A beautiful hadith: “To Allah, you are valuable”

Imam ibn Kathir mentions in his massive work of history, al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah, the following narration from the Musnad of Imam Ahmad on the authority of Anas ibn Maalik:

أَنَّ رَجُلا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْبَادِيَةِ كَانَ اسْمُهُ زَاهِرًا، وَكَانَ يُهْدِي إِلَى النَّبِيِّ ﷺ، هَدِيَّةً مِنَ الْبَادِيَةِ، فَيُجَهِّزُهُ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ، إِذَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يَخْرُجَ

There was a man of the desert whose name was Zaahir. Whenever he would visit the Prophet (ﷺ), he would bring gifts from the desert, and the Prophet (ﷺ) would provide for him when he intended to depart.

فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ: إِنَّ زَاهِرًا بَادِيَتُنَا وَنَحْنُ حَاضِرُوهُ وَكَانَ يُحِبُّهُ وَكَانَ رَجُلا دَمِيمًا

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Zaahir is our man of the desert, and we are his townspeople.” He was beloved to the Prophet (ﷺ), and he was very ugly due to a physical deformity.

فَأَتَاهُ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ، يَوْمًا وَهُوَ يَبِيعُ مَتَاعَهُ وَاحْتَضَنَهُ مِنْ خَلْفِهِ وَهُوَ لا يُبْصِرُهُ، فَقَالَ: مَنْ هَذَا؟ أَرْسِلْنِي فَالْتَفَتَ فَعَرَفَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ فَجَعَلَ لا يَأْلُو مَا أَلْصَقَ ظَهْرَهُ بِصَدْرِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ حِينَ عَرَفَهُ

The Prophet (ﷺ) came to him one day while he was selling his merchandise, and caught him from behind while Zaahir could not see him. So Zaahir said, “Who is it? Tell me!” Then he turned around and recognized the Prophet (ﷺ) so he embraced the Prophet (ﷺ) as soon as he recognized him.

فَجَعَلَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ، يَقُولُ: مَنْ يَشْتَرِي هَذَا الْعَبْدَ، فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، إِذًا وَاللَّهِ تَجِدُنِي كَاسِدًا، فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ: لَكِنْ عِنْدَ اللهِ لَسْتَ بِكَاسِدٍ أَوْ قَالَ: أَنتَ عِنْدَ اللهِ غَالٍ

So the Prophet (ﷺ) said (in jest to those around them), “Who will purchase this slave?” So Zaahir said, “O Messenger of Allah, By Allah you will find me unsellable.” Then the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “But to Allah, you are not unsellable.” or he said, “To Allah, you are valuable”

After narrating this event, Imam ibn Kathir then writes:

وهذا إسناد رجاله كلهم ثقات على شرط الصَّحيحين، ولم يروه إلا التّرمذيّ في ‏(‏الشمائل‏)‏ عن إسحاق بن منصور، عن عبد الرزاق‏.‏

And all of the men of this isnaad (chain of narration) are trustworthy according to the conditions of the Saheehayn (the hadeeth collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim), and I did not see it except from al-Tirmidhi in al-Shamaa’il on the authority of Ishaaq ibn Mansoor, from ‘Abd al-Razzaaq.

[al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 6/54]

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