In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Imam Reza (PBUH) says in a narration: “An hour of thinking is worth more than a year of worship.” He was asked about the meaning of this narration. Imam replied: “When you see ruined and abandoned homes you might ask where your residents are? Why don’t you speak?” And then he continued: “Worship is no high quantity of prayer and fasting; worship is thinking about the signs and commands of Allah (SWT).” (1)
We sometimes might have told ourselves: Which is the ideal path in life that Allah (SWT) has requested us to move along? How can we have an ideal life? What is our ideal case?
Any principal that can answer every need of an individual or society would be considered as an ideal principal for that individual or society. For example, one whose ideal is to become wealthy considers everything in life as a means to become wealthy. Similarly, one whose ultimate goal in life is to reach the highest scientific status will see human virtue and everything else from a scientific perspective.
Nonetheless, history of mankind and wisdom have both proved that no ideal goal can satisfy an informed individual without explaining the individual’s position with respect to the universe of creation. Interpretation of such position is not possible by ignoring questions such as: “Where have I come from? Why did I come to this world? Where am I going to?”
Answering these questions has a direct relationship to our level of understanding and dept of wisdom. The more wisdom and virtue we have, greater the chance of not spending time for trivial and temporary matters. Since there is a consistent feeling of eternity in human's souls, mortality does not satisfy mankind. Thus, one should find an infinite fact from the perfection point of view and submit to it. But what is this infinity and how can one get to know it?
When we search with our wisdom for the infinite entity, we can only find God with such capacity. This is exactly what the divine religions have claimed in history. And this is where we can understand: If we want to understand the workshop of universe, have an ideal life in it and in the end depart without any shock, then we should open our heart to the Lord of universe and choose Him as the one to depend upon in life. Otherwise, our life will be over one day and we will not even get close to even understand where we came from.
Therefore, the most logical idea is the one that can have answer in every aspect of our life; one of the ways to recognize this idea is to use our conscious and wisdom that are always a judge upon our daily acts and can be used to analyze our deeds.
Getting back to the narration mentioned earlier, our master Imam Ali Ibn Musa al-Reza (PBUH) defines the importance of thinking and learning a lesson from the life of those who departed; in this tradition, he wants to provoke our suspended conscious and become aware of out path in life by thinking. So that we ponder about signs of the Creator and His commands and consider them as an ideal case for us to reach…
(Selection taken from the book, “Conscious” by Late Allamah Muhammad Taqi Ja’fari, with little summarization and additions)
The Roshd website congratulates all the Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon the 11th of Dhi al-Qa'dah, the birthday anniversary of the 8th Imam, the knowledgeable Imam from the progeny of Muahammad (PBUH&HP) and the light of guidance, Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (PBUH).
Roshd Islamic Shia Website
1. Fiqh al-Reza (PBUH)