Fire does not burn him
By: Ayatullah Shaheed Syed Abdul Husayn Dastaghaib Shirazi
The following incident is mentioned in the Tazkirah of Ibn Jawzi and also quoted in Fazailus Sadat.
I saw a blacksmith in the market, whose furnace was ablaze. He inserted some iron in it and made it red-hot. Then for fetching that red-hot thing out, instead of using any means, he inserted his bare hand in the furnace and pulled out the iron. The narrator says: I stood there for a while in wonder. What kind of man is this? Fire does not affect his flesh and skin! Why does this man insert his bare hand in fire? Finally, I asked him about it. He was rather reluctant to reply. But when I insisted he explained: It is as a result of an Alid woman. What happened was that there was a famine and people faced starvation. I had wheat and provision. One day a poor Alid lady came to me and said: I am an Alid and my child and I are hungry. Please lend me some food. I was infatuated by her beauty and wanted to commit fornication with her. She rejected my offer and went away. Thereafter she came again and I put forth my illegal proposal once more. She again refused saying: Till this time I have never indulged in unlawful affair. On the third occasion she was very helpless due to hunger and said, "I will submit, but on a condition that there should be total privacy. I am a respectable lady and no once must know about this shameful affair." I agreed and provided privacy and took her there. There the lady began to tremble severely. I asked, "What happened?" She said, "The place must be extremely private. None should be there." I said, "It is so here. No one is there except you and me." She replied, "God is present everywhere. Even if no one sees, God does see everything. My recording angels and yours too are also present." Hearing all this, I said, "O Alid lady. Dust on my head. It should have been I to tremble, not you. I must be afraid. So I withdrew. I went back and gave first place to the command of God."
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…be not forward in the presence of Allah and His Apostle…
Now see what God does to him. He says: I did not extend my hand towards the respectable and honorable Alid lady. I also gave her wheat and rice. She prayed in my favor to God: May God make fire unable to burn your hand just as you did not extend that hand to me. Ever since that day, fire has not burnt me.
Why? Because he placed God ahead and put his desires behind.
Doing good to Sayyids brings good of this world and Hereafter
It also is quoted in Fazailus Sadat that Malik Dinar or someone else wanted to go for Hajj. He arrived in Kufa where he stayed for a day or two to join a caravan and to make provision for the Hajj journey. One day he passed by a slum. He saw a woman slowly and silently going towards the garbage lot and looking on all sides (to ensure that no one was seeing her). Then she picked up a dead hen, hid it under her arm and came out. This man also followed her until she reached her house and knocked at the door. Some children came out asking, "O mother! Have you brought chicken for us (to eat)?" The poor woman said, "Yes, I have brought chicken for you. I will cook it for you." This gentleman stands bewildered at the poor woman’s door. He wonders how this lady can cook carrion. At last, as he could not help remaining silent and he told the lady, "I have been following you for quite some time. I saw that you picked a dead hen, which is unlawful to eat. Why did you do this?" The lady replied, "The fact is that, for the last few days, we had nothing to eat. Our neighbors cooked meat and its smell reached us and made my children restless. So I thought that even if I bring a dead hen it would satisfy and silence my starving children." When the gentleman learnt this, he brought the whole amount he had gathered for Hajj pilgrimage, which was nearly ten thousand dirhams. It was not a trivial thing. He must have toiled hard for the same.
Now he brought God and His Messenger forward and pushed back his intention to go for Hajj. He gave all these dirhams to the poor lady so as to make her and her children’s life somewhat comfortable. Now what about his own wish? What is interesting is that not only his expenses for Hajj were gone but also the money for his personal expenditure was also over. So he decided to do watering job in Kufa. When Hajis returned from Mecca and Medina, he went to greet them. The Hajis told him, "How have you arrived here earlier than us? We had seen you in Mina! We also had seen you in Arafat!" The gentleman replied, "No sir, I was here only."
Then another Haji came forward saying, "O gentleman! Take this money for God’s sake only and go." He said, "Which money, whose money?" That Haji replied, "That day, we were in a tent in Mina when a man arrived and asked, ‘Are you from Kufa?’ We replied, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘When you go back, kindly give this amount to Malik bin Dinar.’ He simply handed over this amount to us and went away swiftly. So these ten thousand dinars are your property. Take it." The man said, "By God! It is not mine." That man said, "I have to give it you." Finally he took them. That night in his dream a voice from the unseen informed him that this was his reward in this world and that the reward in the Hereafter was still reserved for him.
The summary of my lecture is: O Muslims! As far as possible keep God and His Messenger ahead and keep yourselves behind them. You will succeed both this world and also after death eternally. Woe unto us if we do contrary to it; if we push God and His apostle behind our desires and personal interests in our deeds, our views, in our talks, in our dealings. It is the respect and honor for God and His Prophet that raise a man up from dust.