"AHL AL-BAYT - THE CELESTIAL BEINGS ON THE EARTH"
Author: Allama Hussein Ansariyan
Translator: Dr. Ali Akbar Aghili Ashtiani
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications
First Edition 1428-2007-1386
22 Shohada St., Qum
Islamic Republic of Iran
# The Culture of Ahl al-Bayt
Morality Of Ahl al-Bayt
Morality of Ahl al-Bayt is a collection of their godly and human virtues towards their fellow human beings. On many occasions, the infidels, atheists, and pagans were attracted to Islam because they had been influenced by the morality of Islam represented by Ahl al-Bayt. Free from error and vices, Ahl al-Bayt are the paragon of virtues for all human beings until the Judgment Day.
Morality of the Holy Prophet
Imam al-Sadiq reports: Ali ibn Abi-Talib was missioned by the Holy Prophet to go to the market and purchase a shirt. He went to the market and purchased a shirt for twelve Dirhams. The Holy Prophet asked, “How much did you pay for it?”
- “Twelve Dirhams.”
- “I do not like it so much! I would like to have a less expensive one. Is the seller ready to take it back, please return it?”
- “I do not know, Allah’s Messenger.”
- “Go and see whether he agrees to take it back or not.”
Ali took the shirt with him, returned to the market and asked the seller, “The Holy Prophet wants a shirt of less expensive price than this. Are you ready to pay back our money and take back the shirt?”
The seller accepted it; Ali took the money and came to the Holy Prophet. Then they both went towards the market. On the way, the Holy Prophet saw a slave-girl crying.
- “Why are you crying?”
- “My master gave me four Dirhams and sent me to the market for shopping. I do not know how I lost the money. At present, I am scared to go back home.”
The Holy Prophet gave her four Dirhams from those twelve Dirhams and said, “Buy what you want and go back home!” Then, he went to the market, purchased a shirt for four Dirhams and put it on.
On his return, he saw a naked man; immediately he took off his shirt and gave it to him. He returned to the market, purchased another shirt for four Dirhams, put it on and took the way towards his house. On the way, he saw the same slave-girl sitting, puzzled, embarrassed and perplexed.
- “Why didn’t you go back home?”
- “O Allah’s Messenger, it is too late. I am afraid they might beat me, for I have slightly delayed.”
- “Let us go together. Show me the way to your house! I will intercede for you with them so that they may not bother you.”
The Holy Prophet accompanied the slave-girl. As they reached the house, the girl said, “This is the house.”
The Holy Prophet said in a high voice from behind the door, “O people of the house, peace be upon you.” He did not get any reply. Thus he said again, yet there was no reply. For the third time, he saluted, and they replied, “O Allah’s Messenger, peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.”
- “Why did you not reply for the first time; didn’t you hear my voice?”
- “Of course, yes! We heard your voice the first time and came to know that it was you!”
- “Then what was the reason for your delay?”
- “O Allah’s Messenger! We loved to hear your voice again and again. Your salaam is peace, blessing and grace for our house.”
- “This slave-girl of yours was delayed. I came here to ask you not to pester her.”
- “O Allah’s Messenger! Because of your gracious visit, this slave-girl is free from now on.”
The Holy Prophet said, “Thanks to Allah, how blessed these twelve Dirhams were; which became the dress of too naked persons and a slave-girl got emancipated.”
 Al-Khisal: 271/1, H 13.
Five Moral Habits of the Holy Prophet
Allah’s Messenger is reported by Imam al-Baqir as saying:
خَمْسٌ لَسْتُ بِتَارِكِهِنَّ حَتَّى الْمَمَاتِ: لِبَاسِي الصُّوفَ، وَرُكُوبِي الْحِمَارَ مُؤكِفاً، وَأكْلِي مَعَ الْعَبِيدِ، وَخَصْفِي النَّعْلَ بِالْيَدِ، وَتَسْلِيمِي عَلَى الصِّبْيَانِ لِتَكُونَ سُنَّةً مِنْ بَعْدِي.
I will not quit five habits until the moment of my death: wearing coarse clothes, riding a mule without packsaddle, eating with the slaves, weaving footwear with my own hands, and saluting children so that it will become a tradition after me.
A Jew Becomes Muslim By the Holy Prophet
Imam Musa has quoted Imam Ali as saying, “Allah’s Messenger owed a Jew a few Dinars, so he asked for it. The Holy Prophet said, “I can’t pay it now.” The Jew said, “I will not leave you until you pay my money.” The Holy Prophet said, “Then I will sit beside you.” He sat beside the Jew for along time during which he performed all his prayers in the same place. The Holy Prophet’s companions made an attempt to intimidate him. Looking at them, the Holy Prophet asked, “What are you going to do with him?” They said, “O Allah’s Messenger! A Jew is taking you a hostage like that!” The Holy Prophet said, “Allah has not commissioned me to do any injustice to non-Muslims.” When the day was coming to an end, the Jew said, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger. I give away a portion of my wealth for the sake of Allah, O Messenger! I swear by Allah what I did to you was to see whether you are the same person described in the Torah. I have read your description in the Torah that Muhammad, son of Abdullah, is born in Mecca; he migrates to Medina. He is neither rough nor furious. He is neither foul-mouthed nor does he use indecent words. I testify to the oneness of Allah and your Prophethood. This is my wealth at your disposal. Spend it as Allah has commanded.”
Interest-Free Loan For The Needy
Reporting his father, Imam al-Sadiq says, “A needy came to the Holy Prophet asking for help. The Holy Prophets asked, “Is there anyone here to give an interest-free loan?” A man from the Ansar rose up saying, “I have such a loan.” The Holy Prophet said, “Give four vessels of date to this man.” The man did so and came to the Holy Prophet after sometime asking
 Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 465, H 6.
for the payment of his loan. The Holy Prophet said, “We will pay it in the coming days.” The man came another time, hearing the same words. But when he came for the third time, the Holy Prophet smiled and said, “Is there anyone here to give an interest-free loan?” A man rose up saying, “O Allah’s Messenger! I have it.” The Holy Prophet asked, “How much is that?” The man said, “As much as you wish!” The Holy Prophet said, “Give eight vessels of date to this man.” The man said, “You owe me only four vessels.” The Holy Prophet said, “The other four vessels too are for you.”
Eating with the Poor
Reporting his father, Imam al-Sadiq says, “During the time of the Holy Prophet, the needy had to spend nights in the mosque because they had no home. One evening, the Holy Prophet broke his fast with the needy in the mosque in a stone vessel. Since the food had been blessed by the Holy Prophet, thirty people ate from it and they took the rest of the food for their wives.”
Piety and Contentment
Quoting his forefathers, Imam al-Rida reports: Allah’s Messenger said: An angel came to me saying, “O Muhammad! Your Lord sent greetings to you saying: I will fill Mecca with gold if you wish so.” But the Holy Prophet raised his head toward the sky saying, “O Lord! I will eat my fill one day to praise You and remain hungry to beg you.”
Ibn Abbas reports: The Holy Prophet would always sit on the earth; he would eat on the earth; he would milk the sheep; and he would accept the slaves’ invitation to barley bread on their tablecloth.”
Sympathy with People
Among the homeless poor people who used to live in the mosque, there was a believer who was poor and indigent. He would follow Allah’s Messenger when praying and never lost congregational prayer. The Holy Prophet had sympathy for him closely watching his needs. The Holy Prophet kept on saying, “O Sa`d: I will make you needless if I gain
 Qurb al-Isnad: 44.
 Qurb al-Isnad: 69.
 `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida: 30/2, H 36.
 Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi: 393, H 866.
something.” A long time passed but the Holy Prophet did not gain anything. Hence, his sympathy for the man increased. Allah Almighty Who was watching this, sent Archangel Gabriel to him with two Dirhams saying, “Allah is Aware of your sorrow about Sa`d. Would you like to make him needless?” The Holy Prophet said, “Yes.” “Give these two Dirhams to him to start a business.”
Taking the two Dirhams, the Holy Prophet left home for the mosque to perform his Noon Prayer with Sa`d waiting for him. He said, “Do you like business?” Sa`d said, “Yes, I do. But I do not have money.” The Holy Prophet gave the two Dirhams to him saying, “Start a business with it and seek the Divine food.” After completing his prayer, the Holy Prophet said, “Go after business from now on, for I was very sorry for you.” Sa`d did so in a way that he bought goods for one dirham selling them for two Dirhams or bought goods for two Dirhams selling them for four Dirhams. In this way, he made a fortune and his business became brisk. He went so far as to find premises near the mosque and set up his business there. He was so engaged in his business that he took no heed of Bilal’s call to prayer nor would he come to the mosque for prayer. One day, the Holy Prophet said to him, “O Sa`d! You are so much preoccupied with the world that you have failed to perform prayer with the Prophet! What has happened to your previous spirituality?” Sa`d said, “Shall I waste my property? I have no option! I have to sell my goods to people and receive the price and to purchase goods from people and pay for them!” The Holy Prophet became sadder for Sa`d than before when he was poor and indigent. At this time, Gabriel came to the Holy Prophet saying, “O Muhammad! Allah is Aware of your sorrow for Sa`d. Which one do you like best, the former or the present conditions?” The Holy Prophet said, “The former conditions, for he is in a situation that this world has ruined his Hereafter.” Gabriel said, “Tell Sa`d to return the two Dirhams you gave him. When he does so, he will be back to his former conditions.” The Holy Prophet too went to Sa`d telling him affectionately, “O Sa`d! Don’t you want to return our two Dirhams?” Sa`d said, “Yes, I will, along with two hundred Dirhams!” The Holy Prophet said, “Only those two Dirhams!” Sa`d gave the two Dirhams to the Holy Prophet and soon he lost what he had gained. Thus, he returned to the former situation.
 Al-Kafi: 312/5, H 38.
Kindness against Ingratitude
Quoting Imam Ali, Imam Musa reports:
The Holy Prophet was always benevolent and benefactor yet he was never appreciated by people. He was kind to Quraysh, Arabs and non-Arabs. We Ahl al-Bayt are the benefactors but our benefaction is not appreciated. The chosen believers too are like us.
Reporting Imam al-Sadiq, Abu-Basir narrates:
Allah’s Messenger would always eat like a servant, sit on the earth like a servant and act upon the fact that he was a servant of Allah.
A Permanent Cure
Imam al-Sadiq has said: A Bedouin woman passing by the Holy Prophet who was eating on the earth said, “O Muhammad! I swear by Allah that you eat and sit on the earth like a servant of Allah.” The Holy Prophet said, “Woe to you! Who is more deserving than me to be a servant of Allah?” The woman said, “Give a morsel of your food to me!” The Holy Prophet gave her a morsel. The woman said, “No, give me the morsel in your mouth!” The Holy Prophet brought out the morsel from his mouth and gave it to her. The woman never experienced any pain in life until she died.
Honoring A Nobleman
Hatam al-Ta’i was a noble, generous, and kind Arab. He would make food of a camel every day to feed people. He was doing this whole heartedly and with devotion. Nevertheless, he died before the advent of Islam. After Hatam, his son Adi succeeded him; he was as generous as his father. It is said that one day a man asked him for one hundred Dirhams. Adi said, “By Allah, this is nothing, ask for more!” When a poet eulogized him, Adi said, “Wait for me to give you a reward before you read the eulogy.” In the 9th A.H., the Holy Prophet sent a group headed by Imam Ali to Tay Tribe to invite them to Islam but they fought them and were defeated. Most of the Tay people were taken captives along with considerable booty. Adi, Christian by faith, escaped to Syria, leaving his sister, Safanah
 `Ilal al-Shara’u`: 187.
 Al-Mahasin: 456/2, H 386.
 Al-Mahasin: 457/2, H 388.
among the captives. Before the Holy Prophet, she stood up and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! My father passed away; my guardian who is my brother has escaped to Syria; be gracious to me.” The Holy Prophet ordered to give here new dress and send here respectfully to Syria.
Seeing this, Adi was surprised. When his sister told him about the Holy Prophet’s gracious behavior, Adi asked for an advisable act. The sister said, “You would better go to him, for it would be a source of pride for you to believe him, should he be a prophet and it would be an honor for you should he be a king.” Adi moved quickly, went to the mosque and introduced himself to the Holy Prophet who invited him to his house.
On the way home, an old woman came to the Holy Prophet and held him standing for a long time speaking of her needs. The Holy Prophet too was patiently listening to her! Adi said to himself, “This is not the attitude of the kings to speak with the needy in this manner.” When they reached home, the Holy Prophet made Adi sit on the mattress while he himself sat on the earth facing him. Adi said, “It is not good for me to sit on this mattress when you sit on the earth.” The Holy Prophet said, “You are our guest!” Then the Holy Prophet said, “Perhaps you look at the actual poverty and indigence of Muslims and our numerous enemies that you do not accept Islam. But this situation will not last long.” Hearing this, Adi willingly embraced Islam, defended Ahl al-Bayt after Allah’s Messenger and remained steadfast until the end of his life. He fought along with Imam Ali in the battles of Camel, Siffin and Nahrawan for the sake of Allah. In the Battle of Jamal (Camel), he lost one eye and three of his sons were martyred in the front of justice against injustice.
Anas ibn Malik says: A Bedouin came to the Holy Prophet, took his cloak by hand and drew it in a way that its edge left an abrasion on the Holy Prophet’s neck. Then he said, “Order to bestow on me of Allah’s property which is with you!” The Holy Prophet smiled and ordered to give to him what he needed.”
Courtesy towards the community
Whenever the Holy Prophet noticed the absence of a brother-in-faith for three days, he would inquire about him. He would pray for his people if they were not near by and would rush to visit them if they were ill.
 Tabaqat Ibn Sa`d; 4.
 Makarim al-Akhlaq: 17.
 Makarim al-Akhlaq: 19.
Honoring a Guest
One day the Holy Prophet had a lot of guests at home. Jarir Ibn Abdullah entered the house but could not find a place to sit. So, he had to sit outside. Seeing this, the Holy Prophet spread his shirt for him to sit on. Jarir picked up the shirt, put it on his face and kissed it.
Salman says: I went to see the Holy Prophet who was leaning on a cushion. When he saw me, he offered his cushion to me saying: O Salman! Allah will have his mercy on a Muslim who offers a cushion for his brother-in-faith when he comes to visit him.
Respect for Kindness
Imam al-Sadiq said: When a foster sister came to see the Holy Prophet, he spread his cloak for her to sit on. He also started to speak to her with a smile on his lips. When she left, her brother came to the Holy Prophet but his behavior was quite different. When asked why they were not treated equally, the Holy Prophet said: I respected the sister more because she was more kind to her parents.
Forgiving the Enemies
When the Holy Prophet conquered Mecca with his strong army of twelve thousand soldiers, he treated people so kindly that they all were surprised. No one could believe that a victor could treat the defeated party in this way. People of Mecca had gathered in the Sacred Mosque to see the leader of Muslims and Islam come out of Ka`bah and judge those who committed all kinds of persecution against him for thirteen years. However, after breaking the idols, the Holy Prophet came out of Ka`bah addressing the people of Mecca as such, “O people! You were bad kinsmen and neighbors for me. You expelled me from my hometown and fought against me in an unmanly way. You did not spare any attempt to persecute me, my friends and my companions. You killed my uncle, Hamzah. You fought against Allah’s Messenger so I have the right to avenge myself on you. Based on this right, your men must be killed, your wives and children must be taken captive, your property must be seized by the conquerors, and your houses must be demolished. But I leave the judgment to you. What do you think?” Suhayl ibn Amr, representing his people, said, “We speak good and think good. You are an honorable brother and an honorable nephew who has power over us.” These words impressed the tenderhearted Prophet in such
 Makarim al-Akhlaq: 21.
 Kitab Al-Zuhd: 34, H 88.
a way that his eyes were filled with tears. People of Mecca started weeping. Then the Holy Prophet said, “I do the same thing as my brother Joseph did. There is no sin upon you today. May Allah forgive you; He is the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.”
A Graceful Generosity
Sahl ibn Sa`d al-Sa`idi says: I made a cloak of black and white wool for the Holy Prophet and he liked it. While touching it, he asked, “What a good cloak this is!” A nomadic Arab who was present there said, “Give me this cloak!” The Holy Prophet immediately took it off and gave it to him.”
Helping a brother-in-faith
Abu-Sa`id Khargushi in his book, Sharaf al-Nabi writes: A needy companion of the Holy Prophet got married and asked him something. The Holy Prophet went to Aishah’s house saying, “Do we have anything to help this companion?” Aishah said, “We have a bag with flour in it.” The Holy Prophet gave it to the companion while they had nothing for themselves.
Forgiving A Foulmouthed Man
Ka`b ibn Zuhayr was an idolater who was steadfast in his idolatry until the conquest of Mecca. One of his indecent works was poem of reproach and satire about Allah’s Messenger. He and some other atheists who were extremely biased in their paganism and in committing horrible crimes against Islam were so detested that the Holy Prophet made Muslims duty bound to shed their blood upon the conquest of Mecca. Hearing this, Ka`b ibn Zuhayr, with his poetic talent, composed an ode eulogizing the Holy Prophet and set out for Medina where he introduced himself to Abu-Bakr and beseechingly asked to take him to the Holy Prophet so that he might forgive him. Abu-Bakr accepted his request and took to the Holy Prophet. He covered his face with his turban so that nobody would recognize him, said, “O Allah’s Messenger! This Arab man wishes to embrace Islam.” The Holy Prophet stretched out his hand and Ka`b pledged his allegiance, saying, “My father and mother are at your disposal, O Allah’s Messenger! This is the station of one who seeks refuge with you. I am Ka`b ibn Zuhayr.” He immediately recited the ode eulogizing the Holy Prophet. When he finished, the Holy Prophet rewarded him with his stripped cloth from Yemen, accepted his Islam and forgave him.
 Al-Kafi: 225/4, H 3.
 Nasikh al-Tawarikh: 584/2.
 Sharaf al-Nabi: 69.
Behavior towards the Chief of Hypocrites
Abdullah ibn Ubay who was the chief of hypocrites in Medina and his friends did not spare any attempt to persecute the Holy Prophet and Muslims. They were spying in favor of the enemies of Islam and insisted on hypocrisies so much so that Qur’anic verses were revealed on their being deprived of Allah’s mercy and their punishment on the Judgment Day. Nevertheless, they did not stop their hypocrisy nor did they repent. When the Holy Prophet returned from Tabuk, Abdullah ibn Ubay fell sick and lay in the course of death. Based on the Qur’anic verse “He brings forth the living from the dead (7:95)” His son, a true and pure-hearted youth, was favored by the Holy Prophet and Muslims. Based on the Qur’anic verse, “And you shall do good to your parents (2:83)” he would visit his father everyday as a religious duty. This good son of Ubay asked the Holy Prophet to visit his father to save the dignity of the family. Hence, the Holy Prophet too visited his father to preserve the dignity of a man who was a true believer. Out of sympathy, the Holy Prophet said to Abdullah ibn Ubay, “I forbade you to make friends with the Jews but you did not accept it. Now is it not time to do away with the love of the enemies of Allah and depart for the hereafter?” In response, Abdullah said, “AsAd ibn Zurarah was the enemy of Jews but this enmity was of no avail when he was on the verge of death. This is not the time to reproach me. I am on the verge of death. I would like you to perform prayer for my dead body and give me your shirt so that I will be buried with it.” The Holy Prophet gave his outer shirt to him generously. But Abdullah said, “I want the shirt which has touched your holy body.” The Holy Prophet complied with his request and gave his under shirt to him.
After Abdullah’s death, the Holy Prophet condoled his son, attended the funeral service, prayed for him and in response to people’s protest said, “My shirt, prayer and pardon will not be of avail for him.”
Following this manly and generous act, a thousand persons of the Khazraj embraced Islam.”
Behavior towards the Companions
The Holy Prophet would visit his companions and inquire about their health in the same way that they would visit him and inquire about his health. He would bid them a fond farewell as they would bid him a fond farewell. He would hug them as they would hug him. He would kiss them
 Nasikh al-Tawarikh: 234/3.
as they would kiss him saying, “My father and mother are at your disposal.”
If the Holy Prophet was invited to a party even at midnight, he would accept it. When he was riding, he would not allow anyone to be on foot at his service. If it were possible, he would make him ride with him; if not, he would say, “You go to the appointed place, I will come after you.” When he passed by children, he would salute them.
Helping a Mother!
It is reported that certain slaves from Bahrain came to the Holy Prophet making a line before him. Among them, there was a woman who was crying. The Holy Prophet said, “Why are you crying?” The woman answered, “I had a son sold to Banu-Abs. The Holy Prophet asked, “Who sold him?” The woman said, “Abu-Usayd al-Ansari did.”
Furious, the Holy Prophet said to Abu-Usayd Ansari, “Get on the horse and return her son as you have sold him.” The man got on the horse and after some time returned him.
The Holy Prophet said, “Whoever separates a mother and her children, Allah Almighty will separate him from his friends.”  The Holy Prophet has also said, “Never go to the nest of birds at night nor scaring them from their nests, for night is a time of rest for them.”
Ibn Abbas reports: One day, the Holy Prophet was sitting in the mosque along with his companions when a Bedouin entered carrying a sword and a lizard in his lap and shouting, “O Muhammad! You are a sorcerer as well as a liar!” The companions wanted to kill him but the Holy Prophet stopped them. Turning to the Bedouin, he said, “O Arab brother! Who are you looking for?” The man said, “I am after Muhammad, the sorcerer and liar.” The Holy Prophet said, “I am Muhammad but I am neither sorcerer nor liar. Rather I am Allah’s Messenger.” The Bedouin said, “I swear by idols that were it not for your dignity I would have killed you with this sword. I swear by Lat that I will not believe you unless this lizard believes you.” The Holy Prophet said, “O lizard! Who am I?” The lizard said, “You are Allah’s Messenger.” With this, the heart of the Bedouin was
 Sharaf al-Nabi: 67.
 DaA'im al-Islam: 60/2, H 162.
 Awali al-La’ali: 249/2, H 20.
illuminated with the light of faith so he truthfully testified to the oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad. He further said, “O Allah’s Messenger! When I entered this mosque there was no man more hostile than me to you and now there is no one loves you more than I do.”
It is reported that one day the Holy Prophet along with one of his companions went to the desert of Medina. He saw an old woman at a well intending to draw water but she could not. The Holy Prophet went near her saying, “O old Lady! Would you permit me to draw water for you?” She said, “If you do good, you will do good for your own souls (17:7)”
The Holy Prophet went to the well, drew up the bucket, filled her water-skin, put it on his shoulder and said to the woman, “Go ahead and show me the way to your tent.” The companion insisted that he should carry the water-skin but the Holy Prophet said, “I am more deserving than anyone else to carry the load of my nation.”
The old woman led the way and the Holy Prophet was followed her until they reached her tent. The Holy Prophet put down the water-skin and set out for Medina.
The old woman entered the tent saying to her children, “Get up and bring the water-skin in.” They asked, “O mother! How did you carry this heavy water-skin up to here?” She said, “A sweet-speaking young man carried it for me.” They asked, “Where did he go?” She said, “He went that way.” The children of the old woman went after the Holy Prophet. When they recognized him, they said, “Mother! This is the man you believe in and are eager to see.”
The old woman and her children ran after the Holy Prophet until they reached him and started kissing his hands. The old woman who was weeping said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I did not recognize you. Forgive me for being insolent to you. How can I apologize?” The Holy Prophet consoled her, prayed for her children and retuned them kindly.
Never Annoy People
It is reported that One day, the Holy Prophet had fever and that day was the turn of being in Hafsah’s house. On that day, Aishah cooked barley soup for the Holy Prophet and a slave-girl took the pot to Hafsah’s house.
 Manhaj al-Sadiqin: 370/9.
 Manhaj al-Sadiqin: 370/9.
At the door, Hafsah said, “What is this?” The slave-girl said, “This is barley soup Aishah has cooked for Allah’s Messenger.” Hafsah was very disturbed to hear this, saying, “Aishah has infringed my right. Can’t I cook barley soup? Is my love for the Holy Prophet less than hers?” Then she took the pot from the slave-girl and threw it down so the pot broke and the barley soup spilled on the earth.
The Holy Prophet took a piece of the pot in which there was a little soup and ate it saying to the slave-girl, “If Aishah asks you whether the Prophet ate from it, say yes and do not tell her what you have seen or heard here so that there will be no cause of annoyance between them.”
It was after this event that the following verse was revealed,
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ (4)
And most surely you conform yourself to sublime morality. (68:4)
It is reported that when Mecca was conquered, `Ikrimah, son of Abu-Jahl, escaped to Yemen. When he was informed that Allah’s Messenger would not blame anyone for his past faults and would not take him to task, he returned to Mecca and to the Sacred Mosque. Seeing him, the Holy Prophet rose up, spread his cloak for him and kissed him between the eyes. `Ikrimah said, “I loved the Holy Prophet more than myself, my father, and my son.” `Ikrimah became Muslim. He truly believed in Islam and was martyred in one of the battles.
Asking For Fair Price
A Bedouin came to the Holy Prophet saying, “I have several camels for sale but I have no idea of their price in the market of Medina. I am afraid of being deceived by buyers. Would you come to the market with me giving your knowledge in this field?” The Holy Prophet said, “Bring the camels to me and present them one by one.” He did so and the Holy Prophet priced them each.
The Bedouin went to the market and sold the camels for the price the Holy Prophet had said. Coming back, he said, “You guided me and I made a huge profit. Now accept something from me and take of this money whatever you wish.” The Holy Prophet said, “I expect nothing.” The Bedouin said, “Accept a gift from me.” The Holy Prophet said, “I am not
 Manhaj al-Sadiqin: 371/9.
in need of anything.” The Bedouin insisted. The Holy Prophet said, “Now that you insist, bring me a female camel which gives milk provided that you have not separated it from her young.
Gathering Wood For Making Fire
The Holy Prophet and his companions were on a journey. When they alighted in a place, the Holy Prophet ordered them to slaughter a sheep. One of them said, “I will slaughter it.” The second said, “I will skin it.” The third said, “I will cook it.” The Holy Prophet said, “I will gather wood for making fire.” The companions said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Take no pains! We will gather wood for fire.” The Holy Prophet said, “I know you would; but Allah hates to see His servant enjoy a state of privilege among his friends and companions and distinguish between himself and the others.”
A Gracious Generosity
It is reported that the Holy Prophet and Jabir ibn Abdullah were riding a camel belonging to the latter. Allah’s Messenger asked him to sell him the camel. Jabir said, “My father and mother are at you disposal! It is yours.” The Holy Prophet told Bilal to give the money to Jabir. Jabir said, “O Allah’s Messenger! To whom should I entrust the camel?” The Holy Prophet said, “May you enjoy the camel and its price and may Allah bless this transaction.”
 Sharaf al-Nabi: 75.
 Sharaf al-Nabi: 79.
 Sharaf al-Nabi: 68.
# Examples of Imam Ali’s Moral Virtues
Imam Ali Intervenes
Imam Ali was once passing by date sellers when he saw a slave-girl crying. He asked the reason, and she said, “My master sent me with one dirham to buy dates. I bought the dates from this man and took them home. But my master did not like them. I have returned them but this man refuses to take them back.” Addressing the date seller, Imam Ali said, “O servant of Allah! This is a slave-girl having no authority of herself. Give back her one dirham and take back the dates.” The date seller rose up and gave him a fist.” People said, “What have you done? This is Amir al-Mu’minin.” The man turned pale and started gasping out of fear. He took back the dates and returned the one dirham to her. he then said, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! Be pleased with me.” The Imam said, “The fact that you have amended your conduct has satisfied me. I am pleased only to see that you have given people their due right.”
A Beautiful Pardon
Amir al-Mu’minin had sent an agent to arrest Labid ibn `Utarad al-Tamimi for having uttered certain words. The agents passed by the alley of Banu-Asad where NuAym ibn Dajajah al-Asadi captured Labid. Imam Ali sent agents to arrest Labid. When he was arrested, the Imam ordered a physical punishment. NuAym said, “By Allah, to be with you is humiliation and separation from you is atheism!” The Imam said, “I pardoned you. Allah says: ‘Repel evil by what is best (23:96)’. As for your saying, ‘to be with you is humiliation’ it is something bad you have acquired; and as for ‘separation from you is atheism’ it is something good you have acquired. So tit for tat.”
Another Example Of Pardon
Amir al-Mu’minin entered Mecca for some affairs. He saw a Bedouin clutching the curtain of Ka`bah saying, “O Lord of the House! The House is Yours and the guest is Yours. Every host prepares certain means to receive his guest. Tonight, bless me by receiving me.” Addressing his friends, Imam Ali said, “Are you not listening to this Bedouin?” They
 Al-Manaqib: 1112/2.
 Al-Kafi: 268/7, H 40.
said, “Yes, we are.” The Imam said, “Allah is too Great to return His guest empty-handed!”
On the second night, Imam Ali found the same man clutching the same pillar of Ka`bah saying, “O Almighty! There is no one mightier than You! By Your Honor! Honor me in a way no one knows how! I resort to you by the honor of Muhammad and the Family of Muhammad! Grant me something no one but You can grant and avert from me what none but You can avert!”
Amir al-Mu’minin said to his friends, “By Allah! These words are the chief name of Allah in Syriac. My beloved, Allah’s Messenger, has informed me that tonight this Arab has asked for Paradise from Allah and his prayer was granted and asked for the aversion of Hellfire, which was granted too!”
On the third night, Imam Ali again saw him in the same place saying, “O Allah Who is not contained in a space and no space is devoid of Him! Give this Arab four thousand Dirhams as sustenance!” Imam Ali went forth saying, “O Arab! You asked Allah to host you, and He did; you wished Paradise; and it was granted to you; you asked for aversion of fire; and your prayer was granted; tonight, you are asking for four thousand Dirhams?” The Arab said, “Who are you?” The Imam said, “I am Ali ibn Abu-Talib.” The Arab said, “By Allah! You are the one I desire and you can meet my need!” The Imam said, “O Bedouin! Ask for it.” The man said, “A Thousand Dirhams for dowry; a thousand for paying my debt; a thousand for purchasing a house; and a thousand for running the affairs of my life!” The Imam said, “You have been fair in asking for your needs. Whenever you left Mecca for Medina, ask for my house.” The Arab stayed in Mecca for a week and then came to Medina looking for Amir al-Mu’minin, shouting, “Who will lead me to the house of the Leader of the believers?” Husayn ibn Ali who was then a child said, “I will lead you to his house. I am his son.” The Arab asked, “Who is your father?” Husayn said, “Amir al-Mu’minin, Ali ibn Abi-Talib is my father.” He asked, “Who is your mother?” Husayn said, “Fatimah al-Zahra’, the doyenne of the women of the world is my mother.” He asked, “Who is your grandfather?” Husayn said, “Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib is my grandfather.” He asked, “Who is your grandmother?” Husayn said: Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid is my grandmother.” He asked, “Who is your brother?” Husayn said, “Abu-Muhammad, Hasan ibn Ali, is my brother.” the Bedouin said, “You have got the whole world! Go to Amir al-Mu’minin and tell him that the
Bedouin whose needs you had guaranteed to meet in Mecca is beside your house.” Husayn entered the house saying, “O father! The Bedouin whose needs you have guaranteed to meet is at the door.” Addressing Fatimah, Imam Ali said, “Is there any food at home for this Bedouin?” Fatimah said, “No.” Hearing this, Imam Ali put on his clothes and went outside home saying, “Call Abu-Abdullah, Salman the Persian.” When Salman came, the Imam said, “O Abu-Abdullah! Put to sale the orchard whose trees the Holy Prophet planted!” Salman too sold the orchard for twelve thousand Dirhams. Imam Ali took the money and called for the Bedouin. Four thousand Dirhams were given to him to meet his needs and forty Dirhams for his expenses.
The news spread among the needy in Medina. They too came to Imam Ali. A man from the Ansar went to Fatimah’s house and informed her of the event. Fatimah said, “May Allah reward you for this news.” Ali was sitting there giving away handfuls of Dirhams to the needy so much so that there was nothing left for him.”
After the Battle of the Camel, Musa ibn Talhah was brought to Imam Ali who said, “Say three times: I seek forgiveness of Allah and I repent to Him.” Then he was set free. Addressing him, Imam Ali said, “Go wherever you wish and take for yourself whatever you find of horses and weapons in the camp. But fear Allah in your future life and stay at home.”
Helping the Orphans
Although Amir al-Mu’minin was aware of the situation in the realm of Muslims and paid special attention to the situation of the orphans, widows and the needy, he would sometimes act like an ordinary person to give lesson to rulers and to the community.
One day, he saw a woman carrying a water-skin on her back. He took the water-skin from her and placed it on his back. When he inquired about her situation, she said, “Ali ibn Abu-Talib sent my husband to the battle where he was killed. Now I am alone with my children and I have to work for others to make the ends meet.” Imam Ali returned home but had no peace of mind during the whole night. In the morning, he took a basket, put some meat, flour and dates in it and set out for the woman’s house. Some friends suggested to carry the basket but the Imam said, “Who will
 Al-Amali: 467, H 10.
 Al-Manaqib: 114/2.
carry the heavy load for me on the Judgment Day?” Reaching the woman’s house, he knocked at the door.
- “Who are you?”
- “I am the man who brought the water-skin for you. Now I have brought some food for the children.”
- “May Allah bless you and judge between us and Ali.”
She opened the door. Entering the house, he said, “I wish to do some good acts. Allow me either to knead the flour and bake it or to look after the children.” The woman said, “I will knead the flour.”
Imam Ali too cooked the meat and fed the children with his own hand saying to each child while putting morsel in his mouth, “My son, forgive Ali if he has failed in his duty towards you.” When the bread was ready, the woman said, “O servant of Allah! Put fire in the oven.” He did. When flames rose up, he brought his face near the fire and said, “Taste the heat of fire. It is the punishment for those who fail in their duty towards orphans and widows.”
By chance, a woman from the neighboring house came in. Recognizing him, she cried at the woman, “Woe to you, don’t you recognize the man who is helping you? He is Amir al-Mu’minin!” The widow came forward and shamefacedly cried, “Curse and shame to me. I beg your pardon.” The Imam said, “No, I beg your pardon, for I failed in my duty towards you.”
Carrying a Heavy Load
Imam Ali bought dates from the mart of Kufah putting them in a corner of his cloak. People rushed to him to carry the dates, but he refused, saying, “One who has a wife and children is more deserving of carrying them.”
Bare-Food On Five Occasions
Zayd ibn Ali reports: Ali would walk bare-footed holding his sandals in his left hand on five occasions: Feast of fast-breaking (`«d al-Fitr), Feast of Sacrifices (`«d al-A¤ha), Fridays, on visiting the sick, and during funeral service. He would say, “These five occasions are the places of Allah and I would like to be bare-footed therein.”
 Al-Manaqib: 115/2.
 Bihar al-Anwar, 54/41, H 1.
 Al-Manaqib: 104/2.
Moral Behavior In The Market
Amir al-Mu’minin would always walk by himself in the market, showing the way to those who had lost their way, helping those who were incapable, reciting the following Qur’anic verse to the shop-keepers while passing by them,
تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فَسَادًا وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ (83)
As for that future abode, We assign it to those who have no desire to exalt themselves in the earth nor to make mischief and the good end is for those who guard against evil. (28:83)
Those On Foot Not To Follow Riders
Imam al-Sadiq has reported: Amir al-Mu’minin, once, was riding when his companions started following him on foot out of respect. At this moment, he turned to them saying, “Are you in need of something?” They said, “We would like to accompany you.” The Imam said, “Go back, for walking or running on foot along with a rider will be a cause of corruption for the rider and a cause of humiliation for those on foot.”
A Jew Becomes Muslim
During Imam Ali’s caliphate, Shurayh was the judge. The Imam came to the court with a Jew so that Shurayh will judge between them. The Imam said, “The cuirass which is in your hand is mine, for I have neither sold it nor have I given it as a present.” The Jew said, “The cuirass is mine and now it is in my hands.” Shurayh asked the Imam to present a witness. Imam Ali said, “Qanbar (his servant) and Husayn testify that the cuirass is mine.” Shurayh said, “sons’ testimonies for their fathers are not valid nor are these of servants, for they will witness in your favor.” Imam Ali said, “Woe to you, Shurayh! You have certainly made several mistakes. Firstly, I am your leader and you obey Allah because you obey me and you know that what I say is not false. Secondly, you claimed that Qanbar and Husayn witnessed in my favor. The punishment for this is to judge among the Jew for three days.” The Imam sent the judge to a Jewish neighborhood to judge among them and then to come back to his place of work. When the Jew heard that although Ali had two witnesses but did not misuse his authority and the judge too passed a judgment against him, said, “This is truly the Leader of the believers.” Hence he became Muslim; he confessed that the cuirass belonged to Imam Ali, it had fallen off the
 Al-Mahasin: 629/2, 12, H 104.
Imam’s black and white camel during the Battle of Siffin and he had taken it for himself.
Justice in The Court
Once a plaintiff lodged a complaint before Umar ibn al-Khattab, the Caliph of those days. Both parties of litigation should appear before the court and lay their complaints. The one against whom the complaint was lodged was Imam Ali. Convoking both parties, Umar went and sat down on the seat of judgment. According to the Islamic law, both parties ought to station next to each other and the principle of equality before the Tribunal should be respected. Accordingly, the Caliph called out the plaintiff by name and beckoned him to stand up in a peculiar place before the judge. Then he turned to Ali and said, “O Abu’l-Hasan! Place yourself next to your plaintiff.” On hearing these words, Ali became apparently angry.” The caliph said, “O Ali, you do not want to stand next to your adversary.” Ali said, “No, that is not the reason for my anger; the reason is that you have not entirely respected the norms of justice, for you called me respectfully by my nickname Abu’l-Hasan but you called the other person by his ordinary name.” Umar hugged the Imam and kissed him between the eyes saying, “May my father be your ransom! Allah guided us with your mediation and brought us out of darkness into light through you.”
After the Battle of the Camel, when Amir al-Mu’minin was about to leave Basrah for Kufah, said, “O people of Basrah! Why are you displeased with me?” Referring to his shirt and cloak, the Imam said, “By Allah, I paid the price of this shirt and cloak through spinning. So why are you truing to find fault with me?” Referring to the purse which he held in his hand, the Imam said, “By Allah! The money in this purse is from selling what I have produced in Medina. If there is anything with me more than this, I will be a traitor.”
Being a child, some children of my age and I went to Rahbah one day. We saw Ali standing beside a pile of gold and silver coins, pushing the people backward. He, then, divided the coins among them and took nothing home!
 Hilyat al-Awliya’: 139/4.
 Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah: 65/17.
 Al-Manaqib: 98/2.
When I returned home, I said to my father, “Today I have seen the wisest and the most unwise person in my life.” My father asked, “Who is he?” I said, “He is Amir al-Mu’minin…” As I told him the whole story, my father said, “O son! You have seen the best man.”
No Desire For Wealth
Qanbar, Imam Ali’s servant, asked his master to go to a room where he had hidden bags full of gold and silver vessels. The Imam asked, “What are these?” Qanbar said, “You always divide every thing among people but I have reserved all these for you.” Imam Ali asked, “Would you like to bring fire to my house?” Being angry, he drew his sword and broke those vessels into pieces ordering him to divide them among people. He further said, “O Gold and silver! Deceive anyone but me.”
Fu¤ayl ibn al-Ja`d reports: The main reason the Arabs did not support Imam Ali was the wealth. He never preferred an Arab to a non-Arab or an aristocrat to an ordinary man. He never compromised with the chiefs of tribes nor with the kings. That is why the people abandoned Ali and joined MuAwiyah. Ali complained to Malik Ashtar of his companions, failure to support him and the escape of some of them to MuAwiyah. Malik Ashtar too would say, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! Some people cannot tolerate your justice, for they are the people of the world! May Allah pave the way for your justice, oppress your enemies, disperse them, foil their plan and break their unity against you: Surely He is Aware of what they do.”
In response, Ali said, “As for our just acts, Allah says:
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ (46)
Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against it; and your Lord is not in the least unjust to the servants. (41: 46)
As for your opinion that justice is hard for them hence they abandoned us, Allah knows that they did not leave us for any injustice. They left us for worldly riches, a world which they will leave and on the Judgment Day. They will be questioned whether they fought for the world or Allah! As for saying that we do not give away to them from the public fund, we cannot
 Al-Gharat: 35/1.
 Al-Gharat: 36/1.
give them more than what they deserve. Allah says:
كَم مِّن فِئَةٍ قَلِيلَةٍ غَلَبَتْ فِئَةً كَثِيرَةً بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ (249)
How often has a small party vanquished numerous hosts by Allah’s permission, and Allah is with the patient. (2:249).
Allah commissioned Muhammad as a prophet with a small number of people around him but they increased in number and honored them while they were humiliated before. If Allah wills, He will support us, remove our problems and sorrows. I approve of your union which pleases Allah. You are the most benevolent and trustworthy of them with me, Allah willing.”
One night Imam Ali entered the house of public fund for apportioning the funds. At this time, Talhah and Zubayr came to him. The Imam put out the torch before him and ordered to bring another torch from his house. They asked the reason. The Imam said, “The oil in that torch belonged to the public fund and it was not right to speak to you under its light.”
Quoting his father, Harun ibn Antarah reports: I went to the presence of Ali at Khawarnaq. He was wearing a coarse old garment shivering from cold. I said, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! You and Ahl al-Bayt, like others, have a share in the public fund. So why aren’t you using your share?” The Imam said, “By Allah, I do not take anything from the public fund. The garment I am wearing is the same I brought from Medina and I have no garment other than this.”
No Love Of Wealth
Aqil ibn `Abd al-Rahman reports: My aunt, wife of Aqil ibn Abi-Talib, came to see Ali in Kufah while he was sitting on a packsaddle. At this time, a wife of Ali, from Banu-Tamim, entered. I said, “Woe to you! Your house is full of goods and here Amir al-Mu’minin is sitting on a packsaddle!” She said, “Do not blame me! By Allah! He put everything which is unfamiliar to him in the public fund.”
 Al-Gharat: 46/1.
 Ihqaq al-Haqq; 539/8.
 Kashf al-Ghummah: 173/1.
 Al-Manaqib: 97/2.
Giving Clothes To The Naked
One day when Imam Ali was in the presence of the Holy Prophet, he was found with a worn-out garment. So Allah’s Messenger said, “What happened to the good garment I gave you?” Ali said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I saw one of your companions complaining of his own nakedness and of his wife. So I gave it away knowing that Allah will give me a better one.”
Once Imam Ali had four Dirhams. He divided them into four. He gave away one dirham for the sake of Allah by night and one dirham by day. He gave away the third dirham secretly and the fourth openly. The following holy verse was revealed on the same occasion,
الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُم بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ سِرًّا وَعَلاَنِيَةً فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ (274)
As for those who spend their property by night and by day, secretly and openly, they shall have their reward from their Lord and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve (2:274)
Charity Changes People
On the above-mentioned story, ibn Abbas, commenting on the following holy verse, “Men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah… without measure (24:37-38)” says: The occasion of the revelation was that one day the Holy Prophet gave Ali three hundred Dinars, which they had given to him as gift. Ali said: I took the money and said to myself by Allah, I will give such a charity with these Dinars that Allah will accept. When I completed the night prayer with Allah’s Messenger, I took a hundred Dinars and left the mosque. On my way, I came across a woman to whom I gave one hundred Dinars. The following day, people said, “Ali has given charity to a corrupt woman!” It was a grant sorrow for me. The night of that day, I performed the night prayer, took a hundred Dinars in my hand, left the mosque and said to myself, “By Allah! I will give a charity which will be accepted by my Lord. I saw a man and gave away the one hundred Dinars to him.” The following day, the people of Medina said, “Ali has given away a hundred Dinars to a thief.” Again a great sorrow came to me but said to myself, “By Allah! I will give a charity tonight that Allah will accept from me.”
 The Path of Ali: 42.
So, I performed my night prayer with Allah’s Messenger and then left the mosque having a hundred Dinars with me. I saw a man to whom I gave the money. The next day, the people Medina said, “Last night, Ali gave a hundred Dinars to a rich man.” Again, a great sorrow came to me. I went to Allah’s Messenger and told him the story. The Holy Prophet said: O Ali! Gabriel says to you: Allah has accepted your charity and purified your acts: The one hundred Dinars you gave as charity was put at the disposal of a corrupt woman who repented to Allah and used the money as earnings for her living. She also intends to get married with this money. The charity of the second night went to a thief who repented thereafter and used the money for running business. The charity of the third night went to a rich man who had not paid alms for years. He went home and blamed himself saying, “How miser I am! This is Ali ibn Abu-Talib who gave away a hundred Dinars to me while he has nothing whereas I am a rich man who has not paid his obligatory alms!” So, he reckoned his alms and put it aside. It was for this reason that Allah revealed the above-mentioned verses.
Both Shi`ite and Sunni scholars report: One day Ali was extremely hungry so he asked for food from Fatimah who said, “There is no food except the one I preferred to give to you than to myself as well as Hasan and Husayn two days ago.” Ali asked, “Why didn’t you tell me to prepare a food for you?” Fatimah said, “O Abu’l-Hasan! I was ashamed to charge you with what is not in your power!” Ali left the house, went to the Holy Prophet and borrowed one Dinar to buy food. On his way, he met al-Miqdad who said, “Whatever Allah wills (will come to pass)!” Ali gave his one Dinar to him, went to mosque, lay down and went to sleep! Allah’s Messenger went to the mosque and found Ali in that position. Awakening him, the Holy Prophet asked, “What did you do?” Ali told him the story and then prayed with the Holy Prophet. When Allah’s Messenger completed his prayer, he asked, “O Abu’l-Hasan! Do you have any food to share with you?” Ali kept silent and gave no answer out of shame. Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet to have the dinner with Ali that night. So they both set out for Ali’s house. When they entered the house, Fatimah was engaged in prayer and behind her was a big bowl steaming. Fatimah brought that big bowl which was replete with food and placed it before her father and her husband. Ali asked. Where has this food come from? She
 Al-Manaqib: 74/2.
said: From Allah’s Favor and Benevolence,
إنَّ اللّهَ يَرْز ُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ (37)
Surely, Allah gives to whom He pleases without measure (3:37)
The Holy Prophet put his hand between the two shoulders of Ali saying, “O Ali! This is in lieu of your Dinar.” Then he was choked with tears saying, “Thanks Allah that I have not died to see in my daughter what (Prophet) Zachariah saw in (Saint) Mary.”
An Extraordinary Example of Altruism
The Battle Of Camel
Imam Ali made his utmost effort not to enter battle so that no one would be killed. When he was informed in Medina that the leaders of the Camel Army have left Mecca for Basrah, he quickly left Medina to hold talks with them. He sent them a letter through Sa`saAh, a great man of Basrah. In that letter, he gave them advice with the utmost degree of kindness and magnanimity. Once again, he sent Ibn Abbas to al-Zubayr to talk to him saying, “Do not go or speak to Talhah, for it will be useless. Speak to al-Zubayr who is softer. Tell him, your cousin says: In Hijaz you were my friend. How come you have become my enemy in Iraq?” Then, he sent a letter to Talhah and al-Zubayr through `Imran al-Khuza`i which reads, “Though people may deny, but I did not go to people rather they came to me to pledge allegiance with me. Their allegiance with me was not out of fear, force or allurement. If your allegiance has not been out of fear, repent quickly and turn to Allah. You claim that I have killed `Uthman! I leave the judgment to unbiased people. Anyone who is condemned should be punished. You two elderly men of Quraish! Stop behaving like this before this disgrace will be accompanied with Hellfire.” When Imam Ali arrived in the land of Zaviah on his way to Basrah, he performed a four-RakAh prayer saying, “O Lord of heavens and what cast shadow on them! O Lord of the earths and what they have on shoulders! O Lord of the Great Throne! This is Basrah! I ask You to put the good of this people in my hand and I seek refuge in You from their evil. O Lord! These people have disobeyed me, rebelled against me and broken allegiance with me. O Lord! Preserve the blood of Muslims and let not any blood be shed!”
When Ali was placed against the army of Basrah, he called, “O people! Do not make haste!” Then the Imam called Ibn Abbas ordering him to go
 Al-Manaqib: 76/2.
to Talhah, al-Zubayr and Aishah and call them to Allah. Then Ammar ibn Yasir, the great companion and elderly man of truth, stood between the two armies, addressing the army of Basrah as such, “O people! It is not fair that you have kept your wives behind curtains while you have brought the Holy Prophet’s wife to be faced with arrows and swords.” Then he went to Aishah, asking, “What do you want?” Aishah said, “I am here to seek the revenge of `Uthman!” Ammar said, “May Allah on this day kill the oppressor, perish the rebel and destroy falsehood.”
Then, addressing the army of Basrah he cried out, “O people! Do you know which of the two parties has had a hand in killing `Uthman?” The arrows were coming towards Ammar. The answer was arrows! Ammar came to Ali saying, “O Amir al-Mu’minin: What are you waiting for? They have no goal but killing arrows showered on the army of Ali. There was no permission for battle yet!” Imam Ali addressed his army as such, “Who is here to take this Qur’an to the people and call them to it? Whoever does this will be killed but I will guarantee his going to Paradise.” A young man by the name of Muslim rose up, saying, “O Amir al-Mu’minin: I will take the Qur’an to them and do what you said.” He took the Qur’an, went to the enemy and called them to the Qur’an. They pierced his body with spear. He fell on the ground and was martyred. Was killing with spear an answer to logic?
Ali told his army to be prepared for battle but not start it. Ibn Badil, a brave soldier, brought the dead body of his brother saying: O Amir al-Mu’minin! Until when should we wait? Should they kill us and we look on?” The dead body of another soldier was brought to Ali but he still did not give the permission to fight. He just said, “O Lord! You are the Witness.” Then, he turned to his army saying, “Have mercy on the people!” Then, he took off his armor, rode on the mule of the Holy Prophet, went to the battlefield and cried out, “O Zubayr! Come to me.” Al-Zubayr came to the field with full arms. Seeing that Ali called al-Zubayr to the field, Aishah said to herself, “Woe to me, my sister Asma’—al-Zubayr’s wife—will became a widow!” When Aishah was told that Ali has come to the battlefield without arms, she calmed down.
In the battle field, Ali hugged al-Zubayr, saying, “Why have you rebelled against me?” Al-Zubayr said, “I have come to take the revenge of `Uthman!” Ali said, “May God kill either of us who has had a hand in the killing of `Uthman.” Then he spoke softly to him reminding him of Allah’s Messenger, who had said, “You will fight Ali and you will be the wrong party.” Al-Zubayr said, “I seek Allah’s forgiveness. If I had not forgotten
this word, I would not have rebelled.” The Imam said, “Zubayr! Now, go back.” Al-Zubayr said, “How can I go back? My going back would be considered as fear, a disgrace which cannot be washed away.” The Imam said, “Go back before disgrace is accompanied with Hellfire.” Al-Zubayr went back and as soon as he intended to go out of the Army of the Camel, his son Abdullah cried out, “Where are you going?” Al-Zubayr said, “My Son! Ali reminded me of something I had forgotten.” The son said, “This is no the case, you are afraid of the swords of the Hashimites!” The father said, “No, I remembered what the time had made me forget. Are you blaming me for fear?” He took the spear and attacked the right wing of Ali’s army. Addressing his soldiers, Ali said, “Let no one fight him. Open the way for him. They have provoked him!” Al-Zubayr so attacked both sides of the army. No one fought him or resisted against him. Returning to his army he said to his son, “Does a timid man act like that?” Then he took his way and left.
Ali’s kindness towards the enemy made a hero of him in the battlefield. Did the Army of the Camel realize that what the Holy Prophet had foreseen was not particular to al-Zubayr alone but everyone who fought Ali would be a wrongdoer?
Again Ali came to the battlefield and called Talhah saying, “Why did you rebel against me?” Talhah claimed that he wanted to take the revenge of `Uthman. Ali said, “May Allah kill either of us who has had a hand in killing `Uthman. Haven’t you heard the words of the Holy Prophet saying: (O God) Befriend one who befriends Ali and bear enmity to one who bears enmity to Ali. Were you not the first man who swore allegiance with me and breached your allegiance? Allah says:
فَمَن نَّكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنكُثُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ
Whoever breaks his faith, he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul (48:10)”
Expressing his regret, Talhah said, “I seek Allah’s forgiveness.” He went back. Sensing that Talhah intends to leave the battlefield, Marwan ibn Hakam threw an arrow towards him. Talhah died immediately without having a chance to inform the people of Basrah of their treacherous and unjust act which he and al-Zubayr had planned.
Addressing his army, Ali said, “When you defeat the Army of the Camel, do not kill the wounded and the captives, nor follow the deserters, nor expose people’s private parts, nor cut anyone’s ears or noses, nor loot anyone’s property except what they leave in the battlefield.”
The enemy’s defeat was certain. Yet, no order of attack was issued. The Army of the Camel attacked the right wing of Ali’s army, pushing them back. It was at this moment that the order of attack was issued and the Army of the Camel suffered a disgraceful defeat, this is Ali’s kindness towards the enemy and his mercy on people in the battlefield. Does history remember a ruler to have behaved like this towards the rebels?
The Battle of Siffin
Siffin was a region by the river Euphrates. When the army of Ali reached it, he was told to block the army of MuAwiyah from having access to the river, but Ali did not accept the idea. MuAwiyah took advantage of this situation, seized all the ways leading to the river and blocked the army of Ali from having access to the river. By his command, the army opened ways to the river. To retaliate, Imam Ali’s companions decided to block MuAwiyah’s army from access to river, but again Ali did not permit. The Battle of Siffin lasted for eighteen months. The offensive by Ali’s army was started hoping that the Syrians would give up and less blood would be shed!
The Battle Of Nahrawan
The best definition we can use in describing the Kharijites is that they were people afflicted with the disease of enmity with Ali and they did not stop this enmity until they killed him. If we use the word disease, it is because enmity with anyone needs a reason. A person bears enmity to someone for personal reasons, for being jealous of that person’s position, for having been hurt or harmed by that person, for having experienced a tyranny, a family feud or religious differences. None of those reasons existed for those who were hostile to Ali. They simply could not see Ali alive and victorious.
These people were in the army of Ali in the Battle of Siffin but when he overcame the enemy, they drew their swords against him and deprived him of victory. They did not accept the intelligent arbiter Imam Ali had chosen and selected the arbiter who was Ali’s enemy! They were the enemies of MuAwiyah too but unknowingly assisted him and compelled Ali to accept the mediation of the arbiters.
When the treachery of mediation became clear, they started to disagree with Ali so much so that they disrespected him in his presence and absence. Ali too had left them to themselves showing no reaction to what they said and did.
Ali’s friends who could not tolerate hearing their sarcastic and insulting remarks would often ask Ali to suppress and imprison them or check their activities. However, Ali would not agree, saying, “As long as they do not do anything against us, we will not harm them nor will we cut their stipend from the public fund. We will allow them to come to the mosque but if they kill anyone, we will retaliate.”
The inner disease of Kharijites was being intensified. Hence, they could not stay in Kufah, for they saw Ali there. So, they left it for Nahrawan. Still Ali let them act freely and had nothing to do with them. When he set out to suppress MuAwiyah, he wrote a letter as such, “We are going to suppress your enemies, a common enemy; come long with us.” The Kharijites did not accept the offer and declared war against him! Still Ali did not go to them and set off for Syria. Ali was asked to put an end to the enmity of Kharijites first and then set out for Syria. It was not accepted and the order to move to Syria was issued.
Ali’s army was or the way to Syria when news reached that the Kharijites have become active, forcing people to curse Ali and anyone who does not comply with it, is killed. Ali headed for Nahrawan, the Kharijites base. He still refused to enter battle against them. So, he started to admonish and guide them. He managed to dissuade many of them from fighting though they refused to assist Ali in suppressing MuAwiyah. Those Kharijites who were dissuaded to fight Ali returned to Kufah but remained Ali’s enemies.
The seeds of Kharijites in the history of Islam were sown by same people and the rest did not accept any option but fighting and preferred death to living with Ali. So they attacked Ali’s army with the motto of ‘we are going to Paradise’. Still no order of counterattack was issued until one of Ali’s soldiers was killed. It was then that Imam Ali said, “It is now the right time to fight them.” Ali’s army started its attack which put the Kharijites to flight.
A Light Diet
Suwayd ibn Ghaflah reports: I went to see Imam Ali while he was in governor’s seat. Before the Imam was a bowl of sour yoghurt the smell of which I could feel. A loaf of bread of barley the husk of which I could see was in his hand. The Imam was breaking the dry bread either with his hand or with his knee!
 The path of Ali: 53.
At this time, I said to Fiddah, his slave-girl who was standing by him, “Don’t you fear Allah for treating this old man as such? Don’t you sieve the barley flour?” Fiddah said, “He has asked me not to sieve the flour.” Ali asked, “What are you talking about?” I told him the story. At this time, Ali said, “May my parents be ransom for the one for whom the flour was not sieved, nor did he ate fill bread of wheat for three straight days until he passed away.”
One Of The Days
Abu-Matar, one of the inhabitants of Basrah, reports: I was coming out of Kufah Mosque when suddenly a man called from behind, “Hold up your garment which makes it last longer and cut your hair short, if you are a Muslim.”
I followed him while he had covered himself with a cloak and held a lash in his hand like a Bedouin, “Who is this man?” He said, “I find you a stranger in this city!” I said, “Yes, I am a man from Basrah.” He said, “This is Ali, the Leader of the believers.”
I followed him until he reached the neighborhood of Banu-Mohit which was the camels’ market-place. There, he said, “Sell but do not take oath, for it will destroy goods and blessing.” Then, he went to date sellers. There, he found a slave-girl crying. He asked the reason. She said, “This man sold me date for one dirham but my master did not like it and he does not take it back.” The Imam said, “Take back your date and give her back the one dirham, for she is a slave and has no authority.” He pushed back the Imam! I said, “Do you know this man?” He said, “No.” I said, “He is Ali ibn Abi-Talib, the Leader of the believers.” The man took back the date and gave back her money. Then, the man said, “I hope you are pleased with me.” He said, “Now that you have given people’s right, I am pleased with you.” Then while passing through the date sellers, he said, “Give of these dates to the needy so that Allah will bless your business.” Then he went to fish mongers telling them to be careful not to sell the fish which has died in water! Then, he went to the market of canvas sellers and visited an old man selling canvas and said, “I want a shirt for three Dirhams.” As soon as the man recognized him, he refused to sell anything to him. He went to another seller but since he too recognized the Imam, he did not buy from him until he came to a young man. He bought a shirt for three Dirhams, put it on while praying as such to Allah,
 Kashf al-Yaqin: 86.
ألحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي رَزَقَنِي مِنَ الرِّيَاشِ مَا أتَجَمَّلُ بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ وَأوَارِي بِهِ عَوْرَتِي.
“Praise be to Allah who provided me with a good garment to adorn myself and to cover my private parts with.”
He was asked whether these were his words or he had heard it from Allah’s Messenger. He said, “I heard from the Holy Prophet saying it while he was wearing a garment.”
Amidst this, the father of the young man arrived. He was told that his son sold a shirt for three Dirhams to Amir al-Mu’minin. Turning to his son, he asked, “Why did you charge more than two Dirhams?” The father took the one dirham and came to Amir al-Mu’minin who was now sitting with Muslims at the gate of Rahbah, saying, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! Take this one dirham!” The Imam asked about the story of this dirham. The man said, “The price of the shirt was two Dirhams.” The Imam said, “He sold it with consent and I bought it with consent.”
In the eighth year after Hijrah, Mecca was conquered by Allah’s Messenger. The House of Allah was purified from the filth of idols with Ali’s idol-breaking act. Allah’s Messenger sent groups to propagate Islam and to invite people to monotheism. He did not declare war. One of these persons was Khalid ibn Walid who was dispatched not as fighter but as propagator. On his way Khalid came to a tribe one of whom had killed his uncle in the pre-Islamic era and had looted whatever belonged to him. When Khalid was alight near the water sources of Banu-Judhaymah, they took arms. Khalid said, “Put aside your arms, for people have become Muslims.” He had their hands tied and killed whomever he wished. When the news came to Allah’s Messenger, he raised his hands saying, “O Lord! I seek immunity from what Khalid has done!” Then, the Holy Prophet sent Ali with money to look into their affairs. Ali gave them back whatever Khalid had taken from them. He paid the blood money for all and the extra money which Ali had with him was paid to them by the command of the Holy Prophet. When Ali came back, the Holy Prophet said that what he had done was good and right. On the words of Ya`qubi, the Holy Prophet said, “What you have done is better than the red camels.” It was at this time addressing Ali, Allah’s Messenger said, “May my father and mother be your ransom.”
 Kashf al-Ghummah: 163/1.
 Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah: 430/2.
The Blazing Iron Bar
MuAwiyah asked Aqil to tell him the story of the blazing iron bar. Aqil said: Life had become extremely hard for me. I pleaded with my brother Ali but he took no heed of it. One day, I took my children in whose appearance poverty and indigence could be seen to Ali. He said, “Come at night so that I will give you something.” At night, when one of my sons was holding my hand led me to Ali. I said to my son, “Go and sit at a distance.” Having this impression that Ali was going to give me a purse of money, I stretched out my hand. But what I touched was a blazing iron bar. I withdrew my hand with a loud cry. At this moment Ali said, “This is the iron bar blazed by the fire of the world. How will be our situation on the Judgment Day when we are fastened with the chains of Hell?” Then he recited this verse:
إِذِ الْأَغْلَالُ فِي أَعْنَاقِهِمْ وَالسَّلَاسِلُ يُسْحَبُونَ (71)
When the fetters and the chains shall be on their necks; they shall be dragged (40:71)
Imam Ali, commented, “You have no right on me except what Allah has made obligatory for you. Go back home!”
MuAwiyah was extremely amazed and said, “Alas, alas! Women are barren to give birth to his peer.”
An Extraordinary Example of Piety
Imam al-Sadiq has been reported by MuAwiyah Ibn Ammar as saying:
If there were two options for Ali to do something for the sake of Allah, he would choose the harder. O people of Kufah, you all know that when he was ruling in this city, he used his income in Medina for living. He would put the roasted flour he ate in a bag and seal it not be mixed with anything else. Who was more pious than Ali in the world!
Dry Bread And Sour Yoghurt
Aqabah ibn Alqamah is reported by Na¨r ibn Mansur as saying: I went to Ali’s house in Kufah, finding before him a bowl of sour yoghurt which harmed me as well as several pieces of dry bread. I said, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! Are you eating such a food?” He said, “Allah’s Messenger ate
 Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah: 253/11.
 Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah: 201/2.
from bread drier than this.” Referring to his garment, Ali said, “Allah’s Messenger would wear a garment with a more rough texture. If I do not follow his example, I fear not to join him.”
Self-Sacrifice and Generosity
In the Battle of the Camel, the soldiers who fought along with him were twelve thousand in number. When the fighting came to an end with the defeat of the enemies, Amir al-Mu’minin had the public fund divided with each person having five hundred Dirhams as a share. Ali took the same amount of dirham for himself. Addressing the public fund, he said,
“Deceive anyone but me.”
After the division of the public fund, a man came about saying, “O Amir al Mu’minin! My heart was with you though I could no take part in the battle. Do me a favor by giving something to me.” The Imam gave his share to him, going back home empty-handed.”
One day, Amir al-Mu’minin was in the gathering of his companions. While a biased man of Kharijites was present, the Imam was admonishing his friends. His heavenly words were so charming which impressed that blind-hearted man but because of his inner enmity to Ali, he impudently said, “May Allah kill him for his unbelief. How knowledgeable he is!”
Hearing such insolence, the companions of the Imam made an attempt to kill him but Imam Ali said, “Grant a respite; calm down; either curse against curse or pardon against sin.”
A Model Of Generosity
An indigent man came to Imam Ali saying, “I am suffering from three diseases: body, poverty, and ignorance.” The Imam said, “O Arab brother! You should see a physician for your physical disease, a wise man for ignorance and a generous person for poverty.” The Arab said, “You are a physician, a wise man, and a generous man at the same time.” Amir al-Mu’minin ordered to give three thousand Dirhams from the public fund, saying, “Spend one thousand Dirhams on your physical disease, one thousand Dirhams on your poverty and one thousand Dirhams on your ignorance.”
 Al-Gharat: 55/1.
 Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah: 249/1.
 Nahj al-Balaghah: 880, Maxim, 412.
 Jami` al-Akhbar: 138.
Favoring A Servant
When Amir al-Mu’minin ruled over the vast Islamic territories, he along with Qanbar (his servant) went to a draper, asking, “Do you have two shirts for five Dirhams?” The young draper said, “Yes, but one is better than the other; one costs three Dirhams and the other costs two Dirhams.” Imam Ali said, “Bring both of them.” When the young man brought the two shirts, the Imam said to Qanbar, “Take the shirt which costs three Dirhams.” Qanbar said, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! You go up the pulpit and deliver sermons for people. You take the better one.” The Imam said, “Qanbar! You are young and have the desires of a young man. I am ashamed before Allah to count myself superior to you! I heard Allah’s Messenger saying: Whatever you wear, let your servant wear too and whatever you eat let your servants eat too.” Then, the Imam put on the shirt which cost two Dirhams realizing that the sleeves were too long so he said to the draper, “Cut the sleeve short a little bit.” He did so and said, “Let me fold it, old man!” The Imam said, “Let it be as it is. There is no time for such a thing.”
Guidelines to rulers
Reporting Imam al-Sadiq, Abd al-Rahman ibn Sulayman says: Amir al-Mu’minin sent a man to the desert of Kufah to collect alms, saying:
O servant of Allah! Fear Allah and do not prefer the world to the Hereafter. Be careful about what I have trusted you. Guard Allah’s right until you reach such and such tribe. Place yourself in their region with out residing near their houses. Then proceed towards them solemnly so as to be among them. Greet them and say: O servants of Allah! The friend of Allah has sent men to you to receive what is due to Allah from you. Is there anything due to Allah in your property to pay to the friend of Allah? If anyone them of answers negatively, say no more. If a rich man answers affirmatively, go with him, without intimidating him. Do not promise (of anything) but good to him until you reach his camels and cattle. Do not go among them unless you are given permission, for most of them belong to him. Say to him: O servant of Allah! Will you permit me to go among them? If he says yes, do not go among the camels and the cattle like a rough man who has an upper hand. Divide them into two halves. Then let him choose the one he likes. Do not protest him for his choice. Divide the
 Al-Gharat: 65/1.
remaining into two. Keep on this division until what is due to Allah will remain and then collect it. If he asks you to cancel the division, accept it. Mix them altogether and so the same as you have done before until you collect of the camels and cattle what is due to god. Then take for yourself an agent who is benevolent, Muslim, sympathetic, trustworthy and a safe keeper who does not treat them roughly. Therefore send to me immediately whatever you collect of each of the tribes to be put in a place Allah has commanded. If your emissary brings them here, advise him not to hide the young camel from its mother, nor milk it fully so as to harm the young camel, nor tire it by riding but to ride them equally, to take them to a place to drink water, not to push them from pasture to the plain road when they are having rest and at times it is hard for them, to make use of them softly so that Allah willing, they will come to us fat and fleshy, not tired out or exhausted so that they will be divided according to the Book of Allah and the tradition of Allah’s Messenger.
This attitude will make your reward greater and is closer to your interest. Allah will look at them, you, your endeavor and sympathy with the one who has sent you and the ones who need the alms.
Allah’s Messenger has said: Allah favors an agent who does his best to obey his leader with sympathy.
Imam al-Baqir has reported: One Day when Amir al-Mu’minin was returning home, found a woman waiting. Seeing him, she came near and said, “I am in trouble. My husband oppresses me. He has turned me out form the house and has threatened to beat me. If I go to him, he will beat me. I request you to do justice between us.” Amir al-Mu’minin said, “O Servant of Allah! It is too hot now. Wait until it cools down in the afternoon. Then I shall come with you and redress your grievances.” The woman said, “If I stay out too long, I am afraid it may increase his anger.” For a moment he bowed his head and then raised it up saying to himself:
By Allah, justice to the oppressed should not be delayed. The right of the oppressed should certainly be taken from the oppressor; and every fear should be taken out from her heart so that she may stand boldly before the oppressor and demand her right.
 Al-Gharat: 75/1.
The Imam further asked where her house was and she told him. He accompanied her to her house, stood at the door and called loudly, “O master of the house! Peace be upon you.” A young man came out. He was her husband. He did not recognize the Imam; he found that an old man of about sixty years had accompanied her and assumed that she had brought him for support and mediation, but he kept silent. At this moment Ali said, “This lady has a complaint against you. She says that you have done injustice to her and turned her out of the house. Besides you have threatened to beat her. I have come here to tell you to fear Allah and be kind to your wife.”
The man said, “In what way does it concern you if I have not treated my wife well? Yes, I had threatened to beat her, but now, since she has brought you to plead for her, I shall throw her into fire and burn her alive.”
Ali was disturbed by the impudence of the man. Drawing out his sword, he said, “I am admonishing you from bad deeds but you are replying me in such manner clearly saying to burn this woman in fire! Do you think there is no authority in this world?” His loud voice drew the attention of the passers by and a huge crowd gathered. Whoever came saluted him respectfully saying, “Peace be on you Amir al-Mu’minin.” When the rude young man realized as to whom he was talking, he trembled and supplicated, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! Forgive me. I confess my faults and promise that henceforth I shall obey my wife.” Ali turned to the woman and told her to go to the house and cautioned her not to behave in such a manner that her husband had to be angry again.
 Al-Manaqib: 106/2.
# Moral Virtues Of Lady Fatimah
Note: Some persons die leaving no traces. Others leave an impact during their lifetime and are put into oblivion after their death. Others are influential throughout the time. Some people have a physical presence in history and they continue to live through their descendants, grandchildren, mausoleums, and such art works as those of Michael Angelo which are immortal in the west. Others are immortal by their behavior. In religious literature, we call this immortal behavior tradition. Still there are people who leave behind a heritage of spirituality and knowledge. Jesus Christ and Aristotle are two examples respectively.
To sum it up, some personalities have such an aptitude as to survive in history in one of the three dimensions we have just discussed. Nevertheless, Lady Fatimah, the daughter of the Holy Prophet, has gathered all the three dimensions in herself.
Physically, Lady Fatimah has fifty million descendants. The Imams and the righteous men are her offspring. There is no woman who has had such a tangible presence in history.
In terms of mausoleums, it is something strange with Fatimah that when such famous personalities as Sa`di, Hafi¨, Avicenna, Shah Jahan and Nur Jahan in Taj Mahal have a physical presence though lacking a shrine, she continues to exist physically. This is really a paradox.
Fatimah’s physical presence is highlighted when we know that the Fatimid Dynasty founded a ruling system in Africa in her name. The immortal epic of Nasir Khosrow Alawi, ‘I am a Fatimid’ reflects the same physical presence.
The al-Azhar University, the most famous scientific-religious center of Sunni Muslims in Egypt, was founded by the Fatimid rulers in commemoration of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra’.
In terms of knowledge, Lady Fatimah has had a dynamic presence too. Sulayman Kittani, a Lebanese Christian writer, Louis Massigngon, a French Orientalist, and professor Henry Corban are some of the famous personalities who have written books on the heritage of knowledge which Lady Fatimah has left behind.
As for model behavior in history, we should say that a young woman who did not live more than eighteen years left behind such tradition of behavior
about which Imam al-Mahdi has said:
وَفِي إبْنَةِ رَسُولِ اللهِ لِي أسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ.
There is a model for me in the daughter of Allah’s Messenger.
Sociologists believe that the reason behind crisis of the young generation in the third world is absence of behavior model. In this relation, Lady Fatimah serves as a model for all the youths, for she has a genuine personality with a halo of sanctity around her. What follows is a perspective of moral virtues and behavior of Lady Fatimah followed by the viewpoints of famous people.
Imam al-Sadiq has reported: One day, the Holy Prophet entered Fatimah’s house and found her wearing a coarse dress, grinding flour with her own hands, and breastfeeding her son. Seeing this situation, his eyes were full of tears. Turning to her, he said, “O my honorable daughter! Endure the hardships of this world so as to attain the sweetness of the Hereafter.” Fatimah answered, “I praise Allah for His blessings and thank Him for His favor.” At this time, the following verse was revealed:
وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَى (5)
And soon will your Lord give you so that you shall be well pleased. (93:5)
One day, Salman the Persian went to the door of Fatimah’s house to carry out the Holy Prophet’s order of preparing food for a newly Muslim Arab. Hearing Salman’s request, Fatimah said, “I swear by Allah that Hasan and Husayn went to sleep with empty stomach. Nevertheless, I would not reject a good deed especially that it has turned to my house. Salman, take this dress of mine to Simon the Jew and buy it for three kilos of dates and three kilos of barley!”
Salman took the dress to Simon and told him the story. Simon’s eyes became tearful, saying, “This piety in this world is what (Prophet) Moses had foreseen in the Torah. Therefore, I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.”
 Bihar al-Anwar: 178/53, Chapter: 314, H 9.
 Al-Manaqib: 342/3.
After converting to Islam, he gave three kilos of dates and barley to Salman who took it to Fatimah. She ground the barley with her own hands, baked it and gave it to Salman. He said, “O daughter of Allah’s Messenger! Take some of this for Hasan and Husayn.” Fatimah answered, “I will not take anything from what I have given away in the way of Allah.”
Ask More Questions
A woman went to the presence of Lady Fatimah saying, “I am an old and weak mother who makes a lot of mistakes in my prayer. I have been sent to you to know how to perform my prayer.” Lady Fatimah said, “Ask any questions you wish.” The woman asked ten questions all of which were answered by Lady Fatimah with good miens. However, the woman was ashamed of her many questions; she said, “I will not bother you any more!” Lady Fatimah said, “Ask any more questions.” In order to boost her morale, she said, “If a person is asked to carry a heavy load to a high place and he is given a hundred thousand Dinars as reward, will he feel tired in view of that reward?” The woman said, “No.” Lady Fatimah said, “I am rewarded by Allah more than it for every question which I answer. Hence, I never get tired. I heard Allah’s Messenger saying: On the Judgment Day, scholars will be in the presence of Allah and they will be rewarded to the extent of their knowledge and the efforts they have made for propagating Islam and guiding people.”
Lady Fatimah used to pray Almighty Allah at night and weep out of His fear so heavily that it would awaken his children. Imam Hasan says: One Friday night, I saw my mother standing in the altar while she was in bowing and prostration positions until the dawn, praying for everybody except herself! I said: ‘Mother! Why aren’t you praying for yourself?’ She said: ‘My dear son! Neighbor first!’
Lady Fatimah constantly reminded her children of Allah’s Messenger who counted children as bunches of flower. She would also send her children to him.”
 Rayahin al-ShariAh: 130/1.
 Al-Mahajjah al-Bayda': 30/1.
 Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 236/1.
Intimacy With The Holy Qur’an
The honorable daughter of the Holy Prophet had a strong intimacy with the Holy Qur’an. Salman reports: The Holy Prophet sent me to Fatimah’s house for doing something. I waited a little at the door until she saluted me. I heard her reciting the Holy Qur’an and grinding something without having someone to serve her.”
The Blessed Necklace
Jabir Ansari has reported: After performing the Afternoon Prayer, the Holy Prophet sat in the altar of the mosque, speaking to people. At this time, an old Arab wearing threadbare clothes and unable to stand on his feet entered the mosque. Seeing him, the Holy Prophet consoled him and asked after his health. The old man said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I am hungry; I need food. I am naked; clothe me; I am indigent; give me something.” The Holy Prophet said, “I have nothing to give you. But the one who shows you to a benefactor is like one who has done the good. Go to the house of one who loves Allah and the Prophet and Allah and Prophet love her too; one who prefers Allah to herself. Go to Fatimah’s house which is in neighborhood. O Bilal! Guide this man to there.” The old man moved with Bilal. The old man stood near the door and in a loud voice and said,
ألسَّلأمُ عَلَيْكُمْ يَا أهْلَ بَيْتِ النُّبُوَّةِ، وَمُخْتَلَفِ الْمَلأئِكَةِ، وَمَهْبِطِ جِبْرَئِيلَ الرُّوحِ الأمِينِ بِالتَّنْزِيلِ مِنْ عِنْدِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.
“Peace be upon you O Household of the Prophet! You are the seal of the Divine mission; unto you the angels turn from the presence of the Lord of the world.”
Lady Fatimah answered from within the house, “Blessings and peace of Allah be upon you. May I know who you are and what you need?” The old man softly and gently said, “I am an old Arab. I am hungry and I do not have clothes and I am helpless. I went to your beloved father, Allah’s Messenger, and he sent me here.”
It was three days she and her family had not had anything to eat. It was three days since hunger had struck her home. It was three days since water was the only food for them but for Fatimah it was not a matter of hesitation or doubt.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 46/43.
She had nothing but a small sheepskin which she used as a carpet and bedding for her beloved sons. She gathered it up and with an apology presented it to the old man, saying, “I hope Allah will give you better than this.” But the old man did not take it saying, “O daughter of the Prophet! What can I do with this? I am hungry!” Fatimah, looking astonished, glanced around the small house so that she could find something else. Suddenly she remembered the necklace that her cousin (Hamzah’s daughter) had given her. She quickly unfastened it and gave it to the old man; saying, “Sell it and I hope Allah will solve your Problem!” The old man took the necklace, blessed her and returned to the Prophet. The Prophet, upon hearing from the old man what had happened, said with tears in his eyes, “By all means your problems will be solved because the doyenne of the world women has blessed you with it.”
Ammar ibn Yasir, who had been watching, moved closer to the Prophet, saying, “O Allah’s Messenger! Will you give me permission to buy this necklace?” The Prophet said, “Ammar, whoever buys this necklace will be saved from Hellfire.” Ammar turned to the old man and asked, “How much will you sell this necklace for?” The old man replied, “I need money to buy clothes and food, and money for my journey so that I can go to my city. I will sell it for that much money.” Ammar who had sold his share of booty from the Battle of Khaybar and had a little money said, “I will give you 20 Dinars and 200 Dirhams for this necklace.” The old man’s eyes shone with happiness. He said, “You are a generous man.” Ammar gave to him what he had promised. The old man came to the Holy Prophet who asked him, “Are you satisfied now?” The man said, “Yes, may my parents be your ransom!” The Holy Prophet said, “So give a reward to Fatimah for what she has done for you.” The old man raised his hand in prayer saying, “O Allah! Bless Fatimah with what no one has so far seen or heard about!” Allah’s Messenger said Amen to the old man’s prayer, turned to his companions and said, “Allah has granted this to Fatimah in this world: I am her father and no one in the world is like me. Ali is her husband and were he not there, there would be no espouse for her. Hasan and Husayn are her sons who are the leaders of the youths of Paradise.”
The Holy Prophet, who was sitting with Miqdad, Ammar and Salman, said, “Should I say more about Fatimah?” They said, “Yes, Allah’s Messenger!” So he said, “Gabriel came to me saying: ‘When the soul of Fatimah is grasped and she is buried in her grave, two angels will ask her: Who is your Lord? She will say: Allah is my Lord. When she is asked who is your friend she will say: The one who is near my grave, Ali ibn Abu-
Talib.’ Be aware that Allah has assigned a group of angels to protect her from ahead as well as from the right and left sides. They are with her in her lifetime and her grave, constantly saluting her, her father, her husband, and her children. So whoever visits my grave after my death has indeed visited me in my lifetime; whoever visits Fatimah has indeed visited me; whoever visits Ali ibn Abu-Talib has indeed visited Fatimah; whoever visits Hasan and Husayn has indeed visited Ali; and whoever visits the offspring of Hasan and Husayn has indeed visited the two Imams.”
Hearing this, Ammar took the necklace, perfumed it with scent, put it in an expensive cloth, called his slave and said, “Take this to the Prophet and after this you will belong to him.” The slave took the necklace to the Prophet and told him what Ammar had said. The Holy Prophet said, “Give my regards to Fatimah, give her the necklace and tell her that you are now in her custody.” Fatimah took the necklace in surprise and told the slave, “You are free in the way of Allah.” The slave started laughing and said, “I am surprised at the blessings of this necklace. It has satisfied a hungry person, clothed a naked person, fulfilled the needs of another, freed a slave and in the end returned to its owner.”
Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin reports: Lady Fatimah had seven orchards which she endowed to Banu-Hashim and Banu’l-Muttalib, appointing Ali and after him Hasan and Husayn as custodian.
Said about Lady Fatimah
Quoting from Sharh al-Masabih, Zayn al-Arab says:
Fatimah was called batul meaning broken off, no one was like her in virtue.
Quoting from al-Manaqib, al-Harawi says:
Fatimah was called batul meaning interrupted because she was matchless.
Kamal al-Din Muhammad ibn Talhah al-Shafi`i has said:
Fatimah was endowed with virtues which were particular to her. She enjoyed features for one of which the honorable souls competed.
Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Dhahabi has said:
There are many sources of pride for Fatimah. She was tolerant, benefactor, contented, and grateful.
 Bisharat al-Mustafa: 137.
The Lebanese Christian writer, Sulayman Kittani says:
Fatimah was chaste. She was the paragon of the Holy Prophet’s virtues which had become fruitful with a genius for morality and creativity. Her weak body was the vessel of her crystal soul so as to be effaced in the source from which her father dawned.
Aishah has said:
I found no one superior to Fatimah except her father.
The Egyptian scholar, Bint al-Shati says:
Fatimah was the most beloved among the Holy Prophet’s daughters and the most similar to him in terms of temperament and constitution. Allah willed that only she would be subject to purification and the mother of all the Imams from the progeny of the Holy Prophet.
In his book, Nafahat min Sirat al-Sayyidah Zaynab (Fragrances from Lady Zaynab’s Conducts), professor Ahmad Shams Basi points out:
Fatimah was the best among the world women and the doyenne of the women in the Hereafter.
Dr. Ali Ibrahim Hasan has said:
Fatimah’s life is a unique page among the pages of history in whom we see all grandeur and magnitude. We stand before a personality that came into existence with a halo of wisdom and splendor around her; a wisdom the source of which cannot be found in philosophers’ books but the outcome of spiritual experiences and a splendor not coming from kings or wealth but coming from the very depth of her soul. Perhaps it was Fatimah’s unique grandeur that compelled Aishah to say: I found no one superior to Fatimah except her father.
 Quoted from A`lam al-Nisa' by Ali Muhammad Ali Dakhil.
# Morality Of Imam Hasan
Quoting his grandfather, Imam al-Sadiq has reported: Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abu-Talib was the most pious, the most devoted and the best of the people of his time. When he was on Hajj, he would often walk on foot and on many occasions bare-footed to the Holy Mosque. He would cry or be fainted whenever he remembered death, grave, resurrection on the Judgment Day and crossing the Sirat. He would be writhing like a snake-bitten whenever he was reminded of heaven and hell. He would ask Allah for heaven and sought refuge in Allah from hell.
Imam al-Sadiq has reported: A man passed by `Uthman ibn Affan who was sitting in the mosque asking for money. `Uthman ordered five Dirhams to be given to him. The man said to `Uthman, “Guide me to one who can relieve my pain.” `Uthman asked him to go to those generous youths, indicating with his hand a place in mosque where Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn and Abdullah ibn Ja`far were sitting. The man saluted them and asked for money. “Begging is not permissible save for three cases; blood money with compassion; debt with a broken heart and poverty which is intolerable. Which is your case?” The man said, “I am afflicted with one of them.” Imam Hasan ordered fifty Dinars to be given to him. Imam Husayn too ordered forty nine Dinars to be given to him, and Abdullah ibn Ja`far too ordered forty eight Dinars to be given to him.
After having received these Dinars, the man passed by `Uthman once again. `Uthman asked, “What did you do?” The man said, “I passed by you asking for money. You helped me only with five Dinars and did not ask me any question either; but that generous young man having thick hair asked me something while giving me fifty Dinars. The second one gave me forty nine Dinars and the third forty eight Dinars.” `Uthman said, “Who can relieve your pain like these generous young men? They have appropriated knowledge and insight for themselves and have gathered wisdom and benevolence in them.”
 Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 178, H 8
 al-Khisal: 135/1, H 149.
Imam Hasan’s humbleness was such that one day he was passing by some needy people sitting on the earth and eating pieces of bread. Seeing Imam Hasan, they said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Come and share the food with us!” Imam Hasan dismounted and said, “Allah does not like the arrogant.” He was engaged in eating with them. He invited them to his house a few day later, giving them food and clothes.
Write Down Your Needs
A man came to the presence of Imam Hasan asking him to fulfill his needs. The Imam said, “Write down you needs and give it to us.” When he read his letter, he gave him twice the amount he had asked for. One of those present said, “How blessed this letter was!” The Imam said:
It was more blessed for us, for it placed us among the benefactors. Don’t you know that a good deed is one which is done without anyone ask for it? But what is given when it has been asked for is a low price against the honor of the needy person. Perhaps a needy person who has spent the night between fear and hope and has no idea of whether his needs will be accepted or rejected will receive little money against his being dishonored should you give him only to the extent of his need.
Extraordinary Example of Generosity
A needy man came to the presence of Imam Hasan who gave fifty thousand Dirhams and five hundred Dinars saying, “Bring someone to carry it for you.” When he brought a porter, the Imam gave his cloak to him saying, “This is the wage of one who carries it.”
Giving Away All Savings
An Arab came to the presence of Imam Hasan, “Give him whatever savings we have.” They gave him twenty thousand Dirhams. The Arab said, “My master! You did not give me permission to tell you my needs and recite a eulogy in praise of you.” The Imam composed a poem saying, “The fear of disgracing one who has needs urges us to give away before he expresses his needs.”
 Al-Manaqib: 23/4.
 Sulh al-Hasan 42-43.
 Al-Manaqib: 16/4.
 Al-Manaqib: 16/4.
Feeding A Hungry Dog
One day, Imam Hasan saw a black slave having a loaf of bread in front of him. The slave would eat a morsel of bread and give a morsel to a dog near him. Imam Hasan asked, “What compels you to do so.” The slave said, “I am ashamed of eating myself and not giving the dog anything.” The Imam said, “Do not move from this place until I come back.” The Imam went to the master of the slave and purchased him together with the orchard he was working in. He set the slave free and gave him the orchard.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 352/43, Chapter: 16, H 29.
# Morality of Imam Husayn
Imam Husayn is reported as saying:
I am sure that Allah’s Messenger believed that the best deed after prayer was to make a believer happy provided there is no sin involved.
The Most Generous Man!
A Bedouin arrived in Medina asking for the most generous man living there. They guided him to Imam Husayn. The Bedouin entered the mosque and found Imam Husayn praying. He stood in front of the Imam, reciting a poem with the following content, “Whoever knocks at the door of your house will not be desperate. You are the paragon of generosity. You are a haven. Your father put the unbelieving rebels to death. Were it not for your sake, our life would be a hell.” Imam Husayn saluted the Bedouin, saying to Qanbar, “Is there any of Hijaz holdings left?” He said, “Yes, about four thousand Dinars.” The Imam said, “Bring it here, for he is more deserving of it than us.” Then, he took his cloak off his shoulders, wrapped the money in it and gave it to him, reciting a poem with the following content, “Take this holding from me and accept my apology. Know that I would like to be kind to you. If the reins of the rule were in our hands you would be showered with generosity; but the vicissitudes displace the affairs and presently we can give away only a little.” The Arab took the holding from the Imam while his eyes were full of tears. The Imam said, “What I have given to you is a little.” The Arab answered, “The reason I am crying is that I wonder how the earth will eat this giving hand.”
What A Sorrow!
Imam Husayn went to visit Usamah ibn Zayd who had fallen sick. Usamah kept on saying, “What a sorrow!” The Imam asked, “Dear brother! What is sorrow for?” He said, “I owe sixty thousand Dirhams.” The Imam said, “I promise to pay it.” He said, “I am afraid that I will die before my debt is paid.” Imam Husayn said, “I will pay it before your death.” He did so.
 Al-Manaqib: 66/4.
 Al-Manaqib: 65/4.
Helping The Needy
In the events of Karbala', they found a scar on the shoulder of Imam Husayn. When Imam Zayn al-Abidin was asked about it, he said, “This is a sign left of the heavy leather bag replete with what the widows, orphans and the poor needed, which my father carried on his shoulders.”
Honoring A Teacher
Abd al-Rahman al-Salami taught Surah al-Fatihah to one of Imam Husayn’s sons. When the child recited before the Imam, he gave the teacher a thousand Dinars as well as gifts. They objected to the Imam’s act, but he said, “What I have given to him cannot make up for what he has done.”
Seek My Pleasure
There was an argument between Imam Husayn and his brother, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah. In a letter to Imam Husayn, Muhammad wrote, “Dear brother! Ali is my and your father. In this relation neither I am superior to you nor are you superior to me. Your mother is the daughter of the Holy Prophet. Should my mother possess all the gold of the world, she cannot be equal to your mother in terms of virtues. When you read the letter, come to me and seek my pleasure, for you are more deserving of good deeds than me. May peace and blessing of Allah be upon you.” After reading the letter, Imam Husayn went to his brother and there was no argument between them any more.
On the day of Ashura' (the tenth Muharram), Imam Husayn was told to submit to the rule of Yazid and pledge allegiance to him. The Imam replied:
وَاللهِ لأ أعْطِيكُمْ بِيَدِي إعْطَاءَ الذَّلِيلِ وَلا أفِرُّ فَرَارَ الْعَبِيدِ.
By Allah! I will not put my hand in your hand like the abased people nor will I escape from the battlefield like slaves.
Raising his voice, the Imam added:
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إنِّي عُذْتُ بِرَبِّي وَرَبِّكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ مُتَكَبِّرٍ لأ يُؤْمِنُ بِيَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ.
 Al-Manaqib: 66/4.
 Al-Manaqib: 66/4.
 Al-Manaqib: 66/4.
O servants of Allah! I seek refuge to my Lord and Your Lord from every arrogant person who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning.
Anas reports: I was in the presence of Imam Husayn when his slave-girl entered the room presenting a bunch of basil as greeting. The Imam said, “You are free in the way of Allah!” I said to the Imam, “She presented an inexpensive bunch of basil to you and you set her free!” The Imam said, “Allah has taught us courtesy as such when He has said:
وَإِذَا حُيِّيْتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا
And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better greeting than it or return it, surely Allah takes account of all things. (4:86)
Therefore, in this case, a better greeting was to set her free.”
An Arab came to the presence of Imam Husayn saying, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! I have undertaken to pay blood money but I cannot afford it. I said to myself: I will ask it from the most generous man and I don’t find anyone more generous than Ahl al-Bayt.” The Imam said, “O Arab brother! I will ask you three questions. Should you answer one of them, I will give you a third of what you need. If you answer the second question, I will give you two-thirds of it and finally if you answer all the three questions, I will give to you all you need.” The Arab said, “Will you—man of knowledge and honor—ask questions from such a person as me?” The Imam said, “Yes, I heard my grandfather saying: everyone’s value is to the extent of his knowledge.” The Arab said, “All right, ask me your questions. I will answer if I can. Even if I can’t answer your questions, I will learn them from you.” The Imam asked, “What is the best deed?” The Arab said, “Belief in Allah.” The Imam asked, “What is salvation?” The Arab said, “Trust in Allah.” The Imam asked, “What is an ornament for men?” The Arab said, “Knowledge accompanied with forbearance.” The Imam said, “What if there were no forbearance?” The Arab said, “A wealth accompanied by generosity.” The Imam said, “What if there was no generosity?” The Arab said, “Indigence accompanied by patience.” The Imam said, “What if there was no patience?” The Arab said, “A
 Al-Manaqib: 66/4.
thunderbolt coming down from heaven to burn such a person who deserves it.” The Imam smiled, gave him a purse of one thousand Dinars as well as his ring with a gem worth two hundred Dirhams saying, “O Arab! Give the one thousand Dinars to your creditors and leave the ring for living expenditures.” The Arab took them reading the holy verse,
اللّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ
Allah best knows where He places His message. (6:124)
 Jami` al-Akhbar: 137, Chapter: 96.
# Morality of Imam Zayn al-Abidin
A relative of Imam Zayn al-Abidin was standing beside him, raising his voice and abusing him. The Imam did not answer him until he went back to his house. At this moment, the Imam said to his companions, “Did you hear what this man said? I would like you to come with me to hear my response.” The Imam put on his shoes and set out with his companions saying to himself,
وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ (134)
…and those who restrain their anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of the good. (3:134)
When they reached the house of that man, the Imam introduced himself to the servant who conveyed it to his master. The man who seemed to be looking for trouble came out. He was sure that the Imam had come for retaliation; rather, the Imam said, “My brother! A few minutes ago, you were standing beside me and said such and such words against me. If I am the one whom you described, I will ask for Allah’s forgiveness; but if what you said about me is not true, may Allah forgive you.” The man kissed the Imam’s forehead, saying, “What I said about you is not true and it is more deserving of me.”
Imam al-Sadiq has reported: One day, Imam Zayn al-Abidin was passing by the lepers while he was riding. The lepers who were eating invited the Imam to share food with them. The Imam said, “I am fasting; otherwise, I would sit with you.” When the Imam reached home, he had some food prepared, invited the lepers and ate with them.
Forgiving A Neighbor
Husham ibn Isma`il was appointed as ruler of Medina by Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. One of the grandsons of Imam Ali reports: Husham ibn Isma`il was a bad neighbor who persecuted Imam Zayn al-Abidin greatly. When he was dismissed, he was brought to public with his hands tied, on the order of Walid ibn Abd al-Malik for retaliation. While he was under arrest near Marwan’s house, Imam Zayn al-Abidin passed by and greeted him. The Imam had already advised his companions not to offend Husham.
 Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid 145/2.
 Al-Kafi, 132/2, H 8.
 Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid: 147/2.
A Hidden Charity
There were families in Medina whose needs were fulfilled without knowing wherefrom. When Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn passed away, they found out that it was the Imam who had secretly helped them.
It is also reported: Imam Zayn al-Abidin would come out of house at nights with a purse full of Dirhams and Dinars and go from one door to another leaving some Dirhams and Dinars at the door of each house. Only when he had passed away, they found out that the benefactor had been Imam Zayn al-Abidin.
Prayer And Charity
Abu-Hamzah Thamali has reported: I saw Imam Zayn al-Abidin in prayer while his cloak was falling off his shoulders but he did not make any attempt to hold it until he completed his prayer. I asked about it. The Imam said, “Woe to you! Do you know before Whom was I standing? Prayer is not accepted save with full concentration and presence of heart.”
A Qur’anic Pardon
One of the slave-girls of Imam Zayn al-Abidin was pouring water on his hands while performing ablution when all of a sudden the ewer hit and hurt the Imam’s face. The Imam raised his head towards her. The slave-girl said: Allah says, “Those who restrain their anger.” The Imam said, “I restrained my anger.” The slave-girl said, “…and pardon men.” The Imam said, “I pardoned you.” The slave-girl said, “…and Allah loves the doers of good.” The Imam said, “You are free in the way of Allah.”
Day of Loss
Imam al-Sadiq reported: There was a clown in Medina who would make people laugh. One day he said to himself, “This man (Imam Zayn al-Abidin) has made me helpless to make him laugh!” So, when the Imam was followed by two of his servants, he passed by the clown. Seeing the Imam, the clown walked behind him, drew his cloak and ran away. The Imam did not pay any attention to the clown but people went after him and took back the cloak. Addressing people, the Imam said, “Who is this man?” They said, “He is a making people of Medina laugh.” The Imam said, “Tell him there is a day for Allah in which idle people will suffer losses.”
 `Ilal al-Shara’i`: 231/1, H 8.
 Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 201, H 12.
 Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 220, H 6.
Unknown Among Travelers
Imam al-Sadiq has reported: Imam Zayn al-Abidin used to go on trips without letting his co-travelers recognize him so that he could help them as an unknown person. However, he was recognized by one of his co-travelers, “Do you know who this man is? This is Ali ibn al-Husayn.” People rushed to him kissing his hands and feet, saying, “O son of Allah’s Messenger: We might have harmed you with our hands and tongues hence deserving hell! What made you travel in this way?” The Imam said, “Once I traveled with a group who knew me very well, they treated me for the sake of the Holy Prophet in a way I did not deserve. I thought you might do the same. For this reason, I prefer to travel as an unknown person.”
Kindness To A Camel
Imam al-Sadiq has reported: When he was passing away, Ali ibn al-Husayn said to his son, Imam al-Baqir, “I have gone on Hajj on this camel for twenty times and I have not given it a lash. Bury it when it dies so that it will not be eaten by wild animals, for Allah’s Messenger has said: Any camel which goes to Arafah for seven times, Allah will make it one of the blessings of Paradise and place blessing in its offspring.” When the camel of the Imam died, they buried it.
Giving Away His Food
When Ali ibn al-Husayn was fasting, he would have a sheep slaughtered, its meat cut into pieces and cooked. At sunset while he had not broken his fast, he would order to bring the bowls, fill them and take them to such and such houses until there was no more food in the pot. Then, they brought bread and date for the Imam to break his fast with.
Helping The Needy
When dark overwhelmed Medina and people were at rest, Imam Zayn al-Abidin would come out of house to go to the needy people and divide among them the food which he carried in a bag on his shoulder while covering his face so that none would know him. On many occasions, he would stand waiting at the doors so that they would come and take their shares. When they saw him face to face, they would say: He is the possessor of bag!”
 `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida: 145/2, Chapter: 40, H 13.
 Thawab al-A`mal wa-`Iqab al-A`mal: 50.
 Al-Kafi: 68/4; H 3.
 Al-Manaqib: 163/4.
The Story of Grapes
Imam al-Sadiq has reported: Imam Zayn al-Abidin was very fond of grapes. One day, they had brought fresh grapes to Medina. His wife bought some of them for him to break his fast with. When they brought them before him and he stretched out his hand to take some, a needy person knocked the door and asked for something. The Imam told his wife to take the grapes for the needy person. She said, “Some of it was enough for the needy person.” The Imam said, “No, By Allah; take all of it for him.” The next day, again they bought grapes for him but an indigent person came to the door and the Imam gave him all of the grapes. The third night, no needy came. So the Imam ate the grapes saying, “We did not lose anything in it, thanks to Allah.”
Nobility in Childhood
Abdullah ibn Mubarak reports: When I was on Hajj to Mecca, I caught sight of a seven or eight year old child walking alongside a caravan of pilgrims with no provision with him. I went forward, saluted him and asked, “With whom did you cover the desert?” He said, “With the Beneficent Allah.” He looked great to me. I asked, “Where is your provision, my son?” He said, “My piety is my provision and my Lord is my goal.” He looked magnanimous. I asked, “Which lineage do you come from?” He said, “Abd al-Muttalib.”
- “Which family?”
- “Which branch.”
- Ali - Fatimah.”
- O my master! Have you composed a poem?
- “Yes, I have.”
- “Recite part of your poem.”
The Imam recited a poem with the following words:
We are those sent to the pond of Kawthar. We give water to some and repel others. None can attain salvation but through our mediation. One who loves us will not suffer losses and one who makes us happy will receive happiness from us and whoever harms us will be of low birth. One who usurps our right will be punished on the Judgment Day!
 Al-Manaqib: 154/4.
Then I lost sight of him until I came to Mecca. When I completed my Hajj rituals and returned to al-Abtah, I saw a circle of people round someone. It was the same child with whom I spoke. I asked who he was. They said that he was Zayn al-Abidin.
Asking For Forgiveness
Imam al-Baqir has reported: My father sent his slave on mission but he delayed in fulfilling it. He lashed him with one stroke. The slave said, “O Ali ibn al-Husayn. You send me on a mission and hit me!” My father cried, saying, “My son! Go to the grave of the Holy Prophet, perform a two-unit prayer and say: O Lord: Forgive Ali ibn al-Husayn on the Judgment Day.” Then he said to the slave, “You are free in the way of Allah.”
Abu-Basir says: I said to the Imam, “May I be your ransom. It seems that setting a slave free is the atonement of hitting him!” But the Imam kept silent.
Imam al-Rida reports: Ali ibn al-Husayn hit his slave on one occasion. Being sorry, he entered home, took off his shirt and while giving a lash to his slave said, “Hit Ali ibn al-Husayn!” The slave refused to do and the Imam gave him fifty Dinars.
Imam Zayn al-Abidin was said, “You are the most benevolent man but you don’t eat from the same plate with your mother while she likes to.” The Imam said, “I don’t like to stretch my hand to reach a morsel which my mother has an eye on it hence being disowned by her.”
From that time on, he would put a cover on the plate of food when eating with his mother so he would put his hand under it and ate the food.
Security Against Loan
`Isa ibn Abdullah reports: Abdullah was on the verge of death. The creditors had gathered in his house claiming their dues. He said, “I don’t have anything to pay you. Refer to either of my cousins, Ali ibn al-Husayn or Abdullah ibn Ja`far to pay my debt to you.” The creditors said,
 Al-Manaqib: 155/4.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 92/46, Chapter: 5, H 79.
 Kitab Al-Zuhd: 45, Chapter: 7, H 119.
 Al-Manaqib: 162/4.
“Abdullah ibn Ja`far is a man of long-term promise. He is negligent too. Ali ibn al-Husayn, though not wealthy, is truthful. Hence, he is a better option for us.” The news reached Imam Zayn al-Abidin. He said that he would undertake to pay the debt at harvest time, while he had no grain at all. When it was harvest time, Allah destined for him a certain amount of money with which he paid all the creditors’ claim.
An Extraordinary Example of Forbearance
A man insulted Imam Zayn al-Abidin. His slaves made an attempt to attack him. The Imam said, “Let him go. What is hidden of us is more than what he is saying about me.” Addressing the same man, the Imam said, “Do you need anything?” The man was ashamed. The Imam gave his garment to him together with a thousand Dirhams. The man said loudly, “I bear witness that you are the son of Allah’s Messenger.”
Reaction To Backbiting
Imam Zayn al-Abidin reached a group of people who were talking behind his back. He stood near them saying, “If you are true about what you say, may Allah forgive me; and if you are lying, may Allah forgive you.”
Forgiving The Child’s Killer
Imam Zayn al-Abidin had a few guests; he asked his servant to be quick in preparing the food. The servant hastily brought the iron grid on which the meat had been grilled but it fell off his hand on the head of the Imam’s child who was in the ground floor and killed him. Addressing the servant who was shocked and trembling from fear, the Imam said, “You did not do it intentionally. Therefore, you are free in the way of Allah.” He then took part in the funeral service of his child.
Imam Zayn al-Abidin had a needy cousin and the Imam would go to the door of his house as an unknown man giving him a few Dinars. But the cousin would say, “Ali ibn al-Husayn does not observe ties of relationship towards me. May Allah not give him a good reward!”
 Al-Kafi: 97/5, H 7.
 Al-Manaqib: 157/2.
 al-Khisal: 517/2, H 4.
 Kashf al-Ghummah: 80/2.
The Imam heard what he was saying but forbore it and did not wish to reveal his identity.
When Imam Zayn al-Abidin passed away, his cousin, whose nightly assistance had been cut off, realized that it was Imam Zayn al-Abidin who fulfilled his needs. For this reason, he rushed to the Imam’s grave and wept bitterly.
 Kashf al-Ghummah: 106/2.
# Morality of Imam Muhammad Baqir
Muhammad ibn Munkadir reports: I never thought Ali ibn al-Husayn to leave an excellent successor after him until I saw his son, Muhammad. I wanted to give him a lesson, but he gave me one:
On a hot day, I went to Medina where I saw Imam al-Baqir leaning on two slaves due to corpulence. I said to my self, “A great man of Quraish working at this hour of day in search of the material world! I will certainly give him an advice.” I approached and saluted him. While he was gasping, he greeted me back. Sweat was pouring from his head and face because of hot weather. I said, “May Allah improve your affairs. A great man of Quraish seeking the world at this time of the day! What will happen if death overtakes you in this situation?” Taking his hands off the shoulders of the two slaves and leaning against the wall, he said, “By Allah, if death overtakes me and I am in this situation, I will be in a state of obedience to Allah by which I can preserve my value from you and people. I am afraid of death only when I am committing a sin!” I said, “May Allah bless you! I intended to give you advice but you gave me advice.”
Hasan ibn Kuthayr reports: I was complaining about indigence and unkindness of brothers-in-faith to Imam al-Baqir who said, “A brother who is fond of you when you are rich, but cuts off his relations with you when you are in need, is a bad brother!” Then the Imam ordered his slave to give me a purse of seven hundred Dirhams, saying, “Spend this for the moment and inform me when it comes to and end.”
The companions of Imam al-Baqir report: the Imam allowed us to give away between five hundred and six hundred thousand Dirhams and he was never tired of giving gifts to brethren, emissaries and those who had set their hope on him.
 Al-Kafi: 73/5, H 1.
 Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 166/2.
 Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 167/2.
Forbearance With A Christian
Imam Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn had the title of Baqir, that is to say ‘One who analyzes’. He was called Baqir al-`Ulum meaning one who analyzes the knowledge. A Christian, in a mockery and ironic way playing on words of Baqir, misinterpreted to Baqara called him, “You are Baqara (cow)!” Without expressing any annoyance or anger, the Imam replied calmly, “No, I am not baqara but I am Baqir.” The Christian said, “You are the son of a lady-cook.” The Imam said in reply, “It was her job, which is not considered an insult or disgrace to her personality.” The Christian said, “Your mother was black, immodest and had an abusive tongue.” The Imam said, “If whatever you attribute to my mother is true, I pray Allah to forgive her and absolve her sins, and if it is a lie, may Allah forgive you for your lies and slander.”
Observing such a clemency from a person who had the authority to submit a non-Muslim to different persecutions was sufficient to provoke a revolution in the soul of the Christian and invite him towards Islam. Later on, he embraced Islam.
Salma, a slave-girl of Imam al-Baqir, reports: the Imam’s brothers-in-faith would always come to visit him and the Imam too, received them with the best food, gave them a good garment and Dinars. I said to the Imam, “You will become needy as a result of this generosity!” The Imam would say, “O Salma! Good deeds are but giving gifts to brothers-in-faith and praiseworthy deeds. Imam al-Baqir would allow between five and six hundred thousand Dirhams to be given away to brothers-in-faith. He would never get tired of associating with his brethren, saying, “Recognize the actuality of the friendship of your brothers-in-faith from the feelings you have in your hearth towards him.” He was never heard calling anybody with disgraceful names; he would rather call them with their best names.
Hasan Zayyat of Basrah reports: My friend and I went to the presence of Imam al-Baqir while he was sitting in a well-decorated room with a purple mantle on his shoulder. He had trimmed his beard and blackened his eyes with kohl. I was full of questions. Realizing this, the Imam said, “Hasan! You and your friend may come to me tomorrow.” I said, “Very well, may I
 Al-Manaqib: 207/4.
 Kashf al-Ghummah: 118/2.
be your ransom!” The next day, we went to see him. He was sitting on a mat and wearing coarse clothes. He turned to my friend and said, “O brother of Basrah! When you came to me yesterday, I was in my wife’s room. It was her turn. The room was hers as well as all the articles. She had made up herself for me and I had to make up myself for her. Don’t give way to gloomy thought about me.” My friend said, “May I be your ransom. By Allah, something passed in my mind but Allah removed it now and I know that truth lies in what you said.”
Imam al-Sadiq has reported: Any time an event saddened my father, he would gather women and children and then raise his hands in prayer and they would say Amen.
Surrender To Allah
A group of people went to the presence of Imam al-Baqir. This visit coincided with the illness of one of his children. They found him sad and restless. They said, “By Allah, if anything happens to him, we might see from him what we do not approve of.” It was not long time when they heard the Imam wailing. He came back to his friends with open face. They said to him, “May we be your ransom! We were afraid that if something happened we would see you more sorrowful.” The Imam said, “We would like to see one whom we love safe and sound but there is Allah’s decree, we will surrender to what He loves.”
Prayer At Night
Quoting Imam al-Sadiq, Ishaq ibn Ammar has reported: I was spreading my father’s bed and waiting for him to come. When he would go to his bed and sleep, then I would go to mine. One night, he was late. I went to the mosque to look for him. While all people had gone home, I found him alone in the mosque in prostration. I heard his lamentation, saying,
سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبِّي حَقّاً حَقّاً. سَجَدْتُ لَكَ يَا رَبِّ تَعَبُّداً وَرِقّاً. أللَّهُمَّ إنَّ عَمَلِي ضَعِيفٌ فَضَاعِفْهُ لِي. أللَّهُمَّ قِنِي عَذَابَكَ يَوْمَ تَبْعَثُ عِبَادَكَ، وَتُبْ عَلَيَّ إنَّكَ أنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ.
Glory be to You, O my Lord, with true glory! I am prostrating
Al-Kafi: 448/6, H 13.
Al-Kafi: 487/2, H 3.
Al-Kafi: 226/3, H 14.
myself before You, O my God, worshipping and serving You! O Allah! My deed is weak; (please) double its reward. O Lord! Preserve me from Your punishment when You resurrect Your servants. Accept my repentance for You are the best Accepter of repentance and the most Merciful.
 Al-Kafi: 323/3, H 9.
# Morality of Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq
MuAwiyah ibn Wahab has reported: I was with Imam al-Sadiq in Medina intending to go to the market. Suddenly, he fell into prostration. When he rose is head, I asked for the reason. He said, “I just remembered Allah’s blessings on me.” I said, “Near the market where people are going and coming?” The Imam said, “None saw me.”
MuAlla ibn Khunays has reported: At a drizzling night, Imam al-Sadiq left home to the shelter of Banu-Sa`idah. I followed him, but suddenly something dropped from his hand. He said, “In the name of Allah. He then asked me to search for it with my hand and give it to him if I find it. I suddenly touched pieces of bread spreading on the earth. I gave to the Imam whatever I had found. Then I saw a bag full of bread in the Imam’s hand. I said, “Would you kindly permit me to carry them for you?” The Imam said, “No, it is I who must carry it. Nevertheless come along with me.” We reached the shelter of Banu-Sa`idah and came across a group of people who were asleep. The Imam hid one or two loaves under their clothes. When he helped the last person, we returned to our place. I said, “May I be your ransom! Do they know the truth?” The Imam said, “I would help them with salt if they knew it.”
Helping The Relatives
Abu Ja`far KhathAmi has reported: Imam al-Sadiq gave me a purse of gold coins and asked me to take it to such and such man of the Hashimites without telling him who had sent them. I gave the purse of gold coins to that man who said, “May Allah give a good reward to one who has sent it to me. He does it every year and I can live with it until next year, whereas Ja`far al-Sadiq with all his wealth does no give me anything!”
A traveler from among pilgrims who was in Medina fell into sleep. When he woke up, he thought his purse had been stolen. He searched for the purse and found Imam al-Sadiq, whom he did not know, praying. He
 Basa’ir al-Darajat: 495, H 2.
 Al-Kafi: 8/4, H 3.
 Al-Manaqib: 273/4.
caught the Imam accusing him of stealing his purse! The Imam asked, “What was in it?” He answered, “One thousand Dinars.” Imam al-Sadiq took him home and gave him a thousand Dinars. When the man returned to his place, he found his purse. So he went back to the Imam’s house apologizing. But the Imam refused to accept the money, saying, “What I have lost will not return to me.” The man asked, “Who is this generous man.” They said, “He is Ja`far al-Sadiq.” The man said, “This generosity is particular to him.”
Say Your Request
Ashja` Salami came to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq finding him ill. He sat besides him asking about the cause of illness. The Imam said, “Quit asking about the cause of illness. What is your request?” Ashja` composed a poem praying to Allah for the health of the Imam. Imam al-Sadiq asked to his servant, “Do you have anything on you?” He said, “Four hundred Dinars.” The man said, “Give it to Ashja`.”
An Extraordinary Example of Kindness
Sufyan al-Thawri came to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq while the Imam was pale. He asked for the reason. The Imam said, “I always warned my household not to go on the rooftop. I entered home finding one of my slave-girls climbing the ladder while holding one of my children in her arms. As soon as she saw me, she started trembling out of fear and my child fell from her arms and died immediately. My paleness is not for the child but because of the fear which has overwhelmed the slave-girl. I twice told her that she was not to blame. I then set her free in the way of Allah.”
Do Not Disclose Your Poverty
Al-Mufaddal ibn Qays reports: I went to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq, complaining to him about my situation and asking for prayer for me. The Imam asked his slave-girl to bring the purse which came from Abu-Ja`far. When she did, he said, “This purse has four hundred Dinars. Spend it on your needs.” I said, “May I be your ransom! By Allah, I did not intend to receive money. I had just come here to ask you to pray for me.” The Imam said, “I will pray for you; but from now on, do not disclose your poverty to people, for you will be abased.”
 Al-Manaqib: 274/4.
 Al-`udad al-Qawiyyah: 155.
 Rijal al-Kashshi: 184.
Honoring A Guest
Abdullah ibn Ya`fur reports: I found a guest with Imam al-Sadiq. The guest rose up to do something in his house. The Imam prohibited him from doing anything and he himself did what it was supposed to be done. The Imam further said, “Allah’s Messenger has prohibited hosts from asking the guest to do anything.”
Attitude Towards Two Needy Persons
Musmi` ibn Abd al-Malik has reported: we were at Mina in the presence of Imam al-Sadiq and a group of Shi`ites. There were grapes before us and we were eating from them. A beggar appeared and demanded for help. The Imam picked up some grapes and wanted to give to him. The beggar refused it and said, “Give me money!” The Imam said, “Excuse me, I do not have money.” The beggar became disappointed and went away. After taking a few steps, the beggar regretted in making his decision and asked for the grapes to be given to him. The Imam did not give him the grapes. It did not last for a long time that another beggar came asking for help. The Imam took a cluster of grapes and offered it to him. The beggar accepted it and said, “Praise belongs to the Lord of the worlds Who granted me my sustenance.” The Imam, hearing these words, ordered him to wait and gave him two handful of grapes. The beggar praised Allah for the second time. The Imam again told him to wait and not to leave. Then he turned towards one of his companions and asked, “How much money do you have with you?” The man searched his pockets and found about twenty Dirhams. He gave it to the beggar on the order of the Imam. For the third time, the beggar thanked Allah and said, “Praise only is due to Allah. O Allah, You are the Bestower of bounties and there is no associate for You.” Hearing these words, the Imam took off his garment and gave it to the beggar. Now the beggar changed his words and uttered some thankful words to the Imam and went away. We presumed that if the beggar had continued thanking and praising Allah in the same way as before, the Imam would have assisted him more.
Praying To Allah
Abdullah ibn Ya`fur has reported: I heard Imam al-Sadiq, while raising his hands towards the sky, saying, “O Lord! Do not leave me even a moment to myself.” His eyes being tearful, the Imam turned to me and
 Al-Kafi: 283, H 1.
 Al-Kafi, 49/4, H 12.
said, “O son of Ya`fur! Allah left (Prophet) Yunus, son of Matti (Matthew) less than a moment to himself and that calamity came about.” I said, “Did he go as far as being ungrateful to Allah?” The Imam said, “No, but dying in that situation would be perdition.”
Patience In Hard Conditions
Qutaybah al-A`sha has reported: I went to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq to visit his ill son. I found the Imam sad and worried at the door. I asked, “May I be your ransom! How is the child?” Then I man said, “By Allah! He is badly afflicted!” The Imam entered the house, stayed there for an hour and returned to us with shining face. It looked like that sorrow had left the Imam. I said hopefully to myself that the child had probably improved. So I said, “May I be your ransom! How is the child?” The Imam said, “He died!” I said, “May I be your ransom. When he was alive you were sad but now that he has died you are no sadder. How is it that?” The Imam said, “We, Ahl al-Bayt, are anxious before the calamity; but when Allah’s decree is passed, we are content with it and we are in a state of submission to Him.”
Paradise, A Reward For Prayer
Quoting Imam al-Sadiq, Abu-Basir has reported: I was circumambulating the Ka`bah when my father passed by me. Observing that I was sweating and endeavoring in performing my prayer, he said to me, “My son Ja`far! When Allah loves a servant, He rewards him with Paradise and accepts little acts from him.”
Kindness To Servants
Hafs ibn Aishah has reported: Imam al-Sadiq sent a slave on a mission. The slave delayed for sometime. So the Imam went after him and found him sleeping. He sat near him and started to fan him. When the slave woke up, the Imam said, “You had no right to sleep at this hour. You should sleep at night and work for us during day.”
 Al-Kafi: 581/2, H 15.
 Al-Kafi: 225/3, H 11.
 Al-Kafi: 86/2, H 4.
 Al-Kafi: 87/8, H 50.
Working Hard For Living
Abu-Amr al-Shaybani has reported: I saw Imam al-Sadiq in coarse garment, with a spade in his hands working and sweating in an orchard of him. I said, “May I be your ransom! Give the spade to me to do it.” The Imam said, “I like to work hard for living under the sun.”
Hannan ibn ShuAyb has reported: We hired a group of people for working in the orchard of Imam al-Sadiq. When the work was finished, the Imam said to Mu`tib, “Pay the wage of workers before their sweat dry up.”
Abu-Ja`far Fazari has reported: Imam al-Sadiq called his servant, gave him a thousand Dinars and said, “Be prepared for making a journey to Egypt for doing business, for our dependents have increased.” The servant prepared certain goods and set out for Egypt with the caravan of merchants. When they were near Egypt, they met a caravan leaving. They asked about the goods needed by people in Egypt, they said, “What you have is rare in Egypt.” So, they agreed to sell their goods with a good profit! Having sold their goods, they returned to Medina and went to see Imam al-Sadiq. Having two purses of a thousand Dinars each, the servant said, “May I be your ransom! One purse is the principal and the other is the profit.” Imam al-Sadiq said, “This is a huge profit! How did you sell the good?” The servant told the Imam the whole story. The Imam said, “Glory be to Allah! Did you collude to sell the goods with a high profit to Muslims?” Then he took one of the purses and said, “This is the principal money and I am not in need of its profit. Striking with a sword in a battlefield is easier than seeking what is lawful.”
 Al-Kafi: 76/5, H 13.
 Al-Kafi: 289/5, H 3.
 Al-Kafi: 161/5, H 1.
# Morality of Imam Musa al-Kazim
Worshiping Allah and Serving The People
Imam Musa ibn Ja`far al-Kazim was the most pious, the most versed in jurisprudence and the most generous of the people of his time. It has been reported that he performed supererogatory prayers linking them to the Morning Prayer and then he was engaged in benedictions until dawn. He would fall in prostration without raising his head until noon. The Imam prayed a lot and repeated the following invocation:
أللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أسْألُكَ الرَّاحَةَ عِنْدَ الْمَوْتِ وَالْعَفْوَ عِنْدَ الْحِسَابِ.
O Lord! I ask you ease at death bed and forgiveness on the Day of Reckoning. The sin of Your servant is great but forgiveness is with You.
The Imam always cried out of fear of Allah so much so that his face became wet with tears. He would look into the affairs of his family and relatives more than anyone else and would appease the needy in Medina at night. He would always carry a basket of flour and dates as well as a purse of Dirhams and Dinars to give to them but no one knew where this favor came from.
Contentment and Generosity
Muhammad ibn Abdullah Bakri has reported: I went to Medina to take a loan but no one offered me any. So I said to myself, “I would better go to Imam Musa and tell him about my grievances.” Hence, I went to his plantation which stood on the heights of the city. The Imam came to me along with his servant. He had a basket in his hand with pieces of meat which I shared with him and then he asked about my needs. I told him the story and we set out for his house. He went inside and after a few seconds, he came out giving me a purse of three hundred Dinars. Being satisfied, I mounted the mule and left Medina.
An Extraordinary Example of Generosity
Mansur Dawaniqi (the Abbasid ruler) asked Imam al-Kazim to attend the Festival of Nowruz (New Day) to receive of the gifts from all walks of life. The Imam answered, “The Nowruz Festival is a tradition for
 Al-Khara'ij wa’l-Jara'ih, 896/2.
 Kitab al-Irshad: 232/2.
the Persians.” Mansur said, “I observe this festival as a policy for strengthening ties with the army. I ask you by God to attend this festival.” The commanders of the army came to the Imam, congratulated him on the occasion and presented him with gifts. The servant of Mansur who was standing next to the Imam, counted the gifts one by one. At the end of the festival, an aged man came to the Imam saying, “O Son of daughter of Allah’s Messenger! I am a needy man who cannot present you with a gift. Instead, I have three lines of poem which my grandfather has composed for your grandfather, Husayn ibn Ali. He thus recited the poem. Imam Musa said, “I accepted your gift. Please sit beside me. May Allah bless you.” Raising his hand towards the servant of Mansur, Imam Musa said, “Go to the Emir, inform him of the gifts and ask what he is going to do with all these gifts.” The servant did the mission, came back and said, “Mansur says: All the gifts belong to you. Do as you wish.” Imam Musa said to the old man, “Take all these gifts which is my grant to you.”
 Al-Manaqib: 319/4.
# Morality of Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Rida
Ibrahim ibn Abbas has reported: I never saw Imam al-Rida say any unkind words to anyone or interrupt anyone. The Imam would never reject anyone whose needs he could fulfill nor would he ever stretch his legs before his companions. He never insulted his servant nor would he ever spit on the ground. He never laughed but smiled. When he was sitting in a private place, he would have the tablecloth spread before him, making the slaves, housekeeper and servants sit with him to share the food. He slept few hours and kept vigil most of the time. He would fast the first day, midmonth and the last day of the month, saying, “Should you fast in this way, it is as if you are keeping fasting all the days.” He would give money as charity and did benevolent act secretly. He would do most of his good deeds at night. None has seen his like in terms of virtues.
Feeding The Needy
MuAmmar ibn Khala’ has reported: When Imam al-Rida wanted to eat, a big tray was brought before him and he would pick up from the best food which was on the table, put it on the big tray and sent it for the needy people. Then he recited the following verses,
فَلَا اقْتَحَمَ الْعَقَبَةَ (11) وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْعَقَبَةُ (12) فَكُّ رَقَبَةٍ (13) أَوْ إِطْعَامٌ فِي يَوْمٍ ذِي مَسْغَبَةٍ (14) يَتِيمًا ذَا مَقْرَبَةٍ (15) أَوْ مِسْكِينًا ذَا مَتْرَبَةٍ (16)
But he would not attempt the uphill road. And what will make you comprehend what the uphill road is. (It is) the setting free of a slave; Or the giving of food in a day of hunge; To an orphan, having relationship; Or to the poor man lying in the dust. 90/11-16
Then the Imam would say, “Allah knows that it is not easy for all human beings to set slaves free; hence, He has made feeding the needy a way for His servants to enter Paradise.”
Honoring All Human Beings
A man from Balkh has reported: I was accompanying Imam al-Rida in his journey to Khorasan. One day he asked for food and made all the black and white servants sit to share it with him. I said to him, “May I be your
 `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida: 184/2, Chapter: 44.
 Al-Kafi: 52/4, H 12.
ransom! It would be better if there were a separate table for them.” The Imam said, “Say nothing. Allah is One, our father is one, our mother is one and the reward is for our deeds.”
Helping A Needy Traveler
Al-Yasa` ibn Hamzah has reported: I was in the presence of Imam al-Rida where a group of people asked him questions about what was lawful and unlawful. A tall man joined the gathering and said, “Peace be to you, O son of Allah’s Messenger! I am a devotee of you and of your ancestors. I am returning from Hajj. I have lost my money and my provision. I have nothing on me to travel furthermore. Should you help me to reach my hometown, Allah has blessed me. When I reach my hometown, I will give as charity what you have given me; for I am not entitled to charity.” Imam al-Rida said, “May Allah bless you. Take a seat here.” Then the Imam released the people and there were only the Imam, Sulayman Ja`fari, Khaythamah, the needy traveler and I. Then the Imam said, “Will you give me permission to enter the chamber?” He then turned to Sulayman Ja`fari and said, “Allah has improved your affair.” The Imam entered the room, closed the door and stretched his hand out of an opening saying, “Where is the man from Khorasan?” The man said, “I am here.” The Imam said, “Take this purse of two hundred Dinars, spend it for your living costs, seek blessing of Allah, don’t give any charity and leave this house so that we will not see each other!”
When the traveler left, Sulayman said to the Imam, “May I be you ransom. You were both kind and generous. Why did you cover your face then?” The Imam said, “In order not to see humiliation and abasement in his face for having fulfilled his needs. Have you not heard this hadith from Allah’s Messenger: ‘One who hides his good deed is like one who makes pilgrimage to Mecca for seventy times. One who reveals vices will be degraded and one who hides evil will be forgiven.’ Have you not heard the old saying: ‘When I go to him to fulfill my needs, I will return home while I have saved my face.’”
A Worker’s Wage
Sulayman ibn Ja`far has reported: I was with Imam al-Rida for doing a task. I had the intention to go back home but the Imam asked me to stay with him that night. We set off for the Imam’s house but we arrived at
 Al-Kafi: 230/8, H 296.
 Al-Kafi: 23/4, H 3.
sunset. On entering the house, Imam al-Rida had a glance at his slaves who were busy building a stable with mud. He suddenly saw a black worker who was not his slave. When he asked about him, they said, “He is helping us and we will give him some money at the end.” The Imam asked, “Did you talk about his wage?” They said, “He is satisfied with what we will give him.” Imam al-Rida was upset on hearing this. I said, “May I be your ransom! Why are you so upset?” The Imam said, “Had I not prohibited you from employing people without first coming to agreement about their wage? Know that if a person works for you without his wage being fixed, if you give three times his wage, he will think that you have not paid his due wage, but if you fix his wage first and then pay it, he will appreciate your promise and even if you pay a little extra money to him he will become grateful.”
Abu’l-Salt al-Hawawi has reported: when Imam al-Rida arrived in Nayshabur on a black and white mule, I was accompanying him and the scholars of Nayshabur had come to say welcome to the Imam. When he left to the neighborhood of Marbaeh, they took the rein of his mule saying, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! We ask you through the mediation of your purified forefathers, tell us a hadith.” Imam al-Rida who had a cloak of fur on, put his head out of the mule litter saying:
Quoting Allah’s Messenger, my father reported: Gabriel informed me of Allah saying. I am verily Allah; there is no god but Me. O My servants! Worship only Me and know that anyone of you who meets Me by bearing witness that there is no god but Allah wholeheartedly and with devotion has entered My fortress; and whoever enters My fortress will be immune from My chastisement.
They asked, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! What is devotion in the Oneness of Allah?” The Imam answered, “Obeying Allah, obeying Allah’s Messenger and obeying the Imamate of Ahl al-Bayt.”
A Letter to His Son
Bazanti has reported: I read a letter written by Imam al-Rida to his son, Imam al-Jawad with the following content:
O Abu-Ja`far! I was informed that they take you out through the
 Al-Kafi: 288/5, H 1.
 Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, 588, H 1220.
small gate which indicates their envy lest you might help people. I ask you through the right I have on you to go and come through the big gate. When you mount, make sure to have Dirhams and Dinars with you. Give away whenever someone asks you for help. Do not give away less than fifty Dinars. Should your aunts ask you for something, do not give away less than twenty five Dinars. I wish that Allah will exalt you. Therefore, give away and be not afraid of indigence.
Giving Away His Shirts
Rayyan ibn Salt has reported: I was at the door of Imam al-Rida’s house in Khorasan. I said to MuAmmar, “Do you dare to ask my master to give me one of his shirts and the Dirhams which have been minted in his name?”
MuAmmar reported: I immediately went to the presence of Imam al-Rida but before saying anything the Imam said, “O MuAmmar! Wouldn’t Rayyan like me to give him one of my shirts and some of the Dirhams I have?” I said, “Glory be to Allah! This is exactly what he said at the door!” The Imam smiled and said, “Successful indeed is the believer. Tell him to come to me.” So we went to the presence of the Imam. I saluted him and he answered my salutation, asked for two of his shirts and gave them to me. When I rose up to leave, he put thirty Dirhams in my hand.
Paying off a Heavy Loan
Abu-Muhammad Ghaffari has reported: I had a heavy debt; so, I said to myself, “I have no option for paying off my dept except seeking help from my master Abu’l-Hasan Ali ibn Musa al-Rida.” So, I set off for the Imam’s house in the morning. When I reached there, I asked for permission to see the Imam, and when I entered the room, the Imam said, “Abu-Muhammad! I am aware of your need. We will pay off your dept.” When evening came, I was served the dinner and the Imam then said, “Will you stay with us or leave?” I said, “Master, should you fulfill my need, I prefer to leave.” Then the Imam gave me a handful of Dinars. I bid him farewell and went to a place I could see the Dinars. He said, “O Abu-Muhammad! They are fifty Dinars; twenty-six are for paying off the dept, and twenty-four for the living expenditures.” The next morning when I looked at the Dinars precisely, I did not see that Dinar, yet it was not less than fifty Dinars either!
 `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida: 812, Chapter: 30, H 20.
 Qurb al-Isnad: 148.
 `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida, 218/2.
# Morality of Imam al-Jawad
Imam al-Jawad was unique in terms of knowledge, forbearance, eloquence, devotion and other moral virtues despite his being underage. He had a wonderful aptitude for answering scientific questions on the spot. Like his purified ancestors, Imam al-Jawad paid much attention to physical appearance and cleanliness.
A Blessed Letter
A man of the tribe of Banu-Hanifah from the region of Bost and Sistan has reported: I came to know Imam al-Jawad when I was on my Hajj to Mecca and it was the beginning of the reign of al-Mu`tasim the Abbasid ruler. We were sitting round a tablecloth and while some of the friends of the Abbasid ruler were also present, I said to the Imam, “May I be your ransom! Our governor has love for Ahl al-Bayt and I am charged to pay tax to him. Should you consider it advisable, kindly write to him to do me a favor by canceling the tax. To observe dissimulation aimed at preserving the life of the ruler of Sistan, Imam al-Jawad said, “I do not know him!” I said, “May I be your ransom; as I have already said he is a devotee of Ahl al-Bayt and your writing to him will be useful for me.” Imam al-Jawad picked up a piece of paper and wrote, “In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. The holder of letter speaks well of you. What is left of your deeds is the good ones. So be kind to your brethren and know that you will be taken to task by Allah for an atom’s weight of your deeds.”
The letter holder reports: The news of the letter had reached the governor of the region, Husayn ibn Abdullah Naysaburi, before my arrival. So before I reached Sistan, he had come to the gate of city to welcome me. I gave him the letter. He kissed and put it on his eyes, saying, “What do you need?” I said, “I have been levied a tax which I cannot afford to pay.” He ordered the tax to be written off, saying, “As long as I am the governor of this region, don’t pay tax.” He then asked about my dependents. I gave him the number of my dependents. So he ordered a regular pension to be given to me. After this event, I did not pay tax as long as I lived nor did he stop sending me gifts until he passed away.
 Al-Kafi: 5/111, H 6.
Protecting the Oppressed
Ali ibn Jarir has reported: I was in the presence of Imam al-Jawad when a sheep of the house was missing. At this time, one of the neighbors was brought to the Imam on charge of theft. The Imam said, “Woe to you! Let him go. He has not stolen the sheep. The sheep is in such and such man’s house. Go and find it there.”
They went to the same house finding the sheep there. They arrested the owner of the house, tore his clothes into pieces and beat him up, but he took an oath that he had not stolen the sheep. They brought him to the Imam who asked, “Why have you oppressed him? The sheep had entered his house and this man was not aware of it.” Then the Imam appeased him and gave him an amount of money to make up for his clothes and beating.
Dignity of Imam al-Jawad
After the martyrdom of Imam al-Ri¤a, people kept on blaming Ma’mun, the Abbasid ruler. Wishing to acquit himself of the crime, he left Khorasan for Baghdad and wrote a letter to Imam al-Jawad inviting him to Baghdad with much honor. The Imam set off for Baghdad, but before seeing the Imam, Ma’mun went hunting. On his way, he came across a group of children who were standing on the way. Imam al-Jawad too was standing there. Observing the pomp of Ma’mun, the children were dispersed. However, the Imam did not move from his place! He was standing in his place with the utmost degree of calm and dignity until Ma’mun came near to him. He was amazed to see the child. Drawing the reins of the horse, Ma’mun asked, “Why did not you clear the way like other children?” The Imam replied, “O caliph! The road was not narrow nor had I committed anything wrong to escape from you! I don’t think you will punish anyone without having committed anything wrong.” Ma’mun was surprised more when he heard these words. He had been attracted by his beauty so he asked, “What is your name, boy?” The Imam said, “My name is Muhammad.” He asked, “Who is your father?” The Imam said, “Ali ibn Musa al-Ri¤a.” When Ma’mun heard of the child’s descent, he was no more surprised and was ashamed of hearing the name of the Imam whom he had martyred! He sent greeting to the pure soul of the Imam and went away.
When he went back to wilderness, he caught sight of a francolin and let a falcon go after it. The falcon disappeared for sometime but when it
 Bihar al-Anwar, 47/50, H 22.
returned, it had a small fish still living in its beak. Ma’mun was surprised to see it; he took the fish in his hand and returned to the same place where he had seen Imam al-Jawad. Again the children were dispersed but the Imam did not move from his place. Ma’mun said, “Muhammad: What is it in my hand?” Through inspiration, the Imam said, “Allah has created seas; clouds rise up from seas; small fish come up with clouds; kings’ falcons hunt them; the kings take them in their hands and test the Household of the Prophet!” Ma’mun was surprised more to hear this, saying, “You are truly the son of al-Ri¤a! Such wonderful acts are possible only by the son of that honorable man.”
Ma’mun played every trick to make Imam al-Jawad as worldly and sensual as himself but he failed in his plot until he gave her daughter in marriage to the Imam. On the wedding night, he ordered a hundred slave-girls who were the most beautiful to hold a chalice each in their hands to welcome the Imam in the bridal chamber with much pomp and glory. The slave-girls did as they had been ordered but Imam al-Jawad paid not attention to them. Ma’mun had to call Mukhariq, a music performer who had a sweet voice and played viol. Mukhariq said to Ma’mun, “O Leader of the Faithful! If you wish al-Jawad to have a desire of the world, my voice will suffice it.” Mukhariq sat face to face with the Imam and started singing. He sang in a way that all the people of the house gathered round him. Then, he started playing viol. He did so for one hour but Imam al-Jawad looked neither at right side not left side. Finally the Imam raised his head saying, “Fear Allah, O you long-bearded man!” At this moment the viol fell from the hands of the music performer and he enjoyed it no more until he died.
A Shafi`ite’s Opinion about The Imam
Kamal al-Din Shafi`i, a great Sunni scholar, about Imam al-Jawad writes: This (Imam Muhammad al-Jawad) Abu-Ja`far is the second Muhammad. The first is Muhammad al-Baqir. He has a high-ranking position. He is renowned everywhere. His broad-mindedness and sweet-speaking have attracted everyone. He was destined to die young. He lived a short life but he was a source of benefits for all. Everyone who saw him bowed to him and benefited from his knowledge. He was a source of light which illuminated everything. Both intellect and mind benefited from his knowledge.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 91/5, Chapter: 5, H 6.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 61/50, Chapter: 26, H 37.
 Matalib al-Sa’ul fi Manaqib Al al-Rasul: 140.
# Morality of Imam al-Hadi
Abu-Hashim Ja`fari has reported: I was afflicted with a bad poverty; so, I went to Abu’l-Hasan Ali ibn Muhammad. When I sat in his presence, he asked, “Abu-Hashim! Which of the bounties of your Lord will you thank?” I could not speak nor did I know what answer to give to the Imam. He said,
رَزَقَكَ الإيمَانَ فَحَرَّمَ بَدَنَكَ عَلَى النَّارِ. وَرَزَقَكَ الْعَافِيَةَ فَأعَانَكَ عَلَى الطَّاعَةِ. وَرَزَقَكَ الْقُنُوعَ فَصَانَكَ عَنِ التَّبَذُّلِ.
“Allah has given you faith as sustenance hence made your body immune from Hellfire. He has also given you good health hence helped you to obey Him. And He has given you contentment as sustenance hence made you immune from unrestrained way of living.
O Abu-Hashim! I have started speaking to you with these words, for I had the impression that you were going to complain to me of One Who has given you all these blessings. Meanwhile I have ordered one hundred Dinars to be given to you.”
Sanitation and Climate
Quoting his uncle, Fahham Mansuri reports: One day Imam al-Hadi said, “I was brought reluctantly to the city of Samarra' (literally meaning one who sees it becomes happy). Now if they make me leave this city, I will do it reluctantly.” I said, “Why is that, my master?” The Imam said, “For its good climate, its sanitation and its little diseases.”
Special Favor Towards Shi`ites
A group of people from Isfahan including Abu’l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Nazar and Abu-Ja`far Muhammad ibn Alawiah report: In Isfahan, there was a man of Shi`ite faith named Abd al-Rahman. He was asked, “Why in our time you have made belief in the Imamate of Ali al-Naqi incumbent upon yourself?” He answered: I have seen something which made the Imam’s leadership obligatory to me: I dare to say I was a needy man and one year, the people of Isfahan sent me along with other persons to the
 Man-la-Yahduruhu’l-Faqih 401/4, H 5863.
 Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi: 281, H 545.
court of al-Mutawakkil, the Abbasid ruler, to plead for justice. We were in Mutawakkil’s court when the order to summon Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Rida was issued. I asked some of the persons present in the court who this man was. It was said that he was an Alawi in whose Imamate the heretics believe. Mutawakkil may have summoned him to kill him. I decided not to leave this place to see what he looks like. Finally He came on a horse while people were standing on the two sides of the road, watching him. As soon as I saw him, I began to love him and said: May Allah relieve him from the evil of Mutawakkil. He was looking only at the mane of his horse without paying attention to his right or left side. I was also praying for him. When he was passing by me, he turned his holy face towards me saying, “Allah has answered your prayer, prolonged your life, and made your wealth and children abundant.” Hearing this, I trembled and fell down among my friends, they asked, “What happened?” I said, “Just a blessing and said no more.” I then returned to Isfahan. Allah gave me such a fortune that in addition to what I have outside my house, I have assets worth several thousands of dirham at home. I am also blessed with ten children. I am now seventy and odd years, believing in the Imamate of that honorable Imam who knew what was in my mind and whose prayer Allah answered in relation to me.
Healing a Leper
Abu Hashim Ja`fari has reported: A man from Samarra' was afflicted with leprosy hence life had become hard for him. One day, he was complaining to Abu-Ali Fahri of his plight. Abu-Ali said, “Should you ask Abu’l-Hasan Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Rida to pray for you, your disease will be healed.” One day when the Imam was returning from Mutawakkil’s house, the leper who was sitting on the way rose up to get close to the Imam to ask him to pray for the healing of his disease. The Imam said three times, “Go aside; Allah will restore your good health while pointing to him with his holy hand.” Abu-Ali Fahri saw the leper who told him about his meeting with the Imam. Abu-Ali said, “The Imam prayed for you before you asked him to do so. Make sure you will restore your good health soon.” The leper went home. The night passed; and when it dawned there was no sign of leprosy on his body.
 Al-Khara’ij wa’l-Jara’ih: 392/1, 11.
 Al-Khara’ij wa’l-Jara’ih: 399/1, 11.
Kindness To Relatives
Dawud ibn Qasim Ja`fari reports: I had gone to say farewell to the Imam in Samarra' for going on Hajj. He came out with me and when he came to the end of the retaining wall, he descended and I descended too. The Imam drew a circle on the ground saying, “O uncle! Take what is inside this circle for spending during your Hajj.” I pounded on the earth with my fist and found a bar of gold containing two hundred misqals of gold.
Muhammad ibn Talhah has reported: One day, Imam al-Hadi left Samarra' for a village for an important case which had come about. An Arab came to meet him. So, the man was told that the Imam had gone to such and such place. The Arab too went to the village to see him. The Imam asked, “What do you need?” He answered, “I am an Arab from Kufah who believes in the Imamate of your great grandfather, Ali ibn Abu-Talib. I have a heavy debt which is hard to pay. I find no one but you to pay my debt.” The Imam said, “Be happy.” He received him as a guest, and in the morning said, “I ask you something you should not oppose!” The Arab said, “I will not oppose to what you do.” The Imam wrote a note in his own handwriting admitting that he owed the Arab a certain amount of money which was more than the Arab’s debt. Then the Imam said, “Take this note and bring it to me in Samarra'. There are a group of people beside me. Show this note, speak harshly and demand your money.” The Arab agreed and left the Imam. When the Imam reached Samarra', a group of the companions of the ruler were with him when the Arab arrived, showed the handwriting, demanded the money and spoke as the Imam had advised him. Imam al-Hadi spoke softly to him and promised to pay his dept. The story of Imam al-Hadi and the Arab reached Mutawakkil. He ordered to take thirty thousand Dirhams for Imam al-Hadi. When The Imam received the money, he did not touch it until the Arab came. Then the Imam said, “Take this money, pay your debt, spend the rest for your living expenditures and accept our apology.” The Arab said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! By Allah! I expected only one third of this money but Allah knows where to place His message He took the money and left for home.”
Choosing A Name For A Child
Ayyub ibn Nuh has reported: I wrote a letter to Imam al-Hadi saying, “My wife is pregnant. Pray to Allah to give me a son.” Imam al-Hadi wrote back, “When your son is born, name him Muhammad.” My wife gave birth to a son whom I named Muhammad.
 Al-Manaqib: 409/4.
 Kashf al-Ghummah: 374/2.
 Kashf al-Ghummah: 385/2.
# Morality of Imam Hasan al-Askari
From among the letters sent by Imam Askari to Ali ibn Husayn ibn Babawayh of Qum, there is a letter in part of which special attention has been paid to him and to all Shi`ites, indicating that a true Shi`ite enjoys a high value for the infallible Imam. Parts of the letter read:
عَلَيْكَ بِالصَّبْرِ وَانْتِظَارِ الْفَرَجِ. قَالَ النَّبِيُّ(ص): أفْضَلُ الأعْمَالِ إنْتِظَارُ الْفَرَجِ. وَلأ يَزَالُ شِيعَتُنَا فِي حُزْنٍ حَتَّى يَظْهَرَ وَلَدِي الَّذِي بَشَّرَ بِهِ النَّبِيُّ يَمْلأُ الأرْضَ قِسْطاً وَعَدْلاً كَمَا مُلِئَتْ جَوْراً وَظُلْماً. فَاصْبِرْ يَا شَيْخِي يَا أبَا الْحَسَنِ عَلِيُّ، وَأْمُرْ جَمِيعَ شِيعَتِي بِالصَّبْرِ، فَإنَّ الأرْضَ للهِ يُورِثُهَا مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ، وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ، وَالسَّلأمُ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ شِيعَتِنَا وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ، وَصَلَّى اللهُ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ.
You have the duty to be patient and await the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi, for Allah’s Messenger has said: The best deed of my ummah is to await the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi. Our followers are eagerly waiting for the reappearance of my son the news of whose coming the Holy Prophet has given in order to fill with justice the world which has been replete with injustice. O Dear Sheikh Abu’l-Hasan Ali, be patient and invite all Shi`ites to patience. Beyond doubt the earth belongs to Allah and He will inherit it to anyone of His servants as He wishes and the good end belongs to those who guard against evil. Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be on you and on all Shi`ites and peace of Allah be on Muhammad and his progeny.
Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil
Hasan ibn Muhammad of Qum has reported: The great persons of Qum told me that Husayn ibn Hasan ibn Ja`far ibn Muhammad ibn Isma`il ibn Ja`far al-Sadiq openly drank wine in the city of Qum. One day I went to the door of Ahmad ibn Ishaq AshAri who was the head of charitable bequests in Qum for a need. But he did not give him entry permission. So Husayn ibn Hasan sorrowfully returned home! A few days later, Ahmad ibn Hasan set off for Mecca on Hajj. When he reached Samarra', he was denied permission to see Imam Hasan Askari! He cried for a long time until the Imam gave him permission to see him. Being received by the
 Al-Manaqib: 425/4.
Imam, Ahmad said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Why did you deny me permission to see you; while I am Shi`ite and follower of you?” The Imam said, “Because you sent away our cousin from your house!” Ahmad started crying and took an oath that he had done so in order to forbid him from drinking wine. The Imam said, “You are right but you should have honored them because of his relation to us.” When Ahmad returned from Mecca, the dignitaries of Qum came to see him and Husayn too was with them. When Ahmad saw Husayn, he rose up, welcomed and honored him and made him sit in a high place.
Husayn ibn Hasan was surprised by this behavior; so, he asked Ahmad the reason for it. Ahmad ibn Ishaq told him what had happened between Imam Hasan Askari and him. Hearing this, Husayn ibn Hasan repented his evil deed, returned home, broke all the bottles of wine, became a pious man, and retired to mosque until death took his life and he was buried near the shrine of Fatimah Ma`sumah.
Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Ibrahim has reported: Earning a livelihood had become hard for us and indigence had overwhelmed us. My father told me to take him to the presence of Imam Hasan Askari for he had been described as a generous man. I said to my father, “Do you know him personally?” He said, “I do not know him nor have I seen him.” On the way, my father said, “How good it will be if he orders five hundred Dirhams to be given to us, two hundred for clothes, two hundred for flour and one hundred for living expenditures.” I said to myself, “I wish he would give me three hundred Dirhams so that I would buy a horse for one hundred Dirhams, I would spend one hundred for living costs and I would buy clothes for one hundred and then I would go to the region of Jabal.” When we reached the door of the house of Imam, his slave came towards us saying, “Ali ibn Ibrahim and his son Muhammad may enter.” When we entered the room and saluted him, the Imam said to my father, “What kept you from coming to visit us?” My father said, “My master! I was ashamed of seeing you in this position.” When we came out of the house, the Imam’s servant gave him a purse saying, “This is five hundred Dirhams, two hundred Dirhams for clothes, two hundred Dirhams for flour and one hundred Dirhams for living expenditures.” He gave me a purse to me too, saying, “This is three hundred Dirhams, one hundred Dirhams for buying a horse, one hundred Dirhams for clothes, and one hundred for living costs. Don’t go to Jabal rather go to Surrah in Iraq.”
 Bihar al-Anwar, 323/50, Chapter: 4, H 17.
 Al-Kafi: 506/1, H 3.
# Morality and character
of Imam al-Mahdi
The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, due to restrictions imposed on them from every side, had no chance to fully reveal their capacities. The Imam of the Time, may Allah expedite his reappearance, will have a chance to reveal his multi-dimensional capacity as foreseen by the Holy Prophet and the Imam’s of Ahl al-Bayt. Therefore, his behavior, conduct and temperament have a dimension wider than those of the other Imams. In most narrations, we read that the time of Imam al-Mahdi will be replete with bloodshed and killing. In certain narrations, it has even been pointed out that Allah will remove love for the enemies from the heart of Imam al-Mahdi so much so that people will say,
…لَيْسَ هَذَا مِنْ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، لَوْ كَانَ مِنْ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ لَرَحِمَ!
“This is not from the Household of Muhammad. Were he from the Household of Muhammad, he would have some mercy.”
However, one must note that when Imam al-Mahdi reappears, the world will be at the enemies’ hand and they strongly resist against him. In this connection, Imam al-Sadiq has said:
إنَّ قَائِمَنَا إذَا قَامَ اسْتَقْبَلَ مِنْ جَهَلَةِ النَّاسِ أشَدَّ مِمَّا اسْتَقْبَلَهُ رَسُولُ اللهِ (ص) مِنْ جُهَّالِ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ.
When our Imam rises up, he will find people more ignorant than that of the time before Allah’s Messenger.
In this case, Imam al-Mahdi has no option other than resorting to war and a revolutionary decisiveness. When the resistance of the sworn enemy is broken, justice, welfare, peace and security will prevail everywhere. What follows are narrations showing the morality and corrective character of Imam al-Mahdi in relation to the world and man at large:
Resemblance To The Holy Prophet
Looking at Husayn, Imam Ali said:
إنَّ ابْنِي هَذَا سَيِّدٌ كَمَا سَمَّاهُ رَسُولُ اللهِ (ص) سَيِّداً. وَسَيُخْرِجُ اللهُ مِنْ صُلْبِهِ رَجُلاً بِاسْمِ نَبِيِّكُمْ، يُشْبِهُهُ فِي الْخَلْقِ وَالْخُلُقِ.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 354/52, H 13.
This son of mine is a master as the Holy Prophet called him a master and from his issue will come a man who has the same name of the Messenger of Allah and resembling to him in creation and character.
Abdullah ibn Ata reports: I asked Imam al-Sadiq about the character of Imam al-Mahdi, the Imam said:
يَصْنَعُ مَا صَنَعَ رَسُولُ اللهِ (ص).
He will do what the Holy Prophet did.
Quoting Allah’s Messenger, Ibn Abbas has reported:
التَّاسِعُ مِنْهُمْ، قَائِمُ أهْلِ بَيْتِي وَمَهْدِيُّ أمَّتِي، أشْبَهُ النَّاسِ بِي فِي شَمَائِلِهِ وَأقْوَالِهِ وَأفْعَالِهِ.
The ninth of them, the support of my Household and al-Mahdi of my ummah is the most similar to me in appearance, speech and deed.
Abu-Muhammad Hasan ibn Ali Askari was quoted by Ahmad ibn Ishaq ibn Sa`d as saying:
ألْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يُخْرِجْنِي مِنَ الدُّنْيَا حَتَّى أرَانِيَ الْخَلَفَ مِنْ بَعْدِي، أشْبَهَ النَّاسِ بِرَسُولِ اللهِ (ص) خَلْقاً وَخُلُقاً.
I praise Allah that before I die He has shown me my successor who is the most similar to Allah’s Messenger in appearance, speech and deed.
Quoting Qatadah, Ka`b al-Ahbar has reported:
ألْمَهْدِيُّ خَيْرُ النَّاسِ... مَحْبُوبُ الْخَلأئِقِ.
Al-Mahdi is the best of the people… the most beloved of people.
Ali ibn Musa al-Ri¤a was asked, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Who is the support of you Ahl al-Bayt?” The Imam said:
 Bihar al-Anwar: 39/51, H 20.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 352/52, H 108.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 379/52, H 187.
 Kamal al-Din: 118/2.
 Aqd al-Durar fi Akhbar al-Muntazar: 152.
الرَّابِعُ مِنْ وُلْدِي… يُطَهِّرُ اللهُ بِهِ الأرْضَ مِنْ كُلِّ جَوْرٍ… فَإذَا خَرَجَ أشْرَقَتِ الأرْضُ بِنُورِهِ، وَوُضِعَ مِيزَانُ الْعَدْلِ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فَلأ يَظْلِمُ أحَدٌ أحَداً.
The fourth of my sons is. Allah will remove injustice from the earth through him. When he reappears, the earth will be illuminated with his heavenly light. He will dispense justice among people so much so that no one will do any injustice to others.
Quoting his father, Ali ibn Aqabah has reported:
إذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ، حَكَمَ بِالْعَدْلِ وَارْتَفَعَ فِي أيَّامِهِ الْجَوْرُ... وَرَدَّ كُلَّ حَقٍّ إلَى أهْلِهِ.
When Al-Mahdi rises up, he will rule with justice; there will be no injustice in his time and he will restore justice to its owner.
Quoting Allah’s Messenger, Imam Ali has expressly said:
آخِرُهُمْ إسْمُهُ عَلَى اسْمِي. يَخْرُجُ فَيَمْلأُ الأرْضَ عَدْلاً كَمَا مُلِئَتْ جَوْراً وَظُلْماً.
The last of them (i.e. the Imams) has my names. He will reappear and fill the earth with justice when it is replete with injustice.
Quoting Allah’s Messenger, Imam Ali has reported:
…وَمُنَادٍ يُنَادِي: هَذَا الْمَهْدِيُّ خَلِيفَةُ اللهِ فَاتَّبِعُوهُ. يَمْلأُ الأرْضَ قِسْطاً وَعَدْلاً كَمَا مُلِئَتْ جَوْراً وَظُلْماً. وَذَلِكَ عِنْدَمَا يَصِيرُ الدُّنْيَا هَرَجاً وَمَرَجاً، وَيَغَارُ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ؛ فَلأ الْكَبِيرُ يَرْحَمُ الصَّغِيرَ وَلأ الْقَوِيُّ يَرْحَمُ الضَّعِيفَ، فَحِينَئِذٍ يَأذَنُ اللهُ لَهُ بِالْخُرُوجِ.
The herald will call: This is al-Mahdi, Allah’s caliph. Follow him. He will make the earth replete with justice when it is filled with injustice. When chaos overwhelms the world and some attack others by night, when the grown-up have no mercy on the small ones, nor the powerful are kind to the weak, Allah will permit him to reappear.
 Kamal al-Din: 371/2, Chapter: 35, H 5
 Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 384/2.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 379/52, Chapter: 27, H 186.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 380/52, H 182.
Imam al-Sadiq has reported:
أوَّلُ مَا يُظْهِرُ الْقَائِمُ مِنَ الْعَدْلِ أنْ يُنَادِي مُنَادِيَهُ أنْ يُسَلِّمَ صَاحِبُ النَّافِلَةِ لِصَاحِبِ الْفَرِيضَةِ الْحَجَرَ الأسْوَدَ وَالطَّوَافَّ.
The first sign of al-Mahdi’s justice is that a herald on his behalf will call: One who is performing minor Hajj should give his place to one on whom major Hajj is incumbent.
There are a hundred and twenty narrations on how al-Mahdi will make the earth replete with justice.
Peace and Security
Imam Ali has reported:
وَلَوْ قَدْ قَامَ قَائِمُنَا... لَذَهَبَتِ الشَّحْنَاءُ مِنْ قُلُوبِ الْعِبَادِ.
When our support rises up, enmity will leave the people’s hearts.
Imam al-Baqir has reported:
فَيَبْعَثُ الثَّلاثَمِائَةٍ وَالبِضْعَةَ رَجُلاً إلَى الآفَاقِ كُلِّهَا... حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ الْعَجُوزُ الضَّعِيفَةُ مِنْ الْمَشْرِقِ تُرِيدُ الْمَغْرِبَ فَلا يَنْهَاهَا أحَدٌ.
When three hundred and odd companions of the Imam rule across the world, a feeble old woman in the east will set off for the west in peace and security.
Quoting his father, Ali ibn Aqabah has reported:
إذَا قَامَ القَائِمُ... أُمِّنَتْ بِهِ السُّبُلُ.
Should the Rising Imam rise up, all roads will become safe.
Imam al-Baqir has reported:
مَنْ أدْرَكَ قَائِمَ أهْلِ بَيْتِي مِنْ ذِي عَاهَةٍ بَرَأ وَمِنْ ذِي ضَعْفٍ قَوِيَ.
Should those who have been hurt see the support of the Ahl al-Bayt, they will be relieved; and the feeble ones who see him will become powerful.
 Al-Kafi: 427/4, H 1.
 Al-Khisal: 626/2, H 10.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 341/5, H 91.
 Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 384/2.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 335/52, H 68.
Imam al-Sadiq has reported:
إنْ قَامَ قَائِمُنَا... يَطْلُبُ الرَّجُلُ مِنْكُمْ مَنْ يَصِلُهُ بِمَالِهِ وَيَأخُذُ مِنْ زَكَاتِهِ فَلأ يُوجَدُ أحَدٌ يَقْبَلُ مِنْهُ ذَلِكَ. إسْتَغْنَى النَّاسُ بِمَا رَزَقَهُمُ اللهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ.
Should our support (al-Mahdi) rise up, a man from among you will look for a needy person to help him and to take alms from what is incumbent to him; but he will not be able to find such a person to accept it from him; and people will become independent due to what Allah has given them out of His grace.
Quoting the Holy Prophet Imam Ali has reported:
يَأتِيهِ الرَّجُلُ وَالْمَالُ كُدْسٌ فَيَقُولُ: يَا مَهْدِيُّ أعْطِنِي. فَيَقُولُ: خُذْ.
Everyone goes to him with wealth accumulated beside him. He will ask al-Mahdi, “Grant something to me.” And he will say, “Take whatever you wish.”
Imam al-Baqir has reported:
إذَا ظَهَرَ الْقَائِمُ... يُعْطِي النَّاسَ عَطَايَا مَرَّتَيْنِ فِي السَّنَةِ وَيَرْزُقُهُمْ فِي الشَّهْرِ رِزْقَيْنِ وَيُسَوِّي بَيْنَ النَّاسِ حَتَّى لأ تَرَى مُحْتَاجاً إلَى الزَّكَاةِ. وَيَجِيءُ أصْحَابُ الزَّكَاةِ بِزَكَاتِهِمْ إلَى الْمَحَاوِيجِ مِنْ شِيعَتِهِ فَلأ يَقْبَلُونَهَا. فَيُصِرُّونَهَا وَيَدُورُونَ فِي دُورِهِمْ فَيَخْرُجُونَ إلَيْهِمْ فَيَقُولُونَ: لأ حَاجَةَ لَنَا فِي دَرَاهِمِكُمْ!
When the Rising Imam reappears, he will give away to people twice a year and he will provide people with sustenance twice a month equally so that you cannot find anyone in need of alms. Alms-payer will come to the needy followers of al-Mahdi but the needy will not accept their alms. Alms-money is put in a purse to be taken to the houses of the Shi`ites. They come out of their houses, addressing them: We are not in need of your money!
Imam al-Baqir has further reported:
وَيَجْتَمِعُ إلَيْهِ أمْوَالُ أهْلِ الدُّنْيَا كُلِّهَا مِنْ بَطْنِ الأرْضِ وَظَهْرِهَا، فَيُقَالُ لِلنَّاسِ: تَعَالَوا إلَى مَا قَطَعْتُمْ فِيهِ الأرْحَامَ وَسَفَكْتُمْ فِيهِ الدَّمَ الْحَرَامَ وَرَكَبْتُمْ فِيهِ الْمَحَارِمَ. فَيُعْطِي عَطَاءً لَمْ يُعْطِهِ أحَدٌ قَبْلَهُ.
 Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 386/2.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 379/52, H 186.
All the people’s wealth, both inside and outside the earth will be accumulated for al-Mahdi and then they will be said: Come to what for which you became merciless and shed the blood unlawfully and for which committed sins. Here, Imam al-Mahdi will award to people such a grant that no one has ever awarded.
The Holy Prophet has said:
يَكُونُ فِي آخِرِ الزَّمَانِ خَلِيفَةٌ يُعْطِي الْمَالَ وَلا يَعِدُّهُ عَدّاً.
At the end of the world, there will be a caliph who will divide the wealth without counting them.
Allah’s Messenger has also said:
وَيَمْلأُ اللهُ قُلُوبَ ُأمَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ غِنَىً.
At the time of al-Mahdi, Allah will make the hearts of the community of Muhammad free from want.
Removing Harms From Shi`ites
Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Ri¤a has said:
(ألْمَهْدِيُّ) يَكُونُ رَحْمَةً لِلمُؤْمِنِينَ وَعَذَاباً عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ.
Al-Mahdi is a source of mercy for believers and punishment for the unbelievers.
Imam Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin has said:
إذَا قَامَ قَائِمُنَا أذْهَبَ اللهُ عَنْ شِيعَتِنَا الْعَاهَةَ.
When the Rising Imam rises up, Allah will remove all harms from the Shi`ites.
Imam al-Baqir has said:
(نْ قَامَ قَائِمُنَا) يُوسِعُ اللهُ عَلَى شِيعَتِنَا، وَلَوْ لأ مَا يُدْرِكُهُمْ مِنَ السَّعَادَةِ لَبَغَوْا.
At the time of al-Mahdi, Allah will improve the situation of the Shi`ites, for if they are not happy, they will rebel.
 Aqd al-Durar fi Akhbar al-Muntazar: 161.
 Kamal al-Din: 376/2, H 7.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 317/52, Chapter: 22, H 12.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 341/52, Chapter: 27, H 91.
Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn has said:
إذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ أذْهَبَ اللهُ عَنْ كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ العَاهَةَ وَرَدَّ إلَيْهِ قُوَّتَهُ.
When our support rises up, he will remove harms from believers and restore them their power.
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
إذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ جَاءَتِ الْمُزَامَلَةُ؛ وَيَأتِي الرَّجُلُ إلَى كِيسِ أخِيهِ فَيَأخُذُ حَاجَتَهُ لأ يَمْنَعُهُ.
When our support rises up, the era of concord will come about and every person takes what he needs from the purse of his brother without being prevented.
Imam al-Sadiq has also said:
لَمَّا ُأسْرِيَ بِي أوْحَى إلَيَّ رَبِّي… وَبِهِ (الْمَهْدِيّ) أنْتَقِمُ مِنْ أعْدَائِي. وَهُوَ رَاحَةٌ لأِوْلِيَائِي، وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَشْفِي قُلُوبَ شِيعَتِكَ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ وَالْجَاحِدِينَ وَالكَافِرِينَ.
During the Holy Prophet’s Night Ascension, Allah said to him about al-Mahdi: I will take revenge from enemies through him. He is the source of tranquility for My friends and it is he who will calm the Shi`ites feeling of revenge from oppressors and unbelievers.
Promoting Intellect, knowledge and Morality
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
إذَا قَامَ قَائِمُنَا وَضَعَ يَدَهُ عَلَى رُؤوسِ الْعِبَادِ، فَجَمَعَ بِهِ عُقُولَهُمْ، وَأكْمَلَ بِهِ أخْلأقَهُمْ.
When our support rises up, he puts his hand on the heads of the servants whereby he promotes their wisdom and morality.
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
إنَّ قَائِمَنَا إذَا قَامَ مَدَّ اللهُ لِشِيعَتِنَا فِي أسْمَاعِهِمْ وَأبْصَارِهِمْ حَتَّى لأ يَكُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ الْقَائِمِ بَرِيدٌ؛ يُكَلِّمُهُمْ فَيَسْمَعُونَ وَيَنْظُرُونَ إلَيْهِ.
When our support rises up, Allah will strengthen the Shi`ites’ vision and hearing where by there is no need for a link between them and the standing Imam. He will speak to them while they listen and look at him.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 364/52, Chapter: 27, H 138.
 Al-Ikhtisas: 26.
 Kamal al-Din: 251/1, H 2.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 336/52, chapter: 27, H 71.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 336/52, Chapter: 27, H 72.
Imam al-Sadiq has also said:
ألْعِلْمُ سَبْعَةٌ وَعِشْرُونَ حَرْفاً. فَجَمِيعُ مَا جَاءَتْ بِهِ الرُّسُلُ حَرْفَانِ. فَلَمْ يَعْرِفِ النَّاسُ حَتَّى الْيَوْمَ غَيْرَ الْحَرْفَيْنِ. فَإذَا قَامَ قَائِمُنَا أخْرَجَ الْخَمْسَةَ وَالْعِشْرِينَ حَرْفاً فَبَثَّهَا فِي النَّاسِ وَضَمَّ إلَيْهَا الْحَرْفَيْنِ حَتَّى يَبُثَّهَا سَبْعَةً وَعِشْرِينَ حَرْفاً.
Knowledge has twenty-seven parts. What the prophets have brought are two parts and people do not know more than these two parts to date. When our support rises up, he will bring with him the other twenty-five parts and spread them among people so that they will become twenty-seven parts all together.
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
إنَّ دَوْلَتَنَا آخِرُ الدُّوَلِ. وَلَمْ يَبْقَ أهْلُ بَيْتٍ لَهُمْ دَوْلَةٌ إلأ مَلَكُوا قَبْلَنَا، لِئَلأ يَقُولُوا إذَا رَأوْا سِيرَتَنَا: إذَا مَلَكْنَا سِرْنَا بِمِثْلِ سِيرَةِ هَؤُلأءِ! وَهُوَ قَوْلُ اللهِ تَعَالَى:وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ (83)
Our rule is the last one. No dynasty will come after our rule lest they will say if the rule were ours we would act like them. This is the meaning of Allah’s saying:(28:83)
The good end is for those who guard against evil.
How to Salute Imam al-Mahdi?
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
Should you survive as to see him, when you look at him, say:
السَّلأمُ عَلَيْكُمْ أهْلَ بَيْتِ الرَّحْمَةِ وَالنُّبُوَّةِ وَمَعْدِنَ الْعِلْمِ وَمَوْضِعَ الرِّسَالَةِ. السَّلأمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا بَقِيَّةَ اللهِ فِي أرْضِهِ.
Peace be upon you, O people of the House of the Prophet and of Mercy, source of knowledge, and seat of Divine Mission. Peace be upon you, O Allah’s Remainder on the earth.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 336/52, Chapter: 27, H 73.
 Al-Irshad by al-Mufid: 384/2.
# Ahl al-Bayt and Altruism
Self-sacrifice and preferring others’ interests to those of themselves is an inherent feature of Ahl al-Bayt and it can be seen in the life of each member of them so much so that they helped those who were and were not entitled to it. The Holy Prophet has said:
إنَّا لَنُعْطِي غَيْرَ الْمُسْتَحِقِّ حَذَراً مِنْ رَدِّ الْمُسْتَحِقِّ.
We give away to all out of fear of rejecting a needy person.
Abu Hamzah Thamali says: I heard Imam Zayn al-Abidin saying to his slave-girl, “Feed any needy person who passes by my house.” At this time, I said to the Imam, “But everyone who wants something and stretches out his hand is not needy.” The Imam said,
أخَافُ أنْ يَكُونَ بَعْضُ مَنْ يَسْألُنَا مُحِقّاً فَلا نُطْعِمُهُ، وَنَرُدُّهُ، فَيَنْزِلُ بِنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ مَا نَزَلَ بِيَعْقُوبَ.
“I fear to reject one who asks for help to be needy and we fail to feed him. Then it may happen to us, Ahl al-Bayt, what happened to Prophet Jacob.”
Ahl al-Bayt’s self-sacrifice was in such a way that they sometimes gave away whatever they had in the way of Allah.
Imam al-Sadiq has said,
إنَّ الْحَسَنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ قَاسَمَ رَبَّهُ ثَلأثَ مَرَّاتٍ حَتَّى نَعْلاً وَنَعْلاً وَثَوْباً وَثَوْباً وَدِينَاراً وَدِينَاراً.
Hasan ibn Ali gave away of his shoes, garment and Dinars in the way of Allah.”
An Extraordinary Example of Altruism
Hasan Basri says: One day, Imam Husayn approached his orchard finding his slave sitting and eating some bread. He sat under a palm-tree closely watching him. The slave threw a piece of bread for a dog nearby against every piece of bread which he ate. At the end, he thanked Allah saying, “O Allah, bless me and my master as You blessed his parents. You are the best of the Merciful.” At this time, Imam Husayn rose up and
 `Uddat al-Da`i: 101.
 `Ilal al-Shara’u`: 45/1, Chapter: 41, H 1.
 Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 11/5, H 29.
called him by name. The slave who had been frightened rose up and said, “My master! O master of all believers! I did not notice you. Forgive me.” The Imam said, “You should forgive me, for I entered the orchard without permission!” the slave said, “Are you saying this because of your excellence, magnanimity and generosity?” The Imam said, “I saw you feeding the dog while you were eating yourself. Why?” The slave said, “My master, while I was eating, the dog was looking at me and I was ashamed of its look. Besides, it is the dog which guards your orchard and I am your slave. We both live on what you give us.” Imam Husayn started crying and said, “You are free in the way of Allah and I give away one thousand Dinars to you!” The salve said, “Even if you set me free, I would like to work in your orchard.” The Imam said, “One must practice what one preaches. I entered the orchard without your permission and I am now giving it away to you with whatever in it.” The slave said, “If you have given away this orchard to me, I too will give it to your followers.”
Generosity under the hardest conditions
It is noteworthy that Ahl al-Bayt did not cease to give away even under the hardest conditions. In this connection, they have related: When a needy person heard that a community had gathered in the desert of Ninawa on the Day of Ashura', he set off for that place. Seeing him, Imam Husayn asked about his situation. The man said, “I am a needy man and I have heard that a large group of people have gathered here. I said to my self perhaps they may give me something.” The Imam said, “Stand here and do not go away.” The Imam went to his camp and wrapped in a cloth what the man needed and gave it to him. The man became happy and went away!
Forgiving The Guilty
`Ubaydullah ibn al-Hurr al-Ju`fi was a moody person who was for justice at one moment and for injustice at another. Sometimes, he was neutral too! Although he was from Iraq, he rushed to help MuAwiyah in the Battle of Siffin. He was at the service of Ahl al-Bayt’s archenemy that is MuAwiyah throughout the battle and fought against Imam Ali. Thinking that he could not live in Iraq any longer, `Ubaydullah went to Syria along with MuAwiyah after the end of the battle. There was a rumor in Iraq that `Ubaydullah ibn al-Hurr had been killed in the battle. Hence, his wife married `Ikrimah ibn al-Khabis. Hearing this news, `Ubaydullah who was very fond of his wife decided to return to the city of Kufah to make his
 Maqtal al-Husayn: 153/1.
wife divorce her new husband. MuAwiyah warned him against going to Kufah, saying, “If you go there, you will be killed with Ali’s sword!” Yet, he answered, “I have no fear of going there, for I am going towards justice. Ali’s morality is different from yours. He is heavenly and will dispense justice.”
So, `Ubaydullah came to Kufah. First, he went to see the new husband of his wife but the man refused to divorce her. `Ubaydullah who could not resist him, went to Kufah Mosque to see Ali. He found a large group of people surrounding Imam Ali and lodged his complaint. Imam Ali said, “Aren’t you the same person who help MuAwiyah against me in the Battle of Siffin and drew sword against believers?” He answered “I have not come here to be questioned rather I have come here to find a solution. Return my wife to me.” Imam Ali ordered to his servant to bring the husband of the woman. He called on him to divorce his wife so that she will marry her first husband. The man said, “My wife is pregnant.” Imam Ali ordered a house to be hired and the woman was transferred there. A nurse too was hired at the cost of Amir al-Mu’minin to take care of her until the time of delivery so that she will later marry her first husband after observing all the legal procedures.
Forgiving offences and ignoring others’ unkindness was an act of manliness for Ahl al-Bayt. Allah’s Messenger has said:
مُرُوءَتُنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ الْعَفْوُ عَمَّنْ ظَلَمَنَا وَإعْطَاءُ مَنْ حَرَمَنَا.
The manliness of us, Ahl al-Bayt, means to forgive one who has done injustice to us and to give away to one who has withheld from us.
Ahl al-Bayt did not utter this truth verbally but they always practiced it. Imam al-Baqir has reported: A Jewess poisoned a piece of meat and brought it to the Holy Prophet so as to kill him. When her plot was divulged, the Holy Prophet interrogated her, “What made you to do this?” She said, “I said to myself that this meat will not harm him if he is Allah’s Messenger and will rid people of his rule if he is a king.” Hearing this, the Holy Prophet pardoned her.
Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, in Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, describing Imam Ali, says: He was the most tolerant in forgiving the offenders and the most forgiving towards the guilty ones. The truth of this claim is proved in the Battle of
 Al-Kamil: 287/4.
 Tuhaf al-`Uqul: 38.
the Camel when he defeated Marwan ibn Hakam, the most hostile enemy, but forgave him.
Forgive Me for the Sake of Hasan and Husayn
Allah’s Messenger ordered an offender to be arrested to punish him. The fugitive offender tried to hide himself from one house to another to escape punishment. He kept himself from the look of people for sometime but it was hard to continue this act. One day, he was looking through a small window when he saw Hasan and Husayn, passing by. He opened the door, came out, put them on his shoulder and set out for the Prophet’s Mosque. When he entered the mosque, the Holy Prophet was on the pulpit. So he loudly said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I ask you by these two honorable persons to forgive me.” The Holy Prophet forgave him with kindness and tolerance.
Forgiving the corrupt on the Earth and Anti-Islam Fighters
A person who was in the presence of Imam Ali in Basrah asked him, “What is the punishment of a person who enters battle against Allah?” The Imam said, “Banishment, amputation of hand or foot, or execution, based on the Qur’anic order.” He asked, “If this person is Harithah ibn Zayd, what will be the order?” The Imam said, “He is subject to the same order.” He said, “O Amir al-Mu'minin! Harithah had come to ask you forgiveness!” The Imam said, “Let him come here.” When Harithah entered, he fell to Imam Ali’s feet, but the Imam took his arms and said, “Rise up! Allah has forgiven you.”
 Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah: 22/1.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 318/43, Chapter: 13, H 2.
 Fiqh al-Quran: 368/1.
# Ahl al-Bayt and Humbleness
Humbleness is an outstanding feature in the lives of Ahl al-Bayt.
Ibn Mas`ud reports: A person came to the presence of Allah’s Messenger and when he started speaking, he was trembling. The Holy Prophet said,
هَوِّنْ عَلَيْكَ! فَلَسْتُ بِمَلِكٍ.
“Calm down; I am not a king.”
Another person reports: A group of people and I went to the presence of the Holy Prophet and said, “You are our master.” The Holy Prophet said,
السَّيِّدُ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى.
“Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, is the Master.”
Abu-Basir reports: Imam al-Sadiq went to the public bath whose owner said, “Let me evacuate the public bath for you!” Imam al-Sadiq said,
لأ حَاجَةَ لِي فِي ذَلِكَ. ألْمُؤْمِنُ أخَفُّ مِنْ ذَلِكَ.
“No, it is not necessary. The pious believer does not bother for those things.”
It is also reported that Imam al-Ri¤a went to the public bath. A person who had not recognized him said, “O gentleman! Rub me with this flannel!” Imam al-Ri¤a did so; and at this time people who were in the bath introduced Imam al-Ri¤a to him, the man who had became ashamed, made an apology and an attempt to draw himself aside; but the Imam calmed him with his words and kept on rubbing him with the flannel!
Humbleness which is like a seed sown in the earth will bear abundant fruits. With their humbleness, Ahl al-Bayt made the realm of obedience fruitful. Some of these fruits are knowledge, awareness and vision. It is for their in-depth might into the truth of universe that they have been chosen as leaders of guidance until the Judgment Day. Hence, all should know that to take lead of them will cause perdition and to ignore them will cause bewilderment. The Holy Prophet has said:
 Makarim al-Akhlaq: 16.
 Sunan Abi-Dawud, 254/4.
 Al-Kafi: 503/6, H. 37.
 Al-Manaqib: 362/4.
فَلأ تَسْبِقُوهُمْ فَتَهْلِكُوا، وَلأ تُعَلِّمُوهُمْ فَهُمْ أعْلَمُ مِنْكُمْ.
Do not take lead of my Ahl al-Bayt, for you will come to perdition nor do your teach them, for they are more knowledgeable than you.
He also said:
فَإنَّهُمْ أحْلَمُكُمْ صِغَاراً وَأعْلَمُكُمْ كِبَاراً. لأ يُدْخِلُونَكُمْ فِي ضَلألَةٍ وَلأ يُخْرِجُونَكُمْ مِنْ هُدىً.
Be aware that Ahl al-Bayt are the wisest in childhood and the most knowledgeable in their maturity. They will never misguide you nor will they take you out of true guidance.
Imam al-Baqir said to Salamah ibn Kuhayl and Hakam ibn `Utaybah:
شَرِّقَا وَغَرِّبَا، فَلأ تَجِدَانِ عِلْماً صَحِيحاً إلأ شَيْئاً خَرَجَ مِنْ عِنْدِنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.
You will never attain sound knowledge neither in the east nor in the west but with us, Ahl al-Bayt.
The Imam has also said:
نَحُنْ خُزَّانُ عِلْمِ اللهِ.
We, Ahl al-Bayt, are treasures of Divine knowledge.
Imam Husayn has said:
مَا نَدْرِي مَا يَنْقِمُ النَّاسُ مِنَّا! إنَّا لَبَيْتُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَشَجَرَةُ النُّبُوَّةِ وَمَعْدِنُ الْعِلْمِ.
We do not know why people harbor enmity against us while we are from the House of mercy, the tree of Prophethood and the source of knowledge.
Imam al-Sadiq reports: When it was noontime, Ali ibn Husayn performed his prayer and then was engaged in invocations and greeted the Holy Prophet and A*hl al-Bayt as follows:
أللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ: شَجَرَةِ النُّبُوَّةِ وَمَوْضِعِ الرِّسَالَةِ وَمُخْتَلَفِ الْمَلأئِكَةِ وَمَعْدِنِ الْعِلْمِ وَأهْلِ بَيْتِ الْوَحْيِ.
 Al-Kafi: 294/1, H 3.
 Bihar al-Anwar 23:144.
 Al-Kafi: 399/1, H 3.
 Al-Kafi: 192/1, H 3.
 Nuzhat al-Na¨ir: 85.
O Allah; Send greetings on Muhammad and on the descendents of Muhammad, the evergreen tree of Prophethood, the destination of the Divine messages, the academy where angels came to learn and know, the depository of wisdom, and the household of Divine Revelation.
# Culture of Ahl al-Bayt: Excerpts
Ahl al-Bayt’s culture is the most perfect moral, ideological, socio-political, educational and scientific culture, a large section of which has been compiled by the believing Shi`ite narrators. Such books as al-Kafi, Man-La-Yah¤uruhu-l-Faqih, Tahdhib al-Ahkam, al-Istibsar, Basa'ir al-Darajat, al-Mahasin by al-Barqi, al-Amali by Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, , al-Khisal, Jami` al-Akhbar, `Ilal al-Shara'i`, al-Wafi, al-Shafi, Nur al-Thaqalayn, Bihar al-Anwar, Wasa'il al-ShiAh, Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, al-Awalim, al-Mahajjah al-Bay¤a'… etc. containing narratives on the culture of Ahl al-Bayt the practice of which will ensure good life in this world and the Hereafter as well as Allah’s pleasure and the eternal Paradise. The Holy Prophet has said:
مَا خُلِقْتُمْ لِلْفَنَاءِ، بَلْ خُلِقْتُمْ لِلْبَقَاءِ. وَإنَّمَا تُنْقَلُونَ مِنْ دَارٍ إلَى دَارٍ.
You were not born for extinction rather for survival. With death, you are only displaced; that is you are transferred from one house to another house.
He has also said:
إنَّ أخْوَفَ مَا أخَافُ عَلَى أمَّتِي الْهَوَى وَطُولُ الأمَلِ.
I fear two things for my ummah: carnal and far-away desires.
He has also said:
عِزُّ الْمُؤْمِنِ اسْتِغْنَاؤُهُ عَنِ النَّاسِ، وَفِي الْقَنَاعَةِ الْحُرِّيَّةُ وَالْعِزُّ.
A believer’s honor lies in his independence from people and his freedom and honor lie in contentment.
Imam Ali has said:
الْمَرْءُ يُوزَنُ بِقَوْلِهِ وَيُقَوَّمُ بِفِعْلِهِ؛ فَقُلْ مَا تَرْجَحُ زِنَتُهُ، وَافْعَلْ مَا تَجِلُّ قِيمَتُهُ.
Man is evaluated by his words and assessed by his deeds. Therefore, say what makes your words weighty and act in such a way that makes your behavior valuable.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 78/58.
 Al-Khisal: 51/1, H 62.
 Waram Collection: 169/1.
 Ghurar al-Hikam: 317.
He has also said:
تَحَلَّوا بِالأخْذِ بِالْفَضْلِ وَالْكَفِّ عَنِ الْبَغْيِ وَالْعَمَلِ بِالْحَقِّ وَالإنْصَافِ مِنَ النَّفْسِ.
Adorn yourself with moral virtues and avoid tyranny. Behave justly and be fair to all.
He further says:
يَنْبَغِي لِلْعَاقِلِ أنْ يَحْتَرِسَ مِنْ سُكْرِ الْمَالِ وَسُكْرِ الْقُدْرَةِ وَسُكْرِ الْعِلْمِ وَسُكْرِ الْمَدْحِ وَسُكْرِ الشَّبَابِ؛ فَإنَّ لِكُلِّ ذَلِكَ رِيَاحاً خَبِيثَةً تَسْلُبُ الْعَقْلَ وَتَسْتَخِفُّ الوَقَارَ.
Man should preserve himself from being intoxicated with wealth, power, knowledge, praise, flattery and youth, for each of these intoxications are poisoned winds which obliterates wisdom and reduces man’s dignity.
Lady Fatimah has said:
إنِّي حِبُّ مِنْ دُنْيَاكُمْ ثَلأثاً: الإنْفَاقَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، وَتِلأوَةَ كِتَابِ اللهِ، وَالنَّظَرَ إلَى وَجْهِ أبِي رَسُولِ اللهِ.
I love three things of your world: Giving away in the way of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah, and looking at the face of my father, Allah’s Messenger.
Imam Hasan was asked the meaning of magnanimity; he replied:
شُحُّ الرَّجُلِ عَلَى دِينِهِ، وَإصْلأحُهُ مَالَهُ، وَقِيَامُهُ بِالْحُقُوقِ.
Zeal for faith, rectification of wealth, observation of Allah’s and people’s rights, as well as manliness and fairness.
Addressing Imam Husayn, a man said, “I am a sinner. I can’t stop committing sin. Give me an advice.” The Imam said:
إفْعَلْ خَمْسَةَ أشْيَاءَ وَأذْنِبْ مَا شِئْتَ. فَأوَّلُ ذَلِكَ: لأ تَأكُلْ رِزْقَ اللهِ وَأذْنِبْ مَا شِئْتَ. وَالثَّانِي: أخْرُجْ مِنْ وِلأيَةِ اللهِ وَأذْنِبْ مَا شِئْتَ. وَالثَّالِثُ: أطْلُبْ مَوْضِعاً لأ يَرَاكَ اللهُ وَأذْنِبْ مَا شِئْتَ. وَالرَّابِعُ: إذَا جَاءَ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ لِيَقْبِضَ رُوحَكَ فَادْفَعْهُ عَنْ نَفْسِكَ وَأذْنِبْ مَا شِئْتَ. وَالْخَامِسُ: إذَا أدْخَلَكَ مَالِكٌ فِي النَّارِ فَلأ تَدْخُلْ فِي النَّارِ وَأذْنِبْ مَا شِئْتَ.
 Ghurar al-Hikam: 66
 Musnad Fatimah al-Zahra'.
 Tuhaf al-`Uqul: 235.
Do five things and then commit any sin you wish: Firstly, do not eat sustenance given by Allah and then commit any sin you wish. Secondly, come out of the guardianship of Allah and then commit any sin you wish. Thirdly, go to a place where Allah cannot see you and then commit any sin you whish. Fourthly, when the Angel of Death comes to take your life, escape from him and commit any sin you wish. Fifthly, when the gate keeper of the Hell intends to throw you into it, do not enter and then commit any sin you wish.
Imam Zayn al-Abidin has said:
وَأمَّا حَقُّ وَلَدِكَ فَتَعْلَمَ أنَّهُ مِنْكَ وَمُضَافٌ إلَيكَ فِي عَاجِلِ الدُنْيَا بخَيْرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ، وَأنَّكَ مَسْئولٌ عَمَّا ولِِّيتَهُ مِنْ حُسْنِ الأدَب وَالدِّلالَةِ عَلَى رَبهِ وَالْمَعُونةِ لَهُ عَلَى طَاعَتِهِ فِيكَ وَفِي نفْسِهِ، فَمُثابٌ عَلَى ذلِكَ وَمُعَاقَبٌ، فَاعْمَلْ فِي أمْرِهِ عَمَلَ الْمُتَزَيِّنِ بحُسْنِ أثرِهِ عَلَيْهِ فِي عَاجِلِ الدُّنْيَا، الْمُعْذِرِ إلَى رَبهِ فِيمَا بَيْنَكَ وبَيْنَهُ بحُسْنِ الْقِيَامِ عَلَيْهِ وَالأخذُ لَهُ مِنْهُ.
The right of your child is that you should know that he is from you and will be ascribed to you, through both his good and his evil, in the immediate affairs of this world. You are responsible for what has been entrusted to you, such as educating him in good conduct, pointing him in the direction of his Lord, and helping him to obey Him. So act toward him with the action of one who knows that he will be rewarded for good doing toward him and punished for evildoing.
Imam al-Baqir has said:
إنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ جَعَلَ لِلشَّرِّ أقْفَالاً، وَجَعَلَ مَفَاتِيحَ تَلْكَ الأقْفَالِ الشَّرَابَ. وَالْكَذِبُ شَرٌّ مِنَ الشَّرَابِ.
Allah has set locks for evil things so as to protect men from their harms. Wine, this intoxicating liquid, is the key to all evil things. Telling lie is worse than drinking wine.
Imam al-Baqir says:
إنَّ مُدْمِنَ الْخَمْرِ كَعَابِدِ وَثَنٍ؛ وَتُورِثُهُ الإرْتِعَاشَ وَتَهْدِمُ مُرُوئَتَهُ وَتَحْمِلُهُ عَلَى التَّجَسُّرِ عَلَى الْمَحَارِمِ مِنْ سَفْكِ الدِّمَاءِ وَرُكُوبِ الزِّنَا.
 Jami` al-Akhbar: 130.
 Man-La-Yah¤uruhu’l-Faqih: 621/2, H 3214.
 Al-Kafi: 338/2, H 3.
A habitual drunkard is as an idolater. One who always drinks wine will be afflicted with palsy and his morality will diminish. Drinking wine makes man so bold in committing sin that he will not refuse to shed blood nor engage in adultery.
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
إحْذَرْ مِنَ النَّاسِ ثَلأثَةً: الْخَائِنَ وَالظَّلُومَ وَالنَّمَّامَ؛ لأنَّ مَنْ خَانَ لَكَ خَانَكَ، وَمَنْ ظَلَمَ لَكَ سَيَظْلِمُكَ، وَمَنْ نَمَّ إلَيْكَ سَيَنِمُّ عَلَيْكَ.
In association and making friends, avoid three groups of people: traitor, oppressor, and talebearer. One who commits treason in your interest one day will commit treason against you another day. One who oppresses another for your sake will oppress you soon. One who tells tales to you about others will tell tales to others about you soon.
Imam Musa al-Ka¨im passed by a dark-colored man. He saluted him, sat beside him, spoke to him for a while and expressed his readiness to meet his needs. Some people who were watching this scene, said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Do you associate with this person and ask about his needs?” The Imam said:
عَبْدٌ مِنْ عَبِيدِ اللهِ وَأخٌ فِي كِتَابِ اللهِ وَجَارٌ فِي بِلأدِ اللهِ. يَجْمَعُنَا وَإيَّاهُ خَيْرُ الآبَاءِ آدَمُ وَأفْضَلُ الأدْيَانِ الإسْلأمُ.
He is one of the servants of Allah and based on the Holy Qur’an, he is our brother-in-faith and our neighbor in the cities of Allah. Adam who is the best father and Islam which is the best religion have linked us to him.
Imam al-Riza has said:
وَلْيَكُنْ نَفَقَتُكَ عَلَى نَفْسِكَ وَعِيَالِكَ قَصْداً.
Be moderate in your expenditures on yourself and your family.
Imam al-Jawad has said:
مَنْ أطَاعَ هَوَاهُ أعْطَى عَدُوَّهُ مُنَاهُ.
 Al-Amali, H 1.
 Tuhaf al-`Uqul: 315.
 Tuhaf al-`Uqul: 413.
 Fiqh al-Ri¤a: 254, 37.
One who obeys his carnal desires has realized the desires of his enemy.
Imam al-Hadi has said:
إذَا كَانَ زَمَانٌ الْعَدْلُ فِيهِ أغْلَبُ مِنَ الْجَوْرِ، فَحَرَامٌ أنْ يُظَنَّ بِأحَدٍ سُوءاً حَتَّى يُعْلَمَ ذَلِكَ مِنْهُ. وَإذَا كَانَ زَمَانٌ الْجَوْرُ أغْلَبُ مِنَ الْعَدْلِ، فَلَيْسَ لأِحَدٍ أنْ يَظُنَّ بِأحَدٍ خَيْراً مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ ذَلِكَ مِنْهُ.
When justice prevails in a society rather than injustice, it is unlawful to be suspicious of any person unless an evil act is committed by him. But when injustice prevails in society, it is not good to be optimistic about anyone unless his good act is witnessed.
The Holy Prophet has said:
Parents will be rewarded greatly by Allah. They say, “Our Lord! What is all this favor for? Our good deeds are not worthy of such a reward.” They will be replied, “All this reward is for teaching the Holy Qur’an to your children and for making them aware of Islamic culture.”
 A`lam al-Din: 309.
 A`lam al-Din: 312.
 Tafsir al-Imam al-Askari: 449, H 297.
# Ahl al-Bayt And The Holy Qur’an
Beyond doubt, understanding the Holy Qur’an does not depend solely on knowing the meaning of the Arabic words or on being familiar with the Arabic literature. Were it so, Allah would not have introduced in His Book the people of the Reminder, who are Ahl al-Bayt according to the narrations related by both Shi`ite and Sunni Muslims, as the teachers of the Holy Qur’an. Considering that Allah has introduced teacher for the Holy Qur’an, understanding the main parts of this Book which according to Imam Ali contain “Its permission and prohibitions, its obligations and discretion, its repealing injunctions and the repealed ones, its permissible matters and compulsory ones, its permissible and the general ones, its clear and obscure ones” is not a layman’s job.
People from all walks of life, whether academicians or theologians, intellectuals or non-intellectuals, scholars or laymen, mystic or philosophers need to refer to valid narrations and reports by Allah’s Messenger and Ahl al-Bayt so as to enter the profound sea of the Holy Qur’an on board the ship of their knowledge in order to find the truth.
Should they choose a path other than this, they will have to impose their findings on the Qur’anic verses as the meaning of this Divine Book hence inflict irreparable damage on themselves and on Muslims.
Commenting on the Holy Qur’an, Allah’s Messenger has said:
ظَاهِرُهُ أنِيقٌ وَبَاطِنُهُ عَمِيقٌ. لأ تُحْصَى عَجَائِبُهُ وَلأ تَبْلَى غَرَائِبُهُ.
It has a well-arranged and well-decorated appearance and it has a profound inward. Its marvels cannot be counted and its wonders will never get old.
How can we possibly understand the Holy Qur’an when it is described by Allah’s Messenger as such? Only those should speak of the interpretation of the Holy Qur’an who, based on the Divine Book itself, are firmly rooted in knowledge. According to valid and genuine narrations, those firmly rooted in knowledge are no one but the Holy Prophet and his purified Ahl al-Bayt. Should the implicit verses of the Holy Qur’an be interpreted and the interpretation be accepted without seeking help from Ahl al-Bayt, it would
 Nahj al-Balaghah: 52, First Sermon.
 Al-Kafi: 298/2, H 2.
certainly lead man to atheism and perdition. These verses must be interpreted by those firmly rooted in knowledge and literal meaning must be avoided.
As for the interpretation of abrogating and abrogated, dependent and independents as well as general and particular verses, it should be done by Ahl al-Bayt. Any personal interpretation of the Qur’anic verses will make man afflicted with an irreparable loss. As an example, we read the following in the Holy Qur'an,
يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ
The hand of Allah is above their hands.(48:10)
Hand does not mean a physical hand rather it means ‘Power’. Should we take hand as the real hand, we have thought of Allah as having a body which is an evident blasphemy. Therefore, the interpretation of the above-mentioned verse is: the power of Allah is above all powers.
Another example is (17:72) of the Qur’an:
وَمَن كَانَ فِي هَذِهِ أَعْمَى فَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ أَعْمَى وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيلاً (72)
And whoever is blind in this world, he shall also be blind in the hereafter; and more erring from the way.
If we take the literal meaning of ‘blind’, we have to believe that those believers who stood at a high rank in terms of faith and good deeds and were favored by the prophets and the Imams are deprived of seeing the scenes in Paradise, a belief which does not conform with (43:71) of the Qur’an:
وَفِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِيهِ الْأَنفُسُ وَتَلَذُّ الْأَعْيُنُ
Therein shall be what their souls yearn after and where in eyes shall delight.
Therefore, we should give in to the Ahl al-Bayt’s interpretation of the word which is ‘blind-hearted’ not ‘physically blind’.
Thus, we realize that the implicit verses need an interpretation not based on the appearance and the literal meaning of the word but it must be interpreted in another way. This is exactly what Allah has entrusted to those firmly rooted in knowledge:
وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ
None knows its interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge. (3:7)
Those who are firmly rooted in knowledge are those who enjoy a firm and true knowledge into which there is no change. It is knowledge that Allah has caused to shine in the hearts of His servants; namely, the Prophets and the Imams. In this relation, Imam al-Sadiq has said:
نَحْنُ الرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ وَنَحْنُ نَعْلَمُ تَأوِيلَهُ.
We are firmly rooted in knowledge and we know how to interpret the Holy Qur’an.
Truly the only knowledge which is not subject to change and is different from the knowledge of all scientists and scholars is the knowledge of the Prophets and the Imams which is fixed until the Resurrection Day, for their knowledge is Divine and based on intuition; that is to see the truth with the eyes of the heart. Beyond doubt such hearts never make an error in realizing the truths and in finding the manifest and hidden secrets of the universe.
 Al-Kafi: 213/1, H 1.
# Ahl al-Bayt, The World and the Hereafter
Ahl al-Bayt were extremely active in all aspects of life for the good of this world and the Hereafter and did not give up the struggle. Imam al-Sadiq has said:
لأ تَكْسَلُوا فِي طَلَبِ مَعَايِشِكُمْ، فَإنَّ آبَاءَنَا كَانُوا يَرْكُضُونَ فِيهَا وَيَطْلُبُونَهَا.
Do not be lazy in earning a living, for our forefathers were running after it while seeking it.
Amir al-Mu’minin, Imam Ali has reported: Once in Medina, I became very hungry and to find a job, I went to the vicinity of Medina when I saw a woman gathering lump of clay to be mixed with water. I went to her and agreed that for each bucket of water, she would give me a date. Hence, I filled sixteen buckets with water in a way my hands were blistered. I washed my hands and went to the woman saying, “See the blisters in the palms of my hands!” The woman gave me sixteen dates and I went to see the Holy Prophet to whom I told the story and he shared the dates with me.
Abdullah ibn Hasan says:
وَاللهِ، لَقَدْ أعْتَقَ عَلِيٌّ ألْفَ أهْلِ بَيْتٍ بِمَا مَجَلَتْ يَدَاهُ وَعَرَقَ جَبِينُهُ.
By Allah (I swear), Ali set free one thousand slaves in the way of Allah with the wage he had earned with blisters in the palms of his hand and the sweat of forehead.
Abd al-A`la says: One of the hot days of Summer, I met Imam al-Sadiq who was working hard. I said, “May I be your ransom! You have a high rank before Allah; why are you giving yourself so much trouble?” The Imam said,
يَا عَبْدَ الأعْلَى! خَرَجْتُ فِي طَلَبِ الرِّزْقِ لأِسْتَغْنِيَ عَنْ مِثْلِكَ.
“O Abd al-A`la! I have come out seeking my daily bread so as to be independent of your like.”
 Man-La-Yahduruhu’l-Faqih: 157/3, H 3575.
 Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 286/1.
 Al-Gharat: 91/1.
Ali ibn Hamzah says: I saw Imam Musa al-Ka¨im working on a farmland. While his two feet were wet with sweat, I said, “May I be your ransom! Where are your men?” He said, “One who was better than my father and me worked with his hands on this farmland.” I asked who he was. The Imam replied, “Allah’s Messenger, Amir al-Mu'minin and my forefathers who worked with their hands. This is the duty of the Prophets, Messengers, their successors and the righteous ones.”
Ahl al-Bayt, in addition to working hard for earning a living, were working hard for the Hereafter so much so that no one could be their equal in terms of praying and spirituality. They encouraged their followers to pray and act piously; they considered salvation in the Hereafter contingent on submission to Allah and prayer and bewared them of desiring for salvation without having piety and fear of Allah.
Imam al-Baqir has been quoted by Jabir al-Ju`fi as saying:
يَا جَابِرُ، أيَكْتَفِي مَنِ إتَّخَذَ التَّشَيُّعَ أنْ يَقُولَ بِحُبِّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ؟ فَوَاللهِ مَا شِيعَتُنَا إلأ مَنِ إتَّقَى اللهَ وَأطَاعَهُ. وَمَا كَانُوا يُعْرَفُونَ إلأ بِالتَّوَاضُعِ وَالتَّخَشُّعِ وَأدَاءِ الأمَانَةِ وَكَثْرَةِ ذِكْرِ اللهِ، وَالصَّوْمِ وَالصَّلأةِ، وَالْبِرِّ بِالْوَالِدَيْنِ، وَالتَّعَهُّدِ لِلْجِيرَانِ مِنَ الْفُقَرَاءِ وَأهْلِ الْمَسْكَنَةِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَالأيْتَامِ، وَصِدْقِ الْحَدِيثِ، وَتِلأوَةِ الْقُرْآنِ، وَكَفِّ الألْسُنِ عَنِ النَّاسِ إلأ مِنْ خَيْرٍ، وَكَانُوا اُمَنَاءَ عَشَائِرِهِمْ فِي الأشْيَاءِ.
O Jabir, do you think that it is sufficient for those who claim being ShiAh to say that they cherish us; the Prophet’s Household? By Allah I swear, our ShiAh are only those who fear and obey Allah. Their signs are modesty, submission, fulfillment of the trusts, very much reference to Allah, fasting, offering prayers, piety to (their) parents, aiding the neighbors especially the poor, the destitute, the indebted, and the orphans, truth, reciting the Qur'an, and avoiding mentioning people except for praising. In addition, they are the most trustful of the people of their tribes.
I said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Today, we do not know anyone having all these features.” The Imam said:
يَا جَابِرُ، لأ تَذْهَبَنَّ بِكَ الْمَذَاهِبُ! حَسْبُ الرَّجُلِ أنْ يَقُولَ حِبُّ عَلِيّاً صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ
 Al-Kafi: 75/5, H 10.
عَلَيْهِ وَأتَوَلأه؟ فَلَوْ قَالَ إنِّي حِبُّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ، وَرَسُولُ اللهِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ عَلِيٍّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلأمُ، ثُمَّ لأ يَتَّبِعُ سِيرَتَهُ وَلأ يَعْمَلُ بِسُنَّتِهِ مَا نَفَعَهُ حُبُّهُ إيَّاهُ شَيْئاً، فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ وَاعْمَلُوا لِمَا عِنْدَ اللهِ. لَيْسَ بَيْنِ اللهِ وَبَيْنَ أحَدٍ قَرَابَةٌ. أحَبُّ الْعِبَادِ إلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَأكْرَمُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ أتْقَاهُمْ لَهُ وَأعْمَلُهُمْ بِطَاعَتِهِ. يَا جَابِرُ، مَا يَتَقَرَّبُ الْعَبْدُ إلَى اللهِ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى إلأ بِالطَّاعَةِ. مَا مَعَنَا بَرَاءَةٌ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَلأ عَلَى اللهِ لأِحَدٍ مِنْكُمْ حُجَّةٌ. مَنْ كَانَ للهِ مُطِيعاً فَهُوَ لَنَا وَلِيٌّ، وَمَنْ كَانَ للهِ عَاصِياً فَهُوَ لَنَا عَدُوٌّ، وَلأ تُنَالُ وِلأيَتُنَا إلأ بِالْعَمَلِ وَالْوَرَعِ.
No, Jabir. Do not misunderstand the matter. Is it enough for a man to claim that he loves and follows Ali? If he claims that he loves the Prophet, who is preferable to Ali, but he does not follow his traditions and does not act upon his instructions, his claim will be definitely useless. Hence, you should fear Allah and work for the cause of obtaining that which He has in possession. There is no relation between Allah and anybody. The most favorable and honorable servants of Allah are the most fearing and pious.
O Jabir, the only means through which a servant seeks to gain Allah’s favor is obedience to Him. We –the Prophet’s Household- do not carry a patent for saving from Hell. Likewise, none of you has a claim against Allah. He who obeys Allah is only our disciple and whoever disobeys Him is our enemy. The loyalty to us cannot be gained except by means of diligent work and piety.
Addressing Fudayl, Imam al-Baqir said:
بَلِّغْ مَنْ لَقِيتَ مِنْ مَوَالِينَا عَنَّا السَّلأمَ وَقُلْ لَهُمْ: إنِّي لأ غْنِي عَنْكُمْ مِنَ اللهِ شَيْئاً إلأ بِوَرَعٍ. فَاحْفَظُوا ألْسِنَتَكُمْ وَكُفُّوا أيْدِيَكُمْ. وَعَلَيْكُمْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلأةِ، إنَّ اللهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ.
Send greetings to our friends and say: We cannot remove Allah’s chastisement unless you adopt piety. Therefore, hold your tongues, cease to commit any sin, be patient and perform prayer, for Allah is with the patient.
 Al-Kafi: 74/2, H 3.
 DaA'im al-Islam: 133/1.
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
مَعَاشِرَ الشِّيعَةِ! كُونُوا لَنَا زَيْناً وَلأ تَكُونُوا عَلَيْنَا شَيْناً. قُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْناً، وَاحْفَظُوا ألْسِنَتَكُمْ وَكُفُّوهَا عَنِ الْفُضُولِ وَقَبِيحِ الْقَوْلِ.
O Shi`ite community! Be an ornament for us! Do not do anything indecent! Speak to men good words! Hold your tongues! Avoid being talkative and using a foul language.
Imam al-Sadiq further says:
يَا بْنَ جُنْدَبٍ! بَلِّغْ شِيعَتَنَا وَقُلْ لَهُمْ: لأ تَذْهَبَنَّ بِكُمُ الْمَذَاهِبُ! فَوَاللهِ لأ تُنَالُ وِلأيَتُنَا إلأ بِالْوَرَعِ وَالإجْتِهَادِ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَمُوَاسَاةِ الإخْوَانِ فِي اللهِ. وَلَيْسَ مِنْ شِيعَتِنَا مَنْ يَظْلِمُ النَّاسَ.
O son of Jundab! Convey our message to our followers and say to them: Let not other trends mislead you, for, by Allah, our friendship cannot be attained save by piety and hard work in the world as well as sympathy with brothers-in-faith. One who oppresses people is not our follower.
Ahl al-Bayt say: Committing sins and indecent acts are features of our enemies. Our followers avoid such things. The Shi`ites are neither usurers nor usurpers; they are neither adulterers nor thieves; they are neither traitors nor breakers of promise; they are neither oppressors nor deniers of people’s rights; they are neither tormentors of their wives nor tormentors of their children, they neither break anyone’s heart nor slander people.
What Ahl al-Bayt taught people specially their followers were believing in Allah, giving people their due rights, practicing according to the Holy Qur’an, following the Holy Prophet, obeying his rightful successors and keeping away from all sins. Addressing Abd al-A¨im al-Hasani, Imam al-Rida has said:
أبْلِغْ عَنِّي أوْلِيَائِيَ السَّلأمَ وَقُلْ لَهُمْ أنْ لأ يَجْعَلُوا لِلشَّيْطَانِ عَلَى أنْفُسِهِمْ سَبِيلاً. وَمُرْهُمْ بِالصِّدْقِ فِي الْحَدِيثِ وَأدَاءِ الأمَانَةِ. وَمُرْهُمْ بِالسُّكُوتِ وَتَرْكِ الْجِدَالِ فِيمَا لأ يُعْنِيهِمْ وَإقْبَالِ بَعْضِهِمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَالْمُزَاوَرَةِ، فَإنَّ ذَلِكَ قُرْبَةٌ إلَيَّ، وَلأ يَشْغَلُوا أنْفُسَهُمْ بِتَمْزِيقِ بَعْضِهِمْ بَعْضاً.
 Al-Amali: 400, H 17.
 Tuhaf al-`Uqul: 303.
Convey my greetings to my friends and say to them: Expel Satan from yourselves. Be honest and truthful. Avoid idle talks and keep silent. Visit each other most often. By this, you can attain nearness to me. Avoid dispersion and don’t vex others.
Ahl al-Bayt have always warned their followers against committing sin and oppression, saying:
وَإيَّاكُمْ وَمَعَاصِيَ اللهِ أنْ تَرْكَبُوهَا، فَإنَّهُ مَنِ إنْتَهَكَ مَعَاصِيَ اللهِ فَرَكِبَهَا فَقَدْ أبْلَغَ فِي الإسَاءَةِ إلَى نَفْسِهِ.
Beware of sins, for whoever commits sin will be unjust to himself.
The only way to avoid loss and perdition is to follow Ahl al-Bayt which entails Allah’s pleasure, Ahl al-Bayt’s intercession as well as happiness in this world and the Hereafter.
In a letter to the Shi`ite community, Imam al-Sadiq has given important guidelines on ideological, moral and social issues as well as family life, peaceful coexistence in this world and issues related to the hereafter the excerpts of which are as follow:
وَاعْلَمُوا أنَّهُ لَيْسَ يُغْنِي عَنْكُمْ مِنَ اللهِ أحَدٌ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ شَيْئاً؛ لأ مَلَكٌ مُقَرَّبٌ وَلأ نَبِيٌّ مُرْسَلٌ وَلأ مَنْ دُونَ ذَلِكَ. فَمَنْ سَرَّهُ أنْ تَنْفَعَهُ شَفَاعَةُ الشَّافِعِينَ عِنْدَ اللهِ فَلْيَطْلُبْ إلَى اللهِ أنْ يَرْضَى عَنْهُ. وَاعْلَمُوا أنَّ أحَداً مِنْ خَلْقِ اللهِ لَمْ يُصِبْ رِضَا اللهِ إلأ بِطَاعَتِهِ وَطَاعَةِ رَسُولِهِ وَطَاعَةِ وُلأةِ أمْرِهِ مِنْ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِمْ. وَمَعْصِيَتُهُمْ مِنْ مَعْصِيَةِ اللهِ، وَلَمْ يُنْكِرْ لَهُمْ فَضْلاً عَظُمَ أوْ صَغُرَ.
Know that none of the Allah’s creatures including Archangels and Prophets can remove an iota of Allah’s punishment from you. Therefore, anyone who wishes to benefit from the Intercessors’ mediation should ask Allah to be pleased with him. Be it known to you that none of Allah’s creatures won His pleasure save by obedience to Him, His Messenger and the Imams from the Household of Prophet Muhammad. Disobedience to them is as disobedience to Allah; hence, their virtues should not be denied.
 Al-Ikhtisas: 247.
 Al-Kafi: 11/8, H 1.
# FOLLOWERS OF AHL AL-BAYT
Love For Ahl al-Bayt
We who are strongly in need of Allah’s mercy, favor and special attention must choose a path the final stage of which is Allah’s pleasure hence Paradise. In order to win Allah’s favor, we need mediation to find the truth. Based on Qur’anic verses, this mediation is love for Ahl al-Bayt and compliance with their teachings. In order to love Ahl al-Bayt, we should first get to know them. When we see their moral virtues and spiritual beauty we will automatically love them. This love makes human receive baptism of Allah and become like the Beloved One in all aspects. One must note that love and friendly relations will come about only when we get to know our Beloved. Even in metaphorical examples of love, one never falls in love unless he sees the beauty of the beloved.
When one loves, one will automatically do one’s best to comply with whatever the beloved wishes and will be baptized by the Beloved in a way that both the lover and the beloved become identical.
The Holy Prophet’s words “Salman is from us, Ahl al-Bayt” is the best proof. Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a valuable truth which Allah has determined as a reward for the mission of the Holy Prophet:
قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَى
Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives. (42:23)
Based on narrations related by Shi`ite scholars and others related by Sunni scholars, near relatives are Ahl al-Bayt. The important point in this Qur’anic verses is the word love intermingled with obedience.
Is it not surprising that Allah has not refereed to performing prayer, Hajj, fast, almsgiving and poor-rate as reward for the mission of the Holy Prophet but He has stipulated the word love in order to show the love for Ahl al-Bayt and obedience to them are above all other truths. Should there be no love for Ahl al-Bayt, there would be no virtues for the abovementioned acts.
The Holy Prophet is quoted as saying:
لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ أسَاسٌ، وَأسَاسُ الإسْلأمِ حُبُّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.
There is a basis for everything; and love for us, Ahl al-Bayt, is the basis of Islam.
Imam Ali has said: I heard Allah’s Messenger saying:
أنَا سَيِّدُ وُلْدِ آدَمَ. وَأنْتَ يَا عَلِيُّ وَالأئِمَّةُ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ سَادَةُ مَّتِي. مَنْ أحَبَّنَا فَقَدْ أحَبَّ اللهَ، وَمَنْ أبْغَضَنَا فَقَدْ أبْغَضَ اللهَ، وَمَنْ وَالأنَا فَقَدْ وَالَى اللهَ، وَمَنْ أطَاعَنَا فَقَدْ أطَاعَ اللهَ، وَمَنْ عَصَانَا فَقَدْ عَصَى اللهَ.
I am the master of Adam’s children and you, Ali, and the Imams after you are the masters of my ummah. Whoever loves us has loved Allah. Whoever is hostile to us has been hostile to Allah. Whoever obeys us has obeyed Allah and whoever disobey us has disobeyed Allah.
Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a gift which Allah bestows on the pure hearts of worthy people. Imam al-Baqir has said:
إنِّي لأعْلَمُ أنَّ هَذَا الْحُبَّ الَّذِي تُحِبُّونَنَا لَيْسَ بِشَيْءٍ صَنَعْتُمُوهُ؛ وَلَكِنَّ اللهَ صَنَعَهُ.
I know the reason why you love us. It is not something spontaneous; rather, it is a love made by Allah.
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
إنَّ حُبَّنَا يُنْزِلُهُ اللهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِنْ خَزَائِنَ تَحْتَ الْعَرْشِ كَخَزَائِنِ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ، وَلأ يُنْزِلُهُ إلأ بِقَدَرٍ، وَلأ يُعْطِيهِ إلأ خَيْرَ الْخَلْقِ. وَإنَّ لَهُ غَمَامَةً كَغَمَامَةِ الْقَطْرِ؛ فَإذَا أرَادَ اللهُ أنْ يَخُصَّ بِهِ مَنْ أحَبَّ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ أذِنَ لِتِلْكَ الْغَمَامَةِ فَتَهَطَّلَتْ كَمَا تَهَطَّلُ السَّحَابُ فَتُصِيبُ الْجَنِينَ فِي بَطْنِ مِّهِ.
Love for us is sent down by Allah from treasuries below His throne like treasuries of gold and silver. This love is sent down only with a certain extent to the best of people. It is like a cloud bringing rain with it. So, whenever Allah wills, He sends it down
 Al-Kafi: 46/2, H 2.
 Al-Amali: 476, H 16.
 Al-Mahasin: 149/1, H 62.
so as to come to an embryo in a mother’s womb.
Since love for Ahl al-Bayt is a heavenly gift and the gift is offered only to friends, love for them is a sign of Allah’s love for human.
Signs of Love For Ahl al-Bayt
Love for Ahl al-Bayt is not only a sign of Allah’s love for man but it is also a sign of other truths as follow:
First: Based on several narrations, love for Ahl al-Bayt is a proof of one’s noble birth. The Holy Prophet is quoted by Imam Ali as saying to Abu-Dharr:
يَا أبَا ذَرٍّ! مَنْ أحَبَّنَا ـ أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ ـ فَلْيَحْمِدِ اللهَ عَلَى أوَّلِ النِّعَمِ... طِيبِ الوِلأدَةِ. إنَّهُ لأ يُحِبُّنَا إلأ مَنْ طَابَ مَوْلِدُهُ.
Whoever loves us, Ahl al-Bayt, must thank Allah for the first blessing… Nobility of birth; for whoever loves us is of noble (i.e. legitimate) birth.
Imam al-Baqir has said:
مَنْ أصْبَحَ يَجِدُ بَرْدَ حُبِّنَا عَلَى قَلْبِهِ فَلْيَحْمِدِ اللهَ عَلَى بَادِئِ النِّعَمِ... طِيبِ الْمَوْلِدِ.
Whoever wakes up in the morning and feels the cool breeze of our love must thank Allah for the first blessing; purity and nobility of birth.
Second: Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a proof of purity of heart. Imam al-Sadiq says:
وَاللهِ وَاللهِ، لأ يُحِبُّنَا عَبْدٌ حَتَّى يُطَهِّرَ اللهُ قَلْبَهُ.
By Allah, none loves us unless those whose hearts have been purified by Allah.
Third: Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a sign of true belief and acceptance by Allah. Allah’s Messenger has said:
عَاهَدَنِي رَبِّي أنْ لأ يَقْبَلَ إيمَانَ عَبْدٍ إلأ بِمَحَبَّةِ أهْلِ بَيْتِي.
My Lord made a promise to me that He will not accept any of His servants’ belief without love for Ahl al-Bayt.
 Tuhaf al-`Uqul: 313.
 Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi: 455, H 1018.
 Al-Amali, 475, H 13.
 DaA'im al-Islam: 73/1.
 Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 204/1.
Amir al-Mu’minin has said:
إنَّهُ لَعَهْدُ النَّبِيِّ الأُمِّيِّ إلَيَّ أنَّهُ لأ يُحِبُّنِي إلأ مُؤْمِنٌ وَلأ يُبْغِضُنِي إلأ مُنَافِقٌ.
The Ummi Prophet expressly said to me that no one but a believer loves me and no one but a hypocrite harbors rancor against me.
He has also said:
لَوْ ضَرَبْتُ خَيْشُومَ الْمُؤْمِنِ بِسَيْفِي هَذَا عَلَى أنْ يُبْغِضَنِي مَا أبْغَضَنِي؛ وَلَوْ صَبَبْتُ الدُّنْيَا بِجَمَّاتِهَا عَلَى الْمُنَافِقِ عَلَى أنْ يُحِبَّنِي مَا أحَبَّنِي؛ وَذَلِكَ أنَّهُ قُضِيَ فَانْقَضَى عَلَى لِسَانِ النَّبِيِّ الأُمِّيِّ، صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ، أنَّهُ قَالَ: يَا عَلِيُّ! لأ يُبْغِضُكَ مُؤْمِنٌ وَلأ يُحِبُّكَ مُنَافِقٌ.
Even if I strike the nose of a believer with my sword to oblige him to hate me, he will never hate me; and even if I pile all the wealth of the world before a hypocrite to love me, he will never love me. This is because it is a verdict pronounced by the tongue of the Prophet—may Allah bless him and his descendants—as he said: O Ali, a believer will never hate you and a hypocrite will never love you.
Requirements of Love for Ahl al-Bayt
Ahl al-Bayt are not in need of superficial love; rather, they require love which has its medium with it so as to reveal its amazing signs. Here are some requirements of the love for Ahl al-Bayt:
1. Acting according to the decrees
One of the requirements of love for Ahl al-Bayt is that a lover should never stop endeavoring in the way of Allah by making Ahl al-Bayt’s behavior and deeds as models for his life. The Ahl al-Bayt have said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا فَلْيَعْمَلْ بِعَمَلِنَا.
Whoever loves us must do whatever we do.
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
إنَّمَا شِيعَةُ جَعْفَرٍ مَنْ عَفَّ بَطْنَهُ وَفَرْجَهُ وَعَمِلَ لِخَالِقِهِ وَرَجَا ثَوَابَهُ وَخَافَ عِقَابَهُ.
A partisan (ShiAh) of Ja`far is only he who guards his body and
 `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida: 60/2, Chapter: 31, H 235.
 Nahj al-Balaghah: 447, Saying: 45.
 Tuhaf al-`Uqul: 104.
desires from what is unlawful, endeavors for his creator, hopes for His reward, and fears His punishment.
2. Taking Ahl al-Bayt’s Friends As Friends (tawalli)
Amir al-Mu’minin has said:
فَإنْ كَانَ يُحِبُّ وَلِيَّنَا فَلَيْسَ بِمُبْغِضٍ لَنَا، وَإنْ كَانَ يُبْغِضُ وَلِيَّنَا فَلَيْسَ بِمُحِبٍّ لَنَا.
If he takes our friend as a friend, he is not our enemy; and if he is the enemy of our friend, he will not be our friend.
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
مَنْ تَوَلَّى مُحِبَّنَا فَقَدْ أحَبَّنَا.
One who loves our friend will be certainly our friend.
3. Disavowal of Ahl al-Bayt’s enemies (tabarri)
One of the requirements of love for Ahl al-Bayt is to take their enemies as enemy. Imam Ali has said:
فَمَنْ أحَبَّ أنْ يَعْلَمَ حَالَهُ فِي حُبِّنَا فَلْيَمْتَحِنْ قَلْبَهُ، فَإنْ وَجَدَ فِيهِ حُبَّ مَنْ ألَّبَ عَلَيْنَا فَلْيَعْلَمْ أنَّ اللهَ عَدُوُّهُ وَجِبْرِيلَ وَمِيكَائِيلَ، وَاللهُ عَدُوُّ الْكَافِرِينَ.
One who wishes to know whether he love us should test his heart. If he feels love in his heart for those who make people our enemy, then he must know that Allah, Gabriel and Michael are his enemies. After all, Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers.
He has also said:
فَإنْ شَارَكَهُ فِي حُبِّنَا حُبُّ عَدُوِّنَا فَلَيْسَ مِنَّا وَلَسْنَا مِنْهُ.
If one who loves us loves our enemies, he will certainly not belong to us nor do we belong to him.
4. Tribulation and Calamity
Nothing is more effective than tribulation and calamity for purifying a man and improving his character. Allah tests His devoted servants with tribulation, calamity, poverty, hunger, bereavement and other incidents so as to make them steadfast on patience, resistance, and endurance; hence, He paves the way for them to enter Paradise. The Holy Prophet, addressing
 Sifat al-ShiAh: 11.
 Al-Amali, 334, H 4.
 Al-MuqniAh: 485.
 Al-Amali: 148, H 243.
 Tafsir al-Qummi: 171/2.
Abu-Sa`id Khidri who was complaining from poverty, said:
إصْبِرْ! فَإنَّ الْفَقْرَ إلَى مَنْ يُحِبُّنِي مِنْكُمْ أسْرَعُ مِنَ السَّيْلِ عَلَى أعْلَى الْوَادِي وَمِنْ أعْلَى الْجَبَلِ إلَى أسْفَلِهِ.
Be patient, for poverty rushes toward those who love me with a speed more hasty than that of a flood coming down from the peak of a mountain.
Abu-Dharr expressed his love for the Holy Prophet who replied:
اللهَ اللهَ! فَأعِدَّ لِلْفَقْرِ تِجْفَافاً، فَإنَّ الْفَقْرَ أسْرَعُ إلَى مَنْ يُحِبُّنَا مِنَ السَّيْلِ مِنْ أعْلَى الأكَمَةِ إلَى أسْفَلِهَا.
If so, then prepare yourself a cover for indigence! Indigence comes to one who loves us with a speed more hasty than that of a flood coming down from the peak of a hill.
A narration reads: One day, Allah’s Messenger came across a man of Ansar who said, “May my parents be your ransom, O Allah’s Messenger! The expression I see in you visage makes me sad. What is the story?” Looking at the man’s face, the Holy Prophet said, “It is Hunger!” Hearing this, the man became restless; he rushed to his house to find something and bring it for the Holy Prophet, but he could not. So, he rushed to Banu-Quray¨ah to draw water from well and receive dates as wage. After collecting the dates, he came to the Holy Prophet, placing the dates politely in front of him, and asked him to eat. Allah’s Messenger asked, “Where did you get these dates from?” The man told him the whole story. The Holy Prophet said, “I suppose that you love Allah and His Messenger.” The man said, “I truly do. I swear it by Him Who appointed you as Prophet with the truth; I love you more than my children, my family and all my wealth.” Addressing the man, the Holy Prophet said, “If so, then prepare yourself for indigence, patience, and a cover for tribulation. Verily, by Allah Who appointed me as Prophet, poverty and tribulation come to one who loves me with a speed more hasty than a flood coming down from the top of mountain.
 Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 85/4.
 Al-Mustadrak: 367/4.
Imam Ali has said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ فَلْيَسْتَعِدَّ عِدَّةً لِلْبَلأءِ.
One who loves us must prepare himself for tribulation.
Imam al-Baqir visiting Muhammad ibn Muslim
Muhammad ibn Muslim, one of the best companions of Imam al-Baqir, narrates: Although I did not feel well, I traveled to Medina. When Imam al-Baqir was informed of my arrival, he sent me a bowl of syrup through his servant who said, “Drink this, for the Imam has told me not to return before you drink of it.” I drank from that syrup which was scented with musk. By drinking it, I rose up and did not feel sick anymore. So I decided to go and see the Imam, “May you be healthy, come in, come in.” I entered the room, greeted the Imam and kissed his hands and head. He asked, “Why are you crying?” I replied, “May I be your ransom. I cry because of being away from my home, the journey to the Hereafter, indigence and the fact that I cannot stay with you.” The Imam said, “As for indigence, Allah has decreed it for our friends. Tribulation and calamity rush towards them. As for being away from home, set Imam Husayn who is in a faraway land near the Euphrates as an example. As for the journey to the Hereafter, know that a believer is always lonely in this world until he will depart to the land of Allah’s mercy. As for saying that you love to stay with us, know that Allah is aware of what is in your heart and He will reward you for it.
5. Mutual Love
It is noteworthy that man’s love for Ahl al-Bayt will lead to their love for him too. Even if love for Ahl al-Bayt has no other blessing, it will cause their love for him. So which asset is more valuable than this? Imam al-Sadiq has reported: One day, my father and I entered the Prophet’s Mosque. He was passing by groups of people but he paid no attention to them until he stood near a few persons saying, “By Allah, I love your good scent and your souls.” They were ShiAh.
Ahl al-Bayt’s love for their devotees is to the extent that if one ignores the devotee of Ahl al-Bayt, he will be ignored by them.
 Al-Gharat: 401/2
 Al-Ikhtisas: 52.
 Al-Amali, 722, H 522.
In a gathering, Imam al-Sadiq said, “Why do you make light of us?” A man from Khorasan said, “We seek refuge to Allah from making light of you.” The Imam said, “You are one of those who made light of us. Did you not hear such and such man who asked you to give a ride but you ignored him? By Allah, You made light of him. So anyone who makes light of a believer has disrespected Allah.”
6. Love for Ahl al-Bayt eases agony of Death
One of the hard moments in human life is when man is at the point of death. At this stage, all veils are removed before his eyes. Based on his beliefs and morality, man sees truths which can be painful or joyful. Man becomes happy when he sees the result of his love for Ahl al-Bayt.
Abdullah ibn Walid says: Under Marwan’s rule, I went to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq who asked me about my identity. I said, “I am a man from Kufah.” The Imam said:
مَا مِنْ بَلْدَةٍ مِنَ الْبُلْدَانِ أكْثَرُ مُحِبّاً لَنَا مِنْ أهْلِ الْكُوفَةِ وَلأ سِيَّمَا هَذِهِ الْعِصَابَةِ. إنَّ اللهَ جَلَّ ذِكْرُهُ هَدَاكُمْ لأِمْرٍ جَهِلَهُ النَّاسُ، وَأحْبَبْتُمُونَا وَأبْغَضَنَا النَّاسُ، وَاتَّبَعْتُمُونَا وَخَالَفَنَا النَّاسُ، وَصَدَّقْتُمُونَا وَكَذَّبَنَا النَّاسُ، فَأحْيَاكُمُ اللهُ مَحْيَانَا وَأمَاتَكُمْ مَمَاتَنَا. فَأشْهَدُ عَلَى أبِي أنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ: مَا بَيْنَ أحَدِكُمْ وَبَيْنَ أنْ يَرَى مَا يُقِرُّ اللهُ بِهِ عَيْنَهُ وَأنْ يَغْتَبِطَ إلأ أنْ تَبْلُغَ نَفْسُهُ هَذِهِ ـ وَأهْوَى بِيَدِهِ إلَى حَلْقِهِ.
People of no city are fond of us as the people of Kufah, especially this Shi`ite group. Allah has guided you to a truth of which other people are unaware. That is why you befriended us and others harbored our enmity. You confirmed us and others denied us. May Allah make your living and death like those of us. I bear witness that my father said: There is no distance between one you and the source of delight and the envied but the soul’s reaching the throat.
In a narration, the Holy Prophet describes the moment a believer dies and enters the Hereafter as such:
The Angel of Death says to the believer, “Look above your head.” Then he will see stages of Paradise and the castles the worldly people cannot comprehend. The Angel of Death will say, “These
 Al-Kafi: 89/8, H 73.
 Al-Kafi: 81/8, H 38.
are the blessings, wealth, your dependents and your worthy issues who will be with you. Are you pleased with Allah’s favor instead of what you leave in this world?” The believer will say, “Yes, by Allah.” Then the Angel of Death will say, “Look.” And the believer will look and see Muhammad, Ali and the purified ones of the Household of Muhammad and Ali in the uppermost of heaven. The Angel of Death will say, “Can you see them? They are your masters and Imams who are your companions. Are you pleased with them instead of being separated from the world?” The believer will say, “Yes, by my Lord.”
Evidently it is in this state that man considers leaving this world and departing to the Hereafter as something pleasant and never wishes to come back to this world. Some other truths which the devotees of Ahl al-Bayt will see at the moment of death are the angels of mercy who convey Allah’s good tidings and His greeting to them:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ (30) نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ (31) نُزُلًا مِّنْ غَفُورٍ رَّحِيمٍ (32)
As for those who say: Our Lord is Allah, then continue in the right way, the angels descend upon them, saying: fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden which you were promised. We are your guardians in this world’s life and in the hereafter, and you shall have therein what your souls derive and you shall have therein what you ask for: A provision from the Forgiving, the Merciful. (41:30-32)
Being at the point of death, Abu-Dharr who had lost his endurance asked his daughter to search for water and food in the desert, for he was starving! Because he was a devotee of Ahl al-Bayt, he had been banished to the desert of Rabadhah by the tyrannical rule. He had been deprived of everything but since he loved Ahl al-Bayt, he tolerated all the calamities and hardships. When his daughter came back empty-handed, she said to her father, “I could not find any water nor any food.” Finding him in the agony of death, she put his head on the lap and listened to his words, “Unto Him is Peace, upon Him is peace, He is peace, through Him is peace and from Him is peace.” She asked, “O father; none is here.” Abu-Dharr
 Tafsir al-Imam al-Askari: 239, H 117.
said, “My daughter, the Angel of Death is here saying, “Allah has said: salute Abu-Dharr before taking his life: Peace: a word from a Merciful Lord. (36:58) I am greeting back the salutation of my Beloved!
Truly one who loves Ali and his Household will be loved not only by them but also by Allah.
7. Presence of Ahl al-Bayt at the point of death
One of the horrible moments in a human life is when he parts everything. With the arrival of the Angel of Death beside death bed, man feels the bitter experience of being away from home; but for a devotee of Ahl al-Bayt, the situation is quite different, for he will see his guardians and an indescribable joy overwhelms him.
Imam al-Sadiq was asked, “Is a believer displeased when his soul is taken?” The Imam said, “By Allah, a believer is restlessly waiting for the Angel of Death to come and to take his soul. The Angel of Death will say: ‘O friend of Allah! Be patient. I swear by Him Who appointed Muhammad as a Prophet, I am more compassionate to you than your father. Open your eyes and see the Prophet, Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and the Imams before you.’ Then the believer opens his eyes and will see Ahl al-Bayt.”
8. Immunity from Chastisement
A man who is immune from pollutions and evil acts due to his love for Ahl al-Bayt in this world and is immune from fear and sorrow at the point of death will certainly be immune from chastisement on the Judgment Day. The Holy Prophet is reported as saying:
فَيُوحِي اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إلَيْهَا: يَا فَاطِمَةُ! سَلِينِي عْطِكِ، وَتَمَنَّيْ عَلَيَّ رْضِكِ. فَتَقُولُ: إلَهِي! أسْألُكَ أنْ لأ تُعَذِّبَ مُحِبِّيَّ وَمُحِبِّي عِتْرَتِي بِالنَّارِ. فَيُوحِي اللهُ إلَيْهَا: يَا فَاطِمَةُ! وَعِزَّتِي وَجَلألِي وَارْتِفَاعِ مَكَانِي، لَقَدْ آلَيْتُ عَلَى نَفْسِي مِنْ قَبْلِ أنْ أخْلُقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضَ بِألْفَيْ عَامٍ أنْ لأ عَذِّبَ مُحِبِّيكِ وَمُحِبِّي عِتْرَتِكِ بِالنَّارِ.
On the Judgment Day, Allah addresses Lady Fatimah as such: ‘O Fatimah! Ask me and I will grant to you, and wish something and I will make you pleased.’ Lady Fatimah will say: ‘I ask You not to punish the devotees of me and my progeny with fire.’ Allah will say: ‘O Fatimah! By My honor, glory and grandeur I took an oath on Myself two thousand years before the creation of heavens and the earth that I would not punish the devotees of you and your progeny with the fire.’
 Al-Kafi: 127/3, H 2.
 Interpretation of Manifest Verses: 474.
Bilal ibn Hamamah reports: One day, the Holy Prophet was coming to us happily. Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf asked, “O Allah’s Messenger; what is the cause of your being happy?” The Holy Prophet said, “A good news has come to me from my Lord: When Allah willed to give Fatimah to Ali in marriage, He ordered an angel to shake the tree of Tuba whereby written leaves were spread. Allah ordered angels to collect those leaves. When the Judgment Day will come, this angel will look for the devotees of Ahl al-Bayt to give them one of these leaves with the following inscription on it: This is a letter of respite from Hellfire by my brother, my cousin and my daughter for the safety of men and women among my ummah from fire.”
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
وَاللهِ، لأ يَمُوتُ عَبْدٌ يُحِبُّ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَوَلَّى الأئِمَّةَ فَتَمَسُّهُ النَّارُ.
By Allah (I swear), every servant who loves Allah and His Messenger and accepts the leadership of the Imams and then dies, Hellfire will not touch him.
One of the results of love for Ahl al-Bayt and following them is immunity from Hellfire on the Judgment Day.
The Holy Prophet has said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ حَشَرَهُ اللهُ تَعَالَى آمِناً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.
As for one who loves us—the Ahl al-Bayt, Allah will make him to associate with us on the Judgment Day.
9. Passing The Sirat
Immunity from sliding on the Sirat is a result of loving Ahl al-Bayt. The Holy Prophet has said:
أثْبَتُكُمْ قَدَماً عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ أشَدُّكُمْ حُبّاً لأِهْلِ بَيْتِي.
The most steadfast of you on the Sirat is one who loves more my Ahl al-Bayt.
He has also said:
مَا أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ أحَدٌ فَزَلَّتْ بِهِ قَدَمٌ إلأ ثَبَّتَتْهُ قَدَمٌ خْرَى، حَتَّى يُنْجِيَهُ اللهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.
 Yanabi` al-Mawaddah: 460/2.
 Rijal al-Najashi: 39.
 `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida: 88/2, Chapter: 31, H 220.
 Fada'il al-ShiAh: 6, H 3.
Everyone who loves Ahl al-Bayt, even if one of his feet slides, another foot will keep him steadfast and firm until Allah will save him on the Judgment Day.
10. Ahl al-Bayt and Forgiveness
Love in human being is an actuating motor which motivates him to go forwards to his Beloved. This love compels him to purify himself from all pollutions, repent and turn to all moral virtues. If we read in narrations that love for Ahl al-Bayt will lead to forgiveness of our sins, we should not have the impression that it will give us permission to commit sins. If our love for Ahl al-Bayt be true, it will give us the ability to purify ourselves.
Al-Hurr ibn Yazid al-Riyahi, with a moment of reflection, loved Imam Husayn. This love made him give up his high-rank position and the worldly riches. He repented a true repentance so that his sins were forgiven and he was engaged in jihad, the most praiseworthy deed, and experienced the most sacred truth, that is martyrdom. This is only the result of love! Based on this reality, Allah’s Messenger said:
حُبُّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ يُكَفِّرُ الذُّنُوبَ وَيُضَاعِفُ الْحَسَنَاتِ.
Love for Ahl al-Bayt will remove all sins and increase virtues.
Imam Hasan has said:
وَإنَّ حُبَّنَا لَيُسَاقِطُ الذُّنُوبَ مِنِ إبْنِ آدَمَ كَمَا يُسَاقِطُ الرِّيحُ الْوَرَقَ مِنَ الشَّجَرِ.
Surely, love for us will make sins fall down from the children of Adam as the wind make the leaves fall down from trees.
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا للهِ وَأحَبَّ مُحِبَّنَا لأ لِغَرَضِ دُنْياً يُصِيبُهَا مِنْهُ وَعَادَى عَدُوَّنَا لأ لإحْنَةٍ كَانَتْ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهُ ثُمَّ جَاءَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَعَلَيْهِ مِنَ الذُّنُوبِ مِثْلَ رَمْلِ عَالِجٍ وَزَبَدِ الْبَحْرِ غَفَرَ اللهُ تَعَالَى لَهُ.
Whoever loves us and our devotees for the sake of Allah, but not for a worldly purpose, and antagonizes our enemy, not because of personal rancor, his sins will be forgiven on the Judgment Day even if they are as many as the sands of a desert and foams of seas.
 Al-Amali: 164, H 274.
 Al-Ikhtisas: 82.
 Al-Amali 156, H 259.
11. Associating with Ahl al-Bayt
Shi`ites who have received the baptism of Ahl al-Bayt due to their love for them expect to be associated with Ahl al-Bayt on the Judgment Day. This truth is supported by the Holy Qur’an:
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاء وَالصَّالِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقًا (69)
And whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, these are with those upon whom Allah and the Apostle, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company are they! (4:69)
Imam al-Rida is reported as saying:
حَقٌّ عَلَى اللهِ أنْ يَجْعَلَ وَلِيَّنَا رَفِيقاً لِلنَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ، وَحَسُنَ ولَئِكَ رَفِيقاً.
It is up to Allah to make our friend associate with the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous. What a goodly company are they!
The Holy Prophet has said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ فِي اللهِ حُشِرَ مَعَنَا.
One who loves us for the sake of Allah will be associated with us.
Abu-Dharr went to the presence of the Holy Prophet saying, “I love certain people but I do not like them practically.” The Holy Prophet said, “Man will associate with one whom he loves.” Abu-Dharr said, “I love Allah, His messenger, and his Ahl al-Bayt.” The Holy Prophet said,
الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أحَبَّ.
“You will associate with one whom you love.”
Imam Husayn has said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا للهِ وَرَدْنَا نَحْنُ وَهُوَ عَلَى نَبِيِّنَا هَكَذَا ـ وَضَمَّ إصْبِعَيْهِ.
Whoever loves us for the sake of Allah; we will meet the Prophets together.
 Tafsir al-Ayyashi: 256/1, H 189.
 Kifayat al-Athar: 300
 Al-Amali 632, H 1303.
Yazid ibn MuAwiyah has reported: I was in the presence of Imam al-Baqir when a man who had come from Khorasan on foot entered the room. Showing blisters on his feet, the man said, “By Allah, nothing but love for Ahl al-Bayt has brought me here.” The Imam said,
وَاللهِ، لَوْ أحَبَّنَا حَجَرٌ حَشَرَهُ اللهُ مَعَنَا.
“By Allah, even if a stone love us, Allah will make it associate with us.”
Hakam ibn `Utaybah has reported: I was in the presence of Imam al-Baqir while the room was packed with people. All at once, an old man with a walking-stick in his hand entered the room saying, “Peace be upon you, O son of Allah’s Messenger, and the Mercy of Allah and His blessings.” He said nothing more. The Imam greeted him back. Addressing the crowd, the old man said, “Peace be upon you.” He kept silent. Those who were present greeted him back. Then the old man turned to the Imam and said, “By Allah, I do love you and love your devotees. By Allah, I love you not for a worldly purpose but my love is pure. By Allah, I hate your enemies. By Allah my hate is not because of a personal rancor. By Allah, what is lawful to you is lawful for me and what is unlawful to you is unlawful to me. Now, may I be your ransom. Is there any hope of salvation for me?” The Imam said, “Come near, come near.” The Imam made the old man sit beside him. He then said, “O gentleman! A man came to my father, Ali ibn al-Husayn asking the same question. My father replied: ‘If you die, you will meet Allah’s Messenger, Ali, Hasan and Husayn and Ali ibn al-Husayn. Your heart will become glad and your eye bright. When your death comes, you will welcome it happily with the honorable recorders; and if you survive, Allah will make you with us in the highest rank.’”
Hearing this, the old man started crying loudly which made those present cry too. At this moment, the Imam wiped the tears off the old man’s face. Addressing the Imam, the old man said, “O son Of Allah’s Messenger! May I be your ransom. Give me your hand.” The old man kissed the Imam’s hand, put it on his eyes, bid him farewell and went away.
The Imam who was looking behind him turned to the crowd and said, “Anyone who wishes to see a man of Paradise should look at this man.”
 Tafsir al-Ayyashi; 167/1, H 27.
 Al-Kafi: 76/8, H 30.
12. Paradise, Reward of Love For Ahl al-Bayt
Love for Ahl al-Bayt, which is a heavenly gift, is to act according to Ahl al-Bayt’s teachings. The reward of such will be Paradise.
In an excellent narration, Imam al-Sadiq is reported as saying: When the Holy Prophet was traveling, he dismounted and performed five prostrations. When he mounted again, one of the companions asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! We notice something which you did for the first time.” The Holy Prophet said, “Yes, Gabriel came to me and gave the good news: Ali is a man of Paradise; that is why I prostrated before Allah. When I raised my head, he said: Fatimah too is among the people of Paradise; that is why I prostrated, and when I raised my head he said: Hasan and Husayn are the leaders of the youths of Paradise; that is why I prostrated before Allah, and when I raised my head, he said that the devotees of them too are people of Paradise. That was why I prostrated myself. When I raised my head, he said that the devotees of their devotees too are people of Paradise. I again prostrated myself before Allah.”
Imam Zayn al-Abidin once became ill. A group of companions came to visit him asking after his health. He thanked Allah and asked after their health. They all said, “By Allah, we love you.” The Imam said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا للهِ أسْكَنَهُ اللهُ فِي ظِلٍّ ظَلِيلٍ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، يَوْمَ لأ ظِلَّ إلأ ظِلُّهُ.
Whoever loves us for the sake of Allah will be placed by Allah under a shade on the Judgment Day when there is no shade save that of Him.
Yunus said to Imam al-Sadiq, “My love and friendship for you and the way Allah made me know your rightly is more beloved to me than the whole world.” When he finished, the sign of vexation was seen in the face of the Imam who said,
يَا يُونُسُ! قِسْتَنَا بِغَيْرِ قِيَاسٍ. مَا الدُّنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا؟ هَلْ هِيَ إلأ سَدُّ فَوْرَةٍ أوْ سِتْرُ عَوْرَةٍ؟ وَأنْتَ لَكَ بِمَحَبَّتِنَا الْحَيَاةُ الدَّائِمَةُ.
“O Yunus! You made an improper comparison. What is the world and what is therein? Is it anything but eating to full or covering the private parts while you will attain eternal life by love for us?”
 Al-Amali: 21, H 2.
 Tuhaf al-`Uqul: 379.
Truly, love for Ahl al-Bayt is source of eternal life which begins with a happy death and continues until eternity:
ألأ وَمَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ بَشَّرَهُ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ بِالْجَنَّةِ، ثُمَّ مُنْكَرٌ وَنَكِيرٌ. ألأ وَمَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ يُزَفُّ إلَى الْجَنَّةِ كَمَا تُزَفُّ الْعَرُوسُ إلَى بَيْتِ زَوْجِهَا.
Whoever dies with love for the Household of Muhammad will be given the good news of entering Paradise by first the Angel of Death and then by Munkar and Nakir (Two grave-interrogating angels). Whoever dies with the love of the household of Muhammad will be taken to heaven just as a bride is taken to the bridegroom’s house.
Keep Company With Ahl al-Bayt
Muhammad ibn Walid says: I asked Imam al-Jawad, “Is there any reward for doing a service for Ahl al-Bayt?” The Imam said, “Imam al-Sadiq had a slave who used to look after his mule when the Imam would the mosque. One day, he was sitting beside the mule when a group of people came from Khorasan. A man from among them said to the slave, “Can you tell Imam al-Sadiq to replace you with me and in exchange for this I will give all my wealth to you?” The slave said, “I should first consult with the Imam.” The slave came to the Imam saying, “May I be your ransom. You know about my long service to you. Do you prevent me from having a wealth if Allah gives such a wealth to me?” The Imam said, “I will give to you of my wealth and keep you from others.” The slave told the Imam the whole story. The Imam said, “If you are reluctant to serve us and that man is willing to do so, we will accept it.” When the slave went away, the Imam called him saying, “For your long services, I will advise you and then you can choose between the two. When the Judgment Day comes, the Holy Prophet will be hanging from Allah’s light and Amir al-Mu’minin will resort to Allah’s Messenger; the Imams will resort to Amir al-Mu’minin; and our followers (ShiAh) will resort to us; they will enter where we will enter; and they will abide where we will abide.” The slave said, “No, I will not leave you but remain at your service, for I prefer the Hereafter to this world.”
The salve came out of the house with his answer. The man who was waiting for the slave said, “You have come back with an expression in your face different from that you went in!” The slave told him the story and took him to Imam al-Sadiq who accepted his loyalty and ordered one thousand Dinars to be given to the slave. After a while, the man rose up to bid the Imam farewell. He asked him to pray for him and the Imam did.”
 Bisharat al-Mustafa: 197.
 Al-Khara'ij wa’l-Jara'ih: 388/1, Chapter: 10.
13. Love For Ahl al-Bayt Puts Hearts at Rest
Love for Ahl al-Bayt not only resolves difficulties at the point of death and the Hereafter but also relieves worldly problems. One of the blessings of the love for Ahl al-Bayt is that it puts the hearts at rest which is a blessing for the man who lives in this world of anxiety and restlessness. Imam Ali says:
إنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ لَمَّا نَزَلَتْ هَذِهِ الآيَةُ اللّهِ( أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ) قَالَ: مَنْ أحَبَّ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَأحَبَّ أهْلَ بَيْتِي صَادِقاً غَيْرَ كَاذِبٍ وَأحَبَّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ شَاهِداً وَغَائِباً، ألأ بِذِكْرِ اللهِ يَتَحَابُّونَ.
When the verse ‘now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest” was revealed, Allah’s Messenger said: This is about one who loves Allah and His Messenger, loves my Ahl al-Bayt truly not falsely, loves believers both in the past and in the future. By Allah’s remembrance they love one another.
Truly one whose love for Allah, the Holy Prophet, Ahl al-Bayt and the believers is true has tranquility and peace of mind. Traitors, thieves, oppressors, usurpers, bribe-takers, usurers, ogles, adulterers, corrupts, defrauders, deceivers, and sinners can never enjoy peace of mind and tranquility. However, the lovers of Ahl al-Bayt who are clean from all these pollutions enjoy peace of mind and their hearts are set at rest.
Imam al-Sadiq reports: The Holy Prophet asked Ali, “Do you know about whom the following verse was revealed: those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts at rest? Imam Ali replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” The Holy Prophet said,
(نَزَلَتْ) فِي مَنْ صَدَّقَ لِي وَآمَنَ بِي وَأحَبَّكَ وَعَشِيرَتَكَ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ وَسَلَّمَ الأمْرَ لَكَ وَلِلأئِمَّةِ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ.
“It is about one who acknowledges me, believes in me, loves you and your family, and submits his affairs to you and the Imams after you.”
Anas ibn Malik, an authentic narrator for Sunnis, says: the Holy Prophet recited the above-mentioned verse; saying, “Do you know who these people are?” I said, “O Allah’s Messenger, who are they?” The Holy Prophet said, “We are Ahl al-Bayt and our followers.”
 Al-Durr al-Manthur: 642/4.
 Tafsir Furat: 207, H 274.
# Resort to Ahl al-Bayt
When a devotee of and obedient to Ahl al-Bayt faces a difficulty which external factors fail to resolve, it will be certainly resolved if he truthfully beseeches Ahl al-Bayt to intercede for him with Allah.
Holding Mourning Sessions For Ahl al-Bayt
One of the subjects highlighted by Ahl al-Bayt is to hold sessions for propagating their life-giving culture and commemorating the tragic events they went through, especially that of Karbala'. After the martyrdom of Imam Husayn in Karbala', the Shi`ites, encouraged by Ahl al-Bayt, have tried to hold mourning ceremonies whereby to teach people the Qur’anic concepts, narrations, true sciences of Islam and injunctions related to jurisprudence and to hold the torch of guidance with the help of Allah.
Many mosques, schools, charity institutes, interest-free funds and orphanages have been established thanks to these sessions by the devotees of Ahl al-Bayt. Millions of people have enjoyed the blessings of such institutions.
Addressing Fudayl ibn Yasar, Imam al-Sadiq asked, “Will you get together and talk about us?” I said, “Yes.” The Imam said,
إنَّ تِلْكَ الْمَجَالِسَ حِبُّهَا. أحْيُوا أمْرَنَا، فَرَحِمَ اللهُ مَنْ أحْيَا أمْرَنَا.
“I am fond of these assemblies. Enliven our affair with them. May the mercy of Allah be upon one who enlivens our affair.”
Imam al-Baqir has said:
رَحِمَ اللهُ عَبْداً إجْتَمَعَ مَعَ آخَرَ فَتَذَاكَرَ أمْرَنَا، فَإنَّ ثَالِثَهُمَا مَلَكٌ يَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُمَا. وَمَا إجْتَمَعَ إثْنَانِ عَلَى ذِكْرِنَا إلأ بَاهَى اللهُ بِهِمَا الْمَلأئِكَةَ، فَإذَا اجْتَمَعْتُمْ فَاشْتَغِلُوا بِالذِّكْرِ، فَإنَّ فِي إجْتِمَاعِكُمْ وَمُذَاكَرَتِكُمْ إحْيَاءَنَا.
May Allah have mercy on a person who sits with another and speaks about our traditions. When two persons speak about our affair, the third of them will be an angel who will pray forgiveness for them. When two persons get together and commemorate us, Allah will be proud of them before angels. When you get together, be engaged in commemorating us, for in this way you will enliven us.
 Qurb al-Isnad: 18.
 Al-Amali: 224, H 390.
Imam al-Rida has said:
مَنْ جَلَسَ مَجْلِساً يُحْيِي فِيهِ أمْرَنَا لَمْ يَمُتْ قَلْبُهُ يَوْمَ تَمُوتُ الْقُلُوبُ.
Whoever sits in an assembly where our affair is enlivened, his heart will not die when all hearts die.
 `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida: 294/14, Chapter: 28, H 48.
# Weeping For Ahl al-Bayt
Weeping is a state coming about when man faces a certain event. We weep when our hearts are broken or we weep for joy, sometimes. Weeping is a truth that the Prophets, Imams and Allah’s favorite servants were involved in especially at dawns when they were engaged in supplications and invocations. It was considered as cure for some esoteric pains such as separation. Allah’s favorite servants relieved their afflicted and grieved hearts with it. Today, weeping is considered in the West as treatment for curing certain psychological cases and psychologists prescribe it.
Allah mentions weeping as a sign of true believers:
وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَى أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُواْ مِنَ الْحَقِّ
And when they hear what has been revealed to the apostle, you will see their eyes overflowing with tears on account of the truth. (5:83)
There are many narrations about weeping for fear of Allah at midnights and dawns as related by Ahl al-Bayt which can be collected in a book.
Amir al-Mu’minin, in the supplication of Kumayl, says:
يَا إِلَهِي وَرَبِّي وَسَيِّدِي وَمَوْلاي! لأيِّ الأُمُورِ إِلَيْكَ أشْكُو؟ وَلِمَا مِنْهَا أضِجُّ وَأبْكِي؟ لألِيمِ الْعَذَابِ وَشِدَّتِهِ؟ أمْ لِطُولِ الْبَلاءِ وَمُدَّتِهِ؟
My God! My Lord! My Master! My Protector! For which things would I complain to You, and for which of them would I lament and weep? Is it for the pain and severity of chastisement or for the length and period of tribulation?
In DuA’ Abi-Hamzah Thamali, Imam Zayn al-Abidin says:
فَمَا لِي لا أبْكِي؟ أبْكِي لِخُُروجِ نَفْسي، أبْكي لِظُلْمَةِ قَبْري، أبْكي لِضيقِ لَحَدي، أبْكي لِسُؤالِ مُنْكَر وَنَكير إِيّايَ، أبْكي لِخُرُوجي مِنْ قَبْري عُرْياناً ذَليلاً حامِلاً ثِقْلي عَلى ظَهْري.
Why should I not cry? I am sad on account of my departing soul. I cry in fear of the darkness of the grave. I cry in dread of the narrowing walls inside the dugout hole. I cry in awe of the questioning Munkar and Nakir would direct at me. I cry over my plight when I will come out naked, in shame, from my grave, loaded with burden on my back.
One of the instances of weeping is to weep for the calamities which have befallen Ahl al-Bayt especially the master of the martyrs, Imam Husayn, which is considered as a prayer and has a great reward. It is a cure for mental disturbances, preparation for repentance, and a cause of Allah’s mercy.
In an authentic narration, Imam al-Ri¤a has said:
مَنْ تَذَكَّرَ مُصَابَنَا وَبَكَى لِمَا ارْتُكِبَ مِنَّا كَانَ مَعَنَا فِي دَرَجَاتِنَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ. وَمَنْ ذُكِّرَ بِمُصَابِنَا فَبَكَى وَأبْكَى لَمْ تَبْكِ عَيْنُهُ يَوْمَ تَبْكِي الْعُيُونُ.
One who remembers our calamities and weeps for what has befallen us will have the same rank with us on the Judgment Day. And one who reads our calamities and weeps or makes others weep will not weep when all eyes are full of tears.
Addressing Musmi`, Imam al-Sadiq said, “You are from Iraq. Have you visited the grave of Imam Husayn?” Musmi` said, “There are many enemies of Ahl al-Bayt in Basrah. I fear they will report me to the rulers hence being persecuted.” The Imam said, “Do you ever remember what was done to Husayn?” Musmi` said, “Yes, I do.” The Imam said, “Do you lament?” Musmi` said, “Yes. By Allah, I lament in a way my family see its signs on my face. In that state, I can’t eat.” The Imam said, “May Allah have mercy on you for your lamentation. You are one of those who will be happy when we are happy and you will be sad when we are sad. Beyond doubt you will meet my forefathers when you will die. You will be recommended to the Angel of Death; you will be given news about something delightful before you die and the Angel of Death will be more kind to you than your mother.”
Addressing Imam Husayn, Imam Ali said:
- You are a lesson (of weeping) for every believer!
- Am I, father?
- Yes, my son.
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
مَنْ ذَكَرَنَا أوْ ذُكِرْنَا عِنْدَهُ فَخَرَجَ مِنْ عَيْنِهِ دَمْعٌ مِثْلُ جَنَاحِ بَعُوضَةٍ غَفَرَ اللهُ لَهُ ذُنُوبَهُ وَلَوْ كَانَتْ مِثْلَ زَبَدِ الْبَحْرِ.
Whoever remembers us and weeps, Allah will forgive his sins even if they are as much as foam of sea.
 Al-Amali: 73, H 4.
 Kamil al-Ziyarat: 101, Chapter: 32, H 6.
 Tafsir al-Qummi: 292/2.
Imam al-Sadiq has also said:
نَفَسُ الْمَهْمُومِ لِظُلْمِنَا تَسْبِيحٌ، وَهَمُّهُ لَنَا عِبَادَةٌ، وَكِتْمَانُ سِرِّنَا جِهَادٌ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ… يَجِبُ أنْ يُكْتَبَ هَذَا الْحَدِيثُ بِالذَّهَبِ.
A moment of sorrow for the injustice done to us is like the glorification of Allah. Sorrowing over us is as prayer and hiding our secrets is considered as holy war. These words should be written with gold.
Imam al-Sadiq has been reported by Harun Makfuf (the blind) as having said:
وَمَنْ ذُكِرَ الْحُسَيْنُ عِنْدَهُ فَخَرَجَ مِنْ عَيْنَيْهِ مِنَ الدُّمُوعِ مِقْدَارَ جَنَاحِ ذُبَابٍ كَانَ ثَوَابُهُ عَلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَلَمْ يَرْضَ لَهُ بِدُونِ الْجَنَّةِ.
One who remembers Husayn and weeps for him will be rewarded; and Allah is not content with anything less than Paradise for him.
Imam al-Ri¤a has said:
فَعَلَى مِثْلِ الْحُسَيْنِ فَلْيَبْكِ الْبَاكُونَ، فَإنَّ الْبُكَاءَ عَلَيْهِ يَحُطُّ الذُّنُوبَ الْعِظَامَ.
Weeper should lament over Husayn, for weeping for him will do away with sins.
Addressing Ibn Shabib, Imam al-Ri¤a has said:
إنْ كُنْتَ بَاكِياً لِشَيْءٍ فَابْكِ لِلْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أبِي طَالِبٍ. بَكَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالأرَضُونَ لِقَتْلِهِ... إنْ بَكَيْتَ عَلَى الْحُسَيْنِ حَتَّى تَصِيرَ دُمُوعُكَ عَلَى خَدَّيْكَ غَفَرَ اللهُ لَكَ كُلَّ ذَنْبٍ.
If you wish to weep for anything, weep for Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi-Talib, for heavens and the earth wept for him when he was slain. If you weep for Husayn to the extent that your tears run on you cheek, Allah will forgive all your sins.
From narrations recommending weeping for Imam Husayn, we can infer the following points:
 Al-Amali, 115, H 178.
 Kamil al-Ziyarat; 100, Chapter: 32, H 3.
 Al-Amali: 128, H 2.
 `Uyun Akhbar al-Ri¤a: 299/1 Chapter: 28, H 58.
1. Weeping is accepted from believers. In this case, a great reward is granted by Allah.
2. Weeping of a believer is valuable to the extent of his adherence to Ahl al-Bayt.
3. Weeping of man will be valuable if his intention is pure, seeking the pleasure of Allah, the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt.
4. Weeping of man will be valuable if he does not commit sin, does not rebel against Allah, does not have an immoral life and is not a source of evil and misfortune for people.
5. Based on Qur’anic verses and narrations, on the Judgment Day, a believer’s weeping will turn into Allah’s mercy and forgiveness as well as Ahl al-Bayt’s intercession.
To make you believe as to how one thing may change into another, we ask you to pay special attention to the following article:
The Question of Transformation in the Holy Qur’an
The Holy Qur’an expressly speaks about changing of one thing into another (transformation) at Allah’s will in the material and spiritual fields.
1. In Material Field
وَإِنَّ لَكُمْ فِي الأَنْعَامِ لَعِبْرَةً نُّسْقِيكُم مِّمَّا فِي بُطُونِهِ مِن بَيْنِ فَرْثٍ وَدَمٍ لَّبَنًا خَالِصًا سَآئِغًا لِلشَّارِبِينَ (66)
And most surely there is a lesson for you in the cattle; We give you to drink of what is in their bellies- from betwixt the feces and the blood – pure milk, easy and agreeable to swallow for those who drink. (16:66)
Is it not wonderful that, when Allah wills, pure and agreeable milk with different valuable products comes from between feces and bellies which man hate? Reflection on this issue brings man out of ignorance to the knowledge of Allah. On the bees, the Holy Qur’an says:
ثُمَّ كُلِي مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلاً يَخْرُجُ مِن بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُّخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاءٌ لِلنَّاسِ
Then eat of all the fruits and walk in the ways of your Lord submissively. There comes forth from within it a beverage of many colors, in which there is a healing for men; most surely there is a sign in this for a people who reflect. (16:69)
What does Allah’s will really do? A tiny insect flies miles from its hive, eats of the fruits, while knowing them precisely, returns to its hive without losing its way and gives us a nutritious material!
Allah’s will brings out of water, soil, air and light, fruits, seeds, cereals, grain, vegetables, flowers, herbs for animals which cannot be counted nor can their quality and quantity be measured.
No one is aware of how water, soil, air and light change into all these wonderful blessings! The Holy Qur’an says:
الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الأَرْضَ فِرَاشاً وَالسَّمَاء بِنَاء وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقاً لَّكُمْ
Who made the earth a resting place for you and the heaven a canopy and who sends down rain from the cloud, then brings for the subsistence for you. (2:22)
The question of changing one thing into another in the material field is as noteworthy as the universe itself and it cannot be discussed within the short space of this Book.
2. In Spiritual Field
Reflection on Qur’anic verses proves that any good deed done by human beings will be changed into Allah’s pleasure and will be sent to heaven. Likewise, every evil act done by human beings will turn into eternal torment.
True repentance will turn Allah’s wrath into mercy. True prayer will turn vices into virtues. Fasting will turn into a shield against Hellfire on the Judgment Day.
What is given as rewards to the righteous and punishment to the evil doers on the Judgment Day is the embodiment of their deeds turned into Paradise or hell:
يَوْمَ تَجِدُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ مُّحْضَرًا وَمَا عَمِلَتْ مِن سُوءٍ تَوَدُّ لَوْ أَنَّ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَهُ أَمَدًا بَعِيدًا
On the day that every soul shall find present what it has done of good and what it has done of evil, it shall wish that between it and that evil, there were a long duration of time. (3:30)
وَاتَّقُواْ يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللّهِ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمُونَ (281)
And guard yourselves against a day in which you shall be returned to Allah; then every soul shall be paid back in full what it has
earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly. (2:281)
More evident than all is the verse on eating the property of orphans which will turn into fire in the bellies of the unjust:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ الْيَتَامَى ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ نَارًا
As for those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies and they shall enter burning fire. (4:10)
What we do will remain in an invisible world and one day we will see them face to face. If our deeds are beautiful, they will change into Paradise and if they are ugly, they will turn into fire of hell.
It is related that a woman came to the Holy Prophet asking a question. She was short and when she left, Aishah referred to her being short with her hands. Allah’s Messenger said, “Take a tooth-pick to remove bits of meat from between your teeth!” A'ishah said, “But I have not eaten anything!” The Holy Prophet asked her to do what he had said. A'ishah did so and a bit of meat came out of her mouth! Actually the Holy Prophet showed to Aishah the invisible result of backbiting in this world:
وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ
…nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it. (49:12)
In a hadith, we read:
إنَّمَا هِيَ أعْمَالُكُمْ تُرَدُّ إلَيْكُمْ.
All the torments are the same deeds you have done and they return to you.
# Visitation to the Graves of Ahl al-Bayt
Visiting the graves of Ahl al-Bayt from near and far distance, especially enduring hardships in this way, has been recommended to the believers; an act which will have great reward.
On visiting the Holy Shrine of the Holy Prophet, it has been related:
If people abandon visiting the grave of the Holy Prophet, Muslim leaders have the duty to encourage them to do so, for abandoning visitation to his holy shrine is unkindness to him, which is unlawful to Muslims.
Quoting Imam al-Sadiq, Sheikh Saduq has reported:
إذَا حَجَّ أحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَخْتِمْ حَجَّهُ بِزِيَارَتِنَا لأنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ تَمَامِ الْحَجِّ.
Whoever performs Hajj rites must complete it with visiting us, for to visit our graves makes Hajj perfect.
Imam Ali is reported as saying:
أتِمُّوا بِرَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ حَجَّكُمْ إذَا خَرَجْتُمْ إلَى بَيْتِ اللهِ، فَإنَّ تَرْكَهُ جَفَاءٌ، وَبِذَلِكَ مِرْتُمْ. وَأتِمُّوا بِالْقُبُورِ الَّتِي ألْزَمَكُمُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ زِيَارَتَهَا وَحَقَّهَا وَاطْلُبُوا الرِّزْقَ عِنْدَهَا.
Make your Hajj rites perfect by visiting the Holy Prophet’s grave, for to abandon that would be an unkind act and against courtesy. You have been enjoined to this visitation. Also visit the graves which Allah has made obligatory and seek your sustenance beside those graves.
Quoting his grandfather, Yazid ibn Abd al-Malik has reported: One day I went to the presence of Lady Fatimah. She greeted me and asked, “What have you come here for?” I said, “Seeking blessings and reward.” Lady Fatimah said, “My father told me that whoever salutes him and me for three days, Allah will make Paradise obligatory to him.” I asked, “During his and your life?” She said, “Yes, and also after our death.”
 Wasa’il al-ShiAh: 24/11, H 14149.
 `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida: 262/2, H 28.
 Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 9/9, Chapter: 3, H 11.
 Al-MuqniAh: 474, Chapter: 20.
Imam al-Sadiq is reported as saying:
مَنْ زَارَنِي غُفِرَتْ لَهُ ذُنُوبُهُ وَلَمْ يَمُتْ فَقِيراً.
Whoever visits my grave, his sins will be forgiven and will not die as poor or distressed.
Imam Askari has said:
مَنْ زَارَ جَعْفَراً وَأبَاهُ لَمْ يَشْكُ عَيْنَهُ وَلَمْ يُصِبْهُ سَقَمٌ وَلَمْ يَمُتْ مُبْتَلىً.
Whoever visits the tombs of Imam al-Sadiq and Imam al-Baqir will not have defect in his eye, will not be diseased, and will not die afflicted.
The Holy Prophet has said:
مَنْ زَارَ الْحَسَنَ فِي بَقِيعِهِ ثَبُتَ قَدَمُهُ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ يَوْمَ تَزِلُّ فِيهِ الأقْدَامُ.
Whoever visits Imam Hasan in Baqi` Cemetery, his foot will be steadfast on the Sirat when other feet will slide.
Imam al-Baqir is reported by Muhammad ibn Muslim as saying:
مُرُوا شِيعَتَنَا بِزِيَارَةِ قَبْرِ الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ، فَإنَّ إتْيَانَهُ مُفْتَرَضٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ يُقِرُّ لِلْحُسَيْنِ بِالإمَامَةِ مِنَ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.
Enjoin our followers to visit the grave of Imam Husayn, for visiting his grave is incumbent upon every believer who admits his Imamate.
Imam al-Sadiq is reported as saying:
مَنْ زَارَ قَبْرَ الْحُسَيْنِ للهِ وَفِي اللهِ، أعْتَقَهُ اللهُ مِنَ النَّارِ وَآمَنَهُ يَوْمَ الْفَزَعِ الأكْبَرِ وَلَمْ يَسْألِ اللهَ حَاجَةً مِنْ حَوَائِجِ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ إلاَّ أعْطَاهُ.
Whoever visits the grave of Imam Husayn for the sake of Allah and in His way will be set free from Hellfire, spared on the Day of the Greater Lamentation, and Allah will grant him whatever he needs in this world and the Hereafter.
 Al-MuqniAh: 474, Chapter: 20.
 Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 78/6.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 141/97, Chapter: 1, H 14.
 Kamil al-Ziyarat: 121.
 Kamil al-Ziyarat; 145, Capter 57, H 7.
Imam al-Sadiq has also said:
مَنْ لَمْ يَأتِ قَبْرَ الْحُسَيْنِ حَتَّى يَمُوتَ كَانَ مُنْتَقَصَ الدِّينِ مُنْتَقَصَ الإيمَانِ، وَإنْ دْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ كَانَ دُونَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي الْجَنَّةِ.
Whoever does not visit the grave of Imam Husayn before his death, his faith is not perfect. Even if he enters Paradise, his rank will be lower than other believers.
Imam al-Rida has said:
مَنْ زَارَ قَبْرَ الْحُسَيْنِ بِشَطِّ الْفُرَاتِ كَانَ كَمَنْ زَارَ اللهَ فَوْقَ عَرْشِهِ.
Whoever visits the grave of Husayn at the bank of the Euphrates is like one who has visited Allah on His Throne.
 Kamil al-Ziyarat: 193, Capter: 57, H 2.
 Thawab al-A`mal wa-`Iqab al-A`mal: 85.
# How To Thank The Blessing
of Ahl al-Bayt
In the Holy Qur’an, all human beings have been asked to offer thanks for all material and spiritual blessings that Allah has given to them and to avoid being ungrateful to these blessings. Based on narrations related by Ahl al-Bayt, offering thanks means to avoid using these blessings where Allah is not pleased and that blessings must be used in the same way Allah has ordered.
There are two Qur’anic verses which make offering thanks obligatory on human beings:
وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ (14) وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلى أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ (15)
And we have enjoined man in respect of his parents – his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years, saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming. And if they contend with you that you should associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, do not obey them, and keep company with them in this world kindly, and follow the way of him who turns to Me, then to me is your return, then will I inform you of what you did. (31:14-15)
This holy verse addresses all human beings, man and woman, young and old, scholar and layman and the part which reads, “Be grateful to Me and to both parents” is in imperative form that has to be complied with. Beyond doubt, disobeying such command is a grave sin about which Allah has promised a certain torment.
In this holy verse, Allah has not provided any condition for being grateful to one’s parents. In this relation, Imam al-Sadiq is reported as saying: A man came to the Holy Prophet saying, “O Allah’s Messenger! Enjoin me.” The Holy Prophet said:
لاَ تُشْرِكْ بِاللهِ شَيْئاً وَإنْ حُرِّقْتَ بِالنَّارِ وَعُذِّبْتَ إلاَّ وَقَلْبُكَ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالإيمَانِ. وَوَالِدَيْكَ فَأطِعْهُمَا وَبِرَّهُمَا حَيَّيْنِ كَانَا أوْ مَيِّتَيْنِ وَإنْ أمَرَاكَ أنْ تَخْرُجَ مِنْ أهْلِكَ وَمَالِكَ فَافْعَلْ، فَإنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنَ الإيمَانِ.
Do not associate anything with Allah and even if they burn or torment you as regards monotheism, endure it while you heart is sure of your faith; be kind to your parents both when they are living or dead and even if they asked you to give up your family and wealth, do so, for acceptance of this shows your faith.
Out of four persons of fighting in the battlefield, Miqdad said to the Holy Prophet, “My father is in the front against us: he has entered battle against you; would you give me permission to attack and kill him?” The Holy Prophet replied, “Let someone else do it, for if you kill your father in the way of Allah, your life will become short!”
Thanking the Blessing of Ahl al-Bayt
When the position of parents—be they Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, or laic—is so high, how higher will be the position of Ahl al-Bayt who have a right of Imamate, loyalty and educational leadership on all human beings? They are Noah’s Ark in this world and the Hereafter and obedience to them will guarantee man’s happiness and prosperity.
To give Ahl al-Bayt’s their due right is to get to know them, to love them, to consider them as Noah’s Ark, and to obey their commands in all aspects of life. This is the way to offer our thanks for the blessing of Ahl al-Bayt.
 Al-Kafi, 158/2, H 2.
Perfect recognition of Ahl al-Bayt is beyond human capacity. With numerous translations and interpretations of the Holy Qur’an throughout centuries, every new generation realizes that there are concepts in the Holy Qur’an which have not been discussed as yet. The same thing can be said about Ahl al-Bayt; throughout the past fourteen centuries, many books and dissertations have been written on them; yet, there are still many things which have not been written or said. From narrations related by Ahl al-Bayt, we infer that getting to know Ahl al-Bayt has many stages.
The Holy Prophet has said:
يَا عَلِيُّ! مَا عَرَفَ اللهَ إلاَّ أنَا وَأنْتَ: وَمَا عَرَفَنِي إلاَّ اللهُ وَأنْتَ: وَمَا عَرَفَكَ إلاَّ اللهُ وَأنَا.
O Ali! No one knows Allah save you and me; no one knows me save Allah and you; no one knows you save Allah and me.
The Holy Prophet has also said:
مَنْ مَاتَ وَلَمْ يَعْرِفْ إمَامَ زَمَانِهِ مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً.
One who dies and does not know his Imam has died the death of one who lived in the era of ignorance (i.e. has not recognized Islam).
The Holy Prophet has introduced dying without knowing the Imam as dying in the pre-Islamic era of ignorance on the one hand and has counted the knowing of Ahl al-Bayt at a very limited level and at the level of knowing Allah and Ahl al-Bayt on the other.
From these narrations, we infer that human beings have different capacities in getting to know Ahl al-Bayt.
Salman the Persian is quite different from Abu-Dharr in terms of knowing Ahl al-Bayt. Abu-Dharr’s knowledge of Ahl al-Bayt is different from that of Miqdad.
Quoting his great grandfather Ali ibn Husayn, Imam al-Sadiq has reported:
وَاللهِ، لَوْ عَلِمَ أبُو ذَرٍّ مَا فِي قَلْبِ سَلْمَانَ لَقَتَلَهُ! وَلَقَدْ آخَى رَسُولُ اللهِ بَيْنَهُمَا، فَمَ
 Interpretation of Manifest verses; 139/1, H 18.
 Al-Kafi: 19/2.
ظَنُّكُمْ بِسَائِرِ الْخَلْقِ؟ إنَّ عِلْمَ الْعُلَمَاءِ صَعْبٌ مُسْتَصْعَبٌ لاَ يَحْتَمِلُهُ إلاَّ نَبِيٌّ مُرْسَلٌ أوْ مَلَكٌ مُقَرَّبٌ أوْ عَبْدٌ مُؤْمِنٌ إمْتَحَنَ اللهُ قَلْبَهُ لِلإيمَانِ. وَإنَّمَا صَارَ سَلْمَانُ مِنَ الْعُلَمَاءِ لأنَّهُ امْرُؤٌ مِنَّا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ، فَلِذَلِكَ نَسَبْتُهُ إلَى الْعُلَمَاءِ.
By Allah (I swear), if Abu-Dharr knew what was in the heart of Salman, he would kill him, though Allah had made a contract of brotherhood between them. How would you then judge about other people? Surely the scholars’ knowledge is hard to understand and burdensome! No one can endure it but a Prophet, an archangel or a believing servant whose heart Allah has tested with faith. Only Salman became a man of knowledge, for he was from us, Ahl al-Bayt. That is why I attributed him to the scholars.
On one occasion, Imam Ali said to Abu-Dharr:
إنَّ سَلْمَانَ لَوْ حَدَّثَكَ بِمَا يَعْلَمُ لَقُلْتَ: رَحِمَ اللهُ قَاتِلَ سَلْمَانَ!
If Salman informed you of what he knew, you would say: May Allah have mercy on Salman’s killer.
It has been reported that faith has ten ranks: Salman was in the tenth rank, Abu-Dharr in the ninth and Miqdad in the eighth.
As it is seen, faith is based on knowledge. Therefore, ranks of faith are deeply rooted in the ranks of knowledge.
Exaggeration a Threat To Faith
Throughout history of Shi`ism, exaggeration has been a potential danger threatening the ShiAh faith. We can say that there has never been an epoch in the history of ShiAh without exaggerators being there. There has never been a time when the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt have not resisted against this destructive current of exaggeration and have not condemned it. Surprisingly, we still witness exaggerators here and there in our time which is the age of the technology of data and advanced sciences.
Exaggeration has its roots in two factors: lacking sufficient capacity for learning the knowledge of Ahl al-Bayt and overflowing of emotions and its dominance over intellect.
 Al-Kafi: 401/1, H 2.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 373/22, Chapter: 11, H 2.
 Al-Khisal, Hadiths: 48-49.
The Holy Prophet has said:
لَوْلاَ أنْ يَقُولَ الضَّالُّونَ مِنْ مَّتِي مَا قَالَتِ النَّصَارَى فِي عِيسَى بْنِ مَرْيَمَ، لَقُلْتُ فِيكَ قَوْلاً لاَ تَمُرُّ بِمَلإٍ مِنَ النَّاسِ إلاَّ أخَذُوا التُّرَابَ مِنْ تَحْتِ قَدَمَيْكَ يَسْتَشْفُونَ بِهِ.
Were it not for fear that exaggerators of my ummah say about you what Christians said about Jesus, son of Mary, I would say something about you that you would not pass by any people unless they would take the soil under you feet to be healed therewith.
A man by the name of Sa`d asked Imam al-Baqir, “Who is an exaggerator?” The Imam said,
(الغَالُونَ) قَوْمٌ يَقُولُونَ فِينَا مَا لاَ نَقُولُهُ فِي أنْفُسِنَا. فَلَيْسَ ولَئِكَ مِنَّا وَلَسْنَا مِنْهُمْ.
“They are people who say something about us which we do not say about ourselves. They are not from us and we are not from them either.”
Imam al-Sadiq has said:
شِيعَتُنَا مَنْ لاَ يَمْدَحُ بِنَا غَالِياً.
Our followers are those who do not eulogize us exaggeratedly.
In another narration, Imam al-Sadiq is reported as saying:
وَأحِبُّوا أهْلَ بَيْتِ نَبِيِّكُمْ حُبّاً مُقْتَصِداً وَلاَ تَغْلُوا.
Be moderate in loving the Household of your Prophet and do not exaggerate.
Evidently, the young generation who are the great support of every school of thought, every society and every culture, if exposed to exaggerators’ inroad, the biggest blow will be dealt to the Muslim society, the school of thought and culture.
The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, with their Divine insight, have warned the new generations against the blight of exaggeration. In this relation, Imam al-Sadiq has said:
إحْذَرُوا عَلَى شَبَابِكُمُ الغُلاَةَ لاَ يُفْسِدُوهُمْ، فَإنَّ الْغُلاَةَ شَرُّ خَلْقِ اللهِ.
Beware of exaggerators who might ruin the youngsters, for exaggerators are the worst creatures.
 Yanabi` al-Mawaddah: 200/1.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 101/67, Chapter: 47, H 6.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 164/65, H 16.
 Bihar al-Anwar: 269/25, H 12.
 Al-Amali: 650, H 1349.
In another hadith, after speaking about Allah’s attributes, Imam al-Ri¤a says:
نَحْنُ آلَ مُحَمَّدٍ النَّمَطُ الأوْسَطُ الَّذِي لاَ يُدْرِكُنَا الْغَالِي وَلاَ يَسْبِقُنَا التَّالِي.
We, the family of Muhammad, are moderate people. Those who overstate our position do not understand us and those who understate our position fail to supersede us.
No that the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt have made the right path distinct from the wrong, no excuse is accepted from anyone.
اَللَّهُمَّ أحْيِنَا حَيَاةَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَأمِتْنَا مَمَاتَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَارْزُقْنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا زِيَارَةَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ شَفَاعَةَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَلاَ تُفَرِّقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَاجْعَلْنَا مِنْ شِيعَةِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ.
O Allah, make me live as Muhammad and his household lived and make me die as Muhammad and his household died. And make available for us the visitation of the grave of Muhammad and those of his household, and the intercession of Muhammad and his household in the Hereafter. And make no separation between us and Muhammad and his household and place us among the followers of Muhammad and the household of Muhammad.