Anas bin Malik (RA) was one of the companions who had served the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) for many years. He therefore knew the Prophet’s habits very well.

When Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) observed a fast, he usually broke it with milk and dates, and in the small hours of the night, he would take simple food for his Sahar.

One day, Anas knew that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was fasting; so he arranged for his Iftar. He kept the milk and dates ready. At the time of Iftar the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not appear, for the breaking of the fast. Anas thought that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) might have accepted an invitation and broken his fast elsewhere. So Anas ate the food himself and retired.

When Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) entered the house with another companion, Anas inquired from the companion whether the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had already eaten. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) had been dealing with some urgent work and was delayed, and he had not eaten.

Anas felt so ashamed. There was nothing left he could offer to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), if he asked for food. Still he waited expectantly, ready to explain the situation to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) immediately sensed that Anas was hesitant, so he remained silent and retired to bed hungry with a cheerful face. The next day he also fasted.

Anas used to say: “The Messenger of God never mentioned this incident during his lifetime to anyone.” The above actions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) provide us the finest example of a leader unaffected by power and position whereas when we look at the lives of despots and other petty potentates, we see them sporting arrogant airs, trying to humiliate people, and always keeping a distance from the oppressed and the poor.

It will not be out of context here to cite another example from the Prophet’s life. Once a man came to the Messenger of Almighty God but on entering his presence, started trembling with fear. Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) seeing the visitor terribly shaken and nervous, smiled and comforted him with utmost tenderness, saying: “Relax man take it easy, I am no king but the son of a Quraishite woman who used to eat dried meat.”
How wonderfully he comforts a frightened Arab nomad, who accustomed to the days of ignorance (Jahiliyyah) was scared to death on entering the Prophet’s presence. This is one of the many instances, which prove that he is the Mercy for the human race and not one of those power-drunk despots who kill and terrorize Almighty God’s creatures.

Such supreme examples of kindness and generosity helped build a strong and coherent society and spread love and affection among the believers. Therefore it is obligatory for Muslims to learn a lesson from these admirable manners and tread the brilliant path blazed by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). All Muslims should endeavor to acquire these lofty morals, especially those invested with power and authority, so that peace, love and harmony may prevail all around. If it is a real Islamic society, it will naturally be just and free, where everyone can defend their right and even advise those in authority if they happen to err.

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