5.3 Ali and Zayd
Living with Mohamed and Khadija, apart from their daughters, were two little boys. The first was Ali, son of Abu Talib, Mohamed's uncle. Mohamed had never forgotten Abu Talib's kindness to him as a boy, so when he became independent and well off, he decided to help out his uncle. He went to another uncle, Al-Abbas, and said to him (for AI-Abbas was very wealthy, but rather tightfisted) that this was a year of scarcity, and that Abu Talib had many children, so would AI-Abbas take one of them and Mohamed take another? AI-Abbas could not refuse, and Mohamed took Ali to live to with him.
The other little boy was Zayd ibn AIHaritha. Zayd lost his way one day and some people kidnapped him, and then sold him as a slave. Khadija bought him and gave him as a present to Mohamed. Mohamed set him free and brought him up as his own son. When some years later, Zayd's father and uncle were at last able to find him, they offered to buy him back from Mohamed, and Mohamed offered to give him to them free since he was their son. But the surprise came when Zayd, who although overjoyed to see his father and uncle, refused to leave Mohamed. To the little boy Mohamed was the ideal of manhood and benevolence, and Zayd would not, even to return to his family, part from this beloved ideal.