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Story 100: Ibn Siyabah

Abdul Rahman Ibn Siyabah Kufi (originally from Kufah) was still a youngster when his father passed away. He was under pressure. On one side he had lost his father and on the other side unemployment and indigence had made his sensible spirit suffer.

One day while he was sitting at home, somebody knocked at the door. He was one of his father's friends, coming to offer his sympathy and condolence to him.

He asked: "Did your father leave any capital for you?"

"No."

"Take these one thousand dirhams, but endeavour to make use of it as a capital, and spend the profits of it." Saying these words, he left him from the entrance door.

Abdul Rahman, content and happy, went to his mother, showed her the pouch of money and related the incident.

According to the recommendation of his father's friend, he thought of starting trade, and without postponement to the next day, he exchanged the money with goods. He found a shop for himself to start his trade. It did not take long that his trade and business flourished.

Checking his accounts, he found that he had managed his daily affairs and a large amount of money had been added to his capital money. He thought of performing the ritual Hajj, he consulted with his mother.

The mother said: "First of all, go to your father's friend, thank him for his help, return back his one thousand dirhams which were a blessing in our life, and then go to Makkah."

Abdul Rahman went to that man, putting a pouch containing one thousand dirhams before him and said: "Here is your money."

The man thought that Abdul Rahman considered the amount of money to be a little and that is why he was returning it to him, thus he said: "If this amount of money is not sufficient, may I add something more for you?"

Abdul Rahman said: "No. It is not little, but it was an extremely blessed money. Since I have made a capital of my own by this money, I am no more in need of this amount. I came to return this money back and also express my gratitude and thanks to you, particularly, at present as I am about to make the Pilgrimage to Makkah that is the reason, I would like to return back your money."

Abdul Rahman said these words to his father's friend, left the house and set out for Hajj.

After performing the rites of Hajj, he came back to Madinah and went to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq ('a). A multitude of people had gathered together at the Imam's ('a) house. A youngster, Abdul Rahman, sat behind all the people, watching going back and forth of people as well as their questions and the Imam's ('a) answers.

When a number of people went away, and a few of them were left in the Imam's ('a) presence, Imam al-Sadiq ('a) made a sign to him to come nearer and asked him: "Do you have any request?"

He said: "I am Abdul Rahman, son of Siyabah Kufi Bijli."

"How is your father?"

"My father passed away."

“Oh! Oh! May Allah bless his soul”

"Did you inherit something from your father?"

"No. Nothing has been left from him."

"Then, how did you manage to make a pilgrimage to Makkah?"

"The incident is as follows: After the demise of my father, we were in distress. On one side, his sudden death, and on the other side, we were weighed down with indigence and disturbance till the day when one of my father's friends brought me one thousand dirhams. While offering his condolence, he told me to invest that money; I did what he said, and owing to the profit gained, I made the pilgrimage to Makkah ...."

When Abdul Rahman reached this point, Imam al-Sadiq ('a) interrupted him and said: "Tell me what did, you do with the one thousand dirhams of your father's friend?"

"According to my mother's advice, before departure, I paid his money back."

"Well-done! For the time being, would you like me to give an advice to you?"

"May I be ransomed for you, of course!"

"Be always honest and loyal, because the honest and loyal person is the partner of the property of the others."1

  • 1. Safinat ul-Bihar, v. 2, Chapter, Abd.