On one occasion Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was proceeding in a certain direction when his blessed gaze fell on a tall building. He asked the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), “What is this (building and who has built it)?” The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) replied, “This belongs to so-and-so from the Ansaar.” On hearing this, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) remained silent and did not say anything.

Thereafter, this Ansaari Sahaabi came to meet Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) while Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was seated among some of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). However, when he approached Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and greeted him, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) turned away from him. Hence, the Sahaabi approached Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) a few more times, yet Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) continued to turn away from him and ignored his greeting.

Finally, this Sahaabi realized that he was the cause of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) displeasure. He thus lamented to some of his companions saying, “By Allah! I find Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) treating me differently to before (i.e. he is not showing me the warmth and affection which I normally receive from him).” His companions then explained, “Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was proceeding in a certain direction and saw your tall building (which has caused his displeasure).” The instant this Sahaabi heard this, he returned to his building and razed it to the ground.

Sometime later, when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was again proceeding in that direction, he noticed that the tall building was no longer there. Hence, he enquired from the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), “What happened to the tall building?” The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) replied, “The owner of the building complained to us that you had turned away from him. We thus informed him (of your displeasure over his tall building), due to which he demolished it.”

Hearing this Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned, “May Allah Ta‘ala have mercy on him.” He then remarked, “Indeed every structure will be a burden for its owner, except that which is necessary, except that which is necessary.”

(Sunan Abi Dawood #5237 and Shu‘abul Imaan # 10222)


1. On account of their love for Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the heart of every Sahaabi (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was filled with one primary concern –pleasing Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Hence, when this Sahaabi learnt that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was displeased with his tall building, he immediately demolished it, without any hesitation or reservation. Similarly, we need to identify all those factors in our lives which cause the displeasure of Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and eliminate them from our lives. These may include the smart phone, bad friends, movies, etc. Whatever they may be, we need to realize that there is no price too great to pay to secure the happiness of Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

2. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was displeased at the building of this Sahaabi as it stood out from the others and the extra height was not required. Hence, the extra portion was unnecessary and was regarded as waste of money. As Muslims, we should strive to avoid wastage and extravagance, inculcate the sunnah of simplicity and avoid standing out from others and competing with them in worldly possessions.