Master, equal or captive? The choice is yours

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!

Brief Description
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.

Source of Wealth, deep into the Earth


The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:
“اُطْلُبُوا الرِّزْقَ في خَبايَا الأرْضِ”

Seek for your sustenance in the depths of the Earth.1

Brief Description
This instruction was issued by the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his progeny) at a time when the importance of mines and other resources underneath the earth was not known.
Such instructions illustrate the richness of knowledge imparted to us by Islam as well as its emphasis on making efforts to search far and wide so as to exploit for our benefit the abundant natural resources including the ones hidden in the depths of the earth.[divider]
•    1. narrated from Nahjul Fasahah, Fuqh AlQuran, Volume 2, page 22

Do not let this burning fire into your heart

Imam Baqir (a.s.) said:
“إنَّ هَذا الْغَضَبَ جَمْرَةٌ مِنَ الشَّيْطانِ تُوْقَدُ فِى قَلْبِ ابْنِ آدَمَ”

Anger and wrath are the burning flame of fire which is kindled inside man’s heart by Satan.1

Brief Description
When an angry man performs something or makes a decision, in most cases he will later regret and feel sorry because a burning fire of anger causes him to disregard his wisdom and intellect. The nervous system and muscles may cause him to inflict irreversible damage.
We should control and extinguish this satanic flame with utmost precision and speed. Once anger turns into uncontrollable rage, it would be too late to prevent it from burning and ruining our lives and those of others. [divider]
•    1. Bihar al-Anwar, volume 73, page 278, AlKafi Volume 2, page 302

Complete the picture with honesty and trustworthiness

The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:
“لاَ تَنْظُرُوا إلى كَثْرةِ صَلاتِهِمْ و صَوْمِهِمْ وَ كَثْرَةِ الْحَجِّ و الْمَعْرُوفِ و طَنْطَنَتِهمْ بِالليْلِ وَلكِنْ اُنْظُرُوا إلى صِدْق الْحَدِيْثِ وَ أَداءِ الأَمانَةِ”

Do not respect only the excessive prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, righteousness with others and vigil of some people (although they are important in their own right). Rather, consider their “honesty” and “trustworthiness”!1

Brief Description
A quick study of Islam clearly establishes the fact that the two decisive signs of a real Muslim are that he is honest and trustworthy. Performance of prayers, fasting and pilgrimage are certainly important and carry a high educational value but they are not a conclusive proof of a true Muslim. To complete the picture, a true Muslim must possess honesty and trustworthiness.
[divider] 1. narrated from the book Safinat’ul-Bihar

Where does arrogance come from?


Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“ما مِنْ رَجُل تَجَبَّرَ أَوْ تَكَبَّرَ إلاّ لِذِلَّة يَجِدُها فِى نَفْسِهِ”

No one boasts to others unless he harbors a feeling of inferiority in himself!1

Brief Description
Recent psychological and psychoanalytic research has proved that arrogance and boasting is nothing more than an inferiority complex. Those who suffer from it resort to the practice of magnifying themselves artificially to compensate for their deficiencies. By doing so, they only add to their inferiority and dislike in the eyes of their community.
So clearly evident is this from the Imam’s saying. The faithful people are always modest before others due to their internal dignity.[divider]
•    1. Bihar al-Anwar, volume 73, page 225

Irrigate your heart with knowledge

Luqman, the wise, said:
“يا بُنَىَّ إنَّ اللّه يُحْيِى الْقُلُوبَ بِنُورِ الْحِكْمَةِ كَما يُحْيِى الأرضَ بِوابِلِ السّماءِ”

My son! God revives the hearts of men with the light of knowledge as he revives dead lands with blessings of rains from the sky!1

Brief Description
The land of man’s heart is like a garden in which all types of seedlings, seeds of flowers, plants and strong trees are dispersed. If it is irrigated on time, a pleasant and fruitful area will blossom.
The only means of irrigation for this land is the reviving drops of rain of science and knowledge. Hearts lacking knowledge have no light, no fruit, and they are dead. We should always, and in all conditions, keep alive our souls with the light of knowledge.[divider]
•    1. from Bihar al-Anwar, volume one

Indolence and weakness are not acceptable in Islam


Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said:
“إنَّ الأشْياءَ لَمّا ازْدَوَجَتْ إزْدَوَجَ الْكَسَلُ و الْعَجْزُ فَنَتَجا بَيْنَهُمَا الْفَقْرَ”

The day in which everything married with one another, “indolence” and “weakness” mingled with each other, and their child was called “poverty and indigence”.1

Brief Description
Everything is earned through effort and endeavors and this is the reality that Islam has taught us.
Indolence, debility, weakness and escaping from hard work and difficult challenges are never compatible with the spirit of belief. They will produce nothing but poverty in all aspects, including economic, moral and spiritual poverty. The striving believers on the other hand shall be self-sufficient and contented in all respects.[divider]
•    1. Bihar al-Anwar, volume 78, page 59 and Tuhaful Uqul, p. 158

Do not allow them to enter


The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:
“أَرْبَعٌ لا يَدْخُلُ بَيْتاً وَاحِدَةٌ مِنْها إلاّ خَرِبَ وَ لَمْ يَعْمُرْ بِالْبَرَكَةِ: الخِيانَةُ و السَّرِقَهُ وَ شُرْبُ الخَمْرِ و الزّنا”

If any one of the following four things enters a home it will ruin the home and divine blessing does not re-establish it: treachery, larceny, drinking, adultery1

Brief Description
This is true for homes as well as for the entire society.
When treachery penetrates into a society, the spirit of confidence disappears.
When larceny, in its different forms, appears therein, peace will not be found anymore.
When alcohol drinking becomes popular among people, they will have weak thoughts, disabled children and useless youth.
Lastly, when they are stained with adultery, the foundation of families will be weakened and their next generation will be mischievous.[divider]
•    1. from Nahjul Fasahah,

Positive anxiety about responsibility

What kind of anxiety works for you?


Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“اَلْمُؤْمِنُ بَيْنَ مَخافَتَيْنِ: ذَنْبٌ قَدْ مَضَى لايَدْرِى ما صُنْعُ اللّهُ فيه و عُمْرٌ بَقِىَ لايَدرِى ما يَكْتَسِبُ فيه”

A faithful believer is always anxious concerning two things: for his past sins and how God will treat him for these sins; and for his remaining life and the uncertainty about how he will spend it.1

Brief Description
The most manifest sign of belief is feeling responsibility, both for what has transpired and for the duties and obligations that should be fulfilled.
Those who possess these two feelings will always think about compensation for past negligence, as well as finding the best possible way for using future opportunities. These thoughts are instrumental in the continuous development and progress of a man or a nation.
The ones who are oblivious of their past mistakes and have no intention or plans to improve the future lead a poor and miserable life.[divider]
•    1. Usul al-Kafi, volume two, page 7

Role of The Pen


Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“ما رَأَيْتٌ باكِياً اَحْسَنَ تَبَسُّماً مِنَ القَلَمِ”

I have not seen any weeper nicely smiling like a pen. 1

Brief Description
The pen divulges the feelings and interprets the wisdom of man.
The pen is founder of civilizations and rotates the wheels of society. The pen conveys the worries and pain of man through its continuous weeping. It can at the same time brighten the landscape with its smile when it touches upon life’s beauty and love, desire for life and its mysteries.
But it is regretful that when this pen is in hands of an incompetent person, its tears will change to drops of blood, and its smile is a snicker on the utmost human credits.[divider]
•    1. from the book Lataef wa Zaraef