Story No. 404 – Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as) and recognition of Allah (SWT)
Man’s turning to Allah (SWT) during times of calamities is a sign of our inclinations to Godliness. Man gets involved with his position and status so much that he forgets about Allah (SWT). He gets fully entangled in his sins and disobedience. Once a calamity befalls upon man, he suddenly remembers Allah (SWT) and turns to Him for help. Thus, we realize that this sense of Godliness is intrinsic in humans, but man’s involvement in worldly affairs results in his forgetting Allah (SWT).
There is a well-known tradition that states that a man went to see Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as) and expressed his amazement about the recognition of Allah (SWT).
He said: “I have discussed this issue with many knowledgeable people, but they have not been able to help me.” Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) ended his amazement using his intrinsic human Godliness and asked him:
“Have you ever been aboard a ship?”
The man said: “Yes.”
Then Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) asked: “Have you ever been on a sinking ship, and reached out for a narrow piece of board to stay afloat?”
The man said: “Yes. I have.”
Then Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) said: “Then while you could not see any dry land or anyone there to save you, were you not really attracted to some power to rescue you?”
The man replied in the positive and was finally relieved of his amazement about Allah’s (SWT) recognition.”