In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
A Recipe for Progression and Evolution
Perhaps in our private moments, we sometimes think that we have occupied ourselves too much with our daily affairs; however, we have ignored the aspect of progression, removing our defects, and spiritual growth.
Sometimes we look for a good, loving, passionate person to provide us with a guideline that helps us in the path towards perfection. But have we ever asked the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUH) for such a guideline?
In a letter to one of his followers named “Ali ibn Babawayh Qummi(1)”, Imam Hassan al-Askari (PBUH) has provided a general recipe for the progression and perfection of Shiites:
“O reliable jurist, Ali ibn Hussain Babawayh Qummi! May Allah (SWT) help you in what pleases Him and makes righteous children from your progeny.
I advise you to have fear of Allah (SWT) and to establish prayers and give alms; because whoever does not pay alms, his prayers will not be accepted.
I also advise you to forgive the mistakes of others and control your anger, and to connect with your relatives, and to be helpful and concerned for your brethren, and to endeavor to fulfill their needs at times of difficulty and ease, and to be patient in response to ignorance.
[I advise you to] gain knowledge and deep understanding in religion, be steadfast in your work, be familiar and act according to the Quran, have good merits, and to enjoin good and forbid evil, as Allah (SWT) has said,” There is no good in most of their secret counsels (and whispers) except (in his) who enjoins charity or goodness or reconciliation between people (2)”.
Generally I advise you to restrain yourself from committing sins.
Do not miss the night prayer; because the Prophet (PBUH&HP) gave advice to Imam Ali (PBUH) by saying:” O Ali! Be diligent about the night prayer; be diligent about the night prayer; be diligent about the night prayer; [because] whoever ignores the night prayer is not one of us”.
So (O Ali ibn Hussain!), follow my advice, and advise my Shiites to follow it too. I also advise you to have patience and forbearance (in fulfilling your responsibilities and duties), and to await the deliverance (the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (PBUH)); for verily the Prophet (PBUH&HP) said, “The best deed of my nation is awaiting for the deliverance”.
Our Shiites will constantly be sad and anxious (due to missing their Imam) until my son (Imam Mahdi (PBUH)) reappears; the one about whom the Prophet (PBUH&HP) had given glad tidings. He will fill the earth with justice and equity just as it would be filled with injustice and oppression.
So (once again) O Shaykh and great one! Be patient, and advise my Shiites to be patient, [because] “surely the earth is Allah's; He will make whomever of His servants He wants to inherit it, and the end is for those who are God-fearing (3)”.
May peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you and upon my Shiites. Allah (SWT) is sufficient for us as He is the best of agents, the best Master, and the best Helper”.
Indeed, the path towards perfection and gaining nearness to Allah (SWT) is not mysterious or unknown. But what is definite is that the prescription of a professional doctor would relieve a patient only if he makes a serious effort to follow the instructions of the prescription correctly and continuously.
(The above is a section taken from “Merits of Shia”, by Shaykh Saduq (with some changes and additions (4)))
The Roshd Website offers condolences upon the 8th of Rabee al-Awal, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the flag of guidance, the light of righteousness, and source of wisdom and knowledge, the eleventh Imam of the Shiites, Imam Hassan al-Askari (PBUH).
Roshd Islamic Shia Website
1. Ali ibn Hussain ibn Babawayh Qummi is the father of Shaykh Saduq. In describing him, it is narrated in the book of Rawdat al-Jannat that:” Ali was one the great jurists, noble companions, righteous elite, followers of the family of the Prophet (PBUT), supporters of religion against the attacks of the disbelievers, and the pillars of Shia…”
2. The Holy Quran, (4:114)
3. The Holy Quran (7, 128)
4. The Farsi translation of the above mentioned book by Mr. Amir Towhidi has been used as a reference for this article.