Pearl of Wisdom

Allah said in an intimate conversation with Moses (AS), ?O Moses, when you see poverty coming, then say to it, 'Welcome O garment of the righteous', and when you see wealth coming, say, 'A sin whose punishment has been hastened .? Al-Majlisi said, 'To combine both types of traditions [praising and disparaging poverty] and in order to portray that poverty and wealth are both bounties of Allah, most High, it must be said, that he gives each of them [poverty and? richness] to whomsoever He wishes according to the complete interests He knows for each. So the servant should endure his poverty,? and furthermore be grateful for it, and be grateful for wealth when he is given it, and use it as it is necessary. So with both acting in accordance with what their individual situation requires of them, it is generally agreed that the patient poor man is rewarded more than the grateful rich man. However the levels of their respective situations are completely different, and there can never be an absolute judgment about either side. It seems,. therefore, that [a state of] sufficiency is safer and less dangerous than either of the two sides. Hence, the request for it [i.e. sufficiency] features in many supplications, and the Prophet (SAWA) would ask for it for himself and his household (AS). Some have said that if this is so, then the best is what the Prophet (SAWA) and most of his companions have chosen in possessing less of the world and distancing oneself from its pleasures. Al-Raghib has said in his al-Mufradat: the word poverty is used with four meanings. The first: the need for bare necessities, that applies to all human beings, as long as they dwell in the realm of this world, or rather, it applies for all existing beings, and this is what is meant in His verse in the Qur'an: O mankind! You are the ones who stand in need of Allah, and Allah He is the All sufficient, the All laudable. The. second: lack of acquisitions, which is mentioned in His verse in the Qur'an: [The charities are] for the poor who are straitened in the way of Allah until His verse: ...Charities are only for the poor and the needy. , The third: poverty of the self, which is voracious greed, denoted by the Prophet (SAWA)'s saying, 'Poverty is almost infidelity', and is opposite to his saymg, '[True] Wealth is the needlessness of the self.' The fourth: Being in need of Allah, referred to in his (SAWA) saying, ?O Allah, enrich me through making me needy of You, and do not impoverish me through needlessness of You.' This is what is meant in Allah's verse in the Qur?an: Aly Lord! Indeed I am in need of any good You may send down to me. , . BiHar al-Anwar: 'It is narrated in the scriptures of Prophet Enoch (AS) : There is no wealth with those who are not in need of Me, and there is no poverty for those who are in want of Me.?

Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq [as]
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 95, p. 462

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Library » Nahj ul Balagha » Letters » A letter written by Imam Ali (a) to his brother Aqil
A letter written by Imam Ali (a) to his brother Aqil E-mail
Letter 36 A letter written by Imam Ali (a) to his brother Aqil

I had sent against him (Zahaak) a strong force of Muslim fighters. When he realised this, he wanted to run away, giving up loot and plunder. Before sunset our expeditionary force overtook him and his guerrillas, a skirmish did take place, not worth being mentioned as a battle, and he fled. When he was caught by the throat he thought a cowardly retreat to be the best solution.
Do not take to heart the behaviour of Quraysh. To talk about their scepticism, their enmity of Islam, their revolt against the cause of Allah and their desire to bring harm to me are a waste of time. They now are as much bent upon doing me injustice and fighting against me, as they were unanimously against the Holy Prophet (s). May Allah punish them for their sins. They have not even paid any consideration to the relationship that existed between them and I. They have deprived me of the estate of my mother's son.
As far as your enquiry about my intention against the enemies of Islam is concerned, my opinion is to combat those who have made up their minds to harm the cause of Islam. I shall keep on combating them to the end of my life. I am neither emboldened by abundance of followers nor am I disheartened by their scarcity. Do not think that your brother will lose heart if people forsake him and give up their help or he will humiliate himself, bow down against heavy odds, submit to unreasonable demands of others or accept their commands or orders like a beast of burden.
So far as I am concerned I am like a person about whom a poet of Bani Salim says:

"If you enquire about me, my beloved, Then hear me:

I am very strong to face calamities and reverses;

I cannot tolerate

That signs of sorrows and griefs on my face

Make my enemies happy,

And increase sorrows of my friends".


The following is a letter written by Imam Ali (a) to his brother Aqil. It so happened that Zahaak bin Qays Fahri was sent to Makkah by Mu'awiya with a force of guerrillas to ravage the city. Imam Ali (a) had sent Hujr bin Adi Kindi to defend the city of Makkah. Hujr defeated Zahaak. Aqil at that time was in Makkah. He wrote to Imam Ali (a) offering his voluntary services saying that the Quraysh were not sincerely serving the cause of Islam and were bent upon the enmity of Imam Ali (a). In reply Imam Ali (a) wrote this letter

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