Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Description of the PIOUS|
|12/30/01 at 03:21:44|
this is really awesome out of Nahj al-Balagha by Syedna Ali (r.a), My brother told me that you would be amazed if you ever read this book and marvel at the cleverness and eloquence of Syedna Ali(r.a).. and really this small piece is a big evidence!!
Description of the PIOUS
It is related that a devout worshipper named Hamam came to Imam 'Ali (May Allah ennoble his countenance) and asked him to describe the pious people so vividly he could almost see them. 'Ali (May Allah be Pleased with him) responded, "Their speech is accurate; their clothing is moderate; and they walk with utmost humility. They lower their gaze from everything Allah has forbidden. They only allow their ears to listen to beneficial knowledge. Their souls accept exposure to trials and tribulations as easily as others accept luxurious living.
Were it not for their appointed term, their spirits would not have remained in their bodies the span of a twinkling of the eye out of their intense longing for their Lord. Because the Creator is magnified in their souls, everything else is viewed as insignificant in their sight. Their hearts are sober; people are safe from any wickedness from them; their bodies are slim [they don't overindulge their appetites]; their basic needs are few; and their souls are chaste. They patiently endure the few days they spend in this world knowing that they will be followed by a long, peaceful rest -this is the profitable life-transaction which their Lord has allowed them to enter into. The world desired them, however, they had no desire for it. It imprisoned them, but they ransomed their souls from it [with their restraint and righteous deeds].
At night, their feet are arranged in ranks as they dutifully recite the Qur'an in slow, measured tones. If they pass by a verse which stimulates them to long [for the delightful things which Allah has promised] they pondered it, craving to attain them. Their souls soar owing to the intensity of their longing for those delights. If they pass by a verse that fills them with fear [of the dreadful punishment of Allah] they hear it reverberating in the depths of their hearts. They imagine that they hear the terrible sighing of the Hellfire in the innermost recesses of their ears. You find them kneeling down [before their Lord] begging to be liberated from the Hellfire.
As for their days, they are forbearing, clement scholars. They are righteous and pious. Fear [of Allah] penetrates them like arrows. One who gazes upon them thinks that they are sick, however, they are far from being sick. They are not satisfied with a minimal amount of righteous deeds, nor do they consider excessive amounts of worship to be great. They see their faults, and they fear that their deeds won't be accepted. If one of them is praised he says, "I know myself better than others [know me], and my Lord is more knowledgeable of me than myself. O Allah, don't take me to task for what they say, make me better than what they think of me, and forgive me for those sins which they are unaware of."
From the signs of one of them is that you observe strength in his religion. His gentleness is accompanied by sobriety. His faith is coupled with certainty. He longs for knowledge. He acts with forbearance. He lives moderately, even when blessed with wealth. He is humble in his worship. He endures poverty with dignified grace. He patiently endures trying circumstances. He seeks his sustenance from the lawful. He hastens to right guidance. He is agitated if he perceives greed in himself.
He works righteousness while trembling, [fearing that his deeds won't be accepted]. His greatest concern is thankfulness. He arises in the morn preoccupied with the remembrance of Allah. He reclines at night overwhelmed with dread, and arises in the morning overjoyed. His dread is for the consequences of his heedlessness, his joy is caused by the bounties and mercy Allah has showered upon him. If his soul presses him with something he despises, he does not concede, giving in to its desires. The comfort of his eye is found that which endures -[the reward of his righteous deeds]. His abstinence is from the temporal. He mixes clemency with knowledge, and speech with action. He expects death at any moment. His slips are few [because of his cautiousness and deliberation in speech and actions]. His heart is content. He is easy-going. He is constantly on guard against assaults upon his Din. His lusts are dead. His anger suppressed.
People anticipate good from him. They are safe from any wickedness from him. If he is in the company of the heedless he is recorded as being mindful [of his Lord]. He overlooks those who oppress him, and gives to those who deny him. He joins relations with those who cut him off. He is far removed from any indecency. His speech is gentle. You find nothing bad in him. He is always a source of good. During calamities he is composed. In dire straits he is patient. In times of ease he is thankful. He doesn't oppress those he dislikes, nor does he sin for the sake of those he loves. He admits the truth before his witnessing is sought. He doesn't misappropriate that which he is entrusted with. He doesn't hurl abusive names at people. He never harms his neighbor, nor does he insult people when he is experiencing difficulties. If he is transgressed against he perseveres until Allah takes revenge for him. He relies on himself while he himself is a source of relief for others -[they can rely on him]. He tires himself out seeking salvation, while not burdening others in any way. His estrangement from those who avoid him is a form of abstinence, while his drawing near to people is from his gentleness and mercy. Hence, his distance from people doesn't arise from arrogance and haughtiness, nor is his closeness to them motivated by cunning and treachery.
Hearing this, Hamam dropped dead. Imam 'Ali (May Allah ennoble his countenance) said, "This is what I feared would happen to him."
Quoted in Ta'iyya al-Suluk ila Malik al-Muluk, from Nahj al-Balagha
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