How to Treat Servants (Hadith No. 2422)
Volume 4, Book 51, Number 29 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
When Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) came to Medina; he did not have any servant. Abu Talha (radiallaahu `anhu) (Anas’ step-father) took me to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Anas is a wise boy, so let him serve you.” So, I served him at home and on journeys. If I did anything, he never asked me why I did it, and if I refrained from doing anything, he never asked me why I refrained from doing it.
This hadith gives evidence for employment of an orphan and showing kindness to servants. We treat our servants as if they owe us their lives, belittling them and scolding them for every little thing. Look at the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), he wouldn’t even ask him questions like ‘Why didn’t you do this?’, or ‘Why did you do it?’. I’m sure there must have been incidents where he fell short, he was just a ten-year-old boy when he started and spent all his teen years with the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). There must have been times when he didn’t complete a task or committed mistakes etc. But he was never rebuked by the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).
And isn’t it amazing how he mentions this specific trait of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) when narrating this hadith? He could’ve said something more general, like “He was extremely nice to me”, or “He never scolded me”, or “He was the best”. You get the point. But when he recalls his time with the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), he remembers specifically what we could call “forgiveness”. Imagine what our servants would recall their time with us ten, twenty years down the line. Would they remember our pleasantness or the constant insults we throw at them?
Interesting fact about Anas (radiallaahu `anhu):
His mother once asked the Prophet, upon him be peace, to supplicate for Anas. He, upon him be peace, said,
‘O Allah, increase him in wealth and sons, give him long life and forgive him his sins.’
Anas would recollect that he had 125 offspring in his lifetime and only two of them were girls, his garden gave fruit twice a year and had basil which smelt like musk and he had lived long and had even survived poison and he hoped for the fourth part of the supplication. He was the last companion to die in Basra in the year 93H aged 103 years old. [Abdul Aziz Ahmed]
Read more on his life here.