Story No. 262 – Distribution of Three Hundred Gold Coins by Hadrat Ali Murtada (as)
Ibn Abbas narrates: “Once, three hundred gold coins were gifted to Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) which he in turn gifted to the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (as). As Imam Ali (as) took them, he declared: “By Allah (SWT)! I shall surely give this amount in charity in a manner such that it shall be accepted by Allah (SWT).”
Later, Hadrat Ali Murtada (as) narrates: “That night, after having offered the Isha prayer, I picked up one hundred gold coins and came out of the mosque. As I did so, I happened to encounter a woman and so handed over the money to her.” In the morning the people were found to be talking amongst themselves, saying: “Last night Imam Ali bin Abu Talib (as) gave a hundred gold coins in charity to an adulteress.” I was greatly distressed to hear this.
The following night, after the Isha prayer, I picked up another hundred gold coins and came out of the mosque saying to myself: “By Allah (SWT)! Tonight I shall give this in charity such that Allah (SWT) shall accept this act from me. As I emerged from the mosque, I found myself face to face with a man and handed over the money to him.” At daybreak the talk amongst the inhabitants of Madinah was: “Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) has given a hundred gold coins to a thief, and I became immensely despondent.”
The third night I picked up another hundred gold coins and said to myself: “By Allah (SWT)! I shall surely give these hundred gold coins in charity to such a person, that Allah (SWT) shall accept my charity. After the Isha prayer, coming out of the mosque, I ran into a man and handed him the money. In the morning, the people of Madinah were found saying: “Last night Imam Ali bin Abu Talib (as) gave a hundred gold coins to a rich and wealthy person.” I was extremely pained to hear this and so, approaching Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), I informed him of the incidents that had taken place.
Having heard me, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “O’ Ali! Angel Gabriel (Jabra’il) says: “Allah (SWT), the Exalted, has accepted your charities and considers them to be pure. (As for) the hundred gold coins that you had given to the immoral lady on the first night – returning home she turned to Allah (SWT) in repentance over her past misdeeds and mended her ways. She has set aside the gold coins as her capital and is on the lookout for a husband.
The hundred gold coins of the second night had reached a thief who, upon reaching home, repented over his wrongdoings and utilized the amount for engaging in trade. The hundred gold coins of the third night had reached the hands of a wealthy person, who had not been paying his Zakat (Alms) for years. Reaching home he began to censure himself saying: “How lowly and base can you be? While you have been violating Allah’s ruling and not been paying the obligatory Zakat for several years, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, despite not possessing anything, has given you a hundred gold coins.” Having rebuked himself, he then calculated his unpaid Zakat of several years and disbursed it.” It was due to this act on the part of Hadrat Ali Murtada (as) that Allah (SWT) revealed the following verse in his excellence: “Men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of poor-rate; they fear a day in which the hearts and eyes shall turn about.” (Noble Qur’an, 24:37)