A Great Example of Imam Ali’s Act of Charity

Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) once entered Makkah for some affairs. He saw a Bedouin clutching the curtain of Kabah and saying, “O Lord of the House! The House is Yours and the guest is Yours. Every host prepares certain means to receive his guest. Tonight, bless me by receiving me.” Addressing his friends, Imam Ali (A.S.) said, “Are you not listening to this Bedouin?” They said, “Yes, we are.” The Imam (A.S.) said, “Allah is too Great to return His guest empty-handed!”
On the second night, Imam Ali (A.S.) found the same man clutching the same pillar of Kabah saying, “O Almighty! There is no one mightier than You! By Your Honor! Honor me in a way no one knows how! I resort to you by the honor of Muhammad (SAWA) and the Family of Muhammad (A.S.)! Grant me something no one but You can grant and avert from me what none but You can avert!”

Amir al-Muminin (A.S.) said to his friends, “By Allah! These words are the chief name of Allah in Syriac. My beloved, Allah’s Messenger, has informed me that tonight this Arab has asked for Paradise from Allah and his prayer was granted and asked for the aversion of Hellfire, which was granted too!”
On the third night, Imam Ali (a.s) again saw him in the same place saying, “O Allah Who is not contained in a space and no space is devoid of Him! Give this Arab four thousand Dirhams as sustenance!” Imam Ali (A.S.) went forth saying, “O Arab! You asked Allah to host you, and He did; you wished Paradise; and it was granted to you; you asked for aversion of fire; and your prayer was granted; tonight, you are asking for four thousand dirhams?” The Arab said, “Who are you?” The Imam (A.S.) said, “I am Ali ibn Abu-Talib (A.S.).” The Arab said, “By Allah! You are the one I desire and you can meet my need!” The Imam (A.S.)said, “O Bedouin! Ask for it.” The man said, “A thousand dirhams for dowry; a thousand for paying my debt; a thousand for purchasing a house; and a thousand for running the affairs of my life!” The Imam (A.S.) said, “You have been fair in asking for your needs. Whenever you left Makkah for Madinah, ask for my house.”
The Arab stayed in Makkah for a week and then came to Madinah looking for Amir al- Muminin(A.S.), shouting, “Who will lead me to the house of the Leader of the believers?” Husayn (A.S.) ibn Ali (A.S.) who was then a child said, “I will lead you to his house. I am his son.” The Arab asked, “Who is your father?” Husayn(A.S.) said, “Amir al-Muminin, Ali ibn Abi-Talib(A.S.) is my father.” He asked, “Who is your mother?” Husayn(A.S.) said, “Fatimah al-Zahra (SA), the doyenne of the women of the world is my mother.” He asked,“Who is your grandfather?” Husayn(A.S.) said, “Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad (SAWA) ibn Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib is my grandfather.” He asked, “Who is your grandmother?” Husayn said: “Khadijah (SA) daughter of Khuwaylid is my grandmother.” He asked, “Who is your brother?” Husayn said, “Abu- Muhammad, Hasan(A.S.) ibn Ali(A.S.), is my brother.” the Bedouin said, “You have got the whole world! Go to Amir al-Mu’minin(A.S.) and tell him that the Bedouin whose needs you had guaranteed to meet in Mecca is beside your house.”
Husayn(A.S.) entered the house saying, “O father! The Bedouin whose needs you have guaranteed to meet is at the door.” Addressing Fatimah(A.S.), Imam Ali (A.S.) said, “Is there any food at home for this Bedouin?” Fatimah(A.S.) said, “No.” Hearing this, Imam Ali (A.S.)put on his clothes and went outside home saying, “Call Abu-Abdullah, Salman the Persian.” When Salman came, the Imam (A.S.) said, “O Abu-Abdullah! Put to sale the orchard whose trees the Holy Prophet (SAWA) planted!” Salman too sold the orchard for twelve thousand Dirhams. Imam Ali (A.S.) took the money and called for the Bedouin. Four thousand dirhams were given to him to meet his needs and forty dirhams for his expenses.
The news spread among the needy and poor in Madinah. They too came to Imam Ali (A.S.). A man from the Ansar went to Fatimah’s house and informed her of the event. Fatimah (SA) said, “May Allah reward you for this news.” Ali (A.S.) was sitting there giving away handfuls of Dirhams to the needy so much so that there was nothing left for him.”(Al-Amali: 467, H. 10)

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