“Once you overcome your enemy
make your forgiveness of him/her
Imam Ali (the first Imam of Muslims), Nahjul Balaghah, Hikmat 110
Why we should be careful in choosing friends? The best answer is this tradition of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him and His Progeny): “A man follows the faith, ways and habits of his friend.” (Usul al-Kafi, v 72, p. 375) it means if your friend is a good person you will be a good man too and vice versa.
One of the most important criteria for judging others is whether they respect the rights of others or not. Islamic teaching is full of directives concerning the respecting the rights of others. For instance, Imam Ali (the first Imam of Muslims) says: “make yourself the judge between you and the others. Like for the others what you like for yourself and dislike for them what you dislike for yourself.” (Nahjul Balagha, the letter n.31)
Thus, we need someone as a friend who will respect the rights of others, because if someone does not respect the rights of others he/she will not respect our rights too. Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam of Muslims) told His son: “Do not be friend with those who deprive their kin of their rights.” (Usul al-Kafi, v 72, p. 376)
As I said here and in previous posts and base on the tradition of Imam Sajad (Peace Be Upon Him), a liar, a sinner, a stingy and a stupid person are not deserve to be good friends, because “Such persons are shorn of Allah’s Blessings and are accursed people.” (Ibid)
Everybody is not worthy of friendship. I mean some criteria should be considered for choosing a good friend. One of the most important criteria is the subject of this post.
Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam of Muslims) told his son: “Don’t be friends with a liar. He/she will be like a mirage. He/she will trick you. When a thing is far, he/she will say it is near; and when it is at hand, he/she will say that it is very far.” (Usul al-Kafi, v 72, p. 376)
According Islamic teachings, lying is a sin which is classified among the Greater sins. Imam Hasan al-Askari (the eleventh Imam of Muslims) has said: “All the evils have been locked in a room and its key is lying.” (Bihar al anwar, v.78, p.377) so, if we associate with a liar, in fact, we associate with the source of all evil! They are not reliable at all. The liar does not deserve friendship.
Imam Ali (the first Imam of Muslims) says: “Every Muslim is supposed to avoid friendship and brotherhood with a compulsive liar, because one who befriends a liar is himself considered a liar. Even if he speaks the truth, he is not trusted.” (Wasa’il ul-Shia, v.12, p. 280)
So, a liar must be avoided and we must not be friends with him/her.
Islam always tries to strengthen the inner tendency of compensate for the good deeds done for people. Valuable educations that come from Islamic teachings teach us that how should we behave with those who treat us kindly. In a very interesting tradition, Imam Sadiq (the sixth Imam of Muslims) has said: “One third of the intellect is to be friendly with the people.” (Usul al-Kafi, v.2, pp.642-643) It proves the lack of one third of intellect in those who do not act this way and do not wish to recompense those who treat them kindly.
Of course, expressing kindness to each other may be occurred in different forms. For example, greeting each other in any form is one of the basic way for expressing kindness. It includes shaking hands till the high level of respects. In this regard there is a verse in the Holy Quran that teaches us how should behave toward the greeting of others. “When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. God takes careful account of all things.” (4:86)
In Ali ibn Ibrahim’s commentary we read the following tradition quoted on the authority of Imam Baqir (MGB) and Imam Sadiq (MGB): “What is meant by a greeting is verbal expression of greetings and any other practical forms of expressing kindness.” (Tafsir-i-Namunah, v.4, p.42)
It indicates that should not be careless toward good, indeed we should do our best to compensate for the kindness of others.
Apart from bad men who their wicked traits block this mode of natural behavior in them, it is inherent in man to wish to recompense those who treat him kindly.
Based on this principle of human the sacred religion of Islam, encourage its followers to compensate for the good deeds done for them and always wait for a chance to practically reward those who have somehow done them a favor. The Holy Quran says: “Is there any Reward for Good other than Good?” (55:60)
Thus, it is an important point to know how to behave with a person who treats us kindly. In this regard, there are valuable words from Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam of Muslims). He said: “And the right of him who treats you kindly is that you should thank him and acknowledge his kindness; and spread the good word around about him, and sincerely pray for him between you and God the Praised One. Then if you do that, you have thanked him both in private and in public. Then if you are able to practically recompense him, do recompense him. Otherwise, you should be determined to do so later.” (The Treatise on Rights, right n.28)
One of the closest people to every man is his/her brother. Brother is a symbol of love and support.
Two forms of brotherhood can be imagined. One is a blood and genetic relationship that is being born of the same parents.
Another form of brotherhood that is mentioned in Islamic texts comes through common belief. In this form all the Muslims has related together and these intimate relationships has become the source of unity of all the Muslims in the world.
In this regard The Holy Qur’an says: “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear God, that ye may receive Mercy.” (49:10)
And this verse is considered one of the most important slogans of Islam.
Of course the position of brotherhood like other important positions follows some issues that need to be considered. In this regard Imam Sajjad (Peace Be Upon Him) said:
“And the right of your brother is that you should know that he is your hand that you extend, and your back to whom you seek refuge, and your power upon whom you rely, and your might with which you compete. Take him not as a weapon with which to disobey God, nor as a means with which to violate God’s rights. And do not neglect to help him against his own self and support him against his enemy, and intervene between him and his devils, and give him good counsel, and associate with him for God’s sake. Then if he obeys his Lord and is responsible towards Him properly it is fine. Else God should be more preferable and more honorable to you than he is.” (The Treatise on Rights, right n.25)
It is said that we should protect our private parts from everything that is unlawful for us like adultery. But how is it possible? Because Sexual instinct is a very strong instinct that attract men and women towards each other and … .
So, what is the solution?
The sacred religion of Islam presents some practical solution. Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam of Muslims) says: “[for protection of your private part from unlawful things] help it by lowering your eyes – this is certainly the best way to help it.” (The Treatise on Rights, Right n.9)
The eyes must be closed to what is forbidden by God because some looks in fact are poisonous dart from Satan. Imam Sadiq (the sixth Imam of Muslims) has said: “A [dirty] look is a poisonous dart from the darts of Satan. How many a look has caused long-lasting regret.” (Al-Kafi, v.5, p.559)
A dirty look will tear down the veils of modesty and chastity and the probability of committing adultery increases extremely. Blessed is the person who protects his/her looks.
And for protection private part “you should also remember death often, and threaten yourself with God and try to make yourself fear God. Preservation from sin and receiving help in so doing are possible by God’s help. There is no strength or power but in Him.” (Right n.9)
The remembrance of death causes to stay away from forbidden pleasures. Imam Sadiq (the sixth Imam of Muslims) said: “The remembrance of death kills desires.” (Majmu’ah Waram, p.268)
At the end it is nice to mention that besides not view forbidden scenes and the remembrance of death, the only correct way to fulfillment sexual instinct is the marriage.