Table of Contents

Chapter 43: On Poems About Patience and Silence in Front of the Ignorant, and Not Treating Friends With Reproach, and Attracting the Enemy So That He Becomes Friends and on Hiding Secrets

43-1 Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Mutawakkil, Muhammad ibn Isam al-Kolayni, Abu Muhammad Al-Hassan ibn Ahmad al-Mo’addib, Ali ibn Abdullah al-Warraq, Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Imran al-Daqqaq - may God be pleased with them - narrated that Muhammad ibn Yaqoob al-Kolayni - may God forgive him - quoted on the authority of Ali ibn Ibrahim Al-Alawi Al-Jawani, on the authority of Musa ibn Muhammad

السَّطْحَ فَإِنَّكَ سَتَرَى امْرَأَةً بَغِيَّةً عُثَّةً رِثَّةً مُهَيِّجَةَ الأَشْرَارِ مُتَّسِخَةَ الأَطْمَارِ يُسَمِّيهَا أَهْلُ هَذِهِ الْكُورَةِ سَمَانَةَ لِغَبَاوَتِهَا وَتَهَتُّكِهَا قَدْ أَسْنَدَتْ مَكَانَ الرُّمْحِ إِلَى نَحْرِهَا قَصَباً وَقَدْ شَدَّتْ وِقَايَةً لَهَا حَمْرَاءَ إِلَى طَرْفِهِ مَكَانَ اللِّوَاءِ فَهِيَ تَقُودُ جُيُوشَ الْقَاعَةِ وَتَسُوقُ عَسَاكِرَ الطَّغَامِ إِلَى قَصْرِ الْمَأْمُونِ وَمَنَازِلِ قُوَّادِهِ فَصَعِدْتُ السَّطْحَ فَلَمْ أَرَ إِلا نُفُوساً تَنْتَزِعُ بِالْعَصَا وَهَامَّاتٍ تُرْضَخُ بِالأَحْجَارِ وَلَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ الْمَأْمُونَ مُتَدَرِّعاً قَدْ بَرَزَ مِنْ قَصْرِ الشَّاهْجَانِ مُتَوَجِّهاً لِلْهَرَبِ فَمَا شَعَرْتُ إِلا بِشَاجِرْدِ الْحَجَّامِ قَدْ رَمَى مِنْ بَعْضِ أَعَالِي السُّطُوحِ بِلَبِنَةٍ ثَقِيلَةٍ فَضَرَبَ بِهَا رَأْسَ الْمَأْمُونِ فَأَسْقَطَتْ بَيْضَتَهُ بَعْدَ أَنْ شَقَّتْ جَلْدَةَ هَامَّتِهِ فَقَالَ لِقَاذِفِ اللَّبِنَةِ بَعْضُ مَنْ عَرَفَ الْمَأْمُونَ وَيْلَكَ أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَسَمِعْتُ سَمَانَةَ تَقُولُ اسْكُتْ لا أُمَّ لَكَ لَيْسَ هَذَا يَوْمَ الَّتمَيُّزِ وَالُْمحَابَاةِ وَلا يَوْمَ إِنْزَالِ النَّاسِ عَلَى طَبَقَاتِهِمْ فَلَوْ كَانَ هَذَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لَمَا سَلَّطَ ذُكُورَ الْفُجَّارِ عَلَى فُرُوجِ الأَبْكَارِ وَطُرِدَ الْمَأْمُونُ وَجُنُودُهُ أَسْوَأَ طَرْدٍ بَعْدَ إِذْلالٍ وَاسْتِخْفَافٍ شَدِيدٍ.

43

بابُ ذِكرِ ما أَنشَدَ الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ الْمَأمُون مِنَ الشِّعْرَ فِي الْحِلْمِ وَالسُّكُوتِ‏ عَنِ الجاهِلِ وَتَركِ عَتّابِ الصَّديقِ وَفِي اِستِجلابِ العَدُوِّ حَتّى‏ يَكُون صَديقاً وَفِي كِتمانِ السِّرِّ

1 - حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مُوسَى المُتَوَكِّل رَضِىَ اللهُ عَنْهُ وَمُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عصام الكُلَيْنِيُّ وَأَبُو مُحَمَّد الحَسَن بْنِ أحْمَد المُؤَدِّبُ وَعَلِىِّ بْنِ عَبْد الوَرَّاقُ وَعَلِىِّ بْنِ أَحْمَدِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عِمْران الدَّقَّاق - رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ - قالُوا: حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ يَعْقُوبِ الكُلَيْنِيُّ - رَحْمَةُ اللَّه - قالَ: حَدَّثَنا عَلىِّ بْنِ العَلَويّ الجوانِي عَنْ مُوسَى بْنِ مُحَمَّد المحاربي عَنْ رَجُل ذكر اِسْمُهُ

al-Moharibi, on the authority of a man whose name he had mentioned, on the authority of Abil Hassan Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) that Al-Ma’mun asked the Imam (a.s.), “Have the people ever recited any poems for you?” He (a.s.) replied, “Yes. They have told me a lot.” He said, “Then recite to us the best poem that they have recited to you about patience.” He (a.s.) said,

Whenever I face someone lower than me
hurt me out of ignorance
I honor myself and
do not treat him out of ignorance, too.
If he equals me in terms of intelligence
I treat him with patience so as to be nobler than him.
And if he is higher than me in terms of nobility and sagacity
Then I recognize his right of superiority and nobility.

Then Al-Ma’mun said, “How excellent! Who said it?” He (a.s.) replied, “One of our youth.” Al-Ma’mun said, “Please recite for us the best poem you have heard regarding remaining silent in the presence of the ignorant and not fighting with friends. He (a.s.) said,

My friend stays away from me to break up
I show him that there are means to break up.
I see that if I treat him with reproach
I have pushed him to break up
Then I consider to abandon reproach.
When I face an ignorant, selfish friend
Who believes in the feasibility of the unfeasible
I prefer to remain silent, perhaps
Silence is itself a form of response!

Al-Ma’mun said, “How excellent! Who has said it?” The Imam (a.s.) replied, “One of our youth.” Al-Ma’mun said, “Please tell me the best poems about turning enemies into friends.” He (a.s.) said,

عَن أَبي الحَسَن الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ أَنَّ الْمَأْمُونَ قَالَ هَلْ رَوَيْتَ مِنَ الشِّعْرِ شَيْئاً فَقَالَ قَدْ رَوَيْتُ مِنْهُ الْكَثِيرَ فَقَالَ أَنْشِدْنِي أَحْسَنَ مَا رَوَيْتَهُ فِي الْحِلْمِ فَقَالَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ:

إِذَا كَانَ دُونِي مَنْ بُلِيتُ بِجَهْلِهِ

أَبَيْتُ لِنَفْسِي أَنْ تُقَابِلَ بِالْجَهْلِ‏

وَإِنْ كَانَ مِثْلِي فِي مَحَلِّي مِنَ النُّهَى‏

أَخَذْتُ بِحِلْمِي كَيْ أُجَلَّ عَنِ الْمِثْلِ‏

وَإِنْ كُنْتُ أَدْنَى مِنْهُ فِي الْفَضْلِ وَالْحِجَى

عَرَفْتُ لَهُ حَقَّ التَّقَدُّمِ وَالْفَضْلِ‏

قَالَ لَهُ الْمَأْمُونُ: مَا أَحْسَنَ هَذَا هَذَا مَنْ قَالَهُ فَقَالَ بَعْضُ فِتْيَانِنَا قَالَ فَأَنْشِدْنِي أَحْسَنَ مَا رَوَيْتَهُ فِي السُّكُوتِ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِ وَتَرْكِ عِتَابِ الصَّدِيقِ فَقَالَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ:

إِنِّي لَيَهْجُرُنِي الصَّدِيقُ تَجَنُّباً

فَأُرِيهِ أَنَّ لِهَجْرِهِ أَسْبَابا

وَأَرَاهُ إِنْ عَاتَبْتُهُ أَغْرَيْتُهُ‏

فَأَرَى لَهُ تَرْكَ الْعِتَابِ عِتَابا

وَإِذَا بُلِيتُ بِجَاهِلٍ مُتَحَكِّمٍ‏

يَجِدُ الُْمحَالَ مِنَ الأُمُورِ صَوَابا

أَوْلَيْتُهُ مِنِّي السُّكُوتَ وَرُبَّمَا

كَانَ السُّكُوتُ عَنِ الْجَوَابِ جَوَابا

فَقَالَ لَهُ الْمَأْمُونُ: مَا أَحْسَنَ هَذَا هَذَا مَنْ قَالَهُ فَقَالَ‏بَعْضُ فِتْيَانِنَا قَالَ فَأَنْشِدْنِي أَحْسَنَ مَا رَوَيْتَهُ فِي اسْتِجْلابِ الْعَدُوِّ حَتَّى يَكُونَ صَدِيقاً فَقَالَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ:

Treating ogres with friendship I have overcome them
And have heavily burdened them under my debt by forgiving.
One who does not fend off the wicked deeds of his enemy with friendliness
Has not learned toleration from the highest ranks.
I have not seen any faster way to alleviate
Old grudges than with quick friendliness.

Then Al-Ma’mun said, “How excellent! Who has said it?” The Imam (a.s.) replied, “One of our youth.” Al-Ma’mun said, “Please tell me the best poems about hiding secrets.” He (a.s.) said,

I am used to forgetting secrets
so that I do not spread them around.
Then guard the secrets you know by forgetting them.
I fear that I might remember it
And my heart may spread it around.
It is probable that one does not divulge a secret, but so often
It comes to his mind that he cannot bear to keep it imprisoned!

Then Al-Ma’mun said, “What would you say if you want the people to throw dirt over a book?”1 The Imam (a.s.) replied, “I would say: ‘Tarrab.” Al-Ma’mun said, “What if it is from ‘al-Sahha?” He (a.s.) replied, “Sahe.” He asked, “What about ‘Tayn?” He (a.s.) replied, “‘Tayyan.” Then Al-Ma’mun told his servant, “Pour dirt over this writing and fold it. Place it in clay and seal it.2 Then send it to Al-Fadhl ibn Sahl. Take three hundred thousand Dirhams from him for Abil Hassan (a.s.).”

The author of this book (a.s.heikh Sadooq) - may God be pleased with him - said, “What Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) accepted from Al-Ma’mun is similar to what the Prophet (S) accepted from the kings, and is similar to what Al-Hassan ibn Ali (a.s.) accepted from Mo’awiya, and the other Immaculate Imams (a.s.) accepted from the Caliphs. It is proper for one to accept things when the whole world belongs to him and they confiscate it all, but return some of it to him.”

وَذِي غِلَّةٍ سَالَمْتُهُ فَقَهَرْتُهُ‏

فَأَوْقَرْتُهُ مَنِّي لِعَفْوِ التَّجَمُّلِ‏

وَمَنْ لا يُدَافِعْ سَيِّئَاتِ عَدُوِّهِ‏

بِإِحْسَانِهِ لَمْ يَأْخُذِ الطَّوْلَ مِنْ عَلُ‏

وَلَمْ أَرَ فِي الأَشْيَاءِ أَسْرَعَ مَهْلَكاً

لِغَمْرٍ قَدِيمٍ مِنْ وِدَادٍ مُعَجَّلٍ‏

فَقَالَ لَهُ الْمَأْمُونُ: مَا أَحْسَنَ هَذَا هَذَا مَنْ قَالَهُ فَقَالَ بَعْضُ فِتْيَانِنَا فَقَالَ فَأَنْشِدْنِي أَحْسَنَ مَا رَوَيْتَهُ فِي كِتَْمانِ السِّرِّ فَقَالَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ:

وَإِنِّي لأنْسَى السِّرَّ كَيْلا أُذِيعَهُ‏

فَيَا مَنْ رَأَى سِرّاً يُصَانُ بِأَنْ يُنْسَى‏

مَخَافَةَ أَنْ يَجْرِيَ بِبَالِي ذِكْرُهُ‏

فَيَنْبِذَهُ قَلْبِي إِلَى مُلْتَوَى حَشا

فَيُوشِكُ مَنْ لَمْ يُفْشِ سِرّاً وَجَالَ فِي‏

خَوَاطِرِهِ أَنْ لا يُطِيقَ لَهُ حَبْسا

فَقَالَ لَهُ الْمَأْمُونُ: إِذَا أَمَرْتَ أَنْ تُتَرَّبَ [يُتَرَّبَ] الْكِتَابُ كَيْفَ تَقُولُ قَالَ تَرِّبْ قَالَ فَمِنَ السَّحَا قَالَ سَحِّ قَالَ فَمِنَ الطِّينِ قَالَ طَيِّنْ فَقَالَ يَا غُلامُ تَرِّبْ هَذَا الْكِتَابَ وَسَحِّهِ وَطَيِّنْهُ وَامْضِ بِهِ إِلَى الْفَضْلِ بْنِ سَهْلٍ وَخُذْ لابِي الْحَسَنِ ثَلاثَمِائَةِ أَلْفِ دِرْهَمٍ.

قالَ مُصَنِّفُ هذا الْكِتاب رَضِىَ اللهُ عَنْهُ: كانَ سَبِيلِ ما يُقَبِّلُهُ الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ مِن الْمَأمُون سَبِيلِ ما كانَ يُقَبِّلُهُ النَّبِي‏ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ مِنَ الملوك وَسَبِيلِ ما كانَ يَقبَلُهُ الحَسَن بْنِ عَلِى‏عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلاَمُ مِن مُعاوِيَةَ وَسَبِيلِ ما كانَ يُقَبِّلُهُ الأَئِمَّةِ مِنْ آبائِهِ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ مِنَ الخُلَفاءِ وَمَنْ كانَتْ الدُّنْيا كُلِّها لَهُ فَغُلِبَ عَلَيْها ثُمَّ اُعْطِيَ بَعْضَها فَجائِزٌ لَهُ أَن يَأْخُذُه.

Other Poems Which Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) Used to Read and Draw Similitudes From

43-2 Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Imran al-Daqqaq - may God be pleased with him - narrated that Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Kufi quoted on the authority of Sahl ibn Ziyad al-Adami, on the authority of Abdul Adheem ibn Abdullah Al-Hassani, on the authority of Mo’ammar ibn Khallad and others that they went to see Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.). One of them asked Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.), “May we be your ransom! Why do you look so pale?” The Imam (a.s.) replied, “I stayed up last night and was thinking about the following poem by Marvan ibn Abi Hafsat:

How come it could not be that
The children of the daughter inherit instead of paternal uncles.

Then I went to sleep and saw someone holding onto the door frame and saying:

How come it could not be that
The pagans be the pillars of Islam?
The children of the daughter inherit from their grandfather
While the uncle is abandoned without any share.
How could the one captured and freed inherit?3
Many of the captured confessed fearing the sword.
And the Qur’an informed you about the nobility of the one
And has told you about all the relevant decrees.
Indeed the son of Fatima, well-known by his name
Is the one to inherit from the Prophet from his paternal uncles.
But the son of Notayla4 will stand wondering on the side
Crying while the relatives sympathize.

وَمِمَّا أَنشَدَهُ الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ وَتَمَثَّلَ بِهِ:

2 - حَدَّثَنا عَلِىِّ بْنِ أَحْمَدِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عِمْران الدَّقَّاق رَضِىَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قالَ: حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبي‏الكُوفِي عَنْ سَهْلِ بْنِ زِياد الأَدَمِي، عَن عَبْدِ العَظِيم بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّه الحَسَنِيِّ، عَن عَبْد السَّلامُ بْنِ صالِح الهروي قالَ: حَدَّثَني معمر بْنِ خلاد وَجَماعَةِ قالُوا: دَخَلْنَا عَلَى الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَقَالَ لَهُ بَعْضُنَا جَعَلَنِيَ اللَّهُ فِدَاكَ مَا لِي أَرَاكَ مُتَغَيِّرَ الْوَجْهِ فَقَالَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ إِنِّي بَقِيتُ لَيْلَتِي سَاهِراً مُفَكِّراً فِي قَوْلِ مَرْوَانَ بْنِ أَبِي حَفْصَةَ

أَنَّى يَكُونُ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ بِكَائِنٍ‏

لِبَنِي الْبَنَاتِ وِرَاثَةُ الأَعْمَامِ‏

ثُمَّ نِمْتُ فَإِذَا أَنَا بِقَائِلٍ قَدْ أَخَذَ بِعِضَادَتَيِ الْبَابِ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ:

أَنَّى يَكُونُ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ بِكَائِنٍ‏

لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ دَعَائِمُ الإِسْلامِ‏

لِبَنِي الْبَنَاتِ نَصِيبُهُمْ مِنْ جَدِّهِمْ‏

وَالْعَمُّ مَتْرُوكٌ بِغَيْرِ سِهَام‏

مَا لِلطَّلِيقِ وَلِلتُّرَاثِ وَإِنَّمَا

سَجَدَ الطَّلِيقُ مَخَافَةَ الصَّمْصَامِ‏

قَدْ كَانَ أَخْبَرَكَ الْقُرْآنُ بِفَضْلِهِ‏

فَمَضَى الْقَضَاءُ بِهِ مِنَ الْحُكَّامِ‏

إِنَّ ابْنَ فَاطِمَةَ الْمُنَوَّهَ بِاسْمِهِ‏

حَازَ الْوِرَاثَةَ عَنْ بَنِي الأَعْمَامِ‏

وَبَقِيَ ابْنُ نَثْلَةَ وَاقِفاً مُتَرَدِّداً

يَرْثِي وَيُسْعِدُهُ ذَوُو الأَرْحَام‏

43-3 (The author of the book narrated) my father - may God be pleased with him - narrated that Sa’d ibn Abdullah quoted on the authority of Ibrahim ibn Hashem, on the authority of Abdullah ibn Mogheera that he had heard Abal Hassan Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) say:

Now you live in a residence short-lived
In which your deeds are accepted indeed.
See you not how death encompasses us all
And destroys our aspirations all.
There you rush to fulfill your lustful desires
And procrastinate your repentance
But death will overcome you by surprise
But what will the intelligent learn from this?

43-4 In the year 314 A.H. (925 A.D.) Al-Hassan ibn Abdullah ibn Sa’eed Al-Askari narrated that Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Al-Fadhl - known as ibn al-Khabbaz - quoted on the authority of Ibrahim ibn Ahmad al-Katib, on the authority of Ahmad ibn Al-Husayn - Abil Fay’yaz’s secretary, on the authority of his father, “We were present in the meeting held by Ali ibn Musa (a.s.). A man complained about his brother. Then the Imam (a.s.) said,

Forgive your brother for his sins.
Cover up and hide his imperfections.
Calmly bear the accusations of the fools
And leave to time their declamations.
Be noble and do not respond
And entrust all oppressors to the Reckoner!”

43-5 Muhammad ibn Musa al-Mutawakkil narrated that Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashem quoted on the authority of his father, on the authority of al-Rayyan ibn al-Salt, “Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) recited the following poem about Abdul Muttalib for me.

3 - حَدَّثَنا أَبي رَضِىَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قالَ: حَدَّثَنا سَعْدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّه، عَن إِبْراهيمِ بْنِ هاشِم، عَن عَبْدِ اللَّه بْنِ المغيرة قالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا الحَسَن الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ يَقُولُ:

إنّكَ فِي دَارٍ لَهَا مُدَّةٌ

أَلا تَرَى الْمَوْتَ مُحِيطاً بِهَا

تُعَجِّلُ الْذَّنْبَ لِمَا تَشْتَهِي

وَالْمَوْتُ يَأْتِي أَهْلَهُ بَغْتَةً

يُقْبَلُ فِيهَا عَمَلُ العَامِلِ

يَكْذِبُ فِيهَا أَمَلُ الآمِلِ

وَتَأْمَلُ التَّوْبَةَ فِي قَابِلِ

مَا ذَاكَ فِعْلُ الْحَازِمِ الْعَاقِلِ

4 - حَدَّثَنا الحَسَن بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّه بْنِ سَعِيدُ العسكري

قالَ أَخْبَرنِي أَبُو بَكْرِ أحْمَد بْنِ‏الفَضْلِ المَعْرُوف بِإِبْنِ الخَبّاز سِنَةَ أَرْبَعَ عَشَرة وَثَلاثِمائَةٍ قالَ: حَدَّثَنا إِبْراهيمِ بْنِ أحْمَد الكاتب قالَ: حَدَّثَنا أَحْمَدِ بْنِ الحُسَيْن كاتب أَبي الفياض، عَن أَبيهِ قالَ: حَضَرْنَا مَجْلِسَ عَلِيِّ بْنِ مُوسَى الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَشَكَا رَجُلٌ أَخَاهُ فَأَنْشَأَ يَقُولُ:

اعْذُرْ أَخَاكَ عَلَى ذُنُوبِهِ‏

وَاسْتُرْ وَغَطِّ عَلَى عُيُوبِهِ‏

وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى بَهَتِ السَّفِيهِ‏

وَلِلزَّمَانِ عَلَى خُطُوبِهِ‏

وَدَعِ الْجَوَابَ تَفَضُّلاً

وَكِلِ الظَّلُومَ إِلَى حَسِيبِه‏

5 - حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مُوسَى بْنِ المُتَوَكِّل قالَ: حَدَّثَنا عَلِىِّ بْنِ إِبراهِيمِ بْنِ هاشِم، عَن أَبيهِ، عَن الرَّيانِ بْنِ الصَّلْتِ قالَ: أَنْشَدَنِي الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ لِعَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ:

The people all find fault with time
But we ourselves are the fault of the time.
We blame the time, but the fault is in us.
If the time could talk, it would make fun of us.
In fact, wolves tear down their enemies, but do not eat their meat.
But some of us clearly eat other people’s meat (gossiping).
We dress nice to fool the people well
Woe be to those who are strange and know us not well.”

43-6 Abul Abbas Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al-Taleqani - may God forgive him - narrated that Abu Sa’eed Al-Husayn ibn Ali al-Adawi quoted on the authority of al-Haytham ibn Abdullah al-Romani that Ali ibn Musa Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) quoted on the authority of his father Musa ibn Ja’far (a.s.), on the authority of his father Ja’far ibn Muhammad (a.s.), on the authority of his father Muhammad ibn Ali (a.s.), on the authority of Ali ibn Al-Husayn (a.s.), on the authority of his father (a.s.), “The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) said,

He created the creatures with His Ability.
Some are generous and some are miserly
But the generous ones are in comfort
But the miserly has long misery.”

43-7 Al-Hakim Abu Ali Al-Husayn ibn Ahmad al-Bayhaqi narrated that Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Sowli quoted on the authority of Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Abi Ebad, on the authority of his uncle, “Although Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) rarely recited poems, one day I heard him (a.s.) recite the following poem:

We all hope death to grant us more time
While death itself destroys all hopes.
Let not false hopes fool you.
Be moderate and abandon falsehood.
This world is like a vanishing shade
A temporary resting place for riders
Who shall depart it shortly later.

يَعِيبُ النَّاسُ كُلّهُمُ الزَّمانا

نَعِيبُ زَمانَنَا وَالْعَيْبُ فِينَا

وَإنَّ الذِّئْبَ يَتْرُكُ لَحْمَ ذِئْبٍ

لَبِسْنَا لِلْخِدَاعِ مُسُوكَ طِيبٍ

وَما لِزَمَانِنَا عَيْبٌ سِوانَا

وَلَوْ نَطَقَ الزَّمَانُ بِنَا هَجَانَا

وَيَأْكُلُ بَعْضُنا بَعْضاً عَيانَا

وَوَيْلٌ لِلْغَرِيبِ إذَا أتَانَا

6 - حَدَّثَنا أَبُو العَبَّاسِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ إِبْراهيمِ بْنِ إِسْحاق الطَّالِقانِيُ‏رحمه الله قالَ: حَدَّثَنا سَعِيدُ الحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عَلِى العدوي قالَ: حَدَّثَنا الهِيْثَم بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّه الرمانِي قالَ: حَدَّثَنا عَلاىِّ بْنِ‏ِلرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، عَن أَبِيهِ مُوسَى بْنِ جَعْفَر عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، عَن أَبيهِ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّد عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، عَن أَبيهِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَلِى‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، عَن الحُسيْن عَنْ أَبِيهِ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ قالَ: كَانَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ يَقُولُ:

خَلَقْتَ الْخَلائِقَ فِي قُدْرَةٍ

فَأَمّا السَّخِيُّ فَفِي رَاحَةٍ

فَمِنْهُمْ سَخِيٌّ وَمِنْهُمْ بَخِيلْ

وَأَمّا الْبَخِيلُ فَشُؤْمٌ طَوِيلْ

7 - حَدَّثَنا الْحاكِم أَبُو عَلِي الحُسَيْنِ بْنِ أحْمَد الْبِيْهَقِيُّ قالَ: حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ يَحْيَى الصُّوْليُ‏حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ يَحْيَى بْنِ أَبي عباد قالَ: حَدَّثَني عَمِّي قالَ: سَمِعْتُ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ يَوْماً يُنْشِدُ شِعْراً وَقَلِيلاً مَا كَانَ يُنْشِدُ شِعْراً:

كُلُّنَا نَأْمَلُ مَدّاً فِي الأَجَلْ

لا تَغُرَّنْكَ أَبَاطِيلُ الْمُنَى

إِنَّمَا الدُّنْيَا كَظِلٍّ زَائِلٍ

وَالْمَنَايَا هُنَّ آفَاتُ الأَمَلْ

وَالْزَمِ الْقَصْدَ وَدَعْ عَنْكَ الْعِلَلْ

حَلَّ فِيهِ رَاكِبٌ ثُمَّ رَحَلْ

Then I asked the Imam (a.s.), “May God honor you! Who recited this?” He (a.s.) replied, “An Iraqi has said it for you.” I said, “Abul al-Atahiya recited this to me regarding himself.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Call him by his own name. Abandon calling people by names that are a form of a put down. Indeed God the Glorified the Highest said, ‘…nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames…’5 Perhaps the man detests this.”

43-8 Ahmad ibn Ziyad al-Hamadani - may God be pleased with him - narrated that Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashem quoted on the authority of his father, on the authority of Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Al-Hassani, “Al-Ma’mun sent a young girl to Abil Hassan Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.). Upon entering, she expressed her dislike of his white hair. When the Imam (a.s.) noticed this he returned her to Al-Ma’mun with the following poem that he (a.s.) himself composed:

My white hair informs me of the approach of my death
At old age one accepts advice
Yes, indeed youth passed and has ended now
And I will never experience its return
I cry and weep over it having gone by
And keep on calling it perhaps it hears my call
Ah! What I have lost
My lying self forces me to want it back
Beautiful women fear my white hair
But whoever stays too long will get old
I see the beautiful silver-colored women running away from me.
Now my share is their separation from me
If youth which has now gone by was my beloved friend
Now it is old age that is my friend
I will be in its company with piety until
The soon to arrive death separates us!

فَقُلْتُ: لِمَنْ هَذَا أَعَزَّ اللَّهُ الأَمِيرَ فَقَالَ لِعِرَاقِيٍّ لَكُمْ قُلْتُ أَنْشَدَنِيهِ أَبُو الْعَتَاهِيَةِ لِنَفْسِهِ فَقَالَ هَاتِ اسْمَهُ وَدَعْ عَنْكَ هَذَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى يَقُولُ وَلا تَنابَزُوا بِالأَلْقابِ وَلَعَلَّ الرَّجُلَ يَكْرَهُ هَذَا.

8 - حَدَّثَنا أَحْمَدِ بْنِ زِيادِ بْنِ جَعْفَر الْهَمَذانيّ رَضِىَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قالَ: حَدَّثَنا عَلِىِّ بْنِ إِبراهِيمِ بْنِ هاشِم قالَ: حَدَّثَني إِبْراهيمِ بْنِ مُحَمَّد الحَسَنِيِّ قالَ:

بَعَثَ الْمَأْمُونُ إِلَى أَبِي الْحَسَنِ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ جَارِيَةً فَلَمَّا أُدْخِلَتْ إِلَيْهِ اشْمَأَزَّتْ مِنَ الشَّيْبِ فَلَمَّا رَأَى كَرَاهَتَهَا رَدَّهَا إِلَى الْمَأْمُونِ وَكَتَبَ إِلَيْهِ بِهَذِهِ الأَبْيَاتِ:

نَعَى نَفْسِي إلَى نَفْسِي الْمَشِيبُ

فَقَدْ وَلَّى الشَّبَابُ إلَى مَدَاهُ

سَأَبْكِيهِ وَأَنْدُبُهُ طَوِيلاً

وَهَيْهَاتَ الَّذِي قَدْ فَاتَ عَنِّي

وَرَاعَ الغَانِيَاتِ بَيَاضُ رَأْسِي

أَرَى الِبيضَ الْحِسَانَ يَجِدْنَ عَنِّي

فَإِنْ يَكُنِ الشَّبَابُ مَضَى حَبِيباً

سَأَصْحَبُهُ بِتَقْوَى اللهِ حَتَّى

وَعِندَ الشَّيْبِ يَتَّعِظُ اللَّبِيبُ

فَلَسْتُ أَرَى مَوَاضِعَهُ يَئُوبُ

وَأَدْعُوهُ إِلَيَّ عَسَى يُجِيبُ

تُمَنِّينِي بِهِ النَّفْسُ الْكَذُوبُ

وَمَنْ مُدَّ البَقَاءُ لَهُ يَشِيبُ

وَفِي هِجْرَانِهِنَّ لَنَا نَصِيبُ

فَإنَّ الشَّيْبَ أيْضاً لِي حَبِيبُ

يُفَرِّقَ بَيْنَنا الأَجَلُ القَرِيبُ

43-9 Al-Hakim Abu Ali Al-Husayn ibn Ahmad al-Bayhaqi narrated that Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Sowli quoted on the authority of Abu Thakwan, on the authority of Ibrahim ibn Al-Abbas that Ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) often recited the following:

When you are blessed by goodness do not get dazzled by that, but
keep on asking God to keep you healthy and perfect the blessings.
  • 1. They used to pour some soft dirt over what they wrote in ink so that it would dry.
  • 2. They used to place letters in clay and seal them so that no one could see the contents except for the one to whom it was addressed.
  • 3. Referring to Abbas ibn Abdul Mottalib who was amongst the enemy troops and was enslaved by the Muslims and was later freed.
  • 4. Bint Jinab – the mother of Abbas ibn Mottalib
  • 5. Qur’an, 49:11