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Usul al-Kafi Book 1: The Book of Intellect [Reason] and Ignorance Chapter 1

Traditions 1to 27

Intellect [reason] and ignorance

Those who do not understand God have no fear of Him and they never look for guidance and intellect from Him. Their hearts do not establish any firm gnosis about God with awareness in their hearts. Those who are not blessed with intellect always feel the awareness of God that could acknowledge the truth about God in their hearts. No one can be like this except those whose deeds conform to their words. Further their private and public activities agree with each other. This is because God the Almighty never guides the innate reason, except what comes out of it through deeds and words. The Imam (p) continued his discourse: Imam Ali (p) used to say: God was never worshipped better than on the basis of deductive reasoning and the reasoning faculty of a man cannot achieve perfection without certain characteristics in him: immunity from disbelief and evil, expectation of guidance and virtue, giving away in charity of everything in excess of the bare necessities of life, abstinence from vain gossip, availing worldly goods just sufficient for subsistence, insatiable craving for knowledge, preference for humiliation before God over vain glory before fellow beings, preference for the love of meekness over pride, considering ordinary favours of others as great and his own great favours to others as mere trifles, and also considering all others better than himself and thinking his own self as much inferior to others, and these are the last words on this subject. O Hisham, a wise man never tells a lie in spite of extreme temptation. O Hisham, he who has no courtesy has no religion and he who has no reason has no courtesy. The greatest man is he who never equates himself with the worldly life. Your bodies cannot be sold except in exchange for Paradise, therefore, do not sell yourself for anything less than Paradise. The Imam (p) further continued: Imam Ali (p) said that the sign of a wise man is that he has three characteristics: a. he replies whenever he is queried, b. speaks with confidence when all others are at a loss to say anything, and c. tenders advice which is good for his people. Anyone who does not posses these three characteristics is stupid. He said that one who does not possess all these three qualities or at least one of them should not occupy the president’s chair at a meeting and the one who does not have any of these qualifications yet sits in that chair, is stupid. Then Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) quoted Imam al-Hasan (p):

Usul al-Kafi Book 2: The Book of Excellence of Knowledge Chapter 1
Traditions 28 to 34

The duty and obligation of attainment of knowledge

28. Prophet Muhammad (p): Attainment of knowledge is the duty of every Muslim. Lo! God loves those who have a yearning for knowledge. (B2, C1, T1) 29. Imam Musa al-Kazim (p) was asked: Is it all right for men not to put questions, the answers to which are not necessary for them? The Imam (p): Certainly not.(B2, C1, T3) 30. Imam Ali (p): O you people, you must know that perfection in learning the real values of religion lies in seeking knowledge and acting according to it. Beware that acquiring knowledge is much more essential for you than seeking wealth. Wealth, the means of your sustenance in this physical life, is earmarked and guaranteed for you by the One who is Just (God) and it is bound to reach you. But, seek knowledge from those who possess it. (B2, C1, T4) 31. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) quoted the Prophet Muhammad (p): Seeking knowledge is essential. According to another tradition, Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) quoted the Prophet Muhammad (p): Acquiring knowledge is incumbent upon each and every Muslim. Beware; God loves those who strive to acquire it.(B2, C1, T5) 32. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Learn religious jurisprudence. Any one among you who does not become proficient in religious jurisprudence is a rustic. God said: …Let them devote themselves to the study of religion and warn their comrades when they return to them so that they may guard themselves against evil (Q, 9:122).(B2, C1, T6) 33. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): It is incumbent upon you to learn the jurisprudence of the religion of God, You should not be like the Bedouin Arabs. On the Day of Judgment God will not even look at the person who does not acquire the knowledge of jurisprudence of the religion, nor will He sanctify his deeds.(B2, C1, T7) 34. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p), in order to stress the

Usul al-Kafi Book 2: The Book of Excellence of Knowledge Chapter 2
Traditions 35 to 43

Excellence of Knowledge and Eminence of Scholar

35. Imam Musa al-Kazim (p): While the Prophet Muhammad (p) was entering a mosque, he saw a person surrounded by a huge crowd. Prophet Muhammad (p): Who is this person? The Prophet (p) was told: This person is an ‘Allamah’ (a scholar). The Prophet (p): Who is an Allamah? The Prophet (p) was told: Allamah is a person who is most learned among all people about the lineage (family tree) of the Arabs and the historical events of the pre-Islamic era and an erudite Arabic poet. The Prophet (p): Ignorance of this kind of knowledge will not discredit anyone and will not be profitable to anyone who possesses it. True knowledge is of three kinds: a. Knowledge of the fundamental verses (of the Noble Quran, 3:7), b. Knowledge of the requirements of equity and moderation, and c. Knowledge of the Islamic code (as-Sunnah). The rest is additional excellence.(B2, C2, T1) 37. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): When God wants to favour any of His servants; He bestows upon him the knowledge of religious jurisprudence.(B2, C2, T3) 38. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): Excellence, nay super-excellence, lies in the knowledge of religious jurisprudence, patience in adversity and regulation of expenses.(B2, C2, T4) 39. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Learned men are the custodians (of religious knowledge), the pious ones are the fortresses (who safeguard against invasions) and the vicegerents (of the prophets) are the leaders (of the believers). According to another tradition, The Imam (p) said: The scholars are beacons of light, the pious are fortresses and the vicegerents are leaders.(B2, C2, T5) 40. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) addressing Basheer, a believer: O Basheer, remember that those of our community who do not attain the knowledge of

Usul al-Kafi Book 2: The Book of Excellence of Knowledge Chapter 3 Categories of people
44. 1. Imam Ali (p): After the demise of Prophet Muhammad (p) people chose three types of persons as their religious leaders and guides. Firstly, the scholars on the right path guided by God and to whom God has imparted so much knowledge that he is totally independent of other scholars. Secondly, the ignorant one who pretends to be a scholar and has no knowledge at all and (in spite of it) he boasts of his knowledge. (third category) The world attains knowledge from a learned scholar who is on the right path guided by God. He will attain Salvation and (apart from these three categories) the pretender is doomed to perish and the one who spreads falsehood regarding religious matters will be absolutely disappointed.(B2, C3, T1) 45. 2. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): There are three kinds of people: the Scholars, the Seekers of Knowledge and the Scum of Humanity.(B2, C3, T2) 46. 3. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Be either a learned person or a student or be in affinity with the learned people and never join any fourth category, otherwise you will perish.(B2, C3, T3) 47.4 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): People consist of three categories: the learned scholars, the students and the rubbish. We are the learned scholars, our Shias are students (the seekers of knowledge) and the rest are rubbish (a liability to humanity).(B2, C3, T4)

Usul al-Kafi Book 2: The Book of Excellence of Knowledge Chapter 4 Divine rewards for the learned and the students

48. 1. Prophet Muhammad (p): One who travels in search of knowledge, God paves his way towards Paradise and the angels spread their wings for him to express their pleasure and appreciation. Verily, all those in heaven and on earth, even the fish in the ocean pray for his redemption. The superiority of the learned person over the (mere) worshipper is like the brilliance of the full moon among the stars during a moonlit night…(B2, C4, T1) 49. 2. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): If anyone of you imparts some knowledge to someone else, his reward will be equivalent to the reward of the students (to whom he has imparted the Knowledge) and he will earn the respect of the students. Attain knowledge, therefore, from those who are the custodians of knowledge and impart this knowledge to your brothers like the learned scholars have imparted it to you.(B2, C4, T2) 50. 3. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): One who encourages anyone to attain righteousness will be rewarded as if he himself had acted on it. Elaborating this idea, the Imam (p) said that one, who has been taught by someone, in turn teaches someone else, then he and the original teacher will both be rewarded, and if the teacher dies he will continue to be rewarded for the good deeds of his disciples.(B2, C4, T3) 51. 4. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): Anyone who teaches a chapter (from the Noble Quran) will get a reward equivalent to that of one who acts according to that guidance and there will be no reduction in the reward of anyone of them…(B2, C4, T4) 52. 5. Imam Zainul Abideen (p): If people knew the worth of acquiring knowledge, they would have done so even at the cost of a bleeding heart and by diving in stormy waves. Verily, God, the Glorious and the Elevated One, revealed to Prophet Daniyal (Daniel) (p): The most detestable of My servants is the ignorant one, who underrates the learned men and ceases to follow their footsteps. The most beloved among my servants is the one who wards off evil by seeking My maximum rewards, remains in contact with the learned men, follows the forbearing and accepts the advice of the sages.(B2, C4, T5) 53. 6. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): He who acquires knowledge and acts on it and imparts it to others is proclaimed in Heavens as the ‘Great One’, and it is said about him that he acquired knowledge in the way of God, acted upon it and disseminated it for the sake of God.(B2, C4, T6)

Usul al-Kafi Book 2: The Book of Excellence of Knowledge Chapter 5 Attributes of the religious scholars

54. 1. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Acquire knowledge of religion and adorn it with forbearance and reverence. Be humble to those whom you give knowledge and also to those from whom you receive it. Do not enter the fold of harsh tempered scholars; otherwise your good deeds will be washed away by your evil acts.(B2, C5, T1) 55. 2. Commenting on the verse: …Verily, of the servants of God it is those who possess knowledge that fear Him… (Q,35:28) Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) said: Those who possess knowledge means those whose actions verify their words; and those whose deeds do not corroborate their words are not among the learned ones.(B2, C5, T2) 56. 3. Imam Ali (p): Hearken! I will tell you about a religious scholar who is erudite in the real sense of the word. He does not make people despair of the Mercy of God and does not let them feel immune from the chastisement of God and does not allow them to commit sins and does not give up the recitation of the Noble Quran due to his temptation for something else. Beware! There is no virtue in knowledge that is devoid of understanding. Beware! There is no virtue in the recitation of the Noble Quran without pondering. Beware! There is no virtue in worship that is devoid of meditation.(B2, C5, T3) 57. 4. Imam Ali ar-Reza (p): Forbearance and Silence are among the signs of religious knowledge. Translator’s note: In the tradition quoted above, silence means refraining from unnecessary gossip and superfluous talk.(B2, C5, T4) 58. 5. Imam Ali (p): The heart of a learned person is fortified against stupidity and inadvertence. Translator’s note: The word ‘heart’ used here figuratively denotes ‘mind’ or ‘mental process’ or ‘reasoning faculty’. This figurative use of the word ‘heart’ is very common in the Arabic language.(B2, C5, T5) 59. 6. Prophet Isa (Jesus) (p) addressing his disciples: I have a desire which I want you to fulfill. The Disciples: Take it as fulfilled (rest assured we are at your service). Prophet Isa (p) got up and washed their feet. The Disciples: O Spirit of God, we are more fit to serve you like this. Prophet Isa (p): The fittest person to serve the people is the learned person. I have acted with humility like this so that after I am gone you may also behave humbly with people as I have behaved with

Rights and privileges of a scholar

61. 1. Imam Ali (p): Among the rights and privileges of a learned scholar is that you should not bother him with too many questions and do not pull at his clothes in order to attract his attention and when you visit him in the presence of others, greet all of them after your special compliments to him and always sit facing him and not behind him. Avoid gesturing with your hands and eyes in his presence, do not indulge in lengthy talk and do not start telling him that such and such persons have been talking against him (repudiating his statement) and do not get irritated in case his discourse becomes lengthy. A learned scholar is like a palm tree and people sit under it and wait patiently for the fruits to fall. The rewards of a learned scholar are much more than the rewards of one who observes fast almost every day and fights in the way of God.(B2, C6, T1)

Death of a religious scholar

62. 3. Imam Musa al-Kazim (p): When a learned believer dies, the angels weep over him and so do the portions of the earth on which he used to worship God and also the doors of heaven through which his good deeds have ascended. His death causes such a void in Islam that nothing can fill it because the learned believers are fortresses of Islam like the protecting walls built around a city.(B2, C7, T3) 63. 4. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): From among the believers, the death of no believer pleases Satan (Iblis) more than the death of a learned scholar of Islamic jurisprudence.(B2, C7, T4)

Company of learned men

64. 1. Luqman (p) addressing his son: O son, be on the look out for choosing groups of people. If you see a group of people talking about God, the Glorious, the Powerful, then sit with them. Your knowledge will be renewed if you are aware of the subject matter of their discussion. And if you are not aware, then their discussion will educate you. Maybe God covers them with His mercy and you are included among them. And if you see a group of people not remembering God then do not sit with them because you will not be benefited if you are aware of their topic and if you are ignorant, your ignorance will increase and maybe God inflicts on them His chastisement and you get included in them.(B2, C8, T1) 65. 2. Imam Musa al-Kazim (p): Having discourses with a learned scholar even on garbage dumps is better than a conversation with an uneducated one on elegant carpets.(B2, C8, T2) 66. 3. Prophet Muhammad (p) said that the disciples asked Prophet Isa (Jesus) (p): O Spirit of God, whose company should we keep? Prophet Isa (p): The one who reminds you of God, whose discourses enhance your knowledge and whose activities persuade you to prepare for the Hereafter.(B2, C8, T4) 67. 5. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): For me a session with one on whose integrity I rely most is better than having done good deeds for a whole year.(B2, C8, T5)

Seeking information from a learned person

68. 2. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): People indeed perish because they do not ask questions.(B2, C9, T2) 69. 3. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Verily this knowledge (of religion) is under a lock; the keys to which are questions.(B2, C9, T3) 70. 5. Prophet Muhammad (p): Woe unto him who does not acquaint himself every Friday with religious matters in order to renew his bond with God and does not ask questions relevant to his religion.(B2, C9, T5) 71. 6. Prophet Muhammad (p): Academic discussions among my servants are a means of enlivening the hearts provided their aim is to understand my commandments.(B2, C9, T6) 72. 7. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): Mercy of God be on the person who revives knowledge. He was requested to explain what revival of knowledge meant. The Imam (p): To have discussions with religious and pious men.(B2, C9, T7) 73. 8. Prophet Muhammad (p): Get together and advise each other and hold discussions. Such discussions refine your hearts. Hearts become rusted like swords and their refinement lies in academic religious discussions.(B2, C9, T8) 74. 9. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): Academic discussions are discourses and discourses are the best form of prayers.(B2, C9, T9)

Dissemination of knowledge

75. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): God did not seek a pledge from the uneducated to acquire knowledge unless and until he had sought from the learned ones the pledge to spread knowledge. This was so because knowledge existed before ignorance did.(B2, C10, T1) 76. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): The Zakat imposed on the treasure of knowledge is to impart it to other servants of God.(B2, C10, T3) 77. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) said that Prophet Isa (Jesus) (p), while addressing Bani Israel, said: Never address the ignorant (rustic) people at a high level of wisdom and intellect; this will be a torture for wisdom and intellect themselves; and do not refrain from this kind of talk with those who are intelligent enough to comprehend it. (B2, C10, T4)

Prohibition of speaking without knowledge

78. 1. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): I warn you against two tendencies which lead to perdition of Mankind. Do not resort to wrong ways with respect of the Divine Religion and do not announce your verdict on matters which you do not know.(B2, C11, T1) 79. 2. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): I warn you against two tendencies that have caused destruction to people. Beware of announcing your judgment on the basis of your personal opinion before the people. And beware of treating anything as permissible without due knowledge.(B2, C11, T2) 80. 3. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): One who pronounces his verdict (on religious matters) before people without due knowledge and proper guidance is cursed by the angels of mercy as well as by the angels of chastisement and he is also responsible for the sin of those who act according to that verdict.(B2, C11, T3) 81. 4. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): Speak only about what you know. Regarding what you do not know say ‘God knows best’. Verily, a person may single out any verse from the Noble Quran (and interpret it wrongly) and may fall down deeper than the distance between the Heaven and the Earth…(B2, C11, T4) 82. 7. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p) was asked: What is the right of God over His servants? The Imam (p): They should say what they know and maintain silence in case they do not know.(B2, C11, T7) 83. 8. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Verily God, the Mighty, the Majestic, has especially warned His Servants in two verses of His Book. Firstly, that they should not say anything without definite knowledge and that they should never insist on what they do not know. The Imam (p) then quoted two verses of the Noble Quran which are as follows:

Acting without proper knowledge

85. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): One who acts without proper insight is like a wanderer who has gone astray due to lack of knowledge. His speed only increases his distance from his destination.(B2, C12, T1) 86. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): God does not approve the action of any one without his insight and mere insight means nothing without action. Insight leads a person to proper action. Insight means nothing without proper action. Lo, the conviction of one interacts with the conviction of the other.(B2, C12, T2)

Application of knowledge

87. Prophet Muhammad (p): There are two kinds of learned men. The one who acts according to his knowledge will be delivered (from chastisement in the Hereafter). The other who ignores his knowledge is destined to perish. Even the dwellers of Hell will be tortured due to the stench emanating from the burning body of the learned person who ignored his knowledge. The most repentant and frustrated among the dwellers of Hell will be the person who guided a servant of God towards the path of God and the latter accepted this guidance from him and obeyed God and therefore God sent him to Paradise but, he who showed him the path will be sent to hell because he ignored his knowledge and acted according to his carnal desires and high ambitions. The pursuit of evil desires becomes a hurdle in the right path and unwarranted ambitions make one indifferent to the life hereafter.(B2, C13, T1) 88. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Knowledge goes with action. One who knows acts on it, and one who acts possess knowledge. Knowledge invites one towards action. If the call is accepted, knowledge stays, and if it is rejected knowledge departs.(B2, C13, T2) 89. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): If a learned person does not act according to his knowledge, his sermons and preaching slip away from the hearts of the listeners like rain water slips from a smooth, sloping stone.(B2, C13, T3) 90. A believer approached Imam Zainul Abideen (p) and asked certain questions. The Imam answered every question. The believer came again and asked similar questions. The Imam then said: It is written in the Injeel (Bible): ‘Do not seek knowledge of what you do not know until you have acted on what you have already learnt, because the knowledge which is not put into practice only enhances the disbelief of the knower and his remoteness from God.’(B2, C13, T4)

Making knowledge a means of livelihood

92. Prophet Muhammad (p): The cravings of two kinds of people can never be satiated; the seeker of worldly gains and the seeker of knowledge. One, who limits his worldly gains to what God has permitted, finds peace; and the one, who achieves worldly pleasures by unlawful means, meets his doom unless he repents and turns away from evil. One, who acquires knowledge from someone worthy of it and matches his deeds with it, secures salvation; one who intends to gain worldly pleasures only, that will be his only share.(B2, C14, T1) 93. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): One who acquires knowledge of Hadith (Research, Examination, Compilation and scrutiny of the chain of narrators of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (p) and his vicegerents with a view to assessing the authenticity and credibility of the sayings, generally called ‘Traditions’) to earn worldly gains will have them in this life and he who aims at the good of the Hereafter will be rewarded by God with the good things of this life as well as of the Hereafter.(B2, C14, T2) 94. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Anyone who intends to attain knowledge of traditions for worldly gains shall have no share (of Divine Rewards for attaining this knowledge) in the Hereafter.(B2, C14, T3) 95. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): If you see any learned person in love with this world, is hostile to your religion, because all lovers are obsessed with the things they love. God revealed to Prophet Dawood (David) (p) said: ‘Do not let any learned man who is obsessed with this world intervene between Me and you because he will become a hurdle in the way of your love for Me. Such people are highway robbers for My servants seeking My pleasure. The minimum punishment for them is that I deprive their hearts of the ecstasy of their communion with Me.’(B2, C14, T4) 96. Prophet Muhammad (p): Religious scholars are the trustees of the prophets so long as they do not

Accountability of the religious scholars and its severity

98. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Seventy sins of an ignorant person will be forgiven before one single sin of a learned person (is forgiven).(B2, C15, T1) 99. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Prophet Isa (Jesus) (p) said: Woe be unto the wrong-doing scholar! How severely the flames of Hell will envelop him.(B2, C15, T2) 100. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) pointing his hand towards his throat: When the last breath reaches here, the time for repentance for the learned men will be over. Then the Imam (p) quoted the verse: Verily, God would accept the repentance of those who commit wrong deeds in ignorance and then are quick to repent…. (Q, 4:17)(B2, C15, T3) 101. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p) Commenting on the verse: Then they will all be thrown headlong therein (Hell) along with their followers who went astray (Q, 26:94) said: There are people who speak highly about equity and justice in mere words and then act against it.(B2, C15, T4)

Gems strewn

102. Imam Ali (p): Refresh your minds with marvels of wisdom because minds too get tired as your bodies do.(B2, C16, T1) 103. Imam Ali (p): O seeker of knowledge! Numerous are the advantages of knowledge. The head of knowledge (if knowledge is personified as a human being) will be humility, its eyes will be immune from jealousy; its ears will be understanding (the truth and justice); its tongue will be truthfulness; its security lies in visiting the learned scholars; its ambitions will be to establish (universal) peace; its wisdom will be piety; salvation will be its final abode; its health will be its leader; faithfulness will be its mount; sweet talk will be its ammunition; its sword will be the acceptance of the Will and Pleasure of God; its bow (and arrow) will be sympathy and hospitality; its army will be its good manners; its treasures will be its refraining from sins; its sustenance will be its good manners; its meekness will be its beverage (to quench his thirst during his journey); its guide will be the Divine Guidance and its comrades will be the love of virtues.(B2, C16, T2) 104. Prophet Muhammad (p): The most able adviser for the faithful is knowledge, the noblest adviser of knowledge is forbearance, the best adviser of forbearance is kindness and the most competent adviser of kindness is patience.(B2, C16, T3) 105. A believer asked Prophet Muhammad (p): O Prophet of God, what is knowledge? The Prophet (p): Silence (refraining from unnecessary gossip). The Believer: Then what? The Prophet (p): To listen (to the learned). The Believer: Then what? The Prophet (p) said: To memorize (what he has heard). The Believer: Then what? The Prophet (p): Act on it. The Believer: Then what? The Prophet (p): To disseminate it.(B2, C16, T4)

Quoting Books and Traditions

111. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) commenting on the verse: …Who hear advice and follow the best thereof… (Q, 39:18) said: It is the person who hears the tradition and conveys it to others without tampering with it.(B2, C17, T1) 112. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) was told by a narrator of tradition: May I elaborate or abridge the traditions slightly (which I hear from you) while conveying it to others? The Imam (p) said: There is no harm in it so long as you keep the meaning and substance of the traditions unchanged.(B2, C17, T2) 113. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) was told by a believer: I hear something from you and then attempt to convey it exactly as I have heard but I fail. The Imam (p): Do you do it intentionally? The Believer: No. The Imam (p): Do you intend to convey the real intention? The Believer: Yes. The Imam (p): Then, there is no harm.(B2, C17, T3) 114. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) was told by a narrator of traditions: I hear traditions from you but I narrate them (to others) on the authority of your father (Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p)). Again, I hear traditions from your father but narrate them to others on your authority. The Imam (p): Both ways it is correct. There is nothing wrong in it. But I shall appreciate if you narrate the traditions on the authority of my father. …(B2, C17, T4) 115. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Put it in writing because you may not remember it (unless you write it down).(B2, C17, T9) 116. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Treasure your books because you will always be in need of them.(B2, C17, T10) 117. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Write down and spread

Tradition 120

Blind following

120. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) was requested to comment on the verse: They have taken their religious leaders and their monks as their overlords besides God… (Q, 9:31) The Imam (p) explained: By God! They (the religious leaders and monks) never asked them (the Christians) for their worship. Had they invited them, they would never have responded positively. Actually the leaders and monks have pronounced lawful what was unlawful and vice versa. Thus, they (Christians) worship them unknowingly (by following their innovations).(B2, C18, T1)
Traditions 121 to 135

Innovations*, guesswork and analogies

* The term ‘innovations’ means any kind of change, amendment, deviation, abrogation or addition, however small it may be. Any change in the original teachings of Islam revealed by God, on the basis of any kind of logic, argument or guesswork whatsoever is strictly forbidden. The framework of Islam has been created by God and is, therefore, perfect. No one, however qualified, is competent to gauge the secrets of the Divine Commandments of God, the All-wise and the Just. 121. Prophet Muhammad (p): Whenever innovations appear in my people, then the religious scholars must rise to the occasion and make their true knowledge manifest and may the curse of God fall on one who does not do so.(B2, C19, T2) 122. Prophet Muhammad (p): One who glorifies an innovator is virtually demolishing (the edifice of) Islam.(B2, C19, T3) 123. When Prophet Muhammad (p) refused to approve the repentance of a heretic. He was asked: And why is it so, O Prophet of God? The Prophet (p): Because, the infatuation with heresy has taken root in their hearts.(B2, C19, T4) 124. Prophet Muhammad (p): Against every deviation from or innovation in the authentic framework of Islam which spreads after my demise, intended to weaken the faith (of the believers), a defender from my descendants will rise to the occasion who will be (divinely) entrusted to defend the original values of religion. He will speak on behalf of the weak. Therefore, all of you who have eyes be careful and stick to your reliance on God.(B2, C19, T2) 125. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): People, who believe in speculation, search for knowledge on the basis of speculations and surmises. These speculations and surmises only take them further away from the truth. The Religion of God has nothing to do with surmises.(B2, C19, T7)

Chapter 20 Refer to the Noble Quran or the Prophet (p) for every problem
136. 1. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Verily, God, the Glorious, the Elevated, has revealed the quintessence of everything in the Noble Quran and by God! He has not omitted anything which His servants may need to the extent that no one can say: Would that it had been revealed in the Noble Quran, because that has already been revealed. 137. 2. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): God, the Most High, has not left out anything which the Community, the Muslims, the followers of Prophet Muhammad (p) need; and explained exact interpretations of the same to His Prophet (p). He has also prescribed specific limits for everything and set signposts for guidance to the destinations and also specified penalties for those who transgress (these limits). 138. 4. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): There is nothing which has not been mentioned in the Book or in Sunnah (the way of Prophet Muhammad (p)). 139. 5. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p) addressing a group of believers: Whenever I say something to you, you may ask me about its reference in the Book of God (the Noble Quran). Then, during his discourse the Imam (p) said that Prophet Muhammad (p) has prohibited people from indulging in gossip like ‘he said this’ and ‘this has been said about him’ and squandering wealth, assets or capital and also from asking too many questions. A Believer: O son of Prophet Muhammad (p), where is all this in the Book of God? The Imam (p): Verily, God – the Mighty, the Majestic, says: In most of their secret talks there is no good but if one exhorts to a deed of charity or justice or conciliation between men (secrecy is, however, permissible)…(Q, 4:114). 140. 6. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): There is not a single difference of opinion between two persons whose solution is not given in the Book of God, the Mighty, the Glorious. But their intelligence cannot fathom its depth. 141. 7. Imam Ali (p): O people, verily God, the Glorious, the Elevated, appointed His Prophet for you and sent down His book

with true guidance while you were unaware of the Book and the One who revealed it… So, this is the Noble Quran. Ask it whatever you have to ask. It will, however, never speak to you. I shall inform you about it. It contains the knowledge of everything that has passed and also that which is going to happen till the Day of Judgment and is the final word on all matters between you and the solution of all your differences, and if you ask me about it, I shall certainly inform you. 142. 8. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): I am the descendant of Prophet Muhammad (p). I most thoroughly know the Book of God. In it is mentioned the beginning of the Creation and also whatever is going to happen till the Day of Judgment. It contains all information about the heaven and the earth, Paradise and Hell, and the news of all that has happened and all that is going to happen. I know all that as if I were looking at the palm of my hand. God says: …And We revealed the Book to you explaining everything clearly… (Q, 16:89). 143. 10. Imam Musa al-Kazim (p) was asked: Is everything included in the Book of God and Sunnah? The Imam (p): Yes, everything is included in the Book and the Sunnah. Traditions 144 to 146

Conflicting traditions

144. Imam Ali (p): There is not a single verse of the Noble Quran that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (p) and which the Prophet (p) did not recite to me and dictate to me and which I did not write down with my own hands.(B2, C21, T1) 145. 7. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) was asked: What should a person do when he finds two contradictory versions of a tradition, one of them commanding him to do something and the other forbidding him, and both the narrators belonging to his community. The Imam (p): He should wait till he is able to verify from a reliable person. In such case it is permissible for him to postpone action till he finds out the truth. 146. 10. A believer asked Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Two persons belonging to our people quarrelling about debt or inheritance; refer their dispute to the ruler of the time or the judge appointed by him. Will it be lawful for them to obey? The Imam (p): Whoever has his dispute settled by the ruler or the judge appointed by him, whether right or wrong, has in fact got his dispute settled by the Taghut*. And the profits out of that decision will be ill-gotten for him, however lawful his ownership may be. The reason is that he has secured the ownership through the Taghut while God has enjoined upon people to reject his verdict. God, the Almighty, the Sublime, said: They intend to resort to the judgment of Taghut though they were commanded to reject him (Q, 4:60). (Taghut is a Quranic term for a being who is strongly rebellious and defiant to God like Nimrod and Pharaoh.) The Believer: Then what should they do? The Imam (p): They should refer to one among you who is well versed in our traditions, and has a deep insight into imperatives, prohibitions and divine commands communicated by us. Since I have appointed him as your judge, they must accept him as their arbitrator. If such a person issues a verdict according to our commands and the person concerned does not accept it, then the person has actually made light of the divine commands and has rejected us. And he who rejects us actually rejects God, the Almighty. Such a person has entered the realm of polytheism…

Traditions 147 to 156

Adherence to the Sunnah

147. A prominent narrator and learned person put the following significant question to Imam Ali (p), The Learned Person: I have heard something on the interpretation of the Noble Quran and some of the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (p) and the verses of the Noble Quran from prominent and reliable narrators and companions of the Prophet (p) and you deny their authenticity and declare that they are null and void. Do you think that people intentionally attribute falsehood to Prophet Muhammad (p) and interpret the verses of Noble Quran on the basis of their own guesswork? Imam Ali (p) said: You have put a question. Now pay attention to the answer. The Imam (p) started answering the question in detail as follows: Verily whatever knowledge the people possess is either right or wrong; either true or false; they interpret either those verses (of the Noble Quran) which have abrogated other verses or interpret the abrogated verses, they interpret the manifest verses or the ambiguous ones, sometimes by memory and sometimes by conjecture. Even during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (p) people had the temerity to attribute falsehood to him so much so that once the Prophet (p) delivered a sermon on this issue. Prophet Muhammad (p) addressed them as follows, ‘O people! Numerous are the people who have attributed falsehood to me. Remember, the innards of the one who attributes falsehood to me will be stuffed with hell-fire.’ Continuing his discourse Imam Ali (p) said that the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (p) have come to you from four categories of narrators. There is no fifth category. The hypocrite who falsely claims to be a believer has no hesitation in willfully attributing a falsehood to Prophet Muhammad (p). If people were to know that he is a hypocrite and a liar, they will not accept a word from him and will never believe him. But people (thought and) said, ‘This is the person who sat in the company of the Prophet (p) and had seen him (from close quarters) and had heard him.’ And they accepted his words without knowing his real nature. But God has informed His Prophet (p) about the hypocrites all that was to be told and has described all their characteristics and, therefore, God, the Mighty, the

The Book of Divine Unity Chapter 1 The transitory Universe and the existence of its creator

157. 1. Abdul Malik, an atheist from Egypt, heard about the teachings of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) and came to Medina to see him. He was informed that the Imam (p) at that time was at Mecca. Therefore, he proceeded to Mecca and contacted the Imam (p). Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) asked him: What is your name? Abdul Malik said: Abdul Malik Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): What is your Kunniyat? Abdul Malik: Abu Abdullah** Means servant of the Greatest king – God ** Means father of the servant of God The Imam (p) asked: Whose servant are you? Is he one of the kings on this earth or of the heavens? Also, tell me about your son. Is he the servant of the God in heaven or on earth? Your reply, in any case, will contradict your atheism. Abdul Malik was dumb-founded. Hisham ibn Hakam, a disciple of the Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) was present at the moment. Hisham: Why are you not replying to the Imam’s (p) question? Abdul Malik did not like this interference and remained silent. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Come and see me after I complete my circumambulation of the Kaba. Abdul Malik waited till the Imam (p) completed his circumambulations around the Holy Kaba and then approached the Imam (p) and sat near him. Some other people were also present at that time. The Imam (p): Do you know that the earth has something above it and something beneath it? Abdul Malik: Yes. The Imam (p): Have you ever gone beneath the earth? Abdul Malik: No. The Imam (p): Do you know what is there beneath it? Abdul Malik: No. I do not know, but I think there is nothing beneath it. The Imam (p): Mere thought does not amount to certainty. Have you ever ascended to the heavens? Abdul Malik: No. The Imam (p): Do you know whatever is in the heavens? Abdul Malik: No. The Imam (p): How surprising it is that you have neither reached East nor West. You have never gone beneath the earth nor ascended the heavens. You have no knowledge of what is above and beneath them and still you are prepared to discuss about them. Does a wise person discuss a subject he does not know? Abdul Malik was left very much impressed. Abdul Malik: No one has talked to me with this finesse. The Imam (p): So you are in doubt whether there is something or not beneath the earth or in the heavens? Abdul Malik: Probably, yes.

Is God a thing?

161. 1. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p) was asked: May I conceive anything in order to understand the existence, nature and unity of God? Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): Yes, but you shall have to imagine something which the mind cannot grasp and which has no limitations. He is unlike anything that comes into your mind or imagination. Nothing resembles Him, nor can any stretch of the imagination reach Him. How can He be conceived when He is totally different from whatever can be conceived and is the reverse of whatever is imagined? If you want to say that God is a thing then imagine something that cannot be encompassed by the mind and which is without limits. 162. 2. Imam Muhammad Taqi (p) was asked: Is it possible to say that God is a ‘thing’? The Imam (p): Yes, provided you exclude Him from two limitations: non-existence and similarities to other existing things. 163. 5. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): God is absolutely independent of all His creatures and all His creatures have absolutely nothing in common with Him. And to whatsoever the expression ‘things’ is applicable is a creature except God, the Elevated One and God is the Creator of everything. 164. 6. An atheist requested Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) to define God by asking: What is He? Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): He is an entity quite unlike the other entities (or things). Revert to this statement of mine in the sense of assertion of absolute existence. He is a ‘Thing’ in the absolute quintessence of the connotation without body or form. He cannot be imagined and cannot be touched and cannot be felt through the five senses. Perception cannot grasp Him. Age cannot enfeeble Him and time cannot change Him. Atheist: You say that He is All-Hearing and All-Seeing. The Imam (p): He is All-Hearing and All-Seeing. All-Hearing without organic mechanism (of hearing faculty) and All-Seeing without physiological instrumentation. He hears by Himself and sees by Himself. When I say that He is All-Hearing by Himself and He is All-Seeing by Himself, I do not mean that He is something and that His self is something else. I only intended to express what was in my mind because you asked me a question and I wanted to explain it to you. As the subject was very delicate and abstract, the Imam (p) explained further: I say He is All-Hearing, but here ‘All’ does not mean that it is composed of parts. I only wanted to explain and exemplify to you what I had in my mind. The purpose of my statement is that He is

God cannot be recognized except through his Own Supreme Self

165. 1. Imam Ali (p): Recognize God through God Himself and recognize the Apostle through his Apostleship and recognize those vested with divine authority through their religious commands, justice and their good deeds. Translator’s note: Imam Ali (p) says that God has created bodies and souls and He has no resemblance to them. He has no partners in His creation of things, persons and the law of causality. As God has neither body nor soul, He can be recognized through His Supreme Self only. If we attribute the slightest likeness of any of His creations to Him, then we have not recognized Him. 166. 2. Imam Ali (p) was asked: How did you recognize your Lord? Imam Ali (p): I have recognized Him through what He had Himself recognized. He (p) was further questioned: How has God recognized Himself? The Imam (p): God has no likeness to any form, nor can He be felt through the senses, nor imagined by analogy with Mankind. He is near us in spite of our distance from Him. He is farthest in spite of being nearest. He is above everything and it cannot be said that there is anything above Him. He is in front of everything but cannot be said to be in the front (in the sense of direction). He is inside everything (has created and knows the essence of everything) but not like one (material thing) into another. He encompasses everything but not like one (material) thing encompassing another. Glorified is He who is like this and nothing else is like Him.

Minimum necessary knowledge about God

167. 1. Imam Ali al-Naqi (p) was asked: What is the minimum necessary knowledge about God? Imam Ali al-Naqi (p): Affirmation that there is no god but God. Nothing is like Him and He is peerless and eternal, has positive existence, is not nothingness and verily there is nothing like Him. 168. 2. Tahir ibne Hatim al-Qazwini was one of the companions of Imam Ali ar-Reza (p) and had gone astray by becoming a Ghali (extremist) but subsequently reformed his ideas and became firm in his belief. Tahir asked the Imam (p) in writing: Does the recognition of the Creator remain inadequate and defective? Imam Ali ar-Reza (p) wrote back: To believe in the fact that He is eternally the All-Knowing, All-Hearing and All-Seeing and that He is fully capable of doing whatever He wants or intends. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p) was also asked the same question by another person to whom he (p) replied: There is nothing like Him and nothing bears any resemblance to Him. He is eternally the All-Knowing.

The One who deserves to be worshipped

169. 2. Hisham Ibn Hakam: From which word Allah (God) has been derived? Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): O Hisham, the word Allah (God) is a derivative of the root word ilah which means ‘one who is worshipped’, and the one who is worshipped must necessarily be worthy of being worshipped and the name (of the object) is different from the object itself. Thus whoever worshipped the name rather than its meaning has become a heathen and in reality has worshipped nothing. And he who has worshipped the name and the meaning together has also gone astray and has worshipped duality. And whoever worshipped the meaning (of the name of God) rather than the names, has worshipped Unity. This in fact is the Unity of God. O Hisham, have you grasped this point? Hisham: Add to my understanding. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): God has ninety-nine names. Had the name and the named one been the same, there would have been one God for each and every name. But God is the meaning of what these names stand for. All the names are apart from Him. O Hisham, bread is the name of what is eaten, and water is the name of what is drunk, and clothe is the name of what is worn and fire is the name of what burns. O Hisham, have you now understood enough to enable you to debate with our opponents and also with those who join others in their worship of God, the Glorified and the Almighty? Hisham: Yes. The Imam (p): May God reward you for this and keeps you steadfast in it…

The space and the Universe

170. 1. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p) was asked: Since when has God been in existence? Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): First you tell me when God did not exist, so that I may tell you since when He has been in existence. Glorified is He who has existed eternally and will continue to exist eternally, the Unique, the Independent. He has never taken for Himself either a consort or a son. 171. 2. A person from a rather distant land came to Imam Ali arReza (p) and said: I am going to ask you a question. If your reply tallies with the answer I have in my mind, I shall accept you as my Imam (p). Imam Ali ar-Reza (p): Ask whatever you like. The person: Tell me since when and how (in what state and condition) has your Lord-Sustainer been in existence and on what does He subsist? The Imam (p): Verily, God, the Blessed, is above the limitations of the passage of time – past, present and future and has created the modality, the sense, conception and connotation of ‘how’ and is not governed by this conception and He subsists on His own power. The person stood up as a mark of respect to the Imam (p) and declared: I bear witness that there is no god save God and verily Prophet Muhammad (p) is the Messenger of God and verily Imam Ali (p) is the vicegerent of the Prophet Muhammad (p). 172. 4. Some Jews came to their chief, Ras al-Jalut and said: This person (Imam Ali (p)) is a great scholar. Let us go to him so that we may ask him some questions. They came to see him and were informed that Imam Ali (p) was in the Government House. They waited till the Imam (p) came out. Ras al-Jalut: We have come to ask you some questions. Imam Ali (p): O Jew, ask whatever you want. Ras al-Jalut: I ask you about your Lord. Since when has He been in existence? The Imam (p): God has ever been (eternally) without coming into being and without being subject to any modality (can, may, might, must and should are all modalities). He is eternal beyond quantity and quality. The sense of ‘before’ does not apply to Him. He is ‘before’ every ‘before’ without being before, infinite and eternal. He is above all limits and ends. He Himself is the end of all ends. On hearing this extraordinary discourse Ras al-Jalut told his followers: Let us get away from this place. This person is more learned than what they say about him. 173. 5. A Jew came to Imam Ali (p) and said: I want to ask you a question. Imam Ali (p): O Jew, ask whatever you want. Jew: Since when has God been in existence?

Kinship of God

175. 1. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Some Jewish Rabbis came to the Prophet Muhammad (p) and said, “Tell us the genealogy of God.” The Prophet Muhammad (p) did not reply for three days and then the 112th chapter (al-Ikhlas) of the Noble Quran was revealed which runs as under: In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful. 1. Say: He is God, the One and Only. 2. God is absolutely independent (self-existing). 3. He begetteth not, nor is He begotten. 4. And there is none like unto Him. The name of father and the preceding forefathers. 176. 2. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) was requested to comment on the Divine wording: Say: He is God, One and Only. God is absolutely independent. He begetteth not, nor is he begotten. And there is none like unto Him (Q, 112:1-4). Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): These verses explain the relation of God with His creations namely He is One, absolutely One to whom everyone turns for help. He is eternal and totally needless and independent. He is not under any shadow, He does not need any protection and all things are under His shadow and under His protection. He is in the know of every unknown and every unknown knows Him. He is absolutely peerless. His creation is not within Him, neither is He within His creation. He cannot be perceived by senses nor is He perceivable. Eyesight cannot take Him in its grip. He is very high and at the same time He is close. He is very near and yet He is far away. If He is disobeyed, He forgives and if He is obeyed He is Grateful (acknowledges the obedience). The earth cannot encompass Him and the heavens cannot hold Him. He sustains all things due to His power – Everlasting and Eternal. He never forgets. He does not indulge in recreations. He does not commit an error or indulge in playfulness. There is no time lapse between His intention and its fulfillment. His judgments are flawless and He was not begotten by anyone who can share His hold on the universe. And there is none comparable unto Him. 177. 3. Imam Zainul Abideen (p) was asked about the Oneness of God. Imam Zainul Abideen (p): Verily, God, the Mighty, the Exalted, knew that during the last days of the world, there would be groups of people penetrating the depths of knowledge and thought, so God revealed the verses: Say, He is God, the One and Only… (Q, 112:1-4) and also the verses of the chapter al-Hadeed of Noble Quran up to His words: and He is aware of whatever is in the hearts. Translator’s note: The verses of the 57th chapter al-Hadeed referred to by the Imam are its first six verses, which run as

416. 3. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p) was asked by Humran about the persecution of Imam Ali (p), Imam al-Hasan (p) and Imam al-Husayn (p), and their steadfastness in the defence of the Religion of God. The Imam (p) upon hearing this said: God, the Glorious and Exalted, had destined these events to happen to them. They were aware of what the future held for them. This information was given to them by the Prophet Muhammad (p). Therefore, Imam Ali (p), Imam al-Hasan (p), and Imam al-Husayn (p) remained steadfast. Among us whoever was told to remain silent, did remain silent.

The birth of Imam Ali (p)

550. 1. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): When Fatima Binte Asad (p) (mother of Imam Ali (p)) came to Abu Talib (p) (father of Imam Ali (p)) and gave him the good news of the birth of Prophet Muhammad (p) Abu Talib (p): Wait for thirty years and I will give you the good news of the birth of another child like him but he will not be a Prophet… 551. 3. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): When the Prophet Muhammad (p) was born, the palaces of Syria and Iran came (miraculously) in the sight of Janabe Amena (p) (mother of the Prophet (p)), Fatima Binte Asad (p) (mother of Imam Ali (p)) came to Abu Talib (p) and cheerfully told him what she had heard from Janabe Amena. Abu Talib (p): Are you surprised at this? You are going to be the mother of the successor and vice-regent of this new born. 552. 5. It has been reported that a narrator by the name of Amir was having a conversation regarding the burial of Imam Ali (p) with Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p). Amir: People say that Imam Ali (p) was buried in Rohba a locality in Koofa. The Imam (p): No, when Imam Ali (p) departed from this world, Imam al-Hasan carried his body to an elevated region in Najaf and buried him there amidst white and clean stones. Amir says that after this conversation he went to that place and located the spot (of the grave) with the help of a sign. He then came back to Imam (p) and told him all about his search. The Imam (p): You located the right spot. May God have mercy on you. The Imam repeated this prayer three times. 553. 6. Abdulla bin Sinan narrates: One day Umar Bin Yazid asked me to mount my horse. I did so and accompanied him. When we reached Ghaza, he stopped near a grave and asked us to dismount. We did so. He said; this is the grave of Imam Ali (p). We asked him, how do you know? He replied, when Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) was staying in Hira, (a nearby

645. 2. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) quoted Prophet Muhammad (p): Islam is like a body and modesty is its clothing. Its beauty lies in its dignity, its benevolence is in good deeds and its pillar is piety. Everything has a basis and the basis of Islam is love and loyalty to Ahlul Bayt (p) (the progeny of Prophet Muhammad).(B5,C22,T2) 647. 2. Imam Ali (p): Belief has four pillars: a. Reliance on God, b. Leaving all matters to the will of God, c. To remain content with the commandments of God, and d. To obey the orders of God.(B5,C23,T2) 654. 1. Imam Ali (p): Keep your heart active and alive to remember God, leave your bed in the nights (to offer the midnight prayers) and fear your Lord-Sustainer God.(B5,C28,T1) 658. 5. Imam Ali (p): Meditation draws people towards virtue and encourages them to act on it.(B5,C28,T5) 660. 5. Imam Ali (p): Belief is supported by four pillars: a. To remain content with the will of God, b. Reliance on God, c. To leave your affairs to the will of God, and d. To obey the orders of God.(B5,C29,T5) 664. 7. Imam Ali (p): A person will never enjoy the ecstasy of belief unless and until he realises that nothing can stop whatever has been destined for him and he will never get whatever has not been destined for him. The loss of this world which becomes a profit in the hereafter is better in the eyes of God.(B5,C30,T7) 740. 11. Imam Ali (p): Patience is of two kinds, patience during the times of troubles and misfortunes, and the other one is superior to it, which is patience on what God has forbidden you from …(B5,C47,T11) 835. 6. Imam Ali (p): The sign of the person who is interested in the reward of the hereafter is that he avoids all the transitory pleasures of this world. One, who becomes an ascetic, is never at a loss because the reward of the hereafter is much more than the advantages of this world. A greedy person does not get anything except the results of his greed. He is deprived of the reward of the hereafter.(B5,C61,T6) 848. 6. Imam Ali (p): O son of Adam (p), if you intend to remain content with worldly assets, then only a small quantity will be sufficient for you, and if you do not intend to remain content then even all the worldly assets will not suffice for you.(B5,C63,T6)

852. 11. Imam Ali (p): One who is content with the worldly possessions which are just sufficient for him, will be comfortable and happy. Otherwise nothing in this world will satisfy him.(B5,C63,T11) 859. 4. Prophet Muhammad (p): God likes a good deed which is done spontaneously. 1001. 1. Imam Ali (p) quoted Prophet Muhammad (p): If any Muslim serves a group of Muslims, God will provide him in the hereafter with servants equal in number to the group.(B5,C89,T1) 1041. 1. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) said that once while Imam Ali (p) was delivering a sermon, a person by name Hammam, who was virtuous and righteous, and used to work hard for the religion and was a sincere worshipper, stood up and asked Imam Ali (p): O Commander of the Faithful, tell us about the characteristics and attributes of a believer to enable us to recognise him. (Imam Ali (p) described the characteristics and attributes of a believer in a lengthy discourse and on the authority of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p); an excerpt from this discourse is reported). Imam Ali (p): He (a believer) is extremely intelligent, has a cheerful countenance and a sorrowful heart (due to fear of God and the Hereafter), is not interested in perishable or transient things and is desirous of everything which is good. He is neither spiteful nor envious. He is neither quarrelsome nor abusive. He does not find fault with others or speak ill of them in their absence. He remains silent, maintains his dignity, behaves gently, remains steadfast and always remembers God. He is thankful to God, remains thoughtful and is content with his poverty, has good manners and mild temper, keeps his promises and causes minimum pain to others and does not slander or insult others. If he laughs, he does not widen his mouth awkwardly, and when he is angry, he does not become reckless. His laughter is a serene smile. His questions are for adding to his knowledge, and his attention towards others is for increasing his own understanding. His knowledge is vast. His forbearance is great. He is very sympathetic and is not a miser. He is not hasty or fretful, and never swaggers around. His verdict is impartial and he never oppresses anyone intentionally. He is just even when he is angry. He never speaks in a rash manner, never insults anyone and never compels anyone. He is pure and sincere in his love and honours his promises and commitments. He is kind to people and available to them in their need. He is forbearing and humble and avoids aimless talk. He remains satisfied with God, the Almighty, the Glorious, and resists his desires, is not hard on his juniors or inferiors and does not indulge in matters or situations that do not concern him. Serves the religion, is a defender of the believers and a refuge for Muslims, hearing his praise does not exhilarate him and greed does not dominate his heart. Recreation does not deprive him of his wisdom, and the ignorant has no estimation of his knowledge. He speaks enthusiastically and is an activist in the cause of religion. He has vast knowledge and is prudent. He does not use obscene language and is not rash and reckless. He meets people without being a burden on them and spends without being extravagant and never cheats and betrays anyone … He is trustworthy, calm and sedate, God-fearing, pure and clean … and does not rely on anyone except his Lord-Sustainer. He loves people for the

sake of God and strives for the pleasure of God. He helps his relatives and is like a father to an orphan, a guardian of widows and poor people. He is the hope of those who are in distress. He is not a miser but if anyone acts as a miser with him, he remains calm and steadfast. His modesty dominates his desires. He bows to his Lord in worship and remains contented with Him under all circumstances. His intentions are pure and sincere and his actions are free from cheating and betrayal. He renders good advice privately and openly. He follows in the footsteps of the good people who existed before him and becomes a leader of those who come after him…(B5,C99,T1) 1056. 29. Prophet Muhammad (p): One who has three characteristics has all the qualities of faith. First, when he is pleased, his pleasure does not lead him into falsehood. Second, when he is angry, his anger does not divert him from righteousness and third, when he is in a position to acquire something, he does not take more than his due share.(B5,C99,T29) 1057. 30. Imam Ali (p): Verily, religious people have certain characteristics on the basis of which they are identified. They are truthful when they talk, they render back the trusts to their owners, they honour their commitments, protect the bonds of sympathy, they are kind to poor people, and do not spend much time with women. They grant favours to others, and behave politely with them and do whatever brings them near God… (B5,C99,T30)

1118. 3. Prophet Muhammad (p): There are six primary elements, which lead to disobedience of God. They are: a. Lust of worldly wealth, b. Ambition for power, c. Fondness for delicious food, d. Tendency to oversleep, e. Desire for luxury, and f. Carnal pleasure and desire for women.(B5,C115,T3) 1121. 9. Prophet Muhammad (p) addressing his companions: Shall I tell you who does not resemble me? The companions: Oh yes, O Prophet of God (p). The Prophet (p): The one, who utters obscenities, is foul mouthed, stingy, walks exultingly, bears a grudge (against people), is envious and cruel. He is away from all virtue and is not immune to any kind of evil which should be shunned.(B5,C115,T9) 1122. 11. Prophet Muhammad (p): Wretched is the person who has three evil habits: Firstly, defecating at a place where travellers relax; secondly, preventing people from drinking water from a natural source; and thirdly, preventing people from using public

highways.(B5,C115,T11) 1123. 13. Prophet Muhammad (p) asked his companions: Shall I tell you who the most wretched person among the people is? The companions: Of course, O Prophet of God. The Prophet (p): One, who slanders people, brazenly commits sins, is foul-mouthed, is selfish in his eating habits, does not lend his support to the needy, beats his slave, and puts the burden of supporting his dependents on others.(B5,C115,T13) 1124. 14. Prophet Muhammad (p): I and all the prophets curse five kinds of men. They are: a. Those who interpolate in the Book of God (interpret the verses according to their own desires), b. The one who gives up my way of life, c. The one who denies the authority of God, d. The one who desecrates the honour of my progeny, and e. The one who consumes what God has bestowed on him without paying out Khums.(B5,C115,T14) 1127. 8. Imam Ali (p): There are three signs of hypocrisy: When a believer feels pleasure that people are seeing him doing a good deed, and acts with lethargy when he is doing that act in privacy, and expects praise for all his actions.(B5,C116,T8) 1143. 2. Prophet Muhammad (p): One who meets God, the Almighty, the Glorious, with three characteristics in him, will have the choice of entering Paradise from any of its gates. Firstly, he should be wellbehaved. Secondly, he should fear God privately and publicly. Thirdly, one who refrains from qurrels with others even if he is right.(B5,C120,T2) 1142. 1. Imam Ali (p): Beware of picking up quarrels and enmity with others because they create disease in the heart and develop hypocrisy..(B5,C120,T1) 1147. 1. Prophet Muhammad (p): Fury spoils the faith as vinegar spoils the honey.(B5,C121,T1) 1202. 2. Prophet Muhammad (p): Pride and vanity are calamities.(B5,C134,T2)

1203. 3. Once Uqba ibne Basheer Asadi told Imam Muhammad alBaqir (p): I am Uqba ibne Basheer Asadi and due to my respectable ancestry I am held in great esteem in my clan. The Imam (p): But why are you trying to impress us with your ancestry? The believer once looked down by people was elevated in status due to his faith, and the disbeliever whom people mistook for a gentleman was subjected to disgrace due to his disbelief. Only the fear of God is the cause of superiority of one over the other.(B5,C134,T3)

1216. 3. Imam Ali (p): I warn you against two things; Pursuing evil desires and high expectations. The pursuance of desires becomes a hurdle in the Right Path and high expectations cause one to forget the Hereafter.(B5,C137,T3)

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