Maxims of Imam Hussein (a.s.)
Hand written [Persian] and Researched [English] by: Engineer Afsaneh Cooper
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1) Try not to be acquainted with the one who damages the good name of the
others; for those who are known to him will be defamed most of all.
2) A wise man, when faced with trouble, overcomes his grief by prudence and
tries to seek a remedy through wisdom.
3) I pray to God to grant me patience and victory for patience is a sign of piety and
4) Be ready to face calamities and know that God will protect you and save you
from the malice of your enemies and crown you with happiness.
5) Take refuge in God from cowardice and greed, because when death and
livelihood is predestined, fear of death does not ward it off nor will
covetousness increase your sustenance.
6) Use patience against difficulties when paving the path leading to the truth, and
deny yourself whatever your desire may command to the advantage of
whatever calls you to the right path.
7) The most magnanimous of men is he who pays no attention to the world, no
matter who holds it in his hands.
8) This world’s sweetness and bitterness are both transient like a dream.
9) You should know that noble positions are God’s rewards to His worshippers for
their patience in the face of difficulties.
10) Act as a man who is well aware that he will be punished for his evil doing and
rewarded for his beneficence.
11) Try to win praise for granting people’s just request, instead of being blamed for
12) Beware that in the next world he is victorious who wins and he is wretched who
13) When God chooses to ignore a man places at his disposal all and everything
and makes him neglect to express gratitude.
14) Curse be on those perjurers who break their promises after they have given
15) He who is honest is secure.
16) Chastity breeds bravery.
17) Neighbourhood is like blood relationship.
18) Hostility towards your master, the one who can decide your fate to your benefit or disadvantage is a
sign of foolishness.
19) Good humour is like divine worship.
20) The world is a house of transience and destructibility, changeable to its
inhabitants, deluded is he whom it deludes and wretched is he whom it
21) Leniency is a sign of wisdom.
22) Generosity is like wealth.
23) Magnanimity lies in being helpful to the relatives and tolerant to their faults.
24) Greed means poverty.
25) Honour lies in chastity.
26) Friendship is a blessing.
27) Silence is an ornament.
28) Hurry is a sign of impudence and impudence a sign of weakness.
29) Independence lies in limiting your desires, and being content with that which
30) Poverty is cupidity and despair.
31) Action means experience.
32) Extravagance is an abyss of destruction.
33) Assistance breeds friendship.
34) An honourable death is better than a contemptible life.
35) “Truly this world is like prison for the believer and paradise for the infidel,” said
my father who had heard these words from the prophet. “and death is like a
bridge over which a believer passes to Heaven and an infidel to Hell.”
36) God does not deceive men in the name of paradise and does not reward them
but for their own worthiness.
37) God can change everything you see and predestine everyday a new fate for the
38) He is most liberal who is generous towards one who has not asked for anything
39) He is most merciful who forgives despite being able to take revenge.
40) Tolerance is a man’s ornament.
41) Asking is not allowed but in facing a heavy loss, or a great poverty, or a
42) Beneficence brings forth praise and is followed by rewards.
43) I tolerated the Ommiad’s who disgraced me, usurped my property and wanted
to shed my blood. They will kill me, but by God they will be punished by Him by
means of the sword and through contempt.
44) The dependence of people upon you is a blessing bestowed on you by God, do
not turn this blessing into a burden for yourself.
45) You will not live to use up your wealth nor will it remain for you; so, consume it
before it consumes you.
46) If you worship God hoping for paradise this is the way a merchant would
worship, if you worship Him out of fear this is the way a slave would worship;
but if you worship God to thank Him for His blessings this is the way a noble
man would worship and best form of it.
47) One of a man’s virtues is not to interfere in that which does not concern him.
48) In my eyes death is nothing but happiness and living with the oppressors is
nothing but misfortune.
49) I invite you to revive the signs of God to pluck out heresy. If you accept this
invitation of mine you will be led along the path of righteousness.
50) I have not risen to show arrogance, pride, corruption or oppression but to
correct the followers of grandfather and my father; so, he who accepts me with
all his heart is more worthy of the truth than he who does not, with whom I shall
be patient until God, who is the best arbitrator, judges between these people
51) I advise you to be virtuous for God guarantees to turn the virtuous from the path
He does not approve of into the one He approves.
52) Do not be like the man who is worried about other people’s sins and their
punishment but does not dwell on his own.
53) Experience adds to the wisdom.
54) Your thanking for the past affluence guarantees the future blessing.
55) “Ali is the city of Salvation” I heard our Prophet say, “whoever enters this city
will be delivered; whoever does not will be destroyed.”
56) Out of seventy rewards sixty nine are for the beginner and only one is for the
57) Many a speaker who tells the truth and is cavilled at.
58) Learning bears the fruit of enlightenment.
59) Wealth is of the greatest value when it enhances your honour.
60) Beneficence is like a heavy rain, it falls on both chaste and debauch alike.
61) Never do anything for which you will have to apologise, for a believer neither
annoys anyone nor begs for pardon but a hypocrite does wrong and apologises
62) Man’s honour lies in his independence from people.
63) Only he who can bear the clashing of swords and strokes of spears patiently
may come along with us to war, otherwise he may go back.
64) Avoid back-biting for it aflames fire of Hell.
65) Do not wish what you cannot attain.
66) Do not undertake what is beyond your capability.
67) Do not talk about that which does not concern you except when you find ground
to do so.
68) Do not embark on a work that you do not find yourself apt for it.
69) A delayed good deed cannot be counted as a good deed.
70) Never complain nor utter unpleasant sentiments as this will but lower your
standing in the eyes of your associates.
71) Do not seek reward but according to your deed.
72) Do not struggle with what insurmountable.
73) Do not let this world delude you for it disappoints the one who trusts it and
frustrates the hopes of those who covet it.
74) Do not rejoice but for what you have gained through worship of God.
75) When your CO-religious brother is absent do not speak of him but as you would
like him to speak of you in your absence.
76) Do not enter into a dispute with a forbearing man, nor with a stupid person, for
the first one will upset you by his patience and the second will hurt you through
77) Balance your expenditure with the resulting profit.
78) No one will secure in the next world except he who fears God in this world.
79) Perfection of wisdom consist in worship of God.
80) Commandment is God’s. He does whatever He wishes, and every day He
predestines a new fate for us, if this is to our liking then we praise Him for His
blessing but if it is not, one who is chaste and seeker of the truth will not rebel.
81) Men would not submit to anything if these elements did not exist: penury,
82) Most of you would have been following the devil if God did not have mercy on
83) A rich man should feel hunger in order to help those who are hungry.
84) Death is nothing but a bridge over which you pass from hardship to heaven and
85) There is nothing between you and death except a wink; hence, before you
leave this world, try to do something which will stand you in good stead in the
day of resurrection.
86) God alone assures my success; so, it is Him I trust and to Him I turn for help.
87) God has not created men but in order that they recognise Him, and when they
recognise Him they will worship Him and none other.
88) If your wealth is not for you then you are for it. You will not remain for it nor will
it remain for you; so, consume it before it consumes you.
89) Your wealth will not remain yours, therefore spend it to help the poor before
you die, otherwise it will pass on to your heirs and you will be called upon to
render an account of it on the day of reckoning.
90) The companionship of the ignoble breeds discord.
91) The companionship of debauches costs in being accused.
92) He who does not let you do a bad deed is a friend indeed; he who does is a
93) Leniency is the only key for the one to whom every door is closed.
94) He who pleases God by being helpful to the needy, God will grant his request
whenever he needs help.
95) Man’s greatest crusade is the one against his own ego which results in
preventing him to disobey God.
96) An unhappy thing about the people of this time is that when we call them to the
right path they refuse to respond, nor would they be led by others when we
leave them on their own.
97) One who tries to put his affairs straight by committing sins, will lose whatever
he hopes to gain and accelerate the speed of disasters which are heading
98) Of characteristics of a learned man is his critical thinking about his words and
his knowledge about the variety of matters.
99) He who asks of God nothing but what this world has to offer is content with a
trifling share indeed.
100) When a man invites God’s wrath just to win over his fellowmen God will set
these very people against him.
101) When a man tries to please God at the cost of displeasing his fellowmen God
will help him straighten out people’s affairs.
102) When a man worships God truly as He should be worshipped, God will grant
him over and above what he desires for himself.
103) Offending the pious men is a sign of ignorance.
104) Association with wise men is a sign of happiness.
105) A man must not be discouraged because of ingratitude on the part of the one to
whom he has done good, as Almighty God, who is most generous, is sure to
106) Vie with each other in doing good, and press forward for winning success in
107) We try to bear patiently whatever God has decreed so that He may bestow on
us the rewards meant for the long suffering.
108) O! Son of Adam! You resemble life period with the passing of every day
something of you withers away.
109) Remember the hour of your death when you shall lie in the tomb, when all your
limbs shall bear witness before God against your deeds; when feet shall
tremble and hearts beat, some faces shall grow white and some black and all
that which is hidden shall be revealed and the scales of justice shall be set.
110) Think where are those masters of the world who rebuilt ruins, dug canals,
planted trees and made the cities habitable, they left them all against their will
to their heirs and passed away to be soon joined by us.
Maxims of Hussein, by A. Halat, in Arabic, Persian and English
Behjat Publications, Valiasr st., Yousif abad two ways, Tehran - Iran