Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ali and the Angels

Ali and the Angels
"The Imam Ali, Lion of the Faith,
Have ye not heard his giving?
What he had the poor had,
for he held his gold and goods
As Allah's almoner. Ali it was
Who in the Mecca mosque at evening prayer-
Being entreated by some needy one -
Would not break off,
yet would not let the man
Ask him in vain for what he asked of God,
Favor and aid; wherefore - amid the words -
He drew his emerald, carved with Allah's
From his third finger, giving it; and prayed
With face unturned ...
by Edwin Arnold

Above is an excerpt from Ali and the Angels by Edwin Arnold, which appeared in Seasons Journal . Edwin Arnold praises the two events in Imam Ali's life:
1. Charity while bowing in prayer
2. His business transaction with Angels after having helped a needy person.

The first one is actually mentioned in the Quran:
"Your patron is God only, and His Messenger, and the believers who establish prayer and pay the alms, bowing down"
Quran (5:55) Translation by Royal Ahl-e-Bayt Institute (from Altafsir.com)
"He (Prophet peace be upon him) saw a beggar in the mosque and he asked him: ‘Did you get something from anyone?’ The beggar replied: ‘Yes, I got a ring of gold’. The Prophet asked him: ‘Who gave it to you?’ The beggar said: ‘That person who is standing in prayer’, and he pointed to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. The Prophet asked him again: ‘In which position did he give it to you?’ The beggar said: ‘He gave it to me while bowing in prayer’."
Al Wahidi in Asbab Al Nuzul (for details see link).

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