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Wednesday 24th of July 2024
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Ahl al-Bayt as a full pattern of forgiveness & humbleness

 

Self-sacrifice and preferring others’ interests to those of themselves is an inherent feature of Ahl al-Bayt and it can be seen in the life of each member of them so much so that they helped those who were and were not entitled to it. The Holy Prophet has said:

إنَّا لَنُعْطِي غَيْرَ الْمُسْتَحِقِّ حَذَراً مِنْ رَدِّ الْمُسْتَحِقِّ.

We give away to all out of fear of rejecting a needy person.[1]

Abu °amzah Tham¡li says: I heard Imam Zayn al-`ªbid¢n saying to his slave-girl, “Feed any needy person who passes by my house.” At this time, I said to the Imam, “But everyone who wants something and stretches out his hand is not needy.” The Imam said,

أخَافُ أنْ يَكُونَ بَعْضُ مَنْ يَسْألُنَا مُحِقّاً فَلا نُطْعِمُهُ، وَنَرُدُّهُ، فَيَنْزِلُ بِنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ مَا نَزَلَ بِيَعْقُوبَ.

“I fear to reject one who asks for help to be needy and we fail to feed him. Then it may happen to us, Ahl al-Bayt, what happened to Prophet Jacob.”[2]

Ahl al-Bayt’s self-sacrifice was in such a way that they sometimes gave away whatever they had in the way of Allah.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said,

إنَّ الْحَسَنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ قَاسَمَ رَبَّهُ ثَلأثَ مَرَّاتٍ حَتَّى نَعْلاً وَنَعْلاً وَثَوْباً وَثَوْباً وَدِينَاراً وَدِينَاراً.

°asan ibn `Al¢ gave away of his shoes, garment and Dinars in the way of Allah.”[3]

An Extraordinary Example of Altruism

Hasan Ba¥r¢ says: One day, Imam Husayn (a.s) approached his orchard finding his slave sitting and eating some bread. He sat under a palm-tree closely watching him. The slave threw a piece of bread for a dog nearby against every piece of bread which he ate. At the end, he thanked Allah saying, “O Allah, bless me and my master as You blessed his parents. You are the best of the Merciful.” At this time, Imam °usayn rose up and called him by name. The slave who had been frightened rose up and said, “My master! O master of all believers! I did not notice you. Forgive me.” The Imam said, “You should forgive me, for I entered the orchard without permission!” the slave said, “Are you saying this because of your excellence, magnanimity and generosity?” The Imam said, “I saw you feeding the dog while you were eating yourself. Why?” The slave said, “My master, while I was eating, the dog was looking at me and I was ashamed of its look. Besides, it is the dog which guards your orchard and I am your slave. We both live on what you give us.” Imam °usayn started crying and said, “You are free in the way of Allah and I give away one thousand Dinars to you!” The salve said, “Even if you set me free, I would like to work in your orchard.” The Imam said, “One must practice what one preaches. I entered the orchard without your permission and I am now giving it away to you with whatever in it.” The slave said, “If you have given away this orchard to me, I too will give it to your followers.”[4]

Generosity under the hardest conditions

It is noteworthy that Ahl al-Bayt did not cease to give away even under the hardest conditions. In this connection, they have related: When a needy person heard that a community had gathered in the desert of N¢naw¡ on the Day of `ªsh£r¡', he set off for that place. Seeing him, Imam °usayn asked about his situation. The man said, “I am a needy man and I have heard that a large group of people have gathered here. I said to my self perhaps they may give me something.” The Imam said, “Stand here and do not go away.” The Imam went to his camp and wrapped in a cloth what the man needed and gave it to him. The man became happy and went away!

Forgiving The Guilty

`Ubaydull¡h ibn al-°urr al-Ju`f¢ was a moody person who was for justice at one moment and for injustice at another. Sometimes, he was neutral too! Although he was from Iraq, he rushed to help Mu`¡wiyah in the Battle of ¯iff¢n. He was at the service of Ahl al-Bayt’s archenemy that is Mu`¡wiyah throughout the battle and fought against Imam `Ali. Thinking that he could not live in Iraq any longer, `Ubaydull¡h went to Syria along with Mu`¡wiyah after the end of the battle. There was a rumor in Iraq that `Ubaydull¡h ibn al-°urr had been killed in the battle. Hence, his wife married `Ikrimah ibn al-Khab¢¥. Hearing this news, `Ubaydull¡h who was very fond of his wife decided to return to the city of K£fah to make his wife divorce her new husband. Mu`¡wiyah warned him against going to K£fah, saying, “If you go there, you will be killed with `Al¢’s sword!” Yet, he answered, “I have no fear of going there, for I am going towards justice. `Al¢’s morality is different from yours. He is heavenly and will dispense justice.”

So, `Ubaydull¡h came to K£fah. First, he went to see the new husband of his wife but the man refused to divorce her. `Ubaydull¡h who could not resist him, went to K£fah Mosque to see `Al¢. He found a large group of people surrounding Imam `Al¢ and lodged his complaint. Imam `Al¢ (a.s) said, “Aren’t you the same person who help Mu`¡wiyah against me in the Battle of ¯iff¢n and drew sword against believers?” He answered “I have not come here to be questioned rather I have come here to find a solution. Return my wife to me.” Imam `Al¢ ordered to his servant to bring the husband of the woman. He called on him to divorce his wife so that she will marry her first husband. The man said, “My wife is pregnant.” Imam `Al¢ ordered a house to be hired and the woman was transferred there. A nurse too was hired at the cost of Am¢r al-Mu’min¢n to take care of her until the time of delivery so that she will later marry her first husband after observing all the legal procedures.[5]

Forgiving offences and ignoring others’ unkindness was an act of manliness for Ahl al-Bayt. Allah’s Messenger has said:

مُرُوءَتُنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ الْعَفْوُ عَمَّنْ ظَلَمَنَا وَإعْطَاءُ مَنْ حَرَمَنَا.

The manliness of us, Ahl al-Bayt, means to forgive one who has done injustice to us and to give away to one who has withheld from us.

Ahl al-Bayt did not utter this truth verbally but they always practiced it. Imam al-B¡qir has reported: A Jewess poisoned a piece of meat and brought it to the Holy Prophet so as to kill him. When her plot was divulged, the Holy Prophet interrogated her, “What made you to do this?” She said, “I said to myself that this meat will not harm him if he is Allah’s Messenger and will rid people of his rule if he is a king.” Hearing this, the Holy Prophet pardoned her.[6]

Ibn Ab¢’l-°ad¢d, in Shar¦ Nahj al-Bal¡ghah, describing Imam `Al¢, says: He was the most tolerant in forgiving the offenders and the most forgiving towards the guilty ones. The truth of this claim is proved in the Battle of the Camel when he defeated Marw¡n ibn °akam, the most hostile enemy, but forgave him.[7]

Forgive Me for the Sake of Hasan and Husayn

Allah’s Messenger ordered an offender to be arrested to punish him. The fugitive offender tried to hide himself from one house to another to escape punishment. He kept himself from the look of people for sometime but it was hard to continue this act. One day, he was looking through a small window when he saw °asan and °usayn, passing by. He opened the door, came out, put them on his shoulder and set out for the Prophet’s Mosque. When he entered the mosque, the Holy Prophet was on the pulpit. So he loudly said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I ask you by these two honorable persons to forgive me.” The Holy Prophet forgave him with kindness and tolerance.[8]

Forgiving the corrupt on the Earth and Anti-Islam Fighters

A person who was in the presence of Imam `Al¢ in Ba¥rah asked him, “What is the punishment of a person who enters battle against Allah?” The Imam said, “Banishment, amputation of hand or foot, or execution, based on the Qur’¡nic order.” He asked, “If this person is °¡rithah ibn Zayd, what will be the order?” The Imam said, “He is subject to the same order.” He said, “O Am¢r al-Mu'min¢n! °¡rithah had come to ask you forgiveness!” The Imam said, “Let him come here.” When °¡rithah entered, he fell to Imam `Al¢’s feet, but the Imam took his arms and said, “Rise up! Allah has forgiven you.”[9]


Ahl al-Bayt and Humbleness

Humbleness is an outstanding feature in the lives of Ahl al-Bayt.

Ibn Mas`£d reports: A person came to the presence of Allah’s Messenger and when he started speaking, he was trembling. The Holy Prophet said,

هَوِّنْ عَلَيْكَ! فَلَسْتُ بِمَلِكٍ.

“Calm down; I am not a king.”[10]

Another person reports: A group of people and I went to the presence of the Holy Prophet and said, “You are our master.” The Holy Prophet said,

السَّيِّدُ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى.

“Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, is the Master.”[11]

Ab£-Ba¥¢r reports: Imam al-¯¡diq went to the public bath whose owner said, “Let me evacuate the public bath for you!” Imam al-¯¡diq (a.s) said,

لأ حَاجَةَ لِي فِي ذَلِكَ. ألْمُؤْمِنُ أخَفُّ مِنْ ذَلِكَ.

“No, it is not necessary. The pious believer does not bother for those things.”[12]

It is also reported that Imam al-Ri¤¡ went to the public bath. A person who had not recognized him said, “O gentleman! Rub me with this flannel!” Imam al-Ri¤¡ did so; and at this time people who were in the bath introduced Imam al-Ri¤¡ to him, the man who had became ashamed, made an apology and an attempt to draw himself aside; but the Imam calmed him with his words and kept on rubbing him with the flannel![13]

Humbleness which is like a seed sown in the earth will bear abundant fruits. With their humbleness, Ahl al-Bayt made the realm of obedience fruitful. Some of these fruits are knowledge, awareness and vision. It is for their in-depth might into the truth of universe that they have been chosen as leaders of guidance until the Judgment Day. Hence, all should know that to take lead of them will cause perdition and to ignore them will cause bewilderment. The Holy Prophet has said:

فَلأ تَسْبِقُوهُمْ فَتَهْلِكُوا، وَلأ تُعَلِّمُوهُمْ فَهُمْ أعْلَمُ مِنْكُمْ.

Do not take lead of my Ahl al-Bayt, for you will come to perdition nor do your teach them, for they are more knowledgeable than you.[14]

He also said:

فَإنَّهُمْ أحْلَمُكُمْ صِغَاراً وَأعْلَمُكُمْ كِبَاراً. لأ يُدْخِلُونَكُمْ فِي ضَلألَةٍ وَلأ يُخْرِجُونَكُمْ مِنْ هُدىً.

Be aware that Ahl al-Bayt are the wisest in childhood and the most knowledgeable in their maturity. They will never misguide you nor will they take you out of true guidance.[15]

Imam al-B¡qir said to Salamah ibn Kuhayl and °akam ibn `Utaybah:

شَرِّقَا وَغَرِّبَا، فَلأ تَجِدَانِ عِلْماً صَحِيحاً إلأ شَيْئاً خَرَجَ مِنْ عِنْدِنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.

You will never attain sound knowledge neither in the east nor in the west but with us, Ahl al-Bayt.[16]

The Imam has also said:

نَحُنْ خُزَّانُ عِلْمِ اللهِ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, are treasures of Divine knowledge.[17]

Imam °usayn has said:

مَا نَدْرِي مَا يَنْقِمُ النَّاسُ مِنَّا! إنَّا لَبَيْتُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَشَجَرَةُ النُّبُوَّةِ وَمَعْدِنُ الْعِلْمِ.

We do not know why people harbor enmity against us while we are from the House of mercy, the tree of Prophethood and the source of knowledge.[18]

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) reports: When it was noontime, `Al¢ ibn °usayn performed his prayer and then was engaged in invocations and greeted the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt as follows:

أللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ: شَجَرَةِ النُّبُوَّةِ وَمَوْضِعِ الرِّسَالَةِ وَمُخْتَلَفِ الْمَلأئِكَةِ وَمَعْدِنِ الْعِلْمِ وَأهْلِ بَيْتِ الْوَحْيِ.

O Allah; Send greetings on Mu¦ammad and on the descendents of Mu¦ammad, the evergreen tree of Prophethood, the destination of the Divine messages, the academy where angels came to learn and know, the depository of wisdom, and the household of Divine Revelation.

 



[1] `Uddat al-Da`¢: 101.

[2] `Ilal al-Shar¡’u`: 45/1, Chapter: 41, ° 1.

[3] Tahdh¢b al-A¦k¡m: 11/5, ° 29.

[4] Maqtal al-°usayn: 153/1.

[5] Al-K¡mil: 287/4.

[6] Tu¦af al-`Uq£l: 38.

[7] Sharh Nahj al-Bal¡ghah: 22/1.

[8] Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r: 318/43, Chapter: 13, ° 2.

[9] Fiqh al-Quran: 368/1.

[10] Mak¡rim al-Akhl¡q: 16.

[11] Sunan Ab¢-D¡w£d, 254/4.

[12] Al-K¡f¢: 503/6, H. 37.

[13] Al-Man¡qib: 362/4.

[14] Al-K¡f¢: 294/1, ° 3.

[15] Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r 23:144.

[16] Al-K¡f¢: 399/1, ° 3.

[17] Al-K¡f¢: 192/1, ° 3.

[18] Nuzhat al-N¡¨ir: 85.


source : Allameh Hussein Ansariyan
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