‘Abdullah ‘Azzam’s Immense Zuhd
“…Believe me when I tell you that I hate buying new things, new clothes, etc.
One day, I came home to find new sponge cushions with matching sheets. When I saw them, I lost my mind. I said: “By Allah, women have no religion. This must go…where did this come from?” They said: “It is a gift.” I said: “It must leave the house. It cannot remain in the house,” and I spoke such words to my wife that she was going to pass out. By Allah, she was going to pass out and lose consciousness, and she began to shake. I began to fear for her sanity, by Allah.
But, believe me, brothers, I did not enter the house. Really, I said: “Where did this gift come from?”
She said: “Why does it matter to you? Your guests are here day and night, coming in and out, and I wash the sheets of these mattresses and change them. I change them everyday because the cotton in these Pakistani sheets gets stuck in the creases of the cushions. I am tired, and I found some gold that I had, which I then spent on this to relieve myself a bit.”
I said to her: “While the Mujahidin are dying of hunger?”
She said: “I donated a third of the value to the Mujahidin.”
I said to her: “Even then, it cannot remain.”
From then until now, believe me when I tell you that I never enter the home and see these except that my chest becomes tight. Believe me, we tried removing them from the home in a way that would not result in her passing out again, and may Allah Forgive us all…”
A footnote to this story says that the Shaykh remained insistent upon this until he finally sold the cushions and sheets to a brother for less than their original price.
[‘Fi Dhilal Surat at-Tawbah’; p. 222]