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Imam Baqir (as), Work and Worship

I had been pondering on who the successor of Imam Sajjad (AS), would be, until I met his son, Muhammad ibn Ali (AS).  He gave me an advice that assured me that he is the next successor.

Surprised, his audience asked to know what advice Imam Baqir (AS) had given him.

Muhammad ibn Munkadir replied, on a hot afternoon, I had gone to one of the districts of Medina. There, I saw Muhammad ibn Ali (AS) busy working on the farm. I thought to myself how such a respected person from the tribe of Quraish is wasting his energy on gaining worldly goods at this hour. I went toward him to give him some advice.

I greeted him. He looked exhausted and sweat was pouring from him. Yet, he replied my greetings cheerfully. I said, May Allah guide you! A great man from Quraish working at such hour for worldly gains! What if your death comes at this hour??

Imam Baqir (AS) replied, By Allah, if death finds me in such a state, it has found me at the state of worship, leaving me needless of you and all others. What I do fear is for death to find me at a time where I am disobeying Allah.

I said, May Allah bless you! I came to give you advice, but instead you enlightened me.

Imam Baqir (AS) could have hired other people to do his farming, but instead he desired to make his own living, and not depend on others for help. He therefore worked hard in his farm and identified his hard work as worship.

Indeed, there is a difference between working only to gain worldly goods and wealth, and working hard to receive a legitimate salary in the way of Allah (SWT).

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