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The good exhortation, seizing opportunities

Year Eighteen
Issue No. 941 – 04/Rajab/1432 AH
Corresponding to June 06, 2011 AD

* Mihrab Platform:
The good exhortation, seizing opportunities involving Imam al Hadi and al Mutawakkil

Mihrab Platform
The good exhortation, seizing opportunities involving Imam al Hadi and al Mutawakkil

The main axes of the subject:
1- Exhortation is an act of the wise
2- Who are the exhorters?
3- The best exhorters
4- Imam al Hadi (a.s.) and al Mutawakkil


We will explain the identity of those who should be advised and the level of the influence of a sermon on the listeners. We will also explain how there is a lesson in everything coupled with the issues that occurred between Imam al Hadi (a.s.) and al Mutawakkil al Abbassi.

Exporting the subject:

Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “There is an advice and a lesson in every-thing for those of understanding and consideration.”1

– Exhortation is an act of the wise:

One must not neglect the great influence that an instruction can leave within the hearts of the faithful. Their souls are occupied in that which brings them closer to their creator. Fear over-whelms them as they think of the anger of the almighty. They seek his satisfaction, tracking the traces of his and no one but his mercy. They are certain that the sermon will rectify the course of their life, soothe the awe inside their hearts, and calm their innermost souls.

Allah (The Exalted) says: “O mankind, there has to come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.”2 This is because the faithful are the ones who occupy themselves with sermon because it includes that which revives the souls and clear the hearts. For example, commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Sermons are refiners of the souls and clearers of the hearts.”3

He was also quoted as saying: “Sermons are the life of the hearts.”4

Also regarding the issues that warn us about negligence and can awaken our souls, commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “With exhortation negligence will disappear.”5

He was also quoted as saying: “The fruit of sermon is advertence.”6

The wise believers will keep pursuing the sermons of the scholars and religious leaders as well as experienced people in this life. There have been numerous stories about the loyalists asking the advice of their contemporary religious leaders or those who are in close contact with them. This issue was renowned at the time of Allah’s messenger (pbuh&hh). For example, the accounts of Hadith and the biography of the Prophet coupled with the moral books are rich with these sermons. Some of them came initially from the Imams (a.s.) and the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) while others came as a respond to the request of a loyalist who sought a useful and beneficial gift from them.

Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Sermon is the best gift.”7

– Who are the exhorters?

One might think that an exhorter is a speaking person or the saying that issues from someone. However, the accounts that we have in possession inform us that the people who seek advice grab instruction from both deeds and words. They can grab them from anyone and by taking lessons from the events and days.

1- The advising soul:

The accounts narrate that Imam Zein el Abideen (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “O son of Adam, you are fine as long as you learn from yourself, hold yourself accountable, and regard piety as your slogan and sadness as your garment. O son of Adam, you are going to die and resurrect to stand before Allah (The Exalted). Therefore, be ready to answer.”8

2- The Aeon:

Imam al Kazim (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Find your lesson in the aeon and its people; aeon can be long and short. Therefore, act as if you see the reward of your deed, and be greedier in doing so.”9

3- Experiences:

Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “The wise is he who learns from experiences.”10
He was also quoted as saying: “Let those of understanding find lessons in their experiences.”11
And he said: “In each glance there is a lesson, and in each experience there is a preachment.”12

4- Death:

Allah’s messenger (pbuh&hh) was quoted as saying: “Suffice death as an exhortation.”13
Also commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Suffice your seeing the dead as a warning; they were non-riders carried to their graves.”14

He was also quoted as saying: “The aim is the resurrection that should suffice as a sermon for the wise and a lesson for the ignorant.”15

5- Everything is a sermon:

Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “A courteous person finds lesson in everything.”16

When Haroun al Abbassi wrote to Imam al Kazim (a.s.) asking him for an advice, he wrote back: “There is a lesson in anything your eyes see.”17

Also commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “There is an advice and a lesson in everything for those of understanding and consideration.”18

3- The best exhorters:

The most venerable exhorters are those who act in accordance with their advice; those who follow what they command. They are the lanterns that show to the worlds the ways to righteousness and routes to guidance.

Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Seek morning in a flame of an advising exhorter. Accept the instruction of a vigilant advisor. Cling on to that which was beneficial to you from education.”19

– Imam al Hadi (a.s.) and al Mutawakkil:

Sibt Ibn al Jouzi transmitted from al Masoudi in book Murouj al Thahab that: “Al Mutawakkil al Abbassi accused Imam Ali Bin Muhammad al Jawad (a.s.) of possessing books and weapons inside his house which came from his Shia [loyalists], the citizens of Qum, and that he was determined to overthrow the state. Hence, he deployed a group of Turks who attacked his home at night. They found nothing but him inside a room in the house with a woolen cover on top, sitting on the sand and garble while praying to Allah (The Exalted), and reciting verses of the Quran.

Hence, he was accompanied with this state of his to al Mutawakkil, and said to him: we found nothing. We merely found him reciting the Quran while facing the Kiblah. Meanwhile, al Mutawakkil was having an alcoholic session. The Imam entered the court while al Mutawakkil held a cup of wine in his hand. When al Mutawakkil saw the Imam (a.s.) he revered him and seated him next to his side and offered him the cup that he held in his hand. The Imam (a.s.) said: I swear in Allah, it never mixed with my flesh and blood. Hence, he excused him and said: recite a poem to me. The Imam (a.s.) said: I do not read much poetry. He said: You must. Hence, the Imam (a.s.) recited while sitting in his court:

[This is a transition of the poem]:

They spent their nights in high towers guarded by
Strong men yet their mountains were unsafe
And were brought down after glory from their strongholds
And were laid down inside holes facing their miserable burials
They were called by a voice after their entombment [asking] Where are the bracelets, crowns and jewelry?
Where are the faces that lived in joy?
And were unseen due to barriers and screens
The grave spoke on their behalf when held them accountable
These faces are being swarmed with worms
For a long time they’ve devoured food and drinks
And now after feasting they’re being feasted on

Al Masoudi said: “Al Mutawakkil cried until his beard was wet from his tears, and the audience cried.”20

In book al Bihar, the story tells, “Al Karajki narrated in his book Kanz al Fawa’ed: ‘and he said: Hence, al Mutawakkil struck the ground with the cup and his livelihood was disturbed on that day.”21

Unfortunately, that exhortation had no effects at that very moment; and as soon as al Mutawakkil returned to his servants and assistants, he returned to his old habits of all times.

1- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 3460.
2- The holy Quran, Surat Yūnus (Jonah), verse 57.
3- Ghorar al Hikam, by al Qadi al A’midi wisdom 1354.
4- Same previous source, wisdom 321.
5- Noun Meem, wisdom 4191.
6- Noun Meem, wisdom 4588.
7- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 9884.
8- A’mali, by sheikh al Tousi, P. 15, H. 176.
9- Bihar al Anwar, by scholar al Majlisi, Vol. 78, P. 306. H.1.
10- Tuhaf al Uqul, by Ibn Shu’bah al Harrani, P. 85
11- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 4059.
12- Same source, wisdom 6460
13- Tuhaf al Uqul, P. 35.
14- Nahjul Balagha interpretation, by Ibn Abil Hadid, vol. 13, P. 99.
15- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 3630.
16- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 7338.
17- Mizan al Hikmah, by al Raishari, Vol. 29.
18- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 3460.
19- Ghorar al Hikam wisdom 2545.
20- Sibt al Jouzi in his book Tazkarat al Khawas, P. 203, narrated from al Masoudi in his book Murouj al Thahab.
21- Al Bihar, Vol. 5, P. 212-213.

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