Sayings from Imam Alī (عليه السلام)




The following sayings were taken from the book Ghararul Hikm:

  1. A momin is just even with those who have been unjust to him.
  2. Being in the gatherings of those who have marifat (recognition) is a means of training your intellect.
  3. Be like the honey bee who when he eats, eats only those things which are pak (clean) and when he expels, he expels only that which is pak, and when he sits upon something he does not break it
  4. One who strengthens himself through experience will be saved from the destruction of the world.
  5. Trust the wise enemy more than an ignorant friend.
  6. Praising the wicked is one of the worst types of sin.
  7. One who is praises you for those attributes which you do not possess is in reality condemning you but you are unaware.
  8. Becoming impatient during the time of suffering increases its torment. However remaining patient during those times decreases the suffering.
  9. Repentance purifies the heart and removes the sins
  10. There are two types of people. One is generous but does not have wealth and the other is wealthy but is not generous
  11. Give your enemy a thousand chances to become your friend but do not give your friend a single chance to become your enemy.
  12. There are two types of patience. The first is bearing that which  you dislike and the second is waiting for that which you like.
  13. Beware of becoming angry for it begins with insanity and ends with anger.
  14. The benefit of one’s ears is only for himself while the benefit of one’s tongue is for others.
  15. The greatest foolishness is when a person considers himself to have great intelligence.
  16. Asking for help from one who is selfish is worse than death.
  17. Before traveling or buying a house be sure to investigate the history of those you will travel with and those who will be your neighbors.
  18. Fight against your worldly desires the way you fight against your enemies.
  19. Sitting in the gatherings of those who are ignorant decreases one’s intellect.
  20. Iman (faith) and deeds are like twin brothers and are companions who cannot be separated from each other. Allah does not accept one without the other.
  21. One who is greedy will always remain as a beggar even if he is the wealthiest person in the world.
  22. The best kind of friend is one whose separation causes you to lose the will to live.
  23. Iman (faith) is like a tree whose root is yaqeen (certainty), whose branches are piety, whose blossoms are modesty, and it bears the fruit of generosity.
  24. There are two attributes a momin does not possess; immorality and miserliness.
  25. The majority of people spend their entire lives in search of unattainable things.
  26. There are two types of people; one who is generous but does not have wealth and one who has wealth but is not generous.
  27. Repentance purifies the heart and removes the sins.
  28. Becoming impatient during times of suffering increases its torment, but remaining patient during those times decreases it.
  29. Trust the wise enemy more than an ignorant friend.
  30. One who strengthens himself through experience will be saved from the destruction of this world.
  31. One who praises you for attributes which you do not possess is in reality condemning you but you are unaware.
  32. Never place your trust upon two things; health and wealth. Because even though today you may be healthy, you may become ill at any moment and even though you have wealth, at any moment it could be taken from you.
  33. We, Ahlul Bayt (asws) are the door of repentence and salvation. The one who enters through this door will find salvation and the one who turns away from it will fall into hellfire.
  34. The example of a momin (believer) is that of a scale which has iman (faith) on one side and sufferings on the other. When the iman increases so does the sufferings. 
  35. This world is a prison for momin, death is his gift, and jannah is his shelter. 
  36. The best brother is one whose love for you does not increase when you are rich nor does it decrease if you become poor.
  37. Nothing has disgraced the nafs (self) more than greed and nothing has disgraced the honor more than miserliness.
  38. The majority of the people believe in haq (truth) but do not follow it.
  39. Successful and fortunate is one who seeks advice from others and unsuccessful and unfortunate is one whose desires deceive him.
  40. One who seeks honor through a source other than Haq (truth), Allah will disgrace him through Haq (truth).
  41. The happiness of a momin (believer) is apparent on his face and the grief of a momin is concealed within his heart.
  42. From this world, take only that rizq which you need to survive and do not become greedy for that wealth which will take you away from the obedience of Allah.
  43. Two types of hunger can never be quenched: (i) the hunger for the greed of the world & (ii) the hunger for knowledge.
  44. I am amazed by the person who refrains from eating when he is in pain, but does not refrain from sins even though he will receive pain from their punishment.
  45. Bitterness of this world is the sweetness of the hereafter and the sweetness of this world is the bitterness of the hereafter.
  46. Envy is the best punishment for the one who becomes jealous at seeing your happiness.
  47. Shak (doubt) leads one towards shirk.
  48. One who has complete certainty (yaqeen) that he will receive whatever Allah has written for him and no one will be able to take that which Allah has written for him away, will live his whole life in great comfort.
  49. The best virtue is love for Ahlul Bait (asws) and the worst sin is animosity towards Ahlul Bait (asws).
  50. Your complete silence which causes the people to want to speak with you is greater than that speaking which causes the people to silence you.
  51. One who is always finding faults within others, Allah will make his love and friendship haram.
  52. The foolishness of a person can be seen through three things:
  53. when he speaks, he speaks only about meaningless things
  54. when asked something, he replies regarding a different matter
  55. he jumps into matters without thinking about their consequences
  56. Time both gives and takes from you. When it takes from you, you can never get it back, but when it gives to you, it does not last forever.
  57. The yaqeen (certainty) of a momin is revealed through his actions and the doubt of a munafiq (hypocrite) is revealed through his actions
  58. Glad tidings is for the one who disgraced himself and honored himself through the obedience of Allah and gained his wealth through his piety.
  59. The way to punish those who are jealous of you is to behave kindly with them.
  60. The greatest ignorance is when a person is ignorant of his own self.
  61. Your secret is your prisoner but if you reveal it then you become its prisoner.
  62. The one who is most deserving of your love is the one benefits you and harms your enemy.
  63. Recognize the virtuous person through his actions because sometimes even bad people speak good.
  64. One moment of indignity can erase the respect of your entire life.
  65. Every honor which is not through the religion is a dishonor.
  66. The kindness and generosity of a person makes him popular even amongst his enemies.
  67. Silence is the sign of the knowledgeable and the veil for ignorance.
  68. One who desires to see others in sufferings is the worst type of person.
  69. A momin (believers) is one who upon seeing learns, when he is silent then he is thinking, when he speaks he remembers Allah, is content with the blessings he receives, and remains patient during sufferings.
  70. Allah makes the one who fears people afraid of everything.
  71. True friends are the beauty of your happiness and the helpers in your sufferings.
  72. Greed is everlasting slavery.
  73. One who uses falsehood as his protection finds nothing but disrespect.
  74. One who is not trustworthy has no faith.
  75. Worship without marifat (recognition) has no value.
  76. All things are dependent upon intellect and intellect is dependent upon morality.
  77. Knowledge is the seed of marifat (recognition).
  78. Stay away from those things which ignorance likes.
  79. Envy is the greatest trap of Shaitan (la).
  80. Modesty and patience are the pillars of iman (faith)
  81. Fortune chases the one who does not chase after it.
  82. Do not disappoint the one whose hope lies with you.
  83. If Allah had distributed rizq according to one’s knowledge and wisdom, then the ignorant and animals would not have survived.
  84. Any worship done simply to show off is the worship of shaitan.
  85. Moments of happiness are fleeting.
  86. One who separates himself from the people saves himself from their evilness.
  87. Patience is a shield during sufferings.
  88. The most wise is the one who rejects falsehood.
  89. Backbiting is a sign of a munafiq (hypocrite).
  90. Reflection leads you towards guidance.
  91. Contentment is a never ending wealth.
  92. Marifat (recognition) is the noor of the heart.

The following sayings were taken from the book Meezan al Hikmat:

  1. Do not be friends with those who backbite for it will cause you to lose your true friends forever.
  2. Death continuously searches for those who love this world in order to take him from this world and one who loves the hereafter this world continuously searches for him in order to bestow his rizq upon him.
  3. I am amazed at those who are miserly and live in this world like a beggar, but in the hereafter will face the accountability as a rich person.
  4. Never place your trust upon two things; health and wealth. Because even though today you are healthy, at any moment, you can become ill and even though you are wealthy, at any moment, your wealth can be taken from you.
  5. People are always unhappy with those who care only about pleasing themselves.
  6. A foolish person is one who expresses hatred towards others when he sees faults in them but becomes happy upon seeing those same faults in himself.
  7. A foolish person is one who becomes anger when he sees faults in others and becomes pleased upon seeing those same faults within himself.
  8. People are always displeased with those who care only about pleasing themselves.
  9. Anger of the ignorant can be seen in his words while the anger of the wise can be seen in his actions.
  10. One who corrects his batin (hidden), Allah makes his zahir (apparent) good.
  11. The greatest treasure is knowledge and the worst poverty is ignorance.
  12. When Allah wants to disgrace a person, He closes the doors of knowledge for him.
  13. Beware of befriending those who are always finding faults in others because they will do the same to you as they do to  others
  14. Those things which ignorance dislikes, the wisdom likes. The greatest ignorance is when a person is ignorant of his own self.
  15. Beware of making friends with a liar because he is like a mirage. He makes those things which are far appear to be near and that which is near to be far.
  16. The least knowledge is that which only remains on one’s tongue and the greatest knowledge is revealed through one’s actions.
  17. Fortunate is not one who has good wealth. Fortunate is one who is happy with what fortune he has been given. The person who asks for more than what Allah has decreed for him and before Allah has decreed it upon him will always live a life of sufferings. First thank Allah for those things He has blessed upon you BEFORE complaining about your life.
  18. One who loves the world, the world will make him become its slave and the one who loves Allah, this world will become a slave to him.
  19. One who is always in doubt has no religion and one who is a backbiter has no respect." 
  20. Three things are the cause of destruction
    • Arrogance- Iblees (la) lost his status because of it
    • Greed - Adam (as) lost jannah because of it
    • Envy - Caused the son of Adam (as) to kill his own brother
  21. One who is ignorant is like a stone that can never produce water, and he is like that tree which can never be green and he is like that land which can never be fertile.
  22. Virtue is that which brings comfort to your heart and increases your spirituality and sin is that which puts you into immense discomfort and shame.
  23. One whose heart is filled with love for this world, his heart will become infected with 3 diseases; (i) everlasting grief, (ii)everlasting greed & (iii) desires which will never be fulfilled.
  24. It is compulsory upon you to sit in the gatherings of those people who have gained their knowledge through experience. They had to endure trials and difficulties in order to learn from their experiences while you can obtain the knowledge simply by listening to them.
  25. The example for this world is like your own shadow. When you stop, it stops. When you try to catch it, it runs away from you.
  26. The greatest act of ignorance is to collect that which you cannot keep and to build that which you cannot live in because when you return to Allah, you will not be able to take with you that which you collected or that which you built.
  27. Do not be an enemy of those things which you do not know because the things which you do not know have knowledge

The following sayings were taken from the book Ibne Abi al Hadeed:

  1. If you face suffering while performing a good deed, do not become worried. For this suffering will be removed while your good deed will remain.
  2. Generosity while in the state of poverty, telling the truth in anger, and forgiving while having the power  to punish are amongst the greatest virtues.
  3. If while performing a good deed, you are faced with some suffering do not worry. For the suffering will be removed while the good deed will remain.
  4. Rooh (soul) is the life of the body and aql (knowledge) is the life of the rooh.
  5. Your true friend is one who stops you from committing bad deeds and the one who encourages you to perform bad deeds is not your friend.
  6. The evilness of a good person is that he drives you away from himself and the good of a bad person is that he does not harm you.
  7. The first punishment a liar receives is when the people deny even those things from him which are true.
  8. Every house has a door. The door for the house of the hereafter is death.
  9. The worst person is one who is always suspicious of others and does not trust them and this suspicious and mistrustful nature causes others to not trust him.
  10. The best way to obtain revenge upon your enemies is to increase your acts of goodness.
  11. The first advice from the wise is the last advice from the ignorant.
  12. There are four things which have a great impact even in small quanty: (i) Fire, (ii) Enmity, (iii) Disease, & (iv) Poverty.

The following sayings were taken from Najul Balagha, Mustadrik Najul Balagha and Shaharul Najul Balagha:

  1. Allah curses those people who pretend to be pious but whose actions are the same as those who are wicked
  2. Remain silent and the people will consider you to be pious, for when you speak your words determine if you are good or bad.
  3. Wisdom is a tree which grows in the heart and produces its fruit from the tongue.
  4. The death of a pious person brings comfort to his soul, while the death of an oppressor brings comfort to the entire universe.
  5. Those who help the oppressors and those pleased with their acts of oppression are partners in the acts of oppression committed by the oppressors.
  6. Shortage of commodities makes them become valuable but the knowledge becomes valuable only when it increases.
  7. Someone asked Moula Ali (asws), "How Allah will take Accountability from creation when its numbers are uncountable?" Moula Ali (asws) replied, "The same way He gives rizq to the uncountable creation." The man asked, "How will Allah take the Accountability when the people cannot see Allah?" Moula (asws) replied, "The same way He gives rizq to them but the people cannot see Him." (Najul Balagha)
  8. One who asks a momin regarding his need is like one who has asked Allah for his need and if someone asks a kafir for his need, then it's like he has complained to him about Allah. (Najul Balagha)

The following sayings were taken from various books of Hadith:

  1. Beware of harming or hurting a momin because if you do all of your good deeds will be removed from you the way the bark of a tree is cut off from it. (Dastoor Mualam al Hikm)
  2. Imam Jafar Sadiq (asws) said in the tafseer of this ayah “And (know) that this is My path, the right one (siratul mustaqeem)” (6:153) , "I swear by Allah, Ali (asws) is siratul mustaqeem".(Basairul Darjaat vol 1)
  3. There will come a time when the Quran will be nothing more than just words and Islam will only be in name. (Tajaliyat e Hikmat)
  4. I am the leader of momineen (believers) and wealth is the leader of sinners. (Tajaliyat e Hikmat)
  5. One who is ruled by his desires becomes a disgrace.  (Tajaliyat e Hikmat)
  6. There are many honorable people whose bad manners made them become dishonorable, and there are many dishonorable people whose good manners made them become honorable.(Kunzul Fawaid)
  7. I am amazed at that person who has fear of punishment but does not refrain from sins and hopes for reward but does not perform good deeds in order to receive it. (Kunzul Fawaid)
  8. My wilayat is that fort which those who enter it find salvation and those who do not will fall into hell. (Mashariqul Anwar al Yaqeen)
  9. Be aware of the small sins for even the smallest of sins can lead to greater sins. (Nasr al Dar)
  10. Never make a decision while in the state of anger. (Dastoor Muallam al Hikm)



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