S ayyed Jawad Ameli, a great Mujtahid, was having his dinner when someone knocked at his door.
A servant from his master, Ayatullah Sayyed Mehdi Bahrul Uloom, appeared and said: “Your master has sent for you to come immediately. He has just sat down for his dinner but refuses to eat until he sees you.”
There was no time to lose. Sayyed Jawad left his dinner and rushed to Ayatullah Bahrul Uloom’s residence. Just as he entered, the master looked disapprovingly at him and said: “Sayyed Jawad! You have no fear of Allah! Don’t you feel ashamed in front of Allah?”
This came as a shock to Sayyed Jawad, as he could not remember doing anything to incur the wrath of his master. He said: “My master may guide me where I have failed.”
Ayatullah Bahrul Uloom replied: “It is now a week that your neighbor and his family are without wheat and rice. He was trying to buy some dates from a shop on credit but the shopkeeper refused to grant him any more credit. He returned home empty-handed and the family is without a morsel of food.”
Sayed Jawad was taken by surprise. “By Allah,” he said, “I have no knowledge about this.”
“That is why I am displeased all the more. How can you be uware of your own neighbor? Seven days of difficulties have passed and you tell me you do not know about it. Well, If you had known and ignored him despite your knowledge, then you would not even he a Muslim,” Ayatullah Uloom adjoined.
Then Ayatullah Uloom instructed him to take all the dishes of food before him to his neighbor. “Sit with him to eat, so that he does not feel ashamed. And take this sum for his future ration. Place it under his pillow or carpet so that he is not humiliated, and inform me when this work is completed, for not until then shall I eat.”
Verily had Holy Prophet Muhammad taught: “That man is not from me who sleeps contentedly while his neighbor sleeps hungry.”
The desire to know ever more about Prophet Muhammad was always so strong in Caliph Haroon Rashid that he had issued an order to bring anyone before him who had seen the Holy Prophet in his lifetime.
Once, a very old woman was brought before the Caliph. The Caliph asked her, “Did you see the Prophet yourself?” She replied, “Yes, your Majesty.”
The Caliph then asked her if she remembered any rration from him.
Thinking awhile, the old woman quoted the Holy Prophet: “When old age comes, two things become young — one is hope and the other is greed.”
The Caliph thanked her and gave her one hundred dirs. The old woman left. Half the way some thought passed through her mind and she desired to be brought before the Caliph once more.
When she was shown in, the Caliph asked, “Well, why have you come back?” She said, “I just came to inquire whether the monies you gave me were only for once or is it to continue every year?”
The Caliph thought, “How true are the Prophet’s words! She has hope of life even now and she has greed for money too.” Smiling, he reassured her, “Don’t worry; you will be paid every year.”
-— the harbinger