Bishr alHafi was having a house party.
A man of Allah was passing by.
He knocked at the door.
The servant girl opened it.
He asked: “The owner of this house, is he a freeman or a slave?”
She said: “He is a freeman.”
He said: “You spoke the truth. If he was a slave, he would have used the etiquette of slavery and he would have left amusement and delight.”
It so happened that Bishr overheard the conversation.
He rushed to the door in haste without wearing his shoes and turban. The man had already left.
He asked the maiden: “Who was talking to you?”
She replied by just repeating what the man said to her. And so he set on a course to find him.
When he caught up with him, he inquired: “Master…are you the one who stood by the door and addressed the maiden?”
He said: “yes.”
Bishr said: “Repeat to me what you said.”
The man of Allah said: “If you were a slave, you would have used the etiquette of slavery and you would have left amusement and delight.”
Bishr alHafi put his face on the ground and said: “a slave, a slave … (I am) a slave” ¹
¹In the original Arabic the words “I am” were not explicitly mentioned. Hence I put them between brackets.