Story No. 357– Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as): Let’s view things differently
Any good act, no matter how small and minimal, may as a matter of fact act as a long ladder in reaching Allah’s (SWT) satisfaction. Or any evil act, no matter how small and minimal, may results in Allah’s (SWT) wrath. The same matter can be applied to our peers; a person whom we may have overlooked at all times may be in fact an eminent servant of Allah (SWT).
This mentality is one taught by the divine leaders. Accordingly, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) has said:
“Verily Allah (SWT) has hidden three facts in three acts:
- He has hidden His satisfaction in His obedience; thus never undervalue an act of worship, lest His eventual satisfaction may be in that specific worship.
- He has hidden His wrath in His disobedience; thus never underestimate a sin, lest that very sin accompanies his ultimate wrath.
- And finally, He has hidden His chosen people amongst His servants; thus never undervalue any of His servants, lest that person is in fact the selected.”
Why does Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) insist upon making sure “no mater how small, acts of worship are not undervalued?” The fact of the matter is that Allah’s (SWT) satisfaction lies in our obedience to Him; the value of an act depends upon its acceptance by Allah (SWT), rather than our understanding of an act’s importance.
The concept of “an act being accepted by Allah (SWT)” can be seen in prayers of the Prophets (as) and the Imams (as), where despite their well-known piety and faith, they would constantly ask Allah (SWT) to accept their acts of worship.
For example, while Prophet Ibrahim / Abraham (as) was rebuilding the foundations of the Holy Kaaba with the help of his son Prophet Ismail / Ishmael (as) more than 3000 years ago in Makkah, he made the following prayer:
“O Lord! Accept (this service) from us; surely you are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” Noble Qur’an (2:127)
The same rule applies to sins, in that one should refrain from undervaluing any sin. Regardless the sin, in an act of sin a person is disobeying the commands of the authority of Allah (SWT). For who knows, that same sin can be a start in the path of Allah’s (SWT) dissatisfaction, and as a result lead to an unpleasant ending.
Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “Do not look at the minuteness of the sin, but see Whom you have sinned against.”