Sincerity of Action
Source: Ain-al-Hayat, By: Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi
The Prophet of Islam (S) has said, “O Abu Dharr! Happy are the people who shun the world and have their attention riveted on the Hereafter! They consider the place for taking rest and the dust their linen. They consider water as a substitute for fragrance. They feel that the Holy Book is their raiment and supplication their garment! They think that their harvest for the Hereafter is the good deeds and the worldly harvest is their wealth and the progeny! One who strives for the Hereafter, Allah will provide him the means of Salvation! To the contrary, one who strives only for the worldly gains, he will be in the same predicament as the Satan. He will not reap any benefits in the Hereafter.”
This highlights that the actions of the hypocrites, who do good deeds to get the appreciation of the people, will get adulation and benefits in this world only and no rewards in the Hereafter. The persons whose actions are sincere, might not get any appreciation from their compatriots in this world. However, compensation and reward awaits them in the Hereafter.
It has been narrated in the traditions that when a mu’min attains a high level of piety, he stops getting dreams during his sleep.
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) says that no one thanks a mu’min for his good deeds. He may not become popular among his fellow men because he is not interested in such popularity. His aim is only to please Allah. and his good deeds are always destined towards the Heaven. On the other hand, the good deeds of an unbeliever only receive the appreciation of his fellow men. The reason for this is that he does good deeds to please other men.
Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) narrates that the people didn’t thank the Prophet of Allah (S) for his kindness and, to the contrary, they used to repudiate his commandments. Similarly they refuse to obey us, the Ahl-ul-Bayt. Also, the good deeds of our Shi’a mu’mins don’t get any appreciation from others. Despite their good deeds, people are antagonistic towards them. The hardships caused by people to Yahya bin Zakaria (as), ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (as) and Husayn bin ‘Ali (as) illustrate the hardships inflicted by people on them.
A tradition highlights that recitation of the Qur’an is superior to the recitation of the supplications. It is strongly exhorted that one should cultivate the habit (Sha-aar) of reciting the Qur’an. Sha-aar is the garment that is worn outside and dua (supplication) is like the under-garment. that is closer to his self. Man can make access to either the Qur’an or to supplication, as per his wish.
The pious people will not derive so much salvation from supplications than those who cry and lament.
It is said: The wise among mu’mins are those who remember death and prepare well for it.
It is narrated that a person brought 12 Dirhams to the Prophet of Allah (S) as a gift. The Prophet (S) told to Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as), “O ‘Ali (as)! Buy a cloak for me from these Dirhams.” Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) went to the market and brought a very fine cloak from there. The Prophet (S) said that he didn’t want to wear the expensive cloak and asked him to fetch one not so costly.
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) returned the cloak to the shop and fetched back the 12 Dirhams to the Prophet (S). The Prophet (S) himself went out to buy a cloak. On the way he found a woman crying. He went near her and asked why she was crying. She said that her master had given her four Dirhams to buy some merchandise. She had lost the money on the way and was worrying what reply she could give to her master for the loss. The Prophet (S) gave her four Dirhams and proceeded further. He selected a cloak worth four Dirhams and started back for home.
On the way he met an old Dervish who was dressed in tatters and was begging for a new set of dress. The Prophet (S) gave him his new cloak. When he went further he once again found the same maid crying bitterly. When he inquired the reason for her crying, she said that it was quite some time that she left home and was now worried what reply she would give to her master for the delay. The Prophet (S) said, “I shall accompany you to your master’s house.” When they reached the destination, the master said, “O Prophet (S)! Why did you take the trouble of coming? I not only condone her delay, but I set her free from today!” The Prophet (S) said, “How auspicious were the Dirhams of that virtuous man that they fulfilled the need of a needy person, a person in tatters got a new dress and a slave maid earned her freedom!”
The Prophet of Islam (S) said, “O Abu Dharr! I swear by Allah’s Greatness that He has told me that a mu’min who cried in prayer would be provided a palace in the Heaven the like of which will not be provided to none other than the prophets (S)!” “O Abu Dharr! The sign of a man of piety is that he prostrates in recognition of Allah’s Greatness and cries.” Giria? or crying is of different types:
Giria while praying for increase in the means of livelihood.
Giria to be spared from getting consigned to the Hell on account of the sins committed.
Giria while supplicating to Allah for award of a place in the Heaven.
Giria for attaining nearness to Allah. Such a person loves Allah although the materialistic life has created a distance between the creature and the Creator! This Giria is the noblest of all other types.
“O Abu Dharr! If one keeps Allah in view while performing any act, and performs it to earn the pleasure of the Creator, even to the extent of taking a morsel of food with the thought that the energy derived would enable him to offer prayer to Him! It would be the greatest of the acts of piety when a person does everything with the sole purpose of earning the pleasure of Allah!”
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) has said, “Blessed and worthy of a hundred praises are those creatures of Allah who are not known to the people nor they strive to gain popularity in the society. Only such persons are recognized by Allah. He will give them Reward for their noble intent. These people are the beacons of the path of righteousness. Their hearts are radiant with the light of faith. They fully understand the futility and transience of the world. They strive to attain the Heaven and cry with the fear of the Hell. O Abu Dharr! Belief in the existence of the Heaven and the Hell is mandatory. Denying their existence is heresy and infidelity.”
One heretic asked some questions of Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as).
The First Question: How is it possible that the fruit trees in the Heaven would continuously bear fruit despite the inmates consuming them copiously?
Answer: The Imam (as) Said: It is like lighting thousands of lamps from one lamp and the light of the first lamp doesn’t diminish.
The Second Question: It is believed that people will not defecate in the Heaven. Then what will happen to the offal?
Answer: The Imam (as) Said, “The excreta will be discharged from the bodies in the form of fragrant perspiration.”
Hearing these replies the infidel embraced Islam.
Someone asked Bilal(r.a.) a question about the Heaven. Bilal(r.a.) said: I have heard the Prophet of Allah (S) say that the compound wall of the Heaven is built of gold, silver and bricks of precious stones mixed with musk, ambergris and saffron. The Heaven has several gateways. The gate called “the Gate of Blessings” is made of red rubies. The Gate of Forbearance is made of yellow rubies. The Gate of Thankfulness is made of white rubies. The biggest and the most imposing gate to the Heaven will be used only by the revered persons who spent their entire lives in prayer of Allah. At this gate there are canals from where the men of piety (Mu’mineen) will go sightseeing in boats. Allah will provide opportunities to all the mu’mins to qualify for entry into the Heaven.
Abu Salat Harwi asked Imam Ar-Ridha’ (as), “O son of the Prophet (S)! Do the Heaven and the Hell exist now?”
The Imam (as) replied, “Without any doubt!”
Abu Salat said, “People say that Allah will create the Heaven and the Hell and that they don’t exist now!”
The Imam (as) replied, “He who says so is not one of us! The Prophet (S), on the night of Me’raj (the Night of the Holy Prophet’s Accession), traveled through the Heaven and saw the Hell!” Then the Imam (as), referring to several verses of the Holy Book and the Traditions proved that denying the existence of the Heaven and the Hell would be tantamount to not believing in the Qur’an, the Prophet (S) and his Vicegerents. A person who holds such disbelief is a kafir and infidel.