10 pearls of wisdom by Ali ibn Abi Talib


10 pearls of wisdom by Ali ibn Abi Talib

Great sayings from the Holy Prophet’s dearest of companions


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Great sayings from the Holy Prophet’s dearest of companions

From the many companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammed, one of his closest is undoubtedly his cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib. The Prophet is reported to have said: “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate; therefore, whoever wants the city should enter through the gate.”

Historically it was on this night, the 19th night of Ramadan, that Imam Ali was struck on the head by the poisoned sword of a Kharijite assassin by the name of Abd al-Rahman ibn Muljim in the mosque of Kufa whilst he was prostrating to Allah. Ali ibn Abi Talib would spend the next two days bed-ridden, however passed away two days later, succumbing to the head injuries.

Here are small snippets of wisdom by Ali ibn Abi Talib, which are all enriched with deep knowledge of human beings, their flaws and their motivations:

1 –  فَاعِلُ الْخَيْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنْهُ، وَفَاعِلُ الشَّرِّ شَرٌّ مِنْهُ

“The doer of good is better than the good itself, and the doer of evil is worse than the evil itself”

2 – أَزْرَى بِنَفْسِهِ مَنِ اسْتَشْعَرَ الطَّمَعَ وَ رَضِيَ بِالذُّلِّ مَنْ كَشَفَ عَنْ ضُرِّهِ وَ هَانَتْ عَلَيْهِ نَفْسُهُ مَنْ أَمَّرَ عَلَيْهَا لِسَانَهُ

“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.”

3 – الصَّدَقَةُ دَوَاءٌ مُنْجِحٌ، وَأَعْمَالُ الْعِبَادِ فِي عَاجِلِهِمْ، نُصْبُ أَعْيُنِهِمْ فِي آجِلِهِمْ

“Charity is an effective cure, and the actions of people in their present life will be before their eyes in the next life.”

4 – إِذَا وَصَلَتْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَطْرَافُ النِّعَمِ فَلَا تُنَفِّرُوا أَقْصَاهَا بِقِلَّةِ الشُّكْرِ

“When you are bestowed with small favours, do not push them away through lack of gratefulness.”

5 – قُرِنَتِ الْهَيْبَةُ بِالْخَيْبَةِ وَالْحَيَاءُ بِالْحِرْمَانِ وَالْفُرْصَةُ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ السَّحَابِ، فَانْتَهِزُوا فُرَصَ الْخَيْرِ

“The consequence of fear is disappointment and the consequence of bashfulness is frustration. Opportunity passes away like the passing of clouds, so make use of good opportunities.”

6 – مِنْ كَفَّارَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ الْعِظَامِ إِغَاثَةُ الْمَلْهُوفِ، وَالتَّنْفِيسُ عَنِ الْمكْرُوبِ

“Rendering relief to the grief-stricken and providing them with comfort in hardship are among the means of atonement for great sins.”

7 – لِسَانُ الْعَاقِلِ وَرَاءَ قَلْبِهِ، وَقَلْبُ الاْحْمَقِ وَرَاءَ لِسَانِهِ

“The tongue of the wise man is behind his heart, and the heart of the fool is behind his tongue.”

8 – طُوبَى لِمَنْ ذَكَرَ الْمَعَادَ، وَعَمِلَ لِلْحِسَابِ، وَقَنِعَ بِالْكَفَافِ، وَرَضِيَ عَنِ اللهِ

“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 (swt).”

9 – السَّخَاءُ مَا كَانَ ابْتِدَاءً، فَأَمَّا مَا كَانَ عَنْ مَسْأَلَةِ فَحَيَاءٌ وَتَذَمُّمٌ

“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.”

10 – إِذَا حُيِّيْتَ بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيِّ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا، وإِذَا أُسْدِيَتْ إِلَيْكَ يَدٌ فَكَافِئْهَا بِمَا يُرْبِي عَلَيْهَا، وَالْفَضْلُ مَعَ ذلِكَ لِلْبَادِىءِ

“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.”

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