Symbols of the world's religions

               

HOW COULD I GIVE ANY ADVICE?

Eruch Jessawala

 
It so happened that Mohammed was seated one day with his close followers, and a mother came to him with her small son. "My Lord, please tell this child to stop eating fresh ripe dates. I cannot stop him from eating them, and he is spoiling his health. He is my only son. Please advise him."

Now, a person, once he has had a fresh date, cannot resist having another and another and another. But they are very harsh on the stomach, there is no doubt about it. So this mother thought that if she were to take the child to the Prophet, He would say something which would impress him.

Mohammed looked at the boy and at the mother and said, "What you say is right. But please come again after a month. It is better if you come then." The mother folded her hands. bowed down, and left with her son.

True to her promise and despite the immense difficulties of journeys through the desert in those days, she came again with the child a month later. The Lord received them and petted them, and made them sit down, and asked how they felt and what was the reason for coming to Him again. She repeated the whole thing.

And the Prophet then brought home to the child how dangerous it was to eat a lot of dates. "One, two, three a day of dates," Mohammed said, "but I don't eat so many. It is not healthy to have a lot. So will you give Me a promise not to eat more than a few a day?" The child promised and everyone was happy. Then they left.

After they had gone the companions living with Mohammed were intrigued that He had not advised the child on the first visit, and finally someone asked Mohammed. "It was impossible," He said, "to give advice about dates when My fondness for them was worse even than the child's. Unless and until I desisted from dates, how could I give any advice to him? So I had to call the mother and her son after a month, but for that month I never ate, never touched, a date."

THE TURNING OF THE KEY, pp. 152-153, Bill Le Page
1993 © Bill Le Page

               

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