Waqidi – who was one the greatest scholars during the time of Caliph Mamun – narrates the following incident:
I had two friends, one of who was a Hashimite. Our firendship was so sincere, that we were in fact one souls in three bodies!
Once during Eid season, I had no money. My wife said to me,“You and I can tolerate these hardships. However, I am very much grieved because our children see other children wearing new dresses and adorning themselves for Eid, whereas thier own clothes are old and torn. See if you can get some money so that I can make new clothes for them.”
I could not think of any solution to the problem, so I wrote a letter to my Hashimite friend and requested him to assist me.
My friend sent me a sealed bag and informed me that it contained 1000 dirhams. I had not yet opened the bag when someone who was sent by my other friend came. He informed me about my firend’s financial difficulties and sough help from me. I gave him the bag to take it to my other friend. I then went to the mosque with a heavy heart. As I felt ashamed to face my wife, I spent the night there.
When I went home in the morning, to my surprise, she recieved me with a cheerful face and was pleased at my having done good to my friend and having considered his needs before considering my own.
In the meant ime, my Hashimite friend arrived at my house and asked me curiously,“Tell me the truth. What have you done with the bag of money which I had sent to you yesterday?”
I told him the whole incident. After hearing me out, he bowed his head down for a moment and then said, “Yesterday when you sent me a message asn asked for help, I had no money except this bag. I sent it to you and wrote a letter to our other friend seeking his help. He sent me my own selaed bag and I could not understand the matter till you just explained it to me.”
Waqidi says,“The three of us divided the money amongt ourselves and one hundred dirhams out of it was given to my wife. When Mamun heard about this strange incidentm he sent me and enquired about the matter. I related the entire incident to him. Mamun then ordered that 2000 dinars should be given to each one of us and 1000 dinars to my wife as a gift.”
Extracted from: Lessons of Islam)