Monday, December 3, 2007

What Shall I Answer to my Imam-e-Zamana (atfs)?

Sheikh Zainul Abidin Mazandarani, a student of the author of (the book) Jawahir and (also of) Sheikh Ansari, lived in the city of Kerbala. In connection with his generosity and alms-giving, it has been recorded that he would borrow as much money as he could and then distribute it amongst the needy, and his debts would then be repaid by those coming to Kerbala from India.
One day a destitute arrived at his door and asked for alms. Not having any money with him, the Sheikh picked up his copper jar, handed it to him and said: "Take this and sell it." A couple of days later when his family members realized that the jar was missing, they created an uproar, shouting: "A thief has taken away our jar." When the Sheikh, who was in his library, heard the outcry, he said to them: "Do not accuse the thieves for I am the one who has taken the jar." Once, on one of his trips to Samarrah, he fell seriously ill. Mirza Shirazi paid him a visit and began comforting him, whereupon the Sheikh said to him: "I am not at all fearful of death; my uneasiness is due to the fact that according to our beliefs, when we die, our souls are taken in the presence of the Imam-e-Asr (12th Imam) (peace be upon him). If, at that time, the Imam were to question me: "O' Zainul 'Abidin! With the credibility and esteem that we had bestowed upon you, you could have borrowed a greater amount of money for helping the needy than what you used to; why then did you not do so? … What shall I answer him?'" It is reported that Mirza Shirazi was greatly affected by these words; returning home, he brought out all the religious taxes that lay in his house and distributed them amongst the needy.
(Reference : Anecdotes for Reflection, Volume 3, pg72)
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