SHAFAQNA- What follows is a part of the book Nahj al-Balagha, the most famous collection of sermons, letters, tafsirs and stories attributed to Imam Ali (A.S). It was collected by Al-Sharif al-Radi, the Shiite scholar of the tenth century. Known for its eloquent content, it is considered as a masterpiece of literature in Shiite Islam, ranked third behind the Qur’an and prophetic narratives. This is a Letter of this book, written for Malik al-Ashtar an-Nakha’i, selected by SHAFAQNA.
According to Shafaqna, This is a part of this letter:
For the furthest Muslims, like their closest, there is an equal share
(Fear) Allah and keep Allah in view in respect of the lowest class, consisting of those who have few means: the poor, the destitute, the penniless and the disabled; because in this class are both the self- contained needy and those who beg. Take care for the sake of Allah of His obligations towards them for which He has made you responsible. Fix for them a share from the public funds and a share from the crops of lands taken over as booty for Islam in every area, because in it the remote ones have the same shares as the near ones. All these people are those whose rights have been placed in your charge.
A luxurious life should not keep you away from them You cannot be excused for ignoring small matters
Therefore, a luxurious life should not keep you away from them You cannot be excused for ignoring small matters because you were deciding big problems. Consequently, do not be unmindful of them, nor turn your face from them out of vanity.
Take care of the affairs of those of them who do not approach you among those who are looked at with contempt and whom people regard as low. Appoint for them some trusted people who are God-fearing and humble. They should infrom you of these people’s conditions. Then deal with them with a sense of responsibility to Allah on the day you will meet Him, because of all the subjects these people are the most deserving of equitable treatment, while for others also you should fulfil their rights so as to render account to Allah.
Take care of the orphans and the aged who have no means (for livelihood) nor are they ready for begging. This is heavy on the officers; in fact, every right is heavy. Allah lightens it for those who seek the next world and so they endure (hardships) upon themselves and trust on the truthfulness of Allah’s promise to them.
I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say in more than one place, “The people among whom the right of the weak is not secured from the strong without fear will never achieve purity.”
And fix a time for complainants wherein you make yourself free for them, and sit for them in common audience and feel humble therein for the sake of Allah who created you. (On that occasion) you should keep away your army and your assistants such as the guards and the police so that anyone who like to speak may speak to you without fear, because I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say in more than one place, “The people among whom the right of the weak is not secured from the strong without fear will never achieve purity.” Tolerate their awkwardness and inability to speak. Keep away from you narrowness and haughtiness; Allah would, on this account, spread over you the skirts of His mercy and assign the reward of His obedience for you. Whatever you give, give it joyfully, but when you refuse, do it handsomely and with excuses.
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