SHAFAQNA-And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive – (saying), we feed you for the sake of Allah alone: No reward do we desire from you, nor thanks (76:8.9)
But give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot) – they are the ones that achieve prosperity. (59:9)
Ibn Abbas: Al-Hasan (A.S.) and al-Husayn (A.S.) fell sick and the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) accompanied by several others went to visit them. Addressing Ali (A.S.) they said: O Abul-Hasan You had better make a vow for your sons.
Ali (A.S.), Fatima (A.S.). and Fidda – their woman retainer – had vowed to fast for three days if al-Hasan (A.S.) and al-Husayn (A.S.) would have recovered. They did recover, whereas the family was out of sustenance. Ali (A.S.) borrowed three Sa [Each Sa weighs about 1.6kg.] of barley from the Jewish Sham’un al-Khaybari, and Fatima (A.S.) ground one third of it and baked five loaves of bread to the number of the family. They placed the bread before them to break their fast. At this moment a beggar came to the door and said: Greetings to you Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet, I am a Muslim needy; give me some food so that Allah gives you of the foods in Paradise. They gave him preference over themselves, [gave him their own food] and spent the night only drinking water and kept fasting through the next day. Then as the evening call to prayer was heard, they placed the bread before them to break their fast, at this time an orphan appeared at the door, and they gave him preference over themselves; the third day too a captive came to them and made the same demand they gave their bread to him.
In the following morning, Ali (A.S.) took the hands of a-Hasan (A.S.) and al-Husayn (A.S.) and went to the Messenger of Allah (A.S.). When the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) saw them shivering with hunger like little birds, the Prophet (S.A.W.) said: How distressful is to me what I see in you! His Holiness (S.A.W.) set out with them back to Fatima (A.S.) whom he found in her prayer niche emaciated of hunger, with her eyes being sunken. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) became distressed to see this. At this time Jibra’il descended and said: O Muhammad! Take the surah of Insan (man), Allah felicitates you for such a household. Then he read the surah of Insan to him.
Abu Hurayra: A man came to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and complained of hunger. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) sent someone to his spouses [for food], and they all said nothing but water was found in the house. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) called out: Who will host this man tonight? Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.) replied I, O Rasul Allah! Then he went to Fatima (A.S.) and asked: O daughter of Rasul Allah! What is there in the house? She replied: Nothing except the children’s food and we will give it to our guest.
Ali (A.S.) said: O daughter of Muhammad (S.A.W.) put the children to sleep and put out the lamp. When the morning came, Ali (A.S.) went to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and informed him of the event, shortly after which the following verse was revealed.
But gave them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot) they are the ones that achieve prosperity (59:9).
Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Tha’labi the interpreter: I read in a book that when the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) decided to emigrate, he appointed Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.) as his successor in Makkah to pay back his Holiness’ (S.A.W.) debts and return the deposits trusted with him to their owners. The night when the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) went to the cave-his house being besieged-he ordered Ali(A.S.) to lie in his bed telling him: Cover yourself with my Hadrami Burd (striped cloth) so that – if Allah wills-no harm befalls you. Ali (A.S.) did so. Allah revealed to Jibra’il and Mika’il that He had established brotherhood between them and made the life of one longer than the other, and then which one would choose life for his brother? Both selected life. Allah Revealed to them: Are you not like Ali ibn Abi Taib?! I established brotherhood between him and My Messenger, Muhammad (S.A.W.), and Ali (A.S.) lay in Muhammad’s bed and sacrificed himself for him and gave preference over his life. Now descend to the earth and protect him from his enemies; they obeyed, coming down with Jibra’il standing by his head of his Holiness Ali (A.S.) and Mikai’l at his feet. Jibra’il called out: Blessed are you! O Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.)! Who is like you in whom Allah, the Almighty, takes a pride over His angels?! When the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was on his way to Madinah, Allah, The Almighty revealed the following verse to him concerning Ali (A.S.): And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah; And Allah is full of kindness to (His) devotees (2:207)
Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) in the Holy Qur’an and Hadith