Wednesday 29th of January 2020

May get some goodness from you

Al-Bazanti, who is one of the famous narrators of traditions and has a great personality and high rank, says, ‘I have read the letter of Imam ar-Redha (s) to his son Imam al-Jawad (s) which he had written from Marw to Medina saying in it: ‘O Abu Ja’far, I have been informed that when you ride your sumpter, the Mawali[1] make you go out from the small gate of the garden. It is because of stinginess in them lest no one (of people) may get some goodness from you!

I ask you with my right upon you…do not come in or go out except from the big gate.

When you ride your sumpter inshallah, let some gold and silver be with you. No one asks you for something unless you give him. If one of your uncles asks you to be pious to him, do not give him less than fifty dinars and you may give him more if you want. If one of your aunts asks you, do not give her less than fifty dinars and you may give her more if you want. If someone of Quraysh[2] asks you, do not give him less than twenty-five dinars and you may give him more if you want.

I just want Allah to make you succeed, so fear Allah and give and do not fear stinginess from Allah.”

We must notice the fact that the Qur'an has prohibited people from giving charity or spending if they would remind the ones given charities with the favors which would harm them. Spending must be for the sake of Allah and to gain His contentment. Therefore the one, who is given charity, must be safe from being harmed or reminded of that favor by the one, who has given charity; otherwise spending will be impermissible and will not be rewarded by Allah.

“(As for) those who spend their property in the way of Allah, then do not follow up what they have spent with reproach or injury, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.” Qur'an, 2:262

“O you who believe! do not make your charity worthless by reproach and injury.” Qur'an, 2:264

Anyhow offering prayers and paying zakat are among the good moral conducts Allah has granted to man out of His mercy and care. They are among the causes and deeds that lead to reform oneself outwardly and inwardly after repenting of sins and turning to Allah.

Believing in the Unseen, offering prayers, paying zakat, believing in the Qur'an and the other Divine books, believing in the afterlife and the other things mentioned above are divine facts that guide man towards his Lord and make him successful in this life and the afterlife.

“These are on a right course from their Lord and these it is that shall be successful.” Qur'an, 2:5

Success, as the scholars such as ar-Raghib al-Isfahani say, is the life after death, glory after meanness, knowledge without ignorance and wealth without poverty. All these things will be for man in the afterlife by virtue of believing in the Unseen (Allah, the angels, the barzakh, resurrection, accounting, the scales, Paradise and Hell), offering prayers, paying zakat, charity and other spendings, believing in the Qur'an and the other Divine books and believing in the afterlife.

It must be noticed that repentance does not mean cutting one’s relation with sins and disobedience only to be accepted and pleased with by Allah. According to the Qur’anic verses mentioned previously a repentant one must reform himself; his sayings and doings after his repentance. In other words a repentant one must exploit all his power in the way of good deeds and good morals to complete his repentance and recompense what he has committed before and to replace his bad deeds with good deeds.

“Except him who repents and believes and does a good deed; so these are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” Qur'an, 25:70

Concerning good deeds and morals, which are the factors of reforming one’s inward and outward after repenting, and cutting one’s connection with sins and disobedience the Holy Qur'an emphasizes on doing good and being kind to parents, relatives, orphans and the needy, talking politely and courteously with all people, offering prayers and paying zakat.

As I resort to the Qur’anic verses and holy traditions in my talks so I will talk about the moral beauty only; in other words the factors of reforming one’s morals and deeds and I will not repeat the previous matters mentioned in the verses and traditions above but I will talk about something else.

Let us pay attention to other practical facts about human morals included by the Qur’anic verses:

“…You shall not serve any but Allah and (you shall do) good to (your) parents, and to the near of kin and to the orphans and the needy, and you shall speak to men good words and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate.” Qur'an, 2:83

We have talked about the prayer and zakat as worships and obedience to the orders of Allah and now we shall talk about other subjects mentioned in this verse; being kind to the parents, relatives, orphans and the needy and speaking courteously with all people.

Being kind to father and mother

There are many verses in the Qur'an that mention, after enjoining on monotheism and worshipping Allah, the matter of being kind to one parents and order people of that. This order is a legal and moral obligation. Following this order is the very submission to Allah and turning away from it is the very disobedience and sin that require severe punishment on the Day of Resurrection.

“And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him and be good to the parents.” Qur'an, 4:36

Being kind to father and mother is just a bit of gratitude for the kindness, mercy and care they have given to the children since the first moment of their births.

The parents sacrifice too much and they prefer their child to themselves throughout all the stages of life. In all difficult circumstances and distresses they try their best to protect their child from any harm and they take care of it more than taking care of themselves. They remain wake for long nights just to comfort their child. They taste bitter tiredness in order to make their child feel the sweetness of rest and comfort. They bring themselves difficulties and pains just to educate and bring their child up. They feed it from their body and soul. They tolerate and worry too much until it becomes adult. Therefore a child has to reward his parents with all kindness and to recompense them for all their efforts and toils for him.

“And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) "ugh" nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word, and make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little.” Qur'an, 17:23-24

Once Imam as-Sadiq (s) has been asked about this “goodness” mentioned in this verse and he said, ‘Be kind in your companionship with them (your parents) and do not deny whatever they ask you for even if they are wealthy. Allah says,

“By no means shall you attain to righteousness until you spend (benevolently) out of what you love.” Qur'an, 3:92

“…say not to them (so much as) "ugh" nor chide them” Qur’an 17:23

If they make you angry, do not say to them “ugh” and if they beat you, do not chide them. Always speak to them a generous saying. If they beat you, say to them “may Allah forgive you” and this is the generous saying. “…and make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion;” do not look at them except mercifully and kindly and do not raise your voice more than theirs, nor your hand higher than theirs and do not walk in front of them.’

Imam as-Sadiq (s) has also said, ‘If Allah knew that there was something less than “ugh”, He would forbid from it. It is the least impiety.’ This tradition has been mentioned in al-Kafi with an addition; ‘It is impiety that one looks at his parents sharply.’

One day someone asked the Prophet (s), ‘What is the father’s right on his child?’ The Prophet (s), ‘He (the child) is not to call his father with his name, not to walk before him, not to sit before him and not to cause people to abuse him.’

The Prophet (s) has said three times, ‘In spite of him!’ The companions said, ‘O messenger of Allah, who is he?’ He said, ‘It is he who has lived with one or both of his parents when being old but he will be in Hell (because of mistreatment).’

In one of the battles Huthayfa has asked the Prophet (s) to permit him to kill his own father who was with the polytheist but the Prophet (s) said to him, ‘Let him for other than you!’[3]

It has been mentioned in the tafsir of Imam al-Askari (s) that the Prophet (s) had said, ‘The best of you (in treatment) to their parents and the worthiest of gratitude are Muhammad and Ali.’[4]

Ameerul Mo'mineen (s) said that he had heard the Prophet (s) saying, ‘I and Ali are the fathers of this umma and our right on them (the people of the umma) is greater than the right of their real fathers for we save them from the Fire to the Paradise if they follow us and we take them out of slavery and join them to the best free.’[5]

Being charitable to the kin

Kin (by lineage or affinity) means paternal and maternal relatives like uncles, aunts and grandchildren.

Brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law are also among relatives.

Being kind and charitable to them is by visiting them and solving their problems and needs. Being kind to the closest relatives is one of the Divine orders and legal and moral obligations which will be rewarded with a great reward while denying it will be faced with a painful torment on the Day of Resurrection.

The Qur'an emphasizes on that breaking covenants, cutting kin relations and corruption in the earth are among the signs of the great loss and the ones, who commit such things, are considered as losers;

“Who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and make mischief in the land; these it is that are the losers.” Qur'an, 2:27

Cutting the relation with one’s relatives is not permissible even if this one gets harm and damage from those relatives.

Visiting one’s relatives and being courteous and kind to them are among the divine ethic and admirable conducts and they are rays of the good morals. If some of one’s relatives are not religious or they are disbelievers and there is a hope of guiding them, then one must try to guide and save them. He must strengthen his relation and communication with them and must visit them often and always to enjoin the right and to forbid the wrong.

Many traditions have been narrated from the Prophet (s) and the infallible imams (s) in this concern whose wise instructions and recommendations should be paid much attention by every believer.

Here are some of the important traditions of the Prophet (s) about strengthening kinship;

‘The promptest good in being rewarded is maintaining kinship.’[6]

‘Maintaining kinship makes accounting (on the Day of Resurrection) easy and it protects one from bad death.’[7]

‘Maintain your kinship in this world even by a greeting.’[8]

‘Maintain your relation with one who has cut his relation with you, do good to one who has done wrong to you and said the truth even if it is against you!’

‘Allah changes the three years that remain in the life of one, who maintains his kinship, into thirty years and He changes the thirty years that remain in the life of one, who cuts his kinship, into three years.’ Then the Prophet (s) recited:

“Allah effaces what He pleases and establishes (what He pleases), and with Him is the basis of the Book.” Qur'an, 13:39

Ameerul Mo'mineen (s) has said, ‘Be generous to your tribe because they are your wing by which you fly, your origin to which you come back and your hand by which you attack!’[9]

Imam al-Hadi (s) has said, ‘Once Prophet Moses (s) said to Allah the Almighty, ‘What is the reward of one who maintains his kinship?’ Allah said, ‘O Moses, I delay his death (prolong his life) and make the agonies of death easy for him.’

Being kind to the orphan

The matter of being kind, charitable and merciful to the orphans has been mentioned in the Qur'an about eighteen times. Allah has said,

“And they ask you concerning the orphans Say: To set right for them (their affairs) is good, and if you become co-partners with them, they are your brethren; and Allah knows the mischief-maker and the peacemaker, and if Allah had pleased, He would certainly have caused you to fall into a difficulty; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.” Qur'an, 2:220

“And give to the orphans their property, and do not substitute worthless (things) for (their) good (ones), and do not devour their property (as an addition) to your own property; this is surely a great crime.” Qur'an, 4:2

“(As for) those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies and they shall enter burning fire.” Qur'an, 4:10

“…and that you should deal towards orphans with equity; and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it.” Qur'an, 4:127

“And do not approach the property of the orphan except in the best manner until he attains his maturity.” Qur'an, 6:152

The Prophet (s) has said, ‘Whoever adopts an orphan of the Muslims to his subsistence Allah will enter him into Paradise unless he commits an unforgivable sin.’[10]

The Prophet (s) has also said, ‘In the Paradise there is a house called the “house of joy”. No one will enter this house except those who has delighted the orphans of the believers.’[11]

One day a man came to the Prophet (s) complaining of his hard- heartedness. The Prophet (s) said to him, ‘If you like your heart to be soft and you get your needs, be merciful to the orphans, pat their heads and feed them from your food. Then your heart will be soft and your needs will be achieved.’[12]

Ameerul Mo'mineen (s) has said, ‘Every believing man and believing woman puts his/her hand on an orphan’s head Allah will reward him/her with a good deed for each hair his/her hand passes over.’[13]

[1] Mawla is a freed slave and mawali is the plural for.

[2] Quraysh was the greatest tribe in Mecca.

[3] As-Safi, vol.3 p.185 when interpreting the verse 24 of the sura of Aal Imran.

[4] As-Safi, vol.1 p.150.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Biharul Anwar, vol. 74 p.121.

[7] Ibid., p.94.

[8] Ibid., p.10.

[9] Biharul Anwar, vol. 74 p.105.

[10] At-Targheeb, vol.3 p.347.

[11] Tafsir al-Mo’een, 12.

[12] At-Targheeb, vol.3 p.349.

[13] Biharul Anwar, vol. 75 p.4.

source : REPENTANCE THE CRADLE OF MERCY By Husayn Ansariyan
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