Patience and gratitude are two great virtues. He, who is devoted to Allah and to His Imaams, discharges all the obligations that he owes to them and relies on them in prosperity and adversity. He puts up with discomforts in the discharge of these duties for the sake of Allah and for the sake of Imaams. He belongs to that group of ‘saabereen' those who bear hardships with patience, for whom Allah says in His holy book, “Allah rewards the ‘Saabereen' beyond one's calculations.” Allah has praised them and spoken of His rewards to them in several other verses of the Qur'an.
By virtues of this quality of patience the ‘Saaberee' have kept themselves in check from doing unlawful things and have persisted in their devotion to Allah. As a reward for this they have received His favors and have settled down in ‘jannat', the abode of bliss.
O mumineen, keep yourselves in check from doing wrong things and make yourselves deserving of divine favors. Persevere in your devotion and train yourselves to put up with discomforts for the sake of the Imaams. Do not be discouraged. Rush into them and do not feel depressed. Patience in this respect is an act of devotion to Allah. Those who practice it will be amply compensated by Allah. ‘Saabereen' are sure to be rewarded.
It is by patience over the difficulties which the followers of the Imaams had to undergo that their authority has been established on earth and their claim have been recognized by the people. It is through the sufferings of these followers that people have submitted to their authority.
The ‘Saabereen' are steady people. They put up with all sorts of hardships for the sake of the Imaams. They rush to the Imaams and are ever-ready to carry out their orders. If they are appointed to any office they do the job willingly. They are devoted to Allah and they establish His laws on earth. By virtue of this they win the reward of Allah. They are the happiest people on earth and their end is the best.
Had the 'Saabereen' not attended to the duties of Allah and had they not put up with hardships for the sake of the Imaams and they shilly-shallied in the discharge of their religious duties they would have brought on themselves a great disaster. Man would have pounced upon man in front and from behind. The strong ones would have swallowed the weak ones and the villains would have persecuted men of respectable birth. May Allah forbid us from such a disaster and the failure of religion which is sure to end in the reign of terror!
This is about patience. With regards to gratitude, it perpetuates the blessings and increases them to an unimaginable extent. Those who are neglectful in this are considered to be ‘ kaafereen ' i.e. deniers of truth and deniers of divine favors. Allah says, “If you show gratitude to me, I shall increase my blessings on you. If you become ‘kaafereen' i.e. you deny my favors then my punishment is very severe.” The Prophet says, “If one does favor to you then Allah will turn unto him and you must be reciprocal to him. If you cannot do so then thank him. If you fail to do so then you become ‘ kaafereen '.” Allah does not like that we should be ungrateful to Him for the favors that He has done to us. He does not approve of ingratitude even from man to man for the Allah turn that one may do to another. He says, “Be grateful to me and to your parents. You have to return to me.”
The Prophet says, “On the Day of Judgment Allah will say to someone of the ungrateful persons, ‘such and such a man did you a good turn but you did not thank him and denied his favor'. The man will say in reply, ‘I thought that you were the source of the good returns he did to me and Imaams thanked you for it.' Allah will say, ‘How should you thank me when you did not thank the person whom Imaams had made the medium of doing you a good.'
To sum up, if to thank our parents for their bringing us up and to thank those man who do us a favor is a duty enjoined on us by Allah and denial of it amounts to ‘kufr' then, it needs no imagination for us to realize the magnitude of the importance to the Imaams whose favors on us are beyond our calculations.
Let us make a short survey of their favors on us. We were ignorant of everything and were spiritually dead. They brought us back to life and showed us the path wisdom. We were blind they gave us the eyes to see for ourselves what is right and what is wrong. We were groping in the dark and they showed us the light. We had lost the track, they shoed us the way to salvation. We were lacking in knowledge they gave us the knowledge. We were falling in hell-fire they picked us up and put up in the midst of the righteous. In short, they have done us the favors which we cannot count. They have given all that is good in this world and the world to come.
With all this, even if one were to follow them with no other motive than an earthly desire for a worldly gain, he will get what he wants. He will get even double the amount of his expectations, provided that he is honest in the discharge of the duties that are assigned to him and is steady in his work. But, if he proves to be dishonest and unfaithful to them in doing his job, if he works against the interest of those very persons who provide him with all sorts to fulfill facilities and give him the necessary protection and security to fulfill life and property, then the blame lies at his doors. May Allah protect us from such people and may He not show us such things. The only course left open for such a person is to make amends for his behavior and seriously repent for it. He must set himself right and be grateful to Imaams.