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- Tuesday, July 9, 2002 -
AND THE OLD MAN
In the Middle East there is a land known as Palestine. Long before, in this land there lived a very great prophet. Prophet is a messenger of Allah. He has been chosen by Allah Himself to teach people religion, good thoughts and good deeds. The name of this great prophet was Hazrat Ibrahim. (He is also known as Abraham in the Bible). He had come to Palestine from Iraq.
Hazrat Ibrahim was very fond of guests. He liked to invite guests to his house. He was good to travellers. He took them to his house and gave them food to eat and bed to sleep. This good quality of his is described in the Qur'an.
Every morning Hazrat Ibrahim stood by the main road near his house and waited for travellers to pass. As soon he saw them he invited them to his house to be his guests. Hazrat Ibrahim liked this good deed very much. It pleased him to make other people happy and comfortable. Thus, Hazrat Ibrahim would everyday bring home one guest at least. If he came across no traveller even for a day he would become unhappy. Without having a guest, he would not touch food himself.
Once it so happened that no traveller passed that way for three days running. This, naturally, upset Hazrat
Ibrahim. It made him sad. Without having a guest on his table he would not eat. Each morning Hazrat Ibrahim
went to the main road hopefully. He would strain his eyes far away to the horizon. Yet no traveller was to be
seen. Each evening he would return to his home disappointed.
Three days passed. One morning an old man appeared on a camel. Hazrat Ibrahim was happy. He invited the old man to his home to eat with him The old man accepted the invitation.
In the house they set to eat. Hazrat Ibrahim recited "Bismillah" before taking the food, but the old man did
not say anything. Hazrat Ibrahim asked why he did not remember Allah before taking his meal. Was not Allah
our Creator, our Nourisher and our Master? Was it not proper to remember Him before partaking of the food
provided by Him?
The old man said that it was not the custom in his religion. Hazrat Ibrahim asked him what his religion was. He
said that he was one of those who worship fire.
Hazrat Ibrahim was very much annoyed and turned the old man out.
As soon as the old man went away, the angel Jibrail came to Hazrat Ibrahim, from Allah. Jibrail told Hazrat
Ibrahim that Allah had been feeding this unbeliever person for seventy years. Could not Hazrat Ibrahim
tolerate him for even one meal! Hazrat Ibrahim felt very sorry for this. He immediately ran after the old man.
Finally he reached him and persuaded him to return to his house to have food together. He finally succeeded in getting the old man to his home.
However good you may be, it does not give you right to judge other persons.
You should always seek the forgiveness and pleasure of God.
Always entertain and please a guest.
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