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The conduct of the Prophet (PBUH) with the Bedouins (desert dwellers)

Auther : Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid
Under category : How He treated them?
47 2024/05/04 2024/06/19
Article translated to : العربية

The Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, had perfect manners,which is evident in the way he showed kindness even to people known for their severe and harsh behavior. There are many great examples of how the Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, conducted himself with the Bedouins, who were known for harshness in their speech and actions,

as Allah Says (what means)

«The Bedouins are stronger in disbelief and hypocrisy and more likely not to know the limits of what [laws] Allah has revealed to His Messenger.»

[Quran: 9:97]

The Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, reacted to their harshness with mercy and forbearance,

as Allah Says (what means)

«So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].»

[Quran: 3:159]

It is known that Bedouins, the people who live in the desert, develop these qualities. This is why the Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever lives in the desert becomes harsh.”1 Ibn Al-Atheer (a scholar) said in his book An-Nihaayah (281/1), “This means that he develops a harshness in his nature because of how little he deals with people.” This harshness shows even in his speech. As for a person that lives in the cities and towns, then you will see that he is more personable and his speech is softer and kinder than the man who lives in the desert.

Allah Says (what means)

  «And among the Bedouins are some who consider what they spend as a loss and await for you turns of misfortune. Upon them will be a misfortune of evil. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing. But among the Bedouins are some who believe in Allah and the Last Day and consider what they spend as means of nearness to Allah and of [obtaining] invocations of the Messenger. Unquestionably, it is a means of Anearness for them. Allah will admit them to His mercy. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.»

[Quran: 9:98-99]

llah The Almighty also Says (what means)

«And among those around you of the Bedouins are hypocrites, and [also] from the people of Madinah. They have become accustomed to hypocrisy. You, [O Muhammad], do not know them, [but] We know them. We will punish them twice [in this world]; then they will be returned to a great punishment.»

[Quran: 9:101]

So some of them are believers and some are hypocrites The Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did not allow any of his Companions who came from the desert to live in Madinah to return to live in the desert again. Rather, this was considered from the major sins.
‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (a Companion) said: “The one who accepts interest and the ones who witnesses it knowingly, the tattooer and the one who is tattooed for beautification, the one who withholds his Zakaat, and the one who returns to being a Bedouin after migrating are all cursed by Muhammad on the Day of Judgment.”2
However, this is permissible in certain exceptional cases. Salamah ibn
Al-Akwa’ (a Companion) narrated that he visited Al-Hajjaaj (a ruler), so
he said: “O Ibn Al-Akwa’, have you gone back and returned to being a Bedouin?” He said: “No, but the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,
gave me permission to go back to the desert.”3


  1. Reported by Ahmad (8619) on the authority of Abu Hurayrah.
  2. Reported by An-Nasaa’i (5102).
  3.  Reported by Al-Bukhaari (7087) and Muslim (1862)

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