Words of Wisdom from Imam Ali (AS

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Selections from the sayings and preaching of Amir Al-Muminin Ali ibn abi Talib (peace be upon him) 1. Amir al-muminin, peace be upon him, said: Incapability is a catastrophe; endurance is bravery; abstinence is riches; selfrestraint is a shield (against sin); and the best companion is submission (to Allah’s will). 2. Amir al-muminin, peace be upon him, said: Knowledge is a venerable estate; good manners are new dresses; and thinking is a clear mirror. 3. Amir al-muminim, peace be upon him, said: Charity is an effective cure, and the actions of people in their present life will be before their eyes in the next life.
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This saying comprises two phrases: The first sentence relates to charity and Amir al-muminin has described it as an effective cure, because when a man helps the poor and the destitute by charity they pray for his health and recovery from the depth of their hearts and therefore their prayer is granted and brings him cure. In this connection, there is the saying of the Holy prophet that, “Cure your sick by charity.” The second sentence relates to the disclosure of actions on the Day of Judgment, namely that the good and bad deeds which a person performs in this world cannot be perceived by human senses because of the veil of materi-

al elements but on the Day of Judgment when material curtains will be lifted they will so appear before the eye that there will be no possibility of denial by anyone. Thus, Allah has said: On that day shall so come out people (from their graves) in (scattered) groups, to be shown their own deeds. Then he who has done an atom-weight of good shall see it. And he who has done an atomweight of evil shall see it (Quran, 99: 6-8) 4. Amir al-muminin, peace be upon him, said: Meet people in such a manner that if you die they should weep for you and if you live they should long for you. To the person who behaves with others with benignity and good manners, people extend their hand of cooperation, they honor and respect him and shed tears after his death. Therefore, a person should lead such an agreeable life that no one should have any complaint against him, nor should he cause any harm to anyone so that during life he should attract others and after death too he should be remembered in good words. 5. Amir al-muminin, peace be upon him, said: The conse-

quence of fear is disappointment and of bashfulness is frustration. Opportunity passes away like the cloud. Therefore, make use of good opportunities. If a man fears that people may think him ignorant and therefore feels bashful in asking an important and necessary issue then this misplaced bashfulness would result in his being deprived of knowledge. Therefore, no sane person should feel bashful about making enquiries. Thus, an old man who was learning despite old age was asked whether he did not feel ashamed of learning in old age and he replied: “I do not feel shame for ignorance during old age, then how can I feel shame for learning in old age.” Of course, to feel shame in doing things which are really bad and mischievous is the essence of humanity and nobility; for instance, those immoral acts which are bad according to religion, intelligence and ethics. In any case, the first kind of bashfulness is bad and the second one is good. In this connection, the Holy Prophet’s saying is that: Bashfulness is of two kinds, bashfulness of intelligence and bashfulness of foolishness. The bashfulness of intelligence is knowledge whereas the bashfulness of foolishness is ignorance.
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