Ali and the old man

Example how should Muslims and Christian treat each other

FROM: mostafa21@hotmail.com (Mostafa Mond)

In the name of the Most High, the creator and sustainer of the universe.

Dear Rev. Kobti,

In addition to the Charter of Prophet Mohammad with the Christians of Arabia that I sent to you last week, I am now sending the account of what happened when the Prophet Mohammad's(pbuh) cousin Ali(as) encountered one of the Christian citizens that lived under his rule who had fallen before misfortune. This is truely an inspiring story and I pray that you will post it on your webpage under "Christian-Muslim Understanding."

Here is the story of the old Christian man

He was an old Christian man. During his prime, he had worked hard, earning his bread by the sweat of his brow. Now he was old, infirm and blind. He stood in a street corner, begging. People passed by. Some ignored him, while others took money and dropped coins in his hand. Till one day, the commander of the faithful, Hazrat Ali (AS) saw him there. And he wondered:

"What an ill fate has befallen this old man? Has he no son to look after him in his declining years? Isn't there any way this poor soul could be saved from such indignity?"

He inquired from the old man's friends and aquaintances. They all testified that the old Christian had been a hard worker in his good days but had no savings. He had none to look after him, so he had started begging.

"What a shame!" Hazrat Ali (AS) said. "As long as he was strong and able, he worked and served the society. All of us benefitted from his labour, directly or indirectly. How can we forsake him now?"

And with these words. Hazrat Ali(AS) ordered the Treasury of Muslims (Baytul-Mal)to pay the old man his full sustenance as long as he lived.