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Imam al-Sadiq’s (ʻA) Opinions in Politics and Economics

Imam al-Sadiq (as), the most prominent scientific character in the human history, is well known for his intelligence and creativity, which we cannot find an end or a limit to. This talented Imam brought the source of information and wisdom back to earth and filled the world with his knowledge and sciences as al-Jahiz, a famous Arab man of letters, once said.

The Imams and leaders of the schools of Muslim jurisprudence are among those getting benefits from his knowledge and his legislative works. We can still see the effects of his highly new scientific achievements, especially in the field of religious instructions such as acts of worship and transactions, which are the sources of jurisprudents in their religious inferences. Additionally, his knowledge has been used by master scholars of law in the field of legislation.

Imam al-Sadiq (as) presented phrases, highlighting some of the political issues. The following are among them.

Jurisprudents and Kings

Imam al-Sadiq (as) warned jurisprudents from entering with cooperation with kings and their offices. He said: “Jurisprudents are the trustees of the prophets. So if you see the jurisprudents riding alongside with the kings, then accuse them.”

Jurisprudents, because of their central spiritual positions, are the trustees of prophets (as) on what has been made legal or illegal by Allah (SwT). Therefore, if they somehow get connected with the official governing centers, their trust has to be withdrawn, unless there is a situation where they can help the general public by their positions there.

Penance of Working with Kings

Islam banned any association with cruel kings and had specified helping the people as penance for this task. The son of the Prophet (S), Imam al-Sadiq (as) said: “The penance of working with kings is having mercy on brothers.”

Helping people and assisting them to fulfil their needs is among the most blessed and the most significant deeds in Islam. Imam al-Sadiq (as) has assigned this as penance for someone who had committed the sin of working in the government of a cruel king.

What People Are In Need of?

Imam al-Sadiq (as) in a brilliant speech mentioned what people need in their individual and social lives; something that no one other than the government can be in charge of it. He said: “There are three things, people are in need of: security, justice and fertilized land.”

These three things are the most important life’s prerequisite and it is quite natural to see them as the responsibilities of governments.

The Kindness of Rulers and Their Justice

The Imam (as) had a deep insight on principle issues that nations need; among those, are principles where the government has to obey. He said: “The most lovely deeds for Allah, the Almighty, is the kindness of a king and his justice. However, the most unacceptable deed is the ignorance of the king and his cruelty.”

Being kind with the people, spreading social and political justice from their roots is from the most prominent cases that Islam assigned early from its emergence. It is quite usual that it results in achieving security and settlement for the nation.

Just Rulers

The Imam (as) presented a speech about what Allah (SwT) has promised from rewards to the just kings, saying: “If someone has control over people’s affairs and apply justice while opening his door and removes his veil to solve people’s problem and has a just look at their affairs, Allah will remove his fear at the Resurrection Day and will reward him with Paradise.”

If the rulers spread justice among people; open the doors for resolving their problems, and do not specify various obstacles for people to reach them, Allah (SwT) will consider them as his close men who are promised to enter the Paradise forever.

Silence in the Kingdom of the Cruel

The Imam (as) talked about the silence in the kingdom of the cruel tyrant rulers, saying: “Silence during the kingdom of the cruel is worship.”

The mutiny and insurrection against the kingdom of the cruel if not with an organized group is unsuccessful. It just results in physical defeat against such opposition. Thus the Imam (as) considered silence as worship in such circumstances.

Denying the Just Imam

Imam al-Sadiq (as) presented an important political speech, talking about those denying a just Imam or admitting an Imam who is not assigned religiously. He said: “There are three who do not have a share from faith: one who considers someone as Imam while not being chosen religiously; one who rejects a true Imam; and one who considers light and darkness equal.”

These three groups do not have any kind of connection with the Lord, as they have no share from faith. Their souls are occupied with ignorance and mutiny against the truth.

Cruel Ruler

Imam al-Sadiq (as) narrated a tradition from his great grandfather, the Holy Prophet of Islam (S), about cruel rulers and the fact that the Prophet (S) will not mediate for their benefit to Allah (SwT). Let us read this tradition. The Imam (as) said:

“The Prophet of Islam said: Two groups will not get anything from my mediating: cruel, tyrant rulers who over-exaggerate religious issues and a corrupted person who does not repent.”

Cruel ruler changes lives into an unbearable disaster. He commits cruelty and oppression, leaving justice aside. So how can he expect mercy from the great Prophet (S) and His offspring? Also, the mercy of the Prophet (S) will not be due to those who exaggerate religious issues against Imam Ali (as) with the intention of having justice. They will have no share from the mercy of the Holy Prophet (S) on the Resurrection Day.

Being away From the Rulers

Imam al-Sadiq (as) warned against the rulers who are affected with the problem of self-glorification. He said: “Woe to you on getting close to those rulers who try to treat as kings. I swear by Allah that there is no one making sound of his/her shoes while walking in order to show attractive, unless being destroying and destructive.”

Those who like leadership from the seeker of political positions are not on the guided path as they are walking in darkness.

The Attributes of Imam

The Imam (as) in all of his speeches, talked about the proper attributes, which has to be gathered in order to be qualified for being the leader and Imam of a nation. He said: “Being Imam is not accepted unless for those who have the following three attributes: Allah-fearing preserving them from committing sins, patience to control the anger, and good leadership on those under control so as to be seen as a kind father.”

Leadership is the most prominent social centre in Islam. So it has to be granted to those well qualified and professional in religious issues. This aims at not preventing the nation from entering into disasters and dangerous situations. The nation has already been affected with many of such problems and troubles by those without Allah-fearing such as Muawiyah, Yazid and Marwaan ibn al-Hakam and the like, those who shed the flood of disasters and tragedy on the nation.

Keep Distance from Kings

The Imam (as) warned against having relation with kings. Note the following speech from the Imam (as): “The closest one to the Lord is the farthest one from the cruel kings.”

The Imam (as) emphasized, in many of his traditions, about this, as well as saying:

“The Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him, said: Woe to you on being on the door of the kings and the people in their surroundings. The closest ones to the doors of the kings and their people are the farthest ones from Allah. And if someone considers the kings as people affecting the will of Allah, Allah will deprive them from His fear and will let them get astray.”

Having relation with cruel ruler as well as having contacts with his people is the same as having close relationship with Satan. It is considered supporting darkness and cruelty. This is what Islam declares war against.

The Best Rulers

The Imam (as) talked about the best rulers and kings, saying: “The best rulers are those who apply the following three attributes: mercy, kindness and justice.”

If someone is attributed with these attributes, he has got the honour of ruling the nation and will be distinguished over others and his people will be sincere towards him.

Some Responsibilities of Ruler

The Imam (as) talked about some of the responsibilities of the kings. He said: “Rulers should be very careful about the following three: keeping the balance in their deeds; taking care of those under oppression and choosing the blessed men of the Lord for performing their responsibilities.”

These three responsibilities are among the most important deeds for rulers and among the most sensitive ones. Having a full respected kingdom over people without those attributes is not possible.

The Responsibilities of Government on Citizens

The Imam (as) talked about what the government has to do for its citizens. He said: “Three issues have to exist for rulers by their companions and people: obeying them, advising them publicly and privately and praying for them to be successful in their reform and deeds.”

Merciful Ruler

He said: “If the Lord, the Almighty, wants something good for His people, He will assign a merciful ruler and will put a wise just minister for him”

These words discussed the political life of the era of the Imam (as). At that era, al-Omaweeyah and afterwards, al-Abbaseeya applied all kinds of cruelty and oppression on people. They did all they could do to deprive them from their rights and freedom. Thus security was collapsed and there was a safety breakdown. Here our talk about some of his political speeches has come to an end.

Words in Economics

The Imam (as), in his brilliant speeches in the field of economics, presented great opinions in progressing the general economics and increasing individuals’ incomes as well as calling for protecting the wealth and not squandering it. Below we will have a brief look at his shining traditions in this regard.

Urging to Farm

Farming is the spinal column of the economics of a society and it is among the most significant tools and the most active one in distributing calmness and comfort among the people. Listen to what he said in about farming and its importance.

He said: “Farming is the greatest chemistry.”

He said: “Farmers are the treasures of the world. They extract the best Allah, the Almighty, let out of the earth. They are in the best positions at the Resurrection Day and in the highest rank as they are called the blessed.”

He said: “Allah has specified the earning of the prophets in farming and animals, in order not to hate anything from the sky.”

A man once asked him, saying: “O my master! I heard a group of people saying that farming is hateful.” The Imam (as) answered: “Farm and plant. I swear by Allah that there is not deed better and more advised than it.”

He said: “There is nothing more lovable for Allah, the Almighty, than farming. Allah did not send any prophet unless they are farmers except Edrees who was tailor.”

A man asked the Imam (as) about the meaning of ‘dependents’ in the following statement of the Lord ‘On Allah depends the dependants.’ He said: “They are the farmers.”

Did you see how the son of the prophet (S) and the discoverer of science talked about planting and farming and how he talked and praised the role of farmers?

Farming is among the most important tools in making a country developed. A nation, which does not own the knowledge of farming, has lost the most striking mean to progress, and problem covers it.

The Imam (as) glorified farming and presented his praise to farmers in order to take the nation towards a prospering country with all the citizens in comfort.

Urging to Work

Work is the principle factor in World’s economics. It is impossible for a nation to be developed and live in comfort by ignoring the work. Without work a nation lives desperately struggling with poverty and destruction.

The intelligent mind of the Islamic thought, Imam al-Sadiq (as) urged people to work and called them not to leave it. He said:

Abu Basir narrated the following saying: I heard Abu Abdullah once said: “I work in some of my gardens until I sweat hard. I have what is enough for me, Allah, the Almighty, knows. I am seeking the proper earning.”

Abu Umar al-Sheibani narrated saying: I saw Abu Abdullah with a shovel in his hand. He wore thick clothes and sweat flew from his waistline. I said: “O my master! Please let me help you.” He replied: “I love for man to be hurt under the heat of the sun in seeking his earning.”

Zurarah narrated saying: A man came to Abu Abdullah saying: “I cannot do any hand related job, nor do I know how to do the work of a carpenter. I need money.” He said: “Work by carrying things on your head and try to be needless from people. The Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him, carried stone on his neck and put it as part of his walls.”

There were other traditions talking about the necessity and importance to work. They talked about the fact that work is what distinguishes a developed country from a poor country.

His Stress on Doing Business

Doing business is among the most important factors in economical progress and development as it results in the comfort of the general public. It has a direct role in increasing the average individual’s income. Imam al-Sadiq (as) emphasized on this fact and expresses his dissatisfaction over leaving it.

He said: “Nine tenth of earning is in doing business.”

He said: “Doing business increases the functionality of mind.”

He said: “One who seeks business will be needless from the help of others.” Muhammad al-Zafarani told him: “What if he owns a family?” He replied: “If he has a family, then nine tenth of the earning will be from doing business.”

He told one of his followers: “O Abdullah! Keep your honour!” He said: “What is my honour?” The Imam (as) replied: “To bring your enemy towards your market and to make yourself high standing.”

He said: “Leaving business lowers the functionality of mind.”

He said to Fudayl ibn Yasar: “What do you do?” He replied: “I do nothing today.” He said: “This way your wealth decreases gradually.”

Fudayl ibn Yasar told Imam al-Sadiq (as) the following: “I left business and do not want it anymore.” The Imam (as) was not happy with this and told him: “Why is that? Couldn’t you follow it? This way your wealth fades out. Do not leave business and keep on the blessings of the Lord, the Almighty.”

This way, the Imam (as) stressed on the significance of doing business, as it is one of the most important elements of economical growth and the source of individual’s income increase. Nevertheless, it is among the factors of decreasing the unemployment rate and distributing comfort among the people.

His Denial against Squander

Squander is a source of wasting wealth. It allows not even a shadow of wealth to remain. Imam al-Sadiq (as) rejected it and warned against its consequences. Below are some of his traditions in his regard.

He said: “Squandering results in poverty and strong economics results in richness.”

Dawoud ibn Sarhan narrated saying: I saw Abu Abdullah weighing date himself. So I told him: “Why do you not order one of your sons or servants to do this?” He replied: “O Dawoud! There are just three proper deeds for a believer: Being professional in religious issues, being patient during the time of a disaster and having a good plan for earning the living.”

He said: “If someone wants to make a family prosperous, He, the Almighty, makes them helpful in earning the living.”

He said: “The slave expands his hands and asks Allah to give him his earning from his mercy. When Allah grants him from his blessings, he spends them somewhere unnecessarily. Then he returns back and asks again. But this time Allah will tell him: Did not I give you?”

Squandering wealth and spending it somewhere other than its place results in poverty and desperation.

Restoration of Wealth

What results in the increase of wealth is doing business and other things. But keeping the wealth stored and frozen just results in increasing the rate of unemployment and the death of economics. Imam al-Sadiq (as) urged to fix the way of dealing with wealth. Let us read his traditions.

He said the following to some of his followers: “You have to fix the strategy of using the wealth as it results in being generous and being needless from the low.”

He said: “Fixing the strategy of using the wealth is from faith.”

Using a better strategy for using money is among that which increases the wealth. A believer has to amend his financial strategy to be a mean for preventing poverty and desperation.

Avoiding Laziness

Laziness is among the causes of poverty as it destructs the public’s economy and the Imam (as) warned against this property. Below are some of what he said in this regard.

He said: “If someone becomes lazy in what results in earning his living, he will get no blessings in his worldly life.”

He said: “The enemy of work is laziness.”

The Imam (as) wrote a letter to some of his followers, containing the following: “Do not get lazy in your work; otherwise you will be a heavy disturbance on your family and the rest.”

He said: “Do not become lazy in seeking your earnings, as your fathers were always hard working to get their own.”

He said the following to some of his companions: “Woe to you on sighing! It is the key to malice. One, who is lazy, will not be able to fulfil a truth and one who always sigh and gets bored cannot bear the truth either.”

Laziness in work is what results in the destruction of public economy and the distribution of poverty and deficiency in the society.

Denying Oversleep and Extra Leisure Time

The Imam (as) denied extra leisure time, which is among the destructive elements of the economics. He said: “Allah, to whom belongs Might and Majesty, hates oversleep and having extra leisure time.”

He also said the following about oversleep: “Oversleep puts religion and living aside.”

Oversleep and having extra leisure time affects the social economy negatively and expose the society uncovered towards desperation and widespread poverty.

Here our talk about some of the Imam’s (as) traditions about economics is over.

About Ali Teymoori

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