Water, salt, and fire

Buhaisah Radhiallaho anha has related that when her father asked Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam "What is the thing not to be refused (if asked for by someone)?" Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam replied, "Water." Her father then asked the same question again, to which Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam replied, ‘Salt’. When her father repeated the question once again, the Prophet Sallallaho alaihe wasallam replied, "Whatever good you can do (to someone) is better for you." Note: If the water is meant to be taken from the well and salt from a mine, then, according to Shariah, no one has the right to stop anyone who is in need, even when both the water and the salt are owned by someone. Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam admonished never to refuse such simple things to a needy person, as these do not cost the owner much but the receiver’s urgent need is met. As these ordinary things are commonly available in homes, their urgent need and scarcity is not felt. A small quantity of salt given to someone for his curry will make his food tasty, without much loss to you. Similar is the case in respect of giving water to someone. Aishah Radhiallaho anha narrates that Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam said, "It is improper to refuse three things to anyone: salt, water and a bit of live fire." She then said that the need for giving water was understood, but the case of salt and fire was not clear? Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam replied, "O Humairah! When someone gives a bit of fire to a person in need, it is as if all the things cooked on the fire were given as Sadaqah to the needy; and for the one who gives a bit of salt, all things that become tasty by its use will count as Sadaqah. So the gain to the giver is enormous". In the main Hadith, Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam has mentioned two things as examples and then he has stated a principle, ‘to do good as much as you can to someone is good for you". The fact is that when someone does any type of favour to another person, it is indeed a favour to oneself: Allah Ta’ala’s commandments mentioned, says, that whatever you spend in the path of Allah, you will receive a return from Him. It has

been mentioned that two angels permanently pray to Allah Ta’ala for a good return for those who spend for Allah’s sake and ruin for him who holds back his wealth. Under such circumstances, when one does a material favour to another person, he actually saves his wealth from an evil fate and at the same time establishes a right for a handsome return from the treasury of Allah Ta’ala. A serious consideration of the matter will reveal the truth that we are not doing any favour to another person, but it may well be that he has saved your home from plunder, which shows that he has done you a favour and not you to him. Sa’ad Radhiallaho anho enquired from Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam that, as his mother was dead, what type of Sadaqah would be best? (for inviting Divine blessings for her soul). Rasulullah Sallallaho alaihe wasallam replied that water was the best of all. On that, Sa’ad had a well dug, so that his mother should receive the blessings. Note: Supplying water was considered to be the best Sadaqah, as there was scarcity of it in Madinah. All hot countries suffer from shortage of water, but there was an acute shortage in Madinah in those days. Besides this, the benefits of water are common, as also its use. One of the Ahadith says that whoever arranges a water-supply system, where from men, jinns and birds drink, will keep on receiving blessings and reward until the Day of Judgement, even after his death. Abdullah Ibne Mubarak Rahmatullah alaihe salam was visited by a person who complained about a wound on his knee, saying that, despite continuous treatment by many physicians for the last seven years, it had not healed at all. Abdullah Ibne Mubarak Rahmatullah alaihe salam advised him to have a well dug at a place where drinking water was scarce and said, ‘I have full trust in Allah Ta’ala that, as soon as the water appears in the well, the wound will heal up.’ The person acted accordingly and his wound was completely cured.

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