It was a dark, cold night. Imam Sadiq (P.B.U.H.) was walking along carrying a heavy sack. “Where is Imam Sadiq going with this heavy sack?” I said to myself. “In this dark night perhaps he will find himself in danger. It is best for me to walk along with him and guard him.”
I walked quietly along behind Imam Sadiq(P.B.U.H.), but I couldn’t think where he was going or what he was carrying. We walked through a few lanes, and then I heard a noise. It sounded as if Imam’s sack had fallen to the ground. I heard Imam’s voice as he prayed,
“O Lord, help me this dark night to find what I have lost.”
I went closer to the Imam and could just see that the sack which he had been carrying on his back was lying on the ground. Imam was trying with his hands to gather all its contents. I came up to the Imam and greeted him. The Imam returned my greeting and. recognizing my voice, asked me, “Is it you. Mu’alla?”
“Yes, O son of the Prophet” I replied. “Will you let me help you?”
The Imam had been carrying loaves of bread and packets of food, and I helped him gather them and put them back in the sack. When the sack was full I asked him if he would allow me to carry it for him.
“No”, he said. “it is more fitting for me to carry it. My grandfather the H.Prophet (s.a.w) used to say that whoever doesn’t think about the needs of the Muslims is not a Muslim, and that whoever sleeps at night with a full stomach while his neighbors are hungry is not a Muslim.”
Together we walked along until we came to the lodge of “Bani Sa’idah” where many poor people were living. Imam put his load on the ground and, quietly, without awakening anyone, began to distribute the food he had brought. He put the share of each person by the side of his head, and, without any one knowing who it was from, we quietly left.
God tells us in the Quran:
“Give to the poor and distribute from what We have provided you and render them needless, before the Day of Resurrection when you will be sorry for your hoarding of wealth. and you will be faced with a severe chastisement.”