As far as oppression is concerned, Allaah has guaranteed His help to the oppressed. He who exposes himself to the wrath of Allaah will be severely punished here and hereafter. The holy Qur'an says, “Allaah will help him who is oppressed by others.” Let us take a serious notice of this warning of Allaah. Let us not treat it lightly. If Allaah does not fulfill it immediately we should not ignore His intimidation. In the case of human beings, usually revengeful people try to wreak vengeance on their victims at the earliest opportunity. They do so because they are afraid of dying before they are able to satisfy their feelings of vengeance. No such considerations weigh with Allaah. If He postpones His punishment and lets go the culprit scot-free for sometime, He will certainly punish him a little later here or in the next world whenever He likes. His punishment is much severe and of a permanent nature.

It is said that some one went to Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq and said, “O the grandson of Khatmul Mursaleen Mohammad (saws), Will you explain to us the meaning of the following verse, “Allaah destroys usury and blesses the charities.” In our every day life we find that usually money increases by usury and decreases by the charities drawn out of it.” The Imaam said in reply, “Nothing is more obvious than the decrease of the money acquired by usury. If the one who receives this money, repents of his misconduct and gives it away, it is gone. If he does not repent here, hell-fire will overtake him and will melt him along with the money.”

This is also kind of oppression. Oppression is never tolerated by Allaah in any form. If he inflicts the punishment on the oppressor, he is doomed to destruction. The Qur'an says, “When Allaah help you (the oppressed) no one can over power you.” This is the promise which is held out to the oppressed. If he postpones His help to the oppressed and spares the culprits in this world, the punishment in the next world will be of the severest type. The one who is to be helped by Allaah shall be helped by Him sooner or later because Allaah has no time limit for fulfilling His promise. Besides, there is no fear or loss of opportunity with Him. Nothing can deter him from his actions. Allaah forbid us from our being oppressive. Oppression is the worst of sins. If it is directed against the Imaam it calls for the severest punishment. For, he who oppresses the Imaam oppresses the Allaah and His Khatmul Mursaleen Mohammad (saws). Oppression is a sort of disobedience to Allaah. He who obeys the Imaam obeys Allaah and His Khatmul Mursaleen Mohammad (saws) and he who disobeys them disobeys Allaah and His Khatmul Mursaleen Mohammad (saws). To oppress the ‘mumin' and the believers of the Imaam is as bad as to oppress the Imaam. It is a horrible sin. It is forbidden by Allaah in general. His warning is always hanging on the head of the oppressor. The Khatmul Mursaleen Mohammad (saws) says, “If one mountain were to be oppressive to another, Allaah would break the oppressor to pieces.” The Qur'an says, “If one is oppressed, Allaah is sure to come to his help.” Allaah has commanded us in His holy Book that we should wage a ‘jihaad' against the oppressors of the Imaam and the ‘mumin'. Hostility, fighting, slandering or harming are the different forms of oppression. Calumniating a person by spreading false news against him is also included in the category of oppression. Those who speak the truth and are fair minded never fabricate scandalous things about others and indulge in this kind of oppression.

The worst form of oppression is to run down innocent people in the presence of the Imaam and to scandalize them by charging them with things which they have never done and which they are least likely to do. This is double sin. It is a combination of oppression to the innocent people and insolence to the Imaam.

Jealousy is another vice which is condemned in general. A Mumin is forbidden by Allaah from being jealous to one another. To be jealous of the Imaam is an unimaginable form of monstrosity. The holy Qur'an says, “Are the people envious of what Allaah has conferred upon them as a favour? We have favoured Ibraaheem with our book and wisdom and we have given them a large Kingdom.” Imaam Ja'far bin Mohammad (as) says, “We are the persons who are referred to in these verses as those who are envied by others. They envy us because of the Imaamat which Allaah has conferred on us. It is a great kingdom which is referred to in the above verse.” ‘Envy', says the Imaam, “Is the root of all sins.” It was the first sin that was committed in heavens and on earth. It was the first sin that was committed by man and the ‘jinn'.” Shaitaan envied Aadam (as) and envy was the cause of his disobedience. One of the sons of Aadam whose sacrifice was not accepted by Allaah became envious of his brother whose sacrifice was accepted and killed him out right. The holy Qur'an says, “People in hell fire will cry out. O Allaah, show us those two persons from amongst the jinnaat and human beings who have misled us so that we may put them under out feet and make them the lowest inmates.” It is said that it was the Iblees and Qaabeel who were the first to commit the sin of disobedience from amongst the jinnaat and human beings and they were the first to introduce this vice on earth.

Similarly, those who deny the Prophet hood ( nubuwat-risaalat ) of the Ambiyaa-Mursaleen and the Imaamat of the Imaam uz-Zamaan and assume a hostile attitude towards them by attempting to encroach upon their rights are prompted by nothing but envy. They like that they themselves should become the Prophet and the Imaam. Man is envious by nature. If he finds someone in possession of something which he has not got he tries to deprive him of it. If one commits theft or an act of seduction or indulges in other sins of this type, the motive behind his acts is always envy. It is for these reasons that Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (as) says, “Envy is the root of all sins.” Much of the human sufferings are caused by envy. One of the Imaam says, “I have never seen an oppressor like an envious person feeling more depressed than the oppressed once.”

Just as running down the innocent people before the Imaam is the worst form of oppression because it is a combination of two sins one against the people and the their against the Imaam, to be envious of those who are favoured by the Imaam, is the worst form of envy. It is a double sin. It is envy against the people plus the denial of the right doing of the Imaam. This sort of envy indicates that those who are favoured by the Imaam are not the deserving persons. In other words it means that the Imaam are not justified in their favouring these undeserving persons. It means a double hit, a hit against those persons and a hit against the Imaam. It is the worst combination of two sins.

The vice of greed is equally detestable. It is one of the worst things which have been prohibited by Allaah. To be greedy in general is condemnable, but to be greedy of the properties of the Imaam is the worst sin that one can imagine. It is an act of treachery and an encroachment on the rights of the Imaam. It is the most atrocious thing and the worst possible crime that one can commit.

Putting a wrong construction on the actions of people is horrible thing and to misconstrue the acts of Allaah is the worst form of this horror. The holy Qur'an says, “With regard to those who misconstrue the acts of Allaah, the evil of their misconstruction is directed against them. He curses them and he has kept for them hell-fire in store. Their end is bad.”

Since, the devotion (itaa'at) to the Khatmul Mursaleen Mohammad (saws) and the Imaam is linked with the devotion to Allaah, to misconstrue the actions of the Imaam is as monstrous as to misjudge the acts of Allaah. The misconstruction of the actions of the ‘mumin' who is the believer of the Imaam is equally horrible. Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq says, “Allaah has made it unlawful for a ‘mumin' to shed the blood of his brother ‘mumin', or to dishonour him or to misappropriate his property or to misconstrue to his actions.”

Ill will is another vice of this kind which is equally condemned. A ‘mumin' is forbidden from showing it to another ‘mumin' but if he shows it to the Imaam, not only he commits the most heinous sin but the ceases to be a ‘mumin'. He becomes a hypocrite.

O the believer of Allaah, keep aloof from these dreadful things. See that you display none of these vices by your words or by your deeds. Never entertain them even in your thoughts. Never show signs of approval if you notice these vices in others. Allaah says, “The ears, the eyes and the hearts will all be questioned about their actions.” Be sincere in your dealings with Allaah, His Khatmul Mursaleen Mohammad (saws) and the Imaam-e-Aal-e-Mohammad (sa). Be fair and square in your dealings with them and with the ‘mumin'. Keep a strict watch over yourselves. The perfection of faith, decency of behaviour and straight forwardness depend on the extent to which you watch your own conduct. You should be more afraid of your own-selves than of others. If you do so you will never do a thing which will bring you to disgrace before others. You will never do these things which will lower you in the eyes of Allaah or in the estimation of your fellow man.

In conclusion, O mumineen, keep a strict watch on yourselves. Peep in your hearts and find out your defects. If you do not detect them others will point them out to you. May Allaah help you and us in doing things which meet with His approval.

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