We would like to conclude this dissertation with a sacred letter written by our master, Imam al-Sadiq, Abu Abdullah Ja`far son of Muhammad (ع), to a group from among his cousins when they were afflicted with hardship by some of their enemies by way of consoling them.
We narrate it through isnad to Sheikh Abu Ja`far al-Tusi—may Allah sanctify his soul—who quotes Sheikh al-Mufid Muhammad ibn al-Nu'man and al-Hussain ibn Ubaydullah al-Ghada'iri citing al-Sadūq Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Babawayh from Muhammad ibn al-Hassan ibn al-Walid from Muhammad ibn al-Hassan al-Saffar from Muhammad ibn al-Hussain ibn Abu al-Khattab from the great trusted authority Muhammad ibn Abu Omayr from Ishaq ibn Ammar saying that Abu Abdullah Ja`far ibn Muhammad, peace be with them both, wrote Abdullah ibn al-Hassan, when he and his family were taken captives, consoling him for what had befallen him saying the following:
To the righteous descendants and good progeny from the son of his brother and cousin:
If you have been singled out—you and your family who were taken away [captive] with you—with regard to what has happened to you, you are not alone with regard to sadness, anger, depression and heart ache besides myself. I have had my share of feeling alarmed, upset and burnt by calamity as much as you have.
But I remembered how Allah, the most Exalted One, the most Great, has commanded the righteous to be patient and to take to solace when He addresses His Prophet, peace and blessings be with him and his progeny:
"Now wait for your Lord's command with patience, for truly you are in Our eyes" (Qur'an, 52:48);
"So wait patiently for your Lord's command, and do not be like the companion of the whale (prophet Younus, Jonah)" (Qur'an, 68:48);
and remember when He told His Prophet (ص) when Hamzah's corpse was mutilated:
"And if you retaliate, do it in no worse a way than they did to you: But if you show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient" (Qur'an, 16:126)
and also when He says,
"Enjoin prayer on your people, and be persevere. We do not ask you to provide sustenance: We provide it for you. But the (fruit of) the hereafter is for righteousness" (Qur'an, 20:132).
Other such verses are:
"[Those] who say, when afflicted with calamity, “To Allah do we belong, and to Him do we return.” They are the ones on whom God's blessings and mercy (descend), and they are the ones who receive guidance" (Qur'an, 2:156-57);
"Those who patiently persevere will indeed receive a reward without measure!" (Qur'an, 39:10);
"… bear with patient constancy whatever betides you, for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs" (Qur'an, 31:17);
"Moses said to his people, “Pray for help from Allah, and (wait) in patience and constancy, for the earth is God's to grant as a heritage to such of His servants as He pleases, and the end is (best) for the righteous" (Qur'an, 7:128);
"… those who have faith and do righteous deeds and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth, and of patience and constancy…" (Qur'an, 103:3);
" We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere" (Qur'an, 2:155);
"… men and women who are patient…" (Qur'an, 33:35);
"… be patient and constant, till Allah decides, for He is the best to decide" (Qur'an, 10:109).
"Be informed, Uncle and Cousin, that Allah, the most Exalted One, the most Great, does not mind a loyal servant of His suffers for some time, and there is nothing dearer to Him than one who perseveres while being harmed, exhausted and fatigued.
And He, Blessed and Exalted is He, did not care for any period of time about the riches of this life going to His enemy. Had it not been so, His foes would not have killed His loyal servants, intimidated them, jailed them, while His enemies are secure, living in comfort, high in places, having power over others.
Had it not been so, both Zakariyya (Zacharius) and his son Yahya (John the Baptist) would not have been killed wrongfully and aggressively due to the oppression of an oppressor. Had it not been so, your grandfather, Ali ibn Abu Talib, peace be with him, would not have been killed when he undertook to follow the commandments of Allah, the most Great, the most Sublime, nor your uncle al-Hussain son of Fatima, peace be with them both, due to persecution and enmity.
"Had it not been so, Allah, the most Exalted One, the most Great, would not have stated in His Book the following:
"And were it not that (all) men might become of one (evil) way of life, We would provide, for everyone who blasphemes against (Allah), the Most Gracious, silver roofs for their houses and (silver) stairways on which they ascend" (Qur'an, 43:33);
"Do they think that, because We have granted them abundance of wealth and sons, We would hasten them on in every good? Nay! They (simply) do not understand" (Qur'an, 23:55-56)."
"Had it not been so, this tradition would not have come to be: "Had the believer not felt saddened by it, I would have made for the unbeliever a headband of iron, so no headache can ever reach him."
"Had it not been so, this tradition would not have been narrated: "Life in this world is not worth to Allah, the most Exalted One, the most Great, the wing of a mosquito."
"Had it not been so, Allah would not have let an apostate take of its water a handful to drink.
"Had it not been so, this tradition would not have been narrated: "Had a believer been on the summit of a mountain, Allah would have sent him an unbeliever or a hypocrite to harm him."
"Had it not been so, this tradition would not have been narrated: "If Allah loves some people, or a servant, He would pour affliction on them/him, so they/he do(es) not get out of grief except to fall into another."
"Had it not been so, this tradition would not have been reported: "There are no dosages dearer to Allah Almighty, which His believing servant swallows in the life of this world, than one of suppressing anger and outrage, and one of grief at the time of a calamity about which he is patient with good consolation and hope for His rewards."
"Had it not been so, the companions of the Messenger of Allah (ص) would not have prayed for those who oppressed them to have a long lifespan, physical health and an abundance of wealth and children.
"Had it not been so, we would not have come to know that whenever the Messenger of Allah (ص) singled out a man to pray for mercy and forgiveness for him, the man would be martyred.
"So, O uncle, cousin, cousins and brothers, take to patience, accept, surrender and commit yourselves to Allah, the most Exalted One, the most Great; accept and be patient about His decree; uphold obedience to Him and obey His command.
"May the Almighty pour on us and on yourselves patience, and may He conclude for us and for yourselves with happiness. May He save us and yourselves from every perdition by His Might; surely He hears, and He is near. Allah blesses the Chosen One from among His creation, Muhammad the Prophet and his progeny, peace and blessings of Allah be with them all."1
This is the end of the consolation ver batim as copied from the book titled Al-Tatimmaat wal Muhimmaat, and with it do we conclude this dissertation, praising Allah Almighty for what He has enabled us to achieve, blessing the Man of the Message (ص) and his progeny, the people of infallibility and equity.
It was completed by its author, the one who is in need for Allah Almighty, Zain ad-Din Ali ibn Ahmad al-Shami al-Amili, may Allah deal with him through His favor and forgive him through His boon.
It was completed during the daytime of Friday, the first of the anticipated sacred month of Rajab in the year 954 A.H., praising, blessing, greeting and seeking Allah's forgiveness. All praise belongs only to Allah; His peace and blessing be with our master Muhammad, his progeny and companions.
- 1. Iqbal Al-A'mal, p. 578 with minor wording difference. It is also cited in Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 82, p. 145 from Musakkin Al-Fuad.