Altruism

Both Shi`ite and Sunni scholars report: One day `Ali was extremely hungry so he asked for food from Fatimah who said, “There is no food except the one I preferred to give to you than to myself as well as Hasan and Husayn two days ago.” `Ali asked, “Why didn’t you tell me to prepare a food for you?” Fatimah said, “O Abu’l-Hasan! I was ashamed to charge you with what is not in your power!” `

Ali left the house, went to the Holy Prophet and borrowed one Dinar to buy food. On his way, he met al-Miqdad who said, “Whatever Allah wills (will come to pass)!” `Ali gave his one Dinar to him, went to mosque, lay down and went to sleep! Allah’s Messenger went to the mosque and found `Ali in that position. Awakening him, the Holy Prophet asked, “What did you do?” `Ali told him the story and then prayed with the Holy Prophet. When Allah’s Messenger completed his prayer, he asked, “O Abu’l-Hasan! Do you have any food to share with you?” `Ali kept silent and gave no answer out of shame. 

Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet to have the dinner with `Ali that night. So they both set out for `Ali’s house. When they entered the house, Fatimah was engaged in prayer and behind her was a big bowl steaming. Fatimah brought that big bowl which was replete with food and placed it before her father and her husband. `Ali asked. Where has this food come from? She  said: From Allah’s Favor and Benevolence,
إنَّ اللّهَ يَرْز ُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
Surely, Allah gives to whom He pleases without measure (3:37)


The Holy Prophet put his hand between the two shoulders of `Ali saying, “O `Ali! This is in lieu of your Dinar.” Then he was choked with tears saying, “Thanks Allah that I have not died to see in my daughter what (Prophet) Zachariah saw in (Saint) Mary.”