“Water” means ‘life’ in the burning climate of the Arabian Peninsula. The desert conditions urged people search for water most of the time, and for this very reason, sometimes the tribes that lacked water would fight with one another for water. Although the weather was relatively a little cooler in Medina than to Mecca, the value of water would never change.

The water wells were so precious for the people of Medina, just as it was for Abu Talha, who was the stepfather of the Prophet’s little servant, Anas. The income of the people there depended on date-palm gardens, and the date-palms grow in abundance around water wells. One of them was Bayruha... The water of the date-palm garden, called Bayruha, located just across the Masjid, was very special. On the days when the heat was intense, nearly melting people, the pure and cold water drawn from Abu Talha’s water well cooled down both the Prophet (saw) and his companions. Abu Talha loved Bayruha very much and regarded it as more valuable than any other property he had, and hence he would never sell it to anybody.

One day a verse was revealed by Allah: “Never shall you attain piety unless you spend in Allah’s cause from that which you love.” (Al-i ‘Imran, 3/92) Abu Talha was greatly impressed and moved by the message of this verse. Having made his chest numerous times as a shield to guard the Prophet, his heroic heart trembled upon it. Abu Talha’s generosity had already been well known on account of his offerings and feasts for the Prophet and his Companions. Upon hearing this verse, he immediately acted upon its invitation to goodness. So decided to offer his most loved property, the Bayruha garden and the water well in it, for the good of the public, and donated it to the poor.

What a gainful property it was! What a rewarding decision it was! How happy was he to donate his most precious property in Allah’s cause! Having heard of the news, the Messenger of Allah became very happy (Bukhari, Vasayah, 10). The Prophet wanted Abu Talha’s poor relatives to have their share from the donation. Located in the Masjid al-Nabawi today, the Bayruha Garden has been in the service of goodness for years and represented a good example of benevolence…

What does good mean?