When Moses (a.s) learned that Pharaoh was coming to kill him, he immediately set out for a journey to Midian without taking any food with him. For eight days, he walked deprived of food and water and he was exhausted when he reached the fortresses of Midian. There he helped the daughters of Shuaib (Jethro) (a.s) to water their sheep.Then Moses (a.s) took a rest. He was so helpless that he was praying Allah saying:
“… My Lord! Surely I stand in need of whatever good You may send down to me” (28; 24)
When Jethro (a.s) heard that a gentleman had helped his daughters, he invited him to his house and gave him some food. Even though Moses (a.s) had not had anything to eat, he did not want to eat the food he was offered. And he said Jethro (a.s):
“We are such a family that if we were given the whole world we would not have changed it for a single act of the Hereafter. I did not help you for food but just for the sake of Allah.”
Jethro (a.s) was pleased to hear these words and told Moses (a.s):
“This is not for your help; it is because you are a guest in our home.”
Then Moses (a.s) accepted their offer. This is monumental example of the manifestation of faith in the Hereafter. It is the intuition of not to change an act of the Hereafter in return for a worldly benefit even facing death out of hunger.
Another example of this understanding was narrated by Wasilah b. Aska.
It was during the days when we were going to Battle of Tabuk. Because I had neither wealth nor a ride to join the army, so I proclaimed the Medinans as follows:
“Who would take me on his ride in return for my share from the war booty?”
An old Ansari accepted my offer provided that we were going to take turns in riding. We set out for the journey. Allah the Almighty bestowed upon us some war booty and I had my share from it. I took it to the old Ansari; but he told me:
“You can take your camels and go.”
Even though I told him:
“But this was our agreement and these camels are yours”
He said: “My dear friend! Take your booty. I did not want your material wealth, I just wanted to help you for to get part of your spiritual reward and for the sake of Allah.” (Abū Dāvūd, Jihād, 113/2676)
Thus that pious Ansari preferred getting rewarded in the Hereafter to having several camels, which were one of the most valuable worldly possessions of that time. He showed the subtlety of acting for the sake of Allah instead of choosing a great worldly gain.
When one of the friends of Allah was asked if he had lived any incident which had affected him very much, he narrated the following incident:
“Once I lost my money bag in Mecca. I was in need of help. I was waiting money from Basra; but, it was late. I needed a haircut so I went to a barbershop and told the barber:
“I don’t have any money. Would you cut my hair for the sake of Allah?”
The barber was busy with another customer at the time. He showed me the empty seat next to the customer and said:
“Please sit in here.”
He left his customer waiting and began to cut my hair. When the other customer protested, the barber said:
“I am sorry but I am cutting your hair for money; but I will cut this gentleman’s hair for the sake of Allah. For me, Allah’s contentment always comes first. And servants cannot give anything to match Allah’s contentment.”
And after the haircut, the barber also gave me some money and said:
“I am sorry but I can only afford this much. Take these for your urgent needs.”
A few days later I received the money I was waiting from Basra. I took a bag of gold to the barber. But he did not take the money saying:
“I can never take these. I helped you for the sake of Allah and nothing can pay the price of an action performed for the sake of Allah. “
I asked his permission and left, but never forgot him. And I pray for that barber every night for the last forty years.”
These are virtuous examples of preferring afterlife over this world. This is such an excellent behavior that shallow intellects, which do not see any difference between licit and illicit, cannot understand. This is the real cleverness if looked from the angle of friendship to Allah.