1. 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.
2. He who is greedy is disgraced; he who
discloses his hardship will always be
humiliated; he who has no control over his
tongue will often have to face discomfort.
3. Avarice is disgrace; cowardice is a
defect; poverty often disables an intelligent
man from arguing his case; a poor man is a
stranger in his own town; misfortune and
helplessness are calamities; patience is a kind
of bravery; to sever attachments with the wicked
world is the greatest wealth; piety is the best
weapon of defense.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Man is a wonderful creature; he sees
through the layers of fat (eyes), hears through
a bone (ears) and speaks through a lump of flesh
8. When this world favors somebody, it lends
him the attributes, and surpassing merits of
others and when it turns its face away from him
it snatches away even his own excellences and
9. Live amongst people in such a manner that
if you die they weep over you and if you are
alive they crave for your company.
10. If you overpower your enemy, then pardon
him by way of thankfulness to Allah, for being
able to subdue him.
11. 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).
12. When some blessings come to you, do not
drive them away through thanklessness.
13. He who is deserted by friends and
relatives will often find help and sympathy from
14. Every person who is tempted to go astray
does not deserve punishment.
15. Our affairs are attached to the destiny
decreed by Allah; even our best plans may lead
us to destruction.
16. There is a tradition of the Holy Prophet
"With the help of hair-dye turn old age into
youth so that you do not resemble the Jews".
When Imam Ali was asked to comment on this
tradition, he said that in the early stage of
Islam there were very few Muslims. The Holy
Prophet advised them to look young and energetic
and not to adopt the fashion of the Jews
(priest) having long, white flowing beards. But
the Muslims were not in minority then, theirs
was a strong and powerful State, they could take
up any style they liked.
17. For those who refused to side with any
party, Imam Ali or his enemies, Imam Ali said:
They have forsaken religion and are of no use to
18. One who rushes madly after inordinate
desire, runs the risk of encountering
destruction and death.
19. Overlook and forgive the weaknesses of
the generous people because if they fall down,
Allah will help them.
20. 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.
21. If the right usurped from us is given
back to us we shall take it, otherwise we shall
go on claiming it.
22. If someone's deeds lower his position,
his pedigree cannot elevate it.
23. To render relief to the distressed and to
help the oppressed make amends for great sins.
24. 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).
25. Often your utterances and expressions of
your face leak out the secrets of your hidden
26. When you get ill does not get nervous
about it and try as much as possible to be
27. The best form of devotion to the service
of Allah is not to make a show of it.
28. When you have to depart from this world
and have to meet death (eventually), then why
wish delay (why feel nervous about death).
29. Take warning! He has not exposed so many
of your sinful activities that it appears as if
He has forgiven you (it may be that He has given
you time to repent).
30. 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 htmlects 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 htmlects depth of
understanding, profoundness of knowledge,
fairness of judgment and dearness of mind;
because whoever tries his best to under- stand 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
31. 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
Similarly, doubt has also four htmlects absurd
reason- ing; 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
32. A virtuous person is better then virtue
and a vicious person is worse than vice.
33. Be generous but not extravagant, be
frugal but not miserly.
34. The best kind of wealth is to give up
35. One who says unpleasant things about
others, will himself quickly become a target of
36. One who hopes inordinately, impairs his
37. When Imam Ali, marching at the head of
his army towards Syria, reached Ambar, the
landlords of the place came out to meet him in
zeal of their love, faithfulness and respect, no
sooner had they seen Imam Ali they got down from
their horses and started running in front of
him. Imam Ali asked the reason of their strange
actions. They replied that it was their custom
to show their love and respect in that way. Imam
Ali replied: "By Allah, by your action you do no
good whatsoever to your rulers but you tire
yourself and put yourself in toils in this world
and in trouble in the next. How unfortunate is
that exertion, which brings harm here and in the
Hereafter and how useful is that ease which
keeps you in comfort in this world and away from
the Hell in the next.
38. Imam Ali once said to his son Imam Hasan,
My son, learn four things from me and through
them you will learn four more. If you keep them
in mind your actions will not bring any harm to
you: The greatest wealth is Wisdom; the greatest
poverty is stupidity; the worst unso- ciableness
is that of vanity and self-glorification; and
the best nobility of descent exhibits itself in
politeness and in refinement of manner. The next
four things, my son, are: "Do not make
friendship with a fool because when he will try
to do you good he will do you harm; do not make
a miser your friend because he will run away
from you at the time of your dire need; do not
be friendly with a vicious and wicked person
because he will sell you and your friendship at
the cheapest price and do not make friend of a
liar because like a mirage he will make you
visualize very near the things which lie at a
great distance and will make you see at the
great distance the things which are near to
39. Recommended prayers cannot attain the
pleasures of Allah for you when obligatory
prayers are left unattended.
40. A wise man first thinks and then speaks
and a fool speaks first and then thinks.
41. A fool's mind is at the mercy of his
tongue and a wise man's tongue is under the
control of his mind.
42. One of the companions of Imam fell ill.
Imam Ali called upon him and thus advised him:
"Be thankful to Allah. He has made this illness
a thing to atone your sins because a disease in
itself has nothing to bring reward to anyone, it
merely expiates one's sins and so far as reward
is concerned, one has to earn it with his good
words and good deeds. The Almighty Lord grants
Paradise to his creatures on account of their
piety and noble thoughts".
43. May Allah Bless Kabbab bin Aratt. He
embraced Islam of his own freewill and
immigrated (from Makkah) cheerfully. He lived a
contented life. He bowed happily before the Will
of Allah and he led the life of a mujahid.
44. Blessed is the man who always kept the
life after death in his view, who remembered the
Day of Judgment through all his deeds, who led a
contented life and who was happy with the lot
that Allah had destined for him. 45. If I cut a
faithful Muslim into pieces to make him hate me,
he will not turn into my enemy and if I give all
the wealth of this world to a hypocrite to make
him my friend he will not befriend me. It is so
because the Holy Prophet has said: " O Ali! No
faithful Muslim will ever be your enemy and no
hypocrite will ever be your friend. "
46. The sin which makes you sad and repentant
is more liked by Allah than the good deed which
turns you arrogant.
47. Value of a man depends upon his courage;
his veracity depends upon his self-respect and
his chastity depends upon his sense of honor.
48. Success is the result of foresight and
resolution, foresight depends upon deep thinking
and planning and the most important factor of
planning is to keep your secrets to yourself.
49. Be afraid of a gentleman when he is
hungry, and of a mean person when his stomach is
50. Hearts of people are like wild beasts.
They attach themselves to those who love and
51. So long as fortune is favouring you, your
defects will remain covered.
52. Only he who has the power to punish can
53. 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.
54. There is no greater wealth than wisdom,
no greater poverty than ignorance; no greater
heritage than culture and no greater support
55. Patience is of two kinds: patience over
what pains you, and patience against what you
56. Wealth converts a strange land into
homeland and poverty turns a native place into a
57. Contentment is the capital which will
58. Wealth is the fountain head of passions.
59. Whoever warns you against sins and vices
is like the one who gives you good tidings.
60. Tongue is a beast, if it is let loose, it
61. Woman is a scorpion whose grip is sweet.
62. If you are greeted then return the
greetings more warmly. If you are favoured, then
repay the obligation manifold; but he who takes
the initiative will always excel in merit.
63. The source of success of a claimant is
64. People in this world are like travelers
whose journey is going on though they are
asleep. ( Life's journey is going on though men
may not feel it ).
65. Lack of friends means, stranger in one's
66. Not to have a thing is less humiliating
than to beg it.
67. Do not feel ashamed if the amount of
charity is small because to refuse the needy is
an act of greater shame.
68. 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.
69. If you cannot get things as much as you
desire than be contented with what you have.
70. An ignorant person will always overdo a
thing or neglect it totally.
71. The wiser a man is the less talkative
will he be.
72. Time wears out bodies, renews hopes,
brings death nearer and takes away htmlirations.
Whoever gets anything from the world lives in
anxiety for holding it and whoever loses
anything passes his days grieving over the loss.
73. Whoever wants to be a leader should
educate him 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.
74. Every breath you take is a step towards
75. Anything which can be counted is finite
and will come to an end.
76. If matters get mixed up then scrutinize
the cause and you will know what the effects
77. Zirar bin Zamra Zibabi, known as Zirar
Suda'i, was a companion of Imam Ali. When, after
the martyrdom of Imam Ali, he went to Damascus,
Muawiya called him and asked him to say
something about Imam Ali. Zirar, knowing that
Muawiya hated Imam Ali intensely tried to avoid
this topic, but Muawiya forced him to speak.
Thereupon, Zirar said: "O Amir, I had often seen
Imam Ali in the depth of nights, when people
were either sleeping or engrossed in amusements,
he would be standing in the niche of the Masjid,
with tears in his eyes and he would beseech
Allah to help him maintain a pious, a virtuous
and a noble character and to forsake the world.
He would then address the world, saying 'O
vicious world! Be away from me, why do you come
in front of me like this ? Do you want to allure
me ? Allah forbid that I should be allured and
tempted by you and your pleasures. It is not
possible. Go and try your allurements on
somebody else. I do not desire to own you and do
not want to have you. I have forsaken you
thrice. It is like divorcing a woman thrice
after which act she cannot be taken back as a
wife. The life of pleasures that you offer is of
a very little duration. There is no real
importance in what you offer, the desire of
holding you is an insult and a humiliation to
sober minds. Sad is the plight of those who want
to acquire you. They do not provide for the
Hereafter. They have to pass through a long
journey over a very difficult road towards a sat
destination'. Zirar says that when he stopped,
there were tears in the eyes of Muawiya who
said, 'May peace of Allah be upon Abul Hasan Ali
bin Abi Talib, he was undoubtedly like that. Now
tell me, Zirar! How do you feel his separa-
tion?' Zirar replied, "My sorrow and grief is
like that of woman whose only child has been
murdered in her lap". With this remark Zirar
walked out of the court of Muawiya and left the
78. After the Battle of Siffin, somebody
asked Imam Ali whether they had been destined to
fight against the Syrians. Imam Ali replied if
by destiny you mean a compulsion (physical or
otherwise) through which we are forced (by
nature) to do a thing then it is not so. Had it
been an obligation of that kind there would have
been no question of reward for doing it and
punishment for not doing it (when you are
physically forced to do a thing, like breathing,
sleeping, eating, drinking etc. then there can
be no reward for doing it and no retribution for
not doing it. In such cases nature forces you to
do a thing and you cannot but do it), then the
promised blessings and punishments in life after
death will have no meaning. The Merciful Lord
has given his creatures (human beings) complete
freedom to do as they like, and then prohibited
them from certain actions and warned them of the
consequences of such actions (His Wrath and His
Punishments). These orders of Allah carry in
them the least trouble and lead us towards the
most convenient ways of life and the rewards
which He has promised for good deeds are many
times more than the actions actually deserve. He
sees people disobeying Him and tolerates them
not because He can be overruled or be compelled
to accept human supremacy over Him. He did not
send His prophets to amuse Himself or provide
amuse- ment for them. He did not reveal His
orders without any genuine reason nor has He
created the galaxies and the earth without any
purpose. The Universe without plan, purpose and
program is the idea of infidels and the pagans,
sorry will be their plight in the leaping fires
of Hell. Hearing this the man asked Imam Ali,
"Then what kind of destiny was it that we had?"
Imam Ali replied: "It was an order of Allah to
do it like the order He has given in His Holy
Book: You are destined by Allah to worship none
but Him, here 'destined' means 'ordered' it does
not mean physical compulsion".
79. Acquire wisdom and truth from whomever
you can because even an apostate can have them
but unless they are passed over to a faithful
Muslim and become part of wisdom and truth that
he possesses, they have a confused existence in
the minds of apostates.
80. Knowledge and wisdom are really the
privilege of a faithful Muslim. If you have lost
them, get them back even though you may have to
get them from the apostates.
81. Value of each man depends upon the art
and skill which he has attained.
82. I want to teach you five of those things
which deserve your greatest anxiety to acquire
them: Have hope only in Allah. Be afraid of
nothing but sins. If you do not know a thing
never feel ashamed to admit ignorance. If you do
not know a thing never hesitate or feel ashamed
to learn it. Acquire patience and endurance
because their relation with true faith is that
of a head to a body, a body is of no use without
a head, similarly true faith can be of no use
without attributes of resignation, endurance and
83. A man hypocritically 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".
84. Those that have come alive out of a
blood-bath live longer and have more children.
85. One who imagines himself to be
all-knowing will surely suffer on account of his
86. I appreciate an old man's cautious
opinion more than the valor of a young man.
87. I wonder at a man who loses hope of
salvation when the door of repentance is open
88. Imam Muhammad Baqir says that Imam Ali
once said: "There were two things in this world
which softened the Wrath of Allah and prevented
its descent upon man: One has been taken away
from you; hold the other stead- fatly. The one
which has been taken away from men is the Holy
Prophet and the one which is still left with
them and which they must hold steadfastly is
repentance and atonement for sins because Allah
at one place in the Holy Book addressed the Holy
Prophet and said Allah would not punish them
while you were among them nor while they were
asking for forgiveness. (Surah Anfal, 8 : 33)
89. Whoever keeps in order his affairs with
Allah (follows His orders sincerely), Allah will
also put his affairs with men in order. Whoever
makes arrangement for his salvation, Allah will
arrange his worldly affairs; whoever is a
preacher for himself, Allah will also protect
90. He is the wisest and the most knowing man
who advises people not to lose hope and faith in
the Mercy of Allah and not to be too sure and
over-confident of immunity from His Wrath and
91. Like your body your mind also gets tired
so refresh it by wise sayings.
92. That knowledge which remains only on your
tongue is very superficial. The intrinsic value
of knowledge is that you act upon it.
93. Take care and do not pray to the Lord,
saying, "Lord! I pray to You to protect and
guard me from temptations and trials", for there
is none who is not tempted and tried. But
beseech Him to guard you against such temptation
as may lead you towards wickedness and sins
because Allah says in His Holy Book, Know that
your wealth and children are temptations. (Surah
al-Anfal, 8: 28) it means Allah tried people
through wealth and children so that it may be
tested as to who is content with what he gets
honestly and who is thankful to Allah for the
position he is placed in with regard to his
children. Though Allah knows them better than
even they know themselves, yet those trials and
tests are for the purpose of their realizing and
knowing those deeds which merit reward or which
deserve punishment. There are some people who
love to have male children and hate daughters
and there are some who simply crave for wealth
and hate poverty.
94. Imam 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
95. Importance of the deeds that you have
done with fear of Allah cannot be minimized and
how can the deeds which are acceptable to Allah
be considered unimportant.
96. "Nearest to the prophets are those
persons who have to those prophets and obey
them". Saying this, Imam Ali cited a passage
from the Holy Qur'an 'Best liked by Abraham and
nearest to him were the people who obeyed him'.
He further said, "That the present times are the
times of our Holy Prophet and his faithful
followers. The best friend of our Holy Prophet
is he who, though not related to him, obeys the
orders of Allah and his greatest enemy is the
man who though related to him, disobeys Allah '.
97. Imam Ali was told of a Kharijite that he
got up in the night to pray and recite the Holy
Book. Imam Ali said, "To sleep with having
sincere faith in religion and Allah is better
than to pray with wavering faith".
98. 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 grhtml the
meaning they convey.
99. Imam Ali heard somebody reciting the
passage of the Holy Qur'an we belong to Allah
and our return is towards Him, Imam Ali said,
"How true it is ! Our declaring that we belong
to Allah indicates that we accept Him as our
Master, Owner and Lord. And when we say that our
return is towards Allah indicates that we accept
100. Some people praised Imam Ali on his
face. He replied, "Allah knows me very well and
I also know myself more than you. Please, Lord !
make me better than what they imagine me to be
and please excuse those Weaknesses of mine which
they are not aware of".
101. To secure for you fame, credit as well
as blessings, the help that you give to men in
need, should possess the following attributes:
whatever its extent, it should be considered by
you as trifling so that it may be granted a high
status; it should be given secretly, Allah will
manifest it; and it must be given immediately so
that it becomes pleasant.
102. Your society will pass through a period
when cunning and crafty intriguers will be
favoured by status, when profligates will be
considered as well-bred, well-behaved and
elegant elites of the society, when just and
honest persons will be considered as weaklings,
when charity will be considered as a loss to
wealth and property, when support and help to
each other will be considered as favour and
benevolence and when prayers and worship to
Allah will be taken up for the sake of show to
gain popularity and higher status, at such times
regimes will be run under the advice of women
and the youngsters will be the rulers and
counselors of the State.
103. Imam Ali's garment was very old with
patches on it. When somebody drew his attention
towards it, he replied, " Such dresses, when
worn by men of status make them submissive to
Allah and kind-hearted towards others and the
faithful Muslims can conveniently follow the
example ". Vicious pleasures of this world and
salvation are like two enemies or two roads
running in opposite directions or towards
opposite poles, one to the North and the other
to the South. Whoever likes to gain the
pleasures and pomps of this world will hate
austerity in life which is necessary to gain
salvation. Reverse will be the attitude of a man
desirous of achieving Eternal Bliss. One has to
adopt either of the two ways of life, and as
they both cannot be brought together, a man has
to choose one of them.
104. 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".
105, Those who give up religion to better
their lot in life seldom succeed. The Wrath of
Allah makes them go through more calamities and
losses than the gains they gather for
106. There are many educated people who have
ruined their future on account of their
ignorance of religion. Their knowledge did not
prove of any avail to them.
107. More wonderful than man himself is that
part of his body which is connected with his
trunk with muscles. It is his brain (mind). Look
what good and bad tendencies arise from it. On
the one hand it holds treasures of know- ledge
and wisdom and on the other it is found to
harbour very ugly desires. If a man sees even a
tiny gleam of success, then greed forces him to
humiliate himself. If he gives way to avarice,
then inordinate desires ruin him, if he is
disappointed, then despondency almost kills him.
If he is excited, then he loses temper and gets
angry. If he is pleased, then he gives up
precaution. Sudden fear makes him dull and
nervous, and he is unable to think and find a
way out of the situation. During the times of
peace and prosperity he becomes careless and
unmindful of the future. If he acquires wealth,
then he becomes haughty and arrogant. If he is
plunged in distress, then his agitation,
impatience and nervousness disgrace him. If he
is overtaken by poverty, then he finds himself
in a very sad plight, hunger makes him weak, and
over-feeding harms him equally. In short every
kind of loss and gain makes his mind unbalanced.
108. We, Ahlul Bayt (chosen descendants of
the Holy Prophet), hold such central and
balancing position in religion that those who
are deficient in understanding and acting upon
its principles, will have to come to us for
reformation, and those who are overdoing it have
got to learn moderation from us.
109. A Divine rule can be established only by
a man, who, where justice and equity are
required, neither feels deficient nor weak and
who is not greedy and avaricious.
110. Sohayl bin Hunayf Ansari was a favourite
companion of Imam Ali. At the time of Imam Ali's
return from Siffin, he died at Kufa of the
wounds sustained in the battle. His death left
Imam Ali very sad and he said: "Even if a
mountain loves me it will be crushed into bits".
(it means people are tested with my love, and to
prove it they have to pass through loss and
111. Anyone who loves us Ahlul Bayt must be
ready to face a life of austerity.
112. No wealth is more useful than
intelligence and wisdom; no solitude is more
horrible than when people avoid you on account
of your vanity and conceit or when you wrongly
consider yourself above everybody to confide and
consult; no eminence is more exalting than
piety; no companion can prove more useful than
politeness; no heritage is better than culture;
no leader is superior to Divine Guidance; no
deal is more profitable than good deeds; no
profit is greater than Divine Reward; no
abstinence is better than to restrain one's mind
from doubts (about religion); no virtue is
better than refraining from prohibited deeds; no
knowledge is superior to deep thinking and
prudence; no worship or prayers are more sacred
than fulfillment of obligations and duties, no
religious faith is loftier than feeling ashamed
of doing wrong and bearing calamities patiently;
no eminence is greater than to adopt humbleness;
no exaltation is superior to knowledge; nothing
is more respectable than forgiveness and
forbear- ance; no support and defense are
stronger than consultation.
113. When a community is composed of honest,
sober and virtuous people, your forming a bad
opinion about anyone of its members, when
nothing wicked has been seen of him, is a great
injustice to him. On the contrary in a corrupt
society to form good opinion of anyone of them
and to trust him is to harm yourself.
114. When somebody asked Imam Ali as to how
he was getting on, he replied: "What do you want
to know about a person whose life is leading him
towards ultimate death, whose health is the
first stage towards illness and whom society has
forced out of his retreat".
115. There are many persons whom constant
grants of His Bounties turn them wicked and fit
for His punishment and there are many more who
have become vain and self- deceptive because the
Merciful Allah has not exposed their weaknesses
and vices to the world and the people speak
highly about them. All this is an opportunity.
No trial of the Lord is more severe than the
time He allows (in which either you may repent
or get deeper into vices).
116. Two kinds of people will be damned on my
account Those who form exaggerated opinion about
me and those who under-estimate me because they
117. To lose or to waste an opportunity will
result in grief and sorrow.
118. She world is like a serpent, so soft to
touch, but so full of lethal poison. Unwise
people are allured by it and drawn towards it,
and wise men avoid it and keep away from its
119. When asked about Quraysh, Imam Ali
replied that amongst them Bani Mukhzum are like
sweet scented flower of Quraysh; their men are
good to talk to and their women prove very good
wives; Bani Abdush Shams are very intelligent
and very prudent but we (of Bani Hashim) are
very generous and very brave to face death. Bani
Abdush Shams are more in numbers, ugly and
intriguers but Bani Hashim are beautiful, good
speakers and orators and very faithful as
120. What a difference is there between a
deed whose pleasure passes away leaving behind
it the pangs of pain and punishment and the deed
whose oppressive harshness comes to an end
leaving behind Divine rewards !
121. Imam Ali was following a funeral and as
it was passing along a road, somebody laughed
loudly ( a sign of discourtesy and lack of
manner ). Hearing this laugh, Imam Ali remarked,
" Some of us feel that death is meant for
everybody except themselves or it is destined to
others and not to themselves or those whom we
see dying around us are only travelers going on
a journey and will come back to us. It is a sad
sight to see that in one moment we commit them
to earth and in the next we take hold of the
things left by them as if we are going to remain
permanently in this world after them. The fact
is that we forget sensible advice given to us
and become victim of every calamity.
122. Blessings are for the man who humbles
himself before Allah, whose sources of income
are honest, whose inten- tions are always
honorable, whose character is noble, whose
habits are sober, who gives away in the cause
and in the Name of Allah, the wealth which is
lying surplus with him, who controls his tongue
from vicious and useless talk, who abstains from
oppression, who faithfully follows the
traditions of the Holy Prophet and who keeps
himself away from innovation in religion.
123. Jealousy in woman is unpardonable but in
man it is a sign of his faith in religion
(because Islam has permitted polygamy and
124. 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).
125. I wonder at the mentality of a miser,
fearing poverty he takes to stinginess and thus
hastily pushes himself head- long into a state
of want and destitution, he madly desires plenty
and ease, but throws it away without understand-
in. In this world he, of his own free will,
leads the life of a beggar and in the next world
he will have to submit an account like the rich.
I wonder at the arrogance of a haughty and
vain person. Yesterday he was only a drop of
semen and tomorrow he will turn into a corpse. I
wonder at the man who observes the Universe
created by Allah and doubts His Being and
Existence. I wonder at the man who sees people
dying around him and yet he has forgotten his
end. I wonder at the man who understands the
marvel of genesis of creation and refuses to
accept that he will be brought back to life
again. I wonder at the man who takes great pains
to decorate and to make comfortable this mortal
habitat and totally forgets his permanent abode.
126. Whoever is not diligent in his work,
will suffer; who- ever has no share of Allah in
his wealth and in his life then there is no
place for him in His Realm.
127. Be very cautious of cold in the
beginning of winter and welcome it at the close
of the season because cold season effects your
bodies exactly as it effects the trees; in the
early season its severity makes them shrivel and
shed their leaves and at the end it helps them
128. If you understand Allah's Majesty, then
you will not attach any importance to the
129. While returning from Siffin, Imam Ali
passed along the cemetery of Kufa. Addressing
the graves he said: "O you, who are lying in
horrible and deserted houses. O you, who are
shut up in the dark graves, who are alone in
their abodes, strangers to the places assigned
to them; you have gone ahead and preceded us,
while we are also following your steps and shall
shortly join you. Do you know what has happened
aver you? Your houses and property was taken up
by others, your widows have remarried, this is
what we can tell you of this world. Can you give
us some news about things around you?" Saying
this, Imam Ali turned to his companions and
said, "If they are permitted to speak they will
inform you that the best provision for the next
world is piety and virtue".
130. Imam Ali heard someone abusing and
blaming the world and said to him, "O you, who
are blaming the world, who have been allured and
enticed by it, and have been tempted by its
false pretenses. You allowed yourself to be
enamored of, to be captivated by it and then you
accuse and blame it. Have you any reason or
right to accuse it and to call it a sinner and
seducer? Or is the world not justified in
calling you a wicked knave and a sinning
hypocrite? When did it make you lose your
intelli- gence and reasoning? And how did it
cheat you or snake false pretenses to you? Did
it conceal from you the fact of the ultimate end
of everything that it holds, the fact of the
sway of death, decay and destruction in its
domain? Did it keep you in the dark about the
fate of your fore- fathers and their final abode
under the earth? Did it keep the resting-place
of your mothers a secret from you? Do you not
know that they have returned to dust? Many a
time you must have attended the sick persons and
many of them you must have seen beyond the scope
of medicine. Neither the science of healing nor
could your nursing and attendance nor your
prayers and weeping prolonged the span of their
lives, and they died. You were anxious for them,
you procured the best medical aid, you gathered
famous physicians and provided best - medicines
for them. Death could not be held back and life
could not be pro- longed. In this drama and in
this tragedy did the world not present you with
a lesson and a moral?
Certainly, this world is a house of truth for
those who look into it carefully, an abode of
peace and rest for those who understand its ways
and moods and it is the best working ground for
those who want to procure rewards for life in
the Hereafter. It is a place of acquiring
knowledge and wisdom for those who want to
acquire them, a place of worship for the friends
of Allah and for Angels. It is the place where
prophets received revelations of Allah. It is
the place for virtuous people and saints to do
good deeds and to be assigned with rewards for
the same. Only in this world they could trade
with Allah's Favors and Blessings and only while
living here they could barter their good deeds
with His Blessings and Rewards. Where else could
all this be done? Who are you to abuse the world
when it has openly declared its mortality and
mortality of everything connected with it, when
it has given everyone of its inha- bitants to
understand that all of them are to face death,
when through its ways it has given them all an
idea of calamities they have to face here, and
through the sight of its temporary and fading
pleasures it has given them glimpses of eternal
pleasures of Paradise and suggested them to wish
and work for the same. If you study it properly
you will find that simply to warn and frighten
you of the consequences of evil deeds and to
persuade you towards good actions, every night
it raises new hopes of peace and prosperity in
you and every morning it places new anxieties
and new worries before you. Those who passed
such lives are ashamed of and repent the time so
passed abuse this world. But there are people
who will praise this world on the Day of
Judgment that it reminded them of the Hereafter
and they took advantage of these reminders. It
informed them of the effects of good deeds and
they made correct use of the information it
advised them and they were benefited by its
131. An Angel announces daily: "Birth of more
human beings means so many more will die,
collection of more wealth means of much more
will be destroyed, erection of more buildings
means so many more ruins will come".
132. This world is not a permanent place, it
is a passage, a road on which you are passing.
There are two kinds of people here: One is the
kind of those who have sold their souls for
eternal damnation, the other is of those who
have purchased their souls and freed them from
133. 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.
134. Anyone who has been granted four
attributes will not be deprived of their (four)
effects; one who prays to Allah and implores to
Him will not be deprived of granting of his
prayers; one who repents for his thoughts and
deeds will not be refused acceptance of the
repentance; one who has atoned for his sins will
not be debarred from salvation and one who
thanks Allah for the Blessings and Bounties will
not be denied the increase in them.
The truth of these facts is attested by the
Holy Qur'an As far as prayers are concerned He
says Pray to Me and I shall accept your prayers.
About repentance He says: Whoever has done a bad
deed or has indulged in sin and then repents and
asks for His forgiveness will find Allah most
Forgiving and Merciful. About being thankful He
says if you are thankful for what you are given,
I shall increase My Bounties and Blessings.
About atonement of sin He says Allah accepts the
repentance of those who have ignorantly
committed vice and then soon repent for it,
Allah accepts such repentance's, He is Wise and
Omniscient. 135. Daily prayers are the best
medium through which one can Seek the nearness
to Allah. Hajj is Jihad (Holy War) for every
weak person. For everything that you own there
is Zakat, and Zakat of your body is fasting. The
Jihad of a woman is to afford pleasant company
to her husband.
136. If you want to pray to Allah for better
means of subsistence, then first give something
137. When someone is sure of the returns,
then he shows generosity.
138. Aid (from Allah) is in proportion to the
139. He who practices moderation and
frugality will never be threatened with poverty.
140. One of the conveniences in life is to
have less children.
141. Loving one another is half of wisdom.
142. Grief is half of old age.
143. 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.
144. 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.
145. 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.
146. Kumayl bin Ziyad Nakha'i says that once
Imam Ali put his hand in his hand and took me to
the grave-yard. When he passed through it and
left the city behind, he heaved a sigh and said
"Kumayl, these hearts are containers of the
secrets of knowledge and wisdom and the best
container is the one which can hold the most and
what it holds, it can preserve and protect in
the best way. Therefore, remember carefully what
I am telling you. Remember that there are three
kinds of people: one kind is of those learned
people who are highly versed in the ethics of
truth and philosophy of religion, second is the
kind of those who are acquiring the above
knowledge and the third is that class of people
who are uneducated. They follow every pretender
and accept every slogan, they have neither
acquired any knowledge nor have they secured any
support of firm and rational convictions.
Remember, Kumayl, knowledge is better than
wealth because it protects you while you have to
guard wealth. It decreases if you keep on
spending it but the more you make use of
knowledge the more it increases. What you get
through wealth dis- appears as soon as wealth
disappears but what you achieve through
knowledge will remain even after you.
O Kumayl ! Knowledge is power and it can
command obedience. A man of knowledge during his
lifetime can make people obey and follow him and
he is praised and venerated after his death.
Remember that knowledge is a ruler and wealth is
O Kumayl ! Those who amass wealth, though
alive, are dead to realities of life, and those
who achieve know- ledge, will remain alive
through their knowledge and wisdom even after
their death, though their faces may disappear
from the community of living beings, yet their
ideas, the knowledge which they had left behind
and their memory, will remain in the minds of
Kumayl says that after this brief
dissertation, Imam Ali pointed towards his chest
and said, "Look Kumayl! Here I hold stores and
treasures of knowledge. I wish I could find
somebody to share it with me. Yes, I found a
few, but one of them, though quite intelligent,
was untrustworthy, he would sell his salvation
to get hold of the world and its pleasures, he
would make religion a pretence to grhtml worldly
power and wealth, he would make this Blessing of
Allah (knowledge) serve him to get supremacy and
control over friends of Allah and he would
through knowledge exploit and suppress other
human beings. The other person was such that he
apparently obeyed truth and knowledge, yet his
mind had not achieved the true light of
religion, at the slightest ambiguity or doubt he
would get suspicious of truth, mistrust religion
and would rush towards skepticism. So neither of
them was capable of acquiring the superior
knowledge that I can impart. Besides these two I
find some other person One of them is a slave of
self and greedy for inordinate desires, which
can easily drag him away from the path of
religion, the other is an avaricious, grhtmling
and acquisitive miser who will risk his life to
grhtml and hold wealth, none of these two will be
of any use to religion or man, both of them
resemble beasts having appetite for food. If
sensible trustees of knowledge and wisdom
totally disappear from human society then both
knowledge and wisdom will suffer severely, may
bring harm to humanity and may even die out. But
this earth will never be without those persons
who will prove the universality of truth as
disclosed by Allah, they may be well-known
persons, openly and fearlessly declaring the
things revealed to them or they may, under fear
of harm, injury or deaths hide themselves from
the public gaze and may carry on their mission
privately so that the reasons proving the
reality of truth as preached by religion and as
demonstrated by His Prophet may not totally
disappear. How many are they and where could
they be found? I swear by Allah that they are
very few in number but their worth and their
ranks before Allah are very high. Through them
Allah preserves His Guidance so that they, while
departing, may hand over these truths to persons
like themselves. The knowledge which they have
acquired has made them see the realities and
visualize the truth and has instilled into them
the spirit of faith and trust. The duties which
were decreed as hard and unbearable by them.
They feel happy in the company and association
of things which frighten the ignorant and
uneducated. They live in this world like
everybody else but their souls soar to the
heights of Divine Eminence. They are media of
Allah on this earth and they invite people
towards Him. How I love to meet them O Kumayl !
I have told you all that I have to say, you can
go back to your place whenever you like".
147. A man can be valued through his sayings.
148. One who does not realize his own value
is condemned to utter failure. (Every kind of
complex, superiority or inferiority is harmful
149. Somebody requested Imam Ali to advise
him how to lead a useful and sober life. Imam
Ali thereupon advised him thus: "Do not be among
those people who want to gain good returns
without working hard for them, who have long
hopes and keep on postponing repentance and
penance, who talk like pious persons but run
after vicious pleasures. Do not be among those
who are not satisfied if they get more in life
and are not content if their lot in life's
pleasures is less (they are never satisfied),
who never thank Allah for what they get and keep
on constantly demanding increase in what is left
with them; who advise others to such good deeds
that they themselves refrain from; who
appreciate good people but do not follow their
ways of life; who hate bad and vicious people
but follow their ways of life; who, on account
of their excessive sins hate death but do not
give up the sinful ways of life; who, if fallen
ill, repent their ways of life and on regaining
their health fearlessly readopt the same
frivolous ways; who get despondent and lose all
hopes, but on gaining health, become arrogant
and careless; who, if faced with misfor- tunes,
dangers or afflictions, turn to Allah and keep
on beseeching Him for relief and when relieved
or favoured with comfort and ease they are
deceived by the comfortable conditions they
found themselves in and forget Allah and forsake
prayers; whose minds are allured by day dreams
and forlorn hopes and who abhor to face
realities of life; who fear for others the
enormous repercussions of vices and sins but for
their own deeds expect very high rewards or very
light disciplinary actions. Riches make such
people arrogant, rebellious and wicked, and
poverty makes them despondent and lethargic. If
they have to work, they work lazily and if they
put up a demand they do it stubbornly.
Under the influence of inordinate cravings,
they commit sins in quick succession and keep on
postponing repentance. Calamities and
adversities make them give up the distinguished
characteristics of Muslims (patience, hope in
future and work for improvement of
circumstances). They advise people with
narration's of events and facts but do not take
any lesson from them. They are good at
preachings but bad at practice, therefore they
always talk of lofty deeds but their actions
belie their words. They are keen to acquire
temporal pleasures but are careless and slow to
achieve permanent (Divine) benefits. They think
good for themselves the things which are
actually injurious to them and regard harmful
the things which really benefit them. They are
afraid of death but waste their time and do not
resort to good deeds before death overtakes
them. The vices which they regard as enormous
sins for others, they consider as minor
shortcomings for themselves. Similarly, they
attach great importance to their obedience to
the orders of Allah and belittle similar actions
in others. Therefore, they often criticize
others and speak very highly of their own deeds.
They are happy to spend their time in society of
rich persons, wasting it in luxuries and vices
but are averse to employing for useful purposes
in company of the poor and pious people: They
are quick and free to pass verdicts against
others but they never pass a verdict against
their own vicious deeds. They force others to
obey them but they never obey Allah. They
collect their dues carefully but never pay the
dues they owe. They are not afraid of Allah but
fear powerful men".
150. Everyone has an end, it may be pleasant
151. Everyone, who is born, has to die and
once dead he is as good as having not come into
152. One, who adopts patience, will never be
deprived of success though it may take a long
time to reach him.
153. One who assents or subsribes to the
actions of a group or a party is as good as
having committed the deed himself. A man who
joins a sinful deed makes himself responsible
for two-fold punishments, one for doing the deed
and the other for assenting and subscribing to
it. 154. Accept promises of only those persons
who can stead- fastly-adhere to their pledges.
155. You are ordained to recognize the Imams
(the right successors of the Holy Prophet) and
to obey them.
156. You have been shown, if you only care to
see; you have been advised if you care to take
advantage of advice; you have been told if you
care to listen to good counsels.
157. Admonish your brother (comrade) by good
deeds and kind regards, and ward off his evil by
158. One, who enters the places of evil
repute has no right to complain against a man
who speaks ill of him.
159. One, who acquires power cannot avoid
160. One, who is willful and conceited will
suffer losses and calamities and one who seeks
advice can secure advan- tages of many counsels.
161. One, who guards his secrets has complete
control over his affairs.
162. Poverty is the worst form of death.
163. One, who serves a person from whom he
gets no reci- procal performance of duties, in
fact, worships him.
164. One should not obey anyone against the
commands of Allah.
165. Do not blame a man who delays in
securing what are his just rights but blame lies
on him who grhtmls the rights which do not belong
166. Conceit is a barrier to progress and
167. Death is near and our mutual company is
168. There is enough light for one who wants
169. It is wiser to abstain then to repent.
170. Often inordinate desire to secure a
single gain acts as a hindrance for the quest of
many profitable pursuits.
171. People often hate those things which
they do not know or cannot understand. 172. One,
who seeks advice learns to realize his mistakes.
173. One who struggles for the cause of Allah
secures victory over His enemies.
174. When you feel afraid or nervous to do a
thing then do it because the real harm which you
may thus receive is less poignant than its
expectation and fear. 175. Your supremacy over
others is in proportion to the extent of your
knowledge and wisdom.
176. The best way to punish an evil-doer is
to reward handsomely a good person for his good
177. If you want to remove evil from the
minds of others then first give up evil
178. Obstinacy will prevent you from a
179. Greed is permanent slavery.
180. Deficiency will result in shame and
sorrow but caution and foresight will bring
peace and security.
181. To keep silent when you can say
something wise and useful is as bad as keeping
on propagating foolish and unwise thoughts.
182. If two opposite theories are propagated
one will be wrong.
183. When truth was revealed to me I never
184. I never lied and the things revealed to
me were not false I never misled anybody nor was
185. One, who starts tyranny, will repent
186. Death is never very far.
187. One who forsakes truth earns eternal
188. One who cannot benefit by patience will
die in grief.
189. In this world, man is a target of death,
an easy prey to calamities, here every morsel
and every draught is liable to choke one, here
one never receives a favor until he loses
another instead, here every additional day in
one's life is a day reduced from the total span
of his existence, when death is the natural
outcome of life, how can we expect immortality?
190. 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
191. Hearts have the tendency of likes and
dislikes and are liable to be energetic and
lethargic, therefore, make them work when they
are energetic because if hearts are forced (to
do a thing) they will be blinded.
192. When I feel angry with a person how and
when should I satisfy my anger, whether at a
time when I am not in a position to retaliate
and people may advise me to bear patiently or
when I have power to punish and I forgive. 193.
Minds get tired like bodies. When you feel that
your; mind is tired, then invigorate it with
194. If you find that somebody is not
grateful for all that you have done for him,
then do not get disappointed because often you
will find that someone else feels under your
obligation though you have done nothing for him
and thus your good deeds will be compensated,
and Allah will reward you for your goodness.
195. The first fruit of forbearance is that
people will sympathize with you and they will go
against the man who offended you arrogantly.
196. 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
197. Bear sorrows and calamities patiently,
otherwise you will never be happy.
198. One who comes into power often
199. Adversities often bring good qualities
to the front.
200. If a friend envies you, then he is not a
201. Avarice dulls the faculties of judgment
202. Oppression and tyranny are the worse
companions for the Hereafter.
203. The best deed of a great man is to
forgive and forget.
204. 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.
205. A greedy man will always find himself in
the shackles of humility.
206. 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