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

part 6



In the eighth year after Hijrah, Mecca was conquered by Allah’s Messenger. The House of Allah was purified from the filth of idols with Ali’s idol-breaking act. Allah’s Messenger sent groups to propagate Islam and to invite people to monotheism. He did not declare war. One of these persons was Khalid ibn Walid who was dispatched not as fighter but as propagator. On his way Khalid came to a tribe one of whom had killed his uncle in the pre-Islamic era and had looted whatever belonged to him. When Khalid was alight near the water sources of Banu-Judhaymah, they took arms. Khalid said, “Put aside your arms, for people have become Muslims.”‌ He had their hands tied and killed whomever he wished. When the news came to Allah’s Messenger, he raised his hands saying, “O Lord! I seek immunity from what Khalid has done!”‌ Then, the Holy Prophet sent Ali with money to look into their affairs. Ali gave them back whatever Khalid had taken from them. He paid the blood money for all and the extra money which Ali had with him was paid to them by the command of the Holy Prophet. When Ali came back, the Holy Prophet said that what he had done was good and right. On the words of Ya`qubi, the Holy Prophet said, “What you have done is better than the red camels.”‌ It was at this time addressing Ali, Allah’s Messenger said, “May my father and mother be your ransom.”‌


The Blazing Iron Bar

Mu`awiyah asked `Aqil to tell him the story of the blazing iron bar. `Aqil said: Life had become extremely hard for me. I pleaded with my brother Ali but he took no heed of it. One day, I took my children in whose appearance poverty and indigence could be seen to Ali. He said, “Come at night so that I will give you something.”‌ At night, when one of my sons was holding my hand led me to Ali. I said to my son, “Go and sit at a distance.”‌ Having this impression that Ali was going to give me a purse of money, I stretched out my hand. But what I touched was a blazing iron bar. I withdrew my hand with a loud cry. At this moment Ali said, “This is the iron bar blazed by the fire of the world. How will be our situation on the Judgment Day when we are fastened with the chains of Hell?”‌ Then he recited this verse:

إِذِ الْأَغْلَالُ فِي أَعْنَاقِهِمْ وَالسَّلَاسِلُ يُسْحَبُونَ (71)

When the fetters and the chains shall be on their necks; they shall be dragged (40:71)

Imam Ali (A.S), commented, “You have no right on me except what Allah has made obligatory for you. Go back home!”‌

Mu`awiyah was extremely amazed and said, “Alas, alas! Women are barren to give birth to his peer.”‌


An Extraordinary Example of Piety

Imam al-Sadiq has been reported by Mu`awiyah Ibn `Ammar as saying:

If there were two options for Ali to do something for the sake of Allah, he would choose the harder. O people of Kufa, you all know that when he was ruling in this city, he used his income in Medina for living. He would put the roasted flour he ate in a bag and seal it not be mixed with anything else. Who was more pious than Ali in the world!


Dry Bread And Sour Yoghurt

`Aqabah ibn `Alqamah is reported by Na¨r ibn Mansur as saying: I went to Ali’s house in Kufa, finding before him a bowl of sour yoghurt which harmed me as well as several pieces of dry bread. I said, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! Are you eating such a food?”‌ He said, “Allah’s Messenger ate from bread drier than this.”‌ Referring to his garment, Ali said, “Allah’s Messenger would wear a garment with a more rough texture. If I do not follow his example, I fear not to join him.”‌


Self-Sacrifice and Generosity

In the Battle of the Camel, the soldiers who fought along with him were twelve thousand in number. When the fighting came to an end with the defeat of the enemies, Amir al-Mu’minin had the public fund divided with each person having five hundred Dirhams as a share. Ali took the same amount of dirham for himself. Addressing the public fund, he said,

غُرِّي غَيْرِي.

“Deceive anyone but me.”‌

After the division of the public fund, a man came about saying, “O Amir al Mu’minin! My heart was with you though I could no take part in the battle. Do me a favor by giving something to me.”‌ The Imam gave his share to him, going back home empty-handed.”‌



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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