Beware of anxiety, panic, the feeling of weakness, failure, disappointment and despair on account of the problems that surround you, for Allah Almighty has bestowed on you the greatest and the most honored of His blessings: the great religion of Islam and the straight path of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them), which He has chosen for His creation, accepting none besides it. He, great are His signs, magnanimous are His blessings, says, "This Day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion” (Qur'an, 5:3). He also said, "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be amongst the losers.” (Qur'an, 3:85).
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) has said, "The similitude of members of my household is the ark of Noah: Whoever broads it is saved, and whoever lags behind it is drowned.”[i] One tradition states that a man complained to Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) about various day-to-day difficulties that he faced. The Imam (peace be upon him) said to him, "How would you value our – the Ahl al-Bayt’s – wilaya (mastership)?” The man said, "I value it more than whole world and everything in it.” The Imam (peace be upon him) said, "You leave this place holding in your hand more than the value of the world and all that is in it; then you complain?!"
The believers have always been subjected to trials and tribulations; so, once afflicted, a believer should increase his insight with regard to his religion and should be more firm in his conviction just as the Almighty has said: "When the believers saw the confederate forces, they said, ‘This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us, and what Allah and His Messenger told us is true.’ And it only increased their faith and zeal in obedience. Some of the believers have been true to their covenant with Allah, some of them have completed their vow to (the end), while some (still) wait: But they have never changed (their determination) in the least” (Qur'an, 33:22-23).
What increases the strength of your affairs, the solace in your ordeals, your knowledge of the greatness of this blessing of Allah Almighty on you, when He makes you acquainted with Him, with His religion and friends, is that you look deeply into the condition of other nations: Contemplate on their status of being so distant from Allah Almighty, so much distracted from His call, despicably throwing themselves after material things, running after their desires, putting modesty aside, letting their families disintegrate and become lost.
The greatness and strength of this religion can manifest itself when compared with other religions: Since it entered the land as a conqueror in past centuries, its natives became dazzled by it, so they abandoned their religions without regret and embraced it willingly, joining it in hordes, believing in it obediently and without being coerced. Through its right and reality, it absorbed the errors of those who disseminated it and their negativities as well as the bad behavior of rulers who ruled in its name.
When it came under its enemies’ assaults, it did not dwarf before them, and it did not retreat, whether those were ideological attacksof skepticism or physical military assaults.
Since the first ages and up to the recent times, Islam was exposed to waves of infidelity, atheism, distortion, misrepresentation; yet it remained firm before them until they retreated in disappointment as failures andlosers.
It was also exposed to hostile military attacks. Perhaps the most serious attack on it during the past centuries was the fierce attack by the Mongols who destroyed everything on their path with extreme savagery. But the matter did not last long before the Mongols themselves embraced this religion and became its bearers and supporters, and after that they had a great impact in serving it and spreading it throughout the world.
More serious and harsh than the previous attacks is the attack to which the religion is exposed in this modern age — after it was exhausted by ills and ailments—the attacks to which it has been subjected after lengthy study, plans and coordination, with its crushing armies and devastating advanced weapons, bearing in one hand its culture and dazzling technology and with the other shiny slogans in order to eradicate this religion at home, strip its followers of it and keep them away from it. This was succeeded from the East by Communism which openly and persistently rejects religion and values and does not recognize anything other than materialism, trying to improve its image with slogans of justice, equality, socialism and peace.
The critical period which we and our forefathers had seen before, living it in all its pains and tragedies, wherein the calls of skeptics, naïve people and their slogans rose to target this great religion and sacred principle and its followers with being ignorant, stagnant, backward and reactionary in an attempt to keep it distant from the reality and entity of the nation and vice versa.
It was not long before those calls died down and their glitter disappeared, the attacks receded, returning disappointed and lost, and it was obvious that those slogans were false. Masks fell down, colonizers and occupiers showed their reality of being liars and false, of being selfish, aggressive and savage, of violating human rights, of being empty, unmanly, having lost individuality, in being materialistic and bestial, in being shallow, in causing families to disintegrate, and in being licentious.
Adherents of this religion stood up proud of it, calling for it, defending it, tolerating for its sake hardships and calamities. Afflictions and perils did not turn them away from it. Here you are, believing expatriates, bearing your religion in their homelands, publicly declaring your call in their homes, observing your rituals among them, feeling proud of all of this in a way which nobody ever thought possible half a century ago or more.
The same applies to believing in the imamate of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) and being loyal to them, by which one’s belief in Islam becomes perfect and its blessing is then completed: Groups of misguidance allied themselves against it, forged coalitions in order to resist it from its first day and until this day of ours. They fought against such belief relentlessly, afflicting it with disasters and adversities, working hard to put out its light, undermine its foundations, extract its origin, while it increases despite all of this in strength and firmness, in manifesting itself and spreading.
Allah, the most Great, has uttered the truth when He said, "They intend to extinguish God's light with their mouths, but Allah will complete (the Revelation of) His light, even though the unbelievers may detest (it)” (Qur'an, 61:8), and when He says, "As for the scum (of the earth), it likewise disappears; it is cast out, while what is for the good of mankind remains on the earth. Thus does Allah set forth parables” (Qur'an, 61:8) and also when He says, "Do you not see how Allah sets forth a parable? A goodly word is like a goodly tree whose root is firmly fixed and branches (reach) to the heavens; it brings forth its fruit at all times, by its Lord's permission. So Allah sets forth parables for men so they may receive admonishment. And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree. It is pulled up by the root from the surface of the earth: It has no stability. Allah will empower those who believe with the word that stands firm in this world and in the Hereafter” (Qur'an, 14:24-27).
So, thank Allah Almighty for His great blessings on you and how beautifully He has fared with you: He acquainted you with Himself and with His friends, making you the advocates of His call, the bearers of His religion, enabling you to hold on to His bond, to befriend those who befriend Him and to be the enemies of His enemies. So raise your morale as you feel proud of it.
[i] Al-Mustadrak ala Al-Sahihain, Vol. 2, p. 342, and this wording exists there; Mujma` Al-Zawa'id, Vol. 9, p. 168; Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabir, Vol. 3, p. 45; Vol. 12, p. 27; Al-Mu`jam Al-Awsat, Vol. 5, p. 355; Al-Mu`jam Al-Saghir, Vol. 2, p. 22; Musnad Al-Shihab, Vol. 2, p. 273; Al-Jami` Al-Saghir, Vol. 1, p. 373; Kanz Al-`Ummal, Vol. 12, p. 94; Fayd Al-Qadir, Vol. 2, p. 658; Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 22, p. 408; Vol. 23, p. 120; Wasa'il Al-Shi`a, Vol. 18, p. 19.