THE BLESSED MONEY
"For how many Dirhams did you buy it?"
"For twelve Dirhams."
"I didn't like it, I want a cheaper one. Would the shopkeeper take it back?"
"I don't know, O Messenger (SA) of Allah."
"Please go and see if he agrees to take it back."
'Ali (AS) took the shirt to the shopkeeper and said to him:
"The Messenger (SA) of Allah wants a cheaper shirt; would you agree to take it back and give back the money?"
The shopkeeper agreed to do so and he gave the money back to 'Ali (AS). Hadrat 'Ali (AS) took the money to the Prophet (SA). After this, Hadrat Muhammad (SA) and Hadrat 'Ali (AS) went to the market together. While on the way, the Prophet (SA) saw a slave-girl, who was crying. He went to her and asked:
"Why are you crying?"
"My master gave me four Dirhams to buy things from the market. I don't know where that money got lost. Now, I don't have the courage to go home."
Out of twelve Dirhams, Hadrat Muhammad (SA) gave four Dirhams to the girl and said: "Buy whatever you had to buy and go back home." The Prophet (SA), himself, went to the market and after buying a shirt for four Dirhams, he put it on.
While coming back from the market, he saw an undressed man. He quickly took off his shirt and gave it to him. He again went to the shop and bought another shirt for four Dirhams. He put it on. On his way, he again saw the same slave-girl, who was sitting scared and troubled. He asked:
"Why didn't you go home?"
"O Messenger (SA) of Allah, it's too late for me and I am scared that they might beat me and ask as to why I took so long."
"Tell me the address of your house and come with me, so that I might request that no one should say anything to you". Hadrat Muhammad (SA) took the slave-girl with him. As soon as they reached near the house, the girl said: "This is the house." With a loud voice, the Messenger (SA) of Allah said:
"My salam to you, the inhabitants of this house".
He didn't get any reply; so he again said salam. But still he got no reply. He said salam for the third time and then everyone replied saying: "Assalamu Alayk, O Messenger (SA) of Allah."
"Why didn't you people respond me for the first time? Did you not hear my voice?"
"Yes! after hearing your voice for the first time itself, we came to know that it was you."
"Then what was the reason for the delay in response?"
"O Messenger (SA) of Allah, we loved to hear Your voice (salam) again and again. Your salam is virtuous, peace and blessing for us."
"Your slave-girl has taken long in coming back. Hence, I have come to request that you don't punish her."
"O the Messenger (SA) of Allah! by the blessings of your gracious coming over to our place, we have set this girl free." The Prophet (SA) said: "Thanks a million to Allah. How blessed these twelve Dirhams were; with which two undressed persons got dressed as well as a slave-girl got free."
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The Hajj season commenced. Young Zakariyya left Kufah with the objective of performing Hajj and had the honour of meeting Al-Imam As-Sadiq (AS) in Madinah. He narrated to Imam (AS) the incident of his acceptance of Islam. Imam (AS) enquired: "What virtue of Islam attracted your attention?" He replied: "I can only say that it was Allah's words in Qur'an which impressed me and holds true in my case. Allah says to his Prophet (SA) in Qur'an: 'O Prophet! earlier you didn't know what the Book is and didn't know what the faith is, but We revealed to you this Qur'an and made it a light by which We guide whomsoever We wish.'"
Imam (AS) said: "I confirm Allah has guided you."
Then Imam (AS) said thrice: "O Allah! You Yourself be a guide to him." Afterwards Imam (AS) said: "My son, now whatever questions you have, ask me". The young-man said: "My father, mother and family-members, are all Christians. My mother is blind. I am associated to them and I am compelled to eat with them. What am I supposed to do in such circumstances?"
Imam (AS): "Do they eat pork?"
Zakariyya: "No, O son of Prophet (SA)! They don't even touch pork".
Imam (AS): "Then, there is nothing wrong in your association with them."
Then Imam (AS) said: "Be careful about your mother's health. Be kind to her till she is alive. When she dies, don't give Her body to anyone else. You personally take charge of her corpse. Here, don't tell anyone that you have met me. I will also come to Makkah. In sha' Allah (Allah willing), we will meet in Mina.
In Mina, the young-man went in search of Imam (AS). There was a huge crowd around Imam (AS). The people, like the children surrounding their teacher and asking questions one after the other without giving any time, were asking questions one after the other from Imam (AS) and were listening to his replies.
The Hajj season came to an end and the young-man returned to Kufah. He had kept in mind Imam's (AS) advice. With firm determination, he started serving his mother and never failed to be kind and loving to his blind mother. He served food to her with his own hands. He even used to cheek her clothes and head to see that no lice might be present. This change in the behaviour of the son, mainly after his return from Makkah, was surprising for his mother. One day she asked her son:
"Dear Son! Earlier, when you followed our religion, you were not so kind to me. Now what has happened to you that though I and you are not the same in respect of religion, you are more kind to me than before?"
Zakariyya: "Dear mother'. A person from the descendants of our Prophet (SA) has told me to do so."
Mother: "Is he himself a Prophet?"
Son: "No, he is not a Prophet. He is the son of the Prophet (SA)."
Mother. "My son! I think he himself is a Prophet as this type of advises and preachings are not given by anyone except the Prophets."
Zakariyya: "No mother! Be sure that he is not a Prophet. He is the son of the Prophet (SA). Basically, no Prophet is supposed to come to earth after our Prophet [Muhammad (SA)]."
Mother: "My son! Your religion is very good. It is better than all the other religions. Teach me your religion."
The youngman told his mother the 'shahadatayn' [meaning: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad (SA) is his Messenger."].
Thus, the mother became a Muslim. Then the youngman taught his blind mother the process of reciting salat (prayer). The mother grasped it and recited the Zuhr (noon) and the 'Asr (afternoon) Salats. It became night. She succeeded in reciting both the Maghrib (evening) and the 'Isha' (night) Salats. Suddenly, late in the night, the mother's condition (of health) changed; she fell sick and got bed-laid. She called her son and said:
"My son, once more teach all the things you had taught me."
Once again, the son taught his mother the shahadatayn and all the principles of Islam, that is, belief in Allah, Prophet (SA), angels, the Divine Books and the Ma'ad (Day of Resurrection). The mother repeated all these as a symbol of her belief and acceptance and offered her life to the Creator.
In the morning, the Muslims gathered for giving her ghuslul-mayyit (obligatory bath to the dead) and her burial. The person who recited salatul-mayyit (prayer for the dead) and buried her, was none but her young son, Zakariyya.
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As soon as he finished these Ayahs, his condition became bad; he then repeated these Ayahs again and again and his condition became bad to worse and he became almost unconscious.
Both Habbah and Nawf were witnessing this amazing scene, while lying on their beds. Habbah, while quite startled, was looking this astonishing scene.
But Nawf was unable to control his tears and he was continuously weeping.
By this time, 'Ali (AS) reached the bed of Habbah and said: "Are you awake or asleep?"
(Habbah replied:) "I am awake O Leader of the Pious! If a person like you has such a condition with awe and fear of Allah, then what would happen to we poor people."
The Leader of the Pious looked down and wept. He then said: "O Habbah! all of us will be presented before Allah one day. And no deed of ours is hidden from Him. He is very near to you and me. Nothing can act as an obstruction between us and Allah.
Then he said to Nawf: "Are you asleep?" (Nawf replied:) "No, O Leader of the Pious! I am awake. It is for some time that I am shedding my tears."
'Ali (AS) said: "O Nawf! If today you shed your tears in fear of Allah, tomorrow your eyes will glitter.
"O Nawf! No one has more respect than that person who cries in the fear of Allah and that he likes to do it only for His sake.
"O Nawf! The one who loves Allah and that whatever he loves, he does it just for the sake of Allah, does not prefer anything over love for Allah. And the one who dislikes anything, and does it for the sake of Allah, he would receive nothing except virtue for his disliking. Whenever you reach such a stage, you have attained the truths of faith to their perfection."
After this, he preached and gave a piece of advice to Habbah and Nawf. His last sentence was: "I have told you that you should fear from Allah."
Then he passed by both of them and got busy with his own work. He started his prayers and while doing so, he said: "O Allah! I wish I knew that when I am neglectful towards You, do You ignore me or do You still care for me? I wish I knew that in these long neglectful dreams of mine and in my shortcomings in thanking you, what is my position before You?"
Habbah and Nawf said: "By Allah! he ['Ali (AS)] kept on walking and he had the same condition continuously till dawn."
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