One of the most important methods in training is the method of “Role Model” or “Pattern” because the effect of model or pattern is much more than other methods in character and behavior formation of the trainee. Islam has also paid a lot attention to this method and the Holy Quran has dedicated some of the verses to introduction of such believing and unitary men and women who have shown their competence and personality in different conditions and have proven their inclination and tendency toward the right path.
To achieve this, the compiler is going to introduce some people in the first note entitled “Abu Rafi’: Model of Courage and Sacrifice” so that it can open a gate to perfection and salvation for the intellectuals.
Model of Courage and Sacrifice
"Abu Rafi’" is one of the companions of the Holy Prophet (s) and Imam Ali (a.s). His name is "Aslam" and also saying to be "Ibrahim". He initially was slave of Abbas Ibn Abdul-Mutallib uncle of the Holy Prophet (s). Then Abbas presented him to the Holy Prophet (s.). When Abu Rafi’ brought the good news of Abbas’s conversion to Islam, the Holy Prophet (s) freed him in the way of the Almighty Allah (s.w.t) for that good tiding.
Abu Rafi’ converted to Islam at the beginning of Be’thah of the Holy Prophet (s) and then migrated from Mecca to Medina among the immigrants and took part in all events and battles beside the Holy Prophet (s). After the demise of the Holy Prophet (s), he became one of the followers of Imam ‘Ali (a.s) and took part in the wars imposing to that Imam (a.s).
He was responsible for the treasury of Imam Ali (AS) in Kufa and his two sons ‘Ubaidullah and ‘Ali were considered among the compilers and writers of Imam (a.s).
Abu Rafi’ was beside Imam Ali (a.s) until his martyrdom and after that, he returned to Medina along with Imam Hassan (a.). As he didn’t have any house for residing and land for farming, Imam Hassan (a.s) bisected in half his father’s house and put the half in possession of Abu Rafi’ and also granted him a piece of land for farming.
He initiated to compile a book in the field of traditions, religious rulings and issues; and it is said that he was the first one who compiled the traditions by the chapters after collecting them. [i]
The following story illustrates the courage and devotion of this faithful companion:
The son of Abu Rafi’ narrates from his father that one time I came to the Holy Prophet (s) while he was sleeping or receiving revelation. Suddenly, I saw a snake in a corner of the room and as I didn’t want to wake up the Holy Prophet (s) by killing the snake, I lay down between him and the snake to prevent it from hurting so that if the snake is going to bite, he can sting me and not the Holy Prophet (s).
At this time, the Holy Prophet woke up while reciting the verse: “انّما ولیکم الله ورسوله والذین آمنوا الذین یقیمون الصلاة ویؤتون الزکاة وهم راکعون” [ii].
After that the Holy Prophet (s) said: “Praise be to the Almighty Allah (s.w.t) Who completed His blessings to Ali and Good for Ali whom the Almighty Allah (s.w.t) granted superiority and excellence. Then His Holiness (s) asked me about the reason for lying there and I explained the case of snake. He ordered me to kill it and I did it so. Then he took my hand and asked me, “How will you stand when a group of people will turn to fight against Ali while he is right and they are wrong?” I answered, “O the Prophet of Allah! Pray for me that if I am going to see and understand that time, I can have the power of attending and fighting with those who are against Ali.” He, then, prayed for me and came toward the people standing there and told them, “Everyone wants to know the man I trust on, this Abu Rafi’ is my trusted and honest man.”
The words of the Holy Prophet (s) remained in Abu Rafi’s mind until Imam Ali (a.s) was elected as the Caliph but Muawiyah, Talha and Zubair opposed him and they began to flare the war. Abu Rafi’e remembered what the Holy Prophet (s) had predicted that a group of people will turn against Ali and fighting against those people is right and in the path of the Almighty Allah (s.w.t). Therefore, he sold his land and house in Khaybar and he got ready to fight along with Imam Ali (a.s) against the enemies while he had a nearly age of eighty five. [iii]