Advanced search
Visit
7031
Last Updated: 2010/12/21
Summary of question
Is there a correspondence between different acts of worship and the rewards Allah has promised for them?
question
It is said that a certain mustahab prayer or dua has the thawab of being martyred, performing Hajj, freeing a servant, etc. Is this compatible with the justice of Allah? Do these acts truly match Allah's rewards?
Concise answer

Promising such rewards does not contradict Allah's justice and doesn’t negate the correspondence between acts and rewards; because if justice means to place everything in its appropriate position, which means that there should be a correspondence between acts and rewards, regarding the examples mentioned, there is complete correspondence because:

First: These ahadith are stressing the value and importance of that act of worship, not understating the value of hajj and jihad; in fact these ahadith indirectly show the greatness of acts like jihad and Hajj because they are considered the standards and criteria by which all others acts are valued, the same way we would say that a certain object is as valuable as gold.    

Second: These ahadith refer to situations in which it is not obligatory to perform jihad or Hajj.

Third: When observing the mentioned correspondence, we must not only consider the difficulty and physical greatness as the sole criteria by which its reward is determined.  In fact the effect of intention, humility, belief and ma'refat (spiritual knowledge) on the reward can be much greater compared to an act’s physical difficulty and greatness; therefore if a certain act possesses the mentioned qualities, then it can be compared to great acts like jihad or Hajj.

Moreover, some duas and ziyarats, due to the spiritual content they consist of, can have a specific effect on one’s beliefs and faith that makes them greater than other acts which do not have such influence.

We must keep in mind that when there is no war or jihad and it is not time to perform Hajj, usually there is a greater opportunity for Satan and his allies to tempt and deceive the believer, and add to that the fact that the human instinct is inclined to satisfying its carnal desires. In such a situation for one to keep his heart and soul pure through reciting duas, ziyarats and prayers, he must possess great ma'refat and ikhlas, and therefore he might be greater than the person who actually takes part in jihad or performs Hajj.

All of this was based on justice meaning to place everything in its appropriate position, but if the meaning of justice is to not oppress or take away the rights of others, still this would not be an example of injustice; because even if Allah granted a reward that does not match the act, he has not violated the right of anyone, because setting a reward and thawab is a means of Allah's grace, not the right of a servant.     

Detailed Answer

Through mentioning a few points we will explain the correspondence between the abovementioned acts and their rewards:

1- Divine rewards are not granted by Allah as an obligation towards His servants, but as a means of His grace that is bestowed on his servants depending on the acts and virtues they have accumulated.[1]

There is no obligation for Allah to reward his servants for their deeds (if he had not promised them such a thing) because all of what they do is done by employing the very blessings he has granted; in fact it is out of his mercy and grace that he promises his servants rewards and has bound himself to keep his promise. Therefore it is his unlimited mercy and grace that determines the reward of different acts, not the difficulty or easiness nor the greatness or littleness of an act. In this light, neither the greatness nor the littleness of the blessings and rewards Allah grants his servants will contradict divine justice, because as we mentioned before, no right has been violated and in fact the servants have been given more than they deserve.

2- Duas, ziyarats and mustahab prayers will only have such great rewards when performed along with their special conditions, some of which are mentioned below:

A: Performing all obligatory and wajib duties: Therefore if a person has an obligation such as jihad or Hajj and instead spends his time reciting duas and performing mustahab prayers, not only will he not gain any thawab, but he might even be punished by Allah.

B: Having presence of heart, ma'refat and ikhlas. In this regard, it is mentioned in some ahadith that the condition of reaching the great reward of some ziyarats is to possess ma'refat.[2]  In a hadith by Imam Sadiq (as), he says: "People will be 'Mahshoor' (resurrected) according to their intentions on the Day of Judgment."[3] This hadith clearly shows that the true criteria by which a reward is determined is not the difficulty of the act.  Instead the intention, belief and ma'refat of the believer have the greater effect on the reward than its physical greatness and difficulty.

Obviously, if possessing true ma'refat, complete ikhlas and presence of heart is not more difficult than taking part in jihad or Hajj, it is definitely not easier. And this is exactly why many people may perform Hajj or jihad, but very little people truly reach the great levels of ikhlas and ma'refat. The Ma'sums have encouraged Shias through many ahadith to perform ziyarat of the Imams and especially Imam Reza[4], it is also understood from these ahadith that the ziyarat can have two different rewards depending on the way the ziyarat is performed. Therefore there is not a similar reward for all ziyarats. Also what is mentioned in these ahadith is the potential reward, not that believers will gain the mentioned reward under all circumstances.

3- Many of the duas and ziyarats play a crucial role of explaining theological issues and spreading ma'refat and knowledge among people, and the imams have taught and transmitted to us truths and knowledge through duas and ziyarats that they couldn’t have conveyed in any other form. Therefore paying attention to them is a way of protecting jihad, the culture of shahadah (martyrdom), hajj, and the shariah. In other words it is the ma'refat and truths that create mujahids and hajj pilgrims.

4- When there is no war or jihad and it is not time to perform hajj, usually there is a greater opportunity for Satan and his allies to tempt and deceive the believer, and they are strengthened by the fact that the human instinct is inclined to satisfying its carnal desires. In such a situation, for one to keep his heart and soul pure through reciting duas, ziyarats and prayers, he must have great ma'refat and ikhlas. This is why the Prophet of Islam told a group of his followers returning from an exhausting war: "Praise is due to those who returned from the small war while the great jihad lies ahead of them." The companions asked what he meant. The prophet responded: "(The great jihad is) the jihad against the self."[5]

And maybe one of the reasons why the Imams have mentioned such rewards for the duas and prayers was to prevent society from being caught in the trap of physical and carnal desires, which entail misery in this world and the hereafter, so that it can fly in the sky of spirituality and prosperity.

In any event, these ahadith are stressing the value and importance of that act of worship, not understating the value of Hajj and jihad; in fact these ahadith indirectly show the greatness of acts like jihad and hajj because they are considered the standards and criteria by which others acts are valued, the same way we would say that a certain object is as valuable as gold.



[1] See: Tafsir Nemouneh, vol. 23, pg. 361.

[2] Man la Yahduruhu al-Faqih, vol. 2, pg. 583.

[3] Tahdhib al-Ahkam, vol. 6, pg. 135.

[4] Kafi, vol. 4, pg. 585.

[5] Wasa’el al-Shia, vol. 15, pg. 161.

Question translations in other languages
Comments
Number of comments 0
Please enter the value
Example : Yourname@YourDomane.ext
Please enter the value
Please enter the value

Thematic Category

Random questions

  • Who are the infallibles (ma’sum)?
    7160 Traditional 2008/08/23
    Infallibility is a spiritual power and inner virtue that restrains one from even imagining and thinking of sinning, let alone committing sin and in Islamic terms, means for one to be protected from sin, mistake and forgetfulness.Infallibility can be divided into ...
  • If the imams are essentially infallible, can we follow them as role models?
    6178 عصمت 2015/05/03
    This question emanates from incorrect notion about the concept of infallibility that considers it something mandatory and gifted by God without a cause or reason. Obviously, if we are to consider infallibility as something forced, then we would consider the infallibles as people lacking free will and ...
  • Is it possible for a human to get married with a jinn?
    6817 Laws and Jurisprudence 2009/07/19
    Thank you for your question. First of all, it should be kept in mind that knowing the answer to such questions has no effect on our lives. There is no spiritual or material benefit for knowing these things. Secondly, although it is possible for ...
  • Why is a child that has been born from a temporary marriage given to the father?
    14701 Laws and Jurisprudence 2010/09/05
    Temporary marriage is an easy and simple marriage for people that can’t practice permanent marriage, legitimized by God for a number of reasons, one of which is to prevent fornication and sexual corruption. Consequently, God has excluded a few of the rulings and conditions required in permanent marriage ...
  • What is Shirk?
    34269 Traditional 2007/01/21
    Literally, shirk means to allocate; technically, in Quranic terminology, shirk – in contrast to hanif – signifies the process of allocating someone/thing as the Almighty Allah’s partner or equal. Hanif means being inclined towards righteousness and moderation; hence, the term has been coined onto those who have disassociated themselves from ...
  • What does Islam say about life on other planets?
    22054 Exegesis 2007/02/22
                Man has always pondered the thought of whether or not there are other living organisms or intelligent life forms in other galaxies or on other planets; however a definite answer has yet to be found.
  • What is Islam’s ruling on listening to music?
    13374 Laws and Jurisprudence 2010/11/21
    Music is essentially sound, and watching it (without listening) has no ruling; the only ruling there is, has to do with producing and the sale of instruments, teaching and learning, playing, and listening to it. Most scholars consider listening to and producing lahwi music to be haram and ...
  • How was the Holy Quran compiled?
    16168 Quranic Studies 2012/04/21
    According to the history of the compilation of the Quran, the Prophet (s) himself chose the verses where to be placed. It was not the companions who arranged the verses or the number of the chapters. The Quran, which is presently in our hands and which is ...
  • Who are the Ismaeili Bahreh Shias and what do they believe in?
    7591 تاريخ بزرگان 2010/04/19
    The "Bahreh Davoodis" are a branch of the "Ismaili" sect. The "Ismailis" believe Ismail, the son of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) which passed away during his father's lifetime, to be the seventh Imam. The followers of this sect have unique beliefs that we will explain in the detailed ...
  • What are the effects of contentment on our lives and how do we distinguish it from stinginess?
    43285 Practical 2012/05/14
    Contentment has been defined as a resting of the mind without craving something else. The word “qana’ah” which is the Arabic equivalent for contentment has been used to refer to satisfaction and happiness in an absolute and unrestricted way. As for the difference between contentment and stinginess, ...

Popular