Ali (a.s) gave the following ten answers to ten different people in favour
Knowledge is the legacy of the Prophets, wealth is the inheritance of the
pharaohs. Therefore, knowledge is better that wealth.
2. You are to guard your wealth but knowledge guards you. So knowledge is
3. A man of wealth has many enemies while a man of knowledge has
many friends. Hence knowledge is better.
4. Knowledge increases with distributions, while wealth decreases by that
act. Thus knowledge is better.
5. Knowledge is better because it cannot be stolen while wealth can be
6. Knowledge is better because a learned man is apt to be generous
while a wealthy person is apt to be miserly.
7. Knowledge is better because time cannot harm knowledge. But
wealth rusts in course of time and wears away.
8. Knowledge is better because it illuminates the mind while wealth
is bound to blacken it.
9. Knowledge is better because it is boundless while wealth is
limited and you can keep account of it.
10. Knowledge is better because knowledge induced the humanity in our
prophet to say to God, "We worship Thee as we are your servants,"
while wealth engendered in Pharaoh and Namrood the vanity which made them
the Wisdom of Imam Ali [as]
Mohammad[saw] said: "I am the city of science and Ali is its door those who
are in need for science should come through the door."
another statement he said "I am the city of wisdom and Ali is its door
those who are in need for wisdom should come through the door otherwise he
is a thief."
Wisdom is not simply science, wisdom is the background of science,science is the
material and wisdom is the scale which determines quantities and timing. Wisdom
is the ability of forecasting the results of any human behavior.
Wisdom is a gift from Allah; "He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and
whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good and none but men of
understanding mind." Quran, Al-Baqra, Ayyah 269.
"...the advance of communities depends on the intimate collaboration
between those who have money and those who have knowledge, lack of this
collaboration results in failure of these communities...." -Imam Ali[as].
So if you want to learn wisdom you have to attach the school of Imam Ali[as]
with a truthful desire and to ask our lord to gift you the mind, the ability to
learn and the vision which can not be attained through false teachers who are
multiplying like worms.
Money and Moral Values:
*A man feeling avidity is disdaining himself, if you reveal your misery this
means that you are accepting servility.
*That who is always obeying the commands of his tongue is humiliating himself.
*Niggardliness is a shame, cowardice is a great defect, poverty dumbfound the
discerning man from achieving his goals and those who have limited facilities
are foreigners in their homeland.
*Disability of well is a pest.
*Patience is a real courage, asceticism is a fortune, pious is a shield and the
best companion is satisfaction.
Imam Ali[as] explains to us how to deal with money and how to protect yourself
from its dangers if we are individuals or a group, if we have money and if we do
If you do not have money you should never feel avidity because avidity disdains
you, if you have money it will be worse to have this bad feature.
If you do not have money; you should never reveal your condition to others, only
complain to Lord who praises those poor people looking as if they are rich
because they have chastity.
"Greedy persons will never be satisfied whatever they have. Control your
words and never release your tongue to say what is unneeded, talkative people
are captives of their tongue falls and they are never respected by their
This is also stated by Prophet Mohammad[saw], who said (good Muslims never
interfere in others affairs).
"...Asceticism (simplicity) is a wealth because if you lose your pride you
worth nothing and if you keep your pride you own the
world...."Niggardliness (stingy) is a shame because this means that you are
not trusting your Lord, you feel that he gave you once and he will never do this
again it means also that you have no human feelings towards your brothers, in
Quran (generous people are in success).
Poverty is not simply a personal responsibility; it is a social crime because it
kills efficient people, it blocks their abilities and nullifies their efforts in
serving humanity, Imam Ali[as] said in another place that "the advance of
communities depends on the intimate collaboration between those who have money
and those who have knowledge, lack of this collaboration results in failure of
This lesson imposes more duties on those having money and wealth but are avarice
in spending this money for the welfare of Muslim communities that live in
poverty and are scientifically underdeveloped. Those poor scientists are living
as foreigners in their homeland and finally they emigrate to other countries to
live a satisfactory life.
Imam Ali[as] instructs us not to give up in the face of difficulties (disability
of well is a pest) and the reverse is true (patience is a form of courage) and
one day you will get victory, this the promise of Allah.
Asceticism is a wealth because if you lose your pride you are worth nothing and
if you keep your pride you own the world.
The best protection is to be pious, to watch your Lord in your behavior, this
will protect you from falling in mistakes; and lastly the best friend in your
life journey is the satisfied soul.
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April 24, 2005