Prophet Muhammad PBUH — 31: Enjoying A Funny Gesture
Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals
& 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
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.