His Letters and Advices
Among the high exemplar of the great Islamic culture is the letters of Imam al-Sadiq (as) and his advice that a number of prominent figures of Shiah were supplied with. They represent a great side of the targeted modern Islamic thoughts aimed at elevating the level of life, organizing the way of life, managing the desires and establishing comprehensive social relationship among them as well as touching the political issues in Islam. They based the most brilliant and the most important sections in the political and judgment world. Below, you will find some of those letters and advices.
The letters of Imam al-Sadiq (as) are among the stars of the Islamic heritages, which, at the same time, talk about his high emphasis to focus on the good concepts in the soul of the people and their natures. We are about to mention some of them.
Abdullah al-Najjashi was the ruler of Ahwaz (a city in southern Iran) and he was considered among the best partisans of the Imam (as) and among the most prominent rulers who were highly careful in their devoutness and belief in religion. He asked Imam al-Sadiq (as) to provide him with a letter to take as a methodology and tactic to be used during his government. So that it would be his saviour from destruction and sins. Here is the text of his letter, which was sent to the Imam (as):
“May Allah lengthen your life and let me be your protector from every harm and ill and not to see anything wrong with you. He, the Almighty, is able to do everything.
I would like to inform you that I was afflicted with the government of Ahwaz. If my master does me a favour and gives me the limits of the tasks and to provide me with an exemplar to follow and what makes me closer to the Almighty Allah and His Prophet (S) and to give me in brief what he sees best for me to practice and what should be followed, where to spend the money and to whom place the help; in whom I should trust; in whom I should believe; where to resort and to whom to narrate the secrets. May Allah, the Almighty, save me with your guidance and leadership; you are the evidence of Allah on His creatures and His king in His land and He is still having His blessings on you.”
This letter showed the high morality of al-Najjashi and his high politeness. This is because of his high respect towards the successor of the Prophet (S), Imam al-Sadiq (as), in addition to his severe preciseness in his Hereafter affairs. He considered his government for Ahwaz as tribulation and affliction. In fact every kind of ruling in the government body of that time was tribulation and affliction on those who have to obey their consequent responsibilities and duties to have them done completely. Al-Najjashi has asked the Imam (as) to favour him and clarify the following points:
• Specifying the methodology and policy that he should adhere to during his period of rule
• Knowing to whom he should give financial assistance, (e.g. charities, etc.) in addition to clarifying the attributes that must be found in them
• Willingness to know, whom to take as his companions and consultants
The answer of the Imam (as) was among the most important political certificates in Islam. It clarified the Islamic methodologies in the political and judgment world. These brilliant methodologies elevated the flags of freedom, equality and progress among the people. Therefore, the Imam (as) guided him to the most significant tools for spreading justice and truth among the people and that have saved them from the punishment of Allah (SwT). Look and ponder at the response of the Imam (as). He started after saying ‘In the name of Allah’’
“May Allah protect you and be kind to you with His kindness and support you with his protection as He is verily capable to be so. Next, a messenger came with a letter on your behalf. I have read it and understood all that was mentioned and all that was asked. You’ve mentioned that you’ve being afflicted with the government of Ahwaz.
“This made me both happy and sad. I will inform you on what made me happy and what made me sad if Allah wills. My happiness is because of hearing you have taken the government, so I said: Maybe Allah, with your government, relieves someone sad and frightened from the followers of Muhammad, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him and his family; to return the honour of someone who becomes low; to dress someone who becomes unclothed; to empower someone who was made weak and to extinguish the fire of the enemies.
“Regarding what made me sad, I should say that the least case was that I fear the situation if you become conceited and forget the holy attributes. Here, I have summarized whatever you asked about to be performed. If you follow them and adhere to them, I hope that you will reach salvation.
“O Abdullah! My father informed me from his fathers from Ali and from the Holy Prophet (S) who said: If someone asked for advice from his Muslim brother and he does not give him the accurate advice, Allah will deprive him of mind.
“Beware that I will advise you with my ideas and if you adhere accordingly, what you feared from will be no more. You should be informed that your salvation and rescue place is in avoiding shedding blood, preventing hurting the followers of Allah, kindness, mercy, compassion, being easy going with our being weak and being strong without fierceness; regarding dealing with your companion1 and whoever he sent as messenger, be kind and compassionate with your people and inform them about what goes well with the truth and justice.
“Woe to you on being luxurious and among those tattling. Try avoiding anyone of them. Allah does not like to see you on any day or night while you are accepting their repentances and ransom; otherwise Allah will be highly angry with you.
“Avoid the cheating of Ahwaz Khozi2. My father narrated from his fathers and from the King of the Muslims, Ali saying: Faith does not grow in the heart of a Jew nor in the ones of the Khozi. Regarding those to enjoy being with and to refer to in your affairs, these men should be examined, experienced, trusted men according to your religion. Choose your companions and test them. If you find them rational, it will be your choice that matters. Woe to you and them to give a penny or to unclothe someone. Simply do not do something unless for the sake of Allah and His satisfaction.
“When you aim at presenting each of the following, grant the best ones: your presents, gifts, grants to the leaders, messengers, the owner of letters and military officers; also what you want to spend for goodness, success, feeding, charity, Hajj, beverages, clothing with which you are praying and the gifts that you present to the Almighty Allah and His Holy Prophet (S).
“O Abdullah! Try not to store gold or silver! Otherwise you will be what the following verse describes: ‘And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah: announce unto them a most grievous penalty’ (9:34).
“Do not consider simple performing any good deed or feeding an empty stomach. These are ways to calm down the anger of Allah the Almighty and Majestic.
“Be informed that I have heard that my father was narrating from his fathers from the King of the Muslims, Imam Ali who heard from the Holy Prophet who once said to his companions: ‘No one is a believer in Allah and Hereafter if he passes a night full, while his neighbour is hungry.’ They answered: ‘O Prophet! We are extinct!’ Then he answered: ‘Do this from what remains from your foods, fruits, earnings, clothes or old dresses to calm down the anger of the Lord.’
“I will inform you about the disgrace of the earth and the humiliation of its honour from those who were living in the past. My father, Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Husayn, narrated the following: ‘When Husayn set out towards al-Kufah, ibn Abbas swore him with name of Allah and the salvation of his family that he will be martyred in al-Taff Battle. He answered: ‘I know my end better than you and my aim in the earth is nothing except leaving it away. O ibn Abbas! Did not I inform you about the speech of the Imam Ali and the earth?’ He answered: ‘Yes, by all means! I am very eager to hear about that.’ He said that my father Ali ibn al-Husayn said: ‘I have heard Abu Abdullah said: ‘I have heard the King of the Muslims, Imam Ali said: ‘I was near Fadak close to some of its walls when Fatimah possessed it. Then suddenly a woman fell on me while a spade was in my hand with which I was working. When I looked at her, my heart flied because of her beauty, which resembled the beauty of Buthaynah al-Jahmi bint Amir who was among the most beautiful ladies in the Quraysh tribe. She said: ‘O son of Abu Talib! Would you marry me? I will make you free from this spade; I will guide you towards the treasures of the earth; kingdom will be used as far as you are living and it will be that your successors later on.’ He answered: ‘Who are you so I can ask for your hand from your family?’ She replied: ‘I am the earth!’ Then he told her: ‘Go back and ask for another husband and then I was back with my spade.’’’’
“He passed away from the earth without having any kind of dependencies till meeting Allah while he is glorified and commendable. Afterwards the nation followed him after his passing away according to what he addressed you; as he was not tainted with any kind of sins. He called you towards the honours of the earth and the Hereafter.
“From the trusted trustee, the Holy Prophet (S) if you perform according to what I am advising you from this book while you have such a great deal of sins and wrongs similar to the weight of mountains and the waves of the seas, I will ask Allah to neglect them from you by his might and majesty.
“O Abdullah! Woe to you unto frightening a believer. My father Muhammad ibn Ali narrated to me from his father and then from his grandfather and from Ali ibn Abu Talib who said: ‘If someone looked at a believer in a way to frighten him, Allah will frighten him on a day that there will be no shadow except the one of His3 and will make him as small articles and will punish him.’
“My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali and he in turn heard that from the Prophet (S) who said: ‘One who helps someone regretful, Allah will relieve him in a day that there would be no shadow except the one of His, and He, the Almighty, will rescue him from the great fear and from the Hell. Also one, who overcomes the needs of his brother, Allah will overcome many of his needs, one of those is Paradise. One, who clothes his believer brother from nudeness, Allah clothes him with silk garment of the Paradise and will stay under the blessing of Allah. One, who feeds his brother from hunger, Allah will feed him from the food and the beauty of Paradise. One who served his brother, Allah will grant him good children and will keep him staying with those He has selected as elevated salves. One who lets his brother use his riding camel, Allah will return to him from the blessing of the Paradise and those angels close to Allah will be proud of him. One who helped his believer brother marry someone to feel comfortable and happy with and to help him on hard times, Allah will grant him in the paradise with someone having eyes with intensely white and deep black and Allah will allow him to feel good by accompanying those he loves such as the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and his family members. One who assists his believing brother against a cruel king; Allah will assist him when passing the Discriminating Bridge (Sirat) where feet are easily slipped. One who visits his brother without having a demand to accomplish, Allah will document his name as the visitors of Allah and He, the Almighty, will reward him the best.’
“O Abdullah! My father narrated for me from his fathers who heard from Ali who heard the Holy Prophet (S) and his family, once saying to his companions: ‘O People! One who just expresses his belief with his tongue without ever believing in his heart is not a believer at all. Do not pursue the mistakes of Muslims, because the one, who precisely pursues the small mistakes of the Muslims, will be pursued by Allah on the Resurrection Day and will uncover his faults and sins inside his house.’
“O Abdullah! My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali and he in turn heard that from the Prophet (S) who said: ‘Archangel Gabriel said: ‘O Muhammad! Allah coveys His regards and says: ‘I have extracted a name from my names for those believers, and called it Believer. So, a Believer is from me and I am from him. Therefore, anyone scorns a Believer, has called me for a fight.’’’
“O Abdullah! My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali and he in turn heard that from the Prophet (S) who once said: ‘O Ali! Do not look at a man unless you look at his purpose and his intention. If that was good, Allah will not let down the owner of that idea. However if the intention were malicious, that would be enough for him to suffer.’
“O Abdullah! My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali and he in turn heard that from the Prophet (S) who once said: ‘The most severe infidelity is when a man hears something from his brother and keeps it in his mind, intending to uncover his fault on day. These people have no morality.’
“O Abdullah! My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali, who once said: ‘If someone saw something ungraceful from a believer or heard something similar and tried narrating it somewhere to destroy the honour of that believer, he will be among those whom Allah the Almighty and Majestic, said the following about: ‘Those who love (to see) scandal published broadcast among the Believers, will have a grievous Penalty’ (24:19)’.
“O Abdullah! My father narrated from his fathers who heard from Ali, who once said: ‘If someone narrates something about his believer brother aiming at destroying his respect and honour, Allah will uncover his faults at the Resurrection Day until finding a pretence for what he had done. However, if someone enters happiness in the heart of his believer brother, he will make the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him, happy; and if someone makes the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet happy, he will make the Prophet (S) happy; and one who makes the Prophet happy, he will make Allah happy too; and one makes Allah happy, Allah will in return reward him with the Paradise.’
“After all, I advise you on fearing Allah; obeying him; keeping the advices of Allah tightly as one who keeps following advices of Allah, Allah will lead him towards the Guided Path.
“Fear Allah and prefer nothing from desire and wills other than the satisfaction of Allah. This is the advice of Allah, the Almighty and Majestic, as He does not accept anything rather than this. You know that He, the Almighty, does not require something other rather than believing in him, as it is the advice of the Ahl al-Bayt too. If you afford, try performing nothing and asking for nothing in the worldly life starting from tomorrow! Do this!”
When this document, which is the message of light and guidance, was received by al-Najjashi, he pondered on it and tried finding the profound meaning of its sections, which are verily the essence of Islam and its brilliant reality. Then, he went on saying: “I swear by Allah, who is unique, that he was truly right and he is my master and if someone follows these instructions, he will be actually granted the salvation.”
This document talked about the political justice in Islam, which achieves human beings’ desires and their ambitions; the poor and deprived are living under its protection. First of all, it specified the behaviours of the kings and those responsible. They are not allowed to interfere in the people’s task in everyway they wish according to their desires and wishes. They have to take into account the benefits of the nation above all things as it asks for achieving justice with all its vastness and concepts among the people. We will take a look at some of the important points in this document, which should be taken as a rule and methodology for all the governments and those responsible.
The important points in this letter are summarized as follows:
• Commanding those in charge to prevent any blood shed and being cautious to the utmost extent. Islam has taken this as the most severe sin and corruption on the earth.
• Do not try bothering people or making any bad or anything malicious to anyone. It is necessary to spread security and settlement in the nation.
• Be kind and patient towards people. One thing that the king should be is to not be too tight and make people hate his policy and his treatment with the nation. This will result in the citizens being away from the government and put the first step to its separation from the people.
• Pondering in political issues and having deliberation accordingly. Being rash or careless is what may lead to the occurrence of faults and may lead the country towards many of mistakes and faults.
• Living with people and dealing kindly with them. This should happen with tenderness without weakness and it should occur powerfully without cruelty. This is the logic of steadiness and justice that helps the nation to be prepared.
• Informing people using mass media and try leading their intellectual and social growth.
• Preventing spies from ever being close to the government and its body. As this is one of the malicious and miserable elements in the earth that aims at destruction every time and everywhere.
• Contacting religious people and those with sense of honour, as they are suitable callers. Those in charge of should take this well-mannered group as important elements of their government.
• Preventing distribution of government money to jesters and jokers. This will result in spreading the culture of nonsense and silliness among the people.
• Spending money on good deeds such as charity, Hajj and the like from the wealth of the governors as this will result in the people trusting their governors.
• Collecting wealth is forbidden, as this will spread the unemployment and the manner of misery and deprivation among the people.
These are some political sections in the brilliant dimension. There are some humanity-based issues with high importance, which increases the significance of this document. Among those are the following:
• The governor should not frighten any one of the believers, because it is forbidden in Islam. It has banned looking at a believer with anger and revenge; this is the extreme justice in Islam.
• Assisting those who are regretful and are overcoming any kinds of disasters and happenings of the earth that made them unhappy. This is considered among the greatest obedience and adorations.
• Try solving the Muslims’ problems.
• Feeding those hungry and aiding those in need for the sake of Allah (SwT).
• Exchanging visits and being kind with each other.
• Pursuing the faults of the Muslims and spreading what they have done is not allowed.
These were some of the advices and the recommendations that the Imam (as) sent to al-Najjashi and it is what can be the source of growth in the lives and the distribution of love and kindness among the Muslims and to progress their lives.
A man came to see the Imam (as) and asked him to give him a letter to al-Najjashi, so that he omits or reduces the tax. Imam (as) wrote in brief the following words after mentioning and glorifying the name of Allah (SwT): “Make your brother so that Allah may make you happy.”
The man carried the letter and handed it to al-Najjashi. When he took it, he kissed it and put it on his eyes. Then he said: “What is your need?”
“I have to pay tax to your government,” he said.
“How much?” Al-Najjashi replied.
“Ten thousands dinars,” the man answered.
Al-Najjashi, the governor, called his accountant and commanded him to remove the name of the man from the list of those paying tax. Then, he turned to the man and kindly said: “Did I make you happy?”
“Yes, your majesty!” he answered.
He ordered to give the man a vehicle, a female slave, a slave, some dresses and other gifts and kindness. With each one of the gifts, he asked the man: “Did I make you happy?” and the man answered: “Yes!” He also gave him the carpet of the house on which he was sitting. The man left him happy hearted. He was overcome by happiness. He went to Imam al-Sadiq (as) and informed him about what al-Najjashi granted from kindness and mercy. Imam (as) was happy and said to the man: “O the son the Holy Prophet! It seems that he made you happy with what he did for me?”
Imam (as) instantly said when he saw happiness apparent on his face: “Yes! I swear by Allah! He has made Allah and His Prophet happy.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) gave, some of his followers, the following valuable letter with high-level advices, which spread kindness and mercy among them as the narrators say: He ordered them to study those letters and advices, act accordingly and keep them in their prayer place, so as to look at them when finishing their prayers. Here is its text:
“Ask Allah for health; try being relaxed and have dignity, calmness, shyness and keep away what those elevated are away from; you have to make courtesy with those following the false path; bear the injustice and avoid enmity with them; take the religion in the middle; when you visit them, meet each other and have debate, you should have courtesy visits and keeping something hidden according to what Allah has ordered you. If you were affected with this, they would hurt you and they would know what were hidden behind your face and if Allah does not abolish their plots, you will face their severe enmity. They have much more enmity than what they show or what you see.
“If someone has a good nature and believes in Allah, Allah will make him hate the bad and take those bad away from him. Those whom Allah helps to hate the bad and aids them keeping those bad away, will be far from pride and cruelty; their nature will be calm and their behaviours will be gentle, their faces will smile, they will have the dignity, calmness, relaxation and devoutness of Islam; they will be away from what are forbidden and try being far from what invokes Allah’s anger; they will be granted the friendliness of the people and their courtesy; they will always be with good people and will be free from their enmity.
“If someone has a bad nature and does not believe in Allah, Allah will make him love the bad and will make him closer to them. Those, whom Allah lets loving the bad and allows them keep those bad closer, will be infected with arrogance and cruelty. Such a person will have a cruel heart and malicious behaviours; his face will be harsh; his bad side appears; his shyness and modesty is reduced; and Allah will uncover his inside; his will follow the sins and will not leave them; he will not obey Allah and hence the difference between the believer and infidel will be huge. So, try asking Allah for health because there is no power and steadiness other than that of Allah.
“Increase your prayers; Allah likes those, among his slaves, who are praying to him. Allah promised to response to the prayers of believers as well as making their prayers as parts of their deeds on the Resurrection Day and will increase it for them in Paradise. Try increasing mentioning Allah throughout the day in every hour from the day and night. Allah has ordered to praise Him many times. Allah will remember those believers who praise Him. There is no believer who praises Allah without the fact that Allah remembers him kindly.
“You have to keep on glorifying Allah and to worshiping Allah humbly as Allah commanded the believers in His Books earlier. You have to be kind with those deprived and poor and keep in mind that those, who are scorning at them and feel proud in front of them, are away from the religion of Allah and Allah will degrade and scorn at them. Our father, the Prophet (S) said: ‘My Allah ordered me to be kind with those poor and deprived believers.’
“Be aware that those, who scorn at any one of the believers, will face Allah’s hate and dislike until people hate them to the most extreme level. So fear Allah in your poor, deprived brothers because they have the right to be liked. Allah has ordered His Prophet (S) to like them and to be kind with them. So, those, who are not kind with those whom Allah ordered to be kind with, are disobeying Allah and those who are disobeying Allah and His Prophet will finally die, they will die the death of those that are misled and darkened.
“Beware not to be proud and arrogant! Only Allah deserves pride. The one, who tries fighting Allah on what He deserves, will become low on the Resurrection Day and Allah will smash him.
“Beware not to be cruel with another person; this is not from the attributes of those good. If someone does a cruelty, Allah will return his cruelty back to himself and He, the Almighty will help the one on whom the cruelty was applied to. Certainly, the one who is supported by Allah will win and will take his victory and reward from Allah.
“Beware not to envy another one, as the essence of infidelity is envy. Beware not to help someone against an oppressed Muslim, because this Muslim will ask Allah for help against you and Allah will respond to his call. Our father, the Prophet(S), said: ‘The call of a depressed Muslim will be fulfilled; beware not to ask for something that Allah has already forbidden for you, because if someone breaks this rule and asks for something that is banned in the worldly life, Allah will create a separating obstacle between him and Paradise and its benefits, enjoyments and respects, which are permanently available for the citizens of Paradise forever.’”
This letter represented the foundation of the ideals and the objectives that the Ahl al-Bayt (as) tried to call for. They can be summarized in the following way:
Imam al-Sadiq (as) advised his followers to be dressed with valuable attributes; adhering to the nice behaviour; avoiding dispraised attributes, which might lead human beings towards deep, unlimited unsettlement.
He advised them to be calm and to deal with good manners with those who have other ideological beliefs. This is to protect their lives as if they do not have any strong protecting base to keep them away from dangers and bad happenings.
He commanded them to pray to Allah and to be humble accordingly, as worshiping Allah is one of the most important tools, which a believer uses to take shelter in assuring his health as well as considering it as a treasure on the day in which Allah, the Almighty, is met.
He ordered them to keep the prayer frequent, as it is the base pillar of the religion and from which Islam has its great existence.
He asked them to be kind with the poor and be patient with them as well as helping them. This is for the harmony and the unity of the society.
He has forbidden scorning at any one of the Muslims, because this will be a way to spread hatred and abhorrence among the Muslims. This also contradicts with what Islam wanted such as love and peace among different segments of the Islamic society.
He prevented them from being proud and arrogant as these are among the most despicable attributes, which may lead to the deformation of human beings and will be a bad way towards its deterioration.
He made cruelty, against one another, forbidden, because no one is ever cruel to another one unless he is unjust and this is banned in the legislation of Allah (SwT).
He warned against envy and stated that this illness-like problem is what throws people in a huge malicious problem as well as being considered as one of the most significant reason, which may lead to the human quarrel and their cruelty over one another.
These were some of the brilliant sections that the letter of the Imam (as) involved and they were what he granted his followers with. These teachings undoubtedly play a great role on improving the people’s lives and elevating their ideas as well as providing them with what they have learnt on the reality of their lives.
One of the followers of the Imam (as) sent a letter to the Imam (as) asking him about the spoils of war and the Fifth and he asked them to explain some of the reasons that prevents the close relative of the Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him, from some of the monetary shares (Sadaqah or alms). Imam (as) has answered him with a relevant, complete and comprehensive reply and supported that reply with strong and decisive reasons. Here is the answer of the Imam (as) after praising and glorifying Allah (SwT):
“I understood what you wanted to know about what might provide the satisfaction of Allah and how He, the Almighty, prevented the monetary shares for the close relatives of the Prophet in addition to the rest of the queries. So listen to your heart and watch with your mind; then try to be just. This will be safer for you later when you are in front of Allah. You know what Allah commanded for and what He rejected. May Allah grant us success.
“Beware that Allah is our Lord and He knows everything and He did not forget to mention anything in his Book; He explained everything. Allah did not describe how to get money more than explaining how to divide this money in a proper way, because He did not mention anything in Quran unless its use and what are relevant have been described.
“Those old and poor should be assisted till they are rich, and to help wayfarers till they reach their homeland. Another thing is that although Hajj is emphasized, but it can be ignored if it would put someone into a critical situation. Allah the Almighty and Majestic said the following about alms and the emphasis on dealing with its ways:
‘Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer’ (9:60).
“Therefore Allah informed the Prophet (S) how to spend the alms and that it should not be spent otherwise and he knew to whom it should be given and through which ways. Allah prevents His Prophet and the close relatives of His Prophet from getting the alms from people. So this is the rule of alms. Regarding the spoils of war, the Prophet (S) said the following during the battle of Badr: ‘One who killed such and such and one who arrested such as such, would be granted from the spoils of war such as such. Allah promised me to grant me much and to grant us the victory.’
“When Allah defeated the atheists and the spoils of war were gathered, a man from al-Ansar stood up and said: O the Prophet of Allah! You commanded and encouraged us to fight and kill the infidels and you said that one who killed such and such and one who arrested such as such, he would be granted from the spoils of war such as such. I killed two and I have evidence for this. I also arrested one. So please give us what you promised. Then he sat down.
“Afterwards, Sad ibn Abadah stood up and said: ‘O the Prophet of Allah! It was not our cowardice that prevented us from facing the enemies directly and it was not the case that you do not like the Hereafter, but we feared to be away from your positions and a solider from the enemies might reach you and hurt or hit you. If you use this scheme for dividing the shares of the spoils of the war, then many of the Muslims will return without anything’.
“Then he sat down and the Ansari stood up and said what is similar to his former talk and then he sat down. This speech was repeated three times and then the Prophet (S) faced them and Allah descended the following verse:
‘They ask thee concerning (things taken as) spoils of war’ (8:1).
The spoils of war is a plural name for what they had gathered at that day similar to His saying: ‘What Allah has bestowed on His Apostle’ (59:6).
“He, the Almighty, also said: ‘And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war)’ (8:41). Then He added: ‘Spoils are at the disposal of Allah and the Apostle’ (8:1). So, Allah take them out from their hands and have it as the property of Allah and His Prophet. Then he said: ‘And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to Allah, and to the Apostle, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer, if ye do believe in Allah and in the revelation. We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Testing, the Day of the meeting of the two forces’ (8:41).
“So the Prophet (S) divided the spoils of war in five parts. He took the fifth, which is the share of Allah, to keep the name of Allah alive during his life and afterwards, and a share for his close relatives from the descendents of Abd al-Muttalib, another share is for orphans, a share for those poor and deprived and the last share is for those wayfarers who have no business. This is about the day of Badr and this was the way of the dividing the spoils of war, which were taken by sword.
“Regarding those who have not taken anything, it might be important to remember those who migrated from Mecca to Medina (Muhajiroun) and how the citizens of Medina (Ansar) gave them half a Dirham, with half of their wealth while the number of those people migrating from Mecca was about one hundred. When the Prophet (S) overcame the tribes of Banou-Qurayzah and Banoul-Nadir (two Jewish tribes) and got their property, the Holy Prophet said the following to al-Ansar: ‘If you like, you may fire al-Muhajiroun from your houses and take back your wealth from them and then I will divide this spoils of war among al-Muhajiroun without considering you. However if you still allow them to use your houses and wealth, you will have a share in the spoils of war.’
“Then al-Ansar replied: ‘Please divide for them without ever considering us and allow them to stay with us in our houses and to use our wealth. Afterwards, Allah the Almighty and Majestic, descended the following: ‘What Allah has bestowed on His Apostle (and taken away) from them, for this ye made no expedition with either cavalry or camelry’ (59:6).
“Then He added: ‘(Some part is due) to the indigent Muhajirs, those who were expelled from their homes and their property, while seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure, and aiding Allah and His Apostle: such are indeed the sincere ones’ (59:8). So, Allah dedicated them for those who migrated from al-Quraysh with the Prophet and believed in him.
“He, the Almighty, also separated out al-Muhajiroun from other Arabs, saying: ‘Those who were expelled from their homes and their property’ (59:8), because Quraysh was taking the house of those migrating from that place as well as robbing their wealth, but Arabs were not doing the same with those who were migrating.
“Then He admired al-Muhajiroun whom He allocated fifth and freed them from paying by considering them honourable, when He said: ‘Such are indeed the sincere ones’ and not liars. Then he admired al-Ansar and mentioned what they did and had them lovely for al-Muhajiroun and the fact that they did not find any needs for themselves and that was what allowing them to grant the spoils of war without ever considering themselves, then He said: ‘But those who before them, had homes (in Medina) and had adopted the Faith, show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot). And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls, they are the ones that achieve prosperity’ (59:9).
“There were also men following the Prophet and they were hurt by a group of Muslims whose wealth was taken before those who took their wealth became Muslims and they were angry with them. When their Islam was adorned they asked for forgiveness for themselves for what they had done and requested Allah to remove what is bad in their heart and to fill it with faith. They became brothers with each other and Allah admired in a special way those admitting this, saying: ‘And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren who came before us into the Faith, and leave not, in our hearts, rancour (or sense of injury) against those who have believed. Our Lord! Thou art indeed Full of Kindness, Most Merciful.”’ (59:10).
“So, the Holy Prophet divided the spoils of war among al-Muhajiroun, who were mostly from the Quraysh tribe according to their needs. As for the wealth that could not be divided in five, he gave each one an equal share. The Prophet did not grant anyone other than al-Muhajiroun, in addition to just two of al-Ansar who were Sahl ibn Hunayf and the other one was Sammak ibn Kharshah Abu Dujanah. The Prophet gave them this amount because of their severe need and it was from his own share. He also took the wealth of Banou-Qurayzah and al-Nadir, which to fight happened on it.
“Regarding Khaybar, there was a three day walk from the city. It was among the wealth of the Jews; where there were fights happened on, so the division of the property was divided as the one of the Badr fight. Allah, the Almighty, said:
‘What Allah has bestowed on His Apostle (and taken away) from the people of the townships, belongs to Allah, to His Apostle and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarer; in order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you. So take what the Apostle assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you’ (59:7)”
There were a number of uncertainties and doubts around monotheism. Among those were some arguments about the attributes of the Almighty Allah. Abd al-Malik ibn Ayun sent a letter to Imam al-Sadiq (as) asking about this case. The following were mentioned in his letter: “There is a tribe in Iraq, attributing Allah with some characteristics and some illustrations. So, if possible do me a favour and write to me about the accurate religion and monotheism.”
Imam (as) wrote the following: “Allah bless you! You have asked about monotheism and about what other people talk about it. There is nothing similar to Allah. He, the Almighty, is all hearing and all watching and he is higher that what those who are describing him and those lying about him. Allah bless you! Beware that the accurate idea regarding monotheism is what Quran descended about the attributes of Allah, to whom majesty and might belongs. He, the Almighty, is higher than all wrongs. There should be no similarity specified about Allah. He is and existing constant. Allah is higher that what everyone is describing. Do not exceed the limits of Quran otherwise you will go astray after the time that you have figured out the Guided Path.”
Imam (as), in his letter, showed how these kinds of ideas are unacceptable and that these attributes are not related to Allah (SwT) at all. In fact He, the Almighty, does not have any attributes. The Imam (as) then abolished the speech of those who are assigning attributes, which are related to creatures, to Allah. So, these two types of ideas do not have any scientific base and they are all wrong. It would be better to return to what Holy Quran stated, because it stated, in many of its verses, some of His attributes, but these are not that of those creatures. He, the Almighty, is high and exalted and He is far away from what they are describing him.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) wrote a letter to a group of his followers. It included very exalted advices. What follows are some parts of it: “Fear Allah and do not say anything other than good! You must stay quiet unless for what brings benefits for you in the Resurrection Day and what Allah said to grant for.
“Increase glorification, admiration, sanctification, mentioning and praising Allah. Be humble to Him! Be eager to what He has among the good, which cannot be evaluated and no one can ever figure out its end! Therefore, use your tongue to prevent what Allah commanded to prevent; what may result in keeping people in hell forever. It is for those who died but did not express their repentance and kept himself away from those sins.”
Imam (as), in his letter, asked his companions to be equipped with devoutness and to be distinguished with their moral behaviours to be as exemplar for other Muslims in their nations.
Imam (as) sent a letter to a group of his followers and the following was among what was mentioned there: “Those master with power must try guiding those ignorant and presidency seekers. Otherwise they will get the damn of Allah.”
This brief letter presented the necessity of giving advices by those masters, knowledgeable and experienced to guide the ignorant and presidency seekers and avoiding their pride and recklessness.
Abd al-Hamid al-Tai narrated the following, saying: “Imam al-Sadiq wrote the following to Abdullah ibn Muawiyah who was in Iran then: ‘One who fears Allah, He, the Almighty, will protect him; one who thanks Allah, Allah will increase His blessings; one who lends for the sake of Allah, will be rewarded.’”
This letter included many of the moral behaviours and good deeds. There is no attribute greater or more exalted than Allah-fearing, devoutness, lending and supporting those poor to save them for the sake of Allah.
Imam (as) supplied his followers with the following valuable letter, saying: “Beware not to be greedy for what Allah has made forbidden. Those who desecrate what Allah forbade, there will be an obstacle between them and Paradise and its blessings, joys, which is permanent for the people of Paradise forever.” He went on talking till saying: “Beware not to insist on something forbidden either apparent or unapparent in Quran and added: ‘And they are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.’ (3:135)”
Imam (as), in his letter, asked for devoutness towards Allah and staying away from sins, because this is the key for the salvation of human beings when meeting the Almighty Allah on the Resurrection Day.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) wrote the following brief letter to one of his companions. He said the following after praising Allah: “Hypocrites are not wishing what may make Muslims happy; the fortunate is adhering to the advice of devoutness, even if the advice was due to another one.”
This letter calls for leaving double-dealing, which is among the worst psychological vice. One who is infected with this attribute will not be happy with the happiness of Muslims, but instead will be eager to see their tribulation and problems.
Imam (as) wrote this valuable letter to some of the people, including the following: “If you want to end your deeds in a good way before your departure and to be in the best condition, glorify the rights of Allah; do not waste His grants in disobedience; do not be proud of His patience; be generous to everyone who mentions us or carries his respects towards us; also it does not concern whether they are right or lying; your purpose and intention are yours and his lying is his.”
This letter includes what brings human being closer to Allah (SwT) and to have a strong relation with Him alongside glorifying Him and not to waste His grants in disobeying Him and finally not to be proud with His high patience. If people were adhering to this golden letter, the consequence would be the best.
The Imam (as) wrote the following valuable letter to the people of world and with which he destroyed the untrue rumour which was being spread by the enemies of Islam, saying that Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) said: “If you know him, that’s the Imam, then do what ever you would like to do.” And if he does what Allah already forbade, he said: “How did they come say the following? May Allah damn them! My father said: ‘If you know the truth, do whatever good you would like to do and Allah will accept that.’”
He said the same as what his father told, but those liars and those deviated from truth interpreted the meaning. Imam (as) became sad and said: “We are from Allah and we will be back to Him. The infidel interpreted what they have no knowledge in. I said: Know and do what you would like to do from prayers and they will be accepted from you, because Allah does not accept that deed from the doer who does not know the nature of their deed. If a man does all the good deeds; fasts all the time; stays awake all the nights; spends all his money for the sake of Allah; does all kinds of Allah obedience, but if he does not know the Prophet, who came with these obligations in which he believed in, none of his deeds will be of benefit to him. Allah, to whom might and majesty belongs, said the following about this kind of people: ‘And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did (in this life), and We shall make such deeds as floating dust scattered about.’ (25:23)”
He, following this way, wrote the following letter to the people of the world, saying: “Allah verily accepts those deeds required to be done alongside with the conditions specified for it and after knowing what has come from Him and asking others to follow this.
First of all is knowing the One who is called for and He is no one other than Allah; then believing in monotheism and his divinity; knowing his Prophet (S) who came with His message and accepting what has come by him; afterwards, knowing the Imams (as) after the Prophet (S) whose following is compulsory at all the times and all everywhere; also believing and adhering to all the Messengers and Imams (as) and performing what Allah, to whom might and majesty belongs, specified and assigned for his creatures both apparently and latently, as well as avoiding what His Majesty prohibited to be done apparently and latently.”
This letter included the essence of faith and the reality of Islam and there are no calls for exaggerations regarding the Imams (as). He also abolished all the speech attributed to him, which have relation with the real fact of the Imam (as).
Imam al-Sadiq (as) supplied his companions with his valuable advices, which included the brief of his experiences, the essence of wisdom, which in fact ensure the life of those pursuing the methodology of his blessed life with all the concepts of progress and advancement. Below are some of his advices:
The great believer, Abdullah ibn Jundab, asked the successor of the Prophet (S), Imam al-Sadiq (as), to do a favour and supply him with advices to remind him about Allah (SwT) and the Hereafter and to keep him away from the malice of the worldly life. Imam (as) gave a positive answer to this request and sent his valuable advices, which is considered as one of the most striking advices of the Ahl al-Bayt (as). Here is the text:
“O Abdullah! Satan settled his traps using pride and he does not aiming anyone other than out fellows, whose Hereafter is exalted in their eyes and would never like to have anything instead. Their hearts are full with light and world is similar to a boa snake or severe enemy for them. They would prefer to be with Allah and accept nothing other than that. They fear to be with luxurious people. They are verily from my fellows. Every problem is solved with them and every distress is overwhelmed thereby.
“O son of Jundab! Every Muslim who know us, should judge himself every day and night. Whenever they finds something good, they will try to increase it and whenever they find something bad, they will ask Allah’s forgiveness so as not to face the shame of the Resurrection Day. Blessed are those who are not envying guilty on what the own from the worldly profits and advantages.
“And blessed be those seeking the Hereafter and do their best in reaching it. Blessed are those not looking for the wrong desires and May Allah be mercy to those who are light and guide, being our propagandists with their deeds! Their doings are accepted and there are no one as those announcing our knowledge and news.
“O son of Jundab! The believers are those who are fearing Allah; they do not do what to be deprived from what they were guided for; when they mention Allah and his blessings, they will glorify and praise Him; whenever His signs are recited, their faith and devoutness increases, because of His demonstrating power. Therefore, they are always trusting in Allah.
“O son of Jundab! Ignorance is very aged and some people try to empower it, so as to take the religion of Allah as a toy, even if they pretend that they are getting closer to Allah. They are the same who are darkened.
“O son of Jundab! If our followers are steady, angels will shake their hands and clouds will spread their shadows for them; their days will be enlightened and the blessings will come from everywhere; and whenever they ask Allah to grant them something, He, the Almighty, will.
“O son of Jundab! Do not use with anyone of those wrongdoers from your fellows other than good; obey Allah in leading them and asking for their repentance; everyone who aimed us and followed us and do not aid our enemy and said what he knows and keeps silent for what he does not know, his destination will be paradise.
“O son of Jundab! The one who is relying on his deeds will be perished and the one, who rudely does his sins and is confident on Allah’s mercy, will never see the salvation.”
Ibn Jundab told the Imam (as): “Then, who will be saved?” He answered: “Those who are between begging and fear, just like the hearts, which are in the claws of an eagle; they are eager to rewards and fearing the punishment.
“O son of Jundab! Decrease your sleeping time during the night and your speech during the day, as the mother of Solomon (as) told Solomon (as): ‘My son! Beware towards sleeping, because this will make you poor at the time when people need their deeds.’”
“O son of Jundab! Satan is a hunter and is hunting, so be careful with his traps and tricks.”
Then ibn Jundab turned to the Imam (as) and told him: “What are his traps?” Imam (as) said: “Regarding his traps, one can be avoiding being kind to friends and regarding his tricks, one can be sleeping on the time of prayer, which was specified by Allah. However, Allah is not worshiped better than the time, in which one tries to be kind to his brothers and visiting them. Owe to those inattentive towards prayers, those who are sleeping in private and those who are scorning Allah during the time of the weakness of religion. Those have no chance in Hereafter and Allah will not speak with them on the Resurrection Day; He will not purify them and they will face a severe, forever punishment.
“O son of Jundab! One who stays thinking about something other than being away from the Hell, will make the concept of Allah, weaker inside himself and he will choose something else other than his Allah. Those, who are scorning his brothers and making them their enemies, will face the forever fire of Allah. One, who is envying a believer, his faith will be dissolved in his heart just like salt in water.
“O son of Jundab! The one, who is trying to solve the problem of his brother, is similar to the one who is performing the obligations of Hajj and the one, who is fulfilling his request, will be just like those sacrificing their blood in the battles of Badr and Uhud. Allah does not punish nations except when scorning the rights of their poor brothers.
“O son of Jundab! Call our fellow followers and tell them not to be busy with different sects. I swear by Allah that our kindness will not be due to anyone except with hard works and devoutness in the worldly life and with expressing sympathy with our brothers in creation. Those who are cruel will not be considered as our follower.
“O son of Jundab! Our followers are known with many merits such as generosity for brothers; our followers are not fighting just like the fight of dogs and they are not as greedy as rooks are; they are not living with our enemies; they are not expressing their request from our enemies even if they die from starvation; they are keeping precise the time of prayers and they are not drinking alcoholic beverages.”
Ibn Jundab was astonished with the speech of the Imam (as) and then he went on saying: “Allah bless you! Where can I find them?”
He said: “At the peak of mountains and around the cities. Whenever you enter a city ask for those who are not so close of people in the worldly life, they are believers, as Allah said: ‘Then there came running, from the farthest part of the City, a man’ (36:20).
“O son of Jundab! Try increasing your love to Allah. Keep the religion tight and follow the guidance so that your deeds are accepted. Allah said the following in this regard: ‘Unless those who believe and act good and then being guided.’ So, nothing is accepted other than the faith, and there is no faith without a confirming action; there is no action without belief, no belief without humility and they are all the factors of guidance. Therefore, one who is guided, his deeds will be accepted and will ascend to the Kingdom: ‘Allah guided whom He will to a path that is straight’ (2:213).
“O son of Jundab! If you’d like to be close to the Almighty and to stay in His Paradise near him, the worldly life will be unimportant for you. Always put death in front of your eyes. Do not store something for far future and know that what you have presented will be used as a reward and that losing any situation for doing any good is not beneficial for you.
“O son of Jundab! One who banned using what he earned, that will be transferred to others later; one who followed the command of his desires, he has followed his enemy; one, who trusts in Allah, will not be severely involved in the worldly and hereafter affairs; Allah will keep those who are away from him; one, who is unable to be patient on hard times, is weak; and for every blessings, there is a thank.
“Be patient for every problem regarding your children, wealth or tribulation; ask Allah not to punish you for every sin; and fear him in a way that does not make you disappointed from his mercy; do not be proud with the speech of an ignorant nor with his admirations, otherwise you’ll be proud and cruel.
“The best deeds are worshiping and humility. Do not waste your money and do not let your money to be irrationally that of your descendents. Be content with what Allah wants for you and do not look at that of others. Do not wish what you are not. One who is content is satisfied and one, who is not content, will never be satisfied.
“Take your share at the Hereafter and do not be luxurious in richness or restless and grieved in poorness. Do not be so angry that people hate being near you and do not be such impuissant and low that others scorn you. Do not mock at someone who is lower than you. Do not fight the government for kingdom and do not follow the fool. Do not be low under the power of anyone.
“Before starting to do anything, try figuring it out completely, otherwise you’ll be regretful. Put your heart close to refer to and assign your deed something to follow. Consider your desire as your enemy and as something borrowed to be returned. You are set as your physician and know what health is. Disease was shown to you and the medicine was too.
“Look at your future in the Hereafter. If you helped someone, do not abolish it by mentioning it many times, but instead try to repeat it again and better than before. This is nicer in your behaviour and more rewarding for your Hereafter. Try to be silent to be seen as tolerant and clever, never mind whether you are clever or not, because silence is admirable when you are with scholars and it is a cover when you are near those ignorant.
“O son of Jundab! Jesus, the son of the (Blessed) Virgin Mary, once told his companions: ‘What would you do if you see something bad from your friend? Do you try hiding it or you will see all the details?’ They said: ‘Of course, we will hide it.’ Then he said: ‘Never, you will not, you will try finding everything to the smallest details.’ They understood that there might be something that Jesus would like to emphasize. So, they said: ‘O Jesus! How can this be so?’ He answered: ‘You will discover everything and will not hide it. If you’d like me to tell you the truth, I would say: You will not reach what you like unless you leave what you desire and you will not get what you wish unless by being patient on what you dislike. Woe to you on looking!’
“Looking is the essence of growing the desire in heart and this will result in problems for its owner. Allah blessed the one whose sight is in his heart and the one who does not set his sight in his eyes. Do not watch the sins of people as if you are a god! Instead look at your own wrongdoings as a creature. People are either infected with a disease or healthy. Be merciful with those who are infected and thank Allah for being healthy.
“O son of Jundab! Visit the one who left you; give the one who deprived you; be kind to the one who was bad with you; express your regards to the one who cursed you; be fair with the one who is being enemy for you; forgive the one who was cruel for you as in the case that you yourself would like others to forgive you; take the forgiveness of Allah into consideration; cannot you see his sun shinning for all the good and bad and that his rain is raining for all those good and those wrongdoers.
“O son of Jundab! Do not look for the eyes of people to admire you! If you do so, you have already taken your reward! If you give something to someone with your left hand, do not let your right hand know this. The case that the one whom you are granting something secretly, will be publicly announced at a day that this knowledge does not affect your reward.
“Do not talk loudly; Allah already knows what you have as a secret and what you are not announcing even before you ask. Do not be fast alongside being cruel and do not be among those who are fasting for letting others know that they are fasting, not among those whose faces are dusted, their head are unordered, their mouths are dry in other to let people know that they are fasting.
“O son of Jundab! All the good is close to you and all the bad are close to you too. You will see neither good nor bad unless when Hereafter arrives, because Allah, the Almighty, assigned all the good in Paradise and all the bad in Hell, because they are staying there at that time. One, who was granted the guidance, and Allah gave him the faith, told him about his path, grant him a mind to know the blessings around, gave him the knowledge and wisdom to think and ponder about his religion and worldly affairs, should make it compulsory for himself to thank Allah and not to be a disbeliever.
“He should mention Allah and not forget Him. He should obey Him and do not disobey the commands of One, who was the first from the beginning and the One who granted him the sight to see with; One who gave him the speaking ability after he was created. He should thank Allah for His kindness, which does not ask His creatures more than their abilities and capabilities. He, the Almighty, should be thanked for all kinds of assistances that He gives on hard times.
“He, the Almighty, does not force his creature to have heavy duties, but he disobeys what He commanded. He would not stay obedient and an obstacle comes across between him and Allah, following his wishes, going deeply towards his desires, taking his worldly life more important than his hereafter, but nevertheless he wishes to be in Paradise.
“It is not reasonable for a sinful person to expect to be granted the level and the position of those exalted. Whenever the Resurrection Day arrives, the Almighty will judge and issue his judgment, when everyone knows his result. At that time, one can see who will be elevated and who will be regretful. Therefore, in your worldly life, live in a way that you expect to gain at Hereafter.
“O son of Jundab! Allah the Almighty and Majestic, said the following in one of the descended case: ‘I accept the prayers of those who are humble in front of my glory; those who are avoiding their desires for me; those who are mentioning me during the day; those who are not bowing to my creatures; those who are feeding the hungry, dressing the undressed and being kind to those infected and strangers. This one is shining just like the light of the sun. I will grant him the light when there is darkness, patience when there is ignorance. I will ensure his earning and guarantee his safety. When he calls me, I will response. When he requests something, I will give him. Such a creature is similar to Paradise, which is unique, its merits are not decreasing and its condition is not changed.’
“O son of Jundab! Islam is transparent and coyness is its cloth, dignity is its merit, its chivalry is good deeds, its pillar is devoutness.
“O son of Jundab! Allah the Almighty and Majestic, owns the light. When the Resurrection Day arrives, the followers of Allah will feel this light, because they were among those whom Allah supports and protects. They will get what their heart wishes and what their eyes desire while the enemies of Allah will face heavy punishments.
“They look at the enemies of Allah and say: ‘And they will say: ‘What has happened to us that we see not men whom we used to number among the bad ones?’’ (38:62). The followers of Allah look at them. Here is what Allah the Almighty and Majestic, said: ‘Did we treat them (as such) in ridicule, or have (our) eyes failed to perceive them?’ (38:63). He, the Almighty, also said: ‘But on this Day the Believers will laugh at the Unbelievers: On Thrones (of Dignity) they will command (a sight) (of all things)’ (83:34-35). There remains no one who is from the believers and Allah does not have him in Paradise.”
This advising letter was a call to success and victory, a call for which leads human beings towards the salvation and increasing progress on enhancing the spirit. This advice was one of the presents of Imamate, which enlightened the skies of the earth with what spread around such as useful and targeting exemplars, aiming at establishing a blessed society, which might be surrounded with kindness, generosity, blessings and cooperation.
This advice included all kinds of progress and promotion. The following are among what was there:
Warning against the traps of Satan, who spreads his traps to hunt believers and prevents them from following the right path.
Calling Muslims to judge their actions and deeds every day and try to increase those good and to ask forgiveness for those bad deeds. There is generally a comprehensive call for goodness in all its details.
Encouraging people to fear the Almighty Allah by staying away from what He banned and performing what He commanded, as this is the way towards salvation and to be away from His punishment and penalty.
Dispraising ignorance, which is the reason for human and nations’ extinction, as its fans and supporters are highly away from human values, which Islam empowered and established.
Inviting his followers to be strong and steady in their path and to apply the instructions of the Imams (as), the Ahl al-Bayt (as), on the reality of their lives, as if they do this, they will be among the closest people to the Almighty Allah.
The way to be successful in the Hereafter is not to rely on good deeds solely, but one should request the mercy of Allah, as it is the way to salvation.
Encouraging on being kind to brothers, because it will result in the unity of the society and their union, which is what Islam calls for.
Prohibition of depravity such as cheating, hurting others, being envious and other malicious attributes that will result in the falling of a human to a low infinite level, without having any boundary.
Motivating Shiite (the followers) to be adorned with good moral behaviours and enhance merits such as devoutness, trying hard to make Allah satisfied with us, expressing sympathy to brothers and other blessed affairs.
Loving Allah, sticking to religion, following the guidance and abstaining from worldly affairs in earth, as it is the source of every problem.
Banning to follow the desires, which are the base of all the sins and wrongdoings. He emphasized on the necessity of trusting Allah, as He is controlling everything in this regard. It is enough for the one who is relying on Him in every affair of the world and Hereafter.
This advice planned the morality and what may enhance the deeds of a person and merits. It ordered to be patient on every tribulation and disaster and it denied from being proud, cruel and every other malicious characteristic. These were some sections of these brilliant recommendations, which are a comprehensive methodology, distinguished in the Islamic lives.
Mumin al-Taq is one of the most striking companions of Imam al-Sadiq (as) and of the most prominent intellectual and superior figures during the Abbasidd ruling period. He was an excellent lecturer in theological subjects, especially in the fields related to Imamate. No one dares to have a debate with him. The Imam (as) advised him not to spread and talk about the thoughts of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) because he was anxious about him from the Abbasidd government, which was playing the role of the most severe enemy for the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and their followers. Below is the Imam’s (as) advice.
Abu Jafar Mumin al-Taq said: “Imam al-Sadiq told me: ‘Allah the Almighty and Majestic, gibed some kind of people in Quran for divulging news.’ I told him: ‘Allah bless you! Where was it mentioned?’ He Replied: ‘When there comes to them some matter touching (Public) safety or fear, they divulge it’ (4:83). Then he said: ‘One, who is divulging our secrets, is the same as the one fighting us. May Allah bless the one who hears our secrets and then buries it down. I swear by Allah that I know you better than a veterinarian who knows the medicine. Vicious are those who are reading Quran rarely, those who are fulfilling their prayers unwillingly and those who are controlling their tongues.
‘You should know that when Hasan ibn Ali was injured4 and people disagreed with him, he left the ruling power with Muawiyah. At that time Shiite were telling him, ‘O the degrading of Muslims! Hello!’ He answered respectively: ‘I am not even the degrading of believers, but I am the one who gave the believers honours. When I saw you are unable to fight him, I left the power to him, so that you and I stay among their doings, as well as the time when a scholar disfigured the ship to have it remain for its owners5. This is the same as this time, so that you and I stay among them.
‘O son of Numan! I will speak with a man about a topic and he will talk on my behalf, but with this talk he would deserve to be damned. My father was always saying: ‘There is nothing better than being silence when it is necessary. This is what ensures paradise for the believers, and if there were no such on time silence, no one would ever remain to worship Allah.’ ‘Allah the Almighty and Majestic, said:
‘Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them’ (3:28).
‘O son of Numan! Beware of dispute, because it will abolish your deeds! Also beware of quarrel, because this will make you do sin! Beware from having many enmities, because that will keep you away from Allah!’
Then he added: ‘The people before you were practicing silence, but you are learning the speech. If one wanted to worship he would begin learning the silence ten years formerly. Then if he did good and born that, he would worship, otherwise he would say: ‘The one, who lengthened his being away from being malicious and was patient in front of a wrong government and borne the hurts, he would be from the chosen elevated, the real followers of Allah and they are believers.’
‘The people whom I hate the most are those who love headship, those tattling lovers and those envying their brothers. There are not from me and I am not from them. My followers are those who are humble before our commands, the followers of our works and those adhering to us in every case of our affairs. Swear by Allah that if someone presents a mountain of gold for the sake of Allah and then envied a believer, he would be burned with that gold in the fire.”
‘O son of Numan! Those who are disclosing our secrets are similar to those killing us by sword, but their sins would be more tremendous, more tremendous and more tremendous.
‘O son of Numan! Those, who are disclosing our secrets, are among those who would kill us intentionally and not by mistake.
‘O son of Numan! If the government was based on cruelty, then try to greet even those whom you are not frank with. Ones who are facing such a government are liable to danger. Allah said: ‘And make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction’
‘O son of Numan! Satan still tries to influence those not with us, the Ahl al- Bayt, who are from our religion.
‘O son of Numan! If someone is being asked about a science and said: ‘I do not know’, then he showed that he was fair with science. Believer is also being hated whenever he is available in a gathering, but when he leaves, the hatred would be gone.
‘O son of Numan! Scientist is not able to inform you about everything he knows6. Because not every known thing is said as some might be secrets, which were descended from Allah to Gabriel, and from Gabriel to Muhammad (S) and from Muhammad to Ali, and from Ali to Hasan, and from Hasan to Husayn, from Husayn to Ali, from Ali to Muhammad and from Muhammad to those who are trusted. Do not hurry in this case! I swear by Allah that this case was near three times, but you lost it, and Allah postponed it. I swear by Allah that there are no secrets unless your enemies know it better than you.
‘O son of Numan! Try to be yourself and if you disobey me, do not disclose my secrets. Al-Mughirah ibn Said lied to my father and disclosed his secret and Allah showed him the hotness of molten iron. Aba al-Khatab lied to me and disclosed my secret, and Allah showed him the hotness of molten iron. Those, who kept out affairs and secrets, would be blessed in the worldly life and Hereafter, Allah will grant him his fortune and keep him away from molten iron and the narrowness of prisons.
‘The Israelites were withheld till their animals and people died. Allah called Moses, the son of Imran, and said: ‘O Moses! They are apparently following adultery and usury as well as forgetting alms.’ Then he said: ‘My Allah! Be kind for them with your mercy as they do not think what they are doing.’ Allah inspired that He will descend the rain of the sky and will examine them after forty days. They disclosed this and spoiled its effects. Thus, Allah deprived them from rain for forty years.
‘You are the same too! When the case came closer to you, you have already disclosed it in your gatherings.
‘O Aba Jafar! Do not care about this and do not insist more on people! Do not call anyone to this case7! I swear by Allah that if the people of the earth and sky gather to deviate someone, whom Allah wants his guidance, they will not be able to deviate them. Leave people! And nobody says that he is my brother, uncle or neighbour. As if Allah the Almighty and Majestic, wants the good for his creature, He will purify his spirit and remains no good unless it is heard by him and no bad unless it is rejected by him. Then Allah will throw something to his heart to make him strong on his affairs.
‘O Ibn Numan! If you want the kindness of your friend, do not make too fun, quarrel or show enmity with him. Do not let your friend about your secrets, except those, which if your enemies know, does not harm you. A friend can be enemy one day.
‘O Ibn Numan! A slave will not be considered believer, unless there are three traditions in him: a tradition from Allah, a tradition from his Prophet and a tradition from the Imam. The tradition of Allah the Almighty and Majestic, is to have the secrets hidden. Allah, the Almighty, said: ‘He (alone) knows the Unseen, nor does He make any one acquainted with His Mysteries’ (72:26). Regarding the one of the Prophet is to get along with people and to deal with them with kindness and mercy of Islam. About that of the Imam, it is being patient in hard times and disasters until Allah granted him with a solution.
‘O Ibn Numan! Eloquence is neither measured with the sharpness of the tongue, nor with the irrational talk, but it is measured with targeting the aim and reaching the objective.
‘O Ibn Numan! One who is sitting with those cursing the followers of Allah, he has disobeyed Allah. And one who controlled his anger when he could not express himself, he will be with us in Paradise. One who is starting his day with disclosing our secrets against us, Allah will punish him with molten iron and the narrowness of prisons.
‘O Ibn Numan! Do not learn science for the following three reasons: dissimulation, pride and quarrel. Also do not leave science because of the following three reasons: willing to see the ignorance in people, considering science as an insignificance thing and shying from the people. The protected science is just like a light with protecting cover.
‘O Ibn Numan! If Allah, to whom belongs the might and majesty, wanted something good in his creature, He will assign a white point in his heart and to make him eager for seeking the truth. Then he will run towards you even faster than a bird that is flying towards its nest.
‘O Ibn Numan! Allah descends our love, the love towards the Ahl al-Bayt, from the sky as the treasures of gold and silver. He does not descend more than a specific amount and He does not give it unless to His best creatures. He, the Almighty, has a cloud as a raining cloud and if Allah wants to specify someone with His attention, He will order that cloud to rain and that rain will be able to descend the science to a foetus inside the belly of his mother.’”
Imam (as), in this letter, prevented Mumin al-Taq not to distribute any of the following the principles of the Ahl al-Bayt (as), their targeting instructions and knowledge aiming at freeing the human beings’ will, elevated the right words or distributing social justice among the people, because their principles were dangerous to the running governments in their periods, which were not going well with the managerial and political factors of the Islamic religion.
These governments did their most to face the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and their followers. They filled the prisons with them, gouged out their eyes, used gallows for their prominent figures and took many of them to the hanging squares. So, Imam al-Sadiq (as) feared for Mumin al-Taq from the sinful hands of the agents of those governments and the fact that Muslims may lose a striking figure of the intellectual leadership and one of the most intelligent characters in Islam.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) presented the following valuable bequest to his son Imam al-Kadhem (as). It involved the essence of wisdom and literatures. What comes below is part of that bequest.
“My son! Accept my bequest and keep my sayings! If you apply that, you will live fortunate and will die admired. My son! One who is satisfied with what is specified for him will be satisfied, but one who is always looking for what is in others’ hands will die poor. One who is not satisfied with what Allah wants for him, is actually accusing Allah in His judgment.
“One, who is belittling his faults, is enlarging that of others and one, who is belittling others’ faults, is enlarging his faults. My son! One who is discovering the cover of others, his home’s faults will certainly be disclosed. One, who is carrying the cruelty sword, will be killed with it one day and one, who is digging a hole for his brother will fall in it.
“One, who interposes in the affairs of a fool, will become low. One, who is interacting with scholars, will be honoured and one, who is entering the wrong entries, will be accused. My son! Be careful not to scorn the people as they will scorn you in return. Beware not to interfere in something that you do not have any relation in, because you’ll become low for that.
“My son! Tell the truth whether it is with you or against you, as this will make you respected among people and your relatives. My son! Be a good reciter for the Book of Allah; always start the greeting yourself; command for good; deny the bad; visit those who left this visiting; start the conversation with the one who is silent; give the one who requests you to give something; be careful about tattling as it may grow hatred in the heart of people; beware not to pose the fault of people, because the position of the one who is disclosing people’s faults is just like a target, which is raided by everyone.
“My son! If you are seeking generosity, you should find its mines; generosity has mines; mines have principles; principles have branches; branches have fruits and results; and results will not be good unless there are principles and there are no principles unless there is a good mine.
“My son! If you are visiting someone, visit those chosen and not those dissolute, because they are similar to rock at which no water can ever pure forth; similar to a tree, which none of its leaves are green and similar to a ground, with no grass to grow.”
Imam Kadhem (as) followed this bequest and applied all its sections until he passed away. This bequest talked about the principles of Islamic brilliant educational system, which is taking human beings to a high level of moral behaviour and superiority.
This was a present from the presents of Imamate. It specified an accurate methodology, which helps human beings to be fortunate. It tries to keep mankind away from depression, anxiety and personal nervousness. The majority of these sections, which the Imam (as) prevented, may cause problems and difficulties for human beings.
Sufyan al-Thawri was honoured more than once by meeting Imam al-Sadiq (as). He was asking him more from his advices and recommendations and the Imam (as) in his turn, gave him a number of advices. The following were among those.
1. Sufyan al-Thawri met Imam al-Sadiq (as) and asked him to honour him with an advice. He said: “O Sufyan! How nice is it talking with you! Whenever Allah grants something to you, you would like to have it forever, so increase your thanks and show your attitude for these blessings.
“Allah the Almighty and Majestic, said the following in His Book: ‘If ye are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you’ (14:6). However if blessings were few, then ask forgiveness. As Allah, the Almighty, said the following in His Holy Book: ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord; for He is Oft-Forgiving’, ‘He will send rain to you in abundance’, ‘Give you increase in wealth and sons; and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers (of flowing water)’ (71:10-12).
“O Sufyan! If you were sad as a result of a king or any other subject, increase the repetition of ‘There is no aid and power other than Allah’ because it is the source of relief and ease and a treasure from the treasures of Paradise.”
Sufyan became very happy and said: “How a nice three issues?”
Imam (as) turned to him and said: “I swear by Allah that Abu Abdullah understood this and Allah will help him by this.”
This advice represented the real sole attention to Allah and the sole adherence to Him. It is He, the Almighty, the source of every good, so if human beings return to Him, they will be away from suffering and will be relaxed.
2. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said the following to Sufyan al-Thawri: “There are two merits, if one keeps these two into his mind, he will enter Paradise”
Sufyan hurried saying: “O son of the Prophet! What are those?”
“Bearing what you hate, if Allah loves and leaving what you love, if Allah hates. Follow this and I am currently doing this too,” Imam said.
The meaning of the first part of this tradition: The Almighty Allah obligated people to do many things that the natures of human beings are not willing to do, because they are costly and hard, such as Jihad for the sake of Allah (SwT), recommending the good, rejecting the bad and some monetary cases such as paying alms. Therefore, if man forces himself to adhere to this, Allah (SwT) will make his forgiveness guaranteed.
Now the meaning of the second part: If human beings leave his personal desires and those wishes which were forbidden by Allah (SwT), they will reach salvation and they will have the satisfaction of Allah (SwT) and will be granted His Paradise.
3. Sufyan met Imam al-Sadiq (as) and told him: “O son of the Prophet! Please give me an advice.” He replied: “O Sufyan! Liar does not have an chivalry, there is no brother for a weary man, no comfort for envious and there is no good for someone whose moral behaviour is bad.”
Sufyan asked for more from these pearls of the Imam (as), saying: “O son of the Prophet! Please give me more!”
He (as) replied: “Fear Allah to be a believer; if you will be satisfied with what Allah wants for, you will feel rich; be a good neighbour for your neighbours to be powerful; do not accompany a wanton not to take from his libertinism and consult those who are humble in front of Allah the Almighty and Majestic.”
Sufyan wanted even more from these pearls and he (as) said: “O Sufyan! One who wants glory and honour without a tribe, and richness without wealth, and dignity without kingdom, he should leave the lowness of the disobeying Allah to the glory of His obedience.”
These values really keep human beings away from bad behaviours during the deviations and ensure a fortunate life with honour, respect and dignity.
These were some of the advices that the Imam (as) granted Sufyan al-Thawri.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) presented several valuable advices to his followers, asking them to adhere to respected merits, purify their behaviours to be the master of people in their morality and high performance and manners. Among his advices to them are the following:
1. The Imam (as) addressed his followers and companions and said: “If you, men, try to be devout in his religion, trustee in his speech, honest in consignment, well-mannered in behaviour, you will be called Jafari and this will make me happy. Otherwise his shame will be due to me and it will be said that this is the politeness of Jafar.”
He asked them the devoutness in their religion; the trust in their speech; the honesty in consignment and the behaved manner and performance with people. These are what can be called the merits that will elevate the position of mankind.
2. The Imam (as) asked his followers to be equipped with admirable attributes and high merits as he told them: “Fear Allah; be good brothers for each other, loving Allah, visiting each other frequently, humble, kind and keep our commands live.”
This esteemable behaviour is really worth staying forever more than any other live creatures, because it raises mankind to the brilliant zone of superior deeds and performance. And finally, this will fulfil what all people wish to approach to.
3. The following is among his valuable advices for his followers and companions: “I swear by Allah that there is no one more favourable to me than you. People have taken various paths to follow. Some took their own opinions; some obeyed their desires and some followed the tradition. But you have chosen something with origin, so you should adhere to devoutness and jurisprudence; walk after the remains in funerals; visit patients; meet Sunnis in their mosques for prayers. It is necessary for a man to shame when his neighbour knows his rights, but he does not.”
The tradition means that the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and their companions are the people who stick most to the Imam (as) and the most obedient group to him than others, who followed their own opinions and personal desires, but they stuck to the reality of Islam and its essence. They took the features of their religion from the Imams (as), who are the mines of Islam, their guards, the ship of salvation and the interpreters of the Holy Quran. Afterwards, the Imam (as) reminded them about the moral behaviours and merits such as devoutness, jurisprudence in the religion, walking after the remains in funerals, visiting patients and some other things in social relations.
4. The Imam (as) advised his followers and companions with the following advice, saying: “Fear Allah, do your best in worshiping Allah, be among those with the longest worshiping periods. You will not achieve our interest without devoutness; you will not achieve what Allah has without good deeds. The most regretful people at the Resurrection Day are those who know justice well, but do not act accordingly.”
He advised them to be devout and to obey Allah (SwT); he recommended them to be good worshipers as well as asked them to avoid sins and to fulfil what they are obligated.
5. The Imam (as) advised the youth of Shiites with the following valuable recommendations that would elevate their ranks. He said the following: “I do not like to see any of you, youth, other than two situations, either scholars or learner. Otherwise, they would lose the chance and one who does not seize the opportunity, has actually performed a sin.”
When a nation will occupy an excellent position, and demonstrate its superiority over other nations and countries of the world, if it is equipped with science. Imam (as) asked the Shiites youth to distribute science in other to see them as the master and leaders of their societies.
6. Among his excellent recommendation to his followers and companions is the following: “Do not contest in the faults of those who show their interest in you and do not insist on some of his unwanted faults. This is neither from the behaviours of the Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him, nor from the behaviours of His close followers.”
He commanded them to keep their unity and to prevent any gap from entering inside to result in their division, disunity and the destruction of their union.
7. Among the other recommendations to his followers is the following: “May Allah bless ones who are activating the interest of the heart of people in us, and do not let them hate us. I swear by Allah that if they know the reality and beauty of our speeches, they will by respected accordingly and nobody can accuse them. But there are ones who hear something and add several things unrelated to what we have already said.”
The Imam (as) called his followers to be the source of his pride, kindness and goodness; applying his brilliant principles on their deeds can do this. The Imam (as) also announced that their enemies would have changed contradicting ideas and opinions, if they have met him, seen their guidance and heard their speeches.
The Imam (as) also showed his great anger over those who add something to his sayings in a way that his speeches are deviated and their contents are changed.
8. Among his wise and valuable advices, which were used to teach some of his followers and companions, is the following: “Hear something from me that is more valuable than minted currencies. Do not talk about something that you are not concerned in. Also leave many of the talks that are already to you, until you find some gateway to start with, because that may be a right speech in a wrong position. Argue with neither a fool nor a patient, because a patient will overcome you and a fool will hurt you. Mention the name of your brother when he is not available, in a way that you would like your name to be mentioned if you were unavailable. Be sure that this is indeed the right deed. Do something as if you know that this will be rewarded for anything good done and as if you know that you will be punished for any bad done.”
This section talked about the brilliant wisdom and literature as it paid subjective attention to the behaviours of Muslims and others. It assigned an accurate methodology that insures mankind’s personal settlements and prevented them from arguments, difficulties and problems.
9. Another excellent recommendation presented to some of his followers was the following, where he said: “Do not feel proud if people admire you, because the case just concerns you. Do not spend your day with nonsense, as there are some who are responsible for documenting what you are doing. Do not belittle a small good deed, because you will see what will make you happy in near future. Also do not belittle a small malicious deed, because you will see what make you sad in near future. Be kind to others, as I see nothing more important than this. There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing something good removing an old sin. Allah the Almighty and Majestic said: ‘For those things, that are good remove those that are evil’. (11:114)”
This recommendation requested human beings to be careful about spending their time and ordered them not to spend them in something other than what might be useful for Hereafter. Additionally it called to increasing good deeds and preventing what Allah forbade, as a human being is responsible for what he did on the Resurrection Day.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) granted his student, Jabir ibn Hayyan, the chemistry scientist, the following valuable advice, saying: “O Jabir! One, who believes in Allah, must not spend the wealth of Allah in something other than satisfying Allah.
“O Jabir! Do you prefer darkness more than light? Do you consider believers and infidels the same? Do you consider the people of Hell and the people of Paradise the same?
“Beware that here, pointing to his thorax, is something that if I make it apparent for you, that would be enough for your Hereafter and will encourage you to cooperate with your believing brothers, whose existence ensures your salvation. O Jabir! Beware not to prefer someone other than your believing brother. Otherwise you will be from those deviated.”
Imam (as), at the first part of his speech, glanced at one of the sections of the Islamic economical section, which was about the necessity for a believer to spend his wealth in ways that result in Allah’s satisfaction such as constructing schools and hospitals and others, with which the general public take the most benefit, including those deprived and poor. In any other way, it is unacceptable to spend the wealth on that which does not result in Allah’s satisfaction. As an example, we can mention spending for satisfying the desires and what corrupts mankind.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) recommended his student Mufaddhal ibn Zayd with the following one, saying: “I forbid the following two attributes which end with the extinction of men: one is to judge wrongfully and to order people with what you are not master in.”
This was one of the most significant advices, which orders in being away from those two attributes that result in the extinction of human beings in Hereafter and the corruption of his religion. He has a similar advice to Adul Rahman ibn al-Hajjaj.
Among the other recommendations of the Imam (as) is the following one, in which he urged his follower al-Mualla ibn Khunays and asked him to be cautious, saying: “O Mualla deny our affairs and do not talk about it publicly. One, who hides and does not talk publicly about our affairs, will be respected in the worldly life and Allah will have a light in front of his eyes in order to guide him towards Paradise.
“O Mualla! One, who talked publicly about our affairs and does not hide it, Allah will make him low in the earth and will deprive him from the light, which is between his eyes in the Hereafter and will have him in a darkness to take him to Hell.
“O Mualla! Being cautious is my religion and the religion of my fathers and one who is not cautious does not have religion.
“O Mualla! Allah would like to be worshiped in secret, as He would like to be worshiped publicly.
“O Mualla! One, who talks publicly about our affairs, is similar to the one who denies them.”
The severe pressure that Shiites suffered from the governments of those periods and eras was the main reason why the Imam (as) asked his followers to be cautious and to keep their beliefs hidden, because of his fear for the lives of his followers from a vast destruction.
The Imam (as) advised Mualla ibn Khunays for the second time, saying: “O Mualla! Be close with your brothers by visiting them; Allah assigned granting as a kindness and rejection as hate! I swear by Allah that asking me to fulfil your needs is more preferred than when you do not ask me for something.”
The Imam (as) ordered him with kindness, mercy and humanity towards his brothers, because, these are what would distribute kindness among them, as well as being among the most important factors for their unity and union.
Umar ibn Said ibn Helal al-Thaqafi visited Imam al-Sadiq (as) and told him: “I am not usually able to visit you except after years, so please inform me about something.” He said: “I advise you to fear Allah, be devout and scholar and beware that being scholar without having Allah-fearing is useless.”
He advised him to what brings him closer to Allah. So, he advised him to be devout; and to fear committing sins. He recommended him to worship Allah. These things are the gates of Allah’s forgiveness and the entrance to Paradise.
The Imam (as) advised Hasan ibn Rashid with the following valuable recommendation, saying: “O Hasan! If a disaster happened to you, do not complain about it with your enemies, but tell it to some of your friends. You will finally reach to one of the following: either overcoming your problem sufficiently and staying honourable, or a call to be fulfilled or being enriched with consultation.”
He advised him to return to his brothers if a disaster happened to him one day and he warned him from calling those who disagree with his ideology, because he would get nothing from them, neither kindness nor advice.
Anbasa al-Abed was honoured by visiting Imam al-Sadiq (as) and asked him to advice him in what is useful. He told him: “Be prepared and always keep yourself equipped for your journey to Hereafter; advice yourself and do not trust anyone other than you to be of your help there.”
The Imam (as) told him about what was useful for his Hereafter. He recommended him to perform good deeds, which are considered as supply for that day when visiting Allah, the Almighty.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) advised his student, Hamad, with the following valuable advice, saying: “O Hamad! Be the seeker of science till the end of the night and during the day; if you want to see your fortune and be fortunate in the worldly life and Hereafter, keep your eyes from watching the wealth of people; consider yourself among those dead; do not take yourself above any one of the people; control your tongue as you are controlling your property.”
This significant recommendation included the following great advices:
• Encouraging on seeking science and to spend all his time in this way and to leave wasting his time relaxing and being luxurious
• Warning on keeping eyes on the wealth of people, because this deprives one from his freedom and will and will keep him a slave for another one
• Not to consider himself above other people, as pride and arrogance is a psychological problem resulting in human beings’ extinction
• Controlling the tongue as it is safer for the human being as well as guarantees mankind from the happening of problems and disasters.
An argument happened between Samaa and Jammala and Imam al-Sadiq (as) was informed about this. Once Samaa was honoured to meet the Imam (as), he told him: “O Samaa! What was the case between you and Jammala? Beware not to be among those who curse, shout or execrate.”
Samaa said the following with a low voice: “I swear by Allah that it was the case, he oppressed me.”
Imam (as) went on advising him with the blessed moral behaviours, saying: “This is not among our deeds and I did not order any of my followers to be so. Ask Allah’s forgiveness and do not repeat this again.”
Samaa asked Allah’s forgiveness and announced his repentance and regret. Imam (as) wanted his followers to be equipped with acceptable moral behaviours and blessed merits. He ordered his followers to avoid any one of the attributes that might point to a malicious characteristic.
Bastam ibn Shapoor, who was from al-Jabal, met Imam al-Sadiq (as) and he said: “If there is anything Allah likes the most it is being asked. And Allah does not have anything more preferred than when His creature lives with devoutness and avoid any illegal sexual relationship and wasting. Prayers can change what was pre-specified, even if it was strongly specified.”
The Imam (as) granted him with the most worthy and valuable advice for this life. He also advised him to avoid anything forbidden by Allah (SwT). That is the way, which results in Allah’s (SwT) forgiveness and reaching Paradise.
Among his advices to Muhammad ibn al-Ala and Ishaq ibn Ammar, he recommended two merits: the sincerity in speech and protecting what is given to you to be returned to its owner. These are the gates to have blessed earning.
The Imam (as) advised these two prominent figures of his followers all that distinguish human beings from others by having good merits and acceptable behaviours. He advised them to be sincere and to protect the property of others, which is at their hands. These two advices are the source of perfection and superiority.
From his great advices, there is a significant one for his scholar student, Muawiyah ibn Ammar, when he said: “Accustom yourself to be a good companion for the one who is with you; behave yourself; control your tongue; contain your anger; decrease your nonsense; grow forgiveness and make yourself generous.”
This advice includes all, honours mankind to have great merits that help to elevate human beings through the way.
One of the Imam’s (as) valuable advices is the one to Ammar ibn Marwan, in which he said: “I advise you be devout; protect the property of others which is at your hands; be sincere in your speech; be a good companion for one who is with you and keep in mind that there is no power other than that of Allah.”
Regardless of the shortness of this advice, it involved many concepts and ideas, which is recommended by the successor of Prophet (S), the mine of generosity and wisdom.
Among the Imam’s (as) valuable advices is the one that Abd al-Rahman was enriched with. He said: “Beware the following two attributes: To command people according to your own personal idea and to say what you do not know.”
There is no doubt that these two advices, which the Imam (as) warned from, are what lead towards extinction and Hell.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) advised his scholar, jurisprudent and scientist student, aba Basir al-Asadi al-Koufi, the following significant recommendation. He told him: “O Abu Muhammad! Do not inspect the religion of people. Otherwise there remains no friend for you.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) has specified a full methodology for friendship and denied the inspection of the religion of a friend and his religious thoughts, because this ends in quarrel, argument and finally the end of friendship. This way, one will stay without any friend.
The Imam (as) advised his student, Homran ibn Ayun, the following valuable advice: “O Homran! Look at the one who is less powerful than you and do not look at those who are higher than you. This will be better for you in what Allah has specified for you and will result in your request from Allah, the Almighty, to grant you more.
“You should know that performing a few works with belief, is better than performing many works with no belief. It is necessary to know that devoutness is useful in avoiding the sins and leaving to hurt other Muslims and tattling about them. There are no lives more blessed than having good moral behaviours. There is no wealth better than being satisfied with few enough property and there is no ignorance worse than being proud.”
This advice involved the most valuable and worthy recommendations, which guarantee mankind’s prosperity and its personal evolution. He advised him with contentment, which is an unending treasure. He advised him to be devout and to be away from committing sins as this is considered as the base of faith and Allah-fearing. He also advised him to be away from hurting the believers and others, otherwise, there would be severe damages facing him. Additionally, he advised him to have good behaviours, which is what distinguishes a man and is what excels him from others.
This was indeed one of the treasures of the Imams (as), the Ahl al-Bayt (as), and it aims at behaving human beings and increasing their strength and behaviours.
The Imam (as) advised his scholar jurisprudent student, al-Mufaddhal ibn Umar al-Jafi, the following invaluable advice, saying: “I advise you with six advices to inform my followers about.” Al-Mufaddhal asked: “What are they?” He said: “Give back to the one who trusted you what was in your hand from his wealth; to accept for your friend what you accept for your own; know that every action has a result, so be careful about the result; actions sometimes have accidental cases, so be careful; beware not to take ignorance as it is easy to reach, because the path is unpaved and do not promise your brother when fulfilling that promise is not at your hand.”
These advices encompassed all the human-based values and the concepts of honour, glory and respect. He advised him to honourably return what people gave someone to protect and to take later. He ordered to accept for his brother what he accepts for himself and to carefully watch the result of actions and not to set forth doing something before being sure about the results. Nevertheless he advised him not to climb a mountain if the path of return is unsure and that would result in extinction. He ended his advices with fulfilling promises and that every honest man should not promise something which he cannot fulfil, as this will result in the vanishing of his personality.
Among what the successor of Prophet (S) mentioned as advice to some of his companions, is the following: “Be careful and seek salvation from Allah, if you see any of the following: if you see a king monopolizing foods; if you see the wealth of the poor being divided in wrong among others and use it for gambling, eating wines and being cure with it; seeing people being the same in leaving to advise people towards the good, denying them from doing bad and leaving believing in it; if you hear advices to devoutness in religious meetings, while the speaker does not perform what he says; if you see ignorance in prayer times; if you see that alms are paid, but not for the sake of Allah, the Almighty and Majestic and His satisfaction, but for attracting people; if you see that people’s interest in their stomach, sexual relation without ever paying attention to what is eaten and with whom they have sexual relationship; also if you see that they are seeking the worldly life and see that the features of truth are vanished.
“Be sure that these kinds of people are under Allah’s anger. And Allah is just giving them some more time. So, be careful and try to be in a way to show that you are on the contrary to those people. In this case, if He descends punishment and you were in that region, you will hurry to His mercy. If you are away from them and they are being punished, you will be out from all the rudeness that they had in front of Allah the Almighty and Majestic. Know that Allah, the Almighty, does not waste the rewards of those charitable and His mercy is close to those benevolent.”
This advice warned against the spread of some social corruptions, which Allah (SwT) has already banned and what results from every kind of afflictions and trials that are generalized for creatures. Allah (SwT) does not leave those sinful creatures unpunished, but He gives them some time and then He will show His severe punishment.
Among his other valuable advices, is the one that was presented to Onwan al-Basri. He came to Yathrib, seeking knowledge. He met Malik ibn Anas and then he met the Imam (as). The Imam (as) said to him: “If you want knowledge, first seek the reality of worshiping.”
Al-Basri became astonished and addressed the Imam (as), saying: “What is the reality of worshiping?”
The Imam (as) told him about its reality, saying: “Three things: The first one is that the servant of Allah should not consider himself the owner of something, because servants do not own anything, but to consider it as the wealth of Allah to be used in whenever Allah commands to be spent and to leave whatever ordered not to be spent for.
“The second one is, the servant of Allah should not ponder about himself, and the third one is just to follow what Allah ordered him. If he supposes that what he has is the wealth of Allah, then spending money as charity will be easier. If he assumes that his pondering is due to his Allah, then everything among the problems will be taken easy in the worldly life. And if he becomes busy in what Allah ordered him and what He forbade, he will not spend his time in being double-faced, and showing proud for people.
“If Allah grants anyone of his servants with this attributes, the worldly life’s problems will be taken easy and it will not require any priding and one will not ask for people’s admiration and glorification. One will also not let his time to be wasted, as this is the first level in faith. Allah, the Almighty said: ‘That Home of the Hereafter We shall give to those who intend not high-handedness or mischief on earth: and the end is (best) for the righteous’ (28:83).”
Afterwards, when the Imam (as) guided him about the reality of worshiping, he asked the Imam (as) to grant him more. Then he told him: “I advise you in nine things. These are my advices to my followers within their ways to Allah. I ask Allah to help you succeed in using them: three of them are about spiritual exercises; three of them are about patience and the last three cases are about science. Memorize them and beware not to ignore them.
Those, regarding spiritual exercises, are as follows: Do not eat what you do not desire, because it results in ignorance and stupidity; do not eat unless when you are hungry and if you eat, eat what is allowable and name the name of Allah and remember the tradition of the Holy Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him: “There is nowhere worse than stomach for mankind to be filled, if you do, then allocate third of the space for food, third for beverage and third for yourself.”
“If one curses you, tell him: If you are true in what you say, I will ask Allah to forgive me and if you are lying, I will ask Allah to forgive you. If someone promised to plot treason for you, ask him for advice and faith.
“Those, regarding science, are as follows: Ask scholars what you do not know; do not ask them for testing them or just to give this test a try; beware not to be unjust in this regard; be careful in everything you find necessary; escape from legal and religions opinions as you are escaping form a lion and do not let your neck a bridge for people.”
These advices were from the Islamic heritage and included the most important advices in the medical profession, morality and educational world. The following are some of the tips in this regard:
The Imam (as) had a deep and comprehensive look over the most important and sensitive elements in the construction of social health. He mentioned that food is one of the most significant factors in the powerfulness of human body. So, he advised to organize it. Among what he said, was the following:
• Avoid what body is not willing to eat. Any eating should be activated by willingness.
• Eating should happen just when the body has intensive need to it.
• Not to eat excessively and not to fill the stomach with foods.
It is assured that all these three affairs guarantee human health without ever needing to visit a physician or to go to a clinic. The majority of dangerous diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes, overweight and some of the heart diseases are all derived from excessive eating and the disorganization.
The Imam (as) advised for patience, which is the most important focusing point in the world of behaviours and morality. One who adheres with these merits will be granted with all good property and nice behaviours. It is for sure that these will ensure the human beings’ happy life away from problems and difficulties.
He has specified an elevated methodology in education and asked students to ask what they are unaware of, as well as mentioning that those questions should be for the sake of increasing the knowledge and removing ignorance, not for obstinacy or being shown, which are both on the contrary with the nature of science and knowledge.
A man from the companions of the Imam (as) came to visit the Imam (as) and asked him to grant him an advice. He said: “Try not to leave anything Allah ordered and not to commit anything He denied.” The man said: “Please tell me another one.” The Imam (as) replied: “I could not find any other one.”
I cannot find any advice more eloquent and concise than this one. There is no advice richer than this. It tries to not just have mankind closer to Allah (SwT), but encourages him to fulfil anything Allah (SwT) has already obligated and to be away from what Allah forbade.
The Imam (as) advised some of his companions with the following valuable advice, in which he said: “Try to be devout in the religion that you are already undertaking and with which we believe in Allah and to ask the same from our followers.”
Being away from what Allah (SwT) forbade and leaving committing sins are among the most important advices specified by the Imam (as). He was always asking his followers to be exemplar in this regard and in their behaviours for Muslims.
Among the priceless advices of the Imam (as) is the following, which was presented to Hafs ibn Ghiath. Here is the text: “O Hafs! Comparing to the problems, one who is patient is patient a little. Be patient in all your tasks. Allah the Almighty and Majestic, sent, His Prophet, Muhammad (S) and commanded him to be patient and tolerant, as He, the Almighty, said: ‘And have patience with what they say, and leave them with noble (dignity)’ (73:10) and ‘And leave Me (alone to deal with) those in possession of the good things of life, who (yet) deny the Truth’ (73:11).
“He also said: ‘Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!’ (41:34) and ‘And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune’ (41:35).
“He was indeed patient until they defame with bad very methods and he became intolerant, when Allah descended the following verse, saying: ‘We do indeed know how thy heart is distressed at what they say. But celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and be of those who prostrate themselves in adoration’ (15:97-98).
“Then they rejected his sayings and hurt him. Then Allah descended the following verses, saying: ‘We know indeed the grief which their words do cause thee: It is not thee they reject: it is the signs of Allah, which the wicked contemn’ (6:33) and ‘Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them’ (6:34).
“So, He, the Almighty, obligated the Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him, to bear this, but they breached and rejected what he said. Then, the Holy Prophet said: “I bore what was related to me, my family and my respect, but I have no patience over what is targeting Allah.” Therefore Allah the Almighty and Majestic, descended the following, saying: ‘Bear, then, with patience, all that they say’ (50:39).
“Then, He, the Almighty, announced the good news of his family and offspring and described them for their patience, saying: ‘And We appointed, from among them, leaders, giving guidance under Our command, so long as they persevered with patience and continued to have faith in Our Signs’ (32:24).
“At that time, the Prophet said: “Patience for faith is just like head for body” and he thanked Allah for that and Allah descended the following: ‘The fair promise of thy Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they had patience and constancy, and We levelled to the ground the great works and fine buildings which Pharaoh and his people erected (with such pride)’ (7:137).
“Then he said: “This is both a good news and a revenge.” Then Allah descended the following verse: ‘Then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)’ (9:5).
Afterwards, Allah killed them by the hands of the Prophet (S) and gave him the present of the world as well as the reward of the Hereafter. One, who is patient and tolerant, will not leave the earth before being rewarded by overcoming his enemies as well as being presented the rewards of Hereafter.”
This section talked about what made the Prophet (S) sad, from all the trouble and distress, when he was preaching his awaking and creative mission, which aimed at freeing humans’ wills and thoughts from atheism and ignorance customs. As a result, the criminal gangs faced him and tried hurting him. He bore this to the most extent and did not leave his mission and message until Allah (SwT) brought the brilliant victory and opened the horizon for him to grasp his principles and to believe in his thoughts. These were among the results of patience and from its direct consequences.
The Imam (as) gave, Mufaddhal ibn Umar, the following valuable advice and asked him to advice his followers in his turn. In this advice, he said: “O Mufaddhal! Beware not to get close to sins! Let our followers to be cautious too! I swear by Allah that there is nothing faster than this to you. If someone suffered from the anger of a king, that would be result of his sins! If illness came across, that would be the result of his sins! If Allah deprived someone from earning, that would be the result of his sins!
“Those who have a painful death, this is the result of their sins and nothing else. When he saw me in that state, he said: Do you know why that happened? I said: No! Then he said: If this happens to you, you will not be punished in Hereafter, because you have already suffered in the worldly life.”
The Imam (as) warned against committing sins and mentioned that all kinds of trials and distresses are the result of committing sins, which Allah (SwT) applies his punishments in the worldly life before Hereafter.
Among his brilliant advices, that was granted to a group of his companions was the following: “Beware not to be proud and arrogant! Pride is the property of Allah the Almighty and Majestic. And one who tries to get this property of Allah, will be defeated and he will be low on the Resurrection Day.”
Being proud and arrogant resulted from the low personality of the spirit and its defeat. If one thinks that his final destination will be a dark grave and that nothing is buried with him except his actions and deeds, he will see the accurate reality and will leave this damnable characteristic.
Among the Imam’s (as) invaluable advices is the following, in which he said: “Beware not to become haughty in front of Allah and beware that the servant of Allah does not become haughty in front of Allah, unless he behaves arrogantly concerning the religion of Allah. Be straight in the way of Allah. Do not face against your forbears; otherwise you will become overwhelmed. May Allah protect us and you from being haughty in front of Allah.”
Being haughty on Allah, means apostasy and means being arrogant on Allah, the creator of the universe and the grantor of lives. One, who is infected with this disease, does not have any idea or thought.
The Imam (as) advised his student, Hafs ibn Ghyath, with the following valuable advice, in which he said: “If you can keep yourself away from knowing, do this; do not look for people’s admiration; if you can stay in your home, do this, because when you go out of your home, you should keep your tongue; be away from lying, envying, being double-faced or to show a personality other than what you are.” Then he said: “Yes! House is the church of Muslim, where he can control his eyes, tongue, personality and etc.”
This advice involved many valuable notes that guarantees the lives of Muslim human beings in the accuracy of their religion and in keeping them away from committing what was forbidden by Allah such as sins and crimes.
Among his valuable advices, with which his companions were granted, is the following: “Beware not to oppress one another, as it is not from the characteristics of those elevated. One, who oppresses others, will bring the anger of Allah over himself and will redirect the help of Allah to the one who is oppressed and the one, whom Allah helps, will win and will be granted the victory.”
Cruelty and oppression results in disunion and ends with hate and anger. It throws people in a great failure and the Imam (as) warned against it as well as considered it as a destructive element in the social construction, for which the Imam (as) is seeking unity and originality.
Among his priceless advices is the following, which was due to Ammar ibn Mosa: “O Ammar! If you want the bless comes to you; fulfil the sense of honour and be comfortable in living, do not ask people and do not let those ignoble to participate with you in your affairs, because if you trust them, they will betray; if they speak, they will lie; if you fall into trouble they will deceive you and if they promise you they will breach.”
This advice involved the warning about participating with people and those ignoble in any of your affairs; this is because of the nonexistence of trust with them and also to be away from their lying and cheating.
Abu Osama ibn Zayd al-Shahham was honoured by visiting the Imam (as) and He granted him with the following advice and asked him to convey it to his other followers: “Inform those whom you see that are obeying me and take the good from my speech! I advice you to believe in Allah the Almighty and Majestic; be devout in your religion; work hard in the way of Allah; be honest in your speech and give back what you were given to protect never mind whether they are honest or dishonest; be kind with your neighbours. This is what Prophet Muhammad (S) came for. The Holy Prophet was always obeying this rule.
“Always visit your relative and tribe; walk after their remains and visit their patients; give them their rights. This is because, if someone is devout in his religion, honest in his speech, fulfilling what was given to him to be protected and behaves in a good manner with people, then the following will be said: ‘He is Jafari’ and as a result, this makes me happy, and it will be said: ‘This is the behaviour of Jafar.’ If he was on the contrary, then his shamefulness and dishonour are due to me and it will be said that this is the behaviour of Jafar.”
He advised them with all that lead human beings to elevation, honour, and honesty and to be from the pride of society and among the chosen ones in the generation, whose pride is registered for Imam al-Sadiq (as) because of their relation to him, as they are his followers. Accordingly, he warned them against bad characteristics that take mankind towards a deep lowness.
Abu Rabi al-Sami narrated the following and said: “I went to visit Abu Abdullah, but the house was full with the attendants, there were people from Khurasan, Sham and Aafagh. So I could not find anywhere to sit. When Abu Abdullah sat, he said the following: “O the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt of Muhammad! Beware that one who cannot control himself at the time of anger is nor from us; as well as one who cannot be a good companion for his companion; one who cannot use comity with his enemy; one who cannot accompany with the one whom he is accompanying; and being a good neighbour for his neighbour and eating with one who he is eating with. O the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt of Muhammad! Be devout to Allah to the most extent that you afford.”
The Imam (as) advised on adhering to good behaviours and admirable manners that human beings could follow to be the exemplars of the nations in the world.
The Imam (as) gave the following valuable advice to Muslims, saying: “The best advice and the most important one is not to forget your Allah, to remember Him, do not disobey Him, pray Him everywhere and every time, thank Him all the time, do not leave the borders of His mercy, His might and majesty, otherwise you will be deviated and will fall in the extinction field, if disaster and illness touch you, He will abolish you and will stay in the field of trials. Beware that His trials are full with generous forever miracles.”
This advice involved encouraging people to fear Allah; obey Him, being away from sins; keeping away from being proud of what Allah grants His creatures and other similar priceless advice, helping mankind to have a higher position.
The Imam (as) granted the following important advice to a group of his companions, saying: “Visit each other, because visiting will keep hearts alive, that will remind you of our traditions and sayings, and it will result in your mercy over one another. Then if you take the benefits of such meetings you will survive and if you leave them out, you will be darkened and deviated. So keep tight to it and I will lead your salvation.”
The Imam (as) advised them to visit each other to be united, in addition to reviving the principles of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and spreading their targeted teachings and thoughts to good people.
Among his other valuable advices is the one that was due to his student, Homran ibn Ayun. Here it is, saying: “O Homran! Look at the one who is less powerful than you and do not look at those who are higher than you. This will be better for you in what Allah has specified for you and will result in your request from Allah, the Almighty, to grant you more.
“You should know that performing a few works with belief, is better than performing many works with no belief. It is necessary to know that devoutness is useful in avoiding the sins and leaving to hurt other Muslims and tattling about them. There are no lives more blessed than having good moral behaviours. There is no wealth better than being satisfied with few enough property and there is no ignorance worse than being proud.”
Mansour al-Dawaneeqi, who was among the most severe and malicious enemies of the Imam (as), asked him to grant him with an advice to get use of and to take it as obstacle in the place of destruction. So, he said the following: “Be patient as it is the base of knowledge; control yourself when you are empowered. Beware not to punish anyone unless you can describe what you do as justice. And it is important to know that the situation that requires thanking is much better than a situation that requires patience.”
He advised him to be kind towards people.
Here, we are at the end of the way in mentioning some of the Imam’s (as) advices and recommendations, which indeed represent the psychological training of the soul and result in growing thoughts, behaving manners and sending back malicious and bad customs.
- 1. Here, the companion means Mansour al-Dawanighi.
- 2. Khozi is a group of people with ability at cheating. They lived in Ahwaz before Islam till the beginning of the second century or the middle of it. This talk does not aiming at generalizing the case to all the citizens of Ahwaz.
- 3. This description refers to the Day of Resurrection. [Translator]
- 4. This is a story, which returned to the time when Muawiyah wanted to have government, but when Imam Hasan (as) wanted to fight him and return the power to Muslims, the enemy used some tricks and cheated the followers of Imam Hasan (as). At that time he found that fighting would be no benefit because the defeat would be certain in that condition. Instead he chose to stay and monitor the happening and guiding the Muslims at the time. Until Muawiyah could not bear his frank and brave speech and tried to kill him by poison, which was what he actually did finally. [Translator]
- 5. This is a famous story in Quran, which happened for Prophet Moses (as) and one of the most elevated scholars at that time. He knew that if this ship was right, the ruler would take it for himself, so he secretly applied some damage to that ship. Moses (as) complained about this action and he told him that you cannot understand the reason of everything that I’m doing, but you’ll see what I did so. This was the story of that ship in brief. [Translator]
- 6. Here, by scientist it meant the infallible Imams (a.s)
- 7. To this case: It means the Imamate. [Translator]