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The Prophetic Hadiths in Al-Khisal

By: Mohammad Javad Shomali
Al-Khisal (lit. traits of character) of Shaykh Saduq is one of the most valuable early sources of hadiths (narrations) from Prophet Muhammad and his household. Shaykh Saduq, Muhammad b. Babawayh al-Qummi (d.329/940), was an outstanding jurist and a prominent scholar of hadith. He was given the title "Imad Al-Din" by Shaykh Tusi.
In Al-Khisal, Shaykh Saduq has prepared a collection of traditions in an interesting way. The main themes of the traditions are ethics, manners and good characteristics. All the traditions are presented with a complete record of transmission. Furthermore, they are divided into different groups according to numbers e.g. all the traditions related to the number one are gathered in one part then traditions related to number two and so on. It starts with one and ends with one million. Al-Khisal seems to be the first on record to be compiled with this style. Moreover, Al-Khisal is a great encyclopedia on Islamic knowledge and many authoritative works on Shi'ite traditions such as Bihar Al-Anwar have cited it as a reference.
The following article is a collection of traditions from the Prophet, selected from Parts One to Twelve of Al-Khisal.

Characteristics related to the Number One

Abandoning the present to attain the promised

طوبی لمن ترک شهوة حاضرة لموعود لم یره

Blessed be the one who abandons a current tangible desire to attain an unseen promised reward.[1]

A believer's honor is in one practice and his glory is in one characteristic
It is reported from Prophet Muhammad (S) that the Gabriel went to him and said:
جاء جبرئیل علیه السلام إلی النبی صلی الله علیه و آله فقال: “یا محمد عش ما شت فانک میت و احبب ما شت فانک مفارقه و اعمل ما شت فانک مجزی به و اعلم ان الشرف الرجل قیامه بالیل و عزه استغناؤه عن الناس
."
O Muhammad! Live for as long as you want. You will finally die. Love whatever you want. You will finally be separated from it. Do whatever you want. You will finally be rewarded for it. Know that a man's honour is in his staying up at night and his dignity is in his independence from people. [2]

A characteristic that constitutes half of the religion
حسن الخلق نصف الدین

Being good-tempered constitutes half of the religion.[3]

A characteristic that is the best thing given to a Muslim
قیل لرسول الله صلی الله علیه و آله: “ما افضل ما اعطی المرء المسلم؟” قال: “الخلق الحسن
".
God's Prophet was asked: "What is the best thing given to a Muslim?" He replied: "A good temper".[4]

Characteristics related to the Number Two

Two blessings which are normally taken for granted

نعمتان مکفورتان: الامن والعافیة

Two blessings are taken for granted, security and health. [5]

There is no good in this life except for two kinds of men
لا خیر فی العیش الا لرجلین: عالم مطاع، أو مستمع واع

There is no good in this life except for two kinds of men: a knowledgeable one who is obeyed and an obedient student. [6]

Seek refuge from two characteristics
قال رسول الله صلی الله علیه و آله أعوذ بالله من کفر و الدین، قیل یا رسول الله أیعدل الدین بالکفر؟ فقال نعم

God's Prophet (S) said: "I seek refuge in God from disbelief and debt." He was told, "O Prophet of God! Is debt equal to disbelief?" He replied: "Yes". [7]

Whoever possesses two characteristics is a true believer
من واسی الفقیر و انصف الناس من نفسه فذلک مومن حقا

Whoever is sympathetic with the poor and treats the people fairly is a true believer.[8]

Saying what is right under two conditions
ما انفق مؤمن من نفقة هی احب الی الله عز و جل من القول الحق فی الرضا و الغضب
.
Nothing that a believer does is more loved by God, the Honourable and Exalted, than saying what is right whether he is pleased or angry.[9]

Two characteristics loved by God in the Heavens and by the people on Earth
قال رجل للنبی صلی الله علیه و آله: “یا رسول الله علمنی شیئا إذا أنا فعلته أحبنی الله من السماء و أحبنی الناس من الارض” فقال له: “ارغب فیما عند الله عز و جل یحبک الله و ازهد فیما عند الناس یحبک الناس
."
A man asked the Prophet (S): "O Prophet of God! Please let me know something which I can do to be loved by God in the Heavens and by the people on Earth." The Prophet (S) told him: "Be inclined to what belongs to God to be loved by God, the Honourable and Exalted, and abstain from what belongs to people to be loved by people." [10]

Jealousy is not proper except in two circumstances
لا حسد الا فی اثنتین رجل آتاه الله مالا فهو ینفق منه آناء اللیل وآناء النهار و رجل آتاه الله القرآن فهو یقوم به آناء اللیل و آناء النهار

It is not proper to be jealous except in two circumstances. The first case is to be jealous of a man to whom God has granted things and he gives some of them in charity day and night. The second case is to be jealous of a man to whom God has granted the Qur'an and he recites it during the day and the night.[11]

Two fears and two securities
قال الله تبارک و تعالی و عزتی و جلالی لا أجمع علی عبدی خوفین و لا أجمع له أمنین، فاذا أمننی فی الدنیا أخفته یوم القیامة و إذا خافنی فی الدنیا آمنته یوم القیامة
.
God's Prophet (S) said: "God the Blessed and the Sublime swore by his Honour and Grandeur that He would not give His servants two fears and two securities. If a person is not afraid of Me in this world, I will scare him on the Day of Resurrection and if he is afraid of Me in this world, I will make him secure on the Day of Resurrection."[12]

Two things improve this nation and two destroy it
إن صلاح أول هذه الامة بالزهد والیقین وهلاک آخرها بالشح و الامل
.
The two things that made early generation(s) of this nation happy are abstinence and certitude, and the two things that would destroy the ending generation(s) of this nation are stinginess and having high aspirations.[13]

Characteristics related to the Number Three

Three characteristics, each of which would cause one to be under the Shade of God's Throne

ثلاث خصال من کن فیه أو واحدة منهن کان فی ظل عرش الله عز و جل {یوم القیامة} یوم لا ظل الا ظله: رجل أعطی الناس ما سائلهم لها و رجل لم یقدم رجلا و لم یؤخر اخری حتی یعلم أن ذلک لله فیه رضی أو سخط و رجل لم یعب أخاه المسلم بعیب حتی ینفی ذلک العیب من نفسه فانه لا ینفی منها عیبا إلا بدا له عیب و کفی بالمرء شغلا بنفسه عن الناس

There are three qualities having each of which would cause one to be under the Shade of God, the Honourable and Exalted, (on the Resurrection day) on the day in which there is no shade but God's Shade. The first characteristic is to grant people what you expect of them. The second characteristic is to only do what pleases God, and not do what would provoke God's Wrath. The third characteristic is not to express the faults of one's Muslim brothers in their absence, unless one first removes such faults from himself. It is better to attend to the improvement of one's own faults than to seek out other people's faults. [14]

Whoever possesses three characteristics has perfect faith
ثلاث خصال من کن فیه استکمل خصال الایمان: الذی إذا رضی لم یدخله رضاه فی إثم و لا باطل و إذا غضب لم یخرجه الغضب من الحق وإذا قدر لم یتعاط ما لیس له
.
There are three characteristic which if possessed would perfect one's faith. When one is pleased, his pleasure does not lead him into sin and wrongful deeds; when one is angered, his anger does not lead him away from what is right; and when one is in power, his power does not lead him to acquire what does not rightfully belong to him. [15]

Having three characteristics is enough for one to be bad
إن أسرع الخیر ثوابا البر و إن أسرع الشر عقابا البغی و کفی بالمرء عیبا أن ینظر من الناس إلی ما یعمی عنه من نفسه و یعبر الناس بما لا یستطیع ترکه و یؤذی جلیسه بما لا یعنیه
.
Indeed the reward of doing good to others will arrive much faster than any good deeds, the punishment for doing wrong to others will arrive much faster than any evil deeds. Having three characteristics is enough for one to be considered imperfect: paying attention to other people's faults while ignoring your own; admonishing others against evil deeds without being able to abandon them yourself and hurting your companion for nothing.[16]

Three characteristics without which you are not from God or the Prophet
"
ثلاث لم تکن فیه فلیس منی و لا من الله عز و جل” قیل: “یا رسول الله و ما هن؟” قال: “حلم یرد به جهل الجاهل و حسن خلق یعیش به فی الناس و ورع یحجزه عن معاصی الله عز وجل
."
God's Prophet (S) said: "There are three characteristics which if not possessed then one is neither from me nor from God, the Honourable and Exalted." The Prophet (S) was asked: "O Prophet of God! What are they?" The Prophet (S) replied: "Patience by which you forgive the ignorance of those who are ignorant, being good-tempered with people and piety which restrains you from rebelling against God, the Honourable and Exalted." [17]

Three things to respect and safeguard for God's sake
إن الله حرمات ثلاث من حفظهن حفظ الله له أمر دینه و دنیاه و من لم یحفظهن لم یحفظ الله له شیئا: حرمة الاسلام و حرمتی و حرمة عترتی
.
There are three things to respect so that God will protect your faith and your worldly affairs. And if you disrespect them, God will not protect anything for you. These three things to respect are Islam, me and my 'Itrat (household).[18]

Reality of one's faith can be proved by having three characteristics
قال أبی جعفر علیه السلام: “بینا رسول الله صلی الله علیه و آله ذات یوم فی بعض أسفاره إذ لقیه رکب فقالوا: السلام علیک یا رسول الله فالتفت إلیهم فقال: ما أنتم؟ قالوا: مؤمنون، قال: فما حقیقة ایمانکم؟ قالوا: الرضا بقضاء الله و التسلیم لامر الله و التفویض إلی الله، فقال رسول الله صلی الله علیه و آله: علماء حکماء کادوا أن یکونوا من الحکمة أنبیاء، فان کنتم صادقین فلا تبنوا ما لا تسکنون و لا تجمعوا ما لا تاکلون واتقوا الله الذی إلیه ترجعون
"
Abu Ja'far Al-Baqir said: "God's Apostle (S) encountered a group of riders during one of his journeys. They greeted him and he asked them who they were. They said they were believers. The Apostle (S) asked them about the proof of the reality of their faith. They replied 'Contentment with what God has destined, entrusting ourselves to God, and submitting to God's orders.' Then God's Apostle (S) said, 'These are wise and knowledgeable people with such a high rank, near that of the Prophets.' Then he faced them and said, 'If you are truthful, do not build what you shall not reside in, do not collect what you shall not eat and fear God to whom you shall return.'" [19]

Faith consists of three things
الایمان معرفة بالقلب و إقرار باللسان و عمل بالارکان

Faith consists of whole-hearted acceptance, verbal expression and acting accordingly.[20]

It is not allowed for one not to be on speaking terms with one's Muslim brother for more than three days
لا یحل للمسلم أن یهجر أخاه فوق ثلاث

It is not allowed for one not to be on speaking terms with one's Muslim brother for more than three days.[21]

Characteristics related to the Number Four

Four characteristics that can make one stay in God's light

أربع من کن فیه کان فی نور الله الاعظم: من کانت عصمة أمره شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأنی رسول الله ومن إذا إصابته مصیبة قال: إنا لله و إنا إلیه راجعون و من إذا أصاب خیرا قال: الحمد لله رب العالمین و من إذا أصاب خطیئة قال: أستغفر الله وأتوب إلیه
.
God's Prophet (S) said: "Whoever has the following four characteristics is in the Greatest Light of God: 1- Witnessing to God's Unity and my Prophethood prevents him from committing sins 2- Saying 'from God we are and to Him we return' in times of calamity 3- Saying 'praise be to the Lord of the two worlds' when he receives some blessings 4- Saying 'I ask for forgiveness from Allah and repent to him' whenever he commits a sin." [22]

Four things that the nation should always do
یلزم الحق لامتی فی أربع: یحبون التائب ویرحمون الضعیف و یعینون المحسن و یستغفرون للمذنب

My nation should always do the following four things: 1- They should love those who repent. 2- They should be sympathetic with the weak. 3- They should help good-doers. 4- They should ask for forgiveness for sinners.[23]

Four signs of misery
یا علی أربع خصال من الشقاء: جمود العین و قساوة القلب و بعد الامل و حب البقاء
.
O Ali! The following are among the signs of misery: solidity of the eye (inability to cry), hard-heartedness, being too ambitious and love for a very long life.[24]

One cannot move on the Resurrection Day until asked about four things
لا تزول قدما عبد یوم القیامة حتی یسأل عن أربع، عن عمره فیما أفناه و{عن} شبابه فیما أبلاه وعن الما ل من أین اکتسبه و فیما أنفقه وعن حبنا أهل البیت
.
A servant of God will be asked about four (things) on the Resurrection Day before he can move: how he spent his lifetime, what he used his youth for, how he earned his income and how he spent it and about his love for us, the members of the Holy Household.[25]

Four characteristics of a hypocrite
أربع من کن فیه فهو منافق وإن کانت فیه واحدة منهن کانت فیه خصلة من النفاق حتی یدعها: من إذا حدث کذب وإذا وعد أخلف وإذا عاهد غدر وإذا خاصم فجر
.
Whoever possesses four characteristics is a hypocrite. Even if one has only one of these characteristics he is a hypocrite, unless he gives up that characteristic. One who lies when he talks, one who breaks his promise, one who breaks his pledges and one who cheats when he fights. [26]

Characteristics related to the Number Five

A businessman must avoid five things

من باع واشتری فلیجتنب خمس خصال وإلا فلا یبیعن ولا یشترین: الربا والحلف وکتمان العیب والمدح إذا باع و الذم إذا اشتری

Whoever engages in buying and selling should avoid the following five things; otherwise he must not do any business. They are as follows: usury, swearing at something or someone, covering up the defects of his goods, praising goods while selling them and finding faults (undervaluing) with goods while buying them.[27]

Requirements of knowledge
جاء رجل إلی النبی صلی الله علیه و آله فقال: “یا رسول الله ما العلم؟” قال: “الانصات”، قال: “ثم مه؟” قال: “الاستماع له”، قال: “ثم مه؟” قال: “الحفظ له”، قال: “ثم مه؟” قال: “العمل به”، قال: “ثم مه؟” قال: “ثم نشره
"
A man asked the Prophet (S): "O Prophet of God! What is (the requirement of) knowledge?" The Prophet (S) replied: "Silence." The man asked: "What is next?" The Prophet (S) replied: "Listening to knowledge (i.e. those who are knowledgeable)." The man asked: "And what is next?" The Prophet (S) replied: "Remembering it." The man asked: "And what is next?" The Prophet (S) replied: "Acting upon it." The man asked: "And what is next?" The Prophet (S) said: "Spreading and sharing it with others." [28]

The best of people are those who do five deeds
سئل رسول الله صلی الله علیه و آله عن خیار العباد، فقال: “الذین إذا أحسنوا استبشروا وإذا أساؤوا استغفروا وإذا اعطوا شکروا وإذا ابتلوا صبروا وإذا غضبوا غفروا
"
The Prophet of God (S) was asked about the best of people. He replied: "They are the ones who rejoice when they do good and repent when they do evil. They thank you when you do something good for them and persevere in the face of calamites. They forgive (others) when they get angry." [29]

Characteristics related to the Number Six

If you do six things, you would be admitted to Paradise

تقبلوا لی بست أتقبل لکم بالجنة: إذا حدثتم فلا تکذبوا وإذا وعدتم فلا تخلفوا وإذا ائتمنتم فلا تخونوا وغضوا أبصارکم و احفظوا فروجکم و کفوا أیدیکم وألسنتکم
.
Promise me that you will do the following six things and then I will promise you that you will go to Paradise. Do not lie when you quote something. Never break your promise. Return what you are entrusted with. Do not look at what is forbidden to see. Guard your modesty. Do not bother people physically or verbally.[30]

Six forms of chivalry
ست من المروءۃ: ثلاث منها فی الحضر وثلاث منها فی السفر، فأما التی فی الحضر: فتلاوة کتاب الله عز و جل و عمارة مساجد الله واتخاذ الاخوان فی الله عز و جل وأما التی فی السفر: فبذل الزاد وحسن الخلق والمزاح فی غیر المعاصی
"
There are six forms of chivalry. Three of them are for when you are at home and three others are for when you are travelling. The three for when you are at home are: reciting the book of God the Honourable and Exalted, developing and promoting God's Mosques and making friends for the sake of God, the Honourable and Exalted. The three for when you are travelling are: to give to others from your own travel provisions, being good-tempered and joking regarding things other than acts of disobedience.[31]

Seek refuge from six characteristics
کان رسول الله صلی الله علیه و آله یتعوذ فی کل یوم من ست {خصال} من الشک و الشرک والحمیة والغضب والبغی والحسد
.
God's Prophet (S) used to seek refuge from six characteristics every day: doubt, associating partners with God, bias, anger, injustice and jealousy.[32]

Six rights of a quadruped incumbent upon its owner
للدابة علی صاحبها ست خصال: یبدأ بعلفها إذا نزل ویعرض علیها الماء إذا مر به ولا یضرب وجهها فإنها تسبح بحمد ربها ولا یقف علی ظهرها إلا فی سبیل الله عز و جل ولا یحملها فوق طاقتها ولا یکلفها من المشی إلا ما تطیق
.
A quadruped has six rights incumbent upon its owner. When he stops, he should feed it first. He should give it water whenever it passes by water. He should not hit it on the face, since it glorifies God with its face. He should not ride on its back, unless it is in the way of God. He should not overload it beyond its capability. He should not force it to walk more than it can.[33]
There are six who are damned
ستة لعنهم الله وکل نبی مجاب: الزاید فی کتاب الله والمکذب بقدر الله والتارک لسنتی والمستحل من عترتی ما حرم الله و المتسلط بالجبروت لیذل من أعزه الله و یعز من أذله الله والمستأثر بفیء المسلمین المستحل له
.
There are six groups of people who are damned by God and all the Prophets (whose calls are accepted): Those who add to any divine book, those who deny the divine decree, those who abandon my Sunnah (Traditions), those who allow what God has forbidden regarding my Itrat, those who take power by force to debase those whom God has honoured and honour those whom God has debased, those who misappropriate public money that belong to all Muslims.[34]

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