Story of the Leper, the Bald Man and the Blind Man – Sahih Bukhari

Narrated Abu Huraira, that he heard Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam saying:

Allah willed to test three who were a leper, a blind man and a bald-headed man.

So, he sent them an angel who came to the leper and said, “What thing do you like most?” He replied, “Good color and good skin, for the people have a strong aversion to me.” The angel touched him and his illness was cured, and he was given a good color and beautiful skin. The angel asked him, “What kind of property do you like best?” He replied, “Camels (or cows).” (The narrator is in doubt, for either the leper or the bald-headed man demanded camels and the other demanded cows.) So he (i.e. the leper) was given a pregnant she-camel, and the angel said (to him), “May Allah bless you in it.”

The angel then went to the bald-headed man and said, “What thing do you like most?” He said, “I like good hair and wish to be cured of this disease, for the people feel repulsion for me.” The angel touched him and his illness was cured, and he was given good hair. The angel asked (him), “What kind of property do you like best?” He replied, “Cows.” The angel gave him a pregnant cow and said, “May Allah bless you in it.”

The angel went to the blind man and asked, ‘What thing do you like best?’ He said, “(I like) that Allah may restore my eye-sight to me so that I may see the people.” The angel touched his eyes and Allah gave him back his eye-sight. The angel asked him, “What kind of property do you like best?” He replied, “Sheep.” The angel gave him a pregnant sheep.

Afterwards, all the three pregnant animals gave birth to young ones, and multiplied and brought forth so much that one of the (three) men had a herd of camels filling a valley, and one had a herd of cows filling a valley, and one had a flock of sheep filling a valley.

Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a leper, went to the leper and said, “I am a poor man, who has lost all means of livelihood while on a journey. So none will satisfy my need except Allah and then you. In the Name of Him Who has given you such nice color and beautiful skin, and so much property, I ask you to give me a camel so that I may reach my destination.” The man replied, “I have many obligations (so I cannot give you).” The angel said, “I think I know you; were you not a leper to whom the people had a strong aversion? Weren’t you a poor man, and then Allah gave you (all this property)?” He replied, “(This is all wrong), I got this property through inheritance from my fore-fathers.” The angel said, “If you are telling a lie, then let Allah make you as you were before.”

Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a bald man, went to the bald man and said to him the same as he told the first one, and he too answered the same as the first one did. The angel said, “If you are telling a lie, then let Allah make you as you were before.”

The angel, disguised in the shape of a blind man, went to the blind man and said, “I am a poor man and a traveler, whose means of livelihood have been exhausted while on a journey. I have nobody to help me except Allah, and after Him, you yourself. I ask you in the Name of Him Who has given you back your eye-sight to give me a sheep, so that with its help, I may complete my journey.” The man said, “No doubt, I was blind and Allah gave me back my eye-sight; I was poor and Allah made me rich; so take anything you wish from my property. By Allah, I will not stop you for taking anything (you need) of my property which you may take for Allah’s sake.” The angel replied, “Keep your property with you. You (i.e., the three men) have been tested and Allah is pleased with you and is angry with your two companions.”

[Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 56 Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) and his Companions Number 670]

Amazing is the affair of the Believer, verily all of his affair is Good – Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzeeyah

Source: From  “al-Waabil as-Sayyib”

On the authority of Suhaib (may Allaah be pleased with him) he said: The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him” (Saheeh Muslim #2999)

From this we understand that the state of affairs for the believer changes in the life of this world. Shaykhul Islaam ibn Qayyim al-Jawzeeyah (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said regarding the state of affairs for the believer:

One of them is the state of (receiving a) blessing. It’s obligatory upon him (the believer) in this state (to display) the gratitude.

The second: is the state (of being) tested. It is obligatory upon him (the believer) in this state (to observe) the patience.

The third: is the state (of committing) a sin. It is obligatory upon him (the believer) in this state to seek the forgiveness from it (the sin).

The servant does not go outside of the fluctuation between these three states.

One of them is either a blessing or a virtue from Allaah of good health, wealth, a child to other than that.

It is obligatory upon him that he thanks Allaah for this bounty. Let the servant contemplate over the statement of Allaah:

” ٱعۡمَلُوٓاْ ءَالَ دَاوُ ۥدَ شُكۡرً۬اۚ وَقَلِيلٌ۬ مِّنۡ عِبَادِىَ ٱلشَّكُورُ ”
“Work you, O family of Dâwud (David), with thanks!” But few of My slaves are grateful.” (surah Sabaa: 13)

So how many of those whom Allaah has favored them:

“وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعۡمَةَ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُحۡصُوهَآ‌ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَغَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬”
“And if you would count the favours of Allâh, never could you be able to count them. Truly! Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (surah an-Nahl: 18)

How many show thanks to Allaah for these favours? Less than a few!

Or there is a (state of being) tested.

It is obligatory upon him in this state (to observe) the patience. Meaning that Allaah from His overwhelming wisdom He could test the believing servant from the different types of test. It’s obligatory upon him to (observe) the patience because this is from the belief in the divine decree and from submitting the the decree of Allaah. Also (the servant must know) that what has befalling him was never going to pass him by. All of that is written in the book of Allaah (al-Lawhul-Mahfooth). Verily Allah doesn’t test him (the servant) to destroy him. He only test him in order to test his patience and servitude. Verily there is for Allaah upon the servant servitude in times of hardship just as there is for Him (Allaah) upon the servant servitude in times of happiness. There also is for Him (Allaah) upon the servant servitude in that which he (the servant) dislikes just as there is for Him (Allaah) upon the servant servitude in that which he (the servant) loves. Most of the creation give the servitude in that which they love. However the matter is giving the servitude in that which there is his hardship.

The other state is (a state of) sin.

It is obligatory upon him (the servant) in this state to seek the forgiveness this is clear with regards to the obligation of turning to Allaah (repentance) displaying ones need for him.”