It was the habit of Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) to always invite someone to join him for meals. On one occasion, he searched for someone to join him for meals, but could not find anyone and thus returned to his home.

As he entered his home, he saw someone standing inside. Seeing this person, he exclaimed, “O servant of Allah! With whose permission have you entered my home?” The stranger replied, “The real owner of this home has granted me permission to enter.” Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) then asked him, “Who are you?” He replied, “I am the angel of death. Allah Ta‘ala has sent me to give glad tidings to a special servant of His who He has selected to be His Khaleel (close and bosom friend).” Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) said, “Please! Tell me who this saint is! I swear by Allah, no matter which part of the world he resides in, I will definitely go to him and meet him! Then, I will spend my entire life at his feet (serving him)!” The angel of death responded, “YOU are that fortunate person.” Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) asked, “Is it really me?”

When the angel of death replied that it was really him, Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) asked him the reason for Allah Ta‘ala selecting him as His Khaleel. The angel of death replied, “The reason is that you always give to others, but never ask anyone for anything.” (Tafseer Ibni Katheer, vol. 1, pg. 560)

Lessons:

1. If a famous sportsman or some other celebrity has to rock up at our school, all the students will be hyped and psyched and line up for an autograph! However, the real ‘superstars’ that we need to hang around with are the special friends of Allah Ta‘ala.

2. In every class, there will be a student who always ‘hashes/bumps’ chow from others, but seldom shares his chow with them in return. In fact, he is so stingy that he won’t even allow them to get the smell of his chow (he hides behind the wall or even in the toilet and eats)! Such a person is never popular and has very few friends because everyone knows that he’s a ‘USER’. The friend of Allah Ta‘ala is such that he always gives others, even if they don’t give him anything, and he doesn’t expect anything from people.