Who is Anas bin Malik? What kind of person Anas bin Malik? How was Anas ibni Malik’s service to prophet Muhammed?
Anas ibn Malik’s Service to the Blessed Prophet –upon him blessings and peace-
Anas -Allah be well-pleased with him- recounts:
“As the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- arrived in Medina, my step father Abu Talha took me by the hand and brought me next to him.
‘Anas is a smart little kid, Messenger of Allah’, he said. ‘Let him serve you!’ And that is how I became a servant to the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- . All up, in war and peace, I served him for ten years. By Allah, neither did I ever hear him scold me for doing something I was not supposed to do nor for something I failed to carry out.” (Muslim, Fadail, 52)
According to another account, Anas’ entrance into the service of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- happened in the manner below:
When the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- graced Medina, all the Ansari men and women presented him with welcoming gifts. Ummu Sulaym, on the other hand, was rather downcast and depressed over not having anything to present. She later took her son Anas by the hand and together, they went next to the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-. She asked:
“Would you see fit to let Anas serve you, Messenger of Allah?” The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- gave consent. (Samhudi, I, 271)
Anas -Allah be well-pleased with him- explains:
“The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- once wanted to send me somewhere. Though I seemingly refused, saying ‘No way, will I go’, deep inside I had already agreed on going; after all, it was nobody other than the Prophet of Allah giving the order. So I set out. On the way, I saw some children playing on the street and I joined them awhile. Afterward, I felt someone come from behind me and gently hold the nape of my neck. When I turned around, I found the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-, smiling.
‘Did you end up going where I told you to go, little Anas?’ he asked.
‘I am going right away, Messenger of Allah!’ I quickly responded.” (Muslim, Fadail, 54)
Anas -Allah be well-pleased with him- recalls another time:
“Once, after having seen to the service of the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-, I went next to the kids outside, thinking he would be taking an afternoon nap. As I got carried away watching the children play, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- turned up. He greeted the children. He then called me and sent me somewhere. So I set off. He sat and waited under a shade until I returned. By the time I had completed my duty, I was late returning next to my mother; and when I eventually did, she asked:
‘Why are you late?’
‘The Messenger of Allah sent me somewhere for something’, I said.
‘What was it?’ she inquired.
‘It is the Messenger of Allah’s secret’, I replied.
‘Then keep the Messenger of Allah’s secret’, she advised.”
Thabit, who reported this hadith of Anas – -Allah be well-pleased with him–, later added:
“Anas told me that ‘If I were to reveal this secret to anyone, it would have been you!’” (Ahmad, III, 195)
As can be seen, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- treated children like his peers and trusted them with certain secrets. Nurturing a profound love and compassion for them throughout each phase of his life, the Prophet of Mercy -upon him blessings and peace- had an affectionate appreciation of children, interacting with them at their own level, and virtually finding a way into their spirit. The blueprint of the ideal treatment of children is provided by, among many, the two ahadith below:
“If you have children, become a child with them…” (Daylami, III, 513)
“Treat your children nicely and perfect their rearing.” (Ibn Majah, Adab, 3)
The exemplary life of the Prophet of Grace -upon him blessings and peace- also offers us guidance with respect to educating children. What superb education he must have given Anas that never in his life did he feel the need to get angry with the child, even once. What a way the fifty-five year old Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- must have found to the heart of the ten-year old Anas that he could joke with him, like a pal, when he felt, and let him in on a secret when needed; and reared in the care of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, despite being the child he was, Anas -Allah be well-pleased with him- could behave like a mature person and take the Messenger of Allah’s secret to the grave. Elevating Anas -Allah be well-pleased with him- to such a level of maturity, no doubt, was the towering method of education implemented by the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-.