Bismi’Llāhi ir-Ramān ir-Raīm

In the Name of God, the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate


Where humanity is concerned, the need for emphasizing ṣabr or patient perseverance cannot be exhausted.

Life is like a contact sport. You are likely to get soiled by simply stepping onto the field of play. And you should expect to take a hit from time to time. Most of the time, you will get up and move on without too much difficulty. Sometimes, however, it might not be so easy to get back up onto your feet. However, every time you do get up, you are making an important point. You are affirming the truth that Allāh ﷻ is your Provider, Sustainer, and Protector ﷻ, Who ﷻ gives you exactly what you need to face the life He ﷻ has gifted you. It could only be so because Allāh ﷻ is Just ﷻ. If you live for His Pleasure ﷻ alone, you will not be seeking ultimate satisfaction from the creation, nor will you be fazed by the play of life.

For the community of the faithful, our challenge is to live in integrity under all circumstances, to respond to every affront with virtuous action that is better. An event in the life of Imām ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib ع offers us a poignant lesson. During a battle, Imām ‘Alī ع subdued an enemy and pinned him to the ground. In defeat, the enemy gave a final response by spitting on Imām ‘Alī’s face ع. Imām ‘Alī ع calmly sheathed his sword and walked away. Shocked and confused, the enemy asked why Imām ‘Alī ع had spared his life. Imām ‘Alī ع explained that everything he ع had done until then was for the sake of Allāh ﷻ, but when the enemy spat on his face ع, he ع became angry. He ع said that if at that moment he ع would have killed the man, then it would have been out of his ع own anger, and not in service of the Truth ﷻ. Such is the spiritual condition of those who take the higher road in life, for whom Allāh ﷻ is Sufficient as a Witness ﷻ. May we be admitted into their blessed company. And Allāh ﷻ knows best.


© Ḥakīm Ilyās Kāshānī