The Three Babies who Spoke in the Cradle

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him – who said that the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم – said:

“None spoke in the cradle except three:

1. ‘Isa (alyhis salam) the son of Maryam (alyhis salam)

(When Hazrat Maryam (alyhis salam) – may Allah be pleased with Her – approached the people of Bani Israel with Hazrat ‘Isa – peace be upon Him – in her lap, they blamed her of committing adultery, and people began to pass remarks, “O Maryam! You have done very wrong although your parents were free from evils neither was your mother an adulteress. Where did this child of yours come from without a husband?” When people became extreme in their blasphemous comments on her she remained quiet all the while but she told them to ask the child everything. The people said, “What should we say, and how and why would we even communicate with a new-born? He is just born and still in the lap.” After listening to whatever they had to say, Hazrat ‘Isa – peace be upon Him – began to deliver a speech which is mentioned in the Holy Quran as follows:

قَالَ اِنِّیۡ عَبْدُ اللہِ ؕ۟ اٰتٰىنِیَ الْکِتٰبَ وَجَعَلَنِیۡ نَبِیًّا ﴿ۙ۳۰﴾

The baby said, ‘I am a bondman of Allah, He gave me the Book and made me the communicator of unseen news (the Prophet).
وَّ جَعَلَنِیۡ مُبَارَکًا اَیۡنَ مَا کُنۡتُ ۪ وَ اَوْصٰىنِیۡ بِالصَّلٰوۃِ وَ الزَّکٰوۃِ مَا دُمْتُ حَیًّا ﴿۪ۖ۳۱﴾

And he made me blessed wherever I may be and enjoined on me prayer and poor due (Zakat) so long as I live.
وَّ بَرًّۢا بِوٰلِدَتِیۡ ۫ وَلَمْ یَجْعَلْنِیۡ جَبَّارًا شَقِیًّا ﴿۳۲﴾

And dutiful to my mother and not made me vigorous, unfortunate.
وَالسَّلٰمُ عَلَیَّ یَوْمَ وُلِدۡتُّ وَ یَوْمَ اَمُوۡتُ وَ یَوْمَ اُبْعَثُ حَیًّا ﴿۳۳﴾

And the same peace on me the day I was born and the day I die and the day I am raised alive.

(Maryam 19, Verse 30-33)

2. Jurayj’s companion; Jurayj was a man of worship, he had a place of worship and while he was in it, his mother came in and called upon him. He said to himself; ‘My Lord, my mother or my prayer?’ So he continued praying and she left. The next day she also came and called upon him while he was in prayer, he said to himself; ‘My Lord, my mother or my prayer?’ So he continued praying and again she left. The following day she came again and called upon him while he was in prayer, he said to himself; ‘My Lord, my mother or my prayer?’ So he continued praying.

She said: ‘O Allah, do not allow him to die until he sees the faces of prostitutes.’

The Children of Israel knew of Jurayj and his worship. There was a very beautiful prostitute who offered to seduce him. She attempted to do so but he did not pay her any attention. She then approached a herdsman who used to seek refuge in his place of worship, she offered herself to him and he slept with her. She became pregnant, and when she gave birth she claimed that it was the child of Jurayj. They went to him, invoked curses over him, destroyed his place of worship and attacked him.

He said: ’Why are you doing this?’

They responded: ‘You fornicated with this woman and she bore you a child.’

He said: ‘Where is the child?’

So they brought him the child.

He said: ‘Leave me until I pray.’

When he finished praying he came to the boy and poked him in his stomach. He said: ‘O child, who is your father?’

The baby boy responded: ‘So and so the herdsman.’

So the people turned to Jurayj, kissing him and asking him for forgiveness. They offered to rebuild his place of worship in gold, but he refused and asked them to rebuild it from mud just as it was before, and so they did.

3. There was also a baby who was being breast fed by his mother when a rider in fine garments passed by on an agile animal.

His mother said: ‘O Allah, make my child like him.’

The baby stopped suckling and looked at him, he said: ‘O Allah, do not make me like him.’

He then continued suckling…”

Abu Hurayrah – May Allah be pleased with him – said: ‘It is as if I can see Messenger of Allah – صلى الله عليه وسلم – right now, as he is illustrating the scene of the baby’s suckling with his forefinger in his mouth.’

He continued: “They passed by a slave girl who was being beaten by people who were accusing her of committing fornication and theft.’

She was saying: `Sufficient is Allah is for me, and the best of Guardians He is’

The mother said: `O Allah, do not make my child like her.’

Again the baby stopped suckling, looked at her and said: ‘O Allah! Make me like her.’

At this point they spoke to each other, the mother said: `A good looking man passed by and I asked Allah to make my child like him, you asked Allah not make you like him. We passed by this slave girl while she was being beaten and being accused of fornication and theft, I asked Allah not to make my child like her, and you asked Allah to make you like her.’

The child said: `That man was a tyrant, so I asked Allah not to make me like him. They were accusing the girl of fornication, while she did not commit it, and they were accusing her of theft, while she did not steal, so I asked Allah to make me like her”

[al Bukhari and Muslim.]

Amongst the Lessons Drawn from the Above-Mentioned

 1- The Hadeeth shows the importance of observing dutifulness to one’s parents, confirms the rights of the mother and that her Du‘aa’ (i.e. supplications) is surely answered.

2- If one has many different matters, one should start with the most important of them.

3- Resorting in difficult situations should be to Allaah The Almighty alone away from anyone else.

4- Allaah The Almighty mostly makes way outs for His Awliyaa’ at the times of hardships. Allaah The Almighty Says: {وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَ‌جًا} ‘Translation’ {And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out.} [At-Talaq: 2] Sometimes, He The Exalted may afflict them with some hardships to increase their rewards and refine their characters and thus it will imply all good for them as what happened to the woman.

5- Recommendation of performing ablution and prayer at the times of hardships and difficulties.

6- This Hadeeth also indicates that ablution was known in the religion of the previous nations. It was proved in this Hadeeth, i.e. the narration reported by Al-Bukhaari, may Allaah have mercy upon him, that He (i.e. Jurayj) performed Ablution and prayer.

7- This Hadeeth proves the Karaamaat (i.e. supernatural abilities or events) of the Awliyaa'(2). It is the belief of Ahl As-Sunnah(3) unlike Al-Mu‘tazilah(4).

8- It points out that Karaamaat can be supernatural in all different ways while some scholars rejected this idea and said that it only related to answering Du‘aa’ (i.e. supplication) and the like. This is really wrong and a denial for the witnessed fact. The correct opinion is that it may occur even in a wider scope than that. (5).

9- This Hadeeth also indicates that humans by nature prefer their children to themselves with all goodness for the woman asked goodness to her child and be guarded against evil while she asked nothing for herself. (6).