Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) was the most far removed among his people from the love of money or wealth. He encouraged his followers to be industrious, make an honest living and discouraged them from seeking charity. He did not condemn wealth and the wealthy, however, he feared for his followers and encouraged them to not allow it to corrupt them or obsess them.
Muhammad (pbuh) himself could have been the most wealthy man in the history of Arabia, however, he preferred to live simply and use his wealth in that which pleased God. As the leader of the Islamic nation, he received great wealth, however, he hated for this wealth to remain in his home for more than a day without having distributed it in charity. At times he would distribute tens or hundreds of thousands of "dinars" at a time as soon as he received them. He lived according to his sayings:
"O my Lord, indeed, true life is only the afterlife" and "What have I to do with this life? The similitude of me and this life is as a traveler who stopped to take shelter in the shade of a tree and then arose and left it"
Urwah narrated that Aisha (the wife of Muhammad, pbuh) said to me,
"O my nephew! We used to see the crescent, and then the crescent, and then the crescent, in this way we saw three crescents in two months and no fire (for cooking) used to be lit in the houses of Allah's Messenger (pbuh). I said, "O my aunt! Then what use to sustain you?" Aisha said, "[These two]: dates and water." (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
Abu Tharr narrated that Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said,
"If I had gold equal to the mountain of Uhud, it would not please me that any of it should remain with me after three nights (i.e. I would spend all of it in Allah's cause) except what I would keep for repaying debts." (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
Jabir ibn Abdullah narrated:
"The messenger of Allah was never asked for something and then he said 'no' (he never refused a request)" (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
Muhammad (PBUH) (Blessings and Peace be upon him) was born in Makkah, Arabia, on Monday, 12 Rabi' Al-Awwal (2 August C.E). His mother, Aminah was the daughter of Wahb bin Abd Al-Manaf of the Zahrah family. His father, Abdullah, was the son of Abd Al-Muttalib. His genealogy has been traced to the noble house of Isma'il, the son of Ibrahim (Abraham) (PBUH) (May Peace be upon him) in about the fortieth descent. Muhammad's father had died before his birth and his mother died when he was about six years old making him an orphan. In accordance with the tradition of noble families of Makkah, he was taken by a foster mother, Halimah, to her village where he lived for a few years. During these years he was taken to Makkah several times to visit his mother. After the death of his mother, he was placed under the custody of his grandfather, Abd Al-Muttalib. When the grandfather died, he was under the care of his uncle, Abu Talib. By this time he used to look after sheep around Makkah and used to accompany his uncle on trade journeys to Syria.
In his youth he believed firmly in the Oneness of Allah (God)(SWT). He lived a very simple life and hated vanity and pride. He was compassionate to the poor, widows and orphans and shared their sufferings by helping them. He avoided all vices, which were commonly practiced among young people such as gambling, drinking wine, vulgarity and others. He was well-known as As-Sadiq(the truthful) and Al-Amin (the trustworthy). He was always trusted as a mediator between two conflicting parties in his homeland, Makkah.
Abdullah ibn Amr narrated:
"Allah's Messenger (s.a.a.w.) neither spoke in an insulting manner nor did he ever speak evil intentionally. He used to say, 'The most beloved to me among you is the one who has the best character and manners.'" (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
AbuHurayrah narrated that the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) said:
"The most Perfect believer in respect of faith is he who is best of them in manners." (Narrated by Abu-Dawood)
Qatadah ibn Malik narrated that Zayd ibn Ilaqah related on the authority of his uncle, Qatadah ibn Malik, that the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) would supplicate:
"O Allah, I seek Your protection against undesirable manners, acts, and desires." (Transmitted by Al-Tirmithi.)
Anas ibn Malik narrated:
"I was walking with the messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.) and he was wearing a mantle of Najran with a thick border. A Bedouin met him and pulled the mantle so violently that I saw this violent pulling had left marks from its border on the skin of the neck of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.). And he (the Bedouin) said: Muhammad!, command that I should be given out of the wealth of Allah which is at your disposal. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.) turned to him and smiled, and then he ordered for him a provision."
He also narrated:
"Eighty men from the men of Makkah descended upon the Messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.) from the mountain of Al-Taneem, in [full] armor, with the intent of doing battle with him. He (Muhammad, s.a.a.w.) captured them peaceably and then did not kill them" (Narrated by Muslim)
As for death, it is the end of one life and the beginning of another. Consequently, it is feared only by those who deny the other life or fear it on account of their ill conduct in this life. Such men never wish for death because they know what awaits them. Those who wish for death sincerely and fearlessly are the true believers, the truly convinced, and the doers of good deeds in the world.
God-may He be adored-says
"He who created death as well as life that you may prove who of you is the better in deed is the Almighty and the Merciful." [Qur'an, 6:2]
Further, addressing His Prophet, He said-may He be praised-. "No human has ever been granted everlasting life. If you will certainly die, will they not? Every man shall taste of death, and the evil and good which befall you are a trial for you. To earth will be your return." [Qur'an, 21:34-35] Further, He says: "Those unto whom the Torah has been revealed but who have not observed its commandments are like a donkey carrying a load of books. Wretched are the people who deny the revelations of God. God does not guide the unjust in their injustice. Say, `0 Jews, if, as you pretend, you are the friends of God and His elect of all mankind, wish for death that you may prove your sincerity.' But they never wish for death, for rejoining their Lord; and that is because they know that their arms have wrought evil and injustice. God knows the unjust." [Qur'an, 62:5-7] God also says, "It is He who terminates your life by night, Who knows every violation you have committed by day, Who will resurrect you after a prescribed term, return you to Himself, and confront you with all the deeds that you have wrought on earth." [Qur'an, 6:60]
These verses are extremely emphatic in their rejection of the Orientalists' claim that Islamic determinism implies immobolization and unconcern for work and acquisition. God created life and death that men may prove who among them is the better worker of deeds. The theater of human achievement is this life; reward and punishment come after death. If men do not work, if they do not strike out into the earth and seek therein God's bounty, if they do not earn and hence do not give in charity of that which God has provided for them, nor perform any good to others, however little their means may be, they have disobeyed God. It is no excuse for them that they have nothing to give, for their duty is to go out and earn. Failure to perform one duty constitutes no justification of their failure to perform another. On the contrary, those who earn and give are the more righteous in God's sight and the more deserving of rewards in the other world. Through good and evil works God gives us the chance to prove ourselves. Upon us devolves the duty of rationally distinguishing between them. Not an atom's weight of good nor an atom's weight of evil done in this world will be lost on the Day of Judgment. If nothing befalls us except what has been predetermined by God, we should concern ourselves all the more to discern the good that we may realize it in the world. It makes no difference whatever whether God chooses to terminate our lives at the prime of youth, vitality, wisdom, and glory, or at old age when we become senile and lapse into childish ignorance. The measure of a life is certainly not the number of years one lives, but the good works which one does that nothing can obliterate. Those who die in the cause of God are alive with their Lord, and they are alive among us inasmuch as we continue to remember them. Many are the men who have written their names indelibly on history because they dedicated themselves to the good. Among us, surely, they are still alive, even though they may have died hundreds of years ago.
"And when their term arrives, men shall meet their death at its prescribed hour, neither before nor after." [Qur'an, 7:13] This, indeed, is the truth. It alone accords with the pattern of the universe. Man has an hour which he cannot outlive, just as the sun and the moon have their terms and their eclipse always occurs according to law, without fail. It is more likely that man's awareness that his life will terminate will incite him to hasten the performance of good deeds and to exert all possible effort. Moreover, the fact that man does not know when his hour will strike will stir his anxiety enough to prepare for that eventuality. Everyday we witness new evidence that man's hour is determined and, when it strikes, inevitable. Some people die suddenly without apparent reason; others fall sick and fight for their lives for decades until they reach a decrepit old age. A number of medical men today claim that the agent which brings about man's death is innate to him and that the period this agent requires to achieve its objective would not be impossible to calculate if the agent itself could be isolated and identified-a problem of no little difficulty-though not impossible. God, who is omniscient, knows the hour of every man by reason of the immutable and eternal pattern he has imbedded in the cosmos as a whole.