When intelligence will become perfect

In Usul al-Kafi there is a tradition of Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he said, “When Our Imam will stand up, he will put his hand of mercy on the slaves of Allah so that their minds and ambitions will be perfected.”[428]

People will become so wise and gentle that even if a lady travels from Baghdad to Damascus with a box full of diamonds and other precious stones, no one will even throw a passing glance at her. In short, the worldly love will be totally removed from human hearts.

[Our Responsibility in the present age]

It is the duty of every believer to, first of all, reform himself and drive away worldly love from the heart as detailed before. Then, acting according to the rule of Prohibiting Evil (Nahy Anil Munkar), warn his near and dear ones and try his utmost to remove the root cause of every trouble and corruption; viz. love for worldly matter from the hearts of people. In this way he should fulfill his responsibility imposed on him by the religious law (Shariah) to reduce restlessness, trouble and corruption from the society.

[Crooked thinking of the unwise and its answer]

Some senseless people think that big industrial countries are drowning human societies in materialism, worldly love and passion in such a big way that no individual or a group can, despite all their wishes, escape emulating and imitating them. Rather such people are not considered as living at all. So in these circumstances and in this state of affair there remains no need from any effort to make men think about God and Hereafter. Thus it is necessary for all to imitate the world-worshippers. 

We say that it is just like imitating animals, which intelligence does not accept, because if a wise man sees some people fallen in dirt, would his reason make him also dive into the muck for remaining connected with others? In the said ‘advanced countries’ there are some wise and intelligent people whose hearts weep seeing the wide-scale waywardness, dishonesty, corruption and bloodshed and lack of humanity. They are also constantly warning their governments about its dangerous consequences. But there is none to pay any attention to them.

Why go far? Just look at our own country. How many people pay attention to the words of the scholars? For example the religious scholars are constantly drawing our attention to the harms and destructiveness of films, about their evil effects on society, their immorality and shamelessness etc. They are being repeatedly told that just for some monetary gains some selfish persons are arousing passions of our youth to take them in the world of crime through cinema. But did the Muslims pay any attention to their talks? Did those in power do anything to reform the affairs?

[An advice for the Faithful]

Since, some inclination towards animality too is found in man, he has strong desire of imitation also. For example, to imitate those who are in power and position or to follow the majority. But the Lord of the universe has, against this inclination, bestowed man with the wealth of wisdom and reason also so that he may follow knowledge and the wise, in the light of wisdom despite being weak and in minority, may avoid the ignorant even if they are powerful and in majority.

Therefore reason, intellect and wisdom says that it is not at all wise to imitate the ways of so-called progressive countries because though they have made big progress in material sciences, to the same extent, they are ignorant of Truth and the things beyond perception of senses (supernatural matters). For example, if they are asked, “Is there any owner or master of this vast universe?” They will reply, “We do not know because our knowledge is limited only to material science and earthly things.” If you ask them, “Who created the astonishing workshop of human body?” They will say, “We do not know. We know only about its working.” To, “What is the reality of man?” they will answer, “We do not know.

We have seen man only from the viewpoint of his animality.” If they are asked as to what is their view about life after death, which can guarantee salvation and success, they will say, “We are not aware of any world except the material world.” Does the success of human life depend only on gratifying passions, gathering wealth and acquiring strength and power? Or it depends on human perfections like modesty, courage, bravery, kindness, justice and well wishing for all? They will say: In our opinion the secret of life’s success is in gratification of desires and passions.

Such people, for covering their ignorance, just ridicule such questions and say that, in today’s time, such questions are of no relevance and what is important is that man should strive continuously to add to his wealth and power so that he may not lag behind in the social race. This age demands that we should manufacture jet planes and atom bombs so that happy human habitations are turned into smoke, and greenery should be burnt and innocent blood should be spilled. Passions and desires should recklessly be gratified; constant efforts should be made to brighten one’s personality. In modern times, words like mercy, kindness, justice, fair play, forgiveness, benevolence, patience, honor, humility etc; which had value in the past have become almost meaningless. Let aside act according to them, people do not even know what they mean.

They say that today the name of God, the Lord of the creation, must only be uttered verbally. World worship should take the place of God worship. Every means fair or foul, legal or illegal should be resorted to for filling the belly and gratifying passions. More and more effort must be made for living a luxurious life. It will become lengthy if we discuss and throw light on the ignorance and unawareness of the materialist world-worshippers. If our readers just think over their conditions they come to know better. What has been described above is sufficient to expose their ignorance. What we aim to drive home is that advance of technology and industry and various discoveries should not give them a permission to continue their devilish ways.

[Divine Messengers are more worthy of emulation]

O man! You should make your intelligence the criteria for your deeds. You must act according to the ways of wise people who are aware of the Truth. Foremost among them are the prophets of God. Only they are the ones who can give positive and proper answers to the above and other similar questions. They can enlighten all regarding what they have knowledge.

Say: Is there any of your associates who guides to the truth? Say: Allah guides to the truth. Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge?[429]

Only that way is worth adopting which has been adopted and shown by the prophets, the wise, the God-worshippers, those who are devoted only to the everlasting success and who have noble human virtues. The wise, rationalists and men of reason must follow them in the light of wisdom. But the attitude and path of the world lovers is based on worshipping their desires and gratifying their passions the end result of which is Hell. Of course, before entering Hell they have to face restlessness, tensions, troubles and other calamities in this world too, in which today’s ‘civilized’ countries are trapped.

O wise one! Just use you brain. Had the world-worship been the true path, the prophets of God and religious leaders would not have shown extreme disgust towards it. Don’t you see that all of them had kept the worldly love aside and had maintained their connection and relationship with Allah and the Hereafter.

[An example worth pondering over]

It is said there was a very ugly woman. Whoever saw her once turned away his face from her. No one was prepared to marry her. At last she was married off to a blind man. One day that woman was praising her beauty and telling her blind husband, “Many men had proposed to me but you were the only one who got me. I am compelled to think that you are either a magician or one whose prayers are always answered, as you have attained your ambitions.” Replying in a very wise way the blind man exposed to that lady the falsehood of her story. He said, “If what you said were true, people having eyes would have never spared you nor would you have come to a blind man.”

Had the attractions, pleasures and tastes of the world been real and pure; that is, had they not been accompanied by hundreds of defects, difficulties and troubles and were they not to be followed by the chastisement of the Hereafter, the truth-seeing eyes of people headed by the Prophet and Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) would have surely accepted and preferred them for themselves.

That is why only those people become captives of the worldly love whose eyes and hearts are blind, whose heads are brainless and who are totally unaware of the Hereafter, who are misled by Muawiyah and his son Yazid because they did not look with the inner eyes at the defects, decadence and unreliability of the world and who remained totally unaware of Allah and the Hereafter and therefore they imagined that their success was in pursuing the world.

[The world tries to entice Ali (a.s.) ]

The Second Martyr, in Kashfur Reebah renders a famous narration from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that, “Once I was doing field work with a spade on the land we had in Fadak, which was gifted to Fatima, when suddenly I saw a very beautiful woman whom I likened with ‘Bashinah’ (the name of a woman whose beauty had become exemplary in Arabia).” She said, “O son of Abu Talib! Please take me as your wife so that I may open up all the treasures of the world to be owned by you. Then after you, your progeny will inherit it all.” I asked her, “First tell me, who you are, so that a proposal may be made to your guardians.” She replied, “I am the world.” Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said, “Go back and find out somebody else for yourself.” Saying this he resumed his farm work. At that time he composed couplets, some of which are preserved in books as follows:

“The world came before me in the form of Bashinah. Her embellishments too were like of Bashinah.

So I told her, deceive someone else except me, as I know the world very well. I am not ignorant.

What have I to do with the world when Muhammad has disappeared in your dust?

Even if the world presents to me all treasures and jewelry and wealth of Qarun and leadership of all the tribes.

Is it not true that every existing thing is to perish and the owners of treasures will have to give an account thereof?

So, O world! Deceive somebody else, as I am not lured by whatever is in you, including honor, name and fame.

My soul is satisfied with whatever Allah has given me. Remain busy only with those who want to benefit from you. I am afraid of God Almighty as I will have to face Him on the Day of Judgment and I fear the unavoidable chastisement.”

[How to wipe out the love for the world?]

There are only two ways of getting rid of worldly love: Unflinching faith in the Last Day and decrease in worldly desires.

We have had a detailed discussion about the ways of strengthening faith in the Hereafter in the chapter of beliefs. Here we present its summary in brief. What is needed is that more and more attention should be paid to those verses of Quran and narrations, which describe features of the permanent and everlasting life after death so that man may be affected by them and may long for reaching the high world. The main aim of the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) and the revelation of the Holy Quran is that Muslims should hear that news and trust it, thereby becoming hopeless about this world and become fond of Allah and the Last Day.

In this way man should do those good deeds recommended by the verses and narrations and thereby prepare himself for the everlasting world. But what a pity! Muslims have detached themselves from Quran. The majority of them do not care to read or even hear a Chapter of Quran in months, even years. Yes, of course, he hears some of it on radio or in mourning meetings or besides graves, as if the holy book was revealed only for the dead. The truth is that Quran is revealed to enlighten the living people and to awaken them from the slumber of carelessness, to free them from ignorance and make them attain high ranks of perfection and nobility. Rather, it will not be improper to say that to read and hear it in the current manner is like humiliating it.

Abul Wafa Hirvi says: Once I was reciting the Quran in the court of the king, when no one was paying any attention and all were busy talking with one another. During my sleep at night I saw the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) who seemed very angry. He said, “Are you reciting the Holy Quran before a group which is not listening to it? Henceforth you will not be able to recite it until Allah so wills.” When I woke up I had become dumb. Since the narration had ended with the words ‘if God wills’, the experts of traditions reassured me that some day my tongue might open up at last. I continued sleeping every night at the spot where I had seen that vision for the next four months. At last one night I saw the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) once again in my dream. He said, “Have you repented?” I replied, “Of course! O, Messenger of Allah.” He said, “When you recite in front of such people, stop reciting till the time they are ready to listen to the Word of their Lord.” When I woke up, my tongue had opened up.[430]

Ahmad bin Tolon was ruling Egypt in the year 270 A.H. Thereafter his kingdom spread upto Syria and Asia Minor. The total duration of his rule was 17 or 26 years. It is said that he was very brave, humble and had learnt the Holy Quran by heart. Moreover he was also famous for his generosity and valor. The number of people killed either by him or by his order were 18000. After he died a reciter of Quran was appointed to recite Quran on his grave. After some days the reciter ran away from there and was not prepared to come back. When asked about it he replied, “The man in the grave threatened me in my dream saying he did not want that Quran be recited on his grave because, ‘the verse you recite is being hit on my head in the form of a slash and I am told that: ‘Despite hearing this verse you did such and such thing in the world.’”[431]

What is meant is that there is an element of selfishness in the way Quran is often heard being recited from pulpits. What is lacking in such recitation is that no contemplation is being done on the words of Allah and it does not create any effect because the motto of the reciter is either money or to show off his art of recitation. On the other hand the aim of the listener also is only to be engaged, especially when it is melodious.