Dealing with the Umara (the nobles) Part 2

Censuring, Belittling or Harming the Mu’mins

It is narrated from Imam Ar-Ridha’ (as) that there were four pious persons (Mu’mins) during the period of the bani Israel. Three of them were one day having a tete a tete when the fourth knocked at the door. The slave of the house came out. The Mu’min asked him if his lord was at home. When the slave replied in the negative, the Mu’min went away. The master asked the slave of the identity of the caller. The slave replied that it was so-and-so and that he had told him that the master wasn’t home. The master and the other two Mu’mins did not object to the slave’s act. The next day the Mu’min visited the place when the three of them were emerging from the house. He greeted them and said that he visited the place the previous day too. The three of them laughed and didn’t even express regrets for not being able to meet him. They then proceeded towards their farm. On the way a cloud hovered over the heads of the three persons. The angel Jibraeel called,’ O lightening of the cloud! Fall on the heads of the three persons and render them to ashes!’ Lightening emerged from the cloud and burnt them to ashes.
The fourth Mu’min expressed deep sorrow and anguish for the tragedy that had befallen their friends. He went to the prophet (S) of those times, Prophet Yusha (as) and narrated the happening to him. He said that ‘Allah dislikes one Mu’min belittling and making a laughing stock of another. Your three friends did that to you. You visited them the frst day, they were at home and their slave had lied to you that they were not at home. They silently approved of what the slave did. On your second visit they didn’t express any regret for the inconvenience caused to you. To the contrary, they belittled by laughing at you! You were not aware of their intentions, but Allah knows everything and He didn’t like their behavior. They have been punished for their misbehavior!’
The Mu’min said, ‘O prophet of Allah! I have pardoned my friends!’ Prophet Yusha (as) replied,’ There is scope for pardon only before the arrival of Allah’s Retribution! But there is no possibility of pardon after the Retribution has visited the sinners! It is possible that your friends may not be asked to account for this misdeed of theirs.’

Frightening a Mu’min

It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) that if a person views a Mu’min with a threatening look, Allah will frighten this person on the Day when there will be no succor other than Allah’s Mercy for anyone! The Imam (as) also said that if a Muslim visits another person who neither admits him into his premises nor he comes out to meet him, then he will be under the Displeasure of Allah till he meets the visitor.
It is narrated from Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) that a person who frightens a Mu’min with his status and clout, and thinks of harming him, will earn a place for himself in the Hell. Moreover, if he causes physical harm to the Mu’min, then he will be in the company of Pharoah and his progeny in the Hell.
In another narration it is mentioned that when a person utters a single word to harm a Mu’min and takes sides with the tyrant, he will have written on his forehead the following words on the Day of Judgement,’ This person is hopeless of My (Allah’s) Forgiveness.’
It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) that there is a mountain in the middle of the Hell called Sa-ada. Along this mountain there is the valley of Saqar. There is a well in the valley by the name of Habhab. Whenever the curtain is raised from this well, the denizens of the Hell raise cries in remorse. The tyrants are the residents of the area in the neighborhood of this well.
The Imam (as) also added,’ One should not harm or ridicule others in a hurry! Who knows the subject of such treatment is a Mu’min of which fact he is unaware!’
Adopt softness and kindness in your attitude. Anger and stealth are the weapons of the Satan. Allah likes nothing more that softness and humility.
In another narration the Prophet (S) says, ‘When a muslim slaps another, Allah will take asunder all his bones on the Day of Judgement and put him in the Hellfire with a collar around his neck.’
A person who attends on a tyrannical king with a whipcord in his hand, then Allah will turn the whipcord into a snake on the Day of Judgement. The snake will be of seventy yards in length and will enwrap around the body of the person.
When a person reports against a Mu’min to a tyrant and makes false allegations against him, the reporter would lose the Rewards for all his good acts, even if the subject doesn’t come to any harm because of the reporter carrying malicious tales.
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) asked the Prophet of Islam (S), ‘Ya Rasool Allah! What will happen to a cruel ruler who doesn’t treat his subjects in accordance with Allah’s Dicvtates?’ The Prophet (S) replied, ‘He will be the fourth in the Hell after Satan, Qabeel and Pharoah.’
It is narrated from Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) that when a person slays a Mu’min for no fault of his, will be asked at the time of his own demise,’ Accept the death of a Jew, a Christian or a Fire-worshipper!’
The Prophet (S) said, ‘A person remains a Muslim till he condescends to kill another Muslim! If he intentionally kills a Muslim, then his repentence will never be accepted by Allah!’
It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) that a murderer would be raised on the Day of Judgement as the worst offender and sinner. He will swear that he didn’t ever kill anyone nor was he a party to bloodshed. Allah will reply, ‘You reported maliciously against a particular creature of mine that became the cause of his execution!’
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) narrates that there are three types of persons who will never enter the Heaven: Those who shed blood for no valid reason, those who drink intoxicants and those who are backbiters.’
It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) that the first Judgement that Allah would deliver on the Day of Reckoning will be about the shedding of the blood of innocent Muslims. Prophet Adam (as)’s two sons will be the first to be questioned. Then the others involved in the killing of Muslims will come up for judgement. The killers will produce their victims before Allah in the condition they were at the momemt of commitment of the crime; their bodies and faces smeared with blood. The killed persons would say, ‘O Allah! This person has rendered me to this state!’ The killer will not be able to deny his sin. Also, when a person kills an innocent person in this world, Allah will kill him in a similar manner a hundred times in the Hereafter.
The Prophet of Islam (S) also said, ‘When someone kills a Mu’min intentionally for no fault of his, Allah will enter all the sins of the victim to the account of the killer.
It is narrated from the Prophet of Allah (S) that, ‘On the Day of Judgement one person would go near another and smear his face and body with blood. The first person would say, ‘What have I done to you to deserve this treatment?’ He will reply,’ On such-and-such a day you had uttered a falsehood about me that became the cause of my execution!’
Authentic tradition mentions that Allah says, ‘One who puts a Mu’min to ridicule would be tantamount to have rebelled against Me! ‘In the eyes of Allah the worst sinner is one who has ridiculed or killed a Mu’min. When a person kills another innocent person Allah will transer all the sins of the victim to the account of the killer.

The Rights of the Rulers

Religiously upright rulers have plenty of rights over their subjects. This is because of the fact that they honor the rights and privileges of the people and protect them from enemies and help them in times of natural calamities.
It is narrated in an authentic tradition that just rulers have to be respected and adored. This act on the part of the subjects would be like respecting Allah. In certain other traditions a sultan-eadil (just ruler) is referred to as imam al-adil (a just Imam).
It is narrated from Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) that when Nimrod pushed Prophet Ibrahim (as) into the fire, and he emerged safe and sound, he was exiled from the city and he reached the realm of the kings of Qabt. Accompanying him was Sarah(r.a.) hidden in a wooden chest that na-mahrams didn’t set eyes on her. The inspectors at the border made a search of Prophet Ibrahim (as) and wanted him to open the chest for their scrutiny. He said that in the chest was his spouse who was also his maternal cousin. But they forcibly opened the chest and discovered an extremely beautiful damsel emerging from the chest. They informed the king of the matter who ordered all his courtiers to assemble.
When Prophet Ibrahim (as) presented himself at the court, the king insisted on him to open the chest. Prophet Ibrahim (as) said ‘whatever tax you wish to levy, do take from me, but don’t ask me to open the chest. Any stranger (na-mahram) setting eyes on her is taboo for me. But the king didn’t give heed to Prophet Ibrahim (as)’s entreaties. When he saw the extremely beautiful Sarah(r.a.), he proferred his hand to her. Prophet Ibrahim (as) then prayed to Allah, ‘O my sustainer! Do protect my honor!’
The king’s hand suddenly dried up like the dead wood. He pleaded to Prophet Ibrahim (as) to pray to Allah that he got restored to his former condition. Prophet Ibrahim (as) prayed to Allah and the king’s hand was restored to the former condition. The king was full of remorse and treated Prophet Ibrahim (as) with respect. He presented to Prophet Ibrahim (as) with a slave-girl who was Hajar(r.a.) who was later to mother the prophet Ismail (as). Prophet Ibrahim (as) started from the place when the king accompanied him some distance as a mark of respect. Then Prophet Ibrahim (as) received a revelation that he should not demean the king by making him walk behind himself. Prophet Ibrahim (as) then told to the king that Allah didn’t like him walking ahead of the king of the realm and that he must walk behind the monarch. The king was much impressed with what Prophet Ibrahim (as) said and willingly embraced his Faith.
The Prophet of Allah (S) said that Allah exhorts one should not talk ill of kings that they are in their position with His Consent. The people get a ruler they deserve! If the people are unruly, disobedient to Allah, then they would get a tyrannical ruler. Therefore, instead of complaining against an unjust ruler, they should try to reform themselves that Allah appoints a just monarch over them.

The Disadvantage of Nearness to a Ruler

Nearness to the kings and nobles are the cause of loss both in this world and the Hereafter.When a person gets recognition for being close to the rulers, he will be subject of ridicule for falling from the good books of the rulers, he will also be deprived of the Rewards of the Hereafter for upholding the wrong deeds of the ruler. This way he goes fuirther and further away from Allah.
Being close to the rulers, one becomes party to the acts of omission and commission of hi masters and secondly he has to maintain affection for the masters all the time. Allah’s dictates are definitely against this practice.
﴿وَلَا تَرْكَنُوا إِلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا فَتَمَسَّكُمْ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُونَ﴾
Don’t get attracted towards the unkind? (11:113)
Doing this, one will taste the Hellfire.
Therefore, there are many traditions against maintaining closeness with such people. The person has to accede to the bad deeds of such people. This becomes an act of shirk. The person, observing the misdeeds of these people develops the proclivity to commit wrong deeds himself. He cannot sit quietly in the company of such masters and has to uphold their misdeeds. This in itself is disobedience of Allah and the Prophet (S). The person will have no power to oppose the master’s wrong deeds and, therefore, will be abandoning nahi an al munkar. For his selfish ends the person has to force himself to follow their wrong example to protect his own honor. He also turns callous hearted because of living day and night in the company of the masters.
It is narrated from Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) that a parsimonious person is never happy. The jealous is deprived of the ordinary pleasures of life. The kings are never considerate. A lier is never thoughtful. A foolish person devoid of wisdom never achieves importance. The Imam also said that if a friend acquires power and pelf, his good behaviour towards you reduces nine times when comparing his attitude in the past. Even then, one should not deem him a bad friend!
Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) has been quoted authentically,’ Four things mar the heart and make a person unkind.
• Watching dances and listening to music
• Using foul language.
• Frequently visiting the kings and rulers.
• Being constantly in search of game.
It is narrated from the Prophet 0f Islam (S) that one who keeps company of the kings, becomes a scheming person. The closer he goes to the king, the farther away he goes from Allah.
It is authentically narrated from Amir’ul-Mu’mineen Amir’ul-Mu’mineen (as) that a person who perpetuates unkindness and the one who helps and abets in this act will both be sinners.
The Prophet of Allah (S) has said: A person who praises an unkind ruler and for the sake of worldly gains behaves in a submissive manner, he will be the companion of that ruler in the Hell. One who shows the way of unkindness to a tyrant, he will be thrown into the Hell with Haaman. One who picks up quarrel with others in support of an unkind person, the Malak al Maut (the angel of death) will tell him at the time of his death,’ I give you foreboding of Allah’s curse and a place in the Hell!’.
It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) that one should not go to a company where a tyrannical ruler might punish or kill people. This is advised because one will not be able to come to the rescue of the downtrodden. It is mandatory to go to the rescue of a person who is the subject of tyranny. When one is not present in such a situation, nor will there be the chance of getting news of any such harsh treatment, then the person will not be under any obligation to act.

Helpers of the Cruel People

After getting fatally struck by the assasin’s weapon, Amir’ul-Mu’mineen (as) made the following will to Imam Hasan (as), “My son! Befriend a virtuous person for the sake of his virtues; maintain acquaintance with the transgressor (faasiq) only to the extent necessary that your Faith is guarded against his evil designs.Your heart should beware of the transgressors.”
It is narrated that those who willfully help the cruel will remain under fiery curtains on the Day of Judgement. An angel will herald on the orders of Allah asking for the cruel people and their helpers and abetters who put wool (sauf) in their ink-pots, sealed their hampers of wealth and provided them with other kind of help. Such abetters too would be counted amongst the cruel.
It is also mentioned in the traditions that,’ One doesn’t come closer to a king, unless he moves away from Allah. None becomes very rich that it becomes harder for him to render account on the day of Judgement. A person doesn’t have more followers and hasn’t Satans in his following.’
It is narrated from Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) that one should guard himself from evil by adopting piety and virtue. One should strengthen his Faith by recourse to Taqiyyah (permitted subterfuge). Instead of approaching kings for succor, one should supplicate to Allah. Learn to be contented. A Mu’min who cringes before a king or a faithless person for worldly gains, Allah considers him as His enemy! The worldly possessions of such a person lose their value. He will not get any reward for performing Haj and Umrah, nor for freeing of slaves!’
Meeting the Men in Authority
Although it is not desirable for Mu’mins to become regular retainers at the courts of kings and nobles, there are definitely certains conditions under which maintaining such contacts becomes imperative. These conditions are:
If there is danger to life and property by keeping totally away from persons in authority. In such circumstances, keeping contact with them under Taqiyyah is allowed.This was the reason that the Holy Imams (as) never tried to antagonize the rulers.
Maintaining relations with rulers is allowed when securing help for a Mu’min or getting him relief from some hardship is achieved through such contacts.
If the persons in authority are cruel but are amenable to mellow their stance through good advice, then it is desirable to keep good rapport with them.
It has been narrated in the traditions that the Zakat for holding office of authority is providing help to the Mu’min brothers. As wealth increases by virtue of taking out Zakat, similarly the authority and respect of a person enhances if he helps Mu’mins through his authority and position.
In another tradition the Prophet of Islam (S) has said: I would rather fall from a hill and shatter into pieces than getting imposed on people as the representative of a tyrannical ruler or condescending to set foot in such a court. I might agree to go there only if a Mu’min finds relief with my initiative in going there or someone gets absolved of false and serious charges or his debts get cleared with my intercession.
The Prophet (S) added,’ remember! The least punishment for the abetters of the tyrants is that they will have a curtain of fire in front of them till the time when Allah Has taken the full account of their deeds.’
Further the Prophet (S) told to Ziyad bin Qalaad, ‘O Ziyaad! When you are appointed to a position of authority by cruel rulers show kindness to your Mu’min brothers. Perhaps that would become the cause of your deliverence!’
It is authentically narrated from Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as),’ There is no cruel and unjust ruler who is not having a Mu’min administrator on his rolls. Allah administers justice to Mu’min Shi’as through him.and saves them from the cruelty of the tyrant. But the reward for that Mu’min on the day of Judgement would be the least. Of all other Mu’mins. This, because of his proximity to the tyrant during his living years!’
Luqman (as) used to visit kings and nobles to give them sermons and advice. He used to take pity on them observing them surrounded by umpteen calamities. He used to wonder over their craving for the worldly riches. He always derived lessons from the aberrations in their characters and behaviors. This way the Prophet (S) used to keep his worldly desires in control.

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