Fighting Bad Habits
The state of anger is one of the most dangerous states that overtake man and if he is unable to control himself in this condition he is likely to become almost a lunatic whereby he fails to check himself. Consequently he commits such serious deeds that can put him to a life long shamefulness and restlessness. Islamic traditions have censured this state of mind. We suffice here with the following few:
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Anger destroys the heart of a wise man.
And he also said: One who is unable to control his anger also fails to maintain his wisdom.
He is a so reported to have said: Anger is the key of every evil.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) is reported to have said: Furious behaviour is a kind of madness because a furious man feels ashamed and if he does not become ashamed it shows that his madness has become deep rooted.
Imam Baqir (a.s.) said: Verily an angry man does not become pleased until he enters fire.
That is, he does indecent works in a fit of anger. Sometimes he commits murder or puts false allegation on a faithful man thereby inviting Gods anger.
Perhaps that is why the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said: Anger spoils faith just as vinegar spoils honey.
It is likely that here the reader may be inclined to ask if anger is so much condemned in the philosophy of Islam then why at all God Almighty has created such an instinct in man’s nature?
In reply it must be said that anger in itself, like all other natural instincts in their selves, like passion, desire, self-respect … is not only not condemned in Islam but is also considered desirable in some situations. But what has been censured in Islam is inability to control instincts one of which is also anger. So also the taking of undue benefit from conditions like being angry, for the sake of worldly affairs material things.
Scholars of the science of morals also have expressed their view about anger. They have divided anger in three categories:
A: Tafreet in anger meaning the hearts being totally empty of the instinct of anger.
B: Ifraat in anger, meaning the instinct of anger is so intense it may deprive man of intelligence and religion.
C: Etedall in anger means moderation wherein man is able to benefit from this power in appropriate situations when it becomes essential to become angry. So also he is able to control his anger when it is inappropriate to be angry. This is a desirable state concerning which Allah says to His Prophet (s.a.w.s.): O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them.
And doubtlessly, harshness and unyieldingness are the signs of the faculty of anger.
In another verse He says: and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day.
Further regarding the attribute of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) says: Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves…
And it is recorded from the Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.): The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) did not ever become angry for this world, and whenever he became angry for the sake of truth, he never recognised anyone and never slackened his anger until he helped him who was truthful.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has also said: My best follower is the one who is furious for the sake of religion.
Summary: The reality of anger, the faculty that God has created in man’s nature is very praiseworthy. But man must control himself so as not to get out of what is truth. Amr bin Aas asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.): Should we note down whatever you says while you are calm and also when you are in anger? The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied: Do write. By the one who made me His Apostle nothing comes out of my mouth except what is true.
In other words, God Almighty has created in man what is needed for his development and perfection. But being benefited from it depends on the training that must be under the supervision of the divine guides. Otherwise man grows like grass, plunges into the sea of passions and desires thereby losing his precious faculties. Negative attitude grows in him. Therefore, if the above-mentioned condition is fulfilled he developed the positive aspects mentioned in the Holy Quran. The Quran says: Surely man is created of a hasty temperament; being greatly grieved when evil afflicts him, and niggardly when good befalls him, except those who pray.
Whatever sin is committed by us gets committed by us is either because we do not know its evil or we are yet unable to build our character. What can be done in order prevent this disease is as described below:
A: Hadiths or narrations or traditions regarding the evil of anger should be studied attentively to become aware of its dangerous consequences.
B: We must also study the traditions regarding patience and forbearance and keeping control over anger and think deeply about its results for example:
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said: God has never loved an ignorant person and never humiliated a patient person.
Imam Baqir (a.s.) said: Whoever, despite being able to act with anger controls himself, God fills his heart with peace and faith. It can be gathered from this hadith that suppressing anger is extraordinarily effective in making man spiritually perfect and strong at heart.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: There is no slave of God was controls his anger and God does not increase his honour in this world as well as in the Hereafter. In fact Allah has said: Successful are those who suppress their anger and forgive people and God befriends the good-doers. God gives this reward to them for suppression of anger. He loves them.
C: One should keep in mind the result of anger and that, sometimes, it is likely to end in enmities and quarrels and troubles thereby spoiling man’s personality.
D: It must also be remembered that if man is unable to control his anger, he must subsequently make excuse and will have to be ashamed of his deed and condemn himself.
Imam Baqir (a.s.) says: Feeling ashamed due to pardon is better and easier than the feeling of shame over chastisement and punishment
That is to say, if you have forgiven a man who had oppressed you and thereafter you realised that it was not proper as that person did not get cautioned and so you felt ashamed. This feeling of shame is better and easier than in the case when you punish the oppressor and thereafter realise that it would have been better to forgive him. Hence some scholars have said: Keep away from anger, because surely your anger makes you dishonoured by requiring you to make excuse.
The narration reaching us through the Holy progeny of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) give us other rules also for suppressing anger. For example, when angry, man should sit down if he was standing or shed water on his face or try not to speak.
In summary, we should, in all conditions, especially in the state of anger and excitement, seek Allah’s shelter and pray to Him that by way of the blessings of His pure friends, He protects us from the evil of our own soul.
The hardening of heart
The people in a society can be divided into two kind one group is moderate who except the truth and the another of those whose hearts are full of hardness and Harshness. In this matter the Holy Quran says:
What! is he whose heart Allah has opened for Islam so that he is in a light from his Lord like the hard-hearted? Nay, woe to those whose hearts are hard against the remembrance of Allah; those are in clear error.
Has not the time yet come for those who believe that their hearts should be humble for the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? And that they should not be like those who were given the Book before, but the time became prolonged to them, so their hearts hardened, and most of them are transgressors.
But on account of their breaking their covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard; they altered the words from their places and they neglected a portion of what they were reminded of; and you shall always discover treachery in them excepting a few…
Does God become the cause of someone being hard-hearted?
The answer is certainly in the negative because, in many cases, it is due to their wrong deeds that people deprive themselves of the mercy and guidance of God. In fact, their misdeeds become a fountainhead of mental deviation and demoralisation which renders them unable to save themselves from their ill effects and they are never inclined to accept the truth as the Holy Quran explains:
And We reveal of the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers, and it adds only to the perdition of the unjust.
This is because the unjust oppressors who usually oppress their own selves adopt a wrong meaning effect from the Holy Quran, that is, as a result of their denial, unbelief, oppression and hypocrisy the essence of their being turns into a totally different being and hence they get up to fight with the light of the truth where ever they find it. This fight with truth adds to the dirt and uncleanness of their hearts and strengthens their inclination toward rebellion.
However, the reason why Allah says that He caused the aforesaid misguidance or hard-heartedness or some other evils is that the effect of every cause is as per the Divine wish. This does not negate the freedom and choice of action granted to man because the concerned cause has been provided by man himself. They see what is bound to be seen in a valley wherein they desired to walk.
Signs of Hard-heartedness
In a hadith mentioning Almighty’s Allah’s revelation to Moosa (a.s.) we see: O Moosa ! Do not lengthen they ambitions in this world that may harden your heart. The one whose heart hardens gets away from Me.
And this hard-heartedness resulting from lengthy ambitions and consequent sins becomes even harder than stone as mentioned in the Holy Quran: Then your hearts hardened after that, so that they were like rocks, rather worse in hardness; and surely there are some rocks from which streams burst forth, and surely there are some of them which split asunder so water issues out of them, and surely there are some of them which fall down for fear of Allah, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.
This verse was sent down by God about Bani Israel’s hard-heartedness. They had observed all the miracles from Moosa (a.s.). Their hearts were so stony that no admonition affected their hearts!
The Ugliness of Ignorance, Doubt and Confusion
In the Shariat of Islam it has been ordained that it is the duty of the Islamic society to be either a learning one or a teaching group of people. Ignorance should never take over an Islamic society. The ignorant and ignorance have been severely censured in Islam. In the beginning we must know that the teachers of morals have divided ignorance in two categories: 1- Simple or common
ignorance and 2- Compound ignorance.
Common ignorance means man’s remaining without knowledge. Though this sort of ignorance is not as bad as the compound jahl, the continuance of simple ignorance also results in dangers. The late Naraqi writes in Jami al-Sadat: This ignorance can be removed in three ways:
A: It should be know that an ignorant man is no man at all, because the superiority of man over all other creation is only due to his knowledge. If he has no knowledge, then how is he superior to animals?
B: One should pay attention to what has been said about ignorance in the Shariat of Islam. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) is reported to have said:
There are six groups who will enter hell due to six things even before accounting in the Hereafter and among them are the residents of deserts and villages who will go to hell because of their being ignorant.
C: Quranic verses and the words of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and Imams (a.s.) should be studied and acted upon.
What is meant by compound ignorance is that, despite having no knowledge a man considers himself to be knowledgeable. In other words, he does not know and yet thinks that he knows and is wise. And this kind of ignorance is ailment which is difficult to cure. It is narrated that the Prophet Isa (a.s.) is reported to have said that: Though I cure the illnesses like Akmah and leprosy and blindness I am unable to remedy a fool, because if he believes in falsity, it is very difficult to remove that false belief and to replace it by a true one. This couplet is also very famous:
The one who does not know and yet does not know that he does not know remains in his compound ignorance forever.
Yet, if, even despite this, one prepares himself for getting the knowledge truth, eve if he had understood it wrongly, he is likely to learn the truth sooner.
Doubt and confusion
Doubt and confusion means being unable to extract truth and to reject the untruth and these defects too are considered dangerous for man. But the initial doubt, in the opinion of Martyr Mutahhari (r.a.), is not only not undesirable but is also desirable because it is a means of finding the fact. What has been censured is to continue in doubt, not the doubt itself.
He it is Who created you from clay, then He decreed a term; and there is a term named with Him; still you doubt.
And among men is he who serves Allah standing on the verge, so that if good befalls him he is satisfied therewith, but if a trial afflict him he turns back headlong; he loses this world as well as the hereafter; that is a manifest loss.
The believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Apostle then they doubt not and struggle hard with their wealth and their lives in the way of Allah; they are the truthful ones.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has reportedly said: The best deed in the sight of God is Faith in which there is no doubt.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) has said: Really those who are in doubt and sin are in hell these two are not from us and they do not come toward us.
Hazrat Sadiq (a.s.), while explaining the verse In this way the Lord Almighty puts impurity on these who do not believe says here impurity means doubtfulness.
From these verses we conclude that doubtfulness is very condemnable and it is not compatible with Faith is God and in the Hereafter. Of course, doubt is different from Vaswasaa (enticement) which sometimes is created by satan in the heart of man. So we read in a narration; Someone asked Imam Moosa bin Ja’far (a.s.): and in another instance said: A man asked the Imam: I feel big enticements in my heart. The Imam replied: Say: laa ilaaha illallah or laa hula walaa quwwata illa billah.
Remedy for removing doubtfulness and ignorance
The way of removing this dangerous disease is the tearing apart the veils of ignorance and doubts and implanting Faith and certainty in heart. That is why the scholars of Islam have said that certainty is the opposite of compound ignorance and confusion and doubt. For this reason certainty is considered the best of human virtues. In the Holy Quran also Yaqueen (Certainty) is mentioned as one of the virtues of the Muttaqueen Pious, Mumineen Faithful and Muhsineen Benevolent.
Surah Baqarah: 2, Surah Naml: 3, Luqman: 4.
And we made of them Imams to guide by our command when they were patient, and they were certain of our communications.
Nay! if you had known with a certain knowledge, You should most certainly have seen the hell; Then you shall most certainly see it with the eye of certainty.
Washaa says, he heard from Hazrat Moosa bin Ja’far (a.s.): Eemaan is one stage higher than Islam and Taw is one stage higher than it and Yaqueen is one stage higher than Taw and among people nothing is less distributed than Yaqueen. It is scarce.
Abdullah bin Sanaan says Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said: One of the signs of the correctness of the certainty of a Muslim is that he does not make people happy and glad through Gods anger that is, he does not overlook Gods commandments for pleasing people and he does not rebuke people for what God did not give to him, because, sustenance is not obtained either by the jealousy of a jealous or on his man’s asking. And if anyone of your runs away from his sustenance it follows him just as his death follow him. Then said: and catches hold of him. Then said: God has, due to His justice, kept ease and happiness in Yaqueen certainty of faith and sorrow and grief in doubt and discontent.
Hishaam bin Saalim quotes Imam Sadiq (a.s.): A small but continues virtuous act with Yaqueen is dearer to God than a big deed which is without certainty.
Imam (a.s.) heard the voice of a khaariji who was busy in midnight worship and recitation of the Holy Quran. He told him a sleep with faith is better than a prayer with doubt.
Signs of certainty
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said: one day the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) offered the morning prayers with people. Then his eye fell on a youth who was dozing. His complexion was yellowish and body very thin. His eyes had gone deep in sockets. Addressing him the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: O youth! How you passed your night? He replied: I passed my night in a way which provided me certainty the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) became pleased with his reply and said: Verily every certainty has a reality. What is the reality of your certainty? He answered: O Prophet of Allah! It is the certainty that has made me gloomy. It has made me bear wake fullness during night and the hot sun during days. It has made me disinterested in whatever is there in this world. It has almost enabled me to observe the Throne of Allah as if I am standing in His Presence to account for my deeds that people have gathered all around; as if I am seeing the people of the paradise who are living happily and are reclining on their chairs talking pleasantly with one another and similarly, as if I can also see the people of the hell who are being chastised therein, crying and wailing and as if the nose of the leaping flames of the hell-fire is rigging in my ears. the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: This youth is a slave of Allah whose heart is lit up with the light of Faith. Thereafter, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) himself said to that youth: continue in the state and condition wherein you are now. The youth appealed: O Prophet of Allah! Pray to Allah so that He may grant me martyrdom with your attendants. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) prayed for him and it so happened that after some time that youth, who was fighting a battle along with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) turned out to be the tenth martyr of that Holy war.
The late Naraqi has also described signs of certainty in this background:
A: Man does not pay attention to anything except Allah Who alone is his reliance in every matter for him. He believes that whatever God has destined for him will surely reach him. In this condition he reaches a state when everything becomes equal and same for him whether it is existence or non-existence, less or more, praise or condemnation, poverty or richness, health or illness, honour or disrespect… One day one of his companions told Imam Sadiq (a.s.): I give preference to illness over health and poverty over wealth. The Imam (a.s.) replied: We are not like that. Rather we like all that God likes for us.
B: Man, in all situations, remains happy and pleased and submissive and meek and content before his Lord and continues to perform all of his duties with a pleasant mood because he possesses certainty, he knows his Lord well and is aware of His Greatness, Majesty and Power and also knows that He, the Omniscient knows all, sees all of his movements and actions and inactions including whatever passes in is his heart.
C: One who has certainty is such that his prayers are answered. Rather sometimes his actions are miraculous. The more man’s certainty the more his power grows so much so that at last he is able to rule over matter too in the material world. Once there was a discussion about the walk of Hazrat Isa (a.s.) on water when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: Had his certainty grown further he would have flied in the air also.
Stages or certainty
The wise scholars of Islam have described stages of certainty Yaqueen that are serially as under:
Ilmul Yaqueen is the same solid and sound belief that confirms truth and which can be obtained through arguments.
Ainul Yaqueen means looking at observing the celestial world through the inner eye of the heart. Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) refers to it when he says: I do not adore a god whom I have not seen.
Haqqul Yaqueen which means whenever man sees anything in the world be observes the rays permeating therefrom in such a manner that the relation between the aaquil (wise) and the Maaqool (rational) continues perpetually without break.
Nihayat Darja Haqqul Yaqueen extreme stage of certainty. This is a degree imagined by ahle sulook soofis where in the aarif gnostic considers himself lost in the radiance of God in such a manner that he no more believes in the stability of things. Imagination of such stages are, maybe, easy but it is obvious that it cannot be reached through arguments and evidences. But it needs many kinds of tiring exercises and endeavours for gaining which first of all man has to remove all lowly instincts from his heart and to fill the heart with the angel-like virtues until the heart becomes as bright as a mirror. Then the more clean and bright it becomes the more it is able to attract Divine radiance.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: Had not the satans put doubts in man’s heart he man would have been able to observe the reality of the heaven and the earth.
For reaching the above-mentioned realities and in order to understand it, it is necessary to cross some stages:
The soul of man must have ability.
The heart must become clean. All impurities must be removed.
Man’s mind must not be involved in worldly affairs.
When these stages are reached then he will be able to show tajalliyaat (manifestations) and (Makaashifaat) illuminations.
Kinds of makaashifaat
First: Material physical and natural miracles. It includes information of the hidden which man obtains in the physical world like the science of nature, mathematics, astrology etc…
Second: Perceptions of the heart. These are observations which the Saalik (gnostic) and the Aarif (learned) obtain after crossing the material world and entering the world of Misaal likeness, just as personification of some of the meaning in similar shapes forms in the states of wakefulness. For example, dreams and visions which man sees in his sleep.
Third: Revelations which agnostic gets after passing through the world of Misaal and entering the world of spirits and intelligence. They are called spiritual revelations. This condition is created through the power of spirit soul and its domination in the world. For example proficiency of mind, thoughts, travel on earth or in air or walking on fire, knowledge of future events, appropriation of soul health or illness and control over common thoughts etc…
Fourth: Revelations of the mysteries which are obtained by the gnostic in the world of pure heartedness and the spirit, after passing through soul and majesty like the unfolding of the secrets of the universe of existence and enlightenment on the total meaning and the knowledge of the Noble Names and Attributes of Almighty God.
Fifth: These are revelations which a gnostic gets after perfection and after passing through the stages of selflessness, purity of soul and on reaching the stage of Tawheed-e-Mutlaq absolute monotheism and Baqaa-e-Billaah nearness to God. They are called Personal Revelations like the understanding of the reality of existence and its effects and the order of commandments on earth and the source of Divine decision and the Heavenly will and the fountain of religion and revelation and coverage of all the descending disasters and the quality of the certainty of the novelties and their relation with the Heavens and the unity and oneness and multiplicity and….
From what has been said above it is understood that the spiritual revelations are obtained before entering the world of Godworship and monotheism and they are common for a mo-min and a mushrik and they never prove the perfection nor do they negate non-perfection.
Hatred and animosity
Hiqd (hatred) and Keeneh (animosity) are two sins of the soul which sprout from envy and anger. They have been censured in verses and narrations. Man, sometimes, cultivates hatred and animosity toward the Lord and sometimes toward His creation. Regarding the first kind the Holy Quran says: And they denied them unjustly and proudly while their soul had been convinced of them; consider, then how was the end of the mischief-makers.
And when Allah alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the hereafter shrink, and when those besides Him are mentioned, lo! they are joyful.
That is the reward of the enemies of Allah — the fire; for them therein shall be the house of long abiding; a reward for their denying Our communications.
Whoever thinks that Allah will not assist him in this life and the hereafter, let him stretch a rope to the ceiling, then let him cut it off, then let him see if his struggle will take away that at which he is enraged.
And in the matter of Hiqd and Keenah for the servants of God, the author of Majmaul Bayan says: Doubtlessly, anyone who considers a faithful his enemy because of the latters faith and who desires to harm him is a Al Kafir But if he has animosity for him due to something else then he is a Sinner.
In this connection the Holy Quran says: And those who come after them say: Our Lord! forgive us and those of our brethren who had precedence of us in faith, and do not allow any spite to remain in our hearts towards those who believe, our Lord! Surely Thou art Kind, Merciful.
Narrations in Connection with Hiqd and Keenah
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: A believer is never hateful.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is recorded to have said: A faithful’s animosity or hatred is merely at the time of embroilment and when they get separated nothing remains in his heart but the hatred and animosity of an unbeliever is permanent.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said: Keep away from animosity for others because enmity results in loneliness and in the exposition of man’s defects.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) has said: Root out the evil from others heart by digging out the will from your own heart. That is, if you do not antagonise others will not antagonise you.
Islam has strongly recommended that if someone hurts you forgive him so that is this way animosity and hatred with be removed and difficulties coming in the way of the Islamic society will be rooted out and Muslims may be able to live peacefully and at ease with one another continuously. Of course it is necessary to remind that this recommendation is regarding the Muslims. Otherwise, in case of the disbelievers whose hearts are full of hatred and enmity for Muslims and who are always in await for a chance to hit the Muslims it is not practicable.
As the Holy Quran says: O you who believe! do not take for intimate friends from among others than your own people; they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater still; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you, if you will understand. Lo! you are they who will love them while they do not love you, and you believe in the Book in the whole of it; and when they meet you they say: We believe, and when they are alone, they bite the ends of their fingers in rage against you. Say: Die in your rage; surely Allah knows what is in the breasts. If good befalls you, it grieves them, and if an evil afflicts you, they rejoice at it; and if you are patient and guard yourselves, their scheme will not injure you in any way; surely Allah comprehends what they do.
A warning to the faithful
Almighty Allah cautions the believers in this verse that they should recognise their enemies and should not tell them their secrets. but, alas, many believers in the Quran have neglected this Quranic warning and consequently are suffering all these calamities. Now what troubles the Muslims societies are now facing is only the result of neglecting the Divine commandments. Until the Muslim states and rulers do not come to their senses and do not obey the Quranic commandments bad days will always await them.
As we see today, it is only the consequence of this disregard for the Divine orders and due to distancing themselves from the Quranic directives, that they have thrown themselves in the laps of world imperialism and Zionism. So they have been deprived of their natural resources. Let us hope that the day will soon arrive when they will come to their senses and will know their real enemies, who are the very enemies of Allah. Then only they will get up to retrieve their rights.
It is obvious that undue prejudice exists to some extent among almost all the nations and groups of the world and truth loving people do dislike undue favouritism, be it related to an individual or group or belief. Wise men regard such attitude a proof of the weakness of logic and of inhuman tendency. Such prejudiced people try to present their deeds as proper so that they can cover them in good clothing to make them appear lovely. This type of people make endeavours perhaps to relieve themselves from internal pressure of their soul.
The meaning of prejudice
Prejudice Tassub in the Arabic language is from the root A Sa Ba which means vein nerve. In the past the Arabs used to call every kind of favouritism based on blood-relation Tassub. Their tribes based on such family-relations were also called Usbah. But now, these two wards have lost their limited meaning. That is why they call all false and illogical tendencies Tassub prejudice. Accordingly whenever it is seen that a group be it blood-related or not favours unreasonable or illogical thing it is called prejudiced Usbah.
When those who disbelieved harboured in their hearts feelings of disdain, the disdain of the days of ignorance, but Allah sent down His tranquillity on His Apostle and on the believers, and made them keep the word of guarding against evil, and they were entitled to it and worthy of it; and Allah is Cognisant of all things.
It is not fit for the Prophet and those who believe that they should ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even though they should be near relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are inmates of the flaming fire. And Ibrahim asking forgiveness for his sire was only owing to a promise which he had made to him; but when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he declared himself to be clear of him; most surely Ibrahim was very tender-hearted forbearing.
Regarding the circumstances preceding the revelation of these verses great scholars say:
A group of Muslims inquired from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.): Do you not pray pardon for our forefathers who passed away from this world in the time of ignorance? Then the above verses were revealed and all were cautioned that no one has a right to ask pardon for polytheists and the istigfaar seeking of pardon of Ibrahim (a.s.) for Aazar was during his life time and the intention of Ibrahim (a.s.) was that he might not die as a polytheist. But when he knew that Aazar was an enemy of God and that his Aazars animosity was based on hatred he separated from him and announced his estrangement and aversion.
And when Our communications are recited to them, they say: We have heard indeed; if we pleased we could say the like of it; this is nothing but the stories of the ancients. And when they said: O Allah! if this is the truth from Thee, then rain upon us stones from heaven or inflict on us a painful punishment.
Under the influence of their extreme prejudice and stubbornness they imagined that the Shariat of Islam was hundred percent baseless. Otherwise, anyone in whose mind there is even a little possibility of its being the truth never curses himself like this!
In Majmaul Bayan, below this verse, it is recorded thus from Imam Sadiq (a.s.): after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), in Ghadeer-e-Khum, appointed Ali (a.s.) as his caliph and said Man Kuntu Maulaahu fa Aliyyun Maulahu this problem arose there and Noman bin Haaris Fahri who was a hypocrite approached the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and said: You asked us to give witness to the oneness of the God and to negate the idols and to testify your Prophethood we agreed and complied with. Then you gave us the command regarding jihad and Hajj and fasting and namaz and Sakata and we accepted. But you did not suffice with this and made this boy that is, Ali son of Abu Talib the caliph and said Man Kuntu Maulaahu fa Aliyyun Maulahu. Well, is this the word of your own or is it the Order of Allah?
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: By Allah, except Whom there is no God, this is the order of Allah. Noman who was enraged due to his extreme dislike said: O God! If this is true than send a stone one me from heaven and…. Within no time a stone fell on him and he got killed.
This hadith-e-Ghadeer does not negate that the said verse was revealed in the matter of the unbelievers of Holy Quran because the revelation of this verse was not due to the event O Noman. Rather it was Noman who cursed himself by extracting words from a verse which was revealed earlier. It is just as we extract our prayers from the Holy Quran and, for example, say: When he said to his father and his people: What are these images to whose worship you cleave? They said: We found our fathers worshipping them. He said: Certainly you have been, both you and your fathers, in manifest error.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: The one who resorts to prejudice or who is the subject of prejudice that is, if he is pleased with that prejudicial attitude of others have thrown off the relation of Faith from their hearts.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) is quoted: Anyone who has prejudice in his heart even to the extent of a little mustard seed will be raised by God, with the Bedouins of the days of ignorance.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said: The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) used to seek Gods protection daily from six things: Doubt, polytheism, prejudice, Anger, Rebellion and oppression and Jealousy.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) is reported to have said: Verily God punished six groups due to six qualities: Arab for his prejudice, the rich for their pride, Ameers for their oppression, the Faqueehs for their jealousy and the traders for their dishonesty, and the villagers for their ignorance.
Sinister results of prejudice
If a man shows prejudice or undue love or hatred toward anyone, he does not know the reality, rather, sometimes, he imagines good to be bad and bad to be good. Explaining this attitude in a very fine style, the Holy Quran says: What! Is he whose evil deed is made fair seeming to him so much so that he considers it good? is like the one who is seeking truth?
Wrong prejudices and illogical traditions drag down men to such depths making them blind and deaf that they become lower than animals. An animal has much affection for its offspring in the beginning of life but man’s prejudice crushes his internal instincts to such an extent that child killing appears to him a good deed. Sometimes he enjoys it and shows pride about it. In this respect the Holy Quran says:
And thus their associates have made fair seeming to most of the polytheists the killing of their children…
And also Say: Shall We inform you of the greatest losers in their deeds? These are they whose labour is lost in this worlds life and they think that they are well versed in skill of the work of hands.
Finally man, under the effect of prejudices and multiple ignorance, falls in wrong alleys in such a way that he thinks he is doing good but, really does not know that he has ignited a fire and is burning both himself and the society in its flames. Currently the problem of prejudice is clearly observed between groups and parties and institutions: it is probable that we also do what the polytheists and the idol-worshippers do. May Allah save from it.
Here a question arises: is there, in Islam, any prejudice that can be considered as permissible and desirable? In reply we say: no According to Islam one indulges in prejudice when he follows a group unreasonably and when he knows that groups is working on wrong lines. Otherwise, if man follows pious and suitable persons, it is not only no prejudice but rather Islam has encouraged such deed, When somebody asked Ali bin Husain (a.s.) about prejudice he said: Sinful prejudice is when man considers that the evil fellows belonging to his folk are better than the gentlemen of the other folk. But loving ones community is no prejudice. Helping ones community in oppression is part of prejudice.
Weakness of Ambition and its Harms
Islamic programme encourages man that he should have high spirit and must not limit his ambitions merely to the low affairs of this world. He should look at this vast universe with a wide vision. It is the different views that make the thoughts and deeds of people different. For example, the vision of a materialist man is limited to the world of matter that results in his thoughts remaining limited to the material world. So for fulfilling his material objects he indulges in anything, so much so that he considers impermissible things also to be lawful.
But in the view of a God worshipping man who believes that he is the vicegerent of God and that the Lord creator has not created him for a short worldly life but, that he is eternal; that in relation with the eternal world this earthly world is like a drop of water compared to an ocean. Naturally the one who looks at this world and its Creator in this way possesses radiant thinking, lofty courage, deeds which please God and an attitude which is humane. Here we point out to some Quranic verses and traditions censuring coward people having low level thoughts:
Do you seek goods of this worlds life! But with Allah there are abundant gains.
You desire the frail goods of this world, while Allah desires for you the hereafter.
And do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this worlds life
A ra za a term in this verse means a thing that is not permanent. Linguists use this word as a simile to show the things which, in themselves, have no stability and their existence is dependent on other things, for example, colour, taste etc…
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) is reported to have said: Beware! This world has already turned away its face and nothing except the leftover has remained like the left ever in a vessel that is being thrown away.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) has said: Your world, in my eyes, is less precious than a leaf that is being chewed by a grasshopper. Ibid.
Also he has said: By God! Your world is, in my view, less valuable than a bone of swine in the hand of a leper.
Also Ali (a.s.) has said: They are racing with one another for this lowly of life of this world and are rushing to a foul-smelling corpse like dogs!
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) has also said: In the past I had a brother-in-Faith who hated this world so much that it made him precious in my eyes.
He has also said: Look at this worldly material life like those who are not interested therein and turn away from it like the truthfuls.
And, with a view to enlarge the viewpoint of people who may not stare at the world, the Holy Quran says:
If you desire this worlds life and its adornment, then come, I will give you a provision and allow you to depart a goodly departing And if you desire Allah and His Apostle and the latter abode, then surely Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a mighty reward.
And whoever desires — the gain of this world, We give him of it, and in the hereafter he has no portion.
And were it not that all people had been a single nation, We would certainly have assigned to those who disbelieve in the Beneficent God to make of silver the roofs of their houses and the stairs by which they ascend. And the doors of their houses and the couches on which they recline, And other embellishments of gold; and all this is naught but provision of this worlds life, and the hereafter is with your Lord only for those who guard against evil.
And sometimes, asserts thus to those who are staring at the world and who have tied their ambitions with it:
And this worlds life is naught but a play and an idle sport and certainly the abode of the hereafter is better for those who guard against evil; do you not then understand?
And this life of the world is nothing but a sport and a play; and as for the next abode, that most surely is the life — did they but know.
Know that this worlds life is only sport and play and gaiety and boasting among yourselves, and a vying in the multiplication of wealth and children, like the rain, whose causing the vegetation to grow, pleases the farmers, then it withers away so that you will see it become yellow, then it becomes dried up and broken down; and in the hereafter is a severe chastisement.
LB AB play is an action that has a sort of imaginary system and concord like a child’s play or game. The worldly life is a play because it is transient and goes away soon just like the child’s play which initially attracts a lot of attraction of the child but thereafter it ends totally very soon and the children disperse leaving all attachments. All the ambitions of people for achieving which they race with one another and for which the oppressors harass others and battle with them ambitions like wealth, wives, children power and position, ownership etc. Really all of these ambitions are imaginary mirages. It is so because man owns them only in his imagination and superstition. He never owns them really. In other words man longs for them only due to his low ambitions and aimlessness. But the eternal life of the Hereafter which man gains through Faith and good deeds is indeed precious. In that eternal life of the Hereafter there is no place for neglect or vanity or playfulness. It is a life without end. It has taste but no grief and good fortune without in luck and adversity.
The above quoted Holy verse has name the worldly life play and game. The word haazihi this in this verse indicates its lowliness. It enlightens us that life is only the life in the hereafter as it is real.
The divine scholar Sheikh Bahai (r.a.) says: the five attributes of men mentioned in this verse show that they are related serially or respectively to the stages of his life. In his childhood man is very fond of games and plays. When he reaches the age of adolescence he busies himself with amusing activities. After further growth he adores beauties and ornaments and costly clothes and tall building etc. then when he becomes still older he takes pride in his lineage and progeny and increase in wealth and children etc.
In conclusion, being content only with this worldly life and doing anything for its attainment is the work only of low-ambitioned men. A man of Faith must always be lofty. He should remember that Allah has made him His vicegerent. So he must never bow before any power but Allah and must never extend his hand for asking except toward the Almighty Lord. We must also know that this world is to come to end very soon; that what is to remain is the world of the Hereafter after death. Therefore we must endeavour to get it so as to reach the stage of Rizwanu minallahi Akbar the greatest achievement is the pleasure of Only One God.
Extravagance and squandering
Islam has strongly censured extravagance and squandering. Here are some verses from the Holy Quran: And He it is Who produces gardens of vine, trellised and untrellised, and palms and seed-produce of which the fruits are of various sorts, and olives and pomegranates, like and unlike; eat of its fruit when it bears fruit, and pay the due of it on the day of its reaping, and do not act extravagantly; surely He does not love the extravagant.
And give to the near of kin his due and to the needy and the wayfarer, and do not squander wastefully. Surely the squanderers are the fellows of the Shaitans and the Shaitan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
Difference between extravagance (Israaf) and squandering (Tabzeer):
Tabzeer means spending something aimlessly or wrong fully, that is senselessly. For example, burning wood unnecessarily. In other words, Tabzeer is to spend money in a wrong way even if it is less. But if money is spent aimfully it is not tabzeer even if it is more.
Explaining the above verse Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says: one who spends money in a way which is not is obedience to God has committed Tabzeer. One who spends in the Path of Allah is a moderate man.
But Israaf is to spend extremely.
Ameerul Mo-mineen (a.s.) said: Give up Israaf for the sake of economy and moderation.
So also Ali (a.s.) said: One who is moderate in his spending does not face a hard life and he will not become poor.
When Allah desires good for a family He makes them moderate in their expenses.
When someone asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) about the verse he closed his fist and said: It should not be such that you never open it. Then, as for the latter part of the verse, he opened his hand??wife and said: Also do not open it totally so as to spend in any manner.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is recorded to have said: O Ubaid! Israaf brings in poverty and moderation causes richness and needlessness
It is written that one day Imam Sadiq (a.s.) called for Ratb (fresh dates) for eating. It was brought. Then some of his companions ate the dates and threw the seeds away. The Imam (a.s.) said: Do not do like this as it is Tabzeer and Allah does not like Fasaad (decay).
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), while passing by a road, saw one of his companions, Saad, performing wuzu. He was waiting more water. So the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: Why are you wasting water, O Saad Saad asked: Is there any Israaf in utilising water also? The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied: Yes, even if it is at the bank of a river.
Islam has praised and valued continence and reasonable spending. Obviously a contented man never becomes poor so as to extend a hand for seeking help from others thereby degrading his position.
The verses of the Holy Quran and traditions of the Holy progeny of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) have ordered us not to pay attention to the rich and powerful people as doing so pushes man down from his spiritual status.
Do not strain your eyes after what We have given certain classes of them to enjoy, and do not grieve for them, and make yourself gentle to the believers.
Let not then their property and their children excite your admiration; Allah only wishes to chastise them with these in this worlds life and that their souls may depart while they are unbelievers.
Imam Baqir (a.s.) said: Refrain from looking at the one whose life from material viewpoint is richer than yours because, God Almighty has repeatedly said numerousness of their wealth and children must not make your admire them and has again said: do not look to the bounties we have given to a group of them. If their lives detract your attention, then look at the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) because the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) bread was of barley and his food of dates and…
Advantage of consultation and condemnation of despotism
The subject of seeking advice is of much importance in Islam. Notwithstanding the divine revelation, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had so strong intelligence that he never needed any advice. Yet, in order to make Muslims realise the value of importance of counselling so that they may make it a part of their basic programme of life and, from another angel, with a view to increase the power of thinking in people, he used to call advisory councils for consulting Muslims in common affairs of enforcing divine commands not legislation. He was giving more importance especially to the views of wise person to such an extent that in some matters he even used to give up his own thought and accept that of the advisors. so we find such examples in the battle of Uhad. It can be said that one of the factors causing the success of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) in furthering the Islamic objects and aims was this consultation.
Just think of five things in this connection:
Verses and traditions regarding consultation (Shooraa).
With what kind of persons consultation can be done?
Fruitful results of consultation.
Duty of the adviser.
Censure of dictatorship or despotism
Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you; pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel with them in the affair; so when you have decided, then place your trust in Allah; surely Allah loves those who trust.
And those who respond to their Lord and keep up prayer, and their rule is to take counsel among themselves, and who spend out of what We have given them.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: When your rulers are your good persons and your wealthy person s are generous and when your affairs are carried out through consultations, the back of earth is better for you than its belly that is your life is worthwhile. But if your statesmen are bad persons and your rich men are stingy and if you do not consult one another in your affairs, then the belly of earth is better for you than its surface back.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) says in one of his sermons: No support is more satisfying than consultation.
Imam Baqir (a.s.) said: The one who does not consult becomes worried, the poverty of death is great, whatever you do to others will be done to you. One who becomes the owner acts dictatorially that is, in a way generally they adopt this manner.
Who can be consulted?
It is obvious that one cannot turn towards all for consultation because, sometimes, some persons have weak poius and hence their advice can bring trouble and misfortune and retrogression. Due to this traditions of the Holy progeny have enumerated the virtues of the consultant:
It is reported that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Consultation requires some conditions and if one does not have these virtues his consultation will only harm. So the first of them is that the consultant should be a wise person . Secondly he must be a free man and a moderate one. Thirdly he should be a friendly person a true friend. Fourth: He must be such that you can make him know your secrets and that his knowledge regarding he concerned matter must be like your own knowledge, that is, it may reach others.
It is recorded from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) Make consultations in the matters that arise with those who fear their Lord.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) said: Do not consult three groups. Do not consult the stingy because he stops you from giving a gift and help to others and makes you afraid of poverty and also do not take the advice from the fearful coward people as they hold you back from doing important works and likewise do not seek advice of the greedy because they glorify before you oppression with a view to accumulating wealth or for acquiring status.
Ali (a.s.) said: Avoid consulting women except those whose intelligence and wisdom has been proved through experience.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is said to have said: Never consult the one who recommends despotism.
Results of consultation
As a matter of principle, those who carry on their important works with mutual consultation seldom fall in fault. On the contrary, people who are victims of the evil of despotism and who think that they never need anyone’s advice, if even if they are extraordinarily intelligent, make serious and dangerous mistakes resulting in great sorrow and pain. Apart from this, the mentality of dictatorship drags down the personality of man in the eyes of the people. They cause stagnation of thought, destroy capabilities and in this way they waste the greatest human faculty of a society.
Moreover, the one who takes advice of others in his deeds, if he becomes successful, he does not become victim of jealousy, because, others regard his success as their own success. Usually man does not envy his own deeds. And if, once in a while, he is unsuccessful, nobody scolds or condemns him because no one objects to ones own actions. Not only he does not criticise, he also shows sympathy to the sufferer.
One more benefit of consultation is that, thereby man will come to know the value of ones personality and the balance of friendship and enmity and this knowledge opens the path of success for him. It is, perhaps, due to the same that, despite possessing extraordinary power of thinking, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) used to consult his companions. The following traditions too point toward it:
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) is reported to have said: One who does not consult fees ashamed.
Ali (a.s.) also said: One who sticks forcefully to his own opinion gets destroyed and the one who consults elders joins them in wisdom.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) has also said: One who takes advice is not censured.
The duty of a consultant
Just as, Islam has given an emphatic order to take advice, it has also asked the consultants that they should never fall short of giving only useful and beneficial advice. dishonesty in giving advice is considered one of great sins, so much so that this order applies even to non-believers. If a Muslim accepts the request for advice from a non-Muslim the former has no right to be dishonest in giving advice and to hide what he finds.
In the Risaala-e-Huqooq Imam Sajjad (a.s.) has written: It is the right of the one who seeks your advice that if you have any view or opinion express it to him. If you do not have any opinion then direct him to the one who has the same. However, it is also the right of adviser that you should not scold him in the matter in which you do not agree with him. Then if he was agreeable with you, thank God.
It is recorded from Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) In fact in am away from one who is dishonest in giving advice to Muslims.
Also said Imam Sadiq (a.s.): If one whom his brother consults and yet he does not show him what is good for him, God takes away his wisdom.
Traditions censuring despotic thinking
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said: Despotic thinking binds man’s opinion with wrong matters.
He has also said: Never consult a despot.
Again said: One who always sticks strictly to his own opinion gets destroyed.
One of the sins which corrupts the society and which creates a state of suspicion in society and which sometimes, is likely to creep into human beings in the heinous form of cynicism is backbiting. Quranic verses and traditions have censured it is a very harsh tone. Here are some examples:
Nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of your duty to Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning to mercy, Merciful.
In this phrase of the verse, one of the worst immoralities has been discussed. It is so bad that the Holy Quran, in order to make its heinousness explicit, compared it with an unprecedented ugly matter. Backbiting has been compared with eating ones dead brother’s flesh!
In other words, we get four points from this Ayat:
A Muslim and a brother-in-Faith is like a real brother blood related
His honour is like his flesh.
Speaking bad of him in his absence and thereby destroying his honour and position is like eating flesh from his body.
Since he is not present to defend himself against at attack that is indeed cowardly, he is unaware. He is like a dead body that has been attacked.
Woe to every slanderer, defamer.
Commentators have, while explaining this verse, quote possibilities:
Humazah means big backbiter and Lumazah – big faultfinder.
Humazah – who speaks bad face to face and Lumazah – backbiter.
Humazah – Pointing to fault by hand and Lumazah – by tongue.
Humazah – open bad talk and Lumazah – secret bad talk.
Whatever be its exact meaning this verse applies to all these cases and asserts that backbiting is Haraam by God.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: Everything of a Muslim is prohibited for another Muslim be it his blood, property or honour.
That it, it is imperative for a Muslim. Just as he safeguards the life and property of a Muslim, he must also protect the honour and respect of his brother and should not be after his honour through backbiting.
It is reported to have been said by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.): Keep away from backbiting as, if fact, backbiting is worse than adultery. If the adulterer repents Allah may forgive him but if fact, the backbiter is not pardoned until his victim is pleased with him!
That is, adultery and other similar sins belong to the category of the rights of God whereas backbiting and its like pertains to the rights of me.
A backbiter, if he dies after repenting, is the last to enter paradise and the one who insists on this evil is the first to enter the hell.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said: Backbiting, is more effective in destroying the religion of a Muslim than the illness of leprosy.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has also said: Sitting in a mosque awaiting prayer is worship until he commits hadas. People asked what was meant by hadas. He said: backbiting.
Now that we have seen a number of verses and traditions about backbiting (gheebat) let us know what is gheebat or backbiting. It has been narrated in traditions: gheebat means talking of a thing about your brother in his ghaibat absence what God has kept covered.
Fuqaha have also said: It means saying something about your brother which, if he hears, would not like.
And it must also be remembered that it is backbiting if the evil is found in the bitten man and that if that evil is not there in him it is false allegation.
And sometimes people, in order to justify their deed, say that we say these words to them on their face also. But it should be remembered that saying such ting, if itself, even if it falls in the category of Nahy anil Munkar stopping the evil, is not proper to be uttered before others.
It should also be understood that backbiting is not limited only to the tongue but it also involves signals and gestures.
Similarly, just as backbiting is Haraam, so is also sitting in a meeting where backbiting is being done.
Reasons of backbiting
Jealousy makes one point out the weak points of others whereby one intends to bring them down in the eyes of people.
Sometimes anger and uneasiness also causes backbiting.
Sometimes one tries to show off himself as clean and clear by talking bad about others.
Sometimes, just for making a gathering joyful and happy one resorts to backbiting those who are not present there.
Sometimes man describes others offences by way of astonishment and angrily whereas it should be pointed out to that person and not between other people.
Sometimes some hidden trouble makes people backbite in the form of friendship and sympathy.
Anyway it must be remembered that back-biting others and dishonouring them due to any of such reasons is, from the viewpoint of Islam, haraam and prohibited.
Harms of backbiting
There are many harms in backbiting both for the individual and the society.
From the individual viewpoint, it is considered injustice and oppression to a Mo-min and Muslim brother-in-Faith. What oppression is greater than if it one destroys the honour of another as it cannot be compensated in any way!
And from the collective or social viewpoint, backbiting, in one way, is common in it harmfulness with two other heinous evils of cynicism and faultfinding.
A society having backbiters will never be able to achieve unity and harmony and integrity and love and hence will never be a group of good people full of affection and sympathy.
Mutual help and assistance required for Holy aims depends upon the feeling of reliance and trust. A society that reveals the defects of people and raises curtain from their errors destroys the feeling of trust that is created through good opinion about others.
Talking bad of others in their absence, fans the flames of enmity, because, the man who has been bitten from back, and whose secret has been revealed and whose honour has been taken away, becomes very angry and so he decides to take avenger.
If curtain is raised from the hidden sins of people it makes them hold and carefree and then they insist on their evils, because, what prevents man from sin is the fear of being dishonoured. So even if he sins he does so secretly and with caution. If we tear away that curtain and dishonour him then there will be no reason for him to keep them secret.
Many people refrain from a series of crimes merely because of the fear of a decline in their honour and position. If we take away this deterrent which is in fact a spiritual treasure of a man from him there will be no other thing to block him from sinning.
Moreover, revealing people secrets does not only encourage them but, in case of those having weak faith, it also embolden them to do bad things and in this way back-biting will be a source of spreading immorality and corruption.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said: Those who say about Muslims that which they have themselves seen or heard are those about whom God has said: Surely as for those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the Hereafter.
The calamity called spying
One of the mean habits is peeping into the private lives of people. In this regard the Holy Quran says: O you who believe! Avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy…
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: Do not try to find the defects of the believers. The one who remains after finding faults of his brethren, God Almighty remains after his defects and the one who is followed by God becomes dishonoured even if he hides himself in his hone.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Man is at the farthest point from Allah when he makes friendship with another person and in the mean while, recollects his mistakes, to dishonour him one day.
Also The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: O those who orally claim to be Muslims but do not have faith in your hearts! Do not spy for finding hidden faults of the faithful. Truly if one spies to find faults of the believers, God also recalls his faults.
In conclusion it must be remembered that spying and being after the deeds and actions of the people is against the basic essentials of Islam. Sometimes some servants of the Islamic revolution do such things in sympathy for Islam and the revolution, whereas such things are against Islam and the interest of the Islamic society. The is why the leader of the Islamic revolution, in his 8 point order for the safety of collective peace and safe administration, on 24th Azarmaah 1361, said under article 6: -
Nobody has a right to enter anyone’s house or shop or factory without the permission of the owner or to arrest anybody or follows him in the name of crime detection or to dishonour or insult anybody or to do any inhuman or un-Islamic deed or to listen to somebody’s telephone or tape in the name of investigation however big the crime may be or to follow the secrets of people or to spy for others crimes or to reveal whatever he has received from one even to one person. All these acts are sinful and some of them are, greater tan the great sins. The one who commits it is a criminal and deserves to be punished according to Shariat.
The crime of defamation or slander
Making false allegation against an innocent person is on of the meanest misdeeds that have been severely censured by Islam.
The Holy Quran says: And whoever commits a fault or a sin, then accuses of it one innocent, he indeed takes upon himself the burden of a calumny and a manifest sin.
And those who speak evil things of the believing men and the believing women without their having earned it, they are guilty indeed of a false accusation and a manifest sin.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Making allegation against an innocent is higher than even the high hills in sinning.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) also said: The one who falsely damages a Muslim brother makes the faith in his heart melt away like the melting of salt in water.
And the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said: If one puts a false allegation on a believing man or a believing woman or says anything about them which is not is him or her, the Lord almighty will, on the Day of Judgement, keep him in the cloud of hell-smoke until he comes out of the responsibility of what he had said.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: If one makes an allegation against a believing man or woman saying what is not in him or her, God Almighty, keeps him in the Teenat-e-Khabaal until what he had said comes out. The narrator says: I asked: What is Teenat Khabaal? He replied: It is a dirty pus which comes out of the private part of a bad character woman.
Briefly speaking it should be remembered that slander and defamation or false allegation is one of the worst kind of lies because it contains the great evil of falsity as well as the harms of back-biting. Moreover it is the worst kind of oppression.
It must also be kept in mind that the spread of this cowardly misdeed in a society becomes the cause of the dislocation of social justice and indulgence in falsity and entanglement of the innocent and the freeing of the criminal and the loss of collective trust.
What is the spreading of indecency?
One of the dangerous habits and bad deeds is spreading of shamelessness or indecency in which, sometimes, some people and sometimes even our pious people get involved.
In this connection, the Holy Quran says: Surely as for those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter; and Allah knows, while you do not know.
As man is a social being, the big society in which he lives is, from one angle like his house and his sanctuary and hence the cleanness of the society helps cleaning his house and so also dirtying the society helps makes his home dirty.
On the basis of this principle, in Islam, there is a severe fight against every act or deed that pollutes the atmosphere.
If we see that Islam fought severely with backbiting and scandal, one of its logic is that, as a result of making false allegation against an innocent person the society becomes polluted which ends in the moral corruption of the entire society. Similarly if Islam has ordered the covering of defects or shortcomings, one of its reason also is that a sin may not become common.
An open offence is greater than a secret sin. Look at this word of Imam Ali bin Moosa Reza in this connection: One who gives circulation to a sin is banished and forsaken and the one who covers a sin will be forgiven by God.
So also if we see that in the above quoted verse the spreading of scandal has been severely censored it is also because of this.
As a matter of fact, a sin is like fire. When there is a fire at one point in the society we should try to cool it down or to contain it. But if we fan the fire and thus carry it from one point to another point it will engulf everything and then nobody will be able to control it.
Apart from this, the greatness of severity of a sin in the eyes of the common man and the apparent protection of the society from pollution, in itself, is a big dam against the flood of corruption. The circulation of scandal and shamelessness and spread of the sin openly breaches this dam, makes the sin light in public eye and makes pollution easy.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said: a man approached him and said: may I be sacrificed for you; people have narrated a deed allegedly done by a brother-in-faith hearing which I became displeased. When I asked that person, he denied while all reliable persons have narrated this thing from that person himself. The Imam said: Refute your own eye and ear against your believing brother so much so that even if fifty persons say that he had done something but he says he did not then believe him and disbelieve them. Never circulate in society a thing which may defame him and bring his personality down, otherwise you will be the one about whom God has said: those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter.
And Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) said: Always think good about a deed of your brother-in-faith until its opposite become clear and do not imagine badly about him as long as you can consider him correct.
In conclusion we must know that one day each and every organ of our body will be asked to account for the deeds done and that it will be a hard questioning.
The Holy Quran says: And follow not that of which you have not the knowledge; surely the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned.
Finally Muslims must keep in mind that the hypocrites, some times, through rumour mongering and circulation of allegations, defame and drive away great personalities from the field and they assassinate the character of people so severely that they introduce even the most honest man as the most dishonest. For example, during the last hundred years, just look what they had done with great men like Ayatollah Sheikh Fazlullah Noori and Ayatollah Kaashaani and Shaheed Behishti and…
The man in Quran
At the end we should know that if we advance toward becoming man by taking benefit of the Divine Guides and thinking more and more and strengthening our morals and follow the path of perfection and truth we shall be as the Holy Quran indicates in these verses:
And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a khalif.
Certainly We created man in the best make.
He created man, taught him the mode of expression.
Taught man what he knew not
And surely We have honoured the children of Adam, and We carry them in the land and the sea, and We have given them of the good things, and We have made them to excel by an appropriate excellence over most of those whom We have created.
And finally it is this man about whom Allah has said: He it is who created for you all that is in the
And He has made subservient to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth…
The above quoted verses say that the value of man is more than everything and his position is higher than all beings as Allah has said: We have created everything for you and because of you and made all them subservient to you.
It is here that we find that Allah has created man for a very great and precious purpose, everything has been created for man, created so that man may become the owner of all that is in the earth and then he may be an active authority.
He Man has been declared as the highest being on the vast field of earth. He is more valuable among all creations because everything has been created for him.
And finally it is this same man that God has given him strivings in the path of the Lord and whom He has given the promise of meeting Him: O man! surely you must strive to attain to your Lord, a hard striving until you meet Him.
And we should also know that is case he does not improve himself, get trained under the guidance of Divine teachers leaders and if he destroys morals and makes himself grow like wild grass then he becomes the subject matter of the following verses:
A weak being: Khuliqal…
Very unjust, very ungrateful: Innal insaan…
Niggardly: Wa Kaanal…
Ever hasty: Wa kaanal insaana ajoolaa
Given to contention: Wa kaanal insaanu ak sa ra shai in ja da laa
Unjust, ignorant In nahu kaa na zalooman jahoolaa
Hasty in temperament, greatly grieved when evil afflicts him and niggardly when good befalls him: Innal insaan khuliqa halooaa, izaa mas sahus sharru jazooaa wa izaa mas sahul khaira manooaa
Beguiled even from the Lord: Yaa aiyuhal insaanu maa ghar ra ka bi rabbikal kareem?
Inordinate: Kallaa innal insaa na la yatghaa
Becomes like a dog: Fa ma sa luhu ka ma sa lahil kalb
And finally his business becomes like that of a donkey: Masalul laz zee na ……asfaaraa
Becomes worse than an animal: And certainly We have created for hell many of the jinn and the men; they have hearts with which they do not understand, and they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear; they are as cattle, nay, they are in worse errors; these are the heedless ones.
And if we do not reform ourselves and die with these mean attributes, tomorrow on the Day of Judgement, these same attributes will take a physical form and we will be gathered as blind and ugly persons in the court of final justice: And whoever is blind in this, he shall also be blind in the hereafter; and more erring from the way.
At the end we hope that the Lord Almighty will, by His Grace, will guide us to perfect manliness and will not disgrace us tomorrow on the Day of final Judgement.