Ahadith that Use Number Three

Herewith such reports of the Prophet as use number three.  A reason behind such a presentation is to dispel the idea that the Islamic source books are like those of any other religion. Followers of other religions could conduct a similar exercises with their own source books. The results will convince them that the Islamic sources could not have been but Divine.

1. On Abu Hurayrah’s authority, who said he heard the Prophet (saws) say, “(There were) three among the Israelites: a leper, a bald man and a blind that Allah wished to try. So He sent an angel to them. He went to the leper and said, ‘What is it that you wish most?’ He said, ‘A nice hue, a beautiful skin and that leaves me wherewith the people treat me foul.’ So he touched him and his affliction was gone. (In place) he was given a nice hue and a beautiful skin. Then he asked him, ‘And what kind of wealth is dear to you?’ He answered, ‘Camels.’ (Or maybe he said, ‘Cows.’ Is-haq – one of the reporters – was the doubter).  Actually, out of the two, the leper and the bald, one of them said ‘Camel,’ while the other said, ‘Cow.’ In any case, he was given a ten-month pregnant camel and told, ‘May Allah bless you in it.’” 

Said (the narrator), “Then he went up to the bald man and said, ‘What is it that you wish most?’ He said, ‘Good hair and that leaves me wherewith the people treat me foul.’ He touched him and his affliction was gone. (In place) he was given a nice kind of hair. Then he asked him, ‘And what kind of wealth is dear to you?’ He answered, ‘Cows.’ So he was given a pregnant cow and told, ‘May Allah bless you in it.’”

Said (the narrator), “Then he went up to the blind man and said, ‘What is it that you wish most?’ He replied, ‘That Allah may restore me my eyesight so that I can see the people therewith.’ So he touched him and Allah restored his eyesight. Then he asked him, ‘And what kind of wealth is dear to you?’ He answered, ‘Sheep.’ So he was given a pregnant sheep.”

Then the two (the camel and cow) laid their young, and the other (sheep) gave birth so that soon one had a valley full of camel, the other a valley full of cows and the third a valley full of sheep.

Said (the narrator), “Then He went up to the leper in his (older) form and appearance and said, ‘A poor man. I have crossed mountains in my journey. I have no way now to reach (my home) except by Allah’s help or yours. I ask you therefore, by Him who gave you such a nice hue, such a nice skin, and who gave you wealth, that you give me a camel which I can use for my journey.’ The man answered, ‘There are many rights (upon me).’ He said, ‘As if I know you. Are you not the leper whom the people considered foul, and a pauper whom Allah enriched?’ He answered, ‘I have inherited this wealth, generation down generation.’ He said, ‘If you are a liar, may Allah restore you to what you were.’

Said (the narrator), “Then he went up to the bald man in his (older) form and said to him what he said to the other man, and he replied in the same manner as the other one had done. He told him, ‘If you are a liar, may Allah restore you to what you were.’

“Then He went up to the blind man in his (older) form and appearance and said, ‘A poor man. I have no way to reach (my home) except by Allah’s help or yours. I ask you therefore, by Him who restored your eyesight that you give me a goat which I can use for my journey.’ The man answered, ‘Once I had been blind indeed. Then Allah restored me my eyesight. So, you take what you want and leave what you want, for, by Allah, today I shall not quarrel with you over what you take in the name of Allah.’ He said, ‘You may retain your wealth. Allah tried (the three of) you. You satisfied Him, while the other two earned anger.”

2. Shurayk b. ‘Abdullah b. Abi Namr said that he heard Anas b. Malik report about the night in which the Prophet was taken up from the mosque in the Ka‘bah: Three persons came to him before he was given any revelation. He was sleeping in the Masjid al-Haram. Said the first of them, ‘Which one is he?’ The middle one replied, ‘He is the best of them.’ The last one said, ‘Take the best of them.’ That was then. And he did not see them until they came another night when he saw them by his heart. And the Prophet used to sleep by his eyes while his heart would not sleep. That is how the Prophets are; their eyes sleep but their hearts do not. Then Jibril took charge and he was taken up towards the heaven.”

Commentary

The hadith offers some comprehensive difficulty because, while narrating the narrator mixes his own observations. The gist is: three angels came to the Prophet in the first instance. It is evident that they had come to identify him. It could also have been to prepare him for the journey he was to undertake to the heavens. Their second visit is not mentioned, but rather, that of Jibril, who took him to the heavens. Other reports suggest, though they do not say so implicitly, that the three came down a second time, before Jibril’s visit, to cleanse his heart.

The lesson to be drawn is that just as our own physical world, the other world is also thoroughly organized, and things are done in proper order.

3. Thumamah b. ‘Abdullah said: Anas used to drink water in two or three draughts and claimed that the Prophet used to drink in three draughts.

4. Abu Shurayh ‘Adawi says, “My ears heard and my eyes saw when the Prophet (saws) spoke, ‘Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day, honor his guest to his right.’ He was asked, ‘And what is his right O Messenger of Allah?’ He answered, ‘His day and night. And hosting is for three days. What is beyond it is charity.’ He also said, ‘Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day either say the good or remain silent.’”

Commentary

By saying, “His day and night,” what the Prophet meant is that the first day or night are the guest’s special day and night in which the host is required to present the best he has to him. As for the second and third day he might treat him with what he himself is used to, not necessarily offering him the best that he has.

5. ‘Abdullah (ibn Mas‘ud) reports that the Prophet (saws) said, “When there are three, then let not two (of them) whisper to each other ignoring the third.”