Story No. 347 – Imam Baqir (pbuh): Earning livelihood is a worship
The town of Medina was burning under the exhalation of the heat of the sun of Hejaz (Hijaz) and was thawing like the benumbed sleepers under the fire of the sky.
The branches of the palms were not oscillating under any breeze and the trees were as weary men sleep-strucken while standing. The camels were sheltering themselves under some shade of the palm branches, exceeding the wall of gardens and were ruminating silently and motionlessly. In the town every being was crawling under a shade and nobody was seen in the palm gardens of the round about, except a rather nice man having a slightly corpulent body which was leaning on the shoulders of a young man, (perhaps his son), who was visiting his farm. He was perspiring from the heat.
His eyes, which were half-closed because of the violent shining of the sun, were so attractive that they recalled the looking of the most beautiful gazelle. His nice feature was adorned with a pretty beard and mustache. But this handsome face was turning to purple under the sun and the drops of perspiration were pouring from his cheeks, like the drops of dew from a wild tulip. They were running from his face and dropping into his chest.
At this moment another man was seen on the plain, which was advancing towards this point. His name was Mohummad Ibn Monkader. He was supposing himself to be a pious and anchorite, a hermit man far from Mormonism. He had a bowed down stature and a weary face. When he reached the corpulent body man who was perspiring under the glow of the sun, busy to supervise his farm, he wondered and said to himself: “See how the greed of the mammon blinds the eyes of wisdom. This man is melting like a candle under the sun. And he is not ready to stop to hurt himself for his avidity. It is better to go to him and to advise him. Perhaps he will be guided.”
When he came near, he knew the man and said: “Oh it’s strange. This man is Mohummad Ibn Ali, Imam Baqir, and the leader of the Shia faith. Why this man is trying for worldly wealth?”
He goes then nearer, stood and greeted the Imam Baqir (pbuh). Imam Baqir (pbuh), was busy with his work and was perspiring and panting. Imam Baqir (pbuh) replied to his greeting. The man halted a while and said: “Is it worthy for a great and pious man like you to come out of home in this hour of the day, to seek worldly wealth? And with this rather corpulent body you have to bear, of course, more pain.”
“If in this moment, (God forbids), your death comes, in what situation are you going to meet Alah (SWT)? No, it is not worthy for you, with this heat and this natural disposition, to be so concerned with mammon.”
Imam Baqir (pbuh) cleaned the perspiration off his forehead with the back of his hand, stopped the work and looked at him.
“If my death in this very moment”, said Imam Baqir (pbuh), “I will meet Allah (SWT) in a state of worship.” You think that the worship is only to pray and to do religious ceremonies? I am living in the world and I have to earn my livelihood. If I do not work I will need the help of some men like you and I have to stretch my hands for begging. I should fear the coming of my death when I am sinning and disobeying my Allah (SWT). At this moment, when I am, working under the order of Allah (SWT), I am trying not to be a weight on the shoulders of my fellow beings.
Mohummad Ibn Monkader, struck with shame, said nothing and continued his way, while he was humming with himself: “Wonderful. I was thinking that I can advise him, but this was myself to earn an advice.”
Moral: You should always try hard to do something by yourself and only when you have tried and can not do it you should ask for help.
Earning livelihood is a Worship:
Earning livelihood is a WorshipWhen Sa’d Ansari responded to the Holy Prophet Mohummad (saw) that his hands were calloused because he used to work with a rope and a shovel to earn money to spend for his wife and children, the Holy Prophet Mohummad (saw) kissed his hand (as an honor) and said: “This is a hand which the Fire (of Hell) will never touch.”
The Holy Prophet Mohummad (saw) said: “There are seventy branches of worship, the best of which is earning a living lawfully.”
Imam Ali (pbuh) said: “Never, never will prosperity be reached by remaining idle and lazy.”
Imam Ali (pbuh) said: “One who is always lazy his hope will be scattered (here and there).”
Imam Baqir (pbuh) said: “Avoid laziness and discontent. These two are the keys to every vice.”
Imam Baqir (pbuh) said: “Refrain (be away) from Laziness and impatience for both of them are surely are the keys of every evil.”
Imam Baqir (pbuh) said: “Laziness harms both religion as well as this world.”
Imam Baqir (pbuh) said: “I hate the person who is jobless and who merely lies on his back and says, O Allah! Give me sustenance! He asks Allah to do him a favor while the small Ant comes out of its Ant colony to seek its livelihood!”