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The Importance of the Poor in Islam: A Hadith on Allah’s Mercy and Community

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: Many years ago, I read a book in which a hadith was cited wherein a wealthy Sahabi (radi’Allahu anhu) uttered a criticism and complaint about the existence in the midst of other Sahaba (radi’Allahu anhum) who were poor and therefore perceived as being an unduly burden on the community. As I recall – and I ask Allah’s forgivness if I am mistaken in my recollection – Nabi sal’Allahu alayhi wa sallam, did not take kindly to the attitude of the Sahabi (radi’Allahu anhu) and rebuked him by saying words to the effect that it was only because of the existence of such poor people, that Allah’s Mercy reached the community of believers at all.

Please confirm:

1. Whether such a hadith exists; and if does,

2. Whether it is reliable and authentic, and

3. If it is, provide me with a copy of the Hadith in Arabic together with a parallel english language translation?


A: These are the wordings of the hadeeth: “You are assisted and sustained only on account of the weak among you.” However, we cannot recall the exact context of the hadeeth.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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