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Sheikh Ansari’s behaviour and practical logic
Sheikh Ansari’s behaviour and practical logic who attained the highest authority in all branches of knowledge, whose financial status when he died was the same as during the time he had entered Najaf ( Theological Center)as a poor seeker of knowledge. People looked at his house and furniture and said that he lived like the poorest person. Someone told him: “Sir! You do a marvellous job in not touching all these funds (Islamic taxes) which come to you! “What is marvellous about it?, he asked. “That is marvellous! Is there any thing more significant than this?, the man inquired. He replied: “My job at the most, is the unto the business of the ass-drivers of Kashan, who are paid to buy merchandise from Isfahan and carry to Kashan. Have you ever seen these people commit fraud and deceit against people’s properties? They are trustworthy and not allowed to do so. This is not as important a manner as you imagine. Thus, we see that this “religious authority, itself does not permit the spirit of this great man to be subdued by pride of power or by other’s opinions.
Accordingly, the study of the life – accounts of some particular individuals reveals the fact that man can have a definite and unchangeable attitude and logic under widely different circumstatances, and this is easy to prove – Marx’s studies on the lives of Marwan- i- Hakam, Othman, Zubair, Talha, were no doubt incomplete, and misleading. Had he studied the lives of some noble personalities he would not have established such an erroneous principle, nor would he have reached wrong conclusions.
In theoretical logic, we are concerned with reasoning and poetry. Reasoning is some thing used in mathematics to prove or establish a theory. On the other hand, reasonable theoretical hypotheses have to be accepted and foolowed without question. For example, a student of mathematics is taught that the total sum of the angles of a triangle is 180 degrees, and it is never less or more, even to extent of one degree. The reason are stated for this. Now, can a mathematics teacher be so independent and authoritative to prove ( by his own reasons ) that this total is 1700 at one time, and 1200 or 2000 at other times. No he has no such authority. Even Einstein would be criticized by a 12 grade student should he try to prove so. He would be in fact acting against reason and logic and no one is likely to accept this.
As to poetry, it is as flexible as wax and thus easily at man’s and the peot’s disposal. He can employ simile, a metaphor, an imagery etc. as per his wish- a poem, which is without logic and reasoning. The peot if asked to eulogize something, he does so. But he can condemn and criticize the same thing if he asked to do so. For example, Ferdousi ( the great Iranian epic poet) one day was happy with Sultan Mahmud and so showed generous praises upon him, writing: “Mahmud, the holder of the world and the great king.”
Some other day, he felt quite offended by him, so he reproached the Shah thus:
Were a true princess the king ‘s mother, He’d grant me much more gold and silver!
Poetry can thus be manipulated as per the poet’s wish. When a poet is asked to commend the state of traveling, he may write:
It would be very good to travel,
To be static is absurd, I tell,
Could the tree too move and change its place,
It wouldn’t get axe and saw on the face.
On the other hand, if requested to commend the state of being stationary he may write:
The mountain is settled, and so it’s great
The wind travels and is devoid of weight.
It is obvious, therefore, that poetry is based on imagination which is meaningless in itself. It is, however effective at times. It is narrated that a king had an enemy whom he sought to capture. He did so and finally hanged him. A poet who was a disciple of this man whose dead body was kept hanging composed an elegy for him and secretly distributed it to the people. Of course, late on, the people came to know who he was. A line of that poem reads:
By my religion “it is manifest and right
That in life and death he ascended the height!
Hearing this poem, the king remarked that he would have preferred to be hanged in order to be so praised.
Poetical and logical reason of people in life
So far as practical knowledge is concerned, some people are firm, steadfast, decisive and upright. fact, the principle and canons they adhere to are definite and clear, and their adherence in turn, is so steadfast that no one can weaken it in the least bit. These people are very much unlikely to be influenced by force, allurement, social and economic conditions and class status. This is due to the fact that firm and fundamental principles are logical and mathematical principles, not subject to man’s will and sentiments. The Holy Prophet, Ali (A.S). Imam Husain (A.S) and even their followers such Salman, Abudhar, Miqdad ,Sheikh Murtadha Ansari and the like were all men of this category. But on the contrary. some person’s principles in life are like those of a poet, allowing their thoughts to be influenced by money and promises. They change themselves instantly because they lack in firm and fundamental principles.
A very important point that must not be neglected while discussing prophetic attitude is that Islam is a school of thought based on practical logic.
The human being possesses a structure and a primordial nature which makes him follow and adhere to firm and unchanging logic in theory and attain a steadfast and unflinching status in practical logic, never being influenced by any force or power. This is why Ali (A.S) portrays the believer as steadfast mountain which cannot be moved and displaced by heavy storms like deprivations and inadequacies which some times prevail in man’s life and also welfare and tranquility upon which the Holy Quran has elaborated:
“And among men is he who serves God on the verge,
If good befalls him, he is satisfied therewith,
But if a trial afflicts him, he turns back headlong ( to infidelity), with loss of both this world and of the next!
That is a manifest ( doublefold) loss! The Holy Quran, (22:11)
Abstinence and the firm behaviour
The Commander of the Faithful, Ali (A.S), gives a beautiful description of the word “ abstinence” in Nahj al- balaghah, saying:
Abstinence ( Zuhd) is expressed in two statements of the Quran: “ Lest ye distress yourselves if good thing escape you and be overjoyous for what falleth to your share.” (5:23)
“Zuhd” is a concern of the soul and cannot be acquired by mere sanctimonious deeds. The true abstinent man is actually the one who will neither be sorrow – stricken if the whole world is withheld from him, nor will become overjoyous, should the would at large regard him with favor. In fact, he is the one who remains the same in both situations and does not lose his spiritual perseverance and steadfastness.
Ali’s definition of “Zuhd” goes beyond Marx’s and Hegel’s minds who believe the other way round, rejecting the fact that Ali (A.S) had said that human beings acquire such an exalted state as to be indifferent to class interests. The humanism of Islam and of the true Muslim lays the basis for human beings to be abstinent in the way Ali (A.S)had described.
In Practical logic, like theoretical logic, some of the methods have basically been abolished. In theoretical logic, for instance, adherence to the sayings of other people, even the scholars, is for bidden in scientific matters. In practical logic too, principle is observed, and Islam supports it as well. As an example, a thorough study of the practical attitude of the Holy Prophet, Ali and other Imams (on whom be peace ) and a deep consideration of the books written about them by both Shiite and sunnis, reveals the fact that they have never made use of methods of confirming “auspiciousness and inauspiciousness of days! Nahj al- Balaghah narrates how when Ali (A.S) decided to set out for a fight against the Khavarij (i.e. the deniers), Ash’ath Bin Qais who was then one of his companions dashed forth and approached him, saying: “O Commander of the Faithful! I am an astrologer and an expert in recognizing auspicious and inauspicious days. I have come to the conclusion that if you move at this moment you and a great number of your companions will definitely be defeated and killed”. The Imam responded that whoever confirmed the astrologer ‘s nonsensical prophecy actually denies the Holy Prophet ‘s sayings. He then ordered his companions to immediately move in the name of God and to rely on Him, and not to pay any attention to the astrologer. Later on, it became apparent that Ali (A.S)had not been as successful in any other war as in this war against the khavarij.
“Abdul Malik Bin A’ ayun Zurari’s brother was a scholar and one of the famous narrators of his time. He had studied astrology and practiced it as well. But he felt gradually that his knowledge of astrology was becoming a nuisance to him, for ever day, when about to leave his home, he would be stopped by the location of stars, and would then doubt whether he should continue his journey or not. Then ,he went to Imam Sadiq (A.S) and remarked,” O son of the Messenger of God! I am afflicted by astrology (not astronomy which Islam supports).I have some astrological books and I feel that I can’t make any decision unless I refer to them. “Astonished, Imam Sadiq (A.S) asked, “Do you really practise these thing?” He replied, “yes, O’ son of the Messenger of God.” Then the Imam advised him to go home as quickly as possible and burn all such books and forget all about astrology thereafter.
On the whole, in addition to a series of narrations in this regard, there are some others which explain the “ill- omened days” mentioned in Sura Sajdih ‘ in the holy Qu’ran ( 41:16) A study of all these narrations by the Imams makes it clear that astrology is either basically not influential ( in man’s life ) or its influence, can be negated by reliance on God, the Holy Prophet (S) and Imams (A.S). Accordingly, Muslim and a true Shiite does not pay attention to these matters in practice, and if he wants to travel, for instance, he gives something in charity, relies on God, the Prophet and the Imams and then starts his travel. Moreover, those who do talk astrology never pay any attention to it themselves as far as their practical logic and attitude are concerned.
Popular stories about the lucky and unlucky days and people
There is well- know and widespread superstition in Khorasan and specially in Fariman ( the author’s hometown), and the author has witnessed it in other cities as well, that if some one intending to travel comes across a sayyed ( a descendant of Ali ), he should take it as an ill-omen that he would never return should he set on his journey.
Contrarily, if he confronts a stranger, his journey will be auspicious and worth undertaking. Our honorable professor, the late Mirza Ali Aqae Shirazi had discovered the origin of this superstition and said that it was due to the Abbasids’ crimes threats and pressures in killing Sadat (descendants of Ali) and even the whole family of those who gave them shelter. Here people gradually believed that sayyeds were politically inauspicious although they were not at all inauspicious in reality. As any house where in sayyed resided was condemned to destruction: With the lapse of time however, this superstition got deeply rooted in people’s minds as intrinsic inauspiciousness.
Once, I ( the author) had to face this situation the second or third time. I was to leave Fariman for Qum. As my late mother, my sister, other female members of the family and some friends came to see me off, I eagerly mounted a house to cover the twelve kilometers journey from my village (author’s birthplace) to Fariman so as to catch a bus for my trip. Having mounted the horse, I saw a Sayyed coming in my direction. I prayed to God, for of the woman had noticed it they would not have let me go. The Sayyed approached me and wanted to know whether I would travel to Qum directly from Fariman or come back to the village once again. He asked: “ Sir! willing, you won’t come back!? “No! Allah – wiling, I won’t” was my response. The woman however, did not hear our conversation, otherwise, they would have prevented me from leaving. I left for Qum, to say the least, and returned after a while without facing any inconvenience or hardship.
A Muslim should not therefore heed such superstitions. He should on the contrary rub them off his mind through reliance on God.
noble character of the Holy prophet of islam- pages: 39to49
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