The Gnostics (Arifin) have described four pillars to strengthen the connection with Allah. The first is silence, and silence has been divided into two parts. One is silence of the tongue and the other is silence of the heart. The tongue should adopt silence, except for remembrance of Allah and for enjoining good. The second pillar is that man should be hopeless of servants (of Allah) and should only place hope in Allah for all his affairs. The relationship between these two pillars is that if man’s tongue and heart are always focused on Allah, then man himself becomes independent of the servants. All his hopes are focused toward where his heart and tongue are.
The Gnostics have established hunger as the third pillar. It is found in tradition that while a servant is fasting, Allah says to the angels, “Look, I have created this servant for this. Although he is compelled (required) to food and drink and gets extremely hungry, he refrain (abstain) from eating and controls his food and drink for Me. Bear witness that I forgive this servant’s sins.” However, hunger should not be to such an extent that the human body becomes weak, because all the spiritual acts depend upon this material body. Islam has even given priority to (maintaining) its health. The fourth pillar is awakening in the middle of the night, or the time of the night that is before the Dawn Prayer, for the Midnight Prayer. The fourth pillar is related to the third pillar. However less man will eat, that is how much less he will sleep. Once a Prophet asked Satan, “How do you misguide the servants?” Satan described his methods. Then he asked, “Do you attack me as well?” Satan replied, “In one way. When you sit to eat at night, then I give you pleasure in eating more food, so that you will eat more and thus sleep more. Hence, your time for the Midnight Prayer will decrease.” These four pillars are the discussion of one action that heartfelt faith is borne through good acts.
Sincerity in our Actions
Until man’s inner self is purified of the un-cleanliness of polytheism, his worship cannot be sincere. When man does a good act, then he makes the intention to attain the nearness of Allah (qurbatan illallah). However, when he leaves the sphere (area) of the intention of nearness to Allah then his act enters the sphere of polytheism. For example, a man wants to give some money as charity. Half of his intention is to attain fame among the public and the other half of his intention is to earn reward. This alms (charity) giving person has made the servants partners in this worship of Allah; this is called polytheism .
If the servants' worship of Allah includes, the self, wealth, rank, or one’s pride (alu’), then that worship does not remain pure. Rather, it becomes wasted due to polytheism.
Polytheism sometimes occurs before an action, sometimes during an action, and sometimes after an action. The polytheism after an action is extremely dangerous and undetectable. For example, someone spent the whole night worshipping. In the morning, he went to the grocer to buy vegetables. While praying the Midnight Prayer, his worship was sincere. When he asked the grocer how much the potatoes were, the grocer replied, “Eight rupees a kilo.” Then the one who performed Midnight Prayer thought in his heart, “I perform the Midnight Prayer; he should have given me the vegetables at a discount.” Now, if his night worship had been sincere, then he would only hope for reward from Allah. Expecting favours from a person is evidence that the worship was not sincerely for Allah.
Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Husain Behishti Shaheed came to Imam Khomeini and said, “We cannot work because of Bani Sadr’s propaganda.” So then Imam Khomeini (May Allah be pleased with him) replied, “Even if all of the people of the whole world turn against me, or if all of the people of the whole world become my followers, I will not have any happiness or sorrow; because I work for, and only for, the pleasure of Allah.” Sometimes man’s action is not for Allah, but for his own self. Yet (Until now), Satan deceives (betrays) man that his action is for Allah and is worship.
A person was in Iran. He performed four pilgrimages (Hajj) by foot, travelled in extreme cold, and bore the hardships of the journey. One night his mother asked him for water. He said to his mother, “Mother, it is extremely cold and it is almost time for the Dawn Prayer. When I get up for prayer, then I will bring you water.” When he arose for prayer and went outside, he thought that maybe all these pilgrimages (Hajj) of mine were not sincerely for Allah; as I bore the hardship of the journey of Hajj, but could not bare the hardship of getting up in the cold weather to give water to my mother.
The Apostle of Allah says, “One hours of reflection (upon whether or not my action is sincere) is better than seventy years of worship.” If man performs polytheistic worship for seventy years, it is useless. However, if he reflects for an hour in order to make his worship sincere, it is better than that seventy years’ worth of worship. One day the Apostle of Allah was extremely sad. His companions asked, “What is the reason that you are sad?” The Prophet replied, “I am seeing that such a time will come that many people of my nation (ummah) will become polytheists.” The companions asked, “After you will Muslims prostrate before idols?” He replied, “No, but after me they will practice polytheism.” (They will worship in order to be seen).
It is a tradition that, “All showing off (Ri'ya) is polytheism.” From this saying it can be concluded that Islam does not only condemn (blame) idols of stone and wood, but also invisible ones. For example, it also opposes the idols of hypocrisy, worship of the self, seeking of fame, and nationalism. These are all major idols. It is easy to break the idols made of stone; however, it is very difficult to destroy inner idols. The Apostle of Allah has said, “In Islam, the actions that are difficult are also the ones with great reward.”
Check your Actions
Hazrat Ali has taught a superior prescription or formula for recognizing hypocrisy:
1. “When he is alone, he is lazy.”
When he worships alone, he is very lazy and quickly finishes the prayer.
2. “When he is among the people, he is active.”
Yet, when he worships in the mosque, it is with great humility (humbleness). If the worship of Allah was performed with a sincere intention, then Allah is (present) in solitude and He is also (present) in the mosque. However, when in the mosque, he prays with humility for the people; when alone, he does not pray with humility. Thus, there is hypocrisy in his actions. Sometimes when a person observes others in congregational of Duas, and in other acts of worship. He adopts humility (humble condition) as the gatherings have more effect upon him than loneliness. This is not polytheism.
3. Then the Imam declares, “The sign of hypocrisy is that after performing a good deed, he waits for people to come and praise his deed.”
If the action is for Allah, then why is there this waiting for others? Nevertheless, people describe good deeds in narrations so that people can praise them.
Ayatollah Mazahari states that in whatever manner you are becoming a scholar, in that way your evil self (Nafs-e-Ammara) is also becoming a scholar. Now it will try to misguide you through means of knowledge. For example, you arose in the middle of the night for the Midnight Prayer. Someone saw you, so the evil self will say that if you worship to show off to others, this recommended action will become hypocrisy. So, do not perform the Midnight Prayer! However, this is not hypocrisy; it depends upon the real intention. Man should rectify (correct) his intention, not completely shun (ignore) the action.
The Cure for Hypocrisy
Hypocrisy is due to ignorance. If someone worships in order to show off in front of people, and even if all of the people of the world become his followers, they cannot save him from the smallest chastisement of the grave. Moreover, on the Day of Judgement, this hypocritical worship will become punishment for him instead of reward.
The Apostle of Allah states that on the Day of Judgement three groups will come and, about them, Allah will order the angels to take them to Hell. At that moment the people of Resurrection will wonder, for among them, the first group will be of scholars. Allah will ask them, “I gave you knowledge. What did you do with it?” They will answer, “We left our homes, travelled to cities, built schools, and preached.” Allah will reply, “You are lying. You did all this for your name and for praise of your goodness. You did nothing for Me. You included the people in My worship.”
The second group is of businessmen. Allah will ask them, “What did you do?” They will answer, “We had built schools, built mosques, built orphanages.” The voice of Allah will come, “You are also lying. Your work was only so that people would praise you and call you pious, religious, and generous.”
For example, Harun Rashid was having a mosque built. Bahlool asked, “What are you having built?” Harun replied, “Can’t you see that I am having a mosque built?” Bahlool said, “You are lying.” Harun said, “This dome, this minaret, such a big mosque is being built where is the lie in that? Bahlool said, “Place a plaque (tablet) with my name on this mosque.” Harun exclaimed (cried out), “Wow! My money is being spent and your name be written.” Bahlool replied, “Then you should say I am building my name, not a mosque.” If it was for Allah, then it matters not whether my name or your name?
The third group is of martyrs. They will say, “We did not have any wealth. We only had our lives, which we sacrificed (offered) in Your way."
The voice (of Allah) will come, “You are lying. Your intention was that people will call me brave. You fought to show off, not for Me.” An example is that during the time of the Apostle of Allah the Muslims were participating in a battle. An unbeliever from among the unbelievers possessed a very fine mule (donkey). Now, one Muslim’s glance fell on that mules and he thought to himself that I will kill this unbeliever in order to capture his mule. So, this Muslim advanced (went forward), but the unbeliever was strong and killed the Muslim. Henceforth, this Muslim became famous as the martyr in the way of a donkey. There was not sincerity in his intention; rather, he wished to attain (gain) wealth.
Fear and Hope:
Two Divine Lights
Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) says, “Man cannot be a believer unless there is fear and hope (in his heart).” Fear and hope itself is one of Islam’s ethical and spiritual subjects. One should not fear Allah, the Most High, so much so that man remains afraid (all the time). In this sense, fear is not beneficial for faith. The case is similar with hope and being too much hopeful. It should not result in man’s becoming too bold in committing sins. Thus, both (fear and hope) should exist; the equality of the two is a mark of faith. If someone does not act, but hopes for reward, then his likeness is of that farmer who, without sowing (planting) seeds, hopes for produce (fasl).
It is a saying of the Apostle of Allah that, “The world is the field of the Hereafter.” If someone does not perform deeds, but still expects Allah’s forgiveness or the Ahlul Bait’s intercession then this is not hope. Rather, it is Satan’s deceit. He is deceiving himself; such a person, who does not refrain from sins, but still is hopeful, is foolish. He is just like the one who plants seeds in stony ground but still hopes for produce.
Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) says that there are always two fears in a believer’s heart:
1. One is the fear of those sins he has committed in his past lifetime and he does not know how Allah will treat him because of those sins.
2. The second fear is of spending what remains of his lifetime in the way of Satan.
In a Gnostic's heart there is neither the fear of Hell, nor the greed for Heaven. He is a lover of Allah; thus, what will be the state of fear and hope in him?
One man worships due to fear of Hell; the other worships out of greed for Heaven. The third person is that Gnostics of Allah who is not eager for Heaven, nor afraid of Hell; rather, he sees Allah as worthy of worship, and that is why He worships Him. This statement refers to Gnostics. In Dua-e-Kumayl, Hazrat Ali declares, “Though I shall patiently endure the punishment, how will I be patient in separation from Thee?” The fear in a gnostic’s heart is due to the Majestic (Grand) Names (asma-e-jalaliya). So when a name from among the Majestic Names is glorified (tajalli), his heart becomes frightened. When a name from among the Beautiful Names (asma-e-jamaliya) is glorified in his heart, then the state of hope is created within him.
Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) states, “The people who faced the most calamities, are the Prophets, then the successors (awsiya) and then there are more people like the successors (i.e. such scholars who possess the characteristics of the Imams). Allah involves the believers in calamities as much as are his good deeds. Thus, whoever rectified his religion and performed good deeds will face greater calamities and misfortunes. The reason for this is that Allah has not established this world as the place for a believer’s reward, nor has he made it the place for an unbeliever’s torment and punishment. Whoever’s religion will be insubstantial (lacking firmness) and ordinary, and whosever's deeds will be weak and deficient, his calamities will be less. Calamities go toward a believing and pious person like rainwater goes toward sloping ground.”
Reasons why calamities
Befall a believer
The love of this world is the cause of all sins and, due to love of this world; man becomes heedless (careless) of Allah and the Hereafter. Consequently, upon whomever Allah bestows more favours and kindnesses; he also faces more calamities and misfortunes. Calamities are Allah’s hidden kindnesses and blessings. We think of apparent blessings as blessings and become happy, although the matter is the opposite. When love of this world leaves man’s heart, man becomes closer and closer to Allah. The second reason for calamities is that when Allah wants to give some servant a high rank, He afflicts him with misfortunes. Thus, by being patient in those misfortunes, he achieves a high station. Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) saw the Apostle of Allah in a dream, and he said to him, “There are very high ranks for you, but you cannot reach those levels except through martyrdom.”
Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) says, “However great the calamities are, the reward is as great. Furthermore, the nations' Allah loves in involves them in calamities.” Since removing love of the world is very difficult, Allah removes that love through His hidden kindness (i.e. afflictions). This universe is neither the place for reward not the place for punishment. In the Hereafter blessings are authentic (khalis-real)); hardships and difficulties are not found there. However, in this world, blessings are not authentic (real); furthermore, they are accompanied by hardships and difficulties. Similarly, the hardships of this world are not authentic either. In this world neither blessings are authentic nor are hardships authentic. Yet, in the Hereafter if it is Hell, then it means hardship forever (i.e. authentic hardship). If it is Heaven, then it is pleasure forever (i.e. authentic pleasure).
The Reality of Pleasure
The thing which we consider to be comfort in this world is not comfort; rather, it is fulfilment of necessities and removal of hardship. We may consider something to be pleasure, but the Gnostics have said that there is no such thing as pleasure in this world. Due to our ignorance and misunderstanding we consider something which is a cause for ending a difficulty as pleasure.
Allah, the Most High, declares,
“We draw them near (to destruction) by degrees from whence they know not” (Al-Araf: 182).
Imam Sadiq (as) states, “When someone sins and Allah increases His favours, then this is a warning; therefore, one should immediately repent after this. Whoever’s religion is weak or whoever’s intellect is weak, his hardships are also less.”
Mercy behind Hardship
The Apostle of Allah has said, “No other Prophet has seen as many difficulties as I have seen.” When one attains recognition of Allah’s greatness and majesty, such as the Prophet, because of greater recognition and after attaining such a high rank of recognition, if a servant sins before him, he will experience greater pain (because he has attained greater recognition of Allah). The Prophet was a Mercy; when the servants used to sin, he experienced two pains. One is that when he saw the servants committing sins, he was pained that these people will have to go to Hell. The other pain he felt was that, because these people were sinning, Allah’s commands were being disrespected.
The person who does not practice patience and in whose life there is no patience is not free in reality. Rather, he is a slave. Patience is of three types:
1. Patience in (the face of) calamities
2. Patience upon obligatory actions
3. Patience upon (running into) sins
Whoever does not possess the capital of patience is involved in lusts and is serving Satan and the self. Because of this, man becomes so misfortunate that, instead of obeying Allah, he follows Satan and selfish desires. This is slavery. The person who cannot practice patience in the face of calamities remains involved in the slavery of this humiliation. For his selfish desires, he is always ready for every type of disgrace and for flattering everyone. In order to fulfil his desires, he is not ashamed to bow before the world’s base and disgraceful individuals. He has places the shackles (chains) of selfish desires upon his neck and is bound in the chains of lust. A noble man saves himself from such slavery, attains freedom, and cures himself. By means of knowledge and action, he frees himself from the prison of desires. Because of his selfish desires, a man who is not patient bows before a human being just like him, though that person is also dependent upon the Creator of the Universe for his existence. However, if during a calamity, he bowed his heart before Allah and focused his attention toward Allah, then he would be free in both worlds. Therefore, the person who is patient is a servant of Allah, whereas a person who does not practice patience is not Allah’s servant. Rather, he is the slave of Satan and the self.
True Richness and True Poverty
Now what does it mean to be rich? Being rich refers to the richness of man’s heart. He should become independent of all human beings except Allah. Being rich does not refer to money and wealth, but to a state of heart which is related to the soul. Wealthy and affluent (wealthy) people speak of such dishonourable things, whereas those who are poor do not. The hearts of ascetic (zahid) people were so rich that they looked down upon the whole universe with contempt (dislike). They did not consider anyone except Allah worthy of listening to them describes their needs. They thought that the disgrace of those who sought the world was more than anyone else’s. Upon examination with keen eyes, it is possible that the shackles and chains which the man who follows his desires has hung around his neck will be transformed (changed) into the chains of Hell. The believer should break these chains in order to achieve freedom. If man does not attain freedom, then he cannot be free in the Hereafter either. Until he does not break those chains, he cannot acquire elevated (raised) spiritual stations. If the evil self is strengthened in the inner Satan, then all of man’s powers will obey them. Then they will not leave him until he sins, so that his religion and faith are destroyed. O Heedless Man! Have mercy upon your condition. Use every means to bring yourself out from prison. Now, when you are young and physical strength remains, go stand in their opposition. If you remain negligent (careless) in your youth, then this work will become very difficult in old age. If man does not break these chains, then it is possible that when the Angel of Death comes, Satan will snatch (take it away) his faith from him.
Poor Imprisoned Man
O neglectful (careless) heart! Become aware of your enemy who has imprisoned you for several years, and who invites you toward every sin and disgraceful deed. Allah compels you to stand up against him and become free by breaking those chains of humiliation. When you become Allah’s servant, then you will be free and will attain freedom. Sayyid Ta’oos (a Gnostics of Allah) (arif billah) states, “I feel very happy upon performing each and every obligatory act; so, I celebrate ‘Id that Allah considered me worthy to take work from me.”
Thus, instead of practicing patience upon obligatory actions, one should be happy. If the world’s ordinary king took work from you, then you would be extremely happy that he looked favourably upon you. However, when the Master of the Universe orders you to pray, then you feel pain in praying at its time of priority and shirk from it. All of our misfortunes are due to our ignorance and foolishness because our faith is deficient. Patience means that man should not complain to (another) creature, but should complain to the Creator. Complaining to the Creator does not contradict (deny) patience. The Holy Koran states about Hazrat Sulaiman,
“Surely We found him patient” (Suad:44).
Man should train himself by devotion to Islamic law. If man, for sometime, practices patience upon severe calamities (disasters), rigorous (difficulty) acts of worship, and the deprivations of pleasures of the self, then slowly his self will become accustomed (as usual) to bearing those difficulties. He will then not feel pain in bearing hardships, the self will become illuminated (brightened), and man will reach an elevated station.
The Apostle of Allah states, “Patience is to faith as the head is to the body.” If man is patient when encountering sin, then its fruit is piety. If man is patient upon obedience, then he will receive its fruit in the form of love of Allah. If man is patient when faced with misfortunes, then the fruit he will receive is that he will be content with the Divine Decree (order).
From Patience to Tranquillity
Patience is the key to the gates of happiness and recognition. Patience is the key (which will) open the doors of recognition. Furthermore, patience is salvation from every type of ruin and destruction. The greatest benefit is that man’s will and determination are strengthened by means of patience. By means of patience, the capital of the soul is strengthened and all the parts become obedient to the soul. On the contrary, the heart of the man who is not patient always remains agitated (disturbed). This is an affliction in itself, and such a person does not have peace of mind. If, upon facing calamity, an impatient person complains to other human beings, then slowly this complaint becomes the seed of malice. For instance, if this same person also starts complaining about Allah, the Most High, the result will be that he will become spiteful (grudge) of Allah. The consequence of that malice will be that he will become an enemy of Allah and, in that condition (i.e. as an enemy of Allah) he will die, and the greatest danger is to die without faith.
Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) asked one of his companions, Sama’, “Why didn’t you go to the pilgrimage (hajj)?” His companion replied, “Master, many calamities have befallen me. I am under a great debt.” The Imam said, “Even if you are not patient, the calamities will still remain in your destiny (fate). It is your decision to practice patience and be happy or to express impatience and lament. However, if you try to be patient and become patient, then you will receive great reward and people will envy your personality.” Thus, there is no benefit in impatience; rather, it is a dreadful loss.
The Secret of Freedom
Imam Ja’far Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said, “The man who is free in every respect is the one who practices patience upon each and every calamity.” If man is patient when faced with some calamity, there is patience hidden behind that calamity which will only be achieved when man is patient upon that calamity.
Imam Sadiq (as) states, “If a believer is afflicted with calamity and practices patience upon it, his reward is equal to the reward of a thousand martyrs.”
The Apostle of Allah has said that Allah grants the person who is patient in the face of calamities 300 elevated stations, of which the distance from one level to the next is as much as the distance from the earth to the sky (meaning, these levels are so exalted). If man practices patience upon obedience to Allah, then Allah grants him 600 levels, and their distance is also equal to the distance from the earth to the sky. If man is patient when faced with sin, then Allah grants him 900 levels and their distance (i.e. the distance from one level to the next) is as the distance from the earth to the Throne (Arsh), meaning a place more elevated than the seven heavens.
Detachment from the World
Abstinence (zuhd) means turning your back upon the world and facing the Hereafter, distancing the heart from the world and coming closer to Allah. An even more lofty level than this is that except for Allah, not giving his heart to anyone; love and devotion is only for Allah. Such a man does not even attach his heart to Heaven. An abstinent (self-restrained) person leaves the world’s pleasures for the everlasting, pure pleasures of Heaven. Another person leaves the world’s pleasures only for the love of Allah. An abstinent person is one in whose heart wisdom and recognition have entered; he understands the reality of the world, that the world is base and contemptible (worthless).
It is a tradition of the Apostle of Allah, “Man desires that Allah should give him knowledge without learning and give him guidance without a guide, so that he becomes detached from the world.” The Apostle of Allah states that according to however much abstinent a person will be, or how much love of the world will leave his heart, Allah will grant his heart that much wisdom.
It is a tradition of the Apostle of Allah, “When Allah intends to give goodness to some servant, then he grants him detachment (separation) from the world (zuhd), makes him love the Hereafter, and shows him the defects in his self.”
Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) states,“If good- ness is blocked off in a house, then its key is detachment from the world (zuhd).”
The Apostle of Allah says, “Know that the taste of faith is forbidden for everyone until they become detached from the world.”
Instead of stopping at a level, the seeker of knowledge has to constantly quest for loftier (high) stations.
Two purposes are the most important
for the seeker of knowledge
Agha Malki Tabrizi states that if you have to courage to be of the People of Recognition and to become a perfect person, if you want to be such a spiritual person who is the peer (equal) and friend of angels, and if you want to be the companion of the Prophets, then take hold of all of your courage so that first of all you terminate all animalistic attributes (qualities) and acquire luminous (visible) attributes. Do not agree with those people who say that you are like an animal, which eats, drinks, dies, and produces offspring. This is the level of animals and minerals. You should not be content with this; this mud and water of which you are made is only (your) exterior, for your true home is a higher world. The station of the soul which man possesses is very exalted. It is equal to the rank of the peer of angels. That is why it is a tradition, “Whoever recognizes himself, recognizes his Lord.”
It is narrated in Misbah as-Shariah that the Apostle of Allah was asked what recognition of the self referred to. Which path should one utilize for recognition of Allah? The Apostle of Allah replied that one way is by means of recognition of the self. Now what does recognition of the self refers to? Man should recognize himself; man’s humanity is not in appearance. The appearance shows in a photograph or the mirror. Even animals have this appearance. Humanity is not in the body. You see that even all the unclean animals possess bodies. Then, what is recognition? Man should attain recognition; what does this mean? Since even animals see it, recognition does not refer to examining the body that these are two hands and these are two eyes. Animals also have this primary level of knowledge for such recognition. So, what is knowledge? It is in tradition that “knowledge is not in the sky”, “nor is it above you”, “nor is it in the earth” “that it comes out of the earth for you.” Hence, what is knowledge? It is in your hearts, but it will manifest itself only when you make your ethics spiritual. Then that knowledge will automatically come out of your heart and reveal itself. True knowledge, which comes from the heart, is related to the soul. We should recognize ourselves; our relation is not to animals. The power of anger and the power of lust are found even in dogs and pigs. One does not recognize himself if these powers are found in animals as well as human beings. Man should recognize himself and that he is not an animal.
My true origin is spiritual. Allah said, “We created man and breathed in him Our spirit.” Hence, man has to recognize himself and recognize this spirit which Allah has attributed to Himself. Thus, man should recognize himself. The first level is of knowledge, but not the apparent knowledge. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (peace be upon him) declares that knowledge cannot be attained from books. True, they are a means; the way books instruct us to develop ethics is a means. Yet, what is knowledge? If you follow whatever is in the books, you are following the author and what he wrote. Knowledge is a light. The Imam says that when your ethics (moral principles) will be spiritual, then knowledge will manifest itself upon you. Thus, it is evident that man cannot recognize himself unless his animalistic manners are eliminated and he transforms them into spiritual manners. Until then he will not have knowledge, so he cannot recognize himself. If he does not recognize himself, he cannot recognize Allah. This is the situation. The Apostle of Allah was asked how recognition of Allah can be achieved. He replied through your self, i.e. by means of recognizing yourself. Now, how do we recognize ourselves? It does not just mean recognizing your hands, feet, and body. Even an animal recognizes this much. Recognize yourselves by means of knowledge; what are we? He said that knowledge by which you recognize yourself and then recognize Allah is not obtained by reading books (true, by studying books you will receive knowledge on how to improve you ethics). In fact, if you improve your spiritual ethics, then that knowledge will automatically manifest itself. Consequently, man possesses the true knowledge, but it is a pearl. Every human being has it, but it will not present itself while man possesses in him anger, jealousy, malice, and love of the world. As long as all the animalistic and satanic traits exist, this knowledge will not reveal itself. The revelation of knowledge will occur when all these characteristics are eliminated. It is stated in the Koran that We revealed to the bee, i.e. We inspired (encouraged) it (Jibra’il did not descend upon the honeybee) how to make a hive. It was Allah’s inspiration that it should take nectar and make a hive (An-Nahl:68-69). Then, man, who is the most noble of creation (ashraf-ul-makhluqat) also possesses these faculties; yet, when does he receive this inspiration? It will only be when animalistic traits are eliminated. Mulla Sadra says likewise, “Near a village I improved the diligence (paintaking) of the ethics of my worship; thus, such truths descended upon my heart which I had neither read in any book nor heard from any scholar. Fountains of knowledge from the Divine began to burst forth.” True recognition is that man recognizes himself so then he can recognize Allah. Recognition of the self is achieved through knowledge, and one will attain knowledge when ethics are spiritual. Thus, that is true knowledge. These (others) are not true knowledge; they are stages for improving ethics, and then the real seeker or knowledge will reveal himself.
The Jewel of Man
It is narrated in Kitab-e-Uzar from Hazrat Ali about the creation of man, “Man was created from a rational self. If it is purified through knowledge and action, then it will become a jewel as it was before” (i.e. before creation it belonged to a high place, Illiyin). When will it become such? “When it becomes purified and when man’s disposition (arrange- ment) becomes temperate (mild), so that he is not worried by any event (like oppression is jealousy) and all opposites are eliminated. Then the seven heavens will be beneath his feet.” It can be inferred from this tradition how man can recognize himself, not just recognize his body. It is through action. When the disposition becomes temperate and extremes are terminated, worship will become stable. You may observe that sometimes you cry during worship and sometimes you do not. When man purifies the self, then opposites will be terminated, and he will always obey Allah. Then the seven heavens will be beneath his feet. It is established from this tradition that recognizing yourself does not mean that I have two hands and two feet. Even a dog recognizes itself in this manner. O man! Purify yourself, then you will be temperate and your true jewel, meaning the soul (not the body) will return. When you will have spiritual morals then knowledge will manifest itself. Here the Imam made it even clearer by saying that the seven heavens are beneath that person’s feet, i.e. he knows the reality about everything. This is what it means to recognize yourself. The first step is purifying the self; until he does not purify the self, he cannot recognize himself. For instance, pride is a filthy veil (hijab). How can he recognize himself if the self is in love with this world? These are all opposites. When these are eliminated, then you will recognize yourself. When you recognize yourself, this path is (to) Allah. The door to recognition of Allah has opened. Now the seven heavens are beneath his feet. Even if someone attains wealth, we are stuck in the world of dirt, which is oppression. It is a world of darkness, or in other words, a world of ignorance. We do not know what happens in the grave or on the Day of Judgement . We are in the world of oppression. Like the animals see, we also see. Rather, some animals can see for miles, but we cannot see for such a distance. When man progresses, then he reaches the world of the self. This reality is the soul or the self; in truth, it is a light. When it came to the physical world from the spiritual world, then it became enclosed in oppression. Its reality is with the spiritual world, but when it was put in the body, it fell into oppression. It is not truly from here, but it is from the spiritual world. Now man should recognize for himself where it is from. When he will recognize himself, then he will journey to the spiritual world, since recognition of Allah is a light. Recognition has thousands of stages and oppression has seventy veils (covering). Whoever reaches the stage of recognition ascends 70,000 stages, and 70,000 veils are spiritual. All of recognition consists of 70,000 classes. Those 70,000 classes are all classes of recognition.
Why did Allah create fear of
Him in man?
The Apostle of Allah states, “The fountainhead of all wisdom is fear of Allah.” Allah has granted a purpose to all things. For example, all of the desires, moods (feelings) which are present in man certainly have a purpose or another as to why they have been granted, such as hunger, thirst, lust, and fear of Allah. There are other similar desires which exist within man. They are dependent upon man’s own will, whether he will satisfy this desire through forbidden means or through permissible (allowable) means. Nevertheless, these pleasures will surely be attained. The effect of these pleasures will manifest itself in both worlds. The effect of the pleasure which is attained through forbidden means will be evil, while the effect of the permissible one will be good in this world and the Hereafter.
From among these desires, we will discuss hunger. Hunger is a need. If he feels the pangs (sudden sharp attack) of hunger within him, then he will surely eat food to satisfy himself. If, Allah forbid, he eats forbidden food, then, certainly, he attained pleasure in this world; however, he will be deprived of the pleasure of the Hereafter. In the Hereafter there is loss for him. Nevertheless, if he will satisfy this hunger in a permissible way, then he will attain pleasure in both this world and the Hereafter. For example, one should eat permissible food in such a manner that he begins eating with the Name of Allah (bismillah). After swallowing each morsel, or after finishing eating, say Praise be to Allah (alhamdulillah). This is recommended—to begin with Allah’s name and to simultaneously (happening at the same time) thank Allah. Thus, from this pleasure both benefits are achieved, i.e. both the pleasures of this world and of the Hereafter are achieved. Similarly, there is thirst. If we quench (satisfy) our thirst with usurped or stole water, then we will obtain pleasure, but we will be deprived of the pleasure of the Hereafter.
Likewise, lust is also a pleasure. In order to attain pleasure for this lust, man can attain pleasure by becoming involved in the forbidden. For instance, Allah forbid, if a man commits adultery, then apparently he will attain pleasure in this world. However, because of that pleasure, he will have to face loss even in the world. On the Day of Judgement, as well, he will be deprived of the pleasure of the Hereafter. Man can satisfy his lust through permissible means. Hence, in Islam marriage is obligatory if there is danger of committing a forbidden act, otherwise, it is recommended. Man should attain this pleasure according to Islamic law. If man pays attention to supplications, the times of recommended acts, what is discouraged, pure, forbidden, and impermissible, and then he can attain the pleasure of the Hereafter. He will attain much pleasure in the Hereafter; for example, for the person in Paradise there are many pleasures, e.g. there will be pure ones (huris) and he will be there forever. The pleasures of Paradise are forever. Similarly, the fear of Allah is also a pleasure. Fearing others besides Allah is harmful for man.
From Fear to Pleasure
The pleasure of fear of Allah can be obtained in this world, provided that the fear is correct. If man is afraid in this world, meaning that he fears Allah, then he will carry out His every command. The one who carries out His commands will receive a place in Heaven. The fear of Allah in this world is one way to save oneself from the punishment of the Hereafter . The pleasure of this fear will be obtained on the Day of Judgement. There is a basic difference between fear and other needs, such as hunger and thirst. Impermissible (not allowed) pleasures can be acquired by lust, but only when the fear is permissible can you attain pleasure by means of fear. The Koran describes correct fear,
“Those who deliver the messages of Allah and fear Him, and do not fear any one but Allah; and Allah is sufficient to take account” (Al-Ahzab: 39).
The commentary of our Declaration of Faith (kalma) is such. There is no god except Allah, which is (similar to) “and do not fear any one but Allah.” Our (belief in the) Oneness of Allah (Tawheed) is deficient unless we reach this stage. Thus, until then, fear of Allah cannot be generated (produced).
The Apostle of Allah said to Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him ) about fear, “O Ali! Whoever fears Allah, everything will fear him, and the one who does not fear Allah, fears everything.”
According to the Koran, the purpose and aim of all the Prophets was to create fear of Allah in the people, enjoin good, and forbid (inhibit) evil.
“O Prophet! Surely We have sent you as a witness, and as a bearer of good news and as a warner” (Al-Ahzab: 45).
“Then, it may be that you will give up part of what is revealed to you and your breast will become straitened by it because they say: Why has not a treasure been sent down upon him or an angel come with him? You are only a Warner; and Allah is custodian over all things” (Hud: 12).
“He calls besides Allah upon that which does not harm him and that which does not profit him; that is the great straying” (Al-Hajj: 12).
“Say: O people! I am only a plain Warner to you” (Al-Hajj: 49).
“I am naught but a plain Warner” (Ash-Shuara: 115).
“And they say: Why are not signs sent down upon him from his Lord? Say: The signs are only with Allah and I am only a plain Warner” (Al-Ankabut: 50).
The following verse is for the scholars,
“Why should not then a company from every party from among them go forth that they may apply themselves to obtain understanding in religion, and that they may warn their people when they come back to them that they may be cautious?” (Al-Tawba: 122).
The scholars (enjoin others) to fear, but if a scholar does not himself fear, or if a seeker of knowledge does not correct his character during his education, then how can they make others fear? Allah declares,
“What! Do you enjoin men to be good and neglect your own souls while you read the Book; have you then no sense?” (Al-Baqarah: 44).
The blessing of wisdom cannot be manifest upon the heart which does not possess fear of Allah. That is why the Infallible Imams uncontrollably trembled (shook) and were fearful during prayer. Fearing Allah is a true pleasure.
Religion and Politics
The definition of politics is organization of worldly affairs, meaning, conducting worldly affairs in the best manner. However, in today’s society, the word “politics” denotes falsehood, fraud, hypocrisy, and deceit. Yet, its actual meaning is management, e.g. in this world how can a city be managed this is politics. One wonders why this word is used in the meaning of falsehood and deception. Furthermore, it is implanted in the minds of the people that religion and politics are separate from each other. All the Prophets and Infallibles that came to this world had two fundamental (basic) tasks. As an example, Hazrat Musa first made the people aware of Allah’s being, saved them from polytheism and unbelief, and illuminated the people’s hearts with the light of Oneness of Allah. The Koran states that light was created in their hearts. Since this first stage was completed, Hazrat Musa (peace be upon him) began the second stage, which was organizing (arranging) their affairs. When Hazrat Musa (peace be upon him) saw that the people were silent against the Pharaoh’s (Firon) oppression and injustice, then he rose against this. The Pharaoh inflicted Hazrat Musa (peace be upon him) with many hardships. Our Prophet himself laid the foundation for an Islamic government; obviously, government cannot run without political management. After him, Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him) governed. The Apostle of Allah had ambassadors sent. Moreover, in some places he fought and in other places he made peace, implying Islam’s internal and foreign policies. He also instructed about principles. After (examining) the historical facts, Muslims should not assume that religion and politics are separate. This matter arises in Christianity as well. The reason the Christians were destroyed was because Hazrat Isa (peace be upon him) could not lay the foundation for an Islamic government. Because propaganda had an effect, they do not possess the principles for an Islamic government. Thus, the public has accepted that religion and politics are separate. Albeit, the Koran announces,
“This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favour on you” (Al-Maidah: 3).
This verse implies that everything man needs is present in this religion, and all the blessings are completed in it. Consequently (Accordingly), the religion of Islam is perfect. If religion is separated from politics, then it suggests that there is no politics in Islam. If the Muslims build a government, then they will (have to) bring a political system from somewhere else. If we accept that there is no political system in Islam, then we are giving lie to the Koran, because everything is present in the Koran. If (we say) politics are not, then we gave lie to the Koran. In Kafi, Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) states, “No such thing or matter has been left out which the nation (ummah) has need of.” If we say that politics do not exist in Islam, then this is like criticizing the character of the Prophet.
Divine Politics and Satanic Politics
In Safinat-ul-Bihar, volume one, Imam Husain (peace be upon him) declares, “Verily Allah sent us in order to establish a divine politics for the nation (ummah).” Similarly, there is a lengthy tradition about the attributes of the Imam in Majma-ul-Bahrain, “The Imam of the Islamic nation (ummah) is that person who is aware of divine politics.” Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him) declares in Nahj-ul-Balagha, “Those individuals should be chosen for the affairs of the government who are the most pious, knowledgeable, and aware of divine politics.”
In the end of this sermon he states, “If you appoint someone as representative, then the foremost condition is that he is the most receptive (acceptance) to advice and the one who strives most for Allah, His Prophet, and His Imam. His self is obedient to Allah and both knowledge and politics are gathered in him.”
Likewise, Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him) declares about politics, “Justice is the best politics.” The foundation of the politics of Islam is (built) upon justice, and justice is divine politics. All of the verses in the Koran concerned with justice describe politics.
“Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others)” (An-Nahl:90).
Ziyarat-e-Jami’a, which is very authentic, is the only Ziyarat (salutation) that can be recited for all the Infallibles (Ma’sumin). In this Ziyarat, there is a statement, “O Imam, You guide Allah’s servants to divine politics (antum sayasat al ibad).”•
“The greatest calamity is if the scholar and guide are weak in politics.”
“And Allah will by no means give the unbelievers a way against the believers” (An-Nisa: 141).
This brief sentence of the Koran possesses several types of meanings. One of them is that an unbeliever cannot become a ruler over the believers. According to the Koran, an unbeliever cannot run an Islamic government. Furthermore, every ruler is under the command of an unbeliever if he rules against the commands of the Koran. The Koran has clarified this matter, as stated in this verse,
“And whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unjust” (Al-Maidah:45).
Verse 47 is exactly the same, except in the end it uses the word “transgressors (sinners)” instead of “unjust.” Every ruler who does not govern according to the Koran is an unbeliever, unjust, and a transgressor. These four verses reveal that the believers will never accept a government that is against the Koran and Tradition (Sunnah). Rulers of non-Islamic parties remove us from faith and we do not remain human. Instead of Islamic, the politics of our public lacks knowledge; the people do not possess correct Islamic political wisdom. Because of this reason, although they are Muslim, they support transgressing (sinning) and corrupt rulers. Imam Sadiq (as) states, “Any nation which acts quickly without unawareness moves aways from its goal quickly. The more it distances itself from its aim.” The purpose of the Infallibles (sinless) statement is that some people act with sincerity, but because of lack of wisdom they do not obtain results. The Koran declares,
“And do not incline to those who are unjust, lest the fire touch you, and you have no guardians besides Allah” (Hud: 113).
So, what does it mean to not bow before injustice? It is bowing if a man does not raise his voice against an oppressor and his injustice. In such an instance, man is practically bowing before an oppressor. Another type of bowing before an oppressor is when, out of greed, man flatters (compliments) an oppressor.
Government in Imam Husain’s (as) View
It narrated in Kitab-e-Irshad from Imam Hussain, (peace be upon him) “I swear by my life that an Imam is one who governs according to the Book of Allah, deals justly with the people, and is bound to the religion of Allah.”
Thus, it is established from the Koran and sayings of the Imams that the government which is not according to the Koran or the party whose law is not according to the Koran and Tradition (Sunnah), such a government is unjust.
The Greatest Honour of Muslims
It is found in Mabafi Hukumat-e-Islami by Ayatollah Ja’far Subhani that Imam Musa Kazim states, “The greatest honour (for the Muslims) is that they obey a just ruler.” Obeying a just ruler is the greatest honour. Hence, assisting and supporting an oppressive ruler amounts to participating (take part) in his injustice. Doing so lessens man’s self-respect and he becomes deserving of loss in the world and the Hereafter.
Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him) declares, “Run far away from government. Verily, the right of government is for the knowledgeable Imam who establishes justice in the world in the manner that the Prophet or his successor establishes justice.”
Now if we examine the rulers of the present day, their characters and forms of government are not according to the law of their party, the command of the Prophet, or the decree of his successor. The entire (whole) system of government is based upon oppressors. Thus, if anyone is compelled (forced) due to lack in faith, bows before an oppressor due to fear and evil, and supports him, then, as Allah states in the Koran, those who bow before oppressors will go to Hell.
It is forbidden to follow a transgressor (evil-doer) (fasiq) as a ruler
The following verse is similar to verse 113 of Surah Hud, which described the signs of an oppressor.
“Therefore wait patiently for the command of your Lord, and obey not from among them a sinner or an ungrateful one” (Al-Dahr: 24).
Obeying a transgressing ruler means opposing the Koran and Allah. It is narrated from Imam Husayn in Kitab-e-Irshad, “I swear by my life that an Imam is one who governs according to the Book of Allah, deals justly with the people, and is bound to the religion of Allah.” An Islamic ruler can only be that individual who knows the commands of Allah. The second condition is justice.
The third condition is that he is bound to the religion of Allah. Consequently, Imam Husain’s (peace be upon him) stand against Yazid the accursed (damned) was because Yazid was a corrupt transgressor.
Political System of Europe is different
from the Christian religion
In Europe and USA religion is separate from their political system that is why Europe gave the Muslims made such powerful propaganda for it that we began to see an enormous difference between Islam and politics. Consequently, the philosophy of politics was removed from Islam. The political understanding of Europeans is the one used by Plato. Since Christianity (Messianism) is incomplete and does not have a system for government, thus Europeans were compelled not to bring in their faith or religion in their political model. Islam is the world’s sole religion that possesses all the systems. It contains internal policy, foreign policy, boundaries and changes (taghayurat), for a justice system of justice, a military system, a system for peace and war. Islam possesses every type of system that any government needs in order to function in an established form. Because the Apostle of Allah established and demonstrated an Islamic government in his life; he made treaties with some foreign governments, sent political deputations, and in order to eliminate crime, injustice, and tyranny (oppression), he appointed judges. While residing in Medina, the Apostle of Allah fought eighty-two battles and made treaties in order to eliminate the oppressors. In Surah Anfal, Tawba, and Muhammad, the Koran has elucidated (explain) the practical political wisdom of an Islamic government. Due to abandonment (desertion) of the Koran, the Muslims have become divided. Allah, the Most High, describes this,
“And (know) that this is My path, the right one, therefore follow it, and follow not (other) ways, for they will lead you away from His way; this He has enjoined you with that you may guard (against evil)” (Al-Anam:153).
Thus, the system of the Koran is the Right Path (Sirat-e-Mustaqim). The government which follows the system of the Koran is on the Right Path, while the government which is against the system of the Koran will fall prey to prejudice (mischief), division, murder, and plunder (steal). The Muslims will face thousands of hardships which the Koran has already advised about,
“And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited” (Alay Imran: 103).
In this blessed verse, the Koran is declaring that the sole (only) reason for the eternity (baqa-inifinte duration) of the Muslims is unity.
Then Allah declares,
“And there is life for you in (the law of) retaliation, O men of understanding” (Al-Baqarah: 179).
This proves that retaliation (qasas – return attack) is extremely necessary in order to maintain the justice and equity (justice) in society. The Koran states,
“Those who, should We establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and enjoin good and forbid evil; and Allah’s is the end of affairs” (Al-Hajj:41).
In this verse the responsibilities of an Islamic ruler have been described. One of these responsibilities is enjoining (commanding) good and a second is forbidding evil. In order to enjoin good man needs to be a scholar.
One who is devoted to the seat (of authority) does not have the right to rule
The Koran is again commanding us,
“What! Do you enjoin men to be good and neglect your own souls” (Al-Baqarah: 44).
Hence, only a pious person can show others the path of piety.
The second condition for an Islamic ruler is that he is not devoted to rank, or not devoted to the seat (of authority). Devotion to the seat (of authority) is proof of his unworthiness (dishonour).
Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him ) asked Ibn Abbas, “What is the worth of this shoe of mine?” Ibn Abbas replied, “Master, nothing.” Hazrat Ali declared, “By Allah! The worth of this government in my eyes is even less than that of this shoe, but I have accepted this office so that I can establish justice, convey their rights to the poor, and annihilate (destroy completely) false powers.”
Kitab Taufa-ul-Uqul narrates a statement from Imam Husain (peace be upon him),
O Lord! You know that my opposition to this party, opposition to the government authority, is not to obtain rank, wealth, money or government. Rather, it is so that I can establish Your law on Your earth and so that the oppressed can attain salvation from oppressors, the people can live their lives with peace and safety, and act according to Your law, obligatory deeds, and proposals (muharikat - Suggest).
It is proven from this proclamation (declare) that only Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) had the right to government, and in his absence it rests with his true deputies (the remaining Imams), so that they will establish the law of Allah. How can the people who themselves destroy the law of Allah protect His command? Their aim is only wealth, fame, government, and luxury. It is the duty of every Muslim to make them realize that their purpose is to establish the law of Allah, or (else it will be) the rule of Yazid. Imam Hussain (as) exclaimed his plea (request) for help “Is there anyone to help me?” The purpose of this cry was to alert those people who will be born in future generations to keep striving (attempting) to establish the law of Allah. This cry (demanding justice and equity) (istighasa) was raised at that time when there was no soldier left alive in his army in the battlefield of Karbala. When he saw that no one was coming forward to help Islam, and the law of Allah was being destroyed at the hands of a transgressing, corrupt, adulterous (one who commits sexual acts without being married), and drunk person like Yazid, he addressed the conscience (ethics) of all of humanity all the human beings to come until the Day of Judgement. If, in this (present) time, we see the law of Allah being destroyed and do not go to help, it is as if we did not answer to the call of Imam Hussain on the day of Ashoora when Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) said, "Who will Help me." Who will stand up with me against the oppressors?
The system of Justice in the
The following describes the standard of justice for an Islamic government. During Hazrat Ali’s (peace be upon him) reign (control), the Imam saw that a Christian had his armour. He went to the judge and said, “So-and-so Christian has my armour (weapon). I request the court (of justice) to return it to me.” The judge sought (hunted) out the Christian and requested witnesses from the Commander of the Faithful. The Commander of the Faithful replied, “There are no witnesses.” Therefore, the judge gave the armour back to the Christian. The Christian took the armour and left, but then returned, became a Muslim, and implored (begged), “Master! This armour really is yours. I stole it from a camel in the Battle of Siffin. Master, I observed your justice, that even if the Caliph of the time does not have a witness, then his claim is not accepted. I have never seen such fairness anywhere except in Islam. I am becoming a Muslim (after) witnessing such justice and fairness.” This is the justice of an Islamic ruler, and the Master of this Islamic system and justice is only Allah. The apparent ruler is not the Master or ruler. Therefore, in an Islamic system, it is not permissible for a human being to rule over another human being. On the contrary, the ruler is only Allah and the apparent ruler is His representative. In an Islamic government, there are two types of apparent rulers:
1) Be appointed by Allah as stated in the text of the Koran.
2) The attributes and characteristics which the Koran has described are essential for an Islamic ruler. He is not a ruler if he is not a ruler according to the text of the Koran, and those attributes which the Koran has described are not found in him; rather, he is rebellious (rejecting authority) and one who will ruin and destroy society, as the Koran points out,
“She said: Surely the kings, when they enter a town, ruin it” (An-Naml: 34).
Again the Koran declares,
“And Firon proclaimed amongst his people: O my people! Is not the kingdom of Egypt mine? And these rivers flow beneath me; do you not then see?” (Al-Zukhruf:51).
Pharaoh said to his people that am I not the Master of Egypt? When any ruler considers himself Master, he leaves the law of Allah and makes laws according to his own selfish desires. Every ruler who abandons (deserts) the law of Allah and makes laws according to his own will is Pharaoh whether he is a Pharaoh of the present or of the past. It does not make a difference.
The Government of the Jurisprudent in the Koran To whom the Koran has given the right of government?
“O Apostle! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people” (Al-Maidah: 67).
When this verse was revealed, the Apostle of Allah raised Hazrat Ali’s (peace be upon him) arm and declared, “Of whomsoever I am Master (Maula) (this) Ali (as) is his Master (Maula).”
Thus, the Imamate (leadership) of Hazrat Ali (as) was proclaimed. However, the question arises that Hazrat Ali was not superior to the Apostle of Allah. He himself states, “I am a slave from among the slaves of the Apostle of Allah.” Then, why was such a severe command given in this verse, that if you do not convey this message, then you have not done any work of Prophet-hood. A great matter is surely hidden behind this severe command. It is clearly evident that the Apostle of Allah bore many hardships and difficulties in order to deliver the religion and establish an Islamic government. Moreover, the Holy Koran was revealed in the capacity of a complete code for all human beings to live by. Now, even after believing in the Apostle of Allah, if someone or some person does not establish this law, then it means that every single effort of the Apostle of Allah will be wasted. Hence, it is clear that this severe command came because, “My beloved, if before leaving you did not appoint the ones who will establish Divine Order, and then it is as if you accomplished (attained) nothing.” This verse is in the Koran even today. “You (have not) delivered anything (His message).” “O Ali, if you did not appoint anyone as your successor before leaving, then it is as if you accomplished nothing.” Therefore, Imam Ali (peace be upon him) appointed Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) to establish the Divine Order. Likewise, this verse goes from Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) and reaches the Twelfth Imam. Moreover, if, before going into occultation (hidden), the Twelfth Imam did not appoint anyone to establish the Divine Order, then it is as if he accomplished nothing. Thus, before going, the Imam of the Time also gave the order to follow (taqlid) the most pious and virtuous scholars. He states, “Whoever followed our righteous scholars, followed us, and whoever rejected their works it is as if he rejected the Ahlul Bait .” Thus, following (taqlid) is also ascertained from this verse. This verse is commanding the scholars of the Muslims that if you did not establish the Divine Order or the law of Allah on Allah’s earth under the leadership of pious and virtuous scholars, then it is as if you did not do any work of Islam. This is also the reality; in the countries where the government is not established under the leadership of the righteous scholar, every type of different god and various laws are openly practiced against Islam. Consequently, alcohol, bribery, theft, nakedness, and thousands of other such crimes and thousands of types of slavery and humiliation are the fate of the Muslims. If we examine the interpretation of the verse, “then you have not delivered His message”, the Prophet’s Prophet-hood does not exist where there is no one to establish the Divine Order. Those may be Muslims by name, but, in practice, all those evils exist that are found in unbelievers. Even worse, these Muslims are in the service of un-believers and Jews. The unbelievers make the policies of these countries. Subsequently, the government of the jurisprudent (wilayat-e-faqih) means freeing oneself from every slavery and from every humiliation; hence, manifesting the pleasure of Allah under the guardianship (one who has custody) of the pious jurisprudent by establishing an illuminated society.
Rule of the Creator or the created
In Islam the right of governing rests only with Allah. However, according to Allah’s permission, believing and pious individuals can enforce Allah’s judgement. In the Holy Koran, the word judgement (hukm) has come only for Allah. So, wherever the word judgement refers to other than Allah, it is in accordance (agreement) with Allah’s permission or the conditions set down by Allah. The following are among the verses in which judgement is for Allah,
“Judgement is only Allah’s” (Yusuf: 40).
“The judgement is only Allah’s; He relates the truth and He is the best of deciders” (Al-Anam: 57).
“Now surely His is the judgement and He is swiftest in taking account” (Al-Anam: 62).
“So judgement belongs to Allah, the High, the Great” (Al-Momin: 12).
All of these verses are about the judgement of Allah. The word judgement has been used for other than Allah in the following,
“O Dawood! Surely We have made you a ruler in the land; so judge between men with justice” (Suad: 26).
Hazrat Dawood is the ruler; for, he has permission and also (fulfils) the conditions. The Koran states about the Apostle of Allah,
“And that you should judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires, and be cautious of them” (Al-Maidah: 49).
It is established from the discussion in these verses that in an Islamic government the actual ruler is only Allah and the apparent ruler is Allah’s representative. Most of these verses are about the prophets. A Prophet does not have the right to leave the command of the Koran and rule according to his will. When Allah, the Most High, does not give this right to His Infallible Prophet, then how can a sinful person be permitted to abandon the Koran and run the government according to some other system?
The government of a Prophet or Imam is 100% the government of Allah. However, where the Prophet or Imam is not apparently present, the public should make, in the light of Koran and Tradition (Sunnah), such a person their ruler who is pious, a scholar, against lust and greed (hawa o haus), and in whom the conditions the Koran has delineated (described) are present. If a person is eligible according to the laws of Islam then he has the right to be a leader. Only the votes of people are not sufficient. A government which comes into existence only because of the people’s votes and the one who sits as ruler by winning the public vote are not considered Islamic as long as the selection of ruler is not according to the regulations and laws mentioned in the Koran.
Should one devoted (faithful) to his desires or one devoted to Allah rule?
Due to the sense of justice in the public, the majority of the people are sometimes affected by propaganda and elect those people as their representatives who are oppressors, betrayers (kha’in - deceivers), agents of the superpowers, and enemies of Allah and the Prophet. They win the election due to the force of propaganda. An Islamic government is both Allah’s government and the people’s government. We do not want just a people’s government. Rather, we want a government that is first Allah’s and then the people’s; hence, not just a republic, but an Islamic republic government. It is in the Holy Koran,
“(As for) that future abode, We assign it to those who have no desire to exalt themselves in the earth nor to make mischief and the good end is for those who guard (against evil)” (Al-Qasas: 83).
This verse confirms that only he can be an Islamic ruler whose purpose is not “to exalt (praise) themselves in the earth”; meaning he is not proud or mischievous. Establishing the Divine Order should be his utmost (extreme) priority (importance).
“Surely We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to be unfaithful to it and feared from it, and man has turned unfaithful to it; surely he is unjust, ignorant” (Al-Ahzab:72).
The trust which was discussed in connection with the authority of the jurisprudent confirms that government is a trust which is only the right of the virtuous (morally good). In “Khutba-e-Shaqshaqiyya” of the Nahj-ul-Balagha, Hazrat Ali has clearly indicated toward the matter of the government of the jurisprudent, meaning the government of the scholar. The characteristics of an Islamic government have been mentioned.
“And Allah will by no means give the unbelievers a way against the believers” (An-Nisa: 141).
This brief sentence of the Koran possesses several types of meanings. One of them is that an unbeliever cannot become a ruler over the believers. According to the Koran, an unbeliever cannot run an Islamic government. Furthermore, every ruler is an unbeliever if he rules against the commands of the Koran. The Koran clearly states,
“And whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unjust” (Al-Maidah: 45).
These two verses prove that the believers will never accept a government that is against the Koran and Tradition (Sunnah). Rulers of non-Islamic parties remove us from faith and man does not remain Muslim. This is (due to) the public’s lack of knowledge of Islamic politics; the people do not possess correct Islamic political wisdom. Because of this reason, although they are Muslim, they support transgressing and corrupt rulers. Imam Sadiq (as) states, “Any nation which acts quickly without unawareness moves away quickly from its goal” The purpose of the Infallible’s statement is that some people act with sincere hearts, but because of lack of wisdom they do not achieve results.
The Government of the Jurisprudent
The Apostle of Allah states, “There are two groups in my nation (ummah); if they correct themselves, then the entire nation will correct themselves, and if these two groups rebel (rise up), then the entire nation will become rebellious.” It was asked, “O Apostle of Allah! Who are they?” He replied, “The scholars (fuqaha) and the wealthy.”
If a scholar fears false powers, then the nation can never be guided. Therefore, all the sins that are committed in society are because of false religious scholars or because of the wealthy people. Because the scholars do not enjoin good, sins are committed in society; thus, all of the sins of society will be hung (past of hang) around the necks of the scholars. They should enjoin good, criticize oppressive rulers, and also arouse the public. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) declares, “If someone becomes the leader of the nation while there is a greater scholar than him present amongst the people (i.e. one who knows jurisprudence) then the Resurrection (revival) of that nation will be evil; moreover, until the Day of Judgement that nation will be caught in the claws (paws) of immoral people.” (Mahas Barqi,)
Thus, the responsibility of the people and the scholar is to come in to the battlefield against oppression. If the scholar does not enter the battlefield, on the Day of Judgement he will be resurrected as a criminal and Hell will be his abode (home). Furthermore, if the public does not enter the battlefield against oppression, then that nation will also go to Hell. Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) has said, “The right of government is only with scholars for Allah (divine scholars), who are trustworthy and know what is permitted and what is forbidden.” (Mubani Hukumat Islami)
One purpose of Imam Hussain’s (peace be upon him) sacrifice was that the message should reach the people that the right of government is not for a person with Yazid’s characteristics. Rather, this authority rests with the rightful, pious scholars.
Conditions of an Islamic government
Whenever, anyone requested the Apostle of Allah “O Apostle of Allah! Appoint me as a governor”, he replied, “I swear by Allah that I will not appoint such a person as governor who seeks governorship or has greed for it.”
Notice how greedy (the people are) in the system of election that this present government has enforced. Voters are given money and bribes of jobs. Besides this, hundreds of thousands of rupees are spent in order to become a Prime Minister or (Wazir-e-Ala). Furthermore, Members of the Assembly are given money. This entire system is like the Pharaoh’s (Fironi); it is founded upon oppression and, in addition, this system opposes the law and declaration of the Prophets.
There are two groups of scholars. One group has become victim to the conspiracy (plan) of the evil powers and does not raise against evil (taghuti) satanic governments; they have been brainwashed that religion and politics are separate (from each other). The second group is of the scholar of the court whose religion and faith are both for worldly fame. Hence, the Apostle of Allah has stated, “Whoever attains knowledge so that he can acquire wealth through its means, then, although alive, he is dead.”
The scholars of the third group understand the rightness in rising against evil powers, but they are unaware of their worth and value due to fear and ignorance. In the above tradition, the Commander of the Faithful has informed these fearful scholars and believers about commanding good and the greatness of those who rise against oppressors. He said that all worship (Prayers, Fasting, Hajj, Zakat and even Jihad) can not be compared to Nahiya anil Munkir and Amr Bil Mahroof. All the worship is equal to one glass of water compared to Nahiya anil Munkir and Amr Bil Mahroof which is equal to the water of the ocean. Therefore, raising the voice of truth against oppression and rising against un-Islamic governments is a great worship.
Imam Ali states, “Whoever does not raise his voice against evil in his heart, or by his tongue, he is dead, even though among the alive.”
Yet, what is enjoining good? The Master of the Universe says, “Verily (Truly) enjoining good is inviting toward Islam and against the oppressor and his oppression.”
The Apostle of Allah states, “Whoever goes toward an oppressor or assists him, while aware that he is an oppressor, then he has left Islam.”
The matter in question now is how to recognize an oppressor. The Koran describes the signs of an oppressor in many places.
“And whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the transgressors” (Al-Maidah: 47).
Whether he is ruling or desires to rule, he is an oppressor, and unbeliever, and a corrupt person. The Apostle of Allah has said "Whoever goes toward an oppressor is also an oppressor.” For example, those who support political parties are oppressive and non-Islamic (those who vote for them). They are also involved in all their Satanic acts. All Satanic acts exist in the country due to ignorance of the people. They do not know that giving their vote is a great responsibility and trust (amanat). Supporting and voting un-pious people and people who are ignorant of Islamic Laws (Sharia). These are all the corruption caused in the country, like bribery, injustice, theft, alcoholism, because they do not have knowledge of the religion of Islam. The public assists the oppressors. They vote for them, giving them the right to rule. The government of the oppressor does not solve our affairs in this world, nor do we attain salvation in the Hereafter. Rather, Hell becomes our fate.
Imam Ali swears and declares, “The right to rule rests (lies) with that person who rules according to the Koran and establishes justice and fairness and is bound to the inner and outer of the religion of Islam.” Imam Hussain’s (peace be upon him) stand was for this reason, that Yazid did not have the right to rule. The Imam’s rise was a stand against everyone who possesses a character like Yazid.
A person possesses a character like Yazid if his rule opposes the Koran. Safwan Jamal was one of Imam Musa Kazim’s companions. He used to give out camels for rent. The Imam said to him, “You have given the oppressor Harun Rashid camels on rent.” The companion replied, “Yes I have rented them out, but only for the morning.” The Imam then declared, “When you rented the camels out, did he give the entire amount of money or half?” Safwan said, “Half.” The Imam said, “Now you do supplications for him with the intention that he returns safely so that you can receive your money.” He said, “Yes, Master. I do this supplication.” Then the Imam stated, “This supplication of yours amounts to being included in the oppression of this oppressor.” Thus, according to the Imam’s statement, just hoping in one’s heart that he returns safely is equal to participating in the oppression of the oppressor. Therefore, if we give our vote and thus openly assist the oppressor, then undoubtedly on the Day of Judgement we will be resurrected with that oppressive ruler.
The Apostle of Allah states, “Whoever bows (humbles himself before) an oppressive ruler will go to Hell with that oppressor.”
Islam severely commands us to oppose and counter the oppressor and oppression.
source : Seeker of Solace /Professor J.A.