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NEWSPRESS: EVERY WORD HAS A REALITY

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Truthfulness and Godwariness are the perfections of faith. They are the ones concerning whom God says, “They are the faithful in truth” [8:4]. 

The most complete report from Muṣṭafā that is appropriate to this verse and brings together the varieties of piety—the part that is faith, the part that is deeds, and the part that is noble character traits—comes by way of Suwayd Ḥārith.

He said, “I was sent as the seventh of seven from my tribe to God’s Messenger. When we entered in upon him and spoke to him, he admired what he saw of our appearance and dress.

He said, ‘What are you?’ “We said, ‘We are faithful.’

“God’s Messenger smiled and said, ‘Every word has a reality. What is the reality of your words and your faith.’

“I said, ‘Fifteen traits. We were commanded by your messengers to have faith in five of them. We were commanded by your messengers to put five of them into practice. We were characterized by five of them in the time of ignorance. We will keep to these unless you dislike any of them.’

“God’s Messenger said, ‘What are the five traits in which my messengers commanded you to have faith?’

“We said, ‘Your messengers commanded us to have faith in God, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the uprising after death.’

“He said, ‘And what are the five that they commanded you to put into practice?’

“We said, ‘Your messengers commanded us to say together “There is no God but God and Muḥammad is God’s messenger,” to perform the prayer, to give the alms tax, to make a pilgrimage to the House if one has the way to do so and to fast during the month of Ramadan. We are doing that.’

“He said, ‘And what are the five traits by which you have become characterized?’

“We said, ‘Gratitude in ease, patience in a trial, truthfulness in encounters, approval with the decree where it falls, and fighting against enemies.’

“God’s Messenger smiled and said, ‘Courteous, understanding, intelligent, and wise!

Oh, what traits! How eminent and embellished they are!’

Then God’s Messenger said, ‘I will counsel you to five traits so that you will have twenty traits in total.’

“We said, ‘Counsel us, O Messenger of God!’

“He said, ‘If you are as you say, then do not gather what you do not eat, do not build that in which you do not reside, do not be rivals in anything that will pass away, be eager in that in which you are setting off and in which you will be forever, and be wary of God, to whom you will be returned and to whom you will be shown.’”

President

The divine scriptures are God’s beacons to the world. Surely God offered His trust to the heavens and the earth, and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man undertook it.
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