It was narrated on the authority of Suhayb, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “There was a king among the people who came before you who had a magician. When the magician grew old, he said to the king, ‘I have grown old, so send me a boy to whom I can teach magic.’ So the king sent him a boy, and he taught him magic. On his way, the boy passed by a monk, so he sat with him and listened to him, and he liked what he said. When he came to the magician, he passed by the monk and sat with him, then when he came to the magician, he hit him because he was late. The boy complained about that to the monk, who said, ‘If you are afraid of the magician, tell him, ‘I was late because of my family’ and if you are afraid of your family, tell them, ‘I was late because of the magician.’ Whilst this was going on, he came across a huge beast that was blocking the people’s way. He said, ‘Today I will know whether the monk is better or the magician.’ He picked up a stone and said, ‘O Allaah, if the monk’s way is dearer to you than the magician’s way, then kill this beast so that the people may go on their way.’ Then he threw the stone and killed the beast, and the people went on their way. He came to the monk and told him what had happened. The monk said to him, ‘O my son, today you are better than I, you have reached such a level and now you will be tested. If you are put to the test, do not tell anyone about me.’ The young man began to heal the blind and the lepers, and to cure people from all kinds of sickness. One of the king’s courtiers who had become blind heard about him, so he brought him many gifts and said, ‘Whatever I have piled up here is for you, if you heal me.’ The boy said, ‘I do not heal anyone, it is Allaah who heals. If you believe in Allaah and call on Allaah, He will heal you.’ So he believed in Allaah and Allaah healed him. Then he came to the king and sat with him as he had always done. The king said to him, ‘Who gave you back your sight?’ He said, ‘My Lord.’ The king said, ‘Do you have any lord other than me?’ He said, ‘My Lord and your Lord is Allaah.’ So the king took him and kept touring him until he told him about the boy. So the boy was brought to the king, who said, ‘O my son, I have heard about your magic, that you heal the blind and the leper, and you do such and such.’ The boy said, ‘I do not heal anyone, it is Allaah Who heals.’ The king took him and tortured him until he told him about the monk. The monk was brought and was told, ‘Give up your religion,’ and he refused. So a saw was brought and placed on the top of his head, and he was cut in two. Then the king’s courtier was brought and was told, ‘Give up your religion,’ and he refused. So a saw was brought and placed on the top of his head, and he was cut in two. Then the boy was brought and was told, ‘Give up your religion,’ and he refused. The king gave him to a group of his companions and said, ‘Take him to such and such a mountain, and take him up the mountain. When you reach the top of the mountain, if he gives up his religion (then leave him alone), otherwise throw him down. So they took him up the mountain, and the boy said, ‘O Allaah, protect me from them in whatever manner You wish.’ So the mountain was shaken and they fell down, and the boy came walking back to the king. The king asked, ‘What happened to your companions?’ He said, ‘Allaah protected me from them.’ Then the king gave him to another group of his companions, and said, ‘Take him and put him on a ship, then take him to the middle of the sea. If he gives up his religion (then leave him alone), otherwise throw him overboard. So they took him and he said, ‘O Allaah, protect me from them in whatever manner You wish.’ The boat was turned upside down and they drowned, and the boy came walking back to the king. The king asked, ‘What happened to your companions?’ He said, ‘Allaah protected me from them.’ The boy said to the king: ‘You will not be able to kill me unless you do what I tell you.’ The king said, ‘What is that then?’ He said, ‘Gather the people together in one place and crucify me on a tree-trunk, then take an arrow from my quiver and put it in your bow. Then say, “In the Name of Allaah, the Lord of the boy” and shoot me. If you do that, you will kill me.’ So the king gathered the people in one place, crucified the boy on a tree-trunk, took an arrow from his quiver and placed it in his bow. Then he said, ‘In the Name of Allaah, the Lord of the boy’ and shot him. The arrow hit his temple (the side of his head), and he put his hand on the side of his head where he had been hit, and died. The people said, ‘We believe in the Lord of the boy, we believe in the Lord of the boy, we believe in the Lord of the boy.’ Someone came to the king and said, ‘Do you see what you were afraid of? By Allaah, what you were afraid of has happened to you now.’ So he ordered that ditches should be dug at the intersections of the streets, and they were dug and fires were lit in them. Then he said, ‘Whoever does not give up his religion, throw him into them’ or it was said, ‘Throw yourselves in’. They did this until they came to a woman who had a baby with her. She felt scared to throw herself in, but the infant said to her, ‘O mother, have patience, for you are on the right path.’” (1).
(1) Reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhaari No. (3005) and Saheeh Muslim No. (3340).