Classes of Human Beings, their Rights and the Manner of Living with other people
1. The rights of relatives, slaves (males and females):
It is stated in many reliable traditions that pity on the day of resurrection will hold the heavens of God and beseech the Almighty to render kindness on those who were kind to their relations and not to be kind to those who were not kind to them during their hours on earth.
According to many traditions, being kind to the relatives makes your action be rewarded for, increases your daily earnings, makes worries disappear, increases age, and the ordeal on giving account of one's action on the day of resurrection becomes easier.
A reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) states that there are two ends of Pul-e-Sirat, there is Amanat (trust) on one end and pity and kindness to relatives on the other end. Therefore people who have never misused the trust kept in them and have been kind to their relatives will cross the path very easily and will enter heaven; but those who have misappropriated the trust preserved with them and have spoken badly about their relatives, will not be benefitted by their deeds and they will be thrown from Pul-e-Sirat.
According to another tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), a person inquired from him whether he had any obligation towards his relatives who are not Shias. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) emphasised that the person is obliged to be kind towards his non-shia relatives, for kindness cannot be deprived to anyone whoever he may be. However, if the relatives are Shias, one is doubly obliged. One should not only show kindness to them which is their due but should take into consideration their being one of the brotherhood - namely, Muslims or Shias. Further it is stated that dispersing kindness with people of one's religion will make it easier for one to render his accounts on the Day of Judgement; besides, many sins will be forgiven. Therefore, it is advisable not to restrain from kindness whether it is with brothers of your own religion or with others, though it may be just greeting them or responding to their greetings.
According to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), there are things, the doer of which gets punished before he dies; these being, cruelty, restraining of kindness to one's relations and false swearings and promises. However, at times, even the children and fortune of people of bad character may increase as a reward to kindness to relatives and false promises destroy homes and generations.
In another tradition it was stated that three types of people will never be able to enter heaven, those who always take wine, who always indulge in magic and lastly, those who have always withheld dispersing kindness.
It is also upheld that those who fulfill and encourage the obligations of their relatives will be rewarded by being elevated to a thousand and two thousand stages, the distance between each of them being that of a complete hundred years. The first stage will be of silver, the second will be of gold, the third of pearl (marvarid), the fourth will be of emeral, the fifth of zaberad (jade), the next of musk, followed by that of umber, camphor, and
so on and so forth, the stages being made from all the materials which the Almighty God has promised.
A reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) quotes that the Prophet, on the holy night of Me'raj saw a person holding fast the heavens and complaining about one of his relatives. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked the Almighty God the proximity of relationship between the person and the relative he was complaining about. God said unto the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that there was a distance of forty generations between the man and his cousin.
In a tradition from Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), it is stated that when a person hits his slave (male or female), without any justification according to Shara and even if the act is within the limits fixed by God, the only way of accounting for that act is by freeing that slave.
Another tradition from the same Imam (a.s.) states that Zarrara asked him about the attitude of a master towards his slaves. The Imam (a.s.) answered that an act unintentionally done by them is not punishable, but when they are persistantly and intentionally disobeying the will of the master, then they can be punished. When Zarrara further questioned about the limit of punishment, the Imam (a.s.) stated that it should not be more than three or four whips.
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), if a slave is Momin and has worked for one for seven years, then he should be freed. After that taking work from him is not permissible. The religious scholars and divines have restricted this hadeeth of freeing the slave after seven years as Sunnate Mowakkedah.
According to a tradition from Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), a man possessing the following four characteristics will be forgiven and will be placed highly in the values of realms of heaven; one who shelters an orphan and takes interestin the circumstances and problems in which an orphan is placed and is kind to him in a fatherly way, giving him the love of parents; one who is kind and helpful to weak; one who spends on his parents and is kind and thoughtful while looking towards them; and lastly, one who is not furious in his behaviour towards his servant or slave and helps him the work one has ordered, and refrains from ordering him such task which is beyond his capacity.
It is stated in reliable traditions from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that a person is ordered to give to his slave what he himself eats and to make him dress in the manner in which he himself dresses.
Another tradition states that there are three types of people who will not be cruel to you if you are not cruel to them, namely, a person who is mean, secondly, a lady who is your wife, thirdly, a person who is your slave.
According to a reliable tradition, one day a slave of Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) disappered. The Holy Imam (a.s.) hunted for his slave and at last found him sleeping at a certain place. The Imam (a.s.) sat near his head and started fanning him until he awoke. When the slave got up, the Imam (a.s.) only said that it was not adivsable for him to sleep during night as well as day, and that he should sleep only during the night.
A reliable tradition from the Imam (a.s.) states that the prayers of three types of people are not answered and accepted. These are, a slave who runs away from his master (until the time he does not give himself up to his master), a person who leads the prayers when those who pray behind him are not ready to accept him, and lastly the wife whose husband is unhappy with her.
According to a reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the persons who will enter the heaven first are the following:
a) The martyr
b) The slave who prays to the Almighty Creator and has the interest of his master foremost in his mind
c) A man with a family who keeps himself aloof from the things which are not permissible (haram) or supposed to be non-permissible
2. Rights of neighbours, orphans and relatives:
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) stated that Jibrael told him so many times about the neighbours that he felt that the neighbours will be induced in the inheritance (Meeras).
Further, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) stated that even if a person encroaches on land of his neighbour as wide as a hand-stretch, he will be chained by the seven stage below the earth which will be put around his neck and will be there even when he will be called to account for his deeds on earth. The only way for him to escape this punishment will be retribution and returning back the land of his neeighbour which he had wrongly encroached upon.
In another tradition he (a.s.) has stated that a person who snatches away the house of his neighbour and gives him trouble, God will give away his house to another neighbour.
According to a reliable tradition, people asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) whether there were any other rights and obligations concerning possession besides Zakat. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) answered that there were many obligations to be fulfilled besides Zakat - firstly, one should oblige and be kind towards those relatives who are even unkind towards one; secondly, one should be kind towards neighbours who are muslims, for if one has ignored one's muslim neighbour who was hungry, while one had a satisfying meal at night, then one does not have faith on the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
Many reliable traditions from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) quote that all the houses within the forty yards (on all sides) of one's own house are those of one's neighbours whose rights should be fulfilled.
In another tradition he (a.s.) has stated that among other rights of the neighbours is also included maoon, which, when a person does not fulfill or restrains from fulfilling, will, as a punishment, be thrown in hell. Maoon is that loan which is given to neighbours or the kindness which is performed in the neighbour's interest or the grocery of everyday use which is lent to them.
According to reliable traditions, a few healthy prisoners were brought before the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Among the prisoners was one who was sentenced for hanging. At that time, Jibrael (a.s.) descended to earth and, addressing the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), said that the particular person is very
generous as he open-heartedly gives to his family, gives wholesome feasts to the people and bears huge expenditures in the interest and benefit of his relatives. Then the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) addressed the person and said that it was revealed unto him by the Almighty God that on account of his already-mentioned habits, God has asked the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to pardon him and given him back his life. When the prisoner questioned the Prophet if his God liked those qualities, the Prophet replied in the affirmative. Then the prisoner stated that he will become witness to oneness of the Almighty God and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and swore by God and the Prophet that he will never keep away his possessions from anyone.
A reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) states that a person who will look after orphans and bear their expenditure will be near to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in Heaven, as the first finger is near to the middle finger.
Another reliable tradition from Hazrat Ali (a.s.) states that a person who keeps his hand over an orphan's head with love, God will reward him with as much kindness as the hair which were touched by the hand.
In another tradition it is stated that when an orphan cries, the sky trembles. At that time the Almighty God says that the person who comforts and soothes the crying orphan (whose mother and father are taken away from him) will be rewarded Heaven, compulsorily, by God.
According to a tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), God has stated in the Holy Quran two punishments for a man who has deprived the orphans of their possessions. After death he will be thrown in hell and on earth his orphans will meet the same treatment as had been meted out to the orphans, by him.
3. Rights of friends and fellow believers:
Reliable traditions state that Hazrat Ali (a.s.), at the time of his death willed upto his eldest son, Imam Hasan (a.s.) that he should treat all the fellow believers in a brotherly fashion for the sake of his nearness to God and to render kindness unto them and to accept their kindness towards him in a friendly manner.
In another tradition, a person complained to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) that there are times when he feels so depressed and sad without any outward cause that his friends and children make it out from the expression on his face. The Imam (a.s.) replied that God has stated that all momins are made from the qualities of heaven and in their forms are blown His kindness, as such all momins are like true brothers. Whenever the spirit of one of them is hurt, it is natural for others to feel sad and depressed.
It is stated from reliable traditions related to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that it is worship (Ibadat) to see the face of Imam-e-Adil (Just), to look up towards a religious scholar or divine, to see in a kindly fashion towards parents and to look towards that fellow-believer with whom one is very friendly.
It has come down from reliable traditions that brotherhood is already established among momins in the world of spirit. In this world when they will see, they will recognise each other.
In another tradition it is stated that a momin (a pious one) is a brother of another momin. He is his eye, his guide and one momin never betrays the trust of another momin. He is not cruel to another momin, does not fool another momin, does not lie and does not speak ill about another momin.
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), there are certain conditions of friendship, love and unity. If all those are not found among a person, then he is not a fast friend or a reliable one, and if a person does not possess any of thses, then the title of a friend is not for him. Firstly, a friend should have the same attitude before him and behind him; he should think of a friend's respect as his own respect and his downfall and faults as his own; thirdly, his attitude should remain the same even after he has acquired wealth and become honourable and not to refuse or side-track anything which is within his power. Lastly, he should not separate himself when a friend is in trouble and difficulties or give a cold shoulder and his friendship at the time of need.
According to Imam Reza (a.s.), twenty years' friendship is equal to blood relationship and knowledge which two friends of such long standing gain about each other brings them nearer as between two real brothers.
According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), one should keep one's friendship steadfast with one's friends and surrender oneself completely to them so that one day they may not turn against one and become an enemy. And one should never mete out enemity towards one's enemies as there are possibilities that one day they may become one's friends.
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), a person who is not in possession of the following five things, his life is a burden:
a) Physical health
e) True friend
Hazrat Luqman (a.s.) had advised his sons to make hundred friends but not a single enemy, and that one should accept the slavery of pious people than being a son of vicious ones. One should always seek the companionship of wise, even if he is not generous so that one may avail of his wisdom, but safeguard oneself from his vice. It is also advised to seek companionship of a generous person though he may not be wise as one can avail of generosity through one's wisdom. One should keep away from the fool who is also stingy.
4. Rights of one momin towards another momin and the kindness which should be meted out to the creatures of God:
According to a reliable tradition, Mu'alla Ibne Khunais inquired of Hazrat Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) the right of one muslim over another muslim. The Imam (a.s.) answered that there were seven rights and all of them were compulsory and ignoring even one of these is disobeying God and the cause of loosing Almighty's friendship. Mu'alla asked what were those rights. The Imam (a.s.) replied that he was afraid that even after gaining their knowledge Mu'alla may be unable to practice them. When
Mu'alla begged him many times, the Imam (a.s.) answered that the first and the easiest right is that:
a) One should select that thing for another muslim which one likes as well as desires for oneself and not to select that thing for a fellow muslim which one does not desire for oneself
b) To seek safety from anger of fellow-muslim and to keep him happy and to carry out his orders and legitimate wishes
c) To help him during life, with tongue, hand and feet
d) To act as a mirror for him and to be his guide
e) If he is hungry, one should not eat without him, if he is thirsty one should not have water without him and if he is without dress, one should clothe him before one dresses oneself
f) If one has a servant, one should make him wash his clothes, cook his food and make his bed
g) If he has ordered you some work, you should do it; if he has asked you at his place for a meal, you should accept it; if he falls ill, you should visit him and if he dies, you should be present during his last rites and if you know him to be in need, you should offer assistance even before he requests you for it and these actions will give rise to love between you and the fellow-muslim
In another reliable tradition it is stated that one who believes in Almighty God and the Day of Judgement should fulfill his obligations.
It is stated from Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) that you should make friends with fellow-muslims and desire that thing for them which you like for yourself and not to desire that thing for him which you do not desire for yourself. If you need anything, ask him and when he asks you for something, give him and if there is some good news you need not hide it from him. At the time of need, help him that he may help you when you are in need. Respect him behind his back and when he returns from a journey, you should visit him and respect and honour him in all circumstances and not seek separation. If he is angry with you, do not become aloof until the misunderstanding is cleared. If God blesses him with some reward, thank God and if some curse descends on him, be more kind and loving to him than before.
According to a reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), a person who gets up in the morning with no care about the work of any musalman then he is not a muslim. If a person hears another muslim begging for help and ignores him instead of helping him, then also he is not a muslim. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) stated that he loved that person most, by whom the people are greatly benefitted. Further, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has stated that heaven becomes obligatory on that person who save muslims from the harm that can be caused by fire or water.
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), the following are the obligations of a momin towards another:
a) He should be a real friend to him
b) He should not love his possessions more than his friend
c) He should care for another momin's children when he goes on a journey
d) If anyone is being cruel to another momin, he should help the momin
e) If another momin is not present, he should take his share and keep it for him
f) If another momin dies, he should pay his respects to the momin's grave often
g) He should not be cruel to another momin, neither deceive him nor he should misuse the confidence placed in him
h) He should not speak with him about something which he dislikes and if he misbehaves (uses bad words) with him, then he will lose his friendship
i) If he names another as his enemy, then he will turn a kafir (non-believer), for if the one who says as such is a liar, then he himself is a non-believer and if he is saying the truth, then the other person is a kafir. If one blames another wrongly, then the one who blames will lose faith as salt melts in water.
In another tradition it is stated that a person presented himself before Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.). The Imam (a.s.) asked him about the conditions in which he left his brothers. He replied that he had left them all in a satisfactory condition. Then the Imam (a.s.) questioned him whether those who were rich among them looked after those who were not so well-off and poor. He replied that they took very little interest in their poor brethren. Again the Imam (a.s.) questioned the man as to how many times the rich visit the poor - the man replied that it was very few times that the rich visited the poor. Then again the Imam (a.s.) asked as to how kind the rich were towards the poor - the man said that the rich hardly help the poor. The Imam (a.s.) ultimately said that how could these people (who are rich) be termed as Shias of Ahle-bait.
In another tradition it is stated that one should make friends with kind and pious people and the friendship should be for the sake of God and when the friends meet among themselves or sit in a crowd, they should talk about their religion and traditions coming from the Ahlul bait.
5. Helping momineen, assisting them in their work and making them happy:
In a reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), a person who makes a momin happy is actually making the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) happy, and the one who makes the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) happy, is making God happy.
In another tradition it is stated that God addressed Prophet Musa (a.s.) and said that there were a few human beings for whom he has reserved heaven and further they will be made the rulers of Heaven. When the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked as to who were they, God answered that they were those momins who try to please and give happiness to other momins.
Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) stated that once God revealed unto Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) that among his beings there will be a few who will forward such an act, which they had performed that He will reward them heaven just for that single act. When Prophet Dawood (a.s.) asked what will be that act which will make the person be rewarded heaven, the Almighty God replied
that it will be the act of making another momin happy even if just by giving him a single date.
According to a reliable tradition from the same Imam (a.s.), when the momin will come out of his grave, another person will accompany him out of the grave. This person will reveal the rewards God has decided for the momin. The momin will pray to God to give this person, the harbinger of happiness, the same rewards. After that, the person will always be with the momin. When the momin has to cross some dangerous place, the person will comfort the momin by saying that the dangerous inclines are not for him and therefore the momin should not be scared. When the momin will come across serene and pleasing places, he will tell the momin that these places are meant for him. In this manner the person will go on revealing to the momin at every step, and thus they will reach the stage where the account of the deeds performed on earth are rendered. When, after the accounts, God will order heaven for the momin, then the person will reveal unto momin the good tidings of the being sent to heaven. When the momin will hear this order, he will feel relaxed and then ask the person, "O brother, who are thou who has accompanied me from my grave to heaven, and who has been considerate and sympathetic with me through the difficult stages of loneliness and have at last given me such happy tiding?" The person will reply, "I am happiness which you had given to that particular momin while you were alive. Therefore Almighty God has personified me that I am giving you happy tidings at every stage and share in your misfortunes."
According to a reliable tradition from Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), performing a single Haj is better than freeing seventy slaves, but assuming the responsibility of providing a muslim family with food and clothing and saving them from poverty and insult is equivalent and better than performing seventy Haj.
Another reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that when a person goes round the Ka'ba seven times, God lists six thousand good deeds in his record and rubs off six thousand sins and elevates him to six thousand stages and fulfills his six thousand wishes, but if he fulfills a single need of a momin, his act is greater than going ten times round the Ka'ba.
According to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), if a momin informs his fellow momin of his needs but the latter is unable to do anything about it and is sad on its account, then the Almighty God will reserve heaven for him for feeling sad about his inability to fulfill the momin's requirements.
A reliable tradition from Hazrat Ali Ibnul Husain (a.s.) states that a person who will do one work for his fellow-momin, God will fulfill a hundred of his desires and he will be rewarded heaven.
A person who will relieve another momin from a single distress, God will alleviate many of his anxieties on the Day of Judgement.
God will help a person at the delicate moment when others will be staggering on the bridge of Sirat, if he takes the side of a momin and helps him against his tormentor.
A person who will clothe a momin who is nearly naked, will be clothed in the heavenly silk by the Almighty God and will keep all evils and
anxieties away from him as long as the helped momin retains even a thread of that garment.
A momin who makes a fellow-momin sit with him on his means of transport, thus stopping him from the trouble of walking, will be blessed by a heavenly carriage on the Day of Judgement and he will feel proud and the feeling of elevation will make him think above all the angels.
According to Hazrat Moosa Kazim (a.s.), God had ordained a shelter on the Day of Judgement for Prophets, vicegerents, revered, and those momins who had freeed a fellow-momin or met hte debt of a momin or performed the marriage of a momin.
Another tradition from Imam Ali ibnul Husain (a.s.) states that one should consider all the muslims as one's relatives, all the aged as one's father, all the children as one's children and all one's equal as one's brothers; then no one would be cruel to each other, use bad language or reveal each other's weakness. If the shaitan is tempting one to consider one's self better than others, then to cure oneself of this obsession, one should think of oneself as more of a sinner than any aged person one happens to see who is better in faith and practice than oneself. If one sees a minor instead of an adult, then one should think as one who adheres more to the faith and practices it, therefore better than one's self. If one comes across a person equal to one in age, then one should be definite about one's own sins and doubtful about his - as such one can never prefer a doubt over certainty and therefore think of that person as better than oneself.
If people pay respect to you, you should think it to be on account of their personal goodness and politeness and if they are reserved with you, think it as an accountof you behaviour's shortcomings. Following these precepts will make life easy and you will have more friends and few foes. You will be happy as a reaction to the kind acts of others and will be unaffected by the deplorable action of others. One should understand that people pay the most respect to those people who receive news and rumours while sitting at home and take the least interest in them and do not ask anything of others. Next in reverence comes that person who is needy but does not ask for anything from anyone, as the world loves its material belongings and those who do not share their belongings are respected. Those who give away their belongings instead of begging others for requirements are highly esteemed and the respect rendered to them knows no bounds.
The Imam (a.s.) has stated in another tradition that if a person withholds a favour, which is in his power, from another momin; or stops those who can bestow the favour, God will humiliate him on the Day of Judgement by blacking his face, making his eyes blue, hands will be around his neck all chained and God will say to this man, "This is your punishment for the abominable act of producing obstackes where a kindness could be done and this obstacle you created in the work of the Almighty God and the Prophet ", and then God will order the person to be taken to hell.
6. Visits to momineen and looking after the sick:
Reliable traditions from Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) state that a person who visits a fellow-momin in the name of
God, God appoints seventy thousand angels, who go on announcing that he is fortunate and heaven is reserved for him, all the time, till he returns home.
According to a reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) Jibrael revealed unto him that Almighty God had sent an angel on the earth. This angel reached near a person who was standing in front of a door of a house and was asking the permission of the owner of the house to enter. The angel asked the person about the work he had with the owner oof the house. The man outside the door replied that the owner of the house was a muslim brother of his, and he, Abdullah (servant of God), had turned up on a visit to him. Then the angel questioned if the sole purpose of the man was a visit and nothing else besides it. The man replied that he had come on no other purpose except a friendly visit. The angel then revealed unto the man that God had sent him to the earth to salute on behalf of Him and the Almighty God has made Heaven obligatory on him and has stated that a muslim visiting a fellow-muslim is just like visiting God and He is responsible for its reward which is heaven.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has said that happy are those who are friends with each other for the sake of God, for Almighty God has laid a foundation pillar of red yakut in heaven and has constructed seventy thousand palaces over it and every palace contains seventy thousand chambers (resting places) and all these have been made for those lucky beings who are friends with each other in the name of the Almighty God.
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), a person who cannot serve Ale-Mohammed i.e. the family of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), should oblige those people who are pious Shias (friends). That person will receive the same reward which is meant for those who can oblige Ale-Mohammed. And those people who possess no power to meet the Imams should pay a visit to Shias (friends of Ahlul bait) and they will be rewarded likewise.
Another tradition coming from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that if a person pays a visit to a sick muslim then he will be attended by seventy thousand angels till the evening if he visits in the moning; and till dawn if he visits at dusk. These seventy thousand angels will recite durood on him all that time.
A tradition in this context also states that if a person pays a visit to a sick person then God sends seventy thousand angels to reside in his house till the Day of Judgement and pray to God all the time, half the reward of which will be recorded with the person.
A reliable tradition from Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) states that a person, when he is ill should allow people to visit him as the prayers of these visitors will be heard.
A tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that when a person pays a visit to a sick man, he should ask the sick man to pray for him as the prayers of a sick man are equal to the prayers of the angels.
The Imam (a.s.) has also stated in another tradition that one need not pay a visit to a sick person when he is suffering from eye diseases. But in other types of illness, a person should visit a sick person constantly for three days and then on alternate days. If the illness seems to prolonng, then the sick
person should be left alone with his family and one should not visit too often.
A momin who visits a fellow-momin when he is ill, is surrounded by angels who tell him, "O congratulations to thee on the heaven", and it is reported that the momin has said that alleviating a single suffering of any momin is better than I'tekaf (retirement for God's worship) and continued fasting for two auspicious months.
According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), that man is rewarded more who pays a short visit to the sick and not a lengthy one unless the patient desires him to stay back and requests him to wait longer (and the doctor has permitted).
Another tradition states that when one pays a visit to the sick, then he should take with him apples, behi, turanj or any fragrance or food (incense) as an offering.
7. Providing food, water and dress to the momins, helping them in every conceivable way and supporting the victimised:
It is stated from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that if a person makes a momin take a hearty meal at his expense, then God makes Heaven obligatory on him. Buf if a person makes a kafir (non-believer) have a hearty meal at his expense, then God fills the stomach of that person with zaqoom of Hell.
In another tradition, the Imam (a.s.) has stated that no creature of God, whether he is a king or Prophet can have knowledge of the reward a person gets for giving a hearty meal to the momin except the Almighty God; and among the acts which are a source of forgiveness, giving a hearty meal to the muslims is also included.
According to another tradition, if a person provides a hearty meal to an afflent momin, then his reward will be equal to freeing a slave from the off-spring of Ismail (a.s.) and saving him from being murdered. If a person provides a hearty meal to a poor momin, his reward will be equivalent to saving a hundred slaves from the off-springs of Ismail (a.s.) from being murdered.
According to a tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), there are three acts which are dearest to God:
a) To fill the stomach of a hungry muslim
b) To meet the debts of another muslim
c) To cure the worries and anxieties of another muslim.
The house which does not provide food to the hungry is deprived blessings in daily food, leading to scarcity in the house, as speedily as a knife can be thrust in the hump of a camel.
According to Imam Zainul A'abedin (a.s.), a person who has plenty of clothes and does not give a few of them to a fellow-momin who has no clothes, the Almighty God will throw such a person in the fire of hell. And if a person who has enough food to eat and ignores or is unaware of a momin in his neighbourhood who goes without food, the Almighty God is angry with him and makes the angels His witness that He is never going to forgive that man though he may carry on his activities in the temporary world. It is stated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that a person who sleeps
well at night after a hearty meal and his brother muslim remains hungry, then he has not brought faith on the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), God takes an oath in His honour that he will not let that person enter Heaven at any cost, who possessed a house and refused to shelter a momin when the momin was in dire need of a house - because that person has committed an act of stinginess against a fellow-momin.
According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), if a person removes obstacles from the path of a fellow-momin, God will give him the reward of reciting 400 ayats (verses) and against every alphabet in the ayat, ten acts of kindness will be recorded.
Another tradition states that some muslims will enter Heaven because they had removed thorns from the path of a fellow-momin. It is stated from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that exchanging gifts and offerings between each other is a good thing as it prevents recurrence of evil thoughts about each other. He has also stated that there are three types of offerings - one which is associated with the hopes of profit, the second which is bribe and the third which is exchanged for the love of God without any material or worldly ambitions connected with it.
A tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) states that if one appeases the thirst of a muslim at a place where water is available then the Almighty God will reward him with seventy thousand acts of kindness; and if one appeases the thirst of a momin where water is scarce or unavailable then his reward is unimaginable and will be equivalent to saving a slave from the sons of Ismail from being murdered.
8. The rights of poor, weak, victim of cruelty and difficulties and the behaviour to be meted out to them:
According to a reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), it is stated that a poor momin will reach heaven forty years ahead of a wealthy momin. Then he compared the rich and the poor to two boats which are crossing the custom outpost. Evidently, the empty boat will be allowed to pass immediately; but the boat carrying a lot of goods will have to render its account and will be detained until the collection of the tax.
In another tradition he (a.s.) has stated that the more the faith of a momin increases, the less he gets his daily living and the momineen had not cried and waited for their daily living, it would have been less than the normal.
A tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) states that the destitution with self respect is trust from God for the other human beings. A man who will shelter or hide them, God will bless him as though he had fasted during day and prayed at night. And a person who expresses it before a person who is able to fulfill the wishes but does not do so, then it will be like the latter murdering a poor; not with a sword or spear, but by wounding the heart of the former.
A tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that God will be talking to the poor momineen on the Day of Judgement as though He is apologising to them. The Almighty God will state that He had not made them poor in the world because they were low to Him, and they would see today how He
would treat them and He would ask them to hold the hand of those people who were kind to them in the world and lead them into heaven. A person from amongst the poor will say, "O Almighty God, the people of the world had women, they used to wear fine cloth, eat delicious food, and live in spacious houses, and ride on fine horses. Give us today, all those things." The Lord will reply, "I will give you each seventy times more, the blessings which I had bestowed on the people from the beginning of the world to its end."
According to another tradition, a rich man wearing fine clothes entered the presence of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and sat down. After a little while, a poor man wearing cheap clothes entered the presence of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and sat down. When he sat, it was over an end of the rich man's apparel. The man pulled out the end of his apparel from under the poor man. At that, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) recited istafsar (there is no one as great as the Almighty God) and questioned the rich man if he was frightened that poverty will stick to him. The rich man replied in the negative. Then the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked him if he was afraid that some of his wealth will go to the poor man. The rich man replied in the negative. Then the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked him if he wanted to keep his clothes away from dirt fearing that they will go dirty. Again the rich man replied in the negative and further stated that he possessed another sour which was worse than shaitan which makes all evils attractive to him and all good abhorrent and to appease for what he had done, he is ready to give the poor man half of his wealth. Then the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) addressed the poor man and asked him if he was ready to accept the offer. The poor man replied in the negative stating that he feared he would also become a victim to snobbishness and pride in case he accepted the offer.
In another tradition, Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) asked a financially worried person if he ever visited the bazar. The man replied in the affirmative. Then the Imam (a.s.) asked him that had he not seen things which were beyond his means. The man replied that he very often saw articles which he could not afford. At that response, the Imam (a.s.) replied that for each of the article he sees which he cannot afford, one act of goodness is added in his record of deeds.
According to another tradition, there will be a group of people who, after being accounted for on the Day of Judgement, will take their way directly towardsheaven. At the door of heaven the angels will stop them and ask them why they were in a hurry to enter without rendering the accounts. They will reply, "What have we been given of which we have to render an account." At that moment the Almighty will say, "You all are stating the truth, go and enter the heaven!"
Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) has stated that God had said that He had not made the Affluent rich for He considers them worthy of respect; nor He has made the needy poor for He considers them low - but through the poor He wants to test the rich, for had there been no poor, the rich could not have seen the face of heaven.
It is stated from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that a man who will look down on another man because he is poor, God will make all the creatures see him low and beneath their station on the Day of Judgement.
A reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that a person who hurts a fellow-momin should be prepared to fight with God, and a personn who respects a fellow-momin should not fear the divine curse and God has further said that if there is only one momin existing from East or West with the Just Imam, then their prayers will be enough for all sins being committed by all the creatures of the world and on account of them will exist the seventh sphere of earth and sky and God will make faith the friend of these two (the momin and the Imam) and they will need no other friends.
He (a.s.) also said that one should never look down on a fellow-momin and try to assail or hurt him by even half a word, for, on the Day of Judgement it will be written between both his eyes that he has been deprived from the blessings of God.
A tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) states that a person who speaks politely and affectionately to a fellow-momin, respects him, fulfils his desires and alleviates his sufferings and anxieties, God will keep him under the aura of his blessings all the time he is busy speaking affectionately and is busy alleviating the sufferings.
According to another tradition, a person who slaps a fellow-momin; unless and until he asks for forgiveness and begs pardon for his deed; will, on the Day of Judgement, gain notice on account of his each bone becoming separate, an iron ring being round his neck and both his hands will be chained and he will be thrown into hell.
In another tradition it is stated that speaking filthy language is prohibited and fighting with a momin is kufr and speaking harmfully about a momin is equal to disobeying God.
According to a reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), fighting with any momin is kufr (equal to not believing in God) and a person who scares a momin by announcing that he will harm him through authority and though he may not harm him will be thrown into hell with the Pharoah (firaun) and his offsprings.
In another tradition the Imam (a.s.) has stated that a person who nags a momin will meet a worse type of death and he deserves to be punished in a way that his end is not good.
In another tradition from the same Imam (a.s.) it is stated that a person questioned him as to what he thought of a person who refuses to let a visitor enter his house inspite of being at home and does not come out himself to meet the visitor. The Imam (a.s.) replied that if a person refuses to meet a person who has come on some business or on a visit and says that he is not at home when he is at home and does not come out himself, then he will be forced with the curse of God until his meeting with the visitor.
Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) has stated that a momin in whose presence another momin cannot enter on account of formalities and obstacles, that momin will have to face seventy thousand walls between him and the heaven. The width of each wall will be equal to thousand years' journey and
the spacebetween each wall will be equal to a journey covering seventy years.
A reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that one day the angels lifted one of the pious momins from his grave and said that they will whip him hundred times as a punishment accorded by God. The pious momin became almost unconscious on hearing this and said that he had not got the strength to face a hundred whippings. Then the angels said that they will whip ninety-nine times, lessening one. The pious momin went on and on protesting and begging until the angels condescended to whip him once only. At that the momin asked the angels as to why they should whip. The angels replied that once he had offered prayers without wuzu (ablution) and at another time he had walked away even after seeing a fellow-momin being cruelly treated. At last they whipped him once at which his whole grave was filled with fire.
In another tradition he has stated that God will see with kindness towards four people on the Day of Judgement:
a) A trader who, after selling something to a person will accept when it is returned if the person had misgiving after buying it
b) A person who responds to a call of help from another momin
c) A person who frees the slaves
d) A person who performs the wedding of a bachelor
According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), a person who will come to the help of a fellow momin and save him from being murdered or help him in his difficulties and sufferings, God will add ten kind acts in his record of deeds, elevate him ten folds and give him the reward meant for liberating ten slaves and free him from ten divine punishments and provide him with ten blessings on the Day of Judgement.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has stated that a person who respects an old and aged man on account of his age, God will free him from the fear of the Day of Judgement, and also that person who respects a man with a white beard on account of his age. He had also stated that respecting a man with a white beard is equal to paying respects to God.
Further, he (s.a.w.a.) has stated that those who are not kind to the youngsters and respectful towards elders are not from amongst us.
It is stated from Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that Hazrat Ali (a.s.) had stated that if a person guides a blind man on an even ground, the reward awarded to him will be so much that the whole earth, filled with gold, will be equal to the eye of a needle. And the person who rescues a blind man from the dangers and obstacles of the path will be rewarded for the deed by a lakh times more than this world, and the kindness will overpower all his sins and will engross everyone and will take him to the higher spheres of heaven.
According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), one should not see the sufferers and lepers a lot, as seeing them makes one feel sad.
In another tradition it is stated that one should run away from lepers as one runs away from the tiger and when talking to them one should keep at a distance of at least one yard.
According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), one should be restrained from five types of people:
a) A leper
b) A person with white spots
c) A mad or lunatic person
d) A bastard
e) A Beduin Arab.
According to Hazrat Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), when one sees someone in trouble, one should recite the following prayer:
‘Thanks is due to God Who has kept me safe from this curse which has incurred on you and has elevated me from you and most of His creation.’
Another reliable tradition from the Imam (a.s.) states that if one sees a person suffering from a terrible disease then one should recite the following Doa thrice in slow tones that the patient may not hear it:
‘Thanks is due to God Who has kept me safe from this curse but has incurred on you this curse and has elevated me from you and most of His creatures.’
A person who recites this Doa will be safeguarded from these diseases.
9. Regards for the rights of momineen and also the stating of any one's faults in his absence (Gheebat):
According to a reliable tradition from Imam Zainul Aabedin (a.s.), a person told him that another person considered that the Imam (a.s.) was misguided and acted against Sunnat. The Imam (a.s.) said that the person (the informant) had not preserved the sanctity of the meeting and had apprised him of the talk which he had with the other person and neither the former had done any justice with the Imam (a.s.) by informing him about something he was ignorant of. Death will come to everyone and all will be questioned on the Day of Judgement and justice done in all cases and God will also settle the case between the Imam (a.s.) and the one who had libelled him but the Imam (a.s.) refrained the middle man from informing him of any talks as talking behind one's back is the food of those who are of hell.
According to a reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), a follower of God and the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) should never sit in the company which abuses the Imam (a.s.) or talks against any muslim.
In another tradition he (s.a.w.a.) has stated that a person who tries to discredit a muslim has his reward of fasts and wuzu (ablutions) curtailed; and on the Day of Judgement he will smell worse than a dead animal which will hurt all those present on the Day of Judgement. And if this person dies before he asks for forgiveness, he will be taken as the one who thinks all those things permissible which had been made non-permissible by God.
A man who does a good turn for a fellow-momin and stops people from talking bad about others, God will liberate him from all the evils of the world and that to come. However, if it is within the power of a person to stop another from uttering libels, and he does not stop him then 70 times of the evil from that reserved for a liar will be added in his record of deeds.
In another tradition it is stated that a person who will talk about a fellow-momin without witnessing with his eyes or hearing with his own ears, will be counted among those about whom God has said:
"Verily those who love to spread scandal about those who believe, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter."
According to another tradition, revealing the fault of a momin which God had hidden in his Beneficence is equal to defaming and attaching a fault to a momin which is not present in him and is equal to revealing.
In another tradition it is stated that a person who speaks ill about anohter person without having any enmity or differences with him, has in his make-up an inheritance from shaitan.
According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), defaming a person is worse than rape, for when a person who has raped, asks for remission of his sins, God forgives him; but when a person who has spoken ill of another, asks for forgiveness, God will never forgive him unless the person who had been harmed forgives the gossiper.
Another tradition states that a sinner who commits an act of sin openly and does not care for anybody, is not to be respected nor talking against him is non-permissible.
According to a reliable tradition from Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), a person before whom anohter person is uttering libels about a fellow-momin and the addressee instead praises his fellow-momin, then God will praise and encourage him on the Day of Judgement. A person, if inspite of having authority, does not stop another person from speaking ill about a fellow-momin and does not praise the fellow-momin, then God will make that person worthy of contempt on the Day of Judgemment.
According to a reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), a person who abuses another momin or talks with others to purposely bring out the faults of another momin that his bravery and kindness should be underestimated and people resultingly look down on him, then God will exclude this blasphemer from His blessings and kindness and he will be thought of as an assistant and follower of the shaitan.
A tradition from Imam Zainul Aabedin (a.s.) states that a momin who restrains himself from speaking ill of another momin, God will forgive all his sins on the Day of Judgement.
It is stated from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that one should not get happy at the misfortunes affecting a fellow-momin, for it is possible that God may shower his kindness on the victim and take away that curse from him and make victim of the one who was laughing at the other's misfortune (unfortunates).
According to many reliable traditions, next to a kafir (non-believer) are those who make friends with a momin pretentiously to find out his faults and sins and remember them that they may later on be able to criticise the momin and blame him.
Another tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that a person who utters libels about a brother momin is made devoid of faith as faith melts away from his heart as salt melts in water.
It is stated that once the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) questioned the people wheter he should show them the persons who are worse than everyone. When the gathering replied in the affirmative, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) stated that those people are abominable who gossip unnecessarity, who separate friends and associates a certain fault with those who are deviod of it.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has also stated that if two people get angry with each other and do not talk within three days then they are exterminated from the fold of Islam and the person who makes the first gesture to reunite is the person who will enter heaven first.