t is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra) that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Verily, three men from Bani Israel, a leper, a bald-headed man and a blind man were tested by Allah : He sent to them an angel, who came (first) to the leper and said to him: “What thing would you like most?” He replied: “A good complexion and a good skin and that that which causes the people to be averse to me (i.e. the leprosy) should depart from me.” The angel touched him and his disease was cured and he was given a fair complexion and a good skin. The angel then asked him: “What kind of property do you prefer?” The man replied: “Camels,” or “Cows.” (Ishaq, the narrator is not sure which). So he was given a pregnant female camel, and the angel said to him: “May Allah bless you in it.” Then the angel came to the bald man and said to him: “What is the thing most loved to you?” The man replied: “Good hair and that which causes the people to be averse to me (baldness) should depart from me.” And so the angel touched him and his affliction was gone and he was given fine hair. Then the angel asked him: “What kind of property would you like best?” He replied: “Cows,” or “Camels.” The angel gave him a pregnant cow and said: “May Allah bless you in it.” Then the angel went to the blind man and said to him: “What thing would you like best of All?” He said: “I would like that Allah restore my sight to me so that I might see the people.” And so the angel touched him and Allah restored his sight to him. Then the angel asked him: “What kind of property do you most prefer?” He replied: “Sheep.” So the angel gave him a pregnant sheep. Later, all three of the pregnant animals gave birth to young and multiplied until one of them had a valley full of camels, while another had a valley full of cows and the third had a valley full of sheep. Then the angel disguised as a leper, went to the leper and said: “I am a poor man who has lost all his means while on a journey, and so there is none who can satisfy my needs today except Allah and then you. I ask you by the One Who gave you your fair complexion and your fine skin and granted you so much wealth in livestock to give me a camel so that I may reach my destination.” The man replied: “I have many obligations (so I cannot give you one).” The angel said: “I think I know you; were you not a leper to whom the people had a strong aversion? Were you not a poor man and then Allah gave you (all of this)?” The man replied: “(No,) I got this property by way of inheritance from my forefathers.” The angel said: “If you are lying, May Allah make you as you were before.” Then the angel went to the bald man, in the shape of a bald man and said to him the same as he had said to the first man, but he too answered as the first one had. The angel said to him: “If you are lying, May Allah make you as you were before.” Then the angel, disguised as a blind man, went to the blind man and said: “I am a poor man and a traveller whose livelihood has been cut off during the journey. I have no one to help me except Allah and then you. I ask you by Him Who has given you back your sight to give me a sheep that I may, with its help, complete my journey.” The man said: “Without doubt, I was blind and Allah gave me back my sight, so take what you wish from my property. By Allah ! I will not prevent you from taking anything of my property, which you may have for Allah’s sake.” The angel replied: “Keep your property with you. You have (all) been tested and Allah is pleased with you and is angry with your two companions.” (Narrated by Bukhari)
The Prophet informs us in this Hadith about the true story of three poor men from the tribe of Bani Israel: A leper, a bald man and a blind man, whose faith Allah wished to test. He sent to them an angel who cured them of their afflictions, by Allah’s Will and gave them wealth in livestock. Later, he came back to them and asked each of them for material help, assuming in each case, the form of the man prior to his cure and reminding each of them of Allah’s Mercy and Beneficence to him when he was in need. As for the leper and the bald man, they were ungrateful to Allah and refused, while as for the blind man, he acceded gladly to the angel’s request; as a result, the former two earned Allah’s Anger, while the third earned His Pleasure and Allah allowed him to retain his wealth.
Benefits Derived From This Verse
1. Confirmation of the Prophetic miracle, in that Allah had granted him something of the knowledge of former peoples.
2. That attributing blessings to other than Allah is kufr and the cause of their loss.
3. That attributing blessings to Allah is to express gratitude to Him and causes them said blessings to continue.
4. Confirmation of the human attribute of will, but that it is subordinate to the Will of Allah.
5. Confirmation of Allah Divine Attribute of Pleasure.
6. Conformation of Allah’s Divine Attribute of Anger.