Sermon 21: Your ultimate goal is before you ...

Advice to keep light in this world

ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)

وهي كلمة جامعة للعظة والحكمة

Your ultimate goal (reward or punishment) is before you. Behind your back is the hour (of resurrection) which is driving you on. Keep (yourself) light and overtake (the forward ones). Your last ones are being awaited by the first ones (who have preceded).

فإِنَّ الغَايَةَ أَمَامَكُمْ، وَإِنَّ وَرَاءَكُمُ السَّاعَةَ تَحْدُوكُمْ تَخَفَّفُواتَلْحَقوا، فَإنَّمَا يُنْتَظَرُ بِأوَّلِكُمْ آخِرُكُمْ .

as-Sayyid ar-Radi says: If this utterance of ‘Ali (p.b.u.h.) is weighed with any other utterance except the word of Allah or of the Holy Prophet, it would prove heavier and superior in every respect. For example, ‘Ali’s saying “Keep light and overtake” is the shortest expression ever heard with the greatest sense conveyed by it. How wide is its meaning and how clear its spring of wisdom! We have pointed out the greatness and meaningfulness of this phrase in our book al-Khasa’is.

وأقول: إنّ هذا الكلام لو وزن بعد كلام الله سبحانه وكلام رسوله صلى الله عليه وآله بكل كلام لمال به راجحاً، وبرّز عليه سابقاً. فأما قوله عليه السلام : «تخففوا تلحقوا»، فما سمع كلام أقل منه مسموعاً ولا أكثر منه محصولاً، وما أبعد غورها من كلمة! وأنقع نطفتها من حكمة! وقد نبهنا في كتاب «الخصائص» على عظم قدرها وشرف جوهرها.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 21

(1) al-Sharif al-Radi, Khasa'is, 87;

(2) al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, * V, 157.