Often we are very ready to condemn people because they do not have as much knowledge as us, or do not pray as much as us. We do not take into consideration their environment, upbringing, knowledge and capacity. Our arrogant attitude may be the cause of someone to delve further into misguidance or rebellion. Imam al-Sadiq (as) gives us an invaluable lesson on how to deal with these people.

“ Abu ‘Abd Allah (as) once sent me with a group of his followers for an errand and at that time he was in Hirah (a place near Kufa, Iraq). We left for it and returned depressed. My bed was in al-Ha’ir (a comfortable private quarter). I went there in an upset condition and threw myself thereat. At this time abu ‘Abd Allah (as) came in saying, ‘We have come to see you,’ or he said, ‘We have come to you.’ I then sat up straight and he sat in the middle of my bed and asked me about the errand for which he had sent me. I reported to him and he thanked Allah. Thereafter, a mention of certain people came up and I said, ‘May Allah keep my soul in service for your cause, we disassociate from these people; they do not say what we say.’ The Imam then said, ‘If they love and support us, but do not say what you say, do you (still) disassociate from them?’ I then said, ‘Yes, we do so.’
“The Imam said, ‘It is just like this (‘A’immah’s case). We have what you do not have. Should we disassociate from you?’ I then said, ‘No, may Allah keep my soul in service for your cause.’ The Imam said, ‘It is just like this (the case of Allah). With Him there is what we do not have. Do you think we should give it up?’
“I then said, ‘No, may Allah keep my soul in service for your cause. We should not do so.’ The Imam said, ‘Be friends with them and do not disassociate from them. Among the Muslims there are those who have only one share, those who have two shares, three shares, four shares, five shares, six shares and those who have seven shares. Thus, those who have one share cannot bear the load of those who have two shares, or those who have two shares from those who have three shares, those who have three shares from those who have four shares, those who have four shares from those who have five shares, those who have five shares from those who have six shares and those who have six shares from those those who have seven shares. I will give an example:
“A man had a Christian neighbor to whom he preached Islam attractively and the neighbor accepted. It was early next morning when he knocked at his (convert’s) door. He said, ‘Who is it?’ He (the preacher) said, ‘I am so and so.’ ‘What do you want?’ the (convert) said. ‘Make Wudhu, dress up in your two cloths and join us for prayer,’ said the preacher. The new convert then made Wudhu, dressed up in his two pieces of cloth and joined him. They performed prayers a great deal. Then they prayed the morning-prayer, then waited until it was light. The convert got up to go home and the man asked him, ‘Where are you going? The day is short. The time left to noontime is very little.’ The new convert sat down with him until noontime and they prayed the noontime prayer. Then he said that there is very little time to afternoon prayer. He prevented the new convert from going home until they said the afternoon prayer. He then wanted to go home but he (the preacher) said, ‘It is the last part of the day and is less than the beginning of it.’ So he (the preacher) stopped him until they performed the prayer at sunset. Then the new convert wanted to go home, he (the preacher) said, ‘Only one more prayer is left.’ He then waited until they performed the late evening prayer and then they departed each other. Next early morning he (the preacher) went and knocked at the door of the new convert. He (the new convert) asked, ‘Who is it?’ He (the preacher) said, ‘I am so and so.’ He (the new convert) asked, ‘What do you want?’ He (the preacher) said, ‘Make Wudhu, dress up in your two pieces of cloth and join us for prayer.’ He (the Christian man) said, ‘Find other persons for this religion who have more free time. I am a poor person with a family to feed.’ “Abu ‘Abd Allah (as) then said, ‘He (the preacher) took him (Christian) into a thing in such a way that it took him (the new convert) out of it. Or that the Imam said, ‘Took him in like this and forced him out like that.’”

Sanad: Abu Ali al-Ash’ari has narrated from Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Jabbar from Muhammad ibn Yahya from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa all from ibn Faddal from al-Hassan ibn al-Jahm from abu al-Yaqzan from Ya’qub ibn al-Dahhak from a man of our people, Sarraj who was a servant of abu ‘Abd Allah (as) who has said the above hadith

Source: Usool al-Kafi, Volume 2, Chapter 20, Hadith #2

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