Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Imam Baqer (as): A Perfect Example of Behavior and Moral Aspects

Allah (SWT) would never appoint a person as an Imam and make him His decisive proof upon people unless the person has earned the position and has reached perfection in his virtues, sayings, and deeds. Such a person would say nothing but truth, and do nothing but good... Like his ancestors Imam Baqer (as), fifth Imam of the Shiites, is a perfect example in terms of behavior and other moral aspects. In his behavior towards people, he was so chaste and humble that he would forgive and forget people's wrongdoings as much as possible. This manner of the Imam would deeply penetrate within people's hearts. The following narration clearly indicates this magnificent virtue: A Christian man who intended to make fun of Imam Baqer (as), changed the word Baqer (Splitter of knowledge) to Baqr (the Cow), and addressed Imam Baqer (as) insultingly. Without showing any signs of sadness or anger, Imam Baqer (as) simply replied: "No, I am not Baqr, I am Baqer." The Christian continued: "You are son of the woman who was a cook." Imam Baqer (as): "That was her career. This is not shameful." The Christian: "Your mother was black, impudent, and rude." Imam Baqer (as): "If such matters you accuse my mother are true, I ask Allah (SWT) to forgive her sins; and if they are false, I ask Allah (SWT) to forgive you for your accusations and lies." The patience of Imam Baqer (as) was enough for the Christian to be revolutionized and attracted towards Islam. He later became a Muslim. Imam Baqer (as): was the great grandson of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as) One day a man came to Imam Baqer (as), fifth Imam of the Shiites and asked him a very interesting question. Man: Please tell me if how much power has Allah (SWT) given to us human beings? Is it that Allah (SWT) has given us absolute power, no power at all or limited power? Imam Baqer (as): Please stand up. The man stands up. Now keep your one foot in the air. He does that. Imam Baqer (as): Now keep your other foot in air. Man: I cannot do that. I will fall down. Imam Baqer (as): Allah (SWT) has given you this much power. You are not given the complete power and you are not made powerless either. Imam Baqer (as): At the Door of a Brother Imam Baqer (as), fifth Imam of the Shiites said: An angel was once passing by a house, when he witnessed a man standing near its door. The angel questioned him, "Why do you stand here?" "This is the house of my brother and I wish to greet him," answered the man. The angel asked, "Is he of your kith and kin or is it that you are in need of his help that you have come to pay him a visit?" "The reality is not as you make it out to be. We are just brethren in faith and I only wish to meet him and greet him for the sake of Allah (SWT)". "I am Allah (SWT)'s messenger towards you," the angel said. "He has sent you His greetings and has said: O' My Servant! You have paid Me a visit and desired My pleasure and so, as a reward for upholding the rights and sanctity of religious brotherhood, I have made Paradise compulsory for you and have distanced you from My fire and wrath. Imam Baqer (as): A Momin (believer in the Divine Law) is the Brother of another Momin Imam Baqer (as), fifth Imam of the Shiites related: Once, a group of Muslims had set off on a journey, but in the course of their travel, they lost their way. Their supplies were soon exhausted and they were overcome by intense thirst. With no water in sight and imagining their end to be near, they put on their shrouds and sat down, resting themselves against the trees. Suddenly, an old man in white apparels approached them and said: "Arise, for you have nothing to fear. Here is some water for you." They scrambled for the water and drank to their fill after which, turning to the old man, they said, "May Allah (SWT) have mercy upon you! Who are you?" "I belong to the Jinn community, who had pledged allegiance to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). I had heard the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) say: A Momin (believer in the Divine Law) is the Brother of another Momin (believer in the Divine Law). He is his eyes and his guide (too). I could not allow you to die of thirst, while I was here." Imam Baqer (as): Exercise Caution in Reconciliation Abdul Malik says: There arose a dispute between Imam Baqer (as) and some of the children of Imam Hasan (as). I approached Imam Baqer (as) and sought to intervene in the matter in order to reconcile them, but Imam Baqer (as), fifth Imam of the Shiites advised: Do not say a word in this dispute for our problem is like that of the old man from Bani Israel (Children of Israel), who had two daughters. One of them was married to a farmer, while the other to a pottery-maker. Once he decided to pay them a visit. He first visited the daughter who was the wife of the farmer and reaching her house, he inquired about her health. The daughter said: "Dear father, my husband has cultivated a large area of land and if it were to rain, we would be the most prosperous of the entire Bani Israel (Children of Israel)." Then, proceeding towards the house of the other daughter, whose husband was a pottery-maker, he inquired about her health. The daughter said, "Dear father, my husband has moulded pots in great quantity and if Allah (SWT) were to withhold the rains till his pots dry up, we would be better off than the entire Bani Israel (Children of Israel)." As he departed from the house of his second daughter, he prayed: "O' Allah (SWT)! Act as You deem fit for, in this situation, I cannot pray for either of them." Imam Baqer (as) then said to me, "You too cannot intervene in this matter. Be wary, lest you show disrespect to either of us. Your responsibility towards us, because of our relationship with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), is to treat all of us with deference and esteem. Imam Baqer (as): Kindness towards Your Brother in Faith One of Imam Baqer's (as) companions, Abi Obadiah, narrates: I used to accompany Imam Baqer (as) in journeys. During the journeys, I would always climb my mount first, and Imam Baqer (as) would climb his mount after I was seated (This act of Imam Baqer (as) was out of utmost respect). Whenever our mounts were next to each other, he would converse with me and ask about my health in such a way that seemed as if he had just seen an old friend he had not seen for a long time, even though he had seen me just a few moments ago. I asked him: "O! Son of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), you act completely different from all others when you socialize with others. Your kindness and amenity towards your companions and friends is quite different. Truly it would be appreciable if others did the same in their first contact with each other." Imam Baqer (as) replied: "Do you not know the value of Mussafah (shaking hands kindly with friends and believers)? Every time believers do Mussafah (shaking hands kindly with friends and believers), and squeeze the hand of a friend, their sins fall (are forgiven) similar to how the leaves of a tree fall. And they are under Allah (SWT)'s grace until they separate." In addition, many other sayings by Imam Baqer (as) have been recorded about kindness towards friends and brothers in faith: "A prayer that is more likely to be answered, and more quickly to be granted, is a prayer for a brother in faith in his absence." Imam Baqer (as), fifth Imam of the Shiites also said: "A pious believer is the brother of a pious believer. One does not insult the other, does not refuse the other, and does not falsely suspect the other." And Imam Baqer (as) advised his companions: "Be lenient when talking to a hypocrite (Munafiq), love the believers with all your heart, and behave well even if you are sitting with a Jew." And finally, Imam Baqer (as) considered one of the most important duties of a believer is helping his brother in faith financially. Note: 5th Imam, Imam Mohammad Ibn Ali (pbuh) received the title of Baqir (Splitter of knowledge) due to his ample knowledge of Deen and his enthusiasm to teach to other people. Imam Jaffar as Sadiq (AS) said: A believer is the brother and guide of another believer. He does not betray or oppress him, nor does he ever cheat his brother. A believer never breaks his promise. "Be truthful and righteous. A truthful and righteous man is a partner in the wealth of others". May Allah hasten the re appearance of our 12th Imam, Imam Mehdi, and we pray to Allah to give us the faith to be alongside the Imam when he establishes justice in the world... We pray to Allah (SWT) to keep us firm on His path,and to always protect us from negligence in discharging our duties towards Him and our Living Imam (A.J), and to also include us among the Imam (A.J) helpers and companions –Ameen Remember us in your Duas and pray for all our Marhumins

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