Story: The Prophet and Jew Servant
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was performing a visit to a sick person who was very dear to him. He was visiting a Jewish boy who had been working for him as his personal servant. The boy used to bring him his water for his ablutions, get him his sandals, and serve for him. One day, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) wondered that the boy was absent, so he went to his home and inquired about his servant.
He went inside and sat near to the boy’s head. The boy had terminal illness. The boy’s father sat across from him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) looked upon the boy with affection. He was so sad to see him that the boy was dying at such a young age. The Prophet (peace be upon him) then called the boy to consider what he needed at the moment the most; the Islam. The Prophet urged the boy to meet Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Accept Islam. Affirm that there is no God but Allah and that I am His messenger.”
The boy was affirmative to this request. He had been the Prophet’s servant, and during that time he got to know the Prophet’s character and manners very well. The boy had already recognized in the Prophet the characteristics of a Messenger. Nonetheless, the boy was still under his father’s authority, hence he turned his face to his father and looked at him. He was waiting for his father’s consent.
One more time the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) invited the boy to embrace the Islam, seeing that the boy’s life was quickly fading away. At this point, the boy’s father said: “Obey the Prophet. Tell what Muhammad is urging you to say.”
The boy then uttered the words: “I announce that there is no god but Allah, and that you are His messenger.”
Though these words was his final words.
When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) left the boy’s home, he became so excited that Allah had guided him. He said: “Praise be to Allah who used me to save the boy from the Fire.” Then he turned to his Companions (Sahabas) and said: “Hold the funeral prayer for your brother.”
When the Prophet visited the boy at his home, he was not visiting to a famous non-Muslim leader or official. The boy was just a servant. The Prophet (peace be upon him) valued him as a human being first.
We should learn from this incidence how the Prophet (peace be upon him) conducted himself with people of different faiths and religions. It is important that he chose a Jewish boy as personal servant. How many Companions would have desired the honor of that position of being slave of Prophet Muhammad? How many Muslims would have been pleased to have their sons serve the Prophet? Nonetheless, the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave the job to a Jewish boy.
This demonstrates us that we should have a friendly, and balanced attitude for people from different religions and faiths whatever they are Jewish, Christians, atheists or others. Prophet had no tension in his relations with non-Muslims. Our Prophet (peace be upon him), would sit with mixed group of people, Muslims, Jews, pagans, and speak with them, and invite them to Islam. He would visit non-Muslims in their homes. He also opened his home to them. As we have seen, he even hired a non-Muslim to be his household servant.
This is quite reasonable. To get mix with non-Muslims is the best way to make them familiar with our religion and with the Muslims as people. This is why the boy accepted the Prophet’s suggestion to embrace Islam. He had already known about Islam. He knew how the Prophet (peace be upon him) dedicated himself to Islam. His closeness with the Prophet Muhammad made him recognize that Muhammad was indeed Allah’s Messenger. This is why he easily made such an immediate and important change, and accepted Islam.
We should take an example how Muslims are supposed to act with non-Muslims. Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as “mercy for all the universe.” We are ordered to visit non-Muslims when they are ill. Throughout the religious war times, we are ordered by Qur’an to supply foods to any prisoners of war we might capture.