Month 6: Our Actions are Presented to the Imam (af)


The actions of the believers are presented to the Ḥujjah (a) of God

From the Qurʾan and narrations of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), one can infer that the ḥujjah (representative) of God on earth is informed about the actions and deeds of the people. In some circumstances, he may takes action to guide them, and amend their behaviour.

The Imam (a) of the time has Divinely-granted access to knowledge that is immediate and comprehensive. A report from Imam al-Mahdī (af) states: Nothing about you remains concealed from us.[1]



Presentation of Actions

Q 9/105 states:

وَقُلِ اعْمَلُوا فَسَيَرَى اللَّهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ… ۖ

And say [unto them]: Act! Allah will see your actions, and [so will] His messenger and the believers…

The reference to ‘believers’ in this verse refers to the Imams (a). In this regard, Imam al-Sadiq (a) has stated: Every deed of the people, good and bad, is presented every morning to the Prophet (s) [and thereafter to his righteous successors (a)], so be careful of your deeds![2]

In another narration, ʿAbdullah bin Abān reports: I asked Imam Ridha (a) to pray for me and my family. The Imam replied: “Do I not [already] pray? By Allah, your deeds are presented to me every day and night, and I pray for whatever is expedient [for you].” Then the Imam (a) recited the above verse Q 9/105, saying that ‘believers’ referred to Ali b. Abī Talib (a) [and his successors].[3]

It has been reported that one day Imam Sadiq (a) asked his companions, “Why do you displease God’s Messenger (s)?” One of them exclaimed, “How do we displease God’s Messenger (s)?” The Imam (a) replied, “Do you not realise that your deeds are presented to God’s Messenger (s)? If he sees a sin in your actions, he is saddened and displeased. So, do not displease him (s) with your bad actions; rather try to please him by doing good deeds.”[4]

The question, then, is what can I do practically to please my Imam (af)? Below are some ideas, using the easy-to-remember acronym IMAM!

I – Imagining the smile of pleasure when the Imam (af) is presented with my deeds.

Every action starts in the mind and needs a motivating factor. If I can imagine the smile on the Imam’s (af) face, this can motivate me to act – and not only act, but act in the right way. To make the right choices, and push me to come out of my comfort zone.

M – Making it a reality.

Now that I have the driving force, the motivating factor, I need to actually do those actions that will please the Imam (af). In this manner, I can move the smile from my imagination onto the face of Imam (af), thus making it a reality.

A – Always be mindful that the Imam (af) is aware of my actions.

At the end of each day, I need to self-reflect to see whether I was the cause of pleasure or displeasure to the Imam (af). What did I do which made him happy, so I can do more of that? What did I do which made him sad, and how can I rectify it? Think of the 3Rs to make amends (Regret and remorse; Rectify the wrong; Resolve never to do it again).

M – Maintain and strengthen a relationship with the Imam (af).

Now that I am more aware of the Imam (af) and am sending him actions which make him happy, I can think about how to maintain and strengthen my relationship with him (af). What one thing can I add to my daily routine which will help maintain and strengthen this relationship?

[1] Majlisī, Biḥār al-Anwār, 53/175.

[2] Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, 1/219, trad. 2.

[3] Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, 1/219, trad. 4.

[4] Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, 1/219, trad. 3.


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