In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
There are four issues that you must not forget: One is about God. We must always remember God. “And He is with you wherever you are.” (57:4) Wherever you are, whether in the Hussainia, at the store, at home, or in the market, God is with you. Your eyes, your ears, and even your thoughts, whether they be good thoughts or bad thoughts, will all be held accountable.
One of the scholars of Karbala was seen in a dream, two years after his death. Keep this story in mind. They asked him: “How is the Hereafter?” He said: “I was successful for sure, but there was only one thing that God held me accountable for. One day a load of firewood was passing by, and I took a small piece of wood and broke it to pick my teeth with. God told me: “Why did you take this from the people’s firewood?” In the afterlife, we will be held accountable to this extent. Every word is judged, everything you hear is judged, and every handshake is judged.
First thing is God. Every morning when you wake up, you must remind yourself to remember God. Always remember this thing. One who is with God, God is with him.
One who is with God rises, and one who isn’t with God falls. Remember God at work, in school, at the podium, in your prayers, and at home.
The second issue is death. The Prophet once said: “Which person is most clever?” Is it the one who has money? No. One who has knowledge? No. One who has an audience of 100,000 people? No. One who has a position? No. None of these people are clever.
He said: “The cleverest person is the one who remembers death.” To remember death.
The day will come when we will all die, and we will all become beneath the earth. Neither will I exist nor will you, and nobody will even remember our names.
One must consider this day and remember this day before every action. They asked the Prophet: “How many times should we remember death every day?” He said: “At least 30 times.” This means when you wake up in the morning, remember that you will die, when you pray remember that you will die, and when you go to the market remember that you will die. If one becomes like this, one will always be a truthful person. On one hand remember God, and on the other remember death. One who is with God always remembers death, and God will give him all his needs.
There is a small story which is often told by the speakers. There once was a ship that was drowning at sea, and everyone in it was crying, weeping and praying. There was a black slave who sat quietly without saying anything. They told him to say something but he wouldn’t, so they insisted. Always remember this story. He raised his head and said: “Oh God! I’ve fulfilled my part so fulfill yours.” Suddenly the sea calmed down. They gathered around him and asked him: “Who are you?” He said: “I’m a black slave, but I’ve made a deal with God that if I listen to his commands, He will also listen to my requests. Until now I’ve listened to God’s commands, so I told God to listen to my wishes, and He did so.
If one follows God, God will listen to his demands. He has said in the holy Qur’an: “Be faithful to your covenant with Me, I will fulfill My covenant with you,” (2:40)
Always be with God, and always remember death. These are two issues.
The third issue is to struggle to spread Islamic teachings everywhere possible. This is your duty. This is the third issue.
The fourth issue is to help the poor. Don’t say I don’t have money, and my salary is only 1,000 tomans. Split the 1,000 tomans in half and give one half to the poor. If you give half of your salary it would be called empathy, and if you give 990 from 1,000 it would be called altruism. God taught us how to be good; we are the followers of this path. God says: “And (the believers) prefer them (the poor) before themselves…” (50:9)
This means if I have a piece of bread and this man and I were both hungry, I’d give all of it to this man. What did Lady Fatima, Imam Ali, Imam Hassan, and Imam Hussein do?
They gave their own bread to the people. They didn’t say: “Let’s only give one-fifth or half of what we have.”
We must apply the fourth issue and rescue the poor people of society, like the homeless, the unmarried youths who can’t afford to get married, the sick people and those who don’t have a refuge.
Don’t assume that only the scholars and the speakers should help, and don’t assume that only the wealthy and the governments should help. What did the Prophet say? He said: “You are all shepherds and responsible for your herd.” Everyone must contribute according to his ability. Decrease from your share and add to the share of others.
In one of the wars called Tabuk, every two Muslims used to share one date, and everyone ate one half of a date in the state of war. We must personally help the people. One must help everyone. We must not forget God, death, spreading Islamic teachings, and helping people. These are four issues that we must not forget.
And may God send his prayers upon Muhammad and his pure family.
Sayed Muhammad Shirazi