Unknown Among Travelers
Imam al-Sadiq has reported: Imam Zayn al-`Abidin used to go on trips without letting his co-travelers recognize him so that he could help them as an unknown person. However, he was recognized by one of his co-travelers, “Do you know who this man is? This is `Ali ibn al-Husayn.” People rushed to him kissing his hands and feet, saying, “O son of Allah’s Messenger: We might have harmed you with our hands and tongues hence deserving hell! What made you travel in this way?” The Imam said, “Once I traveled with a group who knew me very well, they treated me for the sake of the Holy Prophet in a way I did not deserve. I thought you might do the same. For this reason, I prefer to travel as an unknown person.”
Kindness To A Camel
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported: When he was passing away, `Ali ibn al-Husayn said to his son, Imam al-Baqir, “I have gone on Hajj on this camel for twenty times and I have not given it a lash. Bury it when it dies so that it will not be eaten by wild animals, for Allah’s Messenger has said: Any camel which goes to `Arafah for seven times, Allah will make it one of the blessings of Paradise and place blessing in its offspring.” When the camel of the Imam died, they buried it.
Giving Away His Food
When `Ali ibn al-Husayn was fasting, he would have a sheep slaughtered, its meat cut into pieces and cooked. At sunset while he had not broken his fast, he would order to bring the bowls, fill them and take them to such and such houses until there was no more food in the pot. Then, they brought bread and date for the Imam to break his fast with.
Helping The Needy
When dark overwhelmed Medina and people were at rest, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin would come out of house to go to the needy people and divide among them the food which he carried in a bag on his shoulder while covering his face so that none would know him. On many occasions, he would stand waiting at the doors so that they would come and take their shares. When they saw him face to face, they would say: He is the possessor of bag!”