Ever-lasting Lessons of Morality
A Young Man and his Invalid Mother
It is reported that a young man approached the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and asked, "O Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), I have a mother who is an invalid. She cannot even move by herself. I carry her on my back and feed her with my hands. I also clean her excreta. Have I fulfilled her rights?" The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) replied, "No. Because you have remained in the womb for a long period during which you derived your nourishment from her body. She was every busy in caring and protecting you at all costs. Inspite of such hardships she always wished a long life for you. But you are waiting for her to die so that you may relieve of the responsibility of taking care of her."
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) described the eminence of a mother's position in the following statement:
1. "If you are praying a mustahab prayer and your father calls you, do not break your prayer but if your mother calls, break the prayer." Truly, this assigns a remarkably high status to a mother. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) states, "Paradise is at the feet of your mother." Hence one need not go far in search of Paradise.
A Traveller's Story
The following incident is quoted in the book `Kashful Ghumma': A Syrian came to Madinah. He saw a handsome man astride a good camel. Upon enquiry he learnt that it was Imam Hasan ibn Ali (A.S.).
This man from Syria stepped forward in anger and said; "Are you the son of Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.) ?"
"Yes, I am the son of Ali (A.S.)."
He said, "You are the son of a person who was a mushrik (polytheist)". And he continued his foul utterances till he got tired of it. Imam Hasan (A.S.) remained silent. At last the man felt ashamed.
The Imam (A.S.) seeing his remorse said: "You look like a traveller, are you from Syria ?"
"Yes sir", he replied.
Imam Hasan (A.S.) said: "If you need a place to stay, we shall provide it. If you need money we would give it you. If you have any other problem, we shall help you."
Not only was the Syrian ashamed but was also rendered speechless by such an excellent behaviour.
The following are his own words: "After I had the good fortune of enjoying the hospitality of Imam Hasan Ibne Ali (A.S.), I found his personality more likeable than that of any other person in the world."
Imam Hasan (A.S.) had offered the same type of hospitality to Asam bin Mutlaq the Syrian, and he too became his devotee.
All the praise to Allah
Imam Sadiq (A.S.) was sitting with his companions eating some grapes. A poor man came by and asked for help. Imam Sadiq (A.S.) offered him some grapes. The poor man rejected it and said: "give me money" Imam: "No sir, I have no money on me. "The poor man got hopeless and walked away. Then he changed his mind and returned saying: "Then give me that grape." Imam: "No sir" and Imam refused to give him grapes.
After a short while another poor man came by and asked for help. Imam offered him some grapes. He took them and said:" Thanks to Allah that He is the One who feeds His servants." Imam heard this and asked him to wait and gave the poor man more grapes. The man again thanked Allah. Imam told him again: "Stop...don't go anywhere please!", then he asked his companions to put some money together and give it to the poor man. The poor man accepted the money and said: "Oh Allah, thank and praise is always due to You. You have no associates or helpers." Imam did not have anything else to give him, so he took out his jacket and gave it to the poor man. The poor man got amazed by Imam's generosity and thanked him for that help. After that, Imam Sadiq (A.S.) stopped giving him and the poor man went on his way. Imam's companions commented in their diary: "If the poor man had kept on praising Allah, Imam Sadiq (A.S.) would have kept on giving him more."
Control your Anger
A simple unlettered man from the desert once arrived in Madinah and came to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). He asked the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) to give him a word of advice which he said he would follow.
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said: "Control Your Anger" And then the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) remained silent.
When he returned to the interior of the desert where he lived, he found that the situation had become quite tense. Some audacious young man from his tribe had raided another tribe in the vicinity and stolen their wealth. In retaliation, the other tribe had also carried out raids. Now they were at war. Immediately he prepared himself to defend his tribe and was angered by the outrageous conduct of the adversaries. Just as he stood in line to fight, he suddenly recalled what the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) had told him. "Control Your Anger"
He was soon engrossed in deep thought. Admonishing himself, he said: "The anger has taken better of my reason. I have set out to fight without trying for an amicable settlement. What a shame!"
He came forward and addressed the leaders of the opposite side: "Brothers, what is this war for? If my people have raided your side and stolen your property, we could sit together and agree upon compensation. I am prepared to recompense from my personal wealth." The leaders from the other opposite side felt totally disarmed by this new approach. They soon realised that bloodshed was not at all worth anything. So with all the magnanimity, their chief said: "Well, you have agreed to recompense. But we are in no way inferior. We have agreed to forego our demand!" And both parties peacefully retreated to their places.