A strange story of a servant-girl

He tells the story of a slave-girl in the city of Medina (in modern day Saudi Arabia), who with her audacity, fearlessly remarked at the ignorance of a man who would perform the ritual worship in a manner which was not best, having learned from her guardian.

When the man confronts the girl and her guardian, he is struck by her knowledge and her love for the preservation of the tradition and wished to buy her so that he may free her from servitude, saying that those who preserve knowledge deserved to be looked after (he seems to assume that a life of servitude was unfit for her).  However, when he asked her guardian, and her guardian said it was up to her, the young slave-girl refused his offer, saying that she had no desire for such a thing, and that were she to leave the house of her guardian she would have lost more than if she were free.

The narrator remarks that this is something that does not change with the times, even though slavery is a thing of the past, in that when one is employed by good people, he earns both the reward of his efforts and the rewards of his peoples’ efforts, that there is no shame in such a thing.

A transcript is below.

…but it is a strange story.. it is said that ibn Juraysh was in worship…
a scholar of Medina, and he was in worship, and he drew a line between his hands..

and so, a slave-girl from the slave girls of Medina saw him, and she said:
“O what strangeness, the foolishness of this elder and his ignorance of the sunnah!”
this is a slave-girl of the slave-girls…!
[speaks in Moroccan]

And so he motioned for her to wait.. and, when he finished his worship..

he says to her:  “what was it that you saw of my ignorance of the sunnah?”

so she said:  “that you placed a line to which you would direct your salah..
and my guardian had told me, by [the authority of] her mother, by [the authority of] umm salamah (one of the prophet’s wive’s) that the messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Verily the (drawing of the) line is wrong, and when a man begins (his worship) with takbeer al-ihram  (the opening praise word) it (the line) blocks that all which is between the sky and the earth”–

in any case, I do not know this hadith, nor have I found it anywhere, and I have searched for it, so if anyone has found it he can tell me of his opinion about it…

and so, he says to her.. he tells her to bring him to her guardian..
so she brings him to her guardian and tells her what had happened and the hadith..that which we mentioned.. and we don’t know anything about this slave-girl, nor her guardian..

anyway.. and so she (the guardian) confirmed the hadith..
so he says to her:  “sell her to me.. that I may grant her freedom.. for it is incumbent that one look after those who narrate anything of knowledge..”

so, her guardian said:  “that’s up to her.. if she wishes me to sell her to you, I’ll have sold her to you..”

so ibn Juraysh says… rather, he offers this to her.. and she refused..

she said:  “I have no need for such..
for my guardian told me, by (the authority of) her mother, by (the authority of) umm salamah”–and this is a sound hadith now–

“my guardian told me, by (the authority of) her mother, by (the authority of) umm salamah that the prophet ﷺ said: ‘verily, the slave (of Allah), should he beware his lord and take heed of his guardians, for him are two rewards’ and I wish not to lessen a reward…

see, this is a matter that does not change with the times.. should a servant be in a house of good people, indeed allah will bring benefit to him and cause benefit to come from him..

and I had told you one before about this one slave-girl who was in the house of Salih bn. Hayy… and so she was sold.. they needed money and so they sold her to a people.. and this was a house filled with the recitation of quran and worship..

and so she awoke once.. and she had thought that all the houses were like that, like the house of those who sold her..

so, when the last third of the night came.. she got up to wake the people of the house for worship..
and when they saw her waking them up, they said:  “has the call for morning worship been called?”
and so she was shocked and said:  “do you not worship until the morning call is called?”
[speaking Moroccan]
she said:  “do you not worship until the morning call is called”, then she returned (to her former owner) and said:  “surely you have sold me to a wicked people… they don’t get up for worship until the morning call is called!”
There is no god but Allah!  Until our next meeting.. insha’allah..

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