In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
And from the remote part of the city there came a man running, he said: O my people! follow the messengers; Follow him who does not ask you for reward, and they are the followers of the right course; (36:20-21)
As we have said, when they wanted to kill the messengers, the man of God, Habib Najjar, who was living at the farthest end of the town, swiftly rushed to help the religion of God and to assist the messengers. He said, “O my people! Follow the messengers. Obey them who do not ask for any remuneration from you and who themselves are rightly guided.”
We have also said that there are two proofs of messengership. Wisdom and intelligence demand that if one has these two virtues then his word must be accepted. Firstly, he should be well informed and rightly guided. He must have walked on the path and then should give news of it.
Who is more fit for being a guide worthy of obedience, the one who shows the right path or the one who is unaware of the path and himself in need of a guide?
Say: Is there any of your associates who guides to the truth? Say: Allah guides to the truth. Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? (10:35)
If one who is ignorant and unaware says, “Follow me,” then obeying such an ignorant person is not correct. It is not proper for one to go after every voice, to follow every group or party. Incorporate the whole and entire divine law in your life schedule.
If somebody asks you to follow him, you should see whether he himself is following and obeying the truth? May be he is on the wrong side.
The second condition is that one should not be selfish. Making a show of sympathy, cheaters attract me with various talks. They talk of reforms and claim to be reformers. They feign sympathy of workers and poor whereas they are very fond of status and always desire coming to power or have a lust for wealth.
Just see what is their aim in talking like this? All false groups do like this whether communists or Christians. For example, take the institution of Pope. They run hospitals in various cities while propagating Christianity undercover. What is their intention behind these hospitals? Why have they embraced Christianity? If one leaves monotheism and adopts trinity does he become rightly guided? No, rather they want to increase their numerical strength and then exploit the people.
Refer to Anisul A’laam of Late Fakhrul Islam. He has exposed these facts. They have nothing to do with religion, reform and morality. If they talk about these things, it is for exploitation. They have material aims and interests, which are not heavenly or divine in any way.
A narration from Imam Sadiq (‘a) is found in the book Man laa yahzuruhul faqeeh according to which Dawood (‘a) received a revelation from God, “O Dawood! Your every deed is good except that is you do not know any craft and therefore live off the public treasury.”
Dawood (‘a) appealed to God, “O Lord! Grant me a skill that I may not have to take anything from the public treasury.” Thus God made iron soft for his hand.1 Then he began to make amours and sell them for three hundred dirhams each. He spent half that amount in the path of God and the remaining half on his needs so that people may know that he had no eye on public treasury and then they may believe in what he says to them.
Ali (‘a) worked on plantations so that people may rest assured that he had no lust for money and position. He used to carry dates on his shoulders and sowed them with his own hands. After taking all this trouble and after taking so much pain, when the fruits arrived he sold the produce for twelve thousand dirhams and gave away all of it to the poor without taking a dirham home.
One day he ascended the pulpit and announced, “O People! Prepare for your journey to the Hereafter. Fear God’s anger.” They now understood that Ali (‘a) tells the truth; that he has no self interest and he desires neither wealth nor rulership.
Books of narrations have recorded all the specialties of the Holy Prophet’s ways of eating, dressing, living and socializing. Among those books is Tabarsi’s Makarimul Akhlaq also, wherein all such things are recorded. In the chapter of food it is mentioned that Anas says, “I prepared food for the Holy Prophet for nine years. There was a she goat in the Prophet’s house that I mulched. Ladies in the holy house made barley bread. Sometimes there were dates and salt to eat with bread.”
Ayesha said, “During the Prophet’s lifetime sometimes no food was cooked for forty days at a stretch. Prosperity started after his passing away.”
Biharul Anwar mentions about the Prophet’s clothes that once people brought a piece of cloth for him. It was fourteen meters long. Then they doubled it and put it under the Prophet as a mattress. When he used to get up he used to put it on his shoulder like a cloak.
During the last two or three years of his life, the Prophet’s body weakened to some extent and he used to say, “Surah Hud made me thin, old, and weak.” In some other narrations it is mentioned that Surah Naba and Surah Hud made the Holy Prophet weak.
The wives said, “Make his mattress four fold as his body has become very weak.” That night he slept a little more and woke a little late at dawn. Looking at the softness of mattress he said, “You have done injustice to me. The earlier state was better.”
From the viewpoint of living – It was in this very place where his holy grave is now situated. There were nine rooms plus one room for Zahra (s.a.). But what a strange house! In fact it was a small cottage having mud walls and its roof was made of bamboo.
Ghazzali has quoted one of the teachers that it would have been better had the residences of the Holy Prophet (‘s) been kept in their original condition so the coming generations might have been impressed by the Prophet’s piety and austerity. Had he wished, he could have constructed a house with gold and silver bricks. But he used to say, “I like to live like the poorest people of my community.”
Thus was the lifestyle of our Prophet. It is written in Naskihut Tawarikh that at his last moments the Holy Prophet (‘s) called Imam Ali (‘a), handed over a purse containing some dirhams to him and said, “O Ali! Give this to the poor.” Then, addressing himself, the Prophet said, “O Muhammad! What will you do if this money remains with you at the time of your death?”
This is the lifestyle of one about whom God said:
He does not demand any recompense from people.
He himself is rightly guided and he has no self-interest at all and only such a personality is a divine guide.
Now behold! From Shia viewpoint, the Imam’s representative and a religious jurist (Marjaa-e-Taqleed) should also be one without desires and lusts. He himself must be a strong believer with certainty, he must have no material interest and he also should never wish that more and more people follow him.
Therefore, guidance in lieu of wages is invalid. Some have created doubtful variations. They say the topic is not guidance. It is not Amr Bil Maroof and Nahy Anil Munkar (Ordering good and prohibiting bad things), but that it applies to deputyship of the founder for quoting traditions or making people weep etc. People come and go. It is necessary that someone makes them active. This is the way of reasoning from pulpits nowadays.
Ibne Ziyad also once tried to put in motion the problem of Kerbala. Deceiving words came from pulpits. After prayers he ascended the pulpit, gave a sermon and said, “Is revolt not a bad thing? Of course it is bad. Well, now Husain has revolted so let him be removed.”
No one got up to say, “You have raised a revolt, you created anarchy in peaceful Kufa, how much blood did you spill?”
Had Husain (‘a) any lust for luxuries and comforts of this life or had he any desire for rulership and kingdom, he would have joined Yazid soon after the death of Muawiyah. But, then Husain (‘a) is the son of Ali (‘a) who said, “O world! You may fool others except me.” Ali (‘a) is not your buyer; that is, your buyer is Muawiyah.
Well, can one who has recognized Husain (‘a) have any doubt about his truthfulness and the correctness of his claim?
- 1. Surah Saba 34:10