الرسالة ۶۹

و من كتاب له عليه السلام إلى الحارث الهمداني

و تمسک بحبل القرآن و استنصحه و احل حلاله و حرم حرامه و صدق بما سلف من الحق و اعتبر بما مضى من الدنیا ما بقی منها فان بعضها یشبه بعضا و آخرها لاحق باولها و کلها حائل مفارق و عظم اسم الله ان تذکره الا على حق و اکثر ذکر الموت و ما بعد الموت و لا تتمن الموت الا بشرط وثیق و احذر کل عمل یرضاه صاحبه لنفسه و یکره لعامه المسلمین و احذر کل عمل یعمل به فی السر و یستحى منه فی العلانیه و احذر کل عمل اذا سئل عنه صاحبه انکره او اعتذر منه و لا تجعل عرضک غرضا لنبال القول و لا تحدث الناس بکل ما سمعت فکفى بذلک کذبا و لا ترد على الناس کل ما حدثوک به فکفى بذلک جهلا و اکظم الغیظ و تجاوز عند القدره و احلم عند الغضب و اصفح مع الدوله تکن لک العاقبه و استصلح کل نعمه انعمها الله علیک و لا تضیعن نعمه من نعم الله عندک و لیر علیک اثر ما انعم الله به علیک و اعلم ان افضل المومنین افضلهم تقدمه من نفسه و اهله و ماله و انک ما تقدم من خیر یبق لک ذخره و ما توخره یکن لغیرک‏ خیره و احذر صحابه من یفیل رایه و ینکر عمله فان الصاحب معتبر بصاحبه و اسکن الامصار العظام فانها جماع المسلمین و احذر منازل الغفله و الجفا و قله الاعوان على طاعه الله و اقصر رایک على ما یعنیک و ایاک و مقاعد الاسواق فانها محاضر الشیطان و معاریض الفتن و اکثر ان تنظر الى من فضلت علیه فان ذلک من ابواب الشکر و لا تسافر فی یوم جمعه حتى تشهد الصلاه الا فاصلا فی سبیل الله او فی امر تعذر به و اطع الله فی جمل امورک فان طاعه الله فاضله على ما سواها و خادع نفسک فی العباده و ارفق بها و لا تقهرها و خذ عفوها و نشاطها الا ما کان مکتوبا علیک من الفریضه فانه لا بد من قضائها و تعاهدها عند محلها و ایاک ان ینزل بک الموت و انت آبق من ربک فی طلب الدنیا و ایاک و مصاحبه الفساق فان الشر بالشر ملحق و وقر الله و احبب احباه و احذر الغضب فانه جند عظیم من جنود ابلیس و السلام

Letter 69

A Letter from Imam Ali (a.s)

[A letter to Harith Hamdani.] Never forsake the orders, instructions and advice given by the Holy Qur'an. So far as presumptions of actions and things, lawful, legitimate and allowable or unlawful, forbidden and prohibited are concerned, accept the rulings of the Holy Book. Confirm and testify the truth said before (religions of ancient prophets). Take lessons from history for your future because history often repeats itself, and future nations of the world will mostly follow the footsteps of those who have passed. But this whole world is going to end and every individual has to leave it some day or the other. Keeping in mind the Might of Allah, be particularly careful not to swear by Him unless you are taking an oath for a true and lawful affair. Always remember death and the life after death but never wish for death. If you want to face death then do it for a great cause. Try to avoid all those things which a man may like for himself and may grudge for others. Abstain from an action which you will have to do covertly and secretly and which you feel ashamed to do openly. Refrain from a deed which you will have to accept as evil or bad or for which you will have to tender an apology or excuse. Do not acquire a bad reputation and do not allow your good reputation to be sullied. Do not mention hearsay things as authenticated facts, such a practice will be sufficient for you to be regarded by others as liar. Do not develop the habit of contradicting and falsifying others on every occasion, it is a disgusting habit. Have a control on your temper. If you have power to retaliate, then forgive and forget. When in anger, be forbearing, patient and tolerant. When you are in possession of wealth, power and authority, then be forgiving, merciful and compassionate. These traits will help you to gain your salvation. Be sincerely thankful for all the Blessings which the Merciful Allah has granted you, pray for their continuance, do not misuse them and do not waste them and you must show by your deeds the extent of your obligations to Him for His Blessings. Remember that among the faithful Muslims the best is he who gives out alms and charities on his on behalf and on behalf of his family and his property. Whatever you spend in this way is something that you send in advance for your life after death. You will then receive the reward of such deeds. And whatever you leave here will be used by others and you will get no benefit out of it. Avoid the company of men who are weak in their decisions and views, who are superstitious and wicked because people are judged by the company they keep. If possible try to live in large cities because they are the centres of Islamic Culture and Islamic traditions. Avoid places where time is wasted in pastimes and amusements, where there are concentrations of ignorant people and where you find scarcity of companions or lack of society and surroundings to carry on your religious functions. Keep yourself busy with your work and do not frequent abodes meant for vicious pursuits because they are centres of the activities of Satan and the places which spread vice and wickedness. Always look to the conditions of people not so well off as you are because observation of their lives and positions will make you more content with your lot in life and more thankful to Allah for it. Never start on a travel on Fridays without attending Friday prayers unless you are going out for Jihad or there is no alternative for you but to set out. In all of your affairs keep the thought of Allah in your mind and act according to His Commands and interdictions because obedience to His Orders has priority over every other thing. By various means and in various ways persuade yourself towards prayers but do not be hard with yourself, be gentle and persuasive. When you are free from other duties and you are having good health then spend your free hours in prayers. But the question of offering daily prayers (five times a day) is a different question. They have to be offered compulsorily and in time. Take care that such a calamity may not overtake you that while you are trying to ignore religion and Allah and are running after a vicious world, death overtakes you. Avoid the company of wicked people because bad company allures a person towards evil ways. Always keep the Might and Majesty of Allah in view and be a friend of His friends. Be afraid of your own anger because out of the armies of Satan, man's anger is its strongest force.