A caravan of Muslims was traveling toward Mecca, when they arrived to Medina they stayed there for a couple of days to rest, then again started on their journey.
In between the path of Medina to Mecca in an unfamiliar place, the caravan met a man who knew them from before. While the man was speaking to the people in the caravan, he noticed a pious man who was working hard and serving the people in that caravan. In that very first glance he understood who that man was.
He was surprised and asked the people: “Don’t you know who the man serving and working for you is?”
They answered: “No, we do not know him. He joined us in Medina, and he is a pious man. We did not ask him to work for us, but he wanted to help out others and give them a hand.”
The Man said: “Of course, you do not know who he is, because if you did know, you wouldn’t be so impolite, and you wouldn’t let him work like a servant for you people.”
They asked: “So who is this man?”
The Man said: “He is Ali Zain al-Abedin, the son of Hussain.”
After finding out who that stranger was, the people got up quickly and walked toward Imam Zain al-Abedin (PBUH) to apologize. They started complaining to the Imam, saying: “Why did you do this to us? God forbid we could have said something inappropriate to you which would have been a big sin.”
Imam Sajjad (PBUH) said: “I purposely chose to travel with your caravan, who did not know me. For, at times when I travel with those who know me, because of my relation to the messenger of Allah they have so much respect towards me, that they do not allow me to perform a task. Therefore, I’d rather travel with those who do not know me, and I do not wish to introduce myself so that I can give them a hand and help them.”
(Selected from “Dastan Rastan” by Murtada Mutahhari, vol.1, p. 14 to 16)
We congratulate all on the birthday of the beauty of the worshippers, the manifestation of purity and piety, Imam Ali ibn al-Hussain (PBUH).
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