Story 120: Even A Slave Merchant

The fervent love and affection of a man, who was an olive oil seller, towards the Holy Prophet (S) was famous for all people. They knew that he liked the Holy Prophet (S) from the bottom of his heart, and if he did not see his holiness even a day, he would become impatient.

Before going to start his daily affairs, first he inclined his way towards the Mosque, the Holy Prophet's (S) house or the place where the Prophet (S) used to be. He approached the Holy Prophet (S) under any pretext, upon seeing the Holy Prophet (S) he felt fresh and obtained energy, then he used to set out for attending his daily business.

Sometimes, when people surrounded the Holy Prophet (S), he used to stretch out his neck from the back of the crowd so as to make a glance at the Holy Prophet's (S) face. One day, the Holy Prophet (S) noticed that he was trying to see him from behind the crowd. The Holy Prophet (S) stretched his neck a bit high so that the man could see him easily.

That day, as usual, after having a glance at the Holy Prophet (S), the man set out for his own business, but after some time he came back. The Holy Prophet (S), noticing that he had come for the second time, made a sign to him to come nearer. He came forward and took his seat beside him (S).

The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Today, it is something different from the previous days; daily you used to come and see me once, and then you used to go and attend your business, but today, you came back for the second time. Why?”

He replied: "O Messenger of Allah! In fact, my love and affection towards you increased in my heart so much that I was not able to go to work, that is the reason which compelled me to return."

The Holy Prophet (S) prayed for him. He went back, but he was not seen any more; days passed without any news of that man. The Holy Prophet (S) inquired his Companions about his farewell. All of them replied that they had not seen him for quite a long time.

The Holy Prophet (S) set out to gather information of that man and see what had happened to him. He (S) along with a group of his Companions went to the market where olive oil was sold. Upon reaching his shop, they saw that it was closed and there was nobody in. They inquired his farewell of his neighbours.

They replied: "O Messenger of Allah! He died a few days ago."

They added: "He was a trustworthy and truthful man, but he had a bad habit!"

The Holy Prophet (S) said: "What type of bad habit?"

They said: "He did not refrain himself from doing some bad actions; for example, he used to chase the women."

The Holy Prophet (S): "May Allah bless him and shower His favour on him. He had such an affection for me that Allah would bless him even if he had been the slave merchant.1

  • 1. Ruzatul Kafi, p. 77.