In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
“The ladder of Ascent”
We all are for progress and moving forward in life. In fact progress, ambitiousness and reaching to higher ranks can be counted as the drive for all human activities. At the same time, in order to fulfill our goals, we humans always make use of means. What is truly the best mean to progress and achieving our goals?
It has been narrated from Imam Jawad (PBUH) that “Trust in Allah (SWT) is the price for every worthy thing and the ladder to every high status (1)”.
Every expensive thing can be bought with this trust in Allah (SWT), and were you to go high and reach the ranks of knowledge, this is the ladder to high ranks and statuses; every lofty and sublime status can be secured by trusting the Divine grace.
In this glorified statement, Imam Jawad (PBUH) has emphasized the importance of trust in Allah (SWT). We ourselves are creatures that are dependent on Allah (SWT). It has been asked from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) that “Why are you so much anxious?” He answered: “My eye is open now; but I don’t know for sure if I am able to close this eye and die, or that I will die with my eye open”.
The one who is about to die might not have the opportunity to even close his eyes before dying. If there is not a person to close his eyes, he would have a horrible look. When the human so weak that he is incapable to close his eyelids and die, is there any weaker being than him? Therefore Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said that we are creatures so weak and dependent on Allah (SWT). Hence, the human has to be humble and modest, as much as he can, towards Allah (SWT). This is the general situation of the humans, and therefore, it is not prudent to say that we believe in ourselves and are self-dependent.
At the same time, we are able to connect to the Divine grace source and gain value; similar to the zero than is aligned with other numbers. This zero, if is located at the left side of the number is not read. Furthermore, if there is not any other number, then multiple zeros do not count. But if a number comes on the right side of these zeros, then they are counted. For example, with a number one beside this zero we can write ten, a hundred, thousand, etc; but if there is not any number, this zero is absolutely zero.
The Divine grace is that number which makes man readable. If this grace is removed, man is the same as zero. The enlightening massage of the statement of Imam Jawad (PBUH) is, in a same manner, that you humans are like zeros that can be aligned with numbers, therefore use these numbers. Use this Divine grace as your ladder. If you want to ascend, it is possible with this ladder; if you want to buy precious goods, this is the price at your reach.
Therefore sayings such as “we are independent,” “we are self-dependent” and similar to them are not permitted; however, if we say that in the shadow of Allah’s (SWT) graces and mercies, we trust in Allah (SWT), we depend on Him, we submit to Him, then thousands of capabilities arise in us by the very trust in Allah (SWT). If one trusts Allah (SWT) and relies on Him, he has connected to the source which has created us and is with us all the time. He is with us (2), whether inside us, or outside, in the appearance, and in the substance. Allah (SWT) is with us in every condition and His graces are actively present. With this trust in and reliance on Allah (SWT), we can achieve any precious good and every high status.
(The above is a selection taken from the lectures of Ayatullah Jawadi Amoli on ethics, with some additions)
The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon the last day of Dhi al-Qa’da, the anniversary of the martyrdom of ninth Imam and leader,
Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Jawad (PBUH).
Roshd Islamic Shia Website
1- Al-Durrah al-Bahirah, p. 40; Nuzhat al-Nazir, p. 136
2- The Holy Quran (57, 4)