Table of Contents

The World

The World الدُّنيا

The Life of this World

الحَياةُ الدُّنيا

1ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنّما سُمِّيَتِ الدُّنيا دُنيا لأ نّها أدنى مِن كلِّ شيءٍ ، وسُمِّيَت الآخِرةُ آخِرةً لأنّ فيها الجزاءَ والثوابَ.

1– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The world has been named dunya because it is lower than every thing, and the Hereafter has been named Akhira because it contains recompense and reward.’[‘Allal al-Sharai’a, v. 2, no. 1]

2ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): النّاسُ أبناءُ الدنيا ، ولايُلامُ الرجلُ على حُبِّ اُمِّهِ.

2– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘People are the sons of the world, and no man can be blamed for loving his mother.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying no. 303]

The World is the Plantation for the Hereafter

الدُّنيا مَزرَعَةُ الآخِرَةِ

3ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): الدنيا مَزرَعةُ الآخِرَةِ.

3– The Prophet (S) said, ‘The world is the plantation for the Hereafter.’[‘Awali al-La’ali, v. 1, p. 267, no. 66]

4ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): بالدنيا تُحرَزُ الآخِرَةُ.

4– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The Hereafter is secured through the world.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 156]

5ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنّ اللّه‏َ سبحانَهُ قد جَعَلَ الدنيا لِما بعدَها ، وابتَلى فيها أهلَها ، لِيُعلَمَ أيُّهُم أحسَنُ عَمَلاً ، ولَسنا للدنيا خُلِقنا ، ولا بالسَّعي فيها اُمِرنا .

5– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Verily Allah – glory be to Him – has made this world for what is after it and has put its inhabitants to trial so that He may know who from among them has the best deeds, and we have not been created for this world, nor have we been commanded to strive for it.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 55]

6ـ الإمامُ الباقرُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): نِعمَ العَونُ الدنيا علَى الآخِرَةِ .

6– Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘The world is the best aid for the Hereafter.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 73, p. 127, no. 126]

Explanation of the World

تَفسيرُ الدُّنيا

7ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): الدنيا ملعونةٌ وملعونٌ ما فيها ، إلّا ما ابتُغِيَ به وَجهُ اللّه‏ِ عزّوجلّ.

7– The Prophet (S) said, ‘The world is cursed along with what is in it, except that through which the pleasure of Allah is sought.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 6088]

8ـ الإمامُ زينُ العابدينَ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الدنيا دُنياءانِ: دنيا بلاغٍ ودنيا ملعونةٌ.

8– Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) said, ‘The world is of two types: that which causes one to attain [success in the Hereafter] and that which is cursed.’[al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 317, no. 8]

Taking Only What is Necessary from the World

الأخذُ مِنَ الدُّنيا بِقَدرِ الضَّرورَةِ

9ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ لرجلٍ‏شكا إليه الحاجةَ ـ: اِعلَم أنّ كلَّ شيءٍ تُصيبُهُ مِن الدنيا فوقَ قُوتِكَ فإنّما أنتَ فيهِ خازنٌ لِغيرِكَ.

9– Imam Ali (a.s.) said to a man who complained regarding his needs, ‘Know that everything that you attain in this world that supersedes your required provision, you are considered to be its treasurer for someone else.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 73, p. 90, no. 61]

10ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لا تَسألُوا فيها فوقَ الكَفافِ، ولا تَطلُبُوا منها أكثرَ مِن البلاغِ.

10– Imam Ali (a.s.) said [regarding the world], ‘Do not ask in it for what is more than a sufficient means of living and do not seek from it more than what you need.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 45]

11ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الدنيا دارُ المُنافِقينَ ولَيست بدارِ المُتّقينَ ، فَليكُنْ حظُّكَ مِن الدنيا قِوامَ صُلْبِكَ ، وإمساكَ نَفْسِكَ ، والتَزَوّدَ لمَعادِكَ .

11– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The world is the abode of the hypocrites and it is not the abode of the pious ones, so take from the world enough to keep your body strong, to keep yourself alive and to gain provision for your Resurrection.’[Matalib al-Sa’ul, no. 54]

12ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): ما منزلةُ الدنيا مِن نفسي إلّا بمنزلةِ الميتةِ، إذا اضطُرِرتُ إليها أكَلتُ مِنها.

12– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘The status of this world according to me is just as a dead body, where I will only eat from it if I am compelled to do so.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 193, no. 7]

The World With Regards to One Who Has Abandoned it

الدُّنيا لِمَن تَرَكَها

13ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): أوحَى اللّه‏ُ تَبارَكَ وَتَعالى إلى الدنيا: اِخْدِمي مَن خَدَمَنِي ، وأتْعِبي مَن خَدَمَكِ .

13– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Verily Allah revealed to the world, ‘Tire and wear out the one who serves you, and serve the one who rejects you.’[Amali al-Saduq, p. 230, no. 9]

14ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الدنيا لِمَن تَرَكَها والآخرةُ لِمَن طَلَبَها .

14– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The world is for the one who abandons it and the Hereafter is for the one who seeks it.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 73, p. 81, no. 43]

15ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَثَلُ الدنيا كَظِلِّكَ؛ إن وَقَفتَ وَقَفَ ، وإن طَلَبتَهُ بَعُدَ.

15– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The example of this world is like your shadow for if you stand still, it stands still and if you chase it, it distances itself.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 9818]

Criticizing the World without Knowledge

ذَمُّ الدُّنيا مِن دونِ عِلمٍ

16ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): لا تَسُبُّوا الدنيا فَنِعمَتْ مَطِيَّةُ المؤمنِ ، فعلَيها يَبلُغُ الخيرَ وبها يَنجو مِن الشرِّ ، إنّهُ إذا قالَ العبدُ: لَعَنَ اللّه‏ُ الدنيا قالَتِ الدُّنيا: لَعَنَ اللّه‏ُ أعصانا لِرَبِّهِ!

16– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Do not insult the world for it is the best mount for the believer, because by means of it he attains good and through it he is saved from evil. If a servant [of Allah] says: “May Allah curse the world”, the world replies: “May Allah curse the most disobedient one towards his Lord from among us!”.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 77, p. 178, no. 10]

17ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): أيُّها الذامُّ للدنيا المُغتَرُّ بِغُرورِها المَخدُوعُ بِأباطيلِها ، أتَغتَرُّ بالدنيا ثُمّ تَذُمُّها؟! أنتَ المُتَجرِّمُ علَيها أم هي المُتجَرِّمَةُ علَيكَ؟! متى استَهوَتْكَ أم متى غَرَّتكَ؟! ... إنَّ الدنيا دارُ صِدقٍ لِمَن صَدَقَها ، ودارُ عافيةٍ لِمَن فَهِمَ عنها ، ودارُ غِنىً لِمَن تَزَوَّدَ مِنها.

17– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘O you who insult the world, who have been deceived by its deceit and cheated by its falsities, do you covet the world and then insult it? Should you accuse it or should it accuse you? When did it bewilder it or deceive you?!… Verily the world is an abode of truth for he who is truthful to it, an abode of wellbeing for he who understands it, and an abode of riches for he who collects provision from it [for the next world].’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying.131]

Characteristics of the Condemned Aspect of the World

خَصائِصُ الدُّنيا المَذمومَةِ

18ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الدنيا سُوقُ الخُسرانِ.

18– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The world is the marketplace of the losers.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 396]

19ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الدنيا مَصرَعُ العقولِ .

19– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The world is the ground of ruin for the intellects.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 921]

20ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الدنيا مَعدِنُ الشرِّ ومحلُّ الغُرورِ .

20– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The world is the origin of evil and the place of deceit.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 1473]

21ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الدنيا مَزرعةُ الشَّرِّ .

21– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The world is a plantation of evil.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 401]

22ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الدنيا تُذِلُّ .

22– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The world lowers and abases [mankind].’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 3]

Love of the World is the Fountainhead of Every Mistake

حُبُّ الدُّنيا رَأسُ كُلِّ خَطيئَةٍ

23ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): أكبَرُ الكبائرِ حُبُّ الدنيا.

23– The Prophet (S) said, ‘The gravest of the grave sins is love of the world.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 6074]

24ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): حُبُّ الدنيا أصلُ كلِّ مَعصيَةٍ وأوّلُ كُلِّ ذَنبٍ.

24– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Love of the world is the origin of every act of disobedience and the beginning of every sin.’[Tanbih al-Khawatir, v. 2, p. 122]

25ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): لَيْسَ مِن حُبِّ الدنيا طَلَبُ ما يُصْلِحُكَ.

25– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Searching for what will improve you is not considered love of the world.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 5439]

26ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): رأسُ كلِّ خطيئةٍ حُبُّ الدنيا.

26– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘The fountainhead of every mistake is love of the world.’[al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 315, no. 1]

The Effects of Love of the World

ثَمَراتُ حُبِّ الدُّنيا

27ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): حُبُّ الدنيا يُفسِدُ العقلَ، وَيُصِمُّ القلبَ عن سَماعِ الحكمةِ ، ويوجِبُ أليمَ العِقابِ .

27– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Love of the world corrupts the intellect, it deafens the heart from hearing wisdom and it brings about a painful chastisement.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 4878]

28ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): حُبُّ الدنيا يُوجِب الطَّمَعَ .

28– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Love of the world engenders greed.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 4872]

29ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن تَعَلَّقَ قلبُهُ بالدنيا تَعَلَّقَ قلبُهُ بثلاثِ خصالٍ: هَمٍّ لا يَفنى ، وأمَلٍ لا يُدرَكُ ، ورجاءٍ لا يُنالُ .

29– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘The one who attaches his heart to the world has attached his heart to three things, endless worry, false expectation and an unattainable hope.’[al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 320, no. 17]

30ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن كَثُرَ اشتِباكُهُ بالدنيا كانَ أشَدَّ لحَسرَتِهِ عند فِراقِها .

30– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Whoever increasingly becomes ensnared by the world, his distress will be greater when separating from it.’[al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 320, no. 16]

The World from the Viewpoint of Imam Ali (a.s.)

الدُّنيا مِن وجهَةِ نَظَرِ الإمام عَلِيٍّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ)

31ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): واللّه‏ِ لَدُنياكُم هذهِ أهوَنُ في عَينِي مِن عِرَاقِ خِنزيرٍ في يَدِ مَجذومٍ.

31– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘By Allah, this world of yours is worse in my eyes than the sweat of a pig in the palm of a leper.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 236]

32ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): دُنياكُم هذِهِ أزهَدُ عِندي مِن عَفْطَةِ عَنزٍ.

32– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘This world of yours is more forsaken to me than the sneezing of a goat.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 3]

33ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لَدُنياكُم أهوَنُ عِندي مِن وَرَقَةٍ (في) فِي جَرادَةٍ تَقضِمُها ، ... ما لِعَلِيّ ونعيمٍ يَفْنى.

33– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Verily your world to me is more worthless than a leaf being gnawed at in the mouth of a locust. What has Ali got to do with perishable things?!’[Sharh Nahjul Balaghah li Ibn Abi al-Hadid, v. 11, p. 246]

34ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إليكِ عَنِّي يا دنيا ، فحَبلُكِ على غارِبِكِ ، قدِ انسَلَلتُ مِن مَخالِبِكِ ، وأفلَتُّ مِن حَبائلِكِ ، واجتَنَبتُ الذَّهابَ في مداحِضِكِ....

34– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Get away from me, O World! Your rein is on your own shoulders as I have released myself from your ditches, removed myself from your snares and avoided walking into your slippery places.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 45]

35ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): اُحَذِّرُكُمُ الدنيا ، فإنّها حُلوَةٌ خَضِرَةٌ حُفَّتْ بِالشَّهَواتِ.

35– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Beware of the world, for verily it appears sweet and green, surrounded by carnal and base desires.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 111]

36ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إحذَرُوا الدنيا ، فإنَّ في حلالِها حِساب[ا] ، وفي حَرامِها عقاب[ا] ، وأوّلُها عَناءٌ ، وآخِرُها فَناءٌ.

36– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Beware of the world, for verily with regards to its lawful things there is accountability and with regards to its unlawful things there is punishment, its beginning is hardship and its end is annihilation.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 23, no. 88]

37ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): اِحذَروا هَذِهِ الدنيا الخَدَّاعةَ الغَدّارةَ ، التي قد تَزَيّنَتْ بِحُلِيِّها ، وفَتَنَتْ بِغُرورِها... فأصبَحَتْ كالعَروسِ المَجْلُوَّةِ ، والعُيونُ إلَيها ناظِرَةٌ.

37– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Beware of this deceptive and deceitful world that has been beautified by its ornaments and has seduced through its delusions… such that it has become like an unveiled bride upon whom everyone’s eyes are gazing.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 73, p. 108, no. 109]

38ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إحذَروا الدنيا ، فإنّها غَدّارةٌ غَرّارةٌ خَدُوعٌ ، مُعطِيَةٌ مَنوعٌ ، مُلبِسةٌ نَزُوعٌ.

38– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Beware of the world, for verily it is deceptive, delusive and deceitful, it is a giver that deprives, and one who clothes yet leaves you naked.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 230]

39ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): اِحذَروا الدنيا ، فإنّها عَدُوّةُ أولياءِ اللّه‏ِ ، وعَدُوّةُ أعدائهِ ، أمّا أولياؤهُ فَغَمَّتهُم ، وأمّا أعداؤهُ فَغَرَّتهُم .

39– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Beware of the world, for verily it is the enemy of the friends of Allah and the enemy of His enemies too. As for the friends of Allah, it fills them with grief and as for Allah’s enemies, it deludes them.’[Nahj al-Sa’ada, v. 3, p. 202]

Warning against the Deception of the World

التَّحذيرُ مِن غُرورِ الدُّنيا

40ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): ألا وإنّ الدنيا دارٌ غَرّارةٌ خَدّاعةٌ ، تَنكِحُ في كلِّ يومٍ بَعْلاً ، وتَقتُلُ في كلِّ ليلةٍ أهلاً ، وتُفَرِّقُ في كلِّ ساعةٍ شَملاً .

40– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Verily the world is a house of deception and deceit, it takes a spouse everyday, kills a family every night and splits up a group every hour.’[Nahj al-Sa’ada, v. 3, p. 174]

41ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): فلا يَغُرَّنَّكُم كَثرَةُ ما يُعجِبُكُم فيها لِقِلَّةِ ما يَصحَبُكُم مِنها .

41– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Do not allow the abundance of what amazes you in it to deceive you because it will be only a little that you take from it.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 73, p. 118, no. 109]

42ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): غَرّارةٌ غَرورٌ ما فيها ، فانيةٌ فانٍ مَن علَيها، لا خَيرَ في شيءٍ مِن أزوادِها إلّا التَّقوى .

42– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘It is deceitful, and all that is in it is deceptive. It is perishable and all that is on it will perish. There is no good in any of its provisions except in piety and Godwariness.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 111]

Verily the World Deceives the Ignorant

إنَّما تَغُرُّ الدُّنيا الجاهِلَ

43ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): غُرّي يا دنيا مَن جَهِلَ حِيَلَكِ وخَفِيَ علَيهِ حبائلُ كَيدِكِ .

43– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘O World, deceive those who are ignorant of your tricks and who are unaware of the snares of your sly deceptions.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 6413]

44ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): العاجِلَةُ غُرورُ الحَمقى .

44– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The transient world is the booty of the foolish.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 1110]

45ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الفَرَحُ بالدُّنيا حُمقٌ .

45– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Being happy with the world is foolishness.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 404]

Warning against Being Satisfied with the World

التَّحذيرُ مِنَ الطُّمَأنينَةِ بِالدُّنيا

46ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ في قولهِ تعالى: «وكانَ تَحتَهُ كَنْزٌ لَهُما»ـ: كانَ ذلكَ الكنزُ لَوحاً مِن ذهبٍ فيه مَكتوبٌ: ... عَجِبتُ لِمَن يَرَى الدنيا وتَصَرُّفَ أهلِها حالاً بعدَ حالٍ كيفَ يَطمئنُّ إلَيها؟!

46– Imam Ali (a.s.) with regards to Allah’s verse: “Under it there was a treasure belonging to them”, said, ‘that (the treasure) was a golden tablet upon which was written… : I wonder at those who see the world and the fluctuating states that people experience, how can they be satisfied with it?’[Ma’ani al-Akhbar, p. 200, no. 1]

47ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): اُنظُرُوا إلى الدنيا نَظَرَ الزاهدِينَ فيها ، فإنّها عَن قليلٍ تُزيلُ الساكنَ ، وتَفجَعُ المُترَفَ فلا تَغُرَّنّكُم كَثرَةُ ما يُعجِبُكُم فيها لِقلَّةِ ما يَصحَبُكُم مِنها.

47– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Look at the world through the eyes of those who have renounced it, for verily its inhabitants are quick to depart it and its opulence inflicts distress. So do not allow the abundance of what amazes you therein to deceive you, for it is but a little that you will take with you thereof.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 20, no. 79]

48ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): اُنظُرْ إلى الدنيا نَظَرَ الزاهدِ المُفارقِ ، ولا تَنظُرْ إلَيها نَظَرَ العاشِقِ الوامِقِ .

48– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘View the world through the eyes of one who has renounced it and separated from it, and do not view it through the eyes of one who loves it passionately and tenderly.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 2386]

49ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إن كانتِ الدنيا فانيَةً فالطُّمأنينَةُ إلَيها لِماذا؟!

49– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘If this world is transient, then why be satisfied with it?’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 73, p. 88, no. 54]

The Danger of Preferring the World [over the Hereafter]

خَطَرُ إيثارِ الدُّنيا

50ـ لقمانُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ لابنِهِ وهو يَعِظُهُ ـ: بِعْ دُنياكَ بِآخِرَتِكَ تَربَحْهُما جميعاً ، ولا تَبِعْ آخِرَتَكَ بدُنياكَ تَخْسَرهما جميعاً .

50– Luqman (a.s.) said in counsel to his son, ‘Sell your world for your Hereafter and you will attain both of them, but do not sell your Hereafter for your world for you will lose them both.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 13, p. 422, no. 17]

51ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن عَبَدَ الدنيا وآثَرَها على الآخرةِ استَوخَمَ العاقِبةَ .

51– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The one who worships the world and prefers it over the Hereafter seeks an unhealthy outcome.’[al-Khisal, p. 632, no. 10]

52ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لا يَترُكُ الناسُ شيئاً مِن أمرِ دينِهِم لاستِصلاحِ دُنياهُم إلّا فَتَحَ اللّه‏ُ علَيهِم ما هو أضَرُّ مِنهُ.

52– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘No sooner do people abandon an aspect of their religion in order to advance their worldly affairs than Allah will inflict them with something that is more detrimental than that.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 106]

The World is the Prison of the Believer

الدُّنيا سِجنُ المُؤمِنِ

53ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): الدنيا لا تَصفو لِمُؤمنٍ ، كيفَ وهِي سِجنُهُ وبلاؤهُ؟!

53– The Prophet (S) said, ‘The world is not trouble-free for the believer, how can it be when it is his prison and his trial?’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 6090]

54ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الدنيا سِجنُ المؤمنِ والقَبرُ حِصنُهُ والجنّةُ مَأواهُ ، والدنيا جَنَّةُ الكافِرِ والقبرُ سِجنُهُ والنارُ مَأواهُ.

54– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘The world is the prison of the believer, the grave is his fortress and Paradise is his final abode. The world is the Paradise of the disbeliever, the grave is his prison and the Fire is his final abode.’[al-Khisal, p. 108, no. 74]

The Danger of Making Worldly Affairs One’s Greatest Concern

خَطَرُ جَعلِ الدُّنيا أكبَرَ الهُمومِ

55ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) مَن كانَتِ الدنيا أكبرَ هَمِّهِ طالَ شَقاؤهُ وغَمُّهُ.

55– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The one who regards the worldly affairs as his greatest concern, his grief and distress are lengthened.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 73, p. 81, no. 43]

56ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن أصبَحَ وأمسى والدنيا أكبَرُ هَمِّهِ جَعَلَ اللّه‏ُ تعالى الفَقرَ بينَ عَينَيهِ وشَتَّتَ أمرَهُ ولم يَنَلْ مِن الدنيا إلّا ما قَسَمَ اللّه‏ُ له ، ومَن أصبَحَ وأمسى والآخرةُ أكبَرُ هَمِّهِ جَعَلَ اللّه‏ُ تعالى الغِنى في قلبِهِ وجَمَعَ لَهُ أمرَهُ .

56– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘The person who wakes up in the morning and retires at night having worldly affairs as his greatest concern, Allah places poverty between his eyes, scatters his affairs, and he will not take from this world except what Allah has apportioned for him. As for the one who wakes up in the morning and retires at night having the Hereafter as his greatest concern, Allah places needlessness in his heart and brings together his affairs for him.’[al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 319, no. 15]

The Lowliness of the World in Allah’s Eyes

هَوانُ الدُّنيا عَلَى اللّه‏ِ

57ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): يقولُ اللّه‏ُ: لولا عَبدي المؤمنُ لَعَصَّبْتُ رأسَ الكافِرِ بعِصابةٍ مِن جَوهَرٍ.

57– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Allah says, ‘Were it not for My believing servant, I would have tied a headband of jewels around the head of the disbeliever.’[al-Tamhid, p. 47, no. 73]

58ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): لو أنّ الدنيا كانَت تَعدِلُ عند اللّه‏ِ عزّوجلّ جَناحَ بَعوضَةٍ ما سَقَى الكافِرَ والفاجرَ مِنها شَربَةً مِن ماءٍ.

58– The Prophet (S) said, ‘If the world was worth the same as the wing of a mosquito in Allah’s eyes, the disbeliever and the insolent person would never get to drink a sip of water from it.’[Amali al-Tusi, p. 531, no. 1162]

59ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مِن هَوانِ الدنيا على اللّه‏ِ أ نّهُ لا يُعصى إلّا فيها ، ولا يُنالُ ما عندَهُ إلّا بتَركِها.

59– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The lowliness of the world in Allah’s eyes can be seen by the fact that He is not disobeyed except in it, and what is with Him cannot be attained except by abandoning the world.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 385]

60ـ الإمامُ الحسينُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنَّ مِن هَوانِ الدنيا على اللّه‏ تعالى أنَّ رَأسَ يحيى بنِ زكريّا اُهدِيَ إلى بَغِيٍّ مِن بَغايا بني إسرائيلَ .

60– Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) said, ‘Verily the lowliness of this world in Allah’s eyes can be seen by the fact that the head of Prophet John, son of Prophet Zacharias was gifted to a whore from the whores of the Israelites.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 44, p. 365]

The Difference between the World and the Hereafter

اِختِلافُ الدُّنيا الذَّمِيمَةِ عَنِ الآخِرَةِ

61ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): مَن أحَبَّ دُنياهُ أضَرَّ بآخرَتِهِ .

61– The Prophet (S) said, ‘He who loves his world has harmed his Hereafter.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 73, p. 81, no. 43]

62ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنَّ الدنيا والآخِرَةَ عَدُوّانِ مُتَفاوِتانِ ، وسَبيلانِ مُختَلِفانِ ، فَمَن أحَبَّ الدنيا وتَولاَّها أبغضَ الآخِرَةَ وعاداها ، وهُما بمَنزِلَةِ المَشرِقِ والمَغرِبِ وماشٍ بَينَهُما ، كُلَّما قَرُبَ مِن واحدٍ بَعُدَ مِنَ الآخَرِ ، وهُما بَعدُ ضَرَّتانِ .

62– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Verily the world and the Hereafter are two opposing enemies and two different paths, so whoever loves and befriends the world has despised the Hereafter and has made it his enemy. They [the world and the Hereafter] are like the east and the west and whoever walks between them, however much he gets closer to one, he distances himself from the other. After all, they are like two wives of the same husband.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 103]

63ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَرارةُ الدنيا حَلاوةُ الآخِرَةِ ، وحَلاوَةُ الدنيا مَرارَةُ الآخِرَةِ .

63– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The bitterness of the world is the sweetness of the Hereafter, and the sweetness of the world is the bitterness of the Hereafter.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 251]

64ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): طَلَبُ الجمعِ بينَ الدنيا والآخِرةِ مِن خِداعِ النَّفْسِ .

64– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Seeking to bring together this world and the next is from the deception of the soul.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 5995]

65ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): ما التَذَّ أحدٌ مِنَ الدنيا لَذَّةً إلّا كانتْ لَهُ يومَ القيامةِ غُصّةً.

65– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘No one tastes a worldly pleasure except that he will face a torment on the Day of Resurrection.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 9618]

66ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): ثَروَةُ الدنيا فَقرُ الآخِرَةِ.

66– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The wealth of this world is the poverty of the Hereafter.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 4705]

67ـ الإمامُ زينُ العابدينَ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): واللّه‏ِ ما الدُّنيا والآخِرَةُ إلّا كَكِفَّتَيِ المِيزانِ ، فأيُّهما رَجَحَ ذَهَبَ بالآخَرِ.

67– Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) said, ‘By Allah, this world and the next are naught but two scales of a balance, so whichever scale is weightier, it will overpower the other.’[al-Khisal, p. 64, no. 95]

68ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): آخِرُ نبيٍّ يَدخُلُ الجنّةَ سُليمانُ بنُ داوود (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ، وذلك لِما اُعطِيَ في الدنيا.

68– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘The last prophet to enter paradise will be Solomon [Prophet Solomon (a.s.) is known as Sulayman in the Arabic tradition (ed.)] son of David (a.s.) due to what he was given in this world.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 14, p. 74, no. 16]

Combining the World and the Hereafter

اِجتِمَاعُ الدُّنيا وَالآخِرَةِ

69ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الحَرثُ حَرثانِ: فحَرثُ الدنيا المالُ والبَنونُ، وحَرثُ الآخرةِ الباقياتُ الصالحاتُ ، وقد يَجمَعُهُم اللّه‏ُ عزّوجلّ لأقوامٍ .

69– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Wealth and children are the cultivation of the world and righteous deeds are the cultivation of the Hereafter, and sometimes Allah combines the two for people.’[Nahj al-Sa’ada, v. 3, p. 127]

70ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إن جَعَلتَ دِينَكَ تَبَعاً لدُنياكَ أهلَكتَ دينَكَ ودُنياكَ وكُنتَ في الآخرةِ مِن الخاسِرينَ ، إن جَعَلتَ دُنياكَ تَبَعاً لِدينِكَ أحرَزْتَ دِينَكَ ودُنياكَ وكُنتَ في الآخرةِ مِن الفائزينَ .

70– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘If you make your religion secondary to your worldly affairs, you have destroyed both your religion and your worldly affairs, and thus you will be among the losers in the Hereafter. But if you make your worldly affairs secondary to your religion, you have safeguarded your religion and your worldly affairs and you will be among the victorious ones in the Hereafter.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 3750-3751]

71ـ الإمامُ الكاظمُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إجعَلوا لِأنفُسِكُم حظّاً مِن الدنيا بِإعطائها ما تَشتَهي مِن الحلالِ وما لا يَثلِمُ المُروّةَ وما لا سَرَفَ فيهِ ، واستَعِينوا بذلكَ على اُمورِ الدِّينِ ، فإنّهُ رُوِيَ: ليسَ مِنّا مَن تَرَكَ دُنياهُ لدِينِهِ ، أو تَرَكَ دِينَهُ لِدُنياهُ .

71– Imam al-Kazim (a.s.) said, ‘Allocate for yourselves a portion of the world by taking from it that which is lawful of what you desire, and that which does not breach the honourable virtues and that wherein there is no extravagance. And in this way, use it to assist [and improve] the matters of religion, for it has been narrated that, ‘The one who abandons their worldly affairs for their religion is not from us, and neither is the one who abandons their religion for their worldly affairs.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 321, no. 18]

The Parable of the World

مَثَلُ الدُّنيا

72ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَثَلُ الدنيا كَظِلِّكَ ؛ إن وَقَفتَ وَقَفَ ، وإن طَلَبتَهُ بَعُدَ.

72– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The parable of this world is like your shadow - if you stop, it stands still, and if you chase it, it distances itself from you.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 9818]

73ـ الإمامُ الكاظمُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَثَلُ الدنيا مَثَلُ الحَيّةِ ؛ مَسُّها لَيِّنٌ وفي جَوفِها السُّمُّ القاتِلُ ، يَحذَرُها الرِّجالُ ذَوُو العُقولِ ، ويَهوِي إلَيها الصِّبيانُ بأيديهِم .

73– Imam al-Kazim (a.s.) said, ‘The parable of this world is like that of a snake, it is soft to touch but it contains a deadly poison. Men of intellect are cautious whereas children extend their arms towards it.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 311, no. 1]

74ـ الإمامُ الكاظمُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَثَلُ الدنيا مَثَلُ ماءِ البحرِ؛ كُلَّما شَرِبَ مِنهُ العَطشانُ ازدادَ عَطَشاً حتّى يَقتُلَهُ .

74– Imam al-Kazim (a.s.) said, ‘The parable of this world is that of sea water, however much the thirsty man drinks from it, his thirst intensifies until it kills him.’[Tuhaf al-’Uqul, no. 396]

75ـ الإمامُ الكاظمُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): تَمَثَّلَتِ الدنيا للمسيحِ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) في صُورةِ امرأةٍ زَرْقاءَ ، فقالَ لَها: كَم تَزَوَّجتِ؟ فقالَت: كثيراً ، قالَ: فَكُلٌّ طَلَّقَكِ؟ قالَت: لا ، بَل كُلاًّ قَتَلتُ ، قالَ المسيحُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): فَوَيحٌ لأزواجِكِ الباقينَ ، كيفَ لا يَعتَبِروُنَ بالماضينَ ؟!

75– Imam al-Kazim (a.s.) said, ‘The world was embodied to Jesus (a.s.) in the form of a blue-eyed woman, and he said to her, ‘How many have you married?’ she said, ‘Lots’, so he asked, ‘So all of them divorced you?’, she replied, ‘No, rather I killed all of them’, then Jesus (a.s.) said, ‘Woe upon your current spouses, for how do they not take a lesson from your previous ones?!’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 311, no. 1]

The Characteristics of the World

خَصائِصُ الدُّنيا

76ـ رُوِيَ أنّ جَبرئيلَ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) قالَ لِنوحٍ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): يا أطوَلَ الأنبياءِ عُمراً ، كيفَ وَجَدتَ الدنيا؟ قال: كَدارٍ لَها بابانِ دَخَلتُ مِن أحَدِهما وخَرَجتُ مِنَ الآخَرِ.

76– It is narrated in Tanbih al-Khawatir that the archangel Gabriel (a.s.) said to Prophet Noah (a.s.), ‘O prophet who has lived for the longest number of years, how did you find this world?’ he replied, ‘Like a house which has two doors, I entered through one and then left through the other.’[Tanbih al-Khawatir, v. 1, p. 131]

77ـ عيسى (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنّما الدنيا قَنطَـرةٌ ، فاعبُرُوها ولا تَعمُروها.

77– Prophet Jesus (a.s.) said, ‘Verily this world is a bridge, so cross over it but do not build on it.’[al-Khisal, p. 65, no. 95]

78ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): ما الدنيا في الآخِرَةِ إلاّ مِثلُ مايَجعَلُ أحدُكُم إصبَعَهُ في اليَمِّ فليَنظُرْ بِمَ يَرجِعُ.

78– The Prophet (S) said, ‘This world when compared to the Hereafter is just as if one of you dips his finger in the sea and sees what he comes out with.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 73, p. 119, no. 110]

79ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): الدنيا ساعةٌ فاجعَلوها طاعةً .

79– The Prophet (S) said, ‘The world is an hour [long] so make it one of obedience.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 77, p. 164, no. 2]

80ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الدنيا مُنتَقِلَةٌ فانيةٌ ، إن بَقِيَتْ لَكَ لَم تَبقَ لَها .

80– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The world is a transitory and mobile thing, even if it waits for you, do not wait for it.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 1802]

81ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): أيّها الناسُ ، إنّما الدنيا دارُ مَجازٍ والآخِرةُ دارُ قَرارٍ ، فخُذوا مِن مَمَرِّكُم لِمَقَرِّكُم .

81– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘O people, verily the world is a passage while the Hereafter is a permanent abode, so take [as much as you can] from the passage for the permanent abode.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 203]

82ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الدنيا دارُ مَمَرٍّ لا دارُ مَقَرٍّ ، والناسُ فيها رجُلانِ: رجلٌ باعَ فيها نفسَهُ فأوبَقَها ، ورَجُلٌ ابتاعَ نفسَهُ فَأعتَقَها .

82– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘This world is a transitory place and not a permanent one. The people therein are of two types, the man who has sold his self [to his passions] and thus ruined it, and the man who has purchased his self [by control against his passions] and thus freed it.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 133]

83ـ الإمامُ الباقرُ عليه‏السلام : أنزِلِ الدنيا كمَنزِلٍ نَزَلتَهُ‏ثُمّ ارتَحَلتَ عَنهُ ، أو كمالٍ وَجَدتَهُ في مَنامِكَ فاستَيقَظتَ ولَيس مَعكَ مِنهُ شيءٌ ، إنّي (إنّما) ضَرَبتُ لكَ هذا مَثَلاً لأ نّها عِندَ أهلِ اللُبِّ والعِلمِ باللّه كَفَيْءِ الظِّلالِ.

83– Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘[Consider] your sojourn in this world just as a house that you stayed in and [soon] departed from, or an object of perfection that you witnessed in a dream then you awoke and not a thing from it remained with you. I have given you this parable because this world, according to the people of intellect and knowledge of Allah, is just as the shadow in the shade.’[al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 133, no. 16]

84- الإمامُ الباقرُ عليه‏السلام : إنّ الدنيا عِندَ العُلَماءِ مِثلُ الظِلِّ.

84– Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘The world in the eyes of the learned ones is like a shadow.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 73, p. 126, no. 123]

85- الإمامُ الكاظمُ عليه‏السلام : إنّ لُقمانَ قالَ لاِبنِهِ : ... إنّ الدنيا بحرٌ عميقٌ ، قد غَرِقَ فيها عالَمٌ كثيرٌ ، فلتَكُنْ سَفينتُكَ فيها تَقوَى اللّه ، وحَشوُها الإيمانُ وشِراعُها التوكُّلُ ، وقَيِّمُها العقلُ ، ودليلُها العِلمُ ، وسُكّانُها الصَّبرُ.

85– Imam al-Kazim (a.s.) said, ‘Luqman said to his son:…the world is a deep ocean in which many worlds have already drowned, so make Godwariness your boat, faith its content, trust in Allah its sail, reason its custodian, knowledge its guide and patience its inhabitants.’[al-Kafi, v. 1, p. 16, no. 12]

The World is a Place Surrounded by Trials

الدُّنيا دارٌ بِالبَلاءِ مَحفوفَةٌ

86ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): دارٌ بالبلاءِ مَحفوفَةٌ ، وبالغَدْرِ مَعروفَةٌ ، لا تَدومُ أحوالُها ، ولا يَسلَمُ نُزّالُها ، أحوالٌ مُختَلِفةٌ ، تاراتٌ مُتَصَرِّفَةٌ ، العَيشُ فيها مَذمومٌ ، والأمانُ مِنها مَعدومٌ.

86– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘[The world] is a house surrounded by trials, well-known for treachery, whose conditions do not last, whose inhabitants do not remain safe, its states are variable, its ways are changing, life in it is shameful and security in it is non-existent.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 226]