Rafed English

The Criterion of Human Worth Before God

When the Prophet of Islam (s) was asked as to who was the dearest of human beings to God, he replied:

It is someone who is of greatest benefit to the people.'

The Messenger of God (s) also said

If someone hears a person calling Muslims for help and does not respond positively to his call and request for help and does not assist him, he is not a Muslim. 8

Once Safwan was present at a gathering with al-'Imam al-Sadiq ('a). Suddenly a person who was visibly worried entered the room. When he spoke and described his difficulty, it became evident that it was a financial problem that he had failed to solve. The Imam ordered Safwan to go immediately and to do something to solve the difficulty of his brother in faith. Safwan got up and left and returned into the Imam's presence after solving that man's problem. The Imam asked him about the matter and Safwan replied, "God has set right the matter."

The Imam said to him, "You should know that the solution of this apparently small difficulty for which you spent a little time of yours is of greater value than your performing circumambulation of the Ka'bah non- stop for a full week." Then he narrated the following incident. Once a man came to al-Imam al-Hasan ('a) with some difficulty and asked him to help him out. Al-Imam al-Hasan ('a) immediately got ready and went out with him. On the way, they came across al-Husayn ibn 'Ali ('a) who was engaged in prayer. Al-Imam al-Hasan ('a) asked the man why he had not approached al-Husayn ibn 'Ali ('a) and asked his assistance. The man answered that at first he had wanted to approach him but had given up the idea on hearing that al-Husayn was in the state of i'tikaf.

Al-Imam al-Hasan ('a) said to him: "Had he received the opportunity to assist you it would have been dearer to him than a month's i'tikaf." 9


8. Ibid, vol ii p. 164.

9. Ibid, vol. ii P- 194

Adapted from: "Ethics and Spiritual Growth" by: "Sayyid Mujtaba Musawi Lari"

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