In the end not a single student was able to give an exact reply to the question which the eminent teacher had asked. Everyone proposed an answer, but none could win the teacher's approval.
Such was the question that the Holy Prophet (S) had stated before his Companions: “Among the tenets of belief, which one is the most basic of all?”
One said: "salat," prayer.
The Prophet (S) said: "No!"
Another: "Zakar" alms giving.
The Messenger of Allah said: "No!"
The third: Fasting.
The Prophet (S): "No!"
The fourth: "Hajj and Umrah!" Pilgrimage and voluntary pilgrimage to Ka'bah.
The Holy Prophet (S): "No!"
The last one: “Jihad” the Holy War.
The Prophet (S): “Not even that!”
At last, all answers given by the assembly did not satisfy the Holy Prophet (S), then the Holy Prophet (S) himself said: "All those tenets mentioned by you are exalted acts, full of virtues, but none of them is the one which I have in mind. The most basic tenet of belief is to have love for the sake of Allah and to hate for the sake of Him."1
- 1. Usul al-Kafi v. 2. p. 25. Wasa'il v. 2. p. 497.