‘Ali bin Husain (rahimahullah) was the grandson of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and the son of Sayyiduna Husain (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). He was also known by the title Zainul ‘Aabideen.

On one occasion, Zainul ‘Aabideen (rahimahullah) was performing wudhu with his slave girl assisting him by pouring water onto his limbs from a pitcher. As she was pouring the water, it so happened that the pitcher fell from her hand, hitting Zainul ‘Aabideen (rahimahullah) on his head. As it injured him, he looked up at the slave girl (in anger).

The slave girl addressed him saying, “Allah Ta‘ala mentions (while describing the people of taqwa):

وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ

And those who suppress their anger

As soon as he heard this, Zainul ‘Aabideen (rahimahullah) responded, “I have suppressed my anger.”

The slave girl then continued reciting the verse,

وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ

And those who forgive people

Hearing this, Zainul ‘Aabideen (rahimahullah) submitted, “(I have forgiven you), may Allah Ta‘ala forgive you.”

Finally, the slave girl recited:

وَاللَّـهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And Allah Ta‘ala loves those who do good.

When he heard this, Zainul ‘Aabideen (rahimahullah) replied, “Go, for I have set you free!”

(Shu‘abul Imaan #7964)

Lessons:

1. Do you ever get irritated? Or angry? Or mad? Or furious? Well guess what – it’s normal and it’s because you are human. No person can ‘switch off’ their feelings and choose not to become angry. However, what we can choose is HOW we react when we become angry. Do we start swearing? Do our fists start flying? Or do we hit the brakes on our anger and control ourselves?

2. There are many people who don’t retaliate (sometimes it’s because the other person is twice your size), but they remain bitter and harbour a grudge because of whatever that person did to them. As Muslims, we must clean our hearts of all ill-feelings by forgiving and forgetting. Then, if we wish to attain the highest reward, we should go one step further and be good to the person who was bad to us. Remember, if we keep bitterness and anger in our hearts, it won’t harm the other person, but it will burn us inside and make us miserable. So actually, forgiving and forgetting is for our own good.

3. If any person corrects us or gives us good advice, we should accept it. Don’t look at who is giving the advice and say, “Since when are you so pious?” but rather look at what advice is being given. Also, if anyone quotes a blessed hadeeth to us or a verse of the Quraan Majeed, we must show it respect by accepting it. We should NEVER mock it or reject it as we can lose our imaan.