SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) – If a horseback rider pressures his ride and rushes to reach his destination faster, his ride will not make it along the way. Such a rider will be left far away from his destination with an ill ride. This is our life story. The path ahead of us is the path of servitude, and the ride which Allah (SWT) has loaned us is our bodies.
It has been narrated from Imam Sadiq (PBUH): “A Muslim had a Christian neighbor, which they would stay in contact. He gradually invited the Christian to accept Islam, and eventually he did. The Christian converted to Islam and learned the manners of praying and ablution.
The first night as a Muslim he was sleeping when he was awakened by a knock at the door. Startled he got up to see who it was. It was his Muslim neighbor. The convert opened the door and asked if everything was all right. The Muslim man said, “Haven’t you converted to Islam? A Muslim must awake in the late evening to attend the mosque and recite the Nafela (recommended) Prayers.”
The new Muslim made his ablution and accompanied his friend to the mosque. They recited the Nafela prayers, and the new Muslim said, “well let’s leave then.” The Muslim neighbor said, “no we must await the Fajr prayer.” They waited and then prayed the Fajr prayer. The neighbor said, “well are we done?” The neighbor replied: “It is better that a person stays in the mosque until the sun rises, as this matter can increase a person’s wealth.” The poor man sat there with his friend until the sun came up. The older Muslim pulled on the former Christian’s garment to urge him to stay and recite Quran until the Noon prayer, to recite the prayer in congregation. He said, “Don’t you know that a Muslim in the mosque is as a fish in water, in that it does not feel tired from swimming in the water.”
After the Noon and Afternoon prayer, the older Muslim urged the former Christian to stay until the night prayer. They finally left after the Isha (night) prayer. The poor new Muslim went back to his house and slept. He was still tired from the previous day when he heard a knock on his door. He went to the door and heard his neighbor say, “Let’s go to the mosque.” The former Christian said, “Dear friend, this religion of yours needs an idle working person. I have work to do and cannot live with your religion. I will return to my own religion!”
Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said, “The same man who made this Christian Muslim, made him an unbeliever!”(1)
There are so many people who when it comes to religion and worship, they make themselves suffer with the thought to reach their destination faster.
They sleep much less than they can handle; they do extra fasting and praying, and end up missing their obligations such as studying, research, work, and income. The religion has not ordered as such, faith has asked for moderation in all areas. In other words, we should not leave the recommended acts entirely, nor should we become so engaged with them that we miss out on our life responsibilities. Every person must act accordingly to their manner of living, and perform that which he can from the recommended acts in a way that it does not prevent him from his obligations in life.
Along these lines Imam Ali (PBUH) has said, “Act in moderation in worship and in life.”(2)
(The above is selection taken from “The Final Messenger, the Endless Mercy” by Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Zia Abadi (with minor changes))
1. Wasa’il al-Shia, Kitab al-Amr bi al-Ma’rouf, Baab 14, Hadith 3
2. Bihar al-Anwaar, vol. 42, p. 203