Imam Hadi (PBUH) says: “Don’t consider yourself safe from the harm of one who does not hold any dignity for him/herself!”(1)
God Almighty blessed humankind with pride and worthiness, greatness and magnanimity. As noted in the Holy Quran: “Verily we have honored the Children of Adam …” (Quran, 17:70). And with this characteristic, the human being has been deemed a higher status over other creatures. Allah (SWT) even goes as far to praise Himself upon the creation of the human masterpiece, “So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators!” (Quran, 23:14).
What we can obtain from the verses and narrations is that if a person finds the path of guidance and goodness, he can obtain such an honor that he surpasses the level of angels. Likewise, if he/she go astray he/she will fall below the levels of the animals.
But the path to greatness and dignity of self is paying attention to the fact that man/woman knows who he/she is, where they come from and what traits are suitable for his/her proper and worthy position.
The summation of such awareness forms the ground and source for movement of mankind towards his/her perfection and self-knowledge which is considered “as the best and most useful knowledge.”(2) It is clear that a man or woman with self-knowledge can understand his/her abilities, and specific characteristics, while he/she also has the ability to identify his/her weaknesses, poverty, and dependency towards the ultimate power of God Himself.
In line with the narration of Imam Hadi (PBUH), a person who does not know his/her value, and has not put effort towards self-knowledge, will clearly reach destruction. For if a person, through the lack of self-knowledge, has his/her position and character reduced and humiliated, then he/she would commit any act, and lose the dignity of his/her humanity. One must fear such a person; for if one does not deem any value for him/herself, will obviously leave no dignity for any other.
It is therefore no question for when people who lack culture, commit horrendous crimes, and corruption. Such acts become normal to them. It is therefore necessary in this chaotic life to remember learning about our selves, while also remembering to view ourselves and our positions as part of the larger geometrical shape of this world.
(The above is a selection from “Naqawi Wise Sayings” of by Jawad Muhaddithi, with minor changes)
On behalf of Roshd Website, we send our condolences to you dear friend and all Muslims around the world upon the arrival of the martyrdom of the tenth Imam, the beauty of the pious, the fountain of goodness and the Imam of the Merciful(3), Imam Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi (PBUH).
1. Tuhaf al-Uqul
2. Ghurar al-Hikam
3. Phrases from the Ziarat of Imam Hadi (PBUH) in Mafaatih al-Jinan