During the caliphate of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) there was a severe famine. The people of Madina were suffering due to a shortage of food.

A caravan of a thousand camels loaded with a large stock of food grains belonging to Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) arrived from Shaam (Syria). Several merchants offered to buy all of it.

He asked them what profit they would pay. “Five percent,” they said. He answered that he could get a higher profit than that. They began to argue with him, saying that they did not know of any merchant who would offer him more than their quote.

He said to them, “I know of one who repays a profit of more than seven hundred to a dirham.” He then recited the verse of the Noble Qur’an in which Allah mentioned this profit. “The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.(Qur’an, 2:261)

“O traders! Bear witness with me that I donate all this to the poor people of Madinah!” said Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him).

Dear readers, whatever we give for the sake of Allah is really ours and whatever we keep with us will one day be someone else’s. Let us follow the footsteps of our Prophet and the pious Sahabah, with whom Allah was pleased, by helping the needy ones.