Imam Sajjad's (a.s.) Generosity
- :Muhammad Reza Dungersi
His acts of piety did not end with only spending his time communicating with Allah. He spent a lot of his time 34 serving human beings also. He regularly visited the poor and the sick and provided for their necessities of life without their knowledge. In the darkness of the night, he would carry on his back bags of bread and food, cover his face so that no one could recognize him and go from door to door of the needy and serve them food. None knew that this person was Imam Zainul Abidin(A.S) until his death
Zuhir says that once when it was raining heavily at night, he saw the Imam carrying a heavy load on his back. He offered to help. The Imam said he was on his way to a journey. The next day Zuhir still saw the Imam in Medina. Had the Imam postponed his journey? No. The Imam explained that he was preparing for the journey of the next world. He was on his way to feed the poor and did not want Zuhir to go with him as this could lead to the poor to recognize who their benefactor was.
Sheikh Mufid records that Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) paid a visit to Zaid Bin Uthama Bin Zaid who was very sick. Zaid was weeping because he had debt of fifteen thousand dinars. The Imam promised Zaid that he would pay the full debt immediately and he did so.
These acts of generosity were not meant for the poor and for the Imam's friends only. It was extended even to - his enemies. As will be illustrated in the following incidents.
You will recall that in A. H 64 the people of Medina removed Yezid's governor from his post of governorship in Medina, Fearing for their lives, the Bani Ummayyah started running away from Medina. Marwan Bin Hakam had a large family of women and children and could not run away for his life unless he could find someone who would agree to house his women and children. Marwan approached several people including Abdullah Bin Omar Bin Khattab but all refused to help him.
Finally Marwan turned to Imam Zainul Abidin for help.
Marwan was enemy number one of the Prophet (S.A.W.W) and his family. As a matter offact, the Prophet (S.A.W W) had ordered Marwan and his father Hakam Bin Aas to leave Medina as unwanted persons. It is the same Merwan who had fought against Imam Ali (A.S) in the Battle of Jamal. Merwan also was one ofthose who prevented Imam Hassan to be buried next to his grandfather's grave. Again, it was Merwan who had told Walid, the Governor of Medina in A.H. 60 to force "Bayah" from Imam Husain (A.S) in the court or to cut-off his head if he refused.
Despite this, the Imam (A.S) agreed to help Marwan. Merwan's family stayed with the Imam in Imam's house for as long as they wished. The Imam then arranged for them to go to where Merwan was.
In fact, Imam's house was open for anyone who came seeking for protection at this time.
To put down the rebellion in Medina, Yezid sent a strong army under the one-eyed general called Muslim Bin Aqaba. Muslim brought back Medina under the control of Yezid but before he could do the same to Mecca he died.
Hasin Bin Namir took-over from Muslim and went to Mecca, to deal with Abdullah Ibne Zubair whohad taken control of Mecca from Yezid. Before Hasin could win back Mecca, he got the news that Yezid had died.
Hasin hurried back to Damascus with whatever that he was left without food was left of his army. On the way and water. He and his army were about to die in the desert out of thirst and hunger. Then he saw a man coming in his direction. The man had a camel loaded with food and water. Hasin begged the man to sell to him the food and water which he had with him for any price. The man replied that his provisions were not for sale. However, as Hasin needed them so badly he could have it all for free.!
In his conversation with the stranger, Hasin recognized the stranger as being no other person than Ali Bin Husain (A.S). Thinking that the Imam had not recognised him, Hasin asked the Imam if he knew to whom the Imam was extending his generosity.
The Imam replied, "I know that you are the murderer of my brother and father and that you denied my father water and food till his martyrdom but that shows who you are and my generosity shows what I am".
Hasin offered to help the Imam take control of Damascus. The Imam refused saying, all that he did for him was because he was a human being needing help. The Imam needed no reward or thanks. Saying so he went away - leaving behind Hasin to bite his figures in disbelief
Such was the generosity of our fourth Imam, Ali Bin Husain, Zainul Abidin (A.S).
Adopted from the book : "A Brief Biography of Ali bin Husain (a.s.)" by : "Muhammad Reza Dungersi Ph.D"
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