Lesson Forty Three: Reality of unity and divine justice
Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said:
اَلتَّوْحِيْدُ أَنْ لاتَتَوَهْمَهُ و الْعَدْلُ أَنْ لا تَتَّهِمَهُ
Reality of unity of God indicates that one shall not define His essence according to one’s imaginations, and belief in His justice infers that one shall not accuse Him in any work.1
The principle of God’s existence is clear and manifest for us and any particle from particles of this world points to His dignity, power, knowledge and ability. On the other hand, the reality of His essence is hidden from us because He is an infinite existence and beyond our understanding. So we should consider His essence to be beyond whatsoever we may imagine and this is the reality of unity.
Events occur in the world whose underlying mystery is not always known to us. Belief in God’s justice says to us that all of these events are backed by sound reasons and any suspicion in this regard is not in conformity with belief in His justice and wisdom.
World is created for another purpose, not for itself. 1
People sometimes have difficulty comprehending the nature of this world . They find one set of interpretations of verses and speeches commending the world and its material tools , introducing it as a house of commerce or farm of saints . And then they find verses and speeches blaming it and calling it dangerous, deceptive and source of conceit .
The above tradition clarifies the issue succinctly indicating that when the world and its material tools are used as a means of attaining human development and justice and prosperity for all, it is to be valued and commended. But when it is considered as an end in itself , just for immediate and inordinate fulfillment of desires, with no higher purpose, and causes rebellion, conceit and obstinacy, it becomes hateful and dangerous.
(Be aware) no price is good enough for you except everlasting prosperity and paradise, so do not exchange it for any other price.1
Usually when somebody is asked about the price of his life, he cannot name a price . No price is high enough.
However, in reality, he exchanges this precious life gradually, day by day , for a very small price indeed. And, lo and behold, he wakes up one fine day towards the end of his life, to find that he has sold off this priceless asset in exchange for a house or a car or a country villa, which he will soon leave behind in any case … when death comes knocking at the door !
Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) says that nothing whatsoever of the material treasures of this world is worthy enough to be exchanged with the capital of your life. The only thing worth selling your life for is God’s satisfaction, human and spiritual development that leads to an everlasting prosperity in paradise. This is the thing to buy with your life ; it is worthy of every endeavor, attempt and sacrifice one can make.
Truth is heavy and difficult but pleasant, and falsehood is light and easy but painful and dangerous. 1
How eloquent and interesting is this one short sentence of Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) to describe truth and falsehood! Usually truth has a harsh appearance and occasionally a bitter taste but has very pleasant results. It is easily absorbed by the body and society is strengthened thereby.
On the other hand, falsehood comes easily and sometimes tastes very sweet, but its effect is fatal . It is like a delicious but poisonous food whose destructive effect on the heart, stomach, and intestines becomes manifest when it is swallowed. The poison of falsehood also destroys different organs of society.
1. Bihar al-Anwar, volume 70, page 107
Lesson Forty Eight: Most valuable heritage of Arab
The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:
أَصْدَقُ كَلِمَة قالَتْها الْعَرَبُ كَلِمَةُ لُبَيْد: ألا كُلُّ شَىء ما خَلاَ اللّه باطِلُ، وَ كُلُّ نَعِيْم لا مَحَالَةَ زائلُ
The most accurate and eloquent phrase that an Arab has stated is the speech of Lobaid (famous poet) where he says: be aware anything other than God is false and any grace would be finally lost.1
Awareness of the eventual destruction of wealth and positions and end of graces admonishes man to observe truth and justice in gaining them and to be moderate in consuming them.
Eternity and everlasting are terms that can only be applied to God’s majestic stature, just as indestructibility and morality are attributable only to His pure essence.
One should remember this reality in every phase of material life and keep away from arrogance.