Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) lifting and hugging a Sahabi from behind


Could you kindly assist with the source for this?

Once Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) hugged Sayyiduna Bilal (radiyallahu ‘anhu) from behind out of love. On doing this Bilal said: “Who is it it? ‘Umar? Abu Bakr? ‘Uthman? ‘Ali?”

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) let go and said: ‘O Bilal did you not know it was me? Bilal replied, ‘I did O Prophet of Allah, I just wanted you to hold me longer.'”



I have not come across this incident occurring to Sayyiduna Bilal (radiyallahu ‘anhu).

Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) has recorded a similar incident. However, this version states that this occurred to a Sahabi named Zahir (radiyallahu ‘anhu). Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported:

“There was a Bedouin named Zahir who would gift Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with something from the desert [whenever he would visit] and when he would intend to return, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would give him provisions [for his journey]. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Zahir is our Bedouin, and we are his city dwellers.’ Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) loved him. Zahir (radiyallahu ‘anhu) was not very good looking. Once, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) approached him while he was selling his merchandise. He embraced him from behind and [Zahir radiyallahu ‘anhu] could not see him. Zahir (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said, ‘Let go of me! Who is this?’ He turned a bit and realised that it was Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and didn’t mind as long as his back was against the chest of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said, ‘Who will buy the slave?’ Zahir (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, you will find no demand for me (i.e. Nobody would purchase me)!’ Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said, ‘But you are not so in the sight of Allah;’ or he said, ‘But in the sight of Allah you are valuable.'”

(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3 pg. 161)


And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.


Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala


Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar