Monday, March 26, 2012

The Secret of a Slave

Sa’eed Ibn Musayyab narrates:
“One year, there was a severe famine and so the people gathered together to pray for the rains.  I looked around and my eyes fell upon a black slave, who had separated himself from the crowd and emerged on top of a small hill.  I advanced in his direction and when I came near him, I noticed that his lips were moving in prayer.  Hardly had he completed his prayers, when a cloud appeared in the sky.
Seeing the cloud, the black slave praised Allah and moved away. Very soon, rains lashed us so heavily that we thought we might perish.
I ran after the slave and observed that he entered the house of Imam Sajjad (a.s.).  I arrived before the Imam (a.s.) and said:
“O’ My Master!  In your house there is a black slave; oblige me by selling him to me.”
He (a.s.) replied, “O’ Sa’eed! Why should I not gift him to you, instead,”and ordered the head of his slaves to bring all the servants before me.  When they had assembled, I noticed that the black slave was not amongst them.
I said, “The one whom I desire, is not amongst them.”
The Imam (a.s.) said, “There remains no other slave except one.”
He then ordered him to be brought forth.  When the slave was brought before me, I saw that he was the very person whom I had sought and so I said, “He is the one I need.”
“O’ Slave!  Henceforth, Sa’eed is your master so go with him,” instructed the Imam (a.s.).
The slave turned to me and asked, “What prompted you to separate me from my master?”
I replied, “When I witnessed your prayers for the rains being accepted, I wished that I could own you.”
When he heard this, the slave stretched out his hands in supplication and, turning his face towards the skies, beseeched:
“O’ My Lord!  This was a secret between You and me.  Now that You have divulged it, grant me death and take me towards Yourself.”
The Imam (a.s.) and all those present, wept over the position of the slave, while I, shedding tears, came out of the house.  No sooner had I reached my own house, than the Imam’s (a.s.) messenger arrived and said, “Come along if you wish to takepart in the funeral procession of your companion.”
I returned to the Imam’s (a.s.) house along with the messenger only to find that the slave had passed away.


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