By: Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)
Translated by: Ghassan RimlawiWho is the Muslim? Who is the believer? And who is the Shiite? Let us learn who they are by reviewing the cultured heritage of our Imams.
Imam Jaafar As-Sadiq (a.s.) describes in one of his sayings the Shia's of Ali (a.s.) as being the people of “guidance" those who follow the guidance of Allah, and those who never adopt anything that could lead them to become astray. They are the people of "piety" who fear Allah and obey of His commands And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah?- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done They are the people of "good" who in any society they live in will do good in fields of life and to all the members of the community old or young. They are the people of ”belief,” who believe in Allah, and Believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His signs rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put (all) their trust in their Lord.
The people of “conquest” who would in any battle against unbelief and arrogance, strive to achieve victory from the Muslims, thus they are people of "victory".
In another saying ,the Imam says to one of his companion: stay away from the contemptible for the Shiite of Ali are only those who abstain from the (Haram) food and sexual desires, work sincerely for the Creator, hope for gaining His reward and fear from His punishment.
Imam Al-Baqir describes the Muslim as the one whom the believers are safe from his tongue and hand. He does not abuse other Muslims verbally or commits any injustice against them… The believer is the one who people entrust him with their money and themselves. He is forbidden to wrong other Muslim or to let him down or push him into difficulties.
Jaa'far As-Sadiq (a.s.) also says that the believer is the one whom the good from him is hoped: If he lives in a community, this community will feel confident to except good from him to everyone he lives with, whether his family who would expect that he would sustain them and care for them, or the bigger community he is expected to care for and provide every service he is capable of. "Evil from him is safe". He is a man who does not treat anybody with evil, for he respects them being his brothers and fellow citizens, whom he loves for what he loves for himself and hates what he hates for himself. In addition, His belief would prevent him from doing evil.
"He regards little good from others much". If others do good to him he will appreciate it because and consider it plenty.
"He regards his own good as little". When he is good to others he does not feel it is more than what he ought to, this is because he believes that the potentials Allah has given him are but a trust that he should give back to its owners. He is not fed up with those who request favors or needs, since he knows that needing him is one of the graces Allah has bestowed on him. He is not tired of seeking knowledge throughout his life. Allah differentiates between those who know and those who know not. Poverty in Allah is more lovable for the believer than richness with the enemy. For Allah has said “If he has to choose between being poor while keeping his faithfulness towards God and between becoming rich through his relations with the enemies of God he would choose poverty, because Allah is the one who enriches him if he becomes poor, and He is the one who bestows on him His Mercy and makes his abode in Heaven.” Humbleness in God is more lovable for him than high rank with His enemy.
When he sees someone he says he is better than me and more pious.
People are two men – one man is better than me and more pious, the other is more evil and lower than me. If he sees the one that is more evil and lower than him he would say: perhaps the good of this person is hidden, which is good for him, while my good is apparent which is bad for me which means that I might not be better than him. Then when he sees the one who is better and more pious than him, he would be humble to him to reach his state. If he does that, his glory becomes high, and he will become the lord of the people of his time. Imam Al-Baqir says that the believer is stronger than a mountain for you can ruin a mountain while the believer remains firm. As-Sadiq (a.s.) also says that the believer is the one whose anger will not lead him to become unjust, nor would he commit any falsehood if he is pleased. Moreover, when he is capable, he will not take more than what is rightfully his.
Dear beloved, these are some or the qualities of the Muslim believer who adopts, the line of Ahl-Beit, whom we should follow their guidance to ensure our wellbeing in this life and the Hereafter.
* The aforementioned is an edited Friday sermon.