Debate of Imam Sadiq on Truthfulness
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ithout doubt people become ignorant and astray when they depend on their own viewpoints and do not consult the people of true knowledge. So, the ignorant person goes astray in the methods of ignorance. However, he thinks that he is knowledgeable in the true religious law.
There was a debate between al- Sadiq, peace be on him, and an ignorant person who affected knowledge in truthfulness. Al- Sadiq himself has told us about this debate. He has said:
“Indeed, whoever follows his desire and admires his idea becomes like that person whom ignorant people regarded as great. I saw a group of people surrounding him. So, I wanted to meet him. He deceived that group of people, then he left them. I followed him. Soon, he passed by a baker. He made the baker heedless and took two loaves of bread from his bakery.
I was astonished at him, then I talked to myself: Perhaps, he is his customer. Then, I said: Why has he stolen the two loaves of bread? Then, I went on following him. Soon, he passed by pomegranate seller. He made him heedless and took two pomegranates.
I was astonished at him, and then I said to myself: Perhaps, he is his customer. Then I said: Why has he stolen them? Then I went on following him till he passed by a sick person. He put the two loaves of bread and the two pomegranates before a sick person.
Then I (al- Sadiq) asked him about his act. He said: ‘perhaps, you are Ja’far b. Mohammed?’ ‘Yes,’ I said. He said to me: ‘What does your noble origin avail you while you are ignorant?’ ‘Which verse of the Koran am I ignorant at?’ I asked. He said these Words of Allah, the Great and Almighty.’ Whoever brings a good deed, he shall have ten like it, and whoever brings and evil deed he shall be recompensed only with the like of it.'(6:160)
‘When I stole the two loaves of bread, they were two evil deeds. And When I stole the two pomegranates, they were two evil deeds, too. So, these are four evil deeds. When I gave each one of them as alms, Allah has subtracted 4 evil deeds from 40 good deeds. So, I have 36 good deeds.’ I (al- Sadiq) said: ‘May your mother lose you! It is you who are ignorant at the Book of Allah. Have you not heard that Allah said:
“(Allah) accepts (deeds) from the pious only.’ When you stole the two loaves of bread, they were two evil deeds. And when you stole the two pomegranates, they were two evil deeds, too. And when you gave them to other than their owner without the permission of their owner, you have added four evil deeds to four evil deeds, and you have not added four evil deeds to forty good deeds. So, he began looking at me. Then I left him and went away.”‘
Al- Sadiq, peace be on him, said: “They (the ignorant) mislead (people) and go astray with this ugly, hateful explanation.”(Wasa’il al- Shi’a, v.2, p.57)