One of the actions that can earn the Imam’s (as) pleasure is active involvement in fulfillment of mutual rights. Considering this duty unimportant tantamount to consider the right of Imam (as) insignificant because traditions state that the relationship of Momineen with Imam (as) is that of father and sons and since friendship and goodness to children is friendship and goodness to their parents. The same shall apply with regard to the rights of Momineen.
Also that ignoring this matter is same as considering the Imam unimportant.
Among the traditions that prove this matter is one narrated from Mualla Ibne Khunais that he asked Imam Sadiq (as) regarding the rights of believers. Imam (as) said, “The momin has seventy rights but I shall inform of only seven of them because I fear you would not be able to bear it and I love you much.” The narrator said, “Insha Allah I shall be able to bear it.” Imam (as) started, “Do not eat to satiation if your momin brother is hungry, do not dress up if he is unclothed, guide him in every matter, and prefer for him what you prefer for yourself. If you have a maidservant, send her to him so that she may do his household chores. Always remain busy in fulfilling the needs of the momin brother. If you do this, you have connected your Wilayat to our Wilayat and our Wilayat to the Wilayat of Allah.”1
In the same book, Mufaddal Ibne Umar narrates from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said, “Those of you who please a momin should not think that they have pleased that momin alone. By Allah! They have made us (Imams) happy, rather by Allah, they have made the Messenger of Allah (S) happy.”2
In the same book, through the author’s own chain of narrators it is narrated from His Eminence, Abul Hasan (as) that he said: Every believer brother that comes to a believer for help is a divine mercy; thus one who accepts him, is joined to our Wilayat which is joined to the Wilayat of God. But if he deprives him from fulfilling his need, even though he may capable of it, the Almighty Allah will appoint in his grave a serpent of fire which will remain with him till Judgment Day and he would be forgiven or punished [as he is having other sins or not] and since the seeker of the need has not accepted his excuse, his position is worse.3
In Biharul Anwar it is narrated from Imam Musa Kazim (as) in a tradition that he said: One who fulfills the need of one of our followers, it is as if he has done it for all of us.
In Kamiluz Ziaraat it is narrated from Imam Reza (as) that he said: One who cannot visit us, should visit our righteous friends, reward for visiting us will be written for him.4
A similar tradition is also narrated from Imam Musa Kazim (as) with the addition: And one who cannot do a good turn to us, should do it to a righteous friend of us, a reward for doing a good turn to us will be written for him.5
I say: There are many traditions that are narrated on this topic. We have presented only a sampling of them to prove our point. But here we would also like to mention that which is narrated by Zaid Nursi6 in his book, Asl, since it is having a lot of benefits and many important points. He says: I asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as): I fear that we are not believers. His Eminence (aj) said: Why it is so? I said: I don’t see anyone among us for whom money is not as important as his brother-in-faith. And that in our view the value of money is more than that of the brotherhood that was established by Amirul Momineen (as). Imam (as) said: No, you are believers, but your faith will not reach to perfection till our Qaim does not arise. At that time, the Almighty Allah will gather your intellects and you shall be perfect believers. And if there are no perfect believers in the earth the Almighty Allah will take up to Him and you will not recognize another earth and will not recognize the heavens. Rather, by the One in Whose hand is my life, indeed, there are believers around the world, for whom the value of the world is not more than a wing of a mosquito. And if what is in the earth and what is over it, had been turned into red gold and made to stick to one of their necks and he removes it, he would not even know what it was that had been there on his neck and what has been thrown away since it was valueless for him. They are those whose life is hidden, and their native place has changed from one place to another. Their bellies have shrunk due to fasting. Their lips have dried up due to too much Tasbih. Their eyes have become weak due to weeping too much. Their faces have become yellow for lack of sleep. These are the signs that the Almighty Allah has mentioned about them in Taurat, Injil, Qur’an, Zaboor and the scriptures:
تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا ۖ سِيمَاهُمْ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ مِنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُودِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ
You will see them bowing down, prostrating themselves, seeking grace from Allah and pleasure; their marks are in their faces because of the effect of prostration; that is their description in the Taurat. (Qur’an, Surah Fath 48:29)
The paleness of their faces is due to keeping awake in the nights. They are good to their brothers-in-faith in hardships and good times and the times of hardships they sacrifice their money for their needy brothers. The Almighty Allah has described them as follows:
وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ ۚ وَمَنْ يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
And prefer (them) before themselves though poverty may afflict them, and whoever is preserved from the niggardliness of his soul, these it is that are the successful ones. (Qur’an, Surah Hashr 59:9)
By Allah, they are ones who are successful and whenever you see a believer, you should respect him and when you see a person with opposite qualities you must keep away from him. When the night comes upon them, they consider the earth of Allah as their beds and dust as their covering. They put their cheeks on the dust so that their Lord be pleased with them and that He may release them from the fire of Hell. When morning comes on them, they mix with the people, but they are not identified among them. They keep away from the common path and consider water good and pure. Their bodies may be tired and in hardships but people get rest and comfort from them. Thus in the view of people they are the worst creatures but in the view of Allah they are the best. When they speak, they are not testified for, and if they express interest no one is prepared to allow them to marry in ones family.
When they sit in a gathering, they are not recognized and if they are gone, no one goes out in search of them. Their hearts are full of the fear of Almighty. Their tongues are full of remembrance of Allah [or silent]. Their breasts are repositories of divine secrets. Thus if they find someone worthy, they speak to him a little and if they don’t find any worthy man they keep their tongues locked and hide their keys.
There is a fixed and hard tie on their mouths, more stable than the mountains. And nothing could be taken from them. They are treasurers of knowledge, mines of forbearance and wisdom and followers of prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs and the righteous. They are so clever that when the hypocrites see them, they consider them dumb, blind and stupid while the fact is that there is no dumbness, blindness and stupidity among them. Indeed, they are most intelligent, eloquent, forbearing, wise, pious, chosen by Allah. Humility to the Almighty Allah has made them quiet and due to the fear of the Almighty and to maintain the divine secrets they have kept their tongues closed.
How eager I am to be with them and to mingle with them, and how much their absence has made me sad, their company will remove my grief. Search for him and when you find him and take up their light, you will be guided, and you will be successful in the world and the hereafter. Among the people they are the most successful.
Their ornament is concealing divine secrets, Namaz, Zakat, Hajj, fasting, equality and help of brothers-in-faith in times of prosperity and hardships. Thus this light is their ornament and pleasure. What fortunate people, they are heirs of Firdos Paradise and they will reside therein forever. And they will reside with the folks of Paradise in Firdos which is garden of Paradise. They are the ones for whom Hell will try but they would be happy and content in Paradise. And that is what the people of Hell will say:
وَقَالُوا مَا لَنَا لَا نَرَىٰ رِجَالًا كُنَّا نَعُدُّهُمْ مِنَ الْأَشْرَارِ
What is the matter with us that we do not see men whom we used to count among the vicious? (Qur’an, Surah Saad 38:62)
In their view, they were evil. Thus the Almighty Allah will raise their stations till they see them and this will cause the people of Hell to despair and they will say: Alas, if we could return and be like them, as indeed they were the righteous and we were evil. And this despair will remain with the folks of Hell forever.
And in Biharul Anwar quoting from Amali of Shaykh Sadooq through the author’s own chain of narrators it is narrated from Jabir Jofi that he said: We were a group of people who came to Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) and after that we performed the rituals of Hajj and other worship acts. Then we bid farewell to him, and said: O son of Allah’s Messenger, give us advice. His Eminence (aj) said: Your strong ones should help the weak and the wealthy of you must help the poor. And one who intends good for his religious brother, it is as if he has wished good for himself.
You must keep our secrets and don’t expose them to the people. And think well on our matter and take care of what is related to you, and accept what you find compatible with Qur’an and reject what does not tally with Qur’an. And when the matter becomes doubtful for you, you must leave it to us so that we may explain it to you as it has been explained to us.
Thus if you are like I have advised and you don’t leave it, and if one you dies before the advent of our Qaim (aj) you will get the reward of a martyr. And if you live till that time fight on the side of Our Qaim and get martyred, you will get the reward of two martyrs. And if you kill one of our enemies in the presence of the Qaim you will be eligible for the reward of twenty martyrs.7