It is mentioned in the book Kashful Ghummah that once Imam Hasan Mujtaba spread his dining cloth with an intention of taking food. A dog saw this from a distance, approached and sat in front of the holy Imam. The holy Imam was taking one morsel and giving one to that dog....
By: Ayatullah Shaheed Syed Abdul Husayn Dastaghaib Shirazi
It is mentioned in the book Kashful Ghummah that once Imam Hasan Mujtaba spread his dining cloth with an intention of taking food. A dog saw this from a distance, approached and sat in front of the holy Imam. The holy Imam was taking one morsel and giving one to that dog. One of his companions arrived and said, "O Master! Do you allow me to drive away this dog?" "No. Let it be." What I want to convey is the reply of the holy Imam. He said, "I feel ashamed before Almighty God if a living thing is before me when I take my food and that one does not, even if it is a dog. It is after all, God's creation. You must not belittle or humiliate it."
On another occasion, Imam Hasan passed by a group of poor people who were eating dry pieces of bread. The Imam greeted them and they responded. The Imam alighted from his horse, sat on the ground and ate with them. Then he invited them to his house for a feast.
Do not think yourself to be better than others. How do you know what is beneath the veil? All are servants of One God. Never imagine that you are aware and they are not. I am rich and they are poor? To whom does the wealth actually belongs?
Sit silently for a while facing the graveyard. Listen to the silent talks of those sleeping over there. (Persian saying)
Millionaires are asleep in the graveyards. See what difference is there between them and the beggars. You should never say: My family is more respectable. Leave all such things. Such thoughts were vain. Do not repeat mistakes of others; take lesson from them.
﴿ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ﴾
"Surely, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty)... (49:13)"
The most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most righteous one among you and that too is hidden. He Himself says:
﴿ فَلا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ، هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ اتَّقَى ﴾
"Therefore do not attribute purity to your souls; He knows him best who guards (against evil)."
O you who believe! Let not (one) people laugh at (another) people perchance they may be better than they, nor let women (laugh) at (other) women, perchance they may be better than they; and do not find fault with your own people nor call one another by nicknames; evil is a bad name after faith, and whoever does not turn, these it is that are the unjust. (49:11)"
Thabit recalls a Muslim's mother in bad light
It is written in commentaries of Holy Qur'an about the circumstances in which the above verse was revealed. According to a narration, a companion of Prophet, Thabit bin Qais was an attendant of the congregation and he was hard of hearing. Therefore he always sat near the Prophet, so that he could hear him properly.
One morning he arrived late for prayers and the Prophet was offering the second unit of the Morning Prayer. So he joined the congregation and standing in the last row, completed his second unit alone. The Prophet used to give admonitions after prayer, reciting Qur'anic verses.
Thabit tried for the place where he used to sit daily (near the Holy Prophet). In his effort he pushed some people aside. No one told him anything thinking that being somewhat deaf he was trying to sit near the Holy Prophet. So they gave him room to move forward. There remained only one gentleman, who, if he moved slightly, Thabit could get his usual place.
But that man did not oblige and told Thabit, "Sit where you are." Thabit helplessly sat there. As the Holy Prophet was speaking, Thabit looked at the person who did not utter a word until the former stopped his sermon.
Then Thabit looked at the person who did not allow him space and asked, "Who are you?" The person replied, "I am son of so and so." He took the name of his father, as he knew that his mother had a bad name in society before the advent of Islam.
Thabit said, "But you are son of such and such woman, who was notorious for her bad deeds." This poor Muslim became very sad and felt ashamed in front of the Holy Prophet and all the Muslims. Thabit did an unwise thing referring to his mother. He did give way; even then, he must not have been mocked and insulted and Thabit should not have said that he was son of such and such woman.
So, these were the circumstances in which this verse under our study was revealed.