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Story 52: Prohibition Of The Drunkard

By order of the Caliph Mansur, the safe of the public treasury was unlocked, and everyone was paid a share of it. Shaqrani was among those who had come to take his share. Since no one knew him, he could not find any means to receive a share for himself. Owing to the fact that one of his forefathers was a slave freed by the Holy Prophet (S), Shaqrani had naturally inherited his emancipation from them and was nicknamed ‘the emancipated slave of the Messenger of Allah.’

This had brought about an honour for him and an affiliation with the Holy Prophet (S). From this point of view, Shaqrani credited himself to be a member of the Holy Prophet’s (S) household. Anxiously looking for an acquaintance or a means to obtain his share of the public treasury, Shaqrani saw Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a). He approached him and presented his problem.

It was not long before the Imam (‘a) brought a share for him and handed it to Shaqrani. He (‘a) said in a very kind tone, “A good action is good, no matter who may do it; but, for you, it will be much better and more graceful, due to your relationship with us, as you are known to be a member of the Prophet's (S) family. Likewise, a bad action is bad, no matter who may do it; but it will be uglier and more detestable from you, for the same reason.”

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said these words and then left him. By hearing this statement, Shaqrani understood that the Imam (‘a) was aware that he secretly drank wine. Although the Imam (‘a) knew that he was a drunkard, he did him a favour by drawing his attention to his vice in a gentle manner, and made him feel ashamed privately, laying blame on himself.1

  • 1. Al-Anwar al-Bahiyah, Muhaddith al-Qummi, p. 76.