In the dark of night, from a great distance, they heard a voice of a young man screaming. He was pleading for help. His weak and scrawny camel had remained behind the caravan and lagged far behind. Finally, completely exhausted, he stretched out and slept. He tried to move his camel again, but it was in vain. Standing helplessly beside the camel, he called for help.
The Holy Prophet (S) usually travelled at the back of the caravan, so that anyone who was weak or helpless and became separated from the caravan, would not remain alone.
He (S) heard the call of the young man and, as he approached him, he asked, “Who are you?”
“I am Jabir.”
“Why were you left alone and wandering in the desert?”
“O Messenger of Allah (S), the reason was that my camel became exhausted.”
“Do you have a walking stick?”
“Give it to me.”
The Holy Prophet (S) took the stick and used it to move the camel forward and make it kneel. He (S) then made his hands into the shape of a stirrup and told Jabir to mount his camel. Jabir mounted the camel and then they made their way back together, as Jabir’s camel moved faster.
Throughout the way the Holy Prophet (S) did not cease to show kindness towards Jabir. Jabir had counted and found that the Holy Prophet (S) had prayed twenty-five times for the forgiveness of his sins.
On the way, the Holy Prophet (S) asked Jabir, “How many children remain from your father, Abdullah?”
“Seven girls and a boy, myself.”
“Has your father left any debts?”
“Well, when you return to Madinah, make an arrangement with your creditors, and at the time of the date harvest, call on me.”
“Are you married?”
“To Mrs so-and-so, daughter of so-and-so, one of the widows of Madinah.”
“Why didn't you marry to a young girl of your own age?”
“O Messenger of Allah (S), having so many young and inexperienced sisters, I didn't want to marry a young and inexperienced woman. I preferred to choose a mature woman.”
“You chose well. How much did you pay for this camel?”
“Five ounces of gold.”
“I will purchase it from you at the same price. When you arrive in Madinah, come and collect the money from me.”
The journey came to an end and they arrived in Madinah. Jabir brought his camel to the Holy Prophet (S). The Holy Prophet (S) ordered Bilal to give Jabir five ounces of gold for his camel, and in addition three more ounces so that he may pay off his father Abdullah’s debts. He then returned his camel to him.
The Prophet (S) asked Jabir, “Did you made a contract with the creditors?”
Jabir said, “No, O Messenger of Allah (S).”
“What your father has left you, is it enough to pay his debts?”
“No, O Messenger of Allah”
“Then, call on me at the time of the date harvest.”
The time of the harvest arrived. He called on the Messenger of Allah (S). The Holy Prophet (S) then settled all of his debts and left enough for Jabir's family to live on.1
- 1. Bihar, v. 6, (Chapter: Makaram Akhlaq).