Message of Thaqalayn

A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies

A Glance at the Hadith of Unwan Basri

Unwan Basri’s ardent love for Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq as well as his eagerness to gain from intellectual gatherings and courses motivated him to benefit from the Imam’s knowledge. In a one-on-one meeting with Basri, Imam Ja’far Sadiq spoke about the reality of true servitude along with its practical instructions.  This article presents this hadith and elucidates the relation between understanding and fearing God, the relation between understanding and (sulook) wayfaring towards God, the sources of insight (ma’rifa), and the reality of servitude.  In order to comprehend true servitude, one must believe God to be the true owner of all creation, entrusting one’s affairs to Him (tafweedh), wholeheartedly accepting all that God wants for a servant (tasleem), and acting within the boundaries of God’s commands and prohibitions


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