Hajj, Symbol of Obedience to God (5)
In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate. Welcome to the 5th episode of our special Hajj account.
The Hajj pilgrimage which is obligatory once in a lifetime for those having the financial means to perform it, without becoming paupers in undertaking it, has certain rules, and these include a pilgrim should first clear his debts to others before visiting the symbolic House of the One and Only God, Who is Unseen but Omnipresent.
Today we present you an interesting account in this regard.
Abdur-Rahman Ibn Sayyaba, a resident of Kufa, was a young man whose father had died. The tragedy of the death of his father, coupled with poverty and unemployment, was destroying the soul of the sensitive man. One day while sitting in his house, he heard a knock at the door. It was a friend of his father. After offering his condolences, the visitor said: Did your father leave anything for you?
No, nothing said Abdur-Rahman Ibn Sayyaba.
Then take these thousand dirhams; try to turn it into a capital, and meet your expenses from its profit, said his father’s friend, and then departed.
Ibn Sayyaba was happy. He went to his mother and showing the money told her the story. The same day, he used the money in purchasing some merchandise and opening a shop; and set his heart to it. He made a rapid progress. Soon after, he realized that not only he had met his household expenses from the profit, but even the capital had increased to a great extent. Now he thought of performing the Hajj pilgrimage, and approached his mother for her advice.
She said: First you should repay the thousand dirhams that your father’s friends gave you and which has brought such prosperity to us, and then you may go to holy Mecca for the Hajj.
Abdur-Rahman ibn Sayyaba went to see the friend of his father, and placing a purse of one thousand dirhams before him, said: Please accept your money back. The man thought that Ibn Sayyaba was returning the same money because it was not sufficient for any trade. So he said: If the amount is insufficient I can increase it.
By the Grace of God, it was more than insufficient, replied the young, saying, it has brought great prosperity to us and since I am now quite well off financially, I have come to repay your money, and to express my thanks to you, particularly when I have decided to go on Hajj pilgrimage.
Ibn Sayyaba came to his home and packed his luggage for Mecca. He reached the Land of Divine Revelation, and after performing the Hajj pilgrimage, and thanking God Almighty for His favours, he went to Medina to pay his respects at the holy shrine of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He then, along with fellow pilgrims, visited the house of Imam Ja’far Sadeq (AS), the Prophet’s 6th Infallible Heir. There was a huge crowd in the house of the Imam. Being young Ibn Sayyaba chose to sit at the far end of the gathering, and from there watched the people coming and going; and heard their questions and the answers given by the Imam. When the house became nearly empty, the Imam beckoned to him and said: What can I do for you?
He replied: I am Abdur-Rahman, son of Sayyaba of Kufa from the tribe of Bajilly.
On being enquired about his father, the bereaved son said he has expired. The Imam offered him heartfelt condolences and invoked the mercy of God on the soul of the departed. He then asked: “Did your father leave anything for you?
No, replied the son, at which Imam Sadeq (AS), although by the Grace of God he had prior knowledge of these matters, asked: Then how could you perform pilgrimage?
Abdur-Rahman Ibn Sayyaba said: “After the death of my father we were in distress. On one side his death and on the other side poverty and unemployment, were crushing us extremely. Then one day a friend of my father gave me a thousand dirhams and advised me to invest the amount in business. I followed his advice and from its profit I came to perform the Hajj pilgrimage.
Before he could finish his story, Imam Sadeq (AS) said: Tell me what did you do about the money due to your father's friend?
The young man replied: I refunded the amount on the advice of my mother before coming for Hajj.
Excellent, said the Imam, and asked him: Do you like me to give you an advice?
May I be your ransom; of course, said Abdur-Rahman.
The Imam said: Be truthful and righteous. A truthful and righteous man is a partner in the wealth of others.