Abu Dharr (Ahadith 1187 – 1188)
Jundub ibn Junadah, nicknamed Abu Dharr, was a member of the Ghifar tribe. He was a Bedouin, known for his courage, calmness and farsightedness. He was the forth or fifth person converting to Islam. Read about his conversion here.
After the death of the Prophet, Abu Dharr could not bear to stay in Madinah because of grief and the knowledge that there was to be no more of his guiding company. So he left for the Syrian desert and stayed there during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar.
During the caliphate of Uthman, he stayed in Damascus and saw the Muslims concern for the world and their consuming desire for luxury. He was saddened and repelled by this. So Uthman asked him to come to Madinah. At Madinah he was also critical of the people’s pursuit of worldly goods and pleasures and they were critical in turn of his reviling them. Uthman therefore ordered that he should go to Rubadhah, a small village near Madinah. There he stayed far away from people, renouncing their preoccupation with worldly goods and holding on to the legacy of the Prophet and his companions in seeking the everlasting abode of the Hereafter in preference to this transitory world.
Once a man visited him and began looking at the contents of his house but found it quite bare. He asked Abu Dharr: “Where are your possessions?” “We have a house yonder (meaning the Hereafter),” said Abu Dharr, “to which we send the best of our possessions.” The man understood what he meant and said: “But you must have some possessions so long as you are in this abode.” “The owner of this abode will not leave us in it,” replied Abu Dharr.
Abu Dharr persisted in his simple and frugal life to the end. Once the amir of Syria sent three hundred diners to Abu Dharr to meet his needs. He returned the money saying, “Does not the amir of Syria find a servant more deserving of it than I?”
In the year 32 AH the self-denying Abu Dharr passed away. The Prophet, peace be upon him, had said of him: “The earth does not carry nor the heavens cover a man more true and faithful than Abu Dharr.”
Bottom line, you want to learn simplicity, learn it from Abu Dharr.
Narrated Zaid bin Wahab:
I passed by a place called Ar-Rabadha and by chance I met Abu Dhar and asked him, “What has brought you to this place?” He said, “I was in Sham and differed with Muawiya on the meaning of (the following verses of the Quran): ‘They who hoard up gold and silver and spend them not in the way of Allah.’ (9.34). Muawiya said, ‘This verse is revealed regarding the people of the scriptures.” I said, It was revealed regarding us and also the people of the scriptures.” So we had a quarrel and Mu’awiya sent a complaint against me to ‘Uthman. ‘Uthman wrote to me to come to Medina, and I came to Medina. Many people came to me as if they had not seen me before. So I told this to ‘Uthman who said to me, “You may depart and live nearby if you wish.” That was the reason for my being here for even if an Ethiopian had been nominated as my ruler, I would have obeyed him.
Narrated Al-Ahnaf bin Qais:
While I was sitting with some people from Quraish, a man with very rough hair, clothes, and appearance came and stood in front of us, greeted us and said, “Inform those who hoard wealth, that a stone will be heated in the Hell-fire and will be put on the nipples of their breasts till it comes out from the bones of their shoulders and then put on the bones of their shoulders till it comes through the nipples of their breasts the stone will be moving and hitting.” After saying that, the person retreated and sat by the side of the pillar, I followed him and sat beside him, and I did not know who he was. I said to him, “I think the people disliked what you had said.” He said, “These people do not understand anything, although my friend told me.” I asked, “Who is your friend?” He said, “The Prophet said (to me), ‘O Abu Dhar! Do you see the mountain of Uhud?’ And on that I (Abu Dhar) started looking towards the sun to judge how much remained of the day as I thought that Allah’s Apostle wanted to send me to do something for him and I said, ‘Yes!’ He said, ‘I do not love to have gold equal to the mountain of Uhud unless I spend it all (in Allah’s cause) except three Dinars (pounds). These people do not understand and collect worldly wealth. No, by Allah, Neither I ask them for worldly benefits nor am I in need of their religious advice till I meet Allah, The Honorable, The Majestic.” ‘
What can we say, he was a straight forward man. Allah be pleased with him. :)