The Spender, The Rock, The Dust and The Heavy Rain – [One of The Finest and Most Profound Parables]


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

Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تُبۡطِلُواْ صَدَقَـٰتِكُم بِٱلۡمَنِّ وَٱلۡأَذَىٰ كَٱلَّذِى يُنفِقُ مَالَهُ ۥ رِئَآءَ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلَا يُؤۡمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِ‌ۖ فَمَثَلُهُ ۥ كَمَثَلِ صَفۡوَانٍ عَلَيۡهِ تُرَابٌ۬ فَأَصَابَهُ ۥ وَابِلٌ۬ فَتَرَڪَهُ ۥ صَلۡدً۬ا‌ۖ لَّا يَقۡدِرُونَ عَلَىٰ شَىۡءٍ۬ مِّمَّا ڪَسَبُواْ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهۡدِى ٱلۡقَوۡمَ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ

O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 264]

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said:

This Aayah establishes the fact that flaunting and harming nullifies [the reward of Sadaqah]. It is a proof to show that good deeds can be nullified by evil deeds, as well as based on the statement of Allaah:[ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَرۡفَعُوٓاْ أَصۡوَٲتَكُمۡ فَوۡقَ صَوۡتِ ٱلنَّبِىِّ وَلَا تَجۡهَرُواْ لَهُ ۥ بِٱلۡقَوۡلِ كَجَهۡرِ بَعۡضِڪُمۡ لِبَعۡضٍ أَن تَحۡبَطَ أَعۡمَـٰلُكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تَشۡعُرُونَ – O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds may be rendered fruitless while you perceive not]. [Surah Al-Hujuraat. Aayah 2]

So Allaah [The Most High] said: [يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تُبۡطِلُواْ صَدَقَـٰتِكُم بِٱلۡمَنِّ وَٱلۡأَذَىٰ كَٱلَّذِى يُنفِقُ مَالَهُ ۥ رِئَآءَ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلَا يُؤۡمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِ‌ۖ فَمَثَلُهُ ۥ كَمَثَلِ صَفۡوَانٍ عَلَيۡهِ تُرَابٌ۬ فَأَصَابَهُ ۥ وَابِلٌ۬ فَتَرَڪَهُ ۥ صَلۡدً۬ا‌ۖ    – O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare] –Meaning: The likeness of this spender, whose [reward for] spending has been nullified is that of a Safwaan- a rock that has a smooth surface, flat and slippery, and there’s dust on this rock, so heavy rain falls on it and leaves it bare – nothing on it, neither any Nabaat [i.e. shrubs, grass, ferns, herbs, plants etc] nor other than it. This is one of the finest and most profound parables, because it establishes a likeness between the heart of this spender who shows off –  whose spending is not based on belief in Allaah and the last day – to a rock, due to its hardness, rigid nature and is not benefited from. It [i.e. this parable] establishes the likeness of the effects [or end result] of charity to the fine dust that was on that rock, and the heavy rain that removes it – took it away just like the thing that nullify [the reward of] his charity and remove it. So, the spender is not able to gain anything from the reward of his charity due to it being nullified and removed.

There is another meaning regarding this and that is: Based on what is apparent from the one who spends for other than the sake Allaah, is that he has performed a deed that will result in reward, so it seems as if it is made to grow for him just as the grain that is sown in the good soil and it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains; however behind this spending there is something that prevents it from gaining anything and from being upright, just as the rock under the soil that prevents a seed from germinating and thus does not bring out anything.

[An Excerpt from Tareequl Hijratayn. Pages 453-454. Slightly paraphrased. Publisher Daar Ibn Rajab 3rd edition 1421AH (2001)]


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