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Wednesday 17th of July 2024
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THE DIVINE GIFTS AND MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY(3)

following the past article

8. Badness of wasting blessings

A waster, according to the Holy Qur'an, is anyone who uses his wealth, position, lusts, wishes and the rest of the blessings Allah has given to him in the satanic way and in the deviant path, which is neither reasonable nor permissible.

When talking about the work and the fruits of sowing and how to spend wealth, Allah says:

…and pay the due of it on the day of its reaping, and waste not by excess: for Allah loves not the wasters.” Qur’an 6:141

This means giving from agricultural production what Allah has determined is due to the poor; giving to the needy, the officials appointed over the zakat, and those whose hearts are made to incline (to Islam); buying slaves and setting them free; paying the debts of needy debtors and giving to the wayfarers what is to be spent in the way of Allah. We should not be stingy with these monies nor should we waste them.

The Holy Qur'an talks about those who use their wealth, positions and powers in the way of injustice, oppression and aggression to frighten and threaten people and to achieve their low aims. Allah says:

…and most surely Firon (the Pharaoh) was lofty in the land; and most surely he was of the extravagant.” Qur’an 10:83

The Holy Qur'an also talks about the people who are not chaste, who do not refrain from prohibited lusts, who do not know save material and bodily pleasures and who do not refrain from any aggression and vice to satisfy their sexual lusts. The Holy Qur'an says:

Most surely you come to males in lust instead of females; nay you are extravagant people.” 7:81

The Holy Qur'an shows the humility and good end of the believers who submit to the Prophets (s) and their miracles, and, on the other hand, it shows the state of people who become haughty, proud and resistant before the clear proofs and true evidences and who prevent people from the Straight Path of Allah. Allah says:

Then we fulfilled the promise unto them. So we delivered them and whom We would, and We destroyed the prodigals.” Qur’an 21:9

9. Stinginess and not spending blessings

Through a saying of a simple and illiterate farmer, I can perceive the badness of stinginess, keeping the greater amount of blessings for oneself and not giving it to those who deserve it.

Once I went to a village to preach. After the lecture an old man, on his mien the signs of heavy work and exhausting toil, appeared. He said to me:

Let us suppose that a generous man has given someone a piece of arable land and some seeds to sow. When the season of harvest comes, that generous man comes to the farmer, whom he has given a piece of land, seeds to sow and a source of water. He says to him, “All that you get from these plants is for you. I do not want anything from you save a small portion to be given as a gift to some people whom I shall name.” If that farmer refuses to pay that little portion from the yield which he gets by the favor of that generous man, then it will be the utmost impudence and lowness. That generous man has the right to turn away from that farmer and to be angry with him and his bad behavior and he has the right to punish him.

Then he added, I mean by the “‘generous one,” Allah the Almighty, Who has given us arable earth, flowing rivers, abundant rains, sunlight, the moon, winds and other means by which we can sow whatever we like. In fact, Allah has given us these plants and fruits freely and asked us for zakat, khums[1] and charity to be given to the poor and the needy. If we do not pay these dues and we become stingy with them, this Generous One has the right to be angry with us and to punish us for our crime and impudence.

The Holy Qur'an says about this matter:

“And let not those deem, who are niggardly in giving away that which Allah has granted them out of His grace, that it is good for them; nay, it is worse for them; they shall have that whereof they were niggardly made to cleave to their necks on the resurrection day; and Allah's is the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is aware of what you do.” (3:180)

10. Disappearance of blessings

It is understood from the clear Qur’anic verses 17:83, 28:76-79, 89:17-20 and 92:8-10, that the reasons behind the disappearance of blessings, loss of wealth, miserable life, poverty and meanness are:

Being ungrateful for blessings, being too inadvertent (with Allah) and forgetting the Giver, being proud before the Divine orders and resisting the Divine will, the Sharia, prophethood and imamate. These concepts are understood from the following verse:

And when We bestow favor on man, he turns aside and behaves proudly, and when evil afflicts him, he is despairing.” Qur’an 17:83

It is understood from the Sura 28:76-83, that the reasons leading to the disappearance of blessings are: conceitedness with blessings, being too delighted with money and wealth, being indifferent to the means of the afterlife, not spending money on the deserving ones, being stingy, not paying charities, using blessings to work corruption and to lead people towards corruption, being proud and haughty before people and other bad behavior and disgusting conduct. Blessings also disappear when one thinks that he has received blessings because of his cleverness and skill.

It is understood from the verses of he Sura of al-Fajr (89) that the reasons behind the disappearance of blessings are not being kind to the orphans, not intending to help the poor and needy, extorting the inheritance of the weak and being greedy for money and wealth. Allah says:

“Nay! But you do not honor the orphan, nor do you urge one another to feed the poor and you eat away the heritage, devouring (everything) indiscriminately and you love wealth with exceeding love”. Qur’an 89:17-20

Other reasons for the disappearance of blessings are not paying zakat and charity, not spending monies for the sake of Allah and thinking we can deal with money and wealth without being in need of Allah and, consequently, not believing in the Day of Judgment. Allah says:

And as for him who is niggardly and considers himself free from need (of Allah) and rejects the best, We will facilitate for him the difficult end.” Qur’an 92:8-10

When we are immersed in blessings, we care for the weak and the needy, are kind to them and help them in order to be grateful for the blessings of Allah. We have to worship Allah more and help people so that the blessings will not disappear from our lives and so that the mercy of Allah will continue.

11. The Completing of blessings

In a tradition mentioned by at-Tabari, ath-Tha’labi, al-Wahidi, al-Qurtubi Abu as-Sa’ood, al-Fakhr ar-Razi, ibn Katheer ash-Shami, an-Nayshaboori, as-Sayooti and al-Aaloosi in their tafsirs; and in the books of al-Balathari, ibn Qutayba, ibn Zoulaq, ibn Asakir, ibnul Atheer, ibn Abul Hadeed, ibn Khillikan, ibn Hajar and ibn as-Sabbagh; in the books of Hadith by ash-Shafi’iy, Ahmad bin Hanbal, ibn Maja, at-Tarmithi, an-Nassa’iy, ad-Doulabi, Muhibuddeen at-Tabari, ath-Thahabi, al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, ibn Hamza ad-Damashqi, and Tajuddeen al-Mannawi, and books of theology[2] by Judge Abu Bakr al-Baqillani, Judge Abdurrahman al-Ayji, Sayyid Shareef al-Jurjani, al-Baydhawi, Shamsuddeen al-Isfahani, at-Taftazani and al-Qoushaji that the Prophet (s), in order to guide people, to keep the Religion and follow the Qur'an and to lead people to happiness in this life and the afterlife, appointed, in the Valley of Ghadeer Khum on the 18th of Thul Hijja[3], an Imam (s) over the Muslims. He would be an Infallible Leader who was free from defects in thinking, belief, morals and deeds. He was Ameerul Mo'mineen[4] Ali bin Abu Talib (s). The Prophet (s) had made him the Caliph, the Wali and the leader over the Umma after him. For that, Allah announced the perfection of the Religion, completing the favor, and choosing Islam as the religion and law for people until the Day of Resurrection.

This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion.” Qur’an 5:3

Accepting the guardianship and the rule of Imam Ali (s) and obeying him in the affairs of religion, life and the afterlife is perfection of the Religion and completion of the favor of Allah.

Concerning cleanliness, purity and the luminous state coming out of wudu[5], it was narrated from Imam ar-Redha (s):

“Wudu’ has been ordered to be as prerequisite so that man should be pure when standing before Allah the Almighty supplicating Him and following His orders. He should be pure of every impurity; besides that, wudu’ gets laziness and drowsiness away and it purifies the heart to be ready before the Almighty.”[6]

These are the moral effects of ghusl[7] and tayammum[8] where all of them come under the title of “Purity.” It is the purity that belongs to the circle of the Divine Orders. This state occurs for whomever performs wudu’, ghusl or tayammum and then offers prayer and worship. The Holy Qur'an says that the favor (blessing) of Allah has been perfected and completed on that one.

At the end, the verse of purity and prayer reads:

…Allah does not desire to put on you any difficulty, but He wishes to purify you and that He may complete His favor on you, so that you may be grateful.” Qur’an 5:6

It is understood from this verse that completing the favor on man is realized by being interested in moral matters, following the Divine orders and being endowed with true beliefs and good manners.

12. The reward of the lawful spending of blessings

The Holy Qur'an stresses the reward of Paradise and eternal happiness for the men and women who have hearts full of faith, souls pure of vices, bodies busy with good deeds, tongues announcing the Truth, wealth moving in the circle of generosity and liberality and feet walking to serve people.

The Qur'an confirms that the reward of these believers who do good will never be in vain.

The Qur'an clearly declares that the promise of Allah is true, and Allah never reneges on His promise.

The Holy Qur'an shows the kinds of rewards for believers who do good works by saying: great reward, honorable reward, reward that will never fail, and good reward. Allah has said,

Allah has promised to those who believe and do good deeds (that) they shall have forgiveness and an excellent reward.” Qur’an, 5:9

 “Except those who are patient and do good, they shall have forgiveness and a great reward.” Qur’an, 11:11

 “Who is there that will offer to Allah a good gift so He will double it for him, and he shall have an honorable reward.” Qur’an, 57:11

 “For those who believe and work deeds of righteousness is a reward that will never fail.” Qur’an, 41:8

 “Then if you obey, Allah will grant you a good reward.” Qur’an, 48:16

If the blessing of the heart is used in the circle of faith and belief; the blessing of the mind is used in the way of thinking to discover the facts; the blessing of the organs is used in the way of good deeds; the blessings of position and wealth are used to solve the problems of people: if man uses all these blessings in the way of obedience, in worship, in serving people and in doing good, and in the way of confirming piety and chasteness, then he, besides getting happiness in this life, will gain five kinds of reward in the afterlife. Using the Divine blessings and gifts in the right way is not difficult or arduous. In fact, every man and woman can follow this way so that no curtain or obstacle remains between them and the Creator and they can get the pleasure of nearness and meeting with Allah

The Prophet (s) and the Infallible Imams (s), by being grateful for the divine blessings and by using these blessings in their correct way, have passed through all the dark and luminous screens until nothing remains between them and their Exalted Lord save that they are creatures and slaves to Allah the Almighty.

Sheikh Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Othman bin Sa’eed narrated that one of the Infallible Imams (s) had said, “Your signs and positions, which cannot be annulled at any time or in any place, are how You are recognized by those who can see. There is no difference between You and them except that they are Your slaves and creatures”.[9]

It must be noticed that the divine blessings do not form a screen or an obstacle between man and his Creator, but deviant behavior and the satanic methods of man in using these blessings and talents do form such a screen. If we use the blessings correctly, as Allah has intended for us, these blessings will bring us close to Allah.

The Prophets (s) and the Infallible Imams (s) made use of the different material and moral blessings. They had wives and children. They had houses to live in. They made their livelihood by grazing cattle, farming, trading and other dealings. At the same time, there was no screen between them and Allah.

If the spirit of obedience and worship is found inside man, the state of submission and servitude is fixed in him, his heart is filled with the light of knowledge, and his soul is filled with the light of good deeds, then surely man will make use of all the material tools and means in his worldly life to take him to the moral position; however, if one looses the spirit of obedience and worship, he will not know how to use the divine blessings in the right way, and whatever blessings increase for him he will become prouder, haughtier and more aggressive.

According to the saying of Imam Ali (s) in Du’a of Kumayl, it is reasonable that the heart becomes a center of monotheism and a house of knowledge, the tongue is uttering with the mention of Allah, the inner being is full of love, the intention is sincere and truthful, the conscience is submissive to the Lord of the lords. Then could one be among the people of hell on the Day of Resurrection? Imam Ali (s) says,

‘Would that I know, O my Lord, my Master, and my God: Do You let the fire prevail over faces falling down prostrating before Your greatness, hearts acknowledging Your divinity sincerely, consciences containing knowledge about You until they have become submissive, and organs hastening to worship You obediently and asking You for forgiveness subserviently? This is not the idea about You nor have we been told of Your favors by You, O Generous…’[10]

The blessings that are used in obeying Allah and serving and doing good to His people will make a sun of the contentment of Allah rise on the Day of Resurrection and will take the good-doer to Paradise and to the everlasting bliss.

We end this part by drawing attention to two facts:

  1. It is understood from the above verses that worship, obedience and serving people refer to acknowledging the Giver and His blessings and using the blessings as Allah has ordered and for the sake of His pleasure.
  2.  Sin, disobedience, polytheism, disbelief, aggression, debauchery and adultery refer to being inadvertent to the Giver, being conceited with blessings, turning away from Allah and using the blessings in the way of prohibited and impermissible tendencies and lusts.

 

 

 



[1] Khums is one fifth of war booty or one’s (yearly) income reserved to the Prophet (s) and his progeny.

[2] Refer to al-Ghadeer by Allama al-Ameeni, vol.1 p.6-8.

[3] Thul Hijja is the twelfth month in the Islamic calendar.

[4] Ameerul Mo'mineen means the commander of the believers.

[5] Wudu’ is ritual ablution that is required before offering certain rites.

[6] Wassa’il ash-Shia, vol.1 p.257.

[7] Ghusl is obligatory bathing that is required after certain acts or occurrences.

[8] Tayammum is ritual purification with sand, soil, or dust, allowed  when water is unavailable.

[9] Mafateeh al-Jinan by Sheikh Abbas al-Qummi, Du’a (invocation) of every day of the month of Rajab.

[10] Mafateeh al-Jinan by Sheikh Abbas al-Qummi, Du’a Kumayl.

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