Pearl of Wisdom

when asked about who has the greatest misfortune, said, 'A man who abandons the world for the sake of the world, and therefore he misses out on the world and loses the Hereafter, and a man who worships, struggles and fasts as a display for others, and thus forbids [himself] the pleasures of this world and also tires himself. And were he to do all that sincerely [for the sake of Allah], he would be deserving of its reward.'

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 92, p. 251

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Library » Nahj ul Balagha » Sermons » About the condition of the people before the proclamation of prophethood
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Sermon 103 About the condition of the people before the proclamation of prophethood and the Prophet's performance in spreading his message

So now, certainly Allah deputised Muhammad (p.b.u.h.a.h.p.) as the Prophet while no one among the Arabs read the Book nor claimed prophethood or revelation. He had to fight those who disobeyed him in company with those who followed him, leading them towards their salvation and hastening with them lest death overtook them. When any weary person sighed or a distressed one stopped he stood at him till he got him his aim, except the worst in whom there was not virtue at all. Eventually he showed them their goal and carried them to their places (of deliverance). Consequently, their affairs moved on and their hand-mill began to rotate (i.e. position gained strength), their spears got straightened.

By Allah, I was among their rear-guard till they turned back on their sides and were flocked in their rope. I never showed weakness or lack of courage, nor did I betray or become languid. By Allah, I shall split the wrong till I extract right from its flanks.

as-Sayyid ar-Radi says: I have quoted a selected part of this sermon before, but since I have found in the narration that this part differs from the previous one, more or less, I deemed it necessary to quote it again here.

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