Story No. 231 – Sher e Khuda, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib’s Work and Generosity

Sher e Khuda, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) was a hardworking man with a pleasant personality. He worked hard while farming and cultivating orchards. He developed several plots and orchards and then gave them all away for the sake of Allah (SWT).


One day, Sher e Khuda, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) acquired a piece of barren land outside Madinah which he wanted to cultivate. In order to do this, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) decided to dig a well, he chose a suitable place and putting his hopes in the grace of Allah (SWT), he began to dig.


Several days went by, but still there was no sign of any water coming out of the well.


One day, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) picked up a pickaxe, entered the well and using all his strength and energy worked very hard for a while, but still there was no sign of water. Exhausted, he came out of the well, wiped away the sweat of his brow, rested for a while, and then re-entered the well. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) was swinging the pickaxe with such vigor that the sound of his breathing could be heard all around. After receiving a strong, hard blow with the pickaxe, the ground suddenly split open, and fresh, clear water bubbled up.


Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) climbed quickly out of what had now become a wonderful well in the dry desert which would soon turn the ill surrounding area into a lovely orchard. Soon the people gathered around to see it. Each of them was commenting on it.


“What a hard working man is Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)” one said.


“Since Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) is a good and generous man, Allah (SWT) has been generous to him and given him goodness” said another.


“Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and his descendants have become rich forever” said another.


Some congratulated Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), while some were jealous.


“Bring me a paper and pen” said Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and when they had done so; Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) sat down and wrote: I have endowed this well and the land surrounding it in charity for its income to be used as follows:


In helping the poor and destitute.

In helping the travelers far away from their homes.

In providing the means for the marriages of orphans.

In providing medical care for the poor.

In the doing of good works of public benefit.

I have endowed this well in charity so as to seek the pleasure of Allah (SWT) and the rewards of the Hereafter, and in order to be saved from the of Hell.

Story No. 230 – Dress of Sher e Khuda, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)

Dress of Amir al-Muminin (as)Imam Ahmad in his book “al-Manaqib” and Bin-Atheer in his history quote Haroon bin Anza saying that he accompanied his father (Anza) to the “Khorniq” castle to meet Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), those were winter days, and the winter was very severe, he found Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) in a very thin cotton garment, and the cold wind was making him shiver. Anza asked him:


O Commander of faithful! Allah (SWT) has reserved a share for you and your family from State Treasury (Baitul Mal) why do you not make use of it?


Commander of faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) replied:


O Anza! I do not want anything from your State Treasury (Baitul Mal); this is the dress I have brought with me from Madinah.


In volume IX of the Bihar al-Anwar, it has been related from al-Kafi that Amir al-Muminin (as) said: Allah (SWT) has appointed me the leader of the people and made it my duty to adopt a way of living, in food and clothing, on a par with the poorest classes of society, so that, on the one hand, it may soothe the distress of the poor and on the other, restrain the rich from revolting.


Imam Ahmad quotes Abu Naziya, the ready made cloth merchant of Kufa saying that Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) purchased two shirts from his shop, one was of superior quality, which he handed over to his slave Qamber to put on and the other which was of a rough cloth, very coarse and cheap, he reserved it for himself.


Imam Ahmad quotes Zayd bin Wahab saying that once Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) came out of his house and there were patches sewn to his dress. Bin Noaja, who was a Kharijite and an enemy and yet was allowed to lead a peaceful and comfortable life by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) at Kufa taunted Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) on the very poor and coarse kind of dress put on by him. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) replied:


Let go, what have you to find objection in my dress, it is the kind which our masses can afford, why can you not think of their lives and dresses, I shall improve my standard after I have succeeded in improving theirs. I shall continue to live like them. Such kind of dress makes one feel humble and meek and give up vanity, haughtiness and arrogance.

Story No. 229 – Food of Sher e Khuda, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)

Sher e Khuda, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) always ate such kind of food and dressed in such a way that even the poorest can afford better than that. It was not because he was poor but it was because he wanted to lead the life of the poorest person and spend all that could thus be spared on poor.


Imam Ahmad bin Hambal in his “Masnad” cited Soweda bin Ghafla saying:


One day I went to see Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) in the Government House (Darul Imarah). It was the time of breakfast and before him there was a cup of milk and some barley bread. The bread was dry, stale, hard and did not contain any butter, or oil. It could not be easily broken into pieces. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) was exerting himself to break it and to soften it. I turned towards his slave, Bibi Fizza and said: Fizza! Have you no pity upon your old master and why cannot you give him softer bread and add some butter or oil to it? Bibi Fizza replied: “Why should I pity him when he never pities himself. He has given strict orders that nothing is to be added to his bread and even chaff and husks are not to be separated from the flour. We, ourselves, eat much better food than this, though we are his slaves.” Hearing this I told him O Master, have pity on yourself, look at your age, your responsibilities, your hard work and your food. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) replied “O Soweda, you have no idea what Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to eat. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) never ate full stomach for three consecutive days.”


Allama Kamaloddeen Mohammad bin Talha Shaafi in his book Matalibos-Soaal quotes Abdullah bin Zorara saying:


I went to see Sher e Khuda, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) on an Eid (Festival) day. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) asked me to join in his breakfast and I agreed. A very poor kind of food was served before us. I told him, O Master, you are such a rich man, a Caliph and a King. I was expecting that game would be served before us but what do I see? Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) replied, “Abdullah bin Zorara, you have heard of mighty kings who have lead life of luxury. Let me be a ruler leading the life of a poor and humble person a humble labourer.


Imam Ahmad bin Hambal in his “Masnad” quote the famous Tabayi bin Abi-Rafay, who says:


I went to see Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) on an Eid (Festival) day and while I was sitting there a bag was brought before Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), I thought that it might contain jewels. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) opened the bag, it contained dried pieces of bread, which he softened with water. I asked him as to the reason of sealing such a kind of food which even a beggar would not care to steal. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) smiled and said: “I keep it sealed because my children try to substitute softer bread, containing oil or butter in it.” I said “Has Allah (SWT) prohibited you to eat better kind of food?” Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) replied: “No, but I want to eat the kind of food which the poorest of this realm can afford at least once a day. I shall improve it after I have improved their standards of life. I want to live, feel and suffer like them.”


Abu Sa’id Mansur bin Husayn Abi (422 AH) writes thus in his book entitled ‘Nathrud Durar’:


Ahnaf bin Qays says, one day I went to see Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan. He had laid a wonderful dinner carpet. He brought all sorts of hot, cold, sweet and sour foods for me. I was wonderstruck. Later, as ordered by him, another dish of a different kind of food was brought in. I tried my best to find out what it was but did not succeed. I, therefore, enquired about it from Muawiyah. He replied that it consisted of the intestines of a duck which had been filled with the marrow of the sheep and had then been fried in pistachio oil and finally sugar had been sprinkled on it.


Imam Ali (as) on an Eid (Festival) dayI began to weep. Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan asked me: Why are you weeping? I replied, I have been reminded of the life of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as). I remember that one day I was with him. When the time for dinner and breaking the fast drew near he asked me to remain with him. A sealed leather case was brought to him. I asked him what it contained and he told me that there was barley flour in it. I asked him, why have you sealed it? Are you afraid that others may take some of it or do you not wish that anyone else should eat it? Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) replied, who else? As a matter of fact I am afraid that my sons Hasan and Hussain may not taint it with butter or olive oil. I said, “O Commander of the Faithful! Is it prohibited?” He replied, “No. It is not prohibited. However, it is necessary for the true administrators and rulers to consider themselves to be the most deprived persons so that poverty and distress may not press and squeeze the indigent.”


When I had said this, Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan interrupted and said, “You have mentioned a man whose excellence cannot be denied by anyone.”


Once, after a day’s hard work, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) was sitting under a tree and eating his barley bread and salt. A passing beggar asked him for food. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) readily offered to share what he was eating and gave the beggar a piece of bread. The old beggar found it difficult to chew and complained that the bread was too hard. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) informed the beggar that he would get good hot food if he cared to go to Imam Hasan’s house.


When the beggar arrived at the given address, he found that a banquet was spread out and people were eating. Imam Hasan (as) invited the beggar to join them. He started eating and after a while he would eat one mouthful and put one mouthful in his bowl. Seeing this, Imam Hasan (as) said, “Why are you putting food in your bowl? Have your fill and then you can take some more with you.”


The beggar replied, “I am collecting some good food for a man, who is eating dry barley bread and salt.” Imam Hasan (as) smiled and said, “That man is Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and this house is his house.”


An incident is related from the life of the great Faqih Wahid Behbahani, may Allah be pleased with him. One day he observed one of his daughters-in-law wearing a garment made of a fabric usually worn by women of rich families of those days. He reproached his son (the late Aqa Muhammad Isma’il, the lady’s husband) in that regard. The son recited this verse of the Noble Qur’an in reply to his father’s remarks:


Say: Who has forbidden the ornament of Allah which He has brought forth for His servants, and the good things of His providing? (7:32)


The father said: “I don’t say that putting on good dress, eating good food, and making use of Allah’s bounties is forbidden, not at all. Such restrictions do not exist in Islam. However, there is one thing to be remembered. We are a family charged with the duty of the religious leadership of Muslims and have special responsibilities. When the people of poor families see the rich live luxuriously, their frustration is aggravated. Their only consolation is that at least the Aqa’s family lives like they do. Now if we too adopt the life-styles of the rich, that will deprive them of their only consolation. However, we cannot practically change the present social condition, but let us not grudge at least this much of sympathy.”

Story No. 228 – Maula-e-Kainat, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and the Astrologer

Moula Ali (as) and the Astrologer There are some who are heedless with respect to reflection, reasoning and Tawakkul (Absolute Trust), and instead, turn to soothsayers and astrologers, who have cleverly started their business in order to swindle the people of their money.


Of course, the issue of Aulia Allah (Friends of Allah) and those, who have strived towards spiritual purification, differ vastly from the others, for their words are light (nur) and if, at times, they were to say something to someone, it would surely occur and hence such personalities should not be compared to the others.


As an example, we shall present an incident that transpired during the time of Maula Ali (as). Ameer al-Momineen, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and his army had started out for the battle of Nahrawan against the Kharjites (Kharjite means one who rebels against religion), and having reached the city of Madain, they pitched their tents. The next morning, as they were about to commence their journey, an astrologer approached them and said: “My astrological calculations reveal that it is not in your interest to advance in this hour. Commence your journey after three hours and you shall be victorious.”


Hearing this, Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) said: “Whoever upholds your words has rejected the Noble Qur’an of Allah (SWT).”


Surely Allah is He with Whom is the knowledge of the hour, and He sends down the rain and He knows what is in the wombs; and no one knows what he shall earn on the morrow; and no one knows in what land he shall die; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware. Noble Qur’an (31:34)


Moula Ali (as) then asked: “Do you possess knowledge as to which family has taken over the reins of leadership in China?”


The astrologer replied: “I have no knowledge.”


Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) questioned: “What is that star, which when rises, stirs up lust within the camels?”


The astrologer confessed: “I have no idea.”


Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) asked: “The rise of which star stirs up passion within the cats?”


The astrologer said: “I do not know!”


Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) asked: “Inform me of the thing that is concealed beneath the hoofs of my horse.”


When the astrologer had once again pleaded ignorance, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) said to him: “Within the earth, below the feet of my horse, lies a jar filled with gold coins and beneath which a serpent lies asleep.”


When the place was dug up, the people witnessed that the scenario was exactly as it had been described by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as).


Observing this, the astrologer was totally bewildered; Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) took possession of his books, ordered them to be destroyed and then said to him: “The next time you try to attract the people towards yourself by means of astrology; I shall put you behind bars.”

Story No. 227 – Ameer al-Momineen as Stranger: Taking care of orphans and widows in Islam

Ameer al-Momineen as 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, stranger man approached 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?”


She replied: “My husband was a soldier; Ali sent him to the frontier where he was killed. Now I am alone with these small children.”


Stranger said no more. Bowing down his head he went away. But the thought of the helpless widow and orphans remained in his mind. He could hardly sleep in the night. Early in the morning 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?”


Stranger replied: “I am the man who brought your water yesterday. 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 stranger 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: “Gentleman! Put fire in the oven.” Stranger 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 neighboring house came in. Recognizing the stranger, she cried: “Woe, don’t you recognize the man who is helping you? He is Amir al-Muminin (commander of the faithful), Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as).”


The widow came forward and shamefacedly cried: “Curse and shame to me. I beg your pardon.”


Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) replied, “No, I beg your pardon for I failed in my duty towards you.”

Story No. 226 – Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (as) and taking care of Helpless in Islam

One day Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (as) saw an old woman carrying a heavy load of firewood which she could ill afford to lift, she was tottering under the weight. Maula-e-Kainat, Imam Ali (as) relieved her of her weight carried it to her hamlet and on her request lighted her oven for her and gave her some money also. Old woman did not know who Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) was and was thanking him for his kindness when a neighbour entered the hamlet, recognized Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and told her, who he was, only then she realized that who had served her like an obedient servant was the Caliph and the king of a fast growing kingdom.

Only after Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib’s (as) death the world came to know that he had provided a shelter for a leper in an advanced stage of the disease. The shelter was outside the town, he used to go there daily, dress his wounds, feed him with his own hands (because the leper had lost his hands), wash him, put his bed in order and carry him out of the shelter for little time, so that he may get fresh air. Accidentally relatives and friends of Moula Ali (as) came across this shelter and found a leper in it, learned his history and told him Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) was martyred and they had just then buried him. The news so affected the poor cripple that he died on the spot.

Story No. 225 – Maula-e-Kainat, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and taking care of poor in Islam

Ameer al-Momineen, Imam Ali (as), during his Caliphate (Khilafat), would often undertake tours to survey the markets. He (as) used to walk in the markets alone, with no escort, no servant and no companion and advice and guide the traders there. He (as) had a very soft corner in his heart for old, weak, infirm, disabled, orphans, poor and children were always his favourites.

It was the hottest day of the season, Commander of the Faithful, Moula Ali (as) had finished his noon-prayers in the mosque and was passing through the bazaar; he noticed that a little girl was weeping. Moula Ali (as) asked her the reason for her tears at which she explained: “My master had given me a dirham to purchase some dates. I purchased them from this trader here, but when I returned home, my master did not approve of them. Now I wish to return them but the trader refuses to take them back.”

Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) accompanied the little girl to the trader and said to him, “This little girl is a slave girl and has no authority of her own. Take back the dates and return the money to her.”

The trader was a new comer to Kufa and did not recognize Maula Ali (as) and was rude to him, some passerby intervened and told him who Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) was.

The trader’s face went pale as he stood flabbergasted. Trader immediately took the dates from the little girl and handed back the money to her. Then, turning to Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), he implored, “O’ Ameer al-Momineen (Commander of the Faithful)! Be pleased with me and forgive me.”

Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) replied, “I shall only be pleased with you when you change your behaviour for the better and pay close attention to morals and courtesy.”

The owner of the slave girl had also heard the news of this incident and ran to meet Moula Ali (as) to apologize for the trouble caused by the slave girl. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) told him:

You have no mercy for a person who is under your power and cannot forgive her mistake, have you a right to expect Mercy and Forgiveness from the Lord? You people have acquired nothing from Islam but its name.

Story No. 224 – Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) and rights of Companionship

Rights of Companionship In those days, Kufa was the capital and center of the Islamic Government. All eyes of the vast and wide Muslim nation (with the exception of Syria) were fixed at this city waiting for orders to be issued and decisions to be taken.


One day outside the city two gentlemen, a Muslim and the other from people of the Book (Jew or Christian) met on the road. The Muslim was going to Kufa and the other gentlemen to another place nearby. Since a part of their journey was common, they decided to travel together.


On the way, they talked and talked on, various topics of mutual interest and ultimately arrived at the point where their paths separated. The non-Muslim was surprised to see that his Muslim companion did not take the path leading to Kufa but accompanied him on the other path, where he was going. He asked: “Well, did not you say you were going to Kufa?”


“Yes” Muslim said.


“Then why are you coming this way? The other one is the path to Kufa.”


“I know. I want to walk a few steps with you to see you off as our Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said, ‘whenever two persons travel together on the same path, they establish reciprocal rights upon each other’. Now you have got a right upon me and for the sake of that right I wish to walk a few steps with you, and then, of course, I shall return unto my own path.”


“Oh! Such an authority and power which is wielded among people in such a perfect way by your Prophet Muhammad (saw), and the amazing speed with which his religion has spread in the world, must be, I am sure, because of his such noble character.”


The surprise and admiration of this non-Muslim reached its peak when he learnt afterwards that his Muslim friend was Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as), the Caliph of that time. Soon after he embraced Islam and was counted among the most devout and self-sacrificing companion of Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as).


Maula Ali (as): Taking care of old age people in Islam


The old man, a Christian by religion, had worked all his life; but had not been able to save anything for his old age. Lately he had also become blind. Old age, poverty and blindness had joined hands and he had no other way except begging. He used to stand at the corner of a lane for begging. People had compassion for him and gave him some alms from which he ate every day, and so he continued his sad life.


One day Ameer ul Momineen (Commander of the Faithful) Maula Ali (as), passed through the lane and saw the beggar in that condition. Imam Ali (as), out of his concern for others, enquired about the old man. He wanted to know the factors which led him to that condition. “Has he no son to support him? Or, is there no other way for him to live a respectable life in his old age?”


The people who knew the old man came forward and informed Imam Ali (as) that he was a Christian and had worked hard so long as he had his eyes, and when young and strong. Now that he had lost his youth as well as his eyes, he was unable to do any work; also he had no savings, so it was natural for him to beg. Mawla Ali (as) said, “Strange! Till he had strength, you extracted work from him and now you have left him on his own?”


His story shows that he had worked when he had the strength. Therefore, it is the duty of the Government and the society to support him till he is alive. “Go, and give him a life pension from the State Treasury (Baytul Mal).”

Story No. 223 – Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) amongst his subjects

When Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) was coming to Kufa, he entered the city of Anbar populated by Iranians. The Iranian farmers were very happy to see their beloved caliph, Ameer ul Momineen passing through their town. They came to his visit. When it was time for Imam Ali (as) to leave, they started running in front of his horse. Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) inquired about this behavior.

“This is one way that we extend respect to our leaders and respectful individuals. This is our custom that has been practiced for years.”

Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) said: “This behavior puts you in discomfort in this world, and brings about humiliation in the next world. Always stay away from practices that humiliate you. After all what benefit is there in such a practice to the recipients?”

Haris-ibne-Shohail, one of the governors of the provinces, was in Kufa, once he was riding through the city and saw Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) also riding. He got down from his horse to accompany Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) on foot. Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (as) stopped his horse and said. “It is ill for a man to lower himself before anybody but his God, please get upon your horse, even had you not been an officer of the state I would not have allowed you to lower yourself like this, the sight of such humiliation of man before man never pleases me. It is the worst form of tyranny which can be practiced.”

Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (as) was passing through Ambar, with his army. The rich men of the province, as was the custom of those times, came out to greet him. They offered the best Persian horses as presents, and requested his permission to act as hosts to his army. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) met them very courteously, but very politely refused to accept the gifts and the invitation, saying:

You have paid your taxes, to receive anything more from you, even when you offer it voluntarily and willingly, is a crime against the state.

But when they persisted and pressed their request, Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) ordered that the horses could be accepted against their taxes, and so far as the feast was concerned it must be paid out of the war expenses.

Story No. 222 – Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and Generosity

Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)At another time, Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) was returning from a journey with a string of camels fully laden with goods. On the way a beggar asked for a piece of bread. Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) ordered his beloved servant Qambar to give some bread to the beggar. Qambar started searching for bread. After a few moments Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) asked about the delay. Qambar said, “I am looking for the bread.”


Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) said, “Give the bagger the camel which carries the food.” After a while Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) again inquired about the delay. Qambar replied, “I am searching for the camel carrying the food.” “Give the whole caravan,” Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) ordered.


Qambar hurriedly jumped off from the camel and handed the reins of the whole caravan to the fortunate beggar.


Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) smiled at the agility of Qambar and asked him, “Why did you jump so quickly and hand over the reins in such haste?” Qambar replied, “Master, you are in such a mood that on account of a little delay, you gave away the whole caravan. I was afraid if there was some more delay, you might give me away also with the caravan. You will get a thousand slaves like me, but where will I get a master like you?”


Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) and Gift giving etiquette in Islam


One day our first Imam, Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) went to the market with his servant, Qambar. There he bought two shirts, one which was really nice and expensive and the other which was not as nice.


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


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


Imam Ali (as) answered that Qambar should wear the nicer shirt because he was younger and so it would suit him better; but more importantly Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali (as) 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.


Saeed, another servant of Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) says,


It was a very hot day, Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali (as) was writing some letters, he wanted to send me to call some of his officers, he called me, once, twice and thrice and each time I purposely kept silent and did not reply. Imam Ali (as) got up to go himself and saw me sitting not very far away from him. He (as) asked me as to why I did not respond to his call, I replied: “Master, I want to find out when and how you get angry.” A smile played on his lips and he replied: “You cannot rouse my anger with such childlike tricks, and then he set me free and kept on supporting me till me death.”

1 2 3 4