Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) lived a life of poverty from the day he was born
till the day he died. Whenever, he had anything valuable, be it food,
money, gold, or sheep, he preferred to give all away, even when he and
his family were in need.
In an agreed upon hadeeth, the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) said, "If I had as
much gold as the weight of Uhud, it would not please me to have a
single dinar out of it with me after the passage of three days, but I
would hold back something for the repayment of a debt. I would
distribute it among the slaves of Allah like this and like this and
like this.'' And he (PBUH) pointed in front of him, and on his right
side and on his left side. We then walked a little further and he
(PBUH) said: "The rich would be poor on the Day of Resurrection, except
he who spent like this and like this and like this,". and he pointed as
he did the first time. "But such persons are few".
Abu Hurairah (May allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of
Allah (PBUH) said: "The world is the believer's prison and the
infidel's Jannah (heaven)". [Muslim].
`Abdullah bin `Umar (May allah be pleased with them) reported:
Messenger of Allah (PBUH) took hold of my shoulders and said, "Be in
the world like a stranger or a wayfarer".
`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: Messenger of Allah
(PBUH) died when my house was void of any edible thing except for a
small quantity of barley I had on a shelf and from which I kept eating
it for a long time. Then when I measured what was left of it, it soon
finished. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The following commentary is taken from the online version of Riyadu-Saleheen (Chapter 55):
During the last days of the Prophet (PBUH) the financial position of
the Muslims had largely improved due to the spoils of war and he could
have lived a comfortable life if he liked, but he stuck to the same
austere life which he had led earlier. In this Hadith, `Aishah (May
Allah be pleased with her) has related an account of the extremely
austere and pious life of the Prophet (PBUH) although her house was the
house of his most beloved wife.
This Hadith also tells us that in spite of his profound love for
`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (PBUH) did not
accord her any preferential treatment. He treated all his wives
equally. Thus, this Hadith has a lesson for `Ulama' and their families
that they should not look towards worldly riches and the amenities
enjoyed by them but keep in view the life of the Prophet (PBUH) and his
wives and learn to keep themselves contented with minimum income.
`Abdullah bin Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (PBUH) slept on a straw mat and got up with the
marks left by it on his body. Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with
him) said, "O Messenger of Allah! Would that you make us spread out a
soft bedding for you.'' He (PBUH) replied, "What have I to do with the
world? I am like a rider who had sat under a tree for its shade, then
went away and left it.''
Commentary: Beside mentioning the piety of the Prophet (PBUH), this
Hadith tells in a very eloquent manner the reality of this world by
means of an example.
487. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger
of Allah (PBUH) said, "The poor will enter Jannah five hundred years
before the rich.''
Commentary: Al-Fuqara' (the poor) means those Fuqara' who are perfect
in Faith. Such people will go to Jannah five hundered years before the
rich because the latter will have to account for their wealth, from
where they had got it and how they had spent it, while the former will
not be answerable for any such thing.
488. Ibn `Abbas and `Imran bin Al-Husain (May Allah be pleased with
them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "I looked into Jannah and saw
that most of its dwellers are the poor; and I looked into Hell and saw
that most of its inmates were women.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: The Prophet (PBUH) had observed Jannah and Hell either on
the eve of Mi`raj (Ascension to heavens), or of Salat-ul-Kusuf (Eclipse
prayer) in which he (PBUH) was shown Jannah and Hell. A large majority
of Fuqara' will go to Jannah. The rich people do not attach much
importance to the requirements of faith and its practice.
The reason women are the majority in Hell is because they are given to
taunts and curses and are ungrateful to their husbands. The Hadith
urges women to try to overcome these serious defects in order to be
saved from the Hell-fire.
489. Usamah bin Zaid (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The
Prophet (PBUH) said, "I stood at the gate of Jannah and saw that most
of those who enter it were poor, whereas the rich were held back; but
those who were destined to go to Hell were ordered to be sent there
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
[size=16]Note: The above Ahadeeth and commentary are taken from Riyadus-Saleheen, Chapter 55
Excellence of Leading an Ascetic Life, and Virtues of Simple Life