What? A companion of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) was a jokster? Companion? WHAT!??
This was my reaction after reading a chapter in the book, Companions of the Prophet. An-Nu’ayman ibn Amr was a great companion who fought in major battles, including Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. However, An-Nu’ayman had a personality which was slightly different than that of the “typical” companion. Some of his jokes seem confusing but I guess humor can depend on the time period.
Once An-Nu’ayman went to the market and saw some food being sold which looked very appetizing. He ordered some and sent it to the Prophet (saw) as if it were a gift from him. The Prophet (saw) was happy when he received the food and him and his family ate it. The vendor of the food came to An-Nuayman to collect the money and an-Nuayman said to him: “Go to the Messenger of Allah. It was for him. He and his family ate it.” The vendor went to the Prophet (saw) and the Prophet (saw) asked an-Nuayman: “Didn’t you give it to me?” An-Nuayman said yes he did. He wanted the Prophet (saw) to eat it but had no dirhams to pay the vendor. So he asked the Prophet (saw) to pay for the food. The Prophet (saw) laughed about the incident. An-Nu’ayman felt two benefits of this incident: the Prophet (saw) and his family ate good food, and the Muslims had a good laugh.
I found this story funnier :):
Once Abu Bakr and some companions went on a trading journey to Busra. Suwaybit ibn Harmalah was responsible for guarding the food and provisions. An-Nu’ayman was one of the group members and became hungry. He asked Suwaybit for food, who refused. An-Nu’ayman warned him and said he would do something to him. He went to a group of Arabs and said he would sell them strong and sturdy slave. The slave had an articulate tongue and would say that he is free, but they were not to listen to him. The men paid for the slave and An-Nu’ayman completed the transaction, while the buyers went to get the “slave,” Suwaybit. The men grabbed Suwaybit as he pleaded for them to let him go, he kept saying he was a free man. 🙂 An-Nu’ayman didn’t laugh and remained calm and serious. When Abu Bakr found out what was happening he went to the Arab men and explained what had happened. They got their money back and Suwaybit came back to the caravan. The companions, including Suwaybit laughed about it. When the Prophet (saw) heard the story, him and his companions laughed even more. 🙂
The author adds a good point in this chapter:
“The religion of Islam does not require people to disdain seemly laughter and levity and remain perpetually gloomy. An appropriate sense of humor is often a saving grace.”