Another Example Of Generosity

Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s) entered Mecca for some affairs. He saw a Bedouin clutching the curtain of Ka`bah saying, “O Lord of the House! The House is Yours and the guest is Yours. Every host prepares certain means to receive his guest. Tonight, bless me by receiving me.” Addressing his friends, Imam `Ali said, “Are you not listening to this Bedouin?” They  said, “Yes, we are.” The Imam said, “Allah is too Great to return His guest empty-handed!”

On the second night, Imam `Ali found the same man clutching the same pillar of Ka`bah saying, “O Almighty! There is no one mightier than You! By Your Honor! Honor me in a way no one knows how! I resort to you by the honor of Muhammad and the Family of Muhammad! Grant me something no one but You can grant and avert from me what none but You can avert!”

Amir al-Mu’minin said to his friends, “By Allah! These words are the chief name of Allah in Syriac. My beloved, Allah’s Messenger, has informed me that tonight this Arab has asked for Paradise from Allah and his prayer was granted and asked for the aversion of Hellfire, which was granted too!”

On the third night, Imam `Ali (a.s) again saw him in the same place saying, “O Allah Who is not contained in a space and no space is devoid of Him! Give this Arab four thousand Dirhams as sustenance!” 

Imam `Ali went forth saying, “O Arab! You asked Allah to host you, and He did; you wished Paradise; and it was granted to you; you asked for aversion of fire; and your prayer was granted; tonight, you are asking for four thousand Dirhams?” 

The Arab said, “Who are you?” The Imam said, “I am `Ali ibn Abu-Talib.” The Arab said, “By Allah! You are the one I desire and you can meet my need!” The Imam said, “O Bedouin! Ask for it.” The man said, “A Thousand Dirhams for dowry; a thousand for paying my debt; a thousand for purchasing a house; and a thousand for running the affairs of my life!” The Imam said, “You have been fair in asking for your needs. Whenever you left Mecca for Medina, ask for my house.” 

The Arab stayed in Mecca for a week and then came to Medina looking for Amir al-Mu’minin, shouting, “Who will lead me to the house of the Leader of the believers?” Husayn ibn `Ali who was then a child said, “I will lead you to his house. I am his son.” The Arab asked, “Who is your father?” Husayn said, “Amir al-Mu’minin, `Ali ibn Abi-Talib is my father.” He asked, “Who is your mother?” Husayn said, “Fatimah al-Zahra’, the doyenne of the women of the world is my mother.” He asked, “Who is your grandfather?” Husayn said, “Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad ibn `Abdullah ibn `Abd al-Muttalib is my grandfather.” He asked, “Who is your grandmother?” Husayn said: Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid is my grandmother.” He asked, “Who is your brother?” Husayn said, “Abu-Muhammad, Hasan ibn `Ali, is my brother.” the Bedouin said, “You have got the whole world! Go to Amir al-Mu’minin and tell him that the Bedouin whose needs you had guaranteed to meet in Mecca is beside your house.” 

Husayn entered the house saying, “O father! The Bedouin whose needs you have guaranteed to meet is at the door.” Addressing Fatimah, Imam `Ali said, “Is there any food at home for this Bedouin?” Fatimah said, “No.” Hearing this, Imam `Ali put on his clothes and went outside home saying, “Call Abu-`Abdullah, Salman the Persian.” When Salman came, the Imam said, “O Abu-`Abdullah! Put to sale the orchard whose trees the Holy Prophet planted!” Salman too sold the orchard for twelve thousand Dirhams. Imam `Ali took the money and called for the Bedouin. Four thousand Dirhams were given to him to meet his needs and forty Dirhams for his expenses.

The news spread among the needy in Medina. They too came to Imam `Ali. A man from the Ansar went to Fatimah’s house and informed her of the event. Fatimah said, “May Allah reward you for this news.” `Ali was sitting there giving away handfuls of Dirhams to the needy so much so that there was nothing left for him.” (Al-Amali: 467, H 10)