Hazrat Ali Quotes
Ali ibn Abi Talib (عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ʿAlī ibn ʾAbī Ṭālib; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, who ruled as the fourth caliph from 656 to 661. He is one of the central figures in Shia Islam and is regarded as the rightful immediate successor to Muhammad as an Imam by Shia Muslims.
May these Hazrat Ali Quotes on many subjects inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.
Someone asked Hazrat Ali (R.A.):
What’s the difference between a sibling and a friend?
A sibling is like gold and friend is like diamond.
Then that person asked:
Why did you give more value to friend than a sibling?
If there occurs any crack in gold, it may be repaired and reshaped to its original shape & texture. Whereas if crack occurs in diamond, it can never be repaired and reshaped. – Collected from [Beshak, Allah is the greatest]
(On the day of Eid, He رضی اللہ عنہ said:) Every day in which we do not disobey Allah Almighty is a day of Eid for us. – Hazrat Ali
A fool will lose his peace running after wealth, a wise will give away his wealth for peace. – Hazrat Ali
A friend cannot be considered a friend until he is tested in three occasions: in time of need, behind your back, and after your death. – Hazrat Ali
A hopeless man sees difficulties in every chance, but a hopeful person sees chances in every difficulty. – Hazrat Ali
A man’s behavior is the index of his mind. – Hazrat Ali
A man’s glory from his virtue is greater than the glory of his pedigree. – Hazrat Ali
A man’s measure is his will. – Hazrat Ali
A man’s worth depends upon the nobility of his aspirations. – Hazrat Ali
A moment of patience in a moment of anger prevents a thousand moments of regret. – Hazrat Ali
A person deprives himself of Halal sustenance by displaying impatience, yet he does not gain more than what is destined for him. – Hazrat Ali
A person’s height increases until the age of 22, whereas, his intellect increases until the age of 28. After this, he continues to gain experiences until his death. – Hazrat Ali
A person’s true patience is shown in a time of anger. – Hazrat Ali
A true friend is one who upon seeing a fault gives you advice and who defends you in your absence. – Hazrat Ali
A wise man first thinks and then speaks and a fool speaks first and then thinks. – Hazrat Ali
Allah is watching your acts. – Hazrat Ali
Always consider your intellect to be lacking; otherwise too much faith in it surely leads to error. – Hazrat Ali
Always learn to compromise, its way better to bow down sometimes than breaking off a relation forever. – Hazrat Ali
An alert & learned man will take advice from any incident. – Hazrat Ali
And in prayer lies the coolness of my eye and my peace of mind. – Hazrat Ali
Anger begins with madness and ends with regret. – Hazrat Ali
Anybody looking for an evil (evil example is like a fly that leaves all the beautiful things just sitting on the wound. – Hazrat Ali
Asceticism is not that you should not own anything, but that nothing should own you. – Hazrat Ali
Authority, power, and wealth do not change a man; they only reveal him. – Hazrat Ali
Be enemy to the oppressors and a helper to the oppressed. – Hazrat Ali
Be friends with the righteous and avoid the evil doers, stay away from the hypocrites and do not accompany the treacherous. – Hazrat Ali
Be like a flower that gives its fragrance even to the hand that crushed it. – Hazrat Ali
Be Respectful to women, for they are the mothers of mankind. – Hazrat Ali
Be the flower that gives its fragrance to even the hand that crushes it. – Hazrat Ali
Beautiful people are not always good, but good people are always beautiful. – Hazrat Ali
Body is purified by water. Ego by tears. Intellect is purified by knowledge. And soul is purified with love. – Hazrat Ali
Company of good people yields in wisdom only. Because when wind passes through flowers, that becomes fragrance. – Hazrat Ali
Contemplation of Allah is my companion. – Hazrat Ali
Courtesy costs nothing, but buys everything. – Hazrat Ali
Do for this life as if you live forever, do for the afterlife as if you die tomorrow. – Hazrat Ali
Do for this life as if you live forever, do for the afterlife as if you will die tomorrow. – Hazrat Ali
Do not be from among those who only benefit from advice after they are greatly shamed. – Hazrat Ali
Do not criticize too much. Too much criticism leads to hate and a bad behavior. – Hazrat Ali
Do not feel lonely on the road of righteousness Because of the fewness of the walkers on it. – Hazrat Ali
Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety, after all it is only in the darkest nights that stars shine more brightly. – Hazrat Ali
Do not sell your conscience for anything but heaven. – Hazrat Ali
Do not soil your conscience for anything but Jannah. – Hazrat Ali
Do not take someone’s silence as his pride, perhaps he is busy fighting with his self. – Hazrat Ali
Do not use the sharpness of your speech on your mother who taught you how to speak. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t be slave of others when Allah has created you free. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t develop friendship with the enemy of your friend; otherwise your friend will turn into an enemy. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t disappoint the ones whose hopes lies in you. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t engage your heart in grief over the past or you wont be ready for what is coming. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t feel ashamed when giving little for charity; that is because there is always goodness in giving no matter how little. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t follow majority follow the truth. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t hate what you don’t know, for the greater part of knowledge consists what you don’t know. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t show pleasure in somebody’s downfall, for you have no knowledge of what the future holds in store for you. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t speak wise in front of ignorant mentality, first he’ll debate then will become enemy by seeing his defeat. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t talk about the joys of your life in front of the sad ones. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t talk about your freedom in front of the captivated. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t talk about your good health in front of sick. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t talk about your parents in front of the orphans, For their wounds cannot withstand more pain. Hazrat Ali
Don’t talk about your power in front of weak. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t talk about your riches in front of poor. – Hazrat Ali
Don’t use sharpness of your speech on the mother who taught you how to speak. – Hazrat Ali
Enthusiasm is the vehicle of my life. – Hazrat Ali
Every man is attached to the one who resembles him. Every bird follows his own kind. Those of the same nature are inclined to each other. The good follow the good. The evil follow the evil. – Hazrat Ali
Faith is the source of my power. – Hazrat Ali
Fear Allah and you will have no cause to fear anyone else. – Hazrat Ali
Fear Allah and you will have no cause to fear anyone. – Hazrat Ali
Fear only the will of God and you will have no cause to fear anyone else. – Hazrat Ali
Fear the sins that you commit in secret because the witness of those sins is the Judge Himself. – Hazrat Ali
Generosity hides shortcomings. – Hazrat Ali
Gold is tested with fire, and the believer is tested with trials. – Hazrat Ali
Good manners are your beauty. – Hazrat Ali
Greed is permanent slavery. – Hazrat Ali
He who knows himself knows Allah. – Hazrat Ali
He who trusts the world, the world betrays him. – Hazrat Ali
He who understands humanity seeks solitude. – Hazrat Ali
Hide the good you do & make known the good done to you. – Hazrat Ali
Hide the good you do, and make known the good done to you. – Hazrat Ali
Humbleness clothes you in dignity. – Hazrat Ali
I remain very fearful of two things in regards to you: (1) Following desires and (2) Long hopes. – Hazrat Ali
I was not created to be occupied by eating delicious foods like tied up cattle. – Hazrat Ali
I will be patient till even patience tires of my patience. – Hazrat Ali
If a man steal bread for their hunger, instead of cutting the hands of thieves should be cut with hand of the king. – Hazrat Ali
If Allah guides you to remember him it is sign that Allah loves you. – Hazrat Ali
If one night you see someone committing a sin, tomorrow don’t look at him as a sinner. He may have repented during the night and you did not know. – Hazrat Ali
If you are the recipient of kindness, remember it. If you are the giver of kindness, forget it! – Hazrat Ali
If you don’t know a thing never hesitate or feel ashamed to learn it. – Hazrat Ali
If you remember someone when you are happy, then just know that you love them and if you remember someone when you are sad then just know that they love you. – Hazrat Ali
If You Want To Know Someone’s Character, Examine The Friends He Sits With. – Hazrat Ali
It is better to listen to a wise enemy than to seek counsel from a foolish friend. – Hazrat Ali
It is easier to turn a mountain into dust than to create love in a heart that is filled with hatred. – Hazrat Ali
Jealousy by a friend means defect in his love. – Hazrat Ali
Keep in touch with the one who forgotten you, and forgive those who wronged you, and do not stop praying for the best for those who love you. – Hazrat Ali
Knowledge enlivens the soul. – Hazrat Ali
Knowledge is my weapon. – Hazrat Ali
Love is the foundation of my existence. – Hazrat Ali
Man comes from a drop of semen and leaves as a piece of dust. He doesn’t know when he came and he doesn’t know when he’s leaving, yet he walks on the earth thinking he knows everything. – Hazrat Ali
Meditation in God is my capital. – Hazrat Ali
Meet the people in such a manner that if you die, they should weep for you, and if you live, they should long for you.
More than the action itself, make arrangements for its acceptance because even a small deed that is performed with piety is a major thing, and how can the action which is accepted, be small?. – Hazrat Ali
Must do their work who remember you only when they’re needed. Because they find light in the darkness. And that light is you. – Hazrat Ali
Never explain yourself to anyone, because the one who likes you would not need it, and the one dislikes you wouldn’t believe it. – Hazrat Ali
Never make a decision in anger and never make a promise in happiness. – Hazrat Ali
Never Trust on your Physical Strength and wealth, because illness and poverty will not take long time to come… – Hazrat Ali
No shelter is safe than piety. – Hazrat Ali
No wealth like education and no poverty like ignorance. – Hazrat Ali
Not every man with a heart is understanding, nor every man with an ear a listener, and nor every man with eyes able to see. – Hazrat Ali
Nothing hurts a good soul and kind heart more than to live amongst people who can’t understand it. – Hazrat Ali
Of all the follies the greatest is to love the World. – Hazrat Ali
One who thinks and reflects develops his foresight and vision. – Hazrat Ali
Opportunity is swift of flight but slow to return. – Hazrat Ali
Our enemies are not Jews or Christians, but our enemies are our ignorance. – Hazrat Ali
Patience is my clothing and virtue. – Hazrat Ali
Patience is of two kinds: patience over what pains you, and patience against what you covet. – Hazrat Ali
Patience is the fruit of faith. – Hazrat Ali
People are of two types, they are either your brothers in faith or your equals in humanity. – Hazrat Ali
People are of two types: They are either your brothers in faith or your brothers in humanity. – Hazrat Ali
Reason and sound logic are the root of my existence. – Hazrat Ali
Recitation of the Qur’an without contemplation and thought is futile. – Hazrat Ali
Remembering Allah is the light of intellect, the life of the souls, and the polishing of the hearts. – Hazrat Ali
Resignation to the Will of Allah (swt is the cure of the heart. – Hazrat Ali
Riches without faith are the greatest poverty. – Hazrat Ali
Safety lies in silence. It is easier to rectify what you miss by silence, than to secure what you lose by speaking. – Hazrat Ali
See the bad inside yourself, and see the good inside others. – Hazrat Ali
Silence is the best reply to a fool. – Hazrat Ali
Sometimes your prayers are turned down, because you often, unknowingly, ask for things that are really harmful to you. – Hazrat Ali
Sorrow is my friend. – Hazrat Ali
Spend and do not show off, and do not elevate yourself so that you are recognized and praised, rather, remain hidden and adopt silence; you will remain safe. – Hazrat Ali
Stubbornness destroys good advice. – Hazrat Ali
Submission to the Divine Will is my pride. – Hazrat Ali
Surely silence can sometimes be the most eloquent reply. – Hazrat Ali
Take your words into account as part of your action , and don’t say anything unless it is good. – Hazrat Ali
The best knowledge is that which benefits the listener. – Hazrat Ali
The best revenge is to improve yourself. – Hazrat Ali
The biggest shame is, to mock at something that you have in yourself. – Hazrat Ali
The days of life pass away like clouds, so do good while you are alive. – Hazrat Ali
The disease of the heart is worse than the disease of the body. – Hazrat Ali
The highest person is he who is of most use to humankind. – Hazrat Ali
The intellect is often defeated after witnessing the splendor of greed. – Hazrat Ali
The learned lives although he dies. – Hazrat Ali
The misfortune of sins causes laziness in worship and shortage in sustenance. – Hazrat Ali
The most happy is he to whom God has given a good wife. – Hazrat Ali
The one who considers his own opinion to be sufficient is in peril. – Hazrat Ali
The one who has no control over his desires has no control over his mind. – Hazrat Ali
The one who has the most knowledge from among the people is the one who fears Allah Almighty the most, performs the most worship, and gives the most advice for the sake of Allah Almighty. – Hazrat Ali
The one who thinks that he will enter Paradise without adopting righteous deeds, he is a victim of false hopes. – Hazrat Ali
The right of freedom of speech consists in speaking the truth. – Hazrat Ali
The sin which makes you sad and repentant is more liked by Allah than the good deed which turns you arrogant. – Hazrat Ali
The strongest amongst you is he who subdues his self. – Hazrat Ali
The sum total of excellence is knowledge. – Hazrat Ali
The vision of the eye is limited; the vision of the heart transcends all barriers of time and space. – Hazrat Ali
The wealth of a miser is as useless as a pebble. – Hazrat Ali
The wiser a man is, the less talkative will he be. – Hazrat Ali
The word of Allah is the medicine of the heart. – Hazrat Ali
The word of God is the medicine of the heart. – Hazrat Ali
The worst of our faults is our interest in other peoples faults. – Hazrat Ali
The worst of our faults is our interest in other people’s faults. – Hazrat Ali
The ‘hardship’ after which one will gain ‘Paradise’ is not a ‘hardship’, and the ‘comfort’ after which one will receive ‘Hell’ is not ‘comfort’. – Hazrat Ali
There is no successful outcome in treating people unjustly. – Hazrat Ali
Through patience, great things are accomplished. – Hazrat Ali
To fight against one’s desires is the greatest of all fights. – Hazrat Ali
To respect the learner is to respect Allah. – Hazrat Ali
Truth is my salvation. – Hazrat Ali
Understanding the knowledge and wisdom of the Qur’an is by far, higher than memorizing. – Hazrat Ali
Virtue never dies. – Hazrat Ali
Visit one another and discuss Hadiths; do not neglect it lest they disappear. – Hazrat Ali
Wealth and greed are the roots of all evils. – Hazrat Ali
When a person’s intellect is perfected, his speech decreases. – Hazrat Ali
When proven wrong, the wise corrects himself & ignorant argues. – Hazrat Ali
When proven wrong, the wise man will correct himself and the ignorant will keep arguing. – Hazrat Ali
When you become capable of taking revenge against your enemy, you should forgive him as an expression of gratitude. – Hazrat Ali
Worship is my habit. – Hazrat Ali
Your souls are precious and can only be equal to the price of Paradise, therefore sell them only at that price. – Hazrat Ali
Your souls are precious, and can only be equal to the price of paradise. Therefore, sell them only at that price. – Hazrat Ali
Hazrat Ali ’s last words to his family…….
My advice to you is that you should not consider anyone as a co-worker of the Allah, be firm in your belief that there is One and only One Allah. Never waste the knowledge given to you by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and never give up and destroy his Sunnah. Always Keep these two pillars of Islam monotheism and Sunnah of the Muhammad (Peace Be upon him) aloft. If you act according to my advice then you cannot be blamed for damaging or destroying the religion.
Imam Ali Quotes (Saheeh Collection)
This portion is borrowed from nahjul-balagha.net. You can download from pdf.
Tawheed / Worship / Piety
1- “If I narrated from the messenger of Allah peace be upon him, I would rather fall from the sky than attribute to him something he didn’t say.”
2- “My favorite words by a servant to Allah are: ‘O’ Allah, there is no god but you. O’ Allah, I worship none but you. O’ Allah, I don’t associate any partners with you. O’ Allah, I wronged myself, so forgive me from my sins, for none can forgive sins but you.”
Al-Musanaf by Abi Shayba (29522)
3- Ali bin Abi Talib told Abi Al-Hayyaj Al-Asadi: “Shall I send you to what I was sent for by the Messenger of Allah – peace be upon him – ? To leave no idol undistorted and to level all graves with height.”
4- “Those fortune-tellers are the soothsayers of Persians. Whosoever goes to a soothsayer and believes what he says has disassociated himself from the teachings of Muhammad – peace be upon him – .”
Ibn Abi Shayba (23525)
5- “Meet up and recite the narrations in remembrance, otherwise they would be erased (from your memory).”
Al Musanaf by Abi Shayba (26134)
6- “Our souls are in the hand of Allah, if He wishes to send us (to the hereafter) He would send us.”
Saheeh Al-Bukhari (1127)
7- “If words are overused, they will lose effect before you find a substitute for them. Do not seek help but from Allah. Do not fear anything but your sins. Don’t be shy to learn if you are ignorant. Scholars are not to be shy to say Allah knows best about matters they don’t know. Be aware that patience is to faith as the head is to the body. If the head goes, the body goes as well, and if patience diminishes, faith diminishes as well.”
Al-Musannaf by Abi Shayba (34504)
8- When Ali bin Abi Talib was asked to talk about himself, he said: “I speak of the blessings of my Lord. By Allah, I was answered whenever I asked and was given even before I could request, and underneath the ribs there is tremendous knowledge.”
Fadha’il Al-Sahaba by Imam Ahmad (1099)
9- “Shall I inform you about the true jurist? He is the one who does not let people despair from the mercy of Allah. He does not permit them to disobey Allah’s orders. He does not secure them from Allah’s punishments. He also does not leave Qur’an for others. Truly, there is no benefit from worship that does not entail jurisprudence, there is no benefit from jurisprudence that is excluded from understanding, and there is no benefit from reading without contemplation.”
Al-Zuhd by Abu Dawud (111)
10- “Quraish are the leaders of Arabs. The pious among them are the leaders of their pious and wicked among them are the leaders of their wicked. The two groups have rights so give each group their rights as long as you are not asked to choose between Islam and decapitation. If anyone among you was given the choice between Islam and decapitation, then he is to extend his neck – may his mother weep for him – for there is no life or afterlife without Islam.”
Al-Musannaf by Ibn Abi Shayba (33712)
11- “The leaders are from Quraysh. Whoever abandons the people by a span is one who pulls the head of Islam from his neck.”
Al-Musannaf by Ibn Abi Shayba (3715)
12- “The key of prayer is purification; the takbeer (the exclamation of the greatness of Allah) causes all those surrounding it to be forbidden, and the salutations allows the permissibility to return.”
Musnad Ahmad (1006)
13- “I bathe in cold nights without even being in a greater state of impurity in order to grow in patience and purify myself.”
Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba (2081)
14- “If you say when bowing: O’ Allah, I bow down for your sake, in piety to you, I submit to you, I believe in you, and from you I seek assistance; your bowing shall be considered complete.”
Musnad Al-Shafi’i (386)
15- Ali bin Abi Talib said while upon the grave of Yazid bin Al Mukaffaf, “O’ Allah, he is your worshiper and the son of your worshiper. He is your guest and You are the Greatest Host. O’ Allah, expand his entry and forgive his sins. We only know good of him – and You know best – and that is what is held by us.”
Musannaf Abdul-Razzaq (6506)
16- “To rule according to what was revealed by Allah and execute what he was trusted upon is the duty of the Imam, if he were to do those things, then it is a duty for the Muslims to hear, obey, and beckon his call.”
Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba (32532)
17- When asked what he was delegated with during the pilgrimage, he responded, “I was sent with four matters: That the Ka’aba will not be encircled in the nude, that those who have a pact between them and the Prophet – peace be upon him – will have it until it expires and those that don’t have four months, that only a believer shall go to paradise, and that Muslims and disbelievers will not gather after this year.”
Sunan Al-Tirmithi (3092)
18- When asked about the second verse in Surat Al-Mu’minoon, he replied, “Being god-fearing is an act of the heart, to be soft with your fellow Muslim, and to not turn around (due to distraction) in prayer.”
Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak 2/392
19- “I fear for you two things: Attachment to the world and the following of desires. The attachment will make you forget the afterlife and the following of desires is an obstacle to truth. This world is going away and the hereafter is coming. Each one has children, so be from the children of the hereafter and not those of this world. Today is a day of work without judgment and tomorrow is a day of judgment without work.”
Al-Zuhd by Ibn Al-Mubarak 1/269
20- “The son of Adam was destroyed by the two containers: His reproductive organ and his stomach.”
Ibn Abi Al-Dunya’s Mawsoo’ah 1/218
21- When criticized for his modest clothing, he replied, “It influences a believer to follow it (in modesty) and it creates piety.”
Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba (34500)
Holding onto the Qur’an and the Sunnah
22- Ali bin Abi Talib told Iyas bin Amir Al-Ghafiqi, “If you remain long enough, (you will witness) three groups reciting Qur’an: A group for the sake of Allah, a group for the sake of argument, and a group for their livelihood.”
Al-Sunan Al-Darami (3372)
23- “Your mouths are the paths of the Qur’an, so provide them with a good scent with the siwak.”
Sunan Ibn Majah (291)
24- “Those with sound minds do not sleep until reciting the last three verses from Al-Baqara, they are from the treasures that are beneath the Throne.”
Ibn Dhurais’ Fadha’il Al-Qur’an (87)
25- “By Allah, we do not have a book to teach you except for the book of Allah Almighty and this document which was given to me by the Messenger of Allah – peace be upon him – which contains rulings about the alms.”
Musnad Ahmad (782)
26- “I am not one to leave the tradition of the Prophet – peace be upon him – for one’s opinion.”
27- “Narrate to people about what they know: Do you wish for Allah and His messenger to be disbelieved?”
28- “If I narrated a narration from the Messenger of Allah – peace be upon him – , then understand it in the most comforting, guiding, and in a manner that leads to piety.”
Musnad Abu Dawud Al Tayalissi (101)
29- “If the religion was based on rationale, then it would make more sense to wipe the bottom of the socks than its top, and I have seen the messenger of Allah – peace be upon Him – wipe the top of his socks.”
Sunan Abu Dawud (162)
30- When Ali bin Abi Talib sent Ibn Abbas to the Khawarij, he said, “Go and challenge them. Do not debate them with the Qur’an, for it has many faces (for interpretation), but challenge them with the sunnah.”
Al-Lalika’ee in Sharh Usool Al-I’itiqad (203)
31- When Ali bin Abi Talib passed by a storyteller and asked him, “Do you know how to distinguish between abrogating and abrogated rulings?” The man answered, “I do not.” Ali said, “You have destroyed (your followers) and you are destroyed.”
Al-‘Ilm by Abu Khaythama p. 31
Morals and General Words of Wisdom
32- “The slanderer and the one who spreads it are equal in guilt.”
Al-Adab Al-Mufrad by Al Bukhari (324)
33- “The speakers of falsehood and the one who extends its rope it are equal in guilt.”
Al Mawsu’at Ibn Abi Al Dunya 7/172
34- “Do not be hasty exposers of secrets, for you will face a harsh test and a lengthy heavy trial that will cause you to frown.”
Al-Adab Al-Mufrad by Al Bukhari (327)
35- “Be among the people like the bees among birds. All birds consider it as deficient in strength. If birds knew the blessing it carried they wouldn’t do so. Socialize with men with your tongues and bodies, and separate from them with your deeds and hearts. The man earns what is his and he shall be gathered in the Day of Judgment with those he loves.”
Al-Sunan Al-Darami (320)
36- “The mind is in the heart, the mercy is in the liver, the tenderness is in the spleen, and the soul is in the lungs.”
Al-Adab Al-Mufrad by Al-Bukhari (547)
37- Ali bin Abi Talib used to say whenever he was called to funeral prayers, “We are but those that stand; what prays upon the deceased are his deeds.”
Al-Musannaf by Ibn Abi Shaybah (11222)
Fairness, Justice, and Extremism
38- “The people of this nation will split into seventy three sects. The worst among them is one that poses to love us and abandons our orders.”
Al-Ahadith Al-Muntaqat by Ibn Dayzeel p. 96
39- “There will be those that love me until they enter hellfire due to their love for me, and others that would hate me until they enter hellfire due to their hatred of me.”
Al-Sunnah by Ibn Abi Asim (983)
40- “Two groups of people, in relation to me, will be destroyed: an excessive lover and an excessive hater.”
Al-Sunnah by Ibn Abi Asim (984)
41- “There are three types of judges: Two in Hellfire and one in Heaven. The judges in hellfire are a deliberately unfair judge and a judge who sought justice but brought error. The other is one who wants justice and attains it, and he is in Heaven.” When asked about the type that intended justice but erred, he replied: “One who does not know how to judge should not be a judge.”
Al-Musannaf by Ibn Abi Shayba (22963)
42- He said to Abu Musa before the arbitration, “Make your ruling, even (if you decide) upon striking my neck.”
Ibn Abi Shayba in Al-Musannaf (37853)
The Merits of the Companions
43- “I was told that some people prefer me over Abu Bakr and Omar! If I had went ahead (in giving a warning) I would have punished, but I dislike punishing without precaution. Whoever says something like this is a slanderer, and upon him is what is upon a slanderer (in punishment). The best of people is the messenger of Allah – peace be upon him – , then after the messenger of Allah – peace be upon him – come Abu Bakr and Omar. We have acted upon matters in which Allah will judge as He wishes.”
Al-Sunnah by Ibn Abi Asim (993)
44- When asked about his rank among the Companions of the Prophet – peace be upon him – , he replied, “I am but a man from among the Muslims.”
Saheeh Al-Bukhari (3671)
45- “May Allah have mercy upon Abu Bakr, for he was the first to gather (the Qur’an) that which is between the two covers.”
Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba (35751)
46- “We would not feel that it was improbable that serenity spoke upon the tongue of Omar.”
Al-Ma’rifa by Ya’qoub bin Sufyan 1/461
47- At the funeral of Omar he said, “After you, there is nobody that I would rather meet my Lord with his deeds than you. By Allah, I felt that He would place you with your companions, for I would always hear from the prophet of Allah – peace be upon him – saying, ‘Abu Bakr, Omar, and I went… Abu Bakr, Omar, and I entered… Abu Bakr, Omar, and I left…”
Al-Bukhari (3677, 3685)
48- At the first night of Ramadan, Ali bin Abi Talib came out to find the lanterns twinkling and the Qur’an being recited in the mosques. He then said: “May Allah enlighten your grave o’ Omar bin Al-Khattab just as you have enlightened the mosques of Allah.”
Al-Mawsu’ah by Ibn Abi Al Dunyah 1/ 369
49- “O’ people, do not be extreme (in your views) about Uthman. Do not say but good in the masahif and the burning of the masahif. He did not do what he did with a large number of us… If I was in his position, I would have done the same.”
Ibn Abi Dawud in Al-Masahif p. 28-29
50- Upon hearing that the army of A’isha was cursing the killers of Uthman, he raised he hands to the level of his face, and said, “And I curse the killers of Uthman, may Allah damn them in the valleys and in the mountains.”
Musnad Ahmad (733)
51- On the day of Siffeen, an enemy shouted, “Vengeance for Uthman!” Ali bin Abi Talib replied, “O’ Allah, cause the killers of Uthman to plunge onto their nostrils.”
Ibn Shibbah in Akhbar Al-Madinah 2/275
52- On the day of the death of Abdul-Rahman bin Awf, he said, “Go on Ibn Awf, for you have witnessed the pure spring and you have left before arriving the dirty pond.”
Ibn Sa’ad in Al-Tabaqat 3/135
Imam Ali Quotes and Sermons during his Rule
53- Ali bin Abi Talib said about the Khawarij, “I shall not fight he who does not fight me.” Then Ali said: “They have three rights. Do not prevent them from entering the mosques lest they remember Allah. Do not deprive them from booty as long as their hands are with ours. Do not fight them until they fight us.”
Al-Amwal by Abu Ubayd (567)
54- When Al-Hasan bin Ali bin Abi Talib spoke to his father about the internal wars and struggles, Ali responded, “As for your advice about going to Makkah, I would not be the man that is the cause of the forbidden land to become halal (due to bloodshed). As for what you said about the siege on Uthman, what is it a sin upon me when it was between the people and Uthman? And as for your advice about withdrawing away from the people of Iraq, then by Allah I am not one like a hyena that is entice with the sounds of stones.”
Ibn Shibbah’s Tareekh Al-Madinah 2/272
55- After the battle of Al-Jamal, he said, “Do not kill one who flees and do not finish off those that are injured. Whoever closes his door is safe and whoever tosses his weaponry is safe.”
Sunan Sa’eed bin Mansoor 2/337
56- “This nation has killed the best person from among it. We have marched to Al-Basra, a people that have pledged to us, and we have attained victory due to their submission, and you shall march to Al-Sham, a people that have not pledged to you, so look onto where you place your weapons.”
Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba (37784)
57- During the battle with the Khawarij, he said, “O’ people, if you are fighting for me, then I do not have anything to tell you, but if you are fighting for Allah, then do not fight in this manner.” They then attained victory and obliterated the Khawarij.
Musnad Ishaq bin Rahawaih via Al-Matalib Al-A’liya (4439)
58- In response to Al-Khawarij who said, “No rule but the rule of Allah,” Ali bin Abi Talib commented, “A statement of truth that is used to seek falsehood.”
Saheeh Muslim (1066)
59- Ali bin Abi Talib said in a sermon condemning his followers, “O’ Allah I am sick of them and they are sick of me, I have grown restless from them and they have grown restless from me, so give me peace from them and give them peace from me, and what prevents the worst of them from soaking it with blood?!” He then grabbed his beard.
Musannaf Abdul-Razzaq (18670)
60- Ali bin Abi Talib said in a sermon, “I was told that Busr has arrived at Yemen, and by Allah, I believe that those people will overtake you. They will not overtake you except by your disobedience to your Imam and their obedience to their Imam; your treachery and their trust, your destruction upon your land and their restoration. I sent a man and he betrayed, and I sent another and he betrayed, and he brought the money to Mu’awiyah. If I were to trust one of you people with a cup, you would take the handle. O’ Allah, I am sick of them and they are sick of me, I despise them and they despise me, so give me peace from them and give them peace from me.”
Tareekh Dimashq by Ibn Asakir 42/535
61- A man from the Khawarij said to Ali bin Abi Talib, “Fear Allah, for you will die.” He replied, “Rather, I will be killed, a strike on this (head) will soak this (beard), a fulfilled pact and an ordained destiny, and those who state falsehood will fail.”
Musnad Ahmad (703)
62- When warned of those that want to kill him, he responded, “With each man are two angels that protect him from what was not destined upon him, though if destiny came, they leave it between him and it, for death is a heavenly fortress.”
Ibn Sa’ad in Al-Tabaqaat 3/34
63- After Ibn Muljim’s attack, Ali bin Abi Talib said, “He is a prisoner of war so treat him well in his stay. If I survive, it is up to me if I choose to kill him or to pardon him, and if I die, then kill him in the way I was killed without transgressing, for Allah does not love the oppressors.”
Ibn Sa’ad in Al-Tabaqaat 3/35
64- After Ibn Muljim’s attack, Ali bin Abi Talib said, “Feed him what I am fed and provide him the drinks that I was provided with. If I live, I will consider, and if I die, then strike him once without addition.”
Ibn Abi Al-Dunya’s Mawsoo’ah 8/361
About Early Nations and the End of Times
65- “Ibrahim – peace be onto him – came from Armenia and with him was the serenity that led him until he reach the Ka’aba in the same way a spider enters its abode. They (Ibrahim and Isma’eel) lifted stones that couldn’t be lifted by thirty men.”
Akhbar Makkah by Al-Azraqi 1/110
66- When asked about Thu Al-Qarnain, he replied, “He was not a prophet, nor a king, but a slave that would seek the guidance of Allah and thus received it. He called his people to Allah and was struck on the right qarn (side of his head) and died. He was raised by Allah. He then called his people to Allah and was struck on the left qarn and died. He was raised by Allah. He was then called Thu Al-Qarnain.”
Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba (31914)
67- “Allah the Almighty tested this nation with five trials, a common trial, then a private one, then a common trial, then a private one, then a black and dark trial where people turn into animals”.
Al Ma’rifah wal Tarikh by Ya’qoub (3/220)
68- “Islam will diminish until no one says: ‘Allah, Allah.’ Once this happen, the master of this religion will remain steadfast. When he does so, some people with join him and gather around him like clouds. By Allah, I know the name of their leader and the destination of their caravans”.
Al Musanaf by Abi Shaybah (7/ 452 – 37153)
69- “You are shrouded by a dark and blind trial that none will be saved from it but al-nuwamma.” He was asked, “O’ Aba Al-Hasan, and what is al-nuwamma?” He said, “It is he who does not let the people know what is within himself.”
Al Mawsu’ah by Ibn Abi Al-Dunya 3/ 545
70- “Circle the Ka’aba excessively, for the day in which a bald man with small ears and bony legs that will destroy it with a shovel is approaching.”
Al-Fitan by Nu’aym bin Hammad (1874)
Quotes From Wikiquote
- The best companion and helper is admirable morals.
- Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol. 77, p. 149
- There are so many highly esteemed ones who became miserable and humiliated just because of their bad temper and morals; and humble people who have attained eminence and the highest honors because of good temper and morals.
- Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol. 71, p. 396
- The weakest man is the one who is able to correct his moral defects, but doesn’t take action.
- Husayn al-Nuri al-Tabarsi, Mustadrak al-Wasā’il, vol. 11, p. 324
- He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, while he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.
- As quoted in “Considerations By the Way” in Conduct of Life by Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Variant translation: Believe me, a thousand friends suffice thee not; In a single enemy thou hast more than enough
- Two things cause people to be destroyed: fear of poverty and seeking superiority through pride.
- Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol. 72, p. 39
Translations by Askari Jafri
- Submission to Allah’s Will is the best companion; wisdom is the noblest heritage; theoretical and practical knowledge are the best signs of distinction; deep thinking will present the clearest picture of every problem.
- The mind of a wise man is the safest custody of secrets; cheerfulness is the key to friendship; patience and forbearance will conceal many defects.
- A conceited and self-admiring person is disliked by others; charity and alms are the best remedy for ailments and calamities; one has to account in the next world for the deeds that he has done in this world.
- If you overpower your enemy, then pardon him by way of thankfulness to Allah, for being able to subdue him.
- Unfortunate is he who cannot gain a few sincere friends during his life and more unfortunate is the one who has gained them and then lost them (through his deeds).
- When some blessings come to you, do not drive them away through thanklessness.
- He who is deserted by friends and relatives will often find help and sympathy from strangers.
- One who rushes madly after inordinate desire, runs the risk of encountering destruction and death.
- Often your utterances and expressions of your face leak out the secrets of your hidden thoughts.
- Hearts of people are like wild beasts. They attach themselves to those who love and train them.
- So long as fortune is favouring you, your defects will remain covered.
- Only he who has the power to punish can pardon.
- Generosity is to help a deserving person without his request, and if you help him after his request, then it is either out of self-respect or to avoid rebuke.
- There is no greater wealth than wisdom, no greater poverty than ignorance; no greater heritage than culture and no greater support than consultation.
- Patience is of two kinds: patience over what pains you, and patience against what you covet.
- Wealth converts a strange land into homeland and poverty turns a native place into a strange land.
- Contentment is the capital which will never diminish.
- Wealth is the fountain head of passions.
- Whoever warns you against sins and vices is like the one who gives you good tidings.
- Tongue is a beast, if it is let loose, it devours.
- O son of Adam, when you see that your Lord, the Glorified, bestows His Favors on you while you disobey Him, you should fear Him (take warning that His Wrath may not turn those very blessings into misfortunes).
- There are four causes of infidelity and loss of belief in Allah: hankering after whims, a passion to dispute every argument, deviation from truth; and dissension, because whoever hankers after whims does not incline towards truth; whoever keeps on disputing every argument on account of his ignorance, will always remain blind to truth, whoever deviates from truth because of ignorance, will always take good for evil and evil for good and he will always remain intoxicated with misguidance. And whoever makes a breach (with Allah and His Messenger) his path becomes difficult, his affairs will become complicated and his way to salvation will be uncertain.
Similarly, doubt has also four aspects absurd reasoning; fear; vacillation and hesitation; and unreasonable surrender to infidelity, because one who has accustomed himself to unreasonable and absurd discussions will never see the Light of Truth and will always live in the darkness of ignorance. One who is afraid to face facts (of life, death and the life after death) will always turn away from ultimate reality, one who allows doubts and uncertainties to vacillate him will always be under the control of Satan and one who surrenders himself to infidelity accepts damnation in both the worlds.
- A virtuous person is better than virtue and a vicious person is worse than vice.
- Recommended prayers cannot attain the pleasures of Allah for you when obligatory prayers are left unattended.
- Value of a man depends upon his courage; his veracity depends upon his self-respect and his chastity depends upon his sense of honor.
- Every breath you take is a step towards death.
- Like your body your mind also gets tired so refresh it by wise sayings.
- Whenever a tradition of the Holy Prophet is related to you, scrutinize it, do not be satisfied with mere verbatim repetition of the same because there are many people who repeat the words containing knowledge but only few ponder over them and try to fully grasp the meaning they convey.
- Anyone who loves us Ahlul Bayt must be ready to face a life of austerity.
- A friend cannot be considered a friend unless he is tested on three occasions: in time of need, behind your back and after your death.
- There is enough light for one who wants to see.
- It is wiser to abstain than to repent.
- Obstinacy will prevent you from a correct decision.
- If two opposite theories are propagated one will be wrong.
- When truth was revealed to me I never doubted it.
- Death is never very far.
- One who forsakes truth earns eternal damnation.
- O son of Adam, if you have collected anything in excess of your actual need, you will act only as its trustee for someone else to use it.
- There are people who worship Allah to gain His Favors, this is the worship of traders; while there are some who worship Him to keep themselves free from His Wrath, this is the worship of slaves; a few who obey Him out’ of their sense of gratitude and obligations, this is the worship of free and noble men.
- Through us you got guidance in the darkness and secured high position, and through us you got out of the gloomy night. The ears which do not listen to the cries may become deaf. How can one who remained deaf to the loud cries (of the Qur’an and the Prophet) listen to (my) feeble voice. The heart that has ever palpitated (with fear of Allah) may get peace.
- So now, surely this world has turned its back and announced its departure while the next world has appeared forward and proclaimed its approach. Today is the day of preparation while tomorrow is the day of race. The place to proceed to is Paradise while the place of doom is Hell. Is there no one to offer repentance over his faults before his death? Or is there no one to perform virtuous acts before the day of trial?
- O’ my Allah! Sustainer of the high sky and the suspended firmament which Thou hast made a shelter for the night and the day, an orbit for the sun and the moon and a path for the rotating stars, and for populating it Thou hast created a group of Thy angels who do not get weary of worshipping Thee. O’ Sustainer of this earth which Thou hast made an abode for people and a place for the movement of insects and beasts and countless other creatures seen and unseen. O’ Sustainer of strong mountains which Thou hast made as pegs for the earth and (a means of) support for people. If Thou givest us victory over our enemy, save us from excesses and keep us on the straight path of truth. But if Thou givest them victory over us, then grant us martyrdom and save us from mischief.
- Where are those who protect honour, and those self-respecting persons who defend respectable persons in the time of hardship? Shame is behind you while Paradise is in front of you.
- Allah seeks you to thank Him and assigns to you His affairs. He has allowed time in the limited field (of life) so that you may vie with each other in seeking the reward (of Paradise). Therefore, tight up your girdles and wrap up the skirts. High courage and dinners do not go together. Sleep causes weakness in the big affairs of the day and (its) darkness obliterates the memories of courage.
- During civil disturbance adopt such an attitude that people do not attach any importance to you — they neither burden you with complicated affairs, nor try to derive any advantage out of you.
- He who is deserted by friends and relatives will often find help and sympathy from strangers.
- Every person who is tempted to go astray, does not deserve punishment.
- Our affairs are attached to the destiny decreed by Allah, even our best plans may lead us to destruction.
- Failures are often the results of timidity and fears; disappointments are the results of bashfulness; hours of leisure pass away like summer-clouds, therefore, do not waste opportunity of doing good.
- When Imam Ali was asked about Faith in Religion, he replied that the structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad.
- Endurance is composed of four attributes: eagerness, fear, piety and anticipation (of death). so whoever is eager for Paradise will ignore temptations; whoever fears the fire of Hell will abstain from sins; whoever practices piety will easily bear the difficulties of life and whoever anticipates death will hasten towards good deeds.
Conviction has also four aspects to guard oneself against infatuations of sin; to search for explanation of truth through knowledge; to gain lessons from instructive things and to follow the precedent of the past people, because whoever wants to guard himself against vices and sins will have to search for the true causes of infatuation and the true ways of combating them out and to find those true ways one has to search them with the help of knowledge, whoever gets fully acquainted with various branches of knowledge will take lessons from life and whoever tries to take lessons from life is actually engaged in the study of the causes of rise and fall of previous civilizations.
Justice also has four aspects depth of understanding, profoundness of knowledge, fairness of judgment and dearness of mind; because whoever tries his best to understand a problem will have to study it, whoever has the practice of studying the subject he is to deal with, will develop a clear mind and will always come to correct decisions, whoever tries to achieve all this will have to develop ample patience and forbearance and whoever does this has done justice to the cause of religion and has led a life of good repute and fame.
Jihad is divided into four branches: to persuade people to be obedient to Allah; to prohibit them from sin and vice; to struggle (in the cause of Allah) sincerely and firmly on all occasions and to detest the vicious. Whoever persuades people to obey the orders of Allah provides strength to the believers; whoever dissuades them from vices and sins humiliates the unbelievers; whoever struggles on all occasions discharges all his obligations and whoever detests the vicious only for the sake of Allah, then Allah will take revenge on his enemies and will be pleased with Him on the Day of Judgment.
- A wise man first thinks and then speaks and a fool speaks first and then thinks.
- A fool’s mind is at the mercy of his tongue and a wise man’s tongue is under the control of his mind.
- Lack of friends means, stranger in one’s own country.
- Not to have a thing is less humiliating than to beg it.
- Do not feel ashamed if the amount of charity is small because to refuse the needy is an act of greater shame.
- To refrain from unlawful and impious source of pleasures is an ornament to the poor and to be thankful for the riches granted is the adornment of wealth.
- If you cannot get things as much as you desire than be contented with what you have.
- An ignorant person will always overdo a thing or neglect it totally.
- The wiser a man is, the less talkative will he be.
- Time wears out bodies, renews hopes, brings death nearer and takes away aspirations. Whoever gets anything from the world lives in anxiety for holding it and whoever loses anything passes his days grieving over the loss.
- Whoever wants to be a leader should educate himself before educating others. Before preaching to others he should first practice himself. Whoever educates himself and improves his own morals is superior to the man who tries to teach and train others.
- Anything which can be counted is finite and will come to an end.
- If matters get mixed up then scrutinize the cause and you will know what the effects will be.
- A man sarcastically started praising Imam Ali, though he had no faith in him and Imam Ali hearing these praises from him said “I am less than what you tell about me but more than what you think about me.”
- Those who have come alive out of a blood-bath live longer and have more children.
- One who imagines himself to be all-knowing will surely suffer on account of his ignorance.
- I appreciate an old man’s cautious opinion more than the valor of a young man.
- I wonder at a man who loses hope of salvation when the door of repentance is open for him.
- Nawf bin Fizala Bakali, the famous scholar of the early Islamic days says that one night he was with Imam Ali. In the middle of the night, Imam Ali got up from his bed, looked for sometime at the stars and inquired of Nawf whether he was awake. Nawf said: “I got from my bed replying, “Yes, Amirul Mo’minin (Commander of the Faithful) ! I am awake”.
- Imam Ali said Nawf! Those are the fortunate people who adopt piety as the principle of their lives and are fully attentive to their welfare for the Hereafter. They accept bare earth as the most comfortable bed and water as the most pleasant drink. They adopt the Holy Qur’an and prayers as their guide and protector and like Prophet Jesus Christ (Isa) they forsake the world and its vicious pleasure.
- Nawf! Prophet David (Daud) once got up at such an hour in the night and said this was the hour when prayers of everyone who prayed were accepted except of those who forcibly collected revenues or who were scandal- mongers or were persons in the police force of a despotic regime or were musicians”.
- I define Islam for you in a way that nobody dared do it before me. Islam means obedience to Allah, obedience to Allah means having sincere faith in Him, such a faith means to believe in His Power, belief in His Power means recognizing and accepting His Majesty, acceptance of His Majesty means fulfilling the obligations laid down by Him and fulfillment of obligations means actions (Therefore, Islam does not mean mere faith, but faith plus deeds).
- If you understand Allah’s Majesty, then you will not attach any importance to the creatures.
- If you want to pray to Allah for better means of subsistence, then first give something in charity
- When someone is sure of the returns, then he shows generosity.
- Aid (from Allah) is in proportion to the trouble.
- He who practices moderation and frugality will never be threatened with poverty.
- One of the conveniences in life is to have less children.
- Loving one another is half of wisdom.
- Grief is half of old age.
- Grant of patience (from Allah) is in proportion to the extent of calamity you are passing through. If you exhibit fretfulness, irritation, and despair in calamities, then your patience and your exertions are wasted.
- Many persons get nothing out of their fasts but hunger and thirst, many more get nothing out of their night prayers but exertions and sleepless nights. Wise and sagacious persons are praiseworthy even if they do not fast and sleep during the nights.
- Defend your faith (in Allah) with the help of charity. Protect your wealth with the aid of Zakat. Let the prayers guard you from calamities and disasters.
- The first fruit of forbearance is that people will sympathize with you and they will go against the man who offended you arrogantly.
- One who takes account of his shortcomings will always gain by it; one who is unmindful of them will always suffer. One who is afraid of the Day of Judgment, is safe from the Wrath of Allah. One who takes lessons from the events of life, gets vision, one who acquires vision becomes wise and one who attains wisdom achieves knowledge.
- Bear sorrows and calamities patiently, otherwise you will never be happy.
- One who comes into power often oppresses.
- Adversities often bring good qualities to the front.
- If a friend envies you, then he is not a true friend.
- Avarice dulls the faculties of judgment and wisdom.
- Oppression and tyranny are the worse companions for the Hereafter.
- The best deed of a great man is to forgive and forget.
- Silence will create respect and dignity; justice and fairplay will bring more friends; benevolence and charity will enhance prestige and position; courtesy will draw benevolence; service of mankind will secure leadership and good words will overcome powerful enemies.
- A greedy man will always find himself in the shackles of humility.
- Remember that this world which you covet so ardently and attempt to acquire so earnestly, and which sometimes annoys you and sometimes pleases you so much, is neither your home nor a permanent destination. You have not been created for it, nor invited to it as your resting-place. It shall neither remain with you for ever, nor will you remain in it eternally. If it has enticed you away with its charrns, it has also warned and cautioned you of real dangers lurking in its folds. Take account of the warnings it has given you and do not be seduced or deceived by its allurements. Let these warnings frighten you from being too greedy to possess it. Try to advance towards the place where you are invited for eternal bliss and turn your face away from the vicious world.
- Beware! By Allah the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr) dressed himself with it (the caliphate) and he certainly knew that my position in relation to it was the same as the position of the axis in relation to the hand-mill. The flood water flows down from me and the bird cannot fly upto me. I put a curtain against the caliphate and kept myself detached from it.
Then I began to think whether I should assault or endure calmly the blinding darkness of tribulations wherein the grown up are made feeble and the young grow old and the true believer acts under strain till he meets Allah (on his death). I found that endurance thereon was wiser. So I adopted patience although there was pricking in the eye and suffocation (of mortification) in the throat. I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one went his way but handed over the Caliphate to Ibn al-Khattab after himself.
(Then he quoted al-A`sha’s verse):
My days are now passed on the camel’s back (in difficulty) while there were days (of ease) when I enjoyed the company of Jabir’s brother Hayyan.
It is strange that during his lifetime he wished to be released from the caliphate but he confirmed it for the other one after his death. No doubt these two shared its udders strictly among themselves. This one put the Caliphate in a tough enclosure where the utterance was haughty and the touch was rough. Mistakes were in plenty and so also the excuses therefore. One in contact with it was like the rider of an unruly camel. If he pulled up its rein the very nostril would be slit, but if he let it loose he would be thrown. Consequently, by Allah people got involved in recklessness, wickedness, unsteadiness and deviation.
Nevertheless, I remained patient despite length of period and stiffness of trial, till when he went his way (of death) he put the matter (of Caliphate) in a group and regarded me to be one of them. But good Heavens! what had I to do with this “consultation”? Where was any doubt about me with regard to the first of them that I was now considered akin to these ones? But I remained low when they were low and flew high when they flew high. One of them turned against me because of his hatred and the other got inclined the other way due to his in-law relationship and this thing and that thing, till the third man of these people stood up with heaving breasts between his dung and fodder. With him his children of his grand-father, (Umayyah) also stood up swallowing up Allah’s wealth like a camel devouring the foliage of spring, till his rope broke down, his actions finished him and his gluttony brought him down prostrate.
At that moment, nothing took me by surprise, but the crowd of people rushing to me. It advanced towards me from every side like the mane of the hyena so much so that Hasan and Husayn were getting crushed and both the ends of my shoulder garment were torn. They collected around me like the herd of sheep and goats. When I took up the reins of government one party broke away and another turned disobedient while the rest began acting wrongfully as if they had not heard the word of Allah saying:
That abode in the hereafter, We assign it for those who intend not to exult themselves in the earth, nor (to make) mischief (therein); and the end is (best) for the pious ones. (Qur’an, 28:83)
Yes, by Allah, they had heard it and understood it but the world appeared glittering in their eyes and its embellishments seduced them. Behold, by Him who split the grain (to grow) and created living beings, if people had not come to me and supporters had not exhausted the argument and if there had been no pledge of Allah with the learned to the effect that they should not acquiesce in the gluttony of the oppressor and the hunger of the oppressed I would have cast the rope of Caliphate on its own shoulders, and would have given the last one the same treatment as to the first one. Then you would have seen that in my view this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat.
- Known as the Sermon of ash-Shiqshiqiyyah (roar of the camel), It is said that when Amir al-mu’minin reached here in his sermon a man of Iraq stood up and handed him over a writing. Amir al-mu’minin began looking at it, when Ibn `Abbas said, “O’ Amir al-mu’minin, I wish you resumed your Sermon from where you broke it.” Thereupon he replied, “O’ Ibn `Abbas it was like the foam of a Camel which gushed out but subsided.” Ibn `Abbas says that he never grieved over any utterance as he did over this one because Amir al-mu’minin could not finish it as he wished to.
Letter 53: An order to Malik Al-Ashtar
- These are the orders issued by the creature of Allah, Ali, the son Abu Taalib to Maalik, the son of Ashtar when he appointed Maalik as the Governor of Egypt to collect zakat there, to combat the enemies of Islam and Egypt, to work for the welfare of its people and to look after its prosperity.
- Do not feel ashamed to forgive and forget.
- Do not hurry over punishments and do not be pleased and do not be proud of your power to punish.
- Do not get angry and lose your temper quickly over the mistakes and failures of those over whom you rule. On the contrary, be patient and sympathetic with them.
- Anger and desire of vengeance are not going to be of much help to you in your administration.
- Never say to yourself, “I am their Lord, their ruler and all in all over them and that I must be obeyed submissively and humbly” because such a thought will unbalance your mind, will make you vain and arrogant, will weaken your faith in religion and will make you seek support of any power other than that of Allah.
- If you ever feel any pride or vanity on account of your sway and rule over your subjects then think of the supreme sway and rule of the Lord over the Universe, the extent of His creations, the supremacy of His Might and Glory, His Power to do things which you cannot even dream of doing and His control over you which is more dominating than that which you can ever achieve over anything around you. Such thoughts will cure your mental weakness, will keep you away from vanity and rebellion (against Allah), will reduce your arrogance and haughtiness and will take you back to the sanity which you had foolishly deserted… Try carefully to realize that a ruler can create goodwill in the minds of his subjects and can make them faithful and sincere to him only when he is kind and considerate to them, when he reduces their troubles, when he does not oppress them and when he never asks for things which are beyond their power. These are the principles which you should keep in mind and act upon”.
- Maalik! You must create in your mind kindness, compassion and love for your subjects. Do not behave towards them as if you are a voracious and ravenous beast and as if your success lies in devouring them.
Remember, Maalik, that amongst your subjects there are two kinds of people: those who have the same religion as you have; they are brothers to you, and those who have religions other than that of yours, they are human beings like you. Men of either category suffer from the same weaknesses and disabilities that human beings are inclined to, they commit sins, indulge in vices either intentionally or foolishly and unintentionally without realizing the enormity of their deeds. Let your mercy and compassion come to their rescue and help in the same way and to the same extent that you expect Allah to show mercy and forgiveness to you.
- Variant translation:
- Awaken your heart to kindness and mercy for the people and love and tenderness for them. Never, never act with them like a predatory beast which seeks to be satiated by devouring them, for the people fall into two categories: they are either your brethren in faith or your kindred in creation.
- Variant translation:
Regarding Knowledge & Wisdom
- There is no capital more useful than intellect and wisdom, and there is no indigence more injurious than ignorance and unawareness.
- Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, p. 198
- Variant translation: There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance
- There is no knowledge and science like pondering and thought; and there is no prosperity and advancement like knowledge and science.
- Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol. 1, p. 179
- Associating with the wise and the knowledgeable people adds to the prestige of a person.
- Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol. 78, p. 6
- An alert and learned man will take advice from any event.
- Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol. 1, p. 160
- There are three signs of a knowledgeable person: knowledge, forbearance and silence.
- Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol. 2, p. 59
- Books are the gardens of scholars.
- Abdul Vahed Tamimi, Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim, p. 245
- When wisdom reaches the pinnacle of perfection, it will suppress the vicious instincts and injurious desires.
- Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol. 78, p. 6
- To whatever extent a person’s knowledge increases, his attention will be turned more towards his soul.
- Husayn al-Nuri al-Tabarsi, Mustadrak al-Wasā’il, vol. 11, p. 323
- Allah, the Exalted, gave the angels intellect without desires, He gave the animals desires without intellect, and He gave both to the sons of Adam. So a man whose intellect prevails over his desires is better than the angels, whilst a man whose desire prevails over his intellect is worse than the animals.
- Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol. 60, p. 299, no.5
Regarding the Qur’an
- Recitation of the Qur’an without contemplation and thought is futile.
- Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol. 92, p. 211
- Reciter and listener of the Qur’an are alike in prize and reward.
- Husayn al-Nuri al-Tabarsi, Mustadrak al-Wasā’il, vol. 4, p. 261
- Understanding the knowledge and wisdom of the Qur’an is by far, higher than memorizing.
- Muhammad Kulayni, Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 418
- The one from among the Muslims who recites the Qur’an but in the end finds his way to hell, is considerd to be among those that have taken the word of Allah in jest.
- Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol. 92, p. 182.
Quotes about Ali
- The character of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.)(Ali bin Abu-Talib) was exceptional from birth to martyrdom. He was born inside the Ka’bah – which was unparalleled before his birth and remained unparalleled thereafter. And he was martyred while he was praying in the mosque. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) spent all the time between these two points in jihad, patience for the sake of God, acquiring knowledge and insight, and moving on the path of divine satisfaction. Early in his childhood, the hand of divine acumen gave Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was only six years old when the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) brought him to his own house from the house of Abi Talib. The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was educated by the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.).
- Ali Khamenei, in “Supreme Leader’s Speech to People of Bushehr” (26 June 2010)
- Ali is acclaimed as the “Father of Sufism”. Most of the Sufi orders claim their descent from Ali. According to Ali Hajjweri, the rank of Ali is very high in the line up of Sufism. According to Junayd of Baghdad, Ali is the Shaykh as regards the principles and practices of Sufism. … The roots of Sufism lie embedded in Islam itself. There are numerous passages in the Holy Quran which are of a mystical character. The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be on him) himself displayed mystical inclinations and he very often retired to the cave of Hirah for the purpose of devotions, meditation and contemplation. The Holy Prophet was recipient of two types of revelations, one embodied in the Holy Quran, and the other that illuminated his heart. The former was meant for all, the latter for a selected few whose hearts could be illuminated with the Divine Light. The knowledge of the Holy Prophet was thus book knowledge (ilm-i-Safina), and heart knowledge (ilm-i-Sina). Ali got this heart knowledge from the Holy Prophet.
- Khalifa Ali bin Talib, in “Ali, The Father of Sufism”, at Witness-Pioneer International
- The most complete gift of God is a life based on knowledge.
- The innumerable fools have made the learned very scarce.
- The learned man understands the ignorant for he was once ignorant for he was once ignorant himself.
- The ignorant man does not understand the learned for he has never been learned himself.
- Knowledge gives life to the soul.
- To respect the learned is to respect God.
- Knowledge creates fear of God.
- Practice makes knowledge perfect.
- To teach is to learn.
- Honesty is Divine language.
- To fulfill promises is the highest form of integrity.
- Truth means conformity of speech with the Divine mode of working.
- Friendship is impossible with a liar.
- Misrepresentation spoils narration.
- Lying spoils news.
- Enemity is the occupation of fools.
- One’s obedience to God is proportionate to one’s wisdom.
- To fight against one’s own desires is highest wisdom.
- The wise aim at perfection.
- The foolish aim at wealth.
- To separate oneself from things of time and to connect oneself with things of eternity is highest wisdom.
- He is really wise whose actions reflect his words.
- Humility is the product of knowledge.
- Self-conceit poisons the mind.
- Self-conceit impedes progress.
- Pride mars greatness.
- Humility is one of the nets spread by real greatness.
- Boasting issues from small minds.
- As quoted in Du’a Kumayl trans. N. Husayn Mardi, Chehel Sotoon Theological School: Iran, 1989.
- Do not share the knowledge with which you have been blessed with everyone in general, as you do with some people in particular; and know that there are some men in whom Allah, may He he glorified, has placed hidden secrets, which they are forbidden to reveal. Remember the reply of the righteous slave to Moses when he said to him: ‘May I follow you so that you can teach me what you know about what is right?’ He replied: ‘Surely you will not be able to be patient with me. How can you be patient about something which you do not understand?’.
- When a dead person is placed in his grave, four kinds of fire will cover him, but then the prayer will come and put one of them out, and the fast will come and put another one of them out, and then charity will come and put another one out, and knowledge will come and put the forth one out, and it will say : ‘ If I had come sooner, I would a have put all of them out, and given you delight for I am with you now, and you’ll not see anything else distressing.
- A person’s intellect becomes apparent through his dealings, and a man’s character is known by the way he exercises authority.
The intellect is a king and characteristics are its subjects, so if it is weak in governing them, disorder takes place.
The intellect is better than desire, for the intellect makes you a king over your destiny, and desire makes you a slave of your destiny.
The intellect is a natural disposition which learns from experience.
The intellect is what arrives at what is correct through reasoning, and recognizes what has not yet happened through what has already taken place.
Use your intellect to understand something when you hear about it-the intellect that examines, that is, and not just the intellect that repeats what it hears, for surely there are many who repeat the knowledge that they hear, and there are few who examine it.
The one who has an intellect longs to be like the righteous people so that he can be of one of them, and he loves them so that he can be united with them in his love, even if he falls short in emulating their actions.
The one who has an intellect does not openly display it except in one of two situations: when he is furthest away from seeking something in the world, and when he is furthest away from abandoning it.
Surely hated adversity has final objectives in which it will inevitably end, so the one who has an intellect should try to sleep over it until this happens, for surely any attempt to stop it before it has come to an end will only intensify that hated diversity even more.
The first opinion of the person of intellect is the last opinion of an ignorant person.
The one who has an intellect finds harshness of life amongst persons of intellect more agreeable than a life of ease amongst the foolish.
- As quoted in The Sayings and Wisdom of Imam Ali, The Muhammadi Trust