Love and Hatred in Allah’s Way – The Most Reliable Rope of Faith

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قَالَ اَبُو عَبْدِ اللهِؑ اَيُّ عُرَى الْاِيمَانِ اَوْثَقُ فَقَالُوا اللهُ وَ رَسُولُهٗ اَعْلَمُ فَقَالَ قُولُوا فَقَالُوا يَا ابْنَ رَسُولِ اللهِ الصَّلَاةُ فَقَالَ اِنَّ لِلصَّلَاةِ فَضْلًا وَ لَكِنْ لَيْسَ بِالصَّلَاةِ قَالُوا الزَّكَاةُ قَالَ اِنَّ لِلزَّكَاةِ فَضْلًا وَ لَيْسَ بِالزَّكَاةِ قَالُوا صَوْمُ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ فَقَالَ اِنَّ لِرَمَضَانَ فَضْلًا وَ لَيْسَ بِرَمَضَانَ قَالُوا فَالْحَجُّ وَ الْعُمْرَةُ قَالَ اِنَّ لِلْحَجِّ وَ الْعُمْرَةِ فَضْلًا وَ لَيْسَ بِالْحَجِّ وَ الْعُمْرَةِ قَالُوا فَالْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ قَالَ اِنَّ لِلْجِهَادِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ فَضْلًا وَ لَيْسَ بِالْجِهَادِ قَالُوا فَاللهُ وَ رَسُولُهُ اَعْلَمُ فَقَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ ﷺ اِنَّ اَوْثَقَ عُرَى الْاِيمَانِ الْحُبُّ فِي اللهِ وَ الْبُغْضُ فِي اللهِ وَ تَوَالِي وَلِيِّ اللهِ وَ تَعَادِي عَدُوِّ اللهِ

Imam Abu Abdillah (al-Sadeq) (peace be on him) asked (a gathering), “What is the most reliable rope of faith?”

They said, “Allah and His Messenger (peace be on him and his progeny) know the best.”

Imam (peace be on him) insisted, “Say.”

They said, “Prayers, O son of Allah’s Messenger.”

He (peace be on him) replied, “Surely, for prayers there is an excellence but it is not prayers.”

They said, “Poor-rate.”

Again, he (peace be on him) responded, “Surely, for poor-rate there is an excellence but it is not poor-rate.”

They said, “Fasting of the month of Ramadhan.”

He (peace be on him) argued, “Surely, for Ramadhan there is an excellence but it is not Ramadhan.”

They said, “Then it must be Hajj and Umrah.”

He (peace be on him) refuted saying, “Surely, for Hajj and Umrah are excellent but it is not Hajj and Umrah.”

They replied, “Fighting in the way of Allah.”

He (peace be on him) rejected, “Surely, for fighting in the way of Allah there is an excellence but it is not fighting in the way of Allah.”

They said, “Then Allah and His Messenger (peace be on him and his progeny) know the best.”

Finally, Imam (peace be on him) informed that the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him and his progeny) said, “The most reliable rope of faith is to love for Allah, to hate for Allah, to befriend the friend of Allah and to bear enmity against the enemy of Allah.”

Notes:

1.    To fasten unto faith means to ensure that a person does not lose his faith under any circumstances and in the gravest of situations.

2.    The following four factors are declared to be the most reliable rope of faith:

        a)    to love for Allah,

        b)    to hate for Allah,

        c)    to befriend the friend of Allah and

        d)    to bear enmity against the enemy of Allah

3.    If somebody wants to see the depth and steadfastness of his faith, he must see to the extent of his adherence to these four factors.

4.    Interestingly, these four factors are regarded as more important than prayers, fasting, poor-rate, Hajj and Umrah and fighting in the way of Allah.

References:

1.    Al-Mahaasin, vol. 1, p. 165, Chapter 32, H. 121

2.    Al-Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 125, H. 6 (with minor variations)

3.    Al-Ikhtesaas, p. 365

4.    Tohaf al-Oqool, p. 55

5.    Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 27, p. 56, H. 13

6.    Wasaael al-Shiah, vol. 16, p. 177, Chapter 17, H. 21284

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