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> Junaid's Favourite Disciple by Haji
True Stories Website > Junaid's Favourite Disciple by Haji Hadi
In the second century Hijrah, during the reign of the celebrated Abbasid Caliph, Haroon-ur-Rashid, Baghdad reached the heights of its glory. It became the centre of trade of silks, perfumes, jewels and much more. It was dubbed "The City of Knowledge" on account of the teachings of many subjects being carried out over there, like astronomy, mathematics, philosophy and religion (Islam).
Amongst the many great scholars and teachers of the time, Junaid Baghdadi (Junaid of Baghdad) happened to be one. He acquired many pupils and won many disciples owing to his high moral character, piety and understanding of Islam. He loved them all as much as they loved him. But most of them felt that he had special liking for one particular disciple, which made them very jealous. They often thought of checking his favouritism by complaining, but each time they stopped out of respect for their teacher.
Finally, one day one of them gathered enough courage to represent a team that was supposed to put forward the complaints in front of Junaid. On being asked what had brought them there, the representative narrated all that was in their minds. "Why is it that you prefer him above all others? He is just another disciple of yours, just like all the rest of us," he complained.
In return, Junaid explained, "Only Almighty Allah and I have special liking for him, but in due time you will also start developing such liking for him, when you will realise that his wisdom, understanding of Islam and devotion to Allah is much superior to yours." The look of doubt on their faces made him realise that they had not understood the depth of his explanation.
So the next morning he called all of his students and disciples over and asked them to come back to him after each one of them had bought a hen from the market. On their return, he instructed them, "I want each one of you to go and slaughter your hen, making sure nobody sees you do it."
In the afternoon, all of them returned proudly, each with a different story of how they found a place to slaughter their hens, where nobody was seeing them. But Junaids favourite disciple had not returned till late evening.
When he finally came back, he found out that everybody had been waiting for him. On top of it, he had come back without slaughtering his hen. He became the laughing-stock for most of the people present. "The wisest disciple indeed!" they chided. On being asked why he had not followed the instructions, he replied, "I failed to find a place where nobody was seeing; wherever I took my hen, Allah Almighty was there, so I had no choice but to bring the hen back, unslaughtered."
Junaid accepted the reasoning with a smile, and was happy that his favourite disciple was bound to win respect amongst the others this time, as he had once again proved his superiority in wisdom, understanding of Islam and devotion to Almighty Allah.