by Shaykh Muhammad Khalfan
Before the advent of Islam, once when the Holy Prophet (s) happen to visit Taaif, someone generously hosted him.
Later when the Prophet (s) was appointed as a Messenger of Allah, the said person was asked: ‘Do you know whom did Allah appoint as his Messenger to the people? ‘No.’ he replied. They said: ‘It is Muhammad bin ‘Abdillah, the orphan of Abu Talib, who, on such and such a day had been your guest in Taaif and you graciously hosted him.
Hearing this, the person comes in the presence of the Prophet (s), greets him, embraces Islam, and then says: ‘O Messenger of Allah, do you recognize me?’ The Prophet (s) says: ‘And who are you?’ The man says: ‘I am the owner of the house in which you had put up in Taaif during the age of ignorance (before the advent of Islam) on such and such a day and I hosted you.
The Holy Prophet (s) said: ‘You are welcome; ask what you what.’ The man said: ‘I want 200 sheep together with their shepherds. The Holy Prophet (s) ordered that he be given what he wanted.
Then addressing his companions he wished that the man would seek that which the old lady of Bani Israil sought from Prophet Musa (‘a).
The companions asked: ‘And what did the old lady of Bani Israil seek from Musa?’ The Prophet (s) said: ‘Surely Allah revealed to Prophet Musa (‘a) to carry the corpse of Prophet Yusuf (‘a) before he left Egypt for the holy land in Sham.
Thereupon Prophet Musa (‘a) asked about the whereabouts of the grave of Prophet Yusuf (‘a), and an old man approached him and said: If at all any one happens to know the whereabouts of the grave, it is such and such old woman.
Prophet Musa (‘a) asked her to be brought to him and when she came in his presence, he asked: ‘Do you know the place of the grave of Prophet Yusuf (‘a)?’ She said: ‘Yes.’ The Prophet said: ‘Therefore guide me towards the grave and I you will get whatever you ask.’
She said: ‘I shall not guide you towards it except you agree to what I want in return.’ The Prophet (‘a) said: ‘You shall get Paradise.’ She said: ‘No, except what I want.’ Thereupon Almighty Allah revealed to Prophet Musa (‘a) that agreeing to her request should not seem insurmountable to him.
Therefore Prophet Musa (‘a) said: ‘Alright, you would have what you want.’ Thereupon she said: ‘I would like to be with you in the same station that you would have in Paradise on the Day of Judgment.’
Narrating this the Holy Prophet (s) said: ‘why didn’t this man seek that which the old woman of Bani Israil sought?’