Adulthood of the Prophet (s.a.w.)
As soon as he came of age, Muhammad (s.a.w.) began to work to earn his living. First, he became a shepherd. Jabir bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, related that he was with the Prophet (s.a.w.) with other Muslims, picking al- Kabath (a kind of fruit). The Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
Pluck the black ones. They are sweetest. I used to gather it while pasturing my sheep.
You were pasturing the sheep, O Messenger of Allah?, we asked him.
Yes, he replied, every prophet was at sometime a shepherd. 9
Allah, the Most High, was able to spare His Prophet (s.a.w.) the tiresome task of working. He willed to set the Prophet (s.a.w.) as an example for the people so that nobody would rely on anybody else for earning his living.
Islam stressed the importance of work. The Prophet (s.a.w.) is reported to have said:
Cursed be who throws his burdens on other people. 10
Worship is of seventy kinds, the best of which is earning one's living righteously.
An excellent help to guard against evil is wealth. 11
9. Suwar min Hayat Muhammad (Images from the Life of Muhammad), Amin Duwaidar, Dar al-Ma'arif - Egypt, p.76.
Adapted from the book: "Muhammad The Messenger of Allah"
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