Chapter Ten: State Policies

10.1 Causes for Durability of Governments

a) Establishing Justice

532. Imam Ali (a.s.) – when asked which of the two is better, justice or generosity?: “Justice puts things in their places while generosity takes them out from their directions. Justice is the general caretaker, while generosity is a particular benefit. Consequently justice is superior and more distinguished of the two.”1

533. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He whose actions are taken by justice, Allah will safeguard his kingdom.”2

534. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Do justice to [be able to] maintain your sovereignty.”3

535. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Do justice to [be able to] rule.”4

536. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Nothing has safeguarded states like justice.”5

537. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Nothing safeguards states like doing justice in them.”6

538. Imam Ali (a.s.): “A just rule will endure.”7

539. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Do justice so that your authority may persevere.”8

540. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Durability of a sovereignty is [dependant upon] justice.”9

541. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Obedience is a shield for the ruled, and justice is a shield for the governments.”10

542. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Durability of governments is [dependant upon] setting up just traditions.”11

543. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Doing justice is following Divine traditions and [grounds for] durability of the Governments.”12

544. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The one who does justice, will be in no need of companions.”13

545. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Justice is [the source of] stability for the ruled.”14

546. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Justice is [the source of] stability for the creatures.”15

547. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The good of justice is its organizing the creatures.”16

548. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Justice organizes the rule.”17

549. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Allah the Glorified made justice the stability of the subjects, purity from tyranny and sins, and the cause of the execution of [rules of] Islam.”18

550. Imam Ali (a.s.): “If the ruled fulfil the rights of the ruler and the ruler fulfils their rights, then right attains the position of honor among them, the ways of religion become established, signs of justice become fixed and the sunna gains currency. In this way, times will improve, the continuance of government will be expected, and the aims of the enemies will be frustrated.”19

551. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Justice is the strongest foundation.”20

552. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The world is like a garden whose wayfarer is the shari‘a (religious law); and the shari‘a is a king whose obedience is obligatory; and obedience is a way by which the ruler is established; and the ruler is a shepherd whom the troops help; and the troops are assistants whom the riches manage; and the riches are [means of] sustenance that the people gather; and the people are masses whom justice subjugates; and justice is a foundation on which the world is based.”21

553. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Justice is the best of policies.”22

554. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Justice is a sufficient policy.”23

555. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Justice is the touchstone for politics.”24

556. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The best of policies is [doing] justice.”25

557. Imam Ali (a.s.): “No mastery is like justice in politics.”26

558. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The beauty of politics is [doing] justice in ruling and forgiveness in the time of [enjoying] power.”27

559. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The ruled will not be rectified except by justice.”28

560. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Make religion you sanctuary and justice your sword so as to be safeguarded from any evil and gain victory over any enemy.”29

561. Imam Ali (a.s.): “If the government is based on justice and supported by wisdom, Allah will render His friends victorious and disdain His enemies.”30

562. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The hearts of the ruled are treasures of the rulers. Whatever of justice or injustice that they stores in them, they will find [the same].”31

563. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Cities will not flourish except through justice.”32

564. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Justice of the king is better than the abundance and fertility of the times.”33

565. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Under justice, bounties double.”34

566. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who does justice will gain power.”35

567. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who brings justice to cities, Allah will bestow His Mercy upon him.”36

568. Imam Ali (a.s.) – among the aphorisms attributed to him: “Those who treat the subordinate justly, will be treated justly by the senior.”37

569. Imam Ali (a.s.): “No reward is greater with Allah than the reward for the just ruler and the beneficent person.”38

570. Imam Ali (a.s.): “There are two things whose reward can not be fathomed: forgiveness and justice.”39

571. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Just politics consists of these three: lenience in prudence; investigation in justice; and justly practicing beneficent.”40

572. Imam Ali (a.s.): “In establishing justice, seek assistance from expressing goodwill toward people, little expectation, and plenty of piety.”41

See Chapter Six, 6/1 (Establishing Justice).

b) Good Management

573. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Statecraft is [indeed] politics.”42

574. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who follows a good politics would perpetuate his chairmanship.”43

575. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Good politics immortalizes chairmanship.”44

576. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Good politics is [the source of] steadfastness of the subjects.”45

577. Imam Ali (a.s.): “It is obligatory to follow the one who practices good politics.”46

578. Imam Ali (a.s.): “In the light of good politics good breeding will ensue.”47

c) Good Behavior

579. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Good behavior is the beauty of power and a haven for the rulership.”48

580. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He whose good behavior increases, people agree on his superiority.”49

581. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who treats people nicely, will be treated likewise.”50

d) Vigilance in Taking Care of Affairs

582. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Vigilance in taking care of the affairs is a sign of [the endurance of] sovereignty.”51

583. Imam Ali (a.s.): “It is sagacious to be vigilant in securing the rights of the subjects and to feign negligence of their offences against you.”52

584. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Little negligence is a sign of the [endurance of the] states.”53

10.2 Causes for the Decline of States

a) Tyranny

585. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The worst of the rulers are those who oppress their subjects.”54

586. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who does injustice to his subjects assists his adversaries.”55

587. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Injustice ruins the subjects.”56

588. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Injustice devastates the cities.”57

589. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who treats his subjects unjustly, Allah would destroy his sovereignty and expedite his overthrow.”58

590. Imam Ali (a.s.) – in his instructions to Malik al-Ashtar: “See that justice is done towards God and justice is done towards the people by yourself, your own family, and those whom you favor among your subjects. For if you do not do so, you have worked wrong. And as for him who wrongs the servants of Allah, Allah is his adversary, not to speak of His servants. Allah renders null and void the argument of whosoever contends with Him. Such a one will be Allah’s enemy until he desists or repents. Nothing is more conducive to the removal of Allah’s blessing and the hastening of His vengeance than to continue in wrongdoing, for Allah listens to the call of the oppressed and He is ever on the watch against the wrongdoers.”59

591. Imam Ali (a.s.) – to Ziyad b. Abih: “Act on justice and keep aloof from violence and injustice because violence will lead them to forsake their abodes while injustice will prompt them to take up arms.”60

592. Imam Ali (a.s.): “There is no king to whom Allah bestows power and blessing and he employs them to oppress people, unless it is incumbent on Allah to take them back from him. Do you not see the words of Allah, (Indeed Allah does not change a people’s lot, unless they change what is in their souls.)61?”62

593. Imam Ali (a.s.): “There is destruction for power in wrongdoing.” 63

594. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who wrongs in his rule, his state will decline.”64

595. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Wrongdoing is the worst of pollicies.”65

596. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who wrongs in his statecraft, people will wish for his perishing.”66

597. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The wrongdoing of a wrongdoer would lead him to destruction.”67

598. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who commits wrong, his wrongdoing would destroy him.”68

599. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Wrongdoing is one of the destroyers.”69

600. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Wrongdoing causes the steps to stumble, brings about a cessation of blessings, and destroys communities.”70

601. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Outrage ruins power.”71

602. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who does not do justice towards the wronged against the wrongdoer, Allah will dispossess his power.”72

b) Unlawful Bloodshed

603. Imam Ali (a.s.) – in his instructions to Malik al-Ashtar: “Beware of blood and spilling it unlawfully, for nothing is more deserving of vengeance (from Allah), greater in its consequence or more likely to (bring about) a cessation of blessing and the cutting off of (one's appointed) term than shedding blood unjustly. Allah, the Glorified, on the Day of Resurrection will begin judgment among His servants over the blood they have spilt.”

“So never strengthen your rule by shedding unlawful blood, for that is among the factors which weaken and enfeeble it, nay, which overthrow and transfer it. You have no excuse before Allah and before me for intentional killing, for in that there is bodily retaliation. If you are stricken by error, and your whip, your sword or your hand should exceed their bounds in punishment – for in striking with the fists and all that exceeds it there is killing – never let the arrogance of your authority prevent you from paying the relatives of the killed their rightfully due.”73

604. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The survivors of the sword (from getting killed) are larger in number and have a larger progeny.”74

c) Mismanagement

605. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Mismanagement causes destruction.”75

606. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who mismanages will hasten his destruction.”76

607. Imam Ali (a.s.): “There are for reasons [for the state] to fall off: mismanagement; the evil of extravagance; failing to take lessons; making too many apologies.”77

608. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who fails in politics will be belittled in chairmanship.”78

609. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Political feebleness is a pitfall for the leaders.”79

610. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He whose management falls behind [the community] his perishing will come forward.”80

611. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who mismanages his management will destroy him.”81

612. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from the aphorisms attributed to him: “When the rule is expired for a group, their opinions enfeeble.”82

d) Arrogance

613. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from the aphorisms attributed to him: “Arrogance arouses envy, envy brings about enmity, enmity causes disunity, disunity causes separation, separation causes feebleness, feebleness causes degradation, which [in turn] ruins the governments and destroys bounties.”83

414. Imam Ali (a.s.) – in his instructions to Malik al-Ashtar: “Then surely the ruler has favorites and intimates, among whom there is a certain arrogance, transgression and lack of equity in transactions. Remove the substance of these (qualities) by cutting off the means of obtaining these situations. Bestow no fiefs upon any of your entourage or relatives, nor let them covet from you the acquisition of a landed estate which would bring loss to the people bordering upon it in (terms of) a water supply or a common undertaking, the burden of which would be imposed upon them. Its benefit would be for those (who acquired the fiefs) and not for you, and its fault would be upon you in this world and the next.”

“Impose the right (al-haqq) upon whomsoever it is incumbent, whether he be related to you or not. Be patient in this and look to your (ultimate) account; however this may affect your relatives and favorites. Desire the ultimate end in that of it (imposing the right) which weighs heavily against you, for its outcome will be praiseworthy.”84

615. Imam Ali (a.s.) – in his instructions to Malik al-Ashtar: “Beware of arrogating for yourself that in which men are equal; and of negligence in that which is of concern after it has become manifest to the eyes (of men), for these things will be held against you for (the benefit of) others; and (beware of negligence) of the fact that little remains until the coverings of affairs are lifted from you and justice is demanded from you for the wronged.”85

616. Imam Ali (a.s.) – concerning ‘Uthman: “I am putting before you his case. He ruled with arrogance, and did it badly. You protested against it and committed excess therein. With Allah lies the real verdict upon the arrogating and the protester.”86

e) Violation of the Principles

617. Imam Ali (a.s.): “There are for reasons for the state to fall off: violating the principles; clutching at the branches; employing the villainous; and putting aside the elite.”87

618. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Coming to power of the villainous and the newly-gained office is an indication of its [the state’s] dissolution and falling off.”88

619. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Decline of the states lies in employing the villainous.”89

10.3 Recommendations on Socio-Political Relations

Treating others as Treating Oneself

620. Imam Ali (a.s.) – in his instructions to his son, al-Hasan (a.s.): “What wisely words are more exhaustive than [saying]: you should desire for others what you desire for yourself and hate for others what you hate for others.”90

621. Imam Ali (a.s.): “It is the duty of the ruler to choose for his subjects what he chooses for himself.”91

622. Imam Ali (a.s.) – in his letter to Muhammad Abi Bakr: “Desire for your subjects whatever you desire for yourself and your household, and hate for them whatever you hate for yourself and your household.”92

623. Imam Ali (a.s.) – in his instructions to his son, al-Hasan (a.s.): “Make yourself the measure (for dealings) between you and others. Thus, you should desire for others what you desire for yourself and hate for others what you hate for yourself. Do not oppress, as you do not like to be oppressed. Do good to others, as you would like good to be done to you. Regard bad for yourself whatever you regard bad for others. Accept that (treatment) from others, which you would like others to accept from you.”93

624. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from his instructions to his son Muhammad b. al-Hanafiya: “My son! Do good to all people as you like good to be done to you, and desire for others what you desire for yourself. Regard bad for yourself whatever you regard bad for others. Be amiable to all people so that when you are away from they would be looking forward to you and when you die they would weep for you and say, Indeed we belong to Allah, and to Him do we indeed return. Do not be like those who when die people would say, All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.!”94

625. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The most equitable treatment of people is that you deal with people as you like to be dealt with.”95

626. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from the aphorisms attributed to him: “Associate with people as you wish; they would associate with you the same way.”96

b) Self-Esteem

627. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Keep yourself away from every low thing even though they may take you to your desired aims, because you will not get any return for your own respect, which you spend.”97

628. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Keeping away from the low things would debase the enemy.”98

629. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Do not act in a way that ruins your esteem.”99

630. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Death, rather than lowering oneself with disgrace.”100

631. Imam Ali (a.s.): “O People! Certainly dying is more preferable to being disgraced; and being whipped is preferable to being humiliated.”101

632. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Let it be death but not humiliation. Let it be little but not through disgrace.”102

633. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Let there be lacking but not facing disgrace.”103

c) Avoidance of Enmity

634. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Avoid… malice in the heart, hatred in the chest, turning away (from each other's help) and withholding the hand from one another's assistance.104

635. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Do not incur enmity towards each other as it is corrosive [of faith].”105

636. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Utmost ignorance Is enmity with people.”106

637. Imam Ali (a.s.): “It is among unseemly choices to seek dominance over one’s peers and to incur enmity towards people.”107

638. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who fights against people will be fought against.”108

639. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The world is incommodious for those who are hostile to each other.”109

640. Imam Ali (a.s.): “To incur enmity towards people is the feature of the ignorant.”110

641. Imam Ali (a.s.): “It is incumbent upon you to unite and coordinate with each other.”111

642. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Even one enemy is much too many.”112

643. Imam Ali (a.s.): “My children! Beware of hostility to people, since they are not out of two groups: the wise who would play trick on you; or the ignorant who would quickly retaliate. Statements are masculine and responses are feminine. Whenever the masculine and the feminine assemble, inevitably there will be some results.”

Then he recited the following poem:

“The honorable is he, who avoids responding,

And he who is tolerant to people will achieve his goal.

He who has respect for people, they will respect him too,

He who humiliates people, will receive no respect.”113

d) Fidelity in Agreements

644. Imam Ali (a.s.): “O People! Surely fidelity in agreements is the twin of truth. I do not know a better shield (against the assaults of sin) than it. One who realizes the reality of return (to the next world) never betrays. We are in a period when most of the people regard betrayal as wisdom. In these days the ignorant call it excellence of cunning.”114

645. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The best [feature in relation to] Islam is fidelity in agreements of one’s pledge.”115

646. Imam Ali (a.s.) – in his instructions to Malik al-Ashtar: “ If you bind an agreement between yourself and your enemy or clothe him in a protective covenant (dhimmah), guard your agreement in good faith and tend to your covenant with fidelity. Make of yourself a shield before what you have granted, for men do not unite more firmly in any of the obligations (imposed upon them) by God than in attaching importance to fidelity in agreements, despite the division among their sects and the diversity of their opinions.

The idolaters had already adhered to that (honoring agreement) among themselves before the Muslims, by reason of the evil consequences of treachery that they had seen. So never betray your protective covenant, never break your agreement and never deceive your enemy, for none is audacious before God but a wretched fool. God has made His agreement and His protective covenant a security, which He has spread among the servants by His Mercy and a sanctuary in whose impregnability they may rest and in whose proximity they may spread forth. Within it there is no corruption, treachery or deceit.”

“Make not an agreement in which you allow deficiencies and rely not upon ambiguity of language after confirmation and finalization (of the agreement). Let not the straitness of an affair in which an agreement before God is binding upon you invite you to seek its abrogation unjustly. For your patience in the straitness of an affair, hoping for its solution and the blessing of its outcome, is better than an act of treachery. You would fear the act's consequence and (you would fear) that a liability before God will encompass you, a liability from which you will not be exempted in this world or the next.”116

e) Discharging Obligations

647. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Discharge your obligation to the person who has trusted you, even though he would be murderer of the Prophet’s children.”117

648. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Do not betray the one who has regarded you as trustworthy, even though he has betrayed you; and do not disclose his secret, although he discloses it himself.”118

649. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from his letter to Ash‘ath b. Qayth: “Certainly, your assignment is not a morsel for you but it is a trust round your neck and you have been charged with protection (of people) on behalf of your superiors.”119

650. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from his letter to one of his tax collectors: “He whose hidden position is not different from his open position and whose action is not different from his words, has discharged his obligation and his worship is pure. I also order him that he should not harass them, should not be harsh on them and should not turn away from them because of superiority of official position over them, because they are brothers in faith and help in the recovery of levies.”

“Certainly you have a fixed share and a known right in this levy, and there are other sharers who are poor, weak and starving. We shall discharge your rights. So you should discharge their rights. If you do not do so, you will have the largest number of enemies on the Day of Judgement. How wretched is the man whose enemies in the view of Allah are the needy, the destitute, the beggars, the turned away, the indebted and (penniless) travelers.”

“He who treats the trust lightly and indulges in treachery and does not keep himself and his faith untarnished by it has certainly secured humiliation in this world, and his humiliation and disgrace in the next world will be greater. Surely, the greatest treachery is the treachery against the Muslim community and the ugliest deceit is the deceit towards the Muslim leaders. Wassalam!”120

f) Exploiting Other People’s Knowledge

651. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Learn the knowledge of every learned man, and teach your knowledge to anyone who does not know. Once you do this, Allah will teach you what you do not know, and you will benefit from what you know.”121

652. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Knowledge is a lost article of the believer. Therefore, get it even though from the polytheists. None of you should avoid learning wise sayings – from whomever you may hear it.”122

653. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Learn the wise saying wherever you find it. Certainly, a wise saying is a lost article of the believer.”123

654. Imam Ali (a.s.): “A wise saying is a lost article of the believer. Seek it even though it is in possession of the evil-doers.”124

655. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Acquire a wise saying even though from the polytheists.”125

656. Imam Ali (a.s.): “A wise saying is a lost article of the believer. Seize it even though from the mouth of the polytheists.”126

657. Imam Ali (a.s.): “A wise saying is a lost article of the believer. Seek it even though from the polytheists; as you deserve it more and are qualified for it.”127

658. Imam Ali (a.s.): “A wise saying is a lost article of the believer. Acquire it even though from he mouth of the hypocrites.”128

659. Imam Ali (a.s.): “A wise saying is a lost article of the believer. Therefore, acquire wise sayings even though from people of hypocrisy.”129

660. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Acquire wise sayings from wherever they may be, because if a wise saying is in the bosom of a hypocrite it flutters in his bosom till it comes out and settles with others of its own category in the bosom of the believer.”130

g) Cultural Independence

661. Imam Ali (a.s.): “It is seldom that a man likens himself to a group and does not become as one of them.”131

662. Al-Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.): “Amir al-Mu’minin would say: This umma will ever live with happiness as long as they would not wear the alien’s clothing or eat the alien’s foods. If they do so, however, Allah will inflict disgrace upon them.”132

h) Miscellaneous

663. Imam Ali (a.s.): “There will be no prosperity where a tyrant is ruling.”133

664. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Tyranny of a ruler is a misadventure to prosperity.”134

665. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Your turning away from him who inclines towards you is a loss of your share of advantage while your inclining towards him who turns away from you is humiliation for yourself.”135

666. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The one who does not incur enmity towards you, cares for you.”136

667. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The one who inclines towards you in time of your fortune will turn away from you in time of your misfortune.”137

668. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Have love for your friend up to a limit, for it is possible that he may turn into your enemy some day; and hate your enemy up to a limit for it is possible that he may turn into your friend some day.”138

669. Al-Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.): “Amir al-Mu’minin would say: There should gather in your heart need for people and independence from them. Your need for them should appear in you lenient words and affability; and your independence from them should appear in [maintaining] the integrity of your reputation and retainment of your esteem.”139

670. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Do sacrifice all your friendship for your friend, but do not fully trust him. Help him by all means, but do not divulge all your secrets to him, so that you [both] pay wisdom its due and observe bonds of friendship.”140

671. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who does not tolerate those whom he has to tolerate is not wise.”141

672. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Do not trade with those from whom you cannot secure your rightful due.”142

673. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Beware of scaring your friends to the extent that it will force them to keep a distance and want to separate from you.”143

674. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He whose benefit lies in your loss will never be free from enmity to you.”144

675. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Be forgiving in power and do good in your good turn of fortune so as to perfect your supremacy.”145

676. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Put up with your friend’s blunders for the time of the enemy’s assault.”146

677. Imam Ali (a.s.): “People’s looking forward to your rewards is better than their fear of your punishment.”147

678. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Substitute [other people’s] interest in you with [their] respect for you.”148

679. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Let people hold on to their rites and customs and [act in a way that] that the innocent feel secure from you, and the evil-doers be scared of you; and attend to the borders and the outskirts of cities.”149

680. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The hardest of all policies is to transform habits.”150

681. Imam Ali (a.s.): “People will be in beneficence as long as they differ. Then, when they become alike they will be ruined.”151

682. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who treats people with tolerance, will enjoy their company.”152

683. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Obeying the superior, respecting the peers, and being equitable to the subordinate is a sign of common sense.”153

484. Imam Ali (a.s.): “The means to secure high authority is breadth of chest (i.e. generosity).”154

485. Imam Ali (a.s.): “People’s delving into something is laying the ground for achieving it.”155

686. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Beware of doing something that makes an honorable person disgust you, or debases your status, or ushers evil towards you, or makes you suffer a penalty on the Resurrection.”156

687. Imam Ali (a.s.): “He who rises to a high position undeservedly will collapse unreasonably (without committing any crime).”157

688. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Measure people with their own scales.”158

689. Imam Ali (a.s.): “Common sense is that you do not dispute with your superior, do not debase your subordinate, do not offer [to do] what you are not capable [of doing]; that your tongue should not disagree your heart, and your words should not disprove your deeds, do not talk about what you have no knowledge, do not give up affairs when applicable and do not pursue them when inapplicable.”159

690. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from aphorisms attributed to Imam Ali (a.s.): “Treat the honorable people magnanimously, the average people interestedly and fearfully, and the lowly people contemptuously.”160

691. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from aphorisms attributed to Imam Ali (a.s.): “When you have a friend whose brotherhood and friendship you do not like, do not reveal it to the people, for such a friend is like a dull sword in one’s house that frighten the foes and they do not know whether it is sharp or dull.”161

692. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from aphorisms attributed to Imam Ali (a.s.): “Whenever a friend of yours does something good to you do not pay him back with full reward, but reserve some of it to be added to at the time when his benevolence adds up.”162

693. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from aphorisms attributed to Imam Ali (a.s.): “There are some people who cut down when you step up [your favor to them], and degrade you when you take them as your special friend. Their pleasure is not positioned so as you realize it, and their fury is not situated so as you avoid it. If you ever encounter with them, offer them your common friendship and deny them your deep friendship so as what you grant them may serve as a defense against their harms and what you deny them may keep their respect in check.”163

694. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from aphorisms attributed to Imam Ali (a.s.): “The person who heads a group is rationally forbidden to be drunk, for it is indecent for a guardian to need someone [else] to guard him.”164

695. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from aphorisms attributed to Imam Ali (a.s.): “Do not accept chairmanship over the people of your hometown since they would not be in agreement with you unless you overpass the status of an accomplished chairman.“165

696. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from aphorisms attributed to Imam Ali (a.s.): “Do not serve the chairman of whose indolence you are aware and whom the circumstances has raised [to a high position] and he knows that you are aware of his past. That is because although he would be pleased with your service, he knows how [disdainfully] you look at him, so he would be annoyed with you.”166

697. Imam Ali (a.s.); “Do not underestimate yourselves to be negligent as it would lead you to the way of the despots and, hence, destroying you. Once truth comes to you and you happen to realize it, do not be indolent about it, as you will be at a great loss.”167

698. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from aphorisms attributed to Imam Ali (a.s.): “The most detrimental to you is to infer to your chairman that that you excel over him in chairmanship.”168

699. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from aphorisms attributed to Imam Ali (a.s.): “The little that promotes towards abundance is better that the abundance that promotes towards little.”169

700. Imam Ali (a.s.) – from aphorisms attributed to Imam Ali (a.s.): “It is of no harm to you to find your friend with your foe, for if he brings you no profit he will not cause you any harm, either.”170

  • 1. Nahj al-Balagha: Aphorism 437, Rawa al-Wa’izin: 511.
  • 2. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8722.
  • 3. Ghurar al-Hikam: 2253, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 82/1981.
  • 4. Ghurar al-Hikam: 2223, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 78/1886.
  • 5. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9574, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 476/8712.
  • 6. Ghurar al-Hikam: 7444, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 408/6904.
  • 7. Ghurar al-Hikam: 5110, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 249/4668.
  • 8. Ghurar al-Hikam: 2285, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 83/1998.
  • 9. Al-Mawa’iz al-‘Adliya: 54.
  • 10. Ghurar al-Hikam: 1873.
  • 11. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4715, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 217/4263.
  • 12. Ghurar al-Hikam: 6496, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 355/6023.
  • 13. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8669, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 441/7665, Al-Sirat al-Mustaqim: 1//222.
  • 14. Ghurar al-Hikam: 30/466, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 30/466, Ibid.: 42/994.
  • 15. Ghurar al-Hikam: 2253, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz:
  • 16. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4819.
  • 17. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4789, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 42/982.
  • 18. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4789, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 223/4355.
  • 19. Nahj al-Balagha: Sermon 216. Also cf., Al-Kafi: 8/353/550.
  • 20. Ghurar al-Hikam: 863.
  • 21. Bihar al-Anwar: 78/83/87.
  • 22. Ghurar al-Hikam:1656.
  • 23. Ghurar al-Hikam: 7031, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 386/6537.
  • 24. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9714, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 486/8960.
  • 25. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4948, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 237/4505
  • 26. Ghurar al-Hikam: 10895, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 544/10115.
  • 27. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4792, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 223/4356.
  • 28. Ghurar al-Hikam: 1342 & 4215, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 303/5396.
  • 29. Ghurar al-Hikam: 2433, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 77/1853.
  • 30. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4118, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 132/2971.
  • 31. Ghurar al-Hikam: 6825, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 370/6243.
  • 32. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9543, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 481/8864.
  • 33. Matalib al-Su‘ul: 56.
  • 34. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4211, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 188/3858.
  • 35. Ghurar al-Hikam: 7711, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 428/7283.
  • 36. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8638, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 460/8361.
  • 37. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 20/308/535.
  • 38. Ghurar al-Hikam: 7526, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 410/6976.
  • 39. Ghurar al-Hikam: 5769, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 297/5298.
  • 40. Ghurar al-Hikam: 5592, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 284/5141.
  • 41. Ghurar al-Hikam: 2408, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 77/1860.
  • 42. Ghurar al-Hikam: 17, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 18/45.
  • 43. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8438, Nazmu Durar al-Simtayn: 160.
  • 44. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4820, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 229/4409.
  • 45. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4818, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 227/4369.
  • 46. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8025, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 431/7403.
  • 47. Al-Kafi: 1/28/34.
  • 48. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4847.
  • 49. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8407, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 455/8218.
  • 50. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8716, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 440/7633.
  • 51. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9360, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 469/8558.
  • 52. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9407, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 470/8597.
  • 53. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9410, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 473/8668.
  • 54. Ghurar al-Hikam: 5717, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 295/5283.
  • 55. Ghurar al-Hikam: 7815, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 429/7299.
  • 56. Ghurar al-Hikam: 807, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 42/955.
  • 57. Ghurar al-Hikam: 1068, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 43/1047.
  • 58. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8740.
  • 59. Nahj al-Balagha: Letter 53, Tuhafal-‘Uqul: 127. Also cf., Da‘a’m al-Islam: 1/354.
  • 60. Nahj al-Balagha: Aphorism 476. Also cf., Rawa al-Wa‘izin: 511.
  • 61. Al-Qur’an, 13:11.
  • 62. Irshad al-Qulub: 68.
  • 63. Ghurar al-Hikam: 6512, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 355/6024.
  • 64. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8365.
  • 65. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4404, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 193/3970.
  • 66. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8742, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 439/7606.
  • 67. Al-Mawa‘iz al-‘Adadiyya: 59.
  • 68. Ghurar al-Hikam: 7836, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 452/8107.
  • 69. Ghurar al-Hikam: 16557.
  • 70. Ibid., 1734.
  • 71. Ghurar al-Hikam: 865, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 51/7261.
  • 72. Ghurar al-Hikam: 7815, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 428/7261.
  • 73. Nahj al-Balagha: Letter 53, Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 146.
  • 74. Nahj al-Balagha: Aphorism 84, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 196/4004.
  • 75. Ghurar al-Hikam: 5571, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 281/5068.
  • 76. Ghurar al-Hikam: 7906.
  • 77. Ghurar al-Hikam: 10958, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 552/10176.
  • 78. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8536, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 450/8011.
  • 79. Ghurar al-Hikam: 3931, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 181/3703.
  • 80. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8045 & 8346, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 432/7421.
  • 81. Ghurar al-Hikam: 5571, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 438/7602.
  • 82. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 20/303/465.
  • 83. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 345/961.
  • 84. Nahj al-Balagha: Letter 53, Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 144, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 100/2296.
  • 85. Nahj al-Balagha: Letter 53, Tuhaf al-’Uqul:147,
  • 86. Nahj al-Balagha: Sermon 30.
  • 87. Ghurar al-Hikam: 10956, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 550/10157.
  • 88. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4523, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 202/4095.
  • 89. Ghurar al-Hikam: 5486, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 275/4998.
  • 90. Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 81, Bihar al-Anwar: 77/208/1.
  • 91. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9335, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 469/8562.
  • 92. Al-Amali of al-Mufid: 269/3, Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 180, Al-Amali of al-Tusi: 30/31, Al-Gharat: 1/249.
  • 93. Nahj al-Balagha: Letter 31, Kashf al-Mahajja: 226.
  • 94. Man laYahdarahu al-Faqih: 4/387/5834, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 79/1914.
  • 95. Ghurar al-Hikam: 3170, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 116/2580.
  • 96. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 20/309/539.
  • 97. Nahj al-Balagha: Letter 31, Ghurar al-Hikam: 2428, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 85/2056.
  • 98. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9774, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 485/8954.
  • 99. Ghurar al-Hikam: 10231, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 518/9395.
  • 100. Ghurar al-Hikam: 361, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 33/621.
  • 101. Al-Kafh: 8/21/4, Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 207.
  • 102. Ghurar al-Hikam: 360 & 362, Nahj al- Balagha: Aphorism 396, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 3/620.
  • 103. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9802, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 488/9044.
  • 104. Nahj al-Balagha: Sermon 192, Ghurar al-Hikam: 4544, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 200/4046.
  • 105. Nahj al-Balagha: Sermon 86, Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 152, Bihar al-Anwar: 77/292/1.
  • 106. Ghurar al-Hikam: 5247, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 264/4814.
  • 107. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9352 & 9429, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 469/8555.
  • 108. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9013, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 427/7252.
  • 109. Al-Mawa‘iz al-Adadiya: 58.
  • 110. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9785.
  • 111. Ibid., 6152.
  • 112. Ghurar al-Hikam: 1149, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 45/1107.
  • 113. Al-Khisal: 72/111, Rawdat al-Wa‘izin: 412.
  • 114. Nahj al-Balagha: Sermon 41, Khasa’s al-A’imma: 98, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 152/3334.
  • 115. ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 471/8614.
  • 116. Nahj al-Balagha: Letter 53, Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 145. Also cf., Da‘a’im al-Islam: 1/368.
  • 117. Al-Khisal: 614/10, Bihar al-Anwar: 75/115/8.
  • 118. Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 81, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 519/9426, Bihar al-Anwar: 77/208/1.
  • 119. Nahj al-Balagha: Letter 5, Jawahir al-Matalib: 2/26.
  • 120. Nahj al Balagha: Letter 26, Bihar al-Anwar: 33/528/719.
  • 121. Ghurar al-Hikam: 1133.
  • 122. Jami‘ Bayan al-‘Ilm: 1/10/.
  • 123. Ghurar al-Hikam: 5043, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 243/6828.
  • 124. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul: 201.
  • 125. Al-Mahasin: 1/360/771, Bihar al-Anwar: 2/97/41.
  • 126. Tanbih al-Khawatir: 1/81.
  • 127. Al-Amali, al-Tusi: 625/1290.
  • 128. Ghurar al-Hikam: 1829, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 22/145.
  • 129. Nahj al-Balagha: Aphorism 80, Khasa’s al-A’imma: 94.
  • 130. Khasa’s al-A’imma: 94, Nahj al-Balagha: Aphorism 79, Rabi‘ al-Abrar: 3/197.
  • 131. Nahj al-Balagha: Aphorism 207, Khasa’s al-A’imma: 115, Nuzha al-Nazir: 53/31.
  • 132. Al-Mahasin: 2/178/1504 & 222/1669, Bihar al-Anwar: 66/323/6.
  • 133. Ghurar al-Hikam: 10791, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 540/10022.
  • 134. Ghurar al-Hikam: 3954, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 181/3717.
  • 135. Nahj al-Balagha: Aphorism 451, Bihar al-Anwar: 164/74, Yanabi‘ al-Mawadda: 2/252/707.
  • 136. Al-Mawa‘iz al-‘Adadiyya: 61.
  • 137. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8878.
  • 138. Nahj al-Balagha: Aphorism 268, Tuhaf al-‘Uqul: 201, Al-Tusi, Al-Amali: 364/767.
  • 139. Al-Kafi: 2/149/7, Ma‘ani al-Akhbar: 267/1, Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 204.
  • 140. Kanz al-Fawa’id: 1/93.
  • 141. Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 218, Bihar al-Anwar: 78/57/121.
  • 142. Ghurar al-Hikam: 10184, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 518/940.
  • 143. Ghurar al-Hikam: 10184, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 98/2253.
  • 144. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9150.
  • 145. Ghurar al-Hikam: 2528, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 200/4048.
  • 146. Bihar al-Anwar: 74/166.
  • 147. Ghurar al-Hikam: 4510, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 203/4119.
  • 148. Ghurar al-Hikam: 2291, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 20/311/573.
  • 149. Ghurar al-Hikam: 2419, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 81/1961.
  • 150. Ghurar al-Hikam: 10184, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 118/2649.
  • 151. ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 2/53/204, Al-Saduq, Al-Amali: 531/718, Ghurar al-Hikam: 289.
  • 152. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8861, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 457/8286.
  • 153. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9422, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 473/8646.
  • 154. Nahj al-Balagha: Aphorism 176, Khasa’is al-A’imma: 110, Ghurar al-Hikam: 1256.
  • 155. Ghurar al-Hikam: 5067, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 242/4612.
  • 156. Ghurar al-Hikam: 2727, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 100/291.
  • 157. Ghurar al-Hikam: 8613.
  • 158. Al-Mawa‘iz al-‘Adadiyya: 57. Apparently meaning to measure people according to their own capacities and circumstances.
  • 159. Ghurar al-Hikam: 9450, ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz: 473/8681.
  • 160. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 20/311/574.
  • 161. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 309/550.
  • 162. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 20/331/798.
  • 163. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 20/320/673.
  • 164. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 338/871.
  • 165. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 282/232.
  • 166. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 337/865.
  • 167. Tuhaf al-’Uqul: 150. Also cf., Al-Kafi: 1/45/6, Al-Mufid, Al-Amali: 206/38.
  • 168. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 20/320/863.
  • 169. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 20/344/953.
  • 170. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha: 336/953.