Imam Baqir's(A.S.) Commandments
It is related that Imam Al-Baqir(a) said to Jabir:
O Jabir, you should win five matters from the people of your time: They will not know you when you are present (in a gathering), they will not miss you when you are absent, they will not seek your consult when you witness a matter, they will not listen to you when you provide an opinion, and they will not give you in marriage when you betroth.
I advise you to cling to five matters: you should not oppress him who oppressed you; you should not cheat him who cheated you; you should not be angry when you are belied; you should not be happy when you are praised; and you should not be miserable when you are dispraised. Think of the dispraise that is said about you. If it is true, then it will be more catastrophic for you to be disregarded by Allah than being disregarded by people when you decline the right. If it is incorrect, then it will be a reward that you gained without exerting any effort.
You should know that if all the people of your region say unanimously that you are bad, this should not shake you, and if they all say unanimously that you are good, this should not please you and make you one of our followers. To be our follower, you should measure yourself according to the criteria of Allah's Book.
If you take its path, abstain from what it warns, desire for what it urges, and fear of what it cautions, then you should be stable and glad. In this case, whatever is said against you will not injure you.
If you oppose the instructions of the Quran, then in what are you proud? The faithful believer should engage himself in fighting against his desires for overcoming his passions. Once, he wins and opposes his passion for Allah's sake, and once his passions overcome him. Thus, he follows his whims, but he will live again as Allah grants him a new life and will remember as Allah pardons his flaws.
As he seeks the refuge of repentance and God-fearing, he will be supplied with guidance and knowledge as much as he fears Allah. This is because Allah says: Surely those who guard against eivl, when a visitation from the Shaitan afflicts them then become intelligent, then lo! They see. (Holy Qur'an 7:201)
O Jabir, regard Allah's few sustenance as very much so as to be able to thank Him suitably. Regard your many acts of obedience to Allah as few so as to lower yourself (before Allah) and seek His pardon. Refute the present evil by the present knowledge. Use the present knowledge for achieving honesty in your deeds. In the honesty of deeds, protect yourself against the great inadvertence through the tension of wakefulness by the sincerity of fear. Beware of the content of ornamentation with the presence of life.
Be careful of the adventures of the whims by referring to the indications of the mind. Stop at the overcome of the whim by seeking the guidance of knowledge. Spare the well-intended deeds to the Day of Judgment. Push yourself into the fields of satisfaction by guarding against acquisitiveness. Refute the great acquisitiveness by the preference of satisfaction. Obtain the sweetness of abstinence through the disregard of hope.
Cut off the causes of avarice with the coolness of despair. Block the path of arrogance with self-realization. Conclude to self-satisfaction by the sound commendation to Allah. Seek the physical relaxation through freedom from card. Obtain the freedom from care through fewness of mistakes. Attain soft heartedness by the very much mentioning of Allah in seclusions. Get the illumination of heart from the continuance of sadness. Protect (yourself) against the Shaitan by the honest God-Fearing.
Beware of the false expectation, because it traps you in serious fear. Adorn for Allah through sincerity of deeds. Approach Allah by means of asking for meeting Him as soon as possible. Beware of negligence, because it is an ocean in which the unsuccessful ones will sink. Beware of inadvertence, because it is the source of hard-heartedness. Beware of slowness in matters that are unexcused, because it is the path of the regretful.
Remember the past sins through the tense sorrow and the plenty of seeking forgiveness. Meet Allah's mercy and pardon by the good review with Him. Seek the aid of the well-intended supplications and the secret beseeching in darkness for achieving the good review with Allah. Reach the great thankfulness through regarding the little sustenance as great and regarding te many acts of obedience to Allah as few. Bring the increase of graces through the great thanking.
Beg to the great thanking through fearing the vanishing of graces. Seek the continuance of honor throught killing avarices. Refute the humility of greed by the honor of despair. Get the honor of despair from the strength of mind. Supply for yourself from this world through the disregard of hope. Take the initiative in seizing the opportunities whenever they are available. No opportunity like the leisure times with good health. Beware of trusting the dishonest. Evil is a custom such as the custom of having food.
Know that no knowledge like seeking safety, no safety like the safety of heart, no intelligence like opposing the whims, no fear like the fear of him who avoids sinning, no hope like the hope of the supporter, no poverty like the heart poverty, no richness like self-sufficiency, no strength like overcoming the whims, no illumination like the illumination of conviction, no conviction like belittling the worldly pleasures, no knowledge like self-realization, no grace like good health, no health like supporting for prosperity, no honor like willpower, no abstinece like disregard of hope, no diligence like competition for (attaining) the (highest) ranks, no justice like fairness, no aggression like prejudice, no prejudice like accordance with the whims, no obedience like performing the obligatory rites, no fear like grief, no misfortune like unintelligence, no unintelligence like littleness of conviction, no littleness of conviction like loss of fear, no jihad like struggling against the whims, no power like stopping the rage, no disobedience like love of survival, and no humility like the humility greed.
Beware of the negligence of given opportunities, because it is a field of loss.
More Words to Jabir
Jabir narrated: one day, Imam al-Baqir(A.S.)went out saying, "O Jabir, by Allah, I am grieved and my heart is so engaged." "What grieves you and in what is your heart engaged? May Allah make me your sacrifice. Is it for the world?" I asked.
He(A.S.) answered: No, Jabir, it is the grief for the care of the world to come. He whose heart is occupied by the pure reality of faith will be far away from the worldly pleasures. The adornment of this world is only playing and fun. The Last Lodge is the true life.
O Jabir, The faithful believer should not incline and feel secure with the adornment of the world. You should know that the seekers of the worldly affairs are the people of inadventence, deception, and ignorance, while the seekers of the life to come are the faithful believers, who work and abstain pondering (over things), learning lessons, and test. They never tire of mentioning Allah.
You should know, Jabir, that the true rich men are the God-fearing people. They are sufficed with the little worldly means. Their burdens are light. They remind you, if you forget, of charity, and help you do it. They postponed their lusts and desires and preferred the acts of obedience to their Lord. They looked for the course of charity and the loyalty to the disciples of Allah; then loved, pursued, and followed them.
Consider this world as a lodging in which you reside for one hour only and then you will leave, or as a funds that you got in dream and made you happy, but when you woke up it was nothing. I exemplified for you so that you will be intelligent, as you will practice it, if Allah prospers you.
Retain, O Jabir, these matters of religion and the Lord's words of wisdom that I am entrusting with you. Offer advice for yourself and look in the standings that Allah has deposited with you in your life. In the same way, you will find your pledge with Him when you will be returned to Him. See if the world is the opposite of what I have described for you, you should shift to the lodging of the blame, today. It happens that one gets what he desires from the worldly affairs, but it becomes the source of misfortune and unhappiness for him. Likewise, it happens that one disliked a matter of the world to come, but when he got it, it was the source of happiness for him.