The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) taught us to say: “O Allah, I ask You for the good that Your slave and Prophet has asked You for, and I seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your slave and Prophet sought refuge.” [Ibn Majah]
While this is a short yet comprehensive Dua and part of a larger invocation it also tells us that regardless of the position any one of us holds with respect to any other human, in relation to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), we are all His slaves. The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) was Allah’s slave and each human being is Allah’s slave, willing or unwilling!
Hasan Basri (rahimatullahu alaihi), a Tabiee who had the good fortune of having met a hundred and twenty Sahabah, bought a slave. He asked the slave, “O slave, what is your name?” The slave replied, “Sir! Slaves do not have a name except that by which their master addresses them.”
Hasan Basri (rahimatullahu alaihi) then asked him, “What do you prefer to eat?” The slave replied, “Sir, a slave has no preferences of food. Whatever the master provides, he eats. Whatever he feeds one, one eats.”
Hasan Basri (rahimatullahu alaihi) then asked, “What clothing do you prefer to wear?” To this, the slave replied, “Sir, slaves have no preferences pertaining to clothes. Whatever the master dresses them in, are their clothes. With whatever he clothes, one wears.”
On hearing this Hasan Basri (rahimatullahu alaihi) fell unconscious.
On regaining consciousness he said, “I have set you free.” The freed slave firstly thanked him by saying “JazakAllah” and then asked, “What was the basis of freeing me? Due to what happiness do I owe my freedom?” Hasan Basri (rahimatullahu alaihi) replied, “You have taught me the meaning of true servitude to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).”
Thus, whatever Allah feeds one with, one must happily eat; whatever He clothes one with, one must happily wear; and the wife He grants one, be pleased with her.