Why Did Abdullah Bin Salaam [radiyallaahu-anhu] Carry Firewood In The Market Place, Even Though He Was Wealthy?!

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Abdullaah Bin Salaam [radiyallaahu-anhu] walked in the marketplace whilst carrying a bundle of firewood; so it was said to him, “Has Allaah not given you enough wealth [to prevent you from] this? He said, ‘Certainly; but I want to repel pride. I heard Allaah’s Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] saying, ‘The one with the weight of a grain of mustard seed of pride will not enter paradise”.

This hadeeth is clear proof regarding the fact that pride is forbidden and that is one of the major sins. And because of this, a person is forbidden to characterise himself with pride-mocking at the people and rejecting the truth. Indeed, the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] described pride in his statement, [saying]: “Pride is to reject the truth and belittle the people”- meaning: rejects the truth and does not accept it; mocks at the people and does not consider them to be nothing by looking down on them and raising himself above them- either due to his abundant wealth, high [social] status, lineage or due to other reasons.

In this hadeeth, there is proof to show that a Muslim servant of Allaah- the sensible and smart one – guards himself, places himself in a situation that is pleasing to Allaah and disciplines himself with the Islamic manners. And when it is the case that the soul is weak and can be misguided, therefore Abdullah Bin Salaam [radiyallaahu-anhu] desired to discipline his soul by carrying a bundle of firewood on his back or his head, even though he was able to hire someone else to carry it on his behalf; but he desired something that was very important and that was to repel pride from his soul, and place himself in a situation of humility, which Allaah loves to see from His slaves. [An Excerpt from At-taleeqaat Al-Maleehah Alaa Silsilah Al-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah. Vol 1. Page 269. Slightly paraphrased]

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