Pearl of Wisdom

'I hate it for you to think that I like commendation and listening to praises when, praise be to Allah, I am not so. If I did like for such things to be said, I would abandon it as degradation of myself before Allah Almighty in accepting something that he is more worthy of in Grandeur and Glory. People might be pleased with praises after hardships, but do not praise me good praises for what I have done for Allah Almighty, and done for you in what is left of the rights I have not yet fulfilled, and the obligations I must duly accomplish. So do not speak to me the way you speak to tyrants, and do not evade me as the people of passion are [to be] evaded, and do not meet me with flattery.'

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Nahj al-Baldghd, Sermon 216

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Modesty is a light whose essence is the heart of belief, meaning careful consideration in everything which is denounced by tawhid and gnosis. The Holy Prophet said, 'Modesty is part of belief.' That is to say, modesty is accepted through belief, and belief is accepted through modesty. The modest person is all good. Whoever is denied modesty is all evil, even if he worships and is scrupulous. One step taken with modesty in the courtyards of Allah's awe is better than seventy years of worship. Insolence, however, is the beginning of hypocrisy, schism and disbelief.

The Messenger of Allah said, 'If you have no shame, then do as you like.’ This means that when modesty leaves you, then you are punished for all the good or evil that you do. The strength of modesty comes from sorrow and fear, and modesty is the home of fear. The beginning of modesty is awe, and its end is clear vision. A modest person is occupied with his own affairs, withdrawn from people, and distant from what they are doing, even if they all forsake completely person with modesty.

The Messenger of Allah said, 'When Allah desires good for a bondsman, he makes him forget his good qualities, putting his evil qualities before his eyes and making him dislike sitting with those who turn away from the remembrance of Allah.' Modesty is of five kinds: shame for a wrong action; shame for one's incapacity; modesty in the face of a noble equality; the modesty of love, and the modesty of awe. Each of these has its adherents, who are ranked according to these categories of modesty.

 
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