Shibli the miser

786

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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.

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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.’

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