Would the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) accept the alms and gifts given to him?
Whenever something was brought to himself, the Noble Prophet (PBUH) would ask if it was alms or a gift. If the answer was, alms he would have it go to Ashab-i Suffa (a group of people at the Prophets time who devoted themselves to learning). If they were gifts, he would accept them and give some of them to Ashab-i Suffa. Because the Master of the Universe accepts no alms.
One day, a man brought some dates on a plate. He asked the man if it was gift or alms. The man said they were alms and the Prophet immediately sent them to Ashab-i Suffa. When this event was taking place, the grandson of the Prophet (PBUH), Hussein (Hasan?), took one of the dates to eat. Upon seeing him eating it, the Prophet (PBUH) intervened and said, Leave it, leave it, and throw it. Dont you know that we (Prophet Muhammad and his kin) do not eat any food given as alms for alms are not religiously lawful for us? (1)
The verse below is considered to have been sent down for Ashab-i Suffa:
That (which you spend) is for the poor who, having dedicated themselves to Gods cause, are in distressed circumstances. They are unable to move about the earth (to render service in Gods cause and earn their livelihood). Those who are unaware (of their circumstances) suppose them wealthy because of their abstinence and dignified bearing, but you will know them by their countenance – they do not beg of people importunately. And whatever good you spend, surely God has full knowledge of it. (Al-Baqarah Surah, 2:273)
1. Muslim, 3/117
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