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A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom

A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom

Various Authors, Sunday 11 July 2004

One who praises you for qualities you lack, will next be found blaming you for faults not yours. – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (r.a.)

The true saint goes in and out amongst the people and eats and sleeps with them and buys and sells in the market and marries and takes part in social intercourse, and never forgets God for a single moment. – Abu Sa’id ibn Abi I - Khayr

Actions will be judged according to intentions. – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Stumbling is the fruit of haste. – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (r.a.)

A man once asked the mystic Bayazid: Who is the true Prince? The man who cannot choose said Bayazid: the man for whom God’s choice is the only possible choice. – Bayazid al-Bistami

Hide the good you do, and make known the good done to you. – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (r.a)

Sell this present world of yours for the next world and you will gain both in entirety, but do not sell the next world for this world, for so shall you lose the two together. Act towards this world as if it were not, and towards the world to come as if it would never cease to be. – Hasan Al-Basri

Between Me and thee is thy self-experience: cast it away, and I will veil thee from thyself. – Niffari

There are those to whom death is as a draught of pure water to the thirsty. – Ibn al-‘Arif

Death is a bridge whereby the lover is joined to the Beloved – ‘Abd al-‘Aziz b. Sulayman

Remember it is the heart and not the body which strives to draw near to God. By ‘heart’ I do not mean the flesh perceived by the senses, but that secret thing which is sometimes expressed by spirit, and sometimes by soul. – Al-Ghazali

Others fear what tomorrow may bring. I am afraid of what happened yesterday. – Ansari.

Yield not to the weaknesses that let the hour of duty pass. Though thou art palsied, walk, and rise, though thou be broken; for thy lot is worthlessness, if thou defer resolve unto the day of health. – Ibn al-Farid

The proof of a Muslim’s sincerity is that he payeth no heed to that which is not his business – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

God is beautiful, and he loves beauty – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

No one ever gave information to people who were capable of understanding it without its proving a temptation to some of them. – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

I go to make a journey beyond far China’s shore, and, passing, ask the pilgrims who trod this way before, winds on the road yet more? – Baba Tahir

Philosophers devoid of reason find this world a mere idea of the mind; ’tis an idea – but they fail to see the great idealist who looms behind. – Jami

The wicked man thinks no good of anyone; for how should he imagine that others have what he lacks himself? – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (r.a)

Faith (iman) is a confession with the tongue, a verification with the heart, and an act with the members. – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

The divine mercy is perfect, in the sense that it answers every need. It is universal, in the sense that it spreads alike over those who merit it and those who do not merit it. – Al-Ghazali

But for my sighs, I should be drowned by my tears; and but for my tears, I should be burned by my sighs. – Ibn al-Farid

Spiritual virtue (al-ihsan) is to adore God as if thou sawest Him; and if thou seest Him not, He nevertheless sees thee. – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Urged by desire I wandered in the streets of good and evil, I gained nothing except feeding the fire of desire. As long as in me remains the breath of life help me, for Thou alone canst hear my prayer. – Ansari

Fear your tongue: it is an arrow that misses the mark. The tongue is a savage beast: leave it free, and it will wound you. – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (r.a.)

Whoever says what he should not say, hears what he does not want to hear. – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (r.a.)

He who is not ashamed for the superfluity of knowledge will never be ashamed.- Niffari

The truly learned man is he who understands that what he knows is but little in comparison with what he does not know. – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (r.a.)

All people are dead, save for those who know; and those who know are dead, save for those who practice; and those who practice are all astray, save for those who act with right intention; and those who act with right intention are all in grave danger. – Dhu ‘l-Nun

The words of wisdom are the lost things of a believer and he must claim them wherever he finds them. – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

I arrived at Truth, not by systematic reasoning and accumulation of proofs but by a flash of light which God sent into my soul. – Al-Ghazali

The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr. – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

He who leaves home in search of knowledge walks in the path of God. – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

The man of learning lives even after his death: the ignorant man is dead, while still alive.- Ali Ibn Abi Talib (r.a.)

To seek knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim man and woman. – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Verily if slaves and recluses experience desolation in everything, it is owing to their absence from Allah in everything; for if they witnessed Him in everything, they would not find desolation in anything. – Ibn ‘Ata’illah

He who knows himself verily knows his Lord. – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Self-knowledge is the shortest road to the knowledge of God. When ‘Ali (r.a) asked the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), ‘What am I to do that I may not waste my time? The Prophet answered, ‘Learn to know thyself.’ – Aziz ibn Muhammed al-Nasafi

O people, it has reached me that you are afraid of your Prophet’s death. Has any previous prophet lived forever among those to whom he was sent; so that I would live forever among you? – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Man has been truly termed a ‘microcosm’, or little world in himself, and the structure of his body should be studied not only by those who wish to become doctors but by those who wish to attain to a more intimate knowledge of God. – Al-Ghazali

The wise aspire to know, the foolish to relate. – Anas b. Malik

Whom thou seest responding to all that he is asked, and expounding all that he has witnessed, and relating all that he has learned, then take that for proof of his ignorance. – Ibn ‘Ata’illah

The person who invokes God in a society where He is not invoked, will obtain boundless pardon from God. – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

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