Pearl of Wisdom

was proceeding towards Syria, when the peasants of al-Anbar upon seeing him, dismounted from their mounts and started running towards him. He enquired, 'What is this you are doing?' to which they replied, 'This is the way we respect our leaders.' So he said, 'By Allah, this does not benefit your leaders in any way, whilst you are belabouring yourself in this world and earning misery for yourselves in the Hereafter. How wasteful is the labour in whose wake lies chastisement, and how profitable the composure which brings safety from the Fire!'

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Nahj al-Baldgha, Saying 37

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Persevere in performing the customs and obligations in worship ('ibadah), for they are the source: whoever obtains them and performs them properly has obtained everything. The best form of worship is that which comes nearest to security. This is the one most free of harm and the most consistent, be it ever so small. If you have performed your obligatory and supererogatory prayers, then you are a true worshipper.

Beware of treading on the carpet of a king unless you do so with abasement, acknowledgement of need, fear, and respect. Make your movements free of showing off and your secret free of hardness.

The Holy Prophet said, 'The person who prays is conversing with his Lord.' So be embarrassed before the One Who is Cognizant of your secret, Who knows your conversation and what your conscience conceals. Be where He will see you doing what He wants you to do, and performing that to which He has summoned you. Those who have gone before us occupied themselves from the moment they completed one obligatory prayer to the moment they started another, so that they could perform both prayers sincerely and correctly. It seems that in our times it has become a virtue to leave the obligatory aside, which is like having a body without a soul.

'Ali ibn al-Husayn said, 'I wonder at a person who seeks something extra while he abandons an obligation; he only does so because he lacks recognition of the matter and respect for it. He does not see Allah's will in preparing people to obey His command and choosing that for them.'

 
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