Al-Husayn Zayn al-Abidin
Fourth Holy Imam
Mother: Shahr Banoo daughter of Iran's last
Sasanid emperor Yazdjerd III
Kunniyat (Patronymic): Abu al-Hasan
Laqab (Title): Zayn al-'Abidin, Al Sajjad
Birth: He was born on 5th Shaban in 38 A.H.
Martyrdom: He was martyred by poisoning on
25th Moharrum in the year 95 A.H. at Madina and is buried at
Baqi near his uncle Hasan ('a).
The fourth Holy Imam, Ali ibn Husayn
Zain-ul-Abidin ('a) was born in Medina on 5th Shaban 38
A.H. His epithet was Abu Muhammad and was popularly titled
as "Zain-ul-Abidin". The mother of this Holy Imam
('a) was the royal personage, Shahr Banoo, the daughter of King
Yazdjerd III, the last Sasanid emperor of Iran.
The Holy Imam
Ali-Zain-ul-Abidin ('a) spent
the first two years of his infancy in the lap of his
grandfather Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib ('a) and then for twelve
years he had the gracious patronage of his uncle, the second
Holy Imam Hasan Ibn Ali ('a). In 61 A.H. he was present in
Karbala, at the time of the gruesome tragedy of the
wholesale massacre of his father ('a), his uncles, his brothers,
his cousins and all the pious comrades of his father ('a); and
suffered a heartless captivity and imprisonment at the hands
of the devilish forces of Yazid.
Husayn ('a) had come for the last
time to his camp to bid good-bye to his family, Ali-Zain-ul-Abidin
('a) was lying semi-conscious in his sick-bed and hence he
escaped the massacre at Karbala. Imam Husayn ('a) could
only manage a very brief talk with the inmates of his camp
and departed nominating his sick son as the new Imam.
The Holy Imam
Ali-Zain-ul-Abidin ('a) lived
for about 34 years after his father ('a) and all his ('a) life he
passed in prayers and supplication to God and in remembrance
of his martyred father ('a). Due to this Holy Imam ('a) for ever being in prayers
to God, mostly lying in prayerful prostration, he ('a) was popularly called "Sajjad".
On the 25th of Moharram A.H., when
the Holy Imam ('a) was in
Medina, the then ruler Waleed bin Abdul Malik Marwan, got Imam
Ali-Zain-ul-Abidin ('a) martyred by poison. The funeral prayers for
this Holy Imam ('a) were conducted by his ('a) son, the fifth
Imam Muhammad-al-Baqir ('a), and his body was laid to rest in
the cemetery of Jannat-ul-Baqi in Medina.
No Imam began his Imamate in a more tragic
atmosphere than Imam Ali-Zain-ul-Abidin ('a) . The first day of his Imamat saw him
ill and a captive of the army of Yazid in Karbala. His ('a) father
('a) and predecessor ('a) had sacrificed all he ('a) had on the
altar of truth; and Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a) found himself
with the remaining group of widows and orphans being led from
place to place, from the durbar of Ibn Ziyad to the court of
Yazid. Finally they were imprisoned, where the
Imam ('a) spent the first year (N.B. disputed length of
time) of his Imamat, cut off from the
followers of his father ('a) and unable to look after their
Understandably, the tragedy of Karbala had
created chaos in the Shi'a world. Shi'as were in the
throes of a dark pessimism, and the community was in
disarray. A movement had already begun to accept Muhammad al
Hanafiyah, son of Amir-ul-Mu'minin 'Ali ('a) as the 4th Imam.
Muhammad al Hanafiyah himself had no such design. But the
problem was: how to stop that movement without putting the
life of Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a) in danger?
Yazid had not hesitated to murder Imam
Husayn ('a) in spite of the highest prestige the Imam ('a) had
in the Muslims' eyes. It would have been far more easier for
him to kill Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a), a young man of 23
years of age, whose divine virtues were yet to shine before
the Muslim community. And it was not in the interest of
Islam that Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a) be martyred so soon
after Imam Husayn ('a).
Altogether, Imam Zayn
al-'Abidin ('a) had
three difficult tasks before him:
To announce his Imamate publicly without
seeming to oppose outsiders.
To weld the community together, making a
"tasbih" (rosary) out of the scattered beads -
doing it in such a way as not to give Yazid and
Yazidites an excuse to retaliate.
To expand true faith, providing a beacon
of light to guide the seekers of truth to the safety of
true faith and virtuous deeds - doing it without
attracting untoward attention of his enemies.
Any of these Himalayan tasks would have
defeated a lesser being. But Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a), under divine guidance, did achieve all these aims in such a
beautiful and unobtrusive way that even his followers, who
tremendously benefited and are benefiting from his ('a) superb
leadership, did not consciously realise how they were being
Announcement of His Imamate
This took the form of a family dispute:
Muhammad al-Hanafiyah claimed that he was
the Imam after his brother, Imam Husayn ('a) as Imam
Husayn ('a), had become Imam after the eldest brother, Imam
Hasan ('a). Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a) said that his
uncle's claim was wrong; that he (i.e. Imam Zayn al-'Abidin
was Imam after his ('a) father ('a), by divine appointment. This
family "feud" apparently could not be resolved;
and ultimately Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a) suggested that the
"Black Stone" (al-Hajarul-aswad) of the Ka'bah be
approached for its judgement. Muhammad al Hanafiyah readily
agreed and both parties went to Mecca during Hajj season
when thousands of pilgrims had assembled for the pilgrimage.
The stranger than fiction news must have
spread like wild fire that 'Imam Ali bin al-Husayn ('a) and
Muhammad al-Hanafiyah wanted the Black Stone to judge
between them. Everyone must have wondered how could a stone
judge between two persons. They must have eagerly waited to
see the outcome when the two parties would approach the
Stone. What would they say when the Stone, being a stone,
would not respond to their arguments?
This must have been the feeling of the crowd
when the uncle and the nephew slowly advanced towards the
Black Stone. First Muharnmad al-Hanafiyah talked to the
Stone; there was no response. Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a)
"Had you, O Uncle, been the Wasi and Imam, it
would certainly have answered you."
Nephew, you pray and ask it."
Imam Zayn al-'Abidin
('a) prayed to Allah (swt) and then asked the Black Stone to declare in
clear Arabic as to who was the Wasi and Imam after Imam
Husayn bin 'Ali ('a).
There was a tremor in the Stone and then
Allah (swt) made it speak in clear Arabic:
"O Allah, verily Wisayah and Imamah,
after al-Husayn bin 'Ali is for Zayn al-'Abidin 'Ali bin al-Husayn,
son of 'Ali bin Abi Talib and Fatimah bint Rasulillah."
Muhammad al-Hanafiyah accepted the verdict
and declared his allegiance for Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a).
(al-Ihtijaj of al-Tabrasi, al-Kafi of al-Kulaini,
Basa'-erud-Darajat, A'lumul-wara, Manaqib of Ibn Shahr 'Ashob,
Biharul-Anwar, Vol. XI, of Majlisi).
This "dispute" was the beginning
of the end of the Kaisaniyah movement, which wanted to
accept Muhammad al-Hanafiyah as Imam. The schism in the Shia
rank was arrested; and as it was only a "family
feud" and Yazid could not object to it in any way.
But the miraculous nature of the episode and
the timing served its purpose. The pilgrims on returning to
heir homes must have felt compelled to narrate this strange
event; and thus the Shi'as throughout the Muslim world came
to know, without any formal proclamation, that Imam Zayn
al-'Abidin ('a) was their divinely-appointed Leader and
Uniting the Shia Community
This is an even more fascinating aspect of
How was he to unite all the Shi'as in
ever-lasting bond? What was the factor which could join them
Philosophical exhortations? But they have
effect on only small group of intellectuals;
man-in-the-street is not influenced by them. Moreover, it
cannot influence the "feelings"; and
"unity" is a feeling of oneness. Some joyous
aspects of religion? Joy and happiness is a
"feeling", no doubt. But it does not necessarily
"unite" the people. Many is the time when a man
celebrates a joyous function and his brother refuses to join
him, because of some minor misunderstandings. But let there
be a tragedy in that house, and the same brother would rush
therein to share that sorrow.
This tendency of human nature brings us to
the third alternative sorrow.
Sorrow and grief succeeds in binding the
mourners together, while intellectual arguments and joyous
functions fail to achieve that object. Have not you seen how
at the time of a national tragedy all political differences
are genuinely forgotten and how the whole nation unites
together to share the sorrow and shoulder the resulting
responsibilities? Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a), under divine
command, selected this method to unite the community.
And again it was adopted apparently just as
a personal way of life, without its being aimed against
Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. XI) has
written a chapter, "His mourning and Weeping on the
martyrdom of his Father, May Grace of Allah be on
Both", in which he, inter alia, writes:
"And it is said that he [i.e. Imam
Zayn al-'Abidin ('a)] continued to weep till his eyes
were endangered. And whenever he took water to drink, he
wept till the tears filled the pot." Someone talked to him
about it and he replied: "Why should not I cry, when
my father was denied the water which was free to the
beasts and animals?"
"And never was food brought to him but
that he wept, so much so that a servant told him: "May
I be your ransom, O Son of the Messenger of Allah! I am
afraid that you would die (of this weeping)". The Imam
said: 'I only complain of my distraction and anguish to
Allah and I do not know. Never do I remember the massacre of
the children of Fatimah but that tears strangle me.'"
Naturally, this example set by their Imam
was followed by the Shias every where; and they joined hands
to establish mourning of Imam Husayn ('a) whenever
possible. This created a feeling of oneness and unity in all
persons attending those mourning-sessions.
And how could Yazid or Yazidites tell Imam
Zayn al-'Abidin ('a) not to remember his father?
This institution of mourning became the
focal-point of all religious activities of the Shia
community and the life-line of their faith. In later
periods, the enemies of the faith realised the vital role
which the "mourning" plays in religious education
and character-building of the Shias, and they tried to stop
it by the force of their "Fatwa". Now they have
changed their tactics. Now they ask: Why should one mourn
for an event which occurred more than 1300 years ago? They
ask it while they are fully aware that these mourning
sessions (Majalis) are the best-organised, well-attended
religious schools, where the participants willingly learn
the basic tenets of faith, are exhorted to emulate the way
of life of Ahl ul-Bayt ('a); and thus their Islamic outlook
on the life and the world is fortified.
This seat of learning was given to the Shi'a
community by Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a) so unobtrusively
that even the community did not realise its importance and
significance in the beginning.
Teaching True Islam
The previous two tasks were stepping-stones
to reach this most important of his responsibilities. We
have seen how the Imam announced his Imamate by means of a
"family feud", and how he gave his followers a
platform of unity in the form of his mourning for his
father. In neither instance he addressed any outsider; still
the message got through. Likewise, in meeting this third and
most important of his tasks, he did not address any human
being. He selected the form of Du'a (invocation) for this
purpose. He recorded his Du'as in a book form and asked his
two sons to make copies of the book. This recording itself
is an, indication that these invocations were not just a
prayer, but also a means of guidance for the Muslims.
How could anyone tell him not to ask his
wants from Allah? How could anyone come between Allah and
His servant, when raising his hands he called his Lord in a
heart-rending voice to come to his aid and to help him out
of his difficulties. But those recorded duas are a treasure
of Islamic knowledge. One finds in them almost all
theological and ethical questions answered eloquently and
eruditely. Reading them, the heart is filled with true
belief and sincere love of Allah (swt); and the light of virtue
and nobleness illuminates the character.
It is not possible to give here even a short
review of this sacred book, generally known as "As-Sahifatus-Sajjadiyah"
and "As-Sahifatul-Kamilah"; and also called
"Psalm of 'Ale Muhammad" and "Injil of Ahlul
When this book was shown to Egyptian
scholars, they were thunderstruck and awed by its beauty.
They were amazed and stunned by the purity of thought and
perfection of character to which this book irresistibly
leads its reader.
The renowned scholar, late Al-Tantawi
"I have studied this book with utmost
care. I have gone through the Du'as (invocations) and
Munajats (supplications) with a searching eye. I was
stunned by the lofty meanings and deep sense contained
therein. I was deeply impressed by the value and
magnificence of these invocations. I wonder how the
Muslims all along been ignorant of such valuable treasure.
They have been in deep slumber all these centuries. They
could not even feel that Allah had supplied them with such
a precious store of knowledge.
"The invocations in this book have
two distinct approaches: the one seeks for the knowledge
and guidance to keep away from sins and evil things, while
the other persuades and exhorts one to enable one's 'self'
by performance of virtuous deeds. We may say that these
Invocations, full of knowledge and guidance, are a
wonderful treasure of secrets, and contain hints regarding
self-reproachment, admission of shortcomings, with tears
and self-purification, warding off vicissitudes and
difficulties, safe-guarding oneself from the tyrannies of
the enemy, recovery from various diseases and so on. All
such Du'as are found mostly in the first part of the book,
while the later part consists of the loftiness and
grandeur of Allah, His creation and other wonders of His
power and might.
"Is it not wonderful? Does not it
show that these holy personages are unveiling many secrets
of learning and unravelling many mysteries of knowledge
for Muslims, who happen to be completely ignorant of it.
It is a fact that the affairs of human beings are divided
into two parts: The one is to keep away from evil, the
other to acquire good traits together with the knowledge
of Divine existence, which is essential for
self-purification and spiritual perfection."
Then he goes on expounding these points with
help of many invocations. In another article, he compares an
invocation of Imam Zayn al-'Abidin ('a) with the prayer of
the Prophet Nuh (Noah). Just to give an example of the high
religious and ethical standard taught by our Holy Imam ('a), I am
quoting here extracts from a Du'a, known as
Makarim-ul-Akhlaq (Noble Character). This Du'a is enough to
lead the reciter on the right path, making him a perfect
Muslim and a virtuous believer.
O Lord, Thou art my shelter if I grow sad,
and Thou art my resource if I am in need and unto Thee I
cry for help, when deeply afflicted, and with Thee is
recompense for what is lost, and reformation for what is
corrupted, and alteration for what Thou disapprovest:
Therefore, favour me with security before
calamity, and bounty before begging (for it) and right
direction before error and spare me from bearing me peace
on the day of resurrection and favour me with hand some
O Lord, bless Muhammad and his Al (family)
and ward off (evil) from me with Thy grace, and nourish me
with Thy blessing, and reform me with Thy graciousness and
cure me with Thy goodness and hide me in the shelter of
Thy mercy and clothe me with Thy approbation, and help me,
when matters grow difficult about me, (to choose) the most
righteous of them, and when actions become dubious, (to
select) the purest of them, and when the creeds conflict,
(to adopt) the most praiseworthy of them.
O Lord, bless Muhammad and his Al (family)
and crown me with sufficiency and adorn me with the grace
of Thy love and grant me true guidance and do not try me
with prosperity and confer on me the beauty of comfort and
do not make my life a succession of trials, and do not
reject my prayer with repulsion; for, I do not recognise
any as Thy rival, and I do not call upon any as Thy equal.
O Lord, bless Muhammad and his
and restrain me from extravagance and preserve my
subsistence from waste and increase my possessions by giving
blessing therein and let me walk along the path of
benevolence; in whatever I spend my (wealth).
In this way Imam Zayn
al-'Abidin ('a) spent
his life providing guidance not only for the Muslims of his
time, but also for the generations to come. When he left
this world, he had more than accomplished all that he was
entrusted with by Allah (swt).
The Ibadah of Imam
Zayn al-Abidin ('a)
Holy Imam's titles
(adornment of worshippers) and Sayyidus-Sajideen
those who prostrate) indicate that he was a great
Few incidents from the life of Imam as-Sajjad
Shaykh al-Mufid states in Kitaab al-Irshaad
that once Imam Abu Ja'far Muhammd al-Baqir ('a) visited his
father Imam 'Ali bin al-Husayn ('a). He saw that Imam as-Sajjad
('a) had reached an unprecedented state of 'ibadah. "His colour
had paled from keeping awake all night; eyes sore from
weeping; forehead and nose bruised due to prolonged sajdahs;
and his feet and ankles were swollen from standing in salaat."
Such was the state of our fourth Imam during the worship
that our fifth Imam says that he could not help breaking
into tears. "I wept out of compassion that I felt for
him," commented Imam al-Baqir ('a). Some time passed
before the Imam realized that his son has come. Upon seeing
him, Imam as-Sajjad ('a) asked for the parchments which
describe the great 'ibadah of Imam 'Ali bin Abi Talib
The fourth Imam read something from it and let it go from
his hands in exasperation commenting, "Who has the
strength to worship like 'Ali b. Abi Talib ('a)?"
Shaykh al-Toosi writes that once Abu Hamzah
al-Thumaalee saw Imam 'Ali ibn al-Husayn ('a) saying his
prayers and his cloak slipped from his shoulders. The Imam
did not arrange it. After the prayers Abu Hamzah asked him
about it. The Imam responded: Woe to you, don't you know
before whom I stood (Wayhaka, atadaree bayna yaday man kuntu)?
It is said that Imam
al-Sajjad ('a) did
twenty Hajj every time travelling on foot to Mecca.
The fourth Imam had a large farm of date
trees. He offered two raka'at payers besides each date tree.
His daily practice of
salaat. His father
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir ('a) states: "'Ali b. al-Husayn
('a), used to pray a thousand rak'aat during the day and the
night. The wind would sway (his body) forward like an ear of
corn." reports al-Mufid in al-Irshaad.
His style of entreating the Almighty is well
known to all of us who have had a chance of reading from his
famous du'as found in Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah.
Reflection on the Ibadah of the Holy Imam
al-Sajjad ('a) used to say a lot of
mustahab (supererogatory) prayers. The Imam also had to look
after his family members (15 children), the poor and
destitute, also his business ( e.g. date farms). It is said
that he used to purchase hundreds of slaves whom he used
feed, clothe, house and train them and then free them. All
this required wealth. He used to work to earn this money.
Why would Imam al-Sajjad
('a) go on foot to
Mecca. Crossing the deserts of Arabia under that hot
scorching sun, and those long distances! Why endure all
these difficulties and hardships? He could have chosen, at
least, camels instead of horses? Perhaps he wanted to
demonstrate that when going to the House of God, one should
adopt most humble and humiliating way. Or was it to show
that when being grateful (doing shukr) for the unceasing
favours from God one has to also give some time and put
efforts when worshipping the Sustainer?
Why would the Imam
('a) weep so much that the
eyes used to become sore? Was it due to the awe and fear of
the Almighty? After all the Qur'an declares that the most
fearful amongst God's creatures are the learned (35:28). The
Imam was indeed learned and must have felt that he was
unable to worship his Creator and Provider in a way that
The Caravan to Hajj
A caravan of Muslims was headed towards
Mecca. As it arrived in Madina, it rested a few days, and
continued on towards Mecca.
On their way from Madina to Mecca, a man
joined the group. This man noticed one of them who had the
appearance of a guided person. He was eagerly busy in
service of the passengers. The man recognized him. With
much surprise, he asked the pilgrims if they knew this man
who was at their service.
"No, we don't know him. He joined us
in Madina. He is a descent and pious man. We haven't asked
him for help. But he has been eager in helping us."
"Obviously you don't know him. For if
you did, you would never have allowed a man like him to be
at your service."
"Who is this person?"
"This is 'Ali ibn al-Hussein, Zain
The group stood with shame and apologized to
the Holy Imam ('a). Then complaining to him, they said:
"Why did you treat us as such? We may
have gone beyond our bounds in our ignorance, and would
have committed a big sin in being disrespectful to
"I intentionally joined your group,
for you didn't know me. When I join a group, where people
know me, for the sake of the Holy Prophet ('s), they
are very kind to me. They don't allow me to be of some
service. Thus I was eager to join a group where I will be
anonymous, so that I may have the honour of being of some
service to my brethren." (1)
(1): Bihar, v.1 p.21
In Praise of Imam
Zayn al-Abidin ('a)
Farazdaq, in this poem, refers to the
occasion when the Caliph Hisham b. Abd al Malik was
overshadowed by the respect which people showed towards the
great grandson of the Holy Prophet ('s), at the
time of Hajj when both of the individuals were trying to
reach the crowds around the Kaab'ah to get to the black
stone. The people gave way to the Imam ('a) while the Caliph
struggled desperately. The Caliph, deeply offended, inquired
in a sarcastic tone, who the person was who people had shown
such preference. Farazdaq, who was also present at the
moment composed an ode and recited it, addressing himself to
It is someone whose footsteps are known by
And it is he who is known to the Bayt in
the most frequented sanctuary;
It is he who is the son of the best of all
men of God
and it is he who is the most pious and
the purest and most unstained
the chastest and most righteous
a symbol [for Islam]
This is Ali [b. al Husayn] whose parent is
This is the son of Fatima, if you do not
know who he is
Whosoever recognizes his God knows also
the primacy and superiority of this man
Because the religion has reached nations
through his House.
Short Maxims of Imam Zainul
The highest grade of conviction is to
satisfy yourself with the detested act of Allah (swt)
He who honours himself will debase the
As he was asked to define the greatest of
people, Imam As-Sajjad ('a) said: The greatest of people is
that who does not see the world as great
As-Sajjad ('a), a man said:
O Allah, make me do without people," The Imam
instructed: This is not accurate. People are in the service
of each other. You should say: O Allah, make me do without
the evil ones
The richest of people is that who is
satisfied with what Allah (swt) has chosen for him
A deed that accompanies God-fearing will
not be decreased. How can an accepted deed be decreased?
Avoid telling lies, whether they were
significant or venial, or in serious or humorous situations,
for a man who tells a trivial lie will surely dare to tell a
To see your enemy plunging in acts of
disobedience to Allah (swt) because of you is a sufficient victory
from Allah (swt) to you
The whole goodness is to protect yourself
(against all that which is unacceptable)
10 -Imam As-Sajjad
('a) said to one of his
sons: O son, Allah (swt) has accepted me (as a father) for you and
has not accepted you (as a son) for me; hence, He has
commanded you (to obey me) and has not commanded me (to obey
you). Adhere to charity; it is surely a small gift
('a) answered the man
who asked him a definition for ascetics: Ascetics is of ten
grades the highest of which the lowest grade of piety. The
highest grade of piety is the lowest grade of conviction.
The highest grade of conviction is the lowest grade of
satisfaction. Ascetics is (summarized) in Allah's saying:
"... so that you would not grieve over what you have
lost nor become too happy about what Allah (swt) has granted to
you.( Holy Qur'an 57:23)
Asking from people is the humility of
life, the remover of pudency, and the debasement of
reverence. It is the permanent poverty. Lack of asking from
people is the permanent richness.
The most favourable of you to Allah
certainly the owner of the best deeds. The doer of the best
deed to Allah (swt) is the most desirous (for Allah's bounty and
rewards). The most saved from Allah's (swt) agony is the most
fearful of Allah (swt). The closest to Allah (swt) is the most
well-mannered. The most accepted by Allah (swt) is the most
generous to His family members. The most honourable for
Allah (swt) is the most God-fearing
As-Sajjad ('a) said to one of his
sons: O son, do not associate, talk, or accompany five
classes of people. "Who are they, father?" asked
the son, and the Imam ('a) answered: Beware of associating
with the liar, for he is as same as mirage: he shows you the
near as remote and shows you the remote as near. Beware of association
with the sinful, for he will disappoint you for a single
bite or even something less valuable. Beware of associating
with the stingy, for he will let you down when you are in
urgent need of his property. Beware of associating with the
foolish, for he harms you when he intends to do you favour.
Beware of associating with the disregardful of his
relatives, for I found him cursed in the Book of Allah.
Knowledge and the perfect religion is to
avoid intruding into unconcerned matters, dispute others
rarely, show clemency and steadfastness, and be
O son of Adam-man-: You are on the right
as long as you are admonished by your own self, care very
much for maintaining judgment with yourself, and betake fear
as your slogan and caution as your garment. O son of Adam:
You will unquestionably be dead, resurrected, and standing
before your Lord the Majestic. You should prepare an answer
for all that.
No Qureishite and no Arab (should take
pride in his) lineage without modesty. No generosity without
God-fearing. No deed without (honest) intention. No worship
without knowledge. The most hated of people to Allah (swt) is he
who believes in an Imam's ('a) traditions but does not copy his
For his supplication (to Allah), the
believer gains one of three things: the supplication is
saved for him, he is responded immediately, or he is saved
for the befalling of an imminent misfortune
The very hypocrite is that who warns
people (against evil deeds) but he does not stop committing
them and orders them (to do good acts) but he does not do
(such acts). When he stands for offering the prayer he turns
right and left, when he genuflects (in the prayer) he
huddles, and when he prostrates himself, he pecks. In
evenings, his only concern is dinner while he was not
fasting. In mornings, his only concern is to sleep while he
has not passed (the last) night with worship. The believer,
on the other hand, mixes his acts with clemency; he sits
down so that he may learn (something); he keeps silent so
that he may save himself, he does not divulge his secrets
before his friends (even); he does not conceal witnessing
for the strangers; he does not act any rightful action out
of showing off, he does not neglect any act out of pudency;
if he is praised, he fears sayings of the eulogists and
seeks Allah's forgiveness for what they do not know; he does
not care for the ignorance of those who ignore him.
as-Sajjad ('a) said to a man who
had just been cured from an ailment: Congratulations for the
acquittal of the sins. Allah has referred to you; therefore,
you should mention Him, and has saved you; therefore, you
should thank it for Him.
If you ride for obtaining these five
things, you will extremely fatigue your riding animals
before you can attain them. They are as follows: The servant
(of Allah) should fear nothing except his sins and hope for
nothing except his Lord. The ignorant (of a certain
question) should not be too shy to learn-or-the acknowledgeable
of a question should not be too shy to learn what he
ignores. The scholar should not be too shy to confess of
their ignorance of a question about which they are asked.
The relation of patience to faith is same as the relation of
the head to the body. On that account, the impatient are
(swt) says: O son of Adam, satisfy
yourself with that which I have given to you and you will be
the most abstinent of people. O son of Adam, carry out the
duties that I have made incumbent upon you and you will be
the best worshipper of people. O son of Adam, avoid acting
matters that I have deemed forbidden and you will be the
most pious of people
Many are those whom are deceived by commendation.
Many are those whom are swindled by the firm covering up (of
their sins). Many are those whom are trapped by favours and
graces that they receive
How bad those whose ones overcome their
tens are! (One good deed will be rewarded tenfold, while bad
deeds will be recompensed one for one
This world is about to turn tail and the
life to come is about to approach. Each this world and the
life to come has its sons. Thus, line up with the sons of
the life to come and do not be the sons of this world. Be
with those who abstain from (chasing) the worldly pleasures
and desire for the (permanent bliss of the) life to come
The abstinent are those who betake the land
of Allah (swt) as a mat, dust as a bed, rocks as a pillow, water as odour,
and they cut their livelihood in this world. You should know
that he whoever longs for Paradise dashes to the good deeds
and forgets the passion. Whoever is concerned about the fire
(of Hell) takes the initiative to repent to Allah from the
sins and stops committing the forbidden matters.
Whoever disregards this world will look upon
its misfortunes as ineffectual and will not hate it. There
are the servants of Allah (swt) whose hearts are deeply attracted
to the life to come and its rewards. They behave as if they
have seen the people of Paradise living therein eternally
with ultimate bliss and seen the people of Hell suffering
People are saved from the evils and troubles
of such ones. because their hearts are engaged in fear of
Allah (swt) and away from people. Their sights are lowered against
the forbidden and their needs for people are light. They
satisfied themselves with the few livelihood of Allah-namely
the food. They tolerated short days for the sake of being
saved from the long regret on the Day of Resurrection.
As a man said to him, "I love you
very much for Allah's sake, "Imam As-Sajjad ('a) nodded the head down and said: O Allah, I seek your guard
against my being loved for Your sake while You dislike me.
"The Imam kept silent for while, they he ('a) said: I
love you for Him for the sake of Whom you love me
(swt) certainly dislikes the stingy
that asks others importunately
Many are those who are deceptively
proud. They begin their days with amusement and guffaw. They
eat and drink blissfully while they do not know that Allah
has become discontent with them so intensely that they will
surely endure the fire of Hell.
To spend moderately in times of poverty,
give generously in times of luxury, treat people fairly, and
greet them initiatively-these manners are within the
characters of the believers.
Three conducts save the believers: to
stop saying bad wording or backbiting people, engage oneself
in matters that will benefit in the Last Judgment as well as
this world, and weep heavily for one's guilt.
Looks of mutual affection and
amiability between the believers is a sort of worship.
A believer who enjoys the following
three characters will be under the care of Allah (swt) Who will
cast a shadow over him on the Day of Resurrection under His
Divine Throne and will save him from the horror of the Grand
Day. These three characters are to offer people what you ask
them to offer you, to stop extending a hand or treading a
single step before you know whether they will be in the
obedience or disobedience to Allah (swt), and to stop finding a
fault with somebody before you get rid of that fault. A
man's faults are sufficient concerns that engage from
plunging into others' faults.
After the acknowledgment of
nothing is more favourable for Him than moderation in eating
and (sexual) chastity. The most favourable act to Allah (swt)
to supplicate to Him.
('a) said to his son
Mohammed Baqir ('a): Do favour to everybody who asks for
it; if he deserves it, then you have hit the target,
otherwise you have become one of the people of favours.
Accept the apology of him who reviled at you from your right
side, then turned to your left to make an apology.
Sitting with the virtuous ones urges
virtue, adherence to the ethics of the scholars improves the
intelligence, Compliance with the men of authority (namely
the sinless Imams ('a) is the perfect dignity, investment
of the property is the perfect personality, guiding the
seeker of counsel is a fulfilment of the rights of graces,
and abstinence from harming people is a part of the
perfection of mind. It also achieves the immediate and
gradual physical comfort
('a) used to say
whenever he recited Allah's (swt) saying: "Had you wanted to
count the bounties of Allah, you would not have been able to
do it" Holy Qur'an 14:34
All praise be to Him Who has not enabled
anybody to acknowledge all his favours except through the
acknowledgment of the failure to acknowledge them properly.
He also has not enabled anybody to acknowledge His Essence
properly except through the knowledge that Allah (swt) is beyond
knowledge. He, the All-powerful the Majestic, has thanked
the acknowledgment of the knowledgeable one's being too
short to know Him perfectly. He has also regarded their
acknowledgment of their failure to acknowledge Him perfectly
as their showing Him gratitude. Similarly, Allah (swt) has
regarded the knowledgeable one's acknowledgment of His being
beyond knowledge as faithful believing (in Him). This is
because He has comprehended the servant's limits that they
All praise be to Him Who has regarded
the acknowledgment of His favours as praise. All praise be
to Him who has regarded the acknowledgment of the failure to
thank Him properly as showing him gratitude