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Praise be to Allah Whom refusal to give away and stinginess do not reach and Whom munificence and generosity do not make poor, although everyone who gives away loses (to that extent) except He and every miser is blamed for his niggardliness. He obliges through beneficial bounties and plentiful gifts and grants. The whole creation is His dependents (in sustenance). He has guaranteed their livelihood and ordained their sustenance. He has prepared the way for those who turn to Him and those who seek what is with Him. He is as generous about what He is asked as He is about that for which He is not asked. He is the First for whom there was no before so that there could not be anything before Him. He is the Last for whom there is no after, so that there could not be anything after Him. Time does not change over Him, so as to admit of any change of condition about Him. He is not in any place so as to allow Him movement (from one place to another).
If He gives away all that the mines of the mountains emit of the gold, silver, pearls and cuttings of coral which the shells of the ocean vomit out, it would not affect his munificence, nor diminish the extent of what He has. (In fact) He would still have such treasures of bounty as would not decrease by the demands of the creatures because He is that generous. Being Whom the begging of beggars cannot make poor nor the pertinacity of those who beseech make miser.
'Living and Dying with Grace: Counsels of Hadrat Ali'
By Thomas Cleary (Translator)
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.'