Feeding The Needy

Mu`ammar ibn Khala’ has reported: When Imam al-Rida (a.s) wanted to eat, a big tray was brought before him and he would pick up from the best food which was on the table, put it on the big tray and sent it for the needy people. Then he recited the following verses,

فَلَا اقْتَحَمَ الْعَقَبَةَ (11) وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْعَقَبَةُ (12) فَكُّ رَقَبَةٍ (13) أَوْ إِطْعَامٌ فِي يَوْمٍ ذِي مَسْغَبَةٍ (14) يَتِيمًا ذَا مَقْرَبَةٍ (15) أَوْ مِسْكِينًا ذَا مَتْرَبَةٍ (16)

"But he would not attempt the uphill road. And what will make you comprehend what the uphill road is. (It is) the setting free of a slave; Or the giving of food in a day of hunge; To an orphan, having relationship; Or to the poor man lying in the dust. 90/11-16"

Then the Imam would say, “Allah knows that it is not easy for all human beings to set slaves free; hence, He has made feeding the needy a way for His servants to enter Paradise.”Al-Kafi: 52/4, H 12. )