Commentary on hadith about:
Maintaining relations and caring for one’s kins
Showing compassion to neighbors and companions
Observing modesty and virtue
Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq (greetings be upon him) has been narrated to have said, “Good personal qualities and virtues are interdependent and Allah grants them to whomever He wills… Being trustworthy [in regards with things held in trust], caring for and paying visit to one’s kin, being compassionate to one’s neighbors and companions, being hospitable to one’s guests and most importantly, being modest and decent;” [Amali al-Tusi, chapter 11, page 301].
The previous part of the hadith was, “Being sincere, being honest towards people, fulfilling people’s requests and reciprocating other’s good gestures and deeds.” I explained this part of the hadith yesterday. This is the rest of the hadith:
“Being trustworthy [in regards with things held in trust]”
The “trust” convention[i] is not necessarily a financial one. If someone or some people entrust you with a certain matter, this is a trust agreement. Sometimes, it is about an amount of money which they give us so that we keep it on their behalf. This is a financial trust agreement. Sometimes, people entrust us with their honor and dignity [namoos].. And sometimes, it is about a spiritual matter. For example, they ask us a religious question and demand a correct answer. So, the trust contract requires that we say the right thing.
Sometimes, we give classes where people attend and it obliges us to teach well. As for social responsibilities, this is a completely clear issue. So, honoring this trust agreement is one of the tasks that is very broad in scope. This is one of the personality traits that Imam Sadiq has highlighted.
“Paying visit to and caring for ones kin”
Maintaining relations with and caring for one’s kin is a means of social networking. It is a network for social bonds. If relatives are in touch with one another, those who are good-tempered and who have good personal qualities can naturally convey them to others.
“Being compassionate with one’s neighbors and companions”
We are advised to be kind and affectionate towards our neighbors and our “sahebs”: those who accompany us in our trips, in our workplace and in our daily interactions. This is very important. We should be kind and behave in a gentle way towards – for example – the people who accompany us: our driver, our bodyguard and our friends who accompany us somewhere.
“Being hospitable to one’s guests”
Another personal quality is hospitality to our guests. Hospitality is a characteristic which exists in Islam according to which we should honor and respect our guests.
“And most importantly, being modest and decent”
Above all, the most important quality is modesty. Notice how important this is and how disastrous this policy is: the policy which is being promoted in the world by the agents of inhuman powers, whose goal is to destroy decency and modesty. In the present time, they are working on a policy and on a measure to take decency away from people. And when they want to eliminate it, they do it in different ways; they use different methods to do that. Unrestrained mingling and relations between men and women is one of these methods. The issue of women’s and men’s dress code is another method. The things which are said about women’s rights is another satanic window that they have opened. They make certain claims about women’s clothing, saying, “Why do you force women to wear hijab?” Even some apparently well-intentioned personalities make these statements.
The issue of modesty is a very important issue. The world did not use to be like this. Even when one looks at the artistic and literary works of the Europeans 150, 200 years ago, such phenomena did not exist in any way in Europe. This act of decadence, this violation and this folly has been gradually promoted by the Zionists and capitalists since they dominated the social, cultural, political and economic affairs of European countries. And they have ulterior motives for that. They have certain goals in doing so, which requires a long and detailed discussion.
Islam is the opposite of this. Modesty is a virtue for men. It is also a virtue for women. Modesty has certain manifestations. One of the manifestations is one’s clothing and appearance. Another manifestation is social relationships and conversations with others – which means that we should observe modesty and decency when expressing our viewpoints and conversing with others. Immodesty is one of those qualities which shows itself during speaking, describing others and conversing with other people.
The same is true of one’s actions. There are individuals who do very indecent things. They look you straight in the eye and do not feel ashamed of what they do. Immodesty also involves some financial and human crimes. There are different kinds of immodesty. Therefore, Imam Sadiq has stated that modesty is above all other qualities: “And most importantly, being modest.”
[i] In Islamic culture, a trust convention or trust agreement is an agreement between two or more individuals which abides one of the parties to keep certain things in their custody for a particular period of time