ibn abi talib

I know some Muslims have a solemn observance during these days to mark the martyrdom of Ali ibn Abi Talib, and seeing people post about that reminded me of a story we learned while I was studying Islamic and Middle Eastern history in university. The moral of the story had a deep impact on me, even though I may not be a Muslim, and had an impact on the way I view things.

It is said that during the Battle of Khandaq (5 AH - 627 CE, also known in English as the Battle of the Trench), when the Meccan Quraysh laid seige on Yathrib (now Madina) with the intent to stop the Prophet Muhammad from spreading his message in the early days of Islam, Ali ibn Abi Talib was fighting a man called Amr bin Abdawud.

The battle grew fierce, and Ali ibn Abi Talib was about to kill Amr bin Abdawud, when Amr spat on his face. At that moment he dropped his sword and left the battlefield.

Why? Because in the moments after he was spat on, his mind became focussed on fighting to avenge the insult he just faced, not for the greater purpose of the battle- to protect Yathrib, and the Prophet’s message. He returned to the battlefield only when he regained composure and fought with his mind set on the greater goal.

This really made me analyze how we go about our lives and why we do what we do? Are we doing things for ourself, and for our own ego? Or are we doing them for the greater good?

I apologies if this post was intrusive, but I just wanted to share the notes i found a few days ago. :) Hope your fasting is going well.

Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.