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Sermon 188: I advise you, O people, to fear Allah and to praise Him….

Allah's favours – counseling the people

ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)

في الوصية بأمور

التقوى

I advise you, O people, to fear Allah and to praise Him profusely for His favours to you and His reward for you and His obligations on you. See how He chose you for favours and dealt with you with mercy. You sinned openly; He kept you covered. You behaved in a way to incur His punishment, but He gave you more time.

أُوصِيكُمْ، أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، بِتَقْوَى اللهِ، وَكَثْرَةِ حَمْدِهِ عَلَى آلاَئِهِ إِلَيْكُمْ، وَنَعْمَائِهِ عَلَيْكُمْ، وَبَلاَئِهِ لَدَيْكُمْ. فَكَمْ خَصَّكُمْ بِنِعْمَة، وَتَدَارَكَكُمْ بِرَحْمَة! أَعْوَرْتُمْ لَهُ فَسَتَرَكُمْ، وَتَعَرَّضْتُمْ لاِخْذِهِ فَأَمْهَلَكُمْ!

Condition of persons facing death

الموت

I also advise you to remember death and to lessen your heedlessness towards it. Why should you be heedless of Him Who is not heedless of you? Why expect from him (i.e., the angel of death) who will not give you time? The dead whom you have been watching suffice as preachers. They were carried to their graves, not riding themselves, and were placed in them but not of their own accord.

It seems as if they never lived in this world and as if the next world had always been their abode. They have made lonely the place where they were living, and are now living where they used to feel lonely. They remained busy about what they had to leave, and did not care for where they were to go. Now they cannot remove themselves from evil, nor add to their virtues They were attached to the world and it deceived them. They trusted it and it overturned them.

وَأُوصِيكُمْ بِذِكْرِ الْمَوْتِ، وَإِقْلاَلِ الْغَفْلَةِ عَنْهُ، وَكَيْفَ غَفْلَتُكُمْ عَمَّا لَيْسَ يُغْفِلُكُمْ، وَطَمَعُكُمْ فِيمَنْ لَيْسَ يُمْهِلُكُمْ؟! فَكَفَى وَاعِظاً بِمَوْتَى عَايَنْتُمُوهُمْ، حُمِلُوا إلَى قُبُورِهِمْ غَيْرَ رَاكِبِينَ، وَأُنْزِلُوا فِيهَا غَيْرَ نَازِلِينَ، كَأَنَّهُمْ لَمْ يَكُونُوا لِلدُّنْيَا عُمَّاراً، وَكَأَنَّ الاخِرَةَ لَمْ تَزَلْ لَهُمْ دَاراً، أَوْحَشوُا مَا كَانُوا يُوطِنُونَ، وَأَوْطَنُوا مَا كَانُوا يُوحِشُونَ، وَاشْتَغَلُوا بِمَا فَارَقُوا، وَأَضَاعُوا مَا إِلَيْهِ انْتَقَلُوا، لاَ عَنْ قَبِيح يَسْتَطِيعُونَ انْتِقَالاً، وَلاَ فِي حَسَن يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ازْدِيَاداً، أَنِسُوا بِالدُّنْيَا فَغرَّتْهُمْ، وَوَثِقُوا بِهَا فَصَرَعَتْهُمْ.

Transience of this world

May Allah have pity on you. You should therefore hasten towards (the preparation of) houses which you have been commanded to populate, and towards which you have been called and invited. Seek the completion of Allah’s favours on you by exercising endurance in His obedience and abstention from His disobedience, because tomorrow is close to today. How fast are the hours of the day, how fast are the days in the month, how fast are the months in the years and how fast the years in a life.

فَسَابِقُوا ـ رَحِمَكُمُ اللهُ ـ إِلَى مَنَازِلِكُمْ الَّتِي أُمِرْتُمْ أَنْ تَعْمُرُوهَا، وَالَّتِي رُغِّبْتُمْ فِيهَا، وَدُعِيتُمْ إِلَيْهَا. وَاسْتَتِمُّوا نِعَمَ اللهِ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالصَّبْرِ عَلَى طَاعَتِهِ، وَالْـمُجَانَبَةِ لِمَعْصِيَتِهِ، فَإِنَّ غَداً مِنَ الْيَوْمِ قَرِيبٌ. مَا أَسْرَعَ السَّاعَاتِ فِي الْيَوْمِ، وَأَسْرَعَ الاْيَّامَ فِي الشَّهْرِ، وَأَسْرَعَ الشُّهُورَ فِي السَّنَةِ، وَأَسْرَعَ السِّنِينَ فِي الْعُمُرِ!

Alternative Sources for Sermon 188

(1) Abu Mansur al-Tha`alibi, al-'I`jaz wa al-'Ijaz, 31.

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