Some of Imam al-Ridha’s (a.s.) Words of Wisdom
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “Cleanliness is a character of the Prophets.”
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “When Allah wants to do something, He will take people’s intellect away from them; and when he does what He wants to do and carries out what He wills, He will then return the intellect of every intellectual; they will say: How did it happen and where from did it come?”
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “Silence brings about affection and is the guide to any felicity.”
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “Everyone’s friend is their intellect and their enemy is their ignorance.”
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “The reward for the one who is seeking livelihood to protect their family is higher than the struggler in the way of Allah.”
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “The generous person eats from other people’s food so that they may eat from their food, as well; whereas a miserly person avoids eating from others’ food so that they would not eat from their food, either.”
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “There will come a day for the people when prosperity has ten parts, nine parts of which are in seclusion from people and one is in silence.”
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “Your assistance to the disabled is preferable to giving alms.”
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “No one will achieve true faith unless there are three features in him: appreciation of religion; proper planning for livelihood; and perseverance in hardships.”
• ‘Ali b. Shuʿayb said, “I went to Imam al-Ridha (a.s.). He asked me: ‘O ‘Ali, whose life is better than the others?’ I said, ‘O my master, you know better. He said, The one along whose life other people may live a happy life’.”
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “No one will step on the path of contentment except two [types of people]: the pious person who seeks the Hereafter reward; and the noble person who avoids the mean people.”
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “There are seven things which without seven other things are frivolous:
• Those who ask for God’s forgiveness with the tongue but their heart is not repentant have ridiculed themselves.
• Those who ask God for success but do not struggle for it have ridiculed themselves.
• Those who want to be prudent but do not practice abstinence have ridiculed themselves.
• Those who ask God for Paradise but do not forebear hardships have ridiculed themselves.
• Those who take refuge in God from the Hell-fire but do not abandon lusts have ridiculed themselves.
• Those who remember God but do not hasten to meet Him have ridiculed themselves.
• Those who call death to mind but do not prepare for it have ridiculed themselves.1
• Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “The closest position of a servant to the Almighty and Glorious Allah is when they are in prostration; and that is where Allah says:
prostrate and draw near [to Allah] (Q. 96: 19).2
14. Shaykh al-Saduq (may God have mercy on him) is reported to have said on the authority of Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) on the authority of his noble father, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), on the authority of his noble forefathers that Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali (a.s.) stated:
Fatima (a.s.) and I went to see the Apostle of Allah (S) and saw that his holiness was crying hard. I said, “May my father and mother be your ransom, O Rasul Allah! What has made you cry so hard?”
The Prophet (S) said, “O Ali! On the night of Ascension (Mi’raj), when I was taken up in the heavens, I saw women from among my nation who were being severely tormented. It was really hard on me; so I cried due to the severity of their punishment which I saw with my own eyes then.
I saw a woman hung up by her hair. Her brain was boiling.
I saw another woman who was hung up by her tongue and fire was being poured into her throat.
I saw another woman who was hung up by her breasts.
I saw another one who was eating her own flesh, while there was a blazing fire beneath her.
I saw another woman whose hands and feet were in chains and snakes and scorpions were all over her.
I saw another woman who was deaf, dumb and blind. She was in a coffin filled with fire and her brain was flowing out of her nose. All her body was torn into pieces due to leprosy.
I saw another woman hung up by her feet in a fire furnace.
I saw another woman whose flesh was being cut from the front and the back by scissors made of fire.
I saw another woman whose face and hands were on fire while she was eating her own intestines.
I saw another woman whose head was like the head of a pig and her body was like the body of a donkey.
I saw another woman who looked like a dog and fire was entering her from the back and leaving from her mouth, while the angels were beating her on the head and the body with fire clubs.”
Her holiness Fatima (a.s.) stated: “O my beloved! O the sight of my eyes! Tell me, what had they done that Allah inflicted such punishments on them?”
The Prophet (S) said, “The woman who was hung up by the hair was one who did not cover up her hair from strange men (other than their next of kin or close relatives).
The woman hung up by the tongue was one who used to harass her husband with her tongue.
The woman hung up by her breasts was the one who refused to sleep with her husband.
The woman hung up by her feet was one who left the house without her husband’s permission.
The woman who ate her own flesh was one who made herself up for people.
The woman whose hands and feet were chained up, and snakes and scorpions covered her up was a woman who did not perform her ablutions properly, did not clean the impurities from her clothes, did not perform the major ritual ablution (ghusl) after intercourse and menstruation, did not purify herself, and did not pay any attention to her prayers.
The woman who was deaf, dumb, and blind was a woman who got pregnant by a man other than her husband, and associated the child with her own husband.
The woman whose flesh was being cut by scissors made of fire was a woman who submitted herself to unfamiliar men.
The woman whose face and head was covered by fire and was eating her own intestines was a female pimp.
The woman whose face was like that of a dog and fire was entering her from the back and was leaving from her mouth was a singer, hired mourner, and jealous.”
Then, the Prophet (S) said, “Woe be to a woman who makes her husband angry! Blessed be a woman who pleases her husband!”3
15. Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) stated:
“A man from among the Children of Israel killed one of his relatives. He then took the corpse and put it along the path of one of the noblest of the offspring of Israel and then demanded blood money.
The people told Moses (a.s.): Such and such a tribe has killed so and so. Tell us who has killed the man.
Then Moses (a.s.) said, Bring me a cow. They said, ﴾Do you take us in derision? ﴿ Moses (a.s.) said, ﴾ I seek Allah's protection lest I should be one of the senseless!﴿ The Imam (a.s.) added: Had they brought forth a cow, it would suffice and the killer would have been found.
But they were stern, so God was stern with them. ﴾They said, Invoke your Lord for us that He may clarify for us what she may be. He said, He says: She is a cow, neither old nor young, of a middle age.﴿ Had they brought forth a cow – middle age – it would suffice and the killer would have been found.
But they were stern, so God was stern on them, ﴾ They said,” Invoke your Lord for us, that He may clarify for us what her color may be. He said, He says: She is a cow that is yellow, of a bright hue, pleasing to the onlookers.﴿ Had they brought forth a heifer – yellow, of a bright hue – it would suffice and the killer would have been found. But they were stern, so God was stern with them.
﴾They said, Invoke your Lord for us that He may clarify for us what she may be. Indeed all cows are much alike to us, and, if Allah wishes, we will surely be guided. He said, He says: She is a cow not broken to till the earth or to water the tillage, sound and without blemish. They said, Now have you come up with the truth! ﴿
Then they looked for such a cow and found one belonging to a young man from the Israelites. However, the young man said, I will not sell it unless you fill its skin with gold for me as the price. The Children of Israel went to Moses (a.s.) and asked him about that. Moses (a.s.) said, You have no choice but to buy it.
Thus, they bought it and took it to Moses (a.s.). Moses (a.s.) ordered that the cow be slaughtered. Then he ordered that they hit the corpse of the dead person with the cow’s tail. When they did so, the dead man became alive and said, O Messenger of God! My cousin killed me, not the one who has been accused. (See Qurʾan: 2/66-73)
Then Moses (a.s.) told some of his companions: There is an interesting story about this cow. They asked: What is it? Moses (a.s.) said, One of the young men from the Children of Israel was very kind to his father.
Once he bought a small calf and took it home. His father was asleep and the key (to the cowshed) was under his head. The young man did not wake him up (out of respect for him), and just let the calf go.
When his father woke up and heard the story, he admired his son, gave him a cow and told him: Take this heifer instead.” Then Moses (a.s.) added: “Thus, look and see how far a good deed will take its doer.”4
(That is because it was this cow that was sold at a high price, and the young man attained the good of this world and the next by doing good to his father. It was as though Divine providence ordained that the young man achieved his reward in the world through the Israelites’ fault-finding.)
O Allah! Grant peace and blessing upon ‘Ali b. Musa al-Ridha, the chosen one; the pious and the pure Imam; and Thy sign for the people on the surface of the earth and beneath the soil; the truthful, the witness; peace and blessings plentiful, complete, pure, consecutive, successive, uninterrupted; best of peace and blessing that Thou hast granted upon each one of Thy saints.
- 1. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 75, p. 356. However, hadith No. 7 is not in Bihar al-Anwar; it is adopted from Karajaki’s Ma‘dan al-Jawahir. Meanwhile, all of the traditions quoted from Bihar al-Anwar, are from vol. 75, chapter on Imam al-Ridha’s (a.s.) Preaches.
- 2. ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha (a.s.), vol. 2, p. 7.
- 3. ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha (a.s.), vol. 2, pp. 9-11.
- 4. ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha (a.s.), vol. 2, p. 13.