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Sermon 142: He who shows generosity….

Against misplaced generosity

ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)

المعروف في غير أهله

He who shows generosity to those who have no claim to it or who are not fit for it would not earn anything except the praise of the ignoble and appreciation of bad persons, although as long s he continues giving, the ignorant will say how generous his hand is, even though in the affairs of Allah he is a miser.

وَلَيْسَ لِوَاضِعِ الْمَعْرُوفِ فِي غَيْرِ حَقِّهِ، وَعِنْدَ غَيْرِ أَهْلِهِ، مِنَ الْحَظِّ فِيَما أَتى إِلاَّ مَحْمَدَةُ اللِّئَامِ، وَثَنَاءُ الاْشْرَارِ، وَمَقَالَةُ الْجُهَّالِ، مَا دَامَ مُنْعِماً عَلَيْهِمْ، مَا أَجْوَدَ يَدَهُ! وَهُوَ عَنْ ذَاتِ اللهِ بَخِيلٌ!

Deserving recepients of generosity

مواضع المعروف

Therefore, to whosoever Allah gives wealth he should use it in extending good behaviour to his kinsmen, in entertaining, in releasing prisoners and the afflicted; in giving to the poor and to debtors, and he should endure (the troubles arising out of) the fulfilment of rights (of others) and hardships in expectation of reward. Certainly, the achievement of these qualities is the height of greatness in this world and achievement of the distinctions of the next world; if Allah so wills.

فَمَنْ آتَاهُ اللهُ مَالاً فَلْيَصِلْ بِهِ الْقَرَابَةَ، وَلْيُحْسِنْ مِنْهُ الضِّيَافَةَ، وَلْيَفُكَّ بِهِ الاْسِيرَ وَالْعَانِيَ، وَلْيُعْطِ مَنْهُ الْفَقِيرَ وَالْغَارِمَ، وَلْيَصْبِرْ نَفْسَهُ عَلَى الْحُقُوقِ وَالنَّوَائِبِ، ابْتِغَاءَ الثَّوَابِ; فَإِنَّ فَوْزاً بِهذِهِ الْخِصَالِ شَرَفُ مَكَارِمِ الدُّنْيَا، وَدَرْكُ فَضَائِلِ الاْخِرَةِ، إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 142

(1) Nasr, Siffin, 235;

(2) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, VI, 9;

(3) al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, V,39;

(4) Ibn A`tham, al-Futuh, III, 73.

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