Many people today view manners in a commercial light. To
them, only rich people’s jokes are worth laughing at, and only
their faults are considered small and worthy of overlooking.
As for the poor, their jokes are unbearable and only worthy of
ridicule, while their faults are magnified and they are shouted
As for the Prophet , his kindness extended to both rich
and poor alike. 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 Madinah for a need,
he brought something for the Prophet as a gift, like cottage
cheese or butter. Likewise, the Prophet would prepare something
to give to him whenever he wanted to leave, such as dates
and so on. The Prophet used to love him and say: “Zahir is
our Bedouin and we are his city-dwellers.” Zahir was not very
good looking. One day, Zahir – may Allah be pleased with him
– left the desert and came to Allah’s Messenger but did not
find him. He had some merchandise to sell so he went on to the
When the Prophet found out about his arrival, he went to
the marketplace looking for him. When he arrived, he saw him
selling his merchandise with sweat pouring down from his face,
and he wore Bedouin clothes which did not smell good either.
The Prophet hugged him tightly from behind, 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 remained silent. Zahir tried to release himself
from his grip and started to look right and left. When he saw
the Prophet he relaxed and calmed down, placing his back
against the Prophet’s chest. The Prophet began to joke with
him, saying to the public: “Who will buy this slave?! Who will buy
Thereupon, Zahir looked at himself and thought of his extreme
poverty, for he had neither wealth nor good looks.
He said: “You will find me unmarketable, O Messenger of
The Prophet said: “But you are not unmarketable with Allah.
You are very precious to Allah.”
It was no surprise then that the hearts of the poor were attached
to the Prophet . He would gain their respect and love
by such an attitude. Many poor people may not accuse the rich
of miserliness in terms of wealth and food, but they can certainly
accuse them of miserliness in terms of gracious and kind
treatment. How often do you smile at a poor person and make
him feel he is worthy and respectable, so that perhaps at night
he might supplicate for you and cause Allah’s mercy to descend
upon you from the heavens?
There may be a person with dishevelled hair who is rejected
and not cared for, but if he ever asks Allah for something he
is always responded to. Therefore, always be humane with the
weak. A hint...
Perhaps just a smile at a poor man would raise you in rank
in the sight of Allah.