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Ethics

People's Duty Towards Wisdom And The Wise

Since wisdom is the most delicate and the greatest capital of life here and in the Hereafter, it is crucial that people in acquiring it put forth lots of attempt. It might be that acquiring wisdom could be hard or the person possessing it is not descent.

Imam ‘Ali (as) has said:

    "خُذ الحِكمَةَ اَنّى كَانَت فَاِنَّ الحِكْمَةَ ضَالَّةُ كُلِّ مُؤمِن" 

"Take wisdom from wherever it may be, for wisdom is the lost property of every believer."47

He has also said,

    "الحِكمَةُ ضَالَّةُ كُلِّ مُؤمِنٍ فَخُذْهَا وَلَو مِن اَفْوَاهِ المُنافِقِ" 

"Wisdom is the lost property of every believer; take it, even if it be from the mouths of hypocrites.”48

He has said as well,

    "خُذ الحِكْمَةَ مِمَّن اَتاكَ بِهَا وَانظُر اِلى مَا قَالَ وَلا تَنظُر اِلى مَن قَالَ"

"Receive wisdom from anybody who offers it to you. Look at what one said, not at who said it."49

He has, as well, said,

    "الحِكْمَةُ ضَالَّةُ المُؤمِن فَاطلبُوهَا وَلَو عِندَ المُشْرِكِ تَكُونُوا اَحَقَّ بِهَا وَاهلَهَا"

"Wisdom is the lost property of every believer; so seek it, even from the polytheist, for you are more entitled to it and worthy of it.”50

The Prophet (S) has said,

    "الحِكْمَةُ ضَالَّةُ المُؤمِنِ فَحَيثُ وَجَدَها فَهُوَ اَحَقُّ بِها"

"Wisdom is the lost property of the believer. Wherever he can find it, he is more worthy of it".51

    He also has said:

    "الحِكْمَةُ ضَالَّةُ المُؤمِنِ يَأخُذُهَا حَيثُ وَجَدَها" 

"Wisdom is the lost property of the believer. He should take it wherever he finds it."52

As we observe in the above expressions, the leaders of religion have interpreted wisdom as "the lost property of a believer." It is clear, when a man has lost something, he will look everywhere for it and even will endanger his life if that item is worthwhile. Wherever he sees it, he will take it.

In the same way, Hikmah (wisdom) is the reception of truth and realistic insight. Since this is the most complex issue and the dissension of the 72 sects occurs because they have not found out the truth, and because of this they are among those who have gone astray, we should ask God in each prayer to keep us on the right path and as the Prophet (S) has said: “O my Lord, make me know things as they are (i.e. the realities of things)!” And in this way we ask God to let us find our lost property.

Notes:

47. Ghurar al-Hikam.

48. Op.cit.

49. Ghurar al-Hikam

50. Bihar, vol.78, p.34.

51. Altaj, vol..1, p.64.

52. Bihar, vol.78, p.105.

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