Did the Prophet (pbuh) accept the sadaqahs and gifts brought to him?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The Supreme Messenger would ask: “Is it alms or gift?” when he was given something.

If they answered “it is alms”, he would give it to ashab as-suffa right away. If they answered “it is a gift”, he would accept it and give some of it to ashab as-suffa. The Prophet would never accept alms, but only gifts.

One day, a man brought a plate of dates. He asked the man:

“Is it alms or gift?

The man said it was alms and therefore the Prophet sent it to the ashab as-suffa right away. The Prophet’s grandson Hazrat Hassan was in front of the Prophet at that time. When he took a date from the plate and put it in his mouth, the Prophet reacted right away and took it out from his mouth. And then he said:

“We, Muhammad and his household, do not eat alms; alms is forbidden to us!”1

Moreover, it is said that the Quranic verse was sent with reference to the Ashab as-Suffa.2

“(Charity is) for those in need, who, in God's cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land, seeking (for trade or work): the ignorant man thinks, because of their modesty, that they are free from want. Thou shall know them by their (unfailing) mark: They beg not importunately from the entire sundry. And whatever of good ye give, be assured God knoweth it well”3

Footnotes:

1. Muslim, 3/117
2. M. Hamdi Yazır, ibid, V. 2, p. 940.
3. Al-Baqara, 273.

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