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Fatima is Fatima

by : Dr. Ali Shari'ati

Modesty


MODESTY

Modesty is a noble quality that the Islamic education cares for seeding it in the mental horizons. It eradicates arrogance and destroys its affection. It elevates man in this world and approaches to God. Uninterrupted reports have assured that the Prophet (s) had said, “He whoever behaves modestly to God, will surely be raised.” He once asked his companions, “Why do I not notice the beauty of worship?” “What is the beauty of worship?” they wondered. “It is modesty,” asserted the Prophet.
He also said, “There are four matters that God will not grant to other than those He likes. They are silence, which is the headmost of worship, and reliance upon God, and modesty, and abstinence in this world.”
The Imams applied the full meaning of modesty when they delivered fascinating lessons. Historians relate that once a man and his son were the guests of Imam Ali, who welcomed them and served a plate of food. As they finished their food, the Imam hurried to fetch a pitcher of water to pour it on the guest’s hand. The man abstained. “Sit down and let me help in washing your hands,” said the Imam, “The Exalted Lord sees you when your brother, who does not outclass you, serve you especially when he aims at gaining the Paradise.” The man kept on abstaining but the Imam abjured him by his right; hence, the man had to accept. As he finished, the Imam handled the pitcher to Mohammed, his son, and ordered of pouring water on the son’s hands. He explained, “I would pour water on this son’s hands if he was not accompanying his father. God, the Elevated, rejects to equate between fathers and sons when they are in the same situation.” Mohammed carried out his father’s order.
This is the very spirit due to which the Islamic education has been prevalent and exalted in the instructions and moralities.
Imam as-Sadiq (a) discussed the quality of modesty. He said, “Modesty is the origin of every choice honor and eminent rank. If it were a tongue perceived by people, it would speak out the facts of the hidden outcomes. Modesty is only that intended for God’s sake, lest it is arrogance. He, whoever used modesty for God’s sake, God will raise and prefer him to great numbers of the servants. The Modest enjoy marks that are realized by the people of the heavens; the angles, and the people of the earth; the spiritualists. God says:
And on the most elevated places there shall be men who know all by their marks.
The origin of modesty is honoring, esteeming, and reverencing the Lord. It is the door to the rituals that God accepts and receives. Except God’s intimate servants, who realize the deepest purport of monotheism, none can identify the very meaning of modesty. God says:
And the servants of the Beneficent God who walk on the earth in humbleness, and then the ignorant address them,
the say: Peace.
The Lord urged the best of His creatures and the master of people, Mohammed (s), on using modesty. God says:
And be kind to him who follows you of the believers.
It is the homestead of submission and god-fearing. Veneration and pudency are parts of modesty. The actual and perfect honor is unsound unless it offers modesty for God’s sake.
The Imam’s wording has referred to the actuality of modesty for which God rewards and requites, provided that all of the material tendencies are abandoned and it is offered to God's sake purely.

PARDON AND CONDONATION

The Islamic education has been concerned with the noble characteristics of pardoning the aggressive and condoning the wrongdoers. God has urged on pardoning and condonation in many Quranic texts. He says:
And if you pardon and forbear and forgive, then surely Allah of Forgiving, Merciful
God has also ordered of treating the wrongdoers benevolently and pushing the evil away by means of altruism. God says:
And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel evil with what is best, when lo! He between whom and you was
enmity would be as if he were a warm friend.
Books of hadith contain a great deal of narratives encouraging on adhering to this titled tendency. The Prophet (s) said, “May I inform you of the best traits of this world and the Hereafter? It is condoning those who wrong you, and associating with those who breach relations with you, and using benevolence to those who maltreat you, and granting those who deprive you.”. “Cling on pardon. It elevates the dignity. Condone and God will dignify you.”.
Imam al-Baqir (a) said, “There are three matters by which God dignifies increasingly. They are condoning the wrongdoers, giving those who deprive, and constructing good relations with those who breach.”.
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said, “There are three matters that are within the virtues of the world and the Hereafter. They are condoning those who wrong you, and relating those who breach you, and using composure to those who ignore you.”.
The Prophet (s) represented this quality most honorably when he pardoned and condoned those who maltreated him. He also pardoned the Quraishi polytheists who mistreated, injured, expatriated, and instigated all powers of polytheism against him. When he conquered Mecca, he gathered them and asked, “What do you think I am going to do to you?” “We expect the good, since you are the magnanimous and the son of the magnanimous,” they all answered. He then said, “Go off! You are released.”
Anas bin Malik related: I was accompanying the Prophet (s), who was in a cloak of a hard margin, when a Bedouin pulled him from the cloak fiercely and said in harsh and irate tone, “O Mohammed! Carry on my two camels with God’s riches that you keep. They are neither yours nor your fathers.” The Prophet kept silence for a while, and then said, “The riches are God’s. I am only His servant.” After a pause he asked, “O Bedouin! Do you not expect to be retaliated for you deed?” “No, I do not,” answered the Bedouin. “What for?” wondered the Prophet. “Because you do not answer the evildoing with evil,” replied the Bedouin. The Prophet (s) smiled and ordered of giving him barley and dates as much as his camels bear.
The Prophet (s) used benevolence, goodness, and condonation with any wrongdoing he might encounter. This nonesuch morality was stuck to the tendencies of the Imams by which they preceded the others.
Historians mention that once a man threw showers of insults and reviling at Imam Zeinul abidin while he was leaving the mosque. The Imam stopped his slaves who intended to punish that man. “O you man!” addressed the Imam; “I am more than your previous wordings. You ignore more than what you have known about me.” The man felt shy and was embarrassed. Hence, the Imam gave him his shirt and bestowed with one thousand dirhams. The man then confessed, “I must declare that this is one of the Prophet’s sons.”
A Syrian man went on reviling at Imam al-Hassan. The Imam answered him with handsome smiling and said, “O man! We will give you what you need, and lead you to your lost, and bestow you if you ask, and feed you if you are hungry, and enrich you if you are destitute, and succor you if you are fugitive.” The Imam kept gentleness with the Syrian man until the evil was uprooted from his mind. He was highly astonished to the Imam’s morality; therefore, he could utter no single letter. He only worded, “God is the most knowledgeable of the fittest of conveying His message.”.
These pictures of the Imams’ conduct incite to hold to self-denial and freedom from hostile tendencies. Hence, they were the best examples of God’s saying:
And repel evil with good.

CHARITY

Charity, which stands for good doing, is the best trait and the best fruit of existence. It results in people’s docility and collective honoring. It also causes the illustrious mentioning after death. Islam has positively adopted and called to charity. God says:
Surely, Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good to others and the giving to the kindred, and He
forbids indecency, and evil and rebellion.
He defines it as the best quality:
And whoever submits himself wholly to Allah and he is the doer of good to others, he indeed has taken hold of the firmest thing upon which one can lay hold.
He also urges on doing charity, and promised of rewarding what is better:
Whoever brings good, he shall have better than it, and they shall be secure from terror on that day.
He promises of rewarding the good doing tenfold:
Whoever brings a good deed, he shall have ten like it.
God also promises of keeping the reward of the charitable and rewarding them with the best:
And be patient, for surely Allah does not waste the reward of the good doers.
Charity is a principal pillar of constructing the human societies and the best means of dispersing reciprocal love and association. God defines some parties and orders of treating them benevolently because of the ties of relation, neighborhood or being without custody. God says:
And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him. And be good to the parents and to the near of kin and to
orphans and the needy and the neighbor of your kin and the alien neighbor, and the companion in a journey and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess. Surely, Allah does not love him who is proud, boastful.
God compares worship with treating such parties kindly, since they are in exigent need of kindness and charity. These parties are:
- The parents: Custody and kind treatment to the parents are the tightest matters of family attachment. We have previously referred to this point.
- The near of kin: They are the brothers, paternal and maternal uncles, and their sons in addition to the other kinsmen and kinswomen. Using charity to these individuals disperses love among the family members. Family is surely the first brick in the social structure.
- The orphans: They are those who lost their parents. The nation entirely is responsible for caring and educating the orphans as a form of the social solidarity that Islam has imposed. It has also decreed of meeting the needs of the handicapped, the weak, and the orphans.
- The poor: They are the paupers who are unable to meet their annuity. Hence, Islam has ordered the nation of saving the needs of the poor. Islam has also given them exclusively a good deal of social obligations and a portion in the poor rate, so that they will get rid of poverty, which should be eradicated totally from the Islamic society.
- The neighbors, whether the near of kin or the alien: God orders of treating the neighbors kindly in order to achieve firm bonds of love and association among people of the same quarter. This is surely one of the reasons of the social connection and attachment.
- The wayfarers: They are those who lose all their fortune before they arrive in their hometowns. Islam has ordered of attending to them carefully and meeting their needs until they reach their homes. In addition, a portion of the poor rate is allotted to them.
- The slaves: Islam has urged on doing good to the slaves by manumitting them and treating them kindly and avoiding intruding them to heavy duties.
Charity and benevolence to those parties creates amiability and empowers the reciprocal social bonds to make people represent one hand against their enemies.

GENEROSITY

How benevolent, philanthropic, confident of God, great-spirited, honorable, and noble are the openhanded individuals who adhere to the codes of generosity and avoid misery and avarice!
The Islamic education cares for seeding this quality in the minds for its being the worthiest estimable tendency that leads to social adhesion and the harmony of the individuals’ reciprocal love and association. The Prophet (s) called to heed this quality. He said, “Generosity is surely a part of faith. Faith will be in the Paradise.” “God the Praised said: I have accepted this religion. It will not be amended without generosity and good manners. You should spare no efforts for honoring this religion with these two matters.” “The generous are close to God, and close to people, and close to the Paradise and remote from the hell-fire.” “Do the favor to its deservers and to those who do not deserve. If you give it to its people, then you have done the right. If you do not reach them, then you are its people.”
The Imams also spoke much about generosity. Imam Musa bin Jafar (a) said, “The courteous generous is being in God’s sustenance. God will not leave him before He sends him to the Paradise. God did never select for prophecy and the succession of the prophets other than the generous. My father kept on advising me of generosity till he passed away.”
The Imams adhered to generosity. They devaluated the riches except in cases of meeting the needs of the hungry, the needy, or the insolvent. Imam al-Hassan, the generous of the Prophet’s household, is reported that he had never said, “No” to any suppliant. People asked him about this quality. He answered, “I ask God and long for His benevolence. I am too diffident to be suppliant or reject a suppliant. God has inured me to receive His abundant graces and I accustomed to give His graces to people. I am afraid He will cease His habit if I cease mine. As a suppliant come to me I say: Welcome to him whose favor is an urgent obligation, and whose favor is imposed on every charitable. The best days of a man are those in which his favor is asked.”.
The Imams were draining their virtues and generosity on the needy and the orphans. Al-Kumeit, the poet, refers to this point by composing; “They are the rainy –with charity- that became the laps of orphans when people refrain.”
The Imams’ history is suffocated with situations of generosity and charity.

ALTRUISM

Altruism is a gentle feature that elevates man and contributes in perfecting the personality, sobriety, and self-sacrifice for the sake of the right and good. Islam has tended to this quality and praised its people. The holy Quran praised a group of Muslims who preferred their brothers to themselves. Exegesists report that seven Muslim warriors who had been wounded in the battle of Uhud were harshly thirsty. A Muslim fetched them some water that was sufficient for one person only. The first man, to whom the water was offered, refused to drink since he suggested offering it to the other. The other preferred the third, and so on. As the man reached the last one, he found him dead. He returned the other and found him dead and so on, until all of the wounded were dead. .
Islam has supplied Muslims with such a magnificent spirit, and copied the high traits in their souls and made such a notable human perfection all over history.
The ever most expressive, genuine, and influential picture of the Islamic altruism was that of the Prophet’s household. A whole sura was revealed for expressing this altruism. It is the sura of Insan –or Addahr-. Unanimously, the exegesists –of the holy Quran- related that the Prophet (s), with some of his companions, visited al-Hassan and al-Hussein, who were sick. They suggested that Imam Ali, their father, should vow a three-day fasting if they would recover their health. The Imam, as well as their mother Fatima the veracious and Fudda their bondwoman implemented that suggestion. When al-Hassan and al-Hussein were healed, the group fasted. The Imam had no food at that time; therefore, he had to borrow three measures of barley. In the first day, Fatima the veracious milled and baked one of these measures. In the very time* of breaking the fast, a poor man knocked their door for a meal. The imam gave him his share. The other entirely pursued the imam and gave their shares. They passed that night without eating any thing. On the second day of their fasting, Fatima the veracious milled and backed the second measure to make some bread. An orphan complaining hunger knocked their door in the time of breaking the fast. They entirely offered their shares of bread and passed the second night without eating anything. On the third day, Fatima the mistress milled and backed the last measure and made some loaves of bread. In the very time of breaking the fast, a prisoner complaining hunger knocked their door asking for some food. They all offered him their shares before having anything of it. In the fourth day, the Prophet (s) visited them and noticed the paleness of their faces. He was highly influenced when he shouted, “Is there a helper? Mohammed’s household is starving.” Before he completed his words, the angel Gabriel descended with the sura of Insan. The sura comprises the ultimate adulation and the best wording.. God thanked their unparalleled efforts of altruism and promised of a great reward and compensation in the Hereafter when they will be enjoying the everlasting bliss of the Paradise. He also immortalized their mentioning in this world and made them the imams and leaders of Muslims.

COLLABORATION

Teamwork in the fields of charity is also one of the most notable aspects of the Islamic education. God says:
And help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression.
This is the Islamic methodology that aims at composing the individuals and communities on firm bases of cohesion and cooperation in the fields of goodness and piety, not sin and aggression. The best sketches of the moral cooperation is establishing schools, hospitals, institutes of studying, factories, and the like matters that lead to social development and prosperity of mental and economic life.
This noble tendency caused the predominance, maturity, and elevation of Muslims in their early ages. With discrepancy and weakness of this tendency, the Muslims’ affairs and word were scattered. They descended to the depths of humiliation and ignominy to the degree that Israel, which was the most humble nation, dared to assault them. In the Muslims’ homeland, the Israelis have founded a state for the Zionists and humiliated the Arabs and Muslims. Had there been a sincere collaboration among Muslims, Israel had had no ability to occupy these territories of our homeland, banished their people, and exceeded in demeaning them. Muslims can hear the various colors of persecution that the Palestinians are encountering, such as massacre and displacement. The religious zealotry has not moved their feelings to save their brethren and liberate their usurped rights.

SINCERITY

Islam has devoted great attention to truthfulness, and urged on taking to it for its being a priority of the noble traits and the good qualities. It is one of the four pillars of the social system. Likewise, it is the title of the nations’ maturity and, meanwhile, the evidences of their degradation in case people abandon.

In the Quran:
In many Quranic texts, the importance and high-ranking of veracity are exposed. God describes His Essence of veracity. He says:
And who is truer of word than God is?
We are surely truthful.
He praised the prophet Samuel by saying:
Surely, he was truthful in his promise, and he was an apostle, a prophet.
Truthfulness is also a quality of the pious believers. God says:
The believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Apostle then they doubt not and struggle hard with their
wealth and their lives in the way of Allah. They are the truthful ones.
Sincerity is also the key to success on the Resurrection day. God says:
Allah will say, this is the day when their truth shall benefit the truthful. That Allah may reward the truthful for
their truth.
God also orders of pursuing the truthful in this world. He says:
O, you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah and be with the true ones.
Many Quranic texts call to using and adhering to sincerity.

In the prophetic traditions:
The Prophet and the Imams worded many sayings inciting Muslims to be true-tongued and avoid fabrication.
The Prophet (s) said, “Hold fast on sincerity. It guides to the benevolence that guides to the Paradise. Man is still saying and inspecting the truth until he is recorded as a veracious to Allah. Beware of untruth. It leads to licentiousness that leads to the hell-fire. A man is still lying and inspection fabrication till he is recorded as a liar to Allah.”.
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said, “Regard not the elongation of the genuflection –Rukuu- and prostration –Sujoud-. This may be a habit, without which one may feel bored. You should regard the truthfulness and the fulfillment of trusts.”. “God the Elevated had never sent a prophet but with truthfulness and fulfillment of trusts to the pious and the licentious.”.
Advising his adherents, Imam as-Sadiq (a) said, “Be solicitors to good doing with means other than your tongues so that people will notice your solemnity, veracity, and piety.”

Necessity of sincerity:
Sincerity is the individual component and the genuine affair on which the systems and equanimity of the cultural and economic life depend. International economy is managed by truthful transactions. National and individual capitals, banks, and commerce are proceeding on the light of sincerity and factuality that are within the peculiar elements of the transactional processes and effects. Sincerity is the pivot of the international economic movement. It is impossible for the fraudulent and duplicitous economic movements to develop.
Sincerity is a basic component in the cultural life, too. Culture is grounded upon the method of factuality and sincerity. It will be vain and meaningless if students and teachers are untruthful in their tests, courses, and lessons.
The same thing can be said about the political life. Policy is being continuous and valid only when it is fixed upon sincerity. Insincere policy will eventually fail. The best example in this regard is the behavior of Imam Ali, the pioneer of the right and justice on this earth, to the Kharijites after they had discovered Muawiya’s fraudulence in the question of the arbitration. They insisted on demanding the Imam with declaring the repentance from (the guilt) of accepting the arbitration. The Imam declined since he had originally not committed any guilt. They perpetrated that guilt. Had the Imam accepted their demand, he would have been saved against the mutiny of his army. He rejected the political life that is based upon fabrication, cheating, and fraudulence. He pursued the completely sound path. Similarly, had the Imam kept abreast with Abdurrahman bin Awf, who specified pursuing God’s Book, the Prophet’s practice, and way of the Sheiks –Abu Bakr and Omar-, as the condition of holding the position of leadership after the death of Omar bin al-Khattab. Had the Imam accepted that condition, he would have saved the Islamic nation from Othman bin Affan, the chief of the Umayyads-- the real foes of Islam. The Imam, however, insisted on veracity disregarding the results. He preferred God’s satisfaction to everything. Thus, he rejected to pursue the course of the two Sheiks and insisted on the fact that the Islamic policy and management should be grounded upon God’s glorious Book and the Prophet’s practices.

Categories of sincerity:
The categories of sincerity are elevated and honorable:

Honesty:
Honesty is one of the firmest pillars on which the sound society rests. It is the guide to all of the virtues and moralities, and comprises God’s rights, including precepts, obligations, and the abandonment of illegalities. It also contains the respect of the publics’ rights by preventing from using the deposits, cheating, defrauding in measures, and pursuing people’s flaws. People’s rights are guiding them, testifying, and conveying the missions completely in addition to many others. God ordered of fulfilling the trusts to their owners. God says:
Surely, Allah commands you to make over trusts to their owners.
He also reckons honesty with the qualities of the pious believers. He said:
And those who are keepers of their trusts and their covenant…
The Prophet (s) said, “Honesty brings subsistence. Dishonesty brings poverty.”
Advice is a sort of honesty. In fact, the seekers of advice entrust the advisers.” “The individuals that are asked for advice are entrusted. Those who are asked for an advice should provide the best as if they were the doers of that act.” “He, whoever advises of a matter other than the accurate, is defrauding the seeker.”
Likewise, keeping the others’ secrets is a sort of honesty. People, who unveil their secrets before others, should trust one another because they have presumed each other without any form of concern or care. Both are warned against deceiving through conveying the secrets. The Prophet (s) said, “The two associates communicate each other by the trust of God. It is illegal for them to unveil the secrets.”
The Prophet (s) affirmed that the safety and continuance of this nation is kept only when people care for their trusts, apply it to the factuality, and take it out of their benefits. He said, “My nation is still secured as long as people do not regard the trusts as profits and the almsgiving as debts.”