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Sermon 214: I stand witness that He is just and does justice…

The Prophet's nobility of descent

ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)

يصف جوهر الرسول، ويصف العلماء، ويعظ بالتقوى

I stand witness that He is just and does justice; He is the arbiter Who decides (between right and wrong). I also stand witness that Muhammad is His slave. His Messenger and the Chief of His creatures. Whenever Allah divided the line of descent, He put him in the better one, and therefore, no evil-doer ever shared with him nor was any vicious person his partner. Beware! Surely Allah, the Glorified, has provided for virtue those who are suited to it, for truth pillars (that support it), and for obedience protection (against deviation). In every matter of obedience you will find Allah, the Glorified's succour that will speak through tongues and accord firmness to hearts. It has sufficiency for those who seek sufficiency, and a cure for those who seek cure.

وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّهُ عَدْلٌ عَدَلَ، وَحَكَمٌ فَصَلَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، وَسَيِّدُ عِبَادِهِ، كُلَّمَا نَسَخَ اللهُ الْخَلْقَ فِرْقَتَيْنِ جَعَلَهُ فِي خَيْرِهِمَا، لَمْ يُسْهِمْ فِيهِ عَاهِرٌ، وَلاَ ضَرَبَ فِيهِ فَاجِرٌ. أَلاَ وإِنَّ اللهَ جَعَلَ لِلْخَيْرِ أَهْلاً، وَلِلْحَقِّ دَعَائِمَ، وَلِلطَّاعَةِ عِصَماً، وَإِنَّ لَكُمْ عِنْدَ كُلِّ طَاعَة عَوْناً مِنَ اللهِ يَقُولُ عَلَى الاْلْسِنَةِ، وَيُثَبِّتُ الاْفْئِدَةَ، فِيهِ كِفَاءٌ لِمُكْتَف، وَشِفَاءٌ لِمُشْتَف.

The characteristics of the virtuous whose guidance must be followed

صفة العلماء

Know that, certainly, those creatures of Allah who preserve His knowledge offer protection to those things which He desires to be protected and make His springs flow (for the benefit of others). They contact each other with friendliness and meet each other with affection. They drink water from cups that quench the thirst and return from the watering places fully satiated. Misgiving does not affect them and backbiting does not gain ground with them. In this way Allah has tied their nature with good manners. Because of this they love each other and meet each other. They have become superior, like seeds which are selected by taking some and throwing away others. This selection has distinguished them and the process of choosing has purified them.

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ عِبَادَ اللهِ الْمُسْتَحْفَظِينَ عِلْمَهُ، يَصُونُونَ مَصُونَهُ، وَيُفَجِّرُونَ عُيُونَهُ، يَتَوَاصَلُونَ بِالْوِلاَيَةِ، وَيَتَلاَقَوْنَ بالْـمَحَبَّةِ، وَيَتَسَاقَوْنَ بِكَأْس رَوِيَّة، وَيَصْدُرُونَ بِرِيَّة، لاَ تَشُوبُهُمُ الرِّيبَةُ، وَلاَ تُسْرِعُ فِيهِمْ الْغِيبَةُ. عَلَى ذلِكَ عَقَدَ خَلْقَهُمْ وَأَخْلاَقَهُمْ، فَعَلَيْهِ يَتَحَابُّونَ، وَبِهِ يَتَوَاصَلُونَ، فَكَانُوا كَتَفَاضُلِ الْبَذْرِ يُنْتَقَى، فَيُوْخَذُ مِنْهُ وَيُلْقَى، قَد مَيَّزَهُ التَّخْلِيصُ، وَهذَّبَهُ الـتَّمْحيصُ .

Therefore, man should secure honour by adopting these qualities. He should fear the day of Doom before it arrives, and he should appreciate the shortness of his life and the shortness of his sojourn in the place of stay which has only to last for his change over to the next place. He should therefore do something for his change over and for the known stages of his departure. Blessed be he who possesses a virtuous heart, obeys one who guides him, keeps away from one who takes him to ruin, catches the path of safety with the help of him who provides him light (of guidance) and by obeying the leader who commands him, hastens towards guidance before its doors are closed, gets open the door of repentance and removes the (stain of) sins. He has certainly been put on the right path and guided towards the straight road.

فَلْيَقْبَلِ امْرُؤٌ كَرَامَةً بِقَبُولِهَا، وَلْيَحْذَرْ قَارِعَةً قَبْلَ حُلُولِهَا، وَلْيَنْظُرِ امْرُؤٌ فِي قَصِيرِ أَيَّامِهِ، وَقَلِيلِ مُقَامِهِ، فِي مَنْزِل حَتَّى يَسْتَبْدِلَ بِهِ مَنْزِلاً، فَلْيَصْنَعْ لِمُتَحَوَّلِهِ، وَمَعَارِفِ مُنْتَقَلِهِ فَطُوبَى لِذِي قَلْب سَلِيم، أَطَاعَ مَنْ يَهْدِيهِ، وَتَجَنَّبَ مَنْ يُرْدِيهِ، وَأَصَابَ سَبِيلَ السَّلاَمَةِ بِبَصَرِ مَنْ بَصَّرَهُ، وَطَاعَةِ هَاد أَمَرَهُ، وَبَادَرَ الْهُدى قَبْلَ أَنْ تُغْلَقَ أَبْوَابُهُ، وَتُقْطَعَ أَسْبَابُهُ، وَاسْتَفْتَحَ التَّوْبَةَ، وَأَمَاطَ الْحَوْبَةَ، فَقَدْ أُقِيمَ عَلَى الطَّرِيقِ، وَهُدِيَ نَهْجَ السَّبِيلِ.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 214

(1) Al-'Amidi, Ghurar;

(2) Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Sharh, III, 23.

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