THE GREETINGS OF A JEW
Allah's Messenger (SA) said: "Don't use such indecent words. If these words had taken their physical shapes, they would have been very unpleasant and ugly. Instead, softness, politeness and patience make things look beautiful, charming and attractive. Affection and softness doubly increase the human beauty. And if there is a deficiency in softness, politeness and patience in any thing, then the beauty and charm of that thing gets reduced. "After all, why did you get so angry and furious?"
'A'ishah: "O Allah's messenger (SA)! don't you see what these people are saying instead of 'Salamun 'Alaykum' irrespectfully and shamelessly?"
"So what?" [asked the Messenger (SA) of Allah] "I think you didn't notice that in reply to them, I had also said: 'Alaykum', which means 'same to you'. And it was enough for their reply."
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When the king was observing the skilled artistry of the beautiful inkpot and Sikaki was lost in the world of thoughts, the people informed that a learned or literary person or jurisconsult is about to come to the court. After a while this learned man entered the court. The king got so much absorbed in welcoming and talking with him that he could not keep in mind anything about Sikaki and his skilled artistry. This incident was enough to adversely affect the heart and brain of an artist like Sikaki. So, this carelessness of the king had a deep effect on his heart.
He realized that now he would not receive the encouragement he had expected. And now to have a hope or to keep any desire is of no use. But Sikaki's high thinking and his artistic capability did not allow him to remain in peace and he started thinking as to what he should do? He decided that he should also do the same as the others have done uptil now. (He thought:) "I will also have to follow the same path as the others have been following uptil now." Hence he finally decided to search for his lost hopes in the world of knowledge, literature and books. But for such a wise man who had spent the days of his youth in other works, it was not easy to get engaged in studies and start teaching small children. Still, he remained firm with his decision. Moreover, there was no other alternative before him. After all when the fish is taken out from water, it is fresh.
But the most difficult thing was this that in the beginning, he did not find any interest in reading and writing. Perhaps, his spending a long time in artistic and handicraft works was the reason for stagnancy in his scientific and literary talent. But his advanced age and less capability could not stand in the way of his decision. And with great interest, enthusiasm and zeal for attaining knowledge, he got busy with his studies. Meanwhile, another incident occurred.
The teacher, who was teaching Fiqh-iShafi'i (Shafi'i jurisprudence), taught him this lesson: "It is the teacher's belief that the skin of the dog becomes 'tahir' (pure) after tanning." Sikaki repeated this sentence for at least ten times, so that at the time of examination he might succeed in securing good marks. But when he was questioned on this lesson, giving the answer, he said: "Dog's belief is this that the teacher's skin becomes tahir after tanning."
On hearing his reply like this, all the audience started laughing. And everyone thought that the old man is absolutely incapable of reading and writing. After this incident, Sikaki not only left that school, but he also left that town and went towards the jungle. By chance, he reached the foot of a mountain, where he saw that the water is falling drop by drop from the top. And because of the falling of water, drop by drop, a hole has been formed even in that hard stone. For some time, he kept on thinking over this matter. It had a deep effect on his heart and mind. And he said, "May be my heart is not at all inclined towards reading and writing, but it is not as hard as this stone. Therefore, it is absolutely impossible that I go on studying continuously with diligence but do not attain knowledge." Thinking like this, he came back and got busy with the attainment of knowledge. The result of this was that after some time, he was reckoned among the popular scholars of his time.
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"In what condition are you?" "I am in the condition of certainty, O Messenger (SA) of Allah". (Replied the youngman.)
"Every certainty has got some symptoms which indicate its truth; what is the symptom of your certainty?"
"My certainty is the one which is associated with my distress. In the nights, it has taken away my sleep; and I pass the days with thirst. And I have turned my back towards the comforts of the world. I have turned my face towards the other side. It is like this that I am seeing the Empyrean of Allah on the Day of Judgment and similarly I also see the resurrection condition of the whole of the creation of Allah. It is as if I am seeing the people in Heaven in pleasure and the people in Hell in severe torment. It is as if the dreadly noise due to the flames of the Hell-fire is just now ringing in my ears." Prophet (SA) turned his face towards the people and said: "He is a worshipper of Allah whose heart has been illuminated by the light of faith."
Then he turned towards the youngman and said: "keep up this good state of yours for yourself." The youngman said: "O Messenger (SA) of Allah! Pray that Allah gives me an opportunity for Jihad (holy war) and shahadah (martyrdom) for the sake of the right path.
The Prophet (SA) prayed. It did not take long when an opportunity arose for Jihad and that youngman participated in that Jihad. The tenth person who got martyred in that war was no one but this youngman.
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