In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Kindness with Friends, Fairness with Enemies
How to treat friends and face enemies is one of the most important moral characteristics of a person. As much as love can deviate one from the path of truth, animosity and hatred (even if it is right) too can result in oppression and injustice. By examining the way the leaders of religion have treated their friends and faced their enemies, a wonderful criteria is provided for us.
For instance, the love Imam Sajjad (PBUH) had for his Shiites and lovers was so intense that he prayed for forgiveness of his Shiites’ sins everyday. He said to Um Farwah, daughter of Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr:
“I pray one hundred times every day and night for forgiveness of the sins of my Shiites, because we bear patient in difficulties that we are aware of, but our Shiites have to bear patient in difficulties which (their results) are unknown to them”.
This Hadith shows the level of compassion and love the Imam (PBUH) has for his Shiites; his love is so intense that asks for forgiveness and mercy of Allah (SWT) for the sinners among them. Is there any kindness and compassion beyond this?
But besides this deep love, Imam Sajjad (PBUH) treated his Shiites in a manner to make them become examples of piety, devoutness, and religious asceticism for the Muslims. He made effort train and purify the Shiites; he advised them a lot; and he led them toward piety and doing good, to the extent that he told one of his Shhites:
“Tell our Shiites: Nothing can make them needless before Allah (SWT); Verily the Wilayah of us, the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT), will not include anyone but those who have piety” .
Indeed abstaining from what Allah (SWT) has forbidden is among the most important means of rescuing from the wrath of punishment of Allah (SWT); as it is one of the most effective ways of achieving the Wilayah of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) (who are Divine fortresses themselves).
In contrast, the way Imam Sajjad (PBUH) treated the enemies, oppressors, and revengeful people was with forgiveness and favour too.
Historians have narrated that: Ishmael ibn Hisham Makhzumi, the governor of Medina, was a great hater and enemy of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT), and he was extremely diligent in harming and bothering Imam Sajjad (PBUH). He insulted the fathers of Imam Sajjad (PBUH) openly in order to get near to the rulers of the Umayyads.
When Walid ibn Abdul Malik became the Caliph, He dismissed Ishmael due to the disputes they had. Moreover, he publicly condemned Ishmael and asked the people to take back their rights from him. Ishmael was more concerned about Imam Sajjad (PBUH) because of his hatred and animosity towards the Imam (PBUH), so he used to say,” I fear no one but Ali ibn Hussain (PBUH); because he is a righteous man and the Caliph would accept his words about me”.
However, Imam Sajjad (PBUH) asked his friends and followers not to harm Ishmael. Then, he personally met with Ishmael with a cheerful face, offered help to him during the time he was in difficulty, and said to him:
“O cousin! May Allah (SWT) help you. I am upset about what has happened to you. Ask us whatever you wish!”
Surprised from such kindness, Hisham said to Imam Sajjad (PBUH) in shock:
“Allah knows better where to put His mission and whom to leave it with”.
In fact, holding on to the path of fairness and justice is one of the main teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) which can be observed abundantly in their sayings and behaviour.
(The above is a selection taken from “An Analysis of the Life of Imam Sajjad (PBUH)”, by late Hujjat al-Islam Baqir Sharif Qurashi (with some additions))