Man’s Value



An Arab came to the presence of Imam Husayn saying, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! I have undertaken to pay blood money but I cannot afford it. I said to myself: I will ask it from the most generous man and I don’t find anyone more generous than Ahl al-Bayt.”

The Imam said, “O Arab brother! I will ask you three questions. Should you answer one of them, I will give you a third of what you need. If you answer the second question, I will give you two-thirds of it and finally if you answer all the three questions, I will give to you all you need.”

The Arab said, “Will you—man of knowledge and honor—ask questions from such a person as me?” The Imam said, “Yes, I heard my grandfather saying: everyone’s value is to the extent of his knowledge.”

The Arab said, “All right, ask me your questions. I will answer if I can. Even if I can’t answer your questions, I will learn them from you.”

The Imam asked, “What is the best deed?” The Arab said, “Belief in Allah.”

 The Imam asked, “What is salvation?” The Arab said, “Trust in Allah.”

The Imam asked, “What is an ornament for men?” The Arab said, “Knowledge accompanied with forbearance.”

The Imam said, “What if there were no forbearance?” The Arab said, “A wealth accompanied by generosity.”

The Imam said, “What if there was no generosity?” The Arab said, “Indigence accompanied by patience.”

The Imam said, “What if there was no patience?” The Arab said, “A thunderbolt coming down from heaven to burn such a person who deserves it.”

The Imam smiled, gave him a purse of one thousand Dinars as well as his ring with a gem worth two hundred Dirhams saying, “O Arab! Give the one thousand Dinars to your creditors and leave the ring for living expenditures.”

 The Arab took them reading the holy verse,

اللّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ

Allah best knows where He places His message. (6:124) [7]

[7] Jami` al-Akhbar: 137, Chapter: 96.

Author: Allama Hussein Ansariyan
Translator: Dr. Ali Akbar Aghili Ashtiani

Divine Wisdom on Sustenance

Prophet Musa (a.s.) came across a poor person who, due to his abject poverty, lay bare-bodied on the desert sand. When he (a.s.) came nearer, the person requested: “O’ Musa! Pray to Allah that he grants me a little sustenance for I am on the verge of dying.”


Musa (a.s.) prayed for him and then proceeded from there to Mount Sinai to converse with Allah. A few days later Musa (a.s.), on his return, happened to pass by that very place when he witnessed that the same poor man had been arrested and a large crowd had gathered around him.


He (a.s.) inquired: “What has happened?” The people present there said: “Until recently he was penniless but off late he had managed to acquire some money; having consumed wine, he got involved in a brawl and killed a person. He has now been arrested so that he can be subjected to ‘qisas’ (Retaliation) and put to death!”

Allah says in the Noble Qur`an:


“And if Allah should amplify the provision for His servants they would certainly revolt in the earth.” (Suratul Shura (42), Verse 27)


Musa (a.s.) acknowledged the divine Wisdom and, expressing repentance over his request, sought Allah’s forgiveness.



  • Anecdotes for Reflection (World Federation), Vol 3, Sustenance, anecdote 1.
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