One night, he listened to the words of his mother while she was standing and facing the Ka'bah (Qibla) in a corner of the room. He watched his mother praying to Allah; prostrating, bowing, standing and sitting on that Friday night. He was still a child. He watched and heard his mother, as she prayed for all Muslims, men and women alike, mentioning them by name and beseeching Almighty Allah for their prosperity, felicity, and blessing. He was carefully listening to her to see whether or not she would ask Allah for something for herself.
That night Imam Hasan (‘a) stayed awake until the morning, never losing sight of his mother, Fatimah (‘a). He was wondering how his mother prays for herself and what favours she would ask of Almighty Allah. The dawn succeeded the night with his mother praying and supplicating for others, but Imam Hasan (‘a) did not hear her say a single word about herself.
In the morning he (‘a) asked his mother, “Mother, last night I listened to your prayers, and throughout your prayers you prayed for others and you did not pray for even a single thing for yourself?” The affectionate mother said in reply, “My beloved son, first your neighbour then yourself (your own house).”1
- 1. Bihar ul-Anwar, v. 10, p. 25.