A long time ago there lived an old woman who was carrying a heavy load along the road. It was a bit difficult for her, but she was managing as best she could. A young man asked if he could help her with her load, and she readily obliged. Here is the conversation that transpired:
“It would be such a pleasure to have you come along with me. I accept your gracious offer of kindness and company,” she said. She was a very talkative woman and the young man did not want to interrupt her. So he let her speak the entire time they were together.
“But as we walk along young man, and as you help me with my load, I have only one request as we travel down this road. Don’t talk to me about Muhammad! Because of him there is no peace and I have trouble in my mind. So don’t talk to me about Muhammad! And as we walk along together, we will get along just fine.”
She continued: “That man upsets me so – so much more than you could know! I hear of his name and reputation everywhere I go. Though his family and his clan once knew him as an honest man, he’s dividing everyone with his claim that God is one! He’s misled all the weak, the poor, and the slaves. They think they’ve all found wealth and freedom by following his way! He’s corrupted all the youth with his twisted band of truth. He’s convinced them they they are all strong and gave them somewhere to belong. So don’t you dare talk to me about Muhammad!”
They reached their destination, and the man helped the woman put away her belongings. The old woman, with a wide smile of gratitude at the stranger’s kindness, turned to him and said “Thank you now, young man. You’ve really been so kind. That generosity and smile is very rare to find these days. Stay away from Muhammad, don’t heed his word or emulate his way. If you do, you will never have true peace and all you will find is trouble.”
As the young man turned to walk away, she stopped him. “Now before we part and go, if it’s alright just the same, may I ask you dear young man, who are you? What’s your name?”
He told her, and she stopped dead in her tracks.
“Forgive me, but what was that? Your words weren’t very clear. My ears are getting old, and sometimes I have a hard time hearing. You know, it’s rather funny, but I’m sure I must be wrong. Yet, I thought I heard you say that your name is Muhammad.”
“I am Muhammad”, the Prophet (saws) told the woman.
This conversation took place as the woman was planning to leave Mecca due to the spreading message of Islam, but after seeing the Prophet’s beautiful character and generosity, she became Muslim right there on the spot.
This story is so fascinating that it inspired Dawud Wharnsby Ali to make it into a nasheed: