Story No. 360– Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as): Do not consider a Small thing insignificant

Narrations state that once Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) during a journey camped at a desert place absolutely bereft of any vegetation. He (saw) told the companions (Sahabah) to collect sticks. All of them said that they were in such a desolate place that it was not possible to find any sticks. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) ordered each of them to collect as many twigs as he can or fetch whatever they might find. Hence, companions (Sahabah) scattered in every direction. In the due course each companion brought a small quantity of sticks and put them before Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). When all of them had made a pile of sticks, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “Sins also accumulate in this way.”


Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw)The Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) wanted to show by this analogy that even though we may be unaware of our sins when they accumulate they could make a big heap. If we calculate the sins we commit in our life they shall reach a staggering figure.


In the words of Shaikh Saadi, the Persian Poet:


An increase of drop on a drop makes a stream

An increase of a stream upon a stream makes an ocean


However, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) does not limit his words to the acts of worship and sin, rather the Imam continues to discuss our interaction with people. How can one undervalue a brother/sister, while the great servants of Allah (SWT) are hidden amongst the rest of the people? It is noteworthy that this saying does not specify a certain group of people such as the faithful; rather it encompasses all the creatures of Allah (SWT). Islam has not allowed us to judge people by their appearances, unless his/her true character has been revealed; and has not allowed us to ignore others merely because he/she does not have a pleasant appearance to us.