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Beautiful Story of Wealth and How You will be Tested


I heard this story today and it reminded me that our money does not belong to us.  Greediness is strictly prohibited in Islam and we should all remember that wealth can be removed at a moment's notice. 


The Prophet, peace be upon him, told a story, "There were three Israelites, a leper, a bald man, and a blind one. In order to test them, God sent an angel to them."

The angel came to the leper and said, "What would you like most?"

He said, "A good complexion and good skin, and riddance of that for which people have considered me unclean."

Then the angel passed his hand over him, and his uncleanness disappeared from him, and he acquired a good complexion.

Now the angel said, "And what would you like most to have?"

He said, "Camels."

So he was given a she-camel in her tenth month of pregnancy. He said, "God bless you for this."

Then the angel came to the bald man and said, "What would you like most?"

He said, "Nice hair, and riddance of this condition for which people dislike me."

Then the angel passed his hand over him, and his baldness disappeared as he acquired a full head of hair.

Now the angel said to him, "And what would you like to have?"

He said, "Cattle."

So he was given a pregnant cow. And he said, "God bless you for this."

Then the angel came to the blind man and said, "What would you like most?"

He said, "That God may restore my vision so I might see people."

So the angel passed his hand over him and God restored his eyesight.

Now the angel said, "And what would you like to have?"

He said, "Sheep."

So he was given a pregnant ewe.
 

The former two animals gave birth, and so did this latter one; eventually one of the men had a valley full of camels, one had a valley full of cattle, and one had a valley full of sheep. 

Then the angel came to the leper in disguise and said, "I am a poor man, at the end of my rope on my journey, without recourse this day except to God and to you. I ask you-by the One who gave you a good complexion, good skin, and wealth-for a camel whereby I may make it to the end of my journey."

But the man said, "I have many obligations."

Then the angel said, "I seem to know you. Weren't you a leper, shunned by society as unclean, impoverished? And did not God give to you?"

He said, "I simply inherited this wealth, grown generation after generation."

The angel said, "You are a liar. May God make you as you were."

Then the angel came to the formerly bald man in disguise and spoke to him as he had the former leper. And the formerly bald man replied as had the former leper. So the angel said, "You are a liar. May God make you as you were." 


Then the angel also came to the formerly blind man and said, "I am a poor man, on the road, at the end of my rope on my journey, with no resort this day but to God and to you. I ask you-by the One who restored your vision-for a sheep to tide me over on my way." 



The man said, "I used to be blind, but God restored my eyesight. Take whatever you want, and leave what you will.

For by God I will give you no trouble about anything you take today for the sake of God."

The angel said, "Keep what you have; for you were only being tested. God is pleased with you, and displeased with the other two."

 
The following story is related in Sahih Bukhari (004.056.670) Translated by Thomas Cleary