A Gift after Hardships

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) dispatched an expedition of three hundred men towards the seashore, under the command of Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah (r.a.) in 8 AH.  He gave them a bag full of dates for their rations.  They had been hardly out for fifteen days when they ran short of rations.  In order to provide the contingent with food, Qays ibn Sa’d (r.a.) began buying three camels daily from his own men, to feed the expedition, with a promise to pay on return to Madina.  The ‘amir, seeing that the slaughter of camels would deprive the party of their only means of transport, prohibited him to do so.  He collected the dates that had been left with each person and stored them in a bag.  He would issue one date to each man as his daily ration.

When Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al-Answari (r.a.) later on narrated this story to the people, one of his audience inquired, “How did you manage to live upon one date only for the whole day?”

He replied, “We longed even for that one date, when the whole stock was exhausted.  We were on the verge of starvation.  We moistened the dry tree-leaves with water and ate them.”

When they reached this stage, Allah (s.w.t.) showed Mercy to them for He always Brings ease after every hardship, provided it is endured patiently.  A big fish known as ‘ambar’ was thrown out of the sea for them.  The fish was so big that they lived on it for eighteen days altogether.  They also filled their satchels with the remaining portion, which lasted them right up to Madina.  When the episode was narrated to the Prophet (s.a.w.), he said, “The fish was a Provision Arranged for you by Allah.”

So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief: Verily with every difficulty there is relief. (Surah ash-Sharh:5-6)


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