The Importance of Education and Advices on How To Achieve It
May Allah give you ‘Tawfeeq’ to earn His will and pleasure. May your future be better than past. I advice you to obtain religious education. The performance of obligatory deeds and desistance from “Haram’ deed mainly depends on it. Besides, to obtain religious education is a matter of great importance, honour and prestige.
It is the education which differentiates a man from an animal. Every thing are of 2 types. One is of progress-going ahead and the other is stagnation. Of these two, one who progresses (goes ahead) is better than one who is stagnant. There are 2 types of progress-One is emotional and the other is without emotion. It is evident that one who is emotional is better than one without emotion. There are two types of emotional people. One is a scholar and the other is an illiterate. It is crystal clear that an educated is better than an uneducated and a scholar is better than an illiterate. Therefore, education is the best and highest of all.
According to the work of the ‘Musaffirs,’ ‘Sur al-Iqra’ was the first sura to be sent. In this sura, Allah has declared that after creating man, he was taught everything. Thus, after the blessing of life, blessing of education is mentioned. This proves that education is the best blessing of the whole world. The biggest honour that Allah has bestowed on man is that from ‘Alaq’ (clot of blood), he rose him to the exalted position of a learned person.
It is stated in ‘Sura al-Zumar’: Can an educated and illiterate be equal? Never. Only an intelligent person can understand that the position of an educated is far superior to that of an illiterate.
It is mentioned is ‘Sura al-Fatir’: Amongst the Mu’mins, only’ Alims’ are afraid of Allah.
In addition to this, are some ayaats, Alims are mentioned along with Him which is the best proof of respect and honour. Traditions also mention the importance of education
Abdulla Bin Maymun Kaddah, through Hazrat Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) has narrated a tradition of the Holy Prophet (S): One who walks on the path of religion, Allah guides him to the path of paradise, the angels spread their wings below his feet. All living beings in heaven and earth including fishes in ocean, pray for him, The status of an ‘Abid’ as compared to an ‘Alim’ is that of stars as compared to full moon. Alims are the inheritors of the prophet.
Prophets do not leave dirham-dinar as legacy, their legacy is education. One who inherits this, he has obtained a lot.
Asbagh bin Nabata has narrated from Amirul Mu’mineen Hazrat ‘Ali (a.s.) that obtain ilm. It’s learning is a pious deed, discussion is its rosary (Tasbih), argument is its jihad and teaching is its sadqa. Through education one can understand Haram-Halal. You can obtain paradise through education.
Education is a friend in loneliness, helper in loneliness, mental peace in war. Allah has made some people ‘leaders of good deeds` by education. Look at their good deeds and follow them. Education is the life of the heart, light of the eye, strength of the body and destination of pious people. Through education, you obey Allah’s orders, you can understand the exalted position of Allah and his oneness. Through education, you realize the importance of kindness, Halal and Haram. Education is Imam (leader) of intelligence1.
Hasan bin Abil Hasan Al-Farsi has cited from Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that the Holy Prophet (S) has said: It is compulsory for every Muslim to obtain education. Allah be-friends those who obtain knowledge2.
Abu Ishaq has cited the following words of Hazrat ‘Ali (a.s.): O people! The completion of religion is to obtain knowledge and to act on it. It is more compulsory to obtain knowledge than to obtain wealth. The quantity of wealth is destined. Allah, the Just, has taken the responsibility of its distribution and He will fulfill His promise. Ilm is preserved by Aalims and you have to obtain it. So obtain ilm as ordered by Allah3.
Abu Hamza Omali has cited a tradition of Imam Sajjad (a.s.): If people realized the importance of religious education, they would give their lives even by drowning in the sea to obtain Ilm. Allah, through His messenger, told Janab al-Daniyal that the worst believer is one who is illiterate insults the Alim and does not follow him. The best believer is one who is pious, eager to earn thawab, companion of alims, follower of Alims and who learns from the scholars4.
In another tradition it is stated that an Alims, from whose Ilm benefit is derived, he is better than 70,000 Abids5.
It is stated by Muaviya bin Ammar: I asked Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.): What is the difference between a Ravi (collector of Ahadith) who preaches your tradition, who is able to convince Mu’mins to follow the tradition and an abid who has no such qualities? He replied: Such a ravi is better than thousand Abids6.
The Holy Prophet (S) has said: In life, Khair (betterment) is only for two types of people.
(1) The Alim who is obeyed and
(2) a person who listens carefully and obtains knowledge (Ilm)7.
Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) told Bashir Dahan: There is no betterment for those of my companions who do not obtain
religious education. Bashir! Remember, a person who does not learn Fiqh is dependant on others’ Ilm and people will lead him astray because of his ignorance8.
Suleman bin Ja’far has cited from Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that Amirul Mu’mineen (a.s.) has said: The status of an Alim is more than that of a person who is fasting, one who prays the whole night and one who fights in the way of Allah. The death of an Alim is an irreplaceable loss to Islam9.
Imam (a.s.) has stated: In the opinion of Iblis (Satan) there is no better death than that of an Alim10.
Hazrat Imam Moosa bin Ja’far (a.s.) has said: When a Mu’min dies, the angels in heaven, each and every place of worship and all the doors of heaven through which his good deeds used to soar, they all cry. It is a loss to Islam. The Alims of Mu’mins are the citadel of Islam just like the walls, which protect the city11.
Besides these, there are innumerable traditions, which are cited in the books of Ahadith (traditions). So my son, beware! Don’t let this big blessing, great status and source of much ‘thawab’ slip from your hands. Beware, in your anxiety for worldly wealth, don’t neglect religious education. On the contrary, to obtain religious education, be ready for poverty. In this way, you will obtain permanent wealth, honor and prestige.
If you have difficulty in earning your daily bread, remember the rewards and thawab in the next world. This will lighten all your troubles. Just look at all those people who left religious education and became busy amassing wealth. How happy and contented they are! They have been deprived of benefits of both the worlds. At least you are assured of benefits in the next world.
Son, be contended. Don’t go after the show and splendor of the world. This world has not appreciated the worth and dignity of the grandson of the Holy Prophet (S) Hazrat Imam Hussein (a.s.), then who are you? This world gave importance to Yazid over Imam Husain (a.s.). Don’t fall in love with this unfaithful and double-crossing world. It is against intelligence. Philosophers like Ibn al-Sina have strongly opposed it.
Son, don’t be disappointed with all the trials and tribulations which you have to suffer in obtaining ilm. Do your work. Remember, this world is a house of misery and troubles. It is useless to search for happiness and ease in this world. If this world gets attracted towards you, then it will push you further from the next world, take you away from piety and get you entangled in useless talk and deception. It will put all its burden on you by distracting you.
One who desires this world will always be in distress. His condition will always be like hell, which is always shouting ‘Hal Min Mazid’. Its stomach is never full. There is always one way to escape from it - fall in love with the next world. Then there will be neither uneasiness, nor misery nor sadness.
Son, I mean by my life, that pleasure and happiness, which you get in rejecting this world, you will not get one thousandth of it, if you go after this world. But yes, remember, by rejecting this world, it does not mean that you should give away all you have, cutoff relations with everybody and become a ‘sufi’. The shariat does not like this at all. ‘Rejecting this world’ means not to fall in love with this world, not to get carried away by its pleasure. It means to have faith in Allah in whatever you get and be happy in Allah’s will.
On this subject, there is a reference in the ‘Sahih’ of Abdulla bin Yasur. A man said to Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.): I loved this world. I hope I get it. Imam said: You love it so much? What will you do if you get it? The man replied: I will use it for my benefit as well as for the benefit of my children, I will do charity in the way of Allah, I will perform Haj and Umra. The Imam replied: This is not the love of this world but this the love of the next world12.
Son, may Allah bless you in this world as well as in the next world. When obtaining ilm, keep your intentions pure. Keep your heart away from worldly selfishness and turn your soul towards obtaining strength of action. Keep away from evils. Develop strength of character. Keep anger and evil desires in control. Always remember the following words of Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.): Who ever obtains ‘Ilm’, acts on it and teaches it to others, will be called ‘Great’ in heavens. It will be announced that this man learned for the sake of Allah, acted on it for the sake of Allah and taught it to others for the sake of Allah13.
Ubad bin Suhaib has narrated from Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.): There are 3 types of students: The first type of student learns so that they spread ignorance and in–fighting. The second type learn for pride and conspiracy. The third type learn for ‘Fiqh’ and reasoning.
The first type of people brag about their ilm in gatherings and social functions, pretend about ilm, make a show of sincerity in public though in reality they are devoid of ‘Taqwa’ Allah will rub their noses and break their back. The second type who learns for pride and conspiracy will be polite with rich people, enjoy their hospitality and destroy their religion.
One who learns for pride and conspiracy will be polite with rich people, enjoy their hospitality and destroy their religion. One who learns for ‘Fiqh’ and reasoning will be always sad, worrying about the next world. He will pray in the darkness of night and shiver. He knows the people. He is not misled by those near to him. Allah has strengthened his ‘Arkan14’.
Salim bin Kais has given reference of Amirul Mu’mineen (a.s.) about the following words of the Holy Prophet (S) that two types of thirst cannot be quenched: The thirst of one who seeks this world and thirst of one who seeks ilm. A person who is satisfied with ‘Halal’ will be safe otherwise he is doomed. Whoever obtains ilm from it’s ‘Ehl’ and acts on it will be saved. If he obtain ilm with the intention of getting this world then he will get this world only. He will be deprived of everything in the next15.
Abu Huzayfa has cited the following from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that, one who obtains Ahadith with the intention of earning this world, will be deprived of the here after. One who desires blessings in the hereafter, he will get it in this world as well as the next world16.
Hafas bin Gayas has quoted the following saying of Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that whenever you see an Alim tilting towards this world, than be careful about your religion because every friend worries about his friend.
At another place, it is stated that, Allah (s.w.t.) sent the following message to Janab Dawood: Beware, Don’t make an Alim who is engrossed in this world, a medium between you and me. He will lead you astray from the path of religion. These type of Alims are robbers. My minimum behaviour towards them will be to destroy from their hearts the pleasure of my praise17.
Sakuni has cited the following from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that Mursal al-Azam (S) has said that; fakihs are the trustees of the prophets as long as they do not enter this world: He was asked: O prophet of Allah! How will they enter the world? He replied: By obeying the kings. When they do this, then be careful of your religion (Beware of them)18.
Rabai bin Abdulla has cited from Imam Muhammad Baqer (a.s.) that whosoever procures knowledge to oppose Alims, to fight with foolish people and to draw people’s attention towards him, will go to hell on the day of judgement. Leadership is the right of those who deserve leadership19.
Son, do not sin after procuring Ilm. Allah’s hujjat is very essential for an Alim. Allah only forgives those who are ignorant not Alims20.
Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) told Ibne Gayas: Allah will forgive seventy sins of an ignorant person before forgiving one sin of an Alim21.
(This does not mean that everyone should remain ignorant so that his sins are forgiven because not to procure ilm deliberately is also a sin. This is for those people who cannot study due to circumstances and they cannot reach those who are Ahle-Ilm - Jawadi)
Whenever you want to procure Ilm, then search for righteous, good and pious teacher, because there is always a danger from those who are not Muttaqi.
Son, read Munyatul Murid by Sahahid al-Sani (a.r.). In this book there is a detailed description of relationship between a teacher and pupil. No deed is praiseworthy without manners and respect. Respect all Alims especially your teachers. Teacher is in the place of your father22.
Sabit bin Dinar has cited from Hazrat Imam Sajjad (a.s.) that whosoever guides you in Ilm, it is his right that you respect him, you listen to his lecture very attentively, you should not raise your voice over his voice, you should not talk of others in his presence nor backbite. If someone speaks bad about him then you should defend him. You should cover his defects and declare his virtues. You should not mix with his enemies. If you do all these, then angels will also say that you have procured ilm for Allah and not for public.
The right of the pupil over his teacher is that the teacher should look after his pupil. Allah has made the teacher his guardian. He has opened his treasures for him. If, during studies, he behaves well, does not get angry, then Allah will give him more. If he refuses to impart knowledge, rejects his request, then it is incumbent upon Allah to snatch away the glitter of his ilm and obliterate the respect, which the people have for him23.
Suleman bin Ja’fari has cited from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) this narration from Hazrat ‘Ali (a.s.) that it is the right of an Alim that you should not ask him too many questions, and you should not tug at his clothes. When you enter the assembly of people, besides saluting everybody, do special salam to him, sit in front of him and not behind him.
Don’t make gestures with your eyes or hands. Don’t talk too much. Don’t harass him by sitting for too long. Their example is that of a date tree. One sitting below the tree waits patiently for the fruits and takes whatever he gets24.
Son, may Allah count you amongst ‘Religious Alim’. Act on whatever ilm you have obtained. The popularity of ilm is because of its implementation. An Alim who does not act is like a tree without fruits.
Beware, never stop acting on your ilm because knowledge Becomes useless without actions. Someone has rightly said that it is the responsibility of every Mu’mineen to act but the responsibility is very severe on an alim. It is for this reason that the wives of the prophet (S) earn greater reward for their obedience and get more punishment for their sins. Reward and punishment may vary according to circumstance prevailing conditions.
Salim bin Qais has cited from Amirul Mu’mineen (a.s) the following saying of the Holy Prophet (S) that alims are of two types. Some alims act on their ilm and are saved, some alims do not act on their ilm and are doomed. Those in hell will be disturbed by the foul smell emitting from alims who did not act. The most unlucky alim will be the one who will go to hell because of his inaction while those who followed his guidance and advice will go to heaven! Beware of becoming a slave to your desires and excessive hopes. Slavery to desires, stops you from the right path and excessive desires make you forget the hereafter25.
Ismail bin Jabir has narrated from Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s) that ilm is enjoined with action. Whosoever obtains ilm should act on it. Ilm demands action. If there is no action, ilm is frittered away26.
Abdullah bin al-Qasam al Ja’fari has narrated from Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s) that an alim who does not act on his ilm, his guidance and advice will flow down the heart as water follows down from a mountain stone.
‘Ali bin Hashim bin Burid has stated that a man came to Hazrat Imam Sajjad (a.s). he asked him a few questions. Hazrat (a.s.) replied to all the questions. Than he wanted to ask some more questions. Hazrat (a.s.) said: It is stated in the Bible that before obtaining more ilm you should first act on the ilm which you already have. Ilm without action is the cause of kufr and he strays away from Allah27.
In some of the sermons of Amirul Mu’mineen (a.s.), it is said that act on your ilm so that you are guided. An Alim without action is like an ignorant man who never gets out of his ignorance and is always confused. This type of alim and ignorant man both will be doomed. So beware do not have doubts otherwise you will become kafir. Don’t be lazy about right and truth otherwise you will be the loser. ‘Right’ is that you should learn ilm and religious ilm is that you should not go astray. Order your ‘Nafs’ to obey Allah, Don’t fool’ Nafs because it is a sin. One who obeys ‘Allah’ is happy while one who sins is disappointed and unlucky.
Abdullah bin Maymun bin Kaddah has narrated from Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s) that a man asked Holy Prophet (S): O prophet of Allah, what is ilm? He (S) replied: Silence. Second question: After that? He (S) replied: ‘To remember’. Again he asked: After that? The Holy Prophet (S) replied: Act on it. Last question ! After that? He (S) replied ‘Propagate, Propagate28’.
Haris bin Mugira has narrated from Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) the explanation of the Ayat Innama Yakshallah…… that an Alim is one whose words and deeds complements each other. Otherwise there will be contradiction between words and action.
Son, inculcate the above mentioned qualities of an Alim in yourself. Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s) has stated that: Obtain Ilm, decorate yourself with ilm. Behave politely with your students as well as with your teachers. Beware don’t become a tyrant Alim because this makes right (truth) useless and destroys it.
In ‘Sahih al-habli’ Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s) has stated a saying of Amirul Mu’mineen (a.s.): I will give you the sign of a real faqih. A real faqih and religious alim is one who does not make people lose hope from the blessings of Allah and also does not make people unmindful about the punishment of Allah; does not give permission to sin and does not depend on any thing else except the Holy Qur’an. There is no goodness in the ilm in which there is no useful lesson and there is no benefit in it’s reading, in which there is nothing to think and ponder. Such prayers are useless in which there is no fear of Allah29.
Muawiyah bin Wahab through Hazrat Imam Sadiq (a.s) has cited the saying of Amirul Mu’mineen (a.s.) that: O seeker of Knowledge! There are three signs of an Alim ‘Ilm’, 'Hilm’ (politeness) and ‘Silence’, there are three sign of so-called Alims they fight with their superiors through sin, they suppress those under them by tyranny and they help tyrants30.
At another place, it is stated that the heart of an alim is devoid of ignorance and treachery.
Abu Baseer has said that he had heard from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) the saying of Amirul Mu’mineen (a.s): “O seeker of knowledge! There are many blessing of ilm which you should remember. Its head is full of politeness, its eyes are devoid of jealousy, its ears are understanding, its tongue is truthfulness, its memory is anxiousness, its heart is good intentions, its intelligence is understanding of things and deeds, its hands are blessing, its legs are ‘Ziarat’ of alims, its courage is safety, its wisdom is ‘Taqwa’, its center is ‘Najat’, its benefit is ‘Aafiyat’, its mount is faithfulness, its weapon is to speak slowly, its word is ‘Reza’, its army is debate and discussion, its wealth is good manners, its collection is to desist from sin, its food is good deeds, its place of rest is mutual relations, its argument is righteousness, its companion is love of righteous people31.
The Holy Prophet (S) has said that the best vazir of Imam is ‘Ilm’ and the best vazir of Ilm is Hilm (politeness) and the best vazir of Hilm is kindness and the best vazir of kindness is patience32.
Son! Beware, if you do not have knowledge, then don’t say anything. Hazrat Imam as-Sadiq (a.s) told Mufazzal: Beware of two traits in which there is destruction of man: Religious rituals through Batil (falsehood) and to give ‘Fatwa’ without ilm.
It is stated by Hazrat Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s) that: Whosoever gives ‘Fatwa’ without ilm and guidance, the angels of mercy and punishment both will curse him and he will be responsible for deeds of all those who follow his ‘fatwa33’.
The Holy Prophet (S) has said that one who gives ‘Fatwa’ without understanding and knowing ‘Nasikh’, 'Mansukh,’ ‘Mohkam’ and ‘Motashabeh,’ will be ruined and he will ruin others34.
Son, remember, if you do not know anything, then say openly and frankly that you do not know, don’t say ‘Allaho Aalam.’ Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that by saying ‘Allaho Aalam’, doubt is created in the mind of the listener that possibly you know while by saying ‘I do not know,’ it becomes clear – you are speaking honestly35.
At another place it is stated that if an alim does not know a problem he can say ‘Allaho Aalam’ but an ignorant man has no right to say it (because he is not qualified to do research, so he should clearly state his ignorance36.)
At one place, it is stated that: Keep silent and behave with restrain about an order of which you are ignorant. Ask about it to ‘Saheban al-Ismat’ (Masooms). They will lead you to the right path, clear the darkness and clarify the truth. Allah has ordered that ‘whatever you do not know, ask ‘Ahl al-Zikr’, and Alims37’.
Beware don’t act without ilm. By acting without ilm, man is lead astray. The more he moves forward, the more he is misled away from right (truth)38.
The Holy Prophet (S) has stated that one who acts without Ilm spoils the work instead of doing it properly. Son, keep company of those alims who practice what they preach, love them. Those who love are counted along with their beloved by Allah. A person who likes the deed of a community is considered a partner in their deeds39.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) told Abu Hanifa: Become an alim or a seeker of ilm or a friend of ilm.
By becoming an enemy of an alim you will be ruined40.
There is a famous tradition from Imam Sajjad (a.s.) that a person who desires the company of Alims and who is pious, is dear to Allah.
Give 'Ilm’ to one who deserves it. Teaching is ‘Zakat’ of Ilm.
Janabe Isa (a.s) said in a sermon to the people of Bain Israel: Beware don’t speak words of wisdom in front of illiterate people because it is a tyranny on ‘Hikmat’. If you hide ‘Hikmat’ from those who deserve it, then it is a tyranny on them.
Son may Allah keep you alive and give you ‘Tawfiq’ to be contended with whatever He gives. Beware learn all the ilms as much as necessary, spend the rest of the time in learning ‘Fiqh’. The love of ilm is the secret of ‘Amal’ (deed) and ‘Amal’ is related to ‘Fiqh’. It is by ‘Fiqh’ that you understand ‘Amr’ and ‘Nahi’. Allah’s Ehkam is the best information in this word. It is through ‘Ehkam’ that you can prosper in this world and the hereafter and through it there is the perfection of humanity.
In Ma-abinul Usul’, the author has said very beautifully: Allah has created all things with some purpose. He has made human being “Ashraful Makhluqat” (best of his creation), so the purpose behind this must also he Ashraf (best).
It is clear that the purpose behind it is definitely not to harm human beings. Only an illiterate and ignorant can do such a thing. Since Allah is Alim and Gani, the purpose behind the creation is to benefit him, The worldly benefit is not the benefit in the real sense. So we conclude that the real purpose is the benefit of the next worlds. Everyone will not get this benefit. For this, you ought to have ‘authority’, and you cannot get “authority” without Amal (Deed)’ and ‘Amal’ is derived from ‘Ilm’, so it is essential to have Ilm for the benefits of the hereafter.
There is no greater ilm than the ilm, which gives you these benefits. Therefore Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said to Aban bin Taghlab that: I wish I could whip my companions so that they obtain religious education41.’
‘Ali bin Hamza has cited this tradition from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.): Learn religious education. One who does not learn religious ilm is ignorant and uncouth. Allah has made learning religious education compulsory and made its propagation absolutely necessary42.
Mufazzal bin Umair has cited the following tradition of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s) that: Whosoever does not obtain religious education will not be blessed on the day of judgment. His Deeds will not considered pure and sacred43.
Ibrahim bin Abdul Hamid has cited the following from Hazrat Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s.) that Mursal al-Aazam (s.a.w) entered a mosque and he saw a person surrounded by many people. He asked ‘what is this? The people said’ “He is Allama.’ The Holy Prophet (S) asked ‘what do you mean by Allama?’ The people replied “ he has good knowledge of Arabian dynasties, history of Arab wars, arabic poetry etc.”
The Holy Prophet (S) replied: “Beware, this is such a type of ilm which is neither beneficial nor harmful. There are different types of alims: Mohkam Ayat, Aadil Fazira and Mustakim sirat. Anything else is superficial. (it means that Allama is one who is expert in these three ilms, which are called ilms by shariat. In addition to these, a good poet, a good writer a good thinker, and a good philosopher cannot be called “Allama” – Jawadi)
Hazrat Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s) has said: The finished achievement of a man is to obtain ‘Religious Ilm’, to be patient during calamity and to search for financial means44.
It is stated by hammad through Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s) that when Allah wishes to bless any body He gives him religious education45.
The Holy Prophet (S) has said that Aalims are the trustees, followers are the forts and oasis are the leaders.
Son, remember the discussion about ilm is prayer. Don’t neglect it. The Holy Prophet (S) has said: Discuss religious topics, meet each other and talk about it. The hearts shines by listening to tradition. Heart also gets rusted like a sword. Tradition remove the rust and sharpen it46.
Hazrat Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) said: Allah blesses one who keeps alive Ilm. ‘It means that discuss religious topics with ahle al-deen and Ahle Taqwa (those who are pious).
May Allah guide you to words religious Ilm and good deeds. If circumstances demand that you do business, if you don’t do it you are liable to incur loss for yourself and there is a possibility of your committing sins (then definitely do business) but in doing business don’t neglect your religious studies. Spend some time for business and some time to obtain Ilm. The essence of tradition and experience is that by running around more, income does not increase nor it decreases by spending some less time47.
Beware don’t spend your whole life in business, there by neglecting the procurement of ilm. Doing like this is like following the habits of animals. As a matter of fact, it is very unfortunate that man does not understand his responsibilities. His recitation and Duas are just fluttering of lips which have no meaning.
It is appropriate and necessary that ‘Majlis al-Husain’ (a.s) should be made the basis of life. There is ‘this world’ and hereafter both in it. It has worldly benefit and you also obtain religious ilm.
(Alas, in this age, lectures are devoid of ilm. Now it is not necessary to have religious ilm for Zikr and lectures).
Be careful that the tongue remains pure of lies and allegation. Without proper research, don’t say anything in the name of Aeima al-Masoomeen (a.m.s.). In reciting ‘Masaeeb’ depend on trustworthy tradition. Don’t ever think that by reciting more ‘Masaeeb’ there will be more weeping. Wailing and crying happens due to its effect on the heart and not by creating traditions. The best way to arouse the feelings is by first reciting the high status and wonderful deeds of Ahle Bayt (a.s) so that their greatness and personalities are made known, then their calamities and sufferings should be described. This will have an immediate effect on heart.
Beware even after attaining a high position in Ilm. Don’t desire leadership or power, It is like putting yourself in trouble and destroying your ‘Deen’. I am telling you this from experience. After becoming a leader, if you keep speaking the bitter truth, then you will not have peace of mind and people will start abusing you. If you act as per the wishes of the people, then, you will suffer in the next world.
Run away from leadership as if you are running away from a lion because there is no benefit in a thing, which keeps you away from Ibadat. In my whole life, I have not come across such a leader who acts honestly and has not become a victim of public criticism. People think it fair to attack his wealth and honour. They even consider it legitimate to abuse him. Not only that, they treat him as ‘Kafir al-Harbi’.
Beware, don’t create tools for leadership nor hatch plots for it. By doing these things, you will bring harm on yourself and you will be deprived of happiness in this world and your religion also will be effected. Yes, if leadership comes automatically, then accept it but be careful about ‘Nafs’ every Mu’mint of your life because there is danger of ‘Nafs’ (desires) and the possibility of falling prey to your desires. Advantages are less and disadvantages are more. Those who can save themselves are few and those who fall from grace are many. There are few ‘danger spots’ for ‘leadings Alims’ which need to be pointed.
This is a deadly poison so beware of it. Many a times, you err and are ruined, specially in such a time when honest men are few and satan’s followers are many. Cunning people will do such deeds which will take ¾ of them to hell and only ¼ will go to heaven.
Will any sensible man be ready to do such a deed in which the possibility of loss is more than that of profit? Can any pious man dare to sit on a seat where prophet and wasi used to sit or some wretch evil man used to sit48?
Can there be someone who has so much self-confidence in himself that he considers himself equal to ‘prophet’ and a wasi so that he can save himself from above mentioned misfortunes?
Beware, don’t go astray by satan’s treachery and don’t fall into the trap of judgeship by considering it as ‘Wajibe al-Aini’, otherwise you will be ruined by your ignorance. Of course, if you go to such a place where there is no one else and if, thinking cooling and calmly, you feel judgeship as Wajib al-Aini, then as far as possible, try to make peace and reconciliation with both the parties and even after knowing the truth, deal with restrain.
Sometimes, rights of beggars, destitute, prophets’ house hold, people etc. are usurped and sometimes, without any solid base of Shariat rights are usurped by giving importance to self over others or relatives. Sometimes, because of the desire to spend money according to one’s wishes, rights of other are usurped due to lack of sincerity.
If you become ‘Marja’ regarding ‘ Shariat’s Rights’ then remember the following advice of my father (Taba Sarah):
(1) As far as possible, don’t spend ‘Huquq al-Shariya’ money on yourself. Be contented with whatever gifts and presents you get, because, I am afraid, that, if, in the beginning, you form the habit of spending from ‘Huquq al-Shariya’ for your needs, then, with the passage of time, the limit of needs will also increase. Money will be spent on luxuries and eventually, the purchase of property and estate will also be considered a necessity’, which is a sure way of destruction and ultimately you will become the rightful candidate for permanent Allah’s punishment.’ Rights’ are like doubts. One who moves around it, is bound to get trapped one day.
Yes, if you are not a ‘Marja’ for ‘Taqleed’ and Huquq’, then you can take your right as per your needs. And yes, never for a Moment think that if I do not spend from ‘Huquq al-shariya’, I will die of hunger because one who is responsible for providing livelihood is very reliable, If he sees you running away from the use of ‘Huquq’, then he will send gifts and presents which our conscience also accepts.
There is an extraordinary effect of not using ‘Huquq al-shariya’. There is ‘Noor’ in the heart, increase in life span, ‘Taufiq’ of Allah’s obedience and freedom from mistakes - sins. May Allah give you such experience whereby your faith in Him becomes strong and implicit.
(2) While distributing ‘Huquq’, remember the ‘Qurbat’ (nearness) of Allah. It should not happen that because of your personal selfishness. You distribute ‘Huquq’ amongst your servants and followers and those who are far away are deprived of it or you give more to those who are near to you and less to those who are far because one who is near is showing love and affection to you while who is far away is not able to show it.
Beware, always keep in mind the reasons and rules of ‘Shariat’ and accordingly, give prominence to one over the other, because to deliver the ‘Huquq is ‘Ibadat’ and in ‘Ibadat’ the ‘Niyyat’ of Qurbat’ is necessary. If the ‘Niyyat’ is not proper and right, then there will be responsibility from both the sides-giver of the ‘Huquq’. You will be loser in this world as well as in the next world because you will not get ‘Thawab’ as your Niyyat’ was not good.
Instead of doing haste in issuing fatwa, use discretion because it is the worst illness. Don’t issue fatwa without taking all the aspects of ‘Fiqh’ into consideration. It is quite possible that you will issue fatwa by looking at one part while some valid argument may be there is another part and you may become liable for ‘Azaab’.
I have seen several times that some Alims give fatwa by taking into consideration one part of the related tradition and the fatwa was proved against ‘Ijma’ because they did not take the trouble of looking at the other part.
If you will read the tradition of Abu Dalad about renting a mule, you will realise how difficult it is to give ‘Fatwa’. If a ‘Fatwa’ about a few ‘Dirham’ can stop rain falling from the sky, then what would result if one issues wrong fatwa about huge wealth, someone’s reputation and precious life.
It is written about Allama Hilli that after his death, he told his son that if the book ‘Al-Fayn’ and Ziarat al-Husain (a.s) were not there, ‘Fatwas’ would have ruined him. If this is the condition of Allama Hilli, what would happened to others!
Beware, don’t issue ‘Fatwa’ before obtaining all facts and information. Even after obtaining all information, avoid it as far as possible. However, if there is likelihood of people going astray and illiterate people holding sway, then do issue ‘Fatwa’ but be very careful.
Along with ‘Marjiyyat’ is born the love for pomp and splendor and this destroys the ‘Thawab’ (reward) and ruined the man. Beware of this danger . Take care of your ‘Nafs’. ‘Nafs’ always leads towards evil. As long as Allah does not shower His blessing, till then, may Allah give you and me ‘Taufiq’ to stay away from selfishness and desires. He is the only one Who bestows compassion and mercy on his servants.
Beware, your heart should not go against the soul by showing piety and contentment in public which is not there in actual reality. In the present age, this type of behaviour is seen everywhere (public life is different from private life).
Beware, this is ‘Shirk al-Khafi’ (hidden shrink) and if you ponder deeply, it is ‘Shirk al-jali’ (open shrink) also, as if a servant wants to glorify someone else expect Allah and he is engrossed in his thoughts, though his private life is not going to be hidden for long. Someday it will be disclosed and then he will fall from grace and his reputation will be ruined.
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