The Narration of the Story of the Camel that Complained to the Prophet
Fatwa No: 422191

Question

As-Salaam Alaykum, what is the authenticity of the story which mentions the camel which placed its head on the shoulders of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and complained to him about its owner overworking it. What is its reference? I have seen it in Shaykh Atiyyah Salim’s explanation of Al-Arba’een but without a reference.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The story is authentic, and the chain of narration of the Hadeeth is authentic as well and was cited in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy upon him. ‘Abdullaah ibn Ja‘far  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated: “The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) seated me behind him (on his ride) one day and told me a secret which I shall disclose to no one. It happens that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) preferred to take cover behind a hillock or a thicket of date-palm trees when relieving himself. He once entered a thicket that belonged to a man from the Ansaar when suddenly a camel came towards him weeping tenderly with its eyes welling with tears. (Bahz and ‘Affaan said:) When it saw the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) it began to groan and its eyes flowed. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) patted it on its hump and the base of its head until it quieted down. Then, he,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: ‘Who is the owner of this camel?’ A young man from the Ansaar came and said, ‘It is mine, O Messenger of Allah!’ He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: ‘Do you not fear Allah with regard to this beast which He has placed in your possession? It complained to me that you starve it and put it to toil.’

This Hadeeth was cited by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, and Al-Arnaa’oot,  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them said about it in his authenticating revision of the book: “Its chain of narration is authentic according to the conditions stipulated by Muslim.” The full version was cited by Al-Bayhaqi in his book Dalaa’il An-Nubuwwah, and a brief version of it was cited by Muslim and others.

Based on the above, you can find the Hadeeth in Musnad Ahmad and Dalaa’il An-Nubuwwah by Al-Bayhaqi.

Allah Knows best.

Related Fatwa