Anecdotes Of Pious Men in Islam

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Anecdotes Of Pious Men in Islam

Anecdotes Of Pious Men in Islam


This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Anecdotes Of Pious Men

Author: Ayatullah Sheikh Murtada Mutaharri

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Table of Contents

The Stranger3

Jowaiber and Zalfa3

The New Convert7


Complaint Against Husband 10

The Son Of Hatim 10

Ibne Sayyaba 14

Aqueel As A Guest Of Ali15


The Prohibition Of Water19

The Silly Shop-Keeper20


The Retirement23


The Protection That Was Revoked 24

The Prayer That Was Granted 27

The Right Of Companionship 28


The Stranger

Tired and exhausted with the water-skin on her back, she was gasping and going towards her house where innocent children, their eyes fixed at the door, were eagerly waiting for the arrival of their mother. On her way, an unknown man ap- proached her. He took the water-skin from her and placed it on his back. The door opened and the children saw their mother entering the house with a stranger. He placed the water-skin on the ground and said:

"Well, it seems you don't have anyone to fetch water for you; how come you are so forlorn?" "My husband was a soldier; Ali sent him to the frontier where he was killed. Now I am alone with these little children."

The stranger said no more. Bowing down his head he went away. But the thought of the help- less window and orphans remained in his mind. He could hardly sleep in the night. Early in the morn- ing he picked up a basket; put some meat, flour and dates in it; went straight to her house and knocked at the door.

"Who are you?"

"I am the man who brought your water yes- terday. Now I have brought some food for the children" "May God bless you and judge between us and Ali"

She opened the door. Entering the house he said:

"I wish to do some good acts. Either let me knead the flour and bake the bread or allow me to look after the children."

"Very well, but I can do the job of kneading and cooking better than you. You take care of the children till I finish cooking" She went to knead the flour Immediately he grilled some meat which he had brought and fed the children saying to each child while putting morsel in his mouth: "My son, forgive Ali if he has failed in his duty towards you"

The flour got ready; she called: "Gentlemen! put fire in the oven:" He went and put fire in the oven. 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 neighbouring house came in. Recognizing the stranger, she cried: "Woe, don't you recognize the man who is helping you? He is Amirul-Muumineen (comman- der of the faithfuls) Ali bin Abi-Talib."

The widow came forward and shamefacedly cried: "Curse and shame to me. I beg your pardon:" "No, I beg your pardon for I failed in my duty towards you."

Jowaiber and Zalfa

"How beautiful it were if you could marry and establish a family, ending this forlorn and isolated life? You could fulfil your natural urges and also she could help you in your temporal and spiritual needs and goals." "O Messenger of Allah, I have neither wealth nor beauty; nor I have a noble descent or lineage. Who will marry me? And which woman likes to be wife of a poor, short, black and ugly man like me?"

"O Jowaiber! God has changed the individual's worth through Islam. Many people were high- placed in the pre-Islamic society and Islam brought them down. Many were despised non-entities and Islam bestowed them with honour and high rank and brought them up. Islam abolished the un- Islamic discrimination and pride of lineage. Now all people irrespective of their colour and origin are equal. Nobody has superiority over others but through piety and obedience to Allah. Among the Muslims, only that person would be higher than L you whose virtues and deeds are better than you. Now do as I tell you."

These words were exchanged one day between the Prophet and Jowaiber when the Prophet came to see the people of "Suffa"

Jowaiber was a native of "Yamamah" where he came to know about the Prophet and the advent of Islam. He was poor, black and short, but at the same time intelligent truth seeking and a man of determination. He came to Medina to look at Islam from near; in a short time he embraced Islam. Since he had neither money, house nor any friends, he temporarily was accommodated along with other poor Muslims in the Mosque by permission of the Prophet. When it was revealed unto the Prophet that the Mosque was not a place of habitation, it became necessary to shift them elsewhere. The Prophet selected a site outside the Mosque and erected a shed for them. The place was named as "Suffa" and the residents were known as "Ashab-e- Suffa" - all of them poors from places far away from Medina.

The Prophet came to visit them one day. Noticing Jowaibir among them he decided to bring him out of this forlorn life. It was beyond the fancy of Jowaiber to own a house and have a wife in his condition. And that was why he replied to the Prophet as to how it was possible for anyone to accept him in matrimony when the Prophet advised him to marry. But the Prophet removing his doubts, explained to him the changes brought about in the social outlook of the people by Islam.

After bringing Jowaiber out of his inferiority complex, he directed him to the house of Ziad ibne Lubaid to request him for his daughter's hand in marriage.

Ziad was one of the wealthiest persons of Medina and commanded high respect among his tribes. When Jowaiber entered his house, he was surrounded by his relatives and some of his tribes- men. Jowaiber took a seat, paused for a moment and then raising his head said, "I have brought a message from the Prophet. Do you like to hear it confidentially or openly?"

Ziad: ; "A message from the Prophet is an honour to me, better you tell it openly." "The Prophet has sent me to request you for your daughter for myself" "Did he himself make this suggestion to you?" "I don't speak on my own accord. Every- body knows me, I am not a liar"

"Strange! We don't give our daughters to per- sons of unequal status nor outside our tribe. You go back I shall go to the Prophet and have a talk with him myself." Jowaiber left the house murmuring, "By God, whatever the Qur'an teaches and whatever is the purpose of the prophet-hood of Muhammad is totally against what Ziad says" Those nearby heard the murmurings of Jowai- bir.

Zalfa, the lovely daughter of Ziad, and the beauty-queen of Medina, heard these words of Jowaiber. She came to her father and asked: "Father, what was that man who just went out saying? And what did he mean?"

"He had come to ask for your hand in marriage and was claiming that the Prophet had sent him for this purpose." "Isn't it possible that he had really sent him, and thus your rejection may amount to disobe- dience of the Prophet's order ?" "What do you feel about it?"

"I feel you should bring him back before he reaches to the Prophet, and then go yourself to find out the truth." He brought Jowaiber back to his house with due respect, and then himself hurried up to the Prophet. When he saw him he said:

"O Messenger of God, Jowaiber came to my house and brought such and such a message from you. I would like to inform you that our custom is to give our daughters to persons of equal status and belonging to our tribe, who are all your healpers and companions." "O Ziad, Jowaiber is a Faithful man. That dignity and honour which you are talking about has now been abrogated. Every Believer man is equal (for marriage purpose) to every Believer wo- man."

Ziad returned to his house and explain d the matter to his daughter. She said, "Please do not reject the proposal put by the Prophet. This matter concerns me. I accept Jowaiber whatever his condi- tion may be. If the Prophet is pleased with it, I am also pleased."

The wedding was duly soleminized. Ziad paid "Mahr" (Marriage) from his own wealth and offer- ed good articles to the pair. They asked the bride- groom, "Have you got a house where to take the bride?" He said, "No, I had never thought that I would get a wife and sattle in domestic life. It was the Prophet who came suddenly and had a talk with me and sent me to Ziad's house."

Ziad arranged for him a house equipped with complete house-hold effects, and transferred the bride superbly adorned with ornaments and per- fumes.

Night came. Jowaiber did not know where was the house meant for him. He was guided to the house and led to the bridal-chamber. When he saw the house and its equipments and looked at the daz- zling bride, his past came to his mind and he said to himself, "How poor I was when I entered this city. had nothing - neither money nor beauty, neither any lineage nor family - now God made these affluences available to me through Islam. In- deed it is Islam that has brought such changes in the social outlook of the people beyond any imagi- nation. How grateful I am to God for bestowing upon me all these Blessings!"

In spiritual ecstasy he went to a corner of the room; spent the night in recitation of the Qur'an and prayer. It was dawn when he came to himself and then decided to fast in gratitude to God. When women came to see Zalfa in the morning they found her untouched. They kept the matter secret from Ziad. Two nights and days passed in the same manner. He was fasting during days and praying during nights. The women of the family of the bride were worried. They thought perhaps Jowai- ber was impotent and had no need for a woman. At last, they put the matter before Ziad. He inform- ed the Prophet; the Prophet; called Jowaiber and asked, "Don't you have any desire for woman?"

"Incidentally, I have very intense desire of that kind:"

"Then why didn't you go near your bride?" "O Prophet of God, when I entered the house I found myself amidst that affluence. ,A state of gratitude and devotion took me over. I thought it necessary to offer thanks and prayers to Allah be- fore doing anything. Tonight I shall go near my wife." Jowaiber and Zalfa lived a most happy life. When the call for a Jihad (Holy war) came, he par- ticipated in it with the enthusiasm typical of a brave Muslim, and achieved martyrdom under the banner of Islam.

After his martyrdom, Zalfa was the most saught after woman for a wife and people were eager to pay the greatest Mahr for her.

The New Convert

Two neighbours, a Muslim and a Christian, were on friendly terms. Having concern for one another they used to enquire after each others health, and exchanged views from time to time. The Muslim being a devout and religious man spoke high of his religion and the result was that the Chris- tian. friend embraced Islam.

The night passed and it was nearing dawn. The Christian, a new convert, heard somebody ramming his door. Surprised and restless he shouted: "Who is it?"

From the back came a loud voice, "I am so and so;" introducing himself. He was the Muslim neighbour who had the honour of converting him to Islam.

"What do you want at this late hour?"

"Be quick, put on your clothes and perform ablution, so that we should go to the Mosque to- gether"

The new Muslim performed ablution (Wudu) for the first time in his life and set out to Mosque behind his Muslim friend. They had arrived before time. It was the time for the Recommended (not obligatory) prayer after mid-night. They prayed till dawn - the time came for the morning prayer. They prayed the morning prayer and were engaged in benedictions and invocations till it became per- factly clear. When the new Muslim made a move towards the door, his friend interrupted:

"Where are you going?"

"I am going home, Since I have finished my morning prayer, there is nothing else to do now." "Wait a while and recite the benedictions till the sun rises."

"very well."

He sat and recited the same till the sun rose. When he rose up to go, his friend placed the Qur'an in his hand saying, "Read it till the sun rises a little high. And I advise you to fast today. Don't you know how much virtues and rewards there are in fasting?" The new Muslim did as he was told, and sat reciting the Our'an till it was nearing noon. The Muslim neighbour said: "Now it is almost noon; better we perform the noon-prayer in the Mosque:" So, the Dohr (noon) prayer was prayed. Then he said again: "After just a short time, the Asr (after-noon) prayer will be prayed. We should perform that also at the proper time:" That prayer was also performed.

Then he said, "It is almost evening now" and detained the new convert till it was time for Maghrib (evening) prayer. When he rose up to break his fast, the neighbour said, "there is one more prayer remaining. It is named "Esha" or the sleeping-time prayer'." So they waited nearly one hour for the proper time of this prayer. After that the new Muslim got up and went away.

Next day at the same hour of night he again heard knockings at the door.

"Who is there?"

"I am so and so............ your neighbour. Be quick, put on your clothes and perform ablution to go to the Mosque together" "As soon as I returned from the Mosque last night, I resigned from your religion. Please go away and find some other idle man who has nothing to do in this world, so that he may be able to spend his whole time in the mosque. I am a poor man having wife and children to feed. I should better go after my work to earn my livelihood'."

Imam Jaafer al-Sadiq relating the story to his friends and companions, said: "In this manner a devout man after converting a new Muslim, had himself kicked him out of Islam. You must bear this fact in mind and should not trouble the people unnecessarily. You should judge their strength and capacity and act accordingly, so that they develop affinity for the religion and do not run away from it. Don't you know that the policy of Ummayyads is based on violence, oppression and intimidation whereas our ways and methods are based on lenien- cy, brotherhood and persuation"


The deep scar on the shoulder of Nasiba, daughter of Kaab, spoke of a major wound in the past. Whenever the women, specially of the younger generation who had not seen the time of the Pro- phet or were too small at that time, noticed the cavity in her shoulder, they enquired with extreme curiousity about the frightening incident which had resulted in the injury to her shoulder. They loved to hear her adventures in the battle of Uhud from her own mouth.

She had never imagined that she would fight shoulder to shoulder with her husband and two sons defending the Prophet in the battle of Uhud. She had only taken the water-skin on her back so that she could provide water to the injured and also had taken some home-made bandages to dress their wounds. She had not thought of herself as worthy of any other work on that day.

Although the Muslims were small in number and had only a limited supply of equipments, they gave a grand defeat to the enemy who took to their heels vacating the battle field. But soon after, due to the negligance of some men guarding the "Ainain Hills;" the enemy made a surprise attack from the rear,turning the victory of the Muslims into defeat. The Muslims surrounding the Prophet fled away, leaving him almost alone in the battlefield.

When Nasiba saw this precarious situation, she put the water-skin on the ground, and took a sword in her hand. She fought with the sword and also made good use of bows and arrows; and took a shield left over by a fleeing soldier. Once she notic- ed a man shouting: "Where is Mohammad himself?" She approached him immediately and inflicted a few blows on him; but he was double-armoured and her attacks had not much effect on him. He then inflicted such a heavy blow on the shoulder of the armourless woman that it required treatment for one year. Noticing a stream of blood gushing from her shoulder, the Prophet called to one of her sons to immediately dress her wound. He put a bandage over her shoulder and she again got busy in the battle.

Meanwhile one of her sons got injured. She took out a bandage and dressed his wound. The Prophet watching the scene smiled at the heroism of this woman. After dressing her son's wound she instructed him to get going for the battle. These words were still in her mouth when the Prophet pointed out a man to her and told her that he was the same man who had injured her son. She attack- ed the man like a lioness and inflicted her sword on his leg. He fell on the ground. The Prophet said, "Well, thou hast taken thy revenge. Thanks for God who gave the victory on him and made thy eyes cool."

Many Muslims were martyred and wounded. She herself was severely wounded and there was no hope of her life. After the battle of Uhud, the Prophet ordered the wounded Muslims to persue the enemy upto Hamra-ul-Asad, to be sure of their intention and condition. Nasiba also wanted to ac- company them but the deep injuries did not allow her to do so. On returning from Hamra-ul-Asad, the Prophet before reaching his house, sent some- one to enquire about her health and was pleased to learn that she was alive.

Complaint Against Husband

Ali during the days of his Khilafat used to personally listen to the grievances and complaints of the people. Once, the days were hot and people did not venture out of their houses after mid-day. Ali sat everyday outside his house under the shade of a wall so that if someone had any complaints, could lodge the same to him directly. Sometimes he walked in lanes and streets observing the general condition of the people.

One day he returned to his residence tired and sweating, and found a woman waiting. Seeing him, she came near and said:

"I am in trouble. My husband oppresses me. He has turned me out from 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" "O Servant of Allah, it is too hot now. Wait till it cools down in the afternoon. Then I shall come with you and redress your grievances"

"If I stay out too long, I am afraid it may in- crease his anger:"

For a moment he bowed his head and then raised it up saying to himself, "No, By God, justic ; 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'."

"Tell me where is your house?" "It is in such and such place." "Let us go."

He accompanied her to her house, stood at the door and called loudly, "O Master of the house! Peace be upon thee." A young man came out. He was her husband. He did not recognize Ali. 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.

"This lady has a complaint against you. She says that you have oppressed her and have ousted her from 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."

"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 only advising you to do good and 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 pas- sers by, and a huge crowd gathered. Whoever came bowed down with reverence before the old man and saluted him by saying "Peace be on you O Comman- der of the Fiathfuls"

When the rude young man realised as to whom he was talking with, he trembled and supplicated, "O Ameerul Moumineen! 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 in the house and cautioned her not to behave in such a manner that her husband had to be angry again.

The Son Of Hatim

Before the advent of Islam, there were in Arabia autonomous tribal chiefs. The people were used to the rule of their chiefs and obeyed them; and often paid them tributes and taxes. The well- known generous Hatim, of the tribe of Tai, was one of the tribal chiefs of Arabia. His son,

Adi, succeeded him after his death and the Tribe submit- ted to his rule. He was taxing them to the extent of one-fourth of their income every year. His lordship coincided with the advent of the Prophet. The Tai tribes were idol-worshippers, but him- self was a Christian, but kept his beliefs secret from his people. The people, after being acquainted with the liberal teachings of Islam, felt themselves relieved from the burden of their lords who had hitherto imposed their rule upon the people. Owing to this fact, Adi, like other lords used to look upon Islam as the greatest danger for himself; and was harbouring enmity against the Prophet. But the die was cast. People were embracing Islam in increasing- ly large numbers; and the religion of Allah was ad- vancing day by day. He knew that the day was near when the Muslims would come looking for him also, and that would be the end of his lordship. He therefore, instructed his special steward, a slave, to always keep strong and light-footed camels ready near his camp and to remain watchful.

One day the slave came to him and said, "Make whatever arrangements you want to make as the Muslims are very close." Adi mounted his family on the camels and took whatever valuables and luggage he could take, and escaped to Damascus where the people were of his religion. But in the confusion, he forgot to take his sister, Safana with him; and she was left behind.

The Muslims defeated the tribe in the battle; and some were made captives. Muslims brought Safana to Medina alongwith other captives and related the story of Adi's escapade to the Prophet.

The prisoners were sheltered in a low-walled com- pound near the Mosque. One day, the Prophet, while going to the Mosque passed beside the en- closure. Safana, intelligent and talkative as she was, moved from her place and said:

"My father is dead; my guardian is hiding; be generous to me, God will be generous to you."

Prophet: "Who is your guardian?" "Adi, son of Hatim" "The one who has run away from God and His Prophet?"

Saying these words the Prophet went away. Next day again she repeated the same words, heard the same reply. Her plea produced no result. The third day, having lost her hopes, she decided to keep silent. But a young man walking behind the Prophet made signs to her to repeat her demand. She repeated the same words. The Prophet said, "Very well, I am waiting for some reliable man from your tribe. As soon as such a man is found I shall send you with him to your tribe. Inform me if you find such a person who has come to Medina" She asked the people who was the young man walking behind the Prophet who had encourag- ed her to repeat her demand. They said he was Ali.

After some time, Saffana informed the Pro- phet that some men of her tribe had came to Medina. The Prophet gave her a new dress, some cash for meeting the expense of the journey and a camel to ride on. She went along with them to her brother in Syria.

When she saw her brother, she reproached him and said, "You brought out your wife and children forgot me the memory of your father!" Adi appolo gised to her. Then, as she was an intelligent wo- man, Adi consulted her about his plan. He asked

"What do you advise me to do, since you have seen Mohammed from near? Should I join him or keep aloof from him?"

"I believe you should join him. If he is a Pro- phet of God it will be a credit to your honour and nobleness. And if he is not a prophet, and only wants to be a worldly ruler, then in a place (Medina) which is not far from Yemen (your place), nobody will dare to dishonour you, because of the honour and respect you have among the people of Yemen. Either way, your honour is guaranteed."

The idea appealed to Adi. He decided to go to Medina and to observe the Prophet's manners minutely. If he was a prophet he would follow him like other Muslims. But in case he was only a man with worldly ambitions of power and pelf, then he would cooperate with him to the extent of the common benefits of both.

He entered the Mosque of Medina and saluted to the Prophet. The Prophet accorded him due respect and took him to his house.

On their way a haggard woman caught hold of the garmet of the Prophet and entered into a dis- cussion with him. A long time passed; and the Prophet answered all her questions with kindness and patience.

Adi said to himself, "This is the one sign from the character of this man that he is a prophet. Peo- ple having worldly ambitions do not have such a disposition and temperament of replying to a poor old woman with so much patience and kindness"

When they entered the house Adi found his life most simple and unpretentious. There was only a quilt which the Prophet used to sit upon, but now he spread it for Adi to sit. Adi insisted that the Prophet should sit upon the quilt; but he flatly refused. Ultimately, Adi sat upon the quilt and the Prophet sat on the ground. Adi said to himself, "This is the second sign of the character of this man, This is the character of the Prophets, not of the kings"

The Prophet turned to him and said, "But was not your religion Christianity?" Adi said "Yes, why?" The Prophet said, "then why, and on what grounds, were you taking one-fourth of the income of your people? Is it not inadmissible in your reli- gion?"

Adi, who had kept his religion secret even from his closest relatives, was surprised to hear it from the Prophet. He said to himself, "this is the third sign that this man is a prophet."

Then the Prophet said: "You are looking at the present poverty and helplessness of the Muslims. You find that the Muslims today are living in dis- tress. They are surrounded by crowds of enemies and have no security of their lives and properties. They have no power in their hands. By God, the time is not far when such a vast wealth will come to them that there will be no poor among them. By God. their enemies will be vanguished and there will exist such a perfect peace and order that a woman shall be able to travel from Iraq to Hijaz alone and nobody will trouble her. By God, the time is near when the white palaces of Babylonia will come under the hands of the Muslims"

Adi embraced Islam with perfect Faith and Sincerity, and remained faithful to the end of his life. He lived upon the years after the Holy Prophet. He always remembered the talks of the Holy Pro- phet in his first meeting with him, and the fore- casts at that time, about the future of Muslims. He used to say, "By God, in my life-time I saw Muslim conquering the white palaces of Babylonia, and there is such a peace and order that a woman can travel from Iraq to Hijaz without anybody troubling her. By God, I am sure a day will come when there will be no poor among the Muslims"

Ibne Sayyaba

Ibne Sayyaba, a resident of Kufa, was a young man whose father had died. The tragedy of the death of his father, coupled with poverty and un- employment, was destroying the soul of the sensi- tive man. One day while sitting in his house, he heard a knock at the door. He was a friend of his father. After offering his condolences, he said:

"Did your father leave anything for you?" "No" "Then take this thousand Dirham; try to turn it into a capital, and meet your expenses from its profit."

Saying these words he went away. Ibne Sayyaba, happy as he was, went to his mother and showing the money told her the story. The same day, he used the money in purchasing some mer- chandise and opening a shop; and set his heart to it. He made a rapid progress. Soonafter he realised that not only he had met his household expenses from the profit, but even the capital had increased to a great extent. Now he thought of performing pilgrimage, and approached his mother for her advice. She said, "First you should repay the thousand Dirham which has brought such prosperi- ty to us, and then you may go to Mecca."

He went to see the friend of his father, and placing a purse of one thousand Dirham before him, said, "Please accept your money back" The man thought that Ibne Sayyaba was returning the same money because it was not sufficient for any trade. So he said:

"If the amount is insufficient I can increase it"

"Good God, it was not insufficient. It has brought great prosperity to us and since I am now quite well off financially, I have come to repay your money, and to express my thanks to you, particularly when I have decided to go on pilgrimage.

He came to his home and packed his luggage for Mecca.

After performance of the holy Hajj, he came to Medina and went to see Imam Sadique (a.s.) alongwith other pilgrims. There was a huge crowd in the house of the Imam (a.s.). Being young he chose to sit at the far end of the gathering, and from there watched the people coming and going; and heard their questions and the answers given by the Imam. When the house became nearly empty, the Imam (a.s.) pointed to him and said:

"What can I do for you?"

"I am Abdur Rahman, son of Sayyaba, of Kufa (from the tribe of Bijilly)" "How is your father?" "He died"

"Ah! Ah! May God have His mercy upon him. Did he leave anything for you?"

"No, he didn't"

"Then how could you perform pilgrimage?" "After the death of my father we were in dis- tress. On one side his death and on the other side poverty and unemployment, were crushing us ex- tremely. Then one day a friend of my father gave me one thousand Dirham and advised me to invest the amount in business. I followed his advice and from its profit I came to perform pilgrimage."

Before he could finish his story, the Imam (a.s.) said, "Tell me what did you do about the money of your father's friend?" I refunded the amount on the advice of my mother before coming out for Hajj'.' "Very good. Do you like me to give you an advice?"

"May I be your ransom; of course" "Be truthful and righteous. A truthful and righteous man is a partner in the wealth of others."

Aqueel As A Guest Of Ali

Aqueel arrived as a guest at the Government House in the days of the Caliphate of his brother, Ali. Ali made a sign to his elder son Hassan to offer a garment to his uncle. Hassan presented to him a robe and a cloak. The night came; the wea- ther was warm. They were sitting on roof-top hav- ing amiable talks. It was time for dinner. Aqueel considered himself to be the guest of the Absolute ruler of the Muslim world and expected an extra- ordinarily colourful and rich dinner. But to his surprise it was the most ordinary and simple one. He said: "Is this all the food?"

Ali: "Isn't it a God's gift? I heartily thank Almighty God that he has bestowed me with this gift." Aqueel: "Then I should better tell you my needs at once, and be on my way soon. I am in debt. Please order to pay off my debt as soon as possible; and also help your poor brother as much as you can, so that I return to my place relieved of my burdens:" "How much is your debt?"

"One hundred thousand Dirham"

"Oh! One hundred thousand Dirham! So large? I am sorry, brother. I don't have so much money to give you; but wait till the time comes for the disbursement of stipends. I shall withdraw my personal share and give from it to you, thus fulfilling my duty of cooperation and brotherhood towards you. If my family and children were not in need of their own expenses, I would have given you my entire share" "What?! ! Should I wait till the payment of stipends? You have the state-treasury in your hand and still you are asking me to wait till the time of disbursement and then only you will give me from your personal share! You can withdraw any amount you want from the State Treasury. So, why are you making me wait till then? Besides, what is your total share from it? Even if you give me the your entire share, how far will it relieve me of my trouble?"

"I am surprised to hear your proposal. What concern it does it, is of me or you whether there is money in the Treasury or not? We are just like any other Muslims. True, you are my brother and I must help you as much as possible, but from my personal money, not from the public treasury"

The argument continued and Aqueel pleaded with Ali in various ways. He continued to insist that Ali should give him from state treasury. The place where they were sitting overlooked the market of Kufa, and they could see the cash-boxes of the shop-keepers. Ali said, "If you still insist and are not ready to listen to me, then I have got another proposal for you. If you follow it you can repay all your loan and still have plenty of money left'."

"What is that?"

"Down over there are cash-boxes. As soon as the market is closed and nobody is there, go down and break open the boxes. And take whatever you want'.' "Whose boxes are they?"

"They belong to the people of this market. They keep their cash in them:" "Strange! You are telling me to steal the money of poor people who have earned it with their hard labour and have gone home leaving it there trusting in God?"

"Then why are you urging me to open the boxes of the state-treasury for you? Whom does it belong to? This also belongs to the same people who are asleep in their houses carefree and in com- forts. All right, I have another suggestion. Follow it if you like." "What's that?"

"If you are ready then pick up your sword and so will do I. The old city of Hirah is not far from here. There are leading merchants and weal- thy people there. We make a surprise attack on one of them during night and bring out enormous wealth with us."

"Brother, I haven't come here for theft and robbery that you are suggesting these things to me. I am only asking you to instruct the officials of the treasury to give me the money which is in your power, so that I may repay my debt:" "Suppose that we steal the property of an individual, isn't it better that stealing from the property of millions of Muslims? How is it that taking the property of an individual with sword is robbery, and usurping the property of the general public is not? You are under the impression that robbery only means attacking some individual and taking his property by force. The worst type of robbery is the same thing which you are proposing to me to do now."


News leaking now and then from Mecca to the tribe of Bani Ghefar had attracted the mind of Abi Zar, a man of an inquisitive nature. He want to reach to the depth of those developments in Mecca , but the distorted news occasionally obtained from the individuals, were not making any sense to him. The only definite thing known to him was that a new voice has arise in Mecca, and the Meccans were striving hard to silence it. But what was that new voice and why the Meccans were opposing it? These were the questions which remained unan- swered. His brother was going to Mecca. He told him, "People tell me that a man has appeared in Mecca and has brought some new talks, and claim they have been revealed unto him from God. Since you are going to Mecca, investigate into the same; and bring me the correct information."

Days passed; he eagerly waited for his brother; when he came back, Abu Zar asked him:

"What is the news, and how the things stand there?" "So far as I could gather he is a man who invites people towards good morals. He has also hrought some talk which is not poetry." "I had wanted you to make a more thorough investigation. This much information is not enough for my purpose. Better I should go there personal- ly to find out the truth:"

He put up some provision on his back and straight away came to Mecca. He was determined to meet the man who had brought the new talks and to hear the words from his own mouth. But he neither knew him nor thought it prudent to enquire about him from someone else. The atmos- here in Mecca was tense with oppression and intimidation. Without making his intention known to anyone, he was looking in all directions, listen- ing to the gossip of the people around him hoping that it might provide him a `clue.' The Masjidul Haram was the centre of news and events. Hence he came there with his baggage on the back. The day turned into night, but he could find no clue. Night passed a little; he stretched himself there. Soonafter a youngman passed nearby. He looked at Abu Zar with searching eyes, and went away. His glance seemed to him very meaningful. It occured to him that perhaps that youngman was the right person to divulge his secret to. He fol- lowed him but came back not daring to speak to him.

Next day also he sat whole day in Masjidul Haram alert looking to every possible clue; but in vain. The night befell and he again stretched on the same spot. The same youth appeared again and respectfully said, "Has the time not come for you to come to your house and spend the night there?" Saying this he took him to his house. Abu Zar did not divulge his secret that night, nor did the youth ask him. Early morning Abu Zar said good-bye to him and came to the mosque after his pursuit. That day also turned into night and he could not make out anything from the talks of the people. The youngman again appeared and took him to his house; but this time he broke the silence:

"Can you tell me why you have come to this city?"

"I shall tell you if you promise to help me"

"I promise I shall do my best to help you" "The fact is that we have been hearing among our tribes that a man has appeared in Mecca and has brought some talks claiming the same to be revealed unto him from God. I have come so that I may see him and may investigate about him. Firstly, tell me what do you believe about him? secondly, can you guide me to him?" "Rest assured he is on right and what he says is from God. I shall take you to him in the morn- ing. But as you are aware if these people came to know about it your life as well as mine will be in danger. Tomorrow morning I shall walk ahead and you follow me at a distance. If I will see any danger I shall stand and bow towards the earth like a man emptying a pot; then you must be off. If there is no danger you will follow me where-ever I go".

Next morning the youth who was none else than Ali appeared from his house, Abu Zar follow- ing him. Fortunately the way was clear and they reached the house of the prophet safely.

He made a thorough study of the manners of the Prophet and also listened to the verses of the Qur'an. Not much time has passed that he embrac- ed Islam very enthusiastically. He made a convent with the Prophet that he would not listen to any reproach in the way of Allah during his whole life and would speak truth even though it might be bit- ter for some tastes.

The Prophet said: "Now go back to your tribes and invite them towards Islam till you receive my next order" He said, "Very well; but before leaving this city I shall go before these people and will announce before them the slogan of Islam, come what may." He went straight to the heart of the City, i.e. the Mosque and cried before the congregation of Quraish: "(1 bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Mohammad is His Servant and Messenger)."

Hearing this slogan from the stranger, Meccans rushed at him immediately and had Abbas son of Abdul Muttalib not come to his rescue they would have torn him to pieces. Abbas said, "This man is from the tribe of Ghefar, and the trade caravan of Quraish plying between Mecca and Syria passes through their lands. Don't you think if you kill one of their men, you will never again be allowed to pass through their land safely?"

Abu Zar was rescued from their hands. How- ever, he was not satisfied. He said, "Once again I shall repeat this slogan. Let these people hear what they don't like to hear at all. If they hear it again and again they will become used to it."

So, next day he repeated the same slogan. Again the people attacked him and Abbas who was present there saved him from their atrocities.

After that, according to the order of the Prophet, he returned home and started preaching Islam among his tribe. When the Prophet migrated to Medina, Abu Zar too went to him and remained in Medina almost to the end of his life. He was extremely frank and owing to this virtuous attributes he was exiled during the Caliphate of Othman, first to Syria and later at a place named Rabza near Medina. There he died a lonely death. The Prophet had said about him

"May God bless Abu Zar! he will live alone, will die alone and shall be brought up alone on the Day of Resurrection."