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Selected Short Axioms of the Commander of the Faithful

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In the Name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful SELECTED SHORT AXIOMS OF THE COMMANDER OF THE FAITHFUL Translated from the Arabic By Yasin T. al-Jibouri The text below is excerpted from pages 205 – 213 of Volume 3 of my translation of Nahjul-Balagha an image of the front cover of which is here below for the kind reader. These three volumes are published by Authorhouse of Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A., and the ISB for this third Volume is 978-1-4817-4786-8 and you can order your copy Online from Amazon: www. Amazon.com. 2 SELECTED SHORT AXIOMS OF THE COMMANDER OF THE FAITHFUL ﺓّﺪﺸﻟﺍ ﻲﻓ ﻙﺎﺳﺍﻭ ﻦﻣﻙﻮﺧﺃ. Your brother is the one who solaces you during the time of hardship. ْﺪُﺴَﺗ ءﻲﺴﻤﻟﺍ ﻰﻟﺇ ﻦﺴﺣﺃ ُﻩ. Be good to the abuser and you gain the upper hand over him. ﻉﺎﻤﻁﻷﺍ ﻕﻭﺮﺑ ﺖﺤﺗ ﻝﻮﻘﻌﻟﺍ ﻉﺭﺎﺼﻣ ﺮﺜﻛﺃ . Minds are mostly subdued by the glitter of ambitions. ﻢﻬﻌﻔﻨﺗ ﻚﻟﺎﻴﻋ ﺏّﺩﺃ . Discipline your children, you will thus benefit them. ﻪﺒﻫﺫ ﻦﻣ ﺮﻴﺧ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﺏﺩﺃ One’s good conduct is better than his gold. . ّﺮﺤﻟﺍ ﺪَﺒْﻌَﺘْﺴُﻳ ّﺮﺒﻟﺎﺑ . Through kindness are the free enslaved. ﺪﻌﺴﺗ ﺮﻴﺨﻟﺎﺑ ﺮﻛﺎﺑ . Quickly do goodness so you may gain happiness. ﻞﻤﻌﻟﺍ ﻦﺴﺣ ﻲﻓ ﺮﻤﻌﻟﺍ ﺔﻛﺮﺑ . A lifetime’s bliss is in good deeds. 3 ﻥﺎﺴﻠﻟﺍ ﻦﻣ ﻥﺎﺴﻧﻹﺍ ءﻼﺑ . One’s affliction stems from his tongue. ﺓﺎﻛﺰﻟﺍ ءﺍﺩﺃ ﻲﻓ ﻝﺎﻤﻟﺍ ﺔﻛﺮﺑ . Wealth is blessed when zakat is paid. ﻪﻠﻨﺗ ﺮﻴﺨﻟﺎﺑ ﻝءﺎﻔﺗ . Augur well, you will gain goodness. ﺔﻛﺮﺑ ﻡﺎﻌﻄﻟﺍ ﻰﻠﻋ ﻱﺪﻳﻷﺍ ﻢﺣﺍﺰﺗ . When hands crowd at food, they bless it. ﻪﻣﺮﻜﻳ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﻊﺿﺍﻮﺗ . One’s humbleness honors him. ﻚﻴﻔﻜﻳ ّﷲ ﻰﻠﻋ ﻞﻛﻮﺗ . Rely on Allāh, and He will suffice you. ءﺎﻤﻠﻌﻟﺍ ﺕﻮﻣ ﻦﻳﺪﻟﺍ ﺔﻤﻠﺛ . Creed cracks when scholars die. ﻝﺪﻌﻟﺎﺑ ﻚﻠﻤﻟﺍ ﺕﺎﺒﺛ . Justice firms governance. ﻰﻠﺒﻳ ﻻ ﺔﻣﻼﺴﻟﺍ ﺏﻮﺛ. Safety’s outfit never wears out. ﺧﻵﺍ ﺏﺍﻮﺛﺎﻴﻧﺪﻟﺍ ﻢﻴﻌﻧ ﻦﻣ ﺮﻴﺧ ﺓﺮ . The rewards of the hereafter are better than this world’s felicity. ﺭﺎﺼﺘﺧﻹﺍ ﻲﻓ ﻡﻼﻜﻟﺍ ﺓﺩﻮﺟ . Speech’s goodness lies in its brevity. ًﺍﺮﻜﺷ ﺩﺩﺰﺗ ءﺍﺮﻘﻔﻟﺍ ﺲﻟﺎﺟ . Keep the poor company and you will be appreciated more. ﺮﻴﺨﻟﺍ ﺲﻴﻠﺟ ﺔﻤﻴﻨﻏ . One who keeps good folks company wins goodness.  ﻥﺎﻄﻴﺷ ءﻮﺴﻟﺍ ﺲﻴﻠﺟ. 4 The companion of evil ones is a devil. ﺔﻤﻴﻨﻏ ﻖﻠﺨﻟﺍ ﻦﺴﺣ . Good manners are (as good as) a gain. ﻪﻟ ﺰﻨﻛ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﺔﻓﺮﺣ . One’s career is his treasure. ﻪﻧﻮﻋ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﻢﻠﺣ . One’s clemency is his helper. ﺏﺩﻷﺍ ﻝﺎﺟﺮﻟﺍ ﻲﻠﺣ. Men’s embellishments are good manners. ﺮﻴﺨﻟﺍ ﻰﻠﻋ ﻙﺩﺪﺴﻳ ﻦﻣ ﺏﺎﺤﺻﻷﺍ ﺮﻴﺧ . The best companion is the one who assists you in doing what is good. ﺩﻮﻟﻮﻟﺍ ﺩﻭﺩﻮﻟﺍ ءﺎﺴﻨﻟﺍ ﺮﻴﺧ . The best women are those who are affectionate and who give birth. ﻪﻠﻘﻋ ﻞﻴﻟﺩ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﻞﻴﻠﺧ . One’s close friend indicates the extent of his reasoning. ﻝﺎﺟﺮﻟﺍ ﺔﻓﺁ ﻝﺍﺫﺭﻷﺍ ﺔﻟﻭﺩ . Lowly men’s authority is (good) men’s lesion. ﻚﺒﻗﺍﻮﻋ ﺪﻤﺤﺗ ﻆﻴﻐﻟﺍ ﻢﻈﻛ ﻰﻠﻋ ﻡﺩ . Continue to suppress your anger and your outcomes will be praiseworthy. ءﺎﻀﻘﻟﺎﺑ ﺎﺿﺮﻟﺍ ﺐﻠﻘﻟﺍ ءﺍﻭﺩ . Heart’s medicine is accepting (every Divine) decree. ﺔﻋﺎﻨﻘﻟﺍ ﻲﻓ ﺓّﺰﻌﻟﺍ ﻭ ﻊﻤﻄﻟﺍ ﻲﻓ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﻝﺫ . One humiliates himself with greed, gains dignity with contentment. ﻝﺎﻤﻟﺍ ﺱﺃﺭ ﻥﺎﺴﻠﻟﺍ ﺔﻗﻻﺫ . One’s articulate speech is his capital. ﺐﻠﻘﻟﺍ ءﻼﺟ ﺕﻮﻤﻟﺍ ﺮﻛﺫ . Remembering death cleanses the heart. 5 ﻦﻣﻷﺍ ﻲﻓ ﺶﻴﻌﻟﺍ ﺔﻴﻫﺎﻓﺭ. Living in prosperity is living in security. ﻪﻠﻘﻋ ﻞﻴﻟﺩ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﻖﻴﻓﺭ . One’s bosom companion indicates one’s rationality. ﻙﺎﺑﺃ ﻉﺍﺭ ﻚﻨﺑﺇ ﻙﺎﻋﺮﻳ . Look after your father, your son will look after you. ﻥﺎﻣﺮﺤﻟﺍ ﻰﻟﺇ ﻱﺩﺆﻳ ءﺎﺟﺭ ﺏﺭ . Anticipation may lead to deprivation. ﺮﻫﺎﻈﻟﺍ ﺔﻨﻳﺯ ﻦﻣ ﺮﻴﺧ ﻦﻁﺎﺒﻟﺍ ﺔﻨﻳﺯ . Inner goodness is better than outer goodness. ﻊﺿﺍﻮﺘﻟﺍ ﻦﻣ ءﺎﻔﻌﻀﻟﺍ ﺓﺭﺎﻳﺯ . Visiting the weak manifests humbleness. ﻟﺍ ﺭﺯءﺮﻤ ﻚﻟ ﻪﻣﺍﺮﻛﺇ ﺭﺪﻗ ﻰﻠﻋ . Visit one according to the extent of his regards for you. ءﺎﻬﻘﻔﻟﺍ ﻡﻮﻘﻟﺍ ﺓﺩﺎﺳ. Folk’s masters are the faqihs. ﺎﻬﻨﻣ ﺹﻼﺧ ﻻ ﺔﺸﺣﻭ ﻖﻠﺨﻟﺍ ءﻮﺳ. Bad manners form loneliness from which there is no escape. ﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﺓﺮﻴﺳء ﻪﺗﺮﻳﺮﺳ ﻦﻋ ﺊﺒﻨﺗ . One’s conduct indicates his innermost. ﻩﺮﻴﻐﺑ ﻆﻌﺗﺍ ﻦَﻣ ﺪﻴﻌﺴﻟﺍ . Happy is one who derives admonishment from others. ﺔﻔﻠﻜﻟﺍ ﻙﺮﺗ ﺔﻔﻟﻷﺍ ﻁﺮﺷ . The condition for gaining (people’s) companionship is to abandon affectation. ﻥﺁﺮﻘﻟﺍ ﺓءﺍﺮﻗ ﻲﻓ ﻥﺎﻨَﺠﻟﺍ ءﺎﻔﺷ . Recitation of the Qur’ān heals one’s body. 6 ﺱﺎﻨﻟﺍ ﻪﻴﻘﺘﻳ ﻦﻣ ﺱﺎﻨﻟﺍ ﺮﺷ . The most evil of all people is the one who is avoided, on account of his evil, by all people. ﻥﺎﺴﻠﻟﺍ ﻆﻔﺣ ﻲﻓ ﻥﺎﺴﻧﻹﺍ ﺡﻼﺻ. One’s goodness lies in safeguarding his tongue. ﻚﻤﺸﺣ ﺮﺜﻜﺗ ﻡﺎﺣﺭﻷﺍ ِﻞﺻ . If you maintain ties with your kinsfolk, the number of your supporters will increase. ﻊﻤﻄﻟﺍ ﻲﻓ ﻩﺩﺎﺴﻓ ﻭ ﻉﺭﻮﻟﺍ ﻲﻓ ﻦﻳﺪﻟﺍ ﺡﻼﺻ. Piety reforms creed, its damage stems from greed. ﻼﺤﻟﺍ ﻞﻛﺃ ﻦِﻣ ﺐﻠﻘﻟﺍ ءﺎﻴﺿﻝ . The heart’s enlightenment results from consuming what is lawful. ﺪﻴﻟﺍ ﻖﻴﺿ ﻦﻣ ّﺪﺷﺃ ﺐﻠﻘﻟﺍ ﻖﻴﺿ . A strait heart is harder than a strait hand. ﻥﺎﻨﺴﻟﺍ ﻦﻌﻁ ﻦﻣ ّﺪﺷﺃ ﻥﺎﺴﻠﻟﺍ ﺏﺮﺿ . Tongue’s strokes are harsher than lances’ stabs. ﻟﺍ ﺐﻠﻁ ﻦﻣ ﻰﻟﻭﺃ ﺏﺩﻷﺍ ﺐﻠﻁﺐﻫﺬ . Pursuit of manners is better than persuit of gold. ﺔﻴﻓﺎﻌﻟﺍ ﻕﺯﺭ ﻦﻤﻟ ﻰﺑﻮﻁ . Congratulations to whoever is blessed with good health. ﻪﺒﻌﻟ ﺮﺼﻗ ﻦﻣ ﺮﻤﻋ ﻝﺎﻁ . One who plays less lives more. ﺔّﻴﻋﺮﻟﺍ ﻝﻻﺩ ﻦﻣ ﻞﻬﺳﺃ ﻙﻮﻠﻤﻟﺍ ﻢﻠﻅ. Kings’ oppression is easier to do than spoiling subjects. ءﺎﻤﻟﺍ ﺄﻤﻅ ﻦﻣ ّﺪﺷﺃ ﻝﺎﻤﻟﺍ ﺄﻤﻅ . Thirsting for money is tougher than thirsting for water.  ﻊﻴﻀﺗ ﻻ ﻡﻮﻠﻈﻤﻟﺍ ﺔﻣﻼﻅ . 7 An oppressed man’s injustice shall never be lost. ﺔﻤﻴﺧﻭ ﻢﻠﻈﻟﺍ ﺔﺒﻗﺎﻋ. Oppression’s outcome is calamitous. ﻞﻫﺎﺟ ﻖﻳﺪﺻ ﻦﻣ ﺮﻴﺧ ﻞﻗﺎﻋ ﻭﺪﻋ. A rational foe is better than an ignorant friend. ﻥﺎﻤﻳﻹﺍ ﻦﻣ ﺔّﻤﻬﻟﺍ ﻮﻠﻋ . High aspiration is a sign of deep conviction. ﻕﺮﻟﺍ ﺪﺒﻋ ﻦﻣ ّﻝﺫﺃ ﺓﻮﻬﺸﻟﺍ ﺪﺒﻋ. A slave of his (illicit) desire is more servile than a bondman. ﺭﺪﻏﺓءﺎﺳﻹﺍ ﻰﻠﻋ ﻚّﻟﺩ ﻦﻣ ﻙ . One who leads you to abuse betrays you. ﻞﻁﺎﺒﻟﺎﺑ ﻙﺎﺿﺭﺃ ﻦﻣ ﻚّﺸﻏ . One who pleases you with falsehood cheats you. ﺔﻤﻜﺤﻟﺍ ﻥﺍﺪﺟﻭ ﻦﻣﺆﻤﻟﺍ ﺔﻤﻴﻨﻏ. A true believer’s gain is finding wisdom. ﻪﻠﺻﺄﺑ ﻩﺮﺨﻓ ﻦﻣ ﻰﻟﻭﺃ ﻪﻠﻀﻔﺑ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﺮﺨﻓ . A man’s pride in distinction is better than that in origin. ﻪﺴﻔﻧ ﺮﺷ ﻦﻣ ﻢِﻠَﺳ ْﻦَﻣ ﺯﺎﻓ . One who is safe from his own evil wins. ﻪﻠﺻﺃ ﻦﻋ ﺮِﺒْﺨُﻳ ءﻲﺸﻟﺍ ﻉﺮﻓ . A thing’s branch tells of its root. ﻪﻨﺴﺤﻳ ﺎﻣ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﺔﻤﻴﻗ . One’s worth lies in what he does the best. ﻦﻳﺪﻟﺍ ﻦﻣ ﻖﺤﻟﺍ ﻝﻮﻗ. Saying what is right is an indication of one’s creed. ﻊﺒﺸﻟﺍ ﻦﻣ ﺐﻠﻘﻟﺍ ﺓﻮﺴﻗ . Satiation grows a harsh heart. 8 ﻪﻧﺎﺴﻟ ءﺍﺭﻭ ﻖﻤﺣﻷﺍ ﺐﻠﻗ . A fool’s heart hides behind his tongue. ﻢﻠﺤﻟﺍ ﻲﻓ ﻢﻠﻌﻟﺍ ﻝﺎﻤﻛ. Clemency is the perfection of knowledge. ﻪﻌﻣ ﺭﺍﺬﺘﻋﻹﺍ ﺩﻮﺠﻟﺍ ﻝﺎﻤﻛ . Generosity’s perfection adds an apology. ﻕﺎﻘﺷ ﻑﻼﺨﻟﺍ ﺓﺮﺜﻛ ﻭ ﻕﺎﻔﻧ ﻕﺎﻓﻮﻟﺍ ﺓﺮﺜﻛ. Agreeing too often is hypocrisy, disputing too much is disunity. ﻝﺍﻭﺯ ﻢﻠﻌﻟﺍ ﻥﺎﻄﻠﺴﻟ ﺲﻴﻟ . The power of knowledge never disappears. ﻜﻟﺍ ﻦﻴﻟﺏﻮﻠﻘﻟﺍ ﺪﻴﻗ ﻡﻼ. Leniency of speech is tied to hearts. ﺔﺣﺍﺭ ﺩﻮﺴﺤﻠﻟ ﺲﻴﻟ. An envious person never finds rest. ﻪﺒﻠﻗ ءﺍﺭﻭ ﻞﻗﺎﻌﻟﺍ ﻥﺎﺴﻟ . A rational man’s tongue is behind his heart. ﻪﻴﻨﻌﻳ ﺎﻣ ﻪﺗﺎﻓ ﻪﻴﻨﻌﻳ ﻻ ﺎﻣ ﺐﻠﻁ ﻦﻣ. One who seeks what does not concern him misses what does concern him. َﻋ ﻦﻣ ُﺬ َﺏ ُﻧﺎﺴﻟ َﻛ ﻪ ُﺜ َﺮ ُﻧﺍﻮﺧﺇﻪ. Sweet speech wins many friends. ِﺴﻔﻧ ﺭﺪﻗ ﻑﺮﻋ ٌءﺮﻣﺍ ﻚﻠﻫ ﺎﻣﻪ . One who knows his worth never perishes. ﻪﻧﺎﺼﻏﺃ ﺕﺮﺜﻛ ﻩﺩﻮﻋ ﻥﻻ ﻦﻣ . One whose stem is lean has many branches. ﺔﻗﺮﻔﻟﺍ ﺭﺎﻧﻢﻴﺤﺠﻟﺍ ﺭﺎﻧ ﻦﻣ ّﺪﺷﺃ . The fire of separation is harsher than the fire of Hell. 9 ﻞﻴﻠﻟﺍ ﻡﺎﻴﻗ ﻲﻓ ﻦﻣﺆﻤﻟﺍ ﺭﻮﻧ . A believer’s noor (celestial light) stems from standing for the night prayers. ﺔّﻟِﺫ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﻕﺎﻔﻧ . One’s hypocrisy humiliates him. ﺮﺧﺁ ﺪﻴﻌﺴﻟﺍ ّﻢﻫﻩﺎﻴﻧﺩ ﻲﻘﺸﻟﺍ ّﻢﻫ ﻭ ﻪﺗ . A happy person’s concern is his Hereafter, that of a wretch is his (temporal) world. ﺐﺠﻌﻟﺍ ﻲﻓ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﻙﻼﻫ . One’s perdition lies in conceit. ﻭﺪﻌﻟﺍ ﺔﺤﻴﺼﻧ ﻦﻣ ﺕﺎﻬﻴﻫ . Far away is a piece of advice that comes from a foe. ﺔﻗﺪﺻ ﺭﺯﻭﻩﺮﺟﺃ ﻦﻣ ﺮﺜﻛﺃ ﻥﺎﻨﻤﻟﺍ. The burden of a benefactor’s charity weighs heavier than its reward. ﻝﺍﻭﺰﻟﺍ ﺔﻌﻳﺮﺳ ﻖﻤﺣﻷﺍ ﺔﻳﻻﻭ . A fool’s authority swiftly vanishes. ﻪﻘُﻠُﺧ ءﺎﺳ ﻦﻤﻟ ﻞﻳﻭ. Woe unto one whose manners are bad! ﻡﻼﺳﻹﺍ ﻦﻣ ﻰﻠﻋﺃ ﻑﺮﺷ ﻻ . There is no honor greater than Islam. ﻞﻘﻌﻟﺍ ﺔﻠﻗ ﻦﻣ ﻰﻨﺿﺃ ﺽﺮﻣ ﻻ . There is no ailment more wearisome than little rationality. ﻞﻘﻌﻟﺍ ﺔﻠﻗ ﻦﻣ ﻰﻨﺿﺃ ﺽﺮﻣ ﻻ. There is no sickness more wearisome than little reasoning. ﺓﺭﻮﺸﻤﻟﺍ ﻙﺮﺗ ﻊﻣ ﺏﺍﻮﺻ ﻻ . No right results from abandoning consultation. ﻢﻬﻴﻟﺇ ﻥﺎﺴﺣﻹﺎﺑ ﻪﻣﻮﻗ ءﺮﻤﻟﺍ ﺩﻮﺴﻳ One wins mastership over his people by being benevolent to them. 10 ﻡﻮﻠﻈﻤﻟﺍ ﻰﻠﻋ ﺭﻮﺠﻟﺍ ﻡﻮﻳ ﻦﻣ ّﺪﺷﺃ ﻢﻟﺎﻈﻟﺍ ﻰﻠﻋ ﻝﺪﻌﻟﺍ ﻡﻮﻳ . The day of justice is harder on the unjust one than the day when he oppressed. This much concludes our selection of the statements of Imām Ali ibn Abū Tālib. We praise Allāh, the Glorified One, Who enabled us to gather the scattered utterances from various areas and bring them together from different places, text materials that have been far from our reach. We have no ability save through Allāh. In Him do we trust, and He is Sufficient for us. He is the best Supporter. May Allāh bless our master Muhammed, the last of the prophets and the one who guided us towards the best path, and bless his virtuous descendants and companions who are the stars of conviction. ﲔﳌﺎﻌﻟﺍ ﺏﺭ ﷲ ﺪﻤﳊﺍ ﻥﺃ ﺎﻧﺍﻮﻋﺩ ﺮﺧﺁ ﻭ Below are some front covers of different editions of this great book, Nahjul-Balagha, in Arabic and English: 11 12 13 Clock Tower over looking the Ka`ba, Mecca, Hijaz (Saudi Arabia) 14 Magnificent Shrine of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib , cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet of Islam , al-Najaf, Iraq

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1 Sahil Badruddin = "The Nahjul-Balagha contains saying and teachings of the Ali, the son and cousin in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. The Shias consider Ali to be the first Imam: "The Proof of God on Earth" through direct succession of the Prophet. "The Commander of the Faithful" was one of the titles Ali adopted as the Fourth Caliph. "