Story No. 356– Imam Bagher (as): Kindness towards Your Brother in Faith
One of Imam Baqer’s (as) companions, Abi Obadiah, narrates: I used to accompany Imam Baqer (as) in journeys. During the journeys, I would always climb my mount first, and Imam Baqer (as) would climb his mount after I was seated (This act of Imam Baqer (as) was out of utmost respect).
Whenever our mounts were next to each other, he would converse with me and ask about my health in such a way that seemed as if he had just seen an old friend he had not seen for a long time, even though he had seen me just a few moments ago.
I asked him: “O! Son of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), you act completely different from all others when you socialize with others. Your kindness and amenity towards your companions and friends is quite different. Truly it would be appreciable if others did the same in their first contact with each other.”
Imam Baqer (as) replied: “Do you not know the value of Mussafah (shaking hands kindly with friends and believers)? Every time believers do Mussafah (shaking hands kindly with friends and believers), and squeeze the hand of a friend, their sins fall (are forgiven) similar to how the leaves of a tree fall. And they are under Allah’s (SWT) grace until they separate.”
In addition, many other sayings by Imam Baqer (as) have been recorded about kindness towards friends and brothers in faith: “A prayer that is more likely to be answered, and more quickly to be granted, is a prayer for a brother in faith in his absence.”
Imam Baqer (as), fifth Imam of the Shiites also said: “A pious believer is the brother of a pious believer. One does not insult the other, does not refuse the other, and does not falsely suspect the other.”
And Imam Baqer (as) advised his companions: “Be lenient when talking to a hypocrite (Munafiq), love the believers with all your heart, and behave well even if you are sitting with a Jew.”
And finally, Imam Baqer (as) considered one of the most important duties of a believer is helping his brother in faith financially.