Imam Hussein And The Beggars

Imam Hussein, son of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib, was a famous Imam (Leader) of Islam. He was a grandson of Prophet Muhammad. Hussein's mother was Lady Fatima, daughter of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be on them all.)

Hussein had great love for honesty, truth and justice. He was a man of great courage. He proved his courage and love of Allah at Karbala. In Karbala he made the greatest sacrifice. His sacrifice for the sake of Islam at Karbala is world famous. You will learn more about it later on.

Hussein was also very well known for his kindness, charity and love for the poor. He lived in Madina. Madina is a city in Hijaz (now in Saudi Arabia). One day riding a horse, he passed through one of the streets of Madina. On one side of the street some beggars had gathered in a circle. They were eating food that they had begged during the day. The beggars saw Hussein passing. They saluted him. Hussein replied cheerfully. The beggars invited Hussein to join them and eat with them. Hussein came down from his horse and sat with them. He very politely explained to the beggars that he was from the house of Muhammad, the Prophet. Therefore, it was forbidden to him to take anything that has been given in alms (sadqah). Had not alms been forbidden to him he would most willingly have shared their food.

As an alternative, so that they all could sit and eat together, Hussein invited all of them to his house and eat with him there. All the beggars agreed. They went along with Hussein to his house and took food with him.


1. One should always behave with kindness and love for others - particularly the poor.

2. Not to hurt but always try to respect the lawful wishes of others is a sign of noble character.