The Moral Lesson

The Moral Lesson العِبرَِةُ

Taking Warning from Moral Lessons

الاتِّعاظِ بِالعِبَرِ

1ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): اِعتَبِروا؛ فَقَد خَلَتِ المَثُلاتُ في مَن كانَ قَبلَكُم.

1– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Take lesson, for indeed the moral examples merely passed by your predecessors.’[Kanz al-Fawa’id, v. 2, p. 31]

2ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): يَنظُرُ المُؤمِنُ إلَى الدّنيا بِعَينِ الاعتِبارِ، ويَقتاتُ مِنها بِبَطنِ الاضطِرارِ.

2– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The believer looks at the world with contemplative consideration, and only consumes thereof within the bounds of necessity.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 267]

3ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن جَهِلَ قَلَّ اعتِبارُهُ.

3– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The ignorant one rarely takes lesson [from experiences].’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 7837]

4ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الاعتِبارُ مُنذِرٌ ناصِحٌ، مَن تَفَكَّرَ اعتَبَرَ، ومَنِ اعتَبَرَ اعتَزَلَ، ومَنِ اعتَزَلَ سَلِمَ .

4– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The moral lesson is a sincere warner. Whoever contemplates takes lesson, and whoever takes the lesson on board keeps away from making the same mistake twice, and whoever keeps away remains safe.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 92, no. 101]

5ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الاعتِبارُ يَقودُ إلَى الرَّشادِ .

5– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Drawing a lesson [from an experience] leads one to integrity of conduct.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 92, no. 101]

6ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَنِ اعتَبَرَ أبصَرَ، ومن أبصَرَ فَهِم، ومَن فَهِمَ عَلِمَ .

6– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Whoever draws a lesson [from something] gains insight into it, and whoever gains insight into it comprehends it, and whoever comprehends it comes to know it for certain.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 207]

Things that Must be Contemplated Upon and Drawn Lessons From

ما يَنبَغِي الاعتِبارُ بِهِ

7ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): في تَصاريفِ الدّنيا اعتِبارٌ.

7– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘There is a lesson to be taken from the vicissitudes of this world.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 6453]

8ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لَوِ اعتَبَرتَ بِما أضَعتَ مِن ماضي عُمرِكَ لَحَفِظتَ ما بَقِيَ.

8– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘If only you drew lessons from all that you have lost in what has passed of your life you would look after what is left of it.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 7589]

9ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): فاعتَبِروا بِما كانَ مِن فِعلِ اللّه‏ِ بِإبليسَ؛ إذ أحبَطَ عَمَلَهُ الطَّويلَ، وَجَهدَهُ الجَهيدَ (الجَميلَ) .

9– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘So take lesson from how Allah dealt with Satan when he thwarted his long years of good deeds, and all his hard work [because of his outright defiance of Allah].’[Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 192]

10ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): فاعتَبِروا بِما أصابَ الاُمَمَ المُستَكبِرينَ مِن قَبلِكُم؛ مِن بأسِ اللّه‏ِ وصَوْلاتِه ووَقائعِهِ ومَثُلاتِه.

10– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘So take lesson from Allah’s intense force, His attacks, His blows and His exemplary punishmentsish that befell the arrogant nations before you.’[Nahjul Balaghah,]

11ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): ما أكثَرَ العِبَرَ، وأقَلَّ الاعتِبارَ!

11– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘How many the lessons, and how little the contemplation [upon them]!’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 297]

12ـ الإمامِ زينِ العابدينَ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مِسكينٌ ابنُ آدَمَ ! لَهُ في كُلِّ يَومٍ ثَلاثُ مَصائبَ لا يَعتَبِرُ بِواحِدَةٍ مِنهُنَّ، ولَوِ اعتَبَرَ لَهانَت عَلَيهِ المَصائبُ وأمرُ الدُّنيا:

فَأمّا المُصيبَةُ الاُولى: فاليَومُ الَّذي يَنقُصُ مِن عُمرِهِ، وإنْ نالَهُ نُقصانٌ في مالِهِ اغتَمَّ بِهِ، والدِّرهَمُ يَخلُفُ عَنهُ وَالعُمرُ لا يَرُدُّهُ شيء.

والثانِيةُ: أنَّهُ يَستَوفي رِزقَهُ، فإن كانَ حَلالاً حُوسِبَ عَلَيهِ، وإن كانَ حَراماً عُوقِبَ عَلَيهِ.

والثّالِثَةُ أعظَمُ مِن ذلِكَ ـ قيلَ: وما هِيَ؟ قالَ ـ: ما مِن يَومٍ يُمسي إلّا وقَد دَنا مِنَ الآخِرَةِ مَرحَلَةً، لا يَدري عَلَى الجَنَّةِ أم عَلَى النّارِ؟!

12– Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) said, ‘Poor man! Every day he is given three trials whereof he does not even take lesson from a single one. If he contemplated and drew a lesson thereof, these trials and this world would cease to be of importance to him. The first trial is the very day which is deducted from his life – if it was a loss in his wealth that befell him, he would fall into great distress, even though the dirham [i.e. money] can always be substituted but the days of his life will never again return to him. The second trial is the way in which he goes to great lengths to procure the most sustenance, when he will have to account for it all if acquired by lawful means, and he will be punished for it all if acquired by unlawful means. The third trial is the greatest: every day that draws to an end has brought him a step closer to the Hereafter – whether to Paradise or Hellfire, he does not know!’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 160, no. 20]

The Benefits of Taking Lesson

ثَمَرَةُ الاعتِبارِ

13ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الاعتِبارُ يُثمِرُ العِصمَةَ.

13– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Taking lesson [from past faults] results in immunity [from further faults].’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 879]

14ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): دَوامُ الاعتِبارِ يُؤَدّي إلَى الاستِبصارِ، ويُثمِرُ الازدِجارَ.

14– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Continuously taking lessons gives rise to the faculty of insight, and brings about self-restraint.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 5150]

15ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن كَثُرَ اعتِبارُهُ قَلَّ عِثارُهُ.

15– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘He who abundantly and frequently takes lessons [from his experiences] rarely stumbles.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 8056]