‘Isa bin ‘Umailah Al-Fazaari (rahimahullah) mentions that a certain person told him the following:

I noticed that when Abu Zar Ghifaari (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 serving 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 brought it before you.” I thereafter noticed that Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) himself did not eat a single morsel that night as he had served all that he possessed to his guests.

(Tabaqaat Ibni Sa’d vol. 4, pg. 178)

Lessons:

1. When a person has a best friend, he looks after him and goes out of his way to see to his comfort. Similarly, Islam teaches us to look after the guest and the neighbour. That is why Abu Zar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) went out of his way to honour his guests and neighbours, to the point where he even spent the night in hunger and fed his guests all the food that he possessed. We should also try to honour our neighbours and guests and try our best to not cause any inconvenience or harm to them in any way.

2. Sacrificing our comfort so that other people can be comfortable was a common feature among the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), and Allah Ta‘ala Himself praises them for this quality in the Quraan Majeed. Indeed, they were blessed with ‘hearts of gold’. Nowadays, most people are only worried about their own comfort and won’t even make 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 also bring comfort and happiness to others.