9. What is the Effect of Giving Advice and Admonition
On the authority of Hakeem ibn Hizaam (ra) who said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah (Saw) (for charity), and he gave me. Again I asked and he gave me. Once again, I asked and he gave me, then he said, "O Hakeem! Verily this wealth is like a sweet fresh fruit, whoever takes it without greediness is blessed in it and whoever takes it with greediness is not blessed in it, just like the person that eats yet is never satisfied, and the upper hand is better than the lower hand". Hakeem added, "So I said, "O Messenger of Allah, by the One who sent you with the Truth I shall not accept anything from anybody after you until I leave this world". Later Abu Bakr (ra) used to call Hakeem in order to give him his share of war booty but he would refuse. Also 'Umar would call him to give him his share but he would refuse to take anything from him. On that 'Umar said, "O Muslims! Verily I hold you as witnesses that I offered to Hakeem his share of the booty, but he refuses to take it". He never took anything from anybody after the Messenger of Allah (saw) until he died". (al Bukhari, Eng. trans. vol.2, p.320, hadith no.551).
Hakeem would ask from the Messenger of Allah (saw) and he would give to him - this happened three times, upon which the Prophet (saw) then directed him to contentment, self-respect and to refrain from begging. What was Hakeem's (ra) reaction to that? He vowed by Allah (swt) that he would never return to such a thing, and that he wouldn't take anything from anyone until he parted from the world.
He did not just listen to the exhortation, shake his head crying, having been affected by it and return the next day to what he was doing before, as if nothing had ever taken place. Instead he kept to his promise, during the lifetime of the Prophet (saw) and of Abu Bakr, who would call him in order to receive his due but he would refuse. In this manner he continued, until the Caliphate of 'Umar (ra) who used to present to him his rightful share of the war booty, that which Allah (swt) had specified for him from above the seven heavens, but he would refuse, having been affected by the admonition of the Messenger of Allah (saw). He remained in this condition until he passed away (saw).
The effect of this advice stayed with him until the final moments of his life. This is how we should act and should be, carrying into effect what we hear so that our condition and the condition of our ummah may change. Yet how sorrowful our condition is, as we have had an abundance of books, lectures, sermons and admonitions yet it is as if they are only for the purpose of learning culture and acquiring information, not to act upon or carry into effect. To Allah swt is our complaint.
How beautiful and sweet this wealth is! but the love of Allah swt is more beautiful and the love of the Messenger (saw) is sweeter and more cherished. What was the price Hakeem paid for this love? It cost him a great amount. He has outlined for our Ummah lessons in patience, power of determination, firm will and acting upon knowledge.