Qalbe Saleem: Immaculate Conscience


Title: Qalbe saleem: immaculate conscience

Author(s): Ayatullah Sayyid Abdul Husayn Dastghaib Shirazi

Publisher(s): Qum , Ansariyan publication، 2000 = 1379.

Appearance: 382 p

Congress Classification: BP247/8/د5ق 804952 1379

Dewey decimal classification: 297/61

National bibliography number: م 84-28143

Category: Ethics

Topic Tags: Ethics Immaculate Conscience


سرشناسه : دستغیب، عبدالحسین، 1360 - 1292

Dastghaib, Abdul Hussain

عنوان قراردادی : [قلب سلیم. انگلیسی]

عنوان و نام پديدآور : Qalbe saleem: immaculate conscience/ by Dastghaib Shirazi; translated by Athar Husain S. H. Rizvi

مشخصات نشر : QumAnsariyan publication، 2000 = 1379.

مشخصات ظاهری : ص 382

وضعیت فهرست نویسی : فهرستنویسی قبلی

یادداشت : کتابنامه به صورت زیرنویس

عنوان دیگر : قلب سلیم. انگلیسی

عنوان دیگر : Qalbe Saleem: immaculate conscience

ترجمه عنوان : (قلب سلیم ...)

موضوع : اخلاق اسلامی

شناسه افزوده : رضوی، اطهر حسین ، .Rizvi, Athar Husainمترجم

رده بندی کنگره : BP247/8/د5ق 804952 1379

رده بندی دیویی : 297/61

شماره کتابشناسی ملی : م 84-28143


An elaborate text that describes extensively the sins and diseases of the heart, as seen through the light of the Qur'an and the narrations (ahadith) of the Ahlulbayt ('a).

Mission of the Prophets


He it is Who raised among the inhabitants of Mecca an Apostle from among themselves, who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom, although they were before certainly in clear error. (Surah Jum’ah 62:2)

Quranic verses like the one quoted above and traditions of Ahlul Bayt show that the primary aim of sending the Prophets was to teach and train the people and to purify them.

These two things themselves have a special aim. Training and purification of self is indispensable to the perfection of humanity.

They are so closely related to each other that they cannot be separated. Both of them are required to achieve the perfection of human beings. Without them, humanity will not reach to perfection. If this were not true the Almighty Allah would not have made the aim if His Prophets as such.

Training and self-purification means knowledge and action

1) Training: Training denotes the missionary program sent by Allah and it is related to Him.

And teaches them the Book and the Wisdom. (Surah Jumah 62:2).

This portion of the verse shows that training is related to two things, 'Book' and 'Wisdom'. Actually both are one and the same. 'Book' means the knowledge of

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the Holy Quran and wisdom denotes the secret of the creation of the Universe. In other words 'Book' is the codification of religious law and 'Wisdom' means the realities connected with creation of the universe and it is related to natural factors. For example the Almighty has created the universe. Now this is not a religious command.

Therefore, one who intends to acquire perfection and righteousness must strive for Quranic knowledge. One should study it and act upon it. The verses regarding the oneness of Allah, His names, attributes and Divine acts must be studied with concentration and through this exercise we must strengthen our basic beliefs. We must also pay attention to the laws of Shariah. We must perform obligatory acts and shun prohibited ones. We must also ponder on the verses with regard to Day of Judgment. Through these verses each one of us must create a longing for Paradise and a fear of Hell. In this way a man is gradually persuaded to perform good deeds and distance himself from evil deeds.

There are many verses of the Quran concerning wisdom and which cannot be understood by the five senses of man. A study of these verses indeed tells man regarding his origin and his destination. What is the aim behind the creation of man and other creatures? And why they subsequently leave the world? What is the purpose of designing and devising the long caravan of creatures and created things? The reply to the questions is the

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foundation of Quran.

Knowledge sans actions or a fruitless Branch

2) Purification: The second aspect or component of the mission of the Prophets is to purify men from evil behavior and spiritual defects. In other words, results have to be achieved both in the matter of belief as well as deeds. Knowledge and belief and good deeds together make the soul pure of bad morals and evil. They purify the soul. Faith is a field and action is the seed. Even if the best quality seeds are sowed in a barren land and watered too, there will be no results.

Not only this, even the seeds will be wasted. The soil and the seeds must be compatible for maximum benefit. Similarly if the soil is fertile but it is not sowed with seeds, it will not be able to put forth any vegetation or fruits.

The fruit of knowledge and deeds is the reform of soul and purification of soul from dirt. The actual aim of knowledge and deed is purification of soul.

If the causes of disease are not removed from the body the disease will worsen instead of being cured. This the actual import of the Quranic verses. Regarding the hypocrites, it says:

There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their disease and they shall have a painful chastisement because they lied. (Surah Baqarah 2:10).

In the same way Allah says,

And We reveal of the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers, and it adds only to the perdition of

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the unjust. (Surah Bani Israel 17:82).

Body and Soul

Thus we come to know that the teaching of Quran is related to two things, wisdom and self-purification, and wisdom denotes the secrets of creation and belief of the affairs related to the Hereafter. In other words wisdom is the recognition of truth and self-purification is related to the permissible and the prohibited. Beliefs and actions, both are the result of Quranic teachings, and the combined result of both of them is self-purification. Self-purification also has two stages.

The first stage is outward and apparent purification and the second is internal and hidden. In order to purify the soul and to obtain the proper results of beliefs and actions, it is necessary to remove obstacles and all those things that nullify the effects of beliefs and actions. This apparent self-purification is achieved through cleansing the organs and limbs and by worship and obedience. That is, the physical body is involved in this stage, whereas the internal purification is related to the absolute cleansing of the soul.

Sins related to the body and soul

Self-purification through organs and limbs denotes keeping away from Greater sins. Unless and until one avoids the Greater sins one should not have the assurance that his deeds will be accepted.

The Holy Quran has clearly mentioned:

Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil).(1)1

Also, the Almighty Allah has made self-purification the path for achieving guidance and righteousness. Allah says,

Those who believe and do not mix up their faith with iniquity, those are they who shall have the security and they

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1- Surah Maidah 5:27.

are those who go aright.(1)2

Anything that is beyond the limits of injustice and away from the straight path is injustice. Thus no one must have any trait that is evil according to reason or that which the Shariah prohibits. If one is apparently a believer but has one of those evil traits, his belief will not serve any purpose because he has mixed up his faith with some sort of injustice.

At another place, Allah says,

And whoever is preserved from the niggardliness of his soul, these it is that are the successful ones.(2)3

Thus it means that if someone is, God forbid, a miser, he is away from salvation even though he might be a believer. This very fact has been mentioned in the traditional reports: “A miserly believer is nearer to the fire of Hell than a generous infidel.” This tells us that till the time we remove each and every evil trait from our character we cannot become perfect human beings and would not be able to achieve real salvation.

Duty of the religious Scholars

The successors of the prophets should continue the program of teaching and self-purification. During the occultation of Imam az-Zaman (Twelfth Imam) this important duty rests on the independent religious jurisprudents (Mujtahids) and just jurists. Quranic verses and traditions inform us that education and self-purification requires two necessary conditions. First of them is derivation of Islamic Law (Ijtihad) and the other is justice. The concerned verse says,

And it does not beseem the believers that they should go forth all together; why should

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1- Surah Anam 6:82.
2- Surah Hashr 59:9.

not then a company from every party from among them go forth that they may apply themselves to obtain understanding in religion, and that they may warn their people when they come back to them that they may be cautious?(1)

In the same way a tradition says, “It is incumbent for the people to obey the religious jurisprudent (Mujtahid), who controls his self, guards his religion, opposes his carnal desires and obeys the commands of his master.”

On the basis of this, the leader and guide must have achieved the limits of belief in foundations of faith and should have reached perfection in it. So that he makes the people gain divine recognition (Ma’arifat) and make their beliefs firm. In the same way he should be well versed with the laws of religion so that he can advise people regarding their duties and prohibitions. He must also be purified of immoral qualities so that he can serve as an example and people may benefit from his words and behavior.

Compilation of Greater Sins, an Important Step

Thus the first duty of the scholars is to make people aware of the permissible and the prohibited. This is a very important task. But so far we didn't have any comprehensive book in Persian that deals with the Greater sins in detail, so that the general public may have access to it. This blessing was in the fortune of Ayatullah Dastghaib Shirazi.

After devoting a number of years the Ayatullah has completed the magnum opus named Greater sins. Eager and truth perceiving public

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1- Surah Tawbah 9:122.

has accorded a great welcome to this book. Thousands of copies of this book have been published in two editions. A new deluxe edition is planned for the future.

Qalbe Saleem (Immaculate Conscience) and Gunahane Kabira (Greater Sins)

Fortunately the aim of the respected author is to guide people and help in the purification of their souls. After completing Gunahane Kabira he was busy in writing a book that deals with the sins of the heart, that being the second important stage of religious guidance. Actually the book, Qalbe Saleem is a sequel to Gunahane Kabira. The collection of topics and arrangement of the subject matter was entrusted to me and by the Grace of Allah, the book is complete and published in a good format.

Responsibility of the Respected Readers

I consider it my duty to remind that those who are interested in such material have an important responsibility. They must propagate this book among their family and friend circles and help in propagation of religion. They can fulfill the duty that is made obligatory on them by religion and conscience. It is the best method of Commanding Good and Prohibiting Evil.

I also thank all those who have cooperated in preparation and publication of these books. I hope they will continue to extend their help and encourage writers and publishers.

Sayyid Muhammad Hashim Dastghaib.

Tehran 1st Zilqad 1392 A.H.

8 December 1972 A.D.


Qalbe Saleem

(Immaculate Conscience)

The day on which property will not avail, nor sons. Except him who comes to Allah with a heart free (from evil).(1)5

Sin of the Heart

Human beings are made up of a physical body and a soul.

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1- Surah Shuara 26:88-89.

Everyone has a visible existence and an invisible entity. Also, man is either righteous or evil-minded. Whether righteous or evil, the character of man consists of two aspects. One aspect of his character becomes visible through his physical body.

For example a person prays, fasts, performs Hajj or gives charity. Or he may be involved in sinful activities like drinking, gambling and fornication etc. All these types of deeds are performed and become apparent through his physical body. Another aspect of human character is connected with his inner dimensions and thoughts. For example, belief (Iman), love, fear, hope, satisfaction or for example, disbelief, hypocrisy, hatred and pride. All these aspects become apparent only when a person wants to make them apparent.

Evil deeds that are related to physical body are also prohibited by Almighty Allah. It is obligatory for every person to be aware of all such evils and to refrain from them. In the same way evils of the heart are also sinful and Allah Almighty has commanded us to shun them. We must be cognizant of evils of thoughts and heart also. We must also refrain from such deeds and try our best to keep our hearts free from such sins.

Quran and the sins of the heart

The Almighty has warned against sinful thoughts in a number of places in the Quran. For example, in Surah Baqarah Allah says:

But He will call you to account for what your hearts have earned, and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.(1)6

In the same chapter a person who hides testimony is referred

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:225.

to as a sinner of the heart. The Quran says:

And do not conceal testimony, and whoever conceals it, his heart is surely sinful.(1)


And whether you manifest what is in your minds or hide it, Allah will call you to account according to it.(2)8

Similarly, in Surah Bani Israel, the divine words say,

Surely the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned about that.(3)9

It means that the eyes will be questioned for what they have beheld, the ears for whatever they heard and the heart for all the thoughts it harbored. Furthermore, in Surah Nur, Allah states:

Surely (as for) those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter; and Allah knows, while you do not know.(4)10

This verse has refrained us from desiring that evil may befall the people of belief (Muslims). It is a sin of the heart and earns a terrible chastisement. In the same way Allah says in Surah Anam:

And abandon open and secret sin.(5)

Some commentators of the Holy Quran have mentioned that apparent sins are those that are related to the physical being and hidden evils are perpetrated in ones heart.

Thus, whenever evils and sins are discussed in Quranic verses and traditions, the sins of the heart are also included.

Sin of the Heart or inner disease

The evils of the heart are compared to disease of the heart in a number of places in the Quran:

There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:283.
2- Surah Baqarah 2:284.
3- Surah Bani Israel 17:36.
4- Surah Nur 24:19.
5- Surah Anam 6:120.


The above verse is speaking about the hypocrites.

Paradise is the abode of only those who possess a perfect heart

When a heart is clean and purified from all sorts of sins and evils, it is known as the “perfect heart” or in other words the correct or whole heart; a healthy heart. It is supposed to be the basis of righteousness. The verse of Surah Shuara says:

The day on which property will not avail, nor sons. Except him who comes to Allah with a heart free (from evil).(2)

Like wealth, all the worldly things are not beneficial in each and every circumstance. They are useful only in some few situations. For example, wealth profits us only during our lifetime, but after death what we require is a perfect and sinless heart. Without such a heart we cannot gain anything. One of the names of Paradise is 'Abode of peace' (Darus Salaam)

They shall have the abode of peace with their Lord.(3)

However, the exegesis of Quran mentions that “Darus Salaam” means the abode of those who shall be safe from every kind of disease and affliction. Consequently, those who are afflicted with the maladies of sins will have to remain in the infirmary of Hell till they are cured of every affliction and regain spiritual health.

Only after undergoing this process can they qualify to enter Paradise. But there are some diseases that are incurable, like disbelief, hypocrisy and enmity with Allah and holy personalities. People afflicted with such diseases have to remain in Hell forever.

What is ‘disease of the heart’?

Just as the physical body is either healthy or

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:10.
2- Surah Shuara 26:88-89.
3- Surah Anam 6:127.

diseased, in the same way heart is also healthy or sick. Physical health implies that all the organs work perfectly for the purpose they have been created for. The opposite of this implies physical disease.

That is, when the organs do not perform their duty properly and when their specialty and capability is no more, it is said that the body is sick. This results in discomfort and life becomes difficult. In the same way a healthy heart is one that possesses all the human qualities and emotions. It should have absolute and correct divine recognition (Ma’arifat) and it must be restful as far as the divine truths and beliefs are concerned, and it must be pure from all evil and animal feelings.

Refusal, doubt, jealousy, malice, miserliness, unsuitable friendship or enmity and in the same way, needless fear or hope etc. are different types of heart diseases. These ailments shall be discussed in detail in this book, all of which are against the nature on which man is created. This nature is known as 'The First Nature' (Fitrat-e-Awwaliya).

Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) says, “The human body has six conditions: Health or sickness, death or life, sleep or wakefulness. In the same way the human soul also has these conditions. Life of soul is its knowledge and ignorance is its death. Sickness of soul is it being involved in doubts and its health is firm belief. Stupor of the soul is that it is heedless while wakefulness is its awareness.”(1)

Imam Ali (a.s.)

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1- Biharul Anwar Vol. 14 Pg.398.

also says in Nahjul Balagha, “Beware! One of the calamities is hunger. And worst than that is physical sickness. More terrible than physical malady is the sickness of heart. And beware! One of the bounties is wealth. And better than wealth is physical health. More preferable than physical health is the piety of the heart.” This implies that the heart must be purified from all kinds of dirt and sins.

Harmful effects of the diseases of the Heart

When a particular part of the body is sick the whole body is under terrible pain and life becomes difficult. Similarly when one is afflicted with a spiritual malady one feels remorse in his worldly life also. He continues to be afflicted even after his death, about which the Shariah has informed in advance. Life becomes difficult due to spiritual maladies and sometimes he is even inclined to commit suicide.

The above discussion shows that incidence of suicide, especially among the youth, that is on the increase day by day, is a consequence of these spiritual diseases. The best prevention is to keep the heart pure from defects. How this can be achieved shall be explained in this book.

For example when we have a toothache we do not enjoy anything. All pleasures become tasteless in such condition and life becomes unbearable. In the same way ignorance, malice, pride, jealousy, arrogance, vanity and all other spiritual maladies have similar effect, like the jealous person who is always filled with remorse. Anger tortures the person himself. So much so that he even loses sleep.

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He is ever burning within by seeing that another person has obtained a particular status. He is ever waiting for the time when that person is again deprived of that bounty. Quite often a jealous person fails to recognize his wishes and perishes in the fire of jealousy.

Science and research has established that psychological disorders affect the physical body and result in physical maladies. Heartache and diseases also affect physical organs. The human body is affected by it and the organs fail to perform their designated functions. Rather, the effect of every disease is the same.

Physical sins are caused by diseases of the Heart

Heart is the ruler of the Kingdom called human body. The tongue moves in compliance with the commands of the heart. Similarly all the voluntary actions are related to it. Obviously, when the heart is sick and uncontrollable, the words and deeds of that person are in complete disorder. He will perform improper actions and utter rubbish, and his actions shall be against human nature.

They shall deviate from humanity and path of religion. Thus whatever sin a person commits, it is due to spiritual ailments. Therefore, reason dictates and religion commands us to make every effort to cure the disease of our heart. We must care more for the well being of our heart.

When the heart is in a bad shape the body is affected. The army commits injustice when the king is a weakling.(1)16

Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) says, “People of Ma’arifat (recognition) see that the worldly people are more concerned about physical death.

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1- Persian Couplet.

While more serious is the death of their hearts within their living bodies.”(1)

Physical death deprives the person of a few days of worldly pleasures. Those pleasures had also been accompanied by thousands of discomforts. However, the death of the heart and conscience deprives one of righteousness forever. The pure eternal pleasures turn their back towards him and man cannot spend a purified life of a human being, whether in this world or in the Hereafter.

Therefore we must not take the spiritual maladies lightly and we must not be careless with regard to their cure. Just as carelessness is unsuitable with physical diseases in the same way reason dictates that we pay utmost attention to such spiritual maladies, because they are more dangerous. Physical diseases can lead to death while spiritual diseases make one afflicted with eternal degradation.

Depravity of the Society

Different types of evils are increasing day by day in the society. Thinking upon the root cause of this we realize that all corruption, depravity and crimes are due to a type of psychological disease. And the same psychological disease or weakness instigates man to commit inhuman acts. Every type of unrest, robberies, unbridled passion, sensuality, drinking, drugs, destruction of family life, divorces, hard-heartedness, anger, suicide etc are due to one or the other kind of psychological disorders. In other words it is due to the lack of human feelings.

It is the responsibility of the government to take concrete steps for the psychological health of its subjects. Today psychological cure is more important

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1- Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 259.

than physical health. Sophisticated hospitals, clinics and medical colleges are established for physical aliments. Huge pharmaceutical companies are built to produce medicines. Numerous research laboratories are engaged in discovering new medicines. All of them aim to seek the cure of human sufferings. They are very much the need of the hour. But why are we oblivious of the psychological and spiritual ills?

Man is always caught in the trap of psychological diseases and in this same condition reaches the jaws of death. Why do people not take any step to save humanity from perdition? Rather, they act in the opposite way.

Knowingly or unknowingly, various propagandas are being carried out to destroy psychological health. Efforts are made to kill humanity and morals and to trap the human society in the quagmire of sensuality, unbridled passions and wantonness.

Jealousy, an Example

News reports mention that Swiss doctors have instituted a committee to find the cure of jealousy. This shows that doctors consider jealousy an ordinary disease that is harmful for human beings. Just as they are in search of new cures of tuberculosis and cancer in the same way they strive to arrive at a cure for jealousy.

We do not know, how and through which method these doctors have begun their research. Whether they shall be successful in their endeavor or not? Anyway a dignified thought process has been initiated and this alone is a cause for hope. People are aware of the disease of jealousy since times immemorial, but they have not been able to

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find the cure for it. They are unaware of the medicine that can cure this disease, which has destroyed families and made family life Hell. So much so that except for Islam even the other religions have nothing to offer against this terrible malady.

Ethical and moral schools are also ineffective. Humanity is continuously burning in this fire of conscience. Jealousy has taken hold of its victims like an evil spirit. We believe that jealousy is worse than cancer. Within a year cancer kills hundreds of people, but jealousy can destroy millions in a second. Most battles in history originated in jealousy.

Alexander had the quality of a crocodile. He used to look upon his contemporary kingdoms with a jealous eye. He had also invaded Iran. One of the factors that instigated him was jealousy.

It is said that he set the throne of Jamshed on fire and this fire reached upto the door and walls of the palace. Alexander witnessed this scene while enjoying wine, and he was laughing aloud in joy tempered with anger. That is, the flames of jealousy emitted from his mouth. Studies reveal that the fire of jealousy burnt forever in his heart.

The massacre and atrocities committed by Hitler in the Second World War were also rooted in jealousy. According to a writer Hitler was a very jealous person. He could not bear to see someone wearing better clothes than him. He used to be jealous of the person and in some way or the other

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he managed to destroy that dress. Hitler is supposed to have said in an interview, “I cannot bear to become aged and see young people occupying my position.”

An expert of history is of the opinion that the large-scale destruction perpetrated by Hitler was due to jealousy. He used to cool the flames of his jealousy by such gestures.(1)

It is good to know that a group of Swiss doctors are paying attention to a psychological disease. However, they should know that the cure of this disease and illnesses like it, is beyond human capacity. Only the Almighty Allah is aware of every apparent and hidden thing.

If Allah gives divine opportunity (Tawfeeq) it may be possible to derive the cure from the spiritual doctor and the heavenly book that is the Holy Quran. Every type of psychological disease and its cure is mentioned in the Quran.

It is also mentioned in the above report that, “Religious teachings and laws cannot take effective steps with regard to the cure of jealousy.”

If they mean to say that people have not made an effort to seek the cure from religious teachings it is correct. Otherwise there is no defect or deficiency in the Quranic teachings. Which Muslim has sincerely tried to learn Quranic sciences and act fully upon its laws, and in this way obtain the cure of his psychological ills?

Allah will definitely bestow a cure if one acts upon the Quranic teachings in totality after understanding them. The psychological diseases common in Muslims and

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1- Quoted from the Pars Daily, 63/33.

their decadence is due to the fact that they have turned away from the laws of Quran.

Whatever is there is due to our unregulated and unwieldy body. Otherwise your being was not shorter than anyone's height(1).

A Healthy soul and a Healthy Body

We have to follow a set of rules for maintaining physical health. One of the points is that there are some extra parts that must be separated from the human body. For example the unborn child in its mother's womb has these extra things that are removed after it is born. Like the covering membrane enveloping the whole body, the umbilical cord through which it derives nourishment from its mother and the foreskin of the penis that is removed in circumcision. These are the things that can be dangerous to health if not removed after the child is born.

In the same way there are some additional qualities that accompany the human soul by divine wisdom. They are beneficial to men only under special circumstances. These special occasions are specified by reason and Shariah. For example, ignorance, greed, miserliness, injustice, haste and the spirit of confrontation etc. All these are present in man since his inception as confirmed by the Holy Quran:

Surely he is unjust, ignorant.(2)

Surely man is created of a hasty temperament.(3)

and whoever is saved from the greediness of his soul, these it is that are the successful.(4)

Man is created of haste.(5)

And man is most of all given to contention.(6)

In the same way man is described as possessing other evil traits also. He is most

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1- Persian Couplet.
2- Surah Ahzab 33:72.
3- Surah Maryam 70:19.
4- Sura at-Taghabun, 64:16.
5- Surah Anbiya 21:37.
6- Surah Kahf 18:54.

ungrateful (Surah Zukhruf 43:15), very niggardly (Surah Bani Israel (7:100), very prone to despair (Surah Hud 11:9), easily frightened (Surah Ma'arij 70:20) very hasty (Surah Bani Israel 17:11) etc. The Quran has also described the infidels to be blind, dumb, deaf and worse than quadrupeds. For example,

Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve…(1)25

And also,

Deaf, dumb (and) blind, so they do not understand.(2)26

Quran has mentioned many such kinds of spiritual diseases and their cure shall be described in detail in this book. For the time being we should know that these qualities could be put to use only as far as reason and Shariah permit. We must strive to bring them under control if they exceed these limits.

Like for instance, miserliness is very much present in man. However, it should be restricted only for circumstances that man abstains from spending a single penny in illegal acts. He must also not waste money or spend it in useless things. He must be miserly in spending his life and wealth in any way other than those approved by Allah. He should not however prove to be a miser when he has to spend all this in the way of Allah.

You are given the axe to cut wood not that you hit the people on their heads.(3)

Cleanliness of the Body from the food consumed

A portion of the food consumed by human beings is able to become a part of their body and the rest is ejected in urine and stool. Some food ingredients are responsible

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1- Surah Anfal 8:55.
2- Surah Baqarah 2:171.
3- Persian Couplet.

for the growth of nails and hair and some get evaporated in the form of sweat. The fats that accumulate in the body are derived from specific food components and they are deposited on the internal walls, sometimes causing difficulty in breathing.

The human body cleans itself continuously so that its well being is assured. We should trim our nails at least once a week. We must also shave the armpits and groin. Use of soap is necessary to remove oily substances on our body, otherwise our health shall be in peril.

In the same way, our clothes, houses, atmosphere and our food must be free of dirt and contamination.

Spiritual Hygiene is also Important

Just as cleanliness is necessary for physical health it is a must to purge the soul of psychological diseases in order to assure its well being. Spiritual diseases cause waywardness and depravity. They deprive man of righteousness. We must try to immunize ourselves against such ailments. To achieve this we must act upon the method recommended by the Quran.

Man becomes so busy in worldly preoccupations that he tends to forgo the remembrance of Allah and the Hereafter. He becomes so engrossed in quest of physical well being and material needs that he falls into heedlessness and depravity. Such people are few whom Allah praises in the following words,

Men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah.(1)28

A number of methods are taught by Quran to avoid heedlessness and the best among them is the five times daily prayer. The Almighty Allah

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1- Surah Nur 24:37.


And keep up prayer for My remembrance.(1)29


We must try to ensure that whatever we see, hear or receive through the use of our organs should not be harmful to our soul. But how can we know whether it is harmful or not? Well, the Islamic Shariah has informed us that we must act on a perfect reason and the divine law. We must abstain from every activity that causes spiritual ills. We must perform every action that is beneficial in getting rid of the diseases present in our soul and cause the soul to scale greater heights of perfection.

Materialist man has no spiritual cure

Physical diseases are such that can be perceived and recognized by the five senses of man. The Almighty Allah has provided their cure in this material world itself that man can obtain if he tries well enough or experiments on them.

The cases of spiritual diseases are different. The soul itself cannot be perceived by man with his five senses. The soul is not a material thing. Thus its diseases too do not have a material base. A layman cannot diagnose these spiritual diseases. It is beyond human capacity to have complete control over the working of the soul. Apart from this, no man is aware of the secrets of the soul and the cure for spiritual ills.

The Almighty Allah says regarding this that He has chosen a few persons and gave them the information of these unseen matters. He has appointed them as spiritual doctors and guides of humanity. And Allah appointed

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1- Surah Taha 20:14.

the Prophet Muhammad (S), the last Prophet as the chief of all these holy personalities.

The prophets are like the shepherds for the people. They are the guides in every aspect of life. Our Prophet is the leader of these prophets. He is the first and the last in this affair. The Almighty Allah has bestowed a favor on humanity by sending him.

Certainly Allah conferred a benefit upon the believers when He raised among them an Apostle from among themselves, reciting to them His communications and purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the wisdom.(1)

Here the word 'purifying' indicates the purging of all types of spiritual diseases from the heart, the details of which are being presented in this book. It is well understood from this verse that the aim of sending prophets is to illuminate the human hearts by the light of wisdom, to purify the soul from every uncleanness and to embellish them with all the great virtues. The Messenger of Allah (S) himself states, “I have been sent for the perfection of morals.”

Quran, The Message that Bestows life

The Book sent by the Merciful Lord through His exalted Prophet contains natural and spiritual laws. It has the message of life and teachings that enliven the hearts.

The Almighty says,

O you who believe! Answer (the call of) Allah and His Apostle when he calls you to that which gives you life.(2)31


Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like

p: 22

1- Surah Ali Imran 3:164.
2- Surah Anfal 8:24.

him whose likeness is that of one in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth?(1)32

“O living heart! You do not know who is a dead one! A corpse is one who does not remember Allah!”(2)

The Holy Quran says,

Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life.(3)34

The hearts, which are dead due to disbelief and hypocrisy, turn to belief and the real life if the solid proofs of Quran convince them. Thus it is this Quran, which is a cure for the hidden ailments.

And a healing for what is in the breasts.(4)

At another place the Quran says,

Say: It is to those who believe a guidance and a healing.(5)

And also,

And We reveal of the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers.(6)

Thus the Holy Quran is the absolute cure. It cures the spiritual diseases of its followers It is a clear mercy too. It bestows its believers with well being, health and fortitude. It teaches them to acquire good morals. It commands them to live peacefully in the society and obtain its benefits.

Refutation of a wrong notion

Due to lack of knowledge some people say: “The sins of the heart are such that they are committed widely.” They say that it is not possible for human beings to escape them. Therefore it is not our duty to avoid them. That is, it is not necessary to avoid them under the law of Shariah. Hence there is no divine chastisement for

p: 23

1- Surah Anam 6:122.
2- A couplet of Shaykh Sadi.
3- Surah Nahl 16:97.
4- Surah Yunus 10:57.
5- Surah Ha Mim 41:44.
6- Surah Bani Israel 17:82.

such things. Some people also say, “These are only moral teachings and it is not certain whether they are prohibited by Shariah.”

A Wrong Notion

The sins of the heart are those improper thoughts that often occur to people. It is not possible to prevent them from occurring to us. Therefore such matters do not fall within the purview of religious obligations and they do not carry divine chastisement.

However, there is a difference between the “Sin of the heart” and “thoughts.” The sins of the heart are such that one can prevent them from entering ones heart. If they are already present in ones heart they can be removed, while thoughts cannot be prevented.

For example you see a Muslim man at a wine shop. A thought comes to you that he is an alcoholic and he is there to purchase wine. This thought has entered your heart involuntarily. Now it depends upon you to give this thought a permanent place in your heart. You begin to think bad of the person and label him a drunkard and a transgressor. Thinking bad about a Muslim is a sin of the heart.

If you desire you can at once realize that it is a satanic instigation. You can justify the circumstances of that man. You can say that 'perhaps he has come for some other important errand'. 'May be that he is waiting for someone'. You can rid your heart of evil thoughts by finding such justifications.

Or for example, you see someone having possession of a new

p: 24

bounty. A thought strikes you immediately: Why did he get this bounty? If you at once realize that it is a satanic thought and by the light of your faith and knowledge you discard it from your mind there would be no sin on you. Involuntary thoughts are altogether among the forgiven deeds. Whenever a thought like this occurs to you, you must at once say to yourself that, 'Allah has given him these bounties. It is according to divine wisdom. To object to a divine act is equal to disbelief. Allah is having the power to give a similar or better bounty to me also.'

However, if you give a permanent place to this thought in your heart and wish that the person loses that bounty, you become afflicted with a sin of the heart, namely, jealousy.

Or for example, you have been hurt by a word or action of another person. Now it is possible for you to ignore it, forgive him or to take a suitable revenge. But if instead of this you become inimical to him and you hurt him more than he has harmed you, you shall be involved in the sin of the heart that is known as malice.

Thinking bad of someone, jealousy and malice, as you have seen are such things that find a permanent place in your heart. And it is within your powers to allow them to settle in your heart or not. It is also upto you whether you let them remain

p: 25

in your heart or throw them out. A passing thought, even if it is based on disbelief, is pardonable because it was involuntary and there is no sin for it.

To be cautious of Satanic whisperings is a sign of belief

It is mentioned in Usul al-Kafi that in the time of the Messenger of Allah (S) the Satan put an evil thought in the heart of a person. He said, “Who has created you?” “Allah”, replied this man. “Who has created Allah?” asked the Satan. This person was very aggrieved and worried due to this thought. He came to the Messenger of Allah (S) and said, “I am finished!” and then he narrated the details. The Holy Prophet (S) said, “By Allah! This is pure belief (Iman).”

That is, since he feared divine retribution, it showed that he was cautious of the Satan's whispering. Therefore it is a proof of belief and actual belief itself.

There are many traditions in Usul al-Kafi that imply that there shall be no punishment for unsuitable thoughts. These narrations state that one can avoid evil thoughts by reciting 'Laa ihaaha illallaah' (There is no God except Allah). Another tradition mentions a command to recite Allah's remembrance by saying “Aamanna billahi wa rasulihi, wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billaah.” (We believe in Allah and His Messengers and there is no power and might except by Allah).

Our discussion so far has shown us that the sins of the heart are the things that remain behind in the heart and we have control over them. They are not

p: 26

like passing thoughts. This book shall prove the illegality of each of these sins from the point of view of Islamic law.

There is no other way

The cure of spiritual diseases and the well being and health of the heart are not such that some person should consider them easy or ignore them. It requires a great effort. One has to fight against self. Sometimes we have to forgo pleasures. It is not that we disregard those pleasures. Rather, at that time we are sacrificing a lesser pleasure for something much higher and pleasurable. All this becomes necessary for a pure human life. In order to reach such heights we have to consider difficulty as ease and consider problems to be bounties.

Consider grief as comfort because the aim has become higher. You perceive hyena's eye around the flock of sheep as if it is a mother of pearl.

A person with a healthy heart spends his life in peace and ease. He achieves the satisfaction of his Lord. The worldly grief is compensated by spiritual delights. When a person with a peaceful heart departs from this world he begins a life that is absolutely restful and filled with pleasures. He is offered such bounties as the eye has never seen, the ear never heard and no one has even imagined them. He achieves a real kingdom. Whatever he desires is at once presented to him.

And when you see there, you shall see blessings and a great kingdom.(1)

An Astounding Fact

How surprising that man goes to great lengths to assure

p: 27

1- Surah Dahr 76:20.

his physical health and well being. He spends a great part of his wealth on it and even takes bitter medicines and gets himself operated. But he does nothing for the well being of his heart. He pays no heed to the cure of his spiritual diseases. The matter of spiritual health is much more important than physical health. But man makes no effort to get this cure. He ignores the advice of Allah and the Prophet regarding these internal ailments.

He is completely heedless. Whatever worldly discomforts he has to suffer due to spiritual diseases, he resigns himself to them. He considers the punishment that awaits him in the Hereafter to be distant. He has no faith in it. The doctor says: This disease could prove fatal and he believes it at once.

Till his last moments he strives to be cured. But when Allah and the Prophet say, “The spiritual diseases are indeed fatal!” It is surprising that man is not prepared to accept that he is prone to harm of spiritual illnesses. Even if there had been a slightest risk, reason would have compelled him to take precautionary measures.

Allah only tells you to abstain from wine in this life. The doctor only tells you to avoid sweets when you have jaundice.

You do not forgo a prohibited act for the sake of religion when Allah says. But for the sake of physical health you forgo a permissible thing?(1)39

The curtain of heedlessness will be removed at the time of

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1- Persian Couplets

death. Man shall see himself and his diseases. But at that time he shall find no cure for them. No matter how much he entreats Allah, no matter how much he repents, it shall not be of any use.

Lest a soul should say: O woe to me! For what I fell short of my duty to Allah.(1)

Prescription is not a cure

Some Muslims think that it is sufficient to recite the formula of Faith. They think that it is enough that the Holy Quran is a heavenly and a religious book. They keep it on a shelf. On a high shelf. They do not read its verses with introspection. They do not act upon its exalted method of living. However, if a doctor writes a prescription one does not act in this way. That is, keep it in the pocket and feel content with it or keep it on a high shelf. One does not rest till one purchases the medicines prescribed in it and till one takes them. It would certainly be illogical to go to a doctor, get a prescription from him and just sit at home. Common sense prevents such behavior.

Disbelief is not the only Spiritual Disease

There are some other Muslims who act upon some of the Quranic commands. For example they offer prayers, keep fasts etc. But there is no soul of life in their actions. They ignore other teachings of the Quran. Over and above this, they consider themselves owners of 'Qalbe Saleem' (an immaculate conscience).

They think that divine retribution prescribed for spiritual diseases concerns

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1- Surah Zumar 39:56

only the disbelievers. Due to this wrong notion they become proud and continue in this compounded ignorance forever. (Compounded ignorance is that they are ignorant of their ignorance!)

They have a mistaken notion that the only spiritual disease is Disbelief. It is only one of its kinds. There are many other spiritual ailments and Quran has mentioned their cures in various places.

Despite being a Muslim, one can be afflicted with spiritual diseases. The following two verses are sufficient to prove this statement.

If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease and the agitators in the city do not desist, We shall most certainly set you over them.(1)

And that those in whose hearts is a disease and the unbelievers may say: What does Allah mean by this parable?(2)

As you see both these verses mention Muslims who have disease in the heart, which is why they are mentioned separately along with the disbelievers and hypocrites.

Now who is that Muslim who has never been a target of changing thoughts and satanic whisperings? Who has remained steadfast in Allah's service and never looked towards or attracted by evil? Who could claim to be absolutely pure of selfish desires? All these are some of the diseases of the heart, and polytheism is just one of its kind. Allah says,

And most of them do not believe in Allah without associating others (with Him).(3)43

It is related from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that “associating” in this verse implies associating in obedience. On one hand people believe in the

p: 30

1- Surah Ahzab 33:60.
2- Surah Muddassir 74:31.
3- Surah Yusuf 12:106.

Oneness of Allah and consider Him alone worthy of worship. But on the other hand they obey the Satan also. They become obedient to him in performing sinful acts. Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Indeed this verse is aimed at more than two-thirds of the people.”(1)44

Who is that Muslim who has remained free all his life from jealousy, malice, pride and greed? The Holy Quran has mentioned the spiritual ailments. Thus it is obligatory upon all Muslims to study them. In addition to the Quran they must also pay attention to the sayings of the Prophet's Progeny (Ahlul Bayt). They should act upon the laws framed by the scholars based on Quran and traditions. Beware, that the chance of repentance passes away.

Lack of belief is real ignorance

Such diseases that are compared to blindness, dumbness and deafness by the Holy Quran afflict a heart that is bereft of faith,

Deaf, dumb (and) blind, so they do not understand.(2)

That is, the hearts of those whose ears are incapable of hearing the truth, whose tongues cannot speak truth and whose eyes cannot see the reality.

The Quran also says,

And whoever is blind in this, he shall (also) be blind in the hereafter.(3)

This verse and other such verses inform us that in the Hereafter the apparent form of people will be the same as their inner form. For example,

On the day when hidden things shall be made manifest.(4)

Thus one who has not seen Allah with his inner eye, has not trusted the truth and has not aligned himself with the right

p: 31

1- Usul al-Kafi.
2- Surah Baqarah 2:171.
3- Surah Bani Israel 17:72.
4- Surah Tariq 86:9.

way, in the Hereafter, too, he shall not be able to see Allah's bounties. In the same way one who has not perceived truth by the ears of his heart and has not accepted it, he would not be able to hear the pleasurable bounties of Paradise and its inmates.

Such hearts do not have a healthy faith. Hearts bereft of faith are sick. The Almighty says,

There is a disease in their hearts.(1)

So a seal is set upon their hearts.(2)

Nay, on the hearts there are locks.(3)

Nay! Rather, what they used to do has become like rust upon their hearts.(4)51

They are as cattle, nay, they are in worse errors.(5)

Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve.(6)

A disbeliever is worse than animals

The superiority of men over animals is that Allah has given human beings the capacity to perceive the truth. He can heed advice and act upon it. One who does not use this ability is deprived of the status of a human being. All that remains in him is a beast or an animal.

In the first supplication of Sahifa Sajjadiya Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) says, “And were they to be such, they would certainly have gone beyond the bounds of humanity into the frontiers of beastliness. They would have conformed to the description which He has given in His Unique Book, saying, “What are they except like brutes or even more aberrant from the way?”

The Dead

The Holy Quran refers to the disbelievers as dead men. It says,

Surely you do not make the

p: 32

1- Surah Baqarah 2:10.
2- Surah Munafiqoon 63:3.
3- Surah Muhammad 47:24.
4- Surah Mutafaffefeen 83:14.
5- Surah Araaf 7:179
6- Surah Anfal 8:55.

dead to hear, and you do not make the deaf to hear the call when they go back retreating.(1)54

We should know that belief is the nourishment of the soul. If the body does not get proper nourishment it's shape and capabilities deteriorate. If this continues the capacities are destroyed completely. This ultimately leads to death.

The same can be said for a soul that lacks belief. Lack of belief causes this soul to become afflicted with spiritual diseases. In comparison to this his humanity becomes weak. He becomes heedless of a pure and spiritual life. Till finally the human being in him dies and he becomes involved in eternal perdition.

Death of the Soul

There is a great difference between physical and spiritual death. When the physical body dies its physical discomfort is over. Just like a bird that escapes from a cage. However, even after the death of the soul its pain does not terminate. Not only one is troubled by the spiritual ailments one is also tortured by the bad morals that are the consequences of this.

Then therein he shall neither live nor die.(2)

He shall be involved in a life-death struggle. He would not die so that he could get rid of the pain. Neither would he get a life of comfort.

The Holy Quran also says,

Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like him whose likeness is that of one in utter darkness whence he cannot

p: 33

1- Surah Naml 27:80
2- Surah Alaa 87:13

come forth?(1)

Similarly the verse,

Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life.(2)

These verses prove that apart from this animal life man also has another kind of purified life. One must obtain such a life. Traditions have compared it to the spirit of faith (Ruhul Iman). One who posses this life remains forever in peace and safety and in such a well being that there is no existence of fear or terror. He gains everlasting joy and happiness.

Why should he not be pleased? He can see, hear and feel such things, as the other people are incapable of. A person whose humanity is alive is submerged in the sea of divine friendship in this world and the Hereafter. He remains happy due to his proximity to Allah.

More Ugly than a Monkey!

As we have mentioned, the outward appearance of man shall resemble his inner self. Everyone will be raised in his spiritual form. All those who are evil in this world and possess beastly qualities, those that are beyond the frontiers of humanity and lack the spirit of belief or a purified life, they shall be deprived of the real elegance on the Day of Judgment.

They shall be raised in terrible forms. Muhaddith Faiz has quoted a tradition in his book Ainul Yaqeen,

“People shall be raised in such terrible forms that monkeys and pigs are better.”

For more details please refer to my book Ma'ad.(3)

Peaceful life and a comfortable Hereafter

If someone asks: You say that the

p: 34

1- Surah Anam 6:122.
2- Surah Nahl 16:97.
3- Also published in English by Ansarian Publications and available on line at: [9]

life of the faithful is pure in both the worlds. A believer always remains in comfort, bounties and happiness. On the other hand the disbeliever is involved in grief and calamities! He is a prisoner of selfish desires. He is in everlasting depravity and sorrow. But we see that many faithful people are involved in various calamities, difficulties and problems. While on the other hand a large number of infidels spend their life in affluence and comfort?

The reply to this objection is that the heart of a believer is like a garden. A believer has to face material difficulties in the world. But he is not aggrieved of these problems. These thorns only prick the body and are confined within the boundaries of the garden. However, the garden of the heart has no place for these thorns. Even in this material world the soul of the believer is safe from all calamities.

Those are they who shall have the security and they are those who go aright.(1)

The sole desire of a believer in this world is that his Lord should be pleased with him. Such a person does not despair due to failures and material setbacks. He considers only Allah as his guardian and the guardian of others. He recognizes the power, wisdom and mercy of Allah. He considers Allah his Master and considers himself His slave.

That is because Allah is the Protector of those who believe, and because the unbelievers shall have no protector for them.(2)

Thus a believer does

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1- Surah Anam 6:82.
2- Surah Muhammad 47:11.

not become sorrowful and aggrieved by the difficulties of this worldly life. They do not even make him angry. Allah keeps the hearts of the believer peaceful in this world also.

He it is Who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers.(1)61

Hope in Allah, the strongest support for a believer

A believer always faces adversity with determination. He does not stumble, nor does his feet tremble. He does not fall down on this path. He knows that behind every calamity is hidden wisdom and he alone shall be eligible for the benefit of this hidden wisdom. All that he hopes from Allah is that He removes this difficulty or in this way recompenses it so that even the physical pain does not remain for him.

If you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain, and you hope from Allah what they do not hope.(2)

That is, you hope for salvation from problems, forgiveness and rewards, but the unbelievers have no such hopes. They remain forever in the darkness of hopelessness.

The disbeliever’s heart is a Horrible Ruin

The heart of a believer is not worried of problems and difficulties. Only they affect his physical and apparent body. Whereas all the happiness that faithless people achieve is limited to their apparent selves. Rather their hearts are such terrible ruins that they are never inhabited by such pleasures. The darkness of their hearts cannot be dispelled by their sensual desires. Their hearts remain restless, uncomfortable and sorrowful.

Actually these desires are the coverings of the heart. The interior of these hearts is filled with dread and

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1- Surah Fath 48:4.
2- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:104.

horror. An infidel tries to remain engrossed in worldly matters so that he could forget his internal ache. However, these desires cause a lot of burning in the wilderness of his heart. They increase the desolateness of his heart. It is another matter if he keeps himself ignorant of this reality. When the activities of this world come to an end such people will taste the horrifying and terrible Hell.

The Quran says,

Certainly you were heedless of it, but now We have removed from you your veil, so your sight today is sharp.(1)

That is, now you are seeing things that you did not even imagine before.

The Unbeliever’s dread will never end

The unbeliever has to bear the difficulties in this world also. He remains forever in poverty or disease. The enemy always has an upper hand on him. Whenever he is not busy in the fulfillment of his carnal desires he sits down in shame and despair. Everywhere he sees the darkness of disbelief and hopelessness.

He has no hope in the Almighty. Comparing himself to the world he feels degraded. Seeing the condition of his life he becomes sorrowful. He complains with his tongue and this continues till he begins to prefer death and commits suicide thinking that this would relieve him from the worldly difficulties. However, it was a wrong notion. He is not annihilated by physical death. The horror of his heart remains with him forever. There is no escape from all this for a disbeliever while they remain on disbelief.

And whoever turns away

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1- Surah Qaf 50:22.

from My reminder, his shall be a straitened life, and We will raise him on the day of resurrection, blind.(1)

And those whose hearts are not illuminated by the light of faith they shall be deprived of light in the Hereafter also.

It shall be said: Turn back and seek a light.(2)

Joy and Sorrow

No matter how happy an unbeliever may seem in this life, his heart is always sorrowful and under stress. First of all he cannot fulfill all his desires. Human desires are unlimited. Due to various hurdles he is not able to achieve even one percent of his wishes. That is why he burns forever in the fire of depravation and finds himself surrounded by the difficulties imposed on him by the barriers. Another thing is that he is always fearful of losing the bounties he possesses. He knows that his material treasure is going to be destroyed one day and that it shall be taken away from him by death.

Now it is Allah and the faith in the Day of recompense that can keep a man happy. A believer is content even when there is scarcity of bounties. He doesn't even fear the destruction of his material belongings. He knows that the best of bounties, better than material things is present in his very heart. And that is faith in Allah. Even with regard to the Hereafter he is happy due to the hope he reposes in his Lord.

Say: In the grace of Allah and in His mercy in that they

p: 38

1- Surah Taha 20:124.
2- Surah Hadid 57:13.

should rejoice.(1)66

Acquire as much belief as possible

From the discussion so far we realize that the greatest treasure for man in this world and the Hereafter is a healthy and a perfect soul and it should not be afflicted with the disease of the absence of faith. In the same way greatest misfortune for man in both the worlds is absence of belief. Thus it is most important for us to strive to gain belief. We should always try to increase our faith.

When the heart is illuminated by faith, most diseases are cured automatically. Lack of faith is a fatal disease of the heart and it causes other spiritual ailments or worsens them. Thus we should keep ourselves safe from this deadly illness.

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) is quoted in Tafsir Safi explaining the exegesis of the throne verse (Ayatul Kursi): “Allah is the guardian of those who have accepted belief. Allah brings these very people from the darkness into Light. That is, He brings them out from the darkness of sins into the light of repentance and forgiveness.” Thus the most important thing is belief. One can keep aloof from every type of evil due to ones faith alone.

Belief means Certainty

It should not remain unsaid that belief means certainty in the necessary facts regarding Tawheed (Oneness of Allah) and Day of Judgment. Such a belief is effective in curing the diseases of the heart and the light of certainty guides man to the truth that Allah is his creator and the Creator of other people. All of

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1- Surah Yunus 10:58

us are slaves of the Almighty. Allah has bestowed all that we possess. Everything belongs to Allah.

We all have to return to the Day of Judgment and the world of recompense (Hereafter). One who has faith in these fundamentals is free from diseases like jealousy, greed and enmity. The brilliance and luminosity of the light of certainty dispels all the shadows and ailments. If there remain in us moral ills we should know that either we lack certainty of belief or it is very weak.

Conclusion of this Introduction

Thus anyone who wishes to have a peaceful heart and the best of the world and the Hereafter should achieve certainty regarding the beliefs. It is the cure for numerous diseases. He must give precedence to this over his other desires. The aim of this introduction was to emphasize the importance of certainty for our respected readers. The foundation of all beliefs rests on certainty.

Therefore we have kept the section on beliefs before the section on morals. If divine assistance continues we shall soon discuss in detail the diseases of disbelief, hypocrisy, polytheism and doubt. We shall also mention their cures and describe the method of achieving certainty. In the next section we shall describe the Moral ills.

First Disease-Disbelief


Disbelief denotes denial and rejection of something that is considered true by human nature and a healthy reason. Nature and reason feel obliged to believe in it. Among such things is the belief in Allah, the Prophets and the Day of Recompense. Every sane person

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understands that there must be someone who has brought him and other things into existence.

And that Creator is Wise and Powerful. When man thinks upon it he becomes certain of the Wisdom and Power of the Creator of the Universe. Contemplation also makes him certain that this life is not all that is and that after death man shall be annihilated.

Had it been so this creation shall be in vain. However, since the Almighty is Wise and All knowing there must be another life for human beings where righteousness of all shall be manifested and everyone shall be recompensed for their deeds.

We also gain certainty that Allah has not left man on his own. He has appointed guides from their own genre (human beings). The guides of humanity are also human, whom Allah has sent to guide people towards salvation. In brief we can say that belief in Oneness of God, Prophethood and Day of Judgment is based on human nature and common sense.

All three of these roots of religion are self evident or axiomatic. Deep contemplation and complicated reasoning is not required to bring faith in them. Even a little thoughtfulness convinces the unimpaired reason to acquire belief in these fundamentals. In spite of this if someone rejects these basics he is afflicted with the worst of spiritual and psychological diseases. And if he remains in this condition he ultimately loses his humanity and falls into eternal perdition.

The disease of disbelief is like the disease of the

p: 41

stomach for man. It is like severe indigestion that one cannot even swallow anything. And if something is swallowed forcibly the stomach throws it out in vomit. If such an ailment is not cured, all the physical capacities are destroyed and the person dies. In the same way if one has chronic disbelief and does not forgo enmity and obstinacy, the Almighty Allah increases his disbelief in this world.

So Allah added to their disease.(1)

Actually he is being given whatever he himself had desired. He is made to tread the path that he has chosen for himself.

We will turn him to that to which he has (himself) turned…(2)

Allah increases the guidance of one who accepts belief and seeks guidance. He increases the luminosity of his belief. Then he becomes a devotee of whatever he gains recognition (Ma’arifat) of. And he flees from every evil.

And (as for) those who follow the right direction, He increases them in guidance.(3)

Consequence of Disbelief

The result of disbelief is that the heart becomes absolutely blind. Now it cannot discriminate between truth and falsehood. Nor can it understand what is wrong and what is right. The reality of humanity is that due to this quality man can understand the reality of different things and is aware of them. Disbelief causes him to fall from this height of humanity and he becomes debased like beasts.

No goodness can be expected from him. There is a continuous increase in his spiritual and internal ailments. Now he cannot find the cure for

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:10.
2- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:115.
3- Surah Muhammad 47:17.

any of his aches. He does not recognize any of his evil traits so that he can avoid it. The capacity to differentiate good and evil is destroyed. Far from finding a cure, he does not even accept that he is spiritually sick.

Two Types of Disbeliefs

Disbelief is of two types. One of it is due to ignorance and immaturity, and the other is despite having knowledge and intentionally. An ignorant disbeliever is one who does not wish to recognize the truth. He denies truth because he cannot recognize it and thus he does not accept it. Most of the atheists and materialist are such.

They deny their creator and the Last Day just because of their ignorance. Man spends a few years in this world. These materialists think that like other living creatures man is also annihilated by death. There is no reward or punishment for his actions and (God forbid) Allah does not exist. Such people only follow their baseless conjectures and wrong notions.

They follow naught but conjecture.(1)

These people live in a society filled with disbelief. They follow their elders. Or in spite of ignorance they consider themselves wise and deny the truth. In the words of Quran these people utter such things,

Surely we found our fathers on a course, and surely we are followers of their footsteps.(2)

Disbelief Despite Knowledge

Disbelief despite knowledge indicates that man recognizes the truth but if he accepts, it will create hurdles in achieving his selfish desires. Therefore he is not attracted towards it. He does not accept it. Since

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1- Surah Najm 53:23.
2- Surah Zukhruf 43:23.

this person is involved in jealousy and arrogance he strives to falsify the truth. Diseases like selfish desires, jealousy and arrogance compel him to avoid defeat by accepting truth and he finds excuses for it.

He recognizes the truth. He knows that truth is such a kind adviser that desires nothing other than his well-being. It advises him for his own good, but his self does not like these advices. So he fights the truth and does not accept its advice.

Irreligious People

Disbelief of most irreligious people is of this kind. Their conscience believes in the existence of Allah and also accepts the Day of recompense. How can their conscience agree that this vast universe came into being without a creator? Their inner feelings testify that there exists a being that is Wise, Powerful, Hearing and Seeing. Conscience does not accept that man will be annihilated after death. It cannot believe that this life of a few days and this toy world is the permanent abode of man.

It is mentioned in the biography of Stalin that, “When he found some difficult political problem that he could not solve, he used to be very agitated. He used to go to the grave of Lenin and seek his help. Ultimately he used to find a solution.” This was despite the fact that Stalin did not believe in religion and Hereafter. But his nature and conscience knew that spirit is not annihilated even after death.

Yes! Man knows that if he accepts that truth he would

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have to obey the religious commandments. He shall be reining his desires due to the fear of Allah and the Day of recompense. He would have to be careful in word and deed. He will lose the freedom of his selfish desires. That is why he does not desire to submit to the truth. He designs baseless objections and satanic excuses and becomes happy by falsifying the truth.

Such people are mentioned in the following words in the Quran,

And they denied them unjustly and proudly while their soul had been convinced of them.(1)

Infidels of Mecca and Jews of Medina

Same was the case of the Meccan infidels. They knew Muhammad Ibne Abdullah very well. They were certain that he was truthful and sane, and that the Holy Quran was not the speech of a mortal. But pride, arrogance and jealousy instigated them to deny the Prophet. They heaped false allegations upon him that he was a liar, a magician and a mad man. They opposed him and fought battles with him.

The Jews of Medina were also like that. They used to consider themselves descendants of Prophet Ishaq. Therefore they used to think that they alone were deserving of Prophethood and the post of guidance. They could not bear to see a prophet being raised from the progeny of Ismail. That is why they did not accept Muhammad as a prophet. Rather they waged battles against him. They knew that the Prophet was speaking the truth.

The Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (S) was also clear to them

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1- Surah Naml 27:14

and some of them had settled in Medina because they were aware of the prophecy that a Prophet will migrate to Medina. They used to pray for his arrival in Medina and also that they become his supporters and defeat the infidels. But when the Holy Prophet (S) did arrive they remained firm on their previous ignorance. Jealousy and pride did not allow them to accept Faith.

And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did recognize, they disbelieved in him.(1)

Worldly Punishment

If the disease of disbelief is not cured it results in the death of humanity and the conditions worsens to a limit when the disease becomes incurable. No kind of advisory medicine can cure it then.

It being alike to them whether you warn them, or do not warn them, (they) will not believe.(2)

Now their hearts are no more receptive to advice. Their eyes and ears are no more capable of perception. The Holy Quran is evocative as regards their blindness, deafness and the closure of the way into their hearts. So much so that Allah has himself taken the responsibility of making them blind and deaf, and putting seals over their hearts. Allah says that He has dealt with them in this manner. They are also continuously punished in this world in the following way as Allah says:

Allah set a seal upon

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:89.
2- Surah Baqarah 2:6.

them owing to their unbelief.”(1)

Those it is whom Allah has cursed so He has made them deaf and blinded their eyes.(2)

But when they turned aside, Allah made their hearts turn aside.(3)

In other words we can say that initially Allah does not seal the heart of a disbeliever. He does not blind or makes deaf any person. But when a man remains in disbelief for a long time, by his own wish and will and does not desire to come out of it, Allah increases his disease.

And their unbelief does not increase the disbelievers with their Lord in anything except hatred.(4)

This continues till the time the path to a disbeliever's heart is completely barred. Allah removes from him the divine opportunity (Tawfeeq) of guidance. It is a sort of spiritual retribution. And this type of punishment begins in this life itself.

Two Inner Eyes

We should know that blindness, deafness and the sealing of the heart are not metaphorical. Rather the inside of man becomes like this. He in reality becomes like his inner being. Just as man has a pair of apparent eyes and ears each and a heart, in the same way he also has inner things like these organs. The traditions of the Purified Imams testify to this fact.

For example in Shaykh Saduq's Tawheed there is a tradition of Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) that he said, “Know that! Every person has two pairs of eyes. With one pair he sees the affairs of the Hereafter and with the other pair he

p: 47

1- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:155.
2- Surah Muhammad 47:23.
3- Surah Saff 61:5.
4- Surah Fatir 35:39.

sees the worldly affairs. When Allah intends goodness for a slave He opens his second pair of eyes; that is the eye of his heart. Thus through these eyes Allah shows him the unseen secrets. However, when Allah desires the contrary He leaves his heart on its own.”

An Objection and its Reply

The Holy Quran says,

And We will gather them together on the day of resurrection on their faces, blind and dumb and deaf.(1)


He shall say: My Lord! Why hast Thou raised me blind and I was a seeing one indeed?(2)

Such verses prove that one who is spiritually blind, dumb and deaf will be raised in the Hereafter while his apparent form will be blind, dumb and deaf. However, according to other verses it seems that this person will be able to see, hear and speak.

For example,

Read your book, this day(3)

This shows that he is not blind. His eyes will be open and he would be able to read.

In the same way another verse says,

And could you but see when the guilty shall hang down their heads before their Lord: Our Lord! We have seen and we have heard, therefore send us back, we will do good.(4)

This shows that on the Day of Judgment these people will be able to see, hear and speak.

The objection can be replied as follows:

The conditions of disbelievers on the Day of Judgment will depend upon the place and group in which they are included. In some instance they shall be blind, deaf and dumb and in other places only

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1- Surah Bani Israel 17:97.
2- Surah Taha 20:125.
3- Surah Bani Israel 17:14.
4- Surah Sajdah 32:12.

their speaking ability shall be lost, while they would see and hear.

On that day we will set a seal upon their mouths.(1)

They would be allowed to speak in some places.

And some of them shall advance towards others, questioning each other.(2)

Blindness and Deafness

It can be said that disbelievers will not be able to see the signs of Divine Mercy and His unlimited bounties on the Day of Judgment that shall be offered to the pious and the believing people. The infidels will not be able to see Paradise, its inmates and its bounties. They shall be blind from this aspect. In the same way they would be unable to hear the melodious songs of Paradise. They shall be deaf in this regard. (But when the Almighty desires, the inmates of Heaven and Hell shall, staying in their respective places be able to see each other through windows and exchange words.)

In gardens, they shall ask each other. About the guilty: What has brought you into hell? They shall say: We were not of those who prayed.(3)

Here it must be clarified that like the Muslims, unbelievers will also be questioned about Prayer and other obligatory acts. That is they should have become Muslims and performed these acts.

Just as the unbelievers fail to see success and truth in this world, in the Hereafter also their condition will be same. They shall be blind and deaf there too. On the Day of Judgment their blindness and deafness will be a kind of punishment upon them.

O Irreligiousness!

Perhaps you are

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1- Surah Yasin 36:65.
2- Surah Saffat 37:27.
3- Surah Muddassir 74:40–43

wondering why I am emphasizing on this so much when the readers of this book and other books like this are Muslims? They are believers in the matter regarding the beginning of creation and Hereafter.

The fact is that the flood of infidelity has surrounded the Muslim society from all sides. Especially the new generation is in a precarious position. Using various propagandas the infidels are trying to remove faith from the hearts of young Muslims. Even if our young men remain Muslims they have scanty knowledge of religion and they have a very weak faith.

Muslims should plan a systematic propagation of their religion. Every one of us must try to assure that our young people are well versed in the articles of faith and do not go astray in matters of religion. They should be immune to the deceit of enemies. But O irreligiousness! What can you say about their deplorable attitude that they are not even prepared to listen to any advice? They are attracted towards something else!

Cure for the Denial of the Origin and Hereafter

The unbeliever is suffering from the disease of compounded ignorance when he says that there is no wise and powerful God, there is no Prophet to convey the message of God to the people and there is no need to reward good and punish evil. He doesn't even know that he is ignorant. He is a foolish person who considers himself intelligent. From the aspect of his inner being he is a blind man who considers himself of perfect sight, of

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perfect reason and liberal views. The only method to cure his folly is to make him aware of his ignorance so that he may correct himself.

Lack of knowledge is different from lack of realization that one lacks knowledge

He should be told that he does not know the truth. He has not recognized the Almighty. He has not understood the system of recompense in the Hereafter. Lack of knowledge doesn't mean that you close your eyes to any forthcoming information. Denial is justified when you are certain that there is no god.

If a person who is born blind says that sun does not exist he should be told that the fact is he has never seen a shining sun. He does not recognize it. He should say, 'I know nothing about the sun.'

Actually this stance of infidels is itself sufficient to defeat them. They are actually giving a proof of their double ignorance. One is that they are ignorant of reality - secondly they are ignorant of their ignorance.

Denying the sun is denying oneself. It seems the one who is denying is himself blind.(1)

In Doubt

The person who is denying faith must be told for example that, 'at present you are not certain that there is no God.' You are just making a conjecture. Doesn't your reason tell you that probably the believers are right and there is indeed a wise and a powerful God? And that reward and punishment are realities? And it is possible that what the Prophets had said was truth?

If he says that he is certain there is no

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1- Persian Couplet.

God you can be sure he is lying. He doesn't want to be guided. Such a person should be left alone. But if he deals with justice and says truthfully: Yes! There is a possibility of the existence of God. It is not impossible. He must be told:

If you cannot find proof you cannot say that there is no proof

This is a rational principle. Failure to find a proof does not prove its non-existence. If one cannot find something one cannot say that, that particular thing does not exist. It is possible that one has not searched in a proper way. Such a person should say, “It may be there, but I could not find it.”

Ray of Hope

If the disbeliever confesses his ignorance you can say that there is a ray of hope. It is now possible for the light of faith to enter his heart. Now he has realized that he has doubt concerning this matter. He can remove this doubt by study and investigation. Based on human nature every person is hungry for knowledge, intelligence and success. If he realizes this hunger he would strive to remove the hunger of doubt and thirst of knowledge by certainty and knowledge.

He gradually achieves the status of Certain Knowledge (Ilmul Yaqeen), Eye of Certainty (Ainul Yaqeen) and Reality of Certainty (Haqqul Yaqeen). And finally he achieves the grade of human perfection. If Allah gives divine opportunity (Tawfeeq) he is not slothful in striving on this way. He tries to cross each obstacle

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and moves ahead. 'Ilmul Yaqeen' is complete knowledge of a thing, 'Ainul Yaqeen' implies seeing something with the inner eye and being certain of it and 'Haqqul Yaqeen' comes after this and it is the last stage. That is a certainty that is absolute.

O pampered one! Your doubt is a strange kind of doubt, which does not fly upto the garden of certainty. O Son! Every doubt is thirsty for certainty. It struggles to quench its thirst at least. And when it becomes knowledge it begins the search for certainty. Know that knowledge is always in search for certainty. And certainty desires the eye of certainty. When this is also acquired it becomes desirous of the reality of certainty.(1)

Difference in the Understanding capacity of Human beings and Animals

This is in fact, the difference between men and animals. Man is concerned about his conditions. He confesses his ignorance and doubt. Man is superior to animals in this matter. Animals are very simple minded. They remain unconcerned of their ignorance. They do not even know whether they are having any understanding or not. Whereas human beings have superior intelligence. It is known as compound intelligence in our terminology. A human being understands what he knows and what he is ignorant of, while animals have no desire to know more. Man is always in search of increasing his knowledge and intelligence.

Thus there is a difference between the understanding of animals and human beings. Human beings have a compound understanding. Secondly the perception of animals does not urge them to obtain

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1- Persian Couplets.

more knowledge and increase their capabilities, while man does not want to have limited knowledge.

Disbelievers are like Beasts

The above discussion tells us that if the deniers of truth do not become aware of their ignorance and do not take steps to remove it, they are like beasts. They do not have more intelligence than animals. Let us present some verses of Quran to support our assertion

And those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as the beasts eat, and the fire is their abode.(1)88

Neither are they aware that they are not enjoying the bounties of Allah, nor they recognize the creator of these bounties. They are not even concerned about the aim of the creation of these things and own creation.

Is as the likeness of the ass bearing books.(2)

The Jews were given the Torah but they did not act upon it.

So his parable is as the parable of the dog.(3)

It is always barking against truth in every condition. As far as his inner being is concerned, he is an animal. If the infidels become deceitful and start conspiring they become like Satans.

And thus did We make for every prophet an enemy, the Satans from among men and jinn.(4)91

People who act like Satan will be raised with the Satan in the Hereafter.

Quranic Cure of Disbelief

Whatever we have discussed so far regarding the cure of disbelief, it is mentioned in the verses of Quran and the traditions of Ahlul Bayt. For example pay attention to the following verses:

And they say: There is nothing but our life in this world;

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1- Surah Muhammad 47:12.
2- Surah Jumah 62:5.
3- Surah Araaf 7:176.
4- Surah Anam 6:112.

we live and die and nothing destroys us but time, and they have no knowledge of that; they only conjecture.(1)92

“We live and die” implies that “some of us live and some of us are born.” And the system of births and deaths goes on. It may also mean that “initially we are dead in the form of sperm and later we became alive.”

This verse has pointed out towards compounded ignorance. That is, in spite of their lack of knowledge they consider themselves knowledgeable and issue a denial. However, some disbelievers are not compounded ignorant. They are in simple ignorance. They are aware of their ignorance. Such disbelievers are mentioned in the following verses:

And when it was said, Surely the promise of Allah is true and as for the hour, there is no doubt about it, you said: We do not know what the hour is; we do not think (that it will come to pass) save a passing thought, and we are not at all sure.(2)

Nay, they reject that of which they have no comprehensive knowledge, and the final sequel of it has not yet come to them; even thus did those before them reject (the truth)(3)

Nay, their knowledge respecting the hereafter is slight and hasty; nay, they are in doubt about it; nay, they are quite blind to it.(4)95

Say: Have you any knowledge with you so you should bring it forth to us? You only follow a conjecture and you only tell lies.(5)

That is, whatever they utter is based

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1- Surah Jathiya 45:24.
2- Surah Jathiya 45:32.
3- Surah Yunus 10:39.
4- Surah Naml 27:66.
5- Surah Anam 6:148.

on their whims and fancies, and is absolutely false.

These verses indicate that we must inform such people who are in doubt and lack knowledge so that they can also learn the true facts.

Precaution makes Sense

Knowing Allah, the Prophet and the Hereafter are the most important matters for human beings. If we do not have faith in them we shall indeed be doomed to perdition. Even if one has a slight expectation that lack of belief will destroy him, he can as a precautionary measure bring faith in them. Reason dictates that one should take all possible precautions to avoid future risks. Even a slight chance of expected danger should oblige us to learn the articles of faith. Now the disbeliever has no other excuse.

The Holy Quran says,

Do not these think that they shall be raised again. For a mighty day?(1)

That is if they are not certain about it at least they can imagine it might be true. And reason says that even if there is a slightest chance of danger you must be careful and take every precaution to keep yourself safe. You must obtain recognition (Ma’arifat) even if you feel there is a slight risk in case you do not accept faith. Not only recognition, you must act upon all such things that can bring your doom if you omit them. For example one who cheats while selling (weighing short), shall have a severe chastisement.(2)

The style of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.)

An atheist named Abdul Malik came to Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.). The Imam said to him, “Do

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1- Surah Mutafaffefeen 83:4-5.
2- Surah Mutafaffefeen 83:2.

you know there are places on the earth and beneath it?”

“Yes”, he replied,

“Have you ever been below the earth?”


“Do you know what is below the earth?”

“I don't know but I feel there is nothing below it.”

“Have you been to the sky?”


Imam said, “When you have never been to the west or east and never traveled to the sky or below the earth, how can you say that they have no creator? You are denying without seeing it and saying there is nothing below the earth. When a sensible person is ignorant of something, does he deny its existence altogether?”

The atheist said, “No one spoke to me like you before.”

Imam asked, “Thus do you feel that there could be something below the earth?”

The atheist confesses his doubt and said, “It is possible.” When he confessed his doubt the Imam began to teach him. He taught him to ponder upon the perfect system of the universe and its gigantic proportions, the details of which are available in concerned books. Anyway, the person accepted faith and became a believer in Allah.

As you see, first the Imam made him aware of his ignorance. When he had come out of his compounded ignorance he was given further knowledge by Imam.

A Good Tree

The Almighty Allah speaks of a Good Tree and the Evil Tree in the following verses of Surah Ibrahim:

Have you not considered how Allah sets forth a parable of a good word (being) like a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are in

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heaven, Yielding its fruit in every season by the permission of its Lord? And Allah sets forth parables for men that they may be mindful. And the parable of an evil word is as an evil tree pulled up from the earth's surface; it has no stability.(1)

Leaves, Branches and Fruits of the Tree of Belief

If the light of belief illuminates the heart of a person, the tree of his faith gets branches. That is, he has faith on the prophets. Especially he has faith in the Last Prophet and also in the twelve successors of the Prophet. He believes in the Hereafter, Paradise and Hell.

The tree of belief has leaves too. That is charity, chastity, courage, justice, magnanimity, patience, Allah's satisfaction, reliance etc. Thus all the good qualities are the leaves of the tree of belief.

The tree of belief also bears fruits. The bounties of Allah continue to descend upon the believer. The tree continues to bloom and fructify. Its roots become stronger by the day. Increase in faith and action brings increase in divine rewards. Allah's proximity is gained. At last he is rewarded with Paradise where he shall reside forever.

Consequence of Disbelief

The consequence of disbelief is that when a man enters the darkness of infidelity and polytheism he denies all the beliefs of prophethood, Wilayat (guardianship of Ahlul Bayt), Day of Judgment, reward, punishment and all true principles. Evil traits like greed, miserliness, jealousy, injustice, defalcation, and fornication take root in him and he begins to commit all these bad deeds.

Denials of true principles of belief are the

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1- Surah Ibrahim 24–26.

branches of the tree of disbelief, bad morals are its leaves and depravity and divine retribution are its fruits.

Disbelief is a negative affair. It is due to absence of a factor. For example ignorance is due to lack of knowledge. That is why it has neither a root nor branches and no fruit is derived from it that could please one in the world or the Hereafter.

Belief and Disbelief

This discussion clearly shows that disbelief and belief are opposite of each other and are contradictory traits. One is knowledge, the other is ignorance. One is acceptance, the other is denial. One is good moral and the other is filled with vices. One is the basis of good deeds and the other leads to sinful acts. One is thankfulness of bounties and the other is thanklessness. One is contentment, the other is greed. One is charity, the other is miserliness. One is generosity, the other is jealousy. One is courage the other is cowardice.

The Believer does no evil, the Infidel does no good

According to our statement a believer cannot do anything but good and the unbeliever only commits evil. If someone says, “Some unbelievers also do good things and believers are also prone to do evil sometimes?”

The reply to this is as follow: The unbeliever never does something that is basically good. Even if he does a good work it is apparently good. If a disbeliever gives some amount in charity we must check if has obtained that money in a legitimate manner? Then we should see if he is spending it in

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consonance with Islamic Shariah and reason? Whether he is not squandering? Whether he is doing needless spending? ('Israaf' implies spending more than necessary and 'tabzeer' is totally needless expenditure. For example, spending in some prohibited act).

We should also see if he is doing it for Allah or for some other benefit? If he is doing it for profit, fame or show off it is not charity and it is certainly not a good deed.

For example the Meccans used to fill up their coffers from public funds and Islamic Treasury (Baitul Maal). Then they used to gift a hundred or two thousand gold coins to a poet who composed panegyrics in their praise. They never intended to do good. It was for gaining fame, popularity and consolidation of their thrones. Does it amount to be a good act?

If we suppose that an unbeliever has given charity as a gesture of kindness then the Almighty Allah gives increase in his wealth or removes some of his difficulty. Or He may reduce his punishment in the Hereafter. In brief we can say that the pure good deed of an unbeliever does not go waste. He certainly gets its recompense in this world or the Hereafter. For example it is well known about Hatim Tai that he would indeed be sent to Hell for his disbelief, but the Hell fire shall not burn him.

As far as the bad deeds of a believer are concerned, actually a believer never commits bad deeds. He never

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commits a sin while denying Allah and the accounting of the Day of Recompense. He happens to commit a sin by chance, due to the overpowering of selfish desires and satanic instigation. Then due to his belief he feels deep remorse for it. He repents and seeks forgiveness.

Yes, if a person commits a sin but does not regret it or seek divine forgiveness for the same, he can be called a Muslim but never a Believer. Belief has not entered his heart; it is just confined to verbal utterance.

The Almighty Allah says,

The dwellers of the desert say: We believe. Say: You do not believe but say, We submit; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts.(1)100

Denial of Prophethood

We have already discussed the denial of the origin of creation and the Hereafter and also suggested the cure. Another kind of disbelief is the denial of the prophethood of the prophets. For example there is a religion called Brahmanism in India. They believe in God, but they say that human intellect is sufficient to seek the truth and salvation.

They should be told that they are denying the prophets. And this denial of theirs is itself contradicting their conscience and reason. You cannot say with certainty that the prophets spoke falsehood. You certainly think that it is possible that the news that the prophets gave regarding salvation and doom, recompense of good and bad deeds, information regarding the Hereafter etc, is all true. May be it is the reality. You do not intend to

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1- Surah Hujurat 49:14.

bear the responsibility of divine commandments.

You want to follow your carnal desires and remain unfettered without seeking the truth. Without making any investigation you deny the message of the prophets. (As we have proved in the preceding pages, to deny something without having certainty is foolishness).

Once the denier accepts that his denial is not justified we can present further arguments. We can then prove the correctness and necessity of the message of the prophets. Such arguments are presented in the books of scholastic theology (Ilmul Kalam).

The general arguments proving the need of prophets can be seen in Allamah Majlisi's books Haqqul Yaqeen and Kifayatul Muwahhedin. Let us see the following Quranic verse at this point:

And they do not assign to Allah the attributes due to Him when they say: Allah has not revealed anything to a mortal.(1)

They did not recognize Allah!

Those who say that Allah has not sent any messenger have actually failed to recognize Allah. They do not recognize the God Who has given everything that man needs. Thus, is it possible that Allah acted miserly in the matter of sending the prophets? The greatest want of man is that someone makes him know the aim of his creation. That someone distinguishes for him the path of fortune and misfortune and also inform him of his future. Such guidance is needed more than anything else. It is more important than the need for fingernails and eyelashes!

Benefit of a Guide

The Almighty Allah has given man such capabilities that if he gets a proper guide and instructor

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1- Surah Anam 6:91.

he can excel in any field. He can learn the secrets of the material world and he can obtain knowledge of the unseen. He can get divine recognition and reach upto the level of Absolute Certainty (Haqqul Yaqeen). Then how can it be possible that God would disregard sending a teacher of divine laws? While the unending spring could benefit the human beings in this way?

Intellect in isolation is subdued by desires

Is it correct to say that intellect itself is sufficient? Every sensible person knows that his intellect is limited. The things regarding whom he is ignorant are limitless. He can discriminate between good and evil due to his animal desires. He cannot take a right decision due to habits, customs and blind following.

He can have mistaken notions and deny the truth. He begins to consider good as evil and evil as good. Man needs another life to obtain salvation. In order to correct the mistakes of this life he must know about his next life. But he does not know about this life. If the Almighty Allah does not convey the information regarding the next life through His prophet and if He does not teach man the way to attain salvation in the next life it would amount to be injustice on man. While God is pure of every type of injustice and deficiency.

In other words, just as the eye cannot see in darkness without an external source of light, in the same way man cannot distinguish good and evil on the basis of

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his intellect alone.

Denial of the Messengership of the Last Prophet

Like Jews and Christians, those who deny the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (S) are actually acting against their conscience and intellects. If they are just and do not follow others blindly or do not harbor unjustified malice, the following verse of Quran is sufficient for them:

And you did not recite before it any book, nor did you transcribe one with your right hand, for then could those who say untrue things have doubted.(1)

That is they began to say that the Quran contains things made up by himself or it is taken from other books.

It is a well-established historical fact that the Holy Prophet (S) did not receive traditional education in any school, neither did he have a human teacher. In the earlier part of his life he remained in Mecca and hardly went abroad. During this period he undertook two journeys to Sham (Syria).

One of it was during his boyhood when he accompanied his uncle, Abu Talib. The second one was when he was twenty-five years old and he went as a business representative of Khadijah. This time Maysara accompanied him. The life of the Holy Prophet (S) was an open book for the Meccans. It was known to all that he could neither read nor write. In these circumstances he brought a book from his Lord. And the book was such that it was based on complete information of divine recognition, the best morals, worship, business transactions, politics and civil administration etc.

Apart from this

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1- Surah Ankabut 29:48.

it also contained prophecies that were proved true later. From the aspect of eloquence and diction this book compelled the most eloquent nation to admit helplessness before it. Another thing is that from the beginning to the end there is no contradiction in this book. Thus a lot can be written on this topic. To learn about the miraculous aspect of Quran please refer to books of scholastic theology and Quranic exegesis, especially the first volume of Tafsir al-Mizan.

As far as the miracles of the Holy Prophet (S) are concerned, they are calculated to be more than four thousand. Regarding this subject please refer to the sixth volume of Biharul Anwar, Anisul Aalaam and Allamah Majlisi's Hayatul Quloob.(1)

Neither my beloved has been to a school nor he has learnt to write. He understood the whole problem with a solitary glance and become the teacher of thousands of schools.(2)

Denial of Wilayat and Imamat

The twelve Imams: Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.), Hasan, Husain, Ali Zainul Abideen, Muhammad Baqir, Ja'far Sadiq, Musa Kazim, Ali Ridha, Muhammad Taqi, Ali Naqi, Hasan Askari and Mahdi Sahibuzzaman are the true successors of Muhammad Mustafa.

The tyrant caliphs of Bani Umayyah and Bani Abbas compelled the people to deny the Imamate of these Imams because of jealousy and desire for temporal power. The cure for doubts regarding Imamate and Wilayat is that we study the books on this subject. For example in Arabic we have Sayyid Murtada's Sahifa, Sayyid Ibne Tawus' Taraif.

Similarly in Persian we have Kifayatul Muwahhedin. These books

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1- Volume Two
2- Persian Couplet.

contain the traditions of Ahle Sunnat also. To remove doubts and misunderstanding, one can just say that both Shias and Sunnis have accepted the following tradition of the Holy Prophet (S). The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “I leave among you two weighty things, the book of Allah and my progeny. If you attach to them you shall never go astray.”

Sayyid Bahraini in Ghayatul Maram quotes the above tradition through 39 chains of Sunni narrators and 82 chains of Shia narrators.

In the same way there are other traditions also that are recorded in the Sunni as well as Shia sources from the Holy Prophet (S). These traditions even mention the names and special characteristics of the Holy Imams. They also contain the fact that the last of these Imams shall be Mahdi and that he would have a prolonged occultation.

There shall be large-scale mischief and corruption during this occultation. However, after he reappears he will fill the earth with justice and equity just as it had been filled with injustice and oppression.

More than a thousand traditions have been recorded on the subject of Imamate and Wilayat. Please refer to the book Ghayatul Maram regarding this.

Second Disease: Hypocrisy


The greatest sin of the heart and the worst disease of the soul is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy totally separates man from humanity. The hypocrite is counted among the Satans. Even in this world he is considered most degraded by Allah and in the Hereafter he shall inhabit the lowest level.

Surely the hypocrites are in

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the lowest stage of the fire.(1)105

Thus the punishment of the hypocrites shall be more severe than that of the infidels. Hypocrisy is actually the worst kind of disbelief.

In order to gain worldly benefits the hypocrite veils his disbelief by the screen of religiousness. He seems to be religious by his words and actions. Whereas his heart is not religious. For example he recites the two formulae of faith (Kalimah Shahadatain). He verbally claims to believe in Quran and Day of Judgment. But his heart does not have faith in these things. It denies them.

They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts.(2)

Such people also perform good deeds with enthusiasm to gain popularity among the people. They recite prayer, go for Hajj and give charity so that people consider them religious and may praise and trust them.

Thus in addition to disbelief, the hypocrite also suffers from the disease of lying, cheating and ridiculing the faith. The hypocrite lies to Allah, the Prophet and the believers. He resorts to cheating and ridicules the truth. Actually he is lying to himself. He is cheating himself and ridiculing his own self. This is mentioned in detail in the Holy Quran. Read Surah Munafiqoon (Chapter 63) to understand the degradation of hypocrites, their evil traits and the severity of their punishment in the Hereafter. Apart from this, also refer to the verses about hypocrites in Surah Baqarah, Surah Ali Imran, Surah an-Nisa’ and Surah Tawbah.

Types of Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy means 'double-facedness'. A contradiction between his apparent and

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1- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:145
2- Surah Fath 48:11.

hidden self. Apparently he is a believer but his inner self is in disbelief. His outer appearance is good but his internal condition is evil. Hypocrisy is of three types:

1. Hypocrisy against Allah regarding actual faith

2. Hypocrisy with Allah regarding the necessities of faith.

3. Hypocrisy with others.

First Type: Hypocrisy against Allah regarding actual faith

A hypocrite does not sincerely believe in Allah and the Hereafter. However, he shows himself to be a Muslim before other people. His intention is that the Islamic commandments may be in his favor. For example, he may be considered clean or pure in the society. He can marry among the Muslims and he can benefit from inheritance etc.

Such people are mentioned in Surah Baqarah:

And there are some people who say: We believe in Allah and the last day; and they are not at all believers.(1)

And Quran also says,

And when they meet those who believe, they say: We believe; and when they are alone with their Satans, they say: Surely we are with you, we were only mocking.(2)

This is the worst stage of hypocrisy. Nothing can be considered more serious. The punishment of such hypocrites in the Hereafter shall be worse than infidels. They shall never be able to get salvation. In addition to their degradation and punishment the Quran also states that it is necessary to remain aloof from them.

A large portion of the Muslim community has always consisted of hypocrites. It is obligatory for every Muslim to express immunity from them, whether they are alive or dead. We should curse them.

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:8.
2- Surah Baqarah 2:14.

For example the hypocrisy of Yazid Ibne Muawiyah is obvious. Indeed such hypocrites have caused more harm to Islam than infidels.

Dissimulation and its Types

We should know that hypocrisy with Allah is that a person apparently poses as religious while concealing his infidelity so that he can gain benefits of religiousness. However, dissimulation, which is obligatory according to reason and Shariah, is very much different from hypocrisy. Dissimulation denotes the denial of ones faith from the deniers of truth, so that ones life, honor and wealth remain safe. With the condition that not practicing dissimulation causes no benefit to the faith.

If a believer expresses his faith he shall be subjected to murder, robbery or loss of honor, then in this condition it is obligatory on him to observe dissimulation and conceal his faith.

If the expression of truth will strengthen religion, giving up of dissimulation is recommended. For example the case of Mitham Tammar, or Abu Zar Ghiffari and Hujr bin Adi. These loyal companions did not observe dissimulation.

And whenever there is a risk of the truth being destroyed or harmed, it is prohibited to observe dissimulation. In this case avoiding dissimulation becomes obligatory. That is why the chief of the Martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.) did not observe dissimulation.

In short, dissimulation is of three types: Obligatory, recommended and prohibited. It is possible that in some cases it could also be permissible (Mubah) and detestable (Makruh).

Difference between Dissimulation and Hypocrisy

So we realize that when dissimulation is obligatory or permissible (Mubah), it is not construed as hypocrisy. It is the

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opposite. That is when dissimulation is not permitted or obligatory and a person observes it, this shall tantamount to hypocrisy. Whenever dissimulation is obligatory or permissible even intellect says that it is a necessity and is a good thing. When dissimulation is obligatory and the person fails to observe it he is said to have acted against reason. Because he would have wasted his life and died for no just cause. This is nothing but gross foolishness.

The holy law of Islam has permitted dissimulation or the concealment of ones faith only when there is a danger to ones life, honor or property. The following verses of the Holy Quran testify to this: Surah Ali Imran: verse 28, and Surah Nahl: verse 106. The traditions of Ahlul Bayt also greatly emphasize the importance of dissimulation. However it is beyond the scope of this book to quote them here.

Second Type: Hypocrisy with Allah Regarding the Necessities of faith

There is a person whose faith regarding Allah and the Day of Recompense is very weak. Either he does not possess the necessary items of faith or they are deficient and weak. Yet he falsely claims that he possesses all the necessary principles of faith. Such a person may believe in Day of Judgment, Accounting, scales of deeds and Hellfire but he does not fear them at all. Yet he claims, “I fear Allah. I am terrified of the Day of Day of Judgment and Accounting.”

The proof of the falsity of his claim is the way he commits sins in an unhindered way. He

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sins without much ado. If one fears that a particular eatable is poisonous he would not even dare to touch it. In the same way one who is fearful of divine justice and retribution will never commit sins blatantly.

Regarding this is a statement of a learned person: “If you are asked whether you fear Allah, you must remain silent. Because if you say you do not fear Him you will become a disbeliever. If you say: I fear Allah, you would have lied. Because the sign of Allah's fear is flight from sins.”

A Believer is not a Habitual sinner

The fact is that a believer considers Allah as All-seeing and Omnipresent all the time. He remains afraid of His chastisement and is in awe of His justice. That is why he does not commit sins in a blatant manner. He never denies divine punishment. Even if he sometimes commits a sin due to the overpowering of selfish desires, satanic instigation or vanity regarding the divine bounties, he is immediately remorseful and repents for his sin. He seeks forgiveness at once and tries to compensate for his misdeed.

In other words, occurrence of sin is no proof of lack of belief. The proof of disbelief is failure to repent for ones sins.

It is related from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he said, “One who is pleased with his good deeds and remorseful of his bad deeds is a believer.”

Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) says in Dua Abu Hamzah Thumali: “O my God! When I disobeyed I was not denying Your

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Lordship. And neither did I consider Your command unimportant. I did not consider ineffective Your retribution. I did not belittle Your promise of chastisement. Yet I committed a mistake. My self led me astray. My carnal desires overpowered me. My depravity helped me in this regard. The shade of the freedom that You had given me, made me careless.”

Spending in Allah’s way is a sign of Hope in Allah

Another form of hypocrisy with Allah is that man claims falsely to have hope in Allah, while he has no such hopes or hopes little. He says, “I repose hope in my God.” This is a lie, and its proof is that he is hesitant to spend his life and property in the way of Allah. He considers spending in the way of Allah, a loss. He does not think that Allah will recompense him in the world and the Hereafter. If he had hope in Allah he would not have hesitated to even give his life in Allah's way.

Thus, the proof of having fear of Allah is abstinence from sins and performance of repentance. Abstinence from sins is proof that the person hopes that Allah will reward him for the same. That is why he strives to be obedient. The hard work that human beings put in for worldly affairs indicates that they expect something material in return. What all man says and writes in hope of material gains!

False claim of Piety and Religiousness

Another kind of hypocrisy is that man claims falsely that he is very pious and religious, while in fact his heart is not

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purified of the love of this world. Though he claims reliance on Allah, professes His love, patience, thankfulness and resignation to Divine will, the actual hope of his heart is reposed in wealth and property. Such a person is not considered as being thankful to Allah for His innumerable bounties. He is unhappy with Allah during difficulties and hard times. To study the details of this please refer to Mulla Naraqi's Merajus Sadat.

We should know that this type of hypocrisy is different from the one mentioned before. In the first case there is altogether no hope in Allah or very less hope. However, here even if the faith in the Hereafter is weak it is yet not such a grim situation. If a person falsely claiming piety and religiousness were to die, he shall not remain forever in divine chastisement. After suffering punishment for a certain period he would gain salvation. However, even after this he shall not be able to obtain the grades of the true believers in Paradise.

Hypocrisy with Allah regarding the worship acts

A person can be a hypocrite regarding different types of worship acts, for example physical or monetary, obligatory or recommended etc. Though he performs prayers, fast, Zakat, Khums, Commanding Good and Prohibiting Evil for the name of Allah but along with this he aims to prove his piety to the people. Either he completely performs these acts for show off or he does them for both Allah and the people. Such hypocrisy is also referred to as show off. The aim

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of such behavior is to earn fame and honor among the people.

Such a person will be called by four nicknames on the Day of Judgment: Traitor, Transgressor, Disbeliever and Loss- Sufferer. Quranic verses and traditions prove that the act of this person is illegal and invalid. He would have to undergo punishment in the Hereafter, unless he repents his past misdeeds. The details of the same are given in our book Greater Sins.

Sins that cause Hypocrisy

There are some sins that destroy belief (Iman) and create hypocrisy in the heart. And one who dies without belief can never obtain salvation. One of such sins is show-off. Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “One who cheats Allah is himself 'fooled' by Allah and He destroys his belief.”(1)

Similarly murder, omitting prayer, not paying Zakat, not performing Hajj, false allegations and other similar sins destroy belief. Some of them are mentioned in traditions. One such sin is to be pleased at the tragedies that befell the chief of the Martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.).

In Biharul Anwar the Holy Prophet (S) is quoted to be prophesizing about Imam Husain (a.s.), “As if I see the place of the falling down of Husain and the place he shall be buried. As if I see the prisoners astride the camels. In this condition the head of my son Husain shall be presented to Yazid. By Allah! Whoever feels happy to see the head of Husain, Allah will create contradiction in his words and thoughts and would give him a painful punishment.”

The Islam

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1- al-Amali

of this person shall be confined to his tongue while his heart will be full of darkness (disbelief).

In the same way one of the sins responsible for creating hypocrisy is non-payment of religious taxes like Zakat and Khums. The Holy Quran says,

And there are those of them who made a covenant with Allah: If He gives us out of His grace, we will certainly give alms and we will certainly be of the good.

But when He gave them out of His grace, they became niggardly of it and they turned back and they withdrew.

So He made hypocrisy to follow as a consequence into their hearts till the day when they shall meet Him because they failed to perform towards Allah what they had promised with Him and because they told lies.(1)

Third Type: Hypocrisy with people

Hypocrisy with people is that a person is double-faced and double-tongued. He praises one person in his presence but behind his back he denounces him and tries to cause pain and harm him. Or that he befriends two enemies and promises each of them his support. That he instigates each of them to increase enmity, and tries to show that he has helped him against his enemy.

It must, however be mentioned that if he keeps in contact with both of them and expresses his solidarity with each without professing enmity of the other and without instigating them for further enmity, this would not be construed as hypocrisy. If one expresses friendship to a mischievous and degraded person without any intention

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1- Surah Tawbah 9:75-77.

of befriending him, it is regarded as a kind of dissimulation if one's aim were to remain safe from the mischief of this person. In some cases this type of dissimulation even becomes obligatory.

The worst folks on Judgment Day

A person came to the door of the Messenger of Allah (S) and sought his permission to enter. The Prophet told his companions to allow him entry and also remarked that he was a vile person.

When the person joined the assembly, the Holy Prophet (S) spoke to him so nicely that the companions present therein began to think that the Messenger has got to like this person. When he left, the people asked the Prophet why he had behaved so nicely with him while previously he was having such a negative opinion? The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “The worst of the folks on Judgment Day are those whom the people are forced to accord respect for fear of their mischief.”

Some companions have reportedly said: We used to meet some people with bowed foreheads while our hearts cursed them.

Difference between Dissimulation and False Praise

As we have mentioned that such a course of action is allowed only to avoid loss. But we see quite often that people indulge in false praise just for greed. They needlessly praise some detestable persons while they do not even have any chance of being harmed by them. Sometimes they indulge in such double-facedness due to their low status and weakness. They term this false praise a good moral behavior. Actually it is hypocrisy, and it is prohibited.



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Momineen Ali (a.s.) says, “One of the firm decisions of Allah in the Wise Reminder (Quran) upon which He bestows reward or gives punishment, and through which He likes or dislikes is that it will not benefit a man, even though he exerts himself and acts sincerely. If he leaves this world to meet Allah with one of these acts without repenting, namely that he believed in a partner with Allah during his obligatory worship, or appeased his own anger by killing an individual, or spoke about acts committed by others, or sought fulfillment of his needs from people by introducing an innovation in his religion, or met people with a double face, or moved among them with a double tongue.(1)

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says, “How evil is the one who is a slanderer, a defamer. He expresses friendship with one face and enmity with the other.”

It is also quoted from the Messenger of Allah (S) in Al-Kafi that, “If a person possesses these three characteristics he is a hypocrite even if he prays and fasts and considers himself a Muslim.

1. One who betrays trust?

2. One who lies?

3. One who goes back on his word?

All three types of actions with the people are considered hypocrisy.

Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) says, “Sins that prevent the acceptance of supplications are the following: Bad intention regarding Allah, an evil inner self and hypocrisy with believing brothers. If it is accompanied with necessary conditions the supplication is indeed accepted. Lack of trust in this regard,

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1- Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 152.

delaying prayers from its best time and not making effort to gain Allah's satisfaction by giving charity. Using foul and dirty language.” This tradition mentions hypocrisy with believers to be one of the sins that prevent acceptance of supplications.

Since we have already discussed hypocrisy in great detail in the chapters of Show-off, Cheating and Backbiting etc. we shall refrain from greater details over here.

Punishment in proportion to Hypocrisy

As we have indicated earlier, hypocrisy towards Allah and the creatures of Allah is of different types and of different grades. The punishment for it depends upon its magnitude. For example the worst form of hypocrisy against Allah is that a person professes belief verbally but harbors disbelief in his heart. If man dies in such a condition he shall remain in Hell forever and his punishment shall be worse than infidels.

The next lower stage of hypocrisy is that man expresses certainty of belief with his tongue while his heart is not in absolute disbelief either, but it is a doubtful state. If this person also dies without belief he shall reside in Hell forever. But his punishment will be less than that of those who completely deny faith in Almighty.

The next grade of hypocrisy is that a person verbally says he is a believer and even has faith in his heart. But with regard to worship acts he makes other people partners to the Almighty. That is he commits show-off. If such a person were to die he will not remain in Hell forever. He shall

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suffer punishment for some time then due to his belief he will be allowed to enter Paradise. His punishment in Barzakh and Hell will depend upon the magnitude of his show-off.

Justice of Allah, Intercession and Repentance

The show-off of a person is related either to obligatory or recommended acts. Either it concerns the actual action or it is related to the condition of that action. For example a person intends to shows that he is steadfast in prayer; he will pray in order to show off. If, however, he wants to show that he is very humble and devoted in prayers, he will exhibit these things in prayer. It is also possible that one shows off in a part of the prayer or he does it in the whole of prayer. Some people are such that their whole life is spent in show-off.

There is no doubt however that Allah will deal with justice. He will punish everyone in accordance with his sin. However, it is possible that Allah may forgive his sins or he may receive salvation through the purified intercession of Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad.

Certainly, there is punishment only if one dies without repenting for ones sins. Therefore if a person gets Divine opportunity (Tawfeeq) to repent in the proper manner and he repeats the deeds that he had wasted due to show-off and corrects his mistakes, there shall be no punishment on him. As we have stated earlier, if the person persists in his show-off it would be difficult for him

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to leave the world with belief. Same is the case of all those sins that create hypocrisy in the hearts.

We must also mention that the least form of hypocrisy is that man displays utmost humility and baseness in his posture while these things are not of the same intensity in his heart. The Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said, “We consider it hypocrisy even if the humility of body is more than the humility of the heart.”(1)

Verbal Repentance

Hypocrisy with Allah with regard to the necessities of faith also has various grades. However, it would be very cumbersome to go into its details. So we shall mention only some grades of hypocrisy with regard to repentance.

When a person says, “I am regretful of my sins and I repent for them,” he is saying this with his tongue but there is no remorse in his heart. Yet he has not further abstained from those sins and he is even happy at them. Such a person is the worst hypocrite with regard to repentance.

Imam Ali Ridha (a.s.) says, “One who repents for a sin but remains steadfast in committing the sin has in fact ridiculed his Lord.”(2)

Heartfelt Regret

The next grade is of a person who although has given up the sin but he is not remorseful for it with his heart. If this person verbally says, “I have repented”, it shall be a lie. The correct repentance is that man should feel regret and should be dejected in the presence of the Lord.

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1- Kitab Imam wa Kufr – Usul al-Kafi.
2- Usul al-Kafi, Book of Dua, Chapter of Repentance.

If a person regrets doing a sin because it caused him physical or material harm or it earned him degradation or he was punished by the government, imprisoned etc. it shall not amount to be repentance. Rather, it is hypocrisy. If he says 'Astaghfirullah' (I seek Allah's forgiveness), it would be a lie.

After this the next grade is of a person who has given up the sin, he is also deeply regretful of his deed but his regret is not due to his disobedience to a divine command. It is due to the fear of the punishment in the Hereafter. He is in fact regretful due to the loss of divine rewards.

Such a person can be compared to an oppressor who is about to be arrested. The government intends to put him in prison and the only way he can be saved is if the oppressed one forgives him. Thus he is compelled to approach the oppressed person and beg for forgiveness so that he may avoid legal penalty. If there had been no fear of imprisonment and loss of freedom and comfort, he would never have begged forgiveness. This is not a sincere regret and the repentance is not sincere repentance. It is a sort of deceit and a kind of hypocrisy.

Allamah Hilli and Muhaqqiq Tusi have discussed these topics in their books Sharh Tajreed and Tajreedul Kalam etc. The gist of their discussion is as follows:

One who has committed a sin must feel remorseful of it because he

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has disobeyed Allah. Otherwise it shall not amount to be repentance. (Just like one who forgoes a sin to save his honor or because it is harmful to his body). It is not repentance even if there is fear of Hell fire. Similarly if one regrets omitting an obligatory act and he regrets it because he has lost the divine rewards or became eligible for divine punishment, it is not repentance. Thus repentance is only correct when one regrets because he has disobeyed the Almighty and he also strives to compensate for his mistake.

Divine Mercy

Though such repentance is not sufficient we must repose hope in divine mercy. Those who repent due to the fear of retribution or loss of rewards and they give up the sin and also intend to compensate for it, it is possible that Allah by His unlimited mercy may consider their regret as proper repentance. They may be saved from Hell fire and sent to Paradise instead.

We have already discussed hypocrisy with people in the chapter of Deceit in the book of Greater sins. In brief, we should know that the more is the harm caused by hypocrisy, the more shall be its punishment. Now the most important thing is to find the cure of hypocrisy. How we can root out this disease from the heart?

Cure of Hypocrisy with Allah

A hypocrite, that is a person who apparently seems to be pious and religious but in his heart remains a disbeliever, should know that this kind of behavior is not going to

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provide any benefit. It is going to be very harmful to him. The Almighty Lord is aware of both the apparent and the hidden aspect. You cannot deceive Allah. The Almighty will not consider you truthful on the basis of your outward appearance. He will send you to the lowest level of Hell due to your inner self. Actually this person has lied to himself and deceived himself:

They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive only themselves and they do not perceive.(1)

Deceiving Oneself

If the hypocrites do not make a show of belief they shall be deprived of certain facilities in the Muslim society. For example, they shall not be considered ritually pure. They will not be able to intermarry with the Muslims and they will not become eligible for inheritance. The hypocrites think that if the Hereafter is like this world, there too they shall be considered believers. They shall be respected because of the show-off they made of worship acts in this world and they shall be rewarded for them in the Hereafter too.

Such a notion is absolutely wrong. They consider themselves clever but they are in deception. The state of the Hereafter will be the state of the emergence of realities and the removal of curtains from the unseen (internal aspects). In that state the hypocrite will not be able to see anything except the gloom of his disbelief and polytheism. He shall see his good deeds that he did to show-off, his charities,

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:9.

prayers etc. that all of them are included among the sins, because a good deed is considered good only if it is accompanied with pure intention. Such an intention is only for Allah, to achieve the satisfaction of Allah.


Some hypocrites pretend to be Muslims and obtain some worldly benefits. They are able to marry and become eligible to inherit. These are the bounties of their outward Islam. The consequences of hypocrisy and deceit are not very favorable. One who framed the Islamic Shariah (Allah) and the one who announced it (the Prophet) have also kept some rules for hypocrites based on hidden wisdom. One who makes a verbal acceptance of Islam is considered a Muslim. Till his falsehood is not proved he is to be considered ritually pure and he also shares all the facilities of a Muslim society, even though he may be lying and the Muslims may be unaware of it.

Another benefit of professing Islam by hypocrites is that they are able to collect a greater quantity of wealth. Rather, they can acquire government posts and even occupy thrones. But they should know that falsehood is easily exposed and the liar does not recognize his own intention.

For example let us consider the case of the hypocrites of Kufa. They wrote letters to Imam Husain (a.s.) inviting him to Kufa. Their messengers conveyed their invitations to Imam. They used to write: “There is no Imam and guide for us except you. If you do not come we shall complain

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to your grandfather on the Day of Judgment.” But in reality they had no concern for religion in their hearts. Their intention was to gain independence from Yazid and the Syrians and to make Kufa the seat of the Caliphate. In this way they could gather material wealth and obtain coveted posts.

However, when Ibne Ziyad became the governor of Kufa he purchased the loyalties of the people with wealth. He made false promises to enable the Kufans to reach their actual aims. They became certain that they would not be able to fulfill their material desires under the leadership of Imam Husain (a.s.). So they withdrew their support from him. Rather, some of them were so selfish that they joined the army to fight against the Imam. They proved their falsehood. However, they failed to achieve even their material desires.

Another thing is that the hearts of the people are in Allah's control. As far as Allah does not permit, no person can deceive others.

If there is divine wisdom in allowing people to be deceived by a hypocrite he should know that actually Allah is giving him respite so that he could achieve some of his worldly desires. This is a sort of Allah's deception in reply to the deception of the hypocrite. The hypocrite considers this respite to be a windfall. While, this is finally going to harm more.

Loss in the world and the Hereafter

Whatever respite is given to a hypocrite in this world is fully utilized by him to indulge in more hypocrisy and

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deceit. This increases the gloom of his heart. He continues to increase his punishment in the Hereafter. Even if he is able to obtain worldly wealth due to deceit, the same wealth becomes a bone stuck in his throat. The plots that he had hatched to gain luxury and comfort finally bring him sorrow. Same is the case of an unbelieving rich man. Apparently he seems to be surrounded by all types of comforts but he feels an unseen pressure.

They are always in dread of their adversaries or competitors. The fire of jealousy, greed and miserliness continues to burn them from inside. They continue to have enemies because they do not have belief; in spite of their guards and protective walls they fear the loss of their wealth and property. This is indicated in the Surah Tawbah thus,

Let not then their property and their children excite your admiration; Allah only wishes to chastise them with these in this world's life and (that) their souls may depart while they are unbelievers.(1)115

Thus, respite is apparently good but since it causes problems in this world and is the basis of chastisement in the Hereafter the respite for hypocrites is not beneficial to them. In reply to their deceit Allah deceives them too. And the aim of their deceit is to harm others.

For example the Almighty Allah says in Surah an-Nisa’,

Surely the hypocrites strive to deceive Allah, and He shall requite their deceit to them, and when they stand up to prayer they

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1- Surah Tawbah 9:55.

stand up sluggishly; they do it only to be seen of men and do not remember Allah save a little. Wavering between that (and this), (belonging) neither to these nor to those; and whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall not find a way for him.(1)

Deceit to Counter Deceit

It is said that there was a person in habit of taking a medicine called 'Gulqand'. This medicine is prepared with equal quantities of rose petals and sugar. He went to a shop to buy sugar and asked for a certain quantity. The shopkeeper said that he did not have that particular weight so he was keeping the same quantity of roses to weigh the sugar.

The deal was struck and the shopkeeper kept certain amount of rose petals in one pan of the balance and went inside the shop to get sugar. The buyer thought that the shopkeeper was not looking and he began to eat the rose petals from the pan. By chance the shopkeeper saw him and delayed coming out with sugar. At last when he came out a good amount of rose petals had being eaten by the customer. The shopkeeper weighed an equal amount of sugar and took the payment for the quantity decided earlier. The customer left thinking he had eaten free roses petals while the shopkeeper was happy he had to part with less sugar.

In the same way the hypocrites will realize at the time of death that they are the actual losers.

Repentance from Hypocrisy

When the hypocrite realizes the loss

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1- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:142-143.

that he is going to suffer, his first duty is to repent for his hypocrisy. Hypocrisy destroys faith or weakens it. Thus he should be remorseful of his polytheism and infidelity. He should repent with sincerity. He should acquire faith or he should try to increase it. He should embellish his inward as well as the outward self with belief.

If the outward and inward of a person is same, there is no doubt regarding his salvation.(1)

After describing the punishment of the hypocrites the Almighty Allah says,

Except those who repent and amend and hold fast to Allah and are sincere in their religion to Allah, these are with the believers, and Allah will grant the believers a mighty reward.(2)

Conditions for leaving hypocrisy

According to the verse mentioned above there are four necessary conditions of leaving hypocrisy and repenting for it:

First ConditionFirst Condition

It is that he should repent. He must forgo his disbelief and polytheism. He should have faith in only One God and he must be prepared to worship Him alone.

Second ConditionSecond Condition

He should reform himself. Repentance is not sufficient alone. Its benefit should also become apparent. He should reform his deeds.

Third ConditionThird Condition

He should attach himself to Almighty Allah. Even the apparent reformation of deeds and repentance is not sufficient. His heart should remember Allah all the time. Whatever he does should be solely for Allah.

Fourth ConditionFourth Condition

He should devote his religion only for Allah. Attachment to Allah is beneficial only if it is in the way prescribed by Him. If he does

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1- Persian Couplet.
2- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:146.

something considering it good but it is not so according to Allah, it will not benefit him. It will not be for Allah's sake. It shall be a kind of polytheism, and polytheism is a sin that cannot be forgiven. Unless all these four conditions are present, one cannot be cured of hypocrisy and it will not be correct repentance.

Cure of Sins related to the Soul

Sins related to the soul are more serious than those committed by ones physical body. That is why their cure is more complicated. For example hypocrisy is a sin related to ones soul. It is more serious than sins like theft and adultery and its cure is also more difficult. Repentance and remorse are sufficient for physical sins and in case of robbery the goods have to be restored to their owner. Repentance is sufficient for lying and as far as backbiting is concerned you have to make the person satisfied. It is obvious that more remorse a person feels the more he shall be purified of the sins.

However, repentance and remorse are not sufficient in case of the sins of heart and soul. Mere remorse is not able to dispel the gloom of the heart. He has to go through the stages described in the 146th verse of Surah an-Nisa’. Then ultimately can one get cured of this disease and his heart becomes healthy and perfect.

For example a person has wasted a part of his life in show off. Now the light of Divine mercy has shone on him and

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he has realized his mistakes. Now mere remorse will not suffice.

He also has to reform his conditions. He must uproot polytheism from his heart. The details of this method are given in the first part of the book of Greater sins. Here also we shall mention a few points. We must ponder upon them and pray that Allah illuminates our heart with the light of belief in His Oneness (Tawheed). Till the time we become certain that except for Allah there is no eternal entity having such tremendous power or fury; there is no one who could affect the affairs of this world and influence the course of events.

All the creatures are in need of Him. Even this certainty is not sufficient. We must also seek attachment with Allah in the way specified by Him. One should fulfill the obligatory duties and give up prohibited acts. One should also perform all the worship acts again that one did as show-off. One should compensate for them and perform all worship acts in the future with the sole purpose of pleasing Allah.

Sincerity is the only way

One cannot be cured of the disease of hypocrisy till one does not purify ones deeds by performing them with absolute sincerity. Congregation prayer, obligatory Zakat and Hajj are the worship acts that can be performed openly. There are also some devotional acts that should be carried out secretly. Man can perform them in secret only for divine pleasure. Especially, spending in the way of Allah. No one except

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Allah should see it. In this way the effects of show-off will disappear from his heart. Then whatever he does shall be solely for Allah. Whether people criticize or praise him is the same. He only treads the path of Allah.

Performing good deeds secretly

Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) says, “Some of the treasures of Paradise are these: To conceal ones good deeds, patience in hard times and hiding ones difficulties.”

The Messenger of Allah (S) says, “The reward for a good deed is proportional to its secrecy. A deed performed secretly is seventy times better than one which is performed openly.”(1)

The following tradition is mentioned on pg. 595 of the first volume of Safinatul Bihar:

The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “Seven types of people shall be admitted under the shade of Allah at the time when there shall not be any other shade: A just Imam, a young man who is brought up in an atmosphere of Allah's worship, a person who though leaves the mosque but his heart remains attached to it till he returns. Two persons who are busy in Allah's obedience whether they are together or separate. A person who weeps, remembering Allah in solitude. A person whom a woman of a respectable family entices him to sin but be refuses saying that he fears the Almighty. One who gives charity in such a secret manner that his left hand does not realize what the right hand has paid.

The following tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) is mentioned in the book Oddatutdai,

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1- Safinatul Bihar Vol. 2, Pg. 404.

“One cannot attain absolute sincerity till he even dislikes that he be praised for something that he has done only for Allah.”

The Holy Prophet (S) told Abu Zar: O Abu Zar!). A man cannot attain perfect knowledge of religion till he considers the people as camels while he is worshipping. He does not care for the presence of camels while he is praying. The presence and absence of the camels does not affect his concentration. In the same way even if a camel is nearest to him there will be no difference in his intention of Allah's proximity. He sees his own self in every condition. He himself is the one who debases himself most before Allah.

It does not mean that we should consider people lowly and feel proud of ourselves. We should pray in such a way that their presence or absence does not make any difference to us. That is why at the end of this tradition it is mentioned that such a person considers himself lowlier before Allah than other people consider him.

Imam Sajjad (a.s.) supplicates in Dua Arafah of Sahifa Sajjadiya:

And I am lowlier than the lowliest people (in Your realm), more degraded than the most degraded ones. I am like a particle, even lesser than a particle.

Cure for Hypocrisy with people

Another kind of spiritual disease is that when people act hypocritically with each other. When they meet each other their apparent behavior is different from their inner feelings. It is due to the influence of materialism. The status of

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humanity is forgotten. It is a result of the absence of sincere faith in Allah. Carelessness of the Hereafter is rampant. Such a Satanic habit has entrenched itself in the hearts of the people. Due to this dirty habit people cause great harm and pain to each other. They cause a great consternation.

Human life should be a cradle of love and attachments. But this life has become a wilderness of terror and hatred against each other. The purpose of society is to garner support and cooperation but the scene today is just the opposite. Selfishness, competition and enmity have become common today. People behave and feel towards each other like animals or rather like wild animals. Each thinks of ways for preying others. Friendship is only outward, like that of the hypocrites and Satans, but in reality they harbor enmity for each other.

Truthfulness, sincerity and loyalty are dead. They are replaced by falsehood, mistrust and non-fulfillment of promises. Selfishness is so rampant that everyone wants to achieve their personal goal at the cost of putting others into trouble. They are prepared to impoverish others so that they can fulfill their own coffers. They are prepared to dishonor others so that they may gain an honorable position.

They forget that human beings are all different parts of one entity. With regard to creation they are components of a monolithic community.

If one limb is in pain the other parts of the body also become restless. If you aren't worried to see others in

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trouble you do not deserve to be called 'human'.(1)

Hypocrisy of States

It is regrettable that major countries claim to be the standard bearers of humanity and human rights. They raise slogans of justice and equity but they keep the weaker countries under their control. The rulers of poor nations are forced to purchase weapons from the powerful countries so that their rule may remain safe. The rich countries fill their coffers by plundering the poor and consigning them to the flames of war. So that in this way more arms and ammunitions can be sold, while apparently they claim to be friends and allies.

If necessity arises they also go back on their words. Such a kind of behavior is termed “diplomacy” in today's parlance. This is a brief view of the hypocritical aspects of today's world.

Hypocrisy is widespread

Husband-wife, father-son, brother-sister and teacher-student, all of them lack mutual trust and good feelings towards each other. There is hypocrisy among relatives and neighbors. The same is the case for shopkeepers and their customers. The foundation of human life is trust and this very foundation has become hollow. Very few believers are found that are absolutely pure from hypocrisy and they too are sick of the hypocrisy of others.

Thus it is incumbent upon every person to see if he is having some hypocrisy. If he has it, he must try to root it out. First of all he has to purify himself from hypocrisy then he should take steps to reform others.

Worldly Harm of Hypocrisy

One who intends to profit

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1- Persian Couplet.

by lying and deceit should know that falsehood is never successful and it is exposed sooner or later. As a result people do not trust him anymore. They do not believe him. Whatever he does has no value. If his falsehood is not exposed we should know that Allah has given him respite and he may collect how much ever wealth as possible in this world but it is not going to benefit him in the long run. He ultimately has to suffer worldly problems, and in the Hereafter there is a terrible chastisement for him.

He shall be considered an oppressor in the Hereafter. He will have to compensate for all the wealth that he has accumulated by oppressing others and his good deeds will be transferred to those he had oppressed. At last, not a single good deed will remain in his account and the oppressed people shall have no sin remaining in their accounts.

If there is an intention to deceive the people and cheat them, experience tells us that most of the time such actions backfire upon the one who does them and the cheater is the ultimate loser. The oppressor is punished for his injustice in this life also.

And the evil plans shall not beset any save the authors of it.(1)

There is a proverb in Arabic: One who digs a hole for others falls into it himself.

There are a large number of stories in Arab and non-Arab literatures. We present below an example from the book,

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1- Surah Fatir 35:43.


Result of Jealousy

A poor man came to the court of the Abbasid ruler, Mutasim. Seeing some special qualities in him the ruler made him his close confidante. He became so close to the king that he had the permission to even enter the harem with prior permission of Mutasim. The vizier was a very jealous person. Seeing the Arab so much respected by the king made him very furious. He told himself, “If this Arab remains alive, he will degrade me in the eyes of the ruler and I shall lose my post.” Thus he began to be apparently on friendly terms with the Arab.

Till one day the vizier invited him to dinner. He had a dish prepared containing a lot of garlic and served it to the Arab. Later the vizier told him, “Do not go to the Caliph with such smelly breath, he does not like the smell of garlic.”

After this he went to the caliph at once and said, “The Arab says that the caliph has a bad breath, so he is having a lot of trouble.”

The caliph was very angry and summoned the Arab at once. The Arab came immediately but fearing that the king would smell garlic he covered his mouth with his hand. The caliph thought that the vizier was right because the Arab was behaving in this way and he wrote a letter to one of his executioners saying. “Behead the bearer of this note at once.” Giving the letter to the Arab he

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said, “Go to this person and get the reply of this letter as soon as possible.”

The Arab took the letter. While he was leaving the palace the vizier saw him and asked him where he was headed? The Arab replied that he was carrying a letter of the ruler. The vizier thought it must be some letter to receive payments etc. and he persuaded the Arab to part with the letter in return of 2000 gold coins with the condition that he will deliver the letter to the addressee but whatever gain is accrued from this shall belong to the vizier. The Arab agreed and handed over the letter.

The vizier himself took the letter to the executioner and was immediately beheaded. After some days the caliph inquired about the vizier and was informed of his killing. When the Arab was called he related the matter to the Caliph. The Caliph said: May Allah kill jealousy that caused the death of the vizier. After this the Arab was appointed at the post of the vizier.

Spiritual harm of Hypocrisy

Verses and traditions that are recorded with regard to hypocrisy are sufficient to describe the spiritual harm of hypocrisy.

When a person reaches the stage of understanding and can discriminate between good and evil, he finds himself on the crossroads. One road is trodden by animals and quadrupeds, and the other by angels. Now it is the test of his intelligence, which way he chooses. If from the beginning man gives in to his carnal desires and

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disregards the religious law and reason, it means that he has chosen the path of the beasts. He has ignored the Almighty and the Hereafter.

Now there is no difference between him and animals. The only difference is that animals are restricted to this world only. There is no examination or retribution for them. While, man has to taste another life after this one.

One who submits to carnal desires, the signs of depravity automatically become apparent in him? Greed, miserliness, jealousy, evil, false praise and other vile habits destroy the soul. He becomes involved in worldly difficulties and in the Hereafter he is caught in the claws of chastisement.

One day Abu Basir asked Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.), “What is the superiority of us (your followers) over other people? By Allah we see some of those people in greater comfort and affluence. They are spending life in much better condition than us?”

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) delayed replying to this question till Abu Basir says, they reached the Holy city of Mecca. “We saw that people were wailing and weeping and begging for divine forgiveness.” Imam said, “How numerous are the beggars (of forgiveness) and how few are the pilgrims! By the One Who has appointed Muhammad as the Prophet and sent his soul to the Paradise very soon, but for you and your companions, Allah will not accept the Hajj of anyone.”

Abu Basir says, “Imam Sadiq (a.s.) moved his hand across my face and I saw that most of the people

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were actually in the form of pigs, donkeys and monkeys. Very few retained their human shape.” The above tradition is found in the section of Imamate in Biharul Anwar.(1)

All those you see are not humans

Most of them are tail-less cows, bulls and donkeys.(2)

Animal Qualities

When a man decides to tread the way of beasts, he disregards reason and Shariah and hurts others with his actions, words and deeds. Troubling people becomes his prime quality. He becomes involved in pride and arrogance. Ridiculing others becomes his habit. The desire to spread mischief and oppression takes root in him. He becomes addicted to foul language, enmity and revenge. A person possessing animal qualities will behave like animals in the Hereafter also.

It is mentioned from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said, “The inmates of Hell shall bark at each other like dogs.” And just like stray dogs are chased away they shall be also chased in the same manner. The Almighty Allah shall show them in this very form.

He shall say: Go away into it and speak not to Me.(3)

Men who are Satans

A person who begins to assume the form of Satans, that is he turns away from the obedience of Allah and His worship. He denies Allah and the Hereafter. He makes pride, arrogance, injustice and oppression a part of his life. He indulges in cheating, deceit and makes betraying trust a part of his character. He is considered as a member of the satanic clan. Like the Satans he thinks of nothing

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1- Vol. 27 Pg. 30.
2- Persian Couplet.
3- Surah Mominoon 23:108.

but mischief. So he enters into the army of Satans that resemble human beings. After a time this person is counted as one of the Satans, who are in the form of jinns. The Holy Quran mentions the two groups of these Satans,

The Satans from among men and jinn, some of them suggesting to others varnished falsehood to deceive (them).(1)


O assembly of jinn! You took away a great part of mankind.(2)

Humans have a higher status than Angels

Humans have a higher status than Angels but only when they tread the path of humanity. That is they subject their carnal desires, anger and other qualities to Shariah and reason. They becomes perfect and qualities like chastity, contentment, piety, shame, valor, charity, magnanimity and forgiveness are nurtured in them.

Oppressing the people or cheating them is also a way of the Satan. While the way of man is worship of Allah, Obedience, recognition, truthfulness, sincerity etc. One who walks the path of humanity is imbued with qualities like knowledge, wisdom, patience and thankfulness, submission and satisfaction, love and friendship, support and well-wishing etc. Till, he reaches the pinnacle of perfection and exceeds the angels. Rather angels are ready to serve him.

Once again I will soar higher than the Angel.

Then I shall become that which cannot be imagined.(3)

Mulla Sadi Shirazi says, “The physical body can be called human only if it has signs of humanity.”

It is not that the sign of humanity is a beautiful dress.

If man is man due to eyes, tongue, ears and nose then what would

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1- Surah Anam 6:112.
2- Surah Anam 6:128.
3- Persian Couplet.

be the difference between humanity and the designs on the wall?

This eating, drinking, sleeping, anger and animal desires are all the qualities of animals much less than humans. Become a real human being. Otherwise become a bird that utters only the words spoken by men.

You have seen the bird fly high in the air. Just try to break the fetters of desire. Then you shall realize the flight of humanity.

Why do you remain a prisoner to a demon? Aren't you human? See! Even the Angels cannot reach the status of man.

If the beast in you is destroyed from your nature. You shall live your whole life as a man.

O Man! You reach to a stage that apart from God no one sees.

See what is the lofty position of humanity.(1)

Truth and Reality

So we realize that hypocrisy is a satanic way and truth and belief is the human way. Man can spend his life in the human way. He can also achieve an exalted status in the Hereafter. He shall live forever in joy and happiness. But what greater mistake man can commit when standing on the crossroads he takes a wrong decision and leaves such a beautiful way.

On the other hand he treads the path of Satan and consequently bears untold difficulties that waylay this path. Even after death he is tied up in the chains and collars of fire, while the severe Angels threaten him. What defect has man seen in a life of truth and piety that he left it?

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1- Persian Couplet.

And instead of this way he chose the path of hypocrisy? Such a person is really as mentioned in Quran:

He loses this world as well as the hereafter.(1)129

Giving up Hypocrisy

It must also be emphasized that hypocrisy has many roots and it is of many subtle kinds that are not usually noticed. We must assure that not a single type of it remains. One who intends to be absolutely pure from hypocrisy and become the partisan of truth should study the words and characters of the Most Truthful People (Siddiqeen).

The Holy Prophet (S) heads the list of 'Siddiqeen'. We should make their lives as our ideals. We should walk in their footsteps. We should note that these personages were aloof from hypocritical behavior. They did not announce anything unless they had made firm decision to do it. So that there may not be contradiction between their heart and their tongue.

Here we shall be content to mention a tradition as an example:

Some customs that are against Reality

A follower of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) came to him while Ismail, the Imam's son was also present. He greeted the Imam and sat near him. When Imam arose and left for his house this man also followed till they reached the door of Imam's house. Imam told him to wait outside and he went in with his son. Ismail asked, “O Father! Why did you not just for courtesy sake invite him inside?”

Imam replied, “I did not want him to come inside.”

“Even if you have invited he would not have entered.”

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1- Surah Hajj 22:11.

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said, “My son! I dislike that Allah should consider me a hypocrite.”(1)

So I will not say anything regarding which I have no firm intention.

This is an example of truthful people. Thus one who intends to step into the world of truthfulness and to refrain from even the roots of hypocrisy, he should have complete control over himself. He should not say anything he is not serious about. Thus it is only permitted during dissimulation as we have explained in detail in the preceding pages.

Third Disease: Polytheism


One of the diseases of the heart that deviate man from the straight path is 'Shirk' or Polytheism. That is to consider someone or something a partner to Allah, the Creator of the Universe. It is an unpardonable sin. How severe is it? And how many categories of it are there? All of it is discussed in the first volume of our book Greater Sins. Here we shall only emphasize its harmful effects on the soul. This disease brings every kind of depravity. The Holy Quran has a number of verses that mention polytheism.

And whoever associates (others) with Allah, it is as though he had fallen from on high, then the birds snatch him away or the wind carries him off to a far-distant place.(2)

From the height of Monotheism to the depravity of Polytheism

Thus a person who becomes a polytheist has actually fallen from the great status of humanity. Monotheism is a strong fort of Allah. One who associates anyone or anything with Allah falls out of this fort. The Satan

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1- Biharul Anwar 16:241
2- Surah Hajj 22:31.

kidnaps him and deceives him. He commits the mistake of allowing himself to be deceived by the Satan. In this way he becomes distant from divine mercy. The Satan makes him involved in illegal desires and wrong wants.

In brief, one who falls from the lofty status of Monotheism to the debased position of polytheism, either the man-eating bird of carnal desires devours him or he is blown away into the valley of deviation by the wind of satanic instigations.

The Demand of Humanity : Monotheism

Man is the superior-most creature. He has the loftiest position among the creations of Allah. However, this position is bestowed on him only if he remains attached the Almighty. He achieves it only when he submits to the obedience of Allah. He considers everything that he has as Allah's property. He sees himself debased and degraded before the might of Allah. He looks upon all creatures as partners in the service of Allah.

He believes that Allah is the giver of all bounties to him as well to others. According to him Allah is the guardian of all the creatures. He must not consider any creature to be instrumental in influencing anyone's fate. He should consider all the creatures as mediums and channels. He may approach them for being mediums but he must only consider them as such. He must have absolute regard only for Allah. For example, during an illness he can visit a doctor and if necessary take medicine. However, he should know that only Allah bestows a cure. If

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Allah had not given cure in the hands of the doctor or effect in the medicine, he would never have been cured. If Allah had not permitted, the doctor would not have succeeded in diagnosing the disease.

Thus he should consider himself and all other creatures to be depending and in need of Allah in all aspects of their life. He should have firm belief that it is Allah Who has brought us into this world and it is He alone Who will take us away. Allah is one Who bestows in excess and sometimes due to hidden wisdom He constrains the bounties. Allah is the one to protect us in the world and He alone can give us salvation in the Hereafter. Allah is his Lord as well as of the others. Thus he should say with firm conviction: I witness that there is no god except Allah. The One Who has no partner. The kingdom is for Him and the Praise is for Him.

This is the great position of humanity. That he should only look upon Allah and worship Him alone. If man bows down before a creature of Allah, considers himself needy before him, pleads with him and degrades himself before him, he debases himself from the lofty position of humanity. Bowing down before living and non-living objects, before animals and angels is a kind of abasement. No one is higher than Allah. If man considers something other than Allah as god it means that he has humiliated

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himself before it instead of Allah. The honor of humanity lies in that he should consider himself only in need of Allah. No creature can completely dissociate from Allah.

Cannot ever create a Mosquito

The Almighty Allah says,

O people! A parable is set forth, therefore listen to it: surely those whom you call upon besides Allah cannot create a fly, though they should all gather for it, and should the fly snatch away anything from them, they could not take it back from it; weak are the invoker and the invoked.(1)

Thus, is it correct to worship such people, such things and idols?

Does it behoove humanity that man should plead before such deities?

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “The infidels of Quraish used to anoint the idols they had hung on the four sides of the Ka'ba with fragrance of musk and amber. Allah appointed four-winged green flies on these idols. These flies used to snatch the musk and amber and fly away and feed on it.”

We have taken the above tradition from Tafsir of Safi that quotes from Usul al-Kafi.

Types of False Deities

All those things that deterred man from the worship of One God and all those things that he came to regard as deities are either inorganic, or organic like the plants, the animals, man, jinns and angels etc. So we shall refer to them in brief only because greater details will prolong the discussion.

Inanimate objects can be heavenly bodies like the moon and the stars or the idols. People usually made idols of wood or stone. They used

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1- Surah Hajj 22:73.

to embellish them with gold, silver and precious stones and make them in different shapes. In the same way they used to make statues of the stars and install them in their worship-houses. Then these ignorant people used to worship these idols their own hands had wrought. They used to rely on them and invocate them.

Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) told the idol-worshippers of his nation:

What! Do you worship what you hew out? And Allah has created you and what you make.(1)

How can reason justify this action that man is bowing down before something that he has himself made? It is Allah Who has created all the material that you use for making the idols.

The verses that are revealed in denouncement of idol-worship are numerous.

Worship of the most lowly things

It is obvious that the position of man is higher than that of animals. In the same way the position of animals is higher than inanimate objects. Thus if man begins to worship something that can neither move nor think, which does not even have a proper shape or body, and considers himself subservient to inanimate objects, it shall be definitely an illogical thing to do. In this way man has degraded himself to become lowlier than inanimate objects.

Excuses for Idol Worship

Some idol worshippers justify their wrong practice saying, “We know that these idols are not our creator and sustainer. But since it is not possible to contact God without a medium, we are compelled to make them in the form of God or proximate angels and worship them. So that

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1- Surah Saffat 37:95–96.

we can gain proximity to the Creator of the Universe. Respecting the image of a person signifies respecting this person himself.”

This is just like repeating the words of the Holy Quran:

We do not serve them save that they make us nearer to Allah.(1)

Allah is Near but He has no body!

This is a wrong notion of the idol-worshippers. Everyone knows that no one is more proximate than Allah? Reason and nature desire that every creature should ever be engaged in struggle to reach Him. It is the demand of the Might of the Creator that in achieving proximity to the creatures nothing should come in between. The traditions of the Prophets also confirm this. However, the Almighty Allah does not possess a shape. He neither has a form or a face.

Rather, He is the Creator of bodies. He Himself does not have a body. Thus it is not correct to make an image of God. It is also not correct to make the images of angels and men considering them to be proximate to Allah. No man has ever seen an angel in actual form. Thus whatever image is created is imaginative and false. As far as the stars and idols are concerned, Satan deviates men through them.

By making them engrossed in their worship the Satan keeps them away from the worship of Allah. Another point is that idol-makers can neither prove their action through reason nor do they have any divine command as proof.

You only worship idols besides Allah and you create a lie.(2)

Worship of the Four Elements

Some people

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1- Surah Zumar 39:3.
2- Surah Ankabut 29:17.

worship the four elements, viz. fire, water, earth and air. Satan has deviated them towards this. Some people worship only fire. They consider it to be eternal. They say: The greatest creature of Allah is the fire. So we must worship it. Some people worship air and consider it to be the only real entity. They do not think it to be different from the existence of God.

Others think earth (dust) is the only God. Some others worship the sea. The baselessness and falsity of such beliefs is obvious.

Sun, Moon and the Stars

Some people have deviated towards the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. The worshippers of the sun think that it is an angel. “It is a great, intelligent and powerful angel. It is the chief of all angels. It is the king of the heaven and the earth.”

Certain people exceed this and say: “Sun is the absolute truth and the actual God. It has created everything. We can see it with our eyes while we only hear the name of other non-material things. Man should worship only that which he can see. We should not worship on hearsay.”

Some other people worship the moon. They consider it to be a great and a powerful angel, while Zoroastrians also revere other celestial bodies like Venus, Saturn and Mars etc. They fix their images in their worship houses and get them engraved in their homes and worship them.

From the aspect of creation, Earth is like the Moon and Stars

Today man has stepped on the moon. It has been proved beyond doubt that stars and planets resemble

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this Earth. Their status is no higher than that of the Earth. If man pleads to them and prostrates before them it is nothing but his own ignorance.

False beliefs

Yes! Distancing themselves from the religion of Islam and the Holy Quran has involved them in such false beliefs. So much so, that there are some people in India who worship the male sexual organ. Some consider the cow to be holy. They say that your prayer shall be valid only if you wash your face with cow urine. When they see a cow urinating they rush to it and cup their hands to fill them with urine. After this they smear their faces with it and perform prayers. There is also a sect of Magians who say: “Angels are the daughters of God. They influence the course of happenings. The Almighty also has a wife from the jinn family.”

Another sect worships the jinns.

Worship of Trees and Division of Good and Evil

A date palm was considered sacred in the area of Najran. Weapons, clothes and dresses were kept on it as offerings.

It is written in Anisul Aalaam that, “There is a tree besides the river Ganges in India, whose leaves move continuously in a particular fashion. They move sixty times in a minute. The polytheists of India consider this river and this tree sacred.”

These are a religious group called 'Sanawiya'. According to them there are two creators of this world. All that is good is created by Yazdan, who is wise and kind. The second Creator is Ahriman (Satan). He is

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powerless and he has created all the evil.

The Nature of Man says that God is One

Scholars say that except for the atheists and materialists, followers of all other religions believe in the Unity and Oneness of God. Even if they indulge in polytheism they consider other gods to be smaller than the Almighty and they consider Allah as the greatest. Or they say that the smaller gods give some bounties and answer invocations. But they consider that the creator and the Lord of all is one because human nature cannot, but believe in the Oneness of God.

Polytheism in Actions

In other words it can be said that everyone is unanimous on the Being and qualities of Almighty God. They all say that the eternal being of the Almighty is one. But some people commit polytheism in actions of God. They say that all that is done by providence has the hand of some others besides God. They consider these other factors worthy of obedience besides the Almighty. The obedience should be for Allah, alone. With regard to worship also they perform such acts that are worthy only for the Almighty

Idol-worship is open Polytheism

So far we have discussed about the idol-worshippers whose polytheism is obvious. Even the Holy Quran applies to them both the terms: Polytheist and Idol-worshippers. The People of the Book (Ahlul Kitab) are in a different kind of polytheism. It can just be said that they have committed polytheism. There is a difference between doing polytheism and being polytheists themselves. For example, in spite of Hajj becoming incumbent on him if someone

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does not perform it, it is said that he has committed infidelity. But we can't say that he has become an infidel. Thus polytheists are those whose polytheism is obvious. And obvious polytheism means that a person accepts smaller gods and worships them.

The Polytheism of Ahlul Kitab is Hidden Polytheism

The polytheism of Ahlul Kitab is a hidden or concealed polytheism. Ahlul Kitab includes the Jews and Christians. Some scholars say that Magians are also included in it. Certain traditions also support the view that Magians had a prophet and a heavenly book but now that book has been taken away from them.

The polytheism of the Ahlul Kitab is due to various reasons: For example the Jews say, “Uzair is the son of God.”

Uzair is the same person whom the Jews call Ozra in Hebrew. He was the one to lay the new foundation of Jewish faith. Nebuchannezer the king of Babel had conquered the cities and territories of the Jews, razed their synagogues and burnt their holy books. After this Uzair wrote a new book by the name of Torah.

Nebuchannezer had killed all the male Jews. The women, children and some old men were sent to Babel. They remained in Babel for nearly a hundred years. Finally, Koresh the king of Persia invaded Babel and conquered it. Then Uzair came to Koresh and lobbied for the homeless Jews. Koresh had respect for Uzair.

He agreed to the request of Uzair that Jews be permitted to return to their homeland. He also gave the permission to rewrite the

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Torah, because not a single copy of Torah had survived. Despite this fact, Uzair wrote a book called Torah in 457 B.C. then he distributed it among the Jews under the same title of Torah.

However, after three hundred years or so, in 161 B.C. the ruler of Sham (Syria) in Antioch again conquered the Jewish territories. As a result of this even the Torah written by Uzair was destroyed. The soldiers of Antioch used to raid homes and wherever a copy of Torah was found, it was burnt to ashes.

The Jews revere Uzair because he had once again settled them in Palestine. That is why they call him 'Son of God'. This is just like Christians who refer to Prophet Isa (a.s.) as the “Son of God,” because they found in him a glimpse of divine qualities. They consider him to be from God or the Son of God. They think that since he is so close to God, he must be the Son of God. Actually this extreme belief of the Jews and Christians has no firm basis.

And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths.(1)

Please refer to Surah Tawbah, verses 30-32 for this topic.

The Christians believe in 'Unity in trinity'. While they say that the Creator of the Universe is one they also reiterate that the creator consists of three parts. One part is concerned with creation. The second

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1- Surah Tawbah 9:30

part is the 'son of God' (Isa).

He is concerned with the mission of speaking to the people as a representative of God. And the third part is the Holy Spirit (Jibraeel). He is considered with the section of life. These three different parts of God are know as “Aqaneem” in their terminology and one of them implies a particular quality without which the personage has no existence.

This was in brief the belief of trinity. However when we study this subject in detail in different books we find that there are more than seventy points regarding which there exist controversies. That is justifications for trinity contradict each other. So much so that some Christian writers state that, “The belief of trinity is not logical, but we must accept it without any investigation.”

Please refer to the book Anisul Aalaam for more details. Also, the Tafsir al-Mizan has discussed this topic under the exegesis of the 30th Verse of Surah Ali Imran.

The idol-worshippers of India and the Buddhist also believe in trinity. Rather, scholars say that Christians have borrowed the idea of trinity from the idol-worshippers.

Allamah Tabatabai quotes from Khurafat-e-Taurat in his Tafsir al-Mizan: “When we undertake a careful study of India we find that their most ancient and common deities are the trinity. That is one God has three parts. According to them there are three parts of the Godhead: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They believe that the three of them collectively make up the Godhead. According to them Brahma is

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the Creator, Vishnu is the preserver and Shiva, the destroyer.

Extremists and believers in ‘delegation’ (Tafweez) are also Polytheists

The 'Ghulat' (extremist) sect of the Muslims also commits hidden polytheism. The followers of this sect say that Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) is the creator, sustainer and the administrator of the universe. Tafweez means that these people believe in delegation. According to them Ali (a.s.) and the other Imams have been delegated the tasks of creating and sustaining the world and they have complete freedom to do as they like. Obviously they consider Ali (a.s.) a partner of Allah in actions that are only in the hands of Allah.

Obedience of the Lord

The Ahlul Kitab are also guilty of polytheism in the matter of obedience, while it is only Allah Who is the Lord of all the worlds. He is the One Who created man and other creatures and bestowed form and body to them. He makes each of the creatures to reach to their perfection. From the time a child is conceived till he reaches the lap of death, in whole life span of man, Allah does not forsake him even for a moment. In the same way Allah is not careless of them in the Hereafter.

Thus man should leave his spiritual training also to the hands of the Almighty. He should not consider anyone else his Lord. He should act only on Allah's command. He should not obey anyone in opposition to the order of Allah. He should not obey his desires, the Satan or other people if they are instigating him

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to disobey Allah. The Holy Quran has criticized such people.

Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his god?(1)

Surely they took Satans for guardians beside Allah.(2)

Whether they are from the genre of mankind or from jinns, obeying these Satans in opposition to the commands of Allah is a kind of polytheism.

The Almighty Allah had taken a covenant from the soul of man that he will not obey any Satan.

Did I not charge you, O children of Adam! That you should not serve the Satan?(3)


They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Maryam and they were enjoined that they should serve one God only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him).(4)

The above verse shows that one who obeys someone other than Allah in opposition to divine command or one who follows the command of someone other than Allah while this command is against Allah's command, has actually committed polytheism.

People who make legal things illegal and illegal things legal

Abu Basir asked Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) the interpretation of the above verse (Surah Tawbah 9:31). Imam said, “Know that! By Allah they never did ask the people to worship them because if they had said so, the people would not have obeyed. But they asked them to consider prohibited things permissible for their sake and to consider the permissible things prohibited. Thus they worshipped them thoughtlessly.”(5)

The following tradition of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is also mentioned in Usul

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1- Surah Jathiya 45:23.
2- Surah Araaf 7:30.
3- Surah Yasin 36:60.
4- Surah Tawbah 9:31.
5- Usul al-Kafi, Chapter of Polytheism.

al-Kafi: “One who obeys a person in contravention of divine disobedience has actually worshipped him.”

Following the scholars of false religions is also Polytheism

Some Muslim sects consider it obligatory to follow certain religious leaders with regard to the Islamic practical law while their leaders have prescribed prohibited and permissible without any firm proof.

It is said about Abu Hanifah that he used to say, “The Holy Prophet (S) has said this regarding this matter but I say that…”

Quality of the Shia Jurisprudents

According to the Shia sect one of the qualities of a jurisprudent (Mujtahid) who can be followed in (Islamic practical law) is that he should not be a slave of his base desires and every verdict of his should be based on the Holy Quran and traditions of Ahlul Bayt.

The 'Ulil-Amr' (those who are vested with authority) are twelve, according to the Messenger of Allah (S). They are the twelve Imams of Ahlul Bayt. Obeying them is like obeying the Prophet. The Twelfth Imam, Imam Mahdi (a.s.), during this occultation period has made it incumbent on us to obey a Mujtahid who does not value his personal opinion in front of Allah's command. Thus following this Mujtahid will amount to be the obedience of Imam and that in turn is obedience of Allah and His Prophet.

Polytheism along with worship

It is possible for Ahlul Kitab and Muslims to indulge in polytheism while they worship. For example, Christians worship Isa (a.s.) as the Son of God, as God himself. In the same way the 'Ghulat' (extremists) consider Ali (a.s.) as the creator and sustainer of the Universe. They

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consider him a partner of Allah in this regard. Some Sufis worship their saint-teachers called 'pirs'. They think that he (the pir) and Allah are one and the same. Or that Allah has incarnated Himself in their bodies. This is the same polytheism that we have discussed before.

We should try to Understand the meaning of ‘Allah’s Slavery’

In order to understand the different types of hidden polytheisms, we must understand the meaning of Allah's service and who can be called the servant of Allah. Whenever a sane and intelligent person sees himself and others he understands at once that all the necessary elements of life have been provided by the Almighty. No one has anything of his own. All creatures are in need of Allah in all aspects of their life. They seek Him for fulfillment of their needs. He should know that they are the subjects of the Almighty. Allah is the Lord and Master of all creatures.

There is no one in the heavens and the earth but will come to the Beneficent God as a servant.(1)

Man should understand his nothingness. He should know that he is needy of Allah in every aspect. He is himself a beggar of the Almighty. The Almighty Allah is incomparable. All the strength and power belongs to Him. If man decides to dissociate from the Almighty even for a moment, he will find that he is destroyed. Knowing this he should remain only as the slave of Almighty. This method of expressing ones abasement before Allah and confession of ones neediness before Him

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1- Surah Maryam 19:93

is known as worship. Forget about fulfilling the rights of the bounties of Allah he cannot even thank for them sufficiently. Thus man can only devote every moment of his life to the Almighty.

Obedience in every moment of life

The bounties of Allah are present for us in every moment of our life. He is always our Lord and sustainer. Thus even we should serve Him alone every moment of our life. The Almighty Allah has also bestowed the favor of teaching man the way to serve Him. He did not leave humanity confused in this regard. He taught us the method of worship through the Holy Prophet (S). Allah has also prohibited us to worship in the way we like.

Such a thing is an innovation in religion (bida't) and it is unlawful.

In addition to this He has made worship easy for us (the Muslims). The physical worship is that in 24 hours we have to perform only seventeen units of Prayer. We have to fast only one month every year. We have to perform Hajj only once in our lifetime (if we are capable). We have to pay some religious taxes like Khums and Zakat, which are easy too.

The Almighty Allah has prescribed great rewards for this little worship. He has made only the fulfillment of obligatory acts to be sufficient for one to gain nearness to Him. The recommended acts and supererogatory prayers will only increase this proximity and enhance the grades of the believer. However, the necessary condition for the correctness

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of worship acts is that they should be only for the nearness of Allah.

And (do) not join anyone in the service of his Lord.(1)

Thus a worship act, whether obligatory or recommended, should not be for the creatures to see and to earn their praises. Even if along with the service of Allah we aim to achieve these things, it is prohibited and is a greater sin.

He should not serve anyone else

If man forgets to perform some worship acts on time, Allah will forgive this carelessness, as the activity that had diverted him from prayer was not prohibited. Or in those moments he had not worshipped anything else. He should not have worshipped Satan.

He should not have given preference to his selfish desires over the commands of Allah. The same conditions apply for prayers on time, even if for example, he prays correct prayer at the time of Zuhr (Noon). At least he will not be eligible for punishment of omitting prayer. But Allah shall not accept such prayers because, he does not say the truth when he recites: “I serve You alone.” One who serves one person at one time and another at other times cannot be a sincere servant of Allah. The prayers of this person will not raise his status. It does not increase proximity to Allah. Allah accepts the worship of only those who fear Allah all the time.

Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil).(2)

Maulana Rumi says,

The mother of all idols is the idol of your self.

Because all those

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1- Surah Kahf 18:110.
2- Surah Maidah 5:27.

idols are snakes and it is the python.(1)

Worshipping the Desires

A Muslim recites “iyyaka Na’budu” (I worship You alone), ten times every 24 hours. However, he spends a major part of those 24 hours in the worship of his self, his desires and Satan etc. He remains a slave of carnal desires and satanic hopes. He is prepared to be humiliated for worldly wealth. That is, he even becomes a slave of money. He betrays trusts and does not fulfill the rights of others. So much so, that for money he is prepared to sell his religion also.

That is why the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “The slave of Dirhams and Dinars (material wealth) will be destroyed.”

The king summoned a wise man. When he came to the king he did not fulfill the rituals of respecting the king. “You have not shown respect to me,” complained the king. The wise man said, “That is because I am the ruler of that of which you are the slave. You are the slave of your wealth and position. While I do not give importance to these things.”

History is replete with examples where people have even sold their religion for wealth. As an example we mention the story of Qazi Shurah of Kufa.

When Ibne Ziyad ordered Qazi Shurah to issue a verdict (fatwa) for the killing of Imam Husain (a.s.) he was not initially prepared to do it. Ibne Ziyad insisted and Qazi Shurah banged his ink well on his head and began to

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1- Persian Couplets.

bleed. In this condition he asked, “How is it possible for me to issue such a verdict?”

During the night Ibne Ziyad dispatched to his house huge quantities of gold and valuables in numerous sacks. The next day he himself came to the royal palace and said, “I gave it a deep thought last night. As a result I have understood that fighting against Husain is obligatory, because he has revolted against Yazid, the caliph of this time and intends to spread mischief.”

It is written in the book Jawahirul Kalam, that, “Seven hundred million dirhams were collected annually in the treasury of Kufa. Nothing had been taken out of it since the time of Muawiyah till the time Imam Husain (a.s.) turned towards Karbala’. Whatever wealth had accumulated during those years in the Kufa treasury was distributed among the Yazidite forces by Ibne Ziyad.”

In the same way Samra bin Jundab is considered to be a companion of the Holy Prophet (S). Muawiyah said to him, “Go to the pulpit and announce that you heard the Holy Prophet (S) say that following verse:

And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah.(1)

was revealed in praise of Ibne Muljim the killer of Ali (a.s.). (While it was actually revealed for Ali Ibne Abi Talib).

And also say, that the verse:

And among men is he whose speech about the life of this world causes you to wonder, and he calls on Allah to witness as to what is in his heart,

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:207.

yet he is the most violent of adversaries.(1)

was revealed for Ali (a.s.), in return of which I shall pay you a thousand Dirhams.”

Samra did not agree but he relented when Muawiyah offered him two thousand. He at once went to the pulpit and uttered such false things. How apt are the following couplets:

O wealth! I do not know how lucky you were born. In your love the son becomes the enemy of his mother. You are the beloved of kings and rich people. The king gets satisfaction from you and the army gets décor. Even the pious do not turn towards the prayer niche without thinking about you. And the sermonizer does not step on the pulpit without your love.

A person forgets Allah even as he is busy in prayers. The appetite for wealth is in his heart. Though he utters: “Thee Alone we worship” actually he is attached to something else. Such a servant is in fact a polytheist. Rather he is a real Satan. He shall get degradation in the Hereafter and Hell fire. How nicely Sayyid Bahrul Uloom has described this:

“When you are busy only in prayers you must not be distracted by polytheism, lie or following a habit etc. You should not be such and you should not do any of such acts. You should not utter something regarding which you will have to regret. You are such that at the time of prayer also you become a slave of your desires!(2)

Slave of many masters and Slave of One Master

The Holy Quran says,

Allah sets

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:204.
2- Arabic Couplets.

forth an example: There is a slave in whom are (several) partners differing with one another, and there is another slave wholly owned by one man. Are the two alike in condition? (All) praise is due to Allah. Nay! Most of them do not know.(1)

Obviously when a person is a slave of numerous self desires, satanic instigations and he pleads with so many people, how can we expect to live in peace. While the slave of only Allah experiences utmost peace and comfort.

Since you have got a single heart you must choose only one lover.(2)

Steadfastness in Monotheism

Monotheism is the foundation of Islam. Indeed one who turns away from the obedience of one God and begins to serve his personal desires and Satan, his faith is destroyed. Such a person cannot defend his belief. That is why a person must say in all sincerity: I witness that there is no god except Allah.” He should be steadfast in his faith. Such people are mentioned in the Quran.

(As for) those who say: Our Lord is Allah, then continue in the right way, the angels descend upon them, saying: Fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden, which you were promised.(3)

It is mentioned in Tafsir Minhajus Sadiqeen that Sufyan Ibne Abdullah Thaqafi requested the Prophet to teach him a quality that he can imbibe. The Prophet said, “Say My Lord is only Allah. Then be steadfast upon it.”

He asked, “O Messenger of Allah (S), what is the most dangerous thing

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1- Surah Zumar 39:29.
2- Persian Couplets.
3- Surah Ha Mim 41:30.

that we should beware of?”

The Messenger of Allah (S) caught his tongue with his hand said, “Guard your tongue.”

An Example

Abdullah Ibne Huzaifah Ibne Qais was taken a prisoner while fighting against the Romans. The Romans told him to embrace Christianity and they would release him. Abdullah did not agree. The Romans heated olive oil in a huge pot and brought a Muslim prisoner before Abdullah. When he also did not agree to embrace Christianity, he was thrown into the boiling oil in front of Abdullah. His flesh separated from him and his bones disintegrated.

Once more Abdullah was told to embrace Christianity but he did not relent. The Christian chief said, “Cast him into the oil too.” Hearing this Abdullah began to weep. Upon hearing him wail that Christian chief ordered that he be brought back. Abdullah said, “I am not weeping due to the pain I would suffer, I am crying because I regret having only one life and I could sacrifice my life for Allah only once. It was my heart's desire that if only each hair of my body had one life and each time I were revived to die again in martyrdom.”

The Christian leader was astounded. He thought of releasing him and he said, “Kiss my head and I will set you free.” Abdullah refused. The chief became furious and said, “Give up Islam! Become a Christian. I will give you my daughter and bequeath my wealth to you.” Abdullah still did not agree. The chief said, “Okay!

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Kiss my head and I will release 80 Muslim prisoners with you. Abdullah accepted this. They returned to Medina. The other Muslims made fun of him saying, “You have kissed an infidel!” Abdullah said, “Due to that gesture Allah released eighty Muslim prisoners.” This incident is mentioned on page 128 of the second volume of Safinatul Bihar.

Polytheism in seeking the help of causes

A type of polytheism common among Muslims is that: The Creator of the universe has entrusted the system of the universe to causes and means. The cause for everything is appointed in something else. For example the cause for the birth of a child are his parents. The cause of the cure of a disease rests in medicine and doctor. He considers work the cause of earning livelihood.

Man seeks the help of the causes to obtain some benefit or to save himself from some harm. If he begins to consider that this is only a medium of harm and benefit while the actual cause is Allah, there shall definitely be an increase in his recognition and insight.

Say: I do not control any benefit or harm for my own soul except as Allah please.(1)

Muslims should consider causes to be mere causes. If Allah wills He sends benefits or harm through them. If Allah wants He can nullify all their effects.

Man has to perform prayers in order to make this belief firm. And everyday he should sincerely utter this ten times: 'Thee alone we worship. And Thine help we seek.' These sentences are recited at least

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1- Surah Araaf 7:188

twice in every prayer. They imply that the person considers Allah to be the bestower of everything in the world and the Hereafter. Only He can protect us from the mischief of the world and the Hereafter. He is the true refuge. This is the actual meaning of reliance on Allah (Tawakkul). And reliance is a necessary component of faith.

We should repose hope in the final cause

Reliance does not mean that we do not refer to the causes. Reliance is an emotion of the heart. It's strength, hope and support is the Almighty Allah, alone. However, it is the command of Allah that we seek help of the causes. On the basis of this command if man seeks the assistance of the causes for gaining something or avoiding some harm, it is a part of reliance.

Every rational person garners the support of someone or something. However, his sight is trained only on the Almighty. He continues to pray to Allah because he knows that if Allah wishes He can solve his problem through the cause and if He so wills it will become ineffective. Then Allah can make someone else the cause. The final authority is not in the hands of the cause. It is with Allah. Allah can fulfill the needs of His slave through whichever medium He likes. If Allah wills He can fulfill his needs even without a cause or a medium. We have mentioned the details of this in the first volume of Greater Sins.

Obeying someone in sin is also Polytheism

And most of them do not believe in

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Allah without associating others (with Him).(1)

Zurarah says that he asked Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) regarding the explanation of the above verse. Imam replied, “It is the same type of polytheism that man says, “No! By your life!”(2)154

Thus swearing by a creature to prove our word right is also a kind of polytheism. The following tradition has also been recorded in Tafsir Ayyashi from Imam Baqir (a.s.): The saying of man, “By Allah!” Or “by such and such person,” also constitutes Polytheism.

This shows that for swearing we must not make anyone a partner to Allah. We should not consider Allah, that final cause, to be equal to a creature (an intermediary cause). Thus it is only Allah's name, which deserves to be sworn upon. In reality the greatest entity is that of Allah. The greatness of all the creatures is derived from the Almighty. Thus we should not consider anyone as the partner of Allah in according respect.

Swearing by anyone else is not Prohibited

However, it is important to state that since swearing by creature of Allah is not polytheism in worship or obedience, it is not prohibited. In the same way it is not prohibited if we make someone a partner in honoring Allah. It is certainly permitted. According to Shaykh Tusi such traditions were meant to imply that it is a detestable act. He writes on pg. 191 of volume six of his book Al-Mabsuta, “It is detestable to swear by anyone else other than Allah. For example to swear by the Prophet, the Ka'ba,

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1- Surah Yusuf 12:106.
2- Tafsir Ayyashi

by ones parents etc, is detestable.”

It is recorded in traditions that the Holy Prophet (S) said, “Do not swear by your forefathers and the idols. Do not swear by anyone except Allah. Do not even swear by His name unless you are speaking the truth.”

Another tradition of the Prophet says that when he heard Umar swearing in the name of his father, he said, “The Almighty Allah has prohibited you to swear by your forefathers.”

The Messenger of Allah (S) also said, “One who swears by anyone other that Allah has ascribed a partner to Allah.”

Some narrations mention that, “Such a person has denied his Lord.”

However, it is construed as polytheism and disbelief only when man makes him a partner in Allah's greatness and equates him to Allah, but if he considers him of less importance then it is not polytheism, disbelief or a prohibited act. It is most certainly detestable in the light of these traditions.

Practice for Monotheism

People have been refrained from swearing by the creatures so that they may imbibe the habit monotheism. We should always and in all circumstances train our thoughts on Allah Almighty alone. In our words, deeds, actions and everything, there should not even be an iota of polytheism. We should gain perfect belief in monotheism and remain steadfast on it.

In this way we are prohibited to seek the help of creatures. This also helps to inculcate the habit of asking everything from Allah, except when one is helpless.

Muhaqqiq Ardebeli says: It is detestable to ask anyone

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other than Allah. And this is proved from reason and Shariah. It is mentioned in traditions that some companions requested the Messenger of Allah (S) to guarantee Paradise for them. The Prophet gave his guarantee on the condition that they would be so self-reliant that if while mounting the horse they drop the whip, even if they could ask any person standing by to pick it up, they would themselves get down and pick it up themselves. This tradition is mentioned on pg. 6 of the book Zubdatul Bayan.

Thus asking a creature is detestable, but the detestability does not remain in times of emergencies. However, it is prescribed in this way so that people cultivate the habit of monotheism.

Do not Hide faith by oppression

The 82nd Verse of Surah Anam says,

Those who believe and do not mix up their faith with iniquity, those are they who shall have the security and they are those who go aright.

Injustice is of various types and the greatest injustice is polytheism.

Most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity.(1)

What greater injustice can be there that the master is giving all bounties to His servant and removing every type of problem? But this shameless servant is denying the favors of his Master right before his eyes and considering someone else as the bestower of those bounties. What can be more serious than hiding the favors of his master?

A person who considers the cause to be everything and believes that the cause is sufficient even without the help of the final cause is an

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1- Surah Luqman 31:13.

oppressor. One who ignores the unlimited bounties of Allah and instead of His praise and thankfulness he is falsely praising the causes, such a person is beyond the limits of justice. He is an oppressor. He is deserving of different types of punishments. He has forgotten his origin. He was nothing in the beginning. Then he assumed the shape of a sperm.

He did not possess anything. When he came to the world he didn't even have clothes on. Later he was bestowed different types of bounties by Allah. Is there any doubt that such thankless person is an oppressor?

It is written in the history of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi that in the beginning Ayaz was one of his slaves, but due to his intelligence and sacrifices he became the closest confidante of the Sultan. Other ministers and courtiers became jealous of him. Ayaz was having a small room of his own and it was always kept locked. No one entered it except Ayaz. Early in the morning he used to enter this room, stay inside for sometime and come out again locking it once more. Two of the ministers were always looking for an excuse to bring down Ayaz in the eyes of the Sultan. One day they said to the Sultan, “Ayaz has stolen a part of your treasure and kept it in a room. He is looking for a chance to revolt against you. No one can enter his room as he keeps it locked.”

The Sultan fell into

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doubt and issued an order that when Ayaz is in his service the next morning, the two of them would break the lock, enter the room and bring to him whatever they find there.

The next day when Ayaz joined the duty to serve the Sultan the two ministers went to his room accompanied by their laborers and bullock carts etc. They broke the lock and entered the room. But all they saw there were an old dress and a pair old shoes. They said to themselves that no one would put a lock just for a tattered dress and shoes. The treasure is probably buried in the room. Thus they began to dig the room. The deeper they dug the more ashamed they felt. At last the two of them came to the Sultan in fear.

The king learnt of their jealousy and lies and said, “If Ayaz is satisfied you can be saved.” The vizier fell down at the feet of Ayaz and offered to give him all his wealth. Ayaz said, “The judgment rests with the Sultan.” The Sultan forgave the two ministers and then asked Ayaz why he had locked an empty room and why he visited it every day? That is, why he had been the center of some people's doubt?

Ayaz said, “O Sultan! I was a destitute before entering your service. I did not possess anything other than that dress and a pair of shoes. By the grace of the Sultan I have everything

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today. I fear that one day I may become disobedient and revolt. That is why I keep that dress and shoes in that room. Everyday I go there so that I may not become proud. So that I always remember that whatever I have is given to me by the Sultan.”

In the same way every person should remember his past.

So let man consider of what he is created: He is created of water pouring forth (sperm).(1)

In the couplets of Maulana Rumi:

You are a germ. You became a lump of flesh by the synthesis of dirt. Even though you might have earned great fame and influence in the world. You were born from the sperm. Leave your ego. O Ayaz! Remember that tattered old dress. That way Ayaz, brimming with intelligence had hung his clothes and old shoes. Every morning he entered the room alone and said, “These are your shoes. Do not look up!” Right now in the state that you are will bring ecstasy. It will remove intelligence from the brain and shame from the heart. It was for this reason that Azazeel became Iblis. He asked how Adam is superior to me?

It is recommended to repeat the following sentences after the Afternoon (Asr) prayer:

“O Allah! Whatever bounty we have is from You. There is no deity except You. I seek forgiveness from You and repent to You.”

Similarly we should remember the following sentences of Dua Abu Hamzah Thumali:

O my chief! I was that nonentity whom You exalted. I

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1- Surah Tariq 86:5-6

am that same weakling whom You bestowed strength. I am that same needy person whom You enriched. I am that same deviated person whom You guided. I am that same lowly creature whom You have made a great person.

Believers in Difficulties and Polytheists in Comfort

The Holy Quran says,

So when they ride in the ships they call upon Allah, being sincerely obedient to Him, but when He brings them safe to the land, lo! They associate others (with Him); thus they become ungrateful for what We have given them, so that they may enjoy; but they shall soon know.(1)

The verse shows that people in difficulties tend to become religious but once they gain comfort they forget their religiosity. But such people cannot escape divine punishment that will soon catch up with them.

Forgetting the Favors

The Almighty Allah says,

And when distress afflicts a man he calls upon his Lord turning to Him frequently; then when He makes him possess a favor from Him, he forgets that for which he called upon Him before, and sets up rivals to Allah that he may cause (men) to stray off from His path. Say: Enjoy yourself in your ungratefulness a little, surely you are of the inmates of the fire.(2)

A Wrong Notion

In the same Surah we have the following verse,

So when harm afflicts a man he calls upon Us; then, when We give him a favor from Us, he says: I have been given it only by means of knowledge. Nay, it is a trial, but most of them do not know.(3)

All blessings are from Allah

The wretched man says that

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1- Surah Ankabut 29:65-66.
2- Surah Zumar 39:8.
3- Surah Zumar 39:49.

I have got these blessings because of my knowledge, experience, my strength, power and ability. He forgets who has given him this knowledge, strength, ability and experience. If he had considered, he would have known that Allah has bestowed upon him all these blessings for a short period of time, and Allah is the Master of everything. And He gives these blessings through the means of such causes.

When the fact will be known

It is a matter of sorrow that man wants to remain in the darkness of ignorance. He wants to continue to see the dream of his silly ideas and wrong notions. When death comes and the Day of Judgment arises, at that time he would know the truth. He would see, that the causes, which he was considering not as means of getting bounties, but directly effective, they are just the means. But when the truth will be known, his eyes will open.

In the third volume of Kifayatul Muwahhideen, on page number 292 a tradition mentioned as follows: When the truth is revealed, he would be so ashamed that he would wish to hide in a pit of Hell as soon as possible, so that he is saved from shame and disgrace. But he does not know that he has lost the opportunity of salvation by his own self.

They have come alone and would return alone

The God Almighty says in Surah Anam:

And certainly you have come to us alone as We created you at first, and you have left behind your backs the things which We gave you, and We

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do not see with you your intercessors about whom you asserted that they were (Allah's) associates in respect to you; certainly the ties between you are now cut off and what you asserted is gone from you.(1)

In the commentary of this verse in Tafsir al-Mizan, it is written that this noble verse informs that, in the new life man will know the reality of life. On the Day of Judgment he will be resurrected again and produced before the Lord and then he will know the reality.

He will come to know that the ability, which he had to do something, was also given by Allah. In the world, none but Allah made arrangements of his life. He had a wrong notion that man's planning was only efficacious. He was thinking that, equipment, properties and children, wives and relatives, all by themselves are having some effect in life, but there he will know that it was a baseless thing. In the same way, he considered other gods to be associates of Allah, and thought that they would recommend for him before Allah. It was also a wrong notion and they were not supposed to be worshipped at all.

Imploring the Causes is Deviation

Yes, like the other parts of the world, man is also a part of it. Like the other components he is also under the command of Allah. He is proceeding towards the destination, which Allah has destined for him. Of all the things in this world none can interfere in His kingdom and

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1- Surah Anam 6:94.

destiny. Causes that apparently seem to be effective are so due to the effects given to them by Allah. Not one of their effects is permanent and none of their effects is without the help or blessing of Allah.

But what can be done if man destroys himself upon the apparent effects of this physical life? He thinks that these means and causes are everything. Because of this misunderstanding, he folds his hands in front of them and implores them. He becomes unmindful of the Original Cause (Allah). The One Who is his Creator and Master as well as of those means and causes.

The matter goes to the extent that gradually on account of the effect of those causes he considers them to be permanent. He tries his best that these causes fulfill all his requirements and provide him with all the physical comforts. He spends his whole life in this misunderstanding and false hopes. He forgets the Quranic verse:

And life of this world is nothing but play.(1)

One who forgets Allah, gets himself forgotten

It is a fact and Quran has made it clear in different verses. For example it says:

Those who forsook Allah, so He made them forsake their own souls: these it is that are the transgressors.(2)162

When death comes, the soul is separated from the body. Connection with all the physical possessions and resources ends at that time. When alive, the body was having connection with those resources and means. But now that it is dead the connections have also ended. After death man, that

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1- Surah ash-Shura’, 42:36.
2- Surah Hashr 59:19.

is his soul, will know that all these physical means were not permanent and they by themselves were nothing. Nothing and no one other than Allah is efficacious.

You have come to return to Us only…(1)

This sentence points to the fact that on the Day of Judgment, physical causes would not be present to help him.

You have come, leaving behind whatever We had given you.(2)

This part of the verse shows that only Allah is the true cause. And it is a wrong notion that those causes have any effect of their own.

Now your connections have been cut off…(3)

Man, because of his wrong notion, thought that causes were everything and he remained stuck to them, but after death, he came to know that his idea was wrong. Now it was known that these means and causes, which made him unmindful of the remembrance of Allah, had no such respect or value.

Monotheism of Actions

A major portion of Quran is regarding 'Monotheism of Actions'. In this, man is prohibited to associate anything or anyone in the actions and deeds of Allah also. And 'Monotheism of the Being' is that Allah, in the aspect of His entity is unique. All the people of the world (except materialists) acknowledge, that the being of God is only one. The nature of man also says that the creator of this universe is one. Hence whatever polytheism is committed is not regarding 'Monotheism of the Being', rather it is committed regarding 'Monotheism of Actions'. People associate other small deities in the

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1- Al an-Aam, 6:94.
2- Al an-Aam, 6:94.
3- Al an-Aam, 6:94.

actions of One God. This is also polytheism.

Strengthen your Faith

That is why it is obligatory on every Muslim to strengthen the fundamentals of his Islamic belief, specially the belief in monotheism. In it lies the good fortune of this world as well as the next. He should know it with certainty that the Creator and the One who gives life is God Almighty. One Who continues and cuts short the life is also the same entity.

He only gives life and causes death.(1)

As creation is the action of Allah, in the same way giving sustenance and granting increase or decrease in sustenance is also in the hands of Allah only.

Allah amplifies and straitens the means of subsistence for whom He pleases;(2)

In the same way honor and humility is also from Him only.

O Allah, Thou exaltest whom Thou pleasest and abasest whom Thou pleasest; in Thine hand is the good…(3)

And that He it is Who enriches and gives to hold…(4)

To bestow a son, a daughter or not to give any children at all, all this is also from the will of Allah.

He grants to whom He pleases daughters and grants to whom He pleases sons. Or He makes them of both sorts, male and female; and He makes whom He pleases barren…(5)

It is He Who provides food and He Who gives water to drink, and cure from sickness is also in His hand alone.

He who gives me to eat and gives me to drink and when I am sick, then He restores me to

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1- Surah Ali Imran 3:156.
2- Surah Ra’d 13:26.
3- Surah Ali Imran 3:26.
4- Surah Najm 53:48.
5- Surah Shura 42:49-50.


Tests and trials are from Him alone, and difficulties are also removed by Him.

And if Allah should afflict you with harm, then there is none to remove it but He: and if He intends good to you there is none to repel His grace.(2)

Thus whatever man gets, the will of Allah is always present in it. He Alone gives good fortune and He Alone leaves in ill luck.

Allah makes err whom He pleases and guides aright whom He pleases.(3)

In the same way Allah has power over the emotional states of man, like happiness and sorrow.

And that He it is who makes (men) laugh and makes (them) weep.(4)

In short, it should be known that in the kingdom of the Exalted Lord, no such thing happens in which His will, His permission, or consent is not there. If in the kingdom of the Creator of the universe a single leaf also grows on the tree or in the forest a blade of grass takes shape or if anywhere a leaf breaks and fall down it is only with the knowledge and will of Allah.

And there falls not a leaf but He knows it.(5)

Verbal confession is not enough

Though verbal confession of monotheism and brief fundamentals of faith is sufficient and if because of sins the belief is not affected, then surely it will be a cause of salvation. But an intelligent person will not be content with this limit. First of all he should try to strengthen his fundamental belief, that is, his conscience also should accept

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1- Surah Shuara 26:79-80.
2- Surah Yunus 10:108.
3- Surah Yunus 35:8.
4- Surah Najm 53:43.
5- Surah Anam 6:59

monotheism as if he is seeing God with the eyes of his conscience. His heart should be illuminated with the light of monotheism in such a way, that the lamp of his heart never extinguishes. Then his efforts should be that this light (Nur) goes on increasing. To attain this aim, it is necessary to take care of two things.

One is to safeguard from following carnal desires, and the other to completely defend the belief in monotheism. The details of these two will come later.

Worship of carnal desires is contrary to the belief in Monotheism

Worship of carnal desires means to fulfill them whether they clash with the command of Allah or not. It does not befit those who believe in the Oneness of God. Monotheists are, in fact, only those who obey Allah's commands and prohibitions. They act upon His laws. And they avoid those actions that He has prohibited. They are careful that they leave no obligatory act and commit no prohibited deed.

One who follows carnal desires can never become a true monotheist. He does not deserve to be called a monotheist. In fact he does not worship only One Allah, but he worships his carnal desires also. Rather he gives preference to carnal desires over the orders of Allah. Such a person always thinks and considers himself to be independent. He does not consider himself to be in need of Allah. That is why he does not feel it necessary to acquire God's pleasure. Rather he remains busy in keeping himself happy and in fulfillment of his lusts.

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Unless man strives seriously for something, he cannot get it. One who seriously desires to adopt belief in monotheism would never give preference to anyone's word over that of God's. And one who gives preference to his carnal desires over Allah's command is not really willing to have the faith of monotheism. While one who blindly runs after carnal desires, can only satisfy them to a little extent.

Attention on belief in monotheism through words and deeds

Hence a believer is obliged to pay full attention to his speech and behavior, so that he does not deviate from the straight path of monotheism. He should refrain from all such actions, that smell of belittling God or smell of lowering the position of God. For example a believer performs a good deed; now he should not be pleased and delighted too much on performing this act.

He should always keep in mind that only Allah had given him the divine opportunity to do it. He should not speak of favors conferred by him on others. He should think that Allah had made him the medium and the cause. In the same way, if some other person does a favor to a believer, he should not flatter that person. Rather he should be thankful to Allah. And he should thank that person that he became the medium of Allah.

If someone hurts him, a believer should know that it is a test from Allah. That is why Allah has stopped His help on this occasion. He should remain fearful that he might become

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deserving of divine punishment and disgrace. He should pray to Allah for the removal of difficulties. He should pray for success in his work. He should never think of being independent of Allah.

He should not say: I did this and I did that, or I will do that. He should not even say: If I were not there this would have happened. I made that one wealthy, and saved that one from trouble. For this kind of talk implies that he proclaims himself to be in the place of the Lord. God should be the center of attention in all actions and speech. To the extent that it is commanded:

And do not say of anything; Surely I will do it tomorrow. Unless Allah pleases.(1)

Whenever you want to say something, say it in the above manner. After that it is said:

...And remember your Lord when you forget..(2)

That is if you have forgotten to say 'unless Allah pleases' (Insha Allah), whenever you remember it, say 'unless Allah pleases' (Insha Allah).

Hope from Allah and fear of Sins

We should never rely cent percent on our or anyone's intelligence and power. We should have absolute trust only on the unlimited power of God. If something unpleasant happens to us we should not get frightened or become sad or unhappy. But our grief and fear should be related to God. That whether Allah is displeased or angry with us or not. Whether I have become entitled to punishment or disgrace? It might not be a test, it could be some punishment.

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1- Surah Kahf 18:23.
2- Surah Kahf 18:24.

What if God does not forgive this bad deed? Hope should be from Allah only. There should be no polytheism in hope and fear also.

More subtle than the footfall of an Ant

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said, “Indeed, polytheism is more subtle than the footfall of an ant.”(1)178

Imam has also said that such polytheism is also seen in the action of wearing the ring inverted (to have the stone on the side of palm), so that one remembers pending work etc. In the same way people put a knot on the handkerchief, etc. as reminder for some errand.

Albeit, such acts normally do not come into the realm of polytheism. It is polytheism when total hope (complete trust) is put on the ring or the knot, that it will surely make one remember things. But if for instance one thinks that 'if God wills I will remember due to these means', this act would be according to monotheism. And if Allah does not wish, whatever he may do he would never be reminded of the things he wanted to remember.

Making someone a medium (Wasilah) for God is not polytheism

So the ring or the knot etc., or some person, all that are taken as mediums to make one remember something do not make one commit polytheism. Only Allah should be in the mind, that if Allah wishes, He would cause these mediums to remind one. All hope should be on God alone.

To augur evil is a kind of polytheism

To make (draw) bad omen and to rely on it is also a type of polytheism. The Holy Prophet (S) has said: “To consider bad omen, as

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1- Safinatul Bihar

the only effective thing is like thinking that the bad omen has interfered in the actions of God. That is one has committed polytheism with regard to God's actions if one has followed a bad omen.” The tradition above and the one following, both are quoted on page 66 of Vol. II of Hayatul Haiwan. The Holy Prophet (S) has also said, “One who retraces his steps thinking a bad omen has occurred has committed polytheism.”

And Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that the Holy Prophet (S) remarked, “Not paying attention to bad omen is itself an expiation of it.”

What is a superstition?

To consider something having good or bad influence while God has not made it to be so is known as 'superstition'. As a matter of fact he has made those things as partners of Allah.

For example, he is about to do something sensible, but all of a sudden he or someone else in his presence sneezes. Now he leaves whatever he was about to do thinking that this sneeze would affect the outcome of whatever he was about to do. This is superstition and a kind of polytheism.

Sneeze is a blessing

This wrong notion is so widespread that people have named it 'patience'. When someone sneezes, people tell him that 'patience' has occurred. Now that work should not be continued. Although logically or by any rule of Shariah the sneeze by itself is not the cause of any incident to occur in future. Rather, according to Islam, one who sneezes is supposed to have blessings

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and forgiveness. And it can be said that at that time, whatever was said or done had the blessing of God.

‘Inauspicious moment’ is also nonsense

There are many people, who by observing planets and stars predict future events. They inform about the benefit or loss that may occur in future. On the basis of their own wrong notion or on the basis of astrological predictions they count certain definite moments or times as inauspicious. And if they had decided to do something at that particular time they will not do it. This is also a kind of polytheism.

If man knows that profit and loss is in the powerful hands of God, if he begs for God's help through supplications or charity (Sadaqah), then that is a proof of monotheism. If at all Allah wishes, then surely he will get the good of it.

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) marches to Naharwan

'Khawarij' is the plural of Khariji (one who goes out). Some soldiers of Ali (a.s.) left their allegiance to him and started opposing him. Ali (a.s.) decided to fight those Khawarij and began his march towards Naharwan. Afif Ibne Qais said, “O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), I am afraid that if you move at this time, you will not get success. I say this on the basis of astrology. The position of the stars indicates weakness of Muslims.”

Imam said, “Do you think you can tell the hour when a man goes out and no evil befall him or can warn of the time at which if one goes out harm will accrue? Whoever testifies

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to this, falsifies the Quran and becomes unmindful of God in achieving his desired objective and in warding off the undesirable.” The Quran says:

And if Allah should hasten the evil to men as they desire the hastening of good, their doom should certainly have been decreed for them.(1)

These kinds of verses show that good and bad is under the control of God. Man does not even know what he would do tomorrow. This is implied in the following verse:

And no one knows what he shall earn on the morrow…(2)

The person having such a wrong notion does not seek God's help. He considers himself needless of God in achieving good and avoiding calamities.

“You cherish saying this so that he who acts on what you say should praise you rather than God because according to your misconception you have guided him about the hour in which he would secure benefit and avoid harm.”(3)

Marched at the same time and returned victorious

In brief, Ali (a.s.) did not accept the view of Afif and he said to his companions: “March forward taking the name of God and in the shade of His help, and always seek the assistance of God Almighty.” Thus immediately at that hour Imam invaded the Khawarjis, and was victorious in that battle. Nine Kharijis ran away and the rest were killed. In comparison very few of Ali's men were killed.

Crowing of the crow

Just as sneezing, which is considered a bad omen, other silly ideas are also prevalent among the general public. Many things are considered as bad omen; and are thought

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1- Surah Yunus 10:11.
2- Surah Luqman 31:34.
3- Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 77.

to affect future happenings. This is a kind of polytheism. For example listening to crowing of crow is considered by some as inauspicious. If an owl sits on a wall it is said to be a bad omen. Number 13 is considered inauspicious. If during a journey a bird crosses ones path from right or left, it is considered a sign of inauspiciousness. At the time of coming out of the house if a handicapped person is seen, it is considered inauspicious. Guests arriving or leaving on Sunday and Wednesday eve and visiting a sick person on these eves is considered to be a cause of misfortune.

To consider someone as auspicious or inauspicious is also nonsense

A person purchases a house and starts living in it, gets married and children are born. But he falls into calamities at some time; hence he says that the house is inauspicious. His wife is unlucky; some children are unlucky. But when he makes new gains the same house becomes auspicious again and the same wife and children now become auspicious and are welcomed. All these are superstitions and such talk is nonsense. This is a kind of polytheism. It is against monotheism. Only Allah is the Master of profit and loss, and good or evil.


If someone says that his belief is based on experience, it is a misunderstanding. It is not necessary that one who considers some occasion as inauspicious, every work he undertakes at that time will be unsuccessful or will not be done properly, or problems will arise. In fact equal

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possibility is there that it may prove good for him. It is expected from a man, that on every occasion, he perform his work with perfect trust in Allah (having faith in Allah's power). Now good or bad, whatever is in his fate, is the will of Allah. There is nothing unpleasant in it. One who considers something or some occasion to be inauspicious and that it affects future events should know that it has no relation whatsoever with the future. Whatever is to happen is bound to happen, someone may or may not sneeze.

Inauspiciousness lies in wrong beliefs and disapproved qualities

In the city of Antioch, three prophets of God arrived and started preaching to the inhabitants so that they accept Allah as their cherisher and worship Him. That they embrace the religion of Allah and have faith on the Day of Judgment. They told these prophets:

They said: surely we augur evil from you.(1)

Because of your presence we are suffering from so many difficulties and problems. As a matter of fact the King of Antioch had in the beginning shown displeasure towards those prophets and to those few who had declared their faith in them. The prophets replied:

Your evil fortune is with you (Because of your own deeds).(2)

Your beliefs are wrong. Your qualities are undesirable. And this is your misfortune, and evil omen.

Do not care for Bad Omen

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said, “Bad omen is according to the way you think. If you do not care for it, it will prove to be a thing not worth caring for. And if you

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1- Surah Yasin 36:18.
2- Surah Yasin 36:19.

consider it to be absolutely non-existent and an imaginary thing, it will prove to be non-existent and imaginary.”(1)

There is a famous tradition of the Prophet, called the tradition of Rafa. A part of it is as follows: When the companions asked the Prophet, “We are in the habit of taking bad omens.” That is, we unknowingly talk of bad omen. The Prophet said, “Whenever you speak of bad omen, do not have faith on it and do not become habituated to it.”

Travel on Wednesday and its Supplication

If it is said that, Wednesday is an inauspicious day, then in this regard there is a tradition of Holy Infallibles that we must not worry about it.

A tradition of Safinatul Bihar says:

One who leaves his house on Wednesday, and as apposed to those who consider bad omens, he does not turn back home; he is saved from all calamities. He remains safe from all difficulties and Allah fulfills his aim (for which he undertook the journey)(2)

There is a tradition from Imam Ali Ridha (a.s.) that one should read the following supplication while beginning a journey on a Wednesday: “O my Lord! I seek protection from that wickedness, which I find in my own self. So save me from this mischief.”(3)

Imam has taught supplications in which a person invokes: I seek your protection from the inauspiciousness of this Wednesday. Rather, Imam teaches us to say: I want to come out of the evil, which is present in my own self, into the shade of Your protection.

We must always augur good

It should not remain

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1- Rawdatul Kafi, Tradition No. 235
2- Safinatul Bihar Vol. 2, Pg. 102
3- Safinatul Bihar Vol. 2, Pg. 103.

unsaid that to augur good is recommended and Shariah also commands it. The Messenger of Allah (S) has said, “Indeed, to augur good is liked by Allah. Taking a good omen is like a person on seeing someone, or by hearing his name, or by any other relevant matter imagines happiness and deliverance from affliction for himself.”(1)

For example, if a co-traveler is named 'Nasrullah' (help of Allah), one should say, “If Allah wills, by the auspiciousness of your name, Allah's help and assistance would remain with us all the way.” Narrations mention that in the battle against infidels in Hudaibiyah, when the companions arrived, the Prophet taking relevance from their name (Sahl=easy) said, “Our mission was made easy.”

Auguring evil is related to polytheism

Yes, the meaning of auguring evil is that upon seeing a handicapped person on the way one thinks that the control over the profit and loss of the work for which he was going has slipped from Allah's Hand, and now it is in the hands of “seeing that handicapped person”.

One begins to take an imaginary thing as effective and does not consider the effect and control of God. That is, he does polytheism in God's actions. On the contrary if one augurs good, his good opinion in respect of Allah and his hopes increase. He does not consider these imaginary things to be effective, rather he considers Allah as the only effective power.


Monotheists should consider all good and evil, all profit and loss, all kinds of hope for goodness and deliverance

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1- Safinatul Bihar Vol. 2, Pg. 240.

from evil, to be related only with God. One should use the causes as means, but all ones hopes should be in the will and pleasure of God. With regard to effect the causes are not cut off and independent from Allah. Hope should be only from Allah. He can make any cause as means and He may, if He so likes, does not make some cause as the means and without the involvement of any cause He exercises His will. Considering causes to be necessarily effective is a kind of polytheism. Such imaginary things and bad omens have no effect of their own.

Making Imams as intermediaries is not polytheism

Certain ignorant people, like the Wahhabis, label the Shias as polytheists, because they consider their Imams to be inter-mediaries between them and God. They invoke Allah in their names and repose hope in their intercession. On the basis of this they allege (May Allah give us refuge!) that, Shias worship their Imams.

The reply to this allegation is that Shias never consider their Imams as partners of Allah. They are true believers in monotheism. They consider the Holy Prophet (S) and the Twelve Imams to be creatures of Allah and His proximate servants. They consider the worship of anyone other than Allah as polytheism and a prohibited act. They obey the Holy Prophet (S) and the Twelve Imams because it is the command of Allah to do so.

O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you…(1)

And whatever the Apostle gives

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1- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:59.

you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back.(1)

It is proved with categorical proofs that the Twelve Imams from Ahlul Bayt (Household of the Prophet) are the true successors and legatees of the Prophet. The Holy Prophet (S) himself has clearly commanded to obey and follow them, while obedience to the Prophet is in fact obedience to Allah.

Visitation (Ziyarat) is not deification

Yes, to visit the graves of the beloved servants of Allah is not polytheism. Shias do not worship the Imams by going for their Visitation (Ziyarat). Rather it is an expression of respect and humility.

Common sense dictates that the servants of Allah should be humble before Him. Intelligence demands that fear of Allah and humility to Him should be shown by everyone. In the same way to respect the favorite servants of Allah is a proof of obeisance to Allah.

To love the beloved ones of Allah is to love Allah.(2)

The Quran also commands the Muslims to honor and respect the Holy Prophet (S). For example it is said:

Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet, and do not speak loud to him.(3)

Do not hold the Apostle's calling (you) among you to be like you calling one to the other.(4)

That is, do not call the Messenger like you call each other, but say, “O Messenger of Allah (S).”

That you may believe in Allah and His Apostle and may aid him and revere him; and (that) you may declare His glory, morning and evening.(5)

It is also established with solid

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1- Surah Hashr 59:7.
2- Persian Couplet.
3- Surah Hujurat 49:2.
4- Surah Nur 24:63.
5- Surah Fath 48:9.

proofs that the Twelve Imams are included in this command, as they are having the same respectful position. They are all from the same light (Nur); and as the respect of the Prophet is obligatory, in the same way their (Twelve Imams') respect is also obligatory.

Respecting the kings and rulers

It is a matter of great astonishment that those who say, in opposition to Shias, that respecting the Holy Prophet (S) and his Progeny is polytheism, themselves behave with great respect and honor towards the rulers, the people of authority and rather every wealthy person. In fact the Holy Prophet (S) has prohibited humility to rich people when he said, “Allah destroys two thirds of the faith of one who shows humility towards a wealthy person, just because of his wealth.”(1)

This tradition indicates that besides humility to the wealthy with one's words and actions while also having a similar feeling in the heart, because of his wealth, can cause the destruction of two-third of ones religion. But if the wealthy person is religious also, and respect is shown because of his piety, then it would be respect of religion, and respect of Allah's religion is respect of Allah Himself.

Taking someone as intermediary is different from considering him a deity

To take the Prophet and other dignitaries of religion as intermediaries in the court of Allah for fulfillment of worldly and other worldly aims and desires, or to consider them as intercessors, who by the will and permission of Allah would be our helpers in delivering us from physical losses as well as getting us spiritual

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1- Safinatul Bihar.

values is not polytheism.

There is a difference in taking someone as intermediary in the court of Allah from considering someone as God. Allah has bestowed such power and capability to the Imams that with the permission and will of Allah they can help the servants of Allah. They can lift up the fallen ones, they can save them from stumbling over or colliding with something, they can save them from afflictions and misfortune and they can take those on the roads to their destination.

Making them intermediaries is just like one goes to a doctor or takes medicine and considers them as means to good health, which would be ultimately provided by Allah. If Allah had not permitted, the doctor or the medicine would not have healed. In the same way if Allah did not wish, the Prophet and Imams also would not have helped. Everything depends on Allah. If a person feels himself to be incapable or unable to reach the King on his own, he seeks help of those courtiers who are favorites and confidantes of the King and makes them his intermediaries. In this way there is no disrespect to the King.

The great Muhaddith Iraqi has narrated many incidents regarding the mediation of Ahlul Bayt and the fulfillment of needs through them in his book Darus Salam. We relate here one of those incidents. On page 539 of this book the incident begins as follows:

The fifth miracle is regarding Mulla Abdul Husain Khwansari who was a

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reliable and an upright person. He was an attendant at the shrines of Karbala’ and was famous as 'Turbate Pech'. He used to collected the 'dust of cure' (Khake Shifa) from venerable places with proper procedure as mentioned in traditions and distributed it to the pilgrims. It was the beginning period of my being an attendant, that in a religious gathering I happened to meet him. I found him to be very pious and virtuous.

I came to know that he had the opportunity to be the attendant of and in serving the holy shrine for many years. I requested him to narrate some miracle that he himself has witnessed. Of the astonishing things related by him is the following: I was living Khwansar. For some time I stayed in a town near the city of Burujard and then I stayed in villages. At last, one day, I got a passion to serve at the purified grave of Imam Husain (a.s.).

It was winter and I did not have adequate means for travel. But still I acquired two asses. Canopied seats and saddles were made from tree branches for loading grapes. I purchased two such saddles. In one I arranged to seat my children one of whom was named Hasan. In the other seat, I spread a quilt, and on that quilt I seated my wife. Then I started towards Burujard (probably he himself was sitting on the back of the donkey outside the seat), so that from there I

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may start my journey to Karbala’.

Incidentally, the priest of that village Mulla Muhammad Ja'far met me. He showed his favor, grace and kindness. But when he came to know about my intention and determination, he started telling me, that I should not go, saying, it is very cold, and you do not have proper things to protect yourselves. In such circumstances it is not proper for you to proceed. We had too much discussion and in the end he was disappointed. He drew a line with his finger on the ground and said, “You are going, but, this way you will kill your children, you remember this day and this line.”

He said this and went away, and we again started our journey. Till by the Grace of Allah and by means of the attention of Fatima Zahra, we all finally reached Karbala’ safe and sound. Some time passed after this incident. Hitherto, people from my area also came for Ziyarat. Some were from my village also. Among them, a nephew of Mulla Muhammad Ja'far was also present. I thought that since they had come from my village, I should keep them as guests.

That way they will also see that not only we have reached safe and sound, but we have started receiving the necessary requirement and means for sustenance also to a certain extent. The line Mulla Muhammad Ja'far had drawn to prevent us had no effect at all. Hence I went to my house at the time of

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breakfast. A piece of cloth was spread on the ground for serving the dishes. Whatever food we had prepared was put on it, then discussion started. My elder son, Hasan was playing in the courtyard. Our house was situated on the third floor. Suddenly Hasan climbed the ladder leading to the roof. After climbing to the roof, he inclined himself forward to see us through the window. We had hardly seen him in that position that he fell down to the ground in the narrow street below and died immediately.

The events changed and joy turned to gloom. On seeing the condition of the child, I ran towards the shrine of Imam Husain (a.s.), bare head and bare foot. On the entrance door, I requested and said, “Assalaamu Alaika Ya Waretha Isa Ruhillah” (Peace be upon you O' inheritor of Isa, the Spirit of Allah), then, I entered and clung to the Zari(1). I loosened the shawl tied to my waist. I tied one end of the shawl to the lock of the Zari, and the other to my neck. Then I started weeping aloud. I said, “I swear, by your mother Zahra I will not accept that the line of Mulla Muhammad Ja'far should affect us.

And his words should not prove right. It should not be so! Attendants, pilgrims and others present in the shrine gathered around me. They were surprised on seeing my condition. They were asking the reason for it, but they were not getting any

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1- Metal enclosure of a holy grave.

answer. Some thought, that I had gone mad. A religious scholar who stayed in my neighborhood came to me, calling me to join in the funeral rites of my son.

Through him people came to know what had befallen me. My religious scholar neighbor started advising me; consoling me, “O Mulla, you are an intelligent person. The dead do not become alive. Come on, let us take away the dead body. The mother is about to destroy herself on seeing her child.” But I did not agree. So he started reproaching me. Others also joined him. I said, “Please leave me alone. I have no concern with you all, why are you troubling me unnecessarily?” People began to ridicule me and then they went out of the shrine to carry away my son's bier. My condition deteriorated from what it was before once again.

I started wailing loudly, “I swear by your mother Zahra, I will not move from your Zari. I will not come out from your shrine, even if I die. Or that Allah should take away my life, or return my son Hasan to me.” I had torn the neck of my shirt. I was hitting my head on the Zari, till it was almost noon. Suddenly, a noise was heard from the gallery and courtyard of the shrine. People were seen running here and there. I could not understand what had happened. Then I saw people entering the shrine in the form of a procession. When

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I looked carefully, I saw my son walking towards me. My neighboring religious scholar was holding his hand. His mother was just behind.

People were reciting Salawat. Having seen this, I threw myself on the ground. I kissed the stone near the Zari. I prostrated in front of Allah, thanking Him. Then I got up and embraced my son. Then I kissed his eyes. I asked people about the happening, and the religious scholar said, “We had taken him for the last rites to the corpse bath-house outside the city and had just put the first bowl of water on his head, that we found his temple throbbing from both the sides. It seemed, as if someone was massaging it. Then there was some movement in the head, and all of a sudden he sneezed once; then he got up as if he had just awakened from sleep. Then we dressed him and brought him here for the Ziyarat of the shrine and to give you the good news of this miracle.”

Muhaddith Iraqi says, “We have seen this boy Hasan many a times after that. Today on Friday 26th of Jamadiul-Awwal 1300 A.H. also, by the wish of Allah, he is alive. Although his father, Mulla Abdul Husain passed away a long time ago.”

If it is said that Allah is more kind to and nearer to humans than He is to any of His creatures, so what is the need of anyone's intercession? Many Quranic verses and traditions are present

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in reply to such a notion but we will be content to mention only two verses.

In Surah an-Nisa’ it is said:

And (O Prophet), had they, when they were unjust to themselves, (by not obeying) come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle (you) had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.(1)196

This honorable verse clearly proves that the Holy Prophet (S) is given the authority to intercede.

After the demise of the Holy Prophet (S)

In Tafsir Minhajus Sadiqeen, it is narrated that Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) said, “When the Holy Prophet (S) passed away and we buried him, three days had passed that a Bedouin came and sat near the head of the grave. Keeping his head on the soil of the grave he was saying, “O Messenger of Allah (S)! We heard whatever you said, we believed, but whatever you had brought from Allah, for us, the truth is, that we did not act upon it. The Almighty has said in the book you brought for us:

And (O Prophet), had they, when they were unjust to themselves, (by not obeying), come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle (you) had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah off-returning (to mercy), Merciful.(2)

O Messenger of Allah (S)! I have oppressed myself, now I have come to you, so that you may ask forgiveness for me.”

A voice came from the Prophet's grave: Allah has forgiven you!

In another tradition it is said that those present

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1- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:64.
2- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:64.

in the mosque also heard that voice and all started weeping.

Prophet Yaqub (a.s.) interceded for his sons

When the conspiracy Yusuf's brothers became evident, they fell at the feet of Prophet Yaqub (a.s.).

They said: O our father! Ask forgiveness (in the court of Allah) of our faults for us, surely we were sinners. Yaqub said: I will (soon) ask for you forgiveness from my Lord; surely He is the forgiving, the Merciful.(1)

It is written in Tafsir Minhajus Sadiqeen that, Prophet Yaqub (a.s.) fixed the dawn of Friday as the time to ask forgiveness for them. It is reported that, for more than twenty years on every Friday dawn Prophet Yaqub (a.s.), used to command his sons to form a row of congregation and he used to pray and ask forgiveness for them and they used to say 'Amen'. At last, after twenty years their repentance was accepted.

In short, this verse clearly shows that the subject of intercession was present in all the previous divine laws.

Hidden Wisdoms of Intercession

There are many expediencies of intercession. One is that in this way, the position and honor of the venerable people of religion becomes manifest. In this way people follow and accept their spirituality and saintliness and also gain spiritual and intellectual benefits. They have their needs and wishes fulfilled. People also obey them in all their commands based on Allah's commands and prohibitions.

There is no doubt that one who has hope in the intercession of the Holy Prophet (S) and his vicegerents would also follow their commands sincerely. Even if sometimes he

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1- Surah Yusuf 12:97-98.

disobeys their commands it is surely never because of his carelessness and obstinacy. Rather it would be due to his getting overwhelmed by carnal desires. In the end, such a person will get the divine opportunity to seek forgiveness and pardon. And he will get salvation because of the intercession of these great personalities. (Mere repentance is not enough for forgiveness, intercession is also necessary.)

Cure of the disease of polytheism

When man reaches the age of maturity, on the basis of his experience and perceptions he concludes that for his or others' physical life and development, some special physical means are beneficial. In the same way deliverance from evil and loss in life also needs some special physical means. He sees that different eatables satisfy his hunger. Different types of drinks quench his thirst. Different types of clothes keep him safe from cold and hot climates. As a result of his efforts he earns riches, while laziness and carelessness do not get him comforts and prosperity. With the help of a doctor and medicines he gets relief from pain and diseases. Plants grow with the help of water and sunlight, and the rotation of the earth causes days and nights.

Now if man considers these physical means to be permanently and absolutely effectual with regard to those things, it would be polytheism. The remedy of this disease is that he should use his reason. He should think over it. He should see that no physical existing thing is everlasting. But there is some such being (ever-existent, everlasting

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and self existing) that looks after all these things in a very organized manner.

For instance, he may look at his own self. He may try to understand his initial conditions when he was in the womb; and before that he was a particle in his fathers' body. By the Power and Grace of Allah relation was established between his father and mother and it so happened that vegetables and beverages etc. which became part of the body of his parents, the same became part of his body also. Almighty Allah gathered a handful of particles and made him a person who is wise, and one who can speak, listen and understand.

There surely came over man a period of time when he was a thing not worth mentioning. Surely we have created man from a small life-germ uniting (itself): We mean to try him, so we have made him hearing, seeing.(1)

It is somewhat same with all the existing parts of the world. Analysis about them will also show that they have come into existence from nothingness. Hence there certainly is a creator, Who brought them into existence and Who sustained and nourished them till they reached the present state.

Cause and Effect

Nothing can come into existence on it's own. There is definitely someone who has created it. A creator is a must for every creature. In the same way every creature, after being created and after its coming into existence, has some signs and qualities. These signs and qualities are known as secondary excellences.

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1- Surah Dahr 76:1-2.

The basic and initial excellence of everything comes into existence from nothingness. A creator is required for this also. In the same way, for example, the Creator has created man who is hearing and seeing. These senses of hearing and seeing are his secondary excellences. The Creator or the cause of these effects is also the one who is the creator of human existence.

Effect of the causes

No one can deny the law of cause and effect. If paper burns due to fire; then looking at the burnt paper and the fire who will deny the fact that there is connection between fire and the attribute of burning. The cause of burning of the paper is fire, whereas the burnt paper is known as the effect. No one disagrees in this matter.

If there is any disagreement between the faithful and materialistic people, it is that whether these causes are having their effect on a permanent basis (without any concern with Allah) or in fact Allah Himself has given the effect to those causes? The disagreement is whether these causes are the real effectors or whether it is Allah. The faithful say that if Allah wishes, He may give effect to the cause and if Allah does not wish, He can make the cause ineffective. Fire may become blossoms. If Allah does not permit, medicine would become ineffective. If Allah desires, medicine will have effect. If Allah wishes, fire will burn the paper.

Therefore glory be to Him in Whose hand is the kingdom of all

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things, and to Him you shall be brought back.(1)

For further details on this subject refer to the chapters of Polytheism and Despair in Greater Sins.

Man is helpless in creation

Affairs, which are related to the intentions of man; that is, if man wants it can happen and if he does not want they don't happen. Man's power is limited to that extent. Now this capability is also given by Allah. Even if he breaks a piece of bread he expends in it the strength given to him by Allah. If Allah takes away the strength, he will not even be able to move his tongue. He will not be able to even slightly move his finger. Though man produces offspring by the will of Allah, if he is told to create a single insect from nothing, he would not be able to do so. He cannot produce something from nothing and he is helpless in this regard.

And you do not please except that Allah please, the Lord of the worlds.(2)

Will of Allah

Therefore it is the responsibility of every Muslim that, whenever he decides or thinks of doing something, he should also keep in mind the wish and will of Allah. He should remember that though he would perform the task, it is Allah Who may allow this work to be performed or not.

One should say ‘If Allah wills’ (Insha Allah)

Therefore 'Insha Allah' (if Allah wills) should be said. That is if Allah wills I would be able to do this or that. The Holy Quran clearly states:

And do not say of anything: Surely I

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1- Surah Yasin 36:83.
2- Surah Takwir 81:29.

will do it tomorrow, unless Allah pleases…(1)

The moral conclusion is that, without Allah's will, man cannot do anything on his own.

With the expectations being broken

In Nahjul Balagha there is this famous sentence of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that:

I recognize Allah because of intentions being broken, knots getting untied and courages being tattered (broken).

And in Ghurarul Hikam this is followed by:

And one who made his intention sincere for Allah, seeing his afflictions were dispelled I recognized Allah.

That is, failure of intentions is also one of the proofs to recognize Allah. Often it so happens, that a person intends to do or not to do something, but suddenly he changes his intention. There must surely be some or the other reason for the breaking of that aim and intention. It shows that there is a power, which is more powerful than man's intentions.

A proof to recognize Allah is the untying of knots or solution of problems. This only happens when Allah wills. Hardship and difficulty comes only when Allah permits. Difficulties and problems go away only when Allah commands.

Dua Faraj and release of Hasan Muthanna

We shall now relate a historical incident as an example:

Walid bin Abdul Malik bin Marwan wrote a letter to Salih bin Abdullah Al Murry the governor of Medina that, Imam Hasan Mujtaba's son, Hasan be brought out of prison to the Prophet's mosque and he should be lashed five hundred times. Salih brought out the noble man from the prison to the mosque and people assembled. Then he went to the pulpit, to read the order of Walid and

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1- Surah Kahf 18:23-24.

then act upon it.

At that particular time Imam Ali bin Husain, Zainul Abideen entered the mosque. He went to Hasan Muthanna and said, “O cousin! Supplicate Allah with Dua Faraj!” He asked, “What supplication is that?” The Imam taught him the supplication, which is as follows: There is no God but Allah, Who is Forbearing, and Merciful. There is no God but Allah, Who is High and Great. Glory be to Allah the Lord of the Seven Heavens and the Lord of the Seven Earths and the Lord of the Great Throne. And all praise is to Allah the Lord of the worlds.

After teaching this supplication, the Imam went away. Hasan Muthanna began to repeat this supplication till Salih finished reading the letter. Then he descended the pulpit to execute Walid's order. Suddenly Salih said, “Hasan is innocent in my view and for the time being we should postpone executing the order. I would first contact the Caliph.”

Governor Salih wrote a letter to the Caliph in reply to which Walid wrote: “Release him from the jail.” Hence Salih freed Hasan Muthanna.(1)

Beyond the Will of Allah

Such incidents are numerous. Rather we all have seen many times that no matter how much we try, our intentions are not fulfilled while sometimes a problem is solved easily. Hence it should be understood by conviction that our heart and that of all the people is under the control of Allah. Allah says in Quran:

…and know that Allah intervenes between man and his heart, and that to Him you

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1- Safinatul Bihar, Vol. 1, Pg. 456

shall be gathered…(1)

If you could only understand!

If man gives a deep thought, he will know by conviction that Allah knows each and every aspect of his life. He is connected to Allah with each breath, and even his aims and intentions are connected to Him. Man cannot ever do anything on his own, without the help or will of Allah.

O men! You are they who stand in need of Allah, and Allah is He Who is the Self-sufficient, the Praised One.(2)

One who believes, having faith, knows that Allah has illumined his heart with effulgence. If he does some virtuous act, he receives help and guidance from Allah because of the purification of his soul. This is true for all the divine blessings. Therefore man should not become arrogant and proud. He should not be haughty. Rather he should remain fearful that by not being grateful that grace may be taken away. It should not happen, that some detestable attribute or hypocrisy is hidden in it. It should not happen that he performs some sinful or evil act.

It should not happen that Allah might leave him on his own i.e. Allah may not inspire him to do good and refrain from evil. He may take away his opportunity (Tawfeeq). It is a must for man to fear Allah and not to be disappointed from His grace as well. He should always show dependence and humility to Allah and know for sure, that if he does not leave his attachment with Allah, Allah will never

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1- Surah Anfal 8:24.
2- Surah Fatir 35:15.

deprive him.

Necessary to understand

Hence what is important is that man should feel that he is needful and dependent in the court of Allah in all destined matters as well as the optional acts, which are in his power. He should know that he is indeed a slave of Allah. He belongs to Allah and Allah is his Master. Allah cherishes him. Allah does his upbringing and Allah is his Sustainer and Provider. He is, in all conditions, in the control of Allah and all the goodness rests in the hand of Allah.

“From where is the 'good' my Lord? And we do not find it except from You.”(1)

Man cannot even purify himself till Allah does not give him true guidance.

Rather whomsoever Allah wishes, makes him pure.(2)

He may forgive us

If one is sincere in religion and fears that death can arrive at any moment, one should ensure that roots of polytheism and hypocrisy are not hidden in him. Polytheism and hypocrisy enter the heart more stealthily than the footfall of an ant on a stone in the darkness of the night. Man should understand the Oneness of Allah in detail. Supplications related by Ahlul Bayt, should not be neglected.

These supplications have treasures of divine recognition and rules of worship. One should always ask for ones needs from the Needless Lord.

Man should ask the Lord for divine help and guidance to get rid of the diseases of infidelity and hypocrisy. He should especially pray for the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and also ponder on the meanings

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1- Dua Abu Hamzah Thumali
2- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:49

of the supplications of Sahifa Kamila.

Dua Jaushan Kabir and Dua Arafah

Supplications beneficial for monotheism, on whose meaning man should continue to ponder, are among others the Dua Jaushan Kabir and the supplication that Imam Husain (a.s.) recited on the day of Arafah. These supplications, from the beginning to the end are about the monotheism of actions of Allah and with regard to norms of worship. We conclude this discussion in the name of the Chief of martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.), who is the expression of Allah's enormous blessings. We hope that with their blessings, Allah would shower us with such blessings, that all our spiritual pollution is removed.

Fourth Disease: Doubt

What is doubt?

Doubt means that we have a 50-50 percent possibility in the mind about the correctness or otherwise of a thing. If we weigh both the possibilities we would find that they are of equal weight.

Such is called a doubt or suspicion. If one is heavier, then that possibility will be called presumption or supposition and that, which in comparison is light, will be called apprehension or superstition. If only one has weight and the other is weightless there is 100% possibility, it would be called certainty.

Therefore doubt is when there is confusion, suspense, two-mindedness and wandering.

Doubt is a sign of the disease of heart

The sign of the soundness of a man's heart is that he is sure and confident about the truth being correct and falsehood being incorrect and is in the position of knowledge and conviction, while the sign of the disease of the heart with respect to understanding truth and falsehood is

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that there is suspense and doubt regarding the rightfulness of truth and the refutation of falsehood.

Indeed the heart devoid of the recognition of truth and the effulgence knowledge and belief is not worth being called a human heart. He is ignorant of a pure life and his life is inferior like that of animals.

Doubt is a kind of blindness. A blind man remains doubtful of those things also which are just spread around him because he does not see them.

If a thing is proved true by wisdom, by conscience and by rational argument, and one still doubts about it, then surely the eyes of his heart are blind. He is deprived of the blessing of discernment. Reason and Shariah command, and the paramount responsibility of such a person is that he should try to obtain the cure of his disease of doubt.

Doubt is a serious disease

It is stated in the Holy Quran:

And as for those in whose hearts is a disease, it (signs of Allah) adds uncleanness to their uncleanness (disease of doubt) and they die while they are unbelievers.(1)

While these same signs increase the light of knowledge of God to a sound and healthy conscience and also increase insight and discernment. These verses bestow happiness and delight to such hearts. They further strengthen the capacity of the mind and perception.

All know that rain is a blessing and grace of Allah. But the rain that grows red roses in the garden also produces weeds in some places.

While explaining above-mentioned verse Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.)

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1- Surah Tawbah 9:125.

said, “The meaning of 'Rijs' (uncleanness) in this verse is doubt. That is one more doubt is added to their doubt.”(1)

Nothing but Allah

There is a tradition in Usul al-Kafi, in the chapter of Sincerity that Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) was asked about the meaning of this noble verse:

Except him who comes to Allah with a heart free (from evil).(2)

The Imam said, “A heart free from evil is the one that meets its Lord and that which has nothing in it except Him.” The Imam also said, “And every heart that has polytheism and doubt is going to fall in the ditch of destruction.”

Loss in both the worlds

In Surah Hajj it is stated:

And among men is he who serves Allah (standing) on the verge, so that if good befalls him, he is satisfied therewith, but if a trial afflicts him, he turns back headlong; (towards doubt and infidelity), he loses this world as well as the hereafter; that is a manifest loss.(3)

There are some Muslims, who do not have sincere faith and firm belief in Allah, the Prophet and the Day of Judgment. They are in a state of doubt. They have adopted Islam with the purpose of gaining material benefits of the world. If continue to be rewarded in the form of wealth, security and getting their materialistic wishes fulfilled, they will remain firm on their belief, but if they confront hardship, poverty, disease or some other misery, they give up religion and go towards infidelity.

They are caught in humility and captivity in

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1- Tafsir Ayyashi.
2- Surah Shuara 26:89.
3- Surah Hajj 22:11.

this world also and they become liable for punishment in the Hereafter as well. They incur losses in both the worlds.

It is written in Tafsir Minhajus Sadiqeen that among people there can be those who stand on the borderline of belief and worship Allah, so that, while worshipping, if they feel that they are in loss, they immediately give up belief. Were they in the midst of belief their quitting faith would have delayed.

He is just like the last man in the army. When the time comes to plunder the booty, he is at the forefront and when there is risk of defeat, he is the first to run away from the battlefield.

It is written in Tafsir Abul Fath that this verse is regarding a group of Bedouins. They came to Medina and accepted Islam just for namesake and declared faith only verbally but in the heart they neither had faith nor conviction. As long as their wealth went on increasing and there was no occasion of disease and loss, horses went on breeding, wives continued to produce male offspring; they used to say that Muhammad is an auspicious man and his religion is truth. But when the climate of Medina did not suit them and they became sick.

Their animals started dying, they started saying, this magician Muhammad (we seek Allah's refuge) is inauspicious and his religion is baseless. He has given us nothing except loss and misery.

It is evident from this noble verse that people having doubt (about

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religion) are at a loss in this world as well as in the Hereafter. In fact, doubt is an impurity of the heart. It is obligatory on every person to keep his heart clean of this impurity and adorn it with the effulgence of monotheism.

Do not doubt! You may become an infidel

Imam Husain (a.s.) arrived in Karbala’ on the second day of Mohurrum in the year 61 Hijri. Whatever he said addressing the army of Yazid, explains the above-mentioned verse. For more details refer to the books of the Karbala’ tragedy.

Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) in one of his sermons says, “Do not become prey to wavering (suspense), otherwise your doubt will become strong and do not get entangled in doubt, otherwise you will become an infidel.”

Allamah Majlisi has said, “It means that do not even go near such things that may put you into doubt. Or may be it means that you should not become unhappy by what Allah has ordained for you, because such an attitude also becomes the cause of doubt, and wavering and uncertainty are the initial forms of doubt.”

One who doubts in Allah is an infidel

In the chapter of Doubt in Usul al-Kafi there is a tradition that Muhammad bin Muslim says, “I was sitting on the left side of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) and Zurarah on his right. In the meantime Abu Basir arrived.

Abu Basir asked, 'O Aba Abdillah! What do you say regarding a person who doubts about Allah?'

Imam said, 'He is an infidel.'

Muhammad bin Muslim says, “After that Imam turned towards Zurarah and said, 'If he openly

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denies then he certainly becomes an infidel.'”

In this tradition Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that a person who is apparently a Muslim, but in his heart, he has doubt about Allah and the Prophet, and he dies in this same condition, he will be included among the infidels. And in the latter part of the tradition Imam says that, if that person openly refuses to believe in Allah and the Prophet, he would also be apparently considered an infidel.

But if one has doubt in his heart but he recites the formula of faith verbally, and does not show his doubt, then he will be counted as a Muslim. Though in fact he is an infidel. And one who declares his doubt about Allah and the Prophet, then apparently also he will be considered an infidel. Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “One who doubts about Allah and His Prophet is an infidel.”(1)

Good deeds in the state of doubt are useless

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Surely the doubt and sin, both will be in the fire of Hell.” And people connected with doubt and sin would also be there.(2)213

He also said, “One who was born on inherent nature (having belief in oneness of Allah i.e. monotheism) and his parents are also Muslims, even then if he has doubt about Allah, then he would never return to good.”(3)

In the same way in the chapter of Doubt in Usul al-Kafi, Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said that, “A person who has doubt or suspicion about religion,

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1- Biharul Anwar, Vol. 15, Chapter of Infidelity
2- Usul al-Kafi, Chapter of Doubt
3- Usul al-Kafi, Chapter of Doubt.

if he remains on either doubt or suspicion, then Allah will destroy his (good) action.”

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) has said, “Any action with doubt and refusal (of truth) has no benefit at all.”(1)

In the same chapter Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says, “The Prophet of Allah used to seek Allah's refuge from six things everyday; doubt, polytheism, arrogance, anger, cruelty and jealousy.”

There are numerous verses and traditions on the censure of doubt and on the destruction of those who doubt.

Destruction forever

It is an admitted fact that if a person dies in the condition of doubt or suspicion, if according to belief he is not with knowledge and confidence and dies in that condition, then he is doomed forever. There will be no deliverance from punishment for him. As against this, one whose belief is firm, and his faith is on the level of certainty, if he dies in such a situation he would be saved from permanent destruction. No one other than the faithless will remain in Hell forever.

A believer having bad manners and having unbecoming character if he also repents and asks for forgiveness and reforms himself then he too will be saved from Hell by the intercession of the noble personalities of religion. At the most he may be punished in the grave (Barzakh) and at other places before Hell and become pure. Now only Allah knows how long that punishment in the grave will be. In any case, finally such a person will get deliverance and without

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1- Usul al-Kafi, Chapter of Doubt.

going to Hell, he will get a place in Paradise along with the believers.

This is not reasonable

If asked that: “Why should those dying faithless be deprived of the bliss of Heaven and its unlimited delicacies? Allah is most generous and merciful. There will be no loss (harm) to Allah even if all the people go to Paradise and there would no decrease in His Kingdom. It is also not beyond His Power. In the same way if He sends all to Hell, then too there will not be any increase in His Authority.

The reply is that a person benefits only as much as much as his measure of wisdom and understanding. If a donkey is dressed in a splendid dress and made to sit on a throne in a palace, given different types of adornments and all sorts of dishes, will this donkey be able to utilize all this in a proper way? Would such arrangement be reasonable? Definitely not!

Wisdom demands that everything and every person should be given a place appropriate to his or her status. People of pure, clean, chaste and exquisite souls should be provided with the blessings of Paradise. And if the souls are dirty and filthy their bodies should be of the same kind and their place should be Hell. A faithless person does not have the capability in the first place to enjoy and benefit from the blessings of Paradise, just like the donkey (as described above).

Way to Paradise

If one walks on the road to Paradise, one will

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reach Paradise. As against this if someone walks on the opposite direction, the road to Hell, then how he can reach Paradise? If someone sows the seeds of bitter gourd and hopes to reap grapes, would he get grapes? Has Allah deprived the people of Hell from Paradise or they have deprived themselves?

Man can get only what he desires for and that which he tries to obtain. Someone had no faith in Allah. He did not even make an effort to get nearer to Allah, so that by means of that he may get Paradise. When man has not made a firm determination to reach Paradise, and did make the effort, how he can reach Paradise just by doing nothing at all?

And whoever desires the hereafter and strives for it as he ought to strive and he is a believer; (as for) these, their striving shall surely be accepted.(1)

Therefore, merely wishing to go to Paradise without making an appropriate effort to do so is not enough to take one to Paradise.

Punishment of the Hereafter is not revenge

In the Hereafter the criminals (sinners) will get punishment according to their evil deeds but that punishment is not revenge. Rather it is the effect of causes. Sins committed in the world will be the cause of that punishment. In the same way good actions performed in the world would result in the person getting rewarded in the form of light (splendor) and blessings of Allah in the Hereafter.

Another Misunderstanding

Another misunderstanding is that: To punish the disbelievers in accordance to their

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1- Surah Bani Israel 17:19.

sins is not reasonable because they did not recognize Allah. If they had recognized Him they would not have disobeyed. If a King moves among the common people in plain clothes, and if someone opposes him because he does not know who he is, in that case punishing him would be injustice. That person may say, “Sir! I did not recognize you.”

Allah is not hidden from any sensible being

The reply is that the excuse of one who does not know Allah and is unaware of Him, is not acceptable. Comparison to a King dressed in plain clothes is incorrect. Allah is not hidden from any sensible person. If a wise man does not recognize Allah, it is because he did wish to recognize Him. If he were deprived of the blessing of wisdom we would have understood the handicap. However, a wise man does not have any excuse.

Any one sensible proof is enough to know Allah. We look around and find that in the stars, skies (heavens), drops of rain, leaves of tree, animals, insects, worms, ants, seas, deserts; in short, whatever is present in the universe are all proofs of His Absolute Knowledge, Wisdom, Power and Command. Hence there is a Being, infinitely knowledgeable and Wise, Omniscient, Mighty, Omnipotent, and Powerful.

Is there doubt about Allah, the Maker of the heavens and the earth?(1)

A poet says:

Each and every plant, which grows from the earth, says, “He is one without a partner”.

And the following couplet is also excellent:

In the eyes of an intelligent person every leaf from

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1- Surah Ibrahim 14:10.

the green leaves of the trees is a notebook on the subject of the knowledge of God.

Allah the Great is so evident for the wise that they can have doubt for some other thing but can never doubt in Allah.

Then who are these people?

Still we see that majority of the people doubt about Allah. Those who have belief and certainty are very few. In the same way there is no chance for doubt on the Day of Judgment and the Quran also.

And because the hour is coming, there is no doubt about it; and because Allah shall raise up those who are in the graves.(1)

We see that in the world too, most people have doubts about Allah. Those who have certainty and belief seem to be very few. In the same manner there is no room for doubt in the Day of Judgment and Quran also, but none except Muslims believe in Quran and people other than Muslims have doubt on the Day of Judgment.

The blind cannot see the sun

The reply is that although Allah, Day of Judgment and Quran are all definite truths and realities, those having a sound mind and a prudent nature, do not think it proper to doubt in these things. One having eyes will not tolerate doubts about the sun. But those who doubt these three facts (as mentioned above) in fact suffer from a spiritual disease.

They have mutilated their basic natural instinct. They are so deeply involved in the blind following of lusts, greed, ambitions and false and futile things, that they

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1- Surah Hajj 22:7.

have become blind in their inner eyes. That is why they do not see the reality. The blind cannot see the sun. One, who is a prisoner in the dark cell of a prison, does not know whether the Sun has risen or not.

Thus such people put themselves in a state of doubt, uncertainty, wavering, restlessness and lack of confidence and truth cannot be blamed for not being prominent.

They do not want to recognize the truth

People, who doubt, are in fact those who do not want to recognize the truth itself. If they were really seekers of truth, they would have had looked at the creatures of the world and sought a lesson from it. If they had looked at the marvel of the wisdom and amazing power of the Creator of the Universe with proper attention, they would never have doubted.

A very nice book is there in the hands of those who doubt. Whatever is written therein is also interesting. It is of a very high standard. A very good writer has written it. The printing is also very fine. The paper is of excellent quality. But those who doubt, instead of reading the interesting and useful writings, only relish its calligraphy, printing and exquisite form and they think that looking at these niceties is enough for them and there is no need to learn the details of what is written in it or to understand it.

The book of nature should be read with attention

Faithful are those who upon seeing the book, start reading it at once, and while reading the book, they start

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pondering over the greatness and knowledge of the writer. They also accept all the descriptions and narrations.

Knowledge of the Universe

Modern man tries to get the knowledge of the constituents of the world of creation. He takes great trouble for this purpose and spends his wealth and life for all this but he is not doing anything to know about the Creator of the world. To the extent, that he does not even think about this matter. He suffers such huge expenses to reach the moon. He makes efforts to learn about the climate and atmosphere there and get some benefit out of it; and he sacrifices much more but he is not ready to spend a little portion of his life to know about the Creator of that moon and how under His perfect and fantastic supervision it moves in the sky.

This is the reason, why today's scientific faculty and its knowledge is not the cause of auspiciousness. They cannot obtain real comfort and tranquility. Presently for the knowledge of man, these creations are the limit. Man does not proceed beyond this and he is not reaching upto the Creator.

Therefore turn aside from him who turns his back upon Our reminder and does not desire anything but this world's life. That is their goal of knowledge…(1)

Advancement of science

Man has made great strides in the fields of medicine, surgery, and diagnosis of different diseases but he does not know anything about the Creator and Maker of those marvelous body systems of man. The knowledge of the

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1- Surah Najm 53:29-30

man of today is limited to lowly things only (not thinking about Allah). But he is quiet with regard to the existence of God and knowledge of God. There is nothing except ignorance, doubt and stupidity. The scientist of today is unaware of the Creator of the universe, His names, His attributes, His army i.e. Angels, Prophets, heavenly books, life after death and man's permanent abode.

Nay, their knowledge respecting the hereafter is slight and hasty; nay, they are in doubt, nay they are quite blind to it.(1)

Why don’t we care about Recognition of God?

Why is it so, that people's knowledge has nothing to say about Allah? Is it impossible for them to obtain knowledge about Allah? Or they don't strive to have knowledge about the Creator of the Universe? If they can strive, why don't they do it?

The obvious reply to these questions is that man cannot be said to be helpless in recognizing the Creator of the Universe. The Creator has bestowed upon him the light of wisdom (sense/intellect) for this very purpose, so that he can reach to the Real knowledge, the Truth, and understanding and that he can recognize Allah and achieve His proximity. Quran says in clear words that Allah has created everything for man and man was created for His recognition and worship.(2)

Courage is low and limited to material pleasures

The fact is that the spirit of man, today, is low and limited to material pleasures. He is satisfied only with physical comforts and animal pleasures. He is not aware of spiritual pleasures, knowledge of Allah and taste

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1- Surah Naml 27:66.
2- For example refer to Surah Luqman 31:20-21.

of worship. Because of his low spirit and limited thinking, he does not even make effort to achieve all this and he remains in his ignorance.

Nay! Man desires to give the lie to what is before him.(1)

That is he wishes to continue sinning in the world.

An historic example of an elevated spirit

Twelve Muslim soldiers were taken as prisoners by Romans. They were taken to the capital and produced before the Christian King. The King saw their appearance, looks, features and character. Then he began to think what kind of people they are that though having very little strength and less in number they still manage to achieve victories everywhere? He told them, “If you can train my soldiers to become like you, I will reward you much.”

The Muslim soldiers replied, “Our religion does not permit that we help you in this.” And they recited the verse:

He said: My Lord! Because Thou hast bestowed a favor on me, I shall never be a backer of the guilty.(2)

The King ordered that they should be taken to the church, and beautiful girls be produced in front of them. “If they are attracted by them, those girls will stay with them on the condition that they accept our proposal.”

They were taken to the church. When they saw the girls, they turned their eyes down and said, “This is a place of seduction and not a place of worship!”

The King got the information that they were not lured by girls, so he called them and said, “If you do not accept

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1- Surah Qiyamat 75:5.
2- Surah Qasas 28:17.

my proposal, I will kill you.”

They all replied cheerfully, “We wish to be killed in the way of Allah, because our Prophet has said that if you die on the bed it is possible you may go to Paradise or not but if you are killed in the way of Allah you will definitely become the people of Paradise.”

Wealth, Position and Lust

Those who are firm on the Oneness of Allah and the path of His worship do not stagger in greed of wealth and position; nor do they stumble before lust and pleasures. Wealth, position, authority and lust; each of these is such a weapon that subdues all those with weak intentions and low courage. They leave the way of worship, and accept an evil way of life.

Just like greed; threat, especially threat to life is also such a weapon. But those who are firm on their belief and actions do not get affected by greed nor are they terrified with any kind of threat. They are ready to die, but not prepared to submit themselves to the defalcation of Islam or breach of trust of Muslims. Because breach of trust with Islam and Muslims is in fact, breach of trust with Allah.

Due to this, very few in the world are ready to compromise on truth, godliness, piety and faithfulness.

Spiritual Pleasures are many times tastier

Though, to get the pleasure of Allah's recognition, Godliness, piety and worship you have to do away with physical and animal pleasures or comforts of life to a certain extent and with some

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restrictions, even then spiritual pleasures are many times tastier than worldly pleasures. If someone is fortunate to really have spiritual pleasure he will forgo the greatest of worldly pleasure but not leave spiritual pleasure.

If you were aware of the pleasure of leaving the pleasure, you would not have called your carnal desires as pleasures.(1)

Continued praying though hit with arrows

In an expedition the Prophet accompanied the Muslim army. One night he gave the responsibility of guarding and protecting the army to Ammar Ibne Yasir and Ibad Ibne Bashir. They decided between themselves that, for half the night Ibad will remain awake and keep a watch and from that time to the morning Ammar will be woken up to keep watch.

Ibad Ibne Bashir was praying during his watch, while a Jew sneaked into the camp with the intention of taking advantage of the darkness to kill the Prophet. From a distance he saw among all Muslims only one person standing while the rest slept. He shot an arrow towards Ibad and it pierced his body, but he continued to pray. The Jew shot a second arrow, which also pierced Ibad but he still did not stop praying. In the same way a third arrow also hit its target. Now Ibad shortened his prayer and awoke Ammar. On seeing his condition Ammar asked, “Why did you not wake me up on being hit with the first arrow?”

Ibad Ibne Bashir said, “O Ammar! I was reciting Surah Kahf in my prayer and I did not wish to

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1- Persian Couplet.

discontinue. Were I not afraid that the enemy would kill me and reach to the Prophet, I would not have shortened the prayer, but completed Surah Kahf, though my life would have gone.” After that, both Ibad and Ammar together chased away the intruder from the Muslim camp.(1)

The brave ones of Karbala

Now imagine the pleasure of worship that overcomes arrow injuries; rather the pain of death.

If you want to know more about the greatness of the pleasure of worship just look at the condition of the companions of Imam Husain (a.s.). It is really astonishing how they left everything i.e. wealth, position, family and children in the way of Allah. Doing away with physical pleasures, they embraced all kinds of troubles and hardships and sacrificed their likes with great love and devotion.

On the night of Ashura (10th of Mohurrum) Burair was saying, “Tonight I am happier than I ever was in my whole life, because I know that tomorrow my place would be in Paradise.”

On the day of Ashura the condition of Aabis was such, that he removed his coat of mail and helmet and in that same condition, jumped into the sea of soldiers and confronted the waves of the enemies. Imam Husain (a.s.) had announced several times loudly and given permission that anyone of them could go away if they so wished but none took benefit of this permission. The black slave, Jaun was begging Imam Husain (a.s.) to permit him getting killed in the battlefield. Companions of Imam Husain (a.s.) were

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1- Safinatul Bihar, Vol. 2 Pg. 144.

saying to the effect:

O master of religion! Even if I carry my throne of excellence upto the empyrean (high seat), then too, I remain a slave of yours, O honorable gentleman I remain needy of this house of yours. If I draw away my heart from you and give up your love, then where would I throw such love and where would I carry such a heart?(1)

Science supports belief of Monotheism

Man should not fall short in gaining the recognition of God and His worship. We must definitely acquire the knowledge of modern sciences, but should also try to have the knowledge of God. There is no contradiction or inconsistency between the two. The two do not negate each other; rather scientific knowledge supports belief in Oneness of God. In fact it increases knowledge and belief in God, helps in recognizing One God and cures doubt. The purpose for the creation of heavens and earth is that man may acquire the knowledge of God.

The Purpose of all creation is recognition of God

The Holy Quran points to this:

Allah is He who creates seven heavens and of the earth the like of them; the decree continues to descend among them, that you may know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah indeed encompasses all things in (His) knowledge.(2)227

Everything takes place as destined by Allah and according to His arrangement. It may be life or death, riches or poverty, hardship or comfort, sickness or health. In short, everything takes place according to command from Allah.

As there are seven heavens, in the same

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1- Persian Couplet
2- Surah Talaq 65:12.

way there are seven earths too. In the book Al Haiato Wal-Islam, Shahristani says:

“Seven earths denote the seven planets of the solar system, Earth, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; and seven heavens denote the skies enclosing these seven planets. This verse is talking about our solar system. Now, since the interpretation of number cannot become the proof even if there are millions of earths and heavens and there are thousands of other systems like our solar system, then too this verse cannot be refuted.

This can be further explained by the example of a person who says, “I have two horses.” Now it could also be that he is having more than two horses. Even if he has a hundred horses his statement cannot be proved false because he did not say, “I do not have more than two horses.” For more information refer to the above-mentioned book.

Worship and Knowledge of Allah

And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve me.(1)

It means that they reach up to the level of servitude and recognize the Kingdom of Allah to its appropriate worth. They gain access to the great stage of Allah's nearness. But this requires knowledge and action. These two are just like two wings to fly upto the heights of spiritual status. Those great positions are such that no physical eye has seen them, neither any ear has heard about them. Rather it has not even occurred to a materialistic man.

Therefore it is necessary that man

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1- Surah Zariyat 5:56.

should know and understand the diseases of doubt and ignorance, and he should go in quest of knowledge and certainty; that is recognition of God to cure them.

The Remedy of doubt and the position of certainty

Belief in Allah, that is to recognize the truth, and to create belief on that is not a thing in which there is absolutely no need of the means of, say for example, eyes and ears from the five senses. Rather belief gets into the heart through these means only.

With the help of these apparent means it enters into the heart and mind. At the time of creation only its command was connected to his nature. By nature man, is created in such a way that he has the capacity to get belief into his self. Now it is upto man to utilize this capability and bring it into the forefront. He gains belief, obeys Islamic laws and respects and follows the commands of Allah. In this manner he may reach to the great position of faith and belief. Rather he is very much anxious to reach those elevated positions.

Power of electricity

The natural capability of attaining the recognition of Allah is hidden in man like electricity. It is exactly like electricity remains hidden in metals but scientific instruments are required to use it. Without that electricity cannot be utilized. In the same way the light of knowledge and belief is hidden in the nature and temperament of man but he has to make efforts to benefit from it. The light can increase, and can

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become evident also. If man makes an effort he can get to the extreme position of the splendor of truth, but if he becomes careless, the inherent light becomes faint to the extent that it is ultimately extinguished.

Purification of filth

To enhance natural effulgence and to make it evident, two basic things are required, vacating and purification. Vacating means to clear the heart from all kinds of pollutions like greed, lust and animal desires or devilish actions. Such evils conceal the natural light further. Dust gathers on the mirror of mind and man becomes oblivious of the truth.

Belief is a natural thing

God says in Quran:

Then set your face upright for religion in the right state-the nature made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah's creation; that is the right religion, but most people do not know.(1)

Here religion only means the religion of Oneness of Allah, and that is Islam.

Keep your face towards religion. (2)

It means that you must continuously attend to the true religion, be steadfast on it and obey its commands. The meaning of “nature made by Allah” is to recognize Allah, accept His Oneness and to follow His commands with devotion. This in itself is the power, which Allah has reposed in the nature of man. Devotion to God and following His commands are from the necessities of faith and the way to this is the religion of Islam. There can be no change in this nature. The meaning of this can also be that man should not

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1- Surah Rum 30:30
2- Surah ar-Room, 30:30.

let this natural effulgence dim and he should protect it from destruction. He should remain firm on the way of One God (i.e. monotheism) and on the religion of Islam.

One kind of Creation cannot be changed into another kind

Inorganic matters, (minerals), vegetables, animals (living beings) etc; from all these, every creation reaches up to its peak of development (final stages of its existence with excellence). They attain development but they cannot leave their own species and get themselves changed into some other form of creation. Almighty Allah has given this capability to the grain of wheat that when it is sown in proper soil and in proper conditions i.e. when it is given water in proper proportions the grain can split the ground and come up in the form of a sapling.

In that case half remains in the ground as roots and half comes up in form of branches. Grains of wheat multiply greatly but it is not possible for wheat plant to produce barley or lentils. All this is manifested clearly by Allah and it cannot be changed. In the same way a monkey cannot change into a man. An offspring of a human being cannot be a monkey, neither can a monkey produce human offspring. (As Darwin's theory states).

Firmness on Monotheism is an excellence

Progress of man and his excellence lies in that there should be physical and worldly life also along with the provision of everlasting life of the next world. He should strive to get access to these spiritual positions, but one cannot gain this excellence till one is not

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firm in belief, which is the right path of monotheism and till the time one is not prepared to follow the commands of the religion of God.

A person can attain that excellence only when, he with a firm intention and inclination moves towards this path. He should cultivate the capabilities given to him by God and that which is hidden in his self. He should move towards excellence, so that, he becomes one having true belief and real recognition of God. So that he may become one upholding the attribute of man. It is evident that, the way of monotheism and servitude to God is opposite to the way of beastly acts and carnal desires. To proceed on this way some force has to be applied and great courage is required for this.

It is obvious that something can be done only when means are provided. A person can reach his destination of excellence only when he arranges the means for it; and the most important mean is man's intention itself. Till the time he does not keep his intentions in his control, he will remain like an animal. He will remain in the lowest levels of beasts. He cannot think of the destination of humans. Man's intentions are tested in the world. If they are correct it will cause him to be taken to the position of excellence.

It is in the nature of man that he believes in Allah. But he purposely does not improve his intentions, because of his

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going against his natural instincts. He allows his carnal desires to exceed the bounds. In the same way he himself becomes an obstruction in the way of development of his nature. Thus he fails the test of his intentions.

If man seriously tries he can definitely gain Allah’s recognition

If a person seriously wants to become God-knowing (Pious) and he remains firm on his intentions keeping all sorts of obstructions away by pressurizing his self then definitely he reaches upto the destination of Allah's recognition. Many people remain prey to self-praise and ego. They come under the deceit of Satan and wrong notions.

They make baseless arguments and just deny the existence of God. They remain pleased with their wrong notions and think that without any Creator, such a big universe has come into existence on its own. They think that it is without any patron. They spurn the high position of humanism, by saying that man was also an animal with dense hair, four legs and a tail, which became a human through evolution and now he is walking on two legs. They say monkeys evolved into humans. What an ignorant concept! As if the foundation of humanism is based on beastliness, waywardness, rapacity, lust and obscenity. Today also, majority of people consider their origin to be materialism and beastliness.

Awakening of conscience

However those who had initially laid the foundation of such wrong notions, themselves left this frenzy of thoughtlessness and came to their senses. Their conscience woke up and professed the truth. They themselves started negating their own wrong notions. By way

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of examples we present here some of their utterances.

1. Darwin

Charles Robert Darwin is famous for his evolution theory. It was he who said that one creation gets transformed into another. This theory was named Darwinism. He became the cause of those who were materialistic in the last few centuries to become atheist and secular. Famous American author, John Clower writes, “At last his conscience roused him. The hidden natural instinct (intellect) made him oppose his own theory and he became the confessor of an Eternal Power.” German intellectual Benhaz has confessed in his book Aslul Anwaa that, “It is impossible for a matured intellectual, after seeing the astonishing arrangement of the Universe and its harmony, to deny that there is a creator of such a wonderful world, who is Powerful and a fountainhead of wisdom.”

2. Raeng

Famous German philosopher Raeng was a great follower of Darwin. He was very much against those who believed in God, but under the hallowed pressure of conscience, that is under the hidden natural instincts, he rectified his perception and wrote a book, World is a creation. He confessed with total confidence that there is a creator of the universe and He is One God.

3. Rumien

Rumien was a British philosopher and a strict materialist, but his conscience ultimately forced him to say, “All those scientific and philosophical concepts according to which the creator of the world is supposed to be matter are incorrect. The existence of this world is just impossible without a Super Power, full of Wisdom; an

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Omnipotent God, the Creator. My inner feelings witness this fact and confirm the wisdom of the Creator; and such a creator of the world is inevitable.

4. Faraday

Michael Faraday was a scientist, and a philosopher. He was a research scholar of Physics and Chemistry in Britain. His theory was that the world has come into existence by chance, all of a sudden due to some chemical reactions. Different chemicals came together and took the shape of the world. He was not the follower of a Wise and Omnipotent God. He devoted his whole life to the study of Physics and Chemistry. One day in the year 1867 he was sick, lying on the bed in deep thought.

A friend asked him, “Faraday, now what topic of research are you thinking?” He replied, “I thank God, that I am not thinking on a wrong theory. I am bowing down my head in the court of God with utmost humility. I kneel down in confession. I am thinking just about Him. My natural instincts, feelings, consciousness, my inner-self and everything of science bear testimony to His existence. I have recognized my God. Now I am confident that He will disregard my faults and my absurd theories and forgive me due to my humility in asking for His forgiveness.” .(1)

Islam is a natural religion

In Usul al-Kafi, in the chapter of 'Faith and Disbelief' five traditions are narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.). These traditions commenting on the verse of “nature made by Allah” have

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1- Quoted on page 306 of Jaheliyat wa Islam compiled by Mr. Yahya Noon.

explained that it denotes monotheism and Islam. In Tawheed of Shaykh Saduq Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) is reported to have said that the Holy Prophet (S) said, “Every child is born on the nature, which is the nature of Allah's recognition.”

When there is none to hear the plea

In the commentary of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) it is stated that a person asked Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) about the way to recognize God. Imam said, “O slave of Allah! Have you ever traveled in the sea?”

“Yes, he replied. Then Imam asked, “Has it ever occurred that your ship was wrecked during the voyage and there was no other boat in the vicinity? And it was no use swimming also?”

“Yes sir,” he replied, “It has happened.” Imam said, “In such situation, was your heart urging that there is someone who can save you from this?”

“Yes,” he confessed. Imam said, “The Entity to which your heart was attentive to, that only he can save you from this holocaust, is Allah. When there is no one to save you, and when no one is there to listen to your plea for help, in such circumstances only Allah is there to save you and only He is there to listen to your plea.”

Divine help to seek knowledge

Ibne Abi Jamhure Ehsai has related in Al Mujalle that Prophet Isa (a.s.) said, “O Children of Israel! Do not say that knowledge is in the heavens and one who goes up will get it. In fact knowledge is put into your heart by way of nature. Imbibe good manners

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of the learned and adopt virtues of the truthful; knowledge itself will be disclosed to your hearts.”

In the 17th volume of Biharul Anwar, Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said, “The knowledge of recognition of Allah and belief in His attributes is not acquired, rather it is a light reflected in the heart of such a person, whom Allah wants to guide.”

Do not deliberate on Allah’s Being

It is evident from the discussion so far that belief in Allah and His recognition is a natural affair. Recognition of Allah means that He Alone is the Creator. He is Unique, Omnipotent and Omniscient. We see that Islam stresses on the knowledge of the attributes of Allah. It is so because understanding the being of Allah is impossible. It is beyond the capacity of man or any other creation. Acquaintance of the being of Allah implies that the mind has confined His Entity. However it is not possible for creation to confine the Entity of the Creator. It is only the Entity of Allah-the Creator, which is surrounding the whole creation.

You all know that, surely He encompasses all things.(1)

That is why the holy Shariah has prohibited deliberating and thinking upon the being of God Almighty and it is made obligatory that man should deliberate on the attributes of Allah, His acts and His graces, so that he may get divine knowledge.

In Usul al-Kafi Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says, “Talk about the creation of Allah. Do not talk about the Entity of Allah. By talking about the

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1- Surah Ha Mim Sajdah 41:54.

Entity of Allah the curiosity will go on increasing.”

Also in the same book Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) states, “Whoever starts thinking this about Allah, that how and what kind He is, will be destroyed.”

Such a person will fall into destruction and would be misled. To recognize the Entity of Allah is just impossible. We can only limit ourselves to His actions and His Attributes. Nothing except bewilderment can be gained by deliberating on the Entity of Allah. And as a result of the bewilderment man starts having doubts, and then he refuses to accept the existence of Allah itself.

The Flight of thought is limited

One who cannot recognize the being of Allah; it does not mean that, he should outright deny His existence. Lack of recognition is not proof that the thing does not exist. Till today man could not know about many creations of the world but he never disproved their existence. Till now man could not know about the reality of light. What is the reality of the waves of light? Still he does not know, how man is capable of seeing but he does not deny that there are waves of light either. In the same way man confesses to the power of thinking and intelligence though he is unaware of scientific facts, but he does not say that since I have not recognized the power of reason I do not believe in its existence.

How we believe in the unseen God?

The essence is that, man is unaware of many existing things, but when he sees the signs, marks or

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symbols he accepts their existence. Now, how it is possible that though he sees the things present in the world he denies the existence of their creator? How it is possible for him to say that, since he does not know the reality of the Creator he denies His existence?

None is more lacking in intelligence than those who say, “How it is possible to believe in an unseen God?” Such people should be asked, “Have you seen your intelligence or memory, or other capacities present in your self?” Other than these, there are many things in the world, which are not seen by naked eyes. For example air. Can you deny the existence of all such things? Don't you see the signs and marks?

Eyes only see material things

They should be made to understand that the vision of human eyes is limited to the things that have forms. That also with the condition that it should not be colorless or thin like air. Otherwise eyes cannot perceive such material things also. Now how such eyes can see the Lord, when He is absolutely Unique? He does not consist of matter. He is the Creator of both the dense and the rare matter. Rather He is the Creator of such things, which do not even have form and matter, like intelligence and thoughts.

That Lord is present everywhere (He is Omnipresent) and He encompasses everything. The whole universe exists because of His existence. It is necessary for man that first he should take stock of the

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orbit of operation of his eyes. So that he may not refuse to believe or accept the dignities and things that are out of their orbit of operation. Rather he should recognize them by their signs.

Three questions-a single reply

It is said that one day Abu Hanifah told his companions, “Ja'far bin Muhammad as-Sadiq has stated things that really surprise me. He says that Allah will not be seen in this world as well as the next. How is it possible that a thing exists but cannot be seen?

He also says that Satan will be burnt in the fire of Hell. Now since Satan is made of fire himself how can fire burn fire?

And he also says that people are free in their actions. Though Quran says that all actions take place according to the will of Allah.”

This narration shows that Abu Hanifah was convinced that Allah would be seen in the Hereafter, the fire of Hell will not burn Satan and whatever man does, he is helpless in it and Allah is compelling him to perform all actions.

Bohlool was present in the gathering. After listening to all this he picked up a lump of mud and hit Abu Hanifah on the head with it. Abu Hanifah started bleeding from his head and Bohlool ran away from the scene.

Abu Hanifah filed a complaint in the court of law and Bohlool was produced. The judge asked him the reason of such behavior. Bohlool said, “Abu Hanifah has objected to three things, which Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq

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(a.s.) had said. By hitting him on his head I have replied to all the three objections. One is that, he says that it is not possible for something to exist and not be seen. Now since he claims that I caused the pain in his head, let him show us that pain. However since the pain cannot be seen, it seems that he is lying, as pain does not exist.

Another thing is that he says since Satan is made of fire, the fire of Hell will not affect him. The lump was of clay and Abu Hanifah is also made of clay, hence how clay has affected clay?

And this gentleman says that man is not having free will and Allah compels him in all actions. Hence hitting him in this manner, according to him is not my own action. Rather it is an act of Allah. Then why is he complaining about me?

In the end Bohlool was released.

Some scientists

Hence it shows that if a thing is not seen it is not the proof that it does not exist. In Arabic it is said that: It is absolutely self-evident and reasonable to the extent of manifestation.

Even then some scientists have been deceived by their wrong notions. In the past centuries they had by analysis and scientific experiments performed amazing and exciting feats. They discovered amazingly exciting things, invented and manufactured scores of gadgets, really worthy of honor. But they gave such a verdict against wisdom and said that, “The universe comprises

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of only material things and this is what we have understood.” They denied all things other than material things. They did not give credence to the existence of soul, angels, and Jinns etc. They thought that the world is not consistent with an Omnipotent and Omniscient God and they refused to believe in such a God Who is Alone and pure, and free from matter. Because of their claim, they disgraced themselves among the wise people of the world.

A Drop of Sea

Thank God that majority of today's (twentieth century) scientists are not engaged in such wrong notions. The verdict of their nature and their perception is that such a view is wrong. They bow down their head with respect in the face of Allah Almighty's endless Greatness, Power and Wisdom. They also confess that the soul remains after death. They also confess and admit that there is a world of reward and punishment. They say that our knowledge is just like a drop, whereas what we don't know is like a vast shoreless ocean.”

The Ant and The Telephone Pole

In Tafsir of Tantavi, vol. 2 on page no. 48, the names of twenty great scientists are given who have accepted the existence of God, soul, and the Hereafter. Some of these scientists, for example, the greatest philosopher of this century and the teacher of Aureili Doshan, “Spencer” has written books on this subject and also written a thesis on this. However relating all those quotations here will cause unnecessary lengthening of our discussion.

In this commentary on page 161 a

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British scientist, Lord Olivier Large is quoted that:

“Man's knowledge about non-material things (for example, soul) is only as much as an ant might be having knowledge about the life of man.”

For example when an ant crawls on the telephone pole. It looks at the pole within the circle of its vision but it does not know that this pole carries a telephone network and that it is the medium of communication between people of different cities.

Similarly we do not have information about the unseen worlds.

Vol. I of Dairatul Marif, the Encyclopedia compiled by Wajidi and other books mention about many scientists who accept the existence of God.

Recognition of God and Science are related to each other

Hershel says that as science progresses there is increase in the proof of the existence of an Eternal and Omnipotent Creator, which is God. Geographers, Mathematicians, psychologists and scientists have cooperated with each other to strengthen the throne of knowledge; and this throne is the throne of the greatness of One God.

An Eternal and Everlasting power

The famous thinker Herbert Spencer says, “The more we investigate these mysteries, the more they deepen. Though we have indeed realized the fact that there is someone more powerful and higher than man, and everything has come into existence due to him.”

The Universe and its Creator

The French physiologist and natural scientist, Lena says, “The great Eternal God is aware of everything and He can do anything. He has instilled such awareness in myself through His creatures that I have become enchanted and perplexed. Because from the most minor creature to His greatest phenomenon there is same kind

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of novelty, wisdom and power that one is compelled to feel bewildered.”

After this the same great thinker says, “Whatever benefits we receive through the universe are the best proofs for the greatness of that God, Who has bestowed us all these things. Everything in the universe is so beautiful and balanced that it shows the great wisdom of the Almighty. God protects everything from destruction and misbalance. Constant change and transformation in the Universe also proves the Almighty's greatness.”

Brief statements of other thinkers

The accomplished intellectual Fomtetel writes in his encyclopedia that the importance of science is not because it reduces the fervor of intellects. Rather the greatest advantage of these sciences is that they invite our attention to the Creator of the Universe and they instill in us an awe of the Creator. The well-known philosopher Pascal says, “The Creator is an unlimited sphere whose pivot is everywhere and whose dominions are without limits of space.” The same philosopher also says, “Except for faith in God nothing gives us internal peace and quenches the thirst of the soul.”

La Mena says, “The word in the denial of the Creator burns the lips of the one who utters it.”

He also says that search for something other than God and absolutely unconnected with His Being is nothing but an effort towards annihilation.

Lo Cordon says, “God is that Unique Sun whose living and everlasting rays impart help and life to the existing things.”

Feu says, “God is aware of everything. He has control over everything and He is controlling

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all the systems of the universe.”

Gordon says, “God is that eternal and everlasting power by Whose favor the whole Universe has come into existence and continues to develop.”

In the 19th century Encyclopedia there is a statement of Prodon that, “God is a reality beyond our understanding and describing Whose qualities is beyond our capacity. But despite this His existence is certain and undeniable. Before our intellects could investigate the existence of God our conscience had already witnessed it.”

On page 354 of Dictionary of Stories of Quran, La Martin, a great French poet and litterateur says, “A heart devoid of God is a court of law without a Judge.”

These were some few examples of the statements of western thinkers. May our young people pay attention to this and derive benefits from those great thinkers and confess to the greatness of those thinkers who believe in and have faith in Allah.

Removal of Dirt

“Aloofness” (Takhliya) is to keep oneself away from things that are obstacles in recognizing Allah. In other words it means that we must purify our heart of all pollutions of the heart. The greatest pollutant of the soul is selfishness. That is to consider oneself most important and not in need of Allah and this mistaken notion is the result of blind faith. Some people feel happy at this mistaken notion. They acquire a little bit of knowledge and consider themselves intellectuals although this knowledge is limited while their ignorance is unlimited.

How can a person consider himself an intellectual though he is

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unaware of the most obvious truth and the recognition of God? This is nothing but pride and a compounded ignorance.

Compounded ignorance is that a person is unaware of his ignorance. He also does not know what he is unaware of. He shall remain in the compounded ignorance forever. Some details regarding compounded ignorance are mentioned in the beginning of this book in the chapter of “The Cure of Disbelief.” Let us revise these points again.

Cure of Self-worship

One must think upon his helplessness time and again and must ponder on his temporal nature from the aspect of his self, qualities and actions. He must understand that whatever there is, it is by the favor and mercy of Allah. He is in need of Allah every moment of his life. Another beneficial thing for the cure of egotism is that one must contemplate upon ones creation and composition.

That initially he was dispersed in form of particles of elements, then he came into the loins of his father, then in the womb of the mother and finally he arrived into the external world. Thus from the cradle to his present condition, each stage is worth contemplation. One should imagine his future conditions and even his death. Then he must think what his condition would be in the frame where his body will once again disperse into particles and he would again return to the previous condition.

From it We created you and into it We shall send you back and from it will We

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raise you a second time.(1)

Then one should consider in detail ones present condition and think upon ones life and death.

He must take note of his health and sickness, strength and weakness, old age or youth, honor or dishonor; thus he must study all his conditions over whom he has no control and whom he cannot mould according to his wish and will. So much so that he does not even exercise control over his thoughts and memory. He desires to understand and memorize many things but he cannot do so always. His desire just remains a desire.

In brief we can say that one should consider ones helplessness and lack of control, weakness and lowliness from every angle. The more he is aware of this the more he will be able to achieve the recognition of himself and his creator and the creator of others. He would be able to understand the limitless wisdom and power of Allah and he would similarly be able to confess his ignorance and weakness.

Self Recognition

A famous tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) says, “One who recognized his self, recognized his Lord.”

Some scholar has explained this tradition as follows: One who understands his phenomena - That he was nothing and then he came into existence. He understands his annihilation and decaying, indeed understands that his Lord is eternal and everlasting. He is from eternity and would remain forever. Anyone who realizes his helplessness, infirmity and ignorance, would certainly realize Allah's unlimited power, wisdom and control. Anyone

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1- Surah Taha 20:55.

who realizes that he is a creature, getting sustenance from the Sustainer God, would certainly achieve the recognition of his Creator and Sustainer. In the same way as many qualities of himself a man realizes as much recognition of God he achieves.

By contemplation any sane person can know that the creation of the soul in his body, his physical make-up and everything in every sphere of his life is not by itself. Certainly, somebody has created all this; someone sustains and manages it all. He is also the creator and the originator of all the parts of the existing world.

One who wants to deepen his recognition of God should pay more attention to this. He should read the versified supplication (Munajat) of Imam Ali (a.s.) quoted in the rituals of Kufa Mosque in Mafatihul Jinan. Also for this purpose it is essential to ponder upon its meanings. Some lines of this supplication are as follows:

O my Master, O my Master! You are the Living and I am a dead and who will show mercy on a dead except the Living?

O my Master, O my Master! You are Eternal and I am perishable, who can be merciful on the perishable except the Eternal?

O my Master, O my Master! You are Everlasting and I am declining. Who can be merciful on the declining except the Everlasting?

O my Master, O my Master! You are the Sustainer and I am a sustained one. And who can be merciful on a sustained one except the

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Don’t consider yourself free

If God wills, more details about egotism and self-worship will be discussed in the second part of this book. Here we have to know in brief that as long as a man considers himself needless and without a guardian, he continues to consider himself as the greatest. Such a person cannot gain any divine recognition. But if he realizes with his sense and intellect that he is not firm and independent, a great veil is removed from the effulgence of his nature. He begins to recognize his Lord in the brightness of this recognition and becomes His ardent devotee.

O Hafiz! You yourself have become your veil. Move out from between yourself and the Lord.

Till the time you remain in pride of your knowledge and superiority you will remain without divine recognition. Let me point out a fact. Do not look at yourself because you are dust.(1)

Beastly pleasures and desires

All greedy and sensual behavior, following devilish desires, excess in animal pleasures like overeating, sleeping more than necessary, are those veils that conceal the effulgence of humanity or make one neglectful of the remembrance of Allah and cause spiritual illness. In such things, if excess is harmful to the body and this loss is considerable then it is unlawful. And if it is not considerable then also it is detestable. Now that excess may be in anything.

For instance an excess that Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has pointed out, “Lustful glance is a poisonous arrow from the arrows of Satan. Lustful glance is a

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1- Persian Couplets.

poisonous arrow that strikes the heart and soul of the one who glances in this manner. How sick would be the heart of the person who commits sins, day in and day out? How would the effulgence of nature glow after such destruction and filth so that he can remember God? How can he see truth and reality and recognize Allah?

Sinful glance is far from the beloved's face. Now glance at this pure face through a clean mirror.(1)

Yes, if divine grace is in ones favor the sinner would regret his actions and the fire of regret would burn the filth of his heart and then the water of repentance would wash the heart.

I have plunged into tears and performed the ritual bath. Like the mystics you also say so. Because the mystics say that first purify yourself only, then cast a glance at that pure entity.(2)

Every sin, however minor, covers the effulgence of man's nature and makes the heart rusty, creating proportionate distance and a veil between Allah and him.

This is proved by many verses and traditions. For instance:

Nay! Rather, what they used to do has become like rust upon their hearts.

Nay! Most surely they shall on that day be debarred from their Lord.(3)

In the same way Allah says in Surah Rum:

Then evil was the end of those who did evil, because they rejected the communications of Allah and used to mock them.(4)

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) is quoted in Usul al-Kafi that he said, “Every believer has a

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1- Persian Couplets.
2- Persian Couplets.
3- Surah Mutafaffefeen 83:14-15.
4- Surah Rum 30:10.

white spot in his heart. When he sins, a blackness to that extent appears on it. If he repents, the blackness goes away. But if he remains in the impurity of sins for a long time the blackness goes on increasing. So much so that it completely covers the white spot. When the blackness hides the whiteness, a person with such a heart can never return to good. This is the meaning of Allah's words:

Nay! Rather, what they used to do has become like rust upon their hearts.(1)

Also, Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “My father (Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.)) used to say that the most harmful thing for the heart is sin. Indeed the heart involved in sins is continuously inclined to sins till they gain control over the heart; then the heart is turned upside down.

Truth does not remain in it and neither can it return to it and stay put there. Such a person does not accept any advice and does not obey any true guidance.

The Most dangerous pain of the heart

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says, “No pain is more dangerous to the hearts than sins. No fear is as intense as that of death. Past sins are enough to cause worry and death is enough a lesson.(2)

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) also said, “I am only worried about two things regarding you. One is following the desires and the other, lengthening of hopes. Following the desires takes one away from truth, while lengthening of hopes makes one forget the Hereafter. (Yes! Long hopes and

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1- Surah Mutafaffefeen 83:14.
2- Usul al-Kafi.

desires make one forget death. And if man does not remembers death, he also forgets the Hereafter. A true believer is not commanded to fear death but he is to remember death.

As mentioned in the first tradition, “No fear is as intense as that of death,” Now this fear is perceived when one commits a sin and does not repent for it. To save oneself from the fear of death he should not sin again and repenting for the past sins he should repose hope in Allah's mercy.

Allah is Manifest, but veils of desires intervene

In the supplication of Abu Hamzah Thumali, Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) prays to Allah, “And truly traveling to You is short in duration, and You do not veil Yourself from Your creatures unless their own misdeeds would block them from You.” In one version instead of A'maal (misdeeds) there is Amaal (hopes). Meaning thereby that hopes and desires become a veil and cause hindrance.

However close I may be to myself, the beloved is nearer. And more strange is that I am far from the beloved.(1)

Preoccupation makes one forget Allah

A man becomes so busy in the remembrance of himself, in fulfilling his desires and lustfulness and having long hopes that he begins to commit one sin after another even by his body and becomes sinful even by the heart. He draws the veils of these things between Allah and himself and this preoccupation of his makes him forget Allah.

We have lost the way

We become happy on getting materialistic pleasures of the world. If some material loss occurs we become sad and

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1- Persian Couplet.

aggrieved. But we have no worry about the loss of the Hereafter. We do not even think of humanity and spirituality. That is why we do not worry about the well being of life in the Hereafter. Though there is no greater peril than the peril of sins and no harm greater than the harm of the Hereafter. The real asset of man is his faith. Thieves like sensuality and Satan continue to steal from it while he sleeps in carelessness. He doesn't worry that due to his sins his faith is decreasing or getting destroyed. It shouldn't be that at the time of death he becomes faithless.

It is surprising that in spite of this they lament their material conditions. In addition to physical sickness they also remain spiritually ill very badly. Hospitals are full with these patients in every era and no place is vacant; and the diseases are increasing day by day but people do not take lesson that they are giving more importance to physical ailments. They do not repent. They do not leave the satanic path. The remedy for all pains is remembrance of Allah. But they do not remember Him even for a moment. Their soul remains in restlessness and affliction but they do not find any remedy of it.

Now surely by Allah's remembrance are the hearts set at rest.(1)242

A Miserable time

Indeed the condition of a man is miserable. Imam Ali (a.s.) says in Nahjul Balagha:

You are in a period when steps of virtue are moving backwards,

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1- Surah Ra’d 13:28.

steps of evil are moving forward and Satan is increasing his eagerness to ruin people. This is the time that his equipment is strong, his traps have been spread and his prey has become easy (to catch).

Cast your glance over people wherever you like, you will see either a poor man suffering from poverty, or a rich man ignoring Allah despite His bounty over him, or a miser increasing his wealth by trampling on Allah's obligations, or an unruly person closing his ears to all counsel.

Indeed surveying the society of today we realize that there are generally four kinds of people in it. Some are poor who remain very sad and lamenting, some are very rich but thankless to Allah. Third and fourth are the miserly and greedy; or inspite of not being rich or poor, miserly or greedy they have forsaken the obedience of Allah.

Social life must also not be forsaken

Shall we leave such a society and recede to the forest? No, Islam has prohibited the way of Sufis and ascetics. We have to live in this society. We have to remove the obstacles on the way of recognition of Allah and the Hereafter. We must not waste the capital of certainty and belief, and remaining in legitimate limits we have to enjoy the pleasures and comforts of the society.

The Self of man, and Satan

The self of man, and Satan are the greatest obstacles on the ways of recognition of God, humanity, intellect and Islamic law. The self of man tries to mislead him and Satan makes the beastliness of

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the self more disobedient. These two enemies try to mislead man whether he is in a society or in wilderness. Therefore man should oppose them while living in the society. These enemies also trick man by making bad deeds seem good to him.

If man want to flee, he should flee from following the self and Satan, and not from the society.

Congregational prayer and Hajj

The greatest religious duty incumbent on people is the daily Five-times Prayer. Congregational prayer is also emphasized. Almighty Allah clearly commands:

And bow down with those who bow down.(1)

After Prayer, Hajj is a great Islamic duty. It is performed at a particular time in the company of others. Benefits achieved from society are not present in a life of solitude in the wilderness.

If someone preaches a life of solitude in wilderness, he is himself deviated. He is talking against Islamic law. How can one who is himself deviated, guide others? If a blind leads a blind, the blindness is doubled.

Then, what to do?

Allah is Wise and Knowing. He best knows the pain of His creatures and it remedy. That is why He has sent doctors like the Prophet and his successors. He has given a prescription of guidance for this. He has provided guidance for everything. What to do and what not to do, everything is explained in detail. Laws exist for uttering a single word and swallowing a single morsel. Where to sit and where not to sit. Whom to meet and upon whom not even to cast a glance. Rules governing all

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:41

the big and small matters are present in Islam. Every act falls in any of the five categories: Obligatory, unlawful, detestable, recommended and permissible.

No act of man is such that one of the above five do not apply to it. Details of such laws are present in books of Islamic Practical Law.

Islamic laws and acting on them

On the basis of this every person is obliged to value the bounty of religion and act upon its rules. Its benefit would accrue to the man himself. The first step in this direction is learning the Islamic Law. Though it is obligatory first to learn those laws with which he is mostly involved. Of these, he must at least pay attention to the obligatory and the prohibited acts and exercise precaution in this regard. One should ensure not to miss a single obligatory duty and also that even a single unlawful act is not committed by him. The next step is that he should also perform recommended deeds depending upon his capacity and divine opportunity (Tawfeeq).

Indeed one who is acquainted with religious laws also acts upon them. In spite of living in this dirty society he remains clean and pure. Purification of soul, that is to keep oneself clean of evils and to mix with it the essence of Shariah would be definitely beneficial. Shariah is an alchemy that demonstrates how the self is heated in the kiln of trials and how impurities are separated from the pure. Since more discussion in this matter will prolong the book

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we content ourselves by presenting some examples of this alchemy.

Five times purification every twenty-four hours

For instance a religious command is to pray five times daily. Morning (Fajr), Noon (Zuhr), Afternoon (Asr), Evening (Maghrib), and Night (Isha). One who performs these five times prayers in proper way especially with a congregation, is cleaning himself of impurities five times?

The famous saying of the Holy Prophet (S) is, “One who regularly performs the five times' prayer, is like one who immerses in water five times to clean his body.”

Would any dirt remain on the body of such a person? The same is the condition of the heart of one who performs the daily prayers.

Every act has a particular effect

Like Prayer, each of the Islamic acts, like Fasting, Zakat (poor-rate) Hajj and other obligatory deeds have a special effect. Every obligatory act has a particular effect for purifying the heart, that is not present in others. If one performs all obligatory acts but forsakes one, he would be deprived of the benefit of this act. He would be involved in the disease of heart according to the act he has omitted and this cannot be compensated by performance of another obligatory act.

The same applies to avoiding prohibited acts. If one avoids all prohibited acts except one, his heart would remain impure from that aspect, and this impurity cannot be removed except by abstaining from this particular deed.

Remembering death purifies the heart

The same applies to the recommended deeds also. In connection with the purification of the self, the effects present in a particular recommended act are such that they

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cannot be obtained through any other way. Remembering death is among those recommended deeds that remove the obstacles from divine recognition and the purification of self. There are very few sermons of Imam Ali (a.s.) in Nahjul Balagha where he has not spoken about the remembrance of death. For instance he says:

“I advise you to remember death more and be less negligent about it. How can you be negligent about something (death) which is not negligent about you?”

Imam Ali (a.s.) states in a letter to the governor of Egypt:

“Whenever your self fights with you with regard to the sensual desires you must increase your remembrance of death. Death is sufficient as a sermonizer. The Messenger of Allah (S) used to regularly advise his companions in connection with remembering death and used to say, 'Remember death more and more because it breaks the pleasure of the self and is an obstruction between you and lust.'”

In a tradition in Usul al-Kafi Imam Baqir (a.s.) says that the Holy Prophet (S) was asked who is the wisest and the most intelligent believer? The Prophet replied, “One who remembers death most and one who is most prepared for it.”

Everything should be within limits

Abstinence from detestable acts is similarly having particular effects. If one does not abstain from a particular detestable act, a particular ill of the heart would not be cured. However as much harm is not there in leaving a detestable act as there is in avoiding a prohibited deed. In the same way as much harm

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there is in leaving an obligatory deed is not there in leaving a recommended act.

For example one of the detestable acts is to overeat. In the same way eating on a full stomach is also detestable. If one eats so much that it can become a cause of disease then it is not only detestable, it is unlawful too. In the same way to sleep too much, to talk too much is detestable to the point of being forbidden. However even if a sentence is uttered, that is prohibited, then it would not remain detestable but become unlawful.

It is mentioned in Surah Araaf:

And eat and drink and be not extravagant, surely He (Allah) does not love the extravagant.(1)

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Surely Allah does not like one who sleeps and eats in excess.”

The Holy Prophet (S) is recorded to have said, “It is your duty to remain silent. Because silence is a weapon to chase away Satan and it is helpful to you in your religion.”(2)

There are many traditions of the Prophet greatly flaying excess of sleeping, eating, speaking and praising people. For the purification of the self, cleaning of the heart and fostering the effulgence of nature it is necessary to adopt moderation in sleeping, eating and speaking. Apart from traditions, practical experience and personal observations also prove our stand.

Pleasure of Supplication

You can experience it yourself. One night eat and sleep less. Get up at dawn. Recite a few units of Prayer. Converse with Allah in private. Then do

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1- Surah Araaf 7:31
2- Safinatul Bihar Vol. 2 Pg. 50

not be content with one or two nights. Make it a habit. Then you would relish the taste of nearness of God. Then you will taste the sweetness of His remembrance. And then you will be able to understand the grades of spirituality to some extent.

Eat and sleep a little less. Take this gift for meeting Him.

Be among those who sleep less at night and be among those who seek forgiveness at dawn.(1)

The second couplet points to what is mentioned in the 17th and 18th verse of Surah Zariyat.

They used to sleep but little in the night. And in the morning they asked forgiveness.(2)

Worship slashes the veil

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said, “There is no veil between a person and Allah, darker and more terrible than uncontrolled desires and self. And to slay these two no weapon or instrument is there except considering oneself in need of God, having fear of God, remaining hungry and thirsty during the day and keeping awake at night.(3)

Abstain from following the self. Because there is nothing deadlier like this beast that subdues people in the way of God.(4)

It is a difficult but important task

Purification of self or cleaning oneself from spiritual impurities according to religious law though very difficult for the self, is the sure way of good fortune, deliverance, success and happiness. The Holy Quran says in Surah Shams:

He will indeed be successful who purifies it.(5)

Almighty Allah also says:

We will most certainly make him live a happy life.(6)

No treasure is obtained without toil. Oh brother! Only

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1- Persian Couplet.
2- Surah Zariyat 51:17-18
3- Safinatul Bihar Vol. 2, Pg. 603
4- Persian Couplet.
5- Surah Shams 91:9
6- Surah Nahl 16:97.

he gets paid who has worked hard.(1)

Although difficulties borne in this world are indeed compensated in the Hereafter.

Allah says in Surah Haqqah:

Eat and drink pleasantly for what you did beforehand in the days gone by.(2)


After purification of self the thing needed is assimilation. Assimilation means the embellishment of self and the embellishment of self is contemplation and remembrance of God. It is obtained by contemplating about God after observing the universe and by always having His remembrance.

Almighty Allah says:

Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are signs for men who understand. Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee, save us then from the chastisement of the fire.”(3)


Allah Almighty says in Surah Rum:

Do they not reflect within themselves: Allah did not create the heavens and the earth and what is between them two but with truth and (for) an appointed term? And most surely most of the people are deniers of the meeting of their Lord.(4)

That is they even deny that there is a life after death.

Material Progress

Now consider this verse:

They know the outward of this world's life, but of the hereafter they are absolutely heedless.(5)

Today most of the people are like this. Their thinking is limited to this world. That is why they are content with knowledge

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1- Persian Couplet.
2- Surah Haqqah 69:24.
3- Surah Ali Imran 3:189-190.
4- Surah Rum 30:8.
5- Surah Rum 30:7.

that would be useful in this life only. They create a private world. That is why today man has taken such strides in material spheres.

Man has attained perfection in agriculture and other scientific and technological fields. He has made astonishing progress in medicine. Heart surgery has become possible and heart transplant has become a reality.

But it is regrettable that no attention is paid to the spiritual diseases of the heart. New inventions and all the facilities of life are available today but no arrangement is made for the satisfaction of the heart. Leaving the limits of the earth, man has reached space. He has traveled three million twenty two thousand kilometers from the earth to land on the moon but what a pity that he has no control over his heart.

He reached places that none had even imagined, but as far as spirituality is concerned he has regressed. He has become worse than animals. Though he has learnt that the Solar System is in its old age then also he does not worry about the end of the world. He sees people dying everyday. He knows that no one is immortal, but it has no effect on him. He is not able to realize that there is life after death.

Another World

People do not realize that when there is a hidden wisdom in everything in the world, there should be a purpose behind the existence of the world also. This world was not created without any purpose; just to be

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destroyed one day. Thus there is another life after death and there is another world after this. Such a world, that he can reach it after being released from this terrible life and remain in everlasting comfort and happiness. Happiness, which is not accompanied by sorrow.

This world is for divine recognition (Ma’arifat)

Allah has bestowed wisdom and ability to man to contemplate on this world and through it obtain knowledge and recognition. That he can see that the tiniest of the creatures has a cache of wisdoms. So that he gains certainty on God Who has bestowed this wisdom. He should realize that there is some reason behind his creation. To find this he must refer to the Quran and the traditions of Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad. He can make his task easier this way.

In this way, he would know that he is created to recognize Allah and worship Him. He is created to achieve great perfections in qualities and manners. He is created to achieve a purified life of the world and the Hereafter. He is created to see such blessings, as he cannot even imagine.

Almighty Allah says:

So no soul knows what is hidden for them of that which will refresh the eyes, a reward for what they did.(1)257

In other words, Allah Almighty has created human beings and also created a perishable world as well as an everlasting one. The divine aim in this is as follows:

First of all, we must see the beautiful qualities of God. That is, we must ponder on God's

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1- Surah Sajdah 32:17.

Power, Wisdom, Generosity and Mercy. Then in this background we should think upon the secondary divine qualities. That is, the Justice of God and His Wrath on the unjust and disbelieving people. There are many verses regarding this, but we content ourselves by those we have already quoted.

Contemplation is the best worship act

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) used to say, “Admonish yourself by contemplation.” Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “The greatest worship act is to contemplate upon Allah and His Power.”(1)

Imam Ali Ridha (a.s.) says, “Worship does not mean only praying and fasting in excess. True worship is contemplating upon the acts of Allah.”

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “The worship of Abu Zar (Mercy of Allah be on him) consisted mostly of contemplation and gaining lesson.” Another tradition of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) is recorded that he said, “An hour of contemplation is better than a year's worship and only those who have sense, accept good counsel.”(2)

The level of worship depends on recognition of God. As a result of contemplation if the level of recognition increases, its rewards would also magnify. Perhaps it may not be obtained by year's worship with less recognition and could be obtained by an hour's worship with increased recognition. But it does not mean that one should give up prayer and only contemplate.

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says, “If people had contemplated on the great power and huge bounty of Allah, they would have returned to the right path and would have continued to fear the punishment of Hell.”(3)260

Contemplation results in good deeds

Imam Ali (a.s.) says, “Contemplation calls

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1- Usul al-Kafi, Chapter of Contemplation.
2- Biharul Anwar Vol. 15 Pg. 195
3- Nahjul Balagha.

us towards good deeds and invites us to act on its result.”

Allamah Majlisi explains this tradition thus: This tradition includes all kinds of contemplation.

Contemplation on the greatness of Allah prepares us for fear of God and His obedience. It creates the realization about the temporal nature of the world and its bounties; so that if need arises we can forsake them by Allah's command. Man derives a lesson from the consequences of others. The unjust and cruel people get punishment in the world from Allah or the people, so he tries to protect himself from injustice, bad deeds and manners.

By contemplating on the secrets of worship he learns their aims and thus he performs them with more attention and in the best way. Contemplating on the high stages of the Hereafter he strives to achieve them. Contemplation on the laws of religion and legal problems makes a man act upon them properly and keep himself from sins. In this way the benefit of contemplating on good qualities and high morals is that man obtains them for himself and begins to decorate himself with them.

How to contemplate?

Hasan Saiqal says that he asked Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.), “People relate (a tradition of the Prophet) that contemplation of an hour is better than standing in prayers the whole night. So in what manner should one contemplate? Imam said, “He should visit the ruins or deserted places and ask, 'Where those who inhabited you? Where are those who built you? What has happened to

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you? Why don't you speak? (There is none inside you who can speak, all have passed away).

Contemplation is the way of recognition

Big and small creations spread in the universe are signs of Allah. By contemplation one realizes that there is a creator for every creation. There is indeed someone who creates motion in everything that moves. In this way when a man contemplates he sees an aim and wisdom behind each creation. Hence he understands that the creator of these things is very Wise. His wisdom and power is unlimited. He is managing the whole system of the universe in the best way. Whether animals or humans, He has created the system of their lives with much wisdom.

Man also knows how to control the system to a certain extent. He has also got intelligence and understanding. This ability to control the system, this intelligence and understanding are themselves creations in the universe. And man himself is a creation. He did not exist before, but was created later. Can the creator of an intelligent being like man, be Himself unintelligent?

Hands of the clock

The famous French philosopher and writer, 'Walter' (1694-1778) is considered among the most intelligent people of the world. He writes in his Dictionary of Philosophy:

The material but the best way to acquire divine recognition is that we should not stop at just carefully observing the system of the creations. We should also be attentive to the aims and intentions behind the creation of those created things.

Then he says, “When I see a clock that its dong indicates

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different hours, I immediately conclude that this clock is certainly made by some sense and intelligence. That is why it shows time in a proper and organized way. In the same way when I see the parts of my body, I conclude that some intelligent being has certainly made these physical organs to exist in an orderly manner…(1)

The hands of the clock are also like this. A special machine is constructed and the hour, minute and second hands are fixed in a particular way. If one hand fails, the whole clock will not work correctly. An intelligent man has constructed it very carefully. When this is the condition of this small clock then surely such a vast universe and its well-arranged system is also made by the Wise and Knowing God.

The Human Body

The human body is a very astonishing thing. It has systems of chewing, swallowing and digesting etc. Besides, it also includes the reproductive system. It has a perfect circulatory system to purify blood and make new blood. It has different kinds of organs like the heart, the liver, the kidney, the eyes and the ears etc. and most of all an amazing thing, called intelligence. It also has the five senses. Contemplating on each and every thing amazes us. Indeed the Powerful God has created all these things.

The Holy Quran says:

And Allah has created you and what you make.”(2)

Allah has given man every kind of ability. He has given intelligence and understanding and of course the power to utilize his

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1- Farhange Quran, Pg. 356.
2- Surah Saffat 37:96.

ability correctly or wrongly and man would himself see the result of his actions.

Habit or Warning

If man continues looking at things just casually, as his habit is, he would never get insight or divine recognition. He should observe things with deep insight, intelligence and in a proper way. In this way he would be able to take lesson from it and be able to ponder upon Allah's unlimited wisdom and power.

Seeing a new thing man says, “What a wonderful thing is it! Now, more wonderful is the creation of this thing anew. That is its coming into existence from non-existence.

Almighty Allah says in Quran:

And how many a sign in the heavens and the earth which they pass by, yet they turn aside from it.(1)

For one whose soul is on the level of enlightenment and refulgence the whole universe is the book of the Almighty.(2)

Study the Quran

To practice contemplation and gain recognition of Allah we must study the verses of Quran. Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has explained in four sittings, the points about oneness of Allah to his follower Mufaddal. We must study this. Besides the Holy Quran, we must also read other books that mention details about the earth, the sky and other creatures, and the study of which would increase our recognition of God.

Here we present some incidents for increasing divine recognition.

The Infidel king and the Pious vizier

In times gone by, there was a materialistic infidel king while his vizier was very pious. One day the vizier thought of edifying the king though it was not an easy

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1- Surah Yusuf 12:105
2- Persian Couplet.

task. The vizier built a magnificent palace in wilderness without informing the king and planted different kinds of fruits and flowers around it. One day, while hunting, the king and his vizier passed by that palace. The king was surprised and asked who has built that palace, adding, “I have passed by this way several times but I have never seen it before.” The vizier said, “It is possible that it was built by itself.” “How is that possible?” asked the king.

The vizier said that there were frequent storms in the sea in that area and hence it was possible that stones might have broken from the mountains and gathered there floating in the storm. Then by chance they piled on one another. In the same way the trees and plants grew up there because of storms. The king said that no one would agree with this and this splendid palace could not be made without the help of a skilled architect. “You must inquire who built it here?”

The vizier said, “You say that this palace cannot be constructed automatically. Then surely someone has built it intentionally. Now, is the human body not more complex than this structure? Besides human beings, are not all types of beasts and vegetables more astonishing than this? Can any wise man, seeing the system of whole universe say that all of it were made without any source?” This changed the thinking of the king and he also became a believer.

Discussion of Ali Bin Mitham

Ali Bin Mitham

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was a great Shia Scholar in the time of Mamun Rashid. Shaykh Mufeed has mentioned that:

One day Ali Bin Mitham went to Hasan Bin Sahl the vizier of Mamun Rashid besides whom sat a denier of God and an irreligious person. People were giving him great respect and were listening intently to his unbecoming talks. Ali Bin Mitham was very saddened by this.

He said, “I have seen a very strange thing today.” People asked, “What have you seen?” He replied, “I saw a boat without a sailor ferrying people across the Tigris River.” The apostate said, “O vizier! Do not listen to this person. He has no sense and he has become mad. A boat is made of wood and inorganic matter and it has no wisdom, sense and determination that it can ferry people across the river without the intervention of a sailor.”

Ali Bin Mitham asked the denier, “What is this? Why do You call me mad because of the absence of a sailor. Just see in what a perfect way the sun, moon, earth, planets and all things present in them are moving. How perfect is their motion and their arrangement, and you say that the boat of this vast universe is sailing without a sailor! In spite of this, you consider yourself intelligent?

The denier was ashamed and he realized that the fictitious story of the boat was narrated by way of guidance. (1)

White and Yolk of an egg

Abu Shakir Desani was also an apostate and a denier of God. One day

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1- This incident is recorded on Page 237 of Shaykh Abbas Qummi's Tohfatul Ahbab.

he came to Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) and said “O Ja'far Ibne Muhammad! Take me to my Lord.” The Imam said, “Take a seat.” He sat. At that time a child was playing with a hen's egg. The Imam told the child, “Son! Give me this egg.” The child handed him the egg. Then Imam said to Desani, “See this egg is like a strong fort. A strong thick peel is surrounding it. There is a delicate membrane under this skin and a type of liquid silver is floating inside it. Within it is a gold-like yolk, which is also floating.

Neither the yolk mixes with albumen nor the albumen mixes with the yolk. Nothing is seen coming out of it automatically, that whether it will produce a male or a female. After a few days, the peel is broken from inside and a beautiful chick comes out. O, Desani! The cause of its creation is Allah, the Wise and Powerful or is it your imagination? How has it come into existence automatically? Abu Shakir Desani bowed down his head for some time and then raised it and said, “I bear witness that there is no god but one God and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger. I repent for my former belief.”(1)

Words of Allah

Signs of existence of God are incomputable and there are many witnesses of His Oneness.

Say, if the sea were ink for the words of my Lord, the sea would surely be consumed before the words of

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1- Biharul Anwar Vol. 2 Pg. 7

my Lord are exhausted, though We were to bring the like of that (sea) to add thereto.(1)

Every creation is a word of Allah. It has testified to His wisdom, power, oneness and uniqueness. It speaks of Allah and His unlimited attributes.

For the wise, every green leaf is a book of Allah's recognition.(2)

A Great Power

Think deeply on the condition of yourself and others. Man makes a determination to do a lot of things but in a short time his intention ends. He proceeds further with many tasks and has faith in getting results but there is no result. On the contrary, sometimes results are beyond his expectations. Breaking of intentions and overturning of hopes proves that there is a greater power that has kept his condition under its control. We have already mentioned the details of this in the chapter of polytheism.

For more insight we mention here some famous incidents in brief.

Shaddad could not see his self-made Paradise

A city was constructed by the command of king Shaddad. Its surrounding walls were a hundred and twenty miles long each. The buildings therein were made of gold and silver bricks. The trees were also made of white silver and red gold. Instead of fruits, diamonds and precious stones were fixed in those trees. Coral and pearls were strewn on the ground in such a way that soil could not be seen.

When Shaddad was informed about the completion of his paradise, he went there to enjoy it but could not even put a step inside it as his end approached and

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1- Surah Kahf 18:109
2- Persian Couplet.

he died immediately.

Pharaoh was disappointed

Pharaoh was in pursuit of Prophet Musa (a.s.) and Bani Israel along with six hundred thousand men so that he could apprehend and punish them. When they reached the Nile, by the miracle of Prophet Musa (a.s.), twelve paths appeared in the sea and Bani Israel crossed the sea. The Pharaoh also followed them with his soldiers; but when his complete army reached the middle, the paths in the sea disappeared by the command of Allah and the whole army along with Pharaoh was drowned.

Nimrod, Abraha and Prophet Sulaiman (a.s.)

Nimrod threw Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) in the blazing fire to kill him but the fire did not burn him and Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) came out from the fire safe and sound. At last a powerful king like Nimrod died because a puny insect, a gnat that entered his nose.

Abraha moved towards the Ka'ba with his large army and elephants to demolish it. But he was disappointed when he reached there because Allah sent a flock of birds, each holding three pebbles of mud in their beak and claws. They dropped these pebbles on them and they all were destroyed.

One day Prophet Sulaiman (a.s.) said, “I want to rest today. No one should come to me.” Then he went to the roof and stood there supported by his staff (walking stick). The angel of death took away his soul in this same condition.

Remembrance of Allah

Remembrance of God is of two types: Obligatory and recommended. Obligatory remembrance is in three situations.

The first type of obligatory remembrance is that

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when man sees a creature he should remember its Creator. Seeing the created things he should recognize the unlimited power and wisdom of God. He should consider Allah as the fountainhead of all bounties and should accommodate His love in his heart. In order to recognize Allah in the first stage, this type of remembrance is obligatory.

When man has recognized Allah to the obligatory extent and begins to love Him and becomes His devotee, then continuous remembrance of Allah becomes recommended upon him. That is, it would be recommended that whenever he sees a creature he should remember its Creator. Whenever he sees a bounty he should consider it to be a gift of Allah. And in this way he should never forget Allah. Such remembrance is the best worship act. There are many verses in the Holy Quran emphasizing such remembrance:

Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth. Remember therefore Allah's benefits and do not act corruptly in the land, making mischief.(1)

Remembrance does not stand for mere verbal remembrance, rather it denotes remembering Allah all the time. In the same way Quran says:

Remember therefore Allah's benefits and do not act corruptly in the land, making mischief.(2)

This verse implies that if there is remembrance of Allah, there would be no mischief, and when there is no remembrance of Allah there would definitely be mischief. Destruction is certain, and forsaking the remembrance of Allah is

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1- Surah Ali Imran 3:190
2- Surah Araaf 7:74

destruction itself. In the same way it is mentioned in Quran:

So when you have performed your devotions, then laud Allah as you lauded your fathers, rather a greater lauding.(1)

Pride on ancestry

Before the advent of Islam, after performing the rituals of Hajj, the Arab polytheists used to stay in Mina for a few days. There they lauded their ancestors in poetry readings among the different tribes. Allah revealed this verse to end this custom. Nothing but pride is gained by lauding ones ancestry and it could not even benefit the descendants in the Hereafter.

Whereas Allah has granted man all the bounties in addition to ancestors. Allah rears men through ones parents. Thus all the bounties are from Allah only and He is more deserving of praise than the ancestors. In addition to material bounties Allah also bestows spiritual ones. The Quran says:

And remember Him as He has guided you, though before that you were certainly of the erring ones.(2)

Also the Quran says:

But when the prayer is ended, then disperse abroad in the land and seek of Allah's grace and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.(3)

Remembrance and thanks all the time

To remember Allah after getting His bounties increases recognition, love and faith. Till the time one achieves recognition, love and faith, it is obligatory to keep remembering Allah. After that it becomes desirable and it enhances faith. Remembrance of Allah after seeing the bounties is actually thankfulness. However to remember Allah on every bounty and all the time is very difficult, rather impossible. There are uncountable

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:200
2- Surah Baqarah 2:198
3- Surah Jumah 62:10

bounties of Allah upon every person and unintentional negligences of people are also incalculable. The Quran says:

And if you count Allah's favors, you will not be able to number them.(1)

One Breath

Man breathes more than twenty thousand times in twenty- four hours. He remains unmindful in sleeping hours but after awaking also he does not pay attention to a favor like respiration. If breathing stops for a few minutes, man would die at once. Sadi Shirazi has stated in an excellent way:

When the breath goes inside it gives life and when it comes out, it refreshes.(2)

Therefore there are two blessing in every breath and we should be grateful for each breath. In what manner can we thank Allah? All the creatures, including the angels, together cannot thank Allah sufficiently.

Man forgets himself

One who remembers Allah more and more will get, in addition to divine recognition and God's love, the benefits and happiness of both the worlds, while forsaking Allah's remembrance makes one a victim of misfortune and deprivation. One also forsakes Allah's remembrance forgets his own self. He does not fulfill his own right. He does not achieve happiness in the way of faith and actions.

Almighty Allah says in Quran:

And be not like those who forsook Allah, so He made them forsake their own souls: these it is that are the transgressors.(3)

Such people forget to obtain for themselves the provision of the Hereafter.

Man is not only a physical body

Intellectual and textual proofs (Quran and traditions) show that the reality of man is his soul; and his body is just

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1- Surah Ibrahim 14:34
2- Persian Couplet.
3- Surah Hashr 59:19.

its vehicle and the medium of its actions. All the movements of the body are due to the soul. When the soul exits the body it cannot make any movement but even after death, man's soul remains.

The soul is immortal and would remain forever. If in the world it causes good deeds to be performed through the body, after its expulsion it gets their benefits and lives in peace. But if in the world the soul causes man to do bad deeds through his body, it also suffers a lot of grief and sorrow afterwards.

The common man considers his material life to be everything. He thinks he would be annihilated after death. He thinks his body is everything. That is why he does everything for his body, but does not even think about his soul. For the well being of the body, he refrains from every comfort and delicacy but does nothing for the health of his soul.

He goes for major operations on his body and spends all his wealth in it but cultivates the greatest of spiritual diseases. He does not care that he would be punished for thousands of years in the Purgatory (Barzakh). Man forgets his soul, that is his self, and this is the result of forgetting God.

We do not say that you must not treat the body if it is sick. It is necessary to have it cured so that it can accomplish good deeds according to the commands of God. What we

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say is that along with the treatment of the body, we should also pay attention to the remedy of the soul. The cure of the soul is a thousand times more important than that of the body. The life of the Hereafter is much greater in comparison to the short life of the world. The hardships there, are many times greater than worldly problems. We must arrange for avoiding those hardships. Spiritual diseases also cause pain and hardships in the world, and physical aches are nothing compared to them. Observe this yourself; material comforts do not remove spiritual pains.

Concern for Obligatory and Unlawful Acts

The second instance when remembrance of Allah is obligatory is while performing an obligatory or an unlawful act. One should not be lazy in fulfilling an obligatory act and abstain from unlawful acts in all circumstances. For instance one should not leave a fast without any valid reason in the month of Ramadan and perform Hajj when it is obligatory upon us. When it is time to pay the Zakat or Khums at the end of the year, we must pay it immediately. One should remember Allah in difficulties and must never despair of His Mercy. Once a person begins to remember Allah in unlawful and obligatory acts then if there is occasion to perform recommended deeds, it is better if he is capable and has divine opportunity to also perform these recommended deeds. It is recommended that when meeting Muslims one should be first in saluting.

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If anyone salutes, it becomes obligatory to reply. He should be kind to the relatives and behave with his blood relatives and those related to him by birth in such a way that they are pleased with him. For example if a relative is sick, one should visit him. If he is in some difficulty, he should try to solve the problem. For instance if the relatives become unhappy for not visiting them in their sickness or solving their difficulty then it would become obligatory. Even if they do not become unhappy it is recommended to treat them with kindness. (Although if there is a clash between the pleasure of relatives and divine law, the latter would get precedence).

The same applies when facing prohibited acts. At this time also it is obligatory to remember Allah. If there is risk of a prohibited glance we must lower the gaze or move it away. If there is risk of hearing an unlawful sound, we should stop it or retreat from there. If we fear that unlawful words may slip out from the tongue, we should at once think of Allah. If we want to prevent ourselves from the unlawful, we should abstain from detestable acts. Anyhow, we must not forget Allah at any time and we must remember Him more and more.

The Best and the most Difficult work

According to a tradition of Usul al-Kafi in the 'Book of Faith and Infidelity', in the Chapter of Justice, it is narrated from Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that, “The best deeds

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are three'. In another tradition the words used for these acts are 'the most difficult acts'. The opening words of yet another tradition are: Till the time a believer is tested with these three things they would seem very difficult to him:

• Desire justice for others just as you would like to have it for yourself. So much so that do not prefer something for yourself till you are not satisfied with others also having the same thing.

• Render monetary assistance to your brother-in- faith. (Help him if he is in need)

• Remember Allah in every condition. Remembrance of Allah does not mean only uttering, 'Glory be to Allah, Praise be to Allah, There is no God except Allah and Allah is Great.' (Though they are also important). Rather, remembrance of Allah means that when you come across something Allah has commanded, you must perform it, and when you some across something that Allah, the High and the Mighty has forbidden, you refrain from it.

There are four traditions in Usul al-Kafi on this subject.

Importance of Remembering Allah

This educates us about the importance of Allah's remembrance. If one is not careful about the prohibited and the lawful in every moment of ones life, then mere verbal remembrance of Allah is either useless or of very little use. This has already been discussed in the beginning portion of our book, Greater Sins. Here it is sufficient to mention only one verse of the Quran, where Allah says:

Allah only accepts from those who guard (against

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This is watchfulness

In fact, remembrance of Allah is that man considers Him present and witnessing in every condition. He must not forsake the commands of God under any circumstances. This is watchfulness. Such a kind of watchfulness is the means of guarding us against all types of destructions. Living in inhabited places the center of our attention must be the Almighty Allah. Such a kind of watchfulness takes man to the stages of perfection.

Allah is always the Guard and Protector of His slaves. The Arabic word for Guard is 'Raqib' Allah has appointed on His behalf, angels to watch the words and deeds of men. By the command of Allah they note down all good and bad deeds of every person at all times. It is necessary that people must also realize that Allah is watching them and they must not commit any sin in His presence.

For introducing variety in our discussion we mention here few interesting incidents on the subject of “watchfulness”.

Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) and Zulaikha

It is written in Ihya-ul-Uloom that:

It is said that when Zulaikha locked up Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) with herself in her private room, she removed her veil from her head and put it on an idol that was placed in her room. Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) asked the reason for this and Zulaikha said, “Since I want to embrace you I feel shy of the idol. I have covered it so that it cannot see me.”

Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) said, “You are shy of this man-made lifeless idol. Should I not be

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1- Surah Maidah 5:27

shy before the Creator of the universe?” Hence Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) fled from there. At last an infant in the cradle testified to the innocence of Prophet Yusuf (a.s.). And in the due course he himself became the king of Egypt and Zulaikha also became his lawful wife. The details of this incident are present in Surah Yusuf.

Allah is watching

A venerable teacher was giving more attention to one of his disciples. People asked him the reason. He replied, “You would soon know.” One day he gave a hen to each of his students and asked them to slaughter them where no one can see. All the students went away, slaughtered their hens and brought to them back to the teacher but that particular disciple brought back his hen alive. The teacher asked him the reason before others. He said, “You ordered us to go to a place where no one can see us, but wherever I went, I found the Omnipresent and Omniscient God.(1)

What the shepherd said

This incident is mentioned on page 206 of Lavameul Baiyanat:

One day Abdullah bin Umar met a shepherd who was grazing his cattle. He asked the shepherd to sell a sheep to him. The shepherd said, “This is not mine and my master has not allowed me to sell them.” Ibne Umar said, “Sell it to me and keep the money with you and tell your master a wolf took it away. The shepherd said, “Then where would Allah go?” That is, though my master is not present, Allah is

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1- Makhuzana Lavamaul Baiyanat, Fakhruddin Razi Pg. 206

certainly there. This incident so influenced Abdullah Ibne Umar that he went to the shepherd's master, purchased him and freed him. Then he purchased all his goats and sheep and gifted them to the shepherd. From then onwards Abdullah Ibne Umar used to repeat the brief statement of the shepherd: “Where would Allah go?”

A slave of Allah

This incident is recorded on page 16 of the 4th volume of Tarikh Tabari:

When Muslims conquered Madayan, the occasion arrived to deposit the war booty into the public treasury. People deposited whatever they could. Meanwhile a man arrived carrying an exquisite box. People doubted that this man might have removed something from it. They asked, “Have you removed anything from this box?” He replied, “If I had not considered Allah to be Present and Witnessing, I would not have even brought this box to you.” They asked, “Who are you?” He replied, “I don't want to introduce myself lest you start praising me.” They deposited the box and followed him. He returned to his tribe and inquiries revealed that he was Aamir Bin Abde Qais.

Verbal remembrance

The third kind of obligatory remembrance of Allah is verbal remembrance. It includes obligatory prayers like the Daily Prayer, Funeral Prayer, Ayaat Prayer (During natural calamities and eclipse), Prayer of circumambulation of the Holy Ka'ba and Lapsed Prayers etc. We have mentioned the importance and rewards of Prayer as well as the severe punishment for omitting it, in Greater Sins. Prayer is a verbal remembrance that is obligatory. The following verses of Quran

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prove this:

O you who believe! When the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off trading, that is better for you, if you know.(1)

Therefore serve Me and keep up prayer for My remembrance.(2)

The Four Praises

We also have recommended remembrances. For example after conversion to Islam it is desirable to say: “I bear witness that there is no God except Allah.” Or saying, “Praise be to Allah”. Or reciting, “Glory be to Allah” or “Allah is Great”. Among such recitals is “The Four Praises” (Tasbihat-e-Arba). That is: “Glory be to Allah and Praise be to Allah and there is no God except Allah and Allah is Great,” or saying: “There is no strength and Might except by Allah.”

In the same way are supplications, versified invocations (Munajat), Salawat and Quran recitation. All these are also recommended remembrances.

The More the Better

It is clear that there is no limit to remembering Allah. The more Allah is remembered the better it is for man.

O you who believe! Remember Allah, remembering frequently. And glorify Him morning and evening.(3)

Numerous traditions regarding the excellence of remembrance of Allah are mentioned in Oddatutdai. However for the sake of brevity we refrain from quoting them here. We just mention another Quranic verse in this connection:

And remember Allah much that you may be successful.(4)

So many recommended prayers, supplications, invocations, recitals and rosaries have been narrated from the Ahlul Bayt that we might be able to recite them all only if we were to engage in this

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1- Surah Jumah 62:9.
2- Surah Taha 20:14.
3- Surah Ahzab 33:41-42
4- Surah Jumah 60:10

activity all the twenty-four hours. May Allah bestow us more divine opportunity in this.

Excellence of the Midnight Prayer

Of all the recommended prayers the Midnight Prayer is most effective, beneficial and meritorious. It has even more importance than the Nawafil (supererogatory) of the Daily Prayers. It consists of eleven units (Rakats) and the timing is from midnight to dawn. There are many traditions and verses that emphasize rising up early before dawn and performing this prayer, then begging Allah's pardon. In short whoever has obtained some spiritual station it is by the grace of arising early at dawn.

Whatever treasure of happiness Allah gave to Hafiz, it was because of the Midnight Prayer and recitations.(1)

And during the part of a night, pray (the midnight prayer) beyond what is incumbent on you; may be your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.(2)

Indeed the Midnight Prayer was obligatory on the Holy Prophet (S) and is also most recommended for his followers. The “Position of great glory” (Maqam Mahmood) denotes a high station due to which people praise one. Here the lofty station of the Holy Prophet (S) signifies his great intercession.

Many concessions are given to Muslims regarding the Midnight Prayer and if one does not pray from midnight to morning, then also he would not be punished but there would be such a deprivation as cannot be recompensed. He would be deprived from reaching the greater stations and stages that are especially for the Shias of Ali Muhammad (Followers of the Progeny of Muhammad).

Emphasis on the Midnight Prayer


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1- Persian Couplet.
2- Surah Bani Israel 17:79

following tradition of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) is available in Baladul Amin of Kafami:

“He is not from our Shia that does not perform the Midnight Prayer.”

And Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says, “One who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, should not pass the whole night without performing the Midnight Prayer.”

The Imam of our time has emphasized thrice in a letter to Ibne Babawahy: “You must recite the Midnight Prayer, you must recite the Midnight Prayer, you must recite the Midnight Prayer.”

Those who wake up at dawn

Allah has emphasized waking up at dawn and performing the Midnight Prayer at a number of places in Quran. For example He says:

Their sides draw away from (their) beds, they call upon their Lord in fear and in hope, and they spend (benevolently) out of what We have given them.(1)

So no soul knows what is hidden for them of that which will refresh the eyes, a reward for what they did. (2)

Allah also says:

What! He who is obedient during hours of the night, prostrating himself and standing, takes care of the hereafter and hopes for the mercy of his Lord! Say: Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful.(3)

This verse explains in the best way that to pray the Midnight Prayer and to weep in the court of Allah in a mixed state of fear and hope is a sign of knowledge, divine recognition and wisdom. And not doing thus is ignorance and foolishness.

Anyone who has obtained a bit of

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1- Surah Sajdah 32:16.
2- Surah Sajdah 32:17.
3- Surah Zumar 39:9.

insight has the habit of awaking at night.(1)

In the same way, pay attention to the following verse:

Surely those who guard (against evil) shall be in gardens and fountains. Taking what their Lord gives them; surely they were before that, the doers of good. They used to sleep but little in the night. And in the morning they asked forgiveness. And in their property was a portion due to him who begs and to him who is denied (good).(2)

Twenty-six Qualities of the Midnight Prayer

The Messenger of Allah (S) has said that the Midnight Prayer

(1) Causes Allah's happiness

(2) and friendship of angels

(3) It is the practice of the prophets

(4) It is the cause of the effulgence of divine recognition

(5) and a firm foundation of faith

(6) It is comfort for the bodies.

(7) It is the cause of disgust from Satan.

(8) It is the means of victory over the enemies.

(9) It enables the acceptance of prayers.

(10) It makes deeds worthy of acceptance

(11) Causes increase in sustenance.

(12) It intercedes with the angel of death (that he takes away the soul with ease and without causing discomfort)

(13) It is the lamp of the grave.

(14) It is the floor-spread of the grave.

(15) It will reply to Munkar and Nakir (the interrogating angels in the grave)

(16) It is a companion of its performer in the grave

(17) It would continue to visit and look after him till the doomsday and when the resurrection day will occur

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1- Persian Couplet.
2- Surah Zariyat 51:15-19.

(18) it would provide protective shade to its worshipper

(19) It is the crown of his head

(20) It is the garment for his body.

(21) It is effulgence that remains before him

(22) It is a curtain between him and hellfire.

(23) It is his proof in the court of Allah.

(24) It is the cause of weighing down the pan of good deeds

(25) It is the vehicle to cross the Sirat Bridge.

(26) It is a key to the door of Paradise.

Twenty-six qualities of the Midnight Prayer are mentioned in this tradition. The most important being that the Midnight Prayer strengthens the foundations of divine recognition and faith. One must not be neglectful in getting up early at dawn and praying the Midnight Prayer. On the contrary one should perform it regularly and in a proper way, so that if Allah wills, one may obtain the best of the rewards.

Method of the Midnight Prayer

With the intention of performing the Midnight Prayer perform four prayers of two units each, totaling eight units (Rakats) and recite any Surah in them after the Suratul Fatiha. Then perform two units of Shaf prayer. After this pray one unit of Watr Prayer. If possible recite in the Qunut(1) of this last unit 70 or 100 times, “Astaghfirullaha rabbi wa-atoobo ilaihe”(2)) or recite “Al-Awf”(3)) 300 times. It is most emphasized to pray for the forgiveness of forty believers in Qunut. Ahlul Bayt have also narrated many supplications that can be recited at this time. Especially the 32nd supplication

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1- Supplication in Ritual Prayer
2- I seek forgiveness of Allah and to Him I turn (in repentance).
3- One who overlooks (our sins).

of Sahifa Kamila and other supplications mentioned in the 18th volume of Biharul Anwar. It is much better to recite these supplications in the Qunut. May Allah give us all the divine opportunity (Tawfeeq) to perform all these worship acts.

Stages of Faith

Imam Ali Ridha (a.s.) has stated in Usul al-Kafi in the Chapter of infidelity and faith that, “Faith is one level higher than Islam. Piety is one level higher than faith and certainty of belief is one level higher than piety. Nothing in such a less quantity has been distributed among the people as certainty of faith.”

In comparison to certainty of faith, other things are in greater volume. In another tradition, in the same chapter of Usul al-Kafi the narrator asked Imam Ali Ridha (a.s.), “What is certainty of belief?” Imam replied, “Certainty of belief means reliance on God, to submit before Allah and to entrust the results of our efforts to Allah.”

Allamah Majlisi has explained this tradition in the words of some reliable scholars as follows:

“Recognition of Allah and worship are two such gems that all the religious books, all the statements of religious scholars and all the sermons that you read or listen are all for these two only. Rather the arrival of the Prophets and the revelation of divine scriptures were for this purpose. Rather, the heavens, the earth and whatever is between them were created as means to obtain them.”

The following verse is sufficient to realize the merits of knowledge and recognition of Allah:

Allah is He Who

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created seven heavens, and of the earth the like of them; the decree continues to descend among them, that you may know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah indeed encompasses all things in (His) knowledge.(1)

And the following verse is sufficient to realize the excellence of worship:

And I have not created the Jinn and the men except that they should serve Me.(2)

Knowledge or recognition of Allah and worship, go hand in hand. Each is necessary for the other. If recognition is genuine, worship would also be there and if there is genuine worship, recognition will also accompany it. Recognition and worship are the causes and effects of each other. Recognition causes worship and worship becomes the cause of recognition. For example when worship is the cause of recognition, recognition is technically called the effect. Effect means that something else is the cause of it. Worship would be according to the level and grade of recognition. If recognition increases there will be increment in worship also. In the same way if worship increases, recognition would also increase.

It is clear that here knowledge and recognition denotes recognizing Allah, having faith on the angels, belief in the book of Allah (Quran), belief in the prophets, especially in the Last Prophet and his Successors and the recognition of the Day of Recompense.

Almighty Allah says:

The apostle believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers, they all believe in Allah and His angels and

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1- Surah Talaq 65:12.
2- Surah Zariyat 51:56.

His books and His apostles.(1)

The Holy Quran also says:

O you who believe! Believe in Allah and His Apostle and the Book which He has revealed to His Apostle and the Book which He revealed before, and whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels and His apostles and the last day, he indeed strays off into a remote error.(2)

The source of Faith is Knowledge. Faith is the verification of a factual truth. Imagination is first of all necessary for verification, and imagination and verification, both are knowledge.

And infidelity is the opposite of Faith. That is to conceal the truth or not to trust the truth; and the source of infidelity is ignorance.

According to religious law, Faith is verification of the following five mentioned in these verses

(1) Allah

(2) Angels

(3) Revealed Books

(4) Prophet

(5) and the Day of Recompense.

Therefore it is obligatory to obtain knowledge and certainty regarding them.

Faith in the Infallible Imams is included in faith on the Messenger of Allah (S). The necessary sequel of faith on the Prophet is that one also has faith in the successors appointed by the Prophet. In the same way belief in Divine Justice is included in the recognition of Allah or knowledge about the attributes of Allah.

The famous tradition of the Messenger of Allah (S) says:

“Acquisition of knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim man and woman.”

It means the same. Here obligatory knowledge means faith and recognition. Though everyone obtains faith and recognition according to his ability.

The Quran says:

Allah does not impose upon any

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:285
2- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:136

soul a duty but to the extent of its ability.(1)

That is why there are stages of faith and knowledge. Faith can be strong as well as weak. It can be less and more. There are many stages in this regard and many traditions are recorded on this subject.

Faith is in proportion to the level of knowledge that imparts health and life to the heart. Faith is such a light that illuminates the heart. Due to this effulgence the curtain between the Lord and the slave is removed.

The Quran also says:

Allah is the guardian of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light.(2)

In the same way Allah says:

Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like him whose likeness is that of one in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth?(3)

And Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Knowledge is not obtained by studying a lot. But it is a light that Allah bestows in the heart of one He wants to guide.”

Although when Allah wants to guide man and grant him this light, it is possible for him to study and increase it further.

The Holy Quran states:

And when His communications are recited to them they increase them in faith.(4)300

That is why it is commanded to pray:

O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge.(5)

As much as the curtain is removed, the light of faith increases. Faith becomes stronger and stronger and more

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:286
2- Surah Baqarah 2:257
3- Surah Anam 6:122.
4- Surah Anfal 8:2.
5- Surah Taha 20:114.

and more perfect. So much so that there is nothing but effulgence in the heart. Then he is endowed with the widening of the breast, that is the spiritual broadening of the heart. He begins to understand the realities of all the things with an open mind. The unseen and the non-material things become known to him. He sees everything according to its reality.

Thus the light of his heart and the expansion of his breast show him to be factual truths whatever the prophets have said. Some things are known to him in detail and some realities in brief. Then the desire to act on the divine law appears automatically. He achieves control in refraining from evil. Due to the effulgence of divine recognition there is also increase in the effulgence of his manners and good qualities. Then he becomes like those described thus in Quran:

Their light shall run on before them and on their right hands, light upon light.(1)

And also:

…light upon light…(2)

The light of worship would be increasing the light of divine recognition and the light of divine recognition would be increasing the light of worship. (Apparently the preceding light is the effulgence of faith and the light to the right is the light of good deeds.)

The first stage of faith is verification mixed with doubts. There are stages for this too. It is also possible that faith is also mixed with polytheism. The same is mentioned in the following verse:

And most of them do not believe in

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1- Surah Tahrim 66:8
2- Surah Nur 24:35

Allah without associating others (with Him).(1)

This level of faith is not 'faith'; it is called Islam, where there is scope for doubt.

In Surah Hujurat it is said:

The dwellers of the desert say, We believe. Say, You don't believe but say, we submit, and faith has not yet entered into your hearts.(2)

The middle stages of faith are those in whom, in addition to testimony there is no doubt or suspicion. Such believers are mentioned in the following verse:

The believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Apostles then they doubt not…(3)

When traditions and verses speak of faith, they mostly imply this level of faith:

Those only are believers whose hearts become full of fear when Allah is mentioned and when His communications are recited to them they increase them in faith and in their Lord do they trust. (4)

In the higher stages of faith also there is a faith, immune to and purified of doubt. But there is increase in them in divine realization and taste of fidelity (seeing Allah through the eye of ones faith and tasting the sweetness of faith). This is the perfect love for the Creator and a zeal for seeking His proximity. Such believers are described in verses like the following:

He shall love them and they shall love Him, lowly before the believers, mighty against the unbelievers, they shall strive hard in Allah's way and shall not fear the censure of any censurer, this is Allah's grace. He gives it to whom He

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1- Surah Yusuf, 12: 106.
2- Surah Hujurat 49:14.
3- Surah Hujurat 49:15
4- Surah Anfal 8:2


This high level of faith is called utmost certainty (Iqan). As the following verse indicates:

And they are sure (yuqinoon) of the hereafter.(2)

The Messenger of Allah (S) is quoted in Usul al-Kafi that he said, “Righteousness is that you worship Allah as if you see Him.”

This is the stage of Utmost certainty (Iqan).

All the three levels of faith are mentioned in the following verse:

On those who believe and do good there is no blame for what they eat, when they are careful (of their duty) and believe and do good deeds, then they are careful (of their duty) and believe, then they are careful (of their duty) and do good (to others), and Allah loves those who do good (to others).(3)

Just as there are three levels of faith, corresponding to each level there are levels of disbelief also. As Allah says:

Surely (as for) those who believe then disbelieve, again believe and again disbelieve, then increase in disbelief, Allah will not forgive them nor guide them in the (right) path.(4)

Belief is a higher stage than Islam. In this way the higher stage than belief is fervor and certainty of faith. There are three stages: Knowledge of faith, positive knowledge and certain truth. Allah says in Surah Takathur:

Nay! If you had known with a certain knowledge. You should most certainly have seen the hell, then you shall most certainly see it with the eye of certainty.(5)

Surah Waqiah says:

Most surely this is a certain truth…(6)

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says, “Even if the curtains are removed

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1- Surah Maidah 5:54
2- Surah Baqarah 2:4.
3- Surah Maidah 5:93.
4- Surah Maidah 5:137.
5- Surah Takathur 2:5-6-7.
6- Surah Waqiah 57:95.

there would be no increase in my faith.”

Thus the three stages of belief are: Knowledge of faith (seeing smoke man knows there is fire), Positive knowledge (man sees fire with his own eyes) and Certain knowledge (man can touch it and create faith in its existence).

Three stages of Infidelity

Like belief there are three stages of infidelity also. The first is doubts in the principles of faith; such as Allah, the Prophet, Angels, the Holy Quran and the Hereafter. The Holy Quran states about such people in Surah Tawbah:

Their hearts are in doubt, so in their doubt do they waver.(1)

The second stage of infidelity is that man remains in doubt about these five fundamental principles without even trying to verify whether they are right or wrong. Allah says in Surah Nahl:

So (as for) those who do not believe in the hereafter. Their hearts are ignorant and they are proud.(2)

The third stage of infidelity is hatred to the truth besides having doubt and refusing the truth, and here man even tries to destroy the truth. Allah says in Surah Mujadilah:

Surely those who act in opposition to Allah and His Apostle shall be laid down prostrate, and indeed We have revealed clear communications and the unbelievers shall have an abasing chastisement.(3)

Just as man earns different stages of heaven, in the same way he becomes eligible for stages of infidelity. Each stage of infidelity makes one eligible to a particular category of Hell. In the same way there are three stages of hypocrisy also:

1) If one

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1- Surah Tawbah 9:45.
2- Surah Nahl 16:22.
3- Surah Mujadilah 58:5.

has outward faith but doubts the truth.

2) If he manifests faith but has doubts in it, and without researching the truth he denies it in the heart.

3) He claims to follow the truth but harbors enmity in the heart.

The abode of such a one would be the lowest stage in Hell with a very painful chastisement.

Allah says:

Surely the hypocrites are in the lowest stage of the fire.(1)

A Condition of a True Believer

Ishaq bin Ammar says that he heard this tradition from Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.): Once the Holy Prophet (S) saw a man in the mosque, who was sleeping with his head hanging down. He was pale and his eyes hollow. So the Prophet called him by his name and asked, “How have you started the morning?” He said, “O Messenger of Allah (S)! I have started the morning in a condition of certainty.”

The Prophet said, “Every certainty has a reality. What is the reality of your certainty?”

He said, “O Messenger of Allah (S)! This certainty of mine has aggrieved me very much. I have spent a sleepless night. My hot day (because of fasting) will pass in tolerating thirst. My soul is tired of this world and whatever is there in it, and has turned its face away. The matter has reached a stage that I can see Allah's empyrean ready to take the account of the creatures. All are gathered and I am also among them. I see heavenly people absorbed in divine blessings, greeting each other and sitting on

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1- Surah Nisa 4:145.

their thrones and as if I see people in Hell getting severe punishment and crying and as if I see the flames of the fire of Hell and could hear their cries.”

The Messenger of Allah (S) told his companions, “This is the man whose heart Allah has illuminated by divine effulgence.” Then the Prophet told him, “Always remain in this same condition.”

The young man said, “O Messenger of Allah (S), as I am your devoted servant, pray for me that I am able to achieve martyrdom.” The Messenger of Allah (S) prayed for him. After a few days he was martyred in a holy war.(1)

Obligatory and Recommended Deeds

In Usul al-Kafi in the same section of 'Belief and infidelity' there is a chapter denouncing the causing of hurt to the Muslims.

The Messenger of Allah (S) said: I asked my Lord on the night of Ascension, “What is the position of a believer near You?”

Allah replied, “My believer seeks My proximity only with deeds that I like most. That is, he performs whatever I made obligatory on him. Though I like that besides performing the obligatory acts he should also aim at My nearness through recommended deeds. When I begin to like all his deeds, I become his ears so he may hear with them, I become his eyes so that he can see with them, I become his tongue so that he can speak with it, I become his hand, so that he can get everything through it. If he calls me, I answer

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1- Usul al-Kafi, Book of Belief and Infidelity.

him and if he asks something from Me, I grant him.”

Deviation of the Sufis

Allamah Majlisi writes in the explanation of this tradition, that according to Shaykh Bahai this tradition is authentic and it is famous among Shias and Sunnis with some minor differences. Some sentences of this tradition like (I become his ears so that he can hear with them) are misinterpreted by Sufis and believers in transmigration of soul.

They have gone astray themselves and they mislead others. This wrong belief says that (God forbid) Allah can come into anything and can transmigrate anything in Himself (God forbid). In the same way union with God is also a wrong belief. It means that (God forbid) Allah unites with other things and becomes one with them, and then there is no difference between Allah and that thing and (God forbid), everything became God.

Allamah Majlisi says that reasonable explanations of these traditions are available. They use metaphors and such use is common in the traditions and Quran and they are not against the faith of the true believers.

Then he gives the sayings of scholars and mentions his opinion. For the sake of brevity we narrate only the saying of Shaykh Bahai.

People of Perception

Shaykh Bahai says:

For the people of faith, lofty things and secrets are hidden in these statements. Such points that only people of taste can perceive. Their souls are imbued with a fragrance that strengthens their worn-out bones.

Only one who has practiced penance can adopt these points. One who has devoted his body for

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a holy war. Only such a one can obtain divine recognition through such statements and understand their meanings. One who does not understand them and one who is not able to obtain divine recognition from these treasures, there is nothing for him except to obtain base physical pleasures. Such a person is being tested. Generally when he hears such statements, he runs a risk and mostly deviates to transmigration and unification. Allah is much exalted and supreme than this.

This can be understood easily by all.

Fondness of Allah’s proximity

Such statements imply the perfection of Allah's proximity. They express the sway of love over the person's inner and outer dimensions and His being hidden and apparent. But Allah knows better. What we understand is that, “I love My servants. I grant him My attachment. He becomes completely attached to Me. I keep him in a condition of sanctity. His voice and thoughts remain fully attentive to the unseen world. I take over his five senses. As if I become his ear. That is whatever he hears, he hears for Me. As if I become his eyes. That is whatever he sees, he sees for Me only.

Many traditions are available regarding the stages of faith, grades of the people of certainty and their excellence. They can be referred to in Usul al-Kafi, chapter of 'Belief and Infidelity'.

Our intention is to remind that belief may be of any stage but a true believer must not stop here. On the contrary he should try to obtain all the

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honors of all the three stages of belief.

The Great Signs of Certainty

If Allah's favor and grace descends on anyone He grants him the light of certainty in his heart. This light can spread in his whole heart. In such circumstances all moral defects and evils are removed and he obtains all kinds of good attributes.

The Holy Quran says in Surah Furqan:

So these are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones…(1)

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says:

Certainty of faith makes people scale every lofty and astonishing stage. The Messenger of Allah (S) explained the dignity and grandeur of certainty when he was told that Isa Ibne Maryam (a.s.) walked on water. He said: If his certainty had been more, he would have walked on air.(2)

In the beginning we have quoted Imam Ali Ridha (a.s.) that: The signs of certainty of faith are reliance on God, submission to Allah's will and surrendering the results of our efforts to Allah.

Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) has said:

Certainty of faith can be seen in the world in the paucity of hopes, in the sincerity of the deeds and in the piety and fear of God.(3)321

The following is also narrated from him:

Patience and piety, and sincerity and obedience are the fruits of certainty in belief. When the tree of certainty grows in the heart, its fruits are good manners and lofty attributes.

Certainty is Peace and Doubt is Perplexity

The following tradition of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) is present in Usul al-Kafi:

“Allah the Exalted, on the basis of justice has appointed happiness and comfort in certainty of

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1- Surah Furqan 25:70
2- Safinatul Bihar Vol. 2 Pg. 534
3- Ghurarul Hikam

belief and sorrow and grief in doubt and unhappiness.”

A person with certainty of belief experiences heartfelt peace and comfort. He surrenders the results of all such deeds to Allah. He says: It was my duty to act and I have done my work. Now it is upto Allah whether He helps me or not through this. Allah is the Knower of everything. If the result is against his will, he does not become aggrieved. He does not become unhappy with Allah. He never says, against the will of Allah: 'If it had been so.' Such a man never becomes proud even if the result is according to his will; on the contrary he thanks Allah.

Allah says:

No evil befalls on the earth nor in your own souls, but it is in a book before We bring it into existence, surely that is easy to Allah. So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you, nor be exultant at what He has given you, and Allah does not love any arrogant boaster.(1)322

Everything belongs to Allah

This verse shows that if the people of certainty do not get something they desired, or something they had is taken away from them, they do not become sad. In the same way if they get something they do not become proud and vain. They consider themselves slaves of Allah and they do not consider themselves independent of Allah in any way.

People of certainty are satisfied in all conditions

People of certainty are never fearful and aggrieved even in the most unpleasant circumstances and severe calamities. They

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1- Surah Hadid 57:22-23

never feel alone. They associate all their affairs to Allah. Instead of being troubled, they repose all hopes in the Omniscient and Omnipotent Allah with utmost patience and dignity. They make efforts according to Allah's commands but leave the results of their efforts to Allah. That Allah may do as He likes.

They know that nothing happens without Allah's will, permission or leave. Whether the will of Allah is for mercy or justice, every will of God is for the good of man. Even if He puts man to tests, He intends good for him. Hence, disease or good health, prestige or disgrace, riches or poverty, honor or dishonor, whether people appreciate him or not, even life and death; all are same for the people of certainty. They know that whatever the result is, it would be for their good. Indeed true peace in the world and the Hereafter is only achieved by the people of certainty.

Allah says:

Those are they who shall have the security and they are those who go aright.(1)

Allah also says:

He it is Who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers that they might have more faith added to their faith.(2)

Satisfaction, tranquility, peace and security are the signs of certainty of belief. While the opposite of these are fear, loneliness and sorrow. These are the results of doubt.

Fear and Hope only from Allah

A person with certainty of belief in Allah has neither hope nor fear from anyone. If he fears his sins, it is also due to the fear of

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1- Surah Anam 6:83
2- Surah Fath 48:4.

Allah. He hopes only in Allah for grace and mercy and for the forgiveness of his sins. The center of his fear and expectations is only Allah. Even if he flees from a beast or an enemy, it is not due to fear. He flees from them because Allah has commanded us to defend ourselves. If he hopes from someone, it is also because Allah has commanded us to seek co-operation from each other. In fact his hope is from Allah only that Allah would accomplish his work with the help of others. Allah says in Surah Ali Imran:

Those to whom the people said: Surely men have gathered against you, therefore fear them, but this increased their faith, and they said: Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent is the Protector. So they returned with favor from Allah and (His) grace, no evil touched them and they followed the pleasure of Allah and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.(1)

Importance of a Deed is based on certainty

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has stated:

“A small deed, performed regularly with certainty of faith is better in the view of Allah than a great deed performed without certainty.”(2)

Amirul Momineen, Imam Ali (a.s.) has said:

“Man does not taste faith till he does not obtain knowledge and certainty. Because what he has got was never to leave him and whatever he has lost was never going to come to him. And the One Who gives profit or loss (and One Who tests us in all ways) is only the High and Mighty

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1- Surah Ali Imran 3:172-173.
2- Usul al-Kafi, Chapter of the Merits of Certainty, Tradition no. 3


It is Better to Sleep with certainty of Faith

Imam Ali (a.s.) heard about a Khariji man of Naharwan that he was very constant in performing the Midnight Prayer and reciting the Holy Quran. Imam Ali (a.s.) remarked, “To sleep with certainty is better than praying in doubt.” (2)

The excellence of certainty is such that all the religious personalities, even the Prophet, used to beg Allah for its enhancement. Faith, knowledge and certainty are one and the same thing, and a huge body of Quranic verses and traditions mention its excellence.

Love of the world

Love of the world is one of the severe physiological diseases and the greatest sin of the heart, such that all the past Prophets have denounced it. The Holy Quran has condemned it more than any other sin and prohibited it. The Messenger of Allah (S) and the Imams have narrated about it in widely related traditions. A few of them are presented here.

First of all it is necessary to know what 'world' means and what is the 'love of the world' that is made unlawful?

What does ‘world’ mean?

If the Arabic word for 'world', 'Duniya' is on the weight of 'sughra' (small) it's meaning is clear. If its root is taken as 'd-n-w' its opposite would be 'aakhirat' (Hereafter) which means 'the most debased'. However if its root is 'd-n-y-t-' (lowliness), its opposite would be 'loftiness'. There is no doubt that the worldly life is very low, for many reasons, than the life of the Hereafter. While the position of the Hereafter is much elevated and excellent.

'World' is the period starting

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1- Usul al-Kafi
2- Nahjul Balagha

from the time a child is born till the time his soul is separated from the body. The world, with all its necessities, is the place which provides food, clothes, house and other comforts like health, children, property, honor, reputation, power, gaiety and a happy social life to man. In other words, the life of man from birth to his last breath denotes the 'world'.

Only Deeds Remain

But Prayer, fasting, Hajj, poor-rate and other worship acts are those voluntary actions of man that he performs on Allah's commands. In the same way, drinking wine, fornication, gambling and others crimes are forbidden by Allah. Though all these things are related to this world the Everlasting God has made their effects everlasting. Man must perform these acts in His name and His remembrance. Or in other words it can be said that if man performs the duties commanded by Allah and refrains from those things prohibited by Him with the intention that all this is for Allah, though related to the transient world the effects of all these actions would be everlasting. That is why they are called deeds of the Hereafter and not of the world. So much so that even if their preliminaries are for Allah, they would also be considered as deeds of the Hereafter.

Worship is an action devoid of the love of the world

For example if a person man obtains wealth and decides to save it for spending it in the way of Allah; and then later he spends it on his children and family, pays the poor rate, helps his

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relatives and performs Hajj with a sincere intention, this action of saving money would be construed as his asset of the Hereafter. It can be said that worship is something completely devoid of the love of the world. But since a sin is committed in the love of the world, its hatefulness is not perceptible, that is why it is necessary to hate it. In this way this topic goes out of the scope of our discussion.

In brief it can be said that love of the world denotes the worldly life and losing oneself in all its necessities, all the pleasures and sensual desires. However, worship acts and sins are different from this, in which their commands are also clear.

For the eternal world

In the discussion about principles of beliefs we have explained in detail that it is necessary for man to bring faith in the fact that he is not going to be annihilated with death. Man is not created like animals to take birth in the world and then die and become dust. Man is not created only for this world. Rather man is a creation that has to remain forever, who after taking birth once is not annihilated. Death only creates a distance between him and his material body. His example is like that of a bird that is liberated from the confinement of a cage. After death he finds rest in a world that has no restrictions.

He would remain there without having any grief or anger. He would be

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in a stage of such comfort and peace that there would be no worry and trouble. It is such a success where there is no imagination of failure. Death is a source of respect and capability after which degradation and insult can never approach. In conclusion it can be said that it is a fortunate lifetime, in which happiness would never come to an end.

Love the Hereafter

But success in the eternal life is only possible if you leave this world with faith and piety. Faith and piety are the two wings that carry you to that high world. Where success depends on the level of ones faith and piety.

It is obvious that obtaining faith and piety and to reach that perfection is only possible in this world. Because, after death, you only have to bear the consequences of your deeds. You will be recompensed according to your deeds in the world.

In fact man is a traveler who has to gather, in this world itself, the provisions of his success and salvation after death. It is this matter that highlights the importance of this brief worldly life.

Love the world for the Hereafter

Every person with foresight loves this life and prays for a long life. (That is the reason that traditions forbid praying for ones death. Rather it is commanded to always pray to Allah for a long life, so that there is increase in your good deeds and your faith and piety keep on increasing.) And be fearful of an early death. Because such a person knows well

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that good deeds, that are assets for an everlasting success, are only possible in this world. While after death no more deeds can be performed. In brief we can say that the life of this world is a channel for the everlasting life of the Hereafter. That is why intelligent people like it for themselves. Numerous traditions and verses of Quran throw light on the importance of the life of this world.

In Surah Qasas, Allah says:

And seek by means of what Allah has given you the future abode, and do not neglect your portion of this world…(1)329

In the same way it is said in the blessed Surah Mominoon:

And I seek refuge in Thee! O my Lord! From their presence. Until when death overtakes one of them, he says: Send me back, my Lord, send me back…(2)

Worldly bounties for the pleasure of Allah

Since obtaining worldly bounties and pleasure causes enhancement of divine recognition; and man, after getting all these bounties, becomes attentive towards Allah Who is the source of every bounty, the man of intellect prefers it for himself. It is mentioned in Surah Ali Imran:

Who has prohibited the embellishment of Allah, which He has brought forth for His servants and the good provisions? (3)

And in Surah Araaf it is said:

Say: Who has prohibited the embellishment of Allah which He has brought forth for His servants and the good provisions? Say: These are for the believers in the life of this world, purely (theirs) on the resurrection day…(4)

Though both the believers and the disbelievers benefit from these

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1- Surah Qasas 28:77.
2- Surah Mominoon 23:98-99.
3- Surah Ali Imran 3:51.
4- Surah Araaf 7:32.

bounties, they are actually created for the believers so that through them they can enhance their love for Allah and they can increase their divine recognition. And in this way success of the Hereafter can be assured for them.

It is better if it is for the Hereafter

In other words if the embellishments of the world, comforts and luxuries and the various kinds of bounties are lawful and there is no scope of wastage in using them, then their utilization is lawful for man. However if attachment with all these things is accompanied with an intention that through them one must achieve everlasting rewards, then this would be a praiseworthy and preferable behavior.

Like a man who loves his wife because due to her companionship his religion is safe and he does not fall into sins. Also that one should consider ones wife a bounty of Allah; that due to her one obtains peace and comfort and that she is the medium for producing offspring for him that would continue his generation.

It is also necessary to love one children because they are gifts of Allah. If the children are trained properly and become righteous, the parents also share the rewards of their good deeds.

There should be love for wealth and worldly riches because they are bestowed by Allah and through them one can obtain success in the Hereafter. There should be love for various good things because they are all expressions of the power and elegance of Almighty Allah. And through them it is possible to enhance ones faith

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and divine recognition. And only these kindle in ones heart the eagerness for Allah's proximity.

If one is able to achieve power, honor, wealth, official position, grandeur and reputation one should like them because through them one can perform acts that Allah likes. Like helping the oppressed and taking revenge on their behalf from the oppressors, and helping the poor and the helpless people.

Temporary love of the world is not Blameworthy

Taken as a whole if the love for the world and things related to it, is for Allah and the Hereafter, it will not be considered as love of the world, which is the topic of our discussion and blameworthy in the light of Holy Quran and traditions. Because such a person does not love a thing for its own sake, permanently, and his love for the world is only due to his love for Allah and the Hereafter.

Such a person is like a traveler whose aim is just to reach his hometown. And he wants nothing more than the fulfillment of his basic needs. If during the journey he sees something that would be useful for him in his hometown he tries to obtain it. The conclusion of this discussion is that the love for the world is not a blameworthy act. However in the view of Quran and traditions the blameworthy thing is to love the world wholly and permanently.

Imam Ali (a.s.) heard someone abusing and blaming the world and said to him, “O you, who are blaming the world…Certainly, this world is a house

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of truth for those who look into it carefully, an abode of peace and rest for those who understand its ways and moods and it is the best working ground for those who want to procure rewards for life in the Hereafter.

It is a place of acquiring knowledge and wisdom for those who want to acquire them, a place of worship for the friends of Allah and for Angels. It is the place where prophets received revelations of Allah. It is the place for virtuous people and saints to do good deeds and to be assigned with rewards for the same. Only in this world they could trade with Allah's Favors and Blessings and only while living here they could barter their good deeds with His Blessings and Rewards. Where else could all this be done?”(1)

Signs of the love of the world for the sake of the Hereafter

It is necessary to mention that sometimes man doubts that his love for the world is only for Allah and the Hereafter and he does not love it completely and permanently. While as a fact he is completely bound in the love of the world. Because if his fondness of the world is for Allah and the Hereafter, he would hate to commit sins. He would not look at the wealth and property of others with jealousy and contempt and his heart would be pure of miserliness, pride, enmity, self-conceit and revengefulness.

Permanent Love of the world

In order to know the difference between natural love and independent love it would be necessary to consider the following astonishing statement of

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1- Nahjul Balagha Saying No. 130

Imam Ali (a.s.). He states in Nahjul Balagha: “If one sees through it, it would bestow him sight, but if one has his eye on it, it would blind him.” Therefore, look at the world keeping in mind its transient nature. Break away your hopes from it. Consider only the Hereafter as the abode of eternity and become attached to it. Make this world a medium for obtaining the Hereafter.

The world would blind one who loves it permanently and who tries to obtain it for himself. That is, he would not notice the transient and defective nature of the world. He would attach himself wholly to it and become negligent of the Hereafter. Such a person would be deprived of insight, that is, the eye for reality.

One who loves the world just for worldliness and prefers its joys, pleasures and comforts for this aim and considers himself fortunate, surely becomes negligent of Allah. Considering himself in need of worldly causes he thinks that they are everlasting. This is the reason that he harbors great hopes.

He devotes himself for achieving it. Such a person becomes neglectful for the Hereafter or he mostly denies it. Being careless of every sin and unlawful thing he considers worldly achievement a surety for his happiness and in the event of failure to obtain it, he becomes sad and disappointed.

This is the meaning of the love of the world that both reason and religious law have denounced.

Ranks of Worldly love

There are three levels for the love of

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the world for its own sake.

First LevelFirst Level

This is the stage when a person does not love anything except the world and what it contains. He is not desirous of anything except material desires. He considers Allah and the Hereafter as useless and imaginary things and says:

There is nothing but our life in this world; we live and die and nothing destroys us but time…(1)

They mean to say that: Man has an animal existence and death annihilates him. Apart from this there is no other world for him. Thus it is necessary that as far as possible he should try to fulfill his desires.

Loving the world too much

Second levelSecond level

It is of the one who loves the world completely and permanently and with it he also seeks the Hereafter. He asks for success and salvation in both the worlds and makes efforts for getting happiness in both, but in the depths of his heart he loves the world more, considers the world as higher and more important than the Hereafter and when it is time for him to choose between the two he sacrifices his Hereafter on the world, like Umar Ibne Saad martyred Imam Husain (a.s.) for the governorship of Rayy.

This example proves true for all those who seek power and fame, who are prepared to commit any crime for a position of power, even if the crimes are harmful for their Hereafter. Then consider the example of worldly wealth, that man is so greedy for it that he does not refrain from

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1- Surah Jathiya 45:24.

even usurping the rights of others, as a result of which his Hereafter is harmed. In brief, it can be said that such a person does not accord any importance to the loss of the Hereafter but if there is any loss to his worldly life, he is very much distraught.

Such people also exist that believe in God and the Last Day. They also make efforts for their Hereafter, but if they commit a sin that would destroy their Hereafter, they are not much concerned about it. But the same people would be highly concerned if there is some loss in their worldly life. In other words, you can say that such a person is more affected with failure in life than in the Hereafter. This proves that he loves the world more than the Hereafter.

A heart imbued with the love of Allah becomes empty of the love of the world

But here the love of the world is a thing contradictory to faith in Allah and the Hereafter. In order to strengthen faith in Allah and the Hereafter it is necessary to rid our heart of the love of the world.

This can be explained in the following way: The Almighty Allah has made the abode of the Hereafter extremely great, important and everlasting. He has also emphasized this to man and given him the good news as mentioned in Surah Yasin:

So announce to him forgiveness and an honorable reward.(1)

The Almighty has commanded the people to remember the Last Day and to hasten in obtaining it.

The Holy Quran has stated in Surah Ali Imran:

And hasten to

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1- Surah Yasin 36:14

forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden, the extensiveness of which is the heavens and the earth; it is prepared for those who guard (against evil).(1)

In Surah Hadid Allah says:

Hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and to a Garden the extensiveness of which is as extensiveness of the heaven and the earth.(2)

Allah has also stated in Surah Mutafaffefeen:

The sealing of it is (with) musk; and for that let the aspirers aspire.(3)

On the other hand He has created the world as a temporary place of stay. He made the life of man hard and difficult and after informing him of the lowliness and the mortality of the world, enlightened him about the importance of the Hereafter.

In Surah Ankabut it is stated:

And this life of the world is nothing but a sport and a play …(4)339

Allah states in Surah an-Nisa’:

Say: The provision of this world is short, and the hereafter is better for him who guards (against evil); and you shall not be wronged the husk of a date stone.(5)

The Almighty Allah has commanded the people not to consider this world as a permanent place of residence.

and let not your eyes pass from them, desiring the beauties of this world's life…(6)

So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you, nor be exultant at what He has given you…(7)342

Do not lose yourself in the colorfulness of the world so much that you do not arrange for the provisions of the journey of the Hereafter. So do not be unduly happy in

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1- Surah Ali Imran 3:132-134.
2- Surah Hadid 57:21.
3- Surah Mutafaffefeen 83:26.
4- Surah Ankabut 29:64.
5- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:77.
6- Surah Kahf 18:28.
7- Surah Hadid 57:23.

its joys and do not aggrieve in its calamities.

Does one become a true believer by merely claiming faith?

Respected readers! Judge this yourself. There is a person who claims to have faith in Allah, the Prophet and the Hereafter. But in his practical life he opposes the divine commands, prefers the world to the Hereafter and considers this world greater than the Hereafter. In the depths of his heart he loves the world more. Can such a person be true to his claim?

Even if this sin of his is forgiven, due to it a defect has itself occurred in his faith that prevents him from performing good deeds. Would this deserve forgiveness?

The Heart–moving words of Amirul Momineen(a.s.)

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said, “Even if we had no other defect than loving something Allah and His Prophet dislike, it would have sufficed to make us disobey the divine commands and wage war against God.”

How, loving the world is disobedience?

Here a question arises that how the love of the world can be a sin? While this quality is under the control of the desire of the heart and till it is not performed practically it does not become a sin.

Another thing is that the love of the world is beyond the control of man. Then since it is natural for man to be attracted by the joys, pleasures and sensual desires how man is held responsible for the same?

Our reply is that as the desires for infidelity, polytheism, show-off, pride and greed take birth in the heart, in the same way the love of the world finds place in the heart of man. That

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is why it is prohibited to accommodate the love of the world in our hearts. However, as far as the sins committed by the physical organs of man are concerned, since these acts are not to be committed practically, thinking about them is not a sin. We have explained this topic in detail in the earlier portion of this book.

Is the love of the world natural?

It is wrong to say that the love of the world is considered as something over which man has no control. Because in such circumstances, from the time he is born till he reached the age of understanding he had no ability to recognize the desires and pleasures himself, that he could gain satisfaction from them as a result of which he may become attached to them.

Removing the Love of the world from the Heart

If it is said that though the love of the world is not original and inborn, but due to the passage of time as the understanding of man becomes stronger due to the attraction of desires and pleasures the love of the world becomes deep-rooted in the heart. Later it becomes so strong that it is beyond human capacity to remove it and Almighty Allah, Who is just, does not burden man with something beyond his capacity.

Since the love of the world begets poverty and destitution it is not obligatory to forgo it

In reply we would say that though it is not impossible to remove the love of the world from ones heart, for some people it is difficult because it begets poverty and decrease in wealth, then it is not obligatory, but recommended. As would be discussed in the following

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pages. It is necessary for every sane person to decrease the love of the world. And that which is made unlawful is that you increase the love of the world so much that it exceeds the love for the Hereafter.

It is a Voluntary act to have more and more love for the Hereafter

It is an obvious fact that preferring the love for the Hereafter over the love of the world is within the control of man. It can be explained further in the following way: Man is ignorant about the Hereafter from the time of his birth till he reaches the age of maturity (15 lunar years for boys and 9 lunar years for girls). Because he is only aware of the worldly factors that end with death and he is not aware of the life after death.

That is why he loves worldly life and likes its pleasures, comforts and selfish desires and gives more importance to it. But as soon as he matures and the light of cognition shines on him, it becomes obligatory on him to bring faith in the Hereafter. That is, according to the laws of the Holy Quran it becomes obligatory on him to have certainty that an everlasting life begins after death, whose analogy cannot be drawn from the life of this world. It is that very place where the Almighty Allah rewards and recompenses the people in accordance with their deeds according to the details given in the Holy Quran.

It is obligatory for man that along with having love for this apparent world he should

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also make continuous efforts for the success of the Hereafter. This is the meaning of having faith in the Hereafter. As his love for the Hereafter would increase, his love for the world would go on decreasing gradually. Especially if one observes the defects and shortcomings of worldly life and the difficulties resulting from them, there would be continuous decrease in his love for the world.

If only one keeps in mind the decadence and the temporal and unreliable nature of the world, ones heart would dissociate with it and incline towards the Hereafter.

In brief, it can be said that as faith in Hereafter becomes stronger and more one contemplates on the defects of this world, his dissociation with the world goes on increasing. Since faith and contemplation is voluntary, forgoing the love of the world and purifying the heart of its roots is also a voluntary act.

The Holy Quran and traditions have prohibited the love of the world. That is why, how can it be said that it is an involuntary thing beyond the control of man? Scholars like Muhaqqiq Ardebeli and the writer of Jawahir have included the love of the world among prohibited acts. In the same way Shaykh Hurre Amili in his book Bidayatul Hidaya says regarding its unlawfulness:

Seeking worldly status and making religion a medium to get worldly things is unlawful. It is not allowed to love and be greedy for the world.

This respected scholar has mentioned many traditions on the illegality of the love

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of the world in his book Jihad in the chapter of 'the love of the world'.

The Universe would disintegrate if there is no love for the world

If the question is posed that how can Islam prohibit the love for the world, because if there is no love for the world and no concern with its conditions who would go out to train oneself for earning livelihood and earn ones livelihood? Then no one would have attraction to the pleasures, desires and embellishments of the world. Even the system of marriage and procreation would be destroyed and the whole world would be in chaos.

Love of the world is not absolutely unlawful

Our reply is that Islam has not completely prohibited loving the world. Rather it has made unlawful preferring the love of the world to the Hereafter. That is, if one loves the world more than the Hereafter, it is unlawful. But if on the contrary the love of the world is not overwhelming the love for the Hereafter it is not unlawful. However, if there is no love for Allah, the Prophet, his Progeny and the Hereafter or if love for them is very slight, it would be unlawful.

Piety means that the heart becomes devoid of the love of the world

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Attachment to the world has been opposed so that the hearts of the people are prepared to gain the Hereafter and that they become devoid of the love of the world.”

Again we remind the readers, that the unlawful thing is to love the world for its own sake and to love it fully. However if the love is temporary and for the pleasure of Allah, as

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we have already discussed, then it is worthy of praise and this much is sufficient for the affairs of life, continuation of generations and to guarantee the running of the worldly systems.

In simple words it can be said that forgoing the love of the world does not mean giving up its pleasures and forsaking worldly responsibilities. It rather means that the love of Allah and the Hereafter should be cultivated in such a way that we perform all the worldly affairs for the sake of Allah and the Hereafter. It is obvious that whatever is done for the pleasure of Allah and with the intention of obeying Allah's commands would be firm and fruitful and beget more favors in the life of the world.

Deeds Performed for Allah are more Beneficial

For example, if marriage and family life is for the pleasure of Allah, then indeed it would be firm, free of all difficulties and full of comforts and happiness. But if the same deeds were for the fulfillment of selfish desires and sensuality, nothing would be gained except difficulties and troubles.

Or say for example, a building that is constructed on the foundation of the intention of Allah's obedience would be steady, profitable and useful. But if the intention itself were for satanic aims, it would be shaky at the foundation and prove harmful.

If a building were constructed to sell it for profit, the builder would mostly take care to beautify its exterior, but neglect its stability and firmness. But if in its construction there are noble

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intentions, that is, if selfish motives are absent and the builder aims to benefit the humanity with it, it is clear that Allah loves such a person who intends to benefit the people.

According to traditions: The best of the people are those from whom people benefit. In another tradition it is said that Allah loves such a person. Thus if the builder has an intention that the pleasure of Allah is to be kept in mind in making the building, he would try his utmost to make it firm and strong. So much so, if such a person even constructs graves for the dead, he makes them strong and sturdy.

When Saad bin Maaz died, the Holy Prophet (S) himself descended into the grave and lowered his dead body in it. Then he made the grave strong and said, “I know that a dead body decays, and his body would also decay, but Allah likes that whatever work is performed, it should be done perfectly.”(1)

It can be said in brief that following the teachings of the prophets, if man had not become attached to the world, and had only paid attention to Allah and the Hereafter, in such a condition, whatever he would have done in the world, had been devoid of selfish and material motives. He would have only considered the obedience of Allah and the welfare of the people in all his activities. In this way he would have been happy and successful in both this world and the

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1- Tohfatul Ahbab

Hereafter. Here we shall mention a brief incident related to the topic of our discussion.

One day, Nausherwan, the King of Iran, was passing by. He saw an old man planting an olive tree. He said, “O, old man! Now the time has passed for planting this tree for yourself because you have become aged and weak, while the olive tree bears fruits after a long time.” The old man replied, “People preceding us had planted trees the fruits of which we ate. Now we are planting the trees so that those who come after us may get their fruits.”

Nausherwan praised him, and gave him 4000 dirhams. The old man said, “Every tree bears fruits once a year, while I got fruits from my tree twice.” Nausherwan praised him again and gave him another 4000 dirhams. Then he moved away quickly saying, “If I remain here further, my whole treasure would be insufficient before his magical words.”(1)

The fact is that performing some work for Allah can be compared to a farmer who sows the seeds to obtain heaps of wheat. When the crop is ready, along with the wheat he also gets chaff and stalks. Now inspite of his protests his warehouses are filled with stalks. In the same way a person who does something for the Almighty is indeed rewarded in the Hereafter, but in addition to this he also gets worldly happiness.

In the same way consider the example of a kingdom. If rulership were for the sake of the

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1- Anisul Odaba, Pg. 307.

Almighty Allah it would be like the rule of Amirul Momineen (a.s.), which was full of justice, equity and help for the poor. Where every oppressor was made to account for his oppression and everyone was restored their rights.

But if rulership is under the control of selfish and satanic desires, it would be like the rule of Muawiyah. Where, there was only the rule of injustice; trampling upon the rights of the oppressed and the oppressors were left free and the rightful people were deprived of their rights.

Love of the world is the source of all Evil

If you consider all the evils in the world, all corruption and turmoil in history and all the battles, wars and mischief, you will definitely conclude that their main cause lies in the pure love of the world, and nothing else. On the contrary, the reality of all words and actions, every good deed, no matter through whom it is performed and the resulting comfort and peace are rooted in the belief on Allah and the Hereafter. While there is only temporary love for the world in such a case. How nice it had been if Muslims had made firm their belief in Allah and the Hereafter and had performed all their affairs for the pleasure of Allah. They would indeed have obtained the real comfort and peace and they would have received pleasure from this world also.

One, who being attached to the world strengthens his relationship with Allah, has a pure life. That is, his life is a model of happiness, success,

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honor and respect. Such a person never extends his hand to ask something from anyone except Allah and except for Allah he does not fear anyone.

Love of the world be gets Evil

The wise and understanding man, spending a life free of confusion and doubts well knows the aim of this life, which is nothing but servitude to God. And day and night he is struggling to achieve it. The Almighty Allah is pointing out towards this aspect when He says in Surah Nahl:

Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life, and We will most certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did.(1)

We have already replied to the objection that if there is no love for the world, the worldly life would go disarray and we have proved that it is not so. The fact is just the opposite. In the sense, that it is the love of the world that causes turmoil and disruption in the world. However, temporary and limited love for the world, which is necessary in religion, endows man with prosperity and peace.

Conclusion of the above Discussion

Whatever has been stated in the preceding paragraphs has made absolutely clear that it is necessary to love obedience and hate disobedience, while having temporal and slight love for the world is a part of faith. On the other hand there are three levels of worldly love:

1. The heart being full of worldly love and devoid of love for Allah and

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1- Surah Nahl 16:97

the Hereafter. This is absolutely forbidden and even comes under the ambit of disbelief.

2. Loving the world intensely while having lesser love for Allah and the Hereafter. Islam has also prohibited this type of faith.

3. The third level is the opposite of the second level. That is, though there is some love for the world, there is also intense love for Allah and the Hereafter on the other hand. This level is also detestable in the view of Islam.

The unlawfulness of the first and the second kind, and the detestability of the third kind are proved from Quran and traditions. Since quoting all the verses and traditions in this regard would prolong the discussion, we present only a few below.

Promise of Chastisement for the world-worshippers

The Almighty Allah says:

Surely those who do not hope in Our meeting and are pleased with this world's life and are content with it, and those who are heedless of Our communications: (As for) those, their abode is the fire because of what they earned.(1)

That is: those who do not have hope in Our reward and punishment and are satisfied with the life of the world (They have weakened their resolve to obtain the pleasures of Paradise while succumbing to the temporal pleasures of the world). As if they never have to depart from this world. (They do not know that the hand of death is gradually approaching them).

These are the people who are oblivious of Our Signs (proving the factuality of the Return and Resurrection). These are the people

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1- Surah Yunus 10:7-8

whose abode is Hell, that they earn for themselves. (That is, they persist in sins like disbelief, polytheism, hypocrisy and other evils).

Four Noteworthy points in this verse

There are four keywords in this verse that are complimentary to each other and necessary for each other. Also they clarify the cause for burning in the world and in Hell.

1. 'They will not return' - The Arabic word for 'return' is 'raja-a' which denotes hope or expectation in obtaining something good. That is, if man is aware about the merits of a particular thing and he intends to obtain it, then his knowledge about the goodness of that thing spurs and encourages him to continue his efforts for obtaining that thing. Then even if he has to wait for it, this condition of awaiting is called 'raja-a'. However, if there is no interest and eager expectation, it is called despair and hopelessness.

But if there is interest, but not enough that it makes him strive for it, in such a condition it is called pride. That is why, 'they would never return' denotes those who in the view of Allah are undeserving of an everlasting life after death. They do not even have faith that righteous people are recompensed for their good deeds. That is why they never performed any good deeds. In this way, neither they had any desire for a good recompense nor did they do any good works, that they could be hopeful of being rewarded for them.

Satisfied with the life of this world

2. “and are pleased with this world's life”- Man

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and every living creature, by nature loves life and desires that his life should be successful. Thus if he develops certainty in the everlasting life of the Hereafter he would indeed strive for success in it. Side by side he also likes his limited life in the world and he also strives for success in it, but only to the extent necessary for him. Such a person is not satisfied with only his success in his temporal life; he also struggles to obtain success in the life that is everlasting.

Nostalgia of a traveler

For example, a traveler has to stay in a particular alien place. Now he is forced to search for his needs and comforts he was having at his native place, in this alien country. But he would make efforts in this regard only to the extent that his needs are fulfilled and he is able to stay there for the required period in comfort. He would never be prepared to struggle here for the betterment of his remaining life, because in his native land everything is already provided. Thus he would also acquire from this alien land those things that may be useful for him at home and finally he would depart for his native country.

It is just the same with one who has faith in the Hereafter. But one who does not believe in life after death thinks that man is annihilated after death. Such a one would concentrate all his efforts to his mortal and limited life and would

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be satisfied with success in this brief lifetime. In conclusion we can say that being satisfied with the mortal limited worldly life proves that he is not hopeful of the everlasting life after death.

Peace for the world-worshippers

3. “and are content with it” - The person who is in expectation of an everlasting life and the rewards of the Almighty, till the time he is in the world, he is not at rest and in one or the other way he is striving to gather provisions for success in the Hereafter. His happiness and peace in the world is temporary. All the time he is concerned to achieve the object of his desire. But one who desires the joys of the limited and temporal life, and does not hope anymore than that, the secret of all his joy and happiness is hidden in this world and it is his sole desire.

Ignoring the Signs of Allah

4. “and those who are heedless of Our communications” - Fondness for the world and according it a position of ones happiness and peace proves that he has forgotten the Signs of Allah. Because if he had not been neglectful for the unlimited and innumerable signs of God, that are testimonies to the Hereafter and resurrection, and the Holy Quran has mentioned about them in a number of places, then indeed he would not have forgotten the life after death and then the worldly desires would not have given him peace and he would have remained struggling for everlasting success.

“because of what they earned.”

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- This phrase indicates the sins of the heart and the physical body, whose mention has been made in the foregone pages.

Place of comfort for the world-worshippers

The conclusion is that one who is desirous of the world instead of the Hereafter and is attached only to this life, he derives comfort and peace in worldly joys and forgets completely the Hereafter, the abode of such a person is Hell, and he would continue to burn in the fire that he has earned due to his physical sins and the sins of the heart.

Ignoring the Remembrance of God

The Holy Quran says:

Therefore turn aside from him who turns his back upon Our reminder and does not desire anything but this world's life.(1)

Again the Holy Quran says:

(As for) those who go astray from the path of Allah, they shall surely have a severe punishment because they forgot the day of reckoning.(2)

The gist of these two verses is that one who ignores the remembrance of Allah and the Hereafter and his only loyalty and interest is with the life of the world, he has actually deviated from the path of Allah. One who has gone astray from the path of God, and forgotten the Day of Recompense and is only satisfied with the life of the world would have a very severe chastisement.

It is worth a mention that because the matter is based on reality, that is why one who has, in reality, turned away from Allah and the Hereafter and he is not desirous of them, he is only attached to the

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1- Surah Najm 53:29.
2- Surah Saad 38:26.

worldly life, instead of the Hereafter he has accommodated the fondness of the world in such a way that all his efforts are devoted solely for the worldly life, then the abode of such a person is Hell, whether he denies Allah and the Hereafter verbally, that he has no belief in any other life than the life of this world or he verbally confesses belief in Allah and the Hereafter.

We have already explained before that the benefit of verbal confession of faith is only effective in purity, marriage, inheritance and other worldly affairs. It is not in any way beneficial for the Hereafter. Except for sincere faith, nothing else can save him from the chastisement of the Hereafter.

The Love of the world has sealed the Hearts

The Almighty Allah says:

This is because they love this world's life more than the hereafter, and because Allah does not guide the unbelieving people. These are they on whose hearts and their hearing and their eyes Allah has set a seal, and these are the heedless ones. No doubt that in the hereafter they will be the losers.(1)

The gist of these noble verses is that since these people only loved the worldly life, they used to prefer it over the Hereafter and had been deprived of divine opportunity and grace, that is why they are completely cut off from the Hereafter and only remain attached to the world. Eventually their hearts were sealed and closed up. That is, their understanding and perception remained confined only to this world and they were not

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1- Surah Nahl 16:107-109.

able to obtain the cognition of Allah and the Hereafter.

The ears became deaf to hear advices and admonitions and their eyes became blind to see those things that could have reminded them of Allah and the Hereafter. Now neither they have the capacity to perceive or understand, nor the ability of hearing or sight. They became so unmindful that even when the Hereafter called them, they became neglectful of faith and belief that could have assured the success of their life in the Hereafter. Indeed these are the people who would suffer a great loss.

The Utmost limit of Deviation

The Almighty Allah says:

(To) those who love this world's life more than the hereafter, and turn away from Allah's path and desire to make it crooked; these are in a great error.(1)

They left behind the Difficult Day

The Almighty Allah says:

Surely these love the transitory and neglect a grievous day before them.(2)

Again He says:

Then surely the hell, that is the abode.(3)

Similarly He says:

While the hereafter is better and more lasting.(4)


And that (as for) those who do not believe in the hereafter, We have prepared for them a painful chastisement.(5)

Since quoting more such verses from the Holy Quran would unduly prolong the discussion we consider these to be sufficient to prove our case.

On the crossroads of the world and the Hereafter

The gist of the above verses of Quran is that, man is standing on a junction from where he has to ultimately choose one or the other path. Whether he selects faith or the love of the world. Whether he has pure love of the world or has faith in the

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1- Surah Ibrahim 14:3.
2- Surah Insan 76:27.
3- Surah Naziyat 79:39.
4- Surah Alaa 87:17.
5- Surah Isra 17:10.

Hereafter. To bring faith in one of the two means denying the other. This is the reason that traditions have compared them to contradictory things like, the East and the West, water and fire etc. But as we have mentioned before, belief in the Hereafter and temporary and limited love for the world can only come together at one place, they are also necessary for each other.

Three Groups

People can be divided into three groups. One group is of those who remain firm and steadfast on the belief in and the love of the Hereafter till their last moments. The second group is that which has only love for the world, while it denies the Hereafter and remains firm on this till the time of death. The third group sometimes takes up the world and denies the Hereafter and sometimes does the opposite of it.

Of these, the first group is of the “people of the right hand”, whom the Almighty has conveyed glad tidings. The second group is of “the people of the left hand”, regarding whom the above verses were revealed. The decision regarding the third group is with Almighty Allah so that at the time of the reckoning of deeds it is only Allah Who would decide about them. The Almighty Allah says in Surah Tawbah:

And others have confessed their faults, they have mingled a good deed and an evil one; may be Allah will turn to them (mercifully); surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.(1)

Love of the world is the source of all evil

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “The head

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1- Surah Tawbah 9:102.

(or source) of all the sins is the love of the world.”

If we consider the spiritual evils like disbelief, polytheism, hypocrisy, show-off, pride, arrogance and greed, as well as the physical sins. We would conclude that the love of the world is, in relation to them, as the head is to the body. Because if the head is separated from the body, it (the body) would become devoid of any feeling or movement. In the same way if the love of the world, which is the root of all sins, were removed, the sins that are committed through it would automatically be destroyed.

Trouble from the moment of death

The Holy Prophet (S) has said, “The death! The death! Beware of it. Know well that there is no remedy for death. Death comes with happiness and comfort for the people with faith in the Hereafter, whom it takes to Paradise. These are the ones who had devoted their efforts for the Hereafter and their love and attachment had also been only for that. But those who were obsessed with this fraudulent world and all their efforts were also devoted to it, for them, death and whatever comes with it, is troublesome and full of difficulties. Those who would suffer a loss and be sent to the blazing fire.”

The tradition clarifies that those who are subjected to pain and difficulties right from the moment of death, are those who had love and fondness only for the world. They had been engrossed only in the comforts and pleasures of

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this life, while their hearts were devoid of the love of the Hereafter. That is why they do not perform any deed for the Hereafter.

Prophet Isa (a.s.) and his companions

It is narrated from Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) from reliable chains of narrators in Usul al-Kafi that he said, “One day Prophet Isa (a.s.) passed through a town, whose inhabitants, along with the birds and the animals had died at one and the same time. Isa (a.s.) said, “There is no doubt that death came to them as a result of divine chastisement, because if they had died one after the other, they would have buried each other.”

The companions said, “O Spirit of Allah! Pray to Allah that He enlivens them again, so that they may inform us what their character was (what sin has killed them?). In this way we may be able to derive a lesson and keep aloof from such sinful acts.”

So, Prophet Isa (a.s.) prayed to the Almighty and a voice came in response, “O Isa (a.s.)! Call them!” When night fell, Isa (a.s.) went to an elevated spot and called out, “O people of this town!” One of the dead ones replied, “Here I am! O Spirit of Allah!” Isa (a.s.) said, “Woe upon you! What was your behavior in the world?” He replied, “Worship of false gods (Satans), love of the world and only a little fear of God, very high aspirations and negligence by being engrossed in vain pastimes.”

Shaykh Bahai has quoted this tradition in his book, Arbaeen and

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also explained some of its sentences. We shall mention it in brief here. The root of the Arabic word “Taghoot” (false deities or Satans) is “Tughyan”. That is exceeding ones limits. There are many meanings of this word, like 'soothsayer', 'Satan', 'idols', 'a person who leads a group of deviated people', 'one who restrains people from the worship of Allah' or 'one who worships someone or something other than Allah'. However, in this tradition, it denotes the chiefs and leaders of the tribe, who invite people towards sin.

The dead man's words, “Worship of false gods”, imply that one who follows or obeys someone, it is, as if he has worshipped that person; because worship in the meaning of obedience implies humility and surrender. Thus Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “One who follows someone in sin, it is as if he has worshipped him.”

Shaykh Bahai proves this with the help of Quranic verses and traditions in the following words:

Now that we know that worship in the position of obedience denotes humility, then in the present age most of the people are busy in getting comfort in their debased selves and animal desires. Actually these desires are their idols which are being worshipped and the interesting thing is that they themselves do not understand what they are doing.

Then O man! You have left Allah, Who is the true deity, and made for yourself thousands of deities, whom you worship, and it is an occasion of surprise that you even now claim

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The Almighty Allah says:

Have you seen him who takes his low desires for his god?(1)

It should be clear that in reply to the call of Prophet Isa (a.s.), the dead man who became alive and reported the qualities of the people of that town, like worship of the false gods, love of the world, lack of fear of Allah, vain pastimes, being lost in the comforts of the world and being busy in obtaining its pleasures. All these qualities that he listed are very much found in the people of today. If he contemplates more upon this, it would be known that there is not even the slightest fear of God in them and they are completely careless of divine punishment.

This tradition also indicates towards the punishment of Barzakh (the period between death and resurrection) for the sinners, while actually the subject is general. Numerous verses of Quran and widely related traditions testify the fact, and it is obligatory to have basic faith in it. But we are not obliged to know its details, that how and when it would occur etc. Rather the fact is that a greater part of this belief is higher than our understanding and intellect. But the duty that is made incumbent upon us is that along with the belief in this, we must also refrain from those sins that cause the descent of punishment. Also that character and good deeds must be acquired, that guarantee success in the world of Barzakh. On this juncture,

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1- Surah Furqan 25:43

the Shaykh relates a tradition from Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) in which he says:

“Indeed, between the world and the Hereafter (that is Barzakh) are one thousand valleys, among which the easiest is Death.”

The statement of the dead man to Prophet Isa (a.s.) that: “I was with them, but I did not share their deeds” is worth paying attention to. Because it is necessary for the believer to refrain the sinners from evil deeds. And if they do not accept his advice he should become aloof from them. If not, then his end would also be like theirs.(1)

Prophet Isa (a.s.) asked, “How was your love for the world, and to what extent were you fond of it?”

He replied, “We loved the world as much as a child loves its mother. When the love of the world used to be kind to us we became happy. And when it turned away from us, we used to lament and become aggrieved.” Prophet Isa (a.s.) asked, “How were you worshipping false gods?” He replied, “We used to obey the sinners.”

“Then what was your ultimate end? Upto where has your Hereafter reached?”

He replied, “We spent the night in mirth, but when morning came, we were accosted by 'hawiyah' (fire of Hell).

Isa (a.s.) asked, “What is Hawiyah?”

“It is Sijjin (another name of hellfire).”

“What is Sijjin?”

“They are twisted mountains of fire, whose flames would flare upon us till the Day of Judgment.”

“In such a condition, what did you say and what was the reply that you

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1- Shaykh Bahai has supported his arguments with Quranic verses and traditions. For more details we may refer to his book, Arbaeen.


“We said, 'Send us back to the world so that we can perform good deeds.' We were told, 'You lie.'”

Prophet Isa (a.s.) asked, “Woe be unto you! Why did not others speak to me?”

He answered, “O Spirit of Allah! Their mouths are bridled with fire and very menacing angels are punishing them. I was living with them in the world, but I was not like them. But when the chastisement descended I was also surrounded by it. I am hanging at the side of Barzakh with a single strand of hair. I don't know whether I would continue to hang like this or get salvation.”

Prophet Isa (a.s.) turned towards his companions and said, “O devotees of Allah! To eat dry bread with salt and to sleep on a bed of hay are great deeds. The success of the world and the Hereafter also lies in this.”

The incident shows how a deadly sin, the love of the world is. In the light of this tradition it can be said that the love of the world hastens the descent of chastisement and causes everlasting destruction for a nation.

Love of the world disables reason

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says, “Love of the world cripples the intellect. But a person does not notice the defects of that which he loves. In the same way one who loves the world does not become aware of its decadence, its temporality, its calamities and the turbidity of its pleasures. Love of the world also deafens the ears, due to which they are unable to

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hear good advice and wise sayings and they do not accept counsel and admonitions. Also this matter is the cause of the descent of punishment and destruction of the people.”(1)

The world and the Hereafter are deadly foes of each other

There is no doubt that they are mutual enemies that are at a distance from each other. They are two paths that lead to opposite destinations. One who loves the world, is fond of it and goes after it, would be an enemy of the Hereafter. They are like the two opposite directions of the east and the west. One who is close to one of them would continue to be further away from the other. They are like co-wives. That is, inspite of the distance between the world and the Hereafter, they are co-wives of each other. Because most of the people accord both of them the status of wife. They are fond of both of them at the same time and try to gain both of them, but they are ignorant of the fact that the two cannot come together.(2)

The above lines clearly show that the love of the world denotes detachment with the Hereafter. If one of them were accorded importance it would be negligence of the other. Being nice to one of them would be unkindness upon the other.

The Messenger of Allah (S) says, “The comforts and luxuries of the world and its sweet life, make the Hereafter bitter and bearing the bitter tastes of the world makes the everlasting life sweet.”(3)

The conclusion of the saying

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1- Ghurarul Hikam.
2- Nahjul Balagha and Ghurarul Hikam
3- Biharul Anwar, Vol. 16

of the Imam is that when the world necessarily creates hatred for the Hereafter, it means that the love of the world is not only a sin; it is actually infidelity.

People are of three types. The first group is that which has no love for the world at all. This is the group that would get salvation. The second group is of those who though they love the world, if truth confronts them, they accept it with humility. They eat the sustenance of Allah but continue to fear Him. The Almighty Allah would forgive this group because of the former one.

The third group is that which is having intense love for the world. They pick whatever comes before them. In order to achieve their aim they burn the dry and the wet things together and are not ashamed of the truth. This group is going to be destroyed and for which there is no scope for salvation. Then your efforts should be for inclusion in the first group and if it is not possible, at least you must be included in the second group…(1)

The above discussion is sufficient to prove our assertions, but if one desires to study this subject further, he may refer to the traditions of al-Kafi and Biharul Anwar, Vol. 16.

The Second Level – Where the love of the world is preferable

When the love of the world exceeds the love for Allah, the Prophet, the Hereafter and the Ahlul Bayt, in such a condition, it is clear that it is unlawful and a Greater Sin. For which

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1- Makatib

it is necessary to repent and one must act in a contrary way. That is, one should give preference to the love of Allah and the Hereafter. The Holy Quran and the traditions related from the Infallibles have highlighted this matter on numerous occasions. For example, we present below some of their utterances.

The Almighty Allah says in Surah Tawbah:

Say: If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your mates and your kinsfolk and property which you have acquired, and the slackness of trade which you fear and dwellings which you like, are dearer to you than Allah and His Apostle and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings about His command: and Allah does not guide the transgressing people.(1)

Exposition of the Verse

One who recognizes his Lord and benefactor, and considers oneself as His creature, under His nurturing and direction, and has certainty of belief that whatever he has from the things in his house and outside, are all given by Him and all the causes of the world revolve around Him.

The result of this recognition would be that the love of Allah would be accommodated in his heart. A love that is loftier than the fondness of all other things. The more their knowledge deepens and more the heart is purified, this love would increase proportionately. So much so, that a time will come, that he would not consider anything or anyone, not even himself, except Allah. Whatever and whoever he loves, it would only be due to

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1- Surah Tawbah 9:24

the love of Allah. It would be the stage where he would yearn to sacrifice himself and everything he has in the path of Allah.

If we consider the loyalty of clever dogs for their masters, that they even sacrifice their lives on them, it would be sufficient to shame intelligent people. That their love for their Lord is even less than the fondness of a dog for its owner. The loyalty of dogs is mentioned in some incidents in the book, Dastanhai-e-Shaguft.

Love for Allah necessitates love for His friends

Love for Allah necessitates that we love His Messenger, his chosen servant, Muhammad al-Mustafa also in an appropriate manner. The Holy Prophet (S) says, “Love Allah for the bounties that He bestows on you, and love me for the love of Allah, and love my family for my love.”(1)

This tradition is quoted in Tirmidhi as follows: “Love Allah because He bestows sustenance. Love me because of Allah and love my Ahlul Bayt because of me.”

Such that, this love should be higher than the love for everything else. Because loving the beloved of Allah is actually loving Allah. In the same way the distinguishing characteristic of the love for the Messenger of Allah (S) is that one also loves his Ahlul Bayt and the people of his family. It is necessary that our love towards them is more than the love for our own relatives. The Almighty Allah says in Surah Shura:

Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives…(2)

For more traditions

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1- Biharul Anwar, Vol. 7, Pg. 569, Sahih Tirmidhi, Vol. 13, Pg. 201
2- Surah Shura 42:23

on the subject of the essentiality of loving the Ahlul Bayt please refer to Biharul Anwar Vol. 7. Here we only mention some traditions that are accepted authentic by both Shias and Ahle Sunnat.

The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “By the One in Whose Hand is my life, none of you can be a true believer till he does not love me more than his father, his children and other relatives.”(1)

“No one can bring faith in Allah till the time he does not love me more than himself, my Progeny more than his progeny, my family more than his family and myself more than his own self.”(2)

The Holy Prophet (S) said, “On the Day of Judgment no one would move a step till he is interrogated about four things:

1. How he spent his life.

2. In what he involved his body (according to another tradition: 'How he spent his youth').

3. The source of his income and the venues of his expenditure.

4. How was his love for us, Ahlul Bayt.”(3)

This is the reason our elders, inspite of having intense love for Ahlul Bayt used to think that they have not fulfilled this right the way it deserved. They fear that they had not accorded it a position higher than the love for other things.

And those who give what they give (in alms) while their hearts are full of fear that to their Lord they must return.(4)

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says, “By Allah! Inspite of their exceeding love, obedience and Wilayat, they think

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1- Sahih Muslim Vol. 1 Pg. 49, Musnad Ahmad Hanbal Vol. 3, Pg. 177.
2- Biharul Anwar Vol. 7, Pg. 569, Musnad Dailami, Qawaid Nasibi, Shabul Eiman of Baihaqi
3- Biharul Anwar Vol. 7, Pg. 535, Kanzul Ummal Vol. 7, Pg. 212, Tafsir of Tibrani
4- Surah Mominoon 23:60

that they have been deficient in our love and obedience.”

Love for the faith is love for Allah

Love of Allah necessitates love for His religion and obedience of its laws such that one should be more satisfied with worldly loss for the sake of faith and belief. One who sacrifices this temporal life on the life everlasting. In order to escape loss in the Hereafter he willingly agrees to loss in this world. So much so, that he has no love for the world at all. But he only loves the world because it is the preface to the love for the Hereafter.

Only those who are aware of this quality of faith would gain salvation. They would be among the “people of the right hand”, and guidance and divine grace would be in their share. But one who has the opposite qualities, in his view, the life of the world, wealth and property, status and fame and worldly comforts and luxuries are more than the love for Allah, the Prophet, Ahlul Bayt and religion he would easily ignore them for the sake of the world. He would prefer the loss of religion than bear worldly loss. In comparison to the Hereafter he would have more love for the temporal life of the world.

Such a person would be more worried about his advancement and success in the world and become careless of his abode in the Hereafter. He would concentrate all his efforts to obtain this world. If a harm is caused to his worldly life, he

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is worried and aggrieved and he would strive to mend the loss. But if there is some loss to his everlasting life, like a sin is committed by him, he is not worried about it.

Briefly speaking, such a person is ever prepared to sacrifice his Hereafter on the world and this is the sign of the transgressors. That is, a transgressor is that who has deviated from the path of the Hereafter. It is obvious that one who becomes a transgressor, is deprived of guidance, grace, bounties and the help of Allah.

The Quran says:

…and Allah does not guide the transgressing people.(1)

Also it is necessary that the transgressor must expect divine chastisement in the Hereafter.

…then wait till Allah brings about His command: and Allah does not guide the transgressing people.(2)

Take your Account

It is incumbent for each of those who believe in Allah and the Hereafter, to keep checking his or her heart. Then if his love for Allah and all those personalities related to Him is more than his love for the world he should thank Allah and continue to make efforts to increase this love. But if the situation is on the contrary, he should mourn his condition and try to correct the situation. Also, he must not rest till his love for Allah and the Hereafter becomes strongest and he has certainty of belief.

Do we seek the pleasure of Ahlul Bayt?

It is obligatory on every Muslim to accord priority to the love of Ahlul Bayt over the love of the world. Justice demands that he should interrogate

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1- Surah Maidah 5:108.
2- Surah Tawbah 9:124.

his heart about the extent to which he has strived to fulfill this divine obligation. Does he have more love for Ahlul Bayt or he likes the worldly entertainments and runs after the comforts and pleasures in it? Is he desirous of the pleasure of these holy personalities or in spite of the displeasure of Ahlul Bayt he is busy in fulfillment of his sensual desires?

If after contemplating on this matter he concludes that his love for the world is deeper than that for the Progeny of Muhammad, he should know that he has been deficient in fulfilling a divine command. The need for him is to keep on trying to improve his condition. He should not become proud due to traditions in praise of the Shias of Ahlul Bayt, like:

“The love of Ali (a.s.) is a good deed with which sins do not harm one.”

Because such traditions are for those in whose hearts the love for Ali Muhammad dominates the love for the world. Others can be lovers of the world but cannot be lovers of Ahlul Bayt.

Sometimes it also happens, that the love of the world present in ones heart creates dislike in him for Allah, the Messenger and Ahlul Bayt. We quote below two narrations to prove this matter.

Ahlul Bayt consider him an Enemy

Shaykh Tusi narrates from Zaid Ibne Ali that a person came to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and said, “O Amirul Momineen (a.s.)! By Allah! I love you for the sake of Allah.”

Ali (a.s.) said, “But I hate you for the

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sake of Allah.”

“Why is it so?” he prayed.

Ali (a.s.) replied, “You have made calling the Azan (call for Prayer) as your profession and you take compensation for teaching the Quran. I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say: The reward of the one who takes compensation for teaching Quran would be only that which he has already received.”(1)

Love of Ahlul Bayt is obedience of Allah

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said that the lover of Muhammad is one who obeys Allah even if he is not even distantly related to him (like Salman and Abu Zar) and the enemy of Muhammad is one who disobeys Allah even if he is his close relative (like Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab).(2)

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) addressed Jabir and said, “O Jabir! Our friend is one who is obedient to Allah and our enemy is that who is disobedient to Allah. And our Wilayat (mastership) cannot be achieved without good deeds and piety.”(3)

All good deeds result from love of God

The conclusion of the above is that love for Allah, Ali Muhammad and the Hereafter is the opposite of the love of the world. The strengthening of one proves the weakening of the other. Just as the love of the world is the basis of every sin, in the same way, the love of Allah and all those associated with Him is the cause for every good deed.

Because if the love of the world is completely removed from the heart and in its place is accommodated the love of Allah, then no sin can be committed by this person

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1- Tahzibut Tahzib wal fiqh and Al-Kafi
2- Nahjul Balagha.
3- Al-Kafi, chapter of ‘Absolute Piety’ (Bab-ul-Waraa

and he would not be deprived of a single good deed. He would be safe from every debased and degraded deed and would be imbued with every good quality and loftiness of character.

Twenty characteristics of the love for Ahlul Bayt

The respected scholar, Shaykh Saduq quotes from the Messenger of Allah (S), in his book, Khisal that he said:

“One who is blessed with the love of the Imams of my Ahlul Bayt, indeed, he is given all the good of the world and the Hereafter. No one is allowed to doubt regarding his going to Paradise. Because the love of Ahlul Bayt has twenty qualities. Of which ten are for the world and ten in the Hereafter. Those in the world are:

1. Piety (Dislike for the world)

2. Efforts for good deeds

3. Refraining from sins

4. Fondness for worship

5. Repentance before death

6. Fondness for night vigils

7. Hopelessness with that, which is in the hands of the people.

8. Obedience of divine commands and avoiding the prohibited things

9. Enmity for the world

10. Charity

The ten qualities of the Hereafter are:

1. His scroll of deeds would not be checked

2. Neither would the deeds be weighed

3. His scroll of deeds would be given in his right hand

4. Salvation from Hell would be written for him

5. His face would be bright

6. He would be made to wear the dress of Paradise

7. He would intercede for one hundred relatives of his

8. The mercy of Allah would be with him

9. The crown of Paradise would be placed on his head

10. He would be made to enter

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Paradise without accounting.”(1)

If the question is posed that love is a subtle feeling and that man, after reaching the age of understanding is able to distinguish between the subtle and dense feelings and naturally begins to love the subtle feelings more as a result of which this love becomes fixed in his heart. A situation is reached when it is beyond his powers to remove this love. Therefore in such a condition how is it possible to hold him responsible to remove this love from his heart? Another thing is that Allah, Prophet, Imams and the Hereafter, all are above his vision and feelings. Then how can he be held responsible to love something that he has neither seen nor felt?

Intellect of man informs about his mistake

The first question has been answered in the forgone pages, but taking into consideration the importance of the subject we are explaining it again in another way. After reaching the age of maturity and being endowed with intelligence, when in the light of his intellect and teachings of the Holy Quran he is able to distinguish between mortal and everlasting things, he realizes the reality of his eternality and finds the joys of this world unworthy of attention due to their temporality, such a person is able to realize his mistake, and he makes effort to gradually remove it from his heart.

He seeks worldly peace and comforts in the everlasting life. This is the reason that in most of the chapters of the Holy Quran, the temporality, decadence and

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1- Khisal of Saduq

lowliness of the world has been remembered with reference to the life of the Hereafter and examples are also presented in this connection so that Muslims may know the reality of the firm and shaky life and becoming dissociated from this temporal world they accommodate the love of an everlasting life in their hearts. We have explained in detail that it is within the power of an intelligent man to remove the love of the world from his heart.

The criterion of the love of the Creator is divine recognition, not seeing Him with our physical eyes

It is not correct to say that man cannot love something he has never seen. There are countless people who have not seen a particular person and had not been contemporary to them, but only by listening to their human perfections they have become their fans. In this way we come to know that man naturally likes perfection. Now if such a person contemplates on the creation of the universe and perceives that in every part of creation there are numerous wisdoms, mercy and never-decreasing bounties, then indeed the love of the Creator would appear in his heart.

This is the reason that the Holy Quran has reminded about the bounties of the Creator at every step, so that man recognizes the real benefactor, he can value His bounties and he becomes His ardent devotee. This is the path where man is able to get the fruits of a pure life.

Thus why does the love of Allah not inhabit the heart?

Now the question is, that what is the reason that the hearts of most of the people are devoid of the love

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of Allah. The reason is that, such people have not yet come out of the prison of animal desires and sensuality. People like these do not gain lesson from anything and since they have not recognized their benefactor, it is clear that they cannot love Him. The Almighty Allah says in Surah Muhammad:

Surely Allah will make those who believe and do good enter gardens beneath which rivers flow; and those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as the beasts eat, and the fire is their abode.(1)

Let us now take into consideration the love of Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad. Who is that intelligent man that is aware of their moral and spiritual perfections and merits, and most of all, their knowledge and intelligence; who knows that they have no equal; who comes to know about their innumerable miracles and accepts them as the most proximate creatures of Allah, but even after all this, he does not love them?

Those whose hearts are devoid of their love; it is as if their existence is lacking in humanity, or they are deprived of the capacity of recognition. As much capacity of recognition there is in man, in equal proportion would be the depth of his love and attachment.

Divine Recognition and love for the Hereafter

Love for the Hereafter is also such. Now if man contemplates on these verses of Quran, that are with regard to the qualities of the Hereafter and the innumerable bounties, then indeed he would become desirous of them. But the condition is that his

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1- Surah Muhammad 47:12.

heart should be empty of the love of the world, because such a person would be desirous of death, as he would consider death to be the means of the fulfillment of Allah's promise.

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) enumerates the qualities of the pious and says, “If death, which Allah has made holy for them, had not been there, their souls would not have remained in their bodies for the blink of the eye due to their desire of heavenly rewards and their fear of divine chastisement.(1)

What Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says regarding Paradise and the Chosen People

Glorified art Thou, the Creator, the Worshipped, on account of Thy good trials of Thy creatures. Thou created a house (the Paradise) and provided in it for feasting, drinks, foods, spouses, servants, places, streams, plantations and fruits. Then Thou sent a messenger to invite towards it, but the people did not respond to the caller, and did not feel persuaded to what Thou persuaded them nor showed eagerness towards what Thou desired them to feel eager. They jumped on the carcass (of this world), earned shame by eating it and became united on loving it.

When one loves a thing it blinds him and sickens his heart. Then he sees but with a diseased eye, hears but with unhearing ears. Desires have cut asunder his wit, and the world has made his heart dead, while his mind is all longing for it. Consequently, he is a slave of it and of everyone who has any share in it.(2)

Additional verse on the unlawfulness of the love of the world

The Almighty Allah says in Surah Fajr:

And you

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1- Nahjul Balagha
2- Nahjul Balagha.

love wealth with exceeding love.(1)

In this verse, the Almighty is denouncing those people who love the worldly things very intensely and all the time they are looking for means to increase them and hoard them for themselves even if they are unlawful. They are such that inspite of the obligatory nature of charity they find it painful to spend it and allow it to be separated from them.

This behavior of theirs proves their love for the world and their lack of interest with regard to the Almighty. They are always ready to sacrifice their Hereafter on the world.

This holy verse proves the fact that slight love for the world is not unlawful. But it should never overcome the love for the Hereafter. Rather, the virtue of man is that he must never have permanent love for the world.

Those who preferred the comforts of the world

Regarding those who preferred the comforts of the world to the peace of the Hereafter, we have the following verse of Surah Tawbah:

…are you contented with this world's life instead of the hereafter? But the provision of this world's life compared with the hereafter is but little.(2)

In this verse, the Almighty Allah has severely condemned those who have intense love for the comforts of the world and they do not give any credence to the life of the Hereafter. Their love for the world is such that they become absolutely unconcerned with the Hereafter, they devote themselves solely for the world and they only desire the life of the world even if

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1- Surah Fajr 89:20
2- Surah Tawbah 9:38.

there is in it, destruction of their Hereafter.

In spite of the fact that belief in Allah and the Hereafter necessitates that the situation be the opposite of this. The love of the Hereafter should be so overpowering the love of the world that he neglects the world and sacrifices his life on the Hereafter. It is clear that in such circumstances, no question arises about fondness for worldly things and worldly position and status.

Some notable verses

1. And seek by means of what Allah has given you the future abode, and do not neglect your portion of this world, and do good (to others) as Allah has done good to you, and do not seek to make mischief in the land, surely Allah does not love the mischief-makers.(1)

2. That is because you exulted in the land unjustly and because you behaved insolently.(2)

Raghib says in Mufradat that here the Arabic word for 'exulted' is 'Faraha'. It denotes swelling up of the chest due to worldly happiness, which is caused by pleasures of eating and drinking and not due to unlawful joys. While “tamrahoon” (behaved insolently) denotes excess and extremism in happiness.

• And do not turn your face away from people in contempt, nor go about in the land exulting overmuch; surely Allah does not love any self-conceited boaster;(3)

• But when they neglected that with which they had been admonished, We opened for them the doors of all things, until when they rejoiced in what they were given We

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1- Surah Qasas 28:77.
2- Surah Momin 40:75.
3- Surah Luqman 31:18.

seized them suddenly; then lo! they were in utter despair.(1)

• Do not think those who rejoice for what they have done and love that they should be praised for what they have not done- so do by no means think them to be safe from the chastisement, and they shall have a painful chastisement.(2)

This last verse mentions two qualities of the infidels and polytheists and then promises divine chastisement for them. That is why it is obligatory on every Muslim to avoid these two qualities. One of them is to pride on oneself after doing something, whether that work was good or bad or done for some worldly motives. The second quality is that he likes for himself that people praise him for some quality he does not have or for doing something he has not done.

Shaykh Tabarsi says in Jameul Jawame that this verse can also be applied to the one who does a good deed and then shows-off proudly about it. One who likes for himself that people praise his piety and righteousness, while he is not having those virtues.

It is mentioned in Tafsir Maqtinatud Durar that in this verse “those” refers to the common people. This verse applies to every such person that performs a good deed and then boasts about it. He likes it for himself that people praise those virtues that are not present in him. Fakhruddin Razi says in Tafsir Kabir that this verse refers to the Jews who distorted the Taurat and interpreted

p: 319

1- Surah Anam 6:44.
2- Surah Ali Imran 3:188.

it in a wrong way to mislead the people.

They were not only pleased with this activity of theirs, they were also desirous that people should praise their religiosity, truthfulness and loftiness of character. Allamah Razi further says that if you want to know the truth, the majority of the people are like this. Because most of the people try to achieve the world through fraudulent and deceitful means. When they achieve their aims they are happy about it and they like that people should extol their honesty, piety and truthfulness.

Muhaqqiq Ardebeli in his book, Zubdatul Bayan says:(1)

It is not unlikely that this verse only proves the unlawfulness of the act of the person. Whether he has performed that deed or not, in both the cases this verse has declared the illegality of boastfulness. But since the verse is general and it is not for any particular aspect, that is why it is unlawful to be boastful about something one has done. But to express joy and happiness on doing something in which there is no angle of boastfulness, is beyond the scope of this discussion.

The traditions have also prohibited boastful happiness and the holy verse also aims towards this. As the Messenger of Allah (S) has said, “Dust be on the heads of those who extol and praise the creatures.”

It is narrated in Uddatud Da’i that boastfulness is one of the things that bring destruction. The Holy Prophet (S) said, “Three things destroy a person:

1. That miserliness which

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1- Chapter of Zakat, Pg. 207.

is em

2. ulated

3. That sensuality which is obeyed

4. To be boastfully proud of oneself”

Boastfulness invalidates the good deed of man. To be pleased on ones good deed and to consider oneself free of defects and shortcomings is pride or conceit, that cause the destruction of man. But if one is glad on ones good deed in such a way that it is also accompanied by humility and helplessness to the Almighty, and he also thanks God for giving him the divine opportunity, then it is permissible and a good deed.

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said that a believer is one who is glad on his good deed and aggrieved on his evil deed. Muhaqqiq Ardebeli says that Ghazzali has quoted a tradition, which if it were authentic, would indicate that all of us would be destroyed. The tradition is as follows:

A person was praised in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (S). The Prophet said, “If that person is pleased with this praise of yours, he is an inmate of Hell.”

The Muhaqqiq says: This verse is sufficient to prove the correctness of this tradition.

Allah does not like those who are proud and vain

The Almighty Allah says in Quran:

No evil befalls on the earth nor in your own souls, but it is in a book before We bring it into existence; surely that is easy to Allah: So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you, nor be exultant at what He has given you; and Allah does not love any arrogant boaster:(1)

What is that unlawful glee?

Studying carefully the above verses

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1- Surah Hadid 57:22-23.

and the statements of the commentators and scholars of language it is learnt that the happiness not liked by Allah is the one which tantamount to boastfulness and excess. That is, the happiness that exceeds limits and is in the sphere of pride, boastful glee and apparent show-off. In order to explain this matter further we take help of an example:

Let us suppose that one is in need of a house. If after making efforts he is able to achieve his aim, even though he knows that it is a temporary place of residence and every month he has to pay a fixed rent also, yet he is happy for getting a place to live in. This limited happiness is not inappropriate and blamable and it is not prohibited.

But if that same person after taking possession of the house, usurps it, and with utmost audacity disregards the importance of the landlord, and he considers it the fruit of his efforts and hard work and presents himself to be the actual owner of the house as if no one has any right in it. Not only is he happy on being considered the owner of the house, he also prides upon it and in his glee he exceeds the limits. The intellectuals consider such unbridled happiness worthy of blame.

Now, after this example, it would be quite appropriate to say that if one gets a bounty like money and he considers it a bounty of Allah, and has certainty that the real

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owner of it is Allah, and he has to fulfill some rights of Allah from this money. Also that this wealth or property are temporal and they will be taken away from him before or at the time of his death, and he is pleased that he could fulfill his needs from this wealth for sometime, then indeed this happiness, if accompanied by thankfulness to God, humility and sincerity, would be acceptable by religious law and be according to divine commandments. Allah Almighty says in Surah Yunus:

Say: In the grace of Allah and in His mercy- in that they should rejoice; it is better than that which they gather.(1)

If after gaining the wealth, he forgets Allah and considers this wealth a result of his efforts and also imagines that he is the permanent owner of it and neither does he believe anyone else has any right in it, while having this wealth he considers himself needless and does not believe that it is his, only for sometime. In this way he is not only happy, but also proud and boastful in having it, it is this unrestricted joy that is unlawful and denounced.

The love of the world explained above denotes severe and permanent love. This is the subject of our present discussion. We also quoted a few verses of Quran to prove its unlawfulness. Now, for one who is concerned about the Hereafter, Allah makes his heart self-sufficient and needless. Also He makes arrangement for all the affairs of

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1- Surah Yunus 10:58

his life.

The traditions also explain that one who prefers the love of the world over the love for the Hereafter and considers the fulfillment of the worldly desires over that of the Hereafter and gives more importance to the worldly life, Allah impoverishes him and keeps him in poverty forever.

For such a person, as much wealth he gets, greedier he becomes and his desires also keep on increasing, till the time that he never could make himself needless. While on the contrary he is also attached to the world and is always in pursuit of worldly desires. Since he would not succeed in achieving the world more, his worries and troubles go on increasing.

Also at the same time there would be decrease in his fear of God. He would become miserly in spending his money on himself and his family. (Inspite of having wealth he would spend a life of destitution). This condition is termed as true poverty.

Because such a person does not believe in giving more importance to the Hereafter, and he does not spend his money in charitable works and good deeds in the path of Allah, that is why he would reach the Hereafter empty-handed.

Further Explanation

One who achieves the worldly desires like wealth and children and is extremely happy on them and also does not consider these bounties to be bestowed by Allah, and also does not accept that there are any rights of God on him and refuses to fulfill his responsibilities laid on him by

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Allah, such a person is a denier of divine bounties. It is needless to say that one who denies the bounties of Allah would become eligible for Allah's chastisement. It is necessary for such a person to be fearful of divine wrath. This very fearlessness of Allah and too much of glee (that is, he is fearless of Allah's requital) is a greater sin.

In conclusion we can say that if there is unbounded happiness on a bounty and it is also accompanied by pride, it would mean that this person is unafraid of Allah's requital. This action of his is included among the greater sins. Actually, by giving a bounty Allah intends to test a person. He intends to see whether on getting that bounty, the person would be thankful and obedient or be thankless and disobedient. The Almighty Allah says in Surah Naml, quoting Prophet Sulaiman (a.s.) that:

He said: This is of the grace of my Lord that He may try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful; and whoever is grateful, he is grateful only for his own soul, and whoever is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self-sufficient, Honored.(1)

Signs of the Thankful and the Denier

The sign of the thankful is that on getting the bounty there should be increase in his love for God. Humility and lowliness should appear in his character. He should thank for the bounties and fear Allah for his shortcomings. While the sign of the denier is that he becomes more distant from God and more tied to the

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1- Surah Naml 27:40.

love of the world. He makes pride and sinfulness his main occupations and is not fearful of divine punishment. One, who on getting the worldly bounties becomes more deviated, should know that he is caught in divine chastisement due to these very bounties. This is indicated in the following verse of Surah Tawbah:

Let not then their property and their children excite your admiration; Allah only wishes to chastise them with these in this world's life and (that) their souls may depart while they are unbelievers.(1)

One who becomes involved in the love of the world, and the embellishments of the world enchant him, being associated with wealth and children he becomes neglectful, due to material desires he is oblivious of Allah and his own self, always worried about the comfort and luxury for his body and is mesmerized by the material pleasures. Such a person would be subjected to the worst punishment because of those very things that he considers being the means of his success.

We have all seen that as much one is given the material wealth and bounties as much he becomes negligent of his Lord and earns for himself spiritual punishment. Such a person is always sunk in material pleasures and spiritual chastisement. Whatever he considers to be the means of his happiness, proves to be the medium of his difficulties and sorrows.

Thankfulness for a Bounty is more valuable than the Bounty itself

Sinan bin Tarif says that he told Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.), “I fear that I do not become a prey of divine punishment.”

Imam asked, “What

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1- Surah Tawbah 9:55.

is the reason for this?”

He replied, “I prayed to Allah for a house to live in. He bestowed it to me. Then I requested for a thousand dirhams. They were also given to me. I expressed desire for servants and I got them.”

“What was your response when you were getting those bounties?” the Imam asked him.

He replied, “I used to say: Praise be to Allah (Alhamdolillah).”

Imam said, “Your thankfulness is better than the bounty that you received.” (because thankfulness endures while a bounty perishes some time or the other).(1)

Conclusion of the discussion is that if happiness resulting from getting a bounty is accompanied with thankfulness, it is rewardable and a good deed. However, if the bounty causes pride, denial and fearlessness of God, it is hateful and deserving of punishment.

Self-pride distances one from Allah

As far as despair is concerned, it denotes getting dissociated from Allah. One who achieves worldly desires and does not consider them gifts of the Almighty, instead thinking them to be the fruits of his labor, and in their presence considers himself needless of others and is proud of himself, then know that such a person is dissociated from Allah and is only connected with his material wealth and status.

While dissociating from Allah is infidelity. Because he has considered his wealth and position to be his salvation-givers and needlessness-makers and he was satisfied with this only. In other words he has made his wealth and position to be his deities. The Almighty says in Surah Ali Imran:

(As for) those who

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1- Safinatul Bihar Vol. 1 Pg. 442.

disbelieve, surely neither their wealth nor their children shall avail them in the least against Allah, and these it is who are the fuel of the fire. (1)

Unlawful despair in the world

The discussion so far has made clear that excessive grief and sorrow on worldly difficulties earns divine displeasure and is unlawful. This can be further explained by the following example:

A person went to the Hajj with his relatives and family. On the way back the camel owner puts his son on the fastest camel so that he can reach home much before the other people and avoid a lot of hardships. Now though the father would indeed be unhappy of separation, he objects to the caravan-owner about it expressing his dissatisfaction, thinking that injustice has been done on the son while actually a favor has been done on him. Such a responsive behavior is considered blameworthy according to intellect.

In the same way, if someone is sorrowful on the death of one of his relatives, and weeps for him, it is a good deed. But if he expresses anger on divine will and objects against it, forgetting the fact that through death he has escaped worldly griefs and difficulties, and that he would also go and meet him after some time. Also that he considers death to be injustice and an unusual happening, then such a type of sorrow and despair is prohibited by reason and Islamic law. The Almighty Allah says in Surah Hadid:

So that you may not grieve for what has escaped

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1- Surah Ali Imran 3:10.

you, nor be exultant at what He has given you; and Allah does not love any arrogant boaster:(1)

Commenting on this verse, Baidhawi says, “It denotes removing a sadness from ones heart that prevents accepting the command of Allah.” Raghib says, “Sorrow and anger go together. Sometimes, both have to be lamented. The reality of this is so clear that man is restless to take revenge. Then if the desire to seek revenge is regarding someone weaker to us, it gets transformed into anger and if it is regarding someone mightier than us, it reduces and changes into grief.

That is why when Ibne Abbas was asked regarding the definition of grief and anger, he replied, 'Both have the same basis while their names are different. If one fights a person stronger than himself, the other person will express anger and fury while in the case of a weaker opponent, the other person will express grief.' He says that it is this that denotes 'sorrow'. That is to be sad on something one has lost.”

Do not eye others’ property

The Almighty Allah says:

And do not stretch your eyes after that with which We have provided different classes of them, (of) the splendor of this world's life, that We may thereby try them; and the sustenance (given) by your Lord is better and more abiding.(2)

According to some commentators, the words 'try them' in this verse denote punishment. That is: We would punish them through the embellishments and fineries of the world so that excess of wealth

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1- Surah Hadid 57:23.
2- Surah Taha 20:131

and children cause them more problems.

It is mentioned in Kashful Asrar that the dictionary meaning of the Arabic word 'Zahra' (splendor) is 'a bud'. The Almighty has named this world as 'a bud' because the moisture and freshness of a bud does not endure for more than two or three days, and it shrivels up very soon.

Explanation of Muhaqqiq Ardebeli

The late scholar, Muhaqqiq says that in this verse, the Almighty has prohibited His Messenger from attachment to the world. As a result of this, it became unlawful for the Prophet to look at the world with love and interest. Therefore, observing this rule, the Prophet refrained from being attracted by the beauty and attraction of the world. In this way following the command of the verse:

Certainly you have in the Apostle of Allah an excellent exemplar…(1)

It becomes obligatory for the people to follow the example of the Holy Prophet (S). Due to this, it has become unlawful for the people also, that they do not accord any value to the glitter of the world. It is a different matter if one says that this command is restricted to the Holy Prophet (S). But this is not proved to be so. Also books of Islamic jurisprudence do not include this among the special qualities of the Holy Prophet (S).

The most hateful matter for Allah is that one looks at the world with hope and attachment as mentioned in Tafsir Kashaf. It is also possible that here it implies seeing the world with greed or

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1- Surah Ahzab 33:21.

with an intention of committing an unlawful act with regard to the world. Although there is no doubt that in these circumstances it is absolutely unlawful.(1)

According to some commentators, though this verse is addressed to the Holy Prophet (S) it implies the Muslim community, and love and attachment for the world is prohibited for all.

Conclusion derived from the above verses

Those who are content with the teachings of the Holy Quran, well know that a great portion of the Book of Allah is regarding the denouncement of the world. The secret is that the love of the world becomes the greatest hurdle on the path of faith in Allah, the Prophet and the Hereafter. It is the source of every sin and due to it, the world and the Hereafter of man are both destroyed.

Therefore it is the duty of every religious person to reform himself. He should remove the love of the world from his heart or continue to decrease it. On the other hand he should make firm the love for Allah and His closest ones. He should deeply contemplate on those verses of the Holy Quran that prohibit intense and permanent love for the world. Since we have already quoted such verses before, here we only give a few traditions in this regard for the sake of brevity.

Desiring the world brings trouble

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “One who spends his days and nights in such a way that his greatest sin is to obtain the world, the Almighty Allah puts poverty and difficulties between his two eyes

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1- Zubdatul Bayan, Kitabul Makasib, Pg. 407.

and makes his matter difficult. He would get only as much share of the world as is destined for him. And for the one who spends his days and nights while his greatest aim is to achieve the Hereafter, the Almighty Allah gives needlessness to his heart and completes his affairs for him.”(1)

Love of the world causes fearlessness of and despair from Allah

In addition to what we have stated above to prove that the love of the world is a greater sin and an unlawful matter, it is also important to know that the love of the world is necessarily accompanied by two other greater sins. (The details of which have already been given in the book, Greater Sins.). One of them is to be unafraid of divine retribution. That is, not to be afraid of the hidden chastisement of God.

What! do they then feel secure from Allah's plan? But none feels secure from Allah's plan except the people who shall perish.(2)

'Makr' the Arabic word for 'plan' implies the act of catching someone unaware and hurting him. If one initiates 'makr' it is considered blameworthy and is unlawful. But if the intention is to award punishment or it is a reprisal, then it is allowed. If man commits a sin due to which he becomes eligible for a punishment and Allah subjects him to a punishment in such a way that man himself is unable to make out its cause, it is called as divine-deception (makr).

Thus one who denies the bounty must continue to fear the 'makr' of Allah.

Sorrows of the world and the Hereafter

When such

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1- Al-Kafi, Chapter of ‘Love of the world’.
2- Surah Araaf 7:99.

a person after his continuous efforts is not able to fulfill his desires and needs, and he becomes a prey to worldly difficulties he has himself created, he becomes sorrowful, restless and disturbed.

As far as his deprivation of the Hereafter and his lack of provision for it are concerned, the Almighty Allah has clearly mentioned in Surah Shura:

Whoever desires the gain of the hereafter, We will give him more of that again; and whoever desires the gain of this world, We give him of it, and in the hereafter he has no portion.(1)

On the other hand there is a person such that he is always worried about the Hereafter. He makes continuous efforts to inhabit the abode of his Hereafter. He is needless of the luxuries of the world. He walks behind the world with utmost dignity and self-respect. He is not in need of anyone, neither he has hope on anyone. He does not extend his hand before anyone to ask for something. He is satisfied with whatever sustenance Allah has given him. This is an example of real peace and needlessness in the world. As the words of an Infallible imply in a supplication:

“And give needlessness in my self. That is, O Lord! Create in my self peace and needlessness.”

Such people are meant when the Almighty Allah says in Surah Talaq:

That is the command of Allah which He has revealed to you, and whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah, He will remove from him his evil

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1- Surah Shura 42:20.

and give him a big reward.(1)

In this way there is increase in his peace and comfort. Because such a man was always worried about his Hereafter and he used to struggle to improve it and make it more beautiful. That is why the Holy Quran has given him the good news of comfort and success in the life everlasting.

In brief, it can be said that one who is always sunk in the worries about the world, he should know that his world, religion and the Hereafter, all are destroyed. For such a person the most important thing to do is to reform himself. He must wash the blemish of this sin from his garments and think about the Hereafter. Thus, Imam Sajjad (a.s.) says in a supplication:

“O Allah! Do not involve us in the calamities of religion. And do not make the acquisition of the world the main aim of our life. And neither make our knowledge and intelligence the means of acquiring the world.”

Good Deeds, but Aimless

Sulaiman bin Khalid says that he asked Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) regarding the interpretation of the following verse of Quran:

And We will proceed to what they have done of deeds, so We shall render them as scattered floating dust.(2)

The Imam said, “By Allah! They were of pure character - that is whiter than white Egyptian fine cloth. But when an unlawful thing came before them, they did not avoid it.”(3)

The Holy Prophet (S) said, “On the Day of Judgment a group would be brought, whose good

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1- Surah Talaq 65:5.
2- Surah Furqan 25:23
3- Usul al-Kafi, Chapter of Refraining from Unlawful

character would be heavier than the mountains of Mecca. It would be commanded that they be taken towards Hell. It would be asked, 'Were they performing the Prayers?' The reply would be, 'Without any doubt! They used to pray, keep fasts, remain busy in prayers half the night, but as soon as a worldly thing came their way, they used to rush towards it wildly.'”(1)

Those who sacrifice the Hereafter on the world

A close study of the above two traditions and other similar narrations reveals that all these reports are regarding those who are not completely oblivious of the Hereafter, but their faith on the Hereafter is limited and slight. They perform the prayers, keep fasts and have good moral character. But their love for the world is very intense. When an unlawful thing comes before them, they ignore its harms.

They sacrifice their Hereafter on the world, and throw themselves upon it unhesitatingly. Their example is like that of a cat, which is adverse to water or moisture, but the moment it sees a fish that it can prey upon, it dives into the water without any hesitation. Love of the world and lack of interest in the Hereafter is also a similar phenomenon and it is included among the greater sins. It is a sin that destroys good deeds and makes all the charitable deeds null and void. Due to which there remains no possibility of the acceptance of their good deeds. Because:

Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil).(2)

Good deeds without sincerity

When a person who loves

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1- Uddatud Da’i Pg. 295
2- Surah Maidah 5:27.

the world very intensely, performs a worship act or does a good deed there is no sincerity in it, which is a necessary condition for acceptance of it. This is because such a person does something good with the motive that he may gain some worldly benefit, the people may praise him or that they may not criticize him, that he may get an increase in his wealth etc. Such a person helplessly refrains himself from something good and gives away something that is not much valuable for him, in the path of Allah. Briefly speaking, no matter how great is his apparent action, if there is no sincerity in it, it would be rejected.

One who loves the world is not eligible for salvation

It is narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S) that he said, “Prophet Musa (a.s.) was passing on the way when he saw a person lying in prostration. He looked at that man and moved ahead. After sometime when he returned the same way he saw that he was still in the same position. Musa remarked, 'If I had the power to grant his wish, I would have done it by now.'

The Almighty Allah revealed on him, 'O Musa! Even if he dies in this prostration, I would not accept his prayers till he refrains from that which is against My pleasure and does that with which I am pleased. (That is, he leaves the love of the world and imbibes the love of the Hereafter). In another narration the same story is described in

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different words.

Prophet Musa (a.s.) passed by a person who was weeping. When he returned he saw him still in tears. He said, “O My Lord! Your slave is weeping in Your fear.” Allah said, “O Musa! Even if this man weeps so much that his eyeballs fall out, I would still not forgive him, because he is surrounded by the love of the world.”(1)

It should be clear that since this person was involved in the love of the world, that is why both his hope and fear are related with regard to the worldly problems even though apparently he was uttering the name of God. Thus it should be known that the Lord Almighty sees the intentions. If the intention itself is not based on the fear of Allah, how can He forgive him?

This is the reason that scholars say that the condition for acceptance of repentance is that fear of Allah and regret of having committed a sin must accompany his intention of never committing that sin in the future again. If he gives up the sin due to the fear of people or to avoid some worldly loss, his repentance would not be accepted.

That which Allah hates

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “There is a great distance between the servant and Allah, that the servant is not worried about anything except his belly and salvation.”(2)

Obviously, fondness for tasty foods, obtaining livelihood from lawful means and fulfilling sensual desires by legitimate channels is allowed and not blamable at all. Though the thing that

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1- Uddatud Da’i Pg. 164.
2- Usul al-Kafi, Chapter of the love of the world.

comes within the ambit of sin is belly-worship and lust-worship. That is, an intense love for these two, and lack of interest in the Hereafter. That is, he is not worried if due to this his Hereafter is destroyed and he would fall into sins.

Enmity of the world is the best deed

Imam Sajjad (a.s.) was asked, “Which is the best deed in the view of Allah?”

He replied, “After the recognition of Allah and the recognition of the Messenger of Allah (S), the best deed is hatred for the world.”

Then he said, “Pride is the first sin, with which Allah was disobeyed and it is the sin of Satan (Iblis). After this, is greed, which was the sin of Adam and Eve. After this is the position of jealousy, which was the sin of the son of Adam (Qabeel).” The root of all evils like, women-worship, status seeking, quest for comfort, hunger for praise, pride and wealth, is the love of the world.

This is the reason that the Prophets and the wise people have said that the love of the world is the root of all evil. The world can be used in two ways. One is to take benefit from it according to the needs of ones life and it should be considered a step stone to the Hereafter. Another way is to be lost in its deceptive magic and become negligent of Allah, thus deviating from the path of the Hereafter.

Sayings of the elders about the different kinds of deeds

According to some scholars all the actions performed in this world belong to one of the

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four categories:

1. The apparent and the internal both are for Allah, like sincere obedience and charity.

2. The apparent and the internal both are for the world, like sins and other lawful deeds that are caused due to sensuality or negligence

3. The apparent is for Allah and the internal is for the world, like deeds performed for show-off.

4. The apparent is for the world and the internal is for Allah, like pursuit of livelihood necessary for well being of the body and enough strength for performing worship acts. It is obvious that this is for achieving the Hereafter and not for the world.

More harmful than hungry wolves

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Like two hungry and ferocious wolves that attack a herd of goats which is without a shepherd. One of them attacks from the front and another from behind (That is, they surround the herd), but the loss caused by them is not more than what a Muslim stands to lose with regard to his religion due to the love of wealth and fame.”(1)

Allamah Majlisi says, “Here love of fame denotes bigotry and lust for power, that have always been hurdles in the path of the mission of the prophets. The Holy Quran has mentioned them by the title of 'great ones'. The Almighty Allah says in Surah Anam:

And thus have We made in every town the great ones to be its guilty ones, that they may plan therein; and they do not plan but against their own souls, and they do not

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1- Usul al-Kafi.


World-worshipping scholars are robbers on the path of Allah

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Whenever you see that a scholar is involved in the love of the world, you should know that he has done injustice with regard to his religion. Because he is always in the quest to achieve what he desires. The Almighty Allah revealed to Prophet Dawood (a.s.): Do not make a world-loving scholar a medium between Myself and you, because he would take you away from My path. These people are robbers on the path of those who love Me. The least that I would do to them is that I would remove from their hearts, the sweetness of supplications to Me.”(2)

In this tradition, love of the world indicates an intense and a permanent love. The sign of this is that when one achieves his desires like wealth and status he expresses great joy, and there is no fear for the loss to his Hereafter. If such a person is unable to fulfill his worldly desires, or he is deprived of them, he is extremely troubled even if a benefit of the Hereafter is concealed in this.

Followers of the world-worshipping scholar also become like him

The statement of the Imam that the world-worshipping scholar has neglected his religion means that his religiosity is not reliable. It is for someone who is involved in the love of the world and the axis of all his efforts is to seek worldly aims even if through unlawful means. Such a person sacrifices his religion on his world. His religiosity is only to the extent that there is

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1- Surah Anam 6:123.
2- Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 81.

no harm to his worldly life. In the past discussions we have tried to prove that as much is there love for the world, there is proportionate hatred and opposition to the Hereafter.

The saying of the Infallible that do not let a world-loving scholar mediate between yourself and Allah means that one who refers to a worldly scholar for strengthening his religion and follows his path, after some time he would also become like that world-worshipping scholar. That getting distanced from Allah he destroys his abode of the Hereafter. This is the reason that according to some scholars, the necessary condition of emulating a jurisprudent (Taqlid) is that such a person must not be a world-lover and materialistic.

At the end of the tradition it is said that the least punishment for a scholar who loves the world is that the sweetness of supplication is taken away from him. It should be clear that in the view of the scholars of religion this is a severe spiritual chastisement. However for the lover of the world there is much more severe punishment, which is beyond description.

Status-seekers are accursed

Imam Baqir (a.s.) has said, “One who seeks knowledge so that he may boast to the scholars, or that he may argue with lowly people, or that he may attract people, then his abode would be filled with the fire of Hell. Certainly, leadership does not befit anyone except those deserving of it.”(1)

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Accursed, accursed is the one who likes leadership

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1- Usul al-Kafi.

(or status) for himself. Cursed is the one who intends for it. Cursed is the one who constantly mentions about it to himself.”(1)

It should be clear that quest for position may be for religious matters, like delivering sermons, leading congregational prayers, issuing edicts or judging cases.

Or it may be for worldly matters, like governorship of a province etc. Both are disliked by the Almighty Allah. It is absolutely unlawful to seek status for the sake of increasing worldly wealth through it, if there is harm to the world. But if one is desirous of rulership and is also pious, that is, he loves the Hereafter intensely and keeping in view the aims of the everlasting life he fulfills the duty of guiding the people, or he establishes justice and equity or helps an oppressed person, then in all such circumstances, it is lawful.

If one desires a position for the fulfillment of selfish desires, such an act is unlawful and traditions of Usul al-Kafi and other books mention this in a number of places. Here it would be appropriate to consider the following verse of Quran:

(As for) that future abode, We assign it to those who have no desire to exalt themselves in the earth nor to make mischief and the good end is for those who guard (against evil)(2)411

The explanation of the verses speaks about the sin of pride as follows:

It is mentioned in the account of Mukhtar Ibne Ubaid Thaqafi that Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said:

“On the

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1- Usul al-Kafi, Chapter of Desire.
2- Surah Qasas 28:83

Day of Judgment, the Holy Prophet (S) would pass by the Hell with Amirul Momineen (a.s.), Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (a.s.). Suddenly a person will call out from Hell thrice, 'O Messenger of Allah (S)! Help me!' The Prophet will not give any reply. Then he would call out thrice, 'O Amirul Momineen (a.s.)!' Ali would also not give any response. Then again he would call out thrice, 'O Husain! Help me, as I have killed your enemies.'

The Messenger of Allah (S) will say, 'He has completed his argument on you.' (That is, now you help him). Thus Imam Husain (a.s.) would pick him from Hell like a falcon swoops and takes away its prey.” When Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) was asked the reason for Mukhtar being sent to Hell, he said, “Because Mukhtar used to love rulership and kingdom, and he liked the world and its entertainments, while the love of the world, itself is the root of all evil…”(1)

Musa advises his scholar friend

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said, “Prophet Musa bin Imran had a scholar friend. When he sought permission to visit his relatives and friends Musa said, “The relatives have some rights that must be observed. But refrain from loving the world because the Lord of the universe has bestowed you with knowledge. You must never waste that wealth of knowledge, by loving the world and by loving others than God.” The friend replied that he would not do anything but good deeds. Then he left to see his

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1- Rijal of Mamqani, Vol. 3, Pg. 305

relatives and friends. A long time passed after his departure.

So when Musa inquired about him nobody could give any news. Then angel Jibraeel told him, “O prophet of God, that fellow is standing outside your house. He has turned into a monkey and there is a leash on his neck.” Musa became very aggrieved. He got up to pray and supplicated Allah, “O my Lord, that fellow is my friend please gives him relief from this chastisement.”

God revealed, “O Musa, even if your neck is paralyzed praying like this I shall not answer your prayer because We granted him the wealth of knowledge but he destroyed himself by drowning himself in the love of the world.”(1)

Beasts in Human Forms

We should know that if a man regards worldly life as a reality and thinks that the Hereafter is only a fable then there is no trace of humanity in that fellow. If he binds himself tightly in the love of the world and makes that love a part of his life then his character will lose every trace of humanity and he will adopt the character of beasts. He will know this truth in the Hereafter. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says, “Then the face of that fellow is that of a man but his heart is that of an animal.”(2)

The habit of that animal enters the personality of a man whom he imitates. For example, if someone is in the habit of imitating others then in the world of existence (reality) he

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1- Maniyatul Mureed
2- Nahjul Balagha.

will be a monkey. Most of the people living in the Middle East and in eastern countries imitate the western people. They have a monkey-type character.

If some indulge in over-eating womanizing and mindlessness then they have characteristics of cows, asses and pigs respectively. If they are arrogant and hotheaded, they resemble leopards and wolves. If they have a habit of finding excuses and harming others, they are Satans. A man who adopts the ways of various animals will rise in the form of animals in the other world. Strangely enough he or she will, at once be recognized in whatever form he or she is. This has been thoroughly explained in the first chapter of this book.

Ali (a.s.) introduces the Animals

Since most of the world-lovers are not lagging behind dogs in their stinginess, jealousy and harshness the Amirul Momineen (a.s.) addresses them as dogs when he says, “When you see world-lovers rushing towards things passionately, do not get deceived. Beware of them as they are barking dogs and hunting animals that are ever ready to harm others. The powerful among them eats up the weak and the majority devours the minority.”

It should be noted that the narrations quoted here and so also the Quranic verses are but only a fraction of such overall verses and traditions condemning worldly love. What has been quoted about any sin is less than one-tenth of the texts. Yet whatever has been given here is sufficient enough to prove the graveness of the sin of worldly love and

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the importance of this prohibition.

The Third Rank is Detestable

A man who loves this world and its contents, yet this love is nothing compared to his love for Allah and the Hereafter, that is, if he gives priority to the Hereafter and wants to beautify it even at the risk of destruction of this worldly possessions, he will distance himself from every desire which is detrimental to the Hereafter.

A man whose love for the world is little and for the Hereafter intense, faces a worldly loss for which he will, to a certain extent, feel sorry. But if his Hereafter gets harmed, say by committing a sin or there is some danger of losing a good deed then his restlessness and fear will get multiplied manifold.

He will not get peace of mind unless and until he is not assured of his repentance being accepted by God and unless the loss is not made up. Just as the world-lovers get restless and disturbed at their worldly loss and failures and are delighted at the fulfillment of desires, similarly he will be worried at the loss of the Hereafter and feel utmost pleasure at the mention of Allah and the Hereafter and by doing good deeds, which will give him happiness and peace of mind.

That which stalls perfection of faith and human upliftment

As this limit for love of the world is neither against Faith in God and Hereafter, nor it can cause corruption and sinfulness it is not prohibited. Verses and narrations quoted above do not apply to this degree of worldly love. They

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apply only to the second and third degree love. But this third degree of worldly love is against the completion of Faith and an obstruction in the path of human progress. It is so because the secret of human welfare for which he has been created is that he should attain nearness to God.

This success cannot be attained without love and attachment. It is essential that this love also should be sincerely for the Beneficent Lord. One should not maintain a permanent love for any creation except Him. Rather one must love all as a result of love for the Lord. He should consider this passing world and all that is in it as signs of God's might and mercy.

So much so that man should consider himself, his near and dear family members and relatives as bounties granted by God and must love them only on this ground. Moreover he must carry out obedience and worship and any other task, which God likes. He must love and be affectionate to the Prophets, Infallible Imams and other believers who are the beloveds of God. He must develop love for them on the basis of their nearness to God.

One having these virtues likes Paradise because it is the guesthouse of God and the house of His friends, not because it is an abode of ease and comfort. It is imperative for him to keep distance from everything that can cause neglect in love for God and present a means of

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permanent love for the world.

Love for anyone or anything other than God takes one away from God

Now that it is proved that human welfare and perfection is hidden in nearness to God and in love for Him, his love for his own self or for any other thing in the universe, even if it be very minute, the extent to which he is near to that thing he will be away from God and to that extent he will fail in attaining the lofty height of humanity.

Thus we know that love for anything or anyone other than God, even if it is very tiny, though it is not prohibited and a sin attracting divine chastisement, is a hurdle in the path of human welfare and a cause of human deprivation. Therefore, anyone who wants welfare and success should, as demanded by intelligence; refrain from loving anyone or anything other than God.

Divine injunction about such degree of attachment

It should be noted that many verses of Holy Quran prohibit us from getting attached to worldly things and they include all the three types of worldly love. In some verses there is not only an explicit order to discard the first and second type emphatically but the defaulters are also warned of divine punishment.

In this way both the first and the second type of love for the world is prohibited and whoever indulges therein will be chastised whereas the third type is a detestable one and one who indulges in it will be deprived of welfare, prosperity and high ranks.

Now, concluding the subject, we give here verses and narrations, which

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largely prohibit worldly love and command us to fill the heart with a pure love of God.

Let not the wealth and children make you negligent of remembering God

The Almighty Allah says:

O you who believe! let not your wealth, or your children, divert you from the remembrance of Allah; and whoever does that, these are the losers.(1)

Since such people have disconnected themselves from Allah, they could not gain any permanent benefit from their life. Meaning they could not acquire faith and a good character.

Those who cannot be stopped from remembering God

Almighty Allah says in Surah Nur:

Men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of poor-rate; they fear a day in which the hearts and eyes shall turn about…(2)

In this verse the remembrance of Allah means heartfelt love. It means man should think of God in every condition and at every time. His interest and activeness in his affairs should be because of God's love and he should carry out every order and worship because of His love only.

Worldly Beauties are Merely a Test

It is mentioned Surah Kahf:

Surely We have made whatever is on the earth an embellishment for it, so that We may try them (as to) which of them is best in works. And most surely We will make what is on it bare ground without herbage.(3)

The beauty of good deeds to which the Holy Quran repeatedly hints and which has been termed the means of permanent and ever-lasting well-being is every such deed which is done in obeying God's command and which is because of His love. Apparently it

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1- Surah Munafiqoon 63:9.
2- Surah Nur 24:37.
3- Surah Kahf 18:7-8.

may not look like worship, for example, one may eat good food and wear fine clothes, but not for satisfying desires and filling ones belly but for enjoying the Lord's bounty, to display it and for obeying His orders.

Similarly bad deed is one, which may be done to satisfy passion, to fulfill a devilish desire and for getting only worldly benefit, even though, its appearance resembles worship. For example, the worship of a hypocrite and an egoist. The meaning of the Arabic word “zeenat” is embellishment, decoration and beautification so that a buyer can be attracted.

The Primary and Secondary Aims of Creation

By pondering over the above and other similar verses of the Holy Quran we understand that the Creator of the Universe created His various bounties and desires for them on this earthly planet and taking a drop of the Unfathomable Ocean of Existence of Beauty, spread it out in accordance with its ability for acceptance. The Lord of the universe says in Surah Hijr:

And there is not a thing but with Us are the treasures of it, and We do not send it down but in a known measure.(1)

Then He created man and displayed this treasure before him for two aims, one of which is primary and the other secondary. The secondary aim of presenting the worldly wealth is that man should get a desire for it and he may employ it thereby it may cause the world to be a habitat and mankind may spread and survive.

But the main aim of presenting the worldly

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1- Surah Hijr 15:21.

wealth or benefit to the world is that this bounty may be the means of realizing the Creator; the lamp of His love may light up hearts and He may be thanked for His bounties and also for being Kind to His obedient creatures. Against this, it is not the aim of creation that the creation may become mad after worldly wealth and run after it relentlessly, may think that it (man) is needless of His nearness, may make the wealth his sole aim, may consider himself to be its absolute owner and real possessor and then cross the limits fixed by God. In short, that he may become mad after it, worshipping it and forget the Real Benefactor and become ungrateful to Him.

With a view to explain and elaborate the matter the following story is presented.

It is said that the main reason of King Mahmud Ghaznavi's love for his slave Ayaz was that when the king had acquired huge quantities of jewels after the conquest of Somnath, and the lot was carried on camels to Ghazni, a box of jewels broke up and its contents spilled on the ground.

The king declared that anything on which any body lays his hands would be his property. At once all officers and soldiers got busy in collecting the jewels. When the king looked around he could not find anyone near him except Ayaz. All had left him alone and were busy gathering the jewels. The Sultan asked Ayaz, “Why did you

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not join others in collecting the jewels?”

Ayaz replied, “I felt ashamed at the thought of leaving the king to gather jewels. There are many enemies of the king and one of them might try to take a chance. That is why I did not move away from you. So that if someone attacks you I might sacrifice my life and save yours.” It was this selfless love of Ayaz that made the king to designate him as his legatee despite having a brother and a son. Many a times he used to make Ayaz sit beside him in the court.

The reader should understand that God loves His servant who remembers his Lord after gaining the worldly bounties and who keeps away from everything which can make him forget his Lord even if that bounty is worth taking pride in.

It is said that one of the rubies brought by Mahmud Ghazni from India was such that it shone in the darkness of the night. One day the king showed it to his ministers and asked about its value. Every one assessed its value very high. Then the king ordered that this stone should be broken. None of the courtiers was ready to do so. They said it was not wise to break it. In the meanwhile Ayaz entered.

When he was asked about the value of that precious stone he replied that it was far more valuable than others had estimated. Then the Sultan asked him also to break it.

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Ayaz did so at once without any hesitation. The audience felt happy in their hearts imagining that now the king will frown on Ayaz. All taunted him asking why did he do so. They told him, “By so doing you have caused a loss to the king's treasure, you are not a friend of the king but are his foe.”

Ayaz told them, “As the command of the king was more valuable than the jewel in my view I did not hesitate in breaking it; but I refrained from breaking the command of the king. In your opinion the stone was costlier than the king's word, so you refrained from breaking the stone.” This reply made it clear to all that the king's order was meant to test the loyalties of his courtiers. This event boosted the value of Ayaz in the eyes of the king while others felt ashamed.

How people are Tested through worldly Adornments

It is incumbent on man to observe the beauties of the world and to ponder over their defects too; the chief being the transience of the world and its decadence. Then he must trust that there is one more world wherein every perfection will appear discarding all defects and faults. Its most important aspect is the eternal life. It is necessary for man to remember that he has been created for that another world of eternity.

The reason is that if it is believed that life ends with the advent of death then the creation of the universe becomes aimless whereas

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each and every particle of the universe testifies to the wisdom of the Lord Creator.

The aim is that God tests His slaves through worldly adornments. It is as a result of this test that a tyrant is born from the seed of a virtuous man, good from bad, good character from a bad character, courageous from the timid, humane from a beastly person and one worthy of Hell from one worthy of Paradise. Then two types of people will be there in the eternal world. The first kind will be called “the people of the right hand” who will live in a permanent Paradise according to the Holy Quran and they will enjoy all heavenly rewards and gifts.

At that time they will see the Grace of Almighty God manifested. Another type of people will be “the people of the left hand” who will remain on the stage, which they have earned for themselves. They will suffer punishment in Hell because of their misdeeds. It will be the time when God will employ His real justice. Everyone will get the reward or punishment of his or her deeds. At that time they will realize that absolute praise is only for Allah. The last verse of Surah Zumar hints at this matter:

And you shall see the angels going round about the throne glorifying the praise of their Lord; and judgment shall be given between them with justice, and it shall be said: All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of

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the worlds.(1)

Likewise this matter is made clear in Surah Shura:

…and surely when We make man taste mercy from Us, he rejoices thereat; and if an evil afflicts them on account of what their hands have already done, then surely man is ungrateful.(2)

In conclusion, the Lord Creator of the universe has made this world with its beauty and brightness a matter of test for every person until the time of his or her death, so that a distinction can be made between the world-hungry fellows and those who love the Hereafter and love God. In this way, one who wants only the worldly life will be included among the losers. The Last Day has been described in Surah Luqman in these words:

O people! guard against (the punishment of) your Lord and dread the day when a father shall not make any satisfaction for his son, nor shall the child be the maker of any satisfaction for his father; surely the promise of Allah is true, therefore let not this world's life deceive you, nor let the arch-deceiver deceive you in respect of Allah.(3)

The Almighty has, through a number of Quranic verses, warned man that he should not be deceived by worldly life. This matter has been repeatedly mentioned in verses 70 and 130 of Surah Anam, 51 of Surah Araaf, 33 of Luqman, 33 of Fatir, 35 of Jathiya and 14 of Hadid. Therefore it is a must for every Muslim to make effort from his heart so that he may

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1- Surah 39:75.
2- Surah Shura 42:48.
3- Surah Luqman 31:33.

not be counted among the deceived ones.

Paradise is a better place for the pious

The love of desires, of women and sons and hoarded treasures of gold and silver and well bred horses and cattle and tilth, is made to seem fair to men; this is the provision of the life of this world; and Allah is He with Whom is the good goal (of life). Say: Shall I tell you what is better than these? For those who guard (against evil) are gardens with their Lord, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and pure mates and Allah's pleasure; and Allah sees the servants.(1)

The gist of this verse is that Allah created the beauties of the world and made them an adoration for man so that, through it, they may begin to love Allah and worry for the success of their Hereafter. But what happened is that Satan deceived them whereby they became mad after the worldly attractions instead of loving the Creator. Such people must know that this life, along with all its tastefulness is transitory and very short living.

Obviously it is not wise to be attracted to a thing, which is to pass out soon. Hence what is proper is to stop being mad after this world and to love that world which is far better and also permanent. This holy verse proves that a permanent love for this world is condemnable even if it is very little.

A Wonderful narration regarding worldly love

The Holy Prophet (S) said, “The Lord Almighty told me on the night of Ascension, 'O

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1- Surah Ali Imran 3:14-15

Ahmad, if any of My slaves may offer prayers and fasts equal to that done by all in the sky and the earth, may refrain from food like angels, may wear the dress of constant worshippers and then I see that in his heart was even an iota of love or desire for worldly fame, position, material desire etc. I will not admit him to Paradise. I will remove My love from his heart. I will make his heart dark, so that he may forget Me and I will not allow him to taste the sweetness of My love.'”

Likewise Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “By Allah! One who loves the world cannot love Allah.”(1)423

Explaining the verse:

The day on which property will not avail, nor sons. Except him who comes to Allah with a heart free (from evil).(2)

The Infallible Imam says that this heart (Qalbe Saleem) is the heart, which is safe from worldly love.(3)

The Holy Prophet (S) said, “One who loves this world, makes his heart empty of the fear of Hereafter. Therefore the love for this world increases in the heart of one who Allah does not give knowledge. Then Allah's anger grows against him and that fellow gets away from Allah.”(4)

Mentioning the virtues of the Holy Prophet (S) Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says, “The Holy Prophet (S) used to eat sitting on the ground, his manner of sitting on the ground was like that of slaves. He was mending his shoes with his own hands. He

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1- Mustadrak, Chapter of Jihad, 61
2- Surah Shuara 26:88-89.
3- Mustadrak, Chapter of Jihad.
4- Mustadrak, Chapter of Jihad.

was grafting his clothes himself. He was sitting on the bare back of an ass, making someone else also ride with him. There was a curtain in his house with a picture on it. He asked one of his wives: Remove that curtain from my eyes.

By looking at it I begin admiring the world and its beauties. So, remove the attention towards worldly possessions from your heart. Make your soul empty of material wants. He liked that the worldly adoration should remain away from his eyes so that he may not select beautified garments from worldly possessions. This was not a place of rest and comfort for him.

He did not have any desire to remain in this world. So he had freed his soul from the worldly love and his heart from material attraction. He used to turn away his eyes from material glamour. The fact is that one who is inimical towards a thing also does not like to look at it and he also does not think of it.”

He says that it is incumbent on a Muslim to follow the Prophet. It is a must to emulate him to avoid destruction.

Love for the world is universal

From the viewpoint of understanding the truth about oneself, people can be divided into two kinds: Materialists and Theists.

Materialists are those who think that the existence of man is material and that he is no different from an animal. He is created from dust and will be lost in dust, to be annihilated forever. This group

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is firm in that the life of man is limited only to this world and therefore it is necessary to take maximum benefit from this life before one dies. Their hearts incline towards the world and they are slaves of their passions and desires.

In its march towards its aim this group always tries to break any rule or regulation (morality) to gratify the desires and to acquire full comfort and adornments in this brief life. This group undergoes all sorts of troubles and hardships in order to multiply wealth and worldly possessions. Almighty Allah hints at such people saying:

And they say: There is nothing but our life in this world; we live and die and nothing destroys us but time, and they have no knowledge of that; they only conjecture.(1)

Three Groups of Theists

Those having community: This group is comprised of Jews, Christians and Muslims who love the prophets. It puts faith in the Revelations of the Lord of the worlds and in His messengers (prophets). That is, they believe in the words of prophets and their commands.

They also believe that there is an everlasting life after this worldly life, and that Paradise is waiting for those who did good deeds and Hell is for those who indulged in bad ones. But this category is again divided into three sub-groups. One of them professes the above things but, in actual practice, it is no different from the materialists. In other words, they talk about Allah and the Hereafter but their hearts are

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1- Surah Jathiya 45:24.

entangled in the world. Their inclination is only towards wealth and property, and tastes and passions of this world. The aim of each and every effort made by them is to achieve the material worldly goals by any means.

In Surah Ali Imran Allah says:

They say with their mouths what is not in their hearts, and Allah best knows what they conceal.(1)

Unmindful Worshippers

Another group is not fully in love with the world but their inclination is more towards this world and less towards the Hereafter. They have intense affection for this world and the worldly things. That is why they strive more for achieving the worldly material things. On one hand though they are not totally disconnected with the Hereafter, they make only a little effort for gaining its benefits. Their good deeds also are not quite worthy of mention.

They spend a major part of their wealth and life for satisfying their passions and worldly desires. But when there is the question of the other world (Hereafter) they spend only a little from their lives and properties and there is no selflessness therein. The rank of such people has been vividly mentioned in the last verses of Surah Maun:

So woe to the praying ones, Who are unmindful of their prayers, Who do (good) to be seen, And withhold the necessaries of life.(2)

Had the hearts of these people been connected with their Lord and the Hereafter they would have never remained unmindful of Allah and His remembrance. Their deeds would not have

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1- Surah Ali Imran 3:167
2- Surah Maun 107.4-7

been based on show. In short, the rank of this group is the same as of the world lovers. The third sub-group of the theists is quite different from the second one. They love God and Hereafter intensely from their hearts while a little love of the world too exists in their hearts.

All are equal in this matter

If we ponder on the condition of the theists of the world we come to know that, except for a few, almost all of them will be included in the first or the second group. In other words, the two groups (Jews and Muslims) in both of the said categories, be they belong to the east or the west, are all agreeable with the materialists both in thought and deed in the matter of worldly love despite their linguistic and religious differences.

Nadwi has, in his book 'World in the Danger of Collapsing', dealt very nicely on these subjects saying that today's man has adopted materialism, worldly love and passions which has spread in other countries from the developed nations, in place of God-worship, love for Hereafter, truthfulness and spiritualism. Here are some extracts from that book:

Religious awareness: What will be the end of the world? In which direction is the world going? Is there any other life after this worldly life? And if so how is it? Is there any guidance regarding the Hereafter in this worldly life? What is the true path that can lead man on the road to Hereafter by living a satisfying and a

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peaceful life? What is the starting point of that path? What is the way of obtaining the everlasting bounties of the Hereafter? How can we adopt it?

These and similar thoughts have engaged the minds of man, especially the man of the east. Whenever they were getting a positive reply to these questions they were trying to follow it. The source of all these questions is the sixth sense of man, which is beyond the five senses. It is called the religious sense. The Holy Quran calls it human nature (conscience). But today's man has totally forgotten this sense and such questions do not come to his mind.

The author adds: The biggest problem of the twentieth century or of the materialist age is as was the issue before the past prophets, that is to struggle against people who have forgotten the religious sense or feeling or who are totally devoid of it. Undoubtedly the people whose minds are stagnant and listless, who are totally devoid of it and who have decided never to think about the problems of the Hereafter, have forever remained a very big problem for the divine guides.

The more the messenger of Allah tried to guide them towards the truth the more they used to insist that 'Life is only this life of the world, we will live and die here but there is nothing like the Day of Judgment.' (Surah Anam) The prophets got only this reply: Our hearts and ears cannot grasp your talks. There is

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a curtain between you and us. You may busy yourselves in your works and we will remain engaged in ours.(1).

The man of our age has also forgotten the religious feeling or sense. Now such questions do not arise in his mind and heart and none thinks about them. Even if any lone person pays attention to them, it is only for satisfying some self-interest.

It will have to be agreed that today's only material problems are in focus instead of spiritual ones. Our twentieth century progeny has devoted its thoughts and abilities to the solution of only material problems. They have no concern whatsoever that there is any other world also after this life. The way of thinking of today's man is that if ready money is available do not go for the promised one. What is needed is that all such discussions should be kept only for the experts of spiritualism or philosophy so that they may think over them and write books.

Verily today's man has employed his entire life only for working in workshops, for moving and running machines, for deriving monetary benefits from them and for obtaining means of worldly comfort, ease and luxury. He knows nothing about the other world. Perhaps he might not have thought about it even in his imagination. Briefly speaking, neither he has ever paid any attention to the events after death nor has he ever worried about them.

In this era religious and divine thoughts do not find room in

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1- Surah Fussilat, Verse: 5

man's mind and heart. The materialistic life has closed all doors of thought and wisdom. No venue is left open for contemplation and meditation. Minds, hearts, eyes and ears are unable to comprehend the words of prophets and religious scholars.

The parallel of the difficulties suffered by men of God in trying to guide such people is not to be found in even the worst societies. It is so because this is a group and which knows not, rather neglects that there is another world beyond this worldly life. He is not interested in this matter at all. The Lord of the Universe talks about these people in His address to the Prophet:

Surely you do not make the dead to hear, and you do not make the deaf to hear the call when they go back retreating.(1)

The author writes at another place: Our age is a purely materialistic age. Here people pay attention only to the worldly life and have no faith in the next world. That is why they do not make any provision for the journey to Hereafter. Is it ever possible that those who have no faith in that world will make any provision for that world? Excepting a few, all civilized people believe that in order to fulfill their worldly needs they should obtain wealth and property from wherever possible.

In the world we live, the criterion of greatness and nobility is only money, wealth, dress and means. Since the standards of such nobility continue to

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1- Surah Naml 27:80.

change, man is obliged to spend a lot of money to mould himself in the mentality of the society. As a very big amount of money is needed to do so, one tries to acquire wealth by any means legal or illegal, with labor or without effort. Since everybody does not possess enough ability to acquire wealth he constantly remains gloomy and regretful because of his relative poverty; whereas his greatest aim is only to become wealthy.

Consequently material worries become the destiny of the fashion worshipping people and they have no way to get rid of it. Yet another misfortune is that the styles of fashion continue to change endlessly. For example, new models of cars, radio, shoes, dresses and other luxury items.

Factories bring out new things in the market daily though none of them is the basic necessity of life. But our society considers it a part of human personality and a must for civilization. So much so that one who does not utilize these things is not considered among the living ones!

These are the causes that gave so much importance to wealth and riches and which is unprecedented in human history. These days wealth and only wealth is the original soul of man and which has made him to run after it endlessly and continuously. Wealth is the chief aim of the wealth-creators, industrialists and politicians. Only this is driving people to become members of legislatures, writers to author books and warriors to start wars.

The author also

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throws light on the materialistic inclination in countries of the world under a chapter: 'The world moves towards ignorance' but it will make this book voluminous to quote more on this.

All of them are mad after worldly passions, desires and embellishments. Earning wealth is their only aim. They do not hesitate to indulge in any kind of dishonesty, crime and even bloodshed to achieve this aim. These are the people who want everything except the pleasure of God. They long for every worldly comfort excepting the ease of the other world (Hereafter).

They express sorrow over every incident except sin. They feel no sorrow over their poverty in the next world but are always worrying about their worldly poverty. They make efforts for the success of the unreliable worldly future but have no worry about the definite and certain life of the Hereafter.

On the one hand they leave no stone unturned for increasing their capital and cry and lament if they suffer any monetary loss but, on the other hand, stay listless and stagnant like a corpse to gain the main wealth of their Hereafter and which manifests man's faith, spirit and morality.

Interestingly every group of the theists, who resemble the materialists, considers itself above divine chastisement and thinks that their success is sure. It has become uncontrollable like the Satan and yet thinks that it would definitely get success and salvation!

Self-Glorification of Jews and Christians

The Jews say that since we are Bani Israel (progeny of Prophet Yaqub (a.s.)) we are the noblest

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of the entire humanity and that only we have the right to rule the earth. The Holy Quran speaks in their language thus:

And they say: the fire will not touch us except for a few days (that is only those forty days when they had indulged in cow-worship).(1)

According to specific command of the Quran all men are equal and no one is nobler than another except in piety. As the Holy Quran states:

…surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty)…(2)433

Jews and Christians also say that only we are sons of God, friends of God and beloveds of God and that Paradise is only for us. Of course they claim thus only verbally, whereas in reality they are devoted to the world, not to Allah and the Hereafter. The Holy Quran describes them:

And you will most certainly find them the greediest of men for life (greedier) than even those who are polytheists…(3)

In fact they are the friends of the devils, not friends of the Beneficent. They are slaves of worldly passions and desires and not at all interested in Allah and the Hereafter.

Why are you afraid of death?

They say that Paradise and salvation in the Hereafter is destined only for them. If they really believe like this then why are they afraid of death and the loss of material things and why are they constantly praying for extension of worldly life and for enjoying constant benefit of the worldly passions and desires? Challenging such people the

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:80.
2- Surah Hujurat 49:13.
3- Surah Baqarah 2:96.

Lord of the universe says:

Say: If the future abode with Allah is specially for you to the exclusion of the people, then invoke death if you are truthful.(1)

It is mentioned in Tafsir Majmaul Bayan that one who is sure about getting Paradise must give preference to death, which is the only way to reach Paradise in comparison to worldly life, which is full of hardships. One who is sure that death is the means of getting excellence and success will certainly love it more than life as Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says: “By Allah, the son of Abu Talib is so much attached to death as a suckling baby is to its mother's breast.”

Therefore when the Imam was strolling fearlessly between ranks in the battle of Siffin, his son Hasan Mujtaba (a.s.) said, “O father, your moving like this in the midst of battle lines is not desirable because it is likely to enable the enemy to harm you.” He replied, “Your father does not worry whether he falls on death or death falls on him.”

Likewise, when in the said battle, Ammar Yasir decided to join he was extremely happy and being sure of his martyrdom said joyfully, “I am proceeding to my friends, the Holy Prophet (S) and his companions.”

It is narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) once said, “One of you should long for death because of being caught in worldly hardships and troubles. He should pray, 'O Lord! Keep me alive until life is good for me

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1- Surah Baqarah 2:94.

and give me death when death is good for me.'”(1)436

Another tradition says that longing for death is condemnable because it shows a dislike for the will of God (whereas here what is hinted at is patience and submission to divine will). But where a wish for death has been prohibited it is for the expression of a longing of the believer that death should not come to him so that during that time he may try to compensate for his sins and make provision for his journey to the Hereafter.

If this aim is in one's heart then the desire for the world is not different from a wish for death. Its example is like a king who calls someone to him but does not fix a time for it, whereas that man takes only that much time for presenting himself to the king which is absolutely necessary for its preparation.

His only desire is that king's men should come to take him only after he has made preparation for it. As detailed in the preceding pages, the only aim of this preparation should be to present oneself to Allah. That is why a temporary love for the world is an essential demand of Faith in Allah and the Hereafter.

But so far as the Jews are concerned, they are mad after this world only for enjoying its pleasures. That is why they long for a long life and wish to live for a thousand years. This desire of theirs makes them

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1- Tafsir Majmaul Bayan

fearful of death and proves that they are lying when they claim that they are the lovers of God and worthy of Paradise.

On the other hand, all groups of Muslims think themselves to be followers of Quran and lovers of Prophet and his progeny. Every one of them claims that he will attain salvation and that others will be destroyed, whereas, barring a few, almost all of them are full of love for the world. Instead of being ardent lovers of God and His Prophet they are dazzled by the glamour of this world. Instead of obeying the commands of Quran they obey their desires and satanic suggestions.

The center of their activities is only the worldly success. They are ever ready to acquire every knowledge or science, which can guarantee worldly benefits for them. But they never try to understand divine knowledge and religious commands. They answer every devilish call and attend every meeting or gathering, which takes them away from God and Hereafter. They always avoid meetings, which draw their attention towards God, His Prophet and the Hereafter.

Evil of running away from Religious Scholars

The Holy Prophet (S) has said, “A time will come for the people when they will run away from scholars as goats flee upon seeing wolves. (At that time) Allah would entangle them in three calamities:

(1) He will take away blissful abundance (barakat) from their wealth,

(2) He will impose a cruel ruler on them and

(3) They will be called up from the world without Faith.”(1)

In another tradition, the Holy Prophet (S)

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1- Safinatul Bihar. Vol. 2. p. 220

said, “People will see days when they will make their bellies their gods, their women their Qibla (center of constant attention), worldly wealth their religion and property, their criterion of excellence or ability. (It will be a time when) nothing from Faith except the name, nothing from Islam except rituals, and nothing from Quran, except lessons will remain. Their mosques will stand only like buildings of stones whereas their hearts will have nothing like guidance. The scholars of that era will be the worst men on the surface of earth. (That is, the majority of them will be world-worshippers).”

O Master of the Age! Hasten your arrival!

Let it be know that the ever-increasing dishonesty and faithlessness, the destructive corruption, the overflowing shamelessness and obscenity in which today's man is imprisoned because of his intense love for material world cannot be stalled by any power. This current is going to spread endlessly, to such an extent that people will find it extremely difficult to live and they will anxiously wait for a reformer who may relieve them from misfortune. That will be the time when Almighty God will make the twelfth Imam (Mahdi) appear in the world.

The Imam will, by the divine authority grant enlightenment to hearts and wisdom to minds until truth will appear dazzlingly open. The intense love for this world, which is the root cause of every trouble and corruption, will be wiped out from the hearts. The human hearts will overflow with the love of Allah, the Prophet and the Hereafter, and people will

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incline towards the other world and give up love for temporary material things. When this will happen people will realize the real truth about man's pure life and they will enjoy real happiness.

To believe that the 12th Imam (a.s.) will appear and fill the world with justice and equity is one of the essentials of faith. In this connection, not only there are widely narrated traditions of the Holy Prophet (S) but God of the universe also has given good tidings to all prophets that in the last era, man will become God-fearing and virtuous and the earth will become totally tranquil and peaceful.

It is mentioned is Surah Anbiya:

And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that (as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it.(1)

What will be the overall condition of people in that time? To have further knowledge about it, please refer to volume 13 of Biharul Anwar. Here we quote only one relevant tradition:

When intelligence will become perfect

In Usul al-Kafi there is a tradition of Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he said, “When Our Imam will stand up, he will put his hand of mercy on the slaves of Allah so that their minds and ambitions will be perfected.”(2)

People will become so wise and gentle that even if a lady travels from Baghdad to Damascus with a box full of diamonds and other precious stones, no one will even throw a passing glance at her. In short, the worldly love will be totally removed from human hearts.

Our Responsibility in the present age


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1- Surah Anbiya 21:105
2- Chapter of Knowledge and Ignorance.

is the duty of every believer to, first of all, reform himself and drive away worldly love from the heart as detailed before. Then, acting according to the rule of Prohibiting Evil (Nahy Anil Munkar), warn his near and dear ones and try his utmost to remove the root cause of every trouble and corruption; viz. love for worldly matter from the hearts of people. In this way he should fulfill his responsibility imposed on him by the religious law (Shariah) to reduce restlessness, trouble and corruption from the society.

Crooked thinking of the unwise and its answer

Some senseless people think that big industrial countries are drowning human societies in materialism, worldly love and passion in such a big way that no individual or a group can, despite all their wishes, escape emulating and imitating them. Rather such people are not considered as living at all. So in these circumstances and in this state of affair there remains no need from any effort to make men think about God and Hereafter. Thus it is necessary for all to imitate the world-worshippers.

We say that it is just like imitating animals, which intelligence does not accept, because if a wise man sees some people fallen in dirt, would his reason make him also dive into the muck for remaining connected with others? In the said 'advanced countries' there are some wise and intelligent people whose hearts weep seeing the wide-scale waywardness, dishonesty, corruption and bloodshed and lack of humanity. They are also constantly warning their governments about its dangerous consequences.

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But there is none to pay any attention to them.

Why go far? Just look at our own country. How many people pay attention to the words of the scholars? For example the religious scholars are constantly drawing our attention to the harms and destructiveness of films, about their evil effects on society, their immorality and shamelessness etc. They are being repeatedly told that just for some monetary gains some selfish persons are arousing passions of our youth to take them in the world of crime through cinema. But did the Muslims pay any attention to their talks? Did those in power do anything to reform the affairs?

An advice for the Faithful

Since, some inclination towards animality too is found in man, he has strong desire of imitation also. For example, to imitate those who are in power and position or to follow the majority.

But the Lord of the universe has, against this inclination, bestowed man with the wealth of wisdom and reason also so that he may follow knowledge and the wise, in the light of wisdom despite being weak and in minority, may avoid the ignorant even if they are powerful and in majority.

Therefore reason, intellect and wisdom says that it is not at all wise to imitate the ways of so-called progressive countries because though they have made big progress in material sciences, to the same extent, they are ignorant of Truth and the things beyond perception of senses (supernatural matters). For example, if they are asked, “Is there any owner or

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master of this vast universe?”

They will reply, “We do not know because our knowledge is limited only to material science and earthly things.” If you ask them, “Who created the astonishing workshop of human body?” They will say, “We do not know. We know only about its working.” To, “What is the reality of man?” they will answer, “We do not know. We have seen man only from the viewpoint of his animality.” If they are asked as to what is their view about life after death, which can guarantee salvation and success, they will say, “We are not aware of any world except the material world.”

Does the success of human life depend only on gratifying passions, gathering wealth and acquiring strength and power? Or it depends on human perfections like modesty, courage, bravery, kindness, justice and well wishing for all? They will say: In our opinion the secret of life's success is in gratification of desires and passions. Such people, for covering their ignorance, just ridicule such questions and say that, in today's time, such questions are of no relevance and what is important is that man should strive continuously to add to his wealth and power so that he may not lag behind in the social race.

This age demands that we should manufacture jet planes and atom bombs so that happy human habitations are turned into smoke, and greenery should be burnt and innocent blood should be spilled. Passions and desires should recklessly be gratified;

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constant efforts should be made to brighten one's personality.

In modern times, words like mercy, kindness, justice, fair play, forgiveness, benevolence, patience, honor, humility etc; which had value in the past have become almost meaningless. Let aside act according to them, people do not even know what they mean.

They say that today the name of God, the Lord of the creation, must only be uttered verbally. World worship should take the place of God worship. Every means fair or foul, legal or illegal should be resorted to for filling the belly and gratifying passions. More and more effort must be made for living a luxurious life. It will become lengthy if we discuss and throw light on the ignorance and unawareness of the materialist world-worshippers.

If our readers just think over their conditions they come to know better. What has been described above is sufficient to expose their ignorance. What we aim to drive home is that advance of technology and industry and various discoveries should not give them a permission to continue their devilish ways.

Divine Messengers are more worthy of emulation

O man! You should make your intelligence the criteria for your deeds. You must act according to the ways of wise people who are aware of the Truth. Foremost among them are the prophets of God. Only they are the ones who can give positive and proper answers to the above and other similar questions. They can enlighten all regarding what they have knowledge.

Say: Is there any of your associates who guides to the truth?

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Say: Allah guides to the truth. Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge?(1)

Only that way is worth adopting which has been adopted and shown by the prophets, the wise, the God-worshippers, those who are devoted only to the everlasting success and who have noble human virtues. The wise, rationalists and men of reason must follow them in the light of wisdom.

But the attitude and path of the world lovers is based on worshipping their desires and gratifying their passions the end result of which is Hell. Of course, before entering Hell they have to face restlessness, tensions, troubles and other calamities in this world too, in which today's 'civilized' countries are trapped.

O wise one! Just use you brain. Had the world-worship been the true path, the prophets of God and religious leaders would not have shown extreme disgust towards it. Don't you see that all of them had kept the worldly love aside and had maintained their connection and relationship with Allah and the Hereafter.

An example worth pondering over

It is said there was a very ugly woman. Whoever saw her once turned away his face from her. No one was prepared to marry her. At last she was married off to a blind man. One day that woman was praising her beauty and telling her blind husband, “Many men had proposed to me but

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1- Surah Yunus 10:35.

you were the only one who got me. I am compelled to think that you are either a magician or one whose prayers are always answered, as you have attained your ambitions.”

Replying in a very wise way the blind man exposed to that lady the falsehood of her story. He said, “If what you said were true, people having eyes would have never spared you nor would you have come to a blind man.”

Had the attractions, pleasures and tastes of the world been real and pure; that is, had they not been accompanied by hundreds of defects, difficulties and troubles and were they not to be followed by the chastisement of the Hereafter, the truth-seeing eyes of people headed by the Prophet and Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) would have surely accepted and preferred them for themselves.

That is why only those people become captives of the worldly love whose eyes and hearts are blind, whose heads are brainless and who are totally unaware of the Hereafter, who are misled by Muawiyah and his son Yazid because they did not look with the inner eyes at the defects, decadence and unreliability of the world and who remained totally unaware of Allah and the Hereafter and therefore they imagined that their success was in pursuing the world.

The world tries to entice Ali (a.s.)

The Second Martyr, in Kashfur Reebah renders a famous narration from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that, “Once I was doing field work with a spade on the land we had in Fadak, which was gifted to Fatima,

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when suddenly I saw a very beautiful woman whom I likened with 'Bashinah' (the name of a woman whose beauty had become exemplary in Arabia).”

She said, “O son of Abu Talib! Please take me as your wife so that I may open up all the treasures of the world to be owned by you. Then after you, your progeny will inherit it all.” I asked her, “First tell me, who you are, so that a proposal may be made to your guardians.” She replied, “I am the world.” Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said, “Go back and find out somebody else for yourself.” Saying this he resumed his farm work. At that time he composed couplets, some of which are preserved in books as follows:

“The world came before me in the form of Bashinah. Her embellishments too were like of Bashinah.

So I told her, deceive someone else except me, as I know the world very well. I am not ignorant.

What have I to do with the world when Muhammad has disappeared in your dust?

Even if the world presents to me all treasures and jewelry and wealth of Qarun and leadership of all the tribes.

Is it not true that every existing thing is to perish and the owners of treasures will have to give an account thereof?

So, O world! Deceive somebody else, as I am not lured by whatever is in you, including honor, name and fame.

My soul is satisfied with whatever Allah has given me. Remain busy only with those who

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want to benefit from you.

I am afraid of God Almighty as I will have to face Him on the Day of Judgment and I fear the unavoidable chastisement.”

How to wipe out the love for the world?

There are only two ways of getting rid of worldly love: Unflinching faith in the Last Day and decrease in worldly desires.

We have had a detailed discussion about the ways of strengthening faith in the Hereafter in the chapter of beliefs. Here we present its summary in brief. What is needed is that more and more attention should be paid to those verses of Quran and narrations, which describe features of the permanent and everlasting life after death so that man may be affected by them and may long for reaching the high world.

The main aim of the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (S) and the revelation of the Holy Quran is that Muslims should hear that news and trust it, thereby becoming hopeless about this world and become fond of Allah and the Last Day. In this way man should do those good deeds recommended by the verses and narrations and thereby prepare himself for the everlasting world.

But what a pity! Muslims have detached themselves from Quran. The majority of them do not care to read or even hear a Chapter of Quran in months, even years. Yes, of course, he hears some of it on radio or in mourning meetings or besides graves, as if the holy book was revealed only for the dead.

The truth is that

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Quran is revealed to enlighten the living people and to awaken them from the slumber of carelessness, to free them from ignorance and make them attain high ranks of perfection and nobility. Rather, it will not be improper to say that to read and hear it in the current manner is like humiliating it.

Abul Wafa Hirvi says: Once I was reciting the Quran in the court of the king, when no one was paying any attention and all were busy talking with one another. During my sleep at night I saw the Holy Prophet (S) who seemed very angry. He said, “Are you reciting the Holy Quran before a group which is not listening to it? Henceforth you will not be able to recite it until Allah so wills.” When I woke up I had become dumb. Since the narration had ended with the words 'if God wills', the experts of traditions reassured me that some day my tongue might open up at last.

I continued sleeping every night at the spot where I had seen that vision for the next four months. At last one night I saw the Holy Prophet (S) once again in my dream. He said, “Have you repented?” I replied, “Of course! O, Messenger of Allah.” He said, “When you recite in front of such people, stop reciting till the time they are ready to listen to the Word of their Lord.” When I woke up, my tongue had opened up.(1)

Ahmad bin Tolon was ruling

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1- Gulzare Akbari Gulshan 52.

Egypt in the year 270 A.H. Thereafter his kingdom spread upto Syria and Asia Minor. The total duration of his rule was 17 or 26 years. It is said that he was very brave, humble and had learnt the Holy Quran by heart. Moreover he was also famous for his generosity and valor.

The number of people killed either by him or by his order were 18000. After he died a reciter of Quran was appointed to recite Quran on his grave. After some days the reciter ran away from there and was not prepared to come back. When asked about it he replied, “The man in the grave threatened me in my dream saying he did not want that Quran be recited on his grave because, 'the verse you recite is being hit on my head in the form of a slash and I am told that: 'Despite hearing this verse you did such and such thing in the world.'”(1)

What is meant is that there is an element of selfishness in the way Quran is often heard being recited from pulpits. What is lacking in such recitation is that no contemplation is being done on the words of Allah and it does not create any effect because the motto of the reciter is either money or to show off his art of recitation. On the other hand the aim of the listener also is only to be engaged, especially when it is melodious.

Is Quran revealed as a Good Luck Charm?

Among Muslims there are people who receive

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1- Hayatul Haiwan.

the Holy Quran as a gift and then place it ceremoniously on a shelf or keep it with themselves as a means of protection. No doubt the use of the Holy Quran for such purposes is good and also an effective deed. But the problem is that Quran has not come exclusively for such purposes; they are only secondary. It will be an insult to Quran if it is accepted that it was revealed only for such petty purposes.

Its example is like that of a man who gets an invitation from the king. That unwise fellow neither opens that royal letter not reads it. Even if he opens it, he only looks at the writing and even if he reads the words he does not know their meaning. He simply utters them orally. Even if he understands them, he gets no inspiration to see the king. He is not prepared to attend the royal court. He merely kisses the king's letter and then either puts it in his pocket or on a shelf in his house. In this way, has he not insulted the royal invitation? Will he not make the king frown on him?

The condition of most of the Muslims is like this. Only a few keep any spirited connection with the Holy Quran. A majority of them, in order to get divine rewards are content with mere recitation of the words.

No doubt the Words of Allah are in themselves radiance and there is reward in merely reading, writing

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or even looking at them. But the original and main purpose of the revelation of the Holy Quran is that man must think over its verses so that his heart may turn towards the higher world. His heart may not entertain hopes from this world but become inclined towards the Hereafter. The study of Quranic verses makes the heart warm and then man becomes ever ready to act according to its commandments.

The Lord of the universe has ordered man to think and ponder at many places including the following, where He ordains:

(It is) a Book We have revealed to you abounding in good that they may ponder over its verses, and that those endowed with understanding may be mindful.(1)

In Surah Zumar Allah says about the effectiveness of the verses of Quran:

Allah has revealed the best announcement, a book conformable in its various parts, repeating, whereat do shudder the skins of those who fear their Lord, then their skins and their hearts become pliant to the remembrance of Allah; this is Allah's guidance, He guides with it whom He pleases; and (as for) him whom Allah makes err, there is no guide for him.(2)

What is meant to convey is that the verses describing the punishment of the Hereafter make the reciter fearful and those promising mercy make the hearts happy and satisfied. Therefore if a man does not get affected by reciting Quran then know that he reads the Quran in a state of mind when both his heart and mind

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1- Surah Sad 38:29.
2- Surah Zumar 39:23.

were involved in their love for the material world.

In his sermon, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says about the virtues of the pious people, “These people recite the chapters of the Holy Quran with intense thought. They make their hearts melancholic by its recitation. They remedy their troubles and illnesses with the same verses of Quran. When they read verses relating to Divine Mercy their hearts incline to it with intense desire to get the same. When they hear verses mentioning Allah's chastisement, both their ears and hearts become so much attentive to them as if they hear the horrible roar of Hellfire.”(1)

There are hundreds of verses in the Holy Quran wherein the punishments of the Hereafter as well as the niceties of Paradise have been detailed at length and then its followers have been invited to make this attainment the center of their efforts. It has also condemned worldly life and revealed its defects and drawbacks. The Holy Quran says:

And this life of the world is nothing but a sport and a play; and as for the next abode, that most surely is the life- did they but know! (2)

In other words it is like the example of children gathering to play for a while and then disperse and return to their homes.

The fact is that only the life of the Hereafter is the real and everlasting life. Now the question which inevitably arises is, after reading and hearing all these verses, have the hearts of Muslims turned away from

p: 385

1- Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 221
2- Surah Ankabut 29:64.

this world and inclined towards the Hereafter or they are mere orally and apparently expressing their belief in Quran and Islam while their thoughts and deeds, just like the materialists, have discarded the thought of the Hereafter altogether?

As regards the Muslim faith in Hereafter, there are innumerable events. But to be brief we point to only three in brief:

Anas bin Nazar came to fight in the battle of Uhad. Thereafter no one could get his whereabouts. All Muslims began to search for him. At last Saad bin Maaz found him out. Addressing Saad, he (Anas) said, “By the Lord of Ka'ba, I am observing Paradise with my own eyes, I can smell its fragrance.” Saad says, “I could see more than seventy wounds on his body. Thereafter, when I once again went to look for him, I could not find him. But his sister saw his fingers lying on the ground and we knew that he was already martyred.”

During the battle of Badr, Umair bin Hamam Ansari heard the Holy Prophet (S) saying, “O Muslims! Get up and rush towards Paradise, the area of which is equal to the sky and the earth.” Umair asked in amazement, “Is it so vast?” The Holy Prophet (S) replied, “Yes, of course.” Umair expresses much happiness. When the Holy Prophet (S) asked for the reason, Umair replied, “Perhaps I may also get admission to it.” The Holy Prophet (S) assured him, “Your entry is certain in it.” Then Umair picked up some dates

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and began eating. Then all of a sudden he said, “It will be too late if I remain alive to finish all these dates.” He put down the dates and started fighting until he attained martyrdom.

Amr bin Jamooh had four sons. He entered the battlefield of Uhad with a lame leg. He also took all of his four sons with him. His sons told him, “Since you have a significant physical defect, Allah has not made Jihad compulsory for you.” Amr went to the Holy Prophet (S) and complained that his sons were preventing him from fighting in the path of Allah. He emphatically said, “It is my strong desire and ambition that I should be killed in this holy war and enter Paradise with this defective leg.” The Holy Prophet (S) told him, “Of course, Jihad is not incumbent on you,” but at the same he also asked his sons not to prevent the enthusiastic old fellow from fighting against the enemies. “May be Allah grants him the high status of a martyr.” Amr entered the battlefield along with the Holy Prophet (S) and was martyred. (1)

The adventures of bravery and courage shown by Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in his desire for the Hereafter, during the battle of 'Lailatul Mabit' and similar battles are recorded in history books. So much so that after returning from every battle he used to complain to the Holy Prophet (S), “I am afraid I may miss martyrdom in the path of Allah.” In reply

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1- World in Danger of Collapsing

the Holy Prophet (S) gave him good tidings of martyrdom in the mosque. Similarly the sacrifices of his beloved son, Imam Husain (a.s.) and his companions and the virtues of his Shias (companions) are also recorded in history books.

Love for the Hereafter and Negligence do not go together

We should know that love for the Hereafter and carelessness do not go together. Since the world-lovers remain engaged all the time in earning worldly material benefits their entire attachment is only with the world. Similarly those who long for the Hereafter also remember only the Hereafter and their love and affection is reserved for the other world only.

Therefore the only way of loving Hereafter is to remember life after death constantly. Negligence towards it must be decreased. That is why the holy Shariah has made it desirable to remember death again and again, to keep one's will and shroud cloth ready and also to look at it often; to attend funerals, to participate in the burial of other Muslims, to remember the dead and to give charity on their behalf. The aim of all these actions is to make the living remember death constantly.

It is necessary for a believer that the time he spends for the world should be used for his Hereafter so that the love for the world in his heart may be replaced by the love for the Hereafter. Here an objection is likely to be raised and that is: What has been said above does not apply to the man of today.

His life is different.

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Now he is so busy that at every moment he is short of time. A number of his jobs remain unattended even after sunset. This is the only point that makes some think that the ignorant have also some point and so they say that our statement does not apply to the modern age.

In this connection our reply is that, first of all, today's man has made it his aim of life to gather worldly material benefits and so also irrationality. In order to gain wealth, luxury, comforts and tasty things he has deprived himself of genuine and natural rest, keeping himself engaged in a hot pursuit all twenty-four hours. Such continuous struggle affects his nerves adversely, makes him ill and shortens his life span.

Secondly, the focus of our talk was on thoughts, not on work and effort. What we said was that man must always keep thinking how can he, in a short span of this worldly life, beautify his eternal life of the Hereafter. So far as effort, work and business is concerned, there are innumerable narrations telling us that Allah does not like a lazy, inactive and self-indulgent fellow. Similarly Allah also dislikes one who goes too far in loving worldly comforts and who becomes almost mad after them.

A man who keeps himself engaged in his genuine worldly needs and works and also is moderate in his life along with making his aim the obedience of God will be the beloved of God. The worldly deeds

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of such a man will become the means of bettering his Hereafter. For example, if one is a soldier, his aim will be maintenance of public peace and of protecting Muslims from enemies. If he is an office employee, his aim ought to be service to public and to help the weak. If he is a teacher, he must always keep the instruction of the youth and their religious education before his eyes.

Likewise if he is connected with trade and industry, his goal should be public welfare. Shariah has put emphasis on each and every point and has also insisted that one must earn a lawful income and maintain his family members.(1)

If his aim is to please God then the same worldly job will, since it will be in obedience of Allah, be regarded as an act of worship which will benefit him in the Hereafter. Thirdly, we have not said that it is essential that the worry for the Hereafter should be more than that about worldly life. What we said is that one who has a powerful Faith and wants to benefit by it should do so.

It should be understood that just as friendship with world-lovers proves very harmful, similarly, sitting with the Hereafter-lovers plays a very important role in strengthening the Faith.

Lessening the love of the world

The following things should be kept in mind in order to divert the heart from worldly love, to inculcate the love of God, the Prophet, the Holy Progeny and the Hereafter:

It is necessary to

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1- See Wasaelush Shia, Chapter of Business.

study deeply the verses of the Holy Quran and other narrations quoted in this discussion and which condemn worldly love so that the severity of this sin can be understood, as it deserves to be understood. The root cause of all sins relating to body and soul is this love for world, because if this fountainhead of sins is nipped in the bud, man will remain protected from the whims of Satan.

Man can practice good deeds as a provision for his Hereafter only when he clears his heart of worldly love, because until he remains captive of worldly love, neither his Faith will be strong and steady nor can he be expected to do good deeds, which can benefit him in the Hereafter. If man's intentions are pure and selfless, sometimes the results of his good deeds show permanence, whereas a man whose heart is full of the dirt of worldly love remains empty of truth and selflessness.

Worldly love comes in the way of Gathering provision for the Hereafter

To understand the severity of the sin of love for the world, it is enough to mention that it prevents man from making provision for the life after death, that is, Hereafter. The reason is that one will reap in the Hereafter only that which he has sown in this world.

This world is the market place of trade whereas the Hereafter is the place of enjoying the fruits of this business. It is compulsory for man to refrain from things that prevent him from realizing the severity of the sin which

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forces him to enter a life of bankruptcy in the Hereafter. This should be regarded as the greatest of all dangerous things.

The summary of the talk is that the importance and seriousness of the sin of love for the world must be exposed fully because it is the root cause of all spiritual and physical illnesses. If diseases like tuberculosis and cancer cut off man's physical life, the worldly love also brings man's spiritual life to an end. Such a man is from the viewpoint of the permanent abode, a walking corpse who, becoming deprived of the successes of the everlasting life gets entangled in worldly troubles and chastisement.

This Illness must be remedied

Let it be understood that there is no man whose heart is empty of love for this world because the moment he comes here and attains instinctive conscience he gets inclined towards the world around him. During this journey towards perfection, there comes a stage when human conscience ripens and he becomes aware of his eternal life. This exactly is the time when he should divert his attractions from this world and connect himself with the eternal world after death, i.e. the Hereafter.

Therefore it is a must for man to ponder over all the three stages of worldly love mentioned above and decide for himself as to in which stage he finds himself and then try his best to reform himself.

Danger upto the brink of grave

So long as man is in this world, he faces the danger of his conditions being changed or altered. For example, it

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is possible that man remains in the third stage of worldly love for one month or for one year, but, thereafter, due to carelessness he may come up to the second stage and finally even at the first one, which is disbelief or blasphemy. So it is absolutely essential for man to look attentively to the condition of his heart and the circumstances and he must never remain careless.

Excessiveness of lust and intensity of anxiety

One who gets himself imprisoned in the love of the world not only makes himself liable to eternal punishment in the Hereafter but also gets entangled in trouble and difficulties in this worldly life. So much so, that a time comes when he desires death. Here we enumerate some such difficulties and worries.

Increase in Greed

This is a condition of the mind and heart of man wherein if he has nothing of the worldly wealth, he tries to earn it. When he gets it, he does not rest contented but struggles to increase it. This is the condition about which the Holy Prophet (S) says, “If man has two valleys full of gold he will remain anxious to acquire a third one.”

Growing Anxieties

Such a man always remains full of anxieties about the future. He feels terribly worried about his empty handedness and failure in his aims. When he loses any worldly thing he becomes so gloomy that he finds it unbearable to remain alive. No other thing gives him satisfaction.

Envy, anger and Fearlessness

A world-loving man cannot see his beloved in the possession of others. He burns himself internally seeing

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others enjoying its benefits. Even if he enjoys the world he does not like that others too should benefit from it (worldly possessions).


In the life of a world-lover, if anything happens which is against his liking it becomes unbearable for him. He expresses this in his frowning and burns himself in fury.


A world-lover does not care about his Hereafter when he runs after his worldly wishes. He rushes towards it becoming fearless of the future. As a consequence, he has to suffer difficulty, competition and a tug of war, so much so that finally he even loses his life.

The Difficulty of Death

When it will become clear to the lover of this world that the moment has come when a barrier is to come up between him and his beloved permanently, death will become difficult for him to the extent of his love for the world. About such people, the Holy Quran says:

And a barrier shall be placed between them and that which they desire, as was done with the likes of them before: surely they are in a disquieting doubt.(1)

In short, death is a point of separation for world-lovers and the first step towards meeting the beloved for those who love the Hereafter.

And these people will forever remain (satisfactorily) enjoying their longings.(2)

Obviously the more one will have tasted the sweetness of worldly drinks and the more wealth he will have gathered, the more difficult and regretful will be death for him.

It is said that Sultan Mahmud Ghazni was very fond of jewels. He

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1- Surah Saba 34:54
2- Surah al-Anbiya’, 21:102.

remained on the deathbed continuously for three days. He ordered that all the precious stones brought from India should be heaped before his eyes. So boxes full of jewels were brought before him. He was looking at them and weeping. Sighs went off his heart. Finally he had to breathe his last with a heart full of ungratified intense desires. What is all the more strange is that even at that stage he was not ready to give some of his wealth to the needy.(1)

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “The more a man is attached to this world, the more difficult will death seem to him.”(2)

If a man longing for worldly life comes to know definitely that death will separate him from his beloved forever and he also knows that death comes only by the Command of God, from which he can never escape, he becomes an enemy of the angel of death. The condition of a man who enters the other world in a state of anger and frowning is obvious.

According to the testimony of the Holy Quran and authentic narrations, such a person will never come out of Hell and will remain eternally in chastisement. Sometimes it also happens that Satan brings before the eyes of a world-lover at the last moment, things intensely loved by the departing soul and compels him to commit blasphemy. There are innumerable examples of such tragic ends. Here we present only two.

Last moments of Abu Zakaria

Abu Zakaria was a very pious and virtuous worshipper. When

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1- Zeenatul Majaalis.
2- Al-Kafi, V: 3, p. 473.

he was in his deathbed a friend came and advised him to recite the formula of faith but Abu Zakaria turned his face away. His friend repeated his request to say 'There is no God but Allah'. But he again turned his face and said, “I will not recite”, and then he fainted. After some moments when he came to his senses he opened his eyes and asked his friend, “Did you ask me something?”

That man said, “Yes, I had requested you thrice to recite the formula of faith (Kalimah) but you turned away your face and on the third occasion also replied that you would not do so.” Abu Zakaria said, “In fact, Satan came to me twice, showing me a glass of water and asking, 'Would you like to drink it?' When I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'First you should say that Jesus is the Son of God.' I turned away my face. He asked me to do so twice but I refused. On the third occasion he said, 'Say there is no God at all.' I said, 'I will not say even that.'

Then he threw away the glass and flew away. On every occasion I was saying 'no'. But now I witness that there is no God, except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (S) and that Ali (a.s.) is the Wali of Allah.”(1)

Gold coins and a creditor

A man on his deathbed was being advised to recite the formula of faith (Kalimah) but he was turning away

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1- Layaliul Akhbar.

his face. After becoming conscious he was asked about the reason. He said, “I am very fond of gold coins. A man had come to me with a plate full of gold coins and said, 'If you do not recite the Kalimah, I will give this plate to you.' As soon as I began to look at those gold coins, I forgot how to recite the dual formula of faith (Kalimah Shahadatain).”

Another man had given some money as loan to someone. He had a receipt for it. When the creditor reached his time of death, the devil threatened saying that if he recites the Kalimah he would tear up that receipt. “Thus he prevented me from reciting the Testimony to Truth.” (1)

It must be understood that Satan gets control over man only through the latter's love for this material world. Therefore, if one has, like Abu Zakaria, a heart full of love for Allah, the Holy Prophet (S) and the Day of Judgment (Hereafter), Allah helps him and Satan cannot harm him.

Doubtlessly, God does not cause your deeds to go in vain. Verily Allah is Kind and Merciful for His slaves.(2)

Flight from good advice

The world-lovers always run away from hearing the defects, drawbacks and unreliability of the world. They avoid reading books condemning the world and praising the Hereafter. They do not attend meetings in which people are urged to remember God. Such people become fearful on hearing even a word about death and grave. They ridicule the lovers of the Hereafter.


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1- Muntakhabut Tawarikh, Pg. 854.
2- Surah al-Hujurat, 49:14.

the love of a beloved becomes less when the drawbacks of the latter are mentioned before the former. Therefore a lover never likes to hear the defects of the object of his admiration. The cure for love for the world is extremely difficult because an illness can be remedied only when the man concerned realizes that he is ill and is prepared for treatment.

It is definite that if an attempt is made to make a world-lover afraid of his sin by reciting the verses condemning love for the world that fellow will never accept them. On the contrary he will make several excuses to defend his stand and refute relevant arguments. In short, when one is not prepared to realize that he has done anything wrong how will he be ready to repent?

If the details of the painful consequences of love for the world and the spiritual and physical illnesses resulting from his love for the world are described before him he will never believe all that. When he does not realize that he is ill, how will he get ready to remove love for the world from his heart and to gain a healthy soul?

Heedlessness of admonition and hatred for remembrance of Allah are the signs of the world-lovers. Contrary to it, the signs of those who love the Hereafter are that they hate to remember the material world and its passions. Their heart gets peace in the remembrance of Allah and the Hereafter as mentioned in the

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Holy Quran:

Now surely by Allah's remembrance are the hearts set at rest.(1)

It is regarding this topic that the Infallible says in Dua Abu Hamzah Thumali:

“O Master! My soul found life by Your Remembrance and my private talk with You resulted in the flight of my fear and in cooling of heat.”

It is said that once a tannery worker who had become accustomed to the foul smell of leather was once passing through a perfume market. The fragrance, which he had never smelt made him faint. People were trying to bring him back to consciousness by spraying rose water on his face but his condition worsened.

Then one of his companions, aware of the situation asked the gathering to leave him alone. He inserted some dirty bad smelling thing into the man's nostrils and he recovered and very soon ran away from the perfume market.

Verily, how a man who has made his mouth sweet with worldly tastes and passions can feel the sweetness of remembering Allah and Hereafter? As such remembrance hinders his worldly desires bitterly he runs away from it.

This makes us understand the wisdom hidden behind the worldly failures of a believer and his sufferings, so that one may taste the bitterness of the world and obtain the sweetness of remembering Allah and Hereafter. Its example is like that of a mother who applies something bitter to her breast in order to make her baby gives up suckling and to make it turn towards solid food.

Ponder over the Holy Quran

In order to

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1- Surah Ra’d 13:28.

make man realize the unreliability and perishability of this world the Holy Quran has given many examples for guidance so that those who have faith and trust in this Divine Book and its followers may protect themselves from the destructive love of the world.

Therefore it is the duty of every Muslim to think deeply over such verses and to recite them repeatedly. Thus he can obtain the aim of losing interest in the world and attraction for the Hereafter. For example, see how nicely the Almighty Allah has explained the unreliability of the world in Surah Hadid:

Know that this world's life is only sport and play and gaiety and boasting among yourselves, and a vying in the multiplication of wealth and children, like the rain, whose causing the vegetation to grow, pleases the husbandmen, then it withers away so that you will see it become yellow, then it becomes dried up and broken down; and in the hereafter is a severe chastisement and (also) forgiveness from Allah and (His) pleasure; and this world's life is naught but means of deception.(1)

This holy verse explains the world-loving people's life. It can be said that mankind is divided into two groups ever since its creation. The first group, which is major, (more in number) is that of the worldly people who do not believe in any life except this apparent worldly life. Therefore their only endeavor is that they should not miss the worldly delights and tastes. Another group is small in

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1- Surah Hadid 57:20

number. It is of the people of the Hereafter.

This group believes that worldly life is but a means of ensuring another permanent life (after death). Their life is based on thought and reason, not a passionate and devilish one. Their aim is to know their Lord Creator, to have Faith in Him and to do deeds, which can prove useful in the Hereafter. In view of this aim each and every one of their movements, acts or deeds is for earning the pleasure of Allah.

As we have said earlier, when a man does anything merely to please Allah, though that deed ends, its result, which is based on Divine Light is retained in his self and he gets its benefits throughout his life. Thus it can be seen that the life of the men of Hereafter is not an aimless play.

But since the people of this world never care for Allah and the Hereafter they do not do any such thing, which has everlasting effects. Consequently all their deeds prove fruitless and hollow. The truth is that their entire lifespan from birth to death remains limited to only these five things: (1) La'b (play), (2) Lahv (vain pastimes), (3) Beautification (4) Ego and (5) abundance of wealth and children. Each one of them is explained below in brief:

(1) La’b (play)

Every act of man, which is not based on good intention and therefore, which does not give good results will be called 'La'b' (play). For example, the gathering of children

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at a place, they are running or making toys of sand, which is a mere pastime. It gives no fruit.

Therefore those youths and old people who do not have any divine aim in their deeds and mostly whose deeds are subservient to their desires, are just like children because the connection or relation of all their efforts and endeavors are only with imaginary and superstitious things be they about wealth seeking or status-seeking.

They want everything for their own self-interest. In short, spending the entire life in play and show and to enter the Hereafter empty-handed is called 'La'b'.

The only difference between such men and children is that the play of children is for a short time whereas that of the old world-seekers is for a long period. Just as the arrival of night stops the play of children, the arrival of death ends the play (la'b) of the world-lovers.

(2) Lahv (vain pastimes)

Every engagement, which prevents anyone from a more serious activity, is called 'Lahv'. It is like a child who stops from going to school because of his engagement in play. According to this logic all activities of world lovers are 'Lahv' because they prevent them from thinking about a more important matter, that is, about the permanent life and abode of the Hereafter.

The lifespan of every man, even if it extends upto a hundred years, is after all to end and his happiness will be finished. Hence all who engage in the activities of this short-living worldly life and become

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careless about the unending eternal life of the Hereafter (after death) will be called men of 'Lahv'.

But the people of Hereafter, in whatever work they may be engaged for pleasing God and in obedience to Him, remain always thinking about strengthening their Faith. They do good deeds considering them as their capital for the life after death. Only they are wise, and only they would attain salvation.

(3) Beautification

Whatever a man does to beautify his body, dress, house, furniture and other materials and to make them attractive for others is called beautification. For example, women, who concealing their apparent defects, are trying to please men, but who forget that, in fact, their said effort is a draw back which points out towards some of their illness, want or agedness, the biggest being the death of which they show their fear.

If one thinks over the affairs of the worldly people it will be understood that their life is made up of only a superfluous covering. They make their houses strong just to hide their nature of falling down. They adorn and beautify body, dress, house and housing materials and they imitate every modern fashion so that they may make themselves look like civilized, cultured, honest and needless of everything. In order to make a show of their riches they make every effort to increase their wealth.

They make a show of their knowledge and intelligence for hiding their unawareness of the truth about the Hereafter. They sing songs of their honesty and

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welfare activities just to conceal, from others, their dishonesty and selfishness.

They are not tired of repeating the name of God with their tongue so that making a show of their religiosity they may conceal their worldly-love and passion worship. In short, the darker their inside is, the more they make a show of their outward brightness. But the affairs of the people of Hereafter are totally different. They beautify their internal self through total obedience to Allah's commands and adorn their Faith with the graceful jewel of humanity.

They also pay attention to their outward beauty but only to the extent it does not come into conflict with humanity, piety and righteousness and only upto the limit fixed by Shariah. For example a woman who makes herself attractive for her husband or a man who looks into a mirror just to ensure that there is nothing in his appearance or dress that can make people abhor him or one who wants to keep his dress always clean and who intends to express God's blessings on him.

If he has money, he may spend it in constructing his house and also in such other works, which are permitted by Islam. In short, wise people beautify themselves and their possessions in obedience of God, not for self-showing.

(4)Self Glorification

Those who are not aware of the truth become proud of their worldly wealth, power, fame, race and lineage and then show arrogance to others, So much so, that the white-skinned shows his pride to

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the black-skinned. In short, today's man shows his superiority over others on the basis of imaginary and illusive things. Be he a head of a state or a common man, by becoming an egotist, he forgets the truth about his existence and so also his everlasting spiritual life.

He does not try to extend the progress of his spiritual path towards perfection, the path that does not end at death. The truth is that had such people not forgotten their death and had they remembered that they have to become dust after entering their graves they would have been ashamed of their egotism and false pride.

But since the knowledgeable people are aware of the truth about their worldly life and regard their entire material life as illusory they consider false pride a foolish thing, which is contrary to wisdom and intelligence.

These are the people who, apart from faith and righteousness, which is the barometer of their graceful humanity, consider all people equal. They are of firm opinion that nobody has a right to show pride on the basis of his short living worldly possessions and illusive things because, according to Quran:

Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty)…(1)

(5) Abundance of wealth and children

Those who keep the view of existence limited only to this worldly life and have no faith in the words of the prophets about the Hereafter have, in fact, forgotten the very aim of life. Day in and day out, they keep

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1- Surah Hujurat 49:13.

struggling only for increasing their wealth and property. This way of working of theirs is in truth, contrary to human intelligence and wisdom because man needs wealth only for meeting the needs of his worldly life, which is of course temporary.

For example, he needs a house for living. He requires clothes to protect himself from cold and heat and to protect his honor. He needs food to maintain the strength of his body. He has a longing for a wife for gratifying his sexual instincts and for preserving the human race and so on. Therefore, one who gathers wealth more than necessary is behaving like the Hell-fire, which always cries for more, or he acquires the habit of Qarun, which is of course, against wisdom, intelligence and reason.

Does human intelligence not tell us that so far as collection or gathering is concerned, stone and coin both are equal? The question is what benefits the gathered wealth and property will give after death.

It cannot be denied that wise, intelligent and reasonable people do not keep trying only for wealth and property, nor do they push it away when available. But, in truth, they endeavor to earn money only to meet the necessities of their lives and they use it for beautifying their Hereafter. They do not love wealth for its own sake. They acquire it only in the way and manner permitted by Allah and also spend it only in the manner ordered by Him. In this way, they

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aim for both, their world and the Hereafter.

It contrast to this, the group of the world-lovers is greedy of their worldly wealth. Their effort is to acquire money by every, any means even if the rights of the poor and the weak are trampled. As they have no faith in the Hereafter, they also do not spend it in the path of Allah. In short, it can be said that the sign of world-lovers is greed and miserliness whereas the sign of the Hereafter-lovers is contentment and generosity.

Do not pass on cursorily, but ponder

After reading what has been mentioned in this holy verse about the five specialties of the worldly life, do not pass on cursorily but think deeply about it. The first word of the verse(1) is “Know”. That is, know that the worldly life is only like this.

Hence it is the responsibility of those who believe in the Holy Quran to ponder over these words, to analyze them, to be acquainted with it and to get rid of the illness of world-love. It is also essential to ponder over other similar verses and apply them to our lives.

Briefly speaking, in these verses, worldly life is compared to a fertile agricultural land in which seeds are sown and raining clouds have turned it into a flowering field, which gives coolness to the eyes. Then because of burning heat or for any other reason it becomes dry and yellow, then it is scattered away and finally either winter winds or any other calamity

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1- Surah Hadid 57:20.

destroys it.

Youth also was a spring season, which passed away

Human life is also liable to such rise and fall. If on one hand, there is heat and freshness of youth, on the other slackness and old age infirmities await him. If there is, on the one hand safety, health and comfort, on the other he has to face illness, disability and unpalatable conditions. If he sometimes gets power and leadership, poverty and destitution also target him. Along with name and fame defamation is also destined for him. If on one hand there is enthusiasm, stagnation and despair are also likely to visit him. In order to understand the truth about all this, it is enough to look at the graves of those who have passed away.

This world is a place of warning

Amirul Momineen (a.s.), giving details of worldly life, says, “This world is a transient abode, a place of troubles, a venue of changes and a location of warning. It is because of the temporality of the world that time has took up its bow. Its aim never fails. There is no refuge from the shots of its troubles.

The wounds inflicted by it drive or push the injured towards death, the healthy towards illness and calm and peace towards restlessness and troubles. It is like an eater who is never gratified, a drinker whose thirst is never quenched. It is only because of the worldly anxieties due to which man gathers a thing, which he himself does not eat. He constructs an abode in which he does not reside. When he reaches his

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He has neither any wealth nor any building. One of the signs of world's changes is weakness and agedness, which is being pitied by everyone. Sometimes a pauper suddenly becomes rich. You also see that sometimes a wealthy person turns at once poor in such a way that all pity him. One of the lessons worth taking from the world is that man almost reaches his aim and suddenly death arrives and draws a curtain between him and his goals.”(1)

Several historical events testify to each one of the above-mentioned four specialties of this world. We give only two, considering them sufficient:

Amir Ismail took his ten thousand mounted soldiers with him and rushed to encounter Amr bin Lais Saffar who had seventy thousand experienced warriors. When both armies came face to face and the war-drum sounded, suddenly the horse of Amr revolted. It became uncontrollable and took Amr right into the midst of the enemy ranks. Thus Amir Ismail won even without fighting. He took Amr captive and imprisoned him in a tent.

It is said that Amr saw his one-time servant passing from there. Amr called him and said that he was hungry. The servant had some meat. But since he had no vessel to cook, he put that meat in a bucket from which horses drank, lighted a fire beneath it and busied himself in cooking. In the meantime there came up a dog. It put its mouth in the bucket. The hot material scalded its tongue.


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1- Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 135.

tried to retreat but the handle of the bucket trapped its neck and the dog ran with the bucket and everything in it. Seeing this Amr smiled. Onlookers asked him what was there to smile at? Amr replied, “Today the man in charge of my canteen was complaining that the load of the royal canteen was proving heavy even for 300 beasts of burden. But now I see that a single dog is carrying it away so easily!” (1)

Most surely there is a lesson in this for those who have sight.(2)

The Abbasid caliph, Qahirbillah had ruled for one year, five months and eight days. During this period he gathered a lot of wealth. He was infamous for his dishonesty, corruption, destruction, bloodshed and oppression. At last the Turks captured him, blinded him with a hot needle and threw him out of his palace. History has recorded that he was begging like other blind people and sitting near mosques used to beg plead to the people, 'Please give me some charity because sometime ago I was your ruler.”

Wise words of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) about instability of the world

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says, “Do not run after worldly fame and honors because worldly fame, honor, beauty and adoration etc. will all end. Its hardships and troubles will also end. The days of man's life will end. Whatever is living will be destroyed. Will you not see the signs (remnants) of your deceased with an eye of wisdom? Do not you see that who pass away do not come back and those who remain

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1- Habibus Sayr.
2- Surah Ali Imran 3:13.

will also not last long.

Do you not look at the worldly people every morning and evening that their conditions change? Somewhere somebody dies and his relatives mourn him. On the other hand others give solace to the mourners. Somewhere someone is ill and someone else visits him and takes care of him. This is to say that one is on a deathbed and another one is busy earning the worldly things though the shadow of death is constantly lurking behind him. One is unaware of death but death is not aware of him.”(1)

Those who are blind in seeing the Hereafter and run after the world

Likewise he says, “Verily this world is the extreme limit to which one who is blind of Hereafter can see. He is unable to see anything, which is beyond this world. But one whose eyes can see the Hereafter do not focus their eyes on the world. Thus a seeing fellow does not fix his sight on the world and does not get attached to it. But one whose eyes are blind, fixes his eyes and heart on this world.

Therefore one who is seeing makes provision for the Hereafter from this world. But a blind fellow works only for this world and makes only his worldly provision. Know that there is nothing, which does not gratify man except this worldly life. The worldly man never becomes disgusted with this world. His heart remains captive of love for this world. He never likes that his life should come to an end because he does not know that there

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1- Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 111

is a provision for his peace hidden in his death.”(1)

When will you work for the Hereafter?

Once Amirul Momineen (a.s.) entered the Kufa market. Looking around he found that everyone was busy in buying and selling. He wept profusely and said, “O slaves of the world! O those who work only for it! You spend your day in trade and business and your night in sleep. You neglect the Hereafter due to your business and sleep. When will you get time to gather provisions for the Hereafter? When will you think over your Hereafter?”

A man said, “O Amirul Momineen (a.s.)! We are obliged to earn money for our living. What else can we do?” The Amir replied, “Seeking livelihood through permissible means does not come in the way of the Hereafter. But if you say that we are obliged to gather money, then you have no excuse.”

That man began to weep and ran away. The Amir said, “Come back so that I may explain the matter further.” When he returned the Amir said, “O Slave of God! Be aware that one who works for Hereafter in this world will surely get its reward in the Hereafter and one who works in this world only for this world will get its reward in the form of Hellfire.” Then he recited this verse.

So one who prefers only this world for himself will have his abode in hell.(2)

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) forbids excess

Alaa bin Ziyad Harithi was one of the companions of Amirul Momineen (a.s.). He lived in Basra where he had constructed a

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1- Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 157.
2- Biharul Anwar, Vol. 17, p. 156, Majlise Mufeed

very big and spacious house to live in. When he fell ill the Holy Imam went to see him. Seeing his house the Imam said, “O Alaa! What will you do with such a big house in this world when you need it in the Hereafter?

Yes, if you want such a grand house in the Hereafter, host guests in this house. Provide assistance to near and dear ones in this house and observe its religious rights (requirements). If you are able to do so, this house will become a means to your Hereafter.”

Alaa said, “O Amirul Momineen (a.s.)! I have a complain against my brother, Asim bin Ziyad.” The Imam asked what was the matter. He replied, “He wears coarse cloth and has secluded himself from the society.” The Imam said, “Bring him to me.” When he arrived the Imam said, “O enemy of your own self! The devil has deceived you and made you mad after him. Do you not have any feeling of kindness for your wife and children? Do you think that Allah does not want you to benefit from even those things, which He has made lawful for you?”

Asim replied, “O Amirul Momineen (a.s.)! You always wear such coarse clothes and eat very simple food while you are our leader. I intended to imitate your highness.” The Imam said, “Woe unto you. I am not the same as you because Allah has commanded the leader and the true guide of people to lead a life

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of the poor and needy so that they may not consider their lives unbearably difficult.”(1)

Success in this world is failure in Hereafter

Imam Ja'far as Sadiq has said, “We Muslims, prefer the world for us whereas it is better if it is not given to us. No man has ever been given anything in this world without diminishing his share in the Hereafter.”

A man said, “By Allah, we prefer this world for us.” The Imam said, “What will you do with it?” He replied, “I will spend it on my family members and myself. I will give charity from it. I will do good deeds and perform Hajj.” Imam said, “This is not the love for the world. It is love for the Hereafter.”(2)

Light of wisdom, the result of worldly piety

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has also said, “One who adopts piety in this world and his heart is empty of worldly love, God pours wisdom in his heart. He gives the power of speech to his tongue. He shows the defects of this world before his eyes. He gives him the knowledge of worldly anxieties and their remedies. Then He frees him from the bondages of this world and admits him to Paradise.”

Imam says, “All good has been gathered in a house. The worldly piety is made its key.” Then he narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said, 'A faithful man does not heartily taste the sweetness of belief so that he may liberate himself from the anxiety as to who owns the world and who benefits from it.' The Holy Imam added,

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1- Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 237.
2- Biharul Anwar, Vol. 16, p. 99.

“It is prohibited for your hearts to taste the sweetness of faith so that by adopting piety you may not express lack of interest in it.(1)

What is Piety and who is a Pious person?

Piety is to keep distance from the world in the context of the meaning of world-worship. Explaining piety, Allamah Majlisi quotes a tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) that he said, “I asked the meaning of piety from Jibraeel who replied, 'A pious one likes everything which his Creator has liked and abhors everything which his Lord hates. He avoids permissible things in this world while he does not even look at the prohibited things.

This is because he will have to account for using the permissible things whereas he will have to suffer chastisement for using a forbidden thing. He loves all Muslims just as he loves himself. He avoids saying things, which are useless just as he abhors the nauseating meat of a dead animal. Similarly he avoids overeating. He does not like worldly means and ornaments because they will turn into burning embers in the Hereafter. His ambitions are short because death is always before his eyes.'”(2)

Examples of worldly life

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “The example of the world is like the salty water of the sea. The more a thirsty man drinks, the more his thirst increases until death takes him.”(3)470

It is true that the more a man's greed for this world is, the more his thirst increases. As he begins to attain his aims, his lust multiplies.

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said, “A

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1- Usul al-Kafi.
2- Al-Kafi, translation, Vol. 3, Pg. 198
3- Al-Kafi.

greedy man of this world is like a silkworm entangled in the cobweb manufactured by it. If the heat of the sun does not kill it, it does not die. It gradually pushes itself to cut the threads. Sometimes it also so happens that he frees itself from the threads like a bird. But a man who has greed for this world never tries to free himself from that web until death overtakes him and hellfire burns him.”(1)

A beautiful but dreadful snake

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Imam Ali (a.s.) has written in his book: 'Doubtlessly the example of the world is like a snake, which is very smooth if touched though it contains deadly poison. A wise man refrains from both whereas a senseless child rushes towards it.'”(2)

In fact external brightness and beauty deceives those who are short of sight. But wise and intelligent people know very well that the love for this world is like a deadly poison, which drags down a man from the state of humanity. It makes life extremely difficult for him. The more he runs after it and the more he loves it, the more his problems and anxieties multiply.

That is why it is said that the world is worse than a snake, because though there is a deadly poison in it, it also has an antidote. It is a black object which, if put at the spot of snakebite sucks up the poison. Secondly it is commonly seen that the snake does not harm a man who

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1- Al-Kafi.
2- Al-Kafi.

does not harass it. But the world harms more, those who are its friends.

A strange story about a snake

The author of Anwaar-e-Nomaaniyah writes that once a reliable man told him: A snake gave birth to many snakes in it's dwelling. One day when that snake was not there I put a vessel on the baby snakes and hid them. Then I sat to see what happens, hiding myself in a corner of the house. After some time when the snake returned and did not find its babies it ran here and there in anxiety.

When it could not find its babies it despaired. There was a vessel full of milk nearby. The snake drank some of that milk and then vomited it out in that vessel. He did this twice until the whole quantity of milk got fully poisoned and turned yellow. Then the snake returned.

We understood that the snake would surely take revenge from us. Then, in the absence of the snake I removed the vessel from over its babies and kept them at their place where they were earlier. When the snake returned it found its offspring. Then he entered the aforesaid vessel of milk, came out of it, moved itself in dust then entered the milk vessel and repeated this act until the milk became muddy and unfit for consumption.

In spite of all this the behavior of man is wonderful. Despite being hurt by the world and the poisonous stings of the world-worshippers and seeing all kinds of failure he is not

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prepared to give up his love for the world. If any well wisher admonishes him and makes him aware of the harms of love for the world and reminds him of the Hereafter he feels sick and is not ready to heed.

Luqman’s Admonition to his son

Giving a golden admonition to his son, the wise Luqman says, “The world is a very deep ocean. Many worlds have drowned in it. So it is essential for you to sit in the ship of piety for crossing it. Fill up that ship with the wealth of Faith. Attach the sails of reliance only on God to it. Make intelligence its captain and knowledge its guard and patience its anchor.”(1)

The late scholar Mulla Husain Hamadani who died in Karbala’ in 1311 H.E and is buried in the holy courtyard says about the above advice:

“O those who are playing with children! O carriers of burden! O captives of the well of position, O the people who have been bitten by the snake of money, O those who are drowned in the deep ocean of the world! O the prisoners of deceptive ambitions! Have you not read and heard: And this world's life is naught but a play and an idle sport…Did you not notice the knower of the unseen, Hakim Luqman telling his son: O my son, indeed the world is a deep ocean and many are drowned it.

Now this humble servant says that verily, we too are among those who are to be drowned. If you want

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1- Usul al-Kafi, Book of Intelligence.

to fathom the depth of the ocean of wisdom then ponder over the meaning of the words 'Deep Ocean' and observe how many precious jewels of wisdom are kept in this box. It is enough to know that there are both sharks and crocodiles along with innumerable dangerous animals in the ocean of the world. Its frightening isles make even lions tremble, extremely dangerous sea animals have swallowed countless people. This ocean is based on darknesses, which trap the hearts of the unaware people.

The waves of ambitions have pushed many lifeboats into the valley of destruction. The underwater rocks have piled up innumerable dead bodies. The poisonous snakes of sin have bitten many people to death. How many have been swallowed by its crocodiles of vice. The salty water of worldly love has taken away the sight of many people. Whoever has drowned in this deep ocean has never come out of hellfire and will burn in it forever.

Residents of this ocean are animals in human form whose journeys are based only on deception. Its depth is fathomless. If you have any doubt about this, look at the divers or the world-worshippers of yesterday and today. You will find that all of them have been drowned and yet none of them has reached its bottom. If you require more explanation, ponder over your own condition. You will find that the more wealth you earn the more your endless greed multiplies.

O my master! This world has destroyed the people

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in such a way that they are nowhere. Their hearts, which were created for love and knowledge, have been converted into stables of horses and donkeys. Their limbs have become dirty. Their hearts are emptied of humility and piety. They did not taste the sweetness of obedience to Allah. No room for repentance or for remembrance of God is in their minds. Day in and day out weapons of tongues are busy tearing off the cover of honor and possessions of fellow Muslims.

Their souls are empty of meditation and full of conspiracies. These are the people who have chained the hands of reason and wisdom and let loose the fingers of lust, greed, passion, desire and sin. How many wounds have these five fingers meted out to the body of religion? How many calamities have they brought on the holy Shariah!

They have discarded the dress of God-lovers and adorned the designs of the foreigners. They have displaced the nice Islamic manners of eating and drinking by the deadly poison of the Christians and atheists. They have given up their religious responsibilities and taken up the etiquettes of disbelief or blasphemy. The worst thing is that the armies of disbelief have entered our territories as conquerors while the army of Islam stands defeated!

We neither worry about the end nor do we take any lesson from the condition of the earlier people who tasted divine chastisement. We mocked the event of Ababeel (birds that dropped pebbles on the army of elephants)

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and laughed at the stories of Pharaoh and Qabeel, the earth, which had gobbled up Qarun along with his huge treasure, still exists along with its dangerous snakes of wealth. My dear! The winds, which had fatally punished the strong people of Hud, are still under the control of Almighty Allah.

If you have any guts to disobey God then remember that dust, water, wind, stones and pebbles are even today submissive to the Command of the Almighty. Yes, these are the people who were deceived by His forbearance and tolerance. Becoming negligent of His Grand Kingdom, they have thrown away their dress of morality and chastity.

By their revolting behavior they have disobeyed the divine Commands and drowned themselves in the ocean of sins. Do you not see how His unflinching Command rules over the heavens and the earth? Have you not read that this sky and this earth will all be scattered on the Day of Judgment?

Ah, what should I say and how can I say about that Frightening Day? Fearful hearts will melt because of that fear. Why not, when the earth will be hotter than fire and edge of the Path will be sharper than the sharpest sword. Minds will be bogged down and eyes will release countless tears. Stars will fly hither thither and people will be scattered like moths. The dread of that Day will be unimaginable and even prophets will be extremely restless.

The rich, the leaders all will look like stumbling intoxicated fellows.

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Calamities will be both unbearable and innumerable. Sun will be just above the head and the earth will be red hot like a kiln of the ironsmith. Body will be bathed in perspiration and flesh and bones will be frying in heat.

The Hell will close in from all directions closing every point of escape. It will be the Day when oppressors will be shameful, the just will be full of tears and people will be anxiously waiting to see to whom his scroll of deeds will be given in his right and to whom in his left.

What kind of a scene will it be when some will be dressed in the best of clothing and escorted towards the gardens of Paradise and some will be scornfully dragged towards Hell. One group will be enjoying the sweet and delightful drink of 'Tahoor' and another will be vomiting torn up pieces of kidney and liver because of the thorny food forced into his stomach.

We are puzzled. Should we talk of divine anger and wrath or praise the bounties of Paradise. Those who stuck with earth will be punished while those who opted for the heavenly wealth will earn God's mercy and kindness. What we mean to say is that high will be those who have always looked at the high point of righteousness, who have kept their eyes only on the pleasure of their Lord and have thought only about Him.

Enviable indeed are those hearts, which are full of divine

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radiance, and who disconnected themselves from world and got attached to the radiant world of the Hereafter, whose hearts are lit up with divine light and whose dress is dazzling with the cover of divine love. They care the least for worldly wealth.

Their reliance is a mirror of their faith in only one God. They have established their relation with God after dissociating themselves from the material world. Their thoughts are bright, their exterior is bright, their interior is bright, their body, soul everything is bright; rather an ocean of effulgence.

It is enough now. Who am I? How can I praise the holy spirits, as I am quite an unholy and a dirty fellow? If we can consolidate the base of our Faith then this world will not be able to deceive us. But alas, we have become both blind and deaf and that is why such admonitions do not leave any lasting effect on our dark souls!


Intention for sinning and remaining pleased with it

To intend committing a sin or to be pleased with that idea is one of the sins related to the heart.

It is obligatory for every Muslim to control his desires. That is, he should make a firm decision that he will always desist from every sin. It also means that whenever his wish tilts towards a sin he should employ self-restrain. He must control his self and stop that desire.

If one intends to commit a sin and desires to fulfill it then this desire is a sin of the heart

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and which will draw divine anger and result in a punishment that is always awarded to those who disobey Allah's commandments. But, furthering it, if one also actually acts and commits a sin then one also becomes liable to Allah's punishment in addition to His anger.

For example, if someone intends to kill an innocent person, this wish of his will be a sin of heart. It is incumbent on him to remove that idea or thought from his heart and also it is his duty to repent over it. But if he continues that thought he is liable to punishment. If he dies in that state (of having an oppressive thought in heart and mind) his death will be considered as death in sin, which attracts chastisement.

But even if for some other hindering reason, he is unable to enact that sinful deed, he will get the punishment of a sin of heart and he must repent for it.

This shows that, in all these instances of stepping forward there is the existence of sin of heart and hence it is also compulsory to repent over it.

Instances of sinful advances

Suppose someone knows that a certain person is innocent, and yet with an intention of killing him unreasonably, actually kills him. But thereafter, he comes to know that the killed one was a hostile infidel or an apostate. Or, for example, somebody indulges in a sexual act with an intention of making love with an unlawful lady but thereafter comes to know that that

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woman was his lawful wife.

Or, suppose someone gobbles up a cupful of liquid with an intention of drinking wine but afterwards comes to know that it was not wine but a permissible drink. Or, for instance, somebody steals or grabs something from somebody but thereafter comes to know that the grabbed thing was his own property or, for example, has sexual intercourse (knowing that his wife was in menses) but afterwards comes to know that she had already entered the state of purity.

In all such instances, since the fellow who had made such a foolish and sinful intention, he did commit a sin of heart and hence has become liable to its punishment. Therefore, it is incumbent on him to repent.

Verses and Narrations

It is mentioned in Surah Bani Israel:

Surely the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned about that.(1)

It means that on the Day of Judgment, man will be asked: Why did you hear a thing the hearing of which was not allowed; why did you look at a scene which was prohibited; why did you intend to do a thing which was not permissible for you?(2)

In the opinion of Baidhawi and other scholars this verse shows that if a man makes an intention of doing a sinful thing he will be questioned about it.

Deeds will be questioned about, be they open or hidden

The Lord of the worlds says in Surah Baqarah:

…and whether you manifest what is in your minds or hide it, Allah will call you to account according to

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1- Surah Bani Israel 17:36.
2- Tafsir Majmaul Bayan.


This holy verse has a wide-ranging scope, which includes man's beliefs, faculties and intentions. It means that be the belief and intention good or bad, if you have kept it in your heart and have decided to act upon it, Almighty God will surely ask you to account for it. But as regards the thoughts coming to mind not accompanied by heart's intention, they will not be questioned as they were not intentional.

Good intention too will be rewarded

The author of Tafsir Majmaul Bayan says that man's intention is the only thing, which if intended by heart, and which man continues to entertain, will have to be accounted for. So it is understood that intention belongs to the heart's actions, which will be recompensed. That is, if it is aggressive, punishment will be awarded but with a difference that an intention will attract a punishment only for that intention not for that bad deed which was not actually done.

For example, if a man intends to kill someone but is not able to kill him, then the punishment will be only for entertaining that intention, not for murder, because the act of killing did not take place. But in the matter of obeying Allah's Commandments, the reward will be for the exact act of obedience. This is mentioned in narrations. For example, a man who is waiting for the arrival of prayer time will be considered as in prayer. That is, he will be given the reward of performing prayer. But when that good deed is

p: 426

1- Surah Baqarah 2:284

actually done, the performer will be given a tenfold reward.

Punishment for spreading scandals

Almighty Allah says in Surah Nur:

Surely (as for) those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter; and Allah knows, while you do not know.(1)

Who will be admitted to Paradise?

The Almighty Lord explains in Surah Qasas:

(As for) that future abode, We assign it to those who have no desire to exalt themselves in the earth nor to make mischief and the good end is for those who guard (against evil).(2)

In this verse, 'mischief' denotes every sin because every sin, be it carried out directly or indirectly creates trouble on the earth. Therefore giving room to any sin in the heart or to maintain it in the heart obstructs the entry to Paradise.

Though this word 'mischief' has a common connotation, which covers every sin, it has been applied to greater sins as seen in this verse:

If you will refrain from those greater sins, which have been prohibited, we will overlook your little sins.(3)

What is intended to be conveyed through this verse is that to entertain a wish to commit a Greater Sin, which also includes, showing oneself higher than others, comes in the way of reaching Paradise.

Why did they kill the Prophets?

It is mentioned in Surah Ali Imran:

Why then did you kill them if you are truthful?(4)

In this verse, addressing the Jews of the time of the Holy Prophet (S), it is asked: Why did you kill the prophets? Though those who murdered messengers were the

p: 427

1- Surah Nur 24:19
2- Surah Qasas 28:83.
3- Surah an-Najm, 53: 32.
4- Surah Ali Imran 3:183.

Jews of the earlier times, not the addressees; but since they were pleased and happy at the misdeeds of their predecessors they too were considered as the killers. This shows that a man's satisfaction at a sin also draws punishment.

Allah will hold you responsible on the basis of your intention

…but He will call you to account for what your hearts have earned…(1)

It is mentioned in Tafsir Jawame that here, “what your hearts have earned”, means intention.

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says in Wasaelush Shia, “On the Day of Judgment people will be gathered on the basis of intentions.”(2)

He further said, “The people of Hell will remain therein forever because, in the world, their intention was to disobey Allah forever if they were to live there forever. But the people of Paradise will remain in Paradise forever because, in the world, their intention was to obey Allah forever if they were to live there forever. Thus the people of Hell and the people of Paradise will live in their respective abodes because of their own intentions.” And then he recited the verse in which it is mentioned that whatever a man does shows his intention.(3)

Is intention better or worse than the deed itself?

The Holy Prophet (S) has said, “A believer's intention is better than his deed and a denier's intention is worse than his deed.”(4)

Shaykh Saduq narrates from Imam Baqir (a.s.) in Ilalush Sharai that he said, “A believer's intention is better than his deed because a believer intends to do many good deeds which he cannot perform and a denier wants to do a big number of bad deeds which

p: 428

1- Surah Baqarah 2:225
2- Book of Purification, Chapter 5.
3- Al-Kafi, translation, Vol. 3, p. 128.
4- Al-Kafi, Chapter of Intention.

he is not able to do.”

The killer and the killed, both in Hell

The Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said, “If two Muslims draw daggers against one another and intend to kill one another and consequently if one of the two gets killed, then both will go to Hell.”(1)

Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allah! The killer's going to Hell can be understood but how that of the killed?” The Holy Prophet (S) replied, “It is because he too had already intended to murder his Muslim brother. So though he could not enact his will, he will go to Hell on account of his intention.”

Those who have been cursed

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) is reported to have said, “The Holy Prophet (S) has cursed ten persons in connection with wine:

1 - One who plants a tree for wine producing

2 - One who guards it

3 - One who extracts it (wine)

4 - The drinker

5 - One who supplies the drink (intoxicant)

6 - The carrier of such a drink

7 - One who supplies it to others

8 - Wine seller

9 - Wine purchaser

10-Who uses the income of wine trade.”(2)

The point for more contemplation in this tradition is that here most of the cursed people are cursed on the basis of their intention.

Whoever threatens a believer will go to Hell

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says, “One who threatens a believer of the anger of the oppressor king with an intention of harming him but without success then his penalty is Hell. But one who frightens a believer with an intention of harming him and also succeeds in harming him, his abode in Hell will be

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1- Rasail Shaykh.
2- Wasaelush Shia, Kitabul Atimah, Chapter 33.

with Pharaoh and his people.”(1)

Thus we come to know that if somebody tries to attack the life, property and honor of a believer through a king (despotic ruler) then, even if that believer is not harmed, one whose intention was to see the believer at a loss will go to Hell on the basis of his intention.

One who is pleased with an act is a partner in that act

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says, “One who felt happy with the deed of a group is just like a partner in that performance.”(2) One who intends to commit a sin will be burdened with the punishment of two sins: one for committing a sin and the other for being pleased with the act. But one who feels happy at a sin will get the punishment for liking that sin.

Most of the religious jurisprudents say about Commanding Good and Prohibiting Evil (Amr bil Maroof and Nahy anil Munkar) that every responsible person must disown a sin in his heart. It is explained in the Allamah's Qawaid, Sharhe Irshad of Ardebeli, Jawahir and other books that denial by hearts means being unhappy with a sin.

The author of Jawahir says that it is prohibited to be pleased over a bad deed and according to other traditions in this connection it is compulsory to express disgust from the heart for every sin. Therefore, to be happy over one's sin and to intend for it is all the more prohibited and sinful. Here, let us pay more attention to this saying of Amirul Momineen (a.s.), “May Allah curse every caller

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1- Al-Kafi, Chapter of one who terrorizes the believers.
2- Wasaelush Shia.

for good who does not act accordingly himself and may He also curse the one who prohibits others from sinning but indulges in that sin himself.”(1)

Hence, one who is unhappy over the sinning of others but is himself pleased with his own sin and also intends to do that deed, deserves a curse. There are other narrations too regarding this topic. Although this brief sentence exposes the prohibition of the intention of sinning. It is said: There is no disagreement regarding the fact that to make an intention of sinning is also prohibited.

Imam az-Zaman (a.s.) will take revenge

Abdus Salam bin Salih Hirvi has reported that he said to Imam Ridha (a.s.), “O son of the Messenger of Allah! It is mentioned in a tradition of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that when our Qaim will appear he will kill the progeny of the killers of Husain on account of the sins of their predecessors.”

Imam Ridha (a.s.) said, “It is correct.” He said, “The Holy Quran says, 'Nobody will carry the burden of sins committed by others.' So what is its meaning?”

The Imam replied, “Allah has said the Truth. But since the successors of the killers of Husain are not only happy over the misdeed of their predecessors but are also proud of it, they also will be killed. One who is happy with another's deed is also his accomplice. If someone is killed in the east and another living in the west is happy over that killing, then in the sight of Allah, the latter

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1- Nahjul Balagha

is also a partner in that crime. This is the reason why they shall be killed by Imam Mahdi (a.s.).”

The Killer of Shuaib’s she-camel was an individual but..

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says in Nahjul Balagha, “O people! To be pleased with evils and to be angry with good deeds is what makes people liable to divine chastisement. Verily, the she-camel of Shuaib was killed by one man but Allah destroyed the entire community, as the whole community was pleased with that fellow's deed. That is why Allah said that they all killed the animal jointly. Then all were put to shame. Then all were subjected to God's wrath.”(1)

It becomes quite clear from the above narration and many such other narrations which have not been quoted here for the sake of brevity that it is a sin to be pleased with a prohibited act, because that which follows a sin is all the more prohibited and sinful.

Reason supports such narrations

It is noteworthy that what has been stated quoting verses and narrations is enough to prove the entitlement to divine wrath because of the religious ban on an intention of sinning. One who makes an intention to commit a sin, makes himself subject to the order of reason that he should be made to account for it and given a fixed punishment as it is the time when he leaves obedience of God and adopts rebellion. But if he goes a step further to commit that particular sin, he will be entitled to a severer punishment. One who asks for the Judgment of his

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1- Sermon 229.

reason will not differ with this. Quranic verses and traditions also support it.

Statements of Shaykh Bahai

That is why Shaykh Bahai says: In the opinion of our (Imamiyah) jurisprudents an intention of sinning is definitely prohibited. Similarly a great deal is written about this in books of Quranic exegesis and jurisprudence of both Sunnis and Shias. It would be better to say that this topic is one of the necessities of religion. The Shaykh has quoted from books of Sunnis and Shias also and he concludes that Sayyid Murtada writes in his book Tanzeehul Anbiya that to make an intention of sin or disobedience too is a sin in itself.

Yet another group says that intention of a greater sin is a greater sin and that intended disbelief is also disbelief. Moreover jurisprudents are also of the opinion that to continue an intention of committing a lesser sin becomes a greater sin and that this includes both the actual deed and an intention of doing that deed.

Commentators and scholars have given many explanations for this. Anyone who studies books of both Sunnis and Shias on this matter will not remain in any doubt in this connection.(1)

There have been two objections to this stand. First, an intention to sin is something beyond the control of man and hence to catch and to punish one on account of it is unwise. Secondly, there are several narrations saying that intention of a sin is a pardonable offence.

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said, “Verily if a believer intends

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1- Miratul Uqool, Vol. 2, p. 416.

to do a good deed and does not yet act on it, one good (reward) is recorded in his sheet. But if a believer also carries out his intention, ten good deeds are entered in his account. Verily, if a believer intends to do wrong but does not carry out that intention, it will not be entered in his scroll of deeds.”(1)

Three more traditions are available on this subject. Similarly the Martyr has, in Qawaid as well as two more scholars have expressed the same view that mere intention to sin, without carrying out that intention, is not a cognizable offence.

The reply to the first objection is that though the inclination of heart, desire or wish is certainly a thing beyond control but so far as the intention to commit an offence is concerned it is not so uncontrollable. That is, if a wish to do a sin takes place in somebody's heart, it is quite possible that he may not do so due to either a feeling of shame or for fear of God.

This can be further explained. Four things are necessary to come to the heart of a man before he does something possible: (1) Coming of an idea to mind, (2) Inclination (3) Belief or trust and (4) Intention. For example, one gets a thought of a sin in his mind. Then he inclines towards doing that sin. Thereafter his heart says that this sin should be committed. Now, if there is no external factor or internal

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1- Al-Kafi, translation, Vol. 4, Pg. 174.

deterring element like modesty or fear then only he makes an intention or decision to do that work and thereafter he commits it actually.

The first condition is called idea, desire, call of the heart and enticement. The name of the second condition or state is inclination, tilting and longing. The third state is known as belief or trust and that of the fourth is intention or decision. Now that all the four states have been explained it should also become clear that the first and the second condition is uncontrollable and unintentional because sometimes, to stop unwise thoughts coming to mind is not only very difficult but also impossible. Therefore it is not cognizable. From the viewpoint of reason also it cannot be considered a desirable action to hold someone responsible for it.

So far as the third condition is concerned, that is, to order the heart to carry out that wish, this too can happen unintentionally against which no action can be taken and hence it is non-cognizable. Sometimes it is intentional. That is, one may issue order to the heart or may not. In that case it becomes a cognizable thing. The fourth condition is clearly a controllable matter because in the first three states of mind intention is not yet final. It is quite possible that the idea may be removed because of an inward or outward influence. Of course, if intention is made, commitment becomes practicable and final. Therefore, making of an intention is an act, which

p: 435

is cognizable. Reason also does not rule out such cognition and punishment.

Intention of sin has been pardoned

It we think over narrations we will come to know that an intention of sin is such an offence which has been pardoned and which will not be recorded in the scroll of deeds. But it should not mean that it is not a sin. Ponder over the following narrations:

Abdullah bin Musa bin Ja'far asked his respected father, “If a man makes an intention of doing something good or something bad will the angel appointed over him become aware of that intention?” The Imam asked, “Is good and bad smell similar?” He replied, “No.” He said, “Verily, when a man intends to do a good deed his breath gives out a good smell. So the angel on the right (who records good deeds) tells the one on the left (who has to record sins), 'Just wait! (do not record) This person intends to do a good thing.'

When that man carries out that good deed, his tongue becomes a pen and his saliva serves as ink. Then he records that deed. Likewise when a person intends to commit a sin his breath gives out a foul smell. At that moment the right side angel will tell the left side angel, 'Just a moment, this fellow intends to do something bad.' Then he commits that sin, his tongues turns into a pen and his saliva into ink and that bad deed is then noted down in his scroll of deeds.”


p: 436

short when a man intends to do something bad a bad smell of his sinful desire will reach the nose of the angel. But if he does not actually sin his fault is pardoned and nothing is added to his scroll. It is mentioned in yet another tradition, “If there arises a desire to sin, unless its is carried out, it is forgiven.” (1)

Obviously the mention of 'forgiven' itself shows that to wish for a sin is a sin. Now when, on the basis of reason and tradition, a wish to sin is a sin, then it is also necessary to explain the meaning of the tradition about forgiveness. The traditions about 'Afw' (forgiveness or pardoning) are concise. Several meanings have been extracted therefrom. Therefore first there will be a description of the possibilities of meanings and thereafter the exact meaning will be arrived at.

The narrations about 'Afw' relate to desire, inclination and belief, which do not encompass intention. For elaboration of this point it can be said that suppose a man has a wish about sinning, then he gets inclined towards that wish, then he thinks of carrying out that wish but he is unable to do so due to a feeling of shame or modesty or any such deterrent.

Thereafter he puts off that idea. In this case though his intention or desire makes a sin, yet according to narrations, he can get pardon. In fact, to give up the intention of sinning is in itself atonement

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1- Muhjjatul Baiza, Vol. 5, p. 74.

or expiation. But if he gave up the intention of sinning due to fear of God or because of his fear of chastisement in the Hereafter, then, in addition of pardon of his intention of sinning, a good deed will also be noted in his scroll of deeds because he changed his intention for the sake of God.

To suppress passion or desire because of Allah is also wise from the viewpoint of reason. Let us look at the following narrations.

Addition of a Good deed

The Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said, “When a slave intends to commit a sin, the angels say, 'O God! This slave of Yours intends to commit a sin (meaning an inclination towards sin has taken place in his heart) and God is the better observer.' God will say, 'Just keep a watch over him. If he acts upon that foul desire, the punishment on account of that sin will be recorded in his account. But if he puts off that intention, then a good deed should be added to his account because he has put off a sin for My sake.'”

This narration makes it clear that only having an idea of sinning when it is not actually carried out is worth forgiveness. But if he changes his intention for the sake of God, he will earn a reward. But, in the light of previous arguments, mere making an intention of sinning, notwithstanding his carrying out that intention or being unable to carry it out due to external

p: 438

or internal causes, is a cognizable offence and it draws punishment.

A sin not actually done will not be recorded

Second meaning: The narrations relating to 'Afw' (pardon) are about a sin for which intention was made. But since it was not actually carried out, that intention is not included in sin. For example, someone makes an intention to commit a sin, like adultery, but does not commit it.

According to narrations that sin will not be noted in his scroll of deeds and he will not be liable to punishment. But the sin of the intention to commit a sin and the liability of being caught do not come in the scope of these narrations. Therefore, it is compulsory to repent for the intention. Shaykh Bahai has also recorded this argument.

Canceling of intention is the expiation for a sinful wish

Third Meaning: The narrations relating to 'Afw' apply only to that man who gives up the intention after having an idea of sinning. In this case the giving up of the sin will be considered as repentance for his desire to sin and nothing will be recorded in his scroll of deeds. But if he sticks to his intention till the time no internal or external deterrent comes in his way, his intention of sinning is not pardonable.

This sin will be recorded in his scroll of deeds. This sin must be repented for. The difference between this argument and the first argument is that, according to the first argument, the coming up of an intention to sin is in itself a sin which is unpardonable while according to

p: 439

this argument to maintain sinfulness and to stick to it, is a sin.

Intention of sinning without preliminaries of the act

The fourth meaning: Narrations regarding pardon apply only to that person who keeps himself limited to the intention of sinning and does not try to enact that sin. But if he also tries to commit that sin, he will be a sinner and will not be pardoned. For example, someone intends to drink wine. So long as he does not try to implement his wish his intention is pardonable.

But if he tries to catch hold of a glass for drinking, even if he is not able to drink it or he does not find a glass or after drinking finds that what he drank was not wine but some permissible beverage or someone prevents him from drinking or he dies before drinking, his condition will not be pardonable. In all these states wherein he remained engaged in the preliminaries, that intention will be unlawful and he would be considered a sinner. Shaykh Ansari has mentioned these two arguments in his Wasael.

One should at least be cautious

After gaining knowledge about several different narrations concerning 'Afw' there remains no scope not to consider an intention to sin a sin. Caution demands that considering an intention to sin as a sin, man must refrain from it (making any intention to sin). He must control his self. If he happens to intend a sin, he must repent at once.

But if he remains careless and entertains that intention, then too it is compulsory to repent for

p: 440

continuing the intention. But if he also indulges in the preliminaries of that sin then his intention is definitely illegal and it is incumbent on him to repent forthwith.

Intention to obey God

Just as it is proved that the sin of making of an intention to sin and the liability of its punishment and the following states are forgivable, the states of making an intention of a good deed and the stages following that intention are definitely rewardable. Of course difference is that if the intention to sin is not enacted there is no punishment.

The only punishment will be chastisement due to intention of sin. But in case of intention for a good deed, even if one cannot act upon it, he will get a reward of that good. This distinction is a special favor for a believer. There are numerous narrations regarding this subject. We quoted only a few of them. Here are a few more, which can make the faithful hope in Allah's grace:

For a poor person, intention to donate is charity

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “A penniless faithful slave says, 'O Allah, give me money so that I may spend it in such and such good deed.' Since Allah is aware of the piety of his intention He enters that good deed in his scroll of deeds as it is written after its actual performance. Verily, God's Grace is vast and He is Merciful.”

He also said, “Verily a believer intends to do a good deed but is unable to do it. Allah enters his good deed for him

p: 441

in his account. But if he also carries out that good deed then ten good deeds are entered in his account. Verily a believer sometimes makes an intention of sinning but does not carry out that bad deed. In this case that bad deed is not entered in his scroll.”(1)494

Reward of Night Prayer Recorded

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “A believer makes an intention during daytime to offer prayers during the night. Then sleep overtakes him and he cannot offer that prayer. In this case Allah enters the reward of that prayer in his account. And for his breathing, the reward of Allah's glorification is recorded and his sleep also is considered as charity.”

Ali bin Hamzah says that Imam Musa bin Ja'far said, “May Allah shed His Mercy on such and such person, O Ali, did you not participate in his funeral?” I replied, “I did not. I intended to, but could not, for some reason.” Imam said, “Because of your intention, Allah has given you the reward of participating in that funeral.”(2)

A Believer and the Good Deeds He could not do

Explaining the verse:

Say: Every one acts according to his manner…(3)

The author of Tafsir Qummi quotes Imam Ridha (a.s.) that, “Allah will take an account of the deeds of a faithful. He will be shown the record of his bad deeds so he will become very sorrowful and tremble due to fear. Then his good deeds also will be brought before his eyes. So he will become happy.

Then Allah will say, 'Let him see that book in which the reward for those

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1- Wasaelush Shia, Book of Purification, Chapter 6
2- Wasaelush Shia, Book of Purification, Chapter 6.
3- Surah Bani Israel 17:84.

of his good deeds has been recorded which he did not actually perform.' Looking at it he will say, 'By Your Might, O Merciful God! I did not enact these good deeds.' God will say, 'You are right that you did not do these good deeds but as you intended to carry them out, We have entered their rewards in your scroll.'”

He is with us because of his intention!

When the Almighty gave victory to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in the battle of Jamal, one of his companions came to him saying, “I wished such and such of my brother had participated in this battle with us. The Imam said, “Did he wish to participate in the battle with us?” He replied, “Of course, it was so.”

Ali (a.s.) said, “Doubtlessly he was with us and those people are also with us in this battle that are yet in the loins of their fathers and wombs of their mothers. Very soon, time will bring them forth. Faith will gain strength through them and mischief-makers will be defeated by them.”(1)

With the martyrs of Karbala

Shaykh Saduq, quotes Imam Ridha (a.s.) that he told Raihan bin Shabeeb, “If you want to get the reward reserved for the companions of Imam Husain (a.s.) in Karbala’, then whenever you remember the Imam say, 'Alas, would that we had accompanied him in Karbala’, so as to attain the supreme victory.'”(2)

Addressing the self-sacrificing companions of the Chief of the Martyrs, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari says in the Ziyarat of Arbaeen (40th day of martyrdom): By God, we are with you

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1- Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 13.
2- Uyunul Akhbar ar-Reza.

where you had entered. Atiya says: How are we with them when we have not done any work nor did we suffer any troubles whereas they were separated from their near and dear ones, massacred and cut into pieces?

Jabir said, “I have heard the Holy Prophet (S) say, 'A man is with the group which he loves and so he will be raised with that group on the Day of Judgment.' Man is with a group the deeds of which are liked by him. By God, the intention of me and of my companions is the same as that of Imam Husain (a.s.) and his companions.”(1)

Quoting some narrations from the Holy Prophet (S) and the Infallible Imams, Allamah Majlisi writes: The best deed of the Muslims is to await for the reappearance of the Imam of the Age (Imam az-Zaman). One who dies waiting for the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is like one who performs holy war (Jihad) with him. Its reward is like that of twenty-five martyrs.(2)

The wound of the battle of Siffin lasted for several years

Muhyiddin Arbali says: One day I was with my father. I saw a man sitting near him and dozing. Suddenly his headgear fell down and there was a deep gash on his head. My father asked him about it. He replied, “This is the wound inflicted in the battle of Siffin.” My father asked, “Where are you and when was the battle of Siffin! What is the actual matter?”

He replied, “I was traveling to Egypt when a man from Gaza

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1- Nafasul Mahmoom.
2- Biharul Anwar, Vol. 13, Chapter 27.

also joined us in the journey. The talk of Siffin came up for discussion during the journey. My fellow traveler said, 'Had I been in the battle of Siffin I would have dipped my sword in the blood of Ali and his companions.' I also retorted, 'Had I been there I would have quenched the thirst of my sword with the blood of Muawiyah and his companions. Now you and I are among the companions of Ali (a.s.) and Muawiyah respectively.

Why not fight it out?' So we fought for quite a long time. Suddenly I felt that I had received a wound on my head and I fainted. At that time I felt someone waking me with the point of his spear. When I opened my eyes he dismounted his horse and passed his hand over my head. My wound healed.

Then he said, “Stay here!” and he disappeared to return after some time. I could see the head of my fellow traveler in his and he was also leading my companion's mount. He told me, “This is the head of your enemy. You fought in our favor (to help us) so we also helped you. Whoever helps God, the God of the universe also helps him.” I asked him who he was. He replied, “I am the Master of the Affair (Sahibul Amr), the Imam of your time.” Then he said, “If anyone asks you about this wound, say that it is a wound of the battle of

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Wa aakhiru daawaanaa anil hamdo lillaahi rabbil aalameen

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