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What was it about Zahir?

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Anas bin Malik رضي الله عنه narrated that:

أن رجلا من أهل البادية كان اسمه زاهر بن حزام أو حرام ، قال : وكان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يحبه وكان دميما ، فأتاه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يوما وهو يبيع متاعه ، فاحتضنه من خلفه وهو لا يبصره ، فقال : أرسلني ! من هذا ؟ فالتفت فعرف النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فجعل لا يألو ما ألزق ظهره بصدر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم حين عرفه ، وجعل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : من يشتري العبد ، فقال : يا رسول الله ! إذا والله تجدني كاسدا ، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : لكن عند الله لست بكاسد ، أو قال : لكن عند الله أنت غال


“There was a man from the people of the desert whose name was Zahir bin Hizam (or bin Haram). And he was loved by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم – He was (also) not of a pleasant (facial) appearance. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم came to him one day, while he (Zahir) was selling his goods (in the market) and embraced him (from behind) so that he (Zahir) could not see who it was [nb. in another narration he صلى الله عليه وسلم placed his hands over his eyes to stop him from looking behind]. Zahir asked: ‘Tell me, who is this?’, he turned and found it was the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, so he continued to rub his back (and cling) onto the chest * (of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم). Upon this, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم (held him and) said (in jest to those around him): ‘Who would like to buy a slave (from me)’? He (Zahir) said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, by Allaah you will find me to be a poor sell (i.e. I’ll be of no value)’. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ‘But with Allaah you are not unsellable?’ [in another narration ‘But with Allaah you are valuable’].”


[Al-Bayhaqi, ‘Sunan al-Kubra’, 10/248 [found in Musnad Ahmad, Musnad Abi Ya’la and Bazzar with slight variations] – graded as saheeh by Ibn Katheer in ‘Al-Bidaayah’, 6/48; Ibn Hajar in ‘Al-Isaabah’, 1/542; Al-Haythami in ‘Majma az-Zawa’id’, 9/371 (#15979) and al-Albani in ‘Takhreej Mishkat al-Masabih’, 4815 (see also ‘Mukhtasar Shama’il’, 204)]

 (This gesture of rubbing his back with the body of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was due to the barakah he hoped to attain).

So what was it about Zahir رضي الله عنه that made him loved by Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم?

Little is known about him from the books of history and biographies… What is known is that he was a simple man from the desert, and whenever he came to Madinah, he would bring gifts for the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, and would be looked after by him صلى الله عليه وسلم. He also partook in some of the battles with the Muslims.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would say: إن زاهرا باديتنا ، و نحن حاضروه – “Zahir is our man of the desert, and we are his (i.e. his attendees in town).” [see ‘Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2087]

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April 13, 2012 at 10:47 pm

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“…You are very precious to Allah”

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Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

“There was a man from amongst the Bedouins whose name was Zahir bin Haram. Whenever he came to Medinah for a need, he brought something for the Prophet (saw) as a gift, like cottage cheese or butter. Likewise, when the Prophet (saw) would prepare something to give to him whenever e wanted to leave, such as dates and so on.

The Prophet (saw) used to love him and say, “Zahir is our Bedouin and we are his city dwellers.”

Zahir was not very good looking. One say, Zahir (may Allah be pleased with him) left the desert and came to Allah’s Messenger (saw) but did not find him. He has some merchandise to sell so he went on to the market place.

When the Prophet (saw) found out about his arrival, he went to the market place looking for him. When he arrived, he saw him selling his merchandise with sweat pouring down from his face. He wore Bedouin clothers which did not smell good either. The Prophet (saw) hugged him tightly from behing, while Zahir was unaware and could not see who it was.

Zahir became scared and said, “Let me go! Who is this?!” But the Prophet (saw) remained silent. Zahir tried to release himself from his grip and started to look right and left. When he saw the Prophet (saw) he relaxed and calmed down, placing his back against the Prophet’s chest. The Prophet (saw) began to joke with him, saying to the public:“Who will buy this slave?! Who will buy this slave?”

Thereupon, Zahir looked at himself and thought of his extreme poverty, for he had neither wealth or good looks.

He said, “You will find me unmarketable, O’ Messenger of Allah.”

The Prophet (saw) said, “But you are not unmarketable with Allah. You are very precious to Allah.”

Source: Enjoy your life, Topic 9, with the poor by Dr. Mohammad Abdulrahman Al-Arifi

Written by unknown

June 3, 2010 at 4:42 am

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