Another important duty of a believer is to participate in gatherings specially associated with Imam (as) or where people discuss matters connected to Imam (aj). In addition of being a necessary sign of love it is also the implication of Allah’s words:
Therefore hasten to (do) good works.(Qur’an, Surah Baqarah 2:148)
A tradition of Imam Reza (as) also confirms this in Amali of Shaykh Sadooq,1 “One who sits in an assembly where our affair is being enlivened (our Fadail are discussed), his heart will not die on the day the hearts of people die (Qiyamat).”
In support of this point is the statement of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) to Fudail in a tradition mentioned in Biharul Anwar2 etc. that he asked: Do you gather and narrate traditions? Fudail replied: Yes, may I be sacrificed on you. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said: Indeed, I like those gatherings; so revive our Wilayat. O Fudail, may the Almighty Allah have mercy on one who enlivens our matter (revives our Wilayat).3
This is also supported by all traditions that emphasize being present in the above gatherings like the statement of the Holy Prophet (S): Enter the gardens of Paradise. He was asked: O Messenger of Allah (S), what are the gardens of Paradise? He replied: Gatherings of Zikr. And then we have the statement of His Eminence: Indeed the Almighty Allah forgives (the sins of) those who participate in the gatherings of Allah’s remembrance and makes him secure from that which he fears. Then angels say: O Lord, though he was present there he didn’t remember You? Allah says: I have forgiven him due to his participation in that gathering because those who remember the truth are such that anyone who sat with them could not be unfortunate.
These two traditions are quoted by Shaykh Fahd in Oddatud Dai.4 The reason why these two traditional reports support the above mentioned point is that: Remembrance of His Eminence and his forefathers is remembrance of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime; from the aspect of a tradition that Shaykh Muhammad Yaqoob Kulaini has narrated in Kafi from His Eminence, Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said: No people attend a gathering where there is no remembrance of Allah and no mention about us but that this gathering would cause regret to them on Judgment Day. Then he said: His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) said: Our remembrance is the remembrance of Allah and remembrance of our enemies is remembrance of Shaitan.5
Also in favor of this point is that which is mentioned in Wasail and other books narrating from Abbad bin Kathir that he said to Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as): I saw in the story of Sarai that he said: This is such a gathering that anyone who participates in it cannot be unfortunate. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said: From all aspects, their storytellers have made a mistake. The Almighty Allah has angels who go around – in addition to the scribe angels who write everything a man does. Thus when they hear anyone remembering Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad they say to each other: Wait a bit. Thus they sit down and benefit from it. When they separate they visit their sick ones and take part in the funerals and search for their lost ones. Thus it is that gathering in which when one sits he will never be unfortunate.6
In addition to this, presence in a gathering helps in increase in numbers and according to terminology it is called ‘increasing the blackness of the army’. Such a thing is considered good if the gathering is of righteous people and it is liked by the Almighty Allah and the Holy Imams (as) but if it is to increase the strength of the opponents, it is disliked by the Almighty Allah and Imams (as).
This is illustrated by an incident narrated by Qadi Abdur Rahman that he asked a blind old man the cause of his blindness and he said: I was present in the battle of Kerbala but I did not take part in fighting. After some days I saw a terrible looking man who said to me: The Messenger of Allah (S) wants to see you. I said: I can’t dare to see him. He took me by force and we came to where the Messenger of Allah (S) was present. He was very much aggrieved. He was holding a weapon and behind him was a leather sheet on which people are guillotined. An angel stood with a sword of fire and he was executing them and throwing fire on them, burning them.
Then they would become alive again and be killed in the same way, over and over again. I pleaded: Peace be on you, O Messenger of Allah (S), by Allah, neither I used a sword, nor threw a spear or shot an arrow. The Holy Prophet (S) said: Did you not increase the blackness of the army? Then he handed me over to a guard and from a bowl he applied blood to my eyes. When I woke up, I had become blind.7
- 1. Amali, Majlis 17, Tr. No. 4
- 2. Biharul Anwar, Vol. 44, Pg. 278
- 3. Biharul Anwar, Vol. 44, Pg. 282
- 4. Oddatud Daai, Pg. 238, Tr. No. 17; Mustadrakul Wasail, Vol. 1, Pg. 400, Tr. No. 2
- 5. Usool Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 496, Tr. No. 2
- 6. Wasailush Shia, Vol. 11, Pg. 566, Chapter 23, Tr. No. 2
- 7. Biharul Anwar, Vol. 45, Pg. 303