‘Isa bin ‘Umailah Fazaari (rahimahullah) mentions that a certain person told him the following:
I noticed that when Sayyiduna Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) would milk his goats, he would give his neighbours and guests to drink before he drank himself.
One night, I saw him milk his goats to the point where absolutely nothing remained in their udders. After presenting the milk to his guests, he placed a small amount of dates before them. He thereafter apologized to them saying, “If we had anything better than this, we would have definitely presented it before you.”
I thereafter observed that Sayyiduna Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) himself did not eat a single morsel that night as he had offered all that he possessed to his guests.
(Tabaqaat Ibni Sa’d vol. 4, pg. 178)
1. Islam teaches us to honour both the guest and the neighbour. Hence, Sayyiduna Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) went out of his way in honouring his guests and neighbours, to the extent that he spent the night in hunger and fed his guests all that he possessed. We should also try to honour our neighbours and guests, and should take special care to ensure that we do not cause them any inconvenience or hurt them in any way.
2. Preferring others over themselves was a salient quality among the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and was thus highlighted by Allah Ta‘ala Himself in the Quraan Majeed. Indeed, they were blessed with ‘hearts of gold’. Regrettably, this quality is lacking today, as most people are primarily concerned with their own comfort and are not prepared to make even a small sacrifice to bring comfort to others. We should make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala that He bless us with big hearts and the spirit of compassion so that we will not be self-centred, but will wish to bring comfort and happiness to others as well.
3. An easy way to maintain a good relationship with our neighbours is to send them a small gift occasionally such as baking or food. Although it may only be a plate of biscuits, the gesture is one of love and will thus bring happiness to the heart.