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Characteristics related to the Number Three

Three characteristics, each of which would cause one to be under the Shade of God's Throne

ثلاث خصال من کن فیه أو واحدة منهن کان فی ظل عرش الله عز و جل {یوم القیامة} یوم لا ظل الا ظله: رجل أعطی الناس ما سائلهم لها و رجل لم یقدم رجلا و لم یؤخر اخری حتی یعلم أن ذلک لله فیه رضی أو سخط و رجل لم یعب أخاه المسلم بعیب حتی ینفی ذلک العیب من نفسه فانه لا ینفی منها عیبا إلا بدا له عیب و کفی بالمرء شغلا بنفسه عن الناس

There are three qualities having each of which would cause one to be under the Shade of God, the Honourable and Exalted, (on the Resurrection day) on the day in which there is no shade but God's Shade.

The first characteristic is to grant people what you expect of them. The second characteristic is to only do what pleases God, and not do what would provoke God's Wrath. The third characteristic is not to express the faults of one's Muslim brothers in their absence, unless one first removes such faults from himself. It is better to attend to the improvement of one's own faults than to seek out other people's faults. 1

Whoever possesses three characteristics has perfect faith

ثلاث خصال من کن فیه استکمل خصال الایمان: الذی إذا رضی لم یدخله رضاه فی إثم و لا باطل و إذا غضب لم یخرجه الغضب من الحق وإذا قدر لم یتعاط ما لیس له.

There are three characteristic which if possessed would perfect one's faith. When one is pleased, his pleasure does not lead him into sin and wrongful deeds; when one is angered, his anger does not lead him away from what is right; and when one is in power, his power does not lead him to acquire what does not rightfully belong to him. 2

Having three characteristics is enough for one to be bad

إن أسرع الخیر ثوابا البر و إن أسرع الشر عقابا البغی و کفی بالمرء عیبا أن ینظر من الناس إلی ما یعمی عنه من نفسه و یعبر الناس بما لا یستطیع ترکه و یؤذی جلیسه بما لا یعنیه.

Indeed the reward of doing good to others will arrive much faster than any good deeds, the punishment for doing wrong to others will arrive much faster than any evil deeds. Having three characteristics is enough for one to be considered imperfect: paying attention to other people's faults while ignoring your own; admonishing others against evil deeds without being able to abandon them yourself and hurting your companion for nothing.3

Three characteristics without which you are not from God or the Prophet

“ثلاث لم تکن فیه فلیس منی و لا من الله عز و جل” قیل: “یا رسول الله و ما هن؟” قال: “حلم یرد به جهل الجاهل و حسن خلق یعیش به فی الناس و ورع یحجزه عن معاصی الله عز وجل.”

God's Prophet (S) said: “There are three characteristics which if not possessed then one is neither from me nor from God, the Honourable and Exalted.” The Prophet (S) was asked: “O Prophet of God! What are they?”

The Prophet (S) replied: “Patience by which you forgive the ignorance of those who are ignorant, being good-tempered with people and piety which restrains you from rebelling against God, the Honourable and Exalted.” 4

Three things to respect and safeguard for God's sake

إن الله حرمات ثلاث من حفظهن حفظ الله له أمر دینه و دنیاه و من لم یحفظهن لم یحفظ الله له شیئا: حرمة الاسلام و حرمتی و حرمة عترتی.

There are three things to respect so that God will protect your faith and your worldly affairs. And if you disrespect them, God will not protect anything for you. These three things to respect are Islam, me and my 'Itrat (household).5

Reality of one's faith can be proved by having three characteristics

قال أبی جعفر علیه السلام: “بینا رسول الله صلی الله علیه و آله ذات یوم فی بعض أسفاره إذ لقیه رکب فقالوا: السلام علیک یا رسول الله فالتفت إلیهم فقال: ما أنتم؟ قالوا: مؤمنون، قال: فما حقیقة ایمانکم؟ قالوا: الرضا بقضاء الله و التسلیم لامر الله و التفویض إلی الله، فقال رسول الله صلی الله علیه و آله: علماء حکماء کادوا أن یکونوا من الحکمة أنبیاء، فان کنتم صادقین فلا تبنوا ما لا تسکنون و لا تجمعوا ما لا تاکلون واتقوا الله الذی إلیه ترجعون”

Abu Ja'far Al-Baqir said: “God's Apostle (S) encountered a group of riders during one of his journeys. They greeted him and he asked them who they were. They said they were believers. The Apostle (S) asked them about the proof of the reality of their faith.

They replied 'Contentment with what God has destined, entrusting ourselves to God, and submitting to God's orders.' Then God's Apostle (S) said, 'These are wise and knowledgeable people with such a high rank, near that of the Prophets.' Then he faced them and said, 'If you are truthful, do not build what you shall not reside in, do not collect what you shall not eat and fear God to whom you shall return.'” 6

Faith consists of three things

الایمان معرفة بالقلب و إقرار باللسان و عمل بالارکان

Faith consists of whole-hearted acceptance, verbal expression and acting accordingly.7

It is not allowed for one not to be on speaking terms with one's Muslim brother for more than three days

لا یحل للمسلم أن یهجر أخاه فوق ثلاث

It is not allowed for one not to be on speaking terms with one's Muslim brother for more than three days.8

  • 1. P. 148, No 3.
  • 2. P. 188, No 66.
  • 3. P. 196, No 81.
  • 4. P. 253, No 172.
  • 5. Ibid. No 173.
  • 6. P. 255, No 175.
  • 7. P. 299, No 239.
  • 8. P. 305, No 250.

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