BackKeep us on the straight path

This account from Imam Jafar as Sadiq (AS) is quoted in the Tafseer of Imam Hasan Askari (AS) when explaining the verse

ٱهْدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٰطَ ٱلْمُسْتَقِيمَ ﴿٦﴾

Its about a man who was considered among people as well guided, and illustrates how people can go astray while interpreting the Quran and why its important to seek guidance from Allah.

The one who follows his desires and his opinions is like the one about whom I hear that he is being considered by rubbish people as a great person and I wish to meet him but in a way that he would not recognize me so that I can witness his status among them. And so it happened that I saw that a horde of common people had surrounded him and I also covered up my face with a piece of cloth and stood in the corner to observe. After he had finished talking, the crowd dispersed and he went on his way. I followed him and saw that he stopped at a baker"s shop and then he stole a couple of loaves of bread from the shop and walked away. I was surprised at having witnessed this. Then I said to myself, maybe they know each other.

Then he carried on and stopped at a pomegranate shop and I saw him steal two pomegranates from there. I was surprised and this but then I said to myself that maybe they know each other. But then I thought that if they knew each other then why did he need to steal? Then he carried on and stopped by a sick person and placed both loaves of bread and both pomegranates in front of him and walked away. I followed him until he , went into a forest and stopped there. I approached him and said to him:

"O servant of God! I had heard good things about you and wanted to meet you but I saw you do things, which my heart did not accept, and so I would like to ask you about that.

He said:

"What is it that you would like to know?"

I said:

"I saw you pass by a baker"s shop and steal two loaves of bread from it and then I saw you pass by a pomegranate shop and steal two pomegranates from it."

Instead of replying to this he questioned me before I could complete what I wanted to say:

"Who are you?"

I replied:

"I am a man from the sons of Adamas and a member of the community of Muhammad (saww) and a member of his household."
"Perhaps you are Jafar Bin Muhammad Bin Ali Bin Al Husayn Bin Ali Bin Abu Talib?"

I said to him:

"Yes I am."

He said:

"What profit did you gain from the honour of your family when you are ignorant of their honour and you have ignored the knowledge of your forefathers?"

I said

"What have I ignored?"

He said:

"The Quran which is the Book of Allah."

I said:

"What is it that I am ignorant of from it?"

He said:

"The Words of Allah the Mighty"

مَن جَآءَ بِٱلْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُۥ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا ۖ وَمَن جَآءَ بِٱلسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَىٰٓ إِلَّا مِثْلَهَا وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ ﴿١٦٠﴾

Whoever brings a good deed, he shall have ten like it, and whoever brings an evil deed, he shall be recompensed only with the like of it, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly - (6:160).
When I stole two loaves of bread I got two sins, and when I stole two pomegranates I got two sins for that and that makes four sins, and when I gave it all in charity I got forty rewards for it, and when you take that off I am left with thirty six net rewards to my credit.

I said:

"May your mother sit in your grief! You are the one ignorant of the Book of Allah and not I. Have you not heard the Words of Allah"

قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٢٧﴾

Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil) (5:27)
When you stole two loaves of bread you ended up with two bad deeds, and then you stole two pomegranates and you ended up with four, and then you gave these to someone else without the permission of the owners and so you ended up with four more bad deeds.

He looked at me astonished, and I left him in that state and walked away.