Thursday 15 September 2011

Imam Shafi's Advice

I came across this “nasiha” or advice at the Habibi Halaqa’s website. It is taken from Imam Shafi’s “Dīwān ash-Shāfiýī”. There was so much that spoke to me in this, particularly the words about covering your flaws with generosity and forgiveness hiding faults, that I wanted to share:

Let time pass by, and do as it wishes;
Be strong when the decreed is delivered to you.
Wail not for your afflictions in the night
For, worldly miseries are not everlasting
When calamity strikes, face up like a man
And let your traits be that of forgiveness and fidelity
If your flaws are plenty and are manifest
And your wish is that they be concealed Know, that forgiveness hides every fault
And how many flaws are veiled by generosity!
Neither does agony abide, nor happiness
And neither bad-times nor times of joy and comfort
Never should you seek to humiliate your enemies
Because the desire to disgrace them is in itself a malady
Do not expect forgiveness from a miser,
The parched do not quench their thirst from fire
Your sustenance will not diminish by neglect,
And it will not increase by exertion or by more toil
When you have a heart that is satisfied, content -
You will be like the one who owns the whole world
And those who have entered the sphere of death
The earth cannot hide them nor heavens
Surely, the land of Allāh is vast, but -
When misfortune strikes, the air becomes stifling
Let the world betray and deceive every moment -
No matter what; there is no escape from death.

From Dīwān ash-Shāfiýī p.111; Khazānatu’l Adab 2/426; Jawāhiru’l Adab p.665

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