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Letter 68: To Salman al-Farisi before Amir al-mu'minin's caliphate

ومن كتاب له (عليه السلام)

إلى سلمان الفارسي (رحمه الله) قبل أيام خلافته

Now, the example of the world is like that of a snake which is soft in touch but whose poison is fatal. Therefore, keep yourself aloof from whatever appears good to you because of its short stay with you. Do not worry for it because of your conviction that it will leave you and that its circumstances are vicissitudes. When you feel most attracted towards it, shun it most, because whenever someone is assured of happiness in it, it throws him into danger; or when he feels secure in it, the world alters his security into fear; and that is an end to the matter.

أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فإِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الدُّنْيَا مَثَلُ الْحَيَّةِ: لَيِّنٌ مَسُّهَا، قَاتِلٌ سُمُّهَا، فَأَعْرِضْ عَمَّا يُعْجِبُكَ فِيهَا، لِقِلَّةِ مَا يَصْحَبُكَ مِنْهَا، وَضَعْ عَنْكَ هُمُومَهَا، لِمَا أَيْقَنْتَ بِهِ مِنْ فِرَاقِهَا، وَكُنْ آنَسَ مَا تَكُونُ بِهَا، أَحْذَرَ مَا تَكُونَ مِنْهَا، فَإِنَّ صَاحِبَهَا كُلَّمَا اطْمأَنَّ فِيهَا إِلَى سُرُور أشْخْصَتْهُ عَنْهُ إِلىَ مَحْذُور، أوْ إِلَى إِينَاس أَزالَهُ عَنْهُ إِيحَاشٌ!