Story No. 438 – Imam Hadi (as) explains Maal al-Katheer from Noble Qur’an:
Once Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil was poisoned so he kept a vow (Nadhr) saying that, “If I recover fully then I will spend ‘Maal al-Katheer’ in the cause of Allah (SWT)”.
Maal al-Katheer means ‘plenty of money’, but Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil did not specify the amount.
When he finally recovered, Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil called for his scholars, informed them about his vow and sought their guidance on the amount which he should pay so that it should be regarded as Maal al-Katheer. He got different answers. One said that he should pay 1000 dirham; the other said he should pay 10,000 dirham and the third said that the money should amount to 100,000 dirham. Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil was confused and did not know which scholar’s advice he should follow.
One of the courtiers, whose name was Hasan, said, “O Al-Mutawakkil! If you allow me then I shall acquire a correct answer to your question”. Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil said to him, “Alright, go then and acquire for me a correct answer. If you satisfy me, I will gift you 10,000 dirham other wise I will have you whipped”.
The courtier came to our 10th Imam, Imam Hadi (as) who was under surveillance. As soon as the Imam Hadi (as) saw him, he (as) said, “You have come to ask me about Maal al-Katheer. Go and tell Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil it is 80 dirham”. When Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil heard this, he asked for a proof.
Imam Hadi (as) told the courtier, “Allah (SWT) says in the Noble Qur’an to His Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): ‘Allah (SWT) rendered you with victory in many places’ Noble Qur’an (9:25) When we counted the places of victory, they were 80 in number. This therefore, shows that the interpretation of ‘Katheer’ is eighty”.
When Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil heard this, he was satisfied and extremely pleased. As promised, the courtier was awarded with 10,000 dirham.