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Anecdotes of Pious Men

Anecdotes of Pious Men


by :

Shahid Murtada Mutahhari

Tired and exhausted with the water-skin on her back, she was gasping and going towards her house where innocent children, their eyes fixed at the door, were eagerly waiting for the arrival of their mother. On her way, an unknown man ap- proached her. He took the water-skin from her and placed it on his back. The door opened and the children saw their mother entering the house with a stranger. He placed the water-skin on the ground and said:

"Well, it seems you don't have anyone to fetch water for you; how come you are so forlorn?" "My husband was a soldier; Ali sent him to the frontier where he was killed. Now I am alone with these little children."

The stranger said no more. Bowing down his head he went away. But the thought of the help- less window and orphans remained in his mind. He could hardly sleep in the night. Early in the morn- ing he picked up a basket; put some meat, flour and dates in it; went straight to her house and knocked at the door.

"Who are you?"

"I am the man who brought your water yes- terday. Now I have brought some food for the children" "May God bless you and judge between us and Ali"

She opened the door. Entering the house he

said:

"I wish to do some good acts. Either let me knead the flour and bake the bread or allow me to look after the children."

"Very well, but I can do the job of kneading and cooking better than you. You take care of the children till I finish cooking" She went to knead the flour Immediately he grilled some meat which he had brought and fed the children saying to each child while putting morsel in his mouth: "My son, forgive Ali if he has failed in his duty towards you"

The flour got ready; she called: "Gentlemen! put fire in the oven:" He went and put fire in the oven. When flames rose up, he brought his face near the fire and said, "Taste the heat of fire. It is the punishment for those who fail in their duty towards orphans and widows." By chance, a woman from the neighbouring house came in. Recognizing the stranger, she cried: "Woe, don't you recognize the man who is helping you? He is Amirul-Muumineen (comman- der of the faithfuls) Ali bin Abi-Talib."

The widow came forward and shamefacedly cried: "Curse and shame to me. I beg your pardon:" "No, I beg your pardon for I failed in my duty towards you."

"How beautiful it were if you could marry and establish a family, ending this forlorn and isolated life? You could fulfil your natural urges and also she could help you in your temporal and spiritual needs and goals." "O Messenger of Allah, I have neither wealth nor beauty; nor I have a noble descent or lineage. Who will marry me? And which woman likes to be wife of a poor, short, black and ugly man like me?"

"O Jowaiber! God has changed the individual's worth through Islam. Many people were high- placed in the pre-Islamic society and Islam brought them down. Many were despised non-entities and Islam bestowed them with honour and high rank and brought them up. Islam abolished the un- Islamic discrimination and pride of lineage. Now all people irrespective of their colour and origin are equal. Nobody has superiority over others but through piety and obedience to Allah. Among the Muslims, only that person would be higher than L you whose virtues and deeds are better than you. Now do as I tell you."

These words were exchanged one day between the Prophet and Jowaiber when the Prophet came to see the people of "Suffa"

Jowaiber was a native of "Yamamah" where he came to know about the Prophet and the advent of Islam. He was poor, black and short, but at the same time intelligent truth seeking and a man of determination. He came to Medina to look at Islam from near; in a short time he embraced Islam. Since he had neither money, house nor any friends, he temporarily was accommodated along with other poor Muslims in the Mosque by permission of the Prophet. When it was revealed unto the Prophet that the Mosque was not a place of habitation, it became necessary to shift them elsewhere. The Prophet selected a site outside the Mosque and erected a shed for them. The place was named as "Suffa" and the residents were known as "Ashab-e- Suffa" - all of them poors from places far away from Medina.

The Prophet came to visit them one day. Noticing Jowaibir among them he decided to bring him out of this forlorn life. It was beyond the fancy of Jowaiber to own a house and have a wife in his condition. And that was why he replied to the Prophet as to how it was possible for anyone to accept him in matrimony when the Prophet advised him to marry. But the Prophet removing his doubts, explained to him the changes brought about in the social outlook of the people by Islam.

After bringing Jowaiber out of his inferiority complex, he directed him to the house of Ziad ibne Lubaid to request him for his daughter's hand in marriage.

Ziad was one of the wealthiest persons of Medina and commanded high respect among his tribes. When Jowaiber entered his house, he was surrounded by his relatives and some of his tribes- men. Jowaiber took a seat, paused for a moment and then raising his head said, "I have brought a message from the Prophet. Do you like to hear it confidentially or openly?"

Ziad: ; "A message from the Prophet is an honour to me, better you tell it openly." "The Prophet has sent me to request you for your daughter for myself" "Did he himself make this suggestion to you?" "I don't speak on my own accord. Every- body knows me, I am not a liar"

"Strange! We don't give our daughters to per- sons of unequal status nor outside our tribe. You go back I shall go to the Prophet and have a talk with him myself." Jowaiber left the house murmuring, "By God, whatever the Qur'an teaches and whatever is the purpose of the prophet-hood of Muhammad is totally against what Ziad says" Those nearby heard the murmurings of Jowai- bir.

Zalfa, the lovely daughter of Ziad, and the beauty-queen of Medina, heard these words of Jowaiber. She came to her father and asked: "Father, what was that man who just went out saying? And what did he mean?"

"He had come to ask for your hand in marriage and was claiming that the Prophet had sent him for this purpose." "Isn't it possible that he had really sent him, and thus your rejection may amount to disobe- dience of the Prophet's order ?" "What do you feel about it?"

"I feel you should bring him back before he reaches to the Prophet, and then go yourself to find out the truth." He brought Jowaiber back to his house with due respect, and then himself hurried up to the Prophet. When he saw him he said:

"O Messenger of God, Jowaiber came to my house and brought such and such a message from you. I would like to inform you that our custom is to give our daughters to persons of equal status and belonging to our tribe, who are all your healpers and companions." "O Ziad, Jowaiber is a Faithful man. That dignity and honour which you are talking about has now been abrogated. Every Believer man is equal (for marriage purpose) to every Believer wo- man."

Ziad returned to his house and explain d the matter to his daughter. She said, "Please do not reject the proposal put by the Prophet. This matter concerns me. I accept Jowaiber whatever his condi- tion may be. If the Prophet is pleased with it, I am also pleased." The wedding was duly soleminized. Ziad paid "Mahr" (Marriage) from his own wealth and offer- ed good articles to the pair. They asked the bride- groom, "Have you got a house where to take the bride?" He said, "No, I had never thought that I would get a wife and sattle in domestic life. It was the Prophet who came suddenly and had a talk with me and sent me to Ziad's house."

Ziad arranged for him a house equipped with complete house-hold effects, and transferred the bride superbly adorned with ornaments and per- fumes.

Night came. Jowaiber did not know where was the house meant for him. He was guided to the house and led to the bridal-chamber. When he saw the house and its equipments and looked at the daz- zling bride, his past came to his mind and he said to himself, "How poor I was when I entered this city. had nothing - neither money nor beauty, neither any lineage nor family - now God made these affluences available to me through Islam. In- deed it is Islam that has brought such changes in the social outlook of the people beyond any imagi- nation. How grateful I am to God for bestowing upon me all these Blessings!"

In spiritual ecstasy he went to a corner of the room; spent the night in recitation of the Qur'an and prayer. It was dawn when he came to himself and then decided to fast in gratitude to God. When women came to see Zalfa in the morning they found her untouched. They kept the matter secret from Ziad. Two nights and days passed in the same manner. He was fasting during days and praying during nights. The women of the family of the bride were worried. They thought perhaps Jowai- ber was impotent and had no need for a woman. At last, they put the matter before Ziad. He inform- ed the Prophet; the Prophet; called Jowaiber and asked, "Don't you have any desire for woman?" "Incidentally, I have very intense desire of that kind:"

"Then why didn't you go near your bride?" "O Prophet of God, when I entered the house I found myself amidst that affluence. ,A state of gratitude and devotion took me over. I thought it necessary to offer thanks and prayers to Allah be- fore doing anything. Tonight I shall go near my wife." Jowaiber and Zalfa lived a most happy life. When the call for a Jihad (Holy war) came, he par- ticipated in it with the enthusiasm typical of a brave Muslim, and achieved martyrdom under the banner of Islam.

After his martyrdom, Zalfa was the most saught after woman for a wife and people were eager to pay the greatest Mahr for her.

Two neighbours, a Muslim and a Christian, were on friendly terms. Having concern for one another they used to enquire after each others health, and exchanged views from time to time. The Muslim being a devout and religious man spoke high of his religion and the result was that the Chris- tian. friend embraced Islam.

The night passed and it was nearing dawn. The Christian, a new convert, heard somebody ramming his door. Surprised and restless he shouted: "Who is it?"

From the back came a loud voice, "I am so and so;" introducing himself. He was the Muslim neighbour who had the honour of converting him to Islam.

"What do you want at this late hour?" "Be quick, put on your clothes and perform ablution, so that we should go to the Mosque to- gether"

The new Muslim performed ablution (Wudu) for the first time in his life and set out to Mosque behind his Muslim friend. They had arrived before time. It was the time for the Recommended (not obligatory) prayer after mid-night. They prayed till dawn - the time came for the morning prayer. They prayed the morning prayer and were engaged in benedictions and invocations till it became per- factly clear. When the new Muslim made a move towards the door, his friend interrupted:

"Where are you going?"

"I am going home, Since I have finished my morning prayer, there is nothing else to do now." "Wait a while and recite the benedictions till the sun rises."

"very well."

He sat and recited the same till the sun rose. When he rose up to go, his friend placed the Qur'an in his hand saying, "Read it till the sun rises a little high. And I advise you to fast today. Don't you know how much virtues and rewards there are in fasting?" The new Muslim did as he was told, and sat reciting the Our'an till it was nearing noon. The Muslim neighbour said: "Now it is almost noon; better we perform the noon-prayer in the Mosque:" So, the Dohr (noon) prayer was prayed. Then he said again: "After just a short time, the Asr (after-noon) prayer will be prayed. We should perform that also at the proper time:" That prayer was also performed.

Then he said, "It is almost evening now" and detained the new convert till it was time for Maghrib (evening) prayer. When he rose up to break his fast, the neighbour said, "there is one more prayer remaining. It is named "Esha" or the sleeping-time prayer'." So they waited nearly one hour for the proper time of this prayer. After that the new Muslim got up and went away.

Next day at the same hour of night he again heard knockings at the door.

"Who is there?"

"I am so and so............ your neighbour. Be quick, put on your clothes and perform ablution to go to the Mosque together" "As soon as I returned from the Mosque last night, I resigned from your religion. Please go away and find some other idle man who has nothing to do in this world, so that he may be able to spend his whole time in the mosque. I am a poor man having wife and children to feed. I should better go after my work to earn my livelihood'."

Imam Jaafer al-Sadiq relating the story to his friends and companions, said: "In this manner a devout man after converting a new Muslim, had himself kicked him out of Islam. You must bear this fact in mind and should not trouble the people unnecessarily. You should judge their strength and capacity and act accordingly, so that they develop affinity for the religion and do not run away from it. Don't you know that the policy of Ummayyads is based on violence, oppression and intimidation whereas our ways and methods are based on lenien- cy, brotherhood and persuation"

NASIBA

The deep scar on the shoulder of Nasiba, daughter of Kaab, spoke of a major wound in the past. Whenever the women, specially of the younger generation who had not seen the time of the Pro- phet or were too small at that time, noticed the cavity in her shoulder, they enquired with extreme curiousity about the frightening incident which had resulted in the injury to her shoulder. They loved to hear her adventures in the battle of Uhud from her own mouth.

She had never imagined that she would fight shoulder to shoulder with her husband and two sons defending the Prophet in the battle of Uhud. She had only taken the water-skin on her back so that she could provide water to the injured and also had taken some home-made bandages to dress their wounds. She had not thought of herself as worthy of any other work on that day.

Although the Muslims were small in number and had only a limited supply of equipments, they gave a grand defeat to the enemy who took to their heels vacating the battle field. But soon after, due to the negligance of some men guarding the "Ainain Hills;" the enemy made a surprise attack from the rear,turning the victory of the Muslims into defeat. The Muslims surrounding the Prophet fled away, leaving him almost alone in the battlefield.

When Nasiba saw this precarious situation, she put the water-skin on the ground, and took a sword in her hand. She fought with the sword and also made good use of bows and arrows; and took a shield left over by a fleeing soldier. Once she notic- ed a man shouting: "Where is Mohammad himself?" She approached him immediately and inflicted a few blows on him; but he was double-armoured and her attacks had not much effect on him. He then inflicted such a heavy blow on the shoulder of the armourless woman that it required treatment for one year. Noticing a stream of blood gushing from her shoulder, the Prophet called to one of her sons to immediately dress her wound. He put a bandage over her shoulder and she again got busy in the battle.

Meanwhile one of her sons got injured. She took out a bandage and dressed his wound. The Prophet watching the scene smiled at the heroism of this woman. After dressing her son's wound she instructed him to get going for the battle. These words were still in her mouth when the Prophet pointed out a man to her and told her that he was the same man who had injured her son. She attack- ed the man like a lioness and inflicted her sword on his leg. He fell on the ground. The Prophet said, "Well, thou hast taken thy revenge. Thanks for God who gave the victory on him and made thy eyes cool."

Many Muslims were martyred and wounded. She herself was severely wounded and there was no hope of her life. After the battle of Uhud, the Prophet ordered the wounded Muslims to persue the enemy upto Hamra-ul-Asad, to be sure of their intention and condition. Nasiba also wanted to ac- company them but the deep injuries did not allow her to do so. On returning from Hamra-ul-Asad, the Prophet before reaching his house, sent some- one to enquire about her health and was pleased to learn that she was alive.

Ali during the days of his Khilafat used to personally listen to the grievances and complaints of the people. Once, the days were hot and people did not venture out of their houses after mid-day. Ali sat everyday outside his house under the shade of a wall so that if someone had any complaints, could lodge the same to him directly. Sometimes he walked in lanes and streets observing the general condition of the people. One day he returned to his residence tired and sweating, and found a woman waiting. Seeing him, she came near and said:

"I am in trouble. My husband oppresses me. He has turned me out from the house and has threatened to beat me. If I go to him he will beat me. I request you to do justice between us" "O Servant of Allah, it is too hot now. Wait till it cools down in the afternoon. Then I shall come with you and redress your grievances" "If I stay out too long, I am afraid it may in- crease his anger:"

For a moment he bowed his head and then raised it up saying to himself, "No, By God, justic ; to the oppressed should not be delayed. The right of the oppressed should certainly be taken from the oppressor; and every fear should be taken out from her heart so that she may stand boldly before the oppressor and demand her right'."

"Tell me where is your house?" "It is in such and such place." "Let us go."

He accompanied her to her house, stood at the door and called loudly, "O Master of the house! Peace be upon thee." A young man came out. He was her husband. He did not recognize Ali. He found that an old man of about sixty years had accompanied her and assumed that she had brought him for support and mediation; but he kept silent.

"This lady has a complaint against you. She says that you have oppressed her and have ousted her from the house. Besides you have threatened to beat her. I have come here to tell you to fear Allah and be kind to your wife."

"In what way does it concern you if I have not treated my wife well. Yes, I had threatened to beat her, but now, since she has brought you to plead for her, I shall throw her into fire and burn her alive."

Ali was disturbed by the impudence of the man. Drawing out his sword he said, "I am only advising you to do good and admonishing you from bad deeds; but you are replying me in such manner clearly saying to burn this woman in fire. Do you think there is no authority in this world?"

His loud voice drew the attention of the pas- sers by, and a huge crowd gathered. Whoever came bowed down with reverence before the old man and saluted him by saying "Peace be on you O Comman- der of the Fiathfuls"

When the rude young man realised as to whom he was talking with, he trembled and supplicated, "O Ameerul Moumineen! forgive me. I confess my faults and promise that henceforth I shall obey my wife."

Ali turned to the woman and told her to go in the house and cautioned her not to behave in such a manner that her husband had to be angry again.

Before the advent of Islam, there were in Arabia autonomous tribal chiefs. The people were used to the rule of their chiefs and obeyed them; and often paid them tributes and taxes. The well- known generous Hatim, of the tribe of Tai, was one of the tribal chiefs of Arabia. His son,

Adi, succeeded him after his death and the Tribe submit- ted to his rule. He was taxing them to the extent of one-fourth of their income every year. His lordship coincided with the advent of the Prophet. The Tai tribes were idol-worshippers, but him- self was a Christian, but kept his beliefs secret from his people. The people, after being acquainted with the liberal teachings of Islam, felt themselves relieved from the burden of their lords who had hitherto imposed their rule upon the people. Owing to this fact, Adi, like other lords used to look upon Islam as the greatest danger for himself; and was harbouring enmity against the Prophet. But the die was cast. People were embracing Islam in increasing- ly large numbers; and the religion of Allah was ad- vancing day by day. He knew that the day was near when the Muslims would come looking for him also, and that would be the end of his lordship. He therefore, instructed his special steward, a slave, to always keep strong and light-footed camels ready near his camp and to remain watchful.

One day the slave came to him and said, "Make whatever arrangements you want to make as the Muslims are very close." Adi mounted his family on the camels and took whatever valuables and luggage he could take, and escaped to Damascus where the people were of his religion. But in the confusion, he forgot to take his sister, Safana with him; and she was left behind.

The Muslims defeated the tribe in the battle; and some were made captives. Muslims brought Safana to Medina alongwith other captives and related the story of Adi's escapade to the Prophet.

The prisoners were sheltered in a low-walled com- pound near the Mosque. One day, the Prophet, while going to the Mosque passed beside the en- closure. Safana, intelligent and talkative as she was, moved from her place and said:

"My father is dead; my guardian is hiding; be generous to me, God will be generous to you."

Prophet: "Who is your guardian?" "Adi, son of Hatim" "The one who has run away from God and His Prophet?"

Saying these words the Prophet went away. Next day again she repeated the same words, heard the same reply. Her plea produced no result. The third day, having lost her hopes, she decided to keep silent. But a young man walking behind the Prophet made signs to her to repeat her demand. She repeated the same words. The Prophet said, "Very well, I am waiting for some reliable man from your tribe. As soon as such a man is found I shall send you with him to your tribe. Inform me if you find such a person who has come to Medina" She asked the people who was the young man walking behind the Prophet who had encourag- ed her to repeat her demand. They said he was Ali.

After some time, Saffana informed the Pro- phet that some men of her tribe had came to Medina. The Prophet gave her a new dress, some cash for meeting the expense of the journey and a camel to ride on. She went along with them to her brother in Syria.

When she saw her brother, she reproached him and said, "You brought out your wife and children forgot me the memory of your father!" Adi appolo gised to her. Then, as she was an intelligent wo- man, Adi consulted her about his plan. He asked

"What do you advise me to do, since you have seen Mohammed from near? Should I join him or keep aloof from him?"

"I believe you should join him. If he is a Pro- phet of God it will be a credit to your honour and nobleness. And if he is not a prophet, and only wants to be a worldly ruler, then in a place (Medina) which is not far from Yemen (your place), nobody will dare to dishonour you, because of the honour and respect you have among the people of Yemen. Either way, your honour is guaranteed."

The idea appealed to Adi. He decided to go to Medina and to observe the Prophet's manners minutely. If he was a prophet he would follow him like other Muslims. But in case he was only a man with worldly ambitions of power and pelf, then he would cooperate with him to the extent of the common benefits of both.

He entered the Mosque of Medina and saluted to the Prophet. The Prophet accorded him due respect and took him to his house. On their way a haggard woman caught hold of the garmet of the Prophet and entered into a dis- cussion with him. A long time passed; and the Prophet answered all her questions with kindness and patience.

Adi said to himself, "This is the one sign from the character of this man that he is a prophet. Peo- ple having worldly ambitions do not have such a disposition and temperament of replying to a poor old woman with so much patience and kindness"

When they entered the house Adi found his life most simple and unpretentious. There was only a quilt which the Prophet used to sit upon, but now he spread it for Adi to sit. Adi insisted that the Prophet should sit upon the quilt; but he flatly refused. Ultimately, Adi sat upon the quilt and the Prophet sat on the ground. Adi said to himself, "This is the second sign of the character of this man, This is the character of the Prophets, not of the kings"

The Prophet turned to him and said, "But was not your religion Christianity?" Adi said "Yes, why?" The Prophet said, "then why, and on what grounds, were you taking one-fourth of the income of your people? Is it not inadmissible in your reli- gion?"

Adi, who had kept his religion secret even from his closest relatives, was surprised to hear it from the Prophet. He said to himself, "this is the third sign that this man is a prophet."

Then the Prophet said: "You are looking at the present poverty and helplessness of the Muslims. You find that the Muslims today are living in dis- tress. They are surrounded by crowds of enemies and have no security of their lives and properties. They have no power in their hands. By God, the time is not far when such a vast wealth will come to them that there will be no poor among them. By God. their enemies will be vanguished and there will exist such a perfect peace and order that a woman shall be able to travel from Iraq to Hijaz alone and nobody will trouble her. By God, the time is near when the white palaces of Babylonia will come under the hands of the Muslims"

Adi embraced Islam with perfect Faith and Sincerity, and remained faithful to the end of his life. He lived upon the years after the Holy Prophet. He always remembered the talks of the Holy Pro- phet in his first meeting with him, and the fore- casts at that time, about the future of Muslims. He used to say, "By God, in my life-time I saw Muslim conquering the white palaces of Babylonia, and there is such a peace and order that a woman can travel from Iraq to Hijaz without anybody troubling her. By God, I am sure a day will come when there will be no poor among the Muslims"

Ibne Sayyaba, a resident of Kufa, was a young man whose father had died. The tragedy of the death of his father, coupled with poverty and un- employment, was destroying the soul of the sensi- tive man. One day while sitting in his house, he heard a knock at the door. He was a friend of his father. After offering his condolences, he said:

"Did your father leave anything for you?" "No" "Then take this thousand Dirham; try to turn it into a capital, and meet your expenses from its profit."

Saying these words he went away. Ibne Sayyaba, happy as he was, went to his mother and showing the money told her the story. The same day, he used the money in purchasing some mer- chandise and opening a shop; and set his heart to it. He made a rapid progress. Soonafter he realised that not only he had met his household expenses from the profit, but even the capital had increased to a great extent. Now he thought of performing pilgrimage, and approached his mother for her advice. She said, "First you should repay the thousand Dirham which has brought such prosperi- ty to us, and then you may go to Mecca."

He went to see the friend of his father, and placing a purse of one thousand Dirham before him, said, "Please accept your money back" The man thought that Ibne Sayyaba was returning the same money because it was not sufficient for any trade. So he said:

"If the amount is insufficient I can increase it"

"Good God, it was not insufficient. It has

brought great prosperity to us and since I am now quite well off financially, I have come to repay your money, and to express my thanks to you, particularly when I have decided to go on pilgrimage.

He came to his home and packed his luggage for Mecca.

After performance of the holy Hajj, he came to Medina and went to see Imam Sadique (a.s.) alongwith other pilgrims. There was a huge crowd in the house of the Imam (a.s.). Being young he chose to sit at the far end of the gathering, and from there watched the people coming and going; and heard their questions and the answers given by the Imam. When the house became nearly empty, the Imam (a.s.) pointed to him and said:

"What can I do for you?"

"I am Abdur Rahman, son of Sayyaba, of Kufa (from the tribe of Bijilly)" "How is your father?" "He died"

"Ah! Ah! May God have His mercy upon him. Did he leave anything for you?"

"No, he didn't"

"Then how could you perform pilgrimage?" "After the death of my father we were in dis- tress. On one side his death and on the other side poverty and unemployment, were crushing us ex- tremely. Then one day a friend of my father gave me one thousand Dirham and advised me to invest the amount in business. I followed his advice and from its profit I came to perform pilgrimage."

Before he could finish his story, the Imam (a.s.) said, "Tell me what did you do about the money of your father's friend?" I refunded the amount on the advice of my mother before coming out for Hajj'.' "Very good. Do you like me to give you an advice?"

"May I be your ransom; of course" "Be truthful and righteous. A truthful and righteous man is a partner in the wealth of others."

Aqueel arrived as a guest at the Government House in the days of the Caliphate of his brother, Ali. Ali made a sign to his elder son Hassan to offer a garment to his uncle. Hassan presented to him a robe and a cloak. The night came; the wea- ther was warm. They were sitting on roof-top hav- ing amiable talks. It was time for dinner. Aqueel considered himself to be the guest of the Absolute ruler of the Muslim world and expected an extra- ordinarily colourful and rich dinner. But to his surprise it was the most ordinary and simple one. He said: "Is this all the food?"

Ali: "Isn't it a God's gift? I heartily thank Almighty God that he has bestowed me with this gift." Aqueel: "Then I should better tell you my needs at once, and be on my way soon. I am in debt. Please order to pay off my debt as soon as possible; and also help your poor brother as much as you can, so that I return to my place relieved of my burdens:" "How much is your debt?"

"One hundred thousand Dirham"

"Oh! One hundred thousand Dirham! So large? I am sorry, brother. I don't have so much money to give you; but wait till the time comes for the disbursement of stipends. I shall withdraw my personal share and give from it to you, thus fulfilling my duty of cooperation and brotherhood towards you. If my family and children were not in need of their own expenses, I would have given you my entire share" "What?! ! Should I wait till the payment of stipends? You have the state-treasury in your hand and still you are asking me to wait till the time of disbursement and then only you will give me from your personal share! You can withdraw any amount you want from the State Treasury. So, why are you making me wait till then? Besides, what is your total share from it? Even if you give me the your entire share, how far will it relieve me of my trouble?"

"I am surprised to hear your proposal. What concern it does it, is of me or you whether there is money in the Treasury or not? We are just like any other Muslims. True, you are my brother and I must help you as much as possible, but from my personal money, not from the public treasury"

The argument continued and Aqueel pleaded with Ali in various ways. He continued to insist that Ali should give him from state treasury. The place where they were sitting overlooked the market of Kufa, and they could see the cash-boxes of the shop-keepers. Ali said, "If you still insist and are not ready to listen to me, then I have got another proposal for you. If you follow it you can repay all your loan and still have plenty of money left'."

"What is that?"

"Down over there are cash-boxes. As soon as the market is closed and nobody is there, go down and break open the boxes. And take whatever you want'.' "Whose boxes are they?"

"They belong to the people of this market. They keep their cash in them:" "Strange! You are telling me to steal the money of poor people who have earned it with their hard labour and have gone home leaving it there trusting in God?"

"Then why are you urging me to open the boxes of the state-treasury for you? Whom does it belong to? This also belongs to the same people who are asleep in their houses carefree and in com- forts. All right, I have another suggestion. Follow it if you like." "What's that?"

"If you are ready then pick up your sword and so will do I. The old city of Hirah is not far from here. There are leading merchants and weal- thy people there. We make a surprise attack on one of them during night and bring out enormous wealth with us."

"Brother, I haven't come here for theft and robbery that you are suggesting these things to me. I am only asking you to instruct the officials of the treasury to give me the money which is in your power, so that I may repay my debt:" "Suppose that we steal the property of an individual, isn't it better that stealing from the property of millions of Muslims? How is it that taking the property of an individual with sword is robbery, and usurping the property of the general public is not? You are under the impression that robbery only means attacking some individual and taking his property by force. The worst type of robbery is the same thing which you are proposing to me to do now."

THE FIRST SLOGAN

News leaking now and then from Mecca to the tribe of Bani Ghefar had attracted the mind of Abi Zar, a man of an inquisitive nature. He want to reach to the depth of those developments in Mecca , but the distorted news occasionally obtained from the individuals, were not making any sense to him. The only definite thing known to him was that a new voice has arise in Mecca, and the Meccans were striving hard to silence it. But what was that new voice and why the Meccans were opposing it? These were the questions which remained unan- swered. His brother was going to Mecca. He told him, "People tell me that a man has appeared in Mecca and has brought some new talks, and claim they have been revealed unto him from God. Since you are going to Mecca, investigate into the same; and bring me the correct information."

Days passed; he eagerly waited for his brother;

when he came back, Abu Zar asked him:

"What is the news, and how the things stand there?" "So far as I could gather he is a man who invites people towards good morals. He has also hrought some talk which is not poetry." "I had wanted you to make a more thorough investigation. This much information is not enough for my purpose. Better I should go there personal- ly to find out the truth:"

He put up some provision on his back and straight away came to Mecca. He was determined to meet the man who had brought the new talks and to hear the words from his own mouth. But he neither knew him nor thought it prudent to enquire about him from someone else. The atmos- here in Mecca was tense with oppression and intimidation. Without making his intention known to anyone, he was looking in all directions, listen- ing to the gossip of the people around him hoping that it might provide him a `clue.' The Masjidul Haram was the centre of news and events. Hence he came there with his baggage on the back. The day turned into night, but he could find no clue. Night passed a little; he stretched himself there. Soonafter a youngman passed nearby. He looked at Abu Zar with searching eyes, and went away. His glance seemed to him very meaningful. It occured to him that perhaps that youngman was the right person to divulge his secret to. He fol- lowed him but came back not daring to speak to him.

Next day also he sat whole day in Masjidul Haram alert looking to every possible clue; but in vain. The night befell and he again stretched on the same spot. The same youth appeared again and respectfully said, "Has the time not come for you to come to your house and spend the night there?" Saying this he took him to his house. Abu Zar did not divulge his secret that night, nor did the youth ask him. Early morning Abu Zar said good-bye to him and came to the mosque after his pursuit. That day also turned into night and he could not make out anything from the talks of the people. The youngman again appeared and took him to his house; but this time he broke the silence:

"Can you tell me why you have come to this city?"

"I shall tell you if you promise to help me"

"I promise I shall do my best to help you" "The fact is that we have been hearing among our tribes that a man has appeared in Mecca and has brought some talks claiming the same to be revealed unto him from God. I have come so that I may see him and may investigate about him. Firstly, tell me what do you believe about him? secondly, can you guide me to him?" "Rest assured he is on right and what he says is from God. I shall take you to him in the morn- ing. But as you are aware if these people came to know about it your life as well as mine will be in danger. Tomorrow morning I shall walk ahead and you follow me at a distance. If I will see any danger I shall stand and bow towards the earth like a man emptying a pot; then you must be off. If there is no danger you will follow me where-ever I go".

Next morning the youth who was none else than Ali appeared from his house, Abu Zar follow- ing him. Fortunately the way was clear and they reached the house of the prophet safely.

He made a thorough study of the manners of the Prophet and also listened to the verses of the Qur'an. Not much time has passed that he embrac- ed Islam very enthusiastically. He made a convent with the Prophet that he would not listen to any reproach in the way of Allah during his whole life and would speak truth even though it might be bit- ter for some tastes.

The Prophet said: "Now go back to your tribes and invite them towards Islam till you receive my next order" He said, "Very well; but before leaving this city I shall go before these people and will announce before them the slogan of Islam, come what may." He went straight to the heart of the City, i.e. the Mosque and cried before the congregation of Quraish: "(1 bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Mohammad is His Servant and Messenger)."

Hearing this slogan from the stranger, Meccans rushed at him immediately and had Abbas son of Abdul Muttalib not come to his rescue they would have torn him to pieces. Abbas said, "This man is from the tribe of Ghefar, and the trade caravan of Quraish plying between Mecca and Syria passes through their lands. Don't you think if you kill one of their men, you will never again be allowed to pass through their land safely?"

Abu Zar was rescued from their hands. How- ever, he was not satisfied. He said, "Once again I shall repeat this slogan. Let these people hear what they don't like to hear at all. If they hear it again and again they will become used to it."

So, next day he repeated the same slogan. Again the people attacked him and Abbas who was present there saved him from their atrocities.

After that, according to the order of the Prophet, he returned home and started preaching Islam among his tribe. When the Prophet migrated to Medina, Abu Zar too went to him and remained in Medina almost to the end of his life. He was extremely frank and owing to this virtuous attributes he was exiled during the Caliphate of Othman, first to Syria and later at a place named Rabza near Medina. There he died a lonely death. The Prophet had said about him

"May God bless Abu Zar! he will live alone, will die alone and shall be brought up alone on the Day of Resurrection."

Moawiya was ruling over Syria as its governor for nearly sixteen years; and was secretly planning to grab the Caliphate taking advantage of every possible opportunity. The best excuse for him to revolt against the Central authority and declare his own caliphate was the Othman's murder. He had not done any thing concerning the appeals of Othman for help, during his life time. In fact, he was waiting for him to be murdered, so that he could make it an excuse for his scheme. Othman got murdered and Moawiya immediately sought to exploit the situation for his own purpose.

On the other hand, people after the murder of Othman rallied behind Ali (who because of various reasons, was reluctant to take the responsibility of Caliphate) and declared their allegience to him. Observing that the responsibility was now formally turned to him, he accepted it and his Caliphate was proclaimed in Medina, the capital and centre of Muslim world in those days. All provinces of Is- lamic government submitted to his obedience - with the exception of Syria which was under Moawiya. He refused allegience to Ali, accusing him of shel- tering the murders of Othman. He recruited a large number of Syrian soldiers and made prepara- tion for the declaration of independence of his provinces.

After settling the issue of the battle of Camel (JAMAL), Ali turned his attention to Moawiya. He wrote several letters to him, but in vain. Both sides moved their armies towards each another. Abul Aawar Salmi was leading Moawiya's advanced battalion and Malik Ashtar was in command of the advanced battalion of Ali. They met at the bank of the Euphrates. Ali's directive to Malik was not to be the first to attack. But Abul Aawar made a severe attack to intimidate the soldiers of Ali. Malik then pushed the Syrians far behind. Salmi now thought of another tactics. He reached the Ghat, i.e. the slope on bank of the Euphrates which was the only spot convenient to fetch water. He deployed his spearmen and archers to guard the spot and prevent Malik and his company from coming near it. Soonafter, Moawiya himself arrived with a large army. Happy at the strategy of his commander he further increased the number of the soldiers guarding the approach to river. Soldiers of Ali were put in distress owing to the shortage of water. Moawiya with pleasure said: "This is our first Victory'." Only one man, Amr bin Al-Aas, the shrewd minister of Moawiya did not think it a good policy. On the other side, Ali himself had arrived and was informed of the situation. He sent a letter with Saasa'a to Moawiya notifying:

"We have come here, but, as far as possible we do not like to wage a war of fratricide between the Muslims. We earnestly hope to settle our dif- ferences through negotiations and discussions. But we observe that you and your followers have started using weapons of destruction before trying anything else. Besides, you have denied water on my com- panions. Instruct them to desist from this act, so that we can start negotiations. Of course, if you do not like anything but war, we are not afraid of

Moawiya consulted his advisor. The general opinion was to take advantage of the golden op- portunity and ignore the letter. Only Amr bin Al Aas against this view. He said, "You are mistaken. The fact is that Ali and his men do not want to start the war themselves, and it is because of this that they are silent at present and have tried to dissuade you from your scheme through this letter. Do not think they will retreat if you ignore their letter and continue denying them the water. Because then they will take out arms and will not stop till they have driven you away from Euphrates with disgrace." But the majority of advisors was of the opinion that the denial of water would weaken the enemy compelling them to retreat. Moawiya per- sonally was in favour of this idea. Discussion came to end; Saasa'a asked for the reply; Moawiya, using the delaying tactics, said that he would send the reply afterwards. meanwhile, he ordered his sol- diers guarding water to be extra alert and to prevent coming and going of the soldiers of Ali.

Ali was distressed at this development, because it brought to an end every hope of any amicable settlement through talks and negotiations, and showed that the opposite side was devoid of every goodwill. Now, the only way out was to use force He stood before his soldiers and delivered a short but forceful address, the contents of which were as follows:

"These people have started oppression, and opened the door of conflict and welcomed you with hostility. They are hungry for war and are demanding war and blood-shed from you. They have denied you water. Now you have to choose between the two paths. There is no third course.

Either accept the humiliation and oppression and remain thirsty as you are, or satisfy your thirsty swords with their dirty bloods so that. you may quench your thirst with the sweet water. Death is to live a defeated and disgraceful life; and Life is to be victorious even at the cost of death. Verily, Moawiya has gathered around him some ignorant and misguided mob; and is taking advantage of their ignorance, so that they are making their necks targets of the arrows of death."

This address moved the soldiers of Ali and stirred their blood. They made a severe attack and pushed the enemy far back and took the possession of (Shari'ah) Ghat.

Amr bin Al-Aas (whose forecast was now a fact) said to Moawiya: "Now, if Ali and his army pay you with your own coin what will you do? Can you take possession of the "Shariah" (Ghat) from them for the second time?" Moawiya said, "In your opinion, how will Ali deal with us now?"

"I believe, Ali will not behave as you had done. He will not deny us water. He has not come here for such deeds."

The soldiers of Ali after removing the soldiers of Moawiya from Ghat, asked his permission to prevent the enemy from taking water. Ali said, "Don't deny them water. These are the me- thods of ignorant. I do not set my hands to such acts. I am going to start negotiation with them on the basis of the Holy Book of God. If they accept my proposals, well and good; and if they refuse, I shall fight with them, but gentlemenly not by denying them water. I will never do such thing and will not oppress them by shortage of water'."

Not long afterwards soldiers of Moawiya used to come co the Ghat side by side with the soldiers of Ali, and nobody prevented them.

A heavy built tall man was passing through the market of Kufa, his step firm and assured. He had fine figure and sun-burnt face; encounters of the battle-field had left their marks on him and the corner of one of his eyes was slit. A shop-keeper, to amuse his friends, threw a handful of sweepings onto the man. The man continued his walk in the same assured and firm manner, without raising an eye brow or looking towards the shop-keeper. When he went away, a friend of the shop keeper said:

"Do you know who the man is whom you have insulted just now?"

"No, I do not recognise him. He was a passer- by like thousands of people passing this way every- day. But tell me who was this man." "Strange! Didn't you recognise him?! He was Malik Ashtar, the renowned Commander-in-Chief of Ali." "Strange! He was Malik Ashtar?! The same Malik whose bravery turns the heart of lion into water and mention of whose name makes his ene- mies tremble with fear?"

"Yes, that was Malik himself" "Woe to me! What did I do? Now he will give order to punish me severely. I must run to him immediately to apologise and pray him to forgive my misbehaviour:"

He ran after Malik. He saw him turning to- wards a mosque. He followed him to the Mosque and saw that he had started praying. He waited till he finished his prayer Humbly introducing him- self he told him:

"I am the man who had committed the silly prank and behaved disrespectfully to you" Malik: "But, by Allah, I did not come in the mosque but for your sake; because I knew that you were a very ignorant and misguided man and that you give trouble to the people without any cause. I felt pity on you and came here to pray for you and ask Allah to lead you onto the right path. No, I did not have any such intentions as you were afraid of "

WHAT DID HAPPEN TO THY SONS?

After the martyrdom of Ali and absolute do- mination of Moawiya over the Caliphate, willy-nilly contacts were taking place between him and the sincere followers of Ali. He tried hard to make them confess that they did not gain anything by their friendship with Ali. Obviously they had lost every- thing on the altar of that friendship. He longed to hear from their mouth atleast some expression of regret and remorse, but this wish never materialised. The followers of Ali, after his martyrdom, had be- come more and more aware of his virtues and great- ness. Whatever their sacrifices during his lifetime, now they were doing more for his love, for his principles and for keeping his mission alive. They were having all kinds of hardship very courageous- ly. And, as a result, the endeavours of Moawiya sometimes produced opposite results.

Adi son of Hatim, the paramount chief of the Tai Tribe, was one of the devoted, sincere and knowledgeable followers of Ali. He had many sons. He, his sons and his tribe were always ready to sacrifice their all for Ali. His three sons named Tarfa, Turaif and Tarif were martyred in the war of Seffin under the banner of Ali. The time went on; Ali was martyred; Moawiya usurped the Caliphate; and once Adi came face to face with Moawiya.

To revive his sad memories and to make him confess how much harm had come to him in the friendship of Ali, Moawiya said:

"What happened to your three sons, Tarfa, Turaif and Tarif?"

"They were martyred in the battle of Seffin under the banner of Ali"

"Ali did not do justice to you"

"Why?"

"Because he threw your sons in the mouth of death and preserved his own sons in safety" "I did not do justice to Ali"

"Why?"

"Because he was killed and I am still alive. I ought to have sacrificed myself for him in his life- time" Moawiya saw that he was not getting what he had aimed at. On the other side, he also wanted to hear about the character and life of Ali from those who had been nearer to Ali and had lived with him day in and day out. Therefore, he asked Adi to narrate to him the character of Ali as he had seen it. Adi asked to be excused; but Moawiya insisted and then Adi said.

"By God, Ali was the most far-sighted and strong man. He talked with righteousness and decided the cases with clarity. He was an ocean of knowledge and wisdom. He hated the worldly pomp and show, and liked the solitude of night. He wept more (in love of Allah) and thought more (about Allah). In solitude, he scrutinized his own self and pitied about the past. He preferred short clothes and simple life. Amongst us he was lice one of us. If we requested him for anything he granted our request. When we visited him he made us sit near him without keeping any distance. Inspite of all this humbleness, his presence was so awe- inspiring that we did not dare utter any words before him. He was so majestic that we could not look at him. When he smiled his teeth appeared like a string of pearls. He respected honest and pious people and was kind to indigent. Neither a strong man had any fear of injustice from him, nor a weak person ever lost hope of his justice. By God, one night I saw him standing in his place of worship when the dark night had engulfed everything; tears were rolling down on his face and beard; he was restless like a snake-bitten person and was weeping like a bereaved man."

"It seems as if even now I am hearing his voice as he was addressing the world: `O World, thou ist coming towards me and wantest to lure me? Go deceive someone else. Thy time is not come. I have divorced thee thrice after when there is no re- turn. Thy pleasure is valueless and thy importance insignificant. Alas! the provision is too little, the journey too long and there is no companion'.'

Hearing these worlds of Adi, Moawiya started crying, then wiping off the tears, he said:

"May God bless Abul Hassan (Ali). He was as you have said. Now tell me how do you feel with- out him?"

"I feel like a mother whose dear one is behead- ed in her lap"

"Wouldn't you ever forget him?"

"Would the world allow me to forget him?"

The old man, a Christian by religion, had worked all his life; but had not been able to save anything for his old age. Lately he had become also blind. Old age, poverty and blindness had joined hands and he had no other way except begging. He used to stand at the corner of a lane for begging. People had compassion for him and gave him some alms from which he ate every day, and so he con- tinued his sad life.

One day Ali, the Leader of the Faithfuls pass- ed through the lane and saw the beggar in that con- dition. Ali, out of his concern for others, enquired about the old man. He wanted to know the factors which led him to that condition. "Had he no son to support him? Or, is there no other way for him to live a respectable life in his old age?"

The people who knew the old man came forward and informed Ali that he was a Christian and, had worked hard so long as he had his eyes, and was young and strong. Now that he had lost his youth as well as his eyes he was unable to do any work; also he had no savings, so it was natural that he was begging. Ali said, "Strange! Till he had strength you extracted work from him and now you have left him on his own?" His story shows that he had worked when he had the strength. Therefore, it is the duty of the Government and the society to support him till he is alive. Go, and give him a life-pension from the State-treasury ."

IN THE LAND OF MINA

The pilgrims had assembled in Mina. Imam Sadiq and his companions sitting in a place were eating some grapes placed before them. A beggar appeared and asked for alms. The Imam took some grapes to give him, but he refused to accept it and asked for money. Imam told him to excuse him as he did not have money. The beg- gar went away disappointed.

After going a few steps he had second thoughts came back and asked for the same grapes. The Imam now refused to give him those grapes too. Soon after, another beggar appeared. The Imam again took some grapes and gave to him. He accepted it and said, "Thanks to the Lord of universe who gave me my sustenance" On hearing these words, the Imam told him to wait and gave him two handfuls of grapes.

The beggar thanked God for the second time.

The Imam again told him to wait and then turning to one of his friends asked, "How much money is with you?" The man searched his pockets and produced nearly twenty Dirhams which he gave to the beggar at the order of the Imam.

The beggar thanking God for the third time said, "Thanks are exclusively to God. O God! Thou art the Bestower of the good, and thou hast no companion'." On hearing these words, the Imam took off his garment and gave it to the beggar. Now, the beggar changed his tone and spoke a few words of thanks to the Imam himself. Then the Imam did not give him anything and he went away.

His friends and companions who were present there said, "We thought that had the beggar conti- nued thanking God in the same manner as before, the Imam would have continued giving him more and more. But when he cnanged his talk and praised and thanked the Imam himself, the Imam did not continue his help.

Muslims had migrated to Abyssinia because of the torture and persecution by Quraish, but al- ways anxiously waited for some news from their homeland. Those stand-bearers of Unity and justice of God (though an insignificant minority in com- parison to the swarms of idolators who were bent upon maintaining statuesque in religion and social system) were confident that everyday their suppor- ters were increasing and the rank of their adversa- ries was decreasing. They even hoped that soon the curtain of ignorance would be removed from the eyes of the non believers and the whole tribe of Quraish would embrace Islam, casting away their idols.

By chance a rumour took wings in their local- ity in Abyssinia that the whole Quraish had been converted to Islam. Though the news was not con firmed, but the refugees deep faith in their religion, and their strong expectation and hope in the ultimate victory of Islam led a group of them to return to Mecca without waiting for the confirmation of the news from reliable sources. One of them was Othman bin Madh'un, the well-known companion of the Prophet who was extra-ordinarily attached to the Holy Prophet, and was greatly respected by all Muslims. When he reached near Mecca, he realis- ed that the news was not correct; on the contrary, Quraish had intensified the torture and oppression of the Muslims. He was in a bad fix: He could not return to Abyssinia as it was far off; and if he en- tered Mecca,he would immediately become a target of the Quraish's torture. At last, an idea came into his mind. He thought of taking advantage of an Arabian custom by placing himself under the pro- tection of one of the influential men of Quraish.

According to the Arab custom if a person would request an Arab for protection, he usually would grant his request and would protect him even at the cost of his own life. For an Arab, it was a shame if someone asked him for protection and he did not grant that request eventhough he might be his enemy. So Othman entered Mecca at mid-night and went straight to the house of Waleed son of Mughira Makhzumi, a distinguished wealthy and in- fluential Quraishite. He asked for his protection which was readily granted.

Next day, Waleed brought him to the Mosque and made a formal announcement before the elders of the tribe that from that moment Othman was under his protection, anyone doing anything against him would be considered going against Waleed per- sonally. As Waleed was highly respected by Ouraish, nobody dared to trouble Othman any more. He was now a protected person. He moved freely as one of the Quraish attending their sittings.

But at the same time, the persecution of other Muslims continued unbated. It was hard on Oth- man, who was not happy at being Safe while his fellow Muslims continued to suffer. One day he thought to himself that it was not just on his part to be safe under the protection of a pagan whereas his brethren were being persecuted. He came to Waleed and said:

"I am sincerely thankful to you. You gave me protection and saved me; but from today I want to go out from your protection, and join my friends. Let, whatever happens to them, happen to me" "Nephew, perhaps you are not happy with me, or perhaps, my protection could not keep you safe" "Why, I am not unhappy at all. But I don't want to live any longer under protection of anyone except God'."

"Since you have so decided, I would like you to come to the Mosque announce your going out from my protection, as I took you the first day there and announced your protection" "Very well, no objection to it."

They came to the Mosque. When the elders had gathered, Waleed said: "Everybody should know that Othman has come here to announce his exit from my protection"

Othman said: "He is right. I have come here with that very intention, and also to inform you that so long as I was under his protection, he protec- ted me very well and I had no reason to complain. The reason for my going out from his protection is only that I don't like to live under the protection of anyone except God."

This is how the protective period came to end, and he lost his immunity from persecution. But he was still moving freely among Quraish as before.

One day, Labeed bin Rabia, the well-known poet of Arabia came to Mecca to recite his Qasida (poem) which he had recently composed, and which is now considered as a masterpiece and classics of the pre-Islamic period of Arabic literature.

The Qasida begins with the following line:

Know (that Ev ery thing is null and v oid ex - cept God; nothing ex cept A llah is Truth). The Prophet had said about this line, "It is the truest poem has ever composed'."

Anyhow, Labeed came, Quraish gathered to hear such a great poet. There was a pin-drop silence to hear a reputedly best work of Labeed. He started recitation with manifest pride:

(Know that everything is null and void except God).

Before he could recite the second line, Oth- man sitting in a corner said loudly: "Excellent, you have spoken the truth. It is the fact; everything except God is false."

Labeed recited the second line:

end).

(A nd, without doubt all riches come to an Othman cried, "But this is wrong. Not all riches are to come to an end. This is true only for the material riches of this world. The riches of the life hereafter are immortal and eternal:"

The people were surprised. No body had ex- pected that a man who only a short while ago was under the protection of another person and who now had neither security of his life nor power of any wealth would dare criticising a poet of Labeed's stature in the gathering of chiefs and elders of the Quraish.

They requested Labeed to repeat the lines; the poet repeated the first line and again Othman said: "True, correct'." But when Labeed repeated the second line, Othman again said: "Wrong. It is not true; the riches of that world are not perishable"

This time Labeed himself felt most annoyed. He cried: "O people of Quraish! By God, your gatherings were not like this before. There were not such rude and discourteous persons among you. How is it that now among you I find such persons?"

A man from the audience with the intention of pacifying hire and making him to continue his recitation, said affably: "Please, don't be angry to the talk of this man. He is crazy. And he is not alone. There is a group of some more crazy per- sons in this city. And they have the same belief as this fool. They have gone out from our religion and have chosen a new religion of their own"

Othman replied to that man forcefully. The man lost his temper; moved from his seat and slap- ped at the face of Othman, putting his full strength behind that slap. Othman got a black-eye.

Somebody said to Othman:

"Othman! you did not appreciate the value of the protection of Waleed. Had you still been under his protection, your eye would not have be- come black." "The protection of God is safer and more dig- nified than the protection of any other person. So far as my eye is concerned, the other eye also longs to attain the same honour in the way of Allah:"

Waleed came forward and said:

"Othman, I am ready to take you again under my protection:" "But I have decided not to accept anyone's protection except that of God."

"O God, Do not let me return to my family'." These were the words that Hind, the wife of Amr bin Jamuh, heard, from her husband whe

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