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The Prophet's Helping and Hospitality

He never ignored anyone's need even if she were a bondmaid, nor did he sit leaning on some support, nor did he ever gaze at anyone, and he always accepted presents, even as little a present as a drink of milk.

Some of his companions have narrated that if he missed any of his brethren for three days, he would inquire about him; so, if he was away, he prayed for him; if he was present, he went to visit him; if he was sick, he would pay him a visit. He did not let anyone walk with him if he himself was riding till he let him ride with him. If the man refused, he would say to him, "Go ahead of me and join me at the place which you seek."

He used to help his companions as if he was one of them without reflecting an attitude of superiority to them in anything small or big. He was once travelling, when He ordered a sheep to be prepared for food. A man said, "O Messenger of Allah! I shall undertake slaughtering it." Another said, "I shall skin it." Another said, "I shall cook it." He said, "And I shall gather the firewood." They said to him, "We all can spare you the trouble." He said, "I know that you can spare me the trouble, but I do not want to have any distinction over you, for Allah hates to see His servant receiving a special treatment from his companions," then he went and gathered some firewood.

He was once on a trip when he alighted to perform the prayers, but then returned. It was said to him, "O Messenger of Allah! What do you wish to do?" He said, "I want to tie my she-camel." They said, "We will tie it for you." "No," he said, "None of you should exploit others, not even for a small piece of a toothstick." [short lengths of twigs used as toothbrushes.]

An envoy sent by the Negus visited the Prophet in Medina, so the Prophet stood up to personally tend to them. His companions said to him, "O Messenger of Allah! We can spare you the trouble!" He said to them, "They showered our folks with their generosity, so I love to reward them likewise."

Whenever he listened to someone, he would never turn his face away from him till the person himself did so. Whenever he shook hands with someone, he would not pull his hand away till the other person did. He never stood up after having sat with someone till the latter himself stood up, and would initiate anyone who met him with his greeting, including the children and the women, and he was the one to initiate shaking hands with his companions.

He used to shower whoever visited him with his generosity, so much so that he would even spread his outer mantle for him to sit on, or preferring him to sit on his mat instead. He used to choose nicknames for his companions, calling them by the names which they love the most in order to honour them. And he would never interrupt anyone.

Salman 160 narrated once saying, "I entered once the house of the Messenger of Allah and found him leaning on a pillow. He placed it for me saying, 'O Salm"n! No Muslim receives a Muslim brother, and places for him a pillow out of respect, except that Allah forgives him."

If he was performing his prayers and someone came to see him, he would shorten his prayers so that he could finish quickly and help the man. Once he was through with helping the man, he would go back to his prayers. He used to smile the most and his breath was surely the very best of all. Those who used to serve the residents of Medina used to go to see the Messenger of God during early morning prayers, taking their pots of water with them to him so he might dip his hand in the water and thus bless it. He used to dip his hand in each pot, and one might even bring a pot of very cold water, yet the Messenger of God did not mind it and would still dip his hand in it.

Usually a small child would be brought to him so that he would bless him. He would pray for him to be blessed, or he would choose a name for him or recite the Adhan (call to prayer) in his ears. He would take the child and place him in his lap as a sign of respect for his family, and occasionally a child would urinate on him, causing some of those present to rebuke the child. But he would say, "Do not thus hurt the feelings of the child." He would leave the child till the latter fully relieves himself, then he would then finish his prayers for him, or choosing a name for him or reciting the call to prayer in his ears. All of this caused the child's family to be very happy. They noticed how he was not offended. Once they were gone, the Prophet would wash his clothes.

If anyone sat near him, he would move a little to make room for him. Once a man said to him, "O Messenger of Allah! There is plenty of room in the place." He said, "Yes, but a Muslim is obligated, when another Muslim sits near him, to move a little [as a sign of respect for him]."


160. Salman al-Faresi was from Persia and a monotheist [some reports indicate he was following the teachings of the Prophet Jesus peace be upon him] before embracing Islam, and he knew of and was seeking the final Messenger of Allah before arriving at Arabia. Salm"n became one of the most devout companions of the Prophet Muhammad. Given his sincere devotion and piety, the Prophet said about him, "Salm"n is from us the Ahl al-Bayt", and thereafter the Prophet said he should be called Salm"n al- Muhammadi.

Adopted from the book : "The Prophet Muhammad; a Mercy to the World" by : "Ayatullah Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"

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