The purification of the soul is another responsibility and while traversing this path, the believers must strive to acquire knowledge, ma’rifah and complete faith. In addition, the believers must seek to clothe themselves with the noble humanistic traits.
They must strive to be the people of taqwa and wara’ and keep away from all types of spiritual pollutants and through this, emulate their Imam and group themselves with him.
In reality, this is one of the most important responsibilities which the true believers have, whereas everything mentioned up to this point and those which will be mentioned later on, all return back to this responsibility.
Therefore, the first responsibility is the purification of the soul1 and to travel spiritually towards Allah.
Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has said:
مَنْ سَرَّهُ أَنْ يَكُونَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الْقَائِمِ فَلْيَنْتَظِرْ وَ لِيَعْمَلْ بِالْوَرَعِ وَ مَحَاسِنِ الأَخْلاَقِ وَ هُوَ مُنْتَظِرٌ
“A person who would like to be among the companions of al-Qa`im (ajtf) should be in a state of waiting and perform all of his actions with piety and with the most beautiful etiquette and only then, will one be counted as being in a state of waiting.”2
Imam Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Baqir (as) has said:
...فَأَعيِنُوا بِوَرَعٍ وَ اجْتِهَادٍ
“...So then assist (us) through piety and struggle.”3
Imam al-Mahdi (ajtf) wrote the following:
فَمَا يَحْبِسُنَا عَنْهُمْ إِلاَّ مَا يَتَّصِلُ بِنَا مِمَّا نَكْرَهُهُ وَ لاَ نُؤْثِرُهُ مِنْهُمْ وَ اللٌّهُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ وَ هُوَ حَسْبُنَا وَ نِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ
“Nothing prevents us from them (our followers) but their coming to us with that (action) which we detest, and we do not like this from them; and Allah is the only one from whom help is sought and He is Sufficient for us! The most Excellent trustee! “4
In the letter which was written to Shaykh al-Mufid, Imam al-Mahdi (ajtf) stated:
وَ لَوْ أَنَّ أَشْيَاعَنَا، وَفَّقَهُمُ اللٌّهُ لِطَاعَتِهِ، عَلى اجْتِمَاعٍ مِنَ الْقُلُوبِ فِي الْوَفَاءِ بِالْعَهْدِ عَلَيْهِمْ لَمَا تَأَخَّرَ عَنْهُمُ الْيُمْنُ بِلِقَائِنَا وَ لَتَعَجَّلَتْ لَهُمُ السَّعَادَةُ بِمُشَاهَدَتِنَا عَلى حَقِّ الْمَعْرِفَةِ
“And if our followers, may Allah make them successful in obeying Him, were united with their hearts in fulfilling the promise that is upon them, there would be no delay for them from the good fortune of meeting us, and their happiness would be hastened by witnessing our advent with complete understanding.”5