The Teachings of Imam Sadiq (a.s.)

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Imam Sadiq (a.s.) asked the man who attended before him about his manner. “I am one of your followers and adherents,” answered the man. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Allah will surely accept the servant whom He loves and will surely give Paradise to him whom He accepts. Which type of our followers the Imam(a.s.), ‘How many types of your followers,O son of the Prophet?’

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) spoke: Our followers are three types.

A type is those who pretend themselves our followers while the reality is the opposite, a type is those who cherish us secretly and do not follow us in public, and a type is those who cherish us openly and secretly. They are the highest group. They drank from the fresh water and had knowledge of the interpretation of the Book (of Allah), the distinction between the right and the wrong, and the causes of everything. Therefore, they have become the highest group.

Poverty, destitution, and the varieties of crises are hastier than racehorses to them. They have suffered hardship and damage and they have been shaken and tested. Hence, they have been wounded and slain, scattered in the remote countries. Through them, Allah heals the ailed and richens the deprived. Moreover, you gain victory, rainfall, and earnings only through them. They are the fewest, but the owners of the greatest standings with Allah.

The second group is the lowest group. They loved us in public, but they pursued the kings’ practices, Their tongues are with us while their swords are unsheathed in our faces.

The third class is the middle group. They loved us secretly and ignored us openly. I swear if they love us secretly not openly, they are the fasting in days and the worshipers at night. The signs of seclusion are shown on their faces. They are peaceful and submissive people.

The man declared, ‘I am one of those who loves you secretly and openly.”

The Imam (a.s.) said: Our followers in secret and openness enjoy a number of indications with which they are realized.

As the man asked about these indications, the Imam (a.s.) said: These are certain characters the first of which is that they knew monotheism perfectly, they excelled in the rules of Allah’s oneness, and finally they believed in Allah’s oneness and its description. Then they recognized the outlines, facts, provisions, and interpretation of faith.

The person intruded, ‘O son of Allah’s messenger, I have never heard you describing faith in such a form before.’ The Imam (a.s.) answered: Yes, the asker should not ask about faith before he knows the One in Whom he must believe.

‘O son of Allah’s messenger,’ asked that person, ‘Would you please explain what you have said?’

The Imam (a.s.) spoke: He who claims that he knows Allah due to the imprint of the heart is a polytheist. He who claims that knows Allah by name, not meaning, is declaring the contrary because the name is new (created). He who claims that he worships the name and the meaning is associating others with Allah. He who claims that he worships the meaning by the description, not realization, is referring to something absent. He who claims that he worships the description and the described is nullifying Allah’s oneness because the description is something other than the described. He who claims that he adds the described to the description is belittling the great. They have no true respect for Allah.

‘What is the course to the true believing in Allah’s oneness, Then?’ some asked.

He (a.s.) said: The door of search is opened and the pursuit of the exit is existing. The knowledge of the present should precede his description while the knowledge of the description of the absent should precede the knowledge of him.

‘How can we know the witness before we know his descriptions?’ they asked. He (a.s.) answered: You should first know him, know his knowledge, and know yourself through him. You should not know yourself through yourself. You should also know that whatever he has is to him and through him. As an example of this is Joseph’s brothers when they addressed to him, ‘Are you, Joseph?’ He said, ‘Yes, I am Joseph and this is my brother.’ They knew him through him. They neither knew him through others nor did they know him by themselves due to the imprints of their hears. Allah says: You could not even plant one tree. (Holy Quran 27:60)

This means that you should not appoint a leader for yourselves out of your whims and will. As for three categories, Allah will not speak to them, will not look at them on the Day of Resurrection, will not second them, and will arrange for them a painful chastisement. They are those who plant a tree that Allah did not plant, i.e. those who appoint a leader for themselves out of their own whims those who deny a leader that Allah appoints, and those who claim that those two persons have anything to do with Islam. Allah says: Your Lord creates and chooses to whomever He wants. They do not have the choice to choose whatever they want. (Holy Qur’an 28:68)

The Quality of Faith

Imam Sadiq(a.s.) said: The meaning of the quality of faith is the declaration, submission to Allah and seeking His favours through the declaration, and the fulfilment to Him through having knowledge of every obligatory  matter,  whether  big  or  small,  beginning with the outline of Allah’s oneness up to the last chapter of obedience without missing anyone. All this should be connected and matched up to each other.

If a servant ffulfils what is imposed upon him according to what we have recently explained, he will then deserve the quality of faith and will deserve the reward duly. This is because the meaning of faith is the declaration and the meaning of declaration is the sincerity of obedience. This proves that obedience as a whole is related to each other. A believer loses the quality of faith only when he ignores the matters due to which he deserved to have that quality.

He deserved the name and meaning of belief meritoriously only when he fulfilled the grand duties connectedly and avoided the acts of disobedience. He also will not abandon the quality of faith when he commits insignificant acts of disobedience to Allah and ignores the insignificant acts of obedience. Allah says: If you avoid the grand violating that which has been prohibited, your sins will be forgiven and you will be admitted into an exalted dwelling. (Holy Qur’an 4:31)

This holy saying proves the fact that we have recently indicated. Accordingly, forgiveness is obtained when the grand sins are avoided. If a grand sin is committed, all of the acts of disobedience, whether grand or insignificant, will be taken in the consideration of judgment. Hence, castigation and penalty of all the acts of disobedience (to Allah) will fall. This  is the quality of faith and the quality of a believer who deserves the reward duly.

The Quality of Islam

The meaning of the quality of Islam is the submission and fulfillment of all the acts of obedience whose judgment is clear. If one declares the all acts of obedience publicly, even if he does not believe with the heart, he will deserve the name and meaning of Islam, warrant the public friendship, his testimony will be accepted, the rulings of inheritance will be valid for him, and he will enjoy the rights and obligations of the Muslims. This is the quality of Islam. The difference between the believer and the Muslim is that the latter will be believer when he is obedient intentionally along with his public declaration. If he obeys publicly only, he will be Muslim. If he obey publicly and intentionally, he will be believer provided that submission and seeking favors through knowledge will be present. It happens that a servant is a Muslim but not believer. No one can be a believer unless he is Muslim.

The Quality of Quitting Faith

Quitting faith occurs when one of five matters, all of which are similar and familiar, falls. These five matters are atheism, polytheism, deviation, immorality, and commitiment of the grand sins.

Atheism is every deed by which Allah is disobeyed due to renouncement, denial, disparagement, and underestimation, whether that deed is small or big. The doer of such deeds is atheist and bears the quality of atheism, Everyone, regardless of the religion or the sect, who commits disobedience of such characters, is atheist.

Polytheism is every act of disobedience that is committed and taken as a creed, whether small or big. The doer of such an act of disobedience is a polytheist.

Deviations is the ignorance of the obligatory matters. It stands for ignoring one of the grand acts of obedience, without which faith is not materialized, despite the existence of proofs and evidences. The neglector of such an act is neither denying such acts’ being obligatory nor betaking the denial of such obligatory acts as a creed.

He neglects them due to laziness, inadvertence, and engagement in other affairs. He is deviant and swerving from the course of faith due to ignorance and misguidance. Thus, he deserves the name and meaning of deviations as long as the previous description applies to him. If the doer inclines to any aspect of disobedience desirably due to denial, belittlemen, and negligence, he will be regarded as an atheist.

If he inclines to betake his own interpretations, pursuance, submission, and acceptance of the words of the fathers and forefathers as a creed, he then will be regarded as polytheist. A man that pursues a deviation will rarely get rid of the inclination whimsically to having some of the above-mentioned qualities.

Immorality is every grand act of disobedience that is committed due to appetite, lust, and prevailing desire. The doer of such acts is regarded as immoral and swerving from the course of faith due to his immorality. He would be regarded as an atheist if he kept on such immorality until he came under the forms of negligence and belittlement.

The commitment of the grand sins that voids the faith is the engagement wholly in committing the grand acts of disobedience without denial, taking as creed, appetite, or lust, but it is only due to fanaticism and rage that makes one accuse, vilify, kill seize fortunes, hold up rights, and commit the like grand sins that are perpetrated for reasons other than pursuance of appetite.

Perjury, usury, and the like sins that are committed for motives other than pursuing the appetite, such as consuming intoxicants, fornication, and forbidden amusement. The committer of such grand sins violates his faith and swerves from it while he is not a polytheist, atheist, or deviant. He deserves the quality of ignorance if the descriptions are applied to him. If he inclines to the qualities of what we have described, the quality will attach him.

Kinds of People’s Livings

‘How many kinds of livings that people earn and deal with each other are there? What are the ways of expenses?’ a man asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.).

The Imam (a.s.) answered: All the livings that people earn and deal with each other are four.

‘Are all these legal? Are they all illegal? Or are some legal and some illegal?’ asked the man.

The Imam (a.s.) answered: These four kinds may be legal from one side and illegal from another. These kinds are known and familiar. First of all, there is the work in governmental offices. The first of this kind is the jobs of the rulers down to the least job of the individuals. Then comes the trade including all sorts of deals, such as vending and purchase. Then come the industries along with all of their kinds. Then come the contracts of lease. All these kinds are legal from one side and illegal from another. Allah’s obligation on the servants is to follow and practice the legal forms of these kinds only and avoid the illegal. 

Explanation of Work in Governmental Offices

The work in governmental offices is of two forms. One is the office of the just authorities whom Allah ordered to  assign as  rulers and  ordered people to follow them. Within them are their officials and administrators down to the least official. The other form is the office of the unjust people and their officials down to the least unjust official.

The legality of this kind is the office of the just rulers whom Allah ordered to recognize and elect as leaders, and working in their main and secondary offices by following Allah’s instructions to the just rulers without adding,  reducing,  distorting,  or neglecting anything of His revelation. If such just rulers who meet the precious qualities exist, then work in their offices will be legal and it will be completely legal to work, support, and hold them.

In addition, the gain from such jobs will be legal. Working with such rulers and their officials will enliven every rightful and fair matter and kill every wrong, injustice, and corruption. Therefore, to support, help, and work with such rulers is as same as calling to the acts of obedience to Allah and strengthening His religion.

The illegality of the work in governmental offices stands for the leadership of the unjust rulers and their officials beginning with the chief down to the novice.

Working with them and gaining earnings from them are prohibited and illegal. The workers and gainers of such earnings will suffer punishment, apart from the amount of the work or the earnings.

Every act that is seen as support for the unjust rulers is a grand sin, because the rule of the unjust rulers kills the right wholly and enlivens the wrong wholly. It also spreads injustice, oppression, and corruption, stays the laws of the Divine Books, kills the prophets and believers, destroys the mosques, and distorts Allah’s norms and principles. Accordingly, it is prohibited to work with them, support them, and seek earnings from their leadership saving in cases of necessity that is similar to the necessity of having blood or meat of corpses.

Explanation of the Commerce

Regarding the categories of vendition and the legal and the illegal purchase and vendition, all the laws are arranged for saving the nourishment of the servants (of Allah) and achieving their prosperity concerning their food, drink, dress, marriage, property, and the dependent affairs. It is licit for them to traffic in all the profitable matters that are indispensable for them and achieve their prosperity. Vendition, purchase, possession, exploitation, endowment, and loan of the above-mentioned matters are licit.

The illegality of transaction includes every matter that is prohibited and causes corruption by way of eating, drinking, earning, marrying, possessing, using, endowing,  or  loaning  it  or  any  matter  that  causes corruption, such as usurious vendition, which causes corruption,  and  vendition  of  corpses,  blood,  pork, meat and skins of beasts including wild animals and birds, wine, or any pork, meat and skins of beasts including wild animals and birds, wine, or any other impure thing. These matters are illicit and prophibited. Allah has prohibited the eating, drinking, dressing, possessing,  using,  and  disposing  of  these  things because this causes corruption. In other words, any disposition of such things is illegal. In addition, every vendition of illegal amusement is illegal. It is illegal and prohibited to vent, purchase, use, possess, endow, loan, or dispose in any prohibited substance that is used for seeking the favors of other than Allah or supporting atheism and polytheims by all ways of acts of disobedience or any way that supports any path of deviation or wrong or weakens the right, except in cases of necessity.

Explanation of Contracts of Lease

Contracts of the lease include working as an employee and hiring the property as well as those who are under guardianship, the animal, or the dress in a legal way of lease. It is licit to work as an employee or let the house, the land, or one of the properties that is profitable.

As an example of this is the porter who carries definite things to definite places; hence, he can port that thing- provided that it is legal-himself or by his servant or animal, or he himself does that act or hire his servant, kinsman, or hireling. These are the forms of contracts of lease. They are legal for all people, whether they were servants, populace, atheists, or believers. The lease and earnings of such ways of the lease are legal.

The examples of the illegal contracts of lease are to hire oneself for porting prohibited things, such as prohibited food, drink, and dress, or to manufacture, keep, or use such illegal things, or destroy mosques, or kill illegally, or carry picture, statues, musical instruments, wine, pork, corpses, blood, or any feature of corruption that is prohibited on ways other that lease.

It is illicit to hire oneself for any prohibited matter or any part of it except in cases of legal profits, such as employing for carrying a corpse so as to save oneself or others from its harm or the like profits. The difference between work in governmental offices and contracts of the lease is that the previous means to work for the officials of the rulers and their officials as their representative out of their power following what they enjoin and what they forbid. It also stands for supporting and backing the rulers. Hence, the governmental official is the representative of his chief. They are considered as same as their masters who control people by killing and spreading injustice and corruption.

The contracts of lease, on the other hand, stand for, as we have previously explained, hiring from others. Hence, the hirer will not have control over the hireling before he meets the regulations of the lease. The contracts of the lease are legal as we have previously shown.

Explanation of the Industries

Industries include every profession that the servants (of Allah) learn or teach others, such as writing, mathematics, trade, goldsmithery, saddlery, building, weaving, bleaching, dressmaking, the different sorts of picturing except picturing soulful creatures, and manufacturing the various instruments that people need and benefit.

Doing, teaching, and working in all these varieties of industries are legal even if some instruments are used for corruption, acts of disobedience, and support for the wrong against the right, such as writing which may be used for supporting and backing the unjust rulers. The same thing can be said about knives, swords, and the like tools that are used for both good and evil. Hence, it is not unacceptable to learn, teach, take wages, and work in the good side of such industries. Likewise, it is forbidden to use these industries in evil and harmsul ways. In this case, neither the master nor will the student be considered as sinful for using such industries in evil. The guilty will be those who misuse such industries.

Allah has forbidden only the industries that are wholly illegal and that are harmful, such as the manufacturing of musical instruments, chess, every instrument of illegal amusement, crosses, statues, and the  like  industries  in  addition  to  the  industries  of forbidden drinks and those that produce illegal things purely without benefiting by any part of them. It is forbidden to teach, learn, work, and take wages for engaging in such industries as well as to manage any part of such industries.

Ways of Expenses

The ways of legal expenses are twenty-four: seven are for personal expenditure, five are socially obligatory, three are religiously obligatory, five are recommendable for building good relations, and four are favorable for amicability.

Regarding the seven ways of the personal expenditure, they are the expenditure for personal food, drink, dress, marriage, services, defraying the wages of the hirelings who keep or carry the personal needs.

Regarding the five ways of the socially obligatory expenditure, they are covering the needs of the sons, the parents, the wife, and the slaves whether in luxury or hardship.

Regarding the three ways of the religiously obligatory expenditure, they are the obligatory zakat that is defrayed annually, the expenditures of the obligatory hajj, and the expenditures of the jihad in its proper time.

Regarding the five ways of expenditure on building good relations, they are the expenditure for regarding the higher rank people, the relatives, and the believers and spending in alms-giving, charity, and manumission. Regarding the four ways of amicable expenditure, they  are  settling  the  debts,  loan,  borrowing,  and hospitality. These four matters are obligatory prophetic traditions.

The Halal Food

It is lawful for a man to have three kinds of food that the earth produces.

The first kinds is the seeds. Wheat, barley, rice, and hick-pea, as well as the other kinds of sesame and the like -all these, are legally eatable as long as they form food for people and strengthen the body. Except in cases of emergency, everything that harms the human body is illegal to have.

The second kind is all the kinds of fruits that form food for human bodies and strengths. All these kinds are legally eatable. The forbidden are only those that form harm.

The third kind is all classes of greens and plants that benefit human beings and form food for them. All these classes are legal to have. The other classes of greens that harm the human body, such as the poisonous legumes and oleander, are illegal to have.

The legally eatable meat is the meat of cows, sheep, camels and the other beasts except those having tusks or claws. Regarding the birds, the meat of every bird that has gizzard is legally eatable. Accordingly, the meat of every bird that does not have gizzard is illegal.

Every egg the edges of which are uneven is legally eatable, while the eggs the edges of which are equal are illegal.

Regarding the fish, it is legal to have the meat of every fish that has shells while it is illegal to have the meat of every fish that does not have shells.

The Halal Drinks

Regarding the drinks, it is legal to drink any beverage provided that the much quantity of which will not preoccupy the mind. Thus, it is illegal to drink little quantity of the beverage the much quantity of which occupies the minds.

The Acceptable Dress

Regarding the dresses, it is acceptable to dress and offer the prayers dressing any cloth that is made of plants. It is also acceptable to dress the clothing that is made of the skin, wool, or hair of the legally slaughtered animals that are legally eatable. It is acceptable to dress and offer the prayers dressing the clothing that is made of the wool, hair, or feather of the legally dead or slaughtered animals. It is illicit to offer the prayers or prostrate oneself (in the ritual prayers) on anything that is considered as food, drink, or dress. it is legal to prostrate oneself (in the ritual prayers) only on the fruitless plants of the earth before being yarns. Except in cases of necessity, it is illegal to prostrate oneself on spun plants.

(Reference: Tuhaf al-Uqool)