Through its laws, Islam has paid very much attention to disciplining the behavior, conducts, and mental instincts of human beings, because the major aim of Islam is to create a virtuous human being who seeks justice, establishes the truth, and makes every effort to achieve comprehensive prosperity for himself as well as his nation and homeland.
Islam’s view to humanity has always been so comprehensive that it depended upon the entire apprehension of man’s mental affairs and components. Islam therefore treated all these affairs as objectively and precisely as possible, establishing perfect methods that deter man from any sort of deviation and misconduct that may lead to a bottomless abyss.
The methods of Islamic education extend to the depths of souls and the innermost feelings to purify them from such wicked sentiments as selfishness, arrogance, charlatanry, and hypocrisy. These methods also create a strong bond between the Creator and the created beings to take them up to the world of illumination and self-denial. This is why man is distinguished from all other created beings and is given the honor to be the vicegerent of Almighty Allah on this planet.
It goes without saying that the wide-awake religious education that is based on sound foundations will contribute greatly to the eradication of wrong and injustice and to the prevalence of social justice, if only it is put into effect and is given prevalence over the whole world.
Imam Ali (‘a), the most thoughtful mind of humanity as a whole, comprehended masterfully all fields of life, touched on the impressions of human beings all over the stages of their lives, and knew their tendencies and inclinations. Referring to this fact, he (‘a) says,
Even though I have not reached the age which those before me had; yet I looked into their behavior and thought over events of their lives. I walked among their ruins until I was as one of them. In fact, by virtue of those of their affairs that have become known to me, it is as though I have lived with them from the first to the last. I have therefore been able to discern the impure from the clean and the benefit from the harm.
In accordance with his understanding of what makes man happy and what makes him wretched, Imam Ali (‘a), through his instructions that he made to his sons and prominent companions, established his own educational courses that are characterized by targeting at the issues and traits of souls so as to divest them of any wicked feature and to found them on sound bases of non- stop alert and perfect perception, which deter souls from any behavioral deviation.
These courses too, comprise all aspects of life, including the reciprocal behavior and the strong bonds that are required to exist among all human beings. The Imam (‘a) thus declares that man must love for his mates whatever he loves for himself and hate for them whatever he hates for himself. He (‘a) also declares that human beings are always the brothers of each other, even if their religions, faiths, ethnic groups, and colors vary.
Let us now present a group of Imam Ali’s precious instructions and precepts.
From the father who is shortly to die, who acknowledges the hardships of the times, who has turned away from life, who has submitted himself to the calamities of time, who realizes the evils of the worlds, who is living in the abodes of the dead and is due to depart from them any day; to the son who yearns for what is not to be achieved, who is treading the path of those who have died, who is the victim of ailments, who is entangled in the worries of the days, who is a target of hardships, a slave of the world, a trader of its deception, a debtor of wishes, a prisoner of mortality, an ally of worries, a neighbor of grief, and a victim of distresses, who has been overpowered by desires and who is a successor of the dead.
Now you should know that what I have learnt from the turning away of this world from me, the onslaught of time over me, and the advancing of the next world towards me is enough to prevent me from remembering anyone except myself and from thinking beyond myself. However, when I confined myself to my own worries leaving the worries of others, my intelligence saved me and protected me from my desires.
It clarified to me my affairs and led me to seriousness wherein there was no trickery and truth, which was not tarnished by falsehood. Here, I found you a part of myself, rather I found you my whole, so much so that if anything befell you, it was as though it befell me and if death came to you it was as though it came to me. Consequently, your affairs meant to me what my own matters meant to me. So, I have written this piece of advice to you as an instrument of seeking help through it, whether I remain alive for you or cease to exist.
I advise you, O my child, to fear Allah, to abide by His commands, to fill your heart with remembrance of Him, and to cling to hope from Him. No connection is more reliable than the connection between you and Allah provided you take hold of it.
Enliven your heart with preaching, kill it by renunciation, energize it with firm belief, enlighten it with wisdom, humiliate it by recalling death, make it believe in mortality, make it see the misfortunes of this world, make it fear the authority of the time and the severity of some changes during the nights and the days, place before it the events of past people, recall to it what befell those who were before you, and walk among their cities and ruins.
Then, see what they did and from what they have gone away and where they have gone and stayed. You will find that they departed from their friends and remain in loneliness. Shortly, you too will be like one of them. Therefore, plan for your place of stay and do not sell your next life with this world.
Give up discussing what you do not know and speaking about what does not concern you. Keep off the track from which you fear to go astray because refraining from moving when there is fear of straying is better than embarking on dangers. Ask others to do good deeds; you will thus be among the good doers. Desist others from evil with your action as well as your speech and keep off, to the best of your ability, from he who commits it.
Struggle for Allah as is His due; and the reviling of a reviler should not deter you in matters of Allah. Leap into dangers for the sake of the truth wherever it be. Acquire insight into religious law. Habituate yourself to endure hardships since the best trait of character is endurance in matters of the truth.
In all your affairs, resign yourself to Allah, because you will thus be resigning yourself to a secure shelter and a strong protector. You should ask only from your Lord because in His hand is all the giving and depriving. Seek prosperity from Allah as much as you can. Understand my advice and do not turn away from it, because the best saying is that which benefits. Know that there is no good in that knowledge, which does not benefit, and if knowledge is not made use of, then its acquisition is not justified.
O my child, when I noticed that I was of goodly age and noticed that I was increasing in weakness, I hastened with my will for you and wrote down salient points of it; lest death overtook me before I divulged to you what I have in my heart, or lest my wit be affected as my body has been affected, or the forces of passions or the mischief of the world overtake you making you like a stubborn camel.
Certainly, the heart of a young man is like uncultivated land. It accepts whatever is strewn on it. So, I hastened to mould you properly before your heart hardened up and your mind became occupied, so that you might be ready to accept through your intelligence the results of the experience of others and be saved from going through these experiences yourself.
In this way, you would avoid the hardship of seeking them and the difficulties of experimenting. Thus, you are getting to know what we had experienced and even those things are becoming clear to you, which we might have missed.
O my child, even though I have not reached the age, which those before me have, yet I looked into their behavior and thought over events of the lives. I walked among their ruins until I was as one of them. In fact, by virtue of those of their affairs that have become known to me, it is as though I have lived with them from the first to the last. I have therefore been able to discern the impure from the clean and the benefit from the harm.
I have selected for you the choicest of those matters, collected for you their good points, and kept away from you their useless points. Since I feel for you affairs as a living father should feel, and I aim at giving you training, I thought it should be at a time when you are advancing in age and new on the stage of the world, possessing upright intention and clean heart and that I should begin with the teaching of the Book of Allah, to Whom belongs Might and Majesty, and its interpretation, the laws of Islam and its commands, its lawful matters and unlawful matters, and that I should not go beyond these for you.
Then I feared lest you should be confused as other people had been confused on account of their passions and different views. Therefore, in spite of my dislike for you being so warned, I thought it better for me to make this position strong rather than leave you in a position where I do not regard you safe from falling into destruction. I hoped that Allah would help you in your straightforwardness and guide you in your resoluteness. Consequently, I wrote this piece of my will for you.
Know, O my child, that what I love most for you to adopt from my will is to fear Allah, to confine yourself to what Allah has made obligatory on you, and to follow the actions of your forefathers and the virtuous people of your household, because they did not fall short in seeing for themselves what you will see for yourself, and they did about their affairs as you would like to think about your affairs.
Thereafter, their thinking led them to discharge the obligations they came to know of and to desist from what they were not required to do. If your heart does not accept this without acquiring knowledge as they acquired it, then your search should first be by way of understanding and learning and not by falling into doubts or being entangled in quarrels.
Before you probe into this, you should begin by seeking Allah’s help and turning to Him for competence and keeping aloof from everything that throws you into doubt or flings you towards misguidance.
When you have made sure that your heart is clean and humble and your thoughts have come together and you have only one thought which is about this matter, when you will see what I have explained to you; but if you have not been able to achieve that peace of observation and thinking which you would like to have, then know that you are only stamping the ground like a blind she-camel and falling into darkness while a seeker of religion should not grope in the dark or create confusion. It is better to avoid this.
Appreciate my advice, O my child, and know that He Who is the Master of death is also the Master of life, that the Creator causes death as well; that He Who destroys is also the restorer of life and that He Who inflicts disease is also the curer. This world continues in the way Allah has made it with regard to its pleasures, trials, rewards on the Judgment Day, and all that He wishes and you do not know.
If any thing of this advice is not understood by you, then attribute it to your ignorance of it, because when you were first born, you were born ignorant. Thereafter, you acquired knowledge. There are many matters of which you are ignorant, in which your sight first wonders, and your eye wonders. Then after this, you see them. Therefore, cling to Him Who created you, fed you, and put you in order. Your worship should be for Him, your eagerness should be towards Him, and your fear should be of Him.
Know, O my child, that no one received messages from Allah the Glorified as the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his progeny) did. Therefore, regard him as your forerunner and leader towards deliverance. Certainly, I shall spare no effort in giving you advice and surely, even if you try, you cannot acquire that insight for your welfare as I have for you.
Know, O my child, that if there had been a partner with your Lord, his messengers too should have come to you, you would have seen signs of his authority and power, and you should have known his deeds and qualities. But He is only One God as He has described Himself. No one can dispute with Him in His authority. He is from ever and will be forever. He is before all things without any beginning.
He will remain after all things without any end. He is far too great to have His divinity proved by the encompassing heart or eye. When you have understood this, then you should do what is done by him who is like you by way of his low position, his lack of authority, his increasing incapability, and his great need of his Lord for seeking His obedience, fearing His chastisement, and apprehending His anger, because He does not command you save for virtue and does not refrain you save from evil.
O my child, I have informed you about the world, its condition, its decay, and its passing away; and I have informed you of the next world and of what has been provided in it for its people. I have recounted to you parables about it so that you may draw instruction from them and act upon them.
The example of those who have understood the world is like those travelers who, being disgusted with drought-stricken places, set off for greenery and a fruitful place. Then, they endure difficulties on the way, separation from friends, hardships of the journey, and unwholesome food in order to reach their fields of plenty and place of stay. Consequently, they do not feel any pain in all this and do not regard any expenditure to be waste.
Nothing is more loveable to them than what takes them near their goal and carries them closer to their place of stay. Against this, the example of those who are deceived by this world is like the people who were in a green place but they became disgusted with it and went to a drought-stricken place. Therefore, for them, nothing is more detestable or abominable than to leave the place where they were to go to a place, which they will reach unexpectedly and for which they are heading.
O my child, 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 deeds to others as you would like good deeds 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. Do not talk about what you do not know even though what you know be very little. Do not say to others what you do not like to be said to you.
Know that self-admiration is contrary to propriety of action and is a calamity for the mind. Therefore, increase your striving and do not become a treasurer for wealth to be inherited by others. When you have been guided on the right path, humble yourself before Allah as much as you can.
Know that in front of you lies a road of long distance and severe hardship and that you cannot avoid seeking it. Take your requirements of provision keeping the burden light. Do not load your back beyond your power lest its weight becomes a mischief for you. Whenever you come across a needy person who can carry for you your provision to hand it back to you on the Judgment Day when you will need it, then accept him as good opportunity and get him to carry it.
Put in that provision as much as you are able to, for it is likely that if you may need him afterwards, you may not get hold of him. If a person is willing to borrow from you in the days of your affluence to pay it back to you at the time of your need, then make use of this opportunity.
Know that in front of you lies an impassable valley wherein the light- burdened man will be in a better condition than the heavy-burden one, and the slow-paced would be in a worse condition than the swift-paced. Your terminating point at the other end of this passage will necessarily be either Paradise or Hell. Therefore, reconnoiter for yourself before alighting, and prepare the place before coming down, because after death there can be no preparation nor return to this world.
Know that He Who owns the treasuries of the heavens and the earth has permitted you to pray to Him and has promised you acceptance of the prayer. He has commanded you to beg from Him in order that He may give you and to seek His mercy in order that He may have mercy on you. He has not placed anything between you and Him that may veil Him from you.
He has not required you to have a mediator for you to Him, and if you err, He has not prevented you from repentance. He does not hasten with punishment. He does not taunt you for repenting, nor does He humiliate you when humiliation is more appropriate for you. He has not been harsh in accepting repentance. He does not severely question you about your sins. He does not disappoint you of His mercy. Rather, He regards abstention from sin as a virtue. He counts your one sin as one while He counts your one virtue as ten.
He has opened for you the door of repentance and the door of listening to your excuses. Therefore, whenever you call Him, He hears your call, and whenever you whisper to Him, He knows the whispers.
You place before Him your needs, unveil yourself before Him, complain to Him of your worries, beseech Him to remove your troubles, seek His help in your affairs, and ask from the treasuries of His mercy that no one else has power to give, namely length of life, health of body, and increase in sustenance. Then, He has placed the keys to His treasuries in your hands in the sense that He has shown you the way to ask Him.
Therefore, wherever you wish, open the doors of His favor with prayer and let the abundant rains of His mercy fall on you. Delay in acceptance of the prayer should not disappoint you, because the grant of prayer is according to the measure of your intention. Sometimes, acceptance of prayer is delayed with a view to its being a source of greater reward to the asker and of better gifts to the expectant.
Sometimes, you ask for a thing but it is not given to you, and a better thing is given to you later or a thing is taken away from you for some greater good of yours, because sometimes, you ask for a thing, which contains ruin for your religion if it is given to you. Therefore, your request should be for things whose beauty should be lasting and whose burden should remain away from you. As for wealth, it will not last for you nor will you live for it.
O my child, know that you have been created for the next world, not for this world, for destruction in this world not for lasting, and for dying not for living. You are in a place, which does not belong to you, a house for making preparations, and a passage towards the next world.
You are being chased by death from which the runner-away cannot escape, as it would surely overtake him. So, be on guard against it; lest it overtakes you at a time when you are in a sinful state and you are thinking of repenting but it creates obstruction between you and repentance. In such a case, you will ruin yourself.
O my child, remember death very much and the place where you have to go suddenly and reach after death, so that when it comes you are already on your guard against it and have prepared yourself for it and it does not come to you all of a sudden and surprise you. Beware lest you become deceived by the leanings of the people towards worldly attraction and their rushing upon it. Allah has warned you about it and the world has informed you of its mortal character and unveiled to you its evils.
Surely, those who go after it are like barking dogs or devouring carnivore who growl at each other, the stronger among them eat away the weaker, and the big among them tramples over the small. Some are like tied cattle and some like untied cattle that have lost their wits and are running in unknown directions. They are flocks of calamities wandering in rugged valleys.
There is neither herdsman to detain them nor tenderer to take them to grazing. The world has put them on the track of blindness and taken away their eyes from the beacons of guidance. They have therefore been perplexed in its bewildering and sunk in its pleasures. They took it as a god so it played with them. They too played with it and forgot what is beyond it.
Darkness is disappearing gradually. Now, it is as though travelers have come down and the hasteners will soon meet.
Know, O my child, that everyone who is riding on the carriage of night and day is being carried by them even though he may be stationary, and he is covering the distance even though he is staying and resting.
Know with certainty that you cannot achieve your desire and cannot exceed your destined life. You are on the track of those before you. Therefore, be humble in seeking and moderate in earning, because often seeking leads to deprivation. Every seeker of livelihood does not get it, nor is everyone who is moderate in seeking deprived.
Keep yourself away from all low things even though they may take you to your desired aims, because you will not have any return for your own respect, which you spend. Do not be the slave of others, for Allah had made you free. There is no good in the good that is achieved through evil and no good in comfort that is achieved through disgracing hardship.
Beware lest bearers of greed should carry you and make you descend to the springs of destruction. If you can manage that there must not be any wealthy person between yourself and Allah, do so, because in any case you will find what is for you and obtain your share. A little received directly from Allah the Glorified is more dignified than that which is more but is received through the obligation of His creatures, although really all is from Allah.
It is easier to rectify what you miss by silence than to secure what you lose by speaking. Whatever is in a pot can be retained by closing the lid. I should prefer you to retain what is in your hands rather to seek what is in other’s hands. Bitterness of disappointment is better than seeking from people. Manual labor with chastity is better than the riches of a vicious life. A man is the best guard of his own secrets. Often a man strives for that harms him. He who speaks much speaks nonsense.
Whoever ponders perceives. Associate with people of virtue; you will become one of them. Keep aloof from people of vice; you will remain safe from them. The worst food is that which is unlawful. Oppressing the weak is the worst oppression. Where leniency is unsuitable, harshness is lenience. Often cure is illness and illness is cure. Often the ill-wisher gives correct advice while the well-wisher cheats.
Do not depend upon hopes because hopes are the mainstay of fools. It is wise to preserve one’s experience. Your best experience is that which teaches you a lesson. Make use of leisure before it changes into the hour of grief. Every seeker does not achieve what he seeks; and every leaving one does not return. To lose provision and to earn evil for the Judgment Day means ruin. Every matter has a consequence.
What is destined for you will shortly come to you. A trader undertakes a risk. Often a small quantity is more beneficial than a large quantity. There is no good in an ignoble helper nor in a suspicious friend. Be compliant with the world as long as it is in your grip. Do not put yourself to risk as regards any thing in expectation for more than that. Beware lest the feeling of enmity should overpower you.
Bear yourself towards your brother in such a way that if he disregards kinship, you keep to it; when he turns away, be kind to him and draw near to him; when he withholds, spend for him; when he goes away, approach him; when he is harsh, be lenient; when he commits wrong, think of his excuse for it so much so as though you are a slave of him and he is the benevolent master over you. But take care that this should not be done inappropriately and that you should not behave so with an undeserving person.
Do not take the enemy of your friend as a friend because you will thus antagonize your friend. Give true advice to your brother, be it good or bitter. Swallow your anger because I did not find a sweeter thing than it is in the end, and nothing more pleasant in consequence. Be lenient to him who is harsh to you for it is likely that he will shortly become lenient to you. Treat your enemy with favors, because this is sweeter of the two successes: the success of revenge and the success of doing favor.
If you intend to cut yourself off from a friend, leave some scope for him from your side by which he may resume friendship if it so occurs to him some day. If anyone has a good idea about you, prove it to be true. Do not disregard the interests of your brother depending upon your terms with him, for he is not your brother if you disregard his interests. Your household should not become the most miserable people through you. Do not lean towards him who turns away from you.
Your brother should not be more firm in his disregard of kinship than you in paying regard to it, and you should exceed in doing good to him than is evil to you. Do not feel too much the oppression of a person who oppresses you, because he is only busy in harming himself and benefiting you. The reward of him who pleases you is not that you displease him.
Know, O my child, that livelihood is of two kinds: a livelihood that you seek and a livelihood that seeks you, which is such that if you do not reach it, it will come to you. How bad it is to bend down at the time of need and to be harsh in riches! You should have from this world only that with which you can adorn your permanent abode.
If you cry over what has gone out of your hands, then also cry for what has not at all come to you. Infer about what has not yet happened from what has already happened, because occurrences are ever similar. Do not be like those whom preaching does not benefit unless you inflict pain on them, because the wise take instruction from teaching while beasts learn only from beating.
Ward off from yourself the onslaught of worries by firmness of endurance and purity of belief. He who gives up moderation commits excess. A companion is like a relation. A friend is he whose absence also proves the friendship. Passion is a partner of distress. Often the near ones are remoter than the distant ones, and often the distant ones are nearer than the near ones.
A true stranger is he who has no friend. He who transgresses the truth narrows his own passage. He who stays in his position remains constant upon it. The most trustworthy intermediary is that which you adopt between yourself and Allah the Glorified. He who does not care for your interests is your enemy. When greed leads to ruin, deprivation is an achievement. Not every defect can be reviewed, and not every opportunity recurs. Often a person with eyes misses the track while a blind person finds the correct path.
Delay an evil because you will be able to hasten it whenever you desire. The disregard of kinship of the ignorant is equal to the regard for kinship of the wise. Whoever takes the world to be safe, it will betray him. Whoever regards the world as great, it will humiliate him. Everyone who shoots does not hit. When authority changes, the time changes too. Consult the friend before adopting a course and the neighbor before taking a house. Beware, lest you mention in your speech what may rouse laughter even though you may be relating it from others.
Do not consult women because their view is weak and their determination is unstable. Cover their eyes by keeping them under the veil because strictness of veiling keeps them for long. Their coming out is not worse than your allowing an unreliable man to visit them. If you can manage that they should not know anyone other than you, do so.
Do not allow a woman matters other than those about herself, because a woman is a flower not an administrator. Do not pay her regard beyond herself. Do not encourage her to intercede for others. Do not show suspicion out of place, because this leads a correct woman to evil and a chaste woman to deflection.
For every one among your servants, fix a work for which you may hold him responsible. In this way, they will not fling the work one over the other. Respect your kinsmen, because they are your wings with which you fly, the origin towards which you return, and your hands with which you attack. Place your religion and your world at Allah’s disposal and beg Him to ordain the best for you in respect of the near and the far, this world and the next, and that is an end to the matter.
O my son, I instruct you to stick to piety to Almighty Allah, to performing the prayers in their times, to defraying the zakat duties at their times, and to performing the ritual ablution as excellently as possible, for a prayer is not accepted unless it is preceded by a way of purification and a prayer of one who refrains from defraying the zakat duty is not acceptable.
I also instruct you to pardon the sinful, suppress your rage, regard your relatives, act clemently at situations of the others’ impatience, learn the religious knowledge, be sure of all matters (before indulging into them), maintain reciting the Quran, act kindly towards the neighbors, enjoin the right, forbid the wrong, and avoid all indecencies in all matters that are
regarded as disobedience to Almighty Allah.1
O son, I command you to fear Allah in richness and poverty, cling to the word of the truth in satisfaction and rage, be moderate in richness and poverty, be fair to your friends and enemies, work in activity and laziness, and satisfy yourself with Allah in crises and luxury.
O son, an evil that is followed by Paradise is not a true evil, and a welfare that is followed by Hellfire is not a true welfare. Every comfort other than Paradise is valueless and every misfortune other than Hellfire is in reality wellbeing.
You should know, O my son, that he who notices his own flaws will give up chasing others’ flaws. Nothing will cover those who strip the covers of piety. He who satisfies himself with Allah’s distribution of sustenance will not be sad for that which misses him. He who unsheathes the sword of aggression will be killed with it. He who digs a well for his brother will fall in it.
The screens of the houses of those who tear others’ screens will be exposed. He who neglects his sin will see the others’ sins as great. He who overdoes will be exhausted. He who pushes himself in the risks will be sunken. He who prefers his opinion will deviate.
He who clings only to his own views will make mistakes. He who shows arrogance against people will be humiliated. He who associates with the scholars will be respected. He who associates with the mean ones will be disgraced. He who belittles people will be insulted. He who intrudes himself in evils will be accused. He who jokes will be disrespected. He who gives much of something will be known of it.
Much speech leads to much erring. Much erring leads to decreased modesty. Little modesty leads to decreased piety. Little piety deadens the heart. The dead-hearted will be in Hell.
O son, the actual foolish is he who looks in people’s defects and accepts the same defects for himself. He who ponders over things will surely learn lessons. He who learns lessons will surely retire. He who retires will be in safe. He who neglects the passions will live in freedom. People will bear love to those who abandon envy.
O son, the honor of the faithful believer is to dispense with people. Satisfaction is a never-ending treasure. He who mentions death frequently will satisfy himself with little worldly pleasures. He who realizes that his words are within his deeds will speak of nothing except what benefits him.
O son, how strange that who fears the punishment and does not cease doing evil is! How strange that who wishes for the rewards and does not repent or work is!
O son, intelligence casts on illumination, inadvertence casts on gloom, and ignorance casts on deviation. The actual happy is he who learns lessons from the others. Morality is the best heritage. The best friend is good mannerism. No growth can be expected from rupturing relations with the relatives and no wealth should be waited from lechery.
O son, good health is of ten parts, nine of which lies in silence except in situations of remembering Allah, and one lies in the abandonment of associating with the foolish ones.
O son, for those who dress the acts of disobedience to Allah in their meetings, Allah will cast humility on them. He who seeks studies will surely learn.
O son, lenience is the head of knowledge, and idiocy is its epidemic. Patience in misfortunes is one of the treasures of faith. Continence is the adornment of poverty. Thanking is the adornment of richness. Excessive visits create boredom. Tranquility is the opposite of prudence if it precedes awareness. Self-esteem refers to weak-mindedness.
O son, many views have brought sorrow, and many words have deprived of grace.
O son, there is no honor higher than Islam, no generosity more glorious than God-fearing, no fortress more protective than piety, no interceder more successful than repentance, no dress fitter than good health, and no wealth more sufficient than satisfaction with the sustenance.
He who confines himself to the minimum necessity will have rest before others and will find himself a place in the tranquil life.
O son, greed is the key to fatigue, the mount of exhaustion, and the leader to the commitment of sins. Avidity is the comprehensive of defects. The matters that you abominate from others should be sufficient discipliners for you. Your friend should enjoy the same rights that you enjoy. He who engages himself in an affair before examining the outcome will suffer misfortunes.
Planning before working saves from sorrow. He who propounds the opinions will realize the places of errors. Patience is a protector against poverty. Niggardliness is the dress of misery. Acquisitiveness is the sign of destitution. A poor man who keeps good relations is better than a wealthy one who breaks his relations with others. Everything has a food. Son of Adam (i.e. a human being) is the food of death.
O son, do not make a sinner despair. Many adopters of sins enjoy a happy end and many benevolent ones rupture their deeds and deserve Hellfire. Allah may protect us from Hellfire.
O son, many disobedient ones may be saved and many obedient ones may fail. The provisions of those who adhere to honesty will be easily attainable. The good lies in defying the passions. Hours reduce the age. Woe be to the aggressors, because the best of judges and the knower of the hidden of those who hide does exist.
O son, violence against the servants (of Allah) is the worst supplies to the Next World. Every dose has a choke and every meal has a lump in the throat. No grace can be obtained unless another is missed. Rest is very close to fatigue, misery is very close to bliss, death is very close to life, and illness is very close to health. Blessed be those who behave faithfully to Allah in action, knowledge, love, hatred, receipt, refusal, speech, silence, deeds, and words.
Excellent is the knowledgeable who acts seriously and gets ready as he fears death. He gives advice when he is asked, and keeps peace when he is neglected. His wording is true and his silence is an answer without exhaustion. Woe be to those who suffer deprivation, disappointment, and disobedience. They satisfy themselves with what they hate from others and disgrace people for doing what they themselves do.
O son, you should know that the affection of those whose wording is lenient is obligatory. May Allah guide you to your prosperity and reckon you with the people of his obedience, by the help of His potency. He is surely All-benevolent and All-generous.2
Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said to his sons,
O my sons, associate with people in such a manner that if you die, they weep over you, and if you are alive, they crave for your company.3
The Imam (‘a), at the last hours of his lifetime, gathered his sons and said to them,
Abide by piety and obedience to Allah and do not regret the worldly pleasures that have been taken away from you. Rise to serve your Lord and work hard in this field, but do not be reluctant, lest you will accept lowliness and encounter humiliation.
O Allah, please gather them and us on the true guidance, make them and us abstain from the worldly pleasures, and make the other world better for us than this world.4
O son, hatred drives to death. A man who recognizes his actual worth will never be exposed to perdition. Whoever immunizes himself against his lusts will protect his worth. The value of every man depends upon what he masters excellently. Learning lessons from others brings about rationality. The most honorable wealth is to abandon hopes. Avidity is present poverty. Amicability is useful kinship. Your friend is your full brother, but not every full brother can be a friend.
Do not befriend the enemy of your friend, lest you will be the enemy of your friend. Many remote people are nearer than the close ones. A poor man who keeps good relations is better than a wealthy one who breaks his relations with others. Preaching is a haven for those who understand it properly.
He who puts others under obligation for a favor that he has done to them, has in fact spoiled his favor. He whose manners are ill, will bring about torment to himself and will be the worthiest of being hated. It is not fair to judge according to conjecture rather than confidence.
How ugly a wicked man becomes when he overcomes! How ugly depression is at misfortunes! How ugly it is to be coarse and rude to the neighbors! How ugly it is to disagree with the companion! How ugly it is for the magnanimous to be cunning! How ugly it is for a ruler to betray! You must follow your friend wherever he goes.
Do not desert your friend due to suspicion and do not leave him before you blame him. Perchance, he had an excuse while you are blaming him. Accept the apology of any one apologizing, be he truthful or untruthful, so that you will win the Intercession. Treat honorably those upon whom you depend in winning a matter, and show them more companionship, kindness, honor, reverence, and respect, because it is not proper that you recompense one who has pleased you with displeasure.
Confer upon the one who sits with you as many kind acts as possible, because, if you wish, you can experience his good reason. Whoever is attired with the garb of modesty, will have his defects concealed from the eyes of people. The provisions of those who adhere to moderation (i.e. economization) will be easily attainable. Whoever refrains from giving free hand to his lusts will attain good reason.
There is luxury with every hardship and there are chokes with every meal. No grace can be attained unless it is followed by harm. Lack of appreciation of graces is idiocy. To sit with the foolish is ill omen. Respect the rights of those who respect your rights whether they are high-ranking or lowly.
He who gives up moderation commits excess. He who transgresses the right narrows his own passage. Many diseased persons were cured and many healthy ones passed away. When greed leads to ruin, deprivation becomes an achievement. Seek the censure of those who find you excuses. Do not spend a single night of your lifetime while you intend to cheat someone. Cheating is the worst garb a Muslim may wear. Whoever cheats on others is the worthiest of being shown disloyalty.
Corruption eradicates the abundant fortunes while economization grows up the little fortune. It is generous to fulfill the vows. He who acts generously will be prevalent. Whoever understands matters will have more reason. Give true advice to your brother and help him in any case unless this may lead you to commit an act of disobedience to Almighty Allah. Be lenient to him who has been harsh to you, for this will make you win your request.
Hours of grief are hours of expatiation. Hours exhaust your lifetime. A pleasure that is followed by Hellfire is worthless. Prosperity that leads to Hellfire is not prosperity, and evil that leads to Paradise is not evil.
Every comfort other than Paradise is valueless and every misfortune other than Hellfire is welfare. Do not disregard the interests of your brother depending upon your terms with him, for he is not your brother if you disregard his interests. Your brother should not be more firm in his disregard of kinship than you in paying regard to it, and you should exceed him in acting nicely towards him than his acting evilly towards you.
O son, if you are strong, then use your strength in obedience to Allah the Almighty and All-majestic, and if you are weak, then be weak to disobey Him. Do not allow a woman matters other than those about herself. This is better for achieving prosperous and peaceful life and permanent beauty. A woman is a flower not an administrator. So, comply with her moods under all circumstances and treat her as excellently as possible so that your life with her will be peaceful.
Endure the acts of Almighty Allah by means of being pleased with them. If you wish to have the prosperity of this world and the other world, you must cut off your greed for what others possess. Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you, O son.5
Instructing his faithful companion Kumayl ibn Ziyad, Imam Ali (‘a) said to him,
O Kumayl, begin every day with mentioning Allah’s Name and saying,
‘There is neither might nor power except with Allah.’6 Put your trust in Allah. Mention us, pronounce our names, and invoke Allah’s blessings upon us. Seek the guard of Allah, our Lord, from the evil of Satan. With the previous acts, ward off evil against yourself and against whatever is under your custody, so that you will be saved from the evil of that day.
O Kumayl, Almighty Allah educated the Prophet (S) who, in turn, educated me, and I educate the believers and leave behind me the good education to the honorable people.
O Kumayl, I am the originator of every aspect of knowledge and the Rising Imam (i.e. Al-Qa'im) will be the sealer of all secrets.
O Kumayl, we are the offspring of one another. Allah is All-hearing and All-seeing.
O Kumayl, follow no one but us, so that you will be one of us.
O Kumayl, you need knowledge in every movement you may make.
O Kumayl, before you have food, mention the Name of Him Whose Name bans every malady and presents remedy for all ailments.
O Kumayl, share others with you on dining tables generously, and never be niggardly, because you will never endow anything to people. If you do so, Allah will reward you widely.
O Kumayl, when others sit with you for a meal, you may use good traits, give rest to your sitter, and do not blame your servant.
O Kumayl, when you are on a dining table, take as long as possible time so that your guest will have his sufficiency and others will be bestowed from your food.
O Kumayl, when you have enough food, praise Allah for His provisions to you, raising your voice so that others will imitate you and your reward will be doubled.
O Kumayl, do not fill in your stomach with food; rather, leave a place for water and flatus.
O Kumayl, do not gnaw your food, because the Messenger of Allah (S) did not use to gnaw food.
Do not leave a meal unless you still covet it. This will bring you health and make you taste its flavor, since the source of physical health is few food and water.
O Kumayl, blessing lies in the wealth of him who defrays the zakat tax, offers to the believers what they need, and regards the relatives.
O Kumayl, give your faithful relatives more than what you give to the other faithful believers. In addition, treat them more compassionately and more kindly. Give alms to the poor.
O Kumayl, never disappoint a beggar. Give him even a grain of grapes or a half date. With Allah, the alms are growing.
O Kumayl, modesty is the best dress of the believers, chastity is their best beauty, learning is their honor, and negligence of gossips is their dignity.
O Kumayl, beware of dispute, because if you do so, you will make the foolish ones challenge you and spoil your brotherhood with others.
O Kumayl, if you debate about Almighty Allah, do not speak to anyone except those who seem to be reasonable.
O Kumayl, those who debate about Almighty Allah with any person they meet are truly foolish. About them, Almighty Allah says, ‘Now surely, they themselves are the fools, but they do not know.’
O Kumayl, there is a degree of superiority with every people. Beware of discussing with the lowly even if they invite you to a discussion. Be tolerant and be one of those whom Allah describes as: ‘When addressed by the ignorant ones, their only response is, ‘Peace be with you.’’
O Kumayl, say the truth under all circumstances. Cherish the God-fearing ones, desert the sinful ones, avoid the hypocrites, and dissociate with the traitors.
O Kumayl, do not knock the doors of the unjust rulers for associating with them and earning from them. Beware of respecting them or attending their sessions, for Allah’s wrath will befall you if you do so. If you have to attend there, you should mention Allah uninterruptedly, depend upon Him, and seek His guard against them. Nod your head down, deny their deeds secretly, and glorify Allah openly so that you will be supported and saved against their evils.
Chastity, tolerance, and patience are the most favorable characters that the servants offer to Allah after their faith in Him and in His Vicegerents.
O Kumayl, there is no objection to you if you do not make others know your secrets.
O Kumayl, do not show your poverty to people. Forbear it for Allah’s sake dignifiedly and secretly.
O Kumayl, you can inform your brotherly friend of your secret. Yet, who is your true brotherly friend? He is that who does not disappoint you in misfortunes, does not leave you alone in troubles and sins, does not wait until you ask him for help, and does not let you inform him of your problem. You may lead him to straightforwardness when he is leaning.
O Kumayl, the believers should be the mirrors of each other; when they look at others, they should meet their needs and settle their problems.
O Kumayl, the believers are brothers. Brothers should never prefer anything to each other.
O Kumayl, if you do not like your brother, then you are not his brother. The true believer is he who follows our sayings. He who fails to keep to our sayings is acting imperfectly to us. He who acts imperfectly to us will not catch up with us. He who is not with us will be in the lowest storey of Hellfire.
O Kumayl, every concealed matter should be divulged in some way. If we divulge one of our secrets to you and order you to keep it, you should never show it to others. If you do so, then no repentance will promote you. When no repentance will promote you, your fate will be Lasa (a sorey of Hellfire).
O Kumayl, the divulgement of the secrets of Muhammad’s Household is unforgivable and intolerable. Except for the faithful believers, do not narrate their sayings to anyone.
O Kumayl, do not inform the disbelievers of our secret affairs; otherwise, they will increase their enmity towards you and use these secrets for eradicating you up to a day on which they will be punished for their acts.
O Kumayl, there must be a return for the Occulted Leader and there must come a day on which we will be the prevalent and the triumphant.
O Kumayl, Allah shall give you both the prosperity of the beginning and the prosperity of the end result.
O Kumayl, your enemies are now given respite because of your living among them; they are amused so that you are amused, they are allowed to drink because you are allowed to drink, they are allowed to eat because you are allowed to eat, and they are allowed to come and go because you are allowed to come and go.
Sometimes, you may exceed them in these matters. By Allah, they are forced to let you enjoy all these things. However, Allah the Almighty and All-majestic shall eventually give you victory and inflict disappointment on them.
By Allah, when the promised day will come and your Patron will appear, your enemies will no longer allowed to eat with you, to do what you will be allowed to do, to knock your doors, and to enjoy the blessings you will enjoy. They will be humble and despised: ‘wherever they are found, they shall be seized and murdered a horrible murdering.’
O Kumayl, the faithful believers and you must thank Allah the All-exalted for this grace and for all other graces.
O Kumayl, in problems, you should say, ‘There is neither might nor power except with Allah,’ so that these problems will be solved. In graces, you should say, ‘All praise be to Allah (Alhamdu-lillah ),’ so that they will be doubled for you. If your sustenance is slowed, you should implore the forgiveness of Allah so that sustenance will be increased for you.
O Kumayl, when Satan inspires evil insinuations in your heart, you should say, ‘I seek the protection of Allah the All-powerful against Satan the seducing. I seek the protection of Muhammad the well-pleased against the evil of whatever is predetermined and predestined. I seek the protection of the God of all people against the evil of all jinn and all human beings.’ You may then invoke Allah’s blessings upon the Prophet and his Household so that you will be saved from the burdens of Iblis and the devils that accompany him, although they all are not less evil than Iblis.
O Kumayl, the devils have their own trickeries, evil insinuations, hints, allusions, and stings that they use against every one according to the level of his obedience or disobedience to Almighty Allah. Therefore, they overcome people according to their standings and levels (of faith).
O Kumayl, there is no enemy more vehement than these devils and there is no harm more destructive than their harm. Their one and only wish is that you will accompany them when they will be driven to the painful chastisement, the flames of which will not be lessened for them and will not be stopped even for a single moment. They shall be abiding there everlastingly.
O Kumayl, the wrath of Allah the All-exalted is surrounding one who does not seeks protection against them through the Name of Allah and the name of His Prophet as well as the determining causes and the protective means of Allah, may His Almightiness be majestic. May Allah send peace and blessings upon His Prophet and the household of His Prophet!
O Kumayl, the devils seduce you by means related to themselves, but if you do not respond to them, they then cheat on you by means related to yourself.
Thus, they beautify your lusts in your sight, promise you that they will fulfill your wishes and desires, make matters light for you, make you forget (the right), warn you against (doing the true thing), enjoin you to commit the wrong, and then make you have an excessively good idea about Allah the Almighty and All-majestic so that you will hope for His forgiveness immoderately and thus you commit acts of disobedience to Him due to your falling under the seductive effects of the devils. However, the penal abode of the disobedient is Lasa.
O Kumayl, always remember and retain this saying of Allah the Almighty and All-majestic: ‘Satan has instigated them and given them respite (deceitfully).’ The one who seduces and instigates is none but Satan.
O Kumayl, always remember what Allah the All-exalted has said to Iblis the accursed: ‘And collect against them your forces riding and on foot, and share with them in wealth and children, and hold out promises to them; and Satan makes not promises to them but to deceive.’
O Kumayl, Iblis (Satan) does not make promises on himself; rather, he makes promises on behalf of the Lord so that he can make people dare to disobey the Lord. If they do, Satan will have engaged them in such disobediences.
O Kumayl, Satan comes to you with the most precise of his evil devices; he therefore orders you to do the act of obedience, which he knows that you have accustomed yourself to doing it familiarly. Thus, you believe that these suggestions are coming from a noble angel, while they are in reality issued by Satan the accursed. When you trust these suggestions and feel secure, Satan will then lead you to committing the grand, destructive sins the committers of which have no way to be redeemed.
O Kumayl, Satan has many snares that he installs; therefore, beware lest he makes you fall in one of them.
O Kumayl, the lands are full of the traps of the devils and none can be saved from these traps except those who adhere to us tenaciously. Allah the All-exalted has informed you that none can be redeemed from Satan except His true servants. The true servants of Allah are only those who are loyal to us.
O Kumayl, Allah the Almighty and All-exalted thus says, ‘Surely, as regards My servants, you (Satan) have no authority over them.’
Allah the Almighty and All-majestic also says, ‘His (i.e. Satan) authority is only over those who befriend him and those who associate others with Allah.’
O Kumayl, by being loyal to us, you may save yourself from letting Satan have a share in your wealth and sons.
O Kumayl, I swear by Allah the All-exalted that I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, ‘When Satan plans to make some people commit such offensive acts like adultery, drinking intoxicants, usury, and the like indecencies, he first endears to them intense worship, piety, kneeling (before God), submission (to God), and prostration. He then leads them to be loyal to the patterns that invite to Hellfire, and on the Resurrection Day, they shall not be assisted.’
O Kumayl, faith is either steady or shaky. Beware of having shaky faith.
O Kumayl, you will have steady faith only if you fit tightly to the patent path that will not lead you to a bend and will not take you away from the right course to which we have led and guided you.
O Kumayl, in obligatory actions, there is no permission (to leave doing them). In recommendable actions, there is no force (to do them).
O Kumayl, Allah the Almighty and All-majestic will not interrogate you except about what He has made incumbent upon you to do. We do the supererogatory devotional acts so that they will rescue us from the unbearable horrors and the predominating calamities on the Resurrection Day.
O Kumayl, your sins are more than your good deeds. Your oblivion is more than you remembering of Allah. Allah’s graces to you are more than your deeds (in obedience to Him).
O Kumayl, no single piece in you can be empty of Allah’s graces and bestowment of wellbeing. You should never neglect revering, glorifying, praising, thanking, and mentioning Him at every situation.
O Kumayl, do not be one of those about whom Allah says, ‘They forget about Allah. He will make them forget themselves.’ Hence, He ascribes sinfulness to them. He says, ‘These are the sinful people.’
O Kumayl, high ranks will not be obtained through mere performance of the prayers, observance of fasting, and giving of alms. The most important is to perform the prayers with pure intendment, acceptable act, and sound submission.
O Kumayl, when you genuflect and prostrate yourself in prayers, all your veins and knuckles must be in a state of utter restraint so that they will help you do perfectly all the parts of your prayers.
O Kumayl, you should see when and what for the prayers you are performing are performed. If it is not performed correctly and legally, it will not be accepted.
O Kumayl, the tongue receives from the heart, and the heart supplies the soul. Consider that with which you feed your heart and body. If the source is illegal, Allah will not accept your praising and thanking Him.
O Kumayl, you should realize and know that we do not permit anybody to breach the trust of anybody. He who relates that I have permitted anybody to breach the trust is surely wrong and sinful and his result will be Hellfire. I swear I heard the Prophet (S) saying to me frequently just one hour before his death, ‘O Abu’l-Hasan, give back what you are entrusted to its owner, whether he is pious or sinful, in big and small things, even if it is a thread or a needle.’ He repeated the last stament thrice each time he said it.
O Kumayl, jihad should be only under the leadership of the just leader (Imam) and spoils of war are legal only if a virtuous leader gives.
O Kumayl, without the advent of a prophet, the mission of promulgating for the religion by any person including the pious believers will be either right or wrong. Moreover, it will be surely wrong unless Allah selects (certain people) for such mission.
O Kumayl, the religion is Allah’s; therefore, He does not accept for anyone to call for it except the apostles, the prophets, and the successors of the prophets.
O Kumayl, the religion is Allah’s; therefore, do not be deceived by the sayings of the duped people who deviated after they had been guided to the truth and who denied and renounced after they had accepted the truth.
O Kumayl, the issue of the religion must be carried out by either a prophet, or a messenger, or an Imam (appointed by Allah). Otherwise, those who claim carrying out the mission of the religion are either followers, or ruling authorities, or devious persons, or transgressors.
O Kumayl, neither the Christians nor the Jews have disbelieved in the Divine Attributes of Almighty Allah. They have not denied Jesus and Moses either; rather, they added topics, deleted others, distorted laws, and disbelieved in others. For this reason, they were cursed and hated (by Almighty Allah), because they neither repented from their distortions nor consented to the truth.
O Kumayl, Allah accepts only from the pious.
O Kumayl, our father Adam did not beget a Jew or a Christian son; rather, his son was upright Muslim; but he did not carry out his duties; therefore, Allah did not accept the offering he had made to Him. Rather, He accepted from his brother. As a result, Adam’s son envied his brother and slew him.
He is now one of those who are detained in the chamber along with other eleven ones; six from the ancient nations and six from the last nation. This chamber is in the bottom of Hellfire. The entire heat of Hellfire is only caused by the vapor of that chamber. Now, consider how this chamber should be when the heat of Hellfire is only the vapor of it.
O Kumayl, by Allah, we (the Ahl Al-Bayt) are the ones who are the pious and who are the good-doers.
O Kumayl, Allah is certainly generous, clement, great, and merciful. He attracts our attentions to His traits, orders us to follow them, and invite people to adopt them. We (the Ahl Al-Bayt) did perform without slackness, put them into practice without hypocrisy, believe in them without disloyalty, and accept them without doubt.
We have never had devils to whom we inspired and from whom we might receive inspirations, as Allah the All-exalted has described some people and mentioned them by names in His Book, saying, ‘‘the devils from among men and jinn, some of them suggesting to others varnished falsehood to deceive them.’
O Kumayl, we are the minor weighty (i.e. precious) thing, while the Quran is the major. The Messenger of Allah (S) did make them all hear when he gathered them after he had called them all to attend a congregational prayer on a certain day and on other seven days. So, none of them failed to appear.
He then ascended the minbar, praised and thanked Almighty Allah, and said, ‘O groups of people, I am only conveying the messages of my Lord, but I never say any word from my own desire. Hence, whoever believes me has in fact believed Allah, and whoever believes Allah will be awarded the gardens of Paradise. Conversely, whoever belies me has belied Allah the Almighty and All-majestic, and whoever belies Allah will be sent to the fires of Hell by Him.’
The Prophet (S) then called me and I ascended the minbar with him, and he ordered me to be one scale lower. My head was thus to the level of his chest and Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn stood to his right and left sides. He then said, ‘O groups of people, (Archangel) Gabriel has ordered me on behalf of Allah the Almighty and All-majestic, your and my Lord, to let you know that the Quran is the major weighty thing and that my successor (Ali) and my two sons, and their descendants will be my vicegerents.
They represent the minor weighty things. The major weighty thing testifies to the minor weighty thing and the minor weighty thing testifies to the major weighty thing. Each one of these two is inseparably concomitant to the other until they both will return to Allah Who will then judge between the servants and them.’
O Kumayl, as long as this is our standing, then why did some people advance themselves before us and why did others fail to catch us?
O Kumayl, the Messenger of Allah did convey to them the message of his Lord and advise them sincerely, but they do not love those who advise them.
O Kumayl, one afternoon, on the mid-Ramasan day, when the Muhajirun and the An•ar were all present, the Messenger of Allah (S), standing on his feet on the minbar, said, ‘’Ali is part of me, my two sons are from him, the Immaculate Ones are part of me, and I am part of them. After their mother, they are the immaculate ones. They are also the ark that salvation will be the result of one who embarks on it, while drowning will be the consequence of one who fails to join it. Those who are saved will be eventually in Paradise, while those who have failed to join it will be in Lasa.
O Kumayl, ‘surely, grace is in the hand of Allah; He gives it to whom He pleases; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.’
O Kumayl, for what reason do they envy us while Allah had created us before they knew us? Do you think that they, because of their envy towards us, will be able to remove us away from our Lord?
O Kumayl, by Allah, we are the truth about which Allah the Almighty and All-majestic has said, ‘And should the truth follow their low desires, surely the heavens and the earth and all those who are therein would have perished.’
O Kumayl, by Allah, I am not slavish flatterer so as to be obeyed, I am not awakener of desires so as not to be disobeyed, and I am not coveting the food of the Bedouins (i.e. the money of the zakat taxes) so as to be called and given the name of Amiral-Mu'minin(Leader of the Believers).
O Kumayl, the seekers of the worldly pleasures will gain a vanishing and ending life, while we will gain a steady and continuous life.
O Kumayl, everybody will be to the next life. We only hope for Allah’s assent and the high ranks of Paradise that He gives to the God-fearing ones exclusively.
O Kumayl, he who will not live in Paradise, will surely suffer a painful agony and permanent shame.
O Kumayl, thank Allah for His giving you success and for all things given to you.7
- 1. Muhammad Baqir Al-Mahmudi, Nahj Al-Sa’adah fi Mustadrak Nahj Al-Balaghah 1:151.
- 2. Ibn Shu’bah Al-karrani, Tuhaf Al-’Uqul, pp. 90.
- 3. Ibn Al-Jawzi, Tadhkirat Al-Khawass, pp. 152.
- 4. Muhammad Baqir Al-Mahmudi, Nahj Al-Sa’adah fi Mustadrak Nahj Al-Balaghah 2:251.
- 5. Muhammad Baqir Al-Mahmudi, Nahj Al-Sa’adah fi Mustadrak Nahj Al-Balaghah 7:394- 400.
- 6. la hawla wa la quwwata illa billahi.
- 7. ‘Allamah Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 77:266-76; Ibn Shu’bah Al-karrani, Tuhaf Al-’Uqul, pp. 171-6 with difference in the order of some statements and addition of others.