LITTLE OLD LADY

There was a little old lady, who every morning. stepped onto her front porch, raised
her arms to the sky, and shouted: ‘PRAISE God!’

One day an atheist moved into the house next door.
He became irritated at the little old lady

Every morning he’d step onto his front porch after her and yell: ‘THERE IS NO God!’

Time passed with the two of them carrying on this way every day.

One morning, in the middle of winter, the little old lady stepped onto her front porch and shouted: ‘PRAISE THE God! Please God, I have no food and I am starving, provide for me, oh Lord !’

The next morning she stepped out onto her porch and there were two huge bags of groceries sitting there.

‘PRAISE THE God!’ she cried out. ‘HE HAS PROVIDED GROCERIES FOR ME!’

The atheist neighbor jumped out of the hedges and shouted:

‘THERE IS NO God; I BOUGHT THOSE GROCERIES !!

The little old lady threw her arms into the air and shouted: ‘PRAISE GOD!

“HE HAS PROVIDED ME WITH GROCERIES AND MADE THE DEVIL PAY FOR THEM!”

Height of Perfection !!!!!

The earth rotates on its axis at one thousand miles an hour; if it did so at one hundred miles an hour, our days and nights would be ten times as long as they are now and the hot sun would have burn up our vegetation during each long day while in the long night, any surviving sprout would freeze.

 

The slant of the earth, tilted at an angle of 23 degrees give us our season. If it had not been so tilted, vapors from the ocean would move north and south pilling up for us continents of ice.

If our moon were, say, only 50 thousand miles away instead of its actual distance, our tides would be so enormous that twice a day, all continents would be submerged and even the mountains would be eroded away.

If the crust of the earth had been only ten feet thicker, there would have been no oxygen without which human and animal life would have perished. Had our oceans been a few feet deeper, carbon dioxide and oxygen would have been absorbed and no vegetable life could have existed.

If our atmosphere had been thinner, some of the meteors, now burned in space by the million every day would be striking all parts of the earth, starting fire everywhere.

Again, the sun has a surface temperature of 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit and our earth is just away so that this ‘eternal fire’ warms us just enough and not too much.

If the sun gave off only half of its present radiation, we would freeze and if it gave half as much more, we would roast.

Think & Ponder over the creation of God….

Borrowed from Sayyid Sayeed Akhtar Rizvi’s book

Effects of ill-Temper

Miskat Tradi – 1227: – The Prophet of God (a.s) said: “The best believer is one with the best temper. The best person is one who is best for the people and the most useful person is one who is most useful for the people

It is narrated from Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) that when the Prophet (a.s.) got the news of the death of Saad bin Maaz Ansari, he proceeded along with the companions to join the funeral procession. He stood near Saad while he was given the ritual final bath.

When the bath was over, he accompanied the bier without footwear and bare-head as is the custom of the mourners. He sometimes carried the bier on his right shoulder and at other on his left. On reaching the graveside, the Prophet (a.s.) himself descended into the pit and with his own hands lowered Saad into the grave. Then he arranged the bricks in the grave and put soil to fill the grave. While putting soil into the grave the Prophet (a.s.) said, ‘ Saad’s mortal remains will get lost in the soil but Allah likes that the deeds one does are good and durable!’ When the Prophet (a.s.) was giving the last touches to the grave of Saad, the dead companion’s mother cried,’ O Saad! Greetings on your achieving the Heaven!’

 

The Prophet said, ‘ O mother of Saad! Keep quiet!

 

At the moment Saad is undergoing the pressures (Fishaar) of the grave!’

 

When the Prophet returned from the grave- yard, the companions asked him,’ Ya Hazrat! The way you have attended Saad’s funeral, we have not seen you do any time in the past. You went bare-footed. You kept your head uncovered.’

 

He replied,’ I saw the angels do likewise and I followed suit. .

 

The companions asked,’ Sometimes you carried the bier on your right shoulder and at others on the left?’

 

The Prophet replied,’ I was with Jibrael, whichever side he went, I went the same way!’ The companions asked, ‘ You have yourself given bath to Saad, led the funeral prayer, lowered him into the grave and in the end said that he was undergoing the Fishaar of the grave!’ The Prophet replied, ‘ Saad was undergoing the Fishaar because he used to treat the people of his house and friends with ill-temper.’

Effects of Alcohol & Wine

The Effects of Drinking Wine 

Imam Sadiq (MGB) expressed the reason why we are forbidden to drink wine or alcoholic drinks:

إنَّ مُدْمِنَ الخَمْرِ كَعابِدِ وَثَنٍ، ويُورِثُهُ الارْتِعاشَ وَيَهْدِمُ مُرُوَّتَهُ وَتَحْمِلُهُ عَلى أنْ يَجْسُرَ عَلى المَحَارِمِ مِنْ سَفْكِ الدِّماءِ وَرُكوبِ الزِّنا، وَلا يُؤْمَنُ إذا سَكِرَ إنْ يَثِبَ عَلى مَحارِمِهِ.

“An alcoholic is like an idol-worshipper. He will suffer from shivering. His manliness will disappear. He will dare to violate the forbidden. He will commit fornication and bloodshed. Moreover, even his closest relatives [1] are not secure from being molested by him when he is drunk.”[2]

The Physical Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol can easily enter the bloodstream after consumption and can quickly spread throughout the body. Alcohol has a profound effect on almost every organ and system in the body.[3]

1-      Alcohol will influence our brain[4] and disable our brain cells. It might cause the rupturing of the tine blood veins, coagulation of blood, or stoppage of the circulation of blood in the brain. Thus, it will lead to a partial or a severe brain stroke that will sometimes cause a drop in blood pressure and result in becoming crippled.[5]

2-      Alcohol will cause various illnesses such as shaking of the hands or the feet, lack of control of our body parts[6], and weakness of our senses[7]. It will also cause insomnia[8].

3-      Alcohol will harm the tongue and our sense of taste. It will reduce the amount of saliva and cause a disorder in its reproduction. It will also cause stomach upset, indigestion, throwing up mixed with clogged blood. It will cause many illnesses in our stomach and intestine and result in ulcer and serious diarrhea.

4-      It will weaken the liver[9], and cause it to swell. It will harden the kidneys and cause pain in the stomach. It might even cause jaundice.[10]

5-      Alcohol is not usable in the body. Therefore, if we drink, it will enter our blood stream and destroy the white blood cells. It might even cause such a drop in our blood pressure that we might have a brain stroke.

6-      One of the major ill effects of drinking alcohol is its influence on the lungs. Alcohol will travel along with our blood stream into our lungs, and it will irritate the lung and cause it to swell. This will result in destruction of calcium and end in tuberculosis.

7-      Another ill effect of drinking alcohol is damage to the cardiovascular system. [11]

Alcohol Causes Insanity

Alcoholic drinks are the main cause of insanity. The statistics[12] show that most insane people are those who have been drinking for many years in their life. There are nearly two hundred thousand such cases in France. Nearly ninety percent of the insanities in England have been alcohol related.[13]

Genetic Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol has a bad effect on the cells of a baby. A German scientist has proved that this influence will genetically affect three generations, even if they do not drink.[14] That is why Islam has forbidden drinking alcohol. Imam Sajj¡d (MGB) stressed that we should keep our stomachs void of forbidden things. The Prophet (MGB) said:

مَلْعونٌ مَنْ جَلَسَ عَلى مَائِدَةٍ يُشْرَبُ عَلَيها الخَمْرُ.

“Whoever sits with those who are drinking is deprived of God’s Mercy.”[15]

Ayatollah Dastghayb quoted from Sayyid Abul Ali Mawdoody’s Tangh¢¦: “The U.S. government used many ways to fight alcoholism. It used magazines, newspapers, lectures, and seminars, even movies to combat alcoholism. It spent more than eight million dollars, and published more than ten million pages of advertisement against it. Over a period of fourteen years, it spent over two hundred fifty million dollars to enforce the law to abolish alcoholic beverages. It imprisoned three hundred and thirty-five persons, fined people over sixteen million dollars, and seized over four hundred and fifty million dollars worth of property. All this was of no use. It finally gave up and abolished that law in 1932 and totally freed drinking alcohol.”[16] On the other hand, even though drinking alcoholic beverages was like drinking water for the Arabs in the Age of Ignorance, when Islam came it forbade drinking alcohol and abolished it in a very short time. Thus, it saved Muslims from all the ill effects of alcohol and alcoholism. Scientists today are well aware of the physical effects of alcohol. However, they cannot measure its moral impacts on the loss of manliness and moral values.

Some people are careful about the cleanliness of their living quarters, and the suitability of their food. Should they suspect the least bit of poisoning in their food, they will refuse to eat it. However, they do not care at all about their spiritual well being, and listen to anything. Imam Ali (MGB) said:

مَالي أرَى النّاسَ إذا قُرِّبَ إلَيهِمُ الطّعامُ تَكَلَّفوا إنَارَةَ المَصابِيحِ لِيُبصِروا ما يُدْخِلونَ بُطونَهُم ولا يَهْتَمّونَ بِغِذاءِ النَّفْسِ بأنْ يُنِيروا مصَابِيحَ ألْبابِهِم بِالعِلْمِ لِيَسْلَمُوا مِن لَواحِقِ الجَهَالَةِ وَالذُّنوبِ في اعْتِقادَاتِهِم وَأعْمالِهِم؟

“I am amazed at the people who turn on the light to see what they eat when they want to dine in the dark, but do not care about food for their mind. They do not care to illuminate their intellect with the light of knowledge to be safe from making mistakes out of ignorance and wrong beliefs.”[17]

Imam Hasan (MGB) said:

عَجِبتُ لمَنْ يَتَفَكَّرُ في مأكولِهِ كَيفَ لا يَتَفَكَّرُ في مَعْقولِهِ فَيُجَنِّبَ بَطْنَهُ ما يُؤذِيه وَيُودِعَ صَدْرَهُ ما يُرْدِيهِ!

“I am amazed at the people who consider what they eat but do not think about the food for their mind. They guard their stomachs from harmful things, but do not guard their hearts and minds against things that will harm them.”

There are many traditions in Islam about proper diet, and proper things to eat or drink. There is a lot of information about useful or harmful meats, fats, sweets, confectioneries, beans and vegetables. Suayd ibn Ghofleh went to see Imam Ali (MGB) once at lunchtime. He narrated: “I saw that Imam Ali (MGB) was sitting down around the tablecloth with a dried piece of bread made of whole barley. I went to his servants and asked them why they were so inconsiderate not to grind the barley to make flour for the bread for the Imam (MGB). They said it was based on his personal orders. Then I returned to the Imam (MGB) and asked him the reason. Imam Ali (MGB) said that he had learned this from the Prophet (MGB).”[18] Imam Sadiq (MGB) said: “Solomon’s (MGB) bread was made of whole barley.”[19] Ahmad ibn Harun went to see Imam Reza (MGB). Imam Reza (MGB) ordered food to be served. They spread the tablecloth and brought some food. There were no fresh green vegetables there. The Imam (MGB) did not eat, and told his servant: “Do you know that I will not eat unless there are some green vegetables on the table? Go and bring some.” Then the servant went and brought some green vegetables, and the Imam (MGB) started to eat.”[20]


[1] He might commit incest.

[2] Ibid.

[3] In the following footnotes we present the effects of alcohol on the most researched organs or organ systems.

[4] The brain is the seat of human thought and consciousness. Therefore any impairment of the brain’s function can lead to drastic changes in a person’s personality and behavior. Even though the brain makes up only two percent of the body’s weight, it takes up about 20 percent of the body’s blood. Since blood is the main medium through which alcohol is spread in the body, the brain is flooded with alcohol whenever you drink. Alcohol can affect the brain’s function and the function of the nervous system in general by several methods including: direct toxic effects, withdrawal, nutritional deficiency, liver disease, and head trauma among others. One of the direct toxic effects of alcohol is its ability to change the production of neurotransmitters. Alcohol has a detrimental affect on many neurological processes such as: temperature regulation, sleep cycle, and coordination. Also, chronic alcoholics may suffer from a condition known as Korsakoff’s syndrome. Korsakoff’s syndrome (KS) is a neurological disorder in which one’s short term memory is nearly nonexistent. Those that are afflicted with KS are unable to remember events that occur after the onset of the symptoms. Perhaps the most obvious effect of alcohol is the actual, physiological damage that it does to the brain of an alcoholic person. Some of the factors that determine how and to what degree one’s brain is damaged by alcohol include age, gender, and family history but are not just limited to these. In order for the nervous system to function properly, signals must be relayed to and from the brain. Neurotransmitters are essential for nerve-to-nerve communication. Neurotransmitters travel between the junctions, known as a synapse, between two nerve cells. Neurotransmitters stimulate receptors on the surface of nerve cells, which in turn carry the signal down the nerve and on to other nerves. The production of receptors is very sensitive and can fluctuate in response to chemical and environmental factors. Factors that increase the sensitivity of receptors tend to down-regulate, or decrease the production of receptors while factors that inhibit a receptor tend to up-regulate, or increase the production of receptors. Up- and down-regulation allow the nervous system to maintain a balance of neurotransmitters and receptors. Glutamate, an amino acid, is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the human brain. There is sufficient research to support the fact that even in small doses, alcohol can affect the function of glutamate. This interference can affect memory among other things and may cause the loss of short-term memory during the periods of overdrinking. Alcohol has an inhibitory effect on glutamate, which causes the glutamate receptor to be up-regulated, especially in the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for memory and is related to epileptic seizures. Alcoholics suffering from alcoholic withdrawal often suffer from glutamate over activity due to the up-regulation of the glutamate receptor. Glutamate over activity has been related to cell death as caused by strokes and seizures. Malnutrition in alcoholics results in a deficiency in thiamine and magnesium, which may also contribute to glutamate over activity. Another neurotransmitter that is affected by alcohol is gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. Alcohol acts as an inhibitory agent for GABA much like it does for Glutamate. GABA receptors are up-regulated in alcoholics and when the inhibitory effect of the alcohol is lost, GABA over-activity occurs. GABA over-excitation often results in withdrawal seizures – delirium tremens (DT) also know as rum fits. Alcohol also disrupts the function of various other neurotransmitters including serotonin, endorphins, and acetylcholine. Serotonin affects moods, appetite, and sleep. Stimulation of serotonin in conjunction with the release of endorphins cause the feeling of pleasure that many people get when intoxicated. Acetylcholine is the key neurotransmitter in controlling cardiovascular mechanisms, including the dilation of blood vessels. It has also been suggested that alcohol may affect levels of catecholamines, a neurotransmitter that has been observed to be suppressed in patients with Korsakoff’s syndrome. The toxic effects of alcohol may cause the nervous system to lose control of many of its functions.

[5] A study published in the February issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research utilized sophisticated brain scans called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The research was headed by Susan F. Tapert, Ph.D., UCSD assistant adjunct professor of psychiatry and a clinical psychologist at the Veterans Affairs Health Care System. She notes that “our findings suggest that even young and physically healthy individuals risk damaging their brains through chronic, heavy use of alcohol.”

[6] Another effect of long-term alcohol consumption is the loss of muscular coordination. Alcohol damages a part of the brain known as the cerebellum. The cerebellum controls coordinated actions such as walking or swinging a bat. Damage to the cerebellum results in loss of coordination and can appear as imbalance and staggering.

[7] Drinking alcohol has subtle effects on personality and emotions. It also impairs cognitive abilities such as perception, learning, and memory. One of the most severe side affects of chronic alcohol consumption is Korsakoff’s syndrome (KS). Patients suffering from KS have virtually no short-term memory. This condition is also known as anterograde amnesia. Alcoholics that develop KS can remember nothing past the day that the syndrome first set in. Though KS does not affect long-term memories in effect, leaving a persons IQ intact, KS sufferers often are no longer able to function as normal members of society due to their complete lack of short-term memory. Perhaps the most obvious effect of alcohol on the nervous system is the physiological damage that it does to the brain. The areas of the brain that are most affected include the limbic system, diencephalon, cerebral cortex, and cerebellum.

[8] Chronic insomnia is complex and often results from a combination of factors, including underlying physical or mental disorders. One of the most common causes of chronic insomnia is depression. Other underlying causes include arthritis, kidney disease, heart failure, asthma, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and hyperthyroidism. However, chronic insomnia may also be due to behavioral factors, including the misuse of caffeine, alcohol, or other substances; disrupted sleep/wake cycles as may occur with shift work or other nighttime activity schedules; and chronic stress.

[9] The liver is where all alcohol must eventually go to be processed and neutralized. It follows that the liver is damaged from heavy, chronic alcohol consumption.

[10] Scientists have long understood that alcohol abuse can lead to chronic diseases like cirrhosis of the liver. But in recent years, researchers have discovered that alcohol-in some cases only a few drinks a day-can make the liver and pancreas more susceptible to injury.

[11] The heart can pump over 300 liters of blood in an hour. Since the blood is the primary medium for transporting ingested nutrients, in this case alcohol, it delivers alcohol straight to the heart and other portions of the cardiovascular system. In recent studies, it has been shown that heavy drinking causes serious damage to various parts of the cardiovascular system. For example, it causes the heart muscles to develop a disease known as cardiomyopathy. Also, heavy drinking increases the risk of unsteady heartbeat, high blood pressure, and hemorrhagic stroke.

[12] Published statistics indicate that there are over 18 million alcoholics living in America.

[13] Balahaye Ejtemayee, quoted from Tandorost Magazine.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Safinat ul-Bihar, v.1, p.427.

[16] Gonahane Kabire, v.1, p.253.

[17] Safinat ul-Bihar, v.2, p.84.

[18] Koodak (Goftar-i-Phalsaphy), v.1, p.249.

[19] Mustadrak al-Vasa’el, v.3, p.103.

[20] Koodak, v.1, p.251.

What you sow, so you reap

What you sow, so you reap” is a popular saying. It is a law of nature that for every action in this world, there is always a reaction. The Holy Qur’an has also guided us on this subject. It says:

If you do good, you do good to yourselves.

(likewise) If you do evil, you do evil to yourselves.
(Holy Qur’an: Chapter 17, Verse 7)

One of the companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was very fond of this verse of the Qur’an and used to recite it loudly and repeatedly wherever he went. A Jewish woman who had heard him once wanted to prove him wrong and thus make him disrespectful among his people.

 

She thought of a plan and prepared some sweets mixed with poison and sent them to him as a present. The man received the poisoned sweets and went out of the city with them. On the way, he met two men who were returning home from a long journey. They were very tired and hungry so he tried to help them. He offered them the sweets. Of course, he was not aware that they were secretly mixed with poison.

 

No sooner had the two travelers taken the sweets, they collapsed and died. When the news of their death reached Medina, the city where the Prophet resided, the man was arrested. He was brought in front of the Prophet and he related what had actually happened. The Jewish woman who had mixed poison with the sweets was also brought to the court of the Prophet.

 

She was stunned to see the two dead bodies of the travelers there. They in fact turned out to be her own two sons who had gone away on a journey. She admitted of her evil intention before the Prophet and all the people present. Alas, the poison she had mixed in the sweets to kill the companion of the Prophet had instead killed her own two sons.
What an example of a tragic reaction to a bad action. It shows how one reaps what he sows.If we do good, we stand to gain a good reward. If we do bad, we should expect a bad outcome ultimately.
“Do as you would be done by” are the golden words of wisdom from the olden days. They teach us to do good to others in the same way as we like others to do good to us.

Morality Of Imam Hasan(a.s)

Quoting his grandfather, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported: Hasan ibn `Ali ibn Abu-Talib was the most pious, the most devoted and the best of the people of his time. When he was on Hajj, he would often walk on foot and on many occasions bare-footed to the Holy Mosque. He would cry or be fainted whenever he remembered death, grave, resurrection on the Judgment Day and crossing the Sirat. He would be writhing like a snake-bitten whenever he was reminded of heaven and hell. He would ask Allah for heaven and sought refuge in Allah from hell.[1]

Generosity

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported: A man passed by `Uthman ibn `Affan who was sitting in the mosque asking for money. `Uthman ordered five Dirhams to be given to him. The man said to `Uthman, “Guide me to one who can relieve my pain.” `Uthman asked him to go to those generous youths, indicating with his hand a place in mosque where Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn and `Abdullah ibn Ja`far were sitting. The man saluted them and asked for money. “Begging is not permissible save for three cases; blood money with compassion; debt with a broken heart and poverty which is intolerable. Which is your case?” The man said, “I am afflicted with one of them.” Imam Hasan ordered fifty Dinars to be given to him. Imam Husayn too ordered forty nine Dinars to be given to him, and `Abdullah ibn Ja`far too ordered forty eight Dinars to be given to him.

After having received these Dinars, the man passed by `Uthman once again. `Uthman asked, “What did you do?” The man said, “I passed by you asking for money. You helped me only with five Dinars and did not ask me any question either; but that generous young man having thick hair asked me something while giving me fifty Dinars. The second one gave me forty nine Dinars and the third forty eight Dinars.” `Uthman said, “Who can relieve your pain like these generous young men? They have appropriated knowledge and insight for themselves and have gathered wisdom and benevolence in them.” [2]  


[1] Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 178, H 8
[2] al-Khisal: 135/1, H 149.

 

Humbleness

Imam Hasan’s humbleness was such that one day he was passing by some needy people sitting on the earth and eating pieces of bread. Seeing Imam Hasan, they said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Come and share the food with us!” Imam Hasan dismounted and said, “Allah does not like the arrogant.” He was engaged in eating with them. He invited them to his house a few day later, giving them food and clothes.[1]

Write Down Your Needs

A man came to the presence of Imam Hasan asking him to fulfill his needs. The Imam said, “Write down you needs and give it to us.” When he read his letter, he gave him twice the amount he had asked for. One of those present said, “How blessed this letter was!” The Imam said:

It was more blessed for us, for it placed us among the benefactors. Don’t you know that a good deed is one which is done without anyone ask for it? But what is given when it has been asked for is a low price against the honor of the needy person. Perhaps a needy person who has spent the night between fear and hope and has no idea of whether his needs will be accepted or rejected will receive little money against his being dishonored should you give him only to the extent of his need.[2]

Extraordinary Example of Generosity

A needy man came to the presence of Imam Hasan who gave fifty thousand Dirhams and five hundred Dinars saying, “Bring someone to carry it for you.” When he brought a porter, the Imam gave his cloak to him saying, “This is the wage of one who carries it.”[3]

Giving Away All Savings

An Arab came to the presence of Imam Hasan, “Give him whatever savings we have.” They gave him twenty thousand Dirhams. The Arab said, “My master! You did not give me permission to tell you my needs and recite a eulogy in praise of you.” The Imam composed a poem saying, “The fear of disgracing one who has needs urges us to give away before he expresses his needs.” [4]


[1] Al-Manaqib: 23/4.
[2] Sulh al-Hasan 42-43.
[3] Al-Manaqib: 16/4.
[4] Al-Manaqib: 16/4.

 

Feeding A Hungry Dog

One day, Imam Hasan saw a black slave having a loaf of bread in front of him. The slave would eat a morsel of bread and give a morsel to a dog near him. Imam Hasan asked, “What compels you to do so.” The slave said, “I am ashamed of eating myself and not giving the dog anything.” The Imam said, “Do not move from this place until I come back.” The Imam went to the master of the slave and purchased him together with the orchard he was working in. He set the slave free and gave him the orchard.[1]  


[1] Bihar al-Anwar: 352/43, Chapter: 16, H 29.

http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/index.htm

Morality of Imam al-Jawad

Imam al-Jawad was unique in terms of knowledge, forbearance, eloquence, devotion and other moral virtues despite his being underage. He had a wonderful aptitude for answering scientific questions on the spot. Like his purified ancestors, Imam al-Jawad paid much attention to physical appearance and cleanliness.

A Blessed Letter

A man of the tribe of Banu-Hanifah from the region of Bost and Sistan has reported: I came to know Imam al-Jawad when I was on my Hajj to Mecca and it was the beginning of the reign of al-Mu`tasim the `Abbasid ruler. We were sitting round a tablecloth and while some of the friends of the `Abbasid ruler were also present, I said to the Imam, “May I be your ransom! Our governor has love for Ahl al-Bayt and I am charged to pay tax to him. Should you consider it advisable, kindly write to him to do me a favor by canceling the tax. To observe dissimulation aimed at preserving the life of the ruler of Sistan, Imam al-Jawad said, “I do not know him!” I said, “May I be your ransom; as I have already said he is a devotee of Ahl al-Bayt and your writing to him will be useful for me.” Imam al-Jawad picked up a piece of paper and wrote, “In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. The holder of letter speaks well of you. What is left of your deeds is the good ones. So be kind to your brethren and know that you will be taken to task by Allah for an atom’s weight of your deeds.”

The letter holder reports: The news of the letter had reached the governor of the region, Husayn ibn `Abdullah Naysaburi, before my arrival. So before I reached Sistan, he had come to the gate of city to welcome me. I gave him the letter. He kissed and put it on his eyes, saying, “What do you need?” I said, “I have been levied a tax which I cannot afford to pay.” He ordered the tax to be written off, saying, “As long as I am the governor of this region, don’t pay tax.” He then asked about my dependents. I gave him the number of my dependents. So he ordered a regular pension to be given to me. After this event, I did not pay tax as long as I lived nor did he stop sending me gifts until he passed away.[1]  


[1] Al-Kafi: 5/111, H 6.

Protecting the Oppressed

`Ali ibn Jarir has reported: I was in the presence of Imam al-Jawad when a sheep of the house was missing. At this time, one of the neighbors was brought to the Imam on charge of theft. The Imam said, “Woe to you! Let him go. He has not stolen the sheep. The sheep is in such and such man’s house. Go and find it there.”

They went to the same house finding the sheep there. They arrested the owner of the house, tore his clothes into pieces and beat him up, but he took an oath that he had not stolen the sheep. They brought him to the Imam who asked, “Why have you oppressed him? The sheep had entered his house and this man was not aware of it.” Then the Imam appeased him and gave him an amount of money to make up for his clothes and beating.[1]

Dignity of Imam al-Jawad

After the martyrdom of Imam al-Ri¤a (a.s), people kept on blaming Ma’mun, the `Abbasid ruler. Wishing to acquit himself of the crime, he left Khorasan for Baghdad and wrote a letter to Imam al-Jawad (a.s) inviting him to Baghdad with much honor. The Imam set off for Baghdad, but before seeing the Imam, Ma’mun went hunting. On his way, he came across a group of children who were standing on the way. Imam al-Jawad too was standing there. Observing the pomp of Ma’mun, the children were dispersed. However, the Imam did not move from his place! He was standing in his place with the utmost degree of calm and dignity until Ma’mun came near to him. He was amazed to see the child. Drawing the reins of the horse, Ma’mun asked, “Why did not you clear the way like other children?” The Imam replied, “O caliph! The road was not narrow nor had I committed anything wrong to escape from you! I don’t think you will punish anyone without having committed anything wrong.” Ma’mun was surprised more when he heard these words. He had been attracted by his beauty so he asked, “What is your name, boy?” The Imam said, “My name is Muhammad.” He asked, “Who is your father?” The Imam said, “`Ali ibn Musa al-Ri¤a.” When Ma’mun heard of the child’s descent, he was no more surprised and was ashamed of hearing the name of the Imam whom he had martyred! He sent greeting to the pure soul of the Imam and went away.

When he went back to wilderness, he caught sight of a francolin and let a falcon go after it. The falcon disappeared for sometime but when it  


[1] Bihar al-Anwar, 47/50, H 22.

 

returned, it had a small fish still living in its beak. Ma’mun was surprised to see it; he took the fish in his hand and returned to the same place where he had seen Imam al-Jawad. Again the children were dispersed but the Imam did not move from his place. Ma’mun said, “Muhammad: What is it in my hand?” Through inspiration, the Imam said, “Allah has created seas; clouds rise up from seas; small fish come up with clouds; kings’ falcons hunt them; the kings take them in their hands and test the Household of the Prophet!” Ma’mun was surprised more to hear this, saying, “You are truly the son of al-Ri¤a! Such wonderful acts are possible only by the son of that honorable man.”[1]

Ma’mun’s Trickery

Ma’mun played every trick to make Imam al-Jawad as worldly and sensual as himself but he failed in his plot until he gave her daughter in marriage to the Imam. On the wedding night, he ordered a hundred slave-girls who were the most beautiful to hold a chalice each in their hands to welcome the Imam in the bridal chamber with much pomp and glory. The slave-girls did as they had been ordered but Imam al-Jawad paid not attention to them. Ma’mun had to call Mukhariq, a music performer who had a sweet voice and played viol. Mukhariq said to Ma’mun, “O Leader of the Faithful! If you wish al-Jawad to have a desire of the world, my voice will suffice it.” Mukhariq sat face to face with the Imam and started singing. He sang in a way that all the people of the house gathered round him. Then, he started playing viol. He did so for one hour but Imam al-Jawad looked neither at right side not left side. Finally the Imam raised his head saying, “Fear Allah, O you long-bearded man!” At this moment the viol fell from the hands of the music performer and he enjoyed it no more until he died.[2]

A Shafi`ite’s Opinion about The Imam

Kamal al-Din Shafi`i, a great Sunni scholar, about Imam al-Jawad writes: This (Imam Muhammad al-Jawad) Abu-Ja`far is the second Muhammad. The first is Muhammad al-Baqir. He has a high-ranking position. He is renowned everywhere. His broad-mindedness and sweet-speaking have attracted everyone. He was destined to die young. He lived a short life but he was a source of benefits for all. Everyone who saw him bowed to him and benefited from his knowledge. He was a source of light which illuminated everything. Both intellect and mind benefited from his knowledge.[3]  


[1] Bihar al-Anwar: 91/5, Chapter: 5, H 6.
[2] Bihar al-Anwar: 61/50, Chapter: 26, H 37.
[3] Matalib al-Sa’ul fi Manaqib Al al-Rasul: 140.
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