1

l
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 True Believer Characteristics of the True Believer Characteristics of the True Believer Characteristics of the True Believer – –– – Part Part Part Part IX IX IX IX
Øad¢th # Øad¢th # Øad¢th # Øad¢th #1 11 13 33 3 [ Discussion # [ Discussion # [ Discussion # [ Discussion #2 22 27 77 7 ] ]] ]
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
Topic: Characteristics of the
True Believer – Part IX

n our weekly ethical discussions, we have been narrating a °ad¢th from the Noble Prophet (blessings of
All¡h be upon him and his family) that he spoke to Am¢r al-Mo’min¢n {Al¢ ibn Ab¢ ±¡lib (prayers be upon
him) in which a total of one hundred and three characteristics of the true believer were explained. Instead
of aimlessly wandering around (spiritually), the person who wishes to tread upon the path of Isl¡mic {Irf¡n
(mysticism) should make use and act upon that which is mentioned in this °ad¢th and thus, complete his journey
towards All¡h (Glory and Greatness be to Him).

In our previous gatherings, we discussed forty-one characteristics and today, we cover another four characteristics
of the true believer.

Text of the °ad¢th:

... ` · . .. ` .. . ` ., ´ .
ENGLISH ENGLISH ENGLISH ENGLISH TRANSLATION TRANSLATION TRANSLATION TRANSLATION: The Prophet (blessings of All¡h be upon him and his family) has said, “(The true
believer) is: dignified (in the face of challenges), patient, content (with whatever All¡h decrees for him), thankful
(for the blessings that All¡h gives him).”
1
Commentary of °ad¢th:

We can actually place this °ad¢th alongside that of the Khutbah of Am¢r al-Mo’min¢n {Al¢ ibn Ab¢ ±¡lib (prayers
be upon him) given to Hamm¡m in which 110 characteristics which the Muttaq¢n (those who have All¡h
consciousness) must possess have been explained.

Three of the characteristics given by Am¢r al-Mo’min¢n {Al¢ ibn Ab¢ ±¡lib (prayers be upon him) in his talk to
Hamm¡m are actually explanations of the words of the Prophet (blessings of All¡h be upon him and his family) in
this °ad¢th:

1
Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r, Volume 64, Page 311
I
2
· ¸ ' . . ` · . · ¸ ' ´ · . ` . · ¸ ' ` - . ´ .
“In the face of calamities they are dignified, and in the face of detestable acts they are patient and in the face of
ease and comfort, they are thankful.”
2
The forty-second characteristic of the true believer is that of “ .· ”. The word “.·” is in the meaning of something
heavy and in the Noble Qur{¡n, we read:

b · ¸ ·¯ . `. · a
“And in their ears is heaviness.”
3
Thus, we see that due to the sins that people commit, All¡h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) places heaviness in
their ears such that they are no longer able to hear the Truth.

In the speech known as the Khutbatul Hamm¡m, Am¢r al-Mo’min¢n {Al¢ ibn Ab¢ ±¡lib (prayers be upon him) has
said, “They remain in the time of trials as though they remain in comfort.”
Sometimes, we see that some people are like a feather such that with even the slightest of movement (in the world
around them), they lose their footing as they have absolutely no foundation. There are others who are like a leaf;
yet others who are like the branches of a tree and even others who are like the entire tree – however even if a
strong wind was to come about, it would rip the tree out of the ground by its roots! However the true believer is
like a mountain such that even with strong winds - not only does it not move at all, rather the mountain actually
makes the wind stop in its place – and the true believer is just like this!

b ' · ¸ ¸ ' . ` ¸ ¸ ' . , ´ `. a
“And He has set up on the Earth, mountains, standing firm, lest it should shake with you!”
4
In the commentary of this verse of the Qur}¡n it has been mentioned that if the mountains did not exist on the
Earth, then the winds would have destroyed the life of humanity as we know it. Therefore, the true believer is the
one who is able to stop all sorts of corruption and evil and at the same time, moves along with the current.

The troubles which Am¢r al-Mo’min¢n {Al¢ ibn Ab¢ ±¡lib (prayers be upon him) has alluded to in this speech are
sometimes in relation to the inner being of the person such as the inner (lower) passions and desires - just as has
been mentioned in S£rah Y£suf where it has been stated:

b ` · ` `. · · `. . `. . ' . ` .' ` · . · a
"And (with passion) did she (Zulaykha) desire him, and he (Y£suf) would have desired her, but that he saw the
evidence of his Lord.”
5
Sometimes, these troubles are outside forces such as the evil whisperings of the many external Sha¢¡§¢n that exist.

2
Nahjul Bal¡gha, Speech 193
3
S£rah al-Kahf (18), Verse 57
4
S£rah al-Nahl (16), Verse 15
5
S£rah Y£suf (12), Verse 24
3
The forty-third characteristic of the true believer is “..” and again, in the speech given to Hamm¡m, Am¢r al-
Mo’min¢n {Al¢ ibn Ab¢ ±¡lib (prayers be upon him) has said:

· ¸ ' ´ · . . ` .
“And during times of distress, he is patient.”

This means that in the face of the distressful events of life, the true, perfect believer has patience. It is not
necessary that these distressful events come upon a person with great force – rather, even in issues such as
sickness, poverty, losing one’s loved ones, etc.., one must have patience.

In the life of being a student (of the Theological seminary) and treading upon the path of being a soldier in the
army of Im¡m al-Zam¡n (may All¡h hasten his return) and also within the period of our youth, there are many
difficulties and challenges present such that if a person does not have patience and fortitude, then he will not be
able to reach to any stage in this life.

We personally know of people who used to fast during the hot days of the summer months and at the time of
breaking the fast, did not even have a piece of bread nor even the money to go to the public bath to take a
shower! The difficulties of today are definitely much less than this, however even when we were studying in Qum
or in Najaf, we went through great challenges and difficulties.

If do not have patience, then what will happen? If we are not patient, will this change our situation in any way?
How beautifully has Im¡m {Al¢ (peace be upon him) put it:

. . ` . - `. · `, : ' · ' ` . · ' `- . ` . - `· . - `. · `, : ' · ` ' ` . · ' ` `
“If you are patient, then surely that which has been ordained will be granted unto you and you will be rewarded
and if you are anxious or uneasy then surely that which has been intended will (also) be granted to you and you
will be surrounded (by difficulties).”
6
Thus, it is best that we observe patience until we are able to achieve the reward. In the words of one intellectual,
he has stated that, “Whenever I am faced with difficulties, I say to myself:
. `. ' `. ` · ' · · ¸ .
The forty-forth characteristic of the true believer is that of “,.” or that the true believer is content with whatever
All¡h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) decrees for him.

We must strive and struggle, however even with all of this work that we put forth, it is only that which He has
decreed which will come to pass and the true believer must be content with that – thus, the stages of Rid¡ and
Tasl¢m (contentment and submission) are very important levels.

With the progress in science and technology today, there are many things which have become clear and
understandable for us such as when a child develops jaundice at a young age. Now it has been shown that this
yellowness of the child is actually an antibiotic that protects the child from other diseases whereas in previous

6
Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r, Volume 68, Page 92
4
times, they thought that this was a great problem. In addition to this, there are many other ‘problems’ that
humanity still does not know the reason behind why they occur.

The forty-fifty characteristic of the true believer is that of “.´” or that the true believer is thankful.

In the Khu§bah of Hamm¡m, Am¢r al-Mo’min¢n {Al¢ ibn Ab¢ ±¡lib (prayers be upon him) has stated:
· ¸ ' ` - . ´ . `
“In times of ease, he is thankful.”

When a person is in a period of security, safety, peace and in over-all good times, he forgets All¡h (Glory and
Greatness be to Him). However when he is plagued with difficulties, he then falls into the remembrance of All¡h
(Glory and Greatness be to Him). In the Noble Qur}¡n, All¡h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) has said:

b · ´ ´- `· `. . ¸ ' ` · `· `. ` ` ¯ .. a
“And then when they reach back to land (after facing difficulties at sea), they once again setup partners with Him
(All¡h).”
7
Thus, the true believer is that person who remembers All¡h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) at all times – during
old age and during his youth. The true believer even thanks All¡h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) during times
of ease and comfort.

It is our hope that All¡h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) gives all of us the ability to act upon the words in this
°ad¢th which are sufficient for us for our entire life time.

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

7
S£rah al-{Ankab£t (29), Verse 65