1) My Son, I recommend you to God-wariness

"فإني اوصيك بتقوى الله"

The word "taqwa" or "God-wariness" and its derivatives have been used in the Qur’an, Nahj al-Balaghah and other books on tradition, and have a special place in the sermons delivered by the Great Prophet (S) and the Infallible Ones (as) and other men of God.

This word stems from an internal power based on God’s purest belief. If anybody wishes to go God’s genuine ways and if he opposes showing animosity towards these principles, he should possess this worthy attribute.

Furthermore, this power is both an impetus for performing one’s duties and a protection against wrong-doing. Of course, factors such as education, conscience, criminal laws, and social modesty may stop a person from doing wrong things, but these are neither general, nor reliable. The Imam (as) elsewhere has said,

"اِنَّ مَن فَارَقَ التَقوى أُغرِيَ بِالّلذّاتِ وَالشَهواتِ وَوَقَعَ في تَيهِ السَّيئَاتِ وَلَزِمَه كَثِيرُ التَبِعاتِ"

"Indeed, a person who abandons God-wariness becomes desirous of pleasures and lusts, and enters into the wilderness of evil deeds, and will suffer many evil consequences of his actions”.1

Among the leaders of religion, perhaps Imam ‘Ali (as) has spoken on God-wariness and its role more than any other leaders. In sermon 188 in Nahj al-Balaghah, Imam has enumerated more than 100 attributes for the godwary. At the end of the sermon, Hammam, who was among the listeners, lamented severely, becoming unconscious and passing away immediately.

The Imam (as) at one place calls God-wariness a fortified tower2, at another occasion he has called it the best treasure of prosperity3 and at another point calls it the best provision for the Hereafter4 and at another occasion he calls it a panacea for every defect of the body5.

Besides these, God-wariness has two other important effects:
i) Anybody possessing God-wariness will have a sort of insight by which he will understand the secrets behind the creation.

"إِنْ تَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ فُرْقَانًا"

"If you are God-wary, God will grant you the power of distinction"6

It is also mentioned in a tradition:

"مَن اَخلَصَ لله اَربَعِينَ صَباحاً ظَهَرَت يَنابِيعُ الحِكمَةِ مِن قَلبِهِ عَلى لِسَانِهِ"

"He who is sincere to God for forty days, springs of wisdom will arise from his heart onto his tongue."7

It is also narrated in al-Kafi from Imam al-Baqir (as):

"مَا اَخلَصَ العَبدُ الاِيمانَ بِالله عَزّ وجَلَّ اَربَعِينَ يَوماً. اَو قَالَ مَا اَجمَلَ عَبدٌ ذِكْرَ الله عَزَّوَجَلَّ اَربَعِينَ يَوماً ـ اِلا زَهّدَهُ الله عَزَّوَجَلَّ في الدُّنيا وَبَصَّرَه دَاءها وَدَواءَهَا فَاثبَتَ الحِكمَةَ في قَلبِهِ وَانطَقَ بِها لِسَانَه"

“A servant does not make his faith sincere for God for forty days”, or he said: “A servant does not render beautiful the mention of God for forty days, except that God will make him undesirous of the world and give him insight into its diseases and its remedies. He will establish wisdom in his heart and make his tongue speak it”.8

ii) With the attainment of the precious capital of virtue, problems and hardships will be solved.

"وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ .... وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْرًا"

"And whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah, He will make for him an outlet, and give him sustenance from whence he thinks not..”
“..And whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah He will make easy for him his affair".9

Regarding all these points, it is the important role of God-wariness which Imam ‘Ali (as) puts in front of the agenda of his son's life.
Of course, as it is repeatedly stated, this emphasis is not only for Imam ‘Ali’s son, but for all the believers who wish to possess human life and enjoy God-given insight and resolve the problems.

  • 1. . Ghurar al-Hikam, al-Amidi, vol.2. p.597.
  • 2. . Ghurar al-Hikam.
  • 3. . Bihar, vol.77, p.374.
  • 4. . Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon 221.
  • 5. . Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon 198.
  • 6. . Qur’an 8:29.
  • 7. . Awsaf al-Ashraf, Khwaja Nasir al-Din Tusi, p.15; Refer to the Treatise of Bahr al-‘Ulum's Sayr wa Suluk, pp. 22-23.
  • 8. . Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.16.
  • 9. . Qur’an 65:2-3; Qur’an 65:5.