Playing Host

Imam Ali (‘a) invited a person with his son to dinner. He welcomed him warmly on his arrival and gave him a prominent seat so that he should also feel distinguished among the respected gathering. Then he (‘a) sat beside him.
Dinner was served and everyone enjoyed the meal. After dinner, Qanbar, the Imam’s (‘a) well known servant, brought the water, soap and towel with the basin to make the guests wash their hands. Imam Ali (‘a) took them from him to help the new guest wash his hands.
The new guest refused to extend his hands and said, ‘Is it right that you should help wash my hands?’
Imam Ali (‘a) said, ‘Your brother-in-faith wishes to serve you so that Almighty Allah rewards him. Do you want him to lose that reward?’ said, ‘Your brother-in-faith wishes to serve you so that Almighty Allah rewards him. Do you want him to lose that reward?’ said, ‘Your brother-in-faith wishes to serve you so that Almighty Allah rewards him. Do you want him to lose that reward?’
The guest could not bring himself to comply with his (‘a) request.
Finally, Imam Ali (‘a) firmly said, ‘I sincerely wish to earn the reward of serving a brother-in-faith, by Allah, don’t deny me the privilege.’
The guest extended his hands reluctantly. Imam Ali (‘a) insisted, ‘It will give me great pleasure if you wash your hands as if Qanbar is making you wash them. Don’t shy away or feel uncomfortable because I’m doing it.’
As soon as the guest finished washing his hands, Imam Ali (‘a) called his son Muhammad Hanafia and said, ‘Now help his son wash his hands. I am your father, so I helped his father, you are my son so you help his son. If I had invited the son alone, I would have done the needful myself. Allah wishes to distinguish between the respect offered to a father in the presence of his son.’called his son Muhammad Hanafia and said, ‘Now help his son wash his hands. I am your father, so I helped his father, you are my son so you help his son. If I had invited the son alone, I would have done the needful myself. Allah wishes to distinguish between the respect offered to a father in the presence of his son.’called his son Muhammad Hanafia and said, ‘Now help his son wash his hands. I am your father, so I helped his father, you are my son so you help his son. If I had invited the son alone, I would have done the needful myself. Allah wishes to distinguish between the respect offered to a father in the presence of his son.’
Muhammad Hanafia did as his father ordered.
Imam Hasan Askari (‘a) while narrating the incident, declared: while narrating the incident, declared: while narrating the incident, declared:
‘This is what a true believer should be like.’