14 MUSLIM ANECDOTES (Qazi Muhammad Barakatullah) 1. The Holy Prophet was ill during his last days on earth. He addressed his companions and said: “If I have hurt anyone of you, even unknowingly, let him take his revenge now.” The Companions were stunned and tears started rolling down their cheeks because the Mercy to the world could hurt no one in anyway. But one man stood up and, coming forward, said: “0 Prophet of Allah, once I was hit with your elbow in my side and I want my revenge.” The Companions were shocked and enraged on hearing these words. But the Holy Prophet, without hesitation, asked the man to take his revenge. He turned on one side and asked the man to hit him as he was hit. The man complained that he was without a shirt when he was hit. So the Holy Prophet asked his shirt to be raised to let the man hit that side with his elbow. The man came up to the Holy Prophet and with tears rolling down his eyes, kissed the bare body of the Holy Prophet. (Bukhari) 2. It is said that a poor woman of dark complexion was accustomed to sweep the mosque in Medina. As the Holy Prophet did not see her for several days, he inquired as to what had happened to her. His companions informed him that the woman had died. There upon, the Holy prophet said to them: “Why did you not tell me about her death?” He immediately went to her grave and offered prayer for her. (Bukhari) 3. Once there was a sort of gathering of hungry people at a house, the Holy Prophet being one of them. The Holy Prophet asked the hostess, Umme Saleem, to send whatever food she had. Umme Saleem did accordingly but the food was so little that it was insufficient even for one person. The Holy Prophet prayed over the food and asked ten people to come in and eat as much as they could. The ten people did eat to their full and then left. Then another ten people were asked to eat and they also enjoyed their full meal. Likewise another ten came in and left and then another ten came in MUSLIM ANECDOTES 15 and ate till they were full. In short, the food which was apparently insufficient even for one person became exceedingly blessed by the prayer of the Holy Prophet, so as to satisfy the hunger of seventy or eighty people. (Bukhari) 4. Once the Holy Prophet was passing through a market and saw a man standing who was not apparently good looking. The Holy Prophet went behind him and took him in his arms from behind. Then he said with a loud voice: “I have a slave, would anyone buy him?” The man realized that there could be no one except the Holy Prophet who would hold him affectionately like that. So he started moving back, touching more closely to the body of the Holy Prophet. Then the man said, looking back: “0 Messenger of Allah, you would not get a lot of money by selling me.” The Holy Prophet let him go smilingly, saying: “Your worth in the sight of Allah is very high.” (Bukhari) 5. During the course of a war, a man was noticed to be hiding in and killing Muslims. Usama Bin Zaid eventually got hold of him and drew his sword to kill him. Then the man at once proclaimed in a loud voice: “There is none worthy of worship except Allah … ” and right at that moment Usama Bin Zaid killed him. The man could not complete the other portion of the Kalima. The matter was brought to the attention of the Holy Prophet that Usama Bin Zaid had killed a man who was reciting the Kalima. The Holy Prophet was very unhappy with Usama. Then Usama pleaded that the man was not truthful in his recitation of the Kalima because on being caught, he was scared and started reciting the Kalima. The Holy Prophet said displeasingly: “Did you peep into his heart to see whether he was telling the truth? What will you say on the Day of Judgement when his confession of faith will be cited as evidence against you?” (Muslim) 6. Once while travelling there occurred a shortage of drinking water. The Holy Prophet asked that whatever water was left should be brought to him. A utensil was brought to him with very little water in 16 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS it. The Holy Prophet put his hand inside the container and the water became so blessed that everyone in the company was able to drink as much water as he wished. (Bukhari) 7. Once Abu Huraira was very hungry and had been without food for over three days. He stood at the door of the mosque and saw Hazrat Abu Bakr passing by. He approached Hazrat Abu Bakar and asked the explanation of a verse in the Holy Quran which enjoins the feeding of the hungry and poor. Hazrat Abu Bakar explained the meaning of the verse and moved on. Then Abu Huraira saw Hazrat Umar passing by. He approached Hazrat Umar and recited the same verse and asked for the meaning and explanation. Hazrat Umar explained the meaning and passed on. Abu Huraira said to hirflself that both these pious people knew that I knew at least that much of Quran as they have explained. Abu Huraira, being a companion of the Holy Prophet, did not want to ask directly for food. He thought that both Hazrat Abu Bakar and Hazrat Umar would know what he meant by asking the meaning of that particular verse. Then Abu Huraira saw the Holy Prophet coming out of the mosque. So he approached the Holy Prophet, recited the same verse and asked for the meaning and explanation. The Holy Prophet looked at Abu Huraira, smiled and said: “Abu Huraira! You are hungry. Come with me.” So Abu Huraira accompanied the Holy Prophet to his home and found that there was no food even in his house. Abu Huraira was so hungry that he could hardly keep his composure. By chance a person came who had brought a cup of milk for the Holy Prophet. Then the Holy Prophet told Abu Hurairah that there was only one cup of milk. But before drinking it, he should first go to the mosque and see if there were any other hungry people. He asked Abu Huraira to bring them to share the cup of milk which was hardly sufficient for one person and the Holy Prophet was asking for more people to share a drink from the same cup. Anyway, he went and found six hungry people. He brought them back to the Holy Prophet’s house. Abu Huraira was much pleased because the Holy Prophet had understood what he meant by the recitation of the verse in the Holy Quran. The Holy Prophet asked everyone to sit down and they formed a sort of circle with Abu Hurairah sitting on the left of the Holy Prophet. As of custom, the Holy Prophet passed the cup of milk to the person the person MUSLIM ANECDOTES 17 sitting on his right asking him to drink as much as he could and then pass the cup on to the next sitting on his right with the same instruction. Eventually, the cup reached Abu Hurairah who was thinking there would be nothing left for him to drink, but he found milk in it. So Abu Huraira took the cup of milk and started drinking it. The Holy Prophet said “drink more, Abu Huraira” and he did until he could drink no more. Then he passed the cup to the Holy Prophet who was the last to drink the milk. In that way a cup of milk was blessed and, by the grace of Allah, the milk satisfied the hunger of eight people. (Bukhari) 8. Among the early people was a man who committed ninety nine murders. Later he inquired of the people as to who was the greatest savant on the face of the earth. Upon being informed of a monk, the man went to him to learn if his ninety nine murders could be forgiven. The monk decreed that such sins could not be forgiven. So the man killed the monk, making in all one hundred murders. Again he asked, “Who is the greatest savant in the world?” This time he learned of another savant. Relating the tragedy of the hundred murders to the savant, he again inquired if forgiveness was possible. The savant commanded him to leave his land of iniquity and join in worship and prayer with a band of holy men in a foreign country. While journeying to the strange land, the man died. There upon arose a quarrel between the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment. The angels of mercy declared, ‘In his heart he repented and turned to God, therefore, we are entitled to take him.’ The angels of punishment replied, ‘He did not do any good work, so he belongs to us.’ Suddenly an angel appeared in the shape of a man. Both opponents agreed that the angel should judge between them. So the judge ordered them to find out by measuring to which land he was nearest when he died. It was learned that he was nearest by one cubit to the land of the holy man. Therefore the judge decreed that he belonged to the angels of mercy who took him joyfully.” (Bukhari and Muslim) 9. The battle of Hunain was in progress and an incident occurred: Shaiba, a resident of Mecca and in the service of the Kaba, took part in the encounter on the side of the enemy. He says that he had only one aim before him in this battle that, when the two armies met, he would find an opportunity to kill the Prophet. He was determined that even if the whole world joined the Prophet (let alone the whole of Arabia), he would stand out and continue to oppose Islam. When 18 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS fighting became brisk, Shaiba drew his sword and started advancing towards the Prophet. As he came very near, he became nervous. His determination began to shake. ‘When 1 got very near the Prophet,’ says Shaiba, ‘I seemed to see a flame threatening to consume me. 1 then heard the voice of the Prophet saying, ‘Shaiba, come near me.’ When 1 came near, the Prophet moved his hand over my chest with great affection. As he did so, he said, ‘God, relieve Shaiba of all satanic thoughts.’ With this little touch of affection Shaiba changed. His hostility and enmity evaporated, and from that moment Shaiba held the Prophet dearer than anything else in the world. As Shaiba changed, the Prophet invited him to come forward and fight. ‘At that moment,’ says Shaiba, ‘I had but one thought, and that was to die for the sake of the Prophet. Even if my father had come my way, 1 would not have hesitated a moment to thrust my sword in his chest.’ (Halbiyyah) 10. On the occasion of Prophet Muhammad’s Hijrat from Mecca to Medina, the Meccans put a prize on the heads of both Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, and Hazrat Abu Bakar. Whoever captured and restored to the Meccans the Prophet or Abu Bakar dead or alive would have a reward of a hundred camels. The announcement was made among the tribes around Mecca. Tempted by the reward, Suraqa ibn Malik, a Bedouin chief, started in pursuit of the party and ultimately sighted them on the road to Medina. He saw two mounted camels and, feeling sure they were bearing the Prophet and Abu Bakar, spurred on his horse. The horse reared and fell before it had gone very far and Suraqa also fell. Suraqa’s own account of what happened is interesting. He said: “After 1 fell from the horse, 1 consulted my luck in the superstitious fashion common with Arabs by a throw of the arrows. The arrows boded ill luck. But the temptation of the reward was great. 1 mounted again and resumed my pursuit and nearly overtook the party. The Prophet rode with dignity, and did not look back. Abu Bakr, however, looked back again and again (evidently out of fear for the safety of the Prophet). As 1 neared them, my horse reared again, and 1 fell off. 1 consulted the arrows again; and again they boded ill luck. My horse’s hoofs sank deep into the sand. Mounting again and resuming the pursuit seemed difficult. 1 then understood that the party was under Divine protection. I called out to them and entreated them to stop. When near enough 1 told them of my evil intention and of my change of heart. 1 told them 1 was giving up the pursuit and was returning. The Prophet let me go, but made me promise MUSLIM ANECDOTES 19 not to reveal their whereabouts to anybody. I became convinced that the Prophet was a true one, destined to succeed. I requested the Prophet to write me a guarantee of peace to serve me when he became Supreme. The Prophet asked Amir bin Fuhaira to write me a guarantee, and he did. As I got ready to return with it, the Prophet received a revelation about the future and said, “Suraqa, how will you feel with the gold bangles of the Chosroes on your wrists?’ Amazed atthe prophecy, I asked, ‘Which Chosroes? Chosroes ibn Hormizd, the Emperor of Iran?’ The Prophet said, “Yes” (Usud al Ghabbah). Sixteen or seventeen years later the prophecy was literally fulfilled. Suraqa accepted Islam and went to Medina. the Prophet died, and after him, first Hazrat Abu Bakar, and then Hazrat Umar became the Khalifa of Islam. The growing influence of Islam made the Iranians jealous and led them to attack the Muslims. But, instead they were subjugated by them. The capital of Iran fell to the Muslims who captured its treasures, including the gold bangles which the Chosroes wore at State functions. When the spoils of the war with Iran were placed before Hazrat Umar, he saw the gold bangles and remembered what the Prophet had told Suraqa. It was a grand prophecy made at a time of utter helplessness. Hazrat Umar decided to stage a visible fulfilment of the prophecy. He, therefore, sent for Suraqa ordered him to put on the gold bangles. Suraqa protested that the wearing of gold by men had been forbidden by Islam. Hazrat Umar said that this was true, but that the occasion was an exception. The Prophet had foreseen Chosroes’ gold bangles on his wrists; therefore he had to wear them now, even on pain of punishment. Suraqa was objecting out of deference to the Prophet’s teaching otherwise he was as eager as anyone else to provide visible proof of the fulfilment of the great prophecy. He put on the bangles and Muslims saw the prophecy fulfilled (Usud al Ghabbah). Once a fugitive the Prophet had become a king. He himself was no longer in this world. But those who succeeded him could witness the fulfilment of his words and visions. FREE FROM IMPURITIES Save us from the evil tongue. From the heart that thinketh wrong, From the sins whate’er they be, That divideth the soul from Thee.