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Prophet Muhammad PBUH — 31: Enjoying A Funny Gesture

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi

When a person is kind and forbearing, people may try to get advantage of his kindness.

They may exceed their limits in one way or another, hoping that he would look at the matter in his usual, forbearing manner. Yet sometimes a kind and forbearing person may be unwilling to let others take advantage of his kindness, particularly when this affects him physically or financially. When such an action is meant to make people laugh or enjoy themselves, the kindly person may feel hurt. However, if he takes all this in his stride and maintains his attitude of kindness, he shows himself to be superior. This is exactly what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did. The following example tells us much.

Nuayman ibn Amr, an Ansari companion of the Prophet, was well known for his humorous gestures and funny tricks. He would pull a trick at any time. The Prophet used to smile at him when he saw him. He would even target his gestures at the Prophet, knowing that in his kindness, the Prophet would only reply with a smile. One day a Bedouin came to the Prophet. He entered the mosque and placed his she-camel outside. Some people suggested to Nuayman: “Why don’t you slaughter this she-camel. We will cook its meat and eat it. We have not had any meat to eat for sometime. The Prophet will give the man its price.” Nuayman did so. When the Bedouin came out, after having stayed sometime with the Prophet, he discovered that his she-camel had been slaughtered. He shouted: “Muhammad! What a slaughter!” The Prophet came out of the mosque. On finding out what happened, he asked who slaughtered the she-camel. People told him that it was Nuayman.

Meanwhile, Nuayman disappeared. The Prophet followed him until he was told that he went into the home of Duba’ah bint al-Zubayr, a cousin of the Prophet. Nuayman, in fact hiding in a small trench, put some tree branches over himself to hide. One man who was accompanying the Prophet noticed where Nuayman was hiding. He pointed to him with his finger and loudly said: ‘Messenger of God, I have not seen him.’ The Prophet walked to him and helped him come out. His face was covered with dust. He asked him: ‘Why did you do that?’ Nuayman said: ‘These people who pointed my hiding place to you were the ones who asked me to do it’. The Prophet wiped the dust off Nuayman’s face and laughed. He then paid the Bedouin a good price for his she-camel.

What we have here is that a person, who is known for his tricks, was persuaded to slaughter a camel that belonged to a Bedouin. He does not see anything other than the funny side of the action, so he slaughters it. The owner is so shocked that he cries out for the Prophet to come out and look. The slaughterer realizes the enormity of his action so he disappears, seeking refuge in the home of a cousin of the Prophet where he hides. When the Prophet becomes aware of the full story, he realizes that no crime was involved. Some of his companions were without meat for sometime. They persuaded a jester to kill the she-camel. The Prophet calms down the man, wiping the dust off his face and pays the price of the killed animal. Thus, the Bedouin gets a new she-camel; the jester is not punished; the people get their meat; and the Prophet smiles as he pays the price, accepting that it was all done for a laugh and a good meal.



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