Chapter 5: Selected Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad
The teachings and the saying of an individual to a great extent reveal, just as his actions do, the true character and real nature of the individual. It is due to the majesty of the words of the Prophet, which is but a drop from the ocean of knowledge and wisdom of the Messenger of Allah, and his morality and the essence of his character, that these words and thousands like them have remained eternal since the Prophet first spoke them. They will continue to remain so forever.
Therefore the Muslims, who number more than one and a half billion, together with many others look upon these words and teachings as sources of inspiration, examples of wisdom and laws of vitality in all aspects of life. These masses are proud of adhering to some of them and endeavor in hope to implement those that they have not yet succeeded in doing.
The Apostle of God once said: 'Shall I show you a weapon which will save you from your enemies and cause God's providence to flow upon you?' Those who were present said: 'Yes!' He said: 'To call upon your Lord day and night, for the weapon of the believer is supplication.'1
He was once asked about the greatest name of God. He said: 'Each of the names of God is the greatest, so empty your heart of all but Him and call upon Him by any name you wish.'2 The Apostle of God said: 'Supplication is the essence of worship.'3
He also said: 'Supplication is the weapon of the believer and the pillar of the faith and the light of heavens and earth.'4 He also said: 'A person will gain one of three things from supplication: either a sin will be forgiven, or a benefaction will be hastened to him, or a benefaction will be stored up for him.'5
He also said: 'Ask God of His bounty for He loves to be asked. The best of worship is to await the end of suffering.'6 By the “end of suffering” it is meant the suffering of mankind as a whole due to the widespread oppression that dominates the globe. This will end by the appearance of the awaited savior - the twelfth Imam from the descendent of the prophet Muhammad - Imam Mahdi peace be upon him. To await the appearance of Imam Mahdi is to ensure harmony with his teachings, which are the teachings of Islam. Thus this awaiting is the best worship for it involves full compliance with the commands of Almighty Allah.
It is related from Imam Jafar Sadiq that: 'A man came to the Prophet and said: 'O Apostle of God, whom should I honour?'
He said: 'Your mother.'
The man said: 'And then whom?' He said: 'Your mother.'
The man said: 'And then whom?' The Prophet said: 'Your mother.'
The man said: 'And then whom?' The Prophet said: 'Your father.'7
The Apostle of God used to say: 'The angel Gabriel did not stop enjoining upon me respect for women until I thought that even divorce was not permissible except in the case of proven adultery.'8
He also said: 'I advise those present from my nation and those absent, and those who are in the loins of men and the wombs of women, until the Day of Resurrection, to maintain the bonds of kinship even if it means travelling for a whole year, for that is a part of the religion.'9
A man once came to the Prophet and said: 'I have never ever kissed one of my children.' When he had left the Prophet said: 'This is a man who in my opinion deserves to go to Hell.'10
Once, the Apostle of God saw a man with two sons who kissed one of them and neglected the other. He said: 'Why have you not treated them both equally?'11
A man asked the Apostle of God: 'What rights should a father expect from his child?' He said: 'He should not call his father by his name, and he should not walk in front of his father, and he should not sit down before his father does.'12 A man said: 'O Apostle of God, what are the rights of this son of mine?'
He said: 'You should give him a good name and a good education and enable him to gain good skills for good means of earning.'13
The Prophet said: 'He whose ethics are good will be given by God the degree of one who continuously fasts and keeps vigil.'14 He also said: 'Nothing better than good ethics can be put in the balance scales of a person on the Day of Resurrection.'15 He said: 'The most beloved of you to me and the one who will sit closest to me on the Day of Resurrection is the best of you in ethics and the most humble of you.'16
He said: 'Conducts are gifts from Almighty God. If God loves one of his servants He will give to him fine morals and conducts, but if he dislikes one of His servants he will give him foul manners.'17 Commenting on the outcome of one's conducts and ethics the Prophet declared: 'Adopt fine ethics, for it is inevitable that good morals will end up in Paradise. Avoid bad conducts for it is inevitable that bad ethics will end up in Hellfire.'18
He said: 'With good ethics and conduct, a person will reach the greatest of degrees and the noblest of stations in the afterlife even if his worship was somewhat weak.'19
He then said: 'With foul conduct and behaviour a person will reach the lowest reaches of Hell.'20 In the now famous and well known speech of Prophet Muhammad that summarizes his entire mission and puts it in perspective, he declared: 'Verily, I have been sent to perfect the finest of morals.'21
Once he was told: 'There is a woman who fasts all day and keeps vigil at night but she is ill mannered and annoys her neighbours.' He said: 'There is nothing good about her, she is destined for Hellfire.'22
The Prophet said: 'Shall I tell you which of you from amongst you is most like me?' They said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God.' He said: 'The best of you in morals, and the most pliant of you, and the one who honors his relatives the most, and the one who has the strongest love for his brothers in faith, and the one who is most patient in the way of the truth, and he who is most in control of his anger, and is most forgiving, and he who is most just to himself in contentment and in anger.'23
He said: 'The best of you are those whose morals are best, whose houses receive frequent visitors, who socialize by inviting and accepting invitations of others, and whose furniture is worn out by having frequent visitors and guests.'24
He said: 'If you meet with one another then meet with a greeting of 'peace' and a handshake. And when you disperse then disperse asking for forgiveness (for each other).'25
He said: ' . . .You will never encompass the people with your wealth so greet them with a good countenance and a good smile.'26 The Prophet said: 'I urge you to adopt the finest of morals for Almighty God has sent me with them. Amongst the fine morals are that a man forgive those who have wronged him, and give to those that have withheld from him, and maintain ties with those who have cut off from him, and visit those who do not visit him.'27
He also said: 'Shall I show you the best morals of this world and the next? ... That you maintain bonds with those who cut off from you, and give to those who withhold from you, and forgive those who have wronged you.'28
He used to encourage: 'Be a good companion to those who accompany you and you will be a good Muslim.'29 He used to stress this matter to his followers in question form: 'Shall I show you the best morals of this world and the next? They eagerly responded, “Yes O Messenger of Allah!” So the Prophet replied: By spreading peace in the world.'30
Aswad ibn Asram relates: 'I said to the Apostle of God: 'Advise me.' He said: 'Do you own your hand?' I said: 'Yes.' He said: 'Do you own your tongue?' I said: 'Yes.' He said: 'Then do not extend your hand except to do good and do not say with your tongue anything that is not appropriate.'31
It is related that the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali said: 'A man asked to see the Apostle of God and said to him: 'O Apostle of God, advise me!' He said: 'I advise you to associate no partners with God even if you are cut into pieces and incinerated by fire, and do not dishonor your father and mother, and do not insult the people, and if you meet your Muslim brother then meet him with a nice smile...'32
The Prophet said: 'The most clement of the people is he who flees from the ignorant people.'33 He also said: 'There are three things which if not found in a person that person's actions will not be complete: abstinence which protects him from disobedience to God, morals with which he interacts with the people, and clemency with which he repels the ignorance of the ignorant.'34 One day the Prophet asked his companions: 'Who amongst you is considered to be a champion?'
They said: 'The severe and powerful person who never compromises.' The Prophet replied: 'On the contrary, the true champion is a man who is struck by Satan in his heart until his anger intensifies and his blood boils but then he remembers God and by his clemency defeats his anger.'35
On another occasion the Apostle of God said to his companions: 'Shall I inform you of the one amongst you who is most like me?' They said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God.' He said: ' ... the most patient of you in the way of the truth and the one most in control of his anger.'36
The Prophet used to say: 'There are two draughts which are two of the most beloved ways to Almighty God: a draught of anger which is repelled by clemency and a draught of calamity which is repelled by patience.'37
It is related that Imam Ali said: 'The Apostle of God said: 'My Lord has ordered me to act civilly with the people just as he has ordered me to perform the obligatory prayers.'38
He also said: 'I have been sent as a center for clemency and as a mine for knowledge and as an abode for patience.'39
Once a young man came to the Apostle of God and said to him: 'Do you give me permission to fornicate?' The Apostle of God's companions rebuked him and were rough with him; but the Prophet brought him near and said: 'Would you like it if others fornicated with your mother and your sisters and your aunts?' He said: 'No, O Apostle of God.' He said to him: 'All people feel the same way.' Then he put his blessed hand on his chest and said: 'O God, forgive his sin and purify his heart and protect his private parts.'40
He also said: 'God favored the prophets over the rest of his creation due to their extensive affability towards the enemies of the religion of God and for their excellent prudence for the sake of their brothers in God.'41
On Being Conscious of Almighty God, the Apostle of God said: 'Whoever fears God will live as a powerful person and may travel in the land of his enemy in safety.'42 He also said: 'Act according to what God has made obligatory and you will be the most God-conscious of the people.'43
The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali, related: 'The Apostle of God said: 'The most pious of the people is he who speaks the truth whether it be in his favor or to his detriment.'44 The Apostle of God also said: 'Whoever wishes to be the most pious of people then let him rely upon God.'45
He also said: 'There are ten parts to worship, nine of which are in lawful means of earning.'46
He also said: 'Looking to your brother who you love for the sake of God is an act of worship.'47
It is related that Imam Jafar al-Sadiq said: 'Whenever the Apostle of God awoke from sleep he would fall down and prostrate to God.'48 In a tradition it has been said that the Prophet when praying was as if he was a discarded robe.'49
For ten years the Prophet stood in prayer on his toes until his feet became raw and bloodied. His face became yellow from keeping vigil at night until he was chided for doing so when God said:
Taha, We did not send down the Quran upon you so that you may become distressed (20): 1-250
In his advice the Prophet said to Abu Dharr: 'I enjoin consciousness of God upon you for it is the summit of all of your affairs.'51 He also said: 'There is a trait which if adopted by a person the whole of this world and the next will obey him and he will profit by attaining Paradise.' He was asked: 'And what is that O Apostle of God?'
He said: 'God consciousness (taqwa), for whoever wishes to be the mightiest of people then let him develop consciousness of God.' Then he recited God's words:
And whoever fears God, He will make for him a solution and will provide for him from where he does not expect (65): 2-3.52
It is related of the Prophet that he said: 'On the Day of Resurrection a herald will call out: 'Whoever's reward is with God then let him enter Paradise.' It will be asked: 'Whose reward is with God?' It will be answered: 'Those who forgave the people, for they will enter Paradise without being held to account.'53
He would encourage mercy in general saying: 'Those who show mercy will be shown mercy by The Merciful One on the Day of Resurrection. Show mercy to those on Earth and He who is in the heavens will show mercy to you.'54
Once al-Aqra Ibn Habis saw the Apostle of God kissing his grandsons al-Hasan and al-Husayn - the sons of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib. Al-Aqra Said: 'I have ten children and I have never kissed any of them ever.' The Apostle of God became angry and his color flushed and he said to al-Aqra: 'He who shows no mercy shall not be shown mercy. If you have torn all mercy from your own heart then what can I do for you? He who shows no mercy to the children or no respect to the elders is not one of us.'55
He also said: 'Be to the orphans like a merciful father and know that whatever you sow so shall you reap.'56 The noble Prophet said: 'When I was taken upon my heavenly night journey I saw some people into whose bellies fire was being cast and it was exiting from their behinds. I said: 'Who are they O Gabriel?' He said: 'They are -
those who consume the property of the orphans unjustly (4): 10.57
He also said: 'I and the person who takes care of orphans will be as close as these two fingers (and he indicated with his index and middle fingers), in Paradise as long as he fears Almighty God.'58
It is related that Abdullah ibn Masud narrated: 'The Apostle of God had said: 'Whoever gently strokes the head of an orphan will have a light on the Day of Resurrection for every hair that his hand passes over.'59
Regarding forgiveness he said: 'Whoever forgives a wrong, God will give him honor in this world and the next.'60 He also said: 'When anger raises its head dispel it with forgiveness, for a herald will call out on the Day of Resurrection: 'Let those whose reward is with God stand!' Then none shall stand but those who were forgiving. Have you not heard God's words? -
And whoever forgives and sets things to right, then his reward will be with God (42): 40.61
He also said: 'The virtue of us Ahl al-Bayt is to forgive those who wrong us, and to give to those who withhold from us.'62
He also said: 'Forgiveness is most appropriate from the person who is most able to retaliate.' 234 He also said: 'God loves kindness and assists those who are kind. So if you ride upon a lean beast then let it stop at its feeding stations. And if the land is arid then escape on it, and if the land is fertile then let it stop at its feeding stations.' 63
The Prophet used to say: 'He who eats from what his hand has toiled for will be counted amongst the Prophets on the Day of Resurrection and will take the reward of the Prophets.'64
He also said: 'He who eats from what his hand has toiled for will be looked upon by God with mercy, hence He will never punish him.'65 He also said: 'He who eats from what his hand has toiled for will pass over the sirat66 like lightning.'67
He said: 'Seeking what is lawful is obligatory for every Muslim man and woman.'68
He said: 'Whoever seeks in this world what is lawful to keep himself from begging and to provide for his dependents and to assist his neighbors will meet God on the Day of Resurrection with a face radiant like the full moon.'69
Whenever the Prophet liked the look of a man he would ask: 'Does he have an occupation?' If he was told: 'No.' He would say: 'He has gone down in my esteem.' He was asked: 'And why is this O Apostle of God?' He said: 'Because the believer if he does not have a profession will live at the expense of his religion.'70
The Apostle of God said once to his companions: 'Why is it that I do not see upon you the sweetness of worship?' They said: 'And what is the sweetness of worship?' He said: 'Humility.'73
The Prophet was asked: 'What is humility?' He said: 'It is humbleness in prayer and that a person directs his entire heart towards his Lord.'74 He also said: 'He who leaves off adornments for the sake of God and puts aside fine clothes out of humility to God and seeking His countenance, by rights God will store up for him the fine abqari carpets of Paradise.'75
He said in his testament to Abu Dharr, one of his most devout companions: 'Blessed is he who humbles himself for the sake of God and not due to some lack, and belittles himself but not due to destitution.'76 He said: 'O Abu Dharr, he who leaves off wearing finery when he is able to do so out of humility to Almighty God will be enrobed by God with the robe of honor.'77
He also said: 'When you see the humble ones from my nation then act humbly to them, and when you see the arrogant ones then act arrogantly towards them for this belittles and diminishes them.'78
He said: 'It pleases me to see a man carrying something in his hand which he is bringing to please his family and which stops him from being arrogant.'79 He said: 'A man should not humiliate himself.' He was asked: 'O Apostle of God, and how does a man humiliate himself?' He said: 'By exposing himself to that which he cannot bear.'80
One day the Apostle of God went on a journey with his companions. He ordered them to cook a sheep. One man said: 'I will slaughter it.' Another said: 'I will skin it.' Another said: 'I will cook it.' The Apostle of God said: 'I will go and fetch the firewood for you.' The companions said: 'O Apostle of God may our fathers and mothers be your sacrifice, do not tire yourself for we will do everything for you.' The Apostle of God said: 'I know that you will do so but Almighty God detests that a person should be singled out from amongst his companions.' Then he went to collect the firewood for them.'81
The Prophet said: 'The tyrants and arrogant people will be gathered in the Day of Resurrection in the form of small ants to be stepped on by the people because of their baseness in the eyes of Almighty God.'82
He also said: 'He who considers himself to be magnificent and swaggers in his gait will have the wrath of Almighty God upon him when he meets Him.'83
He also said: 'He who loves men to remain standing in his presence then let him prepare his place in Hellfire.'84 256 He also said: 'He who drags his robe in the dust haughtily will not be looked upon by God on the Day of Resurrection.'85
Once the Apostle of God passed by a group of people who had gathered and made a circle around a man so he said: 'Why have you gathered? They said: 'O Apostle of God, he is possessed and is having a fit so we have gathered around him.' He said: 'He is not possessed but he is afflicted.'
Then he said: 'Shall I tell you who one truly possessed is?' They said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God!' He said: 'He who swaggers in his gait and looks to his sides and moves his flanks with his shoulders. He hopes that God will give him Paradise but he disobeys Him. None are safe from his evils and none hope for any good from him. That is one possessed and this man is but afflicted.'86
When he entered the House the Kabah on the day of the liberation of Mecca he said: 'Almighty God has done away with the pride and arrogance of the Arabs about their forefathers. All of you are from Adam, and Adam is from dust, and the most noble of you in the sight of God is the most pious of you.'87
He also said addressing Abu Dharr: 'Whoever dies and within his heart there is an atom's weight of arrogance will never experience the aroma of Paradise, except he who repents beforehand.' Then a man said: 'O Apostle of God, I am a great admirer of beauty. So much so that even the emblem of my whip and the straps of my sandals must be fine. Should this be a cause of concern?' He said: 'And how do you find your heart.' He said: 'I find it recognizing the truth and content with it.' The Prophet said: 'This then is not arrogance but arrogance is to neglect the truth and to traverse it to something other than the truth, and to look to the people and think that there is no-one whose honor is like yours and whose blood is like yours.'88
It is related that Imam Ja!ar Sadiq said: 'A poor man came to the Apostle of God when he was with a rich man. The rich man pulled up his robe and recoiled from the poor man. The Apostle of God said to him: 'What made you do what you did? Did you fear that his poverty would adhere to you or that your riches would adhere to him?' The rich man said: 'Now that you have said this then he can have half my wealth.' The Apostle of God said to the poor man: 'Do you accept?' The poor man said: 'No.' He said: 'Why?' The poor man said: 'I fear that I will become how he has become.'89
Imam Jafar al-Sadiq relates that the Apostle of God was asked: 'O Apostle of God, what is prudence?' He said: 'To consult with those who are judicious and to follow their advice.'90 It is also related that Imam al-Sadiq said: 'Amongst that which the Apostle of God advised Imam Ali in his will was that he said: 'There is no support stronger than consultation and there is no intelligence like forward thinking.'91
The Prophet said to the Commander of the Faithful: 'O Ali, do not consult with a cowardly person for he will make the solution very limited. And do not consult with a miserly person for he will bring you short of your goal. And do not consult with a greedy person for he will make evil appear beautiful to you...'92
He also said: 'Consulting with an intelligent person of good counsel is good sense and good fortune and success from God. If the intelligent person of good counsel gives his opinion then do not oppose it for the consequence of this is perdition.'93 It is also related that the Prophet said: 'Whenever a man consults with another he will be guided to good sense.'94
It is related that Imam Ali said: 'The Apostle of God said: 'Whoever is consulted by his brother in faith and he does not give him sincere counsel then God will take away his intelligence.'95
The Apostle of God said: 'Generosity is a tree in Paradise whose branches stretch down to this world. Whoever is generous has taken hold of one of these branches and this branch will lead him to Paradise.'96 The Prophet said to Odayy, son of Hatim al-Tai97: 'Your father has been spared the severe punishment because of the generosity of his soul.'98
Jarir ibn Abdullah relates: 'When the Prophet's mission to teach Islam began and I came to pledge my allegiance to him, he asked: 'O Jarir, for what reason have you come?' I said: 'I have come to enter Islam at your hands O Apostle of God.' Then he threw his cloak over me, and turned to his companions to say: 'When the nobles of any people come to you then honor them.'99
The Apostle of God said: 'The people who have least peace of mind are the misers.'100
He asked his companions once: 'What is your definition of a vagabond?' They said: 'A man who has no wealth.' He said: 'No, the true vagabond is he who does not give away anything of his wealth in order to seek his reward from God even though he would be leaving a lot of wealth behind him.'101
He also said: 'Surely God hates one who was miserly all his life and becomes generous near the time of his death.'102 He also said: 'Never was wealth diminished by almsgiving, so give freely and do not be miserly.'103
He also said: 'God has some servants whom He has favored with His blessings and He will continue to do so as long as they spread them amongst the people. If they withhold them though then God will divert His blessings from them to others.'104
He also said: 'Whoever refuses to give of his wealth to good people out of choice, God will divert his wealth to evil people by force.'105 Imam Jafar al-Sadiq said: 'The Apostle of God never ever refused to give to one who asked from him. If he had something with him he would give him it and if he did not then he would say: 'God will provide it.'106
Once the Apostle of God went to al-Jaranah, a place between Mecca and al-Taif. There he divided up the wealth that had been taken as spoils after the battle of Hunayn. The people began to ask more from him and he gave to them until he was forced to retreat to a tree. The people took his cloak and scratched his back so that they could pull him away from the tree and all the while they kept asking him for the wealth. He said: 'O people, give me back my cloak. I swear that if I had sheep to the number of trees of Tuhamah, I would divide them amongst you; then you would not see me as cowardly or miserly.'107
He also said: 'The one least like me amongst you is the miserly, the foul-mouthed and the indecent.'108 He also said: 'The miser is far from God and far from the people, far from Paradise and near to Hellfire.'109
The Apostle of God said: 'Whoever believes in God and the Last Day should fulfil his promises.'110
He also said: 'He who keeps not his promise has no faith.'111 Imam Jafar al-Sadiq relates: 'The Apostle of God made an appointment to meet a man at al-Sakhrah and said to him: 'I will wait for you here until you come.' The sun's heat became severe and his companions said to him: 'O Apostle of God, if only you were to move into the shade.' He said: 'I promised to meet him here, and if he does not come then it will be against him on the Day of Gathering.' 112
It is narrated that Ibn Abi al-Hamsa al-Amiri said: 'It was before the advent of the mission of the Apostle of God when I made an appointment with him to meet at certain place but I forgot about it for two days. On the third day I went to the place and I found him there, and the Apostle of God said: 'Young man you have caused me hardship for I have been here for three days waiting for you.'113
The Prophet said: 'Succor comes with patience, relief comes with trouble and ease comes with difficulty.'114
He also said: 'Patience is a veil from troubles and an aid against misfortunes.'115 He also said: 'Patience is the best vehicle. Never did God provide any of his servants anything better or vaster than patience.'116 He used to say: 'Faith is composed of two parts: one part patience and one part gratitude.'117
The Apostle of God said: 'Verily, the One God, besides whom there is no god but He, because of almsgiving repels disease and disaster and fire and drowning and the collapse of buildings and insanity . . . (and he went on to mention seventy types of evil.)'118
The Prophet was asked: 'What is the best kind of almsgiving?' He said: 'To give alms when you are in good health, covet your wealth, hope to live on and you fear poverty. Do not wait until your soul reaches your throat.'119
The Apostle of God was asked: 'What is the best kind of almsgiving?' He said: 'To give to one of your relatives who has enmity for you.'120
He also said: 'The best kind of alms is the alms of the tongue.' He was asked: 'O Apostle of God, and what is the alms of the tongue?' He said: 'To intercede to free a prisoner or to prevent bloodshed or to bring something desirable to your brother or repel something detestable from him.'121
It is related that the Apostle of God said: 'The closest of you to me tomorrow when we stand before God is he who is most truthful in speech.'122 He also said: 'The adornment of speech is truthfulness.'123
He also said: 'Truthfulness is blessed and untruthfulness is accursed.'124
He also said: 'The liar only lies because of an inferiority in his own self.'125
He also said: 'Do your utmost to avoid lies for lies invite vice and criminality, and vice and criminality lead to Hellfire.'126
He also said: 'Among the greatest sins (is) the lying tongue.'127
He also said: 'Too much lying takes away the good aura of a person.'128
He also said: 'Lying is one of the doors of hypocrisy.'129
He also said: 'Telling lies diminishes providence.'130
He was once asked: 'Can a believer be a coward?' He said: 'Yes.'
He was asked: 'Can he be miserly?' He said: 'Yes.' He was asked: 'Can he be a liar?' He said: 'No.'131 He said: 'Woe betide those who tell stories and lie in order to get people to laugh. Woe betide them, woe betide them.'132
The Apostle of God said: 'O people, this worldly life is a place of grief and is not a place of joy. It is a place of crookedness and is not a place of straightforwardness. Whoever recognizes this will not feel joy at the achievement of some hope or feel grief at wretchedness.'133
He said: 'This worldly life is transient. Whatever comes to you in your favor comes despite your incapacity. And whatever of it is against you, you will not be able to repel it with your power. He who has no hope in that which has passed him by will find repose for his body. He who is content with that which God has decreed for him will find happiness.'134
He also said: 'If love of worldly things dwell in the heart of a person he will be afflicted by three things: endless toil, poverty from which he will never be free, and expectations which will never be realized.'135
In his caution to his companion he said: 'O Abu Dharr, this world occupies people's hearts and bodies. Almighty God will ask us about how we luxuriated in that which he has made lawful, so what about that which he has made unlawful.'136
The Prophet also said: 'Almighty God revealed to this world saying: 'make weary those who serve you and serve those who refuse you.'137
He said: 'Do not curse this world for it is a good place for the believer: in the world he may achieve what is good and through it he may be delivered from what is evil. If a person says: 'May God curse the world.' The world says: 'May God curse he who has most disobeyed his Lord.'138
The Prophet said: 'How can anyone work for the afterlife if his desire for this world is not cut off or his lust for it is not overcome.'139 He also said: 'Think often of death, for whoever thinks often of death will surely abstain from the things of this world.'140
He said: 'O Abu Dharr, Whenever a person abstains from this world God causes wisdom to grow in his heart and be spoken from his tongue. Then He gives him insights into the faults of the world and its malady and its antidote and He takes him out of the world in safety to the abode of peace.'141
He advised Abu Dharr: 'O Abu Dharr, if you see that your brother has abstained from this world then listen to him for he will dispense wisdom.'142 The Prophet declared: 'Whoever abstains from this world will find calamities to be insignificant.'143
He also said: 'Desire for worldly things increases worry and grief whereas abstinence from worldly things gives repose to the heart and the body.'144
Once one of the angels came to the Apostle of God and said: 'O Muhammad, your Lord conveys you a greeting of peace and says: 'If you wish I will fill for you the valleys of Mecca with gold.'
The Prophet raised his head to the heavens and said: 'O Lord, if I eat my fill one day I will praise you, and if I go hungry the next day I will ask from you.'145 The Prophet said to his companion about backbiting advising him: 'O Abu Dharr, do your utmost to avoid backbiting, for it is worse than adultery.' Abu Dharr said: 'O Apostle of God, how is this so?'
The Prophet replied: 'This is so because if a man commits adultery and then repents to God, God will accept his repentance. But backbiting will not be forgiven until the person who has been spoken against gives forgiveness.'146
The Prophet said to his companions: 'Shall I tell you who are the worst amongst you?' They said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God.' He said: 'Those who go about slandering and try to cause splits between loved ones and who seek faults in the innocent.'147 The Prophet also said: 'The worst of the people is he who takes his brother to the court of the authorities whereby he destroys himself, his brother and the ruler.'148
He also said to his companions: 'Shall I tell you who is the least like me?' They said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God.' He said: 'The miserly, the foul-mouthed, and the indecent.'149 He also said in his sermon at the farewell pilgrimage: 'Your blood and your property and your honors are sacred just as this day is sacred and this month is sacred.'150
He also said: 'To sit in the mosque awaiting the time of prayer is an act of worship as long as the person does not backbite.'151
The Prophet said: 'No nation which does not firmly take the rights of the weak from the strong will ever be venerated.'152 He also said: 'The best of actions are: treating people fairly, and helping out your brother in the name of Lord, and remembrance of God in all circumstances.'153
The Prophet Muhammad stated: 'An hour's justice is better than seventy years of worship, fasting during the day and keeping vigil during the night. An hour's injustice in ruling is worse and more serious in the sight of God than sixty years of sin.'154
The Prophet also said: 'The most just of the people is one who likes for the people to have what he likes for himself, and detests for the people what he detests for himself.'155
He said: 'What you dislike for yourself, you should dislike for others and what you like for yourself you should like for others. Then you will be just in your rule and equal in your justice, beloved of the people of the heavens and win the devotion of hearts of the people of the earth.'156
He said: 'Beware of wronging for it is the darkness of the Day of Resurrection.'157
He also said: 'If a mountain were to transgress against another mountain, God would turn the transgressor into dust.'158 He used to say: 'Transgression is the evil which has the swiftest of punishments.'159
He said: 'He who takes from the wrongdoer and gives to the wronged will be in my company in Paradise.'160 He said: 'On the day of Resurrection a herald will call out: 'Where are the oppressors and those who aided them? Who poured ink for them? Who tied a bag for them? Who extended a hand to help them? Herded them up with the oppressors!'161
He also said: 'The prayer of the person wronged is answered even if it is from a non-practicing individual who fears for himself.'162 He said: 'Whoever kills a non-Muslim person under the protection of the Islamic state will be forbidden Paradise whose perfume can be smelt from twelve years journey away.'163
He said: 'In Hellfire I saw the owner of a cat, which was mauling her in front and behind. This was because she used to tie it up and did not feed it or let it loose to eat from the vermin of the earth.'164
The Prophet Muhammad said: 'All will be well with my nation as long as they love one another, give gifts to one another, fulfil their trusts, avoid that which is unlawful, honor the guest, establish the prayer, and pay the statutory alms. If they do not do this then they will be afflicted by drought and famine.'165
He said: 'All will be well with this nation under the hand of God and in His protection as long as the reciters of the Quran do not aid the rulers, and the righteous do not praise the miscreants, and the good people do not assist the evil ones. If they do this then God will lift His hand from them and will place tyrants to rule over them ...'166
He also said: 'There are three things I fear for my nation: obedience to greed, following of lusts and desires, and leaders who are astray.'167 He said: 'Hope is a mercy for my nation. Were it not for hope, no mother would ever feed her child and no gardener would ever plant a tree.'168 Once he said to his companions: 'Shall I inform you of the worst of people?'
Those with him said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God.' He said: 'He who loathes the people and who is loathed by the people.'
Then he said: 'Shall I inform you of worse than him?' They said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God.' He said: 'He who does not help another who has fallen and does not accept another's apology and does not forgive a wrong.'
Then he said: 'Shall I inform you of worse than him?' They said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God.' He said: 'He from whom none is safe from his evil and from whom none expect any good.'169
He also said: 'Shall I inform you of the worst of your men?' They said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God.' He said: 'Among the worst of your men is the slanderer, the audacious transgressor the obscene person who eats alone and refuses to help others. He beats his servants and forces his dependents to seek help elsewhere.'170
The Apostle of God said to the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali: 'Say: 'O God, do not let me be in need of the worst of your creation!' The Commander of the Faithful said: 'O Apostle of God, and who is the worst of God's creation?'
He said: 'Those who when they are given refuse to give, and if they are refused something they would criticize or slander.'171 The Prophet was asked: 'Who are the worst of people?' He said: 'The corrupt savants.'172 The Apostle of God was asked: 'Who is your true nation?'
He said: 'Those who are with the truth though they may only be ten people.'173 He also said: 'The best of my nation are those who are most abstinent in the things of this world and who are most desirous of the next world.'174
He also said: 'The best of my nation is one who spends his youth in obedience to God and weans himself off the pleasures of this world and is focused on the next life. His reward with God will be the highest stations in Paradise.'175
He also said: 'Blessed is he who spends what he has earned without disobeying God, and keeps the company of the people of knowledge and wisdom and mixes with the underlings and the poor. Blessed is he whose self has been subdued and whose temperament is good and whose inner heart is virtuous and who keeps his worst aspects away from the people. Blessed is he who gives away his surplus wealth and holds back from what is superfluous in speech and who confines himself to Prophetic practices and does not go beyond them to innovations.'176
He also said: 'He who is not trustworthy has no faith.'177 Once Abu Ayyub Khalid ibn Zayd came to the Apostle of God and said: 'O Apostle of God, advise me and be brief so that I may remember what you say.' He said: 'I advise you to do five things: do not concern yourself with what is in the hands of others for that is riches, and do not be greedy for that is poverty itself, and pray each prayer as if it was your last, and avoid that which is regrettable, and love for your brother what you love for yourself.'178
He also said: 'If you see one of the gardens of Paradise then go there and graze.' They said: 'O Apostle of God, and what is the garden of Paradise?'
He said: 'The gatherings of the believers.'179
He said in his advice to Abu Dharr: 'O Abu Dharr, do not procrastinate for you only have one day and you are not for what comes after it. If tomorrow were to be for you then be on the morrow as you were today. And if no tomorrow comes then you will not regret wasting your day.' 'O Abu Dharr, how often does someone greet a new day but does not live to see its end, and how often does someone await the morning and he does not see it.'
'O Abu Dharr, were you to look at your lifespan and its fate you would loath desire and its delusions.'
'O Abu Dharr, Be in this world as if you are a stranger, or as a passer by, and count yourself amongst the people of the graves. 'O Abu Dharr, when morning comes do not speak to yourself of the evening, and when evening comes do not speak to yourself of the morning. Take advantage from your health before you are ill, and your life before your death, for you do not know what your name will be on the morrow i.e. whether you are going to be amongst the fortunate or the unfortunate.'180
Abu Dharr also relates: 'The Apostle of God advised me to do seven things: he advised me to look to those who are below me and not to look to those who are above me. He advised me to love the paupers and to be near to them. He advised me to speak the truth even if it be bitter. He advised me to maintain bonds with my kin even if they turn away from me. He advised me not to fear any blame in the way of God. He advised me to say often: 'There is no strength or power except through God The Exalted, The Magnificent', for these are the jewels of Paradise.'181
It is related that a man came to the Prophet and said: 'O Apostle of God, advise me.' The Prophet said: 'Do you seek advice so that I may advise you?' He said this three times and each time the man said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God.'
So the Apostle of God said to him: 'I advise that when you intend to do something then think out its consequences. If it is sensible then carry it out and if not then refrain from it.'182 Once a man said to the Apostle of God: 'Advise me!' He said: 'Have shame in front of God just as you have shame in front of a righteous man from your people.'183
Among his advice to Muadh ibn Jabal, when he sent him as his representative to the Yemen, he said: 'I advise you to be conscious of God, and to be truthful in speech, and to honor pledges, and to fulfil trusts, and not to betray, and to be softly spoken, and to promote peace, and to protect refugees, and show mercy to the orphans, and to control your anger, and to act well, and to cut short your hopes, and to have love for the next world, and to fear the reckoning, and to adhere to faith to the last moment of your life, and to study the Quran, and to lower your wing i.e. be kind to others ...'184 356
The Prophet Muhammad said: 'The best of combat is to combat with one's self that is between one's flanks.'185 357
- 1. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 90, p. 291, Hadith 14.
- 2. Ibid; p. 322, Hadith 36.
- 3. The White Path (al-Mahajjah al-abayadh) vol.2, p.282.
- 4. Ibid; vol. 2, p. 284.
- 5. Ibid; vol. 2, p. 293.
- 6. Ibid; vol. 2, p. 283.
- 7. al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 159, Hadith 9, Chapter - Honoring One's Parents.
- 8. 'Uddat al-da'i; p. 91.
- 9. Ibid; p. 90.
- 10. Ibid; p. 89.
- 11. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 101, chap. 105, p. 97, Hadith 61.
- 12. 'Uddat al-da'i; p. 86.
- 13. Ibid.
- 14. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68, chap. 92, p. 388, Hadith 36.
- 15. Ibid; p. 374, Hadith 2.
- 16. Ibid; p. 385, Hadith 26.
- 17. Ibid; p. 394, Hadith 64.
- 18. Majma' al-Bayan of al-Tabrasi, vol. 10, p. 333, Syrian Printing.
- 19. al-Mahajjah al-Abayadh; vol. 5, p. 93.
- 20. Ibid.
- 21. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 16, chap. 9, p. 210.
- 22. Ibid; vol. 68, chap. 92, p. 394.
- 23. al-Kafi; vol. 2, p. 240.
- 24. Ibid; p. 102.
- 25. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 73, chap. 100, p. 28, Hadith 21.
- 26. al-Kafi; vol. 2, p. 103, Hadith 1.
- 27. al-Amali of al-Tusi; vol. 2, p. 92.
- 28. al-Kafi; vol. 2, p. 107, Hadith 2.
- 29. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 66, chap. 38, p. 368, Hadith 4.
- 30. Ibid; vol. 73, chap. 97, p. 12, Hadith 50.
- 31. Ibid; vol. 74, chap. 7, p. 168, Hadith 5.
- 32. Tuhaf al-'Uqul; p. 13.
- 33. al-Amali of al-Suduq; Lecture 6, p. 28.
- 34. al-Kafi; vol. 2, p. 116, Hadith 1.
- 35. Tuhaf al-'Uqul; p. 33.
- 36. al-Kafi; vol. 2, p. 240, Hadith 35.
- 37. al-Kafi; vol.2, p.110, Hadith 9.
- 38. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 2, chap. 13, p. 69, Hadith 23.
- 39. Ibid; vol. 67, chap. 93, p. 423.
- 40. Muntaha al-Amal of al-Qummi; vol. 1, p. 68.
- 41. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 72, chap. 87, p. 401, Hadith 42.
- 42. Ibid; vol. 67, chap. 56, p. 283, Hadith 5.
- 43. Ibid; vol. 66, chap. 38, p. 368, Hadith 4.
- 44. Ibid; vol.67, chap. 56, p. 288, Hadith 15.
- 45. Ma'ani al-Akhbar; p. 196, Beirut edition.
- 46. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 100, chap. 1, p. 17, Hadith 81.
- 47. Ibid; vol. 71, chap. 18, p. 278, Hadith 1.
- 48. Ibid; vol. 73, chap. 44, p. 219, Hadith 26.
- 49. Ibid; vol.81, chap. 38, p. 248.
- 50. Tafsir Nur al-Thaqalayn; vol. 3, p. 367, Hadith 11, Qum edn.
- 51. al-Amali of al-Tusi; vol. 2, p.154.
- 52. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 67, chap. 56, p. 275, Hadith 7.
- 53. Majma' al-Bayan; vol. 9, p. 34.
- 54. Bihar al-Anwar; vol.74, chap. 7, p. 167, Hadith 4.
- 55. Manaqib al Abi Talib; vol. 3, p. 384.
- 56. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 74, chap. 7, p. 171.
- 57. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 76, chap. 103, p. 267, Hadith 2.
- 58. Tafsir Nur al-Thaqalayn; vol. 5, p. 597, Hadith 23, Qum edition.
- 59. Ibid; Hadith 22.
- 60. al-Amali of al-Tusi; vol.1, p.185.
- 61. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 74, chap. 7, p. 180, Hadith 16.
- 62. Ibid; p. 141.
- 63. al-Kafi; vol. 2, p. 120, Hadith 12.
- 64. Jami al-Akhbar; p. 139, Najaf edition.
- 65. Ibid.
- 66. A path in the afterlife which all must cross over. Offenders will fall from it into Hellfire and the righteous will pass across it with ease into Paradise.
- 67. Jami al-Akhbar, p.139.
- 68. Ibid.
- 69. Ibid.
- 70. Ibid.
- 71. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 6, chap. 8, p. 220, Hadith 14.
- 72. Ibid. vol. 93, chap. 42, p. 324, Hadith 13.
- 73. al-Mahajjah al-Abayadh; vol. 6, p. 222.
- 74. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 81, chap. 38, p. 264, end of Hadith 66.
- 75. Ibid; p. 248.
- 76. Makarim al-Akhlaq; p. 471.
- 77. Ibid.
- 78. al-Mahajjah al- Abayadh; vol. 6, p. 222.
- 79. Tanbih al-Khawatir wa Nuzhah al-Nawazir; vol. 1, p. 209, 2nd edition.
- 80. Ibid; vol.2, p. 351.
- 81. Makarim al-Akhlaq; p. 251.
- 82. al-Mahajjah al-Abayadh; vol. 6, p. 215.
- 83. Tanbih al-Khawatir wa Nuzhah al-Nawazir; vol. 1, p. 207, 2nd edition.
- 84. Makarim al-Akhlaq; p. 471.
- 85. Ibid.
- 86. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 70, chap. 130, p. 223, Hadith 32.
- 87. Ibid. vol. 67, chap. 56, p. 287.
- 88. Makarim al-Akhlaq; p. 471.
- 89. 'Uddat al-da'i; p. 114, 5th edition.
- 90. Wasail Shia; vol. 8, chap. 21, p. 424, Hadith 1, 5th edition, Beirut.
- 91. Ibid.
- 92. Ibid; p. 429, Hadith 1.
- 93. Ibid; p. 426, Hadith 6.
- 94. Tafsir Nur al-Thaqalayn; vol. 4, p. 584.
- 95. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 72, chap. 49, p. 104, Hadith 36.
- 96. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 7, chap. 23, p. 171, Hadith 114.
- 97. Hatim al-Tai was a man of legendary generosity, who died an idolater before the start of the mission of the Prophet Muhammad. (Translators note).
- 98. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68, chap. 87, p. 354, end of Hadith 16.
- 99. Ibid; vol. 16, chap. 9, p. 239, Hadith 35.
- 100. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 70, chap.136, p. 300, Hadith 2.
- 101. Tuhaf al-Uqul; p. 33.
- 102. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 74, chap. 7, p. 173, Hadith 8.
- 103. Ibid; vol. 93, chap. 14, p. 131.
- 104. Ibid; vol. 72, chap. 81, p. 352.
- 105. Ibid; vol .93, chap. 14, p. 352.
- 106. Ibid. vol. 93, chap. 14, p. 352.
- 107. Ibid. p. 226, Hadith 32.
- 108. Tuhaf al-Uqul; p. 31, 5th edition.
- 109. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68, chap. 87, p. 355, Hadith 17.
- 110. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 77, chap. 12, p. 149, Hadith 77.
- 111. Ibid; vol. 69, chap.105, p. 197, Hadith 26.
- 112. Ibid. chap. 9; p. 239.
- 113. Ibid. p. 235.
- 114. al-Amali of al-Tusi; vol. 2, p. 287, Najaf edition.
- 115. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 79, chap. 61, p. 137, Hadith 21.
- 116. Ibid; vol. 79, chap. 61, p. 139, Hadith 22.
- 117. Tuhaf al-Uqul; p. 34. 5th edition.
- 118. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 59, chap. 88, p. 269, Hadith 61.
- 119. al-Amali of al-Tusi; vol. 2, p. 12, Najaf edition.
- 120. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 71, chap. 3, p. 103, Hadith 61.
- 121. ‘Uddat al-da’i; p.71.
- 122. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 7, chap. 15, p. 303, Hadith 65.
- 123. Ibid; vol. 67, chap. 6, p. 9, Hadith 12.
- 124. Tuhaf al-Uqul; p. 11.
- 125. al-Ikhtisas; p. 226. Najaf edition.
- 126. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69, chap. 14, p. 263, Hadith 48.
- 127. al-Ikhtisas; p. 339. Najaf edition.
- 128. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 73, chap. 106, p. 58, Hadith 1.
- 129. Tanbih al-Khawatir; p. 121.
- 130. Jami al-Sadat; vol. 2, p. 322, 3rd edition.
- 131. Ibid.
- 132. Ibid.
- 133. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 74, chap. 7, p. 187.
- 134. Tuhaf al-Uqul; p. 27.
- 135. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 74, chap. 7, p. 188.
- 136. Makarim al-Akhlaq; p. 463.
- 137. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 70, chap. 122, p. 87, Hadith 51.
- 138. Ibid. vol. 74, chap. 122, p. 78, Hadith 51.
- 139. Ibid. p. 182.
- 140. Ibid. vol. 79, chap. 63, p. 178. Hadith 10.
- 141. Makarim al-Akhlaq; p. 463.
- 142. Ibid.
- 143. Makarim al-Akhlaq; p. 463.
- 144. Ibid. vol. 70, chap. 122, p. 120.
- 145. Ibid. vol. 16, chap.9, p. 220, Hadith 12.
- 146. Makarim al-Akhlaq; p. 470.
- 147. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 72, chap. 66, p. 222, Hadith 1.
- 148. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 72, chap. 67, p. 266, Hadith 16.
- 149. al-Kafi; vol. 2, p. 291, Hadith 9.
- 150. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 23, chap. 7, p. 165, Hadith 117.
- 151. al-Kafi; vol. 2, p. 357, end of Hadith 1.
- 152. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 33, p. 607.
- 153. Ibid. vol. 72, chap. 35, p. 34, Hadith 27.
- 154. Ibid. chap. 71, p. 352.
- 155. Ibid. chap. 71, p. 352.
- 156. Ibid. vol. 74, chap. 3, p. 69, Hadith 6.
- 157. al-Kafi; vol. 2, p. 332, Hadith 11.
- 158. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 72, chap. 70, p. 276.
- 159. Ibid. p. 275.
- 160. Ibid. chap. 81, p. 359, Hadith 74.
- 161. Ibid. chap. 82, p. 380, Hadith 41.
- 162. al-Amali of al-Tusi; vol. 1, p. 317.
- 163. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 100, chap. 3, p. 47, Hadith 1.
- 164. Ibid. vol. 61, chap. 10, p. 267, Hadith 30.
- 165. Ibid. vol. 66, chap. 38, p. 394, Hadith 76.
- 166. Ibid. vol. 72, chap. 82, p. 381, Hadith 50.
- 167. Tuhaf al-Uqul; p. 41.
- 168. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 74, chap. 7, p. 175, Hadith 8.
- 169. al-Amali al-Saduq; Lecture.5, p.251.
- 170. al-Kafi; vol. 2, p. 292, Hadith 13, chap. The Roots and Pillars of Disbelief.
- 171. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 90, p. 325, Hadith 6.
- 172. Tuhaf al-Uqul; p.25.
- 173. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 2, p. 266, Hadith 22.
- 174. Tanbih al-Khawatir; vol. 2, p. 362.
- 175. Ibid. p. 363.
- 176. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 74, chap. 7, p. 175, Hadith 10.
- 177. Ibid. vol. 69, chap. 105, p. 197, Hadith 26.
- 178. al-Amali of al-Tusi vol. 2, p. 122..
- 179. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 71, chap. 13, p. 188, Hadith 13.
- 180. Makarim al-Akhlaq; p. 459.
- 181. al-Khisal; p. 345, Hadith 12, Qum edition.
- 182. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68, chap. 83, p. 338, Hadith 4.
- 183. Ibid. p. 336, Hadith 20.
- 184. Tuhaf al-Uqul; p. 19.
- 185. Ma'ani al-Akhbar; p. 160.