A Generous disbeliever is better than a miser Muslim
By: Ayatullah Shaheed Syed Abdul Husayn Dastaghaib Shirazi
Three polytheists came to Mecca and swore before their big idol and swore among themselves that they will go to Muhammad and kill him. So, with a view to kill the Holy Prophet, they traveled from Mecca to Medina. Angel Gabriel informed the Messenger of God that such and such three fellows are on their way to kill you. The Holy Prophet, after the Morning Prayer informed the worshippers of Only One God of this matter.
Then he asked the gathering, "Who from you can suffice these three fellows?" No one uttered a word. Then the Holy Prophet himself asked, "Where is Ali?" They replied, "Ali is suffering from eye trouble." He asked them to inform Ali. So Ali was informed. He came up. In short, he covered himself with the armor of the Holy Prophet, took his sword and went out. After some stops, he met those three fellows. The one who was more robust and scurrilous than the other two asked, "Who are you?"
Amirul Momineen replied, "I am Ali bin Abi Talib, the cousin of the Holy Prophet of God." This abusive and ruffian fellow burst out, "I make no difference between you and Muhammad. We have decided to finish Muhammad. So now let us kill you just as Muhammad." Then he attacked Ali with his sword. Ali countered his attack with his sword. Suddenly, as per narrations, there flashed a lightning and the word of the Prophet of God reached the ears of Ali. It was a heavenly voice mentioning: O Ali! I have opened up the joint of his armor nears his neck. Hit him at this particular place.
Amirul Momineen also, accordingly, gave a hit at the said place, which was widened by a heavenly hand. Though hit badly the fellow did not fall down. Then came another heavenly voice: O Ali! Give another hit on his thigh. With this second attack the bully fell down. Without any delay, Ali cut off his head; the other two fellows finally understood that this was the courageous and the powerful Ali. They said, "O Ali! We have nothing against you and we submit. Our companion, whom you killed, was as strong as a thousand warriors. We have heard that your cousin Muhammad is a kind gentleman. Please take us to him." Amirul Momineen tied them up and took the two along with the decapitated head of the third accursed to the Holy Prophet. Then he narrated the whole story.
The Prophet looked at one of the two and said, "Say: There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah and believe in Islam and enter peace. Give up devilish thoughts and become Muslims." No war, no killing! But see what ill luck man brings upon himself. The first of the two said, "O Muhammad! It is easier for me to place Mount Abu Qais on my head than leave my idols and say, ‘There is no god except Allah.’" The Prophet said, "Kill him as he is a fatal substance, a grave obstruction and extremely dangerous." So he was executed.
Then the Prophet said to the second one, "Believe in Islam. You saw that your companion did not believe in Islam and was punished. Put faith in Islam and become a Muslim." The man pondered for a while, and then said, "O Muhammad! The truth is that I do not like to live in this world, as my friend is gone. Make me also join him." The Holy Prophet said, "O Ali! This man himself desires that we should make him join his friend." When Ali took him, Jibraeel arrived and said, "O Muhammad! Do not kill him, because he has two qualities." A note should be taken of these two virtues which God likes: First is his generosity and munificence – equity and bounty – that is, man does not consider that his wealth is of and from him only. He considers it as belonging to all, may he enjoy it or anyone else enjoys it. If someone else sits on his dining table he becomes happy thinking that someone is benefiting from his wealth. Woe unto a miser. It is mentioned in some narrations that a miser is near hell despite his worship and a generous person is near Paradise despite being a disbeliever.
Another thing is good behavior. God likes it very much that man must be nice while talking and be good while behaving with others, in his dealings, during his journeys, in his gatherings, with his friends and companions, with his wife, with his children, with his neighbors and in his society everywhere.
Finally the Holy Prophet said, "Ask Ali to release him soon." When he was freed the disbeliever asked, "O Ali! How did this happen?" Ali replied, "God sent a revelation commanding us not to kill you." He further asked, "Why?" Ali replied, "God has said that we should not kill you because you have two virtues: Good behavior with people and generosity." That man said, "You are right. It seems Muhammad is telling the truth. The Lord of the world says the truth. God is the witness that during my whole life I never considered even a dirham from my wealth as my own exclusively. I never considered myself the owner of anything. I never said, ‘This is my property.’ It seems Muhammad is absolutely right. I witness that: There is no god except Allah and I witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." So, his good behavior and generosity led him to Paradise. O Muslims! Know that miserliness of a Muslim leads him to hell.
Therefore, O Muslims! Never look at anyone with contempt and hatred. How do you know that when you condemn someone for his dress he might be doing good deeds secretly which God likes!
Damascus Police Chief, a true Shia
Sayyid Jazaeri says: Some Iraqi Shias traders told me this story: During their journey to Damascus, after midnight, they had to go to a public bath. All had woken up and were intending to first go to the bath and then to the mosque for morning prayers. On their way, the night police patrol detained them and took them to the chief who asked them, "Where are you from?" "From Iraq," they replied. He said, "They must be Rafidi thieves; take them to my house. We shall condemn them tomorrow." These poor Shias did not know what they were facing. They were detained in the house of the police chief till morning next. They saw that the police chief, at dawn, dressed up, made ablution and recited Qur’an and supplications like a Shia and also offered prayer like them.
How strange! He was behaving like a great Shia scholar. He continued his rituals till sunrise. Then he called for these Shias. His men brought breakfast for all. Then he said, "Gentlemen! I tell you that I am a Shia and also I am not in need of the government salary. I am well to do and I own properties. I took up this post to help my Shia brothers because I know that these Sunnis have enmity against them. I bribe the authorities to hold this post so that, in case of need I may help people like you." Then he took breakfast with them and said, "Now you may leave safely." These people were very much surprised and they said, "Indeed we were astonished. We thought bad of this police chief but afterwards learnt that in fact he was gentle and good-natured person!"
Imam Sadiq’s message a courtier of Mansoor
A man told Imam Ja’far Sadiq, "O Master! I am in trouble in Mansoor’s court. What should I do?" The holy Imam said, "There is such and such man in that court. Whisper in his ears, ‘Ja’far has sent me to you.’" This man came to the court next morning and saw that man matching the Imam’s description. He was the favorite of Mansoor. The troubled man told softly in his ear, "Ja’far has sent me to you." He humbled himself the moment he heard the holy name of Ja’far Sadiq and asked, "What has troubled you?" "I am in serious trouble as people have complained against me to Mansoor and made false allegations against me."
The officer said, "Please be at ease, I will do the needful soon." Within a little time, he went to Mansoor and told him that this gentleman is not at fault. So his matter was solved. Then that man came to the holy Imam and said, "O Master! This gentleman in Mansoor’s court has much respect for you. He expressed respect on hearing your holy name…So, O Master! Ask him to give up this job in Mansoor’s court. How such a nice man can serve in that evil court?" The Imam replied, "I myself have asked him to take up this job so that he may be able to help the oppressed."