Imam Sajjad (a.s) was determined to teach and change the ethics of the Islamic society. Why? Because according to the Imam’s (a.s.) analysis, the main problems that inflicted the Muslim world, leading to the massacre of Karbala, stemmed from the people's perversions and ethical corruption.
If the people had Islamic ethics, Yazid, Ibn Ziyad, Omar Sa'd, and others couldn't indeed create that disaster. If the people hadn't become so cruel, hadn't been so attached to material benefits, hadn't been estranged to values, and malignancy hadn't been ruling over them, it would be impossible for the governments--even corrupted, even non-believers--to force the people to create such a huge disaster: that is, killing the son of the prophet (PBUH)—the son of Lady Fatimah (A.S).
Is this a laughing matter? A nation is the cause of such corruption when its morale is distorted. This was recognized in the face of the Islamic society by Imam Sajjad (a.s.) He decided to clear the society by removing the malignancy and improving their ethics. Thus, Makarem ul-Akhlagh is a prayer but also a lesson. Sahifeh Sajjadieh is a prayer and a lesson.
I recommend you, the youth, to read Sahifeh Sajjadieh prayer and contemplate on it. Reading without attention and contemplation is not sufficient. With careful attention, you will observe that each prayer, in the books Sahifeh Sajjadieh and MakaremulAkhlagh, is a lesson of life and ethics.
Statements at a meeting with staff members of the Ministry of Education,
State Welfare Organization of Iran and Social Services Organization.
July 14, 1993