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Thursday, March 02, 2006

THE HOLY PROPHET (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his immaculate progeny) AND THE SOUR GRAPES

One day a poor man brought a bunch of grapes to the holy prophet Muhammad
(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his immaculate progeny) as a

The holy prophet (pbuhf) ate one, two, three and then the whole bunch of
grapes by himself. He did not offer grapes to anyone present.

The poor man who brought those grapes was very pleased and left.

One of the companions asked, “O prophet of Allah! How come you ate all the
grapes by yourself and did not offer to any one of us present?

The holy Prophet (pbuhf) smiled and said, “I ate all the grapes by myself
because the grapes were sour. If I would have offered you, you might have
made funny faces and that would have hurt the feelings of that poor man. I
thought to myself that it’s better that I eat all of them cheerfully and
please the poor man. I did not want to hurt the feelings of that poor man.”

Such were the manners of this most noble prophet of Allah.

One day the holy Prophet of Allah was going somewhere when he met a man
selling a camel.

The holy Prophet (pbuhf) liked the camel and bought it at an agreed price.
The holy Prophet (P) did not have money on him at the time so he asked the
camel dealer to follow him up to his home and he would pay him his due. The
man agreed.

As they were going, another man approached and asked the camel dealer if he
was selling his camel and for how much. He said that he had already sold
the camel to the holy Prophet for such an amount. This man offered him
better price and he agreed to sale the camel to him.

The holy Prophet said to the camel dealer that since he had already sold the
camel to him, it was wrong to break the agreement just like that. The man
denied making any agreement.

Whilst all this was going on, the passers by stopped and wondered as to what
was going on. The Apostle of Allah explained exactly what happened.

Companions: O Prophet of Allah, do you have any witnesses to support your

Holy Prophet (P): No. We have no witnesses as there was no one present when
the agreement was made.

Companions: Sorry, we don’t think we can help you. How can we be sure who
is telling the truth and who is lying?

A very close companion of the holy Prophet (probably hazrat Ali (a.s.) or
hazrat Abu Dharr) happened to pass by and saw the holy Prophet (pbuhf)
surrounded by the people. On inquiring about it, came to know what

Hazrat Ali (a.s.): The Prophet (pbuhf) of Allah is telling the truth and the
camel dealer is lying.

The holy Prophet: But you were not present when the agreement was made. So
how can you judge without being there?

Hazrat Ali (a.s.): O Prophet of Allah, you said that there is Allah and we
believed you, even though we haven’t seen Him. You told us that Qur’an was
the word of Allah and we believed you. You told us about angels, heaven and
hell and we believed you, even though we haven’t seen all these things. How
is it possible that you would lie about such petty thing?

The moral of the story is that there were some sahabas who walked, sat and
ate with the Prophet of Allah, but did not grasp his inner personality and
at the same time there were also some other companions of the holy Prophet
who understood him physically as well as spiritually.

Islam has put a lot of emphasis on enjoining good and prohibiting evil.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuhf) has given a beautiful example which is as follows.

“Imagine there are people travelling in a boat. One of the passengers
starts to drill a hole right where he is sitting. What will be the

Everyone will start making noise and stop him from carrying on what he’s
doing. Suppose he says ‘mind your own business, I am drilling a hole in my
own place and who are you to stop me?’

Obviously, everyone will say, ‘that is true. But when the water starts
coming into the boat, it will not only drown you, but we all are going to

Similarly, when you see sins committed in your community, society or nation,
and if you turn a blind eye, you all will be answerable to God Almighty,
liable for His punishment and for spreading the corruption.”

“When you see something wrong happening in your community or the society, it
is obligatory to confront it and stop it. If you have power to speak out
against the evil committed, it will be the jihad with your tongue. If you
have no power to speak but you can write against it, it will be jihad with
your pen. If you can neither speak nor write, but have money to pay someone
who can do the job for you, it will be jihad with your wealth. If you
cannot do anything then have hatred towards such acts and this is the
weakest form of jihad.” The holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuhf)


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