Taqwa (piety)

From Ahmed Al-Hassan Wiki

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"Taqwa" (piety) is a bird with two wings:
hope & fear...


But Taqwa cannot be classified simply as "hope in God" or “fear of God”,
rather these two wings lift the pious one up to complete obedience.
Throughout every action in his/her life
the Muttaqi fights the wickedness emerging from the "I",
and actively pushes for goodness,
in order to draw closer, and closer to His Lord.


Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (as) said:
"In truth, the human being who is subjective and humble to Allah
and obedient to the command of Allah
is in a state of prostration in all of his conditions,
whilst he sleeps and stands and sits and walks."

Down to the root

The word "taqwa" which commonly translates to "piety", "righteousness", and "fear of God" surprisingly shares its triliteral root with other words like: to save, and to protect.

These other words reveal the unceasing determination to prevent themselves from whatever displeases God found in the Muttaqin.

Hope & Fear

Hope in Allah

If we put our deepest love and highest hopes in no other than Him - as it should be - we would want to glorify Him with every decision we take.
And surely even the highest and most beautiful thoughts and hopes would never match His Majesty and Mercy...


Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (as) tells us:

"My advice for you always and forever is to think good of Allah, always and to always believe that Allah does not misguide his righteous servants, and then have patience and patience and patience...

Whoever works by this, by Allah, he shall not exit from this world except in the condition of being happy and satisfied and pleased."

And Aba Sadiq (as) said:
"O Believers! How many persons came to this dunya and went away from it and didn't gain anything from it.
Walk in your path to Allah and search for Allah and know Allah,
And know that Allah swt loves his children, and creation are his children, the creation are the children of Allah.
Those whom are more gentle to his creation, are the nearest to Allah.
And know that a father and a mother, no matter what the son did, they love him and they forgive his sins and his mistakes;
and Allah (swt) is greater than this."

Fear of Allah

Imam Ali (as) said:
“Fear Allah (swt) and you will have no cause to fear anyone.”
And he (as) said:
“No shelter is safer than piety.”

Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan said...
"Yes, be afraid of Allah. For fearing Allah is a blessing after which there is no blessing."

And Allah (swt) describes the believer in the Quran:
{But among them is he who says, "Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire."} - (2:201)

Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (as) also said:
"You are my beloved, and all of you are beloved to me.
There is no difference between one Ansari and another Ansari, except by [their] fear of Allah."


This fear (taqwa) surely means more than hoping for His rewards, and trying to avoid His punishment...

The Muttaqi is always on guard and alert of not committing any action that would earn the displeasure of the Almighty. He is ready to anticipate any situation, focus in the moment, as well as ponder over his past actions in order stay away from the haram and to dedicate himself to God.
The Mutaqqi rids and protects himself from any such traits that would would make him forgetful of Allah e.g. love of this world, greed, anger, hatred, pride, etc...


Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan once said on Paltalk:
" I do not want anyone to be embarrassed from anything except their shortcoming with Allah swt."

This saying discribes the highest form of Taqwa - being afraid to become forgetful of Allah, and being afraid of not taking the best path towards Allah's pleasure and His Grace.
The Muttaqi is in the state of hyper-vigilance against falling into the sin of forgetting God and looking at the "I" - that sin which never parts from the servant.
He strives to be mindful of Allah at all times and glorifies Him at all times.


What the believer should fear are our own shortcomings and sins, which may separate us from Allah (swt).
Because the truth is that God is not waiting to throw us into hellfire but rather we kindle the fire for ourselves, while He (swt) is facing us with immeasurable mercy.

Imam Ali (as) said:
"No pain is more painful to the heart than sins and there is no fear more intense than fear of death. Past experience is enough material for thinking, and death is more than enough a preacher."

And another hadith reminds us:
“Once I asked abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, about the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy: {The tumbling wall belonged to two orphans in the town whose father has been a righteous person. Underneath the wall there was a treasure that belonged to them...} Quran 18:82
“The Imam said, ‘It is a fact that the treasure did not consist of gold and silver. It consisted of four words: “No one deserves to be worshiped except I (Allah). Whoever has realized with certainty that death is inevitable has enough reason not to laugh for a year. Whoever has realized with certainty that accountability on the Day of Judgment is true has enough reason for his heart not to rest in ease. Whoever has realized with certainty that Allah does everything with strict measurements has enough reason not to fear anyone except Allah.” -Kitb Al-Kfi, H 1561, CH 26, h 6


The "Muttaqun" (pious) are careful to practice the knowledge they were given for the sake of their love for God:
Instead of just fearing Hell, or wanting paradise without appropriate action - they fiercely diminish the "I", and run from the dunya.
And because of their sincere constant striving God purifies their hearts, so they are able to love Him (swt) and His beloved ever more.

Beyond ordinary fear and hope: Worship in His love

Imam As-Sadiq [as] said about the meaning of worship: “Worship is of three kinds: some people worship Allah, because they fear Him – so it is the worship of slaves; and a group worships Allah, Blessed and High is He, to seek reward – so it is the worship of hirelings; and a group worships Allah, Mighty and Great is He, because of (His) love – and this is the worship of the free, and it is the most excellent worship.” (al-Kafi)

Imam Ali [as] said: Verily, some people worshipped Allah being desirous (Of His reward) – so this is the worship of traders; and some people worshipped Allah fearing (His punishment) – so it is the worship of slaves, and a group worshipped Allah in gratitude (to Him) so this is the worship of the free. (Nahju ‘I-balaghah)

Imam as-Sadiq [as] said: ‘Verily people worship Allah in three ways: One group worships Him in desire of His reward, and it is the worship of covetous ones, and it is greed; and others Worship Him in dread of the Fire, and it is the worship of slaves, and it is fear; but I worship Him in His love – Mighty and Great is He and this is the worship of noble ones. (It is) because Allah has said: and they shall be secure from terror on that days (27: 89); and He has said, Say: ‘If You love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you. . .’ (3:31). Therefore, whosoever is loved by Allah, he shall be among the secure ones; and it is a hidden position, cannot touch it save the purified ones.” (al-Ilal, al-Majalis and al-Khisal)

And Imam Ali (as) also said:
“O’ Allah! I did not worship you because I am afraid of Hell, or out of greed for your Paradise. I have worshipped you because I found you worthy of being worshipped."

Obedience/ Right Action

Imam Jafer As-Sadiq (as) said,
O Jabir, do not allow (false) religions to confuse you.
One should not think, since he loves Ali, recipient of divine supreme covenant, and supports him, thereafter he does not have to be active in anything.
If one says he loves the Messenger of Allah who is better than Ali, recipient of divine supreme covenant, but does not follow his way of life or practice his tradition, his love as such is of no benefit for him.
You must be pious before Allah and work to achieve things that exist with Allah.
There is no family relation between one and Allah.
The most beloved one to Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, is the most noble before Him, the most pious ones before Him and the most obedient ones to Him.

Abu Ali al-Ash’ari has narrated from Muhammad ibn Salim and Ahmad ibn abu ‘Abd Allah from his father all from Ahmad ibn al-Nadr from ‘Amr ibn Shamir from Jabir from abu Ja’far, recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the following:
“O Jabir, do people think just claiming to be our Shi’a and saying they love us (Ahl al-Bayt) is enough for their salvation? I swear by Allah, of our Shi’a are only those who are pious before Allah and obey Him."

From these words we understand, that only love for God which is acted upon with sincerity, can truly be called "piety" (taqwa).
Whoever really wants the face of Allah (swt) will take up the cross (the test of the ego), and turn his back on the dunya (the illusionary world).

Remembrance vs. Absent-mindedness

Allah (swt) says in the Quran:
{We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?} 41:53

And Allah (swt) says in the Quran:
{Remember me, I shall remember you.} 2:152

But also forgetfulness was placed in the nature of the human, so it may be one of the ways our love gets tested for its truth...
Do we fight our darknesses to stay aware of God, or do we let ourselves be carried away by illusions so we forget Him (swt)?

Taqwa is alertness, consciousness and vigilance towards Allah.
To be constantly aware of what pleases or displeases Him.
To rush in acting upon the orders of Allah and to suppress any inclinations that prevent us from completing the tasks in their best form.

But Taqwa goes a step further...

Those who forget God

To be devoutly religious infront of an Imam who is present in flesh and blood or infront of people is easy...
But the level of love and respect for God is measured by our dedication when we are alone with Him (swt) - or for example every day busy with a wordly task amongst non-believers.
What makes Taqwa so challenging and rewarding is the idea of expressing this level of alertness and attentiveness to Allah in His ‘absence’, when He is not visible and the light of belief has to come from the bottom of the heart.

The Prophet (sawas) said, "The best of faith is to know that Allah is with you wherever you are." - Kanz al-`Ummal, no. 66

About the Muttaqin Allah (swt) says in the Quran:
{When a thought of evil from Shaitan assaults those people who have consciousness of Allah, then they bring Allah to remembrance, then they are able to see straight (the true path) once again!} - Quran 7:201

But about those who forget Him (swt) Allah says in the Quran:
{Then taste you (the torment of the Fire) because of your forgetting the Meeting of this Day of yours. Surely, We too will forget you.} [al-Sajdah 32:14]

And Allah says concerning the hypocrites:
{They have forgotten Allaah, so He has forgotten them. Verily, the hypocrites are the Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allaah).} al-Tawbah 9:67]

Get closer to Allah by the Heart

Quote from Ahmed Al-Hassan (as) 2015

Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (as) tells us…
"Purify your heart from inside, and you shall know like I know.
Remove the remnants of the world from your heart, and purify your inner.
And wish for your brother and for all the human beings what you wish for yourself.
And let yourself be the first to give and the last to take.
Train (control) and discipline your self,
and know that Allah hears and sees what is in the heart,
as for the tongue it does not make a step forward nor backwards
[translator's note: meaning what you say with your tongue is not what matters to Allah swt, rather what is in your heart and your actions matter to Allah swt.]"


On another occasion someone asked Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (as):
(as)​:
" ​My​ ​master,​ ​was​ ​the appearance​ ​of​ ​Imam​ ​Mahdi​ ​Muhammed​ ​Al-Hassan​ Al-Askari​ ​(as)​ ​on​ ​the​ ​day of​ ​the​ ​death​ ​of​ ​King​ ​Abdullah​ ​may​ ​Allah​ ​curse​ ​him​ ​a​ ​private​ ​appearance, and​ ​his​ ​appearance​ ​between​ ​the​ ​Rukn​ ​and​ ​Maqam​ ​will​ ​be​ ​a​ ​general encompassing​ ​appearance?​ ​Is​ ​that​ ​correct?"

So​ ​the​ ​answer​ ​was:
"The​ ​appearance​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Imam​ ​(as)​ ​was​ ​not​ ​private​ ​by​ ​the​ ​meaning​ ​of private.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​general.​ ​But​ ​the​ ​people​ ​are​ ​blind​ ​they​ ​do​ ​not​ ​see.​
The​ ​Imam (as)​ ​is​ ​always​ ​in​ ​front​ ​of​ ​you​ ​in​ ​front​ ​of​ ​your​ ​eyes.​ ​You​ ​see​ ​him​ ​and​ ​he​ ​sees you.​ ​You​ ​hear​ ​him​ ​and​ ​he​ ​hears​ ​you.​ ​But​ ​what​ ​does​ ​he​ ​do​ ​if​ ​you​ ​do​ ​not feel!​
There​ ​is​ ​no​ ​strength​ ​nor​ ​power​ ​except​ ​by​ ​Allah.

So​ ​the​ ​person​ ​who​ ​was​ ​asking​ ​said​:
My​ ​master,​ ​what​ ​must​ ​we​ ​do​ ​in​ ​order that​ ​we​ ​see​ ​the​ ​Imam​ ​(as)​ ​and​ ​hear​ ​him​ ​and​ ​come​ ​out​ ​of​ ​our​ ​heedlessness?

The​ ​Imam​ ​(as)​ ​answered:
"Remove​ ​the​ ​dust​ ​off​ ​your​ ​eyes,​ ​Is​ ​there​ ​anything​ ​other​ ​than​ ​moving closer​ ​to​ ​Allah​ ​by​ ​the​ ​heart​ ​and​ ​not​ ​the​ ​tongue.​ ​There​ ​is​ ​nothing​ ​other than​ ​that!​ ​Moving​ ​closer​ ​to​ ​Allah​ ​is​ ​the​ ​key​ ​to​ ​goodness.

I​ ​have​ ​not​ ​left​ ​you,​ ​not​ ​even​ ​for​ ​one​ ​second,​ ​since​ ​you​ ​were​ ​born.​ ​I​ ​was waiting​ ​until​ ​you​ ​grew​ ​older​ ​And​ ​I​ ​watch​ ​you​ ​and​ ​protect​ ​you,​ ​But​ ​you​ ​are heedless.​ ​I​ ​have​ ​spoken​ ​to​ ​you​ ​a​ ​lot,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​have​ ​sat​ ​with​ ​you​ ​a​ ​lot.​ ​and​ ​we ate​ ​and​ ​drank​ ​but​ ​you​ ​are​ ​headless​ ​and​ ​do​ ​not​ ​comprehend.​ ​Rather​ ​there is​ ​a​ ​cover​ ​on​ ​your​ ​eyes​ ​while​ ​you​ ​do​ ​not​ ​see.​ ​And​ ​we​ ​have​ ​rescued​ ​you, while​ ​you​ ​are​ ​turning​ ​away.
He​ ​said​ ​my​ ​Lord​ ​have​ ​mercy​ ​on​ ​me,​ ​while​ ​they​ ​do​ ​not​ ​comprehend​ ​And it​ ​is​ ​sufficient​ ​for​ ​me​ ​the​ ​torment​ ​of​ ​the​ ​known​ ​Day,​ ​while​ ​they​ ​do​ ​not fear!
We​ ​have​ ​called​ ​you​ ​from​ ​between​ ​the​ ​mountains​ ​of​ ​the​ ​red​ ​Aqiq​ ​while you​ ​do​ ​not​ ​hear.​ ​A​ ​mountain​ ​which​ ​has​ ​declared​ ​that​ ​there​ ​is​ ​no​ ​God​ ​but Allah​ ​and​ ​that​ ​Muhammed​ ​is​ ​His​ ​servant​ ​and​ ​Messenger​ ​and​ ​has acknowledged​ ​the​ ​supremacy​ ​of​ ​Allah.
And​ ​it​ ​is​ ​the​ ​first​ ​mountain​ ​to​ ​acknowledge​ ​monotheism​ ​of​ ​Allah.​ ​But blind​ ​and​ ​deaf​ ​you​ ​are,​ ​you​ ​do​ ​not​ ​hear​ ​nor​ ​look/see.
Indeed​ ​Allah​ ​is​ ​closer​ ​than​ ​the​ ​jugular​ ​vein.
When​ ​you​ ​walk​ ​do​ ​not​ ​put​ ​your​ ​foot​ ​except​ ​over​ ​the​ ​traces​ ​of​ ​the​ ​feet​ ​of the​ ​Hujjah​ ​of​ ​Allah.
So​ ​you​ ​may​ ​be​ ​from​ ​those​ ​who​ ​are​ ​rescued​ ​and​ ​the​ ​winners.​ ​Do​ ​what Allah​ ​The​ ​One​ ​the​ ​Indivisible​ ​command​ ​through​ ​his​ ​successor."
- See answer in Paltalk transcript pdf

The Level of the Truthful Ones

If we look at taqwa fro the aspect of God-consciousness we will see that there is an even higher level than that of the Muttaqin - it is the "The Wara' of the Siddiqin" (The Truthful Ones):

The Holy Quran names 4 levels of believers (according to the Iranian scholar Makarem Shirazi) - The Pious Ones being the 3rd highest:

  1. Level One - The Wara' of the Ta`ibin (The Repenting Ones)
  2. Level Two - The Wara' of the Salihin (The Righteous Ones)
  3. Level Three - The Wara' of the Muttaqin (The Pious Ones)
  4. Level Four - The Wara' of the Siddiqin (The Truthful Ones)

At this level, one turns his attention completely away from everything other than Allah (swt).
This person also turns his spiritual eyes away from everything other than Allah (swt) and focuses all of his attention only on Him so that the time of his life is spent in looking towards the Creator.


Everything Imam Ali.jpg

Another description of this level is found in a conversation between Allah (swt) and Prophet Muhammad (sawa) about the "Special Ones":

Nothing distracts them from Allah for not even a blink of an eye.
They don’t want a lot of food, or to speak a lot, or to have much clothing.
They see the people as dead, Allah is for them the ever living the self Subsistent the Generous.
They invite those who have turned away from them or the religion kindly.
And they welcome those who are coming to them with good nature. This world and the hereafter has become one for them.
[...]
Nothing distracts them from Allah for not even a blink of an eye.
And he does not have any human that keeps him busy from Allah for not even a blink of an eye.
Their joy are the tears that fall down their cheeks.
And they scream and ask for help from the Great one that is on the throne.
The people of the hereafter, their hearts have been scarred and are hurt from the sadness that they feel because of loving the next world, and they say, ‘when will we rest from this temporary world and go to the everlasting one?’- An excerpt from Biharul Anwar, vol. 74 pg. 21-30


And Imam Ali's (as) tells us head-on that forgetting God under which circumstance soever is some form of ignorance...

"Anything that distracts one from Allahs (swt) remembrance is gambling." - Imam Ali

"Every statement in which Allah is not mentioned is a vanity.
Every silence in which there is no thought of Him is carelessness.
Every reflection in which there is no consideration of Him is an idle pastime."

Remembering God in each and every single moment

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Even though it is human nature to forget, God Almighty gave us a mind to remind ourselves...
and gave the Mind a soldier called "Remembrance (at-tadhakkur") which fights the soldier of ignorance called "Absent-mindedness (as-sahu)".

And Allah (swt) tells us in the Holy Quran:
{He (Allah) is with you wherever you are.} 57:4

And also says,
{And We have already created man and know what his nafs whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular veinv} 50:16

Everyone knows, that God is neither absent, nor ever missing. And that it is rather our consciousness and our awareness – our Taqwa towards Him – that is absent and missing.
Only if we turn Him, become conscious of Him, and awaken our souls to Him can we experience His communication with us within ourselves, and everywhere around us.

Just as He (swt) says...
{We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?} 41:53


"God-consciousness-and-Destroying-Bad-Thoughts-by-Heart" by HamidReza

"Remember-Allah-always-and-when-especially" by HamidReza

"Observing-the-remembrance-of-Allah" by AliReza

"Dhikr/Remembrance" by Shana

Interrupt brainstream: Meditation and its Benefits

If you feel you are having a hard time focusing your thoughts, because the everyday-life is turbulent, or you find it difficult to think positive, then you might need to rid yourself from all the ‘noise’ of the voice of the ego – desires, diseases of the soul, etc. – to become able to awaken to the presence of Allah (swt).


Mahdi Moses (peace be upon him) said:
"Meditation is a natural remedy.
The human being who practices meditation daily and regularly and with great concentration reaches to a stage where he misses it as a person misses eating a certain fruit until it becomes a part of him.'
Meditation is necessary like drinking or eating but it is nourishment for the soul and a cure for the self.
The most important level a meditator reaches is to control their thoughts to push away bad thoughts at that point the person will see and feel how the thought enters his mind and grows and how much it leads (the person) to mistakes."


Since our mind is easily cluttered and clogged with all other pursuits meditation is needed to free it from focusing on darknesses, and train it to focus on light instead... Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (as) and the Mahdis (as) have now more than once recommended the regular practice of meditation. Therefore a whole documentary has been dedicated to this topic in the series "The Medicine of the Mahdis - Meditation".

Summary

The following two narrations summarize the topic of taqwa in a mind-boggling way...

From a long advice given to Abu Dharr

"Oh Abu Dharr! Be more concerned about doing deeds with piety than just doing deeds. Because it is not deemed little, that which is done with piety. And how can a deed be deemed little which is accepted? Allah says, "Allah only accepts from the pious."


Oh Abu Dharr! The most beloved of you to Allah, magnificent is His praise, is the one who remembers Him most. And the most honorable of you to Allah is the most pious among you, and the most saved of you from the punishment of Allah is the strongest of you in awe of Him."

- Source

How Imam Ali describes the God-fearing

From Imam Sadiq (a) that his father (a) said:
A companion of Amir ul-Mu'minin called Homam who was a man devoted to worship said to him, O Amir ul-Mu'minin, describe to me the pious men in such a way as though I see them.

Amir ul-Mu'minin (a) avoided the reply and said:
O Homam, fear Allah and perform good acts because {verily, Allah is with those who guard (themselves against evil) and those who do good (to others} 16:128.

Homam was not satisfied with this; therefore, he said, O Amir ul-Mu'minin, I implore to you by the One Who honored you as He gave you some merits exclusively and favored you as He endowed you with special gifts. Describe the pious man to me. Hence, he pushed Amir ul-Mu'minin to speak.

Thereupon, Amir ul-Mu'minin stood up, praised Allah, extolled Him, sought His blessings on the holy Prophet, and then spoke:
Now then, Allah, the Glorified the Sublime, created (the things of) creation. He created them without any need for their obedience or being safe from their sinning, because the sin of anyone who sins does not harm Him nor does the obedience of anyone who obeys Him benefit Him. He has distributed among them their livelihood, and has assigned them their positions in the world.
Allah caused Adam and Eve (a) to descend from Paradise as punishment for them since they broke His orders and breached his instruction.
Thus, the God-fearing, in this world, are the people of distinction. Their speech is to the point, their dress is moderate and their gait is humble. They submit to Allah the Sublime and so therefore, they are astonished. They keep their eyes closed to what Allah has made unlawful for them, and they put their ears to that knowledge which is beneficial to them. They remain in the time of trials as though they remain in comfort, because they satisfy themselves with the acts of Allah. If there had not been fixed periods (of life) ordained for each, their spirits would not have remained in their bodies even for the twinkling of an eye because of (their) eagerness for the reward and fear of chastisement. The greatness of the Creator is seated in their heart, and so, everything else appears small in their eyes.
Thus, to them, Paradise is as though they see it and are enjoying its favors. To them, Hell is also as if they see it and are suffering punishment in it. Their hearts are grieved, evils are not expected from them, their bodies are thin, their needs are scanty, their souls are chaste, and their supplies that they take from this world are great. They endured (hardship) for a short while, and, in consequence, they secured comfort for a long time. It is a beneficial transaction that the All-generous Lord made easy for them. The world aimed at them, but they did not aim at it. It captured them, but they freed themselves from it.

During a night, they are upstanding on their feet reading portions of the Quran and reciting it in a well-measured way, creating through it grief for themselves, bearing good tidings for themselves, stirring their sorrows for their sins, and seeking by it the cure for their ailments. When they come across a Verse, which contains fear (of Hell), they bend the ears of their hearts towards it, and feel as though the sound of Hell and its cries are reaching their ears. When they come across a Verse creating eagerness (for Paradise), they pursue it avidly, and their spirits turn towards it eagerly, and they feel as if it is in front of them. They bend themselves from their backs, glorify Allah the Sublime the Omnipotent, and prostrate themselves on their foreheads, their palms, their toes, and their knees. Their tears are flowing on their cheeks. They pray ardently to Allah for releasing them (from Hell).
During the day, they are enduring, learned, virtuous and God-fearing. Fear (of Allah) has made them thin like arrows. If any one looks at them, he believes they are sick, although they are not sick, and he says that they have gone mad. In fact, great concern (i.e., fear) has made them mad. If they ponder over the greatness and absolute power of Allah, along with the mention of death and the terrors of the Day of Resurrection that affect them deeply, their hearts become frightened, their minds agitated, and their mentalities astonished. If they wake up, they take the initiative to doing the pure acts to Allah. They are not satisfied with their meager good acts and do not regard their major acts as great. They always blame themselves and are afraid of their deeds.
When anyone of them is spoken of highly, he says: I know myself better than others do, and my Lord knows me better than I know. O Allah do not blame me for what they say, and make me better than what they think of me and forgive me (those shortcomings) which they do not know. You are surely the knower of the things unseen and the coverer of the defects.

The peculiarity of anyone of them is that you will see that he has strength in religion, determination along with leniency, faith with conviction, eagerness in (seeking) knowledge, understanding along with comprehension, knowledge along with clemency, gain along with lenience, kindness along with alms-giving, moderation in riches, devotion in worship, sufferance in starvation, endurance in hardship, mercy for the efforts, rightful giving, lenience in seeking earnings, desire for the lawful, pleasure in guidance, hatred from greed, piety with straightforwardness, and uninterested in appetite.
He is not deceived by the praise of the ignorant and does not forget to evaluate his past deeds. He regards all his acts as slow.
He performs virtuous deeds but still feels afraid. In the evening, he is anxious to offer thanks (to Allah). In the morning, his anxiety is to remember (Allah). He passes the night in fear and rises in the morning in joy fear lest night is passed in forgetfulness, and joy over the favor and mercy received by him. If his self refuses to endure a thing, which it does not like, he does not grant its request towards what it likes. His delight lies in that which will remain forever and last long. The coolness of his eye lies in what is to last forever. His desire lies in that which will continue, while from the things (of this world) that will not last, he keeps aloof. He transfuses knowledge with forbearance, and speech with action.

You will see his laziness remote, his activity ceaseless, his hopes simple, his shortcomings few, his expectation is the coming of death, his heart fearing, his reference is to his Lord, his fear is of his sin, his spirit contented, his ignorance absent, his affairs easy, his religion safe, his desires dead, his rage suppressed, his manners pure, his neighbor secured, his pride weak, his steadfastness strong, reference to Allah very frequent, and his matters decisive.
He does not divulge that which the friends ask to keep secret and does not conceal a testimony for the enemies. He does not act any deed out of showing off and does not neglect acting it out of prudency. Good alone is expected from him. Evil from him is not to be feared. Even if he is found among those who forget (Allah), he is counted among those who remember (Him), but if he is among those who remember (Allah), he is not counted among the forgetful.
He forgives him who is unjust to him, he gives to him who deprives him, and he behaves well with him who behaves ill with him. His forbearance is never absent and he does not hurry up in matters that he suspects. He overlooks him whose fault is shown to him. Indecent speech is far from him, his utterance is lenient, his evils are non-existent, his virtues are ever present, his speech is truthful, his deeds are good, his good is ahead, and mischief has turned its face (from him). He is dignified during calamities, patient in distresses, and thankful during ease. He does not commit excess over him whom he hates, and does not commit sin for the sake of him whom he loves. He does not claim of possessing that which is not his and does not deny the right that is incumbent upon him. He admits truth before evidence is brought against him. He does not misappropriate what is placed in his custody, and does not forget what he is required to remember. He does not call others bad names, he does not oppress anybody, he does not take the initiative in envy, he does not cause harm to his neighbor, and he does not feel happy at others misfortunes.

He hurries to offer the prayers, keeps the trusts that are deposited with him so honestly, slows down in acting the evil deeds, enjoins good, forbids evil, does not engage himself in matters ignorantly, and does not go out of the right out of his failure. If he is silent, his silence does not grieve him. If he speaks, he does not err. If he laughs, he does not raise his voice beyond his hearing.
He is satisfied with that which is decided for him. Rage does not cause his to exceed the limits, passion does not overcome him, and stinginess does not predominate him. He is not greed for that which is not his. He associates with people so as to learn, keeps silent so as to save himself, puts questions so as to understand, and investigates so as to have knowledge. His silence is not purposed for making people wondering at him and his wording is not purposed for priding himself on others.
If he is wronged, he endures until Allah takes revenge on his behalf. His own self is in distress because of him, while the people are in ease from him. He puts himself in hardship for the sake of his next life, and makes people feel safe from himself. His keeping away from others is by way of asceticism and purification, and his nearness to those to whom he is near is by way of leniency and mercifulness. His keeping away is not by way of vanity or feeling of greatness, nor is his nearness by way of deceit and cheating. He imitates the virtuous people who preceded him and is the leader of the pious people who will come after him.

It is related that Homam passed into a deep swoon and then expired. Then Amir ul-Mu'minin said: Verily, by Allah I had this fear about him.
The Imam (a) ordered people to prepare Homams funeral ceremonies. He offered the Deceased Prayer on his body. Then he added: Effective advises produce such effects on receptive minds.
Someone said to him: O Amir ul-Mu'minin, how is it you do not receive such an effect? Amir ul-Mu'minin replied: Woe to you. For death, there is a fixed hour, which cannot be exceeded and a cause, which does not change. Now look, never repeat such talk, which the Shaitan had put on your tongue."