The ‘Converted’ Camel

//The ‘Converted’ Camel

The ‘Converted’ Camel

In the fourth year after hijrah, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) set out on the campaign of Zaatur Riqaa’. Sayyiduna Jaabir bin ‘Abdillah (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) also accompanied Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) on this expedition. When returning to Madeenah Munawwarah, the other Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) moved ahead whilst Sayyiduna Jaabir’s (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) camel lagged behind due to weakness and fatigue.

(This became so unbearable that) at one stage Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thought that it would be better for him to abandon his camel (and walk on foot). Whilst these thoughts were running through his mind, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) approached him and said: “O Jaabir! What is wrong?” Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “O Nabi of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), this camel of mine has held me back.”

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) instructed him to make the camel sit. Then Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) dismounted his camel and said, “Give me the stick that you have in your hand!” He then sprinkled some water on the camel, prodded it a few times with the stick and made du’aa. Thereafter, he instructed Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to remount the camel and continue riding.

When Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) mounted his camel, it began to move swiftly and he was now riding at the front of the entire caravan. On witnessing this, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to him, “I see your camel has become fast.” Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “O Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! (This is) through your blessings.”

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then asked Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), “Will you sell this camel of yours to me, may Allah Ta‘ala forgive you?” Although he desperately needed the camel to fetch water (from the well) and to carry out other errands, as this was the only camel that they possessed, he was overcome with modesty and shame and could not refuse the offer of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). He therefore replied, “O Nabi of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! I would rather give it to you as a gift.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “No, rather sell it to me.”

Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) agreed and told Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to make an offer. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) offered Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) one dirham (silver coin). On hearing the offer, Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) said, “O Nabi of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! You would be causing me to run at a loss (if you buy it for one dirham).” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) continued increasing the price whilst making du‘aa for his forgiveness until they settled on forty dirhams. He then allowed him to ride the camel until they reach Madeenah Munawwarah.

Being newly married, Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) sought permission from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to proceed ahead of the caravan and reach home earlier. When he reached Madeenah Munawwarah, he informed his maternal uncle regarding the sale of his camel. Since this was the only camel that they possessed and thus required it for their needs and errands, his uncle reprimanded him for selling it. (However, since Sayyiduna Jaabir [radhiyallahu ‘anhu] had already concluded the transaction with Rasulullah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam], he did not change his mind due to the reprimand.)

When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) reached Madeenah Munawwarah, Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) went to the masjid to hand over the camel to him. He kneeled the camel down and tied it near the door of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and then went into the masjid, performed two rakaats of salaah and sat nearby waiting for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) came out, he enquired as to whose camel it was. On being informed that it was brought by Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) called for him. He then instructed Sayyiduna Bilaal (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to pay him the full price of the camel together with a little extra. As Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was returning with the payment, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) called him and said, “I did not want to take your camel. So take your camel and your money, both are yours.”

Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) cherished the extra amount that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had given him so much that he placed it in a bag and kept it aside in his home for approximately fifty-nine years until the day of Harrah when Madeenah Munawwarah was invaded and this money was stolen.

(Saheeh Bukhaari #2718, Saheeh Muslim #4098 – #4102, Sunan Nasaai #4641 – #4645, Musnad Ahmad #15026 and Fat-hul Baari)

Lessons:

1. A very great and noble quality of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was that despite being the greatest of all creation and having so many responsibilities, he would always be concerned about the welfare of his companions. When someone was feeling down, he would offer support to him and lift up his spirits and morale. Hence, when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) noticed that Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was struggling with his camel, he (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) took out the time to see to him and assist him. As his followers, we too should emulate this noble quality of our Master (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) by assisting those in need and seeing to the well-being of others.

2. The dictate of Islam is that a person should love for the next person what he loves for himself. So, just as he would like to receive more when being paid, he should like the same for the next person by giving him more when paying. A believer should not ‘make a (lower) price’ to gain wealth in this world, rather, he should ‘make a (higher) price’ to earn Jannah in the Hereafter.

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2022-06-27T15:43:07+02:00 Inspirational Incidents|