The Prophet Visits His Neighbors

The Prophet Visits His Neighbors

Before the morning is out, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) often pays a visit to a relative or one of his Companions.
Today he goes to visit his daughter Fatimah in hopes of seeing his little grandson al-Hasan.
Abu Hurayrah recalls to us a visit like this one:
“The Prophet was out one morning and found me in the mosque. He took me by the hand and we went together, him leaning somewhat on my hand.
We headed to the Qaynuqa` market, not speaking a word to each other. We strolled through the market, looking around, and then we left. We went to the outer courtyard of Fatimah’s house, where he sat down. He called out for al-Hasan:

“Where is the little one? Where is he? Call al-Hasan ibn `Ali to me.”
No one answered. Fatimah was detaining him, so we assumed she was bathing and dressing him, and preparing for him a little perfumed necklace he used to wear.
So the Prophet got up to leave and I followed him until we came to the mosque. He sat down and drew up his legs. Then he said:
“Now where is the little one? Call him to me.”
Just as soon as he said that, al-Hasan bounded up to him, wearing his perfumed necklace. The Prophet made a sign with his hand and then held it out to al-Hasan.
Then al-Hasan grabbed his hand and jumped into his lap. They hugged each other, and the Prophet kissed him and drew him close. Al-hasan began running his fingers through the Prophet’s beard. The prophet drew al-Hasan face close to his and said:

“O Allah! Truly I love him, so love him too, and bestow your love on everyone else who loves him.”
He repeated this prayer three times. I can never forget the sight of them together. Even years later, it was impossible for me to look at al-Hasan without my eyes filling up with tears.
On another occasion, the Prophet (peace be upon him) visited Fatimah’s house inquiring after her husband: `Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was also his nephew. She told him:
“We had a bit of an argument and he went out.”
The Prophet called on some people to enquire as to his whereabouts, and one of them told him that `Ali was sleeping in the mosque. The Prophet went off and found him there, lying on his side. His cloak had fallen off his shoulder, and his side was covered in dirt. The Prophet (peace be upon him) began gently wiping the dirt off of him, saying:

“Get up, Abu Turab, get up.”
The Prophet also likes to visit his old nurse, Umm Ayman, who took care of him when he was a small child. Their relationship is very close and familiar.
One time, when he went to see her, she served him some refreshments and for some reason he declined to eat, possibly because he was fasting. She turned and shouted at him, scolding him about his behavior. She insisted that he must eat. She loved him so much, she could not help herself. He was in every way like her very own son.
The Prophet took her scolding graciously and with good cheer.
The Prophet regularly visits his Companions. He pays special attention to those who are poor, weak, or infirm. He accepts the invitations of people who invite him to their homes. When he accepts an invitation, he sometimes comes alone, and sometimes with company.
For instance, when he accepted the invitation of Anas ibn Malik’s elderly mother Mulaykah to eat at her home, he went by himself. He was received by Mulaykah, her son Anas, and an orphan who was in their care. He ate with them. Afterwards, he said:

“Get ready and I will lead you in prayer.”
Anas got up and readied a mat which had grown dark due to its lying out on the floor for so long. He freshened it with water, and the prophet stood upon it. Anas and the orphan boy stood in a row behind him, and Mulaykah stood in a row on her own. The Prophet led them all in two units of prayer, then he took his leave.
Sometimes, the Prophet takes a member of his family with him when he accepts an invitation. For instance, once a Persian neighbor of his called on him at home to invite him over for a meal. This man was known to have the best gravy in town with the most delicious aroma. He had especially prepared the meal for the Prophet. The Prophet replied to the invitation:

“Can (my wife) Aisha come with me.”
The man said no, so the Prophet informed him that he will not be able to make it. A little later, the neighbor called upon him a second time, beseeching him to come over and eat. The Prophet again asked if his wife could come along.
When the man said no, the Prophet again declined the invitation. He came back a third time to invite him to come saying that Aisha was also welcome. So he accepted the invitation and they went off together. At other times, the Prophet takes some of his Companions with him. This was the case when `Itban ibn Malik invited the Prophet over to pray at his house. `Itban had said:
“My eyes have grown weak, and I am the one who leads the prayers for the people in my locality. When heavy rains make the valley between my home and theirs flow with water, I cannot get to the community mosque to lead them in prayer. Therefore, I would like you, O Messenger of Allah, to visit me and pray at my house, to inaugurate it as a prayer area.” The Prophet agreed, and the next morning he came to `Itban’s house along with Abu Bakr, `Umar, and some others. He asked `Itban:

“Where would you like me to pray?”
`Itban indicated a corner of his house, and laid out a mat for him, which he cleaned off with water. The Prophet (peace be upon him) went over and offered two units of prayer. Afterwards, `Itban insisted that everyone stay for lunch, so they all sat down to eat together.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) is always very sociable with his hosts, showing everyone in the household special attention, even the small children. Mahmud ibn Rabi’ would later recall that when he was five, the Prophet visited his house, and played with him at the household well by splashing water at him with his fingers. Anas recalls another such occasion:
“The Prophet had the best of manners. He would mix with us and mingle freely. My little brother was three years old. His name was Abu `Umayr. Whenever the Prophet came to visit us, he would joke with him and make him laugh. Once, when he was visiting, he noticed that my little brother was sad. He turned to his mother and asked: “Umm Sulaym, why is it I see your son so sad and gloomy?”
She said: “His bird Nughayr died, that he used to play with.” The Prophet turned to the boy and began stroking his head, saying:

“O Abu `Umayr, what has Nughayr done? What has Nughayr done?”
The Prophet wins the hearts of the children and parents alike in the way he makes the children laugh, and in the way he takes their concerns as seriously as he does those of adults. Whenever he eats at someone’s house, he always offers prayers for his hosts. For instance, when Sa’d ibn `Ubadah served him bread and oil at his home, the Prophet (peace be upon him) ate with him and then concluded with the following prayer:
“May fasting people conclude their fasts with your food, may righteous people partake of it, and may the angels beseech Allah’s blessings for you.”
On another occasion, the Prophet (peace be upon him) visited Busr ibn Abi Busr. When he approached his home, Busr and his wife came out to greet him and welcome him inside. They offered him a cushion to sit on. Then Busr’s wife brought him a large bowl of thick porridge made of wheat flour mixed with water and salt. They all ate from it together, and there was still some to spare when they were done. Then the prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“O Allah! Grant them Your forgiveness and mercy, bless them, and give them abundance in their livelihood.” His visits are not only to enjoy good company and cultivate love between the members of the community. His conduct – how he interacts with his hosts and other guests, young and old – is an education for them. Sometimes his lessons are more explicit. ‘Abd Allah ibn `Amir recalls the following:
“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) visited us at our home when I was a small boy. I wanted to go out and play, but my mother called me back saying: “`Abd Allah, come here and I will give you something.” Allah’s Messenger turned to her and asked: “What did you intend to give him?” She answered that she was going to give him dates. The Prophet then said: “If you do not give them to him, it will be written into your reckoning that you had told a lie.”
Consider this important lesson in child rearing. It is wrong for parents to coax children into doing things by making false promises, though many parents do this unthinkingly. It is important to instill in our children the value of honesty.
On another occasion, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was at `Itban ibn Malik’s house among a large number of other guests. Someone said: “What’s up with Malik ibn al-Dukhsham? I don’t see him.” Someone else said: “That man is a hypocrite. He has no love for Allah and His Messenger.” Upon hearing this, the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke up:
“Do not say that! Can’t you see that he has declared ‘There is no God but Allah’ seeking by doing so Allah’s pleasure?” The man who made the accusation replied:
“Allah and His Messenger know best, but we can see that all of his affection and conversation is with the hypocrites.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) responded:
“Allah has prohibited the Fire from those who declare ‘There is no God but Allah’ seeking His pleasure when they do so.”
Look at this lesson in how we should protect people’s honor and reputation. Look at how the Prophet mentioned something positive about the man as soon as someone spoke ill of him. Indeed, he brought their attention to the most positive quality of all, faith in Allah.
Think of how much backbiting and gossip would be avoided among Muslims if we refused to speak badly of anyone who declares their faith in Allah.

Source: Islam Today


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