Shepherd Muhammad (pbuh) Seeking Recreation
Prophet Muhammad’s memoirs pertaining to the period of shepherding are interesting as well as instructive. One such episode has been narrated by the Prophet (pbuh) himself in these words: “I had no inherent at traction for all those pleasant pastimes that the Makkan pagans indulged in so fondly. On two occasions even when I had intended to enjoy those recreations God intervened in between me and my desires. Once I and another shepherd from the Quraish were tending our cattle over the hills of Makkah. I told my colleague that I was going to the city for the night in quest for some rest and recreation I requested him to take care of my goats as well. When the other shepherd consented I set out for the city. As I neared the very first house sweet melodies of flute and tambourine struck my ears. I was told that the inmates were busy celebrating a wedding function. I too went in and sat among them. I had hardly started enjoying the music when God suddenly shut my ears. Sound slumbers of sweet sleep overwhelmed me so completely that only the rays of the following morning’s sun could wake me up. I remained utterly unaware of the proceedings of that merry marriage party. Then I hastened to return to my companion in the hilly pasture and reported him the entire episode.”
Narrating the other event the Prophet reports: “Similarly, once again precisely the same thing happened when I set out for the Makkah city for similar purpose. Some musical notes had struck my ears was heavenly melody. But that very moment deep sleep overtook me suddenly. I remained asleep till the next morning. After that I never conceived of such ideas till Prophethood was conferred on me.”
Interesting Memoirs of a Great Shepherd
It is hard to visualize the heights of the character and personality of a healthy man who abstains from all sorts of distractions and deviations during his fiery youth. Wherein, after all, lies the harm in enjoying interesting stories and sweet music for a little while after a full days hard toil as a busy shepherd? In the Divine scheme of things, however, even such an otherwise permissible leisure appeared to be ruled out in the case of that lovely shepherd. Fun and frolic could hardly find any worthwhile place in the life schedule of a blissful being about to be entrusted with the all-too exalted office of guidance and salvation of the entire human stock. As patent on the annals of human history the entire shepherding period of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was spent exclusively in creative meditation and constructive deeds.
Later on during the Prophethood period he used to refer to simple and serene vocation of hersmanship with considerable pride and pleasure. Once he chanced to pass through a forest with some of his companions. The companions began to eat small plums growing on a tree. The Prophet remarked: “Only those plums which turn dark enough are sweeter. I discovered this while shepherding during childhood used to graze my goats right here.”