Al-Kāfi - Volume 4 > Finding a Proper Recipient of Benevolent Assistance
Hadith #3

3ـ عِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ أَبِي عَبْدِ الله عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ عَمْرِو بْنِ سُلَيْمَانَ الْبَجَلِيِّ عَنْ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ شُعَيْبِ بْنِ مِيثَمٍ التَّمَّارِ عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ الْمَدَائِنِيِّ عَنْ رَجُلٍ عَنْ أَبِي مِخْنَفٍ الأَزْدِيِّ قَالَ أَتَى أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ صَلَوَاتُ الله عَلَيْهِ رَهْطٌ مِنَ الشِّيعَةِ فَقَالُوا يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لَوْ أَخْرَجْتَ هَذِهِ الأَمْوَالَ فَفَرَّقْتَهَا فِي هَؤُلاءِ الرُّؤَسَاءِ وَالأَشْرَافِ وَفَضَّلْتَهُمْ عَلَيْنَا حَتَّى إِذَا اسْتَوْسَقَتِ الأُمُورُ عُدْتَ إِلَى أَفْضَلِ مَا عَوَّدَكَ الله مِنَ الْقَسْمِ بِالسَّوِيَّةِ وَالْعَدْلِ فِي الرَّعِيَّةِ فَقَالَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَم) أَ تَأْمُرُونِّي وَيْحَكُمْ أَنْ أَطْلُبَ النَّصْرَ بِالظُّلْمِ وَالْجَوْرِ فِيمَنْ وُلِّيتُ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الإِسْلامِ لا وَالله لا يَكُونُ ذَلِكَ مَا سَمَرَ السَّمِيرُ وَمَا رَأَيْتُ فِي السَّمَاءِ نَجْماً وَالله لَوْ كَانَتْ أَمْوَالُهُمْ مَالِي لَسَاوَيْتُ بَيْنَهُمْ فَكَيْفَ وَإِنَّمَا هِيَ أَمْوَالُهُمْ قَالَ ثُمَّ أَزَمَ سَاكِتاً طَوِيلاً ثُمَّ رَفَعَ رَأْسَهُ فَقَالَ مَنْ كَانَ فِيكُمْ لَهُ مَالٌ فَإِيَّاهُ وَالْفَسَادَ فَإِنَّ إِعْطَاءَهُ فِي غَيْرِ حَقِّهِ تَبْذِيرٌ وَإِسْرَافٌ وَهُوَ يَرْفَعُ ذِكْرَ صَاحِبِهِ فِي النَّاسِ وَيَضَعُهُ عِنْدَ الله وَلَمْ يَضَعِ امْرُؤٌ مَالَهُ فِي غَيْرِ حَقِّهِ وَعِنْدَ غَيْرِ أَهْلِهِ إِلاَّ حَرَمَهُ الله شُكْرَهُمْ وَكَانَ لِغَيْرِهِ وُدُّهُمْ فَإِنْ بَقِيَ مَعَهُ مِنْهُمْ بَقِيَّةٌ مِمَّنْ يُظْهِرُ الشُّكْرَ لَهُ وَيُرِيهِ النُّصْحَ فَإِنَّمَا ذَلِكَ مَلَقٌ مِنْهُ وَكَذِبٌ فَإِنْ زَلَّتْ بِصَاحِبِهِمُ النَّعْلُ ثُمَّ احْتَاجَ إِلَى مَعُونَتِهِمْ وَمُكَافَأَتِهِمْ فَأَلأَمُ خَلِيلٍ وَشَرُّ خَدِينٍ وَلَمْ يَضَعِ امْرُؤٌ مَالَهُ فِي غَيْرِ حَقِّهِ وَعِنْدَ غَيْرِ أَهْلِهِ إِلاَّ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ مِنَ الْحَظِّ فِيمَا أُتِيَ إِلاَّ مَحْمَدَةُ اللِّئَامِ وَثَنَاءُ الأَشْرَارِ مَا دَامَ عَلَيْهِ مُنْعِماً مُفْضِلاً وَمَقَالَةُ الْجَاهِلِ مَا أَجْوَدَهُ وَهُوَ عِنْدَ الله بَخِيلٌ فَأَيُّ حَظٍّ أَبْوَرُ وَأَخْسَرُ مِنْ هَذَا الْحَظِّ وَأَيُّ فَائِدَةِ مَعْرُوفٍ أَقَلُّ مِنْ هَذَا الْمَعْرُوفِ فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ لَهُ مَالٌ فَلْيَصِلْ بِهِ الْقَرَابَةَ وَلْيُحْسِنْ مِنْهُ الضِّيَافَةَ وَلْيَفُكَّ بِهِ الْعَانِيَ وَالأَسِيرَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ فَإِنَّ الْفَوْزَ بِهَذِهِ الْخِصَالِ مَكَارِمُ الدُّنْيَا وَشَرَفُ الآخِرَةِ.

3. A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn abu ‘Abd Allah from Muhammad ibn Ali from Ahmad ibn ‘Amr ibn Sulayman al-Bajaliy from Isma‘il ibn al-Hassan ibn Isma‘il ibn Shu’ayb ibn Mitham al-Tammar from Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al-Mada’iniy from a man from abu Mikhnaf al-Azdiy who has said the following: “Once a group of Shi`a people came to ’Amir al-Mu’minin, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, with the following request: ‘O ’Amir al-Mu’minin, we request you to distribute the wealth at your disposal (public treasury) among the chiefs and elite people. In so doing, they will receive preference, which will strengthen your affairs. Thereafter, you can reassume your program of equal distribution of the treasury among people as Allah has commanded you to do.’ ’Amir al-Mu’minin, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, then said, ‘Do you, fie upon you, make me to achieve victory through doing injustice to Muslim people, whose ruler and high authority I have become? By Allah, I will not do so as long as there is day and night and one star in the sky (is left). By Allah, even if their wealth (public treasury) was my personal wealth, I still would distribute it among them by equal measures; in fact, it (public treasury) is their wealth.’ He (the Imam) remained silent for a long time. He then raised his head and said, ‘Whoever of you is wealthy must avoid spending in a wasteful, wrongful, extravagant manner and for causes of falsehood. In so doing, one enhances the name of his friend among people, but brings it low before Allah. Whoever spends his wealth for the causes of falsehood or undeserving recipients, Allah deprives him of the blessings of their thanks and appreciation. They will love people other than such a benevolent person. Even if certain ones among them express their appreciation, thanks and good advice, it is no more than meaningless flattery and false expressions. If the shoes of their companion slip and he becomes needy of their support and returning the favor, he receives blames as a wicked friend. One of you must not spend his property for the causes of falsehood and for the undeserving recipients; otherwise, he receives no more than lip service from those who want all powers for themselves. Only wicked people may applaud him as long as he provides them favors. Only ignorant people may offer him meaningless praise. They may call him the most generous person, while in fact, in the sight of Allah he is a stingy one. No share, in fact, is more wicked and of greater loss than this share. What meaningful gain can I make through this kind of Benevolent Assistance? Whoever among you is wealthy should therefore maintain good relations with his relatives, serve his guests, provide relief to the suffering people, the captives and those who have lost their supply while on a journey; success in such matters is a noble achievement in this world and an honor in the next life.’”