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Ethics

The Consequences And Signs Of Wisdom And The Wise

As we said, "hikmah is the realistic insight which in the theoretical and practical philosophy is a guide for man." Naturally, a person who has such great a capital enjoys the sublime human traits and is a perfect human being.

But in the Qur’an and in the Islamic traditions some characteristics are emphasized, some of which follow:

1. Hikmah is the source for salvation, steadiness and tranquility.7

2. Hikmah is the light for insight, scale for piety, and the result of honesty.8

3. Hikmah causes a man to fear God.9

4. Hikmah is a means to take advice from the events.10

5. Hikmah causes us not to have interest in this world.11

6. Hikmah is to accompany righteousness and to obey the rightful person.12

7. Hikmah is a guide to religion, it considers the slave more significant than the free one, the poor more excellent than the rich and the small more important than the elderly, and the miserable more significant than the kings.13

8. Hikmah is a means of protecting man from committing sins; it is an agent for human salvation.

9. The hakim (the wise man) is a person who is strong in the face of events; he is a guide to people. Regarding this the Great Prophet (S) tells Imam ‘Ali (as): "If you become a means for God to lead one of His obedient believers, then it is better for you than anything on which the sun shines from east to west.14

10. The hakim is a dignitary in the eyes of people.15

11. The hakim cures the poor and endows virtues.16

12. The hakim compensates bad behaviors with good ones17

13. The hakim does not quarrel with superiors and does not belittle his inferiors; he does not give away what he does not own. His tongue is in harmony with his heart, and his speech is not in opposition with his action; he does not say anything on the issues which he does not have information about. He will not desert his responsibilities when he is in a plight.18

14. The hakim obeys his superiors, respects his equals, and uses justice with his inferiors.19

15. The hakim is more elegant than others in personality, more patient in forgiveness, and more speedy in pardoning and more open in ethics.20

16. The hakim is impatient to add up to his Hikmah.21

17. The hakim does not ask ungenerous people for help.22

18. The hakim does not take delight in the praising of an ignorant person.23

19. If he has to treat a person he does not like, the hakim will tolerate him.24

20. The hakim knows himself.25

21. The hakim is near to the position of prophethood.26

Notes:

7. Bihar, vol.1, p.216; Misbah al-Shari’ah, p.535.

8. Bihar, vol.1, p.216; Misbah ash-Shari’ah p.533.

9. Bihar, vol.78, p.413.

10. Ghurar al-Hikam.

11. Ghurar al-Hikam.

12. Ghurar al-Hikam.

13. Bihar, vol.1, p.220.

14. Bihar, vol.1, p.216.

15. Ghurar al-Hikam.

16. Ghurar al-Hikam.

17. Op Cit.

18. Ghurar al-Hikam.

19. Ghurar al-Hikam.

20. Ghurar al-Hikam.

21. Bihar, vol.1, p.183.

22. Ghurar al-Hikam.

23. Bihar, vol..1, p.204.

24. Mizan al-Hikmah, vol. 2 P 393.

25. Bihar, vol..78, p.81.

26. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 16, p.117.

Adapted from: "Imam 'Ali's First Treatise on The Islamic Ethics and Education" by: "Zainol Aabideen Qorbani Lahiji"