MV: We’ve all been in situations before where we’ve been the “odds” one out at a gathering or a friend’s circle, it’s not the best feeling. Loneliness really hits some people hard. We should always make it an effort to go up to people we see left out–the “socially awkward”–the ones that aren’t always awknoledged–those people, and talk to them, get to know them, and make them feel respected and valued. Prophet Muhammad pbuh would always make an effort to reassure people who weren’t as confident or “well known”, that they were honored and loved. It’s our job to continue that effort. Who knows, we might be the reason they gain self assurance, confidence, and help improve the world. A reminder to myself.
Anas bin Malik narrated:
“There was a man from amongst the Bedouins whose name was Zahir bin Haram. Whenever he came to Madinah for a need, he brought something for the Prophet Muhammad as a gift, like cottage cheese or butter. Likewise, the Prophet would prepare something to give to him whenever he wanted to leave, such as dates and so on. The Prophet Muhammad loved him [as a brother], and used to say, “Zahir is our Bedouin and we are his city-dwellers.” Zahir was not very good looking.
One day, Zahir left the desert and came to Prophet Muhammad but did not find him. He had some merchandise to sell so he went on to the marketplace. When the Prophet Muhammad found out about his arrival, he went to the marketplace looking for him. When he arrived, he saw him selling his merchandise with sweat pouring down from his face, and he wore Bedouin clothes, which did not smell good either.
The Prophet Muhammad came up from behind and put his hands over Zahir’s eyes, so Zahir could not see who it was. Zahir became scared and said: “Let me go! Who is this?” But the Prophet Muhammad remained silent. Zahir tried to release himself from his grip and started to look right and left. When he saw the Prophet Muhammad, he relaxed and calmed down…
The Prophet Muhammad began to joke with him, saying to the public: “Who will buy this slave? Who will buy this slave?” Thereupon, Zahir looked at himself and thought of his extreme poverty, for he had neither wealth nor good looks. He said: “You will find me unmarketable, O Messenger of God.” The Prophet Muhammad said: “But you are not unmarketable with God. You are very precious to God.”
-paraphrased from Al-Bayhaqi, ‘Sunan al-Kubra’, 10/24