Sayyiduna Hasan [r] and Sayyiduna Husayn [r] were two very special children. Their grandfather was none other than the beloved Prophet of Allah, Nabi Muhammad [s]. They were very good children and very wise too for they had been taught Islam by the best of all teachers, their grandfather, the Prophet [s] himself. One day, an old Bedouin from the desert visited their home in Madinah. The old man was new to Islam and did not know much about his religion. When it was time for Salah and the old man began to perform Wudu’, it became apparent that he did not know how to do it properly. He washed his feet first and then gargled his mouth. He seemed to forget that the arms must be washed up to the elbows and he simply wiped his face instead of washing it three times. This was not at all correct and the two boys, who were sitting close by, could see that. Hasan [r] and Husayn [r] both knew that Wudu’ must be performed correctly in order to pray. If the Wudu’ was not done properly then the Salah too would not be acceptable and all the reward would be lost. “We have to correct the old man,” Hasan [r] said to his little brother Husayn [r]. “But how?” asked Husayn [r], “If we were simply to tell the old Bedouin that what he was doing was wrong he might feel embarrassed.” “That’s true,” Hasan [r] responded, “Especially because we are two small boys and he, an old man.” What were they to do? How were they going to correct the old man and not cause him any embarrassment? What would you do if you were Hasan [r] and Husayn [r]?
Fortunately, they thought of a good way to correct him without having to openly point out his mistakes. After filling some water in a jug, they came over to the old man. “As Salamu ‘Alaykum (Peace be upon you), dear sir,” the two boys respectfully greeted. “Wa ‘Alaykumus- Salam, wa Rahmat-ullah (And may peace be upon you too, and the mercy of Allah), dear children of the Prophet,” the old man replied with a broad smile. He loved them, as all Muslims did, for they were like their noble grandfather in almost every way. “Sir, we are not sure which of the two of us performs his Wudu’ better,” the two boys said. “Please, would you watch and judge between the two of us?” “Yes, gladly. It would be my honor,” the old man replied. Having said this, they both began to perform Wudu’ exactly as it should be done, with the old Bedouin intently watching them. The old man knew that they had been taught by their grandfather, the Holy Prophet [s] of Allah. He also recognized that his Wudu’ was not quite like theirs. By the time the two boys had finished, the old Bedouin had learnt how to perform Wudu’ correctly without having been made to feel at all embarrassed. “Well, I have come to a decision,” he said with a smile. Patting them gently over the head he said, “You are both the winners. You have both performed the Wudu’ equally well.”