Imam Ali's Great Companion

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Imam Ali's Great Companion
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Amir al-mu'minin, peace be upon him, said: In the past I had a brother-in-faith [1] and he was prestigious in my view because the world was humble in his eyes, the needs of the stomach did not have sway over him, he did not long for what he did not get; if he got a thing he would not ask for more; most of his time he was silent, if he spoke he silenced the other speakers, he quenched the thirst of questioners, he was weak and feeble but at the time of fighting he was like the lion of the forest or the serpent of the valley, he would not put forth an argument unless it was decisive.

In the past I had a brother-in-faith [1] and he was prestigious in my view because the world was humble in his eyes, the needs of the stomach did not have sway over him, he did not long for what he did not get; if he got a thing he would not ask for more; most of his time he was silent, if he spoke he silenced the other speakers, he quenched the thirst of questioners, he was weak and feeble but at the time of fighting he was like the lion of the forest or the serpent of the valley, he would not put forth an argument unless it was decisive.

He would not abuse anyone in an excusable matter unless he had heard the excuse, he would not speak of any trouble except after its disappearance, he would say what he would do, and would not say what he would not do, even if he could be exceeded in speaking, he could not be excelled in silence, he was more eager for keeping quiet than speaking and if two things confronted him he would see which was more akin to the longing of the heart and he would oppose it.These qualities are incumbent upon you. So, you should acquire them and excel each other in them. Even if you cannot acquire them you should know that acquiring a part is better than giving up the whole. [2]


1. The man whom Amir al-mu'minin has referred to as his brother and whose qualities he has stated, has been taken by some commentators to be Abu Dharr al-Ghifari by some 'Uthman ibn Maz'un al-Jumahi and by some al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad al-Kindi; but it is not unlikely that no particular individual is referred to at all, because it is customary with Arabs for them to speak of a brother or a comrade although. they have no particular individual in mind.
2. Syed Razi, Nahj Al Balagha, English translator: Moulana Mufti Jafar, vol.5, Wonderful Saying 289.
قال علیه السلام: کَانَ لِی فیَِما مَضَی أَخٌ فِی اللهِ، وَکَانَ یُعْظِمُهُ فِی عَیْنِی صِغَرُ الدُّنْیَا فِی عَیْنِهِ، وَکَانَ خَارِجاً مِنْ سُلْطَانِ بَطْنِهِ فَلاَ یَشْتَهِی مَا لاَ یَجِدُ وَلاَ یُکْثِرُ إِذَا وَجَدَ. وَکَانَ أَکْثَرَ دَهْرِهِ صَامِتاً،فإِنْ قَالَ بَذَّ الْقَائِلِینَ وَنَقَعَ غَلِیلَ السَّائِلِینَ، وَکَانَ ضَعِیفاً مُسْتَضْعَفاً! فَإِنْ جَاءَ الْجِدُّ فَهُوَ لَیْثُ غَابٍ وَصِلُّ وَادٍ لاَ یُدْلِی بِحُجَّهٍ حَتَّی یَأْتِیَ قَاضِیاً، وَکَانَ لاَ یَلُومُ أَحَداً عَلَی مَا یَجِدُ الْعُذْرَ فِی مِثْلِهِ حَتَّی یَسْمَعَ اعْتِذَارَهُ، وَکَانَ لاَ یَشْکُو وَجَعاً إِلاَّ عِنْدَ بُرْئِهِ، وَکَانَ یقُولُ مَا یَفْعَلُ وَلاَ یَقُولُ مَا لاَ یَفْعَلُ، وَکَانَ إذَا غُلِبَ عَلَی الْکَلاَمِ لَمْ یُغْلَبْ عَلَی السُّکُوتِ، وَکَانَ عَلَی مَا یَسْمَعُ أَحْرَصَ مِنْهُ عَلَی أَنْ یَتَکَلَّمَ، وَکَان إذَا بَدَهَهُ أَمْرَانِ نَظَرَ أَیُّهُمَا أَقْرَبُ إِلَی الْهَوَی فیَُخَالَفَهُ. فَعَلَیْکُمْ بِهذِهِ الْخَلاَئِقِ فَالْزَمُوهَا وَتَنَافَسُوا فِیهَا، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَسْتَطِیعُوهَا فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ أَخْذَ الْقلِیلِ خَیْرٌ مِنْ تَرْکِ الْکَثِیرِ.

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Daily Hadith
لا يكونُ أخوكَ أقوى مِنكَ على مَودّتِهِ.
Do not let your brother be stronger than you are in your amity for him.