Futuwwa - The Way of The Spiritual Warrior
(Spiritually Youthful Chivalry and Honor)
not despising the poor or being deceived by the rich and riches; being fair to everybody without expecting fairness from anyone; living one’s life as a pitiless enemy of one’s carnal self; being ever-considerate of others and living for them; smashing all idols or all that is idolized, and rebelling against falsehood so as to be wholly devoted to God Almighty; bearing whatever evil is done to oneself but thundering where the rights of God are violated; feeling remorse for the rest of one’s life for committing even a small sin, but overlooking others’ sins regardless of how large they are; seeing oneself as a poor, lowly servant while considering others as saintly; not resenting others while maintaining relations with those who resent you; being kind to those who hurt you; and serving God and the people more than anyone else, but preferring others to oneself when it is time to receive one’s wages.
Some have summed up futuwwa in the four virtues mentioned by Hazrat Ali, the fourth Caliph (first Imam of the Shia) and cousin of the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings. They are:
forgiving when one is able to punish, preserving mildness and acting mildly and gently when one is furious, wishing one’s enemies well and doing good to them, and being considerate of others’ well-being and happiness first, even when one is needy.
Hazrat Ali was one of the greatest representatives of futuwwa. When he was stabbed by Ibn Muljam while leading the morning prayer in the mosque, his children, who saw that their father would die, asked him what he wanted them to do with Ibn Muljam. He did not order his execution in retaliation.
‘Ali lived with the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, and was raised by him. He lived a perfectly honest, pure life without any taint, and embodied God’s answer to the Prophet Moses, upon him be peace, about futuwwa: It means that you are able to return your self to me as pure or untainted as you took it from Me.The signs of a fata’ (young, chivalrous one) are that the individual’s, created with the potential to accept Divine Unity and Islam, is totally convinced of Divine Unity; that it urges him or her to live according to the requirements of this conviction; that, without being captivated by carnal or bodily desires, he or she lives a pure, spiritual life; and that he or she always seeks to please God in his or her deeds, thoughts, and feelings. One who cannot be saved from the temptations of the carnal self, Satan, appetites, love of the world, or attachment to the worldly life cannot climb upward to the peak of futuwwa.