at first the prophet’s policy of distribution was uncomprehended by many a man. therefore sharp-tongued people started expressing their objections. the helpers were among those who were afflicted by this policy. they were deprived of hunain gifts though they had been the ones who were summoned at hunain hard times and they were the first to rush to fight with the messenger of allâh [pbuh] and standfast till the defeat turned into victory. now here they are watching those who escaped fill their hands with booty while they are given nothing.
on the authority of ibn ishaq: "when the messenger of allâh [pbuh] had given quraish and arab tribes those gifts and allotted nothing to the helpers, a group of the helpers felt so uneasy about it that a lot of ill-statements against the prophet [pbuh] were spread among them to an extent that one of them said: "by allâh, the messenger of allâh [pbuh] was ill-spoken of by his folksmen!" and those ill-statements went on spreading till sa‘d bin ‘ubadah met the messenger of allâh [pbuh], who in his turn faced his people after a while.
sa‘d bin ‘ubadah said: "o messenger of allâh, this group of the helpers are furious at you about the distribution of the booty that you had won. you have allotted shares to your own kinsmen and forwarded lots of gifts to the arab tribes. but this group has obtained nothing." the prophet [pbuh] asked sa‘d exclaiming: "sa‘d, what do you think of all that?" sa‘d replied: "o messenger of allâh. you know that i am nothing but a member of this group." "call out on your people and bring them forth to me into this shed." said the prophet [pbuh].
so sa‘d went out and summoned them. when some emigrants came, he let them in but forbade others. when they were all gathered together, he informed the prophet saying: "this group of the helpers have just arrived to meet you in compliance with your orders." as soon as the messenger [pbuh] faced them he thanked allâh and praised him, then said to them inquiring, "i have been told that you are angry with me. didn’t i come to you when you were astray and allâh guided you? you were poor and allâh gave you wealth. weren’t you foes and allâh made you love one another." "yes," they said, "allâh and his messenger are better and more gracious." then he said: "what prevents you from replying to the messenger of allâh, o tribe of helpers?" they said, "what should be the reply, o messenger of allâh, while to the lord and to his messenger belong all benevolence and grace."
the prophet [pbuh] again said:
"but by allâh, you might have answered and answered truly, for i would have testified to its truth myself: ‘you came to us belied and rejected and we accepted you; you came to us as helpless and we helped you; a fugitive, and we took you in; poor and we comforted you’.
you helpers, do you feel anxious for the things of this world, wherewith i have sought to incline these people unto the faith in which you are already established?
are you not satisfied, o group of helpers that the people go with ewes and camels while you go along with the messenger of allâh ([pbuh]) to your dwellings. by him in whose hand is my life, had there been no migration, i would have been one of the helpers. if the people would go through a valley and passage, and the helpers go through another valley and passage, i would go through the valley and passage of the helpers. allâh! have mercy on the helpers, their children and their children’s children."
the audience wept until tears rolled down their beards as they said:
"yes, we are satisfied, o prophet of allâh ([pbuh] )! with our lot and share."
then the prophet [pbuh] left the gathering and the people also dispersed. [ibn hisham 2/499,500; and like this quoted by bukhari 2/620, 621]