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Imam Ali: Against Misplaced Generosity

Imam Ali: Against Misplaced Generosity

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Photo:  Man reading Quran near Nakhoda Mosque, Calcutta, by Glenn Hensley; 1944.
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He who shows generosity to those who have no claim to it or who are not fit for it will not earn anything except the praise of the ignoble and appreciation of bad persons. Although as long as he continues giving, the ignorant will say how generous his hand is, even though in the affairs of Allah he is a miser.
 
Therefore, to whosoever Allah gives wealth he should use it in extending good behavior to his kinsmen, in entertaining, in releasing prisoners and the afflicted; in giving to the poor and to debtors. And he should endure (the troubles arising out of) the fulfillment of rights (of others) and hardships in expectation of reward. Certainly, the achievement of these qualities is the height of greatness in this world and achievement of the distinctions of the next world, if Allah so wills.
  
(Imam Ali)
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Recommended Reading:

'Living and Dying with Grace: Counsels of Hadrat Ali'
By Thomas Cleary (Translator)

Purchase Book:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Description:

Living and Dying with Grace is a book of aphoristic Sufi teachings on how to make one'e way in the world - especially on how to bring spiritual insights to the affairs of daily life. Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam, contains a vast body of knowledge concerning the inner development of the complete human being. This book contains four hundred of Hadrat 'Ali's teachings, showing how people can use the everyday realities of their lives to cultivate wisdom and well-being, both temporal and eternal, offering a path to living and dying with grace.

''Ali, a great warrior and statesman of emergent Islam, was well known and well respected for his knowledge of the esoteric. His compassion, loyalty, and devotion marked his tenure as both a political and religious leader. The sayings here collected reveal penetrating and timeless insights into the world of life and death. For example, 'Ali's reflection that "the ignorant among you are promoted, while the knowledgeable are put off," could be a description of contemporary American politics. Cleary's able translation retains the liveliness of the original. Recommended for large public libraries or for libraries interested in Islamic spirituality.'

(Reed Business)

   

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