Truthful Stories from the Sunnah

• Water So-and-So’s Garden (first issue)

By: Hassanah bint Abdullah al-Jamili (Iraq) - 2012-09-10

The hadeeth:

 

 

            Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said, “Once, a man was in the desert, and he heard a voice from a cloud saying, ‘Water the garden of so-and-so’, so that cloud poured rain on an area filled with volcanic rocks, which then poured into water channels.  The man continued to follow the path of the water, until he came across a man standing in his garden, collecting the water for his garden.  He said to him, ‘O slave of Allah, what is your name?’ He said, ‘So-and-so’, and the man’s name was that which was heard from the cloud earlier.  The man with the garden said, ‘O slave of Allah, what makes you ask me for my name?’ He replied, ‘I heard a voice from the clouds which poured this very water, saying, ‘Water the garden of so-and-so’, and it mentioned your name.  What do you use this water for?  The man said, ‘Since you asked, I look at what comes out of the cloud, and I give a third in charity, my family and I eat from a third of it, and I use another third for watering my garden.

           

 

            General Explanation of the Hadeeth:

            This is a story of a righteous man, who was among the helpers of Allah, who was pious, and one of his best actions of righteousness was giving charity and spending in Allah’s Sake.

            So as a man was walking in a vast piece of land, he heard a voice from the clouds saying, “Water so-and-so’s garden.” So the cloud proceeded until it reached a vast piece of land filled with many volcanic rocks, and it poured all of its rain therein, and that rain gathered in water channels.  The man followed the path of the water flow in these channels until he reached the garden of this righteous man.

            The righteous man was standing in his garden directing the water with his shovel, and the man who initially heard the voice was surprised and approached the owner of the garden and said, “O slave of Allah, what is your name?” The owner of the garden replied, “So-and-so.”Meaning that he stated his name.  It turned out that the man’s name was the name being mentioned in that cloud.

            The righteous man was surprised at the question about his name, and he said, “O slave of Allah, what makes you ask me my name?” So the man who heard the cloud informed the righteous owner of the garden what he heard in the cloud, and that he followed the path of the water until he saw that it ended up in your garden in particular... so what is it you do in this garden?

            Then the righteous man answered and clarified that he splits the water into thirds, with one third going towards charity for the poor, another as provisions for his family and himself, and the last third he uses to water his garden.

           

            Some Benefits of the Story:

  1. Establishing that the helpers of Allah have karamat, which are miracles that Allah bestows on them, and this is from the fundamental beliefs of the righteous predecessors and Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama`ah.
  2. The virtues of charity and establishing its high regard in Allah’s Sight.  Charity establishes sponsorship and helping among people and strengthens the ties of society.
  3. The obligation of spending on one’s family.  Because the best of charities are those which are on one’s family, such as the parents, wife, and children.
  4. Spending on the needy and helping those in need from among the Muslims is a great transaction with Allah, and it is one of the ways to acquire sustenance from Allah.  Allah said, “Whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers.” [34:39] And in the hadeeth qudsi, where the Prophet narrates from His Lord, “Allah said, ‘O son of Adam, spend [in charity], and I will spend on you.” (Collected by al-Bukhari, 5352, and Muslim, 993, from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah)
  5. Affirming the value and place of actions in Islam.  A man might abandon the Dunya and become dependent on others.  Then he puts out his complete effort and acquires lawful sustenance, then gives some of it in charity, then the hand that gives charity is better than the hand that receives it.
  6. Allah takes care of His slaves and everything is in His Hand.  He is the One who ordered the cloud to pour rain on the man’s garden, because he orders the clouds where to go and where to pour rain.
  7. The best of attributes for an individual to have is to be a slave of Allah.  That is why both men referred to each other as ‘slave of Allah’ in this story.
  8. If the reason behind something is known, then there is no surprise.  When the man who heard the voice in the cloud realized saw the reality of that garden and saw the characteristics of the owner of the garden, he no longer was surprised.

 

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