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Anecdotes from the Lives of the 14 Ma’sumeen

Anecdotes from the Lives of the 14 Ma’sumeen

Publisher: Al Balagh Foundation

Alhassanain (p) Network for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Anecdotes from the lives of the 14 ma’sumeen

Author: Al-Balagh Foundation


Table of Contents

Prophet Muhammad (S) 4

Moral: 5

Lady Fatimah (A) 8

Moral: 8

Moral: 9

Moral: 11

Imam Ali (A) 12

Moral: 12

Moral: 13

Moral: 15

Imam Hasan (A) 16

Moral: 16

Moral: 17

Moral: 18

Moral: 19

Imam Husain (A) 20

Moral: 20

Moral: 21

Moral: 22

Moral: 23

Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) 24

Moral: 24

Moral: 25

Moral: 26

Moral: 27

Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (A) 28

Moral: 28

Moral: 29

Moral: 30

Moral: 31

Imam Ja'far As-Sadiq (A) 32

Moral: 32

Moral: 33

Moral: 34

Moral: 35

Imam Musa Al-Kadhim (A) 36

Moral: 36

Moral: 37

Moral: 38

Moral: 39

Imam Ali Ar-Ridha (A) 40

Moral: 40

Moral: 41

Moral: 43

Imam Muhammad At-Taqi (A) 44

Moral: 44

Moral: 45

Moral: 46

Moral: 47

Imam Ali An-Naqi (A) 48

Moral: 48

Moral: 49

Moral: 50

Moral: 51

Imam Hasan Al-Askari (A) 52

Moral: 52

Moral: 53

Moral: 54

Imam Muhammad Al-Mahdi (A) 55

Moral: 55

Moral: 57

Moral: 58

Prophet Muhammad (S)

One day, Prophet Muhammad (S) and his followers went on a journey. After travelling for a long time they got tired, so they stopped for a rest.

They decided to make a small camp and cook some food.

One of the men said that he would go and kill a lamb so that they could cook it.

Another man said that he would remove the skin of the lamb before it was cooked.

Another said that he would light the fire and cook the meat.

Each one of the men said that he would do a certain job so that the work could be done quickly and fairly.

The Prophet (S) then said that he would collect and bring the firewood from the forest.

All the men told him that there was no need for him to do anything at all. They would do all the work.

The Prophet (S) told them that he knew that they could do the work, but Allah does not like for a person to sit and let other people do all the work.

The Prophet (S) also explained to them that although he was their Prophet he did not like to get special treatment from them. This is because Allah does not like a person to think that he is better than other people.

When we sit back and let other people do the work, it makes us lazy. We should all share in any work that needs to be done, so that it can be done quickly and easily.

The Holy Prophet (S) was sitting in the mosque in Madina giving a talk to some of his followers while they were waiting for Salaat time to set in.

A rich man wearing expensive clothes came and sat in front of the Holy Prophet (S) to listen to his talk.

Meanwhile another man who had also came to listen to the Holy Prophet (S) sat down beside the rich man.

The second man was not rich, in fact he was quite poor. The old and torn clothes he was wearing showed just how poor he was.

The rich man did not like for the poor man to sit next to him. He pulled his nice, new, expensive clothes closer to himself, so that they would not be touched by the dirty, old, torn clothes of the poor man.

The Holy Prophet (S) noticed what the rich man had done and was upset and disappointed. He asked the rich man why he had done this? Was it because he thought that some of his wealth might go to the poor man, or was it because he thought some of the poverty of the poor man might come to him.

The rich man, who was not a bad person, realised what he had done was wrong and was truly sorry.

To make up for his mistake and to show how sorry he was, the rich man after apologising to the poor man, offered him half of all his wealth.

The poor man told the rich man that he accepted his apology and forgave him, but did not want half of his wealth as he did not want to get something without having worked for it.


In the eyes of Allah how rich or poor a person is makes no difference. The person who is closest to Allah is the one who obeys Him in every action.

Prophet Muhammad (S) was a very kind person and he never got angry even when people were very naughty.

There was one old woman who was very bad. She used to throw rubbish on the Holy Prophet (S) whenever he passed her house.

Prophet Muhammad (S) used to have to pass her house every morning when he went to the mosque and every morning this naughty old woman used to throw her rubbish on him but he never ever got angry with her.

One day when the Holy Prophet (S) was passing the old woman's house, she did not throw rubbish on him. He stopped and asked the old woman's neighbour if she was all right because she was not there to throw rubbish on him.

The neighbour told him that the old woman was not well and she was in bed. So the Holy Prophet (S) went to see the old woman because it is good to go and see people who are not well and ask them if they need anything.

When the old woman saw the Holy Prophet (S), she thought he had come to tell her off and she said "why did you wait until I was ill to tell me off, why didn't you come when I was well and strong?"Prophet Muhammad (S) told the old woman that he had not come to tell her off but to see and look after her because she was not well and Allah tells us to look after people who are not well.

The old woman was so surprised that the Holy Prophet (S) was being so kind to her after she had been so mean to him, that she decided from then on to listen to him and she became a Muslim.

One day Prophet Muhammad (S) was on a journey and very tired, so he sat down under a tree to rest.

A bad man seeing that the Holy Prophet (S) was alone thought it was a good time to kill him quickly and quietly. He went towards the Holy Prophet (S) with his sword out in front of him.

He asked the Holy Prophet (S): "Tell me who can help you now?"

"Allah," answered the Holy Prophet (S) calmly.

When the bad man saw how calm and sure the Holy Prophet (S) was that Allah would help him, he became frightened and the sword fell from his hand.

Prophet Muhammad (S) picked up the sword and asked: "Now you tell me who is there to save you?"

"No-one" answered the man.

"No, you are wrong, the same Allah will help you also," said the Holy Prophet (S) and then he let the man go.

When the man heard this he became a Muslim.

Lady Fatimah (A)

Bibi Fatimah Zahra (A.S.) was born to Bibi Khadija (A) and the Prophet (S). Before her birth, the Prophet (S) had had two sons, Qasim and Tahir, but both boys had died when they were babies.

The Prophet (S) had started teaching the message of Islam and had made many enemies. As a result, some of the unbelievers began to make fun of him at the death of his sons, calling him "Abtar".

The word Abtar means an animal who has no tail - and was meant to say that the Prophet (S) was tail-less because he had no children to carry on his family.

Thus, when Bibi Fatimah (A) was born, the following Sura of the Holy Qur'an was revealed:

"In the Name of Allah, the most Kind, the most Merciful.Verily (O Muhammad), We have given you Kauthar.So pray to your Lord and give sacrifice.Verily, your enemies will be Abtar."

Surah al-Kauthar, (108:1-3)

When the Holy Prophet (S) was asked what Kauthar meant, he replied that it was a stream in heaven and the man who would give water from that stream to the believers was Imam Ali (A).

He then said that Kawthar also meant abundance, and the birth of Bibi Fatimah (A) signified that, through her, his descendants would be in abundance.

The promise of Allah was certainly true because today, there are countless descendants of the Prophet (S), (Sayyids) while there is nobody who claims to be a descendant of the Quraish. Thus the enemies of the Holy Prophet (S) were those who became truly "Abtar".

This Surah in the Holy Qur'an is thus a reference to Bibi Fatimah (A).


You should never think that you have more than someone else, because there might come a time when that person has more than you. Remember it is through the blessing of Allah that you have what you have.

Once when Imam Hasan (A) and Imam Husain (A) were children they both fell ill. Their parents Imam Ali (A) and Bibi Fatimah (A) were very sad to see them ill.

When the Holy Prophet (S) found out about the illness he suggested that both his daughter Bibi Fatimah (A) and his cousin and son-in-law Imam Ali (A) should keep Nazr.

Nazr is a promise that you make to Allah. Something that you will do extra for the pleasure of Allah if your wish comes true.

Imam Ali (A) and Bibi Fatimah (A) made a nazr that they would fast three days upon the recovery of their children.

Allah accepted their nazr and both Imam Hasan (A) and Imam Husain (A) recovered from their illness.

Their parents decided to fast the next day to fulfil their nazr and when the children came to know of this they also decided to fast. Their maid Bibi Fizza, who loved the children very much also decided to fast.

On the first day of the fasting, Bibi Fatimah prepared 5 loaves of bread to break their fast with.

In the evening when the time for Salaat set in they all prayed then sat down to break their fast. Just as they were about to eat their loaves of bread there was a knock on the door. There stood a poor man asking for something to eat.

All of them, one by one gave their loaf of bread to the beggar. And had just water instead.

The next day all of them again fasted. Again they were to break their fast with a loaf of bread each which had been baked that morning.

And again as they were about to eat their loaf there was a knock on the door. This time it was an orphan asking for food.

Although they themselves were two days hungry they all happily gave their loaf of bread to the orphan and again slept without any food.

On the third day of their fast as they sat down to break their fast, a prisoner knocked at the door asking for food.

Although by now the family were very hungry as they had not eaten for three days, they again gave away their loaves.

Sura Ad-Dahr in the Holy Qur'an was revealed in praise of the sacrifice made by this family.


1- Nazr is very powerful.

2- Always think of others before yourself.

3- It is not how much you give to others that is important but the intention with which you give: i.e. "Qurbatan Ilallah" which means to get closer to Allah.

Bibi Fatima az-Zahra (A) used to work very hard in her house. Her father our Holy Prophet, Prophet Muhammad (S) could see how hard she worked.

So one day he told her that he was going to give her something that would be better than a helper or anything else in the world.

Do you know what he gave her?

He gave her Tasbeeh.

He told her that after every Salaat she should say:

Allahu Akbar - 34 times

Alhamdulillah - 33 times

Subhanallah - 33 times

This is what we call the Tasbeeh of Bibi Fatima az-Zahra (A)

The Salaat is like a beautiful flower and the Tasbeeh of Bibi Fatima (A) gives that beautiful flower a beautiful smell.

So after every Salaat we should say the Tasbeeh of Bibi Fatima az-Zahra (A) because we want our Salaat to be like a beautiful flower with a beautiful smell.

Once an old poor man came to the house of Bibi Fatima (A) and asked her for help.

Bibi Fatima (A) had nothing to give to the old man except the necklace that her cousin had given to her. She took it off and gave it to the old man, telling him to sell the necklace and use the money.

A man called Ammar who was a friend of the Holy Prophet (S) bought the necklace from the old man and gave him:- some food, some clothes, a horse and some money.

Ammar then sent his servant to the house of the Holy Prophet (S) and told him to tell the Holy Prophet (S) that he had sent the necklace and the servant as a gift.

When the Holy Prophet (S) heard this, he sent the servant and the necklace to Bibi Fatima (A) as a gift. Bibi Fatima (A) thanked the servant for bringing the necklace and gave him his freedom.

What a special necklace! It provided food, clothes, a horse, money, freed a man, and finally came back to its owner!


You should give whatever you have to people who need it and Allah will give you more in return.

Imam Ali (A)

In the time of the Prophet (S) the idol worshippers of Makka were very angry with him. They wanted to kill him.

Allah had told the Prophet (S) about the plan of the idol worshippers to murder him and so he decided to move to Madina.

The idol worshippers chose 40 of their bravest men and told them to go to the Prophet's (S) house and kill him.

That night the Prophet (S) left for Madina, but before he left he asked Imam Ali (A) if he would sleep in his bed so that the idol worshippers outside would think that he, the Prophet (S) was there.

Imam Ali (A) was very happy to do this for the Prophet (S). In fact Imam Ali (A) said that the best sleep that he had ever had was on that night.

When the killers came into the Prophet's (S) house and pulled off the blanket they saw Imam Ali (A) there, and so they left angrily.


1- When you do something purely for Islam, then Allah helps you.

2- Everyone can plan but only what Allah wants will happen.

In the battle of Khandaq, the Muslims dug a ditch around themselves for their defence, so that the enemy could not get across.

A man from the enemy side called Amr bin Abdawud who was known for his strength, courage and art of fighting managed to get across the ditch.

All the Muslims were terrified to fight him and only Imam Ali (A) came forward to fight this man.

There was a fierce fight until at last Imam Ali (A) threw Amr down onto the ground and mounted his chest ready to kill him.

Just as Imam Ali (A) was about to kill this enemy of Islam, he spat on the face of our Imam (A).

Everybody was certain that because of this insult, Amr would meet his death even faster still, but to their amazement, Imam Ali (A) moved from Amr's chest and walked away.

Amr attacked Imam (A) again and after a short while, Imam (A) again overpowered Amr and killed him.

After the battle was over people asked Imam Ali (A) the reason why he had spared Amr's life when he had first overpowered him.

To which Imam (A) replied that if he had killed him then it would have not been only for the sake of Allah but also for the satisfaction of his anger and so he let him free.

Then Imam (A) controlled his anger and killed Amr purely for the sake of Allah.


Although your intention may be pure to begin with it can very easily change so always make sure you do things for the sake of Allah only.

Fatima binte Asad (the mother of Imam Ali) went to the Ka'ba and prayed to Allah that the baby she was going to have would be born safely.

She was standing near the wall opposite the door of the Ka'ba, praying to Allah when suddenly there was a crack in the wall near her. The crack became bigger and bigger until it was big enough for Fatima binte Asad to go through it and enter the Ka'ba.

When Fatima binte Asad had entered the Ka'ba, the crack began to get smaller and smaller. This crack is still there to this day on the wall of the Ka'ba.

Some people who had been near the Ka'ba saw what had happened and started telling other people. Now these people wanted to see what was happening inside the Ka'ba, so they went and got the keys of the door of the Ka'ba. But the door would not open.

Prophet Muhammad (S) had been away when all this happened. When he came back from his trip and went to the Ka'ba, the lock on the door of the Ka'ba fell open all on its own and Fatima binte Asad came out holding her new little baby - Imam Ali (A).

When Prophet Muhammad (S) held Imam Ali (A), he opened his eyes for the first time. So the first thing Imam Ali (A) ever saw was the face of Prophet Muhammad (S).

Imam Ali (A) is the only person ever to be born in the Ka'ba.

One day our 1st Imam, Imam Ali (A) went to the market with his servant, Qambar. There he bought 2 shirts, one which was really nice and expensive and the other which was not as nice.

When Imam Ali (A) returned home he gave the better shirt to Qambar and kept the other one for himself.

Qambar told Imam Ali (A) that it would look better if he wore the nicer shirt as he was the leader of the Muslims while Qambar himself was only a servant.

Imam Ali (A) answered that Qambar should wear the nicer shirt because he was younger and so it would suit him better; but more importantly Imam (A) told him that he was a guide for the Muslims and so had to set a good example for them by leading a simple life.


1- You should always give away the nicer thing.

2- You should be happy with a few simple things and not want so many things.

Imam Hasan (A)

Once a maid of our 2nd Imam, Imam Hasan (A) dropped ahot bowl of soup on Imam (A).

She was very scared because she thought the Imam (A) would be angry and punish her.

She immediately recited the Ayah:"..Those who control (their) anger.."

Imam Hasan (A) smiled and said he was not angry.

Then she recited the next part of the Ayah:"..And are forgiving towards people.."

Imam Hasan (A) said he had forgiven her.

She then finished the Ayah :"..Allah loves those who do good.."

Imam Hasan (A) told her she was free.

The above Ayah is from the Holy Qur'an:Surah Aali Imraan (3), verse 134.


The Holy Qur'an is not just there to read but to learn from and act upon. It is the word of Allah and teaches us everything we need to know if only we understood it.

Once a follower of Mu'awiyah came to Madina. When he saw our 2nd Imam, Imam Hasan (A) he started to shout names and use foul language at the Imam (A), because Mu'awiyah had told him horrible things about Imam (A).

The followers of Imam Hasan (A) wanted to punish the man for what he had said but Imam (A) told them to leave him alone.

Imam Hasan (A) then turned to the man and greeted him with "Salaam" after which Imam asked the man if he would like to come to his house for food and a rest as he had just come from a long trip.

When the man saw the Akhlaq of Imam (A), he realised that what Mu'awiyah had told him about the Imam (A) was untrue and he felt very ashamed of how he had spoken.

The man asked Imam (A) for forgiveness. Thereafter, whenever he heard anyone saying anything against Imam Hasan (A) he would correct them.


1- Never get angry at someone when they are angry - It takes two people to start a fight.

2- No matter how other people act you should always have perfect akhlaq.

3- Never believe bad things about other people that you have heard.

One day our 2nd Imam, Imam Hasan (A) was eating when a dog came and stood in front of him, looking at him hungrily.

Imam Hasan (A) gave some of his food to the dog, who ate it up and again looked up at him, so Imam (A) threw another little bit of food to the dog.

A man who was passing by came forward to shoo the dog away, so that Imam (A) could eat in peace.

Imam Hasan (A) told the man to leave the dog alone as Allah had made the dog just as He has made all of us and loves the animals just as He loves us all.


Be kind to animals as they also have been made by Allah and are loved by Allah just as we all are.

Our 2nd Imam, Imam Hasan (A) was always very kind to the poor.

One day, Imam Hasan (A) was walking down the road when he came across some poor people sitting on the ground eating their food, which was dry bread.

When the poor people saw Imam Hasan (A), they asked him to join them. Imam (A) sat down on the ground and ate the dry bread with them.

When they had finished Imam (A) got up to leave but before he went he thanked the poor people for sharing their food with him and asked them all to come to his house for food

They accepted. When the poor people arrived at Imam Hasan's (A) house they were given the finest food and the greatest respect by Imam (A).


1- If someone gives you something, take it saying thank you even if you do not really want it.

2- Always try to give people more than they give you.

Imam Husain (A)

Imam Husain (A) is our 3rd Imam. He was well known for his kindness, charity and love for the poor.

One day when our Imam (A) was riding through the streets of Madina, he came across some beggars who had gathered together to eat the food that they had begged for during the day.

The beggars saw Imam Husain (A) and invited him to join them.

Imam Husain (A) was not allowed to take anything given in charity (Sadaqah) as he was from the family of the Prophet (S). Sadaqah is Haraam for all members of the family of the Prophet (S).

Imam Husain (A) got off his horse and sat down with the beggars. He then explained to them that although he would love to eat with them he could not because as a member of the family of the Prophet (S) he could not take Sadaqah.As an alternative he invited all of the beggars to his house for food so that they could all eat together.


1- You should always be kind to others, especially the poor.

2- You should not compromise your beliefs for anyone, but at the same time you should be polite in how you tell them.

Our 3rd Imam, Imam Husain (A) fought with Yazid in 61 A.H. to save Islam.

Imam Husain (A) was forced to fight Yazid's army because he would not give Bay'at (oath of allegiance) to Yazid.

When Imam Husain (A) was told that he had to give bay'at to Yazid otherwise he would be killed, Imam (A) replied that: a man like him could not give bay'at to a man like Yazid.

By saying this Imam (A) was trying to tell everyone that what Yazid believed in was totally opposite to what Imam (A) believed in. Yazid was the follower of Shaitan while Imam (A) was the follower of Allah.

Imam Husain (A) knew that himself, his friends and family were to die in Kerbala. He also knew that this was the only way that he could show to the other Muslims that Yazid who claimed to be a Muslim and protect Islam was in-fact destroying it.

In Imam Husain (A) army there were not just strong soldiers, that was not what was needed to get into the army of Imam (A). To get into the army of Imam Husain (A) you needed to believe and act upon Islam.

Imam Husain (A) wanted people, when they heard about the events of Kerbala to know that it was not for power but for Islam and this is why to get into the army of Imam (A) you needed to be a believer and not a soldier.

Imam's (A) army had all kinds of people: He had rich, noble men. He had freed slaves. He had old and young men. He had men who had done wrong and repented (eg. Hur - the commander of Yazid' army). He had pious men.

Whenever other Muslims heard about the events of Kerbala, they would ask themselves, why it was that men from different backgrounds, different circumstances, different ways of life, all came together to fight and die with Imam Husain (A).

Every Muslim regardless of his colour, his race, his background, his financial situation, his age, could identify himself with one martyr in the army of Imam Husain (A) and through him understand why Imam(A) did what he did.


1- Imam (A) could not give bay'at to Yazid because it was against what he believed in. You should always stand by what you believe in.

2- Imam (A) gave up his life for Islam. We as guardians of Islam should make sure that we keep Islam alive the way Imam (A) would have wanted.

When Imam Husain (A) was born, Allah sent down the angel Jibrail to congratulate the family.

On the way down from the heavens angel Jibrail passed an island, on which the angel Fitrus was sent to by Allah because he had been naughty. Fitrus had also had his wings taken away by Allah.

When Fitrus saw Jibrail he asked him where he was going. Jibrail told him that he was going to congratulate the Holy Prophet (S) and his family on the birth of Imam Husain (A).

Fitrus asked if he could also go with him. Jibrail agreed with the permission of Allah and so carried him down to earth.

When the angels reached the Holy Prophet (S) and congratulated him and his family, the Prophet (S) told Fitrus to go to Imam Husain (A).

When Fitrus touched Imam Husain's (A) cradle his wings were given back to him by Allah, who had forgiven him.


If you want something it is better to ask through our Imam's (A) as they are closer to Allah than we are.

Our 3rd Imam, Imam Husain (A) was very kind and always thought about others before himself.

When Imam Husain (A) was travelling to Kerbala knowing what was going to happen to him and his family, he met Hur and his army.

Imam Husain (A) knew that this was the army sent by Yazid to fight Imam (A) and his followers. This was the army that was going to stop Imam (A) and his followers from getting water. This was the army who was going to kill Imam Husain (A) and his family and friends.

Although Imam Husain (A) knew all this, when Imam (A) saw how thirst the army looked and that they had no water, Imam (A) immediately told his men to give their water to the army.

Not only did Imam Husain (A) and his men give water to the army but also to their horses.


No matter how horrible someone is to you, you should always be nice to them because that is what Allah has taught us.

Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A)

Once a man who claimed to be a friend of our 4th Imam, Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) came to him and told him that so and so had been saying horrible things about him.

Imam (A) replied that he had not heard anything and would not have if the man had not told him. Imam (A) then continued that the person who had said the horrible things was as if he had shot an arrow and missed the target but the man who had told him was as if he had picked up the fallen arrow and hit the target (Imam (A)) with it.

Allah does not like the habit of spreading scandal and gossip even if it be true.

In the time of Prophet Musa (A), once there was a severe drought. For months there had been no rain.

The people prayed and prayed but no rain came. When Prophet Musa (A) went to mount Sinai to pray, Allah revealed to him that amongst his people there was someone who spreading scandal and because of this person Allah had not let it rain. Prophet Musa (A) asked Allah who this person was so that he could tell him off for what he had done.

Allah replied that did Prophet Musa (A) want Him to do what He had forbidden for others. (i.e. talk about others).


Do not talk about other people when they are not there even if what you say is true.

At the time of our 4th Imam, Imam Zainul Abideen (A) it was very difficult for Imam (A) to teach Islam to the people. This was because Yazid's men used to keep a close watch on Imam's (A) movements.

Imam Zainul Abideen (A) had seen his father, Imam Husain (A), and other loyal friends and family die for the sake of Islam.

Imam Zainul Abideen (A) decide that the best way to teach people about Islam, was by prayers (Du'a). As a result, we have today a beautiful collection of his Du'a in a book called: "Al-Sahifat al-kamilat al-Sajjadiyya" - The complete book of Al-Sajjad, (Imam Zainul Abadeen (A) was also known as al-Sajjad).

An extract from a du'a for Sunday (the 1st verse) from AL- Sahifat al-kamilat al-Sajjadiyya:

In the name of Allah, the most Kind and the most Merciful.In the name of Allah from whom I hope for nothing but bounty, and from whom I fear nothing but justice!I rely only upon His word, and I cling only to His cord!

Just in these few lines Imam (A) is teaching us so much:He is teaching us that only Allah is the provider.He is teaching us that we should not fear Allah as He is the most forgiving and the most Merciful but at the same time He is also the Most Just and it is this justice that we should fear.There was once a man who was a very religious man and because he was so sure of himself he always used to pray to Allah to judge him on Justice, (we are told always to pray to Allah to judge us with His mercy).

When this man died he saw a scale which was being weighted down with all his good actions. The angels then brought an apple which they put on the other side of the scale and the scale came down on the side of the apple.

The man did not understand how a single apple could outdo all his good actions. He was then told that, that apple was one that he had tasted in the market without the permission of the shop owner. Because the man had insisted that Allah judge him on justice, Allah did not intervene with His mercy.

Imam Zainul Abideen (A) then finished the 1st verse with the lesson that we should only rely on Allah and attach ourselves to Him alone.


1- We should always ask Allah to judge us with His mercy.

2- We should try to read the du'as from Al-Sahifat al-Kamilat al-Sajjadiyya, as there is so much to learn from them.

Our 4th Imam, Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A), was a very kind and patient person. He usually never got angry and he always had a smile on his face.

One day when Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) was walking down the street with a few of his friends, he saw an old man carrying a heavy load while his son walked next to him.

Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) lost his smile and became red with anger. All his friends were very surprised to see Imam (A) in this way, as they had never seen him angry.

They asked Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) what had happened to make him so angry. Imam (A) replied that he was angry to see a son walk with his father letting him carry a heavy load and not helping.


You should always help your parents, even when they do not ask you to. For example, you can tidy up your toys after you have finished playing with them.

Our 4th Imam, Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) always remembered the saying of the Holy Prophet (S): that if a Muslim did not think of the needs of his Muslim brothers then he was not a Muslim.

This is why when it was dark in the night and all the people were sleeping, Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) would get up, put some food in a sack and carry it on his shoulders to the houses of the poor people.

When Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) went out at night it was dark and everyone was be sleeping but Imam (A) would cover his face just in case anyone was up, so that no one could recognise him.

Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) looked after about 100 families like this without them even knowing who it was that was helping them.

It was only when Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) died and the people no longer received the food that they found out it must have been Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) who had helped them all that time.


When you do something good you should not tell everyone because Allah can see and He is the one who will give you Thawaab for what you have done. In fact Allah says that He will give you more Thawaab if you do good and do not tell everyone.

Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (A)

Once a Christian asked our 5th Imam, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) how it could possibly be true what the Imam (A) had said about the fruits of Heaven not reducing when they were eaten.

Imam (A) told him not only was it true but he could give him an example of something being used and not reducing, which was present in this world.

Imam (A) then continued that when a candle is used to light other candles, even as many as a hundred thousand other candles, the light of the original candle will not get any less.


Just because you do not understand something in Islam does not mean it is wrong. Allah gave us Islam and our knowledge can not compare with His.

In the time of our 5th Imam, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) there lived a man called Jabir bin Abdullah.

Jabir was a pious man who was alive at the time of the Holy Prophet (S).

One day the Holy Prophet (S) told Jabir that he would be alive to see the Prophet's great great grandson Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A). The Holy Prophet (S) asked Jabir to give Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) salaams from his great great grandfather, the Holy Prophet(S).

The Holy Prophet (S) passed away and Jabir remained alive for a long time just as the Prophet (S) had told him.

One day Jabir who was now a very old man, was visiting the house of Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) when he came across a small child.

Jabir asked Imam Zainul Abideen (A) who the child was. When Imam (A) replied that the child was his son Muhammad al-Baqir who was to be the next Imam, Jabir was so happy that he began to cry.

At last Jabir could give the message that he had been carrying with him for so many years.

Jabir turned to face Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) and told him that his great great grandfather had asked him to pass his salaams to Imam (A).


If you are given something to look after or pass to someone else (no matter how small) then look after it well as you are accountable for it.

In the time of our 5th Imam, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) the Muslims were using Roman coins for money. The King of Rome decided that he was going to make new Roman coins which would have written on them things that were against Islam.

The Muslim king Waleed did not know what to do because they needed to use the coins for money but at the same time they did not want to use coins which had things against Islam written on them.

Waleed decide to ask our 5th Imam, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) what he should do. Imam (A) told him that he should also make new coins which the Muslims could use from then on.

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir told him that the coins should have on one side "La ilaha illallah" and on the other side "Muhammadur rasulullah".

Waleed agreed that this was an excellent idea and the coins were made.


We should learn what our Imams (A) have taught us. They always know what to do.

It was a very hot day and our 5th Imam, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) was working hard on his farm.

A man was walking past and when he saw Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) looking so hot and tired from all the hard work he had done, he told the Imam that he should not work so hard and rest instead.

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A) answered that he was working so hard, so that he can look after his family, and not have to ask anyone for help.

Allah likes for us to work hard and do things for ourselves.


You should always try hard to do something by yourself and only when you have tried and can not do it you should ask for help.

Imam Ja'far As-Sadiq (A)

In the time of our 6th Imam, Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (A) there lived a young man called Zakariyya who had converted from Christianity to Islam.

When Zakariyya went to Haj, he stopped at Madina to visit Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (A). On meeting the Imam (A), Zakariyya asked him how he should behave towards his father, mother and other family members who were still Christians.

Imam (A) replied that Islam is a religion of mercy and kindness to all that has been created by Allah. Also Islam holds the rights of parents very highly.

Imam (A) then advised the man to be even more kinder and more helpful to his mother than he had ever been.

When Zakariyya returned home, he was there even more than before for his mother. He listened to her and was kind to her and ever ready to help her. He gave her food and drink with his own hands. He washed her and her clothes and kept the house tidy. And when he was free he would sit and chat with her and cheer her up.

His mother was very surprised and asked Zakariyya what had made him become so kind towards her.

Zakariyya explained that his Imam, our 6th Imam, had told him to act in this way.

His mother wanted to know what else the religion of Islam had taught her son.

Zakariyya sat with his mother to tell her all about the teachings of Islam and when he had finished, his mother became a Muslim too.


1- Always behave with good Akhlaq towards other people. If they can see for themselves what decent children you are then they will want to find out more about Islam.

2- Never forget the rights of your parents.

In the time of our 6th Imam, Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (A) there was once a wheat shortage in Madina. As a result the people of Madina were buying as much wheat as they could afford.

There were some people who were quite poor and could only afford to buy enough wheat for that day.

These people had to pay a little bit more for the wheat each day because there was less and less wheat available.

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (A) asked his servant how much wheat they had in the house. The servant replied that they had enough to last them for several months.

Imam (A) then told the servant to take the wheat to the market and sell it all to the people.

The servant argued that if he did this then they probably would not be able to buy all the wheat back and also they would have to pay a lot more for it.

Imam (A) told him that it did not matter. He told him that after he had sold all the wheat he should only buy enough wheat for each day.

Imam (A) also told his servant that from then on the bread in his house should be made from ½ wheat and ½ barley.


1- Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (A) did this because he did notwant to live in a better manner while so many peoplewere hungry.

2- Islam does not allow hoarding.