The Meaning of ‘bala' (tribulation)’
The insightful servants have suggested several meanings for the word ‘tribulations:’
It has been said that “tribulations” are the sins, which are the greatest misfortunes. Wrongdoing is a dangerous illness that, unless one repents and returns to Allah while compensating for his past deeds, it can lead to the spiritual death of his heart. When one’s heart dies he would lose touch with the Almighty, which leads to eternal atrocity and being away from Allah’s Mercy.
The Fourth infallible Imam, al-Sajjad (as), at the beginning of Munajat al-Ta'ibin (supplication of the repented) has mentioned this fact:
وَأمَاتَ قَلْبِي عَظِيمُ جِنَايَتِي.
My great crime, that is my wrongdoing, has caused my heart to die.
Abu-Dharr al-Ghifari, a disciple of Prophet Muhammad’s was asked: “What illness do you suffer from?” He answered:
I suffer from the illness of sin.
An Important Question-Answer
Amin al-Islam al-Tabarsi, in the great exegesis book “Majma’ al-Bayan”, explaining about the Qur’anic chapter al-Waqi’ah narrates: ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan visited ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud while he was sick, before his death. He asked ‘Abdullah: “What do you suffer from?”
‘Abdullah answered: “My sins.”
‘Uthman asked: “What do you desire?”
He replied: “My Lord’s Mercy.”
‘Uthman asked again: “Do you want me to call a doctor to visit you?”
“The real Healer has cured me,” answered ‘Abdullah.
‘Uthman asked him again: “Do you want me to pay your portion from Muslims’ treasury?”
‘Abdullah replied: “You did not pay it when I needed it, do you want to pay it now that I don’t need it anymore?”
‘Uthman stated again: “Let me pay it to your daughters instead.”
But ‘Abdullah said: “My daughters don’t need it either. I have recommended them to recite al-Waqi’ah chapter, because I heard from the Prophet (S) that anyone who recites al-Waqi’ah every night would never suffer from poverty.”
A Dialogue with Uways al-Qarani
The great Iranian poet, ‘Attar, narrates from Hurm Ibn Hayyan in his “Tadhkirat al-Awliya’ “, who said: “When I heard that Uways al-Qarani has reached the position of intercession, I desired to see him. I came to Kufah and looked for him until I found him doing ablution. He Asked me: “O Ibn Hayyan! What has brought you here?” I said: “The desire to befriend you.” He answered: “I don’t think that one, who befriends Allah, befriends anyone except Him.” I told him: “Give me a piece of advice!” He said: “O Ibn Hayyan! When you fall asleep, consider death under your pillow, and when you get up, consider it in front of yourself. Do not pay attention to the smallness of your sin; rather pay attention to Allah’s greatness, before whom you have committed the sin. Because if you consider your sins small, it is as if you consider Allah small!”
2. Remoteness from Allah’s Closeness
It has also been said that the great “tribulation” may be remoteness from Allah’s closeness - the position that is obtainable by belief, good deeds, and good morality. This position contains Allah’s pleasure and would lead to accompanying the prophets, martyrs, and the pious in the Hereafter.
Those who are always far from this position would eventually reach a position in which there are Satans and savages, but no humanity, belief, good deeds and morality. That is a place where human does nothing but oppression, wrongdoing, transgression, and immorality. On the other hand, those who are always seeking the nearness position benefit from Allah’s especial blessings; hence they engage in worshipping the Almighty and serving His servants, in a joyful and blissful state. In this engagement, they have no job but as a sincere servant, and no desire but reaching Allah’s nearness. Their hearts continuously gain blessings from Allah and leads it to all aspects of their beings.
Joseph, the truthful, seeking the route to Allah’s nearness, turned his diminutive house in Kan’an into a sincere worshipping and serving site. At the very beginning of this spiritual route, he dreamed of the future, seeing his high position. He made the deep darkness of the well his prayer place. He made the palace of the Egypt’s king, which was a falling place for Zulaykha (Potipher’s wife), his rising place to piety. He also turned the prison into a place of worship for himself and a place of guidance for others. He performed wisely and trustworthily as the treasurer of Egypt and sincerely served Allah’s servants as Egypt’s king. He thus reached the position of Allah’s nearness.
It has been said that “tribulation” means ignorance, which is the root of all difficulties, deprivations, and eternal misfortune. The Commander of the Believers (as), in a tradition about ignorance, states:
اَلجَهْلُ دَاءٌ وَعَيَاءٌ.
Ignorance is a kind of illness and disability.1
اَلجَهْلُ أدْوَأُ الدَّاءِ.
Ignorance is the most severe illness.2
الجَهْلُ مُمِيتُ الأحْيَاءِ وَمُخَلِّدُ الشَّقَاءِ.
Ignorance kills the alive and perpetuates misfortune.3
الجَاهِلُ لاَ يَعْرِفُ تَقْصِيرَهُ وَلاَ يَقْبَلُ مِنَ النَّصِيحِ لَهُ.
The ignorant does not recognize his own fault and does not accept the advice of the benevolent.4
الجَاهِلُ مَيِّتٌ وَإنْ كَانَ حَيّاً.
An ignorant person is dead, though he is apparently alive.5
الجَاهِلُ صَخْرَةٌ لاَ يَنْفَجِرُ مَاؤهَا، وَشَجَرَةٌ لاَ يَخْضَرُّ عُودُها، وَأرْضٌ لاَ يَظْهَرُ عُشْبُهَا.
An ignorant person is like a rock which does not flow water, a tree which does not bear a green leave, or a ground that does not grow a plant.6
Imam ‘Ali (as) addresses Allah in one of his supplications this way:
أنَا الجَاهِلُ: عَصَيْتُكَ بِجَهْلِي، وَارْتَكَبْتُ الذُّنُوبَ بِجَهْلِي، وَسَهَوْتُ عَنْ ذِكْرِكَ بِجَهْلِي، وَرَكَنْتُ إلَى الدُّنْيَا بِجَهْلِي.
I am an ignorant person, who disobeyed You because of his ignorance, committed sins, forgot Your remembrance, and got interested in the material world.7
Bad state means immortality that is one of the worst problems. The insightful people believe it is the most severe concealment, which deprives human from understanding the truth, gaining blessings and Allah’s nearness, seeking His way and countenance, comprehending Qur’anic teachings and the traditions,.
كَلاَّ إِنَّهُمْ عَنْ رَبِّهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَمَحْجُوبُونَ.
Surely on that Day they (the sinners) will be covered from the Mercy of their Lord. (83:15)8
The Almighty has stressed on the importance of purifying the soul from vices and adorning it with virtues over any other duty of humans. After swearing eleven times in His Qur’an, the Almighty has stated the eternal fortune and salvation of the purified servants and the disappointment of the sinners:
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا. وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ دَسَّاهَا.
He will indeed be successful who purifies it (the soul). And he will indeed fail who corrupts it. (91:9-10)
Human’s immoral state leads to moral blindness, remoteness from the truth, deafness to the call of Allah and His prophets, and lack of awareness of Allah’s Mercy. The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
خِصْلَتانِ لاَ تَجْتَمِعَانِ فِي مُسْلِمٍ: البُخْلُ وَسُوءُ الخُلُقِ.
A believer does not possess two attributes; stinginess and bad morality.9
Imam ‘Ali (as) stated:
لاَ وَحْشَةَ أوْحَشُ مِنْ سُوءِ الخُلُقِ.
No fear is more frightening than bad temper.10
سُوءُ الخُلُقِ شَرُّ يَقِينٍ.
Bad-temperedness is the worst companion.11
The Messenger of Allah stated as well:
إنَّ العَبْدَ لَيَبْلُغُ مِنْ سُوءِ خُلُقِهِ أسْفَلَ دَرَكِ جَهَنَّمَ.
In fact a servant reaches the farthest position in Hell from his bad-temperedness.12
Inadequacy of Acts
If one wants to reach prosperity, spiritual perfection and eventually Paradise, he must act in accord with the Qur’anic verses and the traditions of Prophet’s Household. He must also observe the necessary criteria like perseverance, sincerity and desire in order to be able to reach that perfection.
If one’s acts are devoid of understanding, perseverance, and desire, and not in accord with Allah’s will, and if they are done with dullness, insincerity, stinginess, jealousy, and pride, how can they cause a human to reach salvation and be freed of misfortunes?
The Commander of the Believers, despite having unique spiritual resources, called out Allah, in his prayers at nights:
آهِ مِنْ قِلَّةِ الزَّادِ وَبُعْدِ السَّفَرِ وَوَحْشَةِ الطَّرِيقِ.
Ah betides the limitation of resources, the farness of the destination and the fear from the way!13
It is necessary to study about the methods of worshipping performed by Allah’s favorite servants to know about their perseverance, desire, and sincerity in serving Allah, and thus get motivated to serve and worship Allah, out of desire. This way, our hearts become illuminated and we get to seek Allah’s path to experience spiritual life.
The martyr, Qazi Nur Allah Shushtari has narrated in his book “Majalis Al-Mu’minin” that Uways al-Qarani said at some nights: “This is the night for genuflection.” And he spent all that night in genuflection. Some other nights he said: “This night is for prostration.” And he spent the night only in prostration. Someone told him: “How do you have the ability of for worshipping for so long at nights?” He answered: “Do you think the nights are long? I wish all the world was but one night, so that I could spend it all in one prostration!”
The Restrictive Fetters
The insightful servants and the seekers of truth explaining about the phrase “My fetters have tied me down,” have stated:
Perhaps “my fetters” means the sins and especially major sins that restrict human beings and tie him down. The sins prevent one from worshipping and serving Allah, depriving him from His blessings. An evidence of this is an important tradition narrated from Amir al-Mu’minin, ‘Ali (as):
Someone told Imam ‘Ali (as): “I used to perform the night prayers and Nafilas, but I can no longer do so.” Imam (as) said:
أنْتَ رَجُلٌ قَدْ قَيَّدَتْكَ ذُنُوبُكَ.
You are a person, whose sins have become his fetters, tying him down and preventing him from night worshipping.14
There is another possibility that “the fetters” are useless entertainments and activities, which prevent human from paying attention to more important real purposes of life. In a tradition from the Messenger of Allah (S), this is mentioned:
مِنْ حُسْنِ إسْلاَمِ المَرْءِ تَرْكُهُ مَا لاَ يَعْنِيهِ.
One of the good things a Muslim observes is the abandoning of those activities that are of no use to him.15
وَحَبَسَني عَنْ نَفْعي بُعْدُ أَمَلي
O Allah! My high hopes have held me back from my gain.
Being hopeful is a blessing from the Almighty that is implanted in every human to be able to begin useful, positive activities and be optimistic about their future benefits. If this great blessing did not exist, human being would not be able to anything, would not make any efforts, and would not be interested in any engagement.
It is narrated that once Jesus (as) was in a desert while an old man was plowing the farm by his tools. Jesus (as) looked up to the heaven and prayed: “O Allah! Take his hopes away from him!” Then the old man put away his tools and slept. After a while, Jesus (as) prayed again: “O Allah! Give back his hopes to him!” The old man got up and resumed his work.16
The Messenger of Allah (S) stated:
Having hope is a Mercy for my nation. If there existed no hopes, no mother would breastfeed her child neither any farmer would plant any trees.17
The fourth infallible Imam, Imam al-Sajjad (as), asked Allah:
أسْألُكَ مِنَ الآمَالِ أوْفَقِهَا.
Fulfill the truest of my hopes!18
Positive hopes like reaching scientific positions, moral perfection, salvation in this world and the Hereafter, serving Allah and His servants, and leaving useful works after one’s death, such as mosques, roads, hospitals, schools, and libraries are excellent hopes by a believing servantHereafter.
On the other hand, if human hopes are limited to material issues and exceed the designated and required amount to such an extent that they remove security and calmness, bring about stinginess and greed, and lead to, emulation and pride, they are false hopes and satanic illness. Such hopes makes one forget Allah and the Hereafter, and deprive him of worshipping and obeying Allah.
The traditions narrated from the Prophet’s Household (as) contain valuable facts in this regard. Imam ‘Ali (as), in a tradition says:
الأمَلُ كَالسَّرَابِ؛ يَغِرُّ مَنْ رَآهُ وَيُخْلِفُ مَنْ رَجَاهُ.
Unreal hope is like a mirage, anyone who looks at it is deceived by it and anyone who is hopeful of it would get hopeless.19
الأمَلُ خَادِعٌ غَارٌّ ضَارٌّ.
Unreal hopes are deceiving and harmful.20
الأمَانيُّ تُعْمِي عُيُونَ البَصَائِرِ.
Unreal hopes blind one’s perception and insight.21
الأمَلُ سُلْطَانُ الشَّيَاطِينِ عَلَى قُلُوبِ الغَافِلِينَ.
Unreal hopes are like the sultan of satans that govern the negligent hearts.22
Prophet Moses (as), in his prayer, heard Allah saying:
يَا مُوسَى! لاَ تُطَوِّلْ فِي الدُّنْيَا أمَلَكَ فَيَقْسُو قَلْبُكَ، وَالقَاسِي القَلْبِ مِنِّي بَعِيدٌ.
O Moses! Do not have high wishes in the world, since they make you hardhearted, and the hardhearted is away from Me.23
Imam Sadiq (as) called Allah in the ‘Arafa supplication:
أعُوذُ بِكَ مَنْ دُنْياً تَمْنَعُ خَيْرَ الآخِرَةِ، وَمِنْ حَيَاةٍ تَمْنَعُ خَيْرَ المَمَاتِ، وَمِنْ أمَلٍ يَمْنَعُ خَيْرَ العَمَلِ.
I seek refuge to You from the world that hinders a better Hereafter, from a life that prohibits the best death, and from a wish that avoids doing the best deed.24
Imam ‘Ali (as) said:
مَنْ أيْقَنَ أنَّهُ يُفَارِقُ الأحْبَابَ وَيَسْكُنُ التُّرَابَ وَيُوَاجِهُ الحِسَابَ وَيَسْتَغْنِي عَمَّا خَلَّفَ وَيَفْتَقِرُ إلَى مَا قَدَّمَ كَانَ حَرِيّاً بِقِصْرِ الأمَلِ وَطُولِ العَمَلِ.
One who is sure he would get separated from his friends after death, would be placed in the earth, would be probed by Allah, would get needless of what he has left in the world and in need of what he has sent before, is deserved to have limited wishes and high attempt.25
High hopes can severely harm humans, depriving him of Allah’s blessings. Human being, from the time of birth in itself, is like a fertile land. If this productivity is maintained together with the raindrops of Allah’s mercy then he would bring about the blossoms of good morality and deeds. If, on the other hand, this productive land is turned into a desert because of diseases such as ignorance, pride, greed and high hopes, it would not grow certain beliefs, good morality and deeds.
وَالْبَلَدُ الطَّيِّبُ يَخْرُجُ نَبَاتُهُ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ وَالَّذِي خَبُثَ لا يَخْرُجُ إِلاَّ نَكِدًا كَذَلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَشْكُرُونَ.
And as for the good land, its vegetation springs forth abundantly by the permission of its lord, and as for that which is inferior its herbage comes forth but scantily. (7:58)
High hopes embrace human heart like a spider’s net, hinders his thought and understanding of the truth; thus making him forgetful of Allah’s remembrance, the Hereafter, and from preparing the provisions for the Last Day.
In fact, having such limited life, a man with high hopes of reaching infinite wealth, property, land, position, and foreign travels, cannot concentrate on Allah’s remembrance or the Last Day, neither on doing good deeds nor compensating his previous sins and faults!
The Messenger of Allah (S) states in an important tradition:
إنَّ أخْوَفَ مَا أخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ خِصْلَتَانِ: إتِّبَاعُ الهَوَى وَطُولُ الأمَلِ. أمَّا اتِّبَاعُ الهَوَى فَيَصُدُّ عَنِ الحَقِّ، وَأمّا طُولُ الأمَلِ فَيُنْسِي الآخِرَةَ.
In fact, the most severe fear I have for you are two qualities; following the carnal soul and high hopes. Following the carnal soul prevents human from accepting the truth and high hopes prevents remembering the Last Day.26
In order to become free of this deadly captivity, it is useful to contemplate on the previous generation’s lives, attend religious gatherings, ponder about the Holy Qur’an and the signs of the Household (as), read historical books and visit the cemetery once in a while.
Truly, when the heart is captured by imaginary hopes and unwise wishes, human loses the true benefits of the world and the Day of Judgment, and even of the life, knowledge and thought.
A Strange Account
The great Iranian poet, ‘Attar Nayshaburi, narrates: Once Hasan Basri was going somewhere when he reached the river of Dajla and waited there. Suddenly Habib ‘A’jami, who was a pious man, came and said: “My teacher! Why are you standing here?” Hasan answered: “I am waiting for a ship.” Habib said: “You have taught me not to be jealous of other people, and not to have high hopes, so that my desire for this world become little, thus, I can then walk on the water and cross it!” Then Habib walked on the water and crossed it. Seeing this, Hasan fainted. When he was conscious, he was asked as to why he fainted. So he answered: “He has learned his knowledge from me, but now he reproaches me by walking on the water. If on the Last Day I am ordered to pass the Sirat Bridge27 and I am incapable of it, what will I do?28“ Then he asked Habib: “How could you reach such a position?” He replied: “O Hasan! I whiten my heart and you blacken the papers!” So Hasan said: “My knowledge benefits others, but not myself!”
وَخَدَعَتْنِي الدُّنْيا بِغُرُورِها
And this world with its delusions has deceived me.
The goodness and fraud of this world should be evaluated with regard to one’s thoughts and state of mind. The one, who is defeated by the carnal soul, is drenched in false dreams, and is polluted with moral vices like pride, greed, an envy, is ignorant of Allah, the Hereafter, the Prophets’ prophet hood, the Imam’s Imamate, and the reality of Qur’anic verses. Such a person is easily deceived by worldly material, luxurious life, wealth and worldly positions and considers these as the only truth. He thus spends all his lifetime gaining these worldly goals. Eventually, he wakes up on the time of his death when he has to depart, and finds his worldly aims as mere fraud and all his efforts as useless. He is forced to go to the next world without any virtues done.
The pharaohs and Korahs of history were not pharaohs and Korahs from birth; rather they have become the people that they were due to mental illnesses, false viewpoints and untrue estimates.
Someone who does not have a polluted soul, is not engaged in false thoughts, and does not have vices, is well aware of Allah, the Hereafter, the prophets, the Imams and the Holy Qur’an. Such a person considers the world along with all its facilities nothing but a tool for living purely, doing good deeds, and preparing for a better hereafter. He, therefore, utilizes all his lifetime for fulfilling these goals.
The heavenly messengers and the infallible Imams (as) are humans who have not been trapped by the world’s luxuries and have not been deceived by material issues.
The insightful, who see everything through their hearts, have left some advices from themselves that are valuable for the thoughtful people.
Amir al-Mu’minin, Imam ‘Ali (as), states: “I was in a garden of Fadak, which belonged to Hadrat Zahra (as), gardening with a shovel. Suddenly, a lady came to me, who looked great and pretty to me. I thought she was Thaniyya, daughter of ‘Amir Jamhi, who was famous for her beauty among the women of Quraysh. She told me: “O son of Abu Talib! Are you interested in proposing me? If yes, I am ready to become your wife. Then I would help you to fulfill your need for making a living, would guide you to the earth’s treasures, and would govern you on the world.” I asked her: “Who are you that I take you as my wife?” She said: “The world!” I said: “Go away and look for a husband other than me, since I have divorced you three times, and there is no return from my decision.”29
One, who is deceived by the deceptive world, has made himself unfortunate forever, depriving himself from the blessings of this world and the Hereafter. And one, who is uninterested in this world, has gained a great benefit and an eternal blessing; Allah’s pleasure.
Imam Sadiq (as) states:
مَنْ زَهِدَ فِي الدُّنْيَا أثْبَتَ اللهُ الحِكْمَةَ فِي قَلْبِهِ وَأنْطَقَ بِهَا لِسَانَهُ وَبَصَّرَهُ عُيُوبَ الدُّنْيَا وَدَاءَهَا وَدَوَاءَهَا وَأخْرَجَهُ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا سَالِماً إلَى دَارِ السَّلاَمِ.
One, who is indifferent to the world, Allah would bestow wisdom on his heart, enable his tongue to utter it, make his eye seeing of the world’s faults, illnesses, and treatments, and would eventually transfer him, safe and sound, to the Territory of Peace.30
Luqman, the wise, told his son:
يَا بُنَيَّ! إنَّ الدُّنْيَا بَحْرٌ عَمِيقٌ قَدْ غَرِقَ فِيهَا عَالَمٌ كَثِيرٌ، فَلْتَكُنْ سَفِينَتُكَ فِيهَا تَقْوى اللهِ وَحَشْوُهَا الإيمَانَ وَشِرَاعُهَا التَّوَكُّلَ وَقَيِّمُهَا العَقْلَ وَدَلِيلُهَا العِلْمَ وَسُكَّانُهَا الصَّبْرَ.
My son! Indeed the world is a deep see, which has drowned many worlds. So you should travel in it with the ship of piety, load this ship with belief, take a sail of reliance on Allah for the ship, employ a crew of wisdom, a guide of knowledge and passengers of patience and tolerance for it.31
The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأنَّكَ غَرِيبٌ أوْ كَأنَّكَ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ، وَعِدْ نَفْسَكَ فِي أصْحَابِ القُبُورِ.
Be present in this world as if you are an alien, or a passing traveler, and consider yourself as the dead ones.32
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
يَا بْنَ جُنْدَبٍ! إنْ أحْبَبْتَ أنْ تُجَاوِرَ الجَلِيلَ فِي دَارِهِ وَتَسْكُنَ الفِرْدَوْسَ فِي جِوَارِهِ فَلْتَهُنْ عَلَيْكَ الدُّنْيَا.
O son of Jundab! If you like to be Allah’s neighbor in His House in the Hereafter and be with Him in His paradise, this world should be worthless for you.33
The Qur’anic verses and the traditions of Prophet’s House (as) imply that if the world is employed to do good deeds and advantageous performances, in order to construct the hereafter fruitful, this is a fine worthy world. If, on the other hand, it is used for badness, oppression, and sins, and destroys the hereafter, it is indeed a worthless world.
In general, the goodness or badness of the world depends on the people’s ideas and performances. If one acts with belief, morality and good deeds, living in the world is certainly for his benefit. But if he lives in the world with disbelief, idolatry, bad morality, and wrongdoing, the world is harmful for him.
As a result, it is not possible to judge the world without knowing about the human’s relationship with it as well as his performance in it. For those people for who the world is considered deceitful, it is said: All the badness is gathered in a house, whose key is love for the world. Entering the world is easy, but exiting it safely is difficult.
If the hereafter were a lasting clay container and the world were a temporary golden one, the hereafter would still be deserved to be loved by the people. However it the hereafter that is like a golden and permanent container and the world is like an ending clay one.
Abu Hazim Makki said: “It is supposed that you avoid the world because I was informed that on the Last day the servant is brought into account and a caller will call on behalf of Allah that this is a servant who belittled what Allah praised and liked whatever Allah disliked.”
وَنَفْسي بِخِيانَتِها وَمِطالي
My own soul with its offences and my dilly-dallying have deceived me.
The soul is a phenomenon, which is impossible or at least difficult for one to understand, but recognizing its signs, as mentioned in Qur’an and the traditions are not as hard.
If the soul is not put into training and through purification, it would become polluted with whims and desires, and then committing any sins would become easy for it.
Whim lexically means “falling down or moving in a wrong direction” and also “extreme desire for anything”. Desire implies “collapse, corruption, and being misled”. Psychologically, desire means “a stressful motion in human soul that does not leave him relaxed, such as love, hatred, and wrath.”
One who is desirous for something in every moment does not have the power to move towards perfection. Achieving perfection requires calmness and peace of the mind. As far as there are desires, there is no peace and the mind then does not govern the soul. A child is naturally desirous, so he should be watched closely so that he may not get accustomed to being desirous. Women are also desirous by nature, because they are perfect in nature. Moreover, this is a necessity for women, because they are created for managing the internal affairs of the house and they should pay attention to the details. What harms women more than other things is jealousy which they should try and control through training and trying.
In general, if the desire is left with no reign, it would change into lust. And if wisdom cannot rule this lust, it may transgress and lead to insanity. This insanity is quite visible in people’s greed and ambition. Such people are like the deaf and the blind and would do anything to reach their purpose. For doing so, they violate all social and religious sanctities and may even become disloyal to their friends and their country. No one should trust the friendship of such people, because they have only one single beloved for which they can sacrifice all other dear ones. Those who suffer from the insanity of greed only like those people who are ready to be a tool in their hand, for facilitating their evil intentions, thus they generally hate piety and the pious ones.
People’s desires turns to severe lust and lust makes them insane because a strong lust destroys their thinking and wisdom.
The extreme desire for positions is the most severe lust, which has harmed mankind more than other lusts. This lust has colored the pages of history in red, causing people to kill their fathers, brothers and sons.
It should be pointed out that by following the carnal soul it is only referred to the harmful aspects of it that causes lusts and desires. In fact, no one should completely ignore his soul, as some of the seekers of truth have wrongly misunderstood. But since humans are naturally more inclined to the negative aspects of their souls that is engaging in wrongdoing, the religious leaders have warned us against the carnal soul entirely. That’s why during preaching the warnings are heavier than the hopes. Humans are inclined to a variety of social and personal attempts called the instincts, most of which lead to selfishness. And this selfishness is laid in human nature, out of Allah’s higher wisdom, for the continuation of life and steps of perfection.
This innate selfishness should be controlled by belief in Allah, the Resurrection, and spiritual relationship with the prophets and the infallible Imams, as well as by accomplishing the religious duties and observing the rights of other people, so that selfishness does not begin its reign. An extremely selfish person thinks about nothing but his personal benefits. This devilish vice would harm the selfish person in the first place, and the society at large. For instance anger is a prerequisite of selfishness, but it should be controlled and only employed for defending one’s life, wealth, reputation, country and right, not for bothering the weak. Extreme anger is savagery and an insignificant one lacks zeal.
Freedom, which is another instance, is the fruit of life and the prerequisite of human will, because it prevents him from being limited by others’ wills. But this innate tendency should be used wisely and moderately. If the blessing of freedom is used excessively, it leads to chaos. If it is used inadequately, it causes captivity and oppression.
Human instinct of loving wealth is also a decent one to the extent that it does not lead to malice on one hand, and illegal activities, such as theft, embezzlement, and gambling to gain it, on the other.
The best position in relationships with others is good morality, which should be kept in a moderate state, not to violate anyone’s rights.
Sociability and happiness with others is acceptable to the extent that it does not turn into unsuitable mockery. Mentioning friends’ virtues is encouraging them to goodness, but it should not lead to flattery34. From the above-mentioned issues, the vices of the soul, which is not adorned with religious training, becomes clear.
Descriptions of the Soul
The Holy Qur’an has cited some descriptions for the soul that emerge due to human inattention to the religious and moral facts:
- The carnal soul, 2. The corrupting soul, 3. The fooling soul, 4. The reducing soul, 5. The pledged soul, 6. The desirous soul, 7. The woeful soul.
The Qur’anic verses containing these descriptions of the soul are in order:
إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلاَّ مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي.
Most surely man’s soul is prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy. (12:53)
وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ دَسَّاهَا.
And he will indeed fail who corrupts the soul. (91:10)
وَمَنْ يَرْغَبُ عَنْ مِلَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِلاَّ مَنْ سَفِهَ نَفْسَهُ.
And who forsakes the religion of Ibrahim but he who makes himself a fool. (2:130)
قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا.
Nay your souls have made the matter light for you. (12:18)
كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ.
Every soul is held in pledge for what it earns. (74:38)
وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ وَنَهَى النَّفْسَ عَنْ الْهَوَى، فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَى.
And as for him who fears to stand before his Lord and forbids the soul from low desires, then surely the garden- that is the abode. (79:40-41)
أَنْ تَقُولَ نَفْسٌ يَا حَسْرَتَا عَلَى مَا فَرَّطْتُ فِي جَنْبِ اللَّهِ.
Lest a soul should say: O woe to me! For what I fell short of my duty to Allah. (39:56)
Shaykh Baha’i in his valuable book, ‘Arba’in says: “By ‘soul’ in the traditions it is meant the savage powers, like lust and anger.” Ghazali in ‘Madarij Al-Quds’ has mentioned this point in the following sentence: ‘The ‘soul’ is ascribed to all the vices that are in contrast with the power of thinking.’
The Holy Prophet is reported to have said:
أعْدَى عَدُوِّكَ نَفْسُكَ الَّتِي بَيْنَ جَنْبَيْكَ.
The most severe of your enemies is your own soul that is placed between your two sides.35
The divine wise men say that the soul is fought only because of its belonging to the body, which causes savage and satanic vices. Regardless of this belonging to the body, the soul is really the mind, possessing the virtues of the angels. In this sense, the soul serves to worship Allah and to reach His paradise. Therefore the attributes of the soul’s belonging to the body should be fought so that the soul can reach peace and be safe from its satanic aspects. Otherwise, it would always be full of quarrels and disputes!
The great Persian poet, Sa’di, says: I asked someone the meaning of the following tradition of the Prophet: “The most severe of your enemies is your own soul that is placed between your two sides.” He answered: “It is because if you do good to any enemy he becomes a friend, but your own soul increases its enmity if you do good to it and fulfill its desires!” The followers of the carnal soul, who live unwisely, are the insane.
Buhlul was asked: “How many fools are there in the city?” He replied: “It is very hard to count them. Ask me of the number of the wise men!”
Amir al-Mu’minin’s Viewpoint about Reforming the Soul
Imam ‘Ali (as), out of his full insight into the reality and his knowledge about everything, has recommended some ways for reforming the soul that the great Shi’a scholar, the late ’Amudi, has cited in Ghurar al-°ikam:
إذَا رَغِبْتَ فِي صَلاَحِ نَفْسِكَ فَعَلَيْكَ بِالإقْتِصَادِ وَالقُنُوعِ وَالتَّقَلُّلِ.
When you desired to reform your soul do behave with moderation and contentment, and belittle the world.36
صَلاَحُ النَّفْسِ مُجَاهَدَةُ الهَوَى.
Reforming the soul is fighting the desires that destroy it.37
سَبَبُ صَلاَحِ النَّفْسِ العُزُوفُ عَنِ الدُّنْيَا.
The key to reforming the soul is preventing oneself from the worldly issues.38
دَوَاءُ النَّفْسِ الصَّوْمُ عَنِ الهَوَى.
The remedy for the soul is avoiding the unwise desires.39
سَبَبُ صَلاَحِ النَّفْسِ الوَرَعُ.
The key to reforming the soul is avoiding the sins.40
إنّ تَقْوى اللهِ دَواءُ داءِ قُلوبِكُمْ… وَطهُورُ دَنَسِ أنْفُسِكُم.
Piety and fearing Allah cures your hearts and purifies your souls.41
آفَةُ النَّفْسِ الوَلَهُ بِالدُّنْيَا.
Corruption of the soul is caused by considerable interest in the world.42
رَأسُ الآفَاتِ الوَلَهُ بِالذَّاتِ.
The greatest corruption is the lust for illegal enjoyments.43
طُوبَى لِمَنْ عَصَى فِرْعَوْنَ هَوَاهُ وَأطَاعَ مُوسَى عَقْلِهِ.
Blessed is he who fights the Pharaoh of his soul and obeys the Moses of his wisdom.44
This divine statement implies that everyone has a Pharaoh and a Moses on his soul and if he wants to reach Moses’ position, he should contrast it to the soul of the Pharoah, or else he would drown in the sea of demise. And if he follows the Moses of wisdom, he would deserve Allah’s praise, as a special believer:
سَلامٌ عَلَى مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ… إِنَّهُمَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Peace be on Musa and Haroun… Surely they were both of Our believing servants. (37:120, 122)
Imam ‘Ali Amir al-Mu'minin (as) has stated:
طَهِّرُوا أنْفُسَكُمْ مِنْ دَنَسِ الشَّهَوَاتِ تُدْرِكُوا رَفِيعَ الدَّرَجَاتِ.
Purify your souls from the pollution of unlawful lusts to reach high spiritual positions.45
Anyone who wants to attain a divine position, and desries to be released from the limited cage of nature to the garden of wisdom and understanding, should purify his soul from the pollutions and lusts, and prevent the soul from loving worldly enjoyments, so that he would be adorned with the attributes of angels, and would even reach a position higher than that of the angels.
The divine scholars have stated that human can purify his soul in one of these four ways: 1. Learning from the sinners, 2. Accompanying the wise men, 3. Asking his real friends about his own vices and faults, 4. Avoiding the sins in him that are mentioned by his enemies.46
The Description of my Dilly-Dallying
I have dilly-dallied for years and have done nothing for asking repentance, reforming my soul, attaining provisions for the Hereafter, doing good deeds, avoiding sins, and seeking wisdom and insight. The satisfaction with today and tomorrow has deceived me and prevented me from seeking the truth. O Allah! I ask you for a strong will and a power to fulfill my promises so that I may be released for this idleness of mine, as this weakness would eventually harm me, depriving me from Your mercy and forgiveness, and placing me among the disobedient servants.
يا سَيِّدي فَأَسْأَلُكَ بِعِزَّتِكَ أَنْ لا يَحْجُبَ عَنْكَ دُعائي سُوءُ عَمَلي وَفِعالي
O my Lord! So I ask you by Your Might not to let my evil deeds and acts veil my supplication from You.
The Reason for the Obstruction of Supplications
Wrongdoing is a veil that prevents humans from receiving the Divine blessings and Mercy, as well as from the fulfillment of the supplications, except if the sinner repents from his sins. Evil deeds take away the desire and mood of supplication from the servant, preventing him from coming to Allah’s presence. Even if a sinful servant succeeds in calling Allah and asking Him his requests, his supplications would not likely be fulfilled. Deprivation of the servant from the fulfillment of his supplications is in fact him being expelled from the Mercy of his Lord. It has been quoted from a mystical lover of Allah: It is harder for me to get deprived of supplicating than being deprived it from its fulfillment.
In this part of the supplication, the supplicant beseeches to the Almighty and asks him: My Lord! Hinder the effect of my evil doing on the fulfillment of my supplications, so that I can keep on supplicating and You continue accomplishing my prayers, out of Mercy.
It is narrated in a tradition that Amir al-Mu’minin (as) passed a place, together with some of his disciples, where he saw a young man putting his head against a wall, and swearing Allah by His Might to fulfill his request. Imam (as) stated: “His request would be accepted because of such swearing.”
Surely, the Compassionate Lord has the power to hinder the bad effects and open new doors to His servant. He is the One Who prevented the fire from burning Abraham (as). And he is the One Who prevented the knife from cutting the throat of Ismael (as).
وَلا تَفْضَحْني بِخَفِي مَا اطَّلَعْتَ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ سِرّى
Not to disgrace me through the hidden things You know of my secrets.
The servant should know that Allah is well aware of the entire world, all the beings and their hidden and apparent aspects, so there is no unfamiliarity, forgetfulness, or ignorance from Him. He is well aware of the past, present and future events. The hidden side of humans is evident to Him. If He reveals our hidden sins, we would be disgraced before our parents, spouse, children and others. If they know about our hidden sins, they would discard us, and perhaps not want to talk to us anymore.
The servant, in this section of the supplication, beseeches to the Lord to maintain his grace and not disgrace him for his hidden sins.
By murmuring these divine words, the supplicant should be sure that his Lord would never disgrace a repenting sinful servant. The Almighty conceals the sins to such an extent that He has stated about accounting for some of His servants’ deeds:
I account for their deeds Myself, so that their deeds would not get obvious to Prophet Muhammad, who himself is so kind to his Ummah, and so they don’t get disgraced before him.
The fourth infallible Imam has stated some of the attributes of the Almighty in Abu Hamza supplication like this:
سَتّارُ الْعُيُوبِ، غَفّارُ الذُّنُوبِ، عَلاّمُ الْغُيُوبِ، تَسْتُرُ الذَّنْبِ بِكَرَمِكَ، وَتُؤَخِّرُ الْعُقُوبَةَ بِحِلْمِكَ.
O the Concealer of faults, the Forgiver of sins, the Knower of the hidden, You conceal the sins out of Your Might, and You delay the punishments, out of Your Patience.
Some servants of Allah, with their limited capacity, astonishingly conceal others’ faults. If these are the Almighty’s servants, how good is the concealer Himself?
Prophet Jacob (as) who wanted to persuade Josef (as) that his brothers had behaved unjustly to him, only heard from him:
عَفَا اللَّهُ عَمَّا سَلَفَ.
Allah forgives what is past… (5:95)
An Astonishing Story on Forgiveness
Abu Abd Al-Rahman Hatam Ibn Yosuf Asam, a noble man from Khurasan, was highly knowledgeable and pious. It has been said that he was named al-Asamm47 because once a woman came to him to ask something. While talking to him, the woman unintentionally broke wind and got very ashamed. Hatam pointed at his ear, implying that he could not hear her speech. The woman got very happy that she was not disgraced before this knowledgeable scholar. No one was aware of this happening. But Hatam was named Asam from that time, because he pretended to hear badly until that woman was alive. When he passed away, another pious noble man dreamed of him and asked him: “How did Allah account for you?” Hatam answered: “Because I considered what I heard unheard, the Almighty forgave what I had ever done and heard altogether.”
وَلا تُعاجِلْني بِالْعُقُوبَةِ عَلى ما عَمِلْتُهُ في خَلَواتي مِنْ سُوءِ فِعْلي وَإساءَتي وَدَوامِ تَفْريطي وَجَهالَتي وَكَثْرَةِ شَهَواتي وَغَفْلَتي
And I ask You not to hasten me to punishment for what I have done in private: my evil acts in secrecy, my misdeeds, my continuous negligence, my ignorance, my manifold passions and my forgetfulness.
According to the Islamic teachings, if the Almighty hastened the people to punishment, not a single being would have remained on earth. But He does not hurry in punishing the sinful servants, due to His Mercy, so that they profit from the opportunity, come to Allah with genuine repentance, reform their previous faults and compensate for the previous duties. Moreover, the Almighty does not hasten the sinners to punishment so that if a believing progeny is to appear from them, the punishment would not hinder it. Also He postpones the punishment because of the children’s crying, the believers’ sincere supplication, and the supplicants’ weeping at night and repentance. And if there is no such hindrance, he does not delay the punishment.
Although hastening the sinners to punishment due to their boldness exists in Allah’s system, it can be removed by repentance, reforming the faults, and beseeching to Him, as the people of Prophet Jonah (as) removed the punishment from themselves.
It should be highlighted that if Allah’s punishment arrives, no one has the power to return it. Also sometimes the divine punishment is represented in the world as catastrophes such as famine, heavenly disasters, expensiveness of goods, distrust among people, and eventually spiritual metamorphosis.
The signs of inner metamorphosis are mentioned in an important tradition of the Prophet’s (as), in address to Imam ‘Ali (as):
يَا عَلِيُّ! إنَّ القَوْمَ سَيُفْتَنُونَ بَعْدِي بِأمْوَالِهِمْ وَيَمُنُّونَ بِدِينِهِمْ عَلَى رَبِّهِمْ وَيَتَمَنَّوْنَ رَحْمَتَهُ، وَيَأمَنُونَ سَطْوَتَهُ، وَيَسْتَحِلُّونَ حَرَامَهُ بِالشُّبُهَاتِ الكَاذِبَةِ وَالأهْوَاءِ السّاهِيَةِ، فَيَسْتَحِلُّونَ الخَمْرَ بِالنَّبِيذِ، وَالسُّحْتَ بِالهَدِيَّةِ وَالرِّبَا بِالبَيْعِ.
O ‘Ali! Soon after me, the nation is examined by its properties, they ask favor from their Allah for embracing the religion, they hope for His Mercy, and consider themselves safe from His punishment, they make His unlawful lawful, with lying and passions, so they make the intoxicant drink a lawful drink, the unlawful wealth a lawful gift and granting, and the usury a lawful business for themselves.48
In fact, if people’s hearts have not metamorphosed to a satanic state, due to insistence on evil doing, how can they consider Allah’s unlawful issues, such as the intoxicant drink, unlawful wealth, and usury as lawful so easily? These are the signals of the transformation heart, which is in reality part of Allah’s punishment, as was depicted in the appearance of the disobedient Israelite people whose sinners were addressed by Allah’s punishment call:
…فَقُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُوا قِرَدَةً خَاسِئِينَ.
…so we said to them: ‘Be as apes, despised and hated. (2:65)’
Imam ‘Ali (as) in these sentences has referred to four evil doings: 1. Dissipation, 2. Ignorance, 3. Passion, 4. Forgetfulness.
By dissipation, it is meant negligence in worshiping and in obeying Allah, as well as in serving His servants and doing good. The divine teachings have warned people against dissipation, considering it as an extreme harm that prevents them from benefiting the divine blessings.
التَّفْرِيطُ مُصِيبَةُ القَادِرِ.
Dissipation is the competent person’s disaster.49
ثَمَرَةُ التَّفْرِيطِ النَّدَامَةُ، وَثَمَرَةُ الحَزْمِ السَّلاَمَةُ.
The result of dissipation is regretful ness, and the fruit of prudence is safety.50
الجَنَّةُ غَايَةُ السَّابِقِينَ، وَالنَّارُ غَايَةُ المُفَرِّطِينَ.
Paradise is the fate of the forerunners and Inferno is the destiny of the dissipaters.51
The sixth infallible Imam, Imam Sadiq (as), stated:
مَنْ فَرَّطَ تَوَرَّطَ.
One who dissipates would severely get into troubles.52
Ignorance of the truths of the world and the Hereafter, as well as being unaware of the duties and rights of oneself and the others is like a dangerous illness. If this illness is not cured via acquiring knowledge and understanding, it would bring about permanent harm, disgrace, and ruin. Some of the traditions on ignorance were mentioned in previous pages under the explanation for the phrase “I have been audacious in my ignorance.”
Passion means an extreme desire for anything, gaining of which is a human goal. If this desire is for untrue and unlawful, it leads to committing sins and to the corruption of the spirit, and eventually results in the punishment in this world and the next one.
Longing too much for the worldly issues is the main cause of passion. This extreme craving, together with satanic temptations and accompanying the sinners, nourishes the tree of wrongdoing, the damned branches of which are various sins. It causes distance from Allah, deprivation from His Mercy, disgrace in the world, and punishment in the Last Day.
This dangerous tree would not be destroyed except by accepting advises, repentance and returning to Allah, and reflection and concentration on the course of the events.
The truthful servants say: The most dangerous branches of the passion tree, which have grown in most souls and led to many sins and immoralities, are seven: 1. Passion for positions and superiority, 2. Passion for wealth and belongings, 3. Passion for palaces and expensive mansions, 4. Passion for relationship with pretty women, 5. Passion for delicious foods and intoxicant drinks, 6. Passion for various splendid clothes, and 7. Passion for associating with the wrongdoers and the sinners.
These seven passions unintentionally stimulate seven satanic vices, depriving human heart from the rays of understanding: 1. Pride, 2. Hypocrisy, 3. Jealousy, 4. Greed, 5. Stinginess, 6. Oppression, and 7. Wrath.
Explanation of each of these seven vices and their destructive outcomes requires a separate book.
Those who have fell down into the well of passions, when startled by the messenger of death, finally understand that they have harmed themselves greatly, replacing a fine blissful Hereafter with a meek world, whose happiness is simultaneous with grief and whose enjoyment with displeasure.
The Unlucky Prince
The state of those entangled in the trap of the world and drowned in the darkness of passions is like that of a young prince whose father inclined to prepare his marriage, and thus a uniquely beautiful princess was proposed to and chosen for him.
When everything was ready for the wedding ceremony, everyone from the ordinary people to the noble ones were invited to the palace, were treated with gifts and various meals, and were happy of the cheerfulness and astonished with the splendor of the reception.
The angel-like bride was brought into the bridal chamber with make-up and diverse adornments, but the groom was absent and was not found in spite of a thorough search. On that very night, the groom had drunk excessive wine, and his mind had darkened, just as his luck. As we was in a state of drunkenness, he left the feast unknowingly and passed some alleys. There he reached a crypt of the Zoroastrians, in which they usually laid the bodies of their dead, lighting up fires and candles beside them.
Seeing the crypt, the young intoxicated prince conceived it as the bridal chamber and entered it. There, the body of a dead old woman, still intact, was put by the Zoroastrians. The unlucky drunk prince hugged the dead body passionately all night.
When he was sober again with the next morning breeze and found himself in a terrifying crypt by an ugly dead body, he almost died with embarrassment and shame. He kept thinking of how he could hide this happening from others when suddenly his father, along with their servants, found him and knew about the disgrace!
This is a panorama of the lives of those who have been deceived by an unpleasant domain of passions, exchanging a lucky Hereafter with it! Imam Sadiq (as) has narrated from his father, from the messenger of Allah (S), who stated:
طُوبَى لِمَنْ تَرَكَ شَهْوَةً حَاضِرَةً لِمَوْعُودٍ لَمْ يَرَهُ.
Blessed is the one who leaves a present passion for getting an unseen promised Paradise.53
حُفَّتِ الجَنَّةُ بِالمَكَارِهِ وَحُفَّتِ النَّارُ بِالشَّهَوَاتِ.
The Paradise is enveloped with the hardness of worship and obedience, and the Fire is surrounded by the passions.54
Someone told the fifth infallible Imam, Imam al-Baqir (as): “My worship and fasting are little, but I am willing not to have unlawful sustenance.” The Imam (as) told him:
وَأيُّ اجْتِهَادٍ أفْضَلُ مِنْ عِفَّةِ بَطْنٍ وَفَرْجٍ!
No deed is better than avoiding unlawful sustenance and passions.55
The messenger of Allah (S) said:
أكْثَرُ مَا تَلِجُ بِهِ أُمَّتِي النَّارَ الأجْوَفَانِ: البَطْنُ وَالفَرْجُ.
The most common reason for which my nation enters the Hell is passion of the belly and sexual passion.56
Forgetfulness means unawareness of something one has been aware of before. Too much engagement in worldly issues, appearance, and desires are all due to forgetfulness of Allah, the Day of Judgment, obedience, and worship.
Amir al-Mu’minin, ‘Ali (as), in his wise advices, warns people of the damages of forgetfulness:
الغَفْلَةُ أضَرُّ الأعْدَاءِ.
Forgetfulness is the most harmful enemy.57
وَيْلٌ لِمَنْ غَلَبَتْ عَلَيْهِ الغَفْلَةُ فَنَسِيَ الرِّحْلَةَ وَلَمْ يَسْتَعِدَّ.
Woe to the one who is overcome by forgetfulness, hence he forgets his immigration to the next world and would not get prepared for it.58
مَنْ غَلَبَتْ عَلَيْهِ الغَفْلَةُ مَاتَ قَلْبُهُ.
One, who is overcome by forgetfulness, his heart dies.59
دَوَامُ الغَفْلَةِ يُعْمِي البَصِيرَةَ.
Continuation of forgetfulness blinds human insight.60
Imam Hasan Mujtaba (as), the second infallible Imam, stated:
الغَفْلَةُ تَرْكُكَ المَسْجِدَ وَطَاعَتُكَ المُفْسِدَ.
Ignoring the worship at mosque and obeying the corrupted people are signs of forgetfulness.61
وَكُنِ اللّهُمَّ بِعِزَّتِكَ لي في كُلِّ الاَْحْوالِ رَؤوفاً وَعَلَيَّ في جَميعِ الاُْمُورِ عَطُوفاً
And by Your Might, O Allah! Be kind to me in all states and be gracious to me in all affairs!
No one in the world can describe Allah’s kindness, however knowledgeable he or she may be. But His kindness can be understood from pondering on Qur’anic verses and the traditions of the Prophet’s Household (as). The easiest way for recognizing the Mercy of the Almighty is paying attention to the instances in which His Mercy can be perceived.
It is narrated form the Prophet of Islam (S): I asked presented some requests before Allah, one of them was: “O Allah! Leave my nation’s deeds to me to account for them.” I was then addressed: “Even though you are the Prophet of kindness, but you are not the most Merciful. If you are informed of some of the sins of your people, you would hate them; let only Me know about their sins.
O Muhammad! I would account for them in such a way that no one would get informed of their sins, not even you. So when I hide their sins from you, who are the manifestation of kindness, I would certainly hide their sins from others too.
O Muhammad! If you have a prophethood of kindness to them, I have Godly Mercy to them. You are their prophet, while I am their Lord. If you are with them today, I have been kind to them from the very beginning and will be so until eternity.
The Sinner and Allah’s Forgiveness
Shaykh Baha’i says: A reliable man told me about a sinner who had died and his wife asked the people for help the washing, shrouding, and burial of his body. But they hated the dead sinful man so much that no one cooperated with his wife. Hence, she had to hire someone to bring him to the city’s public prayer mosque so that the believers might help hold the ritual there. But still no one attended! So she asked the hired man to take the dead body to the desert and bury it without washing and shrouding.
There was a mountain near that desert in which a pious man lived. He had spent all his life in worshipping Allah and the people living there knew him for his piety. As soon as he saw the sinful man’s body, he went to attend his burial ritual. When the neighboring people heard it, they rushed to accompany the pious man too.
People asked the pious man why he was attending the sinner’s ritual. He answered: “In my dream, I was told to come to this site of the desert where a single woman is accompanying a dead body, and pray for it, since he is forgiven.”
Everyone was astonished at this happening. The pious man called the sinner’s wife and asked about her husband. She answered: “Most of the days he was engaged in one sin or the other.” The pious asked her again: “Had you seen any good deeds from him?” She replied: “I saw three good deeds from him; first that everyday after committing sin, he changed clothes, and began praying humbly, second that his home was never void of orphans and he was more kind to them than to his own children, and third whenever he got up at night, he cried and said: O Allah! Where in the Hell will you place this sinner?!”
The Servant of ‘Abdullah al-Mubarak
Attar Nayshaburi says: ‘Abdullah Mubarak had a servant and had promised to set him free if he could work and pay back as much as his price. One day someone told ‘Abdullah: “Your servant opens the graves at night, steals the shrouds of the dead bodies to sell them and pays you!” ‘Abdullah was very upset at hearing this. One night, he secretly followed the servant to the cemetery where the latter entered a grave, put on old clothes and a chain around his neck, placed his face on the ground, and began supplicating and crying.
Seeing this, ‘Abdullah hid in a corner and began weeping silently. The servant continued worshipping until the dawn. Then he exited the grave and went toward the city. He entered the first mosque he saw for the Morning Prayer. After his prayer, he said: “My true Lord! Another night finished and my master asks me for Drachmas now. O Allah! You are the Provider of the poor and the Supplier of the unfortunate.” At that time, a heavenly light appeared out of which a gold Drachma was put in the servant’s hand. Observing this, ‘Abdullah was greatly astonished, went toward the servant, embraced him and said: “May Allah sacrifice me for you! I wish you were my master and I were your servant!” The servant said: “O Allah! No one knew this secret of mine. Now that it is revealed, I don’t want to be alive anymore; take me to Yourself!” So he passed away in ‘Abdullah’s hands. ‘Abdullah buried him in the same old clothes. That night, he dreamed of the Messenger of Allah (S) and prophet Abraham, who were coming to him on a horse, and told him: “Why did you bury our friend in old clothes?!”
In fact, the Almighty has Mercy on His servants in all states and in different forms, especially in the state of supplication and prayer.
إِلهي وَرَبّي مَنْ لي غَيْرُكَ أَسْأَلُهُ كَشْفَ ضُرّي وَالنَّظَرَ في أَمْري
My Allah and My Lord! Have I any but You from whom to ask remedy of my affliction and regard for my affairs?
My Lord and My Allah! Do I have any source of blessing and mercy, but You? I ask You for the remedy of my affliction and bad state, and attention to my life affairs.
My Lord! There is someone who can alleviate my misery, Who is powerful in every aspect, does not deprive me of His mercy, is not mean, and no one has the power to keep His mercy away from me. The One Who has all these perfect attributes and is away from any fault, is You.
If I seek refuge to anyone except You for the remedy of my affliction and ask him my request, he would not be kind to me, would not be able to solve my problem, would be unkind in fulfilling my wish, or Your Will would hinder his relationship with me. Therefore he cannot do anything for me. Hence I should not rely on Your creatures and wholly rely on You. I should be hopeless of all beings, like my relatives and friends and beseech only from You. I should humbly ask You for the remedy of my afflictions, difficulties, bad states and vices. I should ask You to save me from calamities, harms, and mental and spiritual illnesses.
One should always have hope only in Allah’s Mercy and should beseech to Him, in such a way that as if he is drowing in the middle of sea, with no relations, assistance, dependence and worldy reliance on anyone but Allah. As the Almighty told Jesus (as):
يَا عِيسَي، اُدْعُنِى دُعَاءَ الْغَرِيقِ الْحَزِينِ الَّذِى لَيْسَ لَهُ مُغِيثٌ.
O Jesus! Call me like the calling of one who has no supporter when being drowned!62
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
إذَا أرَادَ أحَدُكُمْ أنْ لاَ يَسْألَ رَبَّهُ شَيْئاً إلاّ أعْطَاهُ فَلْيَيْأسْ مِنَ النَّاسِ كُلِّهِمْ وَلاَ يَكُونَ لَهُ رَجَاءٌ إلاَّ عِنْدَ اللهِ، فَإذَا عَلِمَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ قَلْبِهِ لَمْ يَسْألِ اللهَ شَيْئاً إلاّ أعْطَاهُ.
Whenever one of you wishes to gain whatever he wants fromAllah, he should be hopeless of all the people and just be hopeful of the Almighty. When Allah sees such reliance in His servant’s heart, He will grant whatever the servant wants from Him.63
The one who says ‘O Allah! My Lord!’ deserves to be free from all reliance and dependence, except that which is from the true Creator. Such a person should observe the world, its wealth, position, passion, and material things as a blessing and a tool granted by Allah for having a sound worldly life and a prosperous Hereafter. Thus he should not consider these worldly elements as his master; for anyone who accepts anyone else besides Allah, is a polytheist and the prayer of polytheists would never be accepted.
The one who says ‘O my Creator!’ should be free from the sovereignty of other false masters, pharaohs and their traditions. Because if he is dependent upon false masters and follows their traditions, his prayer would not be accepted, even if he faces many hardships.
One should be hopeless of all creatures, which cannot even help to the slightest extent, except by Allah’s will. In this case, he would be wholly dependent on Allah, and should not feel insufficient.
The lovers of Allah who had sufficient knowledge about Him and His creatures and knew well that Allah’s creatures can do nothing to solve their problems, were always in a state of joyfulness and satisfaction towards their Lord, considering Him as the sole problem solver and saying wholeheartedly: ‘My Allah and My Lord’ like Prophet Moses (as) who stated: ‘My Lord! I have something in my poverty which you do not have in all Your resources.’ Then Allah addressed him: ‘What do you have?’ He answered: ‘I have a Lord like You!’64
When one cuts his relationship ties with everyone and pays attention only to Allah, He would have mercy on him, grant him blessings, solve his problems, and have regard for all his affairs. In this case, the servant would be accepted before the Almighty and would be subject to His Benevolence, despite his many sins.
The Tale of the Mother and the Child
An ascetic scholar narrates that a mother expelled his disobedient, disorderly adolescent son from home and told him: “Get out! You are not my child anymore.” He went out and played with other children until the sunset when all of them returned to their homes. When he saw himself alone without a friend, he returned home too and saw the door closed. So he put his head on the door, cried and called his mother to open the door for him, but the mother refused to do so. Meanwhile a pious scholar who was passing by showed pity for the son, knocked at the door, and asked his mother to allow him to come home again. The mother said: “I will accept your meditation provided that you write something so that whenever my son disobeyed again, he get out of home and do not call me his mother anymore.” The scholar wrote the same thing and gave it to the young boy’s mother, hence they reconciled again.
A while later, that scholar passed the same house and saw the young boy weeping again and telling his mother: “Do whatever you want, but don’t leave me alone!” But the mother did not accept. The pious man waited to see what happens next. He saw the boy weeping continuously until he fainted from sorrow. The mother who was looking at her child got upset, opened the door, and embraced him, saying: “O the fruit of my eyes! Come to home with me! If I refused to let you in, I was not serious, but I wanted to prevent you from disobedience and wrongdoing.”
Likewise, if a sinner feels his repentance and weeping is not accepted, he should not get hopeless; rather he should ask Allah repeatedly, like that young boy so that he would get subjected to Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. And if Allah has regard for human affairs, his affairs would become organized, his problems solved, and his poorness elevated, because Allah’s regard, mercy and blessing are infinite.
The Healing Regard
The biography of the king, Mahmud Ghaznawi, reads: One day he passed by the seashore and saw a sorrowful youngster who had spread his net for fishing.
The king asked the young man the reason for his sadness. He replied: “My seven brothers and I are poor orphans and have an elderly mother. After my father’s death, I have been responsible for making a living for my family. But everyday I can catch only one or two fish, which is not sufficient for the expenses of my big family.” The king told him: “Would you like me to help you with the fishing today?” The young man accepted. So the king said again: “Pull out the net in the name of your coworker this time.” The young man waited for a while and then took the ropes of the net to pull it out, but he couldn’t, so the king and his servants helped him pull it out. When it was pulled out of the water there were lots of fish in it.
After returning to the palace, the king sent someone to bring his coworker to him and placed him beside himself, behaving kindly towards him. Everyone said: “This is a poor man whose place is not beside you.” But the king answered: “He is my coworker and should benefit from whatever I possess.”
In other words, when the regard of a worldly king improves someone’s life to this extent and alleviates his troubles, how influential is the regard of a True King, whose perfection is infinite and whose mercy is countless, to a poor destitute human, who has turned to Him for his material and spiritual needs!
Allah’s regard, out of His mercy, is a regard that saved Noah (as) and the believers from the horrible storm, turned Moses’ (as) staff into a snake to oppose Pharaoh’s tyranny, rescued the Israelites from among the Nile’s turbulent waves, saved Job (as) from his many calamities, and released Josef (as) from the deepness of the dark well, brining him to the kingdom of Egypt.
The Amazing Story of Hatam al-Asamm
Hatam al-Asamm was among the pious men of his age, but despite his good reputation and authority he was among those who could hardly make the ends meet. However he had a strong belief in and reliance on the Almighty.
One night, while talking with his friends, they spoke about Hajj, the Kaaba pilgrimage. So Hatam heartily desired to go for pilgrimage to Kaaba, the place where Allah’s prophets (as) had humbly worshipped Him.
When Hatam returned home, he told his wife and children: “If you allow me to go to Mecca, I will pray for you there.” His wife said: “How do you dare go to pilgrimage while you are well aware of our poverty? This pilgrimage is obligatory only for those who are wealthy.” His children confirmed their mother’s words, except his little girl who said sweetly: “What is wrong with going to this pilgrimage? Let my father go anywhere he wishes, our Provider is Allah, and father is only a mediator for our sustenance. The Almighty can grant us our sustenance through other means, if He wills.” Everyone got aware of the fact in the clever girl’s words and allowed Hatam to go for Hajj and pray for them.
Hatam became very happy, prepared the necessary means for his travel, and joined the pilgrimage caravan. Being informed of the little girl’s words and Hatam’s travel, their neighbors came and reproached her, saying that this travel lasted for months and they could not make a living in their father’s absence. Hatam’s family reprimanded the girl too for not holding back her tongue, which had forced them to allow Hatam to depart.
The little girl was so upset that she burst into tears and at the same time she sincerely raised her hands to the sky and called her Lord: “O Lord! They have always benefited from Your mercy and Blessings and got used to it. Do not despair them and do not make me ashamed!”
While Hatam’s family were wondering how they are going to make a living, the ruler of the city, who was returning from hunting thirstily, sent some people to their house to bring him some water.
The ruler’s servants knocked at their door and asked for some water for the thirsty ruler. Hatam’s wife looked up to the sky, astonished, and said: “O Lord! We slept last night without any supper and today the ruler is in need of us!” Then she poured water in a bowl and apologized for the pottery bowl.
The commander asked his disciples: “Whose house is this?” They said: “It’s Hatam al-Asamm’s, who is a pious man. He has gone to pilgrimage and his family is living in a difficult condition.” The ruler said: “We have taken them into trouble asking for water. It is far from generosity for us to put such poor needy people into trouble.” Then he unfastened his golden belt and threw it into Hatam’s house and told his followers: “Throw your belts into this house if you like me.” All his followers did so. When they wanted to come back, the king told that family: “Allah’s praise on you! Now my minister takes the belts and pays you for them.” Soon the minister brought the price of the belts for Hatam’s wife and took the belts back!
Seeing this, the little girl began weeping. Everyone told her: “You should be laughing now not crying, because the merciful Allah has shown us a ray of His mercy by improving our life this way.” The girl said: “I am crying because last night we slept hungrily and today a creature of Allah’s had regard for us and enriched us. So how enriching will be Allah’s regard for a servant!” Then she prayed this way: “O Lord! Just as You had mercy toward us and arranged our life, have regard for our father and help him!”
Hatam, on the other hand, was going toward Mecca with the caravan while there was no one poorer than him. He had neither a horse to ride nor enough food to travel easily, but the people of the caravan who knew him helped him a little.
One night, Amir al-Hajj65 got so seriously ill that the caravan’s doctor could not do anything for him. Amir said: “Is there any pious man in this caravan to pray for me, so that I will be healed?” He was informed of Hatam al-Asamm. So Amir summoned him. The servants rushed and took him to Amir. Hatam greeted and began praying for Amir’s healing beside him. Because of Hatam’s prayer, Allah healed Amir. Therefore Amir showed special attention to Hatam; he ordered to give Hatam a horse and paid for all his expenses until the end of the travel.
Hatam appreciated Amir, and prayed and talked with Allah in a special attitude. When he went to sleep that night, he heard in his dream: “O Hatam! One who has reliance on Me and organizes his affairs by praying to Me, I would show Mercy to him. Do not worry about your family; I provided their sustenance too.” After getting up, Hatam praised Allah and was astonished at the enormity of His regard.
When Hatam returned from Hajj pilgrimage, his family welcomed him joyfully. Hatam attended to them all, but showed special attention to his little girl, hugged and kissed her, and said: “Some people might apparently be small, but they are great in reality. Allah does not attend to the great ones in terms of age and reputation, but to those who have a greater appreciation of Him. So I invite you to know Allah and rely on Him, because anyone who has reliance on Him would not be left alone by Him.”66
The Influential Regard
The great scholar, Sayyid Ja’far Mazari’i, has narrated: A cleric of the great seminary in Najaf could hardly make the ends meet. One day, he addressed Imam ‘Ali (as) in his holy shrine and said: “How do you have such expensive candelabrums in your shrine, while I am so needy?!”
The poor cleric saw Imam ‘Ali (as) in his dream on the same night, who told him: “If you want to live in Najaf, beside my shrine, there would only be this poor life for you. But if you like a wealthy luxurious life, you should move to Hiydar Abad, India to a specific person’s house, and tell him: ‘به آسمان رود و کار آفتاب کند’67 “After seeing this dream, the poor cleric went to the shrine again and complained: “My life is difficult here in my hometown. How can I move to India?” But he dreamed of the Imam (as) again who told him: “Your solution is what I told you. If you cannot tolerate such condition beside my shrine, you should go to India, to the house of that famous man and tell him: ‘به آسمان رود و کار آفتاب کند’.” After getting up the next morning, the cleric sold all his books and the little furniture he had and went toward India with the help of some generous people. In Hiydar Abad, India, he asked for the house of that person. The Indians were surprised that an ordinary poor cleric is asking about a wealthy man and wants to meet him.
When the cleric reached the rich man’s house, he knocked and the door was opened for him. Then he saw someone coming down the stairs of the mansion and told him: ‘به آسمان رود و کار آفتاب کند’
The rich man immediately called his servant and ordered them to take the cleric inside the house to take a bath, have a rest and change his clothes with luxurious ones.
So the cleric was warmly welcomed and treated well until the next evening. On the next day, the city’s noble ones from various social classes, like the scholars, businessmen, and the rich came to visit him in a splendid hall. The surprised cleric asked someone beside himself: “What is going on here?” “It is the marriage ceremony of the host’s daughter.” So the cleric thought to himself he has entered the host’s house on a good day.
When everything was prepared for the ceremony, the wealthy host came to the hall. Everyone stood up for honoring him and he sat in his own place after complimenting the guests. Then he addressed his guests and said: “I grant half of my whole wealth, including a definite sum of money, houses, lands, gardens, cattle, and furniture to this newly arrived cleric from Najaf. You all know that I have only two daughters. I accept him as the husband of my prettier daughter. You religious scholars should now read their marriage sermon.” When the marriage sermon was read, the overwhelmed cleric asked the rich man the reason for all those happenings.
The affluent man said: “Some years ago, I intended to compose a panegyric poem for Imam ‘Ali (as). I could compose one line of a verse, but did not succeed in composing the other line. I went to the Persian poets of India and asked them to compose the second line of this verse, but their composed line was not pleasant enough. I did not like the composed line of Iranian poets either. So I thought my verse has not attracted the influential regard of Imam (as). Then I solemnly vowed to grant half my wealth as well as my prettier daughter to anyone who can compose the other line of my poem. When you came and told me the line, I found out that it is very complete and suitable for my line.” The cleric asked him: “What was the first line?” The man answered: “به ذره نظر لطف گر بوتراب کند”68
The cleric said: “The second line is not from me, but from Imam (as).” So the rich man prostrated humbly and thanked Allah and then recited:
به ذره نظر لطف گر بوتراب کند به آسمان رود و کار آفتاب کند
When the influential regard of Imam ‘Ali (as) enriches a poor needy person to this extent, what would be the influence of Allah’s regard for His servant?
إِلهي وَمَوْلاي أَجْرَيْتَ عَلَي حُكْماً إِتَّبَعْتُ فيهِ هَوى نَفْسي وَلَمْ أَحْتَرِسْ فيهِ مِنْ تَزْيينِ عَدُوّي، فَغَرَّني بِما أَهْوى وَأَسْعَدَهُ عَلى ذلِكَ الْقَضاءُ فَتَجاوَزْتُ بِما جَرى عَلَي مِنْ ذلِكَ بَعْضَ حُدُودِكَ، وَخالَفْتُ بَعْضَ أَوامِرِكَ
My Allah and my Protector! I have myself given a decree against me, I followed the caprice of my own soul and did not defend myself from my enemy, which deluded me through my soul’s caprice and therein destiny favored it. So I crossed some of the barriers and transgressed some of Your statues and disobeyed some of Your Commands.
Allah wants humans to be adorned with true beliefs whose place is in the heart, virtuous morality that is placed in the soul, and righteous deeds, which are performed by one’s organs; all of which are human duties. Allah has necessitated these duties for us, out of His Wisdom and Mercy, for human expediency in this world and the Hereafter.
If Allah’s will is fulfilled sincerely in all circumstances, one can undoubtedly reach his full perfection and spiritual growth. Such a person would have a prosperous Hereafter, as well as Allah’s satisfaction. Not only will he live a purified life in this world, but also he will live an eternal life in Paradise, along with the prophets, the martyrs, and the righteous servants.
The only hindrance in submitting to Allah’s will is the human carnal soul that causes illogical desires, which may, in turn, attract him to wrongdoing, passions, and finite worldly wealth. These vices deceive a human, imprisons him, and exhausts all his power for reaching them, even to the price of violating the rights of others and the society. Such a person would turn to a wicked one, free of any belief, moral and practical principles, who would not do good to himself and others. He would continue his sinful life heedless of the realities, until death would terminate his life, freeing him and other people from his evilness.
The Messenger of Islam (S) has rightly stated:
أعْدَى عَدُوِّكَ نَفْسُكَ الَّتِي بَيْنَ جَنْبَيْكَ.
The most severe of your enemies is your own soul that is placed between your two sides.69
As confirmed by the Holy Qur’an too, human carnal soul is his most severe enemy, because it enjoins to every evil doing and forbids from any good, thus destroying his life in this world and the Hereafter.
It is narrated from Imam al-Ridha (as): Someone asked me about a principle that brings goodness of this world and the Last Day together. I told him:
Oppose your soul!70
The Prophet of Islam (S) said:
أفْضَلُ الجِهَادِ مَنْ جَاهَدَ نَفْسَهُ الَّتِي بَيْنَ جَنْبَيْهِ.
The highest holy war is a war against one’s own soul, between his two sides.71
He also told Amir al-Mu’minin (as):
يَا عَلِيُّ! أفْضَلُ الجِهَادِ مَنْ أصْبَحَ لاَ يَهِمُّ بِظُلْمِ أحَدٍ.
O ‘Ali! The best holy war is that of someone who never has the intention to oppress anyone else.72
If a human follows the caprice of his own soul, it would deceive him, thus preventing him from the remembrance of Allah, his own death, the Last Day, and his own duties. Allah’s will, on the other hand, which is materialized as human freedom, cooperates with the soul and makes human benefit from it in wrongdoing, instead of fulfilling responsibilities; that is opposite to Allah’s beneficial rules.
فَلَكَ الْحُجَّةُ عَلَيَّ في جَميعِ ذلِكَ وَلا حُجَّةَ لي فيما جَرى عَلَيَّ فيهِ قَضاؤُكَ وَأَلْزَمَني حُكْمُكَ وَبَلاؤُكَ
So Yours is the argument against me in all that and I have no argument and I have no argument in what Your destiny put into effect through me therein; nor in what Your decree and Your tribulation imposed upon me.
Allah’s Arguments against Man
A human has no arguments for getting misled and committing sins in this world and the Hereafter to claim innocence before Allah.
If he says: “I did not have the ability,” he has uttered a lie, because he has had the great blessing of a healthy body, which enabled him.
If he says: “I was unaware of Allah’s orders so I could not fulfill my duties,” the arguments of free time for studying Qur’an and religious books, the opportunity to refer to scholars, and the chance to gain knowledge would be raised against him.
If he says: “I was void of intelligence,” he has certainly lied, because if he did not have intelligence, how could he organize his monetary and economic affairs?!
If he says: “If a prophet was sent from Allah along with the Imams of guidance, I would have followed the signs of truth and guidance,” he would be told: “a hundred and twenty four thousand prophets were sent, as well as twelve Imams to guide the misled. How come you did everything for your economic issues, but not for your spiritual issues?”
If he says: “There was no guiding scholar, book or mosque,” he would be told: “You are not telling the truth, because the voice of Our Guidance was heard from everywhere. But your pride, ignorance, and desirousness prevented you from following the guided route and Allah’s religion.”
According to such facts, Allah has many arguments against humans to condemn them, but a man has no arguments against Allah to acquit himself and escape the chastisement.
Regarding this obvious fact, that is Allah’s argument against human to punish him, only one important tradition is mentioned here, quoted form the most valid Shiite books.
Hamis Ibn Ziyad narrates from Hasan Ibn Muhammad Kindi from Ahmad Ibn Hasan Miythami from Aban Ibn ‘Uthman from ‘Abd al-A’la that:
I heard Imam Sadiq (as) saying: A beautiful woman is brought forth to Allah, in the Hereafter, who has committed sins due to her beauty. So, for acquitting herself, she says: ‘O Lord! You created me beautiful, so I was deceived because of my beauty and committed sins.’
Hence Mary (s.a) is brought forth and that sinful woman is asked: ‘Are you more beautiful than her? We created her beautiful, but she maintained her faith and was not deluded by her soul.’ Then a handsome youth is brought forth to Allah, who has done many wrongdoings because of his attraction. He says: ‘O Lord! You created me beautiful, so that my beauty led me to unlawful relationship with women.’
So Josef (as) is brought forth and that man is told: ‘Are you prettier than Josef, who maintained himself from corruption and did not commit sins.’ And another person is then brought who has been deceived by his soul because of his hardships and calamities. He says: ‘O Allah! You put me in various difficulties, so that I lost my patience and committed sins.’ Therefore Jacob (as) is brought and it is said: ‘Were your problems more severe than those of Jacob who suffered from many calamities, but kept himself safe from wrongdoing.’73
وَقَدْ أَتَيْتُكَ يا إِلهي بَعْدَ تَقْصيري وَإِسْرافي عَلى نَفْسي مُعْتَذِراً نادِماً مُنْكَسِراً مُسْتَقيلاً مُسْتَغْفِراً مُنيباً مُقِرّاً مُذْعِناً مُعْتَرِفاً لا أَجِدُ مَفَرّاً مِمّا كانَ مِنّي وَلا مَفْزَعاً أَتَوَجَّهُ إِلَيْهِ في أَمْري غَيْرَ قَبُولِكَ عُذْري وَإِدْخالِكَ إِيّايَ في سَعَة مِنْ رَحْمَتِكَ
Now I have turned to You, my Allah, after my shortcoming and my immoderation toward myself, proffering my excuse, regretful, broken, apologizing, asking forgiveness, repenting, acknowledging, submissive, confessing. I find no place to flee from what occurred through me, nor any place of escape to which I may turn in my affairs, other than Your acceptance of my excuse and Your entering me into the compass of Your Mercy.
The Mystical Prayer
Imam ‘Ali (as), in this section, mentions all traits that attract Allah’s Mercy and forgiveness; concentration in worship, moderation in desires, regretful apology, brokenness and asking for forgiveness, repenting, confessing to sins, and seeking refuge to Allah.
This beseeching and weeping is something Allah loves to hear from the sinful yet regretful servant.
It is narrated that one of the seekers of Allah’s divine path came to a scholar and said: ‘I am going to Allah’s presence. What gift should I take? Because presenting no gift is mere meanness.’ That scholar told him: ‘Take something which cannot be found there. All the attributes of perfection, such as knowledge, patience, power, mercy, will, compassion, seeing, hearing, righteousness, justice, and might exist there. What are not there are weeping, beseeching and request.’
As every lover wishes the affection and reply of the beloved and every beloved is willing to hear the beseeching sound of the lover, Allah wills to hear the voice of the regretful sinner and the returning of the wrongdoer.
Josef and Zulaykha
Some scholars have quoted that as Zulaykha74 misused her power and accused Josef to adultery, in order to acquit herself, Josef was imprisoned. But out of her intense affection toward Josef, Zulaykha wished to hear his voice and cries. So she ordered one of her servants to whip Josef. Seeing Josef’s divine and enlightened face, the servant could not obey the order. He thus put a thick piece of cloth on Josef and then whipped him. Zulaykha did not hear Josef’s cry and so she ordered the servant to whip him even harder. The servant told Josef: “I think I may fall into trouble for disobeying her, so forgive me for wiping your naked body.” Josef generously accepted, and after being whipped, he cried loudly and painfully and it was enjoyed by Zulaykha.
Prophet Jonah’s People
When the people of Prophet Jonah (as) were informed that he has left them alone and saw the signs of an imminent punishment, they got convinced of the approaching chastisement. A kind scholar told them that the only way to their salvation is apologizing, beseeching, repenting, and confessing to the sins before the Almighty. With such state, all of them, men and women, the old and the young wore old clothes and went towards the desert with bare feet.
Men on one side and women from the other side were repenting and weeping and even the animals accompanied them. They were all confessing to Allah’s unity, beseeched to Him, showed regret, repented from their disbelief, and some of them even said: “O Lord! Jonah had told us to free the slaves so that we will be rewarded. He had told us to help any poor we saw; now we are Your poor slaves who have no one except You, so help us!”
Their prayer was accepted by Allah and they were forgiven and saved from the punishment of the cloud and storm. They were all placed under the clouds of Allah’s mercy and their repentance was accepted. So they joyfully returned to their city and resumed their ordinary work and life.
Now, turning to Allah, apologizing, regret, asking for forgiveness and confessing to sins are all real elements of attracting Allah’s forgiveness and mercy.
اللّهُمَّ فَاقْبَلْ عُذْري وَارْحَمْ شِدَّةَ ضُرّي وَفُكَّني مِنْ شَدِّ وَثاقي، يا رَبِّ ارْحَمْ ضَعْفَ بَدَني وَرِقَّةَ جِلْدي وَدِقَّةَ عَظْمي، يا مَنْ بَدَأَ خَلْقي وَذِكْري وَتَرْبِيَتي وَبِرّى وَتَغْذِيَتي هَبْني لإِبتِداءِ كَرَمِكَ وَسالِفِ بِرِّكَ بي
O Allah, so accept my excuse, have Mercy upon the severity of my affliction and release me from the stiffness of my fetters. My Lord, have mercy upon the weakness of my body, the thinness of my skin and the frailty of my bones. O You who raised in my creation, to the remembrance of me, to the nurture of me, to the goodness toward me and to nourishment of me, bestow upon me for the sake of Your having given rise to me with generosity and Your previous goodness to me!
The Presence of the Beloved
In this part of the supplication, the loving, pious, truthful and deserving servant feels that the doors of Allah’s Mercy have opened for him and He is ready to hear His servant’s prayer, so the servant states: accept my excuse that was due to my ignorance, transgression, and weakness against my soul. Now by Your Mercy, my youth of transgression has terminated, I have acquired knowledge, have been released of my whims, become strong against wrongdoing, will leave the committing of sins, escape from Satan, turn to Your presence, and try to compensate for my sinful past.
O Lord! My bad state is due to pride, greed, jealousy, stinginess, hypocrisy, and other vices. If this bad state remains in my soul, it would turn into a sinister disease, with no cure. So have mercy on my bad state, so that my bad state would turn into the best state which possesses all the virtues. By Your Mercy, pride is replaced by humility, greed by contentment, jealousy by emulation, stinginess by generosity, and hypocrisy by sincerity.
O Lord! Satanic chains are put into my mind, heart, soul, and organs, preventing me from worshipping, obeying, and doing positive deeds and seeking Your path. Now by Your own Mercy, I am weeping and beseeching to You, stretching out my hand to Your Power so that You may release me from all these chains of satanic desires, and bring me to the great world of freedom.
If You have no Mercy on me in this world, not releasing me from the fetters of carnal soul and moral vices, I will be in fetters of punishment in the Hereafter; the fetters imprisoning and taking me into Hell for the disbelievers and wrongdoers, as You have mentioned in Holy Qur’an.
إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ سَلاسِلا وَأَغْلالاً وَسَعِيرًا.
We have prepared for the unbelievers chains and shackles and a burning fire. (76:4)
خُذُوهُ فَغُلُّوهُ. ثُمَّ الْجَحِيمَ صَلُّوهُ. ثُمَّ فِي سِلْسِلَةٍ ذَرْعُهَا سَبْعُونَ ذِرَاعًا فَاسْلُكُوهُ. إِنَّهُ كَانَ لا يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ الْعَظِيمِ.
Lay hold on him, then put a chain on him, then cast him into the burning fire, then thrust him into a chain the length of which is seventy cubits. Surely he did not believe in Allah, the Great. (69:30-33)
If I am not released from the fetters of my soul, there comes a day when there would be no release for me. Those who are free of satanic fetters are free to do any goodness eagerly and easily. And they depart from this world, by hearing the divine call of:
ارْجِعِي إِلَى رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَرْضِيَّةً.
Return to your Lord, well-pleased with Him, well-pleasing Him. (89:28)
The soul would fly toward their Lord, remaining under His Mercy forever. But the prisoners of the fetters of the devil cannot obey Allah or do good. They are imprisoned by Satan in this world and would leave the world with much sorrow and regret. In this state, they feel they have lost everything and are in mere poverty. Their wealth, positions, and children are of no use to them and they are drawn towards the Hell by the satanic fetters!
The Wonderful Tale of Harun’s Death
When Harun, the ‘Abbasid ruler, got seriously ill in Khurasan, he had a doctor come from Tous. The doctor ordered to give him his urine sample along with those of other patients and healthy people. The doctor examined the samples one by one until it came to Harun’s. So he said: “Tell the owner of this sample to prepare his will, because his strength has weakened drastically.” Hearing this, Harun got disappointed with life and recited an Arabic poem which meant: “The doctor has no treatment and defense against a coming death, otherwise he would not die of the disease he has cured before?!”
He was informed that the rumor of his death is spreading among people, thus he decided to get on a horse and ride among the people, but the animal’s knees suddenly got weak. Harun said: “Get me off the animal because the rumors are obviously true.” He ordered for some shrouds and chose one of them. Afterwards he said: “Prepare a grave for me beside my bed.” Then he looked at the grave and recited these Qur’anic verses:
مَا أَغْنَى عَنِّي مَالِيه. هَلَكَ عَنِّي سُلْطَانِيه.
“My wealth has availed me nothing, my authority is gone away from me. (96:28-29)”
I am a sinner whose wealth does not save him from Allah’s chastisement. Not only my wealth did not rescue me, but also I lost my power and kingdom.75
My Allah! Have Mercy upon the weakness of my body, the thinness of my skin, and frailty of my bones. If the fetters of this world remain on me, they would turn into fiery fetters in the Hereafter. Then I should bear them on all my organs despite my weak body, thin skin, and frail bones. In such a state, there would be no death for me and I would remain deep in Hell and burn!
The Exact Estimation
We should be like the man named Towba, who, as Shaykh Baha’i has narrated, always was estimating his own deeds. When he was sixty, he counted all days of his life, which was 21500 days. So he said: “Woe on me! If I have not done but one sin every day, I have done at least 21500 sins until now. Am I to visit my Lord in such a sinful state?” So he cried loudly and fell down to the ground and died!76
My Lord! Everything I am, I am Your creature, under Your dominance, Your Will, and Your Intention; I have no escape. O Lord Who have created me from the soil. You had regard for me while I was nothing worthy of note. Then You trained me and had Mercy and Blessings on me. Now I have come to Your presence weeping, broken, humble, to ask You to forgive me because of Your previous goodness and generosity toward me!
يا إِلهي وَسَيِّدي وَرَبّي، أَتُراكَ مُعَذِّبي بِنارِكَ بَعْدَ تَوْحيدِكَ وَبَعْدَ مَا انْطَوى عَلَيْهِ قَلْبي مِنْ مَعْرِفَتِكَ وَلَهِجَ بِهِ لِساني مِنْ ذِكْرِكَ، وَاعْتَقَدَهُ ضَميري مِنْ حُبِّكَ، وَبَعْدَ صِدْقِ اعْتِرافي وَدُعائي خاضِعاً لِرُبُوبِيَّتِكَ
My Allah, my Master and My Lord! Can You be seen tormenting me with Your Fire after I have professed Your Oneness; after Your cognition my heart has embraced, the remembrance of You my tongue has constantly mentioned and the love of You to which my mind has clung; after the sincerity of my confession and my supplication, the humble before Your Lordship?
By Your Holy Essence none of the Prophets, Imams, the mystics, the pious, and the repented servants knows You like this; You won’t torment me with Your Fire, after my awareness of these facts by Your own Mercy. Rather all Your pious servants know You as the One Who will have Mercy on me in the Hereafter, will forgive my sins, will place me in Paradise, and will gather me together with Your lovers on the Day of Resurrection.
The human who has known the Holy Essence of Allah and His Divine attributes from the Holy Qur’an, the traditions, the believers and by pondering in the creation of the world and its beings would practically and mentally consider any creator, other than Him, untrue and finite. He testifies to Allah’s Oneness verbally and wholeheartedly and denies the living idols. Such a person is called Muwahhid (monotheist). The divine religions of all great prophets were based on the same oneness of Allah. They have invited people to confirm and believe in Allah’s Oneness. As the Holy Qur’an implies, the prophets invited people to practical monotheism, i.e., denying earthly deities.
The theoretical concept of monotheism is important in purifying the minds from disbelief. In this area, the disbelievers who have considered other deities beside Allah are addressed. Also those who believe in the sources of goodness and badness, those who believe in materialization of Allah in other beings, those who believe in the gods, those who have considered َAllah as compound such as the Christians, and finally the followers of Mujassama, who have personified Allah, the most ignorant of which are the followers of Wahhabiyya sect, are dealt with. In the practical aspect of monotheism, worshipping the One Allah and avoiding obedience of things other than Him are stressed. Worshipping the One Allah results from a true mind and complete knowledge of Allah and polytheism is a consequence of mental polytheism and wrong beliefs. In fact avoidance of worshipping beings other than Allah is avoidance of cheap opinions that cause this kind of worship.
The practical aspect of belief in Allah’s Oneness is requested from the people by the divine books and prophets. Since practical polytheism, like verbal polytheism, is the most obvious sign of disbelief it is an important aspect of the prophets’ invitation. Therefore practical monotheism is very effective in human life, in virtualization of his human nature, and in rescuing him from slavery and imperial powers.
The prophets were determined to purify human societies from polytheism and grant freedom and greatness to people. And the reason why the Pharaohs and tyrant rulers opposed monotheism was that its practical aspect was dangerous for their tyranny. Another reason for the prophets’ invitation to monotheism was that polytheism of some cheap people had resulted in their despotism, as the Holy Qur’an states:
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لا إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ.
Surely they used to behave proudly when it was said to them: There is no god but Allah. (37:35)
This phrase was considered a threat for the oppressors in oppressing other people, dominating them, and depriving them from their rights; because confessing to Allah’s Oneness abolished obligatory obedience to them, their orders and concessions.77
Thus belief in Allah’s Oneness, Uniqueness and the sameness of His Essence with His Attributes, is the perfect monotheism. Monotheism is belief in the Oneness of the Lord Who is the Ruler of everything, in Whose hands lies life, death, creation, alteration, hidden and apparent aspects of everything. In other words, it is the belief in the Lord to Whom people are invited by the Prophets and Imams and Whose rules should be obeyed. And it is denying any tyrant and oppressor ruler. So one who confesses that there is no diety save Allah, and that none holds any influence in this universe save Allah, and there is neither might nor power except with Allah is a real believer.
Amir al-Mu’minin, ‘Ali (as), who conceived the reality of things, has offered the prerequisite for knowing Allah and worshipping Him in various sermons of his Nahj al-Balaghah:
أَوَّلُ الدِّينِ مَعْرِفَتُهُ، وَكَمَالُ مَعْرِفَتِهِ التَّصْديقُ بِهِ، وَكَمَالُ التَّصْدِيقِ بِهِ تَوْحِيدُهُ، وَكَمَالُ تَوْحِيدِهِ الاِْخْلاصُ لَهُ، وَكَمَالُ الاِْخْلاصِ لَهُ نَفْيُ الصِّفَاتِ عَنْهُ، لِشَهَادَةِ كُلِّ صِفَة أَنَّها غَيْرُ المَوْصُوفِ، وَشَهَادَةِ كُلِّ مَوْصُوف أَنَّهُ غَيْرُ الصِّفَةِ، فَمَنْ وَصَفَ اللهَ سُبْحَانَهُ فَقَدْ قَرَنَهُ، وَمَنْ قَرَنَهُ فَقَدْ ثَنَّاهُ،وَمَنْ ثَنَّاهُ فَقَد جَزَّأَهُ، وَمَنْ جَزَّأَهُ فَقَدْ جَهِلَهُ، [وَمَنْ جَهِلَهُ فَقَدْ أشَارَ إِلَيْهِ، ]وَمَنْ أشَارَ إِلَيْهِ فَقَدْ حَدَّهُ، وَمَنْ حَدَّهُ فَقَدْ عَدَّهُ، وَمَنْ قَالَ: «فِيمَ» فَقَدْ ضَمَّنَهُ، وَمَنْ قَالَ: «عَلاَمَ؟» فَقَدْ أَخْلَى مِنُهُ. كائِنٌ لاَ عَنْ حَدَث، مَوْجُودٌ لاَ عَنْ عَدَم، مَعَ كُلِّ شَيْء لاَ بِمُقَارَنَة، وَغَيْرُ كُلِّ شيء لا بِمُزَايَلَة، فَاعِلٌ لا بِمَعْنَى الْحَرَكَاتِ وَالاْلةِ، بَصِيرٌ إذْ لاَ مَنْظُورَ إلَيْهِ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ، مُتَوَحِّدٌ إذْ لاَ سَكَنَ يَسْتَأْنِسُ بهِ وَلاَ يَسْتوْحِشُ لِفَقْدِهِ.
The beginning of religion is knowing Him, the perfection of this knowledge is belief in Allah, the final point of this belief is believing in His Oneness, and the purpose of this belief is sincerity toward Him, and the end point of this sincerity is denying false features attributed to Him, since every attribute is different from what it describes and vice versa. So anyone who describes Allah with an attribute has related Him to something, and if one relates Allah to something he has considered Allah as two, and if he considers Allah as two has considered Him as having aspects. If one considers Allah as having aspects, he has not understood His reality, and anyone who has not understood Allah’s reality has considered a reference point for Him, and by doing so he has considered Allah limited, so he has considered Allah as countable. If one asks: ‘What is Allah located in?’ he has considered Him along with something else. And one who asks: ‘What is Allah over?’ has considered that thing separate from and independent of Allah.
He is eternal; nothing has existed before Him and He has experienced no nonexistence. He is with everything without being related to it and He is different from everything without being separate from it. He is the Creator of beings without having a movement and without needing any means. He is Seeing without needing a view of His creatures. He is One, because He has never had a match to befriend it and fear without it.78
Also in another sermon Imam ‘Ali (as) states:
الْحَمْدُ لله الَّذِي لاَ تُدْرِكُهُ الشَّوَاهِدُ، وَلاَ تَحْوِيهِ الْمَشَاهِدُ، وَلاَ تَرَاهُ النَّوَاظِرُ، وَلاَ تَحْجُبُهُ السَّوَاتِرُ، الدَّالِّ عَلَى قِدَمِهِ بِحُدُوثِ خَلْقِهِ، وَبِحُدُوثِ خَلْقِهِ عَلَى وجُودِهِ، وَبِاشْتِبَاهِهِمْ عَلَى أَنْ لاَ شَبَهَ لَهُ، الَّذِي صَدَقَ فِي مِيعَادِهِ، وَارْتَفَعَ عَنْ ظُلْمِ عِبَادِه، وَقَامَ بِالْقِسطِ فِي خَلْقِهِ، وَعَدَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ فِي حُكْمِهِ، مُسْتَشْهِدٌ بِحُدُوثِ الاَْشْيَاءِ عَلَى أَزَلِيَّتِهِ، وَبِمَا وَسَمَهَا بِهِ مِنَ الْعَجْزِ عَلَى قُدْرَتِهِ، وَبِمَا اضْطَرَّهَا إِلَيْهِ مِنَ الْفَنَاءِ عَلَى دَوَامِهِ، وَاحِدٌ لاَ بِعَدَد، وَدَائِمٌ لاَ بِأَمَد، وَقَائِمٌ لاَ بَعَمَد، تَتَلَقَّاهُ الاَْذْهَانُ لاَ بِمُشَاعَرَة، وَتَشْهَدُ لَهُ الْمَرَائِي لاَ بِمُحَاضَرَة، لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِ الاَْوْهَامُ، بَلْ تَجَلَّى لَهَا بِهَا، وَبِهَا امْتَنَعَ مِنهَا، وَإِلَيْهَا حَاكَمَهَا، لَيْسَ بِذِي كِبَر امْتَدَّتْ بِهِ النِّهَايَاتُ فَكَبَّرَتْهُ تَجْسِيماً، وَلاَ بِذِي عِظَم تَنَاهَتْ بِهِ الْغَايَاتُ فَعَظَّمَتْهُ تَجْسِيداً بَلْ كَبُرَ شَأْناً، وَعَظُمَ سُلْطَاناً.
Praise be to Allah. He is such that senses cannot perceive Him, place cannot contain Him, eyes cannot see Him and veils cannot cover Him. He proves His eternity by the coming into existence of His creation, and (also) by originating His creation (He proves) His existence, and by their (mutual) similarity He proves that there is nothing similar to Him. He is true in His promise. He is too high to be unjust to His creatures. He stands by equity among His creation and practices justice over them in His commands. He provides evidence through the creation of things of His being from ever, through their marks of incapability of His power, and through their powerlessness against death of His eternity.
He is One, but not by counting. He is everlasting without, any limit. He is existent without any support. Minds admit of Him without (any activity of the) senses. Things which can be seen stand witness to Him without confronting Him. Imagination cannot encompass Him. He manifests Himself to the imagination with his help for the imagination, and refuses to be imagined by the imagination. He has made imagination the arbiter (in this matter). He is not big in the sense that volume is vast and so His body is also big. Nor is He great in the sense that His limits should extend to the utmost and so His frame be extensive. But He is big in position and great in authority.79
One who receives the belief in Allah’s Oneness from the Qur’an, the prophets, the Imams and other sincere believers, performs the obligatory deeds, avoids wrongdoing, and denies any deity but Allah, is a real monotheist and hence would be rescued, and granted great reward and sustenance from Allah. The Prophet of Islam (S) has said:
خَيْرُ العِبَادَةِ قَوْلُ لاَ إلَهَ إلاّ اللهُ.
The best worship is confessing to Allah’s Oneness (saying there is no god but Allah).80
مَنْ مَاتَ وَلاَ يُشْرِكُ باللهِ شَيْئاً، أحْسَنَ أوْ أسَاءَ، دَخَلَ الجَنَّةَ.
One who dies while he has not considered a deity beside Allah would enter the Paradise, whether he has done good or bad deeds.81
Imam al-Baqir (as) stated:
مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ أعْظَمُ ثَواباً مِنْ شَهَادَةِ أنْ لاَ إلَهَ إلاّ اللهُ، لأنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لاَ يَعْدِلُهُ شَيْءٌ وَلا يَشْرَكُهُ فِي الأمْرِ أحَدٌ.
No deed will be rewarded more than confessing to Allah’s Oneness, because nothing equals the Almighty and no one is His counterpart.82
Imam Sadiq (as) stated:
إنَّ اللهَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى حَرَّمَ أجْسَادَ المُوَحِّدِينَ عَلَى النَّارِ.
Surely the Almighty has denied Fire on the believers’ bodies.83
Imam Sadiq (as) also stated:
قَوْلُ لاَ إلَهَ إلاّ اللهُ ثَمَنُ الجَنَّةِ.
The cost of Paradise is the sincere uttering of ‘There is no deity but Allah’.84
The Messenger of Allah (S) stated:
إنَّ لاَ إلَهَ إلاّ اللهُ كَلِمَةٌ عَظِيمَةٌ كَرِيمَةٌ عَلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، مَنْ قَالَهَا مُخْلِصاً اسْتَوْجَبَ الجَنَّةَ، وَمَنْ قَالَهَا كَاذِباً عَصَمَتْ مَالَهُ وَدَمَهُ وَكَانَ مَصِيرُهُ إلَى النَّارِ.
The phrase ‘there is no god but Allah’ is a worthy one before Allah. One who confesses to it sincerely is deserved to go to Paradise, and one who confesses to it untruly is safe in this world, but his place is in the Fire in the Hereafter.85
He is also quoted as saying:
وَالَّذِي بَعَثَنِي بِالْحَقِّ بَشِيراً؛ لاَ يُعَذِّبُ اللهُ بِالنَّارِ مُوَحِّداً أبَداً.
By the One Who truly sent me for giving good tidings that Allah would never chastise a monotheist by the Fire.86
O Merciful Allah! No one knows You as the chastiser of me after my sincere confessing to Your Oneness, my recognition of Your Greatness, my mentioning Your remembrance, my adherence to Your love, and my humble supplication before You.
هَيْهاتَ! أَنْتَ أَكْرَمُ مِنْ أَنْ تُضَيِّعَ مَنْ رَبَّيْتَهُ أَوْ تُبْعِدَ مَنْ أَدْنَيْتَهُ أَوْ تُشَرِّدَ مَنْ اوَيْتَهُ أَوْ تُسَلِّمَ إِلَى الْبَلاءِ مَنْ كَفَيْتَهُ وَرَحِمْتَهُ
Far be it from You! You are more generous than that; You should torture him whom You have nurtured; banish him whom You have brought up; drive away him whom You have given an abode; or submit to tribulation him whom You have spared and shown mercy.
The Divinity Manifestation
From the very beginning of creating human until his death time, the Almighty puts him under two kinds of training; material and spiritual training.
The material training is fulfilled by a wide variety of blessings. Human uses these blessings either by his own will, such as the blessings of eating, dinking, breathing, etc. or unintentionally by Allah’s will, such as the mechanisms for absorbing the chemicals in human body and providing all the body organs with these necessary materials.
This is briefly mentioned in Yunus chapter of the holy Qur’an:
قُلْ: مَنْ يَرْزُقُكُمْ مِنْ السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ، أَمَّنْ يَمْلِكُ السَّمْعَ وَالأَبْصَارَ، وَمَنْ يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنْ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنْ الْحَيِّ، وَمَنْ يُدَبِّرُ الأَمْرَ؟ فَسَيَقُولُونَ اللَّهُ. فَقُلْ: أَفَلا تَتَّقُونَ؟
Say Who gives you sustenance from the heaven and the earth? Or Who controls the hearing and the sight? And Who brings forth the living from the dead, and brings forth the dead from the living? And Who regulates the affairs? Then they will say: Allah. Say then: Will you not then guard against evil? (10:31)
We are unable to analyze even a single organ of the body, understand all its details, and appreciate it as a blessing, let alone all the body organs and their order and interrelationships, as well as their relations to outer factors.
To be able to imagine what is going on in the wonderful system of human body, we mention only ‘the eye’ in brief. Human ‘eye’ is composed of these parts: 1. eye socket, 2. eyeball, 3. external eye muscles, 4. eyelid, 5. the conjunctiva, 6. tear system.
Eye socket is a pyramidal hole whose walls consist of the forehead bone, the upper jaw, the cheek bone, palatal bone, and tear ball.
Eyeball occupies one fifth of the whole eyehole space. The rest of the eyehole is filled with fat, nerves, vessels, muscles, and the tear ball.
Eye muscles are four straight muscles, namely the upper, lower, inner, and outer muscles, as well as two oblique ones; the upper and the lower. The middle brain core and the brain bridge control eye movements.
The eyelid and eyelashes have the duty of cleaning and closing the eye in case of sleep and danger.
The conjunctiva is a thin curtain that protects the eyelids.
The tear system is shaped like an almond which is related to the nasal cavity by a bone and keeps the eye constantly clean, bright, and wet.
The eyeball itself is composed of tree curtains; the sclerotic coat, the choroids coat, and the iris of the eye.
The sclerotic coat is the whiteness of the eyeball, is in fact an external covering for protecting the eyeball, and is attached to cornea in its front part.
The choroids coat is the middle curtain, part of which makes the eyelashes, and functions as the regulator of eye lens for seeing various distances.
The iris is the colored part of the eye. The hole in its center is called pupil and has the responsibility of regulating the light via tightening and loosening muscles. The eye lens fractures the light to focus the pictures on the retina, which is the light-receiver organ.
Various orders reach from the nervous cells to body organs, including the eye. For instance a muscle is ordered to be expanded and simultaneously the eyes are ordered to be closed and the glands are ordered to produce sweat!
Keeping in mind the number of nerve cells in the whole body, that is around fifteen billion, and the complexity of this system one should accept professor Steinbach’s idea, that is, an electronic expert needs forty thousand years to make such a sophisticated system!
The Allah ‘Who brought fourth the living from the death’ created human from a sperm, the sperm from the soil, the animal from the egg, and the plant from the seed. He then created the sperm from the living human, who has digested the food, the egg from the living bird, and the seed from the living plant.
Who is the One Who controls this wonderful system of the world? The mind and nature of all humans. Answer: Allah. So tell them: Won’t you fear disbelief and denying His orders?
The spiritual training is fulfilled via human thinking power, human nature, conscience, prophethood, Imamate, divine books, and especially Qur’an. The true Lord has given the freedom to use these blessings so that his efforts would be valued more and based to this freedom to choose, and deserve mercy, forgiveness, and Paradise.
Amir al-Mu’minin (as), in this part, tells Allah: it is very far from You to spoil the one who have accepted Your divinity and training, via Your spiritual blessings. It is very far from You to torture the one who You have have brought to Your nearness and mercy, or to drive away the one who You have given refuge, or chastise the one who You have spared.
You are so Merciful and so Generous that You have addressed the sinful human: “You called me and I answered you, you asked Me and I granted you, you opposed Me but I respited, you left Me but I watched you, you disobeyed My orders but I concealed your sins; if you return to me I would accept you, and if you went away from Me, I wait for your return to Me. I am the most Generous of the generous, the most Forgiver of the forgivers, and the most Merciful of the merciful.”87
Moses and Korah
Allamiyi Majlisi narrates from ‘Ali Ibn Ibrahim Qumi: When Korah denied Moses and his prophethood, refusing to pay zakat of his wealth and accusing Moses, the latter complained to Allah about him. The Almighty told Moses: “I ordered the heavens and the earth to obey you; give them whatever order you want!”
So Moses went to Korah’s house while he had his servants close all the doors to Moses. Reaching Korah’s palace and seeing all the doors closed, Moses pointed to the doors, so all of them opened. When Korah saw Moses, he knew that Moses has come with Allah’s chastisement. And he said: “O Moses! I ask you, for our tie of kinship, to have mercy on me.” Moses (as) told him: “O son of Lavi! Don’t talk to me because it is of no use for you.” Then Moses addressed the earth: “Take Korah!” Therefore the palace and everything in it was descended into the earth. Even at that time Korah wept and requested Moses on account of their kinship. But Moses replied again: “Do not talk to me!” even though Korah deplored, Moses did not accept, because he was angry of Korah’s indecent deeds. After Korah’s death, Moses went to his worship place where he was addressed by Allah: “O Moses! Korah and his people requested you, but you did not heed them. By My Glory, if he had deplored to Me, I would had accepted him, but since he called you, I left him to you!”
The Youth and His Mother
It is written in Tafsir Nayshaburi that in Prophet Muhammad’s time a young man was close to his death. The Prophet (S) was asked to visit the sick young man. The Prophet of Islam came to the young man while he was unable to utter his testimonies (i.e Allah’s Oneness and Muhammad’s prophethood)! The Prophet (S) asked his acquaintances: “Has he been forgetful about prayer?” And he was answered in negative. He asked again: “Has he refused to pay zakat?” The people around the sick youngster denied it too. The Prophet questioned them: “Has his father cursed him?” And they answered negatively. The Prophet asked: “Has is mother cursed him?” “Yes,” the people replied. So the Prophet (S) called his mother and asked her to forgive his son. The mother refused to do so, saying: “How can I forgive him while he has beaten me in the face and hurt one of my eyes?” Then the Messenger of Allah (S) ordered to bring fire. The sick man’s mother asked the reason for bringing fire. The Prophet (S) replied: “I want to burn him for the sin he has committed.” Therefore the mother said: “I don’t want him to be burnt, because I bore him for nine months in my womb, breastfed him for two years, trained and lived with him for many years, so I forgive him to be saved from being burnt.”
While a mother who is just one’s conventional trainer does not wish her disobedient child to be burnt, how would Allah, Who is human’s True Trainer who has developed him from poorness to excellence, torture His disobedient, sinful, ignorant servant in the Fire? “Far be it from You! You are more generous than that You should torture him whom You have nurtured.”
Right of Hospitality
It is narrated that Yazid Ibn Muhallab had lent some money to Waki’, a noble man of Khurasan. He sent an envoy to receive that sum of money from Waki’s representative. The envoy asked money from that representative and put him under pressure for the payment.
One day, later on, the envoy of Yazid took the representative of Waki’ to Yazid so that he ask for the respite of the payment. At the same time the food table was set. Yazid’s representative asked Waki’s envoy to leave together for later. But he refused to do so and began eating food. Afterwards, he asked Yazid for a respite for the payment again. So Yazid told his representative: “Do not ask Waki’s envoy for the lent money anymore and don’t put him under pressure, because he has eaten our food now and has right of hospitality.”
Certainly, the Merciful Allah would not torture with Fire a servant who has the right of hospitality to his Lord.
Right of the Guest on His Host
The historians have narrated that three hundred captives were brought to Ma’an Ibn Za’idah, a great commander of war. Ma’an ordered to kill all of them. A captive boy who had not reached puberty yet said: “O commander! By Allah do not kill us before we drink water!” Ma’an said: “Let all of them drink water!” When they all drank water, the young man told the commander: “Now all of us are your guests and greeting the guest is a duty of the noble ones.” So Ma’an said: “You are right.” Then he ordered to free all of those captives.
For sure, as the Commander of the Believers, ‘Ali (as), has informed us it is far away from the Beneficent Allah to chastise a servant who has always been a guest of His bountiful blessings.
وَلَيْتَ شِعْرى يا سَيِّدي وَإِلهي وَمَوْلايَ أَتُسَلِّطُ النّارَ عَلى وُجُوه خَرَّتْ لِعَظَمَتِكَ ساجِدَةً، وَعَلى أَلْسُن نَطَقَتْ بِتَوْحيدِكَ صادِقَةً، وَبِشُكْرِكَ مادِحَةً، وَعَلى قُلُوب اعْتَرَفَتْ بِإِلهِيَّتِكَ مُحَقِّقَةً، وَعَلى ضَمائِرَ حَوَتْ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ بِكَ حَتّى صارَتْ خاشِعَةً، وَعَلى جَوارِحَ سَعَتْ إِلى أَوْطانِ تَعَبُّدِكَ طائِعَةً وَأَشارَتْ بِاسْتِغْفارِكَ مُذْعِنَةً، ما هكَذَا الظَّنُّ بِكَ وَلا اُخْبِرْنا بِفَضْلِكَ عَنْكَ يا كَريمُ يا رَبِّ
Would that I knew, my Master, my Allah and my protector, whether You will give the Fire dominion over faces fallen down prostrate before Your Greatness; tongues voicing sincerely the profession of Your Oneness and giving thanks to You in praise; hearts acknowledging Your Divinity through verification; minds encompassing knowledge of You until they have become humble; and limbs speeding to the places of Your worship in obedience and entreating Your forgiveness in submission. No such opinion is held of You! Nor has such been reported- thanks to Your Bounty- concerning You, O Allah! -Generous!
The most comprehensive type of worship is considered prayer. The one, who performs prayer, shows his humility to his Lord, confesses to His Oneness, and appreciates Him, via his prayer. The prayer-performer’s body organs that are attached to his conscious will eagerly hurry to worship places, such as the mosques and shrines.
Moreover, the knowledgeable servants of Allah who have deeply known their Lord, and His creation motives, are very humble before Him. They confess to His Oneness in public and in solitude and are thankful to His numerous blessings. They rush to the worship places with their enthusiastic organs for gaining His satisfaction.
How can these servants hold a bad opinion of You? And why shouldn’t they be optimistic of Your forgiveness? Which prophet and which heavenly book has informed the pious servants that they would be tortured and their faces, tongues, hearts, and lambs be burnt in Fire?
In fact the prophets, Imams, and heavenly books have notified the believers that the pious believers, who have committed virtues, would not be tortured in Fire, away from their Lord, even if they have had some wrongdoings, because of their repentance and regretfulness.
Some traditions about the most comprehensive worship that is prayer are narrated here, hoping that Allah help us in completing this great worship, that hinders chastisement from us.
The Messenger of Allah states in traditions about prayer:
الصَّلاَةُ مِنْ شَرَائِعِ الدِّينِ، وَفِيهَا مَرْضَاةُ الرَّبِّ عَزَِّ وَجَلَّ، وَهِيَ مِنْهَاجُ الأنْبِيَاءِ.
Prayer is among the religious rules. It brings Allah’s satisfaction and is the Prophets’ path.88
جَعَلَ اللهُ جَلَّ ثَنَاؤهُ قُرَّةَ عَيْنِي فِي الصَّلاَةِ وَحَبَّبَ إلَيَّ الصَّلاَةَ كَمَا حَبَّبَ إلَى الجَائِعِ الطَّعَامَ، وَإلَى الظَّمْآنِ المَاءَ، وَإنَّ الجَائِعَ إذَا أكَلَ شَبِعَ، وَإنَّ الظَّمْآنَ إذَا شَرِبَ رُوِيَ، وَأنَا لاَ أشْبَعُ مِنَ الصَّلاَةِ.
The Praiseworthy Allah has set prayer the light of my eye and happiness of my heart and has made it deer to me, as food is deer to a hungry person and water is deer to a thirsty one. The hungry becomes full of the food and the thirsty becomes full of the water, while I never get completely full of prayer.89
إذَا قُمْتَ إلَى الصَّلاَةِ وَتَوَجَّهْتَ وَقَرَأتَ أُمَّ الكِتَابِ وَمَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ السُّوَرِ ثُمَّ رَكَعْتَ فَأتْمَمَتَ رُكُوعَهَا وَسُجُودَهَا وَتَشَهَّدْتَ وَسَلَّمْتَ، غُفِرَ لَكَ كُلُّ ذَنْبٍ فِيمَا بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَ الصَّلاَةِ الَّتِي قَدَّمْتَهَا إلَى الصَّلاَةِ المُؤَخَّرَةِ.
When you stand up for prayer toward qibla, and recite the first Qur’anic chapter (Surat al-Fatihah) and any other Qur’anic chapter you could, then performed roku’ and sajda, followed by tashahhud and salam, all your sins before your prayer and until your next prayer would be forgiven.90
Amir al-Mu’minin, Imam ‘Ali (as), have said about prayer:
الصَّلاَةُ تَسْتَنْزِلُ الرَّحْمَةَ.
Prayer descends blessings.91
الصَّلاةُ قُربانُ كُلِّ تَقِيٍّ.
Prayer makes every pious servant close to Allah.92
أوصِيكُمْ بِالصَّلاَةِ وَحِفْظِهَا، فَإنَّهَا خَيْرُ العَمَلِ، وَهِيَ عَمُودُ دِينِكُمْ.
I recommend you perform prayer and keep on it, because it is the best deed and the base of your religion.93
إنَّ الإنْسَانَ إذَا كَانَ فِي الصَّلاَةِ فَإنَّ جَسَدَهُ وَثِيَابَهُ وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُ.
When one is performing prayer, his body, clothes, and everything around him are worshipping!94
يَا كُمَيْلُ! لَيْسَ الشَّأنُ أنْ تُصَلِّيَ وَتَصُومَ وَتَتَصَدَّقَ، إنَّمَا الشَّأنُ أنْ تَكُونَ الصَّلاَةَ فَعَلْتَ بِقَلْبٍ نَقِيٍّ وَعَمَلٍ عِنْدَ اللهِ مَرْضِيٍّ وَخُشُوعٍ سَوِيٍّ.
O Kumayl! You should not merely perform prayer, fast, and pay charity; rather you should perform prayer with a purified and humble heart to satisfy Allah.95
Besides the Holy Qur’an, the reliable Shi’a tradition sources like “Kutub Arba’a”, “Wasa’ilaAl-Shi’ah”, etc. are the best and most complete sources about the worldly and heavenly effects of performing prayer.
Having Good idea about Allah
A human who is a believer, righteous, and virtuous servant and is going to seek Allah’s path during his lifetime should have good idea about Allah’s Mercy, Blessings, and Forgiveness. In other words, while he is in fear of the Hereafter and Allah’s chastisement, he should be hopeful of His Benevolent treatment at death time, in the purgatory, and especially on the Last Day, and His Forgiveness of the sins. Everyone should be hopeful that Allah would accept his efforts, bringing him to the Paradise among His friends.
The infallible Imams (as) have considered having a good idea about Allah as a result of one’s positive effort. In their traditions: Imam ‘Ali (as) stated:
حُسْنُ الظَّنِّ أنْ تُخْلِصَ العَمَلَ وَتَرْجُوَ مِنْ اللهِ أنْ يَعْفُوَ عَنِ الزَّلَلِ.
Having good idea about Allah is attempting sincerely for Allah and hoping for Allah’s forgiveness of your sins.96
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
حُسْنُ الظَّنِّ بِاللهِ أنْ لاَ تَرْجُو إلاّ اللهَ وَلاَ تَخَافَ إلاّ ذَنْبَكَ.
Having good idea about Allah is to hope in no one but Allah, and to fear nothing but your sins.97
The Messenger of Allah (S) said about goodwill:
وَاللهِ الَّذِي لاَ إلَهَ إلاّ هُوَ، لاَ يَحْسُنُ ظَنُّ عَبْدٍ مُؤمِنٍ بِاللهِ إلاّ كَانَ اللهُ عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِهِ المُؤْمِنِ، لأنَّ اللهَ كَرِيمٌ بِيَدِهِ الخَيْرَاتُ، يَسْتَحْيي أنْ يَكُونَ عَبْدُهُ المُؤمِنُ قَدْ أحْسَنَ بِهِ الظَّنَّ وَالرَّجَاءَ ثُمَّ يُخْلِفُ ظَنَّهُ وَرَجَاءَهُ، فَأحْسِنُوا بِاللهِ الظَّنَّ وَارْغَبُوا إلَيْهِ.
I swear by God who has no partners that there are no believers who have a good opinion about God and receive anything less than they expect from Him. This is so since God is Benevolent and has authority over all that is good, and is ashamed of one of his servants having a good opinion about Him and He acting otherwise. Therefore have a good opinion about God and be inclined to Him.98
لاَ يَمُوتَنَّ أحَدُكُمْ إلاّ وَهُوَ يُحْسِنُ الظَّنَّ بِاللهِ، فَإنَّ حُسْنَ الظَّنِّ بِاللهِ ثَمَنُ الجَنَّةِ.
Do not die and depart from this world until you have formed a good opinion about God, since this is the price for Heaven.99
حُسْنُ الظَّنِّ بِاللهِ مِنْ عِبَادَةِ اللهِ.
Forming good opinion about Allah is a kind of worshipping Him.100
وَأَنْتَ تَعْلَمُ ضَعْفي عَنْ قَليل مِنْ بَلاءِ الدُّنْيا وَعُقُوباتِها وَما يَجْري فيها مِنَ الْمَكارِهِ عَلى أَهْلِها، عَلى أَنَّ ذلِكَ بَلاءٌ وَمَكْرُوهٌ قَليلٌ مَكْثُهُ، يَسيرٌ بَقاؤُهُ، قَصيرٌ مُدَّتُهُ فَكَيْفَ احْتِمالي لِبَلاءِ الاْخِرَةِ وَجَليلِ وُقُوعِ الْمَكارِهِ فيها وَهُوَ بَلاءٌ تَطُولُ مُدَّتُهُ وَيَدُومُ مَقامُهُ وَلا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْ أَهْلِهِ لإَِنَّهُ لا يَكُونُ إلاّ عَنْ غَضَبِكَ وَاْنتِقامِكَ وَسَخَطِكَ، وَهذا ما لا تَقُومُ لَهُ السَّماواتُ وَالاَْرْضُ يا سَيِّدِي فَكَيْفَ لي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ الضَّعيفُ الذَّليلُ الْحَقيرُ الْمِسْكينُ الْمُسْتَكينُ
And You know my weakness before a little of this world’s tribulations and punishments and before those ordeals which befall its dwellers, even though it is a tribulation and ordeal whose stay is short, whose subsistence is but little and whose period is but fleeting. So how can I endure the tribulation of the next world and the real ordeals that occur within it? For it is a tribulation whose period is long; whose station endures, and whose sufferers are given no respite, since it only occurs as a result of Your Wrath, Your Vengeance, and Your Anger. And these cannot be withstood by the heavens and the earth. My Master, so what about me? For I am Your weak, lowly, base, wretched and miserable slave.
Tribulation of this world and that of the Hereafter
The tribulation of this world, as stated by Amir al-Mu’minin (as), is different from the tribulation of the Hereafter in several ways.
Firstly, hardship of whis world such as storm, earthquake, flood, famine, expensiveness of goods, loneliness, and the diseases that bothers human has a short stay, and a fleeting period. But human tribulations in the Last Day have a long stay and enduring station.
Second, some worldly tribulations are a form of divine trials. If human is patient in these difficulties and maintains his belief, he will be greatly rewarded and is subjected to Allah’s satisfaction. By the same token, the prophets were patient with the torturing of their people. Also some of Allah’s friends like Asiyah, the Pharaoh’s wife, and Habib al-Najjar had tribulations in His way and by His will; however, the tribulation of the Last Day is merely the chastisement of human sins and disobediences in this world.
The Holy Qur’an considers Allah’s accompanying human a result of obeying Him, the Prophet (S), and being patient with committing sins.
وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ وَاصْبِرُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ.
And obey Allah and His Messenger and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in heart and your power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient. (8:46)
The Holy Qur’an has given good tidings to the believers and has considered them subject to Allah’s Mercy.
وَلا تَقُولُوا لِمَنْ يُقْتَلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتٌ، بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ وَلَكِنْ لا تَشْعُرُونَ. وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنْ الأَمْوَالِ وَالأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ، وَبَشِّرْ الصَّابِرِينَ. الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ.
And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead; nay, they are alive, but you do not perceive. And We will certainly try you with something of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient, Who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah’s and to Him we shall surely return. (2:154-156)
The Messenger of Allah (S) has stated:
الصَّبْرُ ثَلاَثَةٌ: صَبْرٌ عِنْدَ المُصِيبَةِ، وَصَبْرٌ عَلَى الطَّاعَةِ، وَصَبْرٌ عَنِ المَعْصِيَةِ.
There are three kinds of patience; patience with calamities, patience with obedience, and patience with wrongdoing.101
The Messenger of Allah (S), in explaining “the patient”, states:
…اَلَّذِينَ يَصْبِرُونَ عَلَى طَاعَةِ اللهِ، وَاجْتَنَبوا مَعْصِيَتَهُ، وَالَّذِينَ كَسَبوا طَيِّباً، وَأنْفَقُوا قَصْداً، وَقَدَّمُوا فَضْلاً فَأفْلَحُوا وَأنْجَحُوا.
The patient are those who are patient with disobedience of Allah, obtain their sustenance lawfully, give their wealth away moderately, and sending their additional wealth for their Hereafter; so they are delivered.102
The tribulation of the Hereafter, on the other hand, will not be a trial; rather it is the chastisement of worldly deeds and no one can be patient with it. And there would be no reward for the patience then, even if someone managed to resist it.
Purgatory and Hereafter Punishments
Some of the Qur’anic verses, especially those in the last three parts of it, as well as some traditions mention various punishments of the Purgatory and the Hereafter.
Amir al-Mu’minin, Imam ‘Ali (as), says about Allah’s foes: “… and for Allah’s enemy, an angel is descended who is the worst creature of Allah in terms of behavior, appearance, and odor. So the angel says: “I give you tidings of boiling water to drink and entering the Hell!” Allah’s enemy knows his washer and the bearers of his body and asks them, for Allah’s sake, not to take him toward the grave. When he is put inside the grave, two questioning angels come and open his shroud, and then ask him: “Who is your Lord? What is your religion? And who is your prophet?” Allah’s enemy does not know the answer. The two angels say: “You didn’t know the answer so you cannot enter the Paradise.” Then he is beaten in the head with a stick, which is very frightening for any creature Allah has created, and all the beings hear its sound. So a door of the Fire is opened to him and he is told: “Rest in the worst state!” His grave becomes so tight for him that his brain comes out through his nails and flesh. Allah places some snakes, scorpions, and savages over him which sting him until his resurrection from the grave.”103
Shaykh Saduq has narrated from Imam al-Baqir (as) about the purgatory punishments:
The sinners inside the Fire cry from the intensity of the torture, like dogs and wolves; there is never a death for them; their punishment never decreases; they are always hungry and thirsty there; their eyes are weak, they are deaf and dumb and blind; their faces are black; and they are rejected, regretful, and subject to Wrath. They are not pitied for or rescued from the chastisement. They are burnt in the Fire, drink boiling water, and eating a bad-odor poisonous material. They are beaten with heavy iron hammers by wrathful strict angels who have no mercy. The sinners are put to the Fire by their faces, accompany Satan, and are fastened with chains. Their prayer is not fulfilled and their request not answered; this is the state of the resident in the Hell!104
‘Ali Ibn Ibrahim Qummi has narrated from Imam Sadiq (as), in his exegesis book:
One day, Gabriel, the angel of revelation, came to the Messenger of Allah (S), in a sorrowful state. The Prophet (S) said: “Why is it that I see you crying and sad?” Gabriel said: “Why shouldn’t I be so while the Hell’s manafikh have been set?” The Prophet of Islam (S) asked again: “What is manafikh of the hell?” And he was told: “By the Almighty’s order, the Fire was lit up for a thousand years until it became red. Then He ordered to the Fire again and it was lit up for another thousand years so it got white. Afterwards the Fire was lit up for the same period of time again until it became black. It is now a black dark substance. If a link of its seventy-dhar’105 chain is put on the earth, it will melt from heat. And if a drop of its Zaqqum106 is poured into the drinking water of the world, all the earth’s inhabitants will die of its bad odor.”
So the Prophet (S) and Gabriel cried. At the same time, Allah descended towards them an angel, who gave them Allah’s greeting and message: “I rescued you from committing any sins which prevents you to be subjected to such a chastisement.”107
Allah’s enemies are put in a narrow place, with dark paths and indefinite holes; they are eternal in its ever-lasting Fire and drink boiling water. They remain in the Hell, are beaten by Fire, and wish for death. They have no freedom. Their feet are tied to their foreheads. Their faces are dark from wrongdoing. They call out from among the Fire: “O guard! The promised threat is fulfilled. O Guard! The chains are heavy on our body and our skin is burnt from the Fire. Take us away from here so that we won’t commit sins anymore.” The Fire says: “Your freedom is so far away! It is not a day of salvage today and the paths to the outside are always closed. Go away and be silent! If you are taken away, you will commit sins again.”
Meanwhile the inhabitants of Hell get hopeless of their freedom and regret their scant worship, but their regretfulness does not help and rescue them. With tied feet and hands, they fall down on their faces. Fire is above their head, beneath their feet, on their right and their left. Their food, drink, clothes, and beds are all fire.
They are among pieces of Fire, dirty clothes, and heavy chains. They cry constantly and wish they could die. But every time they ask for death, boiling water is poured on their heads and they are beaten by heavy clubs. Blood and dirt come from their mouths; their livers cuts into pieces from thirst, their eyes flow on their faces; the flesh falls from their faces; and their hair sheds from their body, due to extreme pain. Whenever their skin burns another skin grows instead. Their bones appear from under their flesh; and they become blind, deaf and dumb!108
O Lord! How can I tolerate this much difficulty and calamity, while I am Your weak lowly, base, wretched and miserable slave?
Though my worship is not perfect and my sins are not few, I am Your lover. I love the prophets and Imams (as) and I love worshipping You. I am not a sinner by nature; if I commit sins, it is because of my lack of knowledge, will, and understanding. My excessive sins are because of my lust and carnal soul. I am willing to worship perfectly and sincerely. I tend to be pure of any sins. I hate Satan and tyrants. Forgive and help me; save me from sins; help me in worshipping You; release me from the Hell and take me to Paradise.
يا إِلهي وَرَبّي وَسَيِّدِي وَمَوْلايَ لأيِّ الاُْمُورِ إِلَيْكَ أَشْكُو وَلِما مِنْها أَضِجُّ وَأَبْكي لإَِليمِ الْعَذابِ وَشِدَّتِهِ، أَمْ لِطُولِ الْبَلاءِ وَمُدَّتِهِ، فَلَئِنْ صَيَّرْتَنى لِلْعُقُوباتِ مَعَ أَعْدائِكَ وَجَمَعْتَ بَيْني وَبَيْنَ أَهْلِ بَلائِكَ وَفَرَّقْتَ بَيْني وَبَيْنَ أَحِبّائِكَ وَأَوْليائِكَ، فَهَبْني يا إِلهى وَسَيِّدِي وَمَوْلايَ وَرَبّي صَبَرْتُ عَلى عَذابِكَ فَكَيْفَ أَصْبِرُ عَلى فِراقِكَ، وَهَبْني يا إِلهي صَبَرْتُ عَلى حَرِّ نارِكَ فَكَيْفَ أَصْبِرُ عَنِ النَّظَرِ إِلى كَرامَتِكَ أَمْ كَيْفَ أَسْكُنُ فِي النّارِ وَرَجائي عَفْوُكَ
My Lord! My Lord! My Master! My Protector! For which things would I complain to You and for which of them would I lament and weep? For the pain and severity of chastisement? Or for the length and period of tribulation? So if You subject me to the punishments with Your enemies, gather me with the people of Your tribulation and separate me from Your friends and saints then suppose, my Allah, my Master, my Protector and my Lord, that I am able to endure Your chastisement, How can I endure separation from You? And suppose that I am able to endure the heat of Your Fire, How can I endure not gazing upon Your Generosity? Or how can I dwell in the Fire while my hope is Your pardon?
Complain to the Friend
The Commander of the lovers, in this part of the supplication, complains about tribulations and chastisements. In other words, he wants to say: O Allah! I know no one but You to heal my pain and eliminate my tribulation. All the beings are dependent upon You and are poor and weak. A poor one cannot do anything and a weak one cannot solve problems. The key to solving any problem is in Your hands and the cure for any disease is possible with Your Power. You are the One in Whose presence Hadrat Fatima Al-Zahra (s.a) wept and said: “O Allah! I ask You something which can be granted only by You. I ask You guidance, piety, independence, chastity and doing what You like and are pleased with. O Lord! We ask You power for our weakness, wealth for our poorness, and knowledge and patience for our ignorance. O Allah! Bless Muhammad (S) and his progeny! Help us in worshipping, obeying and remembering You, by Your Compassion, O the most Merciful of the Merciful!109“
O Allah! You are the One to Whom Prophet Abraham (as), along with his son Ismael, prayed humbly and asked things which could be fulfilled only by You: “And when Abraham and Isma’il raised the foundations of the House: Our Lord! Accept it from us; surely Thou are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord! And make us both submissive to Thee and show us our ways of devotion and turn to us mercifully, surely Thou are the Oft-returning to Mercy, the Merciful. Our Lord! And raise up in them a Messenger from among them who shall recite to them Thy communications and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and purify them; surely Thou are the Mighty, the Wise. (2:127-129)”
You are the One for Whom Noah tolerated the pestering of his people for nine hundred and fifty years, and then to You he complained to descend water from the heaven and through the earth with all Your Power, drowning all Your enemies and saving Noah and his disciples.
You are the One Who made a few Muslims along with the Prophet of Islam (S) dominate the disbelievers, whose number and facilities were three times more than the Muslims in battle of Badr.
Now, I take refuge to you form difficulties and tribulations. You are the One Who can remove my problems with a single reward and grant me peace and ease.
You are the One to Whom all the prophets, Imams (as), believers, repented and sorrowful servants complained from their problems and You accepted, treated, and saved them.
Which patient came toward You but You did not cure him? Which poor one came to You but You did not enrich him? Which unfortunate one came to You but You did not fulfill his desire? Which supplicant came to You but You did not grant him his wish? Which needy one came to You but returned with his problem unsolved? Which repented one came to You without his repentance being accepted?
Lamenting and Weeping
Weeping is one of Allah’s greatest gifts to the servant. Weeping implies the heart’s humbleness to Allah and a pure spirit.
The Holy Qur’an has considered weeping a sign of the believers and Allah’s lovers;
وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَى أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنْ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُوا مِنْ الْحَقِّ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ.
And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger you will see their eyes overflowing with fears on account of the truth that they recognize; they say: Our Lord! We believe, so write us down with the witness of truth. (5:83)
The messenger of Allah told Imam ‘Ali (as):
أوصِيكَ يَا عَلِيُّ فِي نَفْسِكَ بِخِصَالٍ فَاحْفَظْهَا! اَللَّهُمَّ أعِنْهُ… وَالرَّابِعَةُ البُكَاءُ للهِ يَبْنِي لَكَ بِكُلِّ دَمْعَةٍ بَيْتاً فِي الجَنَّةِ.
O ‘Ali! I recommend you to develop and maintain some characteristics in yourself, may Allah help you! … And the fourth characteristic is weeping for the sake of Allah. For each of your tear drops, a house is given to you in Paradise.110
The Prophet (S) also stated:
طُوبَى لِصُورَةٍ نَظَرَ اللهُ إلَيْهَا تَبْكي عَلَى ذَنْبٍ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَمْ يَطَّلِعْ عَلَى ذَلِكَ الذَّنْبِ غَيْرُهُ.
Blessed is the one to whose face Allah has regard while he is weeping for his sin, out of Allah’s fear, and no one knows of that sin but Allah.111
مَنْ ذَرَفَتْ عَيْناهُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللهِ كَانَ لَهُ بِكُلِّ قَطْرَةٍ مِنْ دُمُوعِهِ مِثْلُ جَبَلِ أُحُدٍ يَكُونُ فِي مِيزَانِهِ مِنَ الأجْرِ.
The reward of someone whose eyes weep from Allah’s fear will be as heavy as Mount Uhud for any drop.112
مَنْ خَرَجَ مِنْ عَيْنَيْهِ مِثْلُ الذُّبَابِ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللهِ آمَنَهُ اللهُ بِهِ يَوْمَ الفَزَعِ الأكْبَرِ.
The one whose eyes weep from Allah’s fear as small as a mosquito will be saved from the Hereafter fear by Allah.113
Imam ‘Ali (as) stated:
بُكَاءُ العُيُونِ وَخَشْيَةُ القُلُوبِ مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللهِ تَعَالَى ذِكْرُهُ، فَإذَا وَجَدْتُمُوهَا فَاغْتَنِمُوا الدُّعَاءَ.
The weeping of the eyes and the fear of the hearts are Allah’s Mercy; if you found them seize the chance to pray, because a prayer along with weeping and fear will be accepted.114
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ إلاَّ وَلَهُ كَيْلٌ وَوَزْنٌ، إلاَّ الدُّمُوعَ؛ فَإنَّ القَطْرَةَ تُطْفِئُ بِحَاراً مِنَ النَّارِ، وَلَو أنَّ باكِياً بَكَى فِي أُمَّةٍ لَرُحِمُوا.
Everything has a special scale except tears; a drop of tear putts off oceans of fire. Allah forbids inferno from burning a tearful eye. In fact if there’s one tearful person (from Allah’s fear) in any nation, all the people will be forgiven.115
Yahya Ibn Mu’adh said: “Anyone who weeps in his dream will be happy in reality. The worldly life is like a dream and the Hereafter is reality, so weep in the world to be happy on the Last Day.”
A person who loves Allah’s prophets, Imams, and friends wishes to see and accompany them in the Hereafter. If Allah detaches him from His loved ones due to some sins and places him among his enemies instead, this punishment will be harsher, and hotter than the Fire.
The pain of remoteness is only understandable for the one who has tasted it!
The pain of remoteness was experienced by Adam who was deprived of his divine position in Paradise, besides the angels and in nearness of Allah, because of approaching the forbidden tree!
The pain of remoteness was experienced by Job who lost his family, wealth, honor, and health as a divine test.
The pain of remoteness was experienced by Jonah who was deprived of world’s vast space and got entangled in the fish’s stomach.
The pain of remoteness was experienced by Jacob who wept in the absence of his dear one until he got blind.
The pain of remoteness was experienced by Josef who was remote from his kind father, Jacob, and got entangled in the deep well and then in the prison.
But the Merciful Allah cured the pain of remoteness for Adam by his repentance and healed the pain of remoteness for Job by returning to him what he had lost. The almighty alleviated the pain of remoteness for Jonah by rescuing him from the fish’s belly and the pain of remoteness for Jacob and Josef by helping them meet each other again.
O the curer of the bitter pain of remoteness! Do not intend for us, the lovers of prophets and Imams (as), to be remote from them in the Hereafter and placed in the Hell! Suppose we can tolerate the chastisement and remoteness from the prophets and Imams (as), how can we bear remoteness from You?
Greed for the Noble Servants’ Position
O Allah! Suppose I can stand Your burning Fire, how can I ignore the Blessings You grant Your noble servants?
It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) that the Almighty has not created anyone except that He has defined a position in Paradise and another in hell for him. When the inhabitants of paradise settle in it and the Hell inhabitants are sent to it, a caller tells the dwellers of Paradise to look at their position in Hell and says: “This is the position that you would have entered if you had committed sins.” So the dwellers of Paradise get so relieved and happy that if there were any death in Paradise, they would die of happiness.
Afterwards, the caller calls the dwellers of Hell to look up to their supposed positions and blessings in the Paradise and says: “If you had worshipped Allah you could have won these positions.” So the inhabitants of the Hell get so depressed that they nearly die, if there were any death in the Hell.
Hope for Forgiveness
My Lord! How can I be relaxed in the Fire while I only hope for Your Forgiveness; the forgiveness that is repeatedly promised to the sinners in the Holy Qur’an.
My Allah! How many poor servants who had hope for other people’s help and they were not left deprived, let alone those who hope for Your Forgiveness.
‘Attar, the poet, has written in his Ilahinameh that a wrongdoer female singer lived in Mecca. She attended debauchery ceremonies, danced, and sang in them.
Some years after the Prophet’s Hijra, this woman who had lost her youth and beauty and could not sing as before, and thus could not make her ends meet, came to the Prophet of Islam (S), out of misery. The Prophet (S) asked her: “Have you come here for a worldly interaction or a heavenly one?” The woman said: “Neither for the former nor for the latter; rather I have come in hope of your generosity.” The Prophet (S) got delighted and granted the woman his holy cloak and then told his disciples: “Grant her as much as you can afford!”
So a sinful woman went to Medina in hope for Your Prophet’s bounty, which is a sign of Your Blessings, and returned satisfied with a bountiful grant. How can I return destitute from Your Presence while I have hope for Your Mercy and Forgiveness?
فَبِعِزَّتِكَ يا سَيِّدى وَمَوْلايَ اُقْسِمُ صادِقاً لَئِنْ تَرَكْتَني ناطِقاً لإَِضِجَّنَّ إِلَيْكَ بَيْنَ أَهْلِها ضَجيجَ الآمِلينَ وَلأصْرُخَنَّ إِلَيْكَ صُراخَ الْمَسْتَصْرِخينَ، وَلأََبْكِيَنَّ عَلَيْكَ بُكاءَ الْفاقِدينَ، وَلأَُنادِيَنَّكَ أَيْنَ كُنْتَ يا وَلِيَّ الْمُؤْمِنينَ، يا غايَةَ آمالِ الْعارِفينَ، يا غِياثَ الْمُسْتَغيثينَ، يا حَبيبَ قُلُوبِ الصّادِقينَ، وَيا إِلهَ الْعالَمينَ
So by Your Might, my master and my Protector, I swear sincerely, if You leave me with speech, I will lament before You from the midst of the Fire’s inhabitants with the lamentation of the hopeful; I will cry to You with the cry of those crying for help; I will weep before You with the weeping of the bereft; and I will call upon You, Where are You, O Sponsor of the believers, O Goal of the hopes of Your Knowers! O Aid of those who seek assistance, O Friend of the hearts of the sincere, and O Allah of all the world’s inhabitants!
This part of the supplication, like the previous part, includes the supplicant’s beseech and prayer to the Almighty in order to attract His attention, and if is doomed to the Hell, than to save him from the chastisement.
In fact, how is the state of the servant who is under chastisement, and even worse than chastisement is suffering from remoteness of his beloved Lord?!
Which beseech and weeping is harsher than that of someone who has lost a beloved? It has been said that a mother was weeping beside her daughter’s grave. An ascetic person was passing there who said: “Good for this mother who knows what a valuable blessing she has lost!”
The Last Day certainly has very wonderful scenes and is a strange day for the people; good for those who are doomed to Allah’s Mercy and are away from chastisement. We had better compare ourselves to the scale of Holy Qur’an before we are confronted with death.
Harun and Buhlul
Harun was returning from Hajj pilgrimage and stayed in Kufah some days. One day he was passing a way when Buhlul called him by his name for three times: “Harun! Harun! Harun!” Harun said astonished: “Who is it that calls me by my name?” “The insane Buhlul,” he was answered. So he pulled the camel-litter curtain away and told Buhlul: “Do you know me?” He answered yes. Harun asked again: “Who am I?” He said: “You are the one who will be responsible and should account for an oppression done in the east, even if you are in the west yourself. You will be asked about it in the Hereafter because you are the country ruler.” So Harun wept from sorrow and asked Buhlul: “What do you think of me?” He said: “Compare yourself with the Holy Qur’an: “Most surely the righteous are in bliss and most surely the wicked are in burning Fire. (82:13-14)” Harun said: “How about our deeds?” Buhlul replied: “… Allah only accepts from those who guard against evil. (5:27)” Harun said again: “But what about our tie of kinship with the Prophet (S)?” Buhlul said in reply: “So when the trumpet is blown there shall be no ties of relationship between them on that day, nor they ask for each other. (23:101)” Then Harun said: “But there is the Prophet’s intercession.” And Buhlul said: “On that day no one shall avail intercession except him whom the Beneficent Allah allows and whose word He is pleased with. (20:109)” Then Harun asked him about his wish. Buhlul answered: “Forgive my sins and take me into Paradise.” Harun said: “I don’t have the power to do so, but I have been informed that you owe money to some people. Do you want me to pay your debts?” Buhlul answered: “Debts cannot be paid with debts. What you possess is people’s belongings and you are obliged to return them to the people.” So Harun stated: “Do you want me to order a life payment for you?” Buhlul answered him: “I am Allah’s servant and He gives me sustenance, do you think Allah remembers and protects you but not me?”
أَفَتُراكَ سُبْحانَكَ يا إِلهى وَبِحَمْدِكَ تَسْمَعُ فيها صَوْتَ عَبْدٍ مُسْلِمٍ يُسْجَنُ فيها بِمُخالَفَتِهِ، وَذاقَ طَعْمَ عَذابِها بِمَعْصِيَتِهِ وَحُبِسَ بَيْنَ أَطْباقِها بِجُرْمِهِ وَجَريرَتِهِ وَهُوَ يَضِجُّ إِلَيْكَ ضَجيجَ مُؤَمِّل لِرَحْمَتِكَ، وَيُناديكَ بِلِسانِ أَهْلِ تَوْحيدِكَ، وَيَتَوَسَّلُ إِلَيْكَ بِرُبُوبِيَّتِكَ
Can’t You see Yourself- Glory be to You my Allah, and Yours is the praise- hearing within the Fire the voice of a slave surrendered to You, imprisoned there because of his violations, suffering the pangs of its torment because of his disobedience, and confined within its levels because of his sin and crime, while he laments before You with the lament of one hopeful for Your Mercy, calls upon You with the tongue of those who profess Your Oneness and entreats You by Your Lordship?
When reading the descriptions of the Purgatory in the Holy Qur’an and traditions of the Prophet’s Household, the true believers tremble with fear, get astonished and sincerely take refuge to Allah to be rescued from this frightening condition. This way, they are more prepared to do the obligatory deeds and refrain from the unlawful ones, and sometimes they die of extreme fear of Purgatory!
Salman and the Fearful Young Man
Shaykh Mufid narrates Ibn Abi ‘Amir who narrates Imam Sadiq (as): Salman passed the ironers’ bazaar in Kufah where he saw a young man on the ground and the people around him. They told Salman: “This man has fainted. Say something in his ear so that he will be conscious again. Salman came near him until he was conscious and said: “O Salman! If you heard anything about me do not believe it! When I entered this bazaar, and saw the ironers pounding with their hammers I remembered this Qur’anic verse: “And for them is the whips of iron. (22:21)” So I fainted from the chastisement fear.” Salman said: “You are worthy of being my religious brother.” So Salman loved and adored his friend, until the young man got seriously sick. Salman came to him who was near death and said: “O Angel of death! Treat my brother moderately!” And he was answered: “I treat every believer with moderation.”116
The Believer Woman
The great scholar, Mulla Fathullah Kashani, narrates in his exegesis book “Minhaj”: Once the Messener of Allah (S) stood for prayers in the mosque. After reciting al-Hamd (al-Fatihah) chapter of the Holy Qur’an, he began al-Hijr chapter until he reached this verse:
وَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ لَمَوْعِدُهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ. لَهَا سَبْعَةُ أَبْوَابٍ لِكُلِّ بَابٍ مِنْهُمْ جُزْءٌ مَقْسُومٌ.
And surely Hell is the promised place of them all: It has seven gates; for every gate is a special class of sinners assigned. (15:43-44)
An Arab woman who was performing prayer along side the Prophet (S) fainted hearing these verses. When the Prophet (S) finished his prayer and saw the occurrence, he ordered to splash water into the woman’s face and she regained consciousness. So the Prophet (S) said: “How did you feel?” She said: “When I saw you in prayer, I got interested in performing prayer with you. And I got restless when you recited the two verses.” Then she said: “Woe to me because any of my limbs will be placed in one of the seven gates of Hell.” The Prophet (S) said: “That is not the case. This verse means each specific group of sinners will be chastised in one of the seven gates of Hell.” The woman told the Prophet: “I have nothing but seven slaves. I free each of them to be freed from one of the Hell gates.” Then the Revelation Angel was descended and said: “O Messenger of Allah! Give good tidings to the Arab woman that the Almighty has closed all the Hell gates and opened the gates of Paradise for her.”
A Divine tradition reads:
O son of Adam! I did not set up this Fire except for the disbeliever, the stingy, the tell-tale, the cursed by parents, the hinderer of zakat payment, the usurer, the adulterer, the unlawful seller, the forgetter of Qur’an, the annoyer of the neighbors, but those of them who repent, believe, and do good.
My servants! Have Mercy on yourselves! Because your bodies are weak, the journey is long, the load is heavy, the path is exact, the Fire is burning, the caller is the Blower Archangel, and the Judge is the Lord of the worlds.
An Interesting Advice
Someone intended to go on a travel and told Hatam al-Asamm: “Give me some advice!” So Hatam said:
“If you want a friend, Allah suffices for you.
If you want a companion, the two illustrious angels suffice for you.
If you want a lesson, this world suffices for you.
If you want an associate, Qur’an suffices for you.
If you want a job, worshipping suffices for you.
If you want a preacher, death suffices for you.
And if these things suffice you, then the Purgatory suffices for you!”
The explanation of beseeching Allah will come under “My Lord! My Lord!” in later parts.
يا مَوْلايَ فَكَيْفَ يَبْقى فِي الْعَذابِ وَهُوَ يَرْجُو ما سَلَفَ مِنْ حِلْمِكَ، أَمْ كَيْفَ تُؤْلِمُهُ النّارُ وَهُوَ يَأْملُ فَضْلَكَ وَرَحْمَتَكَ أَمْ كَيْفَ يُحْرِقُهُ لَهيبُها وَأَنْتَ تَسْمَعُ صَوْتَهُ وَتَرى مَكانَه أَمْ كَيْفَ يَشْتَمِلُ عَلَيْهِ زَفيرُها وَأَنْتَ تَعْلَمُ ضَعْفَهُ، أَمْ كَيْفَ يَتَقَلْقَلُ بَيْنَ أَطْباقِها وَأَنْتَ تَعْلَمُ صِدْقَهُ، أَمْ كَيْفَ تَزْجُرُهُ زَبانِيَتُها وَهُوَ يُناديكَ يا رَبَّهُ، أَمْ كَيْفَ يَرْجُو فَضْلَكَ في عِتْقِهِ مِنْها فَتَتْرُكُهُ فيها
My Protector, so how should he remain in the chastisement while he has hope for Your previous clemency? Or how should the Fire cause him pain while he expects Your Bounty and mercy? Or how should its flames burn him while You hear his voice and see his place? Or how should its groaning encompass him while You know his weakness? Or how should he be convulsed among its levels while You know his sincerity? Or how should its keepers torture him while he calls out to You, O Lord? Or how should he have hope of Your Bounty in freeing him from it while You abandon him within it?
Allah’s Bounty and mercy
The Qur’anic verses and traditions imply that the Almighty has Mercy upon all the servants, hence He has granted them all material and spiritual blessings, not depriving a single one from His Bountiful blessings.
However some humans are idle and do not attempt for getting sustenance. Therefore they lose their value and are deprived of Allah’s blessings by their own will.
Anyone who wishes can gain Allah’s material blessings by lawful attempts, with no hindrance. Also he can gain Divine bliss, by sincere attempts and true belief, so that he would benefit from Allah’s Mercy in this world and the Last Day, part of which is a purified life in the world and the Paradise in the Hereafter.
Among the wonders of His Devine mercy is that His Holy Essence grants great blessing for few acts.
Solomon and the Peasant
Allah’s selected servant, Prophet Solomon (as), passed by a peasant in a splendid magnificent manner. Seeing Solomon’s glory, the peasant said: “The Beneficent Allah has granted the son of David a glorious kingdom.” This was brought to Solomon by the wind. Prophet Solomon (as) got off from his top position, went to the peasant and told him: “Do not wish something whose responsibility you cannot tolerate! If Allah accepts your glorifying him, it would be better for you than Solomon’s kingdom, because the reward of glorifying Allah is eternal but Solomon’s kingdom is finite!117“
The late Shaykh Saduq has narrated a strange tradition in his worthy ‘Thawab Al-A’mal’: Isma’il Ibn Yasar said: I heard Imam Sadiq (as) saying:
إيَّاكُمْ وَالكَسَلَ! إنَّ رَبَّكُمْ رَحِيمٌ يَشْكُرُ القَلِيلَ. إنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيُصَلِّي الرَّكْعَتَيْنِ تَطَوُّعاً يُرِيدُ بِهِمَا وَجْهَ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فَيُدْخِلُهُ اللهُ بِهِمَا الجَنَّةَ، وَإنَّهُ لَيَتَصَدَّقُ بِالدِّرْهَمِ تَطَوُّعاً يُرِيدُ بِهِ وَجْهَ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فَيُدْخِلُهُ اللهُ بِهِ الجَنَّةَ، وَإنَّهُ لَيَصُومُ اليَوْمَ تَطَوُّعاً يُرِيدُ بِهِ وَجْهَ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فَيُدْخِلُهُ اللهُ بِهِ الجَنَّةَ.
Avoid laziness and dullness because Your Lord is Beneficent and grants great reward for your small acts. Someone accomplishes a two-unit prayer, not obligatorily, for Allah’s sake, so Allah takes him to Paradise for it. He willingly gives a drachma away as charity for Allah’s sake; hence Allah takes him to Paradise for it. And fasts in a day for Allah’s sake, therefore Allah takes him to Paradise for it!118
Amir al-Mu’minin (as) narrates that the Prophet (S) said:
مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ أكْرَمُ عَلَى اللهِ مِنِ ابْنِ آدَمَ. (قِيلَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ! وَلاَ المَلاَئِكَةُ؟ قَالَ:) المَلاَئِكَةُ مَجْبُورُونَ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الشَّمْسِ وَالقَمَرِ.
Nothing in Allah’s presence is more valuable than Adam’s progeny. He was then asked: O Messenger! Aren’t the angels valuable? He stated: The angels, just like the sun and the moon, are obliged to worship and glorify Allah.
It is only the human being who has the blessings of freedom and will. Whenever he uses this freedom in performing Allah’s orders, he would get subjected to His especial Mercy and Benevolence.
An Important Tradition
The Prophet (S) stated:
الصَّلاَةُ عَمُودُ الدِّينِ، وَفِيهَا عَشْرُ خِصَالٍ: زَيْنُ الوَجْهِ، وَنُورُ القَلْبِ، وَرَاحَةُ البَدَنِ، وَأُنْسُ القُبُورِ، وَمَنْزِلُ الرَّحْمَةِ، وَمِصْبَاحُ السَّمَاءِ، وَثِقْلُ المِيزَانِ، وَمَرْضَاةُ الرَّبِّ، وَثَمَنُ الجَنَّةِ، وَحِجَابُ النَّارِ. وَمَنْ أقَامَهَا فَقَدْ أقَامَ الدِّينَ، وَمَنْ تَرَكَها فَقَدْ هَدَمَ الدِّينَ.
Prayer (salat) is the religion’s pillar and it brings about ten features; beauty of the face, illumination of the heart, comfort of the body, companion in the grave, bringer of Mercy, the light of the heavens, heaviness of scale in the Hereafter, satisfaction of the Lord, price of the Paradise, and hinderer of the Hell Fire, anyone who performs it has set up the religion and anyone who leaves it has obliterated the religion.119
It is really surprising that the Benevolent Lord has set such benefits and results for performing two units of prayer (salat), which is not hard for anyone!
The messenger of Allah (S) also stated:
مَا مِنْ صَلاَةٍ يَحْضُرُ وَقْتُهَا إلاّ نَادَى مَلَكٌ بَيْنَ يَدَيِ النَّاسِ: أيُّهَا النَّاسُ قُوموا إلَى نِيرانِكُمُ الَّتِي أوْقَدْتُمُوهَا عَلَى ظُهُورِكُمْ فَأطْفِئُوهَا بِصَلاَتِكُمْ.
No prayer time comes except that an angel calls out: ‘O People! Rise up against the Fire you have burnt behind you (due to sins) and put it off with your prayer.’120
Imam Sadiq (as) and the Terrified Caravan
Imam Musa Ibn Ja’far (as) says: “Imam Sadiq (as) accompanied a caravan that was going towards the desert. Then the caravan was informed that the thieves have hidden themselves on their way. The people of the caravan trembled with fear. Imam Sadiq (as) inquired about the reason for their. They said: ‘We have some property and fear that that the thieves will take it from us. Would you take them from us as the thieves might not take them from you?’ Imam (as) said: ‘You cannot be sure; maybe they only intend to rob me and then your property would be stolen by them.’ The people said again: ‘So what can we do? Is it wise to burry our property under the ground?’ Imam (as) answered: ‘No, because they may get damaged, someone may rob them, or you may not relocate them.’ The caravan people asked: ‘What can we do then?’ Imam Sadiq (as) said: ‘Give them to the One Who can protect them, increase the amount of them, and then give them back to you more than you need!’
‘Who is it?’ they asked. Imam replied: ‘The Lord of the worlds.’ They asked: ‘How can we do this?’ Imam (as) stated: ‘Give them away as charity to poor Muslims.’ They said: ‘We have no access to the poor in the middle of desert.’ Imam said: ‘Intend to give away one third of it so that Allah would save all of it.’ ‘We intended,’ they said. Imam Sadiq (as) said: ‘You are safe now so go on your journey.’
When the caravan moved the thieves appeared. The caravan people were afraid but Imam (as) told them: ‘Why are you afraid while Allah will save you.’ The thieves came and, recognizing Imam Sadiq (as), kissed his hands and said: ‘Last night, we dreamt of the Messenger of Allah (S) and he ordered us to protect you and the caravan; now we are at your service!’ Imam (as) said: ‘There is no need for your help. The One Who saved us from you will save us from other enemies and robbers.’ So the caravan reached the city and the people gave away one third of their property to the poor. Furthermore, they witnessed abundance in their wealth; every drachma got multiplied by ten. They were astonished at this and Imam Sadiq (as) told them: ‘Now that you know about trading with Allah, continue it!’”121
The Wonder of Allah’s favorites
When Amir al-Mu’minin (as) reached the region of Siffin, Mu’awiya had blocked all the water ways to inflict Imam’s soldiers into trouble and weaken their fighting ability. Imam ‘Ali (as) ordered a group of fighters under the guidance of Imam Husayn (as) to regain the water way. Imam Husayn (as) attacked the water resource, so Mu’awiya’s guards fled the place and water was now accessible for the Muslim army. Some people suggested Amir al-Mu’minin (as) to cut off the water way for Mu’awiya and his troops. Imam (as) stated: “By Allah that I don’t do so.” Then he sent a convoy to Mu’awiya to tell him: “Your army is free to take as much water as it wants.”
A Strange letter from Imam al-Ridha (as)
Bazanti, a reliable Shi’ite narrator says: I read Imam al-Ridha’s letter from Khorasan to his son, Imam Jawad (as), in Medina. He had written:
My Son! I have been informed that whenever you want to go out and mount your horse, the servants take you out from the small door of the house. This is because of their stinginess so that you could not grant anything to others. I ask you, by my fatherhood and Imamate, to come and go from the larger door. Also bring money with yourself so that you can give away to the poor. If your uncles wanted money, don’t give them less than fifty drachmas and do not give less than twenty five drachmas to your aunts and you are free to pay them more. I want Allah to grant you high position and status. Donate money and do not fear poverty by the Owner of the Empyrean!122
When Allah’s favorite servants are this generous to other servants, what would be the level of Allah’s Generosity?
It is because of Allah’s indefinite Mercy and unending benevolence that Amir al-Mu’minin (as), after saying ‘O Allah! Can’t you see yourself hearing within the Fire the voice of a slave surrendered to You, imprisoned there because of his violations’, says ‘Far be it from You! That is not what is expected of You.’
هَيْهاتَ ما ذلِكَ الظَّنُ بِكَ وَلأَ الْمَعْرُوفُ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ وَلا مُشْبِهٌ لِما عامَلْتَ بِهِ الْمُوَحِّدينَ مِنْ بِرِّكَ وَإِحْسانِكَ، فَبِالْيَقينِ أَقْطَعُ لَوْ لا ما حَكَمْتَ بِهِ مِنْ تَعْذيبِ جاحِديكَ، وَقَضَيْتَ بِهِ مِنْ إِخْلادِ مُعانِدِيكَ لَجَعَلْتَ النّارَ كُلَّها بَرْداً وَسَلاماً وَما كانَت لإَِحَد فيها مَقَرّاً وَلا مُقاماً لكِنَّكَ تَقَدَّسَتْ أَسْماؤُكَ أَقْسَمْتَ أَنْ تَمْلأََها مِنَ الْكافِرينَ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنّاسِ أَجْمَعينَ، وَأَنْ تُخَلِّدَ فيهَا الْمُعانِدينَ وَأَنْتَ جَلَّ ثَناؤُكَ قُلْتَ مُبْتَدِئاً، وَتَطَوَّلْتَ بِالاًِنْعامِ مُتَكَرِّماً: ”أَفَمَنْ كانَ مُؤْمِناً كَمَنْ كانَ فاسِقاً لا يَسْتَوُونَ.“
Far be it from You! That is not what is expected of You, nor what is well-known of Your Bounty; nor is it similar to the goodness and kindness You have shown to those who profess Your Oneness. So I declare with certainty that were it not for what You have decreed concerning the chastisement of Your deniers and what You have foreordained concerning the everlasting home of those who stubbornly resist, You would make the Fire, all of it, coolness and safety, and no one would have a place of rest or abode within it. But You- holy are Your Names- have sworn that You will fill it with the unbelievers, both jinn and men, and that You will place those, who stubbornly resist, therein forever. And You- majestic is Your eulogy- said through kindness as a favor: what? Is he who has been a believer like him who has been ungodly? They are not equal.
The Kind Embrace
None of the prophets (as), the Imams (as), and favorite servants expected Allah to treat them with chastisement; the Almighty Who has called Himself in the Holy Qur’an as the Most Merciful of the merciful, the Forgiver, the Generous, the Lover, the Holy, the Fine, and the Relenting.
The chastisement of the Hereafter is not related to the believers at all. It is the bitter fruit of denying the truth and of enmity with Allah. The chastisement of the Hereafter is the reward of the proud and the sinner. It is the product of wrongdoing and corruption. It is in fact the result of human deeds and nothing else.
Why should the one who is not a denier and an enemy of Allah, while some rays of Allah’s Unity, belief, love, and affection shines in his heart, and be possesses righteous morality and virtuous deeds to some extent, be chastised?
Such a person faces a Holy and Kind Lord; the One Who invites any sinner to repentance in order to forgive him, calls any broken servant to compensate his loss and any patient to cure him.
Someone told a devotee servant of Allah: “I am polluted with wrongdoing. Do you think I would be accepted?” He replied: “Woe be on you! Allah calls His enemies and deniers of the truth; how is it possible that He rejects someone who seeks refuge to Him?!”
The late Ibn Fahad al-Hilli in his book “‘Uddat al-Da’i” has narrated: “When the Almighty sent Moses to the Pharaoh to warn him of wrongdoing, He told Moses: ‘Say to Pharaoh that I hurry more in forgiving the sins and being patient with the sinners than taking wrath and chastisement.’”
Abraham’s Impatience of Sins
In the exegesis of the holy verse:
وَكَذَلِكَ نُرِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ مَلَكُوتَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَلِيَكُونَ مِنْ الْمُوقِنِينَ.
So also did We show Abraham the power and the laws of the heavens and the earth, that he might (with understanding) have certitude. (6:75)
It is written that when Allah showed Abraham the whole of heavens and the earth and uncovered any spiritual veils for him, he witnessed everything in the earth as well as an adulterer man and woman. He cursed them immediately so they died. Then he saw two other ones in the same state, so he cursed them again and they died too. The third time he saw another adulterer couple and he wanted to curse them when it was revealed to him: “Take your curse off from My servants; surely I am the Forgiver, the Merciful, the Patient, and the Omnipotent; the sin of My servants does not harm Me, as their worship does not benefit Me.
I treat My servants in one of the three ways; either they repent and I accept their repentance, forgive their sins, and hide their faults; or I remove chastisement from them because I know that their progeny will be believers, so I treat the fathers moderately until their children are born, and then if the fathers have not repented, I will chastise them; or if they belong to neither group, I will prepare a chastisement for them which is greater than what you want for them.
O Abraham! Leave Me with My servants because I am the Patient, the Wise, and the Omnipotent. I arrange their lives based on My Wisdom, according to their destiny and My Will.123“
A Strange Truth
In the excellent book ‘Ilm al-Yaqin of the great philosopher and scholar al-Faydh al-Kashani, we read:
A servant’s evil acts are more than his good deeds in the Hereafter, so he is brought to Hell. At this time the revelation angel, Gabriel, is addressed: “Ask My servant if he has accompanied the scholars in the world so that I would accept their intercession for him.” The sinner responds negatively. Then there is an address again: “Ask if he has sat with the scholars for eating food.” The sinner’s answer is again no. “Have you sat where a scholar had sat?” he is asked. “No,” he says again. “Are you named after a scholar?” “No.” “Have you had a friend who had loved the scholars?” The sinner responds positively. So Allah calls: “O Gabriel! I forgave him out of My Comprehensive Mercy; treat him kindly and bring him to Paradise!”
Allah’s Mercy on the Youth in David’s Age
Shaykh Saduq narrates: Prophet David (as) had a gathering which was attended, among others, by a young, slim, and silent man. One day, the angel of death came to David’s gathering while he stared at that young man. David (as) asked the death angel: “Are you looking at him?” The angel said: “Yes, I am to seize his spirit in seven days.” David felt pity and mercy for the man and told him: “Do you have a wife?” The young man replied: “No, I am not married yet.” David told him to go to a famous person’s house, propose his daughter, and marry her the same night. Then he gave him a great amount of money so that he may buy all the necessary things and told him to come back to him after seven days.
The young man went and seven days after his marriage returned to David (as). David asked him: “How is your state?” The young man answered: “I am in an even better state than you.” David waited his death for a while but he did not die. So he told the man to go and come back seven days later.
The young man left and returned again in seven days, but he did not die. Therefore David told him to return in seven days again. After seven days, when the man came to David, the death angel came to David (as) too. David asked the angel: “Didn’t you tell that you had to seize his soul?” The death angel replied: “You are right, but because of your mercy, Allah had Mercy on the man and granted him another thirty years to live.”124
The Merciful Allah descends His Mercy to His servant and treats him kindly by the smallest excuses.
Features of the Freed Captive
It is narrated in a very important tradition of Imam Sadiq (as) that a group of war captives were brought to the Prophet of Islam (S).
The Messenger (S) ordered to kill all of them except one. That person was surprised and said: “Why did you issue my freedom?” The Prophet (S) said: “I was informed by the revelation angel that you have five features that Allah loves; great zeal in fighting, generosity, good-temperedness, truth in speaking, and courage.” After this strange happening, that freed captive embraced Islam and in one of battles alongside the Prophet (S), was martyred.125
The Believing Servant
Imam Sadiq (as) ordered to whip a servant because of his sin. The servant said: “O son of the Messenger of Allah! Do you want to beat someone who has no intercessor but you? How about your mercy and kindness?” so Imam ordered to leave him. Then the servant said: “It was not you who freed me, the One Who taught me how to speak this way rescued me.” Imam (as) said: “By Allah, this servant is a true believer and sees no one besides Allah!”
In fact, the true believers are not treated but mercifully. Any servant of Allah who testifies to His Unity and acts moderately will get subjected to His extended Mercy.
The Fate of Witness of Josef’s Innocence
In some exegesis books of the Holy Qur’an it is narrated that when Josef (as) took the crown in Egypt, he thought he needed a deputy in arranging the government affairs, so that he may people’s lives and behave kindly to them. The revelation angel came to him from Allah and told him: “Allah says that you need a deputy.” Josef (as) answered: “I was thinking about the same issue, but who deserves this position?” Gabriel said: “Tomorrow morning when you move from your headquarters, appoint the first person who is worthy of this position.” Next morning, the first man that Josef saw was a weak, thin wood carrier, so Josef thought he cannot bear the heavy responsibility. He wanted to pass by the wood carrier when Gabriel descended and said: “Do not leave this person! He was the one who testified to your innocence and purity before Egypt’s king so he is worthy of being your deputy.”
While the Almighty grants the deputy position to a testifier of Josef’s innocence, what would he grant someone who have testified to His Unity throughout a lifetime?!
True! The extent of Allah’s Mercy and Kindness is not understandable by any wise and intellectual man.
إِلهى وَسَيِّدى فَأَسْأَلُكَ بِالْقُدْرَةِ الَّتى قَدَّرْتَها، وَبِالْقَضِيَّةِ الَّتي حَتَمْتَها وَحَكَمْتَها وَغَلَبْتَ مَنْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرَيْتَها أَنْ تَهَبَ لى فى هذِهِ اللَّيْلَةِ وَفي هذِهِ السّاعَةِ كُلَّ جُرْم أَجْرَمْتُهُ، وَكُلَّ ذَنْب أَذْنَبْتُهُ، وَكُلَّ قَبِيح أَسْرَرْتُهُ، وَكُلَّ جَهْل عَمِلْتُهُ، كَتَمْتُهُ أَوْ أَعْلَنْتُهُ أَخْفَيْتُهُ أَوْ أَظْهَرْتُهُ
My Allah and My master! So I ask You by the power You have apportioned. And the decision which You have determined and imposed, and through which You have overcome him toward whom it has been put into effect- that You forgive me in this night and at this hour every offence I have committed, every sin I have performed, every wicked thing I have concealed, every folly I have enacted- whether I have hidden it or announced it, whether I have concealed it or manifested it.
At the beginning of the book, especially in the section of “O Allah! Forgive my sins…” different sins as well as their consequences were explained. In this part too, Imam ‘Ali (as) mentions the hidden and apparent sins and asks Allah to forgive them all.
Thursday night is the night of beseeching Allah for repentance, supplication, and weeping. We go in the presence of Allah so that he would forgive our sins and have mercy, pardon, regard, and beneficence on us in this night.
وَكُلَّ سَيِّئَة أَمَرْتَ بِإِثْباتِهَا الْكِرامَ الْكاتِبينَ الَّذينَ وَكَّلْتَهُمْ بِحِفْظِ ما يَكُونُ مِنّي وَجَعَلْتَهُمْ شُهُوداً عَلَيَّ مَعَ جَوارِحي، وَكُنْتَ أَنْتَ الرَّقيبَ عَلَيَّ مِنْ وَرائِهِمْ، وَالشّاهِدَ لِما خَفِيَ عَنْهُمْ، وَبِرَحْمَتِكَ أَخْفَيْتَهُ، وَبِفَضْلِكَ سَتَرْتَهُ، وَأَنْ تُوَفِّرَ حَظّي مِنْ كُلِّ خَيْر تُنَزِّلُهُ أَوْ إِحْسان فَضَّلْتَهُ أَوْ بِرٍّ تَنْشُرُهُ أَوْ رِزْق تَبْسُطُهُ أَوْ ذَنْب تَغْفِرُهُ أَوْ خَطَأ تَسْتُرُهُ
And every evil act which You have commanded the Noble Writers to record, those whom You have appointed to watch over every action of mine and whom You have made, along with my limbs, witness against me. And You are Yourself the Watcher over me from behind them, and the Witness of what is hidden from them, but through Your mercy You concealed it and through Your Bounty You veiled it. (And I ask You) that you bestow upon me an abundant share of every good You send down, kindness You confer; goodness You unfold; provision You spread out; sin You forgive or error You cover.
The Two Illustrious Angels and Body Limbs
The recording of human deeds by the two writer angels as well as the limbs’ being witnessnes for human behavior are facts mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and the traditions.
وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَافِظِينَ. كِرَامًا كَاتِبِينَ. يَعْلَمُونَ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ.
And most surely there are keepers over you. Honorable records, they know what you do. (82:10-12)
حَتَّى إِذَا مَا جَاءُوهَا شَهِدَ عَلَيْهِمْ سَمْعُهُمْ وَأَبْصَارُهُمْ وَجُلُودُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ. وَقَالُوا لِجُلُودِهِمْ لِمَ شَهِدْتُمْ عَلَيْنَا؟ قَالُوا أَنطَقَنَا اللَّهُ الَّذِي أَنطَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ.
Until when they come to it, their ears and their eyes and their skins shall bear witness against them as to what they did. And they should say to their skins: why have you borne witness against us? They shall say: Allah Who makes everything speak has made us speak. (41:21)
يَوْمَ تَشْهَدُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَلْسِنَتُهُمْ وَأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ.
On the day when their tongues and their hands and their feet shall bear witness against them as to what they did. (24:24)
الْيَوْمَ نَخْتِمُ عَلَى أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَتُكَلِّمُنَا أَيْدِيهِمْ وَتَشْهَدُ أَرْجُلُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ.
On that day We will set a seal upon their mouths, and their hands shall speak to Us, and their feet shall bear witness of what they earned. (36:65)
مَا يَلْفِظُ مِنْ قَوْلٍ إِلاَّ لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ.
He utters not a word but there is by him a watcher at hand. (50:18)
Besides the writer angels and human limbs, the earth will testifiy against human deeds, as stated in Zilzal chapter:
يَوْمَئِذٍ تُحَدِّثُ أَخْبَارَهَا. بِأَنَّ رَبَّكَ أَوْحَى لَهَا.
On that day, the earth shall tell it news, because your Lord had inspired her. (99:4-5)
Also the Almighty, the prophets (as), and Imams (as) see human deeds and will testify against him, according to some verses in Tawbah chapter of the holy Qur’an:
وَقُلْ اعْمَلُوا فَسَيَرَى اللَّهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَسَتُرَدُّونَ إِلَى عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ.
And say: Work! So Allah will see your work and so will His Messenger and the believers; and you shall be brought back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He will inform you of what you did. (9:105)
According to such Qur’anic verses, the testimony of the witnesses on the Day of Resurrection will be against the disbelievers, enemies, and wrongdoers; because the believers and the repented servants will be subjected to Allah’s Mercy on that day; their books of deed will not be opened before other people; Allah will make the witnesses forget the believers’ sins and will save their faces.
Imam ‘Ali (as) stated:
مَنْ تَابَ تَابَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأُمِرَتْ جَوَارِحُهُ أنْ تَسْتُرَ عَلَيْهِ وَبِقَاعُ الأرْضِ أنْ تَكْتُمَ عَلَيْهِ وأُنْسِيَتِ الحَفَظَةُ مَا كَانَتْ تَكْتُبُ عَلَيْهِ.
One who repents Allah would accept his repentance and order his organs to cover sins from his sight. He would order the earth segments to make him neglect his sins, and makes the Writers forget what they have written in that servant's letter of deeds.126
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
إذَا تَابَ العَبْدُ تَوبَةً نَصُوحاً أحَبَّهُ اللهُ وَسَتَرَ عَلَيْهِ... يُنْسِي مَلَكَيْهِ مَا كَانَا يَكْتُبَانِ عَلَيْهِ، وَيُوحِي إلَى جَوارِحِهِ وَإلَى بِقَاعِ الأرْضِ أنْ اكْتُمِي عَلَيْهِ ذُنُوبَهُ؛ فَيَلْقَى اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ وَلَيْسَ شَيْءٌ يَشْهَدُ عَلَيْهِ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الذُّنُوبِ.
‘If a servant repents sincerely, Allah would love him and cover his faults in the world and the Hereafter.’ I asked Imam Sadiq (as): ‘How will Allah cover them?’ Imam (as) replied: ‘He will make the two angels, in charge of that servant, forget all about his sins they have recorded, and will reveal to his body organs to do so. So the servant would meet Allah while there is no record of his sins.’127
يا رَبِّ يا رَبِّ يا رَبِّ يا إِلهي وَسَيِّدي وَمَوْلايَ وَمالِكَ رِقّى، يا مَنْ بِيَدِهِ ناصِيَتى يا عَليماً بِضُرّى وَمَسْكَنَتى، يا خَبيراً بِفَقْرى وَفاقَتى يا رَبِّ يا رَبِّ يا رَبِّ أَسْأَلُكَ بِحَقِّكَ وَقُدْسِكَ وَأَعْظَمِ صِفاتِكَ وَأَسْمائِكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ أَوْقاتي مِنَ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهارِ بِذِكْرِكَ مَعْمُورَةً، وَبِخِدْمَتِكَ مَوْصُولَةً، وَأَعْمالى عِنْدَكَ مَقْبُولَةً حَتّى تَكُونَ أَعْمالي وَأَوْرادى كُلُّها وِرْداً واحِداً وَحالى فى خِدْمَتِكَ سَرْمَداً، يا سَيِّدي يا مَنْ عَلَيْهِ مُعَوَّلي يا مَنْ إِلَيْهِ شَكَوْتُ أَحْوالي يا رَبِّ يا رَبِّ يا رَبِّ
My Lord! My Lord! My Lord! My Allah! My Master! My Protector! Owner of my bondage! O He in whose Hand is my forelock! O He who knows my affliction and my misery! O He who is aware of my poverty and indigence! My Lord! My Lord! My Lord! I ask You by Your Truth, Your Holiness and the greatness of Your Attributes and Names, that You make my times in the night and the day inhabited by Your remembrance and joined to Your service and my acts acceptable to You, so that my acts and my prayers may all be a single litany and my occupation with Your service everlasting. My Master! O He upon whom I depend! O He to whom I complain of my states! My Lord! My Lord! My Lord!
Allah’s Exalted Name
Some of the ascetic, favorite, and righteous servants believe that the holy word ‘rabb (Lord)’ is Allah’s Exalted or chief name. In Arabic, it means an Owner Who trains His creature wisely and out of Mercy. They also believe that by referring to it, one can get subjected to Allah’s Mercy, get his problems solved, and his sins forgiven.
Maybe the reason why all the prophets and Imams (as) resorted to this name in their prayers and at times of difficulty was because they knew it to be Allah’s Exalted name.
Adam and Eve, when repenting, stated:
رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِنْ لَمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنْ الْخَاسِرِينَ.
Our Lord! We have been unjust to ourselves, and if Thou forgive us not, and have not mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers. (7:23)
After nine hundred and fifty years of preaching the disbelievers but receiving only disappointment in return, Noah (as) sated:
رَبِّ لاَ تَذَرْ عَلَى الأَرْضِ مِنْ الْكَافِرِينَ دَيَّارًا.
My Lord! Leave not upon the land any dweller from among the unbelieving. (71:26)
Prophet Abraham (as) said in his prayers:
رَبِّ هَبْ لِي حُكْمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ.
My Lord! Grant me wisdom and join me with the righteous. (26:83)
Prophet Moses (as) said when he was in need:
رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ.
My Lord! Surely I stand in need of whatever good Thou mayest sent down to me. (28:24)
Prophet Solomon (as), in his prayer, prayed for forgiveness of his sins and asked for a unique kingdom:
رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَهَبْ لِي مُلْكًا لاَ يَنْبَغِي لأَحَدٍ مِنْ بَعْدِي إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ.
My Lord! Forgive me and grant me a kingdom which is not fit for being inherited by anyone after me. (38:35)
Prophet Zachariah (as) said when asking for a child:
رَبِّ لاَ تَذَرْنِي فَرْدًا وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الْوَارِثِينَ.
My Lord! Leave me not alone; and Thou art the best of inheritors. (21:89)
Prophet Josef (as), for thanking Allah and asking Him his wish, said:
رَبِّ قَدْ آتَيْتَنِي مِنْ الْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِي مِنْ تَأْوِيلِ الأَحَادِيثِ فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَنْتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ.
My Lord! Thou has given me of the kingdom and taught me the interpretation of sayings. Originator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my guardian in this world and the Hereafter; make me die a Muslim and join me with the good. (12:101)
At the time of extreme tribulation, Prophet Job (as) stated:
وَأَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِي الضُّرُّ وَأَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ.
And Ayyub, when he cried to his Lord: Harm has afflicted me and thou art the most merciful of the merciful. (21:83)
Almighty Allah has taught the Prophet of Islam (S) as follows:
وَقُلْ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ.
And say: O My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for Thou art the Best of all who show mercy. (23:118)
And the believer and righteous servants, when pondering on the creation of the heavens and the earth, stated:
رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذَا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ.
Our Lord! Thou have not created this in vein! Glory be to Thee! (3:191)
And Satan, who was the most proud one, asked for respite until the Last day by this name: “He said: Give me respite until the day when they are raised. (7:14)” and the Almighty accepted the request of this cursed outcast and gave him respite only because he referred to Allah’s Exalted name.
It is narrated from the messenger of Allah (S):
Anyone who says ‘My Lord’ for seven times, Allah will fulfill his wish.
It is also narrated that when a believing servant says ‘My Lord’ once, Allah says ‘Here I am’. And when the servant calls Allah for the second and third times, he will be addressed: ‘Ask Me so that I may grant you!’128
One of the common prayers of all the prophets (as), Imams (as) and Allah’s favorite servants has always been for the Almighty to accept their deeds and treat them with His Mercy.
They have been aware of the fact that no one is accepted in Allah’s presence without having deeds; and no one is accepted in His presence with deeds only; other necessary characteristics are belief and sincerity without which no one is subjected to Allah’s mercy. Therefore, the favorite servants paid much attention to having good deeds as well as the necessary conditions for the acceptance of deeds. And as they performed their deeds as they should, they requested Allah to accept their deeds.
The Holy Qur’an and the traditions imply that a deed is accepted provided that its performer has belief in Allah and does it for Allah’s sake and is in accord with the divine rules. It should be pointed out that the believing servant’s deed is accepted and his sin is forgiven. But the deed of a disbelieving servant, however great and worthy it might be, is not accepted and his sin, however tiny it might be, is not forgiven.
Some important traditions are narrated about worthy deeds together with its most valuable conditions in Shiite books, some of which will follow:
الشَّرَفُ عِنْدَ اللهِ سُبْحَانَهُ بِحُسْنِ الأعْمَالِ لاَ بِحُسْنِ الأقْوَالِ.
The servant’s worth and value before the Almighty is because of his good deeds not his good speech.129
العَمَلُ شِعَارُ المُؤمِنِ.
Deeds are the slogan of a believing servant.130
المُداوَمَةَ المُدَاوَمَةَ! فإنَّ اللهَ لَمْ يَجْعَلْ لِعَمَلِ المُؤمِنِينَ غَايَةً إلاّ المَوْتَ.
Continue your deeds! Continue your deeds! Because Allah has not set an end for the believing servant’s deeds except his death.131
أعْلَى الأعْمَالِ إخْلاَصُ الإيمَانِ وَصِدْقُ الوَرَعِ وَالإيقَانِ.
The best deeds are belief, piety, and faith.132
Imam Sadiq (as) stated:
دَعَا اللهُ النَّاسَ فِي الدُّنْيَا بِآبَائِهِمْ لِيَتَعَارَفوا وَفِي الآخِرَةِ بِأعْمَالِهِمْ لِيُجَازَوا.
Allah named people after their fathers in this world in order that they would know each other and He will call the people by their deeds in the Hereafter in order that He would give them reward or punishment.133
The Messenger of Allah (S) stated:
أفْضَلُ الأعْمَالِ إيمَانٌ بِاللهِ وَتَصْدِيقٌ بِهِ وَجِهَادٌ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ وَحَجٌّ مَبْرُورٌ، وَأهْوَنُ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ إطْعَامُ الطَّعَامِ وَلِينُ الكَلاَمِ وَالمُسَامَحَةُ وَحُسْنُ الخُلُقِ، وَأهْوَنُ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ لاَ تَتَّهِمِ اللهَ فِي شَيْءٍ قَضَاهُ اللهُ عَلَيْكَ.
The best deed is believing in Allah, fighting in Allah’s path, and hajj pilgrimage. Other simpler deeds are feeding the poor, lenient speech, and good temperedness. Still an easier deed for you is that you do not accuse Allah in what He has destined for you.134
سَيِّدُ الأعْمَالِ ثَلاَثُ خِصَالٍ: إنْصَافُكَ مِنْ نَفْسِكَ وَمُواسَاتُكَ الأخَ فِي اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَذِكْرُ اللهِ تَعَالَى عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ.
The best deeds are three; treating others justly, helping the religious brothers, and remembering Allah in every state.135
Imam ‘Ali (as) said:
طُوبَى لِمَنْ أخْلَصَ للهِ عَمَلَهُ وَعِلْمَهُ وَحُبَّهُ وَبُغْضَهُ وَأخْذَهُ وَتَرْكَهُ وَكَلاَمَهُ وَصَمْتَهُ وَفِعْلَهُ وَقَوْلَهُ.
A lucky person is the one whose knowledge and behavior, friendship and enmity, taking and releasing, speaking and silence, are based on sincerity and Allah’s satisfaction.136
The Messenger of Allah (S) advised Abu-Dhar, saying:
كُنْ بِالعَمَلِ بِالتَّقْوَى أشَدَّ اهْتِمَاماً مِنْكَ بِالعَمَلِ؛ فَإنَّهُ لاَ يَقِلُّ عَمَلُ بِالتَّقْوَى، وَكَيْفَ يِقِلُّ عَمَلٌ يُتَقَبَّلُ بِقَوْلِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: ”إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ الله مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ.“
Try to have a deed adorned with piety rather than a simple deed, since a deed adorned with piety is not a small deed. How can an accepted deed be small while the Almighty says: ‘Surely Allah accepts (deeds) only from the pious.’137
Imam ‘Ali (as) said:
إنَّكَ لَنْ يُتَقَبَّلَ مِنْ عَمَلِكَ إلاّ مَا أخْلَصْتَ فِيهِ.
Surely your deeds will not be accepted except those which have been done piously.138
Thus, the deeds of a servant who has belief, sincerity, and piety will be accepted. Accepted deeds is so valuable that it is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) that:
مَنْ قَبِلَ اللهُ مِنْهُ صَلاَةً وَاحِدَةً لَمْ يُعَذِّبْهُ، وَمَنْ قَبِلَ مِنْهُ حَسَنَةً لَمْ يُعَذِّبْهُ.
A person, one of whose prayers is accepted, will not be punished by Allah and anyone, one of whose deeds is accepted, will not be chastised at all.139
مَنْ قَبِلَ مِنْهُ حَسَنَةً وَاحِدَةً لَمْ يُعَذِّبْهُ أبَداً وَدَخَلَ الجَنَّةَ.
A person, one of whose deeds is accepted by Allah, will not be chastised at all and will get into the Paradise.140
O Allah! Keep us from dullness in doing our deeds! Increase our joy in performing Your deserved worship! And grant our hearts full awareness!
قَوِّ عَلى خِدْمَتِكَ جَوارِحى وَاشْدُدْ عَلَى الْعَزيمَةِ جَوانِحي وَهَبْ لِيَ الْجِدَّ في خَشْيَتِكَ، وَالدَّوامَ فِي الاِْتِّصالِ بِخِدْمَتِكَ، حَتّى أَسْرَحَ إِلَيْكَ في مَيادينِ السّابِقينَ وَاُسْرِعَ إِلَيْكَ فِي الْبارِزينَ وَأَشْتاقَ إِلى قُرْبِكَ فِي الْمُشْتاقينَ وَأَدْنُوَ مِنْكَ دُنُوَّ الُْمخْلِصينَ، وَأَخافَكَ مَخافَةَ الْمُوقِنينَ، وَأَجْتَمِعَ فى جِوارِكَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنينَ
Strengthen my limbs in Your service; fortify my ribs in determination; and bestow upon me earnestness in my fear of You and continuity in my beings joined to Your service, so that I may move easily toward You in the battlefields of the foremost, hurry to You among the prominent, desire fervently Your proximity among the fervently desirous, move near to You with the nearness of the sincere, fear You with the fear of those who have conviction and gather with the believers in Your nearness.
Request for Strength
In this part of the supplication, Amir al-Mu’minin (as), the mystic and righteous servant, sees all the doors of Allah’s Mercy open to him and the acceptance of his supplication nearer, so he asks his most valuable and spiritual requests, which promote human to the peak of perfection and growth, from the Almighty. These requests are the signs of the supplicant’s mysticism, deep knowledge, and comprehensive understanding. Imam ‘Ali (as) asks Allah to strengthen his limbs in His service, that is sincere worship, as well as in serving Allah’s believing servants, which is in fact serving Him. If this spiritual power and divine strength is granted to the believing servant from the Almighty, he will find nothing sweeter than serving the Lord and His servants.
Conditions for Allah’s Special Blessings
To gain Allah’s special blessings, the mystic servant should prepare the necessary grounds for it by:
Avoiding the company of people with weak faith who do not try to strengthen their belief and should accompany the favorite servants and divine scholars instead.
Avoid eating doubtful meals, let alone unlawful meals, in parties and feasts of people with unlawful wealth.
Purifying the soul from the vices and extreme lust and adorning it with virtues and divine realities.
Avoiding gluttony that is the cause of satanic states and hinderer of Godly inspirations and knowledge.
Avoiding too much sleeping which brings about dullness in worship and the death of humane spirit.
Association and the Companion
The Messenger of Allah (S) stated:
أوْحَشُ الوَحْشَةِ قَرِينُ السُّوءِ.
The worst fear is the fear of bad companions and friends.141
Imam ‘Ali (as) said:
إحْذَرْ مُجَالَسَةَ قَرِينِ السُّوءِ، فَإنَّهُ يُهْلِكُ مُقَارِنَهُ وَيُرْدِي مُصَاحِبَهُ.
Avoid accompanying an evil friend, because such a friend abolishes his friend physically and spiritually.142
The ninth infallible Imam, Imam al-Jawad (as), said:
إيَّاكَ وَمُصَاحَبَةَ الشِّرِّيرِ، فَإنَّهُ كَالسَّيْفِ المَسْلُولِ؛ يَحْسُنُ مَنْظَرُهُ وَيَقْبُحُ أثَرُهُ.
Avoid accompanying a wicked person since he is like a sword without sheath whose appearance is nice but whose consequence is ugly.143
Imam Sadiq (as) stated:
إحْذَرْ مِنَ النَّاسِ ثَلاثَةً: الخَائِنَ وَالظَّلُومَ وَالنَّمَّامَ؛ لأنَّ مَنْ خَانَ لَكَ خَانَكَ، وَمَنْ ظَلَمَ لَكَ سَيَظْلِمُكَ، وَمَنْ نَمَّ لَكَ سَيَنِمُّ عَلَيْكَ.
Avoid befriending three types of people; the disloyal, the oppressor, and the tale teller. The one, who betrays you one day, will betray you another day too. The one, who oppresses others for your sake, will sooner or later oppress you’re as well. And the one, who tells other people’s tales before you, will tell your own tales to others in the future.144
Imam ‘Ali (as) said:
صَاحِبِ الحُكَمَاءَ وَجَالِسِ الحُلَمَاءَ وَأعْرِضْ عَنِ الدُّنْيَا تَسْكُنْ جَنَّةَ المَأوَى.
Accompany the wise men and the patient people and ignore the worldly life; take home in the promised Paradise.145
It is narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S):
مَنْ أكَلَ لُقْمَةً مِنْ حَرَامٍ لَمْ تُقْبَلْ لَهُ صَلاَةُ أرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً.
If one eats a bit of unlawful food, his prayer will not be accepted for forty nights.146
إنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ حَرَّمَ الجَنَّةَ جَسَداً غُذِّيَ بِحَرَامٍ.
Surely the Paradise is forbidden for the one who has been fed with unlawful food.147
إذَا وَقَعَتِ اللُّقْمَةُ مِنْ حَرَامٍ فِي جَوْفِ العَبْدِ لَعَنَهُ كُلُّ مَلَكٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضِ.
When a bit of unlawful food is in a servant’s belly, all the angels in the heavens and the earth will curse him.148
Imam al-Baqir (as) said:
إنَّ الرَّجُلَ إذَا أصَابَ مَالاً مِنْ حَرَامٍ لَمْ يُقْبَلْ مِنْهُ حَجٌّ وَلاَ عُمْرَةٌ وَلاَ صِلَةُ رَحِمٍ.
When someone acquires an unlawful wealth, his Hajj and maintenance of kinship ties will not be accepted.149
Imam Al-Sajjad (as), the fourth infallible Imam, in the eighth supplication of ‘Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah’ mentions some of the moral vices, taking refuge from them to Allah:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَيَجَانِ الْحِرْصِ وَسَوْرَةِ الْغَضَبِ وَغَلَبَةِ الْحَسَدِ وَضَعْفِ الصَّبْرِ وَقِلَّةِ الْقَنَاعَةِ وَشَكَاسَةِ الْخُلُقِ وَإِلْحَاحِ الشَّهْوَةِ وَمَلَكَةِ الْحَمِيَّةِ وَمُتَابَعَةِ الْهَوَى وَمُخَالَفَةِ الْهُدَى وَسِنَةِ الْغَفْلَةِ وَتَعَاطِي الْكُلْفَةِ وَإِيثَارِ الْبَاطِلِ عَلَى الْحَقِّ وَالإِصْرَارِ عَلَى الْمَأْثَمِ وَاسْتِصْغَارِ الْمَعْصِيَةِ وَاسْتِكْبَارِ الطَّاعَةِ وَمُبَاهَاةِ الْمُكْثِرِينَ وَالإِزْرَاءِ بِالْمُقِلِّينَ وَسُوءِ الْوِلاَيَةِ لِمَنْ تَحْتَ أَيْدِينَا وَتَرْكِ الشُّكْرِ لِمَنِ اصْطَنَعَ الْعَارِفَةَ عِنْدَنَا أَوْ أَنْ نَعْضُدَ ظَالِماً أَوْ نَخْذُلَ مَلْهُوفاً أَوْ نَرُومَ مَا لَيْسَ لَنَا بِحَقٍّ أَوْ نَقُولَ فِي الْعِلْمِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَنَعوذُ بِكَ أَنْ نَنْطَوِيَ عَلَى غِشِّ أَحَدٍ.
O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from the agitation of craving, the violence of wrath, the domination of envy, the frailty of patience, the lack of contentment, surliness of character, urgency of passion, the disposition to vehemence, following caprice, opposing guidance, the sleep of heedlessness, undertaking the toilsome, preferring falsehood over truth, persisting in sin, making little of disobedience, making much of obedience, vying with the wealthy, disparaging the poor, guarding badly over those in our hands, failing to thank those who have done good to us, aiding a wrongdoer, abandoning someone troubled, wanting what is not rightfully ours, and speaking about knowledge without knowing. We seek refuge in Thee from harboring dishonesty toward anyone…
These vices are greed, anger, jealousy, impatience, lack of contentment, bad temper, extreme lust, insistence on anger, following the carnal soul, disagreement with guidance, ignorance, attempting more than one’s tolerance, choosing the wrong instead of right, insistence on sins, belittling the sins, praising one’s own worship, proud of the rich, disparaging the poor, ignoring the inferior, unthankfulness toward the kind, helping the oppressor, leaving the oppressed, etc.
The Messenger of Allah was said:
إنَّ فُلاَنَةَ تَصُومُ النَّهَارَ وَتَقُومُ اللَّيْلَ وَلَكِنَّهَا تُؤذِي جِيرَانَهَا. قَالَ: لاَ خَيْرَ فِيهَا؛ هِيَ مِنْ أهْلِ النّارِ.
There is a woman who fasts on the days and is awake worshipping at nights, but she is bad tempered and annoys her neighbors. He said: She is of no good; her place is in the Hell.150
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
إنَّ سُوءَ الخُلُقِ لَيُفْسِدُ العَمَلَ كَمَا يُفْسِدُ الخَلُّ العَسَلَ.
Bad temper spoils deeds, as vinegar spoils honey.151
Imam ‘Ali (as) has stated:
مَنْ كَثُرَ طَعْمُهُ سَقُمَ بَطْنُهُ وَقَسَا قَلْبُهُ.
The one who is gluttonous has a sick stomach and a hard heart.152
مَنْ كَثُرَ أكْلُهُ قَلَّتْ صِحَّتُهُ وَثَقُلَتْ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ مَؤُنَتُهُ.
The one who is gluttonous has weak health and high expenses.153
كَثْرَةُ الأكْلِ مِنَ الشَّرَهِ، وَالشَّرَهُ شَرُّ العُيُوبِ.
Gluttony is the result of extreme lust and extreme lust is one of the worst vices.154
Imam Sadiq (as) stated:
لَيْسَ شَيْءٌ أضَرَّ لِقَلْبِ المُؤمِنِ مِنْ كَثْرَةِ الأكْلِ؛ وَهِيَ مُوَرِّثَةٌ لِشَيْئَيْنِ: قَسْوَةُ القَلْبِ وَهَيَجَانُ الشَّهْوَةِ.
Nothing is more harmful for a believing servant’s heart than gluttony; it causes two features; heard heartedness and rebellion of lust.155
It is narrated from Imam al-Baqir (as) that Prophet Moses (as) said to Allah: “Which of Your servants do You show more enmity to?” The Almighty answered him:
جِيفَةٌ بِاللَّيْلِ بَطَّالٌ بِالنَّهَارِ.
The one who is in bed like a dead person all night and spends his day uselessly.156
The Messenger of Allah (S) has stated that Solomon’s mother told him:
إيَّاكَ وَكَثْرَةَ النَّوْمِ بِاللَّيْلِ؛ تَدَعُ الرَّجُلَ فَقِيراً يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ.
Do not sleep much at nights because it causes man to be resurrected in the Hereafter barehanded.157
Imam ‘Ali (as) stated:
بِئْسَ الغَرِيمُ النَّوْمُ؛ يُفْنِي قَصِيرَ العُمُرِ وَيُفَوِّتُ كَثِيرَ الأجْرِ.
Sleeping is a bad enemy; it wastes the short life and eliminates great reward.158
By avoiding what Islam has forbidden, like unlawful food, vices, gluttony, and excessive sleep, one’s limbs are granted power to serve Allah and His servants. It is by this strength that the eyes would not see but the truth and whatever Allah desires; the ears would not hear but the speech of Allah, the Prophets (as), Imams, and the righteous; the tongue would not utter but just and true words; the hands would not perform but honest attempt; the stomach would not eat but lawful food; the lust would not be used but in lawful ways; and the feet would not go but towards divine gatherings, mosques, and holy shrines. In short, all human limbs as well as his soul would move in the direction of worshipping Allah and serving His servants.
The value of worshipping is not completely known to us, who are in the narrowness of this world and we are unaware of many facts before the advent of the Last Day. Worshipping Allah leads to progress, perfection, goodness, prosperity, purified life, and obtaining the Paradise.
The Messenger of Allah (S) has stated about worship:
أفْضَلُ النَّاسِ مَنْ عَشِقَ العِبَادَةَ فَعَانَقَهَا وأحَبَّهَا بِقَلْبِهِ وَبَاشَرَهَا بِجَسَدِهِ وَتَفَرَّغَ لَهَا فَهُوَ لاَ يُبَالِي عَلَى مَا أصْبَحَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا؛ عَلَى عُسْرٍ أمْ عَلَى يُسْرٍ.
The best man is the one who loves worshipping Allah in his heart, does it by his limbs, and leaves other activities for it, not fearing worldly hardships.159
يَقُولُ رَبُّكُمْ: يَا بْنَ آدَمَ! تَفَرَّغْ لِعِبَادَتِي أمْلأْ قَلْبَكَ غِنىً وَأمْلأْ يَدَيْكَ رِزْقاً. يَا بْنَ آدَمَ! لاَ تُبَاعِدْ مِنِّي فَأمْلأُ قَلْبَكَ فَقْراً وَأمْلأُ يَدَيْكَ شُغْلاً.
Your Lord says: O son of Adam! Leave other activities for serving Me so that I would fill your heart with independence and your hands with bountiful sustenance! O son of Adam! Do not get far from Me otherwise I would fill your heart with need and your hands with engagement!160
On his ascension night to the heavens, the Almighty addressed the holy Prophet (S):
يَا أحَمْدُ! لَيْسَ شَيْءٌ مِنَ العِبَادَةِ أحَبَّ إلَيَّ مِنَ الصَّمْتِ وَالصَّوْمِ. مَنْ صَامَ وَلَمْ يَحْفَظْ لِسَانَهُ كَانَ كَمَنْ قَامَ وَلَمْ يَقْرَأ فِي صَلاَتِهِ، فَأعْطِيهِ أجْرَ القِيَامِ وَلَمْ أعْطِهِ أجْرَ العَابِدِينَ. يَا أحْمَدُ! هَلْ تَدْرِي مَتَى يَكُونُ العَبْدُ عَابِداً؟ (قال: لا يا ربّ، قال:) إذَا اجْتَمَعَ فِيهِ سَبْعُ خِصَالٍ: وَرَعٌ يَحْجِزُهُ عَنِ المَحَارِمِ، وَصَمْتٌ يَكُفُّهُ عَمَّا لاَ يَعْنِيهِ، وَخَوْفٌ يَزْدَادُ فِي كُلِّ يَوْمٍ مِنْ بُكَائِهِ، وَحَيَاءٌ يَسْتَحِي مِنِّي فِي الخَلاَءِ، وَأكْلُ مَا لاَ بُدَّ مِنْهُ، وَيُبْغِضُ الدُّنْيَا لِبَغْضِي لَهَا، وَيُحِبُّ الأخْيَارَ لِحُبِّي لَهُمْ.
O Ahmad! Do you know when the man is worshipping Me? He said: No! Allah said: When he has seven features; a piety that prohibits him from the unlawful, a silence that keeps him from saying what is not useful, a fear that increases his weeping from day to day, a humility by which he fears Me in his privacy, an eating and drinking that is necessary for him, an enmity with the world because of My enmity with it, and a love for the righteous because of My love for them.161
It has been narrated that the Almighty has stated in some of His Divine Books:
يَا بْنَ آدَمَ! أنَا حَيٌّ لاَ أمُوتُ، أطِعْنِي فِيمَا أمَرْتُ حَتَّى أجْعَلَكَ حَيّاً لاَ تَمُوتُ. يَا بْنَ آدَمَ! أنَا أقُولُ لِلْشَيْءِ ’كُنْ‘ فَيَكُونُ، أطِعْنِي فِيمَا أمَرْتُكَ أجْعَلْكَ تَقُولُ لِلْشَيْءِ ’كُنْ‘ فَيَكُونُ.
O son of Adam! I am the Alive One Who does not die, obey what I have ordered you so that I would make you an alive one who would not die. O son of Adam! When I say to something ‘be’ it will become immediately, worship Me so that I would give you the ability to say to things ‘be’ and they would become immediately.162
Some facts have been mentioned, in traditions, as the best kinds of worship, which are; knowing Allah and bein humble towards Him, constantly thinking about Allah and His power, saying ‘لا اله الا الله’ (there is no deity but Allah) and ‘لا حول و لا قوه الا بالله’ (there is no power except from Allah), sincerity, chastity, piety, thoughtfulness, observing the rights of the believers, silence, Hajj, fasting, prayer, ignoring the sins, hiding one’s own worship, humility, performing the obligatory deeds, seeking lawful sustenance, lenience in speech, and loving the Household of the Prophet (S).
Serving Allah’s servants
As stated in the divine traditions and other traditions, the believing servant is of so much value that respecting him is considered equal to respecting Allah and disrespecting him is as disrespecting Allah.
The Messenger of Allah (S) has narrated from Gabriel (as) from the Almighty:
مَنْ أهَانَ لِي وَلِيّاً فَقَدْ بَارَزَنِي بِالمُحَارَبَةِ.
Anyone who disrespects My friend and My favorite servant has indeed rose to fight Me.163
That’s why serving the believing servants is like worshipping Allah, because serving the believer is, in fact, serving Allah.
The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
مَنْ قَضَى لأخِيهِ المُؤْمِنِ حَاجَةً كَانَ كَمَنْ عَبَدَ اللهَ دَهْرَهُ.
One who fulfills a request of his religious brother is like one who has worshipped Allah all his lifetime.164
Imam Sadiq (as) stated:
مَنْ قَضَى لأخِيهِ المُؤمِنِ حَاجَةً قَضَى اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَهُ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ مِائَةَ ألْفِ حَاجَةً مِنْ ذَلِكَ، أوَّلُهَا الجَنَّةُ.
If one fulfills an exegesis of his religious brother, Allah would fulfill a hundred thousand of his exegeses, the first of which is granting the Paradise.165
إنَّ العَبْدَ لَيَمْشِي فِي حَاجَةِ أخِيهِ المُؤمِنِ فَيُوَكِّلُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِهِ مَلَكَيْنِ: وَاحِدٌ عَنْ يَمِينِهِ وَآخَرُ عَنْ شِمَالِهِ، يَسْتَغْفِرَانِ لَهُ رَبَّهُ وَيَدْعُوَانِ لَهُ بِقَضَاءِ حَاجَتِهِ.
Surely the servant moves to fulfill his believer brother’s wish, so Allah sets two angels for him, one on his right and the other on his left. The two angels ask Allah to forgive him and pray for the fulfillment of his own exegesis.166
Imam al-Baqir (as) said that the Prophet (S) was asked: “What deed is the most favorable to Allah?” He answered: “Making a Muslim happy.” He was then asked: “What is making a Muslim happy?” He replied: “It is feeding him, removing his sadness, and paying his debt.”167
Imam Sadiq (as) has narrated from the Almighty:
الخَلْقُ عِيَالِي؛ فَأحَبُّهُمْ إلَيَّ ألْطَفُهُمْ بِهِمْ وَأسْعَاهُمْ فِي حَوَائِجِهِمْ.
All the people are fed by Me; the best of them is the kindest one to the others and the one who tries hard to fulfill other’s wishes.168
After asking Allah for the strength of the limbs for serving the people, Amir al-Mu’minin (as) asks Allah determination in this service and continuity of being joined to His service, to the point that he would be the first to move toward Allah in the battlefields, hurry to Allah from among the prominent, desire His proximity, move near to Him like the sincere, fear Him with the fear of the faithful, and gather with the believers for His nearness.
The great philosopher and knowledgeable author of the ‘al-Mizan’ exegesis of the Holy Qur'an, the late ‘Allamah Tabataba’i has defined certainty: Certainty is knowledge with no fault or doubt.169 (For example we know definitely that it is the day in the morning and in darkness of night we definitely know that it is the night and we also know that we are alive beings with characteristics and signs.)
There are three degrees for certainty; ‘ilm al-yaqin (known certainty), ‘ayn al-yaqin (exact certainty), and haqq al-yaqin (true certainty). The difference among these three kinds of certainty becomes clear with an example; known certainty of fire is gained by seeing the smoke from behind a wall; exact certainty is acquired by seeing the fire itself; and true certainty is achieved by being burned by the fire. The Messenger of Allah (S) says:
عَلاَمَةُ المُوقِنِ سِتَّةٌ: أيْقَنَ بِاللهِ حَقّاً فَآمَنَ بِهِ، وَأيْقَنَ بِأنَّ المَوْتَ حَقٌّ فَحَذِرَهُ، وَأيْقَنَ بِأنَّ البَعْثَ حَقٌّ فَخَافَ الفَضِيحَةَ، وَأيْقَنَ بِأنَّ الجَنَّةَ حَقٌّ فَاشْتَاقَ إلَيْهَا، وَأيْقَنَ بِأنَّ النَّارَ حَقٌّ فَظَهَرَ سَعْيُهُ لِلنَّجَاةِ مِنْهَا، وَأيْقَنَ بِأنَّ الحِسَابَ حَقٌّ فَحَاسَبَ نَفْسَهُ.
The believers have six characteristics; they have certainty in Allah; a true certainty, so they have faith through this certainty; they have certainty in the reality of death, so they avoid its consequences including disgrace in the Hereafter; they have certainty in the reality of Paradise, so they are eager for it; they have certainty in the Hell, so they try to escape it; and they have certainty in the accounting of the Last Day so they account for their own deeds not to be accounted for then.170
The three degrees of certainty can be obtained via the Qur’anic verses and the traditions of Prophet’s Household (as). Someone who does not reach certainty through these ways would not reach certainty at all.
For getting certainty through Qur’an, first we should ponder in its verses to make sure of their truth and the reason of their revelation. The Holy Qur’an itself reads:
وَإِنْ كُنتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِنْ مِثْلِهِ.
And if you are in doubt as to that what We have revealed to Our servants, then produce a chapter like it. (2:23)
قُلْ لَئِنْ اجْتَمَعَتْ الْإِنسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَى أَنْ يَأْتُوا بِمِثْلِ هَذَا الْقُرْآنِ لا يَأْتُونَ بِمِثْلِهِ وَلَوْ كَانَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ ظَهِيرًا.
Say if men and jinn should combine together to bring the like of this Qur’an, they could not bring the like of it, though some of them were aides of others. (17:88)
In view of these two holy verses, one can make sure that the Qur’an is revealed from Allah, and then make sure of all its contents. Likewise, one can reach certainty about the teachings of Imams (as), which are explanations of Qur’anic verses, and finally join the righteous faithful servants.
اللّهُمَّ وَمَنْ أَرادَني بِسُوء فَأَرِدْهُ وَمَنْ كادَني فَكِدْهُ، وَاجْعَلْني مِنْ أَحْسَنِ عَبيدِكَ نَصيباً عِنْدَكَ، وَأَقْرَبِهِمْ مَنْزِلَةً مِنْكَ، وَأَخَصِّهِمْ زُلْفَةً لَدَيْكَ، فَإِنَّهُ لا يُنالُ ذلِكَ إلاّ بِفَضْلِكَ، وَجُدْ لي بِجُودِكَ وَاعْطِفْ عَلَيَّ بِمَجْدِكَ وَاحْفَظْني بِرَحْمَتِكَ
O Allah! Whoever desires evil for me- desire it for him! And whoever deceives me- deceive him! And make me one of the most excellent of Your slaves who share the best reward from You, the nearest of them in station to You and the most elect of them in proximity to You. For that cannot be attained except by Your Bounty. Grant generously to me through Your Munificence, incline toward me with Your splendor and protect me with Your Mercy!
The enemies that desire evil for humans are Satan, the carnal soul, and an evil friend, that deceives him. The temptation and deceiving power of these dangerous enemies is so strong that Amir al-Mu’minin (as) seeks Allah’s assistance for fighting them. There were detailed discussions on Satan, the carnal soul, and evil friends in previous parts of the book.
If one wants to be the most excellent, the nearest, and the most elevated servant of Allah, he should have faith together with certainty, an acceptable sincerity, valuable deeds, righteous morality, especially piety, to keep him from wrongdoing. Isn’t it that the Holy Qur’an states:
إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ.
Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most pious. (13:49)
Piety, which is the base of human prosperity in the world and the Last Day, has three stages; general, special, and the most special. The general piety is doing the obligatory deeds and avoiding the unlawful ones. The special piety is avoiding the undesirable deeds as well as the permissible deeds to the greatest extent possible. Finally, the most special piety is avoiding anything that prevents the heart from Allah’s remembrance.
Khajah Nizham al-Mulk and the Pious Man
It is cited in historical books about the life of Khajah that one day he met a pious servant of Allah. He told the pious man: “Ask me something so that I may give it to you! Because you are in need and I am needless.” The pious man said: “I want Allah and nothing except Him, because asking from anyone except Allah will be below the standards. How can I ask this from you then?” Khajah said: “If you do not ask me anything, let me ask you something.” The pious man asked: “What is it?” Khajah replied: “When you remember Allah in your prayers, remember me too.” The pious man said: “When I have the blessing of remembering Allah, I forget my own self, how can I remember you?”171
O the One Who possesses Greatness, Honor, Splendor, and Glory! All these divine attributes necessitate Mercy towards others, and Mercy necessitates Forgiveness. So be inclined towards me with Your splendor, so that You would have Mercy towards me, thus finally making this poor servant of Yours needless!
Ahmad Khadhrawayh and the Thief
Those people who have virtuous morality treat everyone by it. Their behavior is in fact an example of the behavior of the Almighty to His servants.
It is narrated that a thief broke into the house of Ahmad Khadhrawayh, but found nothing much valuable there. He wanted to leave the house when the generous Ahmad prevented him. Ahmad called the thief: “I wouldn’t like it if you left my house empty handed! Take a bucket of water from that well, perform ghusl (ritual bath), then perform wuzu’ (statuary ablution), and begin praying, repenting, and asking for forgiveness. Till then something would have been prepared for you so that you may not return home empty handed. As the sun rose, a noble man brought a hundred gold coins for Ahmad, as a gift. He gave the coins to the thief and said: “This is the superficial reward of a night of sincere worship.” The thief was greatly impressed, repented from all his sins, and turned to the Almighty.
وَاجْعَلْ لِسانى بِذِكْرِكَ لَهِجَاً وَقَلْبي بِحُبِّكَ مُتَيَّماً وَمُنَّ عَلَيَّ بِحُسْنِ إِجابَتِكَ، وَأَقِلْني عَثْرَتي وَاغْفِرْ زَلَّتي، فَإِنَّكَ قَضَيْتَ عَلى عِبادِكَ بِعِبادَتِكَ، وَأَمَرْتَهُمْ بِدُعائِكَ، وَضَمِنْتَ لَهُمُ الاِْجابَةَ، فَإِلَيْكَ يا رَبِّ نَصَبْتُ وَجْهي وَإِلَيْكَ يا رَبِّ مَدَدْتُ يَدي، فَبِعِزَّتِكَ اسْتَجِبْ لي دُعائي وَبَلِّغْني مُنايَ وَلا تَقْطَعْ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ رَجائي، وَاكْفِني شَرَّ الْجِنِّ وَالاِْنْسِ مِنْ أَعْدائي
And Make my tongue remember You constantly and my heart enthralled by Your love! Be gracious to me by answering me favorably, nullify my slips and forgive my lapses! For You have decreed Your worship for Your servants, commanded them to supplicate You and assured them that they would be answered. So toward You, my Lord, I have turned my face; and toward You, my Lord, I have extended my hand. So by Your Might, comply with my supplication and make me attain my desires! Do not, if it pleases You, sever my hopes, and spare me the evil of my enemies from among the jinn and men!
One of the greatest blessings of Allah to human beings is the tongue, by which he can talk, express whatever he thinks, and declare his goals and viewpoints.
Just as its virtue and goodness are great, the tongue’s vices are heavy. The wise men have said about this organ: “The weight of the tongue is little, but its sin is great.”
As the great narrator, philosopher, and ascetic scholar has said, the tongue can commit nearly twenty major sins, such as backbiting, accusation, tale telling, ridiculing, spreading rumor, telling lies, using abusive language, belittling others, etc.172
The Holy Qur’an has permitted only ten types of speaking. If one uses his tongue in one of these ten ways, it is as if he has worshipped Allah. If, on the other hand, he uses it in ways other than these, he has polluted his tongue with sin and, in fact, has worshipped Satan. They are 1. Good speaking, 2. Better speaking, 3. Just speaking, 4. Honorable mention, 5. Generous speaking, 6. Gentle speaking, 7. Speaking of belief, 8. Right speaking, 9. Honest advice and 10. Effectual speaking.
Good speaking is speaking to people with good temper. (2:83) Better speaking is inviting people to Allah. (41:33) Just speaking is giving testimony in a court of law. (6:152) Honorable mention is speaking well of the latest generations of the believers. (26:84) Generous speaking is speaking well to one’s parents. (17:23) Gentle speaking is speaking for enjoining good and forbidding evil. (20:43) Speaking of belief is confessing to Allah’s Unity and the prophethood of His messenger. (2:136) Right speaking is speaking truthfully in every circumstance. (94:9) Honest advice is speaking to the orphans and one’s family. (40:5) Effectual speaking is influential speaking consisted of advice, logic, and wise speech. (4:63)
Benefiting from these ten ways of speech, one can begin a business whose profit is known by no one but Allah. A complete explanation of these ten methods requires a separate book. Here we only explain about the reward of better speech that is guiding and inviting people to Allah.
When sending Amir al-Mu’minin (as) for guiding the people of Yemen, the Messenger of Allah (S) told him:
يَا عَلِيُّ! لاَ تُقَاتِلْ أحَداً حَتَّى تَدْعُوهُ. وَأيْمُ اللهِ لَئِنْ يَهْدِي اللهُ عَلَى يَدِكَ رَجُلاً خَيْرٌ لَكَ مِمَّا طَلَعَتْ عَلَيْهِ الشَّمْسُ وَغَرَبَتْ.
O ‘Ali! Do not fight anyone before you invite him to the truth. By Allah, if you guide someone to Allah, it is better for you than all the things above which the sun shines and sets.173
Performing prayers is remembering Allah; reciting Qur’an is remembering Allah; specific supplications recommended by the Imams (as) for certain times and places are remembering Allah; speaking in accord with the methods cited in the Holy Qur’an is remembering Allah; but above all, using the tongue for guiding people to Allah is the greatest and most valuable remembrance of Allah.
Forgiveness of the Prostitute Woman
Thiqat Al-Islam Kulayni in the final section of his valuable book ‘Rawdhat al-Kafi’ has narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) that a pious man defeated Satan’s temptations after a lot of worship. So Satan called his army and told them: “Which of you can get this pious man out of the worshippers’ circle?” Every one of them mentioned his trick but none was accepted. One of them said: “I will deceive him by prayers.” Satan liked his idea of deceit and appointed him as the agent for misguiding the mentioned pious man!
Satan’s agent went to the pious man’s temple and began worshipping very eagerly. He was much engaged in enthusiastic worship that the pious man could not ask him the reason for his rare willed worship. When he finally asked the reason from the agent, he answered: “I have committed a sin and now I am regretful. My regretfullness has set me into eager worshipping, without getting tired!” The pious man wanted to experience the same state of worshipping after regret from a sin! And he did not even think of the consequences if he would die while committing the sin and could not regret and repent! So he asked Satan’s agent to help him. The agent recommended for him to do adultery with a famous prostitute woman. The pious man rushed to her. The woman was astonished at seeing the pious man, with his divine countenance, in that ignominious quarter of the city and thought that he has been deceived. So she told him: “One can never reach the position of nearness by wrongdoing. The one who has encouraged you to do so, has intended to deceive and misguide you. Committing sins brings human down, and does not promote him. Now turn back to your temple, and if you do not find your encourager, know for certain that he has been Satan!”
Awakened, the pious man returned but did not see the evil agent there anymore. He was very grateful to the woman who had saved him from engaging in wrongdoing. On the other hand, the woman passed away on that very night. The Almighty addressed the prophet of that age: “Accompany other people in burying her body; I forgave all her sins because she guided one of My servants!”
Guarantee of Acceptance of Prayer
The Holy Qur’an has stated:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِي إِذَا دَعَانِِ.
And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then I am near, I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he calls on Me. (2:186)
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمْ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ.
And your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you. (40:60)
However, it should be kept in mind that not any prayer is being guaranteed to be accepted; rather only that prayer of a supplicant whose features are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and the traditions.
Someone might call upon Allah weepingly and ask Him all the world’s wealth, kingdom over the world, an everlasting life, a beauty more than that of Josef’s, a voice sweeter than that of David’s, or bravery more than that of Imam ‘Ali (as). He might even ask Allah to fulfill any good or evil prayer he says about other people!
Such supplications are void of necessary conditions so they are not guaranteed to be accepted by the Almighty. The knowing, righteous, and loving servants have the necessary conditions and their prayers are based on the goodness of this world and the Hereafter. If their prayer is answered in the world, they thank Allah, and if it is not answered here, they do not become upset; rather they are patient and wait until the suitable time for the acceptance of their prayer.
It has been narrated that prayer is the weapon of the prophets (as) and the believer. Prayer changes a strong inescapable fate, removes calamities, and cures diseases.
The necessary conditions for the acceptance of prayers have been mentioned in the Imam’s traditions as: sincerity in deeds, knowing that everything is in Allah’s Hands, performing the obligatory deeds, having a purified heart, telling the truth, eating lawful meals, paying people’s rights, presence and tenderness of the heart, beginning the prayer with ‘bismillahir-rahmanir-rahim (In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful),’ confessing to the sins, beseeching and weeping, putting one’s face unto the ground, performing two units of prayer, having certainty of acceptance, praying for others before oneself, avoiding indecent prayers, praying among a congregation, praying in privacy, and having hope of the acceptance of prayer.
If the supplication and the supplicant have the necessary conditions the prayer would most surely be answered.
Prayer of the Entangled
Jabir al-Ju’fi, a reliable tradition narrator in the time of Imam al-Baqir and Imam Sadiq (as) narrates from the Prophet (S) that three travelers reached a mountain while traveling. They saw a cave on top of the mountain, entered it and began worshipping. Suddenly a piece of rock fell down the mountain and blocked the entrance of the cave, in such a way as if it had been made to fit like a door.
The travelers told each other: “By Allah that there is no way out, unless we represent to Allah some of our righteous, sincere deeds or avoiding a sin.”
The first one said: “O Allah! You know better than anyone else that I went to a beautiful woman and gave her a lot of money, but when I came near her I remembered the Fire and left her alone. Solve our problem for this and show us a way out!” So part of the rock was removed.
The second one said: “O Allah! I hired some workers in my farm and set a wage of half a drachma for every one of them. At the end of the day, one of them came to me and said: ‘I have worked as much as two workers. Give me one drachma!’ I refused to do so and he went away. Then I planted some seeds as much as a drachma in a corner of my farm and they grew abundantly. One day that worker came to me again and asked for his wage. I gave him eighteen thousand drachmas for that was the benefit of some years of farming with that little amount of seed. I did it only for Your sake, so rescue us!” Therefore, the rock moved a little more.
The third person said: “O Allah! One night my parents were sleeping when I brought a bowl of milk for them. I did not wake them up and did not put the bowl down so that they do not wake up. I held the bowl until they woke up intentionally. You know I tolerated that pain for Your sake, so rescue us!” The rock, then, moved away completely and the three of them escaped the cave in safely.174
Prayer of the Black Slave
It is narrated that the Israelites were affected by famine for seven years. Seventy thousand of them went to a desert to pray for rain. There came a divine address: “O Moses! Say to them: ‘How should I accept your prayer while your sins have embraced you and your hearts are covered with evil? Do you call upon Me while you do not believe in Me. Go to one of My servants named Burkh so that he would ask Me, and I would accept it.’”
Moses looked for Burkh but could not find him. One day he was passing a place where he saw a black slave on whose forehead was the sign of prostitution and who had hung something on his neck. Moses (as) thought that he was Burkh so asked him of his name. He answered: “I am Burkh.” Moses (as) said: “I have been looking for you for a while. Pray for rain!” Burkh went to the desert and said in his prayers: “O Allah! Withholding the rain from your servants is below Your dignity; there is no stinginess in Your presence; is it that Your Mercy is weakened; or that the winds has disobeyed You; or Your resources have terminated; or Your wrath to the sinners has increased; were You not the Forgiver before creating the sinners?!” He had not even moved from his place when it started to rain to that extent that all the Israelites’ thirst was quenched.175
Prayer of Imam al-Sajjad’s Slave
Sa’id Ibn Musayyib was one of the scholars of Medina and was praised by Imam al-Sajjad (as) and Imam Musa Ibn Ja’far (as).
‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan sent a deputy to Medina to ask Sa’id’s beautiful and knowledgeable daughter to marry him. Sa’id told the deputy: “I don’t want my daughter to marry the ruler of the country!”
One day Sa’id said to one of his students: “Why have you been absent from the class for several days?” He answered: “My wife had passed away so I was busy and could not come.” Sa’id told him: “Take a wife for yourself!” The cleric student said: “I have nothing except two drachmas.” So Sa’id told him: “Do you want to marry my daughter?” He answered: “As you wish!” So Sa’id made his daughter the wife of his student.
For forty years, Sa’id had not gone to anyone’s home. His student says: “That night Sa’id Ibn Musayyib came to my house along with his daughter. He left her with me and went.” I asked her daughter: “What do you have?” She said: “I know the Qur’an by heart.” I asked her again: “What do you want as your marriage portion?” She replied: “A tradition suffices me.” So I told her this tradition:
جِهَادُ المَرْأةِ حُسْنُ التَّبَعُّلِ.
A woman’s Jihad is performing her duties to her husband.176
This pious, righteous, and sincere Sa’id Ibn Musayyib says: There was once an extreme famine in Medina. People went to the desert to pray for rain and I went with them too, but I saw no one worthy of being accepted by Allah from among them. I saw a black slave who had put his face on the earth beside a hill and was praying. His prayer was accepted and it rained a lot. Then I followed him to see that he went to Imam Al-Sajjad’s house. I asked Imam (as) to give him to me. Imam Zayn Al-Abidin (as) presented all his servants but the mentioned one was not among them. I found out that there is another servant in the stable. So Imam told him: “I have given you to Sa’id.” The servant wept excessively and told me: “O Sa’id! Do not separate me from Imam!” Seeing this, I left him and exited Imam’s home. After I left, the servant, whose secret of being pious had been disclosed, put his head on the ground and asked Allah for his death which was accepted at once. Imam Al-Sajjad (as) sent for me to take part in the servant’s funeral!
Imam al-Husayn’s Prayer
It is narrated in “Manaqib” of Ibn Shahr ªshub from the worthy book “Tahdhib” of Shaykh Tusi that a woman was circumambulating around the Kaaba and a man was in the same row. The man stretched his hand toward the woman with an evil intention when suddenly his hand got stuck firmly to the woman’s body. As a result, both of them stopped their circumambulation. The law forces brought them to Mecca’s governor and he called on the jurisprudents to issue a verdict in this odd case. All of them ordered to cut the man’s hand because of the great sin he had committed beside the Kaaba. Then someone suggested asking the opinion of Imam Husayn (as), before cutting the sinner’s hand. Imam Husayn (as) came towards Kaa’ba and began beseeching to the Almighty until the man’s hand was separated from the woman’s body. Then Imam (as) was asked: “Should the sinner be penalized?” Imam (as) stated: “Why should you punish him while Allah has forgiven him?!”177
Nightly Prayer of the Prisoner
In the ruling period of ‘Abdullah Ibn Tahir, some roads got unsafe for the people and the caravans. ‘Abdullah appointed a group of soldiers to guard the roads. One day ten thieves were arrested from one of the roads. They were sent to the government headquarters, but one of them escaped in the darkness of night. The head of the guards thought that ‘Abdullah Ibn Tahir might punish him for the escaping of the prisoner. Therefore he arrested an innocent cotton-carder who was going to another city to work, to present the right number of prisoners. The ten captives were brought to ‘Abdullah who ordered to imprison them all.
One night, two of the prisoners, including the innocent cotton-carder, were chosen to be executed. The innocent prisoner thought: “My children think that I am working in another city and don’t know that an oppressive governor has seized me unjustly.” In the middle of the night, he performed two units of prayer, and then he put his head one earth and prayed to the Almighty.
On the same night, ‘Abdullah Ibn Tahir dreamed that four strong black snakes had attacked him and his government had collapsed. He was startled from his sleep, called the soldiers, and said: “An oppressed one is beseeching to Allah at this time of the night.” After much search, they entered the prison and the saw cotton-carder in the strange state that he was. They brought him to the ruler. When everything was clear, the ruler ordered to give the innocent prisoner ten thousand gold coins. Then he told the cotton-carder: “I have three requests from you; forgive me, accept this gift from me, and come to me whenever you had a request.”
The cotton-carder said: “I accept two of your three requests; I forgave you and accepted your gift, but not the third one. Because it is ungrateful to leave the Lord who collapsed your government for my prayer, and come to the presence of one of His weak creatures!”
O Lord! I wish You forgive my sins, help me avoid sins in the future, prepare the conditions for my sincere worship, use my limbs in serving You and Your servants, fill my heart with Your love, cure my mental and physical illnesses, and grant me the intercession and accompaniment of Your favorite servants in the Hereafter. This is my wish, my Lord! Do not despair me of your Mercy and Blessings!
It is narrated that Messenger of Allah (S) told a person who was approaching death: “How do you see your state?” He said: “I fear my sins and hope for Allah’s Mercy.” The Prophet (S) said: “No one thinks this way except that Allah saves him from what he fears and grants him what he hopes for.”
O Lord! My hope and my wish are not in vein. You have called Yourself, in the Holy Qur’an, the Forgiver, the Generous, the Acknowledger of gratitude, and the most Merciful of the Merciful. While I am afraid of the excess of my sins, I am quite hopeful of You. If I have come to Your presence with du’a’ kumayl, Your own Mercy has made me come toward You. I know for certain that no beggar returns empty-handed from Your presence; no hopeful becomes hopeless, and no one is rejected. O Lord! You accepted and forgave Hurr Ibn Ziyad, with his great sin, Asiya, after her belief, Fudhayl Ayyaz, after his repentance, as well as thousands of other sinners and You rewarded them all. How can I be hopeless, while You have considered hopelessness of Your Mercy as disbelief, in Your Qur’an?!
وَلاَ تَيْئَسُوا مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لاَ يَيْئَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الكَافِرُونَ.
And despair not of Allah’s Mercy; surely none despairs of Allah’s Mercy except the unbelieving people. (12:87)
Rain of Mercy
Imam Sadiq (as) has narrated from his father and from his grandfather: People of Kufah came to Amir al-Mu’minin (as), complaining for lack of rain and famine and asked him: “Call upon Allah to send us rain!” Amir al-Mu’minin (as) told Imam Husayn (as): “Ask Allah for rain!” Imam Husayn (as) praised Allah and His Messenger (S) and called upon Allah: “O the bestower of blessings and descender of rain! Send bountiful rain for us to save Your servants from inability, and revitalize dead lands! Amen! O Lord of the worlds!”
When his prayer finished, it rained heavily. An Arab came from another region of Kufah and said: “I saw so much water in hills and valleys that it was as if the water waved!”178
O Allah! You Satisfied the thirst of the people of Kufah with the prayer of Your sincere servant; Grant the rain of Your Mercy to clear the sins from our Book of Deeds; save us from the chastisement of our sins; grow the plant of joyful worship in us; surely we have come to You with hope of Your Mercy, to apologize and to ask You, and we know that You would certainly forgive us.
Hope of Mercy
A young man was passing an alley when he saw a bird on a tree branch. He shot an arrow towards it but it hit the son of the garden’s owner and killed him. Some innocent passers-by were arrested from around the garden, for the crime. The young man came to the garden and asked: “What’s the matter?” He was answered: “Someone has shot this boy with an arrow.” The young man said: “Bring me the arrow so that I may tell you.” Then he said: “I threw this arrow for hunting but it hit this boy. I am the murderer.” The boy’s father said: “I know you did it accidentally, young man! But why did you confess to your fault?” The young man answered: “In hope of your mercy; so that you would forgive me because of my confession.” So the father forgave him179.
O the most Generous of the generous! We now confess to all our sins so that You would forgive us by Your indefinite Mercy.
يا سَريعَ الرِّضا إِغْفِرْ لِمَنْ لا يَمْلِكُ إلاّ الدُّعاءَ فَإِنَّكَ فَعّالٌ لِما تَشاءُ، يا مَنِ اسْمُهُ دَواءٌ وَذِكْرُهُ شِفاءٌ وَطاعَتُهُ غِنىً، إِرْحَمْ مَنْ رَأْسُ مالِهِ الرَّجاءُ وَسِلاحُهُ الْبُكاءُ، يا سابِغَ النِّعَمِ، يا دافِعَ النِّقَمِ، يا نُورَ الْمُسْتَوْحِشينَ فِي الظُّلَمِ، يا عالِماً لا يُعَلَّمُ، صَلِّ عَلى مُحَمَّد وَآلِ مُحَمَّد وَافْعَلْ بي ما أَنْتَ أَهْلُهُ وَصَلَّى اللهُ عَلى رَسُولِهِ وَالاَْئِمَّةِ الْمَيامينَ مِنْ آلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ تَسْليماً كَثيراً
O He whose pleasure is quickly achieved! Forgive him who owns nothing but supplication, for You do what You will. O He whose Name is a remedy, whose remembrance is a Cure, and whose obedience is Wealth! Have mercy upon him whose capital is hope and whose weapon is tears! O Fountain of blessings! O Repeller of adversities! O Light of those who are lonely in darkness! O Knower who was never taught! Bless Muhammad and his progeny and do with me what is worthy of You! And Allah bless His messenger and Holy Imams of his progeny and give them abundant peace!
Divine Truth and Minute Points
Allah’s pleasure is quickly achieved by a servant who is under His wrath, due to wrongdoing, and has resorted to beseeching and repentance, because Allah’s Mercy, Love, and Generosity is infinite. That’s why someone who has committed sins for years without any lapses, is forgiven by only a moment of repentance and regret and his few deeds are accepted and attended to!
Therefore, Amir al-Mu’minin (as), after the divine phrase, “O He whose pleasure is quickly achieved!” states: Forgive him, who owns nothing but supplication, because a real sincere supplication implies the supplicant’s poverty and meanness, and that he owns no means of worship, obedience, or good deeds for being forgiven; that he owns no benefit or loss; he cannot remove any evil or gain any good. The supplicant has not come to Allah’s Presence but with Your assistance and Mercy. If Your Mercy had not attracted him, the supplicant could not utter the supplicating phrases, and weep for some moments.
Such a servant is of course worthy of Your Mercy and Benevolence. He should call upon You: “The Generous does not ask a poor servant about what he has brought, rather He asks about what he wants. You have said that if the servant comes one step towards Me, I would take ten steps towards him. My Lord! I am so neeful and disabled that I cannot come towards You even as much as one step. You take a step towards me so that I would get free of satanic desires and carnal soul and get subjected to Your Mercy.”
O the most Generous of the Generous! It’s said that Amir al-Mu’minin (as) wrote on the burial shroud of Salman: “I came in the presence of Generous One with no provisions and no healthy heart, because coming to the Generous One with provisions is the worst thing.”180
O Lord! I am a poor servant who is coming to You, not bringing anything worthy of Your Presence. Have Mercy upon me until all my sins are pardoned, my body is forbidden from the Fire, my path is opened to the Paradise, and I reach the peak of prosperity, that is Your pleasure.
O the Holy Being, You do what You will out of Your expediency, justice, mercy, and wisdom and no one can oppose it.
About the fact that Allah’s Name is a Remedy, the ascetic and righteous servants have mentioned some points. Some of them say that this Name means the same recorded names which have various benefits and impressions. One of their advantages is that when the supplicant calls his Lord with His special Names, He would answer the supplicant.
وَلِلَّهِ الأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا.
And Allah's are the best names, therefore call on Him thereby. (7:180)
When the poor servant raises his hands to the Lord, hoping for His attention, and calls with a painful heart and sincere tongue, among the people or in his own privacy: “O Allah!”, “O the Merciful!”, “O the Generous!”, “O Lord!”, and “O the most merciful of the merciful!”, it is way too impossible from a Generous Hearer not to respond him.
The traditions state that Allah’s Names are equal with an infallible Imam or a perfect human that is the manifestation of the meaning and concept of the Names. If, anyone with a pain resorts to them and would be healed.
In fact by resorting to the perfect individuals one can get perfection and prosperity and be saved from disbelief, moral and practical vices.
A perfect human is, in reality, Allah’s Exalted Name that is the center of the world, just as it is stated about the twelfth Imam, al-Hujjah Ibn al-Hasan (as):
وَهُوَ الَّذِي بِبَقَائِهِ بَقِيَتِ الدُّنْيَا، وَبِيُمْنِهِ رُزِقَ الوَرَى، وَبِوُجُودِهِ ثَبَتَتِ الأرْضُ وَالسَّمَاءُ.
The existence of the world is related to his existence, humans obtain their sustenance by his blessing, and the stability of the heavens and the earth is based on him.
Consequently, the lover is familiar with the beloved’s name and goes to His presence referring to this Name. He cures his pains by His Mercy and nothing in the world is sweeter than saying His Name and hearing it.
It has been narrated that Prophet Jesus (as) had many sheep. A group of angels thought that his love for the Almighty is related to his love for his wealth. So for making them aware of the truth, the Almighty sent Gabriel to go on top of a hill and call: “subbuhun quddusun rabbu al-mala’ikati warruhi (Glorious and Holy is the Lord of the angels and the spirit!)” Hearing this, Jesus (as) got restless and ran to the top of the hill in search of the caller, but found no one. So he said: “O the nice caller! If you utter the name of my beloved once more, I will grant you half of my sheep!” Gabriel called Allah’s Name once again. Prophet Jesus was eagerly impatient and when he returned to his normal state, cried out: “Call Allah’s Name once more so that I would give you all my sheep!” Gabriel did so again. Then Jesus (as) cried and said: “I have nothing left to sacrifice for His Name, so come and take my life!”
O the beloved Lord! Have Mercy upon the one whose capital is hope and whose weapon is tears, so that he would be rescued by Your Mercy from all poverty, Your Name and remembrance be the cure for his pains, and Your worship and obedience make him rich.
O Allah! O Lord! O Generous! O Beloved! O the most Honorable of the honorable! O the most Merciful of the merciful! O Fountain of blessings! O Repeller of adversities! O Light of those who are lonely in the darkness! O Knower Who was never taught! Bless Muhammad and his progeny!
Al-Jahl, tradition 2798.
Al-Jahl, tradition 2799.
Al-Jahl, tradition 2802.
Al-Jahl, tradition 2817.
Al-Khulq, tradition 5098.
Al-Khulq, tradition 5089.
4/ 1536, Al-Khulq, tradition 5101.
209; Bihar al-Anwar: 84/ 156, Bab 6, tradition 41.
Al’Amal, tradition 683.
Al-’Amal, tradition 685.
Al-’Amal, tradition 686.
188, Al-’Amal, tradition 718.
Ali Ahata Ilm Allah…
ahlu Basra…; Bihar al-Anwar: 56/ 100, Bab 4, tradition 32.
Al-nas ala Al-taqwa.
Al-Ghifla, tradition 15135.
Al-Ghifla, tradition 15143.
Al-Ghifla, tradition 15207.
Al-Ghifla, tradition 15208.
9/ 4372, Al-Ghifla, tradition 15203.
al-Anwar: 7/ 285, Bab 13, tradition 3.
Thawab Al-Muwahhidin, tradition 2.
3092, Al-Salat, tradition 10535.
Al-Salat, tradition 10556.
Al-Salat, tradition 10532.
Al-Salat, tradition 10543.
3104, Al-Salat, tradition 10585.
al-Hikmah: 7/ 3106, Al-Salat, tradition 10592.
Al-Zan, tradition 11590.
3402, Al-Zan, tradition 11589.
3400, Al-Zan, tradition 11581.
Allah; Mustadrak al-Wasa’il: 11/ 261, Bab Wujub Al-Sabr, tradition 12940.
Al-Bayza’: 8/ 304, Kitab Zikr Al-Mowt wa ma ba’da; Bihar al-Anwar: 6/224, Bab 8, tradition 26.
14; Mahajjat Al-Bayza’: 8/ 360, Kitab Zikr Al-Mowt wa ma Ba’da; Bihar al-Anwar: 8/ 281, Bab 24, tradition 2.
minha…’; mahajjat Al-Bayza’: 8/ 361, Kitab Zikr Al-Mowt wa ma Ba’da.
2/ 536, Al-Buka’, tradition 1829.
al-Hikmah: 2/ 536, Al-Buka’, tradition 1830.
al-Hikmah: 2/ 536, Al-Buka’, tradition 1831.
2/ 536, Al-Buka’, tradition 1834.
al-Buka’, tradition 1835.
Bihar al-Anwar: 22/ 385, Bab 11, tradition 27.
93/ 120, bab 14, tradition 23.
374, Bab 92, tradition 25.
traditions about this exist in the books: al-Kafi: 2/ 520, Bab man qala ya rab…; Wasa’il Al-Shi’ah: 7/285, bab 32; Mustadrak al-Wasa’il: 5/ 219, bab 31; Bihar al-Anwar: 90/ 233, Bab 12, etc.
tradition 2838; Mizan al-Hikmah: 9/ 4050, al-amal, tradition 14260.
Al-Nahl, tradition 14264.
al-Hikmah: 9/ 4060, Al-amal, tradition 14292.
9/ 4064, Al-amal 1, tradition 14326.
Al-amal, tradition 14333.
Al-amal, tradition 14335.
al-Hikmah: 9/4070, Al-amal, tradition 14350.
Al-Haram, tradition 13661.
3/ 1124, Al-Haram, tradition 13663.
Al-Nawm, tradition 20924.
Al-Haja, tradition 4461.
Ghurar al-Hikam: 73, tradition 1094; Mizan al-Hikmah: 2/ 868, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 73, tradition 1095; Mizan al-Hikmah: 2/ 868, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 75, tradition 1164; Mizan al-Hikmah: 2/ 868, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 75, tradition 1152; Mizan al-Hikmah: 2/ 870, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 75, 1163; Mizan al-Hikmah: 2/ 870, Al-Jahl, 2818. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 74, 1123; Mizan al-Hikmah: 2/ 870, Al-Jahl, 2822. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 94/ 219, Al-Yawm Al-Tasi’ wa Al-’Ashrun. ↩
Al-Muttafifin 83: 15. ↩
Sharh Nahj Al-Balagha: 6/ 337; Mizan al-Hikmah: 4/ 1536, Al-Khulq, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 265, tradition 5722; Mizan al-Hikmah: 4/ 1536, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 264, tradition 5697; Mizan al-Hikmah: 4/ 1536, ↩
Mahajjat Al-Bayza’: 5/93, Kitab Riyazat Al-Nafs; Mizan al-Hikmah: ↩
Al-Manaqib: 2/ 103, Fasl fi Al-Sabigha bi Al—Zyhd; Uddat Al-Da’i: ↩
Al-Kafi: 3/ 450, Bab Salat Al-Nawafil, tradition 34. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 1/ 150, Bab 4, ‘Alamat Al-’Aql. ↩
Mizan al-Hikmah: 1/ 184, Al-’Amal, tradition 675. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 74/ 175, Bab 7, tradition 8. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 91/ 155, Bab 32, tradition 22. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 312, tradition 7207; Mizan al-Hikmah:1/ 186, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 313, 7245, Mizan al-Hikmah: 1/ 186, Al-’Amal, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 65, tradition 860; Mizan al-Hikmah: 1/ 186, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 312, tradition 7206; Mizan al-Hikmah: 1/186, ↩
Al-Kafi: 2/ 329, Bab Al-Qiswa, tradition 1; Mizan al-Hikmah: 1/ ↩
Iqbal: 390; Mizan al-Hikmah: 1/186, Al-’Amal, tradition 690. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 70/ 167, Bab 128, tradition 31. ↩
Al-Kafi: 8/ 58, tradition 21; Bihar al-Anwar: 2/ 106, Bab 15, ↩
A kind of bridge which the righteous only can cross on the road ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 70/ 84, Bab 123, tradition 47. ↩
Wasa’il Al-Shi’ah: 16/ 10, Bab 62, tradition 21827. ↩
Al-Kafi: 1/ 15, Kitab Al-’Aql wa Al-Jahl, tradition 12. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 70/ 99, Bab 122, tradition 86. ↩
Tuhaf Al-’Uqul: 303; Bihar al-Anwar: 75/ 281, Bab 24, tradition ↩
Ilm Al-’Akhlaq: 101. ↩
‘Uddat al-Da’i: 314; Bihar al-Anwar: 64/67, Bab 45, tradition 1. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 237, Islah Al-Nafs, tradition 4766. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 241, Mukhalifat Al-Hawa, tradition 4881. ↩
Hurar Al-Hikam: 136, Al-Dunya Afat Al-nafs, tradition 2386. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 235, Muraqibat Al-Nafs, tradition 4718. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 271, Salah Al-Din Bihima…, tradition 5912. ↩
Nahj Al-Balagha: 312, Sermon 198, min Khutbat lahu a.s yanbahu ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 136, Al-Dunya Afat Al-Nafs, tradition 2385. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 303, Zam Al-Lizzat, tradition 6923. ↩
‘Uyun al-Hikam wal-Mawa’izh, 314. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 340, Tahzib Al-Nafs, tradition 4851. ↩
Hikmat Ilahi: 398-399. ↩
Asam in Arabic means severe deafness. ↩
Nahj Al-Balagha: sermon 156, wa min kalam lah a.s khataba bihi ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 479, Mutafarriqat Ijtima’i, tradition 11009. ↩
Nahj Al-Balagha: Hikmat 181. ↩
Nahj Al-Balagha: 221, sermon 157, wa min khutbat lau a.s yahuthu ↩
Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 356. ↩
Amali, Mufid: 51, Al-majlis Al-Sadis, tradition 18. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 68/ 72, Bab 62. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 68/ 269, Bab 77, tradition 4. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 68/ 269, Bab 77, tradition 5. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam, 265, tradition 5744; Mizan al-Hikmah: 9/ 4362, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam, 146, tradition 2656; Mizan al-Hikmah: 9/ 4362, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam, 266, tradition 5765; Mizan al-Hikmah: 9/ 4372, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam, 266, tradition 5762; Mizan al-Hikmah: 9/ 4372, ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 75/ 114, Bab 19, tradition 10; Mizan al-Hikmah: ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 14/ 295, Bab 21. ↩
Al-Kafi: 2/148, Bab Al-Istighna’ min Al-Nas, tradition 2. ↩
Nafahat al-Layl: 109. ↩
Amir Al-Hajj was the head of Hajj caravans then. ↩
Anis al-Layl: 292. ↩
It will be raised to the position of the sun. ↩
If Abu Turab Imam ‘Ali a.s has regard to a little particle. ↩
‘Uddat al-Da’i: 314; Bihar al-Anwar: 64/67, Bab 45, tradition 1. ↩
Safinat Al-Bahar: 8/ 298. ↩
Wasa’il Al-Shi’ah: 15/ 163, Bab 1, tradititon 20216. ↩
Wasa’il Al-Shi’ah: 15/ 162, Bab 1, tradition 20214. ↩
Al-Kafi: 8/228, tradition Ya’juj wa Ma’juj, tradition 291; Bihar ↩
Potipher’s wife. ↩
Tafsir Nemuneh: 24/ 264. ↩
Tafsir Nemuneh: 24/ 465. ↩
Ilahiyat dar Nahj Al-Balagha: 129. ↩
Nahj Al-Balagha: sermon 1, the present author’s translation. ↩
Ibid, sermon 185. ↩
Al-Kafi: 2/506, Bab Tasbih, tradition 5; Tawhid Saduq: 18, Bab ↩
Tawhid Saduq: 19, Bab Thawab Al-Muwahhidin wa Al-’Arifin, ↩
Ibid, tradition 3. ↩
Tawhid Saduq: 20, Bab Thawab Al-Muwahhidin, tradition 7. ↩
Tawhid Saduq: 21; Wasa’il Al-Shi’a: 7/ 210, Bab 44, tradition ↩
Tawhid Saduq: 23, Bab Thawab Al-Muwahhidin, tradition 18. ↩
Tawhid Saduq: 29, Bab Thawab Al-Muwahhidin, tradition 31. ↩
Tafsir Kashf Al-Asrar: 3/ 374. ↩
Khisal: 2/522, tradition 11; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/3092, Al-Salat, ↩
Makarim al-Akhlaq: 461, Al-Fasl Al-Khamis; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/ ↩
Amali Saduq: 549, tradition 22; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/ 3096, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 175, tradition 3341; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/ 3092, ↩
Khisal: 2/620; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/ 3094, Al-Salat, tradition ↩
Amali Tusi: 522, tradition 1157; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/ 3094, ↩
Ilal Al-Sharayi’: 2/336, Bab 33, tradition 2; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/ ↩
Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 174, Wasiyya Li Kumayl Ibn Ziyad; Mizan ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 83, tradition 1327; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/ 3402, ↩
Al-Kafi: 2/72, Bab Husn Al-Zan, tradition 4; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/ ↩
Al-Kafi: 2/71, Bab Husn Al-Zan, tradition 2; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/ ↩
Amali Tusi: 379, tradition 814; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/ 3400, Al-Zan, ↩
Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/3400, Al-Zan, tradition 11584. ↩
Al-Kafi: 2/ 91, Bab Al-Sabr, tradition 15. ↩
Makarim al-Akhlaq: 446, Al-Fasl Al-Rabi’ fi Maw’izati Rasul ↩
Tafsir Qomi: 1/ 370, Wuluj Al-Nakirin fi Al-Qabr; Mahajjat ↩
Amali Saduq: 557; Al-Majlis Al-Thani wa Al-Thamanun, tradition ↩
A unit of length equal to 104 centimeters. ↩
An infernal tree. ↩
Tafsir Qumi: 2/81, under the verse ‘kullama aradu an yakhruju ↩
Mahajjat Al-Bayza’: 8/ 354, Kitab Zikr Al-Mowt, Al-Qawl fi Sifat ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 87/ 338, Bab 9, tradition 53 “Yawm Al-Khamis”. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 66/ 391, Bab 38, tradition 68; Mizan al-Hikmah: ↩
Jami’ Al-Akhbar: 97, Al-Fasl Al-Rabi’ wa Al-Khamsun; Mizan ↩
Amali Saduq: 431, Al-Majlis Al-Sadis wa Al-Sittun; Mizan ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 90/ 336, Bab 19, tradition 30; Mizan al-Hikmah: ↩
Makarim al-Akhlaq: 317, fi Al-Buka’; Mizan al-Hikmah: 2/ 536, ↩
Al-Kafi: 2/481, Bab Al-Buka’, tradition 1. ↩
Amali Mufid: 136, Al-Majlis Al-Thalith ‘Ashar, tradition 4; ↩
Rabi’ Al-Athar. ↩
Thawab al-A’mal: 39; Bihar al-Anwar: 93/ 253, Bab 30, tradition ↩
Mawa’izh al-’Adadiyyah: 371. ↩
Man-la-yahdhuruhul-faqih: 1/ 208, Bab Fazl Al-Salat, tradition ↩
‘Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 2/4, Bab 30, tradition 9; Bihar al-Anwar: ↩
‘Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 2/8, tradition 20. ↩
Tafsir Burhan: under verse 75 of An’am, tradition 9. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 4/ 111, Bab 3, tradition 31. ↩
Wasa’il Al-Shi’ah: 20/ 155, tradition 25291; Bihar al-Anwar: 68/ ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 6/ 28, Bab 20, tradition 32. ↩
Al-Kafi, 2/ 436, Bab Al-Towba, tradition 12. ↩
Mustadrak al-Wasa’il: 5/ 220, Bab 31, tradition 5738, many other ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 153, La yanfa’u qawla bi khayri al-amal, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 151, tradition 2777; Mizan al-Hikmah: 9/ 405, ↩
Mustadrak al-Wasa’il: 1/ 130, bab 19, tradition 177; Mizan ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 155, Al-Ikhlas fi Al-amal wa atharih, tradition ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 78/ 208, Bab 23, tradition 23. ↩
Kanz Al-Ummal:43639; Mizan al-Hikmah: 9/ 4066, Al-Amal 1, ↩
Mishkat al-Anwar: 55, Al-fasl Al-khamis Ashar; Mizan al-Hikmah: ↩
Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 91; Bihar al-Anwar: 74/ 241, bab 9, tradition 1. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 74/ 88, Bab 4; Mizan al-Hikmah: 9/ 4066, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 155, tradition 2913; Mizan al-Hikmah: 9/ 4066, ↩
Al-Kafi: 3/ 266, Bab Fazl Al-Salat, tradition 11; Mizan ↩
Wurram Collection: 2/86; Mizan al-Hikmah: 9/ 4070, Al-amal, ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 71/666, Bab 10, tradition 32. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 431, Zam Qarin Al-Saw’, tradition 9816. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 71/ 198, Bab 14. ↩
Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 316. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 430, Sahib Al-Hukama’ wa Al-Ulama’, tradition ↩
Mizan al-Hikmah: 3/ 1124, Al-Haram, tradition 13660. ↩
Wurram Collection: 1/61, Bab Al-Itab; Mizan al-Hikmah: 3/ 1124, ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 100/ 12, Bab 1, tradition 52; Mizan al-Hikmah: ↩
Amali Tusi: 680, Majlis 37, tradition 1447. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 68/ 394, Bab 92, under the tradition 63. ↩
Al-Kafi: 2/321, Bab Su’ Al-Khulq, tradition 1. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 63/ 338, bab 5, tradition 35. ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 360, Al-Fasl Al-Rabi’ Al-Batnata wa Athariha, ↩
Ibid: 361/ 8178. ↩
Mustadrak al-Wasa’il: 16/ 211, Bab 1, tradition 19627. ↩
Mizan al-Hikmah: 13/ 6550, Al-Nawm, tradition 20917. ↩
Khisal: 1/ 28, tradition 99; Mizan al-Hikmah: 13/ 6550, Al-Nawm, ↩
Ghurar al-Hikam: 159, tradition 3030; Mizan al-Hikmah: 13/ 6550, ↩
Al-Kafi: 2/ 83, Bab Al-Ibada, tradition 3. ↩
Kanz Al-Ummal: 43614; Mizan al-Hikmah: 7/ 3412, Al-Ibada, ↩
Mustadrak al-Wasa’il: 9/19, Bab istihbab Al-Simt, tradition ↩
Mustadrak al-Wasa’il: 11/ 258, Bab Wujub Ta’at Allah, tradition ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 67/ 16, bab 43, tradition 8. ↩
Amali Tusi: 481, tradition 1051; Mizan al-Hikmah: 3/ 1318, ↩
Al-Kafi: 2/ 192, Bab Qaza’ Hajat Al-Mu’min, tradition 1. ↩
Wasa’il Al-Shi’ah: 16/ 359, Bab Istihbab Qaza’ hajat Al-Mu’min, ↩
Mizan al-Hikmah: 2/ 952, Al-Mahabba 2, tradition 3126. ↩
Al-Kafi: 2/ 199, Bab Sa’I fi Hajat Al-Mu’min, tradition 10. ↩
al-Mizan: 19/ 140. ↩
Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 20. ↩
Nafahat al-Layl: 230. ↩
Mahajjat Al-Bayza’: 6/ 190, Kitab Afat Al-Lisan. ↩
Al-Kafi: 5/ 28, Bab Wasiyata Rasul Allah s.a, tradition 4. ↩
Nur Al-Thaqalayn: 3/ 249. ↩
Anis al-Layl: 453. ↩
Al-Kafi: 5/9, Bab Jihad Al-Rajul wa Al-Mir’at, tradition 1. ↩
Manaqib Ibn Shahr Ashub: 4/ 51. ↩
Bihar al-Anwar: 44/ 187, Bab 25, tradition 16. ↩
Rawdhat al-Mudhnibin: 170. ↩
Anis al-Layl: 530. ↩