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The Blue Masjid in Mazari Sharif
1. Ali ibn Abi Talib was an early Islamic leader. He is seen by Sunni Muslims as the last of the four Rightly Guided Caliphs. Shi'a Muslims consider him the First Imam appointed by the Prophet Muhammad and the first rightful caliph. Ali was the cousin of Prophert Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon him), and after marriage to Fatima Zahra, he also became Muhammad's son-in-law.
Rawze-e-SharifRawze-e-Sharif, also known as the Blue Masjid was founded in the year 1512 and has been restored and renovated over 200 times. The Masjid covers hundreds of acres; it is located in Mazari Sharif in the province of Balkh, Afghanistan.It is said by some to be the resting place of the Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth caliph and the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He is revered as the first Shi'a imam by Shi'a Muslims. It is said that bandits stole his body and buried it in Mazari Sharif. Most Shi'a now believe that Ali is buried in Najaf, Iraq.Situated in Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan, Rawze-e-Sharif, also known as The Blue Masjid, is believed by a minority of Muslims, mainly Afghans, to be the resting place of Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon him).
Stories of Imam ALI...IMAM ALI (A.S.) AND THE CANDLE A candle burnt by his side, as he sat down meticulously recording all the revenue and the expenses of the treasury. Just then Talha and Zubair appeared.They aspired to some positions of authority in Imam Ali's (A.S.) rule and had come to strike a deal. If Imam Ali's (A.S.) gave them a place of distinction, they would in turn pledge their full support. Imam Ali's (A.S.) knew of this. Just as they sat down, Imam Ali's (A.S.) puts out the candle and lit another one.Talha and Zubair exchanged a glance of surprise and then one of them said:
"O Ali, we have come on some important business. But why did you extinguish the first candle?"Imam Ali's (A.S.) replied: "That was a candle bought of Treasury funds. As long as I worked for the Treasury, I used it. Now you have come for some personal work, so I use the candle bought of my personal fund." Talha and Zubair left him without saying another word.
THE FIVE LOAVES Zarr Bin Hobeish relates this story: Two travelers sat together on the way to their destination to have a meal. One had five loaves of bread. The other had three. A third traveler was passing by and at the request of the two joined in the meal.The travelers cut each of the loaf of bread in three equal parts. Each of the travelers ate eight broken pieces of the loaf. At the time of leaving the third traveler took out eight dirhams and gave to the first two men who had offered him the meal, and went away. On receiving the money the two travelers started quarrelling as to who should have how much of the money.The five-loaf-man demanded five dirhams. The three-loaf-man insisted on dividing the money in two equal parts.The dispute was brought to Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (the Caliph of the time in Arabia) to be decided.Imam Ali (A.S.) requested the three-loaf-man to accept three dirhams. The man refused and said that he would take only four dirhams. At this Imam Ali (A.S.) returned, "You can have only one dirham. You had eight loaves between yourselves. Each loaf was broken in three parts. Therefore, you had 24 equal parts. Your three loaves made nine parts out of which you have eaten eight portions, leaving just one to the third traveler. Your friend had five loaves which divided into three made fifteen pieces. He ate eight pieces and gave seven pieces to the guest. As such the guest shared one part from your loaves and seven from those of your friend. So you should get one dirham and your friend should receive seven dirhams.
A father and a son were once guests of Imam Ali (A.S.). As they arrived, Imam (A.S.) received them warmly and arranged for their comfortable accommodation. In a room where they were seated, Imam (A.S.) sat opposite to them, engaging them in a friendly conversation. And then it was time for the meal. After food had been served and eaten, Qambar, Imam's servant, brought a basin and a pitcher full of water for washing the guest's hands. Imam (A.S.) took the pitcher himself and asked the father to extend his hands so that he would pour the water.
"How is it possible that my Imam serves me? It should be other way," the guest said.
Imam Ali (A.S.) said: "Here is your brother in faith, eager to serve his brother and to earn the pleasure of Allah. Why do you prevent him?"
But the guest hesitated. Finally Imam (A.S.) said: "As your Imam, I request that you allow me the honor of this service."And when the guest complied, Imam (A.S.) said: "Let your hands be washed thoroughly. Do not hasten, thinking that I should be relieved of this duty early."When it was the son's turn, Imam (A.S.) instructed his own son Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah, to hold the pitcher and wash the guest's hands. Looking at his son, Imam (A.S.) said: I washed your father's hands. My son washed your hands. If your father had not been my guest today, I would have washed your hands myself. But Allah loves to see that when a father and a son are present in a place, the father enjoys a privilege and a priority.
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