One of Imam Baqir’s (PBUH) companions, Abi Obadiah, narrates:

I used to accompany Imam Baqir (PBUH) in journeys. During the journeys, I would always climb my mount first, and the Imam would climb his mount after I was seated (This act of Imam Baqir (PBUH) was out of utmost respect). 

Whenever our mounts were next to each other, he would converse with me and ask about my health in such a way that seemed as if he had just seen an old friend he had not seen for a long time, even though he had seen me just a few moments ago. 

I asked him:

“O! Son of Prophet Muhammad, you act completely different from all others when you socialize with others.  Your kindness and amenity towards your companions and friends is quite different. Truly it would be appreciable if others did the same in their first contact with each other.”

Imam Baqir (PBUH) replied: “Do you not know the value of Musafihah (shaking hands kindly with friends and believers)? Every time believers do Musafihah, and squeeze the hand of a friend, their sins fall (are forgiven) similar to how the leaves of a tree fall.  And they are under Allah’s grace until they separate.”1

In addition, many other sayings by the Imam have been recorded about kindness towards friends and brothers in faith:

“A prayer that is more likely to be answered, and more quickly to be granted, is a prayer for a brother in faith in his absence.”2 He also said: “A pious believer is the brother of a pious believer. One does not insult the other, does not refuse the other, and does not falsely suspect the other.”3And he advised his companions: “

Be lenient when talking to a hypocrite (Munafiq), love the believers with all your heart, and behave well even if you are sitting with a Jew.”4

And finally, he considered one of the most important duties of a believer helping his brother in faith financially.5

(Selected from: “The Political Life of Imam Baqir (PBUH)” by Ahmad Torabi, and “The Family of Infallibles” by Sayyid Taghi Dawoodi)

Footnotes:

1-On the authority of Abu Ubaidah, he said: I was a companion of Abu Ja`far (peace be upon him) and I would start riding and then he would ride, and when we were level, he greeted and asked the question of a man who was not familiar with his companion and shook hands. He said: And when he dismounted, he dismounted before me, so when he and I were leveled on the ground. He greeted and asked the accountability of one who has no contact with his friend, so I said: O son of the Messenger of God, you will do something that those before us did, even if he did it once for many. Then he said: Did you not know what is in the handshake, that believers meet and one of them shakes hands with his friend, and the sins continue to be removed from them just as The leaves fall from the trees, and God looks at them until they separate. (Al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 179)

2- On the authority of Abu Ja`far (peace be upon him)  he said: The closest to a supplication and the quickest answer is a man’s supplication for his brother in the back of the unseen. (Al-Kafi, vol.7, p. 507)

3- Al-Baqir (peace be upon him) said: The believer is the brother of the believer. He does not insult him, does not deprive him, and does not think badly of him.(Tuhaf al-Uqool, p. 796)

4- On the authority of Abu Jaafar Muhammad bin Ali (peace be upon him) he said: Treat the hypocrite with your tongue and be sincere in your affection for the believer. If a Jew is sitting with you, then sit with him well. (Al-Amali of Sheikh Mufid, p. 185)

5- Al-Baqir (peace be upon him) said: The most difficult of deeds are three: remembering God in every situation, being fair to yourself, and consoling one’s brother regarding his wealth.(Kashf al-Ghummah, vol.2, p. 133)

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