Hazrat Rabi’a bin Haisham was a slave. After having been set free, he engaged himself in acquiring knowledge and in the course of time became the Imam and leader of the Muslims of Basra where he had settled. He used to undertake work only for the sake of Allah. One day he asked his wife to prepare a special dish. Since he was not in the habit of making demands for himself, his wife prepared the dish with great care and attention. Hazrat Rabi’a took the food when ready to a neighbor who was insane and not in possession of his senses and fed him with his own hands. The saliva was dripping profusely from the mouth of the afflicted man but Hazrat Rabi’a continued to feed him with pleasure. When Hazrat Rabi’a returned home, his wife complained bitterly that he had given the food which she had prepared with so much labour to a person who did not know at all what it was. Hazrat Rab’a replied, “But Almighty Allah knows it full well and that is all I care for.”

(“Picture of Loyalty to Faith,” Yaqeen International, Karachi, February 7 & 22, 1974, p. 228; in “Islam and Western Society,” M. Jameelah, p. 310)

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