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Introduction to Islam

Introduction to Islam

Introduction to Islam

Introduction to Islam

 

The attributes of Allah

 

The Divine Essence and Qualities

 

If we analyze the nature of a human being, we see that he has an essence which is his individual humanity and also qualities through which his essence is known, such as the quality of being born in such a land, or being the son of such a person, or being learned and capable, or tall and handsome; or he possesses the contrary of these qualities. Some of these qualities, like the first and second, can never be separated from the essence, and others, like being learned or capable, have the possibility or separation and alternation. Yet all are different from the essence and at the same time different from each other.

 

This point, namely the difference between the essence and qualities and between the qualities themselves, is the best proof that an essence that has qualities, and a quality that makes known an essence, are both limited and finite. For if the essence were limitless and infinite it would encompass the qualities as well, and also the qualities would include each other, and as a result all would become one. For example, the essence of man would be the same as capability and also capability the same as knowledge; height and beauty would be the same; and all of these would possess the same meaning.

 

From this example it is clear that the Divine Essence cannot be conceived to have qualities in the sense that human beings have qualities. A quality can come about only through setting limits and the Divine Essence transcends all limitations (even the limitation of this transcendence which in reality is a quality).

 

The Meaning of the Divine Qualities

 

In the world of creation we are aware of many perfections which appear in the form of qualities. These are positive qualities which, wherever they appear, make the object of which they are the quality more perfect and increase its ontological value, as can be seen clearly in the comparison between the live being such as man and a lifeless one such as a stone. Doubtless God has created and bestowed these perfections upon creatures; if He had not possessed them in their fullness Himself He could not have bestowed them upon others and perfected others through them. Therefore, if we follow the judgment of sound reasoning we must conclude that God, the Creator, has knowledge, power, and every other real perfection. Furthermore, as has already been mentioned, the marks of His knowledge and power and, as a result, the marks of life are seen in the order of the cosmos.

 

But because the Divine Essence is limitless and infinite these perfections which are shown to be His Qualities are in reality the same His Essence and one with each other. The difference observed between the Essence and the Qualities and at the same time between the Qualities themselves is only on the plane of concepts. Essentially there is but one Reality involved which is one and indivisible.

 

In order to avoid the inadmissible error of limiting the Essence through attributing qualities to it or denying the principle of perfection in it, Islam has commanded its followers to preserve a just balance between affirmation and negation. It has ordered them to believe that God has knowledge but not like the knowledge of others. He has power but not like the power of others. He hears but not with ears. He sees but not with eyes like those of men, and so on.

 

Further Explanation Concerning Qualities

Qualities in general are of two types : qualities of perfection, and qualities of imperfection. Qualities of perfection, as mentioned above, are of a positive nature and give higher ontological value and greater ontological effect to the object that they qualify. This is clear from the comparison between a live, knowing and capable being and a dead being which lacks knowledge and capability. Qualities of imperfection are the reverse of such qualities. When we analyze these imperfect qualities we see that they are negative and show a lack of perfection, such as ignorance, impatience, ugliness, illness, and the like. Therefore, it can be said that the negation of the quality of imperfection is the quality of perfection. For example, the negation of ignorance is knowledge and the negation of impotence is power and capability.

 

For this reason the Holy Quran has related each positive quality directly to God and negated every quality of imperfection from Him, attributing the negation of such imperfections to Him, as He says: "He is the knower, the Omnipotent," or He says, "He is the Alive" or "Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him," or "Know that ye cannot frustrate Allah."

 

The point that must never be forgotten is that God, the Most Exalted, is Absolute Reality without any limit or boundary. Therefore, a positive quality attributed to Him will not possess any limitation. He is not material and corporeal or limited to space and time. While possessing all positive qualities He is beyond every quality and state which belongs to creatures. Every quality which in reality belongs to Him is purified from the notion of limitedness, as He says, "Nought is as His likeness." (Quran, XLII, 11)

 

Qualities of Action

 

In addition, qualities are also divided into qualities of essence and qualities of action. A quality sometimes depends only on the qualified itself, such as life, knowledge and power, which depend on the person of a living, knowing and capable human being. We can conceive of man in himself possessing these qualities without taking into consideration any other factor.

 

At other times a quality does not depend only on the qualified in itself, but, in order to qualify, it also requires the existence of something external as in the case of writing, conservation, desire, and the like. A person can be a writer if he possesses ink, pen, and paper, and he can converse when there is someone with whom to speak. In the same way he can desire when there is an object of desire. The sole existence of man is not sufficient to bring these qualities into existence.

 

From this analysis it becomes clear that the Divine Qualities which are the same as God's Essence, as already pointed out, are only of the first kind. As for the second kind, whose actualization depends upon an external factor, they cannot be considered as Qualities of the Essence and the same as the Essence, for all that is other than God is created by Him and so, being situated in the created order, comes after Him.

 

Qualities that pertain to God after the act of creation such as creator, omnipotent, giver of life, giver of death, sustainer, etc., are not the same as His Essence but are additional to it; they are Qualities of Action. By Quality of Action is meant that after the actualization of an act the meaning of a quality is understood from that act, not from the Essence (that performs the act), such as "Creator", which is conceived after the act of creation has taken place. From the creation is understood the quality of God as Creator. That quality depends upon creation, not upon the sacred Essence of God, the Most Exalted, Himself, so that the Essence does not change from one state to another with the appearance of that quality. Shi'ism considers the two qualities of will (iradah) and speech (kalam) in their literal meaning as Qualities of Action (will meaning wanting something and speech meaning conveying a meaning through an expression). Most of the Sunni theologians consider them as implying knowledge and thereby take them to be Qualities of Essence.

 

Source: Shi'a - By: Allamah Seyyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai.

 

Prophethood

Nubuwwah

While independent in every respect, the Almighty Allah, with His immense power, has created the world of existence and its various creatures, allowing them to enjoy His countless blessings.

From the first day of creation till the last day of existence, man and other creatures are fostered by Allah. They are each led toward a known and determined goal with a particular order and system. They proceed towards their ends while being exposed to His noteworthy blessings.

 

If we study and deliberate upon our lifetime, namely the period of infancy, childhood, youth, and old age, our conscience will testify Allah's complete favours to us. When we become more aware of this matter, our wisdom will undoubtedly judge that the Creator of the world is more compassionate to His creatures than anyone else is. Due to this compassion and favour, Allah always considers their interests and never consents to the corruption and defect of their affairs without wisdom and expediency. Mankind is one of the creatures of Allah. We know that man's interest and prosperity depend upon his being realistic and benevolent; that is to say, he must possess true beliefs, praiseworthy ethics, and good deeds.

 

One may say that with his Allah-granted wisdom, man can distinguish between good and bad and can recognize a well from a path.

 

It should be known, however, that wisdom alone cannot resolve this difficulty and lead man to realism and benevolence. All these indecent characteristics and unjust actions witnessed in the human society are committed by those who possess wisdom and discernment, however, as a result of selfishness, profit-seeking, and voluptuousness, their wisdom has been overcome by their sentiments and they have succumbed to their carnal desires, leading them astray. Therefore, the Almighty Allah must lead and invite us to prosperity through some other ways and through means which can never be overcome by carnal desires and which never make blunders or mistakes in their guidance. This path is nothing but the path of Nubuwwah.

 

The Logic in Nubuwwah

From what we have discussed about monotheism, it becomes evident that since Allah creates everything, its fostering also depends upon Him. In other words, the Almighty Allah is the organizer and leader of the movement of any worldly creature or phenomenon that from the very beginning of existence endeavours for its survival, strives to remove its imperfections, eliminates its needs and shortcomings one after another, makes itself independent and selfsufficient as much as possible, and moves in an orderly manner in its path of survival and existence.

 

A definite conclusion can be drawn from this concept. That is to say, any one of the various kinds of phenomena of the world has a specific evolutionary process for its survival which is done by its special endeavours. In other words, in the path of their survival, worldly creatures of each particular group have a series of specific functions assigned to them by Allah. As the Holy Our'an, with reference to this fact, states:

 

"...Our Lord is He Who gave to everything its creation, then guided it (to its goal) (20:50). "

 

This order applies to all components of creation without any exception. It includes , the stars, the earth, their components, compositions that generate primary phenomena, plants, and animals.

 

Man's condition is the same as others, in this universal guidance, but there is a difference between him and others.

 

Doctrine of Prophethood

We [Shi'a Muslims] believe that prophethood is a Divine duty and a mission from Allah; He appoints to it those whom He selects from among His good servants, from those who are exalted among mankind. He sends them to the rest of humanity to be a guide to what is of benefit to them and is in their interest in this world and the next; to purify them from immorality, evil deeds and harmful customs, and also to teach people wisdom and knowledge and the ways of happiness and goodness until they attain to the perfection for which they were created, and reach the highest position in both worlds.

We believe that the Grace of Allah [lutf] requires that He send His messengers to His servants to guide them, to carry out reforming work, and to be intermediaries between Allah and his gerents. For we believe that Allah does not allow mankind to appoint, nominate or select a person as a prophet; indeed only Allah can choose and appoint someone as a prophet, because:

 

"Allah knoweth best with whom to place His message" (6:125)

 

It follows that people have no right to dispute over those whom Allah sends as guides, bringers of good tidings and warners of what is to come, nor over that which they bring, i.e. the commandments and religious laws.

 

Prophecy is from Divine Grace [lutf]

Man is a changeable creature, a complex structure containing his being, his nature, soul and intelligence. Every individual personality is similarly of a complex nature, in which there are causes of good and evil. On the one hand, man has been created with emotions and instincts, such as self-love, desire and pride; he obeys the call of his desires, has a natural disposition to show his superiority over others, to own things, and to take for himself that which belongs to others; he rushes recklessly at the objects and ornaments of this world. As Allah has said:

 

"Lo! Man is in the way of loss" (103:2)

 

and:

 

"Surely man waxes insolent, for he thinks himself self-sufficient" (96:6&7)

 

"Surely the soul of man incites to evil" (12:53)

 

There are other verses which clearly talk about and point to the desires and feelings of the human soul which was created with man.

 

On the other hand, Allah has given intelligence [A'ql] to man to guide him to what is in his interest and to the way of goodness, and He has also bestowed on him a conscience which prevents him from doing evil and oppressing others, and which also upbraids him when he has sinned.

There is continual enmity and struggle between man's desires and his intelligence. One whose intelligence overcomes his desires will attain the highest position among mankind and a perfect spirituality, but one whose desires to conquer his intelligence will be among the great losers, the lowest of mankind and comparable in nature to the beasts.

 

The desires and their legions are stronger than intelligence and its armies, and this is why most people go astray and wander far from the straight path of guidance, through obeying their desires and answering the call of their emotions. As is said in the Qur'an:

 

"And though thou try much, most men will not believe" (12:103)

 

Besides, man is reluctant and unaware of all the facts and secrets of the world around him, and since he is also ignorant of his own self, how can he know all that will make him prosperous and what will make him suffer; how can he know everything that is in his own interest or in the interests of mankind as a whole? Whenever he advances with a new discovery, he sees his own ignorance and realises that he knows nothing.

 

It is because of this that Man has an insistent need for someone to show him the clear, straight path to prosperity and to give support to his intelligence, so that it may overcome its unruly, persistent enemy, and so that he may prepare to fight his emotions.

 

Man is desperately in need of someone to help him to the path of goodness and happiness, especially when his emotions deceive him, disguising his bad actions as good and his good actions as bad, as a result of which his intelligence is confused and cannot find the right path to prosperity and distinguish between the real good and the real evil. Everyone of us has succumbed on this battlefield, either consciously or unconsciously, except the man whom Allah protects. It is difficult for an enlightened, civilised man to attain the way of goodness and happiness, so how much more difficult is it for an ignorant, unschooled man!

 

When all people co-operate and consult with one another and deliberate together they are still unable to understand what is useful and what is harmful for themselves and for society. So Allah through His Grace and Mercy for mankind sends them a messenger. The Qur'an says:

 

"He it is who sent among the unlettered ones a messenger of their own, to recite unto them His signs, and to purify them and to teach them the Book and Wisdom." (62:2)

 

and he [the messenger] warns them concerning what is evil and gives glad tidings to them about what is good for their welfare.

 

The giving of, this Grace is necessary for Allah, because it is a sign of His Perfection, and He is Kind and Generous to His servants. When a man deserves His Mercy and Grace, Allah must grant it to him, because there is no deficiency or withholding in the Being of Allah. The meaning of "necessary for Allah" is not that anyone forces Him to act in this way and that it is necessary for Him to obey, but it means that this is an inseparable attribute of Allah, i.e. Mercy and Grace cannot be separated from Him, in the same way as we say that His Existence is inherent in Him, or that He is Necessarily Existent, i.e. His Existence is co-existent (with Him) and cannot be separated (from Him).

Sources: Islamic Teachings in brief - By: Allamah Seyyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai.

 

The faith of Shi'a Islam - By: Muhammad Ridha Al-Muzaffar

 

Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, The prophet of Islam [pbuh&hf]

Muhammad [peace and blessings be upon him and his family] the last Prophet of God was born at the early dawn of the 17th of Rabi'u 'l-Awwal in the year 570 C E in Mecca. His mother's name was Aminah bint Wahb while his father was 'Abdullah, son of 'Abdul 'l-Muttalib, who had died in Madina on his return from Damascus, even before Muhammad's birth. As was the tradition of the Arabs of the time, Muhammad pbuh&hf] was sent to a wet-nurse while he was a child. For this, his grandfather and guardian 'Abdu 'l-Muttalib, selected an honorable lady named Halima, from the tribe of Bani Sa'ad who were famous for their bravery and eloquence.

 

When Muhammad [pbuh&hf] was six years old, he was taken by his mother to Madina, where his father was buried, to visit her relatives. At a place named Abwa', the mother died suddenly, leaving the child an orphan. Muhammad [pbuh&hf] was then taken into the custody of his grandfather who was also the chief of the Quraish tribe. After only two years, Abdul Mutalib died and the orphan boy was then taken into the custody of his affectionate uncle Abu Talib, a trader.

 

According to some historians, on one occasion when Abu Talib brought Muhammad [pbuh&hf] to accompany him on his trade caravan to Damascus, they met a Christian monk named Bahira at Basra, situated on the trade route. Bahira had noticed the shadow of a cloud keeping pace with the young orphan. After questioning Muhammad, Bahira knew that Muhammad was to one day become a Prophet and informed Abu Talib to protect him.

 

Due to his character, Muhammad grew up to be a respected youth and became known as 'Muhammad, the Trustworthy' or 'al-Amin'. It was for this honesty, trustworthiness and virtue that an honorable wealthy lady named Khadija, daughter of Khuwalid, sought to employ Muhammad, then twenty five years of age, to take charge and lead her trading caravan to Damascus and Basra.

 

The trip not only brought unprecedented profits but also revelations to Khadija from her servant Masara who was sent to accompany Muhammad [pbuh&hf], of his excellent character and generosity. According to most historians, Khadija, had been twice married and twice widowed. Some sources named Abu Halah and Atigh Makhzumi as former husbands. Due to the excellent reputation of Muhammad, she now decided to send her close friend Nafisa to speak to Muhammad (pbuh) about marriage.

 

The beautiful and most honorable lady of the Quraish, who had spurned the proposals of many Quraish aristocrats and rich men married Muhammad [pbuh&hf], who was twenty five years old, and fifteen years younger than she. Some historians say that Khadija had had two sons and one daughter from her earlier marriages. Though all historians agree that with Muhammad [pbuh&hf], Khadija bore a daughter called Fatimah Zahra, other children attributed to Muhammad cannot be ascertained whether were also his or from Khadija's previous marriages. These were Qasim and 'Abdallah, who died in infancy and three daughters; Zaynab, Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum.

 

While polygamy was a common practice in Arabia at the time as well as in the history of earlier Prophets, such as Abraham [pbuh&hf], Muhammad [pbuh&hf] did not take another wife as long as Khadija was alive. And even after her death, various Hadiths or traditions of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh&hf], narrate how Muhammad [pbuh&hf] continued to cherish her.

 

While Muhammad [pbuh&hf] was unlettered and did not share the polytheistic beliefs of the Meccan Quraish, his stature among them none the less continued to increase due to his honesty and justice . When Muhammad [pbuh&hf] was thirty, the Quraish tribes decided to repair and rebuild the Ka'ba, then desecrated with pagan idols. They chose Muhammad [pbuh&hf] to arbitrate their dispute as to which tribe should have the honor of reinstalling the Black Stone. Muhammad [pbuh&hf] had the stone placed on a piece of cloth and asked members of each tribe to lift it together to the corner of the Ka'ba where it

was to be placed and then raised it up himself.

 

The special characteristics of the Prophet of Islam

The holy Prophet

The Holy Prophet, Muhammad bin Abdullah (Peace be on him and his progeny), with whom Prophethood came to an end, was born in 570 AD at Makkah. He was raised as a Prophet when he was 40 years of age. For 13 years He preached Islam in Makkah, where he underwent great many difficulties and hardships. During this period he trained a few selected persons. Thereafter he migrated to Madina where he established his centre. For ten years he openly propagated Islam there. He fought a number of successful battles against the arrogant Arabs whom he finally subdued. By the end of this period the entire Arabian Peninsula had embraced Islam. The Holy Qur'an was revealed on him piecemeal over a period of 23 years. The Muslims showed a wonderful devotedness and reverential attachment to the Holy Qur'an and the person of the Holy Prophet, who passed away in 11 A.H. in the 23rd year of his Prophetic mission when he was 63 years of age. He left behind a nascent society full of spiritual zeal, believing in a constructive ideology and conscious of its world responsibility.

 

There were two things which gave this new-born society a spirit of enthusiasm and unity. One was the Holy Qur'an which inspired the Muslims. It was always recited by them. The other was the lofty and penetrating personality of the Holy Prophet of which they were greatly enamoured. Now we briefly discuss the personality of the Holy Prophet:

His Childhood:

He was still in his mother's womb, when his father, returning from a business trip to Syria died in Madina. Thereafter Abdul Muttalib, his grandfather took over his custody.

 

From his very childhood the signs of the Holy Prophet's great future were evident from his features, his conduct and his demeanor. Abdul Muttalib intuitively detected that his grand son had an exceptionally bright future.

 

The Holy Prophet was only 8 years old when his grand father also passed away and according to the will of the old gentleman, the guardianship of the child passed to his elder uncle, Abu Talib, who was also surprised to see that the boy's behaviour differed from that of other children.

 

Unlike the children of the neighbours he was never covetous of food, and unlike the prevailing custom of those days he always kept his hair combed and his face and body clean.

 

One day Abu Talib wanted him to change his dress in his presence before going to bed. Muhammad (Peace be on him and his progeny) did not like the idea. But as he could not flatly refuse to obey the order of his uncle, he asked him to turn his face away, so that he could take off his dress. Abu Talib was naturally surprised, as even the Arabs of mature age during those days were not averse to become totally naked in the presence of others. Abu Talib says: "I never heard him telling a lie, nor did I see him doing anything indecent. He never laughed unnecessarily, nor was he desirous of taking part in the games of the children. He preferred to be alone and was always modest".

 

Abhorrence of Idleness and Lethargy: 

He disliked idleness and laziness. He used to say: "Allah! I take refuge in You from laziness, lethargy, disability and worthlessness".

 

He always exhorted the Muslims to work hard and to be industrious, and used to say that adoration had seventy parts, the best of them is to earn one's livelihood lawfully.

 

Honesty: 

The Holy Prophet, prior to his being raised to Prophethood, made a journey to Syria on behalf of Khadija who subsequently became his wife. This journey, more than ever before made his honesty and efficiency clear. His honesty and reliability became so well known that he received the epithet of Muhammad, the trust-worthy. People entrusted their valuables to him for safe custody. Even after his being raised to Prophethood despite all their hostility to him, the Quraysh continued to deposit their valuables with him, for safe keeping. That is why at the time of his migration to Madina he left behind Imam Ali for a few days to return the deposits to their original owners.

 

Combat with Tyranny: 

During the pre-Islamic period a pact was concluded by the victims of cruelty and tyranny with a view to make common efforts for the protection of the oppressed against the unjust tyrants. This pact which is known as "Hilful Fuzul" was arranged in the house of Abdullah ibn Jad'in in Makkah by certain important personalities of the time. Later during the period of his Prophethood, the Holy Prophet often mentioned this pact and said that he was still willing to participate in a similar pact and not to violate its provisions.

 

Family Behaviour: 

He was kind to his family. To his wives he was never harsh. The Makkans (people of Mekkah) were not generally familiar with such a good behaviour. He tolerated the stinging remarks of some of his wives, though they were resented by others. He emphatically counseled his followers to be kind to their wives for, as he often remarked, men and women both had good and bad traits. Man must not take into consideration only the unpleasant habits of his wife and divorce her for that reason. If he disliked some qualities of his wife, she must be possessing some other qualities which he liked. Thus the whole thing was balanced. The Holy Prophet was extremely affectionate to his children and grand-children and showed love and tenderness to them. He loved them, seated them on his lap, put them on his shoulders and kissed them. All this was contrary to the custom and usage of the Arabs of those days.

 

The Holy Prophet showed love and affection to the children of the common Muslims also. He seated them on his lap and passed his hand on their heads. Mothers often brought their children to him for his blessing. Sometimes it so happened that some child urinated on his clothes. On such occasions mothers were upset and felt ashamed. Some of them tried to stop the child from making water. But the Holy Prophet asked them not to interrupt the child and said that he himself would clean his clothes, if they became dirty.

 

Treatment of Slaves: 

He was extraordinarily kind to the slaves. He told people that the slaves were their brothers. He said: 

 

"Give them of the same food of which you eat yourselves, and provide them with the same kind of clothes as you put on yourselves. Do not force them to do jobs which are too difficult for them. Share with them their jobs and help them in the performance of them. Do not call them slaves, for all men are the bondsmen of Allah, who is the real Master of everyone. Call your male slaves young man and your female slaves young woman." 

 

Islam gives to the slaves all possible facilities leading to their complete liberation. The Holy Prophet described the slave-trading as the worst occupation and said that those who traded in human beings were the worst people in the sight of Allah.

 

Cleanliness and Use of Perfume: 

The Holy Prophet was greatly interested in cleanliness and was fond of the use of perfume. He urged his friends and followers also to keep their body and house clean and perfumed. He especially exhorted them to have bath and use perfume on Fridays so that bad odor might not cause inconvenience to the congregation.

 

Social Behaviour: 

In his social life the Holy Prophet was always kind, cheerful and courteous to the people, took a lead in greeting all, including the children and the slaves. He did not stretch his feet in front of anyone and did not recline in the presence of others. In his company all sat in a circular form, and none had any distinct place or position. He was watchful of his companions and if he did not see anyone of them for two or three days, he inquired about him. If anyone of them was ill, he went to see him and if anyone had any trouble, he made every effort to solve his problem. In a gathering he did not address or pay attention to any one individual, but equally attended to all. He did not like that he should be sitting and others be serving him. He personally took part in all that was to be done. He used to say that Allah hates to see a man who considered himself to be superior to others.

 

Soft as well as Tough: 

In his personal matters the Holy Prophet was soft, sympathetic and tolerant. His tolerance on many historical occasions was one of the reasons of his success. But in the matters of principle where a question of public interest or of law was involved, he was tough and never showed any leniency. At the time of the conquest of Makkah and his victory over the Quraysh he overlooked all the wrongs which they had committed against him over a period of 23 years and declared general amnesty. He accepted the apology of the murderer of his well-beloved uncle, Hamzah. But on that very occasion he punished a woman of Banu Makhzum, who had committed theft. This woman belonged to a very respectable family, who regarded the enforcement of a punishment against her as a great insult to them. They persistently requested the Holy Prophet to pardon her. Some prominent companions of the Holy Prophet also interceded on her behalf. But the Holy Prophet said angrily that the Divine law could not be suspended for the sake of any individual. In the evening on that day he delivered a speech and said:

"Former nations and communities declined and ceased to exist because they discriminated in the enforcement of the Divine law. If an influential person committed a crime, he was let off and no action was taken against him, but if an unimportant and weak person committed it, he was punished. I swear by Allah in whose hands my life is that I will be ruthless in the enforcement of justice even if the culprit be one of my own relatives".

 

Worship: 

He devoted a part of every night, sometimes half of it and sometimes one third or two thirds of it, to worship and adoration. Though his whole day was preoccupied, especially during his stay at Madina, he never curtailed the time of his worship. He found complete satisfaction in his worship and communication with his Lord. His worship was an expression of love and gratitude and was not motivated by a desire of securing paradise or by a fear of Hell. One day one of his wives asked him why after all he was so devoted to his worship? His reply was: "Should I not be thankful to my Lord?"

 

He fasted very often. In addition of fasting during the whole month of Ramazan and a part of the month of Sha'ban, he kept fast every other day. He always passed the last 10 days of the month of Ramazan in seclusion in the mosque, where he devoted his whole time to worship. Nevertheless, he told others that it was enough to observe fast for three days every month. He used to say that each one should carry out the acts of worship according to one's capacity and should not exert oneself more than one can bear, for such an exertion has an adverse effect. He was against monastic life, escape from worldly involvement and renunciation of family life. Some of his companions had expressed an intention to lead a monastic life, but he censured and reproved them. He used to say: "Your body, your wife, your children and your friends all have a claim on you and you must fulfil your obligations".

 

He prolonged his acts of worship while performing them singly, and sometimes was busy with his pre-dawn prayers for hours. But he tried to shorten his prayers while in congregation. In this respect he considered it essential to have a regard for the aged and weakest among his followers, and counseled others also to his follow his example.

 

Austerity and Simple Living: 

Simple living was one of the principles of his life. He took simple food; wore simple clothes and travelled in a simple manner. He slept mostly on a mat, set on bare ground and milked his goat with his own hands. He mounted saddle-less animals and did not like anybody to walk by his side while he was riding. His staple food mostly comprised barley bread and dates. He mended his shoes and patched his clothes with his own hands. Though he led a simple life, he did not advocate the philosophy of asceticism, and believed that it was necessary to spend money for the good of society and other lawful purposes. He used to say: "What a nice thing wealth is, if obtained through legal means by a man who knows how to spend it".

 

He also said: "Wealth is a good aid to piety".

 

Resolution and Perseverance: 

He had a wonderful willpower which permeated among his companions also. The total period of his Prophethood was entirely a lesson in resolution and perseverance. In his lifetime several times the conditions so developed that no hope was apparently left, but he never allowed the idea of failure to enter his mind, nor was his conviction of his final success ever shaken for a moment.

 

Leadership, Administration and Consultation: 

Though his companions carried out every order of his without any hesitation and repeatedly said that they had an unflinching faith in him and were willing even to plunge themselves into a river or a fire if he ordered them to do so, he never adopted any dictatorial methods. In regard to the matters about which he had received no specific instructions from Allah, he consulted his companions and respected their views, and thus helped them develop their personality. On the occasion of the Battle of Badr he left the questions of taking military action against the enemy, choosing the camping ground, and as to how the prisoners of war should be dealt with, to the advice of his companions. On the occasion of Uhud he made consultation as to whether the Muslim troops should fight from within the city of Madina or should go out of the city. He consulted his companions on the occasion of the Battles of Ahzab and Tabuk also.

 

The kindness and tolerance of the Holy Prophet, his anxiety to seek the forgiveness of the sins of his community, his giving importance to his companions and his consultations with them were the main factors which contributed to the wonderful and great influence that he exercised over his companions.

 

The Holy Qur'an points out this fact when it says:

"It is by the mercy of Allah that you (the Prophet) were lenient to them, for if you had been harsh and hard-hearted, they surely would have left your company. Therefore pardon them and implore Allah to forgive them. And hold consultations with them in regard to the conduct of affairs. Once you are resolved, put your trust in Allah. Allah likes those who put their trust in Him" (Surah Ale Imran, 3:159)

 

Regularity and Orderliness: 

All his actions were governed by regularity and orderliness. He worked according to a well drawn time-table, and urged others also to do likewise. His companions under his influence were fully disciplined. Even when he considered it necessary not to disclose certain decisions lest the enemy should get an inkling of them, his companions carried out his orders without any argument. For example, once he said that they would move the next day. Next day all those who were ordered proceeded with him without knowing the final destination of which they came to know only in the last moments. Sometimes he ordered some people to move in certain direction, gave a letter to their commander and said that he should open it on reaching such and such point and act according to the instructions given in it. They acted accordingly. Before reaching that particular point they did not know what was their destination and for what purpose they were going. In this way he kept the enemy and his spies in the dark and often took them unawares.

 

Capacity to Listen to Criticism and Dislike of Flattery and Undue Compliments: 

Sometimes he had to face the criticism of his companions, but without being harsh to them, he explained his decision and gained their agreement and concurrence.

 

He absolutely disliked flattery and undue compliments. He used to say: "Throw dust on the face of the flatterers".

 

He liked solid work. He was in the habit of doing things correctly and firmly. When Sa'd ibn Mu'az died and was laid in his grave, the Holy Prophet with his own hands placed the bricks and stones in their right place on the grave and made them firm. He said: "I know that before long all this will be mined, but I like things to be done correctly and efficiently".

 

Fight Against Weak Points: 

He did not exploit the weak points and the ignorance of his people. On the other hand he tried to rectify their weaknesses and acquainted them with what they did not know. The day his 17 months old son expired, by chance the sun was eclipsed. People said that the solar eclipse was due to the calamity suffered by the Holy Prophet. He did not keep quiet in the face of this silly notion, but ascended the pulpit and said: "Men! the moon and the sun are the two signs of Allah. They are not eclipsed on account of the death of anybody".

 

Possession of the Necessary Qualities of Leadership: 

He had the maximum qualities of leadership such as the sense of knowing men, firmness, determination, boldness, having no fear of the possible consequences of a necessary action, foresight, capacity of bearing criticism, recognition of the ability of others, delegation of powers to others in accordance with their ability, flexibility in his personal matters, rigidity in regard to the matters of principle, giving importance to others, promotion of their intellectual, emotional and practical talents, refraining from despotism, not demanding blind obedience, modesty and humility, simplicity and contentment, dignity and elevation of manners and great interest in organizing human resources. He used to say: "If three persons of you travel together, choose one of you as your leader and commander".

 

At Madina he organized a special secretariat, and appointed a group of persons for performing specific job. There were scribes of revelation who wrote the Holy Quran. Some people were entrusted with the job of drafting and writing special letters. Some recorded the deeds of legal transactions. Some others were made responsible to keep financial records. Still some others were responsible for drafting agreements and treaties. All these details are recorded in the books of history such as Tarikh by Ibn Wazih, al-Ya'qubi, at-Tanbih wal Ishraf by Mas'udi, Mu'jam al-Buldan by al-Bilazari and at-Tabaqat by Ibn Sa'd.

 

Method of Preaching: 

In preaching Islam his method was gentle and mild, not harsh and severe. He mostly relied on arousing hope and avoided threatening and frightening. To one of his companions, whom he sent for preaching Islam, he said: "Be pleasant and do not be harsh. Tell the people what may please them and do not make them disgusted".

 

He took active interest in the propagation of Islam. Once he went to Taif for this purpose. During the Hajj season he used to call upon various tribes and convey the message of Islam to them. Once he sent Imam Ali and on another occasion Mu'az bin Jabal to Yemen for preaching. Before going to Madina himself he sent there Mus'ab bin Umayr to preach Islam. He sent a good number of his companions to Ethiopia. Besides escaping from the persecution of the Makkans, they propagated Islam there and paved the way for the acceptance of Islam by the Negus, the king of Ethiopia and 50% of the population of that country. In the sixth year of migration he wrote letters to the heads of a number of States in the various parts of the world and intimated them about his Prophethood. About hundred letters which he wrote to various personalities are still extant.

 

Encouragement of Knowledge: 

He encouraged his companions to acquire knowledge and literacy and with this end, he made it compulsory for their children to learn reading and writing. Further, he ordered some of his companions to learn the Syriac language. He often said: "It is obligatory on every Muslim to seek knowledge".

 

Some of his other sayings are: "Wherever you find a useful piece of knowledge, acquire it. It does not matter if you find it with a disbeliever or a hypocrite".

 

"Acquire knowledge even if you have to go to China for that purpose"

 

This emphasis on knowledge was the reason why the Muslims so speedily spread to all corners of the world in search of it and secured the scientific works wherever they found them. The Muslims not only translated these works, but took to research themselves also, and thus they became a connecting link between the ancient cultures of Greece, Rome, Iran, Egypt and India and the modern culture of Europe. In the course of time the Muslims themselves became the founders of one of the grandest civilizations and cultures in human history, known to the world as the Muslim civilization and culture.

 

The Holy Prophet's character and behaviour like his sayings and his religion were comprehensive and all-sided. History does not at all remember any personality who like him ever attained perfection in all human dimensions. He was really a perfect man

 

Sources:

 

- Man and universe By martyred teacher Ayatullah Mutahhari.

 

The Last Prophet

The Sealing of Prophethood

The sealing of prophethood has always been regarded as one of the fundamental components of belief in Islam; it negates the possibility of the emergence of any Messenger after the Prophet of Islam.

 

In any discussion of Islam, we cannot overlook the role played in it by the sealing of prophethood with the Prophet Muhammad. What Muslim is there who does not immediately think of the Prophet's aspect as seal whenever he call him to mind, or who has any doubt that the Quran is the final revealed message of God?

 

No religion is known to us that like Islam proclaims the sealing of revelation, nor any heavenly personality who has claimed eternal validity for his message.

More than fourteen centuries have passed since the rise of Islam, and throughout this period the Prophet of Islam has always been regarded as the Seal of the Prophets. He perfected existing laws, and with the rich content of his own logical and thorough program of action, he demonstrated the ultimate value inherent in all the prophetic missions.

 

By contrast with other schools of religious thought, the validity of which was restricted to a certain time or place, Islam represents a comprehensive summation of all prophetic messages, and it recognizes no boundaries, whether spatial or temporal.

 

The Quran itself also depicts the brilliant visage of Muhammad, upon whom be peace and blessings, as the one by means of whom the gate of prophethood has been closed.

 

How can we solve the apparent contradiction between the need for Prophets as the condition for the vitality of human existence, on the one hand, and the permanent sealing of prophethood, on the other? How can we reconcile the principle of the immutability of the ordinances of Islam with the principle of social development and the-everlasting search for new concepts and norms?

 

Industrial and technological developments have turned the human being into a creature always desiring novelty, and wishing to connect every aspect of his life to new principles and institutions. How can such a human being organize his social life and development on the basis of a religion that originated more than fourteen centuries ago and summons the human being to recognize a series of fixed and unchanging values? Having expounded the doctrine of the sealing of prophethood, Islam itself provides the answers to these questions.

 

One of the reasons for the sending of new Prophets was the corruptions and distortions that had crept into the teachings and books of their predecessors, with the result that they lost their efficacy in the guidance of the human being.

 

But once the human being reaches a stage in his growth where he can preserve the norms and teachings of religion from corruption or change and propagate them in their authentic form, the most fundamental reason for the sending of new Prophets disappears.

 

The age in which the Prophet of Islam made his appearance thus differs completely from the ages in which earlier Prophets had emerged: the human being had reached a level of intellectual maturity which permitted the sealing of prophethood.

 

The attainment of maturity by society, the rise of science and learning, and the human being's acquisition of the ability to preserve and propagate heavenly religion-all this meant that an essential precondition for the sealing of prophethood had been met. It was now possible for the duty of propagating religion and guiding people to be entrusted to scholars and learned persons. From now on, it was up to the human being to preserve his historical heritage and spiritual achievements and to protect the final revelation from corruption by seeking aid in the Quran itself and drawing on his cultural and social maturity. Instead of the responsibility being placed on a single individual, the message was now entrusted to a collectivity. As the Quran says: 

 

"There should be a group among you who summon to virtueand enjoin good upon them and restrain them from evil."

In his social development, the human being reaches a stage

 

where he no longer stands in need of repeated surgical intervention and is instead ready for a form of permanent prophethood where human beings shape their own destiny on the basis of clear vision, correct choice and reflection on the contents of revelation.

 

Under such conditions, a social and intellectual order is needed that will free the thoughts and acts of human beings from the wearying and stultifying burden of attachment and give shape and direction to their constant exertions in the realm of both thought and action. The eternal miracle that is the Noble Quran sets forth the main principles of such a system by following which human being is able to advance.

 

Among all the heavenly books the Quran is the only one to have withstood the ravages of time so that we have in our possession a complete and uncorrupted text clearly reflecting its abundantly creative teachings. The Quran itself proclaims: "We it is Who have sent down this Quran and We it is Who will protect it."(15:9) This verse indicates that the most important reason for the sending of new Prophets no longer obtains.

 

In addition, we should be aware that belief in all the Prophets signifies belief in a continuous historical process, one which began with history itself and the origins of human society has expressed itself in a struggle between truth and falsehood and will continue until the final triumph of the former over the latter. In each age, the Prophets have advanced the awareness and maturity of human beings in accordance with the circumstances and capacities of society.

 

Differences with respect to certain laws and ordinances do not touch on the fundamental principles and nature of religion because this apparent lack of harmony relates to subsidiary matters, not fundamental concern connected with the very nature of religion.

 

To correct deviations in thought and belief is possible, in fact, only if a variety of programs of action, each congruent with a set of objective realities, are adopted. If an apparent lack of harmony can be observed in the methods followed by the Prophets in the course of their continuous efforts, this has no connection with their fundamental aim. There is no contradiction among their missions with respect to the principal goal-changing and forming anew the thoughts of human beings who had lost touch with reality and were living in darkness, both culturally and socially.

 

The Glorious Quran says: "After earlier Prophets, We sent Jesus, son of Mary; he confirmed the Torah brought by Moses."(5:46)

 

The Quran Confirms the Mission of Previous Prophets

Not only does the Quran not negate and invalidate previous revelations, it positively confirms the messengerhood of all previous Prophets and true guides, and praises those great men for their efforts and exertions.

 

In the Quran, the names of those revered by Jews and Christians as their leaders have been mentioned repeatedly and with respect. Does this praise and veneration of those figures not indicate the veracity, truthfulness and trustworthiness of the message of the Quran, as based on revelation? After all, the followers of Judaism and Christianity were intensely hostile to the new religion of Islam, and the fact that the Quran praises the figures sacred to those two religions proves how far removed the Quran is from all petty rivalry and how alien to it are all kinds of powerseeking.

The Quran proclaims: "We have sent this book down to you in truth, confirming, verifying and protecting the previous heavenly books."(5:48)

 

Since religion is rooted in the essential disposition of the human being, as one of his fundamental impulses that find expression in his view of the world and his deeds, it is basically one and unvarying. The Noble Quran says: "Turn directly towards religion, for God has created the human being's fundamental disposition in accordance with it." (30:29)

 

So although the human being is subject to the norms that prevail in the phenomenal world and gains meaning by entering into relationship with those phenomena and the law of growth toward perfection that governs them, his path to happiness is single and unique. It is religion alone that can show him the specific path to a specific goal. Montesquieu says:

 

"It is in the very nature of human laws that they obey events and occurrences. That is to say, events influence them. By contrast, heavenly laws do not change on the basis of events or the changing will of the human being. Human laws always aim at attaining the best of solutions; heavenly laws actually discover the best of solutions. Virtue and goodness have, no doubt, many different aspects and varieties, but

 

the best of all solutions is necessarily unique and also, therefore, immutable. The human being can change human laws because it is possible that a given law be beneficial in one age but not in another. Religious systems always offer the best laws and because they cannot be improved upon, they are unchangeable."(1)

 

If we turn our backs on Divine Laws and have recourse to manmade regulations, we have, in fact, abandoned the broad and open plain of the universal law of religion for the narrow and uneven alley that is the limited mind of the human being.

 

The fundamental difference between the mission of the Prophet of Islam and that of the other Prophets lies in the fact that their revelation served as the basis for a temporary program of action. Once Islam made its appearance and earlier religious systems had begun to weaken and crumble, it was no longer possible to adhere to those religions and systems of belief.

 

The value-system of Islam, by contrast, completes the whole structure of prophethood: its logical coherence and unshakeable firmness embrace all the extensive dimensions of prophethood, and it includes within itself all that the preceding Prophets put forward to satisfy the human being's needs for social regulation, as well as all other moral and material needs.

 

The role that the Prophets played in correcting the errors and deviations of society and establishing a correct mode of thought and action is now to be assumed by the religious leaders who draw on the inexhaustible resources of Islam. The Quran, the valuesystem of which nurtures the whole of Islam and endows it with validity, also determines the direction in which the Muslims are to advance and serves as the source of comprehensive laws which leave nothing beyond their all-embracing purview. In addition, the Quran contains the essence and fundamental meaning of the teachings proclaimed by all the bearers of God's word.

 

Once the human being reaches a stage in his development where he is able to comprehend universal truths and Divine teachings and laws, the scholars and the learned emerge as successors to the Prophets, with the function of firmly implanting the authentic criteria of religion in the minds of people.

 

In pursuit of the exalted ideals of their religion, they take on the tasks of investigation and research and struggling against distortion of religion; they propagate the teachings of God in their true form.

 

In many verses of the Quran, human beings are invited to study natural phenomena with care, in order to perceive by way of deduction the spirit that rules over the scheme of creation.

 

The constant attention paid by the Quran to reason and experience and their utility and the significance it accords to nature and history as sources for the attainment of knowledge, are connected them with the sealing of prophethood by the Quran and the Prophet of Islam. They indicate the prevalence of a new worldview in the history of mankind.

 

Abstract goals must inevitably be transformed into objective realities if they are to have validity. We see, indeed, that for almost fifteen centuries the human being has proven his ability to assume these heavy but fruitful responsibilities by preserving his religious and scientific heritage and exhibiting both profundity and realism in analyzing and interpreting it.

 

This is in itself an indication of the human being's attainment of independence and his readiness to preserve the Divine verses with utmost care and his ability to assume the duty of propagating, interpreting, teaching and disseminating religion.

 

Once the final Divine Command had reached the human being, there was no possibility for the coming of a new Messenger. The sealing of revelation may be compared to the case of a certain piece of land where all necessary archaeological excavations have been carried out with the utmost care to unearth ancient artifacts. There is nothing left hidden in the earth to justify new research and digging.

 

Once prophethood has passed through different stages to reach its final degree of perfection and exaltedness, and from the point of view of revelation all the dark and obscure matters that lie within the range of human thought and comprehension have been clarified, there is no road left to be travelled, no explanation to be made. Prophethood has fulfilled its role and reached its final destination. Nonetheless, its life continues by means of the inexhaustibility of revelation, which provides a single social, cultural and value system beyond the confines of time.

 

The Prophet of Islam proclaims, in a clear and pleasing fashion: "Prophethood is like a house, the building of which has now been completed. There is room for only one more brick, and I am putting that brick in its place."(2)

 

Although the mission of the Prophets to proclaim the Divine message and aid humanity came to an end with the blossoming and maturity of human thought, the spiritual relationship between the world of the human being and the world of the unseen has never been severed. The human being's path to exalted station necessarily continues to pass through the purification of the spirit and the cultivation of sincere devotion to God.

 

The human being has numerous creative dimensions, and it is only through sustained spiritual effort that he will be able to actualize his potential capacities. He will then enter into communication with the world of the unseen and see and know what those ability to assume who are absorbed in the outer appearances of the material world cannot see and know. It is again such spiritual effort that gives the human being a truly human aspect, enables him to appear as God's viceregent on earth, and grants him access to values that give his life meaning and content.

Numerous, therefore, are those persons who have a high degree of religiosity and abundant spirituality without attaining the lofty degree of prophethood and the religious leadership of mankind.

 

The doors of illumination and inspiration are open to all those who wish to purify their inner beings of the pollution and darkness of sin and who turn their hearts toward the life-giving breeze of Divine knowledge.

 

Spiritual grace is never cut off from the human being, nor does it suffer any decrease. The degree to which the human being may benefit from it, in a direct and profound way, depends only on his spiritual capacity and abilities. These determine the extent to which he may draw on the unceasing and limitless favor and grace of God.

 

Sources:

 

1. L'esperit des lois (in French, Persian translation), p.725.

 

2. Majma al-Bayan on Ahzab, 40.

 

- The Seal of the Prophets and his message. Lessons on Islamic doctrines. By Seyyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari.

 

The Last message

The Last Message, the Last Prophet

From the first, Islam has said that it is the last message, and Muslims have accepted this fact with wisdom and with love, and have realised that Islam is the last manifestation of revelation, prophethood and the culmination of the former pure religions. Also, all Muslims, on the basis of ayahs in the Qur'an and hadith, believe that the Prophet of Islam, Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his family, is the last Messenger of Allah who was the recipient of human leadership.

 

The great Qur'an has explained the universality of the pure religion of Islam in many ayahs and has shown that Muhammad [pbuh&hf] is the last emissary sent by God:

 

"Muhammad is not the father of any of one of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; and Allah has knowledge of everything."

 

It has been said in a hadith from the Prophet to 'Ali:

 

"In all respects your relation to me is like that of Harun to Musa (i.e. if Harun was Musa's brother, I also take you as a brother according to the rules of brotherhood; if he was Musa's successor, you also will be my successor). Except that Musa was not the last prophet, and I am the last, and there will be no prophet after me" (It is an authentic hadith accepted by both the Shi'a and the Sunnis, see al-Ghadir, vol. 3. p. 196-202.)

 

He also said:

 

"I am the last brick in the building of prophethood. With my coming the prophets have come to an end."

 

The commander of faithful, Imam 'Ali [a.s] said in Nahj al-Balaghah, the great book of learning and knowledge:

 

"With the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad [s.a.w], revelation came to an end." (Sermon 133)

 

The eighth leader, the true Imam, Hazrat Imam Ali Al-Ridha [a.s] said:

 

"The pure religion of Muhammad [s.a.w] will not be abrogated till the Day of Resurrection, and also no prophet will follow him." (Bihar al-Anwar, vol. II, p. 34)

 

What we have just recounted is only a sample of tens of Hadiths which clearly and succinctly explain the conclusive status of the Prophet Muhammad  [s.a.w] and the perpetuity of his pure religion; they leave no room for doubt.

 

The Universality of Islam

One of the greatest causes of Islam's ever-lastingness is its "All-inclusiveness".

Islam is a comprehensive project based on the human disposition, and it embraces all aspects of life: individual, social, material, spiritual, doctrinal, emotional, economic, legal and so forth, and it explains the basis of each in the most acceptable way, most realistically, for all peoples and all levels of people, in every time and place.

 

Thus European Islamicists, each with his deep view and research, have all acknowledged the omni-sidedness of Islamic laws and its universality.

 

Sources:

 

The Roots of Religion

 

- Dar Rah-e Haq.

 

The Infallibility of Prophets

Doctrine of the Infallibility of the Prophets

We believe that all the prophets are infallible, and also that the 12 holy Imams [a.s] (the progeny and successors to the Prophet of Islam) are infallible, but some non-Shi'a Muslims do not believe in the infallibility of the prophets, let alone of the Imams. Infallibility means purity from all sins, both major and minor ones', and from mistakes and forgetfulness. It is necessary that a prophet should not even do what is contrary to good manners: that is, he should not behave vulgarly, for example by eating in the street, by laughing aloud, or by doing anything which may be unacceptable to public opinion.

 

The reason for the necessity of the infallibility of a prophet is that if he commits a sin or mistake, or is forgetful or something similar, we have to choose between two alternatives: either we obey his sins and mistakes, in which case, in the view of Islam, we do wrong, or we must not obey his sins and mistakes, which too is wrong, because this is contrary to the idea of prophethood where obedience is necessary; besides, if everything he says or does has the possibility of being either right or wrong, then it is impossible for us to follow him. The result is that the benefit of his mission is lost; it becomes unnecessary, and the prophet becomes like ordinary people whose acts and speech do not have the excellent worth that we seek, with the result that there will be no obedience and his actions will be unreliable.

 

The same reason is adduced for the infallibility of the Imams [a.s], because we believe that the Imam is appointed by Allah as the Prophet's representative (khalifah) to guide mankind. This will be explained in the section on the Imamate.

 

Way are the Prophets free of sin and error?

Without doubt, more important than anything else, a prophet must attract the trust of the general public in such a way that his words contain no possibility of being lies or erroneous, otherwise, his position of leadership will be a shaky one.

 

If they are not immaculate, using the excuse that the prophets have erred, people who seek the truth from what they say will begin to doubt their invitation. It will not be accepted, or, at least, their words will not be accepted with all of their hearts.

This reason which can be called `trustworthiness' is one of the most important reasons for their being immaculate.

 

In other words, how is it possible that God give His Commands for His people to follow a person who is not truthful for if this person were to err or sin, people would not follow him. If they do, they have erred and if they do not, they have weakened his position of leadership, in particular, since the position of the leadership of the prophets completely differs with the leadership of others for people receive their entire program of life from the prophets.

 

Because of this, we see that the great commentators speak about the verse,

 

"Obey God and obey the Prophet and those charged with authority among you." (4:59) 

 

saying that the command for Absolute obedience is because the Prophet is immaculate as well as `being charged with authority'. The pure leaders like the Holy Prophet are referred to as `being charged with authority'. If not, God would never give the command to unconditional obedience to them.

 

Another way of proving the immaculateness of the Holy Prophet in relation to any sin is that any factor of sin is condemned to defeat within the very being of the Holy Prophet.

 

The explanation of this is: when we turn to ourselves, we see that we, too, are immaculate in relation to some sins or evil or unacceptable deeds.

 

Note the following examples:

 

Can you find an intelligent person who thinks about eating fire or trash or filth?

Can you find an intelligent person who will walk naked through the streets and bazaars?

 

Clearly not. If we saw such deeds from someone, we will be assured of the fact that he is no longer normal and has become insane because an intelligent person would never do these things.

 

When we analyze such behavior, we see that the ugliness of such deeds is so clear that an intelligent person would never even consider them.

 

It is here that we can imagine what this short phrase means and say that every intelligent and healthy person is `free of unacceptable deeds.

 

From this stage, we take a step further. We see some

 

people who are free from unacceptable deeds.

 

For instance, an aware physician and expert who knows the various kinds of microbes well is never prepared to drink the polluted water of the dirty clothes of a person who has one of the most dangerous contagious diseases whereas an illiterate person , perhaps, would be indifferent to such a thing.

 

With another simple example, we reach the point that however much the level of a person rises in the area of awareness, they are less likely to do evil or ugly deeds.

 

Taking into consideration that if a person's faith and awareness were to rise and have so much faith in God and His court of justice, so that everything that he sees is present before his eyes, such a person will be free of all sin and every ugly deed in relation to him, like walking naked through the streets, will be in our eyes only.

 

For such a person, the property of soniething forbidden is just like the flames of fire, and just like we do not put fire in our mouths, he does not put something which is forbidden into his mouth.

 

We can then conclude that the prophets, because of the extraordinary knowledge, awareness and faith which they have, tame the motives of sin and the most exciting factors causing sin will not prevail upon his intellect and faith. This is why we say that the prophets are immaculate; they are insured against sin.

 

 

Sources: Lessons about Allah, Prophet, Justice, Leadership (imamate), Resurrection - by Ayatullah Nasir Makarim Shirazi.

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