of great heedlessness.’ Abu Bakr said, ‘By Allah, we have experienced the same as this!’ So Abu Bakr and I went to visit the Messenger of Allah and I said, ‘Hanzala is a hypocrite, Messenger of Allah!’ The Messenger of Allahmay Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Why is that?’ I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, when we are with you,you remind us of the Garden and Fire and it is as if we could see them with our eyes. When we leave your presence, we attend to our wives, children and estates in a state of great heedlessness.’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘By the One in whose hand my soul is, if you were to remain in the state you are in when you are in my presence and in the dhikr, the angels would shake hands with you on your bed and in the street, but, Hanzala, different times are not the same.’ three times.” [Muslim] ( Number 151, Chapter14, Riyad as-Salihin)

A last word: Free speech Vs. common sense

Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbour. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should honour his guest. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak well or be silent.” (Number 308  Chapter 39,)

Posted by on February 18, 2012. Filed under Buddhism,Human values,Interfaith tolerance,Islam,ISLAM. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

4 Responses to Moderation in Islam: Feed a hungry man before preaching

  1. Jalal

    February 19, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Nice reminder of our obligations to serve humanity as part and parcel of our obligations to God…

  2. Muslim

    September 1, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Why are you writing “a.s” (alayhi salam) after Buddha’s name? He was not a Muslim nor a Prophet/Messenger.

  3. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    September 1, 2013 at 4:16 am

    In the Qur’an it is stated that there are many prophets whose name Allah did not mention and that ‘We sent Warners to all peoples’. May be Buddha was a prophet.

  4. Stephanie

    October 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Dear brothers and sisters and especially sisters who are able to stay at home (having more time) who likes to cook easy dishes like simple salty/sweet snack pastry or whatever is easy to make,get motivated to ask your city’s help/aid organisations if you and fellow muslims are able to bring food to help feeding the needed and orphans no matter what status and religion they are. Why?
    1)InshAllah rewarded from the Almighty
    2) Showing especially the West and Europe what a muslim really is, without us, they will only believe in the bad media about muslims!
    3) This might be your Dawah indirectly to them!
    And whats the best of it? Many food ingredients are just 1 Dollar or under! (Wheat, milk etc) so cheap for big rewards!! And asking a family member or friend to help you make the food or bring it there will inshAllah get you rewarded for calling fellow family and friends to do good!!! Yipiii! Do it! May the righteous get a ticket to Paradise. Ameen

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