Comprehensive Instructions of Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.)
Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Hajjaj said: Abu'1 Hasan Musa al-Kazim(A.S.) sent me the testament of Imam Ali(A.S.). It is as follows:
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
This is what Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.) recommends. He professes that there is no deity except Allah, the one and companionless; and that Muhammad (S.A.W.) is His servant and His Messenger. He sent him with clear guidance and rightful religion so that he would overcome and surpass all other religions despite what the polytheists like. Divine greetings of Allah be upon him and his family. All my prayers, my worship, my life and death are for the sake of Allah Who is Companionless and Sustainer of the worlds. I have been thus ordered, and I am obedient. After this I enjoin you O Hasan (A.S.) and all the members of my family and those who would read this will, to fear Allah and to leave this world as Muslims and to cling to the rope of Allah, and not to be divided because I have heard from the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) saying: "Reconciliation and agreement surpass all daily prayers and fasting; and what really is uprooting and destroying the religion is the differences and dispersions and there is no power except what comes from Allah the Magnificent and Great. Take heed to your relatives so that Allah would be Merciful to you on the Reckoning Day.
Keep Allah in view for the matter of rights of the orphans. Let it not happen that you would not give them food regularly and make them starving because I heard from the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) saying: Whoever would take care of an orphan until he would become free from need, Allah the Glorious and High makes it obligatory for Himself to take the benefactor into the paradise while, on the contrary Allah has promised to send to Hell those who misappropriate the orphan's possessions.
Keep Allah in view of the Qur'an, let not others take precedence over you in following its orders. Keep Allah in view concerning the rights of the neighbors; because the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) has always given orders regarding them, so as we thought a share of our inheritance would be allocated to them.
Keep Allah in view in the matter of the House of Allah! Do not let it be without the pilgrims as long as you live. Because if you would do that you will lose the opportunity. [You'll suffer Allah's punishment]. The least gain for the one who decides to go on a pilgrimage is that all his past sins will be forgiven.
Keep Allah in view in the matter of the daily prayers, as it is the best deed, and is the pillar of your religion.
Keep Allah in view concerning the Zakat, as it quells the wrath of Allah.
Keep Allah in view in the matter of the month of Ramadan, as it protects you from the Fire of Hell.
Keep Allah in view in the matter of the rights of the poor and the needy make them partners in your life.
Keep Allah in view in the matter of the holy war (Jihad) with the help of your wealth, soul, and speech; Because two persons wage the Jihad: The leader of the right path, and the person who follows him on the right path.
Keep Allah in view in the matter of your Prophets' posterity and they should never suffer oppression in your presence when you are in a position to defend them.
Keep Allah in view in the matter of those companions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) who did not make any religious innovation; and did not support innovators either; because the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) has given orders concerning them, and has cursed those (companions) who make innovations in the religion and are among them and support the innovators.
Keep Allah in view in matter of your wives and those who are in your possession; because the last words of your Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) were: "I advise you concerning two weak creatures: women and those who are in your possession.
Keep Allah in view in the matter of prayer. Do not be afraid of any reproaches, so that Allah would protect you from any oppressor. Speak with the people in good words as Allah the Glorious and the Magnificent has ordered and do not quit enjoining the good actions and prohibiting the evil ones. [Otherwise] Allah makes the wicked to rule over you and then all your curses on them will be unanswered
O my children! May that you would get united and be munificent and kind to one another; and keep away from turning your back to one another. Cooperate with one another in doing good actions; and do not cooperate in doing evil actions. Fear Allah because His punishment is very severe. May Allah protect you O the family of the Prophet. And keep you [respectful] of your Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). I bid farewell to you and entrust you to Allah and wish that His mercy and blessings be upon you.
On advising some of his followers Imam al-Baqir (A.S.) said: O group of our followers (Shi'ites): Listen carefully to what we recommend to our friends; be truthful, and keep your promises to friends and foes, help one another with your fortunes and love deeply one another. Help the poor and be united in what you are doing, and be not treacherous to others. After you reached the certitude of our [legitimate] rights let no doubt overcome you. Do not retreat out of fear, after you have made advances. None of you should turn his back to his friend. Beware; do not let lusts lead you to love people who are not like you [in beliefs]. Your works should only be for Allah and your belief and trust should only be in your Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). Be patient and ask Allah for help because: "Verily my righteous servants shall inherit the earth and whatsoever is on it belongs to the righteous" (21:105). The earth belongs to Allah and He shall inherit it to His righteous servants.
He then added: Among our followers only those who tell the truth and keep their promises love Allah and His messenger and if a deposit is submitted to him he shall return it; he would carry it and give every one what is rightly due to him. He also would perform what is religiously right.
Our follower is the person who would keep all secrets, and would not praise those who try to find our faults. He is the one who does not go into the relationship with our enemies and if he faces a believer he will respect him; and if he encounters an ignorant person keeps a distance from him. Our follower does not bark like a dog [in the hard times] and is not greedy as a raven and does not make any requests except from his brethren even if he would starve to death; Our follower is the one who believes in what we believe, leaves his friends for our sake, and makes friends with those who love us even though they would be far from them, and keeps away from those who are our enemies, even if they would be his relatives.
Isma'il-Ibn Jabir says: Imam al-Sadiq (A.S.) wrote this letter to his companions and gave them order to study it constantly and think about what is mentioned in it and put it in action. So they put it where they used to say the daily prayers and we were always pondering on it:
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Ask Allah to give you good health; and be calm, dignified. Do not lose modesty, and refrain from actions which the pious men have refrained in the past. Never defile your tongues with lies, calumny, and transgression because it is better for you to keep your tongues from the utterances which Allah prohibits. As defiling your tongue with what is forbidden by Allah would cause the destruction of a servant, and the Allah's wrath will be directed on him and he will be raised deaf, blind, and dumb on the Day of Judgment and is included as one of those mentioned in the Holy Qur'an: "Deaf, dumb, blind, so they do not understand" (2:18). That is to say that they do not speak, "and are not allowed to give excuses" (77:36).
Never commit acts which Allah has prohibited. I advise you to be silent except when you want to say something which is related to the next world, and you shall be rewarded. Say "there is no god but Allah" sanctify and glorify and praise Him; and lament at His Divine threshold, and express your eagerness for the infinite goodness which is with Him and no one can appreciate it. Refrain from uttering words which Allah has forbidden; words which bring eternal fire to those who do so and who die unrepented.
I advise you to supplicate: Because nothing is better than supplication and imploring for gaining what one desires from Allah.
Show eagerness for what Allah has encouraged you to do, and answer to His call so that you might be saved and be delivered from the Fire of Hell. Beware of your own carnal desires which are after what Allah has made religiously forbidden to you. Because if anyone ignores what Allah has forbidden for him, Allah would deny His paradise and its everlasting joys to him.
Know that the evil is the share of the one who forsakes obeying Allah and commits sins and seeks worldly pleasures which are ephemeral and would prefer these to the everlasting bounties of the paradise. Woe to these people! How disappointed are these people and what a loss they will face on the Resurrection Day! Take refuge in Allah so that you might not be among these people. There is no [support and] power for us except from Allah.
Invoke Allah, as He likes praying of His servants who are actually true believers; and He has promised to answer them. Allah will change the true believer's prayers to actions which will cause increasing bounties found in the paradise. Remember Allah as much as you can, in every hour of the day-time, and at nights as well, because Allah has ordained that He should often be remembered, and Allah is remindful of a believer who remembers Him. Know that none of Allah's true believers remembers Him unless Allah praised him. Be steadfast in obeying Allah's orders then; because one cannot reach the slightest good, unless one obeys Allah and refrains from doing what are religiously unlawful and are mentioned in the Holy Qur'an either explicitly- or implicitly. Allah the Blessed and the High have said in His Book: "Keep away from all sin, open and secret"(6: 121). Know that whatever Allah has ordered you to keep away from, is undoubtedly religiously unlawful. Follow the way of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) and be steadfast and do not go after what you desire and think it right; because the most misled people near Allah are those who follow their own opinion and Allah would not guide them. Do good as much as you can to your own selves because "If you do good, you do good to your own selves; and if you do evil, it is to your own selves"(7:17).
O you the group of people whom Allah takes care of your affairs! May that you follow the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and the traditions quoted from him and those of his family members.
Because whoever clings to them is undoubtedly on the right path, and whoever turns away from them would go astray, because these are the ones that Allah has ordered people to obey them. Our father, the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) has said:
Perseverance in doing good actions along with the Sunnah make Allah happier and will be more beneficial in the next world, even though it would be in a small scale, than trying to worship mixed with innovations and following one's selfish whims. Know that following the innovations and not having guidance from Allah is aberration and each aberration is innovation, and each innovator's dwelling place is Fire. One cannot reach good things which is from Allah except by praying, patience, and contentment because patience and contentment are like obeying Allah.
Know that never a believer truly believes unless he would be happy and content with whatever Allah has destined for him; and Allah would not befall him anything, be it pleasant or unpleasant, unless it would be good for him.
I advise you concerning the daily prayers, especially, the middle one; and stand in front of Allah humbly as Allah has ordered you, and thus were the believers before you.
Do like the needy Muslims, because whoever humiliates them and be arrogant has deviated from Allah's way, and He becomes hateful of him. Our father, the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) has said: "My Lord has given the order to like [and be kind to] the needy Muslims. Know that if anyone would degrade a Muslim, Allah will direct His hatred and contempt towards him, until other people would hate and despise him, surely the hatred of Allah is stronger. Fear Allah in what is related to your needy Muslim brethren because they deserve to be liked. Allah has given the order to His Messenger to like them. Anyone who does not like those, whom Allah has ordered to like, has undoubtedly disobeyed Allah and His Messenger; and whoever leaves this would while disobeying Allah be among those who go astray.
Beware of arrogance and pride, as pride is Allah's cloak. (Magnificent and High) and whoever fights with Allah over this cloak, He would break him and make him degraded on Resurrection Day.Beware of oppressing and transgressing one another, as these qualities are not the qualities of the pious.
O whoever would oppress and transgress, Allah would return them to himself and Allah would help the oppressed one and would make him victorious, and whoever receives help from Allah would be victorious. Beware to envy one another as it is the root of idolatry. Beware of helping the one who oppresses a Muslim, because if the Muslim would curse you, it would be answered, our father, the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) used to say: "The prayer of an oppressed Muslim would be divinely answered. Help one another; because our father, the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) used to say: "Helping a Muslim is better and more rewarding than one month of fasting and Itikaf (spiritual retreat) in al-Masjid al-Haram (sacred Mosque). Let there not be that you would force a poor Muslim to return the money you lent him. Because our father, the Messenger of Allah(S.A.W.) used to say: "A Muslim should not be harsh on another Muslim brother for repaying his debts, and everyone who would grant a respite to a poor debtor, Allah shall protect him on the day on which there is no protector.
Know that Islam is the submission [to Allah, His Messenger (S.A.W.) and those blessed with authority and follows their order] and the submission is Islam. Whoever surrenders is a Muslim and the one who does not submit does not profess Islam, whoever likes to do good to himself, should obey Allah, because whoever obeys Him is doubtlessly doing good to himself.
Beware of committing sins, because whoever violates what is ordered by Allah tries to do evil to himself. There is no alternative; those who do good things will go to the paradise and the evil-doers will go to Hell. So obey Allah and refrain from committing sins.
Know that none of Allah's creatures, or an angel or any Messenger can do anything for you at the presence of Allah. So whoever likes to take benefit from the intercession, should ask Allah to be happy with him. Know that none of His creatures gained His happiness except by obeying Allah, His Messenger and those in authority from the Holy Prophet's household (S.A.W.). Disobeying them equals disobeying Allah. He should not deny any of their virtues, be it great or small. Implore Allah to give you good health; and there is no power and movement apart from what comes from Allah. Make yourself patient in enduring the troubles of the world; because enduring many hardships in obeying Allah and love of His Imams and those we have been ordered to love will result in a better end in the world to come, the pleasures and beauties of this world may last for a long time, but if it is spent in disobeying Allah and loving and obeying someone whom Allah has prohibited. Allah has given us the order to love and obey those who are mentioned in his book, and has said: "And we made them leaders to guide [the people] by our command" (21:73). These people are those that Allah has given the order to obey and love, and those that Allah has forbidden to obey and love are those who mislead people...
Know that whenever Allah would want good things for a servant, He would make him accept and endure Islamic rules easily, and if He would give this He would enable him to say the truth, believing in it, and putting it into practice, such a person would be a true Muslim. Then if he would die in such a state, he would be considered a true Muslim. But when Allah would not wish good [things] for a servant, He would leave him to himself and would make him intolerant of listening to the right words, thus Allah would not give him the reward for his actions. If he would die in such a state, he would be considered a hypocrite, and everything he has said or done would be used against him; so fear Allah and ask Him to open your hearts so that you would understand Islam and would enable you to express the truth, and would consider you as the worthy people on the day of Judgment. There is no power except that which comes from Allah, and the praise and gratitude is only for Allah, the Lord of the universe.
Whoever would like to know if Allah likes him, should obey Allah's orders and be a follower of ours. Have not you heard the words of Allah to His Messenger "say" (O Muhammad (S.A.W.) If you love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins, verily Allah is forgiving, Merciful." (3:31). I swear to Allah, that following us is a prerequisite for obeying Allah.
I swear to Allah, all the people who follow us are loved by Allah, and those who do not follow us are our enemies. I swear Allah that whoever would be our enemy has disobeyed Allah and when he would die he would be cast into Hell Fire and be disgraced. Praise and gratitude be to Allah lord of the worlds.
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Imam al-Reza (A.S.) to 'Abd al- Azim al-Hasani: O 'Abd al 'Azim! send my regards to my friends and tell them not to be tempted by Satan; and instruct them to be truthful and trustful, recommend them to be silent and refrain from useless discussions and arguments and to be close to each other and to visit each other because that would make them close to me, they should not be busy in annihilating each other; because I have sworn that whoever would do that and would make one of my friends angry I would request Allah to punish him in this world very severely and would be among the losers in the hereafter. Tell them that the Beneficent Allah has forgiven their sins, except the sins of those who were polytheist, or persecute one of my friends or would have bad intentions in regard to him. In these cases Allah would not forgive him unless he would repent and stop doing evil actions. If he would not repent, he would become faithless and would lose our friendship and love. I take refuge in Allah, against that!
Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) in The Qur'an and Hadith
By: Muhammadi Rayshahri