Consideration for feelings of others and graciousness in accepting gifts are etiquettes we can learn from the Prophet (Pbuh).
One day a poor man brought a bunch of grapes to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a gift. He was very excited to be able to bring a gift for the Prophet (pbuh). He placed the grapes beside the Prophet and said, ‘O Prophet of God, please accept this small gift from me’. He was a poor man who could not afford more. His face beamed with happiness as he offered his small gift. It was evident that he loved the Prophet a lot.
The Prophet thanked him graciously. As the man looked at him expectantly, the Prophet ate one grape. Then he ate another one. Slowly the Prophet finished the whole bunch of grapes by himself. He did not offer grapes to anyone present. The poor man who brought those grapes was very pleased and left. The companions of the Prophet who were around him were surprised. Usually the Prophet shared whatever he got with them. He would offer them whatever he was given and they would eat it together.
Usually he would start first, out of respect to the person who had given him the gift. But he would always offer it to others. This time had been different. Without offering it to anyone, the Prophet finished the bunch of grapes by himself. One of the companions asked respectfully, “O Prophet of God! How come you ate all the grapes by yourself and did not offer to any one of us present?” The holy Prophet smiled and said, “I ate all the grapes by myself because the grapes were sour. If I would have offered you, you might have made funny faces and shown your distaste of the grapes. That would have hurt the feelings of that poor man.
I thought to myself that it’s better that I eat all of them cheerfully and please the poor man. I did not want to hurt the feelings of that poor man.”
Category: Living Islam