The story of Tha’labah ibn Haatib who refused to pay Zakaah during the lifetime of the Prophet

Question 138: Al-Ittihaad Journal published in its special edition of Ramadaan under a competition entitled, “Names to remember in the Qur’aan”, a question (no. 22) that reads as follows: A Sahaabee (Companion) asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) to supplicate to Allaah to provide him with wealth but when he became wealthy, the Messenger (peace be upon him) asked him to pay Zakaah (obligatory charity) but he refused to pay. After the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him), this Sahaabee sent Zakaah to Aboo Bakr but he did not accept it. Again he sent it in the caliphate of `Umar but he did not accept it either. Later on, he died in the caliphate of `Uthmaan.

What is the true story of this Sahaabee? Should not a Fatwaa’ (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) be issued to deny or confirm this story?

Answer: Tha`labah ibn Haatib or ibn Aboo Haatib Al-Awsee Al-Ansaaree is one of the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet) who witnessed the Battles of Badr and Uhud. He (may Allah be pleased with him) is innocent of what has been ascribed to him. According to a false story, he came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to supplicate to Allaah for him to provide him with wealth. The Prophet (peace be upon him) supplicated to Allaah for him and Allaah made him wealthy but he refused to pay Zakaah, and thus the Aayah of Soorah Al-Tawbah was revealed... read more here.