|code: 260965||Date: 2011/08/21||source: I.R|
Anecdotes from the Life of Imam Ali (A.S.)
Anecdotes from the Life of Imam Ali (A.S.)
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, an unknown 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?"
"My husband was a soldier; Ali sent him to the frontier where he was killed. Now I am alone with these small children." The stranger said no more. Bowing down his head he went away. But the thought of the helpless window 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?" "I am the man who brought your water yesterday. Now I have brought some food for the children." "May God bless you and judge between us and Ali" She opened the door. Entering the house he 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:
"Gentlemen! put fire in the oven". He 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 Ameer-ul-Momineen (commander of the faithful) Ali Ibn Abi-Talib." The widow came forward and shamefacedly cried: "Curse and shame to me. I beg your pardon." "No, I beg your pardon for I failed in my duty towards you."
Imam Ali (A.S.) And The Candle
A candle burnt by his side, as he sat down meticulously recording all the revenue and the expenses of the treasury. Just then Talha and Zubair appeared. They aspired to some positions of authority in Imam Ali's (A.S.) rule and had come to strike a deal. If Imam Ali's (A.S.) gave them a place of distinction, they would in turn pledge their full support. Imam Ali's (A.S.) knew of this.
Just as they sat down, Imam Ali's (A.S.) puts out the candle and lit another one. Talha and Zubair exchanged a glance of surprise and then one of them said: "O Ali, we have come on some important business. But why did you extinguish the first candle?" Imam Ali's (A.S.) replied: "That was a candle bought of Treasury funds. As long as I worked for the Treasury, I used it. Now you have come for some personal work, so I use the candle bought of my personal fund." Talha and Zubair left him without saying another word.
The Five loaves
Zarr Bin Hobeish relates this story: Two travelers sat together on the way to their destination to have a meal. One had five loaves of bread. The other had three. A third traveler was passing by and at the request of the two joined in the meal.
The travelers cut each of the loaf of bread in three equal parts. Each of the travelers ate eight broken pieces of the loaf. At the time of leaving the third traveler took out eight dirhams and gave to the first two men who had offered him the meal, and went away.
On receiving the money the two travelers started quarrelling as to who should have how much of the money. The five-loaf-man demanded five dirharns. The three-loaf-man insisted on dividing the money in two equal parts. The dispute was brought to Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (the Caliph of the time in Arabia) to be decided.
Imam Ali (A.S.) requested the three-loaf-man to accept three dirhams. The man refused and said that he would take only four dirhams. At this Imam Ali (A.S.) returned, "You can have only one dirham. You had eight loaves between yourselves. Each loaf was broken in three parts. Therefore, you had 24 equal parts. Your three loaves made nine parts out of which you have eaten eight portions, leaving just one to the third traveler.
Your friend had five loaves which divided into three made fifteen pieces. He ate eight pieces and gave seven pieces to the guest. As such the guest shared one part from your loaves and seven from those of your friend. So you should get one dirham and your friend should receive seven dirhams.
Are you Asleep or Awake?
Habbah Arni and Nawf Bakali were lying in the courtyard of Darul-Amarah (fort) of Kufah. After the midnight, they saw that the Leader of the Faithful, Imam Ali (A.S.), was coming from the fort towards the courtyard. But his condition was bad; he was having extraordinary fear and was unable to keep the equilibrium of his body.
Keeping his hands on the wall and having his body in bent position, he was walking slowly with the support of the wall. And he was reciting the last verses(Ayat) of Surah Ale-Imran as follows: "Indeed in the creation of the heaven and the earth and alteration of the night and the day, there are signs for men of acumen. Those who extol Allah, standing, sitting and (lying) on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): 'Our Lord! You have not created this in vain! Glory is Yours; protect us against the torment of the Fire. Our Lord! indeed whomsoever You enter the Fire, You have surely disgraced him, and there shall be no helpers for the worngdoers. Our Lord! surely we have heard a caller calling to faith (saying): 'Believe in your Lord', so we did believe; Our Lord! forgive us, therefore, our sins and cover our evil deeds and recieve us with the righteous. Our Lord! grant us what You have promised us through Your messengers and do not disgrace us on the Resurrection Day; surely You do not break the promise ."(3: 190-194)
As soon as he finished these verses, his condition became bad; he then repeated these verses again and again and his condition became bad to worse and he became almost unconscious. Both Habbah and Nawf were witnessing this amazing scene, while lying on their beds. Habbah, while quite startled, was looking this astonishing scene. But Nawf was unable to control his tears and he was continuously weeping. By this time, Imam Ali (A.S.) reached the bed of Habbah and said: "Are you awake or asleep?"
Habbah replied: "I am awake, O Leader of the Pious! If a person like you has such a condition of awe and fear of Allah, then what would heppen to poor people like us." The Leader of the Pious looked down and wept. He then said: "O Habbah! all of us will be presented before Allah one day. And no deed of ours is hidden from Him. He is very near to you and to me. Nothing can act as an obstruction between us and Allah."
Then he said to Nawf: "Are you asleep?" (Nawf replied:) "No, O Leader of the Pious! I am awake. It is for some time that I am shedding tears." Imam Ali (A.S.) said: "O Nawf! If today you shed tears in fear of Allah, tomorrow your eyes will glitter.
"O Nawf! No one has more respect than that person who cries in the fear of Allah and that he likes to do it only for His sake. "O Nawf! The one who loves Allah and that whatever he loves, he does it just for the sake of Allah, does not prefer anything over love of Allah. And the one who dislikes anything, and does it for the sake of Allah, he would receive nothing except virtue for his disliking. Whenever you reach such a stage, you have attained the truths of faith to their perfection."
After saying this, he preached and gave a peice of advice to Habbah and Nawf. His last sentence was: "I have told you that you should fear from Allah." Then he passed by both of them and got busy with his own work. He started his prayers and while doing so, he said: "O Allah! I wish I knew that when I am neglectful towards You, do You ignore me or do You still care for me? I wish I knew that in these long neglectful dreams of mine and in my shortcomings in thanking you, what is my position before You?" Habbah and Nawf, said: "By Allah! he(Ali(A.S.)) kept on walking and he had the same condition continuously till dawn."
Imam `Ali (A.S.) was very kind to children, especially to orphans. If he ever saw an orphan crying, he would stop whatever he was doing. bend down. give the child his salam. wipe away the child's tears, put his hand on the child's shoulder and say,
"My child, why are you crying? Has someone hurt you? Come, let me take you to my house." `Ali (A.S.) would take the child home and treat him better than any father. He would bring the child sweets and cakes and honey and put them in the child's mouth himself. Imam `Ali used to tell his followers to love and be kind to orphans, especially the orphans of martyrs killed in the path of Allah. "They have lost their loving fathers," he used to say. "So cheer them up and look after them just like a father. "Their fathers were martyred in jihad and for the sake of Islam. and they have rights on you. Make their souls pleased with you by cheering up their children and looking after them."
Imam Ali was always attentive to orphans especially to those of the martyrs Re used to visit them and sit and chat and play with them He used to take care of their education and training. He would strive to solve their difficulties and always offered them guidance and advice. He would bring them gifts and, if they were poor, he would respectfully provide their expenses.
Imam `Ali (A.S.) was so kind to orphans and laid so much stress on them in his teachings that one of his companions said: "How I wish that I too was a young orphan so that I would receive kindness and love from Imam 'Ali (A.S.) *Love and be kind to children, especially orphans.*
Work and Generosity
Imam `Ali (a.s.) was a hard-working 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. One day, he acquired a piece of barren land outside Madinah which he wanted to cultivate. In order to do this, he decided to dig a well, he chose a suitable place and, putting his hopes in the grace of Allah, 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 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. He 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. He climbed quickly out of what had now become a wonderful well in the dry desert which would soon turn ill the 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 Ali" one said "since `Ali is a good and generous man, "said another. "Allah has been generous to him and given him goodness"
"Ali and his descendants have become rich forever." said some. Some congratulated Imam `Ali while some were jealous.
"Bring me a paper and pen" said Ali (a.s.) and when they had done so, he sat down and wrote the following: I have endowed this well and the land surrounding it in charity for its income to be used as follows:
a. In helping the poor and destitute. b. In helping the travelers far away from their homes. c. In providing the means for the marriages of orphans. d. In providing medical care for the poor. e. In the doing of good works of public benefit. I have endowed this well in charity so as to seek the pleasure of Allah and the rewards of the Hereafter, and in order to be saved from the of Hell.
Enjoining the Right and Forbidding the Wrong
One summer day, Imam `Ali (A.S.) was walking through the town on his way home. The sun was in tensely hot, and the Imam (A.S.) was tired and perspiring. Most of the people were sleeping, and the streets were quiet and deserted. Suddenly, Imam `Ali (A.S.) heard a voice of wailing and crying.
He stopped, looked all around, and seeing no one he carried on his way. Then a woman appeared at the end of the alley. She was running helplessly, wailing and weeping. She ran up to Imam Ali (A.S.), sank to the floor, and wiped the tears from her eyes. She started to say something but she couldn't help crying.
Once again her face drowned in tears. The Imam (SA) asked her gently as to why she was so upset. With hard breathing and her wailing voice, the woman replied: `My husband is ill-treating me. He has put me out of the house. He wants to hit me... O Amir al-Mu'minin, help me, for there is no one to help me, other than you.
Imam Ali (A.S.) was very tired. He told her: "Wait until it becomes cool. Then I will go with you and speak to your husband. At the moment it is very hot and I am very tired. It is better that you wait a little." This once more brought tears to the woman's face.
"O Amir al-Numinin.." she said. "I am afraid. I fear that if I reach home late my husband will be even angrier with me, and will treat me even more harshly"
Imam `Ali (SA) thought for a moment, and then said: "No, by Allah, I will not delay enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong. I must help this oppressed one.
With that he set off for the woman's house. As they approached the house she pointed it out and stood a little way off, too afraid to go any nearer. Imam Ali (SA) knocked at the door and offered his sa1am.
A powerful young man, obviously enraged, opened the door. Straightway the Imam (SA) inquired about his behavior towards his wife, and then, in a gentle, kind manner he advised him:
"O young man, why do you trouble your wife? Be fearful of Allah, and don't trouble your wife any more. Don't hit her, and if she has annoyed you, you must forgive her."
Standing at the other side of the lane the woman was listening to the conversation and hoping that her husband would accept the Imam's (SA) advice and mend his ways towards her. But the young man (who didn't seem to recognize the Imam (A.S.) shouted angrily and impudently: !Who are you to poke your nose into my affairs? I now intend to kill her and there is nothing you can do about it. It's none of your business. Right now I am going to set her on fire; let me see what you can do about it!"
Listening to this outburst, the Imam (A.S.) lowered his head and muttered "La ilaha illa Allah". And when the youth rushed towards his wife threatening to set her on fire, the Imam (A.S.) blocked his way, took his hand and again reprimanded and advised him. Yet the young man did not heed the Imam (A.S.) and continued his shouting and his violent and aggressive behavior.
Again he tried to move towards his wife, he really wanted to set her on fire. Imam `Ali (A.S.) then got angry. With no hesitation he drew his sword and raised it over the young man's head. The flash of the sword terrified the young man and his whole body was badly trembling.
The Imam (A.S.) looked sternly into the young man's face: "I requested you kindly and politely. I advised you to do good work, and I warned you of the punishment of your evil deeds. But as for you, you began shouting like a madman. You were bad-tempered, impudent and quarrelsome. Do you expect me to allow you to tyrannize this lady! Be sorry for your bullying and cruelty, be afraid of Allah, stop troubling your poor wife; or else you will earn the punishments of your ugly deeds."
At this point some of Imam `Ali's (A.S.) companions arrived and greeted their Imam. Hearing them address him as "Amir al-Muminin" the young man recognized `Ali (A.S.) and became very ashamed of his behavior. Full of remorse and regret, he apologized.
Imam `Ali (A.S.) sheathed his sword and said to the woman: "Go to your house now, you will be safe. But in future treat your husband with more respect and live more peacefully with him. O noble lady, you too, be loving and kind to your husband, and give him no reason to be angry with you."