Remember! Allah Provides
It was the wide, open territory of Mina during the Hajj season. Imam Jafar Sadiq
(a.s.) was sitting in his corner surrounded by his friends, other Hajjis, eating
A poor man passed by and asked for help. The Imam offered him a handful of
grapes, but the beggar refused them and demanded money. The Imam (a.s.) said, ‘I
do not have money to give you. The poor man went away, disappointed. After
walking away, he decided to accept the grapes and returned. ‘O.K, I’ll accept
the grapes.’ The Imam (a.s.) said those offered to him were no longer there.
After some time, another poor man passed by and begged for alms. The Imam (a.s.)
took another bunch of grapes and offered them to him. The poor man took them and
said, ‘Thanks to Almighty Allah for providing me with fresh sustenance.’ Hearing
the words of the poor man the Imam (a.s.) stopped him, and offered both palms
full of grapes to him. The poor man took them happily and thanked the Almighty
The Imam (a.s.) stopped him again, and asked the companion sitting next to him
how much money he had. His companion came up with 20 dirhams. The Imam (a.s.)
ordered him to give them to the poor man.
The poor man, overwhelmed, said, ‘O Lord, the Almighty! All praise is due only
to you, for you alone bestow blessings on us, and You have no Partner.’
The Imam (a.s.) immediately took off his cloak and handed it over to the poor
man. This time he started thanking the Imam (a.s.) for his generosity. The Imam
(a.s.) bade him farewell and asked him to move on.
The companions wondered why their Imam (a.s.) refused to give him anything after
he stopped thanking God and began thanking him. They were suddenly reminded of
the Ayah, ‘Only You do we Worship and only You do we ask for Help’.
The Guided One
Hisham ibn e Abdul Malik went to Mecca to perform Hajj. He was the ruling
Umayyad caliph of the time. After Hajj, he ordered his officers to bring all
those people who had been the companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hh) or lived
during that period. He was informed that no such person could be found, because
they had all died. He then asked for those who had been the companions of the
Holy Prophet’s (pbuh&hh) companions, called ‘tabe’een’, so that he could have a
soul-stirring discourse with them. Taoos e Yamani, a tabe’ee, was summoned,
Taoos entered the room where the caliph was sitting, and greeting him with
‘Assalam o Alaikum’, took his shoes off and sat down. Everything he did, from
the moment he entered, was against the monarchical culture of the Umayyads.
Finally, he looked at the caliph and said, ‘Hisham, how are you?’ That acted as
the last slash of the chips on Hisham’s shoulder.
He flew into a rage and said, ‘Do you not know how to behave in the presence of
‘What do you mean?’ enquired Taoos.
‘Why did you take your shoes off in front of me, greet me without saying Ameer
ul Momineen, sit down without my permission, and audaciously ask after my
welfare as my equal?’
Taoos replied. ‘Everyday, I take my shoes off five times in front of the
Almighty, yet He is never enraged with me. I did not address you as Ameer ul
Momineen, because quite a few believers are disgruntled with your caliphate and
rule, so you are certainly not the Ameer of all believers. I called you by your
name, because the Almighty, while recalling the events of His Prophets, calls
them by their names, thus: Ya Daood, Ya Yahya, Ya Eesa.
On the contrary, He mentions Abu Lahb by his title in the Holy Qur’an. Why I sat
down without seeking permission is because I heard Imam Ali (a.s.) affirm, ‘If
you wish to see an inhabitant of hell, then look at that person who, while he
himself is seated, everyone around him is standing.’
Hisham was visibly shaken by Taoos’ reply. He urged him to advise him further.
‘Ameer ul Momineen, Imam Ali ibn e Abi Talib (a.s.) said that there are
monstrous snakes and scorpions in hell, whose only duty is to bite and sting
those rulers who do not treat others with justice and fair play.’
Saying this, Taoos stood up, put his shoes on and left the room.
Hisham looked vacantly into space. Probably his soul had been stirred, even if,