Table of Contents

Chapter 2: Superstructure Of Rules And Foundations

1. Religious and Traditional Laws

2. Passivity and Control over Emotions

3. Justice and Fair play

4. Good manners and Being Loved by PeopleBeing Loved by People

5. Kind Acts and Precedence in Charity

6. Idealism and Distinctive Behavior (unique, different)

The superstructure of the rules and foundations of social relations plays a major role in man’s self-perfection. Although these points have been discussed under the title of self-strife (struggle with the self), they will be mentioned hereinafter because they also play a chief role in social relations.

Religious and Traditional Laws

Compliance with Religious Duties

Both religion and tradition have decided a number of rights and duties, some of which are as follows:

1. It is obligatory upon Muslims to keep the secrets of their brethren-in-faith unrevealed, especially when they hear them saying something in a gathering or when they are asked to keep certain matters secret. A tradition holds that meetings be based on confidentiality.‌1‌ However, there are certain exceptions in this connection.

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

الْمَجَالِسُ بِالأَمَانَةِ.

Meetings must be confidential.‌2

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

الْمَجَالِسُ بِالأَمَانَةِ، وَلَيْسَ لأَِحَدٍ أَنْ يُحَدِّثَ بِحَدِيثٍ يَكْتُمُهُ صَاحِبُهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ، إِلاَّ أَنْ يَكُونَ ثِقَةً أَوْ ذِكْراً لَهُ بِخَيْرٍ.

Meetings must be confidential. It is therefore not allowed that anybody speak of an issue concealed by the person involved without obtaining his permission, unless the addressee is trustworthy or the issue entails good reputation of the person which it is about.‌3

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

الْمَجَالِسُ بِالأَمَانَةِ إِلاَّ ثَلاَثَةَ مَجَالِسَ: مَجْلِسٌ سُفِكَ فِيهِ دَمٌ حَرَامٌ، أَوْ مَجْلِسٌ إسْتُحِلَّ فِيهِ فَرْجٌ حَرَامٌ، أَوْ مَجْلِسٌ يُسْتَحَلُّ فِيهِ مَالٌ حَرَامٌ بِغَيْرِ حَقِّهِ.

All meetings must be held in confidence except three: an assembly in which honorable blood is shed, a gathering in which chastity of an honorable individual is violated, or an assembly in which one’s property is wrongfully violated.‌4

2. The Holy Legislator has urged that promises, pledges, and covenants must be fulfilled. Accordingly, promises have been raised to the level of covenants with regard to the obligation of fulfilling them.

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

مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيَفِ إِذَا وَعَدَ.

Whoever truly believes in Allah and the Last Day must keep faith with his promise.‌5

Hisham ibn Salim has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

عِـدَةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ أَخَـاهُ نَـذْرٌ لاَ كَفَّـارَةَ لَهُ، فَمَـنْ أَخْـلَفَ فَبِخُـلْفِ اللهِ بَدَأَ وَلِمَقْتِـهِ تَعَرَّضَ، وَذَلِكَ قَوْلُهُ:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ (2) كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَنْ تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ (3)

A faithful believer’s promise to his brother-in-faith is a non-expiable vow. Hence, whoever breaks his promise has in fact broken his promise with Almighty Allah, exposing himself to His wrath. This is the meaning of Almighty Allah’s saying,

“O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? It is most hateful to Allah that you should say that which you do not do. (61:2-3)”‌6

3. Islam has deemed it obligatory to be honest in speech and in one’s dealings with others. In this regard, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

كُونُوا دُعَاةً لِلنَّاسِ بِالْخَيْرِ بِغَيْرِ ألْسِنَتِكُمْ، لِيَرَوْا مِنْكُمُ الإجْتِهَادَ وَالصِّدْقَ وَالْوَرَعَ.

Act as heralds to goodness in the milieus of people by other means besides your tongues (i.e. speech) so that they can become aware of your diligence, honesty, and piety.‌7

Zayd ibn ‘Ali has reported on the authority of his fathers that the Holy Prophet (S) said:

إِنَّ أَقْرَبَكُمْ مِنِّي غَداً وَأَوْجَبَكُمْ عَلَيَّ شَفَاعَةً أَصْدَقُكُمْ لِلْحَدِيثِ وَآدَاكُمْ لِلأَمَانَةِ وَأَحْسَنُكُمْ خُلُقاً وَأَقْرَبُكُمْ مِنَ النَّاسِ.

Verily, the closest of you all to me and the worthiest of winning my intercession tomorrow is the most honest in speech, the most observant of trusts, the most well-mannered, and the closest to people.‌8

4. Islam has determined a number of reciprocal duties of faithful believers towards each other. Let us now refer to some more traditions dealing with this topic.

Mu’alla ibn Khunays has reported that he once asked Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) about the duties of Muslims toward one another.

The Imam (‘a) explained:

لَهُ سَبْعُ حُقُوقٍ وَاجِبَاتٍ، مَا مِنْهُنَّ حَقٌّ إِلاَّ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِ وَاجِبٌ، إِنْ ضَيَّعَ مِنْهُ شَيْئاً خَرَجَ مِنْ وِلاَيَةِ اللهِ وَطَاعَتِهِ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ للهِ فِيهِ نَصِيبٌ.

Muslims enjoy seven rights over one another. Each right is so obligatory that if one violates any of them, he will be cast out from loyalty and obedience to Almighty Allah, losing any share of his relation to Almighty Allah.

“May Allah accept me as ransom for you,” Mu’alla asked, “What are these rights?”

The Imam (‘a) replied:

يَا مُعَلَّى، إِنِّي عَلَيْكَ شَفِيقٌ أَخَافُ أَنْ تُضَيِّعَ وَلاَ تَحْفَظَ، وَتَعْلَمَ وَلاَ تَعْمَلَ.

O Mu’alla, I fear lest you violate and defy these rights or that you learn them but fail to act upon them.

“There is no power except with Allah,” answered Mu’alla.

The Imam (‘a) then began to reckon these rights saying:

أَيْسَرُ حَقٍّ مِنْهَا أَنْ تُحِبَّ لَهُ مَا تُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِكَ وَتَكْرَهُ لَهُ مَا تَكْرَهُ لِنَفْسِكَ. وَالْحَقُّ الثَّانِي أَنْ تَجْتَنِبَ سَخَطَهُ وَتَتَّبِعَ مَرْضَاتَهُ وَتُطِيعَ أَمْرَهُ. وَالْحَقُّ الثَّالِثُ أَنْ تُعِينَهُ بِنَفْسِكَ وَمَالِكَ وَلِسَانِكَ وَيَدِكَ وَرِجْلِكَ. وَالْحَقُّ الرَّابِعُ أَنْ تَكُونَ عَيْنَهُ وَدَلِيلَهُ وَمِرْآتَهُ. وَالْحَقُّ الْخَامِسُ أَنْ لاَ تَشْبَعَ وَيَجُوعُ وَلاَ تَرْوَى وَيَظْمَأُ وَلاَ تَلْبَسَ وَيَعْرَى. وَالْحَقُّ السَّادِسُ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَكَ خَادِمٌ وَلَيْسَ لأَِخِيكَ خَادِمٌ فَوَاجِبٌ أَنْ تَبْعَثَ خَادِمَكَ فَتَغْسِلُ ثِيَابَهُ وَتَصْنَعُ طَعَامَهُ وَتُمَهِّدُ فِرَاشَهُ. وِالْحَقُّ السَّابِعُ أَنْ تَبَرَّ قَسَمَهُ وَتُجِيبَ دَعْوَتَهُ وَتَعُودَ مَرِيضَهُ وَتَشْهَدَ جَنَازَتَهُ، وَإِذَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ لَهُ حَاجَةً تُبَادِرَهُ إِلَى قَضَائِهَا، وَلاَ تُلْجِئَهُ إِلَى أَنْ يَسْأَلَكَهَا، وَلَكِنْ تُبَادِرُهُ مُبَادَرَةً، فَإِذَا فَعَلْتَ ذَلِكَ وَصَلْتَ وِلاَيَتَكَ بِوِلاَيَتِهِ وَوِلاَيَتَهُ بِوِلاَيَتِكَ.

The easiest of these rights is that you must like for your brother-in-faith whatever you like for yourself and dislike for him whatever you dislike for yourself. The second right is that you keep yourself away from whatever enrages him, follow whatever pleases him, and obey his instructions. The third right is that you help him with your self, your finances, your tongue, your hand, and your foot. The fourth right is that you act as his eye, guide, and mirror. The fifth right is that you must not eat your fill while he is hungry, quench your thirst while he is thirsty, and dress yourself while he is unclothed. The sixth right is that you must not have a servant while he does not have one—it is therefore obligatory upon you to send your servant to wash his clothes, cook food for him, and prepare his bed. The seventh right is that you must help him fulfill his oaths, accept when he invites you, visit his sick, present yourself in funeral ceremonies that relate to him, and take the initiative to resolve his needs. In this regard, you must not wait until he asks you to help him resolve his need; rather, you must be the first to take action. If you do all these things, then you will have bonded your friendship to his and his friendship to yours.‌9

Abstaining from Forbidden Acts

Many laws have been enacted by the Holy Legislator to command abstention from prohibited acts, such as:

1. It is impermissible to enter the houses of others before obtaining their permission. Furthermore, it is obligatory to inform the occupants of a house before entering it because the souls of Muslims, and their properties, chastity, and private affairs are inviolable.

‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi-’Abdullah has reported that he asked Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) for an explanation of Almighty Allah’s saying in the Holy Qur'an:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ بُيُوتِكُمْ حَتَّى تَسْتَأْنِسُوا وَتُسَلِّمُوا عَلَى أَهْلِهَا (27)

O you who believe! Do not enter houses other than your own houses until you have asked permission and saluted their inmates. (24:27)

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) answered:

الإسْتِينَاسُ وَقْعُ النَّعْلِ وَالتَّسْلِيمُ.

Asking permission (in this verse) signifies making a sound with one’s shoes and giving the greeting.‌10

When entering a house, it is required to sit where the owner of the house instructs the guest to sit.

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

إِذَا دَخَلَ أَحَدُكُمْ عَلَى أَخِيهِ فِي رَحْلِهِ فَلْيَقْعُدْ حَيْثُ يَأْمُرُهُ صَاحِبُ الرَّحْلِ، فَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ الرَّحْلِ أَعْرَفُ بِعَوْرَةِ بَيْتِهِ مِنَ الدَّاخِلِ عَلَيْهِ.

When you enter the house of one of your brethren-in-faith, you should sit where the owner of the house tells you to sit because he knows the private places in his house more than a guest does.‌11

2. Islam has forbidden cunning, envy, cheating, and betrayal. In this connection, Imam al-Ridha (‘a) has reported on the authority of his fathers that the Holy Prophet (S) said:

مَنْ كَانَ مُسْلِماً فَلاَ يَمْكُرْ وَلاَ يَخْدَعْ، فَإِنِّي سَمِعْتُ جَبْرَئِيلَ يَقُولُ: إِنَّ الْمَكْرَ وَالْخَدِيعَةَ فِي النَّارِ.

Whoever is a true Muslim, must not deceive or cheat others, for I have heard Archangel Gabriel say, “Deception and cheating lead to the Fire.”

لَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ غَشَّ مُسْلِماً، وَلَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ خَانَ مُسْلِماً.

He does not belong to us who cheats a Muslim, and he does not belong to us who betrays a Muslim.

إِنَّ جَبْرَئِيلَ الرُّوحَ الأَمِينَ نَزَلَ عَلَيَّ مِنْ عِنْدِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ فَقَالَ: يَا مُحَمَّد، عَلَيْكَ بِحُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ، فَإِنَّ سُوءَ الْخُلُقِ ذَهَبَ بِخَيْرِ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ. أَلاَ وَإِنَّ أَشْبَهَكُمْ بِي أَحْسَنُكُمْ خُلُقاً.

The Trustworthy Spirit, Gabriel, descended to me from the Lord of the Worlds and said to me, “O Muhammad, adhere to good manners because bad manners take away the wealth of this world and the next.” Verily, the most similar of you to me is the most mannerly.‌12

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

لَوْلاَ أَنَّ الْمَكْرَ وَالْخَدِيعَةَ فِي النَّارِ لَكُنْتُ أَمْكَرَ النَّاسِ.

Were it not for the fact that cunning and deception lead to Hellfire, I would have been the most cunning of all people.‌13

3. Islam has forbidden telling lies in all of its forms and degrees and in all fields, especially in relations with others (except in a few situations, like peacemaking).

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

إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ جَعَلَ لِلشَّرِّ أَقْفَالاً وَجَعَلَ مَفَاتِيحَ تَلْكَ الأَقْفَالِ الشَّرَابَ، وَالْكَذِبُ شَرٌّ مِنَ الشَّرَابِ.

Verily, Almighty Allah has made locks for evils and made drinking intoxicants the master key of all evils. Nonetheless, telling lies is more horrible than drinking intoxicants.‌14

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

يَنْبَغِي لِلرَّجُلِ الْمُسْلِمِ أَنْ يَجْتَنِبَ مُؤَاخَاةَ الْكَذَّابِ، فَإِنَّهُ يَكْذِبُ حَتَّى يَجِيءَ بِالصِّدْقِ فَلاَ يُصَدَّقُ.

A Muslim individual is required to avoid association with liars, because liars are not believed even if they tell the truth.‌15

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

كَانَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ، عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ، يَقُولُ لِوِلْدِهِ: إِتَّقُوا الْكَذِبَ؛ الصَّغِيرَ مِنْهُ وَالْكَبِيرَ، فِي كُلِّ جِدٍّ وَهُزْلٍ، فَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ إِذَا كَذِبَ فِي الصَّغِيرِ إجْتَرَأَ عَلَى الْكَبِيرِ. أَمَا عَلِمْتُمْ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ قَالَ: مَا يَزَالُ الْعَبْدُ يَصْدُقُ حَتَّى يَكْتُبَهُ اللهُ صِدِّيقاً، وَمَا يَزَالُ الْعَبْدُ يَكْذِبُ حَتَّى يَكْتُبَهُ اللهُ كَذَّاباً.

Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) used to say to his sons, “Guard yourselves against telling lies, be they trivial or significant, serious or playful. If one lies about an insignificant matter, he will have the courage to lie in great things. Know that the Messenger of Allah (S) has said: ‘Some servants (of Allah) keep on telling only the truth until they are recorded before Allah as being veracious forever. Other servants keep on telling untruths until they are recorded with Allah as liar forever.”‌16

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

لاَ يَصْلُحُ مِنَ الْكَذِبِ جِدٌّ وَلاَ هُزْلٌ، وَلاَ أَنْ يَعِدَ أَحَدُكُمْ صَبِيَّهُ ثُمَّ لاَ يَفِي لَهُ. إِنَّ الْكَذِبَ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْفُجُورِ، وَالْفُجُورُ يَهْدِي إِلَى النَّارِ، وَمَا يَزَالُ أَحُدُكُمْ يَكْذِبُ حَتَّى يُقَالَ: كَذِبَ وَفَجُرَ. وَمَا يَزَالُ أَحَدُكُمْ يَكْذِبُ حَتَّى لاَ يَبْقَى مَوْضِعُ إِبْرَةٍ صِدْقٌ، فَيُسَمَّى عِنْدَ اللهِ كَذَّاباً.

It is improper to tell untruths whether seriously or jokingly and it is improper to promise your child something and then fail to keep your promise. Verily, telling lies leads to sinfulness and sinfulness leads to Hellfire. One may keep on telling lies continuously until he is known as a liar and perpetually sinful. One may keep on telling lies continuously until his heart becomes void of any space for honesty, be it as tiny as a needle’s place, and then he is recorded with Almighty Allah as liar forever.‌17

4. Islam has warned against double-dealing and double-talk in social relations.

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

مَنْ لَقِيَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ بِوَجْهَيْنِ وَلِسَانَيْنِ جَاءَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلَهُ لِسَانَانِ مِنْ نَارٍ.

Whoever deals with Muslims with two faces and two tongues, will come on the Day of Resurrection having two tongues of fire.‌18

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

بِئْسَ الْعَبْدُ عَبْدٌ يَكُونُ ذَا وَجْهَيْنِ وَذَا لِسَانَيْنِ، يُطْرِي أَخَاهُ شَاهِداً وَيَأْكُلُهُ غَائِباً. إِنْ أُعْطِيَ حَسَدَهُ، وَإِنِ ابْتُلِيَ خَذَلَهُ.

Extremely wretched is the servant (of Allah) who has two faces and two tongues. He flatters his brother-in-faith in his presence but devours (i.e. backbites) him when he is absent. If his brother-in-faith gets something good, he will envy him, but if he is afflicted with a problem, he will disappoint him.‌19

5. Islam has deemed forbidden cutting off one’s relations with faithful believers, provoking their animosity, or intending evil to them.

Through various chains of authority, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِذَا قَالَ الرَّجُلُ لأَِخِيهِ الْمُؤْمِنِ: أُفٍّ، خَرَجَ مِنْ وِلاَيَتِهِ. وَإِذَا قَالَ: أَنْتَ عَدُوِّي، كَفَرَ أَحُدُهُمَا. وَلاَ يَقْبَلُ اللهُ مِنْ مُؤْمِنٍ عَمَلاً وَهُوَ مُضْمِرٌ عَلَى أَخِيهِ الْمُؤْمِنِ سُوءاً.

If one says to one’s brother-in-faith, “Ugh!” then their friendship is ruptured. If one says, “You are my enemy!” then one of them has abandoned faith. Almighty Allah will never accept any deed of a believer who intends evil to his brother-in-faith.‌20

6. Islam has warned against having bad opinions about faithful believers or accusing them of anything improper.

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

إِذَا إتَّهَمَ الْمُؤْمِنُ أَخَاهُ إنْمَاثَ الإِيـمَانُ فِي قَلْبِهِ كَمَا يَنْمَاثُ الْمِلْحُ فِي الْمَاءِ.

If a believer accuses his brother-in-faith of something, his faith will dissolve from his heart in the same way salt dissolves in water.‌21

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

ضَعْ أَمْرَ أَخِيكَ عَلَى أَحْسَنِهِ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ مِنْهُ مَا يَغْلِبُكَ، وَلاَ تَظُنَّنَّ بِكَلِمَةٍ خَرَجَتْ مِنْ أَخِيكَ سُوءاً وَأَنْتَ تَجِدُ لَهَا فِي الْخَيْرِ مَحْمَلاً.

Give the best probability to the deed of your brother-in-faith until you receive from him something that tears down the likelihood of good. Never deem evil any word that has been said by your brother-in-faith as long as you can find an acceptable excuse for it.‌22

Passivity and Control over Emotions

Control over emotions and praiseworthy qualities

It is noticeable that whenever Islam discusses the topic of the praiseworthy qualities that man must enjoy or the characteristics due to which one can be a true faithful believer, it lays much stress on qualities appertaining to the psychological aspect—emotions and passivity.

In this regard, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

يَنْبَغِي لِلْمُؤْمِنِ أَنْ يَكُونَ فِيهِ ثَمَانِي خِصَالٍ: وَقُوراً عِنْدَ الْهَزَاهِزِ، صَبُوراً عِنْدَ الْبَلاَءِ، شَكُوراً عِنْدَ الرَّخَاءِ، قَانِعاً بِمَا رَزَقَهُ اللهُ، لاَ يَظْلِمُ الأَعْدَاءَ، وَلاَ يَتَحَامَلُ لِلأَصْدِقَاءِ، بَدَنُهُ مِنْهُ فِي تَعَبٍ وَالنَّاسُ مِنْهُ فِي رَاحَةٍ. إِنَّ الْعِلْمَ خَلِيلُ الْمُؤْمِنِ، وَالْحِلْمَ وَزِيرُهُ، وَالْعَقْلَ أَمِيرُ جُنُودِهِ، وَالرِّفْقَ أَخُوهُ، وَالْبِرَّ وَالِدُهُ.

A faithful believer is required to enjoy eight characteristics: he should be venerable in various situations, steadfast in misfortunes, thankful in luxury, satisfied with whatever sustenance Almighty Allah has determined for him; he should not oppress his enemies or overtax his associates, and he should tax his body and make people feel at ease because of him. Knowledge is the comrade of the faithful believer, clemency his supporter, patience the commander of his army, lenience his brother, and charity his father.23

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

ثَلاَثُ خِصَالٍ مَنْ كُنَّ فِيهِ إسْتَكْمَلَ خِصَالَ الإِيـمَانِ: إَذَا رَضِيَ لَمْ يُدْخِلْهُ رِضَاهُ فِي بَاطِلٍ، وَإِذَا غَضِبَ لَمْ يُخْرِجْهُ الْغَضَبُ مِنَ الْحَقِّ، وَإِنْ قَدَرَ لَمْ يَتَعَاطَ مَا لَيْسَ لَهُ.

The features of faithfulness are complete for those who enjoy three characteristics: if they are pleased, their pleasure does not lead them to do wrong; if they are displeased, their displeasure does not cause them to relinquish that which is right; and if they have power over others, their power does not lead them to seize what is not theirs.‌24

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

أَلاَ أُخْبِرُكُمْ بِأَشْبَهِكُمْ بِي؟ أَحْسَنُكُمْ خُلُقاً، وَأَلْيَنُكُمْ كَنَفاً، وَأَبَرُّكُمْ بِقَرَابَتِهِ، وَأَشَدُّكُمْ حُبّاً لإِخْوَانِهِ فِي دِينِهِ، وَأَصْبَرُكُمْ عَلَى الْحَقِّ، وَأَكْظَمُكُمْ لِلْغَيْظِ، وَأَحْسَنُكُمْ عَفْواً، وَأَشَدُّكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ إِنْصَافاً فِي الرِّضَا وَالْغَضَبِ.

May I introduce those who are the most closely related of all of you to me?....They are the most mannerly of all of you, the most tractable, the most pious to their relatives, the most affectionate to their brethren-in-faith, the most steadfast in accepting the truth, the most suppressive of their rage, the most forgiving, and the fairest whether he is satisfied or furious.‌25

Models of Praiseworthy Qualities

Sedulity in Obedience to Almighty Allah and Steadfastness against Disobedience

Sedulity in obedience to Almighty Allah and steadfastness against disobedience to Him manifest themselves on the top of the list of praiseworthy qualities and righteous deeds.

According to an authentic tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ يَقُومُ عُنُقٌ مِنَ النَّاسِ فَيَأْتُونَ بَابَ الْجَنَّةِ، فَيُقَالُ: مَنْ أَنْتُمْ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: نَحْنُ أَهْلُ الصَّبْرِ. فَيُقَالُ لَهُمْ: عَلاَمَ صَبَرْتُمْ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: كُنَّا نَصْبِرُ عَلَى طَاعَةِ اللهِ، وَنَصْبِرُ عَنْ مَعَاصِي اللهِ. فَيَقُولُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: صَدَقُوا. أَدْخِلُوهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ. وَهُوَ قَوْلُ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

On the Day of Resurrection, a group of people will stand up and come towards the gate of Paradise. When asked about their identity, they will answer, “We are the people of steadfastness.” “In what fields have you practiced steadfastness?” they will be asked. “We have been sedulous in obedience to Almighty Allah and steadfast against disobedience to Him,” they will answer. Then, Almighty Allah will say, “They are truthful. Allow them to enter Paradise.” This is the explanation of Almighty Allah’s saying, “Only the patient will be paid back their reward in full without measure. (39:10)”‌26

Chastity

Qualities like chastity of appetite (i.e. abstinence from going after illegally acquired provisions), private parts (i.e. abstinence from unlawful sexual intercourse), and sight (i.e. abstinence from unlawful glances) have been classified as the best acts of worship.

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

مَا عِبَادَةٌ أَفْضَلَ عِنْدَ اللهِ مِنْ عِفَّةِ بَطْنٍ وَفَرْجٍ.

There is no act of worship more favorable in the view of Almighty Allah than chastity of the appetite and private parts.‌27

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

كُلُّ عَيْنٍ بَاكِيَةٌ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ غَيْرُ ثَلاَثٍ: عَيْنٌ سَهِرَتْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، وَعَيْنٌ فَاضَتْ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللهِ، وَعَيْنٌ غَضَّتْ عَنْ مَحَارِمِ اللهِ.

All eyes will be weeping on the Day of Resurrection except for three eyes: an eye that spent a night sleeplessly for Allah’s sake, an eye that shed tears in fear of Allah, and an eye that was cast down in order not to gaze upon that which Allah has prohibited.‌28

Forbearance

The quality of forbearance, which can be defined as pardoning and closing one’s eyes to flaws of others in situations of rage although there is power to punish, is considered one of the conditions on which the acceptance of one’s devotional acts are contingent. In other words, one cannot be regarded as true worshipper unless one is characterized by forbearance, which is also the best support in one’s social movement and relations with others.

Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah has reported that he heard Imam al-Ridha (‘a) saying:

لاَ يَكُونُ الرَّجُلُ عَابِداً حَتَّى يَكُونَ حَلِيماً، وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ كَانَ إِذَا تَعَبَّدَ فِي بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لَمْ يُعَدَّ عَابِداً حَتَّى يَصْمِتَ قَبْلَ ذَلِكَ عَشْرَ سِنِينَ.

Man cannot be a true worshipper unless he becomes forbearing. Among the Children of Israel, a man who devoted his entire life to worshipping Almighty Allah would not be considered a true worshipper unless he had stopped talking for ten years.‌29

Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have quoted Imam Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a) as saying:

إِنَّهُ لَيُعْجِبُنِي الرَّجُلُ أَنْ يُدْرِكَهُ حِلْمُهُ عِنْدَ غَضَبِهِ.

I admire men who control themselves in situations of rage.‌30

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

مَا أَعَزَّ اللهُ بِجَهْلٍ قَطُّ، وَلاَ أَذَلَّ بِحِلْمٍ قَطُّ.

Almighty Allah has never bestowed honor to anyone due to impatience and has never humiliated anyone because of forbearance.‌31

Clemency

Clemency, which signifies gentleness or mildness in the exercise of authority or power as the opposite of violence and coarseness, has been encouraged by Islam, because it plays a significant role in the various fields of man’s life.

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

الرِّفْقُ يُمْنٌ، وَالْخَرَقُ شُؤْمٌ.

Clemency is a blessing while harshness is an evil omen.‌32

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

إِنَّ الرِّفْقَ لَمْ يُوضَعْ عَلَى شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ زَانَهُ، وَلاَ نُزِعَ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ شَانَهُ.

Clemency is an embellishment for everything, and its lack, ruins everything.‌33

Hisham ibn Ahmar has reported that when he engaged himself in a dispute with someone belonging to the other sect, Imam al-Ridha (‘a) advised him saying:

إِرْفِقْ بِهِمْ، فَإِنْ كَفَرَ أَحَدُهُمْ فِي غَضَبِهِ، وَلاَ خَيْرَ فِي مَنْ كَانَ كُفْرُهُ فِي غَضَبِهِ.

Treat them with clemency, because the word of disbelief is in most cases said when one is enraged. Worthless is he who utters the word of disbelief when enraged.‌34

Modesty

Defined as decorum in manners and conduct, modesty elevates man and raises him to the highest rank. For this reason, Islam has added modesty to the list of righteous qualities.

Mu’awiyah ibn ‘Ammar has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

إِنَّ فِي السَّمَاءِ مَلَكَيْنِ مُوَكَّلَيْنِ بِالْعِبَادِ، فَمَنْ تَوَاضَعَ للهِ رَفَعَاهُ، وَمَنْ تَكَبَّرَ وَضَعَاهُ.

In the heavens, there are two angels commissioned by Almighty Allah to watch over His servants’ conduct; therefore, they will raise him who behaves modestly for the sake of Almighty Allah, but they will put down him who acts arrogantly.‌35

In the sense of traditions, modesty is defined as follows:

(التَّوَاضُعُ) أَنْ تُعْطِيَ النَّاسَ مَا تُحِبُّ أَنْ تُعْطَاهُ.

Modesty is to give people whatever you wish to receive from them.‌36

(التَّوَاضُعُ) دَرَجَاتٌ، مِنْهَا أَنْ يَعْرِفَ الْمَرْءُ قَدْرَ نَفْسِهِ فَيُنْزِلُهَا مَنْزِلَتَهَا بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ، لاَ يُحِبُّ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ إِلَى أَحَدٍ إِلاَّ مِثْلَ مَا يُؤْتَى إِلَيْهِ. إِنْ رَأَى سَيِّئَةً دَرَأَهَا بِالْحَسَنَةِ. كَاظِمُ الْغَيْظِ، عَافٍ عَنِ النَّاسِ، وَاللهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ.

Modesty is of different ranks one of which is that one should know the actual value of oneself and then place it where it should be with sound heart. Therefore, one should never like for others that which one does not like for oneself. If he receives an evil act, he must repel it with a kind act. He must also suppress his anger and forgive others, for Allah loves those who do good to others.‌37

(التَّوَاضُعُ) أَنْ يَرْضَى بِالْمَجْلِسِ دُونَ الْمَجْلِسِ، وَأَنْ يُسَلِّمَ عَلَى مَنْ يَلْقَى، وَأَنْ يَتْرُكَ الْمِرَاءَ وَإِنْ كَانَ مُحِقّاً، وَلاَ تُحِبَّ أَنْ تُحْمَدَ عَلَى التَّقْوَى.

Modesty is to content yourself to sit in a place less than your actual position, to greet whomever you meet, to avoid disputation even if you are right, and to dislike for yourself to be praised for your piety.‌38

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have narrated the following:

Al-Najashi, the Abyssinian king, summoned Ja’far ibn Abi-Talib and his companions and they responded to his summon. When they visited him, they found him sitting on the bare ground wearing ragged clothes. Seeing this scene, Ja’far and his companions felt great pity for the king that the colors of their faces changed. When the king noticed their surprise, he said to them, “All praise is due to Allah Who has given victory to Muhammad and delighted him. May I convey to you this glad news?” “Yes, king!” answered Ja’far, “You may.” The king then said, “A few minutes ago, one of my spies in your country came to me and informed me that Almighty Allah had given victory to His Prophet, Muhammad, and annihilated his enemies. Moreover, some personalities had been taken as prisoners. The two armies met in a shrubby vale called Badr. I know this place very well, because I used to shepherd my master’s sheep there, who was a man from the tribe of ®amarah.”

Ja’far then asked the king, “Why are you sitting on the bare ground and wearing such ragged clothes?”

The king answered, “Within the revelations of Almighty Allah to Prophet Jesus, we read that one of His servants’ duties towards Him is that whenever Almighty Allah bestows a blessing to one of His servants, that servant must in return show his Lord a sort of modesty. Carrying out this duty, I am showing a sort of modesty because Almighty Allah has favored me with the blessing of giving victory to Muhammad.”

When the Holy Prophet (S) was informed about this incident, he said:

إِنَّ الصَّدَقَةَ تَزِيدُ صَاحِبَهَا كَثْرَةً، فَتَصَدَّقُوا يَرْحَمْكُمُ اللهُ، وَإِنَّ التَّوَاضُعَ يَزِيدُ صَاحِبَهُ رِفْعَةً، فَتَوَاضَعُوا يَرْفَعْكُمُ اللهُ، وَإِنَّ الْعَفْوَ يَزِيدُ صَاحِبَهُ عِزّاً، فَاعْفُوا يُعِزَّكُمُ اللهُ.

“Verily, almsgiving increases the wealth of its giver abundantly; therefore, give alms so that Almighty Allah will have mercy upon you. Likewise, modesty raises the modest persons’ eminence; therefore, show modesty so that Almighty Allah will raise your eminence. Forgiveness increases the forgivers’ dignity; therefore, forgive people so that Almighty Allah will confer dignity upon you.”‌39

Mu’awiyah ibn Wahab has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

أُطْلُبُوا الْعِلْمَ وَتَزَيَّنُوا مَعَهُ بِالْحِلْمِ وَالْوَقَارِ، وَتَوَاضَعُوا لِمَنْ تُعَلِّمُونَهُ الْعِلْمَ، وَتَوَاضَعُوا لِمَنْ طَلَبْتُمْ مِنْهُ الْعِلْمَ، وَلاَ تَكُونُوا عُلَمَاءَ جَبَّارِينَ فَيَذْهَبَ بِاطِلُكُمْ بِحَقِّكُمْ.

Seek knowledge and adorn yourselves with forbearance and solemnity while you do so. Behave humbly towards those whom you teach and behave humbly towards those from whom you receive knowledge. Do not be domineering scholars; otherwise, your right things will be eliminated by your wrong behavior.‌40

Muhammad ibn Sinan has reported the following from one of the Holy Imams (‘a):

Jesus, the son of Mary, peace be upon both of them, said to his disciples, “O assembly of Apostles! I have a request. Fulfill it for me.” They said, “Your request is fulfilled, O Spirit of Allah!” Then he stood up and washed their feet. They said, “It would have been more proper for us to have done this, O Spirit of Allah!” Then he said:

إِنَّ أَحَقَّ النَّاسِ بِالْخِدْمَةِ الْعَالِمُ. إِنَّمَا تَوَاضَعْتُ هَكَذَا لِكَيْمَا تَتَوَاضَعُوا بَعْدِي فِي النَّاسِ كَتَوَاضُعِي لَكُمْ. بِالتَّوَاضُعِ تُعْمَرُ الْحِكْمَةُ لاَ بِالتَّكَبُّرِ، وَكَذَلِكَ فِي السَّهْلِ يَنْبُتُ الزَّرْعُ لاَ فِي الْجَبَلِ.

Verily, it is more fitting for one endued with knowledge to serve the people. Indeed, I humbled myself so that you may humble yourselves before the people after me, even as I have humbled myself among you… Wisdom increases with humility, not by pride, and likewise plants grow in only soft soil, not in stone.‌41

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have narrated the following:

One Thursday evening, the Holy Prophet (S) broke his fasting at Qaba Mosque and asked for something to drink. Aws ibn Khawla, one of the Ansar, brought him a mixture of milk and honey. As soon as the Holy Prophet (S) neared it to his mouth, he put it aside and said:

شَرَابَانِ يُكْتَفَى مِنْ أَحَدِهِمَا بِصَاحِبِهِ. لاَ أَشْرَبُهُ وَلاَ أُحَرِّمُهُ، وَلَكِنْ أَتَوَاضَعُ للهِ، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ تَوَاضَعَ للهِ رَفَعَهُ اللهُ، وَمَنْ تَكَبَّرَ خَفَضَهُ اللهُ، وَمَنِ إقْتَصَدَ فِي مَعِيشَتِهِ رَزَقَهُ اللهُ، وَمَنْ بَذَّرَ حَرَمَهُ اللهُ، وَمَنْ أَكْثَرَ ذِكْرَ الْمَوْتِ أَحَبَّهُ اللهُ.

This is a mixture of two drinks one of which complements the other. I neither drink it nor avoid drinking it; rather, I humble myself before Almighty Allah, because whoever humbles himself before Almighty Allah He will raise him. Whoever acts arrogantly, Almighty Allah will put him down. Likewise, whoever makes savings in his livelihood, Almighty Allah will provide him with abundant sustenance, but whoever squanders, Almighty Allah will deprive him of sustenance. Whoever mentions death too much, Almighty Allah will love him.‌42

Good Intention and Sound Heart

Islam has enjoined to treat others with good intention and sound heart. These two traits can be achieved by founding one’s social relations on the fact that Almighty Allah witnesses the outward and inward thoughts and feelings. In this connection, Imam ‘Ali (‘a) is reported to have said:

مَنْ أَصْلَحَ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ اللهِ أَصْلَحَ اللهُ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ النَّاسِ، وَمَنْ أَصْلَحَ أَمْرَ آخِرَتِهِ أَصْلَحَ اللهُ لَهُ أَمْرَ دُنْيَاهُ، وَمَنْ كَانَ لَهُ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ وَاعِظٌ كَانَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ اللهِ حَافِظٌ.

Whoever keeps in order his affairs with Allah (i.e. follows His orders sincerely), Allah will also put his affairs with men in order. Whoever arranges for his salvation, Allah will arrange his worldly affairs. Whoever preaches to himself, Allah will also protect him.‌43

Control over Emotions and Blameworthy Qualities

The Holy Legislator has forbidden a set of psychological and emotional tendencies, and passivity in the field of social relations. Negative emotions arouse a pessimistic attitude towards man’s social and spiritual progress Islam has seriously warned against them.

These blameworthy qualities are:

Love of Domination

Because the desire to dominate people is a psychological tendency that expresses itself through man’s emotions and feelings, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) discouraged it, observing it in the corrupt chiefs of the Muslim community in that era. Holding a position of presidency has become a forbidden thing, in the view of some jurisprudents, if establishment of justice is not guaranteed, and there is the probability that it would lead to wronging the people or acting arrogantly—the two major serious effects of such positions.

Mu’ammar ibn Khalid has reported that Imam al-Ridha (‘a) condemned someone because he was fond of domination. The Imam (‘a) commented,

مَا ذِئْبَانِ ضَارِيَانِ فِي غَنَمٍ قَدْ تَفَرَّقَ رِعَاؤُهَا بِأَضَرَّ فِي دِينِ الْمُسْلِمِ مِنَ الرِّئَاسَةِ.

The destruction caused by two ravenous wolves that attack a shepherdless herd does not injure the faith of a Muslim individual more than fondness for domination.‌44

‘Abdullah ibn Maskan has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

إِيَّاكُمْ وَهَؤُلاَءِ الرُّؤَسَاءَ الَّذِينَ يَتَرَأَّسُونَ، فَوَاللهِ مَا خُفِقَتِ النَّعَالُ خَلْفَ الرَّجُلِ إِلاَّ هَلَكَ وَأَهْلَكَ.

Beware of those chiefs who are fond of domination. By Allah: any man after whom shoes are stamped heavily‌45‌ will certainly perish and send others to perdition.‌46

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported, on the authority of his fathers, to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying within the famous tradition of prohibitions (hadith al-manahi)

أَلاَ وَمَنْ تَوَلَّى عُرَافَةَ قَوْمٍ أَتَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَدَاهُ مَغْلُولَتَانِ إِلَى عُنُقِهِ، فَإِنْ قَامَ فِيهِمْ بِأَمْرِ اللهِ أَطْلَقَهُ اللهُ، وَإِنْ كَانَ ظَالِماً هَوَى بِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ.

Verily, whoever assumes the leadership of a people shall come on the Day of Resurrection with both hands tied behind his neck. If he has managed their affairs according to what Almighty Allah has commanded, he will be released by Him, but if he has been unjust to his people, Almighty Allah will throw him into Hellfire; an evil destination indeed!‌47

Anger

The Holy Legislator and the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have warned against anger and its negative impact on social relations and self-perfection. They have then presented some methods of treatment that will cure this psychological state that affects man’s relations with others.

Pointing out the bad effects of anger, the Holy Imams (‘a) are reported to have said:

الْغَضَبُ يُفْسِدُ الإِيـمَانَ كَمَا يُفْسِدُ الْخَلُّ الْعَسَلَ.

Anger spoils faith in the same way as vinegar does honey.‌48

الْغَضَبُ مِفْتَاحُ كُلِّ شَرٍّ.

Anger is the key to all evil.‌49

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُ الَّذِي إِذَا غَضِبَ لَمْ يُخْرِجْهُ غَضَبُهُ مِنْ حَقٍّ.

A true believer is exclusively one whose anger does not make him transgress the truth when enraged.‌50

مَنْ كَفَّ غَضَبَهُ عَنِ النَّاسِ كَفَّ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى عَنْهُ عَذَابَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ.

Whoever restrains his rage from people, Allah the Blessed and Exalted, will restrain the torture of the Day of Resurrection from him.‌51

فَأَيُّمَا رَجُلٍ غَضِبَ عَلَى قَوْمٍ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ فَلْيَجْلِسْ مِنْ فَوْرِهِ ذَلِكَ، فَإِنَّهُ يَذْهَبُ عَنْهُ رِجْزُ الشَّيْطَانِ. وَأَيُّمَا رَجُلٍ غَضِبَ عَلَى ذِي رَحِمٍ فَلْيَدْنُ مِنْهُ فَلْيَمَسَّهُ، فَإِنَّ الرَّحِمَ إِذَا مَسَّتْ سَكَنَتْ.

Any man who is angry with another must immediately sit down if he is standing up. If he does so, the unhealthy frenzy of Satan will depart from him. One who is angry with one of his relatives must come close and touch him, because a blood relation calms down when touched.‌52

Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported Mu’alla ibn Khunays to have quoted Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as relating the following anecdote:

One day, a man asked the Holy Prophet (S) to give him an all-inclusive advise. “Never be angry,” the Holy Prophet (S) taught. Contenting himself with this advice, the man left for home. He found them standing in lines and arming themselves to fight against another people. After he had also armed himself to participate in that fighting, the man recalled the Holy Prophet’s advice not to be angry. He therefore threw his weapon away and walked towards the other party, saying: “Whatever wound or murder that was committed against you by my people, I will be responsible for it and I will pay its blood-money from my own fortune.” Noticing the chivalry of this man, the other party declared, “We renounce any right that is ours against your people, because we are worthier of being lenient than you are.” Thus, the two parties made up, their anger forgotten.‌53

Envy

Defined as the feeling of resentfulness or discontented longing for the removal of another person's better fortune, situation, or the like blessings that Almighty Allah has endued him with, envy is forbidden by the Holy Legislator.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said:

إِنَّ الْحَسَدَ يَأْكُلُ الإِيـمَانَ كَمَا تَأْكُلُ النَّارُ الْحَطَبَ.

Verily, envy consumes one’s faith in the same way as fire consumes firewood.‌54

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

Almighty Allah said to (Prophet) Moses, the son of ‘Imran:

لاَ تَحْسِدَنَّ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَا آتَيْتُهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِي، وَلاَ تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَى ذَلِكَ، وَلاَ تُتْبِعْهُ نَفْسَكَ، فَإِنَّ الْحَاسِدَ سَاخِطٌ لِنِعَمِي، صَادٌّ لِقِسَمِيَ الَّذِي قَسَّمْتُ بَيْنَ عِبَادِي، وَمَنْ يَكُ كَذَلِكَ فَلَسْتُ مِنْهُ وَلَيْسَ مِنِّي.

Never envy people for whatever favor I have bestowed upon them. Never strain your eyes after that favor and never yearn for it. Verily, an envier is resentful of my boons and critical of My division (of favors) that I have decided for My servants. Whoever is characterized by envy, does not belong to Me, nor do I belong to him.‌55

It is worth mentioning that envy is different from the feeling of delight that man feels when he notices that Almighty Allah has endued some people with His favors. In this respect, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ يَغْبِطُ وَلاَ يَحْسِدُ، وَالْمُنَافِقُ يَحْسِدُ وَلاَ يَغْبِطُ.

A true faithful believer feels glad but never envies, while a hypocrite envies and never feels glad (at seeing others being granted graces by God).‌56

Disdain and Fanaticism

The Holy Legislator has also warned against the agitation of familial fanaticism and being overcome by the feelings and emotions that it arouses. However, partisanship that is not absolutely condemned in Islam has been delimited by Imam Zayn al-’Abidin as follows:

أَنْ يَرَى الرَّجُلُ شِرَارَ قَوْمِهِ خَيْراً مِنْ خِيَارِ قَوْمٍ آخَرِينَ، وَلَيْسَ مِنَ الْعَصَبِيَّةِ أَنْ يُحِبَّ الرَّجُلُ قَوْمَهُ، وَلَكِنْ مِنَ الْعَصَبِيَّةِ أَنْ يُعِينَ قَوْمَهُ عَلَى الظُّلْمِ.

Familial fanaticism is, considering wicked members of one’s own family to be better than righteous individuals of another family. To love the people of one’s family is not considered fanaticism; however, to help them practice wrongdoing is.‌57

From this definition as well as the general concept of tribalism, we can conclude that tribalism stands for taking sides with a certain party and acting loyally towards some people although they are recognized as wrong.‌58

Tribalism has something to do with justice and fair play, to emotions and feelings that Islam has ordered to control and restrain. Many traditions forbidding tribalism, have been reported from the Holy Imams (‘a).

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

مَنْ تَعَصَّبَ أَوْ تُعُصِّبَ لَهُ فَقَدْ خَلَعَ رِبْقَ الإِيـمَانِ مِنْ عُنُقِهِ.

Whoever takes sides with someone fanatically or is patronized on account of tribalism, has in fact taken off the loop of faith from his neck.‌59

Arrogance, self-conceit, and boasting

Islam has forbidden arrogance and conceit, and forbidden their demonstration while dealing with people.

Imam al-Baqir (‘a), or Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), is authentically reported to have said:

لاَ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ مِثْقَالُ حَبَّةٍ مِنْ خَرْدَلٍ مِنَ الْكِبَرِ.

He never enters Paradise that has any amount of arrogance in his heart, be it as insignificant as the weight of a grain of mustard.‌60

It has been also reported that the first act of disobedience to Almighty Allah was based on arrogance; that is the disobedience shown by Satan when he demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever.‌61

Arrogance is defined as despising people and ridiculing the truth. According to some validly reported narrations, this kind of arrogance is the gravest.

‘Abd al-A’la ibn A’yun reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying

إِنَّ أَعْظَمَ الْكِبَرِ غَمْصُ الْخَلْقِ وَسَفَهُ الْحَقِّ.

The gravest kind of arrogance is to despise creatures and to ridicule the truth.

The reporter asked, “What is meant by despising creatures and ridiculing the truth?”

The Imam (‘a) explained,

يَجْهَلُ الْحَقَّ وَيَطْعَنُ عَلَى أَهْلِهِ. فَمَنْ فَعَلَ ذَلِكَ فَقَدْ نَازَعَ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ رِدَاءَهُ.

It is to disregard the truth and look down on those who follow it. Whoever does so has in fact tried to divest Almighty Allah of His garment.62

Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn Yazid has reported that his father said to Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), “I usually eat the best quality of food, use the best perfumes, ride on the most comfortable animals, and make my servant follow me. Do such deeds include any sign of arrogance? If so, I will no longer do any of them.”

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) nodded his head down and then said:

إِنَّمَا الْجَبَّارُ الْمَلْعُونُ مَنْ غَمَصَ النَّاسَ وَجَهَّلَ الْحَقَّ.

The accursed people for their arrogance are only those who despise people and ridicule the truth.

The man said, “As for me, I do not ignore the truth. As for despising people, indeed, I do not know what this means!”

The Imam (‘a) explained,

مَنْ حَقَّرَ النَّاسَ وَتَجَبَّرَ عَلَيْهِمْ فَذَلِكَ الْجَبَّارُ.

He who disparages people and behaves tyrannically towards them is the true arrogant.‌63

As inferred from their traditions, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have explained the reason behind arrogant behavior to be feelings of imperfection and a senses of inferiority that the arrogant find in themselves.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said:

مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ يَتِيهُ إِلاَّ لِذِلَّةٍ يَجِدُهَا فِي نَفْسِهِ.

Any arrogant behavior is because of inferiority that the arrogant find in themselves.‌64

Similarly, the Imam (‘a) is reported to have said:

مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ تَكَبَّرَ أَوْ تَجَبَّرَ إِلاَّ لِذِلَّةٍ يَجِدُهَا فِي نَفْسِهِ.

Any man who behaves arrogantly or tyrannically must feel a sense of inferiority within himself.‌65

As is confirmed in many traditions, stubbornness and refusal to respect others are examples of arrogance.

In a validly reported tradition, Husayn ibn Abi’l-’Ala' has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

الْكِبَرُ قَدْ يَكُونُ فِي شِرَارِ النَّاسِ مِنْ كُلِّ جِنْسٍ. وَالْكِبَرُ رِدَاءُ اللهِ، فَمَنْ نَازَعَ اللهَ رِدَاءَهُ لَمْ يَزِدْهُ إِلاَّ سِفالاً.

Arrogance can be found in evil people of various classes. Arrogance is the robe of Almighty Allah; therefore, whoever tries to divest Him of His robe, will increase in nothing but lowliness.

Proving his statement, the Imam (‘a) reported the following story:

One day, the Holy Prophet (S) was in one of the public ways of Madinah where a black woman was picking up dung. It was informed to make way for the Holy Prophet (S), but she refused and said, “The way is too wide.” Some of the Holy Prophet’s companions tried to punish her, but the Holy Prophet (S) said, “Leave her! She is a tyrant.”‌66

Greed, Lethargy, and Foolishness

The Holy Legislator has discommended another set of emotions and passions because their effects and results are negative and harmful to man’s social and personal progress. When such emotions are borne in mind, man becomes a captive of others, violates the rights of others, or isolates and detaches himself from society.

Greed is one of these emotions that bring about an ill behavioral consequence.

Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said:

بِئْسَ الْعَبْدُ عَبْدٌ يَكُونُ لَهُ طَمَعٌ يَقُودُهُ. وَبِئْسَ الْعَبْدُ عَبْدٌ لَهُ رَغْبَةٌ تُذِلُّهُ.

Terribly evil is the slave (of God) who is steered by his greed. Terribly evil is the slave who is humiliated by his desire.67

Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) has said:

رَأَيْتُ الْخَيْرَ كُلَّهُ قَدِ إجْتَمَعَ فِي قَطْعِ الطَّمَعِ عَمَّا فِي أَيْدِي النَّاسِ.

I have perceived that the entire good lies in cutting off one’s greed for what others possess.‌68

In its social aspect, lethargy is another discommended condition that results in violation of the others’ rights.

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

وَإِنْ كَسِلْتَ لَمْ تُؤَدِّ حَقّاً.

If you slacken, you will not be able to carry out any of your duties.‌69

The Holy Prophet (S) is also reported to have said within a lengthy discourse,

لأَِنَّهُ إِذَا كَسِلَ فَقَدْ ضَيَّعَ الْحُقُوقَ.

… if he is lethargic then he will have violated rights.‌70

In one of his addresses to his son, Imam al-Kazim (‘a) is reported to have said:

وَإِيَّاكَ وَالضَّجَرَ وَالْكَسَلَ; فَإِنَّهُمَا يَمْنَعَانِكَ حَظَّكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ.

Beware of weariness and lethargy, because these two deprive you of your share from this worldly life and the Next Life.‌71

Foolishness and ignorance, defined as psychological and spiritual conditions due to which man goes against the social limits and rules of conduct in speech and discourse with people in general, are among the discommended feelings. Also considered the best examples of misbehavior, foolishness and ignorance push individuals to say and act without deliberation or reasoning.

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

إِنَّ السَّفَهَ خُلُقٌ لَئِيمٌ، يَسْتَطِيلُ عَلَى مَنْ هُوَ دُونَهُ وَيَخْضَعُ لِمَنْ هُوَ فَوْقَهُ.

Verily, foolishness is a mean trait. The foolish have the cheek to challenge those of a lower class and submit to those of an upper class.‌72

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

لاَ تَسْفَهُوا، فَإِنَّ أَئِمَّتَكُمْ لَيْسُوا بِسُفَهَاءَ.

Do not be foolish, because your Imams are not such.‌73

According to another validly reported tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِنَّ أَبْغَضَ خَلْقِ اللهِ عَبْدٌ إتَّقَى النَّاسُ لِسَانَهُ.

Verily, the most offensive creature of Almighty Allah is a sharp-tongued servant (of Him) whom people try to avoid due to his impudence.‌74

مَنْ كَافَأَ السَّفِيهَ بِالسَّفَهِ فَقَدْ رَضِيَ بِمَا أَتَى إِلَيْهِ، حَيْثُ إحْتَذَى مِثَالَهُ.

Whoever repays the foolish with foolishness has in fact been satisfied with what he receives from the foolish, because he has imitated them.75

Control over Emotions and Association with People

The Holy Legislator and the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) present some details to express the principle of controlling the emotions, which is a significant article in the Islamic concept of social relations.

Good Company

The leading entry is the observance of good company and establishment of good relations with one’s companions, friends, and other categories of people with whom one has to deal in social life.

Abu’l-Rabi’ al-Shami has reported that he once visited Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) and found his house suffocated with people of various nationalities, among whom were people from Khurasan, Syria, and other countries. He could not find any place to sit when Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), who was leaning on a pillow said:

يَا شِيعَةَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، إِعْلَمُوا أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ لَمْ يَمْلِكْ نَفْسَهُ عِنْدَ غَضَبِهِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يُحْسِنْ صُحْبَةَ مَنْ صَحِبَهُ وَمخَالَقَةَ مَنْ خَالَقَهُ وَمُرَافَقَةَ مَنْ رَافَقَهُ وَمُجَاوَرَةَ مَنْ جَاوَرَهُ وَمُمَالَحَةَ مَنْ مَالَحَهُ.

O Followers of Muhammad’s Household! Let everyone know! Whoever does not control himself in rage, not act kindly towards his companions, not behave courteously with those with whom he deals, not keep good company with those who accompany him, not act kindly towards his neighbors, and not behave warmly towards his partners in a meal, does not belong to us (i.e. the Ahl al-Bayt).‌76

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

مَا يُعْبَأُ بِمَنْ سَلَكَ هَذَا الطَّرِيقَ إِذَا لَمْ يَكُنْ فِيهِ ثَلاَثُ خِصَالٍ: وَرَعٌ يَحْجِزُهُ عَنْ مَعَاصِي اللهِ، وَحِلْمٌ يَمْلِكُ بِهِ غَضَبَهُ، وَحُسْنُ الصُّحْبَةِ لِمَنْ صَحِبَهُ.

He who follows the path (of Shi’ism) will never be supported unless he acquires the following three qualities: (1) piety that precludes him from committing acts of disobedience to Almighty Allah, (2) forbearance with which he controls himself whenever he is enraged, and (2) good company with those who accompany him.‌77

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have given some instructions, which actualize good company, if obeyed. Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

لَيْسَ مِنَ الْمُرُوءَةِ أَنْ يُحَدِّثَ الرَّجُلُ بِمَا يَلْقَى فِي السَّفَرِ مِنْ خَيْرٍ أَوْ شَرٍّ.

It is unmanly to divulge what you have faced in your journeys, whether good or bad.78

The Holy Imams (‘a) have also instructed their followers to ask about the conditions of their companions after they leave each other.

Al-Mufadhdhal ibn ‘Umar has reported that he visited Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) after coming back from a journey. “Who accompanied you in your journey?” the Imam asked.

“One of my brethren-in-faith did,” answered al-Mufadhdhal.

“How is he now?” asked the Imam.

“I do not know anything about him since we returned home,” answered al-Mufadhdhal.

The Imam (‘a) then said:

أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ مَنْ صَحِبَ مُؤْمِناً أَرْبَعِينَ خُطْوَةً سَأَلَهُ اللهُ عَنْهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ؟

You should have known that whoever accompanies a faithful believer for forty steps will be asked about him by Almighty Allah on the Day of Resurrection.‌79

It is highly recommended to ask the person with whom you sit about his name, surname, lineage, and conditions, yet without being curious or causing him embarrassment. Traditions have discommended not asking about these things.

The following tradition that is reported by Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) from the Holy Prophet (S) shows some examples of good company: One day, the Holy Prophet (S) asked his companions,

تَدْرُونَ مَا الْعَجْزُ؟ أَنْ يَبْدُرَ أَحَدُكُمْ بِطَعَامٍ يَصْنَعُهُ لِصَاحِبِهِ فَيُخْلِفُهُ وَلاَ يَأْتِيهِ، وَالثَّانِيَةُ أَنْ يَصْحَبَ الرَّجُلُ مِنْكُمُ الرَّجُلَ أَوْ يُجَالِسَهُ يُحِبُّ أَنْ يَعْلَمَ مَنْ هُوَ وَمِنْ أَيْنَ هُوَ، فَيُفَارِقُهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَعْلَمَ ذَلِكَ، وَالثَّالِثَةُ أَمْرُ النِّسَاءِ؛ يَدْنُو أَحَدُكُمْ مِنْ أَهْلِهِ فَيَقْضِي حَاجَتَهُ وَهِيَ لَمْ تَقْضِ حَاجَتَهَا… يَتَحَرَّشُ وَيَمْكُثُ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ ذَلِكَ مِنْهُمَا جَمِيعاً.

Do know what incompetence is? Incompetence appears in three situations. (1) When one of you does not go to a companion’s home who has invited you and prepared a meal for you. (2) When one of you accompanies or sits with someone but leaves him before knowing who your companion is and where he is from. (3) When one of you approaches his wife and takes the pleasure he wants from her without making sure she also took pleasure from him. You must make proper advances towards your wife and prolong the process of intercourse until you both take pleasure.‌80

According to another tradition, these three acts are also a sign of alienation.

Imam al-Baqir (‘a) has quoted his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (S), as saying:

ثَلاَثَةٌ مِنَ الْجَفَاءِ: أَنْ يَصْحَبَ الرَّجُلُ الرَّجُلَ فَلاَ يَسْأَلُهُ عَنِ إسْمِهِ وَكُنْيَتِهِ، وَأَنْ يُدْعَى الرَّجُلُ إِلَى طَعَامٍ فَلاَ يُجِيبُ، أَوْ يُجِيبُ فَلاَ يَأْكُلُ، وَمُوَاقَعَةُ الرَّجُلِ أَهْلَهُ قَبْلَ الْمُلاَعَبَةِ.

Three acts fall under alienation: (1) to accompany someone without asking him about his name and surname, (2) to reject an invitation to a banquet or to respond but refuse to eat, and (3) to copulate with the wife before courting her.‌81

According to a third tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying that to ask one’s companion about his name and identity is an obligatory duty and a sign of true fraternity:

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 about 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 brotherhood. If you do it not, it will be an association of idiocy.‌82

Laughter and Joking

In his social life, man may come upon laughter-stimulating situations due to joking or exciting scenes. Such being the case, man is required to restrain the emotions aroused by such situations and avoid loud bursts of laughter. In this connection, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported through a valid chain of authority to have said:

الْقَهْقَهَةُ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ.

The source of guffaw is Satan.‌83

ضَحِكُ الْمُؤْمِنِ تَبَسُّمٌ.

The laughter of the faithful believers is the smile.‌84

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

إِذَا قَهْقَهْتَ فَقُلْ حِينَ تَفْرُغُ: اللَّهُمَّ لاَ تَمْقُتْنِي.

When you guffaw, you may say thereafter, “O Allah, (please) do not detest me.”‌85

Expressions of laughter must also be restrained with respect to reason for laughter. Hence, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِنَّ مِنَ الْجَهْلِ الضَّحِكَ مِنْ غَيْرِ عَجَبٍ.

It is inane to laugh for no incentive (to laugh).‌86

The Holy Imams (‘a) have called for repressing laughter and joking, because these two lead to negative social effects not to mention their negative personal effects.

According to a validly reported tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has said:

إِيَّاكُمْ وَالْمِزَاحَ فَإِنَّهُ يَذْهَبُ بِمَاءِ الْوَجْهِ.

Beware of joking, because it removes self-respect.

كَثْرَةُ الضَّحِكِ تُمِيتُ الْقَلْبَ.

Over-laughter deadens the heart.

كَثْرَةُ الضَّحِكِ تَمِيثُ الدِّينَ كَمَا يَمِيثُ الْمَاءُ الْمِلْحَ.

Over-laughter melts faith in the same way as water melts salt.‌87

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

إِيَّاكَ وَالْمِزَاحَ فَإِنَّهُ يَجُرُّ السَّخِيمَةَ وَيُورِثُ الضَّغِينَةَ، وَهُوَ السَّبُّ الأَصْغَرُ.

Beware of poking fun at each other, because it begets rancor and reflects on spite. It is also the minor revilement.‌88

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

لاَ تُمَازِحْ فَيُجْتَرَأُ عَلَيْكَ.

Do not jest with others; lest, they encroach upon you.‌89

Decorum and Unconstraint in Confidence

Islam teaches abidance of decorum in friendship and association and constraint in conduct while expressing emotions of affection and love. Trusting someone, loving or hating must depend upon logic and observation of the special qualities necessary in a true associate or friend. These instructions do not violate the other instructions of learning about people in general and openness in social relations.

According to a validly reported tradition, Imam al-Kazim (‘a) has said:

لاَ تُذْهِبِ الْحِشْمَةَ بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَ أَخِيكَ; أَبْقِ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّ ذَهَابَهَا ذَهَابُ الْحَيَاءِ.

Do not thrust out decorum between your friend and you; rather, keep some of it, because absence of decorum leads to absence of diffidence.‌90

About the exegesis of this holy verse: “And you commit evil deeds in your assemblies. 29:29”, Ibn ‘Abbas and Imam al-Ridha (‘a) are reported to have said that these people, who were the people of Sodom and whose Prophet was Lot, used to compete in farting in their assemblies without any decorum or diffidence.‌91

About trusting others blindly, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

لاَ تَثِقْ بِأَخِيكَ كُلَّ الثِّقَةِ، فَإِنَّ صَرْعَةَ الإسْتِرْسَالِ لَنْ تُقَالَ.

Do not put absolute trust in your friend, because the blow of absolute confidence is incurable.‌92

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

أَحْبِبْ حَبِيبَكَ هُوناً مَا فَعَسَى أَنْ يَكُونَ بَغِيضَكَ يَوْماً مَا، وَأَبْغِضْ بَغِيضَكَ هُوناً مَا فَعَسَى أَنْ يَكُوَن حَبِيبَكَ يَوْماً مَا.

Love your friend up to a limit, for it is possible that he turns into your enemy someday, and hate your enemy up to a limit, for it is possible that he turns into your friend someday.‌93

Previously in this book, we have come upon the conditions and qualities required for choosing friends and associates. These conditions and qualities are actually regarded as criteria of confidence and reliance.

Disapproval of Contention and Disputation

Another feature of the required control over emotion is to avoid being drifted by feelings of avenging oneself on others in discourses and discussions, because this will eventually turn into contention and disputations against which the Holy Legislator has warned.

According to a validly reported tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has quoted Imam ‘Ali (‘a) as saying:

إِيَّاكُمْ وَالْمِرَاءَ وَالْخُصُومَةَ فَإِنَّهُمَا يُمْرِضَانِ الْقُلُوبَ عَلَى الإِخْوَانِ وَيَنْبُتُ عَلَيْهِمَا النِّفَاقُ.

Beware of engaging yourselves in contention and disputation, because these two matters sicken your hearts towards your friends and act as fertile sources of hypocrisy.‌94

Holding the Tongue and Saying Nothing but the Truth

Another feature of control over emotions that is highly recommended by the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) is to control the desire to speak by imposing precise supervision over it. Strict warning has been issued on the unrestricted use of the tongue by the Holy Legislator Who knows about the damages caused by a slip of the tongue, especially in the field of social relations.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has reported that Luqman the wise said to his son,

يَا بُنَيَّ، إِنْ كُنْتَ زَعَمْتَ أَنَّ الْكَلاَمَ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ فَإِنَّ السُّكُوتَ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ.

O son, if you claim that speech is silver then silence must be gold.‌95

This pithy saying has become a proverb expressing the importance of keeping silent.

According to a validly reported tradition, Imam al-Ridha (‘a) has said:

مِنْ عَلاَمَاتِ الْفِقْهِ الْعِلْمُ وَالْحِلْمُ وَالصَّمْتُ; إِنَّ الصَّمْتَ بَابٌ مِنْ أَبْوَابِ الْحِكْمَةِ. إِنَّ الصَّمْتَ يُكْسِبُ الْمَحَبَّةَ. إِنَّهُ دَلِيلٌ عَلَى كُلِّ خَيْرٍ.

Knowledge, forbearance, and keeping silent are signs of sagacity. Indeed, silence is one of the doors to wisdom. Indeed, silence yields affection. Indeed, silence is the guide to every item of decency.‌96

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have narrated the following account:

The Holy Prophet (S) said to someone who had visited him, “May I guide you to a matter that will make you enter Paradise if you do it?”

“Yes, you may,” said the man.

“Give others from that with which you are endued by Almighty Allah,” instructed the Holy Prophet (S).

“What if I am needier than the one to whom I should give?” asked the man.

“You may then support the oppressed,” instructed the Holy Prophet (S).

“What if I am too weak to support them?” asked the man.

“You may then give proper advice to the clumsy,” instructed the Holy Prophet (S).

“What if I am clumsier than they are?” asked the man.

“Then,” the Holy Prophet (S) instructed, “You must control your tongue except from saying good things. Does it not please you to have one of these qualities, one of which draws you towards Paradise?”‌97

On the other hand, the Holy Imams (‘a) have highlighted the significance of speech when it becomes necessary to say something or when good results are expected.

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

كَلاَمٌ فِي حَقٍّ خَيْرٌ مِنْ سُكُوتٍ عَلَى بَاطِلٍ.

To speak the truth is better than keeping silent in the face of the wrong.‌98

Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) is reported to have said:

الْقَوْلُ الْحَسَنُ يُثْرِي الْمَالَ، وَيُنْمِي الرِّزْقَ، وَيُنْسِئُ فِي الأَجَلِ، وَيُحَبِّبُ إِلَى الأَهْلِ، وَيُدْخِلُ الْجَنَّةَ.

Pleasing talk increases wealth, promotes sustenance, postpones the death term, endears to family members, and leads to Paradise.‌99

Demonstrating the accurate balance between speech and silence, the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said to Abu-Dharr,

يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، الذَّاكِرُ فِي الْغَافِلِينَ كَالْمُقَاتِلِ فِي الْفَارِّينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، الْجَلِيسُ الصَّالِحُ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الْوَحْدَةِ، وَالْوَحْدَةُ خَيْرٌ مِنْ جَلِيسِ السُّوءِ، وَإِمْلاَءُ الْخَيْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنَ السُّكُوتِ، وَالسُّكُوتُ خَيْرٌ مِنْ إِمْلاَءِ الشَّرِّ. يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، أُتْرُكْ فُضُولَ الْكَلاَمِ، وَحَسْبُكَ مِنَ الْكَلاَمِ مَا تَبْلُغُ بِهِ حَاجَتَكَ. يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ كَذِباً أَنْ يُحَدِّثَ بِكُلِّ مَا سَمِعَ. يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، إِنَّهُ مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ أَحَقُّ بِطُولِ السِّجْنِ مِنَ اللِّسَانِ. يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، إِنَّ اللهَ عِنْدَ لِسَانِ كُلِّ قَائِلٍ، فَلْيَتَّقِ اللهَ امْرُؤٌ وَلْيَعْلَمْ مَا يَقُولُ.

O Abu-Dharr, he who mentions Almighty Allah among the unmindful is just like a warrior for the sake of Almighty Allah among absconders. O Abu-Dharr, to sit with a righteous person is better than sitting alone, but to sit alone is better than sitting with a wicked person. Likewise, to speak wisely is better than keeping silent, but to keep silent is better than saying evil things. O Abu-Dharr, forsake verbosity and use the fewest words to express your view. O Abu-Dharr, the least thing due to which one is described as liar is to narrate whatever he hears. O Abu-Dharr, nothing needs to be detained for as long as possible, than the tongue. O Abu-Dharr, Almighty Allah is present at the tongue of every one who articulates; therefore, one must fear Almighty Allah and know what he says.‌100

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said to a man who had spoken too much,

أَيُّهَا الرَّجُلُ، تَحْتَقِرُ الْكَلاَمَ وَتَسْتَصْغِرُهُ! إِنَّ اللهَ لَمْ يَبْعَثْ رُسُلَهُ حَيْثُ بَعَثَهَا وَمَعَهَا فِضَّةٌ وَلاَ ذَهَبٌ، وَلَكِنْ بَعَثَهَا بِالْكَلاَمِ، وَإِنَّمَا عَرَّفَ اللهُ نَفْسَهُ إِلَى خَلْقِهِ بِالْكَلاَمِ وَالدِّلاَلاَتِ عَلَيْهِ وَالأَعْلاَمِ.

O man, you are humiliating and belittling speech. When He sent His messengers, Almighty Allah did not send them to distribute gold and silver; rather, He sent them with speech. He has also introduced Himself to His creatures through words, indications of Him, and signs.‌101

Suppression of Rage and Steadfastness against Envy

In the same field of control over emotions, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have taught their followers to suppress their feelings when they are enraged, or have the desire to defend and avenge themselves upon those who maltreat them, especially when they are right or wronged. In such situations, it becomes necessary to employ one’s reason, good sense, and willpower to overcome such surging feelings and sweeping passion.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported through a valid chain of authority to have said:

نِعْمَ الْجُرْعَةُ الْغَيْظُ لِمَنْ صَبَرَ عَلَيْهَا، فَإِنَّ عَظِيمَ الأَجْرِ لَمِنْ عَظِيمِ الْبَلاَءِ. وَمَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ قَوْماً إِلاَّ ابْتَلاَهُمْ.

The best of gulps is anger that is swallowed despite being unbearable, for the size of reward is always proportionate to the size of misfortune. Almighty Allah has never loved a people but that He tries them with afflictions.‌102

Through a valid chain of authority, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported to have said that Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) used to say,

مَا أُحِبُّ أَنَّ لِي بِذُلِّ نَفْسِي حُمُرَ النِّعَمِ، وَمَا تَجَرَّعْتُ جُرْعَةً أَحَبَّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ جُرْعَةٍ لاَ أُكَافِئُ بِهَا صَاحِبَهَا.

I do not prefer having the best kind of camels as recompense for exposing myself to humiliation. I have never swallowed anything dearer to me than a gulp which I do not requite.‌103

Counting the qualities that should be enjoyed by His righteous servants, Almighty Allah says (in the Holy Qur'an),

الْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

…Those who restrain their anger and pardon men. Allah loves the doers of good to others. 3:134

In his instructive direction to Imam ‘Ali (‘a), the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

يَا عَلِيُّ، أُوصِيكَ بِوَصِيَّةٍ فَاحْفَظْهَا، فَلاَ تَزَالُ بِخَيْرٍ مَا حَفِظْتَ وَصِيَّتِي. يَا عَلِيُّ، مَنْ كَظَمَ غَيْظاً وَهُوَ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى إِمْضَائِهِ أَعْقَبَهُ أَمْناً وَإِيـمَاناً يَجِدُ طَعْمَهُ.

O ‘Ali, I will convey to you a commandment that you should retain. You will keep yourself in goodness as long as you follow my commandment. O ‘Ali, for those who suppress their anger while they are able to punish, Almighty Allah will endow them with security and satisfying faith on the Day of Resurrection.‌104

Falling under the same topic, the Holy Imams (‘a) have advised their followers to act patiently towards the envious, who irritate people and stimulate various emotions and feelings through their weird behavior. This sort of tribulation has been one of the harshest social ordeals the faithful believers have to bear patiently.

Through a valid chain of authority, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِصْبِرْ عَلَى أَعْدَاءِ النِّعَمِ، فَإِنَّكَ لَنْ تُكَافِئَ مَنْ عَصَى اللهَ فِيكَ بِأَفْضَلَ مِنْ أَنْ تُطِيعَ اللهَ فِيهِ.

Act steadfastly against those envious of blessings. You cannot award those who have disobeyed Almighty Allah in your capacity with any reward better than obeying Him in the way you treat them.‌105

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported through a valid chain of authority to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

إِنَّ اللهَ أَخَذَ مِيَثاقَ الْمُؤْمِنِ عَلَى بَلاَيَا أَرْبَعٍ، أَشَدُّهَا عَلَيْهِ مُؤْمِنٌ يَقُولُ بِقَوْلِهِ يَحْسِدُهُ، أَوْ مُنَافِقٌ يَقْفُو أَثَرَهُ، أَوْ شَيْطَانٌ يَغْوِيهِ، أَوْ كَافِرٌ يَرَى جِهَادَهُ، فَمَا بَقَاءُ الْمُؤْمِنِ بَعْدَ هَذَا؟

Almighty Allah has already taken a promise from the faithful believers that they should patiently bear four tribulations; the first and harshest of which is the tribulation of a believer who follows his same faith but envies him, a hypocrite who traces his footsteps, a devil that seduces him, or an infidel who believes that he must fight him. After all this, how can we find many faithful believers?‌106

Justice and Fair Play

As has been previously clarified, justice and fair play is founded on the conception that justice is obligatory and injustice is forbidden. The most evident application of justice in social relations is fair play, which means that one must treat all people with justice and fairness even if it be against one’s own interest.

Injustice Forbidden

Injustice is forbidden not only in personal practice; rather, man is required to refuse all elements of injustice. This situation can be embodied in the following issues:

Restoration of Violations

One who has wronged another, by seizing his property or violating one of his rights, and he then feels sorry and stops doing wrong is required to restore the rights that he has violated. This act is called restoration of violations.

In this respect, Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said:

الظُّلْمُ ثَلاَثَةٌ: ظُلْمٌ يَغْفِرُهُ اللهُ، وَظُلْمٌ لاَ يَغْفِرُهُ اللهُ، وَظُلْمٌ لاَ يَدَعُهُ اللهُ. فَأَمَّا الظُّلْمُ الَّذِي لاَ يَغْفِرُهُ فَالشِّرْكُ. وَأَمَّا الظُّلْمُ الَّذِي يَغْفِرُهُ فَظُلْمُ الرَّجُلِ نَفْسَهُ فِي مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ اللهِ. وَأَمَّا الظُّلْمُ الَّذِي لاَ يَدَعُهُ فَالْمُدَايَنَةُ بَيْنَ الْعِبَادِ.

Wronging is of three categories; a category Allah will not forgive, another Allah will forgive, and a third Allah will not overlook. The category that Allah will not forgive is to worship other deities beside Almighty Allah. The category that Allah will forgive is the wronging that one commits against himself secretly. The third category that Allah will not overlook is His servants wronging each other.‌107

Wahab ibn ‘Abd-Rabbih and ‘Ubaydullah al-Tawil have reported that an old man from the tribe of Nakha’ said to Imam al-Baqir (‘a), “I have been a governor since the time of al-Hajjaj up to now. Will my repentance be accepted now?”

The Imam (‘a) did not answer. The man repeated the same question, but this time the Imam (‘a) answered,

لاَ، حَتَّى تُؤَدِّي إِلَى كُلِّ ذِي حَقٍّ حَقَّهُ.

No. It will not be accepted until you restore all the rights that you have violated.‌108

Abu-Basir has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

مَنْ أَكَلَ مِنْ مَالِ أَخِيهِ ظُلْماً وَلَمْ يَرُدَّهُ إِلَيْهِ، أَكَلَ جَذْوَةً مِنَ النَّارِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.

Whoever devours any amount of his brother-in-faith’s property unlawfully, intending not to restore it, will consume a firebrand on the Day of Resurrection.‌109

One who has committed a moral wrongdoing against anyone—such as backbiting, disgracing, defaming, or any kind of moral violation and aggression—is religiously required to seek forgiveness from these people after repenting before Almighty Allah, imploring His forgiveness, doing charitable acts on their behalf, rehabilitating them, and doing acts that can be considered a restoration of their rights.

Guiding towards the True Path after Misleading

Almost certainly, the worst example of moral wrongdoing is to lead someone astray and to lead him from the path of truth towards the wrong path. One who has committed such a grave wrongdoing and then repents must exert all efforts to restore the one whom he has misled to the path of the truth and guide him in the right direction.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have related the following narration:

Once, a man sought worldly prosperity through legal means, but he could not gain anything. He then tried to seek it through illegal means, but he still failed. Satan then inspired him, thus, “May I lead you to a matter that will bring you worldly prosperity in abundance and make huge numbers of people follow you?” “Yes,” answered the man, “You may.” Satan said: “You may contrive a tenet and call people to follow it.” The man did and many people responded to and obeyed him. After he had gained abundant worldly prosperity, he began to feel sorry for what he had done. He therefore said to himself, “What a terrible thing I have done! I have invented a false tenet and called people to follow it. I do not believe that my repentance will be accepted unless I make every single person who has followed my fake tenet renegade it.”

He therefore began to come to his followers who had responded to his call and tell them that his tenet was baseless and that he himself had invented it. However, every one of them belied him and insisted on following that fake tenet, saying, “You have only started suspecting your own belief and abandoned it.” As a result, he tied himself to a chain to the neck and vowed not to release it until Allah would accept his repentance. Then, Almighty Allah revealed to one of His prophets, saying, “Tell this man that I swear by My Honor that I shall never respond to him even if all his organs will be torn apart unless he restores those who died following his fake tenet to life and makes them abandon their belief.”‌110

Helping the Oppressors

Just as it is forbidden to practice any wrongdoing, so also it is forbidden to help any wrongdoer oppress others. Such people are helpers of oppressors. ‘Abdullah ibn Sinan has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

مَنْ أَعَانَ ظَالِماً عَلَى مَظْلُومٍ لَمْ يَزَلِ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ سَاخِطاً حَتَّى يَنْزَعَ مِنْ مَعُونَتِهِ.

Whoever helps a wrongdoer oppress another, Almighty Allah will be wrathful towards him until he retreats his help from that oppressor.‌111

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

لِلظَّالِمِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ ثَلاَثُ عَلاَمَاتٍ: يَظْلِمُ مَنْ فَوْقَهُ بِالْمَعْصِيَةِ، وَمَنْ دُونَهُ بِالْغَلَبَةِ، وَيُظَاهِرُ الْقَوْمَ الظَّلَمَةَ.

The oppressor among people has three signs: he oppresses his superior by disobeying him, oppresses his junior by posing authority over him, and supports other oppressors.‌112

Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) is reported to have said within a long discourse,

إِيَّاكُمْ وَصُحْبَةَ الْعَاصِينَ وَمَعُونَةَ الظَّالِمِينَ.

Beware of making friends with the disobedient and helping the oppressors.‌113

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

إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ نَادَى مُنَادٍ: أَيْنَ أَعْوَانُ الظَّلَمَةِ، وَمَنْ لاَقَ لَهُمْ دَوَاةً، أَوْ رَبَطَ كِيساً، أَوْ مَدَّ لَهُمْ مُدَّةَ قَلَمٍ؟ فَاحْشُرُوهُمْ مَعَهُمْ.

On the Day of Resurrection, a caller shall call out, “Where are the helpers of oppressors, including those who filled an inkpot, tied a bag, or sharpened a pen for them? Bring them together with the oppressors.”‌114

Approval of and Remaining Silent over Wrongdoing

In addition to the forbiddance of practicing wrongdoing, it is forbidden to swallow, accept, or remain quiet over a wrongdoing.

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

الْعَامِلُ بِالظُّلْمِ وَالْمُعِينُ لَهُ وَالرَّاضِي بِهِ شُرَكَاءُ ثَلاَثَتُهُمْ.

He who practices wrongdoing personally, he who helps him, and he who is pleased with his deed—these three are partners in that deed.‌115

مَنْ عَذَرَ ظَالِماً بِظُلْمِهِ سَلَّطَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ مَنْ يَظْلِمُهُ، فَإِنْ دَعَا لَمْ يُسْتَجَبْ لَهُ، وِلَمْ يَأْجِرْهُ اللهُ عَلَى ظُلاَمَتِهِ.

As for anyone who excuses a wrongdoer for his wrong deed, Almighty Allah shall set up over him one who wrongs him. Then, if he prays, his prayers will not be responded and he will not be compensated for the wrong that has befallen him.‌116

مَنْ أَحَبَّ بَقَاءَ الظَّالِمِينَ فَقَدْ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يُعْصَى اللهُ.

He who wishes survival for an oppressor has in fact wished for Almighty Allah to be disobeyed.‌117

Applications of Fair play

In the field of fair play, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) guided their followers to a set of applications, besides loving for one’s brothers-in-faith whatever one loves for oneself.

Requital of Favors

One of the practical applications of fair play is to recompense a service received from someone with the same service or even better. To this trait, the Holy Qur'an has referred, saying:

هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ (60)

Is the reward of goodness aught but goodness? (55:60)

Similar to this is to respond to one’s greeting with a similar greeting or even better. The Holy Qur'an thus says,

وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُمْ بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا (86)

When you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better greeting than it or return it. (4:86)

Repaying for an act of kindness has been confirmed in many traditions. Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is thus reported to have said:

كَانَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ يَقُولُ: مَنْ صَنَعَ بِمِثْلِ مَا صُنِعَ إِلَيْهِ فَإِنَّمَا كَافَأَهُ، وَمَنْ أَضْعَفَهُ كَانَ شَكُوراً، وَمَنْ شَكَرَ كَانَ كَرِيـماً، وَمَنْ عَلِمَ أَنَّ مَا صَنَعَ إِنَّمَا صَنَعَ إِلَى نَفْسِهِ لَمْ يَسْتَبْطِئِ النَّاسَ فِي شُكْرِهِمْ وَلَمْ يَسْتَزِدْهُمْ فِي مَوَدَّتِهِمْ، وَلاَ تَلْتَمِسْ مِنْ غَيْرِكَ شُكْرَ مَا أَتَيْتَ إِلَى نَفْسِكَ وَوَقَيْتَ بِهِ عِرْضَكَ، وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الطَّالِبَ إِلَيْكَ الْحَاجَةَ لَمْ يُكْرِمْ وَجْهَهُ عَنْ وَجْهِكَ فَأَكْرِمْ وَجْهَكَ عَنْ رَدِّهِ.

The Commander of the Faithful (i.e. Imam ‘Ali) used to say, “He who repays a person with the same kindness that was done to him has in fact rewarded that person. He who repays with a double kindness is considered grateful. He who thanks for a kindness that has been done to him is considered noble. If he realizes that the kindness he has done to someone is in fact for himself in the first place, he will neither find people‌118‌ slow in thanking him nor will he expect them to show him more love. Hence, you must not expect others to thank you for that which you have done for yourself and that by which you have saved your personality. Be it known to you that one who has asked you for something he needed did not save his face against yours; therefore, you should save your face against rejecting him.‌119

‘Ali ibn Salim has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

آيَةٌ فِي كِتَابِ اللهِ مُسَجَّلَةٌ.

There is an unconditional verse in the Book of Allah.

“Which verse is it?” asked ‘Ali.

The Imam (‘a) answered,

هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ (60)

جَرَتْ فِي الْمُؤْمِنِ وَالْكَافِرِ، وَالْبَرِّ وَالْفَاجِرِ; مَنْ صُنِعَ إِلَيْهِ مَعْرُوفٌ فَعَلَيْهِ أَنْ يُكَافِئَ بِهِ، وَلَيْسَتِ الْمُكَافَأَةَ أَنْ يَصْنَعَ كَمَا صُنِعَ بِهِ، بَلْ يَرَى مَعَ فِعْلِهِ لِذَاكَ أَنَّ لَهُ الْفَضَلَ الْمُبْتَدَأَ.

It is this verse: “Is the reward of goodness aught but goodness? (55:60)” This verse is applicable to the believers, the unbelievers, the pious, and the sinful. Whoever is done a favor must recompense for it. To recompense does not mean to do the same favor that was done to him; rather, he must realize that the one who has done him a favor has also had the priority of initiation.‌120

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

لَعَنَ اللهُ قَاطِعِي سَبِيلِ الْمَعْرُوفِ… الرَّجُلُ يُصْنَعُ إِلَيْهِ الْمَعْرُوفُ فَيَكْفُرُهُ، فَيَمْتَنِعُ صَاحِبُهُ مِنْ أَنْ يَصْنَعَ ذَلِكَ إِلَى غَيْرِهِ.

May Allah curse those who obstruct the path of favors… This happens when the one receiving a favor does not show gratitude. As a result, the one who has done the favor will stop doing any further favors to anyone else.‌121

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

مَنْ أُتِيَ إِلَيْهِ مَعْرُوفاً فَلْيُكَافِئْ بِهِ، فَإِنْ عَجَزَ فَلْيُثْنِ عَلَيْهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَفْعَلْ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ النِّعْمَةَ.

Whoever receives a favor must repay it. If he is too weak to repay, he must then thank for it. If he does not do so then he has been ungrateful.‌122

Observance of Duties towards Brethren-in-Faith

Another practical example of fair play is to acknowledge the duties towards brothers-in-faith in the same way as they have done, because duties of the faithful believers towards one another must be reciprocal. This fact has been confirmed in the traditions that have pointed out these duties, such as the following one that is reported from Imam al-Sadiq (‘a),

أَمَا يَسْتَحْيِي الرَّجُلُ مِنْكُمْ أَنْ يَعْرِفَ جَارُهُ حَقَّهُ وَلاَ يَعْرِفَ حَقَّ جَارِهِ؟

Is it not shameful that your neighbors acknowledge their duties towards you but you do not acknowledge your duties towards them?‌123

Correcting one’s Personal Flaws Rather than Criticizing Others

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

ثَلاَثُ خِصَالٍ مَنْ كُنَّ فِيهِ أَوْ وَاحِدَةٌ مِنْهُنَّ كَانَ فِي ظِلِّ عَرْشِ اللهِ يَوْمَ لاَ ظِلَّ إِلاَّ ظِلُّهُ: رَجُلٌ أَعْطَى النَّاسَ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ مَا هُوَ سَائِلُهُمْ، وَرَجُلٌ لَمْ يُقَدِّمْ رِجْلاً وَلَمْ يُؤَخِّرْ رِجْلاً حَتَّى يَعْلَمَ أَنَّ ذَلِكَ للهِ رِضىً، وَرَجُلٌ لَمْ يُعِبْ أَخَاهُ الْمُسْلِمَ بِعَيْبٍ حَتَّى يَنْفِيَ ذَلِكَ الْعَيْبَ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ، فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَنْفِي مِنْهَا عَيْباً إِلاَّ بَدَا لَهُ عَيْبٌ، وَكَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ شُغْلاً بِنَفْسِهِ عَنِ النَّاسِ.

Whoever possesses all, or at least one of the following traits, shall be under the shade of Almighty Allah’s Throne on the day when there shall be no other shade but His. (1) He gives people what he wants from them, (2) he does not move a step forward or backward unless he has been sure that this step will please Allah, and (3) he does not blame his Muslim brother for any flaw until he removes the same flaw from himself. Thus, whenever he tries to release himself of a flaw, he will find in himself another flaw that requires correction. Indeed, to be engaged in amending one’s personal flaws saves one from seeking out the flaws of others.‌124

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

كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ عَيْباً أَنْ يَتَعَرَّفَ مِنْ عُيُوبِ النَّاسِ مَا يَعْمَى عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَمْرِ نَفْسِهِ، أَوْ يَعِيبَ عَلَى النَّاسِ أَمْراً هُوَ فِيهِ لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُ التَّحَوُّلَ عَنْهُ إِلَى غَيْرِهِ، أَوْ يُؤْذِيَ جَلِيسَهُ بِمَا لاَ يَعْنِيهِ.

It is disgraceful enough to point out those flaws in people which are present in you, to discredit people for things that you yourself cannot get rid of, or to annoy the one who sits with you with things that do not concern you.‌125

Speaking Well of People

Another practical example of fair play is to speak of people the very words that you would like them to say about you, to think well of them, to take their words and deeds with the most favorable probability, and to praise and commend them.

Interpreting this holy verse: “Speak fairly to the people, (2:83)” Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said:

وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا (83)

قُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ أَحْسَنَ مَا تُحِبُّونَ أَنْ يُقَالَ فِيكُمْ.

This means that you must say about people the best words that you would like to hear from them about yourselves.‌126

The abovementioned points have been a few examples of fair play.

Applications of Wrongdoing and Oppression

The Holy Legislator has defined many practical examples of wrongdoing and oppression against people, based on man’s all-inclusive concept of justice and injustice. These examples have been mentioned in the traditions reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a). In this regard, the Holy Legislator has endued Muslims with sanctity and inviolability, the observance of which requires a special treatment in the totality of social relations. A practical application of this sanctity and inviolability requires forsaking and rejecting misbehavior and many misdeeds. The most important will be cited hereinafter:

Killing and Hurting Muslims

The chief forbidden acts in the field of wrongdoing and oppression are to murder, hurt, and terrorize Muslims even by a single word or an intentional look that reveals plotting evil against them. The same is applicable to any act that helps in committing such wrongdoings. Let us now present a set of traditions indicating this tenor.

Hisham ibn Salim has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: لِيَأْذَنْ بِحَرْبٍ مِنِّي مَنْ آذَى عَبْدِيَ الْمُؤْمِنَ، وَلْيَأْمَنْ غَضَبِي مَنْ أَكْرَمَ عَبْدِيَ الْمُؤْمِنَ.

Allah, the Almighty and Majestic, says, “He that hurts My faithful servant must be apprised of war from Me, and he that honors My faithful servant must be secured against My wrath.”‌127

Hammad ibn ‘Uthman has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), directly or indirectly, to have said:

يَجِيءُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ رَجُلٌ إِلَى رَجُلٍ حَتَّى يُلَطِّخَهُ بِدَمِهِ، وَالنَّاسُ فِي الْحِسَابِ، فَيَقُولُ: يَا عَبْدَ اللهِ، مَا لِي وَلَكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: أَعَنْتَ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ كَذَا وَكَذَا فَقُتِلْتُ.

On the Day of Resurrection, while people are stopped for the settlement of accounts, a man will approach another and stain him with his blood. The latter will ask, “O servant of Allah, what is there between you and me?” The earlier will say, “On such-and-such day, you helped others against me and I was killed because of that.”‌128

According to a validly reported tradition, Imam al-Baqir (‘a) has said:

إِنَّ الْعَبْدَ يُحْشَرُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمَا أَدْمَى دَماً، فَيُدْفَعُ إِلَيْهِ شِبْهُ الْمَحْجَمَةِ أَوْ فَوْقَ ذَلِكَ، فَيُقَالُ لَهُ: هَذَا سَهْمُكَ مِنْ دَمِ فُلاَنٍ. فَيَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ، إِنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ قَبَضْتَنِي وَمَا سَفَكْتُ دَماً. قَالَ: بَلَى، وَمَا سَمِعْتَ مِنْ فُلاَنِ بْنِ فُلاَنٍ كَذَا وَكَذَا فَرَوَيْتَهَا عَنْهُ فَنُقِلَتْ حَتَّى صَارَتْ إِلَى فُلاَنٍ فَقَتَلَهُ عَلَيْهَا. فَهَذَا سَهْمُكَ مِنْ دَمِهِ.

On the Day of Resurrection, a man who has never shed any blood when resurrected, will be given a glass full of blood, and told, “This is your share from the blood of so-and-so!” The man will object, “O Lord, You know for sure that You grasped my soul before I ever shed any blood.” He will be told, “No, you have. You heard some words from so-and-so and related them until they reached so-and-so who, because of it, killed that man. Therefore, this is your share in his blood that was shed.”‌129

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

مَنْ نَظَرَ إِلَى مُؤْمِنٍ نَظْرَة لِيُخِيفَهُ بِهَا أَخَافَهُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَوْمَ لاَ ظِلَّ إِلاَّ ظِلُّهُ.

Whoever stares at a faithful believer in order to frighten him, Almighty Allah will frighten him on the day when there will be no shade save His.‌130

Insulting a Muslim

To insult or disappoint a faithful believer is another sort of wrongdoing.

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

لَمَّا أُسْرِيَ بِالنَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ، مَا حَالُ الْمُؤْمِنِ عِنْدَكَ؟ قَالَ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ، مَنْ أَهَانَ لِي وَلِيّاً فَقَدْ بَارَزَنِي بِالْمُحَارَبَةِ، وَأَنَا أَسْرَعُ شَيْءٍ إِلَى نُصْرَةِ أَوْلِيَائِي.

When the Holy Prophet (S) was ascending the heavens, he asked Almighty Allah, “O Lord, what is the prestige of the faithful believers in Your view?” The Lord replied, “O Muhammad, whoever insults any of My friends has indeed fought against Me. I am the swiftest in supporting My friends.”‌131

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

مَا مِنْ مُؤْمِنٍ يَخْذُلُ أَخَاهُ وَهُوَ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى نُصْرَتِهِ إِلاَّ خَذَلَهُ اللهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ.

Any believer who puts down his brother-in-faith while he has the ability to support him shall most certainly be disappointed by Almighty Allah in this world and the Next World.‌132

Degradation of Faithful Believers

To humiliate, despise, or belittle a faithful believer is another form of wrongdoing.

In this respect, al-Mu’alla ibn Khunays has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: لِيَأْذَنْ بِحَرْبٍ مِنِّي مَنْ آذَى عَبْدِيَ الْمُؤْمِنَ، وَلْيَأْمَنْ غَضَبِي مَنْ أَكْرَمَ عَبْدِيَ الْمُؤْمِنَ.

Allah, the Almighty and Majestic, says, “He that hurts My faithful servant must be apprised of war from Me, and he that honors My faithful servant must be secured against My wrath.”‌133

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

لَقَدْ أَسْرَى رَبِّي بِي فَأَوْحَى إِلَيَّ مِنْ وَرَاءِ الْحِجَابِ مَا أَوْحَى، وَشَافَهَنِي أَنْ قَالَ لِي: يَا مُحَمَّدُ، مَنْ أَذَلَّ لِي وَلِيّاً فَقَدْ أَرْصَدَ لِي بِالْمُحَارَبَةِ، وَمَنْ حَارَبَنِي حَارَبْتُهُ. قُلْتُ: يَا رَبِّ، وَمَنْ وَلِيُّكَ هَذَا؟ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتُ أَنَّ مَنْ حَارَبَكَ حَارَبْتَهُ. فَقَالَ: ذَاكَ مَنْ أَخَذْتُ مِيثَاقَهُ لَكَ وَلِوَصِيِّكَ وَلِذُرِّيَّتِكُمَا بِالْوِلاَيَةِ.

Indeed, my Lord made me ascend to the heavens and then revealed to me from behind the Screens what he meant to reveal. He spoke to me saying, “O Muhammad, whoever humiliates any of My friends has actually waged war against me, and whoever makes war on Me, I will make war on him.” I asked, “O Lord, who is Your friend? I now know for sure that You will wage war against him who wages war against You” The Lord said, “My friend is he from whom I had taken covenant to be loyal to you, your successor, and your descendants.”‌134

Abu-Harun has reported that he was present when Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said to a group of people who were visiting him,

مَا لَكُمْ تَسْتَخِفُّونَ بِنَا؟

Why are you belittling us?

A man from Khurasan stood up and said, “God forbid it! How can we belittle you or belittle any of your affairs?”

The Imam (‘a) addressed him saying:

بَلَى، إِنَّكَ أَحَدُ مَنِ إسْتَخَفَّ بِي.

Yes, it was. You were one of those who belittled me!

The man said, “God forbid it! How can I ever belittle you?”

The Imam (‘a) reminded:

“Woe to you! Did you not hear so-and-so ask you, while we were near al-Juhfah, to carry him behind you on your riding animal for just a short distance, because he was too tired to continue walking? Nevertheless, you did not even turn your head towards him. Thus, you belittled him.”

وَمَنِ إسْتَخَفَّ بِمُؤْمِنٍ فَبِنَا إسْتَخَفَّ وَضَيَّعَ حُرْمَةَ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.

Whoever belittles a faithful believer has actually belittled us and violated the sanctity of Almighty Allah.‌135

Imputing Dishonor to a Faithful Believer

Another example of wrongdoing is to blame and impute dishonor to a faithful believer because of his having committed a sin or an evil act. However, to forbid someone from or to advise him not to do evil with the intention of deterring him from committing a sin is quite different from blaming or imputing dishonor to him.

According to a validly reported tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has said:

مَنْ عَيَّرَ مُؤْمِناً بِذَنْبٍ لَمْ يَمُتْ حَتَّى يَرْكَبَهُ.

Whoever imputes dishonor to a faithful believer because of committing a sin will not die before he commits the same sin.‌136

مَنْ لَقِيَ أَخَاهُ بِمَا يُؤَنِّبُهُ أَنَّبَهُ اللهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ.

Whoever addresses his brother-in-faith with reprehensive words, Almighty Allah will reprehend him in this world and the Next World.‌137

Finding Fault with Faithful Believers

To run after the faults of the faithful believers in order to injure them and take advantage of these faults to expose their sanctities and ruin their personalities—is another example of wrongdoing and oppression, both of which are forbidden in Islam. Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

أَبْعَدُ مَا يَكُونُ الْعَبْدُ مِنَ اللهِ أَنْ يَكُونَ الرَّجُلُ يُؤَاخِي الرَّجُلَ وَهُوَ يَحْفَظُ زَلاَّتِهِ فَيُعَيِّرَهُ بِهَا يَوْماً مَا.

The situation in which a servant is remotest from Almighty Allah is when one befriends another in order to count his faults so that he can someday impute dishonor to him because of them.‌138

Ishaq ibn ‘Ammar has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) quoting the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

يَا مَعْشَرَ مَنْ أَسْلَمَ بِلِسَانِهِ وَلَمْ يُخْلِصِ الإيـمَانَ إِلَى قَلْبِهِ، لاَ تَذُمُّوا الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُوا عَوْرَاتِهِمْ، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ تَتَبَّعَ عَوْرَاتِهِمْ تَتَبَّعَ اللهُ عَوْرَتَهُ، وَمَنْ تَتَبَّعَ اللهُ عَوْرَتَهُ يَفْضَحْهُ وَلَوْ فِي بَيْتِهِ.

O assembly of those who have declared Islam with their tongues, but have not yet felt the sincerity of faith in their hearts! Do not censure the Muslims and do not run after their defects. Verily, whoever runs after their defects, Almighty Allah will run after his defect. And when Almighty Allah runs after the defects of someone, He shall certainly expose him even if he confines himself to his house.‌139

Revile and Speak Ill of Faithful Believers

To revile, curse, and speak ill of a faithful believer are examples of wrongdoings.

According to a validly reported tradition, Imam al-Kazim (‘a) said about two persons, who reviled one another,

الْبَادِئُ مِنْهُمَا أَظْلَمُ، وَوِزْرُهُ وَوِزْرُ صَاحِبِهِ عَلَيْهِ مَا لَمْ يَعْتَذِرْ إِلَى الْمَظْلُومِ.

The one who began this abusive act is more responsible than the other; he is therefore answerable for his abuse and the abuse of the other person unless he apologizes to the wronged party.‌140

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

A man from the tribe of Tamim came to the Holy Prophet (S) and asked for an advice. The Holy Prophet (S) said:

لاَ تَسُبُّوا النَّاسَ فَتَكْسِبُوا الْعَدَاوَةَ لَهُمْ.

“Do not revile people; lest you incur their animosity.”‌141

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

إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ خَلَقَ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ عَظَمَةِ جَلاَلِهِ وَقُدْرَتِهِ، فَمَنْ طَعَنَ عَلَيْهِ أَوْ رَدَّ عَلَيْهِ قَوْلَهُ فَقَدْ رَدَّ عَلَى اللهِ.

Verily, Almighty Allah has created the faithful believers from the greatness of His Majesty and Omnipotence. Therefore, he who speaks ill of a believer or answers him abusively will have answered Almighty Allah abusively.‌142

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

إِنَّ اللَّعْنَةَ إِذَا خَرَجَتْ مِنْ صَاحِبِهَا تَرَدَّدَتْ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِي يَلْعَنُ، فَإِنْ وَجَدَتْ مُسَاغاً وَإِلاَّ رَجَعَتْ إِلَى صَاحِبِهَا، وَكَانَ أَحَقَّ بِهَا، فَاحْذَرُوا أَنْ تَلْعَنُوا مُؤْمِناً فَيَحِلُّ بِكُمْ.

When a curse comes out from the mouth, it hesitates between its addressor and the addressee. If it does not find a justifiable reason to go towards the addressee, it returns to its addressor, who then becomes worthier of it. Thus, beware of cursing a faithful believer lest you will be afflicted with that curse.‌143

Backbiting a Faithful Believer

To speak ill of a faithful believer behind his back thus exposing his hidden defects is another form of wrongdoing. Expressed as backbiting, this deed has been openly forbidden in the Holy Qur'an that describes it as eating the flesh of the dead:

َلَا يَغْتَبْ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ (12)

…nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it. (49:12)

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

مَنْ قَـالَ فِي مُؤْمِنٍ مَا رَأَتْهُ عَيْنَاهُ وَسَمِعَتْهُ أُذُنَاهُ فَهُوَ مِنَ الَّـذِينَ قَـالَ اللهُ عَـزَّ وَجَلَّ:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَنْ تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ (19)

Whoever informs about a faithful brother what his eyes have seen and ears heard, is included with those about whom Almighty Allah says,

“Surely, as for those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they shall have a grievous chastisement. (24:19)”

Within the paragraphs of his famous instructions to Abu-Dharr, the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، إِيَّاكَ وَالْغِيبَةَ، فَإِنَّ الْغِيبَةَ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الزِّنَا.

O Abu-Dharr, beware of backbiting, because it is indeed graver than committing adultery.

“Why is that, Allah’s Messenger?” Abu-Dharr asked.

The Holy Prophet (S) answered,

لأَِنَّ الرَّجُلَ يَزْنِي فَيَتُوبُ إِلَى اللهِ، فَيَتُوبُ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ. وَالْغِيبَةُ لاَ تُغْفَرُ حَتَّى يَغْفِرَهَا صَاحِبُهَا. يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، سِبَابُ الْمُسْلِمِ فُسُوقٌ، وَقِتَالُهُ كُفْرٌ، وَأَكْلُ لَحْمِهِ مِنْ مَعَاصِي اللهِ، وَحُرْمَةُ مَالِهِ كَحُرْمَةِ دَمِهِ.

That is so because when man commits adultery and then repents before Almighty Allah, his repentance may be accepted. As for backbiting, it is not forgiven unless the one backbitten forgives. O Abu-Dharr, to revile a Muslim is wickedness, to fight against him is infidelity, to eat his flesh is one of the acts of disobedience to Almighty Allah, and the inviolability of his properties is as sacred as the inviolability of shedding his blood.

“What is backbiting, Allah’s Messenger?” Abu-Dharr asked.

The Holy Prophet (S) answered,

ذِكْرُكَ أَخَاكَ بِمَا يَكْرَهُ.

To backbite your brother-in-faith means informing others of things about him that he dislikes to be known.

“What if I mention real things about him?” Abu-Dharr asked.

The Holy Prophet (S) answered,

إِعْلَمْ أَنَّكَ إِذَا ذَكَرْتَهُ بِمَا هُوَ فِيهِ فَقَدِ اغْتَبْتَهُ، وَإِذَا ذَكَرْتَهُ بِمَا لَيْسَ فِيهِ فَقَدْ بَهَتَّهُ.

Be it known to you that if you mention things that he really has then you have backbitten him, but if you mention things that he does not have then you have calumniated him.‌144

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

مَنْ عَامَلَ النَّاسَ فَلَمْ يَظْلِمْهُمْ، وَحَدَّثَهُمْ فَلَمْ يَكْذِبْهُمْ، وَوَعَدَهُمْ فَلَمْ يُخْلِفْهُمْ كَانَ مِمَّنْ حَرُمَتْ غِيبَتُهُ، وَكَمُلَتْ مُرُوَّتُهُ، وَظَهَرَ عَدْلُهُ، وَوَجَبَتْ أُخُوَّتُهُ.

As for him who treats people with fairness, tells them the truth only, and fulfills his promises to them, it is then forbidden to backbite him, his manliness is perfect, his decency is apparent, and it is obligatory to regard him as a true brother.‌145

It is worth mentioning that scholars of Muslim jurisprudence have made some exceptions in the forbiddance of backbiting. They have therefore excluded from this law backbiting the sinful who openly commit evil, depending upon some traditions such as the following:

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

إِذَا جَاهَرَ الْفَاسِقُ بِفِسْقِهِ فَلاَ حُرْمَةَ لَهُ وَلاَ غِيبَةَ.

If a sinful commits sins openly, he is then deprived of any inviolability and to backbite him is not considered forbidden.‌146

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

مَنْ ذَكَرَ رَجُلاً مِنْ خَلْفِهِ بِمَا هُوَ فِيهِ مِمَّا عَرَفَهُ النَّاسُ لَمْ يَغْتَبْهُ، وَمَنْ ذَكَرَهُ مِنْ خَلْفِهِ بِمَا هُوَ فِيهِ مِمَّا لاَ يَعْرِفْهُ النَّاسُ إغْتَابَهُ، وَمَنْ ذَكَرَهُ بِمَا لَيْسَ فِيهِ فَقَدْ بَهَتَهُ.

If one speaks ill of another behind his back, this is not considered backbiting when this thing is familiarly known by people, but if he mentions about him something that is not known by people, he has then backbitten him. If he mentions something that is not true about him, he has then calumniated him.‌147

Calumny

Calumny means falsely accusing people. To calumniate a believer is more serious than backbiting him.

According to a validly reported tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has said:

مَنْ بَهَتَ مُؤْمِناً أَوْ مُؤْمِنَةً بِمَا لَيْسَ فِيهِ بَعَثَهُ اللهُ فِي طِينَةِ خَبَالٍ حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ مِمَّا قَالَ… صَدِيدٌ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ فُرُوجِ الْمُومِسَاتِ.

Whoever falsely accuses a believing man or woman with something that he or she does not actually do or have, Almighty Allah will send him in the stinking sap unless he declares that person as free from that charge… A stinking sap is the pus cast out from the prostitutes’ pudenda.‌148

Talebearing

Defined as the spreading of malicious gossip, talebearing is an example of wrongdoing, because it poisons social relations among believers and leads to separation from each other.

According to an authentic report, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

أَلاَ أُنْبِئُكُمْ بِشِرَارِكُمْ؟ الْمَشَّاؤُونَ بِالنَّمِيمَةِ، الْمُفَرِّقُونَ بَيْنَ الأَحِبَّةِ، الْبَاغُونَ لِلْبَرَاءِ الْمَعَايِبَ.

May I inform you about the most wicked of you all?... They are those who spread malicious gossip, cause dissension among lovers, and append false flaws to the flawless.‌149

Within the paragraphs of his famous instructions to Abu-Dharr, the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، لاَ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ الْقَتَّاتُ. يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، صَاحِبُ النَّمِيمَةِ لاَ يَسْتَرِيحُ مِنْ عَذَابِ اللهِ فِي الآخِرَةِ. يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، مَنْ كَانَ ذَا وَجْهَيْنِ وَلِسَانَيْنِ فِي الدُّنْيَا فَهُوَ ذُو وَجْهَيْنِ فِي النَّارِ. يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، الْمَجَالِسُ بِالأَمَانَةِ، وَإِفْشَاؤُكَ سِرَّ أَخِيكَ خِيَانَةٌ، فَاجْتَنِبْ ذَلِكَ وَاجْتَنِبْ مَجْلِسَ الْعَثْرَةِ.

O Abu-Dharr, talebearers shall not be allowed to enter Paradise. O Abu-Dharr, talebearers shall never get a break from the torture of Almighty Allah in the Hereafter. O Abu-Dharr, those who are two-tongued and two-faced in this world shall have two faces of fire. O Abu-Dharr, meetings must be based on trust. To divulge the secrets of your friend is betrayal. Therefore, refrain from that and refrain from presenting yourself in meetings where flaws are pursued.‌150

Distrust and Misgiving

To distrust and have a negative idea about a faithful believer is another form of wrongdoing.

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

إِذَا إتَّهَمَ الْمُؤْمِنُ أَخَاهُ إنْمَاثَ الإِيـمَانُ فِي قَلْبِهِ كَمَا يَنْمَاثُ الْمِلْحُ فِي الْمَاءِ.

If a faithful believer has misgivings about another faithful believer, faith will melt in his heart in the same way as salt melts in water.‌151

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

ضَعْ أَمْرَ أَخِيكَ عَلَى أَحْسَنِهِ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ مِنْهُ مَا يَغْلِبُكَ، وَلاَ تَظُنَّنَّ بِكَلِمَةٍ خَرَجَتْ مِنْ أَخِيكَ سُوءاً وَأَنْتَ تَجِدُ لَهَا فِي الْخَيْرِ مَحْمَلاً.

Give the best probability to the deed of your brother-in-faith until you receive from him something that tears down your good probability. Never deem evil any word that has been said by your brother-in-faith as long as you can find an acceptable excuse for it.‌152

Excellent Examples of Justice in Social Relations

The Holy Legislator has emphasized practicing justice in social relations and associations. The purpose behind such emphasis is to reveal the necessity of this rule in firming up its superstructure. In this connection, we can mention a few examples that carry special denotations.

Avoiding Confidential Talks in Public Sessions

The Holy Legislator has warned against holding a confidential talk between two persons when there is a third person sitting with them. The Holy Qur'an has censured some Muslims who returned to holding secret counsels after they had been forbidden to do so:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ نُهُوا عَنِ النَّجْوَى ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا نُهُوا عَنْهُ وَيَتَنَاجَوْنَ بِالْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَمَعْصِيَتِ الرَّسُولِ (8)

Have you not seen those who are forbidden secret counsels, then they return to what they are forbidden, and they hold secret counsels for sin and revolt and disobedience to the Messenger. (58:8)

According to an authentic tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has 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 confidentially to one another and leave their third mate, because this act saddens and injures him.‌153

Distributing Glances

If a person speaks to a number of people or sits with them, it will be appropriate to distribute his glances among them fairly; that is to look at each of them equally. In this respect, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported through a valid tradition, to have said:

كَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ يُقَسِّمُ لَحَظَاتِهِ بَيْنَ أَصْحَابِهِ، فَيَنْظُرُ إِلَى ذَا وَيَنْظُرُ إِلَى ذَا بِالسَّوِيَّةِ. وَلَمْ يَبْسُطْ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ رِجْلَيْهِ بَيْنَ أَصْحَابِهِ قَطُّ، وَإِنْ كَانَ لَيُصَافِحُهُ الرَّجُلُ فَمَا يَتْرُكُ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ يَدَهُ مِنْ يَدِهِ حَتَّى يَكُونَ هُوَ التَّارِكَ، فَلَمَّا فَطِنُوا لِذَلِكَ كَانَ الرَّجُلُ إِذَا صَافَحَهُ قَالَ بِيَدِهِ فَنَزَعَهَا مِنْ يَدِهِ.

The Messenger of Allah (S) used to distribute his glances among his companions equally. He used to look at each one of them in an equal manner. He has never stretched his legs while he was sitting among his companions. When he shook hands with them, he would never leave their hands until they would do. When they realized this manner, they would quickly pull their hands away.‌154

Interrupting Speech

It is required not to break one’s discourse or interrupt him while talking. Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported through a familiar chain of authority that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

مَنْ عَرَضَ لأَِخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ الْمُتَكَلِّمِ فِي حَدِيثِهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا خَدَشَ وَجْهَهُ.

Whoever interrupts the discourse of his brother-in-faith, it will be as if he has scratched his face.‌155

Good-manners Endear people

In the previous demonstration of principles and rules of social relations, we learnt that good manners, i.e. courtesy endears people and corresponds to openness (in social relations) as well as its moral content, that is love. Moreover, if this love is intended purely for the sake of Almighty Allah, it will turn, as required, into faith, belief, and doctrine. Animosity, disputation and argument are forbidden, because incurring the hostility and hatred of people are prohibited.

“A Faithful believer must be gentle and lenient”

We may add to the aforementioned discussion that the Holy Legislator has strongly encouraged the believers to be gentle and lenient in the totality of their social relations with others. According to a validly reported tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

أَلاَ أُخْبِرُكُمْ بِمَنْ تُحَرَّمُ عَلَيْهِ النَّارُ غَداً؟ الْهَيِّنُ الْقَرِيبُ، اللَّيِّنُ السَّهْلُ.

May I inform you of those who shall be forbidden to Hellfire? They are the gentle, easily contacted, lenient, and simple ones.‌156

Other traditions have confirmed this fact. For instance, it is reported that one of the Holy Imams (‘a) has said:

الْمُؤْمِنُونَ هَيِّنُونَ لَيِّنُونَ، كَالْجَمَلِ الأَلِفِ إِنْ قِيدَ إنْقَادَ، وَإِنْ أُنِيخَ عَلَى صَخْرَةٍ إسْتَنَاخَ.

True believers are gentle and lenient. They are like tame camels—they obey when they are driven, and kneel down even on a rock when made to kneel down.‌157

This pertains to social relations. As for political relations and commitment to duties, pledges, and covenants as well as questions related to faith and belief, faithful believers are required to be strong, sturdy, and durable. It is therefore important for faithful believers to combine lenience in social relations and sturdiness in principles and faith.

Confirming this, it is related that faithful believers must be characterized by happy mien and bright appearance. In this regard, one of the Holy Imams (‘a) is reported to have said:

صَنَائِعُ الْمَعْرُوفِ وَحُسْنُ الْبِشْرِ يُكْسِبَانِ الْمَحَبَّةَ وَيُدْخِلاَنِ الْجَنَّةَ. وَالْبُخْلُ وَعُبُوسُ الْوَجْهِ يُبْعِدَانِ مِنَ اللهِ وَيُدْخِلاَنِ النَّارَ.

Acts of kindness and bright appearance yield affection and give allowance to Paradise, while stinginess and frowning drive away from Almighty Allah and lead to Hellfire.‌158

Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have narrated that a man came to the Holy Prophet (S) and asked for an advice. One advice given to him was,

إِلْقَ أَخَاكَ بِوَجْهٍ مُنْبَسِطٍ.

Receive your brother with cheerful mien.‌159

Hasan ibn al-Husayn has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) quoting the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

يَا بَنِي عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ، إِنَّكُمْ لَنْ تَسَعُوا النَّاسَ بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ، فَالْقَوْهُمْ بِطَلاَقَةِ الْوَجْهِ وَحُسْنِ الْبِشْرِ.

O sons of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, you will not contain people with your fortunes; therefore, meet them with a bright face and happy mien.‌160

Ranks of endearment to people and indulgence

Paying Visits and Exchanging Meetings

We have shed light on the significance of exchanging visits to achieve the emotional objective of building good social relations with people; namely, love. The encouragement of paying visits makes possible meetings of the faithful believers and gives a better chance to practice courtesy and indulgence.

Confirming the significance of paying visits, the Holy Prophet (S) has said within his instruction to Imam ‘Ali (‘a),

سِرْ أَرْبَعَةَ أَمْيَالٍ زُرْ أَخاً فِي اللهِ.

Walk four miles and visit a brother-in-faith.‌161

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

تَزَاوَرُوا وَتَلاَقَوْا.

Always exchange visits and meet each other.‌162

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

التَّوَاصُلُ بَيْنَ الإِخْوَانِ فِي الْحَضَرِ التَّزَاوُرُ.

In homelands, exchanging visits is the means of association among brothers-in-faith.‌163

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported to have mentioned that to pay visit to a brother-in-faith is one of the duties towards him.‌164

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

لاَ تَمَلَّ مِنْ زِيَارَةِ إِخْوَانِكَ; فَإِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ إِذَا لَقِيَ أَخَاهُ فَقَالَ لَهُ: مَرْحَباً، كُتِبَ لَهُ مَرْحَباً إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، فَإِذَا صَافَحَهُ أَنْزَلَ اللهُ فِي مَا بَيْنَ إِبْهَامَيْهِمَا مِائَةَ رَحْمَةٍ، تِسْعَةٌ وَتِسْعُونَ مِنْهَا لأَِشَدِّهِمَا حُبّاً لِصَاحِبِهِ، ثُمَّ أَقْبَلَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِمَا بِوَجْهِهِ فَكَانَ عَلَى أَشَدِّهِمَا حُبّاً لِصَاحِبِهِ أَشَدَّ إِقْبَالاً، فَإِذَا تَعَانَقَا غَمَرَتْهُمَا الرَّحْمَةُ.

Never be weary of visiting your brothers-in-faith. When a believer meets one of his brothers-in-faith and says “hello,” (the reward of) a permanent salutation will be recorded for him up to the Day of Resurrection. If he shakes hands with him, Almighty Allah will send one hundred items of mercy between their thumbs, ninety-nine of which will be for the more loving of the two to the other. Then, Almighty Allah will advance to both of them with His Face, but He will advance more to the more loving of the two to the other. If they embrace each other, they will be surrounded with mercy.‌165

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) established a general objective for such visits, meetings, and indulgent behavior. The objective was to create a high-level rank of mutual love, affection, and spiritual and moral association among faithful believers. Expressing this objective, Imam ‘Ali (‘a) says,

خَالِطُوا النَّاسَ مُخَالَطَةً إِنْ مُتُّمْ مَعَهَا بَكَوْا عَلَيْكُمْ وَإِنْ عِشْتُمْ حَنُّوا إِلَيْكُمْ.

Associate with people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.‌166

This indulgent behavior is not an ordinary ostentation that can be understood as an attempt to gain personal interests or a state of hypocrisy; rather, it is an act involving a real goal and content; namely, love and affection.

The Holy Legislator has taken much interest in setting up excellent principles, rules, and regulations in favor of achieving the best results of these visits and associations. These principles and regulations will be cited after the following steps:

First Step: Meeting People with a Good Mien and Salutation

Meeting people is regarded as the first step of building good social relations with people. The form and method of meeting have therefore been the first step in endearing oneself to people. In the course of achieving this goal, Islam has advised of a number of matters at the top of which are the following three:

Being the First to Greet

Islam has urged being the first to offer salutation and taking the initiative in greeting the person one meets. According to a validly reported tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has said:

الْبَادِي بِالسَّلاَمِ أَوْلَى بِاللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ.

The first to offer salutation is nearer to Allah and His Messenger (S).‌167

According to another validly reported tradition, Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) has said:

إِنَّ مِنْ أَخْلاَقِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إبْتِدَاءَهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِالسَّلاَمِ عَلَيْهِمْ.

One of the traits of a true believer is that he should be the first to greet the other believers.‌168

Through a valid chain of authority, the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

إِبْدَأُوا بِالسَّلاَمِ قَبْلَ الْكَلاَمِ، فَمَنْ بَدَأَ بِالْكَلاَمِ قَبْلَ السَّلاَمِ فَلاَ تُجِيبُوهُ.

Precede greeting to talking. Hence, do not answer him who begins with talking before greeting.‌169

Islam has given greeting a special importance making it the slogan of Muslims and setting up many detailed rules of etiquette so that it would take a distinctive position in mutual association among Muslims. The author of Wasa’il a-Shi’ah, for instance, has dedicated more than twenty sections of his book to explaining the details of these etiquettes and rules. It is therefore advisable to refer to these sections.‌170‌ Some of these details have already been mentioned within the previous sections of this book while others will be hopefully cited in the coming books on the systems of rituals and acts of worship.

Meeting People with a Cheerful Mien

The second matter in the first step towards endearment to people is to meet Muslims with a bright face and cheerful mien:

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. Warmly welcoming him, making room for him in meetings when he arrives, and calling him by his dearest names.‌171

Smiling at brothers-in-faith comes under the same title. Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said:

تَبَسُّمُ الْمُؤْمِنِ فِي وَجْهِ أَخِيهِ حَسَنَةٌ، وَصَرْفُهُ الْقَذَى عَنْهُ حَسَنَةٌ. وَمَا عُبِدَ اللهُ بِمِثْلِ إِدْخَالِ السُّرُورِ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِ.

To smile in the face of a brother-in-faith is a rewardable deed and to ward off motes from him is a rewardable deed, too. Almighty Allah has never been worshipped by any better act than giving pleasure to a faithful believer.‌172

Speaking Good Words

The third leading matter in the first step towards endearment of oneself to people is to speak good words when meeting a brother-in-faith. Many traditions have borne confirmations on exchanging greetings and speaking affectionately.

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

إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُحِبُّ إِفْشَاءَ السَّلاَمِ.

Verily, Almighty Allah likes exchanging greetings.173

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said within a long discourse,

كَانَ عَلِيٌّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ يَقُولُ: لاَ تَغْضَبُوا وَلاَ تُغْضِبُوا. أَفْشُوا السَّلاَمَ، وَأَطِيبُوا الْكَلاَمَ، وَصَلُّوا بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّاسُ نِيَامٌ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِسَلاَمٍ: (السَّلاَمُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ).

Imam ‘Ali (‘a) used to say, “Do not be angry and do not enrage others. Exchange greetings, be courteous, and pray at night when people are asleep; you will easily be allowed into Paradise. Almighty Allah says, ‘He is Allah… the Giver of peace, the Granter of security, the Guardian over all… (59:23)’”‌174

Second Step: Shaking hands, Embracing, Kissing, and Expressing Love

Choosing the most appropriate manner in dealing with others is the second step through which courtesy, indulgence, and endearment of oneself to others can be practiced. In this step, the Holy Legislator has highlighted, urged, and advised of a number of manners.

Handshaking

To shake hands with others when meeting them gives expression to affection, love, and friendliness.

Through a valid chain of authority, Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَيْنِ إِذَا إلْتَقَيَا فَتَصَافَحَا أَقْبَلَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِمَا بِوَجْهِهِ، وَتَسَاقَطَتْ عَنْهُمَا الذُّنُوبُ كَمَا يَتَسَاقَطُ الْوَرَقُ مِنَ الشَّجَرِ.

When two believers meet and shake hands, Almighty Allah will advance to them with His Face and their sins will fall from them in the same way as leaves fall from trees.‌175

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

تَصَافَحُوا فَإِنَّها تَذْهَبُ بِالسَّخِيمَةِ.

Shake hands with each other, because this act removes rancor.‌176

Other traditions have confirmed the significance and vital role that shaking hands plays in building good social relations, in the capacity of its being another motto raised by Islam.‌177

Embracing and Kissing

To embrace and kiss each other is another manifestation of love and affection as well as an expression of courtesy.

A tradition holds that Imam al-Baqir and Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) have said:

أَيُّمَا مُؤْمِنٍ خَرَجَ إِلَى أَخِيهِ يَزُورُهُ عَارِفاً بِحَقِّهِ كَتَبَ اللهُ لَهُ بِكُلِّ خُطْوَةٍ حَسَنَةً، وَمُحِيَتْ عَنْهُ سَيِّئَةٌ، وَرُفِعَتْ لَهُ دَرَجَةٌ، فَإِذَا طَرَقَ الْبَابَ فُتِحَتْ لَهُ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ، فَإِذَا إلْتَقَيَا وَتَصَافَحَا وَتَعَانَقَا أَقْبَلَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِمَا بِوَجْهِهِ، ثُمَّ بَاهَى بِهِمَا الْمَلاَئِكَةَ فَيَقُولُ: أُنْظُرُوا إِلَى عَبْدَيَّ تَزَاوَرَا وَتَحَابَّا فيَّ; حَقٌّ عَلَيَّ أَلاَّ أُعَذِّبَهُمَا بِالنَّارِ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ الْمَوْقِفِ.

Any believer who leaves his house intending to visit a brother-in-faith as an acknowledgement of his duty towards him, Almighty Allah shall record for him a reward for each step he walks, erase an evildoing he has committed, and raise him a rank. If he knocks the door of his brother-in-faith, the doors of the heavens shall be opened before him. If they meet, shake hands, and embrace each other, Almighty Allah shall advance to them with His Face and then take pride in them before the angels, saying, “Look at these two servants of Mine. They have visited and loved each other for My sake. It is thus incumbent upon Me not to torture them with Hellfire after this situation of them.”‌178

According to another authentic tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has said:

إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَيْنِ إِذَا إعْتَنَقَا غَمَرَتْهُمَا الرَّحْمَةُ، فَإِذَا إلْتَزَمَا لاَ يُرِيدَانِ بِذَلِكَ إِلاَّ وَجْهَ اللهِ وَلاَ يُرِيدَانِ غَرَضاً مِنْ أَغْرَاضِ الدُّنْيَا، قِيلَ لَهُمَا: مَغْفُورٌ لَكُمَا فَاسْتَأْنِفَا. فَإِذَا أَقْبَلاَ عَلَى الْمُسَاءَلَةِ قَالَتِ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ بَعْضُهَا لِبَعْضٍ: تَنَحَّوْا عَنْهُمَا، فَإِنَّ لَهُمَا سِرّاً وَقَدْ سَتَرَهُ اللهُ عَلَيْهِمَا.

When two faithful believers embrace each other, mercy will spread over them. If they touch each other for no other purpose than seeking nearness to Almighty Allah, without having any worldly point, it will be then said to them, “You are forgiven. So, go on in this manner.” If they hold a confidential talk, the angels will then say to each other, “Step aside! These two have a secret that Almighty Allah has covered for them.”‌179

It has been narrated that when Ja’far ibn Abi-Talib returned from Abyssinia (after years of refuge), his return concurred with the conquest of Khaybar at the hands of Imam ‘Ali (‘a). Once his eyes fell on Ja’far, the Holy Prophet (S) walked twelve steps forward to receive Ja’far. He then embraced, kissed him between the eyes, wept, and said, “Indeed, I do not know for which matter I am happier. Is it for your return, Ja’far, or is it for the conquest of Khaybar that Almighty Allah has given at the hands of your brother?” Thus, the Holy Prophet (S) wept for joy when he saw Ja’far.‌180

Through an authentic chain of authority, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِنَّ مِنْ تَمَامِ التَّحِيَّةِ لِلْمُقِيمِ الْمُصَافَحَةَ، وَتَمَامُ التَّسْلِيمِ عَلَى الْمُسَافِرِ الْمُعَانَقَةُ.

Shaking hands is the consummate greeting of a resident, while embracing is the consummate greeting of one going on a journey.181

Telling About Love

The third matter in the second step towards endearing oneself to people is to tell the brothers-in-faith that you love them. To reveal this emotion can be once expressed practically through shaking hands, embracing, and kissing, or by directly saying it.

Concerning the second way, it is reported through a valid way of narration that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has said:

إِذَا أَحْبَبْتَ رَجُلاً فَأَخْبِرْهُ بِذَلِكَ، فَإِنَّهُ أَثْبَتُ لِلْمَوَدَّةِ بَيْنَكُمَا.

If you love somebody, you should inform him, because this way firms up affection between you and him more strongly.

According to another tradition,

فَإِنَّهُ أَبْقَى لِلْمَوَدَّةِ وَخَيْرٌ فِي الإِلْفَةِ.

… because it maintains affection and increases familiarity.

According to a third tradition, the Imam (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِذَا أَحْبَبْتَ أَحَداً مِنْ إِخْوَانِكَ فَأَعْلِمْهُ ذَلِكَ; فَإِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ قَالَ: (رَبِّ أَرِنِي كَيْفَ تُحْيِي الْمَوْتَى. قَالَ: أَوَلَمْ تُؤْمِنْ؟ قَالَ: بَلَى، وَلَكِنْ لِيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِي).

If you love one of your brothers-in-faith, you should inform him about that. Prophet Abraham (‘a) said, “‘My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead?’ He said, ‘What! And do you not believe?’ He said, ‘Yes, but that my heart may be at ease.’” (2:260)‌182

Third Step: Etiquettes of Conversation and Sitting in Sessions

The third step towards courtesy and indulgence is commitment to good manners during sessions and conversations. Islamic legislation has taken special interest in this topic, revealed through the following points:

Etiquettes of Participation in Sessions

Islam has specified certain etiquettes for sitting in public sessions as well as certain manners of behavior in public assemblies and meetings. Some of these etiquettes are as follows:

Making room for new comers

One of these etiquettes is to make room and place in sessions and to leave these sessions once they are terminated. In this respect, the Holy Qur'an says,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمْ تَفَسَّحُوا فِي الْمَجَالِسِ فَافْسَحُوا يَفْسَحِ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَإِذَا قِيلَ انْشُزُوا فَانْشُزُوا يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَات (11)

O you who believe! When it is said to you, “Make room in (your) assemblies,” then make ample room, Allah will give you ample; and when it is said, “Rise up,” then rise up; Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge in high degrees. (58:11)

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

يَنْبَغِي لِلْجُلَسَاءِ فِي الصَّيْفِ أَنْ يَكُونَ بَيْنَ كُلِّ إثْنَيْنِ مِقْدَارُ عَظُمِ الذِّرَاعِ لِئَلاَّ يَشِقَّ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ.

Persons sitting in one place in summer are required to leave a space that is as long as the arm bone between each couple of them so that none of them will make narrow the place of the others.‌183

About the exegesis of the holy verse,

إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ (36)

Surely, we see you to be of the doers of good. (12:36)

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

كَانَ يُوَسِّعُ الْمَجْلِسَ، وَيَسْتَقْرِضُ لِلْمُحْتَاجِ، وَيُعِينُ الضَّعِيفَ.

Prophet Joseph (‘a) used to make room in sessions, ask for loans for the needy, and help the weak.‌184

In addition to the above, there are other etiquettes decided by the Holy Legislator in this regard.‌185

Receiving and Bidding Farewell

Another behavior to be practiced in general sessions is to receive and bid farewell those who join and leave these sessions.

Through a familiar way of narration, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

مِنْ حَقِّ الدَّاخِلِ عَلَى أَهْلِ الْبَيْتِ أَنْ يَمْشُوا مَعَهُ هُنَيْئَةً إِذَا دَخَلَ وَإِذَا خَرَجَ.

One of the duties that are incumbent upon a host towards the visitor is to walk with him for a short distance when he comes in or leaves the house.‌186

Following the Instructions of the Host

It is mannerly to sit where the owner of the house orders you to sit, because he knows better the most suitable places in his house to sit in, be it for the sake of honoring the guest or for the sake of the internal affairs of his house. In this regard, the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

إِذَا دَخَلَ أَحَدُكُمْ عَلَى أَخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ فِي بَيْتِهِ فَهُوَ أَمِيرٌ عَلَيْهِ حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ.

When you enter the house of one of your brothers-in-faith, you should be obedient to his orders until you leave.‌187

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

إِذَا دَخَلَ أَحَدُكُمْ عَلَى أَخِيهِ فِي رَحْلِهِ فَلْيَقْعُدْ حَيْثُ يَأْمُرُهُ صَاحِبُ الرَّحْلِ، فَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ الرَّحْلِ أَعْرَفُ بِعَوْرَةِ بَيْتِهِ مِنَ الدَّاخِلِ عَلَيْهِ.

When you enter the house of one of your brethren-in-faith, you should sit where the owner of the house orders you to sit, because he knows the gaps in his house more than the guest does.‌188

Manner of Sitting

Sayyid ‘Abd al-’Azim al-Hasani has reported that the Holy Prophet (S) used to sit in one of three positions. (1) He used to squat; i.e. to sit with the hams resting on the backs of the heels, (2) he used to rest on the knees, or (3) he used to twist one leg and stretch the other on it. He never sat cross-legged.‌189

However, some traditions reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (S) hold that it is acceptable to sit cross-legged for purpose of timely rest. Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِنَّمَا جَلَسْتُ هَذِهِ الْجَلْسَةَ لِلْمِلاَلَةِ.

I have sat in this way because of fatigue.‌190

Apparently, the abovementioned three ways of sitting represented the utmost of courtesy on the one hand and the saving of place on the other, which suited the social and life situations of that time.

Modest Posture

To behave modestly in sitting is to choose the nearest space to sit in. In this regard, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported through a valid chain of authority to have said:

مَنْ رَضِيَ بِدُونِ الشَّرَفِ مِنَ الْمَجْلِسِ لَمْ يَزَلِ اللهُ وَمَلاَئِكَتُهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَيْهِ حَتَّى يَقُومَ.

He who accepts to sit in a less suitable place for his prestige, Almighty Allah and His angels will keep on blessing him until he leaves.‌191

This modesty is also reported to have been one of the Holy Prophet’s manners. Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

كَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ إِذَا دَخَلَ مَنْزِلاً قَعَدَ فِي أَدْنَى الْمَجْلِسِ إِلَيْهِ حِينَ يَدْخُلُ.

The Messenger of Allah (S) used to sit in the narrowest space he found in houses he visited.‌192

In this connection, it is worth mentioning that it is recommended to sit facing the kiblah direction and to avoid sitting opposite to sunlight so as to avoid the moral and material consequences stemming from it.‌193

Blessing the Sneezing

One of the prophetic traditions is to bless the person who sneezes. This means to address the sneezing person with the statement of ‘yarhamukallahu (Allah may have mercy upon you)’. The sneezer may then answer with the statement of ‘yahdikumullahu wa yuslihu balakum (May Allah guide you and improve your condition)’ or similar statements like ‘yaghfirullahu lakum wa yarhamukum (May Allah forgive you and have mercy upon you)’ or ‘yaghfirullahu lana walakum (May Allah forgive you and us)’. Following the example of the Holy Prophet (S), the Holy Imams (‘a) laid stress on this social manner.

In this regard, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

لِلْمُسْلِمِ عَلَى أَخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ أَنْ يُسَلِّمَ عَلَيْهِ إِذَا لَقِيَهُ، وَيَعُودَهُ إِذَا مَرِضَ، وَيَنْصَحَ لَهُ إِذَا غَابَ، وُيَسِّمَتَهُ إِذَا عَطَسَ؛ يَقُولُ: الْحَمْدُ للهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ. وَيَقُولُ: يَرْحَمُكَ اللهُ. فَيُجِيبُ يَقُولُ لَهُ: يَهْدِيكُمُ اللهُ وَيُصْلِحُ بَالَكُمْ. وَيُجِيبَهُ إِذَا دَعَاهُ، وَيُشَيِّعَهُ إِذَا مَاتَ.

Some duties of a Muslim towards his brother-in-faith are: to greet him when they meet, to visit him when he is ailed, to act sincerely towards him while he is absent, to bless him when he sneezes. After one sneezes, he says immediately, ‘alhamdu lillahi rabbi’l-’alamina la sharika lahu (All praise is due to Allah the Lord of the Worlds; there is no partner -in Lordship- with Him)’. His brother-in-faith may address him with the statement of ‘yarhamukallahu (Allah may have mercy upon you)’, and the sneezer then replies with the statement of ‘yahdikumullahu wa yuslihu balakum (May Allah guide you and improve your condition)’. Also, to accept his invitations, and to participate in his funeral ceremony.‌194

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

إِذَا عَطَسَ الرَّجُلُ فَسَمِّتُوهُ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ وَرَاءِ جَزِيرَةٍ.

If one sneezes, then you must bless him even if he is on the other side of an island.‌195

In this connection, a set of manners and instructions have been shown up. For instance, one is required to say ‘alhamdu lillahi (All praise is due to Allah) immediately after sneezing. It is also instructed to repeat the invocation of blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household three times immediately after sneezing and to repeat the same invocation three times when sneezing is repeated. It is also acceptable to bless the Dhimmi (a non-Muslim enjoying protection of the Islamic state) when sneezing. Other manners have also been mentioned in this connection.‌196

Manners of Conversation

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) practiced a set of manners during conversations. The following manners are some more examples:

1. It is obligatory to conceal whatever is said in private sessions because “meetings must be based on trust. It is therefore, disallowed to reveal an issue concealed by the person involved in it before obtaining his permission, unless the addressee is trustworthy or the issue entails the good reputation of that person.”‌197

2. If there are three persons sitting together, two of them must not talk confidentially to one another and leave their third mate to wonder what they need to hide from him.

3. It is discommended to interrupt the discourse of somebody, because, it is reported from the Holy Prophet (S), “Whoever interrupts the discourse of one’s brother-in-faith, is as if he has scratched his face.”

Limits of Laughter and Joking

As mentioned earlier, laughter must always be controlled. It has also been mentioned that the source of guffawing is Satan. In view of this, the Holy Imams (‘a) have called for being moderate in joking, because overdoing it begets rancor, reflects on spite, and brings up malice.

On the other hand, joking that is neither excessive nor borders on indecency is something approved of by the Holy Legislator, because it expresses a sort of amicability and endearment of oneself to others, as well as consistency with the spiritual and psychological situations of dialogue and conversation within the frame of the public social manners.

Through a valid chain of authority, Mu’ammar ibn Khallad is reported to have asked Imam al-Ridha (‘a) whether it is acceptable or not to joke together and laugh in sessions.

The Imam (‘a) answered,

لاَ بَأْسَ مَا لَمْ يَكُنْ… ْفُحْشاً. إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ كَانَ يَأْتِيهِ الأَعْرَابِيُّ فَيُهْدِي إِلَيْهِ الْهَدِيَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ مَكَانَهُ: أَعْطِنَا ثَمَنَ هَدِيَّتِنَا. فَيَضْحَكُ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ. وَكَانَ إِذَا إغْتَمَّ يَقُولُ: مَا فَعَلَ الأَعْرَابِيُّ؟ لَيْتَهُ أَتَانَا!

There is no objection to this unless there is indecency. A Bedouin used to come to the Holy Prophet (S) and offer him a present. When the Holy Prophet (S) would accept it, the Bedouin would say jokingly, “Well, give me the price of my present!” The Holy Prophet (S) would laugh for that. Then, when the Holy Prophet (S) would be distressed, he would say, “Where is that Bedouin? I wish he were present now!”‌198

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

إِنَّ اللهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُدَاعِبَ فِي الْجَمَاعَةِ بِلاَ رَفَثٍ.

Verily, Almighty Allah does love the one who jokes in assemblies, yet without indecency.‌199

Yunus al-Shaybani is reported to have said that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) asked him, “Do you exchange pleasantries with each other?”

“Very little,” al-Shaybani answered.

The Imam (‘a) remarked,

فَلاَ تَفْعَلُوا، فَإِنَّ الْمُدَاعَبَةَ مِنْ حُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ، وَإِنَّكَ لَتُدْخِلُ بِهَا السُّرُورَ عَلَى أَخِيكَ. وَلَقَدْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ يُدَاعِبُ الرَّجُلَ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يُسِرَّهُ.

Do not abandon them, because pleasantry is part of good nature. Through pleasantry, you give delight to your brother-in-faith. The Messenger of Allah (S) used to exchange pleasantries with men in the intention of pleasing them.‌200

Al-Fadhl ibn Abi-Qurrah reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

مَا مِنْ مُؤْمِنٍ إِلاَّ وَفِيهِ دُعَابَةٌ… الْمِزَاحُ.

There is no (true) faithful believer except that he enjoys good-natured remarks; that is joking.‌201

Acceptance of Favors and Kind Acts

It is recommended to accept favors and kind acts when they are offered, because acceptance of such acts are considered amicability, endearment to people, and good manners. Many traditions encourage accepting such acts, maintaining that none except a “donkey” may refuse. Such kind acts can take many forms, such as making room in a session and offering a cushion to sit on, a perfume, or any other thing, which carries an indication of honoring one in public sessions and assemblies.

Through a valid way of narration, ‘Abdullah ibn Ja’far reports in the book of Qurb al-Isnad that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), on the authority of his fathers, quoted the Holy Prophet (S) to have said:

إِذَا عُرِضَ عَلَى أَحَدِكُمُ الْكَرَامَةُ فَلاَ يَرُدَّهَا، فَإِنَّمَا يَرُدُّ الْكَرَامَةَ الْحِمَارُ.

If a kind act is offered to you, you must not refuse it, because only donkeys refuse acts of kindness.‌202

When he was asked about the meaning of acts of kindness, Imam al-Ridha (‘a) answered,

ذَلِكَ فِي الطِّيبِ يُعْرَضُ عَلَيْهِ وَالتَّوْسِعَةِ فِي الْمَجَالِسِ؛ مَنْ أَبَاهُمَا كَانَ كَمَا قَالَ.

Acts of kindness are such as perfumes that are offered to somebody and rooms that are made in sessions. He who refuses such acts is as exactly as what has been said about him.‌203

According to other narrations, cushions that are offered to a new comer in a session as well as any other such acts are added to acts of kindness.‌204

Fourth Step: Respect and Reverence

In the fifth rule of the Islamic concept of social relations, all comportments of kindness and favor are undoubtedly examples of courtesy, amicability, and endearment of oneself to people. More details and clarifications will be mentioned in the coming discussion of the superstructure of this fifth rule.

Respect and reverence fall under and are examples of acts of kindness and favor. However, because this topic is also related to the topic of meetings among believers, it is appropriate to mention it in this discussion of amicability and endearment of oneself to people, because it has been dedicated to this topic.

The special interest taken by the Holy Legislator in this topic can be noticed through the set of laws, regulations, and etiquettes set down by Him, some of which are as follows:

Veneration and Reverence

Confirmation on the necessity of deferring to one’s companions has been made through many traditions. For instance, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

كَانَ أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ يَقُولُ: عَظِّمُوا أَصْحَابَكُمْ وَوَقِّرُوهُمْ، وَلاَ يَتَهَجَّمْ بَعْضُكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ.

Abu-Ja’far (al-Baqir) (‘a) used to say, “Venerate and have respect for your companions, and do not assail each other.”‌205

In the previously mentioned discussion of special treatments, we have mentioned some traditions revealing the Ahl al-Bayt’s teachings about respecting and showing consideration for old people and celebrated personalities. In these traditions, the Holy Imams (‘a) have said that showing respect to such people is a sort of veneration of Almighty Allah.

Treating Muslims and Noble People with Deference

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have also instructed treating Muslims in general and noble personalities in particular with deference and to confer honor upon persons who join public meetings. Some aspects of this instruction have been previously cited in the course of the disapproval of rejecting acts of kindness. Besides, the approval of this manner can be inferred from the Holy Prophet’s behavior with ‘Adi ibn Hatam, as reported by Imam ‘Ali (‘a) who said:

When ‘Adi ibn Hatam visited the Holy Prophet (S), he allowed him to enter his house which had no furniture at all except a rug made of palm leaves and a pillow made of skin. The Holy Prophet (S) offered them to ‘Adi to sit on.‌206

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

مَنْ أَكْرَمَ أَخَاهُ الْمُؤْمِنَ بِكَلِمَةٍ يُلَطِّفُهُ بها، وَفَرَّجَ عَنْهُ كُرْبَتَهُ لَمْ يَزَلْ فِي ظِلِّ اللهِ الْمَمْدُودِ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ مَا كَانَ فِي ذَلِكَ.

He who confers honor upon his brother-in-faith by a nice word and relieves his agony will stay under the shade of Almighty Allah that covers him with mercy as long as he is in that state.‌207

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

إِذَا أَتَاكُمْ شَرِيفُ قَوْمٍ فَأَكْرِمُوهُ.

If an eminent person comes to you, you should confer honor upon him.‌208

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

إِذَا أَتَاكُمْ كَرِيـمُ قَوْمٍ فَأَكْرِمُوهُ.

If a person that is reputed among his people comes to you, you should confer honor upon him.‌209

Exegetes have explained that an eminent person intended in the previous traditions stands for the wealthy, the highborn stands for the doer of kind acts, and the honorable stands for the pious.‌210

Actually, this instruction is not limited to these persons; it is more expansive.

According to a validly reported tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has said:

مَنْ أَتَاهُ أَخُوهُ الْمِسْلِمُ فَأَكْرَمَهُ فَإِنَّمَا أَكْرَمَ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.

He who honors his brother-in-faith who visits him has in fact honored Almighty Allah.‌211

Using the Most Favorable Names

It is also recommended to call people with the most favorable names to them and to call them with their dearest surnames to them, because this involves veneration and endearment of oneself to them.

Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported through a valid chain of authority that Imam al-Ridha (‘a) said:

إِذَا كَانَ الرَّجُلُ حَاضِراً فَكَنِّهِ، وَإِذَا كَانَ غَائِباً فَسَمِّهِ.

When you want to refer to a present man, you may use his surname, and when he is absent, you may use his first name.‌212

This is so because reference to an absent person requires more accuracy than the present; therefore, to mention the name of an absent person makes the others know him better, while to mention the present with the surname does not require much introduction.

The Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have called his companions with the dearest names to them as a sign of conferring honor upon them and making their hearts incline towards him. He would also give nicknames to those who did not have one. After that, all people would call them with these nicknames used by the Holy Prophet (S). He would also use nicknames for childless women and those who had not yet given birth to any child. Making their hearts incline towards him, the Holy Prophet (S) used to give nicknames to children, too.

In this regard, it is reported that ‘Umar, once asked Suhayb, “Why are you called by a nickname while you are childless?”

He answered, “It was the Holy Prophet (S) who nicknamed me Abu-Yahya.”‌213

Abu-Bakrah has reported that the Holy Prophet (S) nicknamed him so after he had ridden a young she-camel (bakrah) that led him to al-Ta'if.‌214

Kind Acts and Taking the Lead in Charity

In our discourse about the fifth rule in the superstructure of the Islamic concept of social relations; namely, kind acts and taking the lead to charity, we can touch on expansive horizons, because the majority of the previously cited items and details fall under this topic although some of them are possess other features as well.

For instance, we have referred to the topics of exchanging salutations and forbiddance of separation and alienation among Muslims within the first aspect of openness in social relations, because these topics act as two demonstrations of openness in social relations. Meanwhile, to begin with greeting others and to mend one’s ruptured relations are acts of kindness to the other party.

The same thing is applicable to principles of social solidarity, supporting and helping each other, and enjoining the right and forbidding the evil. These three principles have been previously discussed under the rule of reinforcing the social structure. The same thing is also applicable to other items like thinking well about others initially, overlooking their maltreatment or abuse, behaving modestly, and enduring the malicious acts of the envious. Although the last two features have been previously mentioned under the rule of control over sentiments and emotions, they have something to do with acts of kindness and taking the lead in charitable deeds.

Besides, the totality of the manners of amicability, courteous behavior, and mannerliness, are also sorts of kind and charitable acts. So are the majority of religious and social duties and commitments, which are considered acts of kindness in the totality of man’s movement in the field of building good social relations with others.

In view of this fact, we will devote our discussion of the superstructure of this rule to mentioning four aspects related to the rule of kind acts and taking the lead in charity.

Regulations of Kind Acts

This aspect discusses the general guidelines and regulations of kind acts. In the coming points, a general glance will be taken at these guidelines and regulations.

Balance between Profit and Loss

It goes with saying that kindness is well-liked act that, in the majority of its applications, expresses altruism, because it is founded on the concepts of fraternity, justice, and equality among believers. Nonetheless, a doer of kind acts must take into account that he must not cause himself damage and loss more than the advantage and profit offered to his brother-in-faith.

For instance, when one offers an amount of money or a title in compensation of another amount or title, the advantage for oneself must be more than, or at least equal to, the profit that he offers to the others. This is in the field of transactions and financial compensations. This warning has been mentioned in traditions reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a). In this connection, al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Tusi, in his book of al-Majalis, has reported through a valid chain of authority that Isma’il ibn Khalid heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

جَمَعَنَا أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ (الْبَاقِرُ) عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ فَقَالَ: يَا بَنِيَّ، إِيَّاكُمْ وَالتَّعَرُّضَ لِلْحُقُوقِ، وَاصْبِرُوا عَلَى النَّوَائِبِ، وَإِنْ دَعَاكُمْ بَعْضُ قَوْمِكُمْ إِلَى أَمْرٍ ضَرَرُهُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَكْثَرُ مِنْ نَفْعِهِ لَهُ فَلاَ تُجِيبُوهُ.

Abu-Ja’far al-Baqir (‘a) gathered us (i.e. his sons) and said, “O sons, beware of exposing yourselves to violating the rights of the others, and act patiently towards catastrophes. When one of your folks asks you to engage yourselves in a matter that causes you bigger damage than the profit he gains, then do not respond to him.”‌215

Shaykh al-Kulayni, in his book of al-Kafi, has referred to the same in several traditions reported from Imam al-Sadiq and Imam al-Kazim (‘a):

لاَ تَدْخُلْ لأَِخِيكَ فِي أَمْرٍ مَضَرَّتُهُ عَلَيْكَ أَعْظَمُ مِنْ مَنْفَعَتِهِ لَهُ.

Do not engage yourself in an issue that causes you bigger damage than the profit it brings to your brother-in-faith.

لاَ تَبْذُلْ لإِخْوَانِكَ مِنْ نَفْسِكَ مَا ضُرُّهُ عَلَيْكَ أَكْثَرُ مِنْ مَنْفَعَتِهِ لَهُمْ.

Do not give from yourself to your brothers-in-faith things that cause you bigger damage than the profit they gain.‌216

Immediateness in Offering Kind Acts

An act of kindness should be done as immediately and secretly as possible and should be belittled in the eyes of the one to whom it is done, because this brings about spiritual, mental, and social outcomes to the doer of the kind act in particular and the people of favors in general. In this respect, Shaykh al-Kulayni, in his book of al-Kafi, and Shaykh al-Saduq, in his books of Man-La-Yahdhuruhul-Faqih and al-Khisal, have reported that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said:

رَأَيْتُ الْمَعْرُوفَ لاَ يَتِمُّ إِلاَّ بِثَلاَثٍ: تَصْغِيرِهِ، وَسَتْرِهِ، وَتَعْجِيلِهِ، فَإِنَّكَ إِذَا صَغَّرْتَهُ عَظَّمْتَهُ عِنْدَ مَنْ تَصْنَعُهُ إِلَيْهِ، وَإِذَا سَتَرْتَهُ تَمَّمْتَهُ، وَإِذَا عَجَّلْتَهُ هَنَّأْتَهُ، وَإِذَا كَانَ غَيْرَ ذَلِكَ سَخَّفْتَهُ وَنَكَّدْتَهُ.

I have found that favors are worthless unless belittled, veiled, and provided immediately. If you belittle your favor, you will surely make it great in the eyes of the one to whom you have done it. If you cover it up, you will surely have accomplished it. If you offer it as soon as possible, you will surely have given it pleasantly; otherwise, you will destroy it and give unpleasantly.‌217

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

لاَ يَسْتَقِيمُ قَضَاءُ الْحَوَائِجِ إِلاَّ بِثَلاَثٍ، بِاسْتِصْغَارِهَا لِتَعْظُمَ، وَبِاسْتِكْتَامِهَا لِِتَظْهَرَ، وَبِتَعْجِيلِهَا لِتَهْنُؤَ.

The settling of the others’ needs cannot be consummated except by three attributes: it must be belittled so that it will be great in the eyes of those to whom it was made. It must be given secretly so that it will be manifested. It must be immediate so that it becomes pleasant.‌218

Through a valid chain of authority, Hamran has reported that he heard Imam al-Baqir (‘a) saying:

لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ ثَمَرَةٌ، وَثَمَرَةُ الْمَعْرُوفِ تَعْجِيلُ السِّرَاحِ.

Everything has a fruit, and the fruit of doing a favor is to do it as immediately as possible.‌219

Doing Kind Acts to Those Who Deserve Them

It is important to do kind acts and favors to those who deserve them only; i.e. the virtuous people, because it is unfit to do favors to unworthy people.

It is worth mentioning that this regulation is not in violation of the aforementioned advice of doing favors to all people, because this advice is applicable when the one to whom a favor is done is unknown. Generally, it is highly suggested to do favors due to love for favor, but when one discovers that the one to whom a favor is intended to be done is wicked and unworthy enough to receive such acts, then the favor done to him will be useless and, moreover, bring about negative results under certain conditions. One of these negative results is that such a wicked person, when denying or acting ungratefully towards the favorer, will cause cessation of doing favors to others.

In this connection, many traditions, confirmed by many others, have been validly reported from the Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).

Sayf ibn ‘Umayrah has reported that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said to al-Mufadhdhal ibn ‘Umar,

يَا مُفَضَّلُ، إِذَا أَرَدْتَ أَنْ تَعْلَمَ أَشَقِيٌّ الرَّجُلُ أَمْ سَعِيدٌ، فَانْظُرْ سَيْبَهُ وَمَعْرُوفَهُ إِلَى مَنْ يَصْنَعُهُ، فَإِنْ كَانَ يَصْنَعُهُ إِلَى مَنْ هُوَ أَهْلُهُ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ إِلَى خَيْرٍ، وَإِنْ كَانَ يَصْنَعُهُ إِلَى غَيْرِ أَهْلِهِ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ عِنْدَ اللّهِ خَيْرٌ.

O Mufadhdhal, if you want to know whether someone is wretched or blessed, you should regard who receives his favor and act of kindness. If he does them to worthy people, then let it be known to you that he is heading for goodness, but if he does them to unworthy people, then let it be known to you that he will deserve no item of goodness with Allah.‌220

Imam ‘Ali (‘a) has said:

مَنْ كَانَ لَهُ مِنْكُمْ مَالٌ فَإِيَّاهُ وَالْفَسَادَ، فَإِنَّ إِعْطَاءَهُ فِي غَيْرِ حَقِّهِ تَبْذِيرٌ وَإِسْرَافٌ، وَهُوَ يَرْفَعُ ذِكْرَ صَاحِبِه فِي النَّاسِ، وَيَضَعُهُ عِنْدَ اللّهِ، وَلَمْ يَضَعِ امْرُؤٌ مَالَهُ فِي غَيْرِ حَقِّهِ وَعِنْدَ غَيْرِ أَهْلِهِ إِلاَّ حَرَمَهُ اللّهُ شُكْرَهُمْ وَكَانَ لِغَيْرِهِ وِدُّهُمْ، فَإِنْ بَقِيَ مَعَهُ بَقِيَّةٌ مِمَّنْ يُظْهِرُ الشُّكْرَ لَهُ وَيُرِيدُ النُّصْحَ فَإِنَّمَا ذَلِكَ مَلَقٌ وَكَذِبٌ، فَإِنْ زَلَّتْ بِهِ النَّعْلُ ثُمَّ إحْتَاجَ إِلَى مَعُونَتِهِمْ وَمُكَافَأَتِهِمْ فَأَلأَمُ خَلِيلٍ وَشَرُّ خَدِينٍ. وَلَمْ يَضَعِ امْرُؤٌ مَالَهُ فِي غَيْرِ حَقِّهِ وَعِنْدَ غَيْرِ أَهْلِهِ إِلاَّ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ مِنَ الْحَظِّ فِي مَا أَتَى إِلاَّ مَحْمَدَةُ اللِّئَامِ وَثَنَاءُ الأَشْرَارِ مَا دَامَ مُنْعِماً مُفْضِلاً وَمَقَالَةُ الْجَاهِلِ: مَا أَجْوَدَهُ! وَهُوَ عِنْدَ اللّهِ بَخِيلٌ. فَأَيُّ حَظٍّ أَبْوَرُ وَأَخْسَرُ مِنْ هَذَا الْحَظِّ؟! وَأَيُّ فَائِدَةِ مَعْرُوفٍ أَقَلُّ مِنْ هَذَا الْمَعْرُوفِ؟! فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ لَهُ مَالٌ فَلْيَصِلْ بِهِ الْقَرَابَةَ، وَلْيُحْسِنْ مِنْهُ الضِّيَافَةَ، وَلْيَفُكَّ بِهِ الْعَانِيَ وَالأَسِيرَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ، فَإِنَّ الْفَوْزَ بِهَذِهِ الْخِصَالِ مَكَارِمُ الدُّنْيَا وَشَرَفُ الآخِرَةِ.

Let him who has riches beware of extravagance, because to give out of that wealth unduly is certainly wastefulness and lavishness. Although it honors the giver among people, it disgraces him in the view of Almighty Allah. If man gives out his wealth improperly or to those who do not deserve it, then Almighty Allah will deprive him of their gratefulness, and their love, too, will be for others. Only slavish flatterers and liars will show him false gratitude and give him insincere advice.

Then, if he slips and needs their help and compensation, they will prove themselves as the worst comrades and the most ignoble friends. Yet again, anyone who gives out of his wealth unduly or to people who do not deserve it, will have no reward except praise of the lowly, commendation of the wicked—as long as he gives them munificently and benignly—and the ignorant will express their admiration of his generosity while he is regarded as stingy by Almighty Allah. Is there then any fate more ill-omened than this?

Is there a more profitless favor? He who has some riches must use it in fields like building good relations with relatives, receiving guests hospitably, releasing paupers, prisoners, and wayfarers. If he does so, he will then win good reputation in this world and honor in the Hereafter.‌221

Within his instructive words to Imam ‘Ali (‘a), the Holy Prophet (S) said:

يَا عَلِيُّ، أَرْبَعَةٌ تَذْهَبُ ضَيَاعاً: الأَكْلُ عَلَى الشَّبْعِ، وَالسِّرَاجُ فِي الْقَمَرِ، وَالزَّرْعُ فِي السَّبْخَةِ، وَالصَّنِيعَةُ عِنْدَ غَيْرِ أَهْلِهَا.

O ‘Ali, four matters go waste: to eat after satiety, to light a lamp in the moonlight, to seed in briny land, and to do favors to the undeserving. ‌

Responding to Kind Acts

When Almighty Allah blesses one of His servants with gifts and blessings, the servant must undertake their responsibility through spending more and offering more acts of kindness. Naturally, people will betake themselves to those upon whom Almighty Allah has conferred open boons and disturb them with requests. As a result, much pressure and stress will be caused to these wealthy people.

Treating this situation, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have maintained, as a regulation, that wealthy people must undergo the burden of the graces they are enjoying and must endure such pressures by responding to the requests of people. If they do so, this will conduce to the permanence, stability, and continuity of these boons; otherwise, they will expose these boons to elimination. To this fact and inescapable norm that is applicable to all divine boons, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have called the attentions of the virtuous community from amongst their followers. Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is thus reported to have said:

مَنْ عَظُمَتْ نِعْمَةُ اللّهِ عَلَيْهِ إشْتَدَّتْ مَؤُنَةُ النَّاسِ إِلَيْهِ; فَاسْتَدِيـمُوا النِّعْمَةَ بِاحْتِمَالِ الْمَؤُْنَةِ، وَلاَ تُعَرِّضُوهَا لِلزَّوَالِ، فَقَلَّ مَنْ زَالَتْ عَنْهُ النِّعْمَةُ فَكَادَتْ أَنْ تَعُودَ إِلَيْهِ.

The more graces Almighty Allah confers upon someone, the more people move towards him with requests. Therefore, make graces permanent for yourself by means of bearing the burdens (caused to you by people). Do not expose these graces to elimination, because it rarely happens that graces, which have been removed from someone, are given back to him.‌222

Aban ibn Taghlib has reported that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said to Husayn al-Sahhaf,

يَا حُسَيْنُ، مَا ظَاهَرَ اللّهُ عَلَى عَبْدٍِ النِّعَمَ حَتَّى ظَاهَرَ عَلَيْهِ مَؤُنَةَ النَّاسِ، فَمَنْ صَبَرَ لَهُمْ وَقَامَ بِشَأْنِهِمْ زَادَهُ اللّهُ فِي نِعَمِهِ عَلَيْهِ عِنْدَهُمْ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَصْبِرْ لَهُمْ وَلَمْ يَقُمْ بِشَأْنِهِمْ أَزَالَ اللّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَنْهُ تِلْكَ النِّعْمَةَ.

O Husayn, whenever Almighty Allah abundantly graces someone, He overburdens him with requests of people. Hence, he who treats them patiently and responds to their requests will be graced more by Almighty Allah because of them, but he who neither treats them patiently nor responds to their requests, Almighty Allah will remove those graces from him.‌223

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

إِنَّ للهِ تَعَالَى فِي كُلِّ نِعْمَةٍ حَقّاً، فَمَنْ أَدَّاهُ زَادَهُ اللّهُ مِنْهَا، وَمَنْ قَصَّرَ خَاطَرَ بِزَوَالِ نِعْمَتِهِ.

In each and every grace, there is a duty to be carried out towards Almighty Allah. If one carries out that duty, Almighty Allah will increase that grace from him, but if one fails to fulfill it, one will risk permanence of that grace.‌224

إِنَّ للهِ عِبَاداً يَخْتَصُّهُمْ بِالنِّعَمِ لِمَنَافِعِ الْعِبَادِ، فَيُقِرُّهَا فِي أَيْدِيهِمْ مَا بَذَلُوهَا، فَإِذَا مَنَعُوهَا نَزَعَهَا مِنْهُمْ ثُمَّ حَوَّلَهَا إِلَى غَيْرِهِمْ.

There are certain servants of Almighty Allah who are graced exclusively, in order to benefit other servants. He therefore makes these graces unwavering in their hands as long as they give generously. But if they refrain, Almighty Allah will deprive them of these graces and transfer them to other servants.‌225

Appreciation of Favors and Kind Acts

When Almighty Allah endues a servant of Him with a favor directly or through another servant who acts kindly towards him and does him a favor, then it is necessary for the servant to appreciate this boon and favor. Being thankful for favors makes their flow continuous for the grateful, while ingratitude causes favors to fade away. One of the best varieties of thanksgiving is to do favors to others, to act kindly towards them, to thank the Munificent Lord, and to thank His charitable servants.

Muhammad ibn ‘Ajlan has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

أَحْسِنُوا جِوَارَ النِّعَمِ.

Remain in the neighborhood of blessings.

“How can we remain in the neighborhood of graces?” asked the reporter.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) answered,

الشُّكْرُ لِمَنْ أَنْعَمَ بِهَا وَأَدَاءُ حُقُوقِهَا.

By thanking those who have favored you with those blessings and fulfilling your duties towards these favors.‌226

Dawud ibn Sarhan has reported that he, along with others, was in the presence of Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) when Sadir al-Sayrafi entered, offered a salutation, and sat down. The Imam (‘a) then said to him,

يَا سَدِيرُ، مَا كَثُرَ مَالُ أَحَدٍ قَطُّ إِلاَّ كَثُرَتِ الْحُجَّةُ للهِ تَعَالَى عَلَيْهِ، فَإِنْ قَدِرْتُمْ تَدْفَعُونَهَا عَنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ فَافْعَلُوا.

O Sadir, the more riches one may hold, the stronger will be Almighty Allah’s argument against him. If you can, try to repel this argument against yourself.

“O son of Allah’s Messenger!” asked Sadir, “How can we repel it?”

The Imam (‘a) answered,

بِقَضَاءِ حَوَائِجِ إِخْوَانِكُمْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِكُمْ… تَلَقَّوُا النِّعَمَ يَا سَدِيرُ بِحُسْنِ مُجَاوَرَتِهَا، وَاشْكُرُوا مَنْ أَنْعَمَ عَلَيْكُمْ، وَأَنْعِمُوا عَلَى مَنْ شَكَرَكُمْ، فَإِنَّكُمْ إِذَا كُنْتُمْ كَذَلِكَ إسْتَوْجَبْتُمْ مِنَ اللهِ الزِّيَادَةَ، وَمِنْ إِخْوَانِكُمُ الْمُنَاصَحَةَ: (لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ).

You can repel it by means of spending your wealth to fulfill the requests of your brothers-in-faith. O Sadir, receive graces by means of remaining in their neighborhood. Thank those who have bestowed you with graces, and bestow upon those who have thanked you with graces, for if you do all that, then you will deserve increase of graces from Almighty Allah and sincerity from your brothers-in-faith. Hence, Almighty Allah says, “If you are grateful, I shall certainly give you more. (14:7)”227

Falling under the same regulation, to reward an act of kindness with a similar act or with even a doubly better act, or with a prayer of goodness and excellent reward for the doer of that act of kindness is another way of appreciating favors.

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

كَفَاكَ بِثَنَائِكَ عَلَى أَخِيكَ إِذَا أَسْدَى إِلَيْكَ مَعْرُوفاً أَنْ تَقُولَ لَهُ: جَزَاكَ اللهُ خَيْراً، وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ وَلَيْسَ هُوَ فِي الْمَجْلِسِ أَنْ تَقُولَ: جَزَاهُ اللهُ خَيْراً. فَإِذاً أَنْتَ قَدْ كَافَأْتَهُ.

It is sufficient commendation to say to your brother-in-faith who has done you a favor, “May Allah reward you with goodness.” When a reference to him is made in a session from which he is absent, it is sufficient to say, “May Allah reward him with goodness.” If you do so, you will have rewarded him adequately.‌228

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have thus encouraged showing gratitude for favors and disapproved of ingratitude. In this respect, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

لَعَنَ اللهُ قَاطِعِي سَبِيلِ الْمَعْرُوفِ… الرَّجُلُ يُصْنَعُ إِلَيْهِ الْمَعْرُوفُ فَيَكْفُرُهُ، فَيَمْتَنِعُ صَاحِبُهُ مِنْ أَنْ يَصْنَعَ ذَلِكَ إِلَى غَيْرِهِ.

May Allah curse the interrupters of the way to favors… This is when the one whom has been done a favor does not show gratitude. As a result, the one who has done the favor will stop doing any further favor to anyone else.‌229

He (‘a) is also reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

مَنْ أُتِيَ إِلَيْهِ مَعْرُوفاً فَلْيُكَافِئْ بِهِ، فَإِنْ عَجَزَ فَلْيُثْنِ عَلَيْهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَفْعَلْ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ النِّعْمَةَ.

Whoever receives a favor must return it. If he is incapable of doing so, he must then thank for it. If he does not, he has been ungrateful.‌230

‘Ammar al-Dahni is reported to have said that he heard Imam Zayn al-’Abidin (‘Ali ibn al-Husayn) (‘a) saying:

إِنَّ اللهَ يُحِبُّ كُلَّ قَلْبٍ حَزِينٍ، وَيُحِبُّ كُلَّ عَبْدٍ شَكُورٍ. يَقُولُ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى لِعَبْدٍ مِنْ عَبِيدِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ: أَشَكَرْتَ فُلاَناً؟ فَيَقُولُ: بَلْ شَكَرْتُكَ يَا رَبِّ. فَيَقُولُ: لَمْ تَشْكُرْنِي إِنْ لَمْ تَشْكُرْهُ… أَشْكَرُكُمْ للهِ أَشْكَرُكُمْ لِلنَّاسِ.

Verily, Almighty Allah loves sympathetic people and His grateful servants. Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, will ask one of His servants on the Day of Resurrection, “Have you thanked so-and-so?” The servant will answer, “No, but I have thanked You, O Lord, instead!” The Lord will say, “As long you have not thanked him, this means that you have not thanked Me!” The most thankful to Almighty Allah are also thankful to people.‌231

Fulfillment of Duties towards Others

The second aspect of doing favors to others is to carry out the duties that Almighty Allah has made obligatory upon Muslims towards each other and towards the faithful believers. Let us refer to another set of examples and applications that express the superstructure of this aspect, not to forget that some of these are obligatory and others recommended.

Lenience with Companions

When one accompanies another on a journey or associates with him in a school or a certain task, the two parties will be bound to observe certain duties towards each other. According to these duties, they are required to be lenient with each other and to do acts of kindness and favors to one another. These duties have been confirmed in many traditions reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).

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

مَا إصْطَحَبَ إثْنَانِ إِلاَّ كَانَ أَعْظَمَهُمَا أَجْراً وَأَحَبَّهُمَا إِلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَرْفَقُهُمَا بِصَاحِبِهِ.

When two persons accompany each other, the one who is more lenient with his companion than the other shall be the one of greater reward and the dearest to Almighty Allah.‌232

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), on the authority of his fathers, is reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

إِذَا كُنْتُمْ فِي سَفَرٍ فَمَرِضَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَأَقِيمُوا عَلَيْهِ ثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ.

When one of your companions in a journey feels sick, you must reside there for three days.‌233

Granting the Brothers-in-Faith’s Requests

Another duty towards one’s brother-in-faith is to grant his requests, because this is one of the general duties of Muslims towards each other. Many traditions, reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), have confirmed the recommendation of such acts in general and the abundant rewards obtained due to doing such acts, not to mention the positive and worldly fruits that are gained as a result of this act.

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.

It happens that a faithful believer feels upset because he cannot solve the problem of one of his brethren-in-faith. Because of this feeling, Almighty Allah allows him into Paradise.‌234

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

مَا قَضَى مُسْلِمٌ لِمُسْلِمٍ حَاجَةً إِلاَّ نَادَاهُ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى: عَلَيَّ ثَوَابُكَ وَلاَ أَرْضَى لَكَ بِدُونِ الْجَنَّةِ.

No Muslim grants the request of his brother-in-faith but that Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, calls upon him, “Your reward shall be identified by Me, and I shall not accept for you anything less than Paradise.”‌235

Isma’il ibn ‘Ammar has reported that he once said to Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), “Is it true that a faithful believer is mercy for the other faithful believers?”

“Yes, it is true,” answered Imam al-Sadiq (‘a).

“How is that?” asked Isma’il.

The Imam (‘a) answered,

أَيُّمَا مُؤْمِنٍ أَتَى أَخَاهُ فِي حَاجَةٍ فَإِنَّمَا ذَلِكَ رَحْمَةٌ مِنَ اللهِ سَاقَهَا إِلَيْهِ وَسَيَّبَهَا لَهُ، فَإِنْ قَضَى حَاجَتَهُ كَانَ قَدْ قَبِلَ الرَّحْمَةَ بِقَبُولِهَا، وَإِنْ رَدَّهُ عَنْ حَاجَتِهِ وَهُوَ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى قَضَائِهَا فَإِنَّمَا رَدَّ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ رَحْمَةً مِنَ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ سَاقَهَا إِلَيْهِ وَسَيَّبَهَا لَهُ، وَادَّخَرَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ تِلْكَ الرَّحْمَةَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ حَتَّى يَكُونَ الْمَرْدُودُ عَنْ حَاجَتِهِ هُوَ الْحَاكِمَ فِيهِ، إِنْ شَاءَ صَرَفَهَا إِلَى نَفْسِهِ وَإِنْ شَاءَ صَرَفَهَا إِلَى غَيْرِهِ… أَسْتَيْقِنُ أَنَّهُ لَنْ يَرُدَّهَا عَنْ نَفْسِهِ. يَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ، مَنْ أَتَاهُ أَخُوهُ فِي حَاجَةٍ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى قَضَائِهَا فَلَمْ يَقْضِهَا لَهُ سَلَّطَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ شَجَاعاً يَنْهَشُ إِبْهَامَهُ فِي قَبْرِهِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَغْفُوراً لَهُ أَوْ مُعَذَّباً.

Whenever one asks his brother-in-faith for a request, this will be mercy carried and brought forth by Almighty Allah to him. If he grants his brother-in-faith’s request, then he will have accepted that mercy, but if he rejects to help him while he has the power to do so, then he will have in fact rejected the mercy of Almighty Allah Who has carried it and brought forth to him. Then, Almighty Allah will save this mercy up to the Day of Resurrection when the one rejected shall judge about it. He will then have the right to take it for himself or to give it to anyone else. However, I know for sure that he shall not hesitate to take it for himself. O Isma’il, whoever rejects to grant his brother-in-faith’s request while he has the power to do so, Almighty Allah shall put him under the power of a serpent that will keep on biting him in his grave from the thumb until the Day of Resurrection, whether he will be forgiven or tortured.‌236

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

أَيُّمَا مُؤْمِنٍ سَأَلَ أَخَاهُ الْمُؤْمِنَ حَاجَةً وَهُوَ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى قَضَائِهَا فَرَدَّهُ عَنْهَا سَلَّطَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ شَجَاعاً فِي قَبْرِهِ يَنْهَشُ مِنْ أَصَابِعِهِ.

Any faithful believer who rejects to grant his brother-in-faith’s request while he has the power to do it, Almighty Allah shall put him under the power of a serpent that will keep on biting him in his grave from the fingers.‌237

Dispelling the Grief of a Faithful Believer

Another duty incumbent upon believers is to dispel the grief of one’s brothers-in-faith who are afflicted with a hardship or exposed to an ordeal or distress.

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.

Whoever relieves the agony of his aggrieved brother-in-faith, drives away his sorrows, and helps him achieve his goal, Almighty Allah will record for him seventy-two items of His mercy. One of them will improve his livelihood affairs, while the other seventy-one items will be stored for him when he faces the horrors and terrors on the Day of Resurrection.‌238

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

مِنْ كَفَّارَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ الْعِظَامِ إِغَاثَةُ الْمَلْهُوفِ وَالتَّنْفِيسُ عَنِ الْمَكْرُوبِ.

To render relief to the distressed and to help the oppressed make amends for great sins.‌239

Concealing the Flaws of Believers and Repelling Evil from them

Concealing the flaws, defects, and whatever sins their brothers-in-faith commit secretly or inadvertently, and deny whatever wickedness is ascribed to them as long as they refuse to admit it, and regard it as false accusation against them is another duty of Muslims.

In this respect, Shaykh al-Kulayni, in al-Kafi, has quoted Imam al-Baqir (‘a) as saying:

يَجِبُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِ أَنْ يَسْتُرَ عَلَيْهِ سَبْعِينَ كَبِيرَةً.

It is obligatory upon faithful believers to conceal seventy great sins committed by their brothers-in-faith.‌240

In al-Ja’fariyyat, Imam ‘Ali (‘a) is reported to have said:

لَوْ وَجَدْتُ مُؤْمِناً عَلَى فَاحِشَةٍ لَسَتَرْتُهُ بِثَوْبِي.

Even if I find a believer committing a sin, I will certainly conceal him with my dress (or with his dress, according to another form of the tradition).

Al-Qutb al-Rawandi, in his book of Lubb al-Albab, has reported the aforesaid statement of Imam ‘Ali (‘a) within a dialogue with the Holy Prophet (S).‌241

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

أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، مَنْ عَرِفَ مِنْ أَخِيهِ وَثِيقَةً فِي دِينٍ وَسَدَادِ طَرِيقٍ فَلاَ يَسْمَعَنْ فِيهِ أَقَاوِيلَ الرِّجَالِ. أَمَا إِنَّهُ قَدْ يَرْمِي الرَّامِي وَتُخْطِئُ السِّهَامُ، وَيُحِيلُ الْكَلاَمُ، وَبَاطِلُ ذَلِكَ يَبُورُ، وَاللهُ سَمِيعٌ وَشَهِيدٌ. أَمَا إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ بَيْنَ الْحَقِّ وَالْبَاطِلِ إِلاَّ أَرْبَعُ أَصَابِعَ.

O people! If a person knows his brother to be steadfast in faith and of correct ways, he should not lend ear to what people may say about him. Sometimes, the bowman shoots arrows but the arrow goes astray. Similarly, talk can be off the point. Its wrong perishes, while Allah is the Hearer and the Witness. There is nothing between truth and falsehood except four fingers.

He was asked the meaning of this whereupon he closed his fingers together and put them between his ear and eye, and said:

الْبَاطِلُ أَنْ تَقُولَ: سَمِعْتُ. وَالْحَقُّ أَنْ تَقُولَ: رَأَيْتُ.

Falsehood is to say, “I have heard so.” The truth is to say, “I have seen it.”‌242

Giving Sincere Advice to the Believers

Among the duties of believers towards each other are to give them sincere advice and to act faithfully towards them. In this connection, Shaykh al-Kulayni, in his book of al-Kafi, has reported through a valid chain of authority that Imam al-Baqir (‘a) and Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said:

يَجِبُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِ النَّصِيحَةُ لَهُ فِي الْمَشْهَدِ وَالْمَغِيبَ.

It is obligatory upon believers to act sincerely towards their brothers-in-faith, be they present or absent.‌243

It has been previously cited that the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

الدِّينُ النَّصِيحَةُ… للهِ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلأَِئِمَّةِ الدِّينِ وَلِجَمَاعَةِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ.

Religion is to act sincerely… towards Almighty Allah, His Messenger, the leaders of the religion, and the community of Muslims.‌244

Through a valid chain of authority too, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

أَيُّمَا مُؤْمِنٍ مَشَى فِي حَاجَةِ أَخِيهِ فَلَمْ يُنَاصِحْهُ فَقَدْ خَانَ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ.

Any believer who acts insincerely while he is trying to solve the problem of his brother-in-faith, has in fact betrayed Almighty Allah and His Messenger.‌245

Conceding Rights

The third aspect in the topic of doing favors and acts of kindness to others is to concede one’s rights to others and avoid demanding them with one’s rights. This is in fact the most superior act of kindness and the most excellent exercise of courageous will in the conduct of affairs, as expressed by the Holy Qur'an that states,

وَلَمَنْ صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ (43)

But, indeed, if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs. (42:43)

Besides, the reward of forgiving and pardoning others is received directly from Almighty Allah:

وَجَزَاءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِثْلُهَا فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ (40)

The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah, for (Allah) loves not those who do wrong. (42:40)

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), who are reported to have said that conceding of rights is the most excellent moral standard in this world and the Next World, have laid much emphasis on this point through a set of features to be mentioned hereinafter:

Pardon and Forgiveness

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have emphasized pardoning and forgiving evildoers, especially when one can punish them or regain one’s violated rights. As a result of pardoning the evildoer, many advantages are gained; some are material that are gained in this worldly life, others moral, and others in the Hereafter. Those will be great and abundant. For each advantage, there are many traditions reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).

As for the worldly advantages, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported through a valid chain of authority that Ibn Fadhdhal quoted Imam al-Ridha (‘a) as saying:

مَا إلْتَقَتْ فِئَتَانِ قَطُّ إِلاَّ نُصِرَ أَعْظَمُهُمَا عَفْواً.

Whenever two parties meet, victory shall definitely be for the more forgiving.‌246

Similarly, Shaykh al-Kulayni reported Isma’il ibn Ziyad al-Sakuni to have quoted Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying that the Messenger of Allah (S) has said:

عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْعَفْوِ فَإِنَّ الْعَفْوَ لاَ يَزِيدُ الْعَبْدَ إِلاَّ عِزّاً، فَتَعَافَوْا يُعِزَّكُمُ اللهُ.

Adhere to pardoning, because it increases in the servants (of Allah) nothing but dignity. Therefore, pardon each other so that Allah will confer dignity upon you.‌247

Shaykh al-Saduq has reported the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

عَفْوُ الْمَلِكِ أَبْقَى لِلْمُلْكِ.

The forgiveness of kings perpetuates their kingdoms.‌248

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

الْعَفْوُ زَكَاةُ الظَّفَرِ.

Pardon is the tax of victory.‌249

As for the moral results of pardoning, Sharif al-Radhi, in Nahj al-Balaghah, has quoted Imam ‘Ali (‘a) as saying:

إِذَا قَدَرْتَ عَلَى عَدُوِّكَ فَاجْعَلِ الْعَفْوَ عَنْهُ شُكْراً لِلْقُدْرَةِ عَلَيْهِ.

If you overpower your enemy, then pardon him by way of thankfulness to Allah, for being able to subdue him.‌250

أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِالْعَفْوِ أَقْدَرُهُمْ عَلَى الْعُقُوبَةِ.

The most capable of pardoning is he who is the most powerful to punish.‌251

These two words demonstrate the items of self-perfection that are gained due to pardoning others while there is power to punish them. Pardoning others is a sort of thanking Almighty Allah for bestowing the pardoner the power to punish. It is also a feature that distinguishes the pardoner from others and gives him preference over the others.

As for the great reward and return of pardoning, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have explained the abundant reward that shall be given exclusively to the people of forbearance and forgiveness on the Day of Resurrection. In this respect, Imam al-Baqir (‘a) has quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ يُنَادِي مُنَادٍ يُسْمِعُ آخِرَهُمْ كَمَا يُسْمِعُ أَوَّلَهُمْ، فَيَقُولُ: أَيْنَ أَهْلُ الْفَضْلِ؟ فَيَقُومُ عُنُقٌ مِنَ النَّاسِ فَيَسْتَقْبِلُهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ فَيَقُولُونَ: مَا فَضْلُكُمْ هَذَا الَّذِي نُودِيتُمْ بِهِ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: كُنَّا يُجْهَلُ عَلَيْنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا فَنَحْمِلُ، وَيُسَاءُ إِلَيْنَا فَنَعْفُو. فَيُنَادِي مُنَادٍ مِنَ اللهِ تَعَالَى: صَدَقَ عِبَادِي، خَلُّوا سَبِيلَهُمْ لِيَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ.

On the Day of Resurrection, a caller will call out in such a loud voice that the last ranks will hear as clearly as the first ranks, “Where are the people of preference?” A group of people will then stand up. While receiving them, the angels will ask, “What is this preference that distinguished you from the others through this call?” They will answer, “In our worldly lives, we used to endure the annoyance that was directed to us and we used to pardon those who maltreated us.” Then, a caller from the side of Almighty Allah will call out, “True are My servants! Make them a way to enter Paradise without calling them to account.”‌252

Acceptance of Apologies

To accept the apology of an individual who had committed an offensive deed and then apologized is an act of kindness and an expression of relinquishing rights.

Shaykh al-Saduq, in man-la-yahdhuruhu’l-faqih, has reported that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), on the authority of his fathers, reported the following statement within the Holy Prophet’s instructive will to Imam ‘Ali (‘a):

يَا عَلِيُّ، مَنْ لَمْ يَقْبَلْ مِنْ مُتَنَصِّلٍ عُذْراً، صَادِقاً كَانَ أَوْ كَاذِباً، لَمْ يَنَلْ شَفَاعَتِي.

O ‘Ali, he who rejects the apology of any one apologizing, be he truthful or untruthful, will be deprived of my Intercession (on the Day of Resurrection).‌253

In his instructive will to his son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, Imam ‘Ali (‘a) is reported to have said:

لاَ تَصْرِمْ أَخَاكَ عَلَى إرْتِيَابٍ، وَلاَ تَقْطَعْهُ دُونَ إسْتِعْتَابٍ، لَعَلَّ لَهُ عُذْراً وَأَنْتَ تَلُومُ بِهِ. إِقْبَلْ مِنْ مُتَنَصِّلٍ عُذْراً صَادِقاً كَانَ أَوْ كَاذِباً فَتَنَالَكَ الشَّفَاعَةُ.

Do not desert your friend due to suspicion and do not leave him before you tell him why. Perchance, he has an excuse for your annoyance. Accept the apology of any one apologizing, be he truthful or untruthful, so that you will win the Intercession.‌254

In Rawdhat al-Kafi, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported that Imam al-Ridha (‘a) quoted Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (Zayn al-’Abidin) (‘a) as saying to his son,

إِنْ شَتَمَكَ رَجُلٌ عَنْ يَمِينِكَ ثُمَّ تَحَوَّلَ إِلَيْكَ عَنْ يَسَارِكَ فَاعْتَذَرَ إِلَيْكَ فَاقْبَلْ عُذْرَهُ.

If one reviles you while on your right side, and then turns to your left side and apologizes, you should accept his apology.‌255

It is noticeable that the three previously mentioned traditions have come in the form of instructive wills by the Holy Infallibles (‘a) to their sons or family members. This may prove that the deed of accepting apologies is considered the highest rank of self-perfection.

Granting the Insolvent Debtor a Delay or Acquitting him of Payment

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have urged their followers to grant the debtors, who experience harsh circumstances that prevent them from paying back their debts, a delay or extension of time to pay, because this is one of the religiously commissioned duties which the Holy Qur'an has emphasized. It would however be better to remit such debtors from repaying their debts by changing the debt into charity.

In this respect, the Holy Qur'an reads,

وَإِنْ كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَى مَيْسَرَةٍ وَأَنْ تَصَدَّقُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ (280)

If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time until it is easy for him to repay. But if you remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if you only knew. (2:280)

Many traditions have been validly reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) confirming this feature in various styles.

‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi-’Abdullah has reported that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) narrated the following:

On one hot day, the Messenger of Allah (S) bent his palm and said, “Which one of you wishes to be protected from Hellfire?”

“We all do,” they answered.

The Holy Messenger (S) repeated this question three times and they repeated the same answer each time. Then, he said:

مَنْ أَنْظَرَ غَرِيـماً أَوْ تَرَكَ الْمُعْسِرَ.

“He that respites a debtor or remits an insolvent one will be shaded against the Hellfire.”

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) then added:

‘Abdullah ibn Ka’b ibn Malik has narrated that his father once detained a debtor in the mosque. The Holy Messenger (S) came towards the two and then entered his house while they were still sitting there. He then went out at midday, exposed his veil, and said, “O Malik, are you, along with your debtor, still sitting?”

“Yes, we are,” my father answered, “May Allah accept my parents as ransom for you!”

Then, the Holy Messenger (S) extended his hand and asked my father to take half of the amount that was in his palm. My father did and said, “May Allah accept my parents as ransom for you!”

The Holy Messenger (S) then asked me to surrender the other half of the amount so that the debtor would be freed from repaying that debt. My father then took half of the amount and surrendered the other half.‌256

Mu’awiyah ibn ‘Ammar has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

مَنْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يُظِلَّهُ اللهُ يَوْمَ لاَ ظِلَّ إِلاَّ ظِلُّهُ؟

Which one of you wishes to be shaded by the shade of Allah on the day when there shall be no shade except His?

The Imam (‘a) repeated this question three times, but people were too diffident to answer. However, he said thereafter,

فَلْيُنْظِرْ مُعْسِراً أَوْ لِيَدَعْ لَهُ مِنْ حَقِّهِ.

He that respites a debtor or remits his right to him will be so.257

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported to have narrated the following:

صَعِدَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ الْمِنْبَرَ ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ فَحَمِدَ اللهَ وَأَثْنَى عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ: أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، لِيُبْلِغِ الشَّاهِدُ مِنْكُمُ الْغَائِبَ. أَلاَ وَمَنْ أَنْظَرَ مُعْسِراً كَانَ لَهُ عَلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي كُلِّ يَوْمٍ صَدَقَةٌ بِمِثْلِ مَالِهِ حَتَّى يَسْتَوْفِيَهُ.

One day, the Messenger of Allah (S) climbed the minbar and, after praising Almighty Allah, said, “O people, let the present inform the absent of this. Whoever grants respite to an insolvent debtor, alms as much as his money will be recorded for him by Almighty Allah every day until he receives his debt in full.

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) then added,

وَإِنْ كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَى مَيْسَرَةٍ وَأَنْ تَصَدَّقُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ (280)

If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time until it is easy for him to repay. But if you remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if you only knew. (2:280)

إِنَّهُ مُعْسِرٌ فَتَصَدَّقُوا عَلَيْهِ بِمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِ، فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ.

This means that if you remit the insolvent debtor from the amount that he owes you, then this will be best for you.‌258

Reprieving the Dead and the Alive from Debts

One of the most favorable sorts of alms and the highest degree of charity is to acquit the debtors, especially the dead, from the debts that they failed to repay. By thus doing, the debtors are done double charity by lending them money or by acquitting them from repaying the creditor’s due.

This sort of charity and condescension of rights has been highlighted by the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) through many traditions.

Shaykh al-Kulayni, in al-Kafi, has reported that Hasan ibn Khunays said to Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), “A man who has died owed ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Sayyabah an amount, but when we begged ‘Abd al-Rahman to release the dead man from that debt, he rejected.”

The Imam (‘a) commented,

وَيْحَهُ! أَمَا يَعْلَمُ أَنَّ لَهُ بِكُلِّ دِرْهَمٍ عَشَرَةً إِذَا حَلَّلَهُ، فَإِذَا لَمْ يُحَلِّلْهُ فَإِنَّمَا لَهُ دِرْهَمٌ بَدَلَ دِرْهَمٍ.

Woe to him! He should have known that he would be given ten Dirhams for each Dirham if he released the dead man from that debt, but he would gain a single Dirham for each Dirham if he did not.‌259

Mu’attab is reported to have said that Muhammad ibn Bishr al-Washsha' once visited Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) and asked him to mediate between him and Shihab to grant him respite to the end of that season, for he owed Shihab one hundred Dinars. The Imam (‘a) sent some people to invite Shihab to be present before him. When Shihab came, the Imam (‘a) said to him, “You already have an idea about the condition of Muhammad who is our adherent. He has told me that he owes you one thousand Dinars, which he has not used up on his stomach or private parts; rather, it has been used up as debts on others and deposits he had put with others. I will therefore be glad if you release him from repaying this amount to you.”

Shihab answered, “It seems that you are one of those who claim that the rewards of the debtor will be given to the creditor as compensation of his due in the debtor’s liability!”

Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) replied, “Yes, I do claim so according to what I have received.”

The Imam (‘a) then added,

اللهُ أَكْرَمُ وَأَعْدَلُ مِنْ أَنْ يَتَقَرَّبَ إِلَيْهِ عَبْدُهُ فَيَقُومُ فِي اللَّيْلَةِ الْقَرَّةِ وَيَصُومُ فِي الْيَوْمِ الْحَارِّ وَيَطُوفُ بِهَذَا الْبَيْتِ ثُمَّ يَسْلُبُهُ ذَلِكَ فَتُعْطَاهُ، وَلَكِنْ للهِ فَضْلٌ كَثِيرٌ يُكَافِئُ الْمُؤْمِنَ.

Almighty Allah is too generous to deprive a servant (of Him), who worships Him on chilly nights, observes fasting for His sake on burning days, and circumambulates this House, of his rewards and transfers them to you! Nay! Almighty Allah has innumerable rewards with which He awards the believers.

Upon hearing this, Shihab declared that he would release Muhammad from that debt.‌260

Precedence to Charity

The fourth aspect of kindness and favor is that a believer must precede others in doing acts of kindness and deeds of favor. This precedence in charity can be attained when man takes the initiative in doing kind acts and favors to people, while its highest rank is achieved when man does favors to those who maltreat, wrong, or rupture relations with him. This sort of kindness is expressed as rewarding evil with good. In conclusion, there are two levels of precedence to charity. The first is to take the initiative to doing acts of kindness and the second is to reward evil with good.

Spending and Kind Acts

To spend on one’s friends, brothers-in-faith, and Muslims in general, be it by way of charity or gift, is regarded as one of the financial acts of kindness to be practiced as a recommendation. In the word of Imam ‘Ali (‘a), such deeds protect against shameful death.‌261‌ Much emphasis has been laid by the Holy Qur'an on spending. For instance, Almighty Allah says,

لَنْ تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتَّى تُنْفِقُوا مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ (92)

By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give freely of that which you love. (3:92)

Many other traditions, reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), have highlighted the recommendation, significance, and results of giving alms and doing charitable acts. For instance, the Holy Imams (‘a) are reported to have said:

إِنَّ الصَّدَقَةَ تَقْضِي الدَّيْنَ وَتُخْلِفُ بِالْبَرَكَةِ.

Almsgiving helps in settling the debts and increases blessing.

إِنَّ الصَّدَقَةَ تَدْفَعُ مِيتَةَ السُّوءِ.

Almsgiving dispels bad death.

الْبِرُّ وَالصَّدَقَةُ يَنْفِيَانِ الْفَقْرَ وَيَزِيدَانَ فِي الْعُمْرِ.

Charity and almsgiving drive out poverty and extend the span of life.

إِنَّ اللهَ لَيُعْطِي بِالْوَاحِدَةِ عَشَرَةً إِلَى مِائَةِ أَلْفٍ فَمَا زَادَ.

For one act of charity, Almighty Allah rewards ten to one hundred thousand fold and even more.

إِسْتَنْزِلُوا الرِّزْقَ بِالصَّدَقَةِ.

Increase sustenance by means of almsgiving.

إِنَّ الصَّدَقَةَ مَا تَقَعُ فِي يَدِ السَّائِلِ حَتَّى تَقَعَ فِي يَدِ الرَّبِّ جَلَّ جَلاَلُهُ.

Alms do not reach the hand of the beggar before falling in the Hand of the All-majestic Lord.

أَرْضُ الْقِيَامَةِ نَارٌ مَا خَلاَ ظِلِّ الْمُؤْمِنِ، فَإِنَّ صَدَقَتَهُ تُظِلُّهُ.

The land of the Resurrection is entirely fire, except the shade of the faithful believers, because their alms shall cast a shadow over them.

الصَّدَقَةُ جُنَّةٌ مِنَ النَّارِ.

Almsgiving is protection against Hellfire.

دَاوُوا مَرْضَاكُمْ بِالصَّدَقَةِ.

Cure your patients with alms.

لاَ يَكْمُلُ إِيـمَانُ الْعَبْدِ حَتَّى يَكُونَ فِيهِ أَرْبَعُ خِصَالٍ: يُحْسِنُ خُلُقَهُ، وَتَسْخُو نَفْسُهُ، وَيُمْسِكُ الْفَضْلَ مِنْ قَوْلِهِ، وَيُخْرِجُ الْفَضْلَ مِنْ مَالِهِ.

The faith of any servant (of Almighty Allah) does not attain perfection before he or she enjoys four features: (1) good manners, (2) generosity, (3) abstinence from extra speech, and (4) over-spending of money.‌262

Owing to the importance of this topic, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have treated its various aspects and manners in detail through many traditions that can be referred to in books of traditions. They have also highlighted the following instructions:

1. The only intention of almsgiving must be to seek nearness to Almighty Allah.

2. It is necessary to give alms, be it little or much.

3. Avoid rejecting any beggar.

4. Initiate giving secret alms.

5. Give alms on certain times.

6. Almsgiving precedes being rewarded, compared to other recommended acts of worship.

7. Treat all creatures, including animals with charity—yet in different ways.

8. It is more favorable to give alms to relatives.‌263

Public charity and spending occupy a major portion in the traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).

In this regard, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِنَّ مِنْ بَقَاءِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَبَقَاءِ الإِسْلاَمِ أَنْ تَصِيرَ الأَمْوَالُ عِنْدَ مَنْ يَعْرِفُ فِيهَا الْحَقَّ وَيَصْنَعُ الْمَعْرُوفَ، وَإِنَّ مِنْ فَنَاءِ الإِسْلاَمِ وَفَنَاءِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ أَنْ تَصِيرَ الأَمْوَالُ فِي أَيْدِي مَنْ لاَ يَعْرِفُ فِيهَا الْحَقَّ وَلاَ يَصْنَعُ فِيهَا الْمَعْرُوفَ.

A reason for the perpetuation of Muslims and Islam is that the funds are kept in the hands of people who have full awareness of their duties towards these funds and who do favors and acts of kindness. However, a reason for the extinction of Muslims and Islam is that funds are placed in the hands of those who neither have acquaintance of their duties towards these funds nor do they do any act of kindness.‌264

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

كُلُّ مَعْرُوفٍ صَدَقَةٌ.

Every act of kindness is alms.‌265

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

الْمَعْرُوفُ شَيْءٌ سِوَى الزَّكَاةِ، فَتَقَرَّبُوا إِلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِالْبِرِّ وَصِلَةِ الرَّحِمِ.

A kind act is different from zakat. Therefore, seek nearness to Almighty Allah by means of charity and building good relations with relatives.‌266

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

صَنَائِعُ الْمَعْرُوفِ تَقِي مَصَارِعَ السُّوءِ. وَكُلُّ مَعْرُوفٍ صَدَقَةٌ. وَأَهْلُ الْمَعْرُوفِ فِي الدُّنْيَا هُمْ أَهْلُ الْمَعْرُوفِ فِي الآخِرَةِ. وَأَهْلُ الْمُنْكَرِ فِي الدُّنْيَا هُمْ أَهْلُ الْمُنْكَرِ فِي الآخِرَةِ. وَأَوَّلُ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ دُخُولاً إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ أَهْلُ الْمَعْرُوفِ. وَإِنَّ أَوَّلَ أَهْلِ النَّارِ دُخُولاً إِلَى النَّارِ أَهْلُ الْمُنْكَرِ.

Doing favors protects against violent death. Secret almsgiving extinguishes the ire of the Lord. Regard of relatives prolongs the span of life. Every favor is charity. People of charity in this world will also be the people of charity in the world to come. Similarly, people of evil in this world will be the people of evil in the world to come. People of charity will be the first to enter Paradise and people of evil will be the first to enter Hellfire.‌267

Abu-Basir has reported that his companions and he mentioned something about the wealthy Shi’ah in the presence of Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) who, as if he did not like what he had heard about them, said:

يَا أَبَا مُحَمَّدٍ: إِذَا كَانَ الْمُؤْمِنُ غَنِيّاً وَصُولاً رَحِيماً لَهُ مَعْرُوفٌ إِلَى أَصْحَابِهِ، أَعْطَاهُ اللهُ أَجْرَ مَا يُنْفِقُ فِي الْبِرِّ مَرَّتَيْنِ ضِعْفَيْنِ، لأَِنَّ اللهَ يَقُولُ فِي كِتَابِهِ:

وَمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ بِالَّتِي تُقَرِّبُكُمْ عِنْدَنَا زُلْفَى إِلَّا مَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَأُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ جَزَاءُ الضِّعْفِ بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَهُمْ فِي الْغُرُفَاتِ آمِنُونَ (37)

O Abu-Muhammad, when a faithful believer is wealthy, seeking good relations with others, being merciful, and doing favors to his companions, then Almighty Allah will reward him two fold as compensation for the charity he has shown towards others. This is because Almighty Allah says in His Book:

“It is not your wealth nor your sons that will bring you nearer to Us in degree, but only those who believe and act righteously; these are the ones for whom there is a multiplied reward for their deeds while secure they reside in the dwellings on high. (34:37)”‌268

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

أَيُّمَا مُؤْمِنٍ أَوْصَلَ إِلَى أَخِيهِ الْمُؤْمِنِ مَعْرُوفاً فَقَدْ أَوْصَلَ ذَلِكَ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ.

Any faithful believer does a favor to his brother-in-faith has in fact done it to the Messenger of Allah (S).‌269

Holding Public Banquets

Another feature of taking the lead to charity is to invite people to public banquets and to serve people with food. For the importance of such banquets, Islam has made them part of religious activities and penances. For instance, the penance of violating certain religious obligations is to feed a certain number of people or to serve them with food. Islam has also recommended Muslims to invite people to public banquets on social ceremonies, such as marriage, return from a journey, and the like.

Several traditions that are reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have mentioned the merit and significance of this act. For instance, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported through a valid chain of authority to have said:

مِنَ الإِيـمَانِ حُسْنُ الْخُلُقِ وَإِطْعَامُ الطَّعَامِ.

Good manners and serving food to people are signs of true faith.270

According to another tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

مِنَ الْمُنْجِيَاتِ إِطْعَامُ الطَّعَامِ وَإِفْشَاءُ السَّلاَمِ وَالصَّلاَةُ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّاسُ نِيَامٌ.

To serve people with food, offer salutations, and offer prayers at night while others are asleep are within the redeeming things.‌271

Through a valid chain of authority too, Imam al-Baqir (‘a) is reported to have said:

إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُحِبُّ إِهْرَاقَ الدِّمَاءِ وَإِطْعَامَ الطَّعَامِ.

Indeed, Almighty Allah loves slaughtering animals (for providing people with meat) and offering food to people.‌272

According to another validly reported tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) reported his father (‘a) to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

الرِّزْقُ أَسْرَعُ إِلَى مَنْ يُطْعِمُ الطَّعَامَ مِنَ السِّكِّينِ فِي السَّنَامِ.

Sustenance is swifter to him who serves people with food than a knife to a hump.‌273

Advancing Money to Brothers-in-Faith

The third feature of taking the lead to charity is to lend money to the brothers-in-faith to satisfy their needs and save them from being humbled, render them relief, and put an end to their adversities. The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) are reported to have urged this sort of kind act, preferred it to giving alms, and matched it to ritual prayers and fasting.

Through a valid chain of authority too, Shaykh al-Kulayni has quoted Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

مَكْتُوبٌ عَلَى بَابِ الْجَنَّةِ: الصَّدَقَةُ بِعَشَرَةٍ وَالْقَرْضُ بِثَمَانِيَةِ عَشَرَ.

On the gate of Paradise, the following is inscribed: alms are rewarded tenfold and a loan eighteen.‌274

According to the report of Shaykh al-Saduq, the Holy Prophet (S) has said:

الصَّدَقَةُ بِعَشَرَةٍ، وَالْقَرْضُ بِثَمَانِيَةِ عَشَرَ، وَصِلَةُ الإِخْوَانِ بِعِشْرِينَ، وَصِلَةُ الرَّحِمِ بِأَرْبَعَةٍ وَعِشْرِينَ.

Alms are rewarded tenfold, a loan eighteen, regard of relations with brothers-in-faith twenty, and regard of relations with the relatives twenty-four.‌275

According to another report of Shaykh al-Kulayni, ‘Uqbah ibn Khalid has reported that ‘Uthman ibn ‘Imran said to Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), “I am a wealthy man and if some people come to me begging, but it might not be the time of defraying the zakat. What should I do?”

The Imam (‘a) replied,

الْقَرْضُ عِنْدَنَا بِثَمَانِيَةَ عَشَرَ، وَالصَّدَقَةُ بِعَشَرَةٍ، وَمَاذَا عَلَيْكَ إِذَا كُنْتَ كَمَا تَقُولُ مُوسِراً أَعْطَيْتَهُ؟ فَإِذَا كَانَ إِبَّانَ زَكَاتِكَ إحْتَسَبْتَ بِهَا مِنَ الزَّكَاةِ. يَا عُثْمَانُ، لاَ تَرُدَّهُ فَإِنَّ رَدَّهُ عِنْدَ اللهِ عَظِيمٌ.

To us, a loan is rewarded eighteen folds and all alms ten. What will harm you if you, claiming being wealthy, give him? When the time of defraying the zakat comes, you can reduce this amount from it. O ‘Uthman, never reject a beggar, because it is considered most grievous in the view of Almighty Allah.‌276

Dutifulness to Believers

The fourth feature of taking the lead in charity is to treat the faithful believers dutifully, to give pleasure to them, to be lenient with them, and to give presents to them. Such acts entail more kindness and favor and take the lead in charity. Several traditions have encouraged such kind acts.

Through a valid chain of authority, Shaykh al-Kulayni reports Abu-Hamzah al-Thumali to have heard Imam al-Baqir (‘a) quoting the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

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

Whoever gives pleasure to a faithful believer has in fact given pleasure to me, and whoever gives pleasure to me has in fact given pleasure to Allah the Almighty and Majestic.‌277

Al-Mufadhdhal ibn ‘Umar is reported to have quoted Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

لاَ يَرَى أَحَدُكُمْ إِذَا أَدْخَلَ عَلَى مُؤْمِنٍ سُرُوراً أَنَّهُ عَلَيْهِ أَدْخَلَهُ فَقَطْ، بَلْ وَاللهِ عَلَيْنَا، بَلْ وَاللهِ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ.

If one of you gives pleasure to a faithful believer, he must not feel that he has given pleasure to that person only; rather, he has given pleasure to us and to the Messenger of Allah. I swear it by Allah.‌278

According to an authentic tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

أوحى اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَى دَاوُدَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ: إِنَّ الْعَبْدَ مِنْ عِبَادِي لَيَأْتِينِي بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَأُبِيحُهُ جَنَّتِي. فَقَالَ دَاوُدُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ: يَا رَبِّ، وَمَا تِلْكَ الْحَسَنَةُ؟ قَالَ: يُدْخِلُ عَلَى عَبْدِيَ الْمُؤْمِنِ سُرُوراً وَلَوْ بِتَمْرَةٍ. قَالَ دَاوُدُ: يَا رَبِّ، حُقَّ لِمَنْ عَرَفَكَ أَلاَّ يَقْطَعَ رَجَاءَهُ مِنْكَ.

Allah, the Glorified and Majestic, revealed to (Prophet) David (‘a) saying, “A servant of Mine may do a single good deed due to which I allow him to My Paradise.” “What is that good deed, O Lord?” Prophet David (‘a) asked. The Almighty Lord answered, “That good deed is to give pleasure to My faithful servant, even by way of giving him a single date.” Prophet David (‘a) commented, “O Lord, he who knows You has the right not to stop having hope in You.”‌279

Jamil has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

إِنَّ مِمَّا خَصَّ اللهُ بِهِ الْمُؤْمِنَ أَنْ يُعَرِّفَهُ بِرَّ إِخْوَانِهِ وَإِنْ قَلَّ. وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِالْكَثْرَةِ، وَذَلِكَ أَنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَقُولُ فِي كِتَابِهِ:

وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ

ثم قال:

مَنْ يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ (9: 59)

وَمَنْ عَرَّفَهُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِذَلِكَ أَحَبَّهُ، وَمَنْ أَحَبَّهُ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى وَفَّاهُ أَجْرَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ. يَا جَمِيلُ إِرْوِ هَذَا الْحَدِيثَ لإِخْوَانِكَ فَإِنَّهُ تَرْغِيبٌ فِي الْبِرِّ.

One of the distinctive features that Allah has given exclusively to a faithful believer is that He makes him recognize and do charitable acts to his brothers-in-faith, even if it be a trivial amount, because charity is not required to be very much. This is because Almighty Allah says in His Book: “They give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their own lot.”

He then says, “Those saved from the covetousness of their own souls are the ones that achieve prosperity. (59:9)”

He whom Allah makes to recognize this fact has in fact loved him, and he who is loved by Allah the Blessed and Exalted, shall be given his reward perfectly on the Day of Resurrection without calling to account. O Jamil, spread this discourse among your brothers-in-faith, because it will arouse their desires to charitable.‌280

Bakr ibn Muhammad is reported to have said that the majority of Imam al-Sadiq’s instructions to us was focused on doing charitable acts and having regard for our brothers-in-faith.‌281

Sa’dan ibn Muslim has quoted Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

مَنْ أَخَذَ مِنْ وَجْهِ أَخِيهِ الْمُؤْمِنِ قَذَاةً كَتَبَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَهُ عَشْرَ حَسَنَاتٍ، وَمَنْ تَبَسَّمَ فِي وَجْهِ أَخِيهِ كَانَتْ لَهُ حَسَنَةٌ.

Whoever removes a mole from the face of his brother-in-faith shall be given ten rewards by Almighty Allah, and whoever smiles in the face of his brother-in-faith will be given a reward.‌282

Zayd ibn Arqam has quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

مَا فِي أُمَّتِي عَبْدٌ أَلْطَفَ أَخَاهُ فِي اللهِ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ لُطْفٍ إِلاَّ أَلْطَفَهُ اللهُ مَنْ خَدَمِ الْجَنَّةِ.

No servant from my nation offers any item of kindness to his brother-in-faith but that Almighty Allah shall certainly order the servants of Paradise to serve him.‌283

Rewarding Evil with Good

The second level of taking the lead to charity is to reward evil with good, which is also the second highest rank of charity. The carrying out of the obligatory duties is considered the first of the highest ranks of charity, the foregoing of rights to others is the second, and taking the initiative to doing charity is the third. Above all, rewarding evil with good is considered the highest level of kindness and charity. Referring to this level of charity, the Holy Qur'an has ascribed rewarding evil with good to the features of the special believers. On more than one occasion, it has listed it with the obligatory duties of the Prophets:

وَالَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ رَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنْفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً وَيَدْرَءُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ أُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ (22)

Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord, establish regular prayers, spend out of the gifts We have bestowed for their sustenance secretly and openly, and turn off evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the eternal home. (13:22)‌284

Several traditions have been reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) highlighting this trait and considering it to be the best and highest of all nobilities. These traditions have also referred to a number of models and examples by which man may pass, embodying this virtuous trait.

Though a valid chain of authority, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying in one of his sermons,

أَلاَ أُخْبِرُكُمْ بِخَيْرِ خَلاَيِقِ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ؟ الْعَفْوُ عَمَّنْ ظَلَمَكَ وَتَصِلُ مَنْ قَطَعَكَ وَالإِحْسَانُ إِلَى مَنْ أَسَاءَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِعْطَاءُ مَنْ حَرَمَكَ.

May I teach you the excellent morals in this world and the Next? They are: to pardon him who wronged you, to show regard to him who disregarded you, to do good to him who maltreated you, and to give him who deprived you.‌285

According to another tradition that is validly reported from Abu-Hamzah al-Thumali, he said that he heard Imam Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a) saying:

إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ جَمَعَ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى الأَوَّلِينَ وَالآخِرِينَ فِي صَعِيدٍ وَاحِدٍ، ثُمَّ يُنَادِي مُنَادٍ: أَيْنَ أَهْلُ الْفَضْلِ؟ فَيَقُومُ عُنُقٌ مِنَ النَّاسِ فَتَتَلَقَّاهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ فَيَقُولُونَ: وَمَا كَانَ فَضْلُكُمْ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: كُنَّا نَصِلُ مَنْ قَطَعَنَا، وَنُعْطِي مَنْ حَرَمَنَا، وَنَعْفُو عَمَّنْ ظَلَمَنَا. فَيُقَالُ لَهُمْ: صَدَقْتُمْ، أُدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ.

On the Day of Resurrection, Allah the Blessed and Exalted will gather the ancient and the late generations on the same highland and a caller will call out, “Where are the people of preference?” A group of people will then stand up. While receiving them, the angels will ask, “Why are you given preference?” They will answered, “In our worldly lives, we used to build good relations with those who ruptured their relations with us, give those who deprived us, and pardon those who wronged us.” Then, it will be said to them, “True are you! Enter Paradise.”‌286

Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn has reported that Imam ‘Ali (‘a), in his instructive will to his son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, said:

لاَ يَكُونَنَّ أَخُوكَ عَلَى قَطِيعَتِكَ أَقْوَى مِنْكَ عَلَى صِلَةٍ، وَلاَ عَلَى الإِسَاءَةِ إِلَيْكَ أَقْدَرَ مِنْكَ عَلَى الإِحْسَانِ إِلَيْهِ.

Your brother should not be more firm in his disregard of kinship than you in paying regard to it, and you should exceed him in doing good to him than his doing evil to you.287

Zurarah is reported to have heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

إِنَّا أَهْلُ بَيْتٍ مُرُوَّتُنَا الْعَفْوُ عَمَّنْ ظَلَمَنَا.

The nature of us, the Ahl al-Bayt, is to pardon those who wrong us.‌288

‘Ali ibn Ja’far ibn Muhammad (Imam al-Sadiq’s son) has reported that Muhammad ibn Isma’il asked the permission of his uncle, Imam al-Kazim (‘a), to leave for Iraq. The Imam (‘a) gave him permission. Then, Muhammad said, “O uncle, I would like you to give me some advice.”

The Imam (‘a) said, “I advise you to fear Almighty Allah against shedding my blood.”

The Imam (‘a) then handed him a bag containing one hundred and fifty Dinars, and he took it. The Imam (‘a) then gave him another bag of one hundred and fifty Dinars, and he took it. He (‘a) then gave him a third bag of one hundred and fifty Dinars, and he took it. He (‘a) finally gave him a fourth bag of one thousand and five hundred Dirhams, and he took it, too. ‘Ali ibn Ja’far discussed the matter with the Imam (‘a) because he deemed these amounts too much, but the Imam (‘a) answered, “I gave him such big amounts so that my argument against him will be more weighty when he disregards me after I have treated him well.”

However, Muhammad informed al-Rashid, the ‘Abbasid ruler, against Imam al-Kazim (‘a), claiming that the Imam (‘a) appointed himself as the caliph and tributes were paid to him. Hence, the ruler gave him one hundred thousand Dirhams and he died that very night.‌289

Idealism and Distinctive Behavior

An excellent example has its own aspects of influence on people’s behavior. The creation of ideal and excellent examples has been one of the most significant goals that the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) aimed at in building a virtuous community.

The current discussion is aimed at thrashing out the superstructure of creating an excellent example—as sketched out by the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a)—as well as its role in and influence on social relations.

An Excellent Example and Social Relations

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have noticeably confirmed the existence of a relationship between an excellent example and social relations and the significant role it plays in strengthening the foundations of these relations to achieve the aim pursued.

In Nahj al-Balaghah, Sharif al-Radhi has reported Imam ‘Ali (‘a) as saying:

مَنْ أَصْلَحَ سَرِيرَتَهُ أَصْلَحَ اللهُ عَلاَنِيَتَهُ، وَمَنْ عَمِلَ لِدِينِهِ كَفَاهُ اللهُ أَمْرَ دُنْيَاهُ، وَمَنْ أَحْسَنَ فِي مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ اللهِ كَفَاهُ اللهُ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ النَّاسِ.

Whoever sets right his inner side, Allah sets right his outer side. Whoever performs acts for his religion, Allah accomplishes his acts of this world. Whoever deals in acts between him and Allah in a good way, Allah turns the dealings between him and other people good.‌290

This statement indicates the existence of a relationship between self-reformation and setting right one’s social relations with people. It also maintains that attaining the rank of excellent example stands for self-perfection and social perfection at the same time.

As has been previously mentioned in the discussion of association with others, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have advised associating with the righteous people, because associates have some influence on their associates’ social relations and general behavior. Any associate who is righteous and an excellent example of virtue influences the nature of the others. Based on this fact, the Holy Prophet (S) is reported by Ibn ‘Abbas to have answered those who asked him who the best ones to sit with are,

مَنْ تُذَكِّرُكُمُ اللهَ رُؤْيَتُهُ وَيَزِيدُ فِي عِلْمِكُمْ مَنْطِقُهُ وَيُرَغِّبُكُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ عَمَلُهُ.

They are those whose appearance reminds you of Allah, whose speech increases your knowledge, and whose deeds make you desirous of attaining (the rewards of) the Hereafter.‌291

In this connection, we can classify the features of excellent examples that influence social relations into two classes:

First: Features expressing the relationship between the excellent exemplar and Almighty Allah. These features, as expressed by Imam ‘Ali (‘a), are “Whose dealings between himself and Allah are good…”

Second: Features expressing the distinctive behavior of the excellent exemplar in social relations

Relationship with Almighty Allah

This category comprises belief in Almighty Allah, bearing good idea about Him, trust in Him, love for Him, hope for Him, and fear of Him.

Having Full Faith in Almighty Allah

In the field of having full faith in Almighty Allah, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said:

لَيْسَ شَيْءٌ إِلاَّ وَلَهُ حَدٌّ… حَدُّ التَّوَكُّلِ الْيَقِينُ… حَدُّ الْيَقِينِ أَلاَّ تَخَافَ مَعَ اللهِ شَيْئاً.

Everything has a limit… the limit of putting trust in Almighty Allah is to have full faith in Him… and the limit of having full faith in Almighty Allah is to fear nothing save Him.‌292

This tradition is an expression of the holy verse that reads:

الَّذِينَ يُبَلِّغُونَ رِسَالَاتِ اللَّهِ وَيَخْشَوْنَهُ وَلَا يَخْشَوْنَ أَحَدًا إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ حَسِيبًا (39)

Those who deliver the messages of Allah and fear Him, and do not fear anyone but Allah; and Allah is sufficient to take account. (33:39)

The following validly reported tradition demonstrates the relationship between full faith and social relations.

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

مِنْ صِحَّةِ يَقِينِ الْمَرْءِ الْمُسْلِمِ أَنْ لاَ يُرْضِيَ النَّاسَ بِسَخَطِ اللهِ وَلاَ يَلُومَهُمْ عَلَى مَا لَمْ يُؤْتِهِ اللهُ; فَإِنَّ الرِّزْقَ لاَ يَسُوقُهُ حِرْصُ حَرِيصٍ وَلاَ يَرُدُّهُ كَرَاهِيَةُ كَارِهٍ. وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ فَرَّ مِنْ رِزْقِهِ كَمَا يَفِرُّ مِنَ الْمَوْتِ لأَدْرَكَهُ رِزْقُهُ كَمَا يُدْرِكُهُ الْمَوْتُ. إِنَّ اللهَ بِعَدْلِهِ وَقِسْطِهِ جَعَلَ الرَّوْحَ وَالرَّاحَةَ فِي الْيَقِينِ وَالرِّضَا وَجَعَلَ الْهَمَّ وَالْحُزْنَ فِي الشَّكِ وَالسَّخَطِ.

A sign of the validity of a Muslim’s full faith is that he does not please people by means that brings forth the ire of Almighty Allah and does not blame them for matters that Almighty Allah has not given to him. Sustenance does not descend because of acquisitiveness or stop due to refusal. If you try to escape getting your sustenance as you try to escape death, it will surely catch up with you as same as death does when it will unquestionably overtake you. Out of His justice and fairness, Almighty Allah has made comfort and rest to reside in full faith and satisfaction. Likewise, He has made distress and sadness to reside in dubiety and dissatisfaction.‌293

Trust in Almighty Allah

Trust in Almighty Allah in social and political activities is a significant quality enjoyed by those who play the role of excellent examples in the society. Of course, committing one’s soul to Almighty Allah follows exerting all possible efforts to fulfill one’s responsibilities as perfectly as possible.

Imam Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a) is reported to have narrated the following: One day, I left my house and sat inclined against a wall. Suddenly, I noticed that a man clad in white was gazing at me, “‘Ali ibn al-Husayn,” the man said, “Why do you look so distressed and sad? Are you sad for a worldly affair? The sustenance of Almighty Allah is present for both the righteous and the sinful.”

“No,” I answered, “I never feel sad for such affairs, because the matter is as exactly as you have just said.”

“Then,” the man said, “If you are sad for the Hereafter, it is most surely a true promise that is judged by an All-omnipotent Judge.”

“No,” I answered, “I am not sad for that either, because it is as exactly as you have just said.”

“What are you so sad for then?” asked the man.

“In fact,” I answered, “I fear the consequences of this sedition of Ibn al-Zubayr due to which people are bewildered.”

The man laughed and said, “O ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, have you ever seen anyone who prayed to Almighty Allah but He did not respond to him?”

“No,” I answered, “I have not.”

“Have you ever seen anyone who had trust in Almighty Allah but He disappointed him?” the man asked.

“No,” I answered, “I have not.”

“Have you ever seen anyone who begged Almighty Allah but He did not give him?” the man asked.

“No,” I answered, “I have not.”

Then, the man disappeared.‌294

In this narration, the Imam (‘a) mentioned a social problem, which was the sedition of Ibn al-Zubayr and its consequences on the masses. The answer came to guide him to put his trust in Almighty Allah, because the Imam (‘a) had nothing to do in the face of this problem.

Having the Best Concept of Almighty Allah

Having the best concept of Almighty Allah in ones line of conduct, as well as in ones worldly life and life hereafter, achieves great results in one’s entire life.

In al-Kafi, Shaykh al-Kulayni, through a valid chain of authority, has reported Imam al-Ridha (‘a) as saying:

أَحْسِنِ الظَّنَّ بِاللهِ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَقُولُ: أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِيَ الْمُؤْمِنِ بِي، إِنْ خَيْراً فَخَيْراً وَإِنْ شَرّاً فَشَرّاً.

Always have the noblest idea about Almighty Allah, for He says, “I am as exactly as My believing servant thinks of Me, whether good or bad.”‌295

According to a validly tradition that is reported by Burayd ibn Mu’awiyah, Imam al-Baqir (‘a) has said: We find written in Imam ‘Ali’s book that the Messenger of Allah (S) said from the minbar:

وَالَّذِي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ، مَا أُعْطِيَ مُؤْمِنٌ قَطُّ خَيْرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ بِحُسْنِ ظَنِّهِ بِاللهِ وَرَجَائِهِ لَهُ وَحُسْنِ خُلُقِهِ وَالْكَفِّ عَنِ إغْتِيَابِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ. وَالَّذِي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ، لاَ يُعَذِّبُ اللهُ مُؤْمِناً بَعْدَ التَّوْبَةِ وَالإسْتِغْفَارِ إِلاَّ بِسُوءِ ظَنِّهِ بِاللهِ وَتَقْصِيرٍ مِنْ رَجَائِهِ لَهُ وَسُوءِ خُلُقِهِ وَإغْتِيَابِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ. وَالَّذِي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ، لاَ يَحْسُنُ ظَنُّ عَبْدٍ مُؤْمِنٍ بِاللهِ إِلاَّ كَانَ اللهُ عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِهِ الْمُؤْمِنِ، لأَِنَّ اللهَ كَرِيمٌ بِيَدِهِ الْخَيْرُ يَسْتَحْيِي أَنْ يَكُونَ عَبْدُهُ الْمُؤْمِنُ قَدْ أَحْسَنَ بِهِ الظَّنَّ ثُمَّ يُخْلِفُ ظَنَّهُ وَرَجَاءَهُ. فَأَحْسِنُوا بِاللهِ الظَّنَّ وَارْغَبُوا إِلَيْهِ.

I swear by Allah save Whom there is no god: no good of this world or the Hereafter has been granted to any believer except by his having a good idea about Almighty Allah, putting his hope in Him, behaving courteously, and abstaining from backbiting faithful believers. I swear by Allah save Whom there is no god: Almighty Allah will not punish any believer (in Him) after repenting and imploring His forgiveness except because of his having a bad idea about Him, showing lack of hope in Him, behaving impolitely, and backbiting believers.

I swear by Allah save Whom there is no god: no servant (of Him) bears a good idea about Him except that He will be as good as the idea that the servant bears about Him. This is because Almighty Allah is All-generous and has full authority over all that is good. He is therefore too generous to disappoint the good idea and the hope that His servant has about Him. Therefore, hold a good idea about Almighty Allah and turn your hopes to Him.‌296

Undoubtedly, having such a good idea about Almighty Allah has a natural reflection on one’s view about the constancy and continuity of one’s social relations with others.

Shaykh al-Saduq, in man-la-yahdhuruhu’l-faqih, through his chain of authority, has reported the following paragraph to be a piece of Imam ‘Ali’s instructive will to his son, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah:

وَلاَ يَغْلِبَنَّ عَلَيْكَ سُوءُ الظَّنِّ بِاللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ; فَإِنَّهُ لَنْ يَدَعَ بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَ خَلِيلِكَ صُلْحاً.

Having an ill idea about Almighty Allah must never control you, lest it destroy any item of conciliation between your friend and you.‌297

Love for Almighty Allah

Love for Almighty Allah is one of the greatest qualities that affect all fields of life. Confirming this fact, the Holy Qur'an says,

قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ (31)

Say, “If you do love Allah, then follow me so that Allah will love you.” (3:31)

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّه (165)

Those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. (2:165)

Laying much stress on this meaning in social relations, the traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have demonstrated that all social relations must be founded on the basis that one must love or hate for no purpose other than seeking nearness to Almighty Allah. They have also confirmed that the reality of religion is this love and sincere affection.

In al-Kafi, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported through a valid chain of authority that Abu-’Ubaydah al-Hadhdha' reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

مَنْ أَحَبَّ للهِ وَأَبْغَضَ للهِ وَأَعْطَى للهِ فَهُوَ مِمَّنْ كَمُلَ إِيـمَانُهُ.

He who loves, hates, and gives for the sake of Allah is actually enjoying a perfect faith.‌298

According to another validly reported tradition, Abu-Hamzah al-Thumali has reported Imam Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a) as saying:

إِذَا جَمَعَ اللهُ الأَوَّلِينَ وَالآخِرِينَ قَامَ مُنَادٍ فَنَادَى يُسْمِعُ النَّاسَ فَيَقُولُ: أَيْنَ الْمُتَحَابُّونَ فِي اللهِ؟ فَيَقُومُ عُنُقٌ مِنَ النَّاسِ، فَيُقَالُ لَهُمْ: إِذْهَبُوا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ. فَتَلَقَّاهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ فَيَقُولُونَ: إِلَى أَيْنَ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ. وَيَقُولُونَ: وَأَيُّ حِزْبٍ أَنْتُمْ مِنَ النَّاسِ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: نَحْنُ الْمُتَحَابُّونَ فِي اللهِ. فَيَقُولُونَ: أَيَّ شَيْءٍ كَانَتْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ؟ قَالُوا: كُنَّا نُحِبُّ فِي اللهِ وَنَبْغَضُ فِي اللهِ. فَيَقُولُونَ: نِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ.

On the day when Almighty Allah shall assemble the past and the late generations, a caller will cry out in such a loud voice that all people can hear him, “Where are those who loved each other for the sake of Allah?” A group of people will then stand up and they will be allowed to Paradise without settling any account with them. On their way to Paradise, the angels will meet them and ask where they are going. “We are going to Paradise without any account being settled with us,” they will answer. “Which party of people are you?” the angels will ask. “We have loved each other for the sake of Allah,” they will answer. “What deeds have you done?” the angels will ask. “We used to love and hate others for the sake of Allah,” they will answer. “How excellent a recompense for those who work and strive!” the angels will say.‌299

According to a third authentically reported tradition, Abu-Ubaydah Ziyad al-Hadhdha' reported that Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said to him,

يَا زِيَادُ وَيْحَكَ! وَهَلِ الدِّينُ إِلاَّ الْحُبُّ؟ أَلاَ تَرَى قَوْلَ اللهِ:

قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ (31)

أَوَ لاَ تَرَى قَوْلَ اللهِ لِمُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ:

اللَّهَ حَبَّبَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَزَيَّنَهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ (7)

وَقَالَ:

يُحِبُّونَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ (9)

الدِّينُ هُوَ الْحُبُّ، وَالْحُبُّ هُوَ الدِّينُ.

O Ziyad, is religion anything other than love? You should have considered Almighty Allah’s saying (in the Holy Qur'an),

“Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (3:31)”

You should have considered Almighty Allah’s saying to Muhammad (S),

“Allah has endeared the faith to you and has made it seemly in your hearts. (49:7)”

He has also said, “They love those who have fled to them. (59:9)”

Thus, religion is love and love is religion.‌300

Hope in and Fear of Almighty Allah

A servant of Almighty Allah is supposed to have hope in Him under all circumstances, no matter how harsh the conditions he may experience, how intense the situations he may face, or how many sins he might have committed. At the same time, a servant is supposed to fear Him under all circumstances, no matter how good the conditions may be and how frequent his acts of worship.

Describing the manners of true believers, the Holy Qur'an, on more than one occasion, has referred to this quality of hope in and fear of Almighty Allah, which is one of the high ranking qualities of true believers:

تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا (16)

Their limbs do forsake their beds of sleep, while they call on their Lord, in fear and hope. (32:16)

أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَى رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُ (57)

Those whom they call upon do desire for themselves means of access to their Lord, - even those who are nearest, they hope for His mercy and fear His wrath. (17:57)

ادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ (56)

Call on Him with fear and longing in your hearts, for the mercy of Allah is always near to those who do good. (7:56)

‘Ali ibn Ibrahim reports Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) to have said:

كَانَ أَبِي يَقُولُ: إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ عَبْدٍ مُؤْمِنٍ إِلاَّ وَفِي قَلْبِهِ نُورَانِ: نُورُ خِيفَةٍ وَنُورُ رَجَاءٍ; لَوْ وُزِنَ هَذَا لَمْ يَزِدْ عَلَى هَذَا، وَلَوْ وُزِنَ هَذَا لَمْ يَزِدْ عَلَى هَذَا.

My father used to say: There is no believer without two lights in his heart—light of fear and light of hope. If you weigh each one, it will not outweigh the other.‌301

Hammad ibn ‘«sa reports Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) to have said:

كَانَ فِي مَا أَوْصَى بِهِ لُقْمَانُ لإبْنِهِ أَنْ قَالَ: يَا بُنَيَّ، خِفِ اللهَ خَوْفاً لَوْ جِئْتَهُ بِبِرِّ الثَّقَلَيْنِ خِفْتَ أَنْ يُعَذِّبَكَ اللهُ، وَارْجُ اللهَ رَجَاءً لَوْ جِئْتَهُ بِذُنُوبِ الثَّقَلَيْنِ رَجَوْتَ أَنْ يَغْفِرَ اللهُ لَكَ.

Luqman, the wise, said to his son: Fear Allah so much so that you think He will punish you even if you do all the good deeds of Jinn and men. Meanwhile, have so much hope in His Mercy that even if you commit all the sins of all Jinn and men, He will forgive you.‌302

Sharif al-Radhi has reported that Imam ‘Ali (‘a) said in one of his sermons:

يَدَّعِي بِزُعْمِهِ أَنَّهُ يَرْجُو اللهَ، كَذَبَ وَالْعَظِيمِ! مَا بَالُهُ لاَ يَتَبَيَّنُ رَجَاؤُهُ فِي عَمَلَهِ؟ فَكُلُّ مَنْ رَجَا عُرِفَ رَجَاؤُهُ فِي عَمَلِهِ، وَكُلُّ رَجَاء ـ إلاَّ رَجَاءَ اللهِ ـ فَإِنَّهُ مَدْخُولٌ، وَكُلُّ خَوْف مُحَقَّقٌ، إِلاَّ خَوْفَ اللهِ فَإِنَّهُ مَعْلُولٌ، يَرْجُو اللهَ فِي الْكَبِيرِ، وَيَرْجُو الْعِبَادَ فِي الصَّغِيرِ، فَيُعْطِي العَبْدَ مَا لاَ يُعْطِي الرَّبَّ! فَمَا بَالُ اللهِ جَلَّ ثَنَاؤُهُ يُقَصَّرُ بِهِ عَمَّا يُصْنَعُ بِهِ بِعِبَادِهِ؟ أَتَخَافُ أَنْ تَكُونَ فِي رَجَائِكَ لَهُ كَاذِباً؟ أَوْ تَكُونَ لاَ تَرَاهُ لِلرَّجَاءِ مَوْضِعاً؟ وَكَذلِكَ إِنْ هُوَ خَافَ عَبْداً مِنْ عَبِيدِهِ، أَعْطَاهُ مِنْ خَوْفِهِ مَا لاَ يُعْطِي رَبَّهُ، فَجَعَلَ خَوْفَهُ مِنَ الْعِبَادِ نَقْداً، وَخَوْفَهُ مِنْ خَالِقِهِ ضِماراً وَوَعْداً.

He claims according to his own thinking what he hopes from Allah. By Allah, the Great, he speaks a lie. The position is that his hope (in Allah) does not appear through his action although the hope of every one who hopes is verified through his action. Every hope is so, except the hope in Allah, the Sublime, if it is impure; and every fear is established except the fear for Allah if it is unreal. He hopes big things from Allah and small things from others but he gives to others (consideration that) he does not give to Allah.

What is the matter with Allah, glorified be His praise? He is accorded less (consideration) than what is given to His creatures. Do you ever fear to be false in your hope in Allah? Or do you not regard Him the center of your hope? Similarly, if a man fears man he gives him (such consideration) out of his fear, which he does not give to Allah. Thus, he has made his fear for men ready currency while his fear from the Creator is mere deferment or promise.‌303

Features Expressing Distinctive Behavior

The second class of the features that are supposed to be enjoyed by those playing the role of excellent examples in the society is the features that express distinctive behavior in social relations. We have already cited a number of these many features in the current discussion, because they have had connections with topics like modesty, chastity, forbearance, amnesty, lenience, and suppression of rage.

Let us now refer to another set of features that hold special significance in social relations and play the role of excellent exemplars in these relations; namely, patience, asceticism, pudency, fulfillment of trusts, satisfaction, abstinence from forbidden acts, and straightforwardness in action.

Patience

In his social activities and relations with others, man may be exposed to problems, complications, ordeals, pangs, tribulations and tests due to which he is always in urgent need for energy and power in order to overcome all these difficulties, pass the examinations successfully, and undergo these pressures. This energy is no more than patience, steadfastness, and sedulity. In the Holy Qur'an, there are many verses confirming, praising, and commending patience as well as counting the recompense and rewards that Almighty Allah has decided for the patient, the steadfast, and the sedulous.

The most effective of all traditions that commend patience is one that is reported by Shaykh al-Kulayni, in his book of al-Kafi, Section: Patience. This tradition gathers both Qur'anic verses and Prophetic maxims:

Hafs ibn Ghiyath has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as addressing him with the following words:

يَا حَفْصُ! إنَّ مَنْ صَبَرَ صَبَرَ قَلِيلاً، وَإنَّ مَنْ جَزَعَ جَزَعَ قَلِيلاًٍ. عَلَيْكَ بِالصَّبْرِ فِي جَمِيعِ أُمُورِكَ، فَإنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بَعَثَ مُحَمَّداً صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ فَأَمَرَهُ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالرِّفْقِ، فَقَالَ:

اصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيلًا (10) وَذَرْنِي وَالْمُكَذِّبِينَ أُولِي النَّعْمَةِ وَمَهِّلْهُمْ قَلِيلًا (11)

وَقَالَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى:

ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ (34) وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ (35)

فَصَبَرَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ حَتَّى نَالُوهُ بِالْعَظَائِمِ وَرَمَوْهُ بِهَا. فَضَاقَ صَدْرُهُ، فَأَنْزَلَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:

وَلَقَدْ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ يَضِيقُ صَدْرُكَ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ (97) فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَكُنْ مِنَ السَّاجِدِينَ (98)

ثُمَّ كَذَّبُوُهُ وَرَمَوْهُ، فَحَزِنَ لِذَلِكَ. فَأَنْزَلَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:

قَدْ نَعْلَمُ إِنَّهُ لَيَحْزُنُكَ الَّذِي يَقُولُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ لَا يُكَذِّبُونَكَ وَلَكِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ (33) وَلَقَدْ كُذِّبَتْ رُسُلٌ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ فَصَبَرُوا عَلَى مَا كُذِّبُوا وَأُوذُوا حَتَّى أَتَاهُمْ نَصْرُنَا (34)

فَأَلْزَمَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ نَفْسَهُ الصَّبْرَ. فَتَعَدَّوْا فَذَكَرُوا اللهَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى وَكَذَّبُوهُ. فَقَالَ: قَدْ صَبَرْتُ فِي نَفْسِي وَأَهْلِي وَعِرْضِي، وَلاَ صَبْرَ لِي عَلَى ذِكْرِ إلَهِي. فَأَنْزَلَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:

وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَ (10)

فَصَبَرَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ فِي جَمِيعِ أَحْوَالِهِ. ثُمَّ بَشَّرَ فِي عِتْرَتِهِ بِالأَئِمَّةِ وَوُصِفُوا بِالصَّبْرِ، فَقَالَ جَلَّ ثَنَاؤُهُ:

وَجَعَلْنَا مِنْهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُوا وَكَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ (24)

فَعِنْدَ ذَلِكَ قَالَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ: الصَّبْرُ مِنَ الإيمَانِ كَالرَّأْسِ مِنَ الْجَسَدِ. فَشَكَرَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ذَلِكَ لَهُ، فَأَنْزَلَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ الْحُسْنَى عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَدَمَّرْنَا مَا كَانَ يَصْنَعُ فِرْعَوْنُ وَقَوْمُهُ وَمَا كَانُوا يَعْرِشُونَ (137)

فَقَالَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ: إنَّهُ بُشْرَى وَإنْتِقَامٌ. فَأَبَاحَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَهُ قِتَالَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ فَأَنْزَلَ:

فَاقْتُلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدْتُمُوهُمْ وَخُذُوهُمْ وَاحْصُرُوهُمْ وَاقْعُدُوا لَهُمْ كُلَّ مَرْصَدٍ (9:5) وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ (1922:)

فَقَتَلَهُمُ اللهُ عَلَى يَدَيْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَأَحِبَّائِهِ، وَجَعَلَ لَهُ ثَوَابَ صَبْرِهِ مَعَ مَا ادَّخَرَ لَهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ. فَمَنْ صَبَرَ وَاحْتَسَبَ لَمْ يَخْرُجْ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا حَتَّى يُقِرَّ اللهُ لَهُ عَيْنَهُ فِي أَعْدَائِهِ مَعَ مَا يَدَّخِرُ لَهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ.

O Hafs, whoever perseveres will in fact persevere for a short while‌304‌ and whoever breaks down will also break down for a short while. You must thus abide by perseverance in all of your affairs. Verily, Almighty Allah has sent Muhammad (S) (as His messenger) and ordered him to be patient and lenient. He thus says,

“Bear patiently what they say and avoid them with a becoming avoidance. Leave Me to deal with the rejecters, the lords of ease and plenty. (73:10-11)”

He also says,

“Repel evil with what is best, when lo! He between you and whom was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend. None is made to receive it but those who are patient and none is made to receive it but those who have a mighty good fortune. (41:34-35)”

So, the Holy Prophet (S) kept on dealing with them patiently until they forged unbearable things against him and accused him falsely of these things; therefore, he was distressed at what they had forged against him. As a result, Almighty Allah revealed to him the following:

“Surely, We know that your breast straitens at what they say! Therefore, celebrate the praise of your Lord and be of those who make obeisance. (15:97-98)”

They then belied and accused him of fabrications that he felt sad for that. So, Almighty Allah revealed to him the following:

“We know indeed that what they say certainly grieves you, but surely they do not call you a liar, but the unjust deny the communications of Allah. Certainly, messengers before you were rejected, but they were patient on being rejected and persecuted until Our help came to them. (6:33-34)”

Although the Holy Prophet (S) committed himself to patience, they transgressed all limits when they began to speak irreverently of Almighty Allah and belied Him. So, the Holy Prophet (S) said, “I have borne patiently what they said about myself, my family, and my honor, but I cannot stand anymore what they are speaking profanely of my Lord.” So, Almighty Allah revealed the following: “Bear patiently what they say. (73:10)” So, the Holy Prophet (S) remained patient under all conditions.

Then, Almighty Allah gave him the good tidings of the Imams being from his offspring and ascribed perseverance to them, saying, “We made of them Imams to guide by Our command when they were patient and they were certain of Our communications. (32:24)” Only then, the Holy Prophet (S) declared, “The position of patience to faith is as same as the position of the head to the body.”

For this situation, Almighty Allah thanked His Prophet and revealed to him the following: “The good word of your Lord was fulfilled in the children of Israel because they bore up (sufferings) patiently and We utterly destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had wrought and what they built. (7:137)” The Holy Prophet (S) understood the good tidings and the punishment of Almighty Allah mentioned in this verse.

Then, Almighty Allah allowed him to fight against the polytheists, saying, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. (9:5)” “Kill them wherever you find them. (2:191)”

So, Almighty Allah slew them at the hands of His Messenger (S) and those who love Him. He also kept for His Messenger (S) the reward of patience along with what He has already kept for him in the Hereafter. Succinctly, whoever draws on patience will never depart this world before Almighty Allah delights him concerning his enemies not to mention what He has stored for him in the Hereafter.305

Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn has reported that Imam ‘Ali (‘a), in his instructive will to his son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, said:

أَلْقِ عَنْكَ وَارِدَاتِ الْهُمُومِ بِعَزَائِمِ الصَّبْرِ. عَوِّدْ نَفْسَكَ الصَّبْرَ، فَنِعْمَ الْخُلُقُ الصَّبْرُ، وَاحْمِلْهَا عَلَى مَا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ أَهْوَالِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمُومِهَا.

Throw away from yourself the coming distresses through the determinations of patience. Accustom yourself to patience, for it is the most excellent trait, and acclimatize yourself to bearing patiently the horrors and distresses of this worldly life that inflict you.‌306

Abu-Basir is reported to have quoted Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying: I heard Abu-Ja’far (i.e. Imam al-Baqir) (‘a) saying:

إِنِّي لأَصْبِرُ مِنْ غُلاَمِي هَذَا وَمِنْ أَهْلِي عَلَى مَا هُوَ أَمَرُّ مِنَ الْحَنْظَلِ. إِنَّهُ مَنْ صَبَرَ نَالَ بِصَبْرِهِ دَرَجَةَ الصَّائِمِ الْقَائِمِ، وَدَرَجَةَ الشَّهِيدِ الَّذِي قَدْ ضَرَبَ بِسَيْفِهِ قُدَّامَ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ.

I am training myself to endure the harm of my servants or wife, tasting a flavor that is bitterer than colocynth. Verily, one who behaves patiently will be awarded the rank of fasting people who spend nights in acts of worship and the rank of martyrs who fought the enemies defending the Holy Prophet(S).‌307

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

إِنَّا صُبَّرٌ وَشِيعَتُنَا أَصْبَرُ مِنَّا.

We are patient indeed, and our Shi’ah are more patient than we are.

The reported asked, “How come your Shi’ah are more patient than you are?”

The Imam (‘a) answered,

لأَِنَّا نَصْبِرُ عَلَى مَا نَعْلَمُ وَشِيعَتُنَا يَصْبِرُونَ عَلَى مَا لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ.

This is so because we bear patiently matters with which we have full acquaintance, while our Shi’ah bear matters that they do not know.‌308

Asceticism; Abstinence from Lawful Worldly Pleasures

In his lifetime and subsistence, as well as social relations, man may be exposed to the pressures of whims and the various worldly desires and appetencies. This matter may confuse the entire movement of one who intends to respond to all these desires and epidemics. He is therefore in urgent need for an objective view to this world and whatever therein so that he becomes competent enough to deal with all these things rationally by using his reason, interest, and whatever leads him eventually to true perfection.

Abstinence from lawful worldly pleasures implies acquaintance with the reality of this world and its position in man’s life, as well as the true factual view about it. From this cause, we can notice the Holy Qur'an inspiring abstinence from worldly pleasures by saying:

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ (20) سَابِقُوا إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا كَعَرْضِ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ أُعِدَّتْ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ ذَلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ (21) مَا أَصَابَ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنْفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ نَبْرَأَهَا إِنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ (22) لِكَيْلَا تَأْسَوْا عَلَى مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا تَفْرَحُوا بِمَا آتَاكُمْ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ (23)

Know you all that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting, and multiplying in rivalry among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similitude: How rain and the growth, which it brings forth delight the hearts of the tillers; soon it withers; you will see it grow yellow; then it becomes dry and crumbles away. However, in the Hereafter is a penalty severe for the devotees of wrong, and forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure for the devotees of Allah. And what is the life of this world but goods and chattels of deception.

Be you foremost in seeking forgiveness from your Lord and a garden of Bliss the width whereof is as the width of heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His messengers. That is the grace of Allah, which He bestows on whom he pleases. And Allah is the Lord of grace abounding. No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence. That is truly easy for Allah. In order that you may not despair over matters that pass you by nor exult over favors bestowed upon you. For Allah loves not any vainglorious boaster. (57:20-23)

In the blessed heritage of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), there are many traditions confirming this trend and explaining it within the line of conduct that is supposed to be adopted by those playing the role of excellent exemplars in society.

Muhammad ibn Yahya has reported on the authority of al-Haytham ibn Waqid al-Hariri that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said:

مَنْ زَهِدَ فِي الدُّنْيَا أَثْبَتَ اللهُ الْحِكْمَةَ فِي قَلْبِهِ وَأَنْطَقَ بِهَا لِسَانَهُ وَبَصَّرَهُ عُيُوبَ الدُّنْيَا دَاءَهَا وَدَوَاءَهَا وَأَخْرَجَهُ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا سَالِماً إِلَى دَارِ السَّلاَمِ.

For those who abstain from pursuing worldly pleasures, Almighty Allah will fix wisdom in their hearts, make it glide on their tongues, show them the malady and remedy of the worldly defects, and move them from this world to the Abode of Peace safe and sound.309

Hafs ibn Ghiyath is reported to have heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying:

جُعِلَ الْخَيْرُ كُلُّهُ فِي بَيْتٍ وَجُعِلَ مِفْتَاحَهُ الزُّهْدُ فِي الدُّنْيَا. قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ: لاَ يَجِدُ الرَّجُلُ حَلاَوَةَ الإِيـمَانِ فِي قَلْبِهِ حَتَّى لاَ يُبَالِيَ مَنْ أَكَلَ الدُّنْيَا. حَرَامٌ عَلَى قُلُوبِكُمْ أَنْ تَعْرِفَ حَلاَوَةَ الإِيـمَانِ حَتَّى تَزْهَدَ فِي الدُّنْيَا.

The entire goodness has been put in a house the key of which is abstinence from worldly pleasures. The Holy Prophet (S) has said, “No man can find the true sweetness of faith in his heart before he stops caring for who should hold the world.” Your hearts are forbidden to taste the sweetness of faith before you abstain from worldly pleasures.‌310

Abu-Hamzah is reported to have quoted Imam al-Baqir (‘a) as saying:

قَالَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ: إِنَّ مِنْ أَعْوَنِ الأَخْلاَقِ عَلَى الدِّينِ الزُّهْدَ فِي الدُّنْيَا.

The Commander of the Faithful (‘a) has said, “Abstinence from worldly pleasures is the most helpful of all traits in attaining religiousness.”‌311

‘Ali ibn Hashim ibn al-Burayd has reported on the authority of his father that someone asked (Imam) ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) to define asceticism.

The Imam (‘a) said:

عَشَرَةُ أَشْيَاءٍ، فَأَعْلَى دَرَجَةِ الزُّهْدِ أَدْنَى دَرَجَةِ الْوَرَعِ، وَأَعْلَى دَرَجَةِ الْوَرَعِ أَدْنَى دَرَجَةِ الْيَقِينِ، وَأَعْلَى دَرَجَةِ الْيَقِينِ أَدْنَى دَرَجَةِ الرِّضَا. أَلاَ وَإِنَّ الزُّهْدَ فِي آيَةٍ مِنْ كِتَابِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:

لِكَيْلَا تَأْسَوْا عَلَى مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا تَفْرَحُوا بِمَا آتَاكُمْ (23)

Asceticism is of ten ranks the highest of which is the lowest rank of piety and the highest rank of piety is the lowest rank of conviction (i.e. full faith in Almighty Allah). The highest rank of conviction is the lowest rank of satisfaction. Asceticism has been explained in a verse of the Holy Qur'an that reads,

“In order that you may not despair over matters that pass you by nor exult over favors bestowed upon you. (57:23)”‌312

Jamil ibn Darraj reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) to have narrated the following story:

One day, the Messenger of Allah (S) passed by a dead young goat whose ears had been cut and which was thrown on a dunghill. Upon seeing this dead goat, the Holy Prophet (S) asked his companions, “What is the value of this dead animal?” They answered, “If it was alive, it would not be worth more than one Dirham!”

The Holy Prophet (S) commented, “I swear by Him Who grasps my soul in His Hand: the world is more inferior in the sight of Almighty Allah than this dead goat in the sight of its owner.”‌313

Al-Zuhri, Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn Shihab, has reported that when Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a) was asked to identify the best act in the view of Almighty Allah, he answered,

مَا مِنْ عَمَلٍ بَعْدَ مَعْرِفَةِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَمَعْرِفَةِ رَسُولِهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ بُغْضِ الدُّنْيَا. وَإِنَّ لِذَلِكَ لَشُعَباً كَثِيرَةً وَلِلْمَعَاصِي شُعَباً. فَأَوَّلُ مَا عُصِيَ اللهُ بِهِ الْكِبَرُ، وَهِيَ مَعْصِيَةُ إِبْلِيسَ حِينَ أَبَى وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ. وَالْحِرْصُ وَهِيَ مَعْصِيَةُ آدَمَ وَحَوَّاءَ حِينَ قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَهُمَا: (فَكُلاَ مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلاَ تَقْرَبَا هَذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ.) فَأَخَذَا مَا لاَ حَاجَةَ بِهِمَا إِلَيْهِ فَدَخَلَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى ذُرِّيَّتِهِمَا إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ. وَذَلِكَ أَنَّ أَكْثَرَ مَا يَطْلُبُ ابْنُ آدَمَ مَا لاَ حَاجَةَ بِهِ إِلَيْهِ. ثُمَّ الْحَسَدُ وَهِيَ مَعْصِيَةُ ابْنِ آدَمَ حَيْثُ حَسَدَ أَخَاهُ فَقَتَلَهُ. فَتَشَعَّبَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ حُبُّ النِّسَاءِ وَحُبُّ الدُّنْيَا وَحُبُّ الرِّئَاسَةِ وَحُبُّ الرَّاحَةِ وَحُبُّ الْكَلاَمِ وَحُبُّ الْعُلُوِّ وَالثَّرْوَةِ. فَصِرْنَ سَبْعَ خِصَالٍ، فَاجْتَمَعْنَ كُلُّهُنَّ فِي حُبِّ الدُّنْيَا، فَقَالَ الأَنْبِيَاءُ وَالْعُلَمَاءُ بَعْدَ مَعْرِفَةِ ذَلِكَ: حُبُّ الدُّنْيَا رَأْسُ كُلِّ خَطِيئَةٍ. وَالدُّنْيَا دُنْيَيَانِ: دُنْيَا بَلاَغٍ وَدُنْياً مَلْعُونَةٌ.

After recognition of Almighty Allah and His Messenger (S), no other act is better than hating this world. There are various forms of hating this world and there are various types of acts of disobedience to Almighty Allah. The first act of disobedience to Almighty Allah was self-conceit, which was committed by Satan who refused and was haughty and, so, became one of the unbelievers. The second act of disobedience was greed, which was committed by Adam and Eve‌314‌ when Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, said to them, “Enjoy its good things as you wish, but approach not this tree, or you run into harm and transgression.” Although they did not need the fruit of that tree, they ate it and this greed remained with their offspring until the Day of Resurrection.

In this manner, the children of Adam (i.e. human beings) always seek things that they do not need. The third act of disobedience was envy, which was committed by Adam’s son when he killed his brother out of envy. Several things were derived from envy: love for women, love for this world, love for supremacy, love for comfort, love for speech, love for headship, and wealth. These are seven characteristics all of which are gathered in the love for this world. Having recognized this fact, the Prophets and men of wisdom all said, “The love for this world is the root of all sins. This world is of two types: the world that is a means of our delivery to the Hereafter, and the damned world.”315

Satisfaction

Satisfaction occupies an aspect in the psychological background of those who train themselves to abstain from worldly pleasures. They therefore become capable mentally and spiritually of hold back their personal whims and desires. In view of that, man is required to discipline himself on being marked by this feature.

The Holy Qur'an has put stress on this feature on many occasions, such as the following verses:

فَلَا تُعْجِبْكَ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُهُمْ (55)

Let not their wealth nor their sons dazzle you. (9:55)

وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَى مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِنْهُمْ زَهْرَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ (131)

Do not strain your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to parties of them, the splendor of the life of this world, through which We test them. (20:131)

The reported heritage of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) is also full of confirmations on this distinctive feature in man’s behavior.

Ahmad ibn Abi-’Abdullah has reported on the authority of ‘Amr ibn Abi’l-Miqdam that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said:

مَكْتُوبٌ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ: إبْنَ آدَمَ، كُنْ كَيْفَ شِئْتَ. كَمَا تَدِينُ تُدَانُ. مَنْ رَضِيَ مِنَ اللهِ بِالْقَلِيلِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ قَبِلَ اللهُ مِنْهُ الْيَسِيرَ مِنَ الْعَمَلِ، وَمَنْ رَضِيَ بِالْيَسِيرِ مِنَ الْحَلاَلِ خَفَّتْ مُؤْنَتُهُ وَزَكَتْ مَكْسَبَتُهُ وَخَرَجَ مِنْ حَدِّ الْفُجُورِ.

It is written in the Torah: O son of Adam, be as you wish to be. As you subjugate, you will be subjugated. He who satisfies himself with little sustenance from Allah, Allah shall accept from him his little deed. He who satisfies himself with legally gotten sustenance, his burden will be light, his earning will be multiplied, and he will give off the limit of sinfulness.‌316

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

مَنْ قَنِعَ بِمَا رَزَقَهُ اللهُ فَهُوَ مِنْ أَغْنَى النَّاسِ.

He who satisfies himself with whatever sustenance given to him by Almighty Allah is verily the wealthiest of all people.317

Hamzah ibn Harran has narrated that a man complained to Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) that he could not satisfy himself with the earnings he was gaining, because he had a desire for gaining more and more. He therefore asked the Imam (‘a) for an advantageous solution.

The Imam (‘a) thus said to him,

إِنْ كَانَ مَا يَكْفِيكَ يُغْنِيكَ فَأَدْنَى مَا فِيهَا يُغْنِيكَ، وَإِنْ كَانَ مَا يَكْفِيكَ لاَ يُغْنِيكَ فَكُلُّ مَا فِيهَا لاَ يُغْنِيكَ.

If that which is sufficient to you satisfies you, then you will be satisfied by the least of the worldly gains, but if that which is sufficient to you never satisfies you, then all the gains of this world will never satisfy you.‌318

Refraining from Forbidden Acts

Refraining from the forbidden acts is considered the other aspect of the psychological background of abstinence from worldly pleasures and whims. To refrain from violating the prohibitions of Almighty Allah makes it obligatory upon man to choose from the worldly affairs only those which have been deemed lawful by Almighty Allah Who says in this regard:

قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ قُلْ هِيَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا خَالِصَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ (32)

Say, “Who has forbidden the beautiful gifts of Allah, which He has produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, which He has provided for sustenance?” Say, “They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, and purely for them on the Day of Judgment.” Thus do We explain the signs in detail for those who understand. (7:32)

Likewise, to practice refraining from the forbidden acts imposes upon man to avoid all atrocities, sins, filth, and falsities. After believing and putting full trust in Him, Almighty Allah has preceded this feature to all others, saying:

وَالَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ وَإِذَا مَا غَضِبُوا هُمْ يَغْفِرُونَ (37)

Those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and, when they are angry, even then forgive. (42:37)

Comporting with the Holy Qur'an, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have given much emphasis to the significance of and the role played by refraining from forbidden acts in the social relations. In this respect, ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has reported on the authority of ‘Amr ibn Sa’id ibn Hilal al-Thaqafi that he said to Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), “I cannot meet you except once in many years; therefore, please teach me something which I should adopt.” The Imam (‘a) said:

أُوصِيكَ بِتَقْوَى اللهِ وَالْوَرَعِ وَالإجْتِهَادِ. وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لاَ يَنْفَعُ إجْتِهَادٌ لاَ وَرَعَ فِيهِ.

I advise you to fear Almighty Allah, refrain from forbidden acts, and work diligently. Be it known to you that diligence without refraining from forbidden acts is worthless.‌319

Imam Musa al-Kazim (‘a) is reported to have said that he very frequently heard his father saying:

لَيْسَ مِنْ شِيعَتِنَا مَنْ لاَ تَتَحَدَّثُ الْمُخَدَّرَاتُ بِوَرَعِهِ فِي خُدُورِهِنَّ، وَلَيْسَ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءِنَا مَنْ هُوَ فِي قَرْيَةٍ فِيهَا عَشَرَةُ آلاَفِ رَجُلٍ فِيهِمْ مِنْ خَلْقِ اللهِ أَوْرَعُ مِنْهُ.

He, about whose devoutness even women that are confined to their houses do not speak, is not regarded as one of our Shi’ah (i.e. partisans). He, who lives in a village of ten thousand persons among whom there is an individual more devout than he is, is not regarded as one of our loyalists.320

Hannan ibn Sadir has reported that Abu’l-Sabbah al-Kinani said to Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), “Great is the extent of harassment we are suffering from people because of you!”

The Imam (‘a) asked, “What kind of harassment are you encountering from people?”

Al-Kinani said, “Whenever we dispute with someone, he immediately gibes at us, saying, ‘You are a malicious Ja’farite!’”

The Imam (‘a) said, “So, people are gibing at you because of me!”

Al-Kinani answered, “Yes, they are.”

The Imam (‘a) said:

مَا أَقَلَّ، وَاللهِ، مَنْ يَتَّبِعُ جَعْفَراً مِنْكُمْ! إِنَّمَا أَصْحَابِي مَنِ اشْتَدَّ وَرَعُهُ، وَعَمِلَ لِخَالِقِهِ، وَرَجَا ثَوَابَهُ. فَهَؤُلاَءِ أَصْحَابِي.

By Allah I swear, too little are those who follow Ja’far amongst you! My followers are only those who show intense piety, dedicate their deeds to their Creator, and desire His rewards. These are exclusively my followers.‌321

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

كُلُّ عَيْنٍ بَاكِيَةٌ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ غَيْرُ ثَلاَثٍ: عَيْنٌ سَهِرَتْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، وَعَيْنٌ فَاضَتْ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللهِ، وَعَيْنٌ غَضَّتْ عَنْ مَحَارِمِ اللهِ.

All eyes will be weeping on the Day of Resurrection except for three eyes: an eye that spent a night sleeplessly for Allah’s sake, an eye that shed tears in fear of Allah, and an eye that was cast down against what Allah has prohibited to gaze.‌322

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

فِي مَا نَاجَى اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِهِ مُوسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ: يَا مُوسَى، مَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ الْمُتَقَرِّبُونَ بِمِثْلِ الْوَرَعِ عَنْ مُحَارِمِي، فَإِنِّي أُبِيحُهُمْ جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ لاَ أُشْرِكُ مَعَهُمْ أَحَداً.

Within the confidential talks of Allah, the Almighty and Majestic, with (Prophet) Moses (‘a) are the following words: “O Moses, no means used by those who seek nearness to Me has ever been better than refraining from My prohibitions. As a result, I will allow them exclusively to the Paradisiacal gardens of perpetual abode.‌323

Modesty

Modesty is a high moral and psychological standard that prevents from rushing towards lusts and from being under the drift of passions. It also grants intellects an opportunity to hold sway over the line of conduct and to choose the best. From this cause, the importance of this feature has been confirmed in man generally and in women particularly with regard to the fact that women’s lusts are more irrepressible than men’s are. Modesty alone can control such lusts. Through a valid chain of authority, Shaykh al-Kulayni, in al-Kafi, has reported Imam ‘Ali (‘a) as saying:

خَلَقَ اللهُ الشَّهْوَةَ عَشَرَةَ أَجْزَاءٍ، فَجَعَلَ تِسْعَةَ أَجْزَاءٍ فِي النِّسَاءِ وَجُزْءاً وَاحِداً فِي الرِّجَالِ; وَلَوْ لاَ مَا جَعَلَ اللهُ فِيهِنَّ مِنَ الْحَيَاءِ عَلَى قَدْرِ أَجْزَاءِ الشَّهْوَةِ لَكَانَ لِكُلِّ رَجُلٍ تِسْعُ نِسْوَةٍ مُتَعَلِّقَاتٌ بِهِ.

Almighty Allah has created lust in ten parts nine of which were put in women while only one part in men. Had it not been for the modesty that Almighty Allah has put in women according to the amount of their lusts, every nine women would have been passionately attached to one man.‌324

This is why the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have considered modesty to be inseparable part of faith; therefore, without modesty, there is no faith.

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

الْحَيَاءُ مِنَ الإِيـمَانِ وَالإِيـمَانُ فِي الْجَنَّةِ.

Modesty is part of faith, and faith leads to Paradise.‌325

Mu’adh ibn Kathir is reported to have quoted Imam al-Baqir or Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

الْحَيَاءُ وَالإِيـمَانُ مَقْرُونَانِ فِي قَرَنٍ، فَإِذَا ذَهَبَ أَحَدُهُمَا تَبِعَهُ صَاحِبَهُ.

Modesty and faith are tied with the same rope; therefore, if one of them goes, the other will follow it.‌326

Ahmad ibn ‘Abdullah has reported one the authority of one of our companions that one of the Holy Imams (‘a) quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:

الْحَيَاءُ حَيَاءَانِ: حَيَاءُ عَقْلٍ وَحَيَاءُ حُمْقٍ، فَحَيَاءُ الْعَقْلِ هُوَ الْعِلْمُ، وَحَيَاءُ الْحُمْقِ هُوَ الْجَهْلُ.

Modesty is of two categories; Modesty of reason and modesty of idiocy. The modesty of reason stands for knowledge, while the modesty of idiocy stands for ignorance.‌327

Honesty and fulfillment of Trusts

Honesty and trustworthiness are the most distinctive features that act as excellent examples and directly relate to social relations. Before he was commissioned as prophet, the Holy Prophet (S) had been well-known for his honesty and trustworthiness—two features that greatly and positively influenced the movement of the Islamic promulgation.

Giving much emphasis to these two features and showing their significance, the Holy Qur'an enjoined Muslims to be characterized by them, warned against violating them, described, on more than one occasion, the faithful believers as carrying them, and even described the Prophets as carrying them. It has thus said:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ (8)

Those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants. (23:8)

وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولًا نَبِيًّا (54)

Also mention in the Book the story of Isma’il. He was strictly true to what he promised and he was a messenger and a prophet. (19:54)

إِنَّ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ وَالْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْقَانِتَاتِ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالصَّادِقَاتِ وَالصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّابِرَاتِ وَالْخَاشِعِينَ وَالْخَاشِعَاتِ وَالْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ وَالْمُتَصَدِّقَاتِ وَالصَّائِمِينَ وَالصَّائِمَاتِ وَالْحَافِظِينَ فُرُوجَهُمْ وَالْحَافِظَاتِ وَالذَّاكِرِينَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا وَالذَّاكِرَاتِ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا (35)

For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast and deny themselves, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (33:35)

Shaykh al-Kulayni, in al-Kafi, has reported through a valid chain of authority that Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) said:

إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَمْ يَبْعَثْ نَبِيّاً إِلاَّ بِصِدْقِ الْحَدِيثِ وَأَدَاءِ الأَمَانَةِ إِلَى الْبَرِّ وَالْفَاجِرِ.

Verily, Almighty Allah has never sent any prophet except that he be honest and fulfill the trusts of all people, be they righteous or sinful.328

Ishaq ibn ‘Ammar and others have reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

لاَ تَغْتَرُّوا بِصَلاَتِهِمْ وَلاَ بِصِيَامِهِمْ; فَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ رُبَّمَا لَهِجَ بِالصَّلاَةِ وَالصَّوْمِ حَتَّى لَوْ تَرَكَهُ اسْتَوْحَشَ، وَلَكِنِ اخْتَبِرُوهُمْ عِنْدَ صِدْقِ الْحَدِيثِ وَأَدَاءِ الأَمَانَةِ.

Do not be deceived by their prayers and fasting, for they have habituated themselves to performing prayers and observing fasting so customarily that they will feel desolate if they neglect them. Yet, you should test them through honesty and fulfillment of trusts.‌329

‘Amr ibn Abi’l-Miqdam has reported that in his first visit to him, Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said to him,

تَعَلَّمُوا الصِّدْقَ قَبْلَ الْحَدِيثِ.

Learn how to be honest before you study hadith.‌330

Abu-Kahmas has reported that when he conveyed the greetings of ‘Abdullah ibn Abi-Ya’fur to Imam al-Sadiq (‘a), the Imam (‘a) said:

عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ. إِذَا أَتَيْتَ عَبْدَ اللهِ فَأَقْرِئْهُ السَّلاَمَ وَقُلْ لَهُ: إِنَّ جَعْفَرَ بْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ يَقُولُ لَكَ: أُنْظُرْ مَا بَلَغَ بِهِ عَلِيٌّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ فَالْزَمْهُ، فَإِنَّ عَلِيّاً عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ أَنَّمَا بَلَغَ مَا بَلَغَ بِهِ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ بِصِدْقِ الْحَدِيثِ وَأَدَاءِ الأَمَانَةِ.

Peace be upon you and him. When you visit ‘Abdullah, convey my greetings and say to him, “Ja’far ibn Muhammad says, ‘Consider the matters due to which ‘Ali (‘a) attained such a supreme position with the Messenger of Allah (S) and then commit yourselves to them. In fact, ‘Ali (‘a) attained the position that he attained with the Messenger of Allah (S) due to two things: honesty and fulfillment of trusts.’”‌331

‘Abdullah ibn Abi-Ya’fur has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

كُونُوا دُعَاةً لِلنَّاسِ بِالْخَيْرِ بِغَيْرِ ألْسِنَتِكُمْ، لِيَرَوْا مِنْكُمُ الإجْتِهَادَ وَالصِّدْقَ وَالْوَرَعَ.

Act as heralds to goodness in the milieus of people by other means than your tongues (i.e. speech) so that they can become aware of your diligence, honesty, and piety.‌332

Straightforwardness

To be straightforward, steadfast, and resolute in work is one of the features of those who play the role of excellent examples in society, because it has a big bearing on the building of man’s personality and the development and establishment of good social relations with others.

The Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have called the attentions to this feature when they advised their followers to endure and continue on a certain work for one year at least so that the others would not think of them as unsteady and irregular. Besides, the results of any deed cannot come to sight in a short period; therefore, it is necessary to be patient and wait so that one can learn with certainty whether this deed is valid or invalid.

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

أَحَبُّ الأَعْمَالِ إِلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مَا دَاوَمَ عَلَيْهِ الْعَبْدُ وَإِنْ قَلَّ.

The most cherished deed in the sight of Almighty Allah is the work in which a servant persists, no matter how little it may be.‌333

Through another valid chain of authority, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) to have said:

إِنِّي لأُحِبُّ أَنْ أُدَاوِمَ عَلَى الْعَمَلِ وَإِنْ قَلَّ.

I do love to keep doing a certain work, no matter how little it may be.334

إِنِّي لأُحِبُّ أَنْ أُقْدِمَ عَلَى رَبِّي وَعَمَلِي مُسْتَقِرٌّ.

I surely would love that when I meet my Lord, I will have been constant in my work.‌335

Excellent Examples

Through their guidelines and advice, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have aimed at building a virtuous community and excellent examples in Muslim society. They have sometimes directed their partisans towards the necessity of adorning themselves with the highest Islamic moral standards that represent this excellent example and, on other occasions, condemned them for showing vicious traits.

Let us now refer to some pieces of discourse in which the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have depicted the picture of true Shi’ah and sublime excellent examples in the virtuous community.

Hamran ibn A’yun has quoted Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as narrating the following account:

Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) was sitting in his house when the door was knocked. He asked one of his bondmaids to open the door. “We are a group of your Shi’ah,” they shouted from behind the door.

As soon as he heard this statement, the Imam (‘a) jumped so hurriedly that he was about to fall down. When he opened the door, he moved back and said:

كَذِبُوا! فَأَيْنَ السَّمْتُ فِي الْوُجُوهِ؟ أَيْنَ أَثَرُ الْعِبَادَةِ؟ أَيْنَ سِيمَاءُ السُّجُودِ؟ إِنَّمَا شِيعَتُنَا يُعْرَفُونَ بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ وَشَعَثِهِمْ. قَدْ قَرَّحَتِ الْعِبَادَةُ مِنْهُمُ الآنَافَ، وَدُثِرَتِ الْجِبَاهُ وَالْمَسَاجِدُ; خُمْصُ الْبُطُونِ، ذُبْلُ الشِّفَاهِ، قَدْ هَيَّجَتِ الْعِبَاَدَةُ وُجُوهَهُمْ، وَأَخْلَقَ سَهَرُ اللَّيَالِي وَقَطَع الْهَوَاجِرُ جُثَثَهُمْ; الْمُسَبِّحُونَ إِذَا سَكَتَ النَّاسُ، وَالْمُصَلُّونَ إِذَا نَامَ النَّاسُ، وَالْمَحْزُونُونَ إِذَا فَرِحَ النَّاسُ; يُعْرَفُونَ بِالزُّهْدِ، كَلاَمُهُمُ الرَّحْمَةُ، وَتَشَاغُلُهُمْ بِالْجَنَّةِ.

You are lying. Where are the marks on the faces? Where are the signs of worship? Where are the features of prostration? Our Shi’ah are only those who are characterized by much worship and shagginess. Their noses are impaired due to worshipping, and their foreheads, as well as the other organs of prostration, are effaced. Their stomachs are atrophied and their lips are withered. Worship has changed their faces, staying up at nights has fatigued them, and hot weather has affected their bodies. They praise Almighty Allah when other people are silent, offer prayers when other people are asleep, and are sad when other people are happy. Their distinctive feature is asceticism, their wording is mercy and their main concern is (how to win) Paradise.‌336

Jabir (ibn ‘Abdullah) has reported Imam al-Baqir (‘a) as saying to him,

يَا جَابِرُ، إِنَّمَا شِيعَةُ عَلِيٍّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ مَنْ لاَ يَعْدُو صَوْتُهُ سَمْعَهُ وَلاَ شَحْنَاؤُهُ بَدَنَهُ; لاَ يَمْدَحُ لَنَا قَالِياً، وَلاَ يُوَاصِلُ لَنَا مُبْغِضاً وَلاَ يُجَالِسُ لَنَا عَائِباً. شِيعَةُ عَلِيٍّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ مَنْ لاَ يَهِرُّ هَرِيرَ الْكَلْبِ، وَلاَ يَطْمَعُ طَمَعَ الْغُرَابِ، وَلاَ يَسْأَلُ النَّاسِ وَإِنْ مَاتَ جُوعاً. أُولَئِكَ الْخَفِيضَةُ عَيْشُهُمُ الْمُنْتَقِلَةُ دِيَارُهُمْ; إِنْ شَهِدُوا لَمْ يُعْرَفُوا، وَإِنْ غَابُوا لَمْ يُفْتَقَدُوا، وَإِنْ مَرِضُوا لَمْ يُعَادُوا، وَإِنْ مَاتُوا لَمْ يُشْهَدُوا; فِي قُبُورِهِمْ يَتَزَاوَرُونَ.

O Jabir, the true Shi’ah of ‘Ali (‘a) are only those whose voices do not exceed their hearings and detestations do not exceed their bodies. They neither praise those who detest us, nor have regard for those who hate us, nor associate with those who revile us. The true Shi’ah of ‘Ali (‘a) do not bark like dogs, covet like crows, or beg people openly even if they starve. Their earnings are hardly sufficient. Their dwellings are roving. When they are present, they are not recognized. When they are absent, they are not missed. When they are sick, nobody visits them. When they die, nobody participates in their funeral ceremonies. They exchange visits in their graves.

Jabir asked, “Where can I find such people?”

The Imam (‘a) answered,

فِي أَطْرَافِ الأَرْضِ بَيْنَ الأَسْوَاقِ، وَهُوَ قَوْلُ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:

أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ (54)

You will find them living in the outskirts among the marts. They are those intended in Allah’s saying, “They are humble towards the believers and dignified before the unbelievers. (5:54)”337

Ab-Basir has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying:

شِيعَتُنَا أَهْلُ الْوَرَعِ وَالإجْتِهَادِ وَأَهْلُ الْوَفَاءِ وَالأَمَانَةِ وَأَهْلُ الزُّهْدِ وَالْعِبَادَةِ؛ أَصْحَابُ إحْدَى وَخَمْسِينَ رَكْعَةً فِي الْيَوْمِ وَاللَّيْلَةِ، الْقَائِمُونَ اللَّيْلَ الصَّائِمُونَ النَّهَارَ، يُزَكُّونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ وَيَحِجُّونَ الْبَيْتَ وَيَجْتَنِبُونَ كُلَّ مُحَرَّمٍ.

Our Shi’ah are the people of piety, diligence, faithfulness, and honesty. They are also the people of asceticism and worship. They offer fifty-one units of prayer in a single day and night. They pass their nights with worship and their days with fasting. They purify their wealth, go on pilgrimage to the House of God, and refrain from committing any forbidden act.‌338

Ibn Abi-Najran has reported that he heard Imam al-Ridha (‘a) saying:

مَنْ عَادَى شِيعَتَنَا فَقَدْ عَادَانَا، وَمَنْ وَالاَهُمْ فَقَدْ وَالاَنَا، لأَِنَّهُمْ مِنَّا، خُلِقُوا مِنْ طِينَتِنَا. مَنْ أَحَبَّهُمْ فَهُوَ مِنَّا، وَمَنْ أَبْغَضَهُمْ فَلَيْسَ مِنَّا. شِيعَتُنَا يَنْظُرُونَ بِنُورِ اللهِ، وَيَتَقَلَّبُونَ فِي رَحْمَةِ اللهِ، وَيَفُوزُونَ بِكَرَامَةِ اللهِ. مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِنْ شِيعَتِنَا يَمْرُضُ إِلاَّ مَرِضْنَا لِمَرَضِهِ، وَلاَ إغْتَمَّ إِلاَّ إغْتَمَمْنَا لِغَمِّهِ، وَلاَ يَفْرَحُ إِلاَّ فَرِحْنَا لِفَرَحِهِ، وَلاَ يَغِيبُ عَنَّا أَحَدٌ مِنْ شِيعَتِنَا أَيْنَ كَانَ فِي شَرْقِ الأَرْضِ أَوْ غَرْبِهَا، وَمَنْ تَرَكَ مِنْ شِيعَتِنَا دَيْناً فَهُوَ عَلَيْنَا، وَمَنْ تَرَكَ مِنْهُمْ مَالاً فَهُوَ لِوَرَثَتِهِ. شِيعَتُنَا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيَحِجُّونَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ وَيَصُومُونَ شَهْرَ رَمَضَانَ وَيُوَالُونَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيَتَبَرَّؤُونَ مِنْ أَعْدَائِهِمْ. أُولَئِكَ أَهْلُ الإِيـمَانِ وَالتُّقَى، وَأَهْلُ الْوَرَعِ وَالتَّقْوَى، مَنْ رَدَّ عَلَيْهِمْ فَقَدْ رَدَّ عَلَى اللهِ، وَمَنْ طَعَنَ عَلَيْهِمْ فَقَدْ طَعَنَ عَلَى اللهِ; لأَِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُ اللهِ حَقّاً، وَأَوْلِيَاؤُهُ صِدْقاً. وَاللهِ إِنَّ أَحَدَهُمْ لَيَشْفَعُ فِي مِثْلِ رَبِيعَةَ وُمَضَرَ فَيُشَفِّعُهُ اللهُ فِيهِمْ لِكَرَامَتِهِ عَلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.

Whoever antagonizes our Shi’ah is antagonizing us and whoever shows loyalty to them is showing loyalty to us, because they are part of us. They were created from the same clay from which we were created. He who loves them is one of us, but he who hates them does not belong to us. Our Shi’ah see through the light of Almighty Allah, move about in the mercy of Him, and will win the dignity of Him. We feel the same pains that any one of our Shi’ah feels during ailment, we become grieved whenever any of them becomes grieved, and we feel happy whenever any of them feels happy. No one of our Shi’ah can be out of our auspices, whether he was in the east or the west of the earth. The debt that is left by any one of our Shi’ah is in our responsibility while the estate is his heirs’.

Our Shi’ah are those who perform the prayers, defray the zakat tax, go on the Hajj Pilgrimage to the Holy House of Allah, observe fasting during the month of Ramadhan, declare their loyalty to the Prophet’s household, and declare their disavowal of the enemies of them.

Those are the people of faith and God-fearing, and the people of piety and devoutness. He who rejects them is rejecting Allah, and he who defames them is speaking ill of Allah, because they are the true servants and the genuine disciples of Him. By Allah I swear, each individual of them will be granted (on the Day of Resurrection) the right to intercede for as many people as the individuals of the tribes of Rabi’ah and Mudhar. This is Almighty Allah’s honor to them.‌339

To end, let us present this admirably superb discourse, known as the description of the God-fearing, in which Imam ‘Ali (‘a) describes the partisans of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a). A few paragraphs of this discourse have been previously cited within the particularities of the virtuous community.‌340

أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ ـ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى ـ خَلَقَ الْخَلْقَ حِينَ خَلَقَهُمْ غَنِيّاً عَنْ طَاعَتِهِمْ آمِناً مِنْ مَعْصِيَتِهِمْ، لاَِنَّهُ لاَ تَضُرُّهُ مَعْصِيَةُ مَنْ عَصَاهُ، وَلاَ تَنْفَعُهُ طَاعَةُ مَنْ أَطَاعَهُ، فَقَسَمَ بَيْنَهُمْ مَعَايِشَهُمْ، وَوَضَعَهُمْ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا مَوَاضِعَهُمْ. فَالْمُتَّقُونَ فِيهَا هُمْ أَهْلُ الْفَضَائِلِ: مَنْطِقُهُمُ الصَّوَابُ، وَمَلْبَسُهُمُ الاْقْتِصَادُ، وَمَشْيُهُمُ التَّوَاضُعُ. غَضُّوا أَبْصَارَهُمْعَمَّا حَرَّمَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِمْ، وَوَقَفُوا أَسْمَاعَهُمْ عَلَى الْعِلْمِ النَّافِعِ لَهُمْ. نَزَلَتْ أَنْفُسُهُمْ مِنْهُمْ فِي الْبَلاَءِ كَالَّتِي نَزَلَتْ فِي الرَّخَاءِ. لَوْ لاَ الاَْجَلُ الَّذِي كَتَبَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِمُ لَمْ تَسْتَقِرَّ أَرْوَاحُهُمْ فِي أَجْسَادِهِمْ طَرْفَةَ عَيْن، شَوْقاً إِلَى الثَّوَابِ، وَخَوْفاً مِنَ الْعِقَابِ. عَظُمَ الْخَالِقُ فِي أنْفُسِهِمْ فَصَغُرَ مَا دُونَهُ فِي أَعْيُنِهِمْ، فَهُمْ وَالْجَنَّةُ كَمَنْ قَدْ رَآهَا، فَهُمْ فِيهَا مُنَعَّمُونَ، وَهُمْ وَالنَّارُ كَمَنْ قَدْ رَآهَا، فَهُمْ فِيهَا مُعَذَّبُونَ. قُلُوبُهُمْ مَحْزُونَةٌ، وَشُرُورُهُمْ مَأْمُونَةٌ، وَأَجْسَادُهُمْ نَحِيفَةٌ، وَحَاجَاتُهُمْ خَفِيفَةٌ، وَأَنْفُسُهُمْ عَفِيفَةٌ. صَبَرُوا أَيَّاماً قَصِيرَةً أَعْقَبَتْهُمْ رَاحَةً طَوِيلَةً، تِجَارَةٌ مَرْبِحَةٌ، يَسَّرَهَا لَهُمْ رَبُّهُم. أَرَادَتْهُمُ الْدُّنْيَا وَلَمْ يُرِيدُوهَا، وَأَسَرَتْهُمْ فَفَدَوْا أُنْفُسَهُمْ مِنْهَا. أَمَّا اللَّيْلَ فَصَافُّونَ أَقْدَامَهُمْ، تَالِينَ لاَِجْزَاءِ الْقُرْآنِ يُرَتِّلُونَهَا تَرْتِيلاً، يُحَزِّنُونَ بِهِ أَنْفُسَهُمْ، وَيَسْتَثِيرُونَ بِهِ دَوَاءَ دَائِهِمْ، فَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِآيَة فِيهَا تَشْوِيقٌ رَكَنُوا إِلَيْهَا طَمَعاً، وَتَطَلَّعَتْ نُفُوسُهُمْ إِلَيْهَا شَوْقاً، وَظَنُّوا أنَّهَا نُصْبَ أَعْيُنِهِمْ، وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِآيَة فِيهَا تَخْوِيفٌ أَصْغَوْا إِلَيْهَا مَسَامِعَ قُلُوبِهِمْ، وَظَنُّوا أَنَّ زَفِيرَ جَهَنَّمَ وَشَهِيقَهَا فِي أُصُولِ آذَانِهِمْ، فَهُمْ حَانُونَ عَلَى أَوْسَاطِهِمْ، مُفْتَرِشُونَ لِجَبَاهِهِمْ وَأَكُفِّهِمْ، وَأَطْرَافِ أَقْدَامِهِمْ، يَطْلُبُونَ إِلَى اللهِ فِي فَكَاكِ رِقَابِهِمْ. وَأَمَّا النَّهَارَ فَحُلَمَاءُ عُلَمَاءُ، أَبْرَارٌ أَتْقِيَاءُ، قَدْ بَرَاهُمْ الْخَوْفُ بَرْيَ الْقِدَاحِ، يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهمُ الْنَّاظِرُ فَيَحْسَبُهُمْ مَرْضَى، وَمَا بِالْقَوْمِ مِنْ مَرَض، وَيَقُولُ: قَدْ خُولِطُوا! وَلَقَدْ خَالَطَهُمْ أَمْرٌ عَظِيمٌ! لاَ يَرْضَوْنَ مِنْ أَعْمَالِهِمُ الْقَلِيلَ، وَلاَ يَسْتَكْثِرُونَ الْكَثِيرَ، فَهُمْ لاَِنْفُسِهِمْ مُتَّهِمُونَ، وَمِنْ أَعْمَالِهِمْ مُشْفِقُونَ. إِذَا زُكِّيَ أَحَدٌ مِنْهْمْ خَافَ مِمَّا يُقَالُ لَهُ، فَيَقُولُ: أَنَا أَعْلَمُ بِنَفْسِي مِنْ غَيْرِي، وَرَبِّي أَعْلَمُ مِنِّي بِنَفْسي! اللَّهُمَّ لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنِي بِمَا يَقُولُونَ، وَاجْعَلْنِي أَفْضَلَ مِمَّا يَظُنُّونَ، وَاغْفِرْ لِي مَا لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ. فَمِنْ عَلاَمَةِ أَحَدِهِمْ أَنَّكَ تَرَى لَهُ قُوَّةً فِي دِين، وَحَزْماً فِي لِين، وَإِيمَاناً فِي يَقِين، وَحِرْصاً فِي عِلْم، وَعِلْماً فِي حِلْم، وَقَصْداً فِي غِنىً، وَخُشُوعاً فِي عِبَادَة، وَتَجَمُّلاً فِي فَاقَة، وَصَبْراً فِي شِدَّة، وَطَلَباً فِي حَلاَل، وَنَشاطاً فِي هُدىً، وَتَحَرُّجاً عَنْ طَمَع. يَعْمَلُ الاَْعْمَالَ الصَّالِحَةَ وَهُوَ عَلَى وَجَل، يُمْسِي وَهَمُّهُ الشُّكْرُ، وَيُصْبِحُ وَهَمُّهُ الذِّكْرُ، يَبِيتُ حَذِراً، وَيُصْبِحُ فَرِحاً، حَذِراً لَمَّا حُذِّرَ مِنَ الْغَفْلَةِ، وَفَرِحاً بِمَا أَصَابَ مِنَ الْفَضْلِ وَالرَّحْمَةِ. إِنِ اسْتَصْعَبَتْ عَلَيْهِ نَفْسُهُ فِيَما تَكْرَهُ لَمْ يُعْطِهَا سُؤْلَهَا فِيَما تُحِبُّ. قُرَّةُ عَيْنِهِ فِيَما لاَ يَزُولُ، وَزَهَادَتُهُ فِيَما لاَ يَبْقَى، يَمْزُجُ الْحِلْمَ بِالْعِلْمَ، وَالْقَوْلَ بِالْعَمَلِ. تَرَاهُ قَرِيباً أَمَلُهُ، قَلِيلاً زَلَلُهُ، خَاشِعاً قَلْبُهُ، قَانِعَةً نَفْسُهُ، مَنْزُوراً أَكْلُهُ، سَهْلاً أَمْرُهُ، حَرِيزاً دِينُهُ، مَيِّتَةً شَهْوَتُهُ، مَكْظُوماً غُيْظُهُ. الْخَيْرُ مِنْهُ مَأْمُولٌ، وَالشَّرُّ مِنْهُ مَأْمُونٌ. إِنْ كَانَ فِي الْغَافِلِينَ كُتِبَ فِي الذَّاكِرِينَ، وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي الذَّاكِرِينَ لَمْ يُكْتَبْ مِنَ الْغَافِلِينَ. يَعْفُو عَمَّنْ ظَلَمَهُ، وَيُعْطِي مَنْ حَرَمَهُ، وَيَصِلُ مَنْ قَطَعَهُ. بَعِيداً فُحشُهُ، لَيِّناً قَوْلُهُ، غَائِباً مُنْكَرُهُ، حَاضِراً مَعْرُوفُهُ، مُقْبِلاً خَيْرُهُ، مُدْبِراً شَرُّهُ. فِي الزَّلاَزِلِ وَقُورٌ، وَفِي الْمَكَارِهِ صَبُورٌ، وَفِي الرَّخَاءِ شَكُورٌ. لاَ يَحِيفُ عَلَى مَنْ يُبْغِضُ، وَلاَ يَأْثَمُ فِيمَنْ يُحِبُّ. يَعْتَرِفُ بِالْحَقِّ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُشْهَدَ عَلَيْهِ. لاَ يُضَيِّعُ مَا اسْتُحْفِظَ، وَلاَ يَنْسَى مَا ذُكِّرَ، وَلاَ يُنَابِزُ بِالاَْلْقَابِ، وَلاَ يُضَارُّ بالْجارِ، وَلاَ يَشْمَتُ بالْمَصَائِبِ، وَلاَ يَدْخُلُ فِي الْبَاطِلِ، ولاَ يَخْرُجُ مِنَ الْحَقِّ. إِنْ صَمَتَ لَمْ يَغُمَّهُ صَمْتُهُ، وَإِنْ ضَحِكَ لَمْ يَعْلُ صَوْتُهُ، وَإِنْ بُغِيَ عَلَيْهِ صَبَرَ حَتّى يَكُونَ اللهُ هُوَ الَّذِي يَنْتَقِمُ لَهُ. نَفْسُهُ مِنْهُ فِي عَنَاء، وَالنَّاسُ مِنْهُ فِي رَاحَة. أَتْعَبَ نفسه لاِخِرَتِهِ، وَأَرَاحَ النَّاسَ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ. بُعْدُهُ عَمَّنْ تَبَاعَدَ عَنْهُ زُهْدٌ وَنَزاهَةٌ، وَدُنُوُّهُ مِمَّنْ دَنَا مِنَهُ لِينٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ، لَيْسَ تَبَاعُدُهُ بِكِبْر وَعَظَمَة، وَلاَ دُنُوُّهُ بِمَكْر وَخَدِيعَة.

Now then, Allah the Glorified, the Sublime, created (the things of) creation. He created them without any need for their obedience or harm from their sinning, because the sin of anyone who sins does not harm Him nor does the obedience of anyone who obeys Him benefit Him. He has distributed among them their livelihood, and has assigned them their positions in the world. Thus, the God-fearing in it are the people of distinction. Their speech is to the point, their dress is moderate and their gait is humble. They keep their eyes closed to what Allah has made unlawful for them, and they put their ears to that knowledge which is beneficial to them. They remain in the time of trials as though they remain in comfort. If there had not been fixed periods (of life) ordained for each, their spirits would not have remained in their bodies even for the twinkling of an eye because of (their) eagerness for the reward and fear of chastisement. The greatness of the Creator is seated in their heart, and, so, everything else appears small in their eyes.

Thus to them Paradise is as though they see it and are enjoying its favors.1 To them, Hell is also as if they see it and are suffering punishment in it. Their hearts are sorrowful, they are protected against evils, their bodies are thin, their needs are scanty, and their souls are chaste. They endured (hardship) for a short while, and in consequence they secured comfort for a long time. It is a beneficial transaction that Allah made easy for them. The world aimed at them, but they did not aim at it. It captured them, but they freed themselves from it by a ransom. During a night they are upstanding on their feet reading portions of the Qur'an and reciting it in a well-measured way, creating through it grief for themselves and seeking by it the cure for their ailments.

If they come across a verse creating eagerness (for Paradise) they pursue it avidly, their spirits turn towards it eagerly, and they feel as if it is in front of them. And when they come across a verse, which contains fear (of Hell), they bend the ears of their hearts towards it, and feel as though the sound of Hell and its cries are reaching their ears. They bend themselves from their backs, prostrate themselves on their foreheads, their palms, their knees and their toes, and beseech Allah, the Sublime, for their deliverance. During the day, they are enduring, learned, virtuous and God-fearing.

Fear (of Allah) has made them thin like arrows. If any one looks at them, he believes they are sick, although they are not sick, and he says that they have gone mad. In fact, great concern (i.e., fear) has made them mad. They are not satisfied with their meager good acts, and do not regard their major acts as great. They always blame themselves and are afraid of their deeds. When anyone of them is spoken of highly, he says: “I know myself better than others, and my Lord knows me better than I know. O Allah do not deal with me according to what they say, and make me better than they think of me and forgive me (those shortcomings) which they do not know.

The peculiarity of anyone of them is that you will see that he has strength in religion, determination along with leniency, faith with conviction, eagerness in (seeking) knowledge, with forbearance, moderation in riches, devotion in worship, gracefulness in starvation, endurance in hardship, desire for the lawful, pleasure in guidance and hatred from greed. He performs virtuous deeds but still feels afraid. In the evening, he is anxious to offer thanks (to Allah). In the morning, his anxiety is to remember (Allah). He passes the night in fear and rises in the morning in joy — fear lest night is passed in forgetfulness, and joy over the favor and mercy received by him. If his self refuses to endure a thing that it does not like, he does not grant its request towards what it likes. The coolness of his eye lies in what is to last forever, while from the things (of this world) that will not last he keeps aloof. He transfuses knowledge with forbearance, and speech with action.

You will see his hopes simple, his shortcomings few, his heart fearing, his spirit contented, his meal small and simple, his religion safe, his desires dead and his anger suppressed. Good alone is expected from him. Evil from him is not to be feared. Even if he is found among those who forget (Allah) he is counted among those who remember (Him), but if he is among the rememberers he is not counted among the forgetful. He forgives him who is unjust to him, and he gives to him who deprives him.

He behaves well with him who behaves ill with him. Indecent speech is far from him, his utterance is lenient, his evils are non-existent his virtues are ever present, his good is ahead and mischief has turned its face (from him). He is dignified during calamities, patient in distresses, and thankful during ease. He does not commit excess over him whom he hates, and does not commit sin for the sake of him whom he loves. He admits truth before evidence is brought against him. He does not misappropriate what is placed in his custody, and does not forget what he is required to remember.

He does not call others bad names, he does not cause harm to his neighbor, he does not feel happy at others misfortunes, he does not enter into wrong and does not go out of right. If he is silent, his silence does not grieve him, if he laughs, he does not raise his voice, and if he is wronged, he endures until Allah takes revenge on his behalf. His own self is in distress because of him, while the people are in ease from him. He puts himself in hardship for the sake of his next life, and makes people feel safe from himself. His keeping away from others is by way of asceticism and purification, and his nearness to those to whom he is near is by way of leniency and mercifulness. His keeping away is not by way of vanity or feeling of greatness, nor his nearness by way of deceit and cheating.‌341

  • 1. ‌- This means that everything said in a meeting must be kept secret.
  • 2. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:471, S. 71, H. 1.
  • 3. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:471, S. 71, H. 3.
  • 4. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:471, S. 71, H. 4.
  • 5. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:515, S. 109, H. 2.
  • 6. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:515, S. 109, H. 3.
  • 7. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:513, H. 1.
  • 8. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:514, S. 108, H. 8.
  • 9. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:544, S. 122, H. 7.
  • 10. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:454, S. 50, H. 1.
  • 11. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:476, S. 78, H. 1.
  • 12. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:570, S. 137, H. 1.
  • 13. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:571, S. 137, H. 4.
  • 14. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:573, S. 138, H. 3.
  • 15. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:573, S. 138, H. 6.
  • 16. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:576, S. 140, H. 1.
  • 17. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:577, S. 140, H. 3.
  • 18. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:581, S. 143, H. 1.
  • 19. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:582, S. 143, H. 2.
  • 20. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:611, S. 159, H. 2.
  • 21. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:613, S. 161, H. 1.
  • 22. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:362, H. 3; Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Amali, pp. 380, H. 483; ‘Allamah al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 75: 196, H. 11 as quoted from the previous reference books.
  • 23. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:143, S. 4, H. 9.
  • 24. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:148, S. 4, H. 20.
  • 25. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:148, S. 4, H. 28.
  • 26. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:186, S. 19, H. 1.
    In this very section of the reference book, there are many traditions implying the same idea. It is therefore advisable to refer to them.
  • 27. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:197, S. 22, H. 1.
  • 28. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:200, S. 23, H. 1.
  • 29. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:210, S. 26, H. 1.
  • 30. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:210, S. 26, H. 2.
  • 31. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:211, S. 26, H. 7.
  • 32. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:213, S. 27, H. 1.
  • 33. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:214, S. 27, H. 9.
  • 34. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:214, S. 27, H. 12.
  • 35. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:215, S. 28, H. 1.
  • 36. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:215, S. 28, H. 5.
  • 37. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:215, S. 28, H. 6.
  • 38. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 12:108, S. 107, H. 4.
  • 39. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:121, H. 1.
  • 40. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:219, S. 30, H. 1.
  • 41. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:219, S. 30, H. 2.
  • 42. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:219, S. 31, H. 1.
  • 43. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Sayings No. 89.
  • 44. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:279, S. 50, H. 1.
  • 45. ‌- This expression is a metonymy of flattering the leading personalities who are usually followed by a class of people who compete with each other in occupying the first line after them. [Translator]
  • 46. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:279, S. 50, H. 4.
  • 47. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:282, S. 50, H. 14.
  • 48. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:286, S. 53, H. 1.
  • 49. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:286, S. 53, H. 2.
  • 50. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:286, S. 53, H. 3.
  • 51. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:286, S. 53, H. 4.
  • 52. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:286, S. 53, H. 6.
  • 53. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:304, H. 11.
  • 54. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:306, H. 2.
  • 55. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:307, H. 6.
  • 56. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:293, S. 55, H. 7.
  • 57. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:308, H. 7.
  • 58. ‌- Confirming this meaning, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported that Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (‘a) said,
    Every act of tribalism will not be allowed Paradise except the tribalism of Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib who embraced Islam in rage for the Holy Prophet (s), his nephew, after the famous incident of the camel’s placenta being thrown on the Holy Prophet (s).
    See Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:308, H. 5.
    The incident involved is as follows:
    Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has reported that when the Holy Prophet (s) was once in the Holy Mosque putting on new clothes, the polytheists threw on him a camel’s placenta covering all his clothes with it. He became so furious that he went to his uncle, Abu-Talib, and said, “O uncle! How do you regard me among you?” “Why are you asking this, my brother’s son?” asked Abu-Talib. The Holy Prophet (s) narrated the whole story. Immediately, Abu-Talib took his sword, called upon Hamzah, his brother, and ordered him, “Take this placenta and let us go to these people.” The people of Quraysh were around the Ka’bah when Abu-Talib, accompanying Hamzah and the Holy Prophet (s), came to them. As they saw him, they knew for sure that he was extremely angry. Then, Abu-Talib ordered Hamzah to throw that placenta on their upper lips, without missing any one of them. When Hamzah finished, Abu-Talib turned his face to his nephew and said, “Thus do we regard you among us, son of my brother!” See Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 1:449, H. 30.
  • 59. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:308, H. 2.
  • 60. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:306, S. 60, H. 1.
  • 61. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:308, S. 61, H. 2.
  • 62. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:306, S. 60, H. 3.
  • 63. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:307, S. 60, H. 5.
  • 64. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:303, S. 59, H. 2.
  • 65. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:303, S. 59, H. 3.
  • 66. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:303, S. 59, H. 4.
  • 67. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:321, S. 67, H. 2.
  • 68. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:321, S. 67, H. 3.
  • 69. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:320, S. 66, H. 2.
  • 70. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:320, S. 66, H. 3.
  • 71. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:320, S. 66, H. 4.
  • 72. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:322, H. 1.
  • 73. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:322, H. 2.
  • 74. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:322, H. 4.
  • 75. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:322, H. 3.
  • 76. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:402, H. 3.
  • 77. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:402, H. 4.
  • 78. ‌- Khalid al-Barqi, al-Mahasin 2:103; Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:402, H. 6.
  • 79. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:403, H. 8.
  • 80. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:500, H. 1.
  • 81. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:501, H. 4.
  • 82. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:501, S. 1, H. 3.
  • 83. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:479, H. 1.
  • 84. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:479, H. 3.
  • 85. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:403, H. 3.
  • 86. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:479, S. 82, H. 1.
  • 87. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:480-481, H. 1, 2.
  • 88. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:482, H. 9.
  • 89. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:482, H. 11.
  • 90. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:501, H. 2.
  • 91. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:503, H. 8 as quoted from Majma’ al-Bayan, a reference book of exegesis of the Holy Qur'an by al-Tabrisi.
  • 92. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:501, H. 1.
  • 93. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:502, H. 7.
  • 94. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:567, S. 135, H. 1.
  • 95. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:528, H. 5.
  • 96. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:527, H. 1.
  • 97. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:527, H. 4.
  • 98. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:529, H. 10.
  • 99. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:530, H. 16.
  • 100. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:531, H. 1.
  • 101. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:533, H. 5. Refer also to Sections 117-120 of vol. 8 where you can find tens of narrations indicating the same topic.
  • 102. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:523, H. 1.
  • 103. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:523, H. 2.
  • 104. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:524, H. 11.
  • 105. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:526, H. 1.
  • 106. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:526, H. 2.
    The last statement of the tradition means, “Because of all these tribulations, the true faithful believers are hardly any.” [Translator]
  • 107. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:342, H. 1.
  • 108. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:342, H. 3.
  • 109. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:342, H. 4.
  • 110. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:343, H. 1.
  • 111. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:345, H. 5.
  • 112. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Saying No. 350.
  • 113. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 12:128, H. 1.
  • 114. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 12:130, H. 11.
    In the same chapter, you can find many traditions appertained to the same topic. However, some of these traditions have been previously mentioned in this book.
  • 115. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:345, H. 1.
  • 116. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:345, H. 2 (Ed. Dar Ihya' al-Turath).
  • 117. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:345, H. 5.
  • 118. ‌- i.e. those to whom he had done that kindness.
  • 119. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:536, H. 1.
  • 120. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:537, H. 3.
  • 121. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:539, H. 1.
  • 122. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:539, H. 2.
  • 123. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:399, H. 4.
  • 124. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:228, H. 1.
  • 125. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:229, H. 3.
  • 126. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:563, S. 21, H. 3.
  • 127. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:587, H. 1.
  • 128. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:615, H. 1.
  • 129. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:615, H. 3.
  • 130. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:614, H. 1.
  • 131. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:588, H. 1.
  • 132. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:589, H. 9.
  • 133. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:587, H. 1.
  • 134. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:590, H. 2.
  • 135. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:592, H. 1.
  • 136. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:596, H. 1.
  • 137. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:596, H. 4.
  • 138. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:594, H. 1.
  • 139. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:594, H. 3.
  • 140. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:610, H. 1.
  • 141. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:610, H. 2.
  • 142. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:612, H. 5.
  • 143. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:613, S. 160, H. 1.
  • 144. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:598, H. 9.
  • 145. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:597, H. 2.
  • 146. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:604, H. 4.
  • 147. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:604, H. 3.
  • 148. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:603, H. 1.
  • 149. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:616, H. 1.
  • 150. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:617, H. 4.
  • 151. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:613, S. 161, H. 1.
  • 152. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:362, H. 3; Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Amali, pp. 380, H. 483; ‘Allamah al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 75: 196, H. 11 as quoted from the previous reference books.
  • 153. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:472, S. 72, H. 1.
  • 154. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:499, H. 1.
  • 155. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:472, S. 73.
  • 156. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:510, S. 106, H. 1.
  • 157. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:234, H. 14.
  • 158. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:103, H. 5.
  • 159. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:512, H. 2.
  • 160. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:512, H. 4.
  • 161. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:248, H. 3.
  • 162. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 12:21, H. 9.
  • 163. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:494, S. 93, H. 2.
  • 164. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:545, H. 8.
  • 165. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:564, H. 3.
  • 166. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Saying No. 10.
  • 167. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:435, H. 1.
  • 168. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:436, H. 2.
  • 169. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:436, H. 4.
  • 170. ‌- Refer to Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:435-454 & 456-458.
  • 171. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:409, S. 30, H. 2.
  • 172. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:483, H. 2.
  • 173. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:438, H. 1.
  • 174. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:438, S. 34, H. 3.
  • 175. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:554, H. 2.
  • 176. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:554, H. 5.
  • 177. ‌- Refer to S. 27 of the same previous reference book.
  • 178. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:563, H. 1.
  • 179. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:563, H. 2.
  • 180. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:559, H. 1.
  • 181. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:449, S. 44, H. 1.
  • 182. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:434, S. 31, H. 1, 2, 3.
  • 183. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:405, S. 4, H. 2.
  • 184. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:405, S. 4, H. 1.
  • 185. ‌- Refer to Wasa'il al-Shi’ah.
  • 186. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:471, S. 70.
  • 187. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:471, S. 70.
  • 188. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:476, S. 78, H. 1.
  • 189. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:472, S. 74, H. 1.
  • 190. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:473, H. 2.
  • 191. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:474, H. 1.
  • 192. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:474, H. 2.
  • 193. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:475, S. 77-78.
  • 194. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:459, H. 1.
  • 195. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 8:459, H. 2. More narrations of the same purport have been mentioned in the same section of this reference book.
  • 196. ‌- Refer to Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, Vol. 8 Etiquettes of Association, Sections 57-66.
  • 197. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:471, S. 71, H. 3.
  • 198. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:477, S. 80, H. 1.
  • 199. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:478, S. 80, H. 5.
  • 200. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:478, S. 80, H. 4.
  • 201. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:477, H. 3.
  • 202. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:470, H. 7.
  • 203. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:470, H. 5.
  • 204. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:477, H. 3 & 4.
  • 205. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 12:15, H. 5.
  • 206. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:468, H. 4.
  • 207. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:591, S. 31, H. 2.
  • 208. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:468, H. 1.
  • 209. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 8:469, H. 2.
  • 210. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili has reported the following in his book of Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 12:100, H. 1: Al-Hajjal has reported that he said to Jamil ibn Darraj that the Holy Prophet (s) was reported to have said, “If a person that is reputed among his people comes to you, confer honor upon him.” Jamil confirmed this. “What is meant by a reputed person?” al-Hajjal asked. “I asked Abu-’Abdullah (Imam al-Sadiq) about this,” Jamil answered, “He said that a reputed person is the wealthy.” “What is meant by the highborn?” al-Hajjal asked. “A highborn is he who does kind acts,” answered Jamil. “What is meant by honor?” al-Hajjal asked. “Honor is piety,” answered Jamil. [translator]
  • 211. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:590, H. 1.
  • 212. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:671, H. 2.
  • 213. ‌- Sunan Ibn Majah 2:1231, H. 3738. [translator]
  • 214. ‌- Al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa'id 6:190. [translator]
  • 215. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:544, H. 6.
  • 216. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:544, H. 1 & 2.
  • 217. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:542, H. 1.
  • 218. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Saying No. 101.
  • 219. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:543, H. 2.
  • 220. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:532, H. 1.
  • 221. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:532, H. 3.
  • 222. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:549, H. 1.
  • 223. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:549, H. 3.
  • 224. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:550, H. 7.
  • 225. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:550, H. 10.
  • 226. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:552, H. 3.
  • 227. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:552, H. 7.
  • 228. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:537, H. 7.
  • 229. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:539, H. 1.
  • 230. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:539, H. 2.
  • 231. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:539, H. 3.
  • 232. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:492, H. 2.
  • 233. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:492, H. 3.
  • 234. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:576, S. 25, H. 3.
  • 235. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:576, S. 25, H. 4.
  • 236. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:577, S. 25, H. 5.
  • 237. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:579, S. 25, H. 10.
  • 238. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:578, S. 29, H. 1.
  • 239. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Saying No. 23.
  • 240. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:593, H. 1.
  • 241. ‌- Sayyid al-Borujerdi, Jami’ Ahadith al-Shi’ah 16:187, H. 2 &3. In the same chapter, there is another number of traditions on the same topic.
  • 242. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 141.
  • 243. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:549, S. 35, H. 2.
  • 244. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:549, S. 35, H. 7.
  • 245. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:596, H. 2.
  • 246. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:518, S. 112, H. 1.
  • 247. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:519, S. 112, H. 2.
  • 248. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:519, S. 112, H. 5.
  • 249. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Saying No. 211.
  • 250. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Saying No. 11.
  • 251. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Saying No. 52.
  • 252. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:520, S. 112, H. 10.
  • 253. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:533, H. 1.
  • 254. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:553, H. 2.
  • 255. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:553, H. 3.
  • 256. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:546, H. 2.
  • 257. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:546, H. 1.
  • 258. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:546, H. 4.
  • 259. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:548, H. 1.
  • 260. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:548, H. 2.
  • 261. ‌- Imam ‘Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,
    The best means by which seekers of nearness to Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, seek nearness (to Him) is, by believing in Him and His Prophet (s). They fight in His cause for it is the high pinnacle of Islam. They establish prayer for it is the basis of community. They pay zakat for it is a compulsory obligation. They fast during the month of Ramadhan for it is the shield against chastisement. They perform Hajj and ‘Umrah of the House of Allah for these two acts banish poverty and wash away sins. They regard kinship highly for it increases wealth and life. They give alms secretly for it covers shortcomings. They give alms openly for it protects against a bad death. They extend benefits to people for it saves from positions of disgrace. (Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 110)
  • 262. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 6:255-259.
  • 263. ‌- Refer to al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 6:255-336.
  • 264. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:521, H. 1.
  • 265. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:521, H. 2.
  • 266. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:522, H. 7.
  • 267. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:523, H. 10.
  • 268. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:524, H. 13.
  • 269. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:524, H. 15.
  • 270. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:554, H. 2.
  • 271. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:554, H. 5.
  • 272. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:554, H. 6.
  • 273. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:554, H. 8.
  • 274. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:545, H. 3.
  • 275. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:546, H. 5.
  • 276. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 6:208, H. 2.
  • 277. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:569, H. 1.
  • 278. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:570, H. 3.
  • 279. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:570, H. 7.
  • 280. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:591, H. 1.
  • 281. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:592, H. 4.
  • 282. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:589, H. 1.
  • 283. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:590, H. 3.
  • 284. ‌- Similar instructions have been mentioned in Surah al-Mu'minun (23:96) and Surah al-Qasas (28:54).
  • 285. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:520, H. 1.
  • 286. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:520, H. 2.
  • 287. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:522, H. 7.
  • 288. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:522, H. 8.
  • 289. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:522, H. 9.
  • 290. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Saying No. 423.
  • 291. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:412, H. 4.
  • 292. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:158, H. 4.
  • 293. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:158, H. 5.
  • 294. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:166, H. 1.
  • 295. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:180, H. 1.
  • 296. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:181, H. 3.
  • 297. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:181, H. 6.
  • 298. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:431, H. 1.
  • 299. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:432, H. 6.
  • 300. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:435, H. 17; al-Barqi, al-Mahasin 1:409, H. 931, published by the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly.
  • 301. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:170, H. 4.
  • 302. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:170, H. 6.
  • 303. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 160.
  • 304. ‌- The Holy Imam (‘a) means that one who takes patience will take patience for a little time, because he either takes patience for his whole age, which is relatively little (if compared to the other life, which is the reward of his patience) or for the time of the tribulation, which is also little.
  • 305. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:88-89, H. 3; Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:207, H. 1 (as quoted from the earlier reference book).
  • 306. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:208, H. 3.
  • 307. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’ah 11:209, H. 5.
  • 308. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:93, H. 25.
  • 309. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:128, H. 1.
  • 310. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:128, H. 2.
  • 311. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:128, H. 3.
  • 312. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:128, H. 4.
  • 313. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:128, H. 9.
  • 314. ‌- In the faith of the Imamiyyah Shi’ah, warning Prophet Adam against eating from that tree was in the form of leading him to more integrity and more guidance. Hence, Prophet Adam’s breaking of this warning being expressed as act of disobedience is just metaphorical, not literal.
  • 315. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:130, H. 11.
  • 316. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:138, H. 4.
  • 317. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:139, H. 9.
  • 318. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:139, H. 10.
  • 319. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:76, H. 1.
  • 320. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:79, H. 15.
  • 321. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:77, H. 6.
  • 322. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah, 11:200, S. 23, H. 1.
  • 323. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:80, H. 3.
  • 324. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 5:338, H. 1.
  • 325. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:106, H. 1.
  • 326. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:106, H. 4.
  • 327. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:106, H. 6.
  • 328. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:104, H. 1.
  • 329. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:104, H. 2.
  • 330. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:104, H. 4.
  • 331. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:104, H. 5.
  • 332. ‌- Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:513, H. 1.
  • 333. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:82, H. 2.
  • 334. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:82, H. 4.
  • 335. ‌- Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:82, H. 5.
  • 336. ‌- ‘Allamah ‘Allamah al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 65:169, H. 30.
  • 337. ‌- ‘Allamah ‘Allamah al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 65:168, H. 28.
  • 338. ‌- Shaykh al-Saduq, Sifat al-Shi’ah, pp. 2; ‘Allamah al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 68:167, H. 33 as quoted from the previous reference book.
  • 339. ‌- ‘Allamah al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 65:167, H. 25.
  • 340. ‌- Al-Karachaki in his book of Kanz al-Fawa'id has reported on the authority of Abu-Hamzah al-Thumali on the authority of Yahya ibn Ummi’l-Tawil that Nawf al-Bakkali said:
    I have had some requests to be granted by the Commander of the Faithful, Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi-Talib (‘a). Therefore, I sent to him Jundab ibn Zuhayr, al-Rabi’ ibn Khuthaym, and his nephew Hammam ibn ‘Abadah ibn Khuthaym, who was well-known for asceticism and devoutness. We all thus came to meet Imam ‘Ali (‘a) who was about to leave to lead a congregational prayer in the mosque. Followed by us, he directed towards a group of people, who seemed to be indulging in luxury, exchanging jokes and amusing each other. When they knew that Imam ‘Ali (‘a) was approaching them, they stood up hurriedly and greeted him. The Imam (‘a) responded to their greeting and asked, “Who are you?” “We are a group from your Shi’ah,” they answered. “O group,” the Imam (‘a) said, “Why can I see neither the marks of Shi’ism nor the adornment of bearing love for us—the Ahl al-Bayt—on your appearances?” Embarrassed, they could not find any answer.
    Then Jundab and al-Rabi’ approached the Imam (‘a) and asked, “O Commander of the Faithful, what are the marks and specifications of your Shi’ah?” Showing no desire to answer them, the Imam (‘a) said, “O two men, fear Allah and do good deeds, for Allah is with those who fear Him and those who do good deeds.”
    Hammam ibn ‘Abadah, who was diligently devoted to worship, said to him “O Commander of the Faithful, I beseech you in the Name of Him Who has conferred honor upon all of you—the Ahl al-Bayt—and given you exclusively and endowed you with special favors, please tell us about the specifications of your Shi’ah.”
    “Do not put me under an oath,” the Imam (‘a) said, “I will tell you all about these specifications.”
    The Imam then took Hammam from the hand and led him to the mosque where he (‘a) offered a two-unit short prayer, sat down, turned his face towards us, and, encompassed by people from all sides, praised and thanked Almighty Allah and said,…
    (quoted from ‘Allamah al-Majlisi’s Bihar al-Anwar 65:192, H. 48).
  • 341. ‌- Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 193.