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Ethical Advice 207

Ethical Advice 207

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Ethical Advice from Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi


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Ethical Advice from Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi


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Published by: awaiting on Feb 14, 2008
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In the name of All°h, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
Topic of Discussion:Topic of Discussion:Topic of Discussion:Topic of Discussion: AAAAttainingttainingttainingttaining Ones’ SustenanceOnes’ SustenanceOnes’ SustenanceOnes’ Sustenance : Øad¢th #:Øath #:Øath #:Øath #6666[Discussion #[ Discussion #[Discussion #[ Discussion #7777]]]]
Lectures on Akhl°q given by His EminenceAyatull°h al-`U®m° al-Ø°jj ash-Shaykh N°•ir Mak°rim ash-Sh¢r°z¢ (may All°h protect him)Translated by Saleem Bhimji – www.al-mubin.org – al-mubin@al-mubin.org
Topic: Attaining Ones’ Sustenance
Text of the Øad¢th:
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ranslation of Øad¢th:ranslation of Øad¢th:ranslation of Øad¢th:ranslation of Øad¢th:
It has been narrated from Ibn `Umar that the Prophet (blessings of All°h be uponhim and his family) said,
“There is nothing that will keep you away from the fire of hell except that I have explained it to you and there is nothing that will bring you closer to Paradise but that I have guided you towards it (as well). Surely the R£hul Qudus (Holy Spirit) had brought inspiration into my heart that not a single servant from amongst you will die until his sustenance has been completed. So then seek this (your sustenance) in the best possible way (not resorting to the prohibited means). Do not let the slowness of the sustenance coming to you make you seek it from the grace of All°h by transgressing Him (his laws). Surely that which is with All°h will never reach a person except through obedience to Him. Verily for every person there is asustenance (designated for him) that will reach him and there is no doubt in this. So then whoever is pleased with ones’ sustenance, it will bring blessings to one and it will be increased. And the person who is not pleased with his sustenance, it will not bring blessings to him nor will it be increased. Surely the sustenance goes in search of a person just how his appointed time (death) goes in search of him.” 
Commentary of Øad¢th:
The Noble Messenger of All°h (blessings of All°h be upon him and his family) has stated that,
“You must distance yourself from whatever keeps you away from Paradise – either through your speech or actions. In addition, I have commanded and taught you all of those things which bring you closer to Paradise and which keep you away from the Hell fire.” 
Bi¶°r al-Anw°r, Volume 77, Page 185
The purpose of this Øad¢th is to show us that we must strive and struggle to put the laws of Isl°m into practiceand it is this act that separates us (the Sh¢`a) from the Ahl al-Sunnah who are of the belief that whatever has not been expressly legislated (in the Isl°mic texts) is not an applicable ruling (to follow). With this said, we see thatthe Ahl al-Sunnah give the permission to their Fuqah° to devise their own Isl°mic rules and regulations throughthe practice
Ma•°lah Mursalah 
.Is such a school of thought (that of the Ahl al-Sunnah) in which half of their teachings are from All°h (Glory andGreatness be to Him) and the Infalliable – the Prophet of All°h (blessings of All°h be upon him and his family)and the other half which are from the whims and desires of the people (their Scholars) the true set of beliefs; oris it the school of thought in which all of the teachings are from All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) and theMa`•£m¢n (prayers be upon him) (meaning the Sh¢`a) the true school of thought? Thus, there is a great difference between the two groups (the Sh¢`a and Ahl al-Sunnah).Of course the apparent understanding of the verse that states:
“On this day (the 18 
of Dhul Øijjah), I have completed your d¢n (al-Isl°m) for you.” 
is just as we have mentioned since the word
includes all of the theological beliefs, practical Isl°mic lawsand the moral and ethical guidelines. Thus, the Øad¢th that we started with shows us that we must deduce thelaws of Isl°m, the theological beliefs and our moral and ethical guidelines through the process of Ijtih°d (fromthe sources of Isl°m) and we are not permitted to formulate and devise our own laws.At this point, the following issues must be mentioned:1. There are some lazy people who feel that by relying on the verse of the Qur˜°n that states:
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“There is not a single creature on the Earth except that its sustenance is guaranteed by All°h.” 
or by relying upon those a¶°d¢th in which the meaning has been given that everyone’s sustenance has beendecided and specified who assume that there is no need for them to struggle to make ends meet since their
This is an act that can lead (the Scholar) to knowledge or assumption on the part of the person performing it inrelation to an Isl°mic legislation in which there is no clear proof mentioned (in the Qur˜°n or the Prophetic a¶°d¢th) toformulate a ruling. The Sh¢`a `Ulam° do not consider Qiy°s as one of the methods of reaching to the Isl°mic rulingshowever a majority of the Fuqah° of the Ahl as-Sunnah accept this method.
[Al[Al[Al[Al----M£jiz FM£jiz FM£jiz FM£jiz F¢ U•£l al¢U•£l al¢U•£l al¢U•£l al----Fiqh,Fiqh,Fiqh,Fiqh, Ayatull°h Ja`farAyatull°h Ja`farAyatull°h Ja`farAyatull°h Ja`farSub¶°n¢,Sub¶°n¢,Sub¶°n¢,Sub¶°n¢, VolumeVolumeVolumeVolume 1111, Page,Page,Page,Page 16161616 ]]]]
The lexical meaning of this word is to
consider something as good,
however in the science of Jurisprudence (`Ilmal-U•£l) it means to consider one act as being better than another act without basing this conclusion on any proof from theIsl°mic legislation (Qur˜°n and a¶°d¢th of the Prophet). A majority of the Sunni Fuqah°` such as those of the Øanaf¢ andM°lik¢ schools of law accept this form of deduction whereas the Sh¢`a and those of the Sh°f`¢ schools are opposed to it.
[Al[Al[Al[Al----M£jiz F¢ U•£l alM£jiz F¢ U•£l alM£jiz F¢ U•£l alM£jiz F¢ U•£l al----Fiqh,Fiqh,Fiqh,Fiqh, Ayatull°h Ja`far Sub¶°n¢,Ayatull°h Ja`far Sub¶°n¢,Ayatull°h Ja`far Sub¶°n¢,Ayatull°h Ja`far Sub¶°n¢, VolumeVolumeVolumeVolume 1111, Page,Page,Page,Page 11117777]]]]
Ma•°lah Mursalah:Ma•°lah Mursalah:Ma•°lah Mursalah:Ma•°lah Mursalah:
This term used in the Science of Jurisprudence (`Ilm al-U•£l) refers to making a ruling based on theoverall goodness (of the ruling) without basing it on any proof from the Isl°mic sources (Qur˜°n and the a¶°d¢th of theProphet). Some of the scholars of the Ahl al-Sunnah accept this method of deduction of the Islamic legislation however theFuqah° of the Sh¢`a are complete opposed to it.
[Al[Al[Al[Al----M£jiz F¢ U•£l alM£jiz F¢ U•£l alM£jiz F¢ U•£l alM£jiz F¢ U•£l al----Fiqh,Fiqh,Fiqh,Fiqh, Ayatull°h Ja`far Sub¶°n¢,Ayatull°h Ja`far Sub¶°n¢,Ayatull°h Ja`far Sub¶°n¢,Ayatull°h Ja`far Sub¶°n¢, VolumeVolumeVolumeVolume 1111, Page,Page,Page,Page 11117777]]]]
S£rah al-M°idah, Verse 3
S£rah H£d, Verse 6
sustenance has already been designated and it will reach them in any way (whether they work or not). Thus,they feel that no mouth would remain open except that sustenance would reach it (from All°h)!These types of people whose understanding and awareness of the religion and the teachings of the school of thought are very simple and weak give excuses to the enemies (through these sorts of beliefs) that it is religionwhich causes the problems and troubles in the economy of a country and which lead to a stoppage of positiveactivity which could bring benefits to the (material) life of a person.These people think that it is religion which forces a person to submit his entire presence to such things (thatcould otherwise make them productive and well off) and make them bring forth the excuse that if such andsuch gift were not granted to him, then for sure they would not have any sustenance reach them (and thus, theywould have starved). These types of people also think that if that sustenance was meant for them, thendefinitely without any questions, it would reach them (and no one could stop it from reaching to them).This sort of speech gives those who exploit others a very good opportunity to place the yolk of slavery aroundtheir necks and prevent them from the most basic of issues and needs of life.However, if these people possessed even a minute understanding of the Qur˜°n and the Isl°mic a¶°d¢th, then itwould be sufficient for them to reach to this conclusion that Isl°m requires a person to strive and struggle toreach any sort of benefit in the material or spiritual realms of humanity such that the Qur˜°n has presented thefollowing verse as the slogan of such people (who strive and struggle) as being:
#!: ,-$'Y 
“Mankind will have nothing except that which they strive for.” 
In order to be examples and models for the rest of the people, the leaders of Isl°m (the Prophet and A’immah)used to exert much toil and labour in working and busied themselves in laborious activity. The previousProphets too were no exception to this rule. We see that they were shepherds, tailors, cultivators of the fieldsand farmers.If the meaning that one’s sustenance is guaranteed from All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) means that weare to sit in our houses and wait for the sustenance to reach us, then we would not have seen the Prophets andA’immah – who were all much more acquainted and knowledgeable with the teachings of the religion –exerting such labour and toil in working!Therefore, we must state that:
The sustenance of each and every person has been determined and fixed,however in the same vein it is based on the condition that a person works and struggles (to acquire it). Any time this condition is not acted upon, then that which has been promised will not come about.
This is the meaning when we say that,
“Each and every person has an appointed time (to die) and his or her“Each and every person has an appointed time (to die) and his or her“Each and every person has an appointed time (to die) and his or her“Each and every person has an appointed time (to die) and his or herlifespan has been determined.”lifespan has been determined.”lifespan has been determined.”lifespan has been determined.”
Without doubt the meaning of this speech is not that if a person was to gotowards suicide and kill himself, or was to eat or drink something to induce death that he would remain aliveuntil his appointed time of death. Rather, this means that the body which we have been given has the ability toremain for as long as it has been appointed to remain here (on Earth) on the condition that the principles of cleanliness and hygiene are observed and a person keeps away from those things which are hazardous to hishealth and those things which could lead to a person dying sooner are all abstained from.An important point to mention here is that the verses of the Qur˜°n and the a¶°d¢th which speak in relation tothe sustenance being specified for every person truly acts just as brakes (similar to the brakes in a car that stop

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