Signs Of The Pious
There is a sign for everything for people to know it. If you want to know whether a liquid is verjuice, vinegar, water, rose-water, Egyptian–willow water or sallow-water, you can know about it buy smelling or tasting it. If
you want to know the name of a metal, you have to assay it with touchstone to see whether it is cooper, gold, brass, platinum, or silver. If you want to know whether fallen body is alive or dead, a mirror or stethoscope will help you. If you want to know whether a nation is alive or dead, you can know about it through their active presence in the different scenes, and through their intelligence. If you want to know whether a person is a clergyman or businessman, a government employee or a worker, a patient or physician, pious or wrongdoer, a man of this world or a man of the hereafter, there are signs with them which denote their jobs.
Now, if we want to know men of piety, we should get to know them through the features mentioned in the Holy Quran and traditions. When we know them, we can set them as models to be followed, make friend and associate with them.
 Features Of The Pious
(1) One of the features of the pious is truthfulness and the acknowledgement of truth. In this relation, God says: “And he who brings the truth and (he who) accepts it as the truth, these are they that guard (against evil).” 
The commentators of the Holy Quran consider “he who brings the truth” as Gabriel and “he who accepts it as truth” as the Messenger of Allah (SAW).
Other commentators have said that the first one refers to the Holly Prophet (a.s.) and the second one to Imam Ali (AS).
There are other commentators who believe that the first one includes all the prophets and the second one includes their nations.
 Qur'an, 39:33.
We should not, however, limit the meaning of the pious to special narrations. In describing the pious and speaking about righteousness, God says, “It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West , but righteousness is this that one should believe in Allah and the last day and the angels and the Book and the prophets, and give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of the kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives, and keep on prayer and pay the poor-rate; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise , and the patient in distress and affliction and in time of conflicts; these are they who are true (to themselves) and those are they who guard (against evil)”. 
In traditions, the master of the pious, Imam Ali (AS), has been considered as the true example of this verse. 
God has said: “O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and be with the truthful.” 
In a tradition narrated by Imam Baqir (AS), we read: “…be with Ali ibn Abi Talib and the household of Mohammad.” 
Some great scholars have confirmed Imamate of the infallible imams with this verse. Invoking Mohaqqeq Toosi in his book, Tajreed, they have argued that God has ordered all believers to be with the true ones. Beyond doubt, to be with the true ones does not mean to be with them physically, but it means to follow their path ideologically, their deeds and their speeches. The above-mentioned verse obviously shows that God the All-Wise does
 Qur'an, 2:177.
 Kholasat al-Manhaj, p. 100.
 Qur'an, 9:119.
 Safeenat al-Bihar, vol. 2, p. 18.
not order His servants to follow the wrongdoers. Therefore, these truthful ones must be free from all kinds of sins, and hence infallible.
The above-mentioned verse is also invoked to prove that the true ones, about whom God speaks and orders us to follow, are not particular to a special period of time. Rather, there should be an infallible imam in every age so that the order will be valid. It means that the infallibles are numerous and in our time, we have the duty to follow the proof of God in the earth; Imam Mahdi (a.s.), though we are the followers of his ancestors at every age. Although they are not physically among us, the signs of their lives, which are their wise sayings, enlightens our hearts.
Therefore, we should be with the true ones whose perfect examples are the Imams of guidance, and other believers who have this worthy feature of the pious.
In another verse, God says: “Of the believers are men who are true to the covenant which they made with Allah: so of them is he who accomplished his vow, and of them is he who yet waits, and they have not changed in the least.” 
In this relation, there are many verses in which the word ’true’ has been used more than a hundred times. It is the feature of God, the Messenger, the Imams, the pious, and the believers. This word has also been used frequently about the belief in God, the Messenger, the confirmation of prophethood, the descend of punishment, and the adherence to the prophets. Certain signs too have been mentioned. Addressing the Jews, God says: “Say O you who are Jews, if you think that you are the favorites of Allah to the exclusion of other people, then invoke death if you are truthful.” 
 Qur'an, 33:23.
 Qur'an, 26:6.
Truthfulness has been mentioned in many traditions. Imam Sadiq (AS) has been reported as saying: “God Almighty has not deputized any prophet save with truthfulness and to give back trusts to their owners whether good or bad.” 
About knowing the Muslims, Imam Sadiq (AS) has been reported as saying: “Do not be deceived by their prayers and fasting; for one may be accustomed to prayer and fasting and that he fears to give them up, but try them with the truthfulness in speaking and giving trusts back to their owners.” 
Ibrahim al-Makhariqi says: “I professed my faith to Imam Sadiq (AS), saying, ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah. He is One .There is no partner with Him and that Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah and that Ali is the just Imam after him, then Hassan and Hossain, then Ali ibn al-Hossain, then Mohammad ibn Ali, and then you.’ The Imam (AS) said: ‘May Allah have mercy on you!’ Then, he said: ‘Fear Allah, fear Allah, fear Allah! It is incumbent on you to be pious, truthful in speaking, to give back trusts (to their owners), be chaste in belly (not to eat any ill-gotten thing) and private parts (chaste in sexual intercourse), in order to be good friend of us.” 
Imam Sadiq (AS) has been reported as saying: “There are four features in one whose faith is perfect …; truthfulness, giving the trust (back to its owner), decency and good temper.” 
In Ameerul Mo’minin’s description of pious men, the first feature he mentions is that their speech is to the point. The second feature of the pious, mentioned in the first verse aforementioned, “he who accepts it as
 Wafi, vol. 3, p. 82.
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 66, p. 3.
 Wafi, vol. 3, p. 83.
the truth”, we should say that so long as one does not believe in the truth, in God, in the Messenger, in the unseen and visible world, the divine rules, the religious laws, and in all what God has sent of prophets and books, cannot be pious.
Hence, we consider Imam Ali (AS) as the true example of the pious.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) has been reported as saying: “The truthful ones are three; Ali ibn Abi Talib, Habeeb the carpenter, and the believer of the people of the Pharaoh.” 
(2) Another feature with which we can know the pious is the belief in the Unseen which includes the belief in God, the Prophet, his successors including Imam (AS) Mahdi (AS), the belief in what was revealed to the Holy prophet, the Last Day, Resurrection, Sirat (the Straight Way),  Balance, Reckoning, Paradise and Hell as God has said: “And who believe in that which has been revealed to you and that which was revealed before you and they are sure of the hereafter.” 
Belief is of several kinds:
1- The belief in God and His Attributes
2- The belief in the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and his qualities
3- The belief in what the prophets have brought
4- The belief in their successors and in their specifications
5- The belief in the hereafter with all its specifications
The belief in the angels
 Khisal, vol., p. 184.
 Sirat is a bridge over the Hell to be crossed by all human beings on the Day of Reckoning.
 Qur'an, 2:3-4.
A person may have Belief in God, but not in His Attributes. He may believe in God, but he does not consider God as Just. He may believe in God but not in the messenger of God. He may believe in the messenger of God, but he may not believe in what has been revealed to him. He may believe in the messenger of God, but not in his successors, or may not believe in the hereafter. The pious are those who have all kinds of belief, which we have just mentioned, in their minds and hearts.
As for the word “belief”, Imam Reza (AS) has narrated from the Messenger of Allah (SAW) his saying: “Belief is knowledge in the heart, acknowledgement with the tongue, and action with the organs of the body.” 
Abu as-Salt al-Harawi says: “I asked Imam Reza (AS) about the meaning of belief, and he said: ‘Belief is faith in the heart, declaring it with the tongue, and acting with the organs of the body.” 
Imam Ali (AS) said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah (SAW) about the meaning of belief, and he said: ‘Belief is what we accept in the heart, say it with the tongue, and act with the organs of the body.” 
There are many traditions successively transmitted by the Imams of guidance, but they are the same in terms of letter and spirit.
Allamah Majlisi has devoted one chapter of Bihar al-Anwar to “belief” which includes all verses and traditions on the topic whose summary is as follows:
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 66, pp. 64,67.
 Ibid., p. 69.
 Ibid., pp. 66,68.
1- Belief is the collection of true beliefs and the five fundamental principles whose fruit is the prohibition of murder, plundering, and disgrace in this world, and the rightness of deeds, deserving of reward, not dwelling in Fire forever, and the deserving of forgiveness and intercession in the Hereafter.
2- Belief is the above-mentioned opinions together with the obligations mentioned in the Quran and the abandonment of major sins for which God has promised of fire.
3- The said opinions together with the obligations and abandonments of prohibitions the result of which is joining the favorites of God and living with the righteous in high stations.
4- Belief is a high station with God, by doing recommendable acts, refraining from non-recommendable and even some permissible things. This kind of belief belongs to the prophets, their successors and the perfect believers.
About the belief in God, the Prophet, and the Day of Judgement, there is the question as to whether thought or (certain) knowledge is sufficient or it should be based on reasoning, and through Ijtihad, knowledge and belief appear. Jurisprudents in their books of practical laws of Islam have raised this issue and each group have their own views.
Allamah Majlisi says: “From what we have said it is inferred that belief is the acknowledgement of One God, of His Attributes, Justice, wisdom in prophethood, and in what the prophet has brought, and the accepting of all of them. Most of Muslims, or some of them, claim that there is consensus on this matter.
As for the acknowledgement of the leadership of the twelve Imams (AS), it is the belief of Imamiyyah (Twelver Shia). The Shiite Muslims consider the acknowledgement of Imamate as a must in the same way that the acknowledgement of God and prophethood is necessary.
How good it is for people to express their true beliefs to those who are qualified so that if there is any deviation in them, they shall be corrected. This tradition was common at the time of the Imams of guidance. For example, Abdul Adheem al-Hasani was keen to show his belief to Imam Hadi (AS). He narrated: “I went to see my master, Ali ibn Mohammad (al-Hadi) (AS). Seeing me, the Imam (AS) said: ‘You are welcome, O Abul Qasim! You are truly ours adherent.’ I then said: ‘O son of the Messenger of Allah! I intend to show my belief to you, so that I will be steady on it if it is good until I shall meet God the Glorified.’
The Imam (AS) said: ‘O Abul Qasim, show your belief!’ I said: ‘I assert that God Almighty is One. There is nothing like Him. He is beyond description. He is neither substance nor is He created, but He creates everything. He has fashioned all human beings. He is the Lord of the universe and originator of everything. I bear witness that there is no prophet after Mohammad (SAW), His servant and Messenger. I also bear witness that Islam is the last religion and there is no religion after it until the Day of Judgment. I assert that the Imam, the caliph, and the leader after him is Ameer al-Mo’minin, Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS), and then Hassan, and then Hossain. After him is Ali Ibn al-Hossain, then, Mohammad ibn Ali, then Ja’far ibn Mohammad, then, Musa ibn Ja’far, then, Ali ibn Musa, then, Mohammad ibn Ali, and then, you are, my master!’
The Imam (AS) said: ‘And after me there shall be my son Hasan. But, how shall be the state of people towards his successor?’
I said: ‘How is it, my master?’
The Imam (AS) said: ‘He is not seen, and mentioning his name is not lawful until he appears. He will fill the earth with justice after it is filled with injustice.’
I said: ‘I confess that their friend is the friend of God and their enemy is the enemy of God. To obey them is to obey God, and to disobey them is to disobey God. I also assert that the Holy Prophet’s night journey (ascending to heavens), the questioning in the grave, Paradise, Fire, Sirat, Balance and the Day of judgement are right and truthful. There is no doubt about them. I also believe that God will raise the dead to life. I assert that the religious obligations after the wilayah (guardianship of the infallible imams) are prayer, zakat, fasting, Hajj, Jihad, and the enjoining of good and forbidding of evil.’
Then, Ali ibn Mohammad (AS) said: ‘O Abul Qasim! By God, This is the religion of God Who is pleased with it for His servants. Be firm on it! May God keep you firm on it in this world and the hereafter.’”
(3) Another feature of the pious is to keep up prayer. In this relation, God says: “… and keep up prayer...” 
Obviously, keeping up prayer is different from performing prayer. Keeping up prayer is to perform it thoroughly.
Since the pious know for whom and for what purpose they are performing their prayer, they are not unmindful of it. They know with what quality their deed will be fruitful. Hence, they will do their best to perform it correctly. We have already discussed the prayer in the section devoted to “Taqwa and prayer”. Therefore, further elaboration is not necessary in this book.
 Qur'an, 2:3.
(4) Another feature of the pious is charity. In this relation, God says: “… and spend of what We have given them.” 
Quranic verses and traditions, which are related to charity, focus on property, but commentators believe that charity includes property, power, position, and knowledge.
Ibn Fahd al-Hilli, in his book Udattol Da’ee, has classified charity into five classes:
1- Charity of property
2- Charity of position which is intercession
3- Charity of wits which is consultation
4- Charity of the tongue which is to reconcile opponents to each other
5- Charity of knowledge that is to disseminate knowledge to those seeking it
About charity, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) has been reported as saying: “Smiling to your brethren is a charity. To enjoin good, to forbid evil, to guide a misled person, to take away a stone, a piece of bone, or a thorn from the way of people, and to give a pail of water to your brethren are all charities.” 
As for the charity of the tongue, the Holy Prophet (SAW) has been reported as saying: “The best charity is the charity of the tongue.”
He was asked: “O messenger of Allah! What is the charity of the tongue?” The Holy Prophet said: “It is to intercede in order to emancipate a slave, to
 Qur'an, 2:3.
 Mizan al-Hikmah.
spare someone’s life, to do good to your brethren and to ward off an evil from them.” 
God Almighty has said: “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord; and a Garden, the extensiveness of which is the heavens and the earth, it is prepared for those who guard (against evil), those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in straitness...” 
That is to say that the pious spend as much as they can as charity.
Elsewhere, God has said: “It is not righteous that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteousness is this that one should believe in Allah and the last day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (emancipation of) the captives, and these are they who guard (against evil).” 
Concerning divorced women, God says: “And for the divorced women (too) a reasonable provision; (this is) a duty on those who guard (against evil).” 
Charity seems to be the requirement for righteousness: “By no means shall you attain to righteousness until you spend (benevolently) out of what you love.” 
Elsewhere in the Holy Quran, God says: “And away from it shall be kept the one who guards most (against evil), who gives away his wealth,
 Mizan al-Hikmah
 Qur'an, 3:133.
 Qur'an, 2:177.
 Qur'an, 2:241.
 Qur'an, 3:92.
purifying himself. And no one has with him any boon for which he should be rewarded, except the seeking of the pleasure of his Lord, the Most High. And he shall soon be well-pleased.” 
There are many verses and traditions on charity that has the following results:
1- Charity wards off Satan and breaks his back. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) has been reported as saying: “Shall I inform you of a thing which wards off Satan from you as the distance of east from the west if you do it?” They said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Fasting disgraces Satan, charity breaks his back, friendship in the way of Allah and doing righteous deed cut off his back, and asking for forgiveness cuts off his veins. There is a zakat for everything, and the zakat of bodies is fasting.” 
2- Charity deters bad death. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) has been reported by Imam Sadiq (AS) as saying: “(giving of) Charity prevents horrible death!” 
Abu Baseer narrated: “I heard Imam Sadiq (AS) say: ‘Jesus (AS) passed by a group of people who were engaged in merrymaking. He (AS) asked: ‘Who are they?’ It was said: ‘O spirit of Allah, this is a wedding party and they are the relatives of the bride and the bridegroom.’ Jesus (AS) said: ‘They are laughing now, but tomorrow, they will be weeping.’ A man asked: ‘What for, O prophet of Allah?’ Jesus (AS) said: ‘One of them shall die tonight.’ Hearing this, people said to one another: ‘God and His prophet say the truth.’ Hypocrites said: ‘We will see it tomorrow!’
 Qur'an, 92:17-21.
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 93, p. 114.
 Ibid., p. 124.
The next day people found out that nothing had happened, so they said: ‘O Spirit of Allah! The one you said would die has not died!’ Jesus (AS) said: ‘God will do what He wills.’
People rushed towards the house of the newly-weds. They knocked the door. The husband came to the door. Jesus (AS) said: ‘May I see your wife?’ The man went in, saying to his wife: ‘The Spirit and Word of Allah along with his disciples are at the door. They want to come in.’ The woman covered herself with a veil, and Jesus (AS) entered the house, saying to her: ‘What did you do last night?’ She said: ‘I did not do anything extraordinary except that a beggar, who usually came to the door every Friday night and we would give him some food from what we had. Last night, he came to the door, but since we were busy in a matrimonial duty, no one answered him. When he called us repeatedly, I jumped out of bed, went to the door, and gave him some food as usual.’
Jesus (AS) said: ‘Jump up and leave your place.’ People saw that a snake was under her dress. When she shook herself, the snake ran away. Jesus (AS) said: ‘The danger was warded off due to the charity you gave.’” 
3- Charity protects wealth and makes it be blessed. Imam Hassan Askari (AS) narrated from his fathers that Imam Musa ibn Ja’far al-Kadhim (AS): “Imam Sadiq (AS) was accompanied by a group of wealthy people when they were informed that there were robbers on the way. The companions started shivering with fear. The Imam (AS) said: ‘What is happening to you?’ They said: ‘We fear that our wealth may be taken away. Can we entrust them to you? Perhaps they will not take them from you.’
The Imam (AS) said: ‘I may lose my life for it.’ They said: ‘What shall we do then? Shall we bury them somewhere?’ The Imam (AS) said: ‘It will be either wasted or taken away by strangers.’ They said: ‘What shall we do then?’
 Amaali of Skeikh Sadooq.
The Imam (AS) said: ‘Entrust it (the wealth) to One Who will safeguard it and will increase it more than you need.’ They asked: ‘Who is he?’ The Imam (AS) said: ‘It is the Lord of the universe.’ They said: ‘How can we entrust it to Him?’ The Imam (AS) said: ‘Spend from it on the poor Muslims.’ They asked: ‘Who are the poor here?’ The Imam (AS) said: ‘Decide to spend one third of it as charity so that God will ward off the misfortune for you against those whom you fear.’ They said: ‘We have made our decision!’ The Imam (AS) said: ‘Then, you are protected by God. Go ahead!’ They went on their way until they saw the highwaymen. They were horrified. The Imam (AS) said: ‘What are you afraid of when you are protected by God?’ The highwaymen came forward, stood before the Imam (AS), kissed his hand, and said: ‘Last night, we dreamt of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) who ordered us to protect you against enemies and robbers.’ The Imam (AS) said: ‘We are not in need of you. The One who repelled you from (harming) us, will repel them too.’
The companions of the Imam (AS) completed their trip safely. They gave one third of their wealth to the poor as charity. They gained ten Dirhams for every Dirham they had put in business. They said to themselves: ‘How abundant the blessing of Imam Sadiq (AS) is!’ The Imam (AS) said: ‘You came to know about the meaning of blessings in dealings with God. Therefore, continue to do so.’” 
4- Charity increases sustenance. Imam Reza (AS) has reported the Messenger of Allah (SAW) as saying: “Seek sustenance by giving charity.” 
5- For each Dirham given in charity in the way of God, seven hundred rewards will be written. 
6- Charity keeps away man from fire (hell).
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 93, p. 120.
 Ibid., p. 121.
 Ibid., p. 122.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) has been reported by Imam Ali (AS) as saying: “Every favor done to a wealthy or a poor one is as charity; therefore, , even if it is a half of a date, for God Almighty will grow it in the same way that you grow your infants or a young camel, and He (Allah) will give it back to you on the Day of Judgment when it shall be greater than a great mountain is.” 
7- Charity cures diseases. Imam Sadiq (AS) has been reported as saying: “Cure your diseases with charity!” 
8- Charity protects you against fierce animals and insects. Imam Reza (AS) has been reported as saying: “There was a long famine among the Children of Israel. A woman had a piece of bread. She was about to put it into her mouth when a beggar called: ‘O woman! I am hungry.’ The woman said to herself: ‘Shall I give charity at this time?!’ She gave that piece of bread to the beggar. The woman had a small child who had gone to the desert to collect firewood. A wolf caught the small child and was carrying him away. The mother followed the wolf.
God Almighty missioned Gabriel to take the small child from the mouth of the wolf and returned him to his mother, saying: ‘O believing woman! You are pleased now. This morsel is in return for the morsel you have given as charity.’” 
9- The Charity given at night lessens God’s wrath, omits major sins, and makes reckoning easy. Charity given at day increases one’s wealth, prolongs his life, and wards off unluckiness of that day. 
10- God Almighty receives the charity.
 Ibid., p. 123.
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 93, p. 123.
Ibid., p. 126.
Imam Ali (AS) has been reported by Imam Baqir (AS) and Jabir al-Ju’fi as saying: “I gave a dinar as charity one day. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Do you not know that the charity of a believer does not come out of his hand unless seventy devils will say him: ‘Do not give it!’ And it is not put in the hand of the beggar without being put first in the hand of God Almighty. Has God not said: “Do they not know that Allah accepts repentance from His servants and takes the alms?” ’” 
Even if there were no benefits in charity, the fact that God Almighty receives it would suffice. Imam Sadiq (AS) says: “Whenever my father wanted to give a charity, he himself would put it in the hand of the needy. He would then take it back from the needy, kissed, smelled, and then he would give it back to them. He did so because charity is put in the hand of God before it is put in the hand of a needy one.” 
Obviously, this does not mean that God has any hand or foot, but it means that God accepts the charity before it is placed in the hand of a beggar. There are other benefits in charity, which is beyond the space of this book. Nevertheless, there are rules, which have to be taken into consideration when charity is given. One is to avoid hypocrisy. It has been recommended to give charity secretly. Imam Baqir (AS) has said: “The doing of good prolongs one’s life and the giving of charity secretly lessens God’s wrath.” 
God says: “And those who spend their property (in alms) to be seen of people…” 
The other one is to avoid laying others under obligation. God has said: “O you who believe! Do not make your charity worthless by reproach and
 Qur'an, 9:104.
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 93, p. 127.
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol., 46, p. 74.
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 93, p. 146.
 Qur'an, 4:38.
injury, like him who spends his property to be seen of men and does not believe in Allah and the last day; so his parable is as the parable of a smooth rock with earth upon it, then a heavy rain falls upon it, so it leaves it bare.” 
It is to be added that charity and spending of one’s property do not mean that a Muslim should give a small sum of money to a beggar in the street. Serving one’s parents and relatives is the best kind of charity. The building of mosques, schools, hospitals, clinics, providing the poor with clothes, needy girls with dowry, facilitating marriage for needy youngsters, financing religious propagation, publishing books on the truth of Islam, and their likes are the best kinds of charity.
5- One of the other signs by which we can identify the pious is the control of one’s anger which is the best feature as seen in the lives of the prophets and the Imams of guidance (AS). God has considered it as one of the features of the pious when saying: “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord; and a garden, the extensiveness of which is (AS) the heavens and the earth, it is prepared for those who guard (against evil), Those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in straitness, and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men.” 
Imam Sajjad (AS) has reported the messenger of Allah as saying: “From the most beloved ways to Allah the Almighty are two potions; a potion of anger that you repel with forbearance and a potion of calamity that you repel with patience.” 
Imam Sadiq (AS) has been reported as saying: “There is no servant, who restrains his anger, except that God Almighty increases his honor in this
 Qur'an, 2:264.
 Qur'an, 3:133-134.
 Al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 90
world and the hereafter. God has said: “…those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of good.”
Hence, God will reward them for restraining their anger.” 
 Al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 90