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Once Abu Bakr and some companions went on a trading expedition to Busra. Various people on the trip were given fixed duties. Suwaybit ibn Harmalah was made responsible for food and provisions. An-Nuayman was among the group and on the way he became hungry and asked Suwaybit for some food. Suwaybit refused and an-Nuayman said to him: “Do you know what I would yet do with you?” and went on to warn and threaten him but still Suwaybit refused. An-Nuayman then went to a group of Arabs in the market and said to them: “Would you like to have a strong and sturdy slave whom I can sell to you.” They said “of Course and An-Nuayman went on: “He has a swift tongue and is very articulate. He will resist you and say: ‘I am free.’ But don’t listen to him” The men paid the price of the slave – ten pieces of gold and An-Nuayman accepted it and appeared to complete the transaction with business-like efficiency. The buyers accompanied him to fetch theft purchase.

Pointing to Suwaybit, he said: “This is the slave whom I sold to you.” The men took hold of Suwaybit and he shouted for dear life and freedom. “I am free”. I am Suwaybit ibn Harmalah…” But they paid no attention to him and dragged him off by the neck in shackles as they would have done with any slave.

All the while, an-Nuayman did not laugh or batter an eyelid. He remained completely calm and serious while Suwaybit continued to protest bitterly. Suwaybit’s fellow travelers, realizing what was happening, rushed to fetch Abu Bakr, the leader of the caravan, who came running as fast as he could. He explained to the purchasers what had happened and so they released Suwaybit and had their money returned. Abu Bakr then laughed heartily and so did Suwaybit and an-Nuayman. Back in Madinah, when the episode was recounted to the Prophet and his companions, they all laughed even more.

The above can be found online on;

  1. An-Nuayman ibn Amr: The Companion Who Made the Prophet Laugh by Yusuf Abdul-Alim | Dec 21, 2018 | Islamic History, The Faith; Link: https://intellectinislam.com/category/the-faith/islamic-history/
  2. Al-Nuayman ibn Amr - Wikipedia

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