Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said that he heard the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) saying: “There were three men among the Banu Israel, one leper, one bald, and one blind. Allah wanted to test them; thus He sent an angel to them.
The angel first went to the leper and asked him what he would like best.
He replied: “A good color, a good skin and to be rid of what makes me loathsome to people.”
He (the angel) rubbed him, and his loathsomeness vanished and he was given a good color and a good skin. He then asked him what of property he would like best.The leper replied that he would like camels-[or perhaps he said cattle, for Ishaq,(one of the sub narrators of the Hadith) was uncertain, either said ‘camels’ or ‘cattle’]. He was given a pregnant she-camel. The angel invoked for Allah’s Blessing on it.
The angel then went to the bald man and asked him what he would like best.
He replied: “Good hair and to be rid of what makes me loathsome to people.”
The angel ran his hand over him and he was given good hair. He then asked him what property he would like best. He replied that he would like cattle, so he was given a pregnant cow. The angel invoked Allah’s Blessing on it.
The angel then went to the blind man and asked him what he would like best, and he replied: “I wish that Allah would restore my sight to me so that I may see people.” Thereupon, the angel ran his hand over him and Allah restored his sight. The angel then asked what property he would like best. He replied that he would like sheep, so he was given a pregnant ewe. Flocks and herds were produced for the three men, the first having a valley full of camels, the second one, a valley full of cows and the third one, a valley full of sheep.
Then the angel came in the form of a leper, to the one who had been a leper, and said: “I am a poor man and my resources have been exhausted in my journey, and my only means of reaching my destination are dependent on Allah and then on you, so I ask you by Him who gave you the good color and the good skin and the property, for a camel by which I may get to my destination.”
He replied: “I have many dues to pay.”
The angel then said: “I think I recognize you. Were you not a leper whom people found loathsome and a poor man to whom Allah gave property?”
He replied: “I inherited this property through generations.”
The angel said: “If you are telling a lie, may Allah return you to your former condition.” The angel went in the form of a bald man to the one who had been bald, and said the same as he had said to the former and received a similar reply.
So he said: “If you are telling a lie, may Allah return you to your former condition.”
The angel then went to the one who had been blind and said: “I am a poor traveler and my resources have been exhausted in my journey. My only means of reaching my destination are dependent on Allah and then on you, so I ask you by Him Who restored your eyesight, for a sheep by which I may get to the end of my journey.”
He replied: “Yes, I was blind. Allah restored my eyesight, so take what you wish and leave what you wish. I swear by Allah that I shall not argue with you today to return anything you take, as I give it for Allah’s Sake.”
The angel said: “Keep your property. You have all simply been put to a test, and Allah is pleased with you and displeased with both of your companions.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This Hadith tells us that abundance of property and wealth is also a trial.
He alone succeeds in this trial who in the midst of his riches does not forget about Allah’s Status and his own status.
Rather than becoming proud of his wealth, he takes pleasure in spending it in fulfilling the needs of people and expresses gratitude to Him in practical terms.
Those who take an opposite course are regarded unsuccessful because on account of their wrong attitude, they tend to falsehood, pride and miserliness which cause the displeasure of Allah.