Can Good Bring Forth Evil? (Hadith No. 1243)
Volume 2, Book 24, Number 544:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri (radiallaahu `anhu):
Once the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) sat on a pulpit and we sat around him. Then he said, “The things I am afraid of most for your sake (concerning what will befall you after me) is the pleasures and splendors of the world and its beauties which will be disclosed to you.” Somebody said, “O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! Can the good bring forth evil?” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) remained silent for a while. It was said to that person, “What is wrong with you? You are talking to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) while he is not talking to you.” Then we noticed that he was being inspired divinely. Then the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) wiped off his sweat and said, “Where is the questioner?” It seemed as if the Prophet liked his question. Then he said, “Good never brings forth evil. Indeed it is like what grows on the banks of a water-stream which either kill or make the animals sick, except if an animal eats its fill the Khadira (a kind of vegetable) and then faces the sun, and then defecates and urinates and grazes again. No doubt this wealth is sweet and green. Blessed is the wealth of a Muslim from which he gives to the poor, the orphans and to needy travelers. (Or the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said something similar to it) No doubt, whoever takes it illegally will be like the one who eats but is never satisfied, and his wealth will be a witness against him on the Day of Resurrection.”
Why was the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) afraid about pleasures, splendors and beauties of this world being disclosed to us believers? Simple. These things are trials. Temptations, very hard to resist. One goes through a major test of Imaan while dealing with them. You falter, you lose. So Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), being our well-wisher, was worried about us being afflicted with trials. One more reason to love him (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)!
Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) gives an example of an animal who eats a lot, and from everywhere. It eats so much that it either dies because of overeating or becomes really sick – harms itself.
Then there’s another animal who eats according to need, utilizes it, digests and gets rid of it. Remains healthy and fit.
Contentedness is the word. We need to learn to lead a balanced lifestyle. To not go blindly after wealth – the beauties and temptations of this world. To not forget the difference between haraam and halaal – harmful and beneficial – while fulfilling the desire to acquire and accumulate wealth. Because the person who acquires it from everywhere and anywhere harms himself. Whereas the person who takes from this world as per need, utilizes it, and then takes again according to need, is the one who actually benefits. He does not harm himself by taking the haraam route. He gives of his wealth in charity that purifies it. He’s contented with what he has. So he does not take others’ share by force, lest that wealth becomes witness against him on the Day of Judgement. He’s fit and healthy. He’s the one we should strive to become like. He’s the one Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) praised.