Path Of Knowledge

Path Of Knowledge


الناشر: جمعية المعارف الإسلامية الثقافية

تاريخ الإصدار: 2014-12

النسخة: 0


الكاتب

مركز نون للتأليف والترجمة


Introduction

 INTRODUCTION

 

 

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST MERCIFUL, THE MOST COMPASSIONATE

 

 

            Allah's praise and peace be upon the most honorable human beings and messengers the Prophet Mohammad Bin Abdellah and his Descendents. 

            By publishing our book under the title of "Beginning of the Path" which we wanted, as its name indicates, to be as a basis for the knowledge of Muslim that reflects the man's nature and conscience, we promised, in the said book, that it will be followed by another one which completes this beginning. So, this book emerged in order to complete the path of obtaining the Islamic knowledge while at the same time supplicating Allah [The Exalted] to fulfill what we had began with and hoping that may Allah accepts our humble efforts.

                               

                                 Islamic Cultural Knowledge Organization

                      Knowledge Center for Islamic Studies and Researches

 5


1

Chapter One: Reality of Life

 Chapter One

 

Reality of Life

 

-          Purpose of Creating Man

-          How Do I Become Happy?

-          Death End

-          What Is After Death?

 

 

 7


2

Chapter One: Reality of Life

 (Al-Mumenoon [The Believers])

 

He will say: "Ye stayed not but a little,- if ye had only known! [114] Did ye then think that We had created you in jest, and that ye would not be brought back to Us (for account)? [115] Therefore exalted be Allah, the King, the Reality: there is no Allah but He, the Lord of the Throne of Honour! [116] If anyone invokes, besides Allah, Any other Allah, he has no authority therefor; and his reckoning will be only with his Lord! and verily the Unbelievers will fail to win through! [117]

 

 

 

 8


3

Lesson One: Purpose of Creating Man

 Lesson One

 

The Purpose of Creating Man

 

-          Why did Allah create me?

 

-          What distinguishes me from other creatures?

 

-          What is my goal in life?

 

Introduction

 

Ever since man came to life, he has been searching for the aim that he should reach to and the final destiny he must get to. In general, he knows that Allah has not created him in jest or just for fun. On the contrary, Allah has created man for a wise purpose dedicated for him only as the Holy Verse states, “Did ye then think that We had created you in jest, and that ye would not be brought back to Us (for account)?[1]

 

Why did Allah create us and what is the purpose that he is aspiring us to reach?

 

Necessity of the Purpose

 

At the beginning, we must assure that all things existing all around the universe were created for a purpose and each has a function to perform. The earth, the moon, the sun and all other planets and stars play a specific role in the outstanding universe. The same goes with what the earth includes: sand,




[1] (Al-Mumenoon [The Believers]) 114

9


4

Lesson One: Purpose of Creating Man

 water, air, plants, animals, humans and all other creatures. Each of them has a major and important role in the regularity and continuity of life, human life in particular.

 

This prominent universal order attributes its existence and creation to Allah, the Wise Almighty, who has created and ordered them with His Knowledge, “…It is He who created all things, and ordered them in due proportions.[1]… (such is) the artistry of Allah, who disposes of all things in perfect order…[2]

 

Distinction of Man

 

Although it is true that man shares this origin with all creatures, Allah has dedicated him with a special feature which is reason, and honored him with the grace of knowledge and fathoming. Reason is a great divine blessing that gives us conscious and perception, as well as the ability to select goals and choose what we deem proper among these goals.

Our trait, which distinguishes from all other creatures, as humans is that we do comprehend the goals that we want to reach and achieve and that we can select and accept them willingly and contently if we think of them with our minds and reason their consequences soundly. Man may starve but not eat due to a life-related interest, if he is sick, or due to a hereafter-related interest, if he is fasting the obligatory dues. Thus, man can control his traits and instincts through his mind.

This is why many hadith talked about the high position of mind and that Allah has not created anything He likes more than mind and that He gives it in perfect manner only to whom He loves. Also, many anecdotes urged people to use this mind by contemplating that even Imam Ali (PBUH) said, “A one-hour contemplating session betters a sixty-year worship interval.[3]

 



[1] (Al-Furqan [The Criterion, The Standard] 025.002)

[2] (An-Naml [The Ant, The Ants] 027.088)

[3] Nour Al Barahin, V.66, P.331

10


5

Lesson One: Purpose of Creating Man

 If it is so, have we ever thought of what we want to achieve in life? Where should we reach and what should we make out of our lives?

 

Determining the Goal

Man would not do any action, no matter how small it is, unless he wants to achieve a certain goal. He would not eat unless he wants to meet his hunger or satisfy a need. He sleeps to get rest, works and spares money to get his daily bread and the necessities of life, studies to succeed and even plays around and has fun to entertain himself and recharge his forces and powers to go on with his life.

 

The problem, however, is when his mind goes deeply in the details of his daily life although it would be better for him to work his mind and answer the central question: what is the general goal that I want to achieve in my life?

 

When man opens a commercial business, for instance, the daily business movement such as buying and selling, taking care of the employees’ affairs and organizing the same are not important in themselves as much as they lead to the general profit of the establishment. The same thing applies to the detailed objectives of man’s daily activities: they spring out from the importance and the eminence of the general goal of his life.

 

Happiness is the Goal

Some may consider being a doctor or an engineer as their goals; others endeavor to become owners of enterprises or decent professionals; others would aspire to become members of the parliament, leaders or high profile figures in the society; quite a portion may be interested in guiding people and showing them the right way in life as in the Hereafter. People have many various, distinct purposes, but are they so?

 

Should we ask the doctor why he has chosen medicine, he would say to treat and cure myself and others from illnesses.

11


6

Lesson One: Purpose of Creating Man

 Why is it so? So that we could lead healthy lives. Why all of that? To feel comfort and happiness comes the answer. Why are you after happiness and comfort? The answer comes: Loving comfort and happiness is an instinctive feeling and it is sought for itself, not for something else.

 

The rest are the same: the engineer, the trader, a high profile figure in the society, and even an ascetic or a cleric, who sacrifices for guiding and reforming people are all after happiness and exert their best of efforts and hard work to be happy and feel comfort and felicity. This is the purpose Allah has created us for and wants us to reach and achieve. He, Praise to Him, the Elevated and the Most Powerful, Owner of the Best of Names, the Arrogant and Lord of Favors, He Who needs nothing, has created us not to benefit from us, since he is the richest of the rich who shall never become poor, but so that we could reach perfection, comfort and happiness.

 

Therefore, man’s objective from life is happiness.

Every creature has a goal to achieve due to the divine wisdom.

 12


7

Lesson One: Purpose of Creating Man

 Summary

 

  1. Every creature has a goal to achieve due to the divine wisdom.

 

  1. Human beings are distinguished with their minds which enable them from selecting the goal consciously and comprehensively.

 

  1. The best thing man can determine is his general goal in life.

 

  1. Happiness is the general goal which all human beings are after, and which we were created by Allah to achieve.

 

Questions

 

  1. What indicates the inevitability of the presence of goal for man and the remaining creatures?

 

  1. What is man’s feature that distinguishes him from other creatures?

 

  1. There are various objectives that man seeks. What is the main objective that adds them up?

 

 

 13


8

Lesson One: Purpose of Creating Man

 Additional Reading

 

Favor Equals Knowledge

 

A Bedouin came to Imam Hussein (PBUH) and said, “O ye the son of the Prophet. I guaranteed a full ransom of a dead man and I could not honor the same. I said to myself: I shall ask people and I have never seen anyone more noble than the Descendents of Mohamad (PBUT).”

Imam Hussein:            I shall ask you three questions. Should you answer one, you shall have one third of the money and if you answered two, I shall give you two thirds of the money and if you answered them all, I shall give you all the money. 

The Bedouin:              O Ye the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)! Is Ye who would ask me and thou art a man of nobility and knowledge?

Imam Hussein:            Indeed! I have heard my grandfather the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) say, “Favor equals knowledge.

The Bedouin:              Ask whatever you like. Should I be able to answer, it would be great and if I could not, I will learn from you.

Imam Hussein:            Which deeds are best?

The Bedouin:              Believing in Allah.

Imam Hussein:            What is deliverance from balefulness?

The Bedouin:              Trusting Allah.

Imam Hussein:            What decorates a man?

The Bedouin:              Knowledge associated with patience.

Imam Hussein:            What if he could not get them?

The Bedouin:              Money with gallant.

Imam Hussein:            What if he could not get them?

The Bedouin:              Poverty associated with patience.

Imam Hussein:            What if he could not get them?

The Bedouin:              Then let there be a thunderbolt from the sky

14


9

Lesson One: Purpose of Creating Man

 that would burn him dead because he would deserve it.

 

Hussein (PBUH) laughed and threw him a bag that contained one thousand dinars and gave him his ring that contained a 200-dirham clove and said, “O ye Bedouin! Give the gold to your contenders and spend the clove for your own needs.”

 

The Bedouin took the money and said, “Allah knows best where he puts his message.

 15


10

Lesson One: Purpose of Creating Man

 Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) is reported to have said, “Allah said ‘O ye my true servants! Enjoy my worship in Life for ye shall enjoy it the Hereafter’”

 

Osoul Al Kafi, p. 249

 

 16


11

Lesson Two: How Do I Become Happy?

 Lesson Two

 

How Do I Become Happy?

 

-          What is real happiness?

 

-          Which road leads to happiness?

 

-          Religion is happiness.

 

Introduction

 

In the previous lesson, we knew that all people search for happiness and constantly try to get rid of pain and escape misery. Now, the significant question is: how do people obtain real happiness?

 

Various Means

 

Many people believe that happiness is gained through indulging one’s self in appetence and pleasures or through  great fortunes and riches or through possessing more power and authority. In fact, however, what one gets from these things is nothing but a delusive and evanescent happiness.

 

This best describes those who are after life. The more they get fortunes and powers, the more their desire grows for more riches and authorities. Moreover, anyone who would compete with them to get the same shall become their enemy. They become satisfactionless as reported by Imam Al Sadek (PBUH),

17


12

Lesson Two: How Do I Become Happy?

 Life is like the water of the sea: the more you drink, the thirstier you become until you are dead.[1] When the time of reality comes, one leaves everything he has gained and leaves away with nothing. 

 

Real Happiness

 

The greatest mistake of those who follow dispersive and aberrant doctrines is that they do not think hard enough in the truths of their goals and intentions. They did not use their minds or refer to their pure instinct and sound of conscience. Had they done so, they would have realized that what they wanted was constant, real happiness which knows no pain or misery and which is never transient.

Life can never achieve this. Any weak person who feels fear and weakness and needs safety shall refuge to a powerful person. A poor person who has nothing to satisfy his needs and hunger shall refuge to the rich. A sick person who feels pain needs a physician. A lonely person needs a shoulder to cry on. Man’s need for power, safety, richness, affability and love is eternal and absolute; consequently, these needs are not satisfied by ephemeral things. True happiness and constant, absolute comfort are not achieved but through the one and only love, the perfection who is immortal: Allah, may His Name be glorified.

This is why we soliloquize and supplicate him in Al Jawshan Al Kabir, “O Ye who is near more than anything; O Ye who is the most beloved; O Ye who is strong than anyone; O Ye who is merciful than anyone…

Imam Khomeini says, “The light of instinct has showed us the way to the fact that the hearts of all human beings aim at complete perfection… that is, absolute perfection is the beloved of all… so watch out, dear, and wake up from your inadvertence and feel happy since you have an eternal beloved who is evanescent, who is faultless and




[1] Al Kafi, V2, P136

18


13

Lesson Two: How Do I Become Happy?

 who is Allah Almighty.[1]

 

He who denies this happiness because it cannot be sensed or does not go with his short-lived pleasures and appetence is either deep in inadvertence or is blind because he is far from sound conscience and sound mind.

Real happiness is like a beautiful garden surrounded with huge fences and has certain doors. What is beyond this garden is an arid desert. Infidels have looked away from that garden either because they have fallen in a deep pit or because they are busy sniffing the breeze of this garden’s odors from a distance or in a mirage they believe to be happiness. Should they reach this mirage, they would find it nothing and they still blunder in aberrance.

Almighty says, “But those who were blind in this world, will be blind in the hereafter, and most astray from the Path.[2]

 

Road to Happiness

On the other hand, believers considered true happiness with their insights and pure instincts. They only had to walk the way that lead to happiness – even if they had put up with some obstacles, they do not feel the same due to their anxiousness and eagerness to meeting Allah – and had to enter from the specified doors.

 

This road is described to us in the Holy Qur’an when Allah says, “Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.[3]

 

As for the doors that Allah ordered us to enter the houses from when he said, “… Enter houses through the proper doors…[4], they are the prophets and imams peace be upon




[1] Forty Hadith; Hadith of Instict

[2] Al-Qur'an, (Al-Isra [Isra, The Night Journey, Children of Israel])

[3] (An-Nahl [The Bee] 97)

[4] 189 (Al-Baqara [The Cow])

19


14

Lesson Two: How Do I Become Happy?

  them. In the sacred hadith, “I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is the gate that leads to it.” In Nudbah supplication when we soliloquize Imam Mahdi, we say, “Where is the door of Allah where we come through to Him?”

As a result, we know that righteous work is nothing but complying with the divine sharia to which we are guided by prophets and infallible imams.

This is why Allah has said, “O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life…[1]

Good life is not achieved for a believer unless he responds to Allah and to what the prophet calls for through the verses of the Holy Qur’an or through his Sunna because the Holy Qur’an mainly outlines the headlines of the sacred sharia whereas the prophet clarifies the ramifications and partial rulings thereof.

We can conclude why Allah has set the goal for his creatures, which is to worship, when He says, “I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me.[2]

Therefore, serving Allah and real connection to him through abiding by the Sharia and worshiping through executing the rulings he has ordered us to execute is the right way to achieve happiness.

 

Believing is the Happiness and Safety

When man feels that he has a great power next to him which cannot be disabled by anything and which can get him all his needs and deliver him from any dejecting, he shall never feel hopeless, depressed or fear. On the contrary, comfort and delight shall overwhelm him in a way words cannot describe.

This is the state of a believer who has connected himself to Allah and depended on him. Allah is the Merciful Who takes care of him more than his mother does. Allah says, “Say: O my Servants who have transgressed




[1] 024 (Al-Anfal [Spoils of War, Booty])

[2] 056 (Adh-Dhariyat [The Winnowing winds])

20


15

Lesson Two: How Do I Become Happy?

 against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.[1]

 

And Allah says, “…And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.[2]

 

So, dear, let us come and chant this awesome paragraph from the Great Jawshan Supplication:

 

O He, Who created me and perfected me,

O He, Who provided me with sustenance and nurtured me,

O He, Who provided food for me and quenched my thirst,

O He, Who brought me near Him and brought me most nigh,

O He, Who protected me and kept me in safety,

O He, Who saved and guarded me,

O He, Who honoured me and enriched me,

O He, Who helped and guided me,

O He, Who befriended me and sheltered me,

O He, Who causes me to die and revivifies me.




[1] 053 (Az-Zumar [The Troops, Throngs])

[2] 003(Al-Talak [Divorce])

21


16

Lesson Two: How Do I Become Happy?

 Summary

 

  1. Worldly happiness is delusive and evanescent.

 

  1. True happiness is reached by using our pure instinct and sound mind, and it is nearer to Allah since he is the absolute perfection.

 

  1. The way to achieve happiness is in believing and good deeds.

 

  1. Good deed is the divine sharia to which we are guided by prophets, imams and their proxies.

 

 

Questions

 

  1. What is the reality of happiness which one should understand?

 

  1. What achieves happiness?

 

  1. What factors lead to misdiagnosing happiness?

 

 

 22

 

 

 


17

Lesson Two: How Do I Become Happy?

 Additional Reading

 

The Sheikh of Resistance Fighters: Sheikh Ahmad Yehia (Abu Zar)

 

He came back to his village after twenty-two years. He was the first to enter the village whose aridness was reaching to his springs of giving in order to get life and give itself the meaning of existence. Land knows its beloved ones as houses keep their residents. When Ahmad Yehia was displaced from Rchaf after the Israeli invasion forces had killed his father and dumped his body in a water well, he and the villagers collected their wounds and left it. He left his soul in the debris and wreckage of its houses. There is nothing harder to man than carrying his days on the palm of emigration and expatriation and leaving his land as a red tear fidgeting between lashes of comeback waiting to be shed due to joy even once. Sheikh Abu Zar did not mind the bullets falling like rain on an arid land. Bullets are his best friends. Here he is now reaching his hands out to harvest what he had sowed. Isn’t victory the fruit of fighting? Doesn’t Abu Zar deserve, after spending years on the fronts of jihad, holding his gun day and night, to contemplate for moments the friendliness of the place he belongs to? He who has spent the best years of his life ever on this sacred land: in its alleys which were filled with the noise of people and the little children playing? He was there when he was a child and a young boy and as a young man. The fields in his village still remember him as he used to come back home from Tebnin’s school. He used to lay his books under some bushes to help his father Hajj Abu Khalil in cultivate or sow the land. They used to run back home together to be received by Im Khalil with the warmest of welcome and appreciation. Since childhood, he used to be good person with his parents and his parents used to supplicate for him for he was unusually good.

 

23


18

Lesson Two: How Do I Become Happy?

 Before he became religiously adult, he had committed himself to the rulings of sharia and received religious lessons at the mosque of the village. He read the Qur’an and supplicated Allah and participated in objective activities and always talking about religious issues and affairs. He used to discuss life and homeland which was being attacked by the hatred of the "Israelis". He was very well aware of everything going on around him. He never was a silly young man who spent his time fooling around for he knew that life is responsibility and he had prepared himself to be up to it. He never endeavored to improve his financial status since he knew that ‘contentment is an everlasting treasure’ and that Allah’s satisfaction was his utmost goal and that martyrdom was the dream he always had.

In 1982, he was blessed with Hajj (pilgrimage). He bid his parents farewell and went to Mecca where he met an Iranian campaign there and joined them when they left to the Islamic Republic of Iran to study at Qom. There, he not only studied religious sciences but participated in training sessions that made him fit to be one of the soldiers of Hizbullah. He kept in contact with the brothers in the Islamic Resistance until he came back to Lebanon on 1986. As soon as he arrived, he left his wife and his little daughter at his parents-in-law’s house and left saying that he had some work to do. By midnight, Martyr Saleh Harb, brother of the wife of Sheikh Abu Zar came and told her that her husband is waiting for her in the South, so she accompanied her brother to join the Sheikh’s long jihad. From the Middle Sector to Iklim Al Toffah to the Western Sector, all the soil of the South adores the footsteps’ traces of Sheikh Abu Zar. He is the fighter who never left the front and his constant movement in the South made his life instable. He and his family used to spend their days moving among villages.

When his best friend and companion, Martyr Saleh Harb, was martyred in his arms, leaving the three children behind under the responsibility of the Sheikh, Sheikh Abu Zar was the best to take that responsibility. In addition to the Sheikh’s four children, he

24


19

Lesson Two: How Do I Become Happy?

  raised the children of his brother-in-law with all the tenderness he could give and planted goodness in them which made them powerful when they are older. He used to sit with his children and speak to them about Imam Khomeini and Imam Khameini. He gathered them one week before he was martyred to discuss their future with them and the majors they are going to choose in the future. He chose something to each one of them. Few were the times that Abu Zar dedicated for himself. He used to go visit his parents and siblings when he had any free time. He always urged others to visit their kins and the importance of maintaining such relationships with them. He always asked his mother to supplicate for the moujahideen. It is very well known about him that when he used to buy something for himself he bought this same thing to the moujahideen first. And it was the final comeback. He came on the wings of yearning as his long waiting held the wounds of years which were bleeding with endless longing. He saw himself among the ruins building castles of coral and pearls. He bled as a splinter of a bomb falling next to him hit him. He fought hard. His turban was torn by a rock falling onto it and filled with blood. He walked leaning to himself watering the soft green grass with his blood. He called one of the brothers and then fell on the ground. Despite the severe hemorrhage, he stayed conscious watching what was going on around him and wearing a smile for the coming victory and for the flags of Hezbollah that were hoisted over the liberated villages as a result of the sweat of moujahideen, the blood of martyrs and the wounds of the injured…

 

From His Last Will and Testament:

 

To my tender mother… To the most beautiful word that I can remember… Please be patient, Mom and remember Our Lady Fatima Al Zahraa(PBUH) and Our Lady Zeinab(PBUH) the oppressed when she lost her brother Hussein(PBUH). Please do forgive me a lot…

 

To my wife and children… Peace be upon you; be patient, fear Allah…

 

 

 

 

Prince of Believers (PBUH) says, “Desiring what Allah offers bequests spirit and comfort, and desiring what life has to offer bequests grief and sorrow.”

 

Irshad Al Koloub, 1-26

25


20

Lesson Three: The End of Life

 Lesson Three

 

 

The End of Life

 

 

-          What is the reality of death?

 

-          Why do we fear death?

 

-          The best of death.

 

 

Man may doubt everything even commonsenses. But no one doubts or denies that he will die, “Truly thou wilt die (one day), and truly they (too) will die (one day).[1] Nonetheless, the majority of people are deeply incautious of death and they lead life as if they were unable to comprehend this truth though death is surely coming.

 

Imam Ali said, “I have not seen any undoubted certainty similar to a doubt that has no certainty more than death.[2]

 

Death, as a result, is a certainty free from doubt, and at the same time it is doubted because most people do not turn to it during most intervals of their lives and imagine that they will not die.

 

The Horrendous Reality

 

Most people detest and dread death. They tremple with fear and their hearts even quiver when they feel death. The Holy



[1] 30 (Az-Zumar [The Troops, Throngs])

[2] Al Amali, P.309

27


21

Lesson Three: The End of Life

 Qur’an was so eloquent when describing this condition as the polytheist surrounded the Muslims from all sides, and some Muslims were in a condition as Allah says, “Behold! They came on you from above you and from below you, and behold, the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats, and ye imagined various (vain) thoughts about Allah![1]

 

Even the most powerful men in history showed their impotence in the presence of death and looked small when their time came, and some of them had his thoughts up side down. The Holy Qur’an tells us about the arrogance and the haughtiness of the Pharaoh when he said, “I am your upper Allah.” But when he was drowning, he said, “… "I believe that there is no Allah except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam)."[2]

 

When the Al Mamoun, the strong Abbasid Caliph, felt he was about to die, he ordered that tents be set in the desert. It was night, and the fires, scattered here and there and set by the soldiers, added magnificence and majesty. Al Mamoun saw that all his wishes have gone in vain and all his reign and power would bring him nothing. At that moment, he looked into the sky and cried, “O Ye who has the everlasting existence! Have mercy on the one whose reign and glory have gone away.”

 

This is how the hopes of life seekers fall apart in one moment and the falsity of their wishes is revealed and everything is turned into rubble.

 

Why do we fear death?

If we seek the reason, we shall find that it one of two things: either we do not know the reality of death so we imagine that it is mortality, vanishing and absence, or we have fallen deep in love with life and clung to its attractions and much tasted its blessings




[1] 10 (Al-Ahzab [The Clans, the Coalition, the Combined Forces])

[2] 90 (Yunus [Jonah])

28


22

Lesson Three: The End of Life

 and pleasures, rightfully or not. So if death comes, it will cut our connections with what we love and adore and this causes pain and misery, and recalling it causes us concern and anxiety.

Therefore, the more the relation is attached with life, the harder and bitter death is for a dying person.

 

Imam Baker (PBUH) is reported to have said, “He who is firmly attached to life feels more sorrow and regret when he departs life.[1]

 

The Reality of Death

 

To get rid of this anxiety, we first have to know the reality of death. Death is the moving of man’s soul from life and the disengagement with the body and the ascend to the life hereafter. There are two worlds where man lives. The first is life in this world and the second is the hereafter. Death is just a bridge that leads him the mortal life to the eternal one.

The Prince of Believers says, “Life in this world is just a passage to the everlasting afterlife whereas Hereafter is the world of immortality.[2]

But we already know that and believe in it, so why do we hate death then? Our hatred towards death comes from the attraction of our hearts to life in this world and our busy engagement in constructing it and gathering its decorations, as well as our incautiousness about working and building for the hereafter. In addition, we never desire to move from a well-constructed, prosperous place into a place that is destroyed and devastated.

A man asked Abi Zar Al Ghaffari, “Why do we hate death, Aba Zar? Aba Zar replied, “Because you have built life in this world and devastated the hereafter. You then hate to move from a prosperous place into a devastated one.”[3]

 

Believing and Loving Death

 

A real believer must not hate death and feel alienated. A real believer must love and adore death, as the Prince of Believers is reported to have said, “By Allah I swear that Ibn Abi Taleb (I) is more intimate with death than an infant with his mother’s breast.[4]

Man adores immortality and everlasting life and detests extinction. Death is the movement from the mortal state into the immortal state. And, does man hate immortality? Knowledge and believing in mind differs from believing in heart.



[1] Ausul Al Kafi, V2, P320

[2] Bihar Al Anwar; V70, P134

[3] Ausul Al Kafi, V2, P458

[4] Nahj Al Balagha P52; Kashf Al Yakin P180

29


23

Lesson Three: The End of Life

 Although we know life in everlasting hereafter, our hearts have resorted to life in this world.

Imam Khomeini says, “All the misfortunes of ours are on account of this lack of faith and conviction. Had we even a tenth of what faith we have in this world's life and living, its existence and survival, in the world of the Hereafter and its eternal, everlasting life, our hearts would have been more attached to it and we would have devoted some effort to building it. But, alas, the springs of our faith are dry and the edifice of our faith rests on water. Inevitably, we fear death, extinction and end. The exclusive and definite remedy for this malady is cultivation of faith in the heart through beneficial reflection and deeds as well as sound knowledge and works.[1]

 

The Best of Death

The best kind of travel is that when the traveler leaves nothing to regret behind in the departed place and migrate into a place where all the good and desired things are awaiting. Moreover, sacrificing one’s life (blood and soul) for the sake and in the cause of Allah is the most expensive thing man could participate into his life after death. This is a no-matched giving that no one could better. And whoever is so generous




[1] Forty Hadith - 22

30


24

Lesson Three: The End of Life

 shall be rewarded more generously.

 

Allah says, “Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise):  they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain…[1]

 

Prince of Believers also said, “The most glory is death; I swear by Him He who owns my soul that for me to be killed in one thousand hit by the sword is easier than to die on bed not obeying Allah.[2]

 

When Ibn Ziad threatened Imam Zein Al Abidin (PBUH), the Imam replied, “With death you threaten me, Ibn Ziad. Have you not known that killing is our habit and our dignity is martyrdom.[3]

 

This is why we found the fighters (moujahideen) of the Islamic Resistance and its leaders race to the fronts of war and jihad anxiously hoping to win martyrdom. We can evidently deduce the level of believing they have reached and the levels of feeling secure and yielding they have ascended.

 

Summary

 

  1. Death is an inevitable reality for all humans.
  2. Death is an averse to us because we do not know its reality and we do not prepare for it.
  3. Death is a bridge that takes us from the world of immortality to the world of eternal life.
  4. Heart security in eternal life urges us to prepare for it and construct as beautiful as could be.
  5. The best kind of death is to die for the cause of Allah.

 

Questions

 

  1. Why do we hate death and love existence?
  2. What is the reality of death? Does death mean mortality?
  3. What does the Prince of Believers mean when he says, “I have not seen any undoubted certainty similar to a doubt more than death.”?

 

Additional Reading

Courtesies of Funerals and Escorting Them



[1] 111 (At-Tawba [Repentance, Dispensation])

[2] Nahj Al Balagha, 179

[3] Al Bihar, V45, P118

31


25

Lesson Three: The End of Life

 

  1. If one looks at the funeral, he ought to say, “To Allah we belong and to Him is our return. Allah is Great (Allah Akbar). This is what Allah and His Messenger have promised us and they surely were true. O Allah let us be more believing and more surrendering. Grace be to Allah Who has the power and overpowered his servants with death.”
  2. Upon carrying the funeral, one ought to say, “Bism Allah, Wa Billah, Wa Salla Allah Ala Mohamad Wa Al Mohamad; Allahoma Ighfir Lil Moua’mineen Wa Al Moua’minat. In the name of Allah and by the help of Allah, May Allah cast prayers on Mohamad and His Descendents, O Allah Forgive all the male and female believers!”
  3. One who escorts the funeral ought to follow the funeral on foot unless he has a valid reason not to do the same.
  4. One who escorts the funeral ought to participate in carrying the dead on hands unless there is a valid reason that hinders the same.
  5. One who escorts the funeral ought to be devout, thinking that his body is being carried and asking to return to the worldly life and being answered. He further has to think of the difficulty of being answered to return to life, and as said,

32


26

Lesson Three: The End of Life

 should you carry a body to the graves, remember that one day it will be your turn to be carried.

  1. One who escorts the funeral ought to walk behind or besides the funeral but not ahead of it. It is always better to walk behind.
  2. A non-decorated piece of clothes is preferable to be thrown on the funeral.
  3. One ought to hold the dead body from the four sides.
  4. It is recommendable to lower the voice and speak less when escorting a funeral.
  5.  It is desired to put the dead body within a casket.

Abhorrent Acts in Funeral:

  1. It is abominable to laugh, play and raise the voice in a funeral.
  2. Talking without mentioning Allah, supplication or asking forgiveness.
  3. It is abominable for women to escort a funeral even if the deceased is a women.

Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) is reported to have said, “Once, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saw some women sitting in a place. He asked, ‘What are you sitting here for?’ They replied, ‘We are waiting for a funeral.’ He asked them, ‘Are you going to carry with those who do?’ The women replied, ‘No.’ He asked them, ‘Are you going to wash with those who do?’ The women replied, ‘No.’ He asked them, ‘Are you going to help in putting the corpse in its grave with those who do?’ The women replied, ‘No.’ He then said to them, ‘Then go back to your homes with no rewards.’[1]

  1. It is abhorrent to hurry in walking in way that contradicts with the principle of taking things easy with the dead. Walking moderately is a must.
  2. To hit palms together or to the thighs.
  3. It is abhorrent to carry two dead persons on one casket.
  4. It is abhorrent to sit down until the dead is laid down to rest.

 

 



[1] Al Wasa’il V2

33


27

Lesson Three: The End of Life

  

 

Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) said, “Mentioning death kills the desires in the soul, seizes forgetfulness, strengthens the heart with what Allah has promised, softens the manners, breaks craving, extinguishes the fire of covetousness and despises wordly life.”

 

Misbah Al Sharia, 57

 

 

 34


28

Lesson Four: What is After Death?

 Lesson Four

 

 

What is after death?

 

-          Where shall we be after death and before resurrection?

 

-          What are the stages of the Day of Judgment?

 

-          The resting place…

 

 

Having known that death is a travel and movement from a kind of life (life in the world) into another kind (hereafter), we should know that there are stages and phases through which a traveler must pass in order to reach the ultimate goal. So, what is there after death? What are the stages that a traveler passes through on his way to the eternal life?

 

The Realm of Isthmus: (The Minor Day of Reckoning)

 

It is the realm to which man is moved after death until the Day of Judgment, in this world, man prepares for his eternal life, as the fetus is prepared in his mother’s womb to meet life.

 

Allah describes the man who is dying and asking for return to life to get more good deeds in the Holy Qur’an. The answer comes so decisively, “… ‘By no means! It is but a word he says.’- Before them is a Isthmus till the Day they are raised up.[1]

 



[1] 100 (Al-Mumenoon [The Believers])

35


29

Lesson Four: What is After Death?

 When Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) was asked about the Realm of Isthmus, he answered, “It is the grave from the day of death to the Day of Judgment.[1]

In some other hadith, we find that the grave for the believers is a piece of paradise, that is a miniature of the graces and blessings awaited in heaven. As for the atheists, it is one of the fissures of fire.

The Realm of the Resurrection

When it is about time for resurrection, the Angel Israfil blows his trumpet swooning all who are found in heavens and on earth thus leading to the death of all.

The same Angel blows his trumpet once again and Allah shall resurrect them again and order them to stand for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. This day is called the Resurrection Day.

Allah says, “The Trumpet will (just) be sounded, when all that are in the heavens and on earth will swoon, except such as it will please Allah (to exempt). Then will a second one be sounded, when, behold, they will be standing and looking on![2]

There are stages through which man shall pass after this blow in order to determine his destiny:

  1. People are gathered before Allah, the Lord of the Worlds: Each group of people shall be called by their Imam whom they followed. Should the Imam be a righteous one and appointed by Allah or refers to Allah, the followers shall be congregated with the righteous people. If the Imam was an Imam of sins and aberrancies, the group shall be assembled with aberrant people, “One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams…[3]
  2. After the assembling comes reckoning, when man is reckoned for each small and big thing he has done as said even if this action is equal to an atom.

 




[1] Al Kafi; V3; P242

[2] 68 (Az-Zumar [The Troops, Throngs])

[3] 71 (Al-Isra [Isra, The Night Journey, Children of Israel])

36


30

Lesson Four: What is After Death?

 Allah says, “Closer and closer to mankind comes their Reckoning: yet they heed not and they turn away.[1]

And Allah says, “Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it!* And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.[2]

And it is reported that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “On the Day of Resurrection, Servant’s feet shall not move until he is asked about four things: his life and how it was spent; his youth and in what he involved it; his money and how he earned and spent it, and about loving us, we Mohamad and his Descendents (PBUT).[3]

Imam Al Baker (PBUH) also said, “The first thing a servant shall be accountable for is the Prayer. If this prayer is accepted, all his other deeds shall be accepted too.[4]

Some of the events of the Day of Resurrection is what reported to us from Imam Al Sadek PBUH), “When it is Resurrection Day, two servant believers stand for accountability, both whom are among the people of heaven: a poor in the worldly life and a rich in the worldly life. The poor says, ‘O Lord! Why am I held up? You are very well aware that You have not given me any power and authority to be just or otherwise (unjust) and You have not blessed me with money to give or withhold, but I was given my daily bread.’ Allah Almighty says, ‘My servant has spoken the truth. Set him free to enter the Heavens.’ The other servant remains standing and sweating. His sweat would quench the thirst of forty camels then he enters paradise to meet the poor servant who asks the rich one, ‘What kept you up?’ ‘The long list. They came one after the other and they were forgiven by Allah because of his mercy. He made me join those penitents,’




[1] 1 (Al-Anbiya [The Prophets])

[2] 7-8 (Az-Zalzala [The Earthquake])

[3] Bihar Al Anwar; V7; P258

[4] Al Kaki, V3, P268

37


31

Lesson Four: What is After Death?

 the rich man says and then asks, ‘but who are you?’ The poor servant replies, ‘I am the poor person who was with you earlier.’ The rich man replied, ‘Blessings have changed you.’[1]

 

  1. After accountability and revealing the books and logs of deeds, it is the turn for passing the Sirat (the path), which is a bridge erected above hell and no one would enter the Heaven without passing it. It is reported that it is thinner than a hair (filament), sharper than a sword and warmer than fire. Earnest believers pass it easily like a flash. Some pass it with difficulty but they survive it. Some others fall from it into hell. All of this depends on how man was and acted in worldly life and if he was earnest in his religion and loyalty to Allah, His Messenger and the Descendents of His Messenger. The sacred hadith reads, “Loving Ali Bin Abi Taleb is a passage on the Sirat.[2]

 

Keeping close relationships with the next of kins, paying trusts and going to mosques help to pass the Sirat. Prophet Mohamad (PBUH) says, “He who takes mosques as his house, Allah guarantees him spirit, comfort and passage over the Sirat.[3]

 

Heaven & Hell

 

Then, believers shall move into heaven where there are great gardens, fruitful trees, delicious fruits, great houses, fresh water, houris (nymphs), and all what eyes desire and souls wish. It is described in a short phrase to be “…it contains what no eyes have seen, no ears have heard of and no man has ever imagined…[4]

 

As for hell, it is the torment place of atheists and hypocrites. Flames of fire rage in it from all sides and it is guarded by the




[2] Bihar Al Anwar, V39, P193

[3] Al Wasail, V3, P362

[4] Man La Yahdorhou Al Fakih, V1, P295

38


32

Lesson Four: What is After Death?

 harshest of angles that made the inhabitants there shake to death with fear and loneliness. The faces of the inhabitants of hell are black, dull and ugly. They are cuffed and they drink from its boiling water that melts whatever in their stomachs and their skins. Their food comes from the zachum oil tree (an infernal tree with bitter fruit). Devils shall be their peers there. Their excruciation is always increasing that they wish they would die but they would not.

 

Summary

 

  1. Realm of Isthmus begins from death to the Day of Resurrection. 

 

  1. Resurrection Day is the day when people are assembled before Allah.

 

  1. Day of Judgment is the day when the people are reckoned on what they have done in their worldly life.

 

  1. Sirat is a bridge erected above the hell crossed by believers on their way to heaven, and those who are to be tormented in hell by Allah  shall fall from over it.

 

  1. Heaven is the everlasting resting place for the believers and hell the eternal torment place for atheists and hypocrites.

 

Questions

 

  1. What is the Realm of Isthmus?

 

  1. Why does the time some people spend standing before Allah vary?

 

  1. On the Day of Judgment, each nation of people is called by its Imam. How do you define your role and stands in the worldly life on the basis of being headed by an Imam?

39


33

Lesson Four: What is After Death?

 Additional Reading

 

Courtesies of Visiting Tombs

 

  1. When you visit the graves of believers, say, “In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful. Peace be upon the people of La Ilah Ila Allah (there is no Allah but Allah) from the people of La Ilah Ila Allah. O Ye people of La Ilah Ila Allah for the sake of La Ilah Ila Allah how did you find the saying of La Ilah Ila Allah from La Ilah Ila Allah. O La Ilah Ila Allah! For the sake of La Ilah Ila Allah forgive those who have said La Ilah Ila Allah and stack us with those who said La Ilah Ila Allah, Mohamad Rasul Allah and Ali is the Wali (Saint of) of Allah.
  2. It is recommendable to visit the graves on the afternoon of each Monday and Thursday and the morning of Saturday and to ask forgiveness and mercy for them provided that no anxiousness is expressed (that is when man expresses a dilemma without being patient).
  3. It is desirable to say, “Peace be on the believing inhabitants of these places. May Allah have mercy on those who are here or those to come. If Allah wills we shall follow you here.
  4. It is desirable that a visitor puts his palm on the grave and heads towards the Kibla and reads Sura Al Qadr (the Night of Power) “We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power…” seven times. It is also recommendable to read (Sura Al Fatiha, Al Falaq, Al Nas, and Korsi Verse) each three times and Sura Ya-Seen and any verse in the Holy Qur’an, either while sitting or standing provided that he is heading towards Al Kibla.
  5. It is agreeable to ask Allah for favors when standing at the graves of the parents.
  6. Visiting graves is agreeable for both men and women.

 

40


34

Lesson Four: What is After Death?

 Some of the anecdotes related to visiting the graves:

 

  1. The Prince of Believers (PBUH) said, “Visit your dead ones, for they feel happy when you visit them and ask for favors when your are standing at the graves of your parents after you supplicate for them.[1]

 

  1. It is reported that Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) has said about visiting the graves, “They feel comfort and when you do not visit them they feel lonely.[2]

 

  1. The Messenger is reported to have said, “He who reads a verse from the Holy Book of Allah in a Muslim graveyard, Allah shall give him the rewards of seventy prophets…[3]

 

  1. The Messenger is reported to have said, “He who wishes mercy to the inhabitants of the graves was salvaged from hell and entered heaven while smiling.[4]

 

 



[1] Al Khisal, V6

[2] A Wasail, V2

[3] Jamea Ahadis Al Shi’a, V3

[4] Jamea Ahadis Al Shi’a, V3

41


35

Lesson Four: What is After Death?

  

 

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Condolence paid in a funeral beget heaven.”

 

Al Ikhtisas, 184

 42


36

Chapter Two: Steps of the Road

 Chapter Two

 

Steps on the Road

 

-          Repentance

 

-          The Two Heavy Burdens is the Last Will and Testament of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)

 

-          Natal  Kin (Keeping Relations with Immediate Relatives)

 

-          Jihad for the Cause of Allah

 

-          Social Intercourse

 

-          The Perfect Prayer

 

 43


37

Lesson One: Repentance

 Lesson One

 

Repentance

 

-          Does the sinner have a way to return?

 

-          What is repentance?

 

-          Gifts for the repenters… 

 

Why Does Man Repent to Allah Almighty?

 

Allah has created man’s soul so pure of all kinds of sins and He has granted him the ability to distinguish and choose between good and evil. Through his will, man can pursue the road of good by complying with the divine doctrines and thus get the reward promised by Allah Almighty to his good worshipers which is the heaven that extends from heavens to earth in width and is prepared for those who believe and fear Allah.

 

Man can also follow the road of evil, and thus shall get the hell in the Hereafter; such hell which is fueled by people and rocks and prepared by Allah to those who shall disobey him.

 

Moreover, Allah has never left man unobserved. On the contrary, he sent angels to record his acts and deeds in a certain log that shall contain and include every single small and great effort. Allah has also told man of this observation so that he could have a deterrent from committing sins and thus

45


38

Lesson One: Repentance

 always feel that Allah is present with him at any place and as a result refrain from committing such sins, “Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready (to note it),” “And there will come forth every soul: with each will be an (angel) to drive, and an (angel) to bear witness.[1]

Allah also says, “…What a Book is this! It leaves out nothing small or great, but takes account thereof!" They will find all that they did, placed before them: And not one will thy Lord treat with injustice.[2]

Despite the foregoing, man can fall into sins due to his instincts and desires when he surrenders to them, thus diverting from the road of good to the road of evil. The more man commits sins, the more he diverts from the road of good to the road of evil, and at the end, he follows the road of evil. So, in order not to become disappointed and hopeless and feel that all doors have been closed in his face, whom would he refuge to after he has committed all his sins? For that, Allah has opened the door of repentance for his servants and said, “O ye who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance…[3]

Each man can return to the Allah’s mercy through the door of repentance and find safety and save himself from drowning by getting on board of the ship of repentance.

 

What is Repentance?

Repentance is not just to move the tongue and utter, “I ask Allah for forgiveness and I repent to him,” as a parrot does. Repentance needs to be and must be from the heart, mind and soul and from the inside. It is when man stands before the hands of Allah in subjection and apologize for all the sins he has committed and regret the same, then vows before Allah that he shall never return to committing these sins. When he does that, man shall be considered to have sincerely repented to Allah.

 




[1] 18-21 (Qaf [The letter Qaf])

[2] 49 (Al-Kahf [The Cave])

[3] 8 (At-Tahrim [Banning, Prohibition])

46


39

Lesson One: Repentance

 Rush to Repentance

 

A sinner must rush to repentance and not put it off and spends his lifetime in procrastination by saying that he shall repent until he dies while he is in complete sin. Procrastionation is the most important tactics of Satan where it intends that man be dead as he is committing sins. One poet says, “Don’t say I shall repent tomorrow, for tomorrow may come while you are underground.”

So, get out of all your sins and never leave one single sin without repentance for the mercy of Allah extends over everything and that Allah Almighty forgive all sins; therefore, man must not withhold repentance as Allah has not withheld repentance from all sins.

 

Allah Accepts the Repentance of Penitents

When man repents to Allah from all his sins, Allah shall inevitably accept this repentence. How would not He and He has promised in the Holy Qur’an that He shall.

 “He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do.[1]

Allah has named Himself the Forgiver and the Merciful in the Holy Qur’an, “…for Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.[2]

Thus, the divine mercy encircles the repenter until he becomes sinless as reported by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), “A repenter shall become like the sinless.[3]

 

Gifts for Those Who Repent

 

Repentance is fruitful during man’s lifetime. These fruits are granted by Allah. Repentance extends man’s lifespan, extends bread and living, and most importantly, it makes man the beloved of Allah.

 



[1] 25 (Ash-Shura [Council, Consultation])

[2] 118 (At-Tawba [Repentance, Dispensation])

[3] Mojama’a Al Fa’ida, V14, P322

47


40

Lesson One: Repentance

 Allah says, “…For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.[1]

 

So, let us all come and gather before the hands of Almighty and solemnly declare our apologies and repentance for and from all our sins and repeat the supplication of Imam Zein Al Abidin (PBUH), “O Lord! Sins have dressed me with humiliation and being apart from You has lowered me, and my heart became dead due to my great sins, so Lord revive it with a repentance from you. O You my utmost objective! I swear by Thy Glory that I can never find anyone who could forgive my sins but Thou.[2]

 

Conditions of Repentance

 

These conditions were all included in an anecdote reported to have occurred with the Prince of Believers (Imam Ali) (PBUH) when someone said in his presence, “I ask Allah for forgiveness and mercy.” The Imam (PBUH) said, “May you be bereaved by thy mother! Do you know what is it to ask for forgiveness and mercy? Asking for forgiveness is the degree of those who are great and it is a noun with six meanings: first, it is to remorse all what occurred; second, it is to vow not to return at all to the things that you have done; third, it must lead to returning the rights of the creatures to them so that you can meet Allah with no obligation; fourth, is to re-perform each and every duty missed; fifth, it is to remove all the ill-gotten flesh that has been grown on your body by grief; sixth, it is to make the body feel the pain of obedience after you have made enjoy the pleasure of sins. Then, you may say, ‘I ask Allah for forgiveness.’[3]

 




[1] 222 (Al-Baqara [The Cow])

[2] Bihar Al Anwar, V91, P142

[3] Bihar Al Anwar, V6, P36

48


41

Lesson One: Repentance

 Summary

 

1-     Allah Almighty has created man to follow the road of good on his way to happiness.

 

2-     Angels observe man and record his virtues and sins.

 

3-     Man can enter Allah’s mercy from the gate of repentance.

 

4-     Repentance is not just words uttered using one’s tongue; on the contrary, it is the remorse of the heart and the act of organs and limbs.

 

5-     Repentance has good impacts on man’s life as man becomes the beloved of Allah.

 

6-     Allah Almighty accepts repentance from all his servants for all their sins and a regreter shall become sinless.

 

Questions

 

1-     What is the way to reach happiness and win Heaven?

 

2-     What is the sincere repentance?

 

3-     What are the traces of repentance in man’s life?

 

 49


42

Lesson One: Repentance

 Additional Reading

 

The Four Ambassadors (Representatives) of Imam Al Mahdi (AFS)

 

The four Ambassadors are the representatives who represented Imam Al Mahdi (AFS) during his Minor Occultation. Their mission was to lead the supporters on the intellectual and behavioral levels according to his orders, that is, they were the mediators of Imam Al Mahdi’s leadership of the society and appliers of his doctrines. Their degrees of loyalty and believing, in addition to their willingness to sacrifice whatever needed, qualified them to become special representatives. In their behavior, they were able to achieve the public interests in leading and guiding the supporters and preserving them. These representatives are: 

 

The First Ambassador: Uthman Ibin Sa'id Umari

 

He was first mentioned in historic encyclopedias as a confident and trusted ambassador of Imam Al Hadi (PBUH). Imam Al Hadi used to trust and flater him by saying, “Abou Amr is a trusted fellow; whatever he says to you, he is reporting me, and whatever he gives to you, he is giving it instead of me.[1]

 

After the martyrdom of Imam Al Hadi (PBUH), Abou Amr became a special, active representative of Imam Al Askari (PBUH). He used to carry the money in Alsoman Alley and followed the same track drawn to him by the Imam in being confidential.

 

After the martyrdom of Imam Al Askari (PBUH), Uthman Ibin Sa'id became the first Ambassador of Imam Al Mahdi (ASF) and he was assigned to the greatest mission of linking the Imam (ASF) to his supporters and in conveying his instructions and




[1] Occultation (Al Toussi), P354

50


43

Lesson One: Repentance

 doctrines to them and taking their questions, moneys and problems to the Imam. He remained the Ambassador of the Imam until his death. He did not forget to told the people and the supporters before his death the instructions of the Imam to appoint his son Muhammad Ibin Uthman.  

 

The Second Ambassador: Muhammad Ibin Uthman Umari

 

He was appointed after his father’s death on the basis of a text reported by Imam Al Askari (PBUH) when he said, “Bear witness that Uthman Ibn Said Umari is my representative and that his son is the representative of my son, Your Mahdi,[1] and also due to the instructions of his father by orders from Imam Al Mahdi (PBUH).

All the supporters unanimously agreed that he was a trusted, confident and just representative of the Imam. Moreover, the words of the Imam flattered and encouraged him especially in the first, early days of his term.

All signatures which were given by Imam Al Mahdi (PBUH) were the same as those given by his father.

His term extended about fifty years and he was the Ambassador who spent the longest term serving Imam Al Mahdi and he was the luckiest among others who received the doctrines of Imam Al Mahdi (PBUH) and the person who most influenced the society he lived in.

Abu Jaafar Al Umari did not forget to pass this mission to his successor Hussein Ibin Ruh, the Third Ambassador, by orders of Imam Al Mahdi(PBUH). When he died, he was buried at Bab Al Kufa Street where he had his premises. 

 

The Third Ambassador: Hussein Ibin Ruh Nawbakhti

 

Al Hussein Ibin Ruh Al Nawbakhti become the Ambassador of the Imam after the death of Muhammad Ibin Uthman and remained in office for about twenty-one years. The first




[1] Occultation (Al Toussi), P354

51


44

Lesson One: Repentance

 message he received from the Imam, was a letter that  included compliments to him, and the Imam supplicated for him saying, “Allah has introduced him to all His good and satisfaction. He is a trusted and confident companion of ours and he shall be in a level that he shall be delighted for. May Allah increase His Good for him.[1]

Ever since he became the Ambassador of Imam Al Mahdi (PBUH), he well performed his mission. He, for instance, adhered to double Takia (cautiousness) in order to preserve great issues and interests and to polarize the hearts of many people. He also headed the campaign against phenomenon of diversion from the right way and claiming false representations. He also kept on conveying the instructions of the Imam and other missions until he died in 326 A.H. He was buried in Nawbakhtia, and his grave today in Baghdad has become a shrine destined by many.

 

The Fourth Ambassador: Ali Ibin Muhammad Simmari

He was first mentioned as one of the companions of Imam Hassan Al Askari (PBUH) and then as the Ambassador of Imam Al Mahdi in Baghdad after Ibin Ruh.

He became the Ambassador of Imam Al Mahdi (PBUH) after the death of Ibin Ruh in 326 A.H. until he died in 329 A.H. on the midst of Sha’aban; that is, he remained in office for three years.

Before he died, he brought out a message for Imam Al Mahdi (PBUH) whereby he declared the end of his minor occultation and the end of representation whereby Simmari was forbidden from appointing any representative after his death.

The said message read as follows, “In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful. O Ali Bin Muhammad Simmari, May Allah increase your reward. You are to die within six days. Do not appoint anyone to act for me after




[1] Occultation (Al Toussi), P372

52


45

Lesson One: Repentance

 your death. The Major Occultation is to occur. I shall never be revealed unless Allah Almighty orders so, after a long time, and after the hearts become rocks and this world is filled with injustice and oppression…

 

This was the last message given by Imam Al Mahdi (PBUH) through his Ambassadors and the last connection between him and the people during his minor occultation. Six days later, Ali Ibin Muhammad Simmari was buried in Baghdad where he has a reputed tomb.

 

 53


46

Lesson One: Repentance

  

The Prince of Believers (PBUH) said, “No Redeemer Is Like Repentance.”

 

Man La Yahdorhu Al Fakih, 3 - 376

 

 

 54


47

Lesson Two: The Two Precious Things: The Will of Prophet (PBUH)

 Lesson Two

 

The Two Precious Things (Al Thaqalayn): The Will of the Prophet (PBUH)

 

-          What Is the Axis of Guidance after the Prophet (PBUH)?

 

-          What is the Book of Guidance?

 

-          What are the Approaches and Means of Deliverance?

 

The Two Precious Things: The Will of the Prophet (PBUH)

 

Allah has created man to reach happiness. But man during life in this world is like he is in a raging sea due to the many misleading rights claiming that they lead to the right way and happiness. For that, Allah has never left man alone to drown or to be led astray. He sent prophets for man and sent the complete programs with them. And when Allah sealed off his prophets’ missions by the mission of Mohamad (PBUH), the Prophet (PBUH) determined for us the ship of deliverance when He (PBUH) said, “Verily, I have left behind two precious things amongst you: The Book of Allah, the Exalted, and my kindred (`itrah). So watch out how you treat these two after me, for verily they will not separate from each other until they come back to me by the side of the Pond.[1]

 

Abou Zar said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying that ‘Verily, I have left behind two precious things




[1] Wasael Al Shia, V18, P19

55


48

Lesson Two: The Two Precious Things: The Will of Prophet (PBUH)

 amongst you: The Book of Allah, the Exalted, and my kindred (`itrah). So watch out how you treat these two after me, for verily they will not separate from each other until they come back to me by the side of the Pond. They are like the Ship of Noah: whoever gets on board shall survive and be delivered and whoever falls behind shall drown.’[1]

What are the two precious things? Why did the Prophet (PBUH) left them behind? What are our duties and obligations towards them?

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) clarifies and teaches us through this hadith who are the two precious things. The first precious thing is the Holy Book of Allah, that is the Qur’an, whereas the second precious thing is the kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) who are the twelve Imams including Al Zahraa, may peace be upon them all.

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) named them the two precious and great things because the Arabs name all precious things ‘al thiql’ and there is no greater, more noble or more precious things than the Qur’an and the Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).

 

The Relationship with the two Precious Things

 

Why did the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) leave behind the two precious things?

The two precious things are the light of guidance which leads the way to the believer throughout his life in order to stay on the same track of guidance and pureness and enjoy the satisfaction of Allah the Exalted. Therefore, the Muslim ought to be connected with them so that he could reach happiness in life in this world and in the Hereafter because the Holy Qur’an and the Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) are the right path that we should follow and the ship of deliverance, the stars of the sky and the absconce of light.

 



[1] Bihar Al Anwar, V23, P135

56


49

Lesson Two: The Two Precious Things: The Will of Prophet (PBUH)

 Qur’an: The Holy Book of Allah

The Holy Qur’an is the Message of Allah to Man for the purpose of guiding him to the right way. The Qur’an was sent to the Heart of the Prophet (PBUH) in order to lead people out of their darkness to the light to guidance and to become a miracle in his hands.

Qur’an to man is like water to a thirster that quenches his thirst with pureness, comfort and peace of mind and make him among those very close servants of Allah Almighty. Our relation with the Qur’an must be as follows:

First: Caring for reading the Qur’an correctly because it is amongst the best of worships.

Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) says, “Qur’an is the vow of Allah to his creatures. A Muslim must look into His vow and read fifty verses of it daily.[1]

There are many courtesies for reading the Qur’an such as minor ablution (Wudu) and taking the direction and heading towards Kibla with devotion and reverence. One should also listen to the Qur’an verses if he heard the same in gatherings.

Second: Learning the Qur’an and understanding the meanings of the Qur’an verses.

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) is reported to have said, “He who learns and teaches the Qur’an is the best among you.[2]

Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) says, “A believer should not die until he learns the Qur’an or underway.[3]

Third: Working according to the doctrines of the Qur’an and abiding by the content of the verses which details worships, manners and orders that prohibit doing certain deeds.

 

Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUT) are the Means of Deliverance

Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUT) those who were




[1] Al Kafi, V2, P69

[2] Moustadrek Al Wasael, V4, P235

[3] Al Kafi, V2, P607

57


50

Lesson Two: The Two Precious Things: The Will of Prophet (PBUH)

 abominated and purified, “…And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.[1]

They are the ones that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) asked us to be with.

The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have told Ammar (PBUH), “If all people followed a certain track, do follow the track which Ali (PBUH) has followed and leave all other people.[2]

Therefore, they are the way of good and deliverance and we have to be with them, taking into the following into consideration:

First: Knowing them through knowing their names which are as follows:

 

  1. Ali Bin Abi Taleb (PBUH)
  2. Al Hassan Bin Ali (PBUH)
  3. Al Hussein Bin Ali (PBUH)
  4. Ali Bin Al Hussein Zein Al Abidin (PBUH)
  5. Mohamad Bin Ali Al Baker (PBUH)
  6. Jaafar Bin Mohamad Al Sadek (PBUH)
  7. Moussa Bin Jaafar Al Kazem (PBUH)
  8. Ali Bin Moussa Al Rida (PBUH)
  9. Mohamad Bin Ali Al Jalad (PBUH)
  10. Ali Bin Mohamad Al Hadi (PBUH)
  11. Al Hassan Bin Ali Al Askari (PBUH)
  12. Mohamad Bin Al Hassan Al Kaem Al Mahdi (PBUH)

 

We also have to know their vantage and rank for Allah and know their sayings and deeds, their life stories.

Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) says, “He who knows us was a believer and whoever denies us is an atheist.[3] Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) also says, “A servant would not be a believer until he knows Allah, His Prophet and all Imams and the Imam of his time.[4]




[1] 33 (Al-Ahzab [The Clans, the Coalition, the Combined Forces])

[2] Kashf Al Ghitaa, V1, P11

[3] Al Kafi, V1, P187

[4] Al Kafi, V1, P180

58


51

Lesson Two: The Two Precious Things: The Will of Prophet (PBUH)

 Second: Loving them and attaching to them emotionally and spiritually.

It was reported by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) in the Holy Qur’an, “…Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin…[1] The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) did not as for any reward for the message, but made the love of those next of kin the reward of the Islamic mission.

It is also reported that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) have said, “Stick to our love, we the Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) because he who stands before Allah while he loves us shall enter Heaven by our intercession.[2]

 

Third: Obeying them and complying with their orders.

We must implement all their orders as for doing the things they wanted us to do and refrain from other deeds they told us to abstain from.

The Holy Qur’an says, “…Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you…[3] Those charged with authority are the Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).

Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) said, “We are a group of people whose obedience are imposed by Allah.[4]

Fourth: Following on their footsteps and making them our patterns.

We must imitate their acts and deeds and try to make the same similar to theirs.

Imam Al Baker says, “He who follows us and never controverts with is among our Shi’a.[5]

 

We Are the Followers of the Owner of All Times (MAEHR)

 

Imam Mohamad Bin Al Hassan Al Mahdi (MAEHR) is the Imam of our time; therefore, we should have a special and unique




[1] 23 (Ash-Shura [Council, Consultation])

[2] Bihar Al Anwar, V27, P91

[3] 59 (An-Nisa [Women])

[4] Al Kafi, V1, P186

[5] Al Oussul Al Sita Ashar, P61

59


52

Lesson Two: The Two Precious Things: The Will of Prophet (PBUH)

 relationship with him through paving the way for his revelation and supplicating for him to ease up his revelation and by following the Wali Leader during his occultation.

So, let us implore for Imam Al Mahdi (MAEHR) with this supplication, “O Lord! Be to Your Leader Al Hojat Ibn Al Hassan, May Your Prayers be on Him and His Forefathers at this time and every time, the Guider and Preserver, the Leader and the Supporter until You settle Him in Your Earth and make Him enjoy it for a long time. O Lord! Make me one of his supporters and followers, and May Your Prayers be upon Mohamad and the Kindred of Mohamad.

 

Summary:

  1. The two precious things (al Thaqalayn) are the Holy Book of Allah the Exalted and the Kindred of the Prophet of Allah (PBUT). The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has named them so due to their great position.
  2. The Holy Qur’an is the Message of Allah to his creatures for the purpose of guiding them.
  3. Our relationship with the Holy Qur’an must be through taking care of reading it, teaching it and working according to its doctrines.
  4. The Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) are infallibles who are our teachers and guiders to Allah and our connection with them must be through getting to know them, loving, obeying and imitating them.
  5. We must have a special relationship with Imam Al Mahdi (MAEHR) and pave the way for him.

Questions:

  1. Mention the hadith in which the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) clarified who the two precious things are.
  2. What is our relationship with the Holy Qur’an?

 

  1. What are the stages of our relationship with the Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUT)?

60


53

Lesson Two: The Two Precious Things: The Will of Prophet (PBUH)

 Additional Reading:

 

Imam Mohamad Bin Ali Al Jalad (PBUH)

 

He is the Ninth Imam of the Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUT). He was born in the Holy Month of Ramadan in 195 A.H./809 A.D. at Medina. He inherited honor from his forefathers and ancestors and his arteries were watered from the spring of prophecy and from the mission.

After the death of his father Imam Al Rida, he became the leader in 203 A.H. and he was martyred in 220 A.H. / 835 A.D. He lived during the reign of Ma'mun and the early reign of Mu'tasim.

His titles are Al Jawad, Al Kanaa, Al Mortada, Al Najib, Al Taki, Al Zaki and other titles that indicate his high honor and position.

When Imam Al Rida died, Imam Al Jawad was in Medina and he became the leader by the bequest and decree of his father while he was nine or ten years old. Al Ma'mun practiced the same policy he had practiced with his father contrary to the policy of other Abbasid caliphs, who used to kill or imprison the Imams of the Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). That policy only made the love to the Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) grow among people and increase the hatred of the people to the caliphs. When Ma’mun felt this, he changed the policy and brought the Kindred of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) from their homes to the circle of the caliphate in order to supervise their movement and this policy continued until it ended with Imam Al Askari (PBUH). When Ma’mun brought the Imam into the circle of the caliphate, he was taken by the Imam’s brightness and position since he was young due to his knowledge, wisdom and intellect that was second to none.

The Imam was poisoned and killed in the end of Zu Al Kaida when he was only 25 years old and few months and was buried next to his grandfather Imam Al Kazem (PBUH) in Baghdad.

 

 61


54

Lesson Two: The Two Precious Things: The Will of Prophet (PBUH)

  

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,

 

“Whoever wants to beg and intercede by me on the Day of Judgment then let him be in connection with my kindred and make them happy.”

 

Amali Al Sheikh Al Toussi, 270

 

 62


55

Lesson Three: Keeping Ties of Kinship (Sila Al-Rahim)

 Lesson Three

 

Keeping Ties of Kinship (Silat Al-Rahim)

 

 

-          Who are those whom we are connected with in ties of kinship?

 

-          What are the rewards of keeping ties with them and the punishment of disconnecting these ties?

 

-          What are our obligations towards our parents?

 

Who are those whom we are connected with in ties of kinship?

 

Arham in Arabic is the plural form of rahim which means womb/uterus in English. Rahim in Arabic also means every individual one is connected with by kinship whether such a relationship is from the mother’s and the father’s side such as brothers and sisters, or from the mother’s side alone such as aunts and uncles and their children, or from the father’s side alone, such as aunts and uncles from the father’s side and their children. This kinship also includes both grandparents. The greatest among these ties and relationships are the ties with the father and mother. In short, kinship, or arham, are those considered the relatives of man due to kinship either from the mother’s side or the father’s side.

 

When we talk about keeping the ties of kinship and say it is an obligation and man must keep these ties, and mention that Islam urged in the Qur’an and in the anecdotes reported to

 

63 


56

Lesson Three: Keeping Ties of Kinship (Sila Al-Rahim)

 keep these ties, we mean to keep good relations with these kin through getting involved with and being interested in their affairs and problems and through visiting them and sharing joy and grief with them providing them with help and aid whenever needed, as well as supplicating for Allah for their good.

The purpose of these deeds is that Allah the Exalted wanted the relationships between man and his kin to be built on love, tenderness, mercy and compassion and not asperity, hatred, malice and remoteness.

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) is reported to have said, “Verily I recommend those who are present and absent of my people and those who are still in the phalli of men and the wombs of women till the Day of Judgment to keep ties with their kin even if these kin are one-year walk away. This is a norm of religion.[1]

At the same time, we also notice that Allah Almighty has threatened those who cut these ties with their kin that they shall be cursed and sent to hell.

Allah says, “But those who break the Covenant of Allah, after having plighted their word thereto, and cut asunder those things which Allah has commanded to be joined, and work mischief in the land;- on them is the curse; for them is the terrible home![2] Among other things Allah has ordered his servants to perform is to keep ties of kinship.

Man has to keep ties with his kin even if the latter disjoin these ties.

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) says, “Never do you cut asunder your ties with your kin even if they do.[3]

 

Divine rewards for those who keep ties with their kinship

Keeping ties of kin has many fruits in this life and the




[1] Al Kafi, V2, P151

[2] 25 (Ar-Rad [The Thunder])

[3] Al Kafi, V2, P156

64


57

Lesson Three: Keeping Ties of Kinship (Sila Al-Rahim)

 Hereafter that man can benefit from. These fruits and rewards include:

1. Long life and expansion of sustenance

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Whoever wants his life to be lengthened and his sustenance be expanded by Allah so let him keep his ties of kinship.[1]

Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) is also reported to have said, “Ties of kinship enhances actions, grows monies, facilitates accountability and pushes away bale and affliction.[2]

 

2. Good conduct and morals and pushing away affliction

There are many anecdotes about the same. In the previous hadith, there is an assurance on enhancing deeds and pushing away afflictions. In another hadith, Imam Baker (PBUH) said, “Ties of kinship enhances actions, grows monies, and pushes away bale and affliction…[3]

Moreover, Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) is reported to have said, “Keeping ties of kinship improves manners… and glorifies the soul…[4]

 

3. Comfort of the soul at death and ease of accountability:

Imam Al Hadi (PBUH) said, “Among many things, Allah has told Moses (PBUH) when Moses (PBUH) asked about the one who keeps ties of kinship, “O Moses! I would let him live long and ease up his death.”[5]

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Keeping the ties of kinship eases up accountability and prevent the terrible death.[6]

 

4. Great reward:

Eventually, we conclude with this great anecdote about the




[1] Al Kafi, V2, P156

[2] Al Kafi, V2, P157

[3] Al Kafi, V2, P150

[4] Mizan Al Hekma, V2, P1055

[5] Mizan Al Hekma, V2, P1055

[6] Mizan Al Hekma, V2, P1055

65


58

Lesson Three: Keeping Ties of Kinship (Sila Al-Rahim)

 immensity of keeping the ties of kinship. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He whoever walks spending from his moneys and soul to call on his kin, Allah Almighty shall give him the reward of one hundred martyrs and he shall further get forty thousand alms and erases forty thousand sins for him and shall elevate his position, and he shall be as if he were a servant who kept patience for one hundred years.[1]

 

Punishment of the one who does not keep his ties of kinship

Disconnecting ties of kinship has the most awful results in life and the Hereafter. It begets short life, punishment, loss of wealth, doom, and mercilessness in this life.

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) says, “Mercy is never granted to those who have a person among them who does not keep ties of kinship.[2]

As for traces in the Hereafter, we mentioned earlier the curse and doomed refuge a person, who does not keep ties of kinship, shall get.

 

What are the best and awful kinds of keeping and disjoining the ties of kinship respectively?

Filial piety is the best of keeping ties of kinship whereas filial impiety is most awful in disjoining ties of kinship.

The Holy Qur’an and the Descendents of the Messenger of Allah (PBUT) focused on the good relationship with the two parents because they are the origin of and the trunk of man where the tree is indispensable of its trunk or else it would die. Man’s relationship with his parents is similar: having no good relationship with the parents would bring doom and dilemmas and the society shall become imbalanced.

 




[1] Man La Yahdoruhu Al Fakih, V4, P16

1 Mustadrek Al Wasael, V9, P106

 66


59

Lesson Three: Keeping Ties of Kinship (Sila Al-Rahim)

 The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) says, “Filial piety is better than praying, fasting, pilgrimage, omra (it is similar to pilgrimage rite in most aspects) and jihad (the holy war).2

 

Moses Bin Omran saw a man under the shadows of the devine throne and asked, “O Lord! Who is this man whom you sheltered and brought under the shadows of the devine throne? Allah Almighty replied, “O Moses! This man was not impious with his parents.”3

 

An impious son who has not had a good relationship with his parents would not go to heaven (paradise).

 

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Three kinds of people would not go to heaven: an impious son…4

 

Imam Al Sadek (PBUH) says, “A person who was impious would not go to heaven.5

Courtesies of the relationship with parents

 

There are many courtesies that one should follow in his relationship with his parents. Among these we mention love, thankfulness, obedience, respect, humbleness, tenderness and supplicating for them; “And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.[1]

 

Supplications of the believer

 

Let’s supplicate using the following bespeak, “O Lord! Forgive me and my parents and bestow thy mercy on them as they cherished me in childhood and bestow them rewards for their good deeds and forgive their sins, O Lord! The Most Merciful.




2 Al Tohfa Al Sunniah, P329

3 Al Kafi, V2, P347

4 Mustadrek Al Wasael, V15, P191

5 Wasael Al Shia, V9, P454

[1] 17.024 (Al-Isra [Isra, The Night Journey, Children of Israel])

 

67 


60

Lesson Three: Keeping Ties of Kinship (Sila Al-Rahim)

 Summary

 

  1. A kin is a relative whether he/she comes from the father’s or the mother’s side.
  2. One of the greatest duties is to keep ties of kinship whereas on the greatest sins is to disconnect such relation.
  3. Keeping the ties of kinship has great effects on man’s life. It elongates life, increases sustenance, blocks dilemmas, in addition to many other things. As for the Hereafter, it eases up accountability, helps cross sirat (a road erected over the Hell) easily and gives the rewards of martyrs.
  4. Disconnecting ties of kinship has a punishment in life such as the loss of monies and lack of mercy whereas it begets doom and curse in the Hereafter and prevents one from going into heaven.
  5. Filial piety is the best of keeping ties of kinship whereas filial impiety is most awful in disjoining ties of kinship. Therefore, parents must be treated with love, thankfulness, respect, obedience and tenderness.

 

Questions:

 

  1. Mention the people who are meant to be of kinship.
  2. How would one keep or disconnect his kinship?
  3. What is the reward of the person who keeps ties with his kinship and the punishment of the person who disjoins these ties?
  4.  

Additional Reading:

 

Sheikh Abdul Karim Haairi and Aiding a Needy

The late Sheikh Abdul Karim Haairi, founder of the religious Hawza in Qom had a servant named Sheikh Ali. Sheikh Ali was

68


61

Lesson Three: Keeping Ties of Kinship (Sila Al-Rahim)

 asleep one winter night in the hall at the Sheikh’s place when a poor woman knocked the door. She was asking some relief for her sick husband. She didn’t have any medicine, food or charcoal for warmth and heating. I answered her, “Lady, we can do nothing in this time of the night. I know very well that the Sheikh has nothing to help you.”

The woman went frustrated, the Sheikh yelled at me after he had heard our conversation and said, “What would you answer the Lord in the Day of Judgment when He asks us about this hour in the night as His servant came asking us for help but we could not meet her need?”

“O Sheikh! What can we do for this woman?” I said.

“Do you know the house of this woman?”

“Yes I do. But it is hard to go there due to the mud and snow filling the streets,” I replied.

“Let’s go,” he said.

When we arrived there, we verified the claims of the woman.

The Sheikh then ordered that I go to Dr. Sadr Al Hokama’a and tell him to come and check on that sick man. I went there and came with the doctor who examined the sick man and prescribed some medicines. He gave me the prescription and left. The Sheikh ordered me to go to a certain pharmacy and buy the medicine by charging its price on the Sheikh’s account. I left and came back with the medicines. Then he told me to go and buy some charcoal and food and charge the same on his account, and so did I.

In conclusion, the sick man’s family were delighted that night. Their sick person improved after taking the medicine and they had some food and warmth.

The Sheikh then asked me about the quantity of meat I used to bring to his house and I said, “Seven hundred grams.”

He told me, “Give half of it to this family everyday. Allah is the most Generous.”

 

 69


62

Lesson Three: Keeping Ties of Kinship (Sila Al-Rahim)

 Moses said, “O Lord! What is the reward of the one who keeps the ties with his kinship? Allah said, “I would let him live long and ease up his death. And the Guards of Heaven shall call him: Come to us and enter from any door you want.””

 

Rawdat Al Waaizin, 2-270

 

 70


63

Lesson Four: Jihad (Strive) in the Cause of Allah

 Lesson Four

 

Jihad (Strive) in the Cause of Allah

 

 

-          What and why is Jihad?

 

-          What is the position of Jihad in Islam? How is Jihad performed?

 

-          What are the characteristics of Mujahidin (Strivers)?

 

 

 

Undoubtedly, the nimblest way to reach Allah and gain happiness is Jihad (strive) in the cause of Allah. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “My nation’s tourism is Jihad.[1]

 

What is Jihad then? What is its position in Islam? Does it have ranks and conditions which the divine Sharia (doctrines) had discussed?

 

What is Jihad?

 

Jihad is to fight the enemies of the Lord Almighty and combat diverts from the righteous ways, the occupants of land and the extorters of the rights of Muslims and the impinge divinities.

 

It is a mandatory assignment on Muslims like praying, fasting and other duties so that if a Muslim does not rise or perform Jihad and if he abandons the same, he is considered to have abandoned an Islamic duty.

 




[1] Kanz Al Ommal, V4, P453

71


64

Lesson Four: Jihad (Strive) in the Cause of Allah

 The Prince of Believers (pbuh) is reported to have said, “Jihad is an imposed duty on all Muslims, for Allah says, ‘…fighting is prescribed to you…’[1]

 

The Great Prophet (pbuh) says, “He whoever dies without having conquered or ever thought of conquering dies while he is considered a hypocrite.[2]

 

To make it easier to be understood, the following example explains Jihad:

Let’s presume that a man’s healthy body has been infected with a certain virus which caused him pains. It is then so natural that this infected man would resort to a physician so that he would treat his illness and take the proper medication to eliminate the virus and his body would become healthy again as it was before. Anyone who would become sick and doesn’t go to a doctor would be considered negligent with respect to himself. Sometimes man would bear painful treatment and bitterness of medications because he knows that he would be cured at the end. Similar to the human body, the body of the nation of Islam might be attacked by enemies; Imam Khomeini (mgbhs) described "Israel" as cancroid gland. Therefore, all Muslims must rise and treat this sickness by eradicating this malignant lachrymal from the body so that this body wouldn’t die. They must further search for the necessary cure which is to fight the enemy and achieve victory at the end.

 

Greatness of Jihad

 

Jihad ranks high in Islam since it comprises defending the religion. This is evidently manifested through the verses of the Qur’an and the colloquies of the Prophet and His Successors (pbut).

 

Jihad is the cornerstone of religion, one of the pillars of belief, the most honorable of deeds and one of the doors of paradise, etc…

 



[1] Moustadrek Al Wasael, V11, P14

[2] Imam Ali(pbuh), P40

72


65

Lesson Four: Jihad (Strive) in the Cause of Allah

 Imam Ali (pbuh) says, “Jihad is one of the doors of Paradise.[1]

 “Jihad is the cornerstone of religion and the method of blessed.[2]

There are four pillars for belief: patience, certitude, justice and jihad.[3]

Also, Imam Ali (pbuh) says, “Jihad the most honorable of deeds after Islam and it is the cornerstone of religion.[4]

Many narrations dispraised those who abandon Jihad. Whoever abandons it, Allah covers him with the dress of disgrace and the clothes of distress. Whoever abandons Jihad Allah makes a wall between him and guidance and consciousness.

 

How would Jihad be?

Jihad is conducted through many ways and it depends on man’s capabilities and resources.

Rank One: It is the highest and the most exalted kinds of Jihad which is by giving away blood and soul in the cause of Allah in the battlefield against an enemy.

Rank Two: Jihad using one’s riches through donations made to the Resistance.

Rank Three: Jihad using speech and stances and it is done through defending Resistance, Jihad and Mujahidin (Strivers).

 

Characteristics of the Mujahidin (Strivers)

 

There are many conditions that must be available in man in order to become one of the Mujahidin. Among these conditions, we mention the following:

  1. Allegiance of intention and performance to the Almighty; that is, Jihad must be only in the cause of Allah and in the cause of obtaining His Content and Blessings.




[1] Nahj El Balagha, Sermon of Jihad

[2] Ghorar Al Hokm, P333

[3] Mustadrek Al Wasael, V11, P16

[4] Al Kaki, V5, P36

 

73 


66

Lesson Four: Jihad (Strive) in the Cause of Allah

 

  1.  Devotion, religiosity and commitment to the religious rulings; man has to fight himself, which is the Greater Jihad, by urging it, and recommending spiritual and moral preparedness simultaneously as he is performing the Lesser Jihad, which is fighting his enemy.
  2. Forbearing hardships, pains troubles and injuries in the battle field. “…If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers...[1]
  3. Physical fitness; man must reform himself by military training sessions so that he would be fit for Jihad “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies...[2]
  4. Obeying leaders and seniors in the chain of command as well as all orders and assignments. The Commander of the Faithful Believers (pbuh) says, “The blast of the soldiers is to breach the orders of the leaders.[3] The best example given here is the Combat of Ohod when Muslims were defeated before the disbelievers when they did not follow the orders.
  5. Fighting under the flag of righteousness and Islam; combats which are Jihad are the combats fought under the flag of Islam and the Wali Al Faqih (spiritual jurisprudence leader).
  6. Despising vanity even when possessing greater numbers of soldiers and better arms; anyone who would become conceited in Jihad will be defeated because he would not be depending on Allah.
  7. Persistence and mentioning Allah Almighty and standing fast and firm before attacks “O ye who believe! When ye meet a force, be firm, and call Allah in remembrance much (and often) …[4]
  8. Muslim must know that if he commits himself to these conditions, victory would be his ally, if Allah will.




[1] 65 (Al-Anfal [Spoils of War, Booty])”

[2] 60 (Al-Anfal [Spoils of War, Booty])

[3] Ghorar Al Hokm, P333

[4] 45 (Al-Anfal [Spoils of War, Booty])

74


67

Lesson Four: Jihad (Strive) in the Cause of Allah

 Summary

 

  1. Jihad is to defend the land of Muslims and their consecrated shrines against an occupant enemy.

 

  1. Jihad ranks high in Islam because it aims at defending the religion and supporting the oppressed and the underdogs.

 

  1. Whoever abandons Jihad shall be doomed and humiliated and Allah shall never guide him to righteous way.

 

  1. Jihad has many ranks: giving away one’s soul, money or supporting with speech and stances.

 

  1. Jihad has many conditions: devotion, fear of Allah, forbearance, preparedness, obeying leaders, and disdaining vanity. If man adheres to these conditions, Allah shall send him victory.

 

Questions:

 

  1. Mention some of the aspects of the greatness of jihad.

 

  1. What is the penalty of whoever abandons Jihad.

 

  1. Name some of the conditions of Jihad.

 

 75


68

Lesson Four: Jihad (Strive) in the Cause of Allah

 Additional Reading:

 

Rights of the Mujahid (Striver)

All rights given to a fellow believer is also given and underlined to the Mujahid:

 

The First Right: Supporting and Equipping Him

It is reported that “All the sins, which have been committed or to be committed shall be erased to whomever equips a conqueror with a string or needle.[1]

In other colloquies: “He whoever fears to strive must equip a striver who fights in the cause of Allah.[2]

As for cooperation, there are many methods to perform the same. Participation may be by providing money, arms or information. The first anecdote reveals the reward of the same.

The Second Right: Preserving the Striver’s Effects and Kin during His Absence

This right is so very important and great that one believer must preserve his fellow Mujahid during the absence of the latter to perform his military mission of defending the outposts of Islam. One must not hurt the kin of the Mujahid or defile the same. Many colloquies mentioned the consequences of the penalties applied on the Judgment Day that will be incurred on those who would not preserve the rights of Mujahidin, “Whoever backbites or hurts a striver or hurts his kin shall be restored in hell.[3]

The Third Right: Saving the Striver Harmless

This right comprises all what would make him angry or hurt him, including any saying or action or signal, whether he is present or not, seriously or using mocking. Such actions must be warned of and abstained from.




[1] Mizan Al Hikma, 2691

[2] Mizan Al Hikma, 2692

[3] Mizan Al Hikma, 2690

76


69

Lesson Four: Jihad (Strive) in the Cause of Allah

 One of the colloquies of the Prophet (pbuh) stipulates, “Beware and avoid hurting the strivers in the cause of Allah, for Allah is affected by the anger in the same he is affected with the anger of prophets.[1]

 

The Fourth Right: Delivering the Striver’s Messages

 

Whoever delivered the message of a conqueror shall be considered as the one who disenthralls a slave and shall be the partner of the conqueror in his reward incurred by the conqueror’s strive.[2]

 

 



[1] Mizan Al Hikma, 2695

[2] Mizan Al Hikma, 2694

77


70

Lesson Four: Jihad (Strive) in the Cause of Allah

  

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “A one day combat is equal to the fasting and praying of one month and whoever dies while he is fighting in the cause of Allah shall be waived from the captivation of the grave and shall be given equally to what he had been doing until Judgment Day.”

 

Ansab Al Ashraf, 1-488

 

 

 78


71

Lesson Five: Accompanying People

 Lesson Five

 

Accompanying People

 

-          What is the stance of Islam regarding keeping the company of people?

 

-          How do we select those whom we would like to keep their company?

 

-          Avoid those people. 

 

Imam Hassan Bin Ali (pbuh) said, “It is always so wise to accompany people with gratefulness.[1]

 

If it is so, what is the stance of Islam regarding accompanying people? How did Islam guide us to select those whom we keep their company and avoid those whom we should not keep their company? This lesson answers these questions.

 

What is the stance of Islam regarding keeping the company of people?

 

By instinct, man has a tendency within to live in a social environment and among people, for he cannot stay alone. Moreover, man needs other people for the purpose of providing his natural needs such as nutrition, shelter, schooling and work. This is why we see people communicating with each other and enter in bonds and relations among each other. In




[1] Kashf Al Ghoma, V1, P571

79


72

Lesson Five: Accompanying People

 addition, man’s talents and powers emerge within community. Man is impacted by his community and affects his community. He can change those who are around him for better or for worse and vice versa.

 

Islam came in harmony with the sound human instinct. Neither did it ask people to retire and retreat in solitary in forests, caves and hermitages, nor asked them to stay at homes and never leave them. On the contrary, Islam urged people to go out and get themselves involved in the community and people and create relationships with them. In fact Islam is a message to society and it didn’t just leave accompanying people and building relationships with them without any conditions or restrictions. It actually set rules for the same and even set characteristics for those whom he wants to build relationship with and take them as his friends.

 

But when we want to take close friends, there are certain features and characteristics set by Islam for a person to be a good friend which we should take care of. We must not take a friend as an intimate friend unless these characteristics are available, for a bad friend may affect us and take away from Allah and we would even regret his friendship, “The Day that the wrong-doer will bite at his hands, he will say, “Oh! would that I had taken a (straight) path with the Messenger! Ah! woe is me! Would that I had never taken such a one for a friend![1]

 

The Messenger of Allah also said, “One follows the religion of his mates and friends.[2]

 

How do we choose those whom we would like to keep their company?

 

It is better that certain features are available in the person whom we want to keep company or have a relation with, for one is affected by bad company the same as he is affected by good company.




[1] 27-28 (Al-Furqan [The Criterion, The Standard])

[2] Al Kafi, V2, P375

80


73

Lesson Five: Accompanying People

 The following features are among those preferred by Islam:

 

  1. Faith: Allah says, “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood…[1] As there is a brotherhood by blood and father and mother, there is also a brotherhood by faith and religion. Therefore, the first feature that the one we are to take a friend must have is faith because Islam has prevented taking disbelievers as friends. The Prohpet (pbuh) said, “He whoever believes in Allah and the Hereafter must not take a disbeliever as a friend.[2]
  2. Try-Out and Testing: A believer must put his friend to a test so that he would find out his advantages and disadvantages and whether such a friend is worth friendship or not.

The Commander of the Faithful (pbuh), “Test your friends first for testing tells you who is good and who is bad.[3]

  1. Love in Allah: It is to know that he who is trying to accompany you loves you in Allah for your faith and religion and not for interests and personal benefits.

Imam Ali (pbuh) says, “The best of brothers is the one who loves you in Allah.[4]

  1. He who calls for Allah and helps in obeying Allah

Imam Ali (pbuh) says, “The best of your brothers in Allah are the ones who call you for being honest in what you say as they are honest in what they say and the ones who urge you to do the best of deeds by performing the best of deeds.[5]

He (pbuh) also said, “He who helps you to obey Allah is the best of friends.[6]

  1. He whom when you see reminds you of Allah

When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was asked about the best of friends, he said, “He whom when you see reminds you of




[1] 10. Al Hujorat

[2] Wasael Al Shia, V16, P265

[3] Ghorar Al Hockm, P466

[4] Ghorar Al Hockm, P423

[5] Ghorar Al Hockm, P417

[6] Ghorar Al Hockm, P417

81


74

Lesson Five: Accompanying People

 Allah, adds to your knowledge and whose deeds make the hereafter more appealing to you.[1]

  1. Keeping the company of religious scholars:

 “Keep the company of religious scholars and your knowledge and conduct will increase and your soul will become more virtue.”[2]

 

Avoid the Company of these People

Since it is better that we accompany those who have good qualities, we must know the bad characteristics in people in order to avoid those who have them. Many anecdotes are reported to have been told by the Messenger of Allah and His Descendents (pbut) about those we are supposed to accompany. Those are:

1. Liar 2. Lewder 3. Sordid 4. Idiot 5. He who does not keep connection with his next of kin.

In the Last Will and Testament of Imam Zein Al Abidin to his son Al Bakir (pbut), we read, “O Son, do not stay, keep the company of or talk to five kinds of people.” “And who are those,” his son asked. “Never you keep the company of the liar, the lewder, the sordid, the idiot and the one who never keeps the connection with his next of kin.[3]

6. The Evil

Imam Al Jawad (pbuh) says, “Don’t you ever keep the company of the evil person, for he is like a sword which has great looks and bad trace.[4]

7. The Blatant

Imam Al Sadek (pbuh) says, “Don’t you ever keep the company of the blatant person, for your will learn from his blatancy.[5]

 




[1] Wasael El Shiaa, V12, P23

[2] Ghorar Al Hockm, P430

[3] Al Kaki, V1, P376

[4] Moustadrek Al Wasael, V8, P351

[5] Bihar Al Anwar, V71, P191

82


75

Lesson Five: Accompanying People

 8. The Defect Criticizers

Imam Ali (pbuh) says, “Don’t you ever keep the company of those who criticize the defects of people. One who keeps their company would never be safe with them.[1]

9. Perfidious 10. Oppressive 11. Slanderer

Imam Al Sadek (pbuh) is reported to have said, “Stay away from three kinds of people: the perfidious, the oppressive and the slanderer [2]

 

Summary

1-     By instinct, man has a tendency within to live in a social environment and among people, for he cannot stay alone.

2-     Islam doesn’t prevent man from accompanying other people, but it set forth terms, conditions and specifications thereof.

3-     Our friend must be a believer, who loves us in Allah and who condoles us, and who prays Allah for us in order to aid us in obeying Allah, etc…

4-     Some qualities of those who we should avoid are: lying, idiotness, betrayal, licentiousness, lewdness, stinginess, evilness, etc…

 

Questions:

 

1-     Does man tend to keep the company of people by instinct?

2-     Has Islam called for retirement and retreat from the community?

3-     Mention some of the qualities of a friend.

 

 



[1] Ghorar Al Hockom, P433

[2] Bihar Al Anwar, V75, P229

83


76

Lesson Five: Accompanying People

 Additional Reading:

 

Courtesies of Meeting with People

 

  1. Prepare the place and arrange it.
  2. To stand up when one comes and wants to join and it is appealing to ask him about his name, agnomen and his health.
  3. It is appealing to accompany those who would like to leave a meeting and it is appealing to divide attention equitably (that is to look at them in equal intervals and not prefer one to the other).
  4. It is appealing for the Muslim who is seated in a place to head towards Kibla.
  5. Call a man by his agnomen when such a person is present and by his name when he is absent.
  6. Smile and try to make him content.

Imam Al Sadek says (pbuh), “One who does not keep the good company of people, eat with and mingle with them is not one of us.

  1. Deal honorable, respectfully and humbly with elders.
  2. Two persons must not stay aside if they are accompanied by a third person.
  3. Never interrupt the Muslim who is speaking and answer the calls of Muslims.
  4. Attend meetings which are held for Allah and to learn from them for the benefit in this life and the hereafter.
  5.  When present at a meeting, pray as follows, “In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, Most Merciful and Prayers Be on Mohamad and His Descendents.”

84


77

Lesson Five: Accompanying People

 

  1. Prayers to get up and leave a meeting, “Praise be to Allah Almighty, the Lord of Glory, and the Lord of the Worlds and Peace be on His Messengers”

 85


78

Lesson Five: Accompanying People

  

 

 

Prophet Moses (PBUH) said:

“What is the reward for he who refrains from causing harm to people and treats them with kindness? Allah replied: O’ Moses, the hellfire will call him on the Day of Judgment and say: I have no power over you.”

Reference: Rawdat El-Wa’ezeen, 2-270

 

 

 

 

 86


79

Lesson Six: Perfect Prayer

 Lesson Six

The Perfect Prayer

What rank does prayer hold?

What terms render prayer acceptable?

Group Prayer at Mosque

Islam gave great attention to prayers to the point of rendering it the pillar of religion. However, this is not any kind of prayer. It is the prayer which Allah (The Exalted) accepts. Therefore, what terms render a prayer acceptable? What is the difference between that of the group prayer and that of the individual prayer? What is the difference between praying at mosque and praying at other places? Let us start with recognizing the rank or the level of prayer and its benefit in Islam.

What rank does prayer hold in Islam?

Prayer holds a significant level in Islam. It holds the first rank among other religious obligations. Prayer is the number one obligation ordained by Allah (The Exalted) because it will maintain contact between man and Allah (The Exalted) and will render man cling to Allah’s affection, leading him to His mercy.

Moreover, prayer encourages its performer to refrain from

87


80

Lesson Six: Perfect Prayer

 atrocity, wrongdoing and evil acts and will maintain his path to righteousness and goodness, leading to his everlasting happiness and ultimate triumph.

Prayer is like the ladder that elevates man to his climax, ascending to his purpose, which is Allah’s obedience and satisfaction. This is why prayer has been made as the pillar of religion; if accepted the rest will be accepted, and if denied the rest will be denied.

However, for a prayer to be illuminated and accepted by Allah (The Exalted), and for the preservation of our faith via preserving the pillar, which is prayer, we must observe the following conditions.

What terms render a prayer acceptable to Allah (The Exalted)?

The clerics and moral lecturers said that there are many terms required so that the prayer could act like a believer’s ladder to Allah (The Exalted). Part of these terms stipulates correct ablution and reciting as well as performing the steps in the right order and form. Also man must pray as early as possible, when prayer is called, and must not delay his prayer while being amused and distracted by other meaningless issues. Man, while praying, must also stand before the almighty in a state of fear and submission while feeling the greatness of Allah (The Exalted). He must also reflect on Allah alone coupled with his satisfaction without having to reflect on issues other than fear and submission to Allah (The Exalted). In addition, one must not underestimate the value of prayer.

We must give attention to all these terms so that our prayers will be accepted; we do not want to be part of those who will gain, from their prayers, nothing but efforts and tiredness.

What is the perfect prayer?

Al the terms, which we mentioned earlier, are of great importance regarding prayers. However, there are two other

88


81

Lesson Six: Perfect Prayer

 main conditions that must be maintained by the believer. Prayer, for instance, can be conducted individually sometimes and collectively at the mosque other times. It can also be conducted at home or place of work. However, the perfect prayer is the group prayer at the mosque, where a number of people pray together, led by a cleric.

What is value of group prayer?

Group prayer is much better than individual prayer. Several accounts of the Prophet and his household (PBUT) encouraged attending group prayer and stated that a great reward will be bestowed upon he, who pursues group prayer continually.

The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “Gabriel visited me with seventy thousand angels after Noon Prayer and said, “Mohammad, your Allah sends you His peace, and gives you two gifts which have never been given to a prophet before you.

I asked: What are the two gifts?

He replied: “Al-Witr” or the prayer of three stages (Rikaas), and the five obligatory prayers with the group.

I asked Gabriel: what will my nation gain from the group prayer?

He replied: Mohammad, if two pray together, Allah will give each one for each stage (Rikaa) performed one hundred and fifty prayers. If they were three, Allah will give each one for each stage (Rikaa) performed six hundred prayers. If they were four, each will gain for each stage one thousand and two hundred prayers. If they were five, each will gain for each stage two thousand and four hundred prayers. If they were six, each will gain for each stage four thousand and eight hundred prayers. If they were seven, each will gain for each stage nine thousand and six hundred prayers. If they were eight, each will gain for each stage nineteen thousand and two hundred prayers. If they were nine, each will gain for each stage thirty six thousand and four hundred prayers. If they were

89


82

Lesson Six: Perfect Prayer

 ten, each will gain for each stage seventy thousand and eight hundred prayers. Should they exceed ten, at this point, should the seas and oceans become ink whereas the trees become pens, they will not satisfy the need to count the reward nor would the human beings, Jinns and angels be capable of recording the reward of one stage of a prayer.

O’ Mohammad, declaring Allah is Great, synchronizing with a believer behind a prayer’s leader in a group prayer, is better for him than sixty thousand acts of pilgrimage and it equals seventy thousand times the fortunes of this world. One prayer caught by a believer with a prayer’s leader is better than one thousand dinars given in charity. One prostration by a believer with the group and the leader is better than buying the freedom of one hundred salves.”[1]

 

What Reward Will a Prayer at Mosque Bestow?

The Mosque is the house of Allah. He who prays at the mosque is praying in the house of Allah and will be a guest of Allah (The Exalted). Allah receives all those who visit his house with good hospitality. Some accounts stated that he who prays at mosque will be highly rewarded. Some accounts even stated that if a neighbor of a mosque does not pray there, his prayer will not be considered.

Prince of Believers (PBUH) said: “An obligatory prayer of a healthy unoccupied neighbor of a mosque will not be regarded if he did not perform it at mosque.”[2]

The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “No prayer of a mosque’s neighbor will be regarded but at mosque.”[3]

Holy Leader Al-Hussein (PBUH) said: “The mosques raised a complaint to Allah (The Exalted) against its neighbors who do




[1] Majma Al-Faeda: parrt3, page 241.

[2] Al-Hadaek Al-Faeda: part 3, page 241

[3] Bihar Al-Anwar: part 85, page 2

90


83

Lesson Six: Perfect Prayer

 not witness the prayers in them. Hence, Allah inspired them saying, I swear in my pride and exaltedness that I will neither accept a prayer of theirs, nor will I display a straightness of theirs among people; and they will neither receive my mercy nor will neighbor me in my heaven.”[1]

The Prophet’s household members were quoted as well saying that a prayer in certain mosques equals on hundred thousand prayers, whereas in other mosques equals one thousand prayers. On the other hand, a man’s prayer at home equals one prayer.

Summary

Prayer is a method that leads to the love of Allah (The Exalted) and to his mercy. It is also the pillar of the religion but there are certain terms that must be recognized, a part of which includes: humbleness, reflection and thinking of Allah, good ritual of ablution and prayers. The most important term is praying with the group; and praying at mosque is the most perfect.

Questions

1-     Why is prayer the pillar of religion?

2-     State some of the terms required so that Allah (The Exalted) will accept a prayer?

3-     What is the perfect prayer?




[1] Wasael Al-Shia: part 3, page 479

91


84

Lesson Six: Perfect Prayer

 Additional Reading

Al-Wateerah Prayer (one-staged):

Its grace:

Al-Hussein (PBUH) said: “He who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment should not sleep without the One-staged Prayer.[1]

He (PBUH&HH) also said: “Do not overlook the one-staged prayer after the evening prayer (Ishaa), because it incurs means of living.”[2]

How do we perform it?

This is a desirable prayer that must be performed after the Evening Prayer. It is a 2-staged prayer, performed in a sitting position, which is why it was called one-staged Prayer.

In the first sitting stage we read after the Opening verses (1) the “Inevitable” verses (56). In the second sitting stage we read the Unity (Oneness of Allah) verses (112).

After ending the prayer with salutation, we can invocate as we wish.

It was quoted through book “Falah Al-Sael” that one should rehearse this invocation after prayers:

We enter the evening associated with gratitude, greatness, pride, mightiness, omnipotence, clemency, exaltedness, magnificence, holiness, glorification, extolment, magnification, hailing, thanking, forgiveness, generosity, bounty, glory, benefaction, goodness, openhandedness, strength, power, majesty, night, day, darkness, light, world, afterworld, all creation and the entire existence, that which I named or I did not name, that which I recognized or did not recognize, that which existed and is existing, we all enter the evening




[1] Bihar Al-Anwar: part84, page 105

[2] Mostadrak Al-Wasael: part 3, page 68

92


85

Lesson Six: Perfect Prayer

 overwhelmed by the His blessings, healthiness, and great kindness.

Thanks be to Allah to Whom belongs all that dwells or lurks in the night and the day; for He is the One Who hears and knows all things. Thank be to Allah Who merges night into day, and merges day into night. Thanks be to Allah Who causes the living to issue from the dead, and causes the dead to issue from the living, and He provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure, and He knows well all the secrets of the heart. Allah, thanks to You we enter the evening and enter the morning; thanks to You we live and die, and You are our destiny. Allah, I seek Your protection from causing or receiving degradation, from causing aberrance or going astray, from causing or receiving injustice, from ignoring or being ignored. You Who control the hearts and insights, send your blessings on Mohammad and his household, and fix my heart under Your obedience and the obedience of your messengers (PBUH&HH).


 93


86

Lesson Six: Perfect Prayer

  

Prophet Moses (PBUH) said:

“What is the reward for he who stands before Thee in prayers? Allah replied: O’ Moses, I will let him vie in glory with my angels as he bows, prostrates, stands and sits. And whomever I let vie in glory with my angels, I will never make him suffer. ”

Reference: Rawdat El-Waezeen, 2-317


 94


87

Chapter Three: Gravities on the Way

  

Chapter Three

Gravities on the Way

§  Being Generous to oneself

§  Maladies of the Tongue

§  Forbidden Relationships

§  Forbidden Gaze

§  Forbidden Listening

§  Dealing with the Wrongdoing

95


88

Lesson One: Being Generous to Oneself

 Lesson One

 

Being Generous to Oneself

What does “Being Generous to Oneself” Mean?

Do man’s sins damage his dignity? How?

What damage does the friendship of evil people cause?

Dignified Man

Allah (The Exalted) dignified man and rendered him to be the noblest among his creatures. Moreover, He exploited the entire existence for his service: “We have honored the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea…”

Allah also favored mankind because He gave him capabilities and features such as mind, wisdom and foresight which can be used to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, right way and wrong way: “We showed him the Way…” “… And shown him the two paths…” Allah repeatedly denied man as he did not use his mind and heart. He said: “Will they not understand.” There are many other signs that express this issue in the Holy Qur'an.

Because man was a noble and respected creature, Allah wanted him to integrate and rise. Thus He gave him powers and abilities as well as dignified him further to the level where he ordered the angles to kneel for Adam.

97


89

Lesson One: Being Generous to Oneself

 Therefore, he who abandons behaving with wisdom regarding his actions and spends his lifetime performing the deeds that violate the wisdom and waste the opportunity given in this life, lowering himself, he will , in this manner, hurt himself in the first place and will be degraded and despised instead of being dignified and respected. Hence, such a human being can reach a level that is lower than that of the animal’s because he did not employ his mind; rather, he caused its fatality and followed that which did not fit with his position.

There are some actions that do not fit with the dignified human being.

Frequenting the places of amusement and suspicious locations

Brother, if you believe in Allah (The Exalted), recognize the value of his grace that was bestowed upon you, understand that you will meet Him someday and that you will be questioned for every minor and major deed, at this point the question is: Do you think it is wise to sit in a place that causes Allah’s resentment and lowers your value in his eyes and in the eyes of people? What will be of your situation when Allah sees you where he does not like to see you after which he will question you on the Day of Judgment in front of the creation? Why did you sit with the gamblers as they gambled? Why did you sit with the drinkers as they sat to drink wine? Why did you sit in a place where Allah’s existence has been denied? Why did you sit in a place where falsenesses and delusions have been disseminated?

 What will your answer be? What will your pretext or reason be to support your conviction or save you? Don’t you believe that time is precious and should not be wasted entering the suspicious nightclubs or visiting places where one can gaze at women or mix with those who do not resign from speaking bad words? Should someone pass by, won’t he think that you are one of them? The Prince of Believers (PBUH) said: “He who

98


90

Lesson One: Being Generous to Oneself

 brings suspicion to himself should not blame he who thinks badly about him.”[1]

Therefore, the household of inspiration (PBUA) ordered us to avoid the suspicious places so that we will not be in a suspicious situation. They said: “Beware the places of accusation.”[2]

Mixing with debauchees at the places of debauchery will lower man’s value in the eyes of Allah and people. Moreover, it will lower his value with respect to the doctrine; hence, his testimony will be invalid. How can the testimony of he who frequents the places of debauchery and amusement be accepted?

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said: “No testimony is accepted from those… (after which he counted a number of characteristics). Then he said: nor of those who mix with the idle, singers, and people of abomination.”[3]

Some of the places that must be avoided are those that can incite our lusts, especially mixing with women in isolated places that can lead to sin. Man’s soul, with the devil’s help, can lead us to that which does not satisfy or please Allah (The Exalted). It was said that a young man rented a house that had a shared door to the next house where a young woman lived. She never closes the door. The man visited Imam Sadiq (PBUH) and asked him about the situation. He replied: “Move houses, whenever man and woman meet in isolation, the devil is their third companion.”[4]

Imam Ali (PBUH) said: “No man should ever sit with a woman in isolation.”[5]It was narrated that Satan said: “I will never depart man as long as he existed in three places: if he desires to pay charity, if he secludes with a woman, and at death.[6]




[1] Al-Tohfa Al-Sinniya: page 33

[2] Al-Qadaa Wa Shahadat, page 183

[3] Mostadrak Al-Wasael: part 17, page 433

[4] Wasael Al-Shia: part 19, page 154

[5] Mostadrak Al-Wasael: part 14, page 265

[6] Mostadrak Al-Wasael: part 24< page 265

99


91

Lesson One: Being Generous to Oneself

 Bad Company

The most important issue that weakens man in confronting his fantasies whereas ornaments the wrongdoings and wrong sayings as well as causes him become accustomed to hearing and seeing that which is ugly is the companions whom he chooses in his lifetime. There are many companions who caused the doom of their friends.He, who accompanies a man of bad behavior and bad words, will become like him. He will inherit his bad morals without even feeling it. He will also lose his immunity, which is his good morals, and become exactly like the man who lives inside a trash bin, a man who will reach a level where he will no longer bother about its bad smell because his smell will be the same. As someone said:

Accompany a brother who is worthy of trust and you will gain his companionship — for a man is marked by each companion —  like the wind that takes the trace of everything it touches, whether it was of bad or good smell.

This is why Allah and his Prophet commanded us to accompany the good people.

Allah’s messenger (PBUH&HH) said: “The happiest man is he who mixex with the best people.”[1] This is because a good companion will help one pursue good deeds whereas bad companion will ornament wrongdoings. Imam Ali (PBUH) said: “He who helps one in pursuing good deeds is the best companion.”[2]

Conclusion

Dear brother, you have the choice to choose in this life. You can either be one of those worthy of Allah’s generosity or those who believe in Satan and his path. You can choose your place in the afterlife. Therefore, if you mix with the people of debauchery and make friendship with the sinners and bad




[1] Meezan El-Hikma: wisdom number 10251

[2] Meezan El-Hikma: wisdom number 13301

100


92

Lesson One: Being Generous to Oneself

 people, they will be your fiends in the afterlife. The question is: where will the destiny be for those who foul play, adhere to alcohol, amusement and gambling? Would you like to be his neighbor and partner in his destiny?

Alternatively, would you like to be with the sincere (lovers of Truth), the Martyrs (for the way of Allah), and the Righteous (who do good)? They will sit in a place of sincerity where Allah will gaze upon them with an eye of satisfaction and increase their nobility.

You are the one that must choose; therefore, choose as from now.

Summary

1-     Allah dignified man and gave him mind. He will be one of the dignified people should he employ his mind.

2-     Frequenting the places of amusement and suspicion causes oneself to become in a position of contempt and degradation.

3-     The most important way to degrade oneself and gain bad morals is keeping bad company.

Questions

Answer true or false

1-     Man can sit with anyone in any condition even if the other party is committing sins.

2-     Man must use his mind to judge his behavior.

3-     Man cannot be harmed regardless of the kind of the companionship.

4-     Man must not give attention to what he says at all.

101


93

Lesson One: Being Generous to Oneself

 Additional Reading

1- Sheikh Al-Ansari and the story of the one Riyal that came from the Imam Tax:

One of the great clerics said: as I served the Grand Cleric Al-Mortada Al-Ansari in Holy Najaf, I saw a demon in my dream holding in his hand a number of collars as he was on his way somewhere. I asked him, where are you going? He replied: I want to place these collars around the necks of some people like yesterday, when I tried to put one around the neck of Cleric Al-Ansari, and as I tried to drag him out of his room to the alley, he managed to escape.

When I woke up the next day, I went to serve the cleric and I told him about my dream.

He told me: what the demon said was correct. This damned creature tried to lure me yesterday because I had no money. My house needed something. Therefore, I thought to borrow one riyal from the Imam Tax (endowed money) to buy my need after which I would pay it back. Therefore, I took the Riyal and as soon as I reached the alley I felt the remorse, hence I returned to place the riyal back in its place. The rule was that: borrowing the Riyal, in the cleric’s opinion, was impermissible.

2- Maintaining Trust with Hunger

The strength of one of the clerics failed him because of hunger and leanness. He regained his health after a believer brought him some food. Meanwhile, a poor man visited him asking some money. Hence, the cleric stood up, opened a box, took out some money, and gave it to the poor man. Soon afterwards, another person came in. He was one of the Prophet’s offspring, and he gave him the same amount which he gave the man that came earlier.

Some of the attendants were surprised and said: how can

102


94

Lesson One: Being Generous to Oneself

 you have all this money while you suffer from hunger and poverty?

The cleric replied: these amounts of money are not mine; rather, I was entrusted with them by the people in order to give them to the deservers. Had I spent a fraction of this money, I would have been a traitor. The worst traitor is the one that betrays the trust.


 103


95

Lesson One: Being Generous to Oneself

  

The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said:

“Be Generous to the Weakest Among You — For Sustenance and Victory Resides Within Them.”

Reference: Irshad El-Qoloub, 1-229


 104


96

Lesson Two: Malady of Tongue (Lying, Backbiting, and Obscenity)

 Lesson Two

Malady of the Tongue:

Lying, Backbiting, and Ill-Behavior

How do I thank the lord for his grace?

What is the penalty for lying, backbiting and obscenity?

How can I get rid of these vices?

The important role of the tongue

A man’s tongue is a grace that was bestowed by Allah upon mankind. With it, he can tell the hidden content of his heart and can use it to make contact with his similar species. The tongue is also a mechanism with which man can worship his Allah. Hence, he can call unto him, read his book, and learn the good and bad issues. The Prince of Believers (PBUH) said: “A good tongue given by Allah to man is better than money given to those ungrateful.”[1]

However, this mere tongue can be a method that can bestow doom upon its owner. Hence, it can, ruin his life, his afterlife, and render him fuel for the hellfire, Allah forbid. Imam Ali (PBUH&HH) said: “… What can cause people to be thrown in hell but the outcome of their tongues?”

 “Tongue is a beast, if let go, it will bite.”[2] Being so, the




[1] Nahjul Balagha: part 1, page 127

[2] Nahjul Balagha: part 4, page 25

105


97

Lesson Two: Malady of Tongue (Lying, Backbiting, and Obscenity)

 rest of the senses have the right to call on it everyday to beseech and beg it not to do anything that may cause their sufferance.

Ali Ben Al-Hussein (PBUH&HH) said: “Each morning, a man’s tongue overlooks all his senses and asks them, how are you? They reply: we are fine should you spare us. Then they say: Allah O’ Allah. Then they beseech him and say: we will be rewarded or punished because of you.”[1]

How do I thank the lord for the grace of the tongue?

Now we know that the tongue is one of the graces of Allah, the importance of which should not be hidden from any sane person. A sane person understands that it is his obligation to thank the generous lord. The first level of thanking for any grace is in its good use. It means obeying the generous creator and refraining from disobeying him in using this mere grace. It means we must use the tongue where it pleases Allah and must restrain it where it angers him. In other words, man must straighten his tongue and use it in favor of the straight way. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH&HH) said: “A man’s belief is not straight until his heart is straight, and his heart will not be straight until his tong is straight.”[2] The tongue has the right to be dignified by refraining from speaking ugliness and must be used as a favored tool to speak out goodness: “Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best…”[3] As someone said, “If you don’t have anything good to say don’t say anything at all.

The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “He, who believes in Allah and the Last Day, speak that which is good or keep silent.”[4]

Man must also praise Allah: “O ye who believe! Celebrate the praises of Allah, and do this often.”[5]




[1] Al-Kafi: part 4, page 115

[2] Al-Qalb Al-Saleem: part 2, pager 48

[3] Holy Qur'an: 17/53

[4] Montaha Al-Talib: part 2, page 811

[5] Holy Qur'an: 33/41

106


98

Lesson Two: Malady of Tongue (Lying, Backbiting, and Obscenity)

 Therefore, thanking for the grace of the tongue means that one must dignify his tongue by refraining from each bad word. Let us learn some of the maladies and their punishments.

Lying and its punishment

Lying is one of the ugliest categories which people hate and they despise the liar. Therefore, let us listen to what the Prophet and his household (PBUA) say about lying and the liars. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH&HH) said: “Lying opposes faith, a liar is disregarded.”[1]

A liar will never taste the sweetness of faith because of his lies. Lying can expose a liar because one can forget what he said if it was a lie.” The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “One of Allah’s aides that help against liars is forgetfulness.”[2]

Therefore, lying renders one lose face in this world and the afterworld by exposing a liar in front of Allah and the people: “Never lie, for it can render you lose face.”[3] Lying is the worst epidemic. The Prince of Believers (PBUH&HH) said: To Allah, the greatest sin is a lying tongue.”[4]

Therefore, the Prophet (PBUH&HH) describes the punishment for the liar by saying: “Woe unto him, who lies and causes people to laugh at him; woe unto him, woe unto him.”[5]

Backbiting and its Punishment

One of the ugliest examples and images that were drawn by Allah in the Qur'an is the image of the backbiter. He drew him as a man who eats the carcass of his human peers: “And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it.[6]




[1] Mostadrak Al-Wasael: part 9, page 88

[2] Al-Kafi: part 2, page 341

[3] Mostadrak Al-Wasael: part 9, page 88

[4] Mostadrak Al-Wasael: part 9, page 85

[5] Al-Wasael: part 12, page 118

[6] Qur'an: 49/12

107


99

Lesson Two: Malady of Tongue (Lying, Backbiting, and Obscenity)

 Therefore, a backbiter’s punishment will take him out of Allah’s custody into the custody of Satan.

Al-Hussein Ben Ali (PBUH&HH) said: “He who narrates a story about a believer with an aim to degrade him and down him in the eyes of the people, Allah will take him out of his custody into the custody of Satan, hence rejecting him.”[1]

Tongue’s Obscenity and Punishment

 One of the meanest or obscenest qualities is the dirtiness and obscenity of a tongue. Such quality is sufficient enough to make people act repulsively towards someone with such feature.

The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “Allah forbade paradise for every obscene and shameless person who does not mind his words or the words of others.”[2] In the view of the Prophet (PBUH&HH): “He who backbites, damns, and speaks with obscenity is not a believer.” The fate and destiny of a person of this kind is the hellfire and the punishment that he deserves.

Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: “Obscenity comes from unfriendliness; unfriendliness ends in hell.”[3]

What can one do against these obscenities?

The answer resides in one’s approach to get rid of such afflictions first of all. He must control his tongue (words) and habituate it to maintain silence and store the words like we store the gold or silver. Brother, let us get rid of these obscenities and replace them with a good disposition. Let us dignify ourselves by refraining from these nasty issues and let us purify our tongues by repentance.

Abu Zar asked: Messenger of Allah, if a man lies




[1] Al-Saraer: part 3, page 642

[2] Al-Kafi: part 2, page 323

[3] Al-Kafi: part 2, page 325

108


100

Lesson Two: Malady of Tongue (Lying, Backbiting, and Obscenity)

 deliberately, how can he repent? The prophet (PBUH&HH) replied:Asking Allah’s forgiveness through the five daily prayers can wash this issue.”[1]

Let us listen to the words of Imam Al-Sajjad as he shows us our obligation towards the tongue. He said: “Obligation towards the tongue is by: dignifying it from obscenity, habituating it to say goodness, forcing it to remain polite, obstructing it from verbalizing unless there is a need and benefit to the religion and life, dismissing it from the useless ugly loftiness that can only bring harm and less benefit.”[2]

Summary

1-     One must only use the tongue where it can be beneficial to him and the society.

2-     Lying, backbiting, and obscenity are issues that cause people to disrespect and leads to utter sufferance.

3-     You must repent for it is the method that purifies the tongue.

Questions

Answer yes or no:

1-     Mind does not regard lying as an ugly issue.

2-     Al-Wayl (woe) is a name of a valley in the Hellfire.

3-      The punishment of the obscene person is by cutting his tongue on the Day of Judgment.




[1] Makarim El-Akhlaq: page 470

[2] Rawdat El-Waezeen : page 467

109


101

Lesson Two: Malady of Tongue (Lying, Backbiting, and Obscenity)

 Additional Reading

Manners when visiting a patient

1-     Never sit too long

2-     Ask how he is and pray for his welfare

It is also better to say: “Allah, heal him through your healer, medicate him through your remedy, and save him from your affliction.” It is also good to place your hand on the patient, as an act of blessing him, and then read the opening versus of the Qur'an seven times.

3-     Never eat in front of him that which can hurt him.

4-     Never do anything that may anger or sadden him.

5-     Offer him presents that can cover some of his needs.

6-     Ask for the patient’s supplication on your behalf, for the patient is one of those whose supplications are answerable.

r  Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: “Three supplications are answerable: a pilgrim, a conqueror (for the sake of Allah), and a patient.”[1]

How can a patient deal with his illness?

1-     Be enduring because endurance can be greatly rewarded, why? It is because an illness is an affliction that hits the person thus, Allah grants forgiveness for the sins. And Allah will greatly reward him.

2-     Thanking Allah (The Exalted) since He afflicted him with an affliction that is lesser than the affliction of others. Thanking Him for He (The Exalted) rendered him enjoy a good health for a certain period of time.

3-     Never complain about an illness by saying, why me? Or by saying, why was I afflicted while there is no one like me? And so one…




[1] Islam Features and Manners, by Shahroodi

110


102

Lesson Two: Malady of Tongue (Lying, Backbiting, and Obscenity)

 1-     Keeping away from all that can cause harm and he, with his relatives, must pay charity to defeat affliction.

2-     Thanking Allah (The Exalted) for the safety of the parts and organs that are still enjoying health.

r  The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “Treat your patients with charity.”[1]


 



[1] Islam Features and Manners, by Shahroodi

111


103

Lesson Two: Malady of Tongue (Lying, Backbiting, and Obscenity)

  

Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said:

“A believer can be salvaged by minding his words.”

Reference: Thawab El-Aama’l, 2-270

112


104

Lesson Three: Religious Forbidden Affairs

 Lesson Three

Tendency towards marriage, is it natural?

Why Allah forbade shaking hands and privacy between man and woman?

What guarantees deviation?

Introduction

Once “Morad” went inside the car which his father gave him for his success at school. As soon as he placed his hands on the wheel, he felt the joy of this precious gift. Yes, it is the joy of driving which he had anticipated since a long time.

His father shut the car’s door and advised him to be very careful while driving and to give attention to the traffic signals as well as obey the rules. Murad drove away with his father’s commands pursuing him until his father vanished from the mirror. And he remained with his car which brings nearer all the far objects and takes farther all the near objects.

All that he cared for was satisfying his desire; the excitement of driving made him forget everything.

He took a byway; it was like as if the sky was raining sand which obscured his vision; this is a snaking road; this is a valley; O’ Allah, no, no…

Murad woke up to find out that he was lying in a hospital

113


105

Lesson Three: Religious Forbidden Affairs

 bed. After looking into the faces of the attendees, he began reflecting. What was he thinking at this very moment?

Let us find the answer…

Marriage is part of Wisdom

Tendency towards marriage is one of the issues which Allah had entrusted within man so that human species will continue along with life on the face of this earth. Therefore, Allah (The Exalted) created a way and a method to organize man’s life as well as to distinguish this lust in order to save the society from grave and serious troubles, and to render man be capable of building his safe and pure personality. Imam Al-Rida (PBUH) said: “Allah forbade adultery because it causes corruption, wastes souls, damages ancestry, leaves children to be raised by others, spoils inheritance and causes other kinds of corruption.”[1]

Legal ways are like the paved roads through which man can reach his aim without the risk of slipping towards the abyss.

The Punishment of Adultery

Adultery is the bad way as Allah said: “Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).[2]

The messenger of Allah also explained the consequences towards man in this world and the afterworld. He (PBUH&HH) said: “O Ali, there are six characters regarding adultery; three of them are in this world; and the other three are in the otherworld.

The three in this world are: loosing brilliance, speeding mortality, and severing sustenance. The three in the other world are: tiresome questioning, the anger of the Most Merciful, and eternity in hell.”[3]




[1] Al-Wasael: part 20, page 311

[2] Qur'an: versus The Night Journey (Al-Israa), sign 32

[3] Al-Faqeeh : part 4, page 365

114


106

Lesson Three: Religious Forbidden Affairs

 Handshaking (between males and females)

After recognizing the gravity of adultery and the corruptions it may cause, Allah (The Exalted) forbade us from opening all the doors or windows that may generate man’s desire and devilish lust. For a man not to fall as a prey to his lust, Allah forbade handshaking between a male and a female. As soon as a young man places his hand in the hand of a woman, this will be like someone pouring oil onto fire, which will lead man afterwards (Allah forbid) to fall into eternal damnation.

The Noble Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “He who shakes a woman’s hand will be afflicted by Allah (The Exalted).[1]

Private meeting on the other hand is an outlet through which the devil can enter the heart of man in order to encourage and push him towards the darkness of sins and badness of adultery – Allah forbid –.

The Noble Prophet (PBUH&HH) also said: “Each time a man meets with a woman in private, the devil will be their third partner.”[2] We talked about this issue in an earlier lesson.

Marriage prevents deviation from what is right

Allah (The Exalted) ordered people to follow the right path, which is marriage. He said: “He who marries will attain half his religion.”[3]

He also encouraged early marriage for the young men and women to protect their life and afterlife.

Never be one of those who substitute (their) worthless things for (their) good ones. Never drag yourself gradually towards the bad end. Ask Allah help and grace because all matters are in His hand; He is the best protector and the best helper…




[1] Makarim El-Akhlaq: page 430

[2] Meezan El-Hikma: part 4

[3] Al-Kafi : part 5, page 329

115


107

Lesson Three: Religious Forbidden Affairs

 Summary

1-     Divine laws will maintain our worlds.

2-     Tendency towards marriage is a natural issue and must be accomplished through legal ways.

3-      The consequence of adultery leads to corruption of society and loss of afterlife.

4-     Likewise, adultery preludes (meetings in private) are also forbidden.

Questions

Answer yes or no

1-     The lust of marriage is an ugly and rejected issue.

2-     The consequence of adultery will speed mortality in the afterlife.

3-     Man can meet in private with a woman; adultery is the only issue that is forbidden.

4-     Early marriage is wrong because it leads to troubles.

 116


108

Lesson Three: Religious Forbidden Affairs

 Additional Reading

Poverty is more beautiful

A rich man visited Allah’s messenger (PBUH&HH) wearing the most beautiful garment and sat next to the prophet (PBUH&HH). Simultaneously, another man, who was poor and wore the dirtiest garment, visited the prophet and sat next to the rich man. Hence, the rich man grabbed his garment’s endings together.

The Prophet (PBUH&HH) asked him: Were you afraid of catching some of his poverty?

He replied: no.

The Prophet asked: Were you afraid that some of your richness might strike him?

He replied: no.

The prophet asked him again: What made you do what you did?

The man replied: O’ messenger of the Allah: I have a companion who adorns for me everything that is ugly and uglifies for me everything that is beautiful. Therefore, I will give him (meaning the poor man) half of my wealth.

Allah’s messenger (PBUH&HH) asked the poor man: do you accept?

He replied: no.

The Rich man asked him: why not?

He replied: I fear from being struck by that which struck you.


 117


109

Lesson Three: Religious Forbidden Affairs

  

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Whoever shakes the hand of a woman (other than his wife) will be shackled on the Day of Judgment; thereafter, he will be thrown into hell. And whoever jokes with a woman (other than his wife) will be imprisoned 1000 years in hell for each word spoken.”

Reference: Iqab El-Aama’l, 2-270

118


110

Lesson Four: Restricted Viewing

 Lesson Four

Restricted Viewing

Is there a restricted viewing?

How does the restricted viewing influence faith?

Influence of overlooking or ignoring

Is there a restricted viewing?

The heart of a believer is the place of the recognition and belief of Allah. The heart is the most sacred and noble organ. This is why it is the target of Satan’s arrows and his soldiers in their war against the sons of Adam, particularly the believers.

There are several inlets through which Satan and his soldiers can pass their venom into man’s heart. One of the most important inlets to man’s heart is the eye.

The Prince of Believers, Imam Ali (PBUH) said: “Eyes are the traps of Satan.”[1]

However, how can the eyes be so? Imam Ali (PBUH) says: “If the eye sees with lust, the heart will be blinded of the consequence.”[2]

It was also said: “Viewing is an arrow of Satan’s…”[3]

Since viewing is serious, Allah ordered us to abstain from




[1] Mostadrak El-Wasael: part 14, page 271

[2] Meezan El-Hikma: par 4, page 3288

[3] Al-Kafi : part 5, page 559

119


111

Lesson Four: Restricted Viewing

 looking. Therefore, he informed his messenger through the Qur'an: “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty.”[1]

What is the influence of the restricted viewing?

To answer this question, we must understand the kinds of forbidden issues from which we have been restricted in order to learn about the influence.

Pursuing the secrets of people without their permission is forbidden, even the reading of a simple letter. Allah’s messenger (PBUH&HH) said: “He who views his brother’s book without his permission is like someone who views the hell.”[2]

One of the greatest kinds of restricted viewings is the viewing of the private body parts of others. Whether a man or a woman, no one is allowed to look at the private parts of the other person, regardless of the sex.

About a man looking to a man, Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: “He, who intentionally views the private parts of his Moslem brother or others other than his spouse, will be thrown by Allah into hell to join the hypocrites who searched for the private parts of people; and he will not depart this life until Allah exposes him unless he repents.”[3]

The Prophet (PBUH&HH) also said: “A man must never look at his brother’s private parts.”[4]

A direct viewing is no different than viewing through the mirror, picture, TV, or other apparatuses.

Allah’s messenger (PBUH&HH) said: The eyes of he, who fills them with the joy of viewing a woman, will be stuffed by Allah on the Day of Judgment with nails of fire; and they




[1] Qur'an: Versus Light, sign 30

[2] Mostadrak El-Wasael; part 9, page 156

[3] Wasael El-Shia: part 1, page 299

[4] Wasael El-Shia: part 1, page 299

120


112

Lesson Four: Restricted Viewing

 will be filled with fire until Allah has his will among the people. Thereon, he will be thrown into hell.”[1]

In relation to the eyes, it is also forbidden for a man to look down on his parents with hatred and abhorrence. The parents, out of love, continually wish that the thorns which may pierce into their son’s feet will instead pierce into their eyes instead of his feet.

Allah’s messenger (PBUH&HH) said: “Allah will never accept the prayers of he who regards his parents with abhorrence, even though they are unfair to him.”[2] In relation to the eyes as well, a believer must never look down on his brother with hatred and must never terrorize or frighten him.

Allah’s messenger (PBUH&HH) said: “On the day when there is no shade but His, Allah will frighten he who gave a believer a frightening look.”[3]

What is the influence of restricted viewing on Faith?

The reason why some viewings are restricted is because they, representing a serious gravity, threaten the most important thing in man’s life, the most important quality a man can enjoy, which is faith. Such viewings can cause him to leap from faith into hypocrisy hence; it will lead him to hellfire and draws the sweetness of faith out of him, leading to debauchery and to generating heedlessness.

The Christ (PBUH) said: “Never ever view that which is forbidden for it is the seed of lust and the vegetation of debauchery.”[4]

The man, who deviates until his heart dies, is a dead person.

Imam Ali (PBUH) said: “He, who does not restrict his eyes, shall bring his doom.”[5]

 



[1] Wasael El-Shia: part 2, page 195

[2] Wasael El-Shia: part 21, page 501

[3] Misbah El-Sahria: page 10

[4] Mostadrak El-Wasael; part 14, page 271

[5] Wasael El-Shia: part 12, page 303

121


113

Lesson Four: Restricted Viewing

 The influence of overlooking or ignoring

If the influence of overlooking protects only from being enchanted and from forbidden lust, this will be satisfactory for the heart to rest.

Imam Ali (PBUH) said: “He who turns his gaze away will bring rest to his heart.”[1] He also said: “The best issue that expels lusts is turning the gaze away.”[2] Therefore, to avoid regret, one must control his eyes. He also said: “He, who turns his gaze away, will reduce his sorrow and save himself from spoilage.”

Controlling the eyes does not only protect from damnation, it also brings Allah’s satisfaction and great prizes.

Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: “He, who sees a woman after which he looks up into the skies or overlooks her, will be wedded to companions with lustrous eyes.”[3] In addition, he will taste the sweetness of faith.

The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “The eyesight is a poisonous arrow of Satan’s. He who controls it in fear of Allah, Allah will grant him a faith, the sweetness of which will be found in his heart.”[4]

Moreover, the Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “Refrain from looking and you will see the wonders.”[5]

Conclusion

If viewing is of this level of gravity, then it is better for us to keep our eyes from surfing right and left, peeping here and there for lust and temptation. Instead, we must overlook and use our eyes in looking at that which will provide us with wisdom and lessons. We must change our eyesight into a tool




[1] Meezan El-Hikma: part 4, page 3289

[2] Meezan El-Hikma: part 4, page 3289

[3] Wasael El-Shia: part 20, page 193

[4] Bihar El-Anwar: part 101, page 38

[5] Misbah El-Sharia: page 10

122


114

Lesson Four: Restricted Viewing

 of worship. The Prophet (PBUH&HH) teaches us how seeing can be a tool of worship by saying: “Gazing at a cleric is worship. Gazing at a just Imam is worship. Gazing at parents with sympathy and mercy is worship. Gazing at a brother, whom you love for the sake of Allah, is worship.”[1]

Besides, observing the holy Qur'an is worship.

Therefore, let us ignore the issues which are forbidden for viewing so that we can be successful and save our souls.

Summary

1-     Faith is man’s capital of happiness.

2-     Viewing that which is forbidden can weaken and terminate the faith in Allah (The Exalted).

3-     Direct viewing of forbidden things is not allowed even through TV and images.

4-     Viewing that which is forbidden can lead to corruption in life and afterlife.

Questions

Answer True or False

1-     Viewing uncolored pictures is not prohibited.

2-     The punishment of he who views forbidden issues is the extraction of his eyes in the afterlife.

3-     The reward of turning the gaze away is marriage to the companions with lustrous eyes in heaven.




[1] Iddat El-Daei: page 176

123


115

Lesson Four: Restricted Viewing

 Additional Reading

Manners dealing with neighbors

Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: “Allah’s messenger ordered Ali, Salman and Aba Zar to cry loudly that he, whose neighbor is not safe from his calamities, is faithless. Hence, they cried it out three times. Then, he indicated with his hand to the fortieth house in all four directions, indicating that these are all neighbors.”[1]

These are some manners:

1.      Good neighborliness, good treatment and cooperation, and kindness among neighbors.

r  Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: “Good neighborliness is a must,  it was commanded by Allah (The Exalted).”[2]

r  Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: “Good neighborliness increases sustenance.”[3]

2.      Tolerate your neighbor’s harm, avoid hurting him, and offer him advice and guidance.

r  The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “Allah will forbid the odor of the paradise for he who hurts his neighbor, and his abode is in hell — a woeful refuge. And he, who wastes his neighbor’s right, is not one of us. Gabriel continually entrusted me to take care of my neighbor to the point I thought he was going to bequeath him.”[4]

r  Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: “He, who causes harm to his neighbor, is damned, damned.”[5]

3.      Quest to deliver the needs of a neighbor, especially if he is poor.




[1] Mishkat El-Anwar – by Tabrasi

[2] Amali Al-Sadouq – Al-Bihar, part 71

[3] Al-Bihar, part 71

[4] Amali Al-Sadouq – Al-Bihar, part 71

[5] Ali-Bihar, part 71

124


116

Lesson Four: Restricted Viewing

 1.      It is better for man to choose his neighbors before choosing his residence. For example, he can ask about their morals and good treatment.

2.      Imam Ali (PBUH) said: “It was said: O’ messenger of Allah, is there anything other than charity? He replied: yes, natal kin ties, and keeping in touch with your Moslem neighbor. He, who sleeps on a full stomach while his Moslem neighbor is hungry, does not believe in me.”[1]

r  From the book (Rawdat El-Waezeen), Allah’s messenger (PBUH&HH) said: “Do you know what rights your neighbor has? You know nothing but a little. A man is not a believer in Allah and the afterlife unless: his neighbor is safe from his harm, he grants him a loan when asked, he congratulates him when overwhelmed by goodness, comforts him when afflicted by evil, does not build high to obstruct the wind from his face unless he obtains his permission, and if he feels appetite for fruit he should give him a share, if he doesn’t, he should buy it in secret and must not feed his children in front of his neighbor’s children to avoid their vexation.” Then the Prophet added: “There are three kinds of neighbors. One who has three rights: Islam, neighborliness, and kinship. One who has two rights: Islam and neighborliness. One who has one right: this is the unbeliever who has the right to neighborliness.”[2]


 



[1] Amali Al-Tousi: part 2, page 71

[2] Mishkat El-Anwar: by Tabarsi

125


117

Lesson Four: Restricted Viewing

  

 

Allah’s Messenger (PBUH&HH) said:

“Allah will fill the eyes of he who satisfies himself gazing at a woman with nails of fire until Allah has his wish among the people; then he will be ordered into hell.”

Reference: Iqab El-Aamal, page 286


 126


118

Lesson Five: Listening to Forbidden Issues

  

Lesson Five

Listening to Forbidden Issues

Why Forbidden?

Don’t allow yourself to be a potential prey of evil

Introduction

The ear is like the eye, an inlet towards the heart, through which it can pick up the voices that bear along all kinds of knowledge, wisdom, and philosophy or voices that bear along all kinds of ugliness, wrongfulness, misbelieve, and other kinds that do not honor a slave of Allah.

The problem with the hearing, unlike seeing, is that it is always open, receiving voices without permission. Nevertheless, Allah did not relief man from his responsibility towards this organ of sense, as He did not relief man from his responsibility towards the eyes and heart. Thus He said: “And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).[1]

Responsibility towards the Ear

Allah (The Exalted) has explained all that man requires to protect




[1] Qur'an: Versus 17 “The Night Journey”: Sign 36

127


119

Lesson Five: Listening to Forbidden Issues

 himself by avoiding hearing forbidden issues.

Hence, he taught us how to refrain with our hearing and purify it from the dirtiness of the forbidden sayings because the role that was assigned to the hearing organ is higher and nobler than merely listening to the low and degraded issues. This way man will not be influenced or accustomed to them. If he does, he will lose his sense of repulsiveness towards them at first, then he will begin to like them and they will become part of him, Allah forbid.

The sense of hearing is one of the greatest graces of Allah and one of the methods of learning to enrich the mind with knowledge. It is not a method to fill the head and heart with causes of corruption or evil and atrocities.

These are some issues to which listening is forbidden:

1- Singing:

Singing is a great affliction that can greatly damage man’s religion and morals. It can confuse many people because it ornaments itself with that which draws the admiration of others when they listen to forbidden songs. It is also a method of amusement and a waste of time in life. Some words of songs can ornament other forbidden issues like adultery, Allah forbid, living in debauchery, and misbelieving. And because it is a part of the idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning), it was why Allah (The Exalted) said: “…and shun the word that is false.”[1] It was narrated that one of the friends of Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) asked him about the words of Allah (The Exalted): ““…and shun the word that is false.” He replied: “False sayings and singing.”[2] If singing was not part of Allah’s forbidden issues, he would have never promised the singer and the listener with hell.

Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: “Singing was promised by Allah with hell.” Then, he read this sign: “But there are, among men, those who purchase idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah and




[1] Qur'an: Versus 22 “The pilgrimage”: Sign 30

[2] Wasael Al-Shia: part 17, page 303

128


120

Lesson Five: Listening to Forbidden Issues

 throw ridicule (on the Path): for such there will be a Humiliating Penalty.”[1] In addition, forbidden music like the forbidden singing is spiteful to Allah; and He promised its performer and listener just like he promised the singer and listener with the afterlife punishment, the hellfire. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH&HH) said: “He, who was overwhelmed by grace from Allah, after which he disturbed it with a horn, has denied it.”[2]

2- Why did Allah forbid singing and music?

 If we return to the narrations, we will find many stories that explain their bad influence. Let us understand and listen with our heart to what the Prophet’s Household have said:

A- One of the meanest creatures of Allah — Imam Al-Hussein (PBUH) said: “Among the meanest creatures of Allah is singing. Among the most evil creatures of Allah is singing. It can pass on hypocrisy and poverty.”[3]

B- It passes on hypocrisy Imam Al-Hussein (PBUH) said: “Beating with drumsticks grows hypocrisy in the heart like the water grows weed.”[4] And he (PBUH) also said: “Singing is the nest of hypocrisy.”[5]

C- It ornaments the whoredom — The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “Singing is the talisman of adultery.”[6]

D- It hardens the heart — The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “Three can concrete the heart: ‘listening to singing…” Therefore, playing or listening to forbidden singing and music may cast two effects in this world and the afterworld.

The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “Within my nation, drumming and singing will emerge.” His companions asked: when will that be? He (PBUH&HH) replied: “When the music instruments appear, and the drinking of wine becomes permissible.”[7]




[1] Qur'an: Versus 31 “Luqman”: Sign 6

[2] Wasael Al-Shia: part 17, page 314

[3] Mostadrak Al-Wasael: part 13, page 212-213

[4] Wasael Al-Shia: part 17, page 313

[5] Wasael Al-Shia: part 17, page 305-306

[6] Mostadrak Al-Wasael: part 13, page 212

[7] Wasael Al-Shia: part 17, page 311

129


121

Lesson Five: Listening to Forbidden Issues

 Imam Al-Hussein (PBUH) said: “A house of singing is not safe from affliction, no prayer inside it will be answered, and no angel will visit it.”[1]

The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “The singer will not be regarded by Allah. On the other hand, the believer is occupied by other things.”

About he who bans his hearing from listening, there is a story: “Allah says on the Day of Judgment: My angels, he who bans his hearing and tongue from singing, let him hear my thanks and praises.”[2]

Other Bans

Part of that which Allah has forbidden is backbiting, spoken or heard. This is because he who listens to a backbiter is a partner in the blame. This is why he should never listen to backbiter who stabs his brother in the back. He must also defend his brother when he hears people stabbing him in the back. If he maintains silence he is their partner. He must refute all backbites against his brother and he himself must refrain from such act. Otherwise, he will be like a beast, sharing other beasts in their “feeding on a corpse.” If a man supports his brother in this life Allah will support him in the afterlife.

Prince of Believers Ali (PBUH) said: “A listener to backbiting is a backbiter.”

Part of the bans pertaining to hearing is listening to aberration whether through radio, television or an assembly that questions the religion and its verdicts. Also spying on people or eavesdropping is forbidden. Allah (The Exalted) said: “…And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it…”[3]




[1] Wasael Al-Shia: part 17, page 213

[2] Mostadrak, part 13 page 212

[3] Qur'an: Versus 49, The Private Apartments, Sign 12

130


122

Lesson Five: Listening to Forbidden Issues

 Don’t be a Prey of Satan

Our brother, you are the one who chooses his place of meeting and sitting in this life and in the afterlife. Do you want to be one of the cannibals who eat corpses, a listener to heresy, or one in a group whose calls are undelivered by Allah? Angels will run from such a group, and Allah will not look to its members. You must refrain and protect your hearing from all such issues. You must use your senses pursing knowledge and listening to righteousness.

You must attend the councils that praise and mention Allah where the angels will ask forgiveness for you and Allah will look at you with his merciful eye with satisfaction. You decide and you choose.

Save yourself from the traps of Satan. Don’t be Satan’s potential prey.

Summary

1.      Ear or hearing sense is a grace and responsibility.

2.      Purify your ears or hearing from the dirtiness of backbiting and singing.

3.      Singing grows hypocrisy, weakens the mind and inserts you in delusion.

Questions

Answer True or False:

1.      Allah (The Exalted) ordered man to follow the obligations so that He can control him.

2.      Allah punishes man for all the forbidden issues which he hears.

3.      Hypocrisy comes from listening to singing.

131


123

Lesson Five: Listening to Forbidden Issues

 Additional Reading

Some of the Commandments of Imam Khomeini (RIP)

To a young man who hopes to overcome the difficulties on the road towards righteousness and safety, with Allah’s success and the guidance of the guides.

Son;

Work on reforming yourself as long as you have the grace of youth.

In your prime, Satan – the worst enemy of the youths – will relentlessly try to drive the young man from reforming himself and will promise that there is enough time; that now you should enjoy your youth. Satan will keep deceiving him through false promises to obstruct him from the thought of reformation. Then, hour after hour, day after day, the young man will get older and suddenly discover that he is facing the pyramid through which he had hoped to have reformed himself. Suddenly, he finds that he was not at safe bay from the whispers of the evil as well, where he would promise him repentance at the end of his life.

However, when he feels death approaching at the end of his age, he will discover that Allah (The Exalted) has become the most hated existing entity to him because he wants to take him from this world, which is the most beloved to his heart. This is the case of those, whose natural light of faith has not totally distinguished.

There are others who were utterly taken away by the swamp of this world from the idea of reformation.

And because the prime of the age is often penetrated by some dogmatic, moral and educational swerves, it was why Imam Khomeini (RIP) drew the attention to the gravity of some of the places that can cause these swerves. He said:

132


124

Lesson Five: Listening to Forbidden Issues

 Imperialism is the reason that renders the press a common issue in order to poison the thoughts of our young people. It is also the issue that organizes our educational programs in the tendency that will spare no strong youth in our country.

It is also the issue that organizes our radioed and televised programs in a way that will weaken the nerves of our people; hence, they will lose their energy and strength. This is the fact of imperialism and we are against these aspects of colonialism.

133


125

Lesson Five: Listening to Forbidden Issues

  

 

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said:

“Allah (The Exalted) says:

If he, who recognizes me, disobeys me, I will render him governed by he, who does not recognize me.”

Reference: Amali Al-Tousi, page 143

134


126

Lesson Six: Consuming Forbidden Food

 Lesson Six

Consuming Forbidden Food

Man is Body and Soul

Which food is forbidden?

What is the punishment in the afterlife?

Man is Body and Soul

Some people observe the nature of mankind and believe that this body is composed of nothing but flesh, blood, bone and other parts. They do not give attention to the other dimensions of the reality of this amazing creature. Therefore, they use caution to avoid anything that may harm this mortal body in order to maintain its safety, health, cleanliness, and beauty. You can see them one time following a diet, other times they practice exercises, use makeup, and never hesitate in seeking the doctor’s services when they suspect any defect in their health.

They are often unaware of a greater reality, which is the human soul and spirit. They dedicatedly maintain the mortal body whereas forget the everlasting spirit. They maintain the beast inside them and do not give attention to that which can render man a human being. They pursue the pleasure of the body even at the cost of losing the mind. Can a man maintain

 

135 


127

Lesson Six: Consuming Forbidden Food

 his nature as a human being if he loses his mind?

It is good for one to maintain his physical safety; rather, this is legally demanded. However, the greater demand is the soundness of mind and spirit by protecting them from infection and malfunction. Let us together study a sample of the poisons that ravage the mind and spirit. Let us avoid them.

Which food is forbidden?

We have the right to ask this question. The answer is: every food that was forbidden by Allah (The Exalted). We are not allowed to let such food enter our stomach, regardless of its sort, ex: a corpse that was not slaughtered according to the doctrine of Islam or that which is forbidden in all cases like the meat of the pig, dog and other forbidden sorts. Also, deceiving people to obtain their money illegally renders everything bought with this stolen money forbidden. In addition, when food is infected by impure substance it must not be consumed unless it was cleaned first.

Can eating Forbidden food cause influence?

The spoiled food can poison the body and bring fever. Likewise, the forbidden food can affect the spirit, mind and heart. It can darken the heart thus, toughening it. It can also affect man’s mood should he become addicted to these forbidden foods. One forbidden morsel or one sip of a drink running in the blood through the veins becomes part of the flesh. Hence, it becomes an evil method that belongs to Satan and his soldiers who will strengthen this method against the son of Adam. In result, he will follow his desires and become a slave of Satan and his soldiers. Then, he will depart the slavery of Allah (The Exalted). This can even affect the offspring. For instance, Imam Al-Hussein (PBUH) said: “Illegal breadwinning can be revealed through the offspring.”[1]




[1] Wasael Al-Shia: part 17 page 82

136


128

Lesson Six: Consuming Forbidden Food

 And he who illegally eats people’s money will eat fire in the afterlife.

Imam Al-Hussein (PBUH) also said: “He, who wrongfully eats his brother’s money and does not return it to him, will eat a firebrand of the hellfire on the Day of Judgment.”[1]

In addition, there is no grace or reward in the illegal money. Its seeker or owner is also damned. Imam Ali (PBUH) said to one of his companions: “O David, Illegality will not stop; and if it grows it will not be blessed. And if spent on good causes it will bring no reward. And all that it leaves behind represents the victuals of the hell.”[2]

One of the best examples of illegality is usury. The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “He who devours usury, will fill his stomach from the hell with the same amount… and will marked by the damnation of Allah and his angels as long as he maintains one coin.”[3]

Therefore, a devourer of illegality does not deserve to reside under the leadership of the Prophet’s Household and does not deserve this supreme grace of leadership.

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said: “He, who illegally devours a believer’s money, is not my follower.”[4]

Don’t approach alcohol and drugs

The balance of man’s humanity is his mind. The more he is mindful the more he is nearer to his humanity. Through his mind, he can recognize his Allah and see his way in this life. If he loses his mind he will lose his humanity whereas maintain this animal inside him which will change to a mindless beast of weak will. This is why when the holy leaders or members of the Prophet’s Household compared between the drinking of alcohol and other forbidden issues, they regarded it as the




[1] Wasael Al-Shia: part 16 page 53

[2] Wasael Al-Shia: part 17 page 82

[3] Wasael Al-Shia: part 18 page 122

[4] Wasael Al-Shia: part 17 page 91

137


129

Lesson Six: Consuming Forbidden Food

 most dangerous issue. This is because he who sins may maintain his mind and repent to Allah. On the other hand, he who intoxicates himself will lose his mind and his recognition of Allah. This is why Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said: “Drinking alcohol is the key to every evil.”[1]

And he, who drinks alcohol, will no longer be worthy of supplication, because his prayer will not ascend:

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) also said: “The prayer of he, who drinks alcohol, will not be accepted for 40 days; and if he ignores his prayers during these days his punishment will be doubled simply for ignoring his prayers.”[2]

And in the afterlife like in the present life, drinking alcohol renders man’s secrets exposed without any immunity against the afflictions of the world and afterlife.

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said as well: “Sins … that which exposes the secrets is drinking alcohol.”[3]

Therefore, a drinker of alcohol will not enter paradise. Imam Al-Hussein (PBUH) said: “Three will not enter the paradise: shedder of blood, drinker of alcohol, and an itinerant talebearer.”[4]

Narcotics are like alcohol because they have the same effect, wasting the mind.

There is a kind of alcohol that was undermined by people. This is beer. No one should ever undermine any kind of alcohol because its aftermath is great with respect to Allah and its penalty is extreme. Allah also ordered us to avoid other acts that are worse than drinking alcohol. He said:

O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper.”[5]




[1] [1] Wasael Al-Shia: part 25 page 316

[2] [2] Wasael Al-Shia: part 25 page 303

[3] Wasael Al-Shia: part 16 page 274

[4] Wasael Al-Shia: part 25 page 305

[5] Qur'an: Versus 5 “The Table” sign 90

138


130

Lesson Six: Consuming Forbidden Food

 What’s the reward of he who refrains from forbidden items?

It was not a draconic act when Allah forbade some items of food. Instead, he wanted to dignify man and raise him above each ignominy that can degrade him, hence degrade his position.

Therefore, Allah will, in the afterlife, reward the man who banned himself from forbidden foods. He will live in a place of eternity, a paradise, the width of which equals the width of the heavens and earth. There, he will find that which is more delicious and fortunate than that of this worldly existence.

Dear brother, your caring for the needs of your body is a natural right of your physical being. But you must also regard the rights of your spirit, mind and heart. Don’t lead them to damnation. Don’t let them inhabit the place of those who conduct evil and mischief. Dignify them by rising with them above all that can degrade them in this life and the afterlife. Pursue that which is permitted for it is sufficient and will bring in great reward.

Worship is formed of ninety parts, best of which is the pursuing of permissible issues (Halal).”

Summary

1.      Any physical act can influence the spirit.

2.      Eating forbidden food darkens the soul.

3.      Using stolen money to buy permissible food is also forbidden.

Questions

Answer True or False:

1.      Nothing that we do can affect the human spirit.

2.      Eating a small portion of forbidden food has no influence.

3.      Beer is not forbidden because it does not cause intoxication.


 139


131

Lesson Six: Consuming Forbidden Food

  Additional Reading

The Questioning of the Rich and Poor

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said: “On the Day of Judgment, two believing worshipers will stand for trial. Both are residents of the paradise. One was poor whereas the other was rich in this life. The poor will say: Allah, what’s keeping me? I swear in your exaltedness, while you truly know that you never entrusted me with any governorship, through which I could be just or unjust; and that you never granted me richness to hold or pay that which is right. I only obtained from life that which satisfied my sustenance according to what you have destined for me. After that, Allah (The Exalted) replies: my worshiper is right; let him enter the paradise.

The other one (rich man) remains behind until he begins to sweat that which can water forty camels. After that, he enters the paradise. Thus, the poor man asks him: what kept you? He replies: the length of questioning. They kept questioning me on one issue after another until Allah overwhelmed me with his mercy and attached me to the repentant people. Then the rich man asks the poor man: who are you? He replies: I am the poor man that was standing with you previously. Then the rich man replies: the bliss has truly changed you.”[1]

This is only a part of Allah’s generosity towards the poor. And he who was promised by Allah (The Exalted) with such bliss must be patient and beware Satan because he possesses numerous methods which he can use to seduce the poor. Part of these methods is: giving up, being ungrateful.

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) also said: On the Day of Judgment, Allah will order someone to cry out: where are the poor people? Thus, a group of people will rise and will be taken to



[1] Manazil Al-Akhira: page 136

140


132

Lesson Six: Consuming Forbidden Food

 paradise. When they reach the gates, its keepers ask them: are you entering before questioning? They reply: Did we get anything that you can question us for?

Hence, Allah (The Exalted) says: They are right. My worshipers, I made you poor so that this poverty of yours will change to a treasure of yours on this day.

Then he says: skim through the faces of the people: he who did a favor for you, hold his hand and take him to paradise.”[1]

 



[1] Thawab Al-Aamal: page 83

141


133

Lesson Six: Consuming Forbidden Food

  

 

Prince of Believers (PBUH) said:

“He who confiscates the belongings of a believer is not my follower”

Reference: Book Mishkatul Anwar, 154.


 142


134

Chapter Four: Understanding Worship

 Chapter Four

Understanding Worship (Fiqhil Ebada)

Cognition of Religion

Obedience to the Religious Authority (Wilayatul Faqeeh)

Najasa (Impurity) & Rules

Tahara (Purity)

 Wudu (Ablution)

Ghuslul Janaba (Body Wash) or Tayammum*

Preludes to Prayers

Deeds of Prayers




*  Tayammum : Washing certain parts of the body using dust.

143


135

Chapter Four: Understanding Worship

  

 

 

ALLAH, YOUR FORGIVENESS

144


136

Lesson One: Cognition of Religion

 First Lesson

Cognition of Religion

Why should we imitate?

When must we imitate?

How do we choose a religious authority for imitation?

Knowledge & Learning

The Noble Qur'an encouraged man to learn and urged him to increase his knowledge (O my Lord! advance me in knowledge)[1]

The accounts encouraged mankind to pursue cognition, especially the cognition of religion and the possessing of a good knowledge of Halaal and Haraam*, to the point where Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) was quoted saying: “I wish the heads of my companions were under the threat of the whip in order to cognize Halaal and Haraam.”[2]

This knowledge or cognition, through which the Ulamaa* became the inheritors of the prophets (PBUT), has in fact become a kind of devotion.

For instance, the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Sitting with the Ulamaa* is devotion.”[3]




[1] Qur'an: Taha (20), Sign 114

* Halal & Haram: Right & Wrong

[2] Book Biharul Anwar, Part 1, p213

[3] Book Biharul Anwar, Part1, p204

* Ulamaa: Religion Scholars

145


137

Lesson One: Cognition of Religion

 Luqman also said to his son: “Son, sit with the Ulamaa* and compete for a seat among them; Allah (The Exalted) reenergizes the hearts with the light of wisdom like he revives the earth with a rain from sky.”[1]

Moreover, Islam called on people to follow knowledge so that the attitudes, moves, and stillness of human beings as a whole would be balanced according to the criterion of integrity, righteousness and faith, which can be achieved by following and imitating the Ulamaa* pertaining to the legal codes and religious matters. The meaning of Taqleed* can be understood by answering the following questions:

Why do we imitate?

The wise and sane people usually refer to the trusted specialists regarding the issues which they do not master. This attitude is called Taqleed* according to religion jurisprudence. For example, referring to a doctor and following his instruction accurately is a kind of imitation. It aims at providing a safe life that is healthy and far from the pain and bitterness of illnesses.

However, there are other kinds of disease that can harm both body and soul or mankind and community, which also foretells the bad consequences in the afterlife.

One cannot rid himself from these dangerous illnesses and avoid their menace but by referring to doctors specialized in body and soul as well as follow their instruction. These doctors are called the clerics of the religion scholars. They have the ability of extracting the legal rules by quoting from the Qur'an as well as the Prophetic codes known as Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH). Therefore, they can teach us how to pray, fast and conduct ritual pilgrimage as well as teach other rituals or religious obligations. They can guide us to that which will bring our goodness and righteousness in this world and the afterworld. Referring to the great scholars or the authoritative sources as well as quoting the legal rules from them and acting accordingly are called Taqleed*.




[1] op.cit.,

146


138

Lesson One: Cognition of Religion

 Allah (The Exalted) said: “… ask of those who possess the Message.”[1]

When must we imitate?

Allah (The Exalted) did not oblige the children and insane people to perform prayers, fasting and other obligations.

For instance, they do not have the ability to distinguish between Halaal* and Haraam* or between good and evil. Therefore, Allah (The Exalted) will not question them for ignoring an obligation and will not punish them for committing Haraam*.

This is what the Prophet (PBUH) meant when he said: “Obligation has been lifted off the child until he reaches adulthood and off the insane person until he regains his sanity.”[2] This is why they should not imitate anyone regarding religious matters. On the other hand, the mature and wise person has been dignified by Allah (The Exalted) through assignment and was entrusted with such responsibility because he reached the point of becoming worthy of such responsibility, where he will be questioned for abandoning prayers and fasting as he will be punished for wrongdoings. Man will become responsible once he reaches 175 months of age for males and 105 months for females. Once responsible, man must imitate the religious jurisprudents that possess better knowledge. Man must render his worships and deeds consistent with the codes and verdicts of the authority that possesses the highest knowledge or cognition.

How do we choose an authority for Taqleed?

The authority, which we imitate, must possess a number of qualifications, the most important of which are:

Religious Jurisprudence:

He must be capable of drawing out legal conclusions and rules from Qur'an and Sunnah (of the Prophet).




[1]Qur'an: The Bee (16), Sign 43

* Taqleed: Imitation

[2] Al-Moatabar, Part 1, p 403

* Halal & Haram: Right & Wrong

147


139

Lesson One: Cognition of Religion

 Righteousness:

He must be godly dedicated and avoid profanity to the limit where this behavior becomes a faculty.

Know Best:

He must know best among the scholars and jurisprudents with the best ability to reach the legal verdict. To recognize the one with the best knowledge, one must refer to men of expertise, knowledge and virtue. These men possess a high level of knowledge that qualifies them to define the one with the best knowledge among the jurisprudents. From them, we must seek the one with best cognition. If two experts witness to the cognition of one of the jurisprudents, their testimony will be sufficient to authenticate his Taqleed*. Therefore, we, the committed, can review the sayings of the experts, which are written and printed in the testimonial books, where we can find their signatures which we trust. This way, they become reliable as a source of showing whom we must imitate.

Summary:

1-     A man becomes committed to the divine rules once he reaches his adulthood. Males reach adulthood at the age of 15 whereas females at the age of 9.

2-     We must imitate the just jurisprudent with the best knowledge among the scholars. And we can recognize him through the testimony of two experts.

3-     The best knowledge of a jurisprudent can be proven through testing, public fame pertaining to knowledge, and the testimony of two experts.

Questions:

1-     What is Taqleed?

2-     What is the age of commitment?

3-     How can we determine the one with the best knowledge for imitation?

148


140

Lesson One: Cognition of Religion

 Additional Reading

Politeness of relationship with Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah Reveal Him Soon)*

1- Pledge of Allegiance:

It was stated in the supplication al-Ahd or the Vow: (Allah, I renew my pledge of allegiance to him this morning and as long as a live. This is my vow, pledge and commitment strapped to my neck, which I will never abandon).

2- Longing to see him:

It was narrated that the Prince of Believers said that Imam al-Mahdi (May Allah Reveal Him Soon) was his offspring; hence he pointed to his heart inside his chest as a sign of longing to see him. Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said, while he longed to see him, “… If I could catch him, I would serve him all my life.[1] We, Ahlulbeit (members of the Prophet’s Household) were taught to ask Allah in supplication to see him. A part of the Vow reads: (Allah, show me the wise visage and the praiseful face. Let my eyes test the delight of gazing at him). A supplication titled al-Nudba reads: (…and reveal him O' lord, O’ the most powerful…). It also reads: (…Is there a way to meet you son of Mohammad…). Supplication al-Amri reads: (Allah, I ask Thee to lead me to Your saint as he emerges to execute Your order).[2] Other supplications read: (Allah, show us the graceful face of your authority in our lifetime and after death).

 

3- Clinging to the Pledge:

 

Imam Al-Baqir (PBUH) said: “A time will come when people will no longer see their holy leader."




[1] Al-Gheeba (Al-Noamani), P 245.

[2] Jamal Al Osbouh, P 316.

* Imam Al-Mahdi is also called Imam Al-Zaman (one of the greatest bestowments of Allah who still exists).

 149


141

Lesson One: Cognition of Religion

 Therefore, goodness will be ordained for those who cling to our order at that time. The least of the remuneration that they will receive is that Allah (The Exalted) had said: My slaves, you believed in my secret and my unseen world, hence, expect remuneration from me. You are my slaves; truly I will accept your deeds and forgive you for your sins. Through you, I will pour down rain unto my slaves and lift calamity off them. If it were not for you, they would have received my anger.”[1]

4- Being sad and miserable for his absence:

Al-Kafi Al-Shareef stated that Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: “The breathing of he who saddens for our wrongfulness is regarded as supplication.”[2] He (PBUH) also said: “I swear to Allah that your holy leader will disappear for years to come, meanwhile you will be tested to the point where one would say: did he die (or) where did he go? Eyes of the believers will tear for him.”[3] Oyoun Al-Akhbar stated words in relation to him (PBUH), where he said that Imam Al-Rida (PBUH) said: “there will be an indefinite number of believers who sadden for his absence”[4] — meaning Al-Hojja (PBUH).

5- Supplicating to Allah for Imam Al-Mahdi's well-being:

One must not forget the supplication: (Allah be to your authority, Al-Hojja Ibn El-Hassan, may your blessings be upon him and his ancestors, this hour and every hour, a leader and a protector, etc…).

6- One must not forget visiting Al-Yassin (Prophet's household) from a distance, as he (PBUH) stated in the way that makes us sense his presence: (Peace be upon you when you rise, peace be upon you when you sit, peace be upon you when your read and explain, peace be upon you when you pray and obey Allah, peace be upon you when you bow and prostrate).

7- Pleading through him to Allah (The Exalted):

This issue can be achieved pertaining to life matters—like Imam




[1] Al-Jawahir Al-Sunniya, P 249

[2] Al-Kafi, part 2, p 226

[3] Al-Kafi, part 1, p 336

[4] Al-Imama Wattabsira, p 114

150


142

Lesson One: Cognition of Religion

 leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei (Allah protect him) did when he praised the lord inside Jmarkah Mosque for the sake of the Islamic Resistance victory during the April aggression, or for afterlife matters, where we can ask Allah to make him our intercessor through Al-Tawassul supplication. Some accounts narrated that one should plead through Imam Al-Zaman (PBUH), such as supplication: (Allah, I ask you in the name of your authority and follower Sahib Al-Zaman, help me regarding all my affairs and protect me through him from the harm of every evil, tyrant and oppressor. Help me through him for I have had enough, and protect me from every enemy, concern, sadness and debt. And help my children, and all my families, brethren and people of my concern. Amen O’ Allah of the world)[1].

8- Rising when Hearing his Name:

One must rise, if sitting, especially when hearing the word “Al-Qaem”. It was said that his blessed name was mentioned in the presence of Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH), and he rose as a behavior of revering and respecting him (PBUH).

9- Sending our Blessings on him:

It was narrated that sending blessings on him is a favorite deed that was stated through several sources. For example, there is Al-Iftitah Supplication and the supplication that was quoted from Imam Al-Askari (PBUH): “Allah, send your blessings on your authority, the son of your authorities, the anticipated authority of all times, al-Hojja Ibn El-Hassan — Allah send your blessings on your authority, the son of your authorities, whose obedience has been coded by you…”[2]

10- Paying Charity on his Behalf:

It was stated that one should pay charity before traveling, and must say after donating: (Allah, this donation is yours and from you; it is a donation on the behalf of our authority Mohammad Al-Mahdi (PBUH): Allah, send your blessings on him during his travels and movements, and during his tranquility at nights and daylights).




[1] Al-Bihar : Part94, p 35

[2] Bihar Al-Anwar: Part 2, p 264

151


143

Lesson One: Cognition of Religion

  

 

The Prince of Believers (PBUH) said:

“He who loves to gaze at those manumitted from the Hellfire, he should gaze at a knowledge seeker.”

Book Irshad El-Qoloub, 273-1

152


144

Lesson Two: The Rule of Religious Jurisprudent

 Second Lesson

The Rule of the Religious Jurisprudent

What is the meaning of the rule of the religious jurisprudent?

Who should rule in Islam?

What proves the rule of the religious jurisprudent?

What is the meaning of the rule of the religious jurisprudent?

The rule is the governance, administration or sultanate, which handles the general matters of the Moslems including the political, social, economic, cultural and military matters. In one word, this is the position of the number one leadership of the Islamic Nation.

Who should rule in Islam?

Ruling in Islam belongs to Allah, the only powerful deity. No man should rule other human being unless his governance was authorized and granted by Allah (The Exalted).

Allah has given authority to prophets to rule earth.

This is why He (The Exalted) said: (O David! We did indeed make thee a vicegerent on earth: so judge thou between men in truth and justice).[1]




[1] Qur'an : Sad (38), sign 26

153


145

Lesson Two: The Rule of Religious Jurisprudent

 He (The Exalted) also said: (We sent not an Messenger, but to be obeyed, in accordance with the will of Allah).[1]

This is how Allah gave permission to the holy leaders to rule on earth.

He (The Exalted) said: (Your authority is Allah, His Messenger, and the (fellowship of) believers).[2]

He (The Exalted) also said: (O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you).[3]

This is how the role of the messenges and holy leaders is becoming evident and orbits around two main issues:

1-     The religious presidency: because they are the authorized references regarding all matters of religion

2-     The earthly presidency: because they are the authorized references regarding the handling and administration of the countries’ affairs.

What proves the rule of the religious jurisprudent?

With the infallible holy leader (Imama) absent, the governance must not be ignored because it is a religious and worldly necessity. Hence, the just religious jurisprudent is the acting authority of the nation, representing the impeccable holy leader.

This issue becomes evident when we read the following accounts:

-          Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: (Anyone of you, who can narrate our speech, cognize our Halaal and Haraam, and understand our rules—I have assigned him to rule you).[4]

-          The holy leader Al-Mahdi (PBUH) said: (Concerning the current events, you must return to the narrators of our speech, for they are my authority upon you whereas I am the authority assigned by Allah.)[5]




[1] Qur'an: The women (4), sign 64

[2] Qur'an : The Food table (5), sign 55

[3] Qur'an: The women (4), sign 59

[4] Book Al-Kafi, part1, p67.

[5] Book Wasayel Al-Shia(h), part 18, p 101

154


146

Lesson Two: The Rule of Religious Jurisprudent

 - There are a large number of narrations that prove that the scholars are the inheritors of the messengers and the trustees of the messengers; and that the events must be handled by them.

Obeying the Religious Jurisprudent

Imam Al-Khomeini (RIP) said: (There is no doubt that the same jurisprudence [ruling authority] which has been entrusted to the noble Messenger and the holy leaders, has also been entrusted to the jurisprudent).

Should the rule of the religious jurisprudent represent an expansion of the governance of the messengers and holy leaders (PBUT), which derived from the authority of Allah (The Exalted), then obeying the religious jurisprudent is like obeying Allah (The Exalted). On the other hand, disobeying him is like disobeying Allah (The Exalted). In fact, the task of the religious jurisprudent urges him to rule in compliance with Allah’s judgment. The accounts indicated this significance.

For example, the aforementioned speech of Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) read: (And if he rules in consistence with our judgment whereas one of you rejects it, this means he ridiculed Allah’s judgment and rejected our orders; he who rejects us is like he who rejects Allah, which is congruent with polytheism).

One can also benefit from the accounts that the authority of the religious jurisprudent is exactly like the authority of the holy leaders (PBUT). For example, book Tawqee Al-Nahiya Al-Moqaddasa reads: (for they are my authority upon you whereas I am the authority assigned by Allah).[1]




[1] Book Al-Saraer, part 3, p 540

155


147

Lesson Two: The Rule of Religious Jurisprudent

 Summary:

1-     The rule of the religious jurisprudent is the leading position of the Islamic nation.

2-     We can prove the rule of the religious sjurisprudent from the numerous accounts.

3-     Obeying the religious jurisprudent is like obeying Allah (The Exalted).

Questions:

1-     What is the meaning of the rule of the religious jurisprudent?

2-     State an evident that proves the rule of the religious jurisprudent.

3-     Which story indicates the fact that the logic in obeying the religious jurisprudent is exactly like obeying the orders of the infallibles (PBUT)?

156


148

Lesson Two: The Rule of Religious Jurisprudent

 Additional Reading

Biography of Imam Al-Khomeini (RIP)

Imam Al-Khomeini (RIP) was born in Khomein town on 09/24/1902. He was born on the day, marked as the anniversary of the birthday of the World Lady, Fatima the daughter of Mohammad the Prophet (PBUT). His late father Ayatollah Al-Shaheed, Sayyed Mustafa Al-Musawi, the son of late Sayyed Ahmad Al-Musawi, became the religious authority of the citizens of Khomein town and its outskirts after his return from Holy Najaf in Iraq.

In March 1902, a group of evil men assassinated him on the road linking Khomein with Arak. He was martyred at his 47 years of age, only a few months after the birth of his pious son, Sayyed Ruhullah Al-Khomeini.

The mother of Imam Al-Khomeini was lady Hajar, the daughter of Ayatollah Al-Mirza Ahmad, a scholar and lecturer at the religious schools of Holy Karbalaa and Najaf. At the age of fifteen, the mother of Imam Al-Khomeini died. At that time, despite his great loss of his dearest and most loved person, he maintained his godly dedication while exploited his intelligence and super gift to study the introductions of his sacred brother after which he studied religious sciences at the religious school (Hawza) in Arak and was a protégé to the late scholar, Sheikh Abdul Kareem Al-Ha’eri Al-Yazdi. Meanwhile, he studied literature with other teachers.

After the religious school was moved from Arak to Qum, Imam Al-Khomeini increased his dedication and managed to accomplish his studies abroad in 1926, the time when he solidified his scientific base and was graduated in jurisprudence and principles, earning the degree of jurisprudence.

After that, he began teaching jurisprudence, philosophy and

157


149

Lesson Two: The Rule of Religious Jurisprudent

 gnosis coupled with ethics. At that time, the secret services of Shah Rida Khan tried to encumber his activities. But the movement of edification that was started by Imam Al-Khomeini did not retreat before those measures.

After the death of Ayatollah Al-Brojerdi, Imam Al-Khomeini was chosen as a public authority by the people and religious scholars. Following this achievement, the cultural effort of Imam Al-Khomeini inclined and the limits of his fight reached their peak between 1961 and 1963.

The people went into uprising after his famous speech in 06/03/1963, at the Faydiya school, pertaining to the subordination of the Shah regime coupled with the crimes of the US and "Israel." He also spoke on the role and message of the clerics and scholars. The ruling regime, after giving his speech, found it necessary to arrest him and imprisoned him on 06/05/1963. However, the people took to the street due to the historic and conclusive speech.

The movement of the condemnation remained active in Tehran and other cities, increasingly escalating for as long as two full days. On the same date, the tanks roamed Tehran, since it was the focal point of the nation’s demonstrations. Firing shots could be heard everywhere. The dictator regime managed to repress the uprising on the surface using the force of the weapon and killing a large number of people.

However, the date 06/05/1963 became a turning point in the history of the Islamic revolution, from which the roots revolution were nourished.

Consequently, a few bold and successful steps were taken and were led by Imam Al-Khomeini, leading in the end to victory and the establishment of the Islamic State.


 158


150

Lesson Two: The Rule of Religious Jurisprudent

  

Lady Al-Zahraa (PBUH) said:

“Allah imposed faith as a purification from polytheism, obedience as an obligation for the nation, leadership as a unity against partition, and Jihad as an honor for Islam.”

Book: Man-La Yahdorohol Faqeeh: part 3, p 568

 

160


151

Lesson Three: Impurities (Najasat) and their Rules

 Lesson Three

Impurities (Najasat) and their Rules

What is the verdict on impurities?

How many kinds are there?

How can an impure substance pass?

What is the verdict on impurities?

A Moslem human being challenges a group of the issues that are regarded impure with respect to the Islamic doctrine.

These Najasat or impurities are banned for consumption and must be observed when praying by making sure they do not exist on our bodies or clothes.

What are the kinds of Impurities or Najasat?

First and second: these are urine and feces.

Both are najis or impure should they derive from animals with blood streams (meaning the blood that comes out with force when slaughtered). Besides, these must be animals of uneatable (forbidden) like rabbits, cats, wild cats, rats, etc…

Such animals have blood streams (meaning blood can also come out with force when slaughtered), yet they are uneatable, meaning their meat is banned. This is why their urine and feces are ruled to be najis or impure.

161


152

Lesson Three: Impurities (Najasat) and their Rules

 The animals that do not contain blood stream, (meaning their blood does not gush out when slaughtered), like fish snakes and small insects, their urine or feces are pure.

Moreover, the animals, the flesh of which is legitimized for consumption, like the cattle and chicken, their urine and feces are also pure.

Third and fourth: Blood and Semen.

These two items are impure, whether they derive from blood-streaming animals of legitimated or blood-streaming animals of illegitimated flesh. Hence, the blood and semen, which come from animals like rabbits, cats, rats, cattle, chicken and other similar animals, are impure. On the other hand, they are pure if they came from animals like fish, snakes and small insects.

The remaining blood after slaughter is pure. For example, if a cow was slaughtered and its blood gushed out in the normal way, the blood that remains inside is pure.

Fifth: Meeta (Corpse)

The Meeta or corpse is the animal that is not slaughtered according to the religious requirements (imperfect). The corpse is impure if it belongs to blood-streaming animals of Halaal[1] or non-Halaal flesh. But there are exemptions like: hair, nail, wool, fluff, tooth, horn, bone, and other similar items that are not regarded to be of a living form. These items are not regarded impure whereas the parts that are regarded to be of a living form are the flesh, skins, nerves, muscles and other similar parts.

The flesh and skin that are imported from Moslem countries are regarded pure and permissible for wearing in prayers unless it becomes certain that the Moslem who imported them had bought them from a non-Moslem person without inspection. At this point, one must take caution and refrain from items of unattained certainty. On the other hand, the flesh and skin that are imported from Non-Moslem countries are not Halaal and must not be worn in prayers.




[1] Halaal: a term that means slaughtered according to the Islamic doctrine.

162


153

Lesson Three: Impurities (Najasat) and their Rules

 Six and seven: wild dog and swine

These two animals are impure in their entirety.

Eighth: liquid intoxicants and alcohols

These items are impure like: the wine and other alcohols. On the other hand, the solid intoxicants like the cannabis are pure, yet they are impermissible.

Ninth: frothy drink (Beer).

Tenth: the atheist

This means the human being that denies the existence of Allah (The Exalted) or the polytheist who adopts with Allah other gods like the idols and other symbols. Other similar human beings are those who declare their hatred towards the Prophet’s household (PBUT) or those who regard them as deities. The Prince of Believers, a member of the Prophet’s household (PBUT), said:

Two are doomed because of me, the one that loves me to the level of worship, and the one that hates me.”[1]

On the other hand, the people of the book are regarded pure.

How does a najis or an impurity pass?

The things that come in close touch with impure substances will not be infected unless running moisture is associated. If a dry pure item comes in close touch with a dry impure item, it will still maintain its purity.




[1] Nahjul Balagha: part20, p 220

163


154

Lesson Three: Impurities (Najasat) and their Rules

 Summary:

One must take caution against impurities during prayers and must not consume them as food.

Impurities are:

Urine and feces that come from blood-streaming animals (of non-Halaal flesh)

Blood, semen and corpse of blood streaming animals (of both Halaal and non-Halaal flesh)

Frothy drink (beer) and liquid toxicants and alcohols

Atheists, wild dogs and wild hogs

An impurity does not pass to another pure item by touch unless running moisture is associated.

Questions:

What are the matters required during which a person must avoid impurities?

The bone of a dead animal, is it pure or impure?

How does impurity pass?

Additional Reading:

I need more sleep

Luqman Al-Hakeem was working as a servant for someone. His master was a good person who believed in Allah — but he was self-conceited. In the evening, when everyone went to sleep and all motions went into stillness, Luqman woke up a few hours later for his night prayers. However, he did not notice his master, who claimed he believed in Allah.

Therefore, he wondered and went to his master and said: wake up sir, wake up and let us pray together because we can

164


155

Lesson Three: Impurities (Najasat) and their Rules

 still catch up with the convoy of the worshipers that will receive remuneration and the whispers of praising that are overwhelming the universe? Wake up to pray master.

His master replied: I need more rest; so let me be for another hour after which, I will rise, for Allah is the most merciful. As soon as the time for Morning Prayer approached, he went to his master again and said: rise master and catch up with Morning Prayer in its prime. His master replied: let me sleep a little bit further and I will rise afterwards, for Allah is the most merciful. Just before sunrise, when the time margin for the Morning Prayer became narrow, he said again to his master: wake up sir, it is almost morning, the roaster has crowed, there is a little time left to sunrise. His master replied: leave me be, for Allah is the Most Merciful.

The sun rose while his master was still asleep. He did not wake up until the sun rose and scorched his uncovered legs. In the morning, he gave Luqman a fistful of wheat seeds and told him to go to the so-and-so farm to plant these seeds.

Luqman wanted to give his master a lesson. Therefore, he went to the farm and planted millet seeds instead. When he returned, he told his master what he did. His master told him: are you insane? Luqman replied: Allah is the Most Merciful. The wheat is expensive and the millet is cheap, hence, I thought it was better to plant the latter in a hope that we will harvest wheat instead for Allah is the Most Merciful. His master replied: from where did you learn this? Luqman replied: from you sir; you sleep all night and do not wake up for Morning Prayer and say that Allah is the Most Merciful in a hope that you will win the garden, Allah’s satisfaction, nymphs, and a light that will laminate your face on the Day of Judgment.

Instead, you will only harvest that which you plant. He who plants wheat will harvest wheat, and he who plants millet will harvest mallet — this world is the farm of the afterworld.[1]




[1] Book Jihad Al-Nafs; written by Mazaheri.

165


156

Lesson Three: Impurities (Najasat) and their Rules

  

 

Holy Leader Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said:

“He, who leaves one single hair without ritual purification, will go to hell … that mere sufferance in grave comes from impurity.”

Book Iqab Al-Aamal: 229-270

166


157

Lesson Four: Purifiers

 Lesson Four

Purifiers

What are purifiers?

How do you purify items infected with impurities?

What are purifiers?

Allah (The Exalted) said: “…and he caused rain to descend on you from heaven, to clean you therewith…”[1]

Since we have talked about the impurities and the necessity to take caution against them, during prayers for example, now we have to talk about the kinds of the purifiers which Allah (The Exalted) have rendered available to assist us rid of impurities and purify ourselves from them should they occur. Water tops the list of these purifiers. They are:

First: Water

It is divided into two sections:

1- The abundant water: like the rivers, wells, and fountains (the water that springs out from earth). The rain is also regarded abundant while descending from sky.

Water which is also regarded abundant is that which gathers at a certain place – like the water tanks –



[1] Verse 8 (Spoils of War): sign 11

167


158

Lesson Four: Purifiers

 provided that the size of the tank equals 8 spans cubic (Book: Tahreer Al-Waseela)

2- The little water: this is the water that collects inside a small container – like the small jug – the size of which is less than 8 spans cubic.

The abundant water code:

-          It is pure in its essence and works as a purifier.

-          If any impurity falls within this kind of water, it will not spoil unless its color, taste or smell changes in accordance with the kind of the impurity.

The little water code:

-          It is pure in its essence and works as a purifier.

-          It becomes impure as soon as an impurity falls in it, even if its features did not change in accordance with the impurity.

Second: Earth (ground)

It purifies the feet and the shoes from beneath by merely walking on earth or wiping against it until the dirty substance is entirely removed.

For earth to work as a purifier the source of the dirt must come from earth and that earth must be pure and dry.

Third: Sun

It purifies the fixed materials like the ground, buildings, doors, windows, trees and their fruits (as long as they remain attached to the trees), plants and vegetables prior to their harvest. Sun can also purify mats and curtains that are made from canes. For sun to work as a purifier, the subject must be totally dried by sunrays. Besides, the impure substance must disappear.

Fourth: Transformation

It means that the impurity of the infected subject must be transformed from its original nature to a totally different substance. For example, if the dirty wood burned and turned into ashes, at this point it becomes pure.

Fifth: Moving

The blood, which the mosquito sucks out from man or

168


159

Lesson Four: Purifiers

 animal, becomes pure once it is transposed and became a part of the insect.

Six: Islam

If an atheist converts to Islam he becomes pure.

Seven: Parentage

If an atheist converts to Islam, his children will become pure since they are his descendants.

Eight: Disappearance of Impurity

If a dirty substance happens to exist on an animal’s body after which it disappears, the animal becomes pure without needing purification (The case applies to all animals).

If blood comes out from a man’s mouth, the mouth becomes pure after spitting out the blood without needing any purification by water.

Nine: Absence

For example, if a person becomes aware of a dirty substance at a certain location inside his friend’s house, after which he goes away for sometime; when this person returns to visit his friend again and finds out that the dirty substance was missing, he must regard the place pure at this point.

169


160

Lesson Four: Purifiers

 Summary:

1-     Water is pure in its essence and works as a purifier. It is divided into two sections: The abundant, which does not become impure when touched by an impure substance unless its features are changed in accordance with the features of the impure substance. The second is the little water which becomes impure as soon as it meets the impure substance.

2-     Earth purifies feet and shoes from beneath.

3-     Sun purifies the fixed things, which are nailed to the ground.

4-     Islam purifies the atheist and his children will follow in purity.

5-     To purify an animal and the inner parts of man, disappearance of the dirt is sufficient.

Questions:

1-     What are the kinds of the abundant water?

2-     What are the terms required for purification by earth?

3-     What is meant by absence regarding purification?

Additional Reading:

Imam Al-Sajjad (PBUH) and his comfort towards the poor and needy:

Al-Sajjad is also renowned as holy leader Zein El-Abideen (PBUH).

Each time a poor man visits him he would say: “I welcome the man who will carry my supplies of the afterlife.”

He (PBUH) was dedicated to charity and would give donations at night, without anyone knowing. It was said that he (PBUH) was the breadwinner of 100 families of the poor people of Medina, who did not know where these donations came from. They only

170


161

Lesson Four: Purifiers

realized after his death (PBUH).

In another story: he (PBUH) used to carry bread on his back at night to give it away. It is said that, “A charity in secrecy will extinguish the fury of the Lord.”

In another story, the citizens of Medina used to say: “We only missed the donations that were given in secrecy when Ali Ben Al-Hussein (PBUH) passed away.”[1]

A man said to Saed Ben Al-Msayeb: I never saw a man that is more pious than so-and-so – and he named a person – Then, Saed replied: haven’t you seen Ali Ben Al-Hussein? The man said no; Saed replied: I never saw a man that is more pious than him.

Moreover, Abu Hazim said: I never saw a Hashemite who is better than Ali Ben Al-Hussein.

Tawous also said: I saw Ali Ben Al-Hussein (PBUH) prostrating in Al-Hujur, so I thought: I will listen to a good man, a member of the Prophet’s household, in order to hear what he was saying. When I listened I heard him saying: (Your slave at your courtyard, your needy at your courtyard, your mendicant at your courtyard, and your poor at your courtyard). Tawous said afterwards: I swear to Allah, each time I praised the lord using the same words, I found comfort. He also used to pray everyday and each night with extreme dedication to the point when the morning descends he faints. Also the wind would bend him like the spikenard. Moreover, one day, when he was strolling a man swore him. Hence, the assistants and followers became infuriated, but Ali (PBUH) said to them: “Wait, that’s enough.” Then, he approached the man and told him: “Your case must have been obscured from us. Can we be of any assistance to you? The man felt shy in reaction. Then, he (PBUH) gave him velvet which he wore and ordered one thousand dinars for him. The man said afterwards: I testify that you are one of the prophet’s offspring.[2]


 



[1] Book Tazkirat Al-Khawas, p 294

[2] Book Kashf El-Ghumma, 2-292-293

171


162

Lesson Four: Purifiers

  

 

 

Holy Leader Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said:

“It is my wish to see two types of young men among you: either a mentor or a student. If not, he’ll loose; if he looses he’ll be wasted; if he’s wasted he’ll sin; if he sins he’ll reside in hell I swear to He Who sent Mohammed with the right message”

Book: Amali Al-Sheikh Al-Tousi: 191

172


163

Lesson Five: Minor Ablution

 Lesson Five

Ablution

How do I perform ablution rite?

What is the correct rite of ablution?

How do I maintain my ablution?

Ablution is the main term required for praying and it can mirror illuminating effects in this life and the afterlife. The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said regarding the performer of such ritual: “If he washes his face, Allah will whiten his face on the day when faces will either whiten or darken. If he washes his arms, Allah will spare him from the shackles of hell. If he wipes his head, Allah will wipe off his sins. And if he wipes his feet, Allah will render him capable of passing the straight road on the day when the feet will fail in passing.”[1]

This is why one should learn the following issues:

How do I perform the ablution rite?

Ablution can be performed in two stages: washing the face and arms, wiping the head and feet.

This issue can be achieved according to the following order:




[1] Book Al-Wasayel, part 1, p 378

173


164

Lesson Five: Minor Ablution

 — We begin with intention, intending within our hearts that: “I am performing ablution to meet Allah’s satisfaction.” In Arabic we say: “Atawadaou Qurbatan Elal-Laahee Taalaa.”

— Then, we wash our face from forehead (the line that separates between the hair and face) down to the bottom of the chin. Washing must always be performed downwards, never upwards.

— Afterwards, we wash the right arm from the elbow down to the tips of the fingers followed by the left arm. One may wash a small part that is out of the aforementioned boundaries to be certain that he had washed the required parts completely.

— Then, we wipe the head; thus, we wipe the forepart of the head with the remaining wetness of the palm. Wiping must be performed on the same skin or the forepart of the head, provided it was not long in the way that reaches out of the boundaries of the head.

— Afterwards, we wipe the top of the feet; thus, we wipe the right foot with the right palm and the left foot with the left palm. We begin wiping from our toes upwards to the articulation (that separates between the foot and the leg). The obligation requires that the hand wipes the head then feet and not the contrary.

What is the correct rite of ablution?

For my ablution to be correct, I must give attention to the following points:

1-     I must use pure water.

2-     I must use abundant water and avoid using juice or rose water…

3-     I must use the permissible water and avoid using the impermissible water.

4-     The parts aimed for ablution must be pure in advance.

5-     I must remove the ring, the watch, or any thing that may obstruct the water from reaching the skin.

6-     You must perform the ritual yourself.

174


165

Lesson Five: Minor Ablution

1-     Do not violate the aforementioned order pertaining to ablution.

2-     Do not separate between the ablution deeds using a time margin that will cause the parts to dry before performing the order the follows.

How do I maintain ablution?

It is desirable for one to maintain purity: “Allah loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.”[1]

Whenever ablution spoils, be initiative to renew it and maintain purity.

There are many issues that can spoil ablution. These are:

1-     Urination.

2-     Defecation.

3-     Breaking wind.

4-     Sleeping (loosing the ability to hear or see)

5-     Paranoia, fainting, and reaching drunken stage.

What happens if I don’t perform ablution?

I you do not perform ablution your prayers will be incorrect. Imam Al-Baqir (PBUH&HH) said: “No prayers without purity.”[2]

In addition, circulating around the Kaaba (holy house in Mecca) during the pilgrimage ritual is impermissible without ablution. Besides, without purity, touching the writings of the Qur'an is banned.

An impure person is also banned from touching the deity names of Allah or any words that indicate to Him such as: I swear in the name of the One Who owns my soul; the One Who broke open the kernel and created the soul.

An impure person is also banned from touching the names of the Prophets and Holy Leaders, the Prophet’s Household (PBUT).



[1] Qur'an: Verse The Cow: sign 222

[2] Book Wasayel Al-Shia: part 1, p 222

175


166

Lesson Five: Minor Ablution

 Summary:

1-     Ablution requires the washing of the face and arms as well as the wiping of the head and feet.

2-     For ablution to be correct, the water must be pure, abundant and permissible. Besides, the parts aimed by ablution must be clean in advance. Moreover, any partition that obstructs the water from reaching the parts aimed by ablution must be nonexistent.

3-     Ablution is deemed spoiled or void when urine, feces or wind come out from their exits. Besides, sleeping that renders the mind to become absent voids ablution.

4-     Without ablution, touching the writings of the Qur'an or the deity and noble names of Allah is impermissible.

Questions:

1-     What is the meaning of abundant water?

2-     State the deeds required for ablution in order.

3-     If an assignee was nodding off, closing and opening his eyes, does this act voids ablution? Why?

176


167

Lesson Five: Minor Ablution

 Additional Reading

The Costume of a Believer -1-

Shaving and nail clipping

1-     The Noble Prophet (PBUH&HH) banned the believers from shaving a part of the head whereas leaving other parts (like some do nowadays).

v  It was narrated that the Prophet (PBUH&HH) was brought a boy to praise the lord for his wellbeing. When he noticed that the boy had tufts of hair, he ordered them to be shaved first.”[1]

2-     It is desirable for the head to be shaved every week, and to be washed by water afterwards.

3-     It is desirable for a newborn baby to have his head shaved seven days after his birth, and that an amount of silver that equals the weight of the shaven hair be given in charity.

4-     He who wants to shave his head must begin from the forepart to the back of the head during which he says: “In the name of Allah, and in accordance with the way of Allah’s messenger (PBUH&HH). Allah, give me with each hair a light on the Day of Judgment.” When ending, he says: “Allah, mark me with piety and save me from harm.”

5-     Shaving the beard is banned.

6-     It is desirable for one to trim the moustache, whereas letting it grow is undesirable.

7-     Nail clipping is desirable every Thursday or Friday.

Manners of Costume

1-     Wearing clean and good costumes because Allah is beautiful and loves beauty.




[1] Book: Makarim Al-Akhlaq.

177


168

Lesson Five: Minor Ablution

 1-     Mentioning: “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” Doing so each time a person wears his clothes.

2-     Clothes should not be long to the extent where they touch the ground and get dirtied.

3-     One must not wear expensive clothes amid a poor society to act with pride and degrade the people.

4-     A person must say when wearing his new clothes: “Allah, render it a costume of piety and grace; Allah, with this costume render me among the best of your worshipers so that I work in accordance with your satisfaction and thank your grace. All praise be to Allah Who gave me what covered my body and my private parts, and gave me what made me beautiful among the people.”

5-     It is desirable for anyone who has extra clothes to give in donation to those who cannot buy them. If he does so, he will be greatly remunerated.

v  The Prophet (PBUH&HH) said: “… He did not believe in Allah, he who’s covered with clothes whereas his brother is naked.”


 178


169

Lesson Five: Minor Ablution

 

 

179


170

Lesson Five: Minor Ablution

  

 

Holy Leader Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said:

“He, who performs ablution while mentioning Allah’s name, will have his body purified and his sins will perish between one ablution and another.”

Book Bihar Al-Anwar, 82-235

180


171

Lesson Six: Major Ritual Ablution (Ghusul Al- Janaba) & Tayammum

 Lesson Six

Major Ritual Ablution (Ghusul Al- Janaba) & Tayammum*

Why must we perform Major Ablution Rite?

How do we perform Major Ablution Rite?

Why must we perform Tayammum? How do we perform it? What do we use?

Major Ablution

Imam Al-Sadiq (PBUH) said: “While you perform a major ablution rite say: Allah, purify my heart, accept my quest, and bestow on me part of your goodness; Allah, render me repentant and a puritan.”

We said in the first lesson that one of the signs of reaching puberty is ejaculation. When a person experiences ejaculation, we say that he is mojnib (an Arabic word, which means he is facing a situation that obliges him to perform major ablution rite). First, he must remove the dirt from his body after which he must perform major ablution before praying or performing the other worships that oblige a state of purity.

How do we perform major ablution rite?

First, we intend: “I am obligatorily performing major ablution to meet Allah’s satisfaction.” We say in Arabic: “Aghtasilu




*  Tayammum : Washing certain parts of the body using earth

181


172

Lesson Six: Major Ritual Ablution (Ghusul Al- Janaba) & Tayammum

 Ghuslul Janaba Wajiban Qurbatan Elal-Laahee Taalaa.” It is sufficient if we intend this in our mind.

Then, we begin the washing process in the following order:

1-     We wash our entire head with the neck.

2-     We wash the right side of our body (Shoulder, foot and parts in between).

3-     We wash the left side in the same manner.

This method of washing is called the ordinal wash (Ghusul Tarteebi). It is also permissible to wash the entire body with water in one stroke — one must sink the entire body in water all at once (one blow). This is called immersion wash (Ghusul Irtimasi).

The correct major ablution

For your wash to be correct, give attention to the following matters:

1-     Wash using pure water.

2-     Wash using abundant water, not rosewater or juice.

3-     Wash using permissible water, not using water obtained by force from others.

4-     Let the water reach beneath the hair.

5-     Undress or get rid of all the parts that obstruct water from reaching the skin.

6-     Perform washing by yourself.

What happens if we don’t perform major ablution?

If we don’t perform major ablution rite, the following obligations will be incorrect:

(a) Prayers (b) Circling around the Kaaba in Hajj (c) Fasting the month of Ramadan with the dues (days you missed fasting).

Moreover, if we don’t wash, touching the scripts of the Quran is forbidden.

Also touching the deity names of Allah or any words that indicate to Him is forbidden.

Also touching the names of the prophets and holy leaders is forbidden (most likely).

182


173

Lesson Six: Major Ritual Ablution (Ghusul Al- Janaba) & Tayammum

 Also entering the Holy Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina is forbidden, even if it was merely for the purpose passing through.

Regarding other mosques, it is forbidden for one to stay in or enter them unless he is merely passing through or entering to obtain something. But it is forbidden to place something inside the mosque even if it was done from outside. (This rule applies also to the holy annexes).

It is also forbidden to fully or partly read the four verses of the Quran, which are:

(1) The Clot or Read (2) The Star (3) The Prostration (4) Spelled Out

Remark: Major Ablution Rite can serve at the same time for ablution.

Tayammum

When must we perform Tayammum?

How do we perform Tayammum?

What do we use to perform Tayammum?

Allah (The Exalted) said: “…and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands, Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favor to you, that ye may be grateful.”[1]

When must we perform Tayammum?

If we cannot perform minor or major ablution due to water deficiency, or due to a certain disease that may worsen with water, or due to the narrowing time margin, or due to other reasons, in this case, we must perform Tayammum in order to pray.

How do we perform Tayammum?

First: We intend: “I am obligatorily performing Tayammum in place of ablution (or in place of major ablution) to meet Allah’s satisfaction. In Arabic we say: Atayammamu Badalan Anil




[1] Verse The Table.

183


174

Lesson Six: Major Ritual Ablution (Ghusul Al- Janaba) & Tayammum

 Wudu (or Badalan Anil Ghusul) Wajiban Qurbatan Elel-Laahee Taalaa.” And it would be sufficient to intend this in our mind.

Second: We strike both our palms in the earth at once.

Third: We wipe the forehead using both palms simultaneously beginning from the hair borderline downwards to the eyebrows and the tip of the nose. It is better to wipe the eyebrows as well.

Fourth: We wipe the back of the right hand with the left palm.

Fifth: We wipe the back of the left hand with the right palm.

What do we use for Tayammum?

Tayammum can be achieved using earth: (then take for yourselves clean sand or earth), meaning a pure earth. What we mean by earth is: soil, sand, stone, marble and other similar items of nature.

If we cannot reach these aforementioned items, we can collect the dust and use it to perform Tayammum.

Performing Tayammum cannot be attained using metal, wood, textile, salt, calcified materials and other unnatural substances.

Summary

Performing major ablution rite is one of the terms required for the correctness of prayers and other obligations.

Performing major ablution can be achieved in two methods: ordinal, by washing the head and neck first, the right part of the body second; and the left part of the body third.

And by immersion: immersing the body in water at once.

For the wash to be correct, the water must be pure, permissible, and must reach the skin.

A person, who’s e