prepared a dish by frying two handfuls of dates in oil and sent it with Anas to the Messenger (UWBP). The Messenger (UWBP) told him: “Go and invite so-and-so (naming some persons), and also invite whomever you encounter on your way.” Anas invited those named and those he met. About three hundred Companions came and filled the Messenger’s (UWBP) room and anteroom. He said: “Make circles of ten.” He placed his blessed hand on that little amount of food, uttered supplications, and told them to help themselves. All of them ate and were fully satisfied. Afterwards the Messenger (UWBP) asked Anas to remove the food. Anas later related: “I could not tell if there was more of it when I set it down, or when I removed it.”1
S e c o n d E x a m p l e : Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, the Prophet’s (UWBP) host, relates that when the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) honoured his house, he had prepared a meal for two, which would suffice the Messenger (UWBP) and Abu Bakr. But the Messenger (UWBP) told him: “Invite thirty men from among the distinguished Ansar!”2 Abu Ayyub said: “Thirty men came and ate. He then said: ‘Invite sixty men,’ which I did, and they also came and ate. The Prophet (UWBP) said again: ‘Invite seventy more.’ I invited them; they came, and when they finished eating, there was still food left in the bowls. All who came embraced Islam and took the oath of allegiance after witnessing this miracle. One hundred and eighty men ate the food of two men.”3
T h i r d E x a m p l e : It is reported through many chains of transmission from ‘Umar b. al-Khattab, Abu Hurayra, Salama b. Akwa‘, Abu ‘Amrat al-Ansari and others that on one expedition, the army went hungry. They referred themselves to the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), and he told them: “Gather whatever food is left in your saddle-bags.” Everyone brought a few pieces of dates and put them on a mat. The most they could put together was four handfuls. Salama related: “I estimated it amounted to the size of a sitting goat.” Then the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) announced: “Everyone bring his dish!” They pressed forward, and no one in the whole army remained with an empty dish, all the dishes were filled. There was even some left over. One of the Companions later said: “I realized from the way that
Bukhari, Nikah, 64; Muslim, Nikah, 94, 95; Tirmidhi, 33:21; Nasa’i, Nikah, 84; Abu Da’ud, Adab, 95; Musnad, iii, 29; v, 462; Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’, i, 294.
Ansar–Helpers: those of the Medinan Companions who had the migrants from Mecca to stay in their houses. (Tr.)
Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’, i, 292; al-Haythami, al-Majma’ al Zawa’id, vii, 303; al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa’, iii, 33; ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’, i, 604.