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A brief description of morality of Imam Hassan

Morality Of Imam Hassan

Quoting his grandfather, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported: Hasan ibn `Ali ibn Abitalib was the most pious, the most devoted and the best of the people of his time. When he was on °ajj, he would often walk on foot and on many occasions bare-footed to the Holy Mosque. He would cry or be fainted whenever he remembered death, grave, resurrection on the Judgment Day and crossing the Sir¡§. He would be writhing like a snake-bitten whenever he was reminded of heaven and hell. He would ask Allah for heaven and sought refuge in Allah from hell.[1]


Imam al-¯¡diq (a.s) has reported: A man passed by `Uthm¡n ibn `Aff¡n who was sitting in the mosque asking for money. `Uthm¡n ordered five Dirhams to be given to him. The man said to `Uthm¡n, “Guide me to one who can relieve my pain.” `Uthm¡n asked him to go to those generous youths, indicating with his hand a place in mosque where Imam °as¡n, Imam °usayn and `Abdull¡h ibn Ja`far were sitting. The man saluted them and asked for money. “Begging is not permissible save for three cases; blood money with compassion; debt with a broken heart and poverty which is intolerable. Which is your case?” The man said, “I am afflicted with one of them.” Imam °as¡n ordered fifty Dinars to be given to him. Imam °usayn too ordered forty nine Dinars to be given to him, and `Abdull¡h ibn Ja`far too ordered forty eight Dinars to be given to him.

After having received these Dinars, the man passed by `Uthm¡n once again. `Uthm¡n asked, “What did you do?” The man said, “I passed by you asking for money. You helped me only with five Dinars and did not ask me any question either; but that generous young man having thick hair asked me something while giving me fifty Dinars. The second one gave me forty nine Dinars and the third forty eight Dinars.” `Uthm¡n said, “Who can relieve your pain like these generous young men? They have appropriated knowledge and insight for themselves and have gathered wisdom and benevolence in them.”[2]


Imam °as¡n’s humbleness was such that one day he was passing by some needy people sitting on the earth and eating pieces of bread. Seeing Imam °as¡n, they said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Come and share the food with us!” Imam °as¡n dismounted and said, “Allah does not like the arrogant.” He was engaged in eating with them. He invited them to his house a few day later, giving them food and clothes.[3]

Write Down Your Needs

A man came to the presence of Imam °as¡n asking him to fulfill his needs. The Imam said, “Write down you needs and give it to us.” When he read his letter, he gave him twice the amount he had asked for. One of those present said, “How blessed this letter was!” The Imam said:

It was more blessed for us, for it placed us among the benefactors. Don’t you know that a good deed is one which is done without anyone ask for it? But what is given when it has been asked for is a low price against the honor of the needy person. Perhaps a needy person who has spent the night between fear and hope and has no idea of whether his needs will be accepted or rejected will receive little money against his being dishonored should you give him only to the extent of his need.[4]

Extraordinary Example of Generosity

A needy man came to the presence of Imam °as¡n who gave fifty thousand Dirhams and five hundred Dinars saying, “Bring someone to carry it for you.” When he brought a porter, the Imam gave his cloak to him saying, “This is the wage of one who carries it.”[5]

Giving Away All Savings

An Arab came to the presence of Imam °as¡n, “Give him whatever savings we have.” They gave him twenty thousand Dirhams. The Arab said, “My master! You did not give me permission to tell you my needs and recite a eulogy in praise of you.” The Imam composed a poem saying, “The fear of disgracing one who has needs urges us to give away before he expresses his needs.”[6]

Feeding A Hungry Dog

One day, Imam °as¡n saw a black slave having a loaf of bread in front of him. The slave would eat a morsel of bread and give a morsel to a dog near him. Imam °as¡n asked, “What compels you to do so.” The slave said, “I am ashamed of eating myself and not giving the dog anything.” The Imam said, “Do not move from this place until I come back.” The Imam went to the master of the slave and purchased him together with the orchard he was working in. He set the slave free and gave him the orchard.[7]

Morality of Imam °usayn

Imam °usayn (a.s) is reported as saying:

I am sure that Allah’s Messenger believed that the best deed after prayer was to make a believer happy provided there is no sin involved.

The Most Generous Man!

A Bedouin arrived in Medina asking for the most generous man living there. They guided him to Imam °usayn. The Bedouin entered the mosque and found Imam °usayn praying. He stood in front of the Imam, reciting a poem with the following content, “Whoever knocks at the door of your house will not be desperate. You are the paragon of generosity. You are a haven. Your father put the unbelieving rebels to death. Were it not for your sake, our life would be a hell.” Imam °usayn saluted the Bedouin, saying to Qanbar, “Is there any of Hijaz holdings left?” He said, “Yes, about four thousand Dinars.” The Imam said, “Bring it here, for he is more deserving of it than us.” Then, he took his cloak off his shoulders, wrapped the money in it and gave it to him, reciting a poem with the following content, “Take this holding from me and accept my apology. Know that I would like to be kind to you. If the reins of the rule were in our hands you would be showered with generosity; but the vicissitudes displace the affairs and presently we can give away only a little.” The Arab took the holding from the Imam while his eyes were full of tears. The Imam said, “What I have given to you is a little.” The Arab answered, “The reason I am crying is that I wonder how the earth will eat this giving hand.”[8]

What A Sorrow!

Imam °usayn (a.s) went to visit Us¡mah ibn Zayd who had fallen sick. Us¡mah kept on saying, “What a sorrow!” The Imam asked, “Dear brother! What is sorrow for?” He said, “I owe sixty thousand Dirhams.” The Imam said, “I promise to pay it.” He said, “I am afraid that I will die before my debt is paid.” Imam °usayn said, “I will pay it before your death.” He did so.[9]

Helping The Needy

In the events of Karbal¡', they found a scar on the shoulder of Imam °usayn. When Imam Zayn al-`ªbid¢n was asked about it, he said, “This is a sign left of the heavy leather bag replete with what the widows, orphans and the poor needed, which my father carried on his shoulders.”[10]

Honoring A Teacher

`Abd al-Ra¦m¡n al-Salam¢ taught S£rah al-F¡ti¦ah to one of Imam Husayn’s sons. When the child recited before the Imam, he gave the teacher a thousand Dinars as well as gifts. They objected to the Imam’s act, but he said, “What I have given to him cannot make up for what he has done.”[11]

Seek My Pleasure

There was an argument between Imam °usayn and his brother, Mu¦ammad ibn al-°anafiyyah. In a letter to Imam °usayn, Mu¦ammad wrote, “Dear brother! `Al¢ is my and your father. In this relation neither I am superior to you nor are you superior to me. Your mother is the daughter of the Holy Prophet. Should my mother possess all the gold of the world, she cannot be equal to your mother in terms of virtues. When you read the letter, come to me and seek my pleasure, for you are more deserving of good deeds than me. May peace and blessing of Allah be upon you.” After reading the letter, Imam °usayn went to his brother and there was no argument between them any more.[12]


On the day of `ªsh£r¡' (the tenth Mu¦arram), Imam °usayn was told to submit to the rule of Yaz¢d and pledge allegiance to him. The Imam replied:

وَاللهِ لأ أعْطِيكُمْ بِيَدِي إعْطَاءَ الذَّلِيلِ وَلا أفِرُّ فَرَارَ الْعَبِيدِ.

By Allah! I will not put my hand in your hand like the abased people nor will I escape from the battlefield like slaves.

Raising his voice, the Imam added:

عِبَادَ اللهِ، إنِّي عُذْتُ بِرَبِّي وَرَبِّكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ مُتَكَبِّرٍ لأ يُؤْمِنُ بِيَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ.

O servants of Allah! I seek refuge to my Lord and Your Lord from every arrogant person who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning.[13]

Better Greeting

Anas reports: I was in the presence of Imam Husayn when his slave-girl entered the room presenting a bunch of basil as greeting. The Imam said, “You are free in the way of Allah!” I said to the Imam, “She presented an inexpensive bunch of basil to you and you set her free!” The Imam said, “Allah has taught us courtesy as such when He has said:


And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better greeting than it or return it, surely Allah takes account of all things. (4:86)

Therefore, in this case, a better greeting was to set her free.”

Man’s Value

An Arab came to the presence of Imam °usayn saying, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! I have undertaken to pay blood money but I cannot afford it. I said to myself: I will ask it from the most generous man and I don’t find anyone more generous than Ahl al-Bayt.” The Imam said, “O Arab brother! I will ask you three questions. Should you answer one of them, I will give you a third of what you need. If you answer the second question, I will give you two-thirds of it and finally if you answer all the three questions, I will give to you all you need.” The Arab said, “Will you—man of knowledge and honor—ask questions from such a person as me?” The Imam said, “Yes, I heard my grandfather saying: everyone’s value is to the extent of his knowledge.” The Arab said, “All right, ask me your questions. I will answer if I can. Even if I can’t answer your questions, I will learn them from you.” The Imam asked, “What is the best deed?” The Arab said, “Belief in Allah.” The Imam asked, “What is salvation?” The Arab said, “Trust in Allah.” The Imam asked, “What is an ornament for men?” The Arab said, “Knowledge accompanied with forbearance.” The Imam said, “What if there were no forbearance?” The Arab said, “A wealth accompanied by generosity.” The Imam said, “What if there was no generosity?” The Arab said, “Indigence accompanied by patience.” The Imam said, “What if there was no patience?” The Arab said, “A thunderbolt coming down from heaven to burn such a person who deserves it.” The Imam smiled, gave him a purse of one thousand Dinars as well as his ring with a gem worth two hundred Dirhams saying, “O Arab! Give the one thousand Dinars to your creditors and leave the ring for living expenditures.” The Arab took them reading the holy verse,


Allah best knows where He places His message(6:124)[14]

[1] Al-Am¡l¢ by Shaykh al-¯ad£q: 178, ° 8

[2] al-Khi¥¡l: 135/1, ° 149.

[3] Al-Man¡qib: 23/4.

[4] ¯ul¦ al-°asan 42-43.

[5] Al-Man¡qib: 16/4.

[6] Al-Man¡qib: 16/4.

[7] Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r: 352/43, Chapter: 16, ° 29.

[8] Al-Man¡qib: 66/4.

[9] Al-Man¡qib: 65/4.

[10] Al-Man¡qib: 66/4.

[11] Al-Man¡qib: 66/4.

[12] Al-Man¡qib: 66/4.

[13] Al-Man¡qib: 66/4.

[14] J¡mi` al-Akhb¡r: 137, Chapter: 96.

source : Allameh Hussein Ansariyan
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