The Royal Path to Reformation
"Please give me something,…" said a man coming to the Prophet who was with his companions around him. The cloths of that person were untidy. "Why are you begging like this? Don't you have anything at home?" The prophet queried.
"Nothing?", asked Prophet.
"Only the blanket to wrap myself and a pitcher for water".
"Come to me with both the things" the prophet said. He came back with the both.
"Is there anybody who would bid more amount for these two?".
On hearing the Prophet, one man offered, " Two dirhams". The Prophet called out the price thrice and fixed it at two dirhams. He gave the money to the beggar and said, " Of this, buy food for one dirham and assuage the hunger of your family. Then buy an axe with the balance and come here".
Accordingly, he purchased food for one dirham and an axe with the balance and immediately returned to the Prophet with the axe. When he saw the beggar, the Prophet felt very happy. He prayed to Allah that it be the moment of virtue dawning on him and said to the beggar,
"You cut wood with this axe and sell it at the market. Continue to do this and meet me in 15 days".
The beggar went to the forest and started cutting the firewood. He felt difficulty at the beginning. After taking water for quenching thirst, he continued to work. He would sell the firewood before nightfall at the town. In fifteen days, he was able to earn l0 dirhams.
On the sixteenth day, he came to the Prophet; his face showing signs of confidence. It is a confident woodcutter who is now standing before him-- a big change both in looks and bearing. The Prophet gladly asked after him. He is now contented, no starvation in the family. The Prophet advised him not to forget to buy a blanket and other essential household requirements with the surplus money.
A stranger came into the midst of the Prophet and his companies. He looked unrefined and rude. He asked Prophet without any word of greetings, "I must be given consent for adultery".
For one moment the Prophet kept looking impassively at the stranger. Then he hugged the man and greeted him and after formal enquiries asked,
"Do you have sisters?"
"Would you like their modesty to be violated by anybody?"
"I would not tolerate it",
"Suppose your daughter's modesty is violated?",
" I would not permit it, either",
"If it happens to be your mother?",
"I would kill him",
"Suppose it is your wife subjected to fornication?"
"What, should any one touch my wife…?"
"In case someone did it?",
"No, nobody would dare do it. If ever anyone attempted it, he would not walk on earth",
At this moment, the Prophet told him, " I have given you permission for adultery, but it should not be someone's mother sister, wife or daughter". Then, the Prophet stroke his chest and prayed for him".
After a while, the man stood up and bade them farewell. As if in soliloquy, he added, "When I stepped in here, the greatest desire in my life was adultery. But now it is the same I hate most".
Once the Prophet told his disciples about the generosity of a person "A man set out from his home with some funds, saying "I would do an act of charity today". Having given the entire money to the first person he met on his way, he was returning with gratification. Those who saw it mocked at him that he offered charity to a thief. When he came to know that he had gifted money to a thief, he was perturbed, but only said, "Allah be praised".
The next day too, he set out from his house, saying he would do a charitable act. He had a wallet of money in his hands. It was to a prostitute that he donated it. All those who came to know of it scorned him to their heart's content, "here is the one who offered charity to a prostitute".
But he only said, "Allah be praised". He returned home, quite cool and composed. The next morning too he set out with money for charity. He told his wife who came to see him off that he would do an act of charity that day too. His wife who was proud of her husband's faith and sincerity had nothing to say in reply.
As he reached the road, the first one he met was a rich person. He donated the money to him. The spectators around him walked away in contempt. But he never felt any annoyance. He said, "Oh Allah, I offer all praise to you who blessed me to offer charity to a thief, prostitute and a rich man." At that time a wayfarer who happened to come that way told him, "Well done. Thanks to your charity, the thief may desist from theft and the prostitute from prostitution. It might turn out to be a lesson to the rich man, and he may start offering charity to others in future".
One evening, the Prophet and his companions were talking on the premises of the mosque. A stranger approached the Prophet and said to him, "I want to embrace Islam. But I have a bad habit and could I desist from that by accepting the true faith?"
The prophet asked him curiously: "What is it?"
"Your honour, I have never seen anyone who is physically as strong as I".
No sooner did he finish his talk than the Prophet said:
"Brother, your physical condition is a great blessing from Allah, health and strength are gifts from Allah. You should be proud of it, shouldn't you?"
"The Messenger of Allah, I am incapable of controlling my physical strength - Every night I used to beat lambs. Sometimes there would be two or three of them. This is my evil habit or weakness. Could I shake it off by embracing the righteous path?"
The Prophet said, "You don't have to bother about it. You have only to decide to use your physical power for good things. The enemy has castigated a large number of our brethren without any reason. You go in search of them and deliver and bring them, carrying. You can tame your body through such acts and earn the great reward from Allah in the hereafter. It would simultaneously be a service to Islam".
The Prophet's instruction ignited his reasoning power. He realised that he was abusing his physical capabilities for negative things and it is the creative approach that led to the blessings of Allah. He also felt that it was new revolution. He kept on pursuing the path to the light and nearness of Allah.
An old woman was standing on the wayside. A heavy looking bundle lay near her. She could not carry that weighty burden, for she had difficulty even in walking. She felt tired of waiting for porters and nobody had so far turned up who was willing to carry it for a reasonable charge. One or two persons who chanced along demanded too high a charge, which the old woman could not afford. It was at that time the Prophet happened to come that way. Having felt pity for the woman, he carried the bundle on his head and walked behind her.
After reaching her house, the Prophet laid down the load and was bidding her farewell, when she fished out some amount from her pocket and offered it to the Prophet with delight and gratitude. But he did not accept it. The old woman, on seeing the joyous face and kindly eyes, could not press him further. Gratified that he had done something good, the Prophet was about to bid her farewell, when the woman told him, "Son, I am very much happy about your help and good will, you are the owner of a righteous mind. Let there be no difficulty for you in life. But son, you have to be wary. Times are bad. There is the one in our country who goes about saying that he is a Prophet. You should not get caught in his trap. He will mislead you. He is audacious enough to mislead the good old people - a rogue who sets families at war. You must be cautious lest you fall a prey to his trap".
The old woman's words only caused a smile on the Prophet. Without saying or asking anything, the Prophet turned back and started walking away. The woman turned a bit suspicious, asked him his name, though late. When the Prophet told her that he was that Muhammed, she was shocked and looked at his eyes impassively. The woman said that she had not so far come across one who proved so kind and generous.
She was deriving consolation from the conviction that Muhammed who shared her sorrow by willingly bearing her whole burden gratuitously-even without any ulterior motive of propagation of his mission- and finding gratification from shouldering it as his duty and divine obligation, was indeed the messenger and Prophet of Allah. She took solace from the fact that it is the chaste and untainted life pursuing the path of Allah that is subjected to contempt these days. As penitence, that old woman decided to follow the footsteps of the Prophet.
The path of Muhammed, the Prophet, was one of reformation - a transformation into the pleasure of love and faith. It was the sanctified rhymes of humanness that reverberated there - a feeling of having reached the royal path of brilliance from the gloomy ruggedness, strewn with thorns and stones. A sensation of relief from the fact that many helpless and weak people had gained protection and care.
The life of the Prophet could plant seed of a meaningful revolution in the deep recesses of the heart of Arabia. The Arabian community was totally unacquainted with such a trend - a royal path to all-embracing reformation.