SOME OF THE QUALITIES OF A TRUE FOLLOWER OF AHLULBAYT (AS)
In the Name of God, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.
الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنّما شِيعَتُنا أصحابُ الأربَعةِ الأعيُنِ: عَينانِ فِي الرَّأسِ ، وعَينانِ فِي القَلبِ ، ألاَ والخلائقُ كُلُّهُم كذلكَ إلّا أنَّ اللّهَ عَزَّوجلَّ فَتَحَ أبصارَكُم وأعمى أبصارَهُم.
Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Verily, our Shi’ah are those who possess four eyes: two in their head, as well as two in their heart. Actually, all people are such, except that God has opened their [the Shi’ah’s] eyes, and blinded others’ [as a result of their rejection of His guidance].’[al-Kafi, v. 8, p. 215, no. 260]
The followers of true Islam are the followers who have hearts of vision. I can tell you right now, that not many Muslims have the hearts of vision due to negative influences which have blinded their hearts. A Shia of the Prophet (saw) and Ahlulbayt (as) should always be a Muslim who should have a big heart and a strong vision.
It is not easy to be a follower of Ahlulbayt (as). When I say it’s not easy, I mean it’s not easy to be a true Shia Muslim. A True Shia Muslim is not anyone. Even many who are born Shia are not really Shia fully. It takes a lot to be classed as a follower of the best people.
The vision of the heart is more important than the sight of your eyes. It is the light in your heart that will lead you to the best destination. Imagine being blind today and the whole world turning black, who will fill your heart with light except God?
Your exterior is temporary while your interior stays forever. It is your inner self that will forever define who you are. Your appearance does not define who you are, what your soul or what your heart is. Sacrifice your actions to strengthen your interior, and God will open all the doors of blessings for you.
الإمامُ الباقرُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): ما شِيعَتُنا إلّا مَنِ اتَّقى اللّهَ وأطاعَهُ، وما كانوا يُعرَفُونَ إلّا بالتَّواضُعِ والتَّخَشُّعِ وأداءِ الأمانَةِ وكَثرَةِ ذِكرِ اللّهِ
Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘Our Shi’ah are none other than those who are consciously wary of their duty to God and obey Him. They are known solely for their humbleness, their humility, their returning promptly whatever is entrusted in their care and their Abundant remembrance of God.’ [Tuhaf al-’Uqul, p. 295]
In our world today, you will find people who want to take you from the path of truth. There will always be people who want you to live in ghaflah (heedlessness). Then, always try to remember God and what God wants from you. Living as a Shia is like living as a spiritual warrior in a society of heedlessness and ignorance. Even though you are in the midst of this mess, you must live a life of Taqwa (God-consciousness) and knowledge. Live like a Spiritual Shia who struggles against Society’s values of darkness.
Also, don’t forget to be humble in this world of arrogance. Humility will lead you to the results of wisdom and quality. A Shia is known for being humble and kind. Although this Shia lives in a society of arrogance, this Shia is known for being a humble human being. It is difficult to be humble in a society where the majority are arrogant. If a person succeeds in being humble to the highest level in a society of arrogance, then this person has truly reached a great spiritual treasure.
A real Shia is also trustworthy. In today’s society, it’s hard to trust people. It is difficult to trust people because today’s society has made unfaithfulness to something good and useful. Islam came to crush unfaithfulness in all forms, be it unfaithfulness to God or the people. Cheating is increasing, and people are beginning to see cheating as something exciting and enjoyable. Believe you me, there are people out there who enjoy being unfaithful to their friend or partner. This is the sadness of today’s society.
A true Muslim and a true Shia should always remember God in everything he does. If you remember God, you automatically remember the good. If you remember God, and if you are willing to have God in your heart, all actions will be beautiful and good.
الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ لعبد الأعلى ـ: يا عبدَ الأعلَى … فَأقرِئهُمُ السلامَ ورَحمَةَ اللّهِ ـ يَعنِي الشِّيعَةَ ـ وقُل: قالَ لَكُم: رَحِمَ اللّهُ عَبداً استَجَرَّ مَوَدَّةَ الناسِ إلى نفسِهِ وإلَينا ، بأن يُظهِرَ لَهُم ما يَعرِفُونَ ويَكُفَّ عَنهُم ما يُنكِرُونَ.
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘O ‘Aba Abdillah, … give my greetings of peace and the mercy of God to my Shi’ah, and tell them: ‘God has mercy on the servant who incites love in the people towards himself and towards us [when attracting them towards Islam], by displaying to them that which they already like, and keeping from them that which they would reject.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 2, p. 77, no. 62]
الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَعاشِرَ الشِّيعَةِ ، كُونُوا لنا زَيناً، ولا تَكُونُوا علَينا شَيناً ، قُولُوا لِلناسِ حُسناً ، وَاحفَظُوا ألسِنَتَكُم ، وكُفُّوها عنِ الفُضُولِ وقَبيحِ القَولِ
Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘O Shi’ah community, be an adornment for us [amongst people] and not a disgrace to us. Say good words to people, guard your tongues and restrain yourselves from mindless chatter and offensive speech.’[Amali al-Saduq, p. 327, no. 17]
God has mercy on the servant who incites love in the people towards himself and towards Ahlulbayt (as) [when attracting them towards Islam], by displaying to them that which they already like, and keeping from them that which they would reject.
A true Muslim gets mankind to love God and his message. A true Muslim must represent love. A true Muslim is the one who opens up Islam in such a way that makes people begin to love God. A true Muslim proves to mankind that God is a God of love and tolerance. This is a true Muslim.
Be an adornment to the Ahlulbayt (as) and not a disgrace to them. Say good words to people, guard your tongues and restrain yourselves from mindless chatter and offensive speech. Be an adornment of goodness and love. Ahlulbayt (as) wants you to represent that which is good.
Today, you see many Shia Muslims who have given a very bad image of Islam, and the same goes for Sunni Muslims. Muslims from all schools have given a bad image of Islam in various aspects. Islam wants us as Muslims to represent the good, both internally and externally.
We should always be human beings of goodness who make people love the good. We should always be human beings who get other people to hope that there is goodness in the world. We must represent God’s light on earth.
We as Muslims should be ambassadors of Islam that gives people a good and a true image of God’s religion. Unfortunately, people have become superficial. If they see bad news about Islam on television, they will believe the fake news. The best thing you can do is to represent Islam in the best way as possible in all aspects.
Let your words be qualitative. I have witnessed so many Muslims, both religious and non-religious Muslims, who swear a lot. This is a very ugly habit. Your tongue reflects what you have in your heart. If your tongue is dirty, it is an indication that your heart needs a deep purification. If your tongue is dirty, it can also be an indication that your emotions have been placed over your own intellect. Had the person placed his intellect over his emotions and desires, the person’s tongue would never have been dirty. If you place the emotions over the intellect, then you can expect everything to happen. You will never have control over your actions if you place your emotions and desires over your intellect.
رسولُ اللهِِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): تُوضَعُ يَومَ القِيامَةِ مَنابِرُ حَولَ العَرشِ لِشِيعَتِي وشِيعَةِ أهلِ بَيتِي المُخلِصِينَ في وَلايَتِنا ، ويقولُ اللّهُ عَزَّوجلَّ: هَلُمُّوا يا عبادِي إلَيَّ لأَنشُرَنَّ علَيكُم كَرامَتي؛ فقد اُوذِيتُم في الدُّنيا
The Prophet (S) said, ‘On the Day of Resurrection, pulpits will be set up around the Throne for my Shi’ah and the Shi’ah of my household, who are sincere in their adherence to our guardianship. Then God, Mighty and Exalted, will say, ‘Hurry to Me My servants that I may spread My Magnanimity over you, for you have been hurt in the world.’[‘Uyun Akhbar ar-Ridha, v. 2, p. 60, no. 232]
If you are ready to love and follow Ahlulbayt (as), you must also be prepared to live a life of hardship. The true followers of the Prophet (saw) are those who struggle to achieve the good, even though they live in a society of pure evil. These are the true followers of the Prophet (saw). The followers of the Prophet (saw) will be harmed and they will sacrifice so much for the religion. Blood and tears will flow for goodness. It will not be an easy road.
Always be ready to do that which is the opposite of much of what exists in society. I can tell you right now, that what you will be from a small minority if you choose to live as a true Shia of Ahlulbayt (as). Especially if you live in the western world. There will be many obstacles which will stand in front of you. You just have to be strong enough with your will to fight these obstacles because the majority are unwilling to climb over these obstacles. You will be hugely rewarded on the day of judgment if you are ready to sacrifice your life for the truth. For it is the truth that will remain forever, while falsehood will perish forever.
عن محمّدِ بنِ عجلان: كنتُ عِند أبي عَبدِ اللّهِ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) فَدخلَ رَجَلٌ فَسَلَّمَ، فَسألَهُ: كيفَ مَن خُلّفْتَ مِن إخوانِكَ؟ قالَ: فأحسنَ الثناءَ وزكّى وأطرى . قالَ لهُ: كيفَ عِيادَةُ أغنِيائهِم على فُقَرائهِم ؟
فقالَ: قَليلَةٌ ، قالَ: وكيفَ مُشاهَدَةُ أغنيائهِم لِفُقَرائهِم ؟ قالَ: قَليلةٌ ، قالَ: فكيفَ صِلَةُ أغنيائهِم لِفُقَرائهِم في ذاتِ أيدِيهِم ، فقالَ: إنّك لَتَذكُرُ أخلاقا قَلَّ ما هِي فِيمَن عِندَنا . قالَ: فقالَ: فكيفَ تَزعُمُ هؤلاءِ أ نَّهُم شِيعَةٌ ؟!
Imam al-Sadiq (as) once asked a man about his tribe and brothers whom he had left back home, which the latter replied by praising them, attesting to their integrity and extolling them. Then Imam (a.s.) asked, ‘Do the rich among them visit the poor when they are ill?’ He replied, ‘Not much.’ ‘Do the rich frequent the poor at all?’ asked Imam. The man replied, ‘Not much.’ ‘Then, do the rich maintain relations with the leaders from amongst the poor?’ The man replied, ‘Verily you are listing virtues that people amongst us rarely possess.’ Imam said, ‘Then how can these people claim to be Shi’ah?!’ [Al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 173, no. 10]
Always be a Muslim who always takes care of the poor and the weak in society. Unfortunately, many Muslims lack that relationship with the poor. As a Muslim, you should be willing to build a relationship with the forgotten ones. You can never be a Shia of Ahlulbayt (as) if you are a person who ignores the poor, the needy and the oppressed. It is always important to visit the poor and give them love.
We also have a problem in our communities, and that is that culture and stinginess dominate strongly in our mosques. This means that poor, converts, needy and ostracized Muslims will feel more outside in the society. There are many Muslims out there who believe they can build relationships with people outside the community when they themselves cannot build and crush the segregation that exists within the ummah and our own communities. It takes a lot to become a Shia. Our Imams (as) have just mentioned some of the qualities of a true Shia Muslim from these hadiths.
الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنّما شِيعَةُ عليٍّ مَن عَفَّ بَطنُهُ وفَرجُهُ ، واشتَدَّ جِهادُهُ ، وعَمِلَ لِخالِقِهِ ، ورَجا ثَوابَهُ ، وخافَ عِقابَهُ، فإذا رأيتَ اُولئكَ فاُولئكَ شِيعَةُ جعفرٍ.
Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Verily the Shi’ah of Ali were those who restrained their stomachs and their sexual desires, who struggled and fought intensely, who worked hard for their Creator, who hoped for His reward and feared His punishment. If you have seen such people, then they are the very Shi’ah of Ja’afar.’[al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 233, no. 9]
الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ لِنَوفٍ البَكاليِّ ـ: أتَدرِي يا نَوفُ مَن شِيعَتي ؟ قالَ: لا وَاللّهِ ، قالَ: شِيعَتي الذُّبُلُ الشِّفاهِ، الخُمصُ البُطُونِ ، الذينَ تُعرَفُ الرَّهبانيَّةُ في وُجوهِهِم ، رُهبانٌ باللَّيلِ اُسْدٌ بالنَّهارِ.
Imam Ali (as) asked Nawf al-Bakali, ‘Do you know who my Shi’ah are, Nawf?’ to which he replied, ‘By God, no.’ Imam replied, ‘My Shi’ah have parched lips and empty stomachs. They are those whose faces disclose asceticism, for they are ascetics by night, lions by day.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 28, no. 95]
Verily the Shi’ah of Ali were those who restrained their stomachs and their sexual desires. A real Shia is the one who practices self-restraint. A Shia is a Muslim who can control his desires. We live in a time where people have let the cravings of the stomach and genitals take over their soul. This has led to obesity and sexual corruption. A true Shia is a Muslim who knows how to deal with his feelings and desires. A Muslim who has a hard time managing and controlling his emotions and desires, must train, discipline and purify his own soul.
The Shia are those who struggled and fought intensely, who worked hard for their Creator, who hoped for His reward and feared His punishment. If you have seen such people, then they are the very Shi’ah of Ja’afar (as)
A true Shia is the one who only fights for God. People today have become so focused on this world, that they are doing their actions for this world and not for the pleasure of God. This will lead to all kinds of corruption. Fight only for the one who created you. This world is temporary, while the destination of the mercy of your Lord will last forever. Spiritual rewards cannot be compared to worldly rewards. Always strive for the spiritual. Leave materialism. Leave individualism. Leave capitalism. Leave everything that is associated with your. Strive for God. As you strive for God, all the negative traits you can find in this world will disappear. Everything negative you see around you and within you will disappear. Be a Man of God.
Verily, the Shia of Ali (as) are those who have parched lips and empty stomachs. They are those whose faces disclose asceticism, for they are ascetics by night, lions by day. A true Shia is a Muslim who is a lion during the day and an ascetic during the night. This is a true Shia which is always in one dimension of worship. Don’t let this world drag you into its spider web. Jealousy and hatred will be directed against you if you have chosen the path of God. Every man who has chosen the path of God is a man who will face great difficulties in this world by people who have buried their hearts in this world. Do not be like them. Let your body be buried in the earth while your Soul and heart live in the dimensions of God’s paradise. Let your heart rest up there, while your body works for God in this world. Be a lion during the day and an ascetic during the night. Fill every second with the remembrance of God. May God guide us all!
Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet (saw) and his Progeny (as)
| Amir Zabidi
| SOME OF THE QUALITIES OF A TRUE FOLLOWER OF AHLULBAYT (AS)