Nahjul BalaghaSayings

Nahjul Balagha Sayings 371 to 380

  1. 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.

  2. Imam (A.S.) said 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.

  3. Ibn 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.

  4. 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.

  5. It is related from Abu Juhayfah who said: I heard Amir Imam (A.S.) saying: The first 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 upwards.

  6. Certainly, right is weighty and wholesome while wrong is light and epidemical.

  7. 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. (Quran, 12:87).

  8. Miserliness contains all other evil vices and is the rein with which one can be led to every evil.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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