Hazrat Jabir bin Sulaim has given an account of his first contact with the Holy Prophet . It was at a time when he did not even recognise him. He narrates:
“I saw a person to whom people turned in every matter and consulted him in every problem of theirs. When I came to know that he was the Prophet of Allah, Muhammed , I told myself that he was the Prophet of Allah. I went near him and saluted him with these words:
O Prophet of Allah, On you be peace. I uttered these words twice. He asked me not to say,
but to say,
because the words ,
are meant to salute the dead.
This Hadith points out a basic fact that of which many people are not aware. It is that the words and phrases of the Hadith are important as are their meanings and spirit. Just see that the words,
both mean one and the same i.e Peace be upon you, but in this very first meeting with Hazrat Jabir bin Sulaim , the Holy Prophet taught him the correct way of greeting.
Why did he do this?
This was to clarify that Shariah is not to do whatever one wishes to do but that Shariah is the path appointed by Allah and his Prophet .
Hazrat Jabir bin Sulaim further narrates that when the Holy Prophet taught him the way of bidding salaam, he asked if he was a Messenger of Allah. The Holy Prophet replied to his question saying:
“I am a Messenger of Allah that if some harm befalls you and you call him for help, Allah will relieve you of that harm. He is not a Messenger of these fake gods, but he is a Messenger sent by the true Allah. I am a Messenger of Allah that when there is famine and you call Allah to remove the famine, Allah accepts your prayer and removes the famine. I am a Messenger of Allah that when you are travelling in some desolate desert and your camel strays and you pray to Allah to bring back the camel, he responds to your prayer and brings back the straying camel.”
Thereafter, Hazrat Jabir bin Sulaim requested the Holy Prophet to give him some advice. Whilst advising Hazrat Jabir bin Sulaim , the Holy Prophet said:
“Do not abuse anyone!”
(Hazrat Jabir has said that after this advice I never used abusing words either for a slave or a freeman, or any animal like a camel or goat).
Thereafter, the Holy Prophet gave Hazrat Jabir Radhiallaho Anhu the second piece of advice:
“Do not look down upon any good deed, but do it as and when you get an opportunity for it.”