Story No. 239 – Aqil’s condition of poverty and destitution (Nahjul Balagha – Sermon 222)
Hadhrat Ali Murtaza (as)By Allah (SWT), I would rather pass a night in wakefulness on the thorns of as-sa’dan (a plant having sharp prickles) or be driven in chains as a prisoner than meet Allah (SWT) and His Messenger on the Day of Judgement as an oppressor over any person or a usurper of anything out of worldly wealth. And how can I oppress any one for (the sake of a life) that is fast moving towards destruction and is to remain under the earth for a long time.
By Allah (SWT), I certainly saw (my brother) Aqil fallen in destitution and he asked me a sa (about three kilograms in weight) out of your (share of) wheat, and I also saw his children with dishevelled hair and a dusty countenance due to starvation, as though their faces had been blackened by indigo. He came to me several times and repeated his request to me again and again. I heard him, and he thought I would sell my faith to him and follow his tread leaving my own way. Then I (just) heated a piece of Iron and took it near his body so that he might take a lesson from it, then he cried as a person in protracted illness cries with pain and he was about to get burnt with its branding. Then I said to him, “Moaning women may moan over you, O’ Aqil. Do you cry on account of this (heated) Iron which has been made by a man for fun while you are driving me towards the fire which Allah (SWT), the Powerful, has prepared for (a manifestation of) His wrath? Should you cry from pain, but I should not cry from the flames?”