Pearl of Wisdom

'Poor man! Every day he is given three trials whereof he does not even take lesson from a single one. If he contemplated and drew a lesson thereof, these trials and this world would cease to be of importance to him. The first trial is the very day which is deducted from his life if it was a loss in his wealth that befell him, he would fall into great distress, even though the dirham [i.e. money] can always be substituted but the days of his life will never again return to him. The second trial is the way in which he goes to great lengths to procure his sustenance, when he will have to account for it all if acquired by lawful means, and he will be punished for it all if acquired by unlawful means. The third trial is the greatest: every day that draws to an end has brought him a step closer to the Hereafter whether to Paradise or Hellfire, he does not know!'

Imam Ali ibn Hussain Zayn al-'Abidin [as]
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 160, no. 20

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When you face the qiblah, you should despair of this world, what it contains of creation and what others are occupied with. Empty your heart of every preoccupation which might distract you from Allah. See the immensity of Allah with your innermost being, and remember that you will stand before Him. For Allah has said,

There shall every soul become acquainted with what it sent before, and they shall be brought back to Allah, their true Patron. (10:30)

Stand at the foot of fear and hope. When you recite the takbir, you should belittle what is between the high heavens and the moist earth, which are all below His glory, for when Allah looks into the heart of His bondsman while he is saying the takbir, and sees in his heart something obstructing the truth of his declaring that Allah is great, He says, 'O liar! Do you try to deceive Me?

By My might and My majesty, I will deny you the sweetness of My remembrance, and I will veil you from My nearness and from joy in My intimate communion.'

Know that Allah does not need your service. He is independent of you, your worship and your supplication. He summons you by His favour to show you mercy, to put you far from His punishment, to spread some of the blessings of His kindness over you, to guide you to the path of His pleasure, and to open to you the door of His forgiveness. If Allah had created what He created in the universe many times over, forever without end, it would still be the same to Allah whether they all rejected Him or united with Him. All that He has from the worship of creatures is the display of His generosity and power. Therefore make modesty your cloak and incapacity your shawl. Enter under the throne of the power of Allah, and you will capture the benefits of His lordship, seeking help in Him and asking for His succour.

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