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Story 9: In The Procession Of The Caliph

Ali (‘a), while on his way to Kufah, entered a nearby city called Anbar where its inhabitants were Iranian. The chiefs and the farmers were exulted and overjoyed that their beloved Caliph would pass through their town. They ran to welcome him. As he prepared to depart, Ali (‘a) mounted his horse and started to move when they started running in front of him.

Ali (‘a) called out to them and asked, “Why are you running? What happened to you?”

They replied, “This is the way we show respect for our governors and distinguished personalities. It is a tradition as well as a type of courtesy, customary among us.”

The Imam (‘a) replied, “This custom makes you suffer in this world and will make you unfortunate in the hereafter. Refrain from practicing these kinds of deeds which will only humiliate and degrade you. Moreover, what is the benefit of this custom for your people?”1

  • 1. Nahj al-Balaghah, Hikam No. 37.