The Incident of Monk Buhayra and Monk Nestorius
By: Allamah Syed Muhammad Husain Tabataba'i
While the Holy Prophet (S) lived with his uncle, Abu Talib, and while he had not yet reached adolescence, Abu Talib set out for Damascus on business and also took the Holy Prophet (S) along.
It was a massive caravan and a great number of people travelled along with a huge quantity of merchandise until they arrived in Syria and entered the city of Busra. In the vicinity of a monastery, they pitched a tent and took rest. A monk, whose title was "Buhayra", came out of the monastery and invited them to a feast. Everybody accepted Buhayra's invitation and entered the monastery. Leaving his nephew, Muhammad (S) with his belongings, Abu Talib also attended the feast along with others.
Buhayra asked: "Is everybody present?" Abu Talib replied, "Everybody is here except a youth who is the youngest of all." Buhayra said: "Bring him along as well!" Abu Talib called on the Holy Prophet (S) who was standing under an olive tree and came to the monk.
Buhayra cast a deep glance at the Holy Prophet (S) and said: "come a little bit closer, I have something to tell you." Then, he took the Holy Prophet (S) aside. Abu Talib also went near them.
Buhayra told the Holy Prophet: "I am going to ask you a question and, by swearing on Lat and 'Uzza, would you answer me" (Lat and 'uzza were the names of two idols worshipped by the people of Makkah).
The Holy Prophet (S) stated: "These two idols are the most hated ones to me".
Buhayra said: "By swearing on Allah, would you tell the truth". The Holy Prophet said: "I always speak the truth and I have never told a lie; you ask your question".
Buhayra asked: "What do you like the most"?
The Holy Prophet (S) answered: "Loneliness".
Buhayra asked: "What do you look the most at and what do you like to look at"?
The Holy Prophet said: "The sky and the stars within it".
Buhayra asked: "What do you think of"?
The Holy Prophet (S) remained silent, but Buhayra carefully glanced at his forehead.
Buhayra asked: "When do you sleep and with what thoughts"?
The Holy Prophet stated: "When I fix my eyes upon the sky, I see the stars and I find them in my lap and myself above them".
Buhayra asked: "Do you see dream also"?
He stated: "Whatever I see in dream, the same I see while I am awake."
Buhayra asked: "What do you dream of, as an example"?
The Holy Prophet (S) kept quiet, Buhayra also kept quiet.
After a while, Buhayra asked: "May I take a look at the centre of your shoulders"?
The Holy Prophet (S), while standing still, stated: "Come and see."
Buhayra stood up, came closer, and pulled the dress of the Holy Prophet (S) off his shoulders. A mole appeared. Buhayra took a look and said in a murmuring voice: "He is the very person".
Abu Talib asked: "Which one? What do you mean"?
Buhayra said: "Tell me, what is your relationship with this youth"?
Since Abu Talib loved the Holy Prophet (S) as one of his own children, he said: "He is my son".
Buhayra said: "No, the father of this youth must have died".
"How do you know"? said Abu Talib; "That is true, this youth is my nephew".
Buhayra told Abu Talib "Listen, this youth will have a very bright and astonishing future. If others see what I have seen and recognize him, they will kill him. Hide and protect him from the enemies".
Abu Talib said: "Tell me, who is he"?
Buhayra replied: "His eyes bear the signs of the eyes of a prominent prophet and a clear mark of prophethood is on his back".
The Story of Monk Nestorius
After a few years, the Holy Prophet, acting as a representative, set out for Damascus once again along with the merchandise belonging to Khadijah al-Kubra. Khadijah sent her servant, Masirah, along with the Holy Prophet (S) and advised him to fully obey his orders. In this trip, too, when they arrived in Syria, they landed under a tree in the vicinity of the city of Busra. There was a monastery belonging to a monk called "Nestorius" who was acquainted with Masirah.
Nestorius asked Masirah: "Who is the man resting underneath that tree"?
Masirah replied: "He is a person from the family of Quraysh".
The monk said: "under this tree, no one but a prophet from among the prophets of Allah has lodged or can lodge".
He added: "Is there redness in his eyes".
Masirah said: "Yes, his eyes are always like this".
The monk said: "That's it. He is the last prophet of the prophets of Allah. I wish I could find out the day when he will invite the people."