Mind and Knowledge
Imam al-Sadiq (as) has many traditions about wisdom, the principle of moral and behaviours, as well as speeches about human characteristics and properties, and particularly their innate manners. He also established accurate methodology for keeping these cases in their correct ways.
Imam al-Sadiq (as), in his speech, talked about all that concerns human’s behaviours as well as raising absolute solutions for solving the existing problems. His brilliant talk came around the superiority of mind and knowledge and their importance in the construction of human’s civilization as well as his views on the corresponding political issues, within which human being should live.
His speeches encouraged people to use the proper attributes that distinguish people from a living animal and not to go to low level of behaviours. His traditions included a collection of great advices and controlling the desires and passions in addition to warning against the entrance of Satan and his aim to seduce people.
What are available from Imam al-Sadiq (as) are considered to be among the greatest Arabic literature in its eloquence and fluency.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) was among the most elocutionists in his fluency and eloquence and among the most capable ones in having great composition. However, it is not strange for him to be so, as he is from a family known for its superiority in eloquence.
Before setting off in presenting his golden words, I would like to emphasize the fact that in spite of reaching a large amount of his speech, they is just a small portion of this great and wise heritage. Nevertheless, whenever you see a book about wisdom, holy traditions, behaviour, interpretations, jurisprudence and other types of knowledge and skills, you will find a significant part of that book being allocated to the words of the Imam (as). So, here what we bring, are small portions of his great wise speech. Here are some of his speeches:
Knowledge is one of the signs of the great signs of Allah (SwT). It is among the most significant mercies of Allah (SwT), which was granted to human being. He, the Almighty, distinguished the human by granting him this attribute. It is considered as the prerequisite for being awarded and punished as well as being the condition in the accurate accomplishment of religious tasks, as jurisprudents said. That is why, Imam al-Sadiq (as), in many of his speeches, presented the significant importance of this issue in knowing Allah (SwT) and the concept behind worshiping him.
The great Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (as), talked about the mind and considered it as one of the messengers that Allah (SwT) sent inside human beings, deep in the heart in order to complete the necessary requirements for people to worship Him. Nevertheless, they believed that it is one of the resources of Islamic legislation.
Now, let us pay attention to the traditions of Imam al-Sadiq (as) regarding the mind.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) presented an important tradition about the significance of the mind and its pondering in human affairs and its role in taking him towards an upper level of knowing his Great Allah (SwT). Among his traditions is the following:
“Mind is the first thing, the origin, the power, the pillar and the thing that takes no advantage from anything other than the mind itself that Allah decorated for His creatures and lightens it for them. People knew their Lord by their mind. Through the mind they understand that they are His men. It is the mind that shows that He is the manager and they are the managed. This way they conceive that their Lord stays forever and that they will pass away.
“People can infer from their minds on what they have seen as creatures, skies, grounds, sun, moon, night and day. Through mind, they can perceive that they have a Great Creator who was from the beginning and stays forever. They recognize good from bad as well as understanding that darkness exists in ignorance and the light in the knowledge. These were what that leads them towards the mind”
A man addressed him and said: “Do people use the mind without ever using any other thing?”
He gave that man the following response: “A mindful person allocates his Lord as his basic belief, because of his mind and through this mind; he understands that Allah is the truth and that He is the truth. He knows that his Lord is merciful and has no hate. He should be worshiped and not disobeyed. He also understands that he cannot reach level without his mind and without seeking the knowledge. Additionally he knows that his mind is useless if he cannot extract this idea from it. So a mindful person should seek knowledge and science, which have no settlement without the power of the Lord”
A creative mind that is not corrupted with problems and troubles leads a human being towards his Manager and Leader, because it is rationally impossible for this world to be without a Creator. The effects lead to causes, and a response depends on the stimulus, as logicians say. Therefore, sky, ground, sun, moon, night, day and what is inside the complicated body of a human being are all leading towards the belief that there should be a Creator and a great One who is responsible for it.
The current scientific and technological advances in the modern world, shows the fact that there should be monotheism in believing in Allah (SwT). It also rejects the unrealistic nature of materialist thoughts.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) emphasized on the necessity of keeping religion alongside the mind and the fact that these two should be kept in separation from each other. He said:
“One, who is mindful, has a religion. And one who has a religion enters the paradise.”
Religion calls human beings towards Allah-fearing and obeying Allah; and it is quite natural that one who fears Allah would be rewarded with the paradise of the heaven.
Mind is the great fence of a human being in his life. It is a lightening flame that allows mankind to find his/her way and to reach the aim. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said the following in this respect: “The fence of human being is the mind. Mind includes intelligence and understanding; memorizing and knowledge. With mind everything can be completed. It is the guide and lightener. It is the key for the problems. Therefore, if he was sure that his mind is directing him towards the light, he would feel the same feeling of a scholar.”
Among the benefits of the existence of the mind is that a human being can figure out the reality of affairs and the way of performing things. This way he will glorify Allah (SwT) and obey the instructions, which are the ultimate reason of his creation. Allah the Almighty and Majestic, said: ‘Mankind and jinn were created just to worship.’
Imam al-Sadiq (as), in the following tradition, emphasized that their will be no success or felicity without mind. He said the following to al-Mufadhel: “O Mufadhel! One who does not think will not reach the success level; one who does not think, will not know anything. One, who knows, will be successful. Also, one who is patient will reach felicity. Knowledge is paradise; honesty is superiority; ignorance is inferiority; understanding is greatness; generosity is success; good behaviour brings kindness; one who is aware of what is going on around him will not be affected with problem; Allah is the Lord of ones who know Him and is the enemy of those who leave Him; those ignorant are just cheating themselves; if you want to be generous then be soft with others; if you intend to insult, then do that hardly.”
After honouring the role of mind, Imam al-Sadiq (as) attributed all the wisdom and superiority to it. As it is the active element in creating wisdom. He also warned against ignorance, which is the worst attribute that may affect human beings.
Allah the Almighty and Majestic, grants His rewards to His men according to their mind and awareness. Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about this issue in his the following speech with Salam al-Delemi who said: “I told Abu Abdullah: ‘He is praying in great manner and such and such.’ He said: ‘How about his mindfulness?’ I said: ‘I do not know.’ Then he replied: ‘The reward is given according to the mindfulness.
“‘There was a man from bani Israel who was praying in a green island with many trees and pure water. An angel passed by him and said: ‘O Allah! Show me the reward of this man!’ Allah showed that to the angel but the angel saw that it is not that great. Then Allah told the angel to accompany that man. Therefore the angel came to the man as a human being.
“‘The man asked the angel: ‘Who are you?’ The angel replied: ‘I am a worshiper. I was informed about you and your place, so I decided to come here and pray with you.’ The angel spent that day with that worshiper. When it was the next day at the morning, the angel told the man: ‘Your place is very beautiful and deserve nothing more than worshiping.’ The worshiper replied: ‘This place has a single problem.’ The angel said: ‘What is that?’ He replied: ‘I wished our Lord had a beast, such as a donkey, in order to feed him with this fresh grass, this fresh grass would not be wasted.’ The angel told him: ‘Does your Lord have a donkey?’ He replied: ‘If He had a donkey, this fresh grass would not be left uselessness.’ That is why Allah told the angel that this man is being rewarded according to his mindfulness and awareness.’”
The greatest reward is granted to those having enlightened and detailed awareness; those who worship Allah (SwT) by understanding and knowledge. But those who worship without this level of insight, just like the mentioned worshiper in the island, will not have that high level and priority that Allah (SwT) promised for His great men.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) emphasized on this concept in another talk with Ishaq ibn Ammar who said: “O My Master! I have a neighbour who worships a lot, gives alms a lot, goes to Hajj and hurts no one.” The Imam (as) said: “How is his mindfulness?” I said: “He is not that mindfulness.” Then the Imam (as) said: “So he will not be granted the reward you imagine.”
Having appropriate behaviour with people shows the maturity and greatness of mind. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: “People, who have greater minds, will have better behaviour.”
Nevertheless, mind is the real mean and reason for a believer in this world to prevent many of the evil deeds and social problem, whose cause is bad manners. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: “Mind is the guide of a believer.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as), in a speech, mentioned a brilliant speech about the soldier of mind and its attributes and characteristics. This tradition was narrated by Samaat ibn Mehran, saying: “I was with Abu Abdullah and there was a group of the followers. Then, there was a conversation about mind and ignorance. Here, Abu Abdullah said: ‘Know mind and its soldier and you will be guided.” Samaat said: “O my Master! We do not know except what you taught us.”
Here, the Imam (as) went on saying the following:
“Allah the Almighty and Majestic, created the mind, which was the first thing to be created from the light of His majesty. Then He said: ‘Come!’ And it came. Then Allah the Almighty and Majestic, said: ‘Go!’ And it went. Then the Almighty said: ‘I created you in a great manner and honoured you above all creatures.’ Then He created the ignorance from the sea of darkness. He addressed the ignorance and said: ‘Go!’ And it went. Afterwards He said: ‘Come!’ But it did not come.
“Here Allah said: ‘You were proud’ and He damned it. Therefore He assigned seventy-five soldiers for the mind. When ignorance saw that Allah did not give him what He gave the mind, it hid its hatred an enmity towards the mind and the ignorance said: ‘O Allah! Mind is a creature similar to me; You empowered it and gave it authority. I am against it, but I am weaker; so please grant me the same number of soldiers that you gave the mind.’
“Allah, the Almighty, said: ‘OK, but if you disobeyed from now on, I will fire you and your soldier from here.’ The ignorance said: ‘I agree with this!’ Then the ignorance was given seventy-five soldiers, which were equal to the number of soldier given to the mind:
“The good, which is the minister of mind and the evil which is its enemy; the faith whose enemy is infidelity; agreement whose enemy is denial; request whose enemy is hopefulness; justice whose enemy is cruelty; satisfaction whose enemy is dissatisfaction; thankfulness whose enemy is being not thankful; patience whose enemy is impatience; love whose enemy is hatred; faithfulness whose enemy is treason; silence whose enemy is gossips; kindness whose enemy is severity; wisdom whose enemy is stupidity; sympathy whose enemy is hardheartedness; fright whose enemy is bravery ; richness whose enemy is poverty; remembering whose enemy is forgetting; memorizing whose enemy is inability to call; satisfaction whose enemy is greediness; healthiness whose enemy is disaster; love whose enemy is hatred; truth whose enemy is falsity; truth whose enemy is lie; loyalty whose enemy is betrayal; sincerity whose enemy is insincerity; dare whose enemy is dullness; understanding whose enemy is foolishness; knowledge whose enemy is ignorance; kind-heartedness whose enemy is secret revealing; hiding secret whose enemy is secret disclosure; prayer whose enemy is living in darkness; fasting whose enemy is breaking the fast; jihad whose enemy is laziness; being kind with parents whose enemy is being cruel and rude with them; the blessed deed whose enemy is evil deed; purity whose enemy is dirtiness; life whose enemy is the short period of life; comfort whose enemy is tiredness; ease whose enemy is hardness; blessing whose enemy is lack of blessing; prosperity whose enemy is poverty; happiness whose enemy is sadness; unity whose enemy is disunion; generosity whose enemy is stinginess.
“Therefore, the attributes which are all among the soldiers of mind are not owned by anyone, except a Prophet, an ancestor of a prophet, a believer whose heart is being examined by Allah or a follower from our followers. It is always the case that people should try completing these proper soldiers of the mind as well as rejecting the soldiers of the ignorance.
“At that moment, they will reach the level of the Prophets and those elevated. This can never be achieved unless understanding the mind and its soldiers and by preventing the ignorance and its soldiers. May Allah bless us all to obey Him and make Him satisfied from our deeds.”
This way, the tradition has come to an end and the Imam (as) mentioned the mind, which is among the best that has been created by Allah (SwT). The Imam (as) talked about it and its soldiers, which is among the best attributes and soldiers.
Doubtfulness is among the most disastrous psychological disease that may affects human beings. It destroys people’s deeds and religion and throws them in a malicious problem. Imam al-Sadiq (as) considered those being affected with it as mindless people. Abdullah ibn Sinan talked about a man as someone who is doubtful in his ablution and prayers and who is mindful. The Imam (as) rejected this speech and said: “What kind of mind you are talking about? He is obeying Satan!”
The man asked: “How is he obeying Satan?” Imam (as) replied: “Go and ask him what the origin of this deed is! He will tell you: From the deeds of Satan”
Doubtfulness in prayers and other tasks is from Satan, who tries to keep human beings away from mentioning the name of Allah (SwT) as well as destroying the deeds, which throw people in troubles and problems.
One who is rational should call for praying Allah the Almighty and Majestic, the Creator of the world and the granter of lives. Some of the followers of Imam al-Sadiq (as) asked about the mind and he said: “It is what Allah is prayed with and the Heaven is granted for.” He was asked: “What about Muawiyah?” He said: “That is hatred and evilness. It seemed to be mind, but it was not.”
Imam (as) announced that open minds ask for Allah’s (SwT) worshiping; but cheating and darkening are among the most striking attributes of Muawiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan, who was the worst enemy to Islam. So it was not related to mind at all. If Muawiyah had even a tiny mind he would not fight the successor of the Prophet (S), the great and intelligent man of this nation and the leader of its social justice. If cheating had been a good attribute, Imam Ali (as) would have been the best cheater in the Arab world and Muawiyah would have been failed to compete with him.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) was speaking about mind and the mindful: “The mindful are using their minds in their affairs and the ignorant are those dealing things with ignorance.” Indeed those mindful understand affairs with intelligence. They will precept the reality and avoid the dark consequence. On the contrary, the ignorant make their decision without understanding and thinking about the consequences without noticing what might be beneficial.
Mind is one of the evidences of Allah (SwT) for His creatures as a guide, with which people are being led if they follow it and they will be rescued from the permanent punishment. Imam al-Sadiq (as) mentioned some traditions in this regards. Among those are the following:
He said the following to Husham: “O Husham! Allah has two evidences: One is apparent and one is hidden. The apparent one is prophets and the hidden one is the mind.”
He said: “The evidence of Allah on His men is the Prophet and the evidence between the man and his Lord is the mind.”
With these brilliant words and golden speeches, our section about the traditions of Imam al-Sadiq (as) regarding the superiority of mind, as the greatest creatures of Allah (SwT), which makes human distinguished from animals and other creatures and its significance has come to end.
Among the most important tools in nation’s progress and development is distributing knowledge and spreading it among the people. It is impossible for an ignorant nation to conduct a revolution or to take a distinguished position within other nations. But it will be a humble nation lacking any superiority over developed countries, which are equipped with knowledge.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) paid particular attention to knowledge in a comprehensive way, talking about its significance and glorified those involved in distributing it. He also encouraged on learning it as well as having discipline for the learner. Nevertheless, he paid special attention to mastering religious studies and knowing the Islamic legislation, which leads towards elevating Muslims and glorifying their attributes.
Below you will see some of his traditions regarding knowledge in all its aspects and fields.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) persuaded people and Muslims on learning. Narrators narrated a number of traditions about his persuasion. Below you will find some of those.
He said: “Seeking knowledge is a duty for all believers. So go for it, even it is in China. A few from knowledge is better than a lot in praying.”
He said: “Go for knowledge, it is the head of superiority. Woe to you if you learn it for talking rubbish or to show others that you know something. Otherwise Hell will be awaiting you.”
This way, Imam (as) persuaded on seeking knowledge and asked for sincerity in learning it without having evil ambition that will be removed to soil.
He said: “Learning is an essential obligation.”
He said: “Knowledge is the life of hearts and the light of sight. With which people can visit each other and know what is legal and what is illegal. Allah grants it to those fortunate and deprive it from the unfortunate.”
He said: “Believers must learn as well as teach what they have learnt. Good for those who learn and teach. This has a clear sign of distinguishing the truth from the falsity.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as), within these traditions, encouraged learning and studying. It includes all kinds of knowledge and sciences that might improve human lives and elevate his progress and modernity.
Knowledge and studying is something without which life does not move ahead. Imam al-Sadiq (as) has already declared the necessity of making education compulsory. He said: ‘I would force my companions to work hard and study a lot until they reach a good level of knowledge.’ He also emphasized on the importance of religious studies as one of the most significant knowledge and the most fruitful one in developing mind, mentality and moral behaviours. In addition to that, this knowledge requires various kinds of other sciences in order to have the best legislations by jurisprudents.
Scientists and scholars are the leaders of the society, the makers of the culture, builders of its glory and the callers of its reformation and moralization. Imam al-Sadiq (as) glorified their position. Let us look at some of those traditions about the superiority of the scientists and scholars.
He said: “Scholars are trustees, proper fences and master successors.”
He said: “Scholars and scientists are the successors of the Prophets. Prophets do not leave money or wealth, but instead they leave traditions and speeches. One who can get even a small use of those traditions will be lucky. So look at your deeds to see from where these are gotten. We, the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (S) are behind all the proper deeds avoiding the deviating of those darkened and the wrong paraphrase of the ignorant.”
The Imam (as) glances in the last paragraph of his speech about the necessity for each open minded Muslim to take the instruction from the Islamic resource and the scholars, who are the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (as). They are among the best people talking about the religion that is from the Lord of the Universe.
A learner, especially one who learns religious instructions, has a great position before Allah (SwT). Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about this case, saying:
“One, who learns the knowledge, act accordingly and teach what he learnt for the sake of Allah, will be glorified in the earth and the sky and he will be addressed as someone who: learnt for the sake of Allah, acted for the sake of god and taught for the sake of Allah.”
Abu Basir narrated saying: “I heard the Imam Abu Abdullah once say: ‘One who teaches something good to someone, will be rewarded as if he the same good himself.’”
Abu Basir went on saying: “What if the one whom he taught, tried teaching another one?”
“Even if the whole people are taught this way, he will be rewarded as if he teaches them all,” the Imam (as) replied.
Then Abu Basir said: “What if he is dead?”
Abu Basir thought that the reward is only counted if the teacher is alive. However, the Imam (as) replied: “Even if he is dead.”
A teacher or scholar, who brightens the people’s mind with his knowledge and science, will be rewarded infinitely. As far as the effect of the knowledge appears in people’s life and enlightens their way, Allah the Almighty and Majestic, grants rewards to the teacher even if he passes away.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) encouraged on learning more and more, because it results in making the mind enlightened as well as broadening the soul. He said: “If someone feels that he had enough in knowledge, he should know that Moses did not feel he had enough from what Allah granted him and he did not say the following to Khedhr: ‘Should I follow you on condition that you teach me more of what your have learnt.’”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) assigned a methodology and system for the behaviours of the learners in order to have them exemplar in their manner for other people. He said: “Seek knowledge from its proper methods.”
Some of his students told him: “What are the proper methods?”
He replied: “Being humble before the teacher; accepting from him; being silent in front of him; listening to him; learning what he teaches and to act accordingly”
It is necessary for a learner to be sincere in his learning and consider it for the sake of Allah (SwT). He should seek after hereafter, especially those learning religious studies. Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about this issue, saying: “Those, who are talking about the benefits of this world, should not expect a share in the hereafter. And those, who are seeking the benefits of hereafter, will be granted both the benefits of the worldly life as well as the hereafter.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) asked the learners of knowledge not to express their pride over others who do not have the same ability of learning. He said: “One, who learns something in order to express his pride, will lose the reward that Allah promised to grant and his heart will be blind.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as), in his speech, talked about the different types of knowledge seekers and spoke about their psychological motives:
“There are three types of knowledge seekers. You can know them with their attributes. They are:
• A group who seeks it for expressing their pride
• A group who seeks it for superiority and influencing others
• A group who seeks it for being mindful and enlightened
The one, who is learning for expressing pride, is: bothersome and double-faced; he faces a lot of criticism by scholars who are professional in that field of knowledge; he tries to show himself as a humble man, but without any Allah-fearing. Allah will make this kind of knowledge seekers defeated and will break their waist.
The one, who is learning for influencing others, is: very bootlick when meeting people from his type; he looks humble and servile when visiting the rich who are lower than his scientific level; he destroys his religion. Allah will make this kind of scientist blind and will separate him from the rest of scholars.
The one, who is learning for being mindful and enlightened, is: staying the night awake; stays awake working and glorifying the Lord; he is a great preacher; he is kind and deserve his position; he is respected by the people at his era; he is dread from his closest friends. So Allah makes him powerful and will grant him all the safety at the Resurrection Day.”
This way, the Imam (as) highlighted the psychological attributes of the knowledge seekers. He also said that those, who are seeking knowledge but not for the sake of Allah (SwT), will go astray. However, those, working hard on obtaining knowledge for the sake of Allah (SwT), are on the guided path and Allah (SwT) will grant them safety at the Resurrection Day.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) urged in many of his speeches about being expert in religious affairs as well as being familiar in religious instruction and he asked the Islamic population to study this kind of knowledge and being specialist in this field. Among those tradition are the following:
He said: “If Allah wants something good for His man, He will make him professional in this field.”
Bashir al-Dahhan narrated the following, from Imam al-Sadiq (as) who said: “O Bashir! There is no good in companions who do not try to be expert in their knowledge. The men, who do not try to get sufficient, will be in need of other people. And if he needs them, they will get him into their darkness and he will not notice that.”
In this tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (as) asked his companions to think of being expert in religious affairs and learn more about religion from the Imams (as) in order not to be in need of others.
He said: “Be expert in religious studies! Those, who do not try to be so, are not different from the people of unaware Arabs. Allah, the Almighty, says the following: ‘A group of people should be expert in religious studies so as to warn their people if they refer to them; they have to be aware of their obligations towards religion.’”
He said: “You have to be expert in religious affairs and not be similar to the unaware Arab era. At the Resurrection Day, Allah will not look at those who do not try to be specialist in the religion of Allah, and will not accept their deeds.”
He said: “If you take even a single tradition about the allowable and banned deed, it will be better for you than getting the whole wealth of the earth.”
He said: “I wish there was a mean of force upon my followers in order to learn more about what is allowed and what is banned in religion.”
He said: “People will not be at comfort, unless they ask or be experts.”
Younus ibn Yaqoub narrated from his father who said the following: “I told Abu Abdullah: ‘I have a son who loved to ask you about the religious legal and illegal cases and not to ask you about what he is not involved in.’ He told me: ‘Is there anything better than knowing about the religious legal and illegal affairs.’”
He said: “Be expert, as being expert may be needed one day.”
These were some of what Imam al-Sadiq (as) said about being specialist in the religion. He urged Muslims on the necessity of being such and he did not allow the believers to stay in ignorance when dealing with religious affairs.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about the condition under which he might be considered as an expert in religious issues. He said: “A man cannot be a jurisprudent unless he is careless about what kind of cloths to wear, and is indifferent on what kind of food he eats.”
The seeker of knowledge reaches the high level of science when he is in a condition that does not enjoy the pleasure of the world, he might be able to bear the difficulty of the life such as poverty and problems. He should put his mind to elevate his level of knowledge to reach the best place. Then he will feel that he has found what he sought. We have seen the great people who were living before us (may Allah have mercy on them), and they were not paying too much attention to the pleasure of the worldly life.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) emphasized on the necessity of acting according to what the scholar is teaching, otherwise his position in people’s mind will degrade. He said: “If a scholar does not behave according to what he is saying, his position in people’s heart will be shaken in the same way the rains disappear when it is on the sand.”
He said: “Knowledge gets its meaning when it is with deed. Otherwise it is useless, because actions are evidences of believers and real religion.”
If deeds are not based on knowledge, no important effect will be based on it and Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: “One who does something without knowledge, is similar to one who walks on a wrong way. His speed does nothing for him, except keeping him farther.”
He also said: “Allah does not accept any deed, unless it is performed with knowledge. And the knowledge is not accepted without deed. One who knows, his knowledge leads him towards the deeds. Someone who does not perform something good, has no knowledge”
Islam prohibited a speech, which is not based on knowledge and considered it as lie. Imam al-Sadiq (as) has several traditions in this regard. Among those are the following:
He told the following to al-Mufaddhal ibn Yazid: “I interdict you from two attributes which result in the destruction of people: do not try to look for wrongs in Allah and do not tell people something that you have no knowledge about.”
He said the following to Abdul Rahman ibn al-Hajjaj: “Be aware about the following two attributes, which destroyed many: Never tell people something from your own unproved opinions or to tell people something that you know nothing about.”
He said the following to Muhammad ibn Muslim: “If someone asks you about something that you have no knowledge about, say ‘I do not know’ and do not say ‘Allah knows’, as this may result in a sort of doubt in the heart of the asker. Also, if the answerer said ‘I do not know’, the asker should not try to accuse him.”
He said: “Allah, the Almighty, specified two verses in His Book, emphasizing on the fact that one should not say anything he does not know and not to answer something that one has no knowledge about. He, the Almighty, said: ‘Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them, that they would not ascribe to Allah anything but the truth?’ (7:169) and ‘Nay, they charge with falsehood that whose knowledge they cannot compass’ (10:39).”
He told Muhammad ibn Muslim the following: “If a scholar is asked about something that he does not know, he’d better say: ‘I do not know.’ Nobody other than scholars should say this.”
Giving an opinion which is not based on knowledge is a waste of time and destruction of values. At the same time, it is a lie on Allah (SwT) and a clear lie. One who commits this action does not love Allah (SwT).
Every Muslim should ask the scholars about his religious duties and not to stay unaware. There is a group of traditions from Imam al-Sadiq (as) such as the following:
He said to Hamran ibn Aayon when he asked him about something: “People suffer because they do not ask.”
He said to Abi Jafar al-Ahwal: “People will not be powerful without asking until they are professional, knowing their leader and getting informed with what he says.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) urged on asking from scholars in order not to be thrown in ditch by opposing the reality and not to commit something against the instructions of Allah (SwT).
Imam al-Sadiq (as) degraded the evil scholars and talked about their shameful future when meeting Allah (SwT). He said: “When the soul reaches here (pointing to his throat), the repentance of scholar is not accepted.” Then the Imam (as) read the following verse: ‘Repentance is for those who are doing the evil deed with ignorance.’
Then he said: “The repentance of the ignorant from seventy sins is accepted before a scholar is repented for a single sin.”
Evil scholars prevent people from performing the instructions of Allah (SwT) and throw the society into a tremendous trouble.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about some sort of evil scholars who will stay in the Hell forever. He said: “Those scholars, who hide their knowledge from others and do not give any of their experience, are in the first queue of the hell. Those scholars who are proud while teaching and are tough when advising are in the second queue of the Hell. Those scholars, who try to release their knowledge to rich and wealthy people and deprive poor people from that science, are in the third queue of the Hell.
“Those scholars, who use their knowledge to following the methodology of the cruel and the dictators and get angry when they are being opposed and not very respected, will be in the forth queue of the Hell. Those scholars, who use the traditions of the Christian or Jews in order to be respected with them speak a lot, will be on the fifth queue of the Hell.
“Those scholars, who consider themselves as people who have to deliver their opinions and always say ‘Ask me your questions’ without ever being able to reply properly, will be on the sixth queue of the Hell. And those, who use their mind and intelligence against the religious instructions, are in the seventh queue of the Hell.”
The Imam (as) in this tradition talked about the personality of the evil scholars and their attitude and desires. They are people who are not seeking Allah’s (SwT) satisfaction and hereafter. Instead they are intending to fulfil their personal desires and wishes. This is all what keeps them away from Allah the Almighty and Majestic. These kinds of people are among the most severe factor in deviating the society from the Guided Path.
Proper scholars are the leaders of the society and the owners of majesty in the world. They are people who are leading from darkness to the light. They are guiding those who went astray. The death of this kind of people is among the worst disasters that a society might be affected with. Imam al-Sadiq (as) had a number of traditions about the damage of losing these people. The following are among those traditions.
He said: “If a scholar passes away, it is considered as a great loss in Islam and nothing can remedy this loss.”
He said: “My father used to say: Allah, the Almighty, does not get the science after descending it down. However a scholar may die and what he knows goes with him. There people will be affected with problems. They will be darkened and go astray. There is nothing good in something without origin.”
He said: “There is no death of the believers more preferable than the death of a scholar.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about the useful knowledge, saying: “Knowledge is of three types: Strong proof; just instruction and strengthened tradition.”
He said: “Everything has some sort of Zakat, and the Zakat of knowledge is to teach those qualified for that knowledge.”
Distributing the knowledge and spreading it among the people is amongst the best thing that the seeker of knowledge can do. He should not hide his knowledge from others and he should teach other seekers of knowledge.
Here our discussion about some of the news from Imam al-Sadiq (as) regarding the importance of knowledge and urging on learning and research comes to end. This topic showed the significance that the Imam (as) had in this regard. He saw that Muslims cannot have a comprehensive revolution except in the field of science and preventing illiteracy.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) had an extensive campaign on ignorance and considered it as one of the most dangerous and devastating social diseases. Here are some traditions regarding ignorance:
He said: “According to the view of an ignorant person, everything is bad and useless, even good things, because if he does a good deed, he did not actually intend it. Just like a hunter who distribute seeds inside his net and around it, he means to catch some birds instead of feeding them.”
He said: “An ignorant does not earn any benefit without facing greater losses because of that benefit.”
He said: “The ignorant seeks satisfaction without loyalty; he seeks the hereafter for being proud; he seeks the knowledge to be arrogant in front of the believers; he seeks his benefits which results in the damage of others.”
These traditions talked about the nature of the ignorant and their pride and imbalance in their behaviours.
He said: “One of the behaviours of the ignorant is to answer before hearing the statements and opposing before understanding and giving opinion in something that he has no knowledge.”
This great statement, talked about the personality of those ignorant and showed that it consists of shortcomings that prevent them from reaching the reality. It makes the ignorant fall into committing sins and what has been prohibited by the Lord.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about the imperfect person, saying: “An imperfect person in the society is the one who does not get use of the advices he hears, except those hurting or affecting him. An imperfect person is one, who lost his sense of respect and good behaviour. So this kind of people is similar to animals who do not feel anything expect being hurt with them.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) urged the believers on taking good attributes that elevate human beings; the ones that were adopted by Islam from its early appearance. He also called the believers to be a proper exemplar for other nations. Here is what he talked about in this regard:
Fearing Allah, being virtuous and avoiding what is prohibited by Allah (SwT) is among the best deeds that keeps a human being close to Allah (SwT). Imam al-Sadiq (as) has lots of tradition on this topic. Among those are the following:
He said: “Allah was being obeyed with nothing better than virtue and keeping people away from being harmed.”
He said: “The most virtuous person is the one who stands pondering in doubtful situations; the most worshiping men are those who perform their religious duties; the most pious person is someone who leaves what is illegal; and the most knowledgeable person among the people is the one who leaves the sins.”
Abaan ibn Sowaid narrated, saying: “I told Abu Abdullah: ‘What makes the faithfulness confirmed in a man?’ He said: ‘What confirms and strengthens it is virtue and what rejects it is greediness.’”
Leaving the sins and being virtuous is a standing fact in the heart of the believers. Those believers who live with the love of Allah (SwT), will leave all kinds of sins and whatever is prohibited by the Almighty.
Among the other important attributes that Imam al-Sadiq (as) encouraged people to act upon, is patience. He asked his companions to be attributed with patience in many of his traditions. Among those are the following:
He said: “The Lord did not send any prophet without advising him to call people to visit their relatives; to respect their parents; forgiving those who have made something wrong until they are back to Allah, the Almighty.”
Patience is among the most striking attributes in the Imams (as). They were exemplar of this attribute.
He said: “Patience is the decorating attributes of the modest people and the attribute of the right people.”
He said: “The most patient one of you in anger is the closest one to Allah in position.”
He said: “Patience has three characteristics: being cold with enemies; being faithful to friends and praising those who are listening to the rewards coming from the Lord.”
He said: “There is no couple of things closer than patience to knowledge; forgiveness to powerfulness; and mercy to brotherhood.”
Being patient, is a reason that shows the maturity of mind and strong personality. It is among the best attributes that leaders and great people are attributed with. Imam al-Sadiq (as) emphasized to his companions to be patient, to control their anger, forgive the mistakes, and to pardon friends for their wrongdoings. These are the characteristics of patience. Let us read some of the traditions in this regard:
He said: “One who controls his anger against his brother, Allah will unlock the lock of his heart; overcome his problems; protect him from his enemies and teach what he does not know.”
He said: “Forgiving bothers is blessed and this removes the wrongdoings and prevents them from entering the hell.”
Could you see these great teachings that Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about? He used to feed his students and companions to be attributed with patience and to be the leaders of this nation.
Endurance is the best attribute that a human is equipped with against the troubles and problems. If one loses his endurance, his power will be over and his personality will be destroyed. The Imam (as) emphasized on having this concept. Among his traditions are the following:
He said: “Be among those whom Allah said the following about: ‘Those who endure in problems and disasters.’”
He said: “The life of a believer is not accomplished without patience and getting along.”
He said: “Endurance is the pre-requirement of solution. Avoid haste. Allah knows what is best for you.”
Endurance is one of Allah’s (SwT) mercies, which is being granted to the elevated men of Allah (SwT) in order to return what they kept endure for.
Among the attributes of honour and majesty is modesty. Imam al-Sadiq (as) announced this attribute as an element of faith, saying: “Modesty and controlling tongue are from the elements of faith.”
Contentedness is an infinite treasure and it is one of the most significant attributes of a human being that keeps him away from many troubles and problems. Imam al-Sadiq (as) considered it as a striking attribute of the believers, saying: “A believer is content and grateful; and an atheist is malicious and ungrateful.”
Being satisfied with what Allah (SwT) has granted is among the best attributes of the believers and it shows the real faith. At the same time, it reduces the psychological anxiety. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said that those who are ascribed with this attribute are being rewarded by Allah, the Almighty. He said: “One who is satisfied with the fate, the fate will descend and he is rewarded. One who is not satisfied with the fate, the fate will also descend and his rewards are abolished.”
What Allah (SwT) has decided is something that happens for sure irrespective of whether people are satisfied with it or not. If people are satisfied, they are rewarded, and if they are not satisfied, their deeds are destroyed and will get no rewards.
Humility is the reason for the honesty of mankind and the elevation of self. Those arrogant, who are turning face from people, mocking at them, are among the worst creatures. Imam al-Sadiq (as) emphasized on the necessity for a believer to be attributed with humility in a collection of his traditions. Among those are the following:
He said: “Humility indicates the honour.”
The greatness of eloquence in this golden statement is striking and it talked about the reality that humility is the lift that people can elevate towards the peak of honour and majesty.
He said: “It is a sign of humility to sit not at the top of an assembly; to greet people you meet; to leave duplicity and not to enjoy being admired for your faithfulness.”
The Imam (as) talked about the reality of humility. He indicates that it has nothing to do with sitting at top of an assembly in which students are crowding to attend. Also, he considered that greeting people is another sign of modesty, which shows the safety of the personality. It is also assumed that leaving controversy, especially in scientific issues, is modesty. Because it aims at showing that one is superior over another. Also modesty should show that one does not like to be praised for his knowledge and behaviour. As enjoying the greatness in the eyes of people has nothing to do with modesty.
He said: “Humility with stinginess is better than generosity with arrogation.”
Being modest hides all the shortages in human beings and it elevates people’s social position and makes others close to their hearts.
He said: “Easygoing and modesty is the mine of treasure and the honour of hereafter.”
He said: “Sincere modesty and humility increases the honour.”
He said: “The best of all believers’ attribute is humility.”
He said: “The most loved people by Allah are the modest ones.”
He said: “No prophet came among the people unless behaving according to kindness and modesty.”
He said: “It is considered modesty to greet anyone you meet.”
He said: “There is no honour for someone who does not look humble in front of Allah, as there is no majesty for those who are not modest before Allah.”
These traditions talked about all corners of modesty and emphasized that this attribute is considered as one of the best qualities that elevates human beings’ position.
Proper behaviour is among the fair attributes that the Imam (as) urged the believers to have. It came deep from Islam. The following traditions were among the talks of the Imam (as).
He said: “Well behaving is one of the rescuing ships.”
He said: “One, who learns how to behave appropriately, has used the guidelines of the Great Prophet of Islam.”
One of the companions of the Imam (as) asked about the extent of proper behaviour. He said: “Softening the self; gentling the speech and meeting the brothers with smile.”
Proper behaviour is among the best elements of Islamic message. The Lord sent the Great Prophet of Islam (S) in order to show the best behaviours and elevates mankind to the best level of perfection.
Generosity is amongst the best attributes that Imam al-Sadiq (as) encouraged his companions to be adhered to. There were many traditions in this regard. Among those are the following:
He said: “Being generous for the sake of Allah keeps people away from bad circumstances and lengthens the age.”
He said: “Being generous is the first level of faith in Allah and being acquainted to Allah is the way of leaving Satan.”
The Imam (as) in these two traditions presented the superiority of generosity (but not in general way). Generosity is really valuable when it is for the sake of Allah (SwT). This way, the Almighty will reward those generous in the best possible way and keeps them away from the troubles and lengthens their age as it was mentioned in the first tradition.
He said: “The closest one to your Lord is the most generous one.”
He said: “Generosity is a proper behaviour.”
Those who try to help the poor are among the closest people to Allah, the Almighty, and He, Himself, will reward them the best rewards as return to their deeds.
He said: “Generosity is one of the trees of the Heaven. One, who gets one of its branches, it will lead him towards the paradise.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about generosity and the nice effects of this deed on the society. This deed, in addition to rescuing the poor from their poverty, gathers the believers on the ground of friendliness and kind-heartedness.
Among the proper behaviours that Imam al-Sadiq (as) called people to be attributed with is beneficence. Listen to what he said: “Beneficence is the guide to the paradise and one who does something good for someone, Allah will make something good for him.”
Did you notice the encouragement for this attribute that all the members of the society have to adhere to in order to have a society famed for kindness and helpfulness?
Among the great attributes that Imam al-Sadiq (as) asked the society to follow is kindness with its complete meaning, covering the poor, the weak, children and the elderly. He said: “A kind believer does not apply any kind of cruelty on his believer brother, because their father is light and their mother is kindness.”
Among the fair properties that human beings are distinguished from other creatures is the mercy on others. The opposite property is cruelty and brutality. Imam al-Sadiq (as) presented the following golden speech:
“Mercy for the sake of Allah is life.”
What a simple and great phrase it is, touching the reality of mankind. If his instinct and inner nature is equipped with mercy then it is alive and if the soul is deprived from mercy, it will be considered death in soul and behaviour.
One of the best signs of mercy is being compassionate with the poor. He said: “One, who has mercy on his believer brother and is merciful, will find Allah as his Guide and Leader.”
Among the marks of a great personality that occupies a proper position in the history, is the existence of determinism and power in making decision, as it is impossible for any decision to be met without being ascribed with decisiveness. The Imam (as) admired this attribute by saying:
“Determinism is decorating the Prophets.”
“Power is the knowledge of religion and determinism is the opening key for certainty.”
“Power is the opening key for certainty and faith.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) called for being attributed with these proper attributes. He guaranteed that those who are being attributed with these characteristics will be under the protection of the Lord at a Day where no protection is strong enough other than the protection of Allah, the Almighty.
He said: “There are three attributes with which everyone is attributed, will be under the protection of the Lord, where no other protection is ever existent: One who gives people the same thing that he may ask them; one who does not apply pressure on others without being sure that this deed is for the sake of Allah; one who does not mock at his brother until he removes the same problem from himself. Human cannot remove all this mistakes unless another mistake is getting apparent. So, it would be better not to get busy revealing others’ mistakes and problems.”
These proper attributes are based on great basis and make man close to Allah, the Almighty. At the same time, it relieves human being from many troubles and problems and provides people with comfort and security.
Yahya ibn Amran al-Halabi narrated, saying: “I told Abu Abdullah: ‘Which attributes are best for a person?’ He said: ‘Dignity without pride; forgiveness without asking for compensation; and being preoccupied with something other than the worldly life.’”
The Imam (as) gathered the proper attributes that humans might be ascribed with: Dignity: On condition that he does not get it from the government and so forth. Generosity without expecting return. If a return is expected, it will not be considered generosity. Being busy with what keeps people close to Allah (SwT). These affairs are what elevate people.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about three attributes that result in the respect and dignity of people. He said: “Those, who are included in the following groups, will get the following reaction from the people: If he talks, he does not lie; if he interacts with people, he will not behave cruelly; and if he promises, he will not break his vow. In the above mentioned circumstances, people have to adhere to the following: they should show his justice; they indicate their kindness towards him; they should not talk badly behind him; and they have to consider their relationship with him as brotherhood.”
If a human is attributed with these proper characteristics, he will occupy the emotion of the people as well as their kindness and respect. These attributes indicate the appropriateness of the personality and its safeness from defect.
Jarouth ibn Monther narrated, saying: “I heard that once Abu Abdullah said: ‘The masters of deeds are the following three: Being fair with people in a way that they do not accept something for them unless you accept that for yourself; Being sympathizing in money affairs; and mention Allah in all situations. The later case does not mean to feel satisfied by reciting the traditional prayer, but to obey what was ordered by the Lord and to keep yourself away from what was forbidden by the Almighty.”
In fact, those who are equipped with these attributes may be able to reach a great level. Therefore, fairness, sympathy and mentioning Allah (SwT) are the bases for all kinds of superiority and the gathering point for all types of respect.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) asked all the believers to look beautiful in their clothing and external view. This way, they do not show the signs of poverty and indigence. He said: “You have to look handsome and beautiful and do not be stingy. May you enter the paradise with peace.”
He also said: “You have to look handsome and beautiful and avoid duplicity.”
Looking beautiful is among the respected behaviour of human beings. Imam al-Sadiq (as) encouraged people on being in this way in order not to show the sign of poverty and deficiency as Allah (SwT) wants to see the people respected with dignity.
Among the suitable quality that Imam al-Sadiq (as) asked for is yielding on truth and he asked the believers not to be affected with anger and get deviated from the truth. Listen to what he said: “The right Muslim is someone who thinks of Allah firstly.”
Honesty is the best characteristic that humans might be decorated with. It is among the properties of the prophets (as). Imam al-Sadiq (as) advised for it and said: “Allah does not descend a prophet except with the honest talk and the sincere delivering of the message towards those good and bad.”
There is no attribute proper for human beings unless it is being addressed by Imam al-Sadiq (as) in order to elevate the social values that distinguish the Islamic behaviour.
Relying on Allah (SwT) and not entering in any inappropriate deed are among the best properties of a believer. Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked a lot about these attributes. Abu Basir narrated from the Imam (as) saying: “Everything has a limit.”
Abu Basir said: “What is the limit of relying on Allah?”
Belief rejects doubtfulness and encourages people to work. Abu Basir went on saying: “What is the limit of belief?”
“Not to fear anything other than Allah.”
Here Imam al-Sadiq (as) specified the limits of relying on Allah (SwT) by believing in the power of the Allah, the Almighty, on everything and to believe that all the happenings are in His hands and no one else.
Being strong and powerful in dealing with different affairs is something that approves the mind and the health of thinking. It is among the most practical attributes of human beings. Please pay attention to what Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: “The strength is with health, and penitence comes with rush hastening. If someone started a task, but in an inappropriate time, it would not be mature in its proper time.”
Being confirm about affairs is a reason for being healthy and managed, but hastening is being in rush hurry makes the destructions.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about the four attributes of the Prophets (as), saying: “Patience, kindness, endurance and well behaving is among the attributes of the Prophets.”
The Prophets (as) could change the flow of the history and apply justice and truth among the people. This happened because they had appropriate attributes such as patience, kindness in dealing with people, enduring the ignorant and good behaviour.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) discussed some of the proper attributes that are necessary for every human being to be attributed with. He said: “There are five attributes. Pity to those who have none of these attributes. The first one is loyalty; the second one is experience; the third one is modesty; the forth one is good behaviour; the fifth one is the union of all these proper attributes.”
We have talked about each single one of these attributes in our earlier topics.
The Imam (as) announced five attributes as prominent and encouraged others to be attributed with them. He said: “Pity to those who are not having any of the following five attributes: religion, mind, politeness, generosity and good behaviour.”
These attributes are among the principle of attributes. One, who is attributed with them, reaches the peak of culture and perfection.
The Imam (as) talked about eight proper attributes for a Muslim believer he that should be characterized with. He said: “A believer should be attributed with eight characteristics: bravery when facing disasters; patience in troubles; gratefulness in happiness; satisfaction with Allah grants; not being cruel toward enemies; not to talk badly with friends; the body is tired its soul; but people are comfortable with him; science is the friend of a believer; endurance is his assistant; patience is leader of his soldiers; being friendly and soft with parents.”
These great attributes are among the best attributes of the believers who fear Allah (SwT) and seek the Hereafter.
The Imam (as) mentioned ten properties of good behaviour, saying: “The best characteristics of a good person are ten. If you can take them all, then do. They are: Bravery; honesty of speech; protecting the belonging of others; visiting relatives and friends; respecting guests; feeding the poor; admiring and paying back for goodness; modesty with neighbours; humility for companions; and the head of these properties, prudence.”
These attributes are the basis of all proper attributes that takes human beings towards generosity, honour and sincerity.
Abdullah ibn Maskan narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (as) who said: “Allah, to Whom belongs might and majesty, assigned the Prophet (S) as an exemplar for proper behaviour. So verify yourself. If you have a proper property, then thank Allah, the Almighty, and move towards Him. The prerequisite are the following: faith, satisfaction, patience, gratitude, contentedness, good behaviour, generosity, honour, bravery and mercy.”
These attributes are the prerequisites of perfection and among the most prevalent attributes of the Great Prophet of Islam (S). Here, our discussion about presenting appropriate behaviours, which Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about, has come to end.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) warned his followers from the hateful attributes and malicious deeds that result in throwing human beings to a low level. Among those attributes are the following:
Among the worst attributes for mankind is spite. The Imam (as) warned against it. The following traditions are some of those traditions:
He said: “Keep away from spite and malice. Allah overwhelms the cruel and assists those desperate.”
He said: “Spite does not let the heart of a believer to calm down, because spiteful are from the residents of the Hell.”
He said: “One, who is spiteful against his brother and harms him, will find us all, his enemies at the Resurrection Day.”
He said: “Allah forgives the mistakes of the believers on the Day in which Quran was descended to the number of the leaves of the trees and their fruits, except those who are spiteful against their brothers.”
He said: “One, who is happy but spiteful in his heart against his brother, Allah will change the goodness with badness unless he forgives the mistake of his brother, otherwise Allah will ask him about his former mistakes and uncover his mistakes among the public.”
He said: “One, who comes at the Resurrection Day with spite against his brother, will not enter the paradise.”
Islam forbids spite, because it spreads hatred and disgust among the population of the society and disunites the union of the believers. At the same time, it is considered among the worst psychological diseases. Those spiteful always live in anxiety and psychological worry.
Envy is one of the worst psychological diseases. It is one of the factors that lead to the disunion of a society and throwing people in malicious problems.
There was a group of traditions from Imam al-Sadiq (as) warning against being envious. The following are some of those:
He said: “Envious is the enemy of Allah, because he dislikes what Allah likes.”
He said: “A believer is neither envious nor spiteful.”
He said: “The trouble that affects religion is self-admiration and arrogance.”
He said: “A believer wishes to be similar to those who were found successful but is not envious. However those double-faced are envious and do not wish good for others.”
He said: “The envious are damaging themselves, before affecting those being envied. It is similar to Satan who brought the forever damn for himself, while Adam went for guidance and the elevation towards the place of reality and purity. So try to be among those who are envied instead of being envious.
“The earning is divided, so what might an envious get by envying someone? And what does affect the one being envied? The origin of envy is the blindness of heart and infidelity towards Allah, the Almighty. They are the wings of atheism. It was with the envy that throws the offspring of Adam in destruction eternally; a kind of destruction that does not let me get free; even without a possibility to repent, because he insists on it and believes in it and he enjoys it. The inside is hardly got changed from the origin, because it is devious.”
He said: “There may be an envious person, who is suffering from bad condition. There may be another envious person, who is suffering from certain disease. So, do not try to envy anybody, because envy is one of the worst attributes that may destroy the morals and damage the human beings.”
Self-complacence and self-satisfaction is one of the worst human attributes and of the reasons for destroying human lives. Imam al-Sadiq (as) conducted a severe dissatisfaction against this attribute and warned against being attributed with this bad attribute. There are several traditions. The following are some of them:
He said: “Allah, the Almighty, declared that sin is better for a believer than self-complacence, because without self-satisfaction there would be no sin.”
He said: “One, who is attributed with self-complacence, will be abolished.”
He said: “It is very strange for people who are enjoying their own deeds and those who are always self-satisfied, while not knowing where they are going to. One, who is self-complacent, is far away from the way of guidance. Such kinds of people are claiming things that they are not concerned with. Those who are claiming something untrue are liars, even if they hide their claims.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) was informed about a man who is very cautious and kind. Whenever he did something good, he felt self-satisfaction and self- complacence for what he had done. The Imam (as) said: “He, in his first state where he was frightened and cautious, is better than his self-complacence.”
These were some of the traditions from the Imam (as) in degrading self-complacence, which is among the most evil attributes whose origin is in pride and arrogance as well as forgetting to remember the Lord. One, who is attributed with this attribute, will lose his good deeds and will be away from His Allah (SwT).
Among the destructive attributes, which result in the anger of Allah, the Almighty, is that some one sees himself/herself better than others. This leads to degrading others, scorning them and feeling superior when speaking to others. Such kind of people usually does not care to meet others and does not pay attention to guidance and regulations. It is among the biggest obstacles between the creature and the Creator. The following news was repeatedly narrated from the son of the Prophets, Imam al-Sadiq (as) in degrading this attribute. The following are some of them:
He said: “One, who becomes arrogant in front of his relatives and family, will be deprived from the honour of visiting the Lord on the Resurrection Day.”
He said: “One, who becomes arrogant against the good men of Allah, the Lord will degrade his position and treat him in the same way that He treats the enemies.”
He said: “The furthest people to Allah are those who are arrogant.”
He said: “There is no man who becomes arrogant, unless he feels the lowness in his inside.”
He said: “There are angels being in change of the creatures, elevating those who are modest and lowering those who deal in an arrogant way.”
Being arrogant is a destructive attribute from people. Allah, the Almighty, warned against those arrogant who do not worship Allah (SwT) because of their pride and He promised them the Hell and said: ‘Those, who are not praying Me because of the pride, will enter the Hell forever.’
The arrogant see themselves in dignity and glory. This ignorance leads them to commit the crimes as well as the forbidden such as scorning people and degrading them.
Greed is among the unblessed attributes that Imam al-Sadiq (as) warned against. The following traditions are from the Imam (as) in this regard:
He said: “A believer is pure from greediness about things that he is not concerned with.”
He said: “The greedy are similar to a dream, which is enjoyed as far as the sleep is going on, but is sad when the sleep is over.”
He said: “One of the valuable things that was descended from the Heaven was about the nature of human beings. It says: O the Sons of Adam! If you are granted two valleys of gold and silver, you will ask for the third. O the Sons of Adam! Your stomach is a sea from the seas and a valley among the other valleys and it will not be filled with anything other than soil.”
Greediness is originated from loving the world. The owner of this attribute is heavily busy in gathering wealth and killing one another for this purpose. Such kinds of people are always swinging in the sadness of the world until the world throws him on the ground. Now listen to this brilliant tradition from the Imam (as) in degrading this malicious attribute. He said: “The richest rich are those who are not arrested by greediness.”
One who is not affected with this disease, will be the richest rich and the most comfortable one and the furthest one from troubles and problems.
Stinginess, as it is rejected by the Imam (as), is among the worst attribute that someone might be affected with. He rejected this attribute and had many traditions expressing his disgust from it.
He said: “The Paradise is forgiven for all the stingy.”
He said: “Woe to you for being stingy! It is a disease and it is not available in a believer.”
He said: “If faith is awakened, stinginess is removed.”
He said: “Faith has no value with stinginess.”
He said: “Stinginess is ignorance and the lack of knowledge and belief in Allah’s bless.”
He said: “A stingy does not have religion, neither loyalty nor belief. Such kinds of people are not from the believer.”
These are some of the traditions that came from the son of the Prophet, Imam al-Sadiq (as), in degrading stinginess and warning against it. Because it is one of the most malicious attributes and among the most damaging ones for individuals and societies.
It is among the most evil attributes. One, who is affected with this attribute, is far away from generosity and respect. Such kinds of people are not respected. Imam al-Sadiq (as) warned against being with such people or being among those attributed with this attribute. He was asked the following: “What emphasizes the belief in Allah’s men?” He said: “Devoutness and what can throw out cupidity.”
Those affected with this problem will lose their reliance on Allah (SwT); lose his trust in his creature; and all his attention turns to see what exists in the hands of others.
Among the other malicious attributes is being proud of wealth, children and other stuff. Imam al-Sadiq (as) rejected this speech, saying: “Those proud in the world are poor and in the Hereafter looser, because he replaced the better with the worse; do not try to have the feeling of self-complacence, as you may feel this way because of your wealth, health, age, children, companions which you might get help from.
“You may also feel proud because of your beauty, the fulfilment of your wishes and dreams, then you feel that you are true and have got what you want. You may feel proud because of the feeling of sadness as a result of not paying good attention to your worships and Allah knows what is inside your heart.
“You may also force yourself unwillingly to worship while Allah wants sincerity; you may also feel proud because of your science and family rank while you are not aware of the background of this affairs; you may also wrongly think that you are calling Allah while you are calling the others; you may think that you advise others, while you are indeed wishing them to tend towards yourself; you may scorn yourself while indeed admiring it.”
This tradition of the Imam (as) gathered the motivation and incentive towards pride and warned against them, because they keep people away from the Creator and throw them in a malicious trouble.
Anger is the key for every crime and the source of all kinds of sins. Some of the lecturers of the moral behaviour said: “Anger is a flame of fire, extracted from the fire of Allah.” Anger hides the light of mind; weakens its activities and results in the will to take revenge from others. It also results in killing one another, in addition to what psychologists talked about. Imam al-Sadiq (as) severely warned against this attribute. Read what he said:
He said: “Anger is the key for every evil deed.”
He said: “Anger kills wise hearts.”
He said: “One, who cannot control his anger, does not own his mind.”
He said: “One, who leaves the truth because of anger, is not from us.”
Anger is among the evil attributes that throws human being in a malicious destruction and abolishes people’s humanity and opens the gate to all evil deeds.
Double-faced people are those who are spiteful against Islam and try to have plots against it. Holy Quran talked against these kinds of people in many of its verses and asked people to keep away from this attribute. There was a verse descended specifically for criticizing this attribute. Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about this attribute in many traditions. Among those traditions are the following:
He said: “The hearts of those, who is getting more double-faced day after another, will be blind and his personality is degraded.”
He said: “There is no occasion in which one has duplicity while Allah is satisfied with him.”
He said: “One who receives his friend, but talks back in his absence, will have a tongue of fire at the Resurrection Day.”
He said: “One, who has duplicity in the religion, is similar to a thief.”
Duplicity is among the most evil attributes and the lowest ones. One who is affected with it has neither conscious nor mind and he will be placed in the worst place in the Hell.
The Imam (as) informed a believer not to be attributed with the mindlessness, because this way, he would lose his root and balance. Let us read what comes in this regard:
He said: “A believer is free from mindlessness, as mindfulness and superiority is unknown to an atheist.”
He said: “A believer is neither silly nor stupid.”
He said: “Stupidity and silliness are among the gates of the Hell.”
He said: “Never try to talk silly, because your Imams never act in a silly manner.”
He wanted the believers to live in a respected way, away from the silly and stupid manners.
He said: “Such kind of people may ignore what Allah granted them from His religion, because a silly person is against the light.”
He said: “Learn how to admire and do not mention those silly! Otherwise the angels escape from you.”
He said: “You have to admire and keep yourself away from those silly, because the angels never talk about them.”
Stupidity is among the psychological diseases where one who is affected with it, cannot deal mindfully on how to deal with and protect his wealth. So it will be lost and destroyed.
Backbiting is among the most severe and evil attributes, which are forbidden in Islam, because it distributes hatred and anger among the believers, as it results in the falling down of the one who backbites in people’s eyes and causes the loss of his respect. Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked in many of his traditions about the illegality of this attribute in Islam. Here are some of his traditions:
He said: “One who talks about what his eyes see or his ears hear are among those whom Allah said the following about: ‘Those who like to distribute the bad about believers will face a severe wrath’.”
He said: “One who talks about a believer in a way wishing to scorn him, destroying his dignity and disrespecting him in people’s eyes, will be thrown out from the guidance of Allah and fall into the guidance of Satan.”
He said: “One, who backbites against his believer brother in a doubtful manner, has taken Satan as a partner for Allah.”
He said: “Backbiting is forbidden for all the believers! It destroys good deeds in the same way that fire burns the dry firewood.”
He said: “Backbiting is plague of heart, because it aims at distrust and suspicion.”
He said: “One who backbites in what never happens, is similar to killing a believer, and one, who backbites in something that exists, he scorns him and one, who scorns a believer, has called Allah and His Prophet for a fight.”
Backbiting is among the worst attribute and the most evil ones. Our ancestors did not see prayer in having fast and prayers. Instead they believed that praying means leaving backbiting about people, because they have much better deeds to do. As they believed that reaching better position in the paradise requires someone to leave backbiting.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) warned against deviltry and frightened the believers from getting close to it. Here are some traditions:
He said: “One who has the attribute of deviltry and use it between two brothers, Allah will affect him with the damage of being harmed with deviltry.”
He said: “One who is attributed with deviltry, Allah will keep him away and will save the believers and their families from deviltry and its malicious effects.”
He said: “Woe to you if you spend your time with those who are attributed with deviltry, they lie, commit sins, separate sacred gathers and they live throughout their lives without getting use of their experience.”
One who is characterized with deviltry is among the most malicious kinds of people; he uses lies, spite and envy to break what Allah has ordered to join. He simply corrupts in the earth.
Among the unblessed attributes in Islam is gloating over someone’s grief or rejoicing at the misfortune of another person. Imam al-Sadiq (as) has a number of traditions degrading this attribute. Among those are the following:
He said: “Do not gloat over your brother’s grief; otherwise, Allah will have that problem for you.”
He said: “One who gloats over the trouble that has affected his brother, will not leave the earth unless being affected.”
Gloating, at most, talks about enmity and envy and both are forbidden in Islam.
Hypocrisy is defaming another one’s talk, aiming to scorn him or to express superiority over him.
Dispute is over insisting in speech, aiming at enmity and envy, which are both prohibited in Islam. Let us read the advices of the son of the Prophet, Imam al-Sadiq (as), in warning against these couple of attributes:
He said: “Do not argue with a patient man or a mindless person, as the patient will defeat you and the mindless will hurt you.”
He said: “Woe to you on gloating! As it results in anger and makes the faults apparent.”
He said: “Woe to you on enmity! It makes the heart busy, results in duplicity.”
Dispute and enmity are the tools, which result in hostility and anger among the believers and destroy the kindness and mercy that Islam asks the believers to have. Imam al-Sadiq (as) also said: “Dispute destroys love.”
Throwing sin on an innocent person is to say something about a brother that he hates and does not exist at all. It is worse than backbite. Allah, the Almighty, said: ‘But if any one earns a fault or a sin and throws it on to one that is innocent, He carries (on himself) (Both) a falsehood and a flagrant sin’ (4:112).
Imam al-Sadiq (as) said the following about this hatred attribute: “One, who throws a sin on an innocent person, has a kind of madness and this will be with him until he leaves what he said.”
Throwing sins on innocent people is among the factors that result in disunion. That is why the Imam (as) warned against this attribute.
Aggression is one of the attributes that Islam banned and prohibited. Imam al-Sadiq (as) warned against this attribute and said the following in this regard:
He said: “Aggression is the source of malice.”
He said: “Aggression is the fastest to punish award.”
He said: “The worst thing is aggression against the men of Allah.”
Aggression is among the factors of oppression, which is amongst the worst prohibited things in Islam.
Islam opposes oppression and declared war against oppressors and the cruel. The Imams (as) played the role of the people who were the leaders of this revolution in all its types and modes. They sacrificed themselves with what they had aiming at distributing social justice among the people.
There were a group of collections from Imam al-Sadiq (as) in degrading oppression, which is amongst the banned attributes in Islam. The following are some of his traditions:
He said: “There is no harder oppression worse than the oppression which the one who is affected finds no help other than Allah, the Almighty.”
He said: “One, who eats from the wealth of his brother oppressively and does not have it returned, will eat the severe flame of the Hell at the Resurrection Day.”
He said: “Allah inspired one of His Prophets in an oppressed region, which was governed by a tyrant, to go to towards that tyrant and tell him: ‘I do not assign you to spill blood and steal people’s wealth, but I assigned you to prevent people from being oppressed. I do not accept any oppression for them, even if they are infidel.’”
He said: “If the one who is oppressed takes from the religion of the oppressor, it is greater than when the oppressor takes from the wealth of those oppressed.” The Imam (as) added: “One who does evil deeds, should not deny these deeds if they happen to him. Mankind harvest what they plant. It is not sensible to expect good from bad or to expect bad from good.”
He said: “One, who oppresses others, will be oppressed by others. If he is not oppressed, his children will be oppressed. If their children were not oppressed, his offspring will be oppressed.” One asked the Imam (as): “He oppresses others and his offspring have to bear the future oppression, which is applied to them?!” The Imam (as) answered him with the following verse from the Holy Quran: ‘Let those (disposing of an estate) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own if they had left a helpless family behind: Let them fear Allah, and speak words of appropriate (comfort)’ (4:9)
He said: “The doers of oppression, those cooperating with them and those satisfied with them are all partners.”
He said: “One, who forgives an oppressor for his oppression, will be affected with oppression and his prayers will not be accepted and Allah does not reward him for bearing his problem.”
These were some of the traditions from Imam al-Sadiq (as), the offspring of the Prophet (S). He degraded oppression and oppressors. He considered the oppressors as the wolves of the societies and threatened them with Hell in the Hereafter.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) severely degraded and rejected duplicity, because the owner of this attribute does not own a living conscience to fear Allah (SwT). He presented a group of traditions in rejecting this attribute:
He said: “Allah, the Almighty, said: ‘I am the richest of the rich; one who considers someone as a partner with me in a deed, his deed will not be accepted. Only sincere deeds are accepted.’”
He said: “All kinds of duplicity is considering someone as partner for Allah. One who is working for people, should expect his reward from the people. But one who acts for Allah, Allah will give him the reward.”
He said: “People who do something asking good without asking reward from Allah, but rewards from other people, will get what they want from the people and this is called considering someone as partner for Allah.”
The Imam (as) added: “There is no man secreting something good, unless Allah reveals that good one day. Furthermore, there is not one man secreting a malicious deed, unless Allah reveals that bad deed one day.”
He said: “One, who shows that he has done good deed and has secreted a bad deed, does not refer to himself and know the contrary fact about his self? Allah, the Almighty, says: ‘Human does know well what his self is.’ Whenever what is inside is true has a powerful appearance in the outside world.”
He said: “One, who does something good without expecting a lot from Allah, will be granted a lot. However one, who does a lot for the sake of people and get tired for doing that lot, Allah will undermine those deeds in the eyes of people.”
He told Ebad al-Basri who was a hypocritical man the following: “Woe to you Ebad! Woe to you for being hypocritical, as it is something for ones other than Allah, while all the deeds that worth their while are those presented to Allah.”
He said: “Consider your tasks sincere for Allah and not for the creature of Allah, because what was for Allah has to be for Allah and what is for people will not get ascended to Allah.”
Duplicity and hypocrisy are the destroyers of good deeds. All the jurisprudents reached unison that whenever hypocrisy is brought in a deed, it will be destroyed, because it has no sign of sincerity.
Hypocrisy is a fancy issue, which has to be apparent one day while the fact is disclosed.
Aiming to reach the satisfaction of Allah (SwT) and getting close to Him is the real success and victory. He, the Almighty, governs everything in the world and it is He, Who grants His creatures blessings. Therefore, He, the Almighty, deserves being close more than anything else, which owns nothing.
Among the worst attribute is being disloyal and a traitor. Imam al-Sadiq (as) dishonoured this attribute, saying the following:
He said: “No traitor could ever be rescued; no low is successful and Allah does not enrich the stingy.”
He said: “A traitor is slow to get connected; soon to disconnect a relationship, similar to a pottery which is hard to mend and easy to be broken.”
He said: “Traitors and lows are enemies of themselves.”
Betrayal consists of a conscience that has no pledge for honour and respect. It has no relation with high values. Betrayal, irrespective of its vast range, whether targeting the nation or the people, is rooted in ignobles and those who are evil.
Islam faced cheating and deceiving as they are among the worst attributes. Nobody is attributed with those attributes except the ignoble. Imam al-Sadiq (as) in the following traditions severely rejected these attributes:
He said: “One, who deceives his brother, is not from us.”
He said: “The enemies of the believers are those who are cheating them.”
He said: “The enemies of truth are those not advising the people of truth.”
He said: “One, who deceives his brothers and hide his advice from him, has changed what is good inside into bad.”
He said: “Allah will take the correct justification from those, who are asked for an advice but do not give an appropriate one.”
Cheating and deceiving are based on empty hearts and love of worldly lives. They have no relation to Allah (SwT) and neither belief in the hereafter. One who believes in Allah (SwT) will not set off cheating and deceiving others.
Extremism is among the attributes that Islam hates. It means that one sees the bad people of his nation as good ones and to help his people on following bad and committing sins. However the love of a man towards his people does not have anything to do with extremism. Imam al-Sadiq (as) condemned this attribute, saying: “The angels thought that Satan is one of them, but Allah knew that he is not from them as he oozes what was inside him from fury and extremism, saying: ‘You created me from fire and created him from soil’.”
Extremism has a wide concept where several wars were fuelled with and resulted in thumping social corruptions. It is undoubtedly rooted in the ill-mannered souls where no morals and good-behaviour exists. It has no connection with high values and principles.
Among the attributes that Islam hates is pessimism and the condition in which a human being is pessimist in all his affairs and circumstances without being optimistic. Imam al-Sadiq (as) rejected pessimism in many of his traditions, which means that the Imam (as) wants human beings to be optimistic believers in all eras of their lives.
Over-joking is one of the attributes that Imam al-Sadiq (as) did not agree with. He said: “Woe to you on over joking! It destroys dignity.”
Joking in most instances results in anger and enmity amidst the people when it contains a lie on others or mocking. At the same time, it wastes a great part of human’s time in fooling instead of being serious.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) rejected being bored and worried as they result in weakening the personality and destroying it. He said: “Do not be bored or worried and try to be humble before those who have a kind of kindness for you.”
Being bored and worried is what results in non-confidence, which is among the most dangerous psychological diseases.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) warned the believers not to be low and asked them to search for honesty and respect. He said: “Be aware of lowness as it is the action of Satan.”
In another tradition he said: “Be and look beautiful and avoid being low.”
Being low ends in the abolishment of human’s personality and making it low. This is what contradicts with soul of Islam and distributes the dignity among the believers.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) cautioned people about laziness and considered it as the key for every kind of malice. He said: “My father advised me, saying: My Son! Beware of laziness and from getting bored, as they are the key for every kind of malice. If you get lazy, you will not be able to seize your right and if you get bored, you will not tolerate the truth.”
Laziness results in weakening the economical state of the society and reduces the individual income of people as well as the whole nation, which is affected with low economical power. One of the factors of spreading laziness among the workers is not trying to be sincere in what they ought to do in their job.
Lying is among the worst ever prohibited attribute and the most malicious one in Islam. In its severe circumstance, lying on Allah, the Almighty, His Prophet (S) and the Imam (as) were banned. Jurisprudents gave a formal opinion that it is among the things that breaks the fast. They use the following tradition from Imam al-Sadiq (as) who said: “Lie breaks the fast of the faster.” And the narrator added: “Even if that lie is not made by him?” The Imam (as) said: “Those lies which are associated and attributed to Allah, His Prophet and the Imams.”
It is among the thumping sins. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: “Lying and attributing something to Allah, His Prophet and those trustees is among the highest sins.”
He also said: “Lie is against the faith and duplicity is the tradition of Satan.”
Liars have no concrete background of faith and belief, which is what keeps people stuck to Allah (SwT) and His Prophet (S). Allah, the Almighty, said the following: ‘It is those who believe not in the Signs of Allah, that forge falsehood: it is they who lie!’ (16:105). Also the Holy Prophet (S) said: “Beware of lie, lying leads to evil and evil takes into the Hell.”
There is an exception to lie, which is banned in the rest of circumstances. Imam al-Sadiq (as) was asked the following: “Is it possible to lie when facing the tyrant, fearing their oppression and suppression?” The Imam (as) replied positively and also jurisprudents of the Imamiyyah emphasized that lie is allowed if the aim is returning a broken relationship and to avoid the malice.
Adultery is one of worst sins and the most evil one, because it results in destroying families and losing root and ancestry. In addition to that, it aims at spreading crimes and sins in nations and results in the nation to lose its strength and power and be affected with great deal of severe destructive problems.
Adultery is among the sins that takes the believer out of the boundary of faith. Imam al-Sadiq (as) was asked about one of the speeches of the Prophet (S), who said: “One does not do adultery while still a believer.” Here the Imam (as) drew two concentric circle one greater than the other and said: “The greater is Islam and the smaller is faith; when someone does adultery, he/she is out of the circle of faith, and when someone disbelieves, he/she is out of the greater circle this time and considered infidel and atheist.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) had a severe war against adultery and great many traditions from him warning against this attribute. He once said: “Adultery is a dark suit no one wears unless those hypocrites.”
Adultery is dark suit polluted with sins and crime, which no one wears unless those who have lost all their honour, respect and are drowned in sins. It is like drinking wine, stealing, betraying as well as other moral crimes, the key to many crimes.
Among the hated attributes and destructive sins, is being disloyal to parents. Allah (SwT) made compulsory to be obedient to parents, respecting them and being merciful with them. Allah, the Almighty, said: ‘And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood”’ (17:24). And ‘Obey Allah and consider no partner for Him and be kind with your parents.’
Imam al-Sadiq (as) urged on the necessity of respecting parents. There is a tradition that was narrated by the Imam (as) saying: “The step sister of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) once came to visit Him he spread a rug for her and let her sat here down on that. He then started the speech with kindness and mercy. After that he started to talk with her brother, He (peace be upon him and his family) did not pay that attention to him as he did with his sister. So he was asked: ‘O the Prophet! Why did not you pay the same attention to your brother and he was man?’ He said: ‘She was kinder to her parents than him.’”
A man asked Imam al-Sadiq (as) about the best deeds and he said: “On time prayer, being kind with parents and fighting for the sake of Allah.”
In another story, a man came to the Imam (as) and said: “My father is very old and he cannot do anything, we usually carry him to do his stuff. He said: If you can do this, do so; also if you can make bite for him to eat, never lose that opportunity; he will guarantee the Heaven for you.”
There are many similar traditions narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (as) as well as his fathers, the Imams of guidance. It necessitates the respect and kindness towards parents. There is no doubt that disobeying them is among the worst sins and faults.
Among the damned attribute that Imam al-Sadiq (as) warned is denying mercy and being ungrateful towards a kind deed. He said: “The denier of mercy is damned.”
Denying mercy is breaking the social relations, dishonouring valuable values and closing the door of kindness.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) had a tradition in which he talked about three kinds of people whom Allah (SwT) is angry about. He said: “Allah is furious about a cruel rich, old adulterous, and a proud vile.” Then he addressed some of his companions and said: “Do you know what is a proud vile?” They said: “One who owns a little money.” He said: “No! One who does not want to get closer to Allah by paying something from his wealth.”
These three are from the most evil creatures of Allah (SwT), because of what they have inside from malicious attributes.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) in a tradition talked about three attributes which Allah (SwT) hates. He said: “There are three attributes that Allah, to Whom belongs might and majesty, hates: Sleep without passing the night awake; laughing with conceitedness and eating after being full.”
One, who is attributed with these attributes is wasting his life, imbalanced in his behaviour and not accurate in his deeds.
The Imam (as) talked about a group who have lost their faith. He said: “There are three who have share from faith: One who takes someone as Prophet who is not from Allah; one who denies a Prophet assigned by Allah and one who equalises the light and darkness.”
In fact, these three have no relation to Allah (SwT) and have no share from faith. They deny the signs of the Allah (SwT) and reject what He assigned to be performed by people.
The Imam (as) does not like being hastened in deeds and not having concentration, as this results in regret. Read what the son of the Prophet (S) said:
He said: “Calmness is from the Lord and hurry is from Satan.” He said: “If they contemplate with calmness, they will win.” Being in a hurry will lead to regret and malicious complications.
The Imam (as) in some of his speeches talked about great sins. Among those traditions are the following:
He said: “The greatest sins are atheism, disobeying parents, stealing the wealth of orphans, taking interest; killing, accusing a woman with dishonour and escaping from the war land.”
He said: “The greatest of the greatest is being disappointed from the mercy of the Lord.”
He said: “Among the worst thing is denying what came about us. That is denying what was brought about the members of the family of the Prophet who are the treasures of the knowledge of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family), the granter of wisdom and policy.”
These are a group of sins that have to be avoided as they represent moral and cultural corruptions. They are rooted in malicious manner and the Imam (as) warned against them. It is also worth mentioning that there are some traditions that have counted many more great sins than those that were gathered here.
Among the worst attributes that Imam al-Sadiq (as) disliked and denied is disclosing secret and revealing it. This deed results in many malicious complications that return to the discloser himself. Below are some of the traditions in this regard:
He said: “Avoid revealing secrets as it lessens the age, blinds the heart and cuts the earnings.”
He said: “One who keeps a secret, Allah will keep his honour in his worldly life and hereafter.”
Disclosing secret is a kind of betrayal towards the one who expresses his trust. The secret may be significant and disclosing it may result in hard physical damages.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) denied loving the worldly life in the firmest way, as it is the head of every trouble and the source of all kinds of deviations from the truth and justice. Let us have a look at some of the Imam’s (as) tradition in this regard:
He said: “One who is dependent to the worldly life depends on the following three: Unlimited worry, principles not reached and wishes which will not be fulfilled.”
The intelligence of Imam al-Sadiq (as) is apparent from his discoveries and deepening into the facts. Among the striking ones is his belief about the damages of worldly life’s love.
He said: “The worldly life is granted to those who love it or hate it by Allah, but faith is just given to those whom He loves.”
He said: “The worldly life is granted to those who love it or hate it by Allah, but faith is just given to Allah’s selected men.”
He in a speech with Umar ibn Handalah said: “Allah grants the worldly life both to the honest and evil, but He does not give the religion only to His selected men.”
He said: “Allah grants wealth to the honest and evil, but does not grant belief and faith except to those whom He loves.”
Worldly life does not worth its while for Allah (SwT); infidels are drowning in the happiness of the world, but believers are sad and oppressed. However Allah (SwT) grants them belief and faith in return, which are among the worthiest treasures and the most important ones.
Here the speech about some of the hated attributes that Imam al-Sadiq (as) warned against is finished. Before we talked about these attributes there were talks about blessed attributes that the Imam (as) encouraged to follow. These couple of parts discussed the knowledge of moral, whose books are filled with the traditions of Imam al-Sadiq (as). They are about evil and blessed attributes.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) emphasized on the importance of friendship as it is among the significant elements of building social relations. In a similar way it has direct affect in building people’s personalities. Everyone is impressed with the high value and honesty of his friends.
Social life, as socialists say is the life of affecting and being affected. Therefore, everyone is affected by the environment and affects the environment as well. A friend is one who represents this attribute. Anyway, here we are going to represent some of the traditions of the Imam (as) about honesty and honest friends.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) looked at friendship and friend as something similar to relative and a close relationship. Look at what he says:
He said: “Spending twenty days with a friend, makes it a relationship.”
He said: “One-day mercy is familiarity; one-month mercy is relationship; one-year mercy is being relative and one, who breaks it, will be broken by Allah.”
He said: “One-day familiarity is friendship; one-week familiarity is mercy; one-month familiarity is brotherhood and one-year relationship is being relative.”
These traditions joined friendship with being a relative. They considered believers responsible for adhering to these rules.
It is quite natural that friendship is necessary for human beings. Human is being created with inseparable nature from his friend. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: “A believer behaves friendly; there is no good in those who do not behave friendly or allow to be behaved friendly.”
A friend owns a very significant position in hearts. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: “The position of friend is even respected by the people of the Hell. Haven’t you heard that speech of the Lord who said the following in a narrative manner ‘Now, then, we have none to intercede (for us), Nor a single friend to feel (for us)’ (26:100-101).”
He also said: “Keep your friend and pay attention to him even if you are in a fire.
Abu Hayyan al-Tawheedi said: “I have heard that ibn Babawayh al-Ghomee, the scientist, once said: Jafar ibn Muhammad said: Calling and mentioning the friend from soul is more gentle for heart than thinking about the beloved, because whenever you are scared from the talk of a beloved, you go for a friend, but you do not go towards the beloved when you scare the talk of a friend.”
These traditions all emphasize the importance of a friend and its position in the affairs of social life.
There are rights for a friend to be adhered by his/her friends. Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked about a number of these rights in his tradition. Below some of which are mentioned:
A friend has to assist his friend, whenever he sees him facing a financial problem and help him with what he needs. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: “Helping friends increases the earning and extends the blessings.” He also said: “Whenever a friend does something good or bring something good for his friend, is similar to taking him closer to the Holy Prophet, Allah’s blessing be upon him and his family.” There were many other news and traditions from the Imam (as) that talked about kindness to friends in overcoming their problems.
It is quite natural that it emphasizes the strength of friendship.
It is also important for friends to avoid spending more than necessary with friends. There were many traditions in this regard, as Imam al-Sadiq (as) once said: “The most hard-to-reach friends are those who spend more than necessary because of me; I try not to get too close to them. On the other hand, friends who do not spend lot are very light on my heart in the same way that I am alone and do not feel any heaviness by being with them.”
Bearing more than enough among friends has nothing to do with friendships. It is necessary that friendships stand on kindness, mercy and loyalty rather than anything else.
A friend should not keep track of the faults of his friends as it has nothing to do with purity, especially if the relation is broken. Keeping track of the wrongs closes the return way to friendship. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said the following about this subject: “Do not keep an eye on your friend’s faults, especially when the friendship is broken, because this stands against the return way. Maybe experiences turn him to you again.”
These were some of the rights that a friend should adhere to for his friends and to use them in the reality of their lives with their friends.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) in a tradition talked about the boundary of friendship in a speech, saying: “Friendship is limited; those whose friendship does not have that limits cannot attribute their friendship as a perfect one. The first thing is to see their speech with you and without you the same; the second thing is to see your good as good and your bad as bad; the third thing is that your friendship does not change his wealth or guardianship; the fourth thing is not to avoid you from reaching something that he can help; the fifth thing is not to leave you when you are in trouble.”
These attributes were considered as very hard-to-find in a friend whom Imam al-Sadiq (as) meant, especially in this era where valuable human attributes have vanished and human being moves according to his own personal factors without paying attention to the friends and those who are close or far.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) warned from being friend with some people as there is no good in them. He said: Do not be friend with the following five:
The liar: Such kind of person is proud and is like mirage. He brings the far close and makes the close far.
The Stupid: You will get nothing good from this friendship. Such a person wants to help you, but he harms you instead.
Stingy: He will leave you whenever you are in need to him more than any other time.
Coward: He will leave you and escape whenever you need him.
Evil: He will sell you to the enemies with a meal or even something less than that. He was asked: “What do you mean by less than that?” He said: “Just because of greediness but without earning what he dreams of.”
He said: “Do not accompany the one who hides his knowledge from you.”
He said: “There is no dispraise for those who do not know the right of friendship”
The Imam (as) warned against accompanying such kind of people who have got nothing from loyalty.
He said: “Woe to you from accompanying the evil! They are like stone without water, or tree without leaves and earth without any pasture or grass.”
Accompanying the evil is soon to abolish, because there is no strong base in this friendship.
It is also necessary for a friend to have a sense of Allah (SwT) fearing. Narrators said: The Imam (as) had a friend who was with the Imam (as) most of the time. They were walking in a market of shoemakers and there was a slave with the friend of the Imam (as) walking behind them. When the friend of the Imam (as) looked behind, he could not find him. He looked behind three times, but could not see him. For the fourth time, he found him walking behind.
He shouted at him: “Where have you been, you son of the bitch?” The Imam (as) raised his hand and hit his friend’s forehead and angrily said: “O my Allah! How come you curse his mother? I thought you have faith and Allah fearing, but I see that there is none in you.” The man said: “O my master! His mother is polytheist.” The Imam (as) said: “Did not you know that every nation has its own rule for marriage? Now leave me!” They were apart and the man never walked with the Imam (as) any more. The Imam (as) ignored him until death separated them completely.
It is part of loyalty to care about the friends’ reputations after his death. It can be fulfilled by avoiding defaming him. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: “Keeping the fame of a man after his death is generosity and mercy.”
With this short introduction, our talk about friendship and friends is over. However there are great many traditions from the Imam (as) about friend and friendship.
Narrators have narrated a collection of traditions from Imam al-Sadiq (as) who emphasized on the role of visiting relatives and having kindness and mercy for them. Among what he said are the following:
He said: “Visiting relatives is the robe which is extended, by Allah, the Almighty.”
He said: “One, who breaks the relation with his relatives, his efforts will be fruitless.”
He said: “Visiting relatives and mercy, lightens the judgement and keeps the sins away. So, visit your relatives and be kind with your brothers, even if just with greeting and exchanging greets.”
He said: “Visiting relatives, purifies deeds, increases wealth, smoothens the judgement, keeps troubles away, and extends the earning.”
He said: “One knows nothing other than visiting relatives which can extends the age of living. This happens to the extent that sometimes the death of a man is due to three years, but Allah extends those thirty years to be thirty-three years. However one who does not visit his relatives, will be deprived from those thirty years and the three years remains.”
Jamil ibn Darraj once narrated, saying: “I asked Abu Abdullah about the statement of Allah Who said: ‘Reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you’ (4:1). He said: ‘It talks about the relatives of the people. Allah, the Almighty, commanded to the relatives to visit one another.’”
He said: “Visiting relatives improves the mood, makes the behaviours proper, increases the earning and makes the death delayed.”
Sulayman ibn Hellal said: “I told Abu Abdullah: The family of that person are visiting one another and are kind with each other. He said: So, their wealth is being increased and this increase continues until they break these relations and visits. Once this happens, they will lose”
He said: “Visiting relatives and being kind with neighbours builds houses and increases the years of living.”
He said: “Visiting relatives makes the judgement of the Resurrection Day smoother as it is the source of increasing the years of living. It also keeps a person away from falling in severe trouble. Also the overnight almsgiving extinguishes the anger of the Lord.”
These traditions were some that the great grandson of the Prophet, Imam al-Sadiq (as) has come through, emphasizing the necessity of visiting relatives. It in turn results in the unison of the family and distributes mercy among the members as well as aims at the unity of the Islamic society, the thing, about which Islam is the most careful.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) in many of his valuable speeches, talked about reality of faith and its attributes and stages. In the same way he talked about what believers should do in helping and assisting other people who are considered their brothers in faith. He, comprehensively, banned being aggressive towards other people. These topics and other similar topics are among the following traditions.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) looked at faith, which is a brilliant reality in depth and comprehensively. Then he extended analysis and expansion and mentioned its attributes and characteristics. Among those are the following:
The Imam (as) in a group of traditions talked about the difference between Islam and faith. Below you will see some of which:
Samaa narrated saying: “I told Abu Abdullah: ‘Please inform me about Islam and faith and whether they are different?’ He said: ‘Faith shares Islam, but Islam does not faith.’ I said: ‘Please describe that for me.’ He said: ‘Islam is to witness that there is no Lord other Allah and to approve the prophecy of the Prophet, Allah’s blessing be upon him and his family. It could save the lives of people; it talks about marriage and inheritance; and people’s appearance is based upon Islam. However faith is the guidance; what exists in heart is among the attributes of Islam as well as the deeds that it results. Faith is one level higher than Islam; it shares Islam in its public appearance, but Islam does not share faith in its inside, even if they are united in their speech and attributes.’”
He said: “Islam saves lives, results in truth and governs marriages, but the reward is based on the faith.”
Jamil ibn Darraj narrated saying: “I asked Abu Abdullah about the statement of Allah, Who said ‘The desert Arabs say, ‘We believe.’ Say, ‘Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say, ‘We have submitted our wills to Allah,’ For not yet has Faith entered your hearts’’ (49:14). He said: ‘Do not you see that faith is something different from Islam.’”
He said: “Faith have something in common with Islam, but Islam has nothing in common with faith.”
This group of traditions from the Imam (as) talked about the difference between Islam and faith. Islam has the brilliant side of expressing the Two Witnesses, saving the lives, preventing bloodsheds and governing marriages and inheritances. On the other hand, faith carries the principles and real objectives that Islam comes for. It talked about applying them practically and not just by speech and talks, which are far away from belief.
The Imam (as), in a statement, has specified faith in stages. He said: “Allah, the Almighty, considered faith in seven levels: charity, honesty, belief, contentment, loyalty, knowledge and patience; then He divided that amidst the people. The one who is given these seven shares is complete. Some were given one; some were given two’ till seven shares.” Then he said: “Do not ask one with one share to do something that requires two shares, nor ask those with two shares something that requires three shares. The same continues till seven.”
This tradition meant that faith has levels and stages; and it is not fair to compare those who were in the highest level of faith, such as the great companion of the Prophet (S), Ammar ibn Yaser, with other common believers, who have not reached the great levels of faith.
Those ahead in faith are people who are on the first queue of truth, the top thinkers and the carriers of lights and majesty. They enlighten the earth by spreading the soul of faith, which elevates humanity and distinguishes people from other living creatures. The Imam al-Sadiq (as), in the coming tradition talked about their great position while Amr al-Zubayri asked him, the following, and saying:
“Does faith have levels and stages, where believers compete for them before Allah?”
The Imam said: “Yes.”
Al-Zubayri went on saying: “Please describe that for me to understand it.”
The Imam (as) gave him the following response: “Allah excels some believers upon others in the same way that there are some kinds of superiority in house race. He, the Almighty, gives them superiority according to their efforts to get closer to Him. Therefore, He assigned each one a degree at which he will be rewarded accordingly. This way, those ahead were distinguished from those who come later.
“If there were no superiority between those ahead and those coming later, the later people could reach those ahead. However, Allah had given those ahead, some kinds of superiority over those coming later. We see believers who come later, but did more prayers, fasts, almsgiving, jihad and help. So if there were no superiority for those ahead, they could keep ahead in their superiority. But Allah wanted to grant those ahead a special superiority over the later believers.1 Al-Zubayri went on saying: “Tell me what, Allah, the Almighty, said about the believers who had gained the superiority in faith?”
The Imam (as) said the following, relying on the statements of Allah: “Allah, to whom belongs Might and Majesty, said: ‘Be ye foremost (in seeking) Forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden (of Bliss), the width whereof is as the width of heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His apostles’ (57:21). He also said: ‘And those Foremost (in Faith) will be Foremost (in the Hereafter). These will be those Nearest to Allah’ (56:10-11). He also said: ‘The vanguard (of Islam), the first of those who forsook (their homes) and of those who gave them aid, and (also) those who follow them in (all) good deeds, well-pleased is Allah with them, as are they with Him’ (9:100).
“Therefore, He started with the early vanguard (of Islam) according to their precedence. Then He admired those who gave aid, and then those who follow them in all good deeds. This way, He specified the position of each group and their position before Him. Then He stated the superiority that Allah granted some of His men over others, saying: ‘Those apostles We endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour)’ (2:253).
“He, the Almighty, said: ‘We did bestow on some prophets more (and other) gifts than on others’ (17:55). He said: ‘See how We have bestowed more on some than on others; but verily the Hereafter is more in rank and gradation and more in excellence’ (17:21). He said: ‘They are in varying gardens in the sight of Allah’ (3:63). He, the Almighty, said: ‘and bestow His abounding grace on all who abound in merit!’ (11:3).
“He said: ‘Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in Allah’s cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah’ (9:20). He also said: ‘But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward, Ranks specially bestowed by Him’ (4:95-96).
“He said: ‘Not equal among you are those who spent (freely) and fought, before the Victory, (with those who did so later). Those are higher in rank than those who spent (freely) and fought afterwards’ (57:10). He, the Almighty, also said: ‘Allah will rise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you who believe and who have been granted (mystic) Knowledge’ (58:11).
“He said: ‘Because nothing could they suffer or do, but was reckoned to their credit as a deed of righteousness, whether they suffered thirst, or fatigue, or hunger, in the cause of Allah, or trod paths to raise the ire of the Unbelievers, or received any injury whatever from an enemy’ (9:120). He said: ‘And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah’ (2:110). He, the Almighty, said: ‘Then shall anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it.’ (99:7-8). So this was about the stages of faith and its position before Allah, the Almighty.”
This tradition used the holy verses of the statement of the Almighty about the superiority of people ahead in Islam and their positions. It also talked about the superiority of those who fought for the sake of Islam and elevated the motto of belief in Allah (SwT) in the best possible way. Allah (SwT) will reward them with the great Paradise forever, because of their services for humanity as they enlightened the minds, behaved personalities and established the modest morality.
Imam al-Sadiq (as), in a speech, talked about the faith and Human’s organs. He talked about the responsibilities of organs regarding the belief in Allah (SwT). He, in a speech, talked about the best deeds before Allah (SwT), when asked by Abu Amr al-Zubayri. Here is the full conversation:
Abu Amr al-Zubayri addressed the Imam (as) with the following question: “O my master! Would you please inform me about the best deeds before Allah?”
The Imam (as) answered briefly: “The thing where Allah accepts deeds and nothing else…”
“What is it?”
“Believe in Allah who has no partner, is the highest level and the most honourable position.”
Al-Zubayri went on saying: “Wouldn’t you inform me about faith? Is it just speech or deed? Or speech without deed?”
Imam (as) gave him a reply based on wisdom and knowledge, saying: “Faith is all deed; speech is just part of that deed. It has been clarified in the Book of Allah, whose light was made clear, whose evidence was proved and the Book witnesses that and called for it.”
Al-Zubayri hurried and said: “Please describe that for me so that I can understand that concept.”
The Imam (as) replied: “Faith has different kinds, levels, stages, and positions: the complete one whose completeness is apparent; the defective one whose defectiveness is apparent and the one, which is good and is getting better.”
Al-Zubayri was astonished and went on saying: “Does faith get complete, worst or better?”
“How is that?”
Imam (as) answered him with absolute evidence, saying: “Allah, to whom belongs Might and Majesty, assigned faith for each one of the organs of human body and He has divided and distributed the faith among them. There is no organ from the organs, unless Allah specifies a kind of task that is different from the other organs.
“Among them is heart, which understands feels and is the master of body, where the commands and orders are derived from. Other ones are eyes, which see, ears which hear, hands which hit, feet which allow man to walk, tongue that one speaks with, head where face is on. Therefore there is no organ, unless it has been allocated with a task about faith which is different from other tasks of the other organs by the will of Almighty Allah.
“The Book talked about this and witnesses it. It commanded the heart something different from what was ordered for the ears; it commanded the ears something different from what was ordered for the eyes; it commanded the eyes something different from what was ordered for the tongue; it commanded the tongue something different from what was ordered for the hands; it commanded the hands something different from what was ordered for the feet; it commanded the feet something different from what was ordered for the private parts; it commanded the private parts something different from what was ordered for the face.
“Thus, what was the heart is commanded to do is believing in faith, accepting and submitting to the fact that there is no lord other than Allah, who has no partner, solely alone, who does not take partner nor son, and also confessing the fact that Muhammad is His slave and apostle, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him, and admitting to what came from Allah as apostle or book. So, this is what Allah specified for heart such as confessing and belief.
“Here is the Allah’s statement: ‘Except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith - but such as open their breast to Unbelief’ (16:106). He, the Almighty, also said: ‘For without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction’ (13:28). He said: ‘Among those who say ‘We believe’ with their lips whose hearts have no faith’ (5:41). He also said: ‘Whether ye show what is in your minds or conceal it, Allah Calleth you to account for it. He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and punisheth whom He pleaseth’ (2:284). Therefore Allah has the task of decision and knowledge for heart as these tasks are the essence of faith.
“Allah considered the task of speech and talk, about what is in heart, for tongue. Allah, the Almighty, said: ‘Speak fair to the people’ (2:83). He said: ‘But say, ‘We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam)’’ (29:68). This was what Allah specified for tongue as its task.
“It was specified that ears should not hear what was banned by the Lord. He, the Almighty, said: ‘Already has He sent you Word in the Book, that when ye hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme’ (4:140). Allah has accepted the situation in which human forgets and said: ‘If Satan ever makes thee forget, then after recollection, sit not thou in the company of those who do wrong’ (6:68).
“He said: ‘So announce the Good News to My Servants. Those who listen to the Word, and follow the best (meaning) in it: those are the ones whom Allah has guided, and those are the ones endued with understanding’ (39:17-18). He said: ‘The believers must (eventually) win through. Those who humble themselves in their prayers; Who avoid vain talk; Who are active in deeds of charity’ (23:1-4).
“He said: ‘And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: ‘To us our deeds, and to you yours’ (28:55). There are what Allah has made compulsory as part of faith regarding the ears. They talked about they what has been banned.
“There are also some rules about eyes and what was prohibited in this regard to show faith. Allah, to whom belongs Might and Majesty, said: ‘Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty’ (24:30). He prohibited from looking at each other’s private parts. He said: ‘And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty’ (24:31).
“In an other verse, there was a statement about what was specified about heart, tongue, ears and eyes, saying: ‘Ye did not seek to hide yourselves, lest your hearing, your sight, and your skins should bear witness against you’ (41:22). By it means the private parts and thigh. He also said: ‘And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning)’ (17:36). These were what prohibited by Allah, the Almighty about the eyes. Performing this instruction is part of applying faith.
“Allah also asked hands not to perform something that hurts or harm what He had prohibited. He ordered it to give alms, visit relatives, fight for the sake of Allah and to be pure for prayers. He, the Almighty, said: ‘O ye who believe! When ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles’ (5:6).
“He said: ‘Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens’ (47:4). These were what Allah ordered for hands.
“Allah has order feet not to walk towards what has rejected and to walk towards what has been recommended. He, the Almighty, said: ‘Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for thou canst not rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height’ (17:37). He also said: ‘And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass’ (31:19).
“He, the Almighty, also talked about the fact that hands and feet will witness what their owner did by the command of Allah, Who said: ‘That Day shall We set a seal on their mouths. But their hands will speak to us, and their feet bear witness, to all that they did’ (36:65). So, these were some of what Allah has commanded for hands and legs.
“The Lord also ordered the fact to have prostration in day and night during the prayer’s time, saying: ‘O ye who believe! Bow down, prostrate yourselves, and adore your Lord; and do good; that ye may prosper’ (22:77). This is a general task for face, hands and feet. He, in another part, said: ‘And the places of worship are for Allah (alone): So invoke not any one along with Allah’ (72:18).
“He talked about purity during prayer’s time. There is also another verse about changing Kiblah from Jerusalem to Kabah. It said: ‘And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful’ (2:143). So, he called prayer as faith for one who wants to meet Allah.”
Al-Zubayri went on saying: “I understood the lack of faith and its completeness, but where does the increase of faith come from?”
The son of the Prophet (S) gave him a reply with wisdom and fluency, saying: “Allah, the Almighty, said: ‘Whenever there cometh down a sura, some of them say: ‘Which of you has had His faith increased by it?’ Yea, those who believe, their faith is increased and they do rejoice. But those in whose hearts is a disease, it will add doubt to their doubt’ (9:125). And He said: ‘We relate to thee their story in truth: they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance’ (18:13).
“If no one had any faith more or less than others, others, all would be the same in having faith and there would be no privilege one over another and superiority would be no more. However with the completeness of faith, believers enter the Paradise and with the increase of faith, people change their level of closeness to Allah. However with the decrease of faith, people will enter the Hell.”
Here this great tradition, as one of the valuable Islamic heritage, has come to end. The Imam (as) proved with an undeniable method the responsibility of the organs towards the belief in Allah (SwT). Faith has created a boundary for that, refereeing to different, clear statements of the Lord in the Holy Quran. Afterwards, there was a talk about people who attempt for more faith, which is an understandable issue. Some have a strong faith, with which they enter the highest place in the Paradise, but some do not have that faith. Allah (SwT) will reward them according to their faith. Here the tradition about faith comes to end, as the Imam (as) analysed its reality and nature.
Believers are the leaders of society and the guide towards Allah’s satisfaction and obedience. Imam al-Sadiq (as) highly concerned and intended this. There is a group of traditions admiring the superiority of believers and the significance of their position. Read the following which is what the Imam (as) said.
The Imam (as) talked about the respected attributes in a believer. He said: “A believer has to have eight attributes: steadiness during troubles; patience during unrest; gratitude during rest; satisfaction with what granted by Allah; he should not oppress enemies; he should not discriminate against friends; his body should be boring with itself, but people should be happy with him; knowledge is the friend of a believer; patience is his assistant; mind is the kind of his soldiers; kindness is his brother and charity is his father.”
One who is attributed with these attributes will reach great positions and will approach the peak of majesty. He will have the role of a leader for the nation according to the good attributes of honour and superiority that he owns.
The Imam (as) described a believer this way, saying: “A believer is patient and is not ignorant; but if he was ignorant about something, he has to be patient; a believer does not oppress, but if he is oppressed, he will forgive; a believer is not stingy, but if he was deprived from something, he has to be patient.”
One, who gathers all these attributes, his personality is undoubtedly built and will be among the top respected people in a modern society.
He also said: “A believer has three traits: when he speaks, he is honest; if he is given something to protect, he does that best; and when he promises, he is a man of his word.”
These attributes are what elevate a believer towards a higher position and necessitate the forgiveness of the Lord.
The Imam (as) has specified the principle rights of a believer when dealing with his believer brother and necessitates both sides in adhering to the rights, in order to keep the unison of society and its interconnection. Below is some of what he has clarified.
He said: “A believer has seven compulsory rights to be fulfilled specified by Allah, the Almighty. Allah will ask him what he has made for his friend; glorifying him in his eyes; having mercy in heart; assisting him in his wealth; he has to love for him what he likes for himself; he should keep away from backbite; he has to visit his friend when he is ill; he has to attend his funeral and does not say anything bad about him after he is passed away.”
Al-Muala ibn Khanees narrated, saying: “I asked Abu Abdullah what is the right of a believer over another believer?”
He replied: “There are seven compulsory rights one has over another, each one of which are necessary and if one contradict any one of them, he has exited the commands of Allah, disobeyed Him and will not be granted anything from Allah, the Almighty.”
Then I continued: “O my master! Please let me know what they are.”
He said: “O Muala I am afraid that you do not keep this advice from me and lose it without acting upon it.”
I said: “There is no will other than the will of Allah. I try to do my best.”
Then He said the following:
“The easiest one is to love for him what you like for yourself.
“The second right is to help him in his needs, following the satisfaction of Allah and obeying His commands.
“The third right is to take care of him yourself, personally with your wealth, hands, feet and tongue.
“The fourth right is it be his eyes and evidence, his mirror and shirt.
“The fifth right is not to stay full while he is hungry, not to be dressed up while leaving him undressed, not to feel thirsty, while he does.
“The sixth right is: if you have a wife and slave while he does not, you have to send your salve to wash his clothes, make his meal and prepare his bed. This is what you have to consider between you and your brother.
“The Seventh right is to believe his swear and vow; respond his request; attend his funeral; visit him if he is ill; bother yourself in fulfilling his request; do not let him ask you about what he needs, you go ahead to overcome his problems.
“If you do what is mentioned you have proved your friendship with him. When this friendship is proved, it means that your friendship with the Lord is also proved.”
A man from the followers of the Imam (as) came and said: “O my master! I might have discriminated between my family and friends and I did not obligate the rights of my brothers, the believers.” He said: “The most terrific negligence is neglecting the rights of the believers. One who neglects the right of his brother, Allah will throw him with another problem.”
He said: “Allah has commanded the believer not to disclose the secrets of their brothers and not to neglect their problems; he should not let them get angry; nor to hide a malicious deed for him. He should also not allow his friends to come up with asking forgiveness.”
He said: “The right of a believer on his brother is to have the same rights in death and life.”
These rights that have been clarified by the son of the Prophet (S) unite the Muslims on the basis of love. They unite their hearts, feelings and sense in order to be a single union without a pore for the enemy’s penetration that aims at creating problems among the believers and destroy their unison.
These valuable teachings aim at union, not separation. So they can be great methodology for the Muslims to be undertaken.
He said: “One, who loses any right for his brother’s and leave it while he could afford it, will be ill physically and this will continue until his heart and religion is affected resulting in the lose of mind and faith.”
Believers are responsible for taking care of other believers and are in charge of protecting the rights mentioned by the Imam (as). There has to be no negligence or laxity in these rights.
Islam has emphasized on keeping brotherhood respected and based on mercy and kindness, which are also upon that. Please read what the high symbol of humanity and the son of Prophet (S) said in this regard.
He said: “A believer is brother of believers, as a single body. If one organ is hurt, the rest of the organs will be restless throughout the whole body. Their soul is from the Lord and that the soul of a believer is connected to the soul of the Lord. A connection that is stronger from the connection between the sun and its rays.”
He said: “Your believer brother is your trust; so try to keep that trust in the best possible way, in order to be granted the best reward.”
He said: “A believer is brother of a believer. He is his eyes and his guide; he does not betray him nor let him down.”
This tradition shows the importance of brotherhood in Allah (SwT), which is stronger and deeper than relational brotherhood.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) stressed on the importance of fulfilling believers’ needs and encouraged others to do it. Here are some of what came in this regard.
He said: “Muslim’s walk aiming at solving a believer need is better than having seventy rounds around the Kabah.”
He said: “Fulfilling a believer’s need is loved by Allah more than twenty Hajjs, with each Hajj spending a hundred thousands.”
He said: “There is no instance where a believer walks in support of his believer brother unless Allah, the Almighty, grants him a reward for his goodness as well as removing a bad deed. His level will be higher and ten good deeds are considered for him after this.”
He said: “One, who works on the need of his believer brother and Allah have that problem overcome, Allah will grant the rewards of having a Hajj and Umra, as well as the rewards of staying one full month in Kabah praying and fasting. And if that problem is not overcome, Allah will give him the rewards of one Hajj and one Umra.”
He said: “Allah, the Almighty, said: Creatures are my family, so love them because of me, try to solve their problems and fulfil their needs.”
Safwan al-Jammal narrated saying: “I attended a meeting with Abu Abdullah and once a man from Mecca, who is called Maymoon, entered and complained because of the difficulty of taking water from the well. The Imam said to me: Please, go and help your brother. I went to help him to pull water out of the well. Then I returned to the meeting. Abu Abdullah said: What did you do with the request and need of your brother? I replied: Allah helped us and it’s over.
The Imam (as) became very happy and said: You, who helped your believer brother, are more loved than someone who has one complete week walk around Kabah.”
The Imam (as) added, saying: “A man came to al-Hasan ibn Ali and told him: O my master, would you please help me in solving my problem. He put on his shoes and went with him. In his way, he saw al-Husayn while he was praying. He told the man: Where was the man, pointing to Husayn ibn Ali, when you needed help? The man said: O my master! I looked for him, but I was informed that he is praying. Imam Husayn said: If he had helped you, it would be better for him that a one-month pray.”
He said: “If someone has somebody to trust, he will have no problem and needs nothing.”
There are many such traditions from the high intellectual and Islamic thinker, Imam al-Sadiq (as). They are all aiming at encouraging the believers to work hard in overcoming believers’ problems and fulfilling their requests. It is natural that such deeds distribute kindness and mercy among the believers. This is what Islam attempts to work out in all its affairs.
Overcoming the problems of a believer is among the most recommended tasks before Allah (SwT). Imam al-Sadiq (as) strongly encouraged people to do so and talked about the blessed rewards, which are granted as a result to this deed. Let us read some of his traditions.
He said: “Overcoming the trouble of a believer is more lovable for Allah than twenty Hajjs, with each Hajj paying alms worth one hundred thousands.”
He said the following to al-Mufaddhal ibn Umar: “Allah, the Almighty, created among the rest of His creatures people who are tackling the problems of other people and our followers. Those people will be rewarded with Paradise. If you can, try to be among those people.”
Al-Mufaddhal narrated saying: “Abu Abdullah once said: O Mufaddhal! Listen to what I am telling you, act accordingly and use it with your brothers.”
Al-Mufaddhal went on saying: “Which one of my brothers?”
The Imam (as) replied: “Those who are eager to solve their brothers’ problems.”
Then the Imam (as) added the following: “One, who solves a problem for his believer brother, Allah, at the Resurrection Day, will solve a hundred thousand problems; the first one of which is the Paradise. Additionally he will be allowed to introduce those whom he is familiar with and brothers to the Paradise on condition that they are not unbelievers.”
Ismail ibn Ammar al-Sayrafi narrated saying: “I told Abu Abdullah: O my master! Is a believer considered mercy and blessing for another believer?”
“Yes,” the Imam (as) said. He asked: “How?”
The Imam (as) replied: “Whenever a believer asks his brothers to tackle a problem, it is considered a blessing from Allah. If the problem is solved, it will mean that the blessing has been accepted and if it is rejected and not attempted, it will show that the person has rejected the blessings of Allah, the Almighty, which was derived to him and could have been considered a blessing till the Day of Resurrection. This continues until the man with problem becomes the ruler over this. He can ignore it or consider others responsible. Now Ismail! Do you think that it is possible for a person at the Resurrection Day ignore being helped?”
Ismail went on saying: “I do not think he will ignore this.”
The Imam (as) continued: “Do not think! Believe! He will not ignore this. Ismail!
One who helped his brother to overcome his problems, but he does not, Allah (SwT) will assign a wild animal to bite his fingers in his grave, until the Resurrection Day, irrespective of whether he is forgiven or not.”
There are many such traditions from the son of Prophet (S), Imam al-Sadiq (as) who urged the believers to help one another and distribute kindness and mercy among themselves.
Among the reason of forgiveness and being closer to Allah (SwT) is bringing happiness and gaiety inside believers’ hearts. Imam al-Sadiq (as) talked a lot about this in many of his speeches. Among those are the following.
He said the following to his companions: “You, who present happiness to your brothers, do consider this happiness just for your brother, but I swear that it makes us happy and furthermore, it makes the Prophet of the Lord happy as well.”
He said: “Whenever a Muslim finds a Muslim and makes him happy, Allah will make him happy.”
He said: “Among the most loveable deeds for Allah, the Almighty, is presenting joy and pleasure to people’s hearts, feeding the hungers, overcoming their sadness and stress as well as helping them to return their dept.”
There are many traditions from Imam al-Sadiq (as) about the rewards of the Lord for those who do their best in bringing cheerfulness and gladness in their believer brothers’ hearts. This is considered as one of the most important factors in distributing mercy and kindness amidst the Muslims.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) urged on removing believers’ problems and overcoming their sadness, in order to feel that their brothers are safe shelters for the worldly disasters. Below are some of which in this regard.
He said: “One, who rescues a troubled believer and puts himself in trouble to fulfil his brother’s needs, will be given assistance for his success by Allah, the Almighty, which are seventy two blessings, one of which is enough for the worldly life and the rest of seventy one blessings are used for the fear of the Resurrection Day.”
He said: “One, who overcomes a stress and sadness from a believer, Allah will overcome his sadness at the Hereafter and will bring him out of the grave with calm heart. He will be fed with the fruits of the paradise and will be given the juice of the paradise.”
He said: “Whenever a believer tries to overcome believers’ difficulties, Allah will ease his problem and will fulfil his needs in the worldly life and hereafter. And if one keeps the faults of a brother hidden, something that a person does not want anyone to know about, Allah will hide seventy of his faults in the worldly life and hereafter. Allah helps those who assist their brothers. So keep this advice and go towards the goodness.”
The head of Islamic intellectuals, Imam al-Sadiq (as) adopted the honourable call that increases the respect among the believers and unite their queues and words. The tools mentioned by Imam al-Sadiq (as) are among the deepest reasons and evidences in creating unison and harmony amongst the believers.
Removing the believers’ concerns and stress as well as overcoming their problems are what make the relation amidst the Muslims steady. These kind of deeds distribute kindness and mercy among Muslims and Islamic society.
The Imam (as) used all the methods that could unite the believers on the basis of brotherhood and mercy. Among those methods is urging people on dressing people who have no one to dress them up with what they dress themselves. Here is some of what he said.
He said: “One, who clothes his brother in winter or summer, will be clothed from the clothes of paradise by Allah, the last-minute’s death struggle will be eased; his grave will be expanded; he will happily meet the angels when he is out of his grave as the Lord, the Almighty, once stated: ‘This is your Day, (the Day) that ye were promised’ (21:103).”
He said: “One who clothes a believer clothes and saves him from nakedness, Allah will clothe him from the clothes of the Heaven. And one who clothes someone with a dress, will be under Allah’s protection as far as the clothes exist.”
He said: “One who clothes one of the poor of the believers and saves him from nakedness or helps him with something to keep up with his living, Allah will send seven thousands angels asking for forgiveness for each one of his sins until the announcement of the start of the Resurrection Day.”
This tool and the rest of the tools that the Imam (as) urged upon in honouring the believers, guarantee the brotherhood, unison of speech and union for the believers.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) emphasized on respecting and honouring the believers as well as being merciful in dealing with them. Below are some of the Imam’s (as) traditions.
He said: “If someone’s brother comes to him and he welcomed him, he has actually welcomed Allah, the Almighty.”
He said the following to Ishaq ibn Ammar: “O Ishaq! Be as kind and merciful as you can when dealing with our men. There is no instance when a believer welcomes his brother, unless smashing Satan’s face.”
Jamil narrated saying, I have heard Abu Abdullah said the following: “One of that things that has been allocated specially to believers is informing them about the value of being kind with their friends and brothers. Allah, the Almighty, said the following in his Holy Book: ‘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). One who knows Allah, the Almighty, this way, Allah will love him, and one whom Allah loves, will be given his rewards at the Resurrection Day without tough judgement.”
Then, Imam (as) turned to Jamil and told him: “Narrate this speech for your friends as it encourages them in kindness.”
There were many such traditions from the Imam (as). They urge believers on having mercy and kindness towards one another. This can have an effective result in the unity of the believers and their unison.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) urged to feed the believers and save them from hunger. He has had a collection of traditions in this regard. Below are some of them.
He said: “I see nothing equal to visiting a believer other than feeding him. Allah has mentioned that those, who feed others, will be fed by the food of the Paradise.”
He said: “If someone takes five Dirhams and enters a market, buys a kind of food and invites someone of the believers, this will be lovelier for Allah than freeing a slave.”
He said: “A meal eaten by my believer brother is more pleasant for me than freeing a slave.”
He said: “One, who feeds his brother for the sake of Allah, will get the reward of feeding a group of people.”
Naeen al-Sahhaf narrated saying: “I was with Abu Abdullah when he told me: Do you like your brothers?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Do you have any advantage for the poor ones?”
“Yes,” I replied again.
The Imam (as) said: “You are right in liking what Allah likes, but I swear by Allah that you invite none, unless you love Allah. Do you invite them to your home?”
“Yes, I do not eat unless there are two or three with me,” I said.
“Their advantage and benefit are more than yours on them,” The Imam (as) said.
I replied: “But my master! I feed them from my food, let them sleep in my bed and still their advantage for me is greater than mine on them?”
The Imam (as) replied: “Yes, if they enter your home, they enter it with Allah’s forgiveness for you and your family and they will remove your and your family’s sins.”
There are many similar traditions that the Imam (as), this great scholar of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) urged believers on feeding the poor and talked about the extra rewards, which are based on these kind of deeds. Allah doubles the reward for them, grant them His forgiveness and mercy. Undoubtedly, this attribute plays a major role in the unity of the Muslims and removes the trace of poverty and neediness.
The Imam (as) talked about relieving a believer and tackling his problems. Here are some of them that came in this regard.
He said: “Relieving a believer who is in trouble, prevents bad events from happening.”
He said: “One who aids a believer from a need, Allah will save him from His anger and forgives his sins.”
He said: “Overcoming a believer’s problem is greater than praying and fasting and it is more significant for bringing someone closer to Allah.”
These traditions and speeches encourage believers to help those in trouble. It is a kind of good that is never forgotten. Also, it leaves a very beautiful effect deep in the heart. This results in the unison of the believers and distributes mercy among them.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) urged believers on giving a quick response to believers’ request. He said the following: “It is compulsory for all believers to give a fast response to his believer brothers’ needs, either in difficulty or in rest. How lucky are those who are considered among the helpful believers.”
This attribute was among one of his most striking attributes. Whenever he was asked for help in his brothers’ needs, he hurried to overcome the problem, in order not to allow anyone else to do that help before him and lose the reward.
The Imam (as) urged to help believers in his needs. He said: “Whenever a believer reaches his believer brother for help, it will make the Prophet of Islam to reach him.”
Fulfilling the needs of a believer is among the most valuable behaviour of a believer and is among his psychological privileges.
The Imam (as) highly emphasized on the believers to visit each other and look after one another’s health. He said: “Visiting the believers livens the heart and kills suspiciousness.”
Visiting believers is among the factors that spread kindness, mercy and unity amidst the people and these are very important in Islam.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) in many of his speeches talked about the necessity for believers to advise one another. Below are some of his traditions.
He said: “It is necessary for a believer to advise other believers.”
He said: “It is essential for a believer to advise other believers in their appearance and elsewhere.”
He said: “You have to advise the creatures of Allah about Him. You will not find a deed better than that.”
He said: “One who gives an advice to his brother, Allah will weaken his enemies.”
He said: “Advising brothers, means having faith in the Lord.”
He said: “If someone advises his brothers, his enemies will fear him.”
He said: “Advise your brother and ask for his satisfaction, then you will be among the winners.”
He said: “Your brother is someone who tells you the truth and your enemy is someone who says something in front of you and another thing on your back.”
Giving advice to believers is among the best deeds and the most lovable one before Allah, the Almighty. It saves the believers from many troubles and problems and rescues them from many disasters.
The Imam (as) put emphasis on the necessity of respecting the believers as well as avoiding scorning and undermining their social position. Below you will take a look at some of the Imam’s (as) traditions.
He said: “Do not scorn a poor believer. If someone scorns a poor believer and undermines his position, Allah will make him scorned and He will hate him until he is back from his former view and repents. One who belittles a believer because of his poor economical situation, Allah will disgrace him at the Resurrection Day in front of the whole creatures.”
He said: “One who narrates something about a believer aiming at belittling his social position and respect, will be out from obeying the Lord and will fall under the obedience of Satan.”
The Imam (as) asked the Islamic Society to respect one another in order to close the gate of separation and to be a single power hand full of energy.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) has forbidden frightening a believer and terrifying him. Let us read some of his traditions in this regard:
He said: “If someone terrifies a believer by power, Allah will throw him with pharaoh and his troops in the Hell.”
He said: “The Prophet, Allah’s blessing be upon him, said: ‘If someone throws a scary look at a believer in order to panic him, Allah will panic him at a Day where no shelter exists other than the safe protection of Allah.’”
This way, the Imam (as) wanted the believers to live in safety and peace without worrying about anyone aiming at terrifying and alarming them.
The Imam (as) has forbidden helping anyone who aims at having cruelty and brutality against a believer. He said: “If someone helps against a believer even with a single word, his forehead will have a message with the following written: Disappointed from My Mercy.”
The Imam (as) asked the believers to cooperate on unity and mercy and no one is allowed to help others against his brothers even with a word before a cruel king or whatever.
The Imam (as) prohibited letting a believer down. There has to be support for him in order to succeed. He said: “There is no believer who lets his brother down, while he can help him, unless Allah lets him down in the worldly life and hereafter.”
Islam asks the believers to stand side by side with each other and to be a single powerful hand. They should not leave any pore, through which enemies penetrate aiming at separating their unity and breaking their unison.
The Imam (as) has forbidden accusing a believer with malice. He said: “If someone accuses his brother, there will be no respect remained between them. Also, one should not deal with his brother in the same way that he treats the people.”
He said: “If a believer accuses his brother, his faith is deliquesced from his heart in the same way that salt is liquefied in water.”
This way, the Imam (as) of the believers wanted people to behave with each other having appropriate intention. One should not accuse others as it is among the prerequisite of separation.
The Imam (as) expressed his hatred over rebuking believers and scorning them. He said: “If someone rebukes a believer, Allah will scorn him in the worldly life and hereafter.” He also said: “If someone rebukes a believer, he will not die until he commits the same thing that he had rebuked his believer brother.”
Rebuking and reproaching is among the factors of separation and division among the believers. That is why the Imam (as) emphasized on his hatred against this attribute.
Gloating over someone’s grief is among the most malicious attributes that were prohibited in Islam. Imam al-Sadiq (as) severely rejected this attribute and said: “Do not express your rejoice over your brother’s misfortune. Otherwise, Allah will have His mercy on him and affect you with the same misfortune that he is struggling with.” He also said: “If someone gloated over his brother’s grief, he will not leave this world until bearing the same trouble and grief.”
Gloating over someone’s grief is among the worst attributes ever committed. It is results from not behaving nobly. No one expresses his happiness over his brother’s problem and misfortune unless he is far away from moral behaviour and perfection.
Islam has prevented from harming or damaging people or abusing them. Let us read what the Imam (as) said in this regard.
He said: “If one damages his brother, truth will never come to him.”
He said: “If one harms a believer, Allah will cease his blessings upon him. And if someone intentionally results damage for his brother, Allah will dress him with the clothes of shame and disgrace.”
He said: “Damaging the believers and the people of faith is the whereabouts of Satan.”
Hurting a believer is cruelty and oppression and it is considered among the worst forbidden things in Islam.
Here our talk about the traditions of the Imam (as) regarding faith and believers has come to an end. This subject included very important topics worth studying in details and depth.
- 1. This is because of hard effort and trouble they bore in that very difficult condition. However there are some traditions also admiring the believers who came after the Holy Prophet (S) of Islam. Among those was one from Prophet Mohammad (S) who once said: “I yearn to see my brothers”. He was asked: “O the Prophet of God! Aren’t we your brothers?” He replied: “You are my companions. My brothers are those who will come later at the end of the time, those who did not see me, nor they hear me, but they believe in me and trust what I said. Those who keep the religion in as hard situation as keeping a firebrand in their hands”.