Jabir-e-Jaufi narrates that Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s) said, “O Jabir! For a person who claims to be a Shia, is it sufficient only to proclaim his love for us, the Ahlebayt? By Allah! Our Shia is only the person who is afraid and obedient of Allah. Our Shias are recognised by their hospitable natures and kind hearts, they are men of integrity and busy in the thoughts of Allah. They are regular at their prayers and fasting, they treat their parents well, they care for their neighbors, poor, needy and the orphans. They are truthful and regularly recite the Holy Quran. They keep their mouths shut about others except in the matters of Amr bil maroof – nahi an il munkar (the matters of dos and dont’s according to Shariah), they are accepted as trustworthy in their family circles.

Jabir Jaufi said, “These days I don’t find anyone fitting this description!

The Imam (a.s) replied, “O Jabir! Beware! Lest the different routes take you astray! People thought it sufficient to merely claim the love for Hazrat Ali (a.s) and to express acceptance his Wilaya (Supremacy) without trying to be righteous and practicing the precepts of Islam. Therefore, if a person says that he has the love for the Prophet of Islam (a.s) who is better than Hazrat Ali (a.s) and he does not follow the seerat (example) and the Sunna (the traditions) of the Prophet (a.s) then he will not get any benefit for his shallow expression of love for the Prophet (a.s). Therefore, have the fear of Allah and participate in the good deeds prescribed by Him. Remember! There is no relationship between Allah and anyone else. The dearest person in the view of Allah is one who is pious and obedient to Him. O Jabir! Nearness of Allah is possible only for the person who is obedient to Him! We don’t have any permit for exclusion from the Hellfire! Whosoever is obedient to Allah, he is from our friends. Whoever is sinning against Allah, he is our enemy. Our Wilaya reaches only those who are practicing piety and good deeds.

The Prophet of Islam (a.s) has said, “O Abu Dharr! Don’t seek the company of anyone other than a momin. Share your fare with a momin. O Abu Dharr! Invite one to the meal who is a friend of Allah and he befriends you because of Allah! Abstain from the company of bad people lest they turn you bad. A good person too appears bad in the company of the evil!

It is narrated that the Ameer al Momineen (a.s) was coming out of the mosque one night. He went towards the wilderness of Najaf. He had gone some distance when he noticed some persons were coming behind him. When the persons came near him, he asked who they were. They said that they were his Shias.

The Imam (a.s) looked cursorily at their faces and said, “I find that your foreheads are not those of my Shias!

They asked, “O Ameer al Momineen (a.s)! How are the foreheads of your Shias?

He replied, “Their faces are yellow. Their eyes look like the eyes of blind persons due to spending late nights in prayer. They have hunched backs because of the excess of prayers and their tummies almost touch their backs because of excessive fasting. Their lips are parched because of excessive supplication and they give the appearance of persons in fear.

Source: Extract from the book Ain al-Hayat by Allama Mohammad Baqir Majlisi (a.r)

May Allah grant us taufiq to follow the path of the Pure Ahlebayt (a.s.w.s) and count us among their servants and followers. Allahumma Ajjil Le Waliekal Faraj!