The Excellence of Reason
As for reason, it is the best favor which Allah has given to man and through which He distinguished him from grazing animals. Ima`m al-Rida`, peace be on him, spoke about reason in some of his traditions, which are as follows:
A. He, peace be on him, said: “Everyone’s friend is his reason; his enemy is his ignorance. ” How wonderful this wise statement is! That is because reason is the great friend of man; it protects him, safeguards him from the afflictions and misfortunes of this world. The great enemy of man is ignorance, which throws him into deep mazes of this world.
B. Abu Hashim al-Ja’far narrated: [We were with al-Rida, peace be on him. We discussed reason and he said:] “O Abu Hashim, reason is a free gift from Allah, and politeness is acquisition. He who undertakes politeness has power over it. He who undertakes reason increases (himself) through that nothing but ignorance. ”
As for courtesy, it is an acquisitive matter. Man can acquire it. As for reason, it is a free gift from Allah, the Most High. Man cannot acquire it.
C. Al-Hasan b. al-Jahm reported: [Reason was mentioned in the presence of Abu` al-Hasan al-Rida`, peace be on him, and he said:] “(None) pays attention to the men of religion who have no reason.” I (i.e. al-Hasan b. al-Jahm) said: “May I be your ransom. In our opinion there is no harm upon the people who describes this affair. Do they have not reason?” “They are not from among those whom Allah addressed,” he replied, “Allah created reason and ordered it to come forward, and it came forward. Then He ordered it to go back and it went back. Hence He said: ‘By My might and majesty, I have not created anything better than you or more lovable to me than you. I punish (men) and reward (them) through you. ”
Allah did not create anything better than reason. All religious obligations depend on it, hence he who loses his reason is not required to perform them and is not sinful when he commits sins. That is because reason is the only condition in the correctness of religious duties and their validity on him whom performs them.
D. He, peace be on him, said: “The best reason is that man knows his own soul. ”
When man knows how his soul was shaped and ended, he will gain abundant good. That is because such knowledge will drive him away from evil inclinations, urges him to cling to good inclinations, and makes him know his Almighty Creator. It has been mentioned in the tradition: “He who knows his own soul knows his Lord.”
Reflecting on the Affair of Allah
Imam al-Rida, peace be on him, said: “Worship is not abundant prayer and fasting; rather it is abundant reflecting on the affair of Allah, the Great and Almighty.”
Reflecting on the creatures of Allah, contemplating His wonderful creatures, and thinking of the secrets and wonders of this universe are clear evidence for the existence of the Almighty Creator. When man knows his Lord, he is safe from evil and committing crime, and he becomes the source of bestowal and good for his own soul and his society.
He, peace be on him, said: “He who reckons his own soul is successful; he who is heedless of it is unsuccessful. ”
If man reckons his own soul with regard to doing good and evil deeds and prevents it from committing evil deeds, he will be sublime and attain success and good. If he is heedless of it, he will throw himself into endless evil.
He, peace be on him, said: “Man is not worshipful unless he is clement. ”
Clemency is the noblest quality by which man is distinguished. Clemency toward evildoer and pardoning aggressor indicate that soul is sublime and has reached the highest degree of perfection. Through clemency man is the master of other than him and is a good guide to his own society.
He, peace be on him, said: “Some signs of understanding are clemency, knowledge, and silence. Silence is one of the doors to wisdom. It brings about love and is evidence for all good. ”
Silence and controlling the tongue protect man from great evil and turn him aside from detested things which result from speech and utterance.
He, peace be on him, said: “Humbleness is that you give to men that which you want them to give to you.”
He, peace be on him, wrote to Mohammed b. Sina`n: “Humbleness is degrees. One of them is that man should know the measure of his own soul and sincerely place it in its rank. He does not like to do anything for others except that which he wants others to do for him. If others do evil deed for him, he repels the evil deed with a good one. He restrains his anger, pardons men,and Allah loves good-doers”
The reality of humbleness is that man should honor men and treat them kindly just as he wants them to treat him in the same manner.
Humbleness is evidence for the honor and exaltedness of soul. Men love and honor him who shows humbleness toward them. Meanwhile Allah loves and exalts him.
Believer’s Noble Qualities
He, peace be on him, said: “The believer is not believing unless he has three qualities: a quality from his Lord, a quality from his Prophet, and a quality from his ruler. As for the quality from his Lord, it is concealing his secret. Allah, the Great and Almighty has said: The Knower of the unseen, so He does not reveal His secrets to any. As for the quality from his Prophet, it is humoring with men, for Allah, the Great and Almighty ordered His Prophet to humor with men, saying: Take to forgiveness and enjoin good. As for the quality from his ruler, it is patience during prosperity and adversity. ”
How noble qualities are these! They raise the level of man to the top of honor and perfection, and they turn him aside from falling into destruction.
The Best and Worst of Men
‘Ali b. Shu’ayb said: [I visited Abu al-Hasan al-Rida, peace be on him, and he asked me:] “O ‘Ali, do you know whose subsistence is the best?”
“Master, you know better than me,” I replied “It is that of one through whom others’ subsistence is improved,” he explained.
“O ‘Ali, do you know who has the worst subsistence?” he asked.
“Master, you know better than me,” I answered.
“It is that of the one who does not include others in it,” he declared.
The Ima`m went on advising him to do good and kindness to men, saying: “O ‘Ali, be thoughtful to the boons, for they are wild: if they leave people, they never come back to them. O ‘Ali, the worst of men is he who stops his contributions to charity, eats by himself, and whips his slave. ”
These words summons man to do good and kindness to men.
Faith and Islam
He, peace be on him, said: “Faith is a degree above Islam; Allah-fearingness is a degree above faith; and nothing less than Allah-fearingness has been divided among men. ”
Certainty of Allah is the best degree of faith and is one of qualities of the great Allah-fearing whose hearts Allah examines for faith.
Vainglory corrupts deeds
Ahmed b. Najm asked Imam al-Rida about vainglory which corrupted deeds, and he, peace be on him, answered: “Vainglory is degrees: One of them is that the deed of a servant is embellished and he regards it as good. One of them is that the servant believes (in Allah) and reminds Him of favor, while Allah shows kindness toward him.
The vainglory, in the second sense, results from unbelief and unripe thoughts, and hence it corrupts deeds.
He, peace be on him, said: “When the servants commit sins which they have not known before, affliction which they have not known before befalls them.
Men have committed terrible kinds of sins and acts of disobedience which have not been known before. Hence Allah has let down upon them various kinds of afflictions and misfortunes which they have not known before.
Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil
Imam al-Rida said: “Either you enjoin (men) to do good and forbid (them) from evil or Allah will employ the wicked from among you over you, hence the righteous from among you supplicate (Him), but (He) does not respond to them. “
Enjoining good and forbidding evil is an original method in Islamic life; hence neglecting it leads to bad results of which are spreading abominable things and the supplication of the righteous is not accepted.
He Who loves the Disobedient!
He, peace be on him, said: “He who loves the disobedient is disobedient; he who loves the obedient is obedient. He who helps a wrongdoer is a wrongdoer; he who deserts a wrongdoer is just. There is no kinship between Allah and any, and the protection of Allah is not attained but through obedience. ”
He who loves the work of people, he will be mustered in their band, just as it has been mentioned in the tradition. So whoever loves the disobedient is disobedient, and whoever loves the obedient is obedient.
The Good Men
The Imam, peace be on him, was asked about the good men, and he replied: “It is they who are delighted when they do good, ask Allah’s forgiveness when they do evil, give thanks when they are given, are patient when they are tried, and pardon (men) when they become angry. ”
He who has such noble qualities is indeed one of the good men and is perfect and meritorious.
He, peace be on him, said: “The reward of him who works to spare his family is greater than that of the struggler in the way of Allah. ”
The work for sparing family is struggle in the way of Allah, honor which the worker attains, and glory of which he boasts.
He, peace be on him, said: “The discretion of a Muslim is not perfect except after he acquires ten qualities: Allah accepts his good deeds, he is trustworthy, he sees as plentiful the little good that others do for him, while seeing his own abundant good as little; he does not fret from being asked for favor, nor does he feel tired of constantly seeking knowledge; poverty reached in order to please Allah is better for him than wealth accumulated otherwise; to be subjected to power while trying to serve Allah is better in his regard than achieving power over his foe, and obscurity he prefers over fame.”
Then he, peace be on him, said: “And the tenth (one), do you know what the tenth (one) is?”
He was asked: “What is it?”
He, peace be on him, replied: “Whenever he sees someone, he says to himself: ‘He is better than me and more pious. People are two types: a person better than him and more pious, and one who is more evil than him and more lowly. If he meets the one who is more evil than him and more lowly, he says to himself: ‘Maybe, the goodness of this (statement) is implied, and it is better that he hears such a compliment, while my own goodness is apparent and it is detrimental to me. And when he sees someone better than him and pious, he would humble himself before him trying to raise himself to his level. So if he does that, his glory will be higher, his reputation will be better, and he will become distinguished above his contemporaries. “
He who has these ten qualities is indeed perfect in faith and reason. Moreover Allah exalts him, raise his reputation in the world, and gives him the highest degree on the Day of Resurrection.
The Reality of Reliance on Allah
A man asked the Imam about these words of Him, the Exalted: “Whoever relies on Allah, He suffices him. ”
He, peace be on him, answered: “Reliance (on Allah) is in various degrees one of which is that you rely on Him in everything related to you, and when He does something to you which you know will not bring you anything good, you rely on His wisdom in doing it, so you nevertheless put your trust in Him willingly. Another you believe in the Unseen regarding Allah of which you have no knowledge, so you relied on Him and on His custodians, trusting in Him in their regard and in others. “
The Imam, peace be on him, gives a clear picture of the reality of reliance on Allah, the Exalted, which is that man should entrust all his affairs to Him, the Exalted, for this is pure faith and certitude in Allah.
The Pillars of Faith
He, peace be on him, said: “Faith is four pillars: trust in Allah, satisfaction with Allah’s decree, submission to Allah’s command, and
entrusting (affairs) to Allah. The Righteous Servant1 said: And I entrust my affair to Allah, so Allah protected him from the evil deeds of what they had schemed. ”
Faith in Allah stands on these four pillars. When a person has them, he attains the top of faith.
He, peace be on him, said: “If one lacks five attributes, do not expect to gain anything good out of him for your life in this world or your life to come: if his lineage is known to be untrustworthy, if his nature lacks generosity, if his temper lacks balance, if he lacks a noble conduct, and if he lacks fear of his Lord. ”
He who has these noble qualities scores a great success in honor and manhood and is hoped for help and generosity.
Giving Thanks for Favors
He, peace be on him, said: “He who does not thank the benefactor from among the creatures does not thank Allah, the Great and Almighty. “
Showing gratitude to the benefactor for his favor is a must. He who does not thank him and denies him does not thank Allah, the Great and Almighty, for His favors toward him.
The Imam, peace be on him, gave some commandments to his close Shï’ites. The following are some of them:
A. His Commandments to Ahmed b. Abu Nasr
The Imam, peace be on him, gave some commandments to Ahmed b. Abu Nasr. The following are some of them: “Do not be tired of supplicating, for it is of great importance with Allah. Be patient, seek the lawful, tighten (your) bonds of kin with gifts, beware of showing enmity toward men, for we, the members of the House, join him who cuts us off, and do good for him who does evil for us, so, by Allah, we see good results through that. ”
He advised him to cling to noble moral traits and good deeds through which man becomes exalted.
B. His Commandments to Ibrahïm b. Abu Mahmud
The Imam, peace be on him, gave some commandments to Ibrahïm b. Abu Mahmud. (He said to him): [My father told me on the authority of his fathers, on the authority of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his Family, who said:] “He who listens to a speaker serves him. If the speaker (talks on behalf of) Allah, he serves Allah. If the speaker (talks on behalf) of Satan, he serves Satan.” Then he said: “Son of Abu Mahmud, when men go to left and right, then cling to our way, for we cling to him who clings to us and separate ourselves from him who separates himself from us. The least thing through which man deviate from faith is that he calls pebble stone, then he embraces this and renounces those who oppose him. Son of Abu Mahmud, keep in mind what I have told you about, for I have gathered for you thereby the good of this world and the next”
C. His Commandments to Ahmed and al-Husayn
Ahmed b. ‘Umar and al-Husayn b. Yazïd said: “We visited Imam al-Rida, peace be on him, and said to him: ‘We were in plenty of provision and ease of livelihood. (Our) state has changed, so supplicate Allah to return that to us.'”
The Imam ordered them to be content and satisfied with that which Allah had apportioned for them, saying: “What do you want? Do you want to be kings? Does it please you to be like Tahir1 and Herthima2 while you oppose your doctrine?”
One of them interrupted the Ima`m, saying: “No, by Allah, it does not please me that I possess the gold and silver of the world. I oppose my doctrine.” This means that he deviated from the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on him.
The Imam, peace be on him, said: “Allah says: Give thanks, O family of Dawud, and very few of My servants are grateful. Have a good opinion in Allah, for he who has a good opinion of Allah, Allah has a good opinion of him. He who is satisfied with a little provision, his little work is accepted. He who is content with a little lawful thing, his provision is light, his family leads a life of ease and comfort, Allah makes him see the malady of the world and its medicine, brings him out of it sound and (sends him) to the Abode of Peace. ”
The Imam, peace be on him, advised them to cling to contentment which is an everlasting treasure. He made them know that they had something more expensive than silver and gold, which was showing friendship to the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, who were the greatest favor of Allah toward His righteous servants.
D. Equality between the Rich and the Poor
The Imam advised his companions (to spread) equality among the rich and the poor with greetings (sala`m). He said: “He who meets a poor and greets him in a manner different from greeting the rich meets Allah, the Great and Almighty, and He is angry with him.”
This commandment represents the great morals of the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, whom Allah created as mercy for His servants, for they made it incumbent upon their Shï’ites to spread equality among Muslims even through greetings (salam) and made them hate color discrimination.
Smiling at the Believer
The Imam advised his companions to smile at the believer and not to receive him with anger. He, peace be on him, said: “He who smiles at his believing brother, Allah will write a good deed for him, and Allah will not torture him for whom He writes a good deed. ”
The Imams, peace be on them, advised their companions to follow these noble moral traits, that they might be an example to men.
The Imam, peace be on him, advised his companions and the rest of people to follow these valuable commandments: “Fear Allah, O men, regarding the favors of Allah toward you. Do not repel them from you through disobeying Him. Know that you do not thank Allah for a thing after faith in Him and His Messenger, and after confessing the rights of Allah’s friends from among the family of Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his family, more lovable (to Him) than your helping your believing brothers in their world, which is a bridge for you to the Gardens of their Lord. He who does that is among the close friends of Allah. 3” These commandments are full of urging men to fear Allah, the Exalted, to help their brothers, and to show kindness toward them.
Tightening the Bonds of Kin
A group of traditions has been reported from Ima`m al-Rida`, peace be on him, concerning urging his companions and Shï~’ites to tighten the bonds of kin. Some of them are as follows:
A. He, peace be on him, said: “If only three years of a person’s span of life has remained and he tightens the bond of kin, Allah will make them thirty years, and Allah does whatever He wills. ”
B. He, peace be on him, said: “We know that nothing increases the span of life except tightening the bonds of kin, to the extent that the person’s fixed term is three years and he tightens the bonds of kin, so Allah adds thirty years to his span of life, and hence He makes them thirty-three years. If his fixed term is thirty-three and he cuts off the bonds of kin, Allah subtracts thirty years from it, and makes his fixed term three years. ”
C. He, peace be on him, said: [Abu` ‘Abd Allah, peace be on him, said:] “Tighten the bonds of kin even through a drink of water. The best thing through which you tighten the bonds of kin is withholding harm from them. Tightening the bonds of kin delays the fixed term and (brings about) love among family. ”
The best means of strengthening social ties is showing kindness toward blood relatives. This will unify their sentiments and feelings and form righteous cells on which society stands.
Wise Sayings of some Prophets
Imam al-Reza, peace be on him, narrated some valuable wise sayings of some prophets, peace be on them. The following are some of them:
Musa’s Whispered Prayers
He, peace be on him, said: “When Musa b. ‘Umran whispered (words) to his Lord in prayer, he said: ‘My Lord, are You far from me,
so I will call out for You? Or are You near, so I will whisper (words to) You in prayer?’ Hence, Allah inspired him: ‘Musa, I am the Friend of him who remembers Me.’ Musa said: ‘I am in a state in which You are greater than to be remembered.’ Allah said: ‘Musa, remember Me in every state. ‘”
In the Scriptures of Ibrahïm
He, peace be on him, said: [(Allah says) in the Scriptures of Ibra`hï~m:] “O vainglorious king, I did not send you in order to build the building nor to gather for this world, but I sent you in order to answer the supplication of the wronged, for I respond to it even if it (issues) from an unbeliever.”
‘Isa with the Disciples
He, peace be on him, said: [‘Isa said to the disciples:] “O Children of Isra’ïl, do not grieve for that which escapes you of the world just as the people of the world who do not grieve for that which escapes them of their religion when they attain their world. ”
In the previous researches we mentioned some of the traditions reported from the Ima`m, peace be on him, regarding the states of the prophets, and which were full of their wise words.
Preaching and Guidance
The narrators and the historians mentioned a group of the worlds and poems of the Ima`m on preaching and guidance. The following are some of them:
1. Mohammed b. ‘Ubayda said: [I visited ‘Ali al-Reza`, peace be on him. He sent for Sa`lih b. Sa’ï~d, and then he preached to both of us. A part of his preaching was that he said:] “Abu Ja’far (i.e. Imam Mohammed al-Ba`qir, peace be on him) said: ‘Be good with out evil; be leaves with out thorns. Do not be thorns without leaves and evil without good.'”
Then he said: “Surely Allah detests idle talk, wasting money, and much begging.”
Then he said: “The children of Isra’ïl became strict, so Allah became strict with them. Musa said to them: ‘Slaughter a cow.’ They asked: ‘What color is it?’ They were still so strict that they (were forced to) slaughter a very expensive cow.”
Then he said: [‘Ali b. Abu` Ta`lib said:] “The wise lost wisdom when they placed it with other than its people. ”
2. Al-Ma’mu`n wrote the Ima`m asking him to preach to him, and he wrote him these lines:
You are in the world with a period in which the deed of the doer is accepted.
Do you not see that death encompasses it and deprives the hopeful of their hope.
You hasten to sin as you like and expect repentance from the Acceptor.
Death surprisingly comes to people. This is not the deed of the one resolute and wise.
3. The following poetry lines are part of what he composed on preaching:
All of us hope for drawn out fixed term, while death is the blight of expectation.
Let not the false things of desires deceive you, cling to moderation, and leave defects.
The world is like perishing shade in which a rider stops and then he departs.
4. He was asked once: “How did you start your day?” He, peace be on him, answered: “With a shorter life-span, with our deeds being recorded, with death round our necks, with Fire behind our backs, and we do not know what will be done to us. ”
5. Yasir, the retainer, said: [I heard ‘Ali b. Mu`sa` al-Reza`, peace be on him, say:] “This creature (i.e. man) is lonely in three situations: On the day when he is born in the world and sees it, on the day when he dies and sees the next world and its people, and on the day when he is resurrected and sees the rules which he did not see in the world. Allah, the Exalted, greeted Yahya in these three situations and calmed his fear, saying: And peace on him on the day he was born, and on the day he dies, and on the day he is raised to life. ‘Isa b. Maryam greeted himself in these three situations, saying: And peace be on me on the day when I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life. ”
6. A man complained to the Ima`m of his brother, and he, peace be on him, composed, saying:
Forgive your brother’s sin; cover and cloak his defects.
Be patient toward the slander of the foolish and the misfortunes of time.
Leave the answer as bounty and entrust the wrongdoer to his Lover.
7. Al-Nawfali recited the following poetry lines before the Ima`m, peace be on him:
I have seen that white hair is detested, respect thereby, and sins are not appropriate for it. When the possessor of white hair commit sins, all will say: When will he repent?
I will make friends with it through Allah-fearingness until the close fixed term separates us.
Imam Reza(AS) Short Wise Sayings
The following group of short wise sayings has been reported from Imam al-Reza, peace be on him:
1. He, peace be on him, said: “People’s hearts are sometimes coming towards you, sometimes keeping away from you; sometimes they are active, sometimes they are relaxed. If they come along, they will achieve wisdom understanding, and if they stay away, they will be exhausted and worn out; so, take them when they come to you and when they are active, and shun them when they stay away or are relaxed. ”
2. He, peace be on him, said: “Accompany with caution the person who has authority over you; be humble when in the company of a friend; stay alert when facing an enemy, and mingle with the public with a smile on your face.”
3. He, peace be on him, said: “Postponement is detrimental of the fulfillment of desires. Fulfillment is the gain of the strict. Wastefulness is the calamity of one who can afford it. Miserliness tears up honor. Passion invites trouble. The best and most honorable of virtues is to do others favors, to aid the one who calls for helps, to bring the hope of the hopeful to reality, not to disappoint the optimist, to have an ever increase of the number of friends when you are alive, and the number of those who will cry when you die. ”
4. He, peace be on him, said: “Only the believer who takes admonishment can enjoin the good and forbid the evil. As for the possessor of whip and sword, he cannot. ”
5. He, peace be on him, said: “He who opposes an unjust ruler and an affliction from him befalls him will not rewarded for it nor will be provided with patience during it.”
6. He, peace be on him, said: “When two groups (of people) meet (in battlefield), Allah helps the greater in pardoning. ”
7. He, peace be on him, said: “Man’s walking behind a man is a trial for the followed and abasement for the follower. ”
8. He, peace be on him, said: “One who is blessed with plenty must spend generously on his family. ”
9. He, peace be on him, said: “Showing love toward men is the half of reason.
10. He, peace be on him, said: “The rank of the eldest brother is like that of father. ”
11. He, peace be on him, said: “Among the habits of Prophets is cleanliness. ”
12. He, peace be on him, said: “The trustworthy do not betray you but you trust the traitor. ”
13. He, peace be on him, said: “Every curiosity is in need of the curiosity of speech. ”
14. He, peace be on him, said: “”Surely Allah detests idle talk, wasting money, and excessive questioning. ”
15. The Imam, peace be on him, was questioned about the lowly and he said: “Anyone who has something to distract him from Allah. ”
16. He, peace be on him, said: “Among the practices (of the Prophet) is giving food during marriage.”
17. He, peace be on him, said: “The generous one eats from the food of men, that they may eat from his food.
18. He, peace be on him, said: “We, the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt), think that our promise is a debt against us, as Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, did.”
19. He, peace be on him, said: “Time will come when one’s
safety lies in ten things nine of which are in staying aloof from men, and the tenth in staying silent.”
20. He, peace be on him, said: “Assisting the weak is better for you than your act of charity. ”
21. He, peace be on him, said to Abu Hashim, Dawud b. al-Qasim al-Ja’fari: “We have a right against you through Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, and you have a right against us. He who knows our right (against him), his right is incumbent (upon us). He who does not know our right (against him) has no right (against us). ”
22. He, peace be on him, said: “The miser one is never restful; the envious is never pleased; the grumbling is never loyal; the liar has no conscience. ”
23. He, peace be on him, said: “If you mention someone who is present, then call him with his own kunya (i.e. the father of someone, usually his eldest son). When he is absent, then mention his full name. ”
24. He, peace be on him, said: “The believer is the brother of a believer (on the side of) his father and mother. Cursed, cursed is he who accuses his brother! Cursed, cursed is he who cheats his brother! Cursed, cursed is he who does not counsel his brother! Cursed, cursed is he who veiled himself from his brother! Cursed, cursed is he who backbites his brother! ”
25. He, peace be on him, said: “He who benefits a brother in Allah will make use of a house in the Garden.”
26. He, peace be on him, said: “When the believer does a good deed, he becomes happy. When he does an evil deed, he asks Allah’
forgiveness. The Muslim is he from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe. To us does not belong he from whose calamities his neighbors are not safe.”
27. A man said to him, peace be on him, said: “Ask for me from your Lord: good reverential fear, knowledge of the rights of brothers, and putting into effect what I know of that.” Al-Rida`, peace be on him, said: “Allah has given that to you, for you have asked the excellent outward and inward qualities of the righteous. ”
28. He, peace be on him, said: “Do not give to your brother of your own soul that whose harm against you is more than its profit for them. ”
29. He, peace be on him, said: “He who gives relief to a believer, Allah will give him relief on the Day of Resurrection. ”
30. He, peace be on him, said: “Wealth is not accumulated except by five qualities: extreme miserliness, a drawn out expectation, an overwhelming care, a boycott of the relatives, and a preference of this life over the life to come. ”
31. He, peace be on him, said: “If one saves the food of his year, his back is light, and he finds rest. ”
32. He, peace be on him, said: “He whose good qualities are many is praised by them and is in no need of praise through mentioning them.”
33. He, peace be on him, said: “He who seeks the affair through its (proper) way does not slip. If he slips, stratagems do not abandon him.”
34. He, peace be on him, said: “Beware of one who wants to offer you advice by speaking behind others’ back; he does not recognize how bad his own end shall be.”
35. He, peace be on him, said: “Poverty is the key to misery.”
36. He, peace be on him, said: “Do not pay attention to the view of someone who does not follow your advice for his own good.”
37. He, peace be on him, said to al-Hasan b. Sahl regarding his condolence: “To congratulate one for a reward in store for him is better than to console him on a swift calamity.”
38. He, peace be on him, said: “Surely, renouncing AbuMu`sa` al-Ash’ary is an act of pure Islam.”
39. He, peace be on him, said: “The mobs were the killers of the prophets.”
40. He, peace be on him, said: “Small sins are paths to great ones.”
41. He, peace be on him, said: “He who does not fear Allah regarding little does not fear him regarding much.”
The Life of Imam Ali bin Musa al-Reza(AS) – by Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi