The Prophet not only taught this man a way to earn money, he also taught him self-respect and self-confidence.
By Sheima Salam Sumer
A man of the Ansar came to the Prophet (pbuh) begging of him. The Prophet said, “Do you have nothing in your house?”
The man said, “Yes, I have a woolen carpet, with one part of which we cover ourselves, and spread the other, and a cup in which we drink water.”
The Prophet said, “Come to me with them both.”
The man came to him with both, and the Prophet took them in his hand and said, “Who will buy these two?”
One man said, “I will take them both for one dirham.”
The Prophet said, “Who will give more than a dirham?” This he repeated twice or thrice.
Another man said, “I will take them both for two dirhams.”
Then the Prophet gave them both to that man, and took the two dirhams, and gave them to the needy man, and said, “Buy food with one of these, and let it go to your family, and buy a hatchet with the other, and come to me with it.” The man came to him with it. The Prophet fixed a handle to it with his own hands, and then said, “Go, cut wood, and sell it, and let me not see you for fifteen days.”
The man did as he was bidden. Then he came back when he had already got ten dirhams; and he bought a garment with part of it, and food with part. Then the Prophet said, “This is better for you than that you should come on the Day of Resurrection with black marks upon your face.” (Begging without true need is a sin).
(Hadith recorded in Abu Daud, Tirmidthi, Ibn Majah)
The Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) showed love to this man by doing what was in the man’s best interest. The Prophet did not just give the man what he wanted”money”but empowered the man to become independent of others. Empowering others is a form of love. The Prophet not only taught this man a way to earn money, he also taught him self-respect and self-confidence. The Prophet taught this man to take responsibility for his life.