H 34, Ch. 1, h 34

A number of our people has narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from ‘Ubaydallah al-Dihqan from Ahmad ibn ‘Umar al-Halabi from Yahya ibn ‘Umran from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who has said the following.
“Through intelligence the depths of wisdom is discovered and with wisdom the depths of intelligence is discovered. Good policies are of the virtuous moral discipline.” He said that Imam Ali (a.s) used to say, ‘Thinking is life for the intelligent heart just as light helps one to walk in darkness with ease and without waiting for a long time.”(a) It is narrated from Imam abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) in a long narration, “The first, the beginning, the force and the structure of something is that without which something would be of no benefit. The thing that Allah has made beauty and light for His creatures, the people, is intelligence. With intelligence people come to know their creator and that they are created and that He is the one who has designed them and they are the ones who are being maintained. That it is the creator that is eternal and it is the creatures that are mortals. It is intelligence with which they reason from His creatures, like the heavens, the earth, and the sun the moon, night, the day. In this way they learned that they and the creatures have a creator and maintainer who is eternal. With intelligence they learn about good and bad and that darkness is in ignorance and light is in knowledge. These are facts that they learn with intelligence.”
People asked the Imam (a.s), “Can intelligence only be enough for people?” The Imam (a.s) then replied, ‘With guidance from intelligence that Allah has made him to depend on and it is, his beauty and guide, a person of intelligence learns that Allah is his creator and that He is his Lord. Through intelligence one learns that his creator loves and that He dislikes certain things, that the Lord must be obeyed and that certain acts are disobedience to Him and that nothing but intelligence shows him all these facts. One also (with intelligence) learns that only with knowledge and searching one may reach the Creator. That one may not benefit from his intelligence if he can not learn the truth about Him through his knowledge. It then is necessary for a person of intelligence to acquire knowledge and proper moral discipline without which there is nothing else so dependable.”
b) It is narrated from Imam abu ‘Abdallah (a.s) who said, “No wealth is more profitable and no poverty is more crashing than foolishness and no effort of seeking support is more supportive than seeking consultation.”

End of the book of Intelligence and Ignorance.

All praise belongs to Allah May Allah send peace and blessings upon Muhammad and his holy family.”

Ahl-e-Bait, Ethical Role-Models by Sayyid Mahdi As-Sadr

…..continued from the Book 


Sincerity stands for purifying one’s deeds from blemishes of ostentation in order to make them purely intended to God Who says:

“Whoever desires to meet his Lord should strive righteously and should worship no one besides Him. (18:110)”


“Worship Allah and be devoted to His religion. The religion of Allah is certainly pure. (39:2-3)”


“They were only commanded to worship Allah, be uprightly devoted to His religion, steadfast in prayer and pay the zakat. This is truly the eternal religion (98:5).”


The Prophet (s) said: “As for anyone who works to Allah sincerely for forty days, Allah will make the springs of wisdom come out of his heart and tongue.”


“Man cannot be full knowledgeable before he considers people as camels with regard to relation with Allah, and considers himself the meanest.”


Amir ul-Mu’minin (a) said: “This world is wholly ignorance except the situations of knowledge. Knowledge is wholly ignorance except that which is practiced. All the practices are showiness except those which are done heartily. Sincerity, likewise, is insecure before the end result is realized.”


Imam al-Jawad (a) said: “Sincerity is the best worship.”

Virtue of Sincerity

Values of deeds vary according to their purposes. The measure of decency and acceptance of deeds depends upon the nobility of purpose and purity from blemishes of cheating, defraud, and hypocrisy. In view of the Islamic Sharia, the only incentive is the intention that stirs the deed. Whenever such an intention is heartily provided to God and purified from the blemishes of showiness, it will be honored by the acceptance of God. Conversely, if cheating and showiness is mixed with the intention, the wrath and refusal of God will befall it. On that account, sincerity is the cornerstone of the beliefs and the factual stipulation that is specified for the validity of deeds. Sincerity, also, frees from inducements and deceptions of the Devil:

“He (the Shaitan) said, ‘By Your Glory, I shall seduce all of them (children of Adam) except Your sincere servants among them’ (38:82-3).”

Obstacles of Sincerity

Since sincerity is the brilliant lodestar that shows the courses of true obedience and honest worship of God, the Devil has used all snares for inducing people through a great variety of deceptive expectations, such as fondness of reputation and wealth, attainment of glory, and seeking for material desires. Sometimes, the devilish inspirations may come in the form of soft, deceptive whispering. Accordingly, one may practice acts of obedience to God with the intention of sincerity, but if he examines them closely, he will find them mixed with showiness. This is in fact one of the most dangerous slips that nobody can evade except the genuine disciples.

It is related that a man said: “For thirty years, I used to offer my prayers collectively in the mosque in the first row. One day, I was late because of something and I had to join the second row. As soon as I stopped, I felt embarrassed. Only then, I discovered that my previous prayers had been my source of pleasure.”

It is also narrated that a worshipper used to fast for forty years without letting anyone, including his relatives, notice so. He used to take his food to give it as alms in his way to the market so that his family member think that he would have his food in the market and the people in the market think that he had his food at home.

How to Obtain Sincerity?

The most important incentive of showiness is to attract people’s admirations and obtain their satisfaction. As a matter of fact, the obtainment of people’s satisfaction is an unattainable purpose, because people are unable to satisfy themselves; therefore, they cannot be satisfied with others. The only One Whose satisfaction should be sought is God Who possesses the reins of the affairs completely and can do everything. Hence, the true men of reason should direct towards Him and obey Him completely heartily.

Showiness and cheating cannot continue for a long time. They are soon revealed before everybody, and the showy will soon become the subject of loathing and disrespect.

It is narrated that a man from the Israelites decided to worship God so that people would praise him. For a long period, he observed an excessive worship to God, but every individual who passed by him realized that he was ostentatious. One day, he said to himself that he had tired himself and wasted his lifetime for nothing; hence, he should work heartily from now on. As he did, every individual who passed by him was admired by his worship and said that he was pious man

What makes all the difference in your Effort!!

Ever heard the story of the giant ship engine that failed? The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine. Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a youngster. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He  inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom. Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed! A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!”

So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.”

The man sent a bill that read:

Tapping with a hammer …………………… $               2.00

Knowing where to tap ………………………. $       9998.00

Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort in your life makes all the difference.

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