Another responsibility is to fulfill the rights of fellow believers and this is actually regarded as fulfilling the rights of the Imam!
The rights which our fellow believers have upon us are numerous however one of these is to satisfy their needs and to act with goodness and honesty towards them.
Imam Musa b. Ja’far al-Kadhim (as) has said:
وَ مَنْ قَضى حَاجَةً لِأَحَدٍ مِنْ أَوْلِيَائِنَا فَكَأَنَّمَا قَضَاهَا لِجَمِيعِنَا
“A person who fulfills the need of one of our friends is like the one who has fulfilled the need for all of us (the Ahlul Bayt).”1
Once, a person asked Imam Ja’far. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) about the rights of another believer to which he replied:
“These are seventy rights.”2
In addition, Abul Hasan has said:
مَنْ أَتَاهُ أَخُوهُ الْمُؤْمِنُ فِي حَاجَةٍ فَإِنَّمَا هِيَ رَحْمَةٌ مِنَ اللٌّهِ تَعَالـى سَاقَهَا إِلَيْهِ فَإِنْ قَبِلَ ذٌلِكَ فَقَدْ وَصَلَهُ بِوَلاَيَـتِنَا وَ هُوَ مَوْصُولٌ بِوَلاَيَةِ اللٌّهِ وَ إِنْ رَدَّهُ عَنْ حَاجَتِهِ وَ هُوَ يَقْدِرُ عَلى قَضَائِهَا سَلَّطَ اللٌّهُ عَلَيْهِ شُجَاعاً مِنْ نَارٍ يَنْهَشُهُ فِي قَبْـرِهِ إِلـى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَغْفُوراً لَهُ أَوْ مُعَذَّباً فَإِنْ عَذَرَهُ الطَّالِبُ كَانَ أَسْوَأَ حَالاً
“When a person is approached by his believing brother in need of assistance, this is actually a mercy from Allah, the High, which He sent to that person.
Therefore, if a person accepts this (and helps his brother) then it will bring him to our custodianship and the custodianship of Allah.
However, if he rejects his brother’s request (for help) while he is able to help him, then Allah will make a large serpent of fire come that will frighten him in his grave until the Day of Judgment, either a means of forgiveness for him (if he had done other good deeds in the world) or a punishment. And if the seeker forgives him then he will be in a worse state.”3
From these and other traditions, we can deduce that fulfilling the rights of the believers is one of the best ways to get closer to Allah and Imam al-Zaman (ajtf)
- 1.Mikyal al-Makarim, vol. 2, pg. 420; Biharul Anwar, vol. 100, pg. 121, sec. 2, no. 26
- 2.al-Kafi, vol. 2, pg. 184, sec. ‘The rights of a believer over his brother,’ no. 14
- 3.al-Kafi, vol. 2, pg. 196, sec. ‘Fulfilling the needs of a Believer,’ no. 13