Sacred-Texts Islam
Index Previous Next


The good scribe wept as he said this, as the sailor weepeth when he seeth his ship broken up.

And he said: 'Hosea, when he went to serve God, was prince over the tribe of Naphtali, and aged fourteen years. And so, having sold his patrimony and given it to the poor, he went to be disciple of Haggai.

'Hosea was so inflamed with charity that concerning all that was asked of him he would say: "This hath God given me for thee, O brother; accept it, therefore!"

'For which cause he was soon left with two garments only, namely, a tunic of sackcloth and a mantle of skins. He sold, I say, his patrimony and gave it to the poor, because otherwise no one would be suffered to be called a Pharisee.

'Hosea had the book of Moses, which he read with greatest earnestness. Now one day Haggai said to him: "Hosea, who hath taken away from thee all that thou hadst?"

'He answered: "The book of Moses.

'It happened that a disciple of a neighbouring prophet was fain to go to Jerusalem, but had not a mantle. Wherefore, having heard of the charity of Hosea, he went to find him and said to him: "Brother, I would fain go to Jerusalem to perform a sacrifice to our God, but I have not a mantel wherefore I know not what to do."

'When he heard this. Hosea said: "Pardon me, brother, for I have committed a great sin against thee: because God hath given me a mantle in order that I might give it to thee and I had forgotten. Now therefore accept it, and pray to God for me." The man, believing this, accepted Hosea's mantle and departed. And when Hosea went to the house of Haggai, Haggai said: "Who hath taken away thy mantle?"

'Hosea replied: "The book of Moses."

'Haggai was much pleased at hearing this, because he perceived the goodness of Hosea.

'It happened that a poor man was stripped by robbers and left naked. Whereupon Hosea, seeing him, stripped off his own tunic and gave it to him that was naked; himself being left with a little piece of goat-skin over the privy parts. Wherefore, as he came not to see Haggai, the good Haggai thought that Hosea was sick. So he sent with two disciples to find him: and they found him wrapped in palm-leaves. Then said Haggai: "Tell me now, wherefore hast thou not been to visit me?"

'Hosea answered: "The book of Moses hath taken away my tunic, and I feared to come thither without a tunic." Whereupon Haggai gave him another tunic.

'It happened that a young man, seeing Hosea read the book of Moses, wept, and said: "I also would learn to read if I had a book." Hearing which, Hosea gave him the book, saying: 'Brother, this book is thine; for God gave it me in order that I should give it to one who, weeping, should desire a book."

'The man believed him, and accepted the book.