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 MAULA ALI (A.S.) AND THE CANDLE: Responsibility in Islam

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PostSubject: MAULA ALI (A.S.) AND THE CANDLE: Responsibility in Islam   Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:12 pm

A candle burnt by his side, as he sat down meticulously recording all the revenue and the expenses of the treasury.

Just then Talha and Zubair appeared.

They aspired to some positions of authority in Maula Ali's (A.S.) rule and had come to strike a deal. If Maula Ali (A.S.) gave them a place of distinction, they would in turn pledge their full support. Maula Ali (A.S.) knew of this.

Just as they sat down, Maula Ali (A.S.) puts out the candle and lit another one.

Talha and Zubair exchanged a glance of surprise and then one of them said:

"O Ali, we have come on some important business. But why did you extinguish the first candle?"

Maula Ali (A.S.) replied: "That was a candle bought of Treasury funds. As long as I worked for the Treasury, I used it. Now you have come for some personal work, so I use the candle bought of my personal fund."

Talha and Zubair left him without saying another word.

IN THE COMPANY OF THE CALIPH (Amir al-Muminin): Custom practiced before Islam

When Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) was coming to Kufa, he entered the city of Anbar populated by Iranians. The Iranian farmers were very happy to see their beloved caliph, Amir al-Muminin passing through their town. They came to his visit. When it was time for Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) to leave, they started running in front of his horse. Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) inquired about this behavior.

"This is one way that we extend respect to our leaders and respectful individuals. This is our custom that has been practiced for years."

Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) said: "This behavior puts you in discomfort in this world, and brings about humiliation in the next world. Always stay away from practices that humiliate you. After all what benefit is there in such a practice to the recipients?"

AMIR AL-MUMININ'S BEHAVIOR TOWARDS GUESTS: Privilege and Priority of father in Islam

A father and a son were once guests of Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.). As they arrived, Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) received them warmly and arranged for their comfortable accommodation. In a room where they were seated, Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) sat opposite to them, engaging them in a friendly conversation. And then it was time for the meal. After food had been served and eaten, Qambar, Amir al-Muminin's servant, brought a basin and a pitcher full of water for washing the guest's hands. Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) took the pitcher himself and asked the father to extend his hands so that he would pour the water.

"How is it possible that my Amir serves me? It should be other way," the guest said.

Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) said: "Here is your brother in faith, eager to serve his brother and to earn the pleasure of Allah. Why do you prevent him?"

But the guest hesitated. Finally Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) said: "As your Amir, I request that you allow me the honor of this service."

And when the guest complied, Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) said: "Let your hands be washed thoroughly. Do not hasten, thinking that I should be relieved of this duty early."

When it was the son's turn, Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) instructed his own son Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah, to hold the pitcher and wash the guest's hands. Looking at his son, Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) said:

I washed your father's hands. My son washed your hands. If your father had not been my guest today, I would have washed your hands myself. But Allah loves to see that when a father and a son are present in a place, the father enjoys a privilege and a priority.


In those days, Kufa was the capital and center of the Islamic Government. All eyes of the vast and wide Muslim nation (with the exception of Syria) were fixed at this city waiting for orders to be issued and decisions to be taken.

One day outside the city two gentlemen, a Muslim and the other from people of the Book (Jew or Christian) met on the road. The Muslim was going to Kufa and the other gentlemen to another place nearby. Since a part of their journey was common, they decided to travel together.

On the way, they talked and talked on, various topics of mutual interest and ultimately arrived at the point where their paths separated. The non-Muslim was surprised to see that his Muslim companion did not take the path leading to Kufa but accompanied him on the other path, where he was going. He asked: "Well, did not you say you were going to Kufa?"


"Then why are you coming this way? The other one is the path to Kufa."

"I know. I want to walk a few steps with you to see you off as our Prophet Muhammed (saw) has said, 'whenever two persons travel together on the same path, they establish reciprocal rights upon each other'. Now you have got a right upon me and for the sake of that right I wish to walk a few steps with you, and then, of course, I shall return unto my own path."

"Oh! Such an authority and power which is wielded among people in such a perfect way by your Prophet Muhammed (saw), and the amazing speed with which his religion has spread in the world, must be, I am sure, because of his such noble character."

The surprise and admiration of this gentleman reached its peak when he learnt afterwards that his Muslim friend was Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.), the Caliph of that time. Soon after he embraced Islam and was counted among the most devout and self-sacrificing companion of Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.).

ARE YOU AWAKE OR ASLEEP ? Story about fear of Allah

Habbah Arni and Nawf Bakali were lying in the courtyard of Darul-Amarah (fort) of Kufa. After the midnight, they saw that the Commander of the faithful, Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.), was coming from the fort towards the courtyard. But his condition was bad; he was having extraordinary fear and was unable to keep the equilibrium of his body. Keeping his hands on the wall and having his body in bent position, he was walking slowly with the support of the wall. And he was reciting the last verses (Ayat) of Surah Ale-Imran as follows:

"Indeed in the creation of the heaven and the earth and alteration of the night and the day, there are signs for men of acumen. Those who extol Allah, standing, sitting and (lying) on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): 'Our Lord! You have not created this in vain! Glory is Yours; protect us against the torment of the Fire. Our Lord! Indeed whomsoever You enter the Fire, You have surely disgraced him, and there shall be no helpers for the wrongdoers. Our Lord! surely we have heard a caller calling to faith (saying): 'Believe in your Lord', so we did believe; Our Lord! forgive us, therefore, our sins and cover our evil deeds and receive us with the righteous. Our Lord! grant us what You have promised us through Your messengers and do not disgrace us on the Resurrection Day; surely You do not break the promise ."(3: 190-194)

As soon as he finished these verses, his condition became bad; he then repeated these verses 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 at this astonishing scene.

But Nawf was unable to control his tears and he was continuously weeping. By this time, Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) reached the bed of Habbah and said: "Are you awake or asleep?"

Habbah replied: "I am awake, O Commander of the faithful! If a person like you has such a condition of awe and fear of Allah, then what would happen to poor people like us."

The Commander of the faithful, Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) 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 to me. Nothing can act as an obstruction between us and Allah."

Then he said to Nawf: "Are you asleep?" (Nawf replied:) "No, Commander of the faithful! I am awake. It is for some time that I am shedding tears."

Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) said: "O Nawf! If today you shed 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 of 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 saying 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 (Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.)) kept on walking and he had the same condition continuously till dawn."

Amir al-Muminin Ali (A.S.) said: "To judge your own souls before the time of judging of your action arrives. Make an assessment of yourself before you are called upon to account for your conduct in this existence."


All that we relate to thee of the stories of the messengers, with it We make firm thy heart: in them there cometh to thee the Truth, as well as an exhortation and a message of remembrance to those who believe. (11:120)
We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal to thee this (portion of the) Qur'an: before this, thou too was among those who knew it not. (12:3)
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