The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community Volume 6

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The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community Author:
Translator: Badr Shahin
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
Category: Various Books

The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community

Author: Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Al-Hakim
Translator: Badr Shahin
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
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The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community

The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community Volume 6

Author:
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
English

www.alhassanain.org/english

The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community Book Six: The System of Social Relations of the Virtuous Community

Author(s): Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Al-Hakim

Translator(s): Badr Shahin

Publisher(s): ABWA Publishing and Printing Center

www.alhassanain.org/english

Miscellaneous information:

The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community Book Six: The System of Social Relations of the Virtuous Community Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Al-Hakim Project supervisor: Translation Unit, Cultural Affairs Department Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly (ABWA) Translator: Badr Shahin Editor: Iffat Shah and Carol Ahmadi Revised by: Ashraf Carl Eastman Ahmadi Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center First Printing: 2011 © Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly (ABWA) All rights reserved. www.ahl-ul-bayt.org info@ahl-ul-bayt.org Ahl al-Bayt‘a World Assembly

نام كتاب: دور أهل البيت (ع) في بناء الجماعة الصالحة / ج 6 نويسنده: آية الله سيد محمد باقر الحكيم مترجم: بدر شاهين زبان ترجمه: انگليسى

Notice:

This version is published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Prelude 10

Definition of Social Relations 10

Family and the Social Relations System 10

Morality in Social Relations 11

Method of Research in Social Relations 11

Part 1: System Of Social Relations, Features And Foundations 13

Chapter 1: Features Of The Islamic Concept Of Social Relations 14

Openness in Social Relations 14

Making brethren-in-faith 15

Warning against aloofness and hostility 16

Indulgence 16

Isolation and Monasticism 16

Reinforcing the Social Structure 18

The Principle of Mutual Support and Aid 18

Enjoining the Right and Forbidding the Wrong 18

The Principle of Thinking Well Of Others 19

The Principle of Consultation 19

Substance of Social Relations 20

Equality and Fraternity 20

Respect of Man in General 22

Levels of Social Relations 23

Fraternity for Allah’s Sake 25

False Friends and True Friends 27

Special Treatment 28

Relatives 28

Scholars 31

Neighbors 33

The Weak 34

The Holy Prophet’s Progeny 35

Notes 35

Chapter 2: Rules And Foundations 38

Prelude 38

Religious and Conventional Laws 38

Obligatory and Forbidden Commitments 39

Controlling and Steering the Emotions 39

Self-Building and Control of Emotions 40

Nobility of Character and Control of Emotions 41

Justice and Fairness under All Circumstances 41

Maintenance of Justice among People 42

Protest against Injustice 42

Giving others their rights even if it be against oneself 43

Nobility of Character and Indulgence 44

Charity and Taking the Lead in Charitable Behavior 47

Charitable Behavior towards all People 47

Charitable Behavior in Social Relations 47

Doing Good to Oneself 47

Good Example and Unique Behavior 48

Notes 50

Part 2: The Superstructure Of Social Relations 52

Chapter 1: Superstructure Of Various Aspects Social Relations 53

Prelude 53

Aspect of Openness 53

Additional Indications of Openness 53

Exceptions 55

(1) Avoidance of situations that cause one to lose one’s reputation 55

(2) Keeping away from wicked associates 56

(3) Keeping Away from Those of Forbidden Occupations 58

(4) Keeping Away from Those Afflicted by Infectious Diseases 59

Reinforcing the Social Structure 59

Holding Meetings 59

Sincerity in Dealing with Muslims 61

Mutual compassion, sympathy, and visiting 62

Restoring Estranged Parties to Friendly Relations 63

Respect of Neighbors and Consolidation of the Social Structure 64

Preventive Procedures 65

A. Avoid incurring the rancor, animosity, malevolence, disputation, and detestation of people 65

B. Responding to greetings and salutations, replying to messages and letters and exchanging letters as a substitute of visits and meetings 65

C. Fulfilling promises, even if it takes a whole year 65

D. Specific restrictions while choosing trustworthy friends 65

E. Maintenance of equilibrium in relations 66

Consultation: Restrictions and Outcomes 66

Significance of Consultation 66

Power and Backing 67

Determination and Perseverance 67

The Best Way to Understand Reality 67

Characteristics of Advisers 68

Duties of Advisers 70

Equality and Fraternity 70

Levels of Social Relations 71

Relations of General Association 72

Relations of Special Association 73

Special Treatment 73

Invoking Blessings on the Holy Prophet (S) and his Household (‘a) 73

Kindness to the Holy Prophet’s Progeny 74

Old Men 76

People of the Qur'an 76

Faithful Believers 77

Neighbors 78

Notes 79

Chapter 2: Superstructure Of Rules And Foundations 83

Religious and Traditional Laws 83

Compliance with Religious Duties 83

Abstaining from Forbidden Acts 85

Passivity and Control over Emotions 88

Control over emotions and praiseworthy qualities 88

Models of Praiseworthy Qualities 89

Sedulity in Obedience to Almighty Allah and Steadfastness against Disobedience 89

Chastity 90

Forbearance 90

Clemency 91

Modesty 91

Good Intention and Sound Heart 94

Control over Emotions and Blameworthy Qualities 94

Love of Domination 94

Anger 95

Envy 96

Disdain and Fanaticism 96

Arrogance, self-conceit, and boasting 97

Greed, Lethargy, and Foolishness 98

Control over Emotions and Association with People 100

Good Company 100

Laughter and Joking 102

Decorum and Unconstraint in Confidence 103

Disapproval of Contention and Disputation 103

Holding the Tongue and Saying Nothing but the Truth 103

Suppression of Rage and Steadfastness against Envy 105

Justice and Fair Play 107

Injustice Forbidden 107

Restoration of Violations 107

Guiding towards the True Path after Misleading 108

Helping the Oppressors 108

Approval of and Remaining Silent over Wrongdoing 109

Applications of Fair play 109

Requital of Favors 109

Observance of Duties towards Brethren-in-Faith 111

Correcting one’s Personal Flaws Rather than Criticizing Others 111

Speaking Well of People 112

Applications of Wrongdoing and Oppression 112

Killing and Hurting Muslims 112

Insulting a Muslim 113

Degradation of Faithful Believers 113

Imputing Dishonor to a Faithful Believer 114

Finding Fault with Faithful Believers 115

Revile and Speak Ill of Faithful Believers 115

Backbiting a Faithful Believer 116

Calumny 118

Talebearing 118

Distrust and Misgiving 118

Excellent Examples of Justice in Social Relations 119

Avoiding Confidential Talks in Public Sessions 119

Distributing Glances 119

Interrupting Speech 120

Good-manners Endear people 120

Ranks of endearment to people and indulgence 121

Paying Visits and Exchanging Meetings 121

First Step: Meeting People with a Good Mien and Salutation 122

Being the First to Greet 122

Meeting People with a Cheerful Mien 123

Speaking Good Words 123

Second Step: Shaking hands, Embracing, Kissing, and Expressing Love 124

Handshaking 124

Embracing and Kissing 124

Telling About Love 125

Third Step: Etiquettes of Conversation and Sitting in Sessions 126

Etiquettes of Participation in Sessions 126

Making room for new comers 126

Receiving and Bidding Farewell 126

Following the Instructions of the Host 127

Manner of Sitting 127

Modest Posture 127

Blessing the Sneezing 128

Manners of Conversation 128

Limits of Laughter and Joking 129

Acceptance of Favors and Kind Acts 130

Fourth Step: Respect and Reverence 130

Veneration and Reverence 131

Treating Muslims and Noble People with Deference 131

Using the Most Favorable Names 132

Kind Acts and Taking the Lead in Charity 132

Regulations of Kind Acts 133

Balance between Profit and Loss 133

Immediateness in Offering Kind Acts 134

Doing Kind Acts to Those Who Deserve Them 134

Responding to Kind Acts 136

Appreciation of Favors and Kind Acts 137

Fulfillment of Duties towards Others 139

Lenience with Companions 139

Granting the Brothers-in-Faith’s Requests 139

Dispelling the Grief of a Faithful Believer 141

Concealing the Flaws of Believers and Repelling Evil from them 141

Giving Sincere Advice to the Believers 142

Conceding Rights 142

Pardon and Forgiveness 143

Acceptance of Apologies 144

Granting the Insolvent Debtor a Delay or Acquitting him of Payment 145

Reprieving the Dead and the Alive from Debts 146

Precedence to Charity 147

Spending and Kind Acts 147

Holding Public Banquets 150

Advancing Money to Brothers-in-Faith 151

Dutifulness to Believers 151

Rewarding Evil with Good 153

Idealism and Distinctive Behavior 155

An Excellent Example and Social Relations 155

Second: Features expressing the distinctive behavior of the excellent exemplar in social relations 156

Relationship with Almighty Allah 156

Having Full Faith in Almighty Allah 156

Trust in Almighty Allah 157

Having the Best Concept of Almighty Allah 157

Love for Almighty Allah 158

Hope in and Fear of Almighty Allah 160

Features Expressing Distinctive Behavior 161

Patience 161

Asceticism; Abstinence from Lawful Worldly Pleasures 165

Satisfaction 168

Refraining from Forbidden Acts 169

Modesty 170

Honesty and fulfillment of Trusts 171

Straightforwardness 172

Excellent Examples 173

Notes 179

Prelude

Definition of Social Relations

In Islam, the general system of social relations, along with the duties and rights ensuing from it, is one of the crucial and basic pillars on which human society relies.

The social relations system can be defined as a set of duties, traditions, etiquette, rights, and obligations that organize the common relations between people in general with individuals of the virtuous community, and the correlation and behavior of the individuals of this virtuous community with one another.

Of course, this social relations system is different from the systems that organize the relations ensuing from special promises, covenants, and contracts such as contracts of matrimony, sale, lease, allegiance, and others. These naturally produce certain sorts of rights, duties, and other obligations. Certain persons undertake other sorts of rights, duties, and responsibilities because of certain positions and offices, such as Imamate, religious authority, management, or surety.

In conclusion, the system of social relations is a set of regulations that define man’s social life and his personal responsibility towards the virtuous community. This system represents the foundation on which the other systems, which ensue from private contracts and obligations, rest so that these private systems may play their required roles in life and contribute to the attainment of perfection, because the social relations system deals with the root of social associations and human ties.

Family and the Social Relations System

The historical root of the system of social relations is marriage and the family unit. These expanded to form clans, tribes, and peoples, as is maintained by the Holy Qur'an that reads:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُواۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ {13}

O people! Surely, We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other. Surely, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful of his duty. Surely, Allah is Knowing, Aware. (49:13)

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً {1}

O people! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same kind and spread from these two many men and women. (4:1)

In the same fashion, family stands for the primary and fundamental brick in the Islamic structure and the Ahl al-Bayt’s vision of a virtuous human community. For that reason, Islam has taken much interest in family, and established an exact, firm, and all-inclusive system to organize all family relations and affairs in their most exact details and various domains.

The Ahl al-Bayt’s concept about family and matrimonial relations has particularities that enable it to face all social problems and coexist with all social developments.

However, here we will deal with the topic of family for the following two reasons:

First: This topic is of social and human importance. It is also so comprehensive and broad that it is worth studying thoroughly and meticulously, just like the economic system, the system of contracts and transactions, the system of acts of worship, and the other systems whose details require independent discussions.

Second: Because the main topic of this series of books is the building of the virtuous community, our discussion will be dedicated to the system of social relations of this community exclusively. Hence, we will deal with the general aspects of the virtuous community without discussions on the private relations that ensue from contracts and pledges.

We will highlight the foundations and vital rules of this system, its commitment to covenants, obligations, and reciprocal rights. We will also touch upon the principle of private behavior in social relations. This principle involves behavior arising from typical human situations, such as fatherhood, brotherhood, old age; comprehension, self-strife or self-purification; or contracts and obligations, such as matrimony.

Islam has conferred an advanced formula upon family through the many laws in this respect and released it from its naïve and primitive state. Constructing and firmly strengthening the family in virtue and uprightness plays a significant role in strengthening and developing the structure of general social relations.

Morality in Social Relations

It is true that the system of social relations is a set of laws, legislations, obligations, rights, activities, regulations, manners, and rituals; however, at the same time, it expresses a moral prospect of social behavior and a doctrine-based understanding of the cosmos, life, man, the beginning of creation, and the finale.

This is why books on ethics have discussed this aspect of the social relations system. However, this system is more comprehensive and involves commitments and obligations related to other important topics in Islamic legislation.

Method of Research in Social Relations

We will only discuss the general concept of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) with regard to some aspects of the Islamic concept of social relations, its rules and general foundations, and some of its special items, applications, and superstructure.

Through this discussion, we will discover the differences between the common Islamic frames and the distinctive features of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) in the social construction of the virtuous community. Differences are to be expected because the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) wanted the virtuous community to act as an excellent example, pattern, and model for the Muslims. In addition, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) depended upon the genuine and perfect Islam that they had inherited and recognized from the Glorious Qur'an and from their ancestor, the Holy Prophet - peace be upon him and them.

From time to time, we will refer to such distinctive particularities and features.

The discussion of this topic is divided into two chief parts; the first deals with features and foundations of social relations in the light of Islam, while the second deals with the superstructure and details of the forms and components of these social relations.

The first part is divided into two chapters, the first of which deals with the identification and definition of social relations in content, objectives, and scope. The second deals with the rules and general principles that identify these relations and control their progress and activities.

The second part includes the superstructure of social relations, which incorporates legislations dealing with the details of social relations and identifies various sorts of behavior that accomplish the objectives, embody the rules, and portray its numerous features.

Part 1: System Of Social Relations, Features And Foundations