Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Superstructure Of Various Aspects Social Relations

Prelude

1. Openness and Social Responsibility

2. Reinforcement of Social Structure

3. Contents of Social Relations

4. Levels of Social Relations

5. Special Treatment

Prelude

The superstructure of social relations denotes the details of the system of association as tackled by books of traditions (i.e. hadith). This system is composed of a set of obligatory laws on social etiquette and manners, deals with the various forms of association with others, and presents the ideal and most accurate outline for building social relations.

Islam has identified the aspects of this concept, outlined its foundations and rules and established (S)

In the coming chapters, we will briefly discuss the details of this concept and the relationship between these details and the two aspects of the Islamic concept of social relations. The correlation between the rules of the concept and its features on the one hand and the superstructure or details, on the other, will be made unmistakably clear.

However, details and demonstration of the outlines and elements of this concept is left for my independent book that is dedicated to the Islamic concept of social relations.1

This section is composed of two chapters. The first chapter deals with the superstructure, which confirms and clarifies different aspects of social relations.

The second chapter deals with the superstructure of the rules and foundations of the concept.

Discussion of details will follow the sequence adopted in the first section of this book.

Aspect of Openness

Additional Indications of Openness

With regard to openness in social relations, the traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) demonstrate this aspect.

(1) Traditions emphasize exchanging greetings, because salutation is often the key to building good social relations with others.

Through a valid chain of authority, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported Imam al-Baqir (‘a) as saying:

إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُحِبُّ إِفْشَاءَ السَّلاَمِ.

Verily, Allah the Almighty and Majestic likes offering salutation.2

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

مِنَ التَّوَاضُعِ أَنْ تُسَلِّمَ عَلَى مَنْ لَقِيتَ.

To greet everyone you meet is a sort of modesty.3

Instructing Imam ‘Ali (‘a), the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

ثَلاَثٌ كَفَّارَاتٌ: إِفْشَاءُ السَّلاَمِ، وَإِطْعَامُ الطَّعَامِ، وَالصَّلاَةُ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّاسُ نِيَامٌ.

Three characteristics make amends for sins: (1) offering salutation, (2) feeding the needy, (3) offering prayers at night when others are asleep.4

(2) The Holy Imams (‘a) emphasized amity as a feature of true believers. In other words, a true believer must build good relations with all people and endear himself to them so that he is a well-liked person. Naturally, such amity is achievable only through wide-ranging relations and associations with others.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

أَفْضَلُكُمْ أَحْسَنُكُمْ أَخْلاَقاً، الْمُوَطَّأُونَ أَكْنَافاً، الَّذِينَ يَأْلَفُونَ وَيُؤْلَفُونَ، وَتُوطَأُ رِحَالُهُمْ.

The best of you are those with the best manners, whose ‘sides are generously prepared’,5 who have close relationships with people and people have close relationships with them, and whose carpets are always trodden.6

(3) Traditions have emphasized the forbidding of alienation and rupture of relations between Muslims. Islam believes it is necessary to keep the door wide open in social relations even if one party is unhappy. Things forbidden in Islam have grave consequences.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

لاَ خَيْرِ فِي الْمُهَاجَرَةِ.

There is no good in breaking away (from others).7

Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported as saying:

مَا مِنْ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ اهْتَجَرَا فَوْقَ ثَلاَثٍ إِلاَّ وَبَرِئْتُ مِنْهُمَا فِي الثَّالِثَةِ.

I will definitely disavow any pair of believers who forsake each other for more than three days.

He was asked, “The wronging party deserves this, but why does this include the wronged party, too?”

The Imam (‘a) answered:

مَا بَالُ الْمَظْلُومِ لاَ يَصِيرُ إِلَى الظَّالِمِ فَيَقُولُ: <أَنَا الظَّالِمُ.> حَتَّى يَصْطَلِحَا؟

Why did the wronged party not go to the wronging party and claim that he was the wronging party so that they would make peace?8

Al-Qasim ibn al-Rabi’ has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), in his instruction to al-Mufadhdhal, saying:

لاَ يَفْتَرِقُ رَجُلاَنِ عَلَى الْهِجْرَانِ إِلاَّ اسْتَوْجَبَ أَحَدُهُمَا الْبَرَاءَةَ وَاللَّعْنَةَ، وَرُبَّمَا اسْتَحَقَّ ذَلِكَ كِلاَهُمَا.

Whenever two men leave one another and become estranged, one of them must be worth disavowal and curse, and sometimes both parties are worthy of it.

Mu’attab said, “May Allah make me your sacrifice. One may curse the wronging party, but why is the wronged party then cursed, too?”

The Imam (‘a) answered:

لأَِنَّهُ لاَ يَدْعُو أَخَاهُ إِلَى صِلَتِهِ، وَلاَ يَتَغَامَسُ لَهُ مِنْ كَلاَمِهِ. سَمِعْتُ أَبِي عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ يَقُولُ: إِذَا تَنَازَعَ اثْنَانِ فَعَازَّ أَحَدُهُمَا الآخَرُ فَلْيَرْجِعِ الْمَظْلُومُ إِلَى صَاحِبِهِ حَتَّى يَقُولَ لِصَاحِبِهِ: <أَيْ أَخِي، أَنَا الظَّالِمُ.> حَتَّى يَقْطَعَ الْهِجْرَانُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ صَاحِبِهِ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى حَكَمٌ عَدْلٌ يَأْخُذُ لِلْمَظْلُومِ مِنَ الظَّالِمِ.

The wronged party may also be cursed because he does not call the other party to reconcile…I heard my father saying, “If two (of our Shi’ah) disagree with each other and one of them prevails over the other, the wronged party should come to the other and confess that he was wrong, so that their disagreement will come to an end. Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, is surely a fair Judge and will certainly judge for the benefit of the wronged party.”9

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has also reported on the authority of his father that the Holy Prophet (S) said:

أَيُّمَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ تَهَاجَرَا فَمَكَثَا ثَلاَثاً لاَ يَصْطَلِحَانِ إِلاَّ كَانَا خَارِجَيْنِ مِنَ الإِسْلاَمِ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ بَيْنَهُمَا وِلاَيَةٌ، فَأَيُّهُمَا سَبَقَ إِلَى كَلاَمِ أَخِيهِ كَانَ السَّابِقَ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَ الْحِسَابِ.

Verily, any two Muslims that become estranged and refrain from reconciliation within three days will have certainly abandoned the religion of Islam, and their brotherhood-in-faith will be canceled. Hence, the party who precedes the other in making peace will also precede the other in entering Paradise.10

(5) Traditions have also highlighted the necessity of accepting the apologies of others. Hence, a true believer must accept the apology of those who had caused him pain. This trait reflects the significance of maintaining good social relations, blocking the door in the face of all sorts of rupture of relations, and eradicating the traces of the causes and effects of such dispute.

Exceptions

Islam has determined a set of exceptions in this field so that this concept is complete and the significance of openness emphasized.

In our discussion of the fourth aspect of the Islamic concept of social relations, we referred to some of these exceptions under general social relations. Hereinafter, we will refer to these exceptions generally by summing them in the following four points:

(1) Avoidance of situations that cause one to lose one’s reputation

Relations with people with bad reputations and suspicion must be avoided, because they injure the reputations of the person who wants to build relations with them. Examples of such relations are the following:

A. Relationships that bring accusations of sinful behavior or committing of illegal deeds, such as associations with certain women—and even certain men and children, are the first example. The same is applicable to associations with certain rich and luxury-loving people. Accusations can arise from the origin, form, or nature of these relations. Some traditions forbid such associations.

For instance, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has reported on the authority of his fathers that the Holy Prophet (S) said:

ثَلاَثَةٌ مُجَالَسَتُهُمْ تُمِيتُ الْقَلْبَ: الْجُلُوسُ مَعَ الأَنْذَالِ، وَالْحَدِيثُ مَعَ النِّسَاءِ، وَالْجُلُوسُ مَعَ الأَغْنِيَاءِ.

Association with the following three categories of people desensitizes hearts: (1) sitting with dishonest or unscrupulous people, (2) talking to women, and (3) sitting with the rich.11

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has also reported Imam ‘Ali the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) as saying:

مَنْ عَرَّضَ نَفْسَهُ لِلتُّهْمَةِ فَلاَ يَلُومَنَّ مَنْ أَسَاءَ بِهِ الظَّنَّ، وَمَنْ كَتَمَ سِرَّهُ كَانَتِ الْخِيَرَةُ فِي يَدِهِ.

Whoever engages himself in situations of accusation should not blame those who have a bad idea about him. Whoever conceals his secrets will have public decisions in his hand.12

Imam al-Ridha (‘a) is reported to have quoted Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

إِتَّقُوا مَوَاقِفَ الرَّيْبِ، وَلاَ يَقِفِنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ مَعَ أُمِّهِ فِي الطَّرِيقِ، فَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ كُلُّ أَحَدٍ يَعْرِفُهَا.

Avoid situations that bring about ill reputation. Avoid stopping even with your mothers in public places, because not everyone knows that this woman is your mother.13

B. Another example is relations that arouse accusations of doctrinal, ideological, or political deviation, such as accompanying, sitting with, studying under, and receiving from people who are heretical or aberrant. Some traditions warn against this.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said:

لاَ تَصْحَبُوا أَهْلَ الْبِدَعِ، وَلاَ تُجَالِسُوهُمْ فَتَكُونُوا عِنْدَ النَّاسِ كَوَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمْ. وَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ: الْمَرْءُ عَلَى دِينِ خَلِيلِهِ وَقَرِينِهِ.

Do not accompany heretics and do not participate in their sessions, lest people equate you with them. The Messenger of Allah (S) has said, “Man follows the religion of his friend and companion.”14

(2) Keeping away from wicked associates

It is advisable to keep away from wicked individuals known for corruptive behavior. By accompanying such individuals, nothing is gained except harm and grievance. Besides, one is influenced by the company one keeps.

Imam ‘Ali the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

أُنْظُرُوا مَنْ تُحَادِثُونَ، فَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَحَدٍ يَنْزِلُ بِهِ الْمَوْتُ إِلاَّ مُثِّلَ لَهُ أَصْحَابُهُ إِلَى اللهِ، فَإِنْ كَانُوا خِيَاراً فَخِيَاراً، وَإِنْ كَانُوا شِرَاراً فَشِرَاراً، وَلَيْسَ أَحَدٌ يَمُوتُ إِلاَّ تُمُثِّلْتُ لَهُ عِنْدَ مَوْتِهِ.

Inspect those with whom you exchange discourses. At the hour of death, Almighty Allah will display everyone’s companions before him. If righteous was their companion, they will be shown righteousness, but if evil was their companion, they will be shown evil. At the hour of everyone’s death, I will be shown to him, too.15

Imam al-Ridha (‘a) is reported to have said:

قَالَ عِيسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ: إِنَّ صَاحِبَ الشَّرِّ يُعْدِي، وَقَرِينُ السُّوءِ يُرْدِي، فَانْظُرْ مَنْ تُقَارِنُ.

Jesus (‘a) said: Truly, an evil companion infects and a wicked associate leads to perdition. So, inspect those whom you keep company with.16

On the other hand, associations with such corrupt individuals may be acceptable when the purpose is to guide them to the truth or to achieve a private legal interest that is intended for a worldly or religious benefit.

Wicked associates mentioned in traditions by descriptions or qualities are the following:

A. Those morally deviated from the path of religion, such as corrupt (sinful) people, liars, those who break off family ties, stingy people, cowards, and foolish people.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has reported the following:

كَانَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذَا صَعِدَ الْمِنْبَرَ قَالَ: يَنْبَغِي لِلْمُسْلِمِ أَنْ يَتَجَنَّبَ مُؤَاخَاةَ ثَلاَثَةٍ: الْمَاجِنِ الْفَاجِرِ، وَالأَحْمَقِ، وَالْكَذَّابِ. فَأَمَّا الْمَاجِنُ الْفَاجِرُ فَيُزَيِّنُ لَكَ فِعْلَهُ، وَيُحِبُّ أَنْ تَكُونَ مِثْلَهُ، وَلاَ يُعِينُكَ عَلَى أَمْرِ دِينِكَ وَمَعَادِكَ، وَمُقَارَبَتُهُ جَفَاءٌ وَقَسْوَةٌ، وَمَدْخَلُهُ وَمَخْرَجُهُ عَارٌ عَلَيْكَ. وَأَمَّا الأَحْمَقُ فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يُشِيرُ عَلَيْكَ بِخَيْرٍ، وَلاَ يُرْجَى لِصَرْفِ السُّوءِ عَنْكَ وَلَوْ أَجْهَدَ نَفْسَهُ، وَرُبَّمَا أَرَادَ مَنْفَعَتَكَ فَضَرَّكَ، فَمَوْتُهُ خَيْرٌ مِنْ حَيَاتِهِ، وَسُكُوتُهُ خَيْرٌ مِنْ نُطْقِهِ، وَبُعْدُهُ خَيْرٌ مِنْ قُرْبِهِ. وَأَمَّا الْكَذَّابُ فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يُهْنِئُكَ مَعَهُ عَيْشٌ. يَنْقِلُ حَدِيثَكَ وَيَنْقِلُ إِلَيْكَ الْحَدِيثَ. كُلَّمَا أَفْنَى أُحْدُوثَةً مَطَّهَا بِأُخْرَى مِثْلِهَا، حَتَّى إِنَّهُ يُحَدِّثُ بِالصِّدْقِ فَمَا يُصَدَّقُ، وَيُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِالْعَدَاوَةِ فَيُنْبِتُ السَّخَائِمَ فِي الصُّدُورِ. فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ وَانْظُرُوا لأَِنْفُسِكُمْ.

Whenever he ascended the minbar (to deliver a speech), Imam ‘Ali (‘a) would say, “A Muslim should avoid befriending three categories of people: the sinful, the foolish, and the liars. The sinful shows you his evil acts as good deeds, wants you to be like him, and does not assist you in the affairs of your religion and your life to come. It is offensive and arduous to befriend such an individual whose visit to you brings you dishonor. The foolish can neither advise you nor save you from any problem even if he does his best. Moreover, he may harm you although he intends to benefit you. His death is better than his life, his silence is better than his words, and his remoteness is better than his closeness. The liar deprives you of any pleasurable association. He tells others of your conduct and relates the conduct of others to you. Whenever he finishes telling one lie, he invents another so much so that even his true statements seem untrue. He sows enmity between people to plant malice in their hearts. Fear Allah and consider your own good.17

B. The socially ignoble and lowly, mentally and culturally retarded, such as the insane, the idiot, the mean, the timorous, the vile, the uncivilized, and the illegitimate.

‘Ammar ibn Musa has reported that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) advised him saying:

يَا عَمَّارُ، إِنْ كُنْتَ تُحِبُّ أَنْ تَسْتَتِبَّ لَكَ النِّعْمَةُ، وَتَكْمُلَ لَكَ الْمُرُوءَةُ، وَتَصْلُحَ لَكَ الْمَعِيشَةُ فَلاَ تُشَارِكِ الْعَبِيدَ وَالسِّفْلَةَ فِي أَمْرِكَ، فَإِنَّهُمْ إِنِ ائْتَمَنْتَهُمْ خَانُوكَ، وَإِنْ حَدَّثُوكَ كَذَبُوكَ، وَإِنْ نُكِبْتَ خَذَلُوكَ، وَإِنْ وَعَدُوكَ أَخْلَفُوكَ.

O ‘Ammar, if you want graces to be poured on you constantly, manliness to be perfected for you, and livelihood to be stable for you, you must not share your affairs with servants and the lowly. If you entrust them with anything, they will betray you; if they speak to you, they will lie to you; if you are exposed to a misfortune, they will let you down; and if they promise you anything, they will fail to fulfill it.

‘Ammar ibn Musa has also reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

حُبُّ الأَبْرَارِ لِلأَبْرَارِ ثَوَابٌ لِلأَبْرَارِ، وَحُبُّ الْفُجَّارِ لِلأَبْرَارِ فَضِيلَةٌ لِلأَبْرَارِ، وَبُغْضُ الْفُجَّارِ لِلأَبْرَارِ زَيْنٌ لِلأَبْرَارِ، وَبُغْضُ الأَبْرَارِ لِلْفُجَّارِ خِزْيٌ عَلَى الْفُجَّارِ.

The love of the righteous for the righteous is a reward for the righteous. The love of the sinful for the righteous is a merit for the righteous. The hatred of the sinful for the righteous is adornment for the righteous. The hatred of the righteous for the sinful is disgrace for the sinful.18

The Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

خَمْسَةٌ يُجْتَنَبُونَ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ: الْمَجْذُومُ وَالأَبْرَصُ وَالْمَجْنُونُ وَوِلْدُ الزِّنَى وَالأَعْرَابِيُّ.

The following five categories of people must be avoided under all circumstances: (1) the leprous, (2) the mycobacterial,19 (3) the insane, (4) the illegitimately born, and (5) the uncivilized.20

(3) Keeping Away from Those of Forbidden Occupations

Traditions have also warned against associating with people who work in forbidden occupations and corrupt jobs and mock at religious laws and the manners of Islam, such as those mentioned in the following traditions:

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has reported his fathers (‘a) as saying:

سِتَّةٌ لاَ يُسَلَّمُ عَلَيْهِمْ: الْيَهُودِيُّ وَالنَّصْرَانِيُّ وَالرَّجُلُ عَلَى غَائِطِهِ، وَعَلَى مَوَائِدِ الْخَمْرِ، وَعَلَى الشَّاعِرِ الَّذِي يَقْذِفُ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ، وَعَلَى الْمُتَفَكِّهِينَ بِسَبِّ الأُمَّهَاتِ.

The following six categories of people must not be saluted: (1) the Jews, (2) the Nazerites, (3) men while discharging excrement, (4) men sitting at tables where wine is served, (5) poets who traduce honorable women, and (6) those who mock the mothers of other people.21

Seemingly, salutation in the previous tradition means the traditional salutation of Islam (i.e. salam). However, to salute these categories of people with other forms of greetings (such as good morning and the like) is permissible.

Similarly, al-Asbagh ibn Nubatah has reported Imam ‘Ali the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) as saying:

سِتَّةٌ لاَ يَنْبَغِي أَنْ يُسَلَّمَ عَلَيْهِمْ: الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَى، وَأَصْحَابُ النَّرْدِ وَالشُّطْرَنْجِ، وَأَصْحَابُ الْخَمْرِ وَالْبُرْبُطِ وَالطَّنْبُورِ، وَالْمُتَفَكِّهُونَ بِسَبِّ الأُمَّهَاتِ، وَالشُّعَرَاءُ.

The following six categories of people must not be saluted: (1) the Jews and the Nazerites, (2) those playing backgammon and chess, (3) those addicted to intoxicants, (4) those playing lutes and mandolins, (4) those who mock the mothers of others, and (5) poets.22

Apparently, poets mentioned in the previous traditions are intended to mean exclusively those who traduce honorable women or violate the religious laws and regulations, such as poets who praise tyrannical rulers and corrupt people. This exclusiveness is deduced from the Holy Qur'an that reads:

وَالشُّعَرَاءُ يَتَّبِعُهُمُ الْغَاوُونَ (224) أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّهُمْ فِي كُلِّ وَادٍ يَهِيمُونَ (225) وَأَنَّهُمْ يَقُولُونَ مَا لَا يَفْعَلُونَ (226) إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا وَانْتَصَرُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُوا وَسَيَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَيَّ مُنْقَلَبٍ يَنْقَلِبُونَ (227)

As for poets, the erring people follow them. Have you not seen how they stray in every valley? And, how they say that which they do not do, save those who believe and do good works, and remember Allah much, and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged. Those who do wrong will come to know by what a great reverse they will be overturned. (26:224-227)

(4) Keeping Away from Those Afflicted by Infectious Diseases

Other traditions have warned against associating with those afflicted by infectious diseases, as has been noticed in a previously mentioned narration as well as the following one.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), in the famous tradition of prohibitions (hadith al-manahi), is reported to has said:

وَكَرِهَ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَ الرَّجُلُ مَجْذُوماً إِلاَّ أَنْ يَكُونَ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهُ قَدْرَ ذِرَاعٍ.

It is recommended for men to speak to a leprous individual from a distance of one arm between them.

He (‘a) is also reported to have said:

فُرَّ مِنَ الْمَجْذُومِ فَرَارَكَ مِنَ الأَسَدِ.

Flee from the leprous as you flee from a lion.23

Reinforcing the Social Structure

At the level of reinforcing the social structure, we will notice a number of principles and methods, in addition to the previously cited ones, confirmed by Islam in general and the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) in particular. These principles are as follows:

Holding Meetings

Seeing it as one of the most favorable methods of strengthening the construction of the virtuous community, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) established organized meetings purposed to discuss religious and worldly affairs, because such meetings produce numerous beneficial consequences in the fields of religion, spirituality, and morality. These meetings were regarded as motivation for drawing near to Almighty Allah and as a form of invigorating the affairs of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) in addition to being opportunities to relax and beg for forgiveness for sins. The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) expressed love for all such meetings and their wish to have personally participated in them.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

تَزَاوَرُوا فَإِنَّ فِي زِيَارَتِكُمْ إِحْيَاءً لِقُلُوبِكُمْ، وَذِكْراً لأَِحَادِيثِنَا، وَأَحَادِيثُنَا تُعَطِّفُ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ، فَإِنْ أَخَذْتُمْ بِهَا رُشِدْتُمْ وَنَجَوْتُمْ، وَإِنْ تَرَكْتُمُوهَا ضَلَلْتُمْ وَهَلَكْتُمْ، فَخُذُوا بِهَا وَأَنَا بِنَجَاتِكُمْ زَعِيمٌ.

(I advise you to) exchange visits, for such visits activate your hearts and make you mention our discourses. Verily, our discourses lead you to sympathize with one another. If you apply them to yourselves, you will be guided to the truth and you will be saved. However, if you abandon them, you will then be misled and steered towards perdition. So, apply our discourses and I guarantee your deliverance.‌24

In addition to the account of Shaykh al-Kulayni, reporting Maysir as mentioned on page 46 there are other traditions, such as the following:

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

مَا اجْتَمَعَ ثَلاَثَةٌ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَصَاعِداً إِلاَّ حَضَرَ مِنَ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ مِثْلُهُمْ، فَإِنْ دَعَوْا بِخَيْرٍ أَمَّنُوا، وَإِنِ اسْتَعَاذُوا مِنْ شَرٍّ دَعَوُا اللهَ لِيَصْرِفَهُ عَنْهُمْ، وَإِنْ سَأَلُوا حَاجَةً شَفَعُوا إِلَى اللهِ وَسَأَلُوهُ قَضَاءَهَا.

Whenever three or more faithful believers meet, angels of their same number are surely present with them. When they (i.e. the believers) pray, the angels support their prayers; when they seek Almighty Allah’s protection against an evil, the angels pray to Him to ward off that evil from them; and when they beseech Him for a request, the angels intercede on their behalf and pray to Him to respond.‌25

Mu’attab, Imam al-Sadiq’s manumitted slave, has reported that he heard his master saying to Dawud ibn Sarhan:

يَا دَاوُدُ، أَبْلِغْ مَوَالِيَّ عَنِّي السَّلاَمَ، وَإِنِّي أَقُولُ: رَحِمَ اللهُ عَبْداً إجْتَمَعَ مَعَ آخَرَ فَتَذَاكَرَا أَمْرَنَا، فَإِنَّ ثَالِثَهُمَا مَلَكٌ يَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُمَا، وَمَا اجْتَمَعَ اثْنَانِ عَلَى ذِكْرِنَا إِلاَّ بَاهَى اللهُ تَعَالَى بِهِمَا الْمَلائِكَةَ، فَإِذَا اجْتَمَعْتُمْ فَاشْتَغِلُوا بِالذِّكْرِ، فَإِنَّ فِي اجْتِمَاعِكُمْ وَمُذَاكَرَتِكُمْ إِحْيَاءَنَا، وَخَيْرُ النَّاسِ بَعْدَنَا مَنْ ذَاكَرَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَدَعَا إِلَى ذِكْرِنَا.

O Dawud, convey my greetings to my adherents and tell them that I say: May Allah have mercy upon a servant (of Him) who meets with another servant and talks about us. Verily, the third of them will be an angel imploring Almighty Allah to forgive them. Whenever two persons meet to mention us, Almighty Allah will certainly praise them before the angels. Hence, whenever you meet, you must engage in mentioning us. Verily, your meetings and your mention of our affairs revives our Leadership. The best of all people after us are those who exchange views about our affairs and call others to mention us.26

Khaythamah has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying to him:

أَبْلِغْ مَوَالِيَنَا السَّلاَمَ وَأَوْصِهِمْ بِتَقْوَى اللهِ الْعَظِيمِ، وَأَنْ يَعُودَ غَنِيُّهُمْ عَلَى فَقِيرِهِمْ، وَقَوِيُّهُمْ عَلَى ضَعِيفِهِمْ، وَأَنْ يَشْهَدَ حَيُّهُمْ جَنَازَةَ مَيِّتِهِمْ، وَأَنْ يَتَلاَقَوْا فِي بُيُوتِهِمْ، فَإِنَّ فِي لِقَاءِ بَعْضِهِمْ بَعْضاً حَيَاةً لأَِمْرِنَا. رَحِمَ اللهُ عَبْداً أَحْيَا أَمْرَنَا.

Convey my compliments to my loyalists and advise them to show reverence to Almighty Allah: the rich among them must help the poor, the powerful must help the weak, the living must attend the funeral ceremonies of the dead, and they must assemble at their homes, for such meetings keep our issue alive. May Allah have mercy upon a servant who keeps our Leadership alive.27

Shu’ayb al-’Aqarqufi has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying to his companions:

إِتَّقُوا اللهَ وَكُونُوا إِخْوَةً بَرَرَةً مُتَحَابِّينَ فِي اللهِ، مُتَوَاصِلِينَ مُتَرَاحِمِينَ. تَزَاوَرُوا وَتَلاَقَوْا وَتَذَاكَرُوا أَمْرَنَا وَأَحْيُوهُ.

Be in awe of Almighty Allah and be devout brethren-in-faith who love each other for the sake of Almighty Allah, meet each other constantly, and have mercy on one another. Always exchange visits, meet each other, mention our Leadership, and keep it alive.28

Sincerity in Dealing with Muslims

The Holy Imams (‘a) taught their followers to act sincerely towards Muslims, to perform their duties towards them honestly, to advise them, to accept their advice, and to thank them when they inform them of their defects.

This principle is undoubtedly one of the most effective courses in reinforcing relations among individuals and firming up an unshakable foundation based on a sense of responsibility, mutual trust, and exchanging opinions to reach the truth.

Moreover, these principles must be applied according to the principle of wisdom and fair exhortation.29

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

يَجِبُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِ أَنْ يُنَاصِحَهُ.

Sincerity in treatment is a duty imposed upon a faithful believer towards other faithful believers.30

He (‘a) is also reported to have said:

يَجِبُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِ النَّصِيحَةُ لَهُ فِي الْمَشْهَدِ وَالْمَغِيبِ.

It is obligatory upon every faithful believer to deal with the other faithful believers with sincerity, be they present or absent.31

The Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

الدِّينُ نَصِيحَةٌ… للهِ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلأَِئَمَّةِ الدِّينِ وَلِجَماعَةِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ.

True religiousness is to act sincerely…towards Almighty Allah, His Messenger, the leaders of the religion, and the community of Muslims.32

Abu’l-’Udays has reported that Imam al-Baqir (‘a) advised him saying:

يَا صَالِحُ، إِتَّبِعْ مَنْ يُبْكِيكَ وَهُوَ لَكَ نَاصِحٌ، وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ مَنْ يُضْحِكُكَ وَهُوَ لَكَ غَاشٌّ، وَسَتَرِدُونَ عَلَى اللهِ جَمِيعاً فَتَعْلَمُونَ.

O Salih, follow him who causes you to weep and acts towards you with sincerity, but do not follow him who makes you laugh but is cheating you. When you all will be gathered by Allah, you will be made to know the truth.33

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported as saying:

أَحَبُّ إِخْوَانِي إِلَيَّ مَنْ أَهْدَى إِلَيَّ عُيُوبِي.

The dearest of my friends to me is he who reveals my defects to me.34

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported as saying:

لاَ يَسْتَغْنِي الْمُؤْمِنُ عَنْ خِصْلَةٍ وَبِهِ الْحَاجَةُ إِلَى ثَلاَثِ خِصَالٍ: تَوْفِيقٍ مِنَ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، وَوَاعِظٍ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ، وَقَبُولِ مَنْ يَنْصَحُهُ.

A faithful believer is not complete when in need of three characteristics: (1) Divine aid, (2) self-exhortation, and (3) acceptance of one who advises him.35

Mutual compassion, sympathy, and visiting

The Holy Imams (‘a) ordered their followers to exchange feelings of compassion, kindness, and closeness and to exchange visits, because the emotional and spiritual aspects in building good social relations are the most important elements in strengthening and establishing a firm foundation for these relations.

The virtuous community that included the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) are described in the Holy Qur'an as:

أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ (29)

…harsh against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves. (48:29)

أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (54)

… humble towards the believers… (5:54)

وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْض (71)

As for the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other. (9:71)

An independent chapter has been dedicated to this principle in the book of Wasa'il al-Shi’ah. Let us now refer to some traditions that demonstrate this principle, reference to which has been made on various occasions in the previous books of this series.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

الْمُسْلِمُ أَخُو الْمُسْلِمِ؛ لاَ يَظْلِمُهُ وَلاَ يَخْذُلُهُ وَلاَ يَخُونُهُ. وَيَحِقُّ عَلَى الْمُسْلِمِينَ الإجْتِهَادُ فِي التَّوَاصُلِ وَالتَّعَاقُدِ عَلَى التَّعَاطُفِ وَالْمُوَاسَاةُ لأَِهْلِ الْحَاجَةِ وَتَعَاطُفِ بَعْضِهِمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ حَتَّى تَكُونُوا كَمَا أَمَرَكُمُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، رُحَمَاءَ بَيْنَكُمْ مُتَرَاحِمِينَ مُغْتَمِّينَ لِمَا غَابَ عَنْكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ عَلَى مَا مَضَى عَلَيْهِ مَعْشَرُ الأَنْصَارِ عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ.

Muslims are brothers to each other. They neither wrong, nor disappoint, nor betray each other. The duties that are incumbent on Muslims towards each other are to exert effort in communication, agree on mutual sympathy, treat the needy as they treat themselves, and empathize with one another. If you abide by this, you will be exactly as Almighty Allah has ordered you to be; compassionate and merciful towards one another and feeling regretful when missing any opportunity to help your brethren-in-faith, just like the conduct of the Ansar during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (S).36

Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said:

رَحِمَ اللهُ امْرَأً أَلَّفَ بَيْنَ وَلِيَّيْنِ لَنَا. يَا مَعْشَرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، تَآلَفُوا وَتَعَاطَفُوا.

May Allah have mercy upon a person who reconciles two of our adherents. O group of believers, adopt manners of affinity with each other and have sympathy for each other.37

Restoring Estranged Parties to Friendly Relations

Traditions reported from the Holy Imams (‘a) urge reconciliation and describe it as even better than the performance of prayers and observance of fasting in general. Other traditions have underscored the significance and merits of conciliation, showing its great contribution to solidifying and consolidating general social relations among people and removing all barriers and differences that hinder concord and harmony in societies.

In their books of practical laws, master jurisprudents have dedicated an independent chapter to reconciliation (Kitab al-Sulh) in which they mention in detail the traditions and laws on this topic.

According to a validly reported tradition, Imam ‘Ali the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) and Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) are reported to have said:

لَئَنْ أُصْلِحَ بَيْنَ اثْنَيْنِ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ أَنْ أَتَصَدَّقَ بِدِينَارَيْنِ.

To make peace between two estranged persons is more favorable to me than to give two (golden) Dinars as alms.38

Imam ‘Ali the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) is also reported to have said:

صَدَقَةٌ يُحِبُّهَا اللهُ إِصْلاَحٌ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ إِذَا تَفَاسَدُوا، وَتَقَارُبٌ بَيْنَهُمْ إِذَا تَبَاعَدُوا.

The alms that Almighty Allah prefers is reconciling estranged parties and drawing close those who have been alienated from one another.39

In his final instructive will to his two sons (Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn (‘a)), Imam ‘Ali the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) said:

أُوصِيكُمَا وَجَمِيعَ وِلْدِي وَأَهْلِي وَمَنْ بَلَغَهُ كِتَابِي بِتَقْوَى اللهِ وَنُظْمِ أَمْرِكُمْ وَصَلاَحِ ذَاتِ بَيْنِكُمْ، فَإِنِّي سَمِعْتُ جَدَّكُمَا رَسُولَ اللهَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ يَقُولُ: صَلاَحُ ذَاتِ الْبَيْنِ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ عَامَّةِ الصَّلاَةِ وَالصِّيَامِ.

I advise you (both) and all my children and members of my family and everyone whom my writing reaches to fear Allah, to keep your affairs in order, and to maintain good relations among yourselves, for I have heard your grandfather (the Holy Prophet (S)) saying, “Improvement of mutual differences is better than general prayers and fasting.”40

Abu-Hanifah, the cameleer of pilgrims, has reported the following:

One day, my son-in-law and I were engaged in a dispute about inheritance when al-Mufadhdhal (ibn ‘Umar) passed by us. He paused for a considerable time and then invited us to his house. When we went there, he reconciled us by giving us four hundred Dirhams from his own money. When both of us gave him our word that we would not continue our dispute, al-Mufadhdhal said, “In fact, these Dirhams are not from my personal fortune; rather, Abu-’Abdullah (Imam al-Sadiq) (‘a) ordered me to reconcile any two of our faith whom I would see disputing about a matter.”41

In addition, although telling lies is one of the gravest forbidden acts, the Holy Legislator has permitted it in peacemaking and disallowed telling the truth if it would cause alienation between disputing believers.

Hence, telling lies may be permitted when it is intended to restore two believing parties to friendly relations with one another or to dissolve their differences and disputations. However, telling lies in such situations is contingent upon certain stipulations and circumstances.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has reported on the authority of his fathers that the Holy Prophet (S) said:

ثَلاَثَةٌ يَحْسُنُ فِيهِنَّ الْكَذِبُ: الْمَكِيدَةُ فِي الْحَرْبِ، وَعِدَتُكَ زَوْجَتَكَ، وَالإِصْلاَحُ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ، وَثَلاَثَةٌ يَقْبُحُ فِيهِنَّ الصِّدْقُ: النَّمِيمَةُ، وَإِخْبَارُكَ الرَّجُلَ عَنْ أَهْلِهِ بِمَا يَكْرَهُهُ، وَتَكْذِيبُكَ الرَّجُلَ عَنِ الْخَبَرِ.

Telling a lie is acceptable only in three situations: as a stratagem of battle, when making promises to one’s wife, and for restoring friendly relations among people. Telling the truth is reproached in three situations: when the truth is malicious, when informing a husband about what he would not like to hear about his wife, and when denouncing a person’s news to be a lie.42

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

الْكَلاَمُ ثَلاَثَةٌ: صِدْقٌ، وَكَذِبٌ، وَإِصْلاَحٌ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ. تَسْمَعُ مِنَ الرَّجُلِ كَلاَماً يَبْلُغُهُ فَتُخَبِّثُ نَفْسَهُ فَتَقُولُ: سَمِعْتُ مِنْ فُلاَنٍ قَالَ فِيكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كَذَا وَكَذَا خِلاَفَ مَا سِمَعْتَهُ مِنْهُ.

Speech is of three categories: telling the truth, telling lies, and reconciliation between people…which means that if you hear some words from a party that may enrage the another party, you should inform the other party of the opposite of these evil words.43

Respect of Neighbors and Consolidation of the Social Structure

The traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) continually emphasize respecting one’s neighbors and treating them as special, since this principle plays a vital role in reinforcing the structure of society. There are two natural types of relationships: one of them is with neighbors and the other, which is more important, is with family. As a general and practical rule, the more neighbors cooperate with each other the more comfortable, stable, and secure the entire society becomes.

Preventive Procedures

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) advised taking a number of practical, preventive measures to reinforce social relations, including the following:

A. Avoid incurring the rancor, animosity, malevolence, disputation, and detestation of people

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

مَا أَتَانِي جَبْرَئِيلُ قَطُّ إِلاَّ وَعَظَنِي، فَآخِرُ قَوْلِهِ لِي: إِيَّاكَ وَمُشَارَّةَ النَّاسِ، فَإِنَّهَا تَكْشِفُ الْعَوْرَةَ وَتَذْهَبُ بِالْعِزِّ.

Every time (Archangel) Gabriel came to me, he would exhort me. The last thing he said to me was the following: Beware of incurring the hostility of people, because this will unveil the hidden and remove dignity.44

The Holy Prophet (S) is also reported to have said:

أَلاَ إِنَّ فِي التَّبَاغُضِ الْحَالِقَةَ. لاَ أَعْنِي حَالِقَةَ الشَّعْرِ، وَلَكِنْ حَالِقَةَ الدِّينِ.

Most certainly, provoking the disrespect of people is the genuine shaver. It does not shave the hair, but the faith.45

B. Responding to greetings and salutations, replying to messages and letters and exchanging letters as a substitute of visits and meetings

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

رَدُّ جَوَابِ الْكِتَابِ وَاجِبٌ كَوُجُوبِ رَدِّ السَّلاَمِ، وَالْبَادِي بِالسَّلاَمِ أَوْلَى بِاللهِ وَبِرَسُولِهِ.

Replying to messages is as obligatory as responding to greetings and salutations. He who takes the initiative of offering salutation is more favorable in the view of Almighty Allah and His Messenger.46

He (‘a) is also reported as saying:

التَّوَاصُلُ بَيْنِ الإِخْوَانِ فِي الْحَضَرِ التَّزَاوُرُ، وَفِي السَّفَرِ التَّكَاتُبُ.

In homelands, exchanging visits is a means of association. In travel, correspondence is the means of association.47

C. Fulfilling promises, even if it takes a whole year

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has reported the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيَفِ إِذَا وَعَدَ.

He who believes in Almighty Allah and in the Day of Resurrection must fulfill his promise.48

D. Specific restrictions while choosing trustworthy friends

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

الصَّدَاقَةُ مَحْدُودَةٌ، فَمَنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ فِيهِ تِلْكَ الْحُدُودُ فَلاَ تَنْسِبْهُ إِلَى كَمَالِ الصَّدَاقَةِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِيهِ شَيْءٌ مِنْ تِلْكَ الْحُدُودِ فَلاَ تَنْسِبْهُ إِلَى الصَّدَاقَةِ. أَوَّلُهَا أَنْ تَكُونَ سَرِيرَتُهُ وَعَلاَنِيَتُهُ لَكَ وَاحِدَةٌ، وَالثَّانِيَةُ أَنْ يَرَى زَيْنَكَ زَيْنَهُ، وَشَيْنَكَ شَيْنَهُ، وَالثَّالِثَةُ أَنْ لاَ يُغَيِّرَهُ عَنْكَ مَالٌ وَلاَ وِلاَيَةٌ، وَالرَّابِعَةُ أَنْ لاَ يَمْنَعَكَ شَيْئاً مِمَّا تَصِلُ إِلَيْهِ مَقْدِرَتُهُ، وَالْخَامِسَةُ أَنْ لاَ يُسَلِّمَكَ عِنْدَ النَّكَبَاتِ.

Friendship is restricted to certain qualifications. Whoever does not have these qualifications completely cannot be a perfect friend, and whoever lacks all of these qualifications cannot be a friend. The first of these qualifications is that the friend’s inward and outward appearances must be the same. The second is that he must consider that which benefits his friend is also to his own benefit and that which harms his friend is harmful for him, also. The third is that neither wealth nor position must cause him to change his relationship with his friend. The fourth is that he must not prevent his friend from enjoying anything that is under his control. The fifth is that he must not let his friend down in misfortunes.49

E. Maintenance of equilibrium in relations

In the coming discussion of control over passions, we will mention some traditions recommending maintenance of equilibrium in social relations so that mutual decorum and respect remains intact and relations do not disintegrate. For example, confiding excessively in one another can lead to disappointment on both sides. Additional instructions and recommendations come under the title of ‘Laws of Social Association.

Consultation: Restrictions and Outcomes

It is necessary to mention the subject of consultation and display some of its laws, limits, and outcomes because consultation is a significant foundation of social structure and an important goal of social relations.

Significance of Consultation

Islam and the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have imparted a special significance to the question of consultation in their concept of government‌50‌ and social relations.

In his book of al-Mahasin, al-Barqi has reported that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

مُشَاوَرَةُ الْعَاقِلِ النَّاصِحِ رُشْدٌ وَيُمْنٌ وَتَوْفِيقٌ مِنَ اللهِ، فَإِذَا أَشَارَ عَلَيْكَ النَّاصِحُ الْعَاقِلُ فَإِيَّاكَ وَالْخِلاَفَ فَإِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ الْعَطَبَ.

Seeking the counsel of the reasonable well-wisher is a sign of judiciousness, being blessed, and guidance to success by Almighty Allah; so, if a reasonable, well-wishing man gives you any advice, beware of defiance lest you come upon destruction.‌51

According to another narration also cited in the previous book, Imam al-Baqir is reported to have said:

فِي التَّوْرَاةِ أَرْبَعَةُ أَسْطُرٍ: مَنْ لاَ يَسْتَشِرْ يَنْدَمْ، وَالْفَقْرُ الْمَوْتُ الأَكْبَرُ، وَكَمَا تَدِينُ تُدَانُ، وَمَنْ مَلَكَ اسْتَأْثَرَ.

In the Torah are the following four lines (of wisdom): He who does not seek the advice of others will surely regret. Poverty is the greatest death. If you subjugate, you will surely be subjugated. He who holds a position of leadership will surely act arbitrarily.‌52

Imam ‘Ali the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) is reported to have said:

الإسْتِشَارَةُ عَيْنُ الْهِدَايَةِ.

Consultation is the very core of true guidance.‌53

To acquaint ourselves with the significance of consultation, we shall cite the following points that have been pointed out by the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a):

Power and Backing

Consultation is the best support for man in his activities and advancement. It is therefore an actual reliable power in social relations.

In this regard, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has reported that the Holy Prophet (S) instructed Imam ‘Ali the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) by saying:

لاَ فَقْرَ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْجَهْلِ وَلاَ مَالَ أَعْوَدُ مِنَ الْعَقْلِ وَلاَ وِحْدَةَ أَوْحَشُ مِنَ الْعُجْبِ وَلاَ مُظَاهَرَةَ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ الْمُشَاوَرَةِ وَلاَ عَقْلَ كَالتَّدْبِيرِ وَلاَ حَسَبَ كَحُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ وَلاَ عِبَادَةَ كَالتَّفَكُّرِ.

No poverty is harsher than ignorance, no fortune better than the intellect, no loneliness drearier than pride, no victory like counseling, no intellect like moderation, no lineage like good manners, and no worship like pondering (over things).‌54

Confirming this fact, Imam ‘Ali the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) is reported to have said:

لاَ غِنَى كَالْعَقْلِ، وَلاَ فَقْرَ كَالْجَهْلِ، وَلاَ مِيرَاثَ كالأَدَبِ، وَلاَ ظَهِيرَ كَالْمُشَاوَرَةِ.

No wealth is comparable to intelligence, no poverty comparable to ignorance, no heritage comparable to good manners, and no support comparable to consultation.‌55

Determination and Perseverance

Consultation reflects resolve and determination because one who counsels with others naturally feels tranquil, steadfast, and eager to do the act for which he has sought consultation.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has reported on the authority of his fathers (‘a) that the Holy Prophet (S) was once asked to define perseverance. He answered:

مُشَاوَرَةُ ذَوِي الرَّأْيِ وَاتِّبَاعُهُمْ.

Perseverance is to consult with the judicious people and then follow their advice.

The Best Way to Understand Reality

Consultation is the best way to get to know reality and truth. Through consultation, man gains insight into reality. The objective, unbiased, selfless opinions of experienced people make him adopt a certain view, position, or action.

Traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) stress this fact. For instance, Imam ‘Ali (‘a) is reported to have said:

مَنِ اسْتَبَدَّ بِرَأْيِهِ هَلَكَ، وَمَنْ شَاوَرَ الرِّجَالَ شَارَكَهَا فِي عُقُولِهَا.

He who acts solely according to his own opinion will be ruined, and he who consults other people shares in their understanding.‌56

الإسْتِشَارَةُ عَيْنُ الْهِدَايَةِ.

Consultation is the very core of true guidance.‌57

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِسْتَشِرِ الْعَاقِلَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ الْوَرِعَ فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَأْمُرُ إِلاَّ بِخَيْرٍ، وَإِيَّاكَ وَالْخِلاَفَ فَإِنَّ مُخَالَفَةَ الْوَرِعِ الْعَاقِلِ مَفْسَدَةٌ فِي الدِّينِ وَالدُّنْيَا.

Seek the advice of the reasonable and pious men, because they order you to good. Beware of defying them, because to defy reasonable and pious men brings about corruption in religious and worldly affairs.‌58

Teaching Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah to seek consultation and take advantage of the opinions of reasonable people in order to attain the truth and arrive at the most apposite solution, Imam ‘Ali (‘a) is reported to have said the following in his instructive words to his son:

أُضْمُمْ آرَاءَ الرِّجَالِ بَعْضَهَا إِلَى بَعْضٍ، ثُمَّ اخْتَرْ أَقْرَبَهَا مِنَ الصَّوَابِ، وَأَبْعَدَهَا مِنَ الإرْتِيَابِ. قَدْ خَاطَرَ بِنَفْسِهِ مَنِ اسْتَغْنَى بِرَأْيِهِ، وَمَنِ اسْتَقْبَلَ وُجُوهَ الآرَاءِ عَرِفَ مَوَاقِعَ الْخَطَأِ.

Compare different opinions of men with each other and then choose the one closest to reality and remotest from suspicion… He who depends solely upon his opinion takes risks, and he who receives different opinions will certainly learn to recognize erroneous ways.‌59

Characteristics of Advisers

According to the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), persons whose advice is sought and opinions considered must be:

• Religious, pious, devout, and God-fearing

• Sincere in advising

• Wise and experienced

• Able to keep a confidence

• Moderate in personal moral standards (i.e., not characterized by stinginess, cowardice, or avarice)

• Upright in social circumstances

• Moderate in emotion‌60

Let us now cite a set of traditions mentioning the characteristics of advisers:

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إسْتَشِيرُوا فِي أَمْرِكُمُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ.

In your affairs, seek the advice of those who fear their Lord.‌61

Imam ‘Ali (‘a) is reported to have said:

شَاوِرْ فِي حَدِيثِكَ الَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ اللهَ.

In your affairs, seek the advice of those who fear Allah.‌62

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

مَا يَمْنَعُ أَحَدَكُمْ إِذَا وَرَدَ عَلَيْهِ مَا لاَ قِبَلَ لَهُ بِهِ أَنْ يَسْتَشِيرَ رَجُلاً عَاقِلاً لَهُ دِينٌ وَوَرَعٌ؟ أَمَا إِنَّهُ إِذَا فَعَلَ ذَلِكَ لَمْ يَخْذِلْهُ اللهُ، بَلْ يَرْفَعُهُ اللهُ، وَرَمَاهُ بِخَيْرِ الأُمُورِ وَأَقْرَبِهَا إِلَى اللهِ.

What prevents you, when you encounter an unbearable problem, from counseling with a wise, religious and pious man? If you do so, Almighty Allah will never disappoint you, but will raise you and lead you to the best solution and the one closest to Him.‌63

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported to have said:

إِنَّ الْمَشُورَةَ لاَ تَكُونُ إِلاَّ بِحُدُودِهَا، فَمَنْ عَرَفَهَا بِحُدُودِهَا وَإِلاَّ كَانَتْ مَضَرَّتُهَا عَلَى الْمُسْتَشِيرِ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ مَنْفَعَتِهَا لَهُ. فَأَوَّلُهَا أَنْ يَكُونَ الَّذِي تُشَاوِرُهُ عَاقِلاً، وَالثَّانِيَةُ أَنْ يَكُونَ حُرّاً مُتَدَيِّناً، وَالثَّالِثَةُ أَنْ يَكُونَ صَدِيقاً مُؤَاخِياً، وَالرَّابِعَةُ أَنْ تُطْلِعَهُ عَلَى سِرِّكَ فَيَكُونُ عِلْمُهُ بِهِ كَعِلْمِكَ بِنَفْسِكَ، ثُمَّ يُسِرُّ ذَلِكَ وَيَكْتُمُهُ. فَإِنَّهُ إِذَا كَانَ عَاقِلاً إنْتَفَعْتَ بِمَشُورَتِهِ، وَإِذَا كَانَ حُرّاً مُتَدَيِّناً جَهَدَ نَفْسَهُ فِي النَّصِيحَةِ لَكَ، وَإِذَا كَانَ صَدِيقاً مُؤَاخِياً كَتَمَ سِرَّكَ إِذَا أَطْلَعْتَهُ عَلَيْهِ، وَإِذَا أَطْلَعْتَهُ عَلَى سِرِّكَ فَكَانَ عِلْمُهُ بِهِ كَعِلْمِكَ بِهِ تَمَّتِ الْمَشُورَةُ وَكَمُلَتِ النَّصِيحَةُ.

Actually, seeking advice must be within limits, so if one ignores (or violates) these limits, the harm will be more than the benefit. The first of these limits is that the consultant must be wise. The second is that he must be honorable and religious. The third is that he must be a brotherly friend. The fourth is that when you tell him about your secret, he must know it exactly as you know it and then he must keep it in confidence. If the consultant is wise, you will then benefit from his advice. If he is honorable and religious, he will make all possible efforts to give you the best advice. If he is a brotherly friend, then he will conceal your secret after you reveal it to him. If he knows your situation well, then he will give perfect counsel and advice.‌64

Imam al-Ridha (‘a) has reported on the authority of his fathers that Imam ‘Ali (‘a) quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying to him:

لاَ تُشَاوِرَنَّ جَبَاناً فَإِنَّهُ يُضَيِّقُ عَلَيْكَ الْمَخْرَجَ، وَلاَ تُشَاوِرَنَّ بَخِيلاً فَإِنَّهُ يُقَصِّرُ بِكَ عَنْ غَايَتِكَ، وَلاَ تُشَاوِرَنَّ حَرِيصاً فَإِنَّهُ يُزَيِّنُ لَكَ شَرَّهَا. وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الْجُبْنَ وَالْبُخْلَ وَالْحِرْصَ غَرِيزَةٌ يَجْمَعُهَا سُوءُ الظَّنِّ.

Never counsel with a coward because they narrow the possibilities in your eyes. Never counsel with the niggardly because they hamper you from attaining your goal. Never counsel with the greedy because they beautify evil in your eyes. Be it known that cowardice, niggardliness, and greed are inclinations that when gathered give a false idea about things.‌65

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has reported from his fathers that the Holy Prophet (S) instructed Imam ‘Ali (‘a), saying:

يَا عِلِيُّ، لَيْسَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ جُمُعَةٌ. وَلاَ تُوَلَّى الْقَضَاءَ، وَلاَ تُسْتَشَارُ. يَا عَلِيُّ، سُوءُ الْخُلُقِ شُؤْمٌ، وَطَاعَةُ الْمَرْأَةِ نَدَامَةٌ. يَا عَلِيُّ، إِنْ كَانَ الشُّؤْمُ فِي شَيْءٍ فَفِي لِسَانِ الْمَرْأَةِ.

O ‘Ali, women are not required to attend the Friday Congregational Prayers…They must not hold the office of chief justice and their guidance must not be sought. O ‘Ali, ill manners are inauspicious and obedience to women brings remorse. O ‘Ali, if inauspiciousness is found in something, it will be found on the tongues of women.‌66

According to another narration of a valid chain of authority, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

أُعْصُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَعْرُوفِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَأْمُرْنَكُمْ بِالْمُنْكَرِ، وَتَعَوَّذُوا بِاللهِ مِنْ شِرَارِهِنَّ وَكُونُوا مِنْ خِيَارِهِنَّ عَلَى حَذَرٍ.

Do not listen to women in right things lest they enjoin you to do wrong things. Ask Allah’s protection against evil women and be cautious of the good ones.‌67

Duties of Advisers

The previous narration shows that it is imperative for an adviser to be honest and sincere in giving advice and exert all possible effort to guide towards the truth and actuality. A tradition holds that an adviser is a trustee.‌68

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported to have said:

مَنِ اسْتَشَارَ أَخَاهُ فَلَمْ يَنْصَحْهُ مَحْضَ الرَّأْيِ سَلَبَهُ اللهُ رَأْيَهُ.

If one whose advice is sought by his brother-in-faith does not give the best advice, Almighty Allah will deprive him of good reason.‌69

In addition to honesty and sincerity, an adviser is required to conceal the secrets of the advice-seeker, as is understood from the Holy Imam’s statement, “An adviser is a trustee.”

The previous discussion sufficiently proves that the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) highlighted seeking advice in the field of social relations as being most important.

Equality and Fraternity

These features can be clearly found in the various details of the system of social relations. All these details indicate the fact that equality and fraternity are genuine components for the establishment of social relations with others.

Other details, including the following have been mentioned so far:

• reinforcing the social structure by holding meetings, exchanging visits, and dealing with others sympathetically

• rules of commitment to social duties, forbearance, and courtesy in particular

• fulfillment of trusts, testifying for or against others, presence in funeral ceremonies, and visiting sick people

• forbidding killing of Muslims, seizure of their property, violation of their chastity and family, entering homes or looking in them before obtaining permission, safeguarding the chastity and dignity of all Muslims

• prohibition of defamation of character, insulting, backbiting, divulging secrets, imputing dishonor, wronging, disappointing, ambushing, accusing, frightening, making charges, offending, cursing, and scrutinizing the flaws of Muslims

• exchanging greetings and trying to be the first to greet, using kind words, respecting, honoring, meeting others with a smile and good mien, shaking hands, hugging, and kissing others as a sign of friendliness

Besides the above, Islam has also deemed it forbidden to greet the poor in a way different from greeting the rich. In this regard, Imam al-Ridha (‘a) is reported to have said:

مَنْ لَقِيَ فَقِيراً مُسْلِماً فَسَلَّمَ عَلَيْهِ خِلاَفَ سَلاَمِهِ عَلَى الْغَنِيِّ لَقِيَ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِ غَضْبَانَ.

Whoever meets a poor Muslim and greets him in a way different from greeting a rich one, will find Almighty Allah angry with him when he will meet Him on the Day of Resurrection.‌70

The prohibition against belittling faithful believers because they are poor or humble is another indication of the significance of social fraternity and equality. In this connection, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) reported the Holy Prophet (S) to have said:

مَنِ اسْتَخَفَّ بِفَقِيرٍ مُسْلِمٍ فَقَدِ اسْتَخَفَّ بِحَقِّ اللهِ، وَاللهُ يَسْتَخِفُّ بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِلاَّ أَنْ يَتُوبَ.

He who belittles a poor Muslim has in fact belittled Almighty Allah; therefore, Almighty Allah will belittle him on the Day of Resurrection unless he repents.‌71

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported to have said:

مَنِ اسْتَذَلَّ مُؤْمِناً وَاحْتَقَرَهُ لِقِلَّةِ ذَاتِ يَدِهِ وَلِفَقْرِهِ، شَهَرَهُ اللهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَى رُؤُوسِ الْخَلاَئِقِ.

Whoever humiliates and demeans a believer because of his meagerness and poverty, Almighty Allah shall expose him on the Day of Resurrection before all creatures.‌72

Imam al-Ridha (‘a) reported on the authority of his fathers that the Holy Prophet (S) said:

خَمْسٌ لاَ أَدَعُهُنَّ حَتَّى الْمَمَاتِ: الأَكْلُ عَلَى الْحَضِيضِ مَعَ الْعَبِيدِ، وَرُكُوبِيَ الْحِمَارَ مُؤْكِفاً، وَحَلْبِي الْعَنْزَ بِيَدِي، وَلَبْسُ الصُّوفِ، وَالتَّسْلِيمُ عَلَى الصِّبْيَانِ.

I will never abandon the following five as long as I am alive: eating with the servants on the ground, riding beasts of burden unsaddled, milking goats with my own hands, wearing woolen clothes, and offering salutations to children.73

As has been already mentioned, Islam has deemed all Muslims equal to each other, especially in the question of marriage. This is another indication of the importance of equality and fraternity in Muslim society.

Levels of Social Relations

Although the Islamic concept of social relations believes in equality in the content of social relations, there are certain substantive social reasons imposing different levels in social relations. These levels are as follows:

Relations of General Courtesy

Relations of General Association

Relations of Special Association

Relations of General Courtesy

Openness in relations, friendliness, forbearance, good association with others, control over personal sentiments and emotions, charitable behavior and taking the lead in goodness demonstrate a courteous relationship with all individuals of society.

Relations of General Association

Relations of necessity, or general association, mean the state of association and companionship in various fields of life, such as earning ones livelihood, traveling, dwelling, being neighbors, studying, following a profession, etc. In such relations, man understands the natural limits of relations so that he can benefit from the vital and material advantages of life. Referring to this fact, the Holy Imam (‘a) says:

فَإِنَّكَ تُصِيبُ مِنْهُمْ لَذَّتَكَ، فَلاَ تَقْطَعَنْ ذَلِكَ مِنْهُمْ، وَلاَ تَطْلُبَنْ مَا وَرَاءَ ذَلِكَ مِنْ ضَمِيرِهِمْ.

Regarding the friends of necessity, you gain from them only your need; therefore, you should not deprive them of their need. Do not ask them for any other thing.

In relations, it is required to exchange benefits and pleasures:

وَابْذِلْ لَهُمْ مَا بَذَلُوا لَكَ مِنْ طَلاَقَةِ الْوَجْهِ وَحَلاَوَةِ اللِّسَانِ.

Offer them a pleasant countenance and good words as long as they offer you a pleasant countenance and good words.‌74

The details concerning this level of relations (relations of necessity) can be found in laws regarding companionship on journeys and manners with companions,‌75‌ relations between employees and employers, the etiquettes of teaching and learning, the etiquettes of attending meetings, delivering speeches, and talking with others. In this area, Islam instructs its followers to give seating to the newcomers, and to stand up, show respect, and address others with their favorite names and titles.

In this respect, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) reported the Holy Prophet (S) to have said:

ثَلاَثٌ يُصَفِّينَ وِدَّ الْمَرْءِ لأَِخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ: يَلْقَاهُ بِالْبِشْرِ إِذَا لَقِيَهُ، وَيُوَسِّعُ لَهُ فِي الْمَجْلِسِ إِذَا جَلَسَ إِلَيْهِ، وَيَدْعُوهُ بِأَحَبِّ الأَسْمَاءِ إِلَيْهِ.

Three things will prove your friendship to your Muslim brother: Welcoming him warmly, making room for him in meetings when he arrives, and calling him by his dearest names.‌76

Reported by Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) too, the Holy Prophet (S) said:

إِذَا أَحَبَّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَخَاهُ الْمُسْلِمَ فَلْيَسْأَلْهُ عَنِ اسْمِهِ وَاسْمِ أَبِيهِ وَاسْمِ قَبِيلَتِهِ وَعَشِيرَتِهِ، فَإِنَّ مِنْ حَقِّهِ الْوَاجِبِ وَصِدْقِ الإِخَاءِ أَنْ يَسْأَلَهُ عَنْ ذَلِكَ، وَإِلاَّ فَإِِنَّهَا مَعْرِفَةُ حُمْقٍ.

If one of you loves his Muslim brother, he must ask him his name, his father’s name, and his tribe’s name, because this is one of the duties towards one’s brother-in-faith and one of the features of true fraternity. If you do not do this, your acquaintance will be foolish.‌77

Islam has also set forth laws about private chatter in public sessions. In this respect, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِذَا كَانَ الْقَوْمُ ثَلاَثَةً فَلاَ يَتَنَاجَ مِنْهُمُ اثْنَانِ دُونَ صَاحِبِهِمَا، فَإِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ مَا يُحْزِنُهُ وَيُؤْذِيهِ.

If there are three persons sitting together, two of them must not talk to one another and leave out the third because this act saddens and injures him.‌78

Relations of Special Association

The highest level of relations is the level of reliance, which represents the relations of true friendship and gives rise to certain duties and rights.

This level of relations specifies the characteristics of true friends, which include: good sense, piety, trustworthiness, keeping a confidence, supportiveness, generosity, honesty, observance of duties in general and prayers in particular, and sincerity in fraternal terms aimed at winning Almighty Allah’s pleasure. The following traditions further amplify this level of association:

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has quoted Imam ‘Ali (‘a) as saying:

لاَ عَلَيْكَ أَنْ تَصْحَبَ ذَا الْعَقْلِ وَإِنْ لَمْ تُحْمَدْ كَرَمَهُ، وَلَكِنِ انْتَفِعْ بِعَقْلِهِ، وَاحْتَرِسْ مِنْ سَيِّئِ أَخْلاَقِهِ، وَلاَ تَدَعَنَّ صُحْبَةَ الْكَرِيمِ وَإِنْ لَمْ تَنْتَفِعْ بِعَقْلِهِ، وَلَكِنِ انْتَفِعْ بِكَرَمِهِ بِعَقْلِكَ، وَافْرُرْ كُلَّ الْفِرَارِ مِنَ اللَّئِيمِ الأَحْمَقِ.

It is not wrong on your part to accompany wise people even if you are deprived of their generosity; in fact, you may benefit from their wisdom, but beware of their ill manners. Do not forsake association with the generous even if deprived of their good sense. You can use your good sense to benefit from their generosity. Break away from idiots and despicable people.‌79

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

عَلَيْكَ بِالتَّلاَدِ، وَإِيَّاكَ وَكُلَّ مُحَدِّثٍ لاَ عَهْدَ لَهُ وَلاَ أَمَانَةَ وَلاَ ذِمَّةَ وَلاَ مِيثَاقَ.

Stand by old friends whom you have put to the test, and do not associate with inexperienced persons who observe neither their promises, nor trusts, nor covenants, nor pledges.‌80

Special Treatment

We will restrict the following discussion to introducing a few examples of special relations mentioned in the sections on the laws of association, and other examples mentioned in the sections on the rules and principles of social relations. These are comparatively limited, yet explain the hypothetical concept of this topic.

Invoking Blessings on the Holy Prophet (S) and his Household (‘a)

The topic of invoking Almighty Allah’s blessings on the Holy Prophet and his Household (salawat) under all conditions and circumstances is one obvious expression of this special treatment. In this connection, we find that to begin any supplicatory prayer by invoking blessings upon the Holy Prophet (S) and his Household (‘a) results in that supplication receiving a response, because Almighty Allah never rejects a prayer that is preceded by this invocation. Similarly, Almighty Allah, out of His magnanimity, responds to any prayer ending with an invocation of His blessings on the Holy Prophet (S) and his Household (‘a). This fact has been reported from Imam ‘Ali (‘a) who says:

إِذَا كَانَتْ لَكَ إِلَى اللهِ سُبْحَانَهُ حَاجَةٌ فَابْدَأْ بِمَسْأَلَةِ الصَّلاَةِ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ ثُمَّ سَلْ حَاجَتَكَ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ أَكْرَمُ مِنْ أَنْ يُسْأَلَ حَاجَتَيْنِ فَيَقْضِي إِحْدَاهُمَا وَيَمْنَعُ الأُخْرَى.

If you would like your request to be granted by Almighty Allah, you must begin your prayer with invoking His blessings on His Messenger (S) and then voice your request, because Almighty Allah is too generous to respond to a request and reject the other when two requests are placed before Him together.‌81

Likewise, it is advisable to attach the convention of praising Almighty Allah immediately after sneezing‌82‌ with invoking Almighty Allah’s blessings on the Holy Prophet (S) and his Household (‘a). Moreover, it is advisable to repeat this invocation of blessings under all conditions, including private matters, as an expression of taking interest in special treatment.

Ibn Abi-’Umayr has reported on the authority of one of his companions that a man sneezed in the presence of Imam al-Baqir (‘a) and followed it with expressing thanks to Almighty Allah. Nevertheless, the Imam (‘a) did not address him with the conventional statement; rather, he said, “This man has violated our right!” Explaining this issue, the Imam (‘a) said:

إِذَا عَطَسَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَقُلْ: الْحَمْدُ للهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَصَلَّى اللهُ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَأَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ.

When you sneeze, you must say: alhamdu lillahi rabbi al-’alamina wa salla allahu ‘ala muhammadin wa ahlibaytihi (All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. May Allah send blessings on Muhammad and his Household).

The sneezing man therefore repeated this statement and only then, the Imam (‘a) addressed him with the conventional answer.‌83

In his epistle to al-Ma'mun, Imam al-Ridha (‘a) says:

الصَّلاَةُ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَاجِبَةٌ فِي كُلِّ مَوْطِنٍ، وَعِنْدَ الْعُطَاسِ وَالذَّبَائِحِ وَغَيْرِ ذَلِكَ.

Invocation of blessings on the Holy Prophet (S) is obligatory in all situations including sneezing, slaughtering animals, and other situations.‌84

Kindness to the Holy Prophet’s Progeny

Many traditions have been reported from the Holy Prophet (S), on the authority of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), confirming imparting a special treatment to the Holy Prophet’s progeny, including the descendants of Imam ‘Ali (‘a), by doing favors and being kind to them.

In this respect, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

مَنْ صَنَعَ إِلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِي يَداً كَافَأْتُهُ بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.

Whoever does a favor to any member of my household, I will reward him for it on the Day of Resurrection.‌85

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported to have said:

إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ نَادَى مُنَادٍ: أَيُّهَا الْخَلاَئِقُ، أَنْصِتُوا فَإِنَّ مُحَمَّداً صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ يُكَلِّمُكُمْ. فَتُنْصِتُ الْخَلاَئِقُ، فَيَقُومُ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ فَيَقُولُ: يَا مَعْشَرَ الْخَلاَئِقِ، مَنْ كَانَتْ لَهُ عِنْدِي يَدٌ أَوْ مِنَّةٌ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٌ فَلْيَقُمْ حَتَّى أُكَافِئَهُ. فَيَقُولُونَ: بِآبَائِنَا وَأُمَّهَاتِنَا، وَأَيُّ يَدٍ أَوْ أَيُّ مِنَّةٍ وَأَيُّ مَعْرُوفٍ لَنَا؟ بَلِ الْيَدُ وَالْمِنَّةُ وَالْمَعْرُوفُ للهِ وَلِرَسُولِهِ عَلَى جَمِيعِ الْخَلاَئِقِ. فَيَقُولُ لَهُمْ: بَلَى، مَنْ آوَى أَحَداً مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِي، أَوْ بَرَّهُمْ، أَوْ كَسَاهُمْ مِنْ عُرْيٍ، أَوْ أَشْبَعَ جَائِعَهُمْ فَلْيَقُمْ حَتَّى أُكَافِئَهُ. فَيَقُومُ أُنَاسٌ قَدْ فَعَلُوا ذَلِكَ. فَيَأْتِي النِّدَاءُ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللهِ تَعَالَى: يَا مُحَمَّدُ يَا حَبِيبِي، قَدْ جَعَلْتُ مُكَافَأَتَهُمْ إِلَيْكَ، فَأَسْكِنْهُمْ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ حَيْثُ شِئْتَ. فَيُسْكِنُهُمْ فِي الْوَسِيلَةِ، حَيْثُ لاَ يُحْجَبُونَ عَنْ مُحَمَّدٍ وَأَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّلاَمُ.

On the Day of Resurrection, a caller will cry out, “Listen! Muhammad (S) is talking to you.” As all creatures become silent, the Holy Prophet (S) says, “O creatures, whoever of you has done any favor, act of kindness, or undertaking for me, may now stand up so that I can reward him for that.” The creatures will say, “May Allah accept our fathers and mothers as ransom for you! What sort of favor, act of kindness, or undertaking could we have done for you? All favors, kindness, and undertakings are Allah’s and yours over all creatures.” The Holy Prophet (S) will then say, “Yes, there are such! Anyone who has accommodated any of my descendants, done an act of kindness to any of them, behaved charitably towards any of them, provided clothing to any of them who was destitute, or provided food to any of them who was hungry, may now stand up so that I can reward him.” Upon hearing this, some who have done such things in the worldly life will stand up. Then, a call from Almighty Allah will come to declare, “O Muhammad, My dearest! I hand over rewarding these people to you, so you are allowed to make them occupy any place in Paradise that you wish.” The Holy Prophet (S) will then, allow these people to dwell in an elevated position in Paradise called al-Wasilah where they will not prevented from meeting the Holy Prophet and his Household (‘a).‌86

Imam al-Ridha (‘a), on the authority of his fathers, has reported the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

أَرْبَعَةٌ أَنَا لَهُمْ شَفِيعٌ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ: الْمُكْرِمُ لِذُرِّيَّتِي مِنْ بَعْدِي، وَالْقَاضِي لَهُمْ حَوَائِجَهُمْ، وَالسَّاعِي لَهُمْ فِي أُمُورِهِمْ عِنْدَمَا اضْطُرُّوا إِلَيْهِ، وَالْمُحِبُّ لَهُمْ بِقَلْبِهِ وَلِسَانِهِ.

I will be the intercessor of four categories of people on the Day of Resurrection: (1) those who respect my descendants after my passing away, (2) those who satisfy the needs of my descendants, (3) those who make every effort to handle their affairs when necessary, and (4) those who love them sincerely in word and deed.‌87

Imam al-Baqir (‘a), on the authority of his fathers, has reported the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

مَنْ أَرَادَ التَّوَسُّلَ إِلَيَّ وَأَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ عِنْدِي يَدٌ أَشْفَعُ لَهُ بِهَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَلْيَصِلْ أَهْلَ بَيْتِي وَيُدْخِلِ السُّرُورَ عَلَيْهِمْ.

Whoever wishes to make me his agency (before Almighty Allah) and to have an attribute for which I will intercede for him on the Day of Resurrection, may closely commune with my progeny and provide them with tranquility.‌88

Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is also reported to have said:

إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ جَمَعَ اللهُ الأَوَّلِينَ وَالآخِرِينَ، فَيُنَادِي مُنَادٍ: مَنْ كَانَتْ لَهُ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ يَدٌ فَلْيَقُمْ. فَيَقُومُ عُنُقٌ مِنَ النَّاسِ، فَيَقُولُ: مَا كَانَتْ أَيَادِيكُمْ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: كُنَّا نَصِلُ أَهْلَ بَيْتِهِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ. فَيُقَالُ لَهُمْ: إِذْهَبُوا فَطُوفُوا فِي النَّاسِ، فَمَنْ كَانَتْ لَهُ عِنْدَكُمْ يَدٌ فَخُذُوا بِيَدِهِ فَأَدْخِلُوهُ الْجَنَّةَ.

On the Day of Resurrection, a caller will cry out, “Anyone who has done a favor for the Messenger of Allah (S) may stand up.” Some people will stand up. The caller will ask them, “What favor have you done for the Messenger of Allah (S)?” They will reply, “After him, we communed with his progeny.” The progeny will then be told to go in the midst of the people and take those who have done favors to them by the hand and lead them to Paradise.‌89

Old Men

Showing respect to old men is another form of special treatment in the category of weak people. In this regard, ‘Abdullah ibn Sinan reported that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said to him:

إِنَّ مِنْ إِجْلاَلِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِجْلاَلَ الشَّيْخِ الْكَبِيرِ.

To respect old men is a kind of respect for Allah, the All-majestic.‌90

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported to have said:

لَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ لَمْ يُوَقِّرْ كَبِيرَنَا وَيَرْحَمْ صَغِيرَنَا.

He who does not respect our old men and does not show mercy toward our youngsters is not one of us.‌91

People of the Qur'an

Another form of special treatment is to show respect toward those versed in the religion and its laws, conveyers of the message of the Holy Qur'an, and reciters of Almighty Allah’s revealed verses.

In this connection, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

إِنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرْآنِ فِي أَعْلَى دَرَجَةً مِنَ الآدَمِيِّينَ مَا خَلاَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالْمُرْسَليِنَ، فَلاَ تَسْتَضْعِفُوا أَهْلَ الْقُرْآنِ حُقُوقَهُمْ، فَإِنَّ لَهُمْ مِنَ اللهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْجَبَّارِ لَمَكَاناً.

The people of the Holy Qur'an shall be in the highest rank that human beings can attain except for the Prophets and Messengers (of Almighty Allah). Hence, do not belittle the (special) ranks of the reciters of the Qur'an, because they do enjoy a distinctive rank in the view of Allah, the Almighty and Omnipotent.‌92

Faithful Believers

Another form of special treatment, such as providing comfort, is that which must be shown to faithful believers (mu'min)‌93‌. This has been emphasized in many validly reported traditions, like the following one reported by Shaykh al-Kulayni on the authority of Abu-Hamzah al-Thumali, who related that he heard Imam al-Baqir (‘a) quoting the following from the Holy Prophet (S):

مَنْ سَرَّ مُؤْمِناً فَقَدْ سَرَّنِي، وَمَنْ سَرَّنِي فَقَدْ سَرَّ اللهَ.

Whoever gives pleasure to a faithful believer has in fact given pleasure to me, and whoever gives pleasure to me has given pleasure to Almighty Allah.‌94

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

مِنْ أَحَبِّ الأَعْمَالِ إِلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِدْخَالُ السُّرُورِعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِ: إِشْبَاعُ جَوْعَتِهِ، أَوْ تَنْفِيسُ كُرْبَتِهِ، أَوْ قَضَاءُ دَيْنِهِ.

Among the most beloved acts in the view of Almighty Allah is to give pleasure to a faithful believer by satisfying his hunger, relieving his anguish, or helping him settle his debts.‌95

Another form of special treatment toward faithful believers is to settle their needs. In this respect, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

وَمَنْ قَضَى لأَِخِيهِ الْمُؤْمِنِ حَاجَةً قَضَى اللهُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِائَةَ أَلْفِ حَاجَةً، مِنْ ذَلِكَ أَوَّلُهَا الْجَنَّةُ، وَمِنْ ذَلِكَ أَنْ يُدْخِلَ قَرَابَتَهُ وَمَعَارِفَهُ وَإِخْوَانَهُ الْجَنَّةَ بَعْدَ أَنْ لاَ يَكُونُوا نُصَّاباً.

Whoever fulfills the need of his brother-in-faith, Almighty Allah shall settle one hundred thousand of his needs on the Day of Resurrection. One of these needs is that he is allowed to enter Paradise and to take his relatives, associates, and friends to Paradise also provided that they are not opponents (of the Ahl al-Bayt).‌96

Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ لَتَرِدُ عَلَيْهِ الْحَاجَةُ لأَِخِيهِ فَلاَ تَكُونُ عِنْدَهُ، يَهْتَمُّ بِهَا قَلْبُهُ، فَيُدْخِلُهُ اللهُ بِهَمِّهِ الْجَنَّةَ.

Sometimes a faithful believer feels upset because he cannot solve the problem of one of his brethren-in-faith. As a result of this feeling, Almighty Allah allows him to enter Paradise.‌97

Another form of special treatment toward faithful believers is to relieve their agony or ease their difficulties. In this connection, Zayd al-Shahham has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

مَنْ أَغَاثَ أَخَاهُ الْمُؤْمِنَ اللَّهْفَانَ عِنْدَ جَهْدِهِ فَنَفَّسَ كُرْبَتَهُ وَأَعَانَهُ عَلَى نَجَاحِ حَاجَتِهِ، كَتَبَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَهُ بِذَلِكَ ثِنْتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِينَ رَحْمَةً مِنَ اللهِ، يُعَجِّلُ لَهُ مِنْهَا وَاحِدَةً يُصْلِحُ بِهَا أَمْرَ مَعِيشَتِهِ، وَيَدَّخِرُ لَهُ إِحْدَى وَسَبْعِينَ رَحْمَةً لأَِفْزَاعِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَأَهْوَالِهِ.

Almighty Allah will record seventy-two items of His mercy for whoever relieves the agony of his aggrieved brother-in-faith, drives away his sorrows, and helps him achieve his goal. By virtue of one of these, He will improve his financial affairs while the other seventy-one items will be stored for him when he faces the horrors and terrors of the Day of Resurrection.‌98

Other forms of special treatment towards faithful believers include being cooperative with them, supporting them, and advising them.

Neighbors

Let us now refer to further details in the form of traditions that are reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a):

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

حُسْنُ الْجِوَارِ يُعَمِّرُ الدِّيَارَ وَيُنْسِئُ فِي الأَعْمَارِ.

Good neighborliness makes communities thrive and increases longevity.‌99

Abu-Mas’ud has reported that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said to him:

حُسْنُ الْجِوَارِ زِيَادَةٌ فِي الأَعْمَارِ وَعِمَارَةُ الدِّيَارِ.

Good neighborliness increases longevity and makes communities thrive.‌100

Abu-Rabi’ al-Shami has reported that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said the following while his house was packed with people:

إِعْلَمُوا أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ لَمْ يُحْسِنْ مُجَاوَرَةَ مَنْ جَاوَرَهُ.

Be it known to you all that whoever does not observe good neighborliness with his neighbors, does not belong to us.‌101

Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said:

حَدُّ الْجِوَارِ أَرْبَعُونَ دَاراً مِنْ كُلِّ جَانِبٍ: مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ وَعَنْ يَمِينِهِ وَعَنْ شِمَالِهِ.

The border of neighborhood includes forty houses from all sides; the front, the back, the right, and the left.‌102

‘Umar ibn ‘Ikrimah has reported the following narration from Imam al-Sadiq (‘a):

One day, a man from the Ansar came to the Holy Prophet (S) and complained that he had bought a house next to a man from whom neither goodness nor security from harm could be expected. Immediately, the Holy Prophet (S) ordered Imam ‘Ali (‘a), Salman, Abu-Dharr, and probably al-Miqdad to go to the mosque and announce:

لاَ إِيـمَانَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَأْمَنْ جَارُهُ بَوَائِقَهُ.

“Faithless is he whose neighbors are not safe from his harm.”

After they had declared this statement three times each, the Holy Prophet (S) pointed to forty houses from all directions to be the limits of neighborhood.‌103

Al-Hasan ibn ‘Abdullah has reported the Righteous Servant (i.e. Imam al-Kazim) to have said:

لَيْسَ حُسْنُ الْجِوَارِ كَفَّ الأَذَى، وَلَكِنْ حُسْنُ الْجِوَارِ صَبْرُكَ عَلَى الأَذَى.

Good neighborliness does not mean to stop harm from neighbors; rather, it means to patiently endure the harm of neighbors.‌104

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

مَا أَفْلَتَ الْمُؤْمِنُ مِنْ وَاحِدَةٍ مِنْ ثَلاَثٍ، وَلَرُبَّمَا إجْتَمَعَتِ الثَّلاَثُ عَلَيْهِ: إِمَّا بَعْضُ مَنْ يَكُونُ مَعَهُ فِي الدَّارِ يُغْلِقُ عَلَيْهِ بَابَهُ يُؤْذِيهِ، أَوْ جَارٌ يُؤْذِيهِ، أَوْ مَنْ فِي طَرِيقِهِ إِلَى حَوَائِجِهِ يُؤْذِيهِ. وَلَوْ أَنَّ مُؤْمِناً عَلَى قُلَّةِ جَبَلٍ لَبَعَثَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَلَيْهِ شَيْطَاناً يُؤْذِيهِ، وَيَجْعَلُ لَهُ مِنْ إِيـمَانِهِ أُنْساً لاَ يَسْتَوْحِشُ مَعَهُ إِلَى أَحَدٍ.

A faithful believer cannot escape one of the following three things although he may encounter all of them: he may be harmed by one of the members of his family who lives with him in the same house, or one of his neighbors, or one who impedes him from managing his affairs. Even if a faithful believer secludes himself on a mountain summit, Almighty Allah will send a devil from which the believer may seek refuge. Almighty Allah will designate for him friendship derived from his own faith due to which he will never feel lonely.‌105

Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said:

مِنَ الْقَوَاصِمِ الَّتِي تَقْصِمُ الظَّهْرَ جَارُ السُّوءِ إِنْ رَأَى حَسَنَةً أَخْفَاهَا وَإِنْ رَأَى سَيِّئَةً أَفْشَاهَا.

A wicked neighbor is like a stab in the back. If this neighbor sees a kind act (from another neighbor), he conceals it; however, if he notices a misdeed, he divulges it.‌106

  • 1. ‌- Basically, I have depended upon traditions quoted from al-Hurr al-’Amili’s comprehensive and voluminous book of Wasa'il al-Shi’ah (in full, Tafsil Wasa'il al-Shi’ah ila Tahsil Masa'il al-Shari’ah); Volume Eight: Kitab al-Hajj, Sections: Ahkam al-’Ishrah (Laws of Association), as well as some other parts from Volume Eleven: Kitab al-Jihad, Sections: Jihad al-Nafs, al-Amr bi’l-Ma’ruf wa’l-Nahy ‘an al-Munkar.
  • 2. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:438, S. 34, H. 1.
  • 3. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:438, S. 34, H. 4.
  • 4. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:439, S. 34, H. 5.
  • 5. ‌- This is an Arab proverb indicating lenience, generosity, and hospitality.
  • 6. ‌- Carpets of those who have good relations with others are usually trodden; i.e. they are frequently visited by people. See Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:102. The tradition is also recorded in al-Hurr al-’Amili’s Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:510, S. 105, H. 1.
  • 7. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:584, S. 144, H. 2.
  • 8. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:586, S. 144, H. 10.
  • 9. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:584, S. 144, H. 3.
  • 10. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:585, S. 144, H. 5.
  • 11. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:421, S. 18, H. 1.
  • 12. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:422, S. 19, H. 1.
  • 13. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:423, S. 19, H. 5.
  • 14. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:430, S. 27, H. 1.
  • 15. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:411, S. 11, H. 1.
  • 16. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:411, S. 11, H. 2.
  • 17. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:416, S. 15, H. 1.
  • 18. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:418, S. 16, H. 1.
  • 19. ‌- Mycobacterium: Gram-positive, aerobic, filament-forming bacteria of the genus Mycobacterium, or the family Mycobacteriaceae, which include the agents of tuberculosis and leprosy. (Oxford Talking Dictionary)
  • 20. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:431, S. 28, H. 4.
  • 21. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:432, S. 28, H. 5.
  • 22. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:432, S. 28, H. 6.
  • 23. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:431, S. 28, H. 2.
  • 24. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:567, S. 23, H. 3.
  • 25. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:568, S. 23, H. 7.
  • 26. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:568, S. 23, H. 10.
  • 27. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 12:21, H. 6.
  • 28. ‌-Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 12:21, H. 9.
  • 29. ‌- Introducing the bases of promulgation, the Holy Qur'an reads, “Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! Your Lord is Best Aware of him who strays from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright. (16:125)
  • 30. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:594, S. 35, H. 1.
  • 31. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:549, S. 35, H. 2.
  • 32. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:549, S. 35, H. 7.
  • 33. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:413, S. 12, H. 1.
  • 34. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:413, S. 12, H. 2.
  • 35. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:413, S. 12, H. 3.
  • 36. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:542, H. 2.
  • 37. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:542, S. 124, H. 5.
  • 38. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 13:162, S. 1, H. 1 & 13:163, H. 6.
  • 39. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 13:162, S. 1, H. 2.
  • 40. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 47.
  • 41. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 13:162, S. 1, H. 4.
  • 42. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:578, S. 141, H. 2.
  • 43. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:578, S. 141, H. 6.
  • 44. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:408, H. 6, S. 136.
  • 45. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:579, H. 7, S. 141.
  • 46. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:437, H. 1, S. 33.
  • 47. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:494, H. 2, S. 93.
  • 48. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:515, H. 2, S.109.
  • 49. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:502, H.32, S.102.
  • 50. ‌- Further discussions of this question have been cited in my book of al-hukm al-islami bayna al-nazariyyah wa’l-tatbiq (Islamic Government, Theory and Application); Chapter: Constitutional System, a Genuine System, pp. 113-137.
  • 51. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:426, H. 6.
  • 52. ‌- Al-Barqi, al-Mahasin 2:436.
  • 53. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Maxim No. 211.
  • 54. ‌- Ibn Shu’bah al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-’Uqul (Masterpieces of Intellects), pp. 10, translated into English by Badr Shahin; Ansariyan Publications – Qum, 2001.
  • 55. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Maxim No. 54.
  • 56. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Maxim No. 161.
  • 57. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Maxim No. 211.
  • 58. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:426, H. 5.
  • 59. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:429, H. 2.
  • 60. ‌- Some narrations have warned against seeking the advice of women. This may be because women are generally known for inclination to their emotions, and was a general feature of the women of that age. The same thing can be applied to the warning against seeking the advice of slaves because the social surroundings and the education of servants, at that time, made them unqualified to give good advice. However, al-Barqi, has mentioned in his famous book, al-Mahasin (2:437), that Imam Musa al-Kazim (‘a) sought the advice of some of his slaves at times. When he was asked about that, the Imam (‘a) would answer, “…It sometimes happens that Almighty Allah presents the most accurate opinion on the tongue of this slave.”
  • 61. ‌- Khalid al-Barqi, al-Mahasin 2:436.
  • 62. ‌- Khalid al-Barqi, al-Mahasin 2:436.
  • 63. ‌- Khalid al-Barqi, al-Mahasin 2:438, H. 26.
  • 64. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:426-427, H. 8.
  • 65. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:429, S. 26, H. 2. A similar words have been included with the famous epistle of Imam ‘Ali (‘a) to Malik al-Ashtar, as mentioned in Nahj al-Balaghah.
  • 66. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:429, S. 25, H. 1.
  • 67. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 14:128, S. 94, H. 1. It is not improbable that such traditions about women and other social classes were said in consideration of the nature of general circumstances and morals of the women of that age, or in consideration of the sentimental side that can overcome women.
  • 68. ‌- Al-Barqi, al-Mahasin 2:436.
  • 69. ‌- Al-Barqi, al-Mahasin 2:438.
  • 70. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:442, S. 36, H. 1.
  • 71. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:588, S. 146, H. 4.
  • 72. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:591, S. 147, H. 4.
  • 73. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:441, S. 35, H. 1.
  • 74. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:404, S. 3, H. 1.
  • 75. ‌- Generally, these laws can be found in sections 30-34 of the etiquettes of travel in al-Hurr al-’Amili’s book of Wasa’il al-Shi’ah.
  • 76. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:409, S. 30, H. 2.
  • 77. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:501, S. 1, H. 3.
  • 78. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:472, S. 72, H. 1.
  • 79. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:409, S. 8, H. 1.
  • 80. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:412, S. 11, H. 3.
  • 81. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, S. 2, No. 361. This saying has been also reported, through a valid chain of authority, from Imam al-Sadiq (‘a). Refer to Jami’ Ahadiih al-Shi’ah 15:239, H. 13.
  • 82. ‌- One of the social conventions of Islam, it is highly recommended to say alhamdu lillahi (All praise be to Allah) immediately after sneezing. Upon hearing this phrase, it is highly recommended to address the sneezer with the statement: yarhamuka allahu (May Allah have mercy upon you), which is similar to the expression of God bless you. This practice is called tasmit, in Arabic and Muslim jurisprudential terminology. [Translator]
  • 83. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:464, S. 63, H. 1.
  • 84. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:465, S. 64, H. 2.
  • 85. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:556, S. 17, H. 1.
  • 86. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:556, S. 17, H. 3.
  • 87. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:556, S. 17, H. 6.
  • 88. ‌- Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Amali, pp. 424, H. 947.
    In Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:557, S. 17, H. 6, this tradition is reported in this way:
    Whoever wishes to make me his agency (before Almighty Allah) and to have an attribute for which I will intercede for him on the Day of Resurrection, may invoke blessings on my progeny, and provide them with tranquility.
  • 89. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:558, S. 17, H. 7.
  • 90. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:466, S. 67, H. 1.
  • 91. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:467, S. 67, H. 3.
  • 92. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 4:830, S. 4, H. 1.
  • 93. ‌- It is advisable to refer to the huge number of traditions, mentioned in various sections of reference books of hadith, such as Wasa’il al-Shi’ah, concerning the special treatment that must be shown towards the faithful believers. For instance, refer to vol. 11, pp. 569-601 where features of this special treatment with faithful believers manifest themselves, emphasizing the high level of social relations necessary with this distinguished group.
  • 94. ‌- Shaykh Al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:188.
  • 95. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:570, S. 24, H. 6.
  • 96. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:576, S. 25, H. 1.
  • 97. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:576, S. 25, H. 3.
  • 98. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:578, S. 29, H. 1.
  • 99. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:489, S. 87, H. 5.
  • 100. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:489, S. 87, H. 3.
  • 101. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:489, S. 87, H. 5.
  • 102. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:491, S. 90, H. 1.
  • 103. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:487, S. 86, H. 1.
  • 104. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:484, S. 85, H. 2.
  • 105. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:484, S. 85, H. 3.
  • 106. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:491, S. 89, H. 1.