Special Treatment

The rules of life instituted by Islam were gradually being erased by the continuous rule of the Umayyad and Abbasid kings who loved splendour and glory, and expected undue respect and special treatment from other human beings. The noble, fraternal and simple interactive lifestyle of the Holy Prophet (s) and his noble companions was a thing of the past, except for glimpses found in his noble Household (‘a). The most sorrowful part was that the people had become so used to the despotic attitude of the kings that they had begun to accept it as the rightful conduct of rulers.
One day, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (‘a) wished to bathe in the public bath. He sent a messenger to enquire when it would be convenient for the owner of the bath system.
He replied with utmost respect, as he was accustomed to show all respectable citizens, ‘Should I forbid anyone else from entering the entire bath system while you occupy one bathroom?’
‘Certainly not!’ was the astonished reply.
‘Why not?’ asked the bewildered owner.
‘Remember, the lifestyle of a believer is simple, accommodating, and free from decorum. The true believer does not demand special treatment. He believes in treating human beings as equals, not masters or slaves.’