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The Bedouin and the Prophet (S)

Taken from: Anecdotes of Pious Men by Murtadha Mutahhari,
Contributed by Mahwash Hirmendi, mhirmend@opal.tufts.edu.

The Bedouin entered Madina, and went directly to the Masjid, so that he may get some money or gold from the Prophet (S). When he arrived, he saw the Prophet (S) sitting among his companions. He asked his need. The Prophet (S) gave his something. He was not content, and moreover he used harsh and inappropriate language against the Prophet (S). The companions became very angry, and were ready to hurt him. But the Prophet (S) prevented them from haste.

The Prophet (S) took the Bedouin to his home, and gave him some more. The Bedouin saw that the residence of the Prophet (S) wasn't like those of the heads of governments, and there is no luxury in his home.

The Bedouin became content with the share, and thanked the Prophet. At this time, the Prophet (S) asked him: “You said a harsh word yesterday, which caused anger in my companions. I fear that they will hurt you. Would you be willing to show your appreciation in front of them, so that their anger be resolved, and they don't hurt you?” The Bedouin said: “Sure.”

The next day, the Bedouin came to the Masjid. The Prophet (S) addressed his companions: “This man says, he is content with his share, is it true?” The Bedouin said: “That is true.” Then he repeated the appreciation that he had shared with Prophet (S). The companions smiled.

The Prophet addressed the group: “The parable of me and these types of individuals is like that of the man whose camel was running away from him. With the [thought] they could help the owner, people were running after the camel. The camel was frightened and ran faster. The owner called on the people, please leave my camel alone, I know better how to calm it. When the people stopped chasing the camel, the owner followed it calmly, with a fistful of grass. Then without the need for running, yelling, he showed the grass to it.

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