Faith in Islam
Having a Good Opinion About God
149- In Al-Mahasin it is narrated that Imam Baqir (a.s) said: “We find in (Imam) Ali ibn Abitalib's (a.s) book that God's Prophet (a.s) used to say the following when he gave a sermon on the mosque pulpit: “I swear by God who has no partners that no good of this world or the Hereafter has been granted to any believer, except due to his good opinion about God, his good behavior, and his avoidance of gossiping and slandering. And I swear by God who has no partners that God will not punish anyone after repentance and seeking forgiveness except due to his bad opinion about God, insufficient hope in God, bad behavior, and gossiping about believers. I swear by God who has no partners that there are no believers who have a good opinion about God and receive anything less than they expect from Him. This is so since God is Benevolent and has authority over all that is good, and is ashamed of one of his servants having a good opinion about Him and He acting otherwise. Therefore have a good opinion about God and be inclined to Him.”
150- Ameer al-Momineen (a.s) said: “God is present in the mind of whoever has a good opinion about Him. It is God who said: “But this thought of yours which ye did entertain concerning your Lord, hath brought you to destruction, and (now) have ye become of those utterly lost!.” [The Holy Quran: Fussilat 41:23]
151- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: “Jesus the son of Mary once sent two of his companions out to work. One returned thin like a dried stick and the other one returned and was chubby. Jesus asked the first one why he was thin. He said it was due to his fear of God. Then Jesus asked the one who was chubby for the reason he was chubby. He said it was due to his having a good opinion about God.”
152- Imam Sadiq (a.s) quoted the following from Prophet David (a.s): “O' God! One who does not have a good opinion about You has no faith in You even if he has gotten to know you.”
153- In Rauzat al-Vaezeen it is narrated that the Prophet of God (a.s) said: “Do not die and depart from this world until you have formed a good opinion about God, since this is the price for Heaven.”
154- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: “Two men who were imprisoned were freed during the time of the Prophet Moses (a.s). One of them was large and chubby, and the other one was very thin. Moses asked the chubby man the reason for his being fat. He replied: “From having a good opinion about God.” Then he asked the other man the reason for being so skinny. He replied: “From fearing God.” Then Moses (a.s) raised his hands towards the sky and asked God to inform him which of the two were nobler. God revealed to him that the one who had a good opinion about God was nobler.
155- In Al-Mahasin it is narrated that Imam Sadiq (a.s) quoted the following on the authority of his noble father (a.s): “Jesus, the son of Mary said: “Blessed be1 one who thinks when he is quiet; is admonished when he looks; invokes the name of God when he talks; cries over his own sins; and the people are safe from his hands and tongue.”
156- Al-Hassan al-Sayghal said that he asked Imam Sadiq (a.s) about the meaning of what people say when they state that it is better to think for one hour than pray for one whole night. The Imam (a.s) replied in the positive saying that the Prophet (a.s) had said: “It is better to think for one hour than to pray for one whole night.” Then he asked how one should think. The Imam (a.s) replied: “He should ask the following questions when he passes a house or the ruins of an old building: Where are the residents? Where are those who constructed this building? And why do they not speak?”
157- Imam Sadiq (a.s) stated that Ameer al-Momineen (a.s) said: “O' son of Adam! Indeed thinking can attract one towards good deeds, and repentance can cause one to abandon evil deeds. Whatever is not lasting - even if it seems a lot to some people - will not harm what is lasting, even if it is rare and hard to get.”
158- Ameer al-Momineen (a.s) said: “All good is contained in three traits: looking, being quiet and talking. If one does not get admonished when he sees things, he is in error. Not thinking when you are quiet equals ignorance, and any talk in which there is no remembrance of God is in vain.
On Faith and Islam
159- In Al-Mahasin it is narrated that Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: “A man went to the Prophet of God (a.s) and said that he had come to swear allegiance to Islam. God's Prophet (a.s) said: “So that you kill your father?” The man withdrew his hand and changed his mind. Later he returned and said he had come to swear allegiance to Islam. God's Prophet (a.s) said: “So that you kill your father?” The man said: “Yes.” The Prophet (a.s) said: “A believer sees his faith in his actions and an unbeliever sees his disbelief in his actions. I swear by Him who has control over my life! They do not realize their own position and learn a lesson from the evil deeds of the hypocrites and the infidels which are due to the disbelief.”
160- Imam Sadiq (a.s) quoted the following on the authority of Ameer al-Momineen (a.s): “There are certain signs by which religious people can be recognized. These are truthfulness, trustworthiness, fulfilling one's promise, observing the relations of kin, being kind with the weak ones, and the subordinates, minimal sexual intercourse with women, doing good deeds, being good-tempered, using knowledge, and doing whatever helps man approach God. Blessed be such people. They shall prosper, and have a good place to return to.”
161- Imam Sadiq (a.s) reported the following on the authority of Ameer al-Momineen (a.s): “No one shall experience real faith unless he realizes that he shall suffer from whatever he is to suffer, and he shall be safe from whatever he should be saved from. Indeed it is God who brings forth loss or gain.”
162- Imam Baqir (a.s) narrated that when Imam Ali (a.s) was questioned about faith, he said: "God has established faith on four pillars: perseverance, certitude, justice and Jihad."
163- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "God will grant material goods to both His friends and His enemies. But He will only grant faith to those whom He loves."
164- Imam Sadiq (a.s) reported on the authority of his grandfather that Imam Ali (a.s) said that God's Prophet (a.s) said: "Whoever performs ablution and prays properly, pays the alms tax, overcomes his anger, controls his tongue, seeks God's forgiveness for his sins, and guides his family members has indeed completed the real aspects of faith and the gates of Heaven are open to him."
165- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "One day when the Prophet of God (a.s) saw Harith ibn Malik ibn al-Naemane al-Ansarie, he asked him: "O' Harith! How did you spent the night until the morning?" Harith replied: "O' Prophet of God! I spent the night until the morning as a true believer." The Prophet (a.s) said: "There is a certain truth to all faith. What is the truth of your faith?" He replied: "I abstained from worldly affairs, stayed up all night long, and fasted all day. Then when I looked up to my Lord's heavens, it was as if the Judgment Day had approached, and I joined the residents of Heaven while they were going to visit each other, and the residents of Hell were being tortured." God's Prophet (a.s) said: "You are a believer. God has enlightened your heart with faith. Then remain steadfast, and may God make you steadfast." Then Harith said: "O' Prophet of God! I fear none of my parts (to sin) but my eyes." So the Prophet of God (a.s) prayed for him and he lost his sight."
166- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said the following regarding God's statement: "And most of them believe not in God without associating (others as partners) with Him: [The Holy Quran: Yusuf 12:106] They follow Satan in the same way that they attribute partners to God."
167- Abdul-Mumin al-Ansari narrated that Imam Baqir (a.s) said: "God has granted three things to believers:
Nobility in the world and his religion, prosperity in the Hereafter, and dignity in the hearts of the people of the world."
168- Imam Baqir (a.s) reported the following on the authority of the Prophet of God (a.s): "Do you want me to tell you who a believer is? A believer is one with whom the believers trust their lives and property. Do you want me to tell you who a Muslim is? A Muslim is one from whose hands and tongue other Muslims are safe. And an emigrant is one who abstains from doing evil deeds and does not do whatever God has forbidden him to do."
169- The Prophet (a.s) was asked whose faith is superior to other people's faith. He replied: "The one who is more generous."
170- In Rauzat al-Vaezeen it is narrated that the Prophet of God (a.s) said: "A believer's house is simple, his food is little, his hair is not styled, his clothes are simple, but he is humble and does not exchange his health with anything."
171- Imam Reza (a.s) quoted the Prophet of God (a.s) on the authority of his father (a.s) on the authority of his grandfather (a.s): "Faith has seventy gates and a few more. The biggest one is witnessing that there is only one God, and there are no partners for Him, and the smallest one is cleaning up the walkways."
On Concealing Faith1
172- In Al-Mahasin it is narrated that Muala ibn Khunays narrated that Imam Sadiq (a.s) told him: "O' Muala! Conceal our secrets, and do not divulge them since God will honor those who conceal our secrets in this world, and will provide him with a guiding light directing him to Heaven in the Hereafter. O' Muala! God will abase whoever divulges our secrets in this world, and will darken his path in the Hereafter leading him to Hell. O' Muala! Concealing faith is a part of my religion, and the religion of my forefathers. Whoever does not practice it, is not religious. God likes to be worshipped in secret the same way that He likes to be worshipped publicly. O' Muala! Whoever divulges our secrets is like one who denies them."
173- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "Whoever divulges our secrets is like one who has deliberately killed us, not by mistake."
174- Bashir narrated that Imam Sadiq (a.s) reported on the authority of his father (a.s): "I swear by God that there is nothing on the Earth dearer to me than concealing faith, my darling. God will raise the status of whomever practices concealing faith, and God will abase whoever does not. O' my darling son! The people are in peace. If the decree to the holy Jihad is issued by the Imam (a.s), then the followers do not have to conceal their faith anymore."
175- Regarding God's statement: "Twice will they be given their reward, for that they have persevered, that they avert evil with good" [The Holy Quran: Qasas 28:54], Imam Sadiq (a.s) commented: "This means by their perseverance in concealing faith they will receive a double reward. And here good means concealing faith and evil means divulging our secrets."
176- Abi Basir said that he once asked Imam Sadiq (a.s): "Why do you not inform us about secrets in the same way that (Imam) Ali (a.s) informed his companions?" Imam Sadiq (a.s) replied: "By God you are right. But can you tell me of even one case when I told you a tradition about something and you kept it as a secret?" Then Abi Basir said: "By God I cannot even remember one tradition which I kept a secret."
177- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "Concealing faith is for times when it is necessary to do so, and the person who conceals his faith knows best when to do it."
178- Imam Baqir (a.s) said: "Concealing faith is for protecting lives and preventing bloodshed. There is no reason to conceal faith if there is bloodshed."
179- Abi Basir said that once he asked Imam Sadiq (a.s) about traditions. Then Imam Sadiq (a.s) asked him if he had kept any of the ones he had been told a secret so that he could be told new ones. When Imam Sadiq (a.s) noticed that Abi Basir was upset he said: "Do not worry about the ones that you told your friends. Divulging traditions means telling them to people other than your companions."
180- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "Subduing one's anger during times when the enemies are in power is considered to be a form of concealing faith. It protects the one who conceals his faith, and keeps him safe from trouble in life."
181- Ibn Miskan said that Imam Sadiq (a.s) told him: "I think if someone insults Imam Ali (a.s) in front of you, you will chop off his nose if you can." Ibn Miskan replied:
"May I be your devoted servant! Yes, my family and I are all this way." Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "Do not do this. I swear by God that there were many occasions when I heard someone insult Imam Ali (a.s) while there was only a small pillar between the man who insulted Imam Ali (a.s) and me.
I hid behind that pillar and when I finished my prayer I walked by, greeted him and shook hands with him."
182- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said the following regarding God's statement: "And slew the Prophets in defiance of right" [The Holy Quran: Al-i-Imran 3:112], "I swear by God that they did not kill them with their swords, but caused them to be killed by divulging their secrets."
183- In Sifat ul-Shi'ia it is narrated that Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "Whoever does not believe in the practice of concealing faith is not a follower (or Shiite) of Imam Ali (a.s)."
184- In Taqieh Lil-Ayashi it is narrated that Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "Whoever does not believe in the practice of concealing faith is not religious. And indeed the practice of concealing faith is more extensive than whatever exists between the Heavens and the Earth."
185- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "Whoever believes in God and the Resurrection Day and lives under an unjust government will only talk in order to conceal his faith."
186- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said that God admonished a tribe for not concealing faith and said: "When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they divulge it." [The Holy Quran: Nisaa 4:83]
187- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "There is no good in one who does not believe in the practice of concealing faith. And one who does not practice concealing faith does not have faith."
188- In Al-Kifayat Fin-Nosus it is narrated that Imam Reza (a.s) said: "One who is not pious is not religious, and one who does not practice concealing faith does not have faith. The dearest one from among you near God is the one who practices concealing of faith the most." Then the people asked the Prophet's descendent (a.s): "Until when should we continue to practice concealing of faith?" He replied: "Until a predetermined day, the day on which our Riser will rise. Whoever abandons concealing of faith before that day does not belong to our nation."
Then they asked: "O' descendent of the Prophet! From what family is your Riser1?" He replied: "He is from my fourth generation, the son of the Lady of the Maids2. Through him God will eliminate all oppression from the Earth."
This tradition has been narrated by Seyed al-Saeed Jalal al-Din Abu-Ali ibn Hamzeh al-Mousavi in his book on the authority of his teachers, on the authority of a trustworthy person, on the authority of the Prophet (a.s) and the Imams (a.s).
189- In Al-Mahasin it is narrated that Imam Sadiq (a.s) said that his father used to always tell him: "Nothing is more pleasing for your father than concealing faith. Indeed concealing faith is a believer's armor."
190- Abi Basir narrated that Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "Concealing faith is a part of God's religion." He was asked: "Is it a part of God's religion?" He replied: "Yes, I swear by God that when Joseph said: "Behold! Ye are thieves, without doubt!" [The Holy Quran: Yusuf 12:70], they had not really stolen anything. And also when Abraham said he was ill and would not attend the party, "I am indeed sick (at heart)!" [The Holy Quran: Saffat 37:89], by God he was not ill."3
191- Imam Baqir (a.s) said: "Concealing faith is necessary in all issues."
192- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "As the time of the appearance of Imam Mehdi (a.s) approaches, practicing concealing of faith becomes more difficult."
193- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: "God will make whoever divulges our secrets- the Household of the Prophet- feel the blazing Fire of Hell."
194- In Elal al-Sharayeh it is narrated that Davood al-Raq'qi narrated that the Shiites came to Imam Sadiq (a.s) to ask about wearing black suits. He said that he saw the Imam (a.s) was sitting and had put on a black robe, hat and shoes. The Imam (a.s) even opened a part of his shoe lining and said that it was also black. However he said: "Cleanse your souls, and wear whatever you wish."
Mishkat ul-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar