Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Words of Wisdom

This post below used to be a "page" on this blog (i.e., a tab at the top of the blog), but I need to lessen those tabs so am making posts out of some of them. Will still try to update this post frequently to add in more "words of wisdom" in it!
I am going to compile here a list of some important lessons/stories that I think we all can benefit from. If these lessors/stories are short, I will simply share them here directly; if they are long, I'll provide a link to a blog post where they may be found. This idea came to me just now, actually, after realizing that I gain a lot of inspiration from the wisdom of wise people--whoever they are, wherever they're from, whatever their occupation, etc., because wisdom has no connection whatsoever with religion or race or gender or sex or ideology or thought.

We'll start with the wisdom of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (d. 765 C.E.), whose story inspired me to create this "page" on my blog in the first place. I will not offer my interpretations of these lessons - you take from them what you do, and think about them on your own. Let them be a source of inspiration for you, pushing you to practice humility yourself and appreciate it in others.

~ A man insulted Ja'far as-Sadiq (r.), and sometime later he went to the man's home. He told him, "When you said certain things to me, I made no reply. If the qualities you attribute to me are really in me, I give you my word that I shall repent of them and not let myself be guilty of them again, but if the qualities you ascribed to me are not really in me, I shall pray to God and beseech Him to pardon you. I forgive you for what you said to me and do not hold it against you."

~ "One who understands much displays a greater simplicity of character than one who understands little." Alexander Chase

~ "What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of human beings, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the sufferings of the injured." (This is reported in Bukhari, but I don't know which book and which hadith number. However, for hadiths that teach this kind of humanity to Muslims and others, I don't need any reference.)

~ "Don't speak about your wealth in front of the poor. Don't speak about your health in front of the sick. Don't speak about your strength in front of the weak. Don't speak about your happiness in front of the sad. Don't speak about your freedom in front of the imprisoned. Don't speak about your children in front of those who can't have children, Don't speak about your parents in front of an orphan. Their wounds can't take more. Think about your words in all aspects of live and take into consideration the feelings of others so that you will not find yourself one day alone with your own wounds." -Dr. Ibrahim El Feky

~ "Do not allow your heart to take pleasure with the praises of people, nor be saddened by their condemnation." (Al-Ghazali)

~ "Never do I argue with a man with a desire to hear him say what is wrong, or to expose him and win victory over him. Whenever I face an opponent in debate I silently pray - O Lord, help him so that truth may flow from his heart and on his tongue, and so that if truth is on my side, he may follow me; and if truth be on his side, I may follow him." - Imam al-Shafi

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