By: Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)
Translated by: Ghassan RimlawiAllah, The Most Exalted, says: Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous,- Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good;-
And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins - Who forgives sins save Allah only? - And will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath,- an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!
In these Ayahs, Allah calls all people to hasten, through their actions saying dealings and relations, to attain God's forgiveness for their sins. Those, whom Allah forgives, being faithful in their repentance, will be rewarded by being in Paradise.
Nevertheless, to attain such a reward one has to acquire certain traits. The first is piety which is of two kinds:
The personal piety: to observe all religions duties and to abstain from doing all what Allah has prohibited.
The second type of piety is the social one, which has to do with man's relations with others. In the society there are those who do not have the mean of sustaining a decent life, either because they have not found a job or because there are not able to work out of sickness.
There are also the orphans who have no one to sustain them. Piety in this case is providing for this people from the money Allah has given you whether you are rich or poor (whether in prosperity or in adversity). To give a little from the money you earned through hard work is better than deprivation.
Those who do so are pious, because their behavior is a result of both their love to Allah and willingness to obey Him. Allah says:Believe in Allah and His messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity), for them is a great Reward, which means that you are not free in spending the money Allah has given you in any way you like. You are entrusted with it to spend it in the ways that Allah has defined. It is not your money to say that I am free to spend it as I see fit. It is Allah's money. You, your money and your life are for Allah and you own nothing for yourself: And He gives you of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favors of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Allah Says I have given you the money, and I tell you how to spend it.
Allah has given you the money and held you responsible for spending them on the poor and needy And those in whose wealth there is a fixed portion. For the (needy) who asks and him who is prevented (for some reason from asking); as well as your wife and children. You are not free to spend your money on your desires and whims and deny your wife and children. The money you give your wife to sustain her is her right, regardless if she is employed or not.
The pious are those who spend on the needy whether they are poor or rich.
They are those who restrain anger. If you have problem whether with your family or in your social or political environment you should restrain your anger instead ofbursting into cursing or fighting. Restraining the anger is one of the qualities deepens the faith of the people, to all extent that it is mind one of our traditions says: He who restrains his anger Allah will fill his heart with belief.
Imam Ali explains that: When do I satisfy my anger: When I am able to and I am asked to forgive, and when I am not able to and I am asked to be patient, which means that you ought to restrain anger when you are in a position that enables you to hit back and to be patient when you can do nothing about.
Imam Zein Al-Abidin (a.s.) considers restraining anger as the sweetest drink he ever had, because when you restrain your anger, you are practicing an act of extreme control which shows how strong you are. Then there are those who pardon others, which according to Quran is nearer to piety. You have the right to punish, but when it is between punishment and pardon it is better to pardon since it indicates your sublime manners.
A pious is the one who does good, for Allah loves those who do good. One of the imams had a maid servant, who dropped a bowl of water on his head, and injured him.
But the woman immediately recited the Ayah: “And those who control their anger”, and he said I have restrained my anger.
She continued the Ayah to say: “And those who forgive people,” and he said that he had forgiven her. She then added “and Allah loves those who do good” and he said that she was free.
A pious is also one of those when if they commit a sin or wrong themselves, they will ask Allah for forgiveness, since He is the only one who forgives the sins, and they will not willingly repeat the wrong they did. Those people will be rewarded. And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins - Who forgives sins save Allah only? And will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did.
Allah, in this Ayah, is letting man choose between being one of those who restrain anger and forgive others to be awarded by Paradise and between Hellfire, just as Al-Hur bin Yazid Al-Riyah found himself in a position that he had to choose between fighting Imam Al-Hussein and between being with Allah. He started to tremble, when one of his companions asked him: How can you tremble? If I were asked who is the bravest man in Kufa. I would have chosen you. Al-Hur answered I am trembling because I am choosing between Paradise and Hell; between fighting Al-Hussein and remaining in my position as army commander or joining him as a soldier.
He then said: In such a choice I will choose no other thing than Paradise even if I were cut to pieces. He then went to the Imam and fought with him until he was martyred.
Let us be free, as the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) said: “Let us be free towards our desires and all people, but slaves before Allah”.
* The aforementioned is an edited Friday sermon.