The word sacrifice is not limited to material things but can also be extended to spiritual things, and any work and effort put to spread Islam is also an act of charity. The love of our Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) is a very dear act to Allah, and there are many incidents that prove this. Allah (S.w.T.) helps anybody who befriends the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) in any way.
Allah says in the Qur’an on behalf of his Prophet (S):
“I ask nothing from you as a reward except the love of my near ones or my kith and kin”( Sura ash-Shura, 42: 23)
Let us now see how people who sacrificed for the sake of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) were rewarded generously for this act.
It has been related by Sheikh Noori, may Allah have mercy on him, that Sheikh Al Ustadh Allamah Al Rabbani Sheikh Abdul Husayn Al-Tahraani related to him the following incident. It took place soon after the death of Mirza Nabi Khan who was one of the servants of the Sultan Shah Qajar. Mirza Nabi Khan was a man who had committed notable sins.
Once, Sheikh Husayn Tahraani saw in his dream that the Mirza Nabi Khan was walking leisurely in a garden surrounded by beautiful tall buildings. The beauty of the place made him to realize that he was in some kind of paradise. As he strolled, his companion pointed out a palace to him and announced that it belonged to Mirza Nabi Khan. Then his companion pointed to the Mirza and said that if the Sheikh wanted to talk to him he could do so.
The Mirza was sitting on a high throne, and he gestured to the Sheikh to go up to him. The Sheikh went up to the Mirza and he was welcomed to sit on a place beside him. Sheikh Tahraani who knew the personality of Mirza Nabi Khan in the world, was surprised to see him to be in such a good condition and state. Mirza Khan understood why he was surprised and said as if to clear his doubt, that although he had sinned in this world, he had achieved this palace and gardens because of only one act that he used to commit in this world.
Mirza Nabi Khan had a salt mine in the city of Taliqaan and he used to send the earnings of this mine to Najaf in order to be spent on the Majlis (ceremony to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) each year, and as a result of this he got these gardens and palace.
When Sheikh Al Tahraani got up from his dream, he remembered his dream vividly, and happened to have mentioned this dream to some scholars. One of the scholars ascertained that this dream was true as he happened to know that Mirza Nabi Khan used to send the money for the Majlis of Imam Husayn (a.s.).
It should be noted that the people who do any act for the love of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) will definitely get a great reward and even if these acts were committed in the end of their lives. It should be noted that Allah (S.w.T.) forgives those sins that are personal, while sins and wrong acts committed towards people cannot be forgiven by Allah, until people forgive you. 1
Sheikh Abdul Majid Al Muzaffer relates having heard Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Al Muzaffer, one of the leading scholars of Najaf, that one of the residents of the city of Najaf used to hold special Majaalis for Imam Husayn (a.s.) on every Thursday night and used to serve to the congregation high quality rice and curry on which he used to incur a lot of expense.
Once when this man decided to travel, he instructed his family to rise up to the occasion and hold the majalis in their own method and style. It so happened that the man, while still on the journey happened to see in his dream, the personality of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and Hazrath Abbas (a.s.).
Imam Husayn (a.s.) was dictating to his brother Abbas (a.s.) to write down the quantities of various material goods which the followers had sacrificed in his way in order to commemorate his martyrdom and, one of the things which he happened to mention was the name of that man and the amount of rice and curry which was donated.
It so happened that the quality of the materials donated were mentioned too. The man was surprised and said that didn’t remember having contributed rice and curry of this quality as he was travelling and that he always donated what was the best. The Imam (a.s.) replied that they only wrote down what was donated in their name.
When the man returned from his journey he found out that his family had indeed commemorated the Majlis and served the particular type of rice and curry mentioned in his dream during his absence. 2
It has been related by Hujjatul Islam Sheikh Ahmed Mujtahid Tahraani, that one year in the city of Tehran, the day of Ashoora on which we commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.), coincided with the birthday of the emperor of Tehran, called Ridha Shah.
It is normal for all Shias to mourn on that day and not engage in any normal activities, but to spend that day in Husaynias or Imam Bargaahs. The emperor asked his subjects to be happy and to decorate the Bazaars.
One man didn’t obey this order and closed his shop, and took no part in the happy celebrations. The next day it was found that a fire had burnt all the shops except that shop belonging to the man who had not taken part in the happy celebrations but instead had mourned Imam Husayn (a.s.).
This incident clearly verifies that we must consider the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) as our own dear ones and appreciate the great sacrifices of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and sacrifice our businesses and studies to remember them. What is a days earning compared to the reward that we shall get from Allah, for our sacrifices. 3
A member of the family of Sheikh Hasoon Taliqaani, had gone for pilgrimage to the Holy city of Mashhad i.e. shrine of Imam Ridha (a.s.), and members of his family went to greet him.
The pilgrim asked his family whether a resident of Najaf called Muhammad Nassaar had died on a certain date. His family confirmed this piece of news, and asked him how he came to know this when he had been travelling.
The pilgrim related that on the day when Muhammad Nassaar had died, he saw in his dream the funeral procession of the dead man. However he did not recognize any body in the crowd of people.
He then asked in his dream why there was nobody from Najaf present in the burial ceremony. He was told that since the deceased was a man who read majlis for Imam Husayn (a.s.), then it was only fit that the companions of Imam Husayn (a.s.) i.e. the martyrs of Karbala’ should be in the burial ceremony. 4
Mullah Muhammad Radood died some twenty years ago, and the funeral procession, and the burial ceremony conducted for him was the like given to great ulamas and mujtahids of Islam. The body of the late Mullah was put in a big coffin, which can be carried by hundreds of people.
So many people attended his funeral, and some great scholars commented that this was all because of his service to Imam Husayn (a.s.) i.e. in spreading the love of the Ahlul Bait (a.s.) to the people, and spending their wealth in this way. Such people have a great place in their life, death and in the hereafter.
It has been related by reliable sources, that a young man used to serve water to the mourners who came to the ceremonies commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.).
Once a man who was in the congregation approached the young man and offered to exchange some cigarettes in exchange for the spiritual reward the man would gain due to the good act of charity he was doing. The young man agreed eagerly being attracted to the worldly goods.
It so happened that the young man dreamt the same night, that he was being shown a beautiful palace, and he is being told that the palace was his spiritual reward that he exchanged for a few cigarettes. When he awoke from the dream he bitterly regretted why he had traded such a beautiful palace for a few cigarettes, and he knocked on the same night on the door of the buyer to demand his spiritual reward and to return the cigarettes.
The buyer refused saying that he had got the same dream and he was shown the beautiful palace that was his very own. A quarrel broke out between them and they had to refer the case to the chief judge who ruled in favour of the buyer since an agreement or a contract; be it written or oral cannot be nullified. 5
One believer relates that he saw in his dream that he was talking to the angel who keeps record of the people who are going to enter heaven. He asked the angel about a famous scholar called Sayyid Hassan Shirazi who was assassinated by the Baathist regime of Saddam Husayn, the ruler of Iraq in the year 1980 in Beirut.
The Angel looked in his records as the believer described Sayyid Hassan Shirazi to be a scholar who was of great faith, who had built a Hauza in Syria, as well having established so many projects. The Angel did not seem to find the name of Sayyid Shirazi, so the believer urged him to look at the list of authors who have written Islamic books.
The believer mentioned the names of the books that Sayyid Shirazi had written: the like of Kalimatullah, Kalimatul – Rasul, Kalimatul Imam Hassan and Kalimatul Imam Mahdi. Despite all the references given still the angel found it hard to find the name of Sayyid Shirazi amongst the people going to Paradise.
Finally after renting his brain the believer mentined that Sayyid Shirazi was also a poet who had written many poems in honour of Imam Husayn (a.s.). This is when the angel looked into the list of poets and finally found the name of Sayyid Shirazi. 6
All this shows that the service rendered in the way of Imam Husayn (a.s.) is of high value. Any small act; be it serving water, reciting a poem in the way of Husayn can take us so far.
It is for this reason that Prophet Muhammad (S) says that: “Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn”.
He also said that: “Husayn is the boat that saves you, and a lamp that guides you”.
He also said that: “The blood of Husayn is warmth for the hearts of the believers which never cools”.
“The one who respects the signs of Allah then that is from fear or Taqwa”. (Sura Al- Hajj, 22:32)
Ibrahim Ibn Mehraan says that there was a man who resided in his neighborhood in Kufa, whose name was Abu Ja’far. He was a shopkeeper, and many people came to him to buy goods. However if a man was an Alawi i.e. a descendent of Imam Ali (a.s.), and was poor he would be kind enough to give him goods on credit, and would ask his assistant to write the amount the man owed to him in a debtors book under the account of Imam Ali (a.s.).
It so happened that after having shown so much consideration and generosity to the descendents of Imam Ali (a.s.), there came a time that his business fell and he underwent a great loss. It was customary for him to open his account books and if the people who owed him money were alive he would ask them to pay back the debts, but if they were poor or dead he just forgave the people.
Once a Naasibi (a man who hates the progeny of the Prophet) passed near his shop and on seeing him with his books he taunted in a mocking tone, and said that Imam Ali (a.s.) who was his biggest creditor should have paid the debts of his descendents, and because the faith of Abu Ja’far was not good, it was for this reason that he was in a poor condition.
Abu Ja’far was hurt by his comments, and that night he saw in his dream that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) is asking Imam Hassan and Husayn (a.s.) about the whereabouts of their father Ali (a.s.). When Imam Ali (a.s.) comes, the Holy Prophet (S) asks him whether he has given back the money he owes Abu Ja’far. Imam Ali (a.s.) nods and hands over a bag to Abu Ja’far.
With this Abu Ja’far wakes up and is astonished to find a bag in his hand containing a thousand liras of gold. It is said that when he consulted his account books he found the amount owed to him by his creditors to be exactly what Imam Ali (a.s.) had given him, and in other narrations all the names of his creditors were erased. 7
There was a man who lived in the city of Mashhad, whose economic condition was not good. However, he decided that he must do something for the life hereafter, so that the act of charity would continue benefiting him even after his death. He therefore decided to collect money to build a Husayniyya or a place where religious functions can be conducted.
He started collecting money, and this was at a slow pace as many people did not trust him. He faced a lot of blames and mistrust. After some time he managed to collect and get a Husayniya built in the name of Prophet (S). He didn’t stop here and decided to go on to build another Husayniya in the name of Imam Ali (a.s.), Imam Hassan (a.s.), till he managed to complete fourteen such Husayniyas in the name of our fourteen Masooms from the progeny of our Prophet (S).
What is the difference between this man and us except for having a great determination and will power!
It has been related that a woman who was from the descendents of Imam Ali (a.s.) used to live with her family in Balkh which is situated in the south of Iran. The lady had a few daughters, and it so happened that at the death of her husband the lady decided to leave that city and go to Samarkand. This was in order to avoid disgrace as the family was not in a good state.
The lady reached Samarkand, and left her daughters in a mosque while she looked for something to end their hunger. As she walked in the city she saw many people surrounding a man. On questioning the people she was told that the man was like a chief or head or ruler to the people and was the lover of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
She thought that this was the right man to approach with her difficulties, but she was disappointed when the chief asked her to produce a witness that she was from the descendents of Imam Ali (a.s.). She stated that she couldn’t do so as she was a stranger and nobody knew her in this strange city. The chief turned away from her.
Well, as she walked filled of worry and anxiety, she saw another crowd of people surrounding a man, and again on asking she was told that this man too was a chief to some people, but he was a Zoroastrian in faith. She decided to try her luck perchance he may pity her. The Zoroastrian welcomed her and instructed his family to serve the woman with an abode, clothes and food.
That night the Muslim chief saw in his dream that he was standing before a beautiful castle, and as he asked for the owner of the castle, he was told that it belonged to a good obedient Muslim. Then the Muslim chief asked the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) the permission to enter the castle, but the Prophet (S) refused him and asked him for a proof or witness to prove that he was a Muslim. The chief was offended and claimed that how could he produce a witness when nobody knew him. The Prophet (S) reminded him how he had refused to help a lady, and had asked her for a proof or witness to prove that she was a descendent of Imam Ali (a.s.).
The Prophet (S) then said that the castle belonged to the man who was a Zoroastrian but had given refuge to the lady for humanitarian reasons. The Muslim chief woke up and went to the Zoroastrian and asked him to allow him to serve the lady. The Zoroastrian refused and said that he too had seen the same dream, and he had accepted Islam. 8