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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Ali on the Life of the World

Life in this world, and Life in the world Hereafter

In one of his sermons, Ali counseled the people about the life in this world, and the life in the world Hereafter in the following terms: "O men of God. May God keep you happy, and shower His favors on you! You should prepare yourself for the long journey that awaits you. There are many difficulties that beset your path. Death is ever anxious to devour you. Renounce the riches of the world, and catch hold of piety. Life in this world is short, whereas life after death will be everlasting. Buy those commodities here which will stand you in good stead in the other world. Do not demean yourself before God, Who is well acquainted with your innermost feelings. Do not allow your soul to be lost in this world before death may overtake you. "O men! Cast a glance on this world from a wise man's point of view. She turns out her guests in a short space of time. She harasses those with whom she fondles and prattles. Whatever part of life is wasted in idle pursuits can never be recalled. Its gratification and enjoyments are soon changed into suffering and pain: its embellishments and decorations are changed into deformation and impoverishment. The days of this life are numbered. Death is inevitable and is bound to come soon. After having adorned your person with good deeds, you should not pay any heed whether death catches you or you catch death. Many men buy clothes, which instead of being worn by them are used in their coffin. Many persons build houses that instead of becoming abodes become their graves. No one has lived forever in this world, and no one has invented such a medicine which may make men immune from the clutches of death. Solomon the prophet reigned with great pomp and majesty but when his time came he had to depart leaving all such pomp and glory. The world was left without him, and his palaces became a heap of ruins. Look to the case of those men who lived in impregnable citadels on the top of mountains with the most powerful army and when their time came, death ejected them from those fortified places, and put them to eternal sleep in graves. One can hear the whisper of angels over their graves. Where are those stiff necked people who boasted of their pelf and power and their crowns and thrones? Where are their royal robes? What became of those beauties whose radiance under veils dimmed the light of the sun? Where have gone those forts which were decorated with golden curtains, in front of which stood sentries for watch and ward? Do they not tell us how powerless they were? Have not the worms eaten those bodies, who a few days ago set a magnificent and sumptuous table with luxurious plates? The vicissitudes of fortune have ruined their citadels, destroyed their royal robes and reduced to dust their crowns and thrones".

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