Sayyiduna Qais (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was the son of Sayyiduna Sa’d bin ‘Ubaadah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), the leader of the Khazraj tribe in Madeenah Munawwarah. His generosity was proverbial amongst his contemporaries and many incidents of his generosity are mentioned in the books of history. (Usdul Ghaabah vol. 3, pg. 497 and Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 3, pg. 107)

Sayyiduna Qais bin Sa’d (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) was once asked. “Have you ever met anyone more generous than yourself?” He replied in the affirmative and began narrating the following extraordinary incident.

Once, Sayyiduna Qais (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was on a journey with one of his companions. As they were travelling, they stopped over by a bedouin woman. When her husband arrived, she informed him of the two guests that had come. The husband proceeded to slaughter a camel and then offered it to them.

The next day the host brought another camel, slaughtered it and presented it to them. Sayyiduna Qais (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and his companion explained to him that they hardly ate from the camel which was slaughtered the day before (hence, there was no need to slaughter another camel). The bedouin told them that it was against his nature to serve his guests left over food. Sayyiduna Qais (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and his companion stayed by this bedouin for a few more days, during which it rained as well, but the host continued to slaughter one camel every day and present it to them as per his habit.

When Sayyiduna Qais (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and his companion decided to leave, they left behind one hundred gold coins as a gesture of appreciation for the outstanding kindness and hospitality of the bedouin. They also requested the woman to apologize to her husband on their behalf and they then continued on their journey. While travelling, at midday, they heard a man behind them calling out, “Stop, O evil travellers! You have paid us for our hospitality.” This man was none other than the same bedouin who had been their host. When he reached them, he told them that if they did not take the money back willingly, he would stab them with his spear. Having no other option, Sayyiduna Qais (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and his companion took the money back and continued on their journey. (Siraajul Mulook pg. 323 and Madaarijus Saalikeen vol. 2, pg. 278)


1. When Allah Ta‘ala has blessed a person with true humility, he will always try and shift the attention and praise of people away from himself to others. This is because he genuinely feels that everyone else is greater than him. Hence, Sayyiduna Qais bin Sa’d (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) did not claim to be the most generous, rather he regarded the bedouin to be even more generous than himself.

2. Hospitality and entertaining guests was a common quality, even until the recent past. This greatly contributed to the blessings and happiness which people generally enjoyed in their lives. One of the effects of materialism is that although the houses have become much bigger than before, the hearts have become very small, hence, hosting guests is regarded as a huge burden, although they maybe one’s own blood relatives.

3. Works of generosity and gestures of kindness must be carried out solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala – not for name and fame, or for any monetary gain. In fact, we should not even desire a “thank you”, or any other form of appreciation. The bedouin thus went out of his way to return the money and was even prepared to physically force them to take it back, even though it was a mere gesture of appreciation and not a renumeration.