أَعـوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْـطانِ الرَّجيـم
I seek refuge in Allaah from the Wicked Cursed Satan
أعوذ بالله من أنا
I seek refuge in Allah from the I
لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِٱللَّهِ ٱلْعَليِّ ٱلْعَظِيمِ
There is no power and no strength except with Allah, the Most High, the All Great
اللهم صلي على محمد و ال محمد الأئمة و المهديين و سلم تسليما كثيرة
O’Ahmad O’Abdullah O’Mahdi from You O’Ahlul Bayt is Goodness And in You O’Ahlul Bayt is Goodness And Upon You O’Ahlul Bayt is Goodness
Labayk Ya Hussain
Faith of the Believers
The faith of a believer is incomplete without certain merits. Be informed that you are expected to emulate the Sunnah of your Lord, the most Exalted, the most Great, then the Sunnah of your Prophet [sawas] , then the Sunnah of your Imam.
Imam Al Ridha [as] is quoted on p.241, Vol. 2 of Al-Kafi as having said, ‘A believer does not reach the degree of conviction (iman) until he has acquired three merits: He follows a Sunnah from his Lord, a Sunnah from his Prophet [sawas], and a Sunnah from his wali (master, Imam). As for a Sunnah from his Lord, he has to conceal His secret; Allah, the
most Exalted, the most Great, has said, ‘He (alone) knows the unseen, and He makes no one acquainted with His mysteries, except a messenger with whom He is pleased… ’ (Qur’an, 72:26-27). As for a Sunnah of his Prophet [sawas], it is tolerating people. Allah, the most Exalted and the most Great, ordered His Prophet (‘s) to tolerate people, saying, ‘Hold to forgiveness; command what is right.’ (Qur’an, 7:199).As for a Sunnah from his wali, it is taking to patience during trials and tribulations.’
One who is expected to emulate an Attribute of his Lord whereby He is praised, there is no doubt that he is prepared to assume a great status and a tremendous significance. It is so because Allah [swt] enables you to enter His abode which He chose and preferred for His friends, the elite ones, the loved ones, and it is Paradise. He, therefore, is bound to guide you to merits which make you look like the residents of such an abode so that you will be on par with the abode and with those who reside therein. As for the abode itself, it is good and pure in the most perfect purity and light. Its residents are the Prophets, Messengers, Martyrs and the Truthful; therefore, the wisdom of the Wise One insists that there should be nobody inside this abode who looks like a stranger. Thus, you in such an abode will not look out of place. Through His munificence and mercy on you, He does not want you to abide except in the good and pure abode; therefore, His Divine care insists on guiding you to the most sublime of attributes, the most perfect, the most shiny, the most precious. He does not accept that you should emulate any merits except the ones which, due to their distinction, bring you sublimity and greatness, merits which He attributes to His own Self, praising thereby Himself. One whose merits are attributed to Him fits to reside in the abode related to Him. Since his neighbors in the said abode are friends of Allah, He has obligated him to adopt their mannerism.
‘O soul at rest and satisfied! Return to your Lord, well pleased and well-pleasing to Him! Enter, then, [your abode] among My devotees! Yes, enter My heaven!’(Qur’an, 89:27-30).
Muhammad ibn abu Nasr from Hammad ibn ‘Uthman from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.) who has said the following. "The holy Prophet has said, ‘The best minister for faith is knowledge, the best minister for knowledge is forbearance, the best minister for forbearance is amicable dealings and the best minister for amicable dealings is patience.’
True faith transpires when we apply the divine revelation, work in the way of Allah [swt] and our hearts rely willingly and lovingly only on Allah the Powerful and the firm Possessor of strength.
The Three Things
The Imam Ali Al Ridha [as] selected three of the merits in particular to be given preference, so much so that he described conviction as hinging on them:
First One has to keep his secret a secret because most people have shortcomings and are imperfect. But the attributes of perfection are so well known in their goodness, beauty and honor that people wish they have had them to adorn themselves by. Since they run contrarily to what the ego wants, and since people’s determination to oppose their ego is weak, they feel reluctant to struggle to achieve the above. But when they find someone with the determination to adorn himself with them, they worry lest he, indeed, should acquire them and thus become as them. Since Ahl al Bayt [as], the pious and the people of wisdom, know that the evil insinuating ego is also one of the believer’s enemies, belonging to the same category like those that stand to block his way, they [as] greatly commended the believer to conceal his secret, explaining to him that doing so is one of the attributes of the Lord whereby He praised Himself, and that conviction hinges upon it. Meaning to suspend self resisting when listening to Satanic insinuations. The inclination of the ego is to show off, the reason is that one to whom such an inclination is manifested will benefit there from, or he may be delighted there with, or his advice or supplication may be solicited, perhaps he will convey such knowledge to those who may benefit from it. There may be other reasons why such a manifestation is sound. Such hindering insinuations must be rejected if one is sound of judgment at all due to Allah’s will that he should hide his secret from them. He must confide his secrets only to the custodians of the secrets, the mysteries, of the Almighty. A wise person does not abandon the doing of what is more wise. He does not do anything except what is most perfect.
Our master, Imam Ali , son of Imam Hussain [as] said the following to Al Zuhri: ‘Beware of saying what the hearts reject even if you have an excuse for saying it, for you cannot excuse everyone who rejects what you may say.’ (Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 71, p. 156).
There are many incidents which condone hiding a secret and condemn going to extremes in propagating something. The conclusion achieved there from is that one who is dominated by love for secrecy and contempt for its revelation sees through the eyes of reason. When he sees an occasion to reveal, he reveals as much as he sees necessary. Thus, he follows the recommendations of Ahl al-Bayt [as] who have said, ‘Do not convey wisdom except to those who are worthy of it; otherwise, you will then do wisdom injustice. Nor should you hold it back from those who are worthy of it; otherwise, you will then be unjust to them.’ (Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 2, p. 78).
Imam Al Sadiq [as] once said to Al Mufaddal ibn Salih: ‘O Mufaddal! Allah has servants who deal with Him with the sincerity of His secret, so He deals with them with the sincerity of His kindness. These are the ones whose books of reckoning will pass by Him empty, so when they stand before Him, He shall fill them from the secrets of that with which they entrusted Him.’
Al Mufaddal asked the Imam, ‘Master! Why is that?!’
Imam Al Sadiq [as] said,
‘He granted them a respite till the time when the custodians [of His secrets] become acquainted with what went on between Him and them.’
Second One has to tolerate people. It is a Sunnah narrated about the Prophet [sawas]. We have already cited Imam Ali al Ridha [as] as saying that the one loved by Allah the most is he who emulates His Prophet [sawas]. The wisdom behind it is similar to that about hiding your secret from people. Actually, the latter is one way to tolerate people.
Al-Kafi quotes Imam al-Sadiq [as] saying, ‘The Messenger of Allah (‘a) has said, ‘My Lord ordered me to tolerate people just as He ordered me to perform the obligations.’
He also cites his grandfather the Prophet [sawas] as saying, ‘Tolerating people is half the extent of conviction (iman), while kindness to them is half the livelihood.’ (Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 117).
Imam al-Sadiq [as] said: ‘Socialize with the righteous secretly and socialize with the sinners publicly; do not be harsh with the latter lest they should oppress you. A period of time will come wherein the only one who safeguards his creed is one thought to be not very smart at all. He accustoms himself
to being called unintelligent, one lacking the faculty to rationalize.’ (Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 96).
Imam Al Sadiq [as] qouted Prophet Muhamamd [sawas] saying:
‘If someone lacks three merits, he cannot accomplish anything: piety which shields him from violating the sanctities of Allah (‘a), manners whereby he tolerates people, and clemency whereby he responds to the ignorance of an ignorant person. (Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 95).
Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has also said,
‘One who keeps his hand from harming people keeps away only one hand while they will keep away from him many.’ (Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 96).
Toleration means abandoning denial in order to avoid or minimize a wrongdoing, or it may be a precaution against initiating a wrongdoing. Toleration may be a measure to avoid the mischief of the person whom you tolerate, or it may be to attract him to righteousness. All these objectives cannot be rejected. Or it may be the outcome of fear, or to render something wrong ineffective. It is then that kindness, a smile, toleration of harm and rewarding evil with goodness is nothing but toleration.
‘Repel (evil) with what is better: Then will he whom you once hated become, as it were, your friend and intimate! And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune.’ (Qur’an, 41:34-35).
Third Patience during the time of trials and tribulations. There is no doubt that life is a believer’s jail. Any jail producing something good is by itself good. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said the following to a man who complained to him about being needy: ‘Be patient; Allah will find an outlet for you.’ Then the Imam remained silent for some time following which he asked the same man, ‘Tell me, how is Kufa’s jail?’ ‘Not roomy at all,’ the man answered, ‘and it stinks. Its inmates are in the very worst of condition.’ The Imam said to the man, ‘You are already in a jail, and you nevertheless want to be enjoying ease while still being there! Have you not come to know that life is a believer’s jail?’ (Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 195).
Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has said, ‘Had a believer known how many rewards he would have when afflicted with problems, he would have wished to be ripped off with scissors.’ (Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 198).
Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) has said, ‘If a believer is tried with an affliction, and if he takes to patience, he will be rewarded with rewards fit for a thousand martyrs.’ (Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 75).
If a believer has to be afflicted, he has to be patient. Allah created patience before affliction; otherwise, a believer’s heart would have cracked like an egg falling on a solid ground. Imam Ali (‘a) is quoted in Al-Kafi as having cited the Messenger of Allah (‘a) as saying, ‘Patience is of three types: at the time of affliction, during the time of obedience [of Allah’s Commandments] and at the time of avoiding committing a transgression. One who is patient when afflicted till he is solaced, Allah will write for him three hundred degrees between each is like the distance between the heavens and the earth. One who is patient while obeying [his Maker], Allah will write for him six hundred degrees, the distance between each is like the distance between the corners of the earth and the `Arsh. And when one is patient in order not to commit a transgression, Allah writes for him nine hundred degrees the distance between each is like the distance between the corners of the earth and the end of the `Arsh.’ (Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 75).
Imam Sadiq [as] said, ‘We [Ahl al-Bayt (‘a)] are quite patient, and our Shi`ah are even more so.’ Someone said to him, ‘May I be your sacrifice! How can your Shi`ah be more patient than you?!’ The Imam (as) said, ‘It is so because we are patient about what we know, whereas they are patient about what they do not know.’ (Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 76)