Sheikh Shibli Rahmatullah alaihi says:
Once a voice whispered in my heart, ‘Shibli, you are a miser’
My proud self said, ‘I am not a miser.’
But the voice insisted, ‘No, you are a miser.’
I decided to make a trial of myself and said, addressing my own self, ‘In order to prove that I am not a miser, I shall give away any amount that I happen to receive, however large to the first poor man that I come across after receiving the money.’
As soon as I had made up my mind, a man came and offered me a gift of 50 Dinaars, which I took and went looking for some poor, needy person, as I had promised myself. I soon came upon a blind ragged man getting a haircut at a barber’s shop.
I put the Dinaars into the blind man’s lap, who said, ‘Give the money to the barber as his wages for cutting my hair.’
I said, ‘These are fifty Dinaars.’ (too large an amount to be given as wages for a haircut).
At this, the blind man turned to me and said, ‘Didn’t we say that you’re a miser?’
I hurriedly handed the barber the money, who declined to accept, saying, ‘Excuse me, when this man came to me, I decided no to take anything from him as wages, due to his extreme poverty.’
I felt so ashamed that I threw the bag of money into the river, saying, ‘Curse you, you filthy wealth! Allah Ta’ala humiliates him who has any regard for you, just as he has humiliated me.’