The Sacrifice of Muhaqqiq Ardebili
contains an incident regarding Muhaqqiq Ardebili
that during the times of famine he used to give
away to the poor whatever he had. He used to
live in poverty himself.
One day when he had donated all his possessions
his wife became angry with him that he had
deprived his children in such times when food
He left his home and went to the mosque and sat
there in Ehtekāf. An unknown person arrived at
the door of his house and handed sacks of wheat
and flour saying that master Ardebili sent it
and that he was in Ehtekāf at the mosque of Kufa.
When Muhaqqiq Ardebili returned home from
Ehtekāf his wife told him that he had sent very
fine wheat and flour. When he learnt of the
details he realized that it was a Divine favor
upon him and fell down in prostration to thank
Many times it was seen that the Muhaqqiq left
home with an expensive turban but if he
encountered a beggar he tore a piece from it and
gave it in alms. On numerous occasions he
returned home bare-head.
Ulama: Models of Sacrifice and Charity By: Ahmed
The scholars of
our nation are stars. They are models for each
aspect of life. Some people think that scholars
are only involved in studying and learning the
religion of Islam and concerned with Fiqh, the
sciences and philosophy. People don’t think that
our scholars are concerned with good morals and
ethics, and to uplift the society.
Sacrifice and charity are the basis of Islam
that our scholars must take the lead in being
good examples, even if they become exhausted in
helping the oppressed and helping the needy and
orphans. Let us relate to you the way our
scholars have taken the lead in charity and
did not have money for himself!
Muhyideen, who died in the year of 1376 A.H.,
was one of the noble scholars of the city of
Najaf. This scholar used to go to the rich
merchants and businessmen in Najaf to pledge
money for the poor and needy. Although they used
to refuse him in the morning, he used to go to
them in the afternoon and once again ask them
again. In this way he used to collect a lot of
money to distribute to the needy.
It is known that he didn’t use this wealth
personally and used to have a simple diet of
bread and milk due to his own poverty. It is
also known that when he became ill, and doctors
advised him to go abroad for medical treatment,
he had to sell his library in order to get money
for the treatment. (Mausooatul Atabaat Al
Muqadassa Page 314-317)
bought stale vegetables!
Sayyid Ali Al
Qadhi (died in the year 1355 A.H.) is one of the
great scholars of Islam who used to teach
lessons of ethics in the city of Najaf. One of
his students relates that he once saw the Sayyid
go into a green grocer’s shop. The Sayyid then
started choosing some vegetables and contrary to
the common behavior of most customers who always
look for fresh vegetables, the Sayyid chose some
stale vegetables, paid the owner and went out of
The student decided to follow him and ask the
reason for this. The Sayyid when asked replied,
that he knew that the owner was a poor man and
the Sayyid was in the habit of helping the poor
owner, but because it was not good to help
someone without a reason, since it would be a
cause of embarrassment, encourage laziness and
the habit of begging, the Sayyid just made an
excuse of buying some vegetables so that he
would get a chance of helping the poor man.
“As for us it doesn’t make a difference what
type of vegetables we eat, particularly so when
I know that nobody will buy the stale vegetables
from the owner and he will incur a greater
loss,” the Sayyid replied. (Seema Al Saliheen
Whoever loves his beard …!
Kashiful Gitaa, a great scholar and mujtahid
used to collect money in order to help the poor.
One day as he had distributed money amongst the
poor, a poor man from the progeny of the Prophet
(S) asked him for something to fulfil his needs.
The Sheikh was apologetic that he didn’t have
anything to help the poor man when the latter
pulled at the beard of the Sheikh and demanded
to be helped. The Sheikh announced that who ever
loved his beard i.e. respected him, should help
the poor man; and so it happened that the people
filled the beard of the Sheikh with gold and
silver in respect of him.
In this way the Sheikh diverted the love the
people had for him in the service of the poor
masses around him. (Maadhi An Najaf Wa
Haadhiruha 122-123, Qasas Al Ulama 201, 207)
What will Allah ask us on the Day of Judgment?
Sheikh Abdul Karim
Al Hairi was a great scholar and founder of the
great Islamic College or Hauza in the city of
Qum. One of his assistants called Sheikh Ali
relates that one night as he was sleeping, he
heard a knock on the door.
As he went to open the door, he saw a poor woman
who asked for help. She said that her husband
was sick, and in addition they didn’t have any
food, and her family was cold as they didn’t
have any fuel to get warmth.
The assistant informed her that his master could
not help her as his own condition was not good
in those days. The woman left with great
Sheikh Abdul Karim Al-Hairi had heard somebody
at the door and so he asked his assistant what
was going on. The assistant informed him about
the whole incident. Sheikh Abdul Karim said,
“What will Allah ask us on the day of judgment?”
Then he asked his assistant whether he knew the
house of the lady. Although it was difficult to
reach the lady’s house as the roads were covered
with snow, yet the Sheikh Hairi was determined
to reach the lady and help her. Thus they found
themselves on the way to the lady.
On reaching the lady’s house, they found the
family in a dire state. The Sheikh asked his
assistant to call a doctor who diagnosed the
husband and prescribed the medicines. Again the
Sheikh asked his assistant to go and buy the
medicine from the chemist on credit and that he
would pay for it, as well as getting some
firewood and food to give warmth to the family.
When the sick husband took the medicine he felt
better and they had food and warmth restored in
the house. Then only did the Sheikh find it
suitable to leave and return. In addition, the
Sheikh asked his assistant to divide the portion
of firewood which was supplied to their house
daily and give it to the poor family. Such were
these great scholars who served Islam by
Why didn’t you give out all your wealth?
In Nahjul Balagha,
the believers have been described as people in
whose heart Allah has become so magnified that
the world has become microscopic for them and of
little significance. One of the people who fit
this description is Mullah Sabzwari who died in
He owned land and wealth on which he took out
the Zakaat (charity) and distributed it amongst
the poor personally. Every Thursday he had an
appointment with the needy and distressed, so
that he would fulfill their wishes.
On the last three days of the month of Saffar he
commemorated Majlis for Imam Husayn (a.s.) in
which he called the poor. A man would be chosen
amongst them who would recite the majlis, a poor
man not known in the society, but the Mullah
would give such people a chance to recite, after
which food and money was distributed to each and
every poor man.
It is said that in his youth he inherited a lot
of properties, yet he sold shops and houses and
distributed the wealth to the poor. He repeated
the same procedure in his old age and were it
not that the Qur’an asks people to adopt a
medium way between miserliness and to be over
charitable such that if a man dies his orphans
do not have to beg and curse their father, he
would have given all his wealth to Allah.
People asked him why he didn’t give all his
wealth away and sit as a monk. It is interesting
to hear his answer in which he said that he
would love to do so but his children did not
favour the same type of life, and what wealth
remained with him was for only his children. (Qasas
wal Ibar lil Imam Al Shirazi Page 89)
One of the
scholars in the U.S.A. was conversing with the
representative of Imam Mohammed Shirazi, may
Allah have mercy on him. The scholar stated that
he thought that the Imam was one of the richest
Marja of the world.
The representative of the Imam queried the
scholar as to why he made this statement. The
scholar replied that it was because of so many
organizations and centers in so many countries
of the world from America to Asia, Europe,
Africa and Australia. The representative of Imam
Shirazi replied that on the contrary the Marja
had a great debt and faced many problems.
The scholar was puzzled and said that how then
was it possible for so many mosques and
organizations to exist if the Marja was not so
rich. It is here that the representative gave
the scholar the Marja’s secret.
The great Marja always inspired his friends and
believers a love of starting a project such as a
mosque, a printing press, a library, publishing
a book, etc. just so as to renew the spirit of a
Muslim to contribute and sacrifice for his/her
religion. The great Marja’s philosophy was to
awaken the nation and exploit the potentials of
each and every individual however small the
potentials may be as expressed in his book (The
Awakening of the Nation).
The scholar was amazed and remarked that it
seems that the Marja had a spirit of sacrifice
and of that of encouraging and inspiring others.
It must be noted that due to his encouragement,
management, planning and foresight more than
hundred mosques, organizations, publication of
magazines and books in addition to charitable
trusts and humanitarian institutes have been
established all over the world.
Start the work and Allah will help !
One great scholar
related to the representative of Imam Muhammad
Shirazi, that he once decided to build a
Madrassah although he didn’t have any money. The
Islamic tradition states that man should make
the first move, and Allah will shower the
blessings on him. One should always start the
work first and Allah will help to find the
necessary funds for it, and not wait for the
funds to start the work.
Thus he decided to ask some laborers to start
the work making a clear agreement that they
would be paid when the money was available. The
agency that supplied them with the building
materials did so under the same agreement.
Sometimes the laborers would work till evening
while the funds were not available, yet in the
evening by Allah’s blessings they would be paid.
Shortly after, the walls of the Madrassah
reached up to a meter in height.
One day it so happened, that a man knocked the
door of the scholar and said that he had been
passing by and was impressed with the
determination of the scholar to build the
Madrassah. He handed over an envelope to the
scholar saying that it was a meager donation.
Expecting that it was a small amount, the
scholar was excited to see a huge sum of money
when he opened it.
Soon the project reached its peak with the
handsome donation, and the donor contributed a
second amount of money to complete the project.
Help the debtors!
Al Jazairi says that I looked for a teacher who
would teach me and I heard about Allamah
Muhammad Baqer Al Majlisi who is the author of
the book Bihaarul Anwaar in Isfahaan. I went to
him and he taught me and took great care of me
as if I was one of his children.
We in the course of our stay with each other had
promised that whoever out of us died first would
come in the dream of the other and relate about
the world Hereafter.
Sayyid Jazairi says that he stayed with Allamah
Majlisi for a long time until the Allamah fell
sick and died. The funeral procession was an
event which showed how respected he was.
Shortly after his death, Sayyid Jazairi went to
the graveyard and sat and recited verses of the
Holy Qur’an for him and cried in his remembrance
of him and as a result fell asleep. In his
dream, he saw Allamah Majlisi richly dressed and
apparently in good condition.
Sayyid Jazairi remembered that Allamah had died
and so asked him what happened to him when he
was put in the grave. The Allamah replied that
as soon as he was buried he was addressed by a
voice which asked him what he had brought of
good deeds in the world hereafter. The Allamah
mentioned various deeds that he had performed
but the voice was not satisfied and asked
The Allamah was terrified, and as he pondered he
remembered an act of charity. He related that
once as he was walking in the streets of Isfahan,
he saw a poor old man being harassed by many
pedestrians. The Allamah felt pity on the poor
man and decided to gather courage to confront
When he asked the crowd of people about the
reason for their harassment, they replied that
the poor man owed them all some amounts of
money. The Allamah asked them to stop the
harassment and to follow him to his house so
that he would pay them the amount which the poor
man owed them.
When the Allamah had related this event, a door
to heaven was opened for him and so many
blessings were showered for him. (Jamiul Qasas
Lil Redha Kadhimi Page 99)
Use of Turban!
It is related that
Muqaddas Ardabili who was a very great scholar
in the tenth A.H., was a man of great piety and
good morals. Ardabili used to donate so much
food to the needy during famines that he often
was left with very little food for himself.
People often used to gift him with expensive
shawls with which turbans were worn. When he
wore these expensive turbans and came across
poor people, he would remove his turban and cut
a meter or two of the expensive shawl like cloth
and give it to the poor. In this way he repeated
this act several times and when he would come
home he would often be left with a mere piece of
cloth. It has been said that it was for this
reason that he wore very big turbans. (Mustadrak
Al Wasail Page 392-393, Aqaid Al Shia Page 298)
It has been
related that a great scholar called Allama
Shaheed Sayyid Abdu Sahib Al-Hakim, once
received a big sum of money as charity, the
amount totalling up to twenty thousand dinars.
The Allamah at once set to put various sums of
money into envelopes and wrote the names of
numerous people on the envelope. He would put
hundred dinars in some and two hundred in
others, until he completed dividing the money.
The man who relates this incident says that the
Allamah then told him to accompany him and as
they came up to the house of a person the
narrator was told to knock the door, while the
Allamah stood a distance away. As soon as the
door was opened the narrator threw the envelope
and they hurried away with the Allamah.
In this way all the money was distributed in one
night while the Allamah didn’t keep anything for
himself. (Kitaab Al Najafiat Page 175)
will not consume the Kababs!
Sheikh Fadhil Al
Muwahhidi, relates that he had the opportunity
of accompanying the great Marja of Islam, called
Sayyid Al Burujardi who died in the year 1370
A.H., to the hot springs situated in the city of
Mahallat, which are known to be the cure of
bones and muscles, as the great Marja was
complaining of pain in the legs.
Sheikh Fadhil says that they remained in that
city for a short time, and when the people came
to know that their Marja was residing in their
city as a guest, they warmly welcomed him and it
became obvious that most of the people were very
The Marja on appraising the situation asked
Sheikh Fadhil to buy cattle and have them
slaughtered so as to distribute the meat to the
poor. Sheikh Fadhil carried out the order and as
the meat was distributed, a bit of the meat was
set aside and delicious Kabaabs or broiled meat
were cooked and put in front of the Marja.
The Marja only drank some milk with bread and
cucumbers, and ignored the kabaabs completely.
When he was asked the reason for his action he
said that how could he consume the kabaabs when
the poor people were not offered the same. As a
result all the kabaabs were distributed amongst
the poor. (Mardare Ilm Dar Miaane Ali, Page 212)
Charity even in the state of grief!
It has been
related by Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Al Husayni Al
Milaani, that Sayyid Abdullah Al Shiraazi once
told him that a young scholar in the city of
Najaf once came to the great Marja Sayyid Abil
Hassan Al Isfahani, and asked him to give him
some money as a help to get married.
The great Marja promised to help him the next
day. Now it so happened that within that day the
great Marja’s son was assassinated while praying
behind his father in the congregational prayer.
This incident is famous and well known in Najaf.
The following day during the burial ceremony,
the great Marja was seen to be looking around as
if searching for someone. His followers thought
that he was mentally disturbed since it was an
odd behaviour potrayed by the Marja as it was a
time of poignant sadness for the Sayyid at the
sad demise of his son.
As he kept looking around they saw him calling
somebody, and found a young man approaching the
Marja and they then saw the Marja give a bag of
gold coins to the young man as he had promised
to do so, and did not forget this even though he
was surrounded with grief. (Qasas Wal Khawatir
The Expensive Cloak!
One of the
followers of Sheikh Murtaza Ansaari gifted him
an expensive winter cloak whose color quality
and material was indeed extra ordinary. The
Sheikh wore the cloak on the first day to the
mosque, but it was observed by the man who had
given him the cloak that the next day the Sheikh
wore his old ordinary cloak.
When the disciple asked him the reason for not
wearing the cloak which he had gifted to the
Sheikh, the Sheikh replied that he didn’t feel
comfortable wearing the cloak, while so many
people around him were poor, so he had sold the
cloak and bought about twelve ordinary winter
cloaks and given them to the poor people. (Al
Mubaligh Al Risaali Page 32)
sold his own house to publish a book!
Sheikh Jawaad Al
Balaghi An-Najafi was an author of great
prowess, who discussed and debated with people
of various faiths: the Jews, Christians,
Marxists and even atheists who believed that the
world has come about through coincidence.
A man of such great talents used to live in
great poverty, in a poor house, his bed made of
palm leaves. It is related that the extent of
his poverty was so great that when he wanted to
publish his writings, he had no money, and thus
had to sell his own house.
This shows how our scholars sacrificed their
basic necessities just so as to spread the
religion of Allah. (Aalame Barzakh Page 210)
Closeness to Prophet (S)
Taqi Al Barghani who is commonly known as the
‘Third Martyr’ related that his father saw in
his dream the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S)
surrounded by so many Scholars of Islam.
However, he saw the son of the scholar called
Fahad Al Hilli sitting very close to the Prophet
(S). Mullah Barghani says that he was surprised
to see this when there were other scholars who
were greater in calibre, knowledge and their
service to Islam who were not sitting so close
to the Holy Prophet (S).
Mullah Barghani’s father asked the Prophet (S)
the reason for this, and the Prophet replied
that it was because all the scholars surrounding
him used to give charity when they possessed
something, but if they didn’t have any property
they didn’t give anything to the person who was
begging or in need. However the son of Fahad Al
Hilli used to give in charity despite not
possessing anything extra, and used to sacrifice
his personal belongings in order to fulfil other
people’s needs. This gave him a higher degree of
proximity to the Prophet. (Mardaane Ilm Dar Amal
Under the Mattress!
Hassan Shaukat who lived in Isfahan relates that
he heard from one of the relatives of Sheikh
Baid Abaadi that the former used to be a servant
of Sheikh Baid Abaadi.
He used to be sent on a daily basis to a friend
of the Sheikh who used to sell perfumes and was
called Al Haj Sayyid Musa to get some money,
some few Riyals. Sheikh Abaadi used to
distribute this money amongst the needy. The
Sheikh used to keep the money under a mattress
under his feet, and when ever he was approached
by the poor and destitute, he would extend his
hand under the mattress and come out with a few
The nephew of the Sheikh relates that he used to
often visit his uncle when in need and he found
out that what the Sheikh gave him was less than
what he gave to others. When he enquired his
uncle, he was told by his uncle that the latter
didn’t decide what to give to various people,
rather he only extended his hand under the
mattress and gave out what came in his fist.
Many people kept the coins given to them, since
it was believed that the coins were blessed. (Qasas
Al Ajeeba Li Dastghib Page 405)
Ayatullah Syed Abdulhussein Dastghaib (qs) Story
Hashim Dastghaib narrates that: "On the day
after the 40th day of martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.)
of the year 1402 H. in the morning when I went,
according of the routine, to my father’s house (Ayatullah
Abdulhussein Dastghaib), the office secretary
came to me. After Salaam and inquiries about
health etc., began to talk about the dream of
one Syed lady as follows:
Pieces of Flesh
“A respectable Syed lady who I know very well
and who lives in our neighbourhood, says, “Last
night I saw the late Martyr Ayatullah Syed
Abdulhussein Dastghaib (qs) in my dream. He told
me, ‘Some pieces of my flesh are stuck between
bricks in the wall in this street (where the
late Ayatullah was shot). Please recollect those
pieces and join them with my body.’”
At first I did not give importance to this news.
I heard the discussions of people in the office
and this continued for about two hours.
Thereafter I stepped out along with some of them
with the intention of participating in a
programme of ‘Fatihakhaani’ (recitation of Quran
for gifting the divine rewards to the departed
soul). Per chance, we had to pass through the
aforesaid street where my father was martyred.
So when we reached that fateful spot, I suddenly
remembered the aforesaid dream and I told about
it to my companions as it was related to me that
morning and said that there was nothing wrong if
we walked looking around. Then suddenly our eyes
fell for the first time on that wall and all of
us saw that some pieces of flesh were stuck in
the gaps between bricks at a spot on that wall.
Two of our companions went forward to collect
those pieces of the body of Ayatullah Dastghaib,
the Martyr of the Prayer Niche and placed them
in a plastic bag safely. The news of this event
spread in the city like wild fire especially due
to fact that the 40th day of Imam Husain’s
martyrdom had just passed and there was a total
holiday in Shiraz.
During Friday eve, in the Jame Masjid of
Shiraz, as usual, and as per the tradition of
the Martyr of the Prayer niche for the last
several years, a Dua Kumail prayer meeting was
held and a huge gathering of mourners heard the
event. Then and there it was announced that:
This night at ten o’clock the remaining parts of
the martyred Ayatullah will be buried. So it was
done and several groups of mourners continued
their mourning rituals till late night in the
courtyard of the shrine of Ahmed bin Musa Kazim.
Finally, on the day of Arbaeen, with the fresh
remembrance of the burial of the remaining part
of the Holy body of Imam Husain (a.s.) the
aforesaid two plastic bags containing the
remaining parts of the Ayatullah’s body were
brought and the contents were placed in the foot
side hole dug in the grave of the great martyr.
Two Other Persons also had that Dream
In fact, this event was very wonderful and
strange. On that very day when the scattered
pieces of the Holy body were retrieved from the
bricks of the said wall, a gentleman, who is one
of the sincere persons belonging to the clergy
and commands respect and reliability, told me
that last night two other persons including a
relative of the martyr had also seen the same
After hearing this narration, this event assumed
much importance in my opinion. So finally I sent
a messenger to the aforesaid Syed lady and
requested her to write back to us her full
description of the said dream and also to
mention her full name and address along with the
names of her husband and other family members.
So the lady conceded to my request and sent me
the accurate and detailed account, which is
presently before me. I seek the consent of the
honourable readers to quote a few parts of the
said report so that it may be preserved as a
part of history and be a means of admonition and
guidance for future generations.
The vision (dream) was, “I was in a big garden.
Suddenly I saw Ayatullah Dastghaib walking ahead
of me. I was walking behind him. This was the
middle part of the garden and the Ayatullah had
put on a coffee coloured cloak. He asked me,
“Please go and tell the people that some
particles of my flesh have been left in that
wall. He repeated these words several times. So
I was extremely astonished when I woke up.”
A Story More Revealing Than a Book
You yourself may decide what truth this true
dream tells. This dream is in fact a 'talking
testimony' of a truth about the LIFE AFTER
DEATH, which is more convincing than a whole
book of admonition. The Martyr of the Prayer
Niche Ayatullah Dastghaib used to mention
several times that, “Death is not
destruction; rather it is the door for
attainment of Divine Mercy.” Surely the
martyrs in the path of God are alive and they
are getting provision from their Lord.
This great learned Scholar has, in his book
MA'AD (The Hereafter), given detailed
description of events in the world of Barzakh
(Purgatory between Death and Resurrection) . In
the same book he also discussed about the return
of the soul to body on the Day of judgement.
Definitely all these things are HAQ (truth) but
this great martyr has personally announced this
and proved thus by coming to the dream of
believers talking about his pieces of flesh,
Subhaanallah. Should we still doubt about the
life after death and do not prepare fully for
Hajj Sheikh ˜Abdul Karim Haeri (r.a.) founder of
the hawzah ˜Ilmiyyah of Qum recounts
Ayatullah Al Hajj Sheikh ˜Abdul Karim Haeri (r.a.),
the time when I was engaged in religious
studies in the city of Samarra, an
epidemic, in the form of plague, spread
amongst the inhabitants of the city and
everyday several people would die of the
One day, some of the inhabitants of
Samarra had gathered in the house of my
teacher, the late Sayyid Mu¡ammad
Fisharki (r.a.), when Ayatullah
Mirza Muhammad Taqi Shirazi ( r.a.)
(d. 1338 AH), who, in terms of
knowledge, was at par with the late
Sayyid Fisharki, suddenly arrived. In
the course of the conversation, the talk
drifted towards the issue of the plague
that had threatened the lives of all the
The late Mirza said:
"If I were to issue a hukm (ruling),
would it not be mandatory for it to be
All those present said:
"I rule that from today onwards, for
a period of ten days, the entire Shi'ite
community of Samarra should recite "Ziyarat-e-
Ashura" and gift the rewards of this
recitation to Hadhrat Narjis Khatoon (s.a.)
- the mother of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) -
in order that this calamity is repelled
Those present in the gathering informed
the other Shi'ites of this ruling and
all of them engaged themselves in
reciting the "Ziyarat-e- Ashura." The
following days onward, it was observed
that none of the Shi'ites would die due
to the disease whereas the non-Shi'ites
continued to suffer deaths - and
this became plainly manifest for all the
inhabitants of the city, such that some
of the non-Shi'ites used to question
their Shi'ite friends:
"How is it that our people die due to
the disease, whereas there are no deaths
on your side?"
The Shi'ites would answer:
"All of us recite "Ziyarat-e-
Ashura" of Imam Husain (a.s.) in
order to remain protected from the
epidemic and Allah wards away the
calamity from us!"
Tales narrated by Ayt Taqi Behjat
Other Lessons from the Lives of Ulema
Meetings of Ulema with Imam (atfs)