Rafed English

The Manner of Good Example

It is one of the educational manners of the Islamic ideology; it connects its followers with its ideal leaders, as they are the complete and ideal incarnations of its aims.

They are the lights and which spreads out its lights; so it urges individuals to follow their examples in order to be influenced by their morals and be provided with their pieces of knowledge.

Allah (be exalted) said: “Certainly you have in the Apostle of Allah an excellent exemplar..” 232

Because the prophet’s conduct is the complete practical incarnation of the mission; since the prophet- as Qur’an describes him- represents a top in good morals- (And most surely you have sublime morality) 233, it is Moslem’s duty to study his morals and be guided by his laws as much as they can.

The Prophet (S.W.A.) has been taking his morals from Allah (be exalted) and His Holy Book. Allah said: “Take to forgiveness and enjoin well and turn aside from the ignorant” 234

It is narrated that when this verse which contains all good moralities- was revealed the prophet (S.W.A.) asked Gibrael (A.S.) about that he said: “I don’t know till I will ask the omniscient, then he came to him and said:

“O Muhammad’ Allah orders you to forgive him who has done ill to you, to give him who has deprived you and to associate with him who has broken up with you” 235

The prophet calls to be characterized by good moralities such as humbleness, generosity, trustworthiness, shyness, loyalty… and the like. He also forbids bad moralities such as stinginess, greediness, treachery, betrayal, lying, jealousy, backbiting…etc.

In this way He strove to straighten every bad moral, and the examples are plenty, there is no room to mention all of them.

Imam Ali (A.S.) says: “He- the prophet (S.W.A.)- was eating on the ground, sitting like a servant’s, he mends his sandals with his hand and patches his garment with his hand” 236

The prophet (S.W.A.) –as he is the most excellent embodiment of the Islamic ideology- is devoted to show people the right way because the operation of building man culturally becomes vain without the process of direction and guidance. Ahlilbait (A.S.) are the stars of the eternal guidance of this nation. Ameeralmu’amineen (A.S.) said:

“A’alimohammad (A.S.) are like the stars of sky when a star of them sets another star rises..” 237

It is doubtless that guidance involves salvation is the aim for Moslem and here we can understand the deep meaning and significant similarity of the prophetic Hadeeth: “My Ahlilbait (A.S.) are similar to the ship of Noah, He, who rides on it is rescued and he, who leaves it sinks. The parallel of my Ahlilbait (A.S.) with you is the “door of Hittah” with the sons of Israel: he, who enters it is forgiven” 238

The cream of saying is that Ahlilbait (A.S.) have a big role in building the Moslem rescuing him from different kinds of going astray and decline in order to reach the shore of salvation.

Ameeralmu’amineen (A.S.) says: “Notice the Ahlilbait of your prophet, follow their path, tread on their heels, as they will not take you out of a right path and they will not reconvert you to a mischief..” 239, He (A.S.) also said: “We are the middle party the late has accede to it and that he who advanced much has to return to it” 240

The purified Imams had followed the prophet’s conduct so they played a noticeable civilizational role in propagating and settling good morals and deterring from bad morals. They emphasize the essence instead of the appearance. They consider adorning the soul with good morals better and properer than adorning the parts of the body with splendid clothes. So their behavior has become an example for us and their attitudes had become an exemplar.

It is narrated from Imam Alsaadiq (A.S.) that he said:

“Ali (A.S.) delivered a sermon to people, putting on a wrapper of a coarse clothe patched with woolen pieces, he was asked about that, and he said: the heart feels humiliated and believer takes it as an example” 241

A researcher finds that the matter of morals had occupied an immense space in the traditions of “Ahlilbait” such as “Nehjil balagha” and “Alsaheefa Alsajjaadeiah” and the other traditions because this essential issue plays an important in the educational construction of the Moslem.

It is narrated from Jarrah almadaaenni that he said:

Abuabdulah (A.S.) said to me: “Do you want me to tell you of god morals? They are pardoning people, man’s helping his brother out of his money and reciting Allah so much” 242

At the time, which Ahlilbait deter from every moral deviation, they veil peoples’ defects; they do not use their vices as an allegation to defame them.

It is stated in a letter of Ameeralmu’amimneen (A.S.) to Maalik Alashtar when he made him governor of Egypt “Let the farthest from you, of your people and the worst to you is him who searches for others’ defects as people have defects the governor is more entitled to veil. So do not uncover what is concealed from you of them, your duty is to purify what appears to you…so veil defect as much as you can…” 243

They (A.S.) follow the manner of wisdom and good preaching. It is narrated that a person backbite another at Imam Hussain’s presence, Imam said to him:

“O you’ abstain from backbiting as it is the food of the Hell’s dogs” 244

A person said: to Imam Ali bin Alhussain: “Mr. So’ attributes you to be a heretic and going a stray; Imam said: “You haven’t observed the right of sitting with the man, as you have related to us what he said, nor have you discharged to me my right as you have told me of my brother what I do not know…Know that who speaks so much of peoples’ defects, this augmentation is a witness that he seeks these defects to the limit that he suffers from them” 245

A part of his supplication was “O my Lord’ I seek refugee with you from the agitation of stinginess and the out burst of anger, be overcoming with jealously, weakness of patience, paucity of contentedness and fractiousness of morals..” 246


232. Ahzaab: 33: 21.

233. Alkalam 68-4.

234. Ala’araaf 7: 199.

235. Majmaelbaiaan: Altabressi 3: 89- Alhayaat library publications the year 1980 A.H.

236. Nehjil balagha, Subhi Alsaalih 228/ sermon 160.

237. Sherhnahjil balagha: Ebna abbil Hadeed 7: 84.

238. Almuraaja’at, sayyed Abdulhussan Sharrafideen 23, 8th murajaah.

239. Sherh alnehj, Ebnaabil hadeed 7: 76.

240. Sherh alnehj, Ebna abilhadeed 18: 273.

241. Mekaarim alakhlaaq: Altebressi: 113.

242. Mea’ani Alakhbaar: Alsadouq: 191.

243. Nehjilbalaagha: subhil alsaalih 439 leter: 53.

244. Tuhaf Al-Ikoul, p. 176.

245. Al-Ihtijaj by Al-Tebressi vol.1-2, p. 315.

246. Al-Sahifah Al-Sajjadiyah Al-Jamia, p. 69-Qom.

Adapted from: "The Role of Ideology in Constructing The Human Being" by: "Ar-Risaleh Center"

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