Dealing with the Umara (the nobles) Part 1

It is said about the justice and tyranny of kings that the welfare of the subjects of a kingdom depends much upon the fairness of its ruler. Therefore, The Prophet of Allah (S) has said, “My Ummat depends for its prosperity on two types of persons: the first the Fuqha (the jurists) and the second, the nobles.”
Also the Prophet (S) said: On the Day of Reckoning the Hell will address three categories of people:
1. The Umara (the nobles)
2. The Quraa (the reciters) and
3. The Aghnia (the rich).
It will tell to the Umra that Allah had given them the authority and you abused it for perpetrating tyranny on the hapless people. Now you have to pay for your deeds.
The Hell will tell the Quraa that to make a show of their prowess and to acquire false fame they were reciting the Qur’an and involved themselves in disobedience of Allah. Now they would have to taste the Hellfire.
The Hell will address the Aghnia that Allah had blessed them with wealth and they didn’t spend it in any way to please Allah. How will they now bear the retribution.
Amir al Mu’mineen (as) said that obedience of a tyrannical and cruel ruler is a major sin. Obeying the Ulu al Amr who are the Infallible Imams is the bounden duty of the believers. Disobedience of these Imams is a major sin. These Imams are Infallible and Allah is Just that He doesn’t Ordain obedience of fallible rulers.
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) also said: Allah will send His Retribution to six types of persons for their foul traits:
On the Arabs for their bigotry.
The rich for their pride and conceit.
On the nobles and kings for their tyranny.
On the jurists and scholars for their jealousies.
On the traders for their unfair business practices.
On the rustics for their ignorance.
It is narrated from the Prophet of Islam (S) that there is a mill in the Hell that rotates perpetually. People asked him, “Ya Imam! What does this mill grind?” The Prophet (S) replied: It will grind the sinful scholar (Ulema), sinning reciters, tyrannical kings, untrustworthy viziers and dissimulating courtiers.
The Prophet of Islam (S) said: I curse seven types of persons. All the prophets (as) who came prior to me have also d’Isapproved of such persons. These persons are:
One who adds or removes anything from the Book of Allah.
One who denies the Divine Decree (Qaza wa Qadr) and doesn’t believe in the fate Decreed by Allah.
One who acts against my Sunna and creates hypocricy (Bidaa) in Religion.
One who usurps the rights of my Ahl-ul-Bayt. Allah has termed such usurpation Haram.
One who imposes himself forcibly on the people and gives honor to those who have been disgraced by Allah and disgraces those who have been honored by Allah.
One who imposes himself on the material assets of the Muslims and considers himself the sole owner of everything.
One who decrees haram that which has been termed Halal by Allah.
It is authentically narrated from Imam Ar-Ridha’ (as), “When the persons at the helm of affairs start lying and give partial and unjust decisions, then it stops raining from the skies. When the kings are tyrannical and unjust, their realms become weak. When people stop paying Zakat, the cattle start dying!”

Behavior of People In Power

It is narrated that Ziyad Qandi came to the presence of Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as). The Imam (as) asked him, “O ziyad! Are you the chief appointed by those tyrannical caliphs?” Ziyad replied, “O son of the Prophet (S)! No doubt I am the chief. But I am considerate! I am not one of those who hoard riches. Whatever I get, I share with the deserving Mu’mins. I treat them equitably!”
The Imam (as) said, “If you do this, then it is very good. Remember! When your conscience takes you towards unjust acts, and you have control over the conscience, then remember Allah’s Rights. One who wreaks tyranny on people, Allah will wreak Retribution on him! When other people give you trouble, the trouble passes by! But when you unjustly terrorise others, the punishment will await for you!”
It is narrated from Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) that when Allah gives a kingdom to someone, he fixes the days, nights, months and years for which the realm would last. If the ruler is just, Allah orders the angel incharge of keeping the time for the epoch of the king to prolong it. Then the days, nights, months and years of the realm are revised upwards. When a king is unjust and cruel to his subjects, then Allah orders the angel to shorten his realm.
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen Amir’ul-Mu’mineen (as) told to Naufil Bakali, “O Naufil! Listen and act on my advice! Never accept chieftaincy, commission for collecting taxes and the position of a proclaimer (Naqeeb).”
One person came to Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) and said, “Ya Imam! I have been the chief over the people from the times of Hajjaj till now. Will my repentence be accepted by Allah?” The Imam (as) kept quiet and did not reply. The man repeated his question. Now the Imam (as) replied, “Your penitence will not be acceptable till you restore the right of every person you have wronged!”
It is narrated from the Prophet of Islam (S) that one had been unjust to someone and wishes to make amends, but the person is not traceable.In this event the repentent person should pray for the Deliverance of the wronged person and this way his sin might be pardoned.”
The Prophet (S) then added, “The first to enter the Hell will be the chief who was unjust. The second person will be the rich man who did not distribute Allah’s Right from his wealth. The third person will be the beggar who was proud of his penury.”
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) told to one chieftain, “Abstain from tyranny and injkustice! The suppreed overcomes the pangs of tyranny, but the tyrant faces Retribution for the tyranny for ever.”
The Imam (as) further added: On the Day of Judgement three persons will be the dearest to Allah:
One who is not unjust to a persaon even in a state of acute anger.
One who is an arbiter in some matter and doesn’t take sides unjustly.
One who tells the truth even at the risk of harm to his own person.
Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) said, “One must be scared of doing an injustice to a person who has no helper in the world except Allah.”
The Imam (as) further added, “The cruel person doesn’t usurp as much value by usurping anything from the weakling than what the weak person takes away from the tyrants faith!”
“And when a person does wrong to anyone, he infact wrongs himself because, as you sow, so shall you reap!”

The Rights of the Rulers and the Ruled Over Each Other

Imam Zain-ul-’Abidin (as) says that since Allah has given authority to the kings and the emirs, it is imperative for them to be just and sagacious with their subjects. They should show affection for the subjects like the parents do for their children. They should be thankful to Allah for the position bestowed on them. In this regard the long epistles written to Malik al-Ashtar, Sahl bin Haneef and Muhammad bin Abi Bakr are worth perusal.
It is authentically reported that Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) said, “A fair person in authority over the affairs of Muslims deals with them justly. He keeps his doors always open for them, erects no curtain or obstruction between them and himself. He considers their affairs with keen interest and fulfills their legitimate needs. Allah will remove all his fears and give him admittance to the Heaven on the Day of Judgement.”
Remember, Allah has made every individual a sort of a king in his own way. It is in place to quote the following tradition here:
كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْؤُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ.
“Everyone of you is a ruler and you will have to account for your subjects”
Questions will be asked and enquiries made. Like enquiries are made with a shepherd about his flock.
On the Day of Judgement everyone will be asked about how he treated his subjects. As Allah has given authority to kings over the subjects of his realm, the courties and nobles have authority over smaller numbers than the king, every house-holder has authority over his family, servants and slaves.The house-holder is responsible for the maintenance of the persons under his authority.
Similarly every individual is the master over his own limbs and body. He has to keep his senses in control that they don’t become the cause of Retribution for him on the Day of Reckoning. Allah has mad the behaviour and habits subordinate to the individual. There is none in this world who is not a ruler in lesser or greater measure. Every person is bestowed with the power to rule according to his ability.
Allah expects him to be thankful and perform his task according to the Dictum of the Creator.If the person does his task properly, Allah will enhance his authority and bounty for him.One who goes in the contrary direction, Allah will withdraw the bounty from him.If the rulers are just to the subjects and express their thanks to Allah along with the subjects, Allah will extend the period of their dominance. Therefore he has said that even if the king is an infidel, but he deals with the subjects judiciously, his realm will prosper. To the contrary the realm of a cruel Muslim king disintegrates.

About Helping Mu’mineen and Keeping Them Contented

Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) says that making a Mu’min smile is a big virtue. There is no supplication more than making a Mu’min happy and helping him to meet his needs.
It is in the traditions that Prophet Musa (as) received a revelation from Allah, “O Musa! I have made the Heaven lawful for some of my creatures.” Prophet Musa (as) asked, “Who are these persons?” Allah replied, “These are the persons who make their fellowmen happy!”
Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) said that a Mu’min tired of the repression of the Muslim king flew to another realm of an infidel and took refuge there. The kind ruler there treated the Mu’min properly and provided him all the necessary facilities. In the meantime the infidel king died. Allah revealed to him that but for his being an unbeliever He would have sent him to the Heaven. However the fire of the Hell was made cold for him.
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) has said that one who pleases a Mu’min, it is like pleasing the Prophet of Islam (S). One who has pleased the Prophet (S), he has pleased Allah. And a person who pleases Allah, qualifies to enter the Heaven.
It is narrated from Sadeer Sarraf that once he was with Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as). At that meeting a discussion came up about the rights of brother Mu’mins. The Imam (as) gave his attention to me and asked, “If you wish I shall tell you about the rights?” Sadeer said, “Ya Imam! Kindly tell!” The Imam (as) said: When Allah orders the death of a person, the Karamain Katibain (the two angels who keep an account of the deeds of the person) go to the Firmament and tell to Allah,’ O Allah! This was your pious creature! He was always busy in your obedience and always abstained from anything that can be termed your disobedience! Now you have taken away his spirit. What is your order to us in his regard?’
Allah will say, ‘You return to the world and sit praying near his grave.and enter the reward for your prayers in his account till I raise him on the Day of Resurrection!’ The Imam (as) added, “O Sadeer! Do you want to hear further of the virtues of a Mu’min?” He said, “Ya Imam! Kindly relate!” The Imam (as) said: At the time of raising the person from the grave, a pleasant looking apparition will emerge from the grave and go in front of him. When the person would get scared on seeing the manifestations of the Doomsday, this apparition would put his fears to rest. It will give him the tiding of the happiness and comforts in store for him and that he need not worry for anything. It will remain with the person up to the place where he will have to give the account of his deeds.
Allah will ease the process of accounting for the man. And will order his conduct to the Heaven. At that time the apparition will move in front of him. The Mu’min will tell to the apparition,’ May Allah be kind on you! You have kept company with me ever since I emerged from the grave and have been the harbinger of good news at every step. You are now leading me to the Heaven! Tell me, who you are?’ The apparition would reply, ‘I am that happiness and comfort which you gave to such-and-such a Mu’min. Allah has created me on account of that happiness only that I keep giving you tidings of happiness coming your way!’
Mashal narrates that one year he went for the Haj. After the Haj he went to the presence of Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as). The Imam (as) inquired of him, “From where are you coming?” He said, “After performing the Haj.” The Imam (as) asked, “Do you know that the felicity of performing the Haj for a person is that in his account of deeds, six thousand good deeds are recorded. Allah also pardons six thousand bad deeds of the person!” Masaal said, “Subhan Allah! There is so much reward for a Haji!” The Imam (as) said, “I shall tell you of an act that brings much more reward. The Mu’min who helps a brother Mu’min or makes him happy, gets reward equal to performing Haj ten times.”

The Felicity of Coming to the Help of Mu’mins

It is narrated from Mufazzal bin Omer that Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) said, “O Mufazzil! Listen to what I say and act on the advice! Inform your pious Mu’min brothers too of what I am saying.” Mufazzil asked, “Ya Imam! I offer myself in sacrifice for you! Who are the people who take pleasure in helping their brother Mu’mins?” The Imam (as) replied, “When a person helps fulfill one need of a Mu’min, Allah will fulfill his hundred thousand needs in the Hereafter. One of his wishes will be taking his next of kin, friends and relations to the Heaven. The only condition required of him will be that the persons on whose behalf he intercedes have not been hypocrites (Nasibi).”
It is narrated in another tradition that Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) told to Mufazzil, “O Mufazzil! Allah has selected one group from His creatures who attend to the needs of our poor Shi’as. In return for this Allah will award Heaven to them. Therefore, to the best of your ability help them.and become a part of the chosen group!”
It is narrated from Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) when a Mu’min approaches him for help, and he thinks that the person coming to him is a matter of felicity, and helps him suitably, it will be the cause of our friendship for him. Our friendship is Allah’s friendship. And if he turns down the request of the Mu’min for help, despite having the means to do it, Allah will put a fiery snake in his grave. This snake will trouble him till the Day of Judgement.Later on, it will be Allah’s decision either to punish him or reward him.
It is narrated from Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) that in his view helping meet the needs of a Mu’min is better than performing twenty Haj pilgrimages when on each pilgrimage one has spent a hundred thousand Dirhams.
Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) has said: If a Mu’min finds another in trouble, desires to help him, but is not in a position to come to his aid, Allah will award Heaven to such a person.
Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) said that if a person himself takes the trouble of going to help a brother Mu’min, then seventy five thousand angels would provide the shadow of their wings over his head and for every step that he takes for this purpose, Allah will add one good to the account of his deeds and pardons all his sins. Allah will also raise the person’s status by a degree. When the person returns after performing the good deed, the reward for performing a Haj and Umra is entered in his record.
The Prophet of Allah (S) has said: When a person doesn’t come to the aid of a Mu’min, despite having the means of doing it, then Allah will demean him in this world and the hereafter.
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) says: There are four types of persons on whom Allah will Bestow Blessing on the Day of Reckoning:
One from whom someone bought something, but returned it and the person has willingly accepted back his merchandise.
One who comes to the rescue of a person in trouble.
One who frees a slave.
One who extends a helping hand for the marriage of a poor person.
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen Amir’ul-Mu’mineen (as) has said, “A person who removes the danger of fire, flood or the enemy from Muslims, Allah will pardon all his sins”
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) says, “One person was brought back to life from the grave by angels and told him,’ We shall inflict on you a thousand blows of the whip of Allah’s Punishment!’ The person said, ‘I don’t have the strength to bear so much flogging.’ The angels said, ‘All right! We shall reduce one blow!’ He said, ‘I don’t have the strength to bear this severe punishment.’ In this way the angels kept reducing the number of blows they wanted to give the person and he kept on peading that he didn’t have sufficient strength to bear the flogging. In the end the angels said, ‘Atleast, we shall flog you once!’ the man asked, ‘You have not told me for what fault of mine you want to punish me?’ The angels said,’ Once you had prayed without doing the mandatory ablution and on another occasion you passed by an old man who needed help, but you didn’t help him.’ Saying this the angels flogged him once, The blow was so intense that a small fire started in the grave.”
It is narrated from the Prophet of Allah (S) that whosoever denies to fulfill the need of a needy person, despite having the means to help him, his sin will be like the sin of Ashari. Someone asked, ‘Who is Ashari?’ The Prophet said, “A sinner who is cursed by Allah, the angels and all the creatures every day and night. One who is accursed of Allah, can be helped by none.”
Also the Prophet (S) said, “One who hides one fault of a Mu’min, Allah will overlook his seventy faults in the Hereafter.”
The Prophet (S) said that Allah will not Reward one who embezelled. Someone asked, ‘Who is an embezeller?’ The Prophet (S) said, “He is one who is miserly in helping a brother Mu’min.”

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