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Right n. 47: The Right of Him through whom God makes you Happy

حق من سرك الله به وعلى يديه

وَأمّا حَقُّ مَنْ سَرَّكَ اللهُ بهِ وَعلَى يَدَيهِ، فَإنْ كَانَ تَعَمَّدَهَا لَكَ حَمِدْتَ اللهَ أَوّلاً ثُمَّ شَكَرْتَهُ عَلَى ذلِكَ بقَدْرِهِ فِي مَوْضِعِ الجَزَاءِ وَكَافَأتَهُ عَلَى فَضْلِ الابْتِدَاءِ وَأَرْصَدْتَ لَهُ الْمُكَافَأَةَ، وَإنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ تَعَمَّدَهَا حَمِدْتَ اللهَ وَشَكَرتَهُ وعَلِمْتَ أنَّهُ مِنْهُ، تَوَحَّدَكَ بهَا وأَحْبَبتَ هذا إذ كَانَ سَبَباً مِنْ أَسْبَاب نِعَمِ اللهِ عَلَيْكَ وَترْجُو لَهُ بَعْدَ ذلِكَ خَيرًا، فإنَّ أَسْبَابَ النِّعَمِ بَرَكَةٌ حَيثُ مَا كَانتْ وَإنْ كَانَ لَمْ يَتَعَمَّدَ. ولا قُوَّةَ إلا باللهِ.

And the right of him through whom God makes you happy is that1 if he intentionally made you happy, you should first praise God and then you should thank him accordingly, and reward him for initiating a nobility and be determined to return his favor. But if he made you happy unintentionally, you should praise God, thank Him, and realize that He chose you exclusively for that, and you liked it. He has been one of the means of God’s blessings descending upon you. You should only wish him well since the means of descension of blessings are themselves blessings wherever they be, even if unintentionally. And there is no power but in God.

There are many different situations in life. Sometimes life is filled with failures and difficulties. At other times, it is filled with success and happiness. The difficulties may seem like storms that threaten a safe harboring. The successes may cause such an outbreak of happiness that we lose all our control. Islam and the Qur’an direct us towards prosperity, and invite us to act moderately in all situations.

We should not lose hope in God’s Mercy when we are faced with difficulties. We should not think that there is no way out for us. We should not become negligent during times of happiness and forget our identity and God. We should remember God in all situations, and realize that blessings and the attention that we receive are due to God’s will. It is God who makes us happy. We should also realize that difficulties are very instrumental in our progress and development. We should be moderate whether we are happy or sad. The cause of happiness varies. Sometimes we get a new position. At other times, we get rich. Sometimes another person makes us happy.

The Reward for Making Believers Happy

There is a chapter on this subject in Usul al-Kafi. The importance of happiness and making people happy has been outlined there. We will review a few of them here.
Abi Hamzeh al-Thumali quoted on the authority of Imam Sadiq on the authority of God’s Prophet:

مَن سَرَّ مُؤمِناً فَقَدْ سَرَّني وَمَنْ سَرَّني فَقَدْ سَرَّ اللهَ.

“Whoever makes a believer happy has indeed made me happy. Whoever makes me happy has made God happy.”2

This tradition shows us that one way to please the Prophet and God is to make the people happy. This can play a very important role in fostering social unity, and in eliminating hard feelings and animosities. Jabir narrated that Imam Baqir said:

تَبَسُّم المُؤمِنِ في وَجهِ المُؤمِنِ حَسَنةٌ وَصَرْفُ القَذى عَنهُ حَسَنَةٌ وَما عُبِدَ اللهُ بِشَيءٍ أَحَبُّ إلَيهِ مِن إدخَالِ السُّرورِ عَلى المُؤمِنِ.

“The smile of a believer at another believer is a good deed. Removing a speck from your brother’s eye is a good deed. No form of worshipping God is more loved by Him than making the believer happy.”3

Therefore, the best form of worshipping God is making others happy. Imam Baqir said: “In the supplications of Moses - the son of Imran - we read that God told Moses : “There are among My servants some for whom Heaven is destined and they shall have the rule there.” Then Moses asked: “O Lord! Who are those who have such a special place in Heaven?”

God said: “Those who make believers happy.” This tradition continues as follows: “If a believer who lives in a land that is ruled by an oppressive ruler migrates to a land in which pagans live, seeks asylum there and gets influenced by them; when he dies he will be told, “O My servant! I would have let you reside in Heaven if you had any place there, but Heaven is forbidden for those who set up partners with me.” The fire will be ordered to seize that man but not to torture him, and he will be fed at proper times. Then Moses asked: “Where will he be fed from?” God said: “He will be fed from wherever God wills.”4 We also see a similar concept in the following verse:

إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاء

“God forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth …” [The Holy Qur’an, al-Nisaa 4:48]

Therefore, we realize that those who make people happy go to Heaven and have a special rank there. In the sixth tradition in the above-mentioned chapter, we read that Imam Sadiq said:

لا يَرى أَحَدُكُم إذا أدْخَلَ عَلى مُؤمِنٍ سُروراً أنَّهُ عَليهِ أدخَلَهُ فَقَط، بَل واللهِ عَلَينا، بَل وَاللهِ عَلى رَسولِ اللهِ.

“When one of you makes a believer happy, you should not think that you have only made him happy. No, I swear by God, you have also made us happy. No, I swear by God, you have also made God’s Prophet happy.”5

Therefore the Prophet and the Immaculate Imams all get happy when they see that their followers are being kind to each other and making each other happy.

Making Others Happy Will Save You

Sodayr Seyrafi quoted on the authority of Imam Sadiq : “When a believer is resurrected on Judgment Day, he might see someone ahead of him who tells him not to be afraid of what he sees, and gives him glad tidings of happiness from the Lord. Then that person always accompanies him until the Reckoning. His Reckoning will be an easy one, and he will be told to go to Heaven.

That person who always walks ahead of him will still accompany him. Then the believer will ask: “May God have Mercy upon you. You have been walking ahead of me since I was resurrected, and have given me glad tidings of God’s Mercy on me. Now please tell me who you are.” That person will say: “I am the result of your deeds making other believers happy in your life. God created me out of that happiness to give you glad tidings.”6 In this tradition, we see that all our deeds will somehow be manifested in the Hereafter.

Imam Sadiq’s Followers are Men of Action

Kulayni narrated that Mohammad ibn Jamhoor said: “Najashi was a farmer who was appointed as the governor of the provinces of Ahwaz and Fars. One of his agents went to see Imam Sadiq and said: I owe Najashi a lot of taxes and know that he really likes you. Can you please write a recommendation for me? Imam Sadiq wrote: “In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Make your brother happy in order to make God happy.”

Then the man took the letter and gave it to Najashi. Najashi waited until others left. Then he kissed the letter and asked him what he wanted. The man told Najashi that he had been taxed 10,000 Dirhams. Najashi ordered the tax not to be taken from him, and asked if he had made him happy that way. The man said yes. Then he ordered that a horse, a servant and a maid be given to him and asked if he had made him happy.

The man said yes. Then Najashi ordered the carpet he was sitting on to be given to him, too. Later on, Mohammad ibn Jamhoor told the Imam what had happened. The Imam became happy. He said: “O you became happy.” The Imam said: “Yes. I swear by God that the Prophet became happy, too.”

Making Others Happy Will Always Accompany You

Imam Sadiq said:

مَن أدْخَلَ عَلى مُؤمِنٍ سُروراً خَلَقَ اللّهُ مِن ذلِكَ السّرورِ خَلقاً فَيلْقاهُ عِندَ مَوتِهِ فَيَقولُ لهُ: أبْشِرْ يا وَليَّ اللّهِ بِكَرامَةٍ مِن اللّهِ وَرِضوانٍ، ثُمَّ لا يَزالُ مَعَهُ حَتىّ يُدخِلَهُ قَبرَهُ، فَيَقولُ لهُ مِثلَ ذلِكَ فإذا بَعثَ يَلقاهُ فَيَقولُ لهُ مِثلَ ذلِكَ، ثُمَّ لا يَزالُ مَعهُ عِندَ كُلِّ هَولٍ يُبَشّرُهُ وَيَقولُ لهُ مِثلَ ذلِكَ، فَيَقولُ لهُ: مَن أنتَ رَحمَكَ اللّهُ؟ فَيَقولُ لهُ: أنا السّرورُ الّذي أدخَلتَهُ عَلى فُلان.

“Whoever makes a believer happy, God will create from that happiness a creature who will meet him at the time of his death and say to him: ‘Rejoice, O friend of God, at the favour and pleasure of God’. He will stay with him until he enters the grave and will repeat the same words to him. When he is resurrected, he will meet him and say the same to him again. Then he will continue to be with him at every (moment of) terror, giving him glad tidings and repeating the same words. The man will say to him: ‘Who are you, may God have mercy on you’? He will answer: ‘I am the happiness you had brought to so and so in his lifetime’.”7

In the last tradition in that chapter, we read that Hisham ibn Hakam quoted on the authority of Imam Sadiq :

مِن أحَبِّ الأعْمالِ إلى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إدخالُ السُّرورِ عَلى المُؤمِنِ: إشْباعُ جُوعَتِهِ أو تَنفِيسُ كُربَتِهِ أو قَضاءُ دَينِهِ.

“One of the most beloved deeds for God is making a believer happy. That includes feeding him if he is hungry, or helping fend off his calamities, or paying off his debts.”8

Thus, we realize that Islam is for this world and the Hereafter. The best society is one whose members treat each other with kindness and love. The Immaculate Imams have constantly advised their followers to help each other in order to direct them towards achieving Utopia.

  • 1. In the other version it continues: “you first praise God, then you thank that person.”
  • 2. Usul al-Kafi, v.2, p.188, traditions 1-2.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Usul al-Kafi, v.2, p.188, tradition 3.
  • 5. Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, tradition 6.
  • 6. Ibid. pp.190-191.
  • 7. Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, pp.191-192.
  • 8. Ibid.

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