Maitham al-Tammar - Part 1
It was dawn. As usual, Maitham went to the date-palm trunk. He splashed it with water. The good ground sent out a sweat smell. Maitham said two Rikaas. Then he put his back against the date palm trunk.
Maitham had visited the date palm for more than twenty years. It had not been a mere dry trunk. It had been a tall date palm before twenty years.
Days, months, and years passed.
Maitham said two Rikaas near the date palm. Then he addressed it: "Allah has created you for me. And He has created me for you."
Maitham liked that date palm. He watered it when it was green.
One day, he came to the date palm. He found it a dry trunk. He cut the top of the trunk. That tall date palm became a mere short trunk. Still Maitham went on visiting that dry trunk.
Who was Maitham? What was the relationship between him and that date palm?
Maitham was born at Nihrawan near Kufa. He belonged to Iran. A woman from bani Asad bought him. One day, Imam Ali (A.S.) bought and gave him his freedom. Maitham became free. He sold dates in Kufa Market.
Maitham lived a simple life. Two things grew in his heart: faith in Islam and love for Imam Ali (A.S.). Imam Ali (A.S.) taught him that Islam was the only way to freedom.
Imam Ali (A.S.) liked Maitham because he was a good man. The Imam went to Maitham's shop. He taught him about Islam.
The Real Name
Imam Ali (A.S.) bought Maitham from a woman belonged to bani-Asad. The Imam asked Maitham: "What is your name"?
"Saalim", he replied.
The Imam said: "Allah's Apostle (P.B.U.H.) has told me that the Iranians call you Maitham."
Maitham was astonished because no one knew his real name. So, he said: "Allah and His Apostle are truthful."
Since that day, Maitham had not left the Imam.
In the Desert
Whoever goes to the desert at night will see the sky full of stars. His heart will be afraid of Allah.
Imam Ali (A.S.) went to the desert at night to say his prayers. He took a friend of his to that desert to teach him a lesson about Islam.
Sometimes, Imam Ali (AS.) took Maitham to the desert. He told him about future matters. The Imam did not know the unseen. He learnt future matters from our master Muhammad (P.B.U.H.).
Maitham listened to Imam Ali's words. The Imam said his prayers. Maitham said them behind him. He listened with awe to the Imam's prayers.
At al-Tammar's Shop
Imam Ali (A.S.) went to the market to meet Maitham al Tammar. He sat and talked with him. Some people passed by them. They did not know the Imam. And some knew him. They were astonished to see the Imam sitting with a dates-seller.
One day Imam Ali (A.S.) went to the market. He sat with Maitham. After a while, Maitham wanted to go to by something. He asked the Imam's permission and went away.
The Imam stayed behind to sell dates. In the meantime, a man came to buy some dates for four dirhams. The man took the dates and went away.
Maitham came back. He was astonished to see the Dirhams because they were false. The Imam smiled and said: "The owner of the Dirhams will come back."
Again Maitham became astonished. He wondered: The man bought the dates by false Dirhams! How will he come back?
After an hour, the owner of the Dirhams came back. He said with annoy: "I do not want these dates! They are bitter! Why are they bitter"?
The Imam said: "Because your Dirhams are false."
The man was full of astonishment. He took the Dirhams and went away.
The Nation's Scholar
Maitham was a brilliant. He learnt his knowledge from Imam Ali (A.S.). One day he said to Abdullah bin Abbas, the nation scholar:
"Ask me whatever you want to know about the Koran explanation. I've learnt everything from Imam Ali (A.S.)."
So, bin Abbas sat before Maitham to learn lessons about the Quran's explanation.
Adapted from the book: "The Companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w)"
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