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 Imam Ali stories3

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A>Zai
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PostSubject: Imam Ali stories3   Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:23 pm

THE STRANGER

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 approached 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 small children."

The stranger said no more. Bowing down his head he went away. But the thought of the helpless window and orphans remained in his mind. He could hardly sleep in the night. Early in the morning 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 yesterday. 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 neighboring house came in. Recognizing the stranger, she cried: "Woe, don't you recognize the man who is helping you? He is Ameer-ul-Momineen (commander of the faithful) Ali Ibn 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."


COMPLAINT AGAINST HUSBAND


Imam Ali (A.S.) 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. Imam Ali (A.S.) 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 increase his anger".

For a moment he bowed his head and then raised it up saying to himself, "No, By God, justice 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 Imam Ali (A.S.). 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 obey plead for her, I shall throw her into fire and burn her alive".

Imam Ali (A.S.) 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 passers 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 Commander of the Fiathfuls".

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

Imam Ali (A.S.) 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.


AQUEEL AS A GUEST OF IMAM ALI (A.S.)


Aqueel arrived as a guest at the Government House in the days of the Caliphate of his brother, Imam Ali (A.S.). Imam Ali (A.S.) made a sign to his elder son Hassan al-Mujtaba (A.S.) to offer a garment to his uncle. Imam Hassan (A.S.) presented to him a robe and a cloak. The night came; the weather was warm. They were sitting on roof-top having 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 extraordinarily colorful and rich dinner. But to his surprise it was the most ordinary and simple one. He said: "Is this all the food?"

Imam Ali (A.S.): "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 you or me 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 Imam Ali (A.S.) in various ways. He continued to insist that Imam Ali (A.S.) 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. Imam Ali (A.S.) 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 labor 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 comforts. 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 wealthy 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 RETIREMENT


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 also become 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 continued his sad life.

One day Imam Ali (a.s.), the Leader of the Faithful passed through the lane and saw the beggar in that condition. Imam Ali (a.s.), out of his concern for others, enquired about the old man. He wanted to know the factors which led him to that condition. "Has 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 Imam Ali (a.s.) that he was a Christian and had worked hard so long as he had his eyes, and when 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 for him to beg. Imam Ali (a.s.) 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."
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