Story No. 355 – Imam al-Baqir (as): Exercise Caution in Reconciliation

Abdul Malik says: There arose a dispute between Imam Baqer (as) and some of the children of Imam Hasan (as). I approached Imam Baqer (as) and sought to intervene in the matter in order to reconcile them, but Imam Baqer (as), fifth Imam of the Shiites advised:

Do not say a word in this dispute for our problem is like that of the old man from Bani Israel (Children of Israel), who had two daughters. One of them was married to a farmer, while the other to a pottery maker.

Once old man decided to pay them a visit. He first visited the daughter who was the wife of the farmer and reaching her house, he inquired about her health.

The daughter said: “Dear father, my husband has cultivated a large area of land and if it were to rain, we would be the most prosperous of the entire Bani Israel (Children of Israel).”

Then, proceeding towards the house of the other daughter, whose husband was a pottery maker, he inquired about her health.

The daughter said, “Dear father, my husband has moulded pots in great quantity and if Allah (SWT) were to withhold the rains till his pots dry up, we would be better off than the entire Bani Israel (Children of Israel).”

As he departed from the house of his second daughter, he prayed: “O’ Allah (SWT)! Act as You deem fit for, in this situation, I cannot pray for either of them.”

Imam Baqer (as) then said to me, “You too cannot intervene in this matter. Be wary, lest you show disrespect to either of us. Your responsibility towards us, because of our relationship with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), is to treat all of us with deference and esteem.