THE GENEROSITY OF THE VIRTUOUS FAMILY OF THE PROPHET (MAY ALLAH RAISE THEIR RANKS)
It was narrated that one year, al-Hasan and al-Husein, sons of ^Ali bin Abi Talib, and ^Abdullah bin Ja^afar, their cousin, may Allah raise all of their ranks, left the enlightened Madinah and headed toward the honorable Makkah to perform Hajj. While traveling, they ran out of food and became very hungry and very thirsty.
The three honorable relatives passed by an old woman’s tent and asked her, “Do you have anything for us to drink?” She replied, “Yes.” She only had one small sheep. So they milked the sheep and then drank the milk. Then they asked the woman for food. She told them to slaughter the sheep and eat its meat, which they did.
When they had finished eating the three honorable men asked the lady to seek them out in al-Madinah after their return from Hajj. They wanted to repay her and give her something in return for what she had given them, for it was all she had.
Weeks passed and the old woman and her husband became very poor. They went to the enlightened Madinah, hoping to find work there. In order to get some money for food, they would collect the pits of the dates and sell them to the merchants so as to feed them to the camels.
One day, the woman was walking in al-Madinah and she passed by al-Hasan, may Allah raise his rank. He was sitting in front of his house and he recognized her. He called her. When she came he reminded her of himself and she remembered him. He ordered one of his servants to buy 1000 sheep. Then he gave her 1000 dinars(1) on top of that. Also, he told her to go to his brother al-Husein, may Allah raise his rank.
When the woman reached al-Husayn he gave her as al-Hasan had given her then he told her to go to ^Abdullah bin Ja^far. ^Abdullah bin Ja^far asked her, “What did the two brothers, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, give you?” She told him. Then Abdullah bin Ja^far gave her 2000 sheep and 2000 dinars and said, “Had you came to me first, you would have received more,” meaning that the two brothers would have given her double what he gave her.
The woman returned home to her husband with 4000 sheep and 4000 dinars and the tremendous generosity of the Prophet’s family became clear.
(1) Dinar is a golden currency used at that time.