Gratitude and Trust in God
L Gratitude stands for thanking the conferrer for his graces and using them in the fields that he accepts. It is one of the qualities of perfection that grow and perpetuate the graces. Because of His absolute self-sufficiency, God does not benefit by one's thanks. As a matter of fact, the benefits of thanks are due to the thankful himself, since he expresses his appreciation for the divine graces and uses them in the fields that achieve the contentment of God. So, the thankful person's happiness lies in his acts of obedience to God. The Islamic Sharia, through texts of the holy Quran and Sunna, has called people to be characterized with gratitude:
"Thank Me and do not show ingratitude to Me. (2:152)"
"Eat of the sustenance of your Lord and give thanks to Him. (34:15)"
"Remember when your Lord said to you, 'If you give thanks, I shall give you greater (favors), but if you deny the Truth, know that My retribution is severe' (14:7)."
"Very few of My servants are grateful. (34:13)"
The Prophet (s) said: "He who eats and gives thanks will have the reward of him who fasts purely for the sake of Allah. He who gives thanks and enjoys good health will have the same reward of him who practices patience in his illness. He whom is conferred with graces and gives thanks will have the same reward of him whom is deprived and satisfied." 209
Imam al-Baqir (a) said: "If you look at an ailed person, you should say, but not let him hear you, 'All praise is due to Allah Who protects me from that which inflicted you, but if He wills, He shall do.' He who says so will never be befallen by that ailment." 210
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: "He who is conferred with thanks will be granted increase. Allah says: 'If you give thanks, I shall give you greater (favors).'" 211
"The thanks of every grace, no matter how big it is, is to praise Allah for it." 212
"The gratitude that is shown to Allah for any grace, no matter how big it is, is surely better and weightier than the grace itself. 213
"Verily, one of you drinks water and Allah assigns Paradise to him on that account. Verily, one who takes the vessel (containing water), brings it to his mouth, then takes Allah's name, then drinks from it, then draws it away while desiring it, then praises Allah, then drinks from it again, then takes it away while he desires it, then praises Allah, then drinks from it again, then sets it aside and praises Allah, Allah makes the paradise obligatory for him."
Categories of Gratitude
Gratitude can be classified into three categories:
1) gratitude of the heart,
2) verbal gratitude, and
3) gratitude of the organs.
Once the heart is full of the recognition of the graces of the Conferrer Lord, the tongue expresses thanks. Once the heart and the tongue unite in the feelings of gratitude, they inspire the organs to express their gratitude by submission and response to the acts of obedience to Him.
Thus, there are various categories and methods of showing gratitude:
A. Gratitude of the heart is to recognize the grace and recognize that its source was God.
B. The verbal gratitude is to express thanks to the Conferrer.
C. Gratitude of the organs is to engage them in acts of obedience to God and save them from plunging in acts of disobedience to Him.
Hence, it is necessary to thank each of the graces of God in a suitable form:
To thank for a fortune is to spend some of it in the fields of obedience to God.
To thank for the knowledge is to publicize and expose its beneficial concepts.
To thank for a high rank is to support the weak and the persecuted and save them from the oppression that befall them.
The true gratitude of any grace cannot be attained whatever efforts are exerted, because showing gratitude is one of the graces and items of success that God confers. Consequently, man is too short to show the proper gratitude for any grace.
Imam as-Sadiq (a) narrated that Allah revealed to Prophet Moses: "Moses, thank Me so properly." "Lord," asked Moses, "How can I thank You so properly while I cannot find any method of showing gratitude to You other than that which You have conferred upon me?" The Lord answered: "Moses, as long as you realize this fact, you are thanking Me so properly." 214
Virtue of Gratitude
The appreciation for graces and acts of kindness and thanks for the conferrers of favors are within the properties of the noble personalities. As the graces are increased, they should be thank worthier and more appreciative so that they may attain the level of the divine favors that man can never evaluate and thank properly.
As a matter of fact, every single twinkling of the eye, every single word that is produced by the mouth, every single movement of an organ, and every single breath-all these are great favors of the Lord that none can evaluate except those who are deprived of them.
If it is obligatory to thank the favor of the creatures, how will it be then if the favorer is the Creator Whose graces are countless and favors are innumerable?
Finally, showing gratitude takes nearly to the Lord and achieves His contentment and His endowments of more graces and favors.
Ingratitude, on the other hand, is the trait of the humble personalities. The holy Quran tells that ingratitude is a direct reason of the collapse of nations and the eradication of their blessings:
"Allah tells a parable about a secure and peaceful town surrounded by abundant sustenance. Its inhabitants rejected the bounties of Allah and He caused them to suffer hunger and fear as a result of their deeds (16:112)."
As he was asked about the explanation of God's saying, "And they said: our Lord! Make spaces to be longer between our journeys; and they were unjust to themselves so We made them stories and scattered them with an utter scattering; most surely there are signs in this for every patient, grateful one, (34:19)" Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: "Those were some peoples whose villages were connected to each other. They had flowing rivers and many fortunes, but they showed ingratitude to Allah and changed what is in their hearts; therefore, Allah changed the graces that they enjoyed. As a matter of fact, 'Allah does not change the condition of a nation unless it changes what is in its heart.' He then sent upon them a torrent that scattered their villages, ruined their territories, and wasted their fortunes. In place of their two gardens, Allah gave to them two gardens yielding bitter fruit and (growing) tamarisk and a few lote?trees. 'This We requited them with because they disbelieved; and We do not punish any but the ungrateful.' 215
"When the people of Tharthar were given great graces, they baked the core of wheat and used it for cleaning their babies from feces. That bread was put on each other until it took the form of a high mountain. As a man passed by a woman who was using that bread for the same purpose, he said, 'Woe to you! Fear Allah and do not cause your graces to be eradicated and taken away from you.' She answered, 'Are you threatening us with starvation? As long as our lake is flowing, we do not fear famine.' Allah did not accept so; therefore, He blocked their lake and stopped rainfall and planting. They, first, consumed all that which they had stored. Then, they had to consume that mountain of bread to the degree that it was distributed among them by measure." 216
Imam ar-Rida narrated on the authority of his fathers that the Prophet (s) said: "The quickest in punishment is ingratitude." 217
How to Acquire Thankfulness?
To acquire thankfulness, it is recommended:
(1) To ponder over the great variety of graces, good turns, and acts of kindness that God has conferred.
(2) To neglect considering the luxurious people who enjoy excessive means of living and false pleasures of this world, and to look at the miserable people as well as those who are in less levels of livelihood. Amir ul-Mu'minin (a) said:
"Try to look very frequently at those who are less than you are in the levels of livelihood, for this is a sort of showing gratitude." 218
(3) To keep in mind the calamities from which God has saved and the diseases that God has changed into good health and the hardships that He has changed into luxury, and
(4) To think of the advantages of showing gratitude, some of which are the attracting of the conferrer's contentment and increase of his favors, and to ponder over the disadvantages of ingratitude, some of which are attracting the conferrer's dissatisfaction and decrease of his graces.
TRUST IN GOD
Trust in God means to rely upon Him and to commend all affairs to Him by diverting from anyone or anything else. The source of trust in God is power of heart and conviction. Likewise, loss of trust in God is originated from feebleness of heart and conviction and influence of apprehensions and illusions:
"Allah is Sufficient for the needs of whoever trusts in Him. (65:3)" "Allah loves those who trust Him. (3:159)"
"(Muhammad), say, 'Nothing will happen to us besides what Allah has decreed for us. He is our Guardian. In Allah alone do the believers trust.' (9:51)"
"If Allah is your helper, no one can defeat you. However, if He abandons you, who would help you? The true believers trust in Allah. (3:160)"
Amir ul-Mu'minin (a) said: "Regarding all of your affairs, seek the refuge of your Lord, for you are seeking the refuge of a sheltering haven and powerful sanctuary." 219
"Within his sermons to his son, Luqman said: Son, for him who is unconvinced and ill-intentioned in the matter of seeking earnings, he should learn lessons from the fact that Allah has created him and guaranteed his sustenance in three states; He secured him and gave him his decided shares of sustenance without exerting any efforts or planning for any proposal in gaining them. First, when he was in mother's womb, Allah was giving him his sustenance without being exposed to coldness or heat. Then, Allah caused him to go out to this world and gave him his shares of sustenance, which were sufficient and nutrient, from the mother's breast while he had no power to earn. Then, when he was weaned, Allah gave him his share of sustenance out of the earnings of his parents who were very kind to him to the degree that they preferred him to themselves in many situations. When he attained maturity and went on seeking earnings for himself, he became unable to stand it, mistrusted his Lord, denied the rights that he should defray from his earnings, and behaved stingily with his dependants and himself. All that was because of his expecting scarcity, mistrusting Allah and suspecting His promised recompense in this world and the world to come. See, my son, how evil such man is!"
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: "Richness and honor are wandering. They settle only when they find a situation of trust in Allah." 220
He (a) also narrated that Allah revealed to Prophet David (a): "For any one of My servants who relies upon Me heartily exclusively, then the heavens and the earth plot against him, I will surely grant him an exit between them to escape their plots. But for the servant who relies upon any of My creatures, I will cut the rope that links him to the heavens and will sink the earth under his feet and, then, I will not care where he will perish." 221
"He who is given three things will not be deprived of three others: he who is granted supplication to Allah will not be deprived of response; he who is granted thankfulness will not be deprived of increase; he who is granted trust in Allah will not be deprived of His security." Read in the Book of Allah: 'Allah is Sufficient for the needs of whoever trusts in Him. (65:3)' 'If you give thanks, I shall give you greater (favors) (14:7).' 'Pray to Me for I shall answer you prayers. (40:60).'"
Reality of Trust in God
Trust in God does not mean to neglect the means that achieve benefits and to lift no single hand for facing events and crises. As a matter of fact, trust in God is to confide in and depend on Him exclusively, because He being the source of goodness, the originator of reasons, the predominant over the creatures, and the only able to give success. To have such trust in God should not conflict with the reliance on the natural means and the outward reasons for achieving the aims, such as supplying for traveling, armament for fighting against the enemies, treatment against diseases, and guard against dangers. All these are necessary for protecting man and achieving his aims. God has decided to make all matters proceed according to their natural reasons. Notwithstanding, it is necessary to depend upon and trust in God for achieving the purposes.
As he noticed a Bedouin neglecting hobbling his camel for he had relied upon God exclusively, the Prophet (s) instructed him: "Hobble your camel then trust in Allah exclusively."
Ranks of Trust in God
Like the variety of faith, there is a great variety among people in ranks of trust in God. Some are forerunners in this regard: they devoted themselves completely to God and neglected everything except Him. Those are the prophets, their successors, and the saints.
As an example on the best picture of trust in God, it is narrated that when Prophet Abraham (a) was in his way to the fire, the angel Gabriel met him in the air and asked whether he would do him anything. He answered: "For you, you can do me nothing. I depend on God Who is the best Guardian." Then the angel Michael met him and suggested that he would extinguish that fire since rain and water had been under his disposal. The prophet also rejected. Then the angel of wind met him and suggested that he would cause that fire to fly away, but the prophet also rejected. Then the angel Gabriel came to him again and asked him to supplicate to God. Abraham said: "My supplication is worthless so long as He knows my current state best." 222
Advantages of Trust in God
Man, in this life, is exposed to calamities, problems, and crises against which he fights. He, once, overcomes, and is overcome in other situations. In most cases, such calamities knock man down and make him helpless and brokenhearted. Thus, man lives in permanent worry because he anticipates loss, poverty, and ailment. It is true that modern civilization has helped in alleviating burdens of life by the availability of means of comfort, but it has failed to supply mentalities with tranquility. Worry is still casting its shadows on people and collaring the necks resulting in multiplication of mental diseases and events of suicide and insanity in the most civilized countries.
Through its moral constitution, the Islamic Sharia could alleviate the worries of people and supply them with huge spiritual energies, such as tolerance, steadfastness, trust, and confidence. To adhere to this fact achieves peace of mind and replaces fear with security.
After all, trust in God is one of the most important factors that attain self-dignity, self-respect, and peace of conscience. People that are worthiest of adhering to trust in God are the celebrities and reformists. They are in need for willpower and self-determination for facing others' obstinacy and overstepping many obstacles and barriers.
How to Acquire Trust in God?
We can acquire trust in God by:
(1) Keeping in mind the Verses and traditions that confirm the virtues of trust in God.
It is narrated that Imam al-Hussein (a) composed the following: "If calamities of time bite you, do not seek the refuge of the creatures. Do not ask anybody except God the Distributor of the sustenance. If you live for a long time and wander in this world from the west to the east, you will not find anybody who is able to give you happiness or remove your unhappiness."
It is also narrated that Amir ul-Mu'minin (a) composed: "I have satisfied myself with that which God has decided for me, and I have entrusted my affairs with my Creator. As He used to treat me charitably in the past, He will keep on in the rest.
(2) Strengthening belief in God, trust in His good turn, and considering His being the source of goodness, originator of reasons, and able to do everything.
(3) Paying attention to the nice doing of God and His outstanding care for man all over stages of life, and keeping in mind that God will surely guard him who depends upon Him and save him who seeks His help.
(4) Learning lessons from the changeability of this life. Many poor people have become rich, many rich people have become poor, many celebrities have become paupers, and many paupers have become celebrities.
Finally, to gain true trust in God is to satisfy oneself with His acts in situations of joy and misery.
FEAR OF GOD
Fear of God stands for the mental pains arisen from the anticipation of God's punishment for the commitment of acts of disobedience to Him. It enjoins holding on straightforwardness and forbids vices and sins. For that reason, the Sharia has paid a considerable attention to fear of God:
"Only Allah's knowledgeable servants fear Him. Allah is Majestic and All-pardoning. (35:28)" "Those who fear their Lord in secret will receive forgiveness and a great reward (67:12)."
"However, those who had feared their Lord and restrained their souls from acting according to their desires, Paradise will be their dwelling (79:41)."
The Prophet (s) said: "For those who avoid acts of disobedience or the illegal desire that is shown before them out of fear of Allah, Allah will prevent the fire of Hell from consuming them, save them on the Day of the Grand Horror, and fulfill His promise to them that He cites in His Book as He says: "Those who fear their Lord will have two gardens (55:46)." 223
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: "Fear Allah as if you can see Him before you. If you cannot see Him before you, then it is surely that He can see you. If you think that He cannot see you, then you disbelieve Him. If you realize that He can see you and, yet, you commit acts of disobedience to Him, then you consider Him as the humblest among those who can see you." 224
"The believer should live between two fears-the past sin that he does not know what Allah will do about it and the remaining days that he does not know what misfortunes he will encounter through them. Thus, the believer begins his day fearfully and ends his day fearfully. Except fear, nothing mends the believer." 225
"You will not be true believer unless you are fearful (of God's punishment) and hopeful (for His reward). You will not be true fearful and true hopeful unless you avoid what you fear and work for what you hope." 226
A wise man said: "How poor man is! Had he feared the fire of Hell in the same way as he feared poverty, he would have been saved from the both. And had he desired for Paradise in the same way as he desired for the worldly pleasures, he would have won the both. And had he feared God secretly in the same way as he feared people openly, he would have achieved happiness in this world and the world to come."
A wise man said to al-Mahdi the Abbasid caliph who asked for an advice: "This seat that you are in now was occupied by your father and uncle before you, was it not?" "Yes, it was," answered the caliph. "They had done some acts because of which you expect they will be saved, had they not?" asked the wise man. "Yes, they had," answered the caliph. "They also had done some acts for which you are afraid they will be punished, had they not?" asked the wise man. "Yes, they had," answered the caliph. "Now," said the wise man, "you should do these acts because of which you expect they will be saved and you should avoid these acts for which you are afraid they will be punished."
Fear between Ebb and Flow
The previous texts have depicted the importance of fear and its contribution in rectifying man and qualifying him to have the honor of God's contentment. Like the other noble traits, fear does not deserve praise unless it is characterized by moderation away from shortage and excess. Excess fear impoverishes the personality and deprives of hope. Moreover, it causes despair, which, in turn, brings about perpetual deviation. Shortage of fear, also, causes negligence, shortcoming, and rebel against acts of obedience to God. By the balance of fear and hope, one's self nourishes, conscience towers up, and the spiritual energies go forward. Referring to this point, Imam as-Sadiq (a) said:
"Hope for Allah in a form that does not draw you to the commitment of acts of disobedience to Him, and fear Him in such a way that does not make you despair of His mercy." 227
Advantages of Fear
The values of the noble traits depend on levels of the virtuous concepts and principals of righteousness that they leave on personalities. Accordingly, fear occupies the first place among the noble traits. It has played a big role in the fields of belief since it is the main reason encouraging acts of obedience to God. Feelings of fear enhance the souls and take them to a lofty angelic position that imparts to the ideality of the angels. As he compared among angels, human beings, and animals, Amir ul-Mu'minin (a) said:
"Surely, Allah has characterized the angels by intellect without sexual desire, and characterized animals with desire without reason. He exalted man by bestowing upon him both qualities. Accordingly, if man's reason dominates on his desire, he rises to a state above that of the angels (because this state is attained by man in spite of the existence of hurdles which do not vex the angels), and if man's desire dominates on his reason, he drops to a state bellow that of the animals."228
Consequently, we notice that the fearful deem easy the sufferings they encounter because of acts of obedience to God and deem bitter the sweetness of the sins and acts of disobedience to Him, because they fear His wrath.
This in fact achieves mental and physical happiness in the same way as this cosmos, along with its components, is organized because of its submission to God:
"All righteously believing male or female will be granted a blessed happy life and will receive their due reward and more. (16:97)"
All the current calamities, such as commonness of disorder, spread of crimes, prevalence of mental perplexity, that humankind is suffering is only the result of going away from the course of the Creator and neglecting His constitution:
"Had the people of the towns believed (in Our revelations) and maintained piety, We would have certainly showered on them Our blessings from the sky and the earth. But they called Our revelations lies, thus Our torment struck them for their evil deeds. (7:96)"
How to Feel Fearful?
It is necessary to fix the belief in God as well as the concepts of the Judgment Day, divine rewards, punishment, Paradise, and Hell. Fear is in fact one of the fruits of faith:
"When Allah is mentioned, the true believers begin to feel fear of Him in their hearts and when His revelations are recited to them their faith strengthens. In Allah alone do they trust (8:2)."
It is necessary to listen to the touching sermons and words of wisdom that creates fear and reverence.
It is necessary to survey the manners of the fearful, including their states of reverence and submission.
Let us now provide the most fascinating picture of fear of God that is painted by Imam as-Sejjad (a) in one of his supreme supplications:
"I weep, and why do I not weep, while I do not know what will my destiny be? And I see my soul cheat me and my days deceive me and the wings of death are flapping near my head. Why then do I not weep? I weep for the departure of my soul, for the gloomy of my grave, for the narrowness of my sepulcher, for the interrogation of Munkar and Nakeer, 229 for my going out of my grave naked, humble, and overburdened. I will look once to my right and another to my left while the creatures each will have his own concern:
"For on that day everyone will be completely engrossed in his own concerns. Some faces on that day will be radiant, laughing and joyous, but others will be gloomy and covered by darkness (80:37-41)."
Stories of the Fearful
Imam al-Baqir (a) narrated:
"A very charming prostitute could charm some young Israelites one of whom said, 'Had the worshipper so-and-so seen this lady, she would have surely seduced him.' As she heard this statement, she decided to visit that worshipper for seducing him. That night, she went to his house. He refused to let her in, but she claimed that some young people were chasing her, and that they would rape her if they would catch her. Because of this claim, the man let her in. As soon as she entered his house, she undressed herself. When he saw her beauty and charm, he was seduced. He therefore struck her with his hand. Suddenly, he regained his conscience; hence, he ran to the hearth and put his hand in fire. 'What are you doing?' she cried. 'I am burning my hand because it committed an ill deed,' answered he. The woman left him hurriedly and told some people that she met of that worshipper's deed. They ran to him, but found his hand was burnt." 230
Imam as-Sadiq (a) narrated:
"One of the ladies of the Israelites tried to seduce the worshipper who hosted her. He wanted to reach her, but whenever he tried to do it, he was putting one of his fingers in fire. He kept on doing so until morning. 'Go out,' he dismissed her, 'you were the worst guest I have ever had.'"
HOPE FOR GOD
Hope is the expectation of a dear thing the arrangements of which are already done, such as hope for the yield of a land after it was seeded, watered, and superintended. In case the arrangements of a thing are not done, hope for it will be foolhardiness, just like hope for the yield of a derelict land that was not superintended properly. Hope, furthermore, is the second wing with which, along with fear, the believers fly in the horizons of the obedience of God. Although fear and hope support each other in disciplining the believers, hope is sweeter and fresher than fear, because its source is trust in God and the assurance of the extent of His mercy. To obey out of hope is better than obeying out of fear. In view of that, good tidings of hope are carried through numerous texts from the Quran and Sunna:
Warning against Despair
"(Muhammad), tell my servants who have committed injustice to themselves, 'Do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is All-forgiving and All-merciful.' (39:53)"
"…And do not despair of receiving comfort from Allah; only the unbelievers despair of receiving comfort from Him. (12:87)"
The Prophet (s) said: "On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will gather the despondent of His mercy with their faces blackened. They will be given the name of 'the despondent of Allah's mercy.'" 231
Amir ul-Mu'minin (a) said to the man who was prevailed by despair of God's mercy out of his many sins: "You, to despair of the mercy of Allah is the greatest sin that you have ever committed." 232
Vastness of God's Mercy and Pardon
"Your Lord's mercy is completely overwhelming. (6:147)"
"Your Lord, certainly, has forgiveness for the injustice of the people. (13:6)"
"Allah does not forgive the sin of considering others equal to Him, but He may choose to forgive other sins. (4:48)"
"When the faithful come to you, say to them, "Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed for Himself to be All-merciful. Anyone of you who commits a sin out of ignorance, then repents, and reforms himself will find that Allah is All-forgiving and All-merciful." (6:54)" Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: "On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will extend His mercy so vastly that even Eblis will expect himself to be included with that mercy." 233
"…On the Day of Resurrection, the guilty believers will be stopped before Allah Who will personally interrogate him. He will display before him his sins in details, and the believer will confess of them all. The Lord will then say: 'In the worldly life, I covered these sins and, now, I will cover them for you.' He then will order to change them into virtues. As the record of that believer will be shown to people, they will say, 'How admirable this man is! He did not commit a single sin!' This is the meaning of God's saying:
But only those who repent and believe and act righteously will have their sins replaced by virtue, (25:70)" 234
Favorable Judgment about God
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: "The last servant who will be sent to Hell will turn his face towards Allah. The Lord then will order the angels to bring him back. 'Why did you turn your face, servant?' the Lord will ask. 'Lord,' the servant will say, 'I had another idea about You.' 'What did you think of Me, servant?' the Lord will ask. The servant will answer, 'I thought You would forgive me and allow me to live in Your Paradise.' The Lord then will say, 'My angels, I swear by My power, majesty, favors, tests, and exaltation, this servant had never thought good about Me for a single hour of his lifetime. Had he done so, I would not have sent him to Hell. Nevertheless, I will regard the lie that he has just told as true and allow him to be in Paradise.'
Allah will live up to the servant who thinks well of Him:
'This was how you considered your Lord, but He knows you better than you know yourselves. Thus, you are now lost (41:23).'" 235
Imam ar-Rida (a) said: "Have favorable judgment about Allah, for He says: I am as My servant thinks of Me, whether good or bad." 236
Intercession of the Prophet and the Imams for their Adherents
The Prophet (s) said: "On the Day of Resurrection, we will be responsible for interrogating our adherents. Regarding the wrongdoings that are committed against Allah, we will issue a judgment about them and Allah will accept it for us. Regarding the wrongdoings that are committed against people, we will interfere so that the wronged party will forgive for our sake. Regarding the wrongdoings that are committed against us, we are the worthiest of forgiveness." 237
"He who dies on the love for Mohammed's family will be treated as shahid. He who dies on the love for Mohammed's family will be forgiven. He who dies on the love for Mohammed's family will be (regarded as) repentant. He who dies on the love for Mohammed's family will be perfectly faithful believer. He who dies on the love for Mohammed's family will be given the good tidings of being in Paradise by the angel of death, first, and Munkar and Nakeer, second. He who dies on the love for Mohammed's family will be carried in procession to Paradise like brides. He who dies on the love for Mohammed's family will have two doors taking to Paradise opened from his grave. As for him who dies on the love for Mohammed's family, Allah will make the angels of mercy visit his grave regularly. He who dies on the love for Mohammed's family will be regarded as follower of the Sunna and community of Muslims. But for him who dies on the hatred for Mohammed's family, he will attend on the Day of Resurrection with the script, -written on his forehead-- 'This one is excluded from the mercy of Allah."238
The Prophet (s) once, came to his companions with bright face like the halo of the moon. When Abdurrahman ibn Awf asked him, the Prophet said: "I have just received the good tidings about my brother and cousin and about my daughter. I have just been told that Allah gave my daughter Fatima in marriage to Ali and ordered Ridwan; the doorkeeper of Paradise, to shake the Tree of Tuba, which carried muniments as many as those who have love for my family. Under that tree, Allah has created angels of light and given each one of them one of these muniments. When the Day of Resurrection will come and the angels will call at all the creatures, they will give each of those who have love for The The Ahl ul-Bayt one of these muniments that will be documents of acquittance from Hell. Hence, my brother and my daughter will set many men and women of my umma free from Hell." 239
When God's saying, "The righteously striving believers are the best of all creatures, (98:9)" was revealed, the Prophet (s) said to Ali: This is you and your Shia. 240 On the Day of Resurrection, you will be content and pleased, while your enemies will be angry and depressed. 241
Calamities and Diseases Cancel the Believers' Sins
The Prophet (s) said: "God says: By My power and majesty I swear, I will not make the servant upon whom I want to have mercy depart this world before I punish him for every sin that he committed. I will punish him by means of an ailment that inflicts him, poverty that befalls him, or a state of fear that controls him. If this is not enough, I will make him suffer the agonies of death." 242
"Depression and grief will not depart the believer before they eradicate all of his sins." 243
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: "Mufaddal, beware of committing sins and warn our adherents against so. By God I swear, you are the most targeted by sins. You may suffer the persecution of the ruling authorities. This is because of your commitment of sins. You may be ailed. This is because of your commitment of sins. Your sustenance may be stopped. This is because of your commitment of sins.
You may suffer the agonies of death so severely. This is also because of your commitment of sins."
As the Imam noticed that al-Mufaddal was highly touched by these words, he (a) commented: "You suffer all the previous in order that you will not be interrogated about your sins on the Day of Resurrection, since the punishment for such sins befall you in this world." 244
"The believer may suffer troubles in sleep as a punishment for his commitment of sins. He also may suffer a physical defect as a punishment for his commitment of sins." 245
Reality of Hope
Hope is meaningless unless reasons of its success are available. It is hence foolish to leave the courses of obedience and take in the courses of deviation and depend totally on hope. Such hope is surely void. It is noticeable that the great personalities, such as prophets, their successors, and the saints, spared no efforts in the fields of the obedience to God and devoted themselves to the acts of worship while they were the most favorable to God:
As he was told that some people were engrossed in the acts of disobedience to God while they claim that they hope for the mercy of Him, Imam as-Sadiq (a) said:
"They are liars. They are not our Shia. Those are the people whom are deceived by false hopes. He who hopes for something should work for it, and he who fears something should escape it." 246
Purpose of Hope and Fear
Some people can be mended only by means of hope while others can be rectified by means of fear. The disobedient who have felt regret for their excessive sins but they have despaired of His pardon should be treated by means of hope for God's immense mercy. Those who destroyed themselves because of excessive performance of acts of worship should also be treated by means of hope for God. On the other side, the sinful tyrants who are plunging in acts of disobedience to God and are deceived by false hope should be treated by means of fear of God as well as severe reproach and painful punishment.