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Timeless Spiritual Advice - From Prophet Muhammad to Imam Ali

Feeding Time by Ryan McGuire
Ali bin Abi Talib said, The Messenger of God advised me thus:

Ali! I am giving you advice. If you accept it, you will live happily and with good fortune. And your death will be a death of a martyr. On the Day of Judgment God will raise you as a scholar and true possessor of true knowledge.

Ali, there are three signs of the faithful (mu'min): regular prayer, night vigil and alms.

The hypocrite (munafiq) has three signs: he flatters when someone is present, backbites when the person is absent, and curses affliction. In another narration these signs are: he prolong his prayer in front of others, when he prays alone he prays in haste and he remembers God in gathering but when alone he forgets God.

The oppressor (zalem) has three signs: he overpowers with might those under him, snatches away from others with oppression, and makes no distinction between permissible and non-permissible in food.

The one who shows off has three signs: he is energetic when he is with people, lazy when he is alone, and wants to be praised in all matters. 

The hypocrite again has three signs: when he speaks, he lies; when he promises he breaks it; and when he is trusted he betrays. 

Ali, the lazy person has three signs: he is slow until he neglects, neglects until he loses, and loses until he sins. 

The intelligent person should be intent only in three things: getting livelihood right, pleasure in what is not unlawful or a step he takes for the Next World.

Ali, the truly wise person has the following signs: he doesn't think of the present world a big deal, he perseveres and holds patience when things go though.

Ali, the signs of people of patience are three: he joins relation with those who cuts him off,  he gives to those who withheld from him and he never curse those who wrong or violates his right.

Ali, stupids have the following signs: he neglect obligatory worship, speaking excess without the remembrance of God and to seek fault of others.

Ali, sincere people have the following signs: He forwards in worship of his Lord, preserve the limits from forbidden action and objects and he behave courteously with those who behave discourteous to him.

Ali do not boast, for God doesn't like people any boastful one. Let there be pain in your heart, for God loves the broken hearted ones.

Ali, may you remain in good cheer and don't be grumpy.

Ali, every days announces, O children of Adam, I am a new day, I am your witness. So be mindful of your speech and your action. Similarly every night announces the same. That's why keep doing good works day and night.

Ali, even if someone has fault, still do not backbite him or her. Remember every meat has blood (every thing has its inherent imperfection). The compensation for backbiting is to ask forgiveness for the one who is backbitten.

Ali, if God honor you with four qualities, then if you do not get anything else in the world, you need not to be sad. These four qualities are: to be truthful in speech, to honor the trust, to keep oneself free from need and free of stinginess, to protect your belly from forbidden (haram) things.

Ali, one who eats from halal rizq (provision obtained in goodness) he has preserved his deen, his eyes are always tearful and such person's supplication are readily accepted.

Ali, one who eats haram (food that is forbidden in sacred law or obtained in unlawful way), his deen is damaged, his heart become dark, his faith become weak and his supplications are not responded and his prayer gets lessened.

Ali, the foundation of worship is to preserve silence except the remembrance of God.

Ali, you must pray at night - even if it is for as little time as is needed to milk a cow. To pray at night is thousand times better than prayer in mosque during day time. Those who pray at night, their faces are lit brighter than those who pray only at day time.

Ali, too much sleep makes the heart dead and creates dementia. Too much laughter also kills the heart. Sin harden the heart and also give birth to excess sleep.

Ali, the person who earns lawful provision (halal rizq) for the sake of honor, respect and life, he will cross the bridge of light on the Day of Judgment in speed of light. And God will be pleased with him. On the otherhand, one who earns unlawful provision (haram rizq) with the intention of hoarding wealth, he will experience the wrath of God on his return to the Lord.

Ali, when anyone comes to you with a need, take that as a special blessing from God. May be God intend to forgive your sins and wishes to fulfill your own need.

Ali, hasten to fulfill the need of your faithful brother, then God will also fulfill your need.

Ali, the person who feed another believer from his lawful provision, God will write one million blessings and will wipe away similar sins from his book of deeds.

Ali, he has no religion whose heart has not melted at the fear of God. He has no real knowledge who does not abstain from sins. He has no worship who does not have knowledge. He has no knowledge, he has no mindful awareness of God (taqwa). He has no courtesy, who is not truthful. He has no trust who doesn't respect limits. He has no repentance and turning away from sins (tawba) who is without ability to commit the same. He is not generous who is shameless.

Ali, perform your ablution fully, for it is half of the faith. Do not waste water in ablution.

Ali, respect the elders and love the younger ones.

Ali, sit with the poor, for those who only respect the rich and look down upon the poor, in the higher realm he is considered as enemy of God.

Ali, God sent revelation to Abraham instructing that he must respect the guests of God just as he respect his own guests. Abraham asked, O my Lord, who are your guests? God replied, "My guests are those who are ordinary people and negligible folks in the eyes of others."

Ali, three kind of people are deprived from remembrance of God: those who laugh without reason, those who sleep whole night instead of praying and those who fill their belly fully while eating.

Ali, you must give charity and be content with little. If you do that, in the Day of Judgement your resurrection will be with the Prophets of God.

- Source: Allama Jalaluddin Abdur Rahman Ibn Abu Bakr Suyuti was a scholar of hadith, explainer of the Quran, expert in jurisprudence and author of many important works. Wasiyatun Nabi Li Ali ibn Abu Talib or 'Advice of Prophet for Ali the Son of Abu Talib' is one of his important work. The advices mentioned here are taken from the aforementioned book.

O Allah bless our Master Muhammad, your beloved, as you have blessed your friend Abraham and send your peace upon our Leader Ali.

# Also Read: Teachings of Prophet Muhammad to Ali


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Technology of the Heart: Timeless Spiritual Advice - From Prophet Muhammad to Imam Ali
Timeless Spiritual Advice - From Prophet Muhammad to Imam Ali
Selected spiritual advices and instruction given to Imam Ali by Prophet Muhammad.
Technology of the Heart
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