This is one of the many Hadith
(sayings of the Prophet Muhammad
), that really sticks out in my mind
. It has a beautiful
message behind it, and it probably is exactly how Muhammad (saw)
said it originally, because it probably stood out in the narrator
's mind, too. And the Hadith collector's mind.
The point is fairly self explanatory. But I have a little time on my hands.
A lot of the early muslims would put their trust totally in Allah. This is a commendable view, that 'God will give me my food and my shelter and my clothing, I needn't worry about a thing. If He gives me nothing, I can't complain'. But these were all in danger of losing their camels. (The camel is both literal, specific, and metaphorical, general). So to prevent the Muslims' camels, and hence their livelihoods, from running away, Muhammad (saw) narrated this Hadith.
Apparently this Hadith also has a Russian counterpart, a variation on the theme of God helps those who help themselves - Pray to God, and keep rowing to shore (thanks to Serpentine for this information).