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The service in the Hajj caravan

Imam Zayn al-Abidin was the child of the Prophet. On his pilgrimage to Hajj, he was reluctant to travel with the caravan who knew him. Instead, he wished to travel with the caravan coming from a remote area who did not recognize him. This was so that he may travel amongst them as a stranger. He joined such a caravan and asked whether he can be of service to them. They accepted. In those days, it was customary for people to travel on camel and horseback taking on average ten to twelve days to reach Mecca.
During this period, the Imam became the servant of the caravan. A certain man who knew the Imam happened to encounter this caravan. As soon as he recognized the Imam, he went to the travellers and asked, “Who is this man whom you have brought to serve you?” They replied, “We do not know.
He is a young man from the city. But he is a very good man.” The man replied, “Clearly, you are unaware, because if you knew, you would not place him at your service.” They enquired about the Imam’s identity to which the man replied, “He is ‘Ali ibn al-Hussain ibn ‘Ali, the grandchild of the Prophet.” They ran towards the Imam and dropped themselves at the Imam’s feet, “Sir! What was this you have done? We could have been punished by Allah for what we have done! How could we have been so impudent towards you? You must now be our master! Rest here while we serve you! To which the Imam replied, “No, my experience in travelling within a caravan who knows me, tells me that they will not permit me to serve the people of the caravan. That is why I choose to travel with a caravan whose travellers do not know me so that I may obtain the privilege of being of service to Muslims and friends.

Taken from: Imam Reza.Network

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