During civil disturbance be like
an adolescent camel who has neither a back strong enough
for riding nor udders for milking.
He who adopts greed as a habit
devalues himself; he who discloses his hardship agrees
to humiliation; and he who allows his tongue to
overpower his soul debases the soul.
Miserliness is shame; cowardice
is a defect; poverty disables an intelligent man from
arguing his case; and a destitute person is a stranger
in his home town. Incapability is a catastrophe;
endurance is bravery; abstinence is riches;
self-restraint is a shield (against sin).
The best companion is submission
(to Allah's will). Knowledge is a venerable estate; good
manners are new dresses; and thinking is clear mirror.
The bosom of the wise is the
safe of his secrets; cheerfulness is the bond of
friendship; effective forbearance is the grave of
shortcomings and mutual reconciliation is the covering
He who admires himself attracts
many opponents against him, charity is an effective
cure, and the actions of people in their present life
will be before their eyes in the next life.
How wonderfulis man that he
speaks with fat, talks with a piece of flesh, hears with
a bone and breathes through a hole.
When this world advances towards
anyone (with its favours) it attributes to him other's
good; and when it turns away from him it deprives him of
his own good.
Meet people in such a manner
that if you die they should weep for you and if you live
they should long for you.
When you gain power over your
adversary pardon him by way of thanks for being able to
The most helpless of all men is
he who cannot find a few brothers during his life, but
still more helpless. is he who finds such a brother but
When you get (only) small
favours do not push them away through lack of
He who is abandoned by near ones
is dear to remote ones.
Every mischief monger cannot
even be reproved.
All matters are subject to
destiny so much so that sometimes death results from
was asked to explain the saying of Prophet that “banish
your old age (by hair dye) and do not acquire
resemblance to Jews.” Imam replied,
“The Prophet (pbuh) said this at a time when the
religion was confined to a few, but now that its expanse
has widened and it is firmly settled everyone is free in
Ameerul Momineen (pbuh) said about those who avoided
fighting on his side:
They abandoned right
but did not support wrong.
He who gallops with loose rein
collides with death.
Forgive the shortcomings of
considerate people because when they fall into error
Allah raises them up.
The consequence of fear is
disappointment and of bashfulness is frustration.
Opportunity passes away like the cloud. Therefore, make
use of good opportunities.
We have a right. If it is
allowed to us well and good, otherwise, we will ride on
the hind part of the camel (like lowly people) even
though the night journey may be long.
He whose deeds accord (him) a
back position cannot be given a front position because
of his lineage.
To render relief to the
grief-stricken and to provide comfort in hardship means
the atonement of great sins.
O son of Adam, when you see that
your Lord, the Glorified, bestows His favours oil you
while you are disobeying Him, you should fear Him.
Whenever a person conceals a
thing in his heart it manifests itself through
unintentional words from his tongue and (in) the
expressions of his face.
Keep walking in your sickness as
long as you can.
The best abstemiousness is to
When you are running away from
the world and death is approaching, there is no question
of delay in the encounter.
Fear! Fear! By Allah, He has
hidden your sins so much so as though He has forgiven.
was asked about faith when he said:
Faith stands on
four supports: on endurance, conviction, justice and
jihad (fighting in the way of Allah).
Endurance again has four
aspects: eagerness, fear, abstention (from the world)
and anticipation (of death). So, whoever is eager for
Paradise will ignore the passions; whoever fears the
Fire (of Hell) will refrain from prohibited acts;
whoever abstains from the world takes hardships lightly;
and whoever anticipates death will hasten towards good
Conviction also has four
aspects: prudent perception, intelligenceand
understanding, drawing lessons from instructive things
and following the precedents of past people. So, whoever
perceives with prudence, wise knowledge will be manifest
to him, and to whomsoever wise knowledge becomes
manifest he appreciates instructive objects, and whoever
appreciates instructive objects he is just like past
Justice also has four aspects:
keen understanding, deep knowledge, a good power of
decision and firm forbearance. Therefore,whoever
understands comes to acquire depth of knowledge; whoever
acquires depth of knowledge drinks from the spring of
judgement; and whoever exercises forbearance never
commits evil actions in his affairs and leads a
praiseworthy life among the people.
Jihad also has four aspects: ask
others to do good, keep away others from doing evil,
fight (in way of Allah) sincerely and firmly on all
occasions, and detest the vicious. So, whoever asks
others to do good provides strength to believers;
whoever desists others from evil humiliates unbelievers;
whoeverfights sincerely on all occasions discharges all
obligations; and whoever detests the vicious and becomes
angry for the sake of Allah, then Allah will be angry in
favour of him and will keep him and will keep him
pleased on the Day of Judgement.
Unbelief stands on four
supports: hankering after whims, mutual quarrelling,
deviation from truth, and dissension. So, whoever
hankers after whims does not incline towards right:
whoever quarrels much on account of ignorance remains
permanently blinded from right; whoever deviates from
truth, for him good becomes evil and evil becomes good
and he remains intoxicated with misguidance; and whoever
makes a breach (with Allah and His Messenger), his path
becomes difficult, his affairs become complicated and
his way of escape becomes narrow.
Doubt has also four aspects:
unreasonableness, fear, wavering and undue submission to
every thing. So, he who adopts unreasonablenessas his
way, for him there is no dawn after the night; he who is
afraid of what befalls him has to run on his heels; he
who wavers in doubt Satan tramples him under their feet
and he who submits to the destruction of this and tile
next world succumbs to it.
as-Sayyid ar-Radi says: We have
left out the remaining portion of this saying for fear
of length and for being outside the purpose of this
doer of good is better than the good itself, and the
doer of evil is worse than the evil itself.
Be generous but not extravagant;
be thrifty but not miserly.
The best of riches is the
abandonment of desires.
If someone is quick in saying
about people what they dislike, they speak about him
that about which they have no knowledge.
Whoever prolongs his desire
ruins his actions.
Imam, was proceeding towards Syria when countrymen of
a1-Anbar met him. Seeing him they began to walk on foot
and ran in front of him. He enquired why they were doing
so and they replied that this was the way they respected
their chiefs. Then he said:By
Allah, this does not benefit your chiefs. You are
belabouring yourself in this world and earning misery
for the next world by it. How harmful is the labour in
whose wake there is punishment and how profitable is the
case with which there is deliverance from the Fire (of
Ameerul Momineen (pbuh), said to his son al- Hasan:O'
my son, learn four things and (a further) four things
from me. Nothing will harm you if you practise them.
That the richest of riches is intelligence; the biggest
destitution is foolishness; the wildest wildness is
vanity and the best achievement is goodness of the moral
O my son, you should avoid
making friends with a fool because he may intend to
benefit you but may harm you; you should avoid making
friends with a miser because he will run away from you
when you need him most; you should avoid making friends
with a sinful person because he will sell you for
nought; and you should avoid making friends with a liar
because he is like a mirage, making you feel far things
near and near things far.
Supererogatory worship cannot
bring about nearness to Allah if it hampers the
The tongue of the wise man is
behind his heart, and the heart of the fool is behind
very sense has been related from Imam in the following
The heart of a fool is in his
mouth while the tongue of the wise man is in his heart.
peace be upon him, said to one of his companions during
May Allah make your illness a
means for writing off your sins, because there is no
reward for sickness but that it erases sins and makes
them fall like (dried) leaves. Reward lies in saying by
the tongue and doing something with the hands and feet.
Certainly, Allah, the Glorified, admits into Paradise by
virtue of truthfulness of intention and chastity of
heart to whomsoeverHe wishes from among His creatures.
(a.s.), said about Khabbab ibn al-Aratt.
May Allah have mercy on
Khabbab ibn al-Aratt since he accepted Islam willingly,
immigrated (from Mecca) obediently, remained content
with what sufficed him, was pleased with Allah and lived
the life of a mujahid (holy soldier).
Blessed is the person who kept
in mind the next life, acted so as to be able to render
account, remained content with what sufficed him and
remained pleased with Allah.
Even if I strike the nose of a
believer with this, my sword, for hating me he will not
hate me, and even if I pile all the wealth of the world
before a hypocrite (Muslim) for loving me he will not
love me. This is because it is a verdict pronounced by
the tongue of the revered Prophet, may Allah bless him
and his descendants, as he said:
O Ali, a believer will never
hate you arid a hypocrite (Muslim) will never love you.
The sin that displeases you is
better in the view of Allah than the virtue which makes
The worth of a man is according
to his courage, his truthfulness is according to his
balance of temper, his valour is according to his
self-respect and his chasteness is according to his
sense of shame.
Victory is by determination;
determination is by the turning over of thoughts. and
thoughts are formed by guarding secrets.
Fear the attack of a noble
person when he is hungry, and that of an ignoble person
when he is satiated.
The hearts of the people are
like wild beasts. Whoever tames them, they would pounce
So long as your position is
good, your defects will remain covered.
The most capable of pardoning is
he who is most powerful to punish.
Generosity is that which is by
one's own initiative, because giving on being asked is
either out of self-respect or to avoid rebuke.
There is no wealth like wisdom,
no destitution like ignorance, no inheritance like
refinement and no support like consultation.
Patience is of two kinds,
patience over what pains you, and patience against what
With wealth a strange land is a
homeland, while with destitution even a homelandis a
Contentment is wealth that does
Wealth is the fountain head of
Whoever warns you is like one
who gives you good tidings.
The tongue is a beast; if it is
let loose, it devours.
Woman is a scorpion whose grip
If you are met with a greeting,
give better greetings in return. If a hand of help is
extended to you, do a better favour in return, although
the credit would remain with the one who was first.
The interceder is the wing of
The people of the world are like
travellers who are being carried while they are asleep.
A lack of friends means
To miss what one needs is easier
than to beg from an inappropriate person.
Do not feel ashamed for giving
little. because refusal is smaller than that.
Charity is the adornment of
destitution . while gratefulness ( to Allah ) is the
adornment of riches.
If what you aim at does not come
about then do not worry as to what you were.
You will not find an ignorant
person but at one extreme or the other (i.e. a person
who neglects or a person who exaggerates).
As intelligenceincreases, speech
Time wears our bodies, renews
desires, brings death nearer and takes away aspirations.
Whoever is successful with it encounters grief and
whoever misses its favours also undergoes hardships.
Whoever places himself as a
leader of the people should commence with educating his
own self before educating others; and his teaching
should be by his own conduct before teaching by the
tongue. The person who teaches and instructs his own
self is more entitled to esteem then he who teaches and
The breath of a man is a step
towards his death.
Every countable thing is to pass
away and every expected thing must come about.
If matters get mixed up then the
last ones should be appreciated according to the
is related when Dirar ibn Hamzah ad-Dibabi went to
Muawiya. and Muawiya enquired from him about Imam, he
said: I stand witness I have seen him on several
occasions when night had spread and he was standing in
the niche holding his heard, groaning like a man bitten
by a snake and weeping as a grieved man, saying:
O world, O world! Get away from
me. Why do you present yourself to me? Or are you eager
for me? You may not get that opportunity to impress me.
Deceive some other person. I have no concern with you. I
have divorced you thrice whereafter there is no
restitution. Your life is short, your importance is
little and your liking is humble. Alas! The provision is
little, the way is long, the journey is far and the goal
is hard to reach.
enquired from Imam: Was our going to fight against the
Syrians destined by Allah? Imam (a.s.) , gave a detailed
reply, a selection from which is hereunder:
to you. You take it as a final and unavoidable destiny
(according to which we are bound to act). If it
were so, there would have been no question of reward or
chastisement and there would have been no sense in
Allah's promises or warnings. (Allah, the Glorified, has
ordered ills people to act by free will and has
cautioned them and refrained them (from evil). He has
placed easy obligations on them and has not put heavy
obligations. He gives them much (reward) in return for
little (action). He is disobeyed, not because He is
overpowered. He is obeyed but not under force. He did
not send prophets just for fun. He did not send down the
Book for the people without purpose. He did not create
the skies, the earth and all that is in between them in
vain. That is the imagination of those who
disbelieve; then woe to those who disbelieve - because
of the fire. (Quran, 38:27)
Take wise points from wherever
they may be, because if a wise saying is in the bosom of
a hypocrite it flutters in his bosom till it comes out
and settles with others of its own category in the bosom
of the believer.
A wise saying is a lost article
of the believer. Therefore, get wise sayings even though
from people of hypocrisy.
The worth of every man is in
I impart to you five things
which, if you ride your camels fast in search of them,
you will find them worth it. No one of you should repose
hope save in his Lord; no one of you should fear
anything save his sin; no one should feel ashamed of
saying "I do not know" when he is asked a matter which
he does not know; no one should feel ashamed of learning
a thing that he does not know; and you should practise
endurance, because endurance is for belief what the head
is for the body, so that just as there is no good in a
body without the head there is no good in belief without
I am below what you express and
above what you feel in your heart.
The survivors of the sword are
large in number and have a large progeny.
Whoever abandons saying, "I do
not know" meets his destruction.
I love the opinion of an old man
more than the determination of a young man;
more than the martyrdom of a
I wonder about the man who loses
hope despite the possibility of seeking forgiveness.
There were two sources of
deliverance from Allah's punishment, one of which has
been raised up, while the other is before you. You
should therefore adhere to it. The source of
deliverance, which has been raised up is the Messenger
of Allah (S.A.) while source of deliverance that remains
is seeking of forgiveness. Allah, the Glorified, said:
And Allah is not to chastise them while you are among
them, nor is Allah to chastise them while yet they seek
forgiveness. (Quran, 8:33)
If a man behaves properly in
matters between himself and Allah, then Allah keeps
proper the matters between him and other people; and if
a man keeps proper tile affairs of his next life then
Allah keeps proper for him the affairs of this world.
Whoever is a preacher for himself is protected by Allah.
The perfect jurist of Islam is
he who does not let people lose hope from the mercy of
Allah, does not make him despondent of Allah's
kindnessand does not make him feel safe from Allah's
The hearts get disgusted as
bodies get disgusted; so look for beautiful wise saying
The most humble knowledge is
that which remains on the tongue and the most honourable
one is that which manifests itself through (the action
of) the limbs and the organs of the body.
None of you should say, "O
Allah, I seek Your protection from trouble" because
there is no one who is not involved in trouble, but
whoeverseeks Allah's protection he should seek it from
misguiding troubles, because Allah, the Glorified, says:
And know you! That your wealth and your children are
a temptation. (Quran, 8:28) and its meaning is that
He tries people with wealth and progeny in order to
distinguish one who is displeased with his livelihood
from the one who is happy with what he has been given.
Even though Allah, the Glorified, knows them more than
they know themselves yet He does so to let them perform
actions with which they earn reward or punishment
because some of them like to have male and dislike to
have female (children), and some like to amass wealth,
and dislike adversity
Ali was asked the meaning of being well-off or
well-provided for. Imam Ali replied,
"Your welfare does not lie in
your having enormous wealth and numerous children but it
rests in your being highly educated and forbearing and
in your being proud of your obedience to Allah. If you
do a good deed then thank Allah for it and if you commit
a sin then repent and atone for it. In this world there
is a real welfare for two kinds of people, one is the
person who, when commits a sin, atones for it and the
other is anxious to do good as much as possible.
Action accompanied by fear for Allah does not fail, and
how can a thing fail that has been accepted.
The persons most attached to the
prophets are those who know most what the prophets have
brought. Then Imam
recited the verse:
Verily, of men the nearest to Abraham are surely those
who followed him and this Prophet (Muhammad) and those
who believe (Quran, 3:68).
Then he said:
The friend of Muhammad
is he who obeys Allah, even though he may have no blood
relationship, and the enemy of Muhammad is he who
disobeys Allah even though he may have near kinship.
(S.A.) , heard about a Kharijite who said the mid-night
prayers and recited the Quran, then he said:
Sleeping in a state of
firm belief is better than praying in a state of
When you hear a tradition test
it according to the criterion of intelligence not that
of mere hearing, because relaters of knowledge are
numerous but those who guard it are few.
Ameerul Momineen (pbuh) heard a man recite:
Verily we are Allah's and
verily to Him shall we return (Quran, 2:156).
Then he said:
Our saying inna
li'llah" is an admission of His Majesty over us and our
saying "wa inna ilayhi raji 'un" is an admission of our
people praised Imam to his face, he said:
O my Allah! You know me
better than myself, and I know myself more than they
know. O my Allah, make us better than what they think
and forgive us what they do not know.
Fulfilment of (others') needs
becomes a lasting virtue in three ways:-- regarding it
small so that it attains bigness, concealing it so that
it may manifest itself, and doing it quickly so that it
Shortly a time will come for
people when high positions will be given only to those
who defame others, when vicious people will be regarded
as witty and just will be regarded as weak. People will
regard charity as a loss, consideration for kinship as
an obligation, and worship grounds for claiming
greatness among others. At this time, authority will be
exercised through counsel of women, posting of young
boys in high positions and running of the administration
was seen in worn-out clothes with patches and
when it was pointed out to him he said:
With it the heart
fears, the mind feels humble and the believers emulate
it. Certainly, this world and the next are two enemies
against each other and two paths in different
directions. Whoever likes this world and loves it hates
the next arid is its enemy. These two are like East and
West. If the walker between them gets near to one, he
gets farther from the other. After all, they are like
two fellow wives.
related by Nawf al-Bikali that: I saw that one night
Imam came out from his bed and looked at the stars, then
he said to me: "O' Nawf, are you awake or sleeping?" I
said: "I am awake, O, Ameerul Momineen." Then he said:
Nawf! blessed be those who abstain from this world and
are eager for the next world. They are the people who
regard this earth as a floor; its dust as their
bed-cloth; and its water as their perfume; they recite
the Quran in low tones and supplicate in high tones and
then they are cut off from the world like 'Isa (Jesus).
O' Nawf! The prophet Dawud (David), peace be upon him,
rose up at a similar hour one night and said, "This is
the hour when whatever a person prays for is granted to
him unless he is a tax-collector, an intelligence man, a
police officer, a lute player or a drummer.
Allah has placed on you some
obligations which you should not ignore, has laid down
for you limits which you should not transgress, has
prohibited you from certain things which you should hot
violate, and has kept quiet about certain things, but He
has not left them out by mistake so that you should not
If people give up something
relating to religion to set right their worldly affairs,
Allah will inflict upon them something more harmful than
Often the ignorance of a learned
man ruins him while the knowledge he has does not avail
In man there is a piece of flesh
attached to him with a vein and it is the strangest
thing in him. It is the heart. It has a store of wisdom
and things contrary to wisdom. If it sees a ray of hope,
eagerness humiliates it and when eagerness increases,
greed ruins it. If disappointment overtakes it, grief
kills it. If anger rises in it, a serious rage develops.
If it is blessed with pleasure, it forgets to be
cautious. If it becomes fearing, it becomes heedless. If
peace extends all round, it becomes neglectful. If it
earns wealth, freedom from care puts it in the wrong. if
trouble befalls it, impatience makes it humble. If it
faces starvation, distress overtakes it. If hunger
attacks it, weakness makes it sit down. If its eating
increases, heaviness of stomach pains it. Thus, every
shortness is harmful to it and every excess is injurious
We (the members of the Prophet's
family) are like the pillow in the middle. He who lags
behind has to come forward to meet it while he who has
exceeded the bounds has to return to it.
No one can establish the rule of
Allah, the Glorified, except he who shows no relenting
(in the matter of right), who does not behave like wrong
doers and who does-not run after objects of greed.
ibn Hunayf al-Ansari died at Kufah after his return from
the battle of Siffin and was very much loved by Imam. On
this occasion Ameerul Momineen said:
Even if a mountain had loved
me, it would have crumbled down.
Whoever loves us, members of the
Household (of the Prophet), should be prepared to face
No wealth is more profitable
than wisdom, no loneliness is more estranging than
vanity, no wisdom is as good as tact, no honour is like
fear from Allah, no companion is like the goodness of
moral character, no inheritance is like civility, no
guide is like promptitude, no trade is like virtuous
acts, no profit is like Divine reward, no self- control
is like inaction in time of doubt, no abstention is like
that from prohibitions, no knowledge is like thinking,
no worship is like the discharge of obligation, no
belief is like modesty and endurance, no attainment is
like humility, no honour is like knowledge, no power is
like forbearance, and no support is more reliable than
At a time when virtue is in
vogue in the world and among people, if a person
entertains an evil suspicion about another from whom
nothing evil has ever been seen, then he has been
unjust. And at a time when vice is in vogue in the world
and among people, if a man entertains a good idea about
another person he has flung himself in peril.
was said to Imam: How are you, O' Imam? and he replied:
How can he be whom
life is driving towards death, whose state of
healthiness can change into sickness any moment and who
is to be caught (by death) from his place of safety.
There are many people who are
given time (by Allah) through good treatment towards
them, and many who are deceived because their sinful
activities are veiled (by Allah), and many who are
enamoured by good talk about themselves. And Allah does
not try anyone as seriously as He tries him whom He
allows time (to remain sinful).
Two categories of persons will
face ruin on account of me: he who loves me with
exaggeration, and he who hates me intensely.
To miss an opportunity brings
The exampleof the world is like
a serpent. It is soft to the touch but its inside is
full of venom. An ignorant person who has fallen into
deceit is attracted towards it but a wise and
intelligent man keeps on his guard against it.
was asked about Quraysh, when he replied:
As for Banu Makhzum they are
the blossoms of Quraysh. It is delightful to talk to
their men and marry their women. As for Banu 'Abd Shams,
they are farsightedand cautious about all that is hidden
from them. As for ourselves (Banu Hashim) we spend
whatever we get and are very generous in offering
ourselves in death. Consequently, those people are more
numerous, more contriving and more ugly while we are
more eloquent, well-wishing and handsome.
What a difference there is
between two kinds of actions: an act whose pleasure
passes away but its (ill) consequence remains, and. the
act whose hardship passes away but its reward stays.
was accompanying funeral when he heard someone laugh.
Then he said :
Is it that death has been
ordained only for others? Is it that right is obligatory
only on others? Is it that those whom we see departing
on their journey of death will come back to us? We lay
them down in their graves and then enjoy their estate
(as if we will live for good after them). We have
ignored every preacher, man or woman, and have exposed
ourselves to every catastrophe.
Blessed be he who humbles
himself, whose livelihood is pure, whose heart is
chaste, whose habits are virtuous, who spends his
savings (in the name of Allah), who prevents his tongue
from speaking nonsense, who keeps people safe from evil,
who is pleased with the (Prophet's) sunnah, and who is
unconnected with innovation (in religion).
The jealousy of a woman (with
co-wives) is heresy, while the jealousy of a man is a
part of belief.
I am definingIslam as no one has
defined before me: Islam is submission, submission is
conviction, conviction is affirmation, affirmation is
acknowledgement, acknowledgement is discharge (of
obligations), and discharge of obligations is action.
I wonder at the miser who speeds
towards the very destitution from which he wants to run
away and misses the very ease of life which he covets.
Consequently, he passes his life in this world like the
destitute, but will have to render an account in the
next world like the rich. I wonder at the proud man who
was just a drop of semen the other day and will turn
into a corpse tomorrow. I wonder at the man who doubts
Allah although he sees His creations. I wonder at him
who has forgotten death although he sees people dying. I
wonder at him who denies the second life although he has
seen the first life. I wonder at him who inhabits this
transient abode but ignores the everlasting abode.
Whoever falls short of actions
falls into grief, and Allah has nothing to do with him
who spares nothing from his wealth in name of Allah.
Guard against cold in its
beginning and welcome it towards its end because it
effects bodies in the same way as it effects plants. In
the beginning, it destroys them but in the end it gives
them fresh leaves.
Greatness of the Creator
appreciated by you would belittle the creatures in your
Imam returned from Siffin and noticed graves outside
Kufa, he said:
O residents of houses which
give a sense of loneliness, of depopulated areas and
gloomy graves. O people of the dust, O victims of
strangeness, O people of loneliness and O people of
desolateness! You have gone ahead and preceded us while
we are following you and will meet you. The houses (you
left) have been inhabited by others; the wives (you
left) have been married by others; the properties have
been distributed (among heirs). This is the news about
those around us; what is the news about things around
Imam, turned to his companions and said:
Beware If they were
allowed to speak they would inform you that:
Verily, the best provision is
fear of Allah. (Quran, 2:197)
heard a man abusing the world and said:
O you who abuse the
world, O you who have been deceived by its deceit and
cheated by its wrongs. Do you covet the world and then
abuse it? Do you accuse it or it should accuse you? When
did it bewilder you or deceive you whether by the decay
and fall of your forefathers, or by the sleeping places
of your mothers under the ground? How much you looked
after them in their illness and nursed them during
sickness, desiring them to be cured and consulting
physicians for them in the morning when your medicine
did not avail them and your wailing for them did not
benefit them. Your mourning over them did not prove
useful to them and you could not achieve your aims. You
could not ward off (death) from them with all your
power. In fact, through the dying man the world
presented an illustration for you and showed you by the
example of his falling down how you would (also) fall.
Certainly, this world is a house
of truth for him who appreciates it; a place of safety
for him who understands it ; a house of riches for him
who collects provision from it (for the next world); and
a house of instructions for him who draws instruction
from it. It is the place of worship for the lovers of
Allah; the place of praying for the angels of Allah; the
place where the revelationof Allah descends; and the
marketing place for those devotedto Allah. Herein they
earned mercy and herein they acquired Paradise by way of
Therefore, who can abuse it when
it has announced its departure and called out that it
would leave! It had given news of its own destruction
and the death of its people. By its hardship it set an
example of their hardships. By its pleasures it created
eagerness for the pleasures (of hereafter. It brings
ease in evening and grief in morning by way of
persuasion, dissuasion, alarm and warning. People abuse
it on morning of their repentance but there are others
who will praise it on Judgement Day. The world recalled
to them the next life and they bore it in mind. It
related to them (the things of hereafter) and they
acknowledged them. It preached to them and they took
lesson there from.
There is an angel of Allah who
calls out every day, "Beget children for death, collect
wealth for destruction, and raise construction for
This world is a place for
transit, not a place for stay. The people herein are of
two categories. One is the man who sold away his self
(to his passions) and thus ruined it, and the other is
the man who purchased his self (by control against his
passions) and freed it.
A friend is not a friend unless
he affords protection to his comrade on three occasions:
in his adversity, in his absence and at his death.
He who is bestowed four things
is not disallowed four things: he who is allowed to pray
is not deprived of response to it; he who is allowed to
offer repentance is not deprived of its acceptance; he
who is allowed to seek forgiveness is not deprived of
forgiveness; and he who is allowed to be grateful is not
deprived of furtherance of favours.
For the God-fearing prayers is a
means of seeking nearness to Allah; and for the weak the
hajj is as good as jihad. For every thing there is a
levy; and the levy of the body is fasting. The jihad of
a woman is to afford pleasant company to her husband.
Seek livelihood by giving alms.
He who is sure of a good return
is generous in giving.
Assistance is allowed according
He who is moderate does not
A small family is one of the
ways of (securing) ease.
Loving one another is half of
Grief is half of old age.
Endurance comes according to the
affliction. He who beats his hand on the thigh in his
affliction ruins all his good actions.
There is many a person who fasts
whose fast is nothing but just hunger and thirst, and
many an offerer of prayers whose prayer is no better
than wakefulness and hardship. The sleep as well as the
eating and drinking of the intelligent (God-knowing)
person is far better.
Protect your belief by charity;
guard your wealth by paying Allah’s share; and ward off
the waves of calamity by praying.
Kumayl ibn Ziyad has related:
Imam caught hold of my hand and took me to the
graveyard. When he had passed through the graveyard and
left the city behind, he breathed a deep sigh and said:
Kumayl these hearts are containers. The best of them is
that which preserves (its contents). So, preserve what I
say to you.
People are of three types: One
is the scholar and divine. Then, the seeker of knowledge
who is also on the way to deliverance.Then (lastly) the
common rot who run after every caller and bend in the
direction of every wind. They seek no light from the
effulgence of knowledge and do not take protection of
any reliable support.
O' Kumayl, knowledge is better
than wealth. Knowledge guards you, while you have to
guard the wealth. Wealth decreases by spending, while
knowledge multiplies by spending, and the results of
wealth die as wealth decays. O' Kumayl, knowledge is
belief which is acted upon. With it man acquires
obedience during his life and a good name after his
death. Knowledge is the ruler while wealth is ruled
O' Kumayl, those who amass
wealth are dead even though they may be living while
those endowed with knowledge will remain as long as the
world lives. Their bodies are not available but their
figures exist in the hearts. Look, here is a heap of
Momineen r pointed to his bosom).
I wish I could get someone to bear it. Yes, I did find
(such a one); but either he was one who could not be
relied upon. He would exploit the religion for worldly
gains, and by virtue of Allah's favours on him he would
domineer over the people and through Allah's pleas he
would lord over His devotees. Or he was one who was
obedient to the hearers of truth but there was no
intelligence in his bosom. At the first appearance of
doubt he would entertain misgivings in his heart.
So, neither this nor that was
good enough. Either the man is eager for pleasures,
easily led away by passions, or is covetous for
collecting and hoarding wealth. Neither of them has any
regard for religion in any matter. The nearest example
of these is the loose cattle. This is the way that
knowledge dies away with the death of its bearers.
O my Allah! Yes; but the earth
is never devoid of those who maintain Allah's plea
either openly and reputedly or, being afraid, as hidden
in order that Allah's pleas and proofs should not be
rebutted. How many are they and where are they? By
Allah, they are few in number, but they are great in
esteem before Allah. Through them Allah guards His pleas
and proofs till they entrust them to others like
themselves and sow the seeds thereof in the hearts of
those who are similar to them.
Knowledge has led them to real
understanding and so they have associated themselves
with the spirit of conviction. They take easy what the
easygoing regard as hard. They endear what the ignorant
take as strange. They live in this world with their
bodies here but their spirits resting in the high above.
They are the vicegerents of Allah on His earth and
callers to His religion. Oh, oh, how I yearn to see
them! Go away now, O' Kumayl! wherever you wish.
Man is hidden under his tongue.
He who does not know his own
worth is ruined.
said to a man who had requested him to preach:
Do not be like him who
hopes for the next life without action, and delays
repentance by lengthening desires, who utters words like
ascetics in this world but acts like those who are eager
for it; if he is allowed something from it he does not
feel satisfied; if he is denied he is not content; he is
not grateful for what he gets and covets for increase in
whatever remainswith him; he refrains others but not
himself; he commands others for what he himself does not
do; he loves the virtuous but does not behave like them;
he hates the vicious but himself is one of them; he
dislikes death because of the excess of his sins but
adheres to that for which he is afraid of death.
If he falls ill he feels
ashamed; if he is healthy he feels secure and indulges
in amusements; when he recovers from illness he feels
vain about himself; when he is afflicted he loses hope;
if distress befalls him he prays like a bewildered man;
when he finds ease of life he falls into deceit and
turns his face away; his heart overpowers him by means
of imaginary things while he cannot control his heart by
conviction; for others he is afraid of small sins, but
for himself he expects more reward than his performance;
if he becomes wealthy he becomes self-conscious and
falls into vice; if he becomes poor he despairs and
becomes weak; he is brief when he is doing a good thing
but goes too far when he is begging; when passion
overtakes him he is quick in committingsin but delays
repentance; if hardship befalls him he goes beyond the
cannons of the (Islamic) community; he describes
instructive events but does not take instruction
himself; he preachesat length but does not accept any
preaching for himself; he is tall in speaking but short
in action; he aspires for things that will perish and
ignores things that will last for good; he regards
profit as loss and loss as profit; he fears death but
does nothing in its anticipation.
He regards the sins of others as
big but considers the same things for himself as small;
if he does something in obedience to Allah he considers
it much but if others do the same he considers it small;
he therefore rebukes others but flatters himself;
entertainmentin the company of the wealthy is dearer to
him than remembrance (of Allah) with the poor; he passes
verdicts against others for his own interests and does
not do so against himself for others' interests; he
guides others but misguides himself; he is obeyed by
others but he himself disobeys (Allah); he seeks
fulfilment (of obligations) but does not fulfil his
obligations; he fears the people (and acts) for other
than his Lord and does not fear his Lord in his dealings
with the people.
Every human being has to meet
the end, sweet or sour.
Every comer has to return and
after returning it is as though he never existed.
The endurer does not miss
success although it may take a long time.
He who agrees with the action of
a group of persons is as though he joins them in that
action. And every one who joins in wrong commits two
sins; one sin for committing the wrong and the other for
agreeing with it.
Adhere to contracts and entrust
their fulfilment to steadfast persons.
On you lies ( the obligation of)
obedience to the person about whom you cannot plead the
excuse of ignorance.
Surely, you have been made to
see if (only) you care to see; surely, you have been
guided if (only) you care to take guidance; and surely
you have been made to hear if (only) you care to lend
Admonish your brother (comrade)
by good behaviour towards him, and ward off his evil by
He who puts himself in
conditions of ill-repute should not blame those who
entertain bad ideas about him.
Whoever obtains authority
(usually) adopts partiality.
He who acts solely according to
his own opinion gets ruined, and he who consults other
people shares in their understanding.
He who guards his secrets
retains control in his own hands.
Destitution is the greatest
He who fulfils the right of a
man who does not fulfil his right, (is as though he)
There should be no obeying
anyone against Allah's commands.
No person is to be blamed for
delay in (securing) his own right but blame lies on him
who takes what he is not entitled to.
Vanity prevents progress.
The Day of Judgement is near and
our mutual company is short.
For the man who has eyes the
dawn has already appeared.
Abstention from sin is easier
than seeking help afterwards.
Many a single eating prevents
People are enemies of what they
do not know.
He who has several opinions
understands the pitfalls.
He who sharpens the teeth of
anger for the sake of Allah acquires the strength to
kill the stalwarts of wrong .
When you are afraid of something
drive straight into it, because the intensity of
abstaining from it is greater (worse) than what you are
The means to secure high
authority is breadth of chest (generosity).
Rebuke the evil-doer by
rewarding the good-doer.
Cut away evil from the chest of
others by snatching (it) away from your own chest .
Greed is a lasting slavery.
The result of neglect is shame,
while the result of far-sightedness is safety.
There is no advantage in keeping
quiet about an issue of wisdom, just as there is no good
in speaking out an unintelligent thing.
If there are two different calls
then one must be towards misguidance.
I have never entertained doubt
about right since I was shown it.
I have neither spoken a lie nor
have I been told a lie. I have neither deviated nor have
I been made to deviate (others).
He who takes the lead in
oppression has to bite his hand (in repentance)
The departure (from this world )
Whoever turned away from right
If patience does not give relief
to a man impatience kills him.
How strange? Could the caliphate
be through the (Prophet's) companionship but not through
(his) companionship and (his) kinship?
In this world man is the target
towards which arrows of death fly, and is like that
wealth whose destruction is quickened by hard ships. (In
this world) with every drink there is suffocation and
with every morsel there is chocking. Here no one gets
anything unless he loses something else, and not a day
of his age advances fill a day passes out from his life.
Thus, we are helpers of death and our lives are the
targets of morality. How then can we expect everlasting
life since the night and day do not raise anything high
without quickly arranging for the destruction of
whatever they have built and for the splitting asunder
of whatever they have joined together.
O' son of Adam, whatever you
earn beyond your basic needs you will only keep vigil
over it for others.
Hearts are imbued with passion
and the power of advancing and retreating. Therefore,
approach them for action at the time of their
passionateness and when they are in a mood for
advancing, because if hearts are forced (to do a thing)
they will be blinded.
If I am angry when shall I vent
my anger - when I am unable to take revenge and it be
said to me, "better you endure" or when I have power to
take revenge and it be said to me, "better forgive"?
passed beside a dump of rubbish full of filth and
This is what the misers used
to be niggardly about.
The wealth that teaches you
lesson does not go waste.
The hearts become tired as the
bodies become tired. You should therefore search for
beautiful sayings for them (to enjoy by way of
Imam heard the slogan of the Kharijites:
There is no verdict
save of Allah-, he said: This sentence is true but it is
said about the crowd of people:
These are the people
who, when they assemble together, are overwhelming but
when they disperse they cannot be recognized.
related that instead of this Imam said:
These are the people
who when they assemble together cause harm but when they
disperse are beneficial. It was pointed out to him: We
know their harm at the time of their assembling but what
is their benefit at the time of their dispersal?Then
The workers return to their
work and people get benefit out of them, like the return
of the mason to the buildingsite, that of the weaver to
his loom, and that of the baker to his bakery.
offender was brought before Imam and there was a crowd
of people with man, so Imam remarked:
Woe to the faces who
are seen only on foul occasions.
With every individual there are
two angels who protect him; when destiny approaches they
let it have its own way with him. Certainly, the
appointed time is a protective shield.
Talha and Zubair said to him: We are preparedto swear
allegiance to you on condition that we have a share with
you in this matter (of caliphate), Imam said:
No, but you will have a share
in strengthening (caliphate) and in affording assistance
and you will both be helping me at the time of need and
O, people, fear Allah Who is
such that when you speak He hears and when you conceal
(a secret) He knows it. Prepare yourself to meet death
which will overtake you even if you run away, catch you
even if you stay and remember you even if you forget it.
If someone is not grateful to
you, that should not prevent you from good actions,
because (possibly) such a person will feel grateful
about it who has not even drawn any benefit from it, and
his gratefulnesswill be more than the ingratitude of the
denier; And Allah loves those who do good. (Quran,
Every containergets narrower
according to what is placed in it except knowledgewhich
The first reward the exerciser
of forbearance gets is that people become his helpers
against the ignorant.
If you cannot forbear, feign to
do so because it is seldom that a man likens himself to
a group and does not become as one of them.
Whoever takes account of his
self is benefited, and whoever remains neglectful of it
suffers. Whoever fears remains safe; whoever takes
instruction gets light; and whoever gets light gets understanding,
and whoever gets understanding secures knowledge.
The world will bend towards us
after having been refractory as the biting she-camel
bends towards its young.
Then Amir al-mu'minin recited
the verse; And
intend We to bestow (Our) favour upon those who were
considered weak in the land, and to make them the Imams
(guides in faith), and to make them the heirs. (Quran,
Fear Allah like the one who
prepares himself after extracting himself (from worldly
affairs) and after getting ready in this way makes
effort; then he acts quickly during the period of this
life, hastens in view of dangers (falling into error)
and has his eye on proceeding towards the goal, on the
end of his journey and on the place of his
Generosity is the protector of
honour; forbearance is the bridle of the fool
forgiveness is the levy of success; disregard is
punishment of him who betrays; and consultation is chief
way of guidance. He who is content with his own opinion
faces danger. Endurance braves calamities while
impatience is a helper of hardships of the world. The
best contentment is to give up desires. Many a slavish
mind is subservient to overpowering longings. Capability
helps preservation of experience. Love means
well-utilized relationship. Do not trust one who is
A man's vanity for himself is
one of the enemies of his intelligence.
Ignore pain otherwise you will
never be happy.
The tree whose trunk is soft has
Opposition destroys good
He who achieves position begins
to make wrong use of it.
Through change of circumstances
the mettle of men is known.
Jealousy by a friend means
defect in his love.
Most of the deficiency of
intelligence occurs due to the flash of greed.
There is no justice in passing a
verdict by relying on probability.
The worst provision for the Day
of Judgement is high-handedness over people.
The highest act of a noble
person is to ignore what he knows.
Whomever modesty clothes with
its dress people cannot see his defects.
Excess of silence produces awe;
justice results in more close friends; generosity
heightens position; with humility blessings abound in
plenty; by facing hardships leadership is achieved; by
just behaviour the adversary is overpowered; and with
forbearance against a fool there is increase of one's
supporters against him.
It is strange that the jealous
do not feel jealous about bodily health.
The greedy is in the shackles of
was asked about belief when he said:
Belief means appreciation
with the heart, acknowledgement with the tongue, and
action with limbs.
He who is sorrowful for this
world is in fact displeased with the dispensation of
Allah. He who complains of a calamity that befalls him
complainsof his Lord (Allah). He who approaches a rich
man and bends before him on account of his riches then
two-third of his religion is gone. If a man reads the
Quran and on dying goes to Hell then it means that he
was among those who treated Divine verses with mockery.
If a man's heart gets attached to the world, then it
catches three things, namely worry that never leaves
him, greed that does not abandon him and desire which he
Contentment is as good as
estate, and goodness of moral character is as good as a
blessing. Imam was
asked about Allah's saying: (Whosoever did good,.
whether male or female, and he be a believer, then We
will certainly make him live a life good and pure and
certainly We will give them their return with the best
of what they were doing). (Quran, 16:97) when he said:
Be a sharer with him who has an
abundant livelihood because he is more probable to get
more riches and likely to secure an increase of the
said about Allah's saying: verily, Allah enjoins justice
and benevolence . (Quran, 16:90).
Here adl means justice and
ihsan means favour.
He who gives with his short hand
is given by a long hand.
Ameerul Momineen said to his son al-Hasan, peace be upon
them both: Do not call
out for fighting, but if you are called to it do
respond, because the caller to fighting is a rebel and
the rebel deserves destruction.
The best traits of women are
those which are worst traits of men, namely: vanity,
cowardice and miserliness. Thus, since woman is vain,
she will not allow anyone access to herself; since she
is miserly, she will preserve her own property and the
property of her husband; and since she is weak-hearted,
she will be frightened with everything that befalls her.
was said to Ameerul Momineen (pbuh): Describe the wise
to us; and he said: The wise is one who places things in their proper
positions. Then, he
was asked: Describe the ignorant to us; and he said:
I have already done
By Allah, this world of yours is
more lowly in my view than the (left over) bone of a pig
in the hand of a leper.
A group of people worshipped
Allah out of desire for reward surely, this is the
worship of traders. Another group worshipped Allah out
of fear, this is the worship of slaves. Still another
group worshipped Allah out of gratefulness, this is the
worship of free men.
Woman is evil, all in all; and
the worst of it is that one cannot do without her.
He who is a sluggard loses his
rights and he who believes in the backbiter loses his
One ill-gottenpiece of stone in
a house is a guarantee for its ruin.
The day of the oppressed over
the oppressor will be severer than the day of the
oppressor over the oppressed.
Fear Allah to some degree (even)
though it be little; and set a curtain between you and
Allah (even) though it be thin
When replies are numerous the
correct point remains obscure.
Surely in every blessing there
is a right of Allah. If one discharges that right Allah
increases the blessing, and if one falls short of doing
so one stands in danger of losing the blessing.
When capability increases,
Keep on guard against the
slipping away of blessings because not everything that
runs away comes back.
Generosity is more prompting to
good than regard for kinship.
If a person has a good idea
about you make his idea be true.
The best act is that which you
have to force yourself to do.
I came to know Allah, the
Glorified, through the breaking of determinations,
change of intentions and losing of courage.
The sournessthis world is the
sweetness of the next world while the sweetness of this
world is the sourness of the next one.
Allah has laid down iman
for purification from polytheism; salat for
purification from vanity; zakat as a means of
livelihood; siyam (fasting) as a trial of the
people; hajj as a support for religion; jihad
for the honour of Islam; persuasion for good for the
good of the common people; dissuasion from evil for the
control of the mischievous; regard for kinship for
increase of number; revenge for stoppage of bloodshed;
the award of penalties for the realization of importance
of the prohibitions; the abstinence from drinkingwine
for protection of the wit; the avoidance of theft for
inculcating chastity; abstinence from adultery for
safeguarding descent; abstinence from sodomy for
increase of progeny; tendering evidence for furnishing
proof against contentions; abstinence from the lie for
increasing esteem for truth; maintenance of peace (salam)
for protection from danger; Imamate (Divine
Leadership) for the orderliness of the community and
obedience (to Imams) as a mark of respect to the Imamate.
If you want an oppressor to take
an oath ask him to swear like this that he is out of
Allah's might and His power, because if he swears
falsely in this way he will be quickly punished, while
if he swears by Allah Who is such that there is no god
but He, he will not be quickly punished since he is
expressing the Unity of Allah, the Sublime.
O' son of Adam, be your own
representative in the matter of your property and do
about it whatever you want to be done with it after your
Anger is a kind of madness
because the victim to it repents afterwards. If he does
not repent his madness is confirmed.
Health of body comes from
paucity of envy.
(a.s.) said to Kumayl ibn Ziyad an-Nakha'i:
O Kumayl, direct your people
to go out in the day to achieve noble traits and go out
in the night to meet the needs of those who might be
sleeping, for I swear by Him Whose hearing extends to
all voices if ever someone pleases another's heart,
Allah will create a special thing out of this pleasing
so that whenever any hardship befalls him it will come
running like flowing water and drive away the hardship
as wild camels are driven away.
When you fall in destitution,
trade with Allah through charity.
Faithfulness with faithless
people is faithlessness with Allah, while faithlessness
with faithless people is faithfulness with Allah.
There is many a man being
gradually brought towards punishment by good treatment
with him; many a man who remains in deceit because his
evils are covered; and many a man who is in illusion
because of good talk about him, while there is no
greater ordeal by Allah, the Glorified, than the giving
Section wherein we have included
selections from wonderful saying of Ameerul
Momineen, peace be upon him, which require
the situation is like this, then the head of religion
will rise and people will gather around him as pieces of
rainless cloud collect during autumn.
He is a versatile speaker.
Quarrels bring about ruin.
When girls reach the stage of
(realizing) realities, relations on the father's side
Faith produces a "lumazah" in
the heart. As faith develops, the "lumazah" also
If a man has a
"ad-daynu'z-zanun" (doubtful loan) it is his duty to pay
zakat thereon for all the past years when he recovers
tradition of Imam relates that he arranged a force for
advancing for jihad and said:
i'dhibu (turn away) from
women so far as you can.
Like the successful shooter who
looks forward to achieving success at his first shot.
When the crisis became red-hot
we sought refuge with Messenger of Allah (pbuh), and
none of us was closer to the enemy than he himself.
This section ends and we return
to the original theme of the chapter
the news of the attack of Muawiyah's men on al-Anbar
reached Imam he himself came out walking till he reached
an-Nukhaylah, where people overtook him and said: "O'
Ameerul Momineen we are enough for them," then he said:
You cannot be enough
for me against yourselves, so how can you be enough for
me against others? Before me the people used to complain
of the oppression of their rulers but now I have to
complain of the wrongful actions of my people; as though
I am led by them and they are the leaders or that I am
the subject and they are the rulers.
said that al-Harith ibn Hawt came to Imam and said: Do
you believe I can ever imagine that the people of Jamal
were in the wrong? Imam
peace be upon him, said:
O' al-Harith! You have seen
below yourself but not above yourself, and so you have
been confused. Certainly, you have not known right, so
that you can recognize the righteous. And you have not
known wrong, so that you can recognize the people of
wrong! Then al-Harith
said: In that case, I shall withdrawalong with Sa'd ibn
Malik and 'Abdullah: ibn 'Umar; whereuponAmeerul
Momineen (pbuh) said:
Verily, Sa'd and 'Umar have neither sided with Right nor
The holder of authority is like
the rider on a lion - he is envied for his position but
he well knows his position.
Do good with the bereaved ones
of others so that good is done to your bereaved ones
When the utterance of the wise
is to the point it serves as a cure, but if it is wrong
it proves like an illness.
Someone asked Ameerul Momineen (pbuh), to define
religion for him, so he said:
Come to me tomorrow so that I
enlighten you in the presence of all the people, so that
if you forget what I say others might retain it, because
an utterance is like a fluttering prey which may be
grappled with by someone but missed by others.
O son of Adam, do not inflict
the worry of the day that has not yet come on the day
which has already come, because if that day be in your
life Allah will bestow its livelihood also.
Have love for your friend up to
a limit, for it is possible that he may turn into your
enemy some day; and hate your enemy up to a limit for it
is possible that he may turn into your friend some day.
There are two kinds of workers
in the world. One is a person who works in this world
for this world and his work of this world keeps him
unmindful of the next world. He is afraid of destitution
for those he will leave behind but feels himself safe
about it. So, he spends his life after the good of
others. The other is one who works in this world for
what is to come hereafter, and he secures his share of
this world without effort. Thus, he gets both the
benefits together and becomes the owner of both the
houses together. In this way, he is prestigious before
Allah. If he asks Allah anythingHe does not deny him.
related during the days of (Caliph) 'Umar ibn
al-Khattab, the question of the excess of the ornaments
of the Ka'bah was mentioned to him and some people
suggested: If you prepare with it an army of Muslims
that will be a matter of great reward; and what would
the Ka'bah do with the ornaments? 'Umar thought of doing
so but asked Imam when he said:
When the Quran was descended
on the Prophet, peace be upon him and his descendants,
there were four kinds of property. One, the property of
Muslim individuals which he distributed among the
successors according to fixed shares. Second, the tax
which he distributed to those for whom it was meant.
Third, the One-fifth levy for: which Allah had fixed the
ways of disposal. Fourth, amounts of charity whose
disposal was also fixed by Allah. The ornaments of
Ka'bah did exist in those days but Allah left them as
they were, but did not leave them by omission, nor were
they unknown to Him. Therefore, you retain them where
Allah and His Prophet placed them.
Thereupon, 'Umar ibn
al-Khattab said: If you had not been here we would have
been humiliated; and he left the ornaments as they were.
related that two persons were brought to Imam They had
committed theft of public property. One of them was a
slave purchased from public money and the other had been
purchased by someone among the people. Then Imam (a.s.)
said: As for this one
who is the property of public money, there is no
punishment for him for it means one property of Allah
having taken another property of Allah. As for the
other, he should get the punishment. Consequently, his
hand was cut.
If my steps acquire firmness out
of these slippery places, I will alter several things.
Know with full conviction that
Allah has not fixed for any person more livelihood than
what has been ordained in the Book of Destiny, even
though his means may be great, his craving for it
intense and his efforts for it acute; nor does the
weakness of a person or the paucity of his means stand
in the way between what is ordained in the Book of
Destiny and himself. He who realizes it and acts upon it
is the best of them all in point of comfort and benefit;
while he who disregards it arid doubts it exceeds all
men in disadvantages. Very often a favoured person is
being slowly driven (towards punishment) through those
favours; and very often an afflicted person is being
done good through his affliction. Therefore, O'
listener, increase your gratefulness, lessen your haste
and stay within the bounds of your livelihood.
Do not turn your knowledge into
ignorance or your conviction into doubt. When you gain
knowledge act (upon it) and when you acquire conviction
proceed (on its basis) .
Greed takes a person to the
watering place but gets him back without letting him
drink. It undertakes responsibility but does not fulfil
it. Often the drinker gets choked before the quenching
of his thirst. The greater the worth of a thing yearned
for the greater is the grief for its loss. Desires blind
the eyes of understanding. The destined share will reach
him who does not approach it.
O' my Allah, I seek Your
protection from this that I may appear to be good in the
eyes of the people whilst my inward self may be sinful
before You, and that I may guard myself (from sins) only
for show before the people although You are aware of all
about me. Thus, I appear before the people in good shape
althoughmy evil deeds are placed before You. This means
achieving nearness to Your creatures but remoteness from
I swear by Him Who let us pass
the dark night after which there was a bright day that
such and such did not happen.
A small action which is
continued with regularity is more beneficial than a long
one performed with disgust.
When optional issues stand in
the way of opligations, abandon them.
Whoever keeps in view the
distance of the journey remains prepared.
Perception by the eyes is not
real observation because the eyes sometimes deceive
people; but wisdom does not deceive whomsoever it
Between you and the preaching
there is a curtain of deception.
The ignorant among you get too
much while the learned are just put off.
Knowledge dispels the excuse of
those who advance excuses.
He whom death overtakes early
seeks time while he whose death is deferred puts forth
excuses for postponement (of doing good actions).
For every thing to which people
say "how good!" there is an evil hidden in this world.
peace be upon him, was asked about Destiny, when he
said: It is a dark
path -- do not tread upon it, it is a deep ocean - do
not dive in it, and it is the secret of Allah -- do not
take trouble about (knowing) it.
When Allah intends to humiliate
a person He denies him knowledge.
In the past I had a
brother-in-faith and he was prestigious in my view
because the world was humble in his eyes, the needs of
the stomach did not have sway over him, he did not long
for what he did not get; if he got a thing he would not
ask for more; most of his time he was silent, if he
spoke he silenced the other speakers, he quenched the
thirst of questioners, he was weak and feeble but at the
time of fighting he was like the lion of the forest or
the serpent of the valley, he would not put forth an
argument unless it was decisive.
He would not abuse anyone in an
excusable matter unless he had heard the excuse, he
would not speak of any trouble except after its
disappearance, he would say what he would do, and would
not say what he would not do, even if he could be
exceeded in speaking, he could not be excelled in
silence, he was more eager for keeping quiet than
speaking and if two things confronted him he would see
which was more akin to the longing of the heart and he
would oppose it. These qualities are incumbent upon you.
So, you should acquire them and excel each other in
them. Even if you cannot acquire them you should know
that acquiring a part is better than giving up the
Even if Allah had not warned of
chastisement on those disobedient to Him, it would be
obligatory by way of gratefulness for His favours that
He should not be disobeyed.
Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him)
said in condoling Ash'ath ibn Qays about (the
death of) his son: O'
Ash' ath, if you grieve over your son, certainly it is
the consequence of the blood relationship; but if you
endure, then Allah provides recompense for every
affliction. O' Ash'ath, if you endure even then matters
will move on as ordained by Allah but in that case you
will deserve reward; while if you lose patience, matters
will again move as ordained by Allah, but in this case
you will be bearing the burden (of sins). 0' Ash'ath,
your son (when he lived) gave you happiness while, at
the same time, he was a trial and hardship and (when he
died) he grieved you while, at the same time, he has
proved a source of reward and mercy for you.
(A.S.) said on the grave of the Messenger of Allah,
peace be upon him and his descendants, at the time of
endurance is good except about you; fretting is bad
except over you; and the affliction about you is great
while every other affliction before or after it is
Do not associate with a fool
because he will beautify his actions before you and long
that you too be like him.
Ameerul Momineen (pbuh) was asked about the distance
between East and West when he replied:
One day's travelling for the
Your friends are three and your
enemies are (also) three. Your friends are: your friend,
your friend's friend and your enemy 's enemy. And your
enemies are: your enemy, your friend's enemy and your
Ameerul Momineen (pbuh) saw a man busy against his enemy
with what was harmful to himself too, so he said:
You are like one who pierces
a spear through himself in order to kill the person
sitting behind him.
How many are the objects of
lessons, but how few the taking of lessons.
He who goes too far in
quarrelling is a sinner, but if one falls short in it,
one is oppressed and it is difficult for a quarreller to
I am not worried by a fault
after which I get time to offer prayer in two units (rak
'ah) and beg safety from Allah.
peace be upon him, was asked: How Allah would conduct
the accounting of all persons despite their large
number. He replied: just as He provides them livelihood despite their large
number. Then it was said to him: How will He conduct
their accounting without their seeing Him. He replied:
just as He provides them livelihood although they do not
Your messenger is the
interpreter of your intelligence while your letter is
more eloquent in expressing your true self.
The person who is afflicted with
hardship is not in greater need of praying than one who
has been spared affliction but is not immune from it.
People are the progeny of the
world and no one can be blamed for loving the mother.
The destitute is the Messenger
of Allah. Whoever denies him denies Allah and whoever
gives him gives Allah.
A self- respecting man never
The fixed limit of life is
enough to remain watchful.
A man can sleep on the death of
his child, but cannot sleep at loss of property.
Mutual affection between fathers
creates a relationship between the sons. Relationship is
more in need of affection than affection is of
Be afraid of the ideas of
believers, because Allah, the Sublime, has put truth on
The belief of a person cannot be regarded as
true unless his trust in what is with Allah is more than
his trust in what he himself has.
Imam came to Basrah he sent Anas ibn Malik to Talha and
Zubair to make them recall what he (Anas) himself had
heard the Messenger of Allah, (pbuh), say concerning
them both, but he avoided doing so and when he -came
back to Imam, he said that he had forgotten that matter.
Thereupon, Ameerul Momineen (pbuh) , said:
If you are speaking a lie
Allah may afflict you with white spots (leucoderma)
which even the turban may not cover.
Sometimes hearts move forward
and sometimes they move backward. When they move forward
get them to perform optionals (as well), but when they
move backward keep them confined to obligatories only.
The Quran contains news about
the past, foretellings about the future and commandments
for the present.
Throw a stone in return from
where one comes to you because evil can be met only with
said to his secretary 'Ubaydullah ibn Abi Rafi':
Put cotton flake in the
inkpot,the nib of your pen long, leave space between
lines and close up the letters because this is good for
the beauty of the writing.
I am the ya'sub (leader) of the
believers, while wealth is the leader of the wicked.
Jews said to Imam; You had not buried your Prophet when
you picked up differences about him, when Imam replied:
We did not differ
about him but we differed after him (about his
succession); whereas you had not dried up your feet
after coming out of the river (Nile) when you began
asking your Prophet: Make you for us a god as they have
gods of their own. Said he; 'Verily you are a people behaving ignorantly. '
was asked: With what did you overpower your adversaries?
He answered: WheneverI
confronted a person he helped me against himself.
(A.S.) aid to his son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah:
O' my son, I fear lest
destitution overtakes you. So, you should seek Allah's
protection from it, because destitution is deficiency of
religious belief, perplexity of intelligence, and it is
conducive to hatred of obstinate people.
(A.S.) replied to a man who had asked him a difficult
question: Ask me for
understanding but do not ask me for confusion, because
the ignorant person who tries to learn is like the
learned man, but the learned man who tries to create
confusion is like the ignorant.
Abdullah bin Abbas once advised Imam (A.S.) against his
views, so he said: You
have only to advise me but then I have to see (what to
do); and if I act against your advice you have to follow
Imam (A.S.) returned to Kufa from Siffin he passed by
the residences of Shibamites (who belonged to tribe of
Shibam) and heard women weeping over those killed in
Siffin. At that time a Shibamite, Harb ibn Shurahbil
ash-Shibami, who was one of the nobles of those people,
came to him, and Imam (A.S.)
said to him:
your women have control over you as regards the weeping
that I hear? Do you not refrain them from this crying?
Harb began to walk
with him while Imam (A.S.) was on horseback, so Imam
(A.S.) : Get back
because the walking of a man like you with one like me
is mischief for the ruler and disgrace for the believer.
(A.S.) passed by the dead bodies of the Kharijites on
the day of the battle of Nahrawan and said :
Woe unto you! You have been
harmed by him who deceived you.
He was asked: O' Ameerul
Momineen , who deceived them? Then, he replied:
Satan, the deceiver, and the inner spirit that leads one
to evil deceived them through passions, made it easy for
them to get into sins, promised them victory and
eventually threw them into the Fire.
Beware of disobeying Allah in
solitude, because the witness (of that situation) is
also the judge.
the news of killing of Muhammad bin Abi Bakr reached
Imam (A.S.) he said: Our grief
over him is as great as their (i.e. the enemy's) joy for
it, except that they have lost an enemy and we have lost
The age up to which Allah
accepts any excuse for a human being is sixty years.
He whom sin overpowers is not
victorious, and he who secures victory by evil is (in
Allah, the Glorified, has fixed
the livelihood of the destitute in the wealth of the
rich. Consequently, whenever a destitute remains hungry
it is because some rich person has denied (him his
share). Allah, the Sublime, will question them about it.
Not to be in need of putting
forth an excuse is better than putting forth a true
The least right of Allah on you
is that you should not make use of His favours in
committing His sins.
When the disabled fall short in
performing acts of obedience to Allah, the Glorified, it
is a good opportunity given by Allah for the intelligent
to perform such acts.
The sovereign is the watchman of
Allah on earth.
(A.S.) said describing a believer:
A believer has a cheerful
face, a sorrowful heart, a very broad chest (full of
generosity), and a very humble heart. He hates high
position and dislikes renown. His grief is long, his
courage is far-reaching, his silence is much and, his
time is occupied. He is grateful, enduring, buried in
his thoughts, sparing in his friendship (with others),
of bright demeanour and of soft temperament. He is
stronger than stone but humbler than a slave.
If a man happens to see the end
of (his) life and his final fate, he will begin hating
desires and their deception.
There are two sharers in the
property of every person - successors and accidents.
The person who is approached
with a request is free until he promises.
He who prays but does not exert
effort is like the one who shoots without a bow-string.
Knowledge is of two kinds - that
which is absorbed and that which is just heard. The one
that is heard does not give benefit unless it is
Correctness of decision goes
together with power. The one emerges with the other's
emergence and disappears when the other disappears.
The beauty of destitution is
chastity and the beauty of riches is gratefulness.
The day of justice will be
severer on the oppressor than the day of oppression on
The biggest wealth is that one
should not have an eye on what others possess.
Utterances are preserved and
actions are to be tried. Every soul, for what it
earned, is held in pledge! (Quran, 74:38). People
are to be made deficient (as regards their bodies) and
meddled with (as regards their minds) except those whom
Allah protects. The questioner among them aims at
confusing and the answerer creates hardship. It is
possible that the man who has the best views among them
will be deviated from the soundness of his thinking by
pleasure or displeasure, and it is possible that a
single glance may affect even the man with the 'best
wisdom among them or a single expression may transform
O groups of people, fear Allah,
for there is many a man who aspires for what he does not
get, many a builder of a house who does not live in it,
and many a collector of that which he shall just leave
behind. Possibly he may have collected it wrongfully or
by denying a right. He acquired it unlawfully and had to
bear the weight of sins on account of it. Consequently,
he returned (from this world) with that weight and came
before Allah with sorrow and grief. Loses he both
this world and (also) the hereafter; that is a loss
(which is) manifest. (Quran, 22:11)
Lack of access to sins is also a
kind of chastity.
The dignity of your face is
solid but begging dissolves it away: therefore, look
carefully before whom you dissolve it.
To praise more than what is due
is sycophancy; to do it less is either because of
inability to speak or of envy.
The most serious sin is that
which the doer considers light.
He who sees his own shortcomings
abstains from looking into other's shortcomings. He who
feels happy with livelihood with which Allah provides
him does not grieve over what he misses. He who draws
out the sword of revolt gets killed with it. He who
strives without means perishes. He who enters depths
gets drowned. He who visits places of ill-repute
receives blame. He who speaks more commits more errors.
He who commits more errors becomes shameless. He who is
shameless will have less fear of Allah. He whose fear of
Allah is less, his heart dies. He whose heart dies
enters the Fire. He who observes the shortcomingsof
others and disapproves of them and then accepts them for
himself is definitely a fool. Contentment is a capital
that does not dwindle. He who remembers death much is
satisfied with small favours in this world. He who knows
that his speech is also a part of his action speaks less
except where he has some purpose.
The oppressor among people has
three signs: he oppresses his superior by disobeying
him, and his junior by imposing his authority and he
supports other oppressors.
At the extremity of hardship
comes relief, and at the tightening of the chains of
tribulation comes ease.
Do not devote much of your
activity to your wife and your children, because if your
wife and children are lovers of Allah then He will not
leave His lovers uncared for, and if enemies of Allah
then why should you worry and keep yourself busy about
the enemies of Allah.
The greatest defect is to regard
that defect (in others) which is present in yourself.
Someone congratulated another person in the presence of
Imam (A.S.) on the birth of a son saying:
Congratulations for getting a rider of horses. Then Imam
(A.S.) : Do not say
so; but say: You have occasion to be grateful to Allah,
the Giver, and be blessed with what you have been given.
May he attain full life and may you be blessed with his
of the officers of Imam (A.S.) built a stately house,
about which Imam (A.S.) :
This is silver coins showing
forth their faces. Certainly, this house speaks of your
was said to Imam (A.S.) : If a man is left in his house
and the door is closed, from where will his livelihood
reach him. And he replied:
From whatever way his death
Condoling with people among whom one had died, Imam
(A.S.) : This thing
has not started with you nor does it end with you. This
fellow of yours was used to journeying and therefore it
is better to think him stillto be journeying. Either he
will rejoin you or else you will rejoin him.
O' people, let Allah see you
fearing at the time of happiness just as you fear Him at
the time of distress. Certainly, he who is given ease
(of life) and does not consider it as a means of slow
approach towards tribulation (wrongly), considers
himself safe against what is to be feared while he who
is afflicted with straitened circumstances but does not
perceive them to be a trial loses the coveted reward.
O' slaves of desires, cut them
short because he who leans on the world gets nothing out
of it except the pain of hardships. O' people, take upon
yourselves your own training and turn away from the
dictates of your natural inclinations.
Do not regard an expression
uttered by any person as evil if you can find it capable
of bearing some good.
If you have a need from Allah,
the Glorified, then begin by seeking Allah's blessing on
His Messenger, (pbuh), then ask your need, because Allah
is too generous to accept one (seeking His blessing on
His Messenger) of the two requests made to Him and deny
He who is jealous of his esteem
should keep from quarrelling.
To make haste before the proper
time or to delay after a proper opportunity, in either
case is folly.
Do not ask about things which
may not happen because you have enough to worry about
with what happens.
Imagination is a clear mirror, and the taking of
lessons (from things around) provides warning and
counsel. It is enough for improving yourself that you
should avoid what you consider bad in others.
Knowledge is associated with
action. Therefore, he who knows should act, because
knowledge calls for action; if there is a response well
and good, otherwise it (knowledge) departs from him.
O people, wealth of this world
is like straw that brings an epidemic; therefore keep
off this grazing land, leaving it is a greater favour
than peacefully staying in it, and its part enough for
subsistence is more blissful than its riches.
Destitution has been ordained for those who are rich
here, while comfort has been destined for those who keep
away from it. If a person is attracted by its dazzle, it
blinds both his eyes; and if a person acquires eagerness
towards it, it fills his heart with grief which keep
alternating in the black part of his heart, some grief
worrying him and another giving him pain. This goes on
till the suffocation of death overtakes him. He is flung
in the open while both the shrines of his heart are
severed. It is easy for Allah to cause him to die and
for his comrades to put him in the grave. The believer
sees the world with eyes that derive instruction, and
takes from it food enough for his barest needs. He hears
in it with ears of hatred and enmity. If it is said
(about someone) that he has become rich, it is also said
that he has turned destitute; and if pleasure is felt on
one's living, grief is felt over his death. This is the
position, although the day has not yet approached when
they will be disheartened.
Allah, the Glorified, has laid
down reward for obedience to Him and punishment for
committing sins against Him in order to save men from
His chastisement and to drive them towards Paradise.
A time will come when nothing
will remain of the Quran except its writing, and nothing
of Islam except its name. The mosques in those days will
be busy with regards to construction but desolate with
regard to guidance. Those staying in them and those
visiting them will be the worst of all on earth. From
them mischief will spring up and towards them all wrong
will turn. If anyone isolates himself from it (mischief)
they will fling him back to it and if anyone steps back
from it they will push him towards it. Says Allah, the
Glorified, (in hadith qudsi i.e., the tradition in which
Allah- Himself speaks): I swear by Myself that I shall
send upon them an evil wherein the endurer would be
bewildered, and He would do so. We seek Allah's pardon
from stumbling through neglect.
related that it was seldom that Imam (A.S.) ascended the
pulpit and did not utter the following before his
sermon: O' people,
fear Ahab for man has not been created for naught so
that he may waste himself, nor has he been left uncared
for so that he may commit nonsensical acts. This world
which appears beautiful to him cannot be the replacement
of the next world which appears bad in his eyes, nor is
the vain person who is successful in this world through
his high courage like him who is successful in the next
world eyen to a small extent.
There is no distinction higher
than Islam; no honour more honourable than fear of
Allah; no asylum better than self restraint; no
intercessor more effective than repentance; no treasure
more precious than contentment; and no wealth is a
bigger remover of destitution than being satisfied with
mere sustenance. He who confines himself to what is just
enough for maintenance achieves comfort and prepares
abode in ease. Desire is the key of grief and the
conveyance of distress. Greed, vanity and jealousy are
incentives to falling into sins and mischief-mongering
is the collection of all bad habits.
to Jabir ibn 'Abdullah al-Ansari':
O' Jabir, the mainstay of
religion and the world are four persons: The scholar who
acts on his knowledge; the ignorant who does not feel
ashamed of learning; the generous who is not niggardly
in his favours; and the destitute who does not sell his
next life for his worldly benefits. Consequently, when
the scholar wastes his knowledge, the ignorant feels
shame in learning; and when the generous is niggardly
with his favours, the destitute sells his next life for
the worldly benefits. O' Jabir, if favours of Allah
abound on a person the people's needs towards him also
abound. Therefore, he who fulfils for Allah all that is
obligatory on him in this regard will preserve them
(Allah's favours) in continuance and perpetuity, while
he who does not fulfil those obligations will expose
them to decay and destruction.
Jarir at-Tabari has, in his history
related from 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Layla,
al-faqih who was one of those who had risen with ('Abd'
ar-Rahman ibn Muhammad) Ibn al-Ash'ath to fight
al-Hajjaj that he (Ibn Abi Layla) was exhorting people
to jihad by recalling: On the occasion of encounter with
the people of Syria I heard Ameerul Momineen, may Allah
exalt his degree of rank among the righteous and may He
reward him the reward of martyrs and men of truth,
saying: O' believers,
whoever observes excesses being committed and people
being called towards evil and disapproves it with his
heart is safe and free from responsibility for it, and
whoever disapproves of it with his tongue would be
rewarded and he is in a higher position than the former
'but whoever disapproves it with his sword in order that
the word of Allah may remain superior and the word of
the oppressors may remain inferior, catches hold of the
path of guidance and stands on the right way, while his
heart is lighted with conviction.
Another similar saying:
So, among them (the Muslim
community) there is he who disapproves evil with his
hand, tongue and heart. This man has perfectly attained
the virtuous habits. And among them there is he who
disapproves evil with his tongue and heart but not with
his hand. This man has attained only two virtuous habits
but lacks one. And among them there is the third one who
disapproves evil with his heart but not with his tongue
and hand. This is the one who lacks the two better
qualities out of three and holds only one. Then, among
them there is also he who does not disapprove evil
either with his tongue, heart or hand. He is just a dead
man among the living. All the virtuous deeds including
war in the way of Allah as compared to the persuasion
for good and dissuasion from evil are just like spitting
in the deep ocean. The persuasion for good and
dissuasion from evil do not bring death nearer nor do
they lessen the livelihood. And better than all this is
to utter a just expression before the tyrannical ruler.
related from Abu Juhayfah who said: I heard Amir Imam
fighting with which you will be overpowered is the
fighting with hands, thereafter with your tongues and
then with your hearts. Consequently, he who does not
recognize virtue with his heart or does not disapprove
evil will be turned upside down. Thus, his upside will
be turned downwards and his lowside will be turned
Certainly, right is weighty and
wholesome while wrong is light and epidemical.
Do not feel safe from the
punishment of Allah even about the best man in the whole
community because Allah, the Sublime, says: But no
one feels secure against the plan of Allah save the
people (who are ) losers. (Quran, 7:99). Again, do
not lose hope even for the worst man of the community
because Allah-, the Sublime says: Verily, despairs
not of Allah's mercy but the disbelieving people.
Miserliness contains all other evil vices and is
the rein with which one can be led to every evil.
0'son of Adam, livelihood is of two kinds:
livelihood which you seek and livelihood which seeks
you; if you do not reach it, it will come to you
Therefore, do not turn your one day's worry into a
year's worry. Whatever you get every day should be
enough for you for the day. If you have a whole year of
your life even then Allah, the Sublime, will give you
every next day what He has destined as your share. If
you do not have a year in your life then why should you
worry for what is not for you. No seeker will reach your
livelihood before you nor will anyone overpower you in
the matter of livelihood. Similarly, whatever has been
destined as your share will not be delayed for you.
Many a man faces a day after
which he finds no day and many a man is in an enviable
position in the earlier part of the night but is wept
over by bewailing women in its later part.
Words are in your control until
you have not uttered them; but when you have spoken them
out you are under their control. Therefore, guard your
tongue as you guard your gold and silver, for often one
expression snatches away a blessing and invites
Do not say what you do not know;
rather do not say all that you know, because Allah has
laid down some obligations for all your limbs by means
of which He will put forth arguments against you on the
Day of Judgment.
Fear lest Allah sees you while
committing His sins or misses you when it is time to
obey Him and as a result thereof you become a loser.
Therefore, when you are strong be strong in obeying
Allah and when you are weak be weak in committing sins
Leaning towards this world
despite what you see of it, is folly, and lagging behind
in good deeds when you are convinced of good reward for
them is obvious loss, while trusting in every one before
trying is weakness.
It is (the proof of the)
humbleness of the world before Allah- that He is
disobeyed only herein and His favours cannot be achieved
except by abandoning it.
One who is in search of
something will obtain it, at least a part of it.
That good is no good after which
there is the Fire, and that hardship is no hardship
after which there is Paradise. Every bliss other than
Paradise is inferior and every calamity other than the
Fire is comfort.
Beware that destitution is a
calamity, but worse than destitution is ailment of the
body, while worse than bodily ailment is the disease of
the heart. Beware that plenty of wealth is a blessing,
but better than plenty of wealth is the health of the
body, while still better than the health of the body is
the chastity of heart.
Whomeveraction detains behind,
his lineage cannot put him forward.
In another version it is
thus: Whoever misses
personal attainment cannot be benefited by his
The believer'stime has three
periods: The period when he is in communion with Allah;
the period when he manages for his livelihood; and the
period when he is free to enjoy what is lawful and
pleasant.It does not behove a wise person to be away
(from his house) save for three matters, namely for
purposes of earning, or going for something for the next
life or for enjoying what is not prohibited.
Abstain from the world so that
Allah may show you its real evils and do not be
neglectful because (in any case) you will not be
Speak so that you may be known,
since man is hidden under his tongue.
Take off the favours of the
world whatever comes to you and keep away from what
keeps away from you. If you cannot do so be moderate in
Many an expression is more
effective than an attack.
Every small thing that is
contented upon, suffices.
Let it be death but not
humiliation. Let it be little but not through others. He
who does not get while sitting will not get by standing
either. The world has two days one for you and the other
against you. When the day is for you, do not feel proud
but when it is against you endure it.
The best scent is musk; its
weight is light while its smell is scentful.
Put off boasting, give up
self-conceit and remember your grave.
The child has a right on the
father while the father too has a right on the child.
The right of a father on a child is that the latter
should obey the former in every matter save in
committing sins of Allah, the Glorified, while the right
of the child on the father is that he should give him a
beautiful name, give him good training and teach him the
Evil effect of sight is right;
charm is right; sorcery is right, and fa'l (auguring
good) is right, while tiyarah (auguring evil) is not
right, and spreading of a disease from one to the other
is not right. Scent gives pleasure, honey gives
pleasure, riding gives pleasure and looking at greenery
Nearness with people in their
manners brings about safety from their evil.
Someone uttered an expression above his position, then
Amir Imam (A.S.) , said to him:
You have started flying soon
after growing feathers (shakir) and commenced grumbling
before attaining youth (saqb).
Whoever hankers after contraries
gets no means of success.
being asked the meaning of the expression: "la hawla
wala quwwata illa bi'llah " (there is no strength nor
power but by means of Allah) . Imam (A.S.) said :
We are not master of anything
along with Allah, and we are not master of anything save
what He makes us master of. So, when lie makes us master
of anything of which lie is a superior Master over us He
also assigns some duties to us; and when lie takes it
away He will take away those duties as well.
(A.S.) heard Ammar ibn Yasir (may Allah have mercy on
him) conversing with al- Mughirah ibn Shu'bah and said:
Let him alone O'
Ammar, for he has entered religion only to the extent of
his deriving advantage of the world, and he has wilfully
involved himself in misgivings in order to adopt them as
cover for his shortcomings.
It is good for the rich to show
humility before the poor to seek reward from Allah, but
better than that is the haughtiness of the poor towards
the rich with trust in Allah.
Allah does not grant wisdom to a
person except that some day He will save him from ruin
with its help.
Whoever clashes with Truth would
be knocked down by it.
The heart is the book of the
Fear of Allah is the chief trait of human
Do not try the sharpness of your
tongue against Him Who gave you the power to speak, nor
the eloquence of your speaking against Him Who set you
on the right path.
It is enough for your own
discipline that you abstain from what you dislike from
One should endure like free
people, otherwise one should keep quiet like the
another tradition it is related that Imam (A.S.)
said to al-Ash'ath ibn Qays by way of condolence
on the death of his son:
Either endure like great
people or else you will forget like animals.
(A.S.) said about the world:
It deceives, it harms and it
passes away. Allah, the Sublime, did not approve it as a
reward for His lovers nor as a punishment for His
enemies. In fact, the people of this world are like
those riders that as soon as they alighted the driver
called out to them and they marched off.
to his son al-Hasan (peace be upon him):
O' my son, do not leave
anything of this world behind you, because you will be
leaving it for either of two sorts of persons: Either a
person who uses it in obeying Allah, in this case he
will acquire virtue through what was evil for you, or it
will be a person who uses it in disobeying Allah and in
that case he will be earning evil with what you
collected for him, and so you will be assisting him in
his sinfulness; and neither of these two deserves to be
preferred by you over yourself
Someone said Imam (A.S.) : "astaghfiru 'llah" I ask
Allah's forgiveness), then Imam (A.S.)said:
Your mother may lose you! Do
you know what "istighfar" (asking Allah's forgiveness)
is? "istighfar" is meant for people of a high position.
It is a word that stands on six supports. The first is
to repent over the past; the second is to make a firm
determination never to revert to it; the third is to
discharge all the rights of people so that you may meet
Allah- quite clean with nothing to account for; the
fourth is to fulfil every obligation which you ignored
(in the past) so that you may now do justice with it;
the fifth is to aim at the flesh grown as a result of
unlawful earning, so that you may melt it by grief (of
repentance) till the skin touches the bone and a new
flesh grows between them; and the sixth is to make the
body taste the pain of obedience as you (previously)
made it taste the sweetness of disobedience. On such an
occasion you may say "astaghfiru 'llah".
Clemency is (like) a kinsfolk.
How wretched the son of Adam is!
His death is hidden, his ailments are concealed, his
actions are preserved, the bite of a mosquito pains him,
choking causes his death and sweat gives him a bad
related that Imam (A.S.)
was sitting with his companions when a beautiful
woman passed by them and they began to look at her
whereupn Imam (A.S.)
said: The eyes
of these men are covetous and this glancing is the cause
of their becoming covetous. Whenever anyone of you sees
a woman who attracts him, he should meet his wife
because she is a woman like his wife.
It is enough if your wisdom
distinguishes for you the ways of going astray from
those of guidance.
Do good and do not regard any
part of it small because its small is big and its little
is much. No one of you should say that another person is
more deserving than I in doing good. Otherwise, by
Allah, it would really be so. There are people of good
and evil. When you would leave either of the two, others
will perform them.
Whoever set right his inward
self, Allah sets right his outward self Whoever performs
acts for his religion, Allah accomplishes his acts of
this world. Whoever's dealings between himself and Allah
are good, Allah turns the dealings between him and other
Forbearance is a curtain for
covering, and wisdom is a sharp sword. Therefore,
conceal the weaknesses in your conduct with forbearance
and kill your desires with your wisdom.
There are some creatures of
Allah whom Allah particularizes with favours for the
benefit of the people, therefore He stays them in their
hands so long as they give them to others; but when they
deny them to others He takes away the favours from them
and sends them to others.
It does not behove a man to have
trust in two positions, health and riches, because there
is many a man whom you see healthy but he soon falls
sick and many a man whom you see rich but soon turns
Whoever complains about a need
to a believer, it is as though he has complained about
it to Allah; but whoever complains about it to an
unbeliever it is as though he complained about Allah.
(A.S.) said on the occasion of an 'id (Muslim feast
day): It is an 'Id for
him whose fasting Allah accepts and for whose prayers He
is grateful; and (in fact) every day wherein no sin of
Allah is committed is an 'id.
On Judgement Day the greatest
regret will be felt by man who earned wealth through
sinful ways, although inherited by a person who spends
it in obeying Allah, the Glorified, and will be awarded
Paradise on that account while first one will go into
Fire on account of it.
The worst in bargaining and the
most unsuccessful in striving is the man who exerts
himself in seeking riches although fate does not help
him in his aims and consequently he goes from this world
in a sorrowful state while in the next world too he will
face its ill consequences.
Livelihood is of two kinds: the
seeker and the sought. Therefore, he who hankers after
this world death traces him till it turns him out of it;
but he who hankers after the next world, worldly ease
itself seeks him till he receives his livelihood from
Lovers of Allah are those who
look at the inward side of the world while others look
at its outward side, they busy themselves with remoter
benefits while others busy themselves in immediate
benefits. They kill those things which they feared would
have killed them, and leave here in this world what they
think would leave them. They took amassing of wealth by
others as a small matter and regarded it like losing.
They are enemies of things others love while love things
which others hate. Through them, Quran has been learnt
and they have been given knowledge through Quran. With
them Quran is staying while they stand by Quran. They do
not see any object of hope above what they hope and no
object of fear above what they fear.
Remember pleasures will pass
away while the consequences will stay.
Try (a man) and you will hate
It is not that Allah-, to Whom
belongs Might and Majesty, may keep the door of
gratitude open for a person and close the door of plenty
upon him, or to open the door of prayer to a person and
close the door of acceptance upon him, or to open the
door of repentanceon a person and close the door of
forgiveness upon him.
The most appropriate person for
an honourable position is he who descends from the
people of honour.
(A.S.) was asked: Which of the two is better; justice or
generosity? Imam (A.S.)
replied: Justice puts things in their places while generosity
takes them out from their directions; justice is the
general caretaker while generosity is a particular
benefit. Consequently, justice is superior and more
distinguished of the two.
People are enemies of what they
do not know.
The whole of asceticism is
confined between two expressions of the Quran. Allah,
the Glorified says: Lest distress you yourselves for
what escapes you, and be overjoyous for what He has
granted you (Quran, 57:23). Whoever does not grieve
over what he misses and does not revel over what comes
to him acquires asceticism from both its sides.
What a breaker is sleep for
resolutions of the day!
Governingpower is the proving
ground for people.
No town has greater right on you than the other.
The best town for you is that which bears you.
the news of the death of (Malik) al-Ashtar (may Allah
have mercy on him), reached Imam (A.S.) he said:
Malik, what a man Malik was!
By Allah, if he had been a mountain he would have been a
big one (find), and if he had been a stone he would have
been hard; no horseman could have reached it and no bird
could have flown over it.
A little that lasts is better
than much that brings grief.
If a man possesses a revealing
quality wait and see his other qualities.
said to Ghalib ibn Sasaah, father of Farazdaq (famous
Arabic poet) during a conversation between them:
What about the large number
of your camels? The
man replied: They have been swept away by obligations,
O' Imam. Whereupon Imam
said: That is
the most praiseworthy way of (losing) them.
Whoever trades without knowing
the rules of religious law will be involved in usury.
Whoever regards small distresses
as big, Allah involves him in big ones.
Whoever maintains his own
respect in view, his desires appear light to him.
Whenever a man cuts a joke he
separates away a bit from his wit.
Your turning away from him who
inclines towards you is a loss of your share of
advantage while your inclining towards him who turns
away from you is humiliation for yourself.
Riches and destitution will
follow presentation before Allah.
Zubair remained a man from our
house till his wretched son Abdullah came forth.
What has a man to do with
vanity. His origin is semen and his end is a carcass
while he cannot feed himself nor ward off death.
(A.S.) was asked about the greatest poet and he said:
The whole group of
them did not proceed on the same lines in such a way
that we can know the height of their glory; but if it
has to be done then it is the "al-Malik ad-dillil" (the
Is there no free man who can
leave this chewed morsel (of the world) to those who
like it? Certainly, the only price for yourselves is
Paradise. Therefore, do not sell yourself except for
Two greedy persons never get
satiated, the seeker of knowledge and the seeker of this
Belief means you should prefer
truth when it harms you rather than falsehood when it
benefits you; your words should not be more than your
action and you should fear Allah when speaking about
Destiny holds sway over (our)
predetermination till effort itself brings about ruin.
Forbearance and endurance are
twins and they are the product of high courage.
Backbiting is the tool of the
Many a man gets into mischief
because of being spoken well about.
This world has been created for
other than itself and has not been created for itself.
The Banu Umayyah have a fixed
period wherein they are having their way. But when
differences arise among them then even if the hyena
attacks them it will overpower them.
(A.S.) said eulogizing ansar :
By Allah, they nurtured Islam
with their generous hands and eloquent tongues as a year
old calf is nurtured.
The eye is the strap of the
said in one of his speeches:
A ruler came into position
over them. He remained upright and made them upright
till the entire religion put its bosom on the ground.
A severe time will come upon
people wherein the rich will seize possessions with
their teeth although not commanded to do so. Allah the
Glorified, says: Forget not generosity among
yourselves (Quran, 2:237). During this time wicked
will rise up while virtuous will remain low and
purchases will be made from helpless although the
Prophet (pbuh) has prohibited purchasing from the
Two types of persons will fall
into ruin over me: The one who loves exaggerates and the
other who lays false and baseless blames.
(A.S.) was asked on the Unity of Allah and His justice,
when he replied: Unity
means that you do not subject Him to the limitations of
your imagination and justice means that you do not lay
any blame on Him.
There is no good in silence over
matters involving wisdom just as there is no good in
speaking with ignorance.
said in his prayer for seeking rain:
O' my Allah, send us rain by
submissive clouds not by unruly ones.
was said to Imam (A.S.) : We wish you had changed your
grey hair, O' Imam. Then he said:
Dye is a way of adornment
while we are in a state of grief.
The fighter in the way of Allah
who gets martyred would not get a greater reward than he
who remains chaste despite means. It is possible that a
chaste person may become one of the angels.
Contentment is a wealth that
does not exhaust.
Imam (A.S.) put Ziyad ibn Abih in place of Abdullah ibn
Abbas over Fars (in Persia) and its revenues, he had a
long conversation with him in which he prohibited him
from advance recovery of revenue. Therein he said:
Act on justice and
keep aloof from violence and injustice because violence
will lead them to forsake their abodes while injustice
will prompt them to take up arms.
The worst sin is that which the
committer takes lightly.
Allah has not made it obligatory
on the, ignorant to learn till He has made it obligatory
on the learned to teach.
The worst comrade is he for whom
formality has to be observed.
If a believer enrages his
brother, it means that he leaves him.