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Examples of Imam Ali’s (A.S) Moral Virtues

part 4


Charity Changes People

On the above-mentioned story, ibn `Abbas, commenting on the following holy verse, “Men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah… without measure (24:37-38)”‌ says: The occasion of the revelation was that one day the Holy Prophet gave Ali three hundred Dinars, which they had given to him as gift. Ali said: I took the money and said to myself by Allah, I will give such a charity with these Dinars that Allah will accept. When I completed the night prayer with Allah’s Messenger, I took a hundred Dinars and left the mosque. On my way, I came across a woman to whom I gave one hundred Dinars. The following day, people said, “Ali has given charity to a corrupt woman!”‌ It was a grant sorrow for me. The night of that day, I performed the night prayer, took a hundred Dinars in my hand, left the mosque and said to myself, “By Allah! I will give a charity which will be accepted by my Lord. I saw a man and gave away the one hundred Dinars to him.”‌ The following day, the people of Medina said, “Ali has given away a hundred Dinars to a thief.”‌ Again a great sorrow came to me but said to myself, “By Allah! I will give a charity tonight that Allah will accept from me.”‌

So, I performed my night prayer with Allah’s Messenger and then left the mosque having a hundred Dinars with me. I saw a man to whom I gave the money. The next day, the people Medina said, “Last night, Ali gave a hundred Dinars to a rich man.”‌ Again, a great sorrow came to me. I went to Allah’s Messenger and told him the story. The Holy Prophet said: O Ali! Gabriel says to you: Allah has accepted your charity and purified your acts: The one hundred Dinars you gave as charity was put at the disposal of a corrupt woman who repented to Allah and used the money as earnings for her living. She also intends to get married with this money. The charity of the second night went to a thief who repented thereafter and used the money for running business. The charity of the third night went to a rich man who had not paid alms for years. He went home and blamed himself saying, “How miser I am! This is Ali ibn Abu-Talib who gave away a hundred Dinars to me while he has nothing whereas I am a rich man who has not paid his obligatory alms!”‌ So, he reckoned his alms and put it asidhue. It was for this reason that Allah revealed the above-mentioned verses.



Both Shi`ite and Sunni scholars report: One day Ali was extremely hungry so he asked for food from Fatimah who said, “There is no food except the one I preferred to give to you than to myself as well as Hassan and Hussein two days ago.”‌ Ali asked, “Why didn’t you tell me to prepare a food for you?”‌ Fatimah said, “O Abu’l-Hassan! I was ashamed to charge you with what is not in your power!”‌ Ali left the house, went to the Holy Prophet and borrowed one Dinar to buy food. On his way, he met al-Miqdad who said, “Whatever Allah wills (will come to pass)!”‌ Ali gave his one Dinar to him, went to mosque, lay down and went to sleep! Allah’s Messenger went to the mosque and found Ali in that position. Awakening him, the Holy Prophet asked, “What did you do?”‌ Ali told him the story and then prayed with the Holy Prophet. When Allah’s Messenger completed his prayer, he asked, “O Abu’l-Hassan! Do you have any food to share with you?”‌ Ali kept silent and gave no answer out of shame. Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet to have the dinner with Ali that night. So they both set out for Ali’s house. When they entered the house, Fatimah was engaged in prayer and behind her was a big bowl steaming. Fatimah brought that big bowl which was replete with food and placed it before her father and her husband. Ali asked. Where has this food come from? She said: From Allah’s Favor and Benevolence,

إنَّ اللّهَ يَرْز ُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ (37)

Surely, Allah gives to whom He pleases without measure (3:37)

The Holy Prophet put his hand between the two shoulders of Ali saying, “O Ali! This is in lieu of your Dinar.”‌ Then he was choked with tears saying, “Thanks Allah that I have not died to see in my daughter what (Prophet) Zachariah saw in (Saint) Mary.”‌



Author: Allama Hussein Ansariyan

Translator: Dr. Ali Akbar Aghili Ashtiani

P. 168-189

Other Links:

Examples of Imam Ali’s (A.S) Moral Virtues: part 1

Examples of Imam Ali’s (A.S) Moral Virtues: part 2
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