73: Following Imam (aj) In Moral Behavior And Deeds

It is our duty to follow Imam (a j) in good deeds and moral behavior. We must consider Imam (aj) as our ideal in this regard, because that is the actual meaning of partisanship and following. The perfection of faith lies in performing the deeds as he does, being with him in Qiyamat and residing near him in the Paradise. Hazrat Ali’s (as) letter to Uthman bin Hunaif the Governor of Basra mentions: “Remember that every follower has a leader whom he follows and from the effulgence of whose knowledge he takes light.”1

In Raudatul Kafi, Imam Zainul Abideen (as) is reported to have said, “There is no superiority for Qurayshite or an Arab regarding his descent except his humility. There is no virtue, except for his piety there is no good deed other than intention and no worship act is possible without considering it correct. Beware! One to whom Allah is most angry is one who is an Imamite by faith and who does not follow (his Imam) in deeds.”2

Explanation: It is mentioned in traditions that it is possible Allah may befriend a slave but He does not like his deeds and it is also possible that He does not like a slave but likes his actions. This is also accepted by reason because in the view of Allah love and hate depends on the legality or the illegality of that action according to Divine law. If the person has faith according to it, since he is a believer but he fails to act upon it, Allah will be angry with regard to his actions.

After this introduction it becomes evident that the aim of Imam’s (as) statement that the most hated person from the aspect of his deeds is one who accepts the way and religion of Imam (as) from the aspect of belief only. That is he believes in his Imamat and Wilayat but opposes him by his actions and behavior. The consequence of this is that when a momin opposes his Imam by his deeds and behavior the opponents get an opportunity to ridicule, and this is a greater sin.

When the believer treads in the footsteps of Imams (as) it is as if the honor of the Waliullah (Imam) has increased and people are more attracted towards him. In this way the aim of the institution of Imamat is achieved. As mentioned by Imam Sadiq (as), “Become an ornament for us, do not be a disgrace for us.”3 And his statement that: “Call the people [to your religion] without using your tongue.”4

In Usool Kafi through correct chains of narrators it is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Abdullah Imam Sadiq (as) that he said: I don’t consider anyone as a believer unless he follows us in all matters, pay attention that indeed, among our demands are piety and abstemiousness; so decorate yourself with it so that the Almighty Allah send mercy to you and through the abstemiousness you put your enemies in sorrow and grief so that the Almighty Allah gives you honor and keep you alive.5

In Rauda Kafi, it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said: I and Abu Ja’far [Imam Baqir (as)] passed a group of Shias who were sitting between the Prophet’s grave and his pulpit. I said to His Eminence, Abu Ja’far: They are your Shias and devotees, may I be sacrificed on you. He replied: Where are they? I said: I saw them between the grave and the pulpit. He said: Take me to them. So we went to them and saluted them. Then the Imam said: By Allah, I love your fragrance and your souls, help us with abstemiousness and struggle as whatever is with the Almighty Allah is not achieved except through abstemiousness and struggle. And since He makes the servant know his Imam he follows him. Indeed, by Allah, you all are on my religion, and the religion of my forefathers Ibrahim and Ismail, and since they were on this religion, so you help this religion through abstemiousness and struggle.6

Allamah Majlisi, in the explanation of this tradition says: The Imam has mentioned the names of Ibrahim and Ismail to show that all prophets are following him in religion. Or it could also be the fact that they were progenitors of the Holy Prophet (S) and his family which goes on to show that the Prophet and his family follow the right faith and the prophets follow them. Thus ‘they’ indicate Ibrahim and Ismail and the other past prophets (as). And these include his forefathers from the Prophet (S) and the Holy Imams (as).

I say: It is possible that the special mention of the names of Ibrahim and Ismail was from the aspect of the saying of the Almighty:

ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا

Then We revealed to you: Follow the faith of Ibrahim, the upright one. (Qur’an, Surah Nahl 16:123)

And the saying of Allah:

مِلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

The faith of your father Ibrahim; He named you Muslims before. (Qur’an, Surah Hajj 22:78)


قُلْ إِنَّنِي هَدَانِي رَبِّي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ دِينًا قِيَمًا مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۚ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

Say: Surely, (as for) me, my Lord has guided me to the right path; (to) a most right religion, the faith of Ibrahim the upright one, and he was not of the polytheists. (Qur’an, Surah Anaam 6:161)

And to show that the way that the Almighty Allah showed to them was the same way of the Shias even though their numbers be less and they may be less important in the view of people. This is the Shariat of Ibrahim and true monotheism.

That which proves this point is a traditional report that Thiqatul Islam Kulaini (r.a.) has mentioned in Rauda Kafi from His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Imam Baqir (as) that he said: No one from this Ummah followed the faith of Ibrahim (as) except us; no one from this Ummah was guided except through us and no one from this Ummah was misguided except for us (our opposition).7 This statement of His Eminence is an assurance to Shias and it is punctuated with oaths and other emphasizing points. For example he says: “They are following their religion.” It denotes the blind faith of general Muslims and ‘they’ means their leaders of misguidance, may Allah curse them all, because it was a time of Taqayyah and occasion of Taqayyah. The Imam want to say in this tradition that the Shias are not such that they would vie their opponents for wealth and pelf and that the most important thing in their life is religion as mentioned in the following:

لَا يَغُرَّنَّكَ تَقَلُّبُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي الْبِلَادِ .

مَتَاعٌ قَلِيلٌ ثُمَّ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ ۚ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ .

لَٰكِنِ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا نُزُلًا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَمَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِلْأَبْرَارِ

Let it not deceive you that those who disbelieve go to and fro in the cities fearlessly. A brief enjoyment! then their abode is hell, and evil is the resting-place. But as to those who are careful of (their duty to) their Lord, they shall have gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding in them; an entertainment from their Lord, and that which is with Allah is best for the righteous. (Qur’an, Surah Aale Imran 3:196-198)

There is a possibility that ‘they’ denotes the polytheists; that even though the blind hearted general Muslims are such; they are in fact polytheists because they have made their leaders and false deities as partners in the truth that was given to them by Allah; just as the polytheists make them share worship:

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا

And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him. (Qur’an, Surah Nisa 4:36)

Without any doubt one who considers anyone a partner of the Wali of Allah, is a polytheist; because he has made him a partner in a divine affair. The replacement of ‘polytheists’ with ‘opponents’ is to the extent of Tawatur. In Ziarat Jamia we read: One who fights you is a polytheist. It is mentioned in Ghadeer sermon: O who associates anyone in the allegiance of Ali (as) is a polytheist.

In Miratul Anwar quoting from Maaniul Akhbar under a tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) it is mentioned: O people, one who considers Ali as the Imam, considers me as the Prophet and one who considers me as the Prophet considers the Almighty Allah as the Lord.8

There are numerous traditions on this matter. The point of conclusion is that the view of Imam (as) was to make the believers eager for Islam and monotheism, that the Almighty Allah has chosen for His servants and He has said:

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ

Surely the (true) religion with Allah is Islam. (Qur’an, Surah Aale Imran 3:19)

And Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:

وَمَنْ يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers. (Qur’an, Surah Aale Imran 3:85)

وَوَصَّىٰ بِهَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بَنِيهِ وَيَعْقُوبُ يَا بَنِيَّ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَىٰ لَكُمُ الدِّينَ فَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ

And the same did Ibrahim enjoin on his sons and (so did) Yaqoob. O my sons! surely Allah has chosen for you (this) faith, therefore die not unless you are Muslims. (Qur’an, Surah Baqarah 2:132)

In the same way, Imam (as) has emphasized that the opponents have taken partners for the Awliya of Allah and it is just as one takes a partner to Allah.

If the readers pay attention to this and they study the meanings of the Imam’s words they would realize that what we have stated is right.

The word of ‘and surely’ in the verse: “And surely if he had been such” is for emphasis, like in the following:

وَإِنْ كَادُوا لَيَفْتِنُونَكَ عَنِ الَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ

And surely they had purposed to turn you away. (Qur’an, Surah Isra 17:73)

إِنْ كَادَ لَيُضِلُّنَا عَنْ آلِهَتِنَا

He had well-nigh led us astray from our gods. (Qur’an, Surah Furqan 25:42)

 وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِي كُنْتَ عَلَيْهَا إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَنْ يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّنْ يَنْقَلِبُ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ

And We did not make that which you would have to be the qiblah. (Qur’an, Surah Baqarah 2:143)

وَإِنْ وَجَدْنَا أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَفَاسِقِينَ

And We found most of them to be certainly transgressors. (Qur’an, Surah Araaf 7:102)

Etc. And on the basis of what Allamah Majlisi has mentioned ‘and surely’ is a conjunction and this is also not against what we claim.

After this encouragement Imam (as) orders them to follow their Imam (as) and then says: “help this through abstemiousness and struggle”. Because it is Imam’s help from two aspects and their own help from two aspects. It is help of Allah from the aspect that the Imam is asking the people to help the religion of Allah. And the promotion of religion is that all people obey Allah. Thus a man is obedient to the Almighty Allah and at the same time, is away from His disobedience. The second aspect is that when a person is religious and pious others are also encouraged for this. And they know that it would be the truth of their Imam. Because it proves that the Imam has taught them this.9 Thus to obey the Imam will be construed as disobeying the enemies and opponents and in this way he would help his Imam and fight the enemies as the Imam has mentioned in this tradition quoted previously.

Also, the fact that it is help and support of oneself is that struggle in obedience and piety causes one to remain steadfast on faith, just as one who is firm on sins is being degraded; Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:

ثُمَّ كَانَ عَاقِبَةَ الَّذِينَ أَسَاءُوا السُّوأَىٰ أَنْ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُوا بِهَا يَسْتَهْزِئُونَ

Then evil was the end of those who did evil, because they rejected the communications of Allah and used to mock them. (Qur’an, Surah Rum 30:10)

Another reason is that: Struggle and effort in obedience and piety and refraining from sins will cause you to earn the Imam’s proximity in Paradise and thus it is a help of believers to themselves just as the opponents will be such that they would deprive themselves of this and be far away from the Imams.

Proving this matter is what Thiqatul Islam Kulaini has mentioned in Rauda Kafi from Muhammad bin Yahya from Ahmad from Hasan bin Ali from Hammad Lahham from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that his father told him: My dear son, indeed if you act in contravention to my behavior, you will also not be with me in my abode in Qiyamat tomorrow. Then he said: Allah, the Mighty and Sublime does not grant leadership of people who act in contravention to his followers, to be with them in Qiyamat; no by the Lord of the Kaaba.10

It would not be out of place to end our discussion on the narrators of this tradition and our motive in this should remain concealed that some prominent scholars have said in Miratul Uqool: This tradition is unknown. Thus with the help from the Almighty Allah and support of the Prophet’s progeny I can say: This tradition, in my opinion is from the correct traditions. And if you like to read the explanation of the matter and are inclined to reveal its truth you should open up the wing of training and your heart must be open to accept the truth.

It is that Muhammad bin Yahya Attar is the same Muhammad bin Yahya the trustworthy one; and I will tell you a complete rule: that whenever Muhammad bin Yahya comes at the beginning of a chain in Kafi he is that same trustworthy man. As for Ahmad bin Muhammad who has come in this tradition he is Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa Ashari, a scholar of jurisprudence. Hasan bin Ali is, according to my research, Hasan bin Ali bin Faddal, he was a pious and reliable person, he had many excellences and his place is at the seventh pillar of Kufa Masjid. Although he spent a major part of his life as a Fatihya, he later returned to the right beliefs. As for Hammad Lajjam, he is Hammad bin Waqid Kufi Lajjam, he was a senior reliable Shia who well versed with the conditions of Imams. Thus what I have concluded so far is that he was a trustworthy narrator of traditions. There are some aspects for this:

First: The reliance of Qummi reporters on his traditional reports, specially Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa – as it is mentioned – in spite of his majesty and foresight, because Qummis usually keep away from weak narrators, rather it is said that it is from this aspect that Isa mentioned above exiled from Qom, Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Khalid Barqi.

Second: It is that Ibne Fuddal in spite of piety and religiosity, has narrated from him, and narration of traditions is only from reliable persons.

Third: Statement of the Imam Abu Muhammad Askari (as) in reply to the question regarding the books of Ibne Fuddal in which he said: “Accept what they have narrated and leave where they have explained their view.”

Fourth: Traditional report of Ja’far bin Bashir Bajali, the trustworthy scholar about whom they said: He narrated the traditions faithfully.

Fifth: That which Shaykh Muhammad bin Yaqoob Kulaini (r.a.) has mentioned in Usool Kafi under the chapter of Taqayyah from Muhammad bin Yahya Attar from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa from Hasan bin Ali bin Faddal from Hammad bin Waqid Lajjam that he said: I saw Imam Sadiq (as) on the way and turned my face away from him. Then after some day I visited him and said: That day I saw you but I turned my face away lest you had to face some difficulty on account of me. His Eminence said: May the Almighty Allah bless you; however yesterday a man from so and so place saw me and said: Peace be on you O Aba Abdillah, and he didn’t do a nice thing.11

In this tradition there is proof that Hammad is from the Shias Imamiyah who resorted to Taqayyah to protect the Imam and the Imam prayed for him. Also, this proves his understanding and intelligence. Thus from this we can conclude that he was a trustworthy and truthful narrator and what Allamah Majlisi has said about him that he is unknown, is incorrect.

  • 1. Nahjul Balagha, Letters
  • 2. Raudatul Kafi; Pg. 234, Tr. No. 312
  • 3. Usool Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 77, Tr. no. 9
  • 4. Usool Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 78, Tr. no. 13
  • 5. Usool Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 78, Tr. no. 13
  • 6. Raudatul Kafi, Vol. 8, Pg. 240, Tr. No. 328
  • 7.
    Raudatul Kafi, Pg. 254, Tr. No. 359
  • 8. Miraat al-Anwaar, Pg. 24
  • 9. Usool Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 636, Tr. no. 5
  • 10. Raudatul Kafi, Pg. 253, Tr. No. 358
  • 11. Usool Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 218