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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: Characteristics of the Sh¢`a : Øad¢th # Characteristics of the Sh¢`a : Øad¢th # Characteristics of the Sh¢`a : Øad¢th # Characteristics of the Sh¢`a : Øad¢th #2 22 2 [ Discussion # [ Discussion # [ Discussion # [ Discussion #3 33 3 ] ]] ]
Lectures on Akhl°q given by His Eminence
Ayatull°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
)) òÈî“Ûa@pbЖ @ ë òÈî“Ûa@Ýöb›Ï@ ((
Topic: Characteristics and Greatness of the Shi`a
Introduction:

The 65
th
volume of Bi¶°r al-Anw°r consists of two important parts: The Greatness of the Sh¢`a (··, ¸.·) and
the Characteristics of the Sh¢`a (··, ..)
The chapter on the Greatness of the Sh¢`a illustrates to us the superior status that the Sh¢`a possess, while the
chapter on the Characteristics of the Sh¢`a discuss the characteristics and uniqueness that the Sh¢`a enjoy. For
us (those who call themselves Sh¢`a), this means that in addition to the noble, lofty rank that is mentioned in
the a¶°d¢th that the Sh¢`a have, they also have a great responsibility by being called Sh¢`a.

Text of the Øad¢th:

· . ' ´. · `· ) ·` ,· ' ` · `· :( ·, .-· .· · .,· ' .. - .,¯ · .,· ..=· . ¸
' ..=- .,¯ . . · `· . ¸ ' .· .· .,¯ .· .· , .- .,· .· .
Im°m Ja`far ibn Mu¶ammad as-Æ°diq (prayers be upon him) has said, “Test our Sh¢`a during
the times of the (five daily) Æal°t - how do they protect them (them Æal°t) and (also test our
Sh¢`a) in relation to our (the Ahl al-Ba¢t) secrets – how do they protect them in relation to our
enemies; and (also test our Sh¢`a) in relation to their money and wealth – how do they spend
it amongst their brothers (from amongst the Sh¢`a).”

Explanation of the Øad¢th:

[Test our Sh¢`a during the times of the (five daily) Æal°t that how do they protect them (them Æal°t) [Test our Sh¢`a during the times of the (five daily) Æal°t that how do they protect them (them Æal°t) [Test our Sh¢`a during the times of the (five daily) Æal°t that how do they protect them (them Æal°t) [Test our Sh¢`a during the times of the (five daily) Æal°t that how do they protect them (them Æal°t)… …… …] ]] ]
When the Sh¢`a have some work or job to perform (and the time for Æal°t has also arrived), do they give
precedence to their work or to the Æal°t? There are some people who think that the Æal°t is only to be done
when there is nothing else to do and say (in these regards), “Æal°t in its appointed time (earns) the pleasure of
All°h and Æal°t in its last time (that it can be performed) (earns) the mercy of All°h.”
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There are even some people from amongst the Ahl as-Sunnah who claim that they are the only true Muslims
since they give a great importance to the performance of Æal°t on time and that we (the Sh¢`a) do not!

In relation to the importance of the Æal°t, Im°m `Al¢ (prayers be upon him) in his famous letter of
recommendations to M°lik al-Ashtar (may All°h be pleased with him) has stated:

¸·- ' ¸.· ' · .. : · . - .,¯ .,· ..=· .
“Make the best of the times that you reserve for the Æal°t and see how the people protect this
time.”

The word used in this Øad¢th, “·=·-”, intends to tell us that many things will cause it (the Æal°t) to be
destroyed, however the Æal°t must be protected and of course, the `Ulam° and scholars must be a practical
example for the people in these regards.

I will not forget the time when the late Im°m (Khumayn¢) (may All°h sanctify his soul) was teaching classes
in the Øawzah `Ilmiyyah in Qum. We were (at that time) students of the Øaw®ah, and one day, the late
Ayatull°h Sa`¢d¢ had invited us to come to his house and Im°m (Khumayn¢) was also present in this
gathering. We were busying talking and having religious discussions when the time of the Æal°t came and
the sound of the Adh°n was heard (in the house). Without even a pause, Ayatull°h Khomeini (may All°h
sanctify his soul) got up, and without any delay or hesitation, started to perform the Æal°t.

The same rule applies today that wherever we are and whoever we are, we must give importance to the Æal°t
– especially Æal°t al-Fajr. Today, there are a group of people that perform the Æal°t only when in the
company of other people – this is not the Æal°t of a student of religion!

[…a […a […a […and (also test our Sh¢`a) in relation to our (the Ahl al nd (also test our Sh¢`a) in relation to our (the Ahl al nd (also test our Sh¢`a) in relation to our (the Ahl al nd (also test our Sh¢`a) in relation to our (the Ahl al- -- -Ba¢t) secrets Ba¢t) secrets Ba¢t) secrets Ba¢t) secrets – –– – how do they protect them in relation how do they protect them in relation how do they protect them in relation how do they protect them in relation
to our enemies; to our enemies; to our enemies; to our enemies;] ]] ]
The meaning of protection of the secrets is to safeguard the status and rank of the Ahl al-Ba¢t (prayers be
upon all of them). By this we mean that the rank that the Ahl al-Ba¢t (prayers be upon all of them) possess
must not be spoken about while in the presence of their enemies who do not believe in them (things such as
the Wil°yatul Takw¢n¢, Miracles, Knowledge of the Unseen, etc… that they possess) since these things are
nothing other than the secrets of these noble personalities.

During our present time, there are some people, who in addition to mentioning their secrets (to the enemies
of the Ahl al-Ba¢t (prayers be upon all of them)), also resort to exaggeration in relation to them. For example,
there are people who compose poems in their praise who out of their own lack of intelligence say things such
as Zainab (bint Am¢r al-Mo’min¢n `Al¢ ibn Ab¢ O°lib) is All°h (may All°h protect us from such words)!

Poets hold a very high status and the A’immah (prayers be upon all of them) used to give them great
importance such as Da`bal Khaz°˜¢ who held a great rank in the sight of the A’immah (prayers be upon all of
them), however we must strive to make sure that the religious gatherings (Maj°lis) are not organized and
held by people such as this (who write corrupt poems).

Those who are writing poems and composing poetry in relation to the Prophet (blessings of All°h be upon
him and his family) and Ahl al-Ba¢t (prayers be upon all of them) must make sure that they present their
poems to the `Ulama first (to read over to make sure they are proper). They must keep away from all forms
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of exaggeration especially in those instances where the poets are competing with one another to attract the
attention of the people to their poems. In regards to this, sometimes we see that one person resorts to Ghul£
(exaggeration of the greatness of the Ahl al-Ba¢t) and thus, the next person is forced to present even greater
exaggerations, and this act is very dangerous.

[… [… [… […and (also test our Sh¢`a) in relation to their money and wealth and (also test our Sh¢`a) in relation to their money and wealth and (also test our Sh¢`a) in relation to their money and wealth and (also test our Sh¢`a) in relation to their money and wealth – –– – how do they spend it amongst their how do they spend it amongst their how do they spend it amongst their how do they spend it amongst their
brothers (from amongst the Sh¢`a).” brothers (from amongst the Sh¢`a).” brothers (from amongst the Sh¢`a).” brothers (from amongst the Sh¢`a).”
The word in the Øad¢th, “..·” can be understood in two different lexical ways. The first is to assume that
the word comes from the root “¸” and the second is that the root word is “¸¯” however both of these end
up (after the rules of Morphology are applied to them) in making the word “..·” which is in the meaning
of assistance and help.

The Sh¢`a must be one who is tested through his wealth - how much of it does he keep aside for the help of
others?

In our present time, we are faced with many difficulties:

1. Unemployment which is the real root of all other forms of corruption including: addiction to drugs, theft
and robbery and prostitution.

2. Problems with getting the youth married.

3. Difficulties for people finding affordable housing.

4. Difficulties in going towards further education. Very many families are faced with the difficulty of
providing the tuition fees for their youth to go on for further education. Our society is a society of Sh¢`a and
excessive amounts of wealth are being wasted on useless things where as a group of people in the society do
not even have the basic necessities of life!

Therefore, the characteristics of the Sh¢`a must also be kept in view and we must remember that we can not
only speak about and concentrate on the status and rewards that are promised to the Sh¢`a.

It is our hope that we all keep in mind the commandments of the A’immah (prayers be upon all of them) in
our day to day life and act upon all of them.

…and all praise belongs to All°h, Lord of the Worlds, only the mistakes are mine. (Tr.)