Pearl of Wisdom

The Prophet (SAWA) used to visit the people of the ledge [of the mosque], who were his guests and had migrated to Medina without their families and belongings. The Prophet (SAWA) had lodged them on the ledges of the Mosque. They were four hundred men, and he greeted them every morning and every night. One day he came to them while some of them were mending their sandals, some were patching their garments, and some were cleaning their heads from lice. The Prophet (SAWA) used to provide them with half a bushel of dates every day. One of the men stood up and said, ?O Messenger of Allah! The dates you provide us with have burned our stomachs!' The Prophet (SAWA) said, 'If I could feed you the whole world surely I would have done it, but [know that] those among you who will live after me will be brought bowls [of food] in the morning and bowls in the evening, and each of you will have a shirt in the morning and another in the evening, and each of you will adorn your houses with curtains and carpets as the Ka'ba is adorned.' A man then rose and exclaimed, ?O Messenger of Allah! We are waiting eagerly for that time. When will it be?!' He (SAWA) said, 'Your time now is better than that time. When you fill your stomachs with the lawful, you might also fill it with the unlawful.'

Imam Musa ibn Jafar al-Kadhim [as]
al-Nawddir al-Rawandi, p. 152 no 223

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Library » The Lantern of the Path » Enjoining what is Good and Forbidding what is Evil
Enjoining what is Good and Forbidding what is Evil E-mail

Whoever has not thrown off his anxieties, been purified of the evils of his self and its appetites, defeated Satan, and entered under the guardianship of Allah and the security of His protection, cannot properly enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil; and since he has not attained these aforementioned qualities, whatever affair he tackles in attempting to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil will be a proof against him, and people will not benefit from it.


Allah said, What! Do you enjoin men to be good and neglect your own souls? (2:44)


Anyone who does that is called upon thus: Oh- traitor! Do you demand from My creation that which you have rejected for yourself and have slackened the reins [in this regard] upon yourself?

It is related that Tha'labah al-Asadi asked the Messenger of Allah about this verse:


O you who believe! Take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way. (5:105)


The Messenger of Allah said, 'Enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and be forbearing in whatever afflicts you, until such time when you see meanness obeyed and passions followed, and when everyone will have conceit about their own opinion, then you should concern yourself only with yourself, and ignore the affairs of the common people.'

A person who enjoins what is good needs to be knowledgeable about what is permissible and what is forbidden; he must be free from his personal inclinations regarding what he enjoins and forbids, give good counsel to people, be merciful and compassionate to them, and call them with gentleness in a very clear manner, while recognizing their different characters so that he can put each in his proper place.

He must see the intrigues of the self and the machinations of Satan. He must be patient in whatever befalls him, and must not seek compensation from people for that which he instructs them in, nor complain about them. He should not make use of vehemence or passion. He should not become angry for his own sake. He should make his intention purely for Allah, and seek His help and desire Him. But if people oppose him and are harsh to him, he must be patient; and if they agree with him and accept his verdict, he must be thankful, entrusting his affair to Allah and looking to his own faults.

 
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