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Usool-e-Kafi




Usool al-Kaafi

The Book of Reason and Ignorance

1. Hazrat Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "When Allah created the Reasoning, He tested it. Then he ordered it to come forward and it came forward. Then He ordered it to go back and it went back. On this Almighty God said: I swear by My power and Majesty, that no creation of mine is dearer to Me than you are, and I have only made you perfect in those whom I love. Lo! To you are My orders and prohibitions addressed. And for you are My rewards and retributions reserved."

2. Amirul Momineen Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "Jibreel (the Archangel Gabriel) descended to meet Adam (AS) and said, `O Adam, I have been ordered to offer you the choice of one out of three things. Therefore choose one of them and leave the other two.' Adam then asked him, `And what are these three things, O Jibreel?' He replied,`Reason, Modesty, and Religion.' Adam replied, `I choose Reason.' Jibreel then asked Modesty and Religion to depart and leave Reason with Adam. But they both said, `O Jibreel, we hve been ordered to remain with Reason wherever it may be.' Jibreel said, `Lo, that is your status.' Jibreel then ascended to his heavenly abode."

3. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq (AS) was requested to define `reason'. He replied, "Reason is that by which Allah is worshipped and Paradise is earned." The Imam was then asked, " What did Mu'awiyah have?" The Imam replied, "That was just craftiness which appears like reason while it is not reason."

4. Hazrat Imam Reza (AS) has said, "The best friend of every man is his reasoning faculty and his worst enemy is his ignorance."

6. Hazrat Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq (AS) has said, "One who has wisdom, is blessed with religion and one who is blessed with religion, will enter Paradise."

7. Hazrat Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "Without doubt, Allah will subject his servant to reckoning in keeping with the degree of the faculty of reasoning bestowed upon them in their worldly life."

8. Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Dailami, through a reliable chain of narrators said, "I mentioned the devotion, religious acts and piety of a certain individual to Hazrat Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq (AS) The Imam asked, "What about his common sense?" I said, "I have no idea." The Imam said, "The rewards depends upon the degree of his common sense." Then the Imam (AS) exemplified this principle saying, "A descendent of Israel used to worship Allah in an Island, verdant, full of greenery and blossoming trees and an abundant supply of pure and fresh water.

One of the angels happened to pass that way and (being impressed by the sincerity of the devotion of the worshipper) prayed: "O my Lord! Show me the reward destined for this servant of Thine." Allah, the Elevated One, showed him that (reward). The angel thought that the reward was less than what the worshipper deserved. Allah, the Elevated One, then inspired the angel to befriend him. The angel approached the worshipper in a human form. The worshipper asked, "Who are you?" He said, "I am also a devoted worshipper. I have been told about your worship and this place of yours in this area. Therefore I have come to you to worship Allah in your company." That day the
angel remained with the worshipper. The following morning, the angel addressed the worshipper saying, "This place of yours is excellent and is most suitable for worship." The worshipper remarked, "There is, however, one drawback in this place."

The angel asked, "And what is that?" He said, "Our Lord does not have any quadrupeds. If he had a donkey, I would have let him graze in this place because all this grass is just being wasted." The angel then asked him, "So your Lord does not possess a donkey?" He replied, "If he had a donkey, a verdant greenery would not have been wasted." Allah then revealed to the angel by means of inspiration, "I reward (My servants) on the basis of their common sense."

9. The Holy Prophet S.A. said, "Whenever you hear about the absorbing devotion of a man in worship, then pay attention to the degree of his reasonableness. He will be rewarded according to his reasoning capacity."

11. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said, "Allah has not distributed among His servants anything better than the reasoning faculty. The slumber of a man of reason is better than the wakefulness of an ignorant one and the journey of a wise man is better than the pilgrimage of an ignorant one. Allah has not raised any prophet or apostle unless He perfected his wisdom so that it became superior to that of all members of his community. The wisdom which is treasured in the mental repository of a prophet is far superior to the jurisprudence of the religious scholars (and those who strive for knowledge). No bondman (servant) of Allah can discharge his duties assigned to him by Allah unless he comprehends their significance. No worshippers, even collectively, can reach the height of excellence in their devotion to Allah as an intellectual can. And it is about the intellectuals with enlightened minds that Allah has said:

"And none takes heed save those gifted with understanding.'
(Holy Qur'an 3:08)"

12. Hazrat Imam Musa al-Kazim (AS) advised Hisham saying, "O Hisham! Allah, the Glorious, the Elevated One has given good news to the people of reason and intellect in His Holy Book, saying:

"So you convey the glad tidings to My servants that those who hearken unto the word and follow the best of it are the ones whom Allah has guided and they are the people with intellect.'
(Qur'an 39:17-18)"

The Imam (AS) further said, "O Hisham, Allah, the Glorious and the Elevated One, perfected the proofs of His existence for men on the basis of their reasoning. He helped His messengers and apostles by bestowing on them the gift of eloquence and guided them to realise His Overlordship through His Portents and said in His Holy Book, `Your God is one God. There is no God but He, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Lo! in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of the night and the day, and in the vessels that sail in the seas carrying that which profits people, and in the water that Allah sends down from the clouds and there with activates the earth after its deathliness and scatters therein all kinds of beasts, and in the circulation of the windows, and in the conditioning of the clouds between the heaven and the earth, are indeed signs for the people who understand. (Holy Qur'an 2:164-165)'

After dwelling on this sublime subject in detail, the Imam (AS) addressed Hisham saying, "O Hisham! Then He has advised the intellectuals and has invoked their attention towards the Hereafter and has said in His Holy Book:

"And what is this worldly life but play and vain sport? Certainly the abode of the Hereafter is the best (and perpetual) for those who guard themselves against evil. Do you not then understand?"
(Holy Qur'an 6:32)

The Imam (AS), continuing his sermon, said, "O Hisham, then Allah has put the fear of His chastisement in the hearts of those who do not ponder. He says:

"Then We utterly annihilated the others. And verily, you pass by them (their ruins) in the morning and by night. Do you not then understand?'
(Holy Qur'an 37:137-138)

And He also said:

"We are about to inflict upon the people of this city a chastisement from heaven because of their disobedience. We have left a clear sign thereof for a people who would understand."
(Holy Qur'an 29:34-35)

Then the Imam (AS) said something worth remembering. He said, "O Hisham! Wisdom is interlocked with knowledge. And Allah says:

"These are similtudes that we set forth for people, but none comprehend them except those who possess knowledge."
(Holy Qur'an 29:43)

The Imam (AS), continuing this extraordinary sermon, further said, "O Hisham! Then Allah has further censured those who do not put their reason to good use, saying:

"And when it is said to them: `Follow that which Allah has sent down', they say: `Nay, but we shall only follow in the way of our fathers. 'But what if their fathers had no sense and did not follow the right path? The similitude of those who disbelieve is like that of one who calls out to an animal which pays no heed only to the sound of the voice without comprehending its meaning. Deaf, dumb, and blind they are, and therefore, are not capable of understanding."
(Holy Qur'an 2:170-171)

The Imam (AS) said, "O Hisham, then Allah has praised the minority with the words:

"Few of My bondmen are thankful." (Holy Qur'an 34:13)

And has said:

"And they are just a few." (Holy Qur'an 38:24)

Then Allah has said:

"Then said a man, a believer from among the people of Pharaoh, who concealed his faith, `Will you slay a man simply because he says, `Allah is My Lord.' (Holy Qur'an 40:28)

Then He said:

"And those who believed, but believed not with him but a few."
(Holy Qur'an 11:40)

And He also said:

"But most of them have no knowledge."
(Holy Qur'an 6:37)

And He has also said:

"But most of them lack wisdom."
(Holy Qur'an 5:103)

And then Allah has also said:

"But most of them are ungrateful."
(Holy Qur'an 10:60)

The Imam continued saying, "O Hisham, then Allah has mentioned the men of reason in good words and has praised them with fine comments and said:

"He gives the wisdom to whosoever He wills and the one who is given wisdom, has been given much good and none retain in their memory except men of understanding."
(Holy Qur'an 2:269)

And He has also said:

"And those firmly rooted in knowledge say: `We have faith in it. It is all from our Lord', yet none remembers, but men of reason."
(Holy Qur'an 3:07)

Allah has also said:

"Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of night and day, there are signs for men of intellect."
(Holy Qur'an 3:190)

He also said:

"Is he who knows what is sent down to you from your Lord is the truth, like him who is blind (to the sins)? Only intellectuals remember"
(Holy Qur'an 13:19)

Allah has also said,:

"He who is prayerful during the hours of the night, prostrating in obedience and standing, he being sure of the world to come and hoping for the mercy of his Lord! Say `Are they equal?' Those who know and those who do not? Only those possessed with reason remember."
(Holy Qur'an 39:09)

He also said:

"O Mohammed, We have sent a book down to you, blessed, that men possessed of reason may ponder over the signs in it and remember."
(Holy Qur'an 38:29)

Allah has also said:

"We also gave Musa the guidance and We bequeathed upon the children of Israel the book for a guidance and for a reminder to men of intellect."
(Holy Qur'an 40:53-54)

Allah has also said:

"And remind, the reminder without fail profits the believers."
(Holy Qur'an 51:55)

The Imam (AS), continuing his sermon, said, "O Hisham, Allah in His Holy Book says:

"Therein is verily a reminder for him who has a comprehending heart."
(Holy Qur'an 50:37)

And Allah also said:

"And indeed we endowed Luqman with wisdom."
(Holy Qur'an 31:12)

The Imam elaborated his sermon saying, `O Hisham! Luqman while advising his son, said, `Be submissive in the presence of Truth and you will be the wisest among men who treat themselves as of little account before the Absolute Truth. O my son, this world is like a deep ocean in which many a creation had drowned. Let, therefore, the fear of Allah be your boat in this ocean and let your firm conviction be the main plank of your boat. Let your complete reliance of Allah be its sail and let your wisdom be its motive force and let your knowledge be its direction-finder, and let your patience be its navigator.'

O Hisham, for everything there is a pointer and the pointer towards wisdom is prudential reasoning and the pointer towards prudential reasoning is silent contemplation. Also for everything there is a climax and the climax of wisdom is humility, and what is prohibited by Allah is sufficient proof of your ignorance.

O Hisham, Allah has sent His prophets and apostles for His servants to realise the existence of Allah on the basis of reasoning. Those who respond most favourably are the foremost in their God-consciousness, and the most aware of the Commandments of Allah are the most wise, and the most perfect in wisdom among them rank highest in this world and the Hereafter.

O Hisham, Allah has provided His servants with two irrefutable proofs: the explicit and the implicit. The explicit ones are the messengers and the apostles and the implicit one is the reasoning and observation faculty.

O Hisham, a man of reason does not neglect thanking Allah for his lawful gains and (in adversity) his patience does not yield to the temptation for prohibited means.

O Hisham, one who lets three specific drawbacks supersede three of his specific commendable qualities, deteriorates his wisdom. One who darkens the enlightenment of his reason by high unwarranted ambitions and tarnishes his wisdom by unnecessary talks and extinguishes the light of his inhibitions by his pleasure-seeking desires, verily it is as if his desires have conspired in the impairment of his reason and one whose reason is impaired, his life and faith are both destroyed.

O Hisham, how could your conduct be immaculate in the eyes of Allah when you have turned your heart from Allah and His Commandments and when you have followed your worldly desires that have dominated your reason.

Addressing Hisham, the Imam (AS) further said, "Patience in solitude is a sign of the power of reason. One who gains inspiration from Allah becomes independent of the people of the world and from those who are obsessed with worldly pleasures and turns his attention towards Allah. Allah becomes his solace in his moments of depression and an escort in his solitude and his affluence in his adversity and his prestige without any social backing."

The Imam (AS) also said, "Truth depends on the obedience to Allah and there is no salvation without obedience and obedience depends on knowledge and knowledge is gained by learning and learning is based on intellect and there is no knowledge except through divine religious scholars and the recognition of knowledge is through intelligence.

O Hisham, "a little virtuous act of a learned man is acceptable to Allah at its multiplied value and virtuous conduct of a greedy and ignorant person is totally rejected."

Again the Imam (AS) said, "O Hisham, wise people avoid worldly affluence (and abundance of worldly material) then how can they indulge in sins? Avoiding vain worldly pleasures is excellence while avoiding sins is obligatory."

The Imam (AS) further said, "O Hisham, the wise man looked at the world and its people and deduced that its pleasures could not be gained without hard struggle. Then he considered the Hereafter and concluded that its joys also shall not available without hard struggle, therefore he decided to strive for the everlasting (bliss of the Hereafter)...

The Imam (AS) continued his discourse saying, "Ameerul Momineen Hazrat Ali (AS) used to say, `Allah was never worshipped better than on the basis of deductive reasoning and the reasoning faculty of a man cannot achieve perfection without certain characteristics in him: immunity from disbelief and evil, expectation of guidance and virtue, charity of everything in excess of the bare necessities of life, abstinence from vain gossip, availing worldly goods just sufficient for subsistence, insatiable craving for knowledge, preference of humiliation before

Allah over vain glory before fellow beings, preference of the love of meekness over pride, thinking ordinary favours of others as great and his own great favours to others as mere trifles, regarding all others better than himself and thinking his own self as much inferior to others, and these are the last words on this subject."

Another priceless maxim of the Holy Imam (AS) runs as follows: "O Hisham, a wise man never tells a lie in-spite of extreme temptation." The Imam (AS) also said, "O Hisham, he who has no courtesy, has no religion, and he who has no reason has no courtesy. The greatest man is he who never considers himself equal in value to the worldly life. Your bodies cannot be sold except in exchange for Paradise, therefore, do not sell for anything less than Paradise."

Again the Holy Imam (AS) said, "Ameerul Momineen (Leader of the Believers) Hazrat Ali (AS) used to say, `The sign of a wise man is that he has three characteristics: he replies whenever he is queried, speaks with confidence when all others are at a loss to say anything and imparts advice which is good for his people. And anyone who does not possess these three characteristics is stupid.' Hazrat Ali (AS) further said, `One who does not possess all these three qualities or at least one of them should not occupy the president's chair in a meeting and if one who does not have any of these qualifications sits in that chair, he is stupid.'"

The Imam (AS) quoted Imam Hasan ibn Ali (AS) as saying, "Whenever you want your needs to be fulfilled, ask them from those who are capable of the same." He was asked, "O son of the Prophet of Allah, who are the capable ones?" He replied, "Those whom Allah has mentioned in His Holy Book and has described them and said:

"It is only those gifted with understanding who take heed, and they are the people who possess wisdom."
(Holy Qur'an 13:19)

Then the Imam (AS) quoted Imam Ali ibnul Husain (AS) saying, "The company of the pious leads to reformation, and to draw inspiration from the etiquette of the learned men enhances wisdom, and to obey those who rule with justice is the height of power and prestige, and investment of wealth in virtuous deeds is the climax of generosity and guiding the seekers of advice properly is discharging obligations concerning the bounties of Allah and total abstinence from inflicting pains on others is the apex of wisdom. In this lies happiness, sooner or later."

The Imam (AS) also said, "O Hisham, if a wise man fears of being falsified by someone he does not speak in his presence and if he fears rejection from someone he does not ask any favour from him and does not promise what he cannot fulfil and never aspires for anything which he fears will be reprimanded for and never takes an initiative in a task if he is afraid of failure due to his disability."

13. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "Reason is a covering curtain and accomplishment is a glory, therefore cover the flaws of your being with your accomplishments and eliminate your evil desires with your sound reasoning. This will earn popularity for you and will make the love of people for you manifest."

15. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "The Prophet of Allah never talked to people on the basis of his own supreme intellect and he used to say, `We the group of Prophets have been ordered to speak to the people at the level of their intelligence.'"

16. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "The hearts of rustics are driven recklessly by lusts and are mortgaged by their cravings and are entrapped by delusions."

17. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said: "In point of reason the most perfect man is he who has the noblest bearing".

18. Imam al-Rida (AS) has said: "Reason and intellect is a free gift of Allah, but education and culture are a laborious acquisition. One who takes pains in their acquiring intellect promotes noting but his own ignorance."

19. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS): "My neighbour is the most devout in his prayers, in giving alms and performing pilgrimages. Nor is there anything bad in his composition", but the fact that his neighbour did not exploit his intellect and reasoning power in Islam, the Holy Imam said: "His status (in the eyes of Allah) will not be nay higher just because of his devout performances."

22. Hazrat Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "A prophet is the proof of the existence of Allah for His servants and the proof which exists between Allah and His servants is sound reasoning."

24. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Wisdom is the beacon of light for the believer."

25. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has said, "No poverty is more harmful than ignorance and no wealth is more profitable than the reasoning faculty."

27. Ishaq ibne Ammar reports that he asked Hazrat Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS), "How is it that I approach a person and speak to him just a little and he grasps
the whole purport of my subject and there is another to whom I speak at length and he comprehends thoroughly, memorises and repeats to me exactly as and what I had stated, and there is yet another to whom I speak and he says, `Please repeat to me what you have just said.'" The Imam (AS) said, "O Ishaq, do you not know why it is so?" He replied in the negative. The Imam said, "The one to whom you speak a little and he grasps your meaning fully is the one whose intellect is intermingled with his genes and the one to whom you speak and he fully comprehends and repeats your statement is the one whose intellect has been imbibed in him in the womb of his mother, and the one to whom you speak and he says, `Please repeat what you have just said' is the one whose reasoning faculty has developed after he has grown up."

28. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has said, "If you find a man deeply engrossed in prayers and fasting, do not start extolling his piety until you mark the level of his intelligence."

29.Addressing Mufazzal bin Umar, Hazrat Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "O Mufazzal, one who does not have intellect will not achieve success and one who has no knowledge will have no intellect. One who has understanding will attain grace and excellence and one who is tolerant will surely reach his goal. Knowledge is a shield (against evil), truthfulness is honour, ignorance is disgrace, understanding is glory, generosity is salvation, and good manners attract love and respect...."

30. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "If I find someone credited with one virtue from among many virtues, I will accept him in my fold and I will forgive his lack of other virtues but I shall never forgive the lack of wisdom and faith because want of faith (religion) is want of peace (and security). Without doubt, life in fear is unpleasant and lack of wisdom is equivalent to lack of life itself and a person devoid of wisdom cannot be conceived except as a dead body."

31. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said: "Self-conceit is a proof of unsound mind."

32. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said: "A believer in religion who has no Reason is of no consideration at all."

33. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said: "There is nothing between faith and infidelity except paucity of reasoning faculty." He was asked, "And how is that, O son of the Prophet." He said, "Man turns to others for the fulfilment of his desires. If he directs his attention towards Allah with due sincerity, He will give him what he wants sooner or otherwise."

34. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said: "Depths of wisdom are probed and discovered by means of wisdom, and excellence of supervision brings about social propriety." The Imam (AS) also said, "Sound reasoning is the life of the vigilant heart, like a man walking in the darkness, with the illumination of immaculate sincere guarding against dangers with minimum efforts."

35. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said: "The initiation, the development and the power of any task productive of any advantage cannot be undertaken without reason which has been designed by God as light and ornament for His creation. It is through reason that man recognises his Creator. It is through reason that they recognise themselves to be not self-created but God is their Disposer and that they are at His disposal. It is through reason that they comprehend the object behind the creation of the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon, the night and the day. It is through reason they realise that there is a Creator and Disposer for them, and for all the universe that has always been and will always be. It is through reason that they discriminate between good and bad. It is through reason that they understand that darkness (the evil) lies in ignorance and the light (the good) lies in knowledge. All these facts are known to men through reason."

36. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said: "No wealth is so prolific as that of Reason. No destitution is worse than stupidity. In nothing does success surpass so much as in obtaining councils, from the people o reason and Knowledge."


This is the end of the book of Reason and Ignorance.


Usool al-Kaafi
(a part of ) The Book of Knowledge
Chapter 1: The Duty and Compulsion of Attainment of Knowledge
1.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "Attainment of knowledge is the duty of every Muslim. Lo! Allah loves those who have longing for knowledge."


3.Imam Musa al-Kazim (AS) was asked, "Is it all right for men to ignore asking questions the answers of which are necessary for them?" The Imam replied, "Certainly not."

6.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Acquire knowledge of religious jurisprudence. Any one among you who does not become efficient in religious jurisprudence is a rustic. Allah in His Holy Book says, "Let them devote themselves to studies in religion and admonish their comrades when they return to them so that they may guard themselves against evil." (9:121).

8.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS), in order to stress upon the absolute necessity of acquiring knowledge said, "I would rather like my companions to be flogged on their heads so that they may (be compelled to) acquire religious knowledge."

 

Chapter 2: Excellence of Knowledge and Eminence of Scholars
3.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "When Allah wants to favour any of His servants He bestows on him the knowledge of religious jurisprudence."

4.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "Excellence, nay super-excellence lies in the knowledge of religious jurisprudence, patience in adversity and regulation of expenses."

5.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq(AS) has said, "Learned men are the custodians (of religious knowledge) and the pious ones are the fortresses (who safeguard against invasions) and the vicegerents (of the prophets) are the leaders (of the believers)." According to another tradition he said, "The scholars are beacons of light, the pious are the fortresses and the vicegerents are leaders."

7.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "There is no good in life except for two (categories of) people. The scholar who is obeyed and the listeners who listen attentively."



Chapter 3: Categories of the People
2.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq(AS) has said, "There are three kinds of people. The scholars, the seekers of knowledge, and all the others are wastage of humanity."

3.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq(AS) has said, "Be either a learned man or a student or be in affinity with the learned people and never join any fourth category otherwise you will perish."


Chapter 4: The Divine Rewards for the Learned and the Students
1.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "One who travels in search of knowledge, Allah paves his way towards Paradise and the angels spread their wings for him to express their pleasure and appreciation. Verily all those in heaven and on earth, including even the fish of ocean pray for his redemption. The superiority of the learned man over the (mere) worshipper is like the brilliance of the full moon among the stars during a moonlight night..."

3.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "One who encourages anyone to righteousness will be rewarded as if he himself as acted on it." The Imam (AS) further elaborated on the subject that one who has been taught by someone, in turn teaches someone else, then he and the original teacher both will be rewarded and if the teacher dies he will continue to be rewarded for the good deed of his disciples.

5.Imam Zain-ul-Abedeen (AS) has said, "If people knew the worth of acquiring knowledge, they would have done so even at the cost of a bleeding heart and by diving in stormy waves. Verily, Allah, the Glorious and the Elevated One revealed to Hazrat Danial (the prophet Daniel) to the effect: `The most detestable of My servants is that ignorant one who underrates the learned men and ceases to follow their footsteps. The most beloved among my servants is one who wards off evil seeking My maximum rewards, remains in contact with the learned men, follows in the wake of the forbearing and accepts the advice of the sages."

6.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq(AS) has said, "He who acquires knowledge and acts on it and imparts it to others is proclaimed in heavens as the `great one', and it is said about him that he acquired knowledge in the way of Allah, acted upon it and disseminated it in the way of Allah."



Chapter 5: Attributes of the Religious Scholars
1.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Acquire knowledge of religion and adorn it with forbearance and reverence. Be humble to those whom you give knowledge and also to those from whom you receive it. Do not enter the fold of harsh-tempered scholars otherwise your good deeds will be washed away by your evil acts."

2.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) commenting on the 28th verse of the 35th chapter "Al-Fatir" which runs as follows: "Verily of the servants of Allah it is those who possess knowledge that fear Him" said, "Those who possess knowledge means those whose actions verify their words, and those whose deeds do not corroborate their words are not among the learned ones."

3.Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "Hearken! I will tell you about a religious erudite who is an erudite in the real sense of the word. He does not make people despair of the Mercy of Allah and does not let them feel immune from the chastisement of Allah and does not allow them to commit sins and does not give up the recitation of the Qur'an due to his temptation towards something else. Beware! There is no virtue in knowledge which is devoid of understanding. Beware! There is no virtue in worship which is devoid of meditation."

4.Hazrat Imam Raza (AS) has said, "Forbearance and silence are among the signs of religious knowledge."
Translator's Note: In the above quoted tradition, silence means refraining from unnecessary gossip and superfluous conversation.

5.Ameer-ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "The heart of a learned man is fortified against stupidity and inadvertence."

Translator's Note: It may be mentioned here that the word "heart" is used figuratively and denotes "mind" or "mental process" or "reasoning faculty". This figurative use of the word "heart" is very common in the Arabic language.

6.Hazrat Eisa (AS) (Jesus Christ) addressed his disciples saying, "I have a desire which I want you to fulfil." They replied, "Consider it to be already fulfilled (rest assured we are at your service)." Hazrat Eisa (AS) got up and washed their feet. The disciples said, "O Spirit of Allah, we were more deserving to serve you like this." He said, "The most desrving person to serve the people is the learned man. I have acted with humility like this so that you may also behave humbly with people as I have behaved with you after I am gone. Wisdom is nurtured by humility and not by conceit. Likewise vegetation grows in ploughed and fertile lands and not on arid mountains."

7.Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "O seeker of knowledge, there are three signs of a learned scholar: knowledge, forbearance and silence. Similarly there are three signs in one who just pretends to be a scholar: wrangles with one superior to him wrongfully and dominates high-handedly the one inferior to him and becomes an accessory for the wrong-doers."


Chapter 6: Rights and Privileges of a Scholar
1.Hazrat Ali (AS) used to say, "verily, some of the rights and privileges of the learned scholar are: do not over burden him with questions and do not grab his clothes (to invoke his attention). When you enter in his presence and others are sitting there, greet them all and pay special compliments to him and sit in front of him and never sit behind him. Do not cast furtive glances at him and never gesticulate with your hands and not talk too much saying such and such persons have contradicted his words. Do not harass him with lengthy sessions because the likeness of a scholar is like a palm tree under which you have to wait for a fruit to fall down upon you. The reward of a scholar is greater than the reward of one who fasts in the day and prays in the night and strives in the way of Allah."



Chapter 7: Death of a Religious Scholar
3.Imam Moosa Kazim (AS) has said, "When a believer dies, the angels weep over him and so do the portions of the earth on which he used to worship Allah and also the doors of heaven through which his good deeds ascended. His death causes such a void in Islam that nothing can fill up because the learned believers are fortresses of Islam like the protecting walls built around the city."

4.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "From among the believers, the death of no believer pleases the Satan (Iblis) so much as the death of a learned scholar of Islamic jurisprudence."


Chapter 8: The Company of the Learned Men
1.Luqman addressed his son saying, "O son, be on the look out for choosing the groups of people. If you see a group of people talking about Allah, the Glorious, the Powerful, then sit with them. Your knowledge will be refreshed if you are aware of the subject matter of their discussion. And if you are not aware then their discussion will educate you. Maybe Allah covers them with His mercy and you are included with them. And if you see a group of people not remembering Allah then do not sit with them because you will not be benefited if you are aware of their topic and if you are ignorant, your inorance will increase and maybe Allah covers them with His chastisement and you are included with them.

2.Imam Moosa Kazim (AS) has said, "Having discourses with a learned scholar even on garbage dumps than a conversation with an uneducated one on elegant carpets."

3.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "The disciples asked Hazrat Eisa (AS) (Jesus Christ), `O Spirit of Allah, whose company should we keep?' He replied, `The one whose personality reminds you of Allah, whose discourses enhance your knowledge and whose activities persuade you to work for the Hereafer.'"

5.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "For me a session with one whose integrity I rely most is better than having done good deeds for a whole year."
 


Chapter 9: Seeking Information from a Learned Man
2.While answering a question, Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) said, "People indeed perish because they do not ask questions."

3.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Verily this knowledge (of religion) is under a lock the keys of which are questions."

5.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "Woe be unto him who does not free himself every Friday for his religious matters in order to renew his bond with God and does not ask questions regarding his religion."

6.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "Academic discussions among my servants are a means of giving life to the dead hearts provided their aim is to understand my commandments."

7.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) is reported to have said, "Mercy of Allah be on the person who revives knowledge." He was requested to explain the revival of knowledge. He replied, "To have discussions with religious and pious men."

8.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "Get together and advise each other and hold discussions. Such discussions refine your hearts. Hearts become rusted like swords and their refinement lies in academic religious discussions."

9.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) is reported to have said, "Academic discussions are discourses and discourses are the best forms of prayers."

 

Chapter 10: Dissemination of Knowledge
1.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Allah did not take the pledge from the uneducated to acquire knowledge unless and until he took the pledge of spreading of knowledge from the learned ones. This was because knowledge existed before ignorance did."

3.Imam Mohammed Baqir(AS) has said, "The Zakat enjoined on the treasure of knowledge is to impart it to other servants of Allah."



Chapter 11: Prohibition of Speaking without Knowledge
1.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "I warn you against two tendencies which lead to perdition of mankind. Do not resort to wrong ways in respect of the Divine Religion and do not announce your verdict on matters which you do not know."

2.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "I warn you against two tendencies that have caused destruction to people. Beware of announcing your judgment on the basis of your opinion before the people. And beware of treating anything as permissible without due knowledge."

3.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "One who pronounces his verdict (on religious matters) before people without due knowledge and proper guidance is cursed by the angels of mercy as well as by the angels of chastisement and he also bears the burden of the sin of those people who act according to that verdict."

4.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "Say only what you know and regarding what you do not know say, `Allah knows best.' Verily a person may single out any verse from the Holy Qur'an (and interpret it wrongly) and may fall down deeper than the distance between the heaven and the earth."

5.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) was asked, "What is the right of Allah over His servants?" He replied, "They should say (only) what they know and maintain silence in case they do not know."



Chapter 12: Acting without Proper Knowledge
1.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "One who acts without proper insight is like a wanderer who has gone astray due to lack of knowledge. His speed only increases his distance from his destination."

2.Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) is reported to have said, "Allah does not approve the action of any one without his insight and mere insight means nothing without action. One who knows his insight leads him towards proper action and if he does not act then his insight means nothing. Lo, the conviction of one interacts with the conviction of the other."


Chapter 13: Application of Knowledge
1. The Prophet of Allah S.A. has said, "There are two kinds of learned men. The one who acts according to his knowledge will be delivered (from chastisement in the Hereafter). And the other who ignores his knowledge is destined to be praised. Even the dwellers of Hell will be tortured due to the stench emanating from the burning body of the learned man who ignored his knowledge. The most repentant and frustrated among the dwellers of the Hell will be the man who guided a servant of Allah towards the path of Allah and the latter accepted this guidance from him and obeyed Allah and therefore Allah sent him to Paradise, but that man who showed him the path will be sent to hell because he ignored his knowledge and acted according to his carnal desires and high ambitions. The pursuit of evil desires becomes a hurdle in the right path and unwarranted ambitions make one indifferent from the life hereafter."

2. Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "Knowledge is annexed with action. One who knows acts on it, and one who acts possesses knowledge. Knowledge invites towards action. If the call is accepted, the knowledge stays, and if it is rejected knowledge takes its leave."

3. Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "If a learned man does not act according to his knowledge, his sermons and preachings slip away from the hearts of the listeners like the rain water slips away from a sloping smooth stone."

4. A man approached Imam Zainul Abideen A.S. and asked certain questions. The Imam answered every question. The man came again and asked similar questions. The Imam hten said, "It is written in the Injeel (the Holy Bible): `Do not seek knowledge of what you do not know until you have acted on what you have already learnt, because the knowledge which is not put into practic only enhances the disbelief of the knower and his remoteness from Allah."

5. Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S. was asked, "How can one who is destined for salvation be recognized?" The Imam replied, "One whose deeds are in accordance with his words. If so, the evidence of his salvation is genuine. And in case his actions are not in agreement with his words, then his knowledge is just a worthless repository."


Chapter 14: Making knowledge a means of Livelihood
1. The Prophet of Allah S.A. has said, "The cravings of two kinds of people can never be satiated. The seeker of worldly gains and the seeker of knowledge. One who limits his worldly gains within what Allah has permitted finds peace. And one who achieved the worldly pleasure by forbidden means meets his doom except when he repents and turns away from this evil. One who acquires knowledge from one worthy of it and matches his deeds with it, secures his salvation. One who intends to gain worldly pleasures only, then this will be his only share."

2. Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "One who acquires the knowledge of 'hadith' (research, examination, compilation, and scrutiny of the chain of narrators of the sayings of the Prophet of Allah and his vicegerents with a view to assess the authenticity and credibility of the sayings, generally called 'traditions') to earn worldly gains will have no share in the Hereafter and he who aims the good of the Hereafter will be rewarded by Allah with the good things of this life as well as of the Hereafter."

4. Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "If you see any learned man in love with this world, charge him (with hostility) against your religion, because all lovers are obsessed with the things they love. Allah revealed to Hazrat Dawood A.S. (the Prophet David): `Do not let any learned man who is crazy after this world intervene between Me and you because he will become a hurdle in the way of your love for Me. Such people are highway robbers for My servants seeking My pleasure. The minimum punishment for them is that I deprive their hearts of their ecstasy of their communion with Me.'"

5. The Prophet of Allah S.A. has said, "The religious scholars are the trustees of the prophets so long as they do not become lovers of this world." On being requested, the Prophet S.A. explained saying, "Surrendering to the authorities. If they do so, safeguard your religion from them."

6. Imam Mohammed Baqir A.S. has said, "He who acquires knowledge to boast about it among other learned men or to wrangle about it with the rustics or to attract the attention of the people towards him (to gain popularity and respect) his innards will be filled with fire. Verily, leadership is fit only for those who really deserve it."


Chapter 15: Accountability of the Religious Scholars and its Severity
1. Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "Seventy sins of an ignorant man will be forgiven before on single sin of a learned man (is forgiven)."

2. Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "Hazrat Eesa A.S. said: `Woe be unto the wrong-doing scholar! How severely the flames of Hell will envelop him.'"

3. Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S., pointing out with his hand towards his throat has said, "When the last breath reaches here, then the time for the repentance of the learned men will be over." Then the Imam quoted the verse 4:17 which says: "Verily Allah would accept the repentance of those who commit wrong deeds in ignorance and then are quick to repent."

4. Commenting on the verse 26:94, Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S. said, "There are the people who praised equity and justice with mere words and then acted against it." The said verse runs as follows: "Then they will all be thrown headlong therein (Hell) along with their followers who went astray."

Chapter 16: Strewn Gems
1. Hazrat Ali A.S. has said, "Refresh your minds with marvels of wisdom because minds get tired like your bodies do."

3. The Prophet of Allah S.A. has said, "The ablest adviser for the faith is knowledge and the noblest adviser of knowledge is forbearance and the best adviser of forbearance is kindness and the most competent adviser if kindness is patience."

4. A man came to the Prophet of Allah S.A. and asked, "O Prophet of Allah, what is knowledge?" The Prophet replied, "Silence (refraining from unnecessary gossip)". The man asked, "Then what?" He replied, "To listen (to the learned)." Again he asked, "Then what?" The Prophet said, "To memorise (what he had heard)." The man asked, "Then what?" The Prophet said, "Act on it." Once again the man asked, "Then what?" The Prophet replied, "To disseminate it."

9. Imam Mohammed Baqir A.S. has said, "In a doubtful case, it is better to wait and think than to take any fatal decision. It is better to abandon a tradition which in your opinion is not correctly reproduced than to continue its reproduction without verification."

10. Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "Regarding what you do not know out of what has come down to you, you have but to keep silent. Refer the same for confirmation to the divinely guided Imams so that they may lead you to the correct interpretation. They will also illuminate for you its obscurity and make you aware of the truth." Then the Imam quoted the verse 16:43 which says: "Ask the people of understanding in case you do not know."

11. Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "I find the knowledge of all men divided into four categories: firstly, realisation of your Lord, Secondly, to acknowledge all His favors to you, thirdly, to understand your obligation towards Him, and fourthly, to know what expels you from the folds of your religion."

13. Imam Jaafar as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "Assess the status of the people on the basis of the frequency of their quoting us."


Chapter 17: Quoting Books and Traditions
Commenting on the verse 39:18 Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "It is the person who hears the tradition and relays it exactly as he heard it without in any way tempering with it." The said verse says: "Who hear advice and follow the best thereof."
A man asked Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS), "I hear something from you and then attempt to relay it exactly as I have heard but fail." The Imam asked, "You do it intentionally?" The man replied in the negative. Then the Imam asked, "You intend to relay the purport?" He said, "Yes." The Imam said, "Then there is no harm."
Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Put it in writing because you may not remember it (unless you write it down)."
Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Treasure your books because verily you will be needing them."
Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Write down and spread your knowledge among your brethren. Then if you die, your progeny will inherit your writings. Certainly a period of tension and unrest will face people and they will not be convinced except by their books."
Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "My words are the words of my father and the words of my father are the words of my grandfather and the words of my grandfather are the words of my great-grandfathers, Hasan and Husain (AS) and their words are the words of Hazrat Ali (AS) and the words of Hazrat Ali (AS) are the words of the Prophet of Allah (SAW) and (finally) the words of the Prophet are the words of Allah."


Chapter 18: Blind Following
1. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) was requested to comment on the verse 9:31 which says: "They have taken their religious leaders and their monks as their over-lords besides Allah." The Imam explained, "By Allah! They (leaders and monks) never asked them (the Christians) for their worship. Had they invited them, they would never have responded positively. Actually the leaders and the monks rendered lawful what was unlawful and vice-versa. Thus, they (Christians) worshipped them unknowingly (by following their innovations)."


Chapter 19: Innovations, Guesswork's, and Analogies
2. The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "Whenever innovations appear in my people then the religious scholars must rise to the occasion and make their genuine knowledge manifest and may the curse of Allah fall on one who does not do so."

3. The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "One who came to an innovator and glorified him, virtually tried to demolish (the edifice of) Islam."

7. Hazrat Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) is reported to have said, "People who believe in speculations search for knowledge on the basis of speculations and surmises. These speculations and surmises only take them further away from the truth. The Religion of Allah has no connection with surmises."

8. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) and Mohammed Baqir (AS) have said, "All innovations are misguidances and the way of all misguidances lead to hell-fire."

10. Imam Musa Kazim (AS) was asked, "On what basis should I believe in the Oneness of Allah?" The Imam replied, "Do not enter into the folds of innovators. One who acts on the basis of his guesswork perishes, and one who turns away from the progeny of the Prophet of Allah goes astray, and one who turns away from the Book of Allah and the sayings of the Prophet of Allah (SAW) becomes an infidel."

11. Abu Baseer sought the advice of Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) saying, "Occasionally we come across some problems, the solution of which is available neither in the Book of Allah nor in traditions (sayings of the Prophet and Imams). In such cases can we deduce the solution ourselves?" The Imam said, "Never do that. If your conclusion happens to be right you will not be rewarded and if it is wrong then you have falsified Allah, the Mighty, the Glorious."

12. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has said, "Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance leads to hell-fire."

15. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Sunnah cannot be guessed. Do you not see that women have to compensate their fasts (missed during the period of their menstruation) after the month of Ramadan, but they do not have to compensate their daily prayers (missed during the period) after the period is over? If Sunnah is based on guesswork, religion will be annihilated."

16. Imam Musa Kazim (AS) was asked about speculations (drawing conclusions on the basis of appearances and analogies). The Imam (AS) replied, "What have you to do with speculation? Allah cannot be questioned as to why He has permitted certain things and prohibited others."

17. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "One who has based his mind on conjectures will always remain in ambiguity and one who basis religion of Allah on his guesswork will always remain in doubts." Imam Baqir (AS) also says, "One who announces his verdicts before people on the basis of his own opinion, innovates in the religion of Allah what he does not know. And one who innovates the religion of Allah, contradicts (and defies) Allah in what Allah has declared permissible and pronounced forbidden."

18. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Satan assessed the rank of Adam at the level of his own creation and said, `(O Allah!), You have created me from fire and created Adam from clay.' If he would have assessed on the basis of the essence from which Adam was created, he would have found that the essence of Adam far excelled in brilliance and radiance than that of Satan."

19. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Whatever Mohammed (SAW) has declared as permissible will remain permissible till the Day of Judgement and whatever Mohammed (SAW) has declared forbidden will remain forbidden until the Day of Judgement. This will neither change nor anyone will bring any change in anything in it." Also Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "No one introduced an innovation without forsaking the ways of the Prophet (SAW)."

20. Abu Hanifa (an Islamic jurist and the Imam of the Hanafi sect) came to see Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS). The Imam asked him, "Abu Hanifa, I gather that you deduct (religious matters) on the basis of analogies?" He replied in the affirmative. The Imam advised him, "Never do that. The first one who did that was Iblees (Satan), when he said, `O Allah, you have created me from fire and Adam from clay.' He compared fire will clay on the basis of guesswork. If he had compared the elegance and quintessence of Adam with the elegance and quintessence of the fire, he would have realised which is superior to which."

21. A man put a question to Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) which he answered. The man said, "Had this matter been such and such what would your answer have been?" The Imam (AS) said, "Hold it! Whatever answer I give is of and from the Prophet himself. Your opinion is unknown to us in any manner whatsoever."

22. Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "Have no confidant except Allah, otherwise you will no longer remain a believer. All bonds due to any reason, merits of inheritance, kinship's, confidences, innovations and ambiguities will fade out save those established by the Qur'an."



Chapter 20: Refer to the Holy Book or the Prophet for Every Problem
1. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Verily, Allah, the Glorious, the Elevated, has revealed the quintessence of everything in the Qur'an and by Allah! He has not omitted anything which His servants may need to the extent that no one can say, `Would that it had been revealed in the Qur'an, because that has already been revealed."

4. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "There is nothing that has not been mentioned in the Book or in `Sunnat' (the ways of the Holy Prophet (SAW).

6. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "There is not a single difference of opinion between two persons whose solution is not given in the Book of Allah, the Mighty, the Glorious. But their intelligence does not fathom its depth."

7. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "O people, verily Allah, the Glorious, the Elevated, raised His Prophet (SAW) for you and sent down His Book with true guidance while you were unaware of the Book and the One Who revealed it... So, this is the Qur'an. Ask it whatever you have to ask. It will, however, never speak to you. I shall inform you about it. It contains the knowledge of everything that has passed and also that which is going to happen till the Day of Judgement and is the final word on all matters between you and the solution of all your differences, and if you ask me about it, certainly I shall inform you (about each and everything)."

8. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "I am the descendant of the Prophet of Allah. I most thoroughly know the Book of Allah. In it is mentioned the beginning of the Creation and also whatever is going to happen till the Day of Judgement. It contains all information about the heaven and the earth, Paradise and Hell, and the news of all that has happened and that is going to happen. I know all that as if I am looking at the palm of my hand. Allah, (in 16:89) says: "And We have revealed the Book to you explaining everything clearly."

10. Imam Musa Kazim (AS) was asked, "Is everything included in the Book of Allah and `Sunnat'?" The Imam (AS) replied, "Yes, everything is included in the Book and the Sunnat."


Chapter 21: Conflicting Traditions
1. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "Not a single verse of the Holy Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet of Allah (SAW) which the Prophet did not recite to me and dictated to me and which I did not write with my own hands."

7. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) was asked about a man who receives two contradictory versions of a tradition, one of them commands him to do something and the other forbids him and both the narrators belong to his community, in such a case what should that man do? The Imam replied to the effect that he should wait till he is able to verify from a reliable person. The Imam further explained that in such cases it is permissible for him to postpone action till he finds out the truth.

10. A man asked Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) saying, "Two persons belonging to our people quarrelling about debt or inheritance, refer their dispute to the ruler of the time or the appointed judge. Will this be lawful for them?" The Imam replied, "Whoever had his dispute settled by the ruler or his judge, whether right or wrong, has in fact got his dispute settled by the `Taghut'. And the gains out of that decisions will be ill-gotten for him, however lawful his ownership may be. The reason is that he has secured the ownership through the `Taghut' while Allah has enjoined people to reject him. Allah, the Almighty, the Sublime, has said, `They intend to resort to the judgement of Taghut though they were commanded to reject him.' (4:60)

The man asked, "Then what should they do?" The Imam replied, "They should refer to one among you who is well versed in our traditions, and who has a deep insight in imperatives, prohibitions and divine commands communicated by us. Since I have appointed him as our judge, they must accept him as their arbitrator. If such a person issues a verdict according to our commands and the person concerned does not accept it, then the person has actually lightened the divine commands and has rejected us. And he who rejects us actually rejects Allah, the Almighty, and such a person has entered the border of polytheism..."


Chapter 22: Adherence to the "Sunnat"
2. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) was asked about the different traditions related by those who are trustworthy and also by those who are not so. The Imam replied, "Whenever a tradition comes to you which is supported by any verse from the Book of Allah or by a saying of the Prophet, then accept it. Otherwise the tradition is meant only for the one who has brought it to you."

3. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Cross check everything with the Book of Allah and Sunnat. Every tradition which is not in agreement with the Book of Allah is nothing but forgery."

5. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has said, "O people, whatever sayings attributed to me you come across are mine if they are consistent with the Book of Allah, but if they are inconsistent, I have not said them."

6. Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq (AS) is reported to have said, "One who opposes the Book of Allah or the traditions established by Mohammed (SAW> becomes an infidel."

9. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has said, "Words have no value unless acted upon, and words and deeds combined have no value without resolution, and all three combined have no value if they are not consistent with the traditions."

12. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "There are two kinds of Sunnats. The compulsory ones, acting on them is guidance and ignoring them is like turning away from the right path. And those which are voluntary, acting on them is excellence (and attracts divine rewards) but there is no sin in ignoring them





Usool-e-Kafi
Usool-e-Kaafi: Book I - The Book of Reason and Ignorance

Chapter 1 to Chapter 10
.............................................................................................................................

1. Hazrat Imam Mohammed Baquir A.S. has said, "When Allah created the faculty of Reasoning, He bestowed upon it the power of speech and ordered: "Come forward." It came forward. Then He ordered, "Retrace your steps." It retraced its steps back. Then He proclaimed, "By My power and Majesty, I have not created anything dearer to Me than you and I have not perfected anyone with you except those whom I love. Lo! verily to you My orders will be issued and to you My prohibitions will be announced and for you My chastisements will be inflicted and for you My rewards will be reserved."
2. Amirul Momineen Hazrat Ali A.S. has said, "Jibreel (the Archangel Gabriel) descended to meet Adam A.S. and said, `O Adam, I have been ordered to offer you the choice of one out of three things. THerefore choose one of them and leave the other two.' Adam then asked him, `And what are these three things, O Jibreel?' He replied,`Reason, Modesty, and Religion.' Adam replied, `I choose Reason.' Jibreel then asked Modesty and Religion to depart and leave Reason with Adam. But they both said, `O Jibreel, we hve been ordered to remain with Reason wherever it may be.' Jibreel said, `Lo, that is your status.' Jibreel then ascended to his heavenly abode."
3. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. was requested to define `reason'. He replied, "Reason is that by which Allah is worshipped and Paradise is earned." The Imam was then asked, " What did Mu'awiyah have?" The Imam replied, "That was just craftiness which appears like reason while it is not reason."
4. Hazrat Imam Reza A.S. has said, "The best friend of every man is his reasoning faculty and his worst enemy is his ignorance."
6. Hazrat Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "One who has wisdom, is blessed with religion and one who is blessed with religion, will enter Paradise."
7. Hazrat Imam Mohammed Baqir A.S. has said, "Without doubt, Allah will subject his servant to reckoning in keeping with the degree of the faculty of reasoning bestowed upon them in their worldly life."
8. Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Dailami, through a reliable chain of narrators said, "I mentioned the devotion, religious acts and piety of a certain individual to Hazrat Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. The Imam asked, "What about his common sense?" I said, "I have no idea." The Imam said, "The rewards depends upon the degree of his common sense." Then the Imam A.S. exemplified this principle saying, "A descendent of Israeel used to worship Allah in an Island, verdant, full of greenery and blossoming trees and an abundant supply of pure and fresh water. One of the angels happened to pass that way and (being impressed by the sincerity of the devotion of the worshipper) prayed: "O my Lord! show me the reward destined for this servant of Thine." Allah, the Elevated One, showed him that (reward). The angel thought that the reward was less than what the worshipper deserved. Allah, the Elevated One, then inspired the angel to befriend him. The angel approached the worshipper in a human form. The worshipper asked, "Who are you?" He said, "I am also a devoted worshipper. I have been told about your worship and this place of yours in this area. Therefore I have come to you to worship Allah in your company." That day the angel remained with the worshipper. The following morning, the angel addressed the worshipper saying, "This place of yours is excellent and is most suitable for worship." The worshipper remarked, "There is, however, one drawback in this place." The angel asked, "And what is that?" He said, "Our Lord does not have any quadrupeds. If he had a donkey, I would have let him graze in this place because all this grass is just being wasted." The angel then asked him, "So your Lord does not possess a donkey?" He replied, "If he had a donkey, a verdant greenery would not have been wasted." Allah then revealed to the angel by means of inspiration, "I reward (My servants) on the basis of their common sense."
9. The Holy Prophet S.A. said, "Whenever you hear about the absorbing devotion of a man in worship, then pay attention to the degree of his reasonableness. He will be rewarded according to his reasoning capacity."
11. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said, "Allah has not distributed among His servants anything better than the reasoning faculty. The slumber of a man of reason is better than the wakefulness of an ignorant one and the journey of a wise man is better than the pilgrimage of an ignorant one. Allah has not raised any prophet or apostle unless He perfected his wisdom so that it became superior to that of all members of his community. The wisdom which is treasured in the mental repository of a prophet is far superior to the jurisprudence of the religious scholars (and those who strive for knowledge). No bondman (servant) of Allah can discharge his duties assigned to him by Allah unless he comprehends their significance. No worshippers, even collectively, can reach the height of excellence in their devotion to Allah as an intellectual can. And it is about the intellectuals with enlightened minds that Allah has said, `And none takes heed save those gifted with understanding.' (Holy Quran 3:08)"
12. Hazrat Imam Moosa al-Kazim (AS) advised Hisham saying, "O Hisham! Allah, the Glorious, the Elevated One has given good news to the people of reason and intellect in His Holy Book, saying, `So you convey the glad tidings to My servants that those who hearken unto the word and follow the best of it are the ones whom Allah has guided and they are the people with intellect.' (Quran 39:17-18)"
The Imam (AS) further said, "O Hisham, Allah, the Glorious and the Elevated One, perfected the proofs of His existence for men on the basis of their reasoning. He helped His messengers and apostles by bestowing on them the gift of eloquence and guided them to realize His Overlordship through His Portents and said in His Holy Book, `Your God is one God. There is no God but He, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Lo! in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of the night and the day, and in the vessels that sail in the seas carrying that which profits people, and in the water that Allah sends down from the clouds and therewigth actrivates the earth after its deathliness and scatters therein all kinds of beasts, and in the circulation of the windws, and in the conditioning of the clouds between the heaven and the earth, are indeed signs for the people who understand. (Holy Quran 2:164-165)'
After dwelling on this sublime subject in detail, the Imam (AS) addressed Hisham saying, "O Hisham! Then He has advised the intellectuals and has invoked their attention towards the Hereafter and has said in His Holy Book, `And what is this worldly life but play and vain sport? Certainly the abode of the Hereafter is the best (and perpetual) for those who guard themselves against evil. Do you not then understand?' (Holy Quran 6:32)"
The Imam (AS), continuing his sermon, said, "O Hisham, then Allah has put the fear of His chastisement in the hearts of those who do not ponder. He says, `Then We utterly annihilated the others. And verily, you pass by them (their ruins) in the morning and by night. Do you not then understand?' (Holy Quran 37:137-138) And He also said, `We are about to inflict upon the people of this city a chastisement from heaven because of their disobedience. We have left a clear sign thereof for a people who would understand.' Holy Quran 29:34-35)" Then the Imam (AS) said somoething worth remembering. He said, "O Hisham! Wisdom is interlocked with knowledge. And Allah says, `These are similtudes that we set forth for people, but none comprehend them except those who possess knowledge.' (Holy Quran 29:43)"
The Imam(AS), continuing this extraordinary sermon, further said, "O Hisham! Then Allah has further censured those who do not put their reason to good use, saying, `And when it is said to them: `Follow that which Allah has sent down', they say: `Nay, but we shall only follow in the way of our fathers.'But what if their fathers had no sense and did not follow the right path? The similitude of those who disbelieve is like that of one who calls out to an animal which pays no heed only to the sound of the voice without comprehending its meaning. Deaf, dumb, and blind they are, and therefore, are not capable of understanding.'" (Holy Quran 2:170-171)
The Imam (AS) said, "O Hisham, then Allah has praised the minority with the words: `Few of My bondmen are thankful.' (Holy Quran 34:13) And has said, "And they are just a few." (Holy Quran 38:24) Then Allah has said, "Then said a man, a believer from among the people of Pharaoh, who concealed his faith, `Will you slay a man simply because he says, `Allah is My Lord.' (Holy Quran 40:28) Then He said, `And those who believed, but believed not with him but a few.' (Holy Quran 11:40) And He also said, `But most of them have no knowledge.' (Holy Quran 6:37) And He has also said, `But most of them lack wisdom.' (Holy Quran 5:103) And then Allah has also said, `But most of them are ungrateful.' (Holy Quran 10:60)
The Imam continued saying, "O Hisham, then Allah has mentioned the men of reason in good words and has praised whtm with fine comments and said, `He gives the wisdom to whosoever He wills and the one who is given wisdom, has been given much good and none retain in their memory except men of understanding.' (Holy Quran 2:269) And He has also said, `And those firmly rooted in knowledge say: `We have faith in it. It is all from our Loord', yet none remembers, but men of reason.' (Holy Quran 3:07) Allah has also said, `Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of night and day, there are signs for men of intellect.' (Holy Quran 3:190) He also said, `Is he who knows what is sent down to you from your Lord is the truth, like him who is blind (to the sisn)? Only intellectuals remember (13:19). Allah has also said, `He who is prayerful during the hours of the night, prostrating in obedience and standing, he being sure of the world to come and hoping for the mercy of his Lord! Say `Are they equal?' Those who know and those who do not? Only those possessed with reason remember.' (Holy Quran 39:09) He also said, `O Mohammed, We have sent a book down to you, blessed, that men possessed of reason may ponder over the signs in it and remember.' (Holy Quran 38:29) Allah has also said, `We also gave Moosa the guidance and We bequeathed upon the children of Israel the book for a guidance and for a reminder to men of intellect.' (Holy Quran 40:53-54) Allah has also said, `And remind, the reminder without fail profits the believers.' (holy Quran 51:55)
The Imam (AS), continuing his sermon, said, "O Hisham, Allah in His Holy Book says, `Therein is verily a reminder for him who has a comprehending heart.' (Holy Quran 50:37) And Allah also said, `And indeed we endowed Luqman with wisdom.' (Holy Quran 31:12)
The Imam elaborated his sermon saying, `O Hisham! Luqman while advising his son, said, `Be submissive in the presence of Truth and you will be the wisest among men who treat themselves as of little account before the Absolute Truth. O my son, this world is like a deep ocean in which many a creation had drowned. Let, therefore, the fear of Allah be your boat in this ocean and let your firm conviction be the main plank of your boat. Let your complete reliance of Allah be its sail and let your wisdom be its motive force and let your knowledge be its direction-finder, and let your patience be its navigator.' O Hisham, for everything there is a pointer and the pointer towards wisdom is prudential reasoning and the pointer towards prudential reasoning is silent contemplation. Also for everything there is a climax and the climax of wisdom is humility, and to to what is prohibited by Allah is sufficient proof of your ignorance. O Hisham, Allah has sent His prophets and apostles for His servants to realize the existence of Allah on the basis of reasoning. Those who respond most favorably are the foremost in their God-consciousness, and the most aware of the Commandments of Allah are the most wise, and the most perfect in wisdom among them rank highest in this world and the Hereafter. O Hisham, Allah has provided His servants with two irrefutable proofs: the explicit and the implicit. The explicit ones are the messengers and the apostles and the implicit one is the reasoning and observation faculty. O Hisham, a man of reason does not neglect thanking Allah for his lawful gains and (in adversity) his patience does not yield to the temptation for prohibited means. O Hisham, one who lets three specific drawbacks supercede three of his specific commendable qualities, deteriorates his wisdom. One who darkens the enlightenment of his reason by high unwarranted ambitions and tarnishes his wisdom by unnecessary talks and extinguishes the light of his inhibitions by his pleasure-seeking desires, verily it is as if his desires have conspired in the impairment of his reason and one whose reason is impaired, his life and faith are both destroyed. O Hisham, how could your conduct be immaculate in the eyes of Allah when you have turned your heart from Allah and His Commandments and when you have followed your worldly desires that have dominated your reason."
Addressing Hisham, the Imam (AS) further said, "Patience in solitude is a sign of the power of reason. One who gains inspiration from Allah becomes independent of the people of the world and from those who are obsessed with worldly pleasures and turns his attention towards Allah. Allah becomes his solace in his moments of depression and an escort in his solitude and his affluence in his adversity and his prestige without any social backing."
The Imam (AS) also said, "Truth depends on the obedience to Allah and there is no salvation without obedience and obedience depends on knowledge and knowledge is gained by learning and learning is based on intellect and there is no knowledge except through divine religious scholars and the recognition of knowledge is through intelligence. O Hisham, a little virtuous act of a learned man is acceptable to Allah at its multiplied value and virtuous conduct of a greedy and ignorant person is totally rejected."
Again the Imam (AS) said, "O Hisham, wise people avoid worldly affluence (and abundance of worldly material)then how can they indulge in sins? Avoiding vain worldly pleasures is excellence while avoiding sins is obligatory."
The Imam (AS) further said, "O Hisham, the wise man looked at the world and its people and deduced that its pleasures could not be gained without hard struggle. Then he considered the Hereafter and concluded that its joys also shall not available withotu hard struggle, therefre he decided to strive for the everlasting (bliss of the Hereafter)...
The Imam (AS) continued his discourse saying, "Ameerul Momineen Hazrat Ali (AS) used to say, `Allah was never worshipped better than on the basis of deductive reasoning and the reasoning faculty of a man cannot achieve perfection without certain characteristics in him: immunity from disbelief and evil, expectation of guidance and virtue, charity of everything in excess of the bare necessities of life, abstinance from vain gossip, availing worldly goods just sufficient for subsistence, insatiable craving for knowledge, preference of humiliation before Allah over vain glory before fellow beings, preference of the love of meekness over pride, thinking ordinary favors of others as great and his own great favors to others as mere trifles, regarding all others better than himself and thinking his own self as much inferior to others, and thse are the last words on this subject.'"
Another priceless maxim of the Holy Imam (AS) runs as follows: "O Hisham, a wise man never tells a lie inspite of extreme temptation." The Imam (AS) also said, "O Hisham, he who has no courtesy, has no religion, and he who has no reason has no courtesy. The greatest man is he who never considers himself equal in value to the worldly life. Your bodies cannot be sold except in exchange for Paradise, therefore, do not sell for anything less than Paradise."
Again the Holy Imam (AS) said, "Ameerul Momineen (Leader of the Believers) Hazrat Ali (AS) used to say, `The sign of a wise man is that he has three characteristics: he replies whenever he is queried, speaks with confidence when all others are at a loss to say anything and imparts advice which is good for his people. And anyone who does not possess these three characteristics is stupid.' Hazrat Ali (AS) further said, `One who does not possess all these three qualities or at least one of them should not occupy the president's chair in a meeting and if one who does not have any of these qualifications sits in that chair, he is stupid.'"
The Imam (AS) quoted Imam Hasan ibn Ali (AS) as saying, "Whenever you want your needs to be fulfilled, ask them from those who are capable of the same." He was asked, "O son of the Prophet of Allah, who are the capable ones?" He replied, "Those whom Allah has mentioned in His Holy Book and has described them and said, `It is only those gifted with understanding who take heed' (Holy Quran 13:19) and they are the people who possess wisdom."
Then the Imam (AS) quoted Imam Ali ibnul Husain (AS) saying, "The company of the pious leads to reformation, and to draw inspiration from the ettiquette of the learned men enhances wisdom, and to obey those who rule with justice is the height of power and prestige, and investment of wealth in virtuous deeds is the climax of generosity and guiding the seekers of advice properly is discharging obligations concerning the bounties of Allah and total abstinence from inflicting pains on others is the apex of wisdom. In this lies happiness, sooner or later."
The Imam (AS) also said, "O Hisham, if a wise man fears of being falsified by someone he does not speak in his presence and if he fears rejection from someone he does not ask any favor from him and does not promise what he cannot fulfill and never aspires for anything which he fears will be reprimanded for and never takes an initiative in a task if he is afraid of failure due to his disability."
13. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "Wisdom is a covering curtain and accomplishment is a glory, therefore cover the flaws of your being with your accomplishments and eliminate your evil desires with your sound reasoning. This will earn popularity for you and will make the love of people for you manifest."
15. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "The Prophet of Allah never talked to people on the basis of his own supreme intellect and he used to say, `We the group of Prophets have been ordered to speak to the people at the level of their intelligence.'"
16. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "The hearts of rustics are driven recklessly by lusts and are mortgaged by their cravings and are entrapped by delusions."
22. Hazrat Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "A prophet is the proof of the existence of Allah for His servants and the proof which exists between Allah and His servants is sound reasoning."
24. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Wisdom is the beacon of light for the believer."
25. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has said, "No poverty is more harmful than ignorance and no wealth is more profitable than the reasoning faculty."
27. Ishaq ibne Ammar reports that he asked Hazrat Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS), "How is it that I approach a person and speak to him just a little and he grasps the whole purport of my subject and there is another to whom I speak at length and he comprehends thoroughly, memorizes and repeats to me exactly as and what I had stated, and there is yet another to whom I speak and he says, `Please repeat to me what you have just said.'" The Imam (AS) said, "O Ishaq, do you not know why it is so?" He replied in the negative. The Imam said, "The one to whom you speak a little and he grasps your meaning fully is the one whose intellect is intermingled with his genes and the one to whom you speak and he fully comprehends and repeats your statement is the one whose intellect has been imbibed in him in the womb of his mother, and the one to whom you speak and he says, `Please repeat what you have just said' is the one whose reasoning faculty has developed after he has grown up."
28. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has said, "If you find a man deeply engrossed in prayers and fasting, do not start extolling his piety until you mark the level of his intelligence."
29.Addressing Mufazzal bin Umar, Hazrat Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "O Mufazzal, one who does not have intellect will not achieve success and one who has no knowledge will have no intellect. One who has understanding will attain grace and excellence and one who is tolerant will surely reach his goal. Knowledge is a shield (against evil), truthfulness is honor, ignorance is disgrace, understanding is glory, generosity is salvation, and good manners attract love and respect...."
30. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "If I find someone credited with one virtue from among many virtues, I will accept him in my fold and I will forgive his lack of other virtues but I shall never forgive the lack of wisdom and faith because want of faith (religion) is want of peace (and security). Without doubt, life in fear is unpleasant and lack of wisdom is equivalent to lack of life itself and a person devoid of wisdom cannot be conceived except as a dead body."
31. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "Self-conceit is a proof of unsound mind."
33. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "There is nothing between faith and infidelity except paucity of reasoning faculty." He was asked, "And how is that, O son of the Prophet." He said, "Man turns to others for the fulfillment of his desires. If he directs his attention towards Allah with due sincerity, He will give him what he wants sooner or otherwise."
34. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "Depths of wisdom are probed and discovered by means of wisdom, and excellence of supervision brings about social propriety." The Imam (AS) also said, "Sound reasoning is the life of the vigilant heart, like a man walking in the darkness, with the illumination of immaculate sincere guarding against dangers with minimum efforts."



Chapter 1
 
The Duty and Compulsion of Attainment of Knowledge
1.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "Attainment of knowledge is the duty of every Muslim. Lo! Allah loves those who have longing for knowledge."
3.Imam Moosa al-Kazim (AS) was asked, "Is it all right for men to ignore asking questions the answers of which are necessary for them?" The Imam replied, "Certainly not."
6.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Acquire knowledge of religious jurisprudence. Any one among you who does not become efficient in religious jurisprudence is a rustic. Allah in His Holy Book says, "Let them devote themselves to studies in religion and admonish their comrades when they return to them so that they may guard themselves against evil." (9:121).
8.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS), in order to stress upon the absolute necessity of acquiring knowledge said, "I would rather like my companions to be flogged on their heads so that they may (be compelled to) acquire religious knoweldge."
Chapter 2

Excellence of Knowledge and Eminence of Scholars
3.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "When Allah wants to favor any of His servants He bestows on him the knowledge of religious jurisprudence."
4.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "Excellence, nay super-excellence lies in the knowledge of religious jurisprudence, patience in adversity and regulation of expenses."
5.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq(AS) has said, "Learned men are the custodians (of religious knowledge) and the pious ones are the fortresses (who safeguard against invasions) and the vicegerents (of the prophets) are the leaders (of the believers)." According to another tradition he said, "The scholars are beacons of light, the pious are the fortresses and the vicegerents are leaders."
7.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "There is no good in life except for two (categories of) people. The scholar who is obeyed and the listeners who listen attentively."
 
Chapter 3

Categories of the People
2.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq(AS) has said, "There are three kinds of people. The scholars, the seekers of knoweldge, and all the others are wastage of humanity."
3.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq(AS) has said, "Be either a learned man or a student or be in affinity with the learned people and never join any fourth category otherwise you will perish."

Chapter 4

The Divine Rewards for the Learned and the Students
1.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "One who travels in search of knowledge, Allah paves his way towards Paradise and the angels spread their wings for him to express their pleasure and appreciation. Verily all those in heaven and on earth, including even the fish of ocean pray for his redemption. The superiority of the learned man over the (mere) worshipper is like the brilliance of the full moon among the stars during a moonlight night..."
3.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq(AS) has said, "One who encourages anyone to righteousness will be rewarded as if he himself as acted on it." The Imam (AS) further elaborated on the subject that one who has been taught by someone, in turn teaches someone else, then he and the original teacher both will be rewarded and if the teacher dies he will continue to be rewarded for the good deed of his disciples.
5.Imam Zain-ul-Abedeen (AS) has said, "If people knew the worth of acquiring knowledge, they would have done so even at the cost of a bleeding heart and by diving in stormy waves. Verily, Allah, the Glorious and the Elevated One revealed to Hazrat Danial (the prophet Daniel) to the effect: `The most detestable of My servants is that ignorant one who underrates the learned men and ceases to follow their footsteps. The most beloved among my servants is one who wards off evil seeking My maximum rewards, remains in contact with the learned men, follows in the wake of the forbearing and accepts the advice of the sages.'"
6.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq(AS) has said, "He who acquires knowledge and acts on it and imparts it to others is proclaimed in heavens as the `great one', and it is said about him that he acquired knowledge in the way of Allah, acted upon it and disseminated it in the way of Allah."
 
Chapter 5

Attributes of the Religious Scholars
1.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Acquire knowledge of religion and adorn it with forbearance and reverance. Be humble to those whom you give knowledge and also to those from whom you receive it. Do not enter the fold of harsh-tempered scholars otherwise your good deeds will be washed away by your evil acts."
2.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) commenting on the 28th verse of the 35th chapter "Al-Fatir" which runs as follows: "Verily of the servants of Allah it is those who possess knowledge that fear Him" said, "Those who possess knowledge means those whose actions verify their words, and those whose deeds do not corroborate their words are not among the lerned ones."
3.Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "Hearken! I will tell you about a religious erudite who is an erudite in the real sense of the word. He does not make people despair of the Mercy of Allah and does not let them feel immune from the chastisement of Allah and does not allow them to commit sins and does not give up the recitation of the Quran due to his temptation towards something else. Beware! There is no virtue in knowledge which is devoid of understanding. Beware! There is no virtue in worship which is devoid of meditation."
4.Hazrat Imam Raza (AS) has said, "Forbearance and silence are among the signs of religious knowledge."
[Translator's Note: - In the above quoted tradition, silence means refraining from unnecessary gosspi and superfluous conversation.
5.Ameer-ul-Momineen Hazrath Ali (AS) has said, "The heart of a learned man is fortified against stupidity and inadvertence."
[Translator's Note: It may be mentioned here that the word "heart" is used figuratively and denotes "mind" or "mental process" or "reasoning faculty". This figurative use of the word "heart" is very common in the Arabic language.]
6.Hazrath Eisa (AS) (Jesus Christ) addressed his disciples saying, "I have a desire which I want you to fulfil." They replied, "Consider it to be already fulfilled (rest assured we are at your service)." Hazrat Eisa (AS) got up and washed their feet. The disciples said, "O Spirit of Allah, we were more deserving to serve you like this." He said, "The most desrving person to serve the people is the learned man. I have acted with humility like this so that you may also behave humbly with people as I have behaved with you after I am gone. Wisdom is nurtured by humility and not by conceit. Likewise vegetation grows in ploughed and fertile lands and not on arid mountains."
7.Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "O seeker of knowledge, there are three signs of a learned scholar: knowledge, forbearance and silence. Similarly there are three signs in one who just pretends to be a scholar: wrangles with one superior to him wrongfully and dominates high-handedly the one inferior to him and becomes an accessory for the wrong-doers."
 
Chapter 6

Rights and Privileges of a Scholar
1.Hazrat Ali (AS) used to say, "verily, some of the rights and priveleges of the learned scholar are: do not over burden him with questions and do not grab his clothes (to invoke his attention). When you enter in his presence and others are sitting there, greet them all and pay special compliments to him and sit in front of him and never sit behind him. Do not cast furtive glances at him and never gesticulate with your hands and not talk too much saying such and such persons have contradicted his words. Do not harass him with lengthy sessions because the likeness of a scholar is like a palm tree under which you have to wait for a fruit to fall down upon you. The reward of a scholar is greater than the reward of one who fasts in the day and prays in the night and strives in the way of Allah."

Chapter 7

Death of a Religious Scholar
3.Imam Moosa Kazim (AS) has said, "When a believer dies, the angels weep over him and so do the portions of the earth on which he used to worship Allah and also the doors of heaven through which his good deeds ascended. His death causes such a void in Islam that nothing can fill up because the learned believers are fortresses of Islam like the protecting walls built around the city."
4.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "From among the believers, the death of no believer pleases the Satan (Iblis) so much as the death of a learned scholar of Islamic jurisprudence."
 
Chapter 8

The Company of the Learned Men
1.Luqman addressed his son saying, "O son, be on the look out for choosing the groups of people. If you see a group of people talking about Allah, the Glorious, the Powerful, then sit with them. Your knowledge will be refreshed if you are aware of the subject matter of their discussion. And if you are not aware then their discussion will educate you. Maybe Allah covers them with His mercy and you are included with them. And if you see a group of people not remembering Allah then do not sit with them because you will not be benefitted if you are aware of their topic and if you are ignorant, your ignorance will increase and maybe Allah covers them with His chastisement and you are included with them.
2.Imam Moosa Kazim (AS) has said, "Having discourses with a learned scholar even on garbage dumps than a conversation with an uneducated one on elegant carpets."
3.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "The disciples asked Hazrat Eisa (AS) (Jesus Christ), `O Spirit of Allah, whose company should we keep?' He replied, `The one whose personality reminds you of Allah, whose discourses enhance your knowledge and whose activities persuade you to work for the Hereafer.'"
5.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "For me a session with one whose integrity I rely most is better than having done good deeds for a whole year."
 
Chapter 9

Seeking Information from a Learned Man
2.While answering a question, Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) said, "People indeed perish because they do not ask questions."
3.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Verily this knowledge (of religion) is under a lock the keys of which are questions."
5.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "Woe be unto him who does not free himself every Friday for his religious matters in order to renew his bond with God and does not ask questions regarding his religion."
6.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "Academic discussions among my servants are a means of giving life to the dead hearts provided their aim is to understand my commandments."
7.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) is reported to have said, "Mercy of Allah be on the person who revives knowledge." He was requested to explain the revival of knowledge. He replied, "To have discussions with religious and pious men."
8.The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "Get together and advise each other and hold discussions. Such discussions refine your hearts. Hearts become rusted like swords and their refinement lies in academic religious discussions."
9.Imam Mohammad Baqir (AS) is reported to have said, "Academic discussions are discourses and discourses are the best forms of prayers."
 
Chapter 10

Dissemination of Knowledge
1.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Allah did not take the pledge from the uneducated to acquire knowledge unless and until he took the pledge of spreading of knowledge from the learned ones. This was because knowledge existed before ignorance did."
3.Imam Mohammad Baqir(AS) has said, "The zakat enjoined on the treasure of knowledge is to impart it to other servants of Allah."
 


Usool-e-Kafi

Chapter 11 to Chapter 22
...........................................................................................................
Chapter 11


Prohibition of Speaking without Knowledge
1.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "I warn you against two tendencies which lead to perdition of mankind. Do not resort to wrong ways in respect of the Divine Religion and do not announce your verdict on matters which you do not know."
2.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "I warn you against two tendencies that have caused destruction to people. Beware of announcing your judgment on the basis of your opinion before the people. And beware of treating anything as permissible without due knowledge."
3.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "One who pronounces his verdict (on religious matters) before people without due knowledge and proper guidance is cursed by the angels of mercy as well as by the angels of chastisement and he also bears the burden of the sin of those people who act according to that verdict."
4.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "Say only what you know and regarding what you do not know say, `Allah knows best.' Verily a person may single out any verse from the Holy Quran (and interpret it wrongly) and may fall down deeper than the distance between the heaven and the earth."
5.Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) was asked, "What is the right of Allah over His servants?" He replied, "They should say (only) what they know and maintain silence in case they
 

Chapter 12

Acting without Proper Knowledge
1.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "One who acts without proper insight is like a wanderer who has gone astray due to lack of knowledge. His speed only increases his distance from his destination."
2.Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) is reported to have said, "Allah does not approve the action of any one withuot his insight and mere insight means nothing without action. One who knows his insight leads him towards proper action and if he does not act then his insight means nothing. Lo, the conviction of one interacts with the conviction of the other."
 

Chapter 13

Application of Knowledge
1. The Prophet of Allah S.A. has said, "There are two kinds of learned men. The one who acts according to his knowledge will be delivered (from chastisement in the Hereafter). And the other who ignores his knowledge is destined to be praised. Even the dwellers of Hell will be tortured due to the stench emanating from the burning body of the learned man who ignored his knowledge. The most repentant and frustrated among the dwellers of the Hell will be the man who guided a servant of Allah towards the path of Allah and the latter accepted this guidance from him and obeyed Allah and therefore Allah sent him to Paradise, but that man who showed him the path will be sent to hell because he ignored his knowledge and acted according to his carnal desires and high ambitions. The pursuit of evil desires becomes a hurdle in the right path and unwarranted ambitions make one indifferent from the life hereafter."
2. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "Knowledge is annexed with action. One who knows acts on it, and one who acts possesses knowledge. Knowledge invites towards action. If the call is accepted, the knowledge stays, and if it is rejected knowledge takes its leave."
3. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "If a learned man does not act according to his knowledge, his sermons and preachings slip away from the hearts of the listeners like the rain water slips away from a sloping smooth stone."
4. A man approached Imam Zainul Abideen A.S. and asked certain questions. The Imam answered every question. The man came again and asked similar questions. The Imam hten said, "It is written in the Injeel (the Holy Bible): `Do not seek knowledge of what you do not know until you have acted on what you have already learnt, because the knowledge which is not put into practic only enhances the disbelief of the knower and his remoteness from Allah."
5. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. was asked, "How can one who is destined for salvation be recognized?" The Imam replied, "One whose deeds are in accordance with his words. If so, the evidence of his salvation is genuine. And in case his actions are not in agreement with his words, then his knowledge is just a worthless repository."

Chapter 14

Making knowledge a means of Livelyhood
1. The Prophet of Allah S.A. has said, "The cravings of two kinds of people can never be satiated. The seeker of worldly gains and the seeker of knowledge. One who limits his worldly gains within what Allah has permitted finds peace. And one who achieved the worldly pleasure by forbidden means meets his doom execept when he repents and turns away from this evil. One who acquires knowledge from one worthy of it and matches his deeds with it, secures his salvation. One who intends to gain worldly pleasures only, then this will be his only share."
2. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "One who acquires the knowledge of 'hadith' (research, examination, compilation, and scrutiny of the chain of narrators of the sayings of the Prophet of Allah and his vicegerents with a view to assess the authenticity and credibility of the sayings, generally called 'traditions') to earn worldly gains will have no share in the Hereafter and he who aims the good of the Hereafter will be rewarded by Allah with the good things of this life as well as of the Hereafter."
4. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "If you see any learned man in love with this world, charge him (with hostility) against your religion, because all lovers are obsessed with the things they love. Allah revealed to Hazrat Dawood A.S. (the Prophet David): `Do not let any learned man who is crazy after this world intervene between Me and you because he will become a hurdle in the way of your love for Me. Such people are highway robbers for My servants seeking My pleasure. The minimum punishment for them is that I deprive their hearts of their ecstacy of their communion with Me.'"
5. The Prophet of Allah S.A. has said, "The religious scholars are the trustees of the prophets so long as they do not become lovers of this world." On being requested, the Prophet S.A. explained saying, "Surrendering to the authorities. If they do so, safeguard your religion from them."
6. Imam Mohammed Baqir A.S. has said, "He who acquires knowledge to boast about it among other learned men or to wrangle about it with the rustics or to attract the attention of the people towards him (to gain popularity and respect) his innards will be filled with fire. Verily, leadership is fit only for those who really deserve it."

Chapter 15

Accountability of the Religious Scholars and its Severity
1. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "Seventy sins of an ignorant man will be forgiven before on singel sin of a learned man (is forgiven)."
2. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "Hazrat Eesa A.S. said:`Woe be unto the wrong-doing scholar! How severely the flames of Hell will envelop him.'"
3. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S., pointing out with his hand towards his throat has said, "When the last breath reaches here, then the time for the repentance of the learned men will be over." Then the Imam quoted the verse 4:17 which says: "Verily Allah would accept the repentance of those who commit wrong deeds in ignorance and then are quick to repent."
4. Commenting on the verse 26:94, Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. said, "There are the people who praised equity and justice with mere words and then acted against it." The said verse runs as follows: "Then they will all be thrown headlong therein (Hell) along with their followers who went astray."
 
Chapter 16

Strewn Gems
1. Hazrat Ali A.S. has said, "Refresh your minds with marvels of wisdom because minds get tired like your bodies do."
3. The Prophet of Allah S.A. has said, "The ablest adviser for the faith is knowledge and the noblest adviser of knowledge is forbearance and the best adviser of forbearance is kindness and the most competent adviser if kindness is patience."
4. A man came to the Prophet of Allah S.A. and asked, "O Prophet of Allah, what is knowledge?" The Prophet replied, "Silence (refraining from unnecessary gossip)". The man asked, "Then what?" He replied, "To listen (to the learned)." Again he asked, "Then what?" The Prophet said, "To memorize (what he had heard)." The man asked, "Then what?" The Prophet said, "Act on it." Once again the man asked, "Then what?" The Prophet replied, "To disseminate it."
9. Imam Mohammed Baqir A.S. has said, "In a doubtful case, it is better to wait and think than to take any fatal decision. It is better to abandon a tradition which in your opinion is not correctly reproduced than to continue its reproduction without verification."
10. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "Regarding what you do not know out of what has come down to you, you have but to keep silent. Refer the same for confirmation to the divinely guided Imams so that they may lead you to the correct interpretation. They will also illuminate for you its obscurity and make you aware of the truth." Then the Imam quoted the verse 16:43 which says: "Ask the people of understanding in case you do not know."
11. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "I find the knowledge of all men divided into four categories: firstly, realization of your Lord, Secondly, to acknowledge all His favors to you, thirdly, to understand your obligation towards Him, and fourthly, to know what expels you from the folds of your religion."
13. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq A.S. has said, "Assess the status of the people on the basis of the frequency of their quoting us."
 
Chapter 17

Quoting Books and Traditions 1. Commenting on the verse 39:18 Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "It is the person who hears the tradition and relays it exactly as he heard it without in any way tempering with it." The said verse says: "Who hear advice and follow the best thereof." 3. A man asked Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS), "I hear something from you and then attempt to relay it exactly as I have heard but fail." The Imam asked, "You do it intentionally?" The man replied in the negative. Then the Imam asked, "You intend to relay the purport?" He said, "Yes." The Imam said, "Then there is no harm." 9. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Put it in writing because you may not remember it (unless you write it down)." 10. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Treasure your books because verily you will be needing them." 11. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Write down and spread your knowledge among your brethren. Then if you die, your progeny will inherit your writings. Certainly a period of tension and unrest will face people and they will not be convinced except by their books." 14. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "My words are the words of my father and the words of my father are the words of my grandfather and the words of my grandfather are the words of my great-grandfathers, Hassan and Hussain (AS) and their words are the words of Hazrat Ali (AS) and the words of Hazrat Ali (AS) are the words of the Prophet of Allah (SAW) and (finally) the words of the Prophet are the words of Allah."

Chapter 18

Blind Following 1. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) was requested to comment on the verse 9:31 which says: "They have taken their religious leaders and their monks as their over-lords besides Allah." The Imam explained, "By Allah! They (leaders and monks) never asked them (the Christians) for their worship. Had they invited them, they would never have responded positively. Actually the leaders and the monks rendered lawful what was unlawful and vice-versa. Thus, they (Christians) worshipped them unknowingly (by following their innovations)."

Chapter 19

Innovations, Guessworks, and Analogies
2. The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "Whenever innovations appear in my people then the religious scholars must rise to the occasion and make their genuine knowledge manifest and may the curse of Allah fall on one who does not do so."
3. The Prophet of Allah(SAW) has said, "One who came to an innovator and glorified him, virtually tried to demolish (the edifice of) Islam."
7. Hazrat Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) is reported to have said, "People who believe in speculations search for knowledge on the basis of speculations and surmises. These speculations and surmises only take them further away from the truth. The Religion of Allah has no connection with surmises."
8. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) and Mohammed Baqir (AS) have said, "All innovations are misguidances and the way of all misguidances lead to hell-fire."
10. Imam Moosa Kazim (AS) was asked, "On what basis should I believe in the Oneness of Allah?" The Imam replied, "Do not enter into the folds of innovators. One who acts on the basis of his guesswork perishes, and one who turns away from the progeny of the Prophet of Allah goes astray, and one who turns away from the Book of Allah and the sayings of the Prophet of Allah (SAW) becomes an infidel."
11. Abu Baseer sought the advice of Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) saying, "Occasionally we come across some problems, the solution of which is available neither in the Book of Allah nor in traditions (sayings of the Prophet and Imams). In such cases can we deduce the solution ourselves?" The Imam said, "Never do that. If your conclusion happens to be right you will not be rewarded and if it is wrong then you have falsified Allah, the Mighty, the Glorious."
12. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has said, "Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance leads to hell-fire."
15. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Sunnat cannot be guessed. Do you not see that women have to compensate their fasts (missed during the period of their menstruation) after the month of Ramadan, but they do not have to compensate their daily prayers (missed during the period) after the period is over? If sunnat is based on guesswork, religion will be annihilated."
16. Imam Moosa Kazim (AS) was asked about speculations (drawing conclusions on the basis of appearances and analogies). The Imam (AS) replied, "What have you to do with speculation? Allah cannot be questioned as to why He has permitted certain things and prohibited others."
17. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "One who has based his mind on conjectures will always remain in ambiguity and one who basis religion of Allah on his guesswork will always remain in doubts." Imam Baqir (AS) also says, "One who announces his verdicts before people on the basis of his own opinion, innovates in the religion of Allah what he does not know. And one who innovates the religion of Allah, contradicts (and defies) Allah in what Allah has declared permissible and pronounced forbidden."
18. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Satan assessed the rank of Adam at the level of his own creation and said, `(O Allah!), You have created me from fire and created Adam from clay.' If he would have assessed on the basis of the essence from which Adam was created, he would have found that the essence of Adam far excelled in brilliance and radiance than that of Satan."
19. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Whatever Mohammad (SAW) has declared as permissible will remain permissible till the Day of Judgement and whatever Mohammed (SAW) has declared forbidden will remain forbidden until the Day of Judgement. This will neither change nor anyone will bring any change in anything in it." Also Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "No one introduced an innovation without forsaking the ways of the Prophet (SAW)."
20. Abu Hanifa (an Islamic jurist and the Imam of the Hanafi sect) came to see Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS). The Imam asked him, "Abu Hanifa, I gather that you deduct (religious matters) on the basis of analogies?" He replied in the affirmative. The Imam advised him, "Never do that. The first one who did that was Iblees (Satan), when he said, `O Allah, you have created me from fire and Adam from clay.' He compared fire will clay on the basis of guesswork. If he had compared the elegance and quintessence of Adam with the elegance and quintessence of the fire, he would have realized which is superior to which."
21. A man put a question to Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) which he answered. The man said, "Had this matter been such and such what would your answer have been?" The Imam (AS) said, "Hold it! Whatever answer I give is of and from the Prophet himself. Your opinion is unknown to us in any manner whatsoever."
22. Imam Mohammed Baqir (AS) has said, "Have no confidant except Allah, otherwise you will no longer remain a believer. All bonds due to any reason, merits of inheritance, kinships, confidences, innovations and ambiguities will fade out save those established by the Quran."

Chapter 20

Refer to the Holy Book or the Prophet for Every Problem
1. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Verily, Allah, the Glorious, the Elevated, has revealed the quintessence of everything in the Quran and by Allah! He has not omitted anything which His servants may need to the extent that no one can say, `Would that it had been revealed in the Quran, because that has already been revealed."
4. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "There is nothing that has not been mentioned in the Book or in `Sunnat' (the ways of the Holy Prophet (SAW).
6. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "There is not a single difference of opinion between two persons whose solution is not given in the Book of Allah, the Mighty, the Glorious. But their intelligence does not fathom its depth."
7. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "O people, verily Allah, the Glorious, the Elevated, raised His Prophet (SAW) for you and sent down His Book with true guidance while you were unaware of the Book and the One Who revealed it... So, this is the Quran. Ask it whatever you have to ask. It will, however, never speak to you. I shall inform you about it. It contains the knowledge of everything that has passed and also that which is going to happen till the Day of Judgement and is the final word on all matters between you and the solution of all your differences, and if you ask me about it, certainly I shall inform you (about each and everything)."
8. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "I am the descendant of the Prophet of Allah. I most thoroughly know the Book of Allah. In it is mentioned the beginning of the Creation and also whatever is going to happen till the Day of Judgement. It contains all information about the heaven and the earth, Paradise and Hell, and the news of all that has happened and that is going to happen. I know all that as if I am looking at the palm of my hand. Allah, (in 16:89) says: "And We have revealed the Book to you explaining everything clearly."
10. Imam Moosa Kazim (AS) was asked, "Is everything included in the Book of Allah and `Sunnat'?" The Imam (AS) replied, "Yes, everything is included in the Book and the Sunnat."
 
Chapter 21

Conflicting Traditions
1. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "Not a single verse of the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet of Allah (SAW) which the Prophet did not recite to me and dictated to me and which I did not write with my own hands."
7. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) was asked about a man who receives two contradictory versions of a tradition, one of them commands him to do something and the other forbids him and both the narrators belong to his community, in such a case what should that man do? The Imam replied to hte effect that he should wait till he is able to verify from a reliable person. The Imam further explained that in such cases it is permissible for him to postpone action till he finds out the truth.
10. A man asked Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) saying, "Two persons belonging to our people quarreling about debt or inheritance, refer their dispute to the ruler of the time or the appointed judge. Will this be lawful for them?" The Imam replied, "Whoever had his dispute settled by the ruler or his judge, whether right or wrong, has in fact got his dispute settled by the `Taghut'. And the gains out of that decisions will be ill-gotten for him, however lawful his ownership may be. The reason is that he has secured the ownership through the `Taghut' while Allah has enjoined people to rejet him. Allah, the Almighty, the Sublime, has said, `They intend to resort to the judgement of Taghut though they were commanded to reject him.' (4:60)" The man asked, "Then what should they do?" The Imam replied, "They should refer to one among you who is well versed in our traditions, and who has a deep insight in imperatives, prohibitions and divine commands communicated by us. Since I have appointed him as our judge, they must accept him as their arbitrator. If such a person issues a verdict according to our commands and the person concerned does not accept it, then the person has actually lightened the divine commands and has rejected us. And he who rejects us actually rejects Allah, the Almighty, and such a person has entered the border of polytheism..."
 
Chapter 22

Adherence to the "Sunnat"
2. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) was asked about the different traditions related by those who are trustworthy and also by those who are not so. The Imam replied, "Whenever a tradition comes to you which is supported by any verse from the Book of Allah or by a saying of the Prophet, then accept it. Otherwise the tradition is meant only for the one who has brought it to you."
3. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said, "Cross check everything with the Book of Allah and Sunnat. Every tradition which is not in agreement with the Book of Allah is nothing but forgery."
5. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has said, "O people, whatever sayings attributed to me you come across are mine if they are consistent with the Book of Allah, but if they are inconsistent, I have not said them."
6. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) is reported to have said, "One who opposes the Book of Allah or the traditions established by Mohammad (SAWW> becomes an infidel."
9. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has said, "Words have no value unless acted upon, and words and deeds combined have no value without resolution, and all three combined have no value if they are not consistent with the traditions."
12. Hazrat Ali (AS) has said, "There are two kinds of Sunnats. The compulsory ones, acting on them is guidance and ignoring them is like turning away from the right path. And those which are voluntary, acting on them is excellence (and attracts divine rewards) but there is no sin in ignoring them."

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