The key of evils is wine. Lying is even worse

Imam Hasan Al-’Askari (a.s.) said:
“إنَّ اللّهَ جَعَلَ لِلشَّرِ أَقْفَالاً وَ جَعَلَ مَفاتِيحِ تِلْكَ الأَقْفالِ اَلشَّرابَ، وَ الْكِذْبُ شَرٌّ مِنَ الشَّرابِ”

God has placed evils and maladies under locks, the key of which is wine, and lying is even worse than wine. 1

Brief Description
The greatest and most effective tool against evils and maladies is wisdom and intellect, and this is a strong lock set on them. When the lock of “wisdom” is opened by the key of “wine”, all evils and obscenities are let loose and a drunk person is vulnerable to committing all sorts of crime, sin and corruption.
While a drunkard commits a sin under the influence of the mind numbing drink, a liar pollutes the social environment knowingly. When lying permeates a society, it kills the spirit of trust and reliance leading to sins and corruption. Hence lying is even more dangerous than wine.[divider]
•    1. Wasa’il ‘ush-Shi’a, second volume, page 223

Fulfilling requirements of the poor is an important social principle

Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“لوْ أَنَّ النَّاسَ أَدَّوْا حُقُوقَ أَمْوَالِهِمْ لَكانُوا عايِشِينَ بِخَيْر”

If people honor the rights of each other and fulfill requirements of the poor, they will enjoy a good and satisfactory life.1

Brief Description
The above tradition emphasizes the wisdom of the Islamic obligations placed on the rich to pay to the poor out of their property and savings and the obligation on everyone to respect and honor the rights of others. It clarifies that this is not merely a matter of morality or religious compliance. Rather it is an extremely important social principle with a strong bearing on the peace and prosperity of society.
One only has to look at the turmoil in the world today to appreciate the value of this gem from the treasures of Islamic knowledge. Dangerous reactions of the poor masses caused by class exploitation and unfair concentration of wealth in the hands of a few are tearing at the fabric of societies today. Peace and love are in short supply, violence and misery abound.[divider]
•    1. Wasa’il ‘ush-Shi’a, volume 6, page 2

A person in debt has no relief

The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:
“إيّاكُمْ وَ الْدَّيْنَ فَإنَّهُ هَمٌّ بِاللَيْلِ، وَ ذُلٌ بِالنَّهارِ”

Avoid borrowing as far as you can, because it causes grief during the night and contempt during the day.1

Brief Description
The lure of the material life and competition to acquire luxuries in the present times has caused people to borrow more and more. Many are trapped in the vicious circle of higher debts and increasing repayments leading to more borrowings to finance repayments.
Since a person in debt is not a free man, we are instructed not to undertake debt other than for a dire necessity. Debt is even more dangerous at the country level. Highly indebted countries expose their citizens and future generations to severe economic hardships and to erosion of their freedom and spiritual independence.[divider]
•    1. Bihar al-Anwar, volume 103, page 141

Whose punishment would be the most severe?

The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:
“أَشَدُّ النّاسِ عَذَاباً فِى الْقِيامَةِ عَالِمٌ لَمْ يَعْمَلْ بِعِلْمِهِ وَ لَمْ يَنْفَعْهُ عِلْمُهُ”

One who knows something and does not observe it, and does not use his knowledge, his punishment in the hereafter would be the most severe.1

Brief Description
In Islam, knowledge is always regarded as a tool for practical application and for improving the life of an individual and the society. Otherwise it has no value.
Those who commit a sin unknowingly carry a lesser responsibility than those who do so with knowledge. The responsibility to enlighten others in the society is also proportionate to the degree of one’s knowledge.[divider]
•    1. Bihar al-Anwar, volume 2, page 38

Invitation to honesty and trust


Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“إنَّ اللّه لَمْ يَبْعَثْ نَبِيّاً إلاّ بِصِدقِ الْحَدِيثِ وَ أَداءِ الأَمانَةِ”

Allah instructed all prophets to invite people to honesty and trust.1

Brief Description
A healthy society is based on a number of core values, the most important of which is the priceless asset of public confidence and trust.
This is when the spoken word and actions take place in an environment of mutual trust. The greatest enemy of this valuable treasure is lies and treachery.
In the societies in which lies and treachery are popular, people are afraid of each other, people feel lonely, not knowing who to turn to and end up bearing a heavy load of life alone.
This is the reason why invitation to honesty and trust has always been included in programs of all the divine prophets.[divider]
•    1. Safinat’ul-Bihar

If you start, make it done

The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:
“إسْتِتْمامُ الْمَعْرُوفِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ إِبْتِدائهِ”

Completion and continuation of a good deed is better and more important than beginning it.

Brief Description
We often see useful projects and actions in the milieu of our social life which are left uncompleted. Their doers have started them under the influence of a sudden motive, but they have lost their enthusiasm very soon and have left them uncompleted. Islam admires faithful and diligent individuals who accomplish the useful work which they commence.1[divider]
•    1. Nahjul Fasahah

Who can be your worst friend?

Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said:
“شَرُّ إخْوانِكَ مَنْ داهَنَكَ فى نَفْسِكَ وَ ساتَرَكَ عَيْبَك”

Your worst friends are those who flatter and talk with you superficially and conceal your faults.1

Brief Description
Escaping the realities and concealing the truths neither solves any problem nor is it a service to anyone. Therefore, friends who refrain from constructive criticism and from urging corrective actions and, instead, hide their friend’s faults for his false satisfaction, or misrepresent it as goodness, have failed to be faithful in friendship. They have also committed a great treachery that may cause serious damage to the prestige, reputation, honor and prosperity of their friend.[divider]
•    1. Ghurar al-Hakam

Stop being needy

Imam ‘Ali (a.s) said:
“مَنْ وَجَدَ ماءً وَ تُراباً فَافْتَقَرَ فَأَبْعَدَهُ اللّهُ”

Whoever has available water and land, and still he is poor and needy, should expect to be deprived from God’s mercy!1

Brief Description
It is clear from Islamic traditions that Muslims throughout the world should use all the available resources such as animal husbandry, agriculture, underground resources and mines, professions, industry and commerce for alleviating poverty.
With hard work and good governance, a nation that has even one of these resources should be able to fulfill its economic requirements. Those who remain needy despite access to many resources will be deprived of God’s mercy. Becoming needy and dependent on others is against the teachings and spirit of Islam.[divider]
1. Bihar al-Anwar, volume 103, page 65

You hurt yourself, before you hurt others

Imam As-Sadiq (a.s) said:
“الحاسِدُ مُضِرُّ بِنَفْسِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُضُرّ بِالْمَحْسُودِ”

An envious person sustains a loss to himself before causing a loss to the one he envies.1

Brief Description
The spirit of envy refers to not tolerating others enjoying a blessing, and trying to deprive them from that blessing, or causing a loss to them in other ways.
An envious person’s tendency is to act as a destructive force, seeking failure of others, rather than a constructive force that seeks one’s own improvement and success.
Envy is a severe moral disease. Psychologists assert that feelings of resentment and jealousy harbored by the envious persons play havoc with their emotional and physical health and their actions bring suffering and humiliation only to themselves. It is far better to concentrate on one’s own success as opposed to trying to hold others back.[divider]
•    1. Bihar al-Anwar, volume 73, page 255, Mustadraku wassa’il, volum e 12, page 19, Kashf Arriba, page 53, Misbah Ash-shari’a, page 104

Who do you want to impress?


Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“لا تُرّاءِ بِعَمَلِكَ مَنْ لاَ يُحْيي وَ لا يُمِيْتُ وَ لايُغْنِى عَنْكَ شَيْئاً”

Do not do your good deeds for affectation and trying to impress people. You should realize that people have no power on life or death nor can they solve any problem for you.1

Brief Description
All appearances of the life of those who have gotten used to pretension and hypocrisy become hollow and empty. They are contented with aspects of life that have little substance and spiritual meaning, leaning instead towards vain imaginations, illusions and empty religious rituals. They gain nothing save appearances! For this reason, Islam strongly criticizes this ugly attribute and says that your destiny in not under control of these people, so why this facade?[divider]
•    1. Bihar al-Anwar, volume 73, page 255