Anecdotes from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad
by Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui
Facility in Religion
1. It is related that a certain man, guilty of transgressing the religious law in a certain respect, confessed his fault to the Prophet, who said:
“Set a captive or slave free.”
The man replied:
“I cannot afford to do that.”
“Then keep fast for two months.”
“I am not strong enough.”
“Then go and feed sixty poor men,”
said the Prophet.
The man declined, saying:
“I do not have the means.”
The Prophet kept silent for a little while. In the meanwhile, somebody came and presented a basketful of dates to him. The Prophet turned towards his questioner and said:
“Take this basket and distribute the dates among the poor.”
The man replied;
“O Prophet of God, there is none so poor within the limits of this town as myself.”
The Prophet laughed and said:
“So be it, go and distribute it amongst your family.”
2. Muaz bin Jabal used to lead the prayers in a certain quarter of the town and, in his prayers, used to recite lengthy chapters of the Quran. A certain man complained to the Prophet that Muaz read such long chapters that it had proved to be a hindrance for him to say his prayers in Muaz’s leadership. Abu Masud Ansari relates that he had never seen the Prophet angrier than at that time. The Holy Prophet responded thus:
“There are certain people who inspire aversion in the minds of others; everyone from amongst you, who happens to lead the prayers, should read short chapters, for in the congregation of those that pray, there are the weak, the decrepit, and the old.”
3. Hazrat Ayesha (the wife of the Holy Prophet) reported that one of her friends got married. She met the bride again after a few months and noticed with somewhat of a shock that she was looking pale and sad and was shabbily dressed. Hazrat Ayesha asked her the reason. She replied that her husband hardly took notice of her, as he kept fast during the day and prayed the whole night through. Ayesha reported this to the Holy Prophet who sent for the man and was very angry with him.
“I pray in the night also, but I have my sleep as well,”
exclaimed the Prophet.
“Similarly, I fast on certain days and eat and drink on other days.”
Afterwards, he directed the man to go and show love to his wife. He said that he was keeping fast, whereupon the Holy Prophet ordered him to break his fast and go home.
The Holy Quran says:
“…Allah desires ease for you, and He desires not hardship for you….” (The Holy Quran, 2:185).
“And when My servants ask thee concerning Me, surely I am near. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should hear My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.” (The Holy Quran, 2:186)