SHAFAQNA- g) My son! Be aware when you are stand before God tomorrow you will be asked about three things:
About your youth and in what you wore it out;
About your life, in what you spent it;
About your wealth, how you earned it and in what you spent it. So make yourself ready for such a day and prepare yourself for the answers.
Do not regret what you have lost in this world, because if you have little, it will not last, and if you have much, it is vulnerable. Therefore be vigilant and strive in your work and draw aside the curtain of negligence and perform the heavenly duties and renew repentance in your heart and get ready to depart this life before death comes to you and before there is a space between you and what you wish to do.60
h) My son! Do not postpone repentance because death will arrive unexpectedly; Do not rejoice at death; do not make fun of one afflicted, and do not refuse to do a good deed.
My son! Be trustworthy so that you may live free of need. Adopt God-wariness as a trade, profits will come to you without capital. When you sin, pay alms since it purifies the consequences of it.
My son! Exhortation is difficult for a foolish person, in the same way that mountain-climbing is difficult for the old.
My son! Do not be sorry for a person whom you have wronged; but be sorry for evil you have commited against yourself. When your power induces you to wrong others, do not forget God’s power over you.
My son! Learn from the learned what you do not know and teach people what you know.61
My son! Fall on your knees in front of the scholars for the acquisition of knowledge and learning. Do not quarrel with them. Let your world be a means to gain the Hereafter for you. But do not put this world aside completely because you will then be dependent on others. And do not care for this world to the degree that you ruin the Hereafter.
My son! If you get educated in your childhood, you will benefit from it at adulthood. And anyone who decides to learn will put forth the energy necessary. And anybody who wants education will try for it and will tolerate the hardships.62
My son! Make a thousand friends, and a thousand is little; but do not make one enemy, for one is too much.63
My son! Avoid being depressed, bad-tempered and impatient, because man can not rely on himself with these traits; be patient in your works; in helping your brethren, be strong and treat people amicably.64
i) Luqman was once asked: “Who are the worst people”? He answered: “Those who do not care that people consider them to be evil-doers”. Then Luqman was told: “How ugly is your face”! He replied: “Are you finding fault with the painting or the painter”?65 [By painter is meant the Creator].
j) Luqman’s master told him: “Slaughter a sheep and bring me its two best parts”. So he brought him the heart and the tongue (of the sheep).
Luqman’ master told him another day: “Go slaughter a sheep and bring me its two worst parts. Luqman once again brought the tongue and the heart.
Luqman’s master asked: How can the heart and tongue be the best and the worst parts at the same time? He answered:
“انَّهُمَا اَطيَبُ شَيئٍ اِذَا طَابَا وَاخبَثُ شَيئٍ اِذَا خَبُثا”
“They are the best if they are good, and they are the worst, if they are bad”.66
k) There are three things which are only recognized at three times: a patient man is only recognized at the time of anger; a brave man is only recognized at war; and you do not recognize your brother except when you need him.67
l) There are three things the possession of which will entail a perfect faith: A person who does not neglect God’s pleasure when he is satisfied and happy; he who does not disregard justice at the time of anger; and he who does not take what he does not deserve at the time of his power. When you want to make friends with anybody, make him angry at first. If he did not disregard justice at the time of anger, then take him as a friend; or else, leave him.68
m) There are four things which a person should perform personally although he is a prince or a dignitary: rising to show respect to his father, entertaining the guest, sitting on a horse, and helping the world.69
We will end this section by reporting a tradition from Imam Sadiq (as) which is an answer to Hammad’s question about Luqman and his wisdom:
Imam Sadiq (as) said, “I swear by God that God gave Luqman wisdom not for his wealth, or family or strength or beauty. He was given wisdom because he was strong in worshipping God, God-fearing, silent, tranquil, with profound insight, a deep thinker, keen-sighted and in no need of admonition. He never slept during the day. Nobody saw him answering the call of nature or bathing because of his extreme modesty. He never laughed at anything for fear of sinning. He was never angry and never joked with anyone. He did not rejoice at anything he received of this world and did not grieve over anything of this world. He married women and had many children most of whom died in their childhood, but he did not weep for any one of them.
He never passed by two people who were arguing or fighting without reconciling them, and he did not leave them until they had made peace with one another He never heard any speech that he liked without asking for its explanation and about who said it. He would frequently sit in the company of scholars and the wise ones. He would come upon the judges and kings; he would pity the judges for what they were afflicted with and have mercy on the kings and rulers for their beguilement from God, and their being content with that. He used to learn things which made him defeat his desires and with it would guard himself from Satan. He would treat his heart with contemplation and coax his soul with admonition. He did not enter into any matter that did not concern him. It was for these reasons that God gave him wisdom…”70
60. Bihar, vol.13, p.426.
61. Bihar, vol.13 p. 426.
62. Bihar, vol.13 p. 411-414-420.
63. Bihar, vol.13, pp.414-414-420.
65. Bihar, vol.13, p.425.
66. Bihar, vol.13, p.424.
67. Dehkhoda Dictionary, vol.36, p.260.
70. Bihar, vol.13, p. 410.
Adapted from: “Imam ‘Ali’s First Treatise on The Islamic Ethics and Education” by: “Zainol Aabideen Qorbani Lahiji”