Lesson Sixteen: Mastership and Captivity
Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said:
"تَفَضَّلْ عَلَى مَنْ شِئْتَ تَكُنْ أَمِيرَهُ، وَاسْتَغْنِ عَمِّنْ شِئْتَ تَكُنْ نَظِيْرَهُ، وَافْتَقِرٌ إلى مَنْ شِئْتَ تَكُنْ أَسِيْرَهُ"
If you do favor for someone, you will become his master!
If you are not in need of someone, you will be at par with him!
If you are in need of someone, you will become his captive!
This rule powerfully governs the social relations of individuals and nations. Bountiful hands are always masters and begging hands are always slaves. The needy people and nations have effectively made themselves into slaves through looking to others to provide for their needs. A true Muslim is one who attempts to base his relations with others on mutual, not one-sided, assistance. Receiving gratuitous support should be limited to weak and feeble persons.