A Traveller in the Desert

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Kufa was now the seat of the Islamic rule. The entire Muslim world with the exception of Damascus
looked towards Kufa for guidance. They travelled to Kufa often.
Two men were in each other's company on the road to Kufa. One was a Muslim and the other was a
non-Muslim. As they progressed, the non-Muslim traveller asked his companion:
I am going further than Kufa, to a small village where I live. Where are You going ?
His Muslim companion said:
I live in Kufa.
They proclaimed happily, discussing various things, helping each other, all in a spirit of cordiality. When
they drew near to Kufa, the non-Muslim took a side road towards his village. Just as he was about to bid
farewell, he observed that his Muslim companion was coming with him.
Didn't you tell me that you are going to Kufa where you lived?
The Muslim replied:
Yes, of course.
On this the non-Muslim inquired:
Then why were you coming this way? That is the only road leading to Kufa?
I know, said the Muslim, but we have long been companions. Our Prophet (S) said that when two are
companions to each other on a journey they have obligations and duties towards each other. You gave
me company and now it is my duty to follow you a few steps and then make a gentle departure.
No wonder that your Prophet (S) managed to spread his faith so quickly. His teachings were indeed
great.
And then it so happened that once the same non-Muslim entered Kufa. There he found that his Muslim
companion had been none other but the Khalifa of his time, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra). He soon became a
Muslim and remained the most faithful of companion of the Imam.

Pearls Of Wisdom , Assafina Publications, The World Federation of K.S.I Muslim Communities, London - 1985

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