Abu-Matar, one of the inhabitants of Basrah, reports: I was coming out of Kufah Mosque when suddenly a man called from behind, “Hold up your garment which makes it last longer and cut your hair short, if you are a Muslim.”
I followed him while he had covered himself with a cloak and held a lash in his hand like a Bedouin, “Who is this man?” He said, “I find you a stranger in this city!” I said, “Yes, I am a man from Basrah.” He said, “This is `Ali, the Leader of the believers.”
I followed him until he reached the neighborhood of Banu-Mohit which was the camels’ market-place. There, he said, “Sell but do not take oath, for it will destroy goods and blessing.” Then, he went to date sellers. There, he found a slave-girl crying. He asked the reason. She said, “This man sold me date for one dirham but my master did not like it and he does not take it back.” The Imam said, “Take back your date and give her back the one dirham, for she is a slave and has no authority.” He pushed back the Imam! I said, “Do you know this man?” He said, “No.” I said, “He is `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, the Leader of the believers.” The man took back the date and gave back her money. Then, the man said, “I hope you are pleased with me.” He said, “Now that you have given people’s right, I am pleased with you.”
Then while passing through the date sellers, he said, “Give of these dates to the needy so that Allah will bless your business.” Then he went to fish mongers telling them to be careful not to sell the fish which has died in water! Then, he went to the market of canvas sellers and visited an old man selling canvas and said, “I want a shirt for three Dirhams.” As soon as the man recognized him, he refused to sell anything to him. He went to another seller but since he too recognized the Imam, he did not buy from him until he came to a young man. He bought a shirt for three Dirhams, put it on while praying as such to Allah,
ألحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي رَزَقَنِي مِنَ الرِّيَاشِ مَا أتَجَمَّلُ بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ وَأوَارِي بِهِ عَوْرَتِي.
“Praise be to Allah who provided me with a good garment to adorn myself and to cover my private parts with.”
He was asked whether these were his words or he had heard it from Allah’s Messenger. He said, “I heard from the Holy Prophet saying it while he was wearing a garment.”
Amidst this, the father of the young man arrived. He was told that his son sold a shirt for three Dirhams to Amir al-Mu’minin. Turning to his son, he asked, “Why did you charge more than two Dirhams?” The father took the one dirham and came to Amir al-Mu’minin who was now sitting with Muslims at the gate of Rahbah, saying, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! Take this one dirham!” The Imam asked about the story of this dirham. The man said, “The price of the shirt was two Dirhams.” The Imam said, “He sold it with consent and I bought it with consent.” (Kashf al-Ghummah: 163/1)