Rafed English

Heart Comforter

Heart Comforter by : Sheikh Zayn ad-Din Ali ibn Muhammad al-Jab'i al-Amili


In the Name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful

Due to lack of want, outgiving and generosity, He has willed to shower His blessings unto the descendants of Adam with generosity, blessing them first with the bliss of existence and getting them out of the sphere of void. Then He put everything on earth at their disposal, making them the masters of this planet, faring with its soil, water and atmosphere as they wish. He has subjected to them its animals, plants, minerals and all other treasures.

Then He bestowed upon them guidance by sending them messengers and divine books which secure for them the pleasure of their Lord, their own happiness, sustenance and goodly return if they obey Him.

After all these generous blessings and clear guidance comes testing and examining, and these cannot take place without affliction of the decrease of a blessing or an affliction in self and in wealth, and it is here when a steadfast person who seeks rewards is distinguished from that who is impatient, fretful.

The most Praised One has promised to give them generous rewards, to pay them their dues without count, informing them that He, the most Exalted One, supports them if they persevere.

Imam al-Baqir (?) has said, "A believer is tested in the life of this world according to the extent of his faith" or he said "according to the extent of his belief"1.

Imam al-Sadiq (?) has said, "If Allah loves one of His servants, He exposes him to trials, one after the other."2

He (?) also said, "Great rewards accompany great trials."3 This is why among people, according to traditions, there are those who are most severely tested, and these are the prophets, then the walis or guardians, then the most pious, and so on.4

Then the Prophet (?) said, "We, prophets, are tried the most, and we are followed in this regard by the believers, the most pious then the less pious, and so on. One who tastes the sweet taste of trial, under a protective covering from Allah, finds it tastier than a bliss."5

He (?) has equaled obedience to Allah through patience to half one's iman (conviction), regarding it as one of the keys to achieving rewards and determining patience as occupying a position in iman equal to that of the head to the body; there is no body without a head; therefore, one without patience is without iman, and one who is patient will receive rewards equal to those due to one thousand martyrs.

It is for the above reason that Imam Ali (?) has said, "If you are patient, destiny will be affected in your regard and you will receive your rewards, but if you fret, destiny will be affected in your regard as you bear the burden of your sins."6

Imam al-Kazim, peace be with him, has said, "If one beats on his thigh when afflicted by a calamity, he voids his rewards."7

Calamities differ one from another. They range from a chronic illness to a demeaning condition, to the loss of wealth..., etc.

One of the important matters is the loss of loved ones and sons. Many narratives have been transmitted in this regard. One of them is this: "If one loses three of his sons while maintaining his patience, he will be sheltered from the fire by permission of Allah,8 and this will be a sure protection for him."

Allah asked Dawood (David) (?), "What is the equivalent of this son for you?" Dawood answered, "He was worth the fill of the earth with gold." Allah said, "Then you will have on the Day of Judgment the fill of the earth rewards."9

The greatest Prophet went further than that when he said, "… I shall brag about you to other nations till a stillborn stays at the gate of Paradise refusing to enter, and it will be told to enter, but it will say, 'I and my parents?!' The response will be, 'You and your parents'."10

Many traditions have been transmitted about offering condolences to one who is afflicted by a calamity in order to lighten it for him. Ibn Mas`u-d quotes the Prophet (?) as saying, "One who offers condolences to a person who is afflicted by a calamity will receive as many rewards as those received by the afflicted person."11

Abu Barzah is quoted as saying that the Messenger of Allah (?) has said, "If one offers condolences to a mother who lost her child, he will be outfitted with coats in Paradise."12

Weeping over someone who has died does not decrease rewards, nor does it harm rewards. The first person who wept over a son whom he lost was our father Adam who mourned Able and composed famous verses of poetry recorded in books, grieving over him a great deal. The condition of Jacob (Ya`qub) is more famous than needs mentioning, so much so that he wept so much till he lost his eyesight over Joseph (Yusuf).

As regarding our master, Ali son of al-Hussain, peace be with him, he wept over his father for forty years, fasting during the day and spending the night standing for prayers. Whenever it was time for him to break his fast, his servant would bring him his food and drink, putting them in front of him: "Eat, master!"

The Imam (?) would say, "The son of the Messenger of Allah (?) was killed as he was hungry; the son of the Messenger of Allah (?) was thirsty…," and he would keep repeating these statements and weeping till his tears would wet his food. He kept doing so till he passed away.13

The Messenger of Allah (?) for this [same] reason said [when his son Ibrahim died], "The eyes are tearful, the heart is grieved, and we will not say anything that incurs the wrath of the Lord."14

Among those who did very well maintaining their patience on the loss of loved ones and sons is Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, may Allah be pleased with him, none of whose sons lived long. He used to say, "Praise be to Allah who takes them away from the transient abode to lodge them into the abode of eternity."15

These men provide us with the best and greatest moral lessons, and they are our role models; many are those who are patient and who anticipate rewards in the cause of Allah.

Among those who were hit by this affliction and lost loved ones and children is our mentor, the Second Martyr, may Allah sanctify his pure soul. The author of Rawdat Al-Jannat16 has recorded his calamity and loss of children who died young. Sayyid al-Amin says, "His children did not last long but many of their males passed away before Sheikh Hassan about whose survival he was not sure either."17

Talking about Sheikh Hassan son of the second Martyr, Sheikh Abbas al-Qummi says, "He was not expected to live because of the calamities which had afflicted his father. Many of his siblings, who were born before him [Sheikh Hassan], had died [young]."18
Reason behind writing This Book
The writing of Musakkin al-Fuad was not the product of a purely scholarly condition dictated by the reality of class and teaching or due to the need of debates at the hawza as much as it was the outcome of a conscientious and emotional condition lived by the Second Martyr with all his senses and faculties with which he interacted positively throughout his honorable life.

Most references which narrate the biography of the Second Martyr indicate that he was tried by the death of his sons when they were still quite young, so much so that he had no hope that any of them would stay alive. None of them was spared death save his son Sheikh Hassan about whose survival he was not sure at all. He was martyred when his son was four or seven years old.

The Second Martyr, may he be sanctified, confronted the condition of family deprivation with the loftiest degrees of patience and perseverance, so he wrote Musakkin al-Fuad (Heart Comforter) while his heart was dripping with pain and sighs as he watched his sons die as fresh flowers snapped away before his very eyes.

In the introduction to his afore-mentioned book, he, may Allah be pleased with him, says, "Since death is the great event, the cause of a permanent separation from loved ones, and since the separation of a loved one is considered to be among the greatest calamities, so much so that the heart of any wise person almost changes its place, the heart of anyone known for having a sound mind, especially since the most loved ones are the sons who bring happiness to one's heart…, for this reason, such separation deserves great rewards, and the parents are promised intercession on the Day of Judgment on account of their loss.

For this reason, I have gathered in this dissertation some Prophetic legacies, the conditions of those who achieved supreme perfections, in addition to brief yet clear hints so, by the will of Allah Almighty, rust may be removed from the hearts of the deprived and grief may be removed from those grieved.

Rather, on its account the hearts of those who have knowledge are elated, those who regard it as a tradition of the unaware may wake up from their slumber. I have called it The Comforter of the Heart at the Time of the Loss of Loved Ones and of Children, organizing it in an Introduction, chapters and a conclusion."19

Musakkin al-Fuad, though small in size, is distinguished for its unique subject. This makes it a reliable reference of its kind according to a group of authors of narrative encyclopedias such as `Allama al-Majlisi in his Bihar al-Anwar, Sheikh al-Hurr in Al-Jawahir al-Saniyya, Sheikh al-Nawari in his Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, and others.

`Allama al-Majlisi says the following in his Bihar al-Anwar to explain his sources: "… and Musakkin al-Fuad… by the Second Martyr, may Allah elevate his status."20

In his Introduction to Al-Jawahir al-Saniyya, Sheikh al-Hurr says, "I have quoted the traditions in it from authentic and respected books as well as edited and reliable references", and our book is one of these respected authentic books.

Sayid Khonsari, in the process of talking about the book Musakkin al-Fuad, says, "His book has great benefits, rare traditions and spiritual niceties the like of which are seldom found in a book."21

Sayyid Muhsin al-Ameen, in his biography of the second martyr, says, "He distinguished himself for writing about subjects about which others did not write or wrote but did not say enough such as patience at the loss of loved ones and sons."22 Recounting his works, he said, "His book titled Musakkin al-Fuad is one the subject of which was never discussed by anyone before him."23

Sheikh Tahrani mentions it in his Dhari`a saying, "Musakkin al-Fuad by the happy Sheikh Zain ad-Din ibn Ahmad al-`Amili, the martyr, is arranged in an introduction, chapters and a conclusion. The first chapter deals with heavenly rewards for losing children, the second with patience, the third with acceptance [of destiny] and the fourth with weeping."24

Isma`eel Pasha, in his work Idah al-Maknoon, says, "Musakkin al-Fuad was written by Zain ad-Din bin Ali bin Ahmad al-`Amili, the Shiite."25 Ibn al-`Awwadi, in his book Bughyat al-Mureed fil Kashf an Ahwal al-Sheikh Zain ad-Din al-Shaheed, while stating the latter's works, says, "… and one of them is the book Musakin al-Fuad inda Faqd al-Ahibba wal Awlad."26

In the work Amal al-Amil, he is said as having written a list of books which includes "... the book Musakin al-Fuad inda Faqd al-Ahibba wal Awlad."27 Sheikh Yousuf al-Bahrani says the following in his book Lu'lu'at al-Bahrain: "… and he, may he be sanctified, wrote a number of books one of which is Musakin al-Fuad inda Faqd al-Ahibba wal Awlad."28

One of the indications of the interest of the biographer, may he be sanctified, in our book, this one, is that he abridged it in another book, calling it Mubarrid al-Akbad: Mukhtasar Musakkin al-Fuad which is mentioned by Sheikh Ali, grandson of the Second Martyr29, by Sheikh al-Hurr al- `Amili30, Sheikh Yousuf al-Bahrani31, Sayyid Khonsari32, Sayyid Muhsin al-Ameen33 and Sheikh Aqa Buzurg Tehrani34.

It is translated into Persian by Isma`eel Khan who named it Tasliyat al-`Ibad. In his Dhari`a, Sheikh Tehrani says, "It is called Tasliyat al-`Ibad fi Tarjamat Musakkin al-Fuad by the martyred Sheikh and is translated into Persian by Isma`eel Khan Dabeer al-Sultanah who is nicknamed "glory of the men of letters", the contemporary scholar who neighbors the Shrine of Imam al-Rida and who died in 1321 A.H. (1903 A.D.) following the completion of the translation."35
Brief Biography of the Author
He is Sheikh (mentor) Noor ad-Din Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Jamal ad-Din ibn Taqi ibn Salih ibn Musharraf, of `Amil, Syria, of Toos, al-Jab`i, famous as the "Second Martyr".

He was born on the 13th of Shawwal of 911 A.H. (March 19, 1506 according to the Gregorian Western calendar). His father was one of the most prominent personalities of his time, and so were his forefathers up to Salih. The same applies to the sons of his uncles, his brother Abdul-Nabi and his nephew. Knowledge serialized in his home for a long period of time, so much so that his lineage is called "the golden chain". His son, Sheikh Hassan, is a scholarly investigator.

He, may Allah have mercy on his soul, studied the sciences known during his time, and examined the work of the Shiite as well as Sunni scholars. He, may Allah be merciful to him, excelled and surpassed his peers despite his extreme poverty and hardship of living conditions. He used to guard his vineyard during the night and sometimes worked in trade while taking care of the needs of his family.

He traveled to Istanbul, then the capital of the Ottoman State, and in 18 days he wrote a dissertation in solving ten problems in sciences. He, therefore, was assigned to teach at the Nawari School in Baalbek, one of the greatest schools, where he stayed for five years teaching according to the five schools of Islamic thought, a great feat for him and an indication of vast knowledge which cannot be surpassed. He wrote about eight books the most famous of which is Al-Rawda al-Bahiyya fi Sharh al-Lam'a al-Dimashqiyya, a book regarded as a major reference for fiqh studies at Shiite hawzas.

The sectarian fanaticism, however, a disease which has afflicted the Muslims, did not leave this brilliant scholar to be of benefit for people with his knowledge and demeanor: The fire of envy burnt in the hearts of those who let the Islamic nation reach its present condition of weakness and backwardness. They schemed plots against him, instigated rulers against him till he was arrested during the pilgrimage season inside the holy precincts of Venerable Mecca. He was taken in custody to Istanbul.

The hoodlums who arrested him were concerned about his arrival at Istanbul where he would be able to prove his innocence from the charges against him, against his pure and innocent soul; so, Satan ordered them to speed up the implementation of their scheme: They killed him on the way and carried his severed head to the capital.

His martyrdom, may he be sanctified, took place in 965 A.H. (1558 A.D.) when he was 55.

One of his students, Ibn al-Awwadi, wrote his biography in an independent dissertation which he titled Bughyat al-Mureed fil Kashf an Ahwal al Sheikh Zayn ad-Din al-Shaheed. Look into the following references for his biography: Al-Durr al-Manthur, Vol. 2, p. 149 where Bughyat al-Mureed fil Kashf an Ahwal al Sheikh Zayn ad-Din al-Shaheed is cited; Amal al-Amil, Vol. 1, p. 85; Riyadh al-Ulema, Vol. 2, p. 365.

Lu'lu'at al-Bahrain, p. 28; Naqd al-Rijal, p. 145; Muntaha al-Maqal, p. 141; Bahjat al-Amal, Vol. 4, p. 254; Rawdat al-Jannat, Vol. 3, p. 352; Tanqeeh al-Maqal, Vol. 1, pp. 472, 4517; Safeenat al-Bihar, Vol. 1, p. 723; Al-Kuna wal Alqab, Vol. 2, p. 344; Hadiyyat al-Ahbab, p. 167; Al-Fawa'id al-Radawiyya, p. 186; A`yan al-Shii`a, Vol. 7, p. 143; al-Zarkali's Al-A`lam, Vol. 3, p. 64; Mu`jam Rijal al-Hadith, Vol. 7, p. 372 and Mu`jam al-Mu'allifeen, Vol. 4, p. 193.
Method of Critique
We have relied in critiquing this book on three editions:

The first is the handwritten copy at the public library of Ayatollah al-Mar`ashi, the third volume included in the group numbered 444, from p. 186 to p. 249, written by Safar al-Karmani in the clear Naskh calligraphic type on a Monday, the 27th of Dhul-Qa`da of 1087 A.H., based on a copy taken from Sheikh Muhammad al-`Amili in Syria.

At the end of the book, there is a statement which concludes it by saying "Comparing this text has been done through help from Allah Almighty". Sheikh Yousuf al-Najafi, a student of the Second Martyr, has written on the last page of the said group saying that he compared the copy and completed his comparison on a Wednesday the 9th of Rabi` al-Awwal of 1088 A.H. The group contains 320 pages, the book with which we are dealing falls in 63 pages. In each page there are 16 lines size 20.5 x 10.5 cm and we have used the symbol "Sh" [for "Shaheed II"] on the book's margin.

The second is the one kept at the Tehran University Library under No. 1017. It was written in the Naskh type by Hussain ibn Muslim ibn Husain ibn Muhammad who is famous as Ibn Sha`eer al-`Amili, a student of the Second Martyr, in around the year 954 A.H. The copy contains the book's Introduction and some of Chapters Two, Three and Four.

There is on p. 73-B a statement saying "Completed 954" in another type of handwriting. On p. 69-A, there is a statement saying "He completed its reading, may Allah grant him success" in the handwriting of the Second Martyr. This copy is owned by Ali ibn Muhammad Husain al-Mousawi al-Shushtari on the 15th of Jumada II of the year 1268 A.H., Ali ibn Husain ibn Muhammad-Ali ibn Zayn ad-Din al-Mousawi and Ali Muhammad al-Mousawi.

The version printed on stone in Iran was written in Tehran by the son of Ali Akbar al-Gailani on a Monday, the 26th of Safar of 1310 A.H. for which we use the symbol "H ?" on the book's margin.

Based on the style followed by the Ahl al-Bayt Foundation for Revival of Legacy, the book has gone through several editing phases as follows:

1. comparison committee: Its task is to compare the handwritten copies and identify their differences,

2. hadith extraction committee: Its task is to extract the texts cited in the book and render them to their sources

3. committee for verifying differences about traditionists: Its task is to confirm the results of comparing the copies with regard to differences about major narrators of hadith and refer them to the sources that discuss hadith transmitters.

4. committee for correcting text: Its task is to show a verified and correct book text closer to what the author had left us. Copies have been compared so the authenticity of texts may be marked whereas others are referred to in footnotes.

5. footnotes: All the above was utilized to arrange and coordinate the footnotes.

6. final review: In it, the book in its entirety, including footnotes, is examined to detect and correct what may have been overlooked.

In conclusion, we express our sincere appreciation and regards to the honorable brothers who participated in producing this book in such a good outfit.

Ahl al-Bayt Foundation for Revival of Legacy
Qum on the 21st of Shawwal of 1407 A.H.
1. Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 197; Mishkat Al-Anwar, p. 298.

2. Ibid., Vol. 2, pp 6, 197.

3. Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 3

4. This is narrated by al-Kulaini in his book Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, pp. 11, 196, by Ibn Majah in his Sunan, Vol. 2, pp. 1334, 4023, by al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan, Vol. 4, pp. 28, 2509, by Ahmad in his Musnad, Vol. 1, pp. 172, 180, 185, by al-Darmi in his Sunan, Vol. 2, p. 320 and by al-Hakim al-Naishapuri in his Mustadrak, Vol. 1, p. 41 with some minor variation in wording.

5. Musbah al-Shari'a, p. 487.

6. Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 3, pp. 224, 291.

7. Al-Kafi, Vol. 3, pp. 9, 225.

8. Al-Jami` Al-Kabir, Vol. 1, p. 817.

9. Sheikh Waram has narrated it in his book titled Tanbih Al-Khawatir, Vol. 1, p. 287 and by al-Sayyuti in his book Al-Durr Al-Manthur, Vol. 5, p. 306 with some variations in its wording.

10. This has been narrated by al-Sayyuti in his book Al-Jami`Al-Saghir, Vol. 2, pp. 55, 4724 and by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi in Muntakhab Kanz Al-Ummal, Vol. 6, p. 390, both quoting Ibn Abbas.

11. Al-Jami` Al-Kabir, Vol. 1, p. 801.

12. Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, Vol. 2, pp. 269, 1082.

13. Al-Luhoof fi Qatla Al-Tufoof, p. 87.

14. Ibn Majah, Sunan, Vol. 1, pp. 506, 1589 and Muntakhab Kanz Al-Ummal, Vol. 6, p. 265.

15. This tradition has been narrated by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi in his book Muntakhab Kanz Al-Ummal, Vol. 1, p. 212 and is cited by Al-Majlisi in his work Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 82, p. 142.

16. Rawdat Al-Jannat, Vol. 3, p. 379.

17. A`yan Al-Shi`a, Vol. 7, p. 144.

18. Al-Kuna wal Alqab, Vol. 2, p. 349.

19. Musakkin Al-Fuad, p. 17.

20. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 1, p. 19.

21. Rawdat Al-Jannat, Vol. 3, p. 379.

22. A`yan Al-Shi`a, Vol. 7, p. 145.

23. Ibid., Vol. 7, p. 156.

24. Al-Dhari`a, Vol. 21, pp. 20, 3747.

25. Idah Al-Maknoon, Vol. 4, p. 479.

26. Bughyat Al-Mureed as quoted in the book Al-Durr Al-Manthoor, Vol. 2, p. 187.

27. Amal Al-Amil, Vol. 1, p. 87.

28. Lu'lu'at Al-Bahrain, p. 35.

29. Ad-Durr Al-Manthu-r, Vol. 2, p. 189.

30. Amal Al-Amil, Vol. 1, p. 87.

31. Lu'lu'at Al-Bahrain, p. 35.

32. Rawdat Al-Jannat, Vol. 3, p. 379.

33. A`yan Al-Shi`a, Vol. 7, p. 145.

34. Al-Dhari`a, Vol. 20, pp. 209, 2613.

35. Ibid., Vol. 4, pp. 179, 882.
In the Name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful

All Praise is due to Allah Who has decreed the extinction and disappearance of all His servants. He affected His command on them according to His wisdom and will. He promised those who persevere with regard to His destiny beautiful rewards and happiness, and He forewarned those who fret about it with plenty of His retribution and severe penalty upon their return to Him.

He has pleased the hearts of the men of knowledge through His management, so this knowledge is the pleasure of their souls when submitted to His lead, this is so despite the inability of each one of them to avoid His affecting His judgment even if an ignorant person goes to extremes in his stubbornness.

I testify that there is no god except Allah, the only One; there is no partner with Him, a testimony through which I avoid the horrors in the narrowness of the Gathering and its ravines. And I testify that Muhammad, Allah's peace and blessings be with him and his progeny, is His servant and messenger, the very best of those who brought glad tidings and who warned, the greatest of all those who accepted destiny and persevered about it, peace and blessing of Allah be with him and his progeny who are the best of the best, the greatest of creation in action, the ones who suffered the most, who submitted and accepted His decrees, peace and blessing that will reach each and every one of them individually.

Since death is the greatest of all events, the matter that forever separates the loved ones from each other. Separation from the loved ones is regarded as one of the greatest calamities, so much so that the heart of even a wise person almost fails, the heart of one known for sagacity, for being terse, particularly when we know that the greatest of those whom we love are our children who are the pleasure of the hearts. It is for this reason that generous rewards are in store for those who suffer such separation, and the parents are promised intercession on the Day of the Return in lieu of such loss.

For this reason, I have gathered in this dissertation a group of Prophetic legacies, the conditions of those who earned sublime perfections, in addition to brief yet clear admonitions which, if Allah Almighty so pleases, should remove the rust from the hearts of those aggrieved and the grief of those aggrieved is removed; rather, the hearts of the men of knowledge are even elated by it, those who regard such grief as a tradition of the indifferent ones will wake up through it, naming it "comforter of the heart upon the loss of loved ones and children", organizing it in an Introduction, Chapters and a Conclusion.
As regarding the Introduction, be informed that reason is the mechanism whereby Allah is known, Praise to Him, and through it belief in the messengers and the upholding of the divine legislations are achieved. He, the Almighty, urges us to seek virtues, forewarns us of being characterized by lowly deeds, so He administers both abodes and is the causation for winning mastership of both worlds: His likeness is light in the dark, for such light must be little among some folks, so it becomes like the vision of the night-blind, and it may be more among others, so it is like daylight in the high morning time.

One who is granted reason should not disobey Him, nor should he feel comfortable about his own absent-mindedness or inclinations. Rather, he must make Him a judge for himself and against his own nafs. He should refer to Him for guidance: He will then reveal to him whatever is required to make one pleased by what Allah, Praise and Exaltation belong to him, decrees especially with regard to whatever calamity has afflicted him on account of such separation. This is achieved through many aspects to some of which we refer here below:

First: If you look at the justice and wisdom of Allah, at the perfection of His favors and mercy, at the completion of His care of His creation, for He is the One Who brought them into being from void, showering them with great blessings, helping them with His compassion, providing them with His generous aid and assistance, all of this so they may take their share of eternal happiness and perpetual honor, not because He needs them, nor because he depends on them to affect His decree in their regard, for He is the Absolute Independent, the truly generous One.

He has commissioned them to undertake hardships, to do what is tough, so they may derive from all of this their lot and hope, and so He may test them and distinguish from among them those who do what is best. And He does not do that except only for their own benefit, for the perfection of their interests. He has sent them messengers to bring them glad tidings and to warn, and He revealed to them the books in which He has embedded notifications to the worlds. The achievement of this goal is dealt with in detail in the chapter about justice in the science of logic.

His actions, Exalted and Sanctified is He, are all for their own good: In them is the completion of honoring them. Death is one of these actions as the divine inspiration states in many verses of the Holy Qur'an such as these:

"Nor can a soul die except by God's leave, the term being fixed as though in writing" (Qur'an, 3:145);

"Say: Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death" (Qur'an, 3:154);

"Wherever you are, death will find you, even if you are in towers built up strong and high!" (Qur'an, 4:78);

"It is Allah Who takes the souls (of men) at death" (Qur'an, 39:42)

and other such verses.

Had this not been the ultimate end of interest and the final destination of benefit for the weak servant of Allah who is unaware of what is best for him, who wanders about in his delusion and absent-mindedness, Allah Almighty would not have done it.

This is so because you have already come to know that He is the most merciful of all merciful ones, the most out-giving. If your nafs insinuates to you the contrary to this, you should get to know that it is the veiled shirk (disbelief). And if you are convinced about it but you are not comfortable with it or your fear of it does not subside, it is nothing but obvious foolishness.

The above resulted from heedlessness about His wisdom, Allah Almighty, in dealing with His creation and about the goodness of His decree with regard to His beings, so much so that a worshipper pleads and calls upon Allah Almighty to have mercy on him and to respond to his plea, whereupon Allah Almighty says the following to His angels: "How should I have mercy on him by ridding him of something through which I am bestowing mercy on him?!" So, consider, may Allah Almighty have mercy on you, about this divine statement; it should suffice you in this Chapter if Allah Almighty so wills.

Second: If you take a look at the living conditions of the Messengers, peace be with them, and if you believe the reports they brought about issues related to this life and to the Hereafter, to the promises they made of eternal happiness…

If you come to know that what they had brought came from Allah, the most Great, the most High, if you moreover believe that their speech is divinely protected from error and safeguarded from mistakes and inclinations, and if you hear about the rewards promised for any type of calamity as you will see and hear…, you will then find its taking place easy, and you will come to know that you have in it ultimate benefit and perfect perpetual happiness, and that you have prepared for yourself safeguarded treasures, Nay!

You have protection, a fortress, a shield from painful torment and immense penalty of Hereafter which no human can ever withstand, nor can anyone be strong enough to tolerate, in addition to your son being your partner in this happiness! You and he, then, are the winners; so, you should not fret and lose patience.

Take this example: If something magnanimous assails you, if a lion or a snake leaps on you, or if a fire overtakes you, and if you have with you the most precious of your sons and the dearest to your heart while there is in your company one of the prophets whose truthfulness you do not doubt.

And if he tells you that if you offer your son in your stead, you and your son will be saved, but if you do not do so, you will be annihilated, while you do not know if your son will be harmed or not…, will a rational person doubt that offering the son as a sacrifice will mean achieving the safety of the son and, in addition to that, the father, too, will be safe, that this will be the ultimate benefit and that the opposite, the father and the son being exposed to harm, is nothing but a pitiful conclusion!

Perhaps many people prefer their own safety over that of their sons, offering the latter as sacrifices even if they are sure that they will be harmed as is the case when in valleys during times of famine. All this takes place during a single hour in a fire or in peril, and after it one may be transferred to comfort and to Paradise; so, what would you think about pain which remains without an end and stays for many, many "years"? Surely a :

"day" with your Lord of these days is like a thousand years of our own calculation. Had one of us seen hell or about to see it, he would have wished to offer his sons, wife, brother and the tribe that shelters him, even all people of the world, so he may be spared the penalty. "Nay! By no means! For it would be the Fire of Hell plucking out (his being) right to the skull, inviting (all) who turn their backs and turn their faces away (from what is right) and amass (wealth) and hide it (from use)!" (Qur'an, 70:15-18).

From this onset comes what has been narrated about the Prophet (?) saying the following to ‘Uthman son of Mad`oon, may Allah be pleased with him, whose son passed away so he was very grieved about it: "O son of Mad`oon! Paradise has eight gates, while hell has seven. Does it not please you that whenever you come at any of its gates, you will find your son standing by it pleading to your Lord to grant you his intercession till Allah Almighty accepts his intercession?"

God willing, there will be many such traditions.

Third: You love your son to stay with you so he may be of benefit to you in your world here or in your Hereafter, and you most likely do not desire him to stay only for his own good, for such is the human nature. His benefit to you based on his stay is unknown. Rather, most often, it is thought that such benefit does not exist, for time seems to have drawn to a close, evil and absent-mindedness have prevailed over most people: The happy ones are rare, and the praised righteous ones are few.

How much one benefits you, rather at least benefits himself, is unknown. His present benefit and safety from danger, as well as benefit to you, have all become known; therefore, you must not leave the known matter for the sake of the matter which is unknown, imagined or fancied. Consider the sons of most posterity; do you see anyone who benefits his parents except rarely?

Or do you see one staying awake [for night prayers] except very few? If you see one such person, you must compare him with thousands who are different from him. If you regard your son as being among the rare ones rather than the majority is nothing but stupidity and absent-mindedness, for most people are similar to others in their lifetime than they are to their parents, as the Master of the wasis(guardians), blessings of Allah and His peace be with him, has described.

Although the individual whose similarity you seek, one who is righteous and useful according to what appears to be, what would inform you about his inner thoughts, the corruption of his intention and the doing of disservice to himself?! If you unveil his innermost, it will likely appear that his thoughts are bent on transgressions and scandals which you do not wish for yourself or for your sons, and you wish that if your son is like that, his death is better for him than his life.

This is so if you want your son to be unique among the people, a wali (saint) among the righteous; so, how would it be the case if you want him only to inherit your house, orchard, animals or such low soon-to-vanish things?!

Why do you not leave him to inherit the Higher Paradise in the company of the sons of the prophets and messengers resurrected in the company of those who are secure and glad, reared if young in the lap of Sarah the mother of prophets, according to reports cited about the Master of Messengers (?)1, this is counted as nothing but nonsense if you only are wise enough to see it?!

Had your objective been to see him as one of the firmly rooted scholars, the God-fearing good ones, and you let him inherit your knowledge and books and other means of goodness, remember also that even if all of this happens, what Allah Almighty has promised of the rewards for losing him is even greater than your objective, as you will come to hear by the will of Allah Almighty.

One example is narrated by al-Sadu-q who cites Imam al-Sadiq (?) saying, "A single son whom a man offers is better than seventy who survive him and who become contemporaries of al-Qa'im(??) ".2

Consider there is a poor man who has with him a son wearing worn-out clothes whom he housed in a desolate dilapidated shed that has many beasts, and it has holes for snakes, scorpions and fierce lions, and he is in his company approaching something terribly bad.

A wise sage having wealth, trains, servants, high mansions and lofty stations feels pity for this poor man and for his son, so he sends some of his servants to him to say, "My master says this to you: 'I have felt pity for you on account of the condition of this run down place', and he worries about you and your son because of the perils to which you may be exposed, so he has granted you out of his own favor this mansion where your son can reside, and a great bondmaid from among his best bondmaids will serve him till you take care of your personal needs. After that, if you come and wish to reside, he will let you accompany him in the mansion or even in a better mansion."

The poor man would say, "All this does not please me, and my son will not part with me from his run-down shed neither because I do not believe in the generous man nor due to the absence of my desire for his home and mansion, nor because I feel that my son is secure in this dilapidated shed, but such is my nature, and I do not wish to do the opposite of what my nature dictates to me."

So, how would you, having heard the description of this man, or would not count him to be among the lowest idiots and the most mean of all stupid people?! So, do not fall into a conduct which you do not wish others to commit, for you are more interested in what is best for you than anyone else.

Be informed that the snake bites, the devouring by the beasts and other perils of this life cannot be compared with the smallest calamity of the Hereafter which is earned because of what one has done in this life. Nay! It cannot be compared with the most Truthful One, Glory to Him, turning away from one and chastising him for one moment on the Judgment Day or even for one moment of being inside the fire then getting out of it quickly.

So, what would you say about a chastisement that will last for a thousand years or many times this long, or a puff of the torment of hell the pain of which lingers for a thousand years, or a sting of its snakes and scorpions the pain of which lingers for, say, forty years?! What a comparison would there be between the highest mansion in the life of this world and the lowest ranking abode in Paradise?! What comparison is it between worn-out clothes of this life and their very best, in addition to the silk and brocades of Paradise?! You can make more and more such comparisons with regard to the eternal bliss of Paradise.

If you deeply contemplate on this example, looking into it through your mental vision, you will come to know that such is the conduct of a generous person, one great in spirit. Indeed, all rational people do not accept this poor man simply surrendering his son like that; rather, it is wisdom if he praises and thanks the person who makes him such an offer, expresses the appreciation that he deserves, for such is the requirement of appreciating a bliss.

Fourth: Grumbling and anger imply a greatly lower status than that of accepting the destiny decreed by Allah Almighty. If one does not accept it, he would place himself in a sure peril and would miss great rewards. The Almighty denounces those who feel angry about His decree saying [in a Qudsi hadith], "If one does not accept My destiny and is not patient about My affliction, let him worship a god other than Me."3

Speaking to Moses, peace be with him, when the latter said to Him, "Lead me to something which pleases You," the Almighty said, "I am pleased with your own pleasure with My decrees."4

The Holy Qur'an states the following:

"Allah is well-pleased with them, and they with Allah" (Qur'an, 5:122).

Allah inspired to David (Dawood) the following: "O David! You want something while I want something (else); whatever will be shall be what I want; so, if you surrender to what I want, I shall spare you the ill of what you want, but if you do not surrender to what I want, I shall wear you out regarding what you want, and in the end, what will be shall be only what I want."5

Allah Almighty has said:

"… so that you may not despair over matters that pass by, nor exult over favors bestowed upon you" (Qur'an, 57:23).

Be informed that accepting what Allah Almighty decrees is the fruit of love for Allah, for when one loves something, he is pleased with what it does. A servant's pleasure with Allah is evidence of the pleasure of Allah Almighty with that servant.

Such servants are pleased with Allah and they with him, and one who reaches such a status while Allah Almighty is pleased with him acquires the most perfect form of happiness and the most beautiful of all perfections: He remains relaxed because he does not tell himself that he wants this but not that: Both are the same, the Pleasure of Allah is the greatest of all; surely such is the most perfect form of wisdom. God willing, we will elaborate on this subject later in a chapter about acceptance with pleasure.

Be informed that weeping does not negate acceptance, nor does it incur Wrath: Its source is the heart, as you will come to know by the will of Allah Almighty. Prophets and Imams, peace be with them, wept over their sons and loved ones; this is quite normal for humans, and there is no harm in it if it is not combined with anger as you will come to find out.

Fifth: One afflicted with a calamity must consider the fact that he is living in an abode accustomed to roil and hardship; it is characterized by calamities and afflictions. What takes place in it is necessitated by its nature, and if the opposite takes place, it will be out of the ordinary especially to important personalities, men of nobility, prophets, successors to prophets and the righteous. These have all suffered hardships and calamities too much for the mountains to carry as is well known in their biographies. If some of these are narrated, volumes will be needed.

The Prophet (?) has said, "Those who are tried the most are the prophets then the righteous then the most exemplary."6 And the Prophet (?) has also said, "Life is the prison of the believer and the heaven of the unbeliever."7

It has been said that there is no true pleasure in life; rather, its true pleasure is ease after pain. Its best pleasure is approaching women due to its result in getting progeny, yet how many pains would succeed it? The least pain is weakness, exhaustion from making a living and fatigue. Whenever something loved is acquired, it proves that the pain it incurs is more than the pleasure, and the happiness with it is not even one-tenth of the sighs it brings about. The least of its perils, in all reality, is parting with it which still causes pain to the heart and weakness to the body.

Any drink in life turns into mirage, any structure, no matter how good, is destined to ruin, any wealth, though an ignorant person is elated by it, will sooner or later vanish. Yet one who wades in deep waters never complains about wetness. One who enters between two ranks is not without fear, and how amazing is one who gets his hand into the snakes' mouths and complains about their stings! More amazing than him is one who expects a harmful thing to benefit him. One of the best speeches is the following by a man of virtue who eulogized his son's death by saying,

Its nature is polluted, yet you want it without impurities and pollutants,
One who expects days to be the opposite of their nature
Expects water to provide him with a torch.
If you wish for the impossible, you build on a crumbling cliff.

Some men of knowledge have said that one who is afflicted with a calamity ought to think of it as being less than what it is when he remembers that extinction is the ultimate end of all paths, that life is the abode of one who has no abode, the wealth of one who has no wealth: It is hoarded by one who is not rational and it is sought by one who is not to be trusted: In it, those who have no knowledge become enemies of each other, those who do not deeply discern into things envy others who have it, those who are healthy become sick on its account, those who become sick because of it hate life, those who desire it out of want become grieved, and those who are enriched by it fall into trials and tribulations.

Be informed that you are created in this abode for a special purpose: Allah Almighty is above doing anything without a purpose; He has said:

"I have not created the jinns and mankind except so they may worship Me" (Qur'an, 51:56).

He has made it an opportunity to win your way to eternity, making its rations the good deeds, its span the lifetime, which is very short compared to the sought eternal happiness which has no end.

If you work towards this end, if you remain vigilant as men do, if you care about it as the pious do, you will then hope to obtain your own share of its pleasures; so, do not waste your lifetime caring about anything other than the purpose for which this life is created for you; otherwise, you will then waste your time and consume your life without having benefited from it: One who goes never returns, a deceased man will never come back, and you will thus miss out on the [eternal] happiness for which you were created.

Your sighs will then never end, your doing your own self disservice will never alter, especially when you look and see the degrees earned by the righteous who race to do good, when you observe the stations of those who are close to Allah, and when you see how you fall short of doing acts of righteousness: Your store will be empty of profitable goods! Measure such pain and compare it with the worldly pains; shun away the hardest on you and the most harmful while you actually are capable of avoiding their root cause.

Imam Ali (?) has said, "If you are patient, destiny will be affected in your regard while you receive your rewards. And if you are impatient, destiny will be affected in your regard while you bear the weight of your sins8; so, take advantage of the opportunity of your youth before your old age, of your health before your illness, and let death stand before your eyes and get ready for it through good deeds; do not busy yourself watching someone for death is approaching you not the person."

Contemplate on this verse of the Almighty:

"Man can have nothing but what he strives for; (the fruit of) his striving will soon come in sight" (Qur'an, 53:39-40).

So, do not be carried away too far with your hopes; reform your actions, for the main reason which prompts one to pay so much attention to wealth and sons is high hope.

The Prophet (?) has said to some of his companions, "When you receive the morning, do not talk to yourself about the evening, and when you are in the evening, do not talk to yourself about the morning: Take out from your life what benefits you in your death, from your health for your ailment, because you do not know what your name tomorrow will become."9

Ali (?) has said, "The most concern I have about you are two characteristics: obeying desires and having high hopes. As for obeying desires, it takes one away from the path of righteousness. As for having high hopes, it brings about love for this life."10

Then he said, "Allah grants life to whomsoever He likes or dislikes: But if He loves a servant of His, He grants him iman. Religion is served by some, and life is served by some; so, be among those who serve religion, and do not be among those who serve life. Indeed, life is leaving and the Hereafter is coming, and you are now in a life for action without reckoning, and you are about to approach a Day of Reckoning where there will be no deeds [to save you]."11

Be informed that a loved one who parts with you, so you stay feeling a sigh and a pain because of such parting, and if he is in touch with you, you labor, toil, work hard and exhaust yourself. Despite all of this, the time you spend with him is not without embittering through him or because of him so you may direct your mind away from him and seek another one to love: You will try hard to find him characterized by good health, continuous company, more pleasing and perfectly of benefit for you.

If you find such a person, he ought to be the one whom you seek and keep, about whom you care, with whom you spend your time, the ultimate love, the ultimate objective, and this is nothing other than keeping your mind occupied by Allah towards Whom you direct your attention, for such is love for Allah Almighty: He loves such folks and they love Him, and those who have iman are the ones who love Allah the most.

The Prophet (?) has preconditioned love for Allah as a requirement of iman saying, "None of you truly believes till Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than anyone else."12 There can be no love for one whose actions are hated and with whom one is not pleased or when he himself is not actually pleased with such love.

Prophet David (?) was once addressed by the Almighty thus: "O David! Carry this message to those who live on My earth: I love those who love Me, I am the companion of those who accompany Me, the comfort for those who find comfort in remembering Me, the friend of those who befriend me.

I choose those who choose Me, and I listen to those who obey Me. Nobody loves me truly from his heart except that I accept him for Myself and love him, too: None from among My creation is advanced over him.

Whoever truly seeks me shall find Me, and whoever seeks anyone else shall never find Me. So, O people of the earth! Abandon your vain desires, and hurry towards My dignity, My company, My companionship: Feel comfortable about Me so I may give you comfort and hurry to loving you."13

Allah Almighty has inspired the following to one of the men of the truth: "There are among My servants those who love Me and whom I love. They are eager for Me and I for them. They remember Me and I remember them. If you follow your way, I shall love you, and if you avoid it, I shall hold you in contempt." The man of the truth asked, "Lord! What is their mark?"

The Almighty said, "They look after their shadows during daylight just like a kind shepherd looks after his flock; they are eager for sunset just as the birds are eager for their nests at sunset. When night overshadows them, and when the dark settles, the beds are spread, and each lover seeks seclusion with the one whom he loves. They stand for Me on their feet [praying], facing the dust [in prostration], talking to Me silently through My own words, seeking to please Me by remembering My blessings upon them, some wailing and crying while others are sighing and complaining, some standing and sitting, while others are bowing and prostrating.

I see with My eyes how they tolerate for My sake, and I hear how they complain about the love they have for Me in their hearts. The least that I give them are three things: First, I cast of My own noor (light) into their hearts, so they talk about Me just as I talk about them; Second, had the heavens and the earth and everything within beeb the weight of their deeds on the scale [of good deeds], I would have regarded that as too little for them; Third, I approach them with My face: One whom I approach with My face is one I know what he wants, so I give it to him."14

Here we stop our Introduction and start the Chapters.
1. As-Saduq quotes on pp. 2, 316, Vol. 3 of his book Man la Yahdaruhu Al-Faqih Abu Abdullah (?) saying, "Allah, the most Praised, the most Exalted, entrusted to the care of Ibrahim and [his wife] Sarah the believers' children whom they nourish from a tree in Paradise that has udders similar to those of cows in a mansion created of a pearl. On Judgment Day, they will be outfitted, perfumed and gifted to their parents; so, they are in Paradise like kings with their parents, and this is the interpretation of the verse that says: 'And those who believe and whose families follow them in faith, to them We shall unite their families' (Qur'an, 52:21)."

2. Thawab Al-A`mal, Vol. 4, p. 233.

3. Jami` Al-Akhbar, p. 133; Al-Rawandi's Da`awat, pp. 169, 471; Al-Jami` Al-Saghir, Vol. 2, pp. 235, 6010.

4. This is narrated by Al-Rawandu-zi in his Da`awat, pp. 164, 453 with minor wording variation.

5. This is narrated by As-Saduq in his Tawhid, pp. 4, 337.

6. This is narrated by Al-Kulaini in his work Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, pp. 2, 196, by Ibn Majah in his Sunan, Vol. 2, pp. 1334, 4023, by Al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan, Vol. 4, pp. 28, 2509, by Ahmad in his Musnad, Vol. 1, pp. 172, 180, 185, by Al-Darmi in his Sunan, Vol. 2, p. 320 and by Al-Hakim Al-Naisaburi in his Mustadrak, Vol. 1, p. 41 and Vol. 4, p. 307 with minor variation in wording.

7. This tradition has been narrated by As-Saduq on p. 262, Vol. 4 of his work Man la Yahdaruhu Al-Faqih.

8. Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 3, pp. 291, 224.

9. This tradition is narrated by Sheikh Waram in Tanbih Al-Khatir, Vol. 1, p. 271, by Sheikh Al-Tu-si in his Amali, by Al-Daylami in his work Irshad Al-Qulu-b, p. 18, and by Zaki ad-Deen in Al-Targheeb wal Tarheeb, Vol. 4, pp. 17, 243 with minor variation in wording.

10. Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 1, pp. 41, 88. It is also narrated by Al-Daylami from the Prophet (?) in Irshad Al-Qublu-b with a minor wording variation.

11. This is narrated by Al-Daylami from the Prophet (?) in Irshad Al-Qublu-b with a minor wording variation.

12. This is recorded by Al-Fayd Al-Kashani in his work Al-Mahajja Al-Bayda', Vol. 8, p. 4. It is also narrated in a slightly different wording by Ahmad in his Musnad, Vol. 3, pp. 172, 248, by Al-Nisa'i in his Sunan, Vol. 8, p. 95 and by Ibn Majah in his Sunan, Vol. 2, pp. 1338, 4033.

13. This is recorded by Al-Majlisi in his Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 70, pp. 26, 28 and by Al-Hurr Al-`Amili in Al-Jawahir Al-Saniyya, p. 94, where Musakkin Al-Fuad is quoted.

14. This is recorded by Al-Majlisi in his work Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 70, pp. 26, 28 where Musakkin Al-Fuad is quoted. It is also recorded by Al-Fayd Al-Kashani in Al-Mahajja Al-Bayda', Vol. 8, p. 58.
Be informed that Allah, Praise to Him, is Just, Generous, Absolutely Independent. It does not befit His perfection and the beauty of His attributes that He afflicts one of His servants in the life of this world with any affliction, no matter how small, without rewarding him for it many times more: Had He not given him anything, He would have been unjust; and had He compensated him only by the same measure, He would have been sporting, and Allah is greatly above doing so. Many prophetic reports have supported each other in this regard; the following are only some of them:

"Had a believer known what rewards Allah has prepared for him on account of his affliction, he would have wished he had been cut in the life of this world with scissors."1

Let us quote only what supports our topic, for such traditions have been narrated about the Prophet (?) by more than thirty of his companions.

As-Saduq, may Allah have mercy on him, has narrated it through isnad to Amr ibn Absah al-Salami who said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah (?) saying, 'Any man offers three sons who did not yet reach maturity, or if a woman offers three of her sons, they will be a veil protecting him/her from the fire."2

Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, may Allah be pleased with him, has said, "There are no two Muslims [parents] who offer three sons who are yet to reach maturity except that Allah permits them to enter Paradise through His mercy."3

Through isnad (narration) by Jabir, traced back to Imam Abu Ja`far ibn Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqir, peace be with them both, the Imam (?) said, "One who offers sons hoping for rewards from Allah Almighty will be protected from the Fire by the will of Allah, the most Exalted, the most Great."

Through isnad by Ali ibn Maysarah4, Imam Abu Abdullah (?) says, "One son offered by a man is better than seventy who survive him, all having mounted over horses and fought in the Way of Allah."5

He (?) is also cited as having said, "A believer's reward from his sons is Paradise, whether he was patient [at their demise] or not."6 He (?) has also said, "If one is afflicted by a calamity, and if he fretted because of it or did not, whether he was patient about it or not, his reward from Allah for it will be Paradise."7 He (?) has also said, "One son offered by a man is better for him than seventy who survive him and who live to meet al-Qa’im, peace be with him."8

Al-Tirmidhi tracks his isnad the Prophet (?) saying, "A believer who is afflicted by a calamity in himself, his sons or wealth will meet Allah, the most Exalted, the most Great, having committed no sin at all."9

Muhammad ibn Khalid al-Salami, who cites his father quoting his grandfather, who used to keep the Prophet (?) company, said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah (?) saying, 'If a servant of Allah had a status with Allah which he did not achieve through a good deed, Allah afflicts him in his body, or in his wealth, or in the most dutiful of his sons, then He enables him to be patient on its account till he reaches the status which Allah, the most Exalted One, the most Great, had already decreed for him.'"10

Thawban, a servant-slave of the Messenger of Allah (?), has said, "Congratulations! Congratulations! Five things there are: How heavy they are in the scales! They are: La Ilaha illa Allah [there is no god except Allah], Subhan-Allah (Glorified is Allah), Alhamdu-Lillah (Praise be to Allah), Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest), and the righteous son of a Muslim: He dies, so his father seeks compensation from Allah."11

Abdul-Rahman ibn Samrah quotes the Messenger of Allah (?) as saying, "I saw yesterday something amazing," stating a lengthy tradition which includes this: "I saw a man from my nation whose scales were light, so his sons came and caused his scales to weigh down heavily."12

Sahl ibn Haneef, may Allah be pleased with him, has said that the Messenger of Allah (?) said, "Get married, for I shall brag about your numbers before the nations on the Judgment Day, so much so that the stillborn remains procrastinating at the gate of Paradise, so it is said to him to enter, but he says, 'Not before my parents enter.'"13

Mu`awiyah ibn Haidah al-Qushairi quotes the Prophet (?) as saying, "A slave woman who gives birth is better than a beautiful [free] woman who does not. I shall brag about your numbers before the nations, so much so that the stillborn will remain procrastinating at the gate of Paradise; therefore, it is said to him to enter Paradise, whereupon he would say, 'I and my parents?' and it will be said to him, 'You and your parents.'"14

Abdul-Malik ibn Omayr quotes narrators telling him that a man once went to the Prophet (?) and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Shall I marry so-and-so?" The Messenger of Allah (?) prohibited him from marrying her. He went to him a second time and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Shall I marry so-and-so?" The Messenger of Allah (?) prohibited him from marrying her, too.

Then the man went to the Prophet (?) a third time, whereupon he (?) this time said to him, "A slave woman who gives birth is dearer to my heart than a beautiful [free] but sterile woman." Then he (?) added saying, "Do you not know that I shall brag about your numbers to the other nations? I shall do so till a stillborn remains at the gate of Paradise refusing to enter, so he is told to enter, but he says, 'No, not till my parents enter.' He thus seeks intercession for them, whereupon they shall all enter Paradise."

Sahl son of the Hanzali woman, who was childless and one of those who had sworn allegiance to the Prophet (?) under the tree, is quoted as having said, "If a son is born for me in Islam [who dies a stillborn], so I hope for compensation from Allah, is dearer to my heart than I have as my possession the whole world and everything in it."15

Ubadah ibn al-Samit is quoted as having said that the Messenger of Allah (?) had said, "A childbed woman is dragged by her son on the Judgment Day with his own naval cords into Paradise [the child died before getting the chance to cut the naval cord]."16

Amr ibn Shu`ayb quotes his father quoting his grandfather saying that the Messenger of Allah (?) had said, "Whoever offers one son from his loins, who is yet to reach adolescence, it will be better for him than a hundred sons who survive him, all performing jihad in the cause of Allah who never are calmed till Judgment Day."

Al-Hassan has said that the Messenger of Allah (?) said, "If I offer a stillborn, it is better for me than leaving behind a hundred knights, all fighting in the cause of Allah."17

The Prophet (?) is also quoted as having said, "Stillborns will be told on the Judgment Day to enter Paradise, whereupon they will say, 'Lord! Not till our parents enter!' They will thus refuse to enter. It is then that the Almighty, Exalted and Great is He, shall say, 'Why do I see you hesitating? Enter Paradise.' They will say, 'Lord! Our parents!' The Almighty will then say, 'Enter Paradise, you and your parents.'"18

Ubaid ibn Umayr al-Laithi is quoted as having said, "On the Judgment Day, the sons of the Muslims will come out of Paradise holding drinks in their hands. People will beg them to give them of it to drink, but they will shout out: 'Our parents! [Where are] our parents?!' so much so that even the stillborn will remain at the gate of Paradise too reluctant to enter saying, 'I shall not enter till my parents enter.'"19

Anas ibn Malik is quoted as having cited the Messenger of Allah (?) saying, "When it is Judgment Day, the believers' children are called upon to get out of their graves. They will come out. They will then be told to go to Paradise in hordes, but they will say, 'Lord! Shall our parents accompany us?' They will be called upon a second time to go to Paradise in hordes, but they will again say, 'Lord! Shall our parents accompany us?'

They will then be called upon for the third time to go to Paradise in hordes, but they will once more say, 'Lord! What about our parents?' It will be said to them on

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