Shama-il Tirmidhi Chapter 50, Hadith Number 1 (349).

Ibn Seereen RA. says: “We were once in the company of Abu Hurayrah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu. He was wearing a lungi and a sheet, both of which were made of kataan (a fine type of cloth) and were dyed reddish in colour. He (Abu Hurayrah) cleaned his nose with one of these, and said in surprise: ‘Allah! Allah!, Abu Hurayrah is cleaning his nose today with a cloth of kataan. There was a time when I was lying unconscious between the mimbar of Rasulullah Sallallahu’Alayhi Wasallam and the room of ‘Aayeshah Radiyallahu ‘Anha because of severe hunger. People trampled my neck thinking I had become mad, whereas I was not mad, but severe hunger was the cause of the condition'”.

Kataan is a fine type of cloth. The author of ‘Lughaatus Saraah’ writes that it is a fine type of cloth made of the skin of grass. The author of ‘Muhit Aa’zam’ writes that kataan is called ‘alsi’ in Hindi, and the cloth is woven from grass. Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu’s neck was trampled on because in those days a mad person’s neck was pressed as a cure. This hadith is included here on the life of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam to show that if the condition of the near and beloved one’s of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam was this, then what must have been his own condition. These people of the Suffah were regarded as the guests of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam, and whatever (food etc.) was received, was distributed among them. Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says: “I once inquired from ‘Umar Radiyallahu ‘Anhu about an aayah. We were walking together and he was explaining the aayah to me. I could not walk much (due to hunger) and fell unconscious”. Today the Muslims are making an issue of their poverty. The question of food has become so important that because of it, people resort to all sorts of irreligious activities. Does our suffering constitute even one percent of this? Yet with these difficulties the Sahaabah Radiyallahu ‘Anhum did not tolerate any disgrace of our deen.