Bahlool simulated madness, though he was not mad. Junaid a scholar and Sufi or repute, knew him very well. One day as they met, Junaid requested him to give him some counsel and admonition.
"You do not need any advice. You are a well known learned man." Bahlool said.
But Junaid insisted. Bahlool gave in and said: "Well, I shall ask you three questions. If you answer them correctly, you will be advised."
And then he proceeded to ask:
"Do you know how to talk?"
"Do you know how to eat?"
"Do you know how to sleep?"
Junaid found these simple. He said:
"I know how to talk. I talk with a low voice, politely and to the point, so that the listeners are not at all offended. I eat after having washed my hands, say Bismillah before I commence, and chew the food properly. When I finish, I thank Allah. Before I go to sleep, I do my ablution (Wudhu) and retire to a clean, Pak, bed. Then I bear witness to my faith and sleep."
"Well," Bahlool said, "It is no use talking softly if it is a lie. It is all the worse. When talking, one must ensure that one speaks truth. That is the cardinal point. And when eating, remembering Allah over a food which is Haram, forbidden or usurped, has no meaning. You have to ensure that what you eat is Halal or that you are not misappropriating the funds of an orphan, a widow, a fellowmen. And what is the use of sleeping with ablution (Wudhu) and all the recitations if your heart is full of malice, jealousy and enmity towards your Faithful brother. He who sleeps with a clean heart sleeps a religious man. Do you understand? These are the principles. The rest are all secondary virtues."
Imam Reza's (A.S) behavior with the poor, the slaves, the servants, and the destitute, was humane in the deepest sense of the word. Imam Reza (A.S) looked on them as his co-religionists and brothers in humanity. One of his followers related the following I was with Imam Reza (A.S), when he travelled to Khorasan. One day he laid the table-cloth and gathered all his servants. "May I be your ransom", I said, "would not it be better if you lay a separate table-cloth for these?" Do not say that, the Holy Imam Reza (A.S)replied, "The Lord, the Blessed and High, is One, and all the human beings are the children of Adam and Eve, and everyone shall be rewarded or punished according to his deeds.
One of his servants Nadir, says: Imam Reza (A.S) would never assign a task to any of us, the servants, while we were eating, until we had finished.
Another servant, Yasir, reported the same about Imam Reza (A.S), saying, Imam Reza (A.S) said to us: "If I request you to do something and you are eating, do not get up until you have finished". Sometimes he called for some of us, but when he was told that we were eating, he would say. "Leave them till they finish their food".
When Imam Reza (A.S) had spare time, he would gather all his servants, and talk to them. Imam Reza (A.S) would show his pleasure with them, which he did to please them. And when he sat at the dining table-cloth, he would invite all those around him, to eat food with him.
The Abbasids court poet Abu Youssef says: “My hard life, coupled with the birth of a son in this state of poverty, made me write a plea to the Abbasid government for financial help, but I was spurned.
When I got disappointed I remembered the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (P.B.U.H&H.P) descendant Imam Hassan Askari (A.S). I went to him. I hesitated in informing him of my problem, for I feared that he might not help me because of my reputation as the court poet of the Abbasids.
I wandered around the Imam Hassan Askari’s (A.S) house for some time, before knocking at his door. The door opened and to my surprise a companion of Imam Hassan Askari (A.S) came out and put in my hand a purse, saying: ‘Take these 400 dirhams. My master says cover the expenses of your new-born child with this amount. May God bless you and the child.'”
Abu Youssef said: “I was astounded. I had neither met him as yet nor disclosed the request I entertained at heart, and here I was given the money. I thanked Allah (S.W.T) for blessing the earth with the presence of such great and generous person.
One day the Prophet (P.B.U.H&H.P) was on a journey and very tired, so he sat down under a tree to rest. A bad man seeing that the Prophet (P.B.U.H&H.P) was alone thought it was a good time to kill him quickly and quietly. He went towards the Prophet (P.B.U.H&H.P) with his sword out in front of him.
He asked the Prophet (P.B.U.H&H.P): "Tell me who can help you now?"
"Allah," answered the Prophet (P.B.U.H&H.P) calmly.
When the bad man saw how calm and sure the Prophet (P.B.U.H&H.P) was that Allah would help him, he became frightened and the sword fell off his hand.
The Prophet (P.B.U.H&H.P) picked up the sword and asked: "Now you tell me who is there to save you?"
"No-one" answered the man.
"No, you are wrong, the same Allah will help you also," said the Prophet (P.B.U.H&H.P) and then he let the man go.
When the man heard this he became a Muslim.