Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.), the World and the Hereafter
Compiled by: Allama Husayn Ansariyan
Ahl al-Bayt were extremely active in all aspects of life for the good of this world and the Hereafter and did not give up the struggle. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said: Do not be lazy in earning a living, for our forefathers were running after it while seeking it.
Amir al-Muminin, Imam Ali has reported: Once in Medina, I became very hungry and to find a job, I went to the vicinity of Medina when I saw a woman gathering a lump of clay to be mixed with water. I went to her and agreed that for each bucket of water, she would give me a date. Hence, I filled sixteen buckets with water in a way my hands were blistered. I washed my hands and went to the woman and said: “See the blisters in the palms of my hands!” The woman gave me sixteen dates and I went to see the Holy Prophet to whom I told the story and he shared the dates with me.221
Abdullah ibn Hasan says: By Allah (I swear), Ali set free one thousand slaves in the way of Allah with the wage he had earned with blisters in the palms of his hand and the sweat of forehead.222
Abd al-Ala says: On a hot day of summer, I met Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) who was working hard. I said, “May I be your ransom! You have a high rank before Allah; why are you giving yourself so much trouble?” The Imam said, “O Abd al-Ala! I have come out seeking my daily bread so as to be independent of your like.”223
Ali ibn Hamzah says: I saw Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) working on a farmland. While his two feet were soaked with sweat, I said, “May I be your ransom! Where are your men?” He said, “One who was better than my father and me worked with his hands on this farmland.” I asked who he was. The Imam replied, “Allah’s Messenger, Amir al-Muminin and my forefathers who worked with their hands. This is the duty of the Prophets, Messengers, their successors and the righteous ones.”224
Ahl al-Bayt, in addition to working hard for earning a living, were working hard for the Hereafter so much so that no one could be their equal in terms of praying and spirituality. They encouraged their followers to pray and act piously; they considered salvation in the Hereafter contingent on submission to Allah and prayer and bewared them of desiring for salvation without having piety and fear of Allah.
Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has been quoted by Jabir al-Jufi to say: O Jabir, do you think that it is sufficient for those who claim being Shia to say that they cherish us; the Prophet’s Household? By Allah I swear, our Shia are only those who fear and obey Allah. Their signs are modesty, submission, fulfillment of the trusts, very much reference to Allah, fasting, offering prayers, piety to (their) parents, aiding the neighbors especially the poor, the destitute, the indebted, and the orphans, truth, reciting the Quran, and avoiding mentioning people except for praising. In addition, they are the most trustful of the people of their tribes.
I said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Today, we do not know anyone who is having all these features.” The Imam said: No, Jabir. Do not misunderstand the matter. Is it enough for a man to claim that he loves and follows Ali? If he claims that he loves the Prophet (S), who is preferable to Ali (a.s.), but he does not follow his traditions and does not act upon his instructions, his claim will be definitely useless. Hence, you should fear Allah and work for the cause of obtaining that which He has in possession. There is no relation between Allah and anybody. The most favorable and honorable servants of Allah are the most fearing and pious.
O Jabir, the only means through which a servant seeks to gain Allah’s favor is obedience to Him. We - the Prophet's Household - do not carry a patent for saving from Hell. Likewise, none of you has a claim against Allah. He who obeys Allah is only our disciple and whoever disobeys Him is our enemy. The loyalty to us cannot be gained except by means of diligent work and piety.225
Addressing Fudhayl, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said: Send greetings to our friends and say: We cannot remove Allah’s chastisement unless you adopt piety. Therefore, hold your tongues, cease to commit any sin, be patient and perform prayer, for Allah is with the patient.226
Imam al-Sadiq has said: O Shiite community! Be an ornament for us! Do not do anything indecent! Speak to men good words! Hold your tongues! Avoid being talkative and using a foul language.227
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) further says: O son of Jundab! Convey our message to our followers and say to them: Let not other trends mislead you, for, by Allah, our friendship cannot be attained save by piety and hard work in the world as well as sympathy with brothers-in-faith. One who oppresses people is not our follower.228
Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) say: Committing sins and indecent acts are features of our enemies. Our followers avoid such things. The Shiites are neither usurers nor usurpers; they are neither adulterers nor thieves; they are neither traitors nor breakers of promise; they are neither oppressors nor deniers of people's rights; they are neither tormentors of their wives nor tormentors of their children, they neither break anyone's heart nor slander people.
What Ahl al-Bayt taught people specially their followers who believed in Allah, giving people their due rights, practicing according to the Holy Quran, following the Holy Prophet, obeying his rightful successors and keeping away from all sins. Addressing Abd al-Adhim al-Tasani, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said: Convey my greetings to my friends and say to them: Expel Satan from yourselves. Be honest and truthful. Avoid idle talks and keep silent. Visit each other most often. By this, you can attain nearness to me. Avoid dispersion and don't vex others.229
Ahl al-Bayt have always warned their followers against committing sin and oppression, saying: Beware of sins, for whoever commits sin will be unjust to himself.
The only way to avoid loss and perdition is to follow Ahl al-Bayt, which entails Allah’s pleasure, Ahl al-Bayt’s intercession as well as happiness in this world and the hereafter.
In a letter to the Shiite community, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has given important guidelines on ideological, moral and social issues as well as family life, peaceful coexistence in this world and issues related to the hereafter the excerpts of which are as follow: Know that none of the Allah’s creatures including Archangels and Prophets can remove an iota of Allah’s punishment from you. Therefore, anyone who wishes to benefit from the Intercessors’ mediation should ask Allah to be pleased with him. Be it known to you that none of Allah’s creatures won His pleasure save by obedience to Him, His Messenger and the Imams from the Household of Prophet Muhammad. Disobedience to them is as disobedience to Allah; hence, their virtues should not be denied.230
221. Man-La-Yahdhuruhul-Faqih: 157/3, H. 3575
222. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 286/1
223. Al-Gharat: 91/1
224. Al-Kafi: 75/5, H. 10
225. Al-Kafi: 74/2, H. 3
226. Daa’im al-Islam: 133/1
227. Al-Amali: 400, H. 17
228. Tuhaf al-Uqul: 303
229. Al-Ikhtisas: 247
230. Al-Kafi: 11/8, H. 1