A beautiful story about one of the most celebrated figures in Islamic history; Rabe’a Al-Adawiyah. Her piety and love of God is legendary. Her reliance on God was absolute. Many miracles unfolded at her hands as she became the beloved of God. May we all learn from and aspire to be like this great woman!
Two notables of the Faith came to visit Rabe’a, and both were hungry.
“It may be that she will give us food,” they said to each other. “Her food is bound to come from a lawful source.”
When they sat down there was a napkin with two loaves laid before them. They were well content. A beggar arrived just then, and Rabe’a gave him the two loaves. The two men of religion were much upset, but said nothing. After a while a maidservant entered with a handful of warm bread.
“My mistress sent these,” she explained.
Rabe’a counted the loaves. There were eighteen. “Perhaps it was not this that she sent me,” Rabe’a remarked.
For all that the maidservant assured her, it profited nothing. So she took back the loaves and carried them away. Now it so happened that she had taken two of the loaves for herself. She asked her mistress, and she added the two to the pile and returned with them. Rabe’a counted again, and found there were twenty loaves. She now accepted them. “This is what your mistress sent me,” she said.
She set the loaves before the two men and they ate, marveling. “What is the secret behind this?” they asked her. “We had an appetite for your own bread, but you took it away from us and gave it to the beggar. Then you said that the eighteen loaves did not belong to you. When they were twenty, you accepted them.”
“I knew when you arrived that you were hungry,” Rabe’a replied. “I said to myself, How can I offer two loaves to two such notables? So when the beggar came to the door I gave them to him and said to Almighty God, ‘O God, Thou hast said that Thou repayest tenfold, and this I firmly believed. Now I have given two loaves to please Thee, so that Thou mayest give twenty in return for them.’ When eighteen were brought me, I knew that either there had been some misappropriation, or that they were not meant for me.”