The Principle of Mutual Support and Aid
By: Ayatullah Shaheed Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim
Muslims in general and faithful believers in particular are required to support and aid each other. As has been previously cited, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is authentically reported to have said: Muslims are brothers of each other. They neither wrong, nor disappoint, nor betray each other. The duties that are incumbent on Muslims towards each other are to exert effort in communication, agree on mutual sympathy, treat the needy as they treat themselves, and empathize with one another. If you abide by this, you will be exactly as Almighty Allah has ordered you to be: compassionate towards each other, merciful towards one another, regretful about missing any opportunity to help a brethren-in-faith, just like the conduct of the Ansar during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (S).13
Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying: Whoever hears someone calling for the help of Muslims but fails to respond to him, is not actually a Muslim.14
Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported to have said: He who does not care about the affairs of Muslims is not Muslim.15
Enjoining the Right and Forbidding the Wrong
In its capacity as one of the greatest divinely commissioned obligations and the highest and most honorable duties, the principle of enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong has been defined and introduced by traditions as: …The course of prophets and the manner of the righteous.
It is a great duty through which other duties are carried out, routes are secured, earnings are made legal, aggressions are warded off, lands are nurtured, enemies are retaliated, and all affairs set aright.16
The Principle of Thinking Well of Others
Another principle of social relations is having good thoughts about others, assuming the best about the conduct of ones brethren-in-faith, closing one’s eyes to their flaws, and concealing the defects of others to bind the social structure and prevent any cracks from appearing in it. On the authority of his infallible fathers, Imam al-Baqir (‘a) has quoted Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful (‘a), as saying: Assume the best possible about the deed of your brother-in-faith unless you see in him something that tears down your assumption. Never deem evil any word uttered by your brother-in-faith as long as you can find an acceptable excuse for it.17
Abu-Basir has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying: Do not scrutinize people lest you remain friendless.18
Al-®ahhak ibn Mukhallad has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying: It is unfair to demand friends to be fair (with you).19
The Principle of Consultation
Social relations in Islam are built up by seeking the counsel of other Muslims and making use of their experience and opinions and by sharing your experiences and affectionately advising them about performing certain acts.
Abu-Hurayrah has reported that he heard the Holy Prophet (S) saying: Seek the guidance of the reasonable and do not disregard their advice, lest you regret.20
Sulayman ibn Khalid has reported that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) saying: Seek the advice of reasonable and pious men, because they order you only towards good. Beware of defying them, because to defy reasonable and pious men brings about corruption in religious and worldly affairs.21
Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) is also reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (S) as saying: Seeking the counsel of wise well-wishers is a sign of judiciousness, blessing, and guidance to success by Almighty Allah, so if a wise well-wisher gives you advice, beware of defiance lest you come upon destruction.22
The qualifications of a true advisor specified by the Holy Legislator are rationality, piety, confidentiality and soundness of character.
Al-Halabi has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying: Surly, seeking of advice must be within limits; therefore, if one ignores (or violates) these limits, the harm will be more than the benefit. The first of these limits is that the consultant must be wise. The second is that he must be honorable and devout. The third is that he must be a brotherly friend. The fourth is that when you tell him about your secret, he must understand it exactly as you have explained and then he must keep it in confidence. If the advisor is wise, you will then benefit from his advice. If he is honorable and devout, he will make all possible efforts to give you the best advice. If he is your brotherly friend, then he will conceal your secret after you reveal it to him. If he understands your secret as you do, then he will give perfect counsel and advice.23
13. - Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:542, H. 2.
14. - Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:108, S. 59, H. 1.
15. - Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:559, H. 1, S. 18.
16. - Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 11:595, H. 6, S. 1.
17. - Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Kafi 2:362, H. 3; Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Amali, pp. 380, H. 483; ‘Allamah al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 75: 196, H. 11 as quoted from the previous reference books.
18. - Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:458, H. 2, S. 56.
19. - Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:458, H. 3, S. 56.
20. - Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:409, H. 1, S. 9.
21. - Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:426, H. 5.
22. - Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:426, H. 6.
23. - Al-Hurr al-’Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 8:426-427, H. 8.