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Faith

Unveiling the Benevolent Souls: Ahlul Bayt’s Inspiring Acts of Generosity and Humanitarianism

“And, (O Esteemed Messenger,) We have not sent you but as a mercy for all the worlds.‏” (Quran, 21:107)

“And, (O Esteemed Messenger,) We have not sent you but as a mercy for all the worlds.‏” (Quran, 21:107)

Peace be upon the blessed family of the Prophet Muhammad, whose lives are great examples of love, compassion, bravery, altruism, and sacrifice. Their lives, like a beacon, will continue to shine with brilliance, benefiting every human being. 

Allah says in the Holy Quran for His last beloved Prophet Muhammad,

“And, (O Esteemed Messenger,) We have not sent you but as a mercy for all the worlds.‏” (Quran, 21:107)

The Holy Prophet personally nurtured and guided Ahlul Bayt (A.S.), the family of the Holy Messenger, instilling in them compassion, love, and self-sacrifice that radiated through their every action. 

“Allah only intends to remove all the impurity of sins from you, O People of the House (of the Prophet, [even a doubt or trace of shortcoming]) and make you absolutely pure and clean by blessing you with (perfect) purity and wholesomeness.‏” (Quran, 33:33)

The purity bestowed upon Ahlul Bayt by Allah is evident, and the declaration of their love as obligatory by Allah and His Messenger reflects the profound wisdom behind it. Their love is an essential part of our faith.

“Say: ‘I do not ask for any recompense for this (preaching the faith in Messengership), but (seek) love for (my) kindreds (and Allah’s nearness).” (Quran, 42:23)

The Ahlul Bayt exemplified extraordinary generosity and kindness towards the poor and deprived. Their acts of charity were so remarkable that even Allah acknowledged their generosity in The Holy Quran. 

“And they give (their own) food, in deep love of Allah, to the needy, the orphan and prisoner (out of sacrifice, despite their own desire and need for it),‏ (And say:) ‘We are feeding you only to please Allah. We do not seek any recompense from you nor (wish for) any thanks.‏” (Quran, 76: 8-9)

Abdullah ibn Abbas narrates that once Imam Al-Hasan (A.S) and Imam Hussain (A.S) fell ill and the Prophet, together with some of the companions, visited his sick grandsons. He suggested that Imam Ali (A.S) should make a vow to Allah for his son’s health. Heeding the Prophet’s suggestion, Ali ٔ and Fatimah ٔ, along with their maid Fizzah, took a vow that if the boys recovered, they would fast for three consecutive days.

Eventually, they recovered and to fulfill the vow they also fasted along with their parents and maid. Since there was nothing in the house to eat, Imam Ali borrowed three measures of barley. Syeda Fatima ground one measure into flour and baked it into five loaves of bread equal to their number, and placed these before them for breaking the fast. Just then a beggar stopped at their door and said: “Peace be upon you, O Ahl al-Bayt of Muhammad! I am one of the poorest of Muslims, so can you please feed me and may Allah feed you of the food of Paradise!”

So they gladly gave him all the food they had and slept that night, tasting nothing but water.

They fasted again the next day and at sunset they placed the bread before them to break the fast, an orphan knocked on the door asking for food and they cheerfully fed him, themselves going without food for yet another day.

On the third day as the time to break their fast was approaching and the food was spread out before them, a prisoner of war suddenly appeared at their door and the same scenario was repeated, with the Prophet’s Ahlul Bayt passing a third night without tasting a morsel of food.

When the dawn broke, Ali, holding the hands of Hassan and Hussain, came to the Prophet’s house.

The Prophet, seeing their pale countenances and noting they were trembling from hunger, expressed dismay and at once accompanied them to their house. On entering the house, he was shocked to see the sight of his daughter Syeda Fatima, sitting hollow-eyed on her prayer mat, her stomach sunk into her back. It was then, that the angel Jibreel came down with this verse, saying: “O (Prophet) Muhammad, Allah congratulates you for (the sacrifice) your household.” Then he recited the above-mentioned verse of feeding.

The Generosity of Imam Ali (A.S)

Imam Ali (A.S) was truly exceptional in his kindness towards his relatives and kinsmen. His care and concern for their well-being were unparalleled. He had a special fondness for children, especially orphans. Whenever he saw an orphan crying, he would console them, offer his support, and even bring them to his own home, treating them with the utmost care and love. 

Imam Ali told the orphans that if someone called them an orphan, to tell them their father’s name is Ali ibn Abi Talib.

Imam Ali’s (A.S) kindness and compassion toward children and orphans serve as an exemplary model for all of us.

The Generosity of Syeda Fatima (A.S)

It is related that one day a poor, hungry man came to Prophet Muhammad to ask for some food. Prophet Muhammad guided him to go to the homes of his wives and get something to eat. They had no food in their homes and thus could not offer the poor man anything. He returned to Prophet Muhammad who then asked his companions (Sahabah), “Who is going to invite this guest to his home?” Imam Ali immediately offered to take the man as his guest and soon they proceeded towards Imam Ali’s home.

On reaching home, Imam Ali informed his wife Fatima bint Muhammad that they had a guest and also enquired as to what they had at home for food. Fatima bint Muhammad said that they had just enough food to feed the children, but that they would give priority to the poor guest.

Imam Ali then offered to turn off the lamp in the house, asking Fatima bint Muhammad to put the children to bed. Imam Ali thought of making the home dark so that their guest would not notice that his hosts had very little food. Imam Ali accompanied the guest on the dinner mat but the guest did not notice that Imam Ali had not eaten, since the house was dark.

The night passed by in this manner. The guest ate comfortably and the members of Fatima Al-Zahra’s home slept hungry.

The Generosity of Imam Hassan (A.S)

Imam Hassan was kind even to those who were rude to him.

One day a man from another place visited Madinah and saw a man whose beauty astonished him. But when he learned that it was Hassan ibn Ali, he started shouting abuse at the Imam, “Curse be upon you and your father”. He hated Imam Hassan and his father (Imam Ali), because of false rumours about the Imam and his family spread by enemies of Islam.

Imam Hassan didn’t say anything rude. He greeted him cordially and asked him kindly if he needed anything: “I see you are a stranger in this town. Should you need a ride, we will provide you with one. Should you have any needs, we will fulfil them for you. If you need any help, we will help you.“

Imam Hassan showed that his manners were like the good manners of his grandfather. Hearing this, the man felt ashamed and started to apologise saying, “You are indeed Allah’s Hujjat. Your excellent manners have made me admire you. I will never leave you and always serve you, Master”.

The Generosity of Imam Hussain (A.S)

Imam Hussain always helped the poor as much as he could. At night he would carry sacks of food to the houses of the poor by following the footsteps of his father Imam Ali and leave them near the doors. He worked hard to eradicate poverty, establish justice, and acquaint the people with Allah.

One day when Imam Hussain was riding through the streets of Madina, he came across some beggars who had gathered together to eat the food that they had begged for during the day. The beggars saw Imam Hussain and invited him to join them.

Imam Hussain was not allowed to take anything given in charity (Sadaqah) as he was from the family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Sadaqah is forbidden (Haraam) for all members of the family (Ahlul Bayt) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Imam Hussain got off his horse and sat down with the beggars.

Imam Hussain then explained to them that although he would love to eat with them, he could not because as a member of the family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad he could not take Sadaqah. As an alternative, he invited all of the beggars to his house for food so that they could all eat together.

Another instance of his generosity is before Karbala and the Battle of Nahrawan.

The soldiers who were caught by Ali Ibn Abi Talib were standing there. One of the soldiers was fighting Ali Ibn Abi Talib on that day. He had some rope around his hands. It was not too tight, but it was around the hands. Imam Hussain was walking past, and saw that soldier.

The soldier looked at him and said, “Hussain I beg you, please remove this rope from around my hand because the rope is causing nervousness in me. Remove it. And I’m asking you.” Imam Hussain went back to his father. He said, “Oh, my father. I would like a favour from you”. He said “What is it?” He said “This person over there, do you see him?” He said “Yes, I see him.” He said, “He says to me, the rope is tight around his hand. Even though you will never put a tight rope, but it seems to have been hurting him. And he asked me to remove it. Oh my father, do you allow me?” He looked at him said “Aba Abdillah go ahead. Aba Abdillah why do you want to answer this?” He said “Father when someone asks through me, how can I reject? I do not want the person to be embarrassed.” He went back to the person he said “Give me your hands.” And he removed the ropes from the hands of Shimr Ibn Al-Jawshan.

Hussain removes a rope from his hand because when a person asks Hussain, he does not want to embarrass them. That is Hussain.

Conclusion

The Ahlul Bayt are shining examples of love, kindness, and equality. They selflessly prioritized the needs of others, even going so far as to feed others while they themselves experienced hunger. Their kindness extended to all, regardless of social status, as they treated everyone with the utmost compassion and fairness.

This extraordinary level of kindness even extended to their enemies, who were able to witness and benefit from their benevolence. Their kindness knew no bounds as they would give selflessly without expecting anything in return.

Allah says in the Holy Quran,

“Return to your Lord in such a state that you are both the aspirant to, and the aspired of, His pleasure (i.e., you seek His pleasure and He seeks yours).‏” ” (Quran, 89:28)

Ahlul Bayt’s generosity serves as a shining example for all of us to follow, reminding us of the importance of helping others and spreading kindness in our communities.

Their lives, like a beacon, shine with brilliance, guiding and illuminating the path for all.

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