Money and Converts

In the Qur'an we read:

"Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of God; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by God, and God is full of knowledge and wisdom" [Surat at-Taubah 9:60; translation by Yusuf Ali]

The following is taken from the classical Muslim commentary on the Qur'an, Tafsir Ibn Kathir. The comment on Surah 9:60 states:

As for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to the Truth) they are in various divisions: some who were given (money) to convert to Islam, like when the Prophet Muhammad - Peace Be Upon Him - gave Safwan Bin Ummayah from the booty of the Battle of Hunayn, and he (Safwan Bin Ummayah) had fought in it as an infidel [Mushrik], ... Imam Ahmad said: Narrated Zakria bin Uddi, that Ibn Al-Mobarek said that Younis Al-Zahri from Saaid bin Al-Messyab from Safwan Bin Ummayah who said: "The Messenger - Peace Be Upon Him - gave me (money) on the Battle of Hunayn and he was one of the people I've hated most; he kept on giving me (money) until he became one of the people I've loved most."[*] And some of them are given (money) to better their Islam and strengthen their faith in their hearts, like when he (Muhammad) gave on the Battle of Hunayn a group of the lowest of the released prisoners and the most noble of them one hundred camels each, and he (Muhammad) said, "Giving a man and others (money) is lovable (by me) because I'm afraid that Allah would throw him (the infidel) on his face into the hell fire." And in the Sahihayn (meaning Bukhari and Muslim) narrated Ibn Sa'eed, that Ali sent to the Prophet - Peace Be Upon Him - with a gold piece in it's soil from Yemen, so he (Muhammad) divided it between four people: Al-Aqra' Bin Al-Habis, Ayyinah Bin Badr, Alqamah Bin Oulathah, and Zayd Al-Khayr, and he (Muhammad) said, "Atta'alafuhum = I'm reconciling their hearts to the truth", some of them are given (money) to collect the charity from those close to them, and some of them are given money to protect the Muslims from attacks at the corners of the countries.

[*] Narrated Ahmad, Muslim and Al-Tirmithi

(The above translation is ours, below you can find the Arabic original.)

These hadith are found online:

  • Arabic: Musnad Ahmad, Number 14765; Al-Tirmithi, Number 602; (not identical, but related) Sahih Muslim, Numbers 1753 & 1757
  • English: (only one available online is) Sahih Muslim, Number 2310 (corresponding with Arabic No. 1757 above)
  • Further quotations and references on the issue.

  • وأما المؤلفة قلوبهم فأقسام : منهم من يعطى ليسلم كما أعطى النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم صفوان بن أمية من غنائم حنين وقد كان شهدها مشركا قال فلم يزل يعطيني حتى سار أحب الناس إلي بعد أن كان أبغض الناس إلي كما قال الإمام أحمد : حدثنا زكريا بن عدي أنا ابن المبارك عن يونس عن الزهري عن سعيد بن المسيب عن صفوان بن أمية قال : أعطاني رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يوم حنين وإنه لأبغض الناس إلي فما زال يعطيني حتى إنه لأحب الناس إلي ورواه مسلم والترمذي من حديث يونس عن الزهري به ومنهم من يعطى ليحسن إسلامه ويثبت قلبه كما أعطى يوم حنين أيضا جماعة من صناديد الطلقاء وأشرافهم مائة من الإبل وقال " إني لأعطي الرجل وغيره أحب إلي منه خشية أن يكبه الله على وجهه في نار جهنم " . وفي الصحيحين عن أبي سعيد أن عليا بعث إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم بذهيبة في تربتها من اليمن فقسمها بين أربعة نفر : الأقرع بن حابس وعيينة بن بدر وعلقمة بن علاثة وزيد الخير وقال " أتألفهم " ومنهم من يعطى لما يرجى من إسلام نظرائه ومنهم من يعطى ليجبي الصدقات ممن يليه أو ليدفع عن حوزة المسلمين الضرر من أطراف البلاد.

    (Source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, commentary on Sura 9:60, published online by, developed by Harf Information Technology)

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