The effect of actions on belief

In the early stages of a person’s faith his tenets/beliefs are considered to be unsettled and tentative, due to lack of sufficient knowledge and experience, and can easily fade at the slightest test or problem.[1] And as has become evident from my previous posts on this subject, it is but the correct actions during our life-time that will form the basis for the right beliefs. Furthermore, it is with consistency of correct actions, that those beliefs become settled and act as a barrier to ‘burning’ those good deeds when faced with any tests.

Imam Ali (‘as) said:

العلم يهتف بالعمل فان اجابه و الا ارتحل 

‘Knowledge (correct doctrines) cries out for action (good deeds), otherwise it abandons (the believer).’[2] 

From here the philosophy of daily repetitive religious practises becomes clear, and it is to establish that knowledge firmly within a believer’s heart, up and above a mere imprint in the mind, which will then lead to a firm and unshakable conviction in this belief. So the more a persons actions are in harmony with is beliefs, the more settled those beliefs are.

Some narrations related to this subject:

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عِيسَى عَنْ حَمَّادِ بْنِ عِيسَى عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ أُذَيْنَةَ عَنْ أَبَانِ بْنِ أَبِي عَيَّاشٍ عَنْ سُلَيْمِ بْنِ قَيْسٍ الْهِلالِيِّ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (عَلَيْهِ السَّلام) يُحَدِّثُ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ (صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِه) أَنَّهُ قَالَ فِي كَلامٍ لَهُ الْعُلَمَاءُ رَجُلانِ رَجُلٌ عَالِمٌ آخِذٌ بِعِلْمِهِ فَهَذَا نَاجٍ وَعَالِمٌ تَارِكٌ لِعِلْمِهِ فَهَذَا هَالِكٌ وَإِنَّ أَهْلَ النَّارِ لَيَتَأَذَّوْنَ مِنْ رِيحِ الْعَالِمِ التَّارِكِ لِعِلْمِهِ وَإِنَّ أَشَدَّ أَهْلِ النَّارِ نَدَامَةً وَحَسْرَةً رَجُلٌ دَعَا عَبْداً إِلَى الله فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُ وَقَبِلَ مِنْهُ فَأَطَاعَ الله فَأَدْخَلَهُ الله الْجَنَّةَ وَأَدْخَلَ الدَّاعِيَ النَّارَ بِتَرْكِهِ عِلْمَهُ وَاتِّبَاعِهِ الْهَوَى وَطُولِ الامَلِ أَمَّا اتِّبَاعُ الْهَوَى فَيَصُدُّ عَنِ الْحَقِّ وَطُولُ الامَلِ يُنْسِي الاخِرَةَ

Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Hammed from ‘Umar ibn ’Udhayna from Aban ibn abu ‘Ayyash from Sulaym ibn Qays al-Hilali who has said the following:
"I heard Imam Ali (a.s.) narrate from the Holy Prophet (s.a.) who said, ‘The scholars are of two kinds: One kind consists of those who uphold their knowledge and they gain their salvation. The other kind consists of those who disregard their knowledge and they face their destruction. The people of hell will suffer from the bad odor of the scholars who do not act according to their knowledge. Of the people of hell the one who will regret most will be a man who teaches someone and shows him the way of Allah. The student accepts and acts according to such teachings and consequently Allah takes him to paradise but the teacher is sent to hell because of ignoring his knowledge, following his desires and entertaining long hopes. Following ones’ desires bars one from the truth. And cherishing long hopes causes one to forget the next life.’"[3]

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سِنَانٍ عَنْ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ جَابِرٍ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ الله عَلَيْهِ السَّلام قَالَ الْعِلْمُ مَقْرُونٌ إِلَى الْعَمَلِ فَمَنْ عَلِمَ عَمِلَ وَمَنْ عَمِلَ عَلِمَ وَالْعِلْمُ يَهْتِفُ بِالْعَمَلِ فَإِنْ أَجَابَهُ وَإِلا ارْتَحَلَ عَنْهُ

Muhammad ibn Yahya from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Muhammad ibn Sinan from ‘Isma’il ibn Jabir from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.) who has said the following:
"Knowledge and work are closely related. One who has knowledge he works and one who works he learns. Knowledge invites work and if it is not accepted knowledge departs the deeds."[4]

عَلِيُّ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنِ الْقَاسِمِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنِ الْمِنْقَرِيِّ عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ هَاشِمِ بْنِ الْبَرِيدِ عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ جَاءَ رَجُلٌ إِلَى عَلِيِّ بن الحسين (عَلَيْهما السَّلام) فَسَأَلَهُ عَنْ مَسَائِلَ فَأَجَابَ ثُمَّ عَادَ لِيَسْأَلَ عَنْ مِثْلِهَا فَقَالَ عَلِيُّ بن الحسين (عَلَيْهما السَّلام) مَكْتُوبٌ فِي الانْجِيلِ لا تَطْلُبُوا عِلْمَ مَا لا تَعْلَمُونَ وَلَمَّا تَعْمَلُوا بِمَا عَلِمْتُمْ فَإِنَّ الْعِلْمَ إِذَا لَمْ يُعْمَلْ بِهِ لَمْ يَزْدَدْ صَاحِبُهُ إِلا كُفْراً وَلَمْ يَزْدَدْ مِنَ الله إِلا بُعْداً

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from al-Qasim ibn Muhammad from al-Minqari from Ali ibn Hashim ibn al-Burayd from his father who has said the following:
"A man came to (Imam) Ali ibn al-Husayn (a.s.) and asked him certain questions and the Imam answered his questions. The man then wanted to ask similar questions but the Imam said, "It is written in the Gospel, ‘Do not inquire to know what you do not know until you practice what you know because not practicing what one knows does not increase to one anything but disbelief and nor it increases anything to one’s relation with Allah but alienation."[5]




[1] Refer to [6:98] and [11:6]

[2] Al Kafi, Vol.1, pg 44 (arabic version)

[3] ibid, Vol.1, Ch13, h1 (english transl.); Vol.1, pg 44-45 (arabic)

[4] ibid;

[5] ibid;


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