1,001 Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet

Three Precocious Babies

Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet

19:27 Then she brought him (the child) to her people, carrying him. They said: “O Mary, you have surely committed a strange thing.

19:28 “Sister of Aaron, your father was not an evil man and your mother was not unchaste.”

19:29 Whereupon she pointed to him. They said: “How will we talk to one who is still an infant in the cradle?”

19:30 He [Jesus] said “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah, Who gave me the Book and made me a Prophet.

19:31 “And He made me blessed wherever I am and has commanded me to pray and to give the alms, so long as I live;

19:32 And be devoted to my mother; and He did not make me arrogant and mischievous.

19:33 “Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die and the day I rise from the dead.”

19:34 Such was Jesus, son of Mary; it is the truth which they (the Christians) dispute.

Jesus, Muhammad informs us in the following hadith, was one of only three babies to speak almost from the moment of birth. That Jesus spoke from the cradle in the Koran may explain why he only gets a short introduction in the following account of three precocious babies.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "None spoke in cradle but three: (The first was) Jesus, (the second was) a man from Bani (Children of) Israel called Juraij. While he was offering his prayers, his mother came and called him.

He said (to himself), 'Shall I answer her or keep on praying?'

(He went on praying) and did not answer her, his mother said, 'O Allah! Do not let him die till he sees the faces of prostitutes.'

So while he was in his hermitage, a lady came and sought to seduce him, but he refused. So she went to a shepherd and presented herself to him to commit illegal sexual intercourse with her and then later she gave birth to a child and claimed that it belonged to Juraij.

The people, therefore, came to him and dismantled his hermitage and expelled him out of it and abused him.

Juraij performed the ablution and offered prayer, and then came to the child and said, 'O child! Who is your father?'

The child replied, 'The shepherd.'

(After hearing this) the people said, 'We shall rebuild your hermitage of gold,' but he said, 'No, of nothing but mud.'

(The third was the hero of the following story) A lady from Bani Israel was nursing her child at her breast when a handsome rider passed by her. She said, 'O Allah ! Make my child like him.'

On that the child left her breast, and facing the rider said, 'O Allah! Do not make me like him.' The child then started to suck her breast again.

(Abu Huraira further said, 'As if I were now looking at the Prophet sucking his finger (in way of demonstration.')

After a while the people passed by, with a lady slave and she (i.e. the child's mother) said, 'O Allah! Do not make my child like this (slave girl)!'

On that the child left her breast and said, 'O Allah! Make me like her.'

When she asked why, the child replied, 'The rider is one of the tyrants while this slave girl is falsely accused of theft and illegal sexual intercourse.'"

Bukhari 55.645

An abridged version leaves out Jesus, and the slave-girl is now a lady.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

That he heard Allah's Apostle saying, "While a lady was nursing her child, a rider passed by and she said, 'O Allah! Don't let my child die till he becomes like this (rider).'

The child said, 'O Allah! Don't make me like him,' and then returned to her breast (sucking it).

(After a while) they passed by a lady who was being pulled and teased (by the people).

The child's mother said, 'O Allah! Do not make my child like her.'

The child said, 'O Allah! Make me like her.'

Then he said, 'As for the rider, he is an infidel, while the lady is accused of illegal sexual intercourse (falsely) and she says: Allah is sufficient for me (He knows the truth).'"

Bukhari 56.672