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Sermon 132: We praise Him for whatever He takes or gives….

Warning about death and counselling

ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)

يعظ فيها ويزهد في الدنيا

We praise Him for whatever He takes or gives or whatever He inflicts on us or tries us with. He is aware of all that is hidden and He sees all that is concealed. He knows all that breasts contain or eyes hide. We render evidence that there is no god except He and that Muhammad - peace be upon him and his progeny - has been chosen by Him and deputised by Him - evidence tendered both secretly and openly, by heart and by tongue.

نَحْمَدُهُ عَلَى مَا أَخَذَ وَأَعْطَى، وَعَلَى مَا أَبْلَى وَابْتَلَى، الْبَاطِنُ لِكُلِّ خَفِيَّة، الْحَاضِرُ لِكُلِّ سَرِيرَة، العَالِمُ بِمَا تُكِنُّ الصُّدُورُ، وَمَا تَخُونُ الْعُيُونُ. وَنَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلهَ غَيْرُهُ، وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّداً نَجِيبُهُ وَبَعِيثُهُ، شَهَادَةً يُوَافِقُ فِيهَا السِّرُّ الاْعْلاَنَ، وَالْقَلْبُ اللِّسَانَ.

A part of the same sermon

منها: في عظة الناس

By Allah, certainly it is reality not play, truth not falsehood. It is none else than death. Its caller is making himself heard and its dragsman is making haste. The majority of the people should not deceive you. You have seen those who lived before you, amassed wealth, feared poverty and felt safe from its (evil) consequences, the longevity of desires and the (apparent) distance from death. How, then, death overtook them, turned them out of their homelands and took them out of their places of safety. They were borne on coffins, people were busy about them one after another, carrying them on their shoulders and supporting them with their hands.

فَإِنَّهُ وَاللهِ الْجِدُّ لاَ اللَّعِبُ، وَالْحَقُّ لاَ الْكَذِبُ، وَمَا هُوَ إِلاَّ الْمَوْتُ أَسْمَعَ دَاعِيهِ، وَأَعْجَلَ حَادِيهِ، فَلاَ يَغُرَّنَّكَ سَوَادُ النَّاسِ مِنْ نَفْسِكَ، فَقَدْ رَأَيْتَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكَ مِمَّنْ جَمَعَ الْمَالَ وَحَذِرَ الاْقْلاَلَ، وَأَمِنَ الْعَوَاقِبَ ـ طُولَ أَمَل وَاسْتِبْعَادَ أَجَل ـ كَيْفَ نَزَلَ بِهِ الْمَوْتُ فَأَزْعَجَهُ عَنْ وَطَنِهِ، وَأَخَذَهُ مِنْ مَأْمَنِهِ، مَحْمُولاً عَلَى أَعْوَادِ الْمَنَايَا يَتَعَاطَى بِهِ الرِّجَالُ الرِّجَالَ، حَمْلاً عَلَى المَنَاكِبِ وَإِمْسَاكاً بِالاْنَامِلِ.

Did you not witness those who engaged in long-reaching desires, built strong buildings, amassed much wealth but their houses turned to graves and their collections turned into ruin. Their property devolved on the successors and their spouses on those who came after them. They cannot (now) add to their good acts nor invoke (Allah's) mercy in respect of evil acts. Therefore, whoever makes his heart habituated to fear Allah achieves a forward position and his action is successful.

Prepare yourself for it and do all that you can for Paradise. Certainly this world has not been made a place of permanent stay for you. But it has been created as a pathway in order that you may take from it the provisions of your (good) actions for the permanent house (in Paradise). Be ready for departure from here and keep close your riding animals for setting off.

أَمَا رَأَيْتُمُ الَّذِينَ يَأْمُلُونَ بَعِيداً، وَيَبْنُونَ مَشِيداً، وَيَجْمَعُونَ كَثِيراً! أَصْبَحَتْ بُيُوتُهُمْ قُبُوراً، وَمَا جَمَعُوا بُوراً، وَصَارَتْ أَمْوَالُهُمْ لِلْوَارِثِينَ، وَأَزْوَاجُهُمْ لِقَوْم آخَرِينَ، لاَ فِي حَسَنَة يَزِيدُونَ، وَلاَ مِنْ سَيِّئَة يَسْتَعْتِبُونَ! فَمَنْ أَشْعَرَ التَّقْوَى قَلْبَهُ بَرَّزَ مَهَلُهُ، وَفَازَ عَمَلُهُ. فَاهْتَبِلُوا هَبَلَهَا، وَاعْمَلُوا لِلْجَنَّةِ عَمَلَهَا، فَإِنَّ الدُّنْيَا لَمْ تُخْلَقْ لَكُمْ دَارَ مُقَام، بَلْ خُلِقَتْ لَكُمْ مَجَازاً لِتَزَوَّدُوا مِنْهَا الاَعْمَالَ إِلَى دَارِ الْقَرَارِ; فَكُونُوا مِنْهَا عَلى أَوْفَاز، وَقَرِّبُوا الظُّهُورَ لِلزِّيَالِ.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 132

(1) Al-'Amidi, Ghurar, 282;

(2) Ibn al-'Athir, al-Nihayah, II, 210 (w.f.z), V, 239 (h.b.1).

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