Kuleini and a number of great narrators have narrated this story from Yasa’ ibn Hamzah – one of the companions of Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (PBUH):

I and many others were once present in the house of Imam Reza (PBUH). People were asking questions on divine orders, for which the Imam fully and explicitly answered each question.   

In the meantime, a tall man entered. He greeted the Imam and said:

“O Son of the Messenger of Allah! I am of those who love and cherish you Ahl al-Bayt. I am on my journey to the holy city of Mecca. I have however, run out of money and food, and am not able to afford trip expenses back to my city.

However possible for you, please help me to return to my city. Since I am not of the people who are legally permitted to receive alms, I will repay the same amount in alms to the poor for the sake of Allah once I reach my city.” The Imam replied: “Take a seat here. May the kind Lord shower you with His mercies.” Imam then continued to answer questions people would bring up. When the gathering ended and the people left, I and Sulayman Ja’fari along with some others stayed in the presence of the Imam.

The Imam asked if he could excuse himself and go inside.

Sulayman replied: “May your footsteps be full of blessings, the permission is with you.”

The Imam stood up and left. After a while, when he was standing behind the door, he asked: “Where is that passenger?”

The passenger said: “I’m here!”

The Imam stretched his hand, while standing behind the door he said: “Come, get this 200 Dirhams, spend it on your trip, and it is not necessary to pay it back as alms.”

The Imam then continued: “Now, leave here so that we do not see each other!”

The passenger from Khurasan got the money, said goodbye and left the house. Imam came back into the room and sat beside us.

Sulayman asked: “O Son of the Messenger of Allah, may my life be sacrificed for you, why did you hide yourself?

Imam Reza (PBUH) replied: “Because I did not want that stranger to feel ashamed.”

(Selection taken from “40 Story & 40 Hadiths from Imam Reza (PBUH)”, by Abdullah Salehi)

Roshd website offers its condolences upon the last days of Safar, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the helper of the poor, Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (PBUH), to all Muslims around the world, and especially to you dear friend.