Download PDF: [S] The Qualities of a Slave

It is mentioned that there was once a very rich and powerful person in the city of Merv named Nuh bin Maryam. He was also considered as one of the most influential persons in the city. He also had a very pretty daughter. Many rich and famous people had sent marriage proposals to her, but her father refused to accept any of these proposals. Obviously the rich and powerful were also shocked at his reaction and wondered as to who would actually marry his daughter.


Nuh bin Maryam also had a slave and the responsibility of this slave was to take care of the fields of this Qadi. One day, the Qadi informed him that he wanted him to take care of his grape orchard.


The slave then attended to this grape orchard for nearly two months. Finally, after two months, the Qadi came to visit him. The Qadi then requested his slave to bring him a bunch of grapes as he wanted to taste them. This slave then brought two bunches of grapes and both of them were extremely sour. The Qadi was surprised and asked him how he could not recognize a sweet grape from a sour grape. The slave replied that he been instructed to take care of the orchard and that he had not been given permission to eat the grapes. Obviously the Qadi was extremely pleased by the honesty of the slave.


The Qadi then mentioned to him that he wanted his opinion on the marriage of his daughter and wanted to know from him who he should marry his daughter to.


The slave replied, “My master! During the days of ignorance, people used to look at the tribe and the family lineage of someone before they agreed to any marriage proposal. The Jews and Christians used to look at the good looks and appearance of someone before they agreed. However, when Islam appeared, people looked at the piety and religious standing of someone before agreeing to any marriage proposal. Sadly, in our time, people look at the wealth of someone and also at the wordily status of someone before they agree. It is your choice which of these conditions you wish to accept.”


The Qadi replied that he would choose piety and the religious standing of someone. He then agreed that the best husband for his daughter would be this slave. He then freed him and allowed his daughter to marry this slave giving them plenty of wealth to start their own family.


The amazing thing is that from this marriage, one of the greatest scholars of Islam appeared in the form of Abdullah ibn Mubaarak – may Allah be pleased with him.