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Accountability of the religious scholars and its severity

From: Usul al-Kafi

97 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Seventy sins of an uninformed person will be forgiven before one single sin of a learned person (is forgiven).
98 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Prophet Isa (Jesus) (p) said: Woe be unto the wrong-doing scholar! How severely the flames of Hell will envelop him.
99 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) pointing his hand towards his throat: When the last breath reaches here, the time for repentance for the learned man will be over.
Then the Imam (p) quoted the verse: “Verily, God would accept the repentance of those who commit wrong deeds in ignorance and then are quick to repent…” (Q, 4:17)
100 Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p) Commenting on the verse: “Then they will all be thrown headlong therein (Hell) along with their followers who went astray” (Q, 26:94) said: There are people who speak highly about equity and justice in mere words and then act against it.

Gems strewn
101 Imam Ali (p): Refresh your minds with marvels of wisdom, because minds too get tired as your bodies do.
102 Imam Ali (p): O seeker of knowledge! Numerous are the advantages of knowledge. The head of knowledge (if knowledge is personified as a human being) will be humility; its eyes will be immune from jealousy; its ears will be understanding (the truth and justice); its tongue will be truthfulness; its security lies in visiting the learned scholars; its ambitions will be to establish (universal) peace; its wisdom will be piety; salvation will be its final abode; its health will be its leader; faithfulness will be its mount; sweet talk will be its ammunition; its sword will be the acceptance of the Will and Pleasure of God; its bow (and arrow) will be sympathy and hospitality; its army will be its good manners; its treasures will be its refraining from sins; its sustenance will be its good manners; its meekness will be its beverage (to quench its thirst during its journey); its guide will be the Divine Guidance and its comrades will be the love of virtues.
103 Prophet Muhammad (p): The most able adviser for the faithful is knowledge, the noblest adviser of knowledge is forbearance, the best adviser of forbearance is kindness, and the most competent adviser of kindness is patience.
104 A believer asked Prophet Muhammad (p): O Prophet of God, what is knowledge?
The Prophet (p): Silence (refraining from unnecessary gossip).
The Believer: Then what?
The Prophet (p): To listen (to the learned).
The Believer: Then what?
The Prophet (p) said: To memorize (what he has heard).
The Believer: Then what?
The Prophet (p): Act on it.
The Believer: Then what?
The Prophet (p): To disseminate it.
105 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Anyone who memorizes forty of our traditions, God will raise him as a scholar of religious jurisprudence.
106 Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): In a doubtful case, it is better to wait and think, than to take any hasty decision. It is better to abandon a tradition, which, in your opinion is not correctly reported, than to narrate it without verification.
107 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Regarding what you do not know out of what has come down to you (the Noble Quran), you must try to keep silent. (Or else) refer the same for confirmation to the divinely guided Imams (p), so that they may lead you to the correct interpretation. They will also dispel its obscurity and make you aware of the truth.
Then the Imam (p) quoted the verse: “…Ask the people of understanding in case you do not know” (Q, 16:43)
108 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): I find the knowledge of all men divided in four categories: Firstly, realization of your Lord; secondly, to acknowledge all His favours to you; thirdly, to understand your obligation towards Him; and fourthly, to know what banishes you from the folds of your religion.
109 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Assess the status of people on the basis of the frequency of their quoting our traditions.

Quoting Books and Traditions
110 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) commenting on the verse: “…Who hear advice and follow the best thereof…” (Q, 39:18) said: It is the person who hears the tradition and conveys it to others without tampering with it.
111 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) was told by a narrator of tradition: May I elaborate or abridge the traditions slightly (which I hear from you) while conveying it to others?
The Imam (p) said: There is no harm in it so long as you keep the meaning and substance of the traditions unchanged.
112 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) was told by a believer: I hear something from you and then attempt to convey it exactly as I have heard but I fail.
The Imam (p): Do you do it intentionally?
The Believer: No.
The Imam (p): Do you intend to convey the real intention?
The Believer: Yes.
The Imam (p): Then, there is no harm.
113 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p) was told by a narrator of traditions: I hear traditions from you but I narrate them (to others) on the authority of your father (Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p)). Again, I hear traditions from your father but narrate them to others on your authority.
The Imam (p): Both ways it is correct. There is nothing wrong in it. But I shall appreciate if you narrate the traditions on the authority of my father. …
114 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Put it in writing because you may not remember it (unless you write it down).
115 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Treasure your books because you will always be in need of them.
116 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): Write down and spread your knowledge among your brethren. When you die, your progeny will inherit your writings. Certainly people will face a period of tension and unrest and they will not be convinced without their books.
117 Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p): My words are the words of my father, and the words of my father are the words of my grandfather, and the words of my grandfather are the words of my great-grandfathers, Imam al-Hasan (p) and Imam al-Husayn (p), and their words are the words of Imam Ali (p), and the words of Imam Ali (p) are the words of Prophet Muhammad (p), and (finally) the words of Prophet Muhammad (p) are the words of God – the Almighty, the Great.
118 Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (p) was told by some prominent narrators of traditions: May our lives be sacrificed for you, our elders (whom we follow in quoting traditions) narrated the traditions on the authority of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p), and Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (p), and due to the conditions prevailing in those days they used to observe Taqiyyah (prudential concealment of religious beliefs). Hence, they used to conceal their records and consequently they have never quoted from them. Now they are no more and that concealed literature has now come to our hands.
The Imam (p) said: Now narrate this literature since it is quite authentic.

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