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Story 42: A Letter To Abu Dharr

Abu Dharr received a letter from a distant region. He opened it and read its contents. In this letter, someone had sought from Abu Dharr some general advice. He knew well how the Holy Prophet (S) favoured Abu Dharr, and had taught him knowledge and wisdom with his noble and wise words.

Abu Dharr replied with just a short sentence, “The one you love the most, over anyone else, don’t do evil or show enmity to him.” He sealed the letter and sent it back to him.

As the man read the reply, he could not understand the contents of the letter. He wondered what it meant and what Abu Dharr was trying to say by, “The one you love the most, over anyone else, don’t do evil or show enmity to him?” What could this mean?

It was obvious that one would never do evil to the one he loves the most or harm his beloved. He not only does evil, but sacrifices his soul and property as well.

On the other hand, he thought, ‘One should not neglect the words of the esteemed author of the letter, for it is Abu Dharr. He is at present the ‘Luqman’ of the Muslim community, and has wise judgement. I have no other alternative but to ask him to explain what he means in detail.’

So, he wrote back to Abu Dharr and asked him to enlighten him in this regard.

Abu Dharr wrote in reply, “What I meant by the most beloved person to you is you, yourself. I did not mean any other person. You love yourself more than anyone else. So, I admonished you not to be an enemy to the one you love the most, meaning you should not be an enemy to yourself. Don’t you know when a man commits a sin, he directly injures himself?”1

  • 1. Irshad, Daylami.