One of the important elements of life is water; all the creatures need water in order to continue their life. The Almighty Allah (SWT) has said in the Holy Quran, ”We have made of water everything living” (1). This verse declares the vital role of water in the life of all creatures. Therefore, Allah (SWT) has given all the living things a right in regards with water, which is the right of living. Hence, if a stream has a specific owner who has not given permission to others to use it; however, the true owner of it, Allah (SWT), has permitted all to use it to quench their thirst.
Due to the importance of water in the living of all creatures, providing water for the thirsty is highly valuable in the eyes of Allah (SWT). Its importance gets to a level where Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH) has said, ”The first good act that will be rewarded on the Day of Judgment is donating water” (2).
Nonetheless, the realm of quenching the thirst of others is not restricted to human beings; in fact, this act is so important that giving water to the animals is also highly valuable in the eyes of Allah (SWT). It has been narrated from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) that he said, ”Once, a woman found a thirsty dog in a desert; so she entered a well, filled her shoe with water, carried it with her mouth as she came out from the well, and gave it to the thirsty dog. So Allah (SWT) forgave her because of this act” (3).
On the other hand, as the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) have taught us, even the incorrect beliefs or religion of a person does not prevent us from offering him water when thirsty. One of the companions of Imam Sadiq (PBUH) narrates that, “Once I was accompanying Imam Sadiq (PBUH) on his way towards Mecca. I noticed a person lying under a tree far from us. Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said to me, ‘Go and see if he is suffering from thirst’. I came down from my ride and checked on him. Then, I said to the Imam (PBUH), ‘O the son of the Messenger of Allah! He is a Christian who is overcome by thirst.’ Imam Sadiq (PBUH) ordered me to offer some water to the man. Then he said, ”Offering water to any thirsty person has a reward” (4).
In fact, if quenching the thirst of animals or people who are not on the right path is such valuable in the eyes of Allah (SWT), then definitely quenching the thirst of a believer should be extremely valuable. Imam Sadiq (PBUH) has said in this regards, ”Whoever offers water to a believer while that person (the believer) has access to water will be rewarded for 70 good deeds for each draft, and if that believer does not have access to water, he will get the reward of freeing ten slaves from the progeny of Ishmael”(5).
Now imagine what would be status of a thirsty water-provider who sacrificed his life in order to quench the thirst of his Imam and the family of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP).
As it is understood from the history, one of the main characteristics of Ab al-Fadl al-Abbas (PBUH) was that he paid utmost attention to providing water for the thirsty. According to the narrations, he always carried a water container in the hot days in the Arabian Peninsula with him, and so he was referred to as the water-provider or the father of the water container (Ab al-Qirbah). This issue was so important to him that he eventually sacrificed not only his hands, but also his life in order to get a water container to the family and the companions of Imam Hussain (PBUH) on the day of Ashura.
Based on what the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) have taught us about providing others with water, what is the status of Hadrat Ab al-Fadl al-Abbas (PBUH) with Allah (SWT)? Indeed, love towards Ab al-Fadl al-Abbas (PBUH) is far beyond just a feeling; it roots in a true knowledge and understanding.
(The above is a selection from “Al-Khasaa’is al-Abbasyyiah”, by Ayatullah Kalbasi (with some changes))
The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 4th of Sha’ban, the birthday anniversary of the water-provider of the thirsty, Hadrat Ab al-Fadl al-Abbas (PBUH).
1. The Holy Quran, (21:30)
2. Al-Kafi, vol. 4, p. 57
3. Ja’faryiaat, p. 142
4. Wasaa’il al-Shia, vol. 6, p. 330
5. Waafi, the chapter of water
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