Anecdotes from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad
by Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui
The Prophet’s Respect for Conventions
In the last ten days of the month of Fasting (Ramadan) the Prophet used to confine himself to a secluded place in the mosque and gave himself up to meditation, the saying of prayers, and to the reading of the Holy Quran. His food was brought to him there, and he slept there also. One evening his wife, Safiyyah1, came to the mosque and asked him to stick his head out of the window so that she could wash his hair, anoint and comb it. The Prophet did so. Afterwards, the Prophet undertook to see her off to her residence. It was dark already and as they were walking, two persons passed them by, and recognising the Prophet, greeted him. The Prophet replied to them, but asked them to stop. When they did, he wanted them to know that it was his wife, Safiyyah, who was accompanying him. They vowed that they had not thought of anything evil, but the Prophet said that it was better to leave no doubt, as the devil had subtle ways of attacking a man’s faith.
- Lady Safiyyah was the daughter of a big Jewish chieftain and after the fall of Khaibar Forts, was amongst the captives that had fallen into the hands of the Muslims. The Prophet liberated her and took her in marriage. The Prophet had not the means at that time to entertain his friends to a feast, as is customary. The Companions were asked to come with their own meals, and eat all together, which thus constituted the wedding feast. She once complained to the Prophet that some women, out of jealousy or spite, called her a Jewess in a derogatory manner. The Prophet said: “Next time, you may tell them that your grandfather was Prophet Abraham and your father Prophet Moses, and your husband Prophet Muhammad; that would silence them.” ↩